Top Stories for the Week of February 7, 2018

  • From Category5 Technology TV S11E19
  • February 7, 2018
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday February 7, 2018

The Samsung Group heir arrested last year in a corruption scandal in South Korea has been set free.

A South Korean appeals court has freed Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong and reduced his five-year jail term—dismissing a number of charges against him in the corruption scandal.

Lee, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, was handed a suspended sentence of 2.5 years by the Seoul High Court on Monday after nearly a year in detention; South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

The billionaire was convicted in August last year of bribing the country's then President, Park Geun-hye, with $8.2m in return for government backing of a business merger.

The 49-year-old was also found guilty of embezzlement, hiding assets overseas, concealing profit from criminal acts, and perjury.

The case led to months of mass protests and Park's eventual impeachment in December 2016.

A verdict in her case is expected in the next couple of months.

Liberal politician Moon Jae-in was elected the new president in May.


Sent to us by: Bekah Ferguson

That didn't take long: someone has hacked Amazon Key, the lock that allows delivery drivers to open your front door and leave your packages inside.

That didn't take long: someone has hacked Amazon Key, the lock that allows delivery drivers to open your front door and leave your packages inside.

The Key is an electrified lock designed to be disabled using a one-time code, a facility that makes it possible for delivery workers to drop stuff off at the homes or business of Amazon Prime members. Prime members receive the gear they ordered from Amazon without having to hang around all day, Amazon gets sales it might not otherwise have made, and delivery staff get recorded by a WiFi-connected video camera to make sure they don’t steal the family silver.

The devices have already been shown to have one nasty flaw when Rhino Security Labs found a way to flood the camera with junk packets to stop it recording.

Now a hacker who calls himself "MG" has demonstrated another attack on the Key which allows access to doors “locked” by the key even after a delivery worker’s one-time code has been used.

It’s unclear exactly how the exploit works, but in a video posted on MG's Twitter account we can see it relied upon a “dropbox” – a computer of some sort with Wi-Fi connectivity that is able to control the Key. The dropbox can both unlock the Key or somehow leave Amazon’s device incapable of recognising that it’s time to lock itself again.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

LiDAR has once again unveiled a lost city, this time with over 60,000 Mayan houses in it.

National Geographic has reported that laser-toting archaeologists have discovered an entire Mayan city in the Central American jungle that has been lost for hundreds of years.

From the report: In what's being hailed as a "major breakthrough" in Maya archaeology, researchers have identified the ruins of more than 60,000 houses, palaces, elevated highways, and other human-made features that have been hidden for centuries under the jungles of northern Guatemala.

Using a revolutionary technology known as LiDAR (short for "Light Detection And Ranging"), scholars digitally removed the tree canopy from aerial images of the now-unpopulated landscape, revealing the ruins of a sprawling pre-Columbian civilization that was far more complex and interconnected than most Maya specialists had supposed.

Here is New York Times best-selling author, Douglas Preston, in an interview last year on Category5 Technology TV to explain how LiDAR works. [VIDEO]

With this more recent expedition, Thomas Garrison, an Ithaca College archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer who specializes in using digital technology for archaeological research says, "The LiDAR images make it clear that this entire region was a settlement system whose scale and population density had been grossly underestimated."

Garrison is part of a consortium of researchers who are participating in the project, which was spearheaded by the PACUNAM Foundation, a Guatemalan nonprofit that fosters scientific research, sustainable development, and cultural heritage preservation.

The project mapped more than 800 square miles of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, producing the largest LiDAR data set ever obtained for archaeological research.


Sent to us by: The Albuquerque Turque

UNICEF is turning to gamers in order to raise money through cryptocurrency mining.

It was just October when the co-founder of UNICEF Ventures, Chris Fabian, said that the company would not shy away from experimenting with cryptocurrency and the surrounding tech—and now UNICEF is asking gamers to install mining software to raise money to help Syrian children.

UNICEF has launched “Game Chaingers” in an effort to bring together gamers from across the globe and have them unite their computing power for a good cause.

The promo says, “To participate in this operation, all you need to do is to install Claymore, a mining software,” the Game Chaingers’ website reads. “You will be able to start or stop mining when you want, and generate Ethereum right in UNICEF’s electronic wallet.”

Game Chaingers’ mining efforts will continue until March 31, and you can find out more by visiting . . . (that’s chaingers spelled “c.h.a.i.n.g.e.r.s”).


Sent to us by: Jeff Weston


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