Support Us on Patreon

Become a Patron for as little as $1 to gain access to exclusive video features, behind the scenes and Patron-only contests.

Top Stories for the Week of February 6, 2019

  • Episode 594
  • February 6, 2019

Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday February 6, 2019


A consumer DNA testing company has given the FBI access to its two million profiles

A consumer DNA testing company has given the FBI access to its two million profiles

A large consumer DNA test database, Family Tree DNA, has quietly started allowing the FBI to upload genetic profiles created from crime scenes and corpses.

The FBI was able to compare forensic samples with the DNA of any of about 2 million customers of the service, normally used by genealogists to locate and contact relatives.

A spokesperson for the company said law enforcement agencies have so far uploaded 22 samples: 10 were from the FBI. At least one case has already been solved.

Between Family Tree DNA and another database being accessed by police, GEDMatch, it means your average criminal on the loose probably has at least a second cousin whose DNA can be located. The FBI created a special genealogy team to turn those leads into arrests.

Specialized law enforcement databases containing DNA profiles of known felons could soon be irrelevant. Natalie Ram, an assistant law professor at the University of Baltimore says, “We are nearing a de facto national DNA database.”

Some users are already expressing anger over Family Tree's sharing of their DNA data. But Family Tree DNA founder Bennett Greenspan said in a statement that police only have access to the same type of information users already share, such as names, initials, e-mails, and photos.

Source: www.technologyreview.com

Sent to us by: Jeff Weston


Microsoft plans to expand Xbox Live to other platforms, including Nintendo Switch and mobile.

Microsoft plans to expand Xbox Live to other platforms, including Nintendo Switch and mobile.

The company says bringing the network to more consoles will "enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs."

Microsoft says the release of their cross-platform Xbox development kit will take Xbox Live to "over 2 billion devices."

Taking Xbox Live to other consoles seems like the natural next step after the cross-platform play that exists within certain games, such as Fortnite or Minecraft. Sony has been less cooperative when it comes to cross-platform play and allowing other services on to its PlayStation Network, and it appears this Xbox Live expansion will not apply to PS4 as yet. However, Sony did enable Fortnite cross-play as a beta late last year, so perhaps further integration of the major gaming platforms will become a possibility down the line.

We'll know more following the Game Developers Conference, which takes place from March 18-22.

Source: www.gamespot.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


Google’s new Chrome Extension automatically checks that your passwords are still secure

Google’s new Chrome Extension automatically checks that your passwords are still secure

A new Chrome Extension from Google called Password Checkup will automatically check whether your passwords have been exposed in a data breach. Once installed, the extension checks any login details you use — Google says “most” US sites are supported — against a database of around four billion usernames and passwords, and warns you if it finds a match.

Password breaches are an unfortunately common occurrence, but so long as you’re using a unique password for each website it’s normally fairly simple to deal with. Just change the login credentials used with the breached website, and move on. Unfortunately, when massive breaches like Collection #1 compromise so many different passwords it can be impossible to know which of yours are still safe. That’s where Google’s new extension comes in.

Since Password Checkup relies on sending your confidential information to Google, the company is keen to emphasize that this is encrypted, and that it has no way of seeing your data. Passwords in the database are stored in a hashed and encrypted form, and any warning that’s generated about your details is entirely local to your machine.

Google isn’t the only company to offer such a service. 1Password’s robust password manager includes Watchtower integration to compare your passwords against Have I Been Pwned’s database of breached credentials. Google’s extension is free and you can use Chrome’s built-in password generator to generate a new password if you find one of yours has been compromised.

Source: www.theverge.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


Here's another story about Google -- but this one for mobile: their new Android apps could help the hearing impaired.

Google's new Android apps could help your hearing

That's right: Google has announced that it's bringing Android users two new apps, Sound Amplifier and Live Transcribe, which are designed to "make life a little easier" for those with hearing loss.

Live Transcribe takes live speech and turns it into captions using your phone's built-in microphone, and according to Google, it comes in over 70 different languages and dialects.

You can also use it for two-way conversations if you can't or don't want to speak using a 'type-back keyboard' within the app. Although Live Transcribe is being rolled out worldwide as a limited beta via the Play Store right now, Google says you'll soon be able to "enable it in Accessibility Settings, then start Live Transcribe from the accessibility button on the navigation bar".

The second app, Sound Amplifier, isn't just designed for people with hearing loss – as Google explained in its announcement blog post: "Everyone can use a little audio boost from time to time, especially in situations where there’s a lot of background noise – like at a loud cafe or airport lounge."

You will need to plug wired headphones into your smartphone to use the app, which works by digitally increasing the volume of quiet sounds, while "not over-boosting loud sounds."

You can also customize the sound by changing the sound enhancement settings and applying "noise reduction to minimize distracting background noise with simple sliders and toggles."

Both apps will come pre-installed on the Pixel 3, and could potentially make a real difference to people with hearing loss by making it easier to communicate with the people around them.

Source: www.techradar.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


Discussion

Advertisement

Technology TV
Episode 609 Live:

Advertisement

Being Watched

Twitter Posts

Login to Category5

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Forgot your password?

Register on Category5

Error message here!

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in

Close