MEET THE RUSSIAN STARTUP THAT’S LAUNCHING A GIANT ‘SPACE BILLBOARD’ INTO ORBIT

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There’s a saying among Russian advertisers: “the best idea is to rent the Moon.” Fortunately, the Moon isn’t for sale, but space itself is up for grabs, so companies and amateurs are now launching dozens of small satellites (smallsats) into orbit at a time.

You can’t see most of these satellites from Earth, but for the next month a smallsat developed by students at the Moscow Polytechnic University may be visible to the naked eye. In fact, if all goes well for the team behind the project, it will be the second brightest object in the night sky, second only to the Moon.

It’s an ambitious, largely crowdfunded endeavor led by a Russian advertising agency 12.digital that says its goals are to inspire interest in space, test science instruments, and perform a bit of advertising for its biggest investor.

“The pyramid is like a parachute for satellites,” Panov said. “It’s a small system and if a satellite finishes working, you can press the button on Earth and the parachute will open and cause the satellite to go down to the atmosphere much faster.”

Mayak received a free ride aboard the Soyuz rocket, thanks to support from Russia’s Roscosmos space program. Roughly 60 percent of the project was supported through crowdfunding, with the rest coming from a sponsorship with a banking startup appropriately named RocketBank. For its sponsorship, RocketBank will brand Mayak as the “Cash Back Star” for its 200,000 users. However, 12.digital insists it’s not just about the advertising.

“The pyramid is like a parachute for satellites”

“We’re an ad agency but we realized we’re interested in some technologies and we met some young engineers and decided to work on this project together,” says 12.digital partner, Nik Ershov. 

“We don’t want to move advertisement to space,” he added. “We understand that in the future some companies will use space as an area that people can’t avoid. But we’re scared about that. We don’t want to think in that context.”

Nonetheless, it’s tough to deny the potential for space advertising and the Mayak stands as an example of how companies may capitalize on the open space above us.

The satellite will orbit Earth about sixteen times every day, Ershov estimated, and should be visible from regions around the globe. The team has also released an app to help users track the Mayak in real time.

ATARI’S LATEST RELEASE ISN’T A CONSOLE OR A GAME — IT’S A RIDICULOUSLY HIGH-TECH HAT

Atari is on a roll lately. The company made a splash at E3 last month with the announcement of its new Ataribox connected console, and now the classic brand is entering the wearables market with perhaps its oddest product yet: Atari Speakerhats, powered by Audiowear technology.

The first three baseball cap styles will debut at San Diego Comic Con this week, and special edition Blade Runner 2049 Atari Speakerhats will be available in conjunction with the much-anticipated sequel’s release this fall, along with other wearables.

Michael Arzt, COO of the new Atari Connect division of the iconic brand, told Digital Trends that a variety of these hats will launch later this year. The ones debuting at Comic Con include a New Era-style baseball cap with the name “Atari” on the front, available in blue and black, as well as a black-on-black verision featuring the company’s “Mt. Fuji” symbol.

“…a cool and badass hat that will look like it belongs in the 2049 world”

“In addition to the Blade Runner limited edition we’re doing, which is a cool and badass hat that will look like it belongs in the 2049 world, we have a bunch of others we’re involved with,” Arzt said. “We’ll have hats based on some classic Atari franchises.”

The Audiowear Speakerhat is designed to be ultra-thin and lightweight, with all the fancy tech seamlessly integrated into the form factor of a cap, an Audiowear representative told Digital Trends. Under the hood you’ll find a set of proprietary high-fidelity stereo speakers, a microphone, and a rechargeable lithium ion battery to keep it all running.

The hat can also connect to any Bluetooth-enabled device (smartphone, tablet, personal computer, etc.) to play music or other audio, initiate or accept phone calls, receive voice commands, and more. Audiowear’s Social Synchronous Broadcast technology will allow multiple Speakerhat users to simultaneously listen to a single audio stream in perfect sync, which Arzt said provides a fundamentally new social audio experience. “Gamers can hear the same thing at the same time and also communicate and hear each other through the hats,” Arzt added.

But of course, there’s still some work to be done. Audiowear says the hats are a work-in-progress, and the company plans to continuously improve the design and engineering until the technology is completely invisible.

While no official release date has been revealed yet, Atari is offering fans a chance to win one of the hats (link) and participate in the beta testing phase.

Arzt said Comic Con was chosen for the global debut of these Speakerhats because the Atari brand is loved by so many creators of pop culture, including TV producers, filmmakers, and musicians.

“We’re constantly getting approached to have our brand and games involved in projects,” Arzt said. “The Atari brand has a great nostalgic value for people who’ve grown up with it. Everyone has a favorite Atari story of opening a console under the Christmas tree or friends getting together to play games in the family room. Today we have the hipsters in SoHo wearing the faded Atari t-shirt. We’ve transcended the gaming-only positioning and aim to be a friendlier digital lifestyle brand.”

This is all just part of the company’s larger comeback plan.

This is all just part of the company’s larger comeback plan. In addition to the Speakerhats, there’s the At Games collection of Atari Flashback plug-and-play consoles with up-rezzed versions of Atari 2600 and 5200 games packed in. A new collection featuring Activision classics is heading to retail this fall. Atari classic games from Centipede to the more recent Rollercoaster Tycoon are making their mark on mobile devices.

“And then spinning off that is a very robust licensing campaign with everything from t-shirts and hats to plastic centipedes and classic posters,” Arzt explained. “That carries a tremendous chunk of the business forward because there’s a lot of love for the franchises and the brand.”

There’s also movement in Hollywood for Atari’s library of over 200 games. Media Fusion is developing “Game On,” a reality game show challenging contestants to navigate life-sized sets based on classic Atari Games in South Africa. They’re also turning “Codebreakers” into a TV series with Discovery in Europe.

“We have a number of projects in development with producers looking to turn Missile Command or Centipede into movies or TV shows,” Arzt said. “We’re also talking to a number of different partners about new games and new things we can do in that space, where we might do a co-branded iteration of our classic games. Some of those deals are not announced yet.”

And the last piece of the business is the hardware.

“Going back 45 years, Atari was not just a game and software developer but also a hardware manufacturer with arcade games, consoles and computers,” Arzt explained. “That’s been left behind for a long time. The decision was made to reinvigorate that and get back into hardware. The Ataribox project we teased prior to E3 got a tremendous amount of attention, and when people start seeing more of that they’ll be very excited.”

Arzt also said that Atari isn’t going to compete directly with the established giants of the video game business like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.

“The hardware philosophy I’m building is this ‘connected lifestyle’ concept,” he explained. “We don’t need to be the bleeding-edge hardware guys. With the Ataribox, we’ll play a bit more casual in keeping with the types of franchises we have. It’s more about being accessible and presenting products that have that fun element to them.”

Atari is also developing additional wearables, as well as some connected home products that will link to the upcoming Ataribox and other entertainment devices. So don’t be surprised if you start seeing a lot more stuff from Atari rolling out over the next year, as the once-giant video game company reinvents itself with new IOT devices and wearables alongside connected consoles, fashion, and merchandise.

Sony and IBM stuffed 330TB into a palm-sized cartridge

While you weren’t looking, the storage industry has been working on some pretty crazy stuff. Sony announced that it teamed up with IBM Research in Zurich to create a new magnetic tape that can fit 330TB of files in a single palm-sized cartridge that typically could hold only about 15TB.

For reference, that’s enough to store 3,379 compressed copies of all of Wikipedia on a single cartridge. You’ve probably guessed that this isn’t designed for home users; it’ll be deployed in servers and data centers when it becomes available.

The new tape features a recording density of 201 Gb per square inch – that’s about 20 times greater than the current crop. To achieve this, the team figured out a new way to reduce the gap between the magnetic tape and magnetic head, and also developed a lubricant to help things move smoothly and improve read/write speeds.

The data is stored in a sputtered manner across multiple layers of nano particles to extend tape length. IBM Research notes that this breakthrough means that it’ll be possible to double tape storage capacity every two years for a decade to come. With our storage needs always on the rise, we could certainly use more innovations like this.

 

'CopyCat’ Malware in its Peak Contaminated 14m Android Devices

An Android malware infected and proliferated so effectively that when its attacks were the maximum during April-May 2016, it contaminated 14m devices as well as rooted 8m of them.

According to security researchers, the malware sample called 'CopyCat' aided in earning $1.5m to its creators, chiefly via ad fraud in April-May 2016.

Security Investigators from the Mobile Research Team of Check Point, after detecting the malware during March 2017, assert that CopyCat primarily contaminated Android owners within the countries of Southeast Asia; however, Android owners numbering 280,000-and-more in USA too were contaminated. As per research, Asia was attributed with 55% of CopyCat contaminations, while Africa with 18% ranked No.2 on the list of countries with most contaminated Android gadgets.

CopyCat transmits monetary earnings to hackers, the income acquired from pop-up ads of applications rather than to app developers. In a computation by Check Point, a maximum of 4.9m fake applications got planted onto infected devices, generating a maximum of 100m advertisements. Within sixty days, CopyCat accounted an income of $1.5m-and-more that it transmitted to cyber-criminals.

Check Point associates the assault with MobiSummer, an app developer and tech startup in China. Now, it isn't clear whether the company had a direct involvement else had been victimized itself. Wvtm13.com posted this, July 6, 2017.

Check Point further states that CopyCat understandably proliferated via phishing scams as well as repackaged widely-used applications with malicious software when end-users took them down from intermediate application repositories. Once CopyCat contaminates an Android gadget, the malware roots the gadget for acquiring complete hold over it. It subsequently, thrusts Zygote an app that aids the process of launching using code for starting loading of illegitimate applications onto the gadget.

For gaining insights, Check Point's researchers retrieved data via accessing CopyCat's command-and-control servers. Reportedly, malevolent advertisements got exhibited on 3.8 million contaminated devices, whilst 4.4 million contaminated devices got utilized for "stealing credit" in connection with Google's Play Store referrals.

After its peak in 2016, CopyCat attacks slowed pace when Google blacklisted the malicious program on Play Project; however, according to Check Point, contaminated gadgets are likely yet under the program's impact.

Source: Spamfighter


With malware attacks becoming increasingly prevalent, phx-IT has your back. We will keep your business and your business data safe, without breaking the bank. Let us show you why our service is the best in the Valley, Contact Us for more information.  Josh Bowe, Brand Champion at phx-IT

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London Met Police’s 18,000 Windows XP PCs is a disaster waiting to happen

According to MSPoweruser, the London Metropolitan Police are still using around 18,000 PCs powered by Windows XP, an operating system Microsoft stopped supporting in 2014. What's more is that the police force is upgrading its PCs from Windows XP to Windows 8.1, instead of Windows 10. Only 8 PCs at the police force are reportedly powered by the "most secure version of Windows right now." From the report:

From the looks of things, the London Metropolitan Police will continue to upgrade their systems to Windows 8.1 at the moment. Windows 8.1 is still being supported by Microsoft, although the mainstream support for the OS is set to end on the 9 January 2018. Microsoft will offer extended support for the OS until 2023, which means Windows 8.1 is still a much more secure alternative for the Metropolitan Police than Windows XP. Windows 10 still would have been the best option in terms of security, however. Microsoft is releasing security updates for the OS every month, and the new advanced security features like Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection makes PCs running Windows a whole lot more secure.

The spokesman of the Conservative London Assembly said in a statement: "The Met is working towards upgrading its software, but in its current state it's like a fish swimming in a pool of sharks. It is vital the Met is given the resources to step up its upgrade timeline before we see another cyber-attack with nationwide security implications."

Source: https://mspoweruser.com/london-metropolitan-polices-18000-windows-xp-pcs-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen/

If you're still running Windows xp or 7 in your workplace, please contact us. We can help you work on a plan within your budget to upgrade.  (phx-IT)

Microsoft is using AI to combat Malware:

Windows Fall Creators Update will come with a hefty serving of security upgrades, made timely by the increasingly rampant cyberattacks targeting the platform these days. In a blog post, Microsoft has revealed how the upcoming major update will level up Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, a Win 10 enterprise service that flags early signs of infection. According to CNET, Windows enterprise director Rob Lefferts said the upgrade will use data from Redmond's cloud-based services to create an AI anti-virus that will make ATP much better at preventing cyberattacks.

One of the AI's features is the ability to instantly pick up the presence of a previously unknown malware on a computer. Microsoft can then quickly quarantine the malware in the cloud and create a signature for its identity that can be used to protect other computers from it. Lefferts says about 96 percent of cyberattacks use new malware, so this feature sounds especially helpful. It could certainly change the way Microsoft rolls out defense measures, since it currently takes researchers hours to conjure one up. By the time they're done, the malware might have already made its way to more computers.

While ATP's new security features will initially only be available to enterprise customers, CNET says Microsoft has plans to roll them out to ordinary users. In addition, the company wants ATP to support "more platforms beyond Windows" and has begun working to make that happen. Microsoft will release Fall Creators' preview between September and October, so these features (and more) will start hitting some businesses' and companies' PCs around that time.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/28/microsoft-windows-fall-creators-update-security/