Saturday, November 28, 2015

Apple reportedly switching to OLED iPhone screens in 2018

And then they'll claim it's revolutionary, even when Samsung has been using it for years.

Apple has always used LCD display technology in the iPhone, but reports are now claiming the technology giant is planning a switch to OLED screens. Apple is reportedly meeting with suppliers to lay the groundwork for the switch, which could happen in 2018. That would be the iPhone 8 generation.

The current iPhone 6s Plus has a 1080p LCD, the highest among Apple’s smartphones. Android devices have moved to 2560 x 1440 LCDs in some cases, but these panels tend to be noticeably dimmer and use more power than lower resolution screens. OLED displays have the advantage here as the light is produced by the pixels themselves rather than a backlight.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

‘Critical flicker fusion’ test can measure the brain’s processing speed

Sampling rates are important when we want to observe or record phenomena extending through time – for a stream of information of a given bit depth, we can capture a richer and more accurate portrait of whatever it is that we’re processing when we take samples or measurements more times per second. We measure the quality of an audio file in its bitrate, the performance of a monitor in its refresh rate, and the smoothness of a video by its frame rate. Now scientists from the University of Georgia have devised an elegant method of testing the visual sampling rate of the human brain.

The researchers used a metric called critical flicker fusion to assess the sampling rate of the brain in this recent experiment involving two cohorts: college-aged (average: 21 years old) and elderly (average: 72 years old) participants. Critical flicker fusion occurs when the observer can no longer distinguish between changing visual stimuli, like two colors of light flickering at increasing frequencies, the approach used by the researchers in this experiment. Many factors act upon the sampling rate of the human eye, but the processing speed of the brain determines the rate at which it can use the information provided to it by the optic nerve. Individuals in either cohort with a higher critical flicker fusion score went on to score higher, in the second half of the experiment, on tests of executive function: cognitive tasks requiring planning, reflection, and self-control.

Anonymous goes to war with ISIS and shoots itself in the foot

Groups associated with Anonymous launch a new “op” quite frequently, but the recent #OpParis has attracted more attention, because it’s a reaction to the recent terror attacks in Paris that claimed more than 130 lives. The goal of the op is apparently to expose Twitter accounts and websites that are run by members of ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks. However, reports are now claiming that the vast majority of Twitter accounts targeted by members of Anonymous aren’t affiliated with ISIS at all. Oops.

Like many of Anon’s past ops, #OpParis and #OpISIS are aimed mainly at reporting accounts run by the group being targeted. Any personal details of the account owners uncovered are also made available online. The semi-official OpParis Twitter account has claimed that more than 20,000 Twitter accounts belonging to members of ISIS and its supporters have been suspended. It’s reasonable to think that Anonymous members have reported that many accounts, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that many of them have anything to do with ISIS. In many cases, the accounts may actually be run by anti-ISIS individuals, journalists, and academics.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Unofficial app makes PlayStation 4 to PC streaming a reality

Sony's had its Remote Play tech in one form or another since the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable, but it didn't truly take off until its implementation on PlayStation 4 and the PS Vita handheld. But that's kind of wasted when nobody is buying the Vita and it's getting zero love from its parent company. Remote Play PC is exactly what its name implies: an application that tricks the PS4 into thinking a PC is a Remote Play device. Microsoft changed the game (sorry) with the ability for the Xbox One to stream its games to Windows 10-based hardware and until Sony catches up we're just going to have to settle for an unofficial app that costs money to perform the task.

The developer (operating under the pseudonym "Twisted") says that the reasoning for charging for the application is to help make ends meet while working on it full time. "The only way to support this is to charge for the app, all my previous projects have been free and I don't want to have to, but sadly it's the only way to support my living costs," Twisted writes. In case you're curious about how it works before dropping the $10 (£6.50) on Wednesday, there's a video just below. It honestly looks like a better experience than Sony's PlayStation Now game streaming service, but until we go hands on with it for ourselves it's hard to tell exactly how this will work out in the wild.

Why would anyone even want this? Because while streaming to the Vita (or certain Android devices) works, having a bigger screen to play Fallout 4 or Until Dawn while traveling without the hassle of taking a PS4 through airport security honestly sound really awesome. There's also mouse and keyboard support. The question is how long Sony will let this slide before issuing a cease and desist. As homebrew and console hacking site Wololo points out, folks who pay for the app could be out their hard-earned money if the company steps in and shuts this down.

Source: engadget

Your VB Kid

Dell laptops may have a Lenovo Superfish-size security problem

Lenovo’s Superfish scandal earlier this year was arguably the worst security flaw since the Sony rootkit debacle of ten years ago. Multiple IdeaPad product lines were shipped with a self-signed HTTPS certificate that could be used to spoof the secure connection that using HTTPS is supposed to guarantee. In simple terms: Laptops with Superfish installed couldn’t actually verify if the banking sites or e-commerce destinations they connected to were actually the sites they claimed to be. There was no simple way to remove the software, and users were forced to jump through multiple hoops to resecure a system. Now, Dell appears to have done something similar, though the investigation is still ongoing.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Google Wants to Make Chips Because Qualcomm Screwed Up

Google is looking to design its own smartphone CPUs and GPUs, according to new reports, because it can't find mobile processors that could push Android devices into new worlds of virtual and augmented reality. Camera and image processing performance are also areas Google needs help with, according to Ars Technica.

Hackers have infiltrated the US arrest records database

Earlier this year, a hacking group broke into the personal email account of CIA director John Brenner and published a host of sensitive attachments that it got its hands on (yes, Brenner should not have been using his AOL email address for CIA business). Now, Wired reports the group has hit a much more sensitive and presumably secure target: a law enforcement portal that contains arrest records as well as tools for sharing info around terrorist events and active shooters. There's even a real-time chat system built in for the FBI to communicate with other law enforcement groups around the US.

New Android adware tries to root your phone so you can’t remove it

A new piece of Android malware has been revealed by security firm Lookout, and it’s a clever one. The malware in question is a type of trojan adware called Shuanet, which is masquerading as 20,000 different popular apps. Shuanet doesn’t just display ads, though. It also attempts to root any device it is installed on, allowing the malware to survive factory resets.

Shuanet shares a lot of code with several other adware trojans that Lookout has detected recently known as Kemoge and Shedun. What’s interesting about Shuanet is that it doesn’t seek to wreak havoc on an infected device or clog it with other malware. This is adware first and foremost, so the goal is to get people to use their devices and see the ads.