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Archive for the ‘Apps’ Category

New Revised Guidelines For Passwords

 

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We previously been told the following:

  • Make them complicated.
  • Use numbers, question marks and hash marks.
  • Change them regularly.
  • Use different passwords for each app and website. Now the National Institute of Standards and Technology is about to make all of our lives much easier. The organization recently revised its guidelines on creating passwords, and the new advice sharply diverges from previous rules.

 

 Longer passwords that are harder for hackers to break the longer the better. Previously, security experts recommended the use of password manager apps to ensure users’ accounts were protected. The apps are useful because they completely randomize the password, but he says they aren’t necessary to maintain security.

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The Cyborg revolution

 

Credit: Rob Spence/Eyeborg Project

Rob Spence, a documentary filmmaker from Canada, has a prosthetic eye that doubles as a video camera. Spence, who is in his 40s, accidentally shot himself in the eye as a child, his cornea eventually degenerated to the point that it needed to be removed in 2007.

He began speaking with independent radio-frequency engineer and designer Kosta Grammatis, who helped him design a camera eye. The wireless camera sits behind a prosthetic eye. The equipment to create the camera eye includes components such as a micro transmitter, a small battery, a miniature camera and a magnetic switch that allows Spence to turn the camera on and off. Later, electrical engineer Martin Ling helped design a tiny circuit board that can take all the data from the camera and send it out to the wider world via a receiver, according to the Eyeborg Project, a website about Spence’s project. The first version of the eye was built in 2008, though he recently described his eye June 10 at a talk at the FutureWorld conference in Canada.

So far, the camera has no connection to his brain or his optic nerve, so it’s perhaps not fair to call Spence a true cyborg. The camera can record about 30 minutes of footage before needing to be recharged, which means it’s never on all the time. The camera is also fitted with a glowing red LED light, so anyone who is being recorded knows they are being recorded.

 

The new Thing In Mental Healthcare

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Dr Jeffrey Lieberman from Columbia University says” the new technologic innovation that is emerging and which does seem likely to impact psychiatry and mental health care in a time that is commensurate with the other specialties of medicine, is the technology that informs how we use Internet-based smartphone mobile app devices. The rudimentary ways in which this has already begun to permeate medicine and mental health care include electronic health records and telemedicine, which is ideally suited to psychiatry in terms of being able to provide consultation at a distance.“The initial idea is to have smartphone-based applications that can perform several functions. One is a monitoring function: having apps that can passively monitor the activities or biologic signals of an individual—whether it is movement, heart rate, respiratory rate, or level of activity—and have an ongoing record that can be catalogued, observed, and interpreted by clinicians. A second function is as a means of communication. Doctors already have begun to employ FaceTime, Skype, and texting to maintain contact with patients remotely in a variety of situations. Another area would be to develop apps that could provide some kind of actual therapeutic assistance, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and supportive types of techniques or protocols when needed. All of these have great potential and can expand the reach of healthcare providers, psychiatrists, and mental health care clinicians, and provide help to a larger proportion of people when they need it.”

Spyware Apps That Sneaked Its Way Into Google Play & Spy On Users

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Soniac was one of the three apps found on Google Play, according to a blog post published Thursday by a researcher from mobile security firm Lookout. The app, which had from 1,000 to 5,000 downloads before Google removed it.  Soniac had the ability to record audio, take phones, make calls, send text messages, and retrieve logs, contacts, and information about Wi-Fi access points. Google ejected the app after Lookout reported it as malicious. Two other apps—one called Hulk Messenger and the other Troy Chat—were also available in Play but were later removed. It’s not clear if the developer withdrew the apps or if Google expelled them after discovering their spying capabilities.  The apps are all part of a malware family Lookout calls SonicSpy.

Once installed, SonicSpy apps remove their launcher icon to hide their presence and then establish a connection to the control server located on port 2222 of arshad93.ddns[.]net.

The researcher said SonicSpy has similarities to another malicious app family called SpyNote, which security firm Palo Alto Networks reported last year. The name of the developer account—iraqwebservice—and several traits found in the apps’ code suggest the developer is located in Iraq. Additionally, much of the domain infrastructure associated with SonicSpy has references to that country. The phrase “Iraqian Shield” appears constantly. Lookout is continuing to follow leads suggesting the developer is based in that part of the world.

The Combination of Weed & Technology

 

Image result for tech & weed More  & more states are legalizing adult use of marijuana and a wave of technology is spreading throughout the industry, including specialized cannabis software and technology for more efficient grow operations, as well as existing tech that can be tailored to the industry. Guardian Data Systems is just one example of marijuana technology growth. Guardian began as a service to buy medical marijuana from dispensaries online using a credit card — a novelty in a mostly cash-only industry. The system enables pre-approved customers with state-licensed dispensaries to use their credit cards to pay for product online and receive it via home delivery in states where it’s legal to do so, like Oregon and Nevada. Guardian’s tech offerings have transformed into a complete enterprise software solution for cannabis businesses, including point-of-sale and distribution software, automated inventory and delivery options, and more.  MassRoots and Leafly provide information like THC and CBD levels, aroma and flavor in a plethora of cannabis strains.  Artificial intelligence. PotBotics, uses a recommendation engine (read: AI) that takes plant DNA analysis and other cannabis research to guide medical marijuana patients to tailored treatment with appropriate strains and products. The software can even make appointments for patients with licensed medical cannabis clinics nearby, and also some in a mobile app called PotBot. 

New Yorks City’s Subway System Has A Collaboration With The City’s Libraries

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All images via NYPL

Going on a lengthy commute? well the New York Public Library has got you covered. In collaboration with the MTA, New York State, TransitWireless and the Queens and Brooklyn Public Libraries, NYPL is bringing us the “Subway Library,” a platform that provides commuters with access to free e-books, short stories and more—whether you’re above or below ground.

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