Mozilla’s Firefox Reality Browser is Where VR Meets the Web

As of Tuesday, Mozilla (creator of the Firefox browser) has announced that it’s changing the whole browser game. Although, the downside is that it won’t run on your computer in the traditional way. Instead, they will be introducing us to the future, which might include us interacting with computers using goofy headwear.  

Internet tech giants like Google and Facebook are trying up their game in the emerging industry.

Collectively, they’ve spent an incredible amount of money just to create a range of headsets and technology that will enhance the experience of all computer users. Many enthusiasts have been wondering why VR has not yet taken off, but we’re assuming that it’s just too pricey for people to afford right now.

However, the most compelling argument against virtual reality is its lack of compelling content. “The biggest issue holding VR back is the games or lack thereof,” CNET’s Dan Ackerman wrote this week. “The vast majority are simple low-budget indie projects that range from pure dreck to forgettable filler, with just a handful of gems along the way.”

The VR web to the rescue?

Mozilla thinks its new Firefox Reality browser can help bring the VR idea to life and start to encourage people to use it more. However, Mozilla helped a VR technology called WebVR and let web developers build content with the help of A-frame project that will only be used on a VR device.

“WebVR content continues to grow, though is limited by the general lack of headset use outside the VR gaming community,” said Sean White, Mozilla’s chief research, and development officer. Mozilla likes the Within site to explore WebVR sites, but it’s working on its own, too, including “a social platform for 3D content experiences on the web,” he said.

Mozilla believes that WebVR will prevent teenagers from playing heavy shoot-em-up games, which is a great start to preventing future violence.

“Walking among the dinosaurs at a virtual natural history museum is a good example, as is e-commerce like walking through your dream kitchen,” White said. “Social games and online meetings are also a natural fit.”

For now, though, it sounds like it will simply be like browsing the web with an ordinary browser – except that the screen is hovering in a 3D world and you’re in control of the virtual pointer.

Not all VR devices supported

Here’s the downside: not all devices will support this feature, which means it is only designed to work with headsets. They will be offering a “Preview” version of the software Tuesday, but there won’t be any support on Oculus’s Facebook yet.

Although Mozilla promises that the new Firefox Reality will be faster than the PC browser launched in November. This time it will be competing with browsers that are used with the VR headsets: For example, Google’s Chrome browser that supports Google Daydream devices.

It’s still not clear enough if VR will be a big deal. Although, it’s mentioned that in the 1990s, a technology called VRML — short for Virtual Reality Markup Language and pronounced “vermal” — was supposed to democratize that decade’s VR technology. VRML didn’t pan out, but the goal is to make Virtual Reality today the backwater of VRML, not the big thing.

MIT’s New Headset Reads the Words in Your Head

SOURCE: MIT Media Lab

 Have you ever spoken to a voice assistant like Siri or Cortana on your phone and felt a little odd? With MIT’s newest machine, we might feel a little less self-conscious while talking to our machines.  With this new nonverbal machine you can get the job done in a similar way, but without talking – which is simply brilliant!

A team at MIT has been working on getting this device going. However, the design doesn’t go far toward removing the whole self-consciousness bit from the picture.

However, it mentioned on the website that this new device is called the “AlterEgo,” which is a closed-loop, non-invasive, wearable system that allows humans to converse in high-bandwidth natural language with machines, artificial intelligence assistants, services, and other people without the need to speak—without opening their mouth, and without externally observable movements—simply by vocalizing internally.” MIT says the device is capable of reading “words in your head.”

In this Article, Grad student Arnav Kapur describes this machine as the “intelligence-augmentation device.” The school tested this device on 10 different subjects, and once it was calibrated, the research team said that it was able to get around 92% of accuracy for commands which, honestly, doesn’t seem too far off from the voice assistants that we have used before.

Once you get past the creepiness of the whole reading words in your head, and the fact that it looks like a piece of medieval orthodontic equipment, it is actually a pretty cool device. In addition, there are added bone conduction for audio playback to keep the system silent. , which seems like an element that could potentially make it useful for special ops.

 

Data Breach Affected About 150 Million MyFitnessPal Accounts

So far, MyFitnessPal underwent the biggest breach of the year so far, affecting 150 million accounts.

Under Armour has stated that the breach affected an estimated 150 million users of its nutrition application on smartphones called “MyFitnessPal.” While the Under Armour company doesn’t collect government identifiers like social security numbers, investigators have indicated that many usernames, email addresses, and hashed passwords have been affected on the application.

Shares of Under Armour dropped 3.8 percent after the active-wear company informed users of its online fitness and nutrition website being compromised.

Payment information, fortunately, has not been breached.

Under Armour was notified of a potential breach on March 25, when the company discovered a suspicious activity. They took steps to notify affected users, and are now working with data security firms and contracted law enforcement agencies to investigate further.

For more information on the breach, please click here.

Big Tech Ban on Cryptocurrency Advertising

 

While Facebook was the first to ban cryptocurrency advertising, Google soon followed suit by announcing its ban on cryptocurrency advertising on its platform by June 2018. Such sites include Youtube and other websites where Google sells digital ad space (display ads). Last Sunday, Twitter also announced their ban on cryptocurrency ads, as well. So, if all these social ad platforms are closing their doors to the currency, how will marketers advertise them?

As Matthew Frankel from this article said, “The main purpose of Google’s ban could be to protect investors without harming those already currently involved in the industry for the sake of positive development of the blockchain technology business ecosystem as a whole. Still, the reasoning and repercussions of this ban are worth investigating further.”

However described, cryptocurrency ads will be banned from all social platforms (including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and cryptocurrency trading advice) will no longer be served on the web. But it is mentioned that advertisers can request certification with Google starting March 2018 when it is published and ready.

Is it going to be hard for marketers in the industry? Perhaps not…

Now that Google, Twitter, and Facebook (three of the largest internet corporations) have already banned cryptocurrency advertising, it’s safe to assume that the cryptocurrency companies are going to have a bit of trouble promoting their brands.

While most advertisers might be panicking, some advertisers actually say that they don’t see a huge problem. They work with different publishers instead of just using social platforms to advertise. They often use websites which are targeted directly to crypto-investors, or other websites that give news and market insights.
For more updates, please visit www.bitcoinmagazine.com

Own a Computer or Smartphone? Update It TODAY

You may or may not have heard about the security flaws dubbed Meltdown and Spectre – and no, they’re not related to James Bond. Billions of devices have been affected and hackers are after your processing chip that holds sensitive information. With this being said, update your software! This is only a temporary fix but your desktop, laptop, smartphone or cloud service from Apple, Google, Amazon, or Microsoft can be in danger.

Spectre is the primary threat since it is affecting billions of devices. Meltdown, on the other hand, only appears to affect Intel processing chips.

Apple has already released a note that issues have been fixed to handle Meltdown and is working on Safari changes to defend against Spectre.

We know that many people aren’t fond of updating their devices because of added slowness, we’d highly recommend doing so anyways to protect your information. Experts are saying that the patches deployed to combat the security flaws have the potential to slow computers as much as 30%. As frustrating as that may be, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Update your devices today to keep your information safe. Subscribe to our blog for more updates on the processing chip security issue.

Some Sonos and Bose Speakers Can Be Accessed Remotely By Hackers

Another day, another smart device hack. It was discovered that some Sonos and Bose speakers have an exposed vulnerability that allows them to be accessed by hackers. This hack opportunity was recently discovered and merely allows hackers to play music remotely through the system. Before you get too worried, just know that this time, it’s largely prank-based. However, this serves as an excellent reminder that our devices should always be connected securely, especially as we allow more cameras and always-on mics (Alexa, Google Home, etc.) into our lives.

As mentioned in this article on TechCrunch, there was a disturbing report of a lady hearing creaking doors, breaking glass and a baby crying at top volumes on her music system. Aside from that, it’s really just been more of an annoyance than anything else.

The good news is, researchers discovered that there are only about 2,000 – 5,000 Sonos systems and less than 500 Bose systems are impacted. The better news is that the issue if because of a misconfiguration with the user’s network because of exposure to a public network. A Sonos spokesperson told TechCrunch, “We’re looking into this more, but what is being referenced is a misconfiguration of a user’s network that impacts a very small number of customers that may have exposed their device to a public network. We do not recommend this type of set-up for our customers. In the near term, anyone concerned about this issue should ensure their Sonos system is set-up on their secured internal network.”

They’ve issued a patch for this issue, but for now, just make sure ALL of your devices are setup on a secured internal network. For more information, visit this TechCrunch article.

Adobe To Kill Flash Plug-In by 2020

Adobe Flash: your time here is coming to an end. In 2020, that is.

The software company, Adobe, announced today that they plan to discontinue Flash Media Player by the end of year 2020. The plug-in was a major part of the early Internet days, once aiding users in viewing rich content and displaying YouTube videos.

Flash has been on it’s way out since 2011, when Adobe stopped developing the software for mobile devices. Prior to that, Steve Jobs wrote an infamous letter towards Adobe Flash, stating that neither iPhones nor iPads would ever support the software.

Over the past three years, use of the Flash plug-in has rapidly declined. Just 3 years ago, 80% of desktop Chrome users visited websites that used Flash on a daily basis. Since then, the number has dropped to 17% and falling by the day. The need for Flash is nearly entirely gone.

Now that modern browsers support open web standards like HTML5, there is no real reason to keep using Flash. HTML5 supports embedded content directly onto the webpage. And to make matters worse, Flash is constantly plagued with bugs and open security vulnerabilities, which is dangerous with the state of mal and ransomware.

Adobe is helping tech companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Mozilla phase out of Flash.

Anthony Laforge, product manager for Google Chrome, says, “For 20 years, Flash has helped shape the way that you play games, watch videos and run applications on the web. But over the last few years, Flash has become less common.”

Flash: you’ve been good to us, but it’s time for you to finally crash (one last time).

3 Ways to Avoid Being Affected During the Next WannaCry Attack

It wasn’t too long ago that businesses spent over $1 Billion on ransomware (that was in 2016). With two global ransomware attacks that have happened in the past month, it’s clear that the ransomware train is not stopping anytime soon.  

With over 230,000 computers and 150 countries affected, the WannaCry attack definitely made many “wanna cry.” We’re only 7 months into the year and we’ve already been hit with two global attacks; what’s to say there won’t be another one?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your files in exchange for a ransom. In the premature days, ransomware would only infect a single computer at a time. Now, the infection spreads throughout entire networks at the same time. With the rise of ransomware attacks, it’s more important to stay connected, now more than ever.  

These steps will get you ready for the next attack and keep the hackers at bay.

  1. Backup Your Data

Backing up your data could be the golden to key in the fight against ransomware.

Why are backups so important?

The main purpose of a backup is create a copy of your data in the event of an emergency (i.e. ransomware attack, flood, earthquake, technology failure, etc.). Most backups used to be stored on actual appliances, which still run the risk of being either infected or damaged in the event of a disaster. Since attackers have gotten wiser, servers and machines are now regularly being infected alongside computers, which is why it’s so important to backup to a ransomware resistant virtual appliance.

Being able to backup your data and restore it immediately is a crucial step when fighting against ransomware. To be able to restore your data and get back to business without paying the ransom is invaluable!

As an IT company, we have helped many of our clients recover from ransomware, which is why we only partner with trusted backup storage and solution companies. If you are looking to upgrade your backup solution, our most trusted partner is reevert Storage and Backup Solution. Visit their website for a free 30-day trial.

  1. Avoid easy passwords 

Having to remember a million different passwords can be a hassle, it’s true. But instead of looking at it like that, just think about what a real hassle it would be to be hacked. By changing your password every few months, you’re being proactive in battling hackers from stealing your data.

To learn the do’s and don’ts of passwords, check out our infographic here.

  1. Keep your Windows up to date

While you can do your absolute best to avoid clicking on the wrong emails or going on safe sites, it can all be compromised if you don’t update your Windows system. What made Petya malware and WannaCry so successful was that they exposed vulnerabilities in unpatched systems, allowing them to leak through onto the system. By updating your system as soon as the patches are released, you’re being proactive in protecting yourself against ransomware.

If you have Windows 10, updates will automatically be installed. If you’re running on any system before that, be sure to run these updates immediately.

Email security is also an important factor in fighting against ransomware. To learn about email security, read our blog

Don’t let the perpetrators win. Follow these tips to avoid being a victim during the next WannaCry attack.

Father’s Day 2017 Gift Guide by Inverselogic

There isn’t anyone who’s been there every step of the way quite like dad – and he gives it his all. Gifts will never be enough to express the appreciation you have for your dad, but we’d like to help you give it a try!

Skip the “#1 Dad” coffee mugs and get dad what he really wants for Father’s Day!

I decided to share a couple of the gift ideas that I have in my mind for my daddy because if anyone deserves it, it’s them!

Each product has been linked for easy ordering. Find the perfect tech gift for dad!

Apple TV

$149.00 to $199.00

For the dad who’s had a busy day at work, Apple TV lets their mind take a break! This is the easiest way to rent or buy movies and TV shows straight from the iTunes store.

Macbook Pro

Depending on the storage choice and processor, this can be anywhere between $1,299.00- 1,999.00.

For the businessman dad who wants to carry their business files with them everywhere. This is a great, lightweight, versatile gift that any dad will enjoy.

Apple Watch (Series 2)

$369

Every dad would love a watch! This smartwatch keeps dad connected by displaying every notification on your wrist. Bonus points: it can also tell you directions while you’re using your phone!

Basic Kindle

$79.99

For the papas who love to sit back and read, the Kindle is a perfect gift for them. The on-screen font size is changeable so dear ol’ Dad can adjust it to any size he pleases!

Canon EOS Rebel

$599

This one is for the talented dads who love photography! This camera is a great gift for any photographer: beginner or seasoned. Most likely, getting a new gadget in his hand will inspire him to take some new, creative photos! (Mom wins with this, too!)

Keurig K50 Coffee Maker

$101.99

The Keurig K50 Coffee maker is a perfect gift for the dad’s who start their work day with a fresh cup of coffee. Instead of getting him another “#1 Dad” mug, get him the coffee machine to brew it!

iBobber 

$89.99

This is for the dads who love fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. This device is great for fishing because it’ll broadcast mapping details back to your iOS or Android smartphone or smartwatch. This is a handy tool for choosing the best fishing spots – and it maps as far as 135 feet below!

Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller

$149

This is for any dads that like to spend their weekends updating their landscape. There’s no better view than a nice garden next to that BBQ! This tool can control up to either sprinkler watering zones. The best part? He doesn’t have to do much! This Blossom Controller bases it’s watering on current weather conditions. He can just set it up and go!

Tile (Gen 2)

$26.78

If I had a penny for every time my dad has forgotten his phone, wallet or keys, then I’d have enough to buy two of these Tiles! Next time dad loses one of these things, he can quickly track it and see where he left it. (It even works when the couch cushions eat up your things!)

With only one week left for shipping, be sure to order this all ASAP! If you’ve got an Amazon Prime account, we highly encourage you to use it.

Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads out there! We greatly appreciate your hard work!

10 Last Minute Mother’s Day Tech Gifts

Mother’s Day is just around the corner – 6 days away to be exact – and if you’re anything like me, you wait until the last possible minute to purchase your Mother’s Day Gifts. As I was scrambling to find a gift that might ship in time, I decided to compile a tech gadget gift list for my fellow procrastinators. If you have an Amazon Prime account, it’s time to gear it up! 

Here are 10 Last Minute Mother’s Day Tech Gifts, broken down by cost:
(All items are linked below)

Under $100

Lightning Adapter for iPhone 7 – $9
This has a charging port AND stereo jack!

Phone Car Mount – $19
This clips right into your a/c vent.

TileMate – $24

Lifeproof Case – $30-56

Moderately Priced Gifts

Amazon Echo – $149

Nespresso VertuoPlus Deluxe Coffee and Espresso Maker  – $153

ChefSteps CS10001 Joule Sous Vide, White/Stainless – $199
If your mom likes to cook, this is a wonderful gift! This tool is designed to help you cook meat at the perfect temperature. From the site…

“Sous vide is a simple technique in which food is cooked in precisely controlled, low-temperature water. Because the food can never get hotter than the water, under- or overcooking is almost impossible.”

Higher Priced Gifts

Kate Spade x Everpurse – $224
This smartpurse charges your phone! If your mom is anything like mine, she’s constantly needing to charge her phone. For the stylish tech moms, this is the perfect gift.

Michael Kors Smartwatch – $350
You can connect your phone and even see text messages.

iRobot Roomba 960 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner – $599
Give mom the gift of work-free cleanliness! If you’re ready to give her the cleaning break she deserves, we’d recommend this self-cleaning vac.

**If you have pets, just be mindful about cleaning up after them… I’ve personally seen the Roomba go awry with dog presents. Trust me, you don’t want this to happen.

That concludes our list of last minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas! Each of these items are Amazon Prime eligible, meaning if you order today, you’ll get them in time. Treat mom to the gift she deserves; after all, she gave you the gift of life. 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! We love and appreciate you!