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17
Aug

Samsung imagines Earth-wide internet through 4,600 satellites


A generic communications satellite in orbit above Earth

Facebook, Google and SpaceX aren’t the only big names envisioning a world blanketed with satellite-based internet access. Samsung has published research proposing Earth-wide internet through a cloud of roughly 4,600 micro satellites. The vehicles would switch between multiple radio frequency bands to deliver over a terabyte per second each, and a total capacity of 1 zettabyte (1 billion terabytes) per month — enough to handle the world’s estimated mobile data traffic in 2028. The RF technology would be relatively inexpensive, so the concept isn’t too outlandish.

Don’t get your hopes up for getting online in remote jungles any time soon. This is a proposal, not a firm roadmap. It’s not clear that Samsung is even working on these satellites in the first place, let alone that they’ll be ready within the next decade or so. The tech giant would have to overcome its decreasing profits and find room for its satellites in the very crowded space around the planet. Samsung does have an incentive to either get the ball rolling or work with with others on its vision, though. Ubiquitous internet access expands the potential audience for its gadgets — connecting the Earth is a nice side benefit.

[Image credit: Getty]

Filed under:
Networking, Science, Internet, Samsung

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Via:
ExtremeTech

Source:
ArXiv.org (PDF)

Tags: internet, samsung, satellite, science, space

17
Aug

This drone can steal data while hovering above your office


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It’s the job of a security researcher to figure out how the company they are working for could be compromised. Apparently that now means using a drone sniff out vulnerabilities a few dozen feet off the ground. The Aerial Assault drone houses a raspberry Pi running Kali Linux, a distro built specifically for penetration testing (also known as pen testing) of networks and devices. Once in the air, the spy drone can detect insecure devices and networks and store that information locally or beam it back to the pilot.

The Aerial Assault drone is built on top of open source technology so researchers can purchase and adjust it to work in a way that suites their needs. Because it uses GPS, in addition to hanging outside of skyscrapers collecting unencrypted data, it can also be sent out to multiple buildings in areas that would be inaccessible by a person. For example; a courtyard in the middle of a complex or building behind a very large fence with razor wire.

While the craft is intended for researchers, there’s always the possibility that someone with fewer scruples could purchase it and use it to steal data from an individual or company. So if you’re feeling a bit safer about your system because you’re 30 floors up, think again. The $2,500 drone should be on sale in the next few days at Wall of Sheep. If you’re super impatient, you can hit up the site’s sales team via email.

Filed under:
Misc, Transportation, Software

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Tags: AerialAssualt, DefCon, Drone, PenTesting, security, Wallofsheep

17
Aug

IBM wires up ‘neuromorphic’ chips like a rodent’s brain


IBM has been working with DARPA’s Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) program since 2008 to develop computing systems that work less like conventional computers and more like the neurons inside your brain. After years of development, IBM has finally unveiled the system to the public as part of a three-week “boot camp” training session for academic and government researchers.

The TrueNorth system, as it’s been dubbed, employs modular chips that act like neurons. By stringing multiple chips together researchers can essentially build an artificial neural network. The version that IBM just debuted contains about 48 million connections — roughly the same computing capacity as a rat’s brain — over an array of 48 chips.

These systems are designed to run “deep learning” algorithms — similar to Facebook’s new facial recognition feature or Skype’s insta-translate function — but at a fraction of the cost, electrical draw and space needed by conventional data centers. For example, a TrueNorth chip contains 5.4 billion transistors but only uses 70 mw of power. An Intel processor, conversely contains just 1.4 billion transistors and draws between 35 and 140 watts.

In fact, future iterations of the TrueNorth system could (theoretically at least) be shrunk small enough to fit inside cell phones or smart watches. These chips also hold an advantage over the GPUs (graphics chips) and FPGAs (function-specific programmable chips) that the industry currently uses because TrueNorth chips operate much the same way that the deep learning algorithms running on them do. With it, IBM hopes to eventually shift some of the computing power requirements away from traditional data centers and onto end user devices.

This should speed up the computing process since data isn’t being sent back and forth over the network. Instead, companies could simply develop a deep learning model (say, to count the number of cars in a photo), upload it to a central data server and then have the model run on the user’s TrueNorth-enabled device. The system would be able to spot every car in the user’s image gallery without having to upload each photo to the remote server for processing. Unfortunately, the system is still in its infancy and years away from your phone.

[Image Credit: IBM]

Filed under:
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Via:
Wired

Source:
IBM

Tags: computing, deeplearning, facebook, FPGA, google, GPU, IBM, neuralnetwork, neuromorphic, Skype, SyNAPSE

17
Aug

Samsung set to release yet another range of Galaxy devices


Samsung are set to release yet another range of Galaxy devices to compliment their Galaxy A, Galaxy S, Galaxy E, and Galaxy J series that already exist on the market.

According to a recent report, Samsung is working on two new smartphones called the SM-G550 and the SM-G600, both of which will be released under the Galaxy O series. The SM-G550 will most likely be named the Galaxy O5, with the SM-G600 going by the name Galaxy O7, according to the source. However, any further details past the naming of the devices are unknown.

What is important to discuss is the introduction of yet another series of Samsung phones, and instead of trying to consolidate their devices, the company seem to be trying to use every letter of the alphabet. With 6 series of Samsung smartphones, when is enough enough?

The post Samsung set to release yet another range of Galaxy devices appeared first on AndroidGuys.

17
Aug

Here’s all the Android Marshmallow wallpapers ready for download


Android M has finally got a name in the form of Marshmallow and with it a few new wallpapers that we’ve extracted from the latest Android M preview, bundled together, and make them available for you to download.

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The post Here’s all the Android Marshmallow wallpapers ready for download appeared first on AndroidGuys.

17
Aug

M.I.A.: the Galaxy Tab Edge and Samsung Unpacked 2015


Samsung Unpacked was arguably out in the open and exposed weeks ago, given the tidal wave of leaks that had proliferated. One unknown factor however, was the mysterious “third silhouette” that appeared in the company’s main promotional image. The device looked to be curved, and given its proportion in comparison to the other two, it led to the logical conclusion that Samsung would unveil a Galaxy Tab Edge, or even a Galaxy Note Edge tablet.

Galaxy Tab Edge

M.I.A.: What happened to the mysterious “third silhouette” at the bottom?

Samsung has been all about patents in recent months and years, especially those related to foldable displays and products. Still, reports had indicated for months that there would be no follow-up to last year’s Galaxy Note Edge. Given the relatively poor sales performance of the darling device, this makes sense from a financial point of view: the costs, manufacturing, marketing and such all add up to a pretty penny for a doubtable dud.

And yet. There was that Unpacked image, and there was the simple fact that the Galaxy Tab S2, announced roughly a month ago, simply isn’t a flagship product by any means of the word. The tablet brings very little to the table and even manages to get its proverbial clock cleaned by several 2014-era devices, including the Galaxy Note 4 with which it shares the same SoC. The performance issues, coupled with the plastic rear and deliberate removal of several components (rear-LED flash, an IR port, vibration for the Wi-Fi model, even NFC) give rise to the idea that the use of “S” in the product’s moniker is arguably deceptive branding; the finished product is by no means on-par with the halo smartphone series by any means. (For more details, see our initial impressions here).

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It’s a reach: the Galaxy Tab S2 uses the “S” branding, and yet…

Naturally, the idea of a Galaxy Tab Edge, or Galaxy Note Edge Tab as it might have been, would have provided all the power needed for a halo tablet. In addition, it would have given Samsung an unrivaled competitive advantage against every other tablet in the market: the Galaxy S6 Edge outperformed its sibling when it came to sales seemingly for no reason other than the “coolness” factor, and by that account there is no reason to suggest a Tab Edge wouldn’t have done the same as well. To put it another way: when deciding between a mid-range type tablet like the Tab S2 and a premium, curved product like a Tab Edge, it’s safe to assume a fair number of shoppers would go with the latter.

Beyond that, the Galaxy Tab Edge could have helped further the SDK research for applications and content specifically designed for the new curved display. Currently developers can only work with the S6 Edge and now S6 Edge+, however a tablet would have allowed for a larger canvas to make use of.

The logic of reality

The idea of the Galaxy Tabe Edge is so appealing because it would be nice to see a truly premium Samsung tablet, something Samsung has arguably never delivered. As far back as the original Galaxy Tab and its $600+ retail, the OEM has always been about charging more for what essentially amounts to less. In considering the Galaxy Tab series as a whole, it has been plagued with criticism in regards to the poor build quality, plastic construction, and low-resolution screens – despite commanding large price tags.

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The Galaxy Tab 2: not exactly top-tier.

In more recent times, Samsung has raised the bar a little with the Tab PRO line, which brought a QHD display, but still lacked in other key areas such as design with its use of plastic. And then there’s the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, probably the closest thing to a true premium, flagship-level tablet, though it was largely seen as a top tier product in no small part as a result of the snazzy AMOLED screen and in many ways still failed to push things to the next level.

Bottom-line, the tablet market has seen plenty of more aggressively priced devices push the envelope further, including the Asus ZenPad S with its great specs and even more impressive price tag. If Samsung doesn’t want to lead in pricing, producing a unique Edge tablet would at least give us a premium option worthy of a higher price tag.

 

The logic of rumors

Despite argument for why there should be a Galaxy Tab Edge, it also needs to be addressed why there currently isn’t one. For starters, regardless of what we might feel about the Galaxy Tab S2 and its specs, Samsung did just announce and release a brand new tablet, and to suddenly make light of an even newer one would certainly cannibalize sales of the “old” one.

Additionally, there is also the consideration that the original mysterious image reported on might have been a mistake entirely. As it came from Samsung Philippines, perhaps it was just an unused teaser. Or perhaps Samsung does have the device on the dashboard but simply wanted to save it for a later date.

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Regardless of what truth may be out there, it’s important to remember that Samsung itself is not “guilty” of anything. No official product was announced or even shown, and thus any speculation or expectation based on anticipatory judgment needs to be dosed with the same prescription of skepticism administered earlier.

How long must we wait?

Given that there seems to be little hope of a Galaxy Tab Edge releasing this year, the unfortunate question then becomes, when, if at all? The condition is exacerbated by the idea that Samsung has released a sub-par Galaxy Tab S2 which eschews all traces of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, including the glass back. Likewise, the company’s clear new focus on bendable displays (read: the Galaxy S6 Edge+) would logically suggest an expansion into the tablet market, all the more plausible given that no one (save for LG) could even begin to compete with it at the moment.

With the Berlin-based IFA taking place in a matter of weeks, there is a possibility that the Tab Edge might be unveiled then, as Samsung would ideally benefit from the presence of a second device, as opposed to just the Gear S2. What do you think, would you be interested in a premium Edge tablet or not? Let us know in the comments.

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17
Aug

Deal: SanDisk Ultra 200GB Micro SD card for $220 from Amazon ($20 off)


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Just a few months ago SanDisk finally released its massive 200GB Micro SD card, retailing at around $240-$250 from most sellers. If you’ve been waiting for the price to drop down a bit before you take the plunge, we have some good news. Amazon is now selling the SanDisk 200GB Micro SD card for just $219.99. We know this is only around $20 off the original asking price, but this is still a pretty nice discount.

Before you purchase one for yourself, however, keep in mind that many mobile devices only support Micro SD cards up to 128GB in size, so you’ll need to check out your device’s official specifications before purchasing. With that said, cards of this size are normally aimed at high-end DSLRs or video cameras, not just smartphones.

If you’re interested, feel free to head to the Amazon link below for more information. So, are there any takers? If this is still too pricey, how much would you be willing to spend on a 200GB card?

17
Aug

AT&T monopolizes another market: NSA collaboration


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According to new revelations found in another leaked document, AT&T has been working closely with the National Surveillance Agency (NSA) to assist in the government agency’s need to spy on internet use. Billions of messages have been intercepted and hundreds of millions more were spent on programs to provide the agency with the data it needs.

It has been known due to Edward Snowden’s leaks that the NSA practiced spying operations on the internet and the world, but AT&T is at the center of this specific document due to the size and nature of the cooperation they had with the NSA. Since 1985, under the program “Fairview,” AT&T has been instrumental in the NSA’s efforts to amass data for the agency’s spying operation needs. A key component of the partnership was allowing the NSA to install surveillance equipment on at least 17 AT&T operated internet hubs. Once installed; the equipment on the hubs that AT&T allowed to be tampered with provided the NSA with billions of messages over the course of many years, most likely dating back to when they were first activated as a hub. There is more information on the document such as information on operations throughout 2002 and up to 2013, so we do have a more comprehensive scope of what processes were involved with the spying operations and their reasoning.

AT&T would intercept its own data, provide that information to the NSA and then the NSA would deem what what would be used and why once they had the data themselves. The NSA not only had the capability of snooping through the internet because ISPs such as AT&T and Verizon under the Strormbrew program practically handed them a majority of the data that flows through their networks. The key thing about AT&T’s involvement is that they contributed to 80% of the data that the NSA used for its spying operations during the time the document stated. Yes, you read that correctly. The majority of the NSA’s data came from AT&T during 2002 up to 2013 and it is possible a similar arrangement is still taking place.

AT&T has declined to elaborate on the matter but AT&T spokesman Brad Burns stated the following:

“We do not voluntarily provide information to any investigating authorities other than if a person’s life is in danger and time is of the essence.”

Source: NYT
Via: The Verge

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17
Aug

Hangouts no longer drops calls when transitioning between WiFi and mobile networks


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Google’s Hangouts app will no longer drop your calls when transitioning from WiFi to a mobile network (or vice versa). The feature works by pausing your call while the app waits for the connection to reestablish itself. It is a pretty seamless process so you don’t have to do anything extra when you move from connection to connection. You no longer have to wait wait 30-40 seconds to get back on a call with anyone. All it takes now is a few moments while your phone transitions the connection and your conversation is back in action.

The feature is implemented in both the Android and iOS versions of Hangouts.

Via: /r/Android

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17
Aug

Get the final Android M Developer Preview for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player


Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Player

Right now, you can download the latest version of the Android M Developer Preview for select Nexus devices. People with the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player can go ahead and grab system images of the Developer Preview for their devices. Doing so is as simple as manually flashing the system images from the source link below.

This is the third and final version of the Android M Developer Preview before Google delivers Android 6.0 Marshmallow to consumers later in the year. Expect Marshmallow to remain relatively unchanged between now and its launch.

Source: Android Developers

Come comment on this article: Get the final Android M Developer Preview for the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player

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