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After Math: Los dos

This week has been a one-two punch of tech news. Sony and Apple both debuted a pair of new devices, Microsoft teased the next iteration of its 2-for-1 Surface laptop-tablet and GE dropped big bucks on two 3D printing firms, to name a few. Numbers, because how else will you identify the dichotomies?


Ben Heck’s Intel Edison laser harp, part 1

The Ben Heck Show - Episode 253 - Ben Heck's Intel Edison Laser Harp Part 1: Design

Inspired by #MTFBerlin and the projects at Music Tech Fest, the Ben Heck Show team uses Intel’s Edison chip to build an electronic harp. The team harness the power of lasers, virtual studio technology and the prototyping tools at their disposal in the workshop to produce a fully working instrument. Ben uses an oscilloscope to measure the capability of a photoresistor when hit by a laser. Felix writes up code to handle the input from the photoresistors into the Intel Edison chip, which will then be processed and exported using an audio codec. Finally, Ben gets on with designing the harp and the housing for the lasers using Adobe Illustrator. What instrument would you like to control with the power of electronics? Get in touch over on the element14 Community, where you can also find the build files and behind-the-scenes footage.


​Everything you need to know about Buddy Pokemon in Pokemon Go – CNET


An avatar with its Buddy Pokemon.

Screenshot by Alina Bradford / CNET

The Buddy Pokemon system for Pokemon Go is finally here. With this system you can select a Pokemon to appear alongside your trainer’s avatar on your profile screen. As you walk with your buddy, they will find candy that can be used to power up or evolve the Pokemon.

Does the Buddy Pokemon actually walk beside your avatar on the map? No. They appear by your avatar’s face icon at the bottom of the screen and on your avatar information screen.

Choosing your Buddy

You can choose any Pokemon you like to be your buddy, but choose carefully. Make sure you pick a Pokemon you actually need candy for, not just because it would be cute to walk with them.

For example, if your Pokemon is topped out in the power up department and can’t be evolved, you really don’t need candy for it. Making it a buddy wouldn’t make sense. On the other hand, if you have a Pokemon that just needs a few more candies to evolve, it would be a good choice for a buddy.

Once you’ve decided which Pokemon will be your buddy, follow these directions:

Tap on the photo of your trainer avatar in the lower left-hand side of the screen
Tap on the Menu button

Tap on the Buddy option found between Journal and Customize
Tap on the Pokemon you choose as your buddy

How to get your candy

Just like when hatching eggs, you need to keep the game’s screen open and in the foreground while you walk to get candy.

Different Pokemon have different distances they need to walk to find candy. Common Pokemon need to be walked less to get candy while rare Pokemon must be walked further for candy. For example, you need to walk a Pidgey only 1 kilometer, an Ivysaur 3km and a Lapras 5km. No matter the distance, it seems you only get one candy after walking that specific distance.

By tapping on the Buddy option again, you can check on your candy finding progress. At the top of the screen you can see how far you’ve walked your buddy and underneath the Pokemon’s avatar you can see the kilometers walked compared to how far you still need to go. There’s also a gauge around the buddy’s avatar that is located next to your trainer’s avatar on the map screen that shows your progress.

Once you walk the right amount, a notification will pop up on your screen to let you know your buddy found candy.


A Lapras buddy.

Screenshot by Alina Bradford / CNET

Changing buddies

When you’re ready for a new walking buddy, be careful. Switching to a new buddy will delete any progress you made with your old buddy. The best time to choose a new buddy is when you just found a candy with your current buddy.

To get a different buddy, tap on the arrow button at the bottom right-hand side of the Buddy screen and tap on the Pokemon of your choice. A screen will pop up and ask you if you’re sure. Tap Yes.


Play Pokemon Go in a new way next week with this device


Android and chill: Reflection and remembrance


Today we mark the 15 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States.

While it wasn’t the first time terrorists targeted the innocent (it wasn’t even the first time it happened in the U.S.), it stands out as something that forever changed our country and the people who live here. I think that’s because the attackers were so brazen — hijacking a plane with the intention to kill yourself and as many others as possible isn’t something that a sane person can ever understand — but I’ll leave the reasoning and explaining to people who claim to be experts because I’m certainly not.

Most everyone who lived in New York or Washington, D.C. has a 9/11 story. And while none of them are happy, not all of them end in the same tragedy. Mine started and ended at a kitchen table.

Most people from New York or D.C. have a 9/11 story. Mine starts and ends at a kitchen table.

I had that day off, I don’t remember why. I was sitting at my kitchen table talking to my wife who was making breakfast. She’s the cook and I’m the dishwasher because I can burn water. My phone rang and when I answered it was clearly my mother, completely hysterical and trying to tell me about my father. When she realized that nothing she was telling me made any sense, she told me to go turn the TV on. It instantly made sense when I saw a huge hole and burning debris on the lawn of the Pentagon.

My dad worked for the government. He wasn’t a spy or anything glamorous, but he was part of an “essential” team that worked in any of three different intelligence offices in the D.C. area. One of them was the Pentagon, and that’s where he was when the plane hit according to the list with contact numbers he gave us every week.

Like my mother, I instantly believed the very worst thought that one could have — my dad was dead. To make matters worse, my work phone (a Nokia 5190 that I think I might still have somewhere) rang to tell me that we had people “in the air” who were headed west from Boston and we didn’t know the flight numbers. It took a few minutes of digging through papers and making more phone calls to determine that they were on a flight that had left hours earlier and should be safe. It took a few days to find out where they landed and get them home to their own frantic families, but that’s another story.

My mother and I had a phone number we could call and leave a message so my father could call us back if we needed to talk to him. I’m not sure what things are like now, but back then you didn’t just call a receptionist and have someone paged at the Pentagon, or NRO, or Langley. That number didn’t work (of course) nor did the emergency number or the number for anyone else we knew that worked for the Dept. of Defense. My wife went to get my mother and bring her over so she wasn’t alone, and I sat with my face in my hands for 20 minutes absolutely certain that my old man would be counted among the victims when all was said and done. Thankfully, when my wife and my mother walked in an hour later, I found out differently.

My father did come home days later. Many other fathers did not. This is why we remember.

My father’s boss was one of those important people (or thought he was, I can’t tell the difference) and was able to have someone sent to my mother’s house in the suburbs to let her know that dad was OK. The messenger, a nervous young man in an Air Force uniform according to my mother, was leaving just as my wife arrived. He had a long list of other folks who needed to know that their fathers (or sons, or wives, or … ) were safe, too. I wish I had been able to meet him so I could thank him for bringing good news to my family and others exactly when we needed some good news.

It was about 40 hours before dad was able to call us. I was sitting at the same kitchen table with my wife and my mother and I’ll never forget dad’s answer when I asked him if he was OK — “Yeah. These boots are killing my feet. Have your mother put my sneakers and some underwear in a bag so you can drop them off at the Chantilly gate [another intelligence office that was outside the area] for me. Love you boy.” That was so my dad. And I was so happy to hear it. He never got his sneakers or his underwear. But he did get to come home a few days later, when so many others didn’t.

If you lost loved ones in any of the four attacks on 9/11, or any of the senseless war and violence that has happened as a result, I’m truly sorry for your loss. I can’t say I know how you feel, but I can say I know what that kind of despair feels like, even if just for an hour or so.


A 3D-printed autonomous car, and more in the week that was

3D printing and autonomous cars are two of today’s hottest emerging technologies — so why not combine the two? That’s the idea behind Local Motors’ latest vehicle, which features a 3D-printed body, a windshield video screen and no steering wheel. Meanwhile, OX launched the world’s first all-terrain flat-pack truck, which can be quickly shipped anywhere in the world. Cannae Corporation announced plans to test an “impossible” zero-exhaust microwave thruster that could revolutionize space travel. And Electra Meccanica launched SOLO, an affordable three-wheeled electric vehicle for one.
In energy news, this week Sonos Motors announced plans to debut a solar-powered car within two years, and Soel Yachts unveiled a sun-powered motorboat that glides through the water without making a sound. A team of Swiss researchers developed the world’s most efficient solar cell, which can double the efficiency of rooftop arrays. And in Israel, researchers developed a new strain of algae that produces five times more hydrogen fuel during photosynthesis.

3D printers can create incredibly complex objects, but they don’t lend well to on-the-fly improvisation. Meet the 3Doodler, an amazing printing pen that can draw wood, copper and bronze structures in mid-air. In other design and technology news, Egloo launched a brilliant electricity-free heater that can warm your home for pennies a day. We were glad to see Apple launch a new water-resistant iPhone, which should cut down on e-waste due to drowned gadgets. And a plant-covered mobile living room took to the streets of Europe to purify the air.


iPhone 7 Plus Orders Begin Shipping to Customers

After quickly moving to the “Preparing for Shipment” stage on Friday, the first wave of iPhone 7 Plus shipments from Apple are now on their way to customers for delivery on Friday, September 16. Apple has not yet officially updated order statuses to “shipping,” but a number of customers have found their new devices showing up in their Apple support profiles and in UPS order tracking. We’ve seen quite a few reports of iPhone 7 Plus orders showing up, but it’s not clear if iPhone 7 units are shipping in volume yet.

U.S. customers can try to find their orders by using the “Track by Reference” function on the UPS website and searching with their phone numbers, typically the phone number associated with the Apple ID under which the order was made. The Apple order number minus the last two digits may also work. UPS customers who have My Choice accounts may already see their shipments showing up on their accounts without even needing to search.

The first wave of shipments is scheduled to arrive to customers on Friday, with delivery services holding packages until that date even if they arrive to regional hubs early. It is not unusual, however, for a few packages to slip through and arrive a day ahead of schedule for a handful of lucky customers.

Those interested in tracking the progress of their phones may want to check out our dedicated forum threads and external links below:

• Apple Pre-Orders
• AT&T Pre-Orders
• Verizon Pre-Orders
• Sprint Pre-Orders
• T-Mobile Pre-Orders
• Canada Pre-Orders
• U.K. Pre-Orders
• Apple Orders Page
• Reserve and Pick Up
• iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Discussion
• iPhone Launch Meetups
• FlightAware for iPhone 7 and UPS
• UPS Tracking
• FedEx Tracking

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Discuss this article in our forums

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Major cyberattack seller knocked offline as it faces arrests

One of the more popular cyberattack peddlers just came crashing down. Israeli law enforcement has arrested Yarden Bidani and Itay Huri as part of an FBI investigation into their alleged control of vDOS, one of the most popular paid attack platforms. According to information unearthed by security guru Brian Krebs from a third-party hack targeting vDOS, the two teens raked in at least $618,000 launching “a majority” of the distributed denial of service campaigns you’ve seen in recent years. The platform itself is also offline, although that’s due to one of vDOS’ victims (BackConnect Security) using a bogus internet address claim to stem the flood of traffic hitting its servers.

Bidani and Huri weren’t exactly careful about covering their tracks, Krebs says. The pair hosted vDOS on a server connected to Huri, and its email and SMS notifications pointed to the two. They even wrote a technical paper on DDoS attacks, while Bidani’s old Facebook page references the AppleJ4ck pseudonym he used to conduct vDOS business. And if that weren’t enough, vDOS refused to target any Israeli site since it was the owner’s “home country.”

Both suspects are out on bail, although they won’t have much freedom. Officials have placed them under house arrest for 10 days, confiscated their passports and barred them from using any telecom devices for 30 days. It’s unclear if they face extradition to the US.

The bust isn’t going to stop paid denial of service attacks. As Bidani and Huri demonstrated, it doesn’t take much more than a botnet and some basic business savvy to get started. However, it may put a temporary dent in the volume of those attacks — and it’ll certainly spook vDOS competitors who’ve been careless about hiding their activities.

Source: The Marker (translated), Krebs on Security (1), (2)


Your smartphone could soon act as a glaucoma testing device

We’ve seen smartphones work as electrocardiograms, so why not use them to test for glaucoma at home? That’s the idea behind Cambridge Consultants’ Viewi headset. Rather than hitting the hospital or optometrist’s to monitor your vision, you could simply slide your phone into a head-mounted Gear VR-like holster. From there, a mobile app reproduces the flashing light patterns used to test for open-angle glaucoma. A Bluetooth remote acts as the input device for patients to press when they see a flashing light and, really, that’s about it, according to the press release.

It should only take about five minutes per eye, and the results are supposedly straightforward and easy enough to understand. They’re even shareable with your eye doctor. The idea here is to make it easier to monitor the progress of the disease and augment, rather than replace, traditional testing methods. The folks at Cambridge Consultants also hope that it’ll have a positive impact in developing countries where traditional medical procedures and facilities aren’t readily available. At around £20 ($26.53), it could be the most cost effective method, too.

Source: Cambridge Consultants


Google fixes two serious Android security flaws

Google’s mobile security team has definitely been busy cleaning house this week. The company has released an Android update that closes two security holes that could pose a major threat if intruders found a way to exploit them. The first was only designed for “research purposes” and would only have been malicious if modified, Google tells Ars Technica, but it wouldn’t have been hard to detect or weaponize.

The other flaw behaved similarly to the well-known Stagefright exploit, letting an attacker send an altered JPEG image through Gmail or Google Talk to hijack your phone. The issue, as SentinelOne researcher Tim Strazzere explains to Threatpost, is that it’s both easy to find and capitalize on this vulnerability.

There’s more. Security company Check Point also revealed that Google Play had been hosting apps containing two forms of malware (CallJam and DressCode). CallJam both steered phones to websites that made bogus ad revenue and, if you granted permission, would call paid phone numbers. DressCode would also visit shady ad sources, but it could also compromise local networks. Google has since removed the offending apps, but the infection rate may have been high when users downloaded the software hundreds of thousands (or in a few cases, millions) of times.

While the likelihood of running into this malware is relatively small, it underscores an issue with timely Android security updates. Only Nexus owners get first crack at the fixes — most everyone else will have to wait, provided they’re in line in the first place. Google’s monthly security updates help, but this won’t do much if your phone maker either hasn’t committed to those updates or has left you running an older Android version that can’t get those patches. You may have to either be patient for a more conventional update or move to a newer device if you’re determined to stay current.

Via: Ars Technica, Threatpost

Source: Android, Project Zero, Check Point (1), (2)


Amazon might open more pop-up stores to showcase the Echo

You might see more pop-up Amazon stores in malls over the next year. According to Business Insider, the tech titan is planning to open more of them, particularly to showcase its Echo speakers and other devices. While the company mostly operates online, it’s been running 16 pop-up stores in the country. That number could reach over 30 by the end of the year, the report says, and could even go over a hundred by next year, as the e-retailer is reportedly putting up one almost every week across the US.

Amazon’s pop-up stores are under the company’s Devices team rather than its retail team, which is in charge of its bookstore in Seattle. That’s the reason it focuses on showcasing the company’s hardware products, like the Echo speakers, Kindles and Fire TV. Just because Amazon is expanding its physical presence doesn’t mean it’s focusing more on brick-and-mortar shops, though. Apparently, these pop-ups’ goal is to show the company’s devices to people, giving potential customers a chance to play with them for a bit, in order to drive up their sales online.

Earlier this year, there were rumors swirling around that the tech titan will open not just new bookstores, but also other types of retail shops. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos eventually confirmed that the company will build additional stores, though it’s unclear at the moment if this pop-up expansion is part of those plans.

Source: Business Insider

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