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North Korea might have hacked the South’s cyber command

South Korea’s cyber command, which was established back in January 2010 to fight off cyberattacks deployed against the country’s military, wasn’t able to protect itself from digital infiltrators. A Ministry of National Defense official told Yonhap News that hackers got into the command’s computers and stole some military documents, including confidential information. The culprit? As you might have guessed, the country suspects its neighbor to the north.

News about the breach first came out back in September when South Korean lawmaker Kim Jin-pyo revealed that a malicious code exploited a vulnerability in the military’s routing server. He said the chances of the infiltrators stealing confidential info are “very low,” since the command’s computers use an intranet that’s not connected to that server. Based on this new info, that wasn’t the case — South Korean authorities still aren’t sure which among its confidential documents the hackers got a hold of, though.

North Korea is known to have thousands of personnel ready to wage cyberwarfare. The NSA believes it was responsible attacking Sony Entertainment’s computers in 2014, which led to a huge info and unreleased movie dump online. In June, reports came out that the country stole US fighter jet blueprints. SK also blamed a recent cyberattack that compromised the phones of security officials on the North.

Via: BBC

Source: Yonhap News


VSCO adds full RAW photo support to its iPhone app

VSCO, smartphone photographers’ image tweaking app of choice, is letting iOS users tap into all the original image data captured on iPhone 6’s and up. Alongside a host of new community features, it’s offering full RAW image support on capture, importing and editing. This means photo editors will be able to access a wider range of colors and tones that are sometimes lost due to compression on typical JPEG photos. RAW support will even work on your must-share DSLR images too.

The update is also the culmination of the VSCO team’s efforts to better showcase its community and editorial team content. This includes a machine-learning engine that surfaces related images of what it spots in images. There’s also a new search and a discovery section specifically for notable community posts.

VSCO has introduced a new (invite-only, subscription-based) membership at an early-access price of $20 per year. This will give users monthly updates and early access to filter presets, particularly VSCO’s new Film X interactive presets. These tap into SENS, its new imaging engine, and attempt to offer, according to VSCO CEO and founder Joel Flory: “a physical model of film and not just a static preset.” New presets currently include the Fuji Pro 400H, and Kodak Portra 160 and 400. According to the team, they’ve tried to create a physical mode of film — and that also includes real-time shaders that you can tweak during live capture.

If you’re willing to subscribe, you’ll net the entire preset library (over 100 of those), which total around $200 if purchased through the app. RAW support, at least, comes for free in the new update available now. Oh and for that invite-only membership? Add your name to the waitlist here, and get ready to feel exclusive.


T-Mobile Digits brings calls and texts to all your devices

T-Mobile is doing its Uncarrier thing again. As the carrier works on bringing its LTE network to US forces and older cars, it’s also bringing the latest technology to its existing customers. The company’s new Digits program lets you add multiple numbers to your phone, and then use them across all your devices. Starting today, postpaid customers can sign up to try out a beta version of the service, which the company says will launch commercially next year. Those who join the trial will need to have at least Android 5.0 or iOS 9 installed on their phones, and/or Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome on their Macs or PCs.

After you register for the beta, T-Mobile’s support team will help you get started. When you sign in with your phone number, you’ll find your call history, messages and voicemail waiting for you on whichever device you logged on with. The company says the service will work on “virtually any Internet-connected device,” including feature phones, tablets, computers and wearables.

Since you’ll be using the same number across your various gadgets, you won’t have to tell all your friends to add your new number to their address books. T-Mobile also says you can put multiple numbers on one device and easily switch back and forth between them. What’s interesting here is that you can also use this service on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint devices. You’ll just have to download the Digits app, and your calls will be made through your own carrier’s network.

When you get a call on Digits on a non-cellular device, the connection will be made over the Internet, and your conversation will be prioritized over other data transmissions. This ensures that calls “are more reliable with crystal clear HD voice quality and full mobility,” said the company. It’s not yet clear if there’s a way to prevent all your devices from ringing together at once when you get an incoming call, which would be annoying.

Digits appears to be a pretty sweet way to enable more convenient communication with your phone number. Although other services, such as Apple’s iMessage and Google’s Hangouts, already let you use your phone number to send text messages from desktops, T-Mobile’s solution seems to encompass even more platforms. It could let me send SMS messages to my friends from the comfort of my laptop, regardless of their operating systems. The ability to add multiple numbers to my account also makes sense for those who have a separate line for work, removing the need to carry several phones around.

The beta trial will be free, but official pricing for the service is still unknown, although T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert said that you can “expect us to be really disruptive here.” He clarified that it won’t be treated the same as adding a line to your account, and that the company is “going to take a completely different approach that will really delight people.”

Chris Velazco contributed reporting to this article.

Source: T-Mobile


New in our buyer’s guide: the Pixel and Pixel XL, and more!

Nope, we’re not done adding phones to our buyer’s guide. Hot on the heels of inducting the new iPhones (and before that, the Galaxy S7 and HTC 10), we’re tossing in both of the new Google phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL. While we’re at it, we decided the PlayStation VR deserved a spot in our gaming section right alongside other premium virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. At the opposite end of the price spectrum, the $50 Amazon Echo Dot is a great value at that price. Lastly, GoPro — a staple company in this list — earns a spot for its newest flagship action camera, the Hero5 Black. Find all that in more in our buyer’s guide, and stay tuned for our next round of additions, likely sometime after CES.

Source: Engadget Buyer’s Guide


SpaceX delays its return to flight until early January

So much for SpaceX resuming rocket launches before 2016 is over. Elon Musk’s spaceflight company now expects to launch a Falcon 9 rocket in early January, when it will carry Iridium-1 into orbit. Iridium had previously hinted that the rocket might be ready as soon as December 16th, but SpaceX says it’s using the extra time for both vehicle prep and “extended testing” to make sure this return to flight goes according to plan.

The firm also adds that it’s “finalizing the investigation” into the September launchpad explosion that prompted the pause on rocket launches. What that entails isn’t clear, but investigators narrowed down the cause to liquid oxygen fuel freezing and triggering a chain of explosions. It’s a novel problem, according to Elon Musk, but it’s something that can be solved through different conditions for loading helium into the vehicle. Suffice it to say that SpaceX will be crossing its fingers with the January launch — another incident would undermine claims that it has learned its lesson.

Source: SpaceX


Apple Believes MacBook Pro Graphics Issues May Be Fixed in Latest macOS 10.12.2 Beta

Last week, we reported an increasing number of early adopters experiencing concerning graphics issues on the new MacBook Pro.

All late 2016 MacBook Pro models appear to be affected, including standard 13-inch and 15-inch configurations with AMD Radeon Pro 450 or AMD Radeon Pro 455 graphics, but the issues appear to be most prevalent on the high-end 15-inch model with built-to-order AMD Radeon Pro 460 graphics.

15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar exhibiting graphics issues (jscooper22)
User complaints have continued to surface over the past five days, with new videos emerging showing the usual symptoms, ranging from brightly colored flickering and full-screen checkerboard patterns to screen tearing and visual artifacts. Affected systems sometimes become unresponsive or crash due to a kernel panic, requiring some new MacBook Pro users to perform a hard restart.

Separately, a number of users continue to report brief glitches during the boot up process on new MacBook Pro models, particularly along the bottom of the screen. It appears this issue is related to FileVault 2 startup disk encryption, as the glitches go away for many of these users once the feature is disabled.

Apple has yet to publicly acknowledge or comment on the graphics issues, but in a supposed email response to a MacRumors forum member, Apple software engineering chief Craig Federighi allegedly said he believes the problems have been resolved in the latest macOS Sierra 10.12.2 beta released on Monday. As a point of emphasis, this email response has not been verified.


Thanks for your note! We believe we have addressed all of these graphics issues in the latest beta of Sierra 10.12.2 (available at

I hope that you enjoy your new MacBook Pro — it’s a fantastic machine!

– craig

While we have yet to verify the authenticity of the email beyond a reasonable doubt, there is some unscientific evidence to suggest it could be real:

• Although it could easily be faked, the response appears to resemble previous email responses sent by Federighi
• The user who shared the email response is a longtime MacRumors forum member who registered his account in June 2007
• Apple executives appear to be increasingly using email as a vehicle to subtly address customer questions and concerns
• MacRumors viewed a lengthy follow-up email the user received from Apple’s Executive Relations team, which appears to be legitimate

Reports from affected users running the latest macOS Sierra beta are slim at this point, but at least one forum member claims to still be experiencing graphics issues on the fifth and latest macOS Sierra beta.

macOS Sierra 10.12.2 should be publicly released later this month, so additional user reports should soon prove if the graphics issues have truly been fixed.

Related Roundups: MacBook Pro, macOS Sierra
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)
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Apple Seeds Seventh Beta of iOS 10.2 to Developers and Public Beta Testers

Apple today seeded the seventh beta of an upcoming iOS 10.2 update to developers and public beta testers, two days after seeding the sixth beta of iOS 10.2 and more than a month after releasing iOS 10.1, the first major update to iOS 10.

Registered developers can download the seventh beta of iOS 10.2 from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.

iOS 10.2 introduces new emoji, such as clown face, drooling face, selfie, face palm, fox face, owl, shark, butterfly, avocado, pancakes, croissant, and more.

There are dozens of new Unicode 9 emoji, plus several profession emoji available in both male and female genders, such as firefighter, mechanic, lawyer, doctor, scientist, and more. Apple has also redesigned many existing emoji, adding more detail to make them look more realistic.

Along with new emoji, iOS 10.2 includes new wallpaper, new Music sorting options and buttons for Repeat and Shuffle, new “Celebrate” and “Send with Love” Screen Effects, an option for preserving camera settings, Single-Sign On support for watching live TV via apps, and the official “TV” app that was first introduced at Apple’s October 27 event.

The TV app serves as an Apple-designed TV guide that aims to simplify the television watching experience and allow users to discover new TV shows and movies to watch.

The TV app is available on both iOS devices and the Apple TV (in the tvOS 10.1 beta), and in iOS 10.2, the “Videos” app has been replaced entirely with the new “TV” app, which will now serve as the iOS TV and movie hub.

Apple has called iOS 10 its “biggest release ever” for iOS users, with a revamped lock screen, a Siri SDK for developers, an overhauled Messages app, a dedicated “Home” app for HomeKit users, new facial and object recognition capabilities in Photos, and redesigned Maps and Apple Music apps.

Related Roundup: iOS 10
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Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 19 With Touch Bar Support for Webkit

Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview, the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March of 2016. Apple designed the Safari Technology Preview to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview release 19 includes bug fixes and updates for HTML Form Validation, Pointer Lock API, Input Events, URL Parser, Web Inspector, Shadow DOM, Rendering, and more. Preview 19 also adds Touch Bar support in Webkit.

The Safari Technology Preview update is available through the Software Update mechanism in the Mac App Store to anyone who has downloaded the browser. Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website.

Apple’s goal with Safari Technology Preview is to receive feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. Safari Technology Preview can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

Tag: Safari Technology Preview
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C by GE Lamp with Alexa Release Date, Price and Specs – CNET


The C by GE Lamp, featuring Amazon’s Alexa.


In 2015, Amazon made the world of manufacturing an offer. Make a device with a microphone, a speaker, and an internet connection, they said, and we’ll let you add in our virtual assistant Alexa, free of charge.

Now, GE is taking them up on it.

The device in question looks a lot like something that came out of Dyson’s R&D department, but it’s really just an internet-connected desk lamp. Plug it in and pair it with your phone via Wi-Fi, and you’ll be able to control it alongside the C by GE smart bulbs in GE’s smart lighting app. And, thanks to the addition of a microphone and speaker in the base, you’ll be able to use it to talk to Alexa, too.

In essence, that makes this thing an Amazon Echo with a lamp growing out of its head (though given the size of the speaker, the sound quality might be closer to the pint-size Amazon Echo Dot). GE says you’ll be able to use it just as you’d use an Echo — just say the wake word, “Alexa,” followed by a question or a command. No button press needed.

As with other Alexa products, you’ll be able to ask it to wake you up in the morning, read off the day’s news or weather forecast, tell you a joke, play a podcast from iHeartRadio, or stream some music from Pandora, Spotify or Amazon. You can also ask it to control any Alexa-compatible smart-home devices you might own (including the lamp itself, obviously), or enable any of Alexa’s thousands of third-party “skills” — essentially voice apps that teach Alexa new tricks.

For now, GE’s just calling it the C by GE Lamp, though I’d challenge them to do better given the fact that it’s such a unique-looking product. Preorders are expected to start in early 2017, with devices set to arrive on the C by GE website and on Amazon in the second quarter of the year.

Pricing isn’t set yet, but a GE spokesperson tells me that they expect the lamp to cost less than the Amazon Echo, which sells for $180 in the US and £150 in the UK (that’s about AU$240, converted roughly — though Alexa isn’t available in Australia yet). GE also tells me that the lamp will make its start in the US, as the Echo did, though it wouldn’t rule out the possibility of expanding to other countries where Alexa is available, as well.


Leaked renders of the Galaxy A3 2017 show off 2.5D curved glass at the front

New models in the Galaxy A series inbound.

It’s getting to be that time of the year where we’ll see new models in the mid-range Galaxy A series. Like this year, Samsung is expected to introduce 2017 editions of the Galaxy A3, A5, and A7. Before the official unveil, we’re being treated to leaked renders of the Galaxy A3 2017, giving us an early look at the design of the device.


Based on the renders, it looks like the Galaxy A3 2017 will sport a 2.5D curved glass front, power button and speaker on the right, and the volume rocker on the left.


The phone is likely to retain a glass back, and earlier leaks suggest we’ll see a 4.7-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, octa-core 14nm Exynos 7870 SoC, 2GB of RAM, microSD slot, 13MP camera, 8MP front shooter, and USB-C connectivity. Thankfully, it looks like Samsung isn’t getting rid of the 3.5mm jack in the A3 2017.

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