As we know, Google Maps has been updated a few days ago. Unfortunately the update is gained criticism because of ‘loss’ offline cache feature maps that lead the user must constantly connected to Google to use the service.
The criticism has received a response from Google. Not long ago, Google said it would issue a new update featuring the option to store the offline cache on the Maps application has been rolled out for Android. This option will be installed at the bottom of the search box located on the map and can be switched easily. In addition, Google also decided to add the “Where’s Latitude?” that will take users to information about the future of the location sharing service.
This update began rolling on this day and can be checked via the Play Store.
As we know, Google Maps has been updated a few days ago. Unfortunately the update is gained criticism because of ‘loss’ offline cache feature maps that lead the user must constantly connected to Google to use the service.
When was the last time you had to delete a bunch of photos or apps on your mobile device to clear out space? With the massive amount of data generated every day, it’s easy to exhaust all the available storage on your phone or tablet.
And this problem is only getting worse. Industry trends suggest that device storage capacities are growing at 25 percent per year, but the amount of data being produced is increasing even faster — by around 50 percent a year, according to Microsoft. The software giant is looking to address this problem with SkyDrive, which will be updated in Windows 8.1 with the goal of giving you access to your files at all times, without taking up all your available storage or Internet bandwidth.
The updated service utilizes what Microsoft refers to as “placeholder files,” which look and feel like normal folders and files with one major change — you don’t download the full file until you access it. The placeholder file contains just a thumbnail image and some basic properties, making it significantly smaller than its actual size. This means that 100GB of files in SkyDrive will use up less than 5GB of storage on the hard drive of your Windows 8.1 device, Mona Akmal.
“I have a Pictures folder in SkyDrive that’s 5.6GB in size but it’s only taking up 185MB on the local disk,” Akmal wrote.
Another major change to SkyDrive in Windows 8.1 deals with offline access to files. With the SkyDrive app, you’ll now be able to mark any folders or files you want remain available when you lose Internet connectivity.
Any edits you make to a file while offline will automatically be synced back up to SkyDrive when you regain a connection. For added convenience, all the files you open or edit on your device will automatically be marked for offline access.
As a reminder, new SkyDrive users get 7GB of storage for free. After that, an additional 20GB costs $10 per year, while 50GB will set you back $25 a year, and 100GB costs $50 a year.
We sat down with Angus Logan, group product marketing manager for SkyDrive (pictured below), last week to get the scoop on the most important changes to the online storage service in Windows 8.1.
Comments Off on Hackers use Dropbox, WordPress to spread malware
The Chinese cyberspies behind the widely publicized espionage campaign against The New York Times have added Dropbox and WordPress to their bag of spear-phishing tricks.
The gang, known in security circles as the DNSCalc gang, has been using the Dropbox file-sharing service for roughly the last 12 months as a mechanism for spreading malware, said Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer for Cyber Squared. While the tactic is not unique, it remains under the radar of most companies.
“I wouldn’t say it’s new,” Barger said on Thursday. “It’s just something that folks aren’t really looking at or paying attention to.”
The gang is among 20 Chinese groups identified this year by security firm Mandiant thatlaunch cyberattacks against specific targets to steal information. In this case, the DNSCalc gang was going after intelligence on individuals or governments connected to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN is a non-governmental group that represents the economic interests of ten Southeast Asian countries.
The attackers did not exploit any vulnerabilities in Dropbox or WordPress. Instead, they opened up accounts and used the services as their infrastructure.
The gang uploaded on Dropbox a .ZIP file disguised as belonging to the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council. Messages were then sent to people or agencies that would be interested in the draft of a Council policy paper. The paper, contained in the file, was legitimate, Barger said.
When a recipient unzipped the file, they saw another one that read, “2013 US-ASEAN Business Council Statement of Priorities in the US-ASEAN Commercial Relationship Policy Paper.scr.” Clicking on the file would launch a PDF of the document, while the malware opened a backdoor to the host computer in the background.
Once the door was open, the malware would reach out to a WordPress blog created by the attackers. The blog contained the IP address and port number of a command and control server that the malware would contact to download additional software.
Dropbox is a desirable launchpad for attacks because employees of many companies use the service. “People trust Dropbox,” Barger said.
For companies that have the service on its whitelist, malware moving from Dropbox won’t be detected by a company’s intrusion prevention systems. Also, communications to a WordPress blog would likely go undetected, since it would not be unusual behavior for any employee with access to the Internet.
In general, no single technology can prevent such an attack. “There’s no silver bullet here,” Barger said.
The best prevention is for security pros to share information when their companies are targeted, so others can draw up their own defense, he said.
In The New York Times attack, the hackers penetrated the newspaper’s systems in September 2012 and worked undercover for four months before they were detected.
The attack coincided with an investigative piece the newspaper published on business dealings that reaped several billion dollars for the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister.
Comments Off on Revealed, Microsoft SkyDrive Allow Skype and Tapped
A document reveals how Microsoft is working with U.S. intelligence agencies to read messages from users, including helping the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) secret unlock code Microsoft, Australia Guardian reported on Friday (07/12/2013).
Confidential documents obtained by the Guardian of Edward Snowden, U.S. intelligence whistleblowers, said the level of cooperation between Silicon Valley and American intelligence agencies in the last three years.
The document, among others, suggests, Microsoft helped the NSA to read the conversation at the new portal Outlook.com by giving the company secret code. NSA has access to Outlook.com including Hotmail before the messages are written in the form of a code (encrypted).
Microsoft is working with the FBI this year that the NSA get easier access to the data warehouse via Prism SkyDrive which has 250 million users in the world.
Microsoft is also working with the FBI to the intelligence agencies “understand” the issues that potential Outlook.com that allows users to use the e-mail alias for them.
In July last year, nine months after Microsoft bought Skype, the NSA is proud to mention that the NSA has been able to increase the amount of video that they can access through Skype as much as three times through the Prism program. The materials obtained from Prism program routinely accessed by the FBI and CIA. One of the documents referred NSA has the name “team sport”.
Snowden documents also reveal the tension between Silicon Valley and the Obama administration. Leading technology companies lobbying the government to be allowed to express the depth of their cooperation with the NSA to address customer concerns in terms of privacy.
Corporate leaders are not trying to claim that they have collaborated and worked with intelligence agencies like NSA documents mentioned in the argument that the process is carried out according to the lawsuit.
In a statement, Microsoft said, “If we increase the capacity (upgrade)-prudok and updating our products, we are not exempt from having to comply with applicable laws, both now and into the future.”
Microsoft reiterated his argument that they provide the customer data “only in response to government requests, and we only serve the demand for specific address or identity”.
Last June, the Guardian reported that the NSA claims to have “direct access” program through the Prism system leading internet companies including Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Yahoo.
Comments Off on Apple Developer Website Online Again Following Cyberattack
Apple’s developer website was back online Friday, more than a week after it was targeted by a hacker who reportedly attempted to steal personal information, various media outlets have reported.
According to Bloomberg’s Jordan Robertson, the website used by engineers who write Mac and iOS device applications was said to be active as of 5pm Pacific time on July 26. The attack had forced it offline for a total of eight days.
“Developers use the site for software downloads, documentation and engineering information,” Robertson said. “The maker of iPhones and iPads said this week that it’s ‘completely overhauling’ its developer systems to prevent a security threat from happening again. While some of the website’s information was encrypted, Applesaid it hadn’t been able to rule out whether names, mailing addresses or e-mail addresses may have been accessed.”
The website targeted by the cyberattack is used by the Cupertino, California-based tech giant to communicate with its community of nearly six million software developers, according to Reuters reporter Aman Shah. A UK-based Turkish researcher named Ibrahim Balic has claimed responsibility for the attack, which he says was not malicious in nature, but not everyone buys his story.
“Balic, who describes himself as a security consultant, claimed on Sunday that he had discovered a number of weaknesses in the site at developer.apple.com which allowed him to grab email addresses of registered developers,” Guardian reporter Charles Arthur explained. “In all, Balic said he had been able to grab the details of 100,000 people registered on the site, and that he included 73 of them in a bug report to Apple.
Arthur said they attempted to contact 29 people whose emails were allegedly extracted by Balic during the hacking, but seven of those emails bounced and none of the remaining 22 responded to requests to state whether or not they are registered Apple developers. Furthermore, none of the names or email addresses could be located online, which the Guardian notes would be unusual for active software developers.
“Many of the names and email addresses either don’t look like they would belong to Apple developers, or appear to have left no footprints anywhere else on the net,” added independent security consultant Graham Cluley. In addition, in reference to ten emails featured in a YouTube video created by the alleged hacker, Cluley said, “It’s almost as though these are long-discarded ghost email addresses from years ago or have been used by Balic in his video for reasons best known to himself.”
In related news, a new phishing scam involving Apple has arisen on the heels of the developer website hacking,according to CNET’s Charlie Osborne. Attempting to capitalize on security concerns raised by the cyberattack, the new phishing scam warns users to click on a link in order to change their passwords.
While the email is short, it may appear legitimate to some users, Osborne said. However, it includes a grammar mistake in the title, fails to capitalize Apple on several locations and includes a link that clearly does not lead to a domain registered or owned by the tech giant.
“Users have taken to Twitter to warn others of the phishing attacks, and security firm Kaspersky Lab has found that Apple-related phishing scams have skyrocketed in the last six months, with scammers focused on stealing login credentials and financial data,” the CNET writer added.
Comments Off on Google’s Chromecast could throw your mobile and browser games onto your TV
Google was announced The Chromecast, a small WiFi-enabled HDMI dongle that may well prove big news for bringing mobile and browser games to your living room.
The Chromecast plugs into your television’s HDMI slot, and allows you to send content from Android and iOS devices to the TV screen via Wi-Fi, while also supporting Chromebooks, and the Chrome web browser for Mac and Windows.
The device that is connected to the Chromecast then controls everything you see on the TV. The one caveat is that mobile apps need to integrate the Googlecast SDK to be able to send content across (apps in a Chrome web browser will work via “Chrome tab projection.”)
The device costs $35, and is already available to purchase directly from the Google Play Store. Notably, the possibility of projecting mobile and browser games via the device is not mentioned on the official website, which focuses on the video and music capabilities of the device.
As such, there’s no word as-of-yet regarding whether games will be fully supported, or whether input lag will cause issues for this particular line of fire.
Comments Off on Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips
Maxthon, a cloud-based browser, today released a new version of its Windows browser that uses a revolutionary new microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), significantly reducing power consumption while offering superior video performance. AMD’s new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) leverages new technology to make transactions between the graphics processing unit (GPU) and the central processing unit (CPU) faster and more energy-efficient than ever before.
“New chip architecture like AMD’s APU product is a clear signpost to where we believe the Web technology is heading: more happening in the chip and the browser serving as more of an open standards operating system,” said Jeff Chen, founder and CEO of Maxthon. “We’re proud to collaborate with AMD on such an exciting step forward.”
The GPU handles the processing of rich media including graphics and video, while the CPU manages the heavy lifting of analytical and logic-based functions. Until now, communicating across these two units has depended on a serial data connection that processes millions of functions per second, often resulting in a sluggish and power-consuming Web experience.
The partnership allows Maxthon to optimize the Windows browser for lightning-quick interaction between the APU to speed up video and graphics rendering, particularly using HTML5 standards for which Maxthon is the global leader in support. Among other things, the Maxthon Cloud browser is using OpenCL for lightning quick HTML5 video post processing to offer richer, faster video.
“In the near future what we now know as TV will be mediated through a Web browser optimized for innovative technology like AMD’s APU processors,” said Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon International. “Among other things, that means the electronic ‘hearth’ of the TV in the family room will be freed to be available to any device connected to the Web running a browser like Maxthon.”
Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior Web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS and Mac platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries.
Comments Off on Share Location, Google Maps Help Increase Accuracy
JAKARTA – Google recognizes that besutannya rudimentary mapping applications. Therefore, the company continues to update and even in this case involve the user. This was stated by Google Indonesia Country Head, Rudy Ramawy.
“That’s when you make the trip? Maybe it’s been accurate. That’s why we have never held a ‘grand launch’ of our products, because the company is aware of updates and updates to keep going” Rudy said while responding to thoughts about the accuracy of the crew Techno Okezone Google Maps in Jakarta , overnight.
“We are aware that our service is not completely perfect, but we continue to make updates. Indonesia with a wide geographical conditions is a challenge to deliver the best service,” he said.
Furthermore, Rudy said that if the Android-based smartphone users to enable or diligently perform ‘share location’, it was very helpful software giant to improve the accuracy of its services. “Of course in this case we appreciate aspects of secrecy,” said Rudy.
“If the big cities such as Jakarta, the accuracy of Google Maps can be relied upon. But if remote areas, we continue to provide the best possible experience. Many ways we are doing, Google Drive one of them,” said Rudy.
Meanwhile, following the Google Maps that can be accessed offline in a number of countries, Indonesia Google promised that the service would go in Indonesia, but companies are reluctant to disclose when exactly the service that can be enjoyed.
“A number of countries able to access Google Maps offline, and Indonesia are also included in the list will receive the service. Certainty but we do not know yet,” alluded Country Marketing Manager for Google Indonesia Krishna Zulkarnain.
Comments Off on Google releases Chrome 28 with Blink browser engine
Google on Tuesday released Chrome 28, the first polished version of the browser to use the company’s home-grown “Blink” rendering engine. On Windows, the upgrade also sported Google’s new notification service that lets developers of Chrome apps and add-ons display messages and alerts outside the browser window.
The upgrade was the first since May 21, when Google shipped Chrome 27 and touted some minor performance improvements.
[ Also on InfoWorld: Bug bounty programs provide strong value for Google, Mozilla. | Get your websites up to speed with HTML5 today using the techniques in InfoWorld’s HTML5 Deep DivePDF how-to report. | Learn how to secure your Web browsers in InfoWorld’s “Web Browser Security Deep Dive” PDF guide. ]
Google announced in April that it was dropping the open-source WebKit browser engine — at the time also used only by Apple’s Safari — and was instead launching Blink, a WebKit variant, to power Chrome. Since then, Opera Software’s Opera has also adopted WebKit as an interim step before it eventually moves to Blink.
Google cited difficulties in adapting WebKit to Chrome, and in the first weeks after the announcement, stripped copious amounts of unnecessary-for-Chrome code from the fork that became Blink. Previously, only the rougher “Dev” and “Beta” builds of Chrome relied on the Blink engine. Users can verify that Blink is present by typing chrome://version/ in the Chrome address-search bar, dubbed the “Omnibox.”
Also included in Chrome 28 is new support for more sophisticated notifications that appear outside the browser pane and display even when the browser’s not running. “Packaged apps” — ber-Web apps that look and behave like “native” code written specifically for the underlying OS — and add-ons can push brief messages and alerts to Chrome users after their developers have enabled the feature.
Only the Windows version of Chrome 28 currently supports these next-generation notifications, but Google promised that the feature would soon make its way to OS X and Linux. On a Mac, Chrome notifications are not integrated with OS X Mountain Lion’s Notification Center.
Along with the debut of Blink and notifications, Chrome 28 contained patches for 15 security vulnerabilities, one of them rated “critical,” Google’s most serious threat ranking. According to Google’s terse security advisory, that flaw was a memory management bug — dubbed a “use-after-free” vulnerability — in the browser’s network sockets code.
But while Colin Payne, who reported the bug, received an impressive reward of $6,267.40, another researcher was handed triple that. Andrey Labunets was paid a record $21,500 for filing several vulnerability reports, including two in the Google synchronization service and an unknown number of others that Google said were “…since-fixed server-side bugs.”
That last phrase and the amount paid were clues that Labunets discovered one or more flaws in a core Google service. In April, Google boosted bounties for vulnerability reports in its core websites, services and online apps, resetting the top reward to $20,000 for remote code executable bugs, those that attackers could use to slip malicious code onto a server or into an app or site.
Labunets is no stranger to large bug bounties. Earlier this year, after reporting a string of weaknesses in Facebook’s authentication protocol, Labunets was awarded $9,500 by the social networking giant.
Altogether, Google this week paid bounties totaling $34,901 to six researchers, including Payne and Labunets, for reporting eight different bugs. Through Tuesday, the Mountain View, Calif., company has awarded nearly $250,000 thus far this year in bounties or hacking contest prizes.
Users can download Chrome 28 from Google’s website. Active users can simply let the automatic updater retrieve the new version.
Comments Off on Facebook speeds PHP by crafting a PHP virtual machine
Social networking giant Facebook has taken another step at making the PHP Web programming language run more quickly. The company has developed a PHP Virtual Machine that it says can execute the language as much as nine times as quickly as running PHP natively on large systems.
“Our goal is to make PHP run really, really quickly,” said Joel Pobar, a Facebook engineering manager. Facebook has been using the virtual machine, called the HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM), across all of its servers since earlier this year.
Pobar discussed the virtual machine at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) being held this week in Portland, Oregon.
Shares its development tools
HHVM is not Facebook’s first foray into customizing PHP for faster use. PHP is aninterpreted language, meaning that the source code is executed by the processor directly. Generally speaking, programs written in interpreted languages such as PHP tend not to run as quickly as languages, such as C or C++, that have been compiled beforehand into machine language byte code. Facebook has remained loyal to PHP because it is widely understood by many of the Web programmers who work for the company.
To keep up with the insatiable user demand, however, Facebook originally devised a compiler, called HipHop, that would translate PHP code into C++, so it then it could be compiled ahead of time for faster performance.
While Facebook enjoyed considerable performance gains of this first version of HipHop for several years, it sought other ways to speed the delivery of the dynamically created Web pages to its billion or so users. “Our performance strategy for that was going to tap out,” Pobar admitted.
HHVM is the next step for Facebook. Under development for about three years, HHVM actually works on the same principle as the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). HHVM has a just-in-time (JIT) compiler that converts the human readable source code into machine-readable byte code when it is needed. (The previous HipHop, renamed HPHPc, has now been retired within Facebook.)
This JIT approach allows the virtual machine to “make smarter decisions at runtime,” Pobar said. For instance, if a call is made to the MySQL database to read a row of data, the HHVM can, on the fly, figure out what type of data it is, such as an integer or a string. It then can generate or call code on the fly that would be best suited for handling this particular type of data.
With the old HipHop, “the best it can do is analyze the entire Facebook codebase, reason about it and then specialize code based on its reasoning. But it can’t get all of the reasoning right. There are parts of the code base that you can not simply infer about or reason about,” Pobar said.
Virtual system speedier
Pobar estimated that HHVM is about twice as fast as HPHPc was, and about nine times as fast as running straight PHP.
Facebook has posted the code for HHVM on GitHub, with the hopes that others will use it to speed their PHP websites as well.
HHVM is optimized for handling very large, and heavily used, PHP codebases. Pobar reckoned that using HHVM for standard sized websites, such as one hosting a WordPress blog, would gain only about a fivefold performance improvement.
“If you take some PHP and run it in on HipHop, the CPU execution time [may] not be the limiting factor for performance. Chances are [the system is] spending too much time talking to the database or spending too time talking to [the] memcache” caching layer, Pobar said.