I received an email yesterday from John McAfee. Yup – he’s the guy that founded McAfee Antivirus, he’s the libertarian party candidate in the 2016 presidential election and he’s also promoting his new security technology device called Everykey!
Everykey is a brand new product designed to replace your passwords and keys. When Everykey is close to your phone, laptop, tablet, house door, car door, or another access-controlled device, it unlocks that device. When you walk away, that device locks back down. Everykey can also log you into your website accounts. If you lose your Everykey, you can remotely freeze it, so no one else can use it.
Using the EveryKey App, you pair your key to your devices, manage key settings such as the active range and even freeze your key if it is lost or stolen. The EveryKey app also pushes the latest over-the-air software updates to your key so you stay up to date with features and updated security standards.
There are currently 2 different device options.
A Wrist Band: This wearable accessory turns EveryKey into a sleek and stylish fashion statement. Just pop your key into the pocket on the back of the band and wear it wherever you go.
Key ring: One day, Everykey will replace all of your keys on that big bulky keychain. Until that day, you can use the Everykey Rey Ring Accessory as a convenient way to carry your keys.
Current pricing which includes 1 Key Ring Accessory and 1 charging cable for each EveryKey device purchased.
1 EveryKey – $128
2 Pack: $230
4 Pack: $435
10 Pack: $1,024
Expect the first EveryKey devices to ship in March of 2016
For additional information: https://everykey.com/
Get regular updates and additional information about Everykey here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/everykey-your-only-key#/updates
NORAD celebrates 60 years tracking Santa
The North American Aerospace Defense Command is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of tracking Santa’s yuletide journey! The NORAD Tracks Santa website, www.noradsanta.org, which launched on Dec 1, features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, activities, and more. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Windows, Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can countdown the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets! Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Santa followers just need to type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started.
Also new this year, the website features the NORAD Headquarters in the North Pole Village, and highlights of the program over the past 60 years.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. MST (2:01 a.m. EST) on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 4 a.m. MST (6 a.m. EST), trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any time on Dec. 24, Windows Phone users can ask Cortana for Santa’s location, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to locate Santa.
It all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct – only the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the Crew Commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Thus began the tradition, which NORAD carried on since it was created in 1958.
NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families everywhere. This is due, in large part, to the efforts and services of numerous program contributors and volunteers.
Hobby drones. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Remote-controlled Copters.
Call them what you will, in many cases they’re becoming a nuisance. A minority of irresponsible users have been flying them too close to airplanes and helicopters, wandering into restricted military airspace, spying on neighbors; disrupting sporting events and even injuring people. It was only a matter of time before some trigger-happy vigilante shot one of the privacy invaders out of the sky.
Regulators and law enforcers are struggling to cope with the growth in their popularity, increasing the likelihood that heavy-handed legislation could stifle innovation in a sector that has great commercial potential for businesses large and small.
The Government Steps In: Drones in the US, and the people who fly them, must be registered in a government database beginning on December 21st. Any drones purchased from that date onwards must be logged before the first outdoor flight, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said.
Existing drone owners will have until February 19th, 2016 to register their drones, but a $5 fee will be waived to encourage registration within the first 30 days.
FAA spokesman Les Dorr said that it would seek to educate, rather than punish, those found to have not registered their drones. But he added: “For people who simply refuse to register, we do have enforcement tools available.” Those punishments could be civil penalties of up to $27,500, but in severe cases, criminal prosecutions could result in a $250,000 fine and a maximum of three years in prison.
The new rule affects drones weighing in at half a pound to 55lb. Users older than 13 must register themselves, but parents can register on behalf of younger children. Each drone will be given a unique identification number to be displayed on the device.
On Monday, December 14th, the FAA promised the process would be streamlined and user-friendly. “Make no mistake: unmanned aircraft enthusiasts are aviators and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility,” US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. “Registration gives us an opportunity to work with these users to operate their unmanned aircraft safely.
What will registering drones accomplish? Regulators had been under pressure to clamp down on what many people, particularly those in the emergency services, consider to be a growing menace – hobbyist drone users flying in unwanted places. Firefighters in California have reported that drones have disrupted efforts to contain wildfires.
Unfortunately, drone rules and registration will not prevent bad drone use. Many pundits are drawing comparisons to people who drive cars without a driver’s license or insurance: “You really can’t legislate against stupidity.” But other bodies, including the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems
www.AUVSI.org – The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, have backed the idea and taken an active role in consultations. The new regulations fall short of allowing emergency service personnel to forcibly disable drones by using electronic jamming equipment. Let’s see how long that lasts?
What toy should you put under the Christmas tree this year? If you were thinking about buying a smart toy for Christmas, the Vtech hack may cause you to re-think your decision.
For many parents the thought of their children’s personal data being stolen and made available online is the stuff of nightmares. So what exactly is a smart toy and should you be avoiding them in favor of a more traditional gift this year?
What happened to Vtech? Vtech’s tablets and other connected toys are all currently unable to access the app store. The Learning Lodge app store – which provides downloads of apps, games, music and books for toys made by VTech – had its database hacked on 14 November.
The personal information stolen, which was not encrypted, included the parent’s names, email addresses, passwords, secret questions and answers for password retrieval, IP addresses, postal addresses, download histories and children’s names, genders and birthdates. It has also been reported that photos, audio files and chat-logs were stolen – something that Vtech has not yet confirmed.
The numbers involved are huge – according to Vtech, 6.4 million children’s accounts were affected and it has now employed a security firm – Mandiant – to look at the damage and fix it. Until then, the app store will remain offline.
What’s the risk? If a toy is labeled “smart” then that probably means it’s connected to the internet in some manner, whether this be via an app, wi-fi or another method.
Security has not traditionally been an area of expertise for most toymakers so combining tech and toys could lead to problems.
Hello Barbie, another net-connected toy that can share conversations, games and stories with children, has also been subject to some scrutiny from security experts. Security researcher Matt Jakubowski discovered that conversations with children stored in the cloud can be accessed by others and that the toy can also be used as a surveillance device.
The risks of internet-enabled toys don’t end with security. Children confide in dolls and reveal intimate details about their lives, but Hello Barbie won’t keep those secrets. When Barbie’s belt buckle is held down, everything your child says is transmitted to cloud servers, where it will be stored and analyzed by ToyTalk, Mattel’s technology partner.
ToyTalk states that passwords are stored in a hardware-encrypted section of the doll and that no conversation history is stored on the toy. It also said that stored data is “never used for advertising purposes.
Do connected toys destroy imaginative play? Those days many children live large parts of their lives on the internet so it seems obvious that toymakers would want to tap into that cultural shift.
And many of the toys they make are attempting to bridge the gap between the real world and the digital one. Some critics point out that tech toys – like talking dolls and dinosaurs – may limit the imaginative play element that is part of more traditional toys.
What kind of limits will you be setting for your children this year?
Free commercial-grade security for the home. Sophos Home (currently in beta) protects every Mac and PC in your home from malicious software, inappropriate websites and viruses.
It uses the same award-winning technology that IT professionals trust to protect their business systems. Best of all, you can manage security settings for the whole family from any browser.
* Please note that this free version of Sophos Home is for private and non-commercial use, letting you protect up to ten computers per account
Log in to our ridiculously simple web dashboard from any browser. In no time every PC and Mac in your home will be protected.
Sophos Home keeps nasty viruses at bay, stops malware from slowing down your computer, and helps prevent unwelcome hackers from gaining access to sensitive personal information.
Sophos Home protects you from online threats and unsuitable content. With just a few clicks, block access to sites that may contain inappropriate content or malicious software.
After updating your Windows 10 PC, your computer will boot faster, your photos will be clearer, reminders will be easier to set, and your PC will perform more smoothly. But Windows 10 won’t look any different — most of the improvements are under the hood.
It’s essentially Windows 10’s first “service pack,” the term Microsoft had used for its occasional major updates that squash bugs and add new features. Just don’t call it a service pack. Microsoft is touting its new “Windows as a service” model with Windows 10, by constantly upgrading the software. “We’re just calling it the November update,” said Yusuf Mehdi, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and devices group. “We’re signaling that we’re moving away from that service pack idea — but in truth it is every bit a service pack.” Windows 10 will continue to evolve over time as customers provide feedback.
Microsoft says the new update will make Windows 10 boot 30% faster than Windows 7 PCs. The Edge browser will get a Chrome-like feature, allowing people to sync their favorites across all Windows 10 devices. You’ll be able to use handwriting to set reminders in the Cortana virtual assistant app. And a host of driver updates will help make Windows 10 PCs take better photos and run more smoothly.
The update is also huge for corporate customers. Microsoft is giving Windows 10 a host of new features that make it ready for broad deployment in business environments. For example, after the update, IT managers will get control over how their Windows 10 devices get updated within their organization. This “feature” or lack thereof, was a major stumbling block causing many corporate customers to avoid the Windows 10 upgrade completely.
Currently, more than 110 million PCs are already running Windows 10, which only debuted on July 29, making it the fastest adoption for any version of Windows in history. Now that it’s ready for the corporate world, Microsoft is expecting Windows 10 to be the fastest-ever upgrade for businesses as well. Xboxes will also be getting Windows 10 upgrades Thursday.
Microsoft’s goal is to have Windows 10 running on more than 1 billion devices by 2018.
With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us consider making donations to charitable organizations this time of year. It’s also the time when scammers work their hardest to profit from that generosity.
There have been some truly devious scams by fake cancer charities this year. For example, organizations with names that sound reputable – such as the Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society – were found to have cheated donors out of $187 million dollars before federal and local enforcement agencies moved to shut them down.
How To Detect Charity Scams
It may not always be easy to tell whether a caller asking for a donation is legitimate. The Federal Trade Commission says these warning signs should make you suspicious:
1: The “Charity” can’t provide details about how donations are used.
2: The caller can’t provide proof – like a Federal tax ID number – that it’s a qualified charity and that your donation is tax-deductible
3: The caller pushes you to donate immediately
4: You’re asked to wire a donation
5: The caller thanks you for a pledge you never made to convince you that you’ve already agreed to donate.
Your decision to make a donation is generous, but you need to be vigilant if you plan to make that donation online as well. Scammers are looking to steal not just your money, but also your personal information. Follow these steps to protect yourself and ensure that your money gets to the causes you wish to support.
Protecting Yourself From Online Scams – 6 Things To Watch Out For
1: Don’t Respond To Email Solicitations
2: Delete Unsolicited Emails with Attachments
3: Be Inspired by Social Media, But Still Do Your Homework
4: Be Leary Of People Who Contact You Online Claiming To Be A Victim
5: Search Out The Charity’s Authorized Website
6: Give Through A Reputable and Secure Service
So before you write that donation check or enter your credit card information, take a minute to check out the organizations you’re considering using these online charity watchdogs. The information provided will also make it easier to see where your dollars provide the greatest impact.
They all evaluate charities by looking at a number of factors, including how much of your donation actually reaches the causes you want to support.
Only 3 months into the Windows 10 release and Microsoft is changing the process for upgrading users. Windows Update will soon be showing Windows 10 as an “optional update” for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. However, Microsoft plans to bump it up to a “recommended update” sometime “early next year,” according to the announcement.
The operating system could automatically install as a recommended update, depending on an organization’s Windows Update settings, Microsoft warned. However, it will be possible to roll back these Windows 10 upgrades within 31 days if wanted.
Media Creation Tool
Another change is that Microsoft plans to enhance its free Media Creation Tool to facilitate upgrades to Windows 10 Home and Pro editions. It’s not clear exactly what will be enhanced, though, based on Microsoft’s announcement. The tool can be downloaded and used to create 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 10 ISOs, either for upgrades or clean installs across multiple machines. The ISOs get created using DVDs or USB drives.
Reservations Going Away
It seems that this scenario is changing. Microsoft explained today that it is now dispensing with the reservation system for Windows 10 upgrades. That system let people sign up to get Windows 10, but they’d still have to wait months for the installation to actually happen. Now, if the upgrade invite is accepted, Microsoft’s Windows Update service will install Windows 10 right away.
Upgraders will get a notice when the downloaded files are available to install Windows 10. Once installed, users will have 31 days to roll back to the old Windows, if they want to. The rollback is possible because Microsoft now keeps “a full copy of your previous operating system on your device — including apps and settings,” over that 31 day time period.
Those Windows users who are eligible for the free upgrade but who just don’t want Windows 10 have a new option. They can use the Settings control in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to decline getting future Windows 10 upgrade notices, Microsoft’s announcement indicated.
Microsoft’s corporate goal is to get Windows 10 on 1 billion devices by its fiscal-year 2018. Its free upgrade offer bumped Windows 10 use to 75 million devices back in August. This month, Microsoft is claiming there are “more than 110 million devices” running Windows 10. To prod more upgrades, Microsoft is planning an experiment in the U.S. market for so-called “non-Genuine” Windows users.
Non-Genuine Windows users will get a “one-click” Windows 10 upgrade opportunity. It will allow them to change the device’s product key on the fly via a link to the Windows Store allowing them to buy a legitimate Windows 10 product key. If the experiment proves successful in the U.S. market, Microsoft could expand it to other markets.
Apple is facing a lawsuit over a new software feature that lets iPhones switch to cellular data when the Wi-Fi signal is weak.
Wi-Fi Assist has provoked complaints from customers since Apple introduced the feature in mid-September with the latest version of its iOS software for iPhones and iPads. Many have complained that Wi-Fi Assist is switched on by default in iOS 9 without them knowing it, causing them to run up large data bills while they think their iPhones are relying on Wi-Fi.
A couple who has been on the receiving end of such a bill on Friday filed a complaint, first spotted by AppleInsider, in US District Court in San Jose, California. William Scott Phillips and Suzanne Schmidt Phillips, both of Edgewater, Florida, say that because they didn’t know about the feature, Apple should be responsible for picking up their bill, as well as the bill of any others like them. The plaintiffs are seeking class action status for their lawsuit. Their filing contends that the overuse charges top $5 million for everyone affected.
Wi-Fi Assist lets iPhones automatically switch to using data when Wi-Fi signal drops. It was designed to give iPhone users the smoothest and most consistent experience possible when using the Internet. Some Apple customers are pleased that Wi-Fi Assist allows them to stay online even when their Wi-Fi signal drops. Others, especially those with low-usage data plans, have complained about unexpected charges on their phone bill.
The mixed reactions to the feature led the Cupertino, California, company to publish an online guide to Wi-Fi Assist in early October.
“Because you’ll stay connected to the Internet over cellular when you have a poor Wi-Fi connection, you might use more cellular data,” it explained. “For most users, this should only be a small percentage higher than previous usage.”
For the plaintiffs, though, the explanation is too little, too late. The lawsuit claims that the couple only found out about the potential for extra charges when articles and tweets started appearing about Wi-Fi Assist. They also say that video and music streaming consumes high quantities of data and that Apple’s “corrective statement does not disclose any basis for its conclusion that an average consumer would not see much increase in cellular usage.”
The lawsuit accuses Apple of violating California’s Unfair Competition Law and its False Advertising Law, as well as of negligent misrepresentation. Despite rival smartphone manufacturers, including Samsung, LG and HTC, offering similar features on their own devices, only Apple is on the receiving end of a legal complaint.
I’m always happy when one of my favorite FREE apps gets a major update. Even though I have built in navigation in my car, I always use and actually prefer Waze when I travel. I don’t worry about renting a car with a GPS to get around in an unfamiliar city or state – I simply plug in my iPhone, fire up Waze and type in my destination. Long gone are the detailed state highway maps and TripTik’s of my youth.
Waze, the navigation app that uses crowdsourced data to warn drivers about incidents on the road has just completed its biggest update since being acquired by Google over 2 years ago.
Yesterday, Waze launched a major update for its popular turn-by-turn navigation app. The entire user interface has been revamped for “higher visibility and clarity,” while still retaining the colorful, almost cartoonish appearance that has become its signature. It’s still bold and bright, but is noticeably less cluttered than before. Version 4.0 also adds a new ETA panel that puts traffic reports, alternate routes, and other useful options just one tap away.
Waze will also now give you a heads up about certain accidents before you even get in the car. The “smart calendar” feature will alert users when road incidents are likely to impact the day’s schedule, giving you the chance to leave earlier and minimize delays.
And last, Waze claims to have made significant improvements to battery consumption; the app will now use less of your phone’s charge to get you from place to place. Most people probably have their phones plugged in when driving around, so this is one change that may go unnoticed by many of Waze’s users.
And there are still a lot of Wazers out there, even after Google acquired the app and rolled almost all of its best functionality into Google Maps. Maybe it’s the social element of the app (sharing your ETA with friends, etc.) or the perception that Waze’s traffic alerts are more timely than those in Maps. Either way, it’s good to see a major update that’s a bit more substantial than simply adding yet another celebrity voice. Waze remains a free download, and the latest version is available on iOS now and will hit Android very soon.