Technology News and Analysis for IT Managers & Acquisition Teams

Solar Gadgets for Summer

Let the Sun Shine In

In an age of global warming and catastrophic climate change, the sun just might become our enemy, but for the time being, it can power a variety of gadgets from a speakerphone and desk lamp to a keyboard and a boom box. The devices often cost a little more, but can pay for themselves after a few years of use because they don’t need to be plugged in or use any throw-away batteries

The key is the advent of the photovoltaic solar cell. Made of silicon, solar cells convert a small amount of the sun’s energy into electrical power. They seem to be everywhere from huge array of solar cells out in the desert to smaller ones on people’s roofs. 

that has a lid covered with solar cells. It won’t put an end to the AC charger, but will give users a new level of freedom from plugging in.

But, what do you do at night? That’s where an internal battery comes in. During the day the device has enough extra power to charge its battery so that the device can be used whenever it’s needed – day or night.

Playboy Ditches DVD in Favor of Online Distribution

In a move expected to save the company an estimated $12 million per year, Reuters reports that the Playboy announced the decision to distribute content online in a recent regulatory filing.

Playboy spokesperson Martha Lindeman said the DVD business was accounted for on the company’s earnings statements under ‘Other,’ together with Playboy radio and its Alta Loma production company. In the first half of 2008 Playboy Inc. saw that line item drop by half a million dollars compared to that period in 2007.

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LG’s Tiny Projector Makes Huge Images in Small Rooms

If you’re willing to trade video resolution for a projector that will work anywhere,. The company’s new PH450U is an ‘Ultra-Short Throw’ projector with a 2.5 hour battery so you can use it in virtually any room, no matter how tiny.

LG claims that the UST technology can produce 80-inch, 720p video from just 13 inches away, which means you won’t need to put it in the back of a huge room to get a good picture. The 2.5-hour battery should be long enough for most movies (save for, say,or), multiple rounds of Overwatch or just reviewing your photos from that day’s camping trip.

Content can be projected over an HDMI cable and via a USB drive. The PH450U also has support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

It’s pricey, though. The projector will cost $650 when it debuts at Best Buy next month, followed by other retailers later in the year. A smaller model, the PH150G, will be more affordable at $350 when it shows up on store shelves in October, but you’ll settle for a weaker 130-lumen lamp.

These may not seem as sharp as the 1080p displays we’re used to or the 4K displays we lust over, but they’ll help make for some serious.

YouTube’s TV Service Is Insanely Competitive

The cord cutting competition is about to get a lot more interesting. YouTube has announced YouTube TV, its own streaming TV service at an event in Los Angeles today (Feb. 28).

It’s the latest salvo fired in a war that had previously been dominated by the likes of,and.

For a very affordable $35 a month, you can get all four of the biggest broadcast networks (ABC, FOX, NBC and CBS), as well as about 30 cable channels. No official release date was announced.

to sign up for launch updates.

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You won’t get everything you need, though. There are some noticeable names missing, like Turner Broadcasting’s CNN, TBS and TNT and Viacom channels including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, as well as AMC.

YouTube TV will also support voice control via Google Home, so you can ask the smarthome device to start playing a show on a Chromecast. IF you’re on the go, you’ll be able to stream YouTube TV on a mobile app.

PlayStation Vue’s cheapest package, called ‘Access,’ is $29.99 per month ($39.99 in select markets, including New York and Los Angeles) and includes ABC, FOX, NBC and local CBS stations. You get AMC and Turner but there is no access to Viacom. Sling TV’s $20 per month orange package offers TBS, Comedy Central and AMC. To get the most out of Sling – live sports on ESPN and broadcast network,s you need the $40 orange and blue subscription. DirecTV Now offers four tiers starting at $35. Its networks include ABC, Fox and NBC, and depending on your tier, you can get Viacom’s channels, too.

Yesterday,that its users watch over a billion hours of videos on YouTube every day.

YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, has seemingly beat Apple to the punch in putting together a fairly comprehensive streaming service, something which the Cupertino-based company has never managed (but has often reportedly tried) to pull off for its Apple TV platform.

How to Get YouTube TV on Roku

One of the biggest problems with, Google’s scrappy cable replacement service, was that — ironically — it wasn’t very easy to watch on a television. Now, the program runs onand, in addition toand Android TV.

Getting the app on a Roku device is trivially simple, so if you’d like to try it out, all you have to do is follow the instructions below. Before you begin, just make sure your Roku is powered on and fully updated.

1. Find Streaming Channels on the home screen. Just scroll down a few entries; you can’t miss it.

2. Select Search Channels. This will bring up a keyboard lets you type in a search term.

3. Find YouTube TV. Type in your search term, then select it from the menu on the right. You can also search with your voice, if you have a remote with a microphone. (Use the microphone button below the D-pad.)

4. Add the channel. This will take about a minute to download, depending on your connection.

5. Launch the app. You can either open YouTube TV right away, or navigate back to your home screen and open it from there. Consider moving it toward the top of your home screen, if you plan to use it often.

6. Sign in (or sign up for a free trial).

, which is a little bit easier.

That’s all there is to it. Now, you can watch YouTube TV from the comfort of your couch — which will come in handy if you’ve already made liberal use of the app’s unlimited DVR capabilities.

Rumor: PlayStation 4 Will Cost More Than $400 This Year

As previously reported,. The last PlayStation press event outside the E3 Expo loop took place just over two years ago in Tokyo and revealed the PlayStation Vita handheld console. Naturally it’s easy to speculate that Sony plans to ‘wow’ gamers again with the official reveal of the PlayStation 4 later this month.

Over the last year, rumors and hardware specs have heated up the rumor mill, obviously pointing to an upcoming console whether Sony admits it or not.. It’s also noted that the PlayStation 3 was priced just under ¥50,000, or $534 USD, and retailed at $500 here in the States.

. The kit had 8 GB of RAM and 2.2 GB of video memory. The CPU was listed as 4x dual-core AMD64 ‘Bulldozer’ – indicating that there will be eight cores total – and the GPU was listed as an AMD R10xx. Also included was a 160 GB HDD, a Blu-ray drive, four USB 3.0 ports, two Ethernet ports, HDMI and optical output, and 2.0, 5.1 and 7.1 audio channels.

As always, take everything with a grain of salt until Sony (supposedly) makes the big reveal in a few weeks. Cross your fingers that Sony doesn’t jump on the anti-used-games bandwagon with Microsoft, and will let you play those cheaper ‘gently used’ titles.

 

 

YouTube Ads Infected by Cryptocurrency Malware

The problem of cryptocurrency-mining malware embedded in online ads reared its ugly head in a big way last week, as several malicious ads popped up on YouTube. This happened due to a rogue actor injecting corrupted content into Google’s own DoubleClick ad network.

The ads were geared to consume 80 percent of the victim’s CPU time to ‘mine’ the Monero cryptocurrency, but didn’t otherwise harm computers or steal data.

last Thursday (Jan. 25).

Google has nipped the problem in the bud for now, but this won’t be the last time that something similar happens to YouTube or other prominent websites.

What You Should Do

To make sure you’re protected against ‘,’ make sure you’re running third-partythat inspects the web pages you load. You could also consider running a script blocker or anon some or all of your web browsers. However, ad blockers publishers (including this one) from being able to generate revenue.

Most good antivirus software will screen the URLs your web browsers connect to. Microsoft’s built-in Windows Defender does this as well, but only for Internet Explorer and Edge. To get similar protection for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari, you’ll need to use a third-party product. Alternatively, you could switch to Opera, a free browser that has an ad blocker built in.

How Did This Happen?

Antivirus maker Trend Micro’s researchers were among the first to spot the problem. In a companyFriday (Jan. 26), they said that they ‘detected an almost 285 percent increase in the number of Coinhive miners on January 24,’ but had ‘started seeing an increase in traffic to five malicious domains on January 18.’ Most of thewas seen in France, Italy, Japan, Spain and Taiwan.

Coinhive is a legitimate browser-based cryptocurrency-mining operation that some website operators deploy to augment income, although they’re supposed to notify visitors that their CPUs are being temporarily harnessed to earn money for the site. It mines Monero, a cryptocurrency that is easier to mine than.

Unfortunately, the Coinhive script is easy to inject into a site’s code. For the past few months, criminals have been infecting websites without the site administrators’ consent, then directing the generated money to their own cryptocurrency wallets.

Putting Coinhive code into online ads was the inevitable next step. The chaotic, decentralized nature of the online ad market lets bad actors drop in malicious ads far upstream from the websites that end up displaying them, and those sites often never find out where the bad ads came from.

Trend Micro’s researchers found that the malvertising code deployed the standard Coinhive script in 90 percent of instances, but used an off-brand script the other 10 percent of the time, perhaps to dodge Coinhive’s 30-percent commission fee.

Under the Radar

Regular ads display during this entire process, Trend Micro said, so that the end user is none the wiser unless he or she checks his CPU usage. However,reported that some of the malicious scripts generated ads for fake antivirus software, which DoubleClick wouldn’t normally allow.

Google told Ars Technica andthat ‘[i]n this case, the ads were blocked in less than two hours and the malicious actors were quickly removed from our platforms.’ That doesn’t quite jibe with Trend Micro’s observation that the malvertising activity lasted six days, from Jan. 18 to Jan. 24, but in any case, the ads are gone for now.

Bogus Netflix Email Steals Passwords, Credit Cards

A new phishing scam targets Netflix’s 44 million customers worldwide by asking them for their Netflix login credentials — and their credit cards as well.

The scam uses an email with the subject line ‘Important Notice,’ according to aby Michael McKinnon of the Czech antivirus firm AVG. The body of the email contains a big red button reading ‘CLICK HERE TO VERIFY YOUR ACCOUNT.’

The grammar in the email is not perfect, but it’s good enough to fool some people, especially those who themselves have imperfect English. Clicking the big red button takes the victim to a bogus Netflix login page. If the email address and password are entered, the scammers will get scammers access not only to the victim’s Netflix account, but to all other online accounts that use the same credentials.

A subsequent page on the bogus site asks to ‘Validate Your Payment Information’ and has fields for full name, card number, expiration date and security code. Naturally, filling in any of those fields would hand the information to online criminals.

A screenshot that AVG took of the bogus Netflix website appeared tailored to users in the United Kingdom, displaying a British toll-free service number and a URL that included ‘netflix.co.uk’ as a subdirectory. But it wouldn’t be difficult to tweak the page for Netflix customers in other English-speaking countries. (Netflix serves all of the Americas except Cuba, and most of western Europe.)

To avoid being scammed by, never click on links embedded in the body of email messages, even those that appear to come from trusted sources. Instead, open up a Web browser and type in the URL of the service in question yourself if you need to check on the status of an account.

If you end up falling victim to the Netflix scam, immediately go to the real Netflix page and change the password on your account — and then on any other accounts that use the same email address and password. If you’ve given the phishers your credit-card number, call the customer-service number on the back of the card and inform the card issuer of what’s happened.

Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide focused on security and gaming. Follow him at Follow Tom’s Guide at , on  and on .

YouTube Rewind 2018 Is the Most Despised Video Ever

Update – 13.Dec: As of today, the 2018 YouTube Rewind has now overtaken ‘Baby’ to become the most disliked video on YouTube, with 9.8 million downvotes. The original story follows.

Thehas not been well received by the site’s users, who have reacted with a blizzard of downvotes, totaling 8.2 million dislikes, compared to 2 million likes.

  • Read our guide on how to

This is the 8th YouTube Rewind, the . The series began, as YouTube did, featuring homegrown creators getting together to make a big silly video about the year’s trends. Since then, YouTube’s been adopted by more established forms of media, and since they are a more dependable source of advertising revenue, and aren’t prone to causing costly controversies as some of the original talent has done, it’s where YouTube’s attention has gone.

Smaller channels and personalities have disappeared in favor of only the largest names, and then some stars for whom YouTube is very much a secondary concern, examples this year being actor Will Smith, and comedy hosts Trevor Noah and John Oliver. As a result, many YouTube users have seen the more recent Rewinds as a betrayal of the site’s original goals, and this one has sent the hive mind over the edge into a mission to show their disgust for the video.

Now it’s a race to the bottom to see how fast (the fact it is going to happen seems to be a given already) YouTube Rewind 2018 can hit 9.7 million dislikes – the total given to. The really striking fact is that Bieber’s song is as old as the Rewind series itself – the song was published in 2010.

So the hatred, both genuine and claimed, for the song has had its time. The YouTube Rewind is still very fresh in people’s minds, and has become a serious rival in less than a week.

It’s hard to give space to the now incredibly diverse range of content that the platform supports, both homegrown and studio-created. This year’s rewind video swings between Fortnite, dancing and animated skits to then talking about charity, mental health and minority representation, then to viral videos like Kanye West’s “I Love It” video and Tesla Motors’ Starman, to the ASMR community. All are valid and popular parts of YouTube, but it also means that with the best will in the world, it’s hard to make a cohesive video without leaving something enormous out.

All the same, unless some kind of campaign is formed to keep Baby’s spot as best of the worst, it will be overtaken shortly by the Rewind. This kind of thing is not without precedent; the recent effort to give PewDiePie the most subscribers on YouTube instead of Indian music video channel T-Series is evidence of that.

You might want to check back every so often to see if it does ever break into the coveted number one most-disliked spot.

Duke Nukem 3D Returns to iTunes App Store

3D Realms’ infamous shooter Duke Nukem 3D has returned to Apple’s App Store on iTunes (), costing fans a measly $2.99 and 12.3 MB of storage space. The game still lists as v1.0, indicating that Machineworks Northwest didn’t applied any upgrades to this classic port while it went on hiatus. So far, there’s no word on why the game was pulled despite a previous theory that the approval team had second thoughts about the game’s content.

As reported earlier, the game looks and performs like the original PC classic, however the clumsy controls–both analog and digital settings–need serious work to make the game more than just playable. Duke Nukem 3D includes all three of the original episodes–L.A. Meltdown, Lunar Apocalypse, and Shrapnel City–and even includes a new TapShoot feature that supposedly makes it easier to… well, shoot the enemy.

According to the App Store listing, Duke Nukem 3D offers over twenty hours of game time, however this edition does not include multiplayer support. Fan of 3D Realms may also want to check out Prey Invasion (), the newest portable edition to the Prey universe (and probably one of the shortest), the awesomely tasty Wolfenstein RPG by id Software (), and a overhauled version of the original Wolfenstein 3D Classic (). Additionally, while this has nothing to do with 3D Realms, fans of the MechWarrior series might want to check out iMech (), a $0.99 iPhone game similar to the popular franchise that even offers online multiplayer capabilities.

As for Duke Nukem 3D, the game is rated 12+ for cartoon or fantasy violence, realistic violence, sexual content or nudity, profanity or crude humor, mature/suggestive themes, and ‘intense’ horror/fear themes. Duke Nukem 3D does not work on the first generation of the iPod Touch, however it performs rather well on the iPhone and iPod Touch 2G.