Showing posts with label tech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tech. Show all posts

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Customers confused as no sale for POCO F1 Armoured Edition

Users were a bit confused when there was no sale for the armoured edition of Poco F1 flagship phone of Xiaomi. Xiaomi has not replied as to why the armoured version was not available for sale.

Follow us to know as we get the information from Xiaomi as the customers are a bit confused as well as frustated.
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Saturday, 18 November 2017

Why can't bots check 'I am not a robot' checkboxes?

First, captchas aren't there to make it impossible to overcome - that is not possible to do. It's to make it difficult for a bot, i.e. to either make it impossible for it to do at all by itself or only very slowly. This is to make it impossible for a bot to e.g. try a password 1000 times per second, or to let it log in automatically without the help of a human.

Actually, clicking the box is a rather trivial part of what those CAPTCHAs are looking for. What they're actually looking for are things like:

did the 'user' instantly move their mouse to the exact coordinates of the box, or did they traverse thru the page like a human would?

is the user scrolling to the box, or are they remotely executing javascript to trigger a scroll to the box? how long after page load did the user find the box? Too quickly is obviously a red flag, but taking too long is also. commonly, to get around reCAPTCHA you'll need to find out 4-5 areas to click in addition to the initial click. The way that most people do this is using CAPTCHA services, which are real people solving them and returning the answer to you (i.e. for a text captcha, you'd send them the image and they'd send back the letters/numbers). The way you do this with reCAPTCHA is sending a screenshot of the computer, and you are returned the coords that you're supposed to click on to answer the question properly. [e: apparently this method is old, and a new method where the CAPTCHA is actually served up to the person within the service that will solve it for you!] 

However, it usually doesn't take a legitimate human 5 minutes to answer a few questions about 9 images. if you take too long, they'll make you do another image check challenge. basically, it's really, really difficult to make a bot move the mouse, scroll, and react naturally to a page load. and even if you do manage to fool reCAPTCHA, you'll be thrown to a few image tasks which may serve to block you out from the website completely, due to the reasons mentioned above. e: as others have mentioned, this type of stuff is only part of what reCAPTCHA relies on to determine human/non-human - particularly, your referring information & whether or not you have a logged in Google account. e2: there are a bunch of people claiming that mouse movement tracking is impossible to do. in chrome, hit ctrl+shift+j, paste onmousemove = function(e){console.log("mouse location:", e.clientX, e.clientY)} in, and hit enter. then move the mouse. it's easily done. e3: there are still a ton of people claiming that I just made up the ability to track end user mouse movements. is another example Source Reddit
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Thursday, 22 June 2017

How to kick someone out from WiFi using Kali Linux

Are you fed up of your annoying roommate or flatmates because they are using all the bandwidth of your wifi connection.

Here is the solution for you people to kick out that annoying friend of yours from wifi without letting them know.


this process needs aircrack-ng tool. if you are using any penetration testing linux distro then you don't have to install it. other user have to install this tool.

First open a new terminal and type in ifconfig to find the name of your wireless card.( In my case the name is wlan0)

now take down your wireless card with this command :

ifconfig wlan0 down

Don't worry at the end of this tutorial  I will tell you how to get it back up.

Now we will scan for networks.( we will ger network BSSID and channel)

use this command to scan for netowrks:

aireplay-ng -9 wlan0

Now we will scan for connected devices on the network

airodump-ng -c 6 --bssid xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx -w psk wlan0

-c is for the channel that the network is broadcasting on.

--bssid is for the network mac address we just wrote down.

Now we just wait a few seconds and the devices connected to the network after some time connected devices will show up here with their MAC address.

write down the mac address of the device you want to kick out from your network

Now we will kick the device of our network .

To do that use this command:

aireplay-ng -0 15 -a xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx -c yy:yy:yy:yy:yy:yy wlan0

-0 means that we will send deAuth packets to the device.

15 is the amount of deAuth packets (if you want to send deAuth packets continously then replace 15 with 0)

-a is to set the networks BSSID which we wrote down earlier.

-c is to set the device's MAC address that you would like to kick of the network.

Great! Now we are sending the deAuth packtes! The devices should now be disconnctes from the network.

Now it's time to back up your wireless card. If your card is down you wouldn't be able to connect to a wifi network.

type in:

ifconfig wlan0 up

Author- Arun Kumar (CEH)

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Hackerrank Issue: The web site does not connect even with Internet Connection

It has been quite a few days, I open Hackerrank , login to the website, start coding but as soon as I compile a few programs , the compiler gets stuck in update and if I refresh I get the following error

I received the following error after refreshing my hacker rank webpage

Secure Connection Failed

The connection to the server was reset while the page was loading.

    The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
    Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

After refreshing quite a few times , it opens up again, but the error persists.

PS I am using mobile data of JIO 4G .I am able to access other websites but not hackerrank.
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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Client Error: Unsupported.Incomplete Root Disk.No /etc directory found

This was the error that I received while creating an instance of an OPENBSD vmdk file to AWS using EC2 API tools.

I tried using Ubuntu,Kali Linux but the same error persisted.

AWS does not support creation of OpenBSD instance using Windows platform.

First of all, I presumed that this error is due to a corrupt vmdk , so I re-downloaded it but it didn't help.

There is not much information on the Internet about how to create an instance of OpenBSD on AWS.

So I started looking at the error which is a Client Error.The AWS documentation says this::

Client errors.are usually caused by something the client did, such as specifying an incorrect or invalid parameter in the request, or using an action or resource on behalf of a user that doesn't have permission to use the action or resource. These errors are accompanied by a 400-series HTTP response code.

This is the command i use  "ec2-import-instance openBsd.vmdk -f VMDK -t t2.micro -a i386 -b import-export- o $AWS_ACCESS_KEY -w $AWS_SECRET_KEY --region us-west-2" 
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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Biggest Flaw in

I wanted to write about this for a long time.This is about the flaw in blogger which allows any admin to delete any other admin which means if you give any other person the admin rights, that person can delete your admin privileges and remove you from your own blog without any warning or confirmation, an admin just clicks on the cross in front of the user and he is deleted forever from the blog.

Blogger just has two types of users : Admin and Author. Admin can access every feature available whereas the author can only write posts but cannnot use other features such as watching the stats or changing the layout, template, etc.

This is really frustrating as one has to be very careful on giving someone admin privileges.

The solution to this flaw of blogger could be starting a new user group other than admin and author who could have moderate access to features of blogger.

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Saturday, 6 August 2016

Vedanta Resources aims to close merger with Cairn India in early 2017

Mining and energy group Vedanta Resources expects to complete its merger with Cairn India early next year, a move that would boost the firm's financial strength, Vedanta's CEO said on Friday.


Vedanta is among the resource firms hit by a collapse in commodity prices and it is also facing legal action and activist protests over its operations in Zambia.

In a speech to a London shareholders' meeting, CEO Tom Albanese said the rationale for the merger was compelling, which was why Vedanta announced improved terms in July.

"The merger ... will contribute significantly to our overall financial strength, not least through a potential re-rating, which will lower our overall cost of capital," Albanese said, according to a copy of his speech.

"We expect to close the transaction in the first quarter of 2017."

The deal, which will give Vedanta access to oil and gas explorer Cairn India's $3.5 billion cash pile, has faced opposition from some big minority shareholders, including British-based Cairn Energy, but Albanese said he did not foresee obstacles.

Vedanta's debt to EBITDA ratio is 5.7 for 2016 compared with the level of around 3 analysts view as comfortable.

Albanese told Reuters after the meeting that Vedanta had repaid close to $1.2 billion of bonds in the first quarter and had no further Vedanta Resources debt maturing until 2018.

"We are committed to deleveraging the balance sheet," he said, citing a share price rally - the stock has almost doubled since the end of last year - as proof of market confidence.

Albanese also predicted the commodity price slump has ended.

"My own personal view is that for the first time in more than five years, most commodities will end this calendar year higher than they began the year," he said in his speech.

To Reuters, he declined to comment on a case involving Vedanta's copper mining in Zambia because it is being litigated.

Protesters, under the banner of the activist organization Foil Vedanta, demonstrated at the shareholder meeting, chanting "shame, shame" and "looters, polluters" as executives walked in.

In May, a high court judge decided that a claim could proceed in the English courts on behalf of 1,826 Zambian villagers seeking compensation following what they say is damage to their health and land caused by Konkola Copper Mines. Vedanta, which has a majority stake in Konkola, has appealed that decision and said Zambia is the appropriate jurisdiction. It expects to know the outcome of the appeal next year.

(Reporting by Barbara Lewis; editing by Grant McCool)

Source Reuters

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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Facebook Accused in $1 Billion Suit of Being Hamas Tool

Why the $1B Lawsuit Against Facebook Doesn't Have Merit

  • Damages sought for families of 5 American victims of attacks
  • Facebook says it doesn’t comment to press on legal proceeding

Lawyers filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Facebook Inc., alleging it allowed the Palestinian militant Hamas group to use the platform to plot attacks that killed four Americans and wounded one in Israel, the West Bank and Jerusalem.

“Facebook has knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas in the form of Facebook’s online social network platform and communication services,” making it liable for the violence against the five Americans, according to the lawsuit sent to Bloomberg by the office of the Israeli lawyer on the case, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner.

“Simply put, Hamas uses Facebook as a tool for engaging in terrorism,” it said.
Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., European Union and Israel. The suit said the group used Facebook to share operational and tactical information with members and followers, posting notices of upcoming demonstrations, road closures, Israeli military actions and instructions to operatives to carry out the attacks.

Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas leader, said by phone that “suing Facebook clearly shows the American policy of fighting freedom of the press and expression” and is evidence of U.S. prejudice against the group and “its just cause.”

Facebook wants “people to feel safe when using Facebook. There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on Facebook,” the company said in a response to a request for comment on the case. “We have a set of Community Standards to help people understand what is allowed on Facebook, and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our standards so we can investigate and take swift action.”

In March Facebook took down a page promoting a new Palestinian uprising against Israel because it made “direct calls for violence,” in violation of company polices.

Gabriel Weimann, an expert on terrorism on the internet at Haifa University, said technology would be more effective than litigation in discouraging the use of social media for violent purposes. The focus should be on developing faster ways to detect problematic messages so they can be blocked immediately before they go viral, he said.

“Facebook isn’t the only platform,” he said. “There are plenty of others. What will you do? Sue them all?”

The suit was submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 10. Plaintiffs include the families of Yaakov Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old abducted and murdered in June 2014 after hitching a ride in the West Bank, and 3-year-old Chaya Braun, whose stroller was struck intentionally by a Palestinian driver in October 2014 at a train station in Jerusalem.
In February 2015, a jury at the same court concluded that the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization aided in six attacks on Americans in Israel more than a decade ago, and ordered them to pay $218.5 million to the victims and their families. The damages were tripled under a U.S. anti-terrorism law.

The Palestinian bodies claimed they weren’t responsible for the unapproved acts of low-level employees who participated in the attacks.

Source Bloomberg
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US Company to try and revive the clinically dead

A US technology company wants to reanimate dead brains.Now the company has ethical permission to do it.

An international ethics watchdog just approved 'The Reanima Project'

This study will attempt to revive the clinically dead — by reanimating their brains

The study will be performed on clinically dead patients whose bodies will be on life support

"This represents the first trial  of its kind and another step towards the eventual reversal of death in our lifetime" said Dr. Ira Pastor, CEO of Bioquark Inc.  to the Telegraph.

In fairness, there is little evidence to suggest how realistic this venture is.Though the researchers might not succeed in reanimating a dead brain, they still hope to gain insights that will be help with future treatment of other degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's

Lets hope this isn't the way Zombie Apocalypse begins.


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Sunday, 10 July 2016

How to fix Twitter error in two easy steps

Twitter might be showing you this message:

Something is technically wrong.
Thanks for noticing—we're going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.

But you don't need to worry as lapercygo today brings you the easiest solution to this problem:

1.Try refreshing the page.

2.Close the current tab or the complete browser, and try to open twitter in a new tab or browser.

3.Try to go incognito.

If you have any other errors or problems using Twitter (even app in Android, Windows  or iOS) we are happy to debug them for you.

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Thursday, 4 February 2016

When you play a game like chess against a computer on "easy," does it simply look at less possible moves/scenarios or does it actually try to lose?

Usually this one.
Most chess programs work by calculating the "value" of various pieces and positions. Each piece is worth some points by itself, with bonuses or multipliers for useful board positions. A position will be worth more points if it threatens your pieces or defends the computer's pieces. The computer looks at all possible moves, usually looking several moves into the future, and makes a tactical decision based on the highest point value.

As the computer checks more and more moves, the number of possibilities increases exponentially. There may be 10 possible moves in one turn, then 100 possible moves in the next, then a thousand, then 10 thousand. Because of this, computers are very good at estimating the next several moves, but have a harder time beyond that. Some chess players who specialize in playing against computers have learned to capitalize on this weakness.

By limiting the computer's ability think ahead, you can vastly change the difficulty of playing against it.

To elaborate further, this is usually done by limiting the amount of time the computer has to look at moves. On easy difficulties, it is only given a small amount of time to calculate move value. The higher the difficulty, the longer it can look for moves, and the better of a choice it can make. This is why high difficulty AI takes a long time before making its move. It is given enough time to evaluate millions of moves per turn.

Source ELI5
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Stephen Hawking's new theory on black holes : Simply Explained

While I can't speak to the specifics, as a layman who has followed this since reading "a brief history of time" I can say that it's a pretty big deal if he's right.
Basically, black holes have been considered to "destroy information" which basically means you can't see what's inside a black hole. This is a big problem in physics because energy/matter/information can't be "destroyed."

What Hawking is saying now is that the information isn't destroyed, but instead sort of "imprinted" on the event horizon of a black hole.

An event horizon is what we might consider the border of inside vs outside the black hole. Everything past that line is "inside" the black hole and can't be seen because even light gets trapped in it. But if an object or particle enters a stable orbit on that boundary, special things happen that I don't understand and can't really describe.

However, I can say that what Hawking is saying is that if something crosses this barrier, it effects how the event horizon looks, and therefore in a way, we can retrieve that information, kind of like looking at footprints in the snow leading up to the edge of a cliff.
I may be way off base here, but that's my understanding and I invite anyone with a better understanding to ELI5 to me.
Edit: there is no stable orbit on the event horizon.
All right, let's say you have a friend named Simon, who's a normal weight and loves junk food, and a friend named Albert, who's extremely fat and also loves junk food. Since you're buddies with Simon, you'd be able to guess what junk food they're gonna eat next based on what they ate before and you'd also be able to guess what they had eaten based on the wrappers and boxes left over. However, even though you're buddies with Fat Albert, he's just so huge that when he gets near enough something to eat, he swallows it wrapper and all. You have no idea what he'd eat next or what he ate before because he swallowed anything and everything near him. BUT NOW, all of a sudden, you realize that Albert is not only fat, but he's a messy eater. Because of this, you realize that there are crumbs, smudges, and pieces of the food left around his mouth. So you're like, OH! Now I know what you ate. Maybe in time you could use that to learn his eating habits just like you know your buddy Simon's!
So in this case, you're Mr Hawking, and you realized that the black hole, Albert, although he seemed not to leave evidence of food (information), actually might leave that evidence at the edge of his mouth (the event horizon = the edge of the black hole). You can use that to figure out all sorts of things!
(Hopefully this helps people, this is my first post here!)

Edit: Wow, I was just writing this as a joke, I didn't expect so many people to like it! Thanks so much for the gold and for everyone who enjoyed it! For the people who are asking if I'm a teacher, I'm not, I'm just a young adult applying to med school haha. Thanks again!

For people who are still a little confused by what the theory is, and why I talked about Simon: The original thing that we thought was what I described at the beginning, that for any normal scenario (a Simon) we would be able to get information, but in the case of a black hole (Albert), we can't. But Hawking's theory is your theory that if you look at the edge of his mouth, you can see the crumbs and figure out a pattern to how he's eating just like you did with a normal case like Simon. In the same way, looking at the event horizon (the "edge" of a black hole) might let you get the information that we before thought was destroyed. Hope that makes sense!

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Tuesday, 12 January 2016 moves its domain name to

The website ( previously ) has now changed its name which seems more relevant but users still aren't completely aware of the change. allows you to anonymously surf any website even if it is blocked in your country.
You can access all the contents you want to access even if they are blocked in your county or even blocked by the university you work or study in.

How to use

You can simply open and enter the URL you want to surf anonymously.


You can add at end of the Website URL you want to open
For Example :  You want to open  so you add to its end and it becomes

This frees you from using any paid VPN's which provide the same service but are paid and you have to download a software  which is often malicious.

How does work? uses a set of proxy systems , which means your data comes through another system where the website is not blocked. This way you can anonymously surf the web.

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Researchers think that a dangerous 'back door' in software used by the US government was caused by the NSA

Juniper is a hardware manufacturer that makes networking equipment. The internet relies on equipment like this to function.
A backdoor is an intentional hole in a security system that allows someone to get in when they shouldn't be able to. Think of a robber slipping in the backdoor of your house because you never lock it.
Juniper announced that it found a backdoor into its systems that it didn't place there. To continue my analogy above, imagine one day you found a new door into your house that you never knew existed, and that you don't even have a key for.
There is speculation that the NSA was responsible for putting this backdoor into Juniper's system, but nothing concrete yet.

Two "back doors" hidden in security software used by US government agencies and corporations that left them open to attack may have been caused by the NSA, security researchers claim.
Last week, news broke about "unauthorised code" in devices sold by Juniper, which builds firewalls, intended to protect the user from attacks and unwanted intrusions. Wired reports that security consultancy Comsecuris' founder Ralf-Phillipp Weinmann's research indicates that the NSA may be responsible for this - by introducing code that was exploitable by others.

Matthew Green, a cryptography lecturer at John Hopkins University, has come to a similar conclusion. In a blog post also outlining the scale of the vulnerability, he wrote:

To sum up, some hacker or group of hackers attacker noticed an existing backdoor in the Juniper software, which may have been intentional or unintentional -- you be the judge! They then piggybacked on top of it to build a backdoor of their own, something they were able to do because all of the hard work had already been done for them. The end result was a period in which someone -- maybe a foreign government -- was able to decrypt Juniper traffic in the U.S. and around the world.

If correct, the NSA likely introduced this back door in order to give them a way to surreptitiously monitor traffic: It allowed them to decrypt otherwise-encrypted data, for a start. But someone else - we don't yet know who - found it, and took advantage.

Juniper has since released patches addressing the vulnerabilities, and is urging customers to upgrade.

This isn't just some abstract theoretical breach. Often, when there's a hack, or leak, or vulnerability, there's no evidence it was ever exploited by anyone other than the security researcher who found it. But in this case, the code was actively put there by an as-yet unknown hacker - and attackers are now actively probing for unpatched Juniper firewalls to exploit.

Researchers at the SANS Internet Storm Center built a "honeypot," PC World reports - that is, a fake server that pretends to be a real Juniper firewall so they can monitor if anyone is fooled into trying to attack it. Sure enough, they say they are "detecting numerous login attempts against our ssh honeypots using the ScreenOS backdoor password."

The Juniper back door comes at a time of heated debate over the ethics and feasibility of introducing back doors into software. As more and more big tech companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.) incorporate strong encryption into their products, there has been a pushback from law enforcement who want to be able to retain access to data and communications when required.

But, technologists and privacy activists counter, any back door will inevitably be open to abuse by third parties. You can't build a back door that only good guys can use, the saying goes. In Juniper, encryption enthusiasts may have found a very powerful example to prove their point.
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Monday, 7 December 2015

10 Facts About the Internet's Undersea Cables

In describing the system of wires that comprises the Internet, Neal Stephenson once compared the earth to a computer motherboard. From telephone poles suspending bundles of cable to signs posted warning of buried fiber optic lines, we are surrounded by evidence that at a basic level, the Internet is really just a spaghetti-work of really long wires. But what we see is just a small part of the physical makeup of the net. The rest of it can be found in the coldest depths of the ocean.

75% of faults are due to external aggression -- the majority through human activity such as fishing, and ship's anchors. There are also geological factors such as sub-sea earthquakes and landslides, shifting tectonic plates and typhoons.During the 2011 tsunami in Japan about half of their cables had outages, but the operators were able to reroute capacity to other routes, so Japan held up very well. Last spring, there was damage in Mediterranean cables that linked East Africa to Europe. But it was many years ago that there was last a complete blackout.

The last cable across the Pacific cost $300 million; one cable that entered service last year in Asia reaching many locations cost $400 million. The cost is largely due to length but also how much it is on land. A complicated cable that lands in 10 different countries with thousands of kilometers per link will cost much more than one linking just two points.

 Here are 10 things you might not know about the Internet’s system of undersea cables.


Ninety-nine percent of international data is transmitted by wires at the bottom of the ocean called submarine communications cables. In total, they are hundreds of thousands of miles long and can be as deep as Everest Is tall. The cables are installed by special boats called cable-layers. It’s more than a matter of dropping wires with anvils attached to them—the cables must generally be run across flat surfaces of the ocean floor, and care is taken to avoid coral reefs, sunken ships, fish beds, and other ecological habitats and general obstructions. The diameter of a shallow water cable is about the same as a soda can, while deep water cables are much thinner—about the size of a Magic Marker. The size difference is related to simple vulnerability—there’s not much going on 8,000 feet below sea level; consequently, there’s less need for galvanized shielding wire. Cables located at shallow depths are buried beneath the ocean floor using high pressure water jets. Though per-mile prices for installation change depending on total length and destination, running a cable across the ocean invariably costs hundreds of millions of dollars.


There’s disagreement as to why, exactly, sharks like gnawing on submarine communications cables. Maybe it has something to do with electromagnetic fields. Maybe they’re just curious. Maybe they’re trying to disrupt our communications infrastructure before mounting a land-based assault. (My theory.) The point remains that sharks are chewing on the Internet, and sometimes damage it. In response, companies such as Google are shielding their cables inshark-proof wire wrappers


It seems like every couple of years, some well-meaning construction worker puts his bulldozer in gear and kills Netflix for the whole continent. While the ocean is free of construction equipment that might otherwise combine to form Devastator, there are many ongoing aquatic threats to the submarine cables. Sharks aside, the Internet is ever at risk of being disrupted byboat anchors, trawling by fishing vessels, and natural disasters. A Toronto-based company has proposed running a cable through the Arctic that connects Tokyo and London. This was previously considered impossible, but climate change and the melting ice caps have moved the proposal firmly into the doable-but-really-expensive category.


In 1854, installation began on the first transatlantic telegraph cable, which connected Newfoundland and Ireland. Four years later the first transmission was sent, reading: “Laws, Whitehouse received five minutes signal. Coil signals too weak to relay. Try drive slow and regular. I have put intermediate pulley. Reply by coils.” This is, admittedly, not very inspiring. (“Whitehouse” referred to Wildman Whitehouse, the chief electrician of the Atlantic Telegraph Company, who we’ve discussed previously.) For historical context: During those four years of cable construction, Charles Dickens was still writing novels; Walt Whitman published Leaves of Grass; a small settlement called Dallas was formally incorporated in Texas; and Abraham Lincoln, candidate for the U.S. Senate, gave his “House Divided” speech.


During the height of the Cold War, the USSR often transmitted weakly encoded messages between two of its major naval bases. Strong encryption was a bother—and also overkill—thought Soviet officers, as the bases were directly linked by an undersea cable located in sensor-laden Soviet territorial waters. No way would the Americans risk World War III by trying to somehow access and tap that cable. They didn’t count on the U.S.S. Halibut, a specially fitted submarine capable of slipping by Soviet defenses. The American submarine found the cable and installed a giant wiretap, returning monthly to gather the transmissions it had recorded. This operation, called IVY BELLS, was later compromised by a former NSA analyst named Ronald Pelton, who sold information on the mission to the Soviets. Today, tapping submarine communications cables is standard operating procedure for spy agencies.


With respect to electronic espionage, one big advantage held by the United States is the key role its scientists, engineers, and corporations played in inventing and building large parts of the global telecommunications infrastructure. Major lines of data tend to cross into American borders and territorial water, making wiretapping a breeze, relatively speaking. When documents stolen by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden came to light, many countries were outraged to learn the extent to which American spy agencies were intercepting foreign data. As a result, some countries are reconsidering the infrastructure of the Internet itself. Brazil, for example, has launched a project to build a submarine communications cable to Portugal that not only bypasses the United States entirely, but also specifically excludes U.S. companies from involvement.


There are well over a thousand satellites in orbit, we’re landing probes on comets, and we’re planning missions to Mars. We’re living in the future! It just seems self-evident that space would be a better way to virtually “wire” the Internet than our current method of running really long cables-slash-shark-buffets along the ocean floor. Surely satellites would be better than a technology invented before the invention of the telephone—right? As it turns out, no. (Or at least, not yet.) Though fiber optic cables and communications satellites were both developed in the 1960s, satellites have a two-fold problem: latency and bit loss. Sending and receiving signals to and from space takes time. Meanwhile, researchers have developed optical fibers that can transmit information at 99.7% the speed of light. For an idea of what the Internet would be like without undersea cables, visit Antarctica, the only continent without a physical connection to the net. The continent relies on satellites, and bandwidth is at a premium, which is no small problem when one considers the important, data-intensive climate research underway. Today, Antarctic research stations produce more data than they can transmitthrough space. 


The good news is that it’s hard to cut through a submarine communications cable, if only because of the thousands of very lethal volts running through each of them. The bad news is that it is possible, as seen in Egypt in 2013. There, just north of Alexandria, men in wetsuits were apprehended having intentionally cut through the South-East-Asia-Middle-East-West-Europe 4 cable, which runs 12,500 miles and connects three continents. Internet speeds in Egypt were crippled by 60% until the line could be repaired. 


If you think replacing that one Ethernet cable you can’t quite reach behind your desk is a pain, try replacing a solid, broken garden hose at the bottom of the ocean. When a submarine cable is damaged, special repair ships are dispatched. If the cable is located in shallow waters, robots are deployed to grab the cable and haul it to the surface. If the cable is in deep waters (6,500 feet or greater), the ships lower specially designed grapnels that grab onto the cable and hoist it up for mending. To make things easier, grapnels sometimes cut the damaged cable in two, and repair ships raise each end separately for patching above the water.


As of 2014, there are 285 communications cables at the bottom of the ocean, and 22 of them are not yet in use. These are called “dark cables.” (Once they’re switched on, they’re said to be “lit.”) Submarine cables have a life expectancy of 25 years, during which time they are considered economically viable from a capacity standpoint. Over the last decade, however, global data consumption has exploded. In 2013, Internet traffic was 5 gigabytes per capita; this number is expected to reach 14 gigabytes per capita by 2018. Such an increase would obviously pose a capacity problem and require more frequent cable upgrades. However, new techniques in phase modulation and improvements in submarine line terminal equipment (SLTE) have boosted capacity in some places by as much as 8000%. The wires we have are more than ready for the traffic to come.

Source Mental Floss

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Monday, 26 October 2015

Nasdaq may see record with Apple earnings

The Nasdaq 100 index, dominated by U.S. technology stocks, may set a record high next week, helped by good earnings from Apple Inc expected on Tuesday.

Technology shares led the U.S. stock market's recovery this week from its worst correction in four years in August, thanks to gains in Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft, after the three companies reported better-than-expected earnings results.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.9 percent to 17,646.70, the S&P 500 index recovered another 1.1 percent to 2,075.15, and the Nasdaq Composite closed the week up 2.27 percent at 5,031.86.

Shares across Asia, Europe and the Americas all climbed, boosted by Thursday's message from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi that he was ready to increase the ECB's bond buying program, and by an interest rate cut by China's central bank.

Factors this coming week that may provide further support for U.S. stocks include a Federal Reserve policy meeting, which is not expected to raise interest rates yet, a report on U.S. third-quarter economic growth, and earnings from Apple.

The Nasdaq 100 index, including Apple, is just 1.5 percent below its year high and 4.0 percent from its record high back in March 2000.

Intel and Microsoft have seen their stocks recover more than 30 percent each since Aug. 25, while Amazon and Facebook rose 28 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

But the 'underperformer' among these companies has been Apple, up only 14.8 percent from its Aug. 25 close, less than the Nasdaq 100's 15.1 percent gain in that time.

In contrast to Microsoft, Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon, Apple shares did not post record or multi-year highs this week, even though it rose 7.2 percent, the largest weekly gain in a year.

On Tuesday, though, Apple is expected to report $51.1 billion in revenue, a 21.3 percent increase compared to the same quarter of last year. Earnings are seen at $1.879 per share.

"The bar has been raised a bit on its earnings report from where it was a week ago. The price action is telling you there's more optimism built into it," said Michael James, managing director of equities trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles.

Options market action shows traders expect Apple shares to move roughly 5.0 percent by the end of next week. The average move for the stock the day after its report in the last eight quarters was 4.4 percent, up or down.

"Will an above-estimates from Apple and raised guidance help? Sure it will. But we could still get there without that happening," said James of the possibility of the Nasdaq 100 hitting a record.

"The power of the moves in some of these large cap tech stocks has been breathtaking," he said.

Chip makers were also among the top five percentage gainers in the Nasdaq 100 since the index closed at its 2015 low on Aug. 25, with SanDisk topping the list with a 70 percent jump on the back of a takeover bid from Western Digital.

The overwhelming leadership from established technology companies is a positive for this market move higher, according to Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

"The last time the Nasdaq 100 was the market leader a lot of it was speculative investments, but these (tech) companies actually return money to shareholders," she said.

"Tech deserves the leadership; the stock market is rewarding growth."


While technology stocks have led the market recovery, biotech stocks have been a drag on performance.

The Nasdaq Biotech Index is down 3.5 percent from its Aug. 25 close, and more than 20 percent below its year high. The three index components with the largest declines in market capitalization in the last eight weeks are Mylan, Illumina and Biogen.

"There has been a major rotation out of healthcare and into tech and it has continued after the recent earnings reports," said Wedbush's James, referring to strong results from Amazon, Microsoft and Alphabet.

Biotech stocks were shaken in September when U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton first tweeted concerns about drug prices and the selling spread to other areas of the healthcare sector. Investors have been dumping shares of everything from hospitals to traditional pharmaceutical companies and insurers in recent weeks.

Since peaking in July, the Nasdaq Biotech Index has fallen 23 percent, the broad S&P Health Care Index has lost 12 percent and the S&P 500 Health Care Facilities index is down 31 percent.

Fund managers now say they expect regulatory threats on drug prices, disappointing earnings, higher interest rates that could hurt heavily indebted hospitals, and the loss of the initial Obamacare boost to business to all weigh on health sector stocks this year.
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New Jersey town first in U.S. to use Uber to curb drunken driving

A New Jersey town on track for a record-breaking number of drunken driving cases has become the first U.S. municipality to partner with ride service app Uber [UBER.UL] to keep inebriated residents from getting behind the wheel.

To keep the roads safe in Evesham Township, a town of 45,000 people in southern New Jersey, anyone drinking in at least 19 alcohol-serving establishments can now get a free ride home from Uber in a program funded by donors and started last week.

Donations from area nonprofits and businesses are also funding a second free ride option that started on Friday: the mobile app BeMyDD, through which people can hire a driver to get both them and their car home.

"We're dealing with people who might've had too much to drink, so we needed to make it so easy for them to open their iPhone and push a button," Evesham Mayor Randy Brown said.

Evesham had been on track to reach 250 DUI arrests in 2015, a record for the town, Brown said.

The effort extends a pilot program tested during September, when town shuttles provided free rides to more than 350 people. The shuttles helped decrease DUI arrests to eight in September from a monthly average of 23 from January to August, a drop of 65 percent, Brown said.

Free rides are available from the designated bars and restaurants from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night of the week. The partnership with both apps runs through Jan. 2.

"We began working with Mayor Brown through our national partner, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and realized it was the perfect opportunity to use our technology to help take drunk drivers off the road," Ana Mahony, general manager for Uber New Jersey, said in a statement.

Uber is testing the pilot locally and is considering working with other towns to create a similar partnership, a spokesman for the company said.

Alexa Milkovich, vice president of marketing for BeMyDD, said the company recruited drivers quickly to make sure the area would have enough to meet demand.

Source Reuters
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Toshiba to sell sensor business to Sony for around $165 million: sources

Pedestrians walk past a logo of Toshiba Corp outside an electronics retailer in Tokyo September 14, 2015.Toshiba Corp is set to sell its image sensor business to Sony Corp for around 20 billion yen ($164.68 million) as part of a restructuring plan laid out earlier this year, sources with knowledge of the deal said on Saturday.

Toshiba, whose businesses range from laptops to nuclear power, is undergoing a restructuring after revelations this year that it overstated earnings by $1.3 billion going back to fiscal 2008/09.

Image sensors, which are used in digital cameras and smartphones, are part of Toshiba's system LSI semiconductor business. Toshiba plans to sell its image sensor manufacturing plant in Oita, southern Japan, and pull out of the sensor business altogether, said the sources, who declined to be identified.

The sale is likely to be finalised soon, the sources said.

Toshiba is considering several options for its system LSI semiconductor business and its discrete semiconductor business and that debate is ongoing, a Toshiba official said when contacted.

An official from Sony declined to comment.

Masashi Muromachi, who became Toshiba's CEO following the accounting scandal, has promised to restructure lower-margin businesses.

The deal for the image sensor business would be the beginning of the restructuring, Nikkei reported earlier on Saturday.

Sony is already a dominant player in the image sensor market, with its products used in phones made by China's Xiaomi and India's Micromax Informatix Ltd.
Source Reuters
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TalkTalk hires BAE Systems to investigate cyber attack

A man walks past a company logo outside a TalkTalk building in London, Britain October 23, 2015.
British broadband provider TalkTalk said on Sunday it had hired defense company BAE Systems to investigate a cyber attack that may have led to the theft of personal data from its more than 4 million customers.

TalkTalk said on Friday it had received a ransom demand from an unidentified party for the attack, which has led to calls for greater regulation of how companies and public bodies manage personal data.

"BAE Systems are supporting us as we investigate this week's cyber attack," a spokeswoman for TalkTalk said, declining to give further details due to the ongoing investigation.

A spokeswoman for BAE's Applied Intelligence division said the company's cyber-specialists were analyzing "vast quantities" of data to help establish how the breach happened and what information was stolen.

The Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit is also conducting a criminal investigation into the attack.

While TalkTalk said on Saturday it did not believe the information accessed would enable hackers to steal money from its customers, British newspapers on Sunday carried stories of individuals who said callers posing as TalkTalk employees had taken money from their bank accounts.

Many customers took to social media to complain about their treatment following the attack, TalkTalk's third data breach this year, with media also reporting some had been told they faced hundreds of pounds in fees to leave the provider.

Britain's Information Commissioner watchdog, which can impose fines of up to 500,000 pounds ($765,600), has said it is looking into the incident but security experts said the prevalence of cyber crime showed more needed to be done.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics this month showed there were nearly 2.5 million incidents of cyber crime in the year to June 2015.

Simon Moores, chair of the International eCrime Congress and a former government technology ambassador, said so far the commissioner had proved "somewhat toothless".

"The Information Commissioner needs to have more powers to reflect the direction of travel ... at a time of rampant identity theft and exploitation of financial details," Moores told Reuters.

He said Britain should give responsibility for information security to a single minister rather than have it spread across several government departments.

"You need to encourage a culture and a level of responsibility where all large organizations ... take serious ownership and responsibility for the privacy of people’s financial and personal data rather than having a cavalier attitude, which we have seen in so many cases," he said.
Source Reuters
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