New Scientific App Created To Track Plant Virus

Posted: 15 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT
We all know kids are smart. Just how smart? Well, many are smart enough to figure out how to get into cookie jars, behind locked doors, and they always figure out where you’re hiding the candy. I’m never very amazed when I hear that a young child figured out how to do something that was “childproof”. I’ll never forget the day my wife and I decided to childproof our toilet. Once the job was done, neither one of us could figure out how to open the toilet lid, but my 2-year-old came right in and managed to get it open the first time. (It was the same story with the kitchen cabinets). That was impressive, but it’s not quite as impressive as a 5-year-old figuring out a way to get into the family’s password protected Xbox One account.
Xbox One Secure Login Hacked By 5-Year-Old
Kristoffer Von Hassel, who is only 5, decided he wanted to play some of his dad’s more mature games. His dad thought he had covered all the bases by protecting his account with a password, but young Kristoffer found a way around it. Once he entered the wrong password, he simply hit the space bar until the account unlocked. And then he played some big-boy games. He later told a news reporter that he was pretty excited about his discovery.
Xbox One Secure Login Hacked By 5-Year-Old
Kristoffer Von Hassel at home with his Xbox One
Kristoffer must’ve eventually fessed up to his dad because they eventually made Microsoft aware of the security flaw. Instead of being angry with the boy, though, they rewarded him for bringing the issue to their attention. Aside from making him a “security researcher”, they also gave him $50, some games, and Xbox Live Gold for a year.
I’m not sure how many times he exploited the password glitch, but one would assume he probably did it several times. Smart kid – maybe there’s an IT future ahead for him.
Posted: 15 Apr 2014 08:00 AM PDT
Last week on TechBeat we reported on the lethal Heartbleed bug, which has allowed hackers to steal user names, passwords, emails, credit card information and more, all without detection for the past two years. Hopefully by now you have followed the advice to change all of your passwords as a protection for your data but going forward how can you be sure that your device is secure or that any website you visit is not vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug? Well there have been a number of security tools released that will allow you to scan any website and check if you are at risk.
The first tool is an app that has been released by Lookout. It has been designed to determine what version of OpenSSL your Android device is using and see if the vulnerable feature named Heartbeats is enabled. It will keep you informed of the status of your device but unfortunately will not fix a vulnerability. Please note that this tool doesn’t check if websites are vulnerable; only your Android device.
Lookout App
Lookout’s detector app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for free. Alternatively, Bluebox Heartbleed Scanner is another Android app that will perform the same task and is also available to download from the Play Store.
The web secuirty firm, Quays, has developed a tool that lets you actually scan a website to check for vulnerability. It’s quick and easy. Just go to the Quays SSL Labs page and enter the name of the website that you want to check. Click “Submit”. When the scan has been completed, you will be given a notification informing you whether the site has been effected by Heartbleed.
Quays Heartbleed scanner
Another tool available comes from LastPass, an online password security company. It too has developed a Heartbleed detector, much like the one from Quays. If you are really concerned about a website, then there would be no harm in running a check with both of these firms’ scanners.
Other web-based scanners that you can try are Chromebleed; a Google Chrome browser extension, which tells you if a website has been affected by Heartbleed. Alternatively, a software developer named Filippo Valsorda has created his own scanning tool.
Let us know what tools you have used to check for this nasty bug and what you thought of them.
[Images via Google Play Store & Quays]

The post What Can You Do To Detect The Heartbleed Bug? appeared first on TechBeat.
Posted: 15 Apr 2014 07:00 AM PDT
I love the iPad Mini, and so does countless other users who appreciate the perfectly sized tablet. While it’s not as big as the regular tablet, it more than makes up for that fact with its weight and portability. Now we know Microsoft hasn’t exactly been excelling in the tablet niche, but will a Surface Mini give it a boost?
Rumors are pointing to Microsoft launching the Surface Mini some time this year, with the size being anywhere from 7 to 8 inches. The main target, supposedly, is for the Surface Mini to be a note-taking device. This does make sense in a way as it is generally accepted that tablets in this size range are meant to be used to consume information rather than to create – although it’s not an exclusive thing. It’s just that the size doesn’t lend itself to being the optimal productivity device.
Additionally, it is rumored that the Surface Mini will make use of a pen. And we mean pen, not a stylus. This supports the idea that the tablet is mainly geared toward note-taking, with the pen probably having support for Wacom digitizer.
Assuming you are excited about getting your hands on the world’s best note-taking tablet, you are probably wondering when Microsoft will actually release the Surface Mini. As with all things rumors, nothing is really set in stone, but the usual sources say that it should come out within the year. Considering that Microsoft is rather busy – hardware and software combined – perhaps a pre-Christmas launch is the most plausible timing. After all, they will want to get all that holiday money just waiting to be spent.
What tablet are you using? Are you looking forward to a Surface tablet that is more portable and that is being lauded as the best note-taking device on planet earth (in spite of it not being launched yet)?
[Image via technobuffalo]
The post Microsoft To Launch Surface Mini This Year? appeared first on TechBeat.
Posted: 15 Apr 2014 06:00 AM PDT
It is well known that there is a long-standing rivalry between lovers of Mac and lovers of the good old PC, rarely do the two cross over. Researchers over at Hunch put together a heap of data to try and define the Mac and PC stereotypes, concluding that Mac users tend to be younger, while PC users avoid the party scene.
Mac Versus PC
Now, I am well aware that this will no doubt create some controversy among many of you but let’s have some fun here. Check out the infographic and let us know – are you a Mac person or a PC person?
Mac person v PC person infographic
[Images via & geek]
The post Mac Versus PC appeared first on TechBeat.
Posted: 15 Apr 2014 05:00 AM PDT
Finally, a clock that will keep accurate time!  The National Institute for Standards in Technology (NIST) has developed a clock that will keep accurate time up to 300 million years.  No more will precision be a problem.  An atomic clock of such magnitude could never be reproduced…or could it?
Watchmaker, John Patterson of Hawaii, wants to market the first atomic watch.  Although not as precise as NIST's clock (it will have to have to be adjusted every millennia), it will be small, wearable and extremely accurate.  He has entered a new kickstarter campaign in hopes of getting the funding to bring it to market.  The new watch uses rechargeable batteries and uses the basic physical properties of timekeeping.
Atomic Watch
To explain how it works is extremely difficult. It  runs by radioactive emissions of sample caesium-133.  Caesium is an element with a stable isotope that produces microwave emissions with a frequency of 9,192,631,770 vibrations per seconds (extremely predictable).  The watch counts the peaks of these emissions therefore making it the most accurate watch on the planet.  Although it is the first of its kind, the technology could quickly spread. But for now, it is a unique design.
Some of the negatives of the watch come from the fact that atomic watches are only just beginning.  Although small for an atomic watch, it is rather large for the wrist, causing it to be conspicuous.  Another downside is that it only gets a few hours of charge when put on full atomic mode.  However, a scheduler on the inside of the watch can extend battery life up to 30 hours by tuning the caesium clock on and off.  Although accurate, most people will buy this product because its a marvel.  It will initially cost thousands of dollars.  Transparent watches will also become available in order to allow people to see the complex workings going on inside.  It's not the most practical but it is the most interesting watch out there.
So if you are like me and like all things relating to time, then look out for this new kickstarter project.  It will inspire others to hopefully come up with practical designs while keeping the integrity of time.  As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.
Posted: 15 Apr 2014 04:00 AM PDT
As a father of a 2-year-old with another one on the way, I have become intimately familiar with car seats. I know how to use the infant ones as well as the toddler ones, and believe me, they are both a pain in the rear. (My rear, not my child’s, just so we’re clear). Shortly before we had our first child, I thought I’d never get the thing installed properly in the back seat of our car. Ultimately, I had to have an experienced friend give me a quick lesson. While it’s easier now, it’s still far from hassle-free. But Volvo might soon have something to say about that.
That’s right – Volvo, the car company, has designed a fully-working and fully-inflatable carseat. And before you ask, no, it’s not meant to go in the water. It’s meant to easily fold up and compress so that it fits snugly inside of a backpack.
Volvo Creates Inflatable Child Car Seat
The Car Seat That Travels As Well As You
While my family hasn’t ventured into the skies with our daughter quite yet, I’ve heard from others who have and they tell me it’s not easy when you have to tote around a baby and a car seat while you’re flying. I can only imagine lugging that thing around while trying to keep hold of my daughter at the same time. But with this product, all car seat headaches could neatly be tucked into the overhead compartment and forgotten about until landing time.
In case you’re wondering, this inflatable car seat apparently meets the same safety standards as its non-inflatable brothers and sisters, and will inflate in just under 40 seconds thanks to a built-in pump. (This pump also connects to your smartphone via bluetooth if you’d rather push a button on your phone than on the car seat itself). Now that’s pretty impressive. Why didn’t someone think of this earlier?
Sadly, it’s unclear if Volvo ever plans on releasing this product – but I for one sure hope they do!
What do you think?
Posted: 15 Apr 2014 03:00 AM PDT
Following the death of Windows XP, millions of people worldwide have been left wondering what to do next. The dilema is whether to upgrade to another version of Windows or perhaps try something completely different, like Linux. If you are leaning more towards the Linux camp but aren’t sure how to go about installing it, don’t worry, we are here to help.
Ubuntu has to be one of the most popular forms of the Linux operating system; it’s free and will run on virtually any computer. The step-by-step guide that follows will take you through the process of installing Ubuntu by booting from a CD. There are other ways but this is the easiest.

1. Download the Ubuntu ISO File

If you go to the Ubuntu website you can download the ISO file, which is basically a CD image file, which needs to be burned to a CD. For the purpose of this article we are looking to install Ubuntu 12.04.04 LTS, which is the current version, giving you continuous hardware support and guaranteed security and support updates until April 2017. (The process will remain the same for future versions too.)
Ubuntu Download
You need to download the 64-bit version of Ubuntu if you have a Windows 8 PC or one with UEFI firmware. Anything older, then you need to select the 32-bit version.

2. Burn The ISO File

If you have Windows 7, 8 or Mac OS X then you will be able to burn the ISO file to a disc without the need of a seperate program. Otherwise you have to download a program that will burn as ISO to a CD or DVD. (These are available either free or for a small fee, depending on which you choose.)

3. Boot From The Disc

The next step is to restart your computer and you may need to configure your PC to boot from the CD that you have just created. To do this, bring up your BIOS settings (usually done by pressing F2, F12 or DEL), find the boot settings section and change the boot order so that your CD/DVD drive is first on the list.

4. Test Ubuntu First

As soon as you have booted from the disc, you will given the option to try Ubuntu before you actually install it. You can explore the operating system and get a feel for how it looks and works. The trial just runs from the disc, without altering anything on your PC.
Ubuntu Trial
If you are happy with Ubuntu and you want to continue installing it, open the Install file which is located on the desktop.

5. Installing Ubuntu

At least 4.5GB of free space is required for installation, especially if you will be installing programs and creating files. Another handy tip is to make sure you are plugged into a power supply – you really don’t want your laptop battery dying on you half way through!
Check “Download updates automatically” and “Install this third-party software” – the latter will enable you to play MP3 files and watch Flash videos, including YouTube.

6. Set Up A Wireless Connection

You will be asked to select a wireless network if you are not already connected to the internet.
Select wireless in Ubunutu setup

7. Sort Out Your Current Operating System

You have the choice of either installing Ubuntu to run alongside your previous Windows installation or replacing it completely. If you choose to install it alongside your Windows version, then you will be given the option to select an operating system every time you reboot your PC. Any old programs and files that you has will stay the same. However, if you decide to replace Windows completely, then any Windows programs, files or documents will be permenantly deleted.
Installing Ubuntu

8. Set Your Location

Your location and timezone should be discovered automatically but just double check that it is correct before selecting the “Continue” button.
where are you

9. Select Keyboard Settings

You have a list of options when it comes to your keyboard layout. You can either pick your own or have Ubuntu select the correct one by clicking “Detect Keyboard Layout”.
Ubuntu keyboard setup

10. Login

Type in your login information: your name, your computer’s name, pick a username and password.

11. Installation Almost Complete

The installation will now begin and you will be shown user tips for Ubuntu while you wait. When it’s finished you will be asked to restart the computer and then Ubuntu will load.
Now that you have installed Linux, get using it. You may find it quite a lot different to Windows but don’t be scared. Stick with it and you might just become one of the millions of Linux lovers who swear never to return to Windows.
Have any tips? Share them with us!
Posted: 15 Apr 2014 02:00 AM PDT
Scientists have created a new citizen science app for iOS and Android users that is able to track the declining incidence of papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) in Honolulu.  The scientists also believe that there is a possible increase in the incidence of PRSV-resistant genetically engineered (GE) papayas. Dr Scot Nelson and Dr Richard Manshardt are the creators of the app and are scientists at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.
The disease used to be common, from its initial emergence in the 1940s, right the way through to 2000. The rapid spread of the virus devastated the papaya industry on O’ahu during the 1960s and struck Big Island growers with 50% losses, only a few years back, in the 1990s. Now, though PRSV appears to be somewhat rare. This could be due to the fact that the genetically engineered “Rainbow” papaya, by CTAHR, Cornell and USDA researchers is resistant to the virus.  It was introduced in 1998 after widespread testing and has been grown commercially for the last 15 years. Five years ago about 77 percent of the industry consisted of Rainbow papaya or the related genetically engineered “SunUp,” also released by CTAHR.
GM Papaya
Nelson, who is a specialist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, and Manshardt, a horticulturalist in the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, are paying attention to how many papaya plants are growing in gardens or public areas that are genetically engineered.  If they plants that are growing are not genetically engineered, how many still harbour the virus? This is where their Pic-a-Papaya app project will help them to gather this information.
Users of the app are invited to visit the Pic-a-Papaya website and download the free app.  It works by allowing them to take pictures of papaya plants in the Honolulu metropolitan area, Hawai’i Kai to Kapolei, and then send them to Nelson and Manshardt for a diagnosis of PRSV. Each individual plant will be assessed and its GPS coordinates mapped. Users of the app can then view the map to see the distribution of infected plants.
The most likeable aspect of the project is that it offers free papaya seeds to any user who wishes to replace papaya plants that have been diagnosed with PRSV or have been determined to be genetically engineered strains. A choice of either non-genetically engineered seed with partial virus tolerance or virus-resistant Rainbow or SunUp genetically engineered seeds are available.
The iOS version of the app may be found the App Store. The Android version may be downloaded at Google Play Store.
As always, if you would like to leave a sensible comment, then please do so in the comments section below.
New Scientific App Created To Track Plant Virus New Scientific App Created To Track Plant Virus Reviewed by Multi Level Marketing on 7:56 PM Rating: 5

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