Category Archives: Tech News

Security expert: Ransomware took in $1 billion in 2016

Increased user awareness of phishing threats, better antivirus technology, more industry-wide information sharing and cross-border efforts by law enforcement authorities will combine to turn the tide against ransomware this year, according to some security experts, but others expect the attacks to continue to increase.

According to a security expert who requested anonymity, ransomware cybercriminals took in about $1 billion last year, based on money coming into ransomware-related bitcoin wallets.

That includes more than $50 million each for three wallets associated with the Locky ransomware, and a fourth one that processed close to $70 million. Cryptowall brought in close to $100 million before it was shut down this year. CryptXXX gathered in $73 million during the second half of 2016, and Cerber took in $54 million, the expert said.

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Microsoft Office 2010
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IBM: AI, IoT, and nanotech will literally change the way we see the world

 Perhaps the coolest thing about IBM’s 9th “Five Innovations that will Help Change our Lives within Five Years” predictions is that none of them sound like science fiction.

“With advances in artificial intelligence and nanotechnology, we aim to invent a new generation of scientific instruments that will make the complex invisible systems in our world today visible over the next five years,” said Dario Gil, vice president of science & solutions at IBM Research in a statement.

Among the five areas IBM sees as being key in the next five years include artificial intelligence, hyperimaging and small sensors. Specifically, according to IBM:

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Microsoft Office 2010
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New GOP H-1B bill appears to fall short of Trump’s goal

In the first week of the new Congress, U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is attempting to win support for a controversial H-1B reform bill.

The bill, introduced Wednesday, is called the “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act” (HR 170) and co-sponsored by Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.). It is aimed at tightening, but not closing, a loophole in the visa law that has benefitted large H-1B-using firms.

Issa introduced this bipartisan bill last July. It faced some criticism and stalled in committee. The big difference this year is the impending inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

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Microsoft Office 2010
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August Home paves the way to put a smart lock on doors internationally

august-mortis-3-4-viewoutdoor-urban-for-magazine August Home — which makes an internet-connected smart lock — already works for most door locks you’d typically find in the U.S. But it hasn’t had a product yet for a different style of lock called the Mortise lock just yet. That lock represents a smaller amount of the overall market in the U.S., but more importantly, it’s a lock that’s very common abroad.… Read More

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THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE AUTOMOBILE 2016: Forecasts, trends, and analyses on the disruption of the automotive industry

Estimated Connected Car Shipments

Over the past year, there has been a significant uptick in the number of connected cars on the road. And as internet integration becomes more commonplace, the automobile as we know it will transform.

Over the next five to 10 years, this internet integration is expected to change the car ownership model, create a new platform for consumers to access content, lead to fully autonomous vehicles, and revolutionize the auto industry.

The market position of the car today is similar to where the smartphone was in 2010 — it’s just taken off and is ready to explode. 

In a new report from BI Intelligence, we examine the transformation of the automobile. We examine all areas of the changing automotive market, including the market size for connected cars, automakers benefits and connection strategies, market leaders, consumer demand, and more.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Over 380 million connected cars will be on the road by 2021. The market has seen a significant increase in automakers plans to connect the majority of the vehicles they sell and as a result, we’ve increased our 2015 forecast.
  • Automakers are connecting the vehicles they sell because the connection offers clear business opportunities.
  • Consumers are adopting the connected car faster than expected. We identify the 3 factors that causing the increase in demand.
  • Tech companies will play a major role in the future of the automotive market. The big question is whether tech companies will eventually manufacture cars?
  • Fully autonomous cars are only a few years away. Technological, regulatory, and consumer adoption hurdles still remain, but there have been many strides towards a car that can drive itself from point A to point B with little to no human interaction.

In full the report:

  • Forecasts connected car shipments
  • Identifies automakers strategy for connection
  • Analyzes consumer interest in the connected car
  • Examines Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Discusses the potential changing car ownership model
  • Describes the evolution of the self-driving car
  • Identifies top connected car and fully autonomous car barriers

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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10 things in tech you need to know today

sundar pichai google ceo pixel launch

Good morning! Here’s the tech news you need to know this Thursday.

1. Amazon is reportedly bidding to buy American Apparel’s bankrupt business. The move could help it ease its tension with Donald Trump, as the brand’s products are made in the US.

2. Speculation is mounting that Mark Zuckerberg wants to serve in government. He plans to tour US states, and recent court filings said he is interested in public office.

3. Longtime Apple fans feel forced to buy “pathetic” and “old” Macs from 2013. The Mac Pro hasn’t been updated in three years.

4. Amazon’s voice-assistant Alexa is coming to its first smartphone. It will come built in to the Huawei Mate 9.

5. Publishing platform Medium has laid off one-third of its staff and closed two offices. CEO Evan Williams says the ad-driven media model is “broken.”

6. Apple has taken down New York Times apps in China after a government request. Both the English-language and Chinese-language apps have been removed.

7. Samsung and Google teamed up to make two shape-shifting Chromebooks that run Android apps. Samsung announced the Chromebook Plus and the Chromebook Pro on Wednesday.

8. A finance app will send you alerts if Trump tweets about stocks you own. The President-elect’s tweets can have a volatile effect on stocks.

9. Tesla is surging. Its stock reached an all-time high on Wednesday.

10. Intel handed out barf bags for its event at CES. They were in case attendees felt sick during the virtual reality experience.

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NOW WATCH: Apple revealed why some iPhones are randomly shutting down despite having battery life left

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Nvidia builds a co-pilot into its autonomous drive computer

147a0045 Nvidia teased out a powerful system that would serve as an AI supercomputer earlier this year, giving cars the ability to drive themselves. But while there’s been a ton of progress in building safer autonomous driving, we might not quite be at the point where we can fully trust the car to do everything. Enter Co-Pilot. Nvidia is baking in new technology in its Xavier drive computers… Read More

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Nvidia makes it easier for gamers to stream live to Facebook

147a0009 Nvidia is giving gamers using the GeForce Experience will now be able to broadcast directly to Facebook Live, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang announced at CES today. Huang basically breezed past the announcement heading into a trailer for Mass Effect: Andromeda streamed live, but it does represent a rather huge development in live streaming. While Twitch has largely become the go-to place to watch… Read More

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Amazon's Alexa is officially coming to Ford cars

Ford CES AmazonAlexa

Ford has teamed up with Amazon to bring Alexa into its cars, the automaker announced at a press dinner at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The integration will let Ford users with SYNC 3 access Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, inside the car to do things like check the weather, play audiobooks, add items to shopping lists, and even control Alexa enabled smart home devices.

For example, you could tell Alexa to set your smart thermometer to a certain temperature or turn on the lights at your house while you’re driving. Ford will begin rolling out this feature in its vehicles with SYNC 3 this summer.

What’s more though, the automaker also announced that owners of some vehicles will be able to also use Alexa while at home to perform certain vehicle functions beginning later this month.

Owners of the Ford Focus Electric, Fusion Energi, and the C-MAX Energi will soon be able to use their Amazon Echo or Dot at home to do things like lock or start the car remotely by simply saying “Alexa, ask my FordMobile to lock my car,” or “Alexa, ask my FordMobile to start my car.”

Owners of these vehicles will also be able to check the range of their vehicle using Alexa voice commands.

Ford said it plans to offer these Alexa-to-vehicle commands in more vehicles with SYNC Connect at a later date.

The integration is made possible by Ford’s SYNC 3 AppLink, which is a linking technology that connects your smartphone and its applications to the car’s controls system and display.

Last year at CES, Ford showed off concepts of ways Alexa could be used with a connected vehicle, but the company said it decided to actually pursue the integration because it’s what made most sense for its customers.

“We’re looking for what is going to deliver the best experience inside the vehicle, and we are looking to embrace technology. We are not running away from technology, we are not afraid of it,” Don Butler, Ford’s executive director of connected vehicle and services, told Business Insider. “We want to deliver what is best for customers.”

SEE ALSO: BMW just unveiled a futuristic concept for the interior of its driverless cars

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NOW WATCH: How Amazon can become the world’s first trillion-dollar business

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Amazon's voice-assistant Alexa is coming to its first phone ever

Amazon’s voice-assistant Alexa is coming to a smartphone for the first time.

That’s according to a billboard, first spotted by Digital Trends’ Andy Boxall, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently being held in Las Vegas. 

The billboard says the Chinese smartphone maker Huawei’s Mate 9 will be the “first smartphone with Amazon Alexa,” adding it’ll be available on January 6 through Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, and B&H.

The announcement is a big move for Alexa, which first gained popularity through Amazon’s speaker device Echo. Amazon has been aggressively pushing for Alexa to become more widely used in other devices, like tablets and gadgets made by third parties, under the goal of making it a broader platform.

Amazon’s representative wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Here’s the photo of Huawei’s billboard, shared through Boxall’s Twitter account:

SEE ALSO: This futuristic lamp can do everything an Amazon Echo does

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NOW WATCH: A security expert explains why you should put tape over your laptop camera

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