Five ways to know if your gadgets will expose your data

Women holding their mobile phones are silhouetted as they walk on an overpass at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, November 5, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino - GF20000046605

Everyday gadgets can pose security risks beyond the microphones on your smart speaker or the camera on your laptop.

Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit behind the web browser Firefox, created a shopping guide by studying 70 popular internet-connected products and highlighting the minority that actually passed standard security requirements. Some that failed, such as the Anova Precision Cooker Sous Vide or the Amazon Kindle, may not even be the kind of products that consumers generally associate with being vulnerable to misuse of user data.

Mozilla worked with Consumers International, a global consumer-advocacy group, and the nonprofit Internet Society to determine the standards each product should meet.

“This points consumers in the direction of what they should be looking for when it comes to minimum security components,” Ashley Boyd, vice president of Advocacy for Mozilla, told Quartz.

Here is how the requirements highlight the fundamental ways internet-connected products can fail when it comes to protecting your data:

Communications are not encrypted

When network communications are encrypted, it essentially means that only the sender and the receiver are able to access the information, and it can’t be eavesdropped on or modified in transit. If there is no encryption, “the security of the device really depends on the wifi network,” Boyd says. “If they’re connected to an insecure wifi network, someone else who is within range could connect to the product and possibly take control of it.”

Boyd uses the example of the Anova Precision Cooker, whose communications are not encrypted. And since the device can even be controlled from a mobile app using wifi, meaning you can direct it from another room, or as Mozilla suggests, even another continent, a hacker could swoop in and ruin your meal. Another example is the FREDI Baby Monitor, which doesn’t encrypt data. That means that without a secure network, someone else could be monitoring your child, or you.

No security updates

Mozilla’s requirements state that a product must be enabled to support automatic security updates by default. If it doesn’t, this means that companies can’t address vulnerabilities in a timely matter and at scale. If you’re using an internet-connected device that hasn’t been updated in a while, there’s a chance it isn’t fully equipped to deal with the most recent forms of privacy intrusions.

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Nostalgic Gaming: Why Players are Returning to the Retro Wave

Over the years, gaming has changed drastically and with so many modern consoles and games being developed and released, gamers around the world have many options when it comes to playing games at home. While these modern gadgets and game titles are huge sellers and deliver the ultimate gaming experience, many players still enjoy the retro games from years ago. Nostalgic gaming has become quite popular and even with so many new games and new devices, players are turning back the hands of time and enjoying the games they played while growing up.

Anyone that lived in the 1980s and 1990s will have enjoyed the first gaming consoles and while these offer toned down graphics and options compared to the games of today, they are still enjoyed by many. In fact, thousands of gamers claim they prefer to play retro-style games over those being offered today. Not only is cost a factor, but the sheer enjoyment of simple games has many players seeking those retro consoles and titles.

The Rebirth of Retro Gaming

Retro gaming is also referred to as classic gaming and takes place using old systems that are very out of date. Many players over the years have become fans of popular games and characters from the retro games that were played, such as Pac-Man, Super Mario, and Kirby. The rebirth of retro games is not only happening through consoles but is found just about everywhere. Players are enjoying merchandise that features retro characters and there are some amazing accessories that can be purchased at retailers.

Quarter Arcades Pac-man Cabinet

Quarter Arcades Pac-man Cabinet

Now, many players who have enjoyed retro games over the years can benefit from consoles that are designed to offer hundreds of titles without having to purchase separate games. Nintendo released a console that contained many of the older games that were enjoyed and there is talk that Atari will be doing the same. Retro gaming is on the rise again and many people who started playing video games when they were first released are enjoying taking a trip back in time and reliving their youth and even sharing that experience with their own children.

Great Retro Game Consoles

Between Atari, Nintendo, PlayStation, and Sega, there are some great consoles that can still be used and even purchased, which will allow players to enjoy their preferred retro games. Since these consoles are used and quiet od they will not cost much and are often sold in bundles with some popular game titles. As for Nintendo consoles. Retro gamers will love getting their hands o the original SNES console, Game Cube, GameBoy, and NES Classic.

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PlayStation fans will be able to find the original PlayStation console as well as PS2, both of which can offer hours of gaming excitement with some of the best titles that have ever been created. Atari lovers will be able to get back in the action with Pac-Man, Space Invaders, BurgerTime, Frogger, Donkey Kong, and some other great retro titles with the Atari 2600 and 7200 consoles.

Retro Games at Casino Sites

Players who love retro games will not only get their thrills from console games but can also enjoy popular characters that are featured with casino games. A number of online casinos offer retro style games as specialty games and they also offer amazing slots that feature retro action, such as Tetris themed games and even Pac-Man games. At leading casino sites like Casumo, players will find a number of retro-themed casino games that can be played, all offering the chance to generate payouts while taking a trip back in time.

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Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) Announces Eight New Members Join Organization

Image result for Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) Announces Eight New Members Join Organization

The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) announced today that its Board of Directors has approved the membership applications of eight new companies, bringing the trade group comprised of the world’s leading gaming suppliers to a total of 166.

The new AGEM members are:

  • Aon, based in London, with offices in Las Vegas and 120 countries, is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.
  • Atlas Gaming, based in Melbourne, Australia, is a manufacturer of slot machines and games for the global market.
  • Gaming Publishing / G3 Magazine, based in Burnley, United Kingdom, is a leading news provider for the global gaming industry through its print edition and the G3Newswire online portal.
  • Leadman Electronics USA, based in Santa Clara, California, delivers high-quality technology products and online logistics management services nationwide.
  • Posiflex Business Machines, based in Hayward, California, has been a leader in the design and manufacture of point-of-sale and industrial touch terminals and kiosks since 1984.
  • Synergy Blue, based in Palm Desert, California, is a leading provider of skill-based games and platforms for an emerging class of game players.
  • TACK Electronics, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a contract manufacturer specializing in high-quality custom harnesses and cable assemblies.
  • Yogonet, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was founded in 2002 and offers a leading business-to-business publication for the gaming industry.

AGEM is a non-profit international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of electronic gaming devices, lotteries, systems, table games, online technology, sports betting, key components and support products and services for the gaming industry. AGEM works to further the interests of gaming equipment suppliers throughout the world. Through political action, regulatory influence, trade show partnerships, educational alliances, information dissemination and good corporate citizenship, the members of AGEM work together to create benefits for every company within the organization. Together, AGEM has assisted regulatory agencies and participated in the legislative process to solve problems and create a business environment where AGEM members can prosper while providing a strong level of support to education and responsible gaming initiatives. For more information, visit www.AGEM.org.

The current AGEM membership roster, 166 companies strong based in 22 countries, is a who’s who of the supplier segment of the global gaming industry: AGEM Gold Members: AGS, Ainsworth Game Technology, Aristocrat Technologies, Everi, International Game Technology (IGT), Konami Gaming, Merkur Gaming, NOVOMATIC Group, Scientific Games and Sega Sammy Creation. AGEM Silver Members: Action Gaming, Aruze Gaming America, Betson Enterprises, Casino Technology, Crane Payment Innovations (CPI), Gaming Partners International (GPI), Inspired Gaming, JCM Global, Ortiz Gaming, Quixant PLC, Suzo-Happ Group, TCSJohnHuxley, TransAct Technologies and Zitro. AGEM Bronze Members: Abbiati Casino Equipment, Ace Systems Mx, Alfastreet, Amatic Industries, APEX gaming, Atlas Gaming, Astro Corp., BetConstruct, Bingotimes Digital Technology, Cammegh Limited, Century Gaming Technologies, CG Technology (CGT), Cole Kepro International, DR Gaming Technology (DRGT), Euro Games Technology (EGT), Exacta Systems, FBM, Galaxy Gaming, Gamblit Gaming, GameCo, Gaming Arts, Gaming Support, Glory Global Solutions, Grand Vision Gaming, Incredible Technologies, Interblock USA, Jackpot Digital, Jumbo Technology, Matsui Gaming Machine Co., Metronia, Patriot Gaming & Electronics, PDS Gaming, RCT Gaming, Spintec, Synergy Blue, Table Trac, Weike Gaming Technology, Wells-Gardner Technologies, Win Systems and Worldpay Gaming. AGEM Associate Members: 3M Touch Systems, Adlink Technology, Advantech-Innocore, Agilysys, Aon, ArdentSky, Arrow International, Asimex Global, Atrient, Automated Cashless Systems, Automated Systems America, Inc. (ASAI), Axiomtek, BDO USA, British Group Interactive (BGI), Capco, Carmanah Signs, Catapult Global, CDC Gaming Reports, CMC Trading Engineering (International) Ltd, Comer Holdings, Comtrade Gaming, Cooper Levenson, Deloitte LLP, Digital Instinct, DiTronics Financial Services, Dominode, Duane Morris LLP, E4 Gaming, EFCOtec Corporation, Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, Elite Gaming Technology, Fantini Research, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, Fox Rothschild, G2 Game Design, Gambling Compliance, Gamesman, Gaming Capital Group, Gaming Publishing / G3 Magazine, GAN, Ganlot, Gary Platt Manufacturing, Gasser Chair Company, Genesis Interactive Technologies, GET IN Global, Global Gaming Business (GGB) Magazine, Global Gaming Group (G3), Greenberg Traurig, GSL Gaming Group, House Advantage, Howard & Howard, Impact Display Solutions, Intel, IPS, James Industries, James Industry Research Group, Jones Walker, JP Morgan Chase, KEY-BAK, Kiron Interactive, Kontron, Lazcano Sámano, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, Leadman Electronics USA, Lightstone Solutions, Majestic Realty, Millennial Esports, NanoLumens, Nanoptix, Olsen Gaming / Spectronix, Outpost Creative, Patir Casino Seating, Plus Studios, Portilla Ruy-Díaz y Aguilar, Posiflex Business Machines, Proforma GPS, Regulatory Management Counselors (RMC), Rising Digital, RMMC, RSM US LLP, SAP, SCA Gaming, Sightline Payments, Southco, Southwest Manufacturing Services, Spin Games, StylGame USA, TACK Electronics, Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Talent Associates, The Bright Group, The United States Playing Card Company, Touch Dynamic, Tournament One, TOVIS, TraffGen USA, Veridocs, Wells Fargo, Yogonet, Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) and Zebra Technologies.

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Razer’s BlackWidow Lite turns its gaming keyboard professional

Razer’s BlackWidow keyboard is probably the company’s most well-known gaming keyboard, and now it’s getting a more professionally focused version with the BlackWidow Lite.

The BlackWidow Lite is a mechanical keyboard, which may raise an eyebrow for those who have co-workers who don’t enjoy the clatter of keys, but the company says that its using its Razer Orange switches for “near-silent, tactile feedback.” The keyboard also comes with additional o-rings for the keys to help cut out even more noise, if that’s your thing.

The rest of the BlackWidow Lite is pretty standard for a Razer keyboard. There’s illuminated keys that can be synced with Razer’s Synapse app (although they’re sadly just white LEDs, not the usual rainbow). And while the focus of the BlackWidow Lite is on work, it’ll do just fine for gaming: the keys are fully programable with macros, and there’s a built-in gaming mode that disables the Windows key and alt+tab keyboard combination so you don’t accidentally switch out of your game in a crucial moment.

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eBay Pre-Black Friday 2018: Best Deals On Gaming Consoles And Accessories

If you’re ready to go shopping online and want to find some deals, eBay is an outstanding destination.

Over the years, eBay has evolved into a desirable destination for online shoppers. The marketplace has a variety of products new and old, new and used, and offers some of the best prices on the market. Best of all, eBay has solidified itself as a place where you can find the products you desire at prices you’d be surprised to get.

It’s against that backdrop that we recently evaluated eBay for deals on video game products. From the latest and greatest consoles to the best games, eBay has some of the best deals available on gaming products.

So read on through our roundup of gaming deals to find the best offers from eBay on a variety of products. The following offers are sure to save you serious cash:

Microsoft Xbox One X

Microsoft Xbox One X

Microsoft’s Xbox One X is available on the cheap at eBay. But you’ll need to be willing to get a refurbished model to take advantage.

The Xbox One X offer on eBay comes with a 1TB drive and is capable of playing video games in all their 4K glory. The console comes in black and includes a controller in the bundle. Add that to surround sound support and one of the most appealing online gaming platforms on the market, and it’s a clear winner.

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Microsoft’s console has been refurbished, which means it’s been fixed and verified to be working properly. It comes with a 90-day warranty in case anything goes wrong.

It regularly retails for $500, but you can get it now on eBay for $400.

Shop Now

Super Mario Party

Super Mario PartyNintendo/Best Buy

Nintendo’s Super Mario Party has quickly become one of the most popular games for the company’s Switch console. And it’s available now for a discounted price on eBay.

When you boot up Super Mario Party, you’ll find a game that comes with a slew of minigames that make it fun to play the title. You can also play as your favorite Nintendo characters, including Mario, Luigi, Bowser, and others. It’s a game that’s fun for the whole family and offers compelling gameplay for hours.

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Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, many of whom live in remote or rural areas where cell towers are uneconomical, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. Owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, Loon’s balloons act like beacons. Connectivity is transmitted from the ground to the balloons about 12.5 miles overhead. That signal is then shared among a team of balloons and then beamed back down over a large area.

“It’s easiest to think of them as floating cellphone towers,” a Loon spokesperson told Digital Trends. “Loon works with mobile network operators to extend their networks to unconnected or under-connected communities.”

Loon uses customized launchers to send their balloons into the sky. The balloons then travel up into the stratosphere, where they ride wind currents to get into position. If connectivity is needed in a particular region, the balloons can even navigate on wind currents.

“As an example, during a test in 2016 we rode wind currents from our launch site in Puerto Rico to a testing site in Peru,” the spokesperson said. “Then we remained in the Peruvian airspace for 98 days. To accomplish that, the system made roughly 20,000 altitude adjustments.”

Loon’s latest project will see the balloons take to the sky over Kenya sometime in 2019. Working with Telkom Kenya, the project’s aim is to provide service to people living in rural and mountainous regions, far from cell towers. The mobile networks that partner with Loon will ultimately determine the price of the service.

By providing people with internet, Loon hopes to empower them to build businesses, improve their healthcare, and even increase crop yield. Of course, while access to the internet brings a wealth of knowledge, it also carries risks of misinformation. It’s one thing to give a person the internet. It’s another thing to teach them how to use it.

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What exactly are MBs and GBs in internet data bundles?

In this day and age, the internet is everything. We heavily rely on this worldwide infrastructure for almost every aspect of our lives today. Facebook and Twitter for keeping up with friends and family, Skype and a bunch of other apps for video calling, entertainment, you name it, we’re doing it online. I mean even governments have moved on to provide services to the public over the internet. The internet is everything.

If you are using your phone to connect, chances are you have a monthly/weekly or daily data allowance. This is the amount of internet you are allowed before you either have to pay more for access or you’re cut off.

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This is pretty straight-forward for most people but there are many people that wonder, How much is enough, too much or too little when it comes to choosing your smartphone data package?

What is Mobile Data?

Internet tokens/bundles are measured in bytes. That is the unit of measurement. One kilobyte or KB is 1024B. One megabyte MB is 1024kilobytes KB. One gigabyte is 1024MB and so on and so on.

Carriers offer internet bundles in various denominations from as low as 20MB to as high as 100GB. The validity of these bundles also varies from bundle to bundle for economic reasons obviously.

Some carriers go on to offer their heaviest users Unlimited data plans which offer users unrestricted access to the internet with no caps for a given period of time.

How much Data do I need?

So, different tasks on the web require different amounts of data. For instance, text-based emails are usually really light so you don’t really need that much data to clear your Inbox by replying to all those emails you have been putting on hold.

Tasks like video streaming, especially in the higher resolutions, say Full HD 1080p or even 4K are some of the heavier ones. To do this on a mobile plan is often considered a little extravagant. That is why it is recommended that this be done over WiFi or fiber internet as those often offer Unlimited Plans with differences in connection speeds.

That said, below is a nifty little data calculator tool from the good folks over at Confused.com. The tool helps you estimate how far your data allowance will go before you need to consider purchasing a different plan

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Tri-Staters react to massive internet, cable outage

When there is snow on the ground, many people want to stay inside and watch their favorite shows on tv or through streaming services.

But that was not possible today for many people in the Tri-State.

Spectrum experienced a mass outage for hours this afternoon, interrupting businesses and people as they went about their day.

Around 2:30 this afternoon parts of the Tri-State plunged into digital darkness.

Workers at Spectrum said the outage was caused by a cut in a fiber optic wire. It terminated internet and cable service for people in areas across Indiana and Kentucky, including right here in the Tri-State.

Business owners and customers talked to eyewitness news about their frustration.

“Thank you, we’ll try to have patience.”

Many of us don’t realize how big a role the internet and tv play in our daily lives until it’s gone.

“We got no phone, or nothing now,” Timothy Flener of Evansville said during the outage.

Frustration:

“You call the number and it’s beep beep beep beep and you know you got a problem, because everyone’s calling them,” said Evansville business owner Clark Exmeyer, owner of Media Management Services.

And annoyance:

“What about the businesses it will impact? And they won’t answer the phone to tell you there’s a problem.”

And those who couldn’t call, or couldn’t get through, showed up to Spectrum on North Fares to find out what was going on.

“I came down here because I couldn’t get through to customer service.”

Around 4 PM, Customers flocked to spectrum’s parking lot while others simply tried to keep their businesses moving.

“I’ve been on the phone trying to find a solution, but there’s no solution, just go back and be patient,” Exmeyer told us.

That outage did not just affect the flow of business or streaming services, it caused a headache for those of us here at Eyewitness News, as well.

In the newsroom, our producers timed the shows by hand, anchors used paper scripts and we had no weather graphics, because most of our news producing programs are web -based.

“I called my wife first of all, and she said television was off, black dark screen….”

For football fans, that’s a very real problem. So the end of the outage was almost as good as a touchdown.

“Do you have any favorite shows that you’re going to miss tonight if they don’t get this back up?

“Thursday night football.”

But that football game was saved. Customers we spoke with said their internet returned around 5:15 PM after a long afternoon of disconnection.

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How AI Empowers The Evolution Of The Internet

GettyGetty

Computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee drafted the standards and code that became what is now known as the World Wide Web. He imagined it as an open platform where information and opportunities could be accessible to anyone.

The internet has already majorly changed our lives. And today, we are more connected than ever before: 3.6 billion people, or 50% of the entire world’s population, is online. Gartner predicts there will be 12.86 billion IoT devices in use by 2020.

In most countries, being entirely offline is a rarity. In the U.S., only 11% of the total adult population does not go online at all. When it comes to teenagers, these numbers only increase: 95% own or have access to a smartphone, and 45% of them are online “constantly.”

Billions of people use multiple services and platforms daily, leaving behind an ever-growing digital footprint.

Time To Train The Algorithms

AlphaGo, developed by DeepMind, was the first software able to beat a human player at the complex game of Go. Today we see that even more complicated games, such as Dota2, have become easy targets for AI bots. Many gifted scientists work on enabling creativity in machines, as well as making them “think.” So we are stepping closer to general artificial intelligence (AI), which is the type of AI we mostly see in sci-fi movies or books.

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Even though the superintelligence is estimated to emerge later this century (if at all), today is too early to sound the alarms. We are definitely not there yet, and that type of AI is not going to be a reality anytime soon. Today we have machine learning (ML) algorithms that are a tool that can be used for advancing business and improving customer experience.

Such algorithms might prove to be difficult and expensive to create, and tech giants are stepping in to make it more accessible. Cloud AI is gaining ground. Amazon has AWS subsidiary. Google has TensorFlow (open-source AI library) and Cloud AutoML (pre-trained systems), and Microsoft collaborates with Amazon on Gluon, an open-source, deep-learning library.

All these open-source libraries mean that creating machine learning algorithms is becoming more and more feasible. We will see more progress as more scientists have access to them.

Any business that doesn’t start to analyze data and train their machine learning models soon will miss out on an opportunity to advance their services and stand out from the competition.

The Need For Change

Today, Berners-Lee believes that the web has lived up to this vision in many ways. He is also worried about new trends that we must fight in order for the web to “fulfill its true potential as a tool which serves all humanity.”

His concerns are familiar to many: loss of control over our personal data, easily spread misinformation and political advertising that severely lacks transparency. We have privacy issues. We prioritize user experience over security, with major consequences.

One of the reasons sorting out these issues gets complicated is the sheer amount of data online. Humans are not capable of processing the data in a matter of a split second.

Predictive algorithms powered by AI manage to analyze the vast amounts of data created by both internet usage and IoT device usage and help to make sense out of it. Although we may not have all the necessary algorithms programmed at the moment to fix the internet, we are getting here. ML algorithms help to sort through malicious websites and block threats, and they can also help secure the home network and IoT devices.

Humans also have many other biases while making decisions, based on previous beliefs, fear of loss, etc. ML algorithms can become the right tool to solve privacy, security and other issues if we manage to ensure human bias does not reflect in AI algorithms. Even with all the data in the world, we need to make sure that we train our models to be both precise and unbiased

[“source=forbes]

What’s the best way to wipe a hard drive and not erase operating system?

An external hard drive plugged into a laptop

reinstall it —or at the very least use a backup CD, if you made one and could still find it.

With Windows 8 and 10, and the evolution of cloud computing, that scenario has upgraded some.

First of all, Microsoft now houses your purchase and installation history within your Microsoft account, which you must create (or sign into) when installing any Microsoft product these days.

So, for example, if you recently installed and/or purchased Windows 10, or any MS Office title, then the activation keys needed for reinstallation of those items would now be kept with your account profile on the cloud, not loosely as before.

Secondly, both Windows 8 and 10 now come with a feature that allows you to “reset” or “reinstall”  Windows on your computer without need of a CD or downloaded file.

“Resetting” the OS replaces your existing version of Windows on the machine with the one that came installed on the system at time of purchase. Unlike a full reinstallation of the OS, which wipes your system entirely clean (see below), this option lets you keep your personal files and any programs that were pre-installed on the computer at time of purchase. Only third-party programs (primarily those installed after your original setup) need to be reinstalled, as do any personalizations made since that first installation.

“Resetting” the computer is usually performed when Windows needs to be refreshed in one way or another. This is most likely the closest option available to what you’re seeking above.

By contrast, “reinstalling” Windows serves the same purpose as the original formatting process discussed above —this wipes everything from the hard drive, including the OS, programs and personal data files, and it leaves your computer in the same state it was in when it was first taken out of the box. This option is done if “resetting” the OS proved unsuccessful or did not help your situation. 

Either way, once completed, you’ll need to log into your Microsoft account to re-register your version of Windows and/or to install any Microsoft-based programs once more. 

[“source=forbes]