As recent events have reminded us, space is hard. NASA had quite the scare of the weekend that looked at first like yet another reminder of this inescapable fact. The New Horizons probe, which is just days away from its rendezvous with Pluto, suddenly lost contact with mission control. After a gut-wrenching hour of waiting, the probe came back online, but what happened? NASA is putting all the pieces together, but it looks like everything is going to be okay.
New Horizons was launched nearly a decade ago on a mission to study the planet Pluto. Yes, it was still a planet when New Horizons launched. Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet several months later, but that doesn’t make the mission any less important. Pluto is still the first ever discovered Kuiper Belt object and its (relatively) large size compared to other objects in that region of space means that it has a system of small moons. It’s a perfect place to gather lots of data in a single mission.
Continue reading New Horizons probe lost communication for an hour over the weekend, but everything is probably fine.
NEW YORK: What if the palm of your hand can work as a keyboard? A Google patent aims to turn the skin on your palm into a virtual keyboard.
It describes a Google Glass-like headset that beams an interactive virtual keyboard directly onto a person’s palm.
A camera in the headset tracks the movement of the fingers to know which keys are being pressed before feeding the information to a website or an app, Daily Mail reported.
The patent was filed in June 2012 and was awarded to Google early this week.
Continue reading Google wants to turn your hand into a virtual keyboard.
Its Unified Communications Domain Manager software contains a privileged account with a static password that can’t be deleted or changed.
Cisco Systems recently realized that its Unified Communications Domain Manager (Unified CDM) software contains a default privileged account with a static password that cannot be changed, exposing the platform to hacking by remote attackers.
The Cisco Unified CDM is part of the Cisco Hosted Collaboration System and provides automation and administrative functions for the Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unity Connection, Cisco Jabber applications, associated phones and software clients.
Continue reading Cisco leaves its Unified CDM software open to hackers.
Microsoft gave early testers of Windows 10 a little surprise in the run-up to the Fourth of July holiday in the U.S. by releasing a yet another new build of its upcoming operating system to the public.
Build 10162 is the third build Microsoft has released in one week — a record for the company during its public beta testing — and comes just a day and a half after the company released its predecessor, build 10159.
The release only features bug fixes and other minor improvements, which is hardly a surprise, since Windows 10 will begin rolling out to customers later this month. While there aren’t any new capabilities included in this build, it’s supposed to feature “better reliability, performance, battery life, and compatibility than any Windows 10 Insider Preview build so far.”
Continue reading Third build of Windows 10 in one week a sign of OS stability.
WASHINGTON: Travel industry is getting massively disrupted by technology as it connects consumers and providers more and more directly.
Amadeus IT Group’s Dietmar Fauser said in an interview that companies like Airbnb get all the press, but his company is also responding to changes in the market, SiliconANGLE reported.
Fauser noted that they are a company providing IT solutions to the travel industry, adding that traditionally, Amadeus is a distribution system, so they link providers and subscribers, like travel agencies, online travel agencies, Travel Management Companies, with the providers that are essentially airlines, hotel chains, car rental companies, cruise lines, whoever has a product to sell.
Continue reading How technology is changing the travel industry.
WASHINGTON: A new 3D imaging technique of fingerprints through an ultrasonic sensor promises to take the security of smartphones to another level.
Fingerprint sensor technology currently used in smartphones like iPhone 6 produces a two-dimensional image of a finger’s surface, which can be spoofed easily with a printed image of the fingerprint.
The ultrasonic sensor eliminates that risk by imaging the ridges and valleys of the fingerprint’s surface, and the tissue beneath, in three-dimension.
Continue reading Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for smartphone security.
Shares of several cyber security specialists outperformed broader indexes Friday after federal officials outlined yet another hack to U.S. government computer networks.
The Department of Homeland Security announced that data from the Office of Personnel Management and the Interior Department had been compromised, and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said the hacker was believed to be based in China. The FBI is investigating.
The Office of Personnel Management, or OPM, conducts more than 90 percent of federal background investigations, according to its website.
Continue reading Cybersecurity stocks rise after US government details latest computer network hack.