Welcome to the Computer Nerds Blog

October 24, 2014

A 3D slice of the universe 10.8 billion years ago

Mapping out the ancient universe is a major astronomical goal, but there's a huge challenge: the galaxies there are so dim, scientists can't make out any of the dark parts. But researchers from the Max Planck Institute and US Berkeley/Berkeley Lab have made a breakthrough that may help. They turned their telescopes on a small, 10.8 billion year old chunk of the universe, measuring the change in light from galaxies caused by hydrogen clouds just in front of them. By observing a number of such galaxies, the astronomers created a map of the cosmic web of gases in front of them, in a similar way that scientists map out the brain using CT scans. Though they covered just a tiny portion of the universe, the scientists think it could help the DESI project, due to come online in 2018. It's goal is nothing less than completely mapping the universe to a distance of 10 billion light years.

Filed under:

Comments

Via: Science Daily

Source: Berkeley Lab

October 24, 2014

Queen Elizabeth II takes to an iPad to send her first Tweet

Queen Elizabeth II of England is pretty seriously old-school. She casually signs her name, "Elizabeth R." (the "R" stands for "Regina" or, in English, "Regent"). She wears killer matching outfits (as seen above) that would be at home in 1962. But she's also not above jumping into the modern age every now and again. Take, for instance, the tweet that she sent this morning -- her first ever -- from London's Science Museum. It's how she helped open an exhibit on "The Information Age" -- a live-action tweet from an iPad.

There's some contestation over whether she sent the tweet herself; the tweet originates on an iPhone, though the Queen was clearly using an iPad. Does it really matter? Do you care? This is all a publicity stunt anyway, right? Let's all just enjoy that beautiful blue dress and the killer matching hat. The tweet, in all its glory, can be found below.

Update: We've got an especially hilarious update on the did she/didn't she debate, straight from a spokesperson for the Queen of England: "If an iPhone was involved it was purely processology." And no, in case you're wondering, "processology" isn't a real word.

[Image credit: @BritishMonarchy]

Filed under: , , ,

Comments

Source: Twitter

October 24, 2014

Queen Elizabeth II takes to an iPad to send her first Tweet

Queen Elizabeth II of England is pretty seriously old-school. She casually signs her name, "Elizabeth R." (the "R" stands for "Regina" or, in English, "Regent"). She wears killer matching outfits (as seen above) that would be at home in 1962. But she's also not above jumping into the modern age every now and again. Take, for instance, the tweet that she sent this morning -- her first ever -- from London's Science Museum. It's how she helped open an exhibit on "The Information Age" -- a live-action tweet from an iPad.

There's some contestation over whether she sent the tweet herself; the tweet originates on an iPhone, though the Queen was clearly using an iPad. Does it really matter? Do you care? This is all a publicity stunt anyway, right? Let's all just enjoy that beautiful blue dress and the killer matching hat. The tweet, in all its glory, can be found below.

Update: We've got an especially hilarious update on the did she/didn't she debate, straight from a spokesperson for the Queen of England: "If an iPhone was involved it was purely processology." And no, in case you're wondering, "processology" isn't a real word.

[Image credit: @BritishMonarchy]

Filed under: , , ,

Comments

Source: Twitter

October 24, 2014

YouView boxes finally granted the BBC’s new iPlayer and red button features

The BBC's extensively redesigned iPlayer has been gradually lumbering its way onto different compatible devices since it was first launched earlier this year. YouView's hybrid Freeview/IPTV set-top boxes have, until now, been sorely neglected, which is somewhat strange given the BBC is one of YouView's principal investors. Well, better late than never, the new iPlayer has finally started rolling out to YouView set-top boxes, alongside the addition of the BBC's Connected Red Button features. If you're in possession of a YouView- or BT-issued box made by Humax (Huawei's also built a few), then these goodies will show up shortly, if not today. TalkTalk customers, however, are still playing the waiting game, though they can expect to receive the updates "in due course."

To refresh your memory, the new-look iPlayer has a simpler, more image-driven UI that puts content discovery first, with a revised category list, suggestive search feature and new, themed collections of related content. YouView boxes that receive the update will now be able to access anything from the longer, 30-day catch-up window the BBC introduced earlier this month, too. Through the Connected Red Button, couch potatoes can get at even more content, like weather forecasts, the latest news reports, and various sports media, including video highlights, live scores and match analyses. While major sporting events are running, the red button is also your window onto all the live streams that aren't being broadcast on any of the BBC's traditional channels.

Filed under: , ,

Comments

Source: YouView

October 24, 2014

First private mission to the moon blasts off aboard a Chinese rocket

A Chinese Long March rocket has blasted off for a lunar flyby today, bringing with it a spacecraft for what claims to be the first privately funded mission to the moon. This spacecraft (attached to the rocket's upper stage) is a 31-pound vehicle called 4M manufactured by Luxembourg-based company LuxSpace. 4M will be broacasting signals throughout the duration of its journey (it has already started doing so), and anybody on Earth is welcome to try and receive/decode those messages. In fact, the company wants to encourage radio amateurs (even you) to join in by holding contests later on -- just check out 4M's mission page for clues on where to begin.

The Chinese rocket's main payload, however, is the Chang'e 5-T1 lunar spacecraft, which it's dropping along the way, so it can zoom back down to Earth. It was made as a test capsule to ensure that the re-entry technlogy for the Chang'e 5 unmanned mission works before it officially begins in 2017. That mission aims to collect rocks and soil from the moon, and then ferry them back to the planet without a human on board. While the test capsule will soon make it back to our planet, both 4M and the Long March rocket will remain in space for a while longer to travel in a circle around the Earth. LuxSpace expects the 4M mission to last for eight days, but you might be able to receive signals from the vehicle longer than that, depending on how long its solar cells can sustain it.

Filed under:

Comments

Via: Space, Popular Science

Source: Luxspace

October 24, 2014

Malicious ads on major websites held users’ files to ransom

macbook air security

A widespread attack has exposed millions to malware that holds files to ransom. The campaign, which was first detected a month ago, placed fake adverts on websites such as Yahoo, AOL and The Atlantic that installed so-called "ransomware" onto a victim's computer. The attackers stole assets from the likes of Case Logic, Bing and Fancy in order to make the malicious ads appear real, but once a computer becomes infected, things get very bad, very fast, for victims.

The ransomware -- named CryptoWall 2.0 -- uses Adobe Flash to exploit browser vulnerabilities, installing itself on the affected computer. It then sets about encrypting files on the users' hard drive, refusing access to said files until the victim pays for a decryption key. The fee, said to be equivalent to $500, is requested in Bitcoin, and security firm Proofpoint, which first noticed the attack, estimates that the attackers' are currently raking in $25,000 from victims. As Bitcoin wallets are public, Proofpoint is able to analyze the incoming payments to each of the attackers' accounts. One of the Bitcoin wallets was in use for just 5 days and managed to pull in the equivalent of $9,350.

This latest breach highlights the dangers of malware online. Earlier this year a similar attack targeted Synology storage servers, ransoming mostly small business data for around $350. How do you stay safe? There's no way to ensure a computer is 100 percent secure, but keeping all your software up-to-date with the latest security patches is a good start. Most modern browsers can also be setup to only open plugins such as Flash when content is clicked on, which would eliminate the risk of being infected by this particular attack.

Filed under:

Comments

Via: IBTimes

Source: Proofpoint

October 24, 2014

Record everything with this dive-friendly 360-degree action cam

Remember 360fly? The panoramic camera from EyeSee360, which built the panoramic GoPano iPhone lens, has been on the scene since early this year at NAB. Now, the WiFi- and Bluetooth-equipped 360fly camera has been given the nod by the FCC, and an attached review manual gives us a better idea how it works. As the company showed earlier, it's a single-lens 360 degree horizontal and 240 degree vertical fisheye lens that has "the widest field of view on the market." It uses an iOS 8 or Android 4.3+ app that turns your Bluetooth LE-equipped smartphone into a 360 degree video viewfinder with full remote control.

Using a single lens and sensor eliminates the need to "stitch" video and photos -- instead, you can swipe across the video to pick the angle you want, then edit it together using the 360fly app. As for the rest of the specs: according to the FCC guide, it's waterproof to a whopping 164 feet (5 atm) with 16GB of memory, a 360 degree horizontal and 240 degree vertical f/2.5 lens, a mic and a 1,504 x 1,504 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor. It can hold a charge for 2 hours, weighs 138g (0.3 pounds) and comes with a tilt mount, power cradle and USB port. You may have noticed that I didn't mention an SD card -- it looks like it'll make do with 16GB of internally memory only, with large transfers to your mobile device by WiFi.

Rather than tackling sports cam stalwarts like GoPro directly, the 360fly is trying to carve its own niche by capturing video from all around the photographer without the complexity of multiple lenses. EyeSee360 must have a convincing case, because it raised $17.8 million from bullish investors. Though the company promised it for this summer, it looks like its ready to at least take a step towards the market now that it's cleared the FCC. Some of the specs might be revised in the interim, but for now, the manual is marked "Reviewer's Guide," so hopefully we'll get our mitts on it soon.

Filed under:

Comments

October 24, 2014

You can soon watch a doc about virtual reality on Oculus Rift

If you'd rather that your non-game Oculus Rift experiences be nonfiction, it looks like that wish is coming your way rather soon. Next week, Zero Point hits Steam and it offers full 360 degree views of a Department of Defense military training camp, a beach scene and even the extremely crowded LA Convention Center during E3 2013. The rub of the video is that it's the first of its kind -- a documentary about virtual reality, filmed in VR and made for the platform. It's very meta. Each scene is explorable, with either head tracking, a game controller or a mouse running the action. It's apparently compatible with all past-and-future Oculus dev kits, and will cost $15 come its October 28th release. However, IGN notes that if you purchase before November 4th it'll only run you $12. Want a preview before you buy? Of course you do; just head past the break for that.

Filed under: , ,

Comments

Via: IGN

Source: Steam

October 24, 2014

Microsoft is finally dropping the ‘Nokia’ from Lumia

Microsoft Lumia logo

Over a year after the acquisition was first announced, Microsoft is officially replacing the Nokia Lumia brand. In a blog post today, the software giant revealed its upcoming smartphones will now be known as Microsoft Lumia. The new Microsoft branding will appear on future phones from the company, with a plain black version of the company's four-squared logo also set to make an appearance.

Tuula Rytilä, Microsoft's SVP of Marketing for Phones, says the company is looking to unveil its first own-brand Lumia phone "soon." Rytilä is also keen to note that the change in nomenclature will not affect the support of current Nokia devices. Although the Nokia name will no longer be used for smartphones, low-end phones -- the company calls out the Nokia 130 -- will still be sold under the banner. Nokia still has brand cachet in Europe and developing markets, and it's likely that Microsoft will continue to exploit that fact for years to come.

Filed under: , , ,

Comments

Source: Microsoft (Nokia Conversations)

October 24, 2014

iHeartRadio and Rdio are ready for CarPlay, but your car isn’t

Online radio streaming app iHeartRadio has just made good on its promise to add support for CarPlay, Apple's new car infotainment system. But, it's not the only app joining Spotify on CarPlay today -- Rdio, a free music streaming service with offline playback, is tagging along. By introducing optimized apps for Cupertino's car platform, both online services make it easier for users to navigate their interfaces on an onboard screen. Sadly, there are very few people who can actually enjoy the updates right now, as CarPlay's only available on Ferrari FFs and select Pioneer in-dash systems, though most automakers promise to load it on their vehicles' entertainment systems in the future. Other web services also vow to eventually introduce optimized apps for the platform, including CBS News Radio and, of course, Beats Music.

Filed under: ,

Comments

Via: Apple Insider

Source: Rdio (iTunes), iHeartRadio (iTunes)