Archive for January, 2014

Prologue

There have been several conspiracies accompanying two most vigilant agencies we have ever witnessed – the NSA and GCHQ. This however wasn’t an end of their conspiracy streak. The vigilant agencies strike again – this time with yet another bizarre scheme and unbelievably absurd plot. The NSA and GCHQ have been supposedly targeting renowned applications such as Angry Birds as a source of user data.

Angry-Birds-NSA

The Conspiracy

The notorious agencies originating from the US and UK take undue credit on commercial data. Furthermore, they are determined to collect user data such as location, age, sex and other basic details from permeable applications including Angry Birds – which is perhaps the most playable game for every age group we know of.

The agencies are all set to infiltrate our privacy – or may be it already has as they have all the tools to execute their wicked schemes. Angry Birds along with other Smartphone applications that send out user information over the Internet are termed “LEAKY”. These applications are the primarily targeted by the NSA and GCHQ.

Snowden Revelations Recalled

According to Snowden revelations, Apple has been making the backdoor for the NSA. With this allegation, it now becomes crystal clear that the vigilant agencies have gone mobile. Along with Angry Birds, there are many applications that leak our personal data. In fact, we often share our scores on online scoreboards and compete with so-called online friends.

Except your social circle, are you sure that the person you are competing with isn’t a spy. As per an earlier witnessed buzz, NSA deployed its agents on different servers of leading and frequently played MMORPG such as Dota2 and World of Warcraft. With MMORPGs already victimized, Smartphone games and applications become the new target.

dota2

worldofwarcraft

Now the naïve among you might ignore this allegation. In fact, I am not sure if you give a damn to your personal information being leaked all over the Internet. However, intellectuals will understand the gravity of this concern and the tech-savvy community will surely condemn this.

There have been tons of documents delivered to The Guardian by Edward Snowden AKA The Whistleblower or Traitor to some of you. As per Snowden revelations, the NSA and GCHQ have been engaged in collecting massive amount of mobile and Meta Data.

Supposed Involvement of Millennial Media

By targeting the gaming community, they have just gone extreme – first MMORPGs and now Smartphone application. I mean come-on spare our leisure activities at least. I don’t think a terrorist would prefer to play Angry Birds, Candy Crush or Subway Surfers in his free time.

Judging from the information we give-away while using these leaky apps, the vigilant agencies can access information about our location, age, sex, gender, country, marital status and zip code etc. However, the NSA states that its actions are justified as they serve the interest of national and global security and their surveillance targets only intelligence targets not innocent people. Another claim targeted Millennial Media to be allegedly working with the NSA and GCHQ.

Millennial Media is a mobile ad platform which can offer access to massive user information – if the rumor is true. Millennial Media website declared that the platform has partnered with Zynga (a brand that launched Farmville and Texas HoldEm Poker), Rovio (maker of Angry Birds) and Activision (developer of Call of Duty) and many more.

zynga

rovio

Activision

Conclusion

Rovio (maker of Angry Birds) clearly declined the allegations saying that it has no allegiance with the NSA. Furthermore, Rovio also stated that the company has no idea about any user information leaked or slipped to the NSA or GCHQ for that matter. In addition, Rovio isn’t aware of the data leakage via any third party mobile ad platform, says Saara Bergström – Rovio’s VP (Marketing and Communications).

Millennial Media, a mobile ad platform alleged to be responsible for the data leak had nothing to say in this regard. Hence, I leave the conclusions to all the open minds out there – to hypothesize the ending – and to explore the reliability behind the rumors associated with this conspiracy.

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The world went nuts this Friday afternoon when all of a sudden Gmail went down. The massive outage disturbed millions across the globe; especially, the ones using Gmail for diverse purposes. This indeed was a huge distress as every service associated with it G+, Hangouts and Google app dashboard were inaccessible too.

 

gmail pic

 

 

For a time, it just vanished from the face of the earth. It was like someone pulled off the main switch leaving service to crash on web and mobile along with third party clients (Apple Mail). For some it was just like end of the world whereas others mocked the concern – scoffing reaction of those who gave a damn.

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/StayPuft/status/426803095457103872

 

This surely had victimized many as people actually looked for alternatives to survive this mayhem.

 

 

Where millions grumbled over this chaotic incident – there were a few that affirmed that there was nothing wrong with the service – everything was as good as gold. Therefore, it can be presumed that Gmail wasn’t completely down. May be it was still accessible in some geographic regions or may be via some ISPs.

https://twitter.com/Qchillo/status/426817890348957696

 

Ironically, the ones who could access the service also complained about it – perhaps there was a glitch or a spam targeting individuals (may be).

 

 

Regarding the massive shutdown – there has been no official statement furnished from Google’s end so far except for the app dashboard. The seriousness of this event or what caused it can only be hypothesized for now unless the officials speak about the outage, the root cause or about the ones who were affected form it.

In general, the chaos alarmed the digital universe. There were divergent reactions. Some were like – come-on it isn’t the end of the world and the others thought – HOLY SHIT, SKYNET ATTACKED. Some thought of Zombie Apocalypse and other gave Zero Crap about it.

 

 

 

In 2009, Gmail faced massive shutdown as the service faced disruptions for days. This one however lasted a few hours only. Yes! The service has been restored now and those who can’t access it still – be patient – this will all end soon.

Tip # 5 – You Can Avoid Drilling Mess by Using a “Post-It”

Remember the time when you made the mess of your room just because you needed a tiny hole on the wall. No matter how much perfect we renovate or rooms; but, there’s always a need for a few holes. We may use them to hang paintings, photo frames, wall clocks and what not. Anyways, this isn’t an issue here – the issue is that we often make a mess of all the cleanliness. You can save yourself from this mess by simply using a Post-It.

Drill

Tip # 4 – Transform your Snack Pack in your Snack Bowl

Snack packs have an amazing art of trolling. When you drool for them the most, they play hard-to-get. While watching the most interesting scene of the movie, snack packs divert your attention slide here and there unless you grab them in your. Sneaky little busters are quite attention seekers. Well you can transform your snack pack in a disposable snack bowl via open and roll trick.

Chips

Tip # 3 Toilet Paper Tubes Can be Best Cable Organizers

Hmmmm 10, 20, 30…………….forget it. I have tripped and fell due to unorganized cables scattered around my room for like countless times. I know you know the feels. Who says toilet papers can be used only to wipe that arse of yours. A toilet paper tube serves as best cable organizer. And the best part is – it doesn’t cost you a thing; because, you all have one – don’t you?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tip # 2 – Save Closet Space with Soda Can Tabs

It is quite a simple trick – just detach tabs from soda cans and use one gap to attach them with hook of a hanger. Second end serves as an add-on to each hanger you have in your closet.

Can cap

Tip # 1 – You Can Use Binding Clips to Hold Cable Nodes

And the winner is – a binding clip. There are many things you can do with this priceless thingy. You can use binding clips to hold your cables (any sort of them).

Binder clip

 

The most irritating thing I used to acknowledge was whenever I detached my iPhone from its charger, the cable would fall down and I am like:

Fu

The cable will soon wear-out if you leave it there – at mercy of many ruthless feet that won’t hesitate to step on the poor thing. Well not anymore. I have a remedy for it and now all of you know about it too. ENJOY.

Everyone has a unique way of welcoming the New Year. Some just celebrate the occasion to blow up their steam whereas others seem determined about their futuristic goals – hence form resolutions to facilitate their accomplishments.

Hackers on the other hand are accompanied with absolutely bizarre plans to welcome the New Year. There were many hacks acknowledged by the Netizens at the start of this year. I however will talk about only two of them; because, both the incidents I would have one thing in common – the person culpable.

The first victim of this digital predator was Neiman Marcus. Neiman Marcus on 1st of January affirmed the possibility of a hack – possibly victimizing confidentiality of the customers as their credit card information was accessed. Neiman Marcus stated that they were informed by one of the victimized customers during mid of December whose bank statement revealed an unauthorized activity processed via credit card.

We would take all necessary steps to improve our security discrepancies and take every measure possible to track down whoever is responsible, they said. However, Neiman Marcus could not prescribe the source behind the security breach or identify the security loopholes.

Second victim to be highlighted here is Target. Earlier this year, Target encountered a major hack where the debit/credit card information of 40-70 million US customers (some say 110 million) was stolen by a mastermind. The hacker accessed the information of credit/debit card holder that came to shop at Target from November 27th to December 15th.

The information accessed comprises card holder’s names, CVV numbers, card numbers and expiry date of the cards. The authorities along with other concerned personnel couldn’t do anything but to hypothesize the person(s) responsible or the method through which the Target’s security was breached. Meanwhile, the customer had to suffer the consequences as phony cards fabricated on the basis of all accessed information were available in the black market – traded for around $200 per card.

The bizarre phenomenon to be highlighted here is – the day Neiman Marcus affirmed the hack was the same day Target announced victimization of its 40 million customers. Anyways, the wait is finally over. It is time for the curtain raiser. It has been confirmed by a security firm that the mastermind behind the hacks acknowledged by Neiman Marcus and Target is a teenager from Russia.

Yes! A Russian teenager designed a malware that was used to hack both Neiman Marcus and Target. A security firm named IntelCrawler affirmed that the security breach encountered by Neiman Marcus and Target was a malware that infiltrated their security systems. IntelCrawler also said that the malware is known as BlackPOS – and its author is a 17-year-old Russian teenager. However, execution of the plan is a mystery yet to be unveiled.

Teens around the globe currently seek replacement as Facebook is simply not cool for them anymore. The word has started to spread that millions of teens are losing interest in Facebook and rapidly switching to alternate social networks. With the rise of Smart technology, teens perhaps are looking for more convenient options or simply the cooler ones such as Snapchat and Instagram.

fb stats

As per the report of iStrategyLabs, teens around the globe started dumping Facebook since 2011. Furthermore, the trend seems to thrive with time. Since 2011, approximately 3 million teens (in the United States only) have deactivated their accounts leaving Facebook with 25% fewer users. Facebook hasn’t officially affirmed the statistics though.

Teen facebook stats

There may be diverse reasons supporting the rationale for these awful statistics. Some say that teens today are fascinated by the ease of use – others articulate that teens engage in this toggle-run because Facebook have become old school. On the contrary, I believe that there’s more to it than it meets the eye. There’s a reason that nobody bothers to highlight – annoying parents and relatives.

One of the significant reasons for teenagers to quit Facebook is enhanced popularity of the social network among elders. Parents add their children on Facebook (As Friends) and then tag them in annoying pictures (publically shared off course). However, this does not end here as parents’ ridiculous comments on status updates, pictures and shared memes often infuriate the teens.

Anyways, teens are hastily switching from Facebook to other platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Tumblr etc; furthermore, its reputation has become shallow among youngsters as well. In time, more users are expected to switch from Facebook to other social networks. Despite of implausible fame acknowledged once, Facebook seems to have nothing in its pocket to cope with this mayhem.

Diabetes is a severe disease that has victimized countless poor souls in this world. Diabetes accompanies several dreadful outcomes – strict diet control is one of them. That’s right – say goodbye to all the junk food, drinks and chocolates. Diabetics are often reluctant to adopt stern diet plans prescribed by doctors and nutritionists. I don’t blame them. If I don’t get to eat junk food at least twice a week – I will riot.

Where the world’s sophisticated healthcare systems and leading pharmaceuticals were confined by the orthodox methods, Google arrived in style. Yes! Google strikes again with a Smart Contact Lens that can help you fight persistent concerns associated with diabetes. Google announced the news via its official blog along with the picture of the prototype device.

lens

Designed to measure glucose level in tears via its minute glucose sensor and a wireless chip in two layers of soft contact lens, Google’s Smart Contact Lens is currently under the testing phase. The prototype is tested to record glucose level analysis per second. As per Google officials, the LED light embedded in the lens will activate when glucose level rise or drop the predetermined level or threshold set.

lens2

Multiple researches and experiments have been conducted on the device to offer a refined prototype that facilitates a smart way to fight diabetes. Google is currently in discussion with the FDA along with other experts to launch this technology as a product that can be used by people. So, I guess when International Diabetes Federation declared that the world is losing the battle against diabetes – Google said the fight isn’t over yet.