Thursday, March 23, 2017

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Hackers Threaten to Wipe 200 Million iCloud Accounts Unless Apple Pays Ransom

Hackers who claim to have control of at least 200 million iCloud accounts have issued a public demand to Apple: pay ransom or we wipe them all.


The hacking group calling itself the Turkish Crime Family has provided video evidence of its claims to the tech site Motherboard, with a demand to Apple that it pay the ransom or face the consequences.

The hackers have listed the price of the ransom as either $75,000 ransom in Bitcoin or $100,000 in iTunes gift cards.

While the demands seem both outlandish and alarming, Motherboard confirms it has seen screenshots of emails appearing to be communications between the hackers and Apple’s security team.

The hackers also have shown off video which appears to demonstrate how they can log into the compromised accounts.

Apple has not commented on the report.

Without confirmation from Apple, it is difficult to verify the claims of the hackers.

There are also some discrepancies in their story. One account from the hackers says it has access to 200 million accounts, another says 300 million and a third says 559 million.

The hackers have given Apple an April 7 deadline before it performs a factory reset on the accounts, wiping all of their data.

Tyler Moffitt, senior threat research analyst with Webroot, said the threat illustrates that every company was vulnerable to attack no matter how reputable or confident it was with its security.

“Unless there are adequate backup policies in place, I have no doubt that ransom will be paid, regardless of what Apple publicly claims,” Mr Moffitt said.

Security analysts said Apple users should consider changing their iCloud passwords to prevent unauthorised people having access to their accounts.

Read full article at news.com.au.
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Monday, March 20, 2017

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Computer Programming: Working in a Team

Computer Programming: Working in a Team

Computer programming requires some very intricate work. This is the type of work that thrives on details and people who work in this field understand that the absence of even the minute elements can spell a huge difference in the overall result. If a programmer fails to correct this problem, it can lead to errors down the line. As a result, bugs will appear in the system and errors will emerge later on. Programming is also taxing work, requiring hours upon hours of writing, testing and debugging. This is why computer programming thrives on team work. Without team work, a single computer program can take decades to complete.

Although one programmer has the necessary skills and knowledge to work competently on a problem or even create a program, he or she can only do so much. Creating the source code for an operating system, for example, will require thousands of man-hours from a single programmer and most probably, he or she will only be halfway through. There just isn’t enough time for one or even two programmers to work effectively to produce a usable program.

Team profile

So what constitutes a team in computer programming? A team is usually headed by the team leader, such as a systems analyst or senior programmer. The senior programmer is usually a person who has had years of training and experience behind him. His task is to supervise the team, lead in brainstorming and problem solving sessions, delegate assignments, check the correctness of the coding, dispense advice and recommendations and lead in debugging and software maintenance.

The team leader is the one who holds the team together and ensures there is a well coordinated effort that will lead to the desired results. All team members report to him and depending on the size of the project, the team leader may have an assistant or another leader to work with.

The team is usually composed of junior or entry level programmers, particularly those who may have the qualifications but not the number of years' worth of experience yet. Depending on what the team leader wants, a junior programmer may be tasked to work on his own on much simpler assignments or he may be assigned as part of a group. This group may consist of other entry level programmers or more experienced professionals.

The members of a team are chosen based on their expertise. At the beginning of a project, the team leader, along with other more senior programmers, will try to break down the problem into components, which will consist of tasks. Tasks can vary according to complexity and function and will be assigned to a team who has the skills to complete them.

The number of programmers in a team can be as small as 3 or it can number in the dozens or even hundreds. Again, it all depends on the size of the project and the availability of resources.

Team work is a necessary component of computer programming. It helps pool a group's resources and form a coordinated effort in order to produce a particular program or software. In some cases, such as in exceptionally huge projects, some teams may work alternately or in shifts, which makes it necessary that a team is capable of sustaining coordination among them.

Team work drives computer programming. A vast majority of the computer programs and software we enjoy today – from the operating systems to the video games to the technology that run our phones – were produced not by a single programmer but by a team. Whatever it is that has made using computers and other forms of technology that much easier and more convenient is something we owe to a team of well-trained and highly skilled computer programmers.

Image source: quickscrum.com
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

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4 Tips For Getting Better Audio on Your Smartphone

4 Tips For Getting Better Audio on Your Smartphone

Whatever the make of your Smartphone, the audio or sound setting is usually moderate. That is, it is not too high nor is it too low. However, when the sound emanating from your Smartphone is lower than normal, there must be something wrong. Here are four ways to improve the audio quality of your Smartphone.

Check your music app settings

For every phone, there is an app that plays music. You should check the app’s settings and make necessary adjustments. Have it in mind that the audio won’t go beyond that of the manufacturer’s setting


Buy a dedicated accessory

This is another way to boost the sound of your Smartphone. You can buy a dedicated accessory like a headphone. With this, you don’t have to always rely on the sound of your phone. The caution here is that you should not tune it too high. This can be dangerous.

Install an equalizer app

Not all music app come with an equalizer. An equalizer is usually used to boost the sound on your Smartphone. You can download one as there are so many online. Alternatively, you can get a music player with an equalizer.

Update your phone

Updates to apps are usually made intermittently. So, your Smartphone audio quality may be poor because you have not updated your apps. Try and update your music player to the latest version. There is a very high possibility that your audio quality will significantly improve.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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Crowdfunded Smart Case Brings Android OS to iPhones

A new Kickstarter project aiming to bring the Android OS experience to iPhone users recently met its goal. The product is called ‘Eye’ and it’s rightfully described as a smart iPhone case, as it packs a handful of hardware components including a display and all the necessary internals to run Android 7.1 Nougat. In other words, the Eye is an iPhone case that doubles as an Android smartphone and turns iPhones into pseudo-hybrid devices with dual OS.

Crowdfunded Smart Case 'Eye' Brings Android OS to iPhones

The Eye accommodates a 5-inch AMOLED display with a generous resolution of 1920 x 1080 and is powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 System-on-Chip featuring an octa-core CPU along with a Mali-T880 MP2 (dual-core) graphics chip. In addition, the case incorporates 3 GB of RAM, 16 GB of on-board memory, a microSD card slot that can read up to an additional 256 GB of external storage, a 3.5mm headphone jack, an NFC chip and infrared sensor, and even dual SIM slots. It also offers support for wireless charging and incorporates a 2,800 mAh battery reserved solely for when the Eye is in use.

All in all, the Eye is a fairly complete Android package but does share a few of features with its “parent” device. This includes the camera setup, speakers, and microphone, but otherwise, the Eye comes with everything required to run Android OS in an independent environment. The eye will be released in two sizes, one for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, and a larger model for the iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 Plus. The Kickstarter campaign also comes with the promise that the next iPhone model will be supported a month after its release, and also gives backers the option to wait until the next model is launched.

The Eye Kickstarter campaign had an initial goal of $95,000 which has already been met and surpassed. At the time of writing, 1,416 backers have pledged a total of $194,858 and the project has 31 more days to go. The campaign also has a handful of stretch goals, including one at the $500,000 mark which promises an additional 7,200 mAh power bank for a total of 10,000 mAh. The $2,000,000 stretch goal includes a magnetic wireless charging car mount, and at the $3,000,000 mark, the Eye will receive IP67 water resistance to match the iPhone 7’s. Interestingly enough, the $6M stretch goal brings optional boot into Ubuntu OS, and at the final $15,000,000 mark the Eye will receive triple-boot capabilities including Windows 10 Mobile. There are also two stretch goals set at $10M and $12M, and if met they will allow customers to acquire the Eye in real leather or wood.

The Eye will retail for $189 and has an estimated delivery date set for August 2017.


Source: Android Headlines
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OnePlus 3T Colette Edition is Introduced; Custom Black Color, 128GB Storage

OnePlus 3T colette edition is introduced; custom black color, 128GB storage

OnePlus announced today the OnePlus 3T colette edition. On the fashion boutique's 20th anniversary, OnePlus is producing a limited number of an all-black which will feature the iconic colette logo on the back. Only 250 units will be made available, priced at the equivalent of $510 USD.

The phone will be available from colette's Paris store on March 21st as soon as the door opens at 11am local time. Those arriving early will also get a pair of OnePlus Bullet headphones. OnePlus makes it clear that this will be the only chance consumers will get to pick up this phone.

The OnePlus 3T features a Gorilla Glass 4 protected 5.5-inch display carrying a 1080 x 1920 (FHD) resolution. The Snapdragon 821 chipset is under the hood containing a quad-core 2.35GHz CPU and the Adreno 530 GPU. 6GB of RAM is inside, and the colette edition is stuffed with 128GB of native storage. There is no microSD slot. The 16MP rear-facing camera comes with an aperture of f/2.0, OIS, and PDAF laser focus. There is a 16MP selfie snapper in front. Dash Charge quickly powers up the 3400mAh battery to 60% charged in just half an hour. A fingerprint scanner is included, and the black color is available for this model only.

Source: Phone Arena
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Web Versions of WhatsApp, Telegram Vulnerable to Hackers

One of the most concerning revelations arising from the recent WikiLeaks publication is the possibility that government organizations can compromise WhatsApp, Telegram and other end-to-end encrypted chat applications. While this has yet to be proven, many end-users are concerned as WhatsApp and Telegram use end-to-end encryption to guarantee user privacy. This encryption is designed to ensure that only the people communicating can read the messages and nobody else in between.

Nevertheless, this same mechanism has also been the origin of a new severe vulnerability we have discovered in both messaging services’ online platform – WhatsApp Web and Telegram Web. The online version of these platforms mirror all messages sent and received by the user, and are fully synced with the users’ device.

This vulnerability, if exploited, would have allowed attackers to completely take over users’ accounts on any browser, and access victims’ personal and group conversations, photos, videos and other shared files, contact lists, and more. This means that attackers could potentially download your photos and or post them online, send messages on your behalf, demand ransom, and even take over your friends’ accounts.

The exploitation of this vulnerability starts with the attacker sending an innocent looking file to the victim, which contains malicious code. The file can be modified to contain attractive content to raise the chances a user will open it. Once the user clicks to open it, the malicious file allows the attacker to access WhatsApp’s and Telegram’s local storage, where user data is stored. From that point, the attacker can gain full access to the user’s account and account data. The attacker can then send the malicious file to the all victim’s contacts, opening a dangerous door to a potentially widespread attack over the WhatsApp and Telegram networks.

Since messages were encrypted without being validated first, WhatsApp and Telegram were blind to the content, thus making them unable to prevent malicious content from being sent.

Check Point disclosed this information to WhatsApp’s and Telegram’s security teams on March 7th. Both companies have verified and acknowledged the security issue and developed a fix for web clients worldwide soon after. “Thankfully, WhatsApp and Telegram responded quickly and responsibly to deploy the mitigation against exploitation of this issue in all web clients,” said Oded Vanunu. WhatsApp and Telegram web users wishing to ensure that they are using the latest version are advised to restart their browser.

WhatsApp web, Telegram web vulnerable to hackers

Following the patch of this vulnerability, content is now validated by WhatsApp and Telegram before the encryption, allowing them to block malicious files.

While WhatsApp & Telegram have patched this vulnerability, as a general practice we recommend the following preventive measures:
  1. Periodically clean logged-in computers from your WhatsApp & Telegram. This will allow you to control the devices that are hosting your account, and shut down unwanted activity.
  2. Avoid opening suspicious files and links from unknown users.
View demo of WhatsApp Web Account Takeover


View demo of Telegram Web Account Takeover


Read full post on Check Point.
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Exercise 3.17 — Game: Scissor Rock Paper

Write a program that plays the popular scissor-rockpaper game. (A scissor can cut a paper, a rock can knock a scissor, and a paper can wrap a rock.) The program randomly generates a number 0, 1, or 2 representing scissor, rock, and paper. The program prompts the user to enter a number 0, 1, or 2 and displays a message indicating whether the user or the computer wins, loses, or draws.

/**
 *
 * @Author: Aghatise Osazuwa
 * Website: www.cscprogrammingtutorials.com
 */

import java.util.Scanner;

public class ComputeAndInterpretBMI {
    public static void main (String [] args) {

        int number, guess;

        // Obtain the random number 0 or 1  
        number = (int) (Math.random() * 3);
        // Prompt the user to enter a guess
        Scanner input = new Scanner(System.in);

        System.out.print("Guessing Game: Scissor, Rock, Paper."
                + "\nEnter 0 for Scissor, 1 for Rock or 2 for Paper: ");
        guess = input.nextInt();

        // Check the guess
        if (number == 0 && guess == 0)
            System.out.println("The computer is Scissors. You are Scissors too. It is a draw.");
        if (number == 0 && guess == 1)
            System.out.println("The computer is Scissors. You are Rock. You won.");
        if (number == 0 && guess == 2)
            System.out.println("The computer is Scissors. You are Paper. You lose.");
        if (number == 1 && guess == 0)
            System.out.println("The computer is Rock. You are Scissors. You lose.");
        if (number == 1 && guess == 1)
            System.out.println("The computer is Rock. You are Rock too. It is a draw.");
        if (number == 1 && guess == 2)
            System.out.println("The computer is Rock. You are Paper. You won.");
        if (number == 2 && guess == 0)
            System.out.println("The computer is Paper. You are Scissors. You won.");
        if (number == 2 && guess == 1)
            System.out.println("The computer is Paper. You are Rock. You lose.");
        if (number == 2 && guess == 2)
            System.out.println("The computer is Paper. You are Paper too. It is a draw.");
    }
}

Liang Introduction to Java Programming exercise 3.17 solution
Program sample run

Click here to see other solutions to Introduction to Java Programming.
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5 Things You Have Lied About on The Internet

5 Things You Have Lied About on The Internet

Since nobody is physically present to observe or regulate what you are doing online or on the internet, it has become a free for all. A platform where you can do whatever you like. Very few internet users self-regulate themselves. This is why it is easier for people to lie on the internet. Below are some of these lies.


1. Biographical information

Biographical information is a holistic description of yourself. It includes your name, where you reside, language and other basic information. Perhaps, we don’t want to waste time when filling out forms or signing up on social media, we simply enter incorrect information including a fake email.

2. Interests

Some persons lie about what they are interested in. They want to paint a positive picture of themselves online, so they prefer to lie about their interest. You may not be interested in skiing and bowling but because it is a requirement, you just say you are. What will you do when you are invited for an interview and they ask you to ski or bowl?

3. Age and birthday

This is perhaps the online lie almost everyone has told. We have entered other dates besides your actual dates of birth. So, many people have different dates of birth and birthdays online. So, which DOB is your own? Just give your real DOB as it only takes you less than 2 minutes to fill these forms.

4. Your photos

Many people doctor their online photos that you are unable to recognize them. In other cases, they post fake and trendy pictures all in the name of looking good. And perhaps, they do this because they want to get more comments and likes.

5. What you’ve read

The internet has made simplified a lot of things. It is possible to lie that you have read a book and if you are asked to review the book you have read, you can Google and get a summary. Done! So, we can say the internet has made it less difficult not to lie.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

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Exercise 3.14 — Game: Heads or Tails

Java program that lets the user guess whether the flip of a coin results in heads or tails. The program randomly generates an integer 0 or 1, which represents head or tail. The program prompts the user to enter a guess and reports whether the guess is correct or incorrect.

/**
 *
 * @Author: Aghatise Osazuwa
 * Website: www.cscprogrammingtutorials.com
 */

import java.util.Scanner;

public class ComputeAndInterpretBMI {
    public static void main (String [] args) {
        int number, guess;

        // Obtain the random number 0 or 1  
        number = (int) (Math.random() * 2);
        // Prompt the user to enter a guess
        Scanner input = new Scanner(System.in);

        System.out.print("Guess head or tail? Enter 0 for head and 1 for tail: ");
        guess = input.nextInt();

        // Check the guess
        if (guess == number) {
            System.out.println("Correct guess");
        } else {
            System.out.println("Wrong guess");
        }
    }
}

Liang Introduction to Java Programming exercise 3.14 solution
Program sample run

Click here to see other solutions to Introduction to Java Programming.
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Monday, March 13, 2017

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Harvard Chooses Mark Zuckerberg as 2017 Harvard Commencement Exercises Speaker

Harvard Chooses Mark Zuckerberg as 2017 Harvard Commencement Exercises Speaker

Mark Zuckerberg will return to Harvard 11 years after he dropped out from the University. The founder of Facebook will be the speaker during the 2017 Commencement Exercises of the university on May 25.

Mark Zuckerberg dropped out from the university in 2006 to focus on the social media website he created. Zuckerberg's Facebook currently has 2 billion followers from all over the world. Harvard University will award him an honorary degree for bringing change to social media engagement around the world.

Mark Zuckerberg will be the second Harvard drop-out to be given the honor of Commencement Speaker. The first one was Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft. Bill Gates was Commencement Speaker during the 2007 Commencement Exercises of the university.

To prepare for his speech, Mark Zuckerberg approached Bill Gates for some advice regarding his commencement speech. In his commencement address, Bill Gates expressed his gratitude to Harvard for inviting him as commencement speaker and for conferring him an honorary degree. Bill Gates stated how happy he was to have a degree to put in his resume.

Harvard has become famous for producing men and women who have become professionally and financially successful. Producing two drop-outs who became billionaire is great feat.

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