The Tech Corner is a weekly technology news and advice column presented each week courtesy of Melvin McCrary at Ga. Computer Depot in Cedartown.
Zuckerburg covering up cameras, mics on computer to keep hackers and surveillance at bay
Observers noticed that the Computer on Zuckerberg’s desk has tape covering not only the webcam, but also the laptop’s dual microphones.
Zuckerberg joins FBI director James Comey and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who admitted that they tape their webcams.
Edward Snowden leaks revealed that Optic Nerve – the NSA’s project to capture webcam images every five minutes from random Yahoo users. In just 6 months, 1.8 Million users’ images were captured and stored on the government servers in the past.
However, putting a tape over your webcam would not stop hackers from recording your conversations, so you should also cover the microphone.
Microsoft’s Windows 10 ties licenses to online accounts
Ever since Microsoft introduced Product Activation, the feature has been known to cause problems, display messages stating your copy is not genuine, deactivate PCs, and generally behave obnoxiously. Reactivating a PC that suddenly thinks your copy of Windows isn’t genuine ranges from a few clicks of the Activation Manager (best case) to a phone call to Microsoft.
If you upgrade from a retail version of Windows 7 or 8.1 to a free version of Windows 10, you lose the original retail license you purchased and are now tied to a single Windows 10 installation. You can download Magic Jelly Bean and store all of your product keys for future use. Be sure to print these out and store them in a safe place or in your email.
Facebook introduces advertising tracking
Facebook is introducing a new advertising tracking system that will guide users to local stores to buy the products they want — and report shopping information to the advertisers on whether or not their ads created increased foot traffic.
Bluetooth 5 specification to double speeds and quadruple range
The new Bluetooth 5 standard is expected to be released this year, with vastly improved range, performance, and total broadcast capability.
New Android ransomware targets smart TVs
Beware if you own a Smartwatch, Smart TV, Smart fridge, or any Internet-connected smart device? If your answer is yes, then you need to know the latest interest of the cyber criminals in the field of Internet of Things.
FLocker locks the device’s screen and displays a fake notice from United States Cyber Police or other law enforcement agency, accusing victims of crimes they did not commit. Demands $200 worth of iTunes gift cards as Ransom to unlock the infected TV.
Trend Micro says the malware is configured to deactivate itself in Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Belarus.
However, if FLocker detects devices outside these countries, the malware will wait for 30 minutes before requesting admin privileges for the device. If the victim rejects the request, FLocker freezes the screen, faking a system update.
Although the new variant of FLocker does not encrypt files on the infected device, it has the capability of stealing data from the device, including contacts, the phone number, device information and location data.
How to remove FLocker from your smart TV?
If your Android smart TV gets infected, you should contact the device vendor (phone carrier or TV merchant), or if you are kind of technical, you can remove the ransomware after removing its device admin privileges.
“Users can connect their device with a PC and launch the ADB shell and execute the command ‘PM clear pkg.’,” Trend Micro said. “This kills the ransomware process and unlocks the screen. Users can then deactivate the device admin privilege granted to the application and uninstall the app.”
Bionic Eye Surgery Restores Sight
John Jameson saw the world through normal eyes until a histoplasmosis fungal infection caused his vision to blur. A follow-up laser surgery to reverse the fungal infection damaged his vision even further, leaving him legally blind. After 40 years of limited vision, however, Jameson now can see again thanks to a breakthrough eye telescope and fine surgical work by Dr. Christopher Shelby of the WK Eye Institute.
Developed by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz of VisionCare, the Implantable Miniature Telescope was designed for those suffering from age related macular degeneration, a common and debilitating eye disease that results when the retina begins to deteriorate. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S., affecting more than 10 million Americans. Though Jameson didn’t suffer from that condition, the fungal damage to his eye was similar, making him an ideal candidate for the eye surgery.
The operation involved the implantation into the eye of a miniature Galilean telescope containing wide-angle micro-optical lenses. The mini telescope is implanted into one eyeball, replacing the lens, which is removed during the surgery. Working along with the cornea, the telescope can enlarge images to approximately 2.2 to 2.7 times their average size. This magnification allows the images to project onto the healthy parts of the retina, bypassing the damaged blind spot and restoring some of the patient’s vision.
With his vision restored, Jameson now can see things he could only picture in his mind — including his wife, whom he has now seen for the first time.
“Every day I wake up and I can see more,” Jameson said to Louisiana’s KSLA News 12. “The world is much prettier than I even imagined. I’ve imagined what [she] looked like and to see actually how beautiful she was.”
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