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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

MoviePass Rival Sinemia Is in It for the Long Haul

Sinemia may have an awkward name, but its movie subscription plans are priced for sustainable growth.
Source: Wired

House Democrats Release 3,500 Russia-Linked Facebook Ads

In the most extensive look yet at the IRA troll factory’s Facebook efforts, familiar themes emerge.
Source: Wired

The Brutal Normalcy of the War on Terror

Seemingly mundane images tell the story of our two-decade-long battle.
Source: Wired

Researchers create a real cloaking device

Researcher Amanda D. Hanford at Pennsylvania State University has created a real cloaking device that can route sound waves around an object, making it invisible to some sensing techniques.

From the report:

Hanford and her team set out to engineer a metamaterial that can allow the sound waves to bend around the object as if it were not there. Metamaterials commonly exhibit extraordinary properties not found in nature, like negative density. To work, the unit cell — the smallest component of the metamaterial — must be smaller than the acoustic wavelength in the study.

Hanford created an acoustic metamaterial that deflected sound waves under water, a difficult feat. In testing she and the team were able to place the material in water and measure sound waves pointed at it. The resulting echoes in the water suggested that the sound waves did not bounce off or around the material. This means the new material would be invisible to sonar.

Obviously this technology is still in its early stages and the material does not make the objects invisible but just very hard to detect in underwater situations. However, the fact ship captains could soon yell “Activate the cloaking device” as evil, laser-toting dolphins appear on the horizon should give everyone a bit of cheer.


Source: TechCrunch

For ScopeAR, the market is finally catching up with the technology

ScopeAR, a graduate of the Y Combinator Summer 2015 class, came to the augmented reality game very early, launching in 2011 when there was very little hardware and most people didn’t understand the technology. But it has managed to hang around long enough for the market and the hardware to finally catch with the founders’ vision of using AR as an advanced training tool in the enterprise.

Today, the company offers a pair of tools. First of all, there is RemoteAR, which CEO and company co-founder Scott Montgomerie describes as “Facetime with AR on top of it.” It allows a technician to virtually look over the shoulder at what a local person is seeing and provide directions and feedback in real time remotely. For example, the expert could circle the cover the technician needs to remove and point to the screws with two virtual arrows.

This could have great utility in any situation where you have an experienced person in the office, who doesn’t want to go on the road on anymore, but can still provide detailed instructions to a novice, acting as a trainer and helper. This is an actual problem in many industries with aging workforces.

Technician working with RemoteAR. Photo: ScopeAR

The second product, called WorkLink, lets you import a 3D CAD model, then associate that model with real equipment. When you put on hardware like Microsoft Hololens, you can see the 3D representation of the equipment and follow along with instructions on how to repair it. It also works with iOS, Android and Windows devices.

One big change since the company was established in 2011 is the variety of platforms you can use for augmented reality. “Last year was the thing where AR took off. Apple got into it with ARKit and Google with ARCore and awareness happened and people saw it was viable,” Montgomerie said.

By creating enterprise use cases like remote assistance and work instructions, the company has been gaining momentum over the last year, and reports tripling its revenue in 2017. Although they aren’t sharing a specific number, it’s fair to say they are growing quickly.

They developed an augmented reality training product early on that resonated with a mining company, and that along with consulting working with the likes of NASA, Boeing and Toyota, helped them stay afloat until things began to really click around AR in recent years, Montgomerie explained.

They also took some time to be part of the Y Combinator Summer 2015 class, and even scored a spot on TechCrunch’s list of favorite Demo Day 2 startups. During the YC experience, they developed the first version of RemoteAR. WorkLink followed a year later.

So far the company has taken on a fairly modest amount of investment with Montgomerie reporting three seed rounds including $2 million right after Y Combinator, $1.7 million last May and another $2 million this past December. If the company continues to grow at this rate, it’s a good bet they will be looking for a Series A at some point to help scale the company further.


Source: TechCrunch

Photo of the Week: Hawaii's Massive Volcano Seen From Above

Photographer Demian Barrios used a drone to capture the stunning image of Kilauea’s fissure.
Source: Wired

T-Mobile-Sprint Merger: Promises Mean Little for Consumers

Opinion: The proposed merger of two wireless giants will reduce competition and should be blocked.
Source: Wired

Inside the Arena Where Drones Battle a Wall of 1,300 Computer Fans

In Caltech’s fancy new drone arena, the machines face terrifying atmospheric disturbances, all to help shape the future of flight.
Source: Wired

Are Air Fryers Worth It?

Can the trendy, expensive countertop air fryer outperform a simple sheet pan in an oven?
Source: Wired

Hacker Kevin Mitnick shows how to bypass 2FA

A new exploit allows hackers to spoof two-factor authentication requests by sending a user to a fake login page and then stealing the username, password, and session cookie.

KnowBe4 Chief Hacking Officer Kevin Mitnick showed the hack in a public video. By convincing a victim to visit a typo-squatting domain liked “LunkedIn.com” and capturing the login, password, and authentication code, the hacker can pass the credentials to the actual site and capture the session cookie. Once this is done the hacker can login indefinitely. This essentially uses the one time 2FA code as a way to spoof a login and grab data.

“A white hat hacker friend of Kevin’s developed a tool to bypass two-factor authentication using social engineering tactics – and it can be weaponized for any site,” said Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4 CEO. “Two-factor authentication is intended to be an extra layer of security, but in this instance, we clearly see that you can’t rely on it alone to protect your organization.”

Sjouwerman notes that anti-phishing education is deeply important and that a hack like this is impossible to complete if the victim is savvy about security and the dangers of clicking links that come into your email box. To demonstrate this, Sjouwerman sent me an email seemingly addressed to me from Matt Burns (matt@techcrunch.com) talking about a typo in a post. When I clicked on it I was transferred to a SendGrid redirect site and dumped into TechCrunch – but the payload could have been more nefarious.

“This highlights the need for new-school security awareness training and simulated phishing because people are truly your last line of defense,” said Sjouwerman. He estimates that hackers will begin trying this technique in the next few weeks and urges users and IT managers to harden their security protocols.


Source: TechCrunch

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