The latest news

Google’s Project Wing begins delivering burritos in rural Australia

Tags: australia, tech

…today we’re announcing that two Australian merchants are joining our tests, as they’re eager to understand how drone delivery could help them serve their customers better. Guzman y Gomez, a Mexican food chain, and Chemist Warehouse, a chain of pharmacies, will receive orders from our testers who’ve purchased items using the Project Wing app on their smartphones.

Project Wing’s newest delivery trial is limited to residents on the very outskirts of the ACT nearby NSW. This is largely in part to it being one of the few, semi-densely populated areas within Australia with little airspace restrictions.

Sorry folks, don’t expect burritos to rain from the sky in your area anytime soon.

Source: Testing in the Australian skies – The Team at X


Wi-Fi is broken at its core and no one is safe

Tags: tech

We discovered serious weaknesses in WPA2, a protocol that secures all modern protected Wi-Fi networks. An attacker within range of a victim can exploit these weaknesses using key reinstallation attacks (KRACKs). Concretely, attackers can use this novel attack technique to read information that was previously assumed to be safely encrypted.

The attack works against all modern protected Wi-Fi networks…
…Note that if your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected.

Remember the days of WEP? That thing that was crackable in about 5 seconds, well turns out it’s replacement WPA2 is fundamentally flawed and just as susceptible. WPA2 is the default security protocol used by any modern Wi-Fi device and they’re all at risk to KRACK attacks of one variation or another.

It’s not just limited to the devices that manage your network either, any device using WPA2 from your computer, phone, tablet to your e-reader, security camera or baby monitor, all of them are potential targets and vulnerable to the flaw.

Thankfully, at the moment, the vulnerability is not in the wild. It will not stay that way forever though and for those who are naive enough to believe it will, I wish you good fortune.

Many of the major network and software companies have either released patches or are about to. Apple have betas in testing for patched versions of iOS, macOS, tvOS & watchOS, Microsoft have updated Windows releases ready to go and many networking hard manufacturers are ready with fixes too including Ubiquiti, Meraki & Netgear.

The major risk factor is for those millions on millions of devices that will likely never be updated or users will just never think to. Android too, with it’s loosely supported updates, is likely to suffer should the attack ever make it beyond the closed walls of the labs.

Be diligent, check in with your home router’s manufacturer today and be sure to update as soon as a fix becomes available.

Source: KRACK Attacks: Breaking WPA2

Virgin Group invests in Hyperloop, rebrands as Virgin Hyperloop One

Tags: tech

[Virgin Group is] delighted to announce [their] investment in Hyperloop One – the world’s most revolutionary train service. This is an incredibly innovative and exciting new way to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground. At the same time we have also agreed to rebrand the company as Virgin Hyperloop One.

Wowsers the Hyperloop hype-train continues to rocket along (at a peak of 310km/h in testing apparently).

The original tech behind Hyperloop was open sourced by Elon Musk’s SpaceX corporation and has led to many iterations being attempted around the world. Virgin Hyperloop One is the largest of these with projects underway in the Middle East, Europe, India, Canada, and the US.

Source: Introducing Virgin Hyperloop One – the world’s most revolutionary train service | Virgin

Oculus’ Connect event brings a new headset, price drops and hints at the future

Tags: gaming, tech

Presenting at an event in San Jose on Wednesday, Facebook’s Oculus introduced the Go, a new headset capable of operating without a connected phone, Mac, or Windows PC.

The Oculus Go is a a direct replacement for the partnered Samsung Gear VR headset. Interestingly enough we spoke about what might happen to Samsung & Oculus’ relationship on this week’s podcast after it was announced Samsung would be making Microsoft MR headsets soon.

The new Go has an inbuilt 2560 x 1440 display and audio however a headphone jack allows other headphones to be easily connected. It will be available for US$199.

In addition to the new Go Oculus announced the temporary price drop to the Oculus Rift + Touch bundle* would become permanent. The new RRP a very low US$399.

Finally Oculus showed off new six-axis controller for the upcoming “Santa Cruz” untethered headset being worked on by Oculus. Don’t get too excited, we’re likely not to see it come to fruition for another year at least.

*Please note the link to the price dropped bundle is an Amazon affiliate link that benefits Reckoner.

Source: Oculus reveals $199 standalone ‘Go’ VR headset, drops Rift price to $399

Apple partnering with LG to develop a foldable iPhone by 2020

Tags: tech

Forget Face ID or bezel-less screens, the future of the iPhone may be foldable. Apple is reportedly partnering with LG to create foldable OLED displays for an upcoming generation of iPhones. The folding iPhones are set for production in 2020, according to Korean news outlet The Bell (via The Investor).

Samsung, Apple’s long time display collaborator has invested heavily in the development of foldable screen tech. The alignment with LG is being interpreted as Apple distancing themselves from their main rival. Despite the arm of Samsung (Samsung Display) behind the development of screen technology and their sale being entirely separate from Samsung Electronics who make the companies smart phones the fear is there could be a leak of information between the two entities to Apple’s detriment.

LG, does have a smartphone arm as well, however being one of Google’s new Pixel 2 manufacturers their own line is growing less and less relevant and may turn into a manufacturer and parts company for the smartphone sector at some point.

Source: A foldable iPhone could be in the works for 2020 – CNET

Dubai airport’s passport control makes scanning your iris fun?

Tags: tech

Travellers departing from Dubai will no longer need to pass through any sort of security clearance counter or e-gate, they will simply walk through a virtual aquarium tunnel that will scan their face or iris using hidden cameras while they’re in motion.

In development for nearly four years Dubai airport has been looking for a quicker and more efficient way to process more than 80 million passengers that pass through it each year.

The tunnel makes use of over 80 cameras and uses imagery to encourage the departing passenger to look around at the projected environment thus significantly increasing the likelihood of a successful face and/or iris scan.

For those concerned over privacy the tunnel’s scanning and processing of departures is no different to Australia’s international departures and its eGate technology.

It does feel very Minority Report however, I expect in no less than a couple of years it will start displaying targeted advertising and saying my name as I walk through.

Source: Dubai airport’s new virtual aquarium tunnel scans your face as you walk through it – The National

Windows Mobile Is Really Really Properly Dead This Time

Tags: tech

Zac Bowden at Windows Central, summarising a number of candid tweets from Joe Belfiore over the weekend about the future of Windows Mobile:

In case the lack of new phones or software updates didn’t already clue you in, Microsoft has shut down any efforts to keep Windows Mobile 10 alive. On Twitter, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for Windows Joe Belfiore stated that the company is no longer actively developing new features or hardware for the platform, and that he has even switched over to an Android phone for his personal mobile needs.

I mean, we all knew that Windows Mobile was on the way out, but I thought this admission from Belfiore was particularly interesting.

So now we know that Microsoft couldn’t buy their way OR code their way into creating a vibrant app ecosystem on mobile. Companies with apps really needed a compelling reason to invest themselves, or eventually it all just falls apart.

Makes me wonder if the same thing is eventually going to happen with the Windows Store…

Source: Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore says Windows 10 Mobile features and hardware are no longer a focus | Windows Central

Raj guests on 5by5 network’s DLC podcast

Tags: gaming

Jeff and Christian welcome Raj Deut from Reckoner in Australia to the show this week to discuss Wolfenstein doubling down on Nazi killing, Star Wars Battlefront 2 embracing loot boxes, Microsoft’s Mixed Reality, and more!

Oh hey, that’s me!

Jeff & Christian were kind enough to invite me on DLC this week. Lots of great discussion around everything that’s happening in gaming this week.

Source: 5by5 | DLC #201: I’m Helping!

Popular comment plugin Disqus the victim of mass hack

Tags: tech

In a security alert, Disqus said attackers took a snapshot of its user database from 2012 with information dating back to 2007.

This included user names, sign-up dates and last login dates for more than 17.5 million users. Salted passwords hashed with the crackable SHA-1 algorithm for a third of Disqus users were also leaked.

At the end of 2012 (well before the breach was discovered) Disqus made major changes to their storage methods and encryption algorithms to the much more secure option of salted bcrypt hashes.

Still, the data’s out there and anything prior to that is very easily crackable.

Source: Mass hack confirmed at comments plugin Disqus – Security – iTnews