Netflix Hacking Countermeasures

So one day, I noticed that my language setting was changed to Italian suddenly on my Netflix account. Very confused, I changed it back to English. Vulcan wasn’t an option. Soon, it changed back again to Italian. Upon going to “Account” –> “Recent Device Streaming Activity”, I noticed lots of activities from Italy! It could be from yet another country since VPN could hide it but then since language settings was changed to Italian, I think it is from there. I quickly changed my password and forced all devices to be logged out. Problem fixed, right?
That’s what I thought. That was a month or two ago. My son told me that he saw the Italian language option again on his profile. Erg. So evidently, just changing your password and forcing all devices to be logged out doesn’t really work. (FIX IT NETFLIX!) So this time, I changed email address and made the password stronger. So far so good. So here are my lessons learned:
  1. Check your “Recent Device Streaming Activity” at least once a month to see if your account is hacked or compromised
  2. If your account is compromised, change BOTH email and password since you can’t rely on Netflix’ own “Sign out of all devices” to work. After I had done that, both of my kids were still able to access their accounts without having to reenter information!

From Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now: Nanotube Yarn Infused With Wax Makes Incredibly Strong Artificial Muscles

Nano Muscle Fibers These scanning electron microscope images show a carbon nanotube yarn that has incredible tensile strength. The upper image shows a highly coiled, wax-filled carbon nanotube yarn that maximizes tensile contraction during actuation. The lower image shows a two-ply carbon nanotube yarn that can be deployed as a torsional muscle in a motor. Courtesy of Science/AAAS
Yarn muscles could launch catapults, power intelligent textiles, and help robots move more weight.Artificial muscles will offer future robots greater flexibility and lighter weight than a machine joint, expanding and contracting again and again. Although there are plenty of awesome robotic examples and prototype bionic uses, artificial muscles have been limited by many factors, like their response times or their power requirements. Now comes a new nanofiber muscle combining carbon nanotubes with candle wax, which might outperform any previous artificial muscle.

These nanotube fibers can lift more than 100,000 times their own weight and generate 85 times more mechanical power during contraction than natural muscles of the same size, according to scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas and collaborators from Australia, China, South Korea, Canada and Brazil.

They work by combining a waxy substance with a yarn made of carbon nanotubes. The wax expands in response to heat (or a voltage), and the yarn volume increases while its length contracts. This happens because it’s twisting, as a news release from UT Dallas explains. As the wax melts or solidifies, it twists and untwists, generating motion. The yarn can be looped, sewn, braided or whatever else you do with yarn, so it could be easy to use it in new types of textiles. You could design blankets that get thinner when it’s warm, maybe, or tapestries that tell you which chemicals are in the air.

Yarn muscle could be commercialized for small motors, the researchers say. Unfortunately, they won’t be replacing our fragile human parts anytime soon.

“While we are excited about near-term applications, these artificial muscles are presently unsuitable for directly replacing muscles in the human body,” said the research team leader, UT Dallas chemistry professor Ray Baughman.

The paper will be published tomorrow in the journal Science.


from Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now

From Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now: 7 Amazing Ways Nanotechnology Is Changing The World

Gold Nanoparticles Wellcome Images
Tiny nanoparticles are a huge part of our lives, for better or for worse.”Everything, when miniaturized to the sub-100-nanometer scale, has new properties, regardless of what it is,” says Chad Mirkin, professor of chemistry (and materials science, engineering, medicine, biomedical engineering and chemical and biological engineering) at Northwestern University. This is what makes nanoparticles the materials of the future. They have strange chemical and physical properties compared to their larger-particle kin. The thing that matters about nanoparticles is their scale.

Click to launch the photo gallery

Nanoscale materials are used in everything from sunscreen to chemical catalysts to antibacterial agents–from the mundane to the lifesaving. “I spilled wine at a Christmas party once, and I was terrified. Red wine on a white carpet. And it wipes right up,” Mirkin recalled. “The reason is the nano-particulate used to coat the carpet keeps that material from absorbing into the carpet and staining the carpet.”

On a more sophisticated side, researchers are developing nanoscale assays used to screen for cancer, infection and even genes. Gold nanoparticles that have been doped with DNA can be used to detect bacteria in a person’s bloodstream, determining whether a patient has infection and what kind. Or they can be used to detect changes in a person’s immune system that reflect the presence of cancer. Nano-flares can measure the genetic content of cells, and light up–or flare–when they detect a specific cell of a doctor’s choosing, maybe cancer, stem cells or even the reaction to a small molecule used in a new drug.

So why do nanoscale things act this way? The scale allows for unique interactions among atoms and their constituent parts, and there are a few ways that this happens. For non-biological nanoparticles, it helps to think of a bowling ball, and where all its atoms are located. The vast majority are inside the ball, with a finite number at the surface, interacting with the air or the wooden lanes. Atoms inside the ball interact with atoms just like themselves, but atoms at the surface interact with ones very different than themselves, Mirkin explained. Now shrink that ball to molecular scales.

“The smaller you go, the ratio of surface to bulk atoms goes up,” he said. “At a larger scale, the atoms at the surface are relatively inconsequential. But at nanoscales, you could have a particle that is almost all surface. Those atoms begin to contribute very significantly to the overall properties of the material.”

These interactions play out in electronics, too, making material like graphene and quantum dots useful for tiny computers and communication devices. Nanoscale materials offer a smaller area for electrons to move around. And maybe most importantly for current research, on the nanoscale, you’re on the scale of biology.

Given all these uses and future promises, Mirkin said, most people generally embrace nanotechnology in everyday life, even though most don’t know what that actually means. Even controversial uses like sunscreen are pretty widely used, and often without knowledge of it.

“Much of it is going to be embedded in conventional products that we buy and don’t even think about,” Mirkin said. “There’s nothing inherently good or bad in terms of making things small. The issue ultimately is, what do they do, and what are they used for? Given the application, have we considered the proper safety analyses and implications? And so far, I think we’ve done a pretty good job.”

from Popular Science – New Technology, Science News, The Future Now

From Droid Life: Samsung Sells 30 Million Galaxy S3 Units in 157 Days

We expected the Samsung Galaxy S3 to be a hit, just like the Galaxy S2, but I’m not sure that anyone expected it to be this big of a hit. According to Samsung, they sold 30 million units in 157 days. If you look at their mini infographic, that number of phones is the weight of 100 humpback whales, the surface area of 12 Colosseums, and the height of 29 Mt. Everests. It’s also equal to one Galaxy S3 being sold every 0.45 seconds. So in the time you just spent reading this, another 100 or so are being activated.

I don’t know about you, but I see the Galaxy S3 in public as much as I do iPhones these days. You can tell that Samsung’s marketing efforts have paid off. In fact, my better half and I were at happy hour last week before the Blazers home opener, and the bartender was excited to see that we both had a Galaxy S3, because that meant we could do that “tapping together thing.”

Are you all still loving your Galaxy S3? I have to admit that it’s my favorite phone of the year, by quite a bit. After all of the phones that I have reviewed, I keep coming back to it.

Via:  Samsung Tomorrow

from Droid Life

From Engadget: Hurricane Sandy has knocked out 25 percent of all cell towers, cable services in 10 states

Hurricane Sandy has knocked out 25 percent of all cell towers, cable services in 10 states

Julius Genachowski has revealed that Hurricane Sandy has knocked out a full quarter of cellphone towers and cable services in the 10 most affected states. The FCC chief believes that, as more towers expend their battery back-ups and the storm’s continued presence, the situation’s going to get worse before it gets better. He’s also reiterated that users should avoid making non-essential calls and use e-mail or social media to avoid overloading the straining networks. One point of interest in the call, was that land line phone outages were much less widespread — which might be something to remember if you’ve ever considered cutting the cord.

from Engadget

From Engadget: Disney acquires Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, plans more Star Wars movies

Disney acquires Lucasfilm for $405 billion, plans more Star Wars movies

Disney is already one of the biggest media companies around, and it’s now set to become even bigger. The company announced late today that it’s acquiring Lucasfilm Ltd., currently 100 percent owned by founder George Lucas, for $4.05 billion in a cash and stock deal. That of course includes the rights to both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones film franchises, as well as Lucasfilm properties like Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. What’s more, the press release announcing the deal also confirmed that Disney is now targeting 2015 for a release of Star Wars: Episode 7, and that its “long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.” No word yet on a proper release of the original, original trilogy.

Continue reading Disney acquires Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, plans more Star Wars movies

from Engadget

From Ars Technica: $99 Raspberry Pi-sized “supercomputer” hits Kickstarter goal

A prototype of Parallella. The final version will be the size of a credit card.

A month ago, we told you about a chipmaker called Adapteva that turned to Kickstarter in a bid to build a new platform that would be the size of a Raspberry Pi and an alternative to expensive parallel computing platforms. Adapteva needed at least $750,000 to build what it is calling “Parallella”—and it has hit the goal.

Today is the Kickstarter deadline, and the project is up to more than $830,000 with a few hours to go. (UPDATE: The fundraiser hit $898,921 when time expired.) As a result, Adapteva will build 16-core boards capable of 26 gigaflops performance, costing $99 each. The board uses RISC cores capable of speeds of 1GHz each. There is also a dual-core ARM A9-based system-on-chip, with the 16-core RISC chips acting as a coprocessor to speed up tasks.

Adapteva is well short of its stretch goal of $3 million, which would have resulted in a 64-core board hitting 90 gigaflops, and built using a more expensive 28-nanometer process rather than the 65-nanometer process used for the base model. The 64-core board would have cost $199.

from Ars Technica