Nest to permanently brick Revolv smart home devices

Back in 2014, Google/Alphabet’s Nest bought a rival home automation company, Revolv. Prior to the acquisition, Revolv had focused on building a smart home automation system that could control lights, open doors, and even brew coffee on demand. Post-acquisition, Revolv stopped selling its own products, though it pledged to continue supporting its existing customer base….

Police drones may be vulnerable to theft with hack costing just $40

Drones are being considered for use in delivery, security, and plenty of other fields, but law enforcement and rescue workers are already using drone technology. However, one Nils Rodday has demonstrated a hack that could allow someone to steal one of those expensive professional-grade drones from up to 2 kilometers away. Rodday, who works as…

FBI drops iPhone case, but only because it doesn’t need Apple anymore

The FBI has finally done it. Nobody ever said they couldn’t, to be fair, but the government has now successfully hacked into the San Bernardino iPhone and extracted the information their anti-terrorism efforts require. As a result, the legal case aimed at forcing Apple to open the phone is no longer needed and, more importantly,…

Apple may design its own servers to avoid government snooping

We’ve known for roughly two years the US government has programs devoted to intercepting computer hardware mid-shipment. These programs are used to insert backdoors or spyware deep into a system’s firmware before it even arrives at its destination. A new report claims Apple is looking into building its own servers as a way to thwart this…

UC Davis spent $175,000 to suppress Google search results of pepper-spraying incident

Back in 2011, then-police officer Lt. John Pike and the University of California, Davis came to national attention when Davis was videoed and photographed aggressively pepper-spraying peaceful student protestors. The protests were part of general unrest directed at the University of California’s leadership, which had approved significant pay increase for administrators at the same time…

Microsoft sues US government, asks court to declare secrecy orders unconstitutional

Apple’s case against the federal government over the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone has dominated headlines for several months, but it’s not the only company pushing back against the federal government’s surveillance machine. Microsoft filed suit against the Department of Justice today and asked the court to declare a critical section of the Electronic Communications Privacy…

Windows PC users should uninstall QuickTime immediately

For years, Apple QuickTime has hovered between a nuisance install bundled with iTunes and a necessary application for various third-party software tools, some of which rely on QuickTime for audio or video playback. The US government and TrendMicro are both recommending that all Windows users uninstall QuickTime immediately thanks to critical vulnerabilities that Apple has…

How smart cities (will) work

These days, the word “smart” is being applied to anything with a processor or a sensor and a connection to a network of some sort. You can argue that having some processing power for information and the ability to communicate with something makes a device “smart” – or at least a lot smarter than it was…