Friday, November 27, 2015

Dell Root Certificates

Every single Dell desktop and laptop shipped since August contains three bogus root certificates, including eDellRoot. Not only that, but two certs include their own private keys! It’s like Superfish all over again...
That means more than ten million computers were infected at source, allowing attackers to spoof secure websites. And they could install infected Windows updates, because the certificate is also able to sign code.

Oh, and if you try to remove eDellRoot, Dell’s bloatware reinstalls it. Nice.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!!

There will be no tech post today. Enjoy your family and turkey instead!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Reclaim Windows Disk Space

Not long ago, Microsoft released a relatively major update for Windows 10. While this is exciting for anyone looking for new features and fixes for their devices, those with small solid state drives might suddenly be feeling the pinch thanks to a loss of 24 GB in storage.

As it turns out, the update doesn’t clear out of your computer after it’s installed, so it ends up sucking down that space unless you manually delete everything. If you’re suddenly running low on drive space — even though you haven’t added anything large recently — then this is likely the reason.

Don’t worry, though, because we’re here to show you how to get rid of those files and reclaim that lost space!

The first thing you need to do is click Start and type “Disk Cleanup” into the box. Select the drive on which Windows 10 is installed (as that’s the one that will have lost the space) and click OK.

Next, click Clean up system files near the bottom of that window. From there, it will do the scan to determine how much space you can save.

On the top of the list, you’ll see Previous Windows installation(s). This is the big one that you’ll want to delete. Just keep in mind that this file lets you restore to previous versions of Windows, which is why Windows doesn’t clean it up in the first place. However, it you don’t plan on going back, then it’s perfectly safe to delete.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Kano Kit for Kids

Learn-to-code startup Kano is now shipping a 10.1-inch HD display to go with its keyboard plus Raspberry Pi DIY computer kit for kids. Back in May the startup announced a $15 million Series A funding round, in part to develop additional hardware add-ons for their core product, such as the screen kit it’s now shipping — but more generally to drive the overarching goal of the company to establish a creative computing brand.

As with the original Kano kit, the screen kit is a DIY accessory that’s designed to get children engaged with the process of putting the hardware together before they can use it for other stuff — albeit at an elementary, plug-in-the-pieces level, rather than entailing more involved electronics techniques, like soldering. Idea being kids as young as six can learn something about the hardware before they get to use it.

The screen kit, which can plug into any HDMI device, comes with a storybook to guide the plug-and-play learning process, which includes a magnifying glass so kids can examine the components and pixels.  The pieces they will need to connect before they have a working display for their Kano computer include a driver board, LCD panel, programmable buttons, a base and stand and plug-and-play cables.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Smart Toys

Looking for this holiday season’s it-toy? Then it’s time to get smart.

That may not be as simple as it sounds, considering the new cadre of characters buzzing and whirring their way on to wish lists.

The big add-on this year isn’t accessories — it’s personality. (Some even talk back.)

As technology spills over into the toy market, manufacturers have moved light years beyond simple battery-powered fare and into the cloud, using the same tech that powers your smartphone. And as toys grow more like other gadgets in our lives, privacy concerns follow.

Front and center is the category known as “toys-to-life.” The Skylanders franchise, published by Activision, has dominated this category after pioneering the concept of making a video game that works with real-life figures. When connected, the figures can summon a character to life on the screen. Over time, the toy will remember each action it’s taken in a game, essentially growing smarter with every use — and offering more personalized play.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Drone Registration

A mandatory consumer drone registration system looks set to be in force in the U.S. before the end of the year after an industry task force delivered its proposals for the system on Saturday.

The group, which included representatives from Google, Amazon and 23 other organizations that use and make drones, was asked a little less than a month ago to come up with the proposal.

With its submission on Saturday,  the FAA and U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) will consider the recommendations along with several thousand comments from members of the public before announcing an interim rule. That is due in December and will go into force soon after it's published, the DOT said.

The fast pace of rule making became necessary because the FAA and DOT are concerned that hundreds of thousands of drones will be given as gifts during the year-end holidays leading to a spike in safety incidents involving the craft.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

LG Pay Announced

Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay… there’ll be one more to add to the list soon. That’s because Korean phone maker LG just quietly outed plans to develop and deploy its own mobile payment service which, to the surprise of precisely nobody, will be called LG Pay.

“It’s official! We have partnered with Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card to prepare for the launch of LG Pay,” the company said in an update on its Facebook page.

Those partner names will mean precious little to most TechCrunch readers, unless you happen to live in South Korea or know the country well. That’s because they are local banks that LG will work with to launch LG Pay in its native Korea first. There’s no word on an international launch at this point. An LG spokesperson declined to give more specific details about LG Pay, but did tell TechCrunch that the company “will have more details in the coming weeks.”

Might that mean an actual product or confirmation of plans for an international launch? We shall find out soon.