Facebook’s new Safety Check feature tells friends you’re safe during natural disasters

Facebook has launched a new feature that aims to help you connect with your family, friends, and loved ones during or after natural disasters. Dubbed Safety Check, the feature is rolling out globally on Android, iOS, basic feature phones, as well as desktops.

Back in 2011, when Japan was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes, triggering a massive tsunami, people relied heavily on technology and social networks like Facebook to stay connected with those they cared about. Facebook says the new tool is an extension of the Disaster Message Board, which was created at that time by the company’s engineers in Japan with an aim to make it easier to communicate with others in trying times.

Safety Check will get activated after a natural disaster, and if you’re in the affected area, you’ll receive a Facebook notification asking if you’re safe. If you really are, you can select “I’m Safe” and a notification and News Feed story will be generated with your update. But there is no option to say NO.

Source: Techspot

South Korean ISP set to unveil 10Gbps fiber connection, 1GB download in less than a second

One gigabit per second (1Gbps) fiber connections like those offered by Google Fiber is considered the Holy Grail of broadband in the US. The truth of the matter, however, is that Americans lag (no pun intended) far behind other countries in terms of Internet speeds.

Take South Korea, for example. The nation’s current average broadband speed is 100Mbps which enables users to download a 1GB file in around 80 seconds. That’s certainly nothing to scoff at although it pales in comparison to what’s just around the corner.

One of the nation’s largest broadband service providers, SK Broadband, will be introducing its new 10Gbps fiber service on October 20 at the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunications Union at the Busan convention center.

If you’re keeping up, that’s 100 times faster than the already fast 100Mbps average that South Koreans enjoy. With it, customers will be able to download the aforementioned 1GB file in just 0.8 seconds.

The latest advancements in broadband technology typically come out of countries like Japan and South Korea, a fact that citizens are very proud of.

Natsuki Kumagai told Stop the Cap that the world watched NASA send men to the moon in the 1960s and many grew up amazed at the constant advancements of the Americans. Now, however, the Americans are the ones doing the watching. Pyon Seo-Ju echoed those sentiments, highlighting how slow and expensive Internet access was during travels to the US.

Source: techspot

Security professionals build automated safe cracking machine using $150 in parts

safe, arduino, safe cracker, combination safe

Cracking a safe protected by a combination lock is typically reserved for skilled professionals or custom machines worth tens of thousands of dollars that are only sold to the military. A pair of Australian security professionals, however, have come up with a brute-force method that relies on technology instead of skill to open such a safe.

Jay Davis and Luke Janke demonstrated their automated safe cracker at the Ruxcon security conference in Melbourne earlier this week. The unnamed device was built largely of 3D printed parts, some step motors from an old stage lighting array and the heart of the gadget, an Arduino microcontroller.

Once attached to a combination lock on a safe, the device works its way through every possible combination using custom software. That certainly sounds like a lot of work – and it is (hey, nobody said it was fast). The team claims the device can crack a safe in less than four days.

That’s not much of a problem if it’s your safe and you happen to forget the combination but don’t expect to break into someone’s house and brute-force their safe… unless they’re on vacation or something (kidding, of course).

Because the device relies on software, it can be optimized for the job much like a brute-force password cracking program can on computers. For example, some combination locks come pre-loaded with several default combinations. By trying these first, the gadget can often crack a safe in just a few minutes versus a few days.

The components to build the device cost around $150 which, if you desperately needing to get into a safe without destroying it, could be a bargain.

Source: Techspot

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Edward Snowden’s Privacy Tips: “Get Rid Of Dropbox,” Avoid Facebook And Google

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

According to Edward Snowden, people who care about their privacy should stay away from popular consumer Internet services like Dropbox, Facebook, and Google.

Snowden conducted a remote interview today as part of the New Yorker Festival, where he was asked a couple of variants on the question of what we can do to protect our privacy.

His first answer called for a reform of government policies. Some people take the position that they “don’t have anything to hide,” but he argued that when you say that, “You’re inverting the model of responsibility for how rights work”:

When you say, ‘I have nothing to hide,’ you’re saying, ‘I don’t care about this right.’ You’re saying, ‘I don’t have this right, because I’ve got to the point where I have to justify it.’ The way rights work is, the government has to justify its intrusion into your rights.

He added that…

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SoundCloud Posted A $29M Loss In 2013 On Revenues Of $14M

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

SoundCloud, the popular online music and audio sharing platform, is now exceeding 175 million listeners each month and is on track to reach 200 million. But its rapid growth has seen the company’s costs run away from its revenues.

According to recent annual filings for 2013, Soundcloud posted turnover of €11.2 million ($14.1 million) in 2013, up 40% from 2012’s revenues of €8 million. But its operating loss in the period more than doubled, to €23.1 million ($29.2 million) in 2013 from €12.4 million in 2012.

“We are in a phase of growing SoundCloud into the market-leading platform for listening to, creating and sharing sound,” the company notes in the filing. “This has necessitated investment in technology, headcount and marketing. Our overhead base has increased faster than our revenues.”

The company ended 2013 with 224 employees across Berlin, London, San Francisco and Sofia in Bulgaria — the Bulgaria part of the company coming by way of…

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Surprising Differences Between Apple People And Microsoft People

Apple Fans vs. Microsoft Fans Ranker infographic