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News Hacking Update : Beware - Worldwide Ransomware Attack May Be Far From Over

The massive ransomware attack that began last week and hit computers around the world should send a "wake-up call" to governments that have kept vulnerabilities secret to exploit them, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said yesterday in a blog post.

The WannaCry or WannaCrypt ransomware attack deployed a Windows exploit that the National Security Agency had used for its own purposes until it was leaked in April by the hacking group Shadow Brokers. By that time, Microsoft had discovered the bug on its own and issued a security update, but many users with older versions of Windows no longer receive such updates.

As a result, numerous organizations such as the U.K.'s National Health Service have found themselves unable to access vital data because their files were encrypted by the cyberattack, which demanded ransom payments in the Bitcoin digital currency to unlock information.

More than 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries have been hit so far by the ransomware, which has netted the party responsible at least $49,000 in Bitcoin payments, according to recent news reports. Some of the victims have reportedly regained access to their files after paying, although security experts advise against complying with ransom demands.

'Consider the Damage'

Calling for a "Digital Geneva Convention," Microsoft's Smith said the widespread damage caused by the ransomware shows that governments need to treat cyber weapons the same way they treat conventional weapons.

"The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call," Smith said. "They need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world. We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits."

Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden echoed that criticism on Twitter. ".@NSAGov's choices risked permitting low-skill criminals launch government-scale attacks, and then it happened," Snowden tweeted on Saturday. "There's no waving that away."

"The massive malware attack that hit multiple countries has caused chaos and has shut down vital institutions such as hospitals," U.S. Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) said Friday in a statement. "It is deeply disturbing the National Security Agency likely wrote the original malware."

Lieu, who noted on his Web site that he is "one of only four computer science majors serving in Congress," supports changing the vulnerabilities equities process (VEP) to ensure greater transparency in how the federal government notifies software companies about bugs it identifies. The VEP was established to determine whether the government should withhold or disclose information about computer software security vulnerabilities.

Cybersecurity 'A Shared Responsibility'

A U.K.-based security researcher who goes by the name MalwareTech put a stop to the spread of WannaCry on Friday by registering a domain name he discovered in the ransomware's code. Activating the domain worked as a kill switch for the malware.

As MalwareTech noted in a blog post afterward, the ransomware was written to connect to an unregistered domain and "if the connection is not successful it ransoms the system, if it is successful the malware exits."

Because it's possible for the perpetrators to alter the code to use a different domain, MalwareTech and others warned the ransomware could continue spreading. However, as of this morning, there haven't been any signs of widespread renewed activity.

Europol's European Cybercrime Centre said that anyone hit by ransomware should use the unlocking tools provided at NoMoreRansom.org, a free resource developed by Europol in partnership with the Dutch police and other industry partners.

Microsoft, which on Friday took the unusual step of issuing a custom security update for users whose systems no longer receive regular support, has urged users with older versions of Windows to patch the vulnerability as soon as possible.

"[T]his attack demonstrates the degree to which cybersecurity has become a shared responsibility between tech companies and customers," Smith said in his blog post. "The fact that so many computers remained vulnerable two months after the release of a patch illustrates this aspect. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems."

News Google I/O Update : Google I/O 2017 Is Coming: What To Expect From The Future Of Android And Chrome

Google's annual I/O developer conference kicks off Wednesday, May 17 in California, and continues through the end of the week. We'll be on the ground at the show covering all the breaking news, but before then we're taking a closer look at what we can expect from this year's conference. more

Big products like Android and Chrome will likely get a bulk of the attention, and there will surely be at least a parting note about newer endeavours like virtual reality. So what are we most likely to see at the event? Here's a solid bet.

New details about Android O
It wouldn't be a proper Google I/O conference without an update on one of the company's most popular products, Android. The operating system is due for version 8.0 this year, and Google has already given us a peek of it with the developer preview that launched in March. We know the update will improve battery life on older devices; add picture-in-picture to Android TV products; and let users snooze notifications for 15 minutes, 30 minutes or 1 hour. We're hoping to learn even more about the update at the show.

Then there's the name. For now, the operating system has been unofficially dubbed Android O, following the company's alphabetical naming scheme. But Google has a history of paring the releases with a tasty dessert to make the name a little catchier. So what will the actual name be? Android Oreo? Mmm, Oreos...

A Google Home and Wi-Fi Router in One

Google debuted its artificially intelligent speaker at Google I/O last year, and rumours indicate that we could be seeing an updated version this year. As we said in our official review, Google Home was better at understanding voice requests than the Amazon Echo, but fell short of our expectations because it couldn't do enough.

We suspect that Google will be adding considerably more skills to the speaker this year, including the ability to make phone calls, according to a recent Wall Street Journal report. Another rumour we've seen floating around is that Google could debut a new version of the smart speaker that doubles as a mesh Wi-Fi router, according to a CNBC report. The device is rumoured to work exactly like Google Wifi from last year's conference, only this time it would double as a smart speaker.

Chrome gets a major update

A couple of years ago, Chrome was just a tiny blip in the Google universe. Now, it's one of the company's most popular products, and that is in some part due to the increasing popularity of Google Chromebooks.

This year's conference will most likely feature some news about Chrome OS and its ability to run an increasing number of Android apps, at least based on speculation. The expectation for a couple of years now has been that Google will combine Android and Chrome into one operating system unofficially referred to as "Andromeda". One of the key pieces to this is getting more Android apps to work on Chrome.

Nothing about the Pixel 2
Google launched the very first Pixel phone back in October, so it's unlikely that we'll see a new version at Google I/O this year. Google senior vice president of hardware Rick Osterloh has even said in an interview with Android Pit that there will be a second version of the search giant's phone later this year.

The phone "will stay premium" according to Osterloh's interview with Android Pit, and that lines up with other rumours about the device. The most exciting news is Google's recent investment in LG Display, which many believe is an indication the Pixel 2 will have a curved OLED screen. With all of this said, we probably won't learn anything else at the conference.

Google Assistant gets much smarter

Google launched a competitor to Apple's Siri last year called Assistant which we thought was a little too dull to be a truly useful digital assistant at the time. That should change quickly because in April, Google launched a developer preview of Google Assistant SDK, which lets developers build new skills for the platform.

Updates on virtual reality

Google launched its new Daydream VR headset one year ago at Google I/O, so it's unlikely that we'll see any new hardware. Still, it's clear that Google is deeply interested in virtual reality. Since Google Cardboard debuted at the 2014 conference, it's become somewhat customary for Google to update us on where it thinks the future of virtual reality is going.

The company will also likely talk about less exciting products like Hangouts, which recently became an enterprise product. There could also be updates for more consumer-focused Duo and Allo messaging apps, especially since Google just announced it can make custom emojis based on your selfies.

Then there are projects we most certainly won't hear anything exciting about. For example, Android Wear 2 launched at last year's event and is still working its way onto older devices, so we don't expect to hear much news on that front. Also the Chromecast Ultra launched in October, so it's unlikely we'll get any new streaming devices.

We'll be on the ground at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Google's hometown of Mountain View, California on May 17 (May 18 in Australia).

News OnePlus New Handset Update : OnePlus 5 Image Leak Tips Dual Rear Camera Setup, 8GB RAM, 4000mAh Battery

OnePlus 5 is scheduled to launch this Summer but leaks regarding the smartphone have been popping up online with increasing frequency for quite some time now. Now, fresh renders of the phone have surfaced the Internet and suggest that the dual camera setup at the back might feature a different design than suggested earlier.

As per the leaked renders, posted on Chinese microblogging website Weibo (first spotted by TheAndroidSoul), the phone does seem to sport a vertical dual camera setup as suggested earlier but the design appears to be slightly more refined than earlier leaks. The design on the smartphone, from the back side, seems to be somewhat similar to its predecessor OnePlus 3T but as we still have no leaks about what the front looks like.
Interestingly, the new leak also reaffirms some of the specifications that were earlier suggested for the smartphone. This includes presence of Snapdragon 835 SoC, an impressive 8GB of RAM (quite a few reports continue to point to 6GB RAM), and a humongous 4000mAh battery.


Recently, the smartphone's benchmark performance made its way to the Internet and if the leaked GeekBench scores are to be believed, the upcoming flagship from OnePlus outperforms two other smartphones that also feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. In terms of multi-core performance, OnePlus 5 was able to outperform Samsung's Galaxy S8 and Sony's Xperia XZ Premium.

News Prevention From Hacking : How To Protect Yourself From The Global Ransomware Attack

Security experts are bracing for more fallout from Friday's worldwide WannaCry ransomware attack, which has so far affected more than 150 countries and major businesses and organizations, including FedEx, Renault and Britain's National Health Service. But if you're just hearing about this attack - or waking up to an unresponsive computer of your own - here's what you need to understand about what law enforcement officials have called the biggest such attack in history.

-- What's ransomware?

Ransomware is a kind of malicious software that, as its name implies, takes a computer hostage and holds it for ransom. In this case, the attackers are asking for at least $300 in bitcoins for each computer affected by the attack.


With ransomware attacks, the malware locks down a target machine, encrypting its data and preventing the owner from accessing it until he or she agrees to pay up.

-- How many people have been affected by the current strain, WannaCry?

Over the weekend, Europol officials said that some 200,000 computers have been hit by the malware. But that number has almost certainly risen as people in Asia - who had logged off for the workweek before WannaCry began spreading - have returned to work. On Monday, the Japanese electronics maker Hitachi, a prominent Korean theater chain and the Chinese government said their systems had been affected. Chinese state media reported that 40,000 businesses and institutions have been hit, according to NPR, including universities, gas stations and city services.


And that's just a measure of the electronic consequences of WannaCry. The software attack has taken a toll on many people in the real world. Health care providers in Britain's NHS, for example, were forced to turn ambulances away and cancel or delay cancer treatments for patients over the weekend, though officials say 80 percent of the NHS's systems were unaffected and that the disruption is easing.

-- Are victims paying the ransom?

Some are. The news site Quartz has set up a Twitter bot to track the bitcoin wallets linked to the attack, which are growing fatter by the minute.

actual ransom tweeted: The three bitcoin wallets tied to #WannaCry ransomware have received 194 payments totaling 31.38971127 BTC ($53,453.58 USD).

-- Businesses and organizations seem to have been hit pretty hard, particularly overseas. Why?

It's largely a question of resources and attention. Security experts say the attack could have been prevented if many businesses had simply kept their machines up to date with the latest software. In reality, doing that may be more difficult than it sounds, either because of corporate cultures that don't prioritize security or because of a lack of funding to upgrade to the latest and greatest.

That raises questions about inequality in technology, said Stewart Baker, a former general counsel at the National Security Agency. Many people, he said, run pirated versions of Microsoft operating systems because they feel they cannot afford the real thing. Those people "are at risk - they're probably not getting updates," he said.

Other organizations, he said, may have stuck with legacy software because it worked and paying to upgrade to new versions of Windows didn't seem necessary.

But after the highly public spread of WannaCry, companies around the globe no longer have an excuse to forgo system updates, said one former Obama administration official.

"It's no longer a cost of doing business," said R. David Edelman, who advised President Barack Obama on technology. "It's going to be a cost of staying in business."

-- I've been hit by WannaCry. Should I pay?

Some of those who have paid the WannaCry ransom have regained control of their computers, security researchers say. Still, many are urging consumers not to pay the ransom if they can avoid it because giving in simply encourages attackers to pump out more ransomware, and victims may not get their data back even if they do pay.

Analysts have noticed an uptick of ransomware attacks in recent years, with most predicting an even bigger increase in 2017.



-- What if I don't have the luxury of fighting the ransomware?

The bad news is, you might be stuck with paying or wiping your machine and starting over from a clean install. But the next best thing you can do is help reduce the odds of being hit next time. We'll get to some tips in a minute.

-- Who's being targeted? Am I safe?

The WannaCry ransomware targets Windows computers, particularly those running Windows XP, an aging operating system that Microsoft largely stopped supporting in 2014. If you're running the most recent version of Windows, or XP with the appropriate security patches, you should be okay (though you should really stop using XP right away).

-- What about Apple and Android devices?

Apple computers appear not to be affected by WannaCry, but that does not mean that Macs or iPhones are immune to malware in general. As Apple has gained more marketshare, its products have become a much bigger target for attackers. And Android phones are notoriously susceptible to malware, in part because many Android phones run outdated versions of the system and it's incumbent on cellphone carriers to push updates. If you prefer using Android, consider switching to one of Google's proprietary handsets, such as the Pixel, which tend to receive Google's software patches as soon as they're released.

-- Who's behind the WannaCry attack?

It's unclear who the attackers are, but we do somewhat know about the origins of the ransomware. The vulnerability in Windows that WannaCry takes advantage of was discovered by the NSA for its surveillance toolkit. But word got out when a hacker group known as the Shadow Brokers dumped a bunch of leaked NSA information onto the Internet in April. Microsoft, however, had already issued a software update the month before; those that downloaded and installed the patch were protected from WannaCry, but many others lagged behind and became victims.

Microsoft is now warning that the government practice of "stockpiling" software vulnerabilities so that they can be used as weapons is a misguided tactic that weakens security for everybody.

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen," the company said Sunday.

-- How can I protect myself?

Bottom line: Make sure your device's software is up to date. Software updates often contain lots of patches that fix bugs and close security loopholes; regularly using Windows Update or the Software Update feature on a Mac will help insulate you from problems. But you can also set your devices to install those updates automatically so you don't even have to think about it. Hackers prey on complacency.

In addition, you can:

Create backups of your most important files, either by downloading them to an external hard drive or by storing them in a cloud-based storage service.

Use a password manager to create and keep track of unique, hard-to-remember (and thus hard-to-break) passwords for each of your services. It's a little counterintuitive, but experts say it's much more secure than the alternative, which is reusing the same password across multiple websites.

Check your medical and credit reports for evidence of fraudulent activity.

At work, check with your IT administrator to make sure your organization's devices are protected from WannaCry.

Remember to treat unexpected emails with caution, and read up on phishing - one of the most common types of social engineering attacks used by attackers to compromise machines.


"Ransomware is following the same trajectory as phishing," said Phillip Hallam-Baker, an expert at the digital security firm Comodo. "The criminals have worked out how to monetize the crime, and they know which types of businesses are likely to pay up - and how to collect the money without being caught."

Latest Gaming News Update : 13 Best PC Gaming Headsets 2016

Updated: We've added a triple whammy of gaming headsets! Check out the Sennheiser PC373D in at #2, Turtle Beach 350 Stealth VR in at #4 and Sennheiser GSP 350 in at #8. If you're looking for a more affordable surround sound option, Logitech's G430, in at number #14, might be just what you're looking for.

No PC gamer worth their kill/death ratio would skimp on a decent headset. Arguably more important than a mechanical gaming keyboard or mouse, a worthy pair of cans make the difference between guessing where enemies are and hunting them down like a sonically-enhanced ninja.

Pick the right pair and you'll hear the sound of bullets envelop your ears while explosions rock your eardrums, and dialogue in games takes on a new level of clarity.

Whether you need a USB or 3.5mm headset, a surround sound or stereo pair, or simply one to communicate with friends online, we've picked out the very best PC gaming headsets for your needs.
Siberia 840
Sometimes you're prepared to pay a premium for a PC gaming accessory that does the lot, and in the headset category that's the Siberia 840. Following on from the already impressive Siberia 800 (and the H Wireless before that from 2014), the upgraded Sibera 840 now works with Bluetooth and is lag-free within games. It also supports SteelSeries Engine 3 - a gorgeous and user-friendly app that lets you manage and tweak every element of the Siberia 840 - from profiles to equalizer settings and what to show on the OLED display on the side of the accompanying base unit.

All of that is, of course, secondary to the Siberia 840's sound qualities which are nothing less than sublime. Activating Dolby 7.1 surround sound is like dropping you into the game. Enemies' footsteps can be picked out across a room including behind you, leading to some heart-in-mouth moments in shooters like DOOM.

Expectations around any Sennheiser gaming headset are already high considering the brand's expertise in audio equipment. The company's flagship PC 373D doesn't disappoint thanks to its high-end Dolby 7.1 Surround sound that lets you pick out enemies from afar. We went for hours with minimal discomfort wearing the headset, which keeps your head cool using breathable plush velvet ear pads that offer surprisingly decent sound isolation. Our in-game team-mates had no trouble hearing us speak thanks to the noise cancelling microphone, which is decked in a red material that matches the inside of the ear-cup. The PC 373D's design is refreshingly demure, decked in matte black material and free of the ostentatious "gamer" features often found on other headsets. While it may not feature wireless connectivity, a combination of supreme comfort, flawless sound quality and a stellar retractable microphone add up to make one of the best premium gaming headsets on the market.
V-MODA
If you're more interested in the sounds coming out of your gaming headset, rather than glowing LEDs, macro keys and other nonessential extras, then the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless is the headset for you. These stylish cans are a treat for the ears, emitting booming sound that's bass-heavy with fantastically crisp treble at the other end. Whether you're being rocked by explosions in Battlefield or can hear the roar of the crowd in Fifa, they bring games to life and are equally suited to listening to music; You'll be able to pick out parts of your favorite tracks that you never previously thought existed.
 
Stepping out of the soundscape for a moment, the V-MODA Crossfade Wireless feature comfortable memory foam ear cups that don't irritate the ears even after hours of use, and you'll get around 12 hours out of its battery life when connected via Bluetooth. This headset's rugged build quality, funky travel case and optional USB connectivity add up to make it one of the best headsets on the market.

 

With VR headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift making their way into PC gamers' rooms, specially-designed audio headsets for virtual reality were bound to follow. The Turtle Beach 350 Stealth VR is one of the most flexible out there, featuring a generous amount of adjustability thanks to its sturdy headband which can fit over the top of VR headsets worn on even the biggest heads. Sure enough, the 350 Stealth is designed for practicality rather than sharp looks. Its black-and-white color scheme isn't the most exciting design out there, but an abundance of features makes up for that. There's mic monitoring, which allows you to hear your own voice inside the headset, bass boost for booming lows, a detachable noise-cancelling headphone mic, and a groove in the ear cups that lets you tuck the audio cable out of the way. While it's perfectly suitable for owners of PC-based VR headsets, it's quite literally a great fit for PSVR gamers too.

 

Unlike some of its competitors, SteelSeries stresses subtlety in its headset designs. The Arctis continues this trend by flaunting sound quality and comfort over gaudy appearances. 
When you pop an Arctis on your head, the goal is for your audience to see a professional environment rather than, say, a Dorito stain on your chair. The customizable lighting, however, gives you plenty of wiggle room, though, if the monochrome look isn't your thing.
The SteelSeries Arctis comes in three distinct flavors: Arctis 3, Arctis 5 and Arctis 7, each one more expensive than the last. The Arctis 3 is pretty analog protocol while the 5 ships with an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and the Arctis 7 is wireless with 2.4GHz connectivity. Each model comes with digital audio control built-in, with an app available for those looking to take this one step further.

The only drawback, then, is a less-than-attractive suspension headband.
Razer ManO'War 

Quick and easy to setup using an inconspicuous wireless USB receiver that stores inside the headset for transportation, the Razer ManO'War is a user-friendly unit that's primed for surround-sound gaming. Sure, it's a little chunkier than most other headsets, but two soft leatherette ear cups make it comfortable to wear for extended periods. They're easy on the eye too thanks to customizable Chroma RGB backlighting configured through Razer's Synapse software.

Though delivered through software, the ManO'War's 7.1 channel virtual surround sound does a fine job of ramping up immersion in-game. Doom's Imps are no longer somewhere around you – they're breathing down your neck. The ManO'War's range can reach up to 14 meters using the supplied USB extender, and its battery life is capable of stretching to just as many hours.

Arguably one of the most affordable gaming headsets available today, the HyperX Cloud Stinger is designed to give players eSports quality audio at a bargain. While there isn't much to write home about with the red on black plastic design of the headset, the stereo sound is superb. It also feels comfortable to wear for extended play sessions thanks to a set of memory foam earcups. Although this isn't the ultimate gaming headset, it's a great starting point if you're trying to game on a budget.

 

More affordable than Sennheiser's flagship PC 373D while still packing an audible punch, the GSP 350 carries over that headset's stellar 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound and closed ear-cup design. It's equally a suitable for marathon  gaming sessions thanks to its huge comfortable ear cups, with the right cup once again featuring a volume dial. The headset uses a closed-back design with an adjustable split headband, rather than the PC 373D's more solid and thicker continuous band. The GSP 350's noise-cancelling microphone is equally as good and once again mutes when lifted up while blocking out breathing sounds, much to the relief of your in-game team-mates. If you like the look of Sennheiser's flagship gaming headset but can't quite stomach its price tag, this one is a little lighter and slightly less solid, but still superior to many of its rivals.

G33 Artemis Spectrum 

Logitech's flagship gaming headset packs in plenty of bells and whistles, the most useful being its cup-mounted G-keys that provide handy shortcuts to performing actions in-game. In terms of design, The G933 is certainly one of the snazziest headsets around and oozes gamer appeal, and if you're fed up of round ear-cups on headsets then you'll appreciate its large and comfortable ear-shaped ones. Logitech has ran a multi-colored lighting strip all the way down the cup, rather than placing a flashing logo on the side, which in our eyes is more appealing than the small glowing areas on Corsair's and Razer's flagship headsets. On the negative side, this cuts down battery life to around 10 hours. Turning off the flashing goodness will help you eke out a few more,

Corsair Void RGB 

If you're looking for a pair of 7.1 surround sound cans with RGB lighting that won't break the bank, Corsair's latest entry should be high up your list. Its excellent 40-meter wireless range means you can go for a wander without your team-mates' chatter cutting off, and the Void is capable of emitting fist-pumping bass that's powerful without muddying the mix. You can configure its lighting colors using Corsair's intuitive software and even make it dance in tandem with the company's K65 or K70 mechanical keyboards. Unfortunately, there isn't any way for adjusting the fold-down mic so its clarity often suffers, but it doesn't put us off what is a solid and affordable option for surround sound gaming.

Cloud Revolver 

Here we have a no-frills headset that offers build quality that comes close to pairs that cost almost twice the price. You may have already come across Kingston's HyperX Cloud Revolver headset. Used by a number of eSports teams, its large interchangeable over-the-ear memory foam cups help block out unwanted noise, and the retractable mic allows clear and distortion-free communication with team-mates.

Despite its affordable nature, the Cloud Revolver is ready to rock. Its 53mm drivers have been tweaked to blast out punchy mid-range tones and pounding bass that's best described as in-your-face. Subtle they ain't. There's no surround sound support or RGB lighting to be found here, and you'll have to reach for the Cloud Revolver's braided cable to get to its in-line volume and mic controls. If those factors don't bother you then this value-focused headset comes highly recommended.

ROG STRIX WIRELESS 

Looking like something straight out of Quake 2, Asus' Strix 7.1 wireless gaming headset immediately caught our eye thanks to its large black-and-orange ear cups that are decked in a circular pattern resembling an owl's eye. Those oversized ear cups makes them comfortable to wear for extended periods but there's no RGB lighting on them, which on the plus side provides up to 10 hours of continuous gameplay using 2.4GHz wireless to connect.
Asus claims that it provides lower latency than Bluetooth, and while it's difficult to verify that, bullets whizzing past our head in-game synched up pretty well thanks to virtual 7.1 surround sound being blasted into our ears from all directions. Asus' Sonic Studio software provides an easy method of tweaking sound settings, and we found cranking up the (already sufficient) bass in the app's equalizer particularly satisfying for both gaming and listening to music.

Turtle Beach 

Aimed at PC and console gamers, using Turtle Beach's Elite Pro feels like sitting down at a command station and gearing up for war. This headset oozes gaming appeal, right down to the subtle orange ruler-type markings on the headset's automatically adjusting headband. It's a funky piece of kit that's reassuringly chunky while remaining supremely comfortable at all times thanks to its gel-infused Aerofit ear cushions. Most importantly, they sound great in the heat of battle. That's down to Turtle Beach's 50mm NanoClear drivers, which do an especially great job of bringing you into the heart of the action in shooters.

If you're particularly hardcore, you might want to shell out for the Tactical Audio Controller. At $199 (around £149) it's not cheap, but it grants an intuitive and fun of adjusting settings such as the game/chat mix, your own microphone level, in-game sounds, and there's also a mute button to cut game sound out completely. It also lets you chop and change between four surround modes (Game, Music, Movie and off), which is a lot easier than fiddling around with controls on the headset itself.

Featuring an eye-catching black-and-blue color scheme, Logitech's G430 is one of the more affordable surround-sound headsets out there. Featuring both Dolby 7.1 and FTS HeadphoneX surround sound, they allow you to detect enemies before they clock you.
They can be worn for hours thanks to their sports-like cloth on the ear cups, which pivot and rotate flat to a 90-degree angle for easier transportation. There's also a noise-cancelling mic that helps to cut out background noise, and you can easily mute yourself using audio controls located on the 2.3-meter cable.

Latest Car News Update : Audi R8 V10 Spyder: A Supercar That Anyone Can Drive

 
Audi is a car brand that's seen quite a transformation over the last decade or so, shedding its slightly stuffy image of a car maker that builds solid saloons and estates in favor of a more desirable one thanks to a raft of new model lines.

The original TT played a big part in this, while the likes of the first RS6 estates, with their dirty great V8s shoehorned under the bonnet, were pretty much the quickest way to transport a family of four and their dog over long distances.

Then there's Audi's success at Le Mans, winning five times with the LMP R8 before ripping up the rule book and entering the diesel-powered R10 TDi, which won the endurance event in its first year in 2006.

That same year Audi took the wraps off its most ambitious road car yet, borrowing the name from its race-winning cousin to boot: the R8 supercar.

Cementing Audi's status as a premium car brand, the R8 represented the pinnacle of the company's engineering prowess, and now, 10 years on we have the second-generation model - it'll be coming to the US in Spring 2017.

But with the supercar landscape changing dramatically as hybrid technology is embraced, is there still a place for the likes of the £129,990 R8 V10 Spyder?

Highlights:

The star of the Spyder show is its hand-built, naturally aspirated 533bhp 5.2-litre V10 engine. This stunning piece of engineering shuns turbos and hybrid technology to propel you from a standing start to 62mph in 3.6 secs, and will push onwards to a top speed of 198mph.

Audi has employed the classic supercar trick of positioning the engine in the middle; as a result weight distribution has a slight bias towards the rear axle, which when coupled up with the R8's Quattro all-wheel drive technology, should produce stunning traction and grip.

While those investing in a V10 supercar might not have fuel economy at the forefront of their minds, the engine features Audi's advanced Cylinder-on-demand technology. This sees the engine management system shut down five of the 10 cylinders when you're trundling along in traffic (or posing along the streets of Knightsbridge or Monaco) to improve fuel consumption, but within milliseconds of you hitting the throttle, all 10 cylinders will burst into life to give you the full force of that glorious engine.
While supercars of old had heavy manual gearboxes with just as heavy clutch pedals, not so the Spyder. With its seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox it's simply a case of pressing the throttle pedal and the gearbox will do the rest, while for those times when you want to move things along a bit faster you can pull up the right paddle behind the steering wheel to shift up through the gears.

Styling:

Compared to the original R8 Spyder, the design has been sharpened up quite a bit, and it's all the better for it. While it may not have quite the same in-your-face styling as some of its rivals, the Spyder's understated and purposeful looks - enhanced by the addition of distinctive sideblades, which shove air into the engine, and make the car's midriff a little wider - give it a certain presence and drama, whether it's parked up or going full pelt.

Going topless:


For purists, a cabriolet is always going to be seen as a compromise over a coupe equivalent - rigidity and stiffness are compromised by lopping the roof off, while the roof mechanism and extra engineering required to add the torsional strength lost by the roof all adds weight. But that's to ignore the sheer thrill of having the roof down, and the howl of the V10 ricocheting off the surrounding buildings and straight back into the cockpit.

Audi's done a stunning job here. The mix of carbon and aluminium makes the Spyder some 55% more rigid than the previous model, as well as being some 25kg lighter. Compared to its hardtop counterpart it's only 125kg heavier, which may seem a lot, but it's impressive given the level of engineering required.
The folding roof mechanism is a masterwork of mechanical dance, taking just 20 seconds from a single press of a button to reveal the sky, while if the urge to drop the roof is so great that you don't want to stop (or, less thrilling, if it starts to rain), this can be done on the move at speeds of up to 31mph.

Cockpit:

While it might not offer quite the same sense of occasion as slipping behind the wheel of a Lamborghini or Ferrari, the R8 Spyder's cockpit is still a very nice place to be, with lots of leather and carbon to deliver a very premium, high-end feel.

The R8 Spyder uses what's been termed Audi Virtual Cockpit, shunning traditional dials for a customisable digital display. Rather than having a multimedia interface (MMI) in the central console and the instrument panel up front, the two are combined into one high-resolution display, with the choice of three views: classic, infotainment and sport.
Google Maps is built in for navigation, while it's easy to partner your smartphone with the Spyder - provided you tick the Audi Smartphone Interface optional extra that is. This enables you to share mobile phone content via USB and display it on the MMI, either via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Another optional extra is the Audi Phone Box, which allows wireless charging simply by placing your phone on the storage compartment, as well as creating a wireless connection via the car's aerial.

Sound system:

If you ever tire of the stunning soundtrack of the R8's V10 engine, then you're in for a treat with the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System. It's an optional extra that will set you back another £1,750, but you get yourself a 16-channel amplifier with 13 speakers dotted round the cockpit (including two in each seat headrest and a subwoofer in the passenger footwell) that will kick out 550 watts. 
The sound quality is stunning - whether you've got the roof up or down, the clarity and depth are mightily impressive.

How it drives:


You'd think a £130,000+ V10 supercar would be intimidating to drive, but that's not the case at all. With the roof up, the gearbox set to full auto and the Drive mode dialled into Normal or Comfort, you've got an incredibly comfortable and cocooned cruiser that will happily demolish those motorway miles, or be quite at home just pootling around town. Find a twisty A-road, drop the roof and change the engine mode to Individual or Dynamic, and the Spyder's Le Mans-winning DNA shines through.
Put your foot down and the Spyder surges forward, with the engine note changing from a deep rumble to a loud howl as it nears its redline. Flick the right paddle behind the steering wheel and the change is seamless, while the snarling crackle that greets this change of gear is incredibly addictive.

This level of performance should be terrifying, but the grip is staggering - the all-wheel Quattro technology that saw Audi dominate the World Rally Championships in the 1980s inspires so much confidence as you travel through a bend that you'd have to do something pretty dramatic to unsettle it.
With all this power you'd naturally want to be able to stop pretty sharpish, and the optional-extra ceramic brakes that our car had deliver incredible stopping power. They can be a bit snappy to start with, but once you've generated a decent amount of heat their stopping power is immense.

Verdict:


The Audi R8 V10 Spyder is an engineering masterpiece. Unlike some supercars that can be hard to live with on a daily basis, the Spyder is a true supercar that you can enjoy every day. It's comfy and quiet when you need it to be, but a flick of the switch will see it transform into a true howling and cackling supercar that will punch you in the back as you climb through the gears at a staggering rate.
The coupe may be lighter and just a bit quicker, but you'll soon forget about that with the roof down and the sound of that glorious V10, just a couple of feet away, screaming through the rev range. The R8 V10 Spyder really does take your breath away.

Latest Car News Update : See The World As A Self-Driving Car Does In Tesla's Latest Video

If you're not already wowed by some of the work going on in self-driving car technology then Tesla's latest video might take your appreciation levels up a notch - it shows a split screen view of what one of these autonomous vehicles 'sees' during a journey.

That includes lane lines, the flow of the road, road signs and streetlights, as well as the in-path objects that need to be avoided. It's an enlightening look at just how complex these systems are and how far they've come in recent years.

The latest clip was shared by Tesla chief Elon Musk on Twitter and follows another similar clip released last month - obviously the company is keen to get as many people comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles as it can.

Tesla has already said that from this point on all of its cars will be fitted with the hardware and technology required to make them fully autonomous, but it can't be switched on until all the relevant safety checks have been carried out and it becomes officially legal to take an autonomous car out on the road.

The testing that the likes of Tesla and Google are doing at the moment is covered by special licences and it's going to be a few years yet before governments are going to give the legal all-clear.

These cars also need to be tested out in more extreme conditions and on more demanding routes around the world - tootling through the wide streets of California in the sunshine is all well and good, but until self-driving motors can also get across the Pennines in the snow they'll remain in beta testing.

News Technology Threat Update : Dangerous Backdoor Found In About 3 Million Android Smartphones, BLU Affected The Most

Just a few days ago, a backdoor was discovered in various Android smartphones that was being used to send call logs and text message archives to servers hosted in China. Now, an even more dangerous rootkit has been discovered, with devices from US-based smartphone brand, BLU, being found to be among the most affected.

Security research firm, BitSight has released an advisory about a rootkit found in the Ragentek firmware used in certain Android smartphones, mostly manufactured by Chinese OEMs. The firm carried out extensive tests using a BLU Studio G smartphone, which involved installing a tracking file using the exploit. Since the firmware allows installation of apps with elevated privileges, a compromised device can be used to do a lot of harm.

By monitoring the data transmitted to a couple of domains, BitSight identified nearly 55 smartphone models, which feature the backdoor. Many more devices with unknown identifiers were also discovered. US-based brand, BLU, is the worst-affected with about 26 percent of its smartphones found with this backdoor. The other brands include Chinese vendors such as Doogee, Leagoo and Infinix. BLU is said to be addressing the issue, but no details of the process are available yet.

According to BitSight, requests to the remote servers were largely made from phones used in institutions such as banks, hospitals and governments, where these devices probably were deployed in bulk due to low prices. Network admins or enthusiasts can monitor their traffic for requests to the following URLs to find out whether they have any affected devices in their network:
  • oyag[.]lhzbdvm[.]com
  • oyag[.]prugskh[.]net
  • oyag[.]prugskh[.]com
The recent discoveries about backdoors in smartphones coming out of China will surely raise concerns in the global market, where many of these devices are being sold with local branding as in the case of BLU.

News Gaming Update : A Hidden Trailer In Watch Dogs 2 Proves To Be More Interesting Than Ubisoft’s Entire Catalogue

Watch Dogs 2, the game where you play Marcus Holloway, hacker extraordinaire, has revealed an a mission where you steal a game trailer for an in-game version of Ubisoft.
Ubisoft is the company that is developing Watch Dogs 2 in the first place, but that’s not the interesting part. The trailer, reproduced below, shows off a game that actually looks rather nice. It’s so good, in fact, that many are hoping that this is a teaser for a game that Ubisoft is already working on.
As you can see, the trailer features a game with a vivid colour palette and what looks like a reasonably fleshed out space game. If I’m honest, I’d go so far as to say that the trailer actually looks far more interesting to me than the bulk of Ubisoft’s games.

If Ubisoft is indeed developing the game, I’m in two minds about the outcome. On one hand, I’m excited, on the other hand, I’m terrified; this is Ubisoft we’re talking about after all. If nothing else, the company has a reputation for dumbing down games and it has no pedigree when it comes to multiplayer gaming.

Watch Dogs 2 will be available tonight for PS4 and Xbox One and on PC by 28 November. The PC version is obviously the cheaper one, but given how badly Ubisoft ported the last game, the console version may be the one you’d want to play.

New Technology Update : A Malicious WhatsApp Video Feature Invite Is Spreading Across The Messaging App

WhatsApp recently announced the launch of its video calling feature which has started to roll out for Android, iOS and Windows Phone users. While a number of messaging apps offer this feature, WhatsApp has been a little late, it does however have the biggest user base across the globe.

While the news is welcoming, many users are receiving as well as sharing an unverified link on WhatsApp which is said to be an invite to activate the video calling feature. An invite system was introduced last year on Whatsapp when the voice calling feature was rolled out. It seems that certain scammers are trying to take advantage of this as they have spread a similar looking fake link for the new video calling feature.

WhatsApp has not officially released any links this time to enable any feature, so in case you get any such links, do not visit any of the links. Visiting these links could be harmful and could expose your personal data.

According to a report, the link takes you to what seems to look like an authentic page where it asks you to send the malicious link to other people on your list. It also mentions the existence of group WhatsApp video calling, a feature that is still not officially available on the platform.

If you do happen to get an invite to activate the video calling feature on WhatsApp, do ignore it. To get the feature you just need to update the app to the latest version. In case you don’t see an update, wait for a couple of days as it is rolling out in phases.
 
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