Monthly Archives: February 2016

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Koenigsegg Regera: This Is It

Koenigsegg, not to be upstaged by the new Bugatti Chiron , has finally revealed the production version of its extremely impressive Regera with over 1,500 hp and a 0-62 time of just 2.8 seconds. Damn!

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Pharma’s drug hikes doubled average cost of prescriptions in last decade

(credit: Eric Hunsaker)

Trips to the pharmacy are getting more and more expensive. From 2006 to 2013, the average retail cost of a year’s supply of 622 common prescriptions doubled—from about $5,500 to more than $11,000—according to a new report from AARP, a senior citizen advocacy group.

The rising costs are likely to hit senior citizens hardest, the AARP cautioned, noting that the 2013 average cost would come out to about 75 percent of the average Social Security retirement benefit, which is $15,526.

“If these trends continue, more and more Americans will simply be unable to afford the medications that they need to get and stay healthy,” Debra Whitman, AARP’s Chief Public Policy Officer, said in a statement.

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Apple prevails in forced iPhone unlock case in New York court

(credit: Kārlis Dambrāns)

A judge in New York ruled Monday in favor of Apple in a case where investigators wanted the court to compel the company to unlock a seized iPhone 5S running iOS 7, which the company does have the ability to unlock.

This case involves a drug dealer who has already pleaded guilty. It pre-dates Apple’s current battle with the government over a locked iPhone 5C that belonged to one of the shooters in the December 2015 terrorist attack in San Bernardino—that case is due to be heard in court next month in nearby Riverside, California.

By contrast, the San Bernardino case involves an iPhone 5c, running iOS 9, which Apple says it cannot unlock. In the California case, federal investigators asked for and received an unprecedented court order compelling Apple to create a new firmware to unlock the device. Last week, Apple formally challenged that order, and the outcome is pending.

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Malware hints that Hacking Team is back

Hacking Team has largely stayed under the radar after a gigantic leak exposed its spyware-selling ways, but the company might be on the rebound. Security researchers have noticed that recent Mac malware installs a version of Hacking Team's Remote Cod…

Payroll data leaked for current, former Snapchat employees

In a blog post on Sunday, Snapchat executives revealed that the payroll data of some current and former employees was exposed as the result of a scam e-mail sent to a human resources employee at the company.

“The good news is that our servers were not breached, and our users’ data was totally unaffected by this,” a company spokesperson said in the post. “The bad news is that a number of our employees have now had their identity compromised. And for that, we’re just impossibly sorry.”

On February 26, an employee in Snapchat’s payroll department received a “spear phishing” e-mail that appeared to be from Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel—but that came from an external e-mail address. The message requested employee payroll information. The individual targeted didn’t recognize the message as a scam, and they forwarded the requested information.

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NY judge rules feds can’t force Apple to unlock an iPhone

A US magistrate judge in New York has ruled that the government can't force Apple to help law enforcement to unlock an iPhone using the All Writes Act. This case in question is about drug trafficking and is not related to the San Bernardino shooter c…

Convert a Dutch Oven Recipe Into a Slow Cooker Recipe With This Rule

Convert a Dutch Oven Recipe Into a Slow Cooker Recipe With This Rule

Dutch ovens are fantastic tools in the kitchen, but they can be pricey and not everyone has one. If you want to cook some classic Dutch oven recipes with a slow cooker instead, here’s how.

Whether you’re looking to cook up an old family recipe or try out something new, Kelli Foster at The Kitchn recommends this simple rule of thumb to convert the Dutch oven recipe:

For recipes cooked at 300°F or higher: Use the HIGH setting for 5 hours.

For recipes cooked at 300°F or below: Use the LOW setting for 6 hours.

For the recipes you cook on the high setting, check on your food after four and a half hours just to make sure everything looks okay. For the recipes you cook on the low setting, check on it after about five and a half hours. Some recipes may need more time, but this rule is a good place to start.…

The Temperature Rule to Follow When Converting a Dutch Oven Recipe to a Slow Cooker | The Kitchn

Photo by Janine.

Why you probably shouldn’t be doing work on that in-flight Wi-Fi

Step 4: expose yourself digitally to the rest of the plane. (credit: Arjun Singh)

There’s a certain degree of doubt about whether it’s possible to hack into an airplane’s avionics from the in-flight Wi-Fi, as one security researcher claimed last year. But it’s possible to do all sorts of things to fellow passengers—as USA Today columnist Steven Petrow recently found out. Following an American Airlines flight, Petrow was approached by a man who claimed to have gained access to the content of his e-mails, which showed communication with sources for a story Petrow was writing.

Petrow offered a bunch of advice on how to protect privacy on mobile devices (strong passwords, password managers, and encrypted communications apps). But none of these really addresses how he got “hacked”—the in-flight Wi-Fi provided a perfect environment for an attacker to undermine the security of other passengers’ communications. It’s something that could easily be fixed, but in-flight Internet providers are in no hurry to do so, because it’s not in their interest.

When you’re on any public Wi-Fi, you’re bound to give up some personal information to anyone who might be watching the traffic (whether that be the company providing the service, for marketing purposes, or someone with more malicious intent). For example, in previous tests (such as the ones we conducted with NPR), we saw iPads and iPhones that identified themselves to the network by their owner’s name, and Web requests to websites and mobile app traffic (some including personal data) were also visible. And as might have happened to Petrow, old-school POP/SMTP e-mail messages could be practically read off the wire.

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Is Your Sleep Tracker Keeping You Up at Night?

Is Your Sleep Tracker Keeping You Up at Night?

Sleep is as important to health as diet and exercise and, thanks to new technology, tracking sleep is now routine in monitoring overall well-being. But are the devices used to do this actually useful, or have we simply found a more sophisticated way to clock watch?

This post originally appeared on The Conversation.

We’ve long been fascinated by what happens when we go to sleep. We now know that sleep is not a passive state where everything turns off and we disconnect for several hours. The recognition of sleep medicine as a separate discipline, and the steady increase in sleep research leading to public education messages regarding the importance of sleep, have helped people realize its importance in physical and mental health, productivity, accident prevention and overall well-being.

Not surprisingly, people want to monitor how much sleep they’re getting and how well they’re sleeping. We now have the technology to do this–but that may be doing more harm than good.

The Accuracy of Activity and Sleep Trackers

The introduction of activity trackers and sleep apps for smartphones has made monitoring sleep relatively simple. The most popular activity trackers are the wristband ones, such as the Fitbit, Jawbone and Garmin.…

The sleep information you can obtain from these devices includes sleep duration and quality, assessed by how often you wake up during the night. And, depending on the device, it may also tell you how long you were in deep sleep or light sleep.

The devices and apps work using accelerometer technology. This means the device senses movement–or the lack thereof–over a specified time period (called an epoch) and applies an algorithm to designate whether the person is asleep or awake.

Only a few scientific studies have looked at how effective these devices are at measuring sleep duration and quality. For the most part, they’ve shown they’re fairly good at picking up when someone is asleep; they’re not so good at assessing the number of times someone wakes up during the night and how restless they are.

They also cannot, with any accuracy, determine whether you’re in deep or light sleep, simply based on movement.

When we’re in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep (dreaming sleep), for instance, our body has no muscle movement whatsoever, except for around the eyes. Sleep monitoring devices will recognise this as deep sleep, when it’s actually a light stage of sleep as we’re easily woken when in REM sleep.

And the sensitivity between devices varies greatly, not only in the hardware’s ability to detect movement, but also in the algorithms used to determine sleep time and awake time. What one device determines as awake, another might say is sleep, or vice versa.

Don’t Obsess Over Monitoring Yourself

So should you disregard the sleep component of these devices altogether? Not at all. There’s no doubt they can provide an understanding of your sleep and wake patterns over a period of time.

By monitoring what’s going on in your life, seeing how this affects when you go to bed and how much sleep you get, and thinking about how you ultimately feel during the day, you can try to improve your sleep patterns.

This will have a flow-on effect for sleep quality. But there is a downside.

Not sleeping well can be a source of anxiety for many people, whether as a result of a sleep disorder, such as insomnia, or delayed sleep phase syndrome, which is when people struggle to get to sleep at a desired time, or simply because of increased stress or illness. Paying too much attention to the sleep apps then becomes just another form of clock-watching.

The trick is not to take your sleep app too seriously. Remember the data is unlikely to be entirely accurate, especially for how much or how long you were awake during the night. Clearly, if you’re obsessively monitoring the statistics and it’s becoming a source of anxiety, then it’s not helpful for you to keeping using your device or app to monitor sleep.

There are other ways to do so anyway. If you really want to know what’s going on with your sleep, listen to your body. You don’t need an app to tell you that you’re not sleeping well and feel terrible.

If you feel you have a sleep problem, seek help from a medical professional. Your body and brain–not your app or device–will thank you for it.

Health Check: is your sleep app keeping you up at night? | The Conversation

Alfa Romeo Giulia: This Is It Minus 375 Horsepower

We have seen the 510 horsepower Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and it is glorious. And now we’re seeing it minus as much as 375 horsepower.

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