Drivers to be banned from wearing Google Glass


Drivers will be banned from getting behind the wheel wearing Google Glass, the smart spectacles which act as a computer.

The Department for Transport has acted before the invention goes on general sale amid fears that users could be distracted.

Google is expected to put the device, which is worn like a pair of glasses, on the market next year.

Although smaller than normal spectacles, Google glass – essentially a wearable computer – places a small screen just above the right eye.

Users can tell the glass to take a picture, record a video and read messages. According to Google it will have the benefit of interacting with the web, but be less intrusive than a mobile phone.

However the DfT stressed to that it would not be acceptable for motorists to wear Google Glass.

A spokesman said: “It is important that drivers give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel and do not behave in a way that stops them from observing what is happening on the road.

“A range of offences and penalties already exist to tackle those drivers who do not pay proper attention to the road including careless driving which will become a fixed penalty offence later this year.

“We are aware of the impending rollout of Google Glass and are in discussion with the Police to ensure that individuals do not use this technology

while driving.”


Hackers use Android ‘master key’ exploit in China

peoples phone android in box display case

A security firm says it has identified the first known malicious use of Android’s “master key” vulnerability.
The bug – which was first publicised earlier this month – allows attackers to install code on to phones running Google’s mobile operating system and then take control of them.
Symantec said its researchers had found two apps distributed in China that had been infected using the exploit. Google has already taken moves to tackle the problem. A fortnight ago it released a patch to manufacturers, but it will not have been sent to all handset owners yet.
Google also scans its own Play marketplace for the exploit, but this will not protect consumers who download software from other stores.
The vulnerability was first reported by security research firm BlueBox on 3 July. All Android apps contain an encrypted signature that the operating system uses to check the program is legitimate and has not been tampered with.
But BlueBox said it had found a way to make changes to an app’s code without affecting the signature. It warned the technique could be used to install a Trojan to read any data on a device, harvest passwords, record phone calls, take photos and carry out other functions. According to Symantec, hackers have now exploited the flaw to install malware called Android.Skullkey, which steals data from compromised phones, monitors texts received and written on the handset, and also sends its own SMS messages to premium numbers.
It said the Trojan had been added to two legitimate apps used in China to find and make appointments with a doctor. 

“We expect attackers to continue to leverage this vulnerability to infect unsuspecting user devices,” its report warned. “

Symantec recommends users only download applications from reputable Android application marketplaces.”

The firm added that affected users could manually remove the software by going into their settings menu. One telecoms consultant said the news highlighted the difficulty Google had in distributing changes to Android. “When Google releases its updates, manufacturers want to check them and then network operators also want to certify the code as well,” said Ben Wood, director of research at CCS Insight. “It’s a consequence of having so many different firms making Android devices, with most running their own user interfaces on top. By contrast, Apple just pushes its updates directly to consumers.”

Nokia reveals affordable 4G-ready Lumia 625


Nokia has announced the Lumia 625 smartphone, with the Windows Phone 8 device set to become one of the lowest priced 4G-ready devices available in the UK.

It will go on sale later this quarter and cost £200 before taxes and subsidies. At launch, it will be available at Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4U, EE, O2 and Vodafone, available in black, white, yellow, green and orange. Checking will reveil which retailer is offering the best deal on this handset.
The Lumia 625, which is powered by a 1.2GHz processor, has Nokia’s largest smartphone screen to date at 4.7 inches. It has a rear five megapixel camera and front-facing VGA camera.
It provides imaging technology found in the recently announced Lumia 1020. These include integrated camera applications like Nokia Smart Camera, which enables the removal of unwanted objects from pictures.
Other features include 8GB of internal memory that can be expanded by a further 64GB with a microSD card, 7GB of online SkyDrive storage and five changeable back covers that come boxed with the smartphone.
Nokia Smart Devices executive vice president Jo Harlow said: “With our largest smartphone screen to date, the Nokia Lumia 625 is a perfect example of how Nokia is delivering leading smartphone innovation and experiences at every price point.”


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Jailed for possessing phone-like stun gun

cell phone stun gun peoples phone

A man who was caught with a stun gun which looked like a mobile phone has been jailed for five years.
Michael Cleer was found with the weapon at the Kensington Bar, in Paisley Road West, Glasgow, on 25 August last year.
The 36-year-old claimed he had bought it on the internet to protect his mother who had been receiving “unwanted attention” from a neighbour.
Cleer admitted possessing the stun gun and was given the minimum term laid down under firearms legislation. The High Court in Edinburgh heard how police entered the pub after receiving information.
They found Cleer sitting at a table and he was asked if he had anything which he should not have or which might cause injury to officers if searched.
When he replied that he did not, Cleer was told he was being detained for a search as he was suspected of having a firearm. The officers later found the Chinese-made device, which can discharge high-voltage electricity, in the waistband of his trousers.
Cleer initially claimed it was a mobile phone but later said his mother had been getting unwanted attention from a neighbour and he wanted to get something for her to “make her feel safe”. He accepted that he had hidden the stun gun in the waistband of his trousers as he knew he should not have it in his possession.
He told police: “I knew it wasn’t 100 per cent legal but I didn’t think it was illegal.” The court heard the stun gun falls within provisions of the Firearms Act which set a minimum jail sentence of five years unless a court is satisfied exceptional circumstances exist.
Judge Lord Turnbull said it was submitted on Cleer’s behalf that he did not appreciate the device was classified as a firearm. But the judge said he did not consider that exceptional circumstances were present which would allow him to depart from the minimum sentence set by parliament.

Millions of Sim cards are ‘vulnerable to hack attack’


A flaw with mobile phones’ Sim card technology is putting millions of people at risk of being spied on and robbed, according to a leading security expert.

Karsten Nohl has said he has found a way to discover some Sims’ digital keys by sending them a special text message.He warned criminals could potentially use the technique to listen in on calls or steal cash.

Industry organisation – the GSMA – said it was looking into the findings.”Karsten’s early disclosure to the GSMA has given us an opportunity for preliminary analysis,” said a spokeswoman for the association, which represents global network operators, “We have been able to consider the implications and provide guidance to those network operators and Sim vendors that may be impacted. It would appear that a minority of Sims produced against older standards could be vulnerable.”

Mr Nohl has posted preliminary details of the vulnerability on the website of his company, Berlin-based Security Research Labs.

Sim (subscriber identity module) cards effectively act as a security token, authenticating a user’s identity with their network operator. They also store a limited amount of data such as text messages, contacts’ telephone numbers and details used for some applications – including a number of payment and banking services.

Mr Nohl says that mobile banking customers in Africa rely on the security offered by their Sim cards. He said he had found a way to discover the authentication code by sending a device a text message masquerading as a communication from the user’s mobile operator.

The message contained a bogus digital signature for the network. He said most phones cut contact after recognising the signature as being a fake – but in about a quarter of cases, the handsets sent back an error message including an encrypted version of the Sim’s authentication code. The encryption is supposed to prevent the authentication code being discovered, but Mr Nohl said that in about half of these cases it was based on a 1970s coding system called Digital Encryption Standard (DES), which was once thought secure but could now be cracked “within two minutes on a standard computer”.

Once the attacker had this information, Mr Nohl said, they could download malware to the Sim written in the Java programming language. He said these could be used by the hacker to send texts from the device to premium rate numbers they had set up, to discover and listen in to the target’s voicemail messages and to track their location.

In addition, he warned that combined with other techniques, it could act as a surveillance tool. “Sim cards generate all the keys you use to encrypt your calls, your SMS and your internet traffic,” Mr Nohl said. “If someone can capture the encrypted data plus have access to your Sim card, they can decrypt it. Operators often argue that it’s not possible to listen in on 3G or 4G calls – now with access to the Sim card, it very much is.”

Mr Nohl said that his research suggested about an eighth of all Sim cards were vulnerable to the hack attack – representing between 500 million to 750 million devices. Although Mr Nohl would not reveal at this time in which countries DES encryption remained most common, he did say that Africa-based users had particular cause for concern. “Here in Europe we use a Sim card to make phone calls and texts, but many people in Africa also use them for mobile banking,” he said. “Someone can steal their entire bank account by copying their Sim card. That adds a certain urgency because you imagine fraudsters would be most interested in breaking into their Sim cards – especially when it can be done remotely.”

Mr Nohl said he expected network operators would not take long to act on his study, and should be able to provide an over-the-air download to protect subscribers against the vulnerability. The GSMA said that it had not yet seen the full details of his research, but planned to study it to pinpoint any issues that could be fixed. It added that “there is no evidence to suggest that today’s more secure Sims, which are used to support a range of advanced services, will be affected”.

The UN’s telecoms agency – the International Telecommunications Union – said that it would now contact regulators and other government agencies worldwide to ensure they were aware of the threat. Mr Nohl said he planned planned to reveal more information about the vulnerability at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas later this month. However, he said he would not publish a survey showing which phone owners were most at risk until December to give operators an opportunity to address the problem.


Phone anti-theft put through paces in New York and San Francisco

New measures to curb soaring levels of mobile phone theft worldwide are to be tested in New York and San Francisco. Prosecutors will test measures on Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 to measure effectiveness against common tactics used by thieves.

Various cities across the world have called on manufacturers to do more to deter phone theft.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has written to firms saying they must “take this issue seriously”. In a letter to Apple, Samsung, Google and other mobile makers, Mr Johnson wrote: “If we are to deter theft and help prevent crimes that victimise your customers and the residents and visitors to our city, we need meaningful engagement from business and a clear demonstration that your company is serious about your corporate responsibility to help solve this problem.”

Prosecutors in the US are following a similar line – last month meeting representatives from the technology firms to discuss the matter. They are calling for a “kill switch”, a method of rendering a handset completely useless if it is stolen, rendering a theft pointless.

Statistics from the US Federal Trade Commission suggest that almost one in three robberies nationwide involves the theft of a mobile phone. In New York, 40% of robberies are phone thefts – a crime so common it has been dubbed “Apple-picking” by police. London has seen a “troubling” rise in mobile phone theft, the mayor’s office said, with 75% of all “theft from person” offences involving a phone – 10,000 handsets a month.

The firms have offered theft solutions to help combat the problem. Apple’s Activation Lock – which will be part of the next major iPhone and iPad software update – is to come under close scrutiny.

Thieves will often deactivate a phone immediately to stop it being tracked after a theft. Activation Lock is designed to make it harder to then reactivate, as it requires the entry of the log-in details used to register the phone originally.

For Samsung and other handsets, prosecutors, aided by security professionals, will be testing theft recovery system Lojack. “We are not going to take them at their word,” the prosecutors in New York and San Francisco said in a joint statement. “Today we will assess the solutions they are proposing and see if they stand up to the tactics commonly employed by thieves.”




Chinese iPhone user in coma after second electrocution incident


Electric shock from charger sends iPhone 4 owner into coma, while air stewardess also said to have died from electrocution after answering iPhone 5 while charging.
A 30-year-old Beijing man has been electrocuted while charging his iPhone 4, sending him into a coma which has so far lasted 10 days.
Wu Jiantong is now breathing unassisted and receiving treatment after doctors diagnosed that the electric shock was the cause of his injuries.
Wu’s sister told local reporters that she heard her brother shout “I’m being electrocuted” while connecting his handset to a charger, and then found him convulsing and foaming at the mouth.
It is the second high profile incident related to Apple chargers this week, a 23-year-old air stewardess died after being electrocuted when answering a call on her iPhone 5 while it was charging. Investigators are yet to establish what type of charger was used.
The charger, which was not damaged and is reported to have not been an official Apple product, was unplugged by Wu’s sister who claimed to feel the electric current run through her body before calling paramedics.
In a statement, Apple said: “It was with great sadness we learned through press reports that a Beijing customer was injured while using a “knock off” or counterfeit charger and we are looking into this further.
“Our customers’ safety is very important to us and we have carefully designed all Apple products to meet government safety standards. We recommend our customers only purchase Apple products from Apple or authorised Apple resellers.”

More 3D for Virgin Media TV


Virgin Media, the UK’s leading communications and entertainment company, is adding an array of new 3D titles to its TV service. From July, around 50 hours of 3D content, including stunning shows such as 3D Dive, Kalahari Meerkats and Monster Trucks will join Virgin Media’s On Demand line-up.

Kevin O’Neil, head of TV product management at Virgin Media said: “3D offers a unique and often breathtaking experience and our customers are making the most of Virgin Media’s 3D On Demand line-up to sit down and try it for themselves. We offer our customers a wide choice of content and 3D at no extra cost is proving to be a valuable addition for many of our TV fans.”

Virgin Media was the first TV service to bring 3D content to UK television screens. Subscribers can already enjoy up to 25 hours of 3D TV content, including everything from eye-popping blockbuster movies to engrossing wildlife shows. Over one million 3D movies and programmes have been watched on Virgin Media’s 3D On Demand service.

Blockbuster movies such as Oz the Great and Powerful, the Oscar-winning Life of Pi and Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are available in 3D this month and will be joined by more exciting titles in the coming months.






Check the availability and latest deals for Virgin here





Google Maps wipes out Scottish island of Jura

The internet giant Google has said sorry after the Scottish island of Jura disappeared from its online maps.
The internet giant Google has said sorry after the Scottish island of Jura disappeared from its online maps.
Internet users noticed on Tuesday that the island, off the west coast of the Kintyre Peninsula, was visible on the satellite view but not the maps view.
A spokeswoman for Google said: “We are sorry about that. We’re aware of the problem, and our engineers are beavering away to fix it. We hope to have the map of Jura back to normal as soon as possible.”


Digital beer mats for pubs and clubs with BT Sport

peoples-phone-bt-logoThe humble beer mat is due to go high tech as part of BT Sport’s offer to pubs and clubs. Customers will be able to use their smartphones to scan BT Sport beer mats, bar towels and posters to activate video content, including sporting highlight clips, using Blippar technology, from the start of the season.

They will also be able to vote on the big sporting issues of the moment, research game stats, enter competitions and share content via social media.

BT Sport has started to send welcome packs to the thousands of commercial premises that have already signed up for the channels. However, full launch packs will be sent from late July, which include traditional wipeable fixture posters, window stickers and 10 foot banners, as well as the cutting edge, interactive beer mats, fixture posters and bar towels.

All the material features the BT Sport strapline “Great Sport Happens Here”. Barclays Premier League stars Robin van Persie and Joe Hart star in the posters, along with Aviva Premiership Rugby heroes like Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi.

Bruce Cuthbert, director of commercial customers at BT Sport, said: “We want to bring a few innovations to our offer to pubs and clubs. We think it is going to be great that your beer mat can be scanned to deliver some fantastic sporting action clips to your smartphone, instead of merely soaking up spillages.

“What better way to while away a few moments while you wait for your friends, than by enjoying a few action clips or sharing your views about a controversial incident in a game.

“We hope that this is going to add a bit of extra spice and interest to pub banter around the fantastic line up of sports, including exclusively live Premier League football, FA Cup, Europa League, as well as Aviva Premiership rugby.

“The beer mat has come a long way since the days when the most interesting thing you could do with it was see how many times you could flip it up in the air and catch it.”

BT Sport will also be supporting publicans and the owners and managers of commercial premises via the web site which will contain helpful content to drive more customers into the business, including downloadable fixture posters and digital images and videos to help with social media outreach.

BT Sport will be available to businesses in standard and high definition from August 1. It will be delivered via satellite technology, so that any business with Sky equipment just has to call BT to add BT Sport to their line-up. BT will also facilitate a third party standard installation for customers who don’t already have Sky equipment on their premises, at no extra charge. There is no need to take BT broadband or BT Vision, since the channels are delivered via satellite.

BT’s market research suggest that there are around 75,000 pubs and clubs in the UK and that just under 50 per cent of these are showing free-to-air sport only – almost 1.5 times the number that subscribe to Sky. The company is confident that this gives BT a huge opportunity based on selling to both Sky customers and non-Sky customers who are interested in sport.

BT Sport will show 38 live and exclusive football matches from the Barclays Premier League – including 18 “top pick” matches – and all 69 live rugby matches from the Aviva Premiership where BT will be the sole and exclusive broadcaster.

BT Sport will offer hundreds of top flight live matches from football leagues around the world including Italy, Germany, France, Brazil and the US. Live football from Scottish Professional Football League top flight plus 10 Rangers matches, FA Cup ties and the final, as well as live coverage from the UEFA Europa League and the Football Conference.

The channels will also feature WTA women’s tennis, action from the UFC, Moto GP from 2014, Women’s Super League football, England Under-21 games, Australian ‘A’ league soccer and action from Red Bull Extreme Sports.



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