P1 Power Sport Watch
P1 Power Sport Watch

NC50 Noise Canceling Earphones

Mushkin SWAP
Mushkin SWAP 32GB OTG

Super Mario Run
App Pick - Super Mario Run

Google Took Down 700,000 Apps in 2017

In a perfect world, people create good applications that aren't malicious or harmful. In Apple's world, a LOT of vetting and scrutiny happen to applications before they are approved for the App Store - with many being rejected - not because they are bad - but because they are better than Apple's own Apps. In Google's world, Apps are more readily approved to the Play Store, and AI is used to pull bad Apps later. There is still a bit of a vetting process, but updates and other situations allow bad apps to get through. For instance, Google has pulled 700,000 bad apps in 2017 alone. That's both good and horrible at the same time. It's good that they are policing this somewhat, but super bad that almost three quarters of a million apps were available in the store and then later pulled because they were flawed.

Google has a tough job keeping its Play Store free from bad apps and malicious creators. From keeping those apps from ever making it onto the service, to removing them if they actually do make it through, the company has its hands full. But such is the life of a tech company servicing billions of Android users, and Google continues to refine its process.

Source: Neowin

HP Print Security - We Will Be There

HP has had their fair share of ups and downs over the past few years, but one thing they do take seriously is printer security. Before you laugh that off, think of the places that they are used - hospitals, government, financial and more. Combined with the fact that a printer is the original IoT device, this can become a pretty crazy thing. HP has released a couple of videos to demonstrate how big of a deal this can be - thanks to Christian Slater. HP is hosting a security conference next week in Toronto and we've been invited to be a part of the conference. This is YOUR chance to have a say and ask questions. If you want to ask HP a question regarding printer or other device security, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  (podcast (at) bcchardware (dot) com) and we'll evaluate and curate the best questions and present them next week in person - with accreditation to you! 


Hackers Stole $400 Million from Cryptocurrency Exchange

If you use a cryptocurrency exchange, you should really think long and hard about how much real money you invest in this artificial money. There is no doubt that people can get and have gotten rich from this latest craze, but there are drawbacks. One of these of course is also the greatest strength - it's untraceable. That means that it is a huge target for hackers and just recently another $400 million was stolen from Coincheck - a Crytocurrency exchange. That's a pretty big win for hackers, and a big loss for the exchange. I got to hand it to Coincheck though, they actually are covering the loss. The affected currency was not Bitcoin, it was called NEM, but the same principles apply. Be careful with your real money.

One of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges has revealed that it’s lost nearly $400 million in a security breach. Coincheck says that it has restricted deposits and withdrawals for a cryptocurrency called NEM, and Bloomberg reports that 500 million NEM tokens have been sent from the company “illicitly,” and that it’s not sure how.

Source(s): TheVerge, Neowin

Acronis Offers Free Ransomware Protection

We've been fans of Acronis products for more than a little while now and often times the best part of a new SSD from ADATA is the initial joy that comes from Acronis True Image - the software required to move your old OS onto a speedy new SSD. Beyond that, Acronis released some great software last year at CES and we interviewed them at a later time and featured Acronis on WeeklyTechUpdate as their 2017 software included Ransomware protection. Fast forward another year and they now offer the same raonsomware protection for free - that's right, free. It is a standalone product now, but if you want more from Acronis, you can always get the full suite of software as well. 

Still, they are giving away their anti-ransomware software as a way to screw the morons that try and lock down your data (my words, not theirs). I love it. Go get it at the link below.

This solution can be used together with other data protection solutions already installed on the device, such as anti-virus and backup software (not just Acronis backup).

It monitors system processes in real-time to automatically detect and stop the attacks other solutions can’t. In event of a ransomware attack, Acronis Ransomware Protection blocks the malicious process and notifies the user with a popup. If any files were damaged in the attack, it facilitates the instant recovery of those affected files.

Source: Acronis

Apple to "fix" throttling in iOS 11.3

Good news Apple fans, in iOS 11.3 you'll get a fix to the throttling "problem" where as your battery ages your phone slows down. Now I'm being generous saying it's a "problem" because Apple did it to user unknowingly on purpose, but regardless, by Spring 2018 you'll finally have the option to turn that off and sacrifice battery life to maintain performance. Mashable has the story.

Apple just announced iOS 11.3 (available in beta today and public release this spring) with a boatload of new features worth getting excited about.

The most notable update is the addition of a controversial power management switch that will let iPhone users turn off any performance throttling. Oh, and there's also four new Animoji for the iPhone X. 

Weekly Tech Update #421 - (Almost) Everyone's Got Problems

We have just posted up Episode #421 of Weekly Tech Update! In this episode we will be discussing why Intel's got problems, NVIDIA and OnePlus also have their share of problems, but Netflix has the opposite of a problem thanks to an influx of subscribers. We have those stories and more at the links below...


Download Episode #421
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
Subscribe in iTunes!
Get it on Google Play!

Office 365 Finally Available for Windows 10 S

Microsoft announed Windows 10 S back in May of 2017 and had been working on making sure that there was a Microsoft Office solution available. Well, they dropped the ball. Months went by and no Office 365 as an application for Windows 10 S, then it went into "preview". Finally, it is now official and you can download Windows Apps for Office on Windows 10 S. Do you need to add to your list of reasons why we think Windwos 10 S is stupid? Throw this one on there for sure.

If you want to try out the Office 365 apps from the Store, you'll first need to uninstall your existing installation of the desktop apps. Then, you'll need to find the listings for your subscription. For some reason, the actual links to the Store listings take you to a website to subscribe, so you'll have to find your SKU of Office 365 by doing a search in the Store.

Source: Neowin

Intel Has a Big Problem and Needs to Act Like It

Intel has been largely ignoring the Meltdown and Spectre exploits and have taken an approach that borders on ignoring the problem entirely. The truth is though, that they need to get their crap in gear and figure out a REAL fix to this issue and to prevent things like this from happening again. It's a huge issue as it affects not just consumer PCs, but devices, servers and cloud applications as well. Intel is not alone however, and that's really what makes it worse. On the flip-side, other companies are at least acting like it matters and are taking serious steps to address and resolve the issue.

The flaws can be patched, but those patches could slow the Intel chips by as much as 30 percent, the equivalent of turning a state-of-the-art server chip into one from 2013. “There is no playbook for something like this,” says Charles Carmakal, a vice president at Mandiant, the arm of security company FireEye that consults on high-profile hacks. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a vulnerability that worked across so many different operating systems and devices.”

Soure: Bloomberg

OnePlus whoops

The hack of the day comes from OnePlus who have reportedly lost up to 40,000 users credit card information thanks to an exploit that went undiscovered for 2 months. If you've bought anything from OnePlus in the past couple months, you might want to check your statements and maybe get a new credit card. ArsTechnica has the story.

Earlier this week, numerous reports of credit card fraud started pouring in from OnePlus users. On the company's forums, customers said that credit cards used to purchase a OnePlus smartphone recently were also seeing bogus charges, so OnePlus launched an investigation into the reports. It's now a few days later, and the company has admitted that its servers were compromised—"up to 40,000 users" may have had their credit card data stolen.

OnePlus has posted a FAQ on the incident. "One of our systems was attacked," the post reads. "A malicious script was injected into the payment page code to sniff out credit card info while it was being entered." OnePlus believes the script was functional from "mid-November 2017" to January 11, 2018, and it captured credit card numbers, expiration dates, and security codes that were typed into the site during that time. Users who paid via PayPal or previously entered credit card information are not believed to be affected.

NVIDIA tells retailers to sell to gamers, not cryptominers

If you've been looking for a mid-high range video card for the last few months you've probably noticed quite a shortage in addition to prices going up. Well that's thanks to the huge demand caused by the crypto-miners and while that's great for video card makers sales, it's causing a little bit of a public relations disaster and NVIDIA is the first one to speak up. NVIDIA has asked its retailers to limit the number of cards they sell to each person in an attempt to hopefully get them into gamers hands, but of course retailers might not be so excited when they can bundled them into "6 packs" and charge a premium to the crypto-miners. Unfortunately until the cryptocurrency craze dies down, we'll probably be seeing a shortage of higher end video cards. HotHardware has the full story.

This should be a time when every hard-core PC gamer should be gloating and grinning from ear-to-ear. PC gaming was never dead; it's actually picking up steam in a big way and so is the DIY PC build market. However, there is one thing that's throwing as a wrench in many a PC builder's gears currently and that's pricing. There's no way around it and it's downright painful right now. Cryptocurrency mining isn't the only reason for the currently high cost of a new gaming PC, but it's the one dynamic acting as a true roadblock to people building a new gaming PC themselves. It's also serious motivation to consider a pre-built system, even if you can build one yourself.

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