Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Features Mix of Old Favorites and New Faces

Big news in the geeky world of sci-fi today, as the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII has been officially announced. The latest installments with comprise a star studded cast featuring several of our log time favorites, alongside a plethora of new additions!

J.J. Abrams will helm the first installment in the third trilogy of Star Wars. Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker will reprise their original roles in the all new film.

Director J.J. Abrams says, "We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."

The movie, is set to begin filming shortly and is expected to be released Dec. 18, 2015. While the storyline and plot has yet to be reviled what we do know is that it is set 30-35 years after the leave off from the1983's Return of the Jedi.

Source: StarWars.com

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Department of Homeland Security Issues Internet Explorer Warning

Amidst ongoing reports that a recently discovered zero-day exploit is being used to attack financial and defense organizations in the US via Internet Explorer 9, 10, and 11. The US Department of Homeland Security has issued a warning urging everyone to stop using IE until the exploit is patched!

US-CERT is aware of active exploitation of a use-after-free vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer. This vulnerability affects IE versions 6 through 11 and could lead to the complete compromise of an affected system.

US-CERT recommends that users and administrators enable Microsoft EMET where possible and consider employing an alternative web browser until an official update is available.

For more details, please see VU#222929.

The vulnerability, which was first discovered over the weekend has been confirmed by numerous sources an advisory issued by Microsoft to be currently active in 'limited attacks' in the wild. While all versions of the web browser, IE 6 through 11, are affected by the vulnerability, attacks are currently targeting IE versions 9, 10 and 11, according to security firm FireEye, which first reported the flaw Friday.

The attack leverages a previously unknown "use after free" vulnerability -- data corruption that occurs after memory has been released -- and bypasses both Windows DEP (data execution prevention) and ASLR (address space layout randomization) protections, according to FireEye.

While the Microsoft security advisory offers some suggested actions there was no word as to when we'll see a patch from for the flaw. Given that we feel the best course of action would be to stop using Internet Explorer entirely and switch to Google's Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or another browser of choice (not one back-boned by IE of course).

In a separate set of attacks, security researchers have also warned of an active campaign that was targeting a critical vulnerability in fully patched versions of Adobe's ubiquitous Flash media player. These attacks threatened not only Windows based PCs but OS X and Linux as well causing Adobe too issue an emergency update.

The vulnerability was fixed in the newly released Flash Player for Windows and Mac and Flash Player for Linux. The Flash Player versions bundled with Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1, will get the fix automatically through the respective update mechanisms of those browsers.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Have A Bad iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button? Apple Will Fix It For Free

An 'unknown issue' that has reportedly been plaguing what Apple calls "a small percentage" of the company's previous-generation smartphones as forced Apple into action resulting in free repairs for qualifying customers.

Apple said on its user-support page that "iPhone 5 models manufactured through March 2013 may be affected by this issue," in which the button, also known as a sleep/wake mechanism, stops functioning or works only intermittently.

Those affected by the bug that wish to have their phones serviced simply need to enter your device's serial number on the user support page that Apple has specially set up for dealing with this issue. Once you qualify — and we're not quite sure what criteria Apple is looking for in the "verify serial number" process, other than perhaps being phones from a certain release date or time frame - then you'll be able to drop your phone off at your nearest Apple Repair Center or mail it in to have it fixed.

Replacement of the sleep/wake button will have to be done at an Apple Repair Center. Giving users two options —carry-in or mail-in. Unfortunately the replacement process takes approximately 4-6 days from the time your iPhone is received at the repair center until it is returned to you. So expect to be without your beloved iPhone for up to six days as the Apple crew fixes it up. (If you require a loaner during the time that your iPhone is being serviced, participating Apple Retail Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers MAY have iPhone 5 models (16GB only) available.)

Before sending your iPhone off for repairs you'll need to remove any cases, turn off 'Find my iPhone' and back up all your data as Apple is requesting that all customers erase all of the content and settings on their devices. Additionally, Apple has noted that if you are running iOS 6, your iPhone will need to be upgraded to iOS 7 after the sleep/wake button mechanism is replaced.

6 Legitimate Ways To Watch TV Online For Free

Over the last couple of years millions of Americans have ditched their cable plans in favor of online streaming services like Netflix and iTunes. While these services are great most would agree that free or even lower cost alternatives would be ideal. Here are the tops 6 options we've found for watching our favorite shows online, 100% free and totally within the letter of the law!

Network Websites

Perhaps the most often overlooked by my fellow geeks out there is the fact that all of the major over-the-air networks, like NBC, ABC and CBS, will post episodes of recently aired TV shows to their respective websites. In addition to OTA networks several major cable channels now offer full episodes of their shows via their own sites as well. Generally, network sites only host a handful of the most recent episodes and don’t include episodes from previous seasons.


Hulu, unless you've been hiding under a rock recently you've likely already been using Hulu, or at the very least you already know the name. Sure the site does have commercials, but if you’re looking for free shows, you usually have to sit through advertising of some form anyway. The upside is that Hulu features shows from a wide variety of networks so there is always a little something for everyone. One major downside to Hulu is that you can't yet get it on the go. You'll need a Hulu Plus subscription to use it on your mobile device.

Update: According to a post on the Hulu blog, the site will offer free streaming on mobile devices starting this summer. The specific shows that will be available weren’t mentioned, and Hopkins added that mobile device streaming will require new licensing deals.


YouTube is often looked at as a user generated content only site. However they have been working over the past several years to add a great library of content. You can not only find full episodes of some of the more mainstream content but you'll also find some great indie-style shows. For those looking for full length movies, YouTube has you covered there. You can checkout the movies section for a great list of free movies, most you may have never heard of!


Perhaps one of the best options for geeks looking to stream content on the go is Crackle. The service features a great mobile app that supports almost any device out there. Unfortunately it doesn’t offer a huge variety of stuff to watch, and there are ads to deal with. However, Crackle features some of our favorite full TV series alongside some of our favorite cult movies that you might want to check out.


LiveStation is a must for new geeks! The site compiles live news feeds from networks from around the world in one place. Some of the news streams that LiveStation offers include Al Jazeera, Sky News, Reuters, BBC, and more–all for free. Image and audio quality are generally good, but in our experience, it took a few moments to load streams. For those that need their news fix on the go they also have a great set of apps for mobile content.


TV.com offers users a bit more of a social hub than just a video steaming site. The site features more of a blog type feel with news, reviews and community style content. However, if you look past all that and hit the “Videos” tab, you’ll find full episodes of recently aired network shows. It’s a lot like Hulu, but with less variety and fewer commercials. There’s no need to fret about any legal issues either: the site is run by CBS Interactive, and don't let that detract you either. There is still plenty of content from none CBS stations

Honorable mention goes to the BBC iPlayer which streams content from up to 250 programs from the British Broadcasting Corporation. BBC iPlayer does restrict streaming to the UK-only, but setting up a proxy to get past those restrictions is relatively easy.

I know we've probably overlooked several great sources out there since these are just the few that we've used recently. If you have some sites that we've overlooked that you think we should checkout, please feel free to comment below with your suggestions! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Geeks Work Hard and Play Harder

Being a tech blogger, social media guru and overall geek in general is loads of work. Technology changes at break-neck speeds and unfortunately in the 'always on, always connected' era never rests. So it should come at no surprise that we work hard. That however comes with a wonderful upside, we get to play hard as well.

There are always new gadgets to checkout, new sites and services to review, conferences and meetings and then of course the occasional LAN party or hack-fest to keep us busy. The great upside to that is access to some of the newest and best tech on the market, without which I doubt I could get through this hustled life unscathed.

With the many devices I have available to me the one that I always have in my geeks toolbox is my #Intel2in1. I've found, after much trial and error, that trying to fulfill my daily requirements was going to be more than most devices could handle. So I have decide an #2in1 device best suited my overall needs. It is portable enough for on the go use, yet still fill all the functionality and productivity requirement of the demanding geek lifestyle.

Being a blogger means needing something that not only hands the fast paced on the go lifestyle but something that meets our rigorous productivity needs when typing out articles or reviews. While being a geek means needing a device that can handle the demands of a few games, some photo editing and maybe even a few more demanding tasks.

Over the course of the next few weeks I'll be putting my new device to the stress test that is the everyday life of a blogger. Which will be followed by a post with a comprehensive review sharing my hands on experience. So be sure to check back for more!

#spon: I'm required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

4 Great Green Technologies to Celebrate Earth Day

Environmental Advocate Shares Affordable Gadgets that Shrink Your Footprint – and Your Bills

Just as intended, the 44th annual celebration of Earth Day is surrounded by talk of our environment, our impact on it and what we can do to better live in harmony with it.

“We’re seeing more and more people who realize that, if each of us does what we can every day, collectively, we can have a tremendous impact,” says Lynda Chervil, a thought leader and green technology advocate whose new book, “Fool’s Return,” (http://lyndachervil.com/), mirrors real-life efforts to develop sustainable energy sources.

“All the people carrying reusable grocery sacks, people who’ve quit the plastic water bottle habit, folks heating their pools or houses with solar panels – that’s what we should be celebrating this Earth Day.”

This year’s March Gallup Environment poll found that 42 percent of Americans believe the outlook for the environment has improved, up from only 26 percent in 2008.

Chervil, who studies the science behind green technology, says environmental awareness has ramped up production of affordable goods that can shrink individuals’ carbon footprints. She shares four devices she says would make a nice gift for Mother Earth on her day:
•  HybridLight Solar Flashlight:  These flashlights never need batteries, can be charged from any light source, and they always work. The 120 lumens model will burn for eight hours on one charge. HybridLight’s flashlights are so reliable, the Boy Scouts’ Utah National Parks Council endorse them – and they come with a lifetime guarantee. For every 10 hours of use, 100 HybridLight flashlights avert 60 pounds of toxic battery landfill waste. An added very cool note – HybridLights has a mission to light up corners of the world with little or no electricity. Recently, the company supplied everyone in a Kenyan village with their own flashlight.  Cost: Prices start at less than $20.
•  Bedol Water Alarm Clock: Imagine a water-powered alarm clock that’s loud enough to scare you out of bed! Bedol’s water clocks run strictly on tap water – no batteries, no nothing else. The energy comes from a natural reaction between the water and two metal plates. The smallest clocks in the line run for six to 12 weeks before the display begins to fade, indicating that the water needs to be changes. Occasionally, you also need to clean the metal plates with vinegar. Just in time for Earth Day, Bedol is launch it’s 12-by-15-inch wall-mount water clock! Cost: Prices start at $19.
•  iGo Green Power Smart Wall:  We’ve all heard of the “vampires” in our homes that suck up power whether we’re using them or not – everything from coffee pots to laptops. Stem the bleeding with this surge protector that cuts the suck by up to 85 percent. The unit, which plugs into the wall, has four outlets, two of which are always on. The other two automatically power down when the attached appliance is not in use. Cost: Prices start at about $12.
•  Pama Eco Navigator Satellite Navigation system:  This GPS system also saves gasoline by providing you with the most energy-efficient routes to your destinations, and feedback on your car’s performance, so you can adjust your driving habits to improve your gas mileage. It also saves all your routes, so you can assess their fuel efficiency. Cost: Watch for pricing and availability on Amazon.
“Most of these items are not only budget priced, they save you money in batteries, electricity and fuel,” Chervil says. “Not only are you doing something great for the planet when you use green technology, you’re taking a load off your wallet.”

About Lynda Chervil

Lynda Chervil is the author of “Fool’s Return,” http://lyndachervil.com/, a new novel that incorporates valuable life lessons in a page-turning tale that touches on technology, the green movement, and other aspects of contemporary society. She graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and has extensive experience in consumer and commercial banking and has held positions in new business development, sales management and executive leadership. Chervil seeks to push the limits of established understanding by exploring alternative forms of spiritual healing, and, through creative writing, to expand the narrative of cutting-edge energy technology to promote sustainability.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Samsung Brings SideSync Phone-PC Mirroring App To All Users

Ever wanted to access files or view and control your phone directly from your PC? Well now you have a new option. Samsung has made the company's SideSync software, which allows Galaxy device users to mirror their devices to a PC, available for all Windows users.

The App, which was previously launched alongside Samsung ATIV laptops and desktops and was limited to use on those devices, allows Galaxy device owners running SideSync 3.0 to use their PC’s keyboard and mouse effortlessly with the phone.

With SideSync an image of the phone appears as a resizeable window on the screen, so users can launch apps or view content, even drag-and-drop files between the two devices. You can also copy and paste text, or type on the phone using the PC's keyboard.

To run the latest version of SideSync you have a Galaxy phone or tablet with the SideSync 3.0 installed, currently Samsung says that is limited to the Note 3, Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note Pro and Tab Pro line-up running Android KitKat and above. If you own one of these devices and you want to checkout the app or want more information you can grab that from Samsung's website.

Viruses and Malware On Your Smart TV May Soon Be A Reality

Security researchers warn that today's connected devices might soon become tomorrow's targets for hackers, viruses and malware.

Speaking to the Telegraph about the future of computer security in the wake of Heartbleed, Eugene Kaspersky, the chief executive of Kaspersky Labs warns consumers that as the Internet of Things expands more devices will be targeted by malware and viruses.

“The threats will diversify to mobile phones and to the home environment, such as through televisions, which are now connected to the Internet,” said Kaspersky.

Each year there are millions of attacks the thing we know. Like our Microsoft Windows equipped PCs, mobile phones running both Android, and Apple’s iOS.

Kaspersky warns, "More and more engineers are developing software for Android. All the systems are vulnerable and I am afraid it is very possible to see the scenario of bad guys developing malware for iOS. Technically, it is possible to infect millions of devices. Internet-enabled TV sets use both Android and Linux."

While Kaspersky admits that the company hasn't seen anyone produce a successful virus for a television set he believes it will happen stating that the company already has a product for mobile and we a prototype for TV. He said that it was only “a question of time” before a smart TV virus appeared in the wild.

Most Smart TVs on the market today run a version of Android similar to that found on any Android based smartphone. With the popularity of the connected devices growing, and the likely introduction of a new Apple TV soon which will likely grow the market even more. Smart TVs and other connected devices that for now have little to no security in place may soon become the next easy target on the web.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Apple Offering Developers 'Second Chance' At Unclaimed WWDC Tickets

If you weren't one of the lucky lottery winners for your chance to get tickets to this year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference don't despair just yet. According to several reports, Apple is directly contacting developers, asking them if they'd like to purchase any unclaimed tickets to WWDC that may become available.

According to 9to5Mac, Apple has been reaching out to developers who didn't win to give them a chance to purchase unclaimed tickets. When the first invitations for WWDC passes went out on April 7, the company indicated that those who initially won a chance at tickets under the new lottery system had exactly one week to purchase their tickets. 

At the time Apple made no indications as to what might happen to those extra tickets remaining unclaimed from anyone that didn't take advantage of their lottery win by 8 p.m. ET on April 14. It would however, stand to reason that Apple would take advantage of any unclaimed tickets to make nice with developers and offer them a chance at attending the widely popular event. 

At this time it is uncertain how Apple is determining who to invite or how many of the new WWDC invites it will offer up. What we do know is that those lucky developers who receive an email about purchasing one of the new WWDC tickets made available have exactly 24 hours from receipt the email to make the buy. If they don't, we can only assume that Apple's going to offer up their ticket to the next person in line, and so on and so forth.

The event will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center West from June 2 to 6. The $1600 tickets generally sale out in minutes, so this year, the company moved to a lottery format to open up attendance and ease concerns many long time developers have had.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

This Weekend Only Get 30 PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita For $1 Each

This weekend only Sony has dropped the prices of more than 30 games for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita--ranging from older $6 PlayStation Classics to $20 PS3 games--to $1. This promotion doesn't require a PlayStation Plus membership or anything of the sort; from now until Monday, April 21 at 7 a.m., everyone is free to take advantage of this $1 deal.

Gamer can get classic titles like Braid, Everyday Shooter, Gotham City Impostors, Plants vs Zombies, Retro City Rampage, Super Stardust HD, Tokyo Jungle and more for just $0.99 each. Click here and check out the full lineup which includes the following games:
  • Back to the Future: The Game - Full Series 
  • Blast Factor
  • Braid
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Crash Bandicoot 2
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: WARPED
  • Crash Commando
  • CTR: Crash Team Racing
  • echochrome ii
  • Everyday Shooter (PS3 and PS Vita)
  • Gex: Enter the Geko
  • Gotham City Impostors
  • Jurassic Park: The Game - Full Season
  • Plants vs Zombies
  • Red Faction
  • Red Faction 2
  • Red Faction: Battlegrounds
  • Retro City Rampage (PS3 and PS Vita)
  • Retro/Grade
  • Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse
  • Spyro: The Dragon
  • Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon
  • Stuntman: Ignition
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Tales of Monkey Island
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • Urban Trial Freestyle (PS3 and PS Vita)
  • When Vikings Attack (PS3 and PS Vita)
  • World Gone Sour

Friday, April 11, 2014

Google Glass Goes Onsale To Everyone April 15th

Google Glass is all the rage with many tech geeks clamoring to be added to the wait list to get their hands on the hottest thing in tech. Unfortunately until now the device has only had limited been availability to the general public. So far, the face-mounted computers have been sold only to Google "Explorers," the company's name for early adopters. At first only developers could buy Glass, but Google slowly expanded the program to include regular people.

If like most you've been dying to try out Google Glass then Tuesday will be your lucky day. Google is opening sales of Glass for one day only to any adult in the United States who wants one of the devices. In true sale fashion, Google is throwing in free frames or sunglasses for those first-time customers and the supply is limited. Sales start at 9 a.m. ET on April 15, but people can sign up now with Google to receive a reminder.

Here’s the details direct from Google:

Next Tuesday, April 15th at 6am PDT, we’re opening up some spots in the Glass Explorer Program. Any adult in the U* can become an Explorer by visiting our site and purchasing Glass for $1500 + tax – and it now comes with your favorite shade or frame, thanks to feedback from our current Explorers. The number of spots available is limited, so mark your calendar if you want to get in. You can find us on Tuesday at: http://google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one

If you have the extra $1500 laying around or if you are expecting that big tax refund, this might be the ultimate tax day relief. Personally I've been holding out in hopes that the prices would come down, or we'd see someone else enter the market.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

So Long Windows XP You'll Be Missed: Microsoft Officially Terminates Support for Windows XP

A mere twelve and a half years after its launch, Microsoft has finally pulled the plug on Windows XP officially ending any further support for the long lived and much beloved operating system. The OS lived far longer than Microsoft had ever hoped. Reaching new heights with the failed launch of Windows Vista and still holding a strong market share even after Windows 7 and Windows 8 were launched.

Mainstream support for Windows XP ended five years ago, in April 2009, and since then, the company has been providing ‘extended support’ for the OS. Today, April 8, 2014, marks the official end of the extended support phase for Windows XP (and also for Office 2003) – from today, Microsoft will no longer offer free security patches, updates or fixes of any kind to users of Windows XP across the globe, including consumers and businesses alike.

Although Microsoft officially ends its support for Windows XP today, there is no for mass panic to spread out across the web. Your computer will not immediately shut itself down, or spontaneously self-destruct. In fact, most of you probably won’t notice any real difference at all. The main risk here is that, according to most security researchers hackers are waiting at the gates with exploits that could soon be launched to target the masses of Windows XP computers that are still accessing the web worldwide.

For those of you, like myself, that still have at least one Windows XP based machine on their network there are still a few options for securing your machines and keeping them safe. However, those options are slowly fading away, with many companies slowing ending support for aging OS.

I still have Windows XP what are my options now?

Windows XP will no longer be a viable long term option. At some point every company out there that hasn't already ended support will. For the short term you'll want to at the very least find a good security suite and malware detector. Microsoft will continue to provide basic security protection for Windows XP through its Security Essentials suite and the anti-malware Malicious Software Removal Tool; both of these will continue to be updated through to July 14, 2015. However, a third party option may still be in order. You'll also want to make sure all of your current applications, plugins ect are fully patched and updated.

Short of all that you'll want to start looking for a long term solution. This would require either upgrading to a newer Windows based OS, perhaps buying a new computer or taking the plunge and checking out something entirely different altogether. There are several great Linux distributions out there that are extremely user friendly. There is also the option of Google’s streamlined Chrome OS, which is available on notebooks and desktops that might feel more familiar to XP users.

Either way you go you would be much better off taking the leap sooner rather than later!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Did You Catch The Premiere of Mike Judge’s ‘Silicon Valley’?

While I'm sure most of my fellow geeks were glued to the TV watching the season four premiere of Game of Thrones, there was a second equally geeky show that premiered immediately following. Mike Judge’s new half-hour show that takes on the tech scene, Silicon Valley debuted right after Game of Thrones on HBO.

The new show follows the lives of 6 would be Silicon Valley programmers, played by as they try to make it big in the tech world. In case you missed it, HBO is offering the first episode free on YouTube. Just click below to check it out!

Did you checkout the ‘Silicon Valley’ premiere? Share your thoughts about the new show with us in a comment below.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Apple Announces WWDC Dates For June 2-6, Adds New Ticket Lottery System

Apple today announced that it will hold its wildly popular Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) June 2 through June 6 at San Francisco’s Moscone West. The event which features conferences and developers forums  will allow lucky tickets holders an inside glimpse into the future of iOS and OS X

The 2014 WWDC will feature more than 100 technical sessions, over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs to help developers integrate new technologies and fine tune their apps, as well as the Apple Design Awards which showcase the best apps from the past year.

WWDC 2014 activities include:
  • More than 100 technical sessions presented by Apple engineers on a wide range of topics for developing, deploying and integrating the latest iOS and OS X technologies;
  • more than 1,000 Apple engineers supporting over 100 hands-on labs and events to provide developers with code-level assistance, insight into optimal development techniques and guidance on how they can make the most of iOS and OS X technologies in their apps;
  • the latest innovations, features and capabilities of iOS and OS X, and how to enhance an app’s functionality, performance, quality and design;
  • the opportunity to connect with thousands of fellow iOS and OS X developers from around the world—last year more than 60 countries were represented;
  • a new series of get togethers for attendees focused on particular topics with special guest speakers and activities; 
  • engaging and inspirational lunchtime sessions with leading minds and influencers from the worlds of technology, science and entertainment; and
  • Apple Design Awards which recognize iPhone, iPad and Mac apps that demonstrate technical excellence, innovation and outstanding design.

Unlike in years past, tickets for WWDC 2014 will not be sold in a first-come-first-served fashion, a move that  seeks to eliminate the mad rush of the past, when tickets sold out so quickly many developers only heard about their availability after the supply had been exhausted.

Developers can apply for tickets via the WWDC website (developer.apple.com/wwdc) now through Monday, April 7 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, and tickets will be issued to attendees through random selection. Developers will know their status by Monday, April 7 at 5:00 p.m. PDT. There will also be 200 Student Scholarships available, giving students around the world the chance to earn a free ticket (developer.apple.com/wwdc/students). This year the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and its alliance partners will help promote scholarships to female engineers and coders.