Friday, October 14, 2016

Why You Do Not Use Pluto.TV – the Best Cord-cutting App?

Pluto TV, a video streaming service targeting cord cutters by offering a TV-guide like experience that connects you to hundreds of online channels, has raised $30 million in Series B funding, valuing the business at $140 million. The new funding comes from ProSieben of Germany, one of Europe’s largest independent media companies, and lifestyle media company Scripps Networks Interactive. The additional capital will help to fuel Pluto TV’s expansion into the European market, the company says.

Pluto TV is a free service that tries to mimic the cable box experience, only with Internet channels instead of traditional ones. Pluto’s website and apps offer dozens of channels, ranging from mainstream news to stand-up comedy to extreme sports, all strung together from web sources such as YouTube and Vimeo. There’s even an entire channel dedicated to cat videos (and another one for dogs). It has a desktop website and dedicated apps for Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, iOS, Android, and PC, and it also supports Chromecast.

Unlike other online streaming services, which also cater to those who still subscribe traditional television, Pluto TV from the start has more narrowly focused on acquiring consumers who are abandoning their cable and satellite TV subscriptions. However, instead of offering on-demand TV and movies like Netflix, Pluto TV attempts to replicate the TV experience through online streams that you can “tune into” much like TV broadcasting.

So where is Pluto TV getting all of this content?

As it turns out, Pluto TV is getting its content from the same places that cord cutters do. They’re supplying videos from YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and other streaming sites. All Pluto TV is doing is saving you the legwork of finding your next favorite show. They’re restoring the simplicity of channel surfing (without restoring your hefty cable bill).

That said, Pluto TV doesn’t only use freely available content. They also have a bunch of agreements with other content providers. In the U.S., the company has over 75 content partnerships with TV networks, studios, publishers and digital media companies, including Sky, NBC, A&E, CBSi, Bloomberg, Paramount and others.

On a basic level, using Pluto.TV is as simple as launching the app or heading to the website. The last channel you visited starts playing automatically, with a channel guide you can scroll through on the bottom half of the screen. Pluto’s website and mobile apps let you bookmark channels, so you can view your favorites without sifting through the full guide.

The web and PC versions also include a save button, so you can go back and re-watch anything from Pluto.TV’s linear programming schedule. It’s basically just a bookmark, but in this context it’s sort of like a descendant of DVR.

You may download applications for may platforms, or watch live through the Web Interface without downloading any software to your electronic devices:

Sources and Additional Information:

Saturday, October 8, 2016

How to Have Secret Conversation on Facebook?

After WhatsApp, Facebook has now implemented end-to-end encryption option in its Messenger app. Users need to enable the Secret Conversation option to get started. This feature also comes with a self-destruct option for extra security. By following some simple steps, you can enable this option on your device.

Anyone using the Facebook Messenger app now has access to a feature called Secret Messages. Just like WhatsApp, users will now be able to activate end-to-end encryption, meaning outside sources like the government and even Facebook itself can't read the chats.

The feature was announced back in July but has taken time to roll out to Facebook Messenger's one billion users.

How to activate Facebook's secret messages?

1. Open the Facebook Messenger app and tap the "compose message" icon in the top right of the screen.
2. Tap on the Secret Conversation option.

3. Toggle the Secret Conversations On. It’ll show a small popup telling that “This will be the only device you can send and receive messages.” This means that you can set up the encrypted messages on only one device. To proceed, tap Turn On in the pop-up. So, the app will ask you to set the phone you're using as your default device - meaning the conversation won't show up on any other phones or tablets you've got linked to your Facebook account. Hit the "Make Default" option to continue.

4. Now come back to the Messenger home screen and tap on the Write Message bottom. This option might be present at top or bottom locations, depending on your device (Android or iOS). You'll now be able to have a conversation that is encrypted end-to-end. You'll know it's secret because Facebook has given the chat window a natty black makeover.

5. From the top right corner, choose the secret message option. Turn it on. Now you are ready to chat with a friend. Select a friend and get started.
6. Please note that if your friend hasn’t enabled the Secret Conversations option, he/she won’t be able to see them. So, ask them to turn it on.
7. Encrypted messages on Messenger also come with an option to self-destruct the texts. You just need to tap on the clock icon to send the message with self-destruct option.
8. From the top right corner in a Secret Conversation, you can see the Device Keys and compare it with the ones on your friend’s device to ensure the security of the chat.

How to switch devices?

To change which device you use for secret conversations, start a new secret conversation from the new device. Be warned though that by changing devices, previous secret conversations will no longer be visible on your old device or your new device.

How to delete Secret Conversations?

To delete all secret conversations, tap the profile icon, select Secret Conversations and choose Delete Secret Conversations and Delete All. The messages will still be visible on your friend's device.

How to check your messages are encrypted?

When Secret Conversations are enabled, both people in the secret conversation have a device key. This can be compared to verify that the messages are end-to-end encrypted. Facebook said that this verification process is optional and the messages will be encrypted whether or not you compare device keys.

To view a conversation's device keys, open a conversation, tap their name and tap Device Keys.

Sources and Additional Information:

Friday, September 9, 2016

50$ - a new cyber weapon – USB Computer Killer

Yes, you got it right. For just a few bucks, you can pick up a USB stick that destroys almost anything that it's plugged into. Laptops, PCs, televisions, photo booths -- you name it.

The details of who, exactly, is behind the project are somewhat murky and confusing, suggesting that the full background is yet to be clarified. Originally, the USB Killer was demonstrated on video by a Russian hacker known only as Dark Purple on his/her Habrahabr blog October 8, 2015.

Now, the consumer model of the full functional device is being sold be a new Hong Kong company as “USB Kill 2.0”, claiming on the manufacturer website as being able to fry any computer, or another USB connected device, it's plugged into, by introducing a power surge via the USB port.

The price for the device itself is around $50, and it also comes with a protection shield sold for $13.95 that allows users to test their devices without destroying their computers or electronics.

The company claims it developed the product for the sole purpose of allowing companies to test if their devices are vulnerable to USB power surge attacks. Removing this protection shield allows to weaponize the device, which will then be able to fry the electronic devices it's being plugged into. The company says on its websites that it "strongly condemns malicious use of its products."

When asked about the potential for abuse, USB Killer responded that they're aware of the risk, but they compare hardware vulnerabilities to software security holes, claiming that raising awareness about these issues will force companies to use better protection for their hardware.
"This vulnerability has been in the wild for years: education of both fronts, consumer and manufacturer, is necessary," the spokesperson responded.

The new product launch has been announced just last month, but it is already out of stock.

According to its own set of tests, the company claims that 95 percent of all devices available on the market today are vulnerable to power surges introduced via the USB port.

So what can individuals do to protect their equipment from such an attack? USB Killer has three possible solutions, the most important being: Don't trust unknown hardware. Alternatively, you can use a USB-protection device, or physically cap your USB ports when you're away from the device.

Sources and Additional Information: