Blog Posts by Tori Floyd

  • Whether you’re a college student who’s going to be hauling your laptop from class-to-class, or a high school student who wants the flexibility of writing papers anywhere, a light and versatile laptop is key to student life. And let’s be honest, if you’re going to be hauling it to school with you for the next four years, you want the latest and greatest. If you’re in the market for a new computer this year, here are five laptops to check out before you hit the books (bonus: alongside the price and where you can get these laptops, we’ve included links to some of the deals available for students, too).

    Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

    You might be surprised by how big the 13-inch, 1080p screen on this laptop feels when you first see it. The whole ultrabook has been designed to have a similar footprint to Dell’s 11-inch models, making it extremely portable and functional. Weighing about 3 lbs, this laptop’s focus is on speed; Dell says the laptop can start up from cold in as little as 12 seconds, and

    Read More »from The latest in laptops for students heading back to school
  • (Image from Khalil Shreateh's blog)Sometimes, all we want is to be heard. That’s how Palestinian IT expert Khalil Shreateh felt when he stumbled across a security flaw on Facebook that allowed him to post on the walls of people outside his network (typically on Facebook, you can only post on the Timeline of your ‘Friends’). But after getting a less-than-satisfactory reply from Facebook, Shreateh decided to take more drastic measures.

    He demonstrated the security flaw with the Timeline of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

    According to the Toronto Sun, Shreateh found the bug, and reached out to Facebook to notify them of the security flaw. Facebook rewards its users for highlighting such flaws with a minimum $500 USD cash reward. But when Shreateh emailed them, a member of the Facebook security team said they only saw an error, not an actual bug.

    [ Related: Facebook makes users discouraged and unhappy, according to study ]

    So Shreateh decided to demonstrate, posting to Zuckerberg’s Timeline and explaining both the bug

    Read More »from Hacker exposes Facebook security flaw on Mark Zuckerberg’s wall
  • BoooTube, the website for the worst videos online

    If you’re sick of watching stellar videos on YouTube, your prayers have been answered: someone has collected together the worst-rated videos for your viewing pleasure.

    BoooTube has lovingly curated the most down-voted video clips from YouTube to feature on the website. It isn’t just low-rated videos, though. They’re looking for the clips that have captured the attention of thousands, downvoted many, many times, proving that these unwatchable videos were nevertheless watched, and judged to be sub-par.

    So if you’ve exhausted all the quality videos online, head over to BoooTube and remember what awful videos have been uploaded too. The site features Staff Picks for worst videos, including classics like the ‘Controversial Baby Dynamics Yoga’ (and judging by some of the YouTube comments, BoooTube has renewed interest in this and many other poorly-rated videos):

    The rest of the site is filled with videos rated four or five thumbs down. As The Verge discovered while exploring the site,

    Read More »from BoooTube, the website for the worst videos online
  • A 3-year-old news report explaining the risks posed by data saved in photos online has found a sudden renewed popularity. In light of recent privacy issues highlighted by the Edward Snowden NSA leaks, the video, however fear-mongering it may be, still holds some basic truths about the files we share on the Internet.

    In 2010, before “smartphone privacy” barely registered as a popular search term, a Kansas City news station ran this segment on how smartphone photos could tell others your exact physical location at the time the image was taken:

    Despite its age, the video found a sudden surge in popularity today, garnering an additional one million views on YouTube over August 12 and 13. International Business Times attributes the sudden jump in popularity to the information released by Snowden, alleging that the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. collected the phone records of millions of Americans. While the story is now about two months old, the ongoing saga of Snowden’s

    Read More »from Smartphone picture privacy video stirs up paranoia about online safety
  • New iPhone expected September 10: reports

    The rumours have started, and if they’re true, we’ll be seeing what the next generation of iPhone will look like from Apple in under a month.

    According to a source who spoke to All Things D, a special event will be held on September 10 to unveil the new iPhone. Apple has declined to confirm such an event, All Things D reports.

    As for exactly what we’re expecting, that’s still yet to be determined. We’ve heard reports that this will include the mid-range iPhone 5C, which has allegedly been shown in leaked photos to have a plastic exterior. At the very least, the direct successor to the iPhone 5 (expected to be called the iPhone 5S) should be shown.

    What we can expect if either iPhone is revealed is the new operating system for Apple’s mobile devices, iOS 7. The latest OS has done away with Apple’s previous skeuomorphic design, moving instead to a cleaner look with less “ornamentation,” to borrow a word from Jony Ive, Apple’s SVP of Industrial Design who oversaw the redesign of Apple

    Read More »from New iPhone expected September 10: reports
  • (Image from Android official blog)
    The ‘Find My Phone’ feature has been a handy tool for many iPhone users, but until now, Android users didn’t have the same built-in functionality. Now, Android users can take advantage of the same security feature using the newly unveiled Android Device Manager.

    The feature was announced on the official Android blog on August 2, and is now available to users running Android 2.2 or higher. Right now, it’s only got some very basic features, but it should cover the key elements you need from this kind of software.

    If you’re trying to locate your Android device, visit the Android Device Manager web page and (if you aren’t already logged in) sign into your Google account. The website will display a list of all active devices associated with your account, and show you via Google Maps where it’s located. You can track all your Android devices via the drop-down menu.

    Once you’ve found the rough geographic area of your phone, you’re presented with two options: Ring, which will let you locate your

    Read More »from Android users finally get feature long used by Apple users: tracking a lost phone
  • An iPhone 5 is pictured on display at an Apple Store in Pasadena, California July 22, 2013.Following reports that a woman in China died when she answered her iPhone as it was charging, Apple is now offering a trade-in program worldwide that will let customers switch their third-party charger for an official Apple product.

    Last month, Reuters reported that Apple planned to probe the death of a woman in China’s western Xinjiang region. According to reports, the flight attendant was charging her iPhone 5 using a third-party USB power adapter. She answered a phone call while it was plugged in, and was reportedly electrocuted and died from the incident.

    In response, Apple will be allowing customers who have purchased third-party charging units to trade them in at their local Apple stores for $10 USD. In Canada, the official Apple power adapter normally costs $19.

    [ More Right Click: Apple releasing update to prevent fake charger hacking attack ]

    Dubbed the “USB Power Adapter Takeback Program,” Apple posted on its U.S. website that any customers who are concerned that their

    Read More »from Apple to offer third-party charger trade-in after electrocution death
  • Inax Satis smart toilet. (Photo courtesy Inax, Inc.)Is nothing sacred? It appears that even in the comfort of your own bathroom, you can be the subject of a hacking attack.

    And not just for those people who bring their smartphones with them to the bathroom. There are reports that high-tech toilets in Japan can actually be hacked, and controlled by an outside user.

    According to information security firm Trustwave, the Satis toilets made by Inax have a Bluetooth security vulnerability that would allow an unauthorized user to control the toilet.

    Ars Technica reports that the Satis can be controlled remotely using the My Satis app for Android over a Bluetooth connection. The PIN to pair the app with the toilet is hard-coded into the app as “0000,” though, which makes it possible for anyone to pair the app on their phone with the toilet.

    [ Related: Now you can control your hotel room with your smartphone ]

    There are limitations, however, that would prevent hackers from controlling your toilet from wherever they are. The person would have to be

    Read More »from Beware the bidet: High-tech toilets vulnerable to hacking attacks
  • (Image from Motorola)The Moto X from Motorola was unveiled last week with one big focus: customization. In an effort to gain more of the smartphone market share, the announcement of Google’s newest device focused on a device that’s user friendly and stands out from other smartphones in look and functionality.

    For function, the phone certainly comes with lots of neat features: the phone is “always listening” and will respond to voice commands after you say “OK, Google Now” (much like the voice prompt for Google Glass). The function is similar to Apple’s Siri, allowing you to ask for specific information or to perform actions with the phone, except you don’t need to press any buttons first.

    It also offers more detailed notifications so you know what you’re phone is alerting you about (email, calendar appointment, etc.) and faster access to camera functionality: twist your wrist twice, and you’re ready to start shooting pictures.

    But if the selling feature for you was the wide selection of colours that Motorola

    Read More »from Black-and-white issue: No colourful Moto X options coming to Canada
  • Black Hat USA 2013 attendees (Reuters)Finding a charger for your smartphone in a public place can be a huge relief, but if you’re not careful, it can lead to big problems for you and your smartphone.

    At the Black Hat hacker conference in Las Vegas this week, three researchers demonstrated how they were able to hack a smartphone in less than 60 seconds by using a tiny LINUX computer and a malicious app. Now, Apple has responded to this research by including an update for iOS 7 (which is yet to be released to the general public) that will prevent your iPhone from being affected.

    The team of Billy Lau, Yeongjin Jang and Chengyu Song from the Georgia Institute of technology built a malicious charger they called “Mactans” which is small enough to appear to be just a charger, but also contains a small computer. When an iPhone 5 plugs into the computer through a USB connection, it will begin charging. It also unlocks as the device assumes as if you’ve attached it to a computer via USB you trust.

    The researchers created this computer

    Read More »from Apple releasing update to prevent fake charger hacking attacks


(802 Stories)