Top tech stories of the day for Thursday 19 Dec, 2013

Target suffers Black Friday hack at ‘nearly all’ stores, millions of credit cards at risk – Retailers are an appealing target for hackers during the holidays, and Target may be learning that lesson the hard way. According to Krebs on Security, the US retail giant is investigating a major breach that could potentially involve “millions” of customer credit and debit card records.

The sophisticated hack reportedly took place over several weeks — starting on Black Friday and possibly extending all the way through December 15th — and is said to involve “nearly all” Target stores in the United States. Krebs says the breach “involves the theft of data stored on the magnetic stripe of cards used at the stores.” Online orders are said to be unaffected.

Target suffers Black Friday hack at ‘nearly all’ stores, millions of credit cards at risk

 

 

Apple’s new Mac Pro now on sale, will ship by December 30th – After months of waiting, Apple’s new Mac Pro is now available to order through its online store. Coming just a day after the company announced the availability of the trashcan-shaped desktop, the quad-core and six-core models start at $3,000 and $4,000 respectively. Should you order today, Apple says deliveries will reach your doorstep before the new year, with its online store currently displaying a December 30th shipping estimate.

That base model will get you a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon CPU, 12GB DRAM, two AMD FirePro D300 GPUs, and a 256GB SSD. However, if you max out every setting, you’re looking at $10,000 — and that’s without a mouse or a keyboard.

Apple’s new Mac Pro now on sale, will ship by December 30th

 

 

Motorola patent application for a wrist-worn flexible display device

Motorola shows how it could make smartwatches with flexible displays – Motorola has already filed for patents on both wrist-worn gadgets and flexible displays. Today, we’re seeing what happens when the company merges the two technologies. A newly published patent application has revealed a Motorola concept for a smartwatch-like device where both the screen and the shell underneath can flex in tandem.

Much like a metal watch band, the chassis would be made of links; grips on each link would bend the display. It’s a simple idea, although we’re not expecting a product out of it any time soon — the company will need flexible circuits before any bendy wearables can reach its roadmap.

Motorola shows how it could make smartwatches with flexible displays

 

 

Google puts an offline Moto Maker in the pages of Wired (video) – Despite reports of a sales shortfall, the customizable Moto X has some dedicated fans, and it’s fair to say they overlap pretty well with the target audience of Wired. And so, for anybody who hasn’t yet tried their hand at designing a phone in the Moto Maker, Google is making the process a little easier.

Some copies of the January 2014 issue of Wired — according to Mashable, that means those sold in Chicago and New York — come with an interactive ad that mimics the Moto X design tool: tap one of the colors shown at the bottom of the page, and the phone’s backplate will change to match it.

Google puts an offline Moto Maker in the pages of Wired

 

 


Washington Post hacked for the second time in three years – Unknown hackers gained access to the Washington Post‘s servers for multiple days and stole employees’ user names and passwords, the newspaper said today. Company officials are still trying to determine how much data was exposed, the paper said, but it appears that the hackers did not access any information about the paper’s subscribers. This is the second time the newspaper’s servers have been breached in the past three years.

Washington Post hacked for the second time in three years

 

 

UK Government to announce mandatory online adult content filters

UK adult content filters inadvertently block online education and medical resources – We’ve all fallen victim to the pedantic e-mail filter that denies the existence of Scunthorpe and refuses to let you order Shiitake Mushrooms, but the situation just got a whole lot worse in the UK. The country’s new nationwide adult content filter has been found to restrict access not just to smut, but also to online educational, medical and emergency resources.

UK adult content filters inadvertently block online education and medical resources

 

 

Microsoft’s ‘Project Siena’ lets anyone create Windows 8.1 apps – Microsoft is releasing “Project Siena” today, a Windows 8.1 app that lets you easily create your own Windows app. It’s designed as a quick tool for building Windows 8-style apps without any programming skills. It’s also a touch-friendly way to create apps from a tablet, rather than using the desktop equivalents. Although potential developers won’t get the full power of tools like Visual Studio, that’s not really the point. Siena is designed to create apps that are more document-like and highly visual, with a canvas for inserting images, buttons, shapes, videos, and more.

Microsoft’s ‘Project Siena’ lets anyone create Windows 8.1 apps

 

 


Big update for Final Cut Pro brings improved support for 4K and the new Mac Pro – As Apple’s finally put its redesigned Mac Pro up for sale, the company’s also seen fit to update editing software Final Cut Pro. Version 10.1 optimizes “rendering and playback” for the new Mac, but for users of other “select Mac computers,” the most significant change will likely be the addition of 4K monitoring over Thunderbolt 2 and HDMI, meaning the program now fully supports 4K — you can upload straight to YouTube in that resolution, too.

Big update for Final Cut Pro brings improved support for 4K and the new Mac Pro

 

 

xbox-et-entertainment

New Xbox documentary series will explore buried ‘E.T.’ cartridge legend – Microsoft has been putting together an eclectic selection of television series to launch exclusively on the Xbox next year, and today it’s announcing an exciting new addition: a documentary series produced by Simon Chinn, producer of Man on Wire, and Jonathan Chinn, producer of Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days. The still-unnamed series will debut on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 next year, and will focus on how technology has changed entertainment, business, and the world at large.

The first entry in the series will address a subject of particular interest to gaming lore: the legend of Atari’s buried E.T. cartridges.

New Xbox documentary series will explore buried ‘E.T.’ cartridge legend

 

 

Thanks for reading,
Andrew Richardson

If you would like to discuss the top tech stories of the day feel free to hit me up via Twitter, Google+ or please leave a comment below.


Author: Andrew Richardson

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