Windows 8.1 and Earlier Versions Crash With New File System Bug; Microsoft Working on Fix

It seems there’s no end to issues related to older Windows versions as a new file system bug has been discovered that can crash PCs. The new file system bug unlike WannaCry ransomware at least won’t lock older systems for bitcoins. Discovered by a security company named Aladdin RD, the new file system bug is related to a special metadata file dubbed “$mft.”

Ars Technica points out that metadata files are used by the operating system’s NTFS file system and exist in the root directory of each NTFS volume. These files, however, are handled by the NTFS drivers in “special ways” and they hidden from viewed and are inaccessible by most software. This in turn slows down other system processes, and hangs the system. A simple fix to the problem is restarting the system.

Engadget reached out to Microsoft for the new file system bug and a Microsoft spokesperson said, “Our engineers are currently reviewing the information. Microsoft has a customer commitment to investigate reported security issues and provide updates as soon as possible.”

Windows 8.1 and Earlier Versions Crash With New File System Bug; Microsoft Working on Fix“When the attempt is made to open the file with respect to $mft file, the system function does not find it, because this function searches it little differently, unlike other system functions that find the file at all times. Consequently, the work cycle begins, starting with the root file system,” explain the security researchers. If “$mft” is used as part of a directory name, such as C:\$MFT\coo, the system running Windows 8.1 and earlier can crash. The system function tries to open the file, getting stuck in a loop until the machine is restarted.

Researchers also claim that the system bug could allow any malicious website to try and load an image with “$mft” name in its directory path which older Windows version couldn’t handle correctly. Notably, the new system bug doesn’t affect Windows 10 users. The report notes that most browsers will try to block attempts to use the a resource like the image in the above example, however, older browsers like Internet Explorer will try to open the file still.

Microsoft Modern Keyboard With ‘Hidden’ Fingerprint Scanner Launched

Microsoft on Thursday silently unveiled a new keyboard, called the Microsoft Modern Keyboard. Priced at Rs. $129.99 (roughly Rs. 8,500), the new Modern Keyboard is listed as “coming soon” on the company’s US website with no word when the accessory will go on sale. The highlight of the keyboard is that it comes with a fingerprint scanner that just looks like any other key on the keyboard.

“Our vision was to blend the Fingerprint reader into a keyboard, so it would appear to be any other key. We iterated relentlessly to improve each layer, making sure they came together to create a flawless typing experience that felt like any other key,” Microsoft says on the product page of the Modern Keyboard.

The keyboard comes with aluminium frame and Microsoft claims it sports “highest quality” and is “virtually indestructible.”

Microsoft Modern Keyboard With 'Hidden' Fingerprint Scanner LaunchedThe Modern Keyboard will allow Windows 10 users to enable Windows Hello fingerprint authentication on their devices. The fingerprint scanner has been placed on the second Windows key on the right side of the keyboard, and can be used for signing in to the system or any website using Windows Hello.

The Microsoft Modern Keyboard with Fingerprint Scanner will work will Windows 8 and above devices, macOS 10.10.5 and above devices, Android 4.2 and above, and iOS 8 and iOS 9. Users need to make sure that the device should support Bluetooth 4.0 or higher for the Microsoft Modern Keyboard to work. Microsoft will also let users choose between using the Modern Keyboard with wireless/ wired interface.

It comes with dimensions 420.9×112.6×19.3mm and weighs roughly 420 grams. The wireless Microsoft Modern Keyboard runs on two AAA alkaline rechargeable batteries. Microsoft claims a battery life of up to 2 months on full charge. The Redmond giant will be offering one-year limited warranty on the keyboard.

HTC to Launch a Mobile VR Device That’s ‘Not a Phone Slapped Onto a Headset’

HTC has announced that it would look to boost virtual reality further with a new device that bridges the gap between its expensive Vive headset, and other reasonable mobile-only options like the Gear VR and the Google Daydream View. The new VR gadget will be a completely different product ‘that won’t require your phone to be slapped onto a headset’, HTC’s President of Global Sales, Chia-lin Chang, said in an interview. This new VR will be launched later in the year, as HTC looks to elevate its VR efforts further.

HTC to Launch a Mobile VR Device That's 'Not a Phone Slapped Onto a Headset'

At the HTC U series launch event in Singapore, Chang told CNET that HTC is looking at bringing a different kind of virtual reality gadget that you can use on the go. The device will not be as expensive as the Vive headset, making it possible to reach a wider audience. Just to recall, the HTC Vive costs $799 (roughly Rs. 54,000) in the United States

“We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR. Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you’ll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it’s not a phone slapped onto a headset. It’d be a different thing. We’re a VR company, we’re going to have something,” Chang told the publication.

Chang confirmed that the gadget would roll out sometime before the end of the year, but refrained from giving any details about the VR gadget itself. At [CES 2017] http://gadgets.ndtv.com/tags/ces2017), HTC launched the ViveTracker and the ViveDeluxe Audio Strap accessories for Vive that help with object tracking, and offer a better experience with fewer cables and an easier to adjust fit.

HTC increased its focus on VR last year by separating its VR business into a wholly-owned subsidiary. HTC also announced a new consortium called VR Venture Capital Alliance to invest in VR research and development.

Xiaomi Mi Car Air Purifier Launched Alongside New Anti-Pollution Air Mask

Chinese mobile manufacturer Xiaomi long ago jumped into the business of non-mobile products under its crowdfunding platform Mijia and its Mi Ecosystem sub-brand with manufacturer partners. From electric scooters to rice cookers and jackets, Xiaomi has launched a range of products including air purifiers. Now, the company has launched a new compact air purifier – Mi Car Air Purifier – in China that can be used inside a car. It’s priced at CNY 449 (roughly Rs. 4,400) and will hit the Chinese market starting Tuesday, December 27. Alongside, Xiaomi has also introduced a new anti-fog and haze air mask priced at CNY 69 (roughly Rs. 675).

Xiaomi Mi Car Air Purifier Launched Alongside New Anti-Pollution Air MaskAs per a report by Gizchina, the motivation to launch the new compact air purifier according to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun was the reception of the Mi Air Purifier Pro and Mi Air Purifier 2, which were so portable that Chinese people were carrying them around even in transit. With winters around and a rise pollution in China, people are readily inclining towards using more air cleaning devices. Thus, the Xiaomi CEO directed the company’s engineers to come up with something that can be more portable, which led to the idea of Mi Car Air Purifier. Talking about its design, the Mi Car Air Purifier looks somewhat identical to Xiaomi’s previous air purifiers, but in a more compact shell.

The Xiaomi Mi Car Air Purifier has a filter for PM2.5 particulate matter, and a CADR (clean air delivery rate) of 60 cubic metres per hour, which is capable of cleaning the average car’s air in about 3-7 minutes. It consists of two-wheel mirror fan circulation system that expels clean air in all directions, and comes with a silent mode so that you don’t hear noise while on a call inside your car. It also includes a headrest strap that will let you fasten it to the car’s headrest. As with its other air purifiers, the new Mi Car Air Purifier can be controlled with the Mi Home app.

In addition to that, Xiaomi has started selling its new anti-pollution air masks that the company claims can remove 99.8 percent of particles. The new anti-fog and haze masks will cost CNY 69 (roughly Rs. 675).

Why you should get a CCTV Digital Video Recorder system?

CCTVs come as blessings in today’s day when crime is on rise. From our homes to offices to schools, they’re everywhere, somewhat like the all seeing eyes. They’re easy to install and use and the footage is accessible to us from almost anywhere. CCTV footage is often turns out to be helpful for public security forces to figure out what exactly happened during a crime scene and take immediate steps.

There are several reasons, why you should get one installed at home or in the office.

Image result for Why you should get a CCTV Digital Video Recorder system?

  • Theft

In case of a theft or break in, a CCTV camera will always help you to find out who was behind it. Often its sheer presence will help to keep burglars away. Just the idea that they are being watched or will be recorded on camera is enough to scare most of them. This is the reason why people prefer having CCTV cameras installed while they aren’t really functional. You can always get a CCTV Digital Video recorder system to store all the footage so you can access it as and when you need.

  • Protect you and your employees

A CCTV footage will help not just you but your employees at the workplace too. While it helps you to monitor activities in the office, you will easily help your employees stay safe too. In case it is a customer driven workplace, the CCTV could actually help both customers and employees from lashing out at each other or getting verbally or physically abusive. It will also help you as an employer to resolve harassment cases at the workplace.

  • Watching over

If you have kids at home, or even a pet, you could always use the CCTV footage to check on them. Since the footage can be accessed online in real time, it is a good way to make sure everyone is safe, or that your dog isn’t chewing your sofa. It’s an easy way to say goodbye to all your worries when you’re at work. It you’re the notorious kind you could always set up a prank for your kids when they get home and then sit and watch the magic unfold.

  • Keeping Record

Even if you are in a safe neighbourhood, and feel like there are very little chances of a theft a CCTV camera is a good way to maintain the records. Most places just have a register on the counter for people to fill in their names and details. A CCTV footage will keep a detailed record of what time they arrived to how long did someone stay in the building. You can also track where they went, whom they visited and more.

  • Settle arguments or disputes

With a camera recording as proof, there is very little room to keep blaming someone. You can always use it to settle an argument or dispute about what was at fault. Especially when customers falsely blame employees, CCTV footage will always come in handy. The picture quality has improved to the extent of capturing high resolution footage that will help you identify people too.

 

Summary:

CCTV cameras are a need of the hour and they have multiple applications in different settings like school or workplace or even in our homes. Apart from helping us to prevent crime or keep the criminals away, there are other reasons why a CCTV camera should be installed.

Apple Watch Nike+ Edition Price in India, Release Date Revealed

Apple Watch Nike+ Edition Price in India, Release Date Revealed

  • The Apple Watch Nike+ edition will be available starting at Rs. 32,900
  • Built-in GPS can track your pace, distance and route
  • The smartwatch comes in four different colour combinations

After launching the Apple Watch Series 2 in India on October 7, Apple will launch the Apple Watch Nike+ edition on October 28, according to Apple’s website. The smartwatch is offered in 38mm and 42mm case size, priced at Rs. 32,900 and Rs. 34,900 respectively, It will be available via Nike’s website, Nike retail stores, Apple authorised resellers, and other select stores.

The Nike+ model, a variant of the Apple Watch Series 2, was unveiled at the event on September 2 alongside the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The smartwatch is designed to feature a sporty look and feel with a lightweight, flexible fluoroelastomer, which is also used in Apple Watch Sport bands. It comes with perforated straps and fitness-centric apps including the Nike+ Run Club app.

The Apple Watch Nike+ has a built-in GPS that can track your pace, distance and route even without the iPhone. The smartwatch is water resistant up to a depth of 50 metres. The Nike+ model comes with all the features found in the Apple Watch Series 2, which includes Siri. The smartwatch come with Nike exclusive faces that feature the company’s iconic Volt colour.

The Apple Watch Nike+ edition comes in four different colour combinations. The Space Grey Aluminium case will be available with Black/Volt Nike Sports band and Black/Cool Grey Nike Sportband, while the Silver Aluminium case will be offered with Flat Silver/White Nike Sport band and Flat Silver/ Volt Nike Sport band.

The Apple Watch Series 2 launched earlier in October improves on its predecessor with a dual-core processor, a brighter 1000-nit Retina display with Force Touch and built-in GPS.

 

Amazon Prints Photo Printing Service Launched; Unlimited Photos Storage Plan Discontinued

Amazon Prints Photo Printing Service Launched; Unlimited Photos Storage Plan Discontinued

  • Amazon Prints will give direct competition to printing service Shutterfly
  • Free shipping on orders above $15
  • Amazon ends its Unlimited Photos storage plan

Amazon has entered into direct competition with printing service Shutterfly with the announcement of its printing service Amazon Prints. Amazon Prints is essentially a service for printing digital photos and creating custom photo books.

In order to use Amazon Prints, users will have to first upload their photos to company’s cloud storage serviceAmazon Drive. Users can then select their prints, customise their order, and proceed to check out.

Amazon decided to end its Unlimited Photos storage plan this week in lieu of Amazon Drive’s unlimited storage plan. The Unlimited Photos plan used to cost users $12 (roughly Rs. 800) per year whereas in comparison, Amazon Drive’s unlimited storage plan will cost you $59.99 (roughly Rs. 4,000) per year after your three-month free trial ends.

“Every time you print online photos with Amazon Prints, you can customize your order with your favorite photos, themes, paper types, and print sizes,” the company said in aanote. Amazon is offering free shipping on orders worth more than $15 (roughly Rs. 1,000).

Photo books from Amazon Prints will start from $19.99 (roughly Rs. 1,300) and the service will be coming up with calendars as well as stationery soon.

In an expected reaction, the announcement of Amazon Prints resulted in “the worst single-day decline in more than eight years for shares of Shutterfly,” as reported by Bloomberg.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon’s entry into the printing service will impact Shutterfly’s business in a substantial amount going forward.

 

Alcatel Unveils ‘Vision’ Standalone VR Headset and a 360-Degree Camera at IFA

Alcatel Unveils 'Vision' Standalone VR Headset and a 360-Degree Camera at IFAAlcatel on Thursday at IFA 2016 has unveiled a standalone VR headset called Vision, as well as two models of the Alcatel 360 Camera.

The Alcatel Vision VR headset is based on the Android platform and comes with two 3.8-inch 1080×1020 pixels resolution Amoled screens. The device is powered by an octa-core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM.

The company claims that the wireless VR headset offers best-in-class field-of-vision of 120 degrees and lowest latency that is currently available, 17 milliseconds. Interestingly, the device also adjusts for myopia and thereby removes any need for corrective glasses or contact lens.

Alcatel’s Vision comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor. The device packs a 3000mAh battery that company claims will last up to 3 hours of continuous use, reports Pocket-Lint.

Even though the pricing of the headset has not been announced by the company, it did say that the device will be offered with “entry-level pricing” that is readily affordable, and is expected to be between EUR 499 and EUR 599 at launch early next year.

“Alcatel partnered with Jaunt VR, Magic Interactive Entertainment and Fraunhofer, which will provide preloaded content and hardware to enable Vision users to immediately benefit from its enhanced capability and so get a better experience,” the company said in its release.
Along with the VR headset the company also announced its Alcatel 360 Camera that comes in two shapes, round and rectangle, and plugs into company’s smartphones. Both the camera models come with dual 210-degree fisheye lens. The company has not revealed the price or availability of the camera as well.

Sonos Cuts Deal to Bring Amazon Alexa Voice Controls to Its Speakers

Sonos Cuts Deal to Bring Amazon Alexa Voice Controls to Its Speakers

Matt Welch began hacking his Sonos Internet-connected stereo system about two years ago, to make it easier for his wife to listen to the radio. One of his favorite creations was a software program that used the microphone on the family’s Echo, Amazon’s talking speaker, as a voice-control input for the Sonos. “Now she could walk into the room and say, ‘Sonos, play NPR,'” said Welch, a computer programmer living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Building the program took him about a week.

Welch wasn’t the only Sonos fan spending time trying to connect Amazon’s and Sonos’s speakers. Guides for hacks began appearing online soon after the Echo debuted in late 2014. It wasn’t that hard to do for tinkerers who could comprehend sentences like this one: “Setup your server to auto-start or daemonize the node-sonos-http-api server.” Everyone else was out of luck.

That will change soon. At an event in Manhattan on Tuesday, Sonos unveiled a system developed withAmazon that will let users ask the Echo to play music on their Sonos speakers. Once the two systems are linked, it basically replaces the Echo’s speakers with Sonos’s own devices for any music applications. A test version will be available to some later this year, with a full-scale release planned for 2017. Antoine Leblond, vice president of software at Sonos, described the deal as a “long-term strategic partnership.”

Sonos has been grappling with the idea of voice controls at least as long as the Amazon Echo has been on the market, according to interviews with a half-dozen current and former Sonos employees. The fitful discussions came during a particularly challenging period in the company’s 14-year history, after a less-than-stellar holiday period for Sonos and a realization that consumers-many Sonos customers among them-really loved the Echo.

Besides partnering with Amazon, Sonos will also let customers of Spotify, and a handful of home-automation makers including Lutron, Crestron, and Control4, to control their Sonos speakers through apps. Taken together, this marks a major pivot for Sonos, which has proudly introduced new products at a glacial pace and maintained the tightest possible control over the software its listeners use to control their speakers.

Sonos, founded in 2002, makes a line of speakers that connect to the internet and one another through their own dedicated Wi-Fi networks. The speakers look good, sound great, and allow for satisfying tricks like playing Spotify in the kitchen, Soundcloud in the bedroom and Pandora everywhere else in the house-all from a single smartphone application. The company’s fans tend to exhibit enthusiasm bordering on cultishness.

When Amazon began selling the Echo in late 2014, executives at Sonos didn’t see it as a threat. Other voice-controlled platforms like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Kinect controller for the Xbox had experienced only mixed success. Also, Amazon’s track record on hardware was spotty, and the brass at Sonos doubted a device with such inferior sound quality would tempt their core users. By last year, the idea of voice-controlled speakers had been relegated to its list of projects to get around to at some point in the misty future.

Sonos’s finicky perfectionism had been a point of pride within the company. But while being picky played well with the audio snobs that make up its fanbase, the company’s critics felt it wasn’t keeping pace with the hyperkinetic tech industry. According to four employees who left Sonos this year, the company has always suffered from a default setting of inaction. That’s not to say there aren’t ideas bouncing around its Santa Barbara headquarters. For over a year, Sonos worked on a portable speaker, code-named Hopscotch, according to two former employees. But progress stalled over the inability to decide whether it would be primarily an outdoor speaker that would also work indoors, or vice versa. The project was shelved earlier this year, according to the company.

Patrick Spence, Sonos’s president, says the company often errs on the side of conservatism because it doesn’t want to release products that don’t meet its standards. “Our first value as a company is ‘experience first’. Our second is ‘relentless progressive.'” he said. “I think there’s a natural tension between those two things.” Spence said the company is working to fine-tune that balance.

By late 2014, Sonos thought it was nearing a breakout period. In fact, things were about to get tough. Executives told employees and the public it would cross $1 billion in revenue for the first time the following year. But Sonos had a disappointing holiday season in 2014, and then again a year later. Meanwhile, the Echo was the hit of the 2015 holidays, creating a feeling of urgency bordering on panic within Sonos’s leadership, according to people who were at the company. Sonos felt like it had to do something, and fast.

In March of 2016, the company’s chief executive, John MacFarlane, announced a round of firings and said the company was focused on enabling voice control and catering to customers who pay for music subscription services.

Sonos’s engineers said it wasn’t feasible to add voice control directly to its own hardware any time soon, so the company began aggressively pursuing discussions with Amazon. “We really started to see that holiday in a truly meaningful way,” Spence said. “We’re moving at a faster pace because the market has sped up.”

The result is Amazon’s most significant hardware integration for its voice-control platform, Alexa. Being the only voice-control system to be integrated into the preferred speakers of the nerd set is a nice, but modest, affirmation for Amazon, which continues to enjoy a surprising advantage over competing platforms from the tech industry’s other behemoths.

It’s much bigger news for Sonos, which could benefit from the massive reach of Amazon’s website as it tries to land new customers. While Sonos has succeeded for more than a decade largely on the strength of its own speakers and software, it has become increasingly clear that growing larger involves a more open approach to partnerships.

Up to this point, Sonos users have had to use the company’s own mobile application to play music on the speakers. This meant that new features for music services like Spotify didn’t make it to Sonos users for months. The speaker company’s rigidity has frustrated partners and customers for years. “We’ve worked together for a long time, but we’ve both felt we haven’t been able to bring the best experience,” said Gustav Soderstrom, Spotify’s chief product officer. He says the changes announced Tuesday, which will be available in a test period starting in October, should permanently fix those shortcomings. Sonos plans to build similar integrations for all music services, although it hasn’t publicized a timeline for doing so.

If Sonos is going to remain relevant in such a fast-moving market, it felt it needed to better leverage the advances being made by other companies, said Brian Blau, an analyst at Gartner. The deal with Amazon doesn’t necessarily remove the need for Sonos to integrate voice control into future versions of its own hardware, but it does buy the company more time to figure it out. “It’s more of a full partnership between today and the day when they have the full-featured solution,” he said.

Last year in North Carolina, Welch continued to spend his evenings and weekends tinkering with his Sonos system. Eventually, friends introduced him to engineers at the company. By September, he had accepted a job at Sonos Welch says he played a tangential role in the official Echo integration, and continues to work on other projects for the company, although he’s still using his home-brewed version in his house and likes to try out new Sonos features on his family.

One of Welch’s more recent hacks was to create a series of cards that resemble baseball cards that emit radio signals. Each card is programmed to ask Sonos to play a specific children’s song, so when his young son lays one on a receiever, it plays the song pictured on the card. “That was all in the line of my exploration of new ways to control Sonos,” Welch said. But don’t expect this idea to become an official Sonos product-or even a lasting part of Welch’s household. His son quickly realized he could continuously tap the card for the Octonauts, a British children’s show, against the receiver, and keep the house buzzing with its theme song. His kid loved it. “My wife wasn’t quite as enthused,” Welch said

 

The Bossest Sound Around

Completing your ultimate home theater set up is impossible to do without the best sound system around. If you’re looking for that system that’s going to bring your action movies, as well as those rom-coms, to life you need to give serious thought to investing in a Bose system. Bose offers an incredibly diverse range of products. One thing that never varies however, is the quality.Bose is renowned for providing the highest quality speakers. When you buy Bose, you know you are buying a product that was built to last through those explosions and moving symphonic pieces alike. What’s more, should something happen to your new sound system, Bose is a company that honors its warranty.

 Touring stores, the incredible array of speakers on offer is sometimes intimidating. How do you know what to buy? Where will it all fit? And how are you going to pay for all of this?

 Take some time to do your homework online. If you look at product reviews, you’ll know Bose is a product worth investing in. Beyond that, though, how do you know what to buy and through what means? You should take some time to find the product that suits your needs best. Do you want a 15-piece home theater set up? Or a more traditional 2-speaker and amp set?

 Once you have settled on the right sound system for you, start investigating the ways you are going to get that system cheapest and most conveniently. It will be hard to beat the partnership between Bose and Groupon. Right now you can find free shipping on almost every Bose product. In addition, individual coupons and discounts are regularly available that are valued in the hundreds of dollars.

 Sure, you can stroll into any shop and buy a set of speakers, but the quality is always going to leave you wishing for more. Buying Bose is going to give you long-lasting satisfaction. Buying Bose online, benefitting from free shipping and hundreds of dollars in discounts is going to give you long-lasting satisfaction, and leave extra spending money for that next upgrade.