Hackers Target Babies, Google Fun Facts!… [Tech News Digest]
Hackers spy on babies, Google kills your curiosity, Hulu drops the ads, Cortana translates your nonsense, Obama loves selfie sticks, and an honest look at Metal Gear Solid.
Hackers Can Spy on Your Baby Monitor
I would PAY hackers to monitor my baby, extra if they'll do bottle feedings https://t.co/B0y2GI5pNj
— Matt Watkins (@mattwatkins80) September 2, 2015
Some Internet-connected baby monitors have serious security flaws which could allow hackers to spy on the babies being watched over. That’s according to computer security firm Rapid7 Inc., which tested a selection of the most popular Internet-connected baby monitors to find out how safe they are.
It turns out they’re not that safe at all, as all of those tested were found to have some kind of security problem. However, some were found have major flaws allowing hackers to view images and footage from afar. Essentially allowing those who are so inclined to do so to spy on sleeping babies.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the flaws found potentially allow hackers to “log in at will to view the stream of any camera” without the need of a password, or use a “brute force” attack to watch a live stream of a camera broadcasting online. Which is all rather worrying, if not completely new information .
The advice to anyone who owns an Internet-connected baby monitor is to use strong passwords, keep the device fully updated at all times, and to disconnect it when it’s not in use. Beyond that, we’re all just reliant on hackers not being creepy enough to want to spy on children.
Google Has Some Fun Facts For You
Yowza! Type 'fun facts' or 'I'm feeling curious' into Google. Then say 'huh!' and get on with your day.
— Stuart Waterman (@stu_waterman) September 2, 2015
Google has a new trick up its sleeve, and its one that could provide hours of fun for anyone stuck at home in need of some simple entertainment. In fact, it could be described more accurately as infotainment or edutainment, as you’re likely to learn something in the process.
Simply type “fun facts” into Google Search, and you’ll be presented with a fun fact pulled at random from the millions of websites indexed by Google. Hit the “Ask Another Question” button, and Google will change the query to, “I’m feeling curious,” giving you another fun fact from its arsenal.
Google has always offered these extra little options to help shortcut the search process. We previously listed a bunch of Google Search tips , including how to instantly check stock prices and weather in certain locations. But this new one seems particularly inspired. And fun. Just like Google’s new logo .
Hulu Drops the Ads, For a Price
Hulu has finally listened to the demands of its users to drop the ads, introducing a new tier to its streaming service completely devoid of commercials. Unfortunately, removing the ads will cost you an extra $4 every month on top of the $8 Hulu already charges for Hulu Plus .
Hulu subscribers now have three distinct options: Hulu, which has limited content and ads but is free to use; Hulu Plus, which has all available content and ads but costs $7.99-per-month; and Hulu No Commercials, which has all available content and no ads but costs $11.99-per-month.
This is a good move for Hulu, at least giving viewers a choice, However, Netflix is priced at $8-per-month and never shows ads, while Amazon Prime (which gives you access to Instant Video) is priced at $99-per-year (or $8.25-per-month) and also never shows ads. So, there’s still some room for maneuver.
Cortana Ups Its Translating Game
Cortana is becoming more useful by the day, with Microsoft announcing she is now able to translate words and phrases in almost 40 languages. This means anyone with Windows 10 can ask Cortana to translate from one language to another, and she should comply with an instant translation.
This feature is currently only available in the United States and China, but is promised to be rolled out to more countries “in the near future”. The languages available include Chinese, Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Urdu, Welsh, and… Klingon.
President Obama Uses a Selfie Stick
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) September 2, 2015
It’s difficult to say whether the selfie stick craze is over or not. People are still buying them, but supply seems to be outstripping demand already. However, it seems dear ol’ Barack Obama didn’t get the memo telling him the world has moved on from selfie sticks.
The U.S. President is currently touring Alaska to see for himself what effect climate change is having on glaciers. And using a selfie stick to document his findings. Which is fine, obviously.
After all, climate change is an important issue, so tackling it head-on is exactly what world leaders should be doing. Unfortunately, just as everybody else in the world, Obama looks a little silly when using a selfie stick . Especially when he’s shooting video rather than a selfie.
Metal Gear Solid: The Honest Game Trailer
And finally, with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain having been released, now seems as good a time as any to take an honest look back over Hideo Kojima’s groundbreaking series . Which is exactly what YouTubers Smosh have done with their latest Honest Game Trailers segment.
Let’s be honest about it, Metal Gear Solid is equal parts amazing and odd. It has more WTF?! moments than probably any other game series ever produced, and only the bravest souls would even attempt to figure out the twisting, torturous plot. Still, The Phantom Pain does look rather epic.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you worried about hackers spying on babies? Will you be asking Google to provide some fun facts? Are you willing to pay more for an ad-free version of Hulu? Are you actively using Cortana yet? Do you support Obama’s use of selfie sticks? What is your honest opinion of the Metal Gear Solid series?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Matias Almeida via Flickr