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Steve Jobs Biopic & Other Top Tech Movie Classics





Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in ‘Jobs.’ Photo by Glen Wilson, courtesy Sundance Institute and Open Road Films.

It’s too early to tell whether the new Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher will join the canon of top technology movies; it opens today, so I haven’t seen it yet. However, you can join me in watching the Jobs trailer, which is embedded below. The movie’s very busy website is here.

I do know that the film’s release gives me a good excuse to take a breather from our usual Friday post of Oracle-related links and bring you instead my top 10 list of tech-related films you’re not going to see on anybody else’s roundup. If you’ve followed my blogging, you know this means they’ll be somewhat obscure, somehow elitist, but all eminently watchable. That’s if you can find them; I’ll include Netflix and Amazon Prime availability, and not just because it gives me an excuse to play with the big screen while I’m writing this post.

The upshot is that my list contains only one of the usual suspects. There’s no Tron, no Back to the Future, and certainly no Star Wars (not a fan). As for Star Trek, I’m a child of the Shatner/Nimoy era, and enjoy those movies, but you don’t need me to point you to them. (FYI, David Ellison, the son of Oracle’s CEO, is executive producer of the series’ latest iteration, Star Trek Into Darkness.)

As for ‘Jobs,’ Kutcher has an advantage in that he certainly looks the part. In real life, according to a recent interview he did with The New York Times, he has tech cred because he’s “An Actor Who Knows Startups.” He’s invested in several social and mobile ventures, and he told the paper: “I look for companies that solve problems in intelligent and friction-free ways and break boundaries.”

I’m familiar with Kutcher only in passing—as in, I used to pass by the TV set when my daughter was watching That ’70s Show. The sitcom, which ran for nine seasons beginning in 1998, seems to view the decade of Watergate and disco through the prism of a basement bong. It may be a trite truism that those who lived through the 1960s don’t remember the decade. However, I rarely joined my daughter, because those of us who actually grew up in the 1970s would prefer to forget them.

OK, so here’s the official Jobs movie trailer, courtesy Open Road Films:

Now it’s onto my list of great tech movies, in no particular order.

What’s the original big data movie? In my estimation, that’d be The Andromeda Strain. The 1971 film version of Michael Crichton’s book revolves around an extraterrestrial virus that finds itself in a small town in Arizona. It wipes out everyone, except for one old man and a baby. (But enough about Steve Guttenberg’s career.) A tiger team of scientists is dispatched to contain the disease, lest it spread to Hollywood and beyond. I detected the big data meme in an early scene where scientist Ruth Leavitt, played by the late Kate Reid, stares at a computer terminal to assess some molecule or other.

Lots of movies seem to portray tough technical problems as being amenable to solutions if someone simply peers really intently at a screen for prolonged periods of time. Those of us who’ve done precisely that know we’re more likely waiting for a slow page to finish loading.

I hope I’m not breaking the spoiler-alert rule if I tell you that the story’s denouement involves another theatrical construct that likewise doesn’t translate well into the real world. Namely, a nuclear device blows the virus, and the rather large research facility that proves unable to contain it, to bits.

Nuclear obliteration is also used to wrap up the plot of the noir classic Kiss Me Deadly. The downscale 1955 drama—Ralph Meeker plays déclassé private detective Mike Hammer—is often the next viewing step up for budding cineastes who’ve previously become enamored of Bob Le Flambeur. Like many contemporaneous movies, Kiss Me Deadly is infused with the Cold War mentality that screams it’s all about to end badly. And it does, via what I call “bad tech in a box.” Respinning a plot device that goes back to Lot and the Bible, someone can’t resist opening a container of unspecified provenance lurking in the corner. You know, the one they were told to stay away from. (An inability to keep the lid is also part of a pivotal scene in the 1999 romp, The Mummy.) You can guess what happens next, right before the credits roll.

Sometimes it’s a person who blows his top, psychologically speaking. That’s what happens to the laid-off defense engineer ably played by Michael Douglas in 1993’s Falling Down. I’ve long felt that this film has been underrated. I’ve secondarily attributed this to the fact that 20 years ago, Michael Douglas wasn’t the critics’ darling he is today.

But mostly, I believe it’s because of the way his character presents. William “D-Fens” Foster—he’s a defense engineer, get it?—wears a short-sleeved white shirt, horn-rimmed glasses, and a pocket protector. He’s so geekified that most audience members can’t relate to him, and those who can don’t want to be reminded of it. But the slow burn of the plot, the cinematography of a spent and sprawling Los Angeles, and the barely repressed rage expressed via Douglas’s performance combine to create a feeling that there’s a real character beneath the engineer-gone-postal plot. Supporting actress props to the always reliable Barbara Hershey as Foster’s ex-wife.



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Shares in the Bank of Chile were down on Monday after it confirmed hackers had syphoned off $10 million (roughly Rs. 67 crores) of its funds, mainly to Hong Kong, though the country’s second-largest commercial bank said no client accounts had been impacted.

The cyberheist is the latest in a string of such attacks, including one in May in Mexico in which thieves used phantom orders and fake accounts to steal hundreds of millions of Mexican pesos out of the country’s banks, including Banorte.

Shares in the Bank of Chile, which is controlled by the Chilean Luksic family and Citigroup, were down 0.47 percent at CLP 100.4 ($.16) in mid-day trading.

Bank CEO Eduardo Ebensperger told Chilean daily La Tercera in an interview on Saturday that hackers had initially used a virus as a distraction, prompting the bank to disconnect 9,000 computers in branches across the country on May 24 to protect customer accounts.

Meanwhile, the hackers quietly used the global SWIFT bank messaging service to initiate a series of fraudulent transactions that were eventually spotted by the bank and cancelled but not before millions were funnelled to accounts abroad.

“The [attack] was meant to hurt the bank, not our customers,” Ebensperger said.

Ebensperger said a forensic analysis conducted by Microsoft had determined the attack was the work of a sophisticated international group of hackers, likely from eastern Europe or Asia, and that the bank had filed a criminal complaint in Hong Kong.

The bank said in a May financial statement that it would work with insurers to recoup the lost funds.





source: Gadgets 360

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arlier this month, Huawei introduced the Watch 2 smartwatch with an eSIM and voice call support. Now, a new development claims that the company is procuring OLED displays from Samsung. The South Korean giant is said to have already sent out samples to Huawei, and if all goes well, full scale production is expected to start by Q3 2018. The smartphone to sport these 6.9-inch OLED panels is said to release sometime in the fourth quarter or even early 2019, and we largely expect to see them on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

South Korean media The Bell reports that Samsung is in the process of finalising samples with Huawei for its order of 6.9-inch OLED displays. These large-sized displays are usually seen on Huawei’s P series or Mate series. While the P30 series is not expected to arrive before MWC 2019, the Mate series traditionally arrives sometime in Q4. Furthermore, with the screen size being so large, we expect the Pro version to sport the 6.9-inch display, while the Mate 20 could sport a 6.1-inch or some such.

If Huawei is indeed bringing a 6.9-inch display smartphone, it should easily win the screen size battle, as the iPhone X Plus is expected to sport a 6.5-inch display, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is expected to sport a 6.4-incher. These large sized displays are very popular in the Chinese market, and Huawei wants to meet expectations in its home market. Bigger screens are popular also because of the large text area used by the Chinese language, the report adds. Huawei wouldn’t want to lose its momentum in its biggest market by not staying ahead of its game.

Of course, all of this is based on sheer speculation, and we expect you to take everything with a pinch of salt, till Huawei makes things official.



Source: Gadget360

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With growing censorship and regulations threatening global internet freedom and security, in turn, we’ve seen an increasing number of services become available to protect your online web browsing.

Virtual Private Networks (or VPNs) have become increasingly popular in recent years for their ability to bypass government censorship and geo-blocked websites and services, and do so without giving away who is doing the bypassing.

For a VPN to do this, it creates what is known as a tunnel between you and the internet, encrypting your internet connection and stopping ISPs, hackers, and even the government from nosing through your browsing activity.

We explain the basics of what a VPN is here
What is a VPN Tunnel?
When you connect to the internet with a VPN, the VPN creates a connection between you and the internet that surrounds your internet data like a tunnel, encrypting the data packets your device sends.

While technically created by a VPN, the tunnel on its own can’t be considered private unless it’s accompanied with encryption strong enough to prevent governments or ISPs from intercepting and reading your internet activity.

The level of encryption the VPN tunnel has depends on the type of tunneling protocol used to encapsulate and encrypt the data going to and from your device and the internet.

Types of VPN tunneling protocols
There are many types of VPN tunneling protocols that offer varying levels of security and other features. The most commonly used tunneling protocols in the VPN industry are PPTP, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP, and OpenVPN. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is one of the oldest protocols still being used by VPNs today. Developed by Microsoft and released with Windows 95, PPTP encrypts your data in packets and sends them through a tunnel it creates over your network connection.

PPTP is one of the easiest protocols to configure, requiring only a username, password, and server address to connect to the server. It’s one of the fastest VPN protocols because of its low encryption level.

While it boasts fast connection speeds, the low level of encryption makes PPTP one of the least secure protocols you can use to protect your data. With known vulnerabilities dating as far back as 1998, and the absence of strong encryption, you’ll want to avoid using this protocol if you need solid online security and anonymity – government agencies and authorities like the NSA have been able to compromise the protocol’s encryption.

2. L2TP/IPSec
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is used in conjunction with Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) to create a more secure tunneling protocol than PPTP. L2TP encapsulates the data, but isn’t adequately encrypted until IPSec wraps the data again with its own encryption to create two layers of encryption, securing the confidentiality of the data packets going through the tunnel.

L2TP/IPSec provides AES-256 bit encryption, one of the most advanced encryption standards that can be implemented. This double encapsulation does, however, make it a little slower than PPTP. It can also struggle with bypassing restrictive firewalls because it uses fixed ports, making VPN connections with L2TP easier to block. L2TP/IPSec is nonetheless a very popular protocol given the high level of security it provides.

Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol, named for its ability to transport internet data through the Secure Sockets Layer or SSL, is supported natively on Windows, making it easy for Windows users to set up this particular protocol. SSL makes internet data going through SSTP very secure, and because the port it uses isn’t fixed, it is less likely to struggle with firewalls than L2TP.

SSL is also used in conjunction with Transport Layer Security (TLS) on your web browsers to add a layer to the site you’re visiting to create a secure connection with your device. You can see this implemented whenever the website you visit starts with ‘https’ instead of ‘http’.

As a Windows-based tunneling protocol, SSTP is not available on any other operating system, and hasn’t been independently audited for potential backdoors built into the protocol.

4. OpenVPN
Saving the best for last, we have OpenVPN, a relatively recent open source tunneling protocol that uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect data packets. Because the protocol is open source, the code is vetted thoroughly and regularly by the security community, who are constantly looking for potential security flaws.

The protocol is configurable on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, although third-party software is required to set up the protocol, and the protocol can be hard to configure. After configuration, however, OpenVPN provides a strong and wide range of cryptographic algorithms that will allow users to keep their internet data secure and to even bypass firewalls at fast connection speeds.

Which tunneling protocol should I use?

Even though it’s the fastest, you should steer clear of PPTP if you want to keep your internet data secure. L2TP/IPSec provides 256-bit encryption but is slower and struggles with firewalls given its fixed ports. SSTP, while very secure, is only available on Windows, and closed off from security checks for built-in backdoors.

OpenVPN, with its open source code, strong encryption, and ability to bypass firewalls, is the best tunneling protocol to keep your internet data secure. While it requires third-party software that isn’t available on all operating systems, for the most secure VPN connection to the internet, you’ll want to use the OpenVPN protocol.

A good VPN service should offer you the choice of at least these four types of tunneling protocols when going online. We’ve compiled a list of the best VPNs in the industry for you to get started on protecting your internet data.




Source: Tech Radar


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