Verizon Will Fix Your Smartphone's Screen for $29

Verizon customers can now enroll any phone purchased within the last 24 months in the Total Mobile Protection plan, which will run you $9 for basic phones and tablets and $11 for smartphones. Cracked screen repairs only cost $29, down from the previous $49 price tag. If you crack your screen and need a replacement you have two options: either bring the phone to one of 296 Verizon Wireless stores or have a certified technician come to your home or office in one of 152 cities.



Total Mobile Protection protects your phone in case of damage, loss or theft. It delivers replacement phones as soon as the next day and now has a new lower price for cracked screen repair at just $29 (lowered from $49). Cracked screen repair comes with two convenient options: either bring it to one of 296 certified repair stores or save yourself a trip and have a certified technician meet you at your home or office in 152 cities.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Verizon Will Fix Your Smartphone’s Screen for

Google's Advocacy of HTTPS a Soaring Success

Google has released a new blog post celebrating the success in adoption of secure web connections. A year ago, the search giant announced that it would start giving preferential treatment to secured websites, and now, it seems to have all worked out amazingly: 71 out of 100 of the most popular websites in the world now use HTTPS, an impressive increase of 37% in just one year.



We wanted to help people understand when the site they’re on is not secure, and at the same time, provide motivation to that site’s owner to improve the security of their site. We knew this would take some time, and so we started by only marking pages without encryption that collect passwords and credit cards. In the next phase, we began showing the “not secure” warning in two additional situations: when people enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Google’s Advocacy of HTTPS a Soaring Success

Elon Musk to Start Hyperloop Project in Maryland

Maryland has given transportation pioneer Elon Musk permission to dig tunnels for the high-speed, underground transit system known as a hyperloop that Musk wants to build between New York and Washington. Hogan administration officials said Thursday the state has issued a conditional utility permit to let Musk’s tunneling firm, The Boring Co., dig a 10.3-mile tunnel beneath the state-owned portion of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, between the Baltimore city line and Maryland 175 in Hanover.



It would be the first portion of the underground system that Musk says could eventually ferry passengers from Washington to New York, with stops in Baltimore and Philadelphia, in just 29 minutes. Maryland’s approval is the first step of many needed to complete the multibillion-dollar project. Gov. Larry Hogan toured a site in Hanover that aides said could become an entry point for the hyperloop. The state does not plan to contribute to the cost of the project, aides said. Hogan said on Facebook he was “incredibly excited” to support the project proposed by Musk, founder of the electric car company Tesla and the rocket firm SpaceX.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Elon Musk to Start Hyperloop Project in Maryland

Arkansas to Award Cash for AP Computer Science Exam Scores

Arkansas will be handing out cash to high school students who pass an Advanced Placement test in computer science. The Arkansas Department of Education announced the launch of the Arkansas Advanced Placement Computer Science A Incentive Program designed to encourage computer science education by rewarding students as well as schools. The department will award $1,000 for a student and $250 for a school for a score of five – the highest possible AP exam score.



That’s reduced to a $750 payout per student and $150 per school for a four on the test. And for a score of three – the lowest score most colleges accept for credit – a student can take home $250, with the school pulling in $50. The state as a whole, at the backing of Governor Asa Hutchinson, has made a push toward more computer science education in the last couple years. All high schools are required to offer a computer science course.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Arkansas to Award Cash for AP Computer Science Exam Scores

ME: Andromeda Dev Chalks Up Some of the Game's Problems to a Lack of Diversity

Longtime game designer Manveer Heir, who spent years at BioWare working on Mass Effect 3 and Mass Effect: Andromeda, talks frankly about the problems he and his colleagues faced in getting the latter to ship. When the game debuted earlier this year it caught some criticism for glorifying colonialist fantasies, for example, and now Heir says there were people within the team who spoke up about the issue years in advance — and in vain.



“I wasn’t the only one. There were other people, there were other white people, white men, who spoke up. There’s a lot of really good people inside of BioWare who spoke up on this stuff,” he said. “This is what happens when, I think, you have a homogeneous leadership. The leadership of Mass Effect: Andromeda was all white men.” He also ruminated on what it was like to be someone who works at a large, high-profile studio and also speaks publicly about topics like diversity, race, and representation in games. Heir describes being “talked to all the time about speaking up” and feeling like some people in the company wanted him to stop rocking the boat.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – ME: Andromeda Dev Chalks Up Some of the Game’s Problems to a Lack of Diversity

Consumer Reports Refuses to Recommend Microsoft Surface Book 2

Just a few days ago, Microsoft revealed details of the Surface Book 2 which is due to launch in November. But before the device is even available, it has been dealt a blow by Consumer Reports. Earlier in the year, the review group said that problems with reliability meant that it was impossible for it to recommend any Microsoft laptop or tablet. Now Consumer Reports says that this extends to the Surface Book 2, meaning that the device will not be recommended.



The company expressed disappointment in CR’s original decision, saying: “We don’t believe these findings accurately reflect Surface owners’ true experiences or capture the performance and reliability improvements made with every Surface generation.” Microsoft is likely to be similarly disappointed with CR’s statement about the Surface Book 2. Speaking to Benzinga, CR’s spokesperson James McQueen said: “We will evaluate the performance of the Microsoft Surface Book 2 once we get it into our labs next month for testing, but we will not be able to recommend it. Our decision to withhold our recommendation of all Microsoft laptops and tablets is still in effect.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Consumer Reports Refuses to Recommend Microsoft Surface Book 2

First Wave of Original Xbox Backwards Compatible Games Leaked

Renowned Microsoft leaker h0x0d has tweeted an image with the covers of the first wave of original Xbox backwards-compatible titles: these include Ninja Gaiden Black, Knights of the Old Republic, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, and BloodRayne II.



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Source: [H]ardOCP – First Wave of Original Xbox Backwards Compatible Games Leaked

Apple Hit with Trademark Lawsuit over iPhone X "Animoji" Feature

Tokyo-based Emonster kk has sued Apple in federal court in San Francisco, saying it holds the U.S. trademark on the term animoji and that Apple’s use of the word is a “textbook case” of deliberate infringement: Emonster chief executive Enrique Bonansea launched an animated texting app in 2014 called Animoji and registered a trademark on the product name, according to the lawsuit. Apple had full knowledge of Emonster’s app because it is available for download on Apple’s App Store, the lawsuit said.



Phil Schiller, Apple’s chief marketing officer, touted the animoji feature during the iPhone X launch event on Sept. 12, calling it a “great experience” for communicating with family and friends. “Apple decided to take the name and pretend to the world that ‘Animoji’ was original to Apple,” Emonster said in the complaint. Emonster said it is seeking unspecified money damages and a court order blocking Apple from using the term while the lawsuit is pending.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Apple Hit with Trademark Lawsuit over iPhone X “Animoji” Feature

The Dates for the Next 3 Steam Sales Have Been Leaked

Speaking to three developer sources today, Kotaku UK has learned the dates and times of the next three Steam Sales. According to images provided by these developers, the next three sale dates are October 26th 2017 to November 1st 2017 (Halloween Sale), November 22nd 2017 to November 28th 2017 (Autumn Sale), and December 21st 2017 to January 4th 2018 (Winter Sale).



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Source: [H]ardOCP – The Dates for the Next 3 Steam Sales Have Been Leaked

Twitter Will End Revenge Porn Next Week, Hate Speech in Two

For months, Twitter has offered few details about what it would do to take on harassment and hate speech: that changed late yesterday, when Twitter posted a timeline with specific promises on actions it will take, starting next week. On October 27, Twitter will expand what types of “non-consensual nudity” (aka “revenge porn”) that it takes action against. The company will already act when a victim complains, but Twitter will soon act even in cases where the victims may not be aware images were taken, instances like upskirt photos and hidden webcams.



This won’t be a quick or easy fix, but we’re committed to getting it right. Far too often in the past we’ve said we’d do better and promised transparency but have fallen short in our efforts. Starting today, you can expect regular, real-time updates about our progress. Sometimes, this may be insight into the difficult questions we’re asking ourselves, even before we have the answers. This is the first time we’ve shared this level of visibility into our work, and we hope it helps build trust along the way.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Twitter Will End Revenge Porn Next Week, Hate Speech in Two

Body Cam Study Shows No Effect on Police Use of Force or Citizen Complaints

Having police officers wear little cameras seems to have no discernible impact on citizen complaints or officers’ use of force, at least in the nation’s capital: that’s the conclusion of a study performed as Washington, D.C., rolled out its huge camera program. The city has one of the largest forces in the country, with some 2,600 officers now wearing cameras on their collars or shirts.



“We found essentially that we could not detect any statistically significant effect of the body-worn cameras,” says Anita Ravishankar, a researcher with the Metropolitan Police Department and a group in the city government called the Lab @ DC. “I think we’re surprised by the result. I think a lot of people were suggesting that the body-worn cameras would change behavior,” says Chief of Police Peter Newsham. “There was no indication that the cameras changed behavior at all.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Body Cam Study Shows No Effect on Police Use of Force or Citizen Complaints

Bitcoin Smashes through $6,100 to Hit a New Record High

Bitcoin set a new record high on Saturday breaking through the $6,100 barrier. The cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of $6,147.07 just a day after pushing through the $6,000 mark, according to data from industry website CoinDesk.



Much of the rise can be attributed to another upcoming split in bitcoin known as a “fork.” This will lead to the creation of a new cryptocurrency called bitcoin gold. Holders of bitcoin will get some bitcoin gold when it is issued, essentially giving them free money.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Bitcoin Smashes through ,100 to Hit a New Record High

Crazy Russian Spintires: MudRunner

I have spent a couple day’s time driving around in the Russian wilderness hauling logs around in Spintires. I am not exactly sure why, but I did. Even my daughter thought it was a cool game to play co-op in, which I have never figured out. Anyway, those crazy Russian guys are back with Spintires 2: Return of the Spin…..that is what I would have named it. It is actually Spintires: MudRunner. And until its launch, it’s 50% off for us Spintires owners, with a pre-purchase bump that brings the price down to around $14. While it seems tremendously stupid, for some reason the gameplay is very compelling.



With near-photorealistic graphics and incredible physics simulation, Spintires: MudRunner puts you in the driver’s seat of powerful off-road vehicles, and challenges you to face extreme sandbox environments, with only a map, a compass and your driving talents to survive!

Through numerous missions and challenges, off-road vehicle fans will enjoy crossing mud, rivers with strong currents, and climb perilous peaks aboard their 4x4s, trucks and sturdy logistic vehicles designed to withstand the most extreme conditions. Dedicated players and driving enthusiasts will appreciate the hyper-realistic driving sensations thanks to an advanced physics engine, including fuel simulation, a differential transmission system, soft-tire simulation, as well as realistic interactions between vegetation, mud, water, and your vehicle. Lastly, players looking for adventure and open environments will love the freedom offered by the sandbox maps of the game – choose what path to take, through difficult terrain, rivers, forests, swamps, mountains… nature and its dangers will always put you to the test.

Now go haul some logs. You can hit up our thread that is still going strong from 2014. It is full of links to awesome mods and plenty of folks to play with.

Source: [H]ardOCP – Crazy Russian Spintires: MudRunner

How AI Can Help You Stay Ahead of Cybersecurity Threats

This is a nice article that talks about the ever expanding role of AI in cyber defense. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. AI can identify and react faster than any human and time is of the essence when your network is under attack. I for one welcome our new AI overlords.



For example, the technology is used to look for indicators of compromise across the firm’s network, both on premises and in the cloud. “We’re talking about enormous amounts of data,” she says. “As the global threat landscape is advancing quite quickly, both in ability and collaboration on the attacker side, we really must use advanced tools and technologies to get ahead of the threat themselves.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – How AI Can Help You Stay Ahead of Cybersecurity Threats

Unpatched Microsoft Word DDE Exploit Being Used In Widespread Malware Attacks

There’s a newly discovered unpatched attack method out there that exploits a built-in feature of Microsoft Office. Apparently it is currently being used in various widespread malware attack campaigns. This new method uses DDE and doesn’t require a macro to work. The way to protect yourself is to disable “update automatic links at Open” option, or better yet, don’t open a document that you aren’t sure of.



The DDE exploitation technique displays no “security” warnings to victims, except asking them if they want to execute the application specified in the command, although this popup alert could also be eliminated “with proper syntax modification.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Unpatched Microsoft Word DDE Exploit Being Used In Widespread Malware Attacks

Autonomous Snake-Like Robots to Support Search-and-Rescue Teams

The good folks at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute are developing autonomous snake-like robots that can navigate more naturally and easily through rubble and other debris left in the aftermath of a disaster. A robot like this would be amazing and would probably save many lives after an earthquake. Awesome technology if it works as designed. Please don’t put it on a plane.



“The goal of this project is to have a snake-like robot with the autonomy to navigate through its environment without close supervision,” said Jie Fu, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and the co-principal investigator on the project. “In search-and-rescue scenarios, you’d want a robot you can rely on to go into areas inaccessible by humans and provide critical information about conditions there and about who needs to be rescued first.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Autonomous Snake-Like Robots to Support Search-and-Rescue Teams

Electric Jet Startup Could Become 'Uber in the sky'

Eviation Aircraft, an Israel-based startup is working on self-piloting, electric aircraft and wants to use them to whisk passengers from regional airports to their final destination. The idea is to use a smarphone app similar to Uber and simply request a flight once you get to the regional airport. I think Eviation Aircraft is onto something. I know I would use this service if it was fast, safe, and reliable.



Eviation Aircraft chief executive Omer Bar-Yohay pictures a day not too far away when summoning a bargain plane ride with a smartphone will be as easy as hailing Uber. The Israel-based startup working on a self-piloting, electric aircraft was at the WSJD Live conference here Tuesday with a vision of “Uber meeting Tesla in the sky.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Electric Jet Startup Could Become ‘Uber in the sky’

Companies Turn Blind Eye to Open Source Security Risks

According to Jack Germain, at LinuxInsider, a company called Flexera released very interesting survey results about companies and their use of open source software. Some of the things that jumped out at me were how many companies don’t contribute to open source projects and how many don’t have anyone responsible for open source compliance, or they did not know who was. It really makes me wonder how secure their software really is.



Companies are not mindful of open source components and fail to monitor security implications, according to the report, which highlights the consequences of failure to establish open source acquisition and usage policies, and to follow best practices.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Companies Turn Blind Eye to Open Source Security Risks

Retro Nokia 3310 Comes to the US for $60

For those of you that have been waiting on a cool retro phone the Nokia 3310 (WARNING auto play video) is coming to the US. It’s a nice small phone that easily fits in your pocket and has excellent battery life. I might have to get one of these as a cheap disposable phone.



If you’ve been mooning over the all-the-rage Nokia 3310 throwback phone, moon no longer. It’s coming to the US on Oct. 29. The catch: The $60 phone will only work with 3G networks. That makes it fine for calls, games of Snake and the occasional email or Facebook update, but not for just about everything else you’d want to do on a phone.

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KFA2 Leaks GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Pics

KFA2, a European video card brand has some beauty shots of the upcoming NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti up on its website that you can download. We have previously talked about GTX 1070 Ti overclocking and full specifications here.



Once you look at the specs we see that the 1070 Ti has 2432 Stream Processors, which is right on the heels of the 1080’s 2560. Boost clocks are also only 50MHz apart. Memory is a tad slower, but the two cards look very much the same with the 1070 Ti to have a $429 MSRP.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – KFA2 Leaks GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Pics