Author: Ahnaf Mahmud

How to protect yourself from future cyber attacks

We have all heard about the cyber attack that occurred last weekend, affecting huge organisations like the NHS and Telefonica. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses and individuals don’t take the time to review the security systems installed on their computer. Here are some ways to prevent yourself from future cyber attacks.

1. Do not open emails from unknown senders

We might have gotten emails in the past which may look legit but are actually from a suspicious address. These sort of emails often trick you into giving your personal information away, and some may even have malware.

If you end up getting one of those emails, DELETE it immediately, and if possible report it as spam.

2. Make sure you install the latest Windows updates

Microsoft issues patches regularly, and these patches can improve the security and performance of your computer. To ensure you get these updates, make sure you have Windows Update enabled.

It is enabled by default on Windows 10, however in older versions you might want to check if it is set to install updates automatically. You can do so by going to Windows Update in Control Panel, and making sure that “Install updates automatically (recommended)” is the selected option.

3. Use up to date antivirus software

We at Gamenology recommend Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7, and Windows Defender for 8.1 and 10. It is a free antivirus program from Microsoft and is updated regularly. You can download it for Windows 7, and Windows 8.1 and 10 already have it installed and enabled by default, but you might want to check your settings just in case.

4. Use a supported Windows version

Seriously, if you’re still clinging on to XP, we strongly advise you to upgrade as soon as possible. Microsoft terminated XP support on April 8 2014, leaving it vulnerable to malware and attacks like the one that happened last weekend. And if you’re using Windows 8.0, update to Windows 8.1 immediately from the Windows Store as Microsoft is no longer offering support for Windows 8.0. Think of Windows 8.1 as a service pack that you have to apply to get future updates.

And hopefully if you have followed these guidelines you should be well protected from the latest cyber attacks that are out there. Remember, make sure you keep them updated, as new attacks may happen from time to time.

Microsoft issues Windows XP WannaCrypt patch

No, you’re not reading the title wrong. Microsoft did issue a security patch for Windows XP today due to the spreading of the ransomware dubbed “WannaCrypt”.

Organisations such as the NHS and Spanish firm Telefonica have been hit with this, causing major disruptions. Microsoft did patch supported operating systems back in March but if you are using an unsupported operating system such as Windows XP, which was dropped back in April 2014 you are more likely to get your computer infected.

The update is now available for Windows XP, Windows 8 (8.1 has already been patched) and Windows Server 2003 and can be downloaded from here. But it is strongly recommended that you move away from these operating systems as soon as possible, and if you’re on a supported operating system make sure that it is kept up to date. This also goes for organisations like the NHS.

Source: TechNet via Engadget

New Nintendo 2DS XL announced

Nintendo has officially announced the New 2DS XL today, packing the same specifications as the New 3DS XL, excluding the 3D display.

It is a clamshell design much like the other 3DS family models. However the front camera is on the hinge instead of at the top of the upper screen, and the rear cameras are located at the bottom.

The system will be available on July 28 for $149.99 in the US, June 15 in Australia for $199.99, July 28 in the UK and July 13 in Japan for 14,980 yen. All regions will get the Blue + Turquoise model, while only Australia, UK and Japan gets the White + Orange model as well. 

Nintendo will also release Hey Pikmin! and Miitopia on July 28 in the US and UK, July 29 in Australia while Japan will be getting Hey Pikmin! two weeks early on July 13.

PlayStation Plus May 2017 Lineup

Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced the PlayStation Plus games for May 2017:

  • Tales from the Borderlands, PS4
  • Abzu, PS4 (EU gets Alienation instead)
  • Blood Knights, PS3
  • Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants, PS3
  • Laser Disco Defenders, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4)
  • Type:Rider, PS Vita (Cross Buy on PS4)

Source: PlayStation.Blog US, PlayStation.Blog EU

Samsung announces the Galaxy S8 and S8+

It’s official, Samsung has announced their latest flagships, the Galaxy S8 and S8+ at its Unpacked event yesterday morning in New York City.

The S8 packs the new Infinity Display, featuring a bezel-less design, Gorilla Glass 5 technology and a resolution of 2960×1440, similar to the LG G6. The reason for the tall screen is because the navigation keys are no longer physical, however the home button area of the display is pressure-sensitive, meaning you can press hard on that area to trigger the home button, even if it’s hidden. The S8 and S8+ will feature 5.8″ and 6.2″ screens respectively. Unlike the S7, the S8 will not have a flat screen variant.

The Galaxy S8 and S8+ come with an 8 megapixel Smart Autofocus F1.7 front camera and a 12 megapixel Dual Pixel F1.7 rear camera with enhanced image processing. This should make low light photography look great and we are yet to see how it will perform in real life scenarios.

The new phones also feature the industry’s first 10nm processor, supporting gigabit LTE and Wi-Fi as well. The Snapdragon 835 will power the new phones, and in some countries they will come with the Exynos 8895 chipset instead. It is also the first phone to come with Bluetooth 5 technology.

They are one of the first phones to be MOBILE HDR PREMIUM certified, letting you watch and play the latest content with vibrant colours and contrasts. Vulkan API makes a return in the S8 and S8+, originally introduced in the S7.

The S8 and S8+ will have a few features carried over from the S7 and S7 edge, including expandable memory (with hybrid Dual SIM in some countries), Always On Display, IP67 water and dust resistance and fast charging capabilities.

Samsung has created a new virtual assistant exclusively for the new handsets dubbed Bixby. There is a dedicated button for it found at the left side of the device and can integrate with various Samsung apps including Camera, Contacts, Gallery, Messages and Settings with third-party expansion in the near future. The built-in image recognition technology can help with searching for images and shopping.

As well as these new features, Samsung has unveiled the Gear VR with Controller, powered by Oculus, enabling one-handed motion interaction when viewing VR content. They can also connect to the new Gear 360 to create 4K 360 degree videos and 15 MP photos.

Productivity users will find the new Samsung flagships very useful as they feature Samsung DeX, enabling you to turn your phone into a desktop computer and get your work done using a mouse and keyboard. This is similar to the Lumia 950’s Windows Continuum feature.

The fingerprint scanner has been moved to the back, and the iris scanner makes a debut previously found in the Note7.

The S8 and S8+ will be available starting April 21, available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue and Maple Gold.

Looks like the PlayStation 4 can now preload game patches

This was spotted on my PS4 today, and is one of the first titles to make use of this feature. It seems like the 4.50 update now enables developers to send game patches and set a time when they will be installable and ready to use. This is very similar to preloading a pre-ordered game.

What we are looking at here is the LittleBigPlanet 3 1.25 update, and the patch notes say this:

LittleBigPlanet Game Update 1.25 has begun rolling-out for some players today is scheduled to go live on  Friday March 17th at 12:01AM GMT.

What this means is that over the next three days, the update will become available to you all periodically but you won’t be able to install it until the time mentioned above. Meaning that once the install time of March 17th 12:01AM GMT is here, you can all install the new update without having to wait for it to download and can begin playing together right away!

This is pretty cool indeed, as people with slow internet connections may have to wait a while for large updates to download (this one is 1.3 GB) but it is up to the developers to make use of this feature. I’m guessing it is on hold for Friday so that the servers can be updated to take advantage of the new features of 1.25.

This feature is exclusive to PS4, as when I tried to check for any available update for the PS3 version it did not find anything. So I’m guessing PS3 users will have to wait till Friday as usual.

Source: LittleBigPlanet.com

Nokia unveils new Android phones, plus the 3310

nokia

That’s right folks, Nokia is back in the game and unveiled THREE new Android smartphones, and they are also bringing back the iconic 3310.

The Nokia 6 was previously announced for China, but will now be making a global release. The phone features a 5.5″ display, a 16 MP camera and Dolby Atmos. It will also feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, 3 GB RAM and will come preloaded with stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The phone is stated to be available at 229 Euros.

The next one on the list is the Nokia 5, featuring a 5.2″ display, fingerprint scanner, 13 MP camera, 16 GB storage and stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The phone is stated to be available at 189 Euros.

The last Android phone they announced is the Nokia 3, featuring an 8 MP camera, a 5″ display, Android 7.0 Nougat and 4G LTE connectivity. The phone is stated to be available at 139 Euros.

Now, let’s talk about the Nokia 3310. Known for its durability, Nokia is bringing back the phone with 4 colours to choose from, up to 1 month battery standby, a 2.4″ colour LCD display and yes, it will also have the Snake game.

It will also feature a 2 MP camera with LED flash, will come in both single and dual SIM variants, and 2.5G connectivity with basic internet browsing. The phone is stated to be available at 49 Euros.

The Nokia brand is licensed to HMD Global.

So guys, what do you think about the return of Nokia? Will you be getting any of their new phones? Let us know in the comments.