Second Floor Computers

How To Take Care of Your Smartphone Battery the Right Way

Your smartphone is a minor miracle, a pocket-sized computer that can fulfill almost every whim. But none of its superpowers matter a bit if it runs out of juice. With removable batteries becoming more and more rare, you've got to take good care of the one you got. Fortunately, it's not to hard keep the lithium-ion powering your everything-machine happy if you follow a few simple rules.



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Microsoft's new adapter beams video from your PC (or Android) to a TV

Want to wirelessly share video from your Surface without worrying about whether or not your TV can handle it? Microsoft now has you covered. Its simply titled (and previously hinted at) Wireless Display Adapter can beam content from Miracast-capable Windows 8.1 PCs and Android devices to any HDMI-equipped screen. Since you're just mirroring your output, you can easily watch movies and presentations on a grander scale without requiring explicit app support, like you do with Chromecast. The add-on should reach North America in October for $60 -- a fairly reasonable outlay if you want to avoid tethering yourself to the living room set.



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Home Depot says hack put 56 million credit and debit cards at risk

When Home Depot confirmed that its in-store payments systems were hacked, the one juicy morsel it didn't disclose was how many people may have been affected. Well, the company finally patched the issue and 'fessed up: some 56 million payment cards are at risk, so please keep an eye on your statements if you've shopped at a North American Home Depot between April and September. Just to put this whole thing into perspective, remember the gigantic data breach that Target got slammed with over the holidays? That time only (!) 40 million credit and debit cards were at risk, though millions more customers may have had other personal information compromised. The culprit in both cases was a bit of malware that had been introduced to the companies' payment systems, but despite earlier reports that the two strains were related, Home Depot says the stuff that hit it "had not been seen previously in other attacks".


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Rescue teams will soon have access to global aircraft tracking data

The disappearance of flight MH370 taught the general public one thing: that flight tracking technology isn't as comprehensive as many might have thought. Current radar doesn't have global coverage, and if a transponder fails (as was the case with the Malaysia Airlines flight) there's little that can be done. Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) promises to improve things, but still won't cover the whole planet. Aireon (a subsidiary of Iridium Satellite) has an implementation of ADS-B that promises global reach (a leap from 10- to 100 percent coverage according to its claims). It uses 66 of Iridium's "Next" Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites which is what allows it to cover remote, or oceanic regions out of reach by current systems. "Aireon Alert" has been in development for some time, and is scheduled to launch in 2017. What's new, is that Aireon has announced it'll be providing the it's Alert data to emergency services and the aviation community free of charge. Soon after launch, approved search and rescue teams will then be able to get the location of any ADS-B enabled flight without needing extra avionics.


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Many Canadian Firms Still Vulnerable to Heartbleed

Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon Published: May 21st, 2014

Logicnet says a scan of systems with Canadian URLs showed many enterprises still open to bug

More than 40,000 computer systems, including some run by large enterprises, were still vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug more than a month after the world was alerted to the problem and probably still are, says a Montreal IT security consulting firm.  Read more