Security

A Defcon badge unlike anything you have ever seen

It's unlike any conference badge you've seen before. Sleek, stylish, programmable, and made out of metal. It's the Defcon 18 conference badge. Unveiled at the annual hacker conference in Las Vegas, here's a first look at this year's badge.

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Top Russian spy ring technology screw-ups

Alleged Russian spies arrested last month in cities around the United States seemed to be lacking in spycraft and in urgent need of some IT expertise, based on some of the gaffes they made. They also used some technologies effectively. Here is a summary of their efforts as revealed in court filings against them.

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Car hackers can kill brakes, engine, and more

Researchers at the University of Washington and the University of California, San Diego, have taken a close look at the computer systems used to run today's cars and discovered new ways to hack into them, sometimes with frightening results. In a paper set to be presented at a security conference in Oakland, California, next week, the researchers say that by connecting to a standard diagnostic computer port included in late-model cars, they were able to do some nasty things, such as turning off the brakes, changing the speedometer reading, blasting hot air or music on the radio, and locking passengers in the car. For much of their testing, they simply put the test-car on blocks, pictured here.

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12 "White Hat" hackers you should know

These "White Hat" security researchers are ethical hackers whose discoveries and inventions shake things up — as they try to stay one step ahead of their underground "Black Hat" cousins…

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In Pictures: Five ways to beat the Great Firewall of China

In the latest protest over Chinese censorship of the Internet, Google is redirecting search requests from within mainland China to its uncensored servers in Hong Kong. This directly defies rules China set up to let Google operate there, but now China itself seems to be censoring the results. Reports say requests for terms such as Falun Gong and June 4 (the date of the Tiananmen Square massacre) return browser messages that requested pages cannot be displayed. Despite the government crackdown there are ways to get around the Great Firewall, and here is a rundown of a few of them.

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PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

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