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150,000 Cameras Hacked

150,000 Security Cameras Hacked

A hack of up to 150,000 security cameras installed in schools, hospitals and businesses is being investigated by the firm that makes them.

Hackers claim to have breached Verkada, a security company that provides cameras to companies including Tesla.

Hacks were reported from feeds from prisons, psychiatric hospitals, clinics, and Verkada’s own offices were hijacked.

Verkada told the several news agencies it was “investigating the scale and scope of this issue”.

The company added it had notified law enforcement. However, it did not confirm the size and scale of the attack.

News organizations also reported that the transport start-up Virgin Hyperloop was among the list of impacted user accounts disclosed by the hackers.

Software provider Cloudflare reported that it had been alerted to a “handful” of cameras that might have been compromised at its offices around the world.

A Verkada camera inside a Florida hospital, reportedly seen by Bloomberg, showed what appeared to be eight workers tackling a man and pinning him to a bed.

Another video showed officers in a police station in Stoughton, Massachusetts questioning a man in handcuffs.

One, inside a Tesla warehouse in Shanghai, showed people working on an assembly line.

No news outlets have been able to independently verify these videos.

‘Too much fun’ – The hackers also said they had gained access to the security cameras of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman killed more than 20 people in 2012.

Speaking to Bloomberg, someone named Tille Kottmann claimed credit for hacking into Verkada’s systems.

The reasons for the hack, Kottmann said, were, “lots of curiosity, fighting for freedom of information and against intellectual property, a huge dose of anti-capitalism, a hint of anarchism – and it’s also just too much fun not to do it”.

The attack was reportedly unsophisticated, involving use of a “super admin” account to gain access to Verkada.

Bloomberg said that after they had contacted Verkada, the hackers lost access to the video feeds and archives.

A spokesperson for Verkada told news outlets: “We have disabled all internal administrator accounts to prevent any unauthorised access.”

“Our internal security team and external security firm are investigating the scale and scope of this issue, and we have notified law enforcement.”

The company has also set up a support line for their customers.

Meanwhile Cloudflare told several news outlets: “This afternoon we were alerted that the Verkada security camera system that monitors main entry points and main thoroughfares in a handful of Cloudflare offices may have been compromised.

“The cameras were located in a handful of offices that have been officially closed for several months.”

Tesla has yet to comment.

The breach comes after further details of a hack on Microsoft Exchange are beginning to emerge.

The attack used previously unknown flaws in the email software – and sometimes stolen passwords – to steal data from targets’ networks.

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The Future of AI

Today, Artificial Intelligence is a very popular subject that is widely discussed in the technology and business circles. Many experts and industry analysts argue that AI or machine learning is the future, but if we look around, we are convinced that it’s not the future, it is the present.

With the advancement in technology, we are already connected to AI in one way or the other. Yes, the technology is well beyond its initial phase and more and more companies are investing resources in machine learning, indicating a robust growth in AI products and apps in the near future.

The following statistics will give you an idea of growth:
• In 2014, more than $300 million was invested in AI startups, showing an increase of 300%, compared to the previous year;
• By 2018, 6 billion connected devices will proactively ask for support.

According to experts Artificial Intelligence:
• Will replace 16% of American jobs by the end of the decade. I find this true as one can observe the automation at many fast food restaurants;
• Customer’s digital assistants will recognize customers by face and voice across channels and partners;
• Smart phone users use some sort of voice recognition capabilities such a SIRI, ALEXA, GOOGLE ASSISTANT and BIXBY.

Unlike general perception, artificial intelligence is not limited to just IT or technology industry; instead, it is being extensively used in other areas such as medical, business, education, law, and manufacturing.

In the following, we are listing down 9 very intelligent AI solutions that we are using today, marketing machine learning as a present thing – not the future.

1. Siri and Bixby
Some of the most popular personal assistant offered by Apple and Samsung in their smart phones and tablets. The friendly female voice-activated assistant interacts with the user on a daily routine. She assists us to find information, get directions, send messages, make voice calls, open applications and add events to the calendar.

These apps use machine-learning technology in order to get smarter and capable-to-understand natural language questions and requests. It is surely one of the most iconic examples of machine learning abilities of gadgets.

2. Tesla
Not only smartphones but automobiles are also shifting towards Artificial Intelligence. Tesla is something you are missing if you are a car geek. This is one of the best automobiles available until now. The car has not only been able to achieve many accolades but also features like self-driving, predictive capabilities, and absolute technological innovation.

If you are a technology geek and dreamt of owning a car like shown in Hollywood movies, Tesla is one you need in your garage. The car is getting smarter day by day through over the air updates.

3. Cogito
Cogito originally co-founded by Dr. Sandy and Joshua is one of the best examples of the behavioral version to improve the intelligence of customer support representatives, currently on the market. The company is a synthesis of machine learning and behavioral science to enhance customer collaboration for phone professionals.

Cogito is applicable on millions of voice calls that take place on a daily basis. The AI solution analyzes the human voice and provides real-time guidance to enhance behavior.

4. Netflix
Netflix needs no introduction – it is a widely popular content-on-demand service that uses predictive technology to offer recommendations on the basis of consumers’ reaction, interests, choices, and behavior. The technology examines from a number of records to recommend movies based on your previous liking and reactions.

It is turning more intelligent with each passing year. The only the drawback of this technology is that small movie go unnoticed while big films grow and propagate on the platform. But as many predicted earlier, it is still improving and learning to be more intelligent.

5. Pandora
Pandora is one of the most popular and highly demanded tech solutions that exist. It is also called the DNA of music. Depending on 400 musical characteristics, the team of expert musicians individually analyzes the song. The system is also good at recommending the track record for recommending songs that would never get noticed, despite people’s liking.

6. Nest (Google)
Nest was one of the most famous and successful artificial intelligence startups and it was acquired by Google in 2014 for $3.2 billion. The Nest Learning Thermostat uses behavioral algorithms to save energy based on your behavior and schedule.

It employs a very intelligent machine learning process that learns the temperature you like and programs itself in about a week. Moreover, it will automatically turn off to save energy, if nobody is at home.

In fact, it is a combination of both – artificial intelligence as well as Bluetooth low-energy because some components of this solution will use BLE services and solutions.

7. Boxever
Boxever is a company that heavily relies on machine learning to enhance the customer experience in the travel industry and conveys micro-moments or experiences that can please the customers.

Boxover significantly improves customer engagement through machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to rule the playing field, helping customers to find new ways and make memorable journeys.

8. Flying Drones
The flying drones are already shipping products to customers home – though on a test mode. They indicate a powerful machine learning system that can translate the environment into a 3D model through sensors and video cameras.

The sensors and cameras are able to notice the position of the drones in the room by attaching them to the ceiling. Trajectory generation algorithm guides the drone on how and where to move. Using a Wi-Fi system, we can control the drones and use them for specific purposes – product delivery, video-making, or news reporting.

9. Alexa
Launched by Amazon, which is getting smarter and adding new features. It is a revolutionary product that can help you to search the web for information, schedule appointments, shop, control lights, switches, thermostats, answers questions, reads audiobooks, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules.

In conclusion, Artificial Intelligence is gaining popularity at a quicker pace; influencing the way we live, interact and improve customer experience. There is much more to come in the coming years with more improvements, development, and governance.

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Wish I had Learned to Code

Apple said that developers have generated more than $260 billion in revenue since the App Store launched in 2008, up about $60 billion from the figure it reported a year ago.

The iPhone maker made the announcement Monday as part of a summary of the performance of its digital services across 2021. The company said the App Store generated a “new yearly record for App Store developer earnings last year” and that App Store sales between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve rose in the double digits from the same period a year ago.

While those are serious numbers, relations between the tech giant and App developers aren’t all roses. Many continue to publicly bristle at the terms of their agreement, in which Apple takes 30% of all transactions. Fortnite-maker Epic Games remains locked in a legal dispute with Apple over this very issue.

Apple didn’t say how much it generated during that week in 2021 but previously said it made $1.8 billion during that period of 2020.

Apple said that it’s not possible to extrapolate the company’s cut of that revenue. The company’s App Store commissions have grown increasingly controversial and were an issue in its legal battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games. Apple charges either 15% or 30% to developers, depending on how much revenue the developer generates or if the app is a subscription used for more than a year.

Despite the developer’s unhappiness with the App Store at the current moment (the 30 percent cut Apple takes from many transactions), the newly shared figure indicates developers earned $60 billion in 2021.

The new numbers suggest that the App Store continues to be a big moneymaker, which is translated as $85.71 billion gross in 2021…Not bad!

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