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WikiLeaks claims CIA can hack smartphones, other gadgets for surveillance

WikiLeaks on Tuesday released “Year Zero,” a supposed trove of 8,761 “documents and files from an isolated high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI) in Langley, Virginia.”

WikiLeaks said this is the first in a “series” of intelligence leaks, called Vault 7, that will comprise the largest intelligence dump in history. The documents detail CIA weapons, tactics, vulnerabilities, operations and strategies available to and used by cyberintelligence officers operating inside or on behalf of the CCI. WikiLeaks claimed the information inside is as recent as 2016; NSA hacker Edward Snowden later said the documents appear to be legitimate.

Still working through the publication, but what @Wikileaks has here is genuinely a big deal. Looks authentic.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 7, 2017

“Year Zero” reportedly reveals hacks, exploits and “Zero Day” vulnerabilities in operating systems, hardware, software and devices used by nearly every American and millions of people across the globe. WikiLeaks said the CIA can exploit holes in every available operating system and antivirus, including Android and iOS, as well as encrypted messaging apps like Signal. WikiLeaks said the documents detail exploits on “smart” devices to activate microphones and cameras even when the owners of such devices attempt to turn them off.

WikiLeaks claimed that instead of revealing software and hardware weaknesses, the CIA collected them, adding them to an ever-growing arsenal of available cyberweapons. The dump also purportedly details the agency’s direction and interest in developing new capabilities. That includes the operating systems behind self-driving cars, for example, to which the CCI was working to gain access, WikiLeaks said.

>> Read more trending news

Wikileaks said CIA operatives “lost control” of “the majority” of its hacking arsenal, millions of lines of code that include “malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized 'Zero Day' exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation” and amount to what they say is the “entire hacking capacity of the CIA.” WikiLeaks said the arsenal has already been removed from the CIA and distributed to former government hackers and contractors in “an unauthorized manner.” WikiLeaks cited one of those recipients as their source, while keeping the recipient’s identity anonymous.

The individual who provided these documents leaked the secrets to press debate over the scope and capabilities of CIA cyber-weaponry, WikiLeaks said. That includes “whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers” and “the problem of public oversight of the agency," WikiLeaks said.

“The source wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons,” says the WikiLeaks release. If legitimate, the cyberweapons and vulnerabilities contained in the “Year Zero” release alone reveal a more capable cyberintelligence architecture than Americans have ever known.

In communications, WikiLeaks seems to paint the release as an indictment of a reckless CIA. WikiLeaks wrote that “once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose,’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.”

81-year-old iPhone app creator isn’t done yet; more apps coming

She’s a former banker and a self-described “technology evangelist,” and now 81-year-old Masako Wakamiya is an iPhone app creator, too, something most people half her age haven’t done.

According to CNN, Wakamiya said she decided to create her own app aimed at older people when she noticed there just weren’t many in existence.

>> Read more trending news  

“We easily lose games when playing against young people, since our finger movements can’t match their speed,” she said.

Wakamiya decided to create games geared toward seniors when she couldn’t find anyone else to do it, CNN reported.

“I wanted to create a fun app to get elderly people interested in smartphones,” she told CNN.

“It took about a year to develop.”

Wakamiya’s app is called Hinadan. It’s based on a Japanese festival called Hinamatsuri, or Doll’s Day. As part of the festival, dolls are dressed in traditional Japanese clothing to symbolize the emperor and his court, and displayed in certain ways.

The iOS game involves decorating the dolls and placing them in the correct arrangement for Hinamatsuri.

This is just Wakamiya’s first effort. She said she plans to create more apps in the future.

Lego set to honor women of NASA, including Katherine Johnson of 'Hidden Figures'

Lego fans, we have liftoff.

The Denmark-based toy maker announced Tuesday that it will release a fan-designed Women of NASA set featuring minifigures of mathematician Katherine Johnson – whose story was told in the Academy Award-nominated film "Hidden Figures" – and four other trailblazers.

>> Read more trending news

Everything is AWESOME! @LegoNASAWomen has been approved by #LEGO and will soon be available in stores!!!— Lego NASA Women (@LegoNASAWomen) February 28, 2017

Science editor and writer Maia Weinstock submitted the set to the Lego Ideas competition "to celebrate accomplished women in the STEM professions," a Lego Ideas spokeswoman said in a video.

"We're really excited to be able to introduce Maia's Women of NASA set for its inspirational value as well as build-and-play experience," the spokeswoman said.

>> Watch the video here

According to its project description page, the set also features minifigures of Sally Ride, America's first woman in space; Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space; computer scientist Margaret Hamilton; and astronomer Nancy Grace Roman.

Lego said it is still working on the set's design and will have more details about pricing and availability later this year or early next year.

Read more here.

Iconic Nokia 3310 unveiled ahead of retro phone relaunch

The Nokia 3310 is making a comeback. The new mobile Finnish company HMD Global unveiled a smaller and sleeker version of the 17-year-old phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday.

The phone, which doesn’t even have 3G, was famous for its long battery life and its durability.

>> Read more trending news 

The new, updated version of the 2017 Nokia will reportedly have 22 hours of talk time with a one-month battery life on standby, according to Wired.

The original Nokia was discontinued in 2005.

The 2017 version will be available later this year, according to HMD, and will come in both matte blue and grey and gloss red and yellow versions

The world's largest communications companies gather for the annual Mobile World Congress, with many unveiling their latest phones and high-tech gadgets.  

Now you can get Facebook on your TV

If you just can’t get enough of Facebook, now you can get the popular social media platform’s new video app for your TV.

Samsung Electronics announced Monday that a new TV app is available on Samsung Smart TVs, including the 2017 QLED TV lineup.

>> Read more trending stories  

According to the company press release, the app will be available on all of Samsung’s 2015, 2016 and 2017 Smart TV models.

“It is a pleasure to bring the world’s social network to Samsung Smart TV users, as well as continue to see the value of Samsung Smart TV, as a platform, growing,” said Sangsook Han, vice president of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, in today’s news release. “We will continue in our innovation on various fronts, including technologies and partnerships, to make sure our consumers can enjoy a wider variety of services.”

Users will be able to view content shared by the pages they follow, their Facebook friends and Facebook’s top-streamed Live videos.

According to The Verge, Facebook also previously announced its new TV app would be coming to both Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, but no launch dates have been set.

Read Samsung’s full press release.

Instagram's new feature allows multi-photo uploads at once

Instagram users will no longer have to face the tough decision of finding the one perfect photo to upload to the social media platform.

>> Read more trending stories  

The popular photo sharing app just added galleries to its features, allowing users to share as many as 10 photos or videos in a swipe-able gallery.

When you add multiple photos & videos to a post, it's easy to decide how you want it to look. You can even rearrange before you share!— Instagram (@instagram) February 22, 2017

According to an Instagram news release, users will be able to either use a filter on the entire set at once or edit each image individually.

However, users will only be able to write one caption for the set upload and each image has to be a square.

>> Here's why you are seeing a red X on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts

>> Instagram is starting to look more like Snapchat

To upload a gallery, click on the blue dots icon below the first image or video to add a new one. To change the order, just tap and hold.

The new feature will be available for iOS and Android users over the next few weeks.

>> Users don't like Instagram's new logo

Classic Barbie gets a 21st century makeover into Hologram Barbie

Mattel has unveiled its newest version of the classic Barbie doll, only it’s not really a doll. It’s a holographic image of a Barbie in a box.

The toymaker showed off the new virtual doll, Hello Barbie Hologram, at the annual Toy Fair in New York over the weekend.

>> Read more trending news  

The new 21st century virtual Barbie is like a Siri or Alexa, only for kids.

The Barbie hologram exists inside a plastic container, CNN reported. It’s voice-activated, can answer questions, and can change its appearance, including skin tone and clothing.

This hologram Barbie sits in a box on a nightstand like a fairy, waiting on your child's commands— CNET (@CNET) February 17, 2017

The virtual doll talks, dances and is programmable. It connects to the internet and will also operate through Bluetooth

It’s expected to hit store shelves next fall for under $300.

Amazon lowers minimum amount for free shipping back to $35

Amazon has decreased the minimum amount for users to qualify for free shipping.

>> Read more trending stories

The Verge reported that a year after the company raised the minimum amount to $49, it has now moved the point back to $35.

The offer does not apply to Amazon Prime account holders, who have free two-day shipping for any order under Amazon's Prime membership program, but instead is a benefit for Amazon users who do not pay $99 a year or $10.99 a month for Prime.

USA Today reported that the move comes after Walmart announced its free two-day shipping would be available on 2 million items, with the minimum amount to qualify for free shipping being lowered from $50 to $35.

Taxi drones ready for takeoff in Dubai this summer

Passenger drones may be just the fix for gridlocked roads in major cities around the world, especially in U.S. cities like Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles to name just a few.

Plans are underway in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to begin using taxi drones sometime this summer, the Associated Press reported.

>> Read more trending news  

Built by a the Chinese company EHang, the EHang 184 MegaDrone, as it’s officially called, is billed as “the world’s first self-flying commercial taxi car.

The single-person drones have a top speed of 100 mph and a 31-mile range, with a weight limit of 220 pounds, according to EHang.

The drone is directed through the use of a touch screen, so a rider simply enters in a destination on a tablet inside the drone and away they go.

EHang, which is asking for clearance to operate in the U.S., said it expects the taxi drones to begin operations in China in the next couple months.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

OkCupid's new matchmaking questions tackle Trump, politics

Looking for love in today's tense political climate? OkCupid may be able to help.

According to Engadget, the online dating service has added 50 more questions that users can answer to improve their matches. 

>> Read more trending news

"You’ll see a brand-new category of questions that cover topical issues, so you can focus in on the things – whether politics or sex – that are most important to you," the company said Tuesday in a press release. "We’ll update this new question category every year. The initial 2017 release includes 50 of-the-moment questions, covering everything from ghosting to (President Donald) Trump, from climate change to student debt – the things you want to know a person’s stance on before you meet them."

Engadget reported that the new questions include "Is climate change real?" and "Trump?"

OkCupid also announced its new "DoubleTake" feature, which allows mobile users to see more than just a photo when quickly swiping through possible matches. 

>> Watch the video here

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"DoubleTake shows more photos and highlights each person’s personality and profile within a mobile matching interface," the company said. "The new DoubleTake helps convey your individuality  –  whether that means showcasing a love for politics, craft beer, dogs, the outdoors or art  –  so you can connect with people you’ll actually click with in real life."

Additionally, OkCupid said it will "debut a fresh new look featuring fun, lively illustrations" by Berlin-based artist Jay Daniel Wright, as well as "new typography and a bolder, cleaner aesthetic."

Read more here or here.

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