Weekly News Roundup 6/6/2016

Mysterious TeamViewer hack, Wireless headphones tip the end of audio jacks, Tesla owner tackles traffic in his sleep and more outages.

There has been a rash of computers running the popular remote control tool TeamViewer getting “hacked”.

teamviewer-icon200x200Users are reporting seeing their computers suddenly being controlled by a third party without their authorisation and when left unchecked bank accounts have been cleared out, unauthorised purchases are being made and a whole range of other activities where users are being compromised.
The method of the hack was not clear but there are suspicions that the unauthorised access is due to password reuse between compromised accounts and the TeamViewer accounts.

TeamViewer released this statement acknowledging the breach and responding with two additional security features Trusted Devices and Behaviour Monitoring.
Trusted Devices is a countermeasure that checks to see if this is the first time a particular computer is logging into the TeamViewer service and if it is a new computer, the operator must pass additional security challenges.
Behaviour Monitoring looks for usage patterns and flags suspicious behaviour by emailing the account holder and requesting a password reset.

Of course, basic principles apply by ensuring that you do not recycle passwords as there have been a significant number of breaches over the last few years that have generated a large cache of compromised username and password details.

If you are not using Teamviewer, it is highly recommended that you remove the program ASAP.

To help manage your list of unique passwords, I recommend LastPass.

Wireless Headphones is a growing product line.

Samsung_Circle_Blue_BlackWith the recent release of Samsung’s cordless earbuds, it is clear that the increase in the number of available bluetooth headsets could be signalling the end of the audio jack in our phones and tablets.

Personal audio has been a cornerstone of the smartphone market and until recently the traditional corded headphones and earbuds have reigned supreme but with improvements in drivers and batteries, quality manufacturers have been turning to bluetooth to free the headphones.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology similar to Wifi that transmits a digital signal between two or more devices and differs by having a maximum range of between 2 to 25 meters depending on the class of bluetooth. It has been used effectively for keyboards, mice and other peripherals and is now becoming popular with audio brands including Bose, Sony, Sennheiser and Plantronics. Ranging from around $100 for a basic cordless set of earbuds to high end noise-cancelling headphones pushing north of $500 there is a set of cordless headphones for just about anyone.

Keeping your usage in mind will ensure that you get the best bang for buck. Battery life will play a major part besides the usual sound quality consideration.

Recent rumours that we might see the 3.5mm audio jack disappear could be likely as the range of bluetooth audio devices is pretty rich indeed.

Highly illegal but kind of awesome to see someone try it.

NOTE : I do not condone breaking the law. Do not try this at home or on the road until it is deemed legal in your current location.

That aside, I was pleasantly surprised to see the amazing Tesla autopilot delivering some actual use instead of a fun parlour trick.

sleepAutopilot for those not playing along at home, is a system on all Tesla vehicles comprising of 13 sensors placed around the car to help steer, change lanes, manage speed, avoid obstacles and even self-park. This driver in the video below however decided to put it to the ultimate test in the notoriously heavy LA traffic by catching a few Zs while the Tesla took care of crawling along with the rest of the traffic.


This little glimpse of the future gives me hope for commuting. Imagine the things you could do while commuting if you no longer had to deal with that pesky chore of driving.

Storms in Sydney take out Amazon Australia’s datacentre and destroys hope of eating pizza while watching a show.

stan-network-outage-468x244Those Sydney storms know how to grab a headline. The Sydney datacenter for Amazons AWS (Amazon Web Services) and EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) services suffered an outage and consequently took Foxtel, Stan and Dominos servers offline.

The outage was first reported by itnews and was a result of a power failure to the facility from about 3:47PM on Sunday (Sydney time) and lasted around 2 hours.

Considering Amazon cloud services has been operating since 2006, two hours although a major pain in the bum makes up a small percentage of the total uptime.

To view Amazon and other outages, have a look at Aussie Outages.