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Nokia Unveils Futuristic 360-Degree Virtual Reality Camera OZO

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Nokia announced OZO, a Virtual Reality (VR) camera designed and built for professional content creators. OZO was unveiled at an entertainment industry event in Los Angeles attended by representatives from major studios, production houses and media and technology companies.

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“We’re thrilled to introduce OZO to the content creation world, and to define a completely new category of virtual reality capture and playback solutions,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. “OZO aims to advance the next wave of innovation in VR by putting powerful tools in the hands of professionals who will create amazing experiences for people around the world.”

We expect that virtual reality experiences will soon radically enhance the way people communicate and connect to stories, entertainment, world events and each other.

Cutting Edge Technology for Virtual Reality Cinema

Nokia OZOOZO’s filmed content can be published for commercially available VR viewing hardware such as head mounted displays, with immersive, full 360-degree imaging and spatially accurate original sound.

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Earlier this month Hacked reported that Steven Spielberg joined VR startup The Virtual Reality Company (VRC) as an adviser. The Los Angeles based startup wants to leverage the many VR headsets that will begin to appear in early 2016, and bring VR cinema to consumers.

To imagine VR cinema, think of a modern video-game played with a VR head mounted display like the Oculus Rift. The main features – 3D immersion, interactivity and multiple storylines triggered by the player’s action – are still there in VR cinema. The difference is that you don’t slay monsters to level-up your character, but just enjoy the story told by the filmmakers.

In Avatar, James Cameron pioneered the use of VR technology to create awesome content for the flat screen. Production of content for VR cinema could be a bottleneck requiring costly custom equipment and software only affordable by major film studios, but with OZO Nokia wants to democratize VR cinema production and make it available to small studios and independent professionals.

VR production company Jaunt announced a commitment to support OZO. “Unlike anything you’ve ever seen, we’re creating an entirely new means of storytelling, a completely new art form,” states the Jaunt website. “Our mission has always been to provide filmmakers with tools and techniques that fuel their creative process, unlocking the true potential of their vision.” said Cliff Plumer, President of Jaunt Studios. “Our partnership with Nokia is another big step for us to continue to provide our partners with the most cutting-edge technology to further cater to their creative needs.”

OZO captures stereoscopic 3D video through eight synchronized global shutter sensors and spatial audio through eight integrated microphones. Software built for OZO enables real-time 3D viewing, with an innovative playback solution that removes the need to pre-assemble a panoramic image.

Images from Nokia.

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Electronics

Nanotechnology Breakthrough: Carbon Nanotubes Outperform Silicon Electronics

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nanotechnology

University of Wisconsin–Madison materials engineers have created carbon nanotube transistors that, for the first time, outperform state-of-the-art silicon transistors. This breakthrough points the way to future high-performance nanotube electronics.

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Bugs

Video: Stagefright Returns; 500 Million Android Devices at Risk

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A new variant of the dreaded Android-based Stagefright bug has been successfully exploited by security researchers who showed a proof-of-concept of phone getting hacked remotely. The newly discovered Stagefright bug affects users running Android Lollipop, versions 5.0 and 5.1.

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Israeli software security research company NorthBit has, in a detailed research paper, revealed that it has exploited the dreaded Stagefright Android bug which has, in the past, put a billion user devices at risk.

The complete research paper can be found here. [PDF]

The exploit, titled ‘Metaphor’ is shown running in a proof-of-concept video. The target is Google’s Nexus 5, a flagship device on Google’s stock line of Android products. NorthBit has also revealed that it has tested the exploit on other popular Android phones including the Samsung Galaxy S5, the LG G3 and the HTC One.

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Fundamentally, the exploit can be triggered by simply visiting a malicious web page as the video shows below.

Stagefright is Back

The name ‘Stagefright’ comes from the namesake software library used by the Android system to parse together media such as videos. It is written in C++ and built inside the system.

It can be exploited by a malicious MMS, as a previous version of the Stagefright bug has shown. In this case, a webpage is shown to execute malicious code on targeted devices.

Google routinely plugs these vulnerabilities with monthly releases for Nexus phones and releases the source code for the patch. However, Android phone manufacturers who implement their own skinned versions of Android aren’t usually in a hurry to release patches and this leaves millions of devices at risk.

As things stand, about 36 percent of the 1.4 billion active Android phones and tablets are currently running Android 5 or 5.1. The numbers reveal that a little over 500 million Android devices running Lollipop are at risk.

The first Stagefright bug was discovered by a security researcher in July 2015, when it was revealed that the vulnerability left up to 95 percent of all Android devices (!) open to exploit.

The second variant of the Stagefright bug was discovered not long after in the same year, when a vulnerability could be exploited via an encoded .mp4 or .mp3 file sent using MMS. 950 million devices were left vulnerable to the bug.

Google has already released its security bulletin that includes system ROMs for Nexus devices along with the patch for all other Android devices, for the month in the first week of March. It is yet to be seen if the newest vulnerability hastens Google into releasing another patch this month.

A spokesperson for Google wasn’t immediately available for comment at the time of publishing.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Hacking

Video: Hacker Uses Smartphone to Hack a Connected Car

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An associate professor and white-hat hacker, Hiroyuki Inoue, has demonstrated a proof-of-concept showing cars that are equipped with internet-connected devices can be hacked and even remotely controlled by wielding a smartphone.

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In an experiment, Hiroyuki Inoue, an associate professor at Hiroshima City University’s Graduate School of Information Sciences, Japan, has proved that connected cars can be remotely hacked with a smartphone application. The associate professor and hacker used a 2013 Toyota Corolla Fielder Hybrid for the demonstration, as reported by the Japan Times.

It is important to note that the exploit isn’t one to affect cars that are still driven as manufactured in stock as their onboard computers do not have internet connectivity.

However, Inoue warns that cars that have been modified and enhanced with internet devices privately could potentially be hacked. The claim comes during a time when many major automobile manufacturers including those in Japan are experimenting and even actively developing self-driving vehicles.

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Another Connected Car, Hacked

Putting together a Wi-Fi device as a contraption with parts available commercially that cost him about ¥10,000 (approx. USD $82). He also developed a smartphone application that was used to – among other hacks – remotely control the car.

Inoue connected the Wi-Fi device to a commonly found terminal located under the Toyota’s steering wheel. Such terminals are routinely used to plug in monitoring devices during a car’s maintenance. Once connected, Inoue discovered that the car’s computer contained unencrypted data that controlled critical functions such as the vehicle’s engine, brakes and other functions.

As the video shows, the associate professor was able to manipulate the speedometer reading on the dashboard even though the car was stationary while parked.

Inoue said:

 Important (data) communication was in full view from outside. Other cars could also be subject to hacking in the same way.

Furthermore, he was also able to replicate a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack by inundating the car’s computer with a large amount of requests and data. Unsurprisingly, the action led to a complete paralysis of the vehicle, despite the accelerator being stepped on by the driver. The white-hat hacker was also able to raise and lower windows with the smartphone application reigning in control of the on-board computer.

Also read: $32 Hacking Device Opens Car & Garage Doors

In light of the news, an official representing the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association confirmed that the collective industry will work on cybersecurity measures in tandem with the government.

Hiroyuki Inoue confirmed that the details of his exploit will be further revealed during a three-day cybersecurity symposium that commenced on Tuesday in Okinawa, Japan.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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