Author: John Biggs

Netgear adds gigabit routers to its Orbi mesh

My favorite mesh gear, Netgear’s Orbi, has gotten a considerable speed update. The new router, called the RBK50, supports Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax technology which will send gigabit wireless speeds from router to router in your mesh. WiFi 6 is still new to the industry and there isn’t much support outside of specific hardware like this. Performance of the industry leading Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi Systems is improved by adding 1024 QAM with a 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 backhaul, increasing the speeds, coverage and capacity of this dedicated wireless link between the Orbi router and satellites. With an advanced Wi-Fi 6 networking SoC from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Orbi with Wi-Fi 6 will support even higher performance simultaneous Wi-Fi streams, making it possible to deliver gigabit internet to far more devices and enable these gigabit internet homes to take advantage of new Wi-Fi 6 performance, which will be designed into the next generation of mobile and smart home devices. The new routers will ship in Q3 2019 or later. No pricing is available...

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D-Link thinks 5G will cut your cords forever

Network gear maker D-Link just announced a 5G router that sends high-speed Wi-Fi through your house without cables. The router, called the DWR-2010, should allow users to get massive speeds over 5G networks without running cable. Don’t expect to pick this up at the local Best Buy, however, as the 5G router will probably ship from wireless service providers. The DWR-2010 also offers customization options for service providers, making it suitable for deployment on a range of network configurations. The gateway features an embedded 5G NR (New Radio) NSA module and can operate on the sub-6 GHz or mmWave...

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The Matrix PowerWatch 2 is a vampiric timepiece that sucks your life-force

When Matrix came out with its first PowerWatch the watch world was enamored. The self-powered smart watch would suck energy from your skin by using the temperature differential between your skin and the air, allowing it to run indefinitely without charging. Now the team has added a solar feature to their latest PowerWatch 2 which lets the watch both steal energy from your soul and the sol. The watch is on Indiegogo now for $199 and it’s already raised $445,000. It will ship in March. The new watch features a color LCD screen, GPS, heart-rate monitor, as well as...

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Flexit lets you pay for gym time on demand

A new company called Flexit lets you pay for gym time by the minute, allowing you to walk into a nearby gym when you’re traveling, for example, and slam out thirty minutes of sweet glute action before dinner. The service is like Uber for gyms in that you only pay for the time you are inside the gym and you don’t need to pay monthly fees or a flat rate per visit. Created by Michael Rojas, the co-CEO of Iron Grip Barbell Company, the service already has 400 gyms in the United States and plans to expand over the...

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New Apple voice phishing scam looks just like a real support call

A new voice phishing scam is going after iPhone users with in a clever new way: by making calls seem like they are coming directly from Apple Support. Brian Krebs reported today that a user, Jody Westby, got a call from Apple Support asking for her to call back. The contact information that came along with the number appeared to be Apple Inc.’s in the identity screen for the call. When she called the 866 number, however, something was clearly amiss. KrebsOnSecurity called the number that the scam message asked Westby to contact (866-277-7794). An automated system answered and said I’d reached Apple Support, and that my expected wait time was about one minute and thirty seconds. About a minute later, a man with an Indian accent answered and inquired as to the reason for my call. Playing the part of someone who had received the scam call, I told him I’d been alerted about a breach at Apple and that I needed to call this number. After asking me to hold for a brief moment, our call was disconnected. No doubt this is just another scheme to separate the unwary from their personal and financial details, and to extract some kind of payment (for supposed tech support services or some such). But it is remarkable that Apple’s own devices (or AT&T, which sold her the phone) can’t tell...

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Engineers can now reverse-engineer 3D models

A system that uses a technique called constructive solid geometry (CSG) is allowing MIT researchers to deconstruct objects and turn them into 3D models, thereby allowing them to reverse-engineer complex things. The system appeared in a paper entitled “InverseCSG: Automatic Conversion of 3D Models to CSG Trees” by Tao Du, Jeevana Priya Inala, Yewen Pu, Andrew Spielberg, Adriana Schulz, Daniela Rus, Armando Solar-Lezama, and Wojciech Matusik. “At a high level, the problem is reverse engineering a triangle mesh into a simple tree. Ideally, if you want to customize an object, it would be best to have access to the original shapes — what their dimensions are and how they’re combined. But once you combine everything into a triangle mesh, you have nothing but a list of triangles to work with, and that information is lost,” “Once we recover the metadata, it’s easier for other people to modify designs,” said Tao Du to 3DPrintingIndustry. The process cuts objects into simple solids that can then be added together to create complex objects. Because 3D scanning is imperfect, the creation of mesh models of various objects rarely leads to a perfect copy of the original. Using this technique individual parts are cut away, analyzed, and reassembled, allowing for a more precise scan. “Further, we demonstrated the robustness of our algorithm by solving examples not describable by our grammar. Finally, since our method...

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3D printed gun activist Cody Wilson indicted for sexual assault

The State of Texas has indicted Cody Wilson, a 3D printed gun rights activist who fought to allow makers post and print guns, of sexual assault after he had sex with a 17-year-old girl. The affidavit noted that he met the girl on a website for finding “sugar daddies.” The indictment, posted on Ars, notes that he faces “four counts of sexual assault of a child, two charges of indecency with a child by contact, and two charges of indecency with a child by exposure.” The charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000...

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Scratch 3.0 is now available

The only kids programming language worth using, Scratch, just celebrated the launch of Scratch 3.0, an update that adds some interesting new functionality to the powerful open source tool. Scratch, for those without school aged children, is a block-based programming language that lets you make little games and “cartoons” with sprites and animated figures. The system is surprisingly complex and kids have created things like Minecraft platformers, fun arcade games, and whatever this is. The new version of scratch includes extensions that allow you to control hardware as well as new control blocks. Scratch 3.0 is the next generation...

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