If you haven’t updated the Adobe Flash Player on your computer, you may want to do so right now. Why? Because Adobe says an earlier version of the player had a “critical vulnerability” that could allow hackers to take over your computer. That’s right, the software that runs browser-based web videos on over a billion computers worldwide left the door open for lowlifes to hold your data for ransom.
As such, Microsoft has announced it is joining Apple and Google in “freezing” Flash content when its new Edge browser detects it. Apple first started freezing Flash in 2013 and Google did as well last year. In 2013, hackers managed to unlock private information from 3 million Flash users and Apple has actually been a proponent of doing away with Flash for years, but the animation plugin persists to this day. You can update your computer here.
Oculus Rift VR kits are starting to trickle out to buyers but Minnesota senator Al Franken is more concerned with all the information about users he says is flooding back to Oculus — and its owner, Facebook. While Franken praised the overall tech, he also says it “remains important to understand the extent to which Oculus may be collecting Americans’ personal information, including sensitive location data, and sharing that information with third parties.”
Yup, as with with other services like Netflix, Xbox, and Amazon, when you click “agree” after not reading what you’re agreeing to, Oculus will begin harvesting data on where you are, what you’re doing and for how long in order to, of course, better tailor their services to your needs – which likely will include advertising. Senator Franken is asking for more transparency from Oculus/Facebook on where that data goes.
And finally, one guy just did what every quadcopter pilot ever dreamed about as they held their shiny new drones in their hands: “if only it was big enough for me to fly in.” And with that, the CEO of German company E-Volo strapped in and took off in the Volocopter, an electrically-powered 18-rotor aircraft that so far, had only undertaken highly controlled unmanned flights. With the company on the line, Alexander Zosel took control – and smoothly lifted off.
And he made it look way too easy – because it is. A regular helicopter is one of the most difficult aircraft to fly, but the Volocopter is about as simple as flying a drone — maybe even more so. Push the stick forward or backward to go forward or backward, and just rotate it to turn. No hands? No problem! Zosel landed safely and said the flight was “totally awesome.” More flight tests will get the volocopter up to high speeds and higher elevations, of course.
Zosel says he hopes to eventually sell the Volocopter in large quantities and said it would make a great air-taxi or short-range shuttle. All we know is we’re ready to trade our DJI Phantom in right now!