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The Weekly Roundup 8.14 Edition

by Cassie August 14, 2015

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The Top Passwords of 2014

With more personal information being stored online than ever before, account security has become incredibly important. Websites often force you to add symbols, letters and numbers to your passwords to decrease the possibility that someone can guess your account password. Therefore, it is alarming that the top passwords used in 2014 are reminiscent of the passwords you used on your first e-mail account. The top most commonly used password in 2014 was “123456” followed by the far more creative “password.” Obviously, these passwords are both easy to remember and to type, but more importantly they are easy to guess. The only upside to using these passwords to protect your personal information is the fact that, for many people, they are out of the realm of consideration. However, if you’re currently using any of these passwords to protect an online account, we strongly recommend you update your password to something stronger.

For the original article on Mashable.com, click here

Hacker Discovers Vulnerability in GM Vehicles

Hacker, Sammy Kamkar, who runs the popular YouTube page “Applied Hacking” recently demonstrated his ability to hack a 2013 Chevy Volt that was equipped with OnStar. Using a $100 device, Kamkar was able to trick the RemoteLink mobile app into linking with a fake Wi-Fi hot spot he had created. Once connected, Kamkar had access to car controls like locking, remote starting, tracking and accessing the personal information of the vehicle owner. This new hack demonstrates a severe vulnerability in the OnStar system that is installed in many cars. After being notified by Kamkar, GM is working to fix this OnStar weakness and expects to have a remedy soon. This new development makes one wonder how susceptible self-driving vehicles may be to hacking in the future.

For the original article on Mashable.com, click here 

Software That Sees If Your Brain is Busy

Between social media platforms and messaging apps, we are frequently hit with a barrage of notifications that can interrupt our concentration. A new software called Phylter aims to limit our distractions and thereby render us more effective, especially in the workplace. The software, which uses a headband to detect when you are concentrating on something, filters out notifications when you are focused and do not wished to be disturbed. Airplane Mode is the only current method for avoiding notifications without simply turning your phone off, but unlike Phylter, Airplane Mode actually blocks your messages from being received. Phylter hopes their new technology can be a more suitable solution to a distracted world.

For the original article on TechRadar.com, click here

The Shape-shifting House

Smart homes are an ever-increasing trend in the tech world, but we are learning that there are different degrees of “smart.” Architect Todd Fix has created a concept for a new smart home called the “Motus.” The “Motus” wants to take a giant leap forward in the realm of smart homes by adapting the home’s material based on changes in the weather. The home is a zero energy home that would be incredibly cost effective, once it was built. Building the “Motus,” however, is no small task and it’s certainly not cheap. Fix estimates that the home would cost between $3.5 and $10 million to construct, not including any repairs you would have to make if the house encounters functional issues. So while the house is a cool idea, at the present, less drastic home automation will do just fine.

For the original article on TechRadar.com, click here