A Massive cyber attack took down Netflix, Twitter, Spotify and Reddit.


A massive cyber attack took down many popular sites across the internet including Netflix, Twitter, Spotify and Reddit. Many of these popular sites could not be accessed because hackers released a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) on the servers of the web technology provider Dyn, which is a major DNS (domain name system) host.

The denial of service attacks floods websites with junk data and malicious traffic that prevents real users from accessing the pages, and kicks the site offline. The attack began just after 7 a.m. ET on Friday, taking down websites like Twitter, Tumblr, Netflix, Amazon, Etsy, Github, Soundcloud, Shopify, Reddit, Github, Airbnb, PayPal and Yelp—just to name a few. Dyn quickly updated its website to reveal it was investigating the issue.

“Starting at 11:10 UTC on October 21st-Friday 2016 we began monitoring and mitigating a DDoS attack against our Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure,” the company writes. “Some customers may experience increased DNS query latency and delayed zone propagation during this time. Updates will be posted as information becomes available”. It further explained that the attack was mainly impacting those on the East Coast and was actively working on fixing the issue, with services returned back to normal just before 9:30 a.m. ET.


The company has not commented on the source of the attack. Amazon took matters into its own hands to investigate as to why its services were down early Friday morning, also citing hosting issues. The same conclusion was found by cloud services company Heroku, which was also down.

Many of the companies that were affected by the outage kept people in the loop on Twitter to reveal that that their sites and services are currently down, and when the issues were resolved. While it appears all is well again for those on the East Coast, that didn’t stop people from freaking out over the DDos attack.

EA’s servers are down due to a massive DDoS attack affecting loads of services. It is Battlefield 1 launch day. — Ben Ghoulbert (@RealBenGilbert) October 21, 2016
showing up to work this morning in the middle of the #dyndns #DDOS attack: pic.twitter.com/LOVizgiP3s
— Troy McCall (@interzonejunkie) October 21, 2016

At least Twitter, Spotify, Netflix and the rest appear to be now back up and running.

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Location-aware Mobile App Saved a Man’s Life after He entered Cardiac Arrest


When a man collapsed at a bus stop in Seattle due to cardiac arrest, an application called PulsePoint installed on his smartphone created an alert for medical staff within the vicinity to help him, saving his life. The mobile app was created by a former fire chief in Northern Carolina, Richard Price, and works through a city’s 911 system. Whenever there is a call coming in, the operators can alert people within a specific radius, who can offer CPR assistance and save people’s lives before the ambulance gets there. In this case, the operators pointed to the nearest defibrillator and helped save the man’s life.

“We notify them and provide them a map so they can see where the patient is located. We also show any nearby access to public defibrillators, AEDs, so they can either start CPR or use that AED while the professional responders are on their way to the scene,” said Price.app

The incident, the second in Seattle this month, does not occur that rarely. Because of the frequency, involving citizens in the rescue process is essential, according to the app developer. Before the medical team arrived at the place of emergency, a medical student was already there, performing chest compressions. Another medical professional, a nurse who had just finished her shift, happened to be around and rushed there to help, until the paramedics arrived.

“If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the location-aware application will alert trained citizens in the vicinity of the need for bystander CPR simultaneous with the dispatch of advanced medical care,” states the official website of the mobile application.

Civic engagement is one of the purposes of this software, aiming to notify the right people to intervene quickly. As the locations where these emergencies happen are not always traffic-free and near hospitals, it may take a while before the medical team gets to the emergency site. In cases such as one involving a 60-year-old patient, the success or failure of a rescue can spell the difference between life and death in a matter of seconds.

Approximately 34,000 medical professionals and citizens have downloaded the app in the U.S., and more than 13,000 cardiac events have been alerted through it, according to Price. The idea came to him in 2009, when he witnessed an emergency while in a restaurant. As it turned out, the sirens of the ambulance were headed to the place he was eating in.

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PillDrill Scanning System Check Prescriptions & Remind You To Take Your Meds


A lot of people taking prescription medicines such as maintenance pills tend to forget if they have taken their dose for the day while some have a hard time tracking whether their loved ones have already taken the necessary medicine. A new home health product is a solution to these problems: the PillDrill.

The PillDrill is a new scanning system that enables users person to track their prescriptions and remind them to take their medicines. This innovative device also helps family members and caregivers to track whether their patient had taken their medicines without having to nag them through calls and texts.

PillDrill is an improved pill container that has a scanning ability to track if one had already taken their needed dose. It is like an alarm clock that reminds patients to take their medicines if they had forgotten to do so, and it is also like an automated phone that sends notifications to primary caregivers if the meds have been taken or not.

“Medication adherence is one of the biggest issues in health care today,” said Peter Havas, PillDrill Inc.’s founder and CEO.

In the United States alone, insufficient medication adherence results to hospital admission by 10 percent, treatment failures by 40 percent and almost 125,000 of deaths. Poor medication adherence could also result in conflict between family members especially if one is responsible for taking care of another person.

The PillDrill is easy to use and can serve one or more people. It also adjusts to different medication routines and helps one to track their own medication or a loved one’s medicine regimen.

“What’s special about PillDrill is that it blends right into the person’s existing routine: a light overlay that provides all the benefits of a technology product without any of the hassles,” Havas added.

How It Works


PillDrill is composed of the PillDrill Hub, 12 pieces of scanning tags, two pieces of pill strips labeled AM and PM and the Mood Cube, which features five moods: Great, Good, OK, Bad and Awful.

The PillDrill Hub is the center of all the scanning and notifying features of the device. It measures 6 inches in length, 3 inches in width and 3 inches in height. PillDrill works by connecting its cord to a power outlet and Wi-Fi. Its audio-visual alerts are audible enough to notify a person whenever they haven’t taken their medicines. It is also equipped with sensor wherein users just need to swipe the tagged medicines to register it as taken.

The Pill Strip is the weekly medicine organizer, designed just like regular plastic pill containers but built with sensors to help one register the medicine as taken on the PillDrill Hub. It also enables one to place any amount of strip to accommodate a specific medication routine.

The 12 scanning tags work by placing them on the medicine bottles to easily scan medicine without the hassle of placing them on the strip. Users just need to stick the tags on the container and scan it on the hub.

The PillDrill app is an optional but very important inclusion in the kit. This app syncs with the PillDrill Hub to enable primary caregivers to keep in touch and be informed of patients’ medicine-taking remotely. The app tracks whether patients have already taken their medicines and how they are feeling.

For personal use, this app can send you a notification if you have forgotten to take your pill or if you have successfully finished your medications. Medicine scheduling and setup may also be done through this app.

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Apple’s next big thing: a pot plant


Apple Inc is arguably the world’s most innovative company. It reinvented the way we listen to music with the iPod, brought an entirely new lease of life to smartphones with the iPhone and reimagined the potential of computing with the Apple II. However, if a recent patent filing is anything to go by, it looks like the firm is hoping to innovate the agricultural market with a brand new plant pot.

Just kidding. There’s nothing innovative about this plant pot. Unless, of course, you think a spherical design is groundbreaking. It’s quite literally a modern container that holds a plant. There are no fancy sensors or hidden lights. Just a pot for a plant. Although, we wouldn’t be the first to notice that its design is similar to the Mac Pro.

FORGET about smart devices, Apple’s latest patented product is as dumb, or at least non-smart, as they come. It’s a pot, or technically according to the US Patent that was granted this week, it’s a planter.

Basically, it’s an oversized container for filling with dirt and shoving a plant inside. And it took 17 of Apple’s designers to create it. When Apple set out to revamp its flagship San Francisco store in Union Square, the brief was to include some small trees both inside and outside the store.


And rather than buying some plants down at Bunnings, or given the United States location at Home Depot, a team of 17 Apple designers in London, San Francisco and Cupterino got together and designed an oversized pot with the materials and curves of the planter inspired by Apple’s range of products.

One of the designers of the planter is Richard Howarth, Apple’s vice president of industrial design who has been with Apple in 1996 and, according to his bio at Apple, has been involved in the design of “nearly every Apple product since the iMac”.

Apple applied to patent the design in February last year and on Monday Patent number D769,148 was approved. The planter that is patented in its design is now in other flagship Apple stores including Regent St, London.

This isn’t the fist time that Apple has patented a piece of furniture, though. It regularly reserves itself privilege of the fittings it uses to decorate all of its Apple Stores scattered across the globe. The most notable patent it’s filed to date is for the cylindrical staircase that’s located in the firm’s Shanghai store.

The folks over at Business Insider have identified a similarity between the sketch included in the documentation and the pot that Apple is using to house the trees on the sites of its redesigned Apple Stores.

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Apple smart-car project titan stalls


Apple Inc. has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car, according to people familiar with the project. Hundreds of members of the car team, which comprises about 1,000 people, have been reassigned, let go, or have left of their own volition in recent months, the people said, asking not to be identified because the moves aren’t public.

New leadership of the initiative, known internally as Project Titan, has re-focused on developing an autonomous driving system that gives Apple flexibility to either partner with existing carmakers, or return to designing its own vehicle in the future, the people also said. Apple has kept staff numbers in the team steady by hiring people to help with the new focus, according to another person.

Apple executives have given the car team a deadline of late next year to prove the feasibility of the self-driving system and decide on a final direction, two of the people said. Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment. The new shift and deadline come after months of strategy disagreements, leadership flux and supply chain challenges inside Apple’s unmarked car labs in Sunnyvale, California, a short drive from its Cupertino headquarters.

Apple isn’t the first to realize mastery of mobile gadgets and software updates is no guarantee of automotive success. Alphabet Inc.’s Google learned the challenges of building its own vehicles and has sought partners. Its car project has also suffered departures. Tech investors are dubious too. They’re used to fat profit margins, while carmakers survive on net margins well below 10 percent.

THE dream of an Apple Car has just hit a dead end with reports the technology giant has scrapped its plans to build a self-driving vehicle and has slashed hundreds of people from the clandestine Project Titan. Apple reporter Mark Gurman yesterday broke the news that the top-level research team working on a car as Apple’s next big thing was being dismantled.

Apple has never publicly confirmed the project which Tesla CEO Elon Musk called an “open secret” and did not make a comment on the news yesterday.

Apple has reportedly given the project until the end of next year before a final decision is made on the fate of an Apple car. Apple started the project in 2014, with the aim of making a smart car to revolutionise motoring in the same way the iPhone revolutionised smartphones. But the writing has been on the wall for a few months. Steve Zadesky, a former Ford engineer, set up Project Titan but reportedly left early this year.

A few months ago, The Wall Street Journal reported Apple executive Bob Mansfield was brought out of retirement to take over the project. Mansfield was key in the development of the MacBook Air, the iMac and the iPad. Since Mansfield took over, hundreds of members of the 1000-strong Project Titan team have reportedly been reassigned or let go from Apple. If Apple scraps the plan to build its own car, it’s likely to keep working on the software for a self-driving car and seek an existing car maker, or makers, to use Apple’s smart software.

A recent report into the future of self-driving cars predicted 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020.

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