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Watchdogs: Children Smartwatches are Easily Hackable

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Watchdogs

Let’s talk Smartwatches, ladies and gentlemen. I will start this news piece by talking about how I’m surprised it didn’t catch on like many thought it would. There is a degree of practicality in possessing a smartwatch and connecting it through Bluetooth to your phone. However, a watchdog group has found a security flaw in some of these watches. Specifically, they found that smartwatches built for children are easily hacked into.

The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) tested watches from brands including Gator and GPS for Kids. It said it discovered that attackers could track, eavesdrop or even communicate with the wearers.

The smartwatches are basically manufactured as basic smartphones. They allow children’s location to be constantly tracked and keep parents in constant communication. Some even include SOS alarms which allows the child to call their parents immediately should an emergency occur.

The NCC found out that the watches by Gator and GPS for Kids transmitted and stored data without encryption. This meant that any hacker with basic knowledge would be capable of tracking children as they moved. In other cases, they would make parents think the child is in a completely different location.

Spokeswoman Alex Neill said: “Safety and security should be the absolute priority. If that can’t be guaranteed, then the products should not be sold.” I agree with her, especially considering this could be used to aid on the kidnapping of children in the recent years.

So, what has happened after this? Well, the manufacturers responded swiftly to the first sign of alarm. GPS for Kids said it had resolved the security flaws for new watches and that existing customers were being offered an upgrade.  All the while the UK distributor of the Gator watch said it had moved its data to a new encrypted server and was developing a new, more secure app for customers.

I always wanted to be a journalist who listens. The Voice of the Unspoken and someone heavily involved in the gaming community. From playing as a leader of a competitive multi-branch team to organizing tournaments for the competitive scene to being involved in a lot of gaming communities. I want to keep moving forward as a journalist.

Consoles

Despite popular belief, PS4 sales in the UK skyrocketed last year

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PS4 sales in the UK climbed by a shocking 633 percent year-over-year in 2023, so apparently the old system isn’t dead yet. The previous year’s very limited supply of the system is likely a major factor in this figure, since the console’s lifespan was drastically reduced because of chip shortages caused by the pandemic. Still, it’s proof that PlayStation’s original platform has unmet demand.

With the very low prices of PS4 software (both in-store and online at the PS Store), this strategy makes a lot of sense. Plus, it’s future-proof, so there’s no harm in stocking up on PS4s while new-gen pricing is still high, since if you decide to switch to a PS5 in the future, you can transfer all of your purchases across. Not to mention that the majority of new releases still come out on the PS4, with several offering free PS5 upgrades.

While the percentage rise may seem huge, real PS4 sales will probably be much lower. It’s a sign that the gadget, which is now a decade old, isn’t completely dead yet, and we expect it to keep receiving maintenance for a while longer. Of course, this is great news for Sony, because the company would rather have PS4 players playing on its last-gen gadget than none at all, even if it would love to have them upgrade to PS5.

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Consoles

New PS5 firmware is available for download!

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A PS5 firmware update on a cold winter morning is unmatched. The latest PS5 system software update is 23.02–08.40.00 from Sony. Does this one add useful features or just boost system performance?

Though closer to the latter, it’s more than Sony’s favorite patch note. It fixes security issues, improves messages and usability, and boosts system software performance. Official patch notes for this 1.185GB update:

  • We updated system software security
  • We improved system software stability and performance
  • Some screens now have better messages and usability

That’s it. PS5 gets another win to recover from its midweek slump. Do you share our enthusiasm for this firmware update? Comment below. To spice things up, make your comment rhyme.

 

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Consoles

Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Version Will Help PS5

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Belgian developer Larian Studios’ work on Baldur’s Gate 3’s Xbox Series S version will improve performance on all platforms, including PS5. The game’s fifth major patch, expected to launch this week, will include upgrades and new features. More details will be revealed later today.

Director of Publishing Michael Douse says PS5 performance improvements may be the “least exciting thing” in the title’s next update, so it sounds like a big one. Larian Studios employees are proud of “finally” implementing tweaks, fixes, and changes, Douse says. Later today, we’ll bring you all the Baldur’s Gate 3 update details.

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Those who reached the RPG’s third act have reported technical issues during the narrative’s conclusion, especially in co-op, so today’s update should fix them. New features like a permadeath mode are expected, along with Xbox Series S optimization fixes. What else should be added to the game?

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