Friday Tech Roundup (30 May 2014): Torrented Watch Dogs mines bitcoins

Watch Dogs

By on May 30, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of pirated copies of Watch Dogs packaged with bitcoin miners, human ‘suspended animation’ trials, and the world’s first 4K monitor with G-Sync support.

Watch Dogs Torrent Turns Pirates’ PCs into Bitcoin Mining Slaves

Slashgear is reporting that a popularly seeded torrent of Ubisoft’s newly-released Watch Dogs comes with an added surprise in the form of a Bitcoin miner. According to the report, the affected torrent includes a file called “Winlogin.exe,” which will execute when the game has been run and remain in active memory until it is found and killed. Bitcoin miners can use up to 25% of available GPU processing power to do their dark work, and will seriously affect any gaming or rendering efforts. There is something poetic about pirates getting “hacked” given the subject matter of Watch Dogs, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s kind of a dick-move, and quite illegal to covertly install processes on others’ computers.

Science-fiction becomes science-fact: Human ‘suspended animation’ trials to begin this month

Researchers at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are reluctant to call it “suspended animation” due to obvious science-fiction implications, though it may be the most convenient way to explain it. The world’s first human trials of “emergency preservation and resuscitation” are slated to begin soon, on 10 patients whose injuries would otherwise be fatal to operate on. The process involves replacing the patient’s blood with a chilled saline solution, which uses the body’s natural circulation to cool the body, rather than keep it warm. This slows bodily functions, and delays death from blood loss for up to four hours. Successful tests have been performed on pigs in 2000, by inducing fatal cuts and using the procedure to rapidly cool the pigs to around 10 degrees Celsius, keeping them alive long enough to repair the wound and restore their natural bloodflow.

Adaptive Sync

World’s first 4K monitor with G-Sync support announced by Acer

Acer has announced the world’s first 4K computer monitor with G-Sync support, in the hopes of eliminating tearing and other inconsistencies from super-high resolution gaming. As we discovered in our look at adaptive refresh earlier this month, the technology should be quite exciting for gamers hoping to push games out to high-resolution displays. Acer’s XB280HK is a 28-inch gaming monitor with a 3840×2160 display resolution, which will pair its refresh rate with the image output of Nvidia video cards that support G-Sync. Look for the XB280HK later this year, for a currently undisclosed price.

One step closer to a Back to the Future future, the electric skateboard

Boosted Boards has produced an electric skateboard, which is capable of travelling nearly 10 kilometres, and carrying up to 113 kilos. After several years of experimentation and prototyping, the company has produced a board that uses twin brushless electric motors, a 40-volt lithium ion phosphate battery, an a hand-held remote that provides an arguably cooler method of motorised personal transport than scooters, or the Segway. The remote makes use of a dead-man trigger to cut power to the motor in the event of an emergency, and a throttle rocker designed to be controlled with the thumb. The boards are not cheap however, clocking in at USD$1995.

afa_firefighter_exoskeleton

Australian design student devises an exoskeleton to make firefighters more effective, awesome

Firefighters need to be incredibly fit in order to do their jobs. Their gear, protective clothing, and breathing apparatus weigh in at approximately 40kg, which will obviously slow them down and reduce their capacity to save lives. Design student Ken Chen of Monash University has created a concept exoskeleton designed to reduce the load on the firefighter’s body, and increase their utility when fighting a fire, all while looking fly as hell. The A.F.A. (Advanced Firefighting Apparatus) Exoskeleton Suit would be rated to carry more than double the current load of gear without impeding movement, and also appears to contain integration points for hoses to allow for wrist-mounted flame dousing. Check out the renders over at Ken’s gallery.

40 comments (Leave your own)

…that doesn’t change the fact that it’s kind of a dick-move, and quite illegal to covertly install processes on others’ computers.

I’d like to feel sorry for the pirates that now have to put up with the bitcoin miner but let’s face it, if you’re pirating software you should already know the risks.

 

nowi dont know much about winlogon.exe but i know thats a required exe that runs all the time. but winlogin is surely a fake.

and that news is slightly wrong, it wasnt all the torrented versions just skidrows were infected. reloaded was cleaaaannn

 

spike4379,

Even then it wasn’t a real SKiDROW release from what I’ve heard. Just some poser trying to ride on the back of SKiDROW’s good name.

To borrow from the DedSec trailer, “He is not SKiDROW and we do not defend him.”.

 

PalZer0,

what a douchebag.

but he did have a good plan and some people probably a few hundred, are making him money

 

No sympathy here – if you pirate and click on an .exe file you’re taking a calculated risk.

 

The pirated copy in question wasnt a verified source, like all unverified sources when pirating it will usually have spyware or worse.

 

stryker3216,

thats why warez will always be better than torrents

 

More reasons to dislike bitcoin, hooray.

Anyone else remember the ESEA bitcoin scandal?

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/video-games/bitcoin-scam-turns-online-gamers-unwitting-accomplices-f6C9743685

 

It’s a case of caveat emptor….

…. almost.

Because technically you aren’t buying you are stealing (or however the “warez” crowd likes to term it nowadays – copyright infringement? intellectual property reallocation? entitlement syndrome?) so, TS I say if you were affected.

Might go out on a limb and suggest this is the cause of quite a few of the performance issues being reported out there regarding this game.

Wonder how many coins they were able to mine though, out of interests sake and to whom?

 

meji,

Pirating… It’s not the same as stealing it’s still stupid and if you have the means you should pay for content rather than pirating it but it’s not theft. Theft is the removal of an object not the duplication and distribution of it.

meji: Might go out on a limb and suggest this is the cause of quite a few of the performance issues being reported out there regarding this game.

some possibly but myself and pretty much every other legit owner have had serious performance issues as-well.

 

It’s amazing that nobody did the whole hijack thing back when bitcoin was starting and more easily mined, a trojan on a major release back then could have netted millions in untraceable currency.

 

So the question I want answered is, what exactly happens to the human body at 100% stress?

 

spooler: Pirating… It’s not the same as stealing it’s still stupid and if you have the means you should pay for content rather than pirating it but it’s not theft. Theft is the removal of an object not the duplication and distribution of it.

That’s ridiculous. Of course pirating is the same as stealing. “Theft” does not require the object which is stolen to be physical and/or to be physically moved. Theft and Stealing is defined as taking someones property without permission, the item in question does not need to be physical.

If you steal money from a persons bank account via EFT, is that not stealing?

 

spooler:
meji,

Pirating… It’s not the same as stealing it’s still stupid and if you have the means you should pay for content rather than pirating it but it’s not theft. Theft is the removal of an object not the duplication and distribution of it.

some possibly but myself and pretty much every other legit owner have had serious performance issues as-well.

Very true! it is technically not stealing, though the intent behind it is exactly the same, to acquire something without appropriate and due restitution to the owner.

As for the technical issues I agree there are plenty of legitimate users out there effected by sloppy PC porting and poor optimization of the game. I’ve avoided the whole game as it sounds pretty boring with tacked on gameplay elements. Plus the whole story of “I’m angry cause bad guys they’ve ruined my life but I will hack everyone I find no matter if they are innocent or not” not to mention the whole element of the hacking seems to be press X to hack anything.

 

texelate: That’s ridiculous. Of course pirating is the same as stealing. “Theft” does not require the object which is stolen to be physical and/or to be physically moved. Theft and Stealing is defined as taking someones property without permission, the item in question does not need to be physical.

If you steal money from a persons bank account via EFT, is that not stealing?

God you’re dull.

Lets say i go to your house and rob you of $50 and a Video game.

I duplicate these items, then return them to you without you knowing they were ever taken.

I then use my duplicated items to my own free will.

Who got cheated?

Well you got your items, ive got mine, the Government still has their $50 in your possession, the game developer still generated a sale from your game.

Nobody has any losses, i’ve simply generated gains out of thin air.

So people why whinge about pirating, all your doing is trying to convince me that i should pay for a game that probably has 1 or more of these following flaws.

1. Rehashed gameplay and or content
2. DRM overload
3. Overpriced with or without the ‘australia tax’.
4. Day 1 DLC
5. Console port
6. Singleplayer only.
7. Flawed game design
8. Obvious moneygrab

CoD1, CnCZH, CS 1.6, RTW, Civ5, D2, BF1942, Wc3, all games that i pirated and then purchased later because i enjoyed them. (notice how there is only 1 recent title there?)

Looking at my games folder, i have 6 titles in there and only 1 that is half decent and thats Skyrim.

 

nekosan:
It’s amazing that nobody did the whole hijack thing back when bitcoin was starting and more easily mined, a trojan on a major release back then could have netted millions in untraceable currency.

Uh, they did. It wasn’t worth millions at the time, but it is now.

 

stryker3216:

God you’re dull.

Lets say i go to your house and rob you of $50 and a Video game.

I duplicate these items, then return them to you without you knowing they were ever taken.

I then use my duplicated items to my own free will.

Who got cheated?

Well you got your items, ive got mine, the Government still has their $50 in your possession, the game developer still generated a sale from your game.

Sorry but that’s a cop out, just because said stolen items are digital doesnt mean it’s not theft. You’re infringing on copyright, don’t try and use the “nothing is stolen” bullshit line. You’re not stealing from the owner of an individual license or from a retailer but that doesn’t make it any less a crime.

If you have to pirate, be a man about it and own your actions. The only remotely positive aspect to what you claim is that people are just stealing it, not stealing it and selling it.

 

texelate,

Theft is the act of taking something from someone. If that person still has that thing you did not take it from them.

Theft-

1. criminal law the dishonest taking of property belonging to another person with the intention of depriving the owner permanently of its possession.

meji: Very true! it is technically not stealing, though the intent behind it is exactly the same, to acquire something without appropriate and due restitution to the owner.

Yea whatever you call it if you’re doing it you’re still being a dick. Unless of course you have no way of paying for the thing or it’s not available in your region. Like if a student that needs photo-shop for course work and their school/university doesn’t provide access to it or you simply can’t access the software/content in your region. I don’t have a huge problem with it, it’s still the wrong thing to do but it’s understandable.

If it’s accessible in your region and you have the means to pay for it you’re being a complete dick if you pirate it.

 

Yeah piracy is copyright infringement, not theft. It’s still a crime, yes, but a completely different crime.

 

Considering the glaring lack of polish (in a game that was delayed for half a year to be polished) and the horrible optimization, I don’t blame people for wanting to pirate this rather than pay for it, honestly.

 
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