Mobile ad company Appodeal acquires game platform Corona Labs

Appodeal is announcing that it has acquired Corona Labs, creators of the Corona SDK for building cross-platform games and apps.

The companies say the framework has been used to build more than 10,000 games including The Lost City by Fire Maple Games and HoPiKo by Laser Dog. Appodeal, meanwhile, is a mobile ad mediation company — in other words, it helps app developers manage multiple ad networks.

As a result of the deal, Appodeal says the enterprise version of the Corona framework will be made available for free (other versions were already free), and that the framework will also become open source. At the same time, developers building on Corona won’t be limited to Appodeal — they’ll still be able to use any monetization platform that was previously supported, with the Corona team working to build even more ad partnerships.

“We decided to make even more of the Corona platform free because we believe that there should be more opportunities to develop mobile games of high quality on the market,” said Appodeal founder and CEO Pavel Golubev in the acquisition release. “Additionally, Corona will gradually be transformed into an open-source framework with the first components released as open-source soon after the acquisition formalities are complete.”

 Corona Labs has had a rather complicated history. Founded as Ansca Mobile in 2008, it was first acquired by Fuse Powered, then by Perk.com, whose co-founder Roj Niyogi bought Corona when he left Perk last year. Niyogi said he will remain involved as a strategic advisor, while the Corona engineering team joins Appodeal.

NextGen Venture Partners just raised a $22 million fund from 83 investors

NextGen Venture Partners,  a young, Washington, D.C.-based venture firm that’s quarterbacked by a handful of investors but fueled financially by a network of hundreds of part-time investors who help with its portfolio, has raised $22 million for its debut fund. (This if you don’t count a $1 million pool of capital that it raised from its network in 2015.)

We had a quick chat with Jon Bassett, one of the firm’s five partners, late last week to talk about what NextGen is trying to create. That conversation has been edited for length.

TC: NextGen evolved from a group of angel investors, correct? Was this a formal investor group that’s just been renamed?

JB: We began as a group of young entrepreneurs based in Washington who agreed to support our companies regardless of whether we personally invested. Over time, we had friends in New York City who wanted to expand this idea, and from there NextGen began to take shape. Now, it’s a rapidly growing group of over 650 people who continue to give us an edge in sourcing, diligence, and portfolio support.

TC: Did all of them contribute to this new $22 million fund?

JB: We have 83 LPs in our fund. A large number of them are also our venture partners who invested relatively small dollars. Our anchor LP is Brown Advisory, a $60 billion asset management firm that spun out of the former investment bank Alex. Brown. We also have high-net-worth investors from Dell, Carlyle, and T Rowe Price.

TC: Eighty-three LPs is a lot of LPs to manage. Do you think in the future that you’re likely to seek out bigger checks from fewer investors?

JB: We plan to raise larger dedicated funds over time with bigger check writers, but it’s important we maintain what makes our model so unique. Our strength in deal flow and portfolio support comes from our venture partners. Also, we [do and will] continue to create SPVs where our venture partners have the opportunity to invest alongside our funds.

TC: Do investors in your network get any special rights or privileges if they more actively help your portfolio companies than other investors in the network?

JB: We’ve seen great engagement with our venture partners who participate in portfolio support and investment committees when asked. And yes, these investors are given priority in allocations into our investments. We want to incentivize the venture partners who bring us the best entrepreneurs, so the venture partner who sources the deal gets a piece of the carry on that deal as a result of the introduction.

TC: Is this a full-time job for each of you? 

We are all committed to this full-time.

TC: Are you charging your investors a typical fixed 2 per cent management fee and a 20 per cent performance fee? A  lot of smaller firms out here forego management fees until they establish more of a track record. 

JB: Our LPs are traditional 2 and 20 investors.

TC: What size checks are you writing? 

JB: Our checks range from between $250,000 to $1 million, pending the size of the opportunity.

TC: And what size ownership stake do you target?

JB: We don’t have strict ownership targets. We receive all types of opportunities through our venture partner network, and we don’t want to miss out on a great entrepreneur due to restrictions around company ownership.

TC: Are you investing primarily in East Coast companies? 

JB: We invest in U.S.- based companies.

TC: What are some of your notable investments to dates, and have you had any exits?

JB: We haven’t had any exits yet given our fund began in early 2016, but we have been very happy to find some of the best entrepreneurs by investing alongside some very prominent co-investors. Our last deal was investing alongside Sequoia in [the virtual reality therapy company] Limbix Health, which was sourced through a venture partner. We’ve also invested alongside NEA in [the smart glasses platform] APX Labs [which was recently renamed Upskill] and alongside Bessemer in Renoviso [a marketplace for home improvement professionals], and we are about to close on an investment alongside Founders Fund this week.

TC: I see you also invested in the transportation startup Hyperloop One, which interested me largely because you participated in such a big round. Why?

JB: It was large, but we invested in an early stage that we believe is consistent with our other investments. A core group of our venture partners are very early employees of SpaceX and alerted us to a very talented group of SpaceX engineers who were leaving the company to bring to life Elon Musk’s Hyperloop proposal. These venture partners were angel investing in the round and wanted to include our larger network.

TC: You have offices in Virginia and Washington, both of which have come a long way in terms of its tech ecosystem. Where does it still have ground to make up, in your opinion?

JB: We still don’t have the giant tech companies that anchor an ecosystem to create lots of millionaires with industry knowledge and skills to go out and start the next generation of companies.

How IIoT is revolutionizing utilities

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is creating huge opportunities in the water and wastewater industries, adding value to both the utility and the consumer. Connected machines are reshaping the way these utilities operate, allowing them to make smarter and more informed decisions. By driving up innovation, water utilities are driving down cost. Here’s what they’re up to.

Treating water and wastewater requires chemical processes that can now be monitored more accurately using digital data collection. These digital transformations are taking the guesswork out of chemical processing and allow utilities to optimize the amount of chlorine dollars spent to maintain safe levels — saving time, money and empowering operators to make fewer mistakes.

Another IIoT development, a new SaaS application that’s set to launch later this month, will calculate wastewater clarifier tank performance — providing quick analysis on a critical step in the wastewater process. The tool, called ClariFind, alerts utilities as they’re getting close to a failure before they experience it. ClariFind will predict when sludge will overflow and be released. This kind of problem causes EPA issues and fines that can run in the millions of dollars. It will also be able to predict a thickening failure, which is when the effluent doesn’t settle correctly and creates a costly sludge blanket in the tank. ClariFind is just one part of a water operations suite of productivity enhancers — solutions as a service.

Predictive analytics are also solving monitoring problems that were not previously possible for utilities. For example, there are a large number of pumps that are commonly found within water facilities, and digitized data is making it possible for companies to accurately predict when these pumps might fail — ahead of time. It’s similar to the predictive analytic technology used in jet engine checks between airline flights. This cloud-based application easily connects to pumps and helps companies avoid costly and inconvenient failures, allowing engineers to schedule controlled maintenance rather than reactive maintenance.

Concepts are in the works to apply this type of predictive technology to residential properties as well, in order to help home owners and property managers predict sump pump failures, for instance, before the basement floods. This technology will be a must-have asset for seasonal homes that don’t have inhabitants year-round. Utilities are leading the way in pilot stages for this type of residential technology.

 Safety procedures are also being monitored and enforced more closely by keeping track of them using digitized technology. In Florida, the water division of the Orlando Utilities Commission is using IIoT technology to remind employees of protocol procedures when dangerous chlorine leaks are detected. The safety procedure is sent to a worker’s device to be confirmed before access to the contaminated area is granted.

Both private companies and government agencies are utilizing IIoT technology to increase efficiency and profitability in water. GE has launched an industrial platform called Predix, a cloud-based platform as a service (PaaS) that enables asset performance management on an industrial scale. For water utilities, Predix will help utilities organize time-series data to monitor asset functionality.

The Environmental Protection Agency has technology that will be used to create a new way to digitally improve the monitoring of water age and water quality. This is a very important issue for consumers because when water ages and sits in a pipe for too long, water quality goes down — which was one part of the problem at play in the Flint water crisis. We expect an analogous approach to the way Google Maps handles traffic to represent the water age, enabling municipalities to monitor this more easily.

Running a water utility is becoming more like running a business. Utilities are no longer solely relying on customers for funding, they’re collaborating and looking at alternative revenue streams to supplement cost. While power utilities have been leading the way on alternative revenue streams, water utilities are now following suit. The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) has begun to commercialize their intellectual property, giving them a new revenue channel. For example, they are commercializing their water ammonia versus nitrate algorithm (which is something that keeps the right chemical balance needed for breaking down wastewater) and selling it to other treatment plants.

Partnerships between technology companies and utility companies are facilitating innovation and developing solutions to become cleaner and more efficient at a rapid pace. It truly is a transformative time in the industry, and the results couldn’t be more pure — better drinking water for everyone.

Nokia Sold 35 Million Feature Phones in 2016: Strategy Analytics

Nokia, whose mobile brand is now controlled by HMD Global, reportedly managed to sell 35 million feature phones in 2016. The company was only second to Samsung, who managed to sell 52.6 million feature phones last year.

Nokia Sold 35 Million Feature Phones in 2016: Strategy Analytics

In all, 396 million feature phones were shipped in 2016, refuting all myths that the market for feature phone is extinct. And now, with the potential Nokia 3310 reboot, the feature phone segment may see a shift in dominance from Samsung to Nokia. Nokia took 8.9 percent of the market share worldwide, while Samsung managed to rake in 13.2 percent of the market share, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.

HMD Global took rights of the Nokia brand in 2016, and soon after released the Nokia 150 feature phone as well. This means that Microsoft and HMD Global together managed to sell 35.3 million feature phones last year. Samsung boasts of an even larger number – 52.3 million – strongly indicating that there is still an audience for feature phones. In the number three spot was TCL-Alcatel, with 27.9 million units shipped. Other manufacturers accounted for the remaining 280.5 million units.

“Global feature phone shipments reached 396 million units in full-year 2016, accounting for 21 percent of all 1.88 billion mobile phones shipped last year. Feature phones today still account for 1 in 5 of all mobile phones bought worldwide and the category is surprisingly larger than many think,” the report further states.

As mentioned, Nokia is hosting its pre-MWC event today scheduled to begin in a few hours. It is expected to launch the Nokia 3310 reboot at the event with a larger colour display, and run on Series 30+ user interface. At the event, the Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 8 are also expected to be revealed.

As expected, Huawei launched the P10 and P10 Plus flagship smartphones in Barcelona. The company has continued its Leica partnership to introduce their-branded dual cameras at the back. The metal bodied device has a lot more to offer than its predecessor with respect to design change, upgraded processor, camera, and software. The device has been launched in as many as eight colour options at MWC 2017. Huawei also unveiled the Watch 2 at the event. Huawei P10 is priced at EUR 649 (roughly Rs. 45,700), and the Huawei P10 Plus 4GB is priced at EUR 699 (roughly Rs. 49,200), while the Huwei P10 Plus 6GB is priced at EUR 799 (roughly Rs. 56,300). Both the smartphones will be available Australia, Austria, Chile, China, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and Vietnam beginning in March. The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus come with a Hyper Diamond-cut finishing that prevents scratching or fingerprint smudges. As mentioned, it will be available in a range of colours including – Greenery, Dazzling Blue, Prestige Gold, Dazzling Gold, Rose Gold, Mystic Silver, Ceramic White, and Graphite Black. The other big highlight is that the fingerprint sensor is underneath the glass in the front, and supports gestures. To elaborate, a short tap will let you go back, a long press will bring you back to the Home Page, and swiping right or left will left open the app tray. As for specifications, the P10 and P10 Plus are powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC (4x Cortex-A73 and 4x Cortex-A53) with an integrated Cat 2/11 modem and Mali-G71MP GPU. The P10 comes with a 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, while the P10 Plus comes with 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage or 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage bundles. There’s also support for microSD for further expansion (up to 256GB). Both the smartphones sport a dual camera setup with one 20-mgapixel sensor that takes in monochrome details, and another 12-megapixel sensor that takes in RGB details. It supports 4K video, 3D facial recognition, OIS, 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus, hybrid zoom, and event bokeh effect in mono mode. In the camera app, a slew of modes are available for different conditions with one professional mode as well that allows for manual control of ISO, exposure, RAW output, shutter speed, white balance and more. The front camera is at 8-megapixel with f/1.9 aperture and 2x brightness. The dual-SIM devices (Nano + Nano/ microSD) run on the new Android 7.1 Nougat-based EMUI 5.1 OS, and connectivity options include 4.5G LTE with 4×4 MIMO Technology for faster speeds (exclsuive to P10 Plus) , 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C, GPS, and DLNA. The Huawei P10 features a 5.1-inch HD (1080×1920 pixels) display and comes with a 3200mAh battery. In comparison, the Huawei P10 Plus features a 5.5-inch 2K (1440×2560 pixels) display, and comes with a 3750mAh battery. The screens of both the smartphones are protected by 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 that the company claims ‘blends’ with the metal. Also, both phones support fast charging, and Huawei claims that 30 minutes of charging can keep the lights on for up to a day. Alongside, Huawei also launched a slew of cover cases for the smartphones, and a purse for the phone aka ‘Limited Edition Pouch’.

As expected, Huawei launched the P10 and P10 Plus flagship smartphones in Barcelona. The company has continued its Leica partnership to introduce their-branded dual cameras at the back. The metal bodied device has a lot more to offer than its predecessor with respect to design change, upgraded processor, camera, and software. The device has been launched in as many as eight colour options at MWC 2017. Huawei also unveiled the Watch 2 at the event.

Huawei P10, P10 Plus With Leica Dual Rear Cameras Launched at MWC 2017

Huawei P10 is priced at EUR 649 (roughly Rs. 45,700), and the Huawei P10 Plus 4GB is priced at EUR 699 (roughly Rs. 49,200), while the Huwei P10 Plus 6GB is priced at EUR 799 (roughly Rs. 56,300). Both the smartphones will be available Australia, Austria, Chile, China, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the UK, and Vietnam beginning in March.

The Huawei P10 and P10 Plus come with a Hyper Diamond-cut finishing that prevents scratching or fingerprint smudges. As mentioned, it will be available in a range of colours including – Greenery, Dazzling Blue, Prestige Gold, Dazzling Gold, Rose Gold, Mystic Silver, Ceramic White, and Graphite Black. The other big highlight is that the fingerprint sensor is underneath the glass in the front, and supports gestures. To elaborate, a short tap will let you go back, a long press will bring you back to the Home Page, and swiping right or left will left open the app tray.

As for specifications, the P10 and P10 Plus are powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 960 SoC (4x Cortex-A73 and 4x Cortex-A53) with an integrated Cat 2/11 modem and Mali-G71MP GPU. The P10 comes with a 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, while the P10 Plus comes with 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage or 6GB RAM/ 128GB storage bundles. There’s also support for microSD for further expansion (up to 256GB).

Both the smartphones sport a dual camera setup with one 20-mgapixel sensor that takes in monochrome details, and another 12-megapixel sensor that takes in RGB details. It supports 4K video, 3D facial recognition, OIS, 4-in-1 hybrid autofocus, hybrid zoom, and event bokeh effect in mono mode. In the camera app, a slew of modes are available for different conditions with one professional mode as well that allows for manual control of ISO, exposure, RAW output, shutter speed, white balance and more. The front camera is at 8-megapixel with f/1.9 aperture and 2x brightness. The dual-SIM devices (Nano + Nano/ microSD) run on the new Android 7.1 Nougat-based EMUI 5.1 OS, and connectivity options include 4.5G LTE with 4×4 MIMO Technology for faster speeds (exclsuive to P10 Plus) , 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, USB Type-C, GPS, and DLNA.

The Huawei P10 features a 5.1-inch HD (1080×1920 pixels) display and comes with a 3200mAh battery. In comparison, the Huawei P10 Plus features a 5.5-inch 2K (1440×2560 pixels) display, and comes with a 3750mAh battery. The screens of both the smartphones are protected by 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 that the company claims ‘blends’ with the metal. Also, both phones support fast charging, and Huawei claims that 30 minutes of charging can keep the lights on for up to a day.

VR & 360° at The Photography Show

The Photography Show at the NEC Birmingham is just over a month away now, and the all-new VR & 360° Theatre will play host to a series of expert talks and hands-on demonstrations, offering visitors fascinating insights into some of the most exciting new visual technology.

Join photo and video artist Mat Collishaw and photographic historian Pete James to hear about their latest project, Thresholds – an opportunity to delve into the re-creation of one of the UK’s first photographic exhibitions, which aptly took place in Birmingham in 1839.

James says: “We are now on the verge of another revolution in our perception of the world as viewed through images, that of virtual reality: a total immersion with the image.”

From workflow to product photography

From exploring the past to documenting the future, Olympus Visionary John Nasarri will take to the stage to share his pioneering 360° interactive wedding service – photography accompanied by ambient sound landscapes, video and photo slideshows, culminating in a spectacular sensory experience.

With new imaging trends comes the need for new kit, and digital artist and videographer Nick Driftwood will offer advice on the camera technology needed to film and photograph a 360° field of view effectively in the new world of immersive technology.

Drone and UAV specialists Aerial Motion Pictures will showcase the world of interactive 360° tours with a view from above The Photography Show, and will discuss the value this can bring to businesses, and how interactive images can be taken to the next level.

There will also be a host of other speakers, covering everything from how to easily incorporate 360° tech into your workflow to 360° product photography made simple. To see the full lineup of experts appearing on stage in the VR and 360° Theatre, click here .

The Photography Show runs from March 18-21. To book your tickets and find out more visit The Photography Show

Top Tech Conferences: The Ultimate B2B Tech Events Guide 2017

Love it or loathe it, events and conferences are often where wheelers and dealers in the world of technology meet to decide on the future of the industry.

Ironically, technology itself has accelerate the demise of some massive tech events (like Comdex) but the remaining ones are more focused, alive and bustling than ever before.

Techradar Pro and ITProPortal have joined forces with the tech B2B PR industry to curate a list of national and international technology events, conferences and happenings, focusing on B2B.

Featured:  Mobile World Congress 2017

MWC is a B2B event for anyone and everyone in mobile and those in adjacent industries who want to discover how mobile technology can benefit their industries. In short, anyone in business will find relevant learning and networking opportunities to make the trip to Barcelona worthwhile.

QuickBooks Connect London

March 6th-7th 2017, London, UK

Bring your future into focus at QuickBooks Connect. Learn from influential advisors, network with peers, and immerse yourself in interactive workshops — all designed to put you on the fast track to growth.

Citrix Summit

January 8-10 2018, Anaheim, USA

Citrix Summit is the essential business development conference for partners. Partners who attend gain firsthand insight into Citrix strategy for digital business transformation through intensive technical, sales and business training that delivers the tools to strengthen relationships, take advantage of market opportunities and pave the way for new deals.

MVNOs Networking Congress 2017

November 2017, London, UK

The 2016’s edition of the event focused on the challenges and opportunities for the European market. It attracted the full spectrum of MVNOs in Europe with over 50% of the audience made up from first time attendees.

Key topics included the regulatory landscape in Europe, the challenges and opportunities from network consolidation, winning in saturated markets, monetizing emerging technologies as well as many more.

Smart Home Summit 2017

November 2017, Silicon Valley, USA

Smart Home Summit brings together leading decision makers looking to take the smart home from a niche prospect for the tech savvy consumer into a mass market reality through collaboration and partnerships. Download the brochure to find out more about who will attend, topics being covered, speakers and other features taking place.

LTE Voice Summit 2017

October 2017, London, UK

Virtualization is the biggest industry game-changer of the past 20+ years, and operators are debating and best-practice sharing in order to ascertain the benefits it will bring their networks and services.Voice virtualization poses numerous complex decisions and there is no clear route as yet…top experts spoke at the Voice Virtualization Summit, allowing attendees to ascertain how their business will proceed in this brave new virtualized era for the industry.

IP Expo Europe 2017

October 4th-5th, London, UK

It’s the ONLY enterprise IT event that brings everything together under one roof. All the key players. All the information across the entire technology stack. All the key product launches, demos, solutions and educational seminars.

CeBIT 2018

March 20th-24th, Hannover, Germany

CeBIT is THE platform for experts and top decision-makers from all areas of digital business along the B2B value chain. The global market is present here – make sure you are, too! CeBIT is one of the world’s most important investment platforms for digital business processes. No other place can boast as many IT decision-makers and managers at the same time – or with such a strong focus on SMEs.

Infosecurity 2017

June 6th-8th, London, UK

Infosecurity Europe is the region’s number one information security event featuring Europe’s largest and most comprehensive conference program and over 360 exhibitors showcasing the most relevant information security solutions and products to 13,500 visitors.

Google Assistant can now share personal info in Allo, but only if you let it

One of the coolest features of Allo is the ability to bring Google Assistant into any conversation. Just type @google and you can ask Assistant questions like “What’s my schedule like today” or “Show me the latest Cars 3 trailer,” and it will happily oblige, saving you the trouble of opening Chrome or Calendar and searching yourself.google assistant allo

Now Google is making it easier to share that personal information with other people. First spotted by Android Police, the new feature gives you an option to send otherwise private data to your friends in an instant, but only if you allow it.

For example, when you’re in a chat and you ask Assistant something like, “What are my upcoming flights,” or “Show me my upcoming appointments,” it will now ask you if you’d like to share that information with the other people in your group. Tap Don’t Share and it will send a message saying, “Can’t share this right now.” Tap Share Now, however, and it will display the information it has retrieved on your phone for all to see.

Unfortunately, you can’t choose a contact to share it with when in a one-on-one conversation with Assistant, nor can you keep your personal queries completely hidden, but the ability to share information like this could prove to be useful in certain situations. The server-side feature isn’t tied to a specific Play Store update, though Android Police surmises that you likely need version 6.0 of Allo, which began rolling out last week.

While limited to just calendar entries, travel information, and contacts, the new sharing option has pretty big potential. Assistant has been frustratingly limited inside Allo—where it ought to excel in a natural conversational format—and this new feature could signal a new collaborative direction for Allo. However, without proper SMS integration, Allo is likely to remain a niche app, no matter how smart Assistant gets.

This story, “Google Assistant can now share personal info in Allo, but only if you let it” was originally published by Greenbot.

Researchers trick ‘CEO’ email cammer into giving up identity

Businesses targeted in email scams don’t always have to play the victim. They can actually fight back.ceo email scam spoof

Researchers at Dell SecureWorks have documented how they identified a suspected email scammer from Nigeria, by essentially playing along with the scheme to fool the attacker into revealing his true whereabouts.

Anyone can use these tips, said Joe Stewart, director of malware research at SecureWorks. “We’re letting them (the scammers) give us all the information about themselves,” he said.

The email scheme SecureWorks dealt with involved a fraudster impersonating a CEO in what’s called a business email spoofing attack. The goal is often to trick a victim into wiring funds to the scammer’s bank account.

Although a business can train its employees to learn how to spot these suspicious emails, that won’t necessarily stop the attack, especially since it’s easy for anyone to continually bombard a victim with emails, SecureWorks said.

Instead, a business’ IT security staff can actually fight back and disrupt the scammer’s operations. They can do this, by first replying to an email scam and pretending to act like a gullible victim.

This was how SecureWorks managed to eventually identify an email scammer from Nigeria that targeted a U.S. technology company back in November. SecureWorks was brought in to investigate and decided to fool the fraudster into thinking his scheme had worked.

The scammer had tried to trick the U.S. technology firm into wiring funds to a bank account by impersonating its CEO. SecureWorks pretended to comply, which caused the scammer to turn greedy.

“He started asking for $18,000,” said James Bettke, a SecureWorks researcher. “And then after that, he said, ‘Oh that’s a typo. It’s a $118,000.’”

screen shot 2017 02 14 at 10.23.39 pmSecureWorks
One of the emails sent by the scammer.

To try and identify the scammer, SecureWorks decided to email back a PDF-based receipt, indicating the wire transfer had been complete. In reality, the receipt was a decoy that when clicked on, sent off the recipient’s IP address and other web browser information.

The researchers found that their scammer was using an internet service provider in Lagos, Nigeria and was viewing the receipt on an iPhone.

SecureWorks continued to play a gullible victim, by claiming the wire transfer had failed. That forced the scammer to hand over details to other bank accounts. The researchers then took that information and notified the responsible bank that these accounts were being used for fraud, shutting them down.

To find out more about the scammer, the researchers sent another decoy receipt of a wire transfer that forced the recipient to enter a legitimate mobile phone number to view the form.

The scammer fell for the ruse. Using Facebook, the researchers found that the entered phone number was tied to a user named “Seun,” which the researchers believe is a real account.

“We know who he is,” Stewart said. “We could report him to the EFCC (The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Nigeria). But he didn’t get away with any money.”

So instead, SecureWorks is publicizing information about the fraudster’s scams, including the email addresses he used.

FreeSync gets luxurious with Acer’s 37.5-inch curved, ultrawide gaming monitor

Even though Nvidia explicitly pitches its G-Sync monitors as premium accessories, the GeForce crew doesn’t hold an iron grip over luxurious variable refresh rate displays. This week, Acer revealed a swanky ultrawide display with AMD FreeSync support and an astoundingly bad name.acer xr382cqk monitor

The Acer XR382CQK’s 37.5-inch screen boasts a 3440×1600-pixel resolution and a gentle 2,300R curve. Combine those with the stutter-killing FreeSync tech and a 21:9 aspect ratio and you’re looking at a screen that screams “immersion” on paper. The display’s rocking a 5 millisecond response time—not great, but definitely not bad—and 75Hz refresh speeds that you’ll probably have trouble hitting in-game unless you’ve got one hell of a rig. That resolution’s no joke.

Somewhat surprisingly, the XR382CQK isn’t part of Acer’s dedicated Predator gaming lineup. Acer probably did that for design flexibility; while Predator gear features aggressive black and red aesthetics, the slim and silver XR382CQK utilizes a “ZeroFrame” design with smaller bezels to (you guessed it) increase immersion even more.

Acer’s premium FreeSync monitor also supports picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture modes that let you watch input from two sources simultaneously, a nifty touch that takes advantage of the XR382CQK’s size.

acer xr382cqk monitor 2

Other features include preset “GameView” display profiles, wide 178-degree viewing angles, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.2, USB-C, and a four-port USB 3.0 hub for connecting your gaming accessories. The display also packs a pair of 7 watt speakers bolstered by DTS Sound, but if you’re already dropping $1,300 on a gaming monitor, you’d be much better off investing in a nice speaker system or pair of headphones to go with it.

: While FreeSync’s openness has proven to be a major win for AMD in modestly priced monitors, we’re starting to see the high-end fill out, too. At CES 2017 Samsung announced several ultrawide, curved FreeSync monitors of its own, the highlight being the CF791, which looks downright stunning in real life.

Samsung’s 34-inch, 3440×1400 display is a wee bit smaller than Acer’s XR382CQK, but it compensates for that with the inclusion of cutting-edge Quantum Dot technology, a more aggressive 1,500R curvature, and a much lower price tag of $950. Decisions, decisions.