Entries with tag Skype.

Microsoft Launches Skype Translator

New technology that Microsoft is demonstrating translates phone calls in near-real time. Skype Translator builds on years of research by the company, which is showcasing the development version of its software that can translate between German and English. The demonstration at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, involved a Skype conversation between Skype corporate vice president Gurdeep Pall speaking in English and Microsoft employee  Diana Heinrichs, Microsoft communications manager for social enterprise and market strategy, speaking in German. The system translated the conversation through both speech – converting the language spoken into the listener’s target language, output -- and text, the latter appearing on the screen as subtitles might as the translated message audio plays. The technology will be available in beta later this year for Windows 8 users. Within two years, Microsoft hopes the application can translate conversations in real time across various languages. Microsoft plans to add several languages, including Chinese, to the system’s capabilities. (The Verge)(TIME)(PC Mag)(Microsoft Research)

Skype-Based Malware Forces Computers into Bitcoin Mining

Newly discovered malware spreading via Skype is transforming infected computers into Bitcoin-mining machines. Bitcoin mining is a legitimate process in which an individual or pool of individuals exchanges time on their computer for processing Bitcoin transactions, such as certifying a transaction by finding a sequence of numbers, for Bitcoin. The malware is spreading via e-mail messages with a malicious link attached. Researchers from security vendor Kaspersky Lab say this bad link has been accessed more than 2,000 times every hour. Infected machines perform a computational task that triggers the release of Bitcoin in exchange for its completion and generate Bitcoin currency for the hacker. The more machines that do this, the more quickly the Bitcoins add up. Kaspersky researcher Dmitry Bestuzhev said he discovered most victims are located in Italy, with others in countries such as Russia, Poland, Costa Rica, and Spain. The network appears to be sending information to a command-and-control computer in Germany. The value of the virtual currency has doubled in a week, reaching $200 per Bitcoin for the first time earlier today. Reportedly, $2.3 billion in Bitcoin currency is in circulation. (BBC)(Mashable)(TechCrunch)(Kaspersky Lab Securelist)

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