TECH NEWS

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October 16, 2017
hp-dell-future-partners
Technology companies tend to have very fickle relationships. For instance, Microsoft helped launch Apple, worked to kill the company, provided money to save it, and then got its butt kicked by it. Dell first partnered with EMC, then competed with it, then bought it -- and the CEOs remained friends throughout. Dell and HP have had a rather interesting relationship as well. [More...]

October 13, 2017
social-media-threat-democracy
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube may pose a threat to American democracy, suggests a new report from The Omidyar Group. The report follows recent disclosures about targeted dark post advertising, fake news and other abuses propagated by Russian troll farms during the 2016 election. Among the questions the report raises is whether the U.S. government may need to step in. [More...]

October 12, 2017
google-home-mini
The first wave of reviews touting Google's Home Mini smart speaker surfaced this week, following reports that the company had to quash a top touch function to prevent the device from accidentally activating and recording conversations without users' knowledge. Google has promised to update the device by Oct. 15. The Home Mini can provide reports on weather, traffic, news, sports and more. [More...]

October 12, 2017
amazon-kindle-oasis-e-reader
Amazon on Wednesday pulled the wraps off a new premium e-reader that's waterproof and has a sharp 300 pixels-per-inch display. The Kindle Oasis has a 7-inch Paperwhite display and sports an aluminum back and ergonomic shape that makes it easier to read for prolonged periods. It has a battery life measured in weeks, and it can charge from zero to full power in two hours. [More...]

October 11, 2017
Apple has made a retro version of iTunes available, 12.6.3, reviving features removed by the mammoth 12.7 overhaul it released last month. News of the release surfaced Monday in a post on Reddit by user vista980622. Apple was low key about the release, saying in an online post dated Sept. 23 that the retro version was for business partners who needed iTunes to mass deploy apps on iOS devices. [More...]

October 11, 2017
women-technology
"I was always interested in analyzing the data," said LogicHub Chief Product Officer Monica Jain. "I was introduced to a company that was a pioneer in the market, and that's where my career in security started. I fell in love with security because it's all about finding and analyzing the data, and about crunching the data. That's how I started with security. I've never left it since then." [More...]

October 10, 2017
facebook-spaces
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday used virtual reality tech to "teleport" to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and soon was dubbed a "heartless billionaire" by critics who felt he had exploited the dire situation in the U.S. territory. That likely isn't what Zuckerberg intended when he provided the Facebook Spaces video demonstration. [More...]

October 9, 2017
What would it take to cause Apple to fail? While Steve Jobs was alive, the prevalent belief was that it would take his removal from the company. That has happened, but Apple's valuation and reserves are higher. Although the foundational element was removed, no one really went after Apple hard until last week, when Google launched a comprehensive strategy that clearly targeted the company. [More...]

October 7, 2017
russia-hacking
Russian hackers reportedly exploited a vulnerability in Kaspersky Lab's software to steal sensitive cyberdefense data from a National Security Agency contractor. The incident, which occurred in 2015, involved a contractor who loaded classified information onto his personal computer in order to work at home. The information included hacking tools and other sensitive NSA data. [More...]

GADGET DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES
Gadget Ogling: Same Old Apple
October 6, 2017
iphone-8-and-8-plus
Watching Apple's product announcement showcase is a bit like celebrating New Year's. People from all over the world are drawn to this annual event with the promise of something new and exciting, a vision of tomorrow and untold promise. Yet the more it comes around, the more disappointed we are. That promised kiss from a stranger at midnight is a dud. Our best intentions fall by the wayside. [More...]

October 6, 2017
linux-terminal
There is more to the shell than commands composed of alphanumeric characters. In addition to those familiar programs, there is a whole host of processing tools hiding behind the symbols of a standard keyboard. To say nothing of their incredible potency in combination, each one is so powerful on its own that it helps to take a methodical approach to get familiar with them. [More...]

October 5, 2017
made-by-google
Google on Wednesday launched a bevy of new products into its growing hardware and software ecosystem at its Made by Google event. Many of the new devices are infused with artificial intelligence capabilities. "Since last year and since Google I/O, we've been working hard, continuing our shift from a mobile-first to an AI-first world," Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the gathering. [More...]

October 5, 2017
hologram-nova-open-source-cellular-modem
Hologram on Thursday launched Nova, the first open source modem for cellular connectivity. Nova is a USB cellular modem purpose-built for Internet of Things development. Its Hologram software tools are compatible with most single board computers, such as Raspberry Pi. The Nova modem is open source and unlocked, so its use is not limited to Hologram's SIMs. [More...]

October 4, 2017
roku-ultra
Roku has introduced five new streaming media players designed to provide viewers with new and improved ways to connect to content. The five players range in price from $29.99 to $99.99, and offer a variety of features and functionality. The introductory-level Roku Express targets new cord cutters who want to stream TV content, or those who want to extend their Roku experience throughout the house. [More...]

October 4, 2017
linux-web-servers-security
RoboCyberWall has launched its proprietary precision firewall solution bearing the same name. RoboCyberWall is designed to protect HTTP and HTTPS ports on Linux-based Apache2 and NGINX Web servers. The patent-pending firewall blocks all known exploits and zero-day attacks on Apache2 and NGINX Web servers, according to the developer. The Linux server firewall solution targets small and mid-sized business users. [More...]

October 3, 2017
A refresh of Google's critically acclaimed Pixel smartphones is expected Wednesday when the company holds its annual product launch event at the SFJAZZ center in San Francisco. Although their features won't be known officially until Google raises the curtain on the phones at the event, leaks -- including photos -- have given the public a good idea of what's to come. [More...]

October 3, 2017
ios-11
Blowback over Apple's iOS 11 upgrade has been increasing, despite an update that was supposed to solve battery drainage issues and a large number of other glitches but apparently has not done the job. Apple officially launched iOS 11 on September 19, but problems quickly became apparent, prompting the company to roll out iOS 11.0.1 just a week later. [More...]

October 3, 2017
If you want to stretch your Linux desktop acumen from the Debian Linux lineage to Arch Linux, Archlabs might be a better choice than Parabola. Arch Linux is something of a black sheep when it comes to installing and configuring a Linux distribution. It presents a few more stumbling blocks than other Linux options, which could make it a less welcome alternative to some users. [More...]

October 2, 2017
Nvidia went to China last week and made a series of interesting announcements having to do with smart cities and autonomous cars. IBM made an announcement on advancements in tying the Weather Channel to its Watson artificial intelligence engine, and improvements in targeted marketing. We also found out about Oculus' Fall in Love VR project which is kind of like the The Bachelor. [More...]

September 29, 2017
nvidia-shield-tv
Nvidia on Thursday announced that its Shield TV now includes Google Assistant as part of its Shield Experience Upgrade 6.0 update. The update also lets the Shield device work as a SmartThings Hub when paired with a SmartThinks Link. The SmartThings Link, which can be used to connect Shield TV as a SmartThings Hub, will be released in the coming months with a promotional launch price of $14.99. [More...]

September 28, 2017
twitter-tweets
Twitter has announced a limited test to double the maximum tweet size to 280 characters. Twitter has been struggling to boost user engagement, and its tweet character limitation has been the subject of a longstanding debate among customers and company insiders. One reason for the possible change is to correct for the information imbalance between Asian and western language characters. [More...]

September 27, 2017
quantum-computing
Microsoft has been working on a language for a computer that doesn't exist. The company unveiled the language -- as yet unnamed -- at its Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida. Part of its Visual Studio product, it will run on a quantum simulator and quantum computer. "Quantum computing is the next phase in computing," said Jack E. Gold, principal analyst at J.Gold Associates. [More...]

September 26, 2017
sql-server-linux
Microsoft on Monday announced the general availability of SQL Server 2017, now with support for Linux, at its Ignite conference in Orlando. The company first announced its plans for the newest iteration of its database software a year and a half ago. This is the first version of SQL Server to run on Windows Server, Linux and Docker, noted Scott Guthrie, EVP, cloud and enterprise, at Microsoft. [More...]

September 25, 2017
xbox-one-x
Microsoft has learned a lot of very hard lessons over the last couple of decades, and it continues to surprise and annoy me that other firms seem to have the suicidal tendency to learn the same lessons the hard way. It is far better and cheaper to avoid the mistakes of others, but firms like Apple, Google and, most recently, Sony seem to want to experience past Microsoft disasters first hand. [More...]

September 23, 2017
marea-transatlantic-internet-cable
Microsoft on Friday announced completion of the Marea undersea cable, which stretches 4,400 miles between Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Bilbao, Spain. A joint project of Microsoft, Facebook and global telecommunication infrastructure company Telxius, the cable lies more than 17,000 feet below the ocean's surface. It is the first cable to link Virginia and Spain. [More...]

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