Friday, August 25, 2017

Samsung's Note8 Is Its Biggest Galaxy Phone Yet

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its Galaxy Note8 smartphone, positioning the oversized handset as the ideal choice for those who want to do bigger things. The new Android-powered device's larger Infinity Display features nearly bezel-less full-frontal glass and an edge-to-edge screen.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Merged VR: Augmented Reality Cubed

There is considerable development activity at the high end of hardware and content creation for virtual reality and augmented reality, as well as such AR aliases as mixed reality, extended reality and others.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Facebook Takes Another Stab at Neutralizing Fake News

Stung by charges that it allowed fake news stories to proliferate during the 2016 election cycle, Facebook on Thursday began rolling out broadly a feature meant to regain the trust of its members. The tool effectively will surround questionable stories with related news stories offering different perspectives -- a strategy intended to help readers discern where the truth lies.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Amazon's Secret 1492 Health Team Sets Sail

A secret Amazon team, dubbed "1492," has been working on a skunkworks project devoted entirely to healthcare, CNBC reported Thursday. The unit has been developing hardware devices and software applications related to electronic medical records, telemedicine and other health-related issues.
The "1492" moniker refers to the year that Christopher Columbus made his voyage to the Americas, but perhaps the Amazon team missed the irony that Columbus actually did not realize he had "discovered" a new continent and thought he was somewhere else.

Friday, July 28, 2017

SparkyLinux 5: Great All-Purpose Distro for Confident Linux Users

When I first reviewed the Game Over edition ofSparkyLinux several years ago, I called it one of the best full-service Linux distros catering to game players you could find. That assessment extends to last month's release of the non-gaming edition of this distro.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Cortana Makes Smart Thermostat a Glas Act

Microsoft and Johnson Controls this week unveiled Glas, a smart thermostat that runs on Microsoft's Windows 10 IoT Core, a special operating system designed specifically for smaller devices. Glas also utilizes Microsoft's smart voice assistant Cortana and its Azure Cloud to help users save energy while monitoring air quality in the home.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is WhatsApp being censored in China?

Users of the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp have reported disruptions in China, prompting censorship claims.
Many reported that voice messaging and pictures wouldn't send without a virtual private network (VPN) to circumvent China's censorship filters.
The seemed to be working normally on Wednesday morning, but there have been more interruptions since then.
The disruptions come as China clamps down on online platforms.

What was the disruption?

Users began noticing over the weekend that WhatsApp wouldn't send pictures, voice messages and video, although text messages continued to work normally.
The Chinese government hasn't said if it's blocking WhatsApp.
The messaging service hasn't commented either, nor has it told its users there's a technical fault.
The BBC's Beijing bureau has been testing the app every few hours, and while all functions were working normally without a VPN on Wednesday morning, there have seemingly been more interruptions since then.
In its most recent internet censorship report, the free speech advocacy group Freedom House said WhatsApp was blocked in 12 countries, which is more than any other messaging app.

Why would China block WhatsApp?

China is increasing its censorship of online commentary it perceives as politically sensitive, and it's using increasingly sophisticated methods to achieve that goal.
The government is expected to tighten restrictions ahead of the next communist party congress, where President Xi Jinping is tipped to cement his leadership position.
Recently, it blocked social media posts and even private messages and group chats about the death of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

How extensive is online censorship in China?

The government already blocks social media sites and apps, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Search engines like Google are blocked, and access to many foreign media outlets, including the BBC, is restricted.
Other encrypted messaging apps, such as Telegram, are also blocked in China.
The government has also pledged to clamp down on users who try to get around the restrictions, by tightening regulations on VPNs.

How popular is WhatsApp in China?

WhatsApp has more than a billion monthly active users globally, as does Facebook's native messenger.
In China, though, WhatsApp is far less popular than local competitors like WeChat, which has over half a billion monthly active users.
The Chinese apps are unencrypted and subject to censorship.
The censorship of search engines, social media and other online services has worked to the benefit Chinese businesses like Tencent, Alibaba and WeChat , who have created their own successful brands with limited foreign competition.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Gadget Ogling: Show and Tell, Fidget Folly, and Connected Nightlights

Welcome to the latest edition of Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that's finally recovered from the North American national holiday cookouts to pore over gadget announcements of note.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard Shows Which Bits Are Boss

If you've ever been curious enough to look through your system's root directory ("/"), you may have found yourself a little overwhelmed. Most of the three-letter directory names don't tell you much about what they do, and if you ever needed to make important modifications, it would be tough to know where to look.
I'd like to take those of you who haven't ventured much into your root directory on a brief tour.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Trustify President Jennifer Mellon: Diversity Is Good Business

Jennifer Mellon is cofounder and president of Trustify.
In this exclusive interview, Mellon discusses with TechNewsWorld the risks and rewards that come with democratizing, diversifying and unplugging.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Google Gives Up Scanning Personal Gmail

Google recently announced the end of its policy of scanning user emails for targeted advertising purposes -- a controversial practice that riled privacy advocates and spurred legal challenges.
Gmail is the world's most widely used email provider, with more than 1.2 billion users.

Friday, June 30, 2017

At 10, the World-Changing iPhone Is Kind of the Same

Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of its iconic iPhone on Thursday. Since former CEO Steve Jobs debuted the original device, the company has gone on to sell more than a billion handsets worldwide, and the iPhone has become one of the most successful product categories in the electronics industry.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Microsoft Expands Linux Container Support in Windows Server

Microsoft has decided to expand its support for Linux containers in the next release of Windows Server.
Linux containers and workloads will work natively on Windows Server, said Erin Chapple, general manager for the server operating system, in an online post last week.
The company also will extend Window Server's Hyper-V isolation capability, which was introduced in the 2016 release of the operating system.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Nintendo's New Lineup Electrifies E3

Nintendo previewed an impressive lineup of gaming content at E3 2017 this week, by many accounts. Its collection of new titles and targeted versions of some of the industry's hottest third-party content seemed to validate surprisingly strong sales of the Nintendo Switch console.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Xbox One X: More Speed, More Muscle

Microsoft earlier this week announced the next version of its Xbox line of gaming consoles, ahead of E3 2017, now ongoing in Los Angeles.
The new Xbox One X, which goes on sale Nov. 7 for US$499, is slimmer than previous models and packed with power.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New Stem Cell Treatment Offers Dramatic Burn-Healing Potential

A med-tech startup has developed a fast and easy way to treat certain burn wounds with stem cells.
RenovaCare harvests a variety of cells, including stem cells, from a healthy area of skin on a patient. Those cells are then suspended in a water-based solution, which is loaded into the company's SkinGun and sprayed onto the wound.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017

E3 2017: Enhancements, Expectations and Perhaps Excitement

ll of the major video game developers, publishers and console hardware makers, as well as many retail buyers and the gaming press, will descend on Los Angeles for E3 2017 next week. The annual event -- a showcase for computer, video and mobile games and related products -- will kick off officially on Tuesday and run through Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. However, it actually will begin on Monday with press briefings from Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda, Electronic Arts and Ubisoft.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Apple's iOS 11 Makes Siri a More Natural Woman... and Man

New voices for Siri and peer-to-peer payments are among the new features in the next version of Apple's mobile device operating system iOS 11, previewed at the company's annual Worldwide Development Conference on Monday.
"With the new operating system, Apple has doubled down on many of the applications it has developed for iOS," said Ross Rubin, the principal analyst at Reticle Research.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Plex Advances Cord-Cutting Case With Live OTA TV

Video streaming service Plex on Thursday announced the availability of a beta version of its Plex Live TV. The live-TV streaming launch follows last year's introduction of the Plex DVR, which provides users with free over-the-air access to 86 of Nielsen's 100 most watched shows in the United States.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Android Creator Launches a Phone of His Own

Essential, a company founded by Andy Rubin, the "father of Android," on Tuesday pulled off the wraps on a new high-end smartphone.
The Essential Phone, priced at US$699, includes radios for connecting to all major U.S. carriers.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Kaspersky to US: Check Our Source Code

Cybersecurity expert Eugene Kaspersky has volunteered to turn over his company's software source code to allay fears about possible ties with the Russian government, The Australian reported last week. Kaspersky made the offer public at CeBIT Australia.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Getting Serious About Teen Smartphone Addiction

Parents don't need a poll to tell them their teenagers are addicted to smartphones. After all, smartphones are a permanent fixture rather than accessories on the visages of kids of all ages these days.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Report: Cybersecurity Dangerously Lax at Mar-a-Lago

Internet security at Mar-a-Lago -- the private club President Trump owns and has dubbed the "Southern White House" -- is weak, ProPublica and Gizmodo reported Wednesday, based on their recent joint investigation.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Nintendo Readies Mario for E3 Spotlight

Nintendo will provide numerous activities and spotlight its in-development titles at next month's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. However, it once again has decided not to host a traditional press event, despite the fact that Nintendo was one of the first companies to establish the tradition of holding a pre-show briefing for institutional investors, analysts and the media.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Nvidia Embraces Deep Neural Nets With Volta

At this year's GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia's premier conference for technical computing with graphic processors, the company reserved the top keynote for its CEO Jensen Huang. Over the years, the GTC conference went from a segment in a larger, mostly gaming-oriented and somewhat scattershot conference called "nVision" to become one of the key conferences that mixes academic and commercial high-performance computing.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The IoT's Scramble to Combat Botnets

With shadowy botnet armies lurking around the globe and vigilante gray-hat actors inoculating susceptible devices, the appetite for Internet of Things security is stronger than ever.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Amazon Adds Show to Echo's Tell

Echo isn't just for sound anymore.
Amazon on Tuesday announced Echo Show, a new version of its popular smart speaker that comes with a 7-inch color touchscreen, 5-inch front-facing camera and dual 2-inch Dolby speakers.
The unit is priced at US$230 -- or two for $330 -- and will start shipping June 28.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Flaw in Intel Chips Could Open Door to Botnet Armies

7-year-old flaw in Intel chips could enable hijackers to gain total control of business computers and use them for malicious purposes.
The Intel AMT (active management technology) vulnerability is the first of its kind, according to Embedi, which released technical details about it last week.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

BlackBerry KEYone's Success Hinges on Physical Keyboard Longing

he first reviews of the new KEYone BlackBerry handset appeared this week, and the early consensus is that this device will appeal to BlackBerry fans who want its familiar physical QWERTY keyboard coupled with the functionality of Google's Android operating system.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Apple May Be Prepping Siri for Smart Home Duty

Odds appear good that Apple will be joining Amazon and Google in the smart speaker competition with a Siri-powered device it plans to introduce at its World Wide Developers Conference next month, according to MacRumors, which cited a report by Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What People Don't Get About Tesla

Tesla is like Apple in that it represents a revolution in thinking. Although everyone seems to focus on the electric power plant, that is really a small part of the Tesla revolution, and I'm convinced that if Musk were to launch an almost-identical company but with gas engines, it would cut through the market like a hot knife through butter. In terms of volume, the electric part isn't as much a sales accelerant as it is an impediment.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Internet Giants Ramp Up Fake News Defenses

Three high-profile Internet brands this week announced initiatives to combat "fake news" online.
Google on Tuesday revealed that it had tweaked its search processes to help bring high-quality content to the top of search result pages.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The iPhone Model's Impending Obsolescence

It is easy to look back on technology changes and see that we had plenty of warnings that we clearly missed at the time. VCRs gave way to DVD players, which in turn have given way to streaming services. Brick cellphones evolved into flip phones, which were swapped out for two-way pager phones and then wiped out by the iPhone model. Tape players gave way to the Walkman CD player, which gave way to the iPod, which also ended up in the iPhone model.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Facebook's Latest Moon Shot: I Think, Therefore I Type

Facebook on Wednesday told its F8 conference audience about two new cutting-edge projects that could change the way humans engage with devices.
Over the next two years, the company will work on a new technology that will allow anyone to type around 100 words per minute -- not with fingers, but using a process that would decode neural activity devoted to speech.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Why VR Is Failing

As a market, we seem to have trouble learning that three key elements are necessary for a new technology to take hold: It has to appear complete, it has to be compelling, and it has to seem like a value (be affordable). Compared to what we have today, the car that opened up the automotive market in the U.S. was none of those things -- yet it was incredibly successful.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Microsoft Shutters CodePlex, Will Migrate Projects to GitHub

In a move that caps off its gradual embrace of open source in a bear hug, Microsoft last week announced that it would shutter its nearly 11-year-old CodePlex project site and migrate its library of work to GitHub.

Monday, April 3, 2017

EquiSeq CEO Lexi Palmer: Act Like You're Not Scared and Go at It

Lexi Palmer is CEO of EquiSeq, a biotech firm that does genetic testing of horses.
Palmer was brought on as CEO by the company's founder, genetic researcher Paul Szauter, in 2015.
EquiSeq, which tests horses for genetic diseases, is developing an equine genome database.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Online Freedom of Speech May Be in Peril: Pew

Negative interactions on the Web -- trolling, cyberbullying, harassment and just plain nastiness -- have become commonplace, and this situation is likely to remain unchanged or worsen over the next decade, suggests a report the Pew Research Center released Wednesday.
Pew and Elon University last summer polled more than 1,500 technology experts, academics, and business and government leaders on the future of free speech online.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Galaxy S8, S8+ Dazzle in Samsung's Comeback Launch

Samsung on Wednesday launched the Galaxy S8 and S8+, its next generation of smartphones. They feature major improvements in design and security processing power, as well as new digital assistant technology that may challenge the best devices on the market.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Too Much Communication

The world is a smaller place because we have so many ways to connect and communicate, but it has created a generation gap, a gap of classes and perhaps even a culture gap.
This may seem like a serious contradiction; after all shouldn't more means of communication bring us closer together?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Why Tech Can't Help Donald Trump and Most CEOs

Watching the new president, I'm struck by the fact that he is making almost the identical mistake President Obama made during his first two years. Trump has picked a major entitlement to hang his hat on -- the same major entitlement, healthcare -- and shortly will discover what most CIOs know: You don't mess with anything that touches everybody.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Protecting web users’ privacy

Most website visits these days entail a database query to look up airline flights, for example, or to find the fastest driving route between two addresses.
But online database queries can reveal a surprising amount of information about the people making them. And some travel sites have been known to jack up the prices on flights whose routes are drawing an unusually high volume of queries.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

McDonald's Puts Mobile Ordering to the Test

McDonald's began testing new mobile ordering and payment functionality at 29 of its restaurants in Monterey and Salinas.
The company will run multiple pilots to gather customer feedback and streamline integration with its IT systems before rolling out its updated mobile app to nearly all 14,000 restaurants in the United States, as well as 6,000 others in Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and China.

Monday, March 20, 2017

What’s the Difference between a Mobile Website and an App?

People now a days are accessing the web through their mobiles and portable devices therefore all businesses are developing a mobile website, or what we call a responsive website (that opens well on all mobile devices) and/or they develop their own mobile applications.
In this article, we will discuss the difference between a mobile website and a mobile application, and which one to choose for your business.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pro-Turkey Hackers Hit Prominent Twitter Accounts

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Twitter users, many of them high-profile, were hacked Tuesday by someone who appeared to support Turkey in its diplomatic row with the Netherlands.
Their accounts displayed a Swastika -- reversed to face to the right -- as well as the Turkish flag and hashtags to the Nazialmanya and Nazihollanda accounts, which displayed comments on the attack.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gadget Ogling: Note-Taker Triumphs, Classic Nokia Returns, and Audio Thrills

Welcome to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that sometimes takes a break from figuring out why people are investing in an ephemeral content company losing half a billion dollars a year and suffering slowing user growth to pore over the latest gadget announcements.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Donald Trump Should Channel Steve Jobs on Security

We saw yet another government breach last week, and more secrets went out to WikiLeaks. I'm of a mixed mind on this one, because the CIA tools disclosed likely were emulated by others, and WikiLeaks is helping consumer technology companies ensure they no longer work.
I don't know about you, but I really don't want any organization spying on me -- not even my own government. Given how I often dress around the house, this is as much for their protection as my own.