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January 26, 2015
darpa-atlas-robot
Atlas will be entered into the DARPA Robotics Challenge in June. The challenge aims at developing robots for use in disaster response, and participants will face conditions simulating a real disaster, such as degraded communications. "It isn't unusual to lose more lives after a disaster because of some problem with the rescue than were at risk in the first place," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. [More...]

January 26, 2015
windows-10
In companies filled with engineers, products tend to become science projects more than things for real people. Folks do things because they can -- because they want to see what will happen or simply because they want to showcase they have the authority. Satya Nadella's Microsoft is a very different company, though. People are working together again, and the product looks amazing as a result. [More...]

January 24, 2015
microsoft-hololens
Microsoft's HoloLens seems at once fantastical and feasible. It's a shame it looks like a motorcycle visor, since that will limit how many people will use it outside of their homes and offices, but at least it's far less obnoxious than Google Glass. I'll be especially eager to try it out once Xbox One starts using the technology in games. I'm all in, Microsoft. [More...]

January 23, 2015
ford-motor-research-development-silicon-valley
Its new Palo Alto research center "shows Ford's commitment to be part of the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem -- anticipating customers' wants and needs, especially on connectivity, mobility and autonomous vehicles," said CEO Mark Fields. "We are working to make these new technologies accessible to everyone, not just luxury customers." Fields is pictured here speaking at CES earlier this year. [More...]

January 23, 2015
The developmental path and sketchy developer website may cast an unfavorable impression about Zenwalk's trustworthiness as a serious computing platform. The ho-hum impression when first running the live edition does little to encourage users to take this Linux OS for a stroll. Zenwalk Linux becomes a bit more impressive once you get beyond the awkward first-time experience. [More...]

January 23, 2015
windows-10
Microsoft wants Windows 10 to be its most-loved OS release, and it appears to be off and running. Making it a free upgrade, for starters, is one way to curry favor. Windows 10 "will be our best enterprise platform ever, simplifying management and deployment for IT and working seamlessly with existing enterprise applications," said Terry Myerson, EVP of Microsoft's Operating Systems Group. [More...]

January 22, 2015
crash-override-zoe-quinn
Zoe Quinn -- the first target of #Gamergate's relentlessly brutal, obscene and murderous threats against women in gaming -- is fighting back with a new online community, Crash Override. The network is a safe haven for victims of cyberbullying, harassment and stalking, providing them with a means to relate their stories, as well as to seek help from a group of sympathetic professionals. [More...]

January 22, 2015
acer-chromebook
Chromebooks have found a home in the classroom, thanks to their low cost, multiple user-friendly features, and construction that can take some hard knocks. Acer's latest models, the Chromebook C910 (pictured here) and the Chromebook C740, are integrated with Google Docs, the company's free or low-fee productivity apps. Documents are automatically stored in Google's cloud. [More...]

January 22, 2015
The most important and daring move that Microsoft made Wednesday is far and away making the upgrade to Windows 10 free. Seems dirt-simple and intuitive on the surface, but it represents a startling and abrupt shift in both how users will relate to Microsoft and how Microsoft innovates with Windows going forward. I'm an unabashed Apple fan -- but I can appreciate a smart move when I see one. [More...]

January 21, 2015
microsoft-windows-10-holographic-hololens
Microsoft pulled out all the stops for its Windows 10 event, thrilling the tech world with a surprise demonstration of Windows Holographic and the Microsoft HoloLens. "This is truly a game changer," said tech analyst Rob Enderle. "When you can alter what people see in real-time, and allow them to interact with and render in 3D their creations, you fundamentally change the way we compute." [More...]

January 21, 2015
Canonical on Tuesday unveiled Snappy Ubuntu Core, a new rendition of Ubuntu targeting the Internet of Things. Snappy Ubuntu Core offers a minimal server image with the same libraries as "traditional" Ubuntu, but Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core can be upgraded automatically and rolled back if necessary. Snappy runs on any device with an ARMv7 or Intel x86 processor and at least 256 MB of RAM. [More...]

January 21, 2015
Verizon last week unveiled a new connected-vehicle service at the Detroit auto show. Verizon Vehicle, which will go live this spring, will be compatible with nearly every vehicle made since 1996. It will be available directly to consumers regardless of their mobile carrier. Designed to enhance driver safety, Verizon Vehicle will provide diagnostic technology and live assistance with GPS accuracy. [More...]

January 21, 2015
Businesses spend an average of $1.27 million a year chasing cyberthreats that turn out to be dead ends. That is one of the findings in a report released last week on the cost of containing malware. In a typical week, an organization can receive nearly 17,000 malware alerts, although only 19 percent of them are considered reliable, the researchers found. [More...]

January 20, 2015
sid-meier's-starships
Sid Meier's Starships takes the concept of his popular Civilization series into outer space -- an ideal setting for epic gameplay. "Turn-based strategy games aren't a super-hot genre, but it is a great genre," noted gaming analyst Billy Pidgeon. "A hit strategy game requires imagination and creativity, and this game sounds like it has all that and more." [More...]

January 20, 2015
The past week has afforded plenty of fodder for conversation here in the Linux blogosphere: the MintBox Mini; the Steam for Linux file-deletion bug; and the latest in the Systemd saga, for example. However, this week seems like a good time to revisit some classic gems from days gone by -- particularly the sweet spot that can be found at the intersection of Linux and Love. [More...]

January 20, 2015
Google's recent publication of Windows' vulnerabilities -- two within a week -- predictably raised Microsoft's ire. "Risk is significantly increased by publically announcing information that a cybercriminal could use to orchestrate an attack and assumes those that would take action are made aware of the issue," wrote Chris Betz, Microsoft's senior director of trustworthy computing. [More...]

January 19, 2015
sony-hack-north-korea-interview
The U.S. was miffed enough by North Korea's cyberattack on Sony -- retaliation for making The Interview, a dumb comedy mocking Kim Jong-Un -- to make public accusations and impose a number of sanctions. However, the U.S. apparently didn't feel strongly enough about it to alert Sony to a possible impending disaster, even though the NSA had burrowed deep into North Korean hacker networks. [More...]

January 19, 2015
lightroom-android
Adobe has plugged a big hole in its mobile line with Lightroom for Android. Covering both iOS and Android leaves little mobile turf unclaimed. "In reality, they are the only two necessary mobile platforms for any one app vendor to support. Windows and the rest are good to have, but most app developers choose iOS first and then add Android later," said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. [More...]

January 19, 2015
honda-fuel-cell-vehicle-concept
There's been a lot of buzz about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles at the Detroit auto show this year. "The Asian OEMs, including Honda, Toyota and Hyundai, seemed mightily interested in fuel cell vehicles -- well demonstrated by how their concepts would work -- [but] it is still a 'wait and watch' approach for the market," said Frost & Sullivan analyst Vishwas Shankar. [More...]

January 19, 2015
I was at IBM's z13 mainframe launch last week, and it brought back a lot of memories, because I was at IBM when the era of the mainframe collapsed. I also happened to be covering Apple when the era of the Mac collapsed, following the launch of Windows 95, and I have watched both companies recover -- largely by rediscovering what made them great in the first place. [More...]

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