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July 27, 2015
The scary news last week was that a couple of guys demonstrated they could hack into a Jeep and take control of it. Later, more details came out that suggested you might want to avoid Chrysler cars altogether. The industry appears to be waiting for the first major catastrophic accident before putting resources into fixing this problem at the proper level. They are slowly forming industry groups to look at it -- but at the current rate, their fix will come long after a lot of us are dead. [More...]

July 25, 2015
dell-latitude-rugged-12-tablet
Dell's Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet is designed for people who work in the field, for the military and explorers, for industrial work and first responders. This system can handle some harsh conditions, including temperatures between -20 and 145 degrees and drops from more than four feet, as well as spills, mud, dirt and sand. It boasts an 11.6-inch screen and fifth-generation Intel Core CPUs. [More...]

July 25, 2015
The Linux Foundation this week announced the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a consortium dedicated to the development and adoption of common container technologies. CNCF aims to make it easier for businesses to deploy containerized cloud applications oriented to microservices. Open source container-packaged applications are easier to create, manage and deploy, said tech analyst Rob Enderle. [More...]

July 24, 2015
breakthrough-initiatives-listen-search-extraterrestrial-intelligent-life-hawking
Space fever seems to be catching on. Stephen Hawking and a group of other high-profile space scientists joined with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner this week to announce a new $100 million effort to search for intelligent alien life. The funding will go to the Breakthrough Initiatives' Breakthrough Listen program. Breakthrough Initiatives is a 10-year multidisciplinary effort. [More...]

July 24, 2015
twitch-game-streaming-adobe-flash-html5
Game-streaming service Twitch on Thursday joined Apple and other tech companies in swearing off its dependence on Adobe's Flash. The move away from Flash will happen in stages, but Twitch has promised its community that the gradual rollout will advance at a steady pace. Twitch began the transition to the more secure HTML5 and JavaScript by hybridizing its streaming video player. [More...]

July 23, 2015
chrysler-jeep-cherokee-uconnect-hack
White-hat hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek remotely took over a Jeep Cherokee, ran its controls, then cut the transmission as it sped at 70 mph along Interstate 64 in an experiment conducted with Wired. They turned on the air conditioning, switched radio channels, turned on the windshield wipers, activated the windshield washer fluid pump, and transmitted a photo of themselves. [More...]

July 23, 2015
The resignation of U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta is drawing mixed reactions from the cybersecurity community. Archuleta's departure on July 10, in the wake of a massive data breach resulting in the theft of the personal information of more than 22 million people, is being characterized by security pros as everything from "necessary" to "unfair." [More...]

July 22, 2015
commodore-pet-android-smartphone
Yet another Android smartphone has hit the market -- but what's surprising is that it comes from Commodore. The Commodore PET smartphone is from Commodore Business Machines, a UK-based firm that has acquired the brand and trademark. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, and has a 5.5-inch full HD 1920 x 1080 display. Two preinstalled emulators let owners play games written for old-school Commodore PCs. [More...]

July 22, 2015
The Solus Project is a rebranded and rereleased Linux distro trying to regain its former popularity. In a field of Linux distributions cluttered with look-alike offerings, Solus brings something simple and something new. Solus has impressive potential for being uncomplicated and different. Based in the UK, the Solus Project is the latest iteration of SolusOS, which morphed into Evolve OS. [More...]

July 21, 2015
street-fighter-v-necalli
Capcom has introduced a new character for its upcoming Street Fighter V, as it continued a reveal that promises a more connected, less confusing experience for players of the next installment in the decades-old series. Whether in a dark alley or a sunny park, any encounter with Necalli would trigger the run-and-hide side of the fight or flight response. [More...]

July 21, 2015
ashley-madison-hack-impact-group
About 40 million swingers and sexual sophisticates have been whimpering in fear since hearing Sunday's news that hackers broke into the servers of Avid Life Media, the parent company of online cheating site Ashley Madison. The hackers reportedly stole large caches of personal data after breaking into the servers hosting Ashley Madison and related sites Cougar Life and Established Men. [More...]

July 20, 2015
Ford Motor Company has developed a new lighting system that can illuminate hazards on the road -- even those that are not in the direct line of travel of the vehicle -- better than conventional headlights. Ford on Friday unveiled a new lighting system that can widen the beam from headlines at junctions and roundabouts, and help draw the driver's attention to objects in or near the car's path. [More...]

July 20, 2015
angry-birds
Six years and more than a dozen spinoffs after Angry Birds first took flight, the game finally will receive a proper sequel on July 30, Rovio announced last week. The details are scant, but Angry Birds 2 apparently will be "bigger, badder and birdier," going by a tweet from Rovio. It's likely that Angry Birds 2 will launch on both Android and iOS. [More...]

July 20, 2015
snowden-nsa
An old fable keeps running through my mind about the scam artist who convinced an emperor that he had created clothing only smart people could see. Everyone says they see the clothing because they don't want to look stupid. Walking around in clothing stupid people can't see doesn't sound enticing anyway, but lately it has seemed clear to me that the folks reporting the news think we are idiots. [More...]

July 18, 2015
marshall-london-android-smartphone
Marshall, best known for its guitar amplifiers and headphones, is moving into the smartphone market. Its first device, London, has dual front-facing speakers and a pair of audio outputs, making it easy to share what you're listening to with a friend who's also wearing headphones, assuming you're in a setting where you don't have the option of playing the audio over speakers. [More...]

July 17, 2015
new-horizons-pluto-images-nasa
Photos transmitted from 4 billion miles away by NASA's New Horizons Pluto space probe have sparked fresh interest in space exploration. New Horizons traveled more than 3 billion miles over a nine-and-a-half year stretch to reach the Pluto system. A close-up image of a region near Pluto's equator shows mountains reaching 11,000 feet in height. The lack of craters suggests they're relatively new. [More...]

July 16, 2015
Swipes, taps, cursor movements and other ways of interacting with electronic devices can be used to protect online merchants from Net fraudsters. Many people are familiar with biometric authenticators like irises, fingerprints and voices, but it turns out that how we behave with our machines, including typing speed and the use of keyboard shortcuts, can authenticate our identities, too. [More...]

July 15, 2015
social-networks-news
One reason getting news on social networks is on the rise may be that the nets are putting more news before users' eyes. Facebook earlier this year launched Instant Articles, a service that allows media companies to publish stories directly to the Facebook platform instead of linking to outside sites. "For mobile, it makes the experience a lot smoother," said Gartner analyst Brian Blau. [More...]

July 15, 2015
Three new vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player have been reported over the past two weeks, triggering a storm of protest and leading Mozilla and Google to ban the plug-in from their Firefox and Chrome browsers. "It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day," Facebook CSO Alex Stamos tweeted Sunday. [More...]

July 15, 2015
Google Photos
Uninstalling Google's Photos app doesn't turn off backup sync, meaning photos taken with Android devices could be saved to the company's cloud storage, even if the user doesn't intend to store them there, Google acknowledged on Tuesday. The issue came to light last week, when a BizJournals editor reported finding hundreds of family photos he had deleted from his phone stored in Google Photos. [More...]

July 14, 2015
nintendo-president-satoru-iwata
After more than a decade of shaping fan-forward Nintendo philosophies, President Satoru Iwata died Saturday at 55. Iwata had been struggling with cancer for about a year. The one-time programmer and long-time video game enthusiast worked his way through the Nintendo ranks. He succeeded Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2002, becoming the first Nintendo president who wasn't a member of the Yamauchi family. [More...]

July 14, 2015
android-wear
It's rumored that the next version of Android Wear, reportedly scheduled for release in August, will bring tap gestures and watch-to-watch communications. The update initially was scheduled for launch on July 28th. "For now, these features simply bring parity between Android Wear and watchOS," said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani, but neither platform "offers a compelling use case" as yet. [More...]

July 13, 2015
The haters have won at Reddit, forcing the ouster of interim CEO Ellen Pao and her replacement by cofounder Steve Huffman. Board member Sam Altman, who led a $50 million investment round in the firm, on Saturday announced Pao's resignation and Huffman's appointment, lashing out at the campaign against Pao. It was "sickening" to see some of the things Redditors wrote about Pao, he said. [More...]

July 13, 2015
linux-mangaka-anime-manga
Mangaka is a not-so-traditional Linux distro with a gorgeous look. After gaining some traction among fans of the manga and anime communities, Mangaka fell dormant in December 2009. Developer Animesoft International regrouped, and the latest Release Candidate version came out on June 20. The Mangaka Project -- the name means "love" in Japanese -- started out with the code name of "AngelOS." [More...]

July 13, 2015
My wife and I just completed a move from California to Oregon, and it was far less painful than it could have been, thanks to technology. It used to be incredibly painful to move. While a lot of the pain is still there, technology has advanced a lot since we last moved -- about 18 years ago -- and at least some parts of the process now are far easier. [More...]

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Do video cameras make the world safer?
Yes - People exercise more restraint because of them.
No - We just get to see more horrible things happen.
Maybe - They might deter some kinds of crime.