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Monday - March 23, 2015
ftc-google-antitrust
Leaders today, to be effective, have to understand technology in order to comprehend how problems are identified and fixed, and to understand how security actually works. Obama doesn't get any of that, which likely explains why the government seems to be such a mess at the moment. Hopefully, the next president will not just create a technology image, but actually understand how it works. [More...]

Saturday - March 21, 2015
plen2-robot-3d-printed-humanoid
PLEN2 is simply adorable. A robot to seemingly fix all the world's problems, if its Kickstarter project is anything to believe, PLEN2 is possibly the most joyous humanoid machine I've seen in years. Maybe I'm swayed a little by the infectious theme song in the pitch video. The idea is to sell the basic robot and let customers get creative using open source tools and 3D-printed parts. [More...]

Friday - March 20, 2015
mars-one-mission-joseph-roche
Mars One, a Dutch nonprofit organization aiming to land the first humans on Mars and establish a space colony by 2025, appears to have run into trouble. Astrophysicist Joseph Roche, one of the 100 shortlisted candidates, was excited about the project until recently. However, his disposition has soured. At best, things are not quite what they appear to be, according to Roche. [More...]

SPOTLIGHT ON SECURITY
How Secure Is the Apple Watch?
Thursday - March 19, 2015
Apple typically has impeccable timing for its new product introductions, but that may not be the case with its new smartwatch. In a gala event last week, the company announced model and pricing details -- but that came just six days after questions were raised about the security of Apple Pay. Those questions haven't gone away, and now they're also being asked about the Apple Watch. [More...]

Thursday - March 19, 2015
tag-heuer-google-intel-android-luxury-smartwatch
Apple fans won't be the only ones who can flash a smartwatch worth thousands of dollars on their wrist; Android aficionados will be able to do the same. Google, Intel and Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer on Thursday jointly announced plans to make a luxury Swiss smartwatch. They were skimpy on the details, but various leaks and media reports suggest that the device may look like the Tag Heuer Carrera. [More...]

Thursday - March 19, 2015
nvidia-ceo-jen-hsun-huang-tesla-ceo-elon-musk-autonomous-cars
There will come a time, in a future not so far away, when it will be illegal for the average person to drive a car, predicted Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Autonomous vehicles will be exponentially safer, he said Tuesday at Nvidia's 2015 GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage with Musk for an unrehearsed conversation about the future of cars. [More...]

Thursday - March 19, 2015
While several automakers are currently in the process of developing autonomous vehicles, the road ahead for self-driving cars could be long, with numerous obstacles to overcome. According to the recent Autonomous Vehicles 2015-2035 report, published by IDTechEx, the challenges and technology have much in common. So far, progress toward a completely driverless car is in the slow lane. [More...]

Wednesday - March 18, 2015
Microsoft on Tuesday announced Windows Hello, a feature that allows users to access computers and devices running Windows 10 via face recognition, iris identification or fingerprint matching. In addition, the company raised the curtain on Microsoft Passport, a programming system that IT managers, software developers and website authors can use for signing in to websites and applications. [More...]

Wednesday - March 18, 2015
hello-barbie-talking
It's not so much Hello Barbie's talking -- it's her listening that has parents up in arms. Here's how Hello Barbie works: A kid presses on the doll's belt buckle and speaks into a microphone in the doll's necklace. An AI system processes and analyzes that speech in the cloud. Responses are then streamed back to the doll, who replies to the kid -- all over a secure WiFi connection to the Internet. [More...]

Tuesday - March 17, 2015
atrias-bipedal-bird-robot
Becoming the fastest of its kind is just a byproduct of the ATRIAS robot's primary objective. Oregon State University's biped is the focus of a loftier goal: to build an entire industry on its leg locomotion mechanics. Researchers have been drawing inspiration for ATRIAS from birds, and the science will grow from there, said Jonathan W. Hurst, associate professor of mechanical engineering at OSU. [More...]

Tuesday - March 17, 2015
Facebook on Monday issued a new set of community standards, including provisions designed to clamp down on revenge porn, bullying, threats and other forms of online harassment. Facebook will remove content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intent of degrading or shaming them, or that threatens or promotes sexual violence or exploitation. [More...]

Tuesday - March 17, 2015
bbc-micro-bit-programming-computer-make-it-digital
The BBC last week announced that it would give programming PCs to 1 million students through its Make It Digital initiative, an effort to spark greater interest in technology. The 11- and 12-year-old UK school children will receive Micro Bit, a stripped-down computer that can be worn on a lanyard. The Micro Bit is designed to serve as an entry point for individuals interested in coding. [More...]

Monday - March 16, 2015
Growing concern over privacy in cyberspace has people changing their online behavior. Nearly 90 percent of 475 adults recently surveyed said they were aware of government surveillance programs targeting Internet users, the Pew Research Center found. Large numbers of adults supported monitoring programs aimed at others -- from terrorists to political leaders -- but opposed spying on U.S. citizens. [More...]

Monday - March 16, 2015
apple-watch-macbook
Apple is losing track of the balance between design and utility. The Apple Watch feels like a three-version product -- like the iPod and the iPhone were -- that requires three versions before really hitting the market sweet spot. In both cases, that was due in part to the market not knowing at first what it wanted. The MacBook really feels like a repeat of earlier Apple mistakes. [More...]

Saturday - March 14, 2015
apple-watch
Apple dropped a few new facts about its Watch at this week's presentation. The hardware is interesting in that Apple is limiting what people can do with their 8 GB of storage. No more than a quarter of that can be filed with music, and photos can take up just 75 MB, which seems somewhat rudimentary. I'm glad to see the battery apparently lasts enough to see out a full day. [More...]

Friday - March 13, 2015
asus-g501-nvidia-gtx-960m-gpu
Nvidia on Thursday launched the latest in its GTX 900s series of mobile GPUs -- GTX 960m and 950m -- designed to make a gaming laptop as future-proof as possible. Asus' recently unveiled GX501 is one of the machines that already has incorporated the latest Nvidia tech. The new GPUs include such gaming-enhancing features as BatteryBoost, ShadowPlay and Optimus. [More...]

Friday - March 13, 2015
Twitter this week updated its rules to combat online abuse and revenge porn, in the wake of continuing outrage among netizens. The most significant change is a new statement that users may not post intimate photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject's consent. Sounds good, but like last month's update, it's more bark than bite. [More...]

Friday - March 13, 2015
apple-researchkit-health
The value of any data that might be collected through Apple's Researchkit is questionable, given that it would be a skewed sampling. There's little doubt of its value to hackers, though. The value of personal health information is 10 times that of financial data; medical identity theft and fraud are increasing; and there have been hundreds of instances of data breaches at healthcare providers. [More...]

Friday - March 13, 2015
apple-watch-edition
Apple should have created something worthy of being a symbol. Why didn't it sell a premium Apple Watch with a large portion of the proceeds going to support some charity? Or to produce sustainable energy? Or fund scientists to efficiently desalinate seawater? Or back a mission to Mars? Why not make the new fashion bragging right about something important rather than ostentatious? [More...]

Thursday - March 12, 2015
cia-apple-ios-osx-surveillance-backdoors-snowden
The CIA has been doing its best to thwart Apple's security measures, according to documents released by Edward Snowden. "The ball's in Apple's court now," said Core Security's Jon Rudolph. "They have to decide if they are going to sell a product that is CIA-proof -- I'd buy two -- or make it even easier for the removal of the last drop of my personal data, as was indicated last year." [More...]

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Are you looking forward to self-driving cars?
You bet -- I'd love to have a built-in chauffeur.
Yes -- self-driving cars will save lives.
Kind of -- I'd like some self-driving features, like parking.
No -- self-driving cars are too dangerous.
No -- I don't want to give up another freedom.
Absolutely not -- I saw Terminator and I'm not letting some robot take me for a ride!
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