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Wednesday - 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...]

Wednesday - 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...]

Tuesday - 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...]

Tuesday - 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...]

Monday - 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...]

Monday - 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...]

Monday - 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...]

Saturday - January 17, 2015
samsung-galaxy-a7-smartphone
Ho hum. It's probably too much to ask for Samsung and Apple, the two biggest players in the smartphone market, to truly innovate on killer features like stellar battery life or a second e-ink screen. Samsung's new Galaxy A7 has a voice-activated selfie tool, which I suppose is great if you're into selfies and not asking someone nicely to take a photo of you instead like a normal person. [More...]

Friday - January 16, 2015
hyperloop-elon-musk
Though Elon Musk is busy running Tesla and planning a Mars colony, he apparently finds his idea for an 800mph Hyperloop commuter system irresistible as well. Musk intends to build a test track to allow real-world experimentation, in the hope of spurring development of the actual project. As envisioned, the Hyperloop would enable travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles in about 30 minutes. [More...]

Friday - January 16, 2015
xiaomi-note
Xiaomi may want Chinese consumers to see its Mi Note in the same light as the iPhone 6 Plus, but it's much more likely to box Samsung's ears in the market. The iPhone 6 Plus is regarded as a luxury device in China, where it sells for $900-$1,000. Why settle for a Galaxy Note, the marketing message seems to be, when you can have a phone that's just as good as an iPhone Plus at half the price? [More...]

Friday - January 16, 2015
Despite having the most popular camera on the planet in the form of the iPhone, the odds of Apple pulling the rug out from under GoPro by building its own action sports camera system -- even with using its forthcoming Apple Watch as a controller -- are so low they stand in stark contrast to the hysterical selloff of GoPro stock this week. What happened? [More...]

Thursday - January 15, 2015
The average American worker spends almost half an hour commuting each day, but virtual traffic lights could cut that almost in half. If traditional traffic lights were replaced with virtual ones, the results could include not only a reduction of up to 40 percent in urban workers' commute times, but also lower carbon emissions, less congestion and fewer accidents. [More...]

Thursday - January 15, 2015
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who is standing for re-election, has vowed to ban personal encrypted communications apps such as Snapchat and WhatsApp if he is voted in. He also will allow UK government security agencies to monitor communications, with warrants signed by the Home Secretary. "The first duty of any government is to keep our country and our people safe," Cameron declared. [More...]

Thursday - January 15, 2015
Rumors about Microsoft's new browser, code-named "Spartan," have been heating up: It will be an app; no, it will not. It will replace Internet Explorer -- no, it will not. It will use Microsoft's Trident rendering engine and the Chakra JavaScript engine developed for IE 9. Probably. Spartan will look and work more like lightweight browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. No, it won't. [More...]

Wednesday - January 14, 2015
facebook-amber-alert-abducted-children
Social networking already has resulted in rescuing some abducted children, but Facebook's addition of a systematic Amber Alert tool is sure to be even more effective. "This is a great thing, and a long time coming," said WiredSafety.org's Parry Aftab. In the past 16 years, more than 700 kids have been recovered because of Amber Alerts, so Facebook's effort "is going to save the lives of children." [More...]

Wednesday - January 14, 2015
Google has released a new version of its Translate app for Android and iOS. It now lets users instantly translate text in foreign languages using their smartphone cameras. The translation will appear overlaid on the smartphone screen. Translate app features available on iOS for the first time are camera mode, including Word Lens; and conversational mode, said Google spokesperson Roya Soleimani. [More...]

Wednesday - January 14, 2015
google-project-ara-modular-smartphone-puerto-rico
Google wants to let consumers build their own smartphones through a modular system called "Project Ara," but it's not clear whether that's something the average Joe really wants to do. It's going to be a significant challenge "to explain this to consumers so that their heads don't spin," said IDC's Ramon Llamas. "In general, consumers don't come along with engineering degrees." [More...]

Wednesday - January 14, 2015
Recent research from security firm Cloudmark has raised doubt about the purported connection between North Korea and last November's intrusion on Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer networks. The FBI last week continued to press its case that North Korea was behind the cyberattack, pointing to an exposed block of IP addresses allocated to North Korea. [More...]

Tuesday - January 13, 2015
comey-fbi-north-korea-sony-cyberattack
A trail of breadcrumbs led the FBI to conclude that North Korea was behind the recent massive cyberattack on Sony, but it's not clear who left the trail or why. Perhaps it was "sloppy" North Korean hackers -- or perhaps clever North Korean hackers who wanted credit. Or maybe it was hackers who wanted to trick the U.S. into wrongfully accusing the volatile and unpredictable North Korean government. [More...]

Tuesday - January 13, 2015
lg-webos-smartwatch-audi-ces-2015
Everybody seems to like webOS, but the operating system has had trouble finding a place in the sun. It wasn't sexy enough to save Palm, and despite spending more than a billion dollars to acquire the ailing company, HP didn't seem to have any idea what to do with the OS and gave it away. LG, the latest to own webOS rights and sponsor its open source community, may be the first to see it succeed. [More...]

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