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Wednesday - July 18, 2018
microsoft appears to be targeting a younger demographic with skype 8.0
Microsoft has announced a new version of its Skype messaging app, along with a warning that previous versions of the software will be disabled after Sept. 1. "As we roll out improvements, there comes a time when we must shut down older services and application versions," wrote the Skype Team in an online post. "This is done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience." [More...]

Tuesday - July 17, 2018
new roku wireless speakers provide advanced audio capabilities for roku smart tvs
Roku has earned a reputation for making streaming TV products that are easy to set up and use, and that deliver above-average quality at affordable prices -- and that's the approach it has taken with its new Roku TV Wireless Speakers. The company unveiled the speakers on Monday, and expects to start shipping them in October, when they will sell for $199.99. [More...]

Monday - July 16, 2018
microsoft teams could be used to improve collaboration in government as well as in business
Microsoft Inspire is taking place this week, and a huge number of my personal friends and I were prebriefed on what the big announcements would be. Strangely, the embargo on the news lifted last week, so I'm not going to get in trouble for sharing some of the revelations. There are a number of interesting elements, including Microsoft's suddenly aggressive move to use Azure as an IoT host. [More...]

Friday - July 13, 2018
apple's latest macbook pros offer more power and speed
Apple has announced updated MacBook Pro 13- and 15-inch notebooks with a Touch Bar, 8th-generation Intel Core processors, support for up to 32 GB of DDR memory in the larger notebook, a True Tone display, and an improved third-generation keyboard for quiet typing. The 15-inch model comes with 6-core Intel Core i7 and i9 processors rated at up to 2.9 GHz -- with Turbo Boost, up to 4.8 GHz. [More...]

Thursday - July 12, 2018
building a smart home requires juggling reliability, privacy and security, upgradability and cost
One of the loudest buzzes in the Internet of Things is around smart homes. Vendors have rushed to connect everything imaginable within a house, including lights, appliances, entertainment systems, windows, shades, door locks, ceiling fans, faucets, smoke detectors, security systems, furniture -- basically anything with a battery or power cord now can be connected. [More...]

Wednesday - July 11, 2018
new version of ios includes usb restricted mode for data security but an easy workaround could defeat the feature's purpose
A new feature in iOS 11.4.1, which Apple released earlier this week, is designed to protect against unwanted intrusions through the iPhone's Lightning Port. However, the protection may be weak at best. The feature, called "USB Restricted Mode," disables data transfer through the Lightning Port after an hour of inactivity. In some cases, the phone might not charge, according to Apple. [More...]

Tuesday - July 10, 2018
the polar flow fitness app mapped sensitive workout locations of some government personnel
A popular fitness app provided a convenient map for anyone interested in shadowing government personnel who exercised in secret locations, including intelligence agencies, military bases and airfields, nuclear weapons storage sites, and embassies around the world. The fitness app, Polar Flow, publicized more data about its users in a more accessible way than comparable apps, investigators found. [More...]

Monday - July 9, 2018
google may launch its own game console hardware but it's unlikely to be a success
It's interesting to compare Google and Amazon -- two of the most incredibly powerful companies in the world. Amazon brings out product after product, with more successes than failures. Google largely buys companies and then loses interest in what they do. Profit is built into Amazon's retail efforts, while Google largely lives off selling users' information and providing access to content. [More...]

Monday - July 2, 2018
intel's board members are not well suited to choosing or guiding a strong ceo for the company
Tech companies have been going through a lot of CEOs of late. HP had a revolving door for CEOs with mistake after mistake. Yahoo's board kept making choices that made things worse, Uber's CEO almost took the company under, and CEOs fired for ethical lapses jumped a whopping 36 percent. When an employee misbehaves and has to be fired, it generally is at least partially the fault of management. [More...]

Friday - June 29, 2018
facebook and google deliberately push users toward privacy-sharing choices that benefit the companies
Facebook and Google have manipulated users into sharing data using so-called "dark patterns," according to a report from the Norwegian Consumer Council. The practices nudged users toward accepting privacy options that favored the tech companies rather than themselves, the NCC found. Facebook and Google have no intention of providing users with an actual choice, the NCC has claimed. [More...]

Wednesday - June 27, 2018
wi-fi alliance has introduced wi-fi certified wpa3 to improve security in homes and businesses
Network devices with better security will be hitting the market this year, thanks to Wi-Fi Certified WPA3, which the Wi-Fi Alliance launched Tuesday. The announcement paves the way for the proliferation of devices that support the new, more secure protocol for WiFi communication, which is designed to replace the 14-year-old WPA2. The new protocol adds features to simplify WiFi security. [More...]

Tuesday - June 26, 2018
apple may introduce new higher-end airpods next year
Apple plans to expand its audio product line next year with new AirPods, HomePods and possibly studio-quality over-the-ear headphones. The new generation of AirPods will feature noise cancellation, be water resistant, and have greater range, according to a report citing people familiar with the developments. Apple's plans reflect an expanded role for audio in the company's future. [More...]

Monday - June 25, 2018
ibm's project debater can identify false statements and provide counterarguments to them in real time
IBM just showcased Project Debater, and it just won against a top human debater using actual facts. We need the production version of this tool yesterday. The problem with fake news is that it is getting worse over time. We have always had issues with politicians and con artists trying to convince us down is up and to get us to do things that, were we informed, we'd never do. [More...]

Friday - June 22, 2018
facebook has announced new steps to combat the spread of fake news
Facebook has announced new tactics to reduce the spread of fake news. Its efforts will include combining technology with human reviewers to identify and remove fake accounts; partnering with fact-checkers; and promoting news literacy. Facebook will expand its fact-checking programs to new countries, scrutinize photos and videos more closely, and increase the impact of fact-checking. [More...]

Thursday - June 21, 2018
amazon's new fire tv cube is a streaming media player with alexa built in
Amazon's latest gambit for taking over your living room is the Fire TV Cube. It works in much the same way as the Fire TV stick, but with the added impact this time around of stuffing in a smart speaker with the familiar tones of the Alexa voice assistant. You can use it to play whatever you want to see in up to 4K resolution from various streaming services. [More...]

Wednesday - June 20, 2018
an industry group has formed to study the impact of autonomous vehicles on society
Some logistics and mobility industry heavyweights have formed a group committed to improving the lives and opportunities of working Americans through adoption of autonomous vehicles. The roster of the Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity includes the American Trucking Associations, Daimler, FedEx, Ford, Lyft, Toyota Motor North America, Uber and Waymo. [More...]

Tuesday - June 19, 2018
ios 12 will make it easier to locate iphones used to make emergency calls
iOS 12 automatically will share location data for iPhones used to make emergency calls. The system will use an IP-based data pipeline developed by RapidSOS to share location data from iPhones with 911 centers. "Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. [More...]

Monday - June 18, 2018
cisco and dell have taken aggressive steps to solve some of the world's big problems
To say we live in troubled times would be an understatement. It often feels like the politicians and executives who surround us are interested only in who can tell the biggest whopper while lining their own pockets and leaving their constituents and customers to pay the bills. I recently read that the real reason Jon Stewart stepped down from The Daily Show was that he was incredibly angry all the time. [More...]

Saturday - June 16, 2018
apple plans to update ios with a feature that will make it more difficult for law enforcement and others to access data
Apple plans to equip iOS 12 with USB Restricted Mode, which requires users to unlock their iPhone with their passcode before USB accessories can connect if the phone last was unlocked more than an hour earlier. The company included this feature in the developer versions of iOS 11.4.1 and iOS 12. Apple will release USB Restricted Mode publicly in a future software update, it confirmed this week. [More...]

Friday - June 15, 2018
e3 2018 was all about the games with no new hardware to show off
E3 had the usual hits and misses this year, and more drama than most of the games on the screens. With a strong lineup of first-party titles plus better third-party support, Nintendo is the comeback king. However, the battle for hardcore gamer dollars continues to be fought between Microsoft and Sony. With no new hardware news from the companies, this was another year about the games. [More...]

Thursday - June 14, 2018
nintendo gave fans more of the signature characters and games they love at e3 plus fortnite for the switch
Nintendo called in fan favorites, including Mario and Smash Bros., at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Super Mario Party will be heading to the Nintendo Switch this October, joined by Fire Emblem: Three Houses and the giant robot combat game Daemon x Machina. However, it was Fortnite that arguably stole Nintendo's E3 Direct show. [More...]

Wednesday - June 13, 2018
sony chose to focus on content at e3 by giving fans a deeper dive into a few highlighted games
Sony gave PlayStation fans a hefty sampling of what's coming to its gaming consoles this year at E3. It gave them a long look at a relatively few offerings -- a marked contrast from Microsoft's deluge of titles. "Sony's E3 event was a break with tradition, an experiment to test the way it could present its first-party output to the media," said Piers Harding-Rolls, head of games at IHS Technology. [More...]

Tuesday - June 12, 2018
microsoft releases slew of new xbox titles and announces game studio acquisitions at e3 2018
Microsoft made a big splash at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles with its announcement of more than 50 games for its Xbox One gaming console. Among the games unveiled by the company were 18 designed to run exclusively on Xbox, including Forza Horizon 4, Halo Infinite, Gears 5, Session, Below and Ashen. [More...]

Monday - June 11, 2018
nvidia's isaac platform may pave the way for the coming future of home robots
Dell's most forward-looking people spoke about the future at Dell World a few weeks ago. One of the sessions I attended dovetailed with something that appears to be glaringly obvious -- to me, anyway -- which is that is that robots likely will be the next big technology wave. I then wandered around to find out what Dell was doing in robotics, and I couldn't find anything. Dell is not alone. [More...]

Saturday - June 9, 2018
g2 crowd vp heather reed discusses gender inclusivity in the workplace
"By using gender-neutral terms, we might change people's minds about what jobs they're qualified for and have a chance of getting. Getting rid of gender-biased terms helps level the playing field," said Heather Reed, VP of business development for G2 Crowd. "There are different phrases that we use and don't even think about it," she said, "like 'right-hand man,' or 'manning up,' or 'chatty Kathy.' [More...]

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How does the tech industry compare to other industries when it comes to diversity?
Tech firms have been working much harder than others to achieve diversity.
Tech is rife with sexism, racism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.
The tech industry would be more inclusive if there were more qualified applicants.
Tech firms have made superficial efforts but they're mainly for show.
The push for diversity is a cultural fad, and there is no real problem.