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An Update on the Fourth Industrial Revolution
March 1, 2021
We are in the midst of what many are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is a time of disruption, massive change, opportunities, and significant risks. Fortunes will shift, companies will fail, and new companies will rise from the ashes. Let's look at where we are in this latest Industrial Revolution, and where we'll likely be when this wave ends in 10 to 40 years. We'll close with the product of the week, a new conferencing camera/speaker from Poly.
Silver Sparrow Malware Hatched on 30,000 Macs
February 23, 2021
Nearly 30,000 Macs have been infected with a new malware strain. Discovered by researchers at Red Canary, the malware has been sitting on it hosts waiting for a payload that never arrived. In a statement provided to TechNewsWorld, Apple said that upon discovering the malware, it revoked the certificates of the developer accounts used to sign the packages, preventing new machines from being infected.
It's Time to Consider 3D Printed Homes
February 22, 2021
This emerging building method is far less wasteful, far faster, and far cheaper to build much sturdier homes. The only real downside is that the skills and technology to build these houses aren't widely available yet. Still, a shift to 3D printed building could create many new jobs, and the training required isn't considered exceedingly difficult. Let's talk about 3D printed homes, and we'll close with the product of the week, the ARM-based HP Elite Folio.
The Unforeseen Consequences of Amazon's Boardroom Switch
February 8, 2021
Jeff Bezos last week announced he will be stepping down from his role of CEO Amazon. Bezos is following Microsoft's lead and putting his cloud executive Andy Jassy in charge of the company. Given that Microsoft was exceedingly successful with putting Satya Nadella in the same role, it would seem that this would be a slam-dunk success. But the issue is that Amazon is not Microsoft.
Quantum Computing Leaps Forward With New 'Gooseberry' Chip
February 3, 2021
A team of scientists and engineers has invented a cryogenic computer chip capable of functioning at temperatures near absolute zero, which could enable a new crop of high performance quantum computers capable of performing calculations with thousands of qubits, or more. Quantum computers, up to now, could only accommodate a few dozen qubits. That's why the new cryo chip is such a breakthrough.
CES 2021: What Worked, What Didn't
January 18, 2021
We still seem to do these remote activities as we did when we met in person. Streaming and video conferencing tools we are using still don't allow us to do what we once did face-to-face, but they have other advantages that aren't being utilized to make the experience better. Let's talk about who did a great job, and what worked at CES; and then what sucked at the event. We'll close with a look at a promised new vehicle from GM: the Cadillac Lyriq.
PC Market Upswing Accelerates in Q4 2020
January 12, 2021
The PC market ended 2020 with a big bang, as shipments during the final quarter rose 25 percent over the same period in 2019, according to a report by research firm Canalys. Much of the market growth during the year was driven by notebooks and mobile workstation shipments, which increased 44 percent over 2019, reaching 235.1 million.
How to Buy a Linux-Powered Laptop
January 5, 2021
Buying Linux-powered laptops should be easy, especially on big-name manufacturers' websites. But it isn't. You must employ workarounds to succeed or spend caches of money! Some computer makers sell Linux-only hardware. Only a few of the major computer manufacturers cater to providing Linux Inside. The challenge is finding both those that do and being willing to pay a higher buy-in price.
New Qualcomm Chip Opens Door to $125 5G Phones
January 5, 2021
A new mobile processor announced by Qualcomm Technologies is expected to spawn a wave of economically priced 5G smartphones. Kedar Kondap, vice president for product management at Qualcomm maintained in a statement that the Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform will exceed OEM and consumer expectations in delivering high- and mid-tier features at an affordable price.
Standout Tech Products of 2020
December 21, 2020
TechNewsWorld columnist Rob Enderle looks back at all of the Products of the Week he selected during the year and picks the one that made the most significant impression to crown the Product of the Year. Let's look at the contenders that made the initial cut, and then he'll rank the top four products leading up to the 2020 Product of the Year.
Get No-Fuss File-Level Crypto With Fscrypt
December 16, 2020
This piece is a demonstration of one means of setting up file-level encryption which is widely available for Linux desktop users. To offer a similar encryption scheme to as many users as possible, we'll walk through how to use fscrypt to create an encrypted filesystem. While simple, fscrypt offers multiple configuration modes.
The Evolution of Personal Communications Technology Through 2050
December 14, 2020
Sometime in the 2030s PCs and phones will merge, if they hadn't already. In the 2040s people and personal technology will merge as humans and robotics evolve into hybrids of each other. Since we're approaching the end of 2020, let's talk about what's on the way over the next three decades, and build up to what's in store for personal communications technology in 2050.
The Costly Consequences of Crashes in the Clouds
December 8, 2020
Downtime can cost enterprises that depend solely on a data center's ability to deliver IT and networking services to customers -- such as e-commerce companies -- up to $11,000 a minute. The cost to businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals who use subscription services in their work has yet to be calculated.
Qualcomm's Powerful Preview of 2021's Premium Smartphones
December 7, 2020
Qualcomm last week launched its Snapdragon 888 platform which will show up in premium phones next year. This promises to take the high-end of Android smartphones to levels of performance they've never seen before. Let's talk about what is coming to market in Android phones -- and likely iPhones -- next year, because you've got to believe Apple watched this launch and is now furiously working to create similar functions.
Tech Gift Ideas to Help Tackle Your Holiday Shopping List
November 30, 2020
Today is Cyber Monday, which doesn't mean as much this year because the related sales have been going on for much of November as retailers try to bring in every available dollar they can. This week, let's look at some of the best deals or products that stand out as game changers in their segment.
The Best Hybrid Mid-Range SUV Might Surprise You
November 23, 2020
When we decided on a plug-in hybrid, after a lot of research it narrowed down to three with the right balance of performance and efficiency. Those were the Audi Q5 e, the BMW X3 Plug-in Hybrid, and the Volvo XC60 Recharge. Let's walk through what we ended up with, and why, because it wasn't at all what we expected.
Smart Device Life Cycles Can Pull the Plug on Security
November 20, 2020
The use of smart and connected devices promises to make our lives easier, but it might also give their manufacturers greater control over our lives. Some companies offering smart devices, including Google, Belkin, and Best Buy have killed off their smart device product lines without warning, leaving consumers in the lurch.
Apple's M1 ARM Pivot: A Step Into the Reality Distortion Field
November 16, 2020
Last week Apple announced a partial pivot away from x86 to ARM with one of those claims so outrageous it could have only come from Apple. The company claimed its new ARM-based PCs would outperform 98 percent of those already in the market. No proof points, no material examples, no listed benchmarks. Just "trust us," this processor optimized for smartphones is magically better than processors designed to run PCs.
Apple Takes Chipset Matters Into Its Own Hands
November 11, 2020
Apple pulled the wraps off its first computer models based on its new Apple Silicon chip at an online event aired Tuesday. The Mac Air, Mac Mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro are all being refreshed with the company's new ARM-based M1 chip. The move is the beginning of a transition, expected to take two years, away from Intel chips and to Apple Silicon.
Skills Shortage Rains on Cloud Advances
November 3, 2020
More than 90 percent of IT leaders surveyed for a recent report expect to expand their cloud services in the next one to three years. Despite this testament to the benefits of cloud adoption, enterprises may find a lack of qualified IT workers to fill those positions. A majority of cloud team leaders identified a lack of internal skills and knowledge as a top barrier to cloud success.
Why Are Homes and Autos Still Built the Old Fashioned Way?
October 18, 2020
We could build homes that stand up to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other disasters. We could build cars that are lighter and more fuel-efficient. Like the opening for the old TV show, "The Six Million Dollar Man," we have the technology. So why don't we use it? The reason is that people who build homes, cars, and other things would need to be retrained -- but the result would be a more sustainable and safer world.
Apple Finally Reveals 5G iPhones ... and HomePod Mini
October 14, 2020
Apple has refreshed its iPhone product line with four new models, as well as a downsized version of its HomePod smart speaker. All of the new iPhones are built around Apple's blazing fast A14 Bionic chip, support all flavors of 5G wireless connectivity, and are protected by a Ceramic Shield that protects the phone from damage after a fall four times better than in previous models.
Microsoft Hones Edge in Time for Holiday Shopping
October 12, 2020
Microsoft has aggressively updated its new Chromium version of the Edge browser with several features that should help you find gifts and save money while remaining safer on the web. Let's talk about these improvements to Edge this week, and we'll close with a new notebook from Gateway, which appears to have the near-perfect blend of size, price, and performance for our new COVID-19 normal.
HP Takes Us One Step Closer to a Virtual Tomorrow
October 5, 2020
We're moving at an impressive rate to create virtual worlds, but we have missed several critical elements. Now HP has taken a considerable step to usher us to a future where we really can mostly exist in a virtual, rather than real, office environment; and not only get more done, but be safer as well.
Lenovo Expands Linux-Ready Computer Line
September 23, 2020
As the next step in its Linux expansion program, Lenovo has launched Linux-ready ThinkPad and ThinkStation PCs pre-installed with Canonical's Ubuntu technology. The company also now brings Linux certification to its ThinkPad and ThinkStation Workstation portfolio, along with easing deployment for developers and data scientists, as it moves to certify the full workstation portfolio for top Linux distributions from both Ubuntu and Red Hat.
Nvidia + Arm Will Dramatically Change the Technology Landscape
September 21, 2020
Nvidia last week announced they are buying Arm, which will result in some exciting changes. This merger will open up opportunities for the company to create new, innovative, and compelling products across the technology ecosystem. Let's talk about that this week, and we'll close with my product of the week -- a new business class notebook from HP, the EliteBook 840 G7.
Apple Reveals New Watches, Muscular Tablet at Online Event
September 16, 2020
Apple pulled the wraps off two new Apple Watches, two iPads and several services bundles at an event Tuesday held online. The new watches include the Series 6, which boasts performance improvements over the previous generation of the product, and the SE, an economy watch model. Apple also refreshed its basic iPad and the iPad Air, which is now based on the new A14 processor, a five-nanometer fabricated powerhouse.
Applying AI to Bring a 'Better You' to Video Meetings
September 7, 2020
The fact is that people tend to judge us by our appearance. For a lot of folks on video calls, that appearance has degraded sharply this year. Wrinkled clothing, no makeup, partial beards, hair on men down to their shoulders, and work locations that are sloppy, dingy and dark. These all have become everyday experiences on video calls. A few vendors recently showcased new tech to address how we look and sound in online meetings.
How to Protect Data From Natural Disasters
August 19, 2020
With hurricane season in full bloom and the additional prospect of natural disasters, the importance for companies to have disaster data plans in place is paramount. TechNewsWorld discussed disaster preparedness with a panel of IT experts. Check out their recommendations -- and make sure that you have not forgotten that one key thing that many companies forget to protect but regret afterward.
The Critical Nature of Qualcomm's Appellate Court Win
August 17, 2020
Last week Qualcomm won its appeal long after settling with Apple, after Apple allegedly got caught fabricating evidence. This decision is critical to the long-term position of the U.S. in the technology market, and showcases that the U.S. legal system, while clearly under a lot of stress, still works.
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