Tech Today w/ Ken May

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Is Safari the New Internet Explorer?

Posted by kenmay on July - 1 - 2015

An anonymous reader writes: Software developer Nolan Lawson says Apple’s Safari has taken the place of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the major browser that lags behind all the others. This comes shortly after the Edge Conference, where major players in web technologies got together to discuss the state of the industry and what’s ahead. Lawson says Mozilla, Google, Opera, and Microsoft were all in attendance and willing to talk — but not Apple. “It’s hard to get insight into why Apple is behaving this way. They never send anyone to web conferences, their Surfin’ Safari blog is a shadow of its former self, and nobody knows what the next version of Safari will contain until that year’s WWDC. In a sense, Apple is like Santa Claus, descending yearly to give us some much-anticipated presents, with no forewarning about which of our wishes he’ll grant this year. And frankly, the presents have been getting smaller and smaller lately.” He argues, “At this point, we in the web community need to come to terms with the fact that Safari has become the new IE. Microsoft is repentant these days, Google is pushing the web as far as it can go, and Mozilla is still being Mozilla. Apple is really the one singer in that barbershop quartet hitting all the sour notes, and it’s time we start talking about it openly instead of tiptoeing around it like we’re going to hurt somebody’s feelings.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Daily Windows 10 builds? OK, not really. Or at least not yet. But Microsoft will today be releasing  a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build, version 10159, to its fast track testers just a day after releasing build 10158 to the fast track. Yesterday’s build was the first to sport the new Microsoft Edge branding in the browser—prior builds had used the “Project Spartan” codename—along with many bug fixes and other minor improvements. Today’s build includes a further 300 fixed bugs, along with another piece of branding: it includes the new default wallpaper, a Windows logo made with lasers. As we discussed  a couple of weeks ago , both yesterday’s build and today’s build are on the final path toward creating the release-to-manufacturing (RTM) build. While early builds didn’t have Windows Activation and preinstalled the Insider Hub for getting news about the previews, the latest builds are set up for the general public. As such, they include the activation system and only preinstall the apps that will ship when Windows 10 goes live. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

You can get desktop PC displays that are curved , super-wide and gaming-friendly , but all three at once? That’s tricky. Thankfully, Acer thinks it has an answer. The company has just launched the 34-inch XR341CK in the US, giving you a curvy, 21:9 aspect ratio LCD with AMD’s anti-tearing FreeSync tech built-in. So long as you have a fast-enough gaming rig (including newer AMD graphics, if you want FreeSync), you’ll get an extra-immersive canvas for your first-person shooters and racing sims . You won’t get 4K (this is “just” a 3, 440 x 1, 440 LCD), but you’ll still find DisplayPort input, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI 2.0 and a USB 3.0 hub. There’s also a 14W speaker system if the screen takes up the free space you’d normally use for audio gear. This monster monitor will cost $1, 099 when it ships in July — no small potatoes, but potentially worth it if you’d otherwise get multiple displays to achieve the same all-encompassing effect. Filed under: Displays , Gaming , AMD , Acer Comments Source: Acer (PRWeb)

Cisco buys a DNS provider to protect you in the cloud

Posted by kenmay on July - 1 - 2015

When you think of internet security from Cisco, you probably imagine firewalls and routers ( usually ) stopping hackers and malware from hitting your network. You’re going to have to expand that definition very shortly, though. Cisco has snapped up OpenDNS, whose domain name services you might have used to dodge regional restrictions or improve on your internet provider’s less-than-stellar connection. The networking giant isn’t making the acquisition for any of those reasons, though. Instead, it’s all about boosting Cisco’s cloud security — the goal is to defend against attacks on your corporate network wherever you happen to be, and to predict threats before they strike. You might not get much first-hand experience with the fruits of this merger, but things will likely kick into high gear when the purchase closes later in 2015. And in case you’re wondering: no, OpenDNS’ existing services aren’t going away . They’ll continue to run as-is (and importantly, expand) under the deal, so you won’t have to scrounge around for an alternative. [Image credit: AP Photo/Paul Sakuma] Filed under: Networking , Internet Comments Source: Cisco , OpenDNS

FormLabs Creates New "Tough Resin" for 3D Printing

Posted by kenmay on June - 30 - 2015

Formlabs are continuing to create new resins for their Form 1 3D printer. Last year they rolled out their Functional Resins in “Flexible” and “Castable” flavors, and this year they’re adding ” Tough Resin ” to the line-up. So what makes this one different? Tough is durable, adaptive, and impact-resistant. Perfect for engineering challenges, this sturdy, ABS-like material has been developed to withstand high stress or strain. It’s ideal for snap-fit joints and other rugged prototypes. “Durable: Sturdy prototypes that will deform under pressure where other 3D prints fail.” “Responsive: Parts that absorb force; flexing and returning to form.” “Rugged: Prints that can tolerate mechanical friction and strain.” To demonstrate what the Tough stuff can do, the FormLabs team printed up a little demo a la Rube Goldberg: While they apparently haven’t scaled production up to the level where they’re willing to give out free samples, as they do with their other resins, you can currently order a 1-liter bottle of the stuff for $175 (and with a one-week lead time). For now it only comes in the teal-ish color you see in the photos and video.

Apple violated federal antitrust law in a conspiracy with five book publishers to fix ebook prices, according to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ended a long-running legal battle with a big blow to Apple, calling its ebooks price-fixing scheme “the supreme evil of antitrust.” Read more…

iOS 8.4 was just released today , but it’s already jailbroken. The process is the exact same as it was with iOS 8.3 , just make sure you grab the newest version of the jailbreak tool, TaiG . Read more…

On Monday, French authorities took two Uber executives into custody for questioning as part of an investigation into UberPop, the startup’s lower cost alternative. Local media have named the men as Thibaut Simphal, the CEO for France, and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, the CEO for Western Europe. Under French law, both men can be held for up to 48 hours without being charged. “Our general managers for France and Western Europe today attended a hearing with the French police,” Gareth Mead, an Uber spokesman, told Ars in a statement. “We are always happy to answer questions the authorities have about our service—and look forward to resolving these issues. Those discussions are ongoing. In the meantime, we’re continuing to ensure the safety of our riders and drivers in France given last week’s disturbances.” Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Radical archivist Carl Malamud writes, “Since 2008, Public.Resource.Org has been trying to get the IRS to release the database of the annual reports of nonprofits in a better way. The nonprofit sector in the U.S. represents $1.5 trillion in economic activity and over 9% of jobs.” Read the rest

If there’s one thing that’s wrong with PC gaming these days, it’s that it’s far too easy. Steam collections? Automated driver updates? Graphical user interfaces? Pah! Frankly, if a PC game doesn’t require a Sound Blaster 16 card and arrive on 25 floppy disks, then I don’t want know. Fortunately, there’s one developer out there that gets it. Vblank Entertainment is bringing Retro City Rampage —its homage to 8-bit games and Grand Theft Auto —over to the greatest gaming OS of all time: MS-DOS. Yes, the operating system released all the way back in 1981 is getting a brand new(ish) game. Retro City Rampage 486 is a port of Retro City Rampage DX , an enhanced version of the game featuring a story mode, arcade challenges, and free roaming. But before you get too excited, best check those system requirements. You’ll need an Intel 486, a whopping 3.7 MB of hard drive space, and 4MB of RAM in order to get up and running. Pretty steep, I know, but on the plus side, if you already own a copy of either the Windows or Mac version of Retro City Rampage , you can pick up the new port for free. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments