Tech Today w/ Ken May

Featured entries

Microsoft “loves Linux” as it makes Azure bigger, better

Posted by kenmay on October - 21 - 2014

Wait, what happened at this thing?!? Microsoft In San Francisco today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said something that was more than a little surprising: Microsoft loves Linux. The operating system once described as a “cancer” by Nadella’s predecessor, Steve Ballmer, is now being embraced (if not extended) with open arms, at least when it comes to Redmond’s Azure cloud platform. Nadella told us that some 20 percent of VMs on Azure use the open source operating system. The San Francisco event served dual purpose. First, it was an opportunity for Microsoft to tell the world just how much Azure had grown—Microsoft may not have been first to the cloud computing scene, but a ton of investment and development means that the company is now credible, and, if Gartner’s magic quadrants are to be believed, world-leading. Second, the event served to introduce new features and partnerships. Microsoft’s major sales pitch for Azure is essentially a three-pronged argument that Microsoft is the only company that can really do cloud right. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

New submitter DemonOnIce writes: According to The Verge and original report the site that monitor’s China’s Great Firewall activity, China is conducting a large-scale attack on iCloud and Microsoft accounts using its government firewall software. Chinese users may be facing an unpleasant surprise as they are directed to a dummy site designed to like an Apple login page (or a Microsoft one, as appropriate). Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ubuntu Turns 10

Posted by kenmay on October - 20 - 2014

Scott James Remnant, now Technical Lead on ChromeOS, was a Debian developer before that. That’s how he became involved from the beginning (becoming Developer Manager, and then serving on the Technical Board) on the little derivative distribution that Mark Shuttleworth decided to make of Debian Unstable, and for which the name Ubuntu was eventually chosen. On this date in 2004, Ubuntu 4.10 — aka Warty Warthog, or just Warty — was released, and Remnant has shared a detailed, nostalgic look back at the early days of the project that has (whatever else you think of it ) become one of the most influential in the world of open source and Free software. I was excited that Canonical sent out disks that I could pass around to friends and family that looked acceptably polished to them in a way that Sharpie-marked Knoppix CD-ROMs didn’t, and that the polish extended to the installer, the desktop, and the included constellation of software, too. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

I’m not going to lie: I’m pretty delighted that I (and my partner ) won Audi’s TDI Challenge, where nine Diesel A3s attempted to drive from Albuquerque to San Diego on a single tank of Diesel. Part of why I’m delighted is because winning means it’s over, since it was a pretty miserable process . Here’s how we did it. Read more…

Tinder just announced that the so-far totally free dating app will launch a premium service in early November. “We are adding features users have been begging us for, ” said CEO Sean Rad . No word on what those features will be yet, however. Read more…

Why iOS Updates Require So Much Space

Posted by kenmay on October - 20 - 2014

Every iOS update is a small deception. 117MB, well that’s not so bad! Then you look at the fine print, and some a few gigabytes are required make to actually install the damn thing. So what’s really going on here? Read more…

Tractor beams are suddenly a lot more plausible

Posted by kenmay on October - 20 - 2014

Tractor beams now have a better shot at crossing from science fiction trope to reality, thanks to scientists at The Australian National University (ANU). They managed to push and pull a 0.2mm sized particle nearly 20cm using a “hollow” laser beam. That’s a hundred-fold improvement over recent efforts at light propulsion, which have only moved microscopic particles short distances. The ANU team placed gold-coated glass spheres in the light-free center of the beams, creating hotspots on the surface that propelled the spheres via air reactions. The hotspot’s location was changed by adjusting the polarization, giving scientists full control over the sphere’s motion. Sure, it’s not exactly the Death Star, but the scientists think it’ll work over long distances — meaning it could one day be used to, say, control pollution or move dangerous particles in the lab. [Image credits: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images, ANU] Filed under: Science Comments Via: CNET Source: Nature

Natural underground CO2 reservoir reveals clues about storage

Posted by kenmay on October - 20 - 2014

Sandia National Lab Reducing our emissions of carbon dioxide quickly enough to minimize the effects of climate change may require more than just phasing out the use of fossil fuels. During the phase-out, we may need to keep the CO 2 we’re emitting from reaching the atmosphere—a process called carbon capture and sequestration. The biggest obstacle preventing us from using CCS is the lack of economic motivation to do it. But that doesn’t mean it’s free from technological constraints and scientific unknowns. One unknown relates to exactly what will happen to the CO 2 we pump deep underground. As a free gas, CO 2 would obviously be buoyant, fueling concerns about leakage. But CO 2 dissolves into the briny water found in saline aquifers at these depths. Once the gas dissolves, the result is actually more dense than the brine, meaning it will settle downward. With time, much of that dissolved CO 2 may precipitate as carbonate minerals. But how quickly does any of this happen? Having answers will be key to understanding how well we really sequester the carbon. Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Ferrari hit with lawsuit for taking over Facebook fan page

Posted by kenmay on October - 20 - 2014

Ferrari You don’t need a degree in marketing to know that using social media right is an important part of building up any kind of brand these days. And the growing value of fan websites and Facebook fan pages seems to be leading to an increase in legal disputes over who controls them. The latest example involves Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari. Last week, a Swiss father and son sued Facebook and Ferrari after control of their popular Ferrari fan page was taken away from them. In their lawsuit (PDF) , Olivier and Sammy Wasem claim they controlled “by far the most popular Facebook pages for Ferrari enthusiasts,” which they created in 2008. The complaint describes Sammy Wasem as an aspiring Formula One driver whose “passion for racing and Ferrari drew many fellow fans together.” By 2009, the Wasem’s Ferrari page had more than 500,000 fans. In February of that year, Olivier Wasem got an e-mail from a Ferrari employee stating that “legal issues force us [Ferrari] in taking over the formal administration of” the Ferrari fan page. The same employee promised “to preserve and even enhance your role in the Ferrari Web Presence and communities.” Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Go Download iOS 8.1 Right Now

Posted by kenmay on October - 20 - 2014

It may look the same, but iOS 8.1 is shoving some major new additions into your pocket—the most anticipated of which is, of course, Apple Pay. So backup all your goodies, because you can officially download the new update in iTunes right now. Read more…