Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for February, 2017

One billion hours of YouTube are watched every day

Posted by kenmay on February - 28 - 2017

It’s easy to track YouTube’s most popular metric: Check the counter below any video to see how many times it’s been played. It’s harder to know how long viewers watch, which YouTube staff started tracking years ago. Today, those stats passed an auspicious number: Over a billion hours of content are watched every day by users around the globe. YouTube’s post presents some factoids grappling with that milestone: Watching a billion hours yourself would take over 100, 000 years, say. Since more than half of views come from mobile, a good chunk of those billion hours watched per day are seen on devices. And an increasing number of those might be watched without sound given that the total number of auto-captioned videos tipped past the one billion mark two weeks ago. As the dominant video platform, this daily total will only go up, especially now that YouTube is starting to roll out mobile live streaming. Whether it’s movie trailers, music videos, cooking shows, user-created fiction series, gaming channels, week-by-week recounting of World War One’s events on this date a century ago, or whatever other weird thing you’re into…well, I guess we’re all watching a billion hours of it tomorrow. Source: YouTube Blog

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Enormous Mudslide Devastates New Zealand Marine Reserve

Posted by kenmay on February - 27 - 2017

New Zealand’s Kaikoura Canyon—known for its abundant seabed life—is now an undersea wasteland following a series of earthquake-induced mudslides. Read more…

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Less than a week after AMD announced the first line up of Ryzen processors, Intel is apparently fighting back by dropping the price of several of its processors. Rob Williams, writing for HotHardware: So, what we’re seeing now are a bunch of Intel processors dropping in price, perhaps as a bit of a preemptive strike against AMD’s chips shipping later this week — though admittedly it’s still a bit too early to tell. Over at Amazon, the prices have been slower to fall, but we’d highly recommend that you keep an eye on the following pages, if you are looking for a good deal this week. So far, at Micro Center we’ve seen the beefy six-core Intel Core i7-6850K (3.60GHz) drop from $700 to $550, and the i7-6800K (3.40GHz) drop down to $360, from $500. Also, some mid-range chips are receiving price cuts as well. Those include the i7-6700K, a 4.0GHz chip dropping from $400 to $260, and the i7-6600K, a 3.50GHz quad-core part dropping from $270 to $180. Even Intel’s latest and greatest Kaby Lake-based i7-7700K has experienced a drop, from $380 to $299, with places like Amazon and NewEgg retailing for $349. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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This Deep-Sea Jellyfish Is Beyond Belief

Posted by kenmay on February - 27 - 2017

Researchers working in the South Pacific have captured stunning footage of a deep-sea jellyfish that looks like a flying saucer with tentacles. Read more…

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Professors Claim Passive Cooling Breakthrough Via Plastic Film

Posted by kenmay on February - 27 - 2017

What if you could cool buildings without using electricity? charlesj68 brings word of “the development of a plastic film by two professors at the University of Colorado in Boulder that provides a passive cooling effect.” The film contains embedded glass beads that absorb and emit infrared in a wavelength that is not blocked by the atmosphere. Combining this with half-silvering to keep the sun from being the source of infrared absorption on the part of the beads, and you have a way of pumping heat at a claimed rate of 93 watts per square meter. The film is cheap to produce — about 50 cents per square meter — and could create indoor temperatures of 68 degrees when it’s 98.6 outside. “All the work is done by the huge temperature difference, about 290C, between the surface of the Earth and that of outer space, ” reports The Economist. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Fasting Diet ‘Regenerates Diabetic Pancreas’

Posted by kenmay on February - 25 - 2017

According to a new study published in the journal Cell, a certain type of fasting diet can trigger the pancreas to regenerate itself. Of course, the researchers advise people not to try this without medical advice. BBC reports: In the experiments, mice were put on a modified form of the “fasting-mimicking diet.” It is like the human form of the diet when people spend five days on a low calorie, low protein, low carbohydrate but high unsaturated-fat diet. It resembles a vegan diet with nuts and soups, but with around 800 to 1, 100 calories a day. Then they have 25 days eating what they want — so overall it mimics periods of feast and famine. Previous research has suggested it can slow the pace of aging. But animal experiments showed the diet regenerated a special type of cell in the pancreas called a beta cell. These are the cells that detect sugar in the blood and release the hormone insulin if it gets too high. There were benefits in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in the mouse experiments. Type 1 is caused by the immune system destroying beta cells and type 2 is largely caused by lifestyle and the body no longer responding to insulin. Further tests on tissue samples from people with type 1 diabetes produced similar effects. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Lucas123 writes: Toshiba has begun shipping samples of its third-generation 3D NAND memory product, a chip with 64 stacked flash cells that it said will enable a 1TB chip shipping later this spring. The new flash memory product has 65% greater capacity than the previous generation technology, which used 48 layers of NAND flash cells. The chip will be used in data centers and consumer SSD products. The technology announcement comes even as suitors are eyeing buying a majority share of the company’s memory business. Along with a previous report about Western Digital, Foxxcon, SK Hynix and Micron Technology have now also thrown their hats in the ring to purchase a majority share in Toshiba’s memory spin-off, according to a new report in the Nikkei’s Asian Review. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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World’s Largest Spam Botnet Adds DDoS Feature

Posted by kenmay on February - 25 - 2017

An anonymous reader writes from a report via BleepingComputer: Necurs, the world’s largest spam botnet with nearly five million infected bots, of which one million are active each day, has added a new module that can be used for launching DDoS attacks. The sheer size of the Necurs botnet, even in its worst days, dwarfs all of today’s IoT botnets. The largest IoT botnet ever observed was Mirai Botnet #14 that managed to rack up around 400, 000 bots towards the end of 2016 (albeit the owner of that botnet has now been arrested). If this new feature were to ever be used, a Necurs DDoS attack would easily break every DDoS record there is. Fortunately, no such attack has been seen until now. Until now, the Necurs botnet has been seen spreading the Dridex banking trojan and the Locky ransomware. According to industry experts, there’s a low chance we’d see the Necurs botnet engage in DDoS attacks because the criminal group behind the botnet is already making too much money to risk exposing their full infrastructure in DDoS attacks. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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In the self-driving future envisioned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, car owners might be saying “goodbye” to a whole lot more than steering wheels. From a Mashable report: Musk is so sure of the safety features bundled into Tesla vehicles that his company has begun offering some customers a lifetime insurance and maintenance package at the time of purchase. No more monthly insurance bills. No more unexpected repair costs. “We’ve been doing it quietly, ” Tesla President of Global Sales and Service Jonathan McNeill explained on the call, “but in Asia in particular where we started this, now the majority of Tesla cars are sold with an insurance product that is customized to Tesla, that takes into account not only the Autopilot safety features but also the maintenance costs of the car.” “It’s our vision in the future that we’ll be able to offer a single price for the car, maintenance and insurance in a really compelling offering for the consumer, ” added McNeill. “And we’re currently doing that today.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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An anonymous reader shares a Gizmodo report: Peeking inside a book bin at a Seattle Goodwill, Redditor vadermeer caught an interesting, unexpected glimpse into the early days of Apple: a cache of internal memos, progress reports, and legal pad scribbles from 1979 and 1980, just three years into the tech monolith’s company history. The documents at one point belonged to Jack MacDonald — then the manager of systems software for the Apple II and III (in these documents referred to by its code name SARA). The papers pertain to implementation of Software Security from Apple’s Friends and Enemies (SSAFE), an early anti-piracy measure. Not much about MacDonald exists online, and the presence of his files in a thrift store suggests he may have passed away, though many of the people included in these documents have gone on to long and lucrative careers. The project manager on SSAFE for example, Randy Wigginton, was Apple’s sixth employee and has since worked for eBay, Paypal, and (somewhat tumultuously) Google. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also features heavily in the implementation of these security measures. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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