Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for February 8th, 2017

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, where the company announced it will invest $7 billion in a factory employing up to 3, 000 people. From a report: The factory will be in Chandler, Arizona, the company said, and over 10, 000 people in the Arizona area will support the factory. Krzanich confirmed to CNBC that the investment over the next three to four years would be to complete a previous plant, Fab 42, that was started and then left vacant. The 7-nanometer chips will be produced there will be “the most powerful computer chips on the planet, ” Krzanich said in the Oval Office with the Trump administration. Most Intel manufacturing happens in the U.S., Krzanich said. “America has a unique combination of talent, a vibrant business environment and access to global markets, which has enabled U.S. companies like Intel to foster economic growth and innovation, ” Krzanich said in a statement. “Our factories support jobs — high-wage, high-tech manufacturing jobs that are the economic engines of the states where they are located.”Farhad Manjoo, columnist at The New York Times, tweeted; “As far as I can tell the decision had nothing to do with Trump, but they decided to announce with Trump. Why? There was no federal subsidy or any other credit. So it’s just a marketing decision to give Trump credit.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Netflix Has Announced a Castlevania TV Show for 2017

Posted by kenmay on February - 8 - 2017

There aren’t any dang details about it but, at some point this year, we’ll get the chance to watch somebody from Castlevania ’s Belmont family fighting bloodsuckers. Read more…

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Signal tries its hand at encrypted video and voice calling

Posted by kenmay on February - 8 - 2017

Open Whisper Systems’ Signal app is no longer limited to keeping text chats out of the wrong hands . A beta version of the Android app now includes experimental support for video and voice calling. Both sides of a conversation will have to switch the features on in settings for this to work, but you’re otherwise free to talk knowing that encryption should prevent eavesdropping. It’s not certain when the feature will be available to every Signal user, although the phrasing of the update suggests that it’s more a matter of “when” than “if.” And iPhone owners won’t be left out — OWS has mentioned that video and voice will be available in an upcoming iOS beta release. Via: Android Police , TechCrunch Source: Google Play

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Enlarge / A red light camera is located at La Brea Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. in Los Angeles. (credit: Glenn Koenig / Getty Images News) Redflex, the embattled red-light camera vendor, has agreed to pay $20 million to the City of Chicago as part of its recent deal with federal prosecutors. The formal settlement comes less than two months after the Department of Justice and Redflex reached a ” non-prosecution agreement ,” one in which Redflex would not be prosecuted in exchange for paying restitution and damages. At the time, Redflex also agreed to pay $100,000 to the city of Columbus, Ohio to settle similar allegations. Starting in 2003, Redflex secured major contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars in the Windy City. In 2012, the Chicago Tribune revealed allegations that the city’s deals with the company were not entirely above board . The mayor later booted the company out of the city, giving Xerox a similar red-light camera contract. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Italian snail-farming industry has grown by more than 325% over 20 years, driven by a boom in eating snail-egg “caviar” and snail-slime-based cosmetics (which have little-to-no scientific basis) — slime sales are up 46% over the past ten months. (more…)

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The story of Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan

Posted by kenmay on February - 8 - 2017

In 1913, English mathematician G.H. Hardy received a package from an unknown accounting clerk in India, with nine pages of mathematical results that he found “scarcely possible to believe.” In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast, we’ll follow the unlikely friendship that sprang up between Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan, whom Hardy called “the most romantic figure in the recent history of mathematics.” We’ll also probe Carson McCullers’ heart and puzzle over a well-proportioned amputee. Show notes Please support us on Patreon!

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How to fold a World Record-winning paper airplane

Posted by kenmay on February - 8 - 2017

John Collins holds the Guinness World Record for designing the farthest flying paper airplane. The plane, folded from a single piece of A4 paper, flew 69.14 meters in 2012. Harvard University made this video of Collins folding his masterpiece during a recent visit with Harvard’s design engineering graduate students. More designs at The Paper Airplane Guy .

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HBO Now racks up 2 million subscribers

Posted by kenmay on February - 8 - 2017

HBO Now’s growth isn’t about to slow down any time soon, it seems. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes reports that the internet-only video service now has over 2 million customers — not bad when it hadn’t even reached 1 million a year ago. And a good chunk of that may have come recently, as the company’s financial chief noted that there was a “nice uptick” in over-the-top (read: online) subscriber growth as of late. It’s not certain what prompted the rise in demand, although there are a few likely factors at work. Increased accessibility no doubt helps, as you’re more likely to spend that $15 per month if you know you can watch HBO on your PlayStation or Xbox . Gradually increasing internet speeds make streaming a more realistic option. And of course, good programming is key — the one-two combo of Game of Thrones and Westworld no doubt helped persuade some viewers. As for extending the streak? Time Warner says it’s planning to add more digital distribution allies to reach people who wouldn’t normally see its marketing (think cord cutters and others who don’t watch much conventional TV). There’s no telling that this will be enough, but it’s clear that the focus is shifting away from the novelty of internet-only HBO and more on its merits. Source: Variety

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Six Flags and Samsung unveil ‘mixed reality’ rollercoaster

Posted by kenmay on February - 8 - 2017

To many of us, roller coasters are just fine without extra visual stimulation. However, last year, several amusement parks introduced virtual reality devices, letting you fly through space or a gargoyle-infested dystopia. Six Flags and Samsung have done that one better now with the New Revolution Galactic Attack mixed reality experience. As before, Six Flags is using Samsung’s Gear VR headset, but now it’s using the passthrough camera on the Galaxy phones, letting you see the virtual content overlaid on the real world. Samsung says the Six Flags experience “enables millions of consumers to experience virtual reality for the first time.” However, the passthrough camera on the Gear VR won’t deliver mixed reality that’s as good as something like Microsoft’s Hololens , which overlays virtual content onto the real world, not a camera view. However, it’ll at least give folks a view of the outside rather than locking them in a digital box. On top of the virtual imagery, there’s a level of gamification. “As riders drop at high speeds, the mixed reality view changes to a completely immersive, virtual reality environment and a fighter spaceship cockpit materializes and envelops the riders into a tunnel of light, ” the PR breathlessly explains. From there, you’ll be brought into one of three (virtual) drone bays, “each of which offer a completely different gaming experience and three different endings, ” Six Flags explains. As before, the VR is synchronized to the ride movements, so that you don’t experience any not-so-virtual puking. The featured ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA is the New Revolution, the first-ever looping roller coaster built in 1976. While not the park’s most diabolic ride, the LA Times advises riders to keep their heads back “or you’ll get your ears boxed.” At the Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, CA, the New Revolution Galactic Attack will be available on floorless looping Kong coaster. Source: Six Flags

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(credit: INVISIBLE-MAN_1933_James Whale) Two years ago, researchers at Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab discovered their corporate network was infected with malware that was unlike anything they had ever seen . Virtually all of the malware resided solely in the memory of the compromised computers, a feat that had allowed the infection to remain undetected for six months or more. Kaspersky eventually unearthed evidence that Duqu 2.0, as the never-before-seen malware was dubbed, was derived from Stuxnet, the highly sophisticated computer worm reportedly created by the US and Israel to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. Now, fileless malware is going mainstream, as financially motivated criminal hackers mimic their nation-sponsored counterparts. According to research Kaspersky Lab plas to publish Wednesday, networks belonging to at least 140 banks and other enterprises have been infected by malware that relies on the same in-memory design to remain nearly invisible. Because infections are so hard to spot, the actual number is likely much higher. Another trait that makes the infections hard to detect is the use of legitimate and widely used system administrative and security tools—including PowerShell , Metasploit , and Mimikatz —to inject the malware into computer memory. “What’s interesting here is that these attacks are ongoing globally against banks themselves,” Kaspersky Lab expert Kurt Baumgartner told Ars. “The banks have not been adequately prepared in many cases to deal with this.” He went on to say that people behind the attacks are “pushing money out of the banks from within the banks,” by targeting computers that run automatic teller machines. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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