Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for March 4th, 2017

The Trump administration has unleashed a lunar gold rush

Posted by kenmay on March - 4 - 2017

Bigelow Aerospace Before the 2016 presidential election, businessman Robert Bigelow was one of the few people in the aerospace community to openly support Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Now that Trump is in office, Bigelow says the new administration is moving forward with a realistic space exploration plan that focuses on the Moon, rather than Mars. “Finally, we have someone practically engaged in the conversation here,” he said Friday, during an interview with Ars. “The prior administration excluded the Moon, but that was really unrealistic. With Mars, there are issues with cost, and more. The Moon offers by far the most practical target in the near term, and of course the Moon has a far superior business case at the current time than asteroids or Mars.” Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Microsoft reduced Windows update sizes by 35 percent

Posted by kenmay on March - 4 - 2017

Fans of Windows and snappy downloads will be relieved to learn that Microsoft’s Unified Update Platform, which has been rolling out to Windows Insiders since November, will be available to all retail users starting with the release of the Creators Update coming later this spring. In addition to those very handy snooze and schedule features , the UUP significantly shrinks the size of future updates by saving users the trouble of downloading an entire build of their operating system. That feature is called differential download packages , which is a technical term for “only downloads what you need.” A differential download looks at the files already on your system and uses them to rebuild the new OS version from there. It sounds simple, but as Microsoft’s Laura Butler points out , it’s no easy task given the decades of legacy code and patches. For a major release like the Creators Update, you’ll still need to download a full build, but the next feature update after that should be significantly smaller — about 35 percent smaller on average, according to Microsoft’s Director of Program Management Bill Karagounis. For Windows Insiders those downloads should be even smaller, but it’s a bit of a trade-off since those systems get hit with more frequent updates. Source: Windows Blog

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Bill Would Legalize Active Defense Against Hacks

Posted by kenmay on March - 4 - 2017

Trailrunner7 quotes a report from On the Wire: A new bill intended to update the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act would allow victims of computer attacks to engage in active defense measures to identify the attacker and disrupt the attack. Proposed by Rep. Tom Graves (R-Ga.), the bill would grant victims of computer intrusions unprecedented rights. Known as the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act, the legislation seeks to amend the CFAA, the much-maligned 1986 law that is used in most computer crime prosecutions. The proposed legislation includes the caveat that victims can’t take any actions that destroy data on another person’s computer, causes physical injury to someone, or creates a threat to public safety. The concept of active defense has been a controversial one in the security community for several years, with many experts saying the potential downside outweighs any upside. Not to mention that it’s generally illegal. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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On Friday, Facebook debuted its new flagging system for fake news in America, tagging hoax stories as “disputed” for some users. First announced amid criticism of the company for its role in spreading misinformation during the 2016 election, the new feature uses non-partisan third parties to assess the factual… Read more…

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