Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for May 2nd, 2017

Aadhaar kicked off in 2009, linking each Indian resident’s biometric data and sensitive personally identifying information to a unique 12-digit number. (more…)

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When Amazon and Comixology first announced Unlimited last year, two of the biggest comics publishers around were conspicuously absent from the list of comics available in the read-what-you-want service: Marvel and DC. But today, one of them has finally gotten on board. Read more…

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After being switched on for the first time last Friday, the UK’s newest fusion reactor has successfully generated a molten mass of electrically-charged gas, or plasma, inside its core. Futurism reports: Called the ST40, the reactor was constructed by Tokamak Energy, one of the leading private fusion energy companies in the world. The company was founded in 2009 with the express purpose of designing and developing small fusion reactors to introduce fusion power into the grid by 2030. Now that the ST40 is running, the company will commission and install the complete set of magnetic coils needed to reach fusion temperatures. The ST40 should be creating a plasma temperature as hot as the center of the Sun — 15 million degrees Celsius (27 million degrees Fahrenheit) — by Autumn 2017. By 2018, the ST40 will produce plasma temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million degrees Fahrenheit), another record-breaker for a privately owned and funded fusion reactor. That temperature threshold is important, as it is the minimum temperature for inducing the controlled fusion reaction. Assuming the ST40 succeeds, it will prove that its novel design can produce commercially viable fusion power. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phone Arena: On Tuesday, Apple is expected to report its fiscal second quarter earnings. In that report, the tech titan will reportedly announce that it is holding $250 billion in cash. If you think that this is a lot of money, you’re absolutely right. According to Marketwatch.com, this is more than the foreign currency reserves held by the U.K. and Canada combined. Looking at it another way, at current valuations Apple could purchase all of the outstanding shares of Walmart and Procter & Gamble and still have money left over. It has taken Apple only 4 and half years to double its cash hoard. During the fiscal first quarter of 2017, Apple was adding $3.6 million to its cash position every hour. It finished the quarter ending in December with $246.09 billion in cash. 90% of the money is banked overseas, which means that Apple would be one of the companies to benefit the most from President Trump’s plan to offer a one time tax break on repatriated funds. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Enlarge (credit: Intel ) Remote management features that have shipped with Intel processors for almost a decade contain a critical flaw that gives attackers full control over the computers that run on vulnerable networks. That’s according to an an advisory published Monday afternoon by Intel. Intel has released a patch for the vulnerability, which resides in the chipmaker’s Active Management Technology, Intel Small Business Technology, and Intel Standard Manageability. Business customers who buy computers running vPro processors use those services to remotely administer large fleets of computers. The bug doesn’t affect chips running on consumer PCs. The chipmaker has rated the vulnerability critical and is recommending vulnerable customers install a firmware patch. In the company’s Monday post, Intel officials wrote: Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Is this Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop?

Posted by kenmay on May - 2 - 2017

Tomorrow Microsoft is holding its #MicrosoftEDU event where we expect to find out how it will take on Google’s Chrome OS, but some of the news may have already leaked. Notorious Microsoft watcher @h0x0d tweeted out a few images of a slim 13.5-inch laptop that apparently runs Windows 10 S — a cloud-optimized version of Windows that only access apps from the Store — has a PixelSense display, comes in four colors and features an Alcantara-covered keyboard. We’ve seen that material on a Surface Pro 4 keyboard before, and the other specs line up from the Chromebook fighter we’re expecting. Interestingly, it also only has a few ports visible. Developing… Surface Laptop: 13.5-in PixelSense display, 4 colors (Platinum/Burgundy/Cobalt Blue/Graphite Gold), Alcantara-covered keyboard, Windows 10 S pic.twitter.com/AEAAhYPgQN — WalkingCat (@h0x0d) May 2, 2017 Surface Laptop: 360 view pic.twitter.com/b5ENVcCIzI — WalkingCat (@h0x0d) May 2, 2017 well Surface Laptop has only these ports, doen’t look ….. right…. to me pic.twitter.com/8fN7JwOYsa — WalkingCat (@h0x0d) May 2, 2017 Source: WalkingCat (Twitter)

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India’s energy minister has unveiled plans for every car sold in the country to be powered by electricity by the year 2030. “The move is intended to lower the cost of importing fuel and lower costs for running vehicles, ” reports The Independent. From the report: âoeWe are going to introduce electric vehicles in a very big way, ” coal and mines minister Piyush Goyal said at the Confederation of Indian Industry Annual Session 2017 in New Delhi. “We are going to make electric vehicles self-sufficient… The idea is that by 2030, not a single petrol or diesel car should be sold in the country.” Mr Goyal said the electric car industry would need between two and three years of government assistance, but added that he expected the production of the vehicles to be “driven by demand and not subsidy” after that. “The cost of electric vehicles will start to pay for itself for consumers, ” he said according to the International Business Times. “We would love to see the electric vehicle industry run on its own, ” he added. An investigation by Greenpeace this year found that as many as 2.3 million deaths occur every year due to air pollution in the country. The report, entitled “Airpocalypse, ” claimed air pollution had become a “public health and economic crisis” for Indians. It said the number of deaths caused by air pollution was only “a fraction less” than the number of deaths from tobacco use, adding that 3 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was lost to the levels of toxic smog. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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LG’s Apple-flagship 5K monitor may have stumbled on its release , but the company’s newest display looks like it’ll cover all the bases in terms of sheer flexibility and screen real estate. The LG 43UD79-B, as it’s cleverly called, is a 42.5-inch UHD panel with a 3840 × 2160 resolution, plus a nice range of gaming and productivity-focused features. On it’s face, the 43UD79-B is an IPS panel with 1000:1 contrast ratio, wide 178-degree viewing angle and support for over 1.07 billion colors. Although its 60 Hz refresh rate won’t quite stack up against the latest gaming monitors, according to a press release from LG the 43UD79-B does boast a Game Mode, Black Stabilizer and Dynamic Action Sync mode. For gamers with Radeon GPUs , compatibility with AMD’s FreeSync dynamic refresh rate technology will also prevent screen tearing and visual stutters. Around back, you’ll find two HDMI 2.0 inputs, two HDMI 1.4 inputs, one DisplayPort 1.2a port with FreeSync and a USC-C port that can also handle a DisplayPort signal. With all those ports, the monitor can act as a screen for up to four different devices simultaneously, using a variety of split-screen configurations and picture-in-picture support. Using the two standard USB 3.0 ports, the monitor can also control two computers from a single mouse and keyboard. Finally, with two built-in Harman Kardon speakers and an included remote control, the panel could easily double as a 42.5-inch 4K TV once all the spreadsheets are closed. According to AnandTech , the 43UD79-B goes on sale in Japan on May 19th for about 83, 000 Yen (or about $745 US), but pre-order pages have started showing up stateside for a hair under $700 .

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