Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for May 23rd, 2017

Enlarge / The “high bay” at Boeing’s Satellite Development Center in El Segundo, California. A Boeing employee sold documents from the plant to an FBI undercover agent posing as a Russian intelligence agent. Gregory Allen Justice, a 49-year-old engineer living in Culver City, Calif., has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted economic espionage and attempted violation of the Export Control Act. Justice, who according to his father worked for Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, Calif., was arrested last July after selling technical documents about satellite systems to someone he believed to be a Russian intelligence agent. Instead, he sold the docs to an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation employee. The sting was part of a joint operation by the FBI and the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The documents provided by Justice to the undercover agent included information on technology on the US Munitions List, meaning they were regulated by government International Trade in Arms regulations (ITAR). “In exchange for providing these materials during a series of meeting between February and July of 2016, Justice sought and received thousands of dollars in cash payments,” a Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement. “During one meeting, Justice and the undercover agent discussed developing a relationship like one depicted on the television show ‘The Americans.'” Just before he was arrested, Justice offered to take the agent on a tour of the facility where he worked—where he told the agent “all military satellites were built,” according Justice’s plea agreement. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Microsoft made the Surface Pro both lighter and quieter

Posted by kenmay on May - 23 - 2017

Microsoft has mostly left the Surface Pro line untouched since late 2015, but the company is finally giving it a long overdue refresh today. Announced at an event in Shanghai earlier, the new machine — now simply dubbed Surface Pro — packs Intel’s 7th-gen Core processors ( Kaby Lake ; m3, i5 and i7 flavors), an enhanced PixelSense display, optional LTE Advanced radio and a battery life of up to 13.5 hours for video playback, which is a notable jump from the old nine hours. Oh, and there’s no longer a fan for the m3 and i5 models. Simply put, Microsoft calls this “the lightest, the best sounding, the fastest and the quietest Surface Pro ever, ” and the company was keen to claim that its own machine is 1.7 times faster than the iPad Pro . While the machine itself looks pretty much the same as before from afar, up close you’ll notice the slightly rounded edges. What’s also not immediately noticeable is the new hinge design: you can now push it all the way down to 165 degrees — or “Studio Mode, ” as Microsoft would like to call it. Even the Surface Pen has been given a spec bump: the old 1, 024-level pressure sensitivity is now at 4, 096 levels, and it comes with tilt sensitivity along with a speedy 21ms latency. Much like the recently announced Surface Laptop line, the new Surface Pro comes with an Alcantara keyboard in three colors: platinum, cobalt blue and burgundy. Pre-order starts today at $799 and up, with specs starting from 128GB SSD plus 4GB RAM all the way up to 1TB SSD plus 16GB RAM, and it’s shipping in mid-June. This mid-cycle update was expected after Surface chief Panos Panay said that a Surface Pro 5 wouldn’t appear until there’s “an experiential change that makes a huge difference in product line.” Even then, this new Surface Pro does manage to pack a few surprises, so it should keep us entertained for the time being. And if that doesn’t scratch the itch, you could just buy one of the many alternatives from other hardware makers. Jon Fingas contributed to this post. Source: Microsoft

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Bitcoin Price Hits Fresh Record High Above $2,200

Posted by kenmay on May - 23 - 2017

An anonymous reader writes: Monday marks the seven-year anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day — the moment a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10, 000 bitcoin on two Papa John’s pizzas. More important than the episode being widely recognized as the first transaction using the cryptocurrency is what it tells us about the bitcoin rally that saw it break through the $2, 100 mark on Monday. Bitcoin was trading as high as $2, 185.89 in the early hours of Monday morning, hitting a fresh record high, after first powering through the $2, 000 barrier over the weekend, according to CoinDesk data. Throughout the weekend, the value of cryptocurrency was looming around $2, 000. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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