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Is Mozilla Dropping Smartphones For IoT?

February 9, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Is Mozilla Dropping Smartphones For IoT?

The Mozilla Foundation has confirmed details of its shift in strategy for Firefox OS which will see it abandon future phone development in favour of using the software as (yet another) IoT platform. In an announcement to the developer community by John Bernard, director of collaboration for Connected Devices at Mozilla, and George Roter, head of core contributors, it was confirmed that Firefox OS for smartphones will be canned at version 2.6. “The circumstances of multiple established operating... 

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Edge Continues To Weaken Microsoft’s Browser Standing

February 9, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Computing
Edge Continues To Weaken Microsoft’s Browser Standing

The inability of Microsoft’s Edge to gain new users from the Windows 10 operating system has contributed to the company’s overall decline in browser share, analysis of recently-published data shows. According to several metrics sources, Edge’s share of the global Windows 10user base was significantly lower in January than was Internet Explorer’s (IE) share of all Windows users, signaling that Microsoft has not been able to maintain the historical — or even current... 

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Seeed Studios Debuts $59 Do-it-yourself Mobile Phone Kit

February 9, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Seeed Studios Debuts $59 Do-it-yourself Mobile Phone Kit

You can put together a basic 2G cellphone at home with the RePhone Kit Create, which can also be used to make wearables and IoT devices. The kit from Seeed Studios ships with separate modules that can be pieced together to create a 2G phone with a 1.54-in. LCD screen. Icons on the display can be used to make phone calls or send text messages. There’s more to RePhone than being a fun device. The kit also is a small development board to make wearable and IoT devices with cellular communication... 

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Will Intel Start Tunneling Transistors?

February 9, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Will Intel Start Tunneling Transistors?

Intel is looking at tunneling transistors and spintronics and slowly rejecting the need for speed. According to the Intel’s William Holt, who leads the company’s technology and manufacturing group, Intel will soon have to start using fundamentally new technologies. He named tunnelling transistors and spintronics as good candidates, but both would require changes in how chips are designed and manufactured, and would likely be used alongside silicon transistors. Holt said that the technology... 

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BlackBerry Eliminates 200 Jobs, Trims Costs

February 9, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
BlackBerry Eliminates 200 Jobs, Trims Costs

BlackBerry Ltd  plans to cut 200 jobs at its hometown headquarters in Ontario and in Florida in order to trim costs, as the smartphone maker moves to turn around its fortunes and put more emphasis on its enterprise software business. “As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce,” the company said in an emailed statement. The company declined to comment on what percentage of its workforce is affected by... 

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Dell Appears To Be Taking Security To The BIOS Level

February 9, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Dell Appears To Be Taking Security To The BIOS Level

Grey tin box shifter Dell wants to beef up security on its business laptops and PCs by introducing a new tool which helps to protect the BIOS from malware. Attacks like this are rare and hard for software security to handle. Even wiping your harddrive and reinstalling software will not fix them. Dell has introduced this new tool which makes a copy of the clean BIOS which is kept in the cloud, and compares it with snapshot with the machine’s BIOS every time it boots. If something’s been... 

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In A Strange Twist, Dridex Malware Now Distributes Antivirus Program

February 8, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
In A Strange Twist, Dridex Malware Now Distributes Antivirus Program

Users duped into opening malicious Word documents that distribute the Dridex online banking Trojan might have a pleasant surprise: They’ll get a free anitivirus program instead. That’s because an unknown person — possibly a white-hat hacker — gained access to some of the servers that cybercriminals use to distribute the Dridex Trojan and replaced the malware with an installer for Avira Free Antivirus. Dridex is one of the three most widely used computer Trojans that target... 

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Mozilla Announces End Date For Firefox Mobile OS

February 8, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Mozilla Announces End Date For Firefox Mobile OS

Mozilla has announced when it plans to shut down the Firefox mobile operating system. Firefox OS for smartphones will be retired once Mozilla wraps up version 2.6, George Roter, who leads Mozilla’s Participation Lab, said in a long message posted to the company’s website. Firefox OS 2.6 is currently slated for a May 30 release. Nearly two months ago, Mozilla confirmed that it wascalling it quits on Firefox OS in its current incarnation, ending more than four years of work building... 

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Is Intel Making Strides In The IoT Arena?

February 8, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Is Intel Making Strides In The IoT Arena?

Intel has released its annual report for 2015-16 and it contains some surprising stats. The company has always peppered its report with juicy numbers which give us a good snapshot of the state of all the things it controls, and this year is no exception. Looking at Intel’s figures also gives us a snapshot of what the industry looks like at a wider level. Intel CIO Kim Stevenson said: “Looking ahead, I see extraordinary opportunities for IT leaders in every industry to contribute their... 

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Will ARM Servers Get Google Support?

February 8, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Will ARM Servers Get Google Support?

Google is set to announce that it is working with Qualcomm to design servers based on ARM processors, in a move which could give the British chip designer some street cred in the data centre market. Google is apparently going public with its backing for Qualcomm’s chips at an investor meeting next week. It is saying that if the chips meet certain performance goals, Google will commit to using them. It is too early to say if this is going to be the sort of support to ARM and snub to Intel that... 

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Twitter Shuts Down 125,000 Terrorism-related Accounts

February 8, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Twitter Shuts Down 125,000 Terrorism-related Accounts

Twitter Inc has suspended more than 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since the middle of 2015, most of them linked to the Islamic State group, the company said in a blog post on Friday. Twitter has said it only takes down accounts when they are reported by other users, but said that it has increased the size of teams monitoring and responding to reports and has decreased its response time “significantly.” Twitter’s announcement comes as many tech companies – led by Facebook... 

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Alien Megastructure Mysteries May Remain A Secret

February 8, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Alien Megastructure Mysteries May Remain A Secret

It’s looking less likely that a swarm of comets or an “alien megastructure” can explain a faraway star’s strange dimming. The star (nicknamed “Tabby’s Star,” after its discoverer, Tabetha Boyajian) made major headlines last October when Jason Wright, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University, suggested that it could be surrounded by some type of alien megastructure. A more likely idea — one that’s far less exciting — is that the star is orbited... 

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AMD Develops The Excavator Processor Specifically For Gamers

February 5, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
AMD Develops The Excavator Processor Specifically For Gamers

AMD has unveiled a handful of new processors as part of its 2016 desktop refresh, including the first chip based on the Excavator core to target desktop PCs. The firm will also release new motherboards with high-speed USB 3.1 ports and connectors to support M.2 Sata SSDs. AMD’s new desktop processors are available now, and aimed chiefly at the enthusiast and gamer markets. They comprise three chips fitting into the firm’s FM2+ processor socket infrastructure for mainstream systems. Two... 

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Hackers Attempt Attack On 20+ Million Alibaba Accounts

February 5, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Hackers Attempt Attack On 20+ Million Alibaba Accounts

Hackers in China attempted to gain access to over 20 million active accounts on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Taobao e-commerce website using Alibaba’s own cloud computing service, according to a state media report posted on the Internet regulator’s website. An Alibaba spokesman said the company detected the attack in “the first instance”, reminded users to change passwords, and worked closely with the police investigation. Chinese companies are grappling a sharp rise... 

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Are Light Powered Transistors On The Horizon?

February 5, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Are Light Powered Transistors On The Horizon?

A team of researchers have emerged from their smoke filled labs claiming to have invented a transistor which runs on light rather than applied voltage. According to Technology Review University of North Carolina in Charlotte say the new transistor controls the electrons to flow through it so that when the lights are on it and turns itself off when it gets dark. This means that devices can be made smaller than field effect transistors because they don’t require doping in the same way and can be... 

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