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Microsoft Launches Pix, iPhone Camera App

July 29, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Microsoft Launches Pix, iPhone Camera App

There’s a new iPhone camera application available that claims to take better pictures than the one Apple ships with its phones, and it’s built by Microsoft. The company’s research arm on Wednesday launched Pix, which enhances the photos that users take in a variety of ways. The app is  designed to make photos look better and even improves on Apple’s Live Photos ability to capture scenes that have moving elements in them. It’s part of Microsoft’s continued push... 

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SMS Messaging For Two-factor Authentication Could Be Short-lived

July 29, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
SMS Messaging For Two-factor Authentication Could Be Short-lived

SMS messaging for two-factor authentication days may be numbered. A federal agency is discouraging its use. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is recommending changes be made. The latest draft of its Digital Authentication Guideline, updated on Monday, warns that SMS messages can be intercepted or redirected, making them vulnerable to hacking. Many companies, including Twitter, Facebook and Google, as well as banks, already use the phone-based text messaging to add an extra layer... 

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Surgical Robots Are Poised For Big Growth In Operating Rooms

July 29, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Surgical Robots Are Poised For Big Growth In Operating Rooms

Although many physicians see need for improvement, surgical robots are poised for big gains in operating rooms worldwide. Within five years, one in three U.S. surgeries – more than double current levels – is expected to be performed with robotic systems, with surgeons sitting at computer consoles guiding mechanical arms. Companies developing new robots also plan to expand their use in India, China and other emerging markets. Robotic surgery has been long dominated by pioneer Intuitive Surgical... 

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Western Digital Goes 64 Layer 3D NAND

July 29, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Western Digital Goes 64 Layer 3D NAND

Western Digital has announced its latest range of 3D NAND chips, known as BiCS3, offering 64 vertical storage layers on a single three-bits-per-cell chip, making it the smallest in the industry. Pilot production at the company’s Yokkaichi facility in Japan, which it shares with Toshiba, has already begun with what the company described as “meaningful commercial volumes” in the first half of 2017, although some limited consumer products are promised for the tail end of this year. “The... 

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Intel and Kaspersky Join Forces To Thwart Ransomware

July 29, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Intel and Kaspersky Join Forces To Thwart Ransomware

Intel Security, Kaspersky Lab and Europol have teamed up to launch a new initiative designed to educate people about the threat of ransomware and offer keys that can unlock devices without having to pay the fraudsters. The No More Ransom portal, which also has the backing of the Dutch National Police, has been put together in response to the rising threat from ransomware which had almost one million victims in Europe last year. The portal will contain material designed to educate users about the... 

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Can Planets Truly Orbit Many Stars?

July 29, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net

A strange alien world with three suns in its sky has just been discovered, but it didn’t break any records. There are a handful of other known exoplanets with three host stars, and quite a few out there with two suns. (This latter group is sometimes nicknamed “Tatooine” planets, after Luke Skywalker’s home world in the “Star Wars” films.) Where does all this multistar madness end? Is it possible for alien planets to have four, five, six or even more suns? “It... 

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Twitter Still Struggling To Add New User, Grow Revenue

July 28, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Twitter Still Struggling To Add New User, Grow Revenue

Twitter Inc reported its slowest revenue growth since its IPO in 2013 and set a rather grim forecast, fanning concerns that faster growing social media services will make it a niche product. The microblogging service operator’s shares fell 11 percent in extended trading to $16.40. While Twitter struggles to find a way to boost user growth and win over advertisers, social media services such as Instagram and Snapchat are expanding their footprints. Co-founder Jack Dorsey returned to the company... 

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Intel Developing Remote EyeSight Augmented Reality Smart Glasses

July 28, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Intel Developing Remote EyeSight Augmented Reality Smart Glasses

All signs indicated that Intel is developing a pair of augmented reality (AR) smart glasses, and we may see them at the company’s developer show next month. The Intel Remote EyeSight, a set of head-worn AR smart glasses, is built around the idea of remote collaboration. The company will offer details at a technical session during next month’s Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. Further information about the AR smart glasses wasn’t immediately available, but they seem like a... 

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Smartwatch Sales In 2016 Experienced Signficant Decline

July 28, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Smartwatch Sales In 2016 Experienced Signficant Decline

The global smartwatch market experienced a decline by 32% in the second quarter of 2016, with Apple Watch shipments down by 55% when compared to a year earlier, according to research firm IDC. The decline — the first since the market started in 2013 — is expected to reverse next year after Apple and Google launch important operating system updates this fall, IDC said. Also, more watches will launch with cellular connections to LTE wireless without the need to connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone. Apple... 

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Will Moore’s Law Be Obsolete 2021?

July 28, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Will Moore’s Law Be Obsolete 2021?

Transistors will stop shrinking in just five years according to the  2015 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. After 2021, the report forecasts, it will no longer be economically desirable for companies to continue to shrink the dimensions of transistors in microprocessors. Instead, chip manufacturers will turn to other means of boosting density. In fact this is the last ITRS roadmap and the end to a more-than-20-year-old coordinated planning effort that began in the United States... 

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Will AMD Go CPU/GPU In Datacenters?

July 28, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Will AMD Go CPU/GPU In Datacenters?

AMD is drawing up a cunning plan to build a “super-chip” with a CPU and a GPU in a single box to put the fear of god into Nvidia and Intel in the data centre. According to PC World the move will put AMD back into the server business, which is pretty much dead in the water at the moment. Apparently when Zen arrives it wants to merge the CPU with a high-performance GPU to create a mega-chip for high-performance tasks. AMD CEO Lisa Su said the tech will involve fusing Vega and Zen into one... 

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SETI Group Seeking Public Input In The Hunt For E.T.

July 28, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
SETI Group Seeking Public Input In The Hunt For E.T.

In one of Carl Sagan’s last books, he noted that astronomy has brought humanity to a series of “great demotions.” Simply put: When we first observed the night sky, we thought the Earth was in the center of the universe. Over time, as he described in Pale Blue Dot, we tried out other theories as the criteria fit: Maybe the sun is at the center of the universe? Perhaps we’re in an important part of the galaxy? We now know the Earth is in the suburbs of the Milky Way, and our... 

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U.K. Regulators Give Amazon Permission To Explore Drone Deliveries

July 27, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
U.K. Regulators Give Amazon Permission To Explore Drone Deliveries

Amazon.com Inc announced that it has entered into a partnership with the British government to hasten the process for allowing small drones to makes deliveries. The world’s biggest online retailer, which has laid out plans to start using drones for deliveries by 2017, said a cross-government team supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority had provided it with the permissions necessary to explore the process. Amazon unveiled a video last year showcasing how an unmanned drone could deliver... 

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Mytaxi, Hailo Merge To Take On Rival Uber

July 27, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Mytaxi, Hailo Merge To Take On Rival Uber

Daimler’s mytaxi said it will merge with British competitor Hailo in an all-share deal, creating Europe’s largest smartphone-based taxi-hailing business. Unlike U.S.-based ride hailing start-up Uber, which established itself to compete against taxi companies, the new company will operate using taxi firms. It is the latest push by traditional carmakers to enter the taxi ride hailing services market dominated by Uber and other technology companies. The companies declined to disclose financial... 

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NFC For ATM Transactions Catching On

July 27, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
NFC For ATM Transactions Catching On

Several of the nation’s biggest banks in the U.S. now support the use of a smartphone to withdraw cash from an ATM — many by way of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology — instead of requiring customers to use a bank card. One of the early adopters, Bank of America, said this week it currently supports cardless technology at 2,800 of its ATMs. That number will reach 8,000 ATMs by year’s end that rely on NFC and other technology. Bank of America, which has about 15,000... 

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