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  • With Custom Skills, Alexa Inches Closer to Being One of the Family April 20, 2018
    Amazon has introduced Alexa Skill Blueprints, adding personalization capabilities to its smart speaker devices. The new tool provides pre-crafted templates for users to create customized experiences, such as skills for particular users. With Alexa Skill Blueprints, users can build into their devices experiences that are personalized for themselves, their friends and their families.
    Peter Suciu
  • Nix This Innovative OS for Its Uninviting Complexity April 19, 2018
    NixOS is a modern and flexible GNU/Linux-based distribution that is both archaic to install and maddening to set up. That combination makes NixOS a reach too far for new users. That result may be an unintended consequence for a Linux operating system that is built around a very novel design approach. It is far more […]
    Jack M. Germain
  • Facebook Rolls Out European-Style Privacy Protections April 19, 2018
    Facebook has unveiled a comprehensive series of privacy enhancements designed to extend protections required by the European Union's GDPR to all of the social media company's users around the world. The updates, which include major changes to the company's terms and data policies, fulfill promises CEO Mark Zuckerberg made to House and Senate members in […]
    David Jones
  • The Electronics Industry: A Pawn in the US vs. China Chess Game April 19, 2018
    Rising tensions between China and the United States have led to growing concerns that a tariff war will have a negative impact on the electronics industry. Amazingly, the industry has been spared thus far, and with good reason. However, even if tariffs aren't imposed, there is a silent battle between the two countries that already […]
    Jim McGregor
  • Vulnerabilities Abound in Popular Android Apps: Report April 18, 2018
    About 20 percent of the most popular Android Apps available through the Google Play Store contain open source components with known security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers, according to a report Insignary will release next week. The findings are the result of the company's recent comprehensive binary code scan of the 700 most […]
    Jack M. Germain
  • Microsoft, Facebook, Oracle Among 34 Firms to Join Cybersecurity Tech Accord April 18, 2018
    Microsoft, Oracle and Facebook, along with 31 other companies, have signed the Cybersecurity Tech Accord, an agreement aimed at defending against cyberattacks, whether coming from rogue hackers or nation-states. The 34 tech firms committed to stronger defenses, no offensive attacks, capacity building and collective action. Security remains a major issue in the tech world.
    Peter Suciu
  • Swedish Sounds, Cool Phones, and Smart Switches April 17, 2018
    Not quite content with furnishing every other aspect of our homes, IKEA has continued its push into smart home territory with its first Bluetooth speaker. The Eneby comes in two sizes: 8 x 8 and 12 x 12 inches. You can use it as a portable speaker with up to 10 hours of battery life […]
    Kris Holt
  • Facebook and Google Could Be Nationalized in 5-10 Years April 16, 2018
    After I considered Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before Senate and House committee hearings last week, it became very clear to me -- and I expect many in Congress -- that social media companies need to be regulated. However, I think this is only a step in the path that governments -- and I do […]
    Rob Enderle
  • Disney Debuts ESPN+ Streaming Sports Service April 13, 2018
    Disney has introduced EPSN+, an all-in-one, direct-to-consumer premium streaming service that offers thousands of live sporting events as well as original series and films. ESPN+ is the first such premium service from The Walt Disney Company's Direct-To-Consumer and International Group through a partnership with ESPN. The release of ESPN+ coincides with the release of the […]
    Peter Suciu
  • New RHEL Locks In Hybrid Cloud Growth April 12, 2018
    Red Hat has announced the general availability of RHEL 7.5, which targets the needs of both Linux server and cloud deployment users. With the goal of providing a consistent foundation for hybrid cloud environments, RHEL 7.5 includes enhanced security and compliance controls, tools to reduce storage costs, and improved usability, as well as deeper integration […]
    Jack M. Germain
  • What Should We Expect From AI? April 12, 2018
    Fear mongering about killer robots and the recent deaths connected with Uber and Tesla autonomous vehicles have rekindled concerns about AI in the machines around us. We are well beyond answering Alan Turing's question, "can machines think?" There is now good reason to ask how we should think of AI, and what we should expect […]
    Jim McGregor
  • Standards Milestone Could Mark Beginning of End for Passwords April 11, 2018
    A Web standards milestone could point to the end of the road for pesky passwords. The new standard, WebAuthn, has won near-final approval from the World Wide Web Consortium. WebAuthn defines a standard API that can be incorporated into browsers and Web infrastructure. It opens the door for new ways for users to authenticate themselves […]
    John P. Mello Jr.
  • Palo Alto Networks Sales VP Amy Slater: Be Human April 11, 2018
    "People have a fear that if they show any type of vulnerability, that's a bad thing," said Palo Alto Networks Sales VP Amy Slater. "But I've learned over time that people want to work with and learn from humans. I've modified the way that I was leading, and in doing so I've become more approachable. […]
    Vivian Wagner
  • Open-Sourced Windows File Manager Gets New Life on Windows 10 April 10, 2018
    Microsoft has rummaged deep into its archive for its latest contribution to the open source community: Windows File Manager. Originally bundled with Windows in 1990, File Manager was a replacement for the command-line interface in MS-DOS. The program was used to search, open, copy and delete files until it was replaced by Windows Explorer, which […]
    David Jones
  • Researchers to Put Facebook's Role in Elections Under Magnifying Glass April 10, 2018
    A group of nonprofits have agreed to fund an initiative to study Facebook's role in elections and democracy. The organizations will pay the expenses of researchers, and Facebook will give the scholars access to proprietary data that has met the company's new standards for heightened user privacy protection. "This is a critical first step," said […]
    John P. Mello Jr.
  • Turning Social Media From a Problem Into a Solution April 9, 2018
    The shooting incident that took place last week at YouTube had less to do with guns than with the failure of the police to act on information in a timely way and the inability of social media to be anything but part of the problem. Google has been giving this issue little more than lip […]
    Rob Enderle
  • Facebook Comes Up With a New Data Access Plan April 6, 2018
    Facebook has announced an update to its policies for restricting data access on its platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg also discussed some of Facebook's new efforts to shore up user privacy protections in a 45-minute long Q&A with members of the media on Wednesday. Facebook will implement nine changes, which will allow users to set privacy […]
    Peter Suciu
  • Bluestar Gives Arch Linux a Celestial Glow April 5, 2018
    Using most any Arch Linux distro usually involves balancing the desire for hands-on control of the OS against the attraction of convenient installation and maintenance processes. Bluestar Linux is one of the few Arch distros that gets the balancing act right. Bluestar Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution that features up-to-date packages, an impressive range of […]
    Jack M. Germain
  • Curves, Gestures May Be in iPhone's Future April 5, 2018
    Gesture control and a curved body may be in the iPhone's future. Apple has been experimenting with those features for the iPhone, and they could be ready for prime time in two to three years. Gesture control would allow a user to execute tasks without touching the screen. The technology could be used for more […]
    John P. Mello Jr.
  • Intel Hits the Gas Pedal With 8th Gen Core Processors April 5, 2018
    Intel has unveiled its latest family of 8th generation Core processors. "As with previous new-gen Core launches, these initial solutions are aimed at customers who value high-end performance and dynamic market segments," said Pund-IT's Charles King. The 8th Gen processors incorporate Intel Octane memory, a smart and adaptable system accelerator for desktop and mobile platforms.
    Richard Adhikari