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November 11, 2019
cisco and ibm have taken impressive steps to help pay back veterans for their service
Today is Veterans Day. I got a note last week from Joe Sestak, one of the shrinking field of United States presidential candidates, reminding me that we should observe a moment of silence in recognition of our veterans today. We've asked these people to put their lives on the line for us, and we get a day to offer our thanks. Giving our thanks is the least we can do. [More...]

November 8, 2019
drone deliveries may offer a good last mile solution when items are needed urgently
UPS has announced the first two revenue-generating residential deliveries of prescribed medicines to consumers. Its drone delivered the prescription medications from a CVS pharmacy in Cary, North Carolina, to a consumer's home, and to a customer in a retirement community. The drone flew autonomously but was monitored by a remote operator who could intervene if needed. [More...]

November 8, 2019
kaos linux offers excellent kde integration
The KaOS distro is an up-and-coming Linux OS that provides one of the best integrations yet of a refreshed KDE-based computing platform. Two types of users gravitate to this solidly maintained distribution: those who are frustrated by poor user experiences with Linux distros that are bloated and cumbersome to use; and those who want a better and more controlled KDE desktop environment. [More...]

November 7, 2019
google has inked a deal to acquire wearable fitness tracker maker fitbit
Google has inked a deal to buy wearable fitness device maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion. The acquisition will give Google an immediate leading position in the wearables market, able to compete against the likes of Apple and Samsung rather than having to build up market share from scratch. Fitbit's products are carried in approximately 39,000 retail stores in more than 100 countries around the world. [More...]

November 6, 2019
researchers have demonstrated the use of a laser beam to deliver voice commands to smart devices
University researchers have discovered a way to issue unauthorized commands to digital assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, Facebook Portal and Siri via laser beams. The microphones in devices like smart speakers, mobile phones and tablets convert sound into electrical signals, but what the researchers found was that the mics react to light aimed directly at them, too. [More...]

November 5, 2019
at its max event adobe reached out to a mobile user base
New products for the iPad and iPhone headlined the opening keynote presentation at Adobe Max, the company's annual developers conference held in Los Angeles. Photoshop for the iPad uses Adobe's artificial intelligence engine, Sensei, to enable new selection functionality. For example, "Select Subject," a feature of Photoshop for the desktop, will be available on the tablet version. [More...]

November 5, 2019
microsoft's new edge browser is built on google's chromium project
Along with unveiling its new Edge browser logo, Microsoft announced the official launch date of its nearly finished Chromium-based Edge browser and made its Release Candidate available for download immediately. The latest beta edition of the browser is stable enough for anyone to use, Microsoft said, and it will help IT admins prepare for the mid-Jan. 15 rollout. [More...]

November 4, 2019
an independent body could help eliminate manipulation of the truth on social networks
There recently has been a lot of rumbling about Twitter deciding not to take political ads, and Facebook deciding -- and this was stupid -- that it would run political ads even if they were untrue. I'm becoming convinced that Zuckerberg is trying to put Facebook out of business. There are some real differences between the firms. Facebook does far more political advertising than Twitter. [More...]

November 1, 2019
youtube and other social media have been taking down videos that may be evidence of war crimes
A controversy has erupted over YouTube's practice of taking down videos with graphically violent content, which also may be evidence of recent war crimes. YouTube's policy -- similar to other social media platforms -- has been to remove content that contains hate speech, disinformation or disturbing images. In the past, social media services have been called out for failing to do enough. [More...]

November 1, 2019
a big plus of extix 19.10 is its live session environment after installation but it also has a few flaws
ExTiX 19.10, released with the LXQt desktop on Oct. 23, is a customized Linux distro that leaves you wanting more but settling for less. ExTix is a lightweight modular Linux operating system that is part of the Exton Linux/Live Systems family of distributions hosted by The Swedish Linux Society. The ExTix distro line is perhaps the best known of Exton's Linux platforms. [More...]

October 31, 2019
as much as people fear the impact of technology the possibility of losing it might be even more frightening
The fear of technology has been around for as long as technology itself, and like technology itself, it is always changing. There is evidence of "technophobia" -- the technical name for this affliction -- in every age and in every part of the world. However, it is perhaps reaching a peak in modern society. Americans are more afraid of technology than death, suggests research conducted in 2019. [More...]

October 30, 2019
apple's new airpods pro offer noise cancellation and transparency mode
Active Noise Cancellation is just one of the hot new features in the latest generation of Apple's AirPods. The new AirPods Pro, which go on sale Wednesday for $249, combine earbud microphones with software to remove background noise and improve a user's listening experience. An outward-facing mic on the bud collects environmental sound for analysis. [More...]

October 30, 2019
microsoft's linux-based azure sphere is designed to improve internet of things security
Azure Sphere will be generally available in Feb 2020, Microsoft has announced. Its scheduled arrival highlights Microsoft's readiness to fulfill its promise for better IoT device security at scale. Microsoft first introduced Azure Sphere in 2018, opting to use its own version of a Linux operating system instead of Windows 10 to drive its new Azure Sphere OS to securely connect IoT devices. [More...]

October 29, 2019
nvidia's new shield tv models are good for gamers who want to play pc games on their tvs
Nvidia has introduced two new versions of its Android TV-based Shield streaming product. Shield TV and Shield TV Pro are replacements for the last generation of Shield video streamers, which Nvidia introduced in 2017. The Shield TV Pro retains the form factor of its predecessors -- the box-like form favored by the industry generally -- while the lower priced Shield TV is cylinder-shaped. [More...]

October 28, 2019
hp has been independently taking steps toward sustainability but a larger effort is needed
It seems strange to me that our governments haven't been more aggressive about protecting the environment, given that the cost of not doing so poses an existential risk to the human race. It seems insane to me as we watch parts of the country burn and other parts of the country drown that we're still arguing about climate change rather than coming together to do something about it. [More...]