Thursday, October 29, 2015

Windows 10 penetration estimated at 120 million

Three months on the market

In three months since it debuted, Windows 10 is reportedly found on more than 120 million desktops, laptops and tablets. This is up 10 million from the 110 million install base that Microsoft disclosed earlier this month when it announced the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

The 120 million figure is not an official number, but it's an estimate reported by Winbeta, citing internal sources.

Samsung’s massive 18.4-inch Galaxy View tablet could crush the iPad Pro

The much-speculated Samsung Galaxy View has finally been revealed in images, thanks to the serial leaker EVleaks. The first glimpse of the tablet surfaced at IFA 2015 in the form of a teaser video. The Galaxy View comes with a massive 18.4-inch full HD display, which is bigger than any other tablet on the market aside from some PC all-in-ones that double as tablets. Samsung is clearly pushing boundaries here, though.

It’s not the first time a company has pitched a tablet with such a big display. For example, Alcatel unveiled the OneTouch Go Play with a screen size of 17.3 inches. Interestingly, in the above image, you can see a stand behind the device; it seems to resemble the Microsoft Surface‘s stand. The Galaxy View had also appeared on several third-party seller websites with a price tag of $600 for the 32GB variant, along with some additional specifications and availability info. The listings were removed as soon as the leak went viral, though.

Russian ships may be preparing to attack the global internet

US government sources have revealed to the New York Times growing concerns that Russian naval vessels may be threatening the global internet infrastructure. Russian ships have been seen tracing out the routes of the trans-oceanic cables that carry the vast majority of the world’s internet traffic around the world. Russian ships seem to be deliberately staying close enough to these cables to use their attached submersibles, which the US says could descend and sever the lines — or perhaps tap them. The sheer number of ships involved has been described by senior diplomats as comparable to the Cold War.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Google gives you more info on why it's blocked a website

Every once in a while, when you click on a link from Google Search, you get a blood red screen that screams malware. Sometimes, it even happens to a website you frequent, and Google knows you might be wondering why that's the case. That's the reason Mountain View has tweaked its Transparency Report to include a Safe Browsing Site Status section. If you're curious why a familiar URL suddenly takes you to a warning landing page, then all you have to do is check its status to get the details straight from Google itself. While some websites really do host malware that can harm your computer, the company says others suddenly get blocked due to infected content uploaded by users or due to a temporary infection. Whatever the reason is, Google promises to quickly notify site owners about the issue, so you can access blocked websites again as soon as possible.

Source: engadget

VB Kid

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Lasers could improve the safety of brain surgery

Helping surgeons tell tumours from healthy tissue

Neurosurgeons are being given given a new tool to improve the safety of their operations - lasers that show them where the edges of a tumour are.

As you might imagine, operating on a brain is not an easy task. Cancerous tissue looks just like healthy tissue, and surgeons have traditionally just used their best judgement in working out how much brain to remove.

Now however, a new type of microscope could change all that. The Stimulated Raman Scattering (SRS) microscope lets surgeons see the difference in real-time between normal brain tissue and tumour tissue.

Friday, October 16, 2015

DARPA's developing a data network that connects squadrons even when jammed

DARPA issued a Broad Agency Announcement solicitation for a new program called Dynamic Network Adaptation for Mission Optimization (DyNAMO) which aims to keep America's manned (and unmanned) combat aircraft connected even if enemy forces attempt to jam their communications. But that's not as straightforward as it sounds. US aircraft are additionally hindered by the fact that many of the platforms operate on incompatible radio networks using different encryption schemes. And while the DoD has already developed specialized data-link gateways to act as universal translators between them, the gateways' bandwidth is limited.

"DyNAMO's goal is to enable pilots in one type of aircraft with a specific suite of sensors to easily share information with different types of manned and unmanned systems and also receive sensor information from those various platforms for a comprehensive view of the battlespace." Wayne Phoel, DARPA program manager, said in a statement. "We aim to develop technology that dynamically adapts networks to enable instantaneous free-flow of information among all airborne systems, at the appropriate security level and in the face of active jamming by an adversary."

Darpa expects the DyNAMO technology to run some custom radio hardware it's also developing through the Communications in Contested Environments (C2E) program. This program seeks, essentially, to update the translating data-link gateways with an architecture that closely resembles commercial smart phones. That is, one where the application processing, real-time processing, and hardware are all managed and validated separately. In this way, DyNAMO will be able to take raw RF data, convert it into a format that every plane in the squadron can process and then disseminate it reliably.


Your VB Kid

Samsung's Gear S2 smartwatch with 3G will cost you $50 more

If you've been itchin' to get your hands on the cellular version of Samsung's Tizen smartwatch and its fancy rotating bezel, you'll soon be in luck. Both T-Mobile and Verizon announced pricing and availability for the Gear S2 with 3G today. On T-Mobile, you can add the wearable to your plan for $5/month while the watch itself will set you back $360 or $15 on a monthly payment plan. There isn't a pre-order option, but it'll hit the Big Magenta's stores and website on November 15th. Verizon will also require you to pay an extra $5 a month to add the Gear S2 to your account, but it's offering the gadget for $350 or $300 if you opt for a two-year contract. You're able to pre-order from Verizon, starting today, before it goes on sale November 6th. T-Mobile and Verizon will both carry dark grey and silver models, so you'll have two color options to choose from should you decide to splurge for one. AT&T is expected to announce availability for the Gear S2 as well, but hasn't revealed those details just yet.

*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.

Source: engadget

Your VB Kid

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Google is killing Chrome's notification center for Mac and Windows

In 2013, Google added a full-fledged notification center to Chrome for Windows, Mac and Linux that combined rich notifications from web pages with Google Now info. However, it seems that almost no one ever used that notification center, so Google's killing it in the next version of Chrome. In its Chromium blog, Google admitted that "few users" visited the notification area, so it would be removed to streamline the desktop experience.

Notifications will certainly still stick around Chrome -- earlier this year, the browser started supporting a new web standard for push notifications from web sites. But it sounds like there won't be an easy way to see what you might have missed while away from your computer, and it also looks like there won't be any way to get Google Now info on your desktop, either. On ChromeOS, Google recently moved Google Now info out of the notification center and into a new app launcher that combines search, Google Now, and your frequently-used apps. Whether or not there will be a new way for Mac, Windows and Linux users to get to Google Now remains to be seen.

Source: engadget

Your VB Kid

Saturday, October 10, 2015

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The Chief Technomancer
VB Kid

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Google is now Alphabet, the owner of Google

The paperwork is filed and it's official: Google has restructured itself into Alphabet. As of the close of business today shares of the old Google are now part of Alphabet, which counts Google as a subsidiary. On our end, this doesn't change much -- unless you're a big fan of Ingress or Pokemon -- but now Sergey Brin and Larry Page can chase innovations in seemingly unrelated areas. Sundar Pichai will keep running day-to-day operations at the new Google, except now with the title of CEO

Google now includes Android, Search, YouTube, Apps, Maps and Ads. Meanwhile, Alphabet can focus on Google Fiber (high speed internet), Calico and Life Sciences (health), Google Ventures and Google Capital (investments), Nest (home automation) and Google X (everything fun, like drone deliveries, self-driving cars and city-wide WiFi).

Google Proceeds With Implementation of New Operating Structure

Google Inc. announced today that, pursuant to its previously announced plans to create a new public holding company, Alphabet Inc. ("Alphabet"), by implementing a holding company reorganization (the "Alphabet Merger"), it expects that the Alphabet Merger will close after the close of business on October 2, 2015. Google anticipates that shares of Google Class C Capital Stock and shares of Google Class A Common Stock will begin trading as Alphabet Class C Capital Stock and Alphabet Class A Common Stock, respectively, on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on October 5, 2015. Shares of Alphabet Class C Capital Stock and shares of Alphabet Class A Common Stock will continue to be traded under the same ticker symbols under GOOG and GOOGL, respectively.

Update: The Alphabet merger is now effective. For more information on the merger, please see Alphabet's Form 8-K filed on October 2, 2015.


Your VB Kid

Did Google’s quantum computer just get the biggest processor upgrade in history?

Largest processing

Google will be getting a major upgrade to its D-Wave brand quantum computer, which has been the source of controversy over the past several years. The company has kept a tight wraps on just what it hopes to accomplish with quantum technology, and whether it has started to accomplish it. Now we know that the computer itself will be getting significantly more powerful, and that D-Wave will maintain it with further upgrades for another seven years. If you believe D-Wave’s take on the technology, this newest version is exponentially more powerful than the last.

Apple made the iPhone 6s nearly waterproof and didn't tell anyone

Hiding secrets

Leave it up to Apple to downplay a surprisingly useful engineering feat: A water-resistant iPhone. It turns out the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus sport a combination of new technology that makes them far more resistant to liquid damage than past iPhones, iFixit reports. Apple packed in a new gasket around the sides of the phone, and it incased every cable connector on the phone's logic board with a waterproofing material. Given that the logic board that includes most of the iPhone's sensitive electronics and is the most prone to water damage, Apple's solution is particularly clever. Most other water-resistant phones focus on protecting external ports, rather than internal electronics. While it's far from being truly waterproof, there are plenty of videos online showing iPhone 6s models surviving water dunks. The truly strange thing is Apple has never mentioned the feature -- unlike Samsung and Sony, both of which championed water resistance as key features of some recent phones (though Samsung gave up on it for the Galaxy S6, and Sony is backtracking on its claims).