Top Stories for the Week of March 3, 2015

  • Episode 389
  • March 3, 2015
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday March 3, 2015


Valve and HTC are bringing immersive virtual reality to users with the new Vive headset.

HTC is to release a virtual reality headset as part of a tie-up with Valve, a leading PC video games publisher.

HTC is to release a virtual reality headset as part of a tie-up with Valve, a leading PC video games publisher.

The HTC Vive will be paired with wireless controllers and tracking technology to let wearers explore computer-generated environments by walking round their rooms.

A test version of the kit will go on sale to developers shortly, followed by a public edition later this year.

It will compete with Facebook's Oculus Rift and Sony's Morpheus VR headsets.

The machines let wearers view computer-generated 3D environments to give them a sense of being there.

The announcement marks a change of strategy for HTC, which has focused on smartphones.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


The Linux apocalypse is looming.

The year 2038 is still more than two decades away, but software developers should be thinking about that date now, particularly in the Linux world.

The year 2038 is still more than two decades away, but LWN.net editor and longtime Linux kernel chronicler Jon Corbet believes software developers should be thinking about that date now, particularly in the Linux world.

He raised the issue at his annual "Kernel Report" talk at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit in Santa Rosa, California this week. "Time to start worrying," he said.

The issue is similar to the dreaded Y2K bug, in that a longstanding deficiency in the way some computers record time values is due to wreak havoc in all manner of software, this time in 2038.

Back in the early days of Unix, when 2038 was almost a century away, time codes were implemented in 32 bits. Now, we're going to run out of bits with which to tick off seconds. Specifically, that's going to happen at exactly 03:14:07 GMT on January 19, 2038.

So why worry now, when we still have decades to fix the problem?

Corbet warns, "systems are being built and deployed now that will still be in service 23 years from now" ... "Linux-based systems are being put into cars, into building control systems, into power plants, and into who-knows-how-many other places where they will just simply sit there and do their job until time_t runs out of bits. And then they won't work anymore."

While it's far from being too late to address these issues, however, each year that developers produce software that doesn't take 2038 into account only compounds the problem.

Time will tell how seriously software engineers take this problem, but Corbet says he doesn't see a lot of firm planning going on.

Source: www.theregister.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


TalkTalk is warning customers about scammers who stole their personal information.

TalkTalk customers are being warned about scammers who managed to steal account numbers and names from the company's computers.

TalkTalk customers are being warned about scammers who managed to steal account numbers and names from the company's computers.

In an email sent to every customer, TalkTalk said scammers were using stolen information to trick people into handing over banking details.

TalkTalk said it had sent the email to every customer although only a few thousand account numbers went astray.

It has set up a dedicated phone line for customers targeted by the scammers.

The theft of data was unearthed when TalkTalk investigated a sudden rise in complaints from customers about scam calls between October and December 2014.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Bill Gates is still the richest man in the world.

Bill Gates has been declared the richest man in the world for the 16th time by Forbes magazine's annual ranking of global billionaires.

Bill Gates has been declared the richest man in the world for the 16th time by Forbes magazine's annual ranking of global billionaires.

The Microsoft founder once again beat Mexican businessman Carlos Slim to the top spot.

Mr Gates' net worth rose by just over $3bn (£1.94bn) in the year to 13 February, to $79bn.

There are a record 1,826 billionaires in the world, Forbes said, an increase of 181 in the past 12 months.

Mr Gates has now been top of the list for 16 of the last 21 years.

Legendary US investor Warren Buffett regained third place in the list with a net worth of $72.7bn.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Setting your phone down on the coffee table will charge its battery thanks to some innovative tech-furniture from Ikea.

Ikea has unveiled a range of furniture fitted with wireless charging spots for mobile devices.

Furniture giant Ikea has unveiled a range of furniture fitted with wireless charging spots for mobile devices.

The Home Smart range will initially include lamps, bedside tables and a coffee table as well as individual charging pads for any surface.

Ikea has used the wireless charging standard QI, which is also supported by Samsung in its latest handset, the S6.

The Swedish furniture firm will sell charging covers for incompatible iPhone and Samsung models.

Environmental group Friends of the Earth urged caution over the recyclability of such products.

Ikea said in a statement that its wireless charging products are "easy to fraction at end of life," and expands on that by pointing out, "By adding wireless charging to home and office furniture, we minimise the amount of separate chargers needed".

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Samsung has had a rough few weeks, what with sharing voice data over unencrypted connections and then some of their smart TVs turning dumb...

A problem during a server update left many Samsung smart TVs looking dumb this week.

A problem during a server update left many Samsung smart TVs looking dumb this week.

Affected sets were unable to connect for two days, meaning owners could not use their more advanced features.

The problem is now fixed, Samsung said.

It follows a series of issues for the firm in recent weeks, which admitted that its sets were sharing users' voice data, before opening an investigation into why its TVs were adding adverts to media played via third-party apps.

In a statement released on Thursday, Samsung said that it conducted its regular update of the Smart Hub server last Tuesday.

"During this process, it was reported that some of our customers in certain countries encountered difficulties in connecting their Smart TVs to the server.

"The difficulty was caused by errors in matching the country code with the relevant server, and the issue has now been resolved," the company said.

Rsearch analyst Paul O'Donovan says, "These are new and more advanced than what we have had in the television market before. They take some time to settle down - maybe within the next year."

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


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