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Top Stories for the Week of March 8, 2016

  • Episode 442
  • March 8, 2016
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday March 8, 2016


Six Flags guests will wear Samsung Gear VR on roller coasters for virtual reality experiences.

Six Flags guests will wear Samsung Gear VR on roller coasters for virtual reality experiences.

Disney theme parks have been using virtual reality to design new rides and attractions, and Landmark Entertainment is building a virtual reality theme park in China. But now Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is bringing virtual reality to actual roller coasts across nine of its theme parks this month.

Six Flags has partnered with Samsung Electronics America to integrate the mobile Gear VR device into virtual reality rides that were designed to take advantage of every twist and turn in the roller coaster track. Samsung is now the “official technology partner” of Six Flags, and its Facebook Oculus technology is powering two new virtual reality rides.

Nick DiCarlo, vice president and general manager of immersive products and virtual reality at Samsung, says Six Flags patrons will experience Gear VR from a Galaxy S6 edge and newer devices.

The senior vice president of marketing for Six Flags, says the company has been exploring virtual reality for years, but now the technology exists to deliver the types of one-of-a-kind experiences it was looking for.

By adding virtual reality to pre-existing rides, theme parks are able to change experiences from year to year without constructing new multi-million dollar rides.

One ride being launched puts riders in the co-pilot seat of fighter jets battling aliens in air-to-air combat. The ride even allows riders to fire weapons at alien ships through new interactive gameplay technology that takes advantage of Gear VR’s video game capabilities.

Source: fortune.com

Sent to us by: Jeff Weston


Google expanding its ‘right to be forgotten’ in Europe ... but it just means you’ll now need a VPN to get access to unfiltered search results.

Google is expanding its ‘right to be forgotten’ in Europe.

When Google was ordered to start censoring its search results for users within Europe back in 2014, it meant that anyone who requested delisted information from any of the search giant’s European sites couldn’t access it.

There was, however, one giant hole in that system – anyone visiting Google.com got a full list of results regardless of where they were accessing the search engine from, essentially rendering the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling a bit pointless.

From this week, that’s set to change as users within Europe to any of Google’s search engines will now be subject to the same set of restricted results.

In November last year – around 18 months after Google started enacting removal requests – it said it had removed more than 440,000 links from its search results.

Of course, users outside of Europe get the same unedited results, so I guess firing up a VPN and selecting an appropriate IP address is still an option if you want to see a full list of results.

For Google to stop this, it would need to put the right to be forgotten into effect for all its sites and all users, which doesn’t sound likely anytime soon.

Whether or not European residents should need to use a VPN to access uncensored search results is a different question altogether.

Source: thenextweb.com

Sent to us by: Jeff Weston


Samsung is now shipping its 15 TB SSD hard drive.

Samsung is now shipping its 15 TB SSD hard drive.

Samsung has announced that it is now shipping its PM1633a SSD. That's a boringly mundane name for a drive that's anything but: the PM1633a isn't just the biggest SSD around, it's straight-up the biggest drive around. At 15.36TB, it dwarfs other SSDs and surpasses the capacity even of the very latest magnetic spinning disks. Remarkably, it packs all this storage into a conventional 2.5-inch package.

The company explained how this was done in August last year. While traditional integrated circuits (whether processors or flash memory or RAM or anything else) have a flat, essentially 2D structure, this drive uses Samsung's 3D V-NAND technology, which vertically stacks 48 layers of NAND cells to greatly increase the storage density.

The PM1633a is aimed at enterprise markets, and Samsung says that the drive supports 15.36TB of writes per day over its five-year life cycle.

Source: arstechnica.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Microsoft SQL server is coming to Linux!

Microsoft has produced a version of its database software that runs on the rival Linux operating system.

Microsoft has revealed that their new version of the SQL Server software it has made for Linux will be released in mid-2017.

The creation of the software is a significant step for Microsoft which has traditionally focused on its core Windows operating system.

Microsoft's SQL Server is one of the company's core products and the Windows version is used by many customers to run and manage databases.

Microsoft has about a 21% share of the database software market, suggest figures from analyst firm Gartner.

Oracle--who provide MySQL--is the market leader. Microsoft imagines the release of SQL Server for Linux will help them compete with that company.

The move also puts Microsoft into more direct competition with IBM and SAP. There are also a lot of free Linux-based database programs available.

The release of SQL Server is one among several steps Microsoft has taken to work more closely with Linux and its advocates.

The data centre management software Microsoft uses for its Azure service is based on Linux; it has also produced software that helps people manage Linux servers and has released an analytics package called R Server that works with several different versions of Linux.

The greater willingness to work with former rivals has been one of the hallmarks of boss Satya Nadella's reign at Microsoft. Mr Nadella took over as chief executive in February 2014.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Pirates are getting more sophisticated!

Pirates are getting more sophisticated!

When the terms "pirate" and "hacker" are used in the same sentence, usually it's a reference to someone breaking digital rights management on software. But that wasn't the case here...

A global shipping company had been the victim of piracy of the sea-faring kind, aided by a network intrusion.

The shipping company experienced a series of hit-and-run attacks by pirates who, instead of seeking a ransom for the crew and cargo, went after specific shipping containers and made off with high-value cargo.

Security investigators into the crime discovered that the shipping company used a "homegrown" Web-based content management system to manage bills of lading for their cargo ships. An examination of network traffic to the CMS revealed a Web shell script had been uploaded to the server through a vulnerability in the software. The shell script backdoor gave attackers remote access to the server, allowing the upload and download of files—in this case, specifically downloading the bills of lading for the company's ships. The attackers had compromised a number of system passwords in the process as well.

The shipping company shut down the server to fix the vulnerability, and they then blocked the IP address of the pirate's hacker—ending the targeted attacks.

Source: arstechnica.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


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