Top Stories for the Week of October 12, 2016

  • Episode 473
  • October 12, 2016
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday October 12, 2016


Microsoft has switched their older operating systems to a more "Windows 10 style" update process.

Microsoft has switched their older operating systems to a more "Windows 10 style" update process.

In August, Microsoft announced that it was going to change the patching model used by Windows 7 and 8.1—as well as Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2—to something close to that of Windows 10.

In a break from Microsoft's older operating systems, Windows 10's monthly updates incorporate both security and non-security fixes into a single monolithic update. These updates combine not only each month's new fixes, but also the fixes from previous months. A similar system is being offered to those older operating systems. The patch which rolled out yesterday was the first time this new system has been used.

Source: arstechnica.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Following an email leak, the Turkish government blocked several online storage services, including DropBox.

Following an email leak, the Turkish government blocked several online storage services, including DropBox.

Access to online storage systems, including DropBox, GitHub and Microsoft OneDrive, was blocked in Turkey on Saturday.

The Turkish government imposed the blocks after a hacktivist group leaked emails it said it had stolen from the nation's energy minister.

The Redhack group had threatened to publish the information unless left-wing dissidents were released.

In total, more than 57,000 emails were put online by the group.

News about the block was broken by the Turkey Blocks digital rights group, which monitors net censorship in the county.

It said that Google's Drive storage service had also initially been included in the list of sites blocked but this block had been lifted soon after.

The blocks stayed in place on the other web companies until late on Saturday as links to the email cache were removed.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Samsung has pulled the plug on Galaxy Note 7 production after their "fixed" phones continued to catch fire.

Samsung has pulled the plug on Galaxy Note 7 production after their "fixed" phones continued to catch fire.

South Korean tech giant Samsung has permanently ceased production of its high-end Galaxy Note 7 smartphones after reports of devices it had deemed safe catching fire.

The firm had already reduced Galaxy Note 7 production volumes.

Owners are expected to be able to return the phones for a refund or an exchange for a different Samsung phone.

In September, Samsung recalled around 2.5 million phones after complaints of exploding batteries.

It later insisted that all replaced devices were safe.

However, that was followed by reports that those phones were catching fire too.

In a statement yesterday, Samsung has said, "We recently readjusted the production volume for thorough investigation and quality control, but putting consumer safety as top priority, we have reached a final decision to halt production of Galaxy Note 7s. For the benefit of consumers' safety, we stopped sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 and have consequently decided to stop production."

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Scientists have shown that memristors could run a neural network.

Scientists have shown that memristors could run a neural network.

Humanity just took one step closer to computers that mimic the brain. University of Southampton researchers have demonstrated that memristors, or resistors that remember their previous resistance, can power a neural network. The team's array of metal-oxide memristors served as artificial synapses to learn (and re-learn) from "noisy" input without intervention, much like you would. And since the memristors will remember previous states when turned off, they should use much less power than conventional circuitry -- ideal for Internet of Things devices that can't afford to pack big batteries.

It's still early days for this technology. If you wanted AI that could replicate the brain in its full glory, you'd need "hundreds of billions" of synapses (if not more). The far-simpler memristor array in this test was limited to looking for patterns. However, the Southampton group is quick to note that you wouldn't need to go that far for narrower purposes. You could have sensors that know how to classify objects and identify patterns without human help, which would be particularly helpful in dangerous or hard-to-reach places. You might just see IoT gadgets that are not only connected to the outside world, but can make sense of it.

Source: www.engadget.com

Sent to us by: Jeff Weston


How's this for a great use of drones? Verizon plans to bring cellular LTE coverage by way of drone to areas devastated by natural disaster, or where the cellular towers have otherwise been destroyed.

How's this for a great use of drones? Verizon plans to bring cellular LTE coverage by way of drone to areas devastated by natural disaster, or where the cellular towers have otherwise been destroyed.

Forget more cell towers, Verizon is banking on airborne radios to offer extra 4G LTE coverage.

Over the past two years, the company has been working on a new initiative called Airborne LTE Operations, or ALO, which basically means it will be outfitting drones with 4G radios so that they can beam connectivity to those below.

This might sound familiar — Facebook announced a similar initiative for providing internet connectivity to people who would not otherwise have it.

Verizon’s plans, however, are a little more focused — the company will be using its drones to provide emergency LTE connectivity when cell towers are not an option.

So when could this be useful? There are actually plenty of cases in which LTE connectivity could be very useful. As TechSpot notes, for example, in 2012 Hurricane Sandy had a huge impact on the communication towers on the East Coast. At the time, it was said the storm wiped out a hefty 25 percent of cell towers in as many as 10 states.

Initially, Verizon will work with American Aerospace Technologies and will test connectivity using an unmanned aerial vehicle with a wingspan of 17 feet.

Of course, Verizon’s 4G drone could be used in more than just emergencies. At some point next year, the company hopes to implement the technology for a range of different purposes — including inspecting pipes and powerlines, as well as gathering data on farms and farmland.

Source: www.businessinsider.com

Sent to us by: Jeff Weston


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