Top Stories for the Week of August 29, 2018

  • From Category5 Technology TV S11E48
  • August 29, 2018
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday August 29, 2018

T-Mobile admits that hackers stole their customers’ data in a major security breach.

In a statement Friday, T-Mobile admitted that hackers have breached its systems and stolen customer data, including names, addresses, account numbers, and billing zip codes. The company said that it discovered the security breach on August 20th and immediately shut it down.

A company representative said that around three percent of T-Mobile customers may have been affected, meaning around two million accounts. T-Mobile CEO John Legere said on Twitter that it’s “always a good idea to regularly change account passwords,” and T-Mobile admitted that some encrypted passwords may have indeed been in the data stolen.

According to the company’s timeline, the breach was only discovered on August 20th, and affected customers first began to be notified by text message Friday. However, the text looks suspiciously like a phishing attempt, complete with a link to a shortened URL to learn more.

The message reads: "Hello - We ID'd & shut down an unauthorized capture of your info. No financial info/SSN taken but some personal info may have been. More:"


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

IBM is patenting a coffee-delivering drone that can read your mind.

IBM has filed a patent for a mood-sensing coffee delivery drone. It features Facial recognition, psychological profiling—and scalding liquid flying through the air.

IBM's plans for aerial hot beverage deliveries not only include deliveries of pre-ordered brews but also taxi-style flagging down of aerial drinks.

The US Patent Office filing revealed that IBM thinks such a delivery system is part of our future.

In the patent application, they talk about a coffee-laden drone flying to "an area including a plurality of people; scanning the people, using one or more sensors connected to the UAV [drone], the one or more sensors connected to an electronic processing circuit which identifies an individual among the people that may have a predetermined cognitive state."

Put another way, if you're feeling glum, IBM wants a circling coffee drone to sense this and then fly hot drinks at you.

The details of the filing have suggested IBM's drone sensors could be collecting and analysing data on everything from the time of day to facial expressions, your gestures and even the dilation of your pupils. It hopes to merge this with your work calendar as well as "the time an individual woke up in the morning."


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

Google Go, the tech giant's search app optimized for emerging markets, can now read web sites out loud.

We've been keeping an eye on some of the accessibility enhancements coming to smart devices lately, and this week, Google Go, the tech giant's search app optimized for emerging markets, can read web sites out loud.

The company has updated its browser with the ability to read web pages in 28 different languages using a natural sounding voice that works even on a 2G connection. The tech giant has announced the new feature at its annual event in India, which is one of the markets Android Go was created for.

According to Google, the app's new ability takes the old "Text to speech" idea and gives it a brain: they're using AI to determine the most important parts of a web page—and it will only read those sections and leave out everything else. For instance, if it's reading a cooking blog, users don't have to listen to it drone on and on about a writer's life story before reaching the recipe itself.

Since Android Go was designed for affordable phones with the most basic of specs, some devices built for the platform could also have relatively tiny screens. This ability can make it easier for users to consume written content in the same way one would listen to audio while doing something else, like exercising or cooking, or while on the go. However, it will probably be the most useful for those with vision problems, difficulty reading, or even those learning a new language. As an added bonus, the browser displays what it's reading and highlights each word as it goes, making it viable as a learning tool.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson

Happy birthday, Linux!

Happy 27th birthday, Linux! Yes, it is, once again, the time of the year when we celebrate the hero of modern computing, the Linux Kernel.

Some FOSS fans consider the first public release of (prototype) code, which dropped on October 5, 1991, as more worthy of being the kernel’s true anniversary date.

Others take this past Saturday, August 25, as the “birth” date of the project.

And for good reason.

The 25th of August is the day back in 1991, a young Finnish college student named Linus Torvalds sat at his desk to let the folks on comp.os.minix newsgroup know about the “hobby” OS he was working on.

The “hobby OS” that wouldn’t, he cautioned, be anything “big” or “professional”…

Here's what Linus said in that original post: "Hello everybody out there using minix—I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I’d like any feedback on things people like/dislike in minix, as my OS resembles it somewhat (same physical layout of the file-system (due to practical reasons) among other things)."

And look at Linux now!

Which birthday you celebrate is up to you. For what it’s worth Linus says he’s cool with people celebrating either date, or even both!


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


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