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+ - What Tech Products Were Built to Last?->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "When you think about tech products these days, you probably think 'refresh cycle' more than 'built to last.' But as it turns out there are plenty of tech products that put up with hard, daily use year after year. ITworld dug into the BuyItForLife subreddit to suss out 10 such products (some more strictly 'tech' than others). Among those with the strongest recommendations for their ability to outlast their peers: Logitech MX510 mouse, Brother black & white laser printer, Casio G-Shock watch, Alvin Draf-Tec Retrac mechanical pencil, Sony Dream Machine alarm clock. What's your longest-lasting, hardest-working device?"
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+ - Detroit: America's Next Tech Boomtown-> 1

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Over the past few years, the growth rate in Detroit tech jobs has been twice the natural average. The reason is the industry that still makes Detroit a company town: U.S. automotive companies are getting into high tech in a big way, and need qualified people to help them do it. Another bonus: the rent is a lot cheaper than it is in San Francisco."
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+ - MIT Grad Students Declare War On The Power Brick->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "In the world of petty tech annoyances, laptop power bricks are among the most annoying: they either take the form of something big and heavy that gets tangled up underfoot, or a huge plug that blocks other outlets. A group of MIT grad students think they've found a better way, a slimmer, lighter alternative that includes a USB port as well that so you can charge your laptop and phone at the same time. They're crowdfunding the project on Kickstarter."
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+ - Oracle Deflects Blame for Troubled Oregon Health Care Site->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Oracle is gearing up for a fight with officials in Oregon over its role developing an expensive health insurance exchange website that still isn't fully operational. In a letter obtained by the Oregonian newspaper this week, Oracle co-president Safra Catz said that Oregon officials have provided the public with a 'false narrative' concerning who is to blame for Cover Oregon's woes. In the letter, Catz pointed out that Oregon's decision to act as their own systems integrator on the project, using Oracle consultants on a time-and-materials basis, was 'criticized frequently by many'. And as far as Oracle is concerned, 'Cover Oregon lacked the skills, knowledge or ability to be successful as the systems integrator on an undertaking of this scope and complexity,' she added."
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+ - Intel Expands Quark Processor Line->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "If you haven't heard of Quark, you're not alone: 'It was introduced last minute at the most recent Intel Developer Forum and Intel people were literally pulling analysts aside minutes before the keynotes to give them the word, and then Intel proceeded to tell them nothing,' according to Jim McGregor, president of Tirias Research. 'They made the announcement but didn't give us any details, which is really unusual for them. You kinda got the impression the thing was half-baked at the time,' he said. 'Since then, a clearer picture has emerged,' writes blogger Andy Patrizio. 'Quark is a lower performance version of Atom designed for everything from industrial and automotive to wearables and the Internet of Things. This week, Intel added three more chips to the line: the X1001, X1011 and X1021D, which are the old chips but certified to operate from -40C to +85C while offering the same performance and feature sets as the prior models. The temperature certifications mean these chips will be going into industrial equipment, cars, and other mechanical devices that experience extreme temperature.'"
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+ - Leak: Amazon Phone With 3D Display->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Apparently Amazon thinks we want 3D screens on our phones. Yesterday Boy Genius Report leaked images of what is supposed to be a phone coming from Amazon (BGR has all the nitty-gritty — and not yet official in any way — specs). The phone apparently has six cameras.... One on the back and one on the front for traditional photos and selfies. Then there are 4 more on the front that are intended to do facial tracking in order to properly display a 3D user interface. As blogger Peter Smith points out, 'that's an improvement over the 3DS which requires you to hold the device in the 'sweet spot' for the 3D effect to work properly.' But it also sounds like an expensive system both in terms of hardware and processing cycles."
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+ - Evaluating When to Kill a Project: What Criteria Do You Use?

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler (16185) writes "It happens to all of us. Sometimes, the right way to fix a project is to cancel it. Making the decision to do so, though, has to be more than a gut response. Whatever the reason – at some point, you have to decide whether to keep plugging along, or to pull the plug.

It's easy to come up with a blasé statement like “I evaluate whether my original project statement will ever be achievable. If I determine that the project cannot meet my goals and objectives, we stop it.” But that assumes you know how to make that determination. Here's some advice on how to calibrate the issues to consider in the “Go/No-Go” decision process, whether the project is something of your own devising (anything from a personal coding project to a novel), or a corporate death march.

For example, "Are you dependent upon resources that are outside your control? If so, can you get them under control?"

And Hugo-award-winning CJ Cherryh points out, it might be that the inspiration isn't there at the moment, but you can set it aside to consider later. She adds, “Never destroy it – for fear it will achieve holy sanctity of ‘might-have-been’ in your memory. Being able to look at it and say, ‘Nope, there was no hope for this one’ is healthy.”

What criteria would you add?"

+ - Netflix Gets What It Pays For: Comcast Streaming Speeds Skyrocket->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Back in Februrary, after a lengthy dispute, Netflix agreed to pay Comcast for network access after being dogged by complaints of slow speeds from Comcast subscribers. Two months later, it appears that Comcast has delivered on its promises, jumping up six places in Netflix's ISP speed rankings. The question of whether this is good news for anyone but Comcast is still open."
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+ - Four In Five Americans Want Data-Sharing Restricted By Law->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "Some surveys from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project have found, not suprisingly, that Americans are concerned about the privacy and safety of their personal data, worrying about everything from securtiy breaches to corporate misues of it. Perhaps the most striking data point from the survey: 79% of respondents want tighter government regulations that would restrict how their personal data is shared."
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+ - The Case for a Safer Smartphone->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, people who text and drive increase their chances of 'safety-critical events' by a multiple of 23.2. And new research is constantly rolling out, showing the same thing: 'We can't handle the visual, manual, and cognitive commitment of using a phone while driving,' writes blogger Kevin Purdy. What's needed, Purdy suggests, isn't more laws that will go ignored, but phones that know enough to stop giving us the distractions we ask them for:

I think the next good phone, the next phone that makes some variant of the claim that it "Fits the way you live," needs to know that we don't know what is good for us when it comes to driving. We want to be entertained and shown new things while doing the often mundane or stressful task of driving. More specifically, those phones should know when we are driving, quiet or otherwise obscure updates from most apps, and be able to offer their most basic functions without needing to turn on a screen or type a single letter.

"

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+ - Is Apple A Bad Citizen Of The Tech Community?->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "While much criticism and praise for Apple comes with its engagement with the larger world — politics, charity, labor practices, and so on — there hasn't been much discussion of how Apple contributes to the open source and standards communities of the tech world. It turns out the world's most valuable company doesn't give back much. Despite widespread reliance on open source software, Apple isn't a major corporate sponsor of any open source proejcts — for instance, Microsoft gives more to the Apache Foundation, despite selling a Web server that competes against Apache's free flagship product. Considering the fact that open source and open standards were all that kept Apple from extinction during the dark days of Microsoft dominance, you'd think they'd be more grateful."
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+ - Stung By File-Encrypting Malware, Researchers Fight Back->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "When Jose Vildoza's father became the victime of ransomware, he launched his own investigation. Diving into CryptoDefense's code, he found its developers had made a crucial mistake: CryptoDefense used Microsoft's Data Protection API (application programming interface), a tool in the Windows operating system to encrypt a user's data, which stored a copy of the encryption keys on the affected computer. Vildoza and researcher, Fabian Wosar of the Austrian security company Emsisoft, collaborated on a utility called the Emsisoft Decrypter that could recover the encrypted keys. In mid-March Vildoza had launched a blog chronicling his investigation, purposely not revealing the mistake CryptoDefense's authors had made. But Symantec then published a blog post on March 31 detailing the error."
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+ - Intel and SGI Test Full-Immersion Cooling for Servers-> 1

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Intel and SGI have built a proof-of-concept supercomputer that's kept cool using a fluid developed by 3M called Novec that is already used in fire suppression systems. The technology, which could replace fans and eliminate the need to use tons of municipal water to cool data centers, has the potential to slash data-center energy bills by more than 90 percent, said Michael Patterson, senior power and thermal architect at Intel. But there are several challenges, including the need to design new motherboards and servers."
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+ - Amazon Gadget Lets You Order Groceries From Your Kitchen->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "The idea of an Internet-enabled refrigerator that orders milk for you when you run out has been a staple of futuristic "Internet of things" pitches for years, and for years nobody has had any real interest in owning such a thing. Now Amazon has a variant that it hopes will pique the interest of users of its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service: the Dash, a handheld gadget that you can keep in your kitchen and use to add items to your next order, either by scanning their barcode or just saying the product name."
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