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Cloud

Datto Launches Datto Drive For SMBs; Offers 1TB at $10 a Month For Unlimited Users (dattodrive.com) 49

Austin McChord, Datto's founder writes: In the era of nearly free cloud storage why on earth am I paying $15 a month per user (for Dropbox and Box). This seems absurd. As the founder of a cloud storage company I thought we could fix this. We combined OwnCloud which is an enterprise level open source file sync and share solution with our skills in infrastructure. Today we are launching Datto Drive, a file sync and share service for businesses that costs just $10 a month for unlimited users and 1TB of combined storage. To get started we are giving the first year away free for the first million businesses that sign up. One thing I'm worried about is whether this service will exist for more than a couple of years. We've seen plenty of startups offer us interesting services at great prices over the past few years, but many of them disappear. Tech Republic has more information about the aforementioned service. Update: 05/02 17:09 GMT by M : Reader torrija points us to a service called HubiC which offers 10TB for 5 euro a month. He adds that the feature is limited to one user, though.
AI

New Chip Offers Artificial Intelligence On A USB Stick (pcmag.com) 78

An anonymous reader writes: "Pretty much any device with a USB port will be able to use advanced neural networks," reports PC Magazine, announcing the new Fathom Neural Compute Stick from chip-maker (and Google supplier) Movidius. "Once it's plugged into a Linux-powered device, it will enable that device to perform neural network functions like language comprehension, image recognition, and pattern detection," and without even using an external power supply.

Device manufacturers could now move AI-level processing from the cloud down to end users, PC Magazine reports, with one New York computer science professor saying the technology means that now "every robot, big and small, can now have state-of-the-art vision capabilities."

The article argues that this standalone, ultra-low power neural network could start the creation of a whole new category of next-generation consumer technologies.
Microsoft

Amazon Beats Microsoft In 'The Battle of Seattle' (usatoday.com) 109

An anonymous reader writes: Yesterday Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos earned $5 billion in one afternoon when the company's stock price jumped 9.6%. Amazon reported an actual profit of $513 million (nearly double the amount expected), and next year Amazon's sales are projected by analysts to be 63% higher than Microsoft's, which USA Today calls "a good illustration of how growth in the sector has moved from hardware, software and chip companies to Internet firms selling goods or advertising online... [W]hile Bill Gates helped put Seattle area on the map as a U.S. tech hub, Bezos now runs the largest tech company in the State of Washington, by far, in terms of sales."

Amazon's Echo and Alexa devices are believed to be outselling their Kindles (and Alexa will soon make her first appearance on a non-Amazon device). But Amazon attributed their surprise jump in revenue to a 51% annual increase in the "tens of millions" of subscribers paying for their Amazon Prime shipping service (which in San Francisco now even includes delivery from restaurants), as well as a 64% increase from their AWS cloud service, which recently announced a new automated security assessment tool.

Amazon ultimately reported more than twice as much new business as Google and three times as much as Facebook, according to USA Today, which notes that now of all the tech companies, only Apple has more revenue than Amazon, and because of the jump in their stock price, Jeff Bezos is now the fourth-richest person in the world. But with all that money floating around, Seattle tech blogger Jeff Reifman is now wondering why Amazon's local home delivery vehicles in Seattle seem to be operating with out of state plates.
Intel

Intel Cuts Atom Chips, Basically Giving Up On Smartphone and Tablet Market (pcworld.com) 170

Intel, the marquee PC chipmaker, has long struggled to get a foothold in the smartphone market. The company, which was late in joining the mobile platform, is still playing catchup with Qualcomm and MediaTek. And it appears it's finally giving up on this ambition. The company is "immediately canceling" Atom chips, code-named Sofia and Broxton, for mobile devices, reports PCWorld, citing a company's spokesperson. The publication reports:Intel's mobile chip roadmap now has a giant hole after the cancellation of the chips. Intel's existing smartphone and tablet-only chips are aging and due for upgrades, and no major replacements are in sight. Sofia is already shipping, and Broxton was due to ship this year but had been delayed. Intel is also discontinuing its Atom X5 line of tablet chips code-named Cherry Trail, which is being replaced by Pentium and Celeron chips code-named Apollo Lake, aimed more at hybrids than pure tablets. Many PC makers are already choosing Intel's Skylake Core M processors over Cherry Trail for hybrids and PC-like tablets.The announcement comes days after its CEO outlined the company's future vision, and a week after the chipmaker let go 12,000 people.
Security

Office 365 Flaw Allowed Anyone To Log In To Almost Any Business Account (threatpost.com) 59

Reader msm1267 writes: A severe vulnerability in the way Microsoft Office 365 handles federated identities via SAML put an attacker in a position to have access to any account and data, including emails and files stored in the cloud-based service. Microsoft pushed through a mitigation to the service on Jan. 5, seven hours after being notified by researchers Yiannis Kakavas and Klemen Bratec. "The attack surface was quite big (Outlook Online, OneDrive, Skype for Business, OneNote -- depending on what the company has paid for in terms of licensing)," Kakavas and Bratec told Threatpost via email. "And a malicious user exploiting this vulnerability could have gained access to very sensitive private and company information (emails, internal documents etc. )." Office 365 users who had configured domains as federated were affected. The list includes British Airways, Microsoft, Vodafone, Verizon and many others, as mentioned in a report published late Wednesday.
Cloud

Microsoft Buys Into DNA Data Storage (ieee.org) 81

the_newsbeagle writes: More than 2.5 exabytes of data is created every day, and some experts estimate that 90% of all data in the world today was created in the last two years. Clearly, storing all this data is becoming an issue. One idea is DNA data storage, in which digital files are converted into the genetic code of four nucleotides (As, Cs, Gs, and Ts). Microsoft just announced that it's testing out this idea, getting synthetic bio company Twist Bioscience to produce 10 million strands of DNA that encode some mystery file the company provided. Using DNA for long-term data storage is attractive because it's durable and efficient. For example, scientists can read the genome from a woolly mammoth hair dating from 20,000 years ago.
Intel

Intel Declares Independence From PC, Prioritizes Cloud, IoT and 5G Efforts 153

A week after announcing 12,000 job cuts, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has shared vision for the company, hinting a shift in its prime focus away from PC business. In a blog post, Krzanich said that the company will be actively growing its data center business. The chip maker also plans to focus on chips and technologies for IoT devices. "The biggest opportunity in the Internet of Things is that it encompasses just about everything in our lives today-- it's ubiquitous," Krzanich said. The company also plans to boost its memory chips business and make a push towards utilizing them in data centers and various cloud services. Intel said that it has made several investments in this field, noting the $16 billion acquisition of Altera last year. The company says it will be playing a big role in the move to 5G connectivity. "Connectivity is fundamental to every one of the cloud-to-thing segments we will drive," he writes.

Over the years, Intel has failed to keep up with Moore's Law, an axiom that semiconductor density will double about every two years. The company previously extended the timeframe to 2.5 years, but Krzanich assures customers that the they are working to make further advances in order to meet the goal. "Moore's Law is fundamentally a law of economics, and Intel will confidently continue to harness its value," Krzanich said. PCWorld has extensively reported on this.
Open Source

Open365 Is An Open Source Alternative to Microsoft Office 365 (open365.io) 144

Martin Brinkmann, writing for Ghacks: Open365 is an open source Office 365 alternative that allows you to edit or create documents online, and to sync files with the cloud. The service is in beta currently but you can sign up for it already on the official website. You may use it using a web browser, download clients for Windows, Mac or Linux desktop machines, or for Android. An iOS client is in the making currently and will be made available as well soon. Open 365 offers two main features that you can make use of. First, it enables you to synchronize files between devices you use and the cloud. Second, it allows you to view, edit and create documents in the cloud using the technology provided by the Open Source Office suite LibreOffice Online for that.
China

Chinese Conglomerate LeEco Wants To Give Away Its 'Tesla Killer' Electric Supercar For Free (ndtv.com) 67

Rishi Alwani, reporting for Gadgets 360 (edited and condensed for clarity): At an event in Beijing this week, Chinese technology conglomerate LeEco showed off its LeSEE self-driving electric supercar. A slide noted that LeEco's car can reach 130mph which is a fair bit behind of the Tesla Model S' top speed range of 140 to 155 mph. Nonetheless, the company said the final product should beat Tesla in "all aspects of performance." The car sports a rounded design with a giant LED screen plastered on the front of the vehicle. If the car is being used for cab services, for instance, the screen can show if it's available for hire or not. There's an arched transparent roof and what seems to be generous cabin space. The interior sported a futuristic-looking steering wheel with a lit-up centre that quite possibly would replace the traditional dashboard and was complemented by a monitor next to it. It also had ridged backseats that may look uncomfortable but is actually memory foam - a polyurethane material used in mattresses that can mould to the shape of a passenger's body for maximum comfort.

Perhaps the most interesting component of its LeSEE concept has nothing to do with the technology, but rather the business models involved. For one, the company believes it has a huge role to play in LeShare - a time-sharing electric vehicle platform that's present in Beijing and Shanghai with plans to expand to five more cities in China. Electric vehicles and charging resources will be shared between LeShare and LeEco-backed Uber competitor Yidao. In addition to this, LeEco believes that the car will eventually be free, in line with the same business model it has for some of its other hardware, charging users for content, subscriptions or memberships.
For a refresh, LeEco (LeTV) was founded in 2004, and has since become a major name in many technology-centric markets. It offers live-streaming, e-commerce, cloud, smartphones, TV set-top boxes, and smart TVs among many other products and services. The company has a market capitalisation of at least $12 billion.
Biotech

CERN Releases 300TB of Large Hadron Collider Data Into Open Access (techcrunch.com) 60

An anonymous reader writes: The European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, has released 300 terabytes of collider data to the public. "Once we've exhausted our exploration of the data, we see no reason not to make them available publicly," said Kati Lassila-Perini, a physicist who works on the Compact Muon Solenoid detector. "The benefits are numerous, from inspiring high school students to the training of the particle physicists of tomorrow. And personally, as CMS's data preservation coordinator, this is a crucial part of ensuring the long-term availability of our research data," she said in a news release accompanying the data. Much of the data is from 2011, and much of it is from protons colliding at 7 TeV (teraelectronvolts). The 300 terabytes of data includes both raw data from the detectors and "derived" datasets. CERN is providing tools to work with the data which is handy.
AMD

A New AMD Licensing Deal Could Create More x86 Rivals For Intel (pcworld.com) 110

angry tapir quotes a report from PCWorld: AMD has announced a plan to license the design of its top-of-the-line server processor to a newly formed Chinese company, creating a brand-new rival for Intel. AMD is licensing its x86 processor and system-on-chip technology to a company called THATIC (Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co. Ltd.), a joint venture between AMD and a consortium of public and private Chinese companies. AMD is providing all the technology needed for THATIC to make a server chip, including the CPUs, interconnects and controllers. THATIC will be able to make variants of the x86 chips for different types of servers. AMD is much smaller than Intel, and licensing offers it an easy way to expand the installed base of AMD technology. The resource-strapped company will also generate licensing revenue in the process, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.
Android

Microsoft Translator App For Android Can Now Translate Text In a Photo 31

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has updated its Translator app for Android to add the ability to recognize the text inside a photo. The photo, Microsoft explains, can be something that you have clicked on your phone as well as an image stored on your phone or cloud. "With this new feature in the Translator app for Android, you can translate pictures instantly from your phone, with the translation appearing in an overlay above the existing text. If you see a sign, menu, flyers, etc. you can point your phone's camera at it, and you won't have any confusion about what you're looking at. You can also translate saved images such as pictures from emails, the Internet and social media," the company wrote in a blog post. The new feature supports simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. Additionally, the new update adds 34 languages to the list of available downloaded language packs for use when you're not connected to the Internet.
Google

Google's Ray Kurzweil Wants To Live Forever, and He Thinks It Includes Nanobots (playboy.com) 185

Reader Esther Schindler writes: Whatever else he is (author, computer scientist, inventor, futurist, Google employee), Ray Kurzweil is undeniably fascinating, with intriguing predictions about the future -- some of which might be accurate. In an interview, he discusses life extension and technology, as well as how he thinks they'll be connected. "When people talk about the future of technology, especially artificial intelligence, they very often have the common dystopian Hollywood-movie model of us versus the machines. My view is that we will use these tools as we've used all other tools -- to broaden our reach. And in this case, we'll be extending the most important attribute we have, which is our intelligence." Part of what I like is that he sees ways to use technology for good and not for evil. "By the 2030s we will have nanobots that can go into a brain non-invasively through the capillaries, connect to our neocortex and basically connect it to a synthetic neocortex that works the same way in the cloud. So we'll have an additional neocortex, just like we developed an additional neocortex 2 million years ago, and we'll use it just as we used the frontal cortex: to add additional levels of abstraction. We'll create more profound forms of communication than we're familiar with today, more profound music and funnier jokes. We'll be funnier. We'll be sexier. We'll be more adept at expressing loving sentiments."Kurzweil also thinks his diet can help him live forever. Kurzweil claims that he spends "a few thousand dollars per day" (or roughly a million dollar a year) on diet pills and eating right. According to a Financial Times report from last year, Kurzweil's breakfast includes:Berries (85 calories for a cup), Dark chocolate infused with espresso (170 calories for an ounce), Smoked salmon and mackerel (100 calories for a 3-ounce serving), Vanilla soy milk (100 calories for a cup) Stevia (zero calories), Porridge (150 to 350 calories for half a cup, depending on ingredients and cooking method), and Green tea (zero calories). Kurzweil takes 100 pills a day (down from 250 a few years ago, technology has advanced, you see) for "heart health" to "eye health, sexual health, and brain health."
Communications

Google Records Over 750,000 'Hijacking' Breaches In One Year (nbcnews.com) 11

An anonymous reader writes: A new study by Google and the University of California, Berkeley, claims over 700,000 websites were breached between June 2014 and June 2015. The research shows that "miscreants" had routinely hijacked thousands of vulnerable web servers for "cheap hosting and traffic acquisition." The exact number of recorded "hijacking incidents" within the period was 760,935 but google has been said they were able to curb the amount of breaches through direct communication with webmasters. Google's Safe Browsing Alerts sends notifications to network admins when potentially dangerous URLs are detected on their networks. These have reportedly increased the likelihood of a "cleanup" by more than 50 percent and reduced "infection lengths" by at least 62 percent. According to The Next Web, WordPress topped the chart of platforms that experienced the most breaches (almost half of all attacks). English websites experienced the most attacks, with Chinese, German, Japanese and Russian language websites following closely behind.
Operating Systems

Canonical To Release Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 'Xenial Xerus' Tomorrow (betanews.com) 207

An anonymous reader writes: Canonical announced today that it will be releasing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on Thursday, April 21. The sixth major release of Ubuntu Long-Term Support (LTS) features the new 'snap' package format and LXD pure-container hypervisor. "The addition of 'snaps' for faster and simpler updates, and the LXD container hypervisor for ultra-fast and ultra-dense cloud computing demonstrate a commitment to customer needs that sets Ubuntu apart as the platform for innovation and scale," said Dustin Kirkland who leads platform strategy at Canonical. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS introduces a new application format, the 'snap', which can be installed alongside traditional deb packages. The snap format is much easier to secure and much easier to produce, and offers operational benefits for organizations managing many Ubuntu devices, which will bring more robust updates and more secure applications across all form factors from phone to cloud.

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