jfruh writes: The process of picking a password is an increasingly burdensome one for many users. Here's one suggestion: if you're already going to have to pick something long and unweildy, don't get hung up on the "word" part. Why not pick a phrase, and, if you're doing that, why not pick a mantra that will improve your mood? Work out your frustrations ("I want to yell @ U 2"), affirm your self-worth ("I yam ! my j0b", with "!" for "not") — the possibilities are limitless.
jfruh writes: Korean electronics manufacturer LG has shown off experimental see-through, roll-up displays, paper thin and flexible and capable of letting through about 30% of the light that strikes it. The company is eager to sell the concept and promises it'll be arriving soon, though they've shown of similar (though less capable) technology over the past few years and have yet to bring any products to market.
itwbennett writes: At the recent Society of Information Displays (SID), Nokia showed off displays that could be bent up to two times, and still continue to work. Well, Korea's LG Display just one upped them in a big way. It has just shown off an 18-inch flexible OLED panel that you can roll up like a newspaper to a radius of just 3 cm and still work. The company also showed off an 18-inch transparent OLED panel
itwbennett writes: When unknown television maker Seiki released the world’s cheapest 4K TV, many programmers jumped at the opportunity to gain a cheap 4K monitor. Early reports touted vast screen real estate and sharp picture as a massive productivity boost for developers. So when ITworld's Matt Mombrea saw a 50” Seiki 4K TV for $429, he had to give it a try. Consider this your chance to learn from his mistakes: Despite tweaking every possible thing there was to tweak, the TV still made for a sub-standard monitor — it was slow and laggy with a noticeable flickr. As a TV, though, it's just fine.
itwbennett writes: The Federal Communications Commission, in a 3-2 party-line vote Friday, approved a plan to revamp the 17-year-old E-Rate program, which pays for telecom services for schools and libraries, by phasing out funding for voice service, Web hosting and paging services, and redirecting money to Wi-Fi. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had proposed a $5 billion budget for Wi-Fi, but Republican commissioners and some lawmakers had questioned where the money would come from. Still, the E-Rate revamp approved Friday contemplates a $1 billion-a-year target for Wi-Fi projects 'year after year,' Wheeler said.
jfruh writes: We already have the Internet of Things, so why not the Security Breaches of Things? A security research firm released a case study of a company that ordered inventory scanners that ended up coming already infected with malware. Once the scanners were connected to the company's wireless network, the malware searched out Linux-based ERP servers with "finance" in their names and then went after known security holes.
jfruh writes: New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that he and his leadership team are taking "important steps to visibly change our culture" and that "nothing is off the table" on that score. While much of his declaration consists of vague and positive-sounding phrases ("crease the fluidity of information and ideas by taking actions to flatten the organization and develop leaner business processes"), he outlined his main goals for the shift: reduce time it takes to get things done by having fewer people involved in each decision; quantify outcomes for products and use that data to predict future trends; and increasing investment for employee training and development.
jfruh writes: Patent trolling is a serious irritatnt and financial drain on many big tech companies — but those same companies can't guarantee that their own future management won't sell the patents they own to a 'non-practicing entity', especially in the case of sale or bankruptcy. That's why a number of tech giants, including Google and Dropbox, have formed the 'License or Tranfer Network,' in which a patent will automatically be licensed to everyone else in the network in the event that it's sold to a third party.
jfruh writes: Whenever new technology meets resistence from society at large, tech enthusiasts are quick to dismiss "techno-panics," invoking luddites and buggy-whip manufacturers as roadbumps to history. But actual instances of resistance to technology weren't always simply negative obstructionism. The original Luddites didn't hate machines; they were skilled machine operators engaged in a violent labor dispute. 19th 'Kodak fiends' met strong opposition that eventually solidified into social rules about public photography that maybe Google Glass users should consider. And maybe the vogue of using radioactive material in quack cures should have inspired more techno-panic than it did.
itwbennett writes: In late June, a handwritten letter was sent from the state prison in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, by 10 people seeking to join the Apple vs. Samsung case. The letter included the purported signatures of Jodi Arias, whose trial and conviction in 2013 for murdering her boyfriend achieved widespread coverage on cable news channels; James Holmes, who appears to be the same person accused of killing 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012; and Christopher Wirth, who was found guilty in 2013 of killing his girlfriend while driving under the influence of alcohol. It wasn't possible to verify the authenticity of the signatures, but the envelope used to send the letter bears a Pennsylvania Department of Corrections 'Inmate Mail' postmark and a return address of the state prison in Bellefonte, where seven of the 10 are listed as being incarcerated.
jfruh writes: Wearable tech has been a pretty niche product so far, and a widely derided one at that, but moves are in the works to help the category break into the mainstream. One of the biggest irritants is that most wearable devices must pair with a smartphone to actually connect to the Internet — but an AT&T exec says that his company will be selling a standalone wearable by the end of 2014. Google Glass has been a flashpoint of conflict not least because it's extremely obvious; its creator says that subtle, non intrusive versions are coming. And while everyone wonders what Apple's play in this space will be, it may be best to imagine what they're working on as a successor to their fading iPod line.
itwbennett writes: Python has surpassed Java as the top language used to introduce U.S. students to programming and computer science, according to a recent survey posted by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Eight of the top 10 computer science departments now use Python to teach coding, as well as 27 of the top 39 schools, indicating that it is the most popular language for teaching introductory computer science courses, according to Philip Guo, a computer science researcher who compiled the survey for ACM.
itwbennett writes: How do you measure success? If it's by Stack Overflow reputation, Google engineer Jon Skeet is the world's best programmer. If it's winning programming competitions, Gennady Korotkevich or Petr Mitrechev might be your pick. But what about Linus Torvalds? Or Richard Stallman? Or Donald Knuth? ITworld's Phil Johnson has rounded up a list of what just might be the world's top 14 programmers alive today.
jfruh writes: A decade ago, when native-built phones dominated the Japanese markets, mobile carriers imposed rules to encourage customer loyalty, SIM locking all handsets. Now, with little or no native phone industry to protect, the Japanese government is set to impose regulations that would require SIM unlocking, which could be a massive boon to smartphone uptake.
itwbennett writes: The Social Security numbers of roughly 18,000 California physicians and health-care providers were inadvertently made public after a slip-up at health insurance provider Blue Shield of California, the organization said Monday. The numbers were included in monthly filings on medical providers that Blue Shield is required to make to the state's Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). The provider rosters for February, March and April 2013 included the data and were available under the state's public records law.