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|This is the Daily Tech News for Thursday Jan 4th, 2018 From DTNS HQ in LA I'm Tom Merritt|
|From studio Feline I'm Sarah Lane|
|Producer Roger Chang|
|:31||TM||Let's start with a few tech things you should know...|
|sl||Nintendo says the Switch broke US records for the fastest selling game console ever with 4.8 million units in 10 months... which passes Nintendo's own 4 million Wii consoles sold in ITS first ten months. Worldwide, Nintendo sold more than ten million Switch consoles.||https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/04/nintendo-switch-fastest-us-selling-console/|
|tm||Samsung introduced the Exynos 9 Series 9810 mobile chip built on Samsung's 2nd-gen 10 nm process. It should use less power and can handle facial recognition as well as gigabit LTE. It's expected to be used in some versions of the next Samsung Galaxy S phone.||https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/1/4/16848792/samsung-exynos-9810-galaxy-s9-chip-ai-processor|
|sl||Blade announced its Shadow desktop-as-a-service will launch in California Feb. 15 and across the US in the summer. Shadow gives you access to a Windows 10 PC from Android, iOS, Linux macOS... or another Windows 10 PC with a promised ability to play games at 144 fps HD or 60 fps 4K and zero latency on at least a 15 Mbps connection. The service will cost $35-$50 a month depending on how far in advance you want to pay.||https://www.cnet.com/news/blade-shadow-heads-to-the-us-to-slay-your-gaming-pc-ces-2018/|
|tm||A Chinese holding company made up of people who worked for the factories that made the Mad Catz gaming peripherals bought the bankrupt company's assets and is relaunching the company. Among the products to be shown at CES are the Strike 4 mechanical keyboard with RGB lighting, the Freq 4 gaming headset, and the Rat Air mouse with wireless power in the mousepad.||https://www.cnet.com/news/mad-catz-returns-from-bankruptcy-rat-freq-strike/|
|sl||Johnson Controls says that the GLAS thermostat with Cortana announced last year will be available for preorder in March for $319. It supports temperature controls weather and other skills through app, browser or by voice. It can work in commercial or residential situations and supports most 24VAC heating and cooling systems.||https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/4/16849400/microsoft-cortana-thermostat-johnson-controls-glas|
|:32||Now here are some more top stories|
|tm||The memory vulnerability in Intel processors has been called Meltdown. Google says its operating systems and cloud services are protected against this flaw. Microsoft has been patching cloud services and issued a Windows patch Wednesday and patches are available for Linux as well. Amazon also has patched most of its cloud systems and will soon have all protected. Apple already had a fix in macOS 10.13.2 and has an additional update coming in 10.13.3. Meltdown was discovered by Technical University of Graz in Austria, German security firm Cerberus Security, and Jann Horn at Google's Project Zero last June. Intel, Google, Amazon Microsoft and other companies have been working on a fix since then.||https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/01/meltdown-and-spectre-every-modern-processor-has-unfixable-security-flaws/|
|tm||A second chip flaw affects more than just Intel processors. The flaw, called Spectre affects all chip architectures including AMD and ARM. It is considered difficult to implement but could collect sensitive data though it could not corrupt, modify or delete data. Google and Intel claim they have fixes to make their products immune to Spectre. Spectre was discovered by Google's Project Zero and independent researcher Paul Kocher.||https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/03/business/computer-flaws.html|
|sl||EMAIL from Michael O'Neill |
I work as a datacenter infrastructure architect for a fortune 500 company and have been in IT for over 16 years. you gave a good explanation on this bug yesterday, it's pretty bad. but I am not quite on the sky is falling hype train that some tech sites are. 1st - all the major hypervisor and OS vendors are close to having patches out, 2nd- when was the last time you were held back by CPU and physical memory performance? I don't think most people will notice the hit and developers are crafty and can come up with clever work arounds. I saw some initial benchmarks for a few games running on a patched linux platform that are showing little to no impact. generally less than 5% and nowhere near 30%.
In the enterprise space getting things patched is a major priority to assure security. It'll be a headache for datacenter folks for the next couple weeks. But we've also spent the last 10+ years abstracting hardware and making systems horizontally scalable while also allowing for dynamic performance scalability. This is really just a matter of throwing additional hardware at the issue.
I am by no means defending Intel, but its also not insurmountable and I don't see the scorched earth and litigation hell some are claiming will come. I just wanted to chime in as a voice of responsibility but also sanity!
|sl||Mark Zuckerberg said his challenge for 2018 is to focus on protecting the Facebook community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, and "making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent." He also said he plans to investigate decentralizing technology like encryption and cryptocurrency to see how best to use them in Facebook services.||https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/04/mark-zuckerbergs-personal-challenge-for-2018-fix-facebook.html|
|tm||AT&T announced it plans to launch 5G service in 12 cities by the end of 2018. This is in addition to its fast LTE service which it calls 5G evolution even though it is not in fact a 5G service. AT&T did not announce cities or supported hardware for its real 5G service.||https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/04/att-true-mobile-5g-launch-plans/|
|SL||The Tribune newspaper claims it was able to buy login credentials to India's Aadhaar citizen identity database for $8 each. The login gives access to names, telephone numbers and home addresses. The Unique Identification Authority of India is investigating what it calls an instance of misuse and has filed a police complaint. Biometric data like fingerprints would be needed to access more detailed information, and such protections were not breached.||https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-economy-biometric/india-probes-report-on-breach-of-national-identity-database-idUSKBN1ET1IX|
|tm||Wired reports that papers in Science and Science Robotics today describe muscles for robots that use a series of oil-fueled pouches activated with electricity. It's similar to human muscle in strength and efficiency but can co tract more often per second. The “hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic” actuator, or “hasel could also be used in prosthetics. Combine that with some self-healing material for the skin and you have yourself a pretty good soft robot.||https://www.wired.com/story/a-clever-new-robotic-muscle-seriously-lifts-bro/|
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|tm||Let's check the mailbag Sarah|
|sl||(I'm an authorized/certified Apple Repair Technician, been in the IT field for 25+ years building and repairing computers, and working as an IT admin supporting large companies and educational institutions)|
It's really frustrating/depressing/infuriating that Apple is continuing the race to the bottom for the design of their devices. Over the years I've watched Apple's consumer-hostile behavior increase with the difficulty of repair of their products along with removal of the ability to upgrade vs. being forced to buy a new computer. Non-removable batteries, keyboards that are part of the chassis, displays that cost 5X what other laptop displays cost, soldered RAM and proprietary (and now soldered-in) SSD storage... one move after another pushes the disposable mentality that has made them so much money with iPhones onto their Mac customers as well. There's no reason for it. You can get a tablet from a big-name competitor (Dell) that has MORE ports than a MacBook Pro... AND A REMOVABLE BATTERY. Along with removable, standard SSD storage. A TABLET.
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|tm||Plug tomorrow's guest: Allison Sheridan|
|END OF SHOW|