February 24 – March 3, 2013

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This week’s headline story: Promoting Computer Programming in Education

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 10.05.45 AMYou’re probably aware of the video theme that went viral over the past couple weeks called the Harlem Shake. Well, there was another video that went viral last week that didn’t cause as big of a sensation but is of much greater importance. The video is titled “What Most Schools Don’t Teach”, and features Bill Gates, Mark Zucherberg and a host of other celebrity geeks, talking about their experiences learning how to code and how it changed their lives and the lives of countless others. The video begins with a quote from Steve Jobs that states “Everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer ….because it teaches you how to think.” The film is produced by code.org, an organization that strives to inspire future coders and address the serious issue of a pending shortage of programmers. Industry is expected to create 1.4 million computer jobs over the next decade, but projections show that only 400,000 college graduates will apply for them, leaving over two thirds of computer jobs unfilled.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • As anticipated, states are beginning to move to legalize online gambling since the Justice Department relaxed its interpretation of online gambling laws last year. Guess which state is the first to legalize online gambling. It’s the home of Las Vegas, Nevada! New Jersey is poised to be second. Online gambling could assist states in reaping in billions in additional tax revenue. Game companies like Zynga are developing online gambling games in hopes of getting a piece of the pie.
    Nevada Governor Signs Online Gambling Bill [NewsFactor]
    Betting on Zynga and legal online gambling [MarketWatch]
    Web gambling gets boost from Obama administration [Reuters]
  • A new radio technology known as Bluetooth Low Energy dramatically reduces the battery power needed to send out a signal. The new technology has enabled new wirelesss products like Stick -N-Find, which uses small stick-on coins to locate objects around the house with your smartphone. Stick one on your keys, another in your wallet, and another on your cat’s collar, then use the app to zero in on them when they become lost. The bluetooth stickers are able to run on low energy wrist watch batteries that last two years.
    Smart ‘Stickers’ Let You Find Lost Items by Phone [NewsFactor]
  • The battle for the right to unlock handsets to run on other cellular networks continued this past week. You’ll recall that the Librarian of Congress has ruled that unlocking phones is a violation of the Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA). Over 112,000 people have added their names to an online petition calling on the White House to step in “to rescind this decision, and failing that, champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal.” The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has now weighed in, suggesting his agency is investigating the matter.
    FCC To Look at Phone Unlocking Rule [NewsFactor]

and in Information Security news this week…

  • Now China is blaming the U.S. for launching hack attacks against its military networks. This comes in reaction to U.S. security experts tracking cyberattacks against U.S. targets to the Chinese government. The exchange is being referred to as a cyber cold war between the U.S. and China. Graham Cluley, a senior security analyst at Sophos, is not surprised by the exchange. “I would be surprised if any developed nation wasn’t involved in some level of Internet espionage,” said Cluley. “After all, its relatively easy to do and a low risk compared to having spies on the ground.”
    China Alleges Cyberattacks from U.S. on Its Military [NewsFactor]
  • If you use the popular cloud-based note-taking software Evernote, you’ll have to reset your password. Ervernote is requiring each of its 50 million users to reset their passwords after a security breach exposed users’ password data and other personal information.
    Evernote resets user passwords after being hit by “coordinated” hack [Ars Technica]

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Last week the annual Mobile World Congress took place in Barcelona, Spain. The event features the latest technologies in mobile devices. This year’s event featured mini tablets with cell phone functionality that bridge the gap between mobile phones and tablets. These include Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 8 tablet-phone, with an 8-inch display, and the new FonePad from Asus with a 7-inch display. Also at the show, LG demonstrated ultra-HD streaming over Wi-Fi from a smartphone to an HD TV, which it is touting as a way to transform a smartphone into a better gaming device. The show also featured new mid-priced phones from Nokia and Asus. However, the next big Android phone that everyone is anxious to see – the Samsung Galaxy S IV, won’t be unveiled until March 14th.
    New Smartphones, Tablets Roll Out at Mobile World Congress [NewsFactor]
  • Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is doing away with telecommuting at Yahoo and ordering all employees to report to duty in the flesh. The goal of the new policy is to foster creativity and better productivity, Mayer said. The new rule has caused heated debate in the media and blogosphere over the impact of telecommuting on an organization.
    Marissa Mayer Takes Flak for Gathering Her Troops [Ecommerce Times]

and finally….

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