#355 March 31, 2014 – Internet Access Air Delivered

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This week’s headline story: Internet Access Air Delivered

droneAt this point in humanity’s evolution, only one-third of the planet’s population has Internet access. Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to bring broadband Internet to remote areas through satellites, lasers and drones financed through Internet.org. Towards this end, Facebook has purchased the UK-based Ascenta, a pioneer in solar-powered unmanned aircraft for $20 million. Zuckerberg and Internet.org aren’t the only ones turning to aircraft for Internet delivery. Google’s Project Loon is experimenting with providing Net access to remote areas using high-altitude balloons. These efforts aren’t necessarily 100 percent philanthropic. The company that brings Internet access to 2/3rds of the world’s population will certainly have a leg up on the competition.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • Lens-Free Camera Sees Things Differently [MIT Technology Review]If you are concerned about the privacy issues posed by Google Glass, a brand new technology will
    have you quaking in your boots. The Ramus company has developed a lens free camera that is smaller than a pencil point. The company has plans of using these tiny cameras to give vision to the Internet of Things. Imagine common everyday objects acquiring the capacity to capture images and share them online.
  • Obama unveils plan to change NSA data collection [USA Today]In response to recent worldwide criticism of the NSA’s data-collecting practices, President Obama has decided that “the government should not collect or hold this data in bulk.” He pledged to work with Congress on rules that would accommodate counterterrorism investigations while protecting constitutional liberties.
  • Facebook’s $2B Oculus Buy Angers Users [NewsFactor]Facebook has purchased virtual reality technology start-up Oculus Rift for $2 billion. Zuckerberg sees virtual reality as the “next major computing platform” after mobile. Some fans of Oculus Rift are concerned that Facebook will use the company to infringe on user privacy.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • Hacker Black Markets Continue To Expand [NewsFactor]A study conducted within the RAND Corporation has concluded that black and gray markets for computer hacking tools, services and byproducts such as stolen credit card numbers are continuing to expand, creating an increasing threat to businesses, governments and individuals. The study says there will be more activity in “darknets,” more checking and vetting of participants, more use of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, greater anonymity capabilities in malware, and more attention to encrypting and protecting communications and transactions. Helped by such markets, the ability to attack will likely outpace the ability to defend.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Cisco Invests $1B in Cloud Computing [NewsFactor]Networking giant Cisco is investing $1 billion in a system it has dubbed the Intercloud, the world’s largest global network of clouds to enable the Internet of Everything.
  • Joining the Internet of Things, LG’s New Smart Light Bulb [NewsFactor]LG is joining the Internet of Things with a new smart light bulb. The new Smart Lamp light bulb connects to a smartphone through an app that can be programmed to turn the light on and off, or use it as a gentle alarm clock, or set it to blink for incoming calls or throb with the beat of your tunes.
  • Microsoft Office Comes to the iPad with New Look and Feel [NewsFactor]Microsoft has released Office for iPad, iPhone and Android. The new mobile versions of Office are specially designed for mobile use and require a subscription to Office 365.
  • Microsoft Rebranding Azure To De-Emphasize Windows [NewsFactor]Microsoft is rebranding its cloud computing platform from Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure deemphasizing Windows, which has suffered criticize in recent years, and letting people know that Azure works with other OSs as well.

and finally…

  • Get Ready for Ray-Ban, Oakley Google Glasses [NewsFactor]Google is working with Ray-Ban and Oakley to create Google Glass frames that don’t look so…geeky. The company is also working with Fossil to create new designer smart watches.

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