#356 April 07, 2014 – Will Silicon be Replaced by Graphene?

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This week’s headline story: Will Silicon be Replaced by Graphene?

grapheneResearchers at Samsung have announced that they’ve developed a technique for synthesizing graphene that brings commercialization of the material in electronics a step closer. Graphene’s uniqueness is based on the fact that it is stronger than steel, has high heat conductibility, is flexible, and has much greater electron mobility than silicon. The is the same Graphene found in today’s pencils, but Samsung has developed a method of synthesizing Graphene as a single crystal layer on a large scale, allowing for the material to retain the electrical and mechanical properties that make it such an attractive material. The company claims that the new substance will revolutionize technology products including processors, flexible displays, solar cells and camera sensors.

and elsewhere in Tech News.

  • E.U. Lawmakers Approve Tough ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules [NYTimes]While the U.S. has recently thrown out its network neutrality rules, the EU has approved new rules guaranteeing equal access to the Internet. The proposed rules, which still requires the endorsement of the incoming European Parliament, mirrors past efforts in the United States to allow access by all companies and individuals to the Internet’s pipelines for services like streaming music, on-demand television and cloud computing. More specifically, it prevents telecom companies from charging some Internet companies more for access to their networks.
  • Gartner: Worldwide IT Spending To Rise 3.2% this Year [NewsFactor]Research firm, Gartner has concluded that information technology spending will increase 3.2 percent worldwide this year to about $3.8 trillion. The increase, part of a gradually improving economy, is being attributed to growth in enterprise software and device sales.

and in Information Security news this week..

  • US SECRETLY BUILT ‘CUBAN TWITTER’ TO STIR UNREST [AP]The Associated Press is reporting that the Whitehouse masterminded the creation of a “Cuban Twitter” — a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba. The project which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba’s stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform. First, the network would build a Cuban audience, mostly young people; then, the plan was to push them toward dissent.
  • Smartphone Kill Switch Could Save Users $2.6B a Year [NewsFactor]Smartphones are the number one target of thieves. Many have been pressuring SmartPhone manufacturers to add a “kill switch” feature to smartphones that would allow owners to render the device useless when stolen. So far, the smartphone industry has argued against kill switches. Some analysts believe that its because kill switches would effectively eliminate the need for phone theft insurance reducing carriers’ revenues by a couple of billion dollars per year. New research from Creighton University may have produced evidence that will force the smartphone industry to comply. Of 1,200 smartphone owners surveyed, 99 percent feel wireless carriers should give all consumers the option to disable a cell phone if it is stolen; 83 percent believe that a kill switch would reduce cell phone theft; and 93 percent believe that Americans should not be expected to pay extra fees for the ability to disable a stolen phone. Assuming a kill switch significantly reduces theft, consumers could save about $580 million a year from not needing to replace stolen phones and another $2 billion a year in cell phone insurance.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Will Google Offer a Wireless Service with Google Fiber? [NewsFactor]Google Fiber has been a success and a true competitor to other ISPs in Kansas City, Provo and Austin, not only because it is faster but because the service is reliable and relatively cheap. Google Fiber will soon spread to nine other cities, and Google appears to be considering getting into the cellular business as well.
  • Windows 8.1 Update Offers Enhancements for Business [NewsFactor]Microsoft Demos New Windows Phone Voice Agent Cortana [NewsFactor]Say Hello to Microsoft’s Answer to Siri [MIT Technology Review]Microsoft has two big product launches this month. Windows 8.1 is being released backing off a bit from Microsoft’s original goal of offering something “completely new” and giving into customer demand for traditional keyboard and mouse support. The update also provides enhancements for businesses, including robust mobile device management. Microsoft is also releasing Windows Phone 8.1, now with Cortana – Microsoft’s version of Siri.
  • Can Sony Digital Paper Replace Paper for Business Users? [NewsFactor]While Sony recently pulled the plug on its eReader products and is selling its unsuccessful PC business, it is still developing new products. The most recent is a 13.3″ document editor called Digital Paper. Digital Paper is targeted at Executives and Attorneys who typically work with piles of legal documents. Bob Nell, director of Digital Paper Solutions for Sony Electronics, says it’s “optimized for reading and annotating contracts, white papers, scholarly articles and legislation.” He’s convinced that the notepad feature will have universal appeal and make document management more mobile.

and finally…

  • Samsung Delights in Obama-Ortiz Selfie [NewsFactor]White House slams Samsung’s Obama-Ortiz selfie [CNN Money]President Obama became an unwitting advocate of Samsung phones, when the company promoted a photo of the President and Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz snapped with a Samsung Smartphone. Ortiz, who recently signed a contract with Samsung, tweeted the selfie of himself and the President, which Samsung then promoted as an advertisement for its phones. Samsung has remained tight-lipped about the deal, while the Whitehouse is NOT pleased.

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