#424 August 3rd, 2015 – Hello, Windows 10!

This week’s headline story: Hello Windows 10!

win10Microsoft has officially launched Windows 10 as a free upgrade in 190 countries. Now the waiting begins. Will Windows 10 resonate better than Windows 8 or be another Vista? Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, is proclaiming to the world that a new era of Windows starts today and promises the operating system “delivers on our more personal computing vision, with a natural, mobile and trusted experience.” Windows 10 brings back the Start menu, something Microsoft took flack for removing in Windows 8. It also showcases Live Tiles for streaming updates and has a slew of new security updates. Other innovations Microsoft is bragging about are the personal digital assistant Cortana, the Microsoft Edge browser (which does away with Internet Explorer), an integrated Xbox app to woo gamers, and Continuum, which promises to optimizes apps for touch and desktop mode.

Other Headline News…

  • Major Tech Firms Join White House in Climate Change Pledge [Ecommerce Times]Google, Microsoft and 11 other major companies, with combined revenues of more than $1.3 trillion, have joined President Obama signing the American Business Act on Climate Change. By doing so, they agree to voice support for a strong climate change agreement in Paris this December, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to climate action., and setting an example for their respective peers.
  • Obama rolls out plan to boost U.S. supercomputer prowess [Computerworld]President Obama has signed an executive order setting up the National Strategic Computing Initiative, to coordinate government agencies, academia and the private sector for the development of high-performance computing systems. China currently leads the supercomputer race with the Tianhe-2 computer heading the list for over two years. The government appears to want to remedy that situation. “Maximizing the benefits of HPC in the coming decades will require an effective national response to increasing demands for computing power, emerging technological challenges and opportunities, and growing economic dependency on and competition with other nations,” Obama wrote in his order on Wednesday.
  • Chinese Carmaker Is Testing Car-to-Car Communications [Technology Review]It appears that the US and China are in a race to develop standards for car-to-car communications! Car-to-car technology is promoted in the U.S. and Europe as a cheap and effective way to help vehicles avoid crashes and to control traffic flow more effectively. Equipped vehicles broadcast useful information, including their location, speed, and direction of travel, and computers onboard each car use that information to identify an impending collision, and issue a warning. Now China is investing in the technology saying it will introduce some form of car-to-car communications in 2018, ahead of many U.S. automakers.

in Information Security News…

  • Chinese Hackers Reportedly Hit United Airlines [NewsFactor]United Airlines is the latest to fall victim to a data breach. The hackers stole flight manifests, which disclose information about passengers on the flight and their destinations. News reports are pointing fingers at hackers backed by China.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Facebook’s First Internet Drone Ready To Soar [NewsFactor]To achieve its objective of providing Internet access to 4 billion people, Facebook is taking to the skies. The company announced a major milestone in the development and testing of its Aquila drone. Facebook said it has finished construction on its first aircraft, which is now ready for flight testing. When deployed, the drones will be able to circle remote regions for up to 90 days, beaming connectivity down from altitudes of 60,000 to 90,000 feet. The Aquila drone has the wingspan of a 737 but weighs less than a car, thanks to its unique design and carbon fiber frame.
  • Amazon Lays Out Its Vision for a Sky Thronging with Delivery Drones [MIT TechReview]Amazon has laid out its vision for a sky thronging with delivery drones. To get its drone delivery service off the ground, Amazon is working to convince regulators to adopt its ideas for drone traffic control. The company hopes to redefine the regulation of U.S. airspace to accommodate a “high speed transit zone” between 200 and 400 feet that would be reserved for drones traveling large distances.

and finally…

  • I forced people to talk to me on the phone for a week [Fusion]Have you ever considered the many ways in which you communicate with your friends? Journalist, Daniela Hernandez has. She become concerned about reports that email and texting make us feel more anxious and distracted; that they serve as a memory crutch, reminding us to do things we might otherwise forget; stunting our ability to have difficult conversations. Daniela, cut off all text communications with her friends forcing them to communicate with her by phone or face-to-face. Find out what lessons she learned by reading the article linked in the show notes.

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