#464 June 13, 2016 – Facebook Wants to Know, Are you Safe?

Techminded News of the
Week

Episode
464 06/13/2016

This week’s headline story: Facebook wants to know – Are you safe?

facebook_safetycheckIn the aftermath of the weekend’s horrendous mass shooting in Orlando, Facebook stepped up to provide a new service to those in the vicinity. Facebook’s “Safety Check” tool allowed those around the Orlando club to quickly let their Facebook friends know if they were safe. The tool asks Facebook users who are in the affected area if they are safe. With a click of a button, those in danger can quickly notify their friends about their safety. Facebook has activated Safety Check 18 times this year compared to 11 instances in the previous two years. The recent disasters for which the tool was activated included earthquakes in Ecuador, a wildfire in Alberta, Canada, a cyclone in Bangladesh and flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka.. This was the first time the service was used in the U.S.

other Technology Headlines…

  • Cisco Says Global IP Traffic To Triple by 2020 [NewsFactor]
    Global IP traffic is expected to triple over the next five years, as a result of more than 1 billion new Internet users coming online before 2020, according to Cisco. As many as 10 billion new devices may join the Internet in that time, bringing the total number of connected devices up to 26.3 billion from the 16.3 billion that were connected in 2015.
  • Google moves closer to a universal quantum computer [nature]
    For 30 years, researchers have pursued the universal quantum computer, a device that could solve any computational problem, with varying degrees of success. Now, computer scientists at Google, and physicists at the University of California/Santa Barbara and the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, Spain, have made an experimental prototype of such a device that can not only solve a wide range of difficult problems, but can also be scaled up to larger systems. Quantum computing expert Daniel Lidar says that while the new Google device is still very much a prototype, in a couple of years, devices with more than 40 qubits could become a reality. “At that point,” he says, “it will become possible to simulate quantum dynamics that is inaccessible on classical hardware, which will mark the advent of ‘quantum supremacy’.”

in Information Security News…

  • Companies Are Stockpiling Bitcoin to Pay Off Cybercriminals [MIT Technology Review]
    New research suggests that companies are now stockpiling the digital currency, Bitcoin so that they can quickly pay off hackers who hold their data for ransom using malicious software. According to MIT Technology Review, one third of the 250 companies surveyed, said that they were stockpiling the currency. Half of respondents in the Citrix survey said that company data was not backed up daily – which is the best defense against ransomware.

and in Tech Industry News…

  • Your Phone May Soon Sense Everything Around You [NewsFactor]
    Google shows what Tango is capable of in 3 new videos
    [Android Authority]
    Google’s Tango Aims To Map the Great Indoors [NewsFactor]
    Lenovo’s Tango Phone
    A new mobile technology from Google named “Tango” utilizes smart phone sensors to map interior spaces. Users of Tango can try out virtual furniture in their home prior to purchasing it, or adopt a virtual pet that runs around the house, or play games that integrate with their environment. The first Tango-enabled phone is being manufactured by Lenovo and is expected to hit the market later this year or in early 2017.
  • Google Demos How Android Apps Will Run on Chromebooks [NewsFactor]
    Google Chromebooks will soon be able to run Android apps. The new capability will bring thousands of new apps to the Chrome platform widely expanding the capabilities of the cloud-based system. Google expects to launch the updated version of Chrome for the general public later this year.
  • Alphabet Aims To Connect Homes to Internet via High-Speed Wi-Fi [NewsFactor]
    Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has acknowledged that it is exploring the possibility of deploying gigabit Internet service to homes over WIRELESS technology as an alternative to Google Fiber in some areas. Google CEO Eric Schmidt said high-speed wireless technology has appeared to reach a point where it’s become affordable to deploy. However, he added, “We don’t have anything to announce yet.”
  • Samsung Reportedly Launching Bendable Phones in 2017 [NewsFactor]
    Lenovo Unveils Bendable Phone That Can Be Worn Like a Watch [NewsFactor]
    Bendable phones are almost here! Samsung plans to release mobile devices with flexible displays as soon as early 2017. One of the phones would feature a five-inch screen that could be unfolded into an even larger, 8-inch display. Lenovo has unveiled a prototype of a phone that can bend around your wrist, as well as a concept tablet that can fold to act as a regular smartphone.
  • Microsoft to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion [The Verge]
    Microsoft has announced that it plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. Microsoft is positioning the combination as the “world’s leading professional cloud” together with the “world’s leading professional network.”
  • Yahoo Puts More Than 3,000 Patents on Auction Block [NewsFactor]
    Yahoo is auctioning off more than 3,000 of its technology patents as part of a purge that also could culminate in the sale of its Internet operations. Analysts have estimated that Yahoo Inc.’s patents are worth more than $1 billion.
  • Verizon To Bid $3 Billion for Yahoo’s Core Business, Report Says [NewsFactor]
    According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon is expected to bid $3 billion for Yahoo’s core Internet business. Last year, Verizon acquired AOL Inc., and analysts have said that buying Yahoo could give Verizon more scale on the Internet.
  • Twitter Sale ‘Inevitable’ if Company Continues To Struggle, Analyst Says [NewsFactor]
    Analysts are speculating that Twitter may soon be ripe for acquisition. “We do not think the company is up for sale in the near term,” wrote Bob Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. “However, we believe that if current trends persist, Twitter would be a top candidate in 2017.” Google, Facebook, Apple and traditional media companies are the most likely buyers, he wrote.

 

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