Internet of Things - Technology focus
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Network bottleneck looms when data center storage improves

Network bottleneck looms when data center storage improves | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Adding solid-state storage can inadvertently create a network bottleneck in the data center. Technologies like software-defined networking resolve these issues.
Richard Platt's insight:

The high-IOPS, low-latency potential of SSDs moves bottlenecks to the network. SDN offers provisioning adjustments to avoid any slowdown in the data center.

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Rescooped by Richard Platt from 3D Printing in Manufacturing Today
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MIT’s MultiFab 3D Printer Prints in 10 Materials and Embeds Components

MIT’s MultiFab 3D Printer Prints in 10 Materials and Embeds Components | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it

MIT recently reported that they’ve created a 3D printer that fabricates
objects from 10 different materials at the same time, using a combination of “machine vision” and 3D scanning. ..Read More....


Via ManufacturingStories
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ManufacturingStories's curator insight, September 4, 2015 4:13 PM

#3DPrinting #Manufacturing #STEM

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​Toyota investing $50M to research cars that can think for themselves

​Toyota investing $50M to research cars that can think for themselves | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Toyota announced a $50 million, five-year collaboration with Stanford and MIT's artificial intelligence research labs.
Richard Platt's insight:

Semi-autonomous technologies are already gaining prevalence in vehicles today -- from adaptive cruise control that can maintain a safe following distance behind a lead car to lane-departure prevention that can steer a vehicle to stay between road stripes -- but, according to Pratt, getting to this point in advanced driver aid development has been the easy part. The hard part, which Toyota hopes to work out with Stanford and MIT's help, is creating a smart machine that can not only react to stimulus, but can also make complex judgements about its environment and interact naturally and in concert with its human driver.   The automaker's representatives stated during a Q&A following the announcement that it doesn't necessarily equate artificial intelligence with autonomous driving, but that the two technologies are certainly linked. Autonomous cars, for example, will need an AI that can think its way through inaccuracies in map data or interactions with pedestrians. However, a vehicle with a human driver can still be enriched by AI.  Rus gives the example of a hypothetical vehicle AI that could recognize when the driver is in a foul mood and respond by playing their favorite album or by more closely monitoring that driver for aggressive or distracted behaviors. The future AI could also notice that the driver has forgotten to call their mother, respond with a reminder and even automatically take over with autonomous driving functions for the duration of the call should the driver seem distracted by the discussion. This car would have to be smart enough to know when to automatically intervene, and in some cases, know better than the driver does.  The automaker assures that, at least for the short term, it's goal of this collaboration isn't to make cars that don't need a driver, but smart machines that can interact more seamlessly and harmoniously with the people inside and outside of the car.  Pratt also alluded that Toyota's upcoming AI and robotics technologies could allow the elderly to maintain their independence, retaining their mobility both inside and outside of the home.   Though cagey about making precise estimates for when we'll see truly autonomous cars on the road, the automaker did state that we should keep our eyes peeled for hits of increased autonomy and artificial intelligence making their way into products within the next few years.

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The microbot designed to push all your buttons

The microbot designed to push all your buttons | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
With the goal of letting button-operated legacy devices join the home automation bandwagon, South Korean startup Naran has come up with Microbot Push – a wireless robotic "finger" designed to operate standard buttons and switches.
Richard Platt's insight:

Apparently the Microbot Push allows users to integrate conventional, non-smart devices into the Internet of Things (IoT). The device is basically a pair of small boxes consisting of the push body (26.6 x 26.6 x 28 mm) and the Micro-USB-charged battery pack (26.6 x 15.2 x 35 mm), which attach to a surface next to a button or switch using foam tape. Despite this seemingly flimsy anchor, the company says that the microbot can apply 1 kg (2.2 lb) of force, which is enough to flip just about any switch you can throw at it.  In addition to the actuator, the Push also has built-in sensors to detect light, motion, and sound. There's also Bluetooth connectivity to allow it to network with a small, personal server computer called a Prota, which packs an ARMv7 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, up to 2 GB RAM, 8 GB built-in flash storage and runs the company's proprietary Prota OS Agatha. Prota also boasts built in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi so you can control a Push from anywhere there's an internet connection.  The Prota automatically detects and pairs with any nearby microbots and runs user-defined actions based on if this then that logic, that trigger the Push microbots to activate a button when certain conditions are met, such as time of day, lighting conditions, or when movement is detected.

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An old-fashioned DDoS is the favored tactic of many cyberattackers

An old-fashioned DDoS is the favored tactic of many cyberattackers | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Distributed denial of service attacks have become a favorite tactic of cyber criminals, extortionists and protesters.
Richard Platt's insight:

One study found the U.S. is the primary target of DDoS attacks coming in with 81% of total number of DDoS attacks identified.

Some have come to believe that DDoS attacks are old and outdated; but in actuality, they are gaining in popularity.  The use of DDoS attacks has doubled year after year and have begun flooding Web applications with useless online transactions.  The average DDoS attack now leverages between 50 Gbps and 100 Gbps to flood their targets and make the websites unavailable for legitimate use. Some attacks have reached nearly 400 Gbps and lasted over half a day. The problem has risen to the point where the FBI issues warnings about ransomware and criminals demanding payment in bitcoin or face a DDOS campaign. The International Business Time also recently reported some cyber criminals now demand very high ransoms from banks if they want to avoid experiencing a DDoS attack. One source in the Middle East went as far as to call DDoS attacks as one of today’s most dangerous security threats.  More devices, more problems

Akamai recently found that DDoS attacks have been doubling for the past three quarters. The report said that in the past year, DDoS action has increased by 132%.  Stop for just a moment and consider that only 45% of organizations asked stated that they had put in place DDoS defenses. To put that in context, a whopping 36% said they were not confident in the measures they put in place to thwart and mitigate DDoS attacks. So, do you have DDoS defenses that have been tested and a cyber incident response plan that has been practiced? If not, based on this information perhaps you should get started immediately.

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Intel putting $50M into quantum computing research

Intel putting $50M into quantum computing research | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
US chip colossus Intel on Thursday said that it will put $50 million and engineering resources into an alliance on quantum computing that could radically advance complex problem-solving.
Richard Platt's insight:

Intel Corporation plans a 10-year collaboration with Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to make real the kind of quantum computing that could tackle seemingly insurmountable problems.  Intel said that potential applications for the computing power include intricate simulations such as large-scale financial analysis and more effective drug development.   "A fully functioning quantum computer is at least a dozen years away, but the practical and theoretical research efforts we're announcing today mark an important milestone in the journey to bring it closer to reality," managing director of Intel Labs Mike Mayberry said.  Unlike digital computers, quantum computers use quantum bits that can exist in multiple states simultaneously, offering the potential to compute a large number of calculations all at once, speeding up results.

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Samsung's SmartThings launches a powerful, privacy-friendly hub

Samsung's SmartThings launches a powerful, privacy-friendly hub | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Samsung wants to be a part of the revolution in smart home technology.
Richard Platt's insight:

Samsung's SmartThings introduced a fresh line of slimmed-down sensors for water, presence and motion and a much smarter hub. The company also gave its app an overhaul, making it easier to manage all the products you connect to the SmartThings hub. The app can automatically assign actions for tripped sensors or users can go in and easily program if-then actions. In a brief demo I got, it all looked pretty easy. There are also thousands of custom-build apps from the user community.  The new hub has a more powerful processor for video monitoring, as well as a 10-hour battery backup. The latter allows the hub to basically operate a small network on its own — without the need for power or an Internet connection, which means it can continue to monitor battery-powered sensors and send alerts to you as soon as connectivity is restored.  One of the hub’s most powerful new features, though, is its video monitoring capability, which SmartThings is implementing with some care.   “We wanted to be thoughtful about it because we saw a lot of security and privacy things [with these kinds of devices],” SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson told me. “An always on streaming eye is concerning for people,”.   As a result, SmartThings’s hub collects the video stream, but does not send it to the cloud unless you specifically request a livestream through the app or if something happens that triggers an alert (a door opens when you’re not home). In that case, the hub will securely push just the portion of the video related to the incident to the cloud so you can view it.  For access to unlimited clips from an unlimited number of cameras, SmartThings will charge $4.99. Still in beta, the video feature currently only connects to D-Link and Samsung cameras.   That’s atypical for SmartThings, which actually supports over 200 smart devices, many of them from third-party companies including Cree Honeywell, Schlage, Yale and First Alert. SmartThings can do this because, Hawkinson explained, they’re “connectivity agnostic” and support everything from Wi-Fi and ZigBee to Z-Wave and Bluetooth. They even support cloud-to-cloud connections.  But the new hub is not HomeKit compatible and the reasons are two-fold. First of all, Hawkinson said it’s too soon. There aren’t enough HomeKit products in the market. Those that are out there already support SmartThings natively. And there’s Apple’s approach: “Our other hesitation is the proprietary nature of HomeKit. We like most open.”   The SmartThings hub goes on sale in the U.S. today (and the UK 10 days from now) for $99. Sensors cost between $30 and $55 apiece.

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Intel® IoT Developer Kit Accelerates Innovation with Rapid Prototyping

Intel® IoT Developer Kit Accelerates Innovation with Rapid Prototyping
Richard Platt's insight:

Excellent tools for creating your IoT device.  Worthwhile for the engineer in you or on your team.  

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VMware CEO hits on network virtualization reality, feuding with Cisco & the EMC Federation's future

VMware CEO hits on network virtualization reality, feuding with Cisco & the EMC Federation's future | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Heading into VMworld 2015, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger discusses unified hybrid cloud networking, network virtualization, the company's feud with Cisco and the future of the EMC Federation.
Richard Platt's insight:

It’s an interesting time to be the CEO of VMware.  The company is one of the pioneers of the modern data center with its virtualization management software, which still holds a large market share. Now, it’s trying to convince customers to virtualize their storage and networking, too. What's more, VMware is building up its public cloud in an effort to square off against giants like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure,  and to help customers build out private clouds, it’s also offering converged infrastructure.  Network World Senior Editor Brandon Butler sat down with VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger ahead of the company’s annual trade show, VMworld 2015, to discuss all of these issues and more.  John Gallant (JG): Among all that news, what do you see as the single most critical announcement from VMware?

Pat Gelsinger: Unified hybrid cloud. The idea of that is so profound. Every single customer has two questions that come up in every single meeting: Tell me how to get to the cloud and how do I deal with security? What we’re describing with unified hybrid cloud is an architected, capable, proven solution that addresses those two needs. Everyone says: I need to make cloud part of my future but I’ve got this enterprise stuff, these 20-year investments in applications, I’ve got cool things going on over here. How do I bring those together? I can’t just forklift and move to the cloud for those things. It doesn’t meet my regulatory requirements. Bringing that together, that’s what we mean by the unified hybrid cloud - a single architected set of services and capabilities that allow you to run on-premises, off-premises and connect the two together in a complete way that also addresses their governance, regulatory requirements and their security requirements.

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The Healthcare Social Media Shakeup

The Healthcare Social Media Shakeup | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Hospitals, clinical practices and physicians of all ages are becoming more and more active on social media.

Via Plus91, Rémy TESTON, Isabelle Delignière-Léglise, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
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June Rumiko Klein's curator insight, September 4, 2015 1:35 PM

Non-profits will need to become more tech friendly if they want to engage young people and professionals.

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Inside the Internet of Things (IoT): A primer on the technologies building the IoT

Inside the Internet  of Things (IoT): A primer on the technologies building the IoT | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Explore the inner workings of the Internet of Things in this deep dive into some of the technologies that make it possible.

Via Francisco Maroto
Richard Platt's insight:

Definitely a worthwhile infographic / table to pull down for yourself

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This dental insurance company is built around a smart toothbrush

This dental insurance company is built around a smart toothbrush | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Beam Technologies wants to use data from a smart toothbrush to change the dental insurance industry.

Via assurancedufutur.fr, Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
Richard Platt's insight:

Insurance company ties technology product to their line of business, cool business model married with technology and product.   I think they have a Minimum Winning Game with this approach,  time will tell if that is going to be a reality.

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Rescooped by Richard Platt from School & Learning Today
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Engineering Adventures | Engineering is Elementary

Engineering Adventures | Engineering is Elementary | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it

Via ManufacturingStories
Richard Platt's insight:

Thinking about how to get your kids ready for a career in engineering? Read this source for the subject, to get you started.

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hinderwitch's comment, September 3, 2015 12:11 AM
China's giant manufacturing industry contracted and euro zone and U.S. growth eased in August in data published on Tuesday, while the IMF (International Monetary Fund) cut its forecast for world growth this year.
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How Smartphone Apps Can Treat Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia

How Smartphone Apps Can Treat Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
A slew of mental health apps are coming out of academic institutions, research clinics and a number of start-ups. They all seek to facilitate the management of serious mental illnesses—such as severe depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Via Olivier Janin
Richard Platt's insight:

Priori is one of many efforts to address mental health through smartphone apps. Tools gestating within startups, academic institutions, and research clinics aim to help people manage everything from severe depression to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Through the discreet and continuous recording of social and physical behavior, these apps can detect changes in mental well-being, deliver micro-interventions when and where needed, and give patients a new awareness of their own illnesses. In the long run, they may even diminish the stigma attached to mental health disorders.  “The question isn’t whether or not this technology is going to be used in healthcare and monitoring individuals with psychiatric illnesses,” says University of Michigan psychiatrist Melvin McInnis, who developed Priori alongside computer scientists at the university’s College of Engineering. “The question is really: How?”   Most of these apps—which include CrossCheck, from Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, and Companion, from a Boston-based startup called Cogito—aren’t yet publicly available. But some projects have completed trials with small groups of patients, larger trials are underway, and preliminary results are encouraging. These apps are based on objective, contextual data, and they require little work on the part of patients.  But, certainly, there are many hurdles to overcome—most notably the potential for these tools to mislead patients and compromise their privacy. Finding ways of regulating such apps is as important as refining their technology.

“I think this will have a liberating effect, and will extend the boundaries of healthcare in a really enormous way,” says Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, psychiatrist in chief at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. “But there are also ethical and legal principles that will need to be established.”

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Olivier Janin's curator insight, September 1, 2015 5:02 PM

The App "Priori" is developed by researchers at the University of Michigan. 


One of the challenge is to calibrate  and certify the scientific accuracy of the voice recording  system. It depends on numerous parameters, the Smartphone itself, its OS, the artefact removal ...


Nowadays, the deployment of Digital-health App is iterative, their model of development is based on open-innovation and lean start-up.


So it needs data to be measured to set up models. To code the machine-learning metrology system able to interpret the variations of the core-measure among a full set of contextual data.


Want to get in ? Are you bipolar or not, you can enroll to the research program on https://umclinicalstudies.org/HUM00000606

Marissajt's curator insight, September 14, 2015 8:01 PM

I found this article extremely interesting and thought provoking. Whether we like it or not, technology is growing more and more each day; it is getting to the  point where it is nearly impossible to function in society without some form of technology such as a cell phone. If we can create something using this technological growth to help those who suffer from bipolar or other mental illness, that would be amazing. As the article mentioned, these apps and future apps can give doctors and patients indicators, signs, and symptoms of when an episode may be nearing. This could greatly help patients gain some understanding and peace of mind. Something which seems so difficult to cope with when dealing with mental illness is the uncertainty and confusion of the disorder or diagnosis. Another is the stigma attached to the mental health disorder. This app can help with both of these problems. The app can also help create awareness for client's because it helps them notice and acknowledge their actions and behaviors.

 

I think apps such as this could also greatly help clinicians such as mental health therapists. A persons therapist could look at a client's behaviors and help the client work through what was going on for the client at a particular time. From my experience, sometimes client's have a difficult time remembering events or situations accurately and their perception of an event or situation might be different than a bystanders or a friend or loved one. This is especially true if someone is in a manic episode of their bipolar disorder; they may not remember everything accurately. An app such as this may be able to help with this and help the clinician and client have a more accurate, realistic view of a particular event or period in time.

 

Although,  I still feel sessions and/or appointments with clinicians and doctors are important. I don't think an app or any type of technology can replace personal interaction and discussions on a mental health disorder.

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Apple patents fuel cell that can provide "weeks of power"

Apple patents fuel cell that can provide "weeks of power" | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Filed March 16 and published September 3, the patent describes a fuel cell system used to charge a "portable electronic device", which is effectively defined in the patent as any computer with a di...
Richard Platt's insight:

Filed March 16 and published September 3, the patent describes a fuel cell system used to charge a “portable electronic device”, which is effectively defined in the patent as any computer with a display, a processor, and memory.   Chances are, you said “battery life”. Be it on a smartphone, tablet, notebook or even just a TV remote, it’s something which we can’t get our mind away from, because deep down inside we secretly know that the battery will eventually give up the ghost, leaving us absolutely stranded in between what we were doing.   There is, of course, no such thing as a free lunch, and fuel cell systems require the fuel to be replenished once it is exhausted, which the patent addresses by referencing removable cartridges. The patent drops the term “MagSafe connector”, which could mean that AAPL is looking to use the batteries in its MacBooks.  With longer battery life the Holy Grail for most hardware manufacturers, Apple could soon be turning to fuel cells to help its devices last for weeks between charges.   It details a “portable and cost-effective fuel cell system for a portable computing device”, which could use several different energy sources to provide power. Simply put, this would be an internal power system that could run a laptop for “days or even weeks without refueling”, according to the application.  As far as patent applications go, this one seems pretty broad; for example, it mentions many possible fuel sources, ranging from lithium hydride and water mix to liquid hydrogen.   It is also worth mentioning that only a tiny portion of Apple’s patents make it into actual products, and majority are patented in order to stop the competing companies from getting their hands on certain technologies.

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Ann Windham's curator insight, September 9, 2015 10:03 AM

We new Apple had a way to keep us from needing car, office and home charger! #tsts #mpi #iaee #tsts

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How Force Touch Will Change How You Use The iPhone

How Force Touch Will Change How You Use The iPhone | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
A new iPhone featureexpected to be announced next weekcould give your phone a very different feel.
Richard Platt's insight:

Force Touch on MacBooks and the Apple Watch provides users with subtle physical feedback. For example, when using the Photos application on a MacBook to crop and then rotate a photo, you’ll feel a slight "bump" when the rotation is at zero degrees. Apple outlines how else you’ll get minor touchbacks with Maps, GarageBand, and other Apple apps. Just as Apple said its watch would be its most "personal" device yet, some of that connection may be coming to the iPhone.

For example, on the iPhone you might get a little haptic touch when you’ve pressed a button to send an email or post a status update. Such a small nuance could take some of the guesswork out of interacting with a plane of glass.  Cat Noone, the cofounder and chief design officer for Liberio, says rushing into implementing such a new technology is not always the best idea.  "While Force Touch opens up an entirely new layer of interaction for users (if done properly), it's not something I'd advise every product to jump on without a research phase," she said. "Because ultimately it comes down to a decision of whether or not it serves the users in a delightful and non-obtrusive way."   There’s also the risk of confusing users who interact with the same app on different devices. Using a Force Touch-type action on an iPhone, for example, won’t trigger the same action on all the other iPhones out there that don’t have this new technology.

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New Report Identifies Tech as infrastructure’s tipping point

New Report Identifies Tech as infrastructure’s tipping point | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it

The innovative power of 3D printing, commercial drones, self-driving vehicles, electricity storage, and the Internet of Things are pushing the North American infrastructure market toward a tipping point, according to the latest study by the nation’s preeminent infrastructure advisory firm.

Richard Platt's insight:

The innovative power of 3D printing, commercial drones, self-driving vehicles, electricity storage, and the Internet of Things are pushing the North American infrastructure market toward a tipping point, according to the latest study by the nation’s preeminent infrastructure advisory firm.  CG/LA Infrastructure’s Building Prosperity: 2015 Strategic 100 North American Infrastructure Report identifies those strategic projects, all incorporating transformative technologies to unleash $376 billion in infrastructure opportunities over the next 18 months.  “Advanced technologies promise a transformation in the marketplace that will propel revolutionary new undertakings and modernize legacy projects in highways, bridges, rail, the power grid, and urban mobility,” CG/LA Infrastructure President and CEO Norman Anderson said. “Our challenge as an industry is to create a new market framework, creating better projects, faster approvals, and channeling great ideas into prosperity driving reality.”

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Samsung Bets on JavaScript for the IoT

Samsung Bets on JavaScript for the IoT | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Samsung open-sources IoT.js and JerryScript
Richard Platt's insight:

There's no surprise Samsung is choosing JavaScript over Java for IoT devices, being a much safer legal alternative to Oracle's Java.

The language is also much more loved amongst developers, being GitHub's most used programming language for the past three years and benefiting from a huge community of developers, which could easily become IoT app makers with a few strokes of their keyboards.

Samsung's vision for using IoT.js and JerryScript for IoT development is presented in the architecture's chart below.

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Samsung unveils world's first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player

Samsung unveils world's first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Samsung unveiled the first Ultra HD Blu-ray player at the 2015 IFA trade show in Berlin.
Richard Platt's insight:

The new player also supports TVs capable of displaying high dynamic range (HDR), the same tech that ensures photos don’t lose detail when there’s extremely bright and dark portions of the same frame.

Of course, a disc format is only as useful as the content available on it a disc format is only as useful as the content available on it, and there isn’t a lot of that just yet. However, someone’s thought of that, and according to USA Today Fox announced it would be making serveral titles available in the Ultra HD disc format. Among the movies are Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Life of Pi.  The announcement of a new disc format and player feels like an odd throwback in the age of Netflix and HBO Go, but where 4K is concerned, it makes some sense: 4K video is more difficult to stream reliably over today’s networks, and while YouTube, Amazon and others have more or less sorted out the technical details, there’s still little streaming content available in the ultra-high-res format.   Discs on the other hand guarantee 4K quality and don’t depend on network access at all. They’re also much easier to distribute than those silly hard drives since there’s already a huge retail system in place to support them. And, of course, the consumer learning curve is zero.

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Google Chrome just made big changes to save your battery

Amid much vocal complaining about Chrome's woeful affect on laptop battery life this year, Google began cleaning up its act with a series of improvements that bolster the browser's performance....
Richard Platt's insight:

Amid much vocal complaining about Chrome's woeful affect on laptop battery life this year, Google began cleaning up its act with a series of improvements that bolster the browser's performance. Today the company rolled out a new version of Chrome with further improvements oriented around performance, and they promise to make life easier for laptop warriors who regularly find themselves with dozens of open tabs (ahem).  For starters, when you haven't looked at a tab in a few hours — or a few months, in the case of us who are still getting around to reading "What Is Code?" — Google will purge the unused memory occupied by the page, reducing page memory use by 10 percent on average, Google says. "The effect is even more dramatic on complex web apps," the company wrote in a blog post. "With Gmail, for example, we can free up nearly a quarter of the memory used by the tab."  Chrome also now halts Flash animations that aren't "central" to a web page, reducing power consumption. And for those who quit Chrome accidentally or due to a crash, Chrome will now restore your tabs in the order you viewed them: stuff you were just looking at will pop up right away, while the 38,000-word essay about the history of software development will be loaded once you're already happily browsing again.

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Review: How to protect top-secret data

Review: How to protect top-secret data | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
In our tests, IQProtector’s file encryption tool successfully secured corporate documents from prying eyes.
Richard Platt's insight:

In NetworkWorld's tests, IQProtector’s file encryption tool successfully secured corporate documents from prying eyes.  "A handful of vendors offer products to help you achieve a high level of digital document confidentiality and privacy. Unfortunately, most of these vendors are quite coy about having anyone evaluate their products. For this review, we invited EMC, Secure Islands, GigaTrust, Seclore and Watchful Software to send us software that we could test in our Alabama laboratory. Only Watchful Software and Secure Islands responded. Watchful Software declined to participate upon learning that it could not help us install its server component – a difficult process that is apparently fraught with peril. Secure Islands sent us IQProtector Suite 5.0.   Secure Islands’ IQProtector (in conjunction with Microsoft’s RMS technology) encrypts and decrypts more than 1,000 file types. It secured our files based on a variety of criteria that included content, user ID, user group and user choice. It gave us four security levels from Top Secret through Public and was simple and painless to administer. It monitored access to secure files and produced useful, informative reports. IQProtector even scanned and classified documents we downloaded from (or uploaded to) Web sites.  On the other hand, IQProtector is highly Windows-centric (because it relies on RMS technology), it’s pricey and it slows document access noticeably. IQProtector “paused” the opening or creation of encrypted files by a few seconds even for small documents. For larger files, access was annoyingly slow. We concluded that IQProtector is inappropriate for files of about 25MB or greater. However, the slower performance is doubtlessly part of the price we paid for privacy. Overall, IQProtector is an effective privacy tool that we recommend you take a close look at.

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Ricoh's 360-degree Theta camera gets better images, video

Ricoh's 360-degree Theta camera gets better images, video | Internet of Things - Technology focus | Scoop.it
Ricoh's Theta, a candy bar-sized camera that can capture all-around images, is getting an upgrade.
Richard Platt's insight:

Ricoh's Theta, a candy bar-sized camera that can capture all-around images, is getting an upgrade.  From the outside, the new camera doesn't look very different from the two previous models, but you'll notice the change in the pictures and video that's captured.  The Theta is two cameras in a single body, each with a fisheye lens. That means it takes two 180 degree images in opposite directions.  That doesn't make much sense when viewed as a flat image (see above) but with the right app or browser plugin, the two images are stitched together and can be explored. Ricoh hosts hundreds of Theta images on a website.  So what's new? The first major change is a live preview window in the companion smartphone app, which allows the user to preview exactly what the camera is capturing. With it, users can check out the positioning of the camera and make small tweaks to it with ease.  The camera has also been improved and the images have a resolution of 5,376 pixels by 2,688 pixels.   Various camera settings including ISO and shutter speed can be set with a manual mode in the app. Shutter speeds range from 1/6400th to 60 seconds, the latter allowing stunning shots to be captured of the night sky.  Video was first introduced on the previous m15 model but limited to up to 5 minutes at 15 frames per second. That's half the number of frames of standard video, so it looked a little jerky. The Theta S can shoot high-def video at 30 frames per second for up to 25 minutes.

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