Tag Archives: Toshiba

PTJ 172 News: Wake-Up Call

Talk about your Rey of light! The seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise opened last Thursday night and went on to make $247.9 million dollars in its first weekend and broke several other records along the way, Many people stayed off the Internet and social media to avoid spoilers until they saw the film, and Google Trends set up a whole page of Star Wars: The Force Awakens-related lists based on the terms people were using in Google Search. The countdown for Rogue One (December 16th, 2016) and Episode VIII (May 26th, 2017) has begun!

Meanwhile, in a galaxy much closer to home, the folks at SpaceX must be breathing a sign of relief after the company was able to launch — and land — a Falcon 9 rocket in Florida this week. The rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, delivered 11 low-earth satellites into orbit for the ORBCOMM company and then returned safely and in one piece about 10 minutes later. After previous mishaps and an explosion earlier this year, SpaceX redesigned the Falcon 9 rocket and the company plans to reuse the booster for another mission. (Let’s hope they clean the crew cabin between flights, unlike some domestic airlines around here.)


Like tarting up images and then sharing them online? Adobe, maker of Photoshop, has a new free iOS app called Adobe Post. It’s described in detail on an Adobe blog, and yes, the company says an Android version is in the works. As Macworld points out, though, you have to share the app with a friend to get rid of an watermark Post puts on your pictures. Also in picture news, Facebook is adding support for the Live Photos created by Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus models. While the new feature is slowly rolling out, only users with the iOS version of Facebook’s app will be able to see the mini moving pictures. Oh, well.

It sounds like Microsoft and Google are talking over each other, at least when it comes to the Cortana assistant app on Android devices. In a recent update to the app for the American version, Microsoft has disabled the voice-activated “Hey Cortana” feature apparently due to microphone conflicts with the “OK, Google” voice command. Microsoft also announced this week it was going to crack down on aggressive adware that makes PC users vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. As of March 31st next year, Microsoft plans to yank or block adware that defies its policies.

The Nielsen folks have released their list of the top apps of 2015 as measured by the number of users.  Odds are, you’re probably using one or two of the winning apps.

visitorJuniper Networks, which makes firewall for business enterprise customers, had to issue the advisory last week that so company remotely related to online protection wants to release: the Security Bulletin outlining multiple issues with one of its products.  A short FAQ on the incident. patches and workarounds were also posted. Wired reports that researchers now think the National Security Agency was at least partially responsible, and cryptography expert Matthew Green even has a blog post describing how hackers used an existing back door to make one of their own. Also in government snooping news, Apple is pushing back at a bill in the United Kingdom that seeks to expand Parliament’s investigatory powers and could give the government the power to make Apple decrypt its iMessage service.

The Federal Trade Commission has chased down the Oracle Corporation and charged that the company bamboozled customers about the safety of security updates to its Java software.  Thanks to a legal order, Oracle must provide an uninstall tool so users can pry the old Java crapware off their systems and make sure future updates actually provide the promised security.

hellkittyAnother week, another database leak. And another one that involves information about kids — Hello Kitty, of all things. Several sites have reported on the incident, but the one called The Office of Inadequate Security over at www.databreaches.net and the Salted Hash site lay it down: “Database Leak Exposes the 3.3 Million Hello Kitty Fans.”  The issue was discovered by security researcher Chris Vickery, who has been having a banner year of fail-hunting, and appears to be more of a server misconfiguration thing rather than hacker tracks. Sanrio, the company behind Hello Kitty, posted a statement on its site saying credit-card info was not at risk and yes, they fixed the problem.

While passwords can be a pain, especially when they’re hacked, Google is experimenting with a new way of logging in via smartphone notification. Yahoo, which has had its own security problems, updated its Yahoo Mail mobile app last fall that also did away with passwords in favor of a push notification to a mobile device. Just don’t lose your phone.

Layoffs are a fact of life in the tech industry and Toshiba is taking a hit now. The company, which claims to have released the world’s first mass-market laptop back in 1985 and affordable models in the 1990s, has been steadily losing ground to rival companies in Asia. The company, which also had a major accounting scandal this summer, said Monday it plans to cut about five percent of its workforce .

rosieThe Consumer Electronics Show is still about three weeks away, but the advance press releases are already starting to trickle out. Cleaning fans take note, LG plans to reveal what it calls “the world’s first augmented reality vacuum cleaner” at CES next month. The company’s HOM-BOT Turbo+ uses three camera sensors to record its surroundings to keep track of where it has already cleaned — and  to transmit a real-time feed to its owner’s smartphone. The human just needs to tap an area of the room displayed on the screen to have the HOM-BOT go over there and clean it. Because the vacuum has motion sensors along with its cameras, it can also be used to keep an eye on the place, but the HOM-BOT doesn’t quite sound like its up to a Terminator level of protection . . . yet.


Episode 50 News: Radio Ga Ga

iRadioCan the mythical iRadio finally be on the way for real? Apple’s recent deal with the Warner Music Group has some wondering if the company’s long-rumored streaming music service will soon be announced — maybe even at the World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco next week.

Apple also has some other things on its To Do List this month, namely that Federal antitrust case against the company that opened this week in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Federal lawyers accuse Apple and five major book publishers of conspiring to raise e-book prices together before the iPad came out in 2010.

Meanwhile, Amazon continues to expand its empire with 4,000 TV episodes — mainly children’s shows from Viacom — going into the Amazon Instant Video inventory. Amazon Instant Video now has about 41,000 titles for the streaming.

Samsung keeps adding Galaxies to its universe of flat devices. The Galaxy Tab 3 — available in 8-inch and 10.1-inch screen sizes, were announced this week and the new models are said to run on Intel processors instead of ARM chips. Other companies are also rolling out new hardware sporting Intel processors; among others, the new Haswell chips are included in Toshiba’s top-shelf Qosimo X75 and a new 27-inch all-in-one from Dell Computer.

Yahoo Mail Classic has become extinct, replaced by the new-look Yahoo Mail.  A page on Yahoo’s Help site said that the new terms of service for Yahoo Mail required “the acceptance of automated content scanning and analyzing of your communications content, which Yahoo Uses to deliver product features, relevant advertising, and abuse protection.” Yahoo points out that those not wishing to be scanned can download mail with an IMAP e-mail client or just close their accounts.

Microsoft, while trying to get people interested in buying Windows RT tablets, is said to be cutting the price of the software to get OEMs interested and have lower-priced Windows-based tablets available for consumers.

As for Android hardware, the Jelly Bean version of Google’s mobile operating system is now running on a third of the Android-powered devices out there. Android used also got their own version of Twitter’s Vine app for creating six-second videos. Mashable gave the app a test drive and also reported that a 16-year-old user figured out how to breach the six-second Vine limit and rickrolled the service.

A trio of researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology say they’ve figured out how to hack an iPhone in less than a minute with a malicious USB wall charger. The proof-of-concept Evil Charger will debut next month at the Black Hat security conference.

And finally, fans of the 11th Doctor were upset to learn over the weekend that Matt Smith is leaving the starring Time Lord role on Doctor Who after this year’s Christmas episode. This means holiday regeneration and a tidal wave of Internet speculation on who the 12th Doctor will be. Actor Ben Daniels has been mentioned, along with more diverse possibilities. The online betting firm William Hill has the odds and online polls have popped up everywhere, but really, just make Helen Mirren an offer.