Current Events and Links
See more recent articles: After December 31, 2014
Amazon Reveals the Robots at the Heart of Its Epic Cyber Monday Operation
Dec. 1, 2014 - A day before the "Cyber Monday" swales rush Amazon showed off its new $775 million dollar Kiva robotic system that
is at the heart of its same-day delivery process.
The speed of commerce continues to accelerate, with Amazon setting the pace. The Tracy fulfillment center, about an hour east of San Francisco,
opened last year as part of Amazon’s strategy to locate more inventory closer to population hubs.
- Source: Wired
China's Tianhe-2 Still World's Fastest Supercomputer
Nov. 17, 2014 - For the second year in a row China's massive Tianhe-2 supercomputer is still rated the fastest computer in the world.
It appears it will hold that position until 2017 when two new supercomputers from IBM, the Summit, and the Sierra are installed in the U.S..
IBM officials said both new supercomputers will have peak performances of more than 100 petaflops; Tianhe-2 currently
has a peak performance of just under 55 petaflops.
- Source: eWeek
The Rosetta comet landing has made history
Nov. 12, 2014 - The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission has been the first in history to land on the surface of a comet.
The lander Philae was confirmed to touch down on the surface of the comet more than 300 million miles away at 11:05 a.m. Eastern. Now,
scientists expect it to send a panoramic image home and begin analyzing the comet for scientists back on Earth.
- Source: Washington Post
As Apple Pay Arrives, Witnessing the Next Step in Money. Maybe.
Oct. 21, 2014 - With the release of Apple Pay yesterday, owners of the iPhone6 can make purchases at thousands of retail
locations, including Macy’s, Walgreens and McDonald's by just pressing a button and using the phone's fingerprint scanner
to validate the purchase. They can forget about their wallets and plastic cards.
“Their brand, their technology and their choices in security made it compelling to us,” said James Anderson, senior vice president of
emerging payments at MasterCard, who also pointed to Apple’s fingerprint identification system . . . an impressive additional
way to fight credit card fraud.
Nearly three quarters of a billion credit cards are in use in the United States, [and recent computer theft of millions of credit card
names and numbers have made consumers worried about identity theft].
Merchants are not as enthusiastic as consumers about the development because there is little incentive for them to pay for new
terminals to receive the "Near Field Communication" payments. However, Apple's timing is excellent because American merchants face a
deadline next fall to upgrade their equipment to accept E.M.V.-- Europay, MasterCard and Visa technology. Those new terminals will
probably be equipped to handle Near Field transactions.
- Source: N.Y. Times
- Apple Pay and the Mark of the Beast - Ron's Blog
- Oct. 28, 2014 -
Retailers are disabling NFC readers to shut out Apple Pay - The Verge
Why the Bash Shellshock Bug Could Be Even Worse Than Heartbleed
Sept. 25, 2014 -
Shellshock is newly discovered vulnerability in software that's in computer systems we use everyday. It's kind of like Heartbleed, the Open/SSL
bug . . . Shellshock could be way worse, and it's been around for decades.
- Source: Gizmodo
Mysterious Fake Cellphone Towers Are Intercepting Calls All Over The US
Sept. 4, 2014 -
Seventeen fake cellphone towers were discovered across the U.S. last week, according to a report in Popular Science.
Rather than offering you cellphone service, the towers appear to be . . . either tapping calls or reading texts.
Human brain microchip is 9,000 times faster than a PC
May 2, 2014 -
The microchip called "Neurogrid" could open up windows into understanding the human brain and developing new forms of computing patterned after brain circuits.
- Source: Fox
Google: Driverless Cars Are Mastering City Streets
"We're growing more optimistic that we're heading toward an achievable goal — a vehicle that operates fully without human intervention," project director
Chris Urmson wrote.
- Source: NewsMax
Major Internet Security Problem Affects Most Users
Apr. 11, 2014 - An accidental flaw in the Open Source code used by two-thirds of the Internet's servers to provide secure transactions is
just now becoming common knowledge. It is now known that a major aspect of the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, known as "heartbeat," can be intercepted and
The intercepted information, now being called "heartbleed," may reveal Internet addresses, passwords and other information that can be used to steal the
identities of users. The problem is widespread, and even affects some hardware, but can not be fixed by doing anything to the users' computers. Experts say that
it will take time to replace the software and equipment in all the affected servers.
The articles listed below give some idea of the seriousness of the problem for all of us and what can be done to try to protect ourselves in the meanwhile.
- SSL Bug Threatens Secure Communications - Security Watch
- Heartbleeding Out: Internet Security Bug Even Worse Than First Believed - Time
Internet Users Warned: You Can Do Little to Thwart 'Heartbleed' Bug - NewsMax
- Heartbleed Bug: Should You Panic? - PC Magazine
- Programmer Takes Blame for Heartbleed - PC Magazine
Why Facebook was smart to buy Oculus
Mar. 31, 2014 - Jeff Reeves opines that tech companies stay on top by making bold moves. The industry is shocked that Mark Zuckerburg was willing to
spend $19 billion to acquire Whatsapp amd another $2 billion for Oculus VR. Reeves says,
"But broadly, I think Zuckerberg has his head in the right place by thinking beyond the current Facebook platform and trying to move where he thinks the market
is headed instead."
A good example of this kind of thinking was Google's acquisition of the little-known Android company in 2005 for $500 million. The new operating system grew slowly
for a while, but now has become the core of 80% of smartphones worldwide.
- Source: Market Watch
From Internet to Ubernet by 2025
Mar. 23, 2014 - A new report from the Pew Research Internet Project indicates that in a little over one decade the Internet will connect nearly everyone to nearly everything.
Experts are hopeful that the overall effect is beneficial, but there are some serious concerns, including the control of "big brother." Marc Rotenberg, of
the Electronic Privacy Information Center summarized the issue:
So, we are left with a central challenge: will the Internet of 2025 be – a network of freedom and opportunity or the infrastructure of social control?
- Source: Bob Unruh - WND
- Digital Life in 2025 - Pew Forum
Would 'kill switch' on phones deter cell phone robbers?
Mar. 4, 2014 - New York, California, and other states are considering a "Secure our Smartphones" initiative that would require a "kill switch" on
smart phones. According to Consumer Reports, more than one and a half million Americans were victimized by smartphone thieves in 2012. The crime is so
common that it has its own name - "apple picking."
Also discouraged by the slow process, and on-hand for Monday's announcement was the family of Megan Boken, a college student who was shot to death 18 months
ago in St. Louis for her cellphone.
- Source: ABC
Amazing 3-D Printer
A new mind-boggling technology replicates real objects in a hi-tech "printer." You have to see this National Gographics video to believe it.
- Source: YouTube
Company plans to beam free Wi-fi to every person on Earth from space
Feb. 17, 2014 - An organization called the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) is planning to launch hundreds of small satellites, beginning
next year, that will provide free web access to every person on Earth. The network will be known as the Outernet.
And they say the project could provide unrestricted Internet access to countries where their web access is censored, including China and North Korea.
- Source: Infowars
- Media Development Investment Fund - Wikipedia
Go to: News articles before Jan. 1, 2014
Notice: Ads are not necessarily endorsed by Prophecy Central.