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Your car will eventually live-stream video of your driving to the cloud

As self-driving cars become more advanced with a greater number of onboard computers, sensors, cameras and WiFi, the amount of data is expected to balloon, providing automakers, insurers and others with rich information to harvest.

A single autonomous car could generate as much as 100GB of data every second, said Barclays analyst Brian Johnson, in a note published Wednesday.

autonomous cars big data Barclays

If extrapolated out to the entire U.S. fleet of vehicles -- 260 million in number -- autonomous cars and trucks could potentially produce about 5,800 exabytes, Johnson stated.

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Google Cloud growth is outpacing the company's ad business

Google is still an advertising company, but the tech titan’s cloud business is growing faster than its advertising revenue. That’s one of the key take-aways from the company’s first quarter earnings report released Thursday.

Google Cloud Platform is one of the fastest-growing lines of revenue across Alphabet, the parent company that includes Google and other businesses like self-driving car maker Waymo, company CFO Ruth Porat said on a conference call with analysts. That growth is driven in part by a change in the way companies are working with Google Cloud.


Should your next big hire be a chief A.I. officer?

As companies increasingly turn to artificial intelligence to communicate with customers, make sense of big data and find answers to vexing questions, some say it's time to think about hiring a chief A.I. officer.

A chief artificial intelligence Officer – or CAIO -- could round out your C-level execs, sitting at the big table with your CIO, CFO, CTO and CEO.

"A.I. is going to be really important to some companies – enough to have top officers who will focus on just that," said Steve Chien, head of the artificial intelligence group for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "And beyond that, you'll want every employee thinking about how A.I. can improve what they do and you'll want a chief A.I. officer overseeing all of that. They should be constantly thinking about how A.I. can improve things."

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BlackBerry KEYone sales delayed a month to meet demand, TCL CEO says

Enterprise customers eager to get their hands on the new BlackBerry KEYone, with its old-fashioned hardware keyboard, will have to wait another month until its May 31 release.

The delay isn't expected to hurt sales much, analysts said, partly because there are 275 million BlackBerry customers worldwide — many of whom may want a newer phone with physical keys. Hardware keyboards have been a hit for years in countries like India and Indonesia, which are mainstays of the BlackBerry and BlackBerry Messenger.

The May 31 launch date for KEYone sales in the U.S. and Canada was announced Wednesday by TCL Communication. TCL is licensed by BlackBerry to make the Android device.

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Fired IT workers to file discrimination lawsuit

The University of California IT workers replaced by an offshore outsourcing firm intend to file a lawsuit challenging their dismissal. The lawsuit may be filed as early as next week.

It will allege that the tech workers at the university's San Francisco campus were victims of age and national origin discrimination.

The IT employees lost their jobs in February after the university hired India-based IT services firm HCL. Approximately 50 full-time university employees lost their jobs, but another 30 contractor positions were cut as well.

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Ransomware attacks are taking a bigger toll on victims' wallets

Hackers spreading ransomware are getting greedier. In 2016, the average ransom demand to free computers hit with the infection rose to $1,077, up from $294 the year before, according to security firm Symantec.

“Attackers clearly think that there’s more to be squeezed from victims,” Symantec said in a Wednesday report

In addition, the security company has been detecting more ransomware infection attempts. In 2016, the figure jumped 36 percent compared with the prior year.  

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BlackBerry KeyOne smartphone to launch in U.S. and Canada in late May

The BlackBerry KeyOne, an Android-based smartphone with a hardware keyboard, will be available in the U.S. and Canada from May 31, the phone's maker said Thursday.

TCL Communications, the Chinese company that acquired rights to produce BlackBerry-brand handsets, originally had said the phone would go on sale in April, so the delay may disappoint potential users. This could be a bad time to test the patience of potential buyers, as Samsung and LG are both heavily promoting their new flagship handsets, the S8 and G6.

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FCC chairman plans to 'reverse the mistake' of net neutrality

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote on May 18 to kick off a proceeding to "reverse the mistake" of the agency's 2-year-old net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

The rulemaking proceeding would be the first step toward repealing the regulations and reversing the agency's 2015 decision to classify broadband as a regulated, telecom-like service.

Pai didn't provide a lot of detail about his proposal during a speech Wednesday, but during the rulemaking, the FCC will seek public comment on how best to move forward with new net neutrality rules or guidelines, he said. The FCC is scheduled to release the text of Pai's proposal on Thursday.

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California bill would force utilities to give rebates for energy-storage systems

A bill that recently won state Senate committee approval would make California the first state to require utilities to dole out rebates to customers who install energy storage systems.

The Energy Storage Initiative (SB700) was approved last week by the state's Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and is awaiting a full senate vote.

The bill, authored by State Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, would require the electric utilities to provide rebates to their customers by Dec. 1, 2018 for the installation of energy storage systems meeting certain requirements.

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After early hype, smartwatches slowly emerge with enterprise uses

A market for enterprise-use smartwatches is slowly emerging, being led by the Apple Watch, according to market research firm IDC.

"Apple Watch in particular, and to some extent other smartwatches, do have relevance in the enterprise, although to date the usage has been quite low as the market is still nascent," IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in an email.

The first Apple Watch was released with much fanfare just over two years ago this week -- on April 24, 2015.

While the Apple Watch and other smartwatches haven't sold as well as once hoped, they are part of an emerging landscape of wrist wearables that includes several Samsung models and more than a dozen other smartwatch brands that natively run third-party apps. These smartwatches compete with some less-intelligent models from Fitbit and other wrist wearables sold primarily as consumer devices to monitor fitness.

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Microsoft adds another layer to the Windows 10 patching onion

Microsoft yesterday added another update cycle to Windows 10's monthly patching, saying that the new collection of non-security-only fixes would give corporate customers the "increased flexibility" they had demanded.

On Monday, Michael Niehaus, director of Windows 10 product marketing, announced the new monthly update, saying that the company would initially issue it only to customers running 1703, the upgrade also known as Creators Update, which launched earlier this month.

"We will routinely offer one (or sometimes more than one) additional update each month," Niehaus wrote in a post to a company blog. "These additional cumulative updates will contain only new non-security updates" [emphasis added].

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Old Windows Server machines can still fend off hacks. Here's how

If you're running a Windows Server 2003 machine, you have a problem. Your already-vulnerable computer is now at severe risk of being hacked.

That's due to the internet release earlier this month of a batch of updates that paint a bull's-eye on computers running Windows Server 2003, according to security researchers.

“I can teach my mom how to use some of these exploits,” said Jake Williams, founder of Rendition Infosec, a security provider. “They are not very complicated at all.”

Experts are urging affected businesses to upgrade to the latest Windows OSes, which offer security patches that can address the threat.

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3D NAND to make up half of all flash memory production

3D NAND, which stacks layer upon layer of flash cells atop one another like a microscopic skyscraper, will become the prominent technology for all flash memory this year, according to a new report.

According to DRAMeXchange's latest forecast, NAND flash manufacturers have focused their efforts on converting fabrication plants to 3D NAND, which is denser, faster and less expensive to produce than traditional 2D (planar) NAND.

WD Toshiba 3D NAND BiCS Toshiba

BiCS (Bit Cost Scaling) is the vertical stacking or 3D technology that WD and partner Toshiba use to produce solid state drives and other NAND flash products. Their latest memory stores three bits of data per cell and stacks those cells 64-layers high.

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Startup claims 3D printers create metal parts faster, more cheaply

A two-year-old startup today unveiled two new 3D metal printing machines, one of which can create prototypes and the other production parts faster and cheaper than existing technology, the vendor says.

Desktop Metal, based in Burlington, Mass., demonstrated the Desktop Metal (DM) Studio System, which it calls an "office-friendly" metal 3D-printing system for rapid prototyping, and the DM Production, a manufacturing-class printer it claims is 100 times faster than today's laser sintering machines.

The DM Studio System includes both a printer and microwave-enhanced sintering furnace that can produce metal 3D printed parts in an engineer's office or on a shop floor. The company claims its DM Studio System is 10 times less expensive than existing metal prototyping technology.

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Oracle plans ‘startup organization’ focused on cloud computing, A.I. and VR

Oracle is hiring for a "new startup organization" inside its North America operation that will focus on key technology trends, including cloud computing, internet of things, artificial Intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality.

The Solution Engineering organization the company is setting up will consist of Solution Engineering Centers in Reston, Virginia, and Denver, Colorado.

The database and enterprise software company has previously indicated its interest in investing in some of these technology areas like machine learning and analytics.

Oracle announced in September that it was investing in intelligent cloud applications, called Adaptive Intelligent Applications, “that automatically offer individualized recommended actions and streamline the tasks of business users such as human resource or finance professionals.”

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How your company needs to train workers in cybersecurity

With workplace cyberattacks on the rise, industry experts are pressing businesses to train their workers to be more vigilant than ever to protect passwords and sensitive data and to recognize threats.

“It is imperative for organizations of all sizes to instill among employees the critical role they play in keeping their workplace safe and secure,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, a group that promotes education on the safe and secure use of the internet. The group's members include such major technology companies as Cisco, Facebook, Google, Intel and Microsoft.

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With CRM integration, Microsoft finds another use for LinkedIn

Microsoft is wielding LinkedIn against Salesforce in the battle for the CRM market. Starting Tuesday, salespeople will get LinkedIn Sales Navigator data alongside other information in the Dynamics 365 Sales dashboard.

Users who have both systems will see information from LinkedIn profiles inside the lead, contact, account and opportunity pages of Dynamics 365 Sales. Dynamics and LinkedIn Sales Navigator will sync their information every day so that LinkedIn’s system is up to date on activity from Microsoft’s CRM and vice versa.

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How NASA's A.I. moonshots idea could help your enterprise

Every few weeks, a group at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., finds an empty conference room where the participants sit down to talk about how they can use artificial intelligence to make what might seem like crazy ideas a reality.

This is the JPL's informal A.I. moonshots group.

The group isn't talking about the moon, but is taking ideas that might seem like science fiction and figuring out how to use artificial intelligence to make them work.

These A.I. experts are focused on efforts such as sending small submarines to search for life beneath the oceans of one of Jupiter's moons and flying an autonomous spacecraft on a 100-year trip to another star system.

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CEOs rate productivity 'very low' from emerging tech

The internet of things, artificial intelligence, blockchain and 3D printing promise to improve productivity on a grand scale for enterprises, cities and other organizations.

Even so, CEOs and other senior enterprise managers rate such breakthrough technologies "very low" in terms of productivity improvement in the next five years, according to a new Gartner survey of 388 senior executives. But it may be too early in the game to fully appreciate the potential benefits of these technologies, Gartner suggested.

"There seems to be a big, unexplored future," said Gartner analyst Mark Raskino in a summary of the survey released Monday. "That [future] amounts to a leapfrog opportunity for a new generation of brave and creative business technology thinkers."

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Russian man receives longest-ever prison sentence in the U.S. for hacking

A 32-year-old Russian hacker was sentenced to 27 years in prison in the U.S. for stealing millions of payment card details from businesses by infecting their point-of-sale systems with malware.

The sentence is the longest ever handed out in the U.S. for computer crimes, surpassing the 20-year jail term imposed on American hacker and former U.S. Secret Service informant Albert Gonzalez in 2010 for similar credit card theft activities.

Roman Valeryevich Seleznev, a Russian citizen from Vladivostok, was sentenced Friday in the Western District of Washington after he was found guilty in August of 10 counts of wire fraud, eight counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, nine counts of obtaining information from a protected computer, nine counts of possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

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There's now a tool to test for NSA spyware

Has your computer been infected with a suspected NSA spying implant? A security researcher has come up with a free tool that can tell.

Luke Jennings of security firm Countercept wrote a script in response to last week’s high-profile leak of cyberweapons that some researchers believe are from the National Security Agency. It's designed to detect an implant called Doublepulsar, which is delivered by many of the Windows-based exploits found in the leak and can be used to load other malware.

The script, which requires some programming skill to use, is available for download on GitHub.

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Apple's Mac Pro gets crushed by new HP Zbook laptops

Apple's Mac Pro has been ignored for so long that even Windows 10 mobile workstations are catching up on features and performance.

Take HP's latest Zbook laptop workstations , which were announced on Friday. These heavy built laptops -- which is why they are called mobile workstations -- have comparable memory and storage capacity technology to the Mac Pro, but excel in other areas.

The laptops feature Thunderbolt 3 ports, DDR4 memory, Intel's latest Kaby Lake-based Core and Xeon processors, and the latest GPUs from Nvidia and AMD.

By comparison the Mac Pro has Thunderbolt 2 ports, an old AMD GPU, DDR3 memory and Intel Xeon processors based on the Ivy Bridge architecture, which were released in 2013.

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Researchers build a microprocessor from flexible materials

Users' orders: Make it easier to build hybrid clouds

A funny thing happened on the way to the hybrid cloud: Building the infrastructure was a pain in the neck.

That's what enterprise IT people in the Open Networking User Group have discovered. Last year, public cloud providers persuaded C-level executives to move significant corporate workloads to the cloud, but the tools weren't there to make it work, said Nick Lippis, co-founder and co-chairman of ONUG.

"There is a ton of custom work that has to be done," Lippis said.

So the user group, which includes IT executives from hundreds of enterprises, chose building hybrid cloud infrastructure as its focus for this year. It will be the main topic at ONUG Spring 2017, taking place next week in San Francisco.

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What happened when the Apple I team got together?

The Living Computers: Museum + Labs recently opened a permanent exhibition dedicated to the first two decades of Apple,  I caught up with the Museum’s executive director Lath Carlson to find out more.

Steve, meet Paul

The show opened in early April 2017 with a VIP preview night, to which the museum invited some of the amazing people who first created the personal computer, shaping the early days of the industry.

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Hackers use old Stuxnet-related bug to carry out attacks

Users that run unpatched software beware. Hackers have been relying on an old software bug tied to the Stuxnet worm to carry out their attacks.

Microsoft may have initially patched the flaw in 2010, but it's nevertheless become the most widespread software exploit, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab.

On Thursday, Kaspersky posted research examining the use of exploits, or malicious programs designed to take advantage of certain software flaws. Once an exploit goes to work, it can typically pave the way for other malicious programs to install onto a computer.

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Blockchain used to power Brooklyn microgrid for solar energy re-sale

Residents of the Park Slope area of Brooklyn are now able to sell power generated from rooftop solar panels via a microgrid enabled by a blockchain ledger that records every transaction made with a local utility.

The physical microgrid, set up by Siemens Digital Grid Division, includes network control systems, converters, lithium-ion battery storage and smart electric meters. In  case of another hurricane like Sandy in 2012, residents on the microgrid would continue to have power for a time even during a blackout as they could switch over to battery reserves.

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Developer lifts Windows 7's update blockade with unsanctioned patch

An anonymous developer has published a patch that negates Microsoft's barring of security updates from Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs equipped with the very newest processors.

The developer, identified as "Zeffy," posted the patch and accompanying documentation on GitHub, the code repository.

"I was inspired to look into these new rollup updates that Microsoft released on March 16 [after reading about the processor-related blocking of Windows Update]," wrote Zeffy. "[That was] essentially a giant middle finger to anyone who dare not 'upgrade' to the steaming pile of garbage known as Windows 10."

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FCC ends price caps on many business data lines

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to deregulate the providers of the business data lines connecting broadband service to many small businesses, schools, hospitals and ATM machines.

The deregulation of business data services, or BDS, could mean broadband price increases for those businesses as well as for mobile phone customers, critics said. BDS provides the backhaul that connects mobile towers to the wired internet.

The commission's 2-1, party-line vote ends price caps on much of the BDS market across the U.S. while retaining price regulations in about a third of the country.

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Machine-to-machine 'voice' has a name, a chirp, and a niche

Machines communicating by voice with other machines is a science fiction staple. But it's already being used by a bus service, Shuttl, to ease passenger boarding.

Instead of scanning a device with a barcode or using Near Field Communications (NFC), a Shuttl passenger uses her smartphone to transmit an R2D2-like sound to the driver's phone. An app sends a melodic and swift sound that completes the transaction. It doesn't need wireless connectivity -- or patience.

The technology is made by a U.K.-based firm called Chirp, and is aimed at the business-to-business market. Its competition is wireless technology.

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