Showing 2535 posts tagged tech

FridayFunFact2: For the first time, the number of broadband subscribers with the major U.S. cable companies exceeded the number of cable subscribers, the Leichtman Research Group reported today. Among other things, these figures suggest the industry is now misnamed. Evidently these are broadband companies that offer cable on the side.

(from: The Internet Is Officially More Popular Than Cable in the U.S. | Business | WIRED)

(via analyticisms)

Once the words “computer” and “calculator” referred to people, those who performed mathematical operations. (While today computers are strongly associated with men and male engineering, more often than not, those people were women, as the cultural-studies scholar Anne Balsamo has pointed out. In the early 1970s, “computers,” machines, were sometimes marketed as “calculators.” By the end of that decade, the two terms would cease being synonymous. Imagine explaining to someone living in the 1940s that computers were handheld devices with nanometer-sized transistors inside, with which one could shop or play Flappy Bird while making a wireless telephone call. There’s no reason to believe we’re living through semantic changes that are any less profound. Words are a significant part of the drama of the social-media age.

The Internet of Words - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education

But the true promise of technology to save the liberal arts is precisely its ability to lower the cost of delivery — and in so doing to allow everyone on earth to partake in a liberal education throughout their lifetime. Students shouldn’t have to choose between philosophy and engineering, music and business, rhetoric and marketing. And by lowering the costs, you enable increased consumption — that is the very nature of disruptive innovations.

How technology can help save the liberal arts (essay) @insidehighered

Yesterday, the 20,000 customers who use a Lansing Michigan web hosting company called Liquid Web had some big internet problems. The reason: the internet grew too big for the memory chips in the company’s Cisco routers.

The Internet Has Grown Too Big for Its Aging Infrastructure | Enterprise | WIRED

The story starts with a fugitive, Neil Stammer, who had been on the run since he was arrested for child sex abuse and kidnapping in 1999. According to police reports, Stammer speaks nearly a dozen languages, so when he fled the country using false papers, it left law enforcement with few clues as to where he might be. The case languished for 14 years until this January, when a new facial recognition system found a face that matched Stammer’s. The Diplomatic Security Service had his face on file under the name Kevin Hodges, thanks to a recent visa application to the US Embassy in Nepal. The DSS contacted the FBI, and a few months later Stammer was in custody.

The FBI just used facial recognition to catch a fugitive of 14 years | The Verge

In some situations, a complex password can help you. But in others—like when the company holding your password stores it in plain text, without encrypting it—that complexity is meaningless. And some passwords may seem complex, when they’re actually pretty easy to guess. They can trip you up, even if they’re stored using cryptographic techniques, when someone hacks into the machines that they live on. The lesson here is that system administrators—the people who oversee all those password rules you have to follow—need to shoulder a bit more of the work. They need to better understand what makes a secure password—and how passwords should be stored. “Everyone is confused in this space,” says Cormac Herley, a Microsoft researcher who’s been studying passwords for years. System administrators will lay down rules for passwords but often, “we don’t know half of why we’re doing this stuff.,” says Herley. And they may not realize they should be spending their time securing systems in other ways.

Turns Out Your Complex Passwords Aren’t That Much Safer | Enterprise | WIRED

General Electric plans to announce Monday that it has created a “data lake” method of analyzing sensor information from industrial machinery in places like railroads, airlines, hospitals and utilities. G.E. has been putting sensors on everything it can for a couple of years, and now it is out to read all that information quickly. The company, working with an outfit called Pivotal, said that in the last three months it has looked at information from 3.4 million miles of flights by 24 airlines using G.E. jet engines. G.E. said it figured out things like possible defects 2,000 times as fast as it could before. The company has to, since it’s getting so much more data. “In 10 years, 17 billion pieces of equipment will have sensors,” said William Ruh, vice president of G.E. software. “We’re only one-tenth of the way there.”

What Cars Did for Today’s World, Data May Do for Tomorrow’s - NYTimes.com

At the end of June 2014 AOL had 2.3 million customers using its pre-broadband services, paying on average $20.86 per month. As most of the costs for getting people onto this service were paid long ago (hardware, infrastructure, advertising, etc) this means the company still makes a whopping $155 million from dial-up, which compares nicely to the $144m it takes home from ads. Experts have speculated that many of these subscribers might not be aware that they’re still paying for their dial-up service, while others have made the switch to broadband but wrongly believe that dial-up is necessary for the faster service.

Forgotten but not gone: AOL’s dial-up internet service still makes more money than their ads - Gadgets and Tech - Life and Style - The Independent

The processor may thus be able to recognize that a woman in a video is picking up a purse, or control a robot that is reaching into a pocket and pulling out a quarter. Humans are able to recognize these acts without conscious thought, yet today’s computers and robots struggle to interpret them. The chip contains 5.4 billion transistors, yet draws just 70 milliwatts of power. By contrast, modern Intel processors in today’s personal computers and data centers may have 1.4 billion transistors and consume far more power — 35 to 140 watts.

IBM Develops New Computer Chip Designed to Work Like the Brain - NYTimes.com