Weak Security and Obsolescence Leads to Demise of Flash

Adobe has finally pulled the plug on Flash, an application that Steve Jobs excoriated as far back as 2010 for being too insecure and proprietary for the iPhone. Adobe stated that it would no longer update and distribute the Flash Player at the end of 2020, and many in the industry will cheer its demise. In fact, Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Safari have been blocking Flash for the past year, but many sites devoted to gaming, education and video still use Flash, whose infamously weak security has been exploited by malware. Continue reading Weak Security and Obsolescence Leads to Demise of Flash

Facebook Takes on Snapchat with New Flash Messaging App

Facebook launched a picture and messaging application that’s nearly identical to Snapchat, something it has already attempted to do twice. Both previous attempts — Poke and then Slingshot — failed. But this new app, Flash, which is about one-third a big as Snapchat’s Android app for Google’s new Pixel phone, is aimed specifically at emerging markets where Wi-Fi and connectivity are both scarce commodities. This move makes it clear that Facebook hopes to dominate in a market that Snapchat has not yet taken over. Continue reading Facebook Takes on Snapchat with New Flash Messaging App

As Data Surges to Zettabytes, Need for Better Storage Urgent

Storage is quickly becoming a crucial area of interest, as data grows exponentially. The world’s one billion cell phones already generate 18 exabytes (1 billion gigabytes) of data monthly and, as the Internet of Things places sensors in everything from automobiles to homes, the data output is estimated to soar into the zettabytes. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are a focus to find ways to help manage huge amounts of data. New ways to store data are imperative, and some practical advances are being made. Continue reading As Data Surges to Zettabytes, Need for Better Storage Urgent

HPE Plans to Enhance Servers with ‘Persistent Memory’ Tech

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise hopes to be the leader in “persistent memory,” which greatly improves server speed, a boon to those dealing with increasing amounts of data. Other companies planning to use persistent memory include Oracle and Super Micro Computer, with component manufacturers Micron Technology, SanDisk, Netlist and the Viking Technology unit of Sanmina. Persistent memory combines flash memory and DRAM (dynamic random-access memory), to create DIMMs (direct in-line memory module). Continue reading HPE Plans to Enhance Servers with ‘Persistent Memory’ Tech

Users Seek New Storage and Cloud Solutions as Data Explodes

IBM estimates that smartphones and devices related to the Internet of Things will generate 44 zettabytes (exabytes to the thousandths) by 2020. To handle all that information, IBM is looking at storage solutions that combine machine learning and artificial intelligence, both of which excel at finding patterns. Other companies are looking for solutions, including Pure, which is combining flash storage and engineering to create a storage unit that currently holds 16 petabytes, or five times most storage devices. Continue reading Users Seek New Storage and Cloud Solutions as Data Explodes

Intel to Bring Superfast Optane Hard Drives to Market in 2016

Several high-profile technology companies, most notably Hewlett-Packard, have been hard at work trying to reinvent the hard drive. But it looks like Intel will be first to market with its new Optane drives. Although a current prototype of Intel’s Optane drives only functions seven times the speed of a top-end flash disk drive, it could be much faster by the time it is released in 2016. And the potential is great: Optane drives are said to operate as much as 1,000 times faster than today’s memory technology. Continue reading Intel to Bring Superfast Optane Hard Drives to Market in 2016

MPEG LA Calls for Patents to Organize Joint DASH License

MPEG LA announced a call for patents for MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP), to the dismay of many industry watchers. When MPEG-DASH first debuted in 2011, the issue of royalties wasn’t raised and DASH was quickly and widely deployed, in everything from browsers to smart TVs. The problem is that DASH is an integral part of HTML5, which is beginning to displace Flash. With the specter of patents looming, some software vendors could find royalties to be an obstacle to staying in business. Continue reading MPEG LA Calls for Patents to Organize Joint DASH License

Security Researcher Reports Privilege-Escalation Bug in OS X

A privilege-escalation bug was identified in the latest version of Apple’s OS X this week by security researcher Stefan Esser. The vulnerability reportedly provides hackers with root user privileges that make it possible to infect Macs with rootkits and other malware. This type of bug is commonly used to bypass security protections created for applications and operating systems. According to Esser, the vulnerability can be found in OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 and the beta version of 10.10.5, but not in the recent beta version of El Capitan 10.11. Continue reading Security Researcher Reports Privilege-Escalation Bug in OS X

New Emergency Patches for Flash Steps Up Calls for Its Demise

To patch two critical zero-day vulnerabilities, Adobe Systems issued an emergency update for its Flash media player. That’s in addition to a previously unknown vulnerability discovered over a week ago in a 400-gigabyte data dump published after hackers rooted the servers of Hacking Team. That bug allowed hackers to covertly install malware on end-user computers. Mozilla now blocks the hacker-susceptible Flash, and several industry leaders are calling for Adobe to pull the plug on the bug-infested media player. Continue reading New Emergency Patches for Flash Steps Up Calls for Its Demise

YouTube Supports Live Streams at 60fps and HTML5 Playback

YouTube is looking to take on game-streaming services such as Amazon’s Twitch by allowing live video streams that run at 60 frames per second (double its previous limit). Higher frame rates are vital for fast-moving games including racers and first-person shooters, and attracting gamers will be important if YouTube hopes to remain competitive in the growing eSports market. To address growing interest in gamers sharing their sessions, YouTube has been upgrading playback quality, adding support for HD, 4K, and most recently, browsers that use HTML5. Continue reading YouTube Supports Live Streams at 60fps and HTML5 Playback

IBC 2014: SanDisk Premieres Record-Breaking 512GB SD Card

SanDisk unveiled its new 512GB memory card at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam last week. The $800 Extreme PRO SDXC UHS-I card — which SanDisk touts as “the highest capacity SD card on the market” — is designed for professionals that shoot 4K video, Full HD video and high-speed burst mode photography. The new offering marks an increase in SD card capacity by 1,000 times in just over a decade. It was only 2003 when consumers were scrambling for SanDisk’s 512MB cards. Continue reading IBC 2014: SanDisk Premieres Record-Breaking 512GB SD Card

Snapchat Unveils App Updates with Filters and Replay Option

Snapchat rolled out a significant update to its iOS and Android apps on Friday that offers support for new services such as swipeable photo filters. The update supports “smart filters” that can overlay information on pictures including the current time, temperature (using data supplied by the Weather Channel), and how fast a user is moving. Additionally, a new Replay option enables users to view one of their incoming messages one more time. Continue reading Snapchat Unveils App Updates with Filters and Replay Option

Neptune Pine Smartwatch is Just as Capable as a Smartphone

The world’s most powerful smartwatch will soon be released, and it wasn’t created by Apple or Google, but a 19-year-old college dropout. The Kickstarter-funded product, named Neptune Pine, will be able to ship as soon as it has FCC approval and the Kickstarter funds are delivered for mass production. The project’s video depicts a working prototype with a 2.6-inch frame, front- and rear-facing cameras, and Web browsing, among countless other features. Continue reading Neptune Pine Smartwatch is Just as Capable as a Smartphone

Apple Takes New Direction by Offering Free Operating System

In addition to the new iPads unveiled yesterday, Apple made several announcements regarding its hardware and software products. The new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops will go on sale immediately, while the $2,999 Mac Pro desktop will ship before the end of the year. Apple’s iWork and iLife suites of office and creative software are now free with every hardware purchase. Another surprise is the company’s decision to offer its Mac operating system, OS X Mavericks, as a free download. Continue reading Apple Takes New Direction by Offering Free Operating System

DRM Integration Into HTML5 Concerns Open Web Advocates

While many are in favor of DRM being integrated into HTML5, some open Web advocates are concerned that the integration will eventually lead to third parties controlling too much of our online browsing. Tim Berners-Lee suggests that allowing content protection may be needed for standards to combat the rise of proprietary platforms. Meanwhile, mobile operating systems such as Firefox OS will be DRM-free. Also, some TV networks and performers are selling their content without digital restrictions. Continue reading DRM Integration Into HTML5 Concerns Open Web Advocates

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