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Industry & Technology

Rubrik's tube: Cloud backup protector looks to suck up more cash – report

The Register - April 25, 2017 - 4:58pm
Now supports cloud-native apps in AWS, Azure

Storage startup Rubrik claims it is taking the lead in public/private cloud data management and says it is approaching a $100m annual run rate after 18 months of product availability.…

Huawei Honor 6X review - CNET - Reviews - April 25, 2017 - 4:31pm
This seriously budget phone has dual cameras and a fast, accurate fingerprint reader right where I want it. Unfortunately, that's about the best it can offer.

AMD puts two GPUs and 32GB of RAM on its latest Radeon Pro Duo graphics card

Ars Technica - April 25, 2017 - 4:26pm

Enlarge / AMD's new Radeon Pro Duo GPU. (credit: AMD)

A little over a year after launching the last Radeon Pro Duo graphics card, AMD is back with an all-new version that has the same name but makes a whole bunch of changes. The new Radeon Pro Duo mashes two separate 14nm Polaris GPUs with 2,304 stream processors, 128 texture units, 32 ROPs, and 16GB of graphics RAM apiece (for a total of 32GB) into a single card. As the name implies, the card is being aimed primarily at professional users rather than gamers. It's based on the Radeon Pro WX 7100 workstation GPU, which uses one GPU with most of the same specs as the Radeon Pro Duo but with 8GB of RAM instead of 16GB.

You can find the full spec list for the card here, which will launch at "the end of May" for $999.

The card is quite different from last year's Radeon Pro Duo—that card launched at $1,499 and featured a pair of 28nm Fiji GPUs with 4,096 stream processors and 4GB of RAM each; it was also a power-hungry monster, requiring its own closed-loop liquid cooler, three external PCIe power plugs, and as much as 350W of power. The new card only needs two power plugs, uses an air blower typical of most GPUs, and has a rated TBP (typical board power) of 250W.

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Ex-Lyft driver sues Uber over “Hell,” its alleged “spyware”

Ars Technica - April 25, 2017 - 4:16pm

Enlarge (credit: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

A former Lyft driver sued Uber on Monday in a proposed class-action lawsuit over the company's recently revealed "Hell" software, which allowed Uber to spoof fake Lyft drivers through a flaw in Lyft’s own design.

In turn, those faux accounts gave Uber confidential location information about the eight nearest Lyft drivers. Not only did this program provide secret information about Lyft, its largest rival, but it allowed Uber to target its own drivers who also drive for Lyft. Uber could then present the drivers with enticing offers to make sure that they would stay loyal to Uber.

The "spyware," according to the lawsuit, which reportedly ran from 2014 to 2016, "enabled Defendants to remotely and surreptitiously access, monitor, intercept, and/or transmit personal information as well as electronic communications and whereabouts." The ex-driver, Michael Gonzales, who never drove for Uber, claims violations of federal and California state privacy laws, and unfair business practices.

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Spotify seeks hardware boffins

The Register - April 25, 2017 - 4:16pm
For something you never knew you wanted

Spotify is seeking experienced hardware engineers to create “a category-defining product”, according to a (now removed) job ad.…

Google search changes tackle fake news and hate speech

BBC Technology News - April 25, 2017 - 4:02pm
More people will be involved in checking what Google returns for search terms

Another ZX Spectrum modern reboot crowdfunder pops up

The Register - April 25, 2017 - 4:02pm
FPGA-based project has scored £290k so far

Yet another crowdfunded ZX Spectrum reboot project has emerged – and this one has raised more than £290,000 from backers.…

Jeff VanderMeer’s New Novel Makes Dystopia Seem Almost Fun

Wired - April 25, 2017 - 4:00pm
The author's latest book is a family drama—that just happens to feature flying bears and a sentient, maneating plant. The post Jeff VanderMeer's New Novel Makes Dystopia Seem Almost Fun appeared first on WIRED.

Waymo trials free self-driving taxi service in Phoenix

Ars Technica - April 25, 2017 - 3:57pm

Enlarge / One of the earliest self-driving trial families poses with Waymo's minivan. (credit: Waymo)

Waymo—Alphabet's self-driving car division—is launching a "trial" of a self-driving taxi service in the Phoenix, Arizona, metropolitan area. The Google spinoff's fleet of self-driving cars is descending on Phoenix and offering free rides to anyone in its "early rider program," which is currently accepting new members.

The taxi service is not totally "self-driving." Waymo notes that "as part of this early trial, there will be a test driver in each vehicle monitoring the rides at all times." While the car will handle most of the driving duties, a driver will ensure nothing goes wrong if the car runs into a situation it can't handle. While the trial will offer free rides to Phoenix residents, it will also serve as a research program for Waymo. The company's blog post say it wants to "learn things like where people want to go in a self-driving car, how they communicate with our vehicles, and what information and controls they want to see inside."

To handle the load of a city-wide taxi service, Waymo is building 500 more of its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans, bringing the total minivan fleet to 600. The minivans represent the latest in Waymo's technology. In a recent talk at the North American International Auto Show, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said the vehicles would be the launch platform for Waymo's "full-stack approach," which combines Waymo's software with a "fully integrated hardware suite" that is "all designed and built, from the ground up, by Waymo." Most self-driving car programs stick to developing software using Velodyne's LiDAR hardware.

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IDG Contributor Network: Why bi-modal IT doesn't really work - IT industry - April 25, 2017 - 3:53pm

On paper, bi-modal IT may make sense. But this practice is not my reality. Transforming IT is a team sport and dividing teams into “old & slow vs. new & fast” does more harm than good. The fact is IT has to chew gum and walk at the same time. 

According to analysts, “Bimodal IT is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed.”

Tell me. Who wants to be on the Mode 1 team?  

The real challenge is enabling innovation across IT, at the application level, and within the infrastructure, for a solution that is agile and can respond with security that is built-in to accelerate the pace of innovation. Bi-modal IT assumes that IT’s abilities – reliability, scalability and availability – cannot function alongside newer dynamic developments and practices.

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IDG Contributor Network: What would a woman in tech do about the gender gap? - IT industry - April 25, 2017 - 3:49pm

The tech industry has done a lot of soul- and talent-searching in recent years to try and improve upon its dismal track record of hiring and promoting women.

According to a McKinsey & Co. study, “only 37% of workers in entry-level positions are female... and women make up only 19% of tech senior vice presidents and 15% of CEOs.” Findings like those have many of the male-dominated boards and leadership teams at tech companies asking, “What should we do?”

My answer? Let’s ask the women of the tech world. Clearly, women CIOs, CTOs and chief digital officers (CDO) who have made it to the top have some valuable insight into reaching the IT industry’s highest levels as a woman. But would they each share similar insights and tips, or would their experiences and ideas vary widely? To find out, I posed this simple question to women IT leaders from around the globe:

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Violin Memory steps out of bankruptcy, takes the storage stage again

The Register - April 25, 2017 - 3:46pm
Now a privately owned debt-free company

+Comment Violin Memory is back, as a privately owned company fresh out of bankruptcy.…

Xiaomi's new global boss looks to fill Hugo Barra's shoes - CNET - News - April 25, 2017 - 3:41pm
Wang Xiang doesn't have former exec Hugo Barra's boundless enthusiasm, but instead steers the Xiaomi ship with a calm and steady hand.

Despite delays, Boeing’s Starliner moving steadily toward the launch pad

Ars Technica - April 25, 2017 - 3:41pm


Last October, during a White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, President Obama sat down in a simulator of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, which will begin transporting astronauts to the International Space Station within a couple of years. The commander-in-chief wanted to try his hand at a task astronauts would eventually have to perform. After taking the controls and cleanly docking to the station, Obama gleefully exulted, “Your ride is here, baby."

So when I sat down in the same simulator on a recent Friday morning at the FIRST Robotics Competition in Houston, I felt a little pressure to match the president's success. Even though this simulator has been "dumbed" down for the general public from the real thing, it still wasn't trivial to guide the Starliner, nose first, into a docking port on the station's Node 2 module.

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Google tweaks search results to squash fake news - CNET - News - April 25, 2017 - 3:29pm
Google is ramping up its fight against fake news with adjustments to its search rankings and autocomplete.

2017 Subaru Impreza review - Roadshow - Reviews - April 25, 2017 - 3:29pm
The latest Impreza gets new underpinnings for tighter handling, but the Starlink infotainment system could use some work.

Soylent recalls powder after dairy accidentally slips into 1.8 powder

Ars Technica - April 25, 2017 - 3:27pm

Enlarge (credit: Soylent)

Those swigging Soylent are in for another hiccup—but, it seems, no belly aches this time.

The high-profile meal-replacement company issued a voluntary recall Monday after finding that a small amount of milk product may have slipped into some batches of its Soylent 1.8 powder, which is supposed to be free of lactose and milk products. Soylent fans with an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk face serious or even life-threatening allergic reactions if they chug any of the contaminated product.

In an announcement of the voluntary recall on the Food and Drug Administration’s website, the company noted that it has not received any reports of illnesses related to the offending dairy. The company also said it has figured out what went wrong and identified the batches contaminated, and the problem won’t affect future products or interrupt supply.

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Get a refurbished Roku 4 for $55.45 - CNET - News - April 25, 2017 - 3:21pm
Roku's former flagship streamer is now priced only a bit higher than lower-end models. Plus: Finally, an outdoor speaker with some muscle!

Hackers uncork experimental Linux-targeting malware

The Register - April 25, 2017 - 3:20pm
SSH... it's Shishiga

Hackers have unleashed a new malware strain that targets Linux-based systems.…

Samsung develops emoji-based chat app for people with language disorders

Ars Technica - April 25, 2017 - 3:17pm

YouTube, Samsung Italia.

You may know someone who sends messages with more emojis than words, but chances are they don't need those symbols to communicate. For some with language disorders such as aphasia, a disorder that can make it difficult to read, talk, or write, emojis can be an ideal way for those with the disorder to communicate with others around them. Samsung Electronics Italia, the company's Italian subsidiary, just came out with a new app called Wemogee that helps those with language disorders talk to others by using emoji-based messages.

Wemogee focuses on "bringing all users together again" regardless of their language abilities. Samsung worked with Italian speech therapist Francesca Polini to translate more than 140 sentence units from text into emoji strings, sequences of emojis that accurately convey the meaning of sentences. For example, "How are you?" turns into a smiley face, an "ok" hand gesture, and a question mark on a single line.

The app has two modes, visual and textual, and users can choose which mode they prefer. In visual mode, users send an emoji-based message, and the receiver will get it either as an emoji sequence if they're in visual mode as well, or as a text message if they're in textual mode. On the flip side, those in textual mode can send text messages that show up as emojis for those in visual mode. The app can also be used to assist face-to-face interactions for quicker and more accurate communication. Wemogee's promotional video shows a screen in the app with a message written in words and emojis, allowing both users to understand the conversation regardless of language capacity.

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