Techno-News Blog

November 30, 2012

10 Tips for Protecting Virtual Systems

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By Chris Preimesberger, eWeek

More and more enterprises are moving to server and desktop virtualization to conserve power, cooling, rack space, computing power, storage, and networking—all the things eWEEK has been writing about for years. The broadest trend in all of IT during the last decade is about “smaller but more powerful, more efficient, and easier to use.” As one might imagine, security becomes even more strategic as enterprises move from physical to virtual spaces and more business is done in the cloud. But, as with most disruptive IT, there are strings attached. While virtual machines and cloud services are so easy to create and deploy, they also come with a high number of additional security headaches. It’s one thing to have a physical box in a room to secure, but it’s quite another to try to effectively secure a multitude of VMs running randomly in the cloud.

http://www.eweek.com/cloud/slideshows/cloud-computing-security-10-tips-for-protecting-virtual-systems/

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Google Maps Projects Allow For Street Views Messages

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By Todd R. Weiss, eWeek

Developers for the Japanese perfume designer Issey Miyake have built a unique app that allows anyone to leave a personal message for someone else on any of the millions of Google Street View images that wait in the search giant’s photo archives. Whether it’s a love note or a “hello” greeting or an “I miss you” message, users can add their personalized text to a gorgeous Street View image from around the world and share it with their friends using Facebook or Twitter. “Please the World is a fun little application that allows anyone to type in a message and then to leave it on Google Maps Street View at any location,” according to Google Maps Mania. “Once you have left your message, you can then go on a little balloon journey courtesy of Issey Miyake’s Escape application. After you share your location with this app, you can view an animation of a balloon taking off from your home, with a little help of Google Maps satellite view, and then watch as it ascends through the clouds.”

http://www.eweek.com/cloud/google-maps-projects-help-charities-allow-for-street-views-messages/

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How To Search For Open Educational Resources

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by Edudemic

When you’re looking to do something interesting with your class, the internet is the first place that most of us turn for help. Our friend the internet holds the keys to textbooks, web tools, teaching guides, lesson plans, apps, and more. But how do you know what’s free for using vs. free for changing, adapting to your needs, and building upon? That’s a harder question to answer. Thanks to this infographic from the Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning (at the University of Texas at Austin), your path to finding useful, openly licensed educational resources just got a little easier.

http://edudemic.com/2012/11/infographic-how-to-search-for-openly-licensed-educational-resources/

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November 29, 2012

How Has The Internet Changed Education?

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by Edudemic

It’s pretty obvious that the internet has had a huge impact in education, but just how has the internet changed education? With each semester, more and more students are taking classes online, teachers are integrating social media into their courses, and everyone is turning to the web to do their research. Teachers, students, and parents are leveraging new technologies for learning a huge variety of topics, and schools are using web tools for all aspects of school life, from admissions to classroom time. Take a gander at the infographic linked below to see just how big an impact the internet has really made in the education world.

http://edudemic.com/2012/11/how-has-the-internet-changed-education/

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Interactive school desk ‘boosts maths’ claims research

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:19 am

by the BBC

The multi-touch, multi-user interactive ’smart’ desks were designed, built and tested by Durham University. The desks help children work together without any one individual dominating, the three-year project involving 400 children aged eight to 10 suggests. Researchers said high costs mean the desks are “some way off” being a regular feature in schools. However, they said they have already found a number of ways of reducing the cost of the technology. They act like multi-touch interactive white boards so that several students can use any desk at once. This makes it is easier for students to collaborate on finding solutions to problems, according to the study, published in the journal Learning and Instruction.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20462117#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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Uproar over Saudi women’s ‘SMS tracking’

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by the BBC

A discovery that Saudi male guardians are automatically getting text messages about cross-border movements of female dependants has caused a Twitter uproar. “Hello Taliban, herewith some tips from the Saudi e-government!” read one post, while another suggested microchips. Attention was drawn to the system when a man travelling with his wife got an alert as they left Riyadh airport. Saudi women are denied the right to travel without their guardian’s consent and are also banned from driving.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20469486#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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November 28, 2012

Microsoft files patent for augmented reality smart glasses

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by the BBC

Work on digital glasses that overlay information on top of the user’s view of the world has been carried out by Microsoft. A patent applied for by the US tech firm describes how the eyewear could be used to bring up statistics over a wearer’s view of a baseball game or details of characters in a play. The newly-released document was filed in May 2011 and is highly detailed. If a product comes to market it could challenge Google’s Project Glass. Google is planning to deliver its augmented reality glasses to developers early next year and then follow with a release to consumers in 2014. Smaller firms – such as Vuzix, TTP and Explore Engage – are also working on rival systems.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20462840#

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Time-lapse code wins Raspberry Pi contest

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by the BBC

Software that turns a Raspberry Pi computer into a time-lapse camera has won a contest for teenage programmers. PySnap was written by 12-year-old Aaron Hill and took first prize in the 13 and under category of the Raspberry Pi summer coding contest. The software allows Pi owners to connect a USB camera to the device and fine-tune the interval at which it takes pictures. For his coding prowess Aaron wins a cash prize of $1,000 (£627). The Raspberry Pi is about the size of a credit card but is a fully working computer created to help young people get started with programming.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20464651#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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US school tag tracker project prompts court row

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by the BBC

A court challenge has delayed plans to expel a Texan student for refusing to wear a radio tag that tracked her movements. Religious reasons led Andrea Hernandez to stop wearing the tag that revealed where she was on her school campus. The tags were introduced to track students and help tighten control of school funding. A Texan court has granted a restraining order filed by a civil rights group pending a hearing on use of the tags. ID badges containing radio tags started to be introduced at the start of the 2012 school year to schools run by San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District (NISD). The tracking tags gave NISD a better idea of the numbers of students attending classes each day – the daily average of which dictates how much cash it gets from state coffers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20461752#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

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iPad, Surface Among 10 Products Sure to Top Santa’s Lists This Year

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By Don Reisinger, eWeek

With the holidays fast approaching, requests are coming hard and fast from folks who are hoping to get their hands on the latest and greatest tech goodies of the year. As with previous years, it’s likely that televisions and other entertainment products will top the list. However, because of the growing importance of mobile products, including smartphones and tablets, it’s likely that those devices will also find their way to stockings this year. Some folks get lucky and find out from their loved ones what they want this year. Others, however, have to work for it. In the following slides, we’re going to help out those who have to figure out for themselves what others want and examine the many products that are sure to top holiday-shopping lists this year. Unfortunately, many of the following products are a bit expensive. But if you can look past that and realize that they’ll likely make your loved ones happy, they’ll be worth buying.

http://www.eweek.com/mobile/slideshows/ipad-surface-among-10-products-sure-to-top-santas-lists-this-year/

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November 27, 2012

Apple’s iPad Mini Is More Than Just a Smaller iPad

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By Wayne Rash, eWeek

To suggest that the iPad Mini is just a shrunken iPad isn’t exactly correct. While it is an iPad, and it does have a smaller screen, it has some of the features of the fourth-generation iPad and some features from the iPad 2. The result is a hybrid tablet that’s smaller, thinner and lighter than other iPads, but that has the features such as a high-quality camera that records in high definition, and has Long Term Evolution (LTE) and global radios. Oh, and like the fourth-generation iPad, Siri comes with the iPad Mini. The smaller 7.9-inch display, light weight and broad feature set make this an ideal tablet for working with email, since you can thumb-type easily when the tablet is in portrait mode. The screen, despite sharing the iPad 2’s 1024 by 768 resolution, appears sharp because the pixels are smaller.

http://www.eweek.com/mobile/slideshows/apples-ipad-mini-is-more-than-just-a-smaller-ipad/

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Big Data Project Planning and Deployment: 10 Suggested Best Practices

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:16 am

By Chris Preimesberger, eWeek

Big data, the collection and analysis of various types of data in large volumes to create business insights and advantage, is a fast-growing IT trend that is on the lips of many corporate executives and IT managers these days. It is certainly true that excellent tools are available to build these projects now. These tools include big data-ready storage, intelligent networking, increased processing power and high-end analytics. Some of these tools are even available as services from cloud providers. However, like any other emerging trend, the reality is that we are in the early stages of developing any real best practices for putting big data to work. Fortunately, there are a growing number of IT people who are now harnessing big data to the business advantage of their companies and we can learn from them.

http://www.eweek.com/enterprise-apps/slideshows/big-data-project-planning-and-deployment-10-suggested-best-practices/

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Khan Academy iOS App Launches, Over 3500 Educational Videos Available

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:14 am

BY GARY NG, iPhone in Canada

The Khan Academy has released its iOS app today for the iPhone and iPod touch. The non-profit organization was founded by MIT and Harvard Business School graduate Salman Khan. Its largest contributors such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. Their video library spans over 3500 videos and covers K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, physics, and touches into the humanities with videos on finance and history. The app allows you to download videos to watch offline at your own pace. This is a must-have app for any lifelong learner.

http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/app-store/khan-academy-ios-app-launches-over-3500-educational-videos-available/

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November 26, 2012

Psychologists Release Emotion-On-Demand Plug In For Virtual Characters

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:25 am

by The Physics arXiv Blog

Joost Broekens and pals at the Man-Machine-Interaction department at Delft University in The Netherlands have created a set of six virtual expressions based on FACS. Each expression is a set of vectors that together specify how different parts of an animated face should move to simulate a basic emotion. A virtual character simply imports these vectors to take on that expression. They then asked human volunteers to evaluate each expression, asking them to determine the emotion it represents and its intensity when the virtual character is near and further away and when viewed from the side. The results show that these virtual expressions communicate emotions in more or less the same way as human faces. There are one or two minor differences: a fearful expression also tends to look surprised and disgust can be confused with anger, something that other researchers have also found.

http://www.technologyreview.com/view/507786/psychologists-release-emotion-on-demand-plug-in-for-virtual-characters/

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Security Guru Pledges to Strengthen Critical Computers

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By David Talbot, Technology Review

Stuxnet, a piece of malicious software discovered in 2010, targeted industrial software controlling Iran’s uranium-enrichment centrifuges. But the code got loose—and it continues to spread: Chevron, for example, said last week that its network had been infected by Stuxnet. The prospect that malware like Stuxnet could infect and disrupt critical pieces of infrastructure worries government officials (see “Old-Fashioned Control Systems Make U.S. Power Grids, Water Plants a Hacking Target”) and computer scientists like Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of the Moscow-based antivirus company Kaspersky Lab. He has been talking about building secure operating systems for industrial systems, a subject he discussed with MIT Technology Review.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/507556/security-guru-pledges-to-strengthen-critical-computers/

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Windows Phone 8: Despite Some Issues, an Excellent Mobile OS

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by Rachel Metz, Technology Review

Fortunately for Microsoft, Windows Phone 8 is a strong effort. It’s snappy, easy to navigate and customize, and good-looking to boot—all traits that will help the company as it tries to surpass Research in Motion’s ailing BlackBerry and Nokia’s dying Symbian platforms. But—and of course, there has to be a “but”—the operating system still faces an uphill battle to become a strong third-place player in the smartphone market, and the weakness of its app store won’t help.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/507496/windows-phone-8-despite-some-issues-an-excellent-mobile-os/

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November 25, 2012

Tablet Makers Pursue Public Schools

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By Rachel Metz, Technology Review

The excitement among tablet makers is almost as great. Research firm IDC says global shipments of tablets will reach 177 million this year, and 11 million of them were purchased by businesses or government agencies rather than consumers. Of those, IDC analyst Tom Mainelli says, the “vast majority” were sold to schools. Mainelli thinks that within a few years all U.S. students will have some access to a tablet at school. With 55 million students in the country’s elementary and secondary schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, that’s a lot of potential sales. And it’s not just a one-time product push: beyond selling tablets to schools and districts, tablet makers see a chance to set up future sales by establishing brand loyalty with young users. “All these guys see huge opportunities here,” Mainelli says.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506321/tablet-makers-pursue-public-schools/

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Pearson, The Education Giant, Adapts

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by Jessica Leber, Technology Review

Pearson should be among the walking dead of global media conglomerates, fatally wounded by the shift to digital media. Pearson is the world’s largest book publisher and dominates the market for textbooks, which are facing a competitive attack from inexpensive or even free course material online. Pearson pulled this off with a decade-long string of acquisitions that helped it shift its emphasis from selling books to selling education services.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506361/the-education-giant-adapts/

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Google Game Could Be Augmented Reality’s First Killer App

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By Rachel Metz, Technology Review

I found the game, which is currently available only to Android smartphone users who have received an invitation to play, surprisingly addictive—especially considering my usual apathy for gaming. What’s most interesting about Ingress, though, is what it suggests about Google’s future plans, which seem to revolve around finding new ways to extend its reach from the browser on your laptop to the devices you carry with you at all times. The goal makes plenty of sense when you consider that traditional online advertising—Google’s bread and butter—could eventually be eclipsed by mobile, location-based advertising. Ingress was created by a group within Google called Niantic Labs—the same team behind another location-based app released recently (see “Should You Go on Google’s Field Trip?”). Google is surely gathering a treasure trove of information about where we’re going and what we’re doing while we play Ingress.

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/507681/google-game-could-be-augmented-realitys-first-killer-app/

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November 24, 2012

Computer Memory Could Increase Fivefold

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:22 am

by the Science Blog

The storage capacity of hard disk drives could increase by a factor of five thanks to processes developed by chemists and engineers at The University of Texas at Austin. The researchers’ technique, which relies on self-organizing substances known as block copolymers, was described this week in an article in Science. It’s also being given a real-world test run in collaboration with HGST, one of the world’s leading innovators in disk drives.

http://scienceblog.com/57757/computer-memory-could-increase-fivefold/

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Women in IT: How deep is the bench?

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:16 am

by Tracy Mayor, Computerworld

Each time a female engineer takes the helm at a prominent technology company, the industry breathes a sigh of relief and pats itself on the back. See? Self-proclaimed “girl geeks” like Mayer really can survive and thrive in IT and research. Add to that the fact that more female CIOs than ever are leading the tech charge at Fortune 500 companies like Exxon Mobil, Boeing, Dell, Walmart, Bank of America, Xerox and GE, and it’s easy to conclude that change really has come to one of the last male-dominated boxes on the corporate org chart. Or maybe not. According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 women made up 57% of the country’s professional workforce but held just 25% of the jobs in professional computing occupations. And those Fortune 500 female CIOs? They still account for just 12% of the total, according to data from Boardroom Insider.

http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/442427/women_it_how_deep_bench_/

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