Tag Archives: News

Have You Heard of “Morning Brew”

You would think from the name “Morning Brew” that I was talking about coffee again. Not so this time.

Morning Brew is a free service that provides you with a daily dose of news and information by email. Per their website Morning Brew is:

the most informative (and wittiest) daily business newsletter around.

Here’s how it works: We’ll send all the need-to-know and some of the fun-to-know business news straight to you every morning. We’ll learn, we’ll laugh, and we’ll do our best to keep up with Elon Musk.

What we’re all about: We’re here to convene the best and the brightest interested in business (that’s you…or it will be after a little time with us) and form a community—both online and off.

I have been a subscriber for a few days now and I have to say that I am enjoying their morning email. You only get the one message per day so it won’t be flooding your inbox. This is something that you might want to try.

Significant Hardware Hack Alleged Against China

Updated 10/9/18

Cyber Security – I read the article “The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies” and . . . WOW. This reads like the plot to a science fiction thriller.

The idea of hardware being secretly hijacked during the manufacturing process has been around for a while. This allegation, if true, is significant! On the other hand, Apple has denied finding altered hardware in their official statement “What Businessweek got wrong about Apple“.

Since this article was just published October 4, I think there will be a lot of fallout over the next few days, weeks and months. It could have a significant impact on the cost of electronic products as supply chains reconsider off-shore manufacturing.

Added 10/9 – The article “Asian Countries and Industry Players Erupt over the China Spy Chip Controversy first started in the U.S.” still does not confirm the allegations against the Chinese, but it does indicate that there is a significant concern through the electronics sector.

Hurricane Season 2018 Opens with Beryl

Well, Hurricane Season (nominally defined as June 1 to November 30) is back. The first major storm of the season is  Beryl. If you live in the US, particularly the eastern portion of the country or are traveling there or have family there, you will want to keep up with hurricanes.

A while back I published reviews on three good websites for keeping track of hurricanes. I thought it was a good time to bring them back to peoples attention. These are:


You may be interested in my other Web Tool recommendations


 

June Newsletter for IEEE Central Texas Section Posted

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I finished putting together the June issue of the IEEE Central Texas Section newsletter, The Analog, earlier this week. It contains information of interest to engineers and those interested in technology in the Central Texas Area. Included are a list of the scheduled technical meetings to be held in the area. All of the IEEE technical meetings are open to the public.

Check out the June issue for yourself.

OS X App Backup Pro Available Free TODAY ONLY

I came across this offer a short time ago to get the Mac OS X App Backup Pro for free today. This is normally a $19.95 App that can be used to backup your system or make a clone of the boot drive.

We should all be making regular backups of our systems, but as we near upgrading to OS X El Capitan a backup is more important than ever.

I will post a more detailed review of the App in the future.

Will the Flike Let Us Zoom Along Like Imperial Storm Troopers on Their 74-Z Speeders?

Flike_Flying_Bike_Bay_Zoltán_1

I think we have all seen footage from Star Wars VI: The Return of
the Jedi, where the Imperial Storm Troopers are riding their 74-Z
Speeder
bikes through the forests of the moon Endor.

Hungarian engineers have taken a step towards giving us that same
experience with their prototype ‘Flike‘ – a flying bike personal transportation craft. The engineers are from Bay-Zoltan which is one of the leading applied research institutions in Hungary.

The video of the first flight didn’t last long, but then neither did the Wright brother’s first flight. Certainly the Flike with it’s Y6 layout and all electric drive has possibilities. The current design’s lithium polymer batteries sustain only 20 minutes of flight, but the concept is interesting. The engineers hope to spin this project off into a for-profit startup in the near future.

References:

  1. Like: A Nifty Flying Bike Giving ‘Wings’ To Future Of Personal Transportation

Security Patches for Safari

Apple released a security update to Safari on March 17 which applied to versions of Safari running not only on Yosemite, but Mavericks and Mountain Lion as well. Apple did not release any details on the vulnerabilities being patched, other than to say that:

  • Multiple memory corruption issues existed in WebKit. These issues were addressed through improved memory handling.
  • A user interface inconsistency existed in Safari that allowed an attacker to misrepresent the URL. This issue was addressed through improved user interface consistency checks.

The memory corruption issues allowed a malicious web site to cause an unexpected application termination or the execution of malicious code, while the user interface inconsistencies opened a door to possible phishing attacks.

As always, the best practice is to keep up-to-date with security related patches.


See my other Security and OS X related articles


 

iTunes Store Now has ‘Free’ Section

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 12.25.38 PMAbout a week ago Apple updated the iTunes Store with a selection of ‘Free’ items. The selections is not large. I checked a few minutes ago and found 10 songs listed as ‘Free’ and 23 TV episode titles. The TV episodes seem to be the first episode of the series for a season, just to give you a taste of the program. The remaining episodes are all at a fee.

Is this a big deal? I don’t think so, at least not as it stands today. However, it may be worth your time to check what is available each week to see if something has been added that you want


See my other Mac OS X and iOS articles


Do you have Broadband?

On Thursday January 29, 2015 the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set new standards for the
classification of “broadband”. To qualify as “broadband” a service
provider must provide download speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. This was done because the FCC felt that the US was not keeping up with available speeds in much of the rest of the world.  By the FCC’s estimates, 17% or 55 million Americans do not have access to the newly defined “broadband” capability. Are you one of the few who has “broadband” per the new standard?

There are many sites that you can use to test your connection. One
of these is http://www.speedtest.net/, this website will test your connection (NOTE: The site does require both Flash and JavaScript). If you have an iOS device, then you can install the FCC Speed Test App from the Apple iTunes store. The App is free and runs on iOS 7.0 or later and is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad.

I used the FCC app on my iPad connected to my home network over Wi-Fi and the results were 7.61Mbps down and 1.44 Mbps up. To verify that the Wi-Fi connection was not limiting my bandwidth, I duplicated the test from my Mac Mini which has a cat 5 hard wired connection to my ATT Uverse router. Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.53.37 PMI visited the SpeedTest URL mentioned above in the Google Chrome browser. That test gave nearly the same results: 7.61 Mbps down and 1.43 Mbps up.

Clearly my home internet connection is FAR from the new “broadband” standard. That hardly surprises me when the US shows up ranked number 26 on a list compiled by OOKLA of countries by network speed (the US is rated at 32.65Mbps, we are tied with Bulgaria). The speeds that I measured actually puts me with the same connectivity as Bangladesh, which is ranked number 112 on the list.

Mac OS X – Free Christmas Fonts

FontsI came across the announcement recently that 128bit Technologies (http://www.macappware.com) has released Free Fonts – Christmas Collection 2.0. This is an update to a prior collection they provided. The collection is available through the Mac App Store.

I found the collection a little hard to find at first. I ended up searching for “christmas” and the “Free Fonts – Christmas Collection” was on the first line of results. I am not usually one
that makes use of a lot of graphic resources, but with the holidays approaching, I thought that these might come in useful. They install into the Applications folder (Finder >> Applications >> Free Fonts – Christmas Collection). Bring that up and then you have
a window that allows you to see the various fonts and then copy them to your system if you want them installed.


My other Mac OS X Articles