Amazon is rolling out a fleet of robots that will help the company boost productivity and ensure timely deliveries ahead of what should be an extremely busy 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season. The robots can help locate and pick items, which are verified by a human picker before being boxed up and sent from the facility - the company will be able to save upwards of $900 million each year, with robotic assistance able to help save 20 percent to 40 percent per shipped order.
To help ensure it would have a robotics inventory it could call upon, Amazon purchased Robots maker Kiva Systems for $775 million in 2012 - and there have been more than 1,400 Kiva robots already working in Amazon's logistics chain.
Amazon tends to have successful shopping seasons, but as the US economy has recovered - and consumers have extra money to spend this Christmas - Amazon wants to ensure everything runs smoothly and customers will be happy.
A Russian website is posting links to hijacked webcams and baby monitors, and US and UK privacy watchdog groups want to try to have the website shut down. The website has a listing of 4,591 cameras in the United States, 2,059 in France, 1,576 in the Netherlands, and numerous other cameras across Europe.
Some of the webcams listed on the website show a static image but don't appear to be running, while others still work just fine.
"The fact that a website is able to stream footage from thousands of cameras, illustrates the risks that consumers are taking by not changing the default passwords on camera enabled devices," said David Emm, Kaspersky Lab Principal Security Researcher. "It only takes a minute to change a password, and the longer it is left unchanged, the greater the chance that the device will be compromised."
The cyberattack that recently targeted the US Postal Service, affecting 800,000 employees nationwide, was a "very sophisticated" attack that is likely tied to the Chinese government. While there haven't been confirmed cases of identity theft, it appears names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and other personal information were stolen in the breach.
Meanwhile, Congress wants faster notification of a data breach from the USPS and other agencies - a strong likelihood considering the growing sophistication of cyberattacks. No one has claimed responsibility for the USPS data breach, and government officials didn't want to publicly comment on which group they believe is behind the attack.
"At this time, we do not believe that Postal Service transactional revenue systems in Post Offices, as well as on usps.com where customers pay for services with credit and debit cards, were affected by this incident," said Randy Meskanic, USPS cybersecurity official, during a recent testimony. "There is no evidence that any customer credit card information from retail or online purchases, change of address or other services was compromised."
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is currently engaged in its largest cyber defense exercise, designed at testing its network security protocols. Organized cyberattacks, with growing threats from state-sponsored attacks originating from China and Russia, have forced government agencies and military branches to be prepared for potential attacks.
There are 670 technical, government and cyber experts from dozens of Alliance and partner locations - in addition to testing their defense, NATO also helps strengthen partnerships with universities and private-sector companies.
"Among the priorities highlighted in the Enhanced NATO Policy on Cyber Defense, endorsed at the Wales Summit, is training and exercises," said Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges. "The cyber threat is not just a potential threat, it is daily reality. Conflicts can be virtual but with consequences that are real and destructive."
Black Friday is only one week away, and Sony is cranking up the marketing machine to win over potential PlayStation 4 customers. The company's new video promo states the PS4 is the "best place to play," a claim Microsoft previously said of its Xbox One game console.
The video shows game footage from Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto V and Destiny, along with promoting the PS4's sports games, including Madden NFL 15, NBA 2K15, FLB 14: The Show, and FIFA 15.
The PS4 has easily outsold the Xbox One since both consoles launched late last year - but a recent Xbox One price cut has indicated Microsoft hasn't lost all hope - and the 2014 Christmas shopping season will present a fierce battle.
Three pilots flying near John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City reported drones flying near the airport as they approached for landing. The FBI, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Nassau County Police have been alerted to the drone flights, and an investigation is currently underway into the incidents.
One pilot had this to say: "About two miles out on the final, maybe 4 to 300 feet, looks like one of those unmanned drones is flying right on the final," a JetBlue pilot told air traffic control.
"These planes are all being approached [by drones] while the planes are landing, so they're close to the ground, which means the pilot doesn't have a whole lot of room for maneuvering," said Ken Honig, a former Port Authority high-ranking official, recently said. "If the unmanned aerial vehicle gets too close to a plane, it could get sucked into a jet engine."
Supercomputing 2014: The quest to understand the building blocks of the universe requires intense computing power, which in turn requires some of the fastest storage solutions available. CERN's Large Hadron Collider, which discovered the Higgs boson in 2012, will begin colliding elements with the most energy ever achieved in a particle accelerator in 2015. This requires transmitting 170 petabytes datasets to far-flung research centers around the world. The University of Michigan and University of Victoria are utilizing SanDisk's Fusion ioMemory solutions to handle the influx of data at their multi-site supercomputing project.
The universities need to create a data transfer architecture with the capability to transfer figures across 100 computing centers at 100Gb/s speeds. This isn't typically a huge problem if there is a distributed architecture, but this particular deployment needs to provide that capability from a single server. SanDisk Fusion ioMemory products are stepping in to fulfil the extreme performance requirements, and they are demonstrating a data transfer from the University of Victoria campus to the WAN in the University of Michigan booth (#3569) at the Supercomputing 2014 conference.
OCZ Storage Solutions is leveraging their homegrown Barefoot 3 controller and firmware in tandem with Toshiba A19nm NAND for the new Sabre 1000 SSD Series. OCZ's move to their own proprietary SSD controller is a big step that provides them with tremendous flexibility to tailor their products for different segments. The OCZ Sabre 1000 is geared for read-intensive workloads in high-volume hyperscale deployments.
The Sabre 1000 comes in capacities of 240, 480, and 960GB, and provides an economical alternative for administrators with light and mixed workloads. The SSD features PFM+ (Power Failure Management Plus) that protects data in the event of host power loss. Another key feature is the value-added StoragePeak 1000 SSD management system. This friendly and easy-to-use GUI allows central monitoring and management of the SSD.
Supercomputing 2014: In the world of HPC (High-Performance Computing) the bleeding edge is always the preferred route to realize insane computational power. HMC (Hybrid Memory Cubes) are the next big thing, and offer plenty of performance advantages over existing DRAM. The current generation of HMC technology sips power and provides more density and performance than existing memory technology. With 15 times the performance, 90 percent less space, and 70 percent less power consumption, it is easy to see why industry leaders are touting the advantages of HMC. The key to HMC adoption, as with any new technology, lies in the committees that establish industry-standard interface specifications.
The HMCC (Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium) was founded by Micron, Altera, Open-Silicon, Samsung and Xilinx in 2011 and has grown to more than 150 members. At Supercomputing 2014 the HMCC has announced the finalization and public availability of the HMCC 2.0 specification.
We've been enjoying NVIDIA's G-SYNC technology for a while now, but AMD is about to join them with their own spin on the refresh rate magic; FreeSync. At the Future of Compute Event, AMD announced it had partnered up with Samsung on a slew of FreeSync-powered displays, which will hit the market in March 2015.
Samsung will release the UD590 in both 23.6-inch and 28-inch models, while there'll be a UE850 available in 23.6-inch, 27-inch and 31.5-inch models. Eventually, FreeSync will spill over onto Samsung's Ultra HD range of monitors, too. Vice President of Samsung Electronics Southeast Asia Headquarters, Joe Chan, said: "We are very pleased to adopt AMD FreeSync technology to our 2015 Samsung Electronics Visual Display division's UHD monitor roadmap, which fully supports open standards. With this technology, we believe users including gamers will be able to enjoy their videos and games to be played with smoother frame display without stuttering or tearing on their monitors".