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Study: Tech workers aren't as lonely and anti-social as thought

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: IT/Datacenter | Posted: Feb 15, 2014 1:00 pm

Remember the stereotype that computer geeks tend to be lonely, socially awkward folks that need to get outside more? Well, a recent study shows that 62 percent of tech workers are married, the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) indicates - about the same rate as medicine, education, law and finance industries, which are in the 61-62 percent range as well.

 

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However, trailing only scientists at 32 percent, 27 percent of IT workers haven't been married, which is slightly higher than other professions. Jobs that require less social interaction can make it more difficult to expand their social networks, according to researchers. Also, women tend to avoid the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, so that also makes it more difficult to find like-minded potential dates.

 

Workers in tech and science positions also have a slightly more difficult time emotionally connecting with others, said Tina Tessina, a successful psychotherapist and author.

New mobile apps informs users when a U.S. drone strike takes place

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Drones | Posted: Feb 15, 2014 10:00 am

A new Apple iPhone app gives users the chance to track unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks launched by the U.S. military on targets overseas. Drone strike location, date, and victims of each strike will be shared - along with a map visually identifying the geographic location. The app is available for free in the iTunes store.

 

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The app was submitted to Apple for approval five times before it was finally allowed into the app store. Until designers renamed it from "Drones+" and removed published drone information, Apple was more receptive of supporting the app.

 

"The drone program amounts to little more than death by unreliable metadata," app creators recently said.

 

There is still a large amount of controversy related to drone attacks, so it's curious to see an iPhone app like this released. Recent drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan have raised U.S. political tensions in the continued battle against Islamic-based terrorist groups.

Book industry continues to change, with publishers trying to adapt

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Apps | Posted: Feb 15, 2014 8:12 am

Purchasing and downloading e-books can evolve from periodic book enjoyment to costly activity, though the changing industry has churned out new unlimited e-book services.

 

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The Scribd e-book service with 100,000+ book titles is $8.99 per month that can be read - and some purchased - though don't expect to see any recent best sellers available. The Oyster e-book service is $9.95 per month and has a simple UI, though doesn't allow users to add or remove items from the reading list without Wi-Fi connection.

 

The current book industry has struggled in the traditional format, with Borders shuttering years ago, and Barnes & Noble fighting for survival. U.S. book store sales have dropped 22 percent over the past five years, and it seems like it will be difficult to stop the continued bleeding in the future. If consumers don't want an e-book version of a new title, simply buying online from a service such as Amazon provides cheaper prices and fast delivery times.

Norwegian psycho ready to launch hunger strike if PS2 isn't upgraded

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 15, 2014 5:30 am

Convicted killer Anders Breivik is ready to go on a hunger strike of his self-proclaimed "torture" conditions at the Ila and Skien prisons in Norway. Breivik killed 77 people in a shooting and bombing rampage in 2011, and is now serving a 21-year sentence.

 

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Breivik demanded the right to a newer PlayStation 3 game console "with access to more adult games that I get to choose myself," according to a letter he wrote to journalists. "Other inmates have access to adult games while I only have the right to play less interesting kids games. One example is 'Rayman Revolution,' a game aimed at three year olds."

 

The game title in question received a 3+ rating in Europe, so it's suitable for gamers of all ages above three years old. The ESRB gave the same title E+10, which means any player 10 years of age or older.

Connected TVs top 60 percent of households, according to TDG Research

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Connectivity & Communications | Posted: Feb 15, 2014 3:30 am

At least 60 percent of households in the United States with broadband Internet access also have at least one connected television, according to information released from The Diffusion Group (TDG) Research. Broadband adoption is slowing due to a mature, stable market, but connected TVs are on the rise, with that trend expected to continue moving forward.

 

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In broadband households with at least one Internet-enabled TV, average ownership totaled 1.6 units, and it's possible that number will increase in 2014.

 

"Whether net-to-TV video will somehow topple traditional pay-TV service models has been a red herring from the beginning," said Michael Greeson, TDG president and director of research, in a press statement. "The real debate is the extent to which the growing availability and expanding use of 'OTT TV' services will have on the time viewers spend watching traditional pay-TV given the growing array of sources at their disposal."

 

The majority of new HDTVs have some type of connected features - so it might not necessarily be consumers showing great interest - as opposed to simply purchasing a new TV that allows Internet access.

Sony PlayStation 4 dominating Microsoft Xbox One global sales

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Feb 15, 2014 2:01 am

The Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One are engaged in a fierce battle in the console market, though it looks like the PS4 outsold the Xbox One by a hefty 2-to-1 margin in January. The NPD Group didn't release specific sales figures, only saying that the PS4 led the market in hardware sales, but Sony executives claimed that its console "nearly doubled" that of the Xbox One.

 

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Game hardware sales in January 2014 were down 21 percent compared to the same time last year, though January 2013 had five weeks. Microsoft's reliance on restrictive DRM - or gamer perception of intrusive anti-piracy efforts has caused gamers frustration. In addition, cross-platform gamers are playing better on the PS4 than the Xbox One, along with the lower price tag of the PS4.

 

"Overall retail video game sales would be down only 1 percent instead of down 21 percent, if sales were normalized to account for the five-week January 2013 compared to the four-week January 2014," said Liam Callahan, NPD analyst, in a statement.

 

Next-generation consoles blend gaming and Web-based apps to keep consumers engaged in the living room.

Continue reading 'Sony PlayStation 4 dominating Microsoft Xbox One global sales' (full post)

Send a 'selfie' and avoid a trip to the doctor's office?

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 15, 2014 12:55 am

Using a smartphone can lead to an easier time for medical experts to offer remote medical consultations with patients, according to JAMA Dermatology.

 

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Since many hospitals don't have inpatient dermatologist services available to patients, it can be difficult for patients to receive treatment frequently. Using the term of "teledermatology," in-person doctors and remote specialists can work together to more accurately determine possible medical issues.

 

"Triage decisions were as follows: if the in-person dermatologist recommended the patient be seen the same day, the teledermatologist agreed in 90 percent of the consultations," according to the study abstract. "If the in-person dermatologist recommended a biopsy, the teledermatologist agreed in 95 percent of cases on average."

 

Doctors and patients could find one day easier methods to diagnose medical issues such as skin disorders without being forced to visit the office.

CIOs: Cloud computing and mobile will be focus of IT spending in 2014

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Cloud Computing | Posted: Feb 14, 2014 11:21 pm

Enterprise IT spending will mainly focus helping companies move forward with cloud computing and mobile-based services, while overall budgets are increasing. Mobile app development should see a strong boost in 2014, with decision makers hoping to keep users productive and customers happy.

 

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"One of the learnings we had early last year when we were starting to play with cloud technologies was that there was always a risk of something like this happening," said Hugh Scott, Energy Plus CIO, when speaking of a recent Amazon Web Services outage. The downtime hit Netflix, Instagram, Pinterest, and countless other services that had to deal with upset customers.

 

Both Google and VMware recently announced a joint effort to accelerate development of corporate desktops, powered for the "Mobile Cloud Era." The service is designed to provide businesses and enterprises with access to a secure cloud on desktops, smartphones, and mobile devices.

 

New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella plans to spend a large portion of his early days at Microsoft moving the company forward in the mobile and cloud markets.

Bitcoin glitch wipes out Silk Road 2.0, is the end near?

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Internet & Websites | Posted: Feb 14, 2014 10:08 pm

The underground Silk Road 2.0 website was reportedly hacked and those responsible ran off with an estimated $2.6 million for their efforts.

 

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"I am sweating as I write this... I must utter words all too familiar to this scared community: We have been hacked," Silk Road 2.0 administrators posted on a forum. "Our initial investigations indicate that a vendor exploited a recently discovered vulnerability in the bitcoin protocol known as 'transaction malleability' to repeatedly withdraw coins from our system until it was completely empty."

 

Although Defcon, the admin who posted a message on the Silk Road 2.0 forums didn't post an exact figure taken, security experts believe 4,400 coins - the equivalent of close to $2.6 million - was taken.

 

The original Silk Road successfully operated in the shadows before drawing federal attention, though Silk Road 2.0 never had the same luxury. However, the bitcoin exploit also recently ravaged several bitcoin exchanges, showing the digital currency has significant security issues.

Target execs may have ignored security warnings from internal IT

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 14, 2014 8:08 pm

Target management received numerous warnings related to the company's cyber security issues, with at least 60 days notice before hackers stole information about millions of accounts. Despite concerns from security experts, Target may have ignored security warnings in favor of installing a new system and making sure it was in place prior to Black Friday 2013.

 

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Target, along with other major retailers, received memos written and distributed by security companies and the U.S. government warning of potential security concerns. Furthermore, a Target security analyst wanted to take a closer look at the company's point-of-sale and other payment, though it doesn't appear that took place.

 

Fallout from the Target breach continues to ripple throughout the industry, as several other retailers have also been affected from data breaches.

 

Companies receive a large number of security warnings, so it can be difficult to try and realistically figure out which ones to take seriously.

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