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Boutique brand Neiman Marcus also hit with customer data breach

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 6:24 pm

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus recently confirmed a data breach in which an unknown number of in-store shoppers potentially affected from data theft. Prior to Christmas 2013, Neiman Marcus received a report from its credit card processor informing the company of unauthorized payment activity.

 

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Neiman Marcus also didn't disclose what type of personal information is at risk, and didn't' confirm if retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, and other Neiman Marcus-owned brands that may have suffered a breach.

 

"The security of our customers' information is always a priority and we sincerely regret any inconvenience," Neiman Marcus officials said in a Twitter statement. "We are taking steps, where possible, to notify customers whose cards we know were used fraudulently after purchasing at our stores."

 

The Neiman Marcus breach is the second major retailer hit by a significant data breach, after Target confirmed a breach left 70 million customers at risk. Shoppers are increasingly familiar with online shopping threats, but criminals also look to exploit retail stores in an organized effort to steal personal information.

Gartner: PC market shrank 10 percent, but growth possible in 2014

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 5:26 pm

Global PC shipments continued to slide during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to research group Gartner, as the industry continues to look for stability. Overall, the market shrank 10 percent, as expected, though still shipped 315.9 million units in the 12-month period.

 

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Lenovo remained the No. 1 global PC manufacturer, shipping 18.1 percent of all PC shipments in the last quarter. Ironically, China remains a tough battleground for Lenovo, though showed strong growth results in all other regions.

 

"Although PC shipments continued to decline in the worldwide market in the fourth quarter, we increasingly believe markets, such as the U.S., have bottomed out as the adjustment to the installed base slows," said Mikako Kitagawa, Gartner Principal Analyst, in a statement.

 

PC OEMs continue to dabble with lower-cost products, while also introducing dual-boot systems with Microsoft Windows-Google Android - or Windows-Linux machines - and shows manufacturers trying to diversify.

IZON pushing forward with 3DTV technology, expected later this year

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: 3D | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 4:08 pm

Television manufacturer IZON quietly showed off its own 3D high-definition TV capability during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), preparing consumers for glasses-free 3DTVs. The company unveiled 32-inch, 47-inch, and 55-inch 3DTVs that won't require glasses, which will be available to consumers sometime in the first half of 2014.

 

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"IZON 3D TVs without glasses received an unprecedented response to its product line," said Joseph DiFrancesco, CEO of 3D Future Vision, which develops IZON TVs, in a press statement. "We experienced nothing but praise for the unparalleled picture quality of our products and look forward to executing our plans for a global roll-out during the coming year and beyond."

 

IZON used its HyperMix3D rendering technology to enjoy the hardware benefits of multi-core GPUs, and made sure to include a full 3D experience with minimal eyestrain.

 

HDTVs and 3D technology offered a big showing during CES, with a wide range of budget TVs to higher-end expensive models - and consumers have a wide variety of companies and products to choose from.

Naughty America will soon shoot porn in 4K

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 4:27 am

It looks like Naughty America will soon spend considerable amounts of money to upgrade its equipment so that it can shoot porn in glorious 4K. The company's chief executive, Andreas Hronopoulos, told the Wall Street Journal that the money it is spending is enough to end the company if Ultra HD doesn't take off like most expect it to.

 

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Hronopoulos said: "The closer we can come to making it feel like you're there, the more successful we are. Our customers want to get as close to reality as they can get, without reality getting in the way." We shouldn't be surprised to see the porn industry embracing 4K, as the porn industry is what drives a lot of the sales of these new formats.

Swatch, the swiss watchmaker, isn't worried about smartwatches

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 3:29 am

CES 2014 - We are moving into a world dominated by wearable computing as the days continue, with wearable devices being a massive bullet point for this year's Consumer Electronics Show, but what about traditional watches, and their watchmakers?

 

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Swatch, an uber famous Swiss watchmaker isn't concerned one bit. Swatch Chief Executive, Nick Hayek, talked with Reuters, where he said: "If people who never used to wear anything on their wrist start wearing a so-called smartwatch, then we certainly can convince them quickly to try wearing a beautiful watch instead."

 

But, does Swatch plan on making smartwatches? Not anytime soon, with Hayek adding: "We have all the know-how but we do not want to build up stock of technology bombs people won't want to buy." Smartwatches haven't hit the big time yet, but could we see a big change moving into the New Year?

GPS units in Ford cars allow the company to "know what you're doing"

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Technology in Vehicles | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 2:25 am

CES 2014 - Ford's Global VP/Marketing and Sales, Jim Farley, had some scary news to share during the Consumer Electronics Show. He talked during a panel about data privacy at CES.

 

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The exec said that thanks to the GPS units installed into Ford's vehicles, the carmaker knows when you're speeding, and where you are when you're doing it. Farley was describing just how much data the company had on its customers, trying to point out that the company uses very little of it, so that he didn't trip privacy meters in customers' heads.

 

He said: "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone." He did come up with a good defense - something I agree with - that the data might one day be used to anonymously (or not) to help marketers with traffic-related problems.

Continue reading 'GPS units in Ford cars allow the company to "know what you're doing"' (full post)

Amazon wants you to be able to buy Kindles from a vending machine

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 1:23 am

GeekWire spotted something quite strange during their visit to CES this year, they spotted a "Kindle Kiosk" in the McCarran airport in Las Vegas. According to staff at the airport, the machine had been installed just as CES was kicking off.

 

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The machine was installed at the airport as Amazon wants to try and get tech-savvy visitors leaving the city to grab a Kindle on their way out. The vending machine had the Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX, Kindle Paperwhite and the normal Kindle e-Reader on offer. It also sold covers and power adapters, so that you could trick up your Kindle before you took off.

 

What do you think about buying a tablet from a vending machine? I think Amazon is really thinking outside of the box here, not only are they using drones to deliver goods to consumers, but now tablets from vending machines?

Supercomputer takes 40 minutes to simulate 1 second of a human brain

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Super Computing | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 1:16 am

K, one of the world's fastest supercomputers based in Japan, is capable of 8.162 petaflops of performance, thanks to its insane 82,944 processors. The supercomputer is capable of driving 1016 billion operations per second, but even then, it is still hard pressed to compete with the brain in your head reading this article.

 

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It took K around 40 minutes to simulate just 1 single second of human brain activity, even with all of its performance prowess. The experiment on simulated human brain activity involved 1.73 billion virtual nerve cells that were connected to 10.4 trillion virtual synapses, with every virtual synapse containing 24 bytes of memory.

 

NEST was used on the software side of things, which is a simulator for spiking neural network models that focuses on dynamics, size and structures of neural systems, versus exact morphology of individual neurons.

Continue reading 'Supercomputer takes 40 minutes to simulate 1 second of a human brain' (full post)

Windows 9 will reportedly ship in 2015, codenamed 'Threshold'

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Operating Systems | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 12:56 am

We've heard about the Threshold a few times, but now we have Microsoft insider Paul Thurrott reporting that the software giant will unveil its new "Threshold" OS as Windows 9, which will be released next year.

 

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What will Windows 9 include? Well, Thurrott believes that we'll see Microsoft discuss its next-gen OS at its upcoming BUILD developer conference being held in April. Thurrott believes that Microsoft will shift away from the Windows 8 name after all of the problems associated with it, and will drop the Windows 8 branding in favor of Windows 9 - this could change, but right now this is what he believes will happen.

 

Thurrott also reports that development on Windows 9 will begin in late-April, with no build of it being teased or given out at the BUILD conference in April. He also reports that we should see something he is calling "Metro 2.0", that would be a major focus of Windows 9. He doesn't know what will be changed, but we should see the desktop be centered again, versus the company going all-touch as it did with Windows 8.

Continue reading 'Windows 9 will reportedly ship in 2015, codenamed 'Threshold'' (full post)

Valve should launch its VR SDK this week

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Virtual & Augmented Reality | Posted: Jan 12, 2014 12:13 am

We're only days away from Valve hosting its Steam Developer Days, but it looks like the maker of Half-Life is set to unleash its VR SDK into the hands of developers around the world.

 

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The company has hinted that VR support is coming for the few VR headsets and controllers on the market, with a Steam-linked software development kit, or SDK. We should see the VR SDK unveiled during Valve's Steam Dev Days which will take place January 15-16 in Seattle, Washington.

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