Many people are very focused on security and keeping their communications private. Some of the focus on privacy and security came after Edward Snowden leaked documents to the world that showed the US government was capturing information on the internet from unencrypted websites.
Yahoo announced this week that users of its email service will have the option of encrypting emails sent from start to finish. The encryption will be available starting next year and will be enabled via a browser plug-in.
Yahoo's announcement comes only a short while after Google made a similar announcement. Yahoo says that it will bootstrap Google's code and that the Yahoo and Google encryption services will be compatible. Once the encryption is complete, the people will be able to send emails that only the intended recipient can read. Yahoo will use PGP encryption for its email.
When it comes to getting better rankings for their websites, you can bet many business users will do anything that Google tells them to. Google has a formula that it uses to determine the page raking for the sites that are returned in its listings when you type in a word or phrase.
Exactly what Google uses to rank the pages is a secret, but it will occasionally give site owners an idea what they need to do to get better rankings. Such is the case with an announcement made this week that involves a change to the formula used to rank pages online.
Google has said that web pages that automatically encrypt their services will get a ranking boost in the Google recommendation system. Google says for now the encryption will be a small factor in ranking, but the company says that it may put greater emphasis on encryption in the future. Sites that start with "https" are going to get rankings boost.
Researchers at IBM are working on a new chip that is designed to mimic a human brain. The chip has 4096 cores and according to IBM, it is able to simulate millions of neurons. The chip was fabricated by Samsung and is known as SyNAPSE. Samsung used 28nm process to build the chip and it features 5.4 billion CMOS transistor gates.
Total power consumption for the chip is 70mW and IBM says that the processor architecture is compatible with today's CPUs. The development of this processor was funded by DARPA with $53 million being contributed to the team for development.
IBM designed the chip with 16 TrueNorth chips on one circuit board allowing the chip to mimic sixteen million programmable neurons and four billion programmable synapses. Development of the chip continues with IBM working to improve density and power aiming at 20mW per cm2.
Microsoft has announced through its by the Numbers webpage that its Windows Phone Store is now home to over 300,000 apps. This doesn't begin to compare with Apple and Google, but it's a big milestone for Windows Phone, and Microsoft.
A Microsoft spokesperson spoke with The Next Web, where they said: "We have more than 300,000 Windows Phone apps today and the Windows Phone Store continues to grow. In the past year alone the Windows and Windows Phone app catalog has grown 94%, while the number of active developers has grown by 50%".
The company was asked when it reached the 300,000 app milestone, where TNW was told the data: "is as of end of June 2014". If we rewind to December 2013, Microsoft had 200,000 apps and rewinding further to June 2012, it had just 100,000 apps. So we're seeing many more apps uploaded to the Windows Phone Store as time goes on, with over 100,000 apps uploaded within the last six months alone.
We've already seen ADATA unveil its DDR4 kits, but they're only sitting at 2133MHz, and what fun is that? The company has now just unveiled its new enthusiast-focused DDR4 kits, named the XPG Z1 DDR4. These new kits are kicking up some speeds, and even though they don't match some of the insane speeds of DDR3, they're still faster than the original kits, at 2800MHz.
ADATA will maek its new XPG Z1 DDR4 kits available as 4GB and 8GB modules, with 1.2V of power required in both dual- and quad-channel kits. The new kits are rated to run at 2133MHz at CL 15 15-15, or CL 13 13-13 timings. Cranking it up to 2400MHz, we have CL 16 16-16, and then we have the 2800MHz setting which sees the timings relaxed more to CL17 17-17.
The new kits are based on an advanced 10-layer printed-circuit boards with 2oz copper, meaning they're designed for some serious overclocking. The new ADATA XPG Z1 DDR4 kits sport a new cooling system, which features a very nice looking jet wing-inspired design with carbon texture that is used on race cars, which gives off the impression of serious performance. ADATA will make its new XPG Z1 DDR4 kits available to consumers next month, with a lifetime warranty.
Now that Facebook owns Oculus VR, it has been setting up meetings with various studio executives and directors around Hollywood, where it wants to see special content created for the Oculus Rift.
We've already seen a few examples of how this would work, but now from massive Hollywood directors, with tens of millions of dollars behind them. People may have bad words to say about it, or doubt, but I think we're going to see more content for the Rift created and bigger success for true VR in movies than 3D ever did. Maybe not today, or next year, but within the next five years.
BioWare has just lost a key player to its ranks, with Casey Hudson leaving the company. Hudson was an Executive Producer on the Mass Effect series, but it looks like he's not leaving BioWare to join another company, he has explained that he just needs to "hit the reset button".
Hudson wrote: "While I feel that the time has come, this is without a doubt the most difficult decision of my career. BioWare is as magical a place today as it was when I started. The projects we are working on are some of the most exciting and prestigious in the world. The talent in our teams is second to none. And the people here are some of my closest friends. I've spent more time with many of you than my own family, and I have enjoyed every day of it".
One of the Xbox One launch titles was Ryse: Son of Rome, developed by Crytek, published by Microsoft. Ryse is now coming to the PC, with Crytek and Deep Silver co-publishing the game. Deep Silver recently acquired the rights to Homefront: The Revolution from Crytek, too.
The flood gates aren't quite open for all games to come over from the Xbox One to PC, but they're happening. Ryse is the second Xbox One exclusive to come over to the PC, with Dead Rising 3 coming to the PC next month. Now all we need is for Microsoft to see the light and in order to better compete with the PS4, it could unleash Halo, Forza and a slew of other Xbox games to the PC.
What will Ryse on the PC have on offer? We'll see the original game with downloadable extras, 4K support, and hopefully much more.
Well, this is something you've probably never seen before: a fish playing Pokemon. Over on Twitch, there's a channel called FishPlaysPokemon (did you think it would be any different?) where they have Grayson Hopper, the fish in question, playing Pokemon.
The channel explains: "Hi everyone! Welcome to our stream where our fish, Grayson Hopper, plays a Pokemon game. Unfortunately, we don't have a dedicated light for Grayson at night as he lives in a tiny dorm room and we would rather not sleep with the light on. :( But in the future we will be getting him a dedicated lamp and improving the quality of the stream to include recent inputs determined by the motion tracking. Things can move a little slow, so another option we're considering is making the system distributed where we have a site where you can provide a fish stream link and we'll include it in the controlling".
Right now there are 17,877 people watching, with a total of 1.17 million total channel views. Grayson has been playing Pokemon for around 125 hours, and now has a Charmander named 'AAAABBK' and even defeated his first opponent, the rival's Squirtle.
We're starting to hear more and more about Windows 9, but what big changes should we expect with Microsoft's new desktop OS? For starters, we should be treated with a new Start Menu, as well as windowed "Metro-style" apps.
Beyond that, it looks like Microsoft will be removing its Charms bar, which is an overlay from the right hand side of the OS that gives users quick access to search, share, the Start screen, devices and settings. This new information is being reported by The Verge, which has seen the changes in the latest builds of Windows Threshold, the codename for Microsoft's upcoming OS. Charms are useful for touch-based systems, something I often used to quickly search for something on my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook, but outside of that, it's close to useless on traditional mouse and keyboard setups.
Another new addition to Windows 9 is the rumored virtual desktops feature, that will see power users and enterprise customers welcoming the new OS. Windows has supported virtual desktops before, but always through third-party software, but now Windows 9 users will be capable of creating their own separate active desktops, with the ability of switching between by clicking, or tapping a button on the taskbar. The addition of virtual desktops shows that Microsoft is getting serious about its focus on the desktop.