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Current Affairs Posts - Page 18

Foxconn and Mozilla teaming up to announce new product on June 3rd

Earlier this morning our own Anthony Garreffa posted a story about Foxconn gearing up to move out of the contract manufacturing business and striking out on its own. On June 3rd, we may just see this new era for Foxconn come to life at an announcement event to be held in conjunction with Mozilla.

 

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Both Mozilla and Foxconn have officially announced that they will be pairing up on June 3rd to announce a new device featuring Firefox OS. While it is still unknown what the new device could be, website Focus Taiwan, says that an insider has told them that the new device will be a tablet that will target the budget Apple and Android tablet markets.

 

There are already Firefox OS smartphones roaming the wild - Huawei and LG are both rumored to be building Firefox OS handsets as well. It just makes sense for a tablet running Mozilla's open source OS to appear at some point and who better to build it than Foxconn who has years of experience building tablets for Apple.

ASUS teases new product "that will move you", to be unveiled at Computex 2013

Computex 2013 - As the world's largest PC industry show approaches, we are beginning to see more teasers being released by big name companies in the industry. This morning we have already seen a teaser from G.Skill and now ASUS is teasing a new mysterious product as well.

 

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This morning on the company's Google+ page, ASUS posted a teaser image of what appears to be a metallic circular object. Judging by the pixel size, and the size of the circular machine marks, I am going to speculate that this is a power button of some sorts, but have no guess on what the product could be.

 

Fear not though as ASUS has given us a hint as to what the product could be. In the post on Google+, ASUS said "Here's our first teaser before next week's press conference! Hint: It'll move you." What could it be? Leave your guess in the comments below and remember to stay tuned to TweakTown for all of the latest from Computex as it happens.

US Department of Homeland Security warns that 3-D-printed guns are "impossible" to contain

It's probably pretty obvious to most that the cat has been let out of the bag in terms of 3-D-printed guns. Once Distributed Defense posted the CAD files for the gun, there was no way they would ever be eradicated from the Internet. The file has reportedly been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times.

 

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In an interesting turn of events, Kim Dotcom and others have blacklisted the files and removed them from their services. But, it would be nearly impossible to remove them from the various torrent sites that they have been uploaded to. The bulletin by the Joint Regional Intelligence Center obtained by Fox News notes, "Even if the practice is prohibited by new legislation, online distribution of these digital files will be as difficult to control as any other illegally traded music, movie or software files."

 

Significant advances in three-dimensional (3D) printing capabilities, availability of free digital 3D printer files for firearms components, and difficulty regulating file sharing may present public safety risks from unqualified gun seekers who obtain or manufacture 3D printed guns. Limiting access may be impossible.

Kim Dotcom says US tech giants are infringing on his IP, might sue in wake of illegal raid on his home

Late last night Kim Dotcom posted a tweet that accused several US companies of infringing on his IP and after some investigation, I have to agree with him. The patents date back to 1997 and cover the two-step authentication that has recently become popular with big sites who are afraid of hackers.

 

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In the tweet, Dotcom accuses Google, Facebook, Twitter and Citibank of infringing on his patent and he says that he never sued them in the past because he "believes in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society." and goes on to say "But I might sue them now because of what the U.S. did to me."

 

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For anyone interested, I have linked to the patent at Source #2. It was filed under Kim Schmits, Dotcom's birth name, and details quite clearly the current method of two-step authentication being used today by many companies. We have reached on to Dotcom for an interview and are awaiting a response, so stay tuned to TweakTown for any updates.

Amazon looking to take on Apple for coolest campus ever, plans rainforest bio-dome in downtown Seattle

Apple may be practicing "forward looking" with its spaceship like campus in Cupertino, but Amazon is looking to take things in a very different approach to a green headquarters. Yesterday while everyone was focused on Redmond, a proposal was being reviewed by Seattle's Design Review Board.

 

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Amazon has tweaked plans for its new headquarters that will be built-in the inner city of Seattle. The proposed three block campus is codenamed Rufus 2.0, and will feature a huge tri-sphere bio-dome like greenhouse environment. I have included the PDF file of the proposal at Source #3 below.

 

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Amazon says that the "plant-rich environment has many positive qualities that are not often found in a typical office setting." Featuring five levels, the bio-dome feature work spaces, dining, meeting and lounge spaces, and even a pair of shops serving the general public. A wealth of trees and plants are also present to keep things nice and "Amazon" like.

Continue reading 'Amazon looking to take on Apple for coolest campus ever, plans rainforest bio-dome in downtown Seattle' (full post)

Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai offering gold-plated iPads for guest use

The world's only seven-star hotel has started offering 24-carat gold-plated iPads to guests for use. While this is certainly overkill and completely unneeded, it is most definitely cool and adds to the luxury feel of the device and hotel.

 

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The iPads will be used as a virtual concierge and provide information on restaurants in the hotel, spa treatments, and butler services. The iPads feature the hotel's logo on the back and likely feel great to the touch. The hotel will also be selling the iPads in the hotel's boutique.

Foxconn continues to break Chinese labor laws says FLA

A new audit published by the Fair Labor Association shows that Hon Hai, AKA Foxconn, is still continuing to break Chinese labor laws. The report finds that while Foxconn has complied with 98.3 percent of the new rules Apple and the FLA agreed to, the company is still forcing workers past the 40 hour work week plus 36 hours overtime per month limit imposed by the Chinese government.

 

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The audit which took place in January found that Foxconn employees were regularly working as many as 70 hours per week which drastically pushed them over the monthly overtime limit. This also breaks Apples imposed restrictions on its manufacturing partners which state that no employee is allowed to work over 60 hours per week. Coincidentally the weeks in which the massive overages took place coincided with the launch of Apple's iPhone 5.

Man flies drone over neighbor's property, appears to have been spying in 3rd-story window

It's often said that laws can't keep up with modern technology. Interestingly enough, this phrase has been used a lot lately in conjunction with drones, specifically in regards to whether or not they should be allowed to fly over US soil. The US government apparently isn't the only interested group in using drones.

 

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A resident in Seattle, WA tells CHS:

This afternoon, a stranger set an aerial drone into flight over my yard and beside my house near Miller Playfield. I initially mistook its noisy buzzing for a weed-whacker on this warm spring day. After several minutes, I looked out my third-story window to see a drone hovering a few feet away. My husband went to talk to the man on the sidewalk outside our home who was operating the drone with a remote control, to ask him to not fly his drone near our home. The man insisted that it is legal for him to fly an aerial drone over our yard and adjacent to our windows. He noted that the drone has a camera, which transmits images he viewed through a set of glasses. He purported to be doing "research". We are extremely concerned, as he could very easily be a criminal who plans to break into our house or a peeping-tom.

 

This issue brings with it various legal questions. For instance, the Supreme Court ruled in 1946 that "the air is a public highway." But just how low does this public highway extend? Would a person be able to put a camera on a pole and get away with the same thing?

Continue reading 'Man flies drone over neighbor's property, appears to have been spying in 3rd-story window' (full post)

Charity auction for coffee with Tim Cook currently at $605,000

Who would have thought a charity auction for coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook would be worth so much. After all, the purchaser is only guaranteed 30 minutes, though it could end up being as long as 60. In fact, coffee with Tim Cook appears set to pass the previous charity auction record set by the auctioning off of a 2013 Lamborghini Aventador.

 

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CharityBuzz CEO Coppy Holzman:

Charitybuzz is blown away by the incredible support we've seen for the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights through our coffee with Tim Cook online auction. With 140 experiences on the auction block closing this Tuesday to benefit the RFK Center, including exclusive access to Robert DeNiro, Alec Baldwin, Peyton Manning and more, we expect to raise well over one million dollars for human rights.

 

Doing some quick math, that works out to over $10,000 per minute, if Tim Cook is able to stay for the full 60 minutes. You would have to have some deep pockets in order to afford this and it's not exactly clear what you would do with the time. Look for a job? Pick his brain? If you have the money, you'll need to bid at least $610,000 by 4:08p.m. tomorrow.

Disney jumps on 3-D printing bandwagon, offers to print 3-D Storm Trooper with your face

3-D printing has been making headlines the past few years and Disney is ready to jump on the bandwagon. They've announced that they will be hosting several Star Wars weekends at their Hollywood Studios. For $99.95 plus tax and shipping, you can have your face 3-D printed onto a Storm Trooper, just what any Star Wars fan would want.

 

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The 10-minute experience uses the world's highest-resolution, single-shot 3D face scanner created by our Imagineering scientists with Disney Research labs. That captured image is later sent to a high resolution 3D printer to create the figurine. The completed figurine will arrive within 7-8 weeks after the experience if shipping domestically (it takes a little longer if shipping internationally). Guests will also receive either a Carbon-Freeze Me light-up band or a collector button depending upon which option they choose. The Star Wars - D-Tech Me experience is $99.95, plus shipping and applicable sales tax.

 

The experience is available over several weekends: May 17-19, May 24-26, May 31-June 2, and June 7-9. Customers will also have the option of being frozen in Carbonite, an option that was provided last year during Disney's Star Wars Weekends. For more information, check out Disney's announcement.

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