ry thought: the combination to start an all-out nuclear war with the world, killing billions, up until 1977 at least, was 00000000. The stupidly simple code was chosen by Strategic Air Command, in an effort to make weapons as quick and easy to launch as possible.
John F Kennedy pushed for PAL (Permissive Action Link) encoding in 1962, which is a security device for nuclear weapons that is meant to prevent unauthorized arming or detonation of the nuclear weapon itself. JFK signed the National Security Agency Memorandum 160 in 1962, which required that all nuclear weapons be fitted with the security system.
Problem was, nuclear experts claim the military was worried that command centers and communication lines would be destroyed in a true nuclear war, which would stop soldiers getting the codes to launch nuclear missiles when they were actually needed. This forced the action of reducing the code to something that is very simple: 00000000.
Black Friday is quickly approaching and information on various retailers sales is beginning to pour in. Today GameStop announced that it has hired 17,000 more people to help staff its stores on Friday, and has also released its Black Friday sale list. The list may not be very large, but for those of you lucky enough to get into a GameStop early enough, massive savings await.
Unfortunately none of the next-generation consoles are on the list, but you could score an Xbox 360, or PS3 both with 250GB HDDs for just $250 each. Alternatively, Battlefield 4 will be on sale for just $24.99 which equates to more than half off of its MSRP. A Sophix 7-inch Android tablet will be on hand for just $70 as well.
PDXLAN is a West Coast Mecca of LAN parties, usually with 500 PC gamers from all across the United States and Canada. They come together and game for four days straight. On November 8, 2013, 400 PDXLAN gamers donate over 37,000 Lbs of food to local charities thanks to a sponsorship from Thermaltake for the November charity event.
Gamers are always considered to be aggressive or violent by the media because of the games they play, but thanks to PDXLAN many unfortunate families can receive meals this holiday season. Matt "Vector" Conwell the PDXLAN Owner and Organizer says "Gamers Give Back." This act of kindness demonstrates that the gaming community is full of amazing people that care.
Today reports have surfaced that state that the FDA has ordered the Google backed startup 23andMe to immediately cease and desist all sales of its DNA testing kits. The ban on sales is the result of the company failing to obtain "marketing clearance or approval" from federal regulators to sell its product.
The company sells a "DNA Spit Kit" that is used to test a customers DNA and then reports on over 250 health conditions, traits and other genetic identifiers that one might have, or be susceptible to. In a statement, the FDA said that it "is concerned about the public health consequences of inaccurate results from the PGS device. The main purpose of compliance with FDA's regulatory requirements is to ensure that the tests work."
In response 23andMe had the following to say. "We recognize that we have not met the FDA's expectations regarding timeline and communication regarding our submission. Our relationship with the FDA is extremely important to us and we are committed to fully engaging with them to address their concerns."
This morning Apple announced that it will be participating in the madness that we like to call Black Friday. The announcement came unofficially via a page spotted by 9To5Mac on the company's Australian website, which has also gone live on the New Zealand Apple website.
Unfortunately, the pages do not offer any insight into what products may be discounted, or what accessories may be on sale. The image does say that Apple will offer free shipping for online purchases, and does allude to in-store deals. The add also specifically mentions the iPhone and features an image of an iPad Air, so it is a safe bet that at least the iPhone 5C and iPad Air will be discounted. Then again, this is Apple, so there could be no discounts at all.
Elon Musk has had a rough few weeks with the media frenzy over his company's flagship Model S electric vehicle catching fire after collisions with roadway debris, but some good news has arisen for the billionaire entrepreneur. Musk has been chosen as Fortune Magazine's Businessperson of the Year.
Musk not only own Tesla Motors, but he is also the owner and founder of the private space travel company Space X, and is the largest shareholder of SolarCity. Musk made his fortune when he sold PayPal to online auction giant, Ebay, and unlike other billionaires, he has invested not only his money, but his time into technological company's that are aimed at changing the world for the better. Bloomberg list Musk as being worth $7.7 billion which is far off from Mark Zuckerberg's $19 billion, but wealth does little to earn the title, and it is his his personality, audacity and tenacity that landed him the top spot.
Back in 2011 when Steve Jobs first released renderings of its future headquarters in Cupertino, California, the entire tech world was taken back at the sheer beauty of what the new campus might look like. Fast forward two years and the structure has gained approval of the Cupertino City Council, who has just released new highly detailed renderings of what the structure will look like.
Affectionately known as the "Spaceship," the new campus is the definition of modern design, and contemporary minimalism. The new renderings show a very open workspace that is designed to promote co-working, and environmentally friendly construction. Images depict cheery trees blossoming, and plant covered walls in the parking structure. Courtyards are packed with employees chatting, eating, and collaborating, while the main reception desk looks like the control center for the spaceship.
I may not be much of an Apple fan, but as someone who appreciates fine architectural and minimalistic design, this new campus is truly a thing of beauty. If the end result is anything like these new renderings, I can not wait to visit for a tour. More of the high-detail renderings can be found at the source link below. What do you think about Apple's "Spaceship" campus? Is it an example of modern design, or just a big waste of money? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
The mysterious floating barges being built by Google are a mystery no more. A new report from CBS San Francisco cites sources who claim the floating structures are actually "Dazzling Showrooms" that are being designed to showcase the Google's X line of products. Furthering the mysterious feel, the sources say that the showroom will be open by invite only.
The floating showrooms are being constructed of over 40 interchangeable shipping containers which have been built with a modular design that will allow Google to ship them around the world and truck them over land to bring the attraction to more than just coastal communities. Other reports suggest that the the entire roof will be fashioned into a party deck where Google will host launch parties for VIPs and members of the media.
Today marks a milestone on Aviation history with the FAA announcing that it will soon allow airline passengers to use their electronic devices throughout the entire flight. The announcement comes after months of deliberation within a study group of aviation experts that was put together by the FFA.
Unfortunately, as to how fast we will see the new guidelines put into place is anyones guess. Before individual airlines can begin allowing passengers to use their mobile gadgets during takeoff and landing, the airline must first prove that their planes are safe to operate under such conditions. Additionally, passengers must still put their cellular devices into "airplane" mode to prevent excessive RF interference from affecting air to ground communications.
Over the years, Lenovo has given celebrity advisors honorary positions in the company and it appears that Ashton Kutcher is the company's latest honoree. A press release from the company this morning states that Kutcher will work with engineering teams around the world to develop and market the all new Yoga line of tablets.
"This partnership with Lenovo brings together my love of technology and design that makes your life better. I can't wait to dig in and help Lenovo develop future mobile computing products, starting with the Yoga Tablet," said Ashton Kutcher. "Lenovo is all about innovation and strong leadership. Entrepreneurship is part of their DNA, and I couldn't ask for a better fit."
"Ashton Kutcher's authentic, creative appetite for technology and keen consumer insight combined with our innovation engine make this a very natural and powerful partnership," said David Roman, chief marketing officer, Lenovo. "This partnership goes beyond traditional bounds by deeply integrating him into our organization as a product engineer as we look at developing the next wave of products. As we continue to push into new PC Plus product areas and lead in multimode computing, Ashton will help us break new ground by challenging assumptions, bringing new perspective and contributing his technical expertise to Yoga Tablet and other devices."
After over 2 years since Steve Jobs first pitched the new radically designed campus to the Cupertino City Council, Apple has finally been given the greenlight on its new home. Reports are coming out today that state that the City Council voted unanimously to approve the project.
"Steve transformed Apple into one of the most innovative companies in the world and we understand the responsibilities that come from carrying his legacy forward with this project," said Dan Whisenhunt, Apple's head of real estate and facilities. "We've designed it with the same care and attention to detail as we do with all Apple products."
The new campus has often been referred to as a "spaceship" in the media, and once completed it will house more than 12,000 Apple employees. The campus is said to cost upwards of $5 billion and will be one of the "greenest" corporate headquarters on the planet. No mention was made on when construction would begin, or when it will be finished.
We haven't seen much of Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, but WikiLeaks has posted up a video of Snowden as he accepted his award in Moscow for the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence.
The award is given out each year by a group of former US intelligence officials to colleagues that they deem worthy of the award. There are six videos in total, with WikiLeaks stating the videos were taken last Wednesday in Moscow. The ex-US intelligence officials said that Snowden expressed no regrets leaking out the NSA PRISM details, and that he is adjusting to life in Russia.
You can watch the six videos of Snowden by WikiLeaks here.
In what can only be described as a happy accident, Google has acquired not one, but two monorail cars for use as meeting rooms. The acquisition came after Paul Cowan, a site reliability engineer for Google submitted a request for a monorail as a joke. The joke stemmed off the fact that Google operated two facilities a distance apart in Pyrmont, Australia.
After hearing that a third office may be opened up, Cowan jokingly submitted a ticket requesting a monorail system connecting all three facilities. At first the company denied the request, but fast forward a few weeks and Cowan got called into a meeting with a member of the facilities team. Cowan was informed that Google wanted to purchase some of the monorail carriages from the defunct Sydney Monorail system and they wanted him to pick out the cars.
Fast forward to today and as you can see in the photo above, Google has taken delivery of two of the monorail cars. Google's plans for the monorail cars is to use them as unorthodox meeting rooms. The cars were lifted into the company offices with the aid of a crane and the removal of a second story window.
Two Los Angeles area schools are telling students to return the iPads they were issued earlier this year due to what the school system is calling "unrestricted use." The recall is due to a "hack" that allows students to visit websites the school deems restricted, and is apparently a violation of the agreement between the students and schools.
The exploit caused school officials to ban the devices from leaving school grounds as they feared that the kids would use the tablets for purposes other than school work while at home. After careful deliberation, school officials at both Westchester and Roosevelt high schools issued a recall on all 2,100 devices.
Personally I see no reason why the students should not be allowed to use the devices for recreational use when off school grounds. If the iPads were truly given to each student as previously reported, then why not let them have a little fun on the devices in their free time? Personally I feel that this is just another instance of schools taking things a little too far.
In case you haven't heard, last night the US Government was forced to shut down all non-essential workers and services due to Congress not coming to an agreement on a new budget that would fund us into the next year. Unfortunately, it appears that many of the .gov websites were deemed non-essential and have been taken offline themselves.
Among the sites shutdown is NASA, which also saw most of its staff put in furlough until a budget has been settled on. Fortunately for the astronauts serving on the International Space Station, Mission Control for the ISS has been deemed a necessity and operations will continue in space and on the ground as normal.
Other agencies like the FTC, USDA, Library of Congress, and even Whitehouse.gov have all be affected by the shutdown. Sites like IRS.Gov, FHA.Gov, and The Department of Veterans Affairs, VA.Gov, appear to remain online at full capacity. While I will not voice my opinion on the matter here, lets all hope that those in Washington can come to some sort of resolution soon so the thousands of workers who are sitting at home without pay can return to their jobs soon.
Some of you may remember the flooding in Thailand back in 2011 that caused the prices of hard drives to skyrocket. A similar situation could arise again, if rainfall continues. A recent report says that flooding is already "encircling" the Thai industrial park, but the Government promises a repeat of 2011 will not happen.
During the flooding in 2011, more than 800 people lost their lives across Thailand, and enough damage was done to the tech industry to cause hard drive prices to skyrocket to levels not seen in years. It took more than a year for tech prices to level off, but more importantly, Thailand has yet to recover fully from the damage. We will be keeping a close eye on flooding reports and our storage gurus Paul Alcorn and Chris Ramseyer will alert us of any breaking news.
Earlier today, vice president of Epic Games, Mark Rein, tweeted something that instantly caught the tech world's attention. In his tweet, he said that earlier this week while at NVIDIA, he saw the most amazing thing and it was not a GPU. This is led to much speculation as Rein is a longtime supporter of Oculus VR's Rift technology.
Could this mean that NVIDIA is working on their own VR technology? This could be the case, but I won't jump the gun too soon as NVIDIA has been working hard at enabling mobile GPUs to play more graphically intensive games. With Project Logan, we're already seeing super high frame rates thanks to tessellation technology that is running on Tegra-based processors. I feel that this is the safer bet, but only time will tell what Rein was talking about.
Following up on yesterday's massive fire at a Hynix Semiconductor facility in China, we've learned this morning that the damage might not be as bad as originally reported. Late last night, I received an official statement from the company that was sent to our friend Jim Handy over at Objective Analysis.
The official report from the company states that the fire started around 16:50 Korean time and was completely extinguished by 18:20. The company says that there were no human casualties, with only one minor injury of an employee. The Hynix official said that while several pictures surfaced on the Internet that showed the fab facility being engulfed in large dark clouds of smoke, the fab itself was not damaged.
The report says that the fire was concentrated in the air purification facilities that are linked to the rooftop of the fab and that this is why the photo showed the building engulfed in smoke. Hynix says that there is no material damage to the fab equipment, the clean room, or any production related equipment. They said they expect to resume operations in a short period of time and that overall production and supply volume would not be materially affected.
The report went on to state that Hynix fully expects that the majority of the damage will be covered through their insurance and that the cause of the fire is not yet known. At the moment, this is all the we know here TweakTown, but we're in contact with Hynix and will update the story as soon as any updates are sent our way.
Earlier today, I reported on a fire that took place at a Hynix DRAM facility in China. As the day has progressed, more information has come in about the fire, but not much else is known about where in the facility the fire actually took place. Some sources are reporting that the fire took place in a chemical storage warehouse, while others are reporting that the actual manufacturing facility where the silicon is fabricated was consumed in the fire.
When news of the fire broke, I reached out to Jim Handy of Objective Analysis and asked for his thoughts on the impact the fire may have on the tech industry as a whole. Handy then issued a statement that says that until the full details of the fire are released, and we know for a fact what role the plant had in the manufacturing process, no speculation can be given on what the full impact may be.
Today, the infamous Kim Dotcom announced that he will be resigning from Mega, the encrypted cloud storage service he created after having his home raided and his brainchild Megaupload seized. The resignation took place on August 29 and Bonnie Lam took the managing director seat on the same day.
Dotcom says that he resigned so that he could concentrate all of his efforts on his pending copyright case as well as the new political party he plans on forming next year. In a Twitter post, Dotcom said, "#Mega is in excellent hands. I resigned as Managing Director to focus on my copyright case & a new political party."
It's been a while since I wrote a piece about Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and I'd started to wonder if everyone had forgotten about him. It appears that Dotcom has been hard at work planning out a new political party that he plans on launching next year in New Zealand.
Dotcom says that the new party will focus on improving the country's IT infrastructure, Internet access, and download allowances. The party is set to launch on January 20, 2014, which is the two-year anniversary of the US government's raid on Dotcom's New Zealand mansion.
Dotcom mentioned in an interview that he is aware that he is unable to run for the office of Prime Minister as he is not a citizen of New Zealand, but he did say that he was in the early stages of meeting with potential candidates for prime minister and other political positions.