Winter temps decimate EV driving range says AAA

Shane McGlaun | Business, Politics & Money | Mar 21, 2014 9:03 AM CDT

There are many people out there this winter who can attest that living in a climate that gets really cold and has lots of snow can be bad for your mood and productivity. Lot of folks have dealt with record setting winter storms and cold temperatures for months now. If you live in these cold areas and have an electric vehicle, the weather is doubly bad for you.

AAA has released the results of a study that looks at the driving range of an EV in winter temperatures compared to more moderate temperatures. According to the study, an EV that can drive 105 miles per charge in 75-degree weather will only be able to go 43 miles when it's below freezing.

AAA says that its study shows driving range with temperatures of around 20-degrees are 57% shorter than when its 75-degrees out. The study also found that hot weather affects driving range, but not as much as cold weather. With most EVs in the country sold in temperate Southern California, I guess many don't have to worry about this.

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Report from CA Attorney General notes cybercrime as real threat

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Mar 21, 2014 4:20 AM CDT

Following years of burying their heads in the sand, lawmakers in the United States are finally taking cybercrimes seriously. As noted in the "Gangs Beyond Borders: California and the Fight Against Transnational Organized Crime" report released by California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

The state of California led all states in organized attacks, with computer systems under threat from malware.

"With the rise of a global society connected by the Internet, criminal rings organized to commit hacking, fraud, pirating and other high-tech crimes across borders have rapidly profilerated," the report notes. "These rings operate frequently from Eastern Europe, but also from places as diverse as West Africa and China, and specifically target the citizens, computer networks, and companies of prosperous countries like the U.S."

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NSA might roll out transparency reports to try and ease spying scare

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Mar 20, 2014 8:37 PM CDT

The NSA wants to be engaged in the continued global discussion of security and secrecy in the digital age, forced to the table following countless complaints of violating user privacy, according to NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett.

The NSA continues to face pressure from Internet users, foreign citizens, political leaders and tech companies, forcing the intelligence agency to go on the defensive. To help try and appear more transparent, there is a current proposal for the NSA to release transparency reports helping give insight into NSA operations.

Ironically, Ledgett said the NSA wanted to share a public point of view during TED to help counter the "half-truths and distortions" made public by Snowden. Ledgett also said Snowden put lives at risk, showing "the bad guys" some of the NSA's cybersecurity and snooping methods.

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Microsoft announces DirectX 12, partnered with AMD, NVIDIA and more

Anthony Garreffa | Software & Apps | Mar 20, 2014 6:39 PM CDT

GDC 2014 - Microsoft has announced DirectX 12 with some of its closest partners, NVIDIA, AMD, Intel and Qualcomm, showing off the new DirectX gaming API at the 2014 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today.

DirectX 12 will deliver some major improvements for developers to all of Microsoft's platforms: Xbox One, Windows Mobile, and of course, PC. The new gaming API will enhance graphics efficiency for modern games as it allows developers to spread tasks across multi-core CPUs, all the while reducing CPU bottlenecks that usually reduce performance, even sucking performance away from what a powerful GPU would usually deliver.

We will see "closer to the metal" access to developers, something that AMD's Mantle technology does, and to showcase this, the Redmond-based software giant teamed up with Forza Motorsport 5 developer Turn 10 Studios to show off a version of the game running on DirectX 12. The demo used a PC powered by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Black, running at 1080p and a silky smooth locked 60FPS.

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Gartner: 'Internet of Things' will shake up data center as we know it

The so-called "Internet of Things" will disrupt the technology world, with 26 billion units supported by 2020, shaking up the data center, according to the Gartner research group.

IT services will help monetize the market further, with IoT product and service suppliers queuing up to join a quickly growing market.

"The enormous number of devices, coupled with the sheer volume, velocity and structure of IoT data, creates challenges, particularly in the areas of security, data, storage management, servers and the data center network, as real-time business processes are at stake," said Joe Skorupa, VP at Gartner, in a press statement. "Data center managers will need to deploy more forward-looking capacity management in these areas to be able to proactively meet the business priorities associated with IoT."

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Miss Teen USA hacker sent to slammer for 18 months

Michael Hatamoto | Hacking, Security & Privacy | Mar 20, 2014 2:18 PM CDT

Convicted teenage hacker Jared James Abrahams has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison following two years of compromising online accounts of women he later blackmailed. The 19 year old pleaded guilty last November to one count of unauthorized access of a computer and three counts of extortion, and reportedly broke into around 150 online accounts.

Abrahams grabbed headlines after he compromised Miss Teen USA 2013 winner Cassidy Wolf, in which he accessed her computer and used their webcams to photograph them.

"As digital devices, email accounts, and social media accounts now contain the most intimate details of the public's daily lives, the impact of this type of hacking and extortion becomes more pronounced, troubling, and far-reaching," the U.S. Department of Justice noted. "In some cases, this type of criminal behavior can be life-changing for the victims - especially for vulnerable victims who may feel it is impossible to rebuild their tarnished reputations."

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Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin team for new Netflix series

Shane McGlaun | Celebrities & Entertainment | Mar 20, 2014 1:33 PM CDT

If you have been around since the 80's you may recall Dolly Parton. She was a country and western singer most known for large breasts and appearing in the occasional movie. One of those films is a comedy classic called 9 to 5 that also features Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

Fonda and Tomlin are reuniting on a new comedy series for Netflix for the first time since 9 to 5. The new series is called Grace and Frankie. Netflix warns that this isn't a normal sitcom. The setting for the comedy is that Tomlin and Lily are rivals and their husbands tell them one day that they are in love and are getting married.

This leaves Grace, played by Fonda, and Frankie, played by Tomlin, thrown together to deal with the change in marital status. The comedy is going to be a 30-minute single camera series. Netflix has ordered 13 episodes of the show for the first season and they will be from Skydance Productions.

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Toshiba Canvio Wireless Adapter launches

Shane McGlaun | Storage | Mar 20, 2014 1:06 PM CDT

Toshiba has announced an interesting new adapter that can be used to turn external hard drives into network attached storage. The new product is called the Canvio Wireless Adapter. The adapter will work with any brand of traditional external hard drive, not Toshiba brands alone.

Once connected the adapter lets the user connect to the hard drive using a tablet or smartphone and upload images, video, and documents to the drive. The adapter supports up to eight deices at one time. Using the app, the data stored on the drive can also be accessed remotely from outside the home or office.

The wireless Adapter is easy to install and set up. It connects to the external hard drive and a USB power source. Apps for saving and accessing data are available for Android and iOS. The wireless adapter is available now for $79.99.

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Porsche Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS unveiled

Shane McGlaun | Business, Politics & Money | Mar 20, 2014 12:00 PM CDT

Porsche has been making some of the most desirable sports cars in the world for decades. The company has its slick two seat Boxster and Cayman cars on the low-end, and the venerable and long running 911 with other models thrown in as well. Porsche has announced a new version of the Boxster and Cayman with more power and style.

The new versions of the cars are the Cayman GTS and the Boxster GTS. Both of the cars get a bump in power compared to the standard versions of the car. Both cars get an extra 15hp bringing the output to 330hp for the Boxster and 340 for the Cayman. Each of the cars also gets a 7 lb-ft boost in torque.

Both GTS models get the Sport Chrono package standard and can be fitted with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed PDK. When fitted with the PDK gearbox the Cayman GTS can reach 60 mph in 4.3 seconds with the Boxster GTS needing 4.4 seconds.

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Sony's next update for the PS4 will improve video capture, sharing

Anthony Garreffa | Gaming | Mar 20, 2014 1:34 AM CDT

Sony will soon be pushing out a new update for the PlayStation 4 which will allow PS4 owners to save screenshots and videos to a USB drive, as well as supporting HDMI video capture by offering the option to disable HDCP.

Future updates to Sony's next-gen console will improve Twitch streaming, too. The company has promised an HDCP off option since the PS4 launched in November last year, as the PS4 only outputs to HDMI, the presence of HDCP means that PS4 users could only capture video using the share button on the PS4 controller, uploading it to social media, or streaming it through Twitch.

The PS4 update will also add a new video editor, which will allow gamers to personalize their clips. From there, you can save clips and screenshots to a USB device, as well as the Share button on the PS4 controller. There will be other features rolled out with the new update according to Sony, one of which will be the ability to archive Twitch broadcasts at a resolution of 720p.

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