If you’re reading this then you’re likely a techie; if you’re a techie then you’ve likely already heard of flexible electronics, aka flex circuits, aka flexible printed circuits. And you surely already know that flex-tronics will be one of the next big things, but did you know that as of 2012 they are a $10B business? Yup, they are a multi-billion dollar industry thanks to the support and start-up capital injected by the Flex Tech Alliance (alliance members include Fujifilm, HP, Qualcomm, Lockheed Martin), “it is an industry that is nascent but will grow rapidly. We’re already starting to see new kinds of applications in plastic memory for toys and sensors for aircraft,” says Flex Tech Alliance chief Dr. Malcolm Thomas.
If you’ve ever wanted to take a supercomputer for a test drive, now is your chance. Solve that probabilistic analysis. Figure out some brute force code breaking. Conduct 3D nuclear testing simulations. Or, if you’re more cosmopolitan, do some Molecular Dynamics Simulations. No matter what your supercomputing needs, Cycle Computing will get you there.
Check this out, it’s brilliant: Cycle Computing is a 20-employee company leveraging the cloud computing movement by timesharing virtual supercomputers out to small companies and individuals who would never have had access (read: funds) to such technology. They use virtual clusters by virtually lashing together 50,000 processors from Amazon Web Services, in the cloud, via their own software.
The uber-creative minds at the AT&T Labs, AT&T’s research contingent, have been busier than Santa’s elves. Their new smartphone technologies geared at automobiles might border on intrusive but are nonetheless genius. From a hands-free, cellphone-leveraging car unlocking method to digital teenage driver monitoring to location-based messaging AT&T has got an interesting lineup of new technologies coming out soon. This new batch of cool shiznit is highly focused on location-and speech-recognition-based APIs so expect it to be slightly encroaching.
Let’s check them out:
It’s been known for quite some time that the Global South’s, and its people’s, biggest hindrance is not legacies of colonialism or anesthetizing malaise but a lack of substantive trade opportunities caused by an inability to access global markets on any meaningful scale. So when we hear about endeavors like M-Farm, where developing-world entrepreneurs use available technologies to create meaningful trade opportunities for themselves and their compatriots — we should damn well pay attention.
CISPA is the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act a bill that already has a reasonably strong following with the help of its creator Rep. Mike Rogers, who has stirred support from many lobby-backing mega-corporations like AT&T, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Verizon — and even Facebook. Rogers is also actively trying to encourage the tech-journalism community to report that CISPA is nothing like SOPA. Ya — because that’ll happen.
So, Microsoft spent over a billion dollars to out-bid Google on a bunch of patents from AOL. But WHY? AOL isn’t exactly a major player in the game anymore and the bulk of their patents haven’t been put into practical use for years.
Many in the industry are assuming that Microsoft did it out of their usual trying-to-beat-Google-to-the-punch philosophy, but it turns out that Microsoft (finally) had an ulterior motive (especially since Google never officially announced an interest in the patents).
Tech startups just got a much-needed boost in processing power, with the new JOBS legislation passed in congress. The Jumpstart our Business Startups (JOBS) initiative currently being legislated into the US economy passed by a landslide and will vastly alter the startup entrepreneurial and investment landscape.
This new legislation, passed with a vote of 380-41, will remove some of the ridiculous red tape that startups are currently forced to endure when seeking funding. It will also allow young and small companies to go public sooner and allow for crowd-sourced funding, enabling startups to gets funds from small internet-based investors. Track the entirety of the JOBS legislation.
Under the JOBS act companies looking for funding will no longer need to do so under cloak and dagger, nor contrary to advice from their lawyer. Funding-seeking companies will now be able to post information about their crowd and other funding efforts on their websites and social profiles.
Opponents to the new law object on grounds that opening up very public opportunities for investment in startups will open the public up to increased risk in consumer investment and increased vulnerability to fraud via unmanaged crowd-sourced funding.
Investment fraud and scams may pop up on both sides of the fence though. Small-scale internet investors could be ripped off by investing in risky, possibly fraudulent investments, while at the same time funding-seeking businesses may be taken advantage of fraudulent funding opportunities — especially now that their lawyers will have backed off on legal advice, now that public funding is no longer a legal matter.
While “God” itself is one of the least-secure passwords, men of the cloth have come up with some of the most secure passwords on the internet today — by choosing Bible-based passwords.
This epic advice comes from Right Reverend James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, England—who recently told his his flock to capture passwords from the New Testament, and ditch those password123-type oldies. That’s right, the cloth has gone high tech by using oddly-perverse, yet hard-to-crack passwords (by capitalizing on our general lack of biblical knowledge).
“The Bible offers a life-long source of new passwords, that can include both upper and lower case letters and numbers to help create memorable, secure passwords,” says Reverend Langstaff.
In response to employers demanding employees force over their Facebook passwords, Facebook has decided to fight back. But of course they are Facebook. And unsurprisingly, they are fighting back in their typical screw-you-I’m-Facebook style response.
They released a rather fiery indictment of the workplace practice, saying that it violates not only privacy rights but also Facebook’s own constitution of guidelines—you are not allowed to share or solicit Facebook passwords. They even went so far as to call it criminal, saying companies forcing employees or potential employees to pass over information is a violation. “As a user, you shouldn’t be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job,” Facebook said in its post.
Sometimes technology works against nature. Other times it works for it. Now, finally, technology is being used to protect the earth. The Doomsday gene bank in Norway is using modern technology that functions like a back-up server for the world’s biodiversity cache. The server-like Svalbard Seed Vault was recently given an infusion of seeds, and cash, that has widely broadened its scope.
A much-needed infusion that is helping protect many of the gene and seed backups destroyed by the Afghan and Iraq wars, more recently the fire-destroyed Philippines facility and the suspected issues with the gene bank in Syria. The vault’s architect, American Cary Fowler, welcomed the 25,000+ new seed samples with open arms, before he cranked up the cold (to a frigid -18°C) and sealed the door of the vault. If there was ever an eco ranger-based video game, the epic battle led by character Cary would surely by fought at the Svalbard Vault.