These LED bulbs offer 100 watts worth of light: Which is best?

Found on CNet News on Saturday, 24 February 2018
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The thing is, most 100-watt incandescents have long been phased out due to rising efficiency standards.

We spent hours testing each light bulb in this roundup, first testing for qualities such as brightness, color temperature and efficiency and then moving on to our dimming and color quality tests.

Traditional bulbs still have their place, and banning them is a short-sightened approach. Educate the customers and leave it up to them. Sometimes, a bulb made of glass and a little metal is more eco-friendly than a mix of plastics and electronics.

Camera makers resist encryption, despite warnings from photographers

Found on ZD Net on Sunday, 04 February 2018
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The letter, sent in late-2016, called on camera makers to build encryption into their cameras after photojournalists said they face "a variety of threats from border security guards, local police, intelligence agents, terrorists, and criminals when attempting to safely return their footage so that it can be edited and published," according to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, which published the letter.

Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, told ZDNet that it's "extremely disappointing the major camera manufacturers haven't even committed to investing resources into more research into this issue, let alone actually building solutions into their cameras."

It doesn't have to be the camera. According to Wikipedia, SD cards should have support for preventing access by non-authorized users; looks like camera makers are not the only ones with limited interests.

Leaked photos suggest China may now have a hypersonic railgun

Found on New Scientist on Saturday, 03 February 2018
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Photos published online yesterday suggest that China may be testing a ship-mounted electromagnetic railgun.

In tests, prototype weapons shot projectiles at speeds around 7800 kilometres an hour – more than Mach 6 – with a range of around 150 kilometres. But after sinking $500 billion into the project, the US government pulled the plug last year.

Meanwhile, the western nations are blocking each other in a futile attempt to forge the United States of Europe after they turned democracy into a toothless tiger.

Thanks to "consent" buried deep in sales agreements, car manufacturers are tracking tens of millions of US cars

Found on Boing Boing on Saturday, 27 January 2018
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Millions of new cars sold in the US and Europe are "connected," having some mechanism for exchanging data with their manufacturers after the cars are sold; these cars stream or batch-upload location data and other telemetry to their manufacturers, who argue that they are allowed to do virtually anything they want with this data, thanks to the "explicit consent" of the car owners -- who signed a lengthy contract at purchase time that contained a vague and misleading clause deep in its fine-print.

After being asked on multiple occasions what the company does with collected data, Natalie Kumaratne, a Honda spokeswoman, said that the company “cannot provide specifics at this time.”

If you collect the personal data of customers, you have to provide specifics at any time; and explain what you are using the data for. Furthermore, if the car is bought on the second-hand market, the owner has never signed any agreement with the manufacturer, so continuing to collect the data will be in a very grey, if not illegal, area.

Watching live TV can be hard, Amazon wants to make it easier

Found on CNet News on Tuesday, 16 January 2018
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Owners of Fire TV streaming devices can discover live programming on a new row called On Now that displays on their home page.

As Amazon points out, you have to subscribe to those services via Amazon Channels, a Prime benefit.

Sadly there will be lots of people who fall for this; not that one should feel sorry for them though.

Apple confirms iPhones with older batteries will take hits in performance

Found on The Verge on Wednesday, 20 December 2017
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While many iPhone users have experienced perceived slowdowns due to iOS updates over the years, it appears that there’s now proof Apple is throttling processor speeds when a battery capacity deteriorates over time.

“This fix will also cause users to think, 'my phone is slow so I should replace it' not, 'my phone is slow so I should replace its battery,’” says Geekbench’s John Poole.

It’s also clear that Apple, which makes its devices hard to open and repair, could do a better job helping consumers understand the benefits of battery replacement.

Sales count, not battery replacements. Apple excels at marketing and pulling the cash out of the pockets of their loyal sheep. There is no reason for them to go for the cheaper and more environment-friendly route.

Belgium ends 19th-Century telegram service

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 19 December 2017
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One hundred and seventy-one years after the first electrical message was transmitted down a line running alongside the railway between Brussels and Antwerp the final dispatch will be sent and received on 29 December.

So the world won't really change when Belgium finally pulls the plug on its telegram system, but it is another milestone in the long, slow death of a method of communication that once changed the world and which, in its glory days 100 years ago, seemed as though it would never stop.

Today's replacements can consider them really lucky if they are still known in one or two decades. Client software will be gone, and so will be the history of your conversations. Not that most of it will be just embarrassing decades later and not important at best.

Vulnerability Found In Amazon Key, Again Showing How Dumber Tech Is Often The Smarter Option

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 23 November 2017
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When Amazon introduced its new $250 Smart Key system a few weeks back, most people were understandably skeptical. The product promises to securely let Amazon delivery folk unlock your front door and place packages inside, with an accompanying camera that tracks every move the deliveryman makes to ensure personal security.

Researchers at Rhino Security Labs demonstrated that by using a simple program within WiFi range, the camera can be not only disabled, but frozen -- presenting the image of a closed door while burglars happily pilfer your possessions.

Let's hope these hipster gadgets fail hard and people return to the good old locks.

The new Tesla Roadster just blew our minds

Found on Cnet News on Sunday, 19 November 2017
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Coming in 2020, the new Tesla Roadster is said to do the 0 - 60 sprint in 1.9 seconds and continue on through the quarter mile in less than eight seconds.

All that performance won't come cheap, though. The new Tesla Roadster will cost a whopping $250,000, making it Tesla's most expensive car ever. Those who pre-order now (with an at least $50,000 deposit) will get their cars in 2020 -- or thereabouts.

Tesla, if you want to be taken seriously by the majority of the people, better start producing affordable cars. Until then you are just a company for a minority and will vanish in an instant once others caught up and your minutes of fame are over.

Study Finds Internet of Things Will Continue Rapid Growth Rate in 2018

Found on eWEEK on Monday, 13 November 2017
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The two companies, which surveyed 400 IT professionals, found that nearly a third of organizations are currently deploying internet of things systems and many more are planning to start in 2018, despite the security concerns of some IT professionals.

Cradlepoint also proposed some best practices to make the move to IoT a bit easier.

Study Finds <insert overhyped buzzword here> Will Continue Rapid Growth Rate in 2018