Texas is trying to block Tesla from even servicing its cars in direct sale battle with car dealers

Found on Electrek on Sunday, 17 March 2019
Browse Technology

The local car dealer lobby is using old laws meant to stop automakers to compete with their own franchise dealers to block Tesla from selling their own cars directly to consumers even though Tesla never had any franchise dealers.

Texas’s use of direct-sale laws was already ridiculously abused but they are now pushing it to a whole new level of stupidity.

It should not matter who repairs a car; as long as it is done right.

5G is 'ready' once you redefine 'ready'... and then redefine 'reality'

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 06 March 2019
Browse Technology

If the industry had one job at Mobile World Congress last week, it was to tell the world that 5G – the biggest thing since "electricity or the automobile", according to Qualcomm's CEO* – was almost upon us.

5G is really an umbrella term that covers so many new technologies and opens up so many new business use cases. Under the umbrella is almost every theoretical use case, business model and bleeding edge labs innovation any one has dreamt up in the past decade.

5G is the next dotcom bubble. Salespersons are lobbying politicians, and that means a big failure is about to happen.

Samsung announces the Galaxy Fold, a phone that opens into a tablet

Found on Venturebeat on Thursday, 21 February 2019
Browse Technology

Called the Galaxy Fold, the smartphone/tablet hybrid sports dual screens: one that folds in half like a notebook, and another that works just like any other.

Thanks to a highly durable adhesive and a “sophisticated” hinge system with interlocking gears, the Fold’s 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED (4.2:3) primary screen can undergo “hundreds of thousands” of flexes without sustaining any sort of damage, Samsung says.

"hundreds of thousands" is a pretty big number; time will tell if there is a Foldgate coming.

Nest Secure had a secret microphone, can now be a Google Assistant

Found on CSO on Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Browse Technology

If your IoT device secretly contained a microphone, which was previously undocumented, would you be happy when the device maker announced an over-the-air update that can enable the microphone for virtual assistant voice functionality? That’s what happened with the security alarm system Nest Secure.

Still, sheep will keep buying and "Internet of Trash" devices will only get worse.

Germany sees big rise in security problems affecting infrastructure

Found on Reuters on Monday, 18 February 2019
Browse Technology

The Welt am Sonntag weekly had reported on Sunday that Germany had learned of 157 hacker attacks on critical infrastructure companies in the second half of 2018 compared to 145 attacks in the whole of the previous year.

German and European authorities have become increasingly worried about the risk of security breaches in infrastructure as well as interference in elections especially from Russia, China and far-right groups.

But, but! Everybody needs IoT and Cloud, and 5G so that everything can go online! Seriously, if politicians wouldn't be so clueless and corrupt manipulable by lobbyists they would realize that they are just spreading lies.

5G Has Become The Magic Pixie Dust Of Tech Policy Conversations

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 15 February 2019
Browse Technology

Fifth generation wireless (5G) has quickly become a sort of magical carrot on a stick in tech and telecom policy circles. Telecom lobbyists and the Ajit Pai FCC have spent the better part of the last two years trying to claim that unless we gut consumer protections like net neutrality, America will somehow fall behind in the "race" to 5G.

Of course this is all bullshit. As we've noted previously, the "race to 5G" rhetoric is largely nonsense crafted by hardware vendors looking to sell more network hardware and wireless carriers looking to justify high US mobile data prices and spur lagging phone and tablet sales.

5G ist nothing else but a buzzword that politicians manage to remember. Just ask one of them why a factory, which usually does not move around much, absolutely requires a wireless uplink instead of FTTB which is better; or why autonomous cars, which have to be capable of sensing the environment via build-in sensors, need a wireless connection to operate. They won't be able to answer, because there is no answer.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Found on The Register on Thursday, 14 February 2019
Browse Technology

GPS signals from satellites include a timestamp, needed in part to calculate one's location, that stores the week number using ten binary bits.

Every 1,024 weeks, or roughly every 20 years, the counter rolls over from 1,023 to zero.

For devices unprepared for the counter overflow, a firmware upgrade will be necessary to keep the things working properly.

It's not like bits are very expensive. They could have used 12, or better 16 bits and be on the safe side; but no, they decided to make the timeframe short instead.

You Can Now Run Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi 3

Found on Tom's Hardware on Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Browse Technology

Raspberry Pi is finally ready for the full Windows 10 experience. A new installer lets you put Windows 10 on Arm, including the Pi.

Previously, the only way to run Windows at all was by using Windows IoT Core, but Windows 10 on ARM may be far more capable.

Maybe you can, but why would you want to?

China’s nuclear hiatus may be coming to an end

Found on MIT Technology Review on Saturday, 02 February 2019
Browse Technology

Beijing has approved the construction of four new nuclear reactors using a domestically developed design, according to Chinese news reports.

Both projects had been planned and approved by Chinese authorities with Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor design, which promises safety advances such as passive cooling. That means it stores water above the reactor, leveraging gravity to keep the plant cool should the pumps fail.

It would also be a welcome development for energy experts and governments that see nuclear as a crucial low-carbon energy source to accelerate a fossil-fuel phase-out.

You can't have your cake and eat it. Nuclear energy is CO2 neutral and a reliable source of energy. Alternatives like solar and wind energy is not constant and, unlike what many think, also have negative effects on the nature.

Apple hints at lower iPhone prices as sales fall

Found on BBC News on Wednesday, 30 January 2019
Browse Technology

Revenue from the iPhone, responsible for most of the firm's profits, fell 15% in its latest financial quarter.

The slowdown had been expected after the tech giant warned investors earlier this month that revenue would be about $84bn, lower than expected.

People start to realize that it's nothing but an overhyped and overpriced telephone.