Sunday, May 21, 2017

TechTalk with Nexa's Andrew Thomas May 16, 2017

Every week we sit down with Andrew Thomas and talk tech.

Think of this show as a 2 guys having a chat about the cool things they have been reading, trying and thinking about in the world of technology.

Andrew and James
Biased of course but I don't think there is a better technology show in the Middle East.

Click for the podcast.

The show notes and links.

Interesting take on the wannacry hack and ransom wear!

This map is cool!

Apple fixes bug this is a good thing!
Apple has squashed dozens of security bugs in its latest releases of its iPhone, iPad, and Mac operating systems.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company rolled out 23 security fixes in iOS 10.3.2 and another 30 fixes in macOS 10.12.5, both of which were released on Monday.
Among the bugs, two bugs in iBooks for iOS could allow an attacker to arbitrarily open websites and execute malicious code at the kernel level. Over a dozen flaws were found in WebKit, which renders websites and pages on iPhones and iPads, that could allow several kinds of cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
A separate flaw in iBooks for macOS desktops and notebooks could allow an application to escape its secure sandbox, a technology used to prevent data loss or theft in the case of an app compromise.
Almost half of the bugs found were attributed to Google's Project Zero, the search giant's in-house vulnerability-finding and security team.
One of the iOS bugs credited to Synack security researcher Patrick Wardle described a kernel flaw in which a malicious application could read restricted memory, such as passwords or hashes.
In a blog post last month, Wardle explained how he found the zero-day flaw following a supposed fix in an earlier version of macOS 10.12. He said that Apple's patch "did not fix the kernel panic" and worse, "introduced a kernel info leak, that could leak sensitive information" that could bypass the operating system's security feature that randomizes the kernel's memory address locations.
In an email, Wardle admitted he "didn't realize it affected iOS too."

New app. The most random or specific app to date!

Very cool usage of Snapchat in Saudi Arabia

There's no stopping Elon musk

This is cool, really cool…
If you ever wanted to whisper across a crowded room, a new experimental device might let you deliver sneaky instructions -- if the awkward speaker and electrodes don't tip everyone off. Researchers at the University of Bristol built a wearable that translates facial expression into ultrasonic words that can be heard up to 30 meters away.
The device's current version is still a prototype, consisting of a speaker worn on the forehead or chest and electrodes placed on the lips and jaw. Those pick up electrical signals made by muscles in the face while a person talks, meaning someone wouldn't have to actually speak for the device to translate motion into words. The researchers used a machine learning algorithm that recognizes which muscular signals produce certain words. Those are emitted by wearable speakers at ultrasonic frequencies in a beam so narrow only those in its path would hear it.
The system is still very much in development: it can only recognize ten basic words and only got them right 80 percent of the time. But it could be useful for anyone in the market to speak securely over distance, like spies or soldiers in the field. It's a neat development in the field of nonverbal communication, the kind of research akin to Disney's experiments a few years ago sending messages through electric current.
MOTOc-again the developing market is the king maker!
Each handset features a 2MP front camera, while the C's rear sensor maxes out at 5MP. The C Plus features an 8MP rear shooter in addition to a larger 4,000 mAh-hour battery over the C's 2,350 mAh power cell. That isn't the only difference between the two. Moto also says that the Plus has a bigger screen in addition to double the onboard storage (16GB) of its sibling.
Going back to the developing markets target, the C Plus is a dual-SIM phone and it goes on sale this spring in "various countries" throughout the Asian Pacific, Europe and Latin America. Moto's press release says that the 3G Moto C with 8GB of storage will cost €89, the 4G variant will cost €10 more and the 16GB C Plus starts at €119.
Here's to hoping that these will be far more capable than the Moto E was. At first, the phone seemed competent enough for day-to-day use, but throwing more than a few apps on that handset brought its performance to a grinding halt

Who is buying android wear and do we want this watch, interesting all the same
Samsung's smartwatches are gaining steam, so you're likely to see more and more of them on store shelves.
Looks like Samsung’s big bet on Tizen is actually paying off. Samsung first started moving away from Android Wear and toward its self-built Tizen a few years ago, and now the operating system is more popular than Android Wear.
According to a report from market research firm Strategy Analytics, for the first time ever, Tizen has overtaken Android Wear in smartwatch operating system market share. While Android Wear sits in at 18 percent of the market, Tizen now boasts 19 percent. Of course, neither of the two come close to Apple’s 57 percent market share achieved via the Apple Watch’s WatchOS.

What about a biodegradable wearable?
The need for biodegradable tech in an era when new gadgets are constantly being introduced and quickly discarded, causing tons of electronic waste, presented the key concern and main focus for the team of researchers who have shared this new device. The team designed this wearable electronic device to totally dissolve when vinegar is poured on it.
Having a biodegradable wearable option presents an answer to the privacy problem that occurs when new devices are discarded in favor of new ones, hoping that the cautionary measures taken to erase old data are effective enough to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.
The decomposing polymer that the device is made of ranks as one of the thinnest and lightest electronic gadgets that’s ever been made. The team has synthesized the biodegradable semiconductor by utilizing a molecule taken from tattoo ink, and has created a base by weaving plant fibers into a new, extra-thin film.  Inside the structure are embedded electronics. When placed in vinegar, or even a less acidic liquid, the entire thing melts away within a 30 day timeframe.

An answer to e-waste?

In the near future, this technology will likely be used for storing sensitive digital information that could rapidly and easily be destroyed and kept a secret. It can also possibly be used for biological sensors, and implantable medical devices.  Testing has been done with the device in mice to research whether this idea would work.  The device is currently still not safe for use in humans. But it may be in the future.
According to an ENDS Europe agency report about electronic waste, due to an increasing built-in obsolescence, in 2012 defective appliances were replaced at the rate of 8.3 percent, which is an increase from 3.5 percent in 2004. Recent studies share that a huge majority of young adults own smartphones, and approximately 30 percent of American upgrade their phones every two years. This helps add to a huge amount of waste that estimates show will produce more than 50 million metric tons of electronic waste by 2018.  
The solution to this problem looks as though it may be here, with this new biodegradable wearable. Electronic waste is a real problem, causing poisonous groundwater by leaching hazardous materials like mercury into the ground.

In the retail world offline chat is still king!
  • Amazon topped the list of top 10 retail and apparel brands in terms of social media conversations and word-of-mouth, followed by Nike in second place and Nordstrom in third place, according to Engagement Lab’s latest TotalSocial rankings.
  • The rest of the top 10 in order was Victoria’s Secret, Adidas, Under Armour, Ulta Beauty, Costco, Forever 21 and Ikea. Large retailers notably missing from the top 10 included Wal-Mart and Target.
  • Engagement Labs found that out of more than 60 brands measured, conversations about retail and apparel brands still mostly happen offline, in face-to-face conversations, as opposed to online conversations taking place via social media.

Audi and Volvo go Android Auto thoughts? No brainer really!
Audi and Volvo are making a very public commitment to Google after pledging to build Android Auto into their next generation of cars. Rather than simply enabling your smartphone to interact with the vehicle, Google's software will form the backbone of these car's infotainment units. Users will, potentially, be able to use a wide variety of Android-specific apps on their whips, as well as use Google Maps for navigation. In addition, drivers will be able to control their AC, sunroof and windows from the same console that they find a new Spotify playlist or chat to their voice assistant.
Google has a developer conference coming up, and so the company is beginning to trumpet the abilities of its software platforms. It is hoping that more automakers will adopt Android Auto as a "turnkey" platform, one that car makers can simply use on their cars, similar to how phone manufacturers use Android itself.
We've already seen this in action, Google was demoing a Maserati that was running Android Auto at last year's I/O. Its utility was already obvious, even back then, since Google's interface is worlds away from the terrible automotive displays we normally use.

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