Episode 578 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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Apple could ditch Intel from Macs in favour of its own chips

Bloomberg reported that the project, codenamed Kalamata, would be part of a bigger strategy making Macs, iPhones and iPads work better together, according to people familiar with the plans.

 

Currently, Apple makes the main processor for its iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs, based on ARM chip technology. Using its own chips in Macs would let Apple decide on release dates for its new models rather than relying on Intel. Apple makes up 5 percent of Intel’s revenues according to the Bloomberg report.

 

pple’s last major processor transition happened in 2005, when it moved Macs to an Intel-based architecture, away from IBM’s PowerPC processors. That transition took around a year. The Bloomberg report implies a new transition would be longer and require a “multi-step transition” beginning as early as 2020.

 

Paul Norris, senior systems engineer for EMEA at IT security firm  

“Apple is taking advantage of this relationship between operating system and hardware to its OSX based devices to guarantee strengthened security. Intel has to cater for a number of different types of operating systems and hardware devices, which increases the likelihood a vulnerability is identified.”

 

Intel launches new brand for eighth-generation CPUs

calling the new brand an Intel Core platform extension that will promote the bundling of the i5, i7 and i9 processors with the performance-boosting Optane memory module that Intel announced a little over a year ago.

These processors that come with Optane memory bundled are receiving a modified naming convention: i5+, i7+ and i9+.

 

The branding extends to both desktops and laptops.

 

Optane memory is based on the 3D XPoint nonvolatile memory technology developed by Intel and partner Micron Technology that can speed up the performance of hard drive disks. With a 32 GB Optane memory module running on the Core i7, Intel promises speeds of up to 3 times faster for opening large media files, up to 3.9 times faster for loading video games and up to 2.1 times faster for everyday tasks.

 

Users react to Google Map’s live shooting icon

 

Google took the unusual step to mark the incident on its Google Maps service.

The red circular icon that highlighted the location of the shooting incident was clickable, but it simply pulled up a red sidebar that read “San Bruno shooting” without providing any further details.

This is thought to be the first time Google Maps has done such a thing and the icon has since been removed.

 

When the feature was pointed out on Hacker News, under the title “Google maps now conveniently shows you active shooters,” not everyone seemed pleased with the update.

“What a damning indictment of our culture that this is a feature,” the top commenter wrote.

Others on social media who noticed the new feature also expressed a sense of unease.

“Wow, Google Maps, you even mark an active shooting location. Kinda creepy, don’t ya think?” wrote one.

Another lamented that it was “f***ing sad that we need such a thing.”

 

Microsoft launches 2 new Azure regions in Australia

the company announced the launch of two new regions in Australia. To deliver these new regions, Azure Australia Central and Central 2, with Canberra Data Centers

Given the location in Canberra, it’s also no surprise that Microsoft is putting an emphasis on its readiness for handling government workloads on its platform. Throughout its announcement, the company also emphasizes that all of its Australia data centers are also the right choice for its customers in New Zealand.

 

JASON

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https://www.theverge.com/2018/4/4/17197342/google-renewable-energy-climate-change

Google announced in a blog post that it now purchases more renewable energy than it consumes as a company. Google began these efforts in 2017, with the goal of purchasing as much renewable energy as it uses across its 13 data centers and all of its office complexes.

 

To be clear, Google is not powering all of its energy consumption with renewable energy. It’s matching what it consumes with equal amounts of purchased renewable energy. For every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed, it buys a kilowatt-hour from a wind or solar farm built specifically for Google. The company says that its total purchase of energy from sources like wind and solar now exceeds the amount of electricity used by its operations.

 

Google says it currently has contracts to purchase three gigawatts of output from renewable energy projects, and while it says “it’s not yet possible to “power” a company of our scale by 100 percent renewable energy,” these purchases do have a positive impact. Google says it’s helping spur development of clean energy projects, encouraging other companies to follow suit.

 

Several tech companies have also joined the fight against climate change, including Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. Apple Park is powered by 100 percent renewable energy and Apple has a commitment to bring four gigawatts of renewable power online by 2020. Amazon set a long-term goal of 100 percent renewable energy, and Facebook has as well.

https://venturebeat.com/2018/04/02/mcafee-finds-that-gamers-are-strong-candidates-for-cybersecurity-jobs/

To beat cybercriminals, McAfee suggests in a new report that gamers may be the key candidates for cybersecurity jobs.

 

The Santa Clara, California-based cybersecurity company said it did a survey of 300 senior security managers and 650 security professionals at major corporations. And 78 percent of respondents said that the current generation entering the work force — those that grew up playing video games — are stronger candidates for cybersecurity roles.

 

The report suggests that gamers, those engaged and immersed in online competitions, may be the logical next step to plugging the skills gap. 92 percent of respondents believe that gaming affords players experience and skills critical to cybersecurity threat hunting: logic, perseverance, an understanding of how to approach adversaries and a fresh outlook compared to traditional cybersecurity hires.

 

Three-quarters of senior managers say they would consider hiring a gamer even if that person had no specific cybersecurity training or experience. 72 percent of respondents say hiring experienced video gamers into the IT department seems like a good way to plug the cybersecurity skills gap.

https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/18/04/04/0615229/latest-macos-update-disables-displaylink-rendering-thousands-of-monitors-dead

Four days ago, Apple’s latest macOS 10.13.4 update broke DisplayLink protocol support (perhaps permanently), turning what may be hundreds of thousands of external monitors connected to MacBook Pros via DisplayLink into paperweights. Some days in, DisplayLink has yet to announce any solution, and most worryingly there are indications that this is a permanent change to macOS moving forward.

Mac Rumors is reporting that “users of the popular Mac desktop extension app Duet Display are being advised not to update to macOS 10.13.4, due to ‘critical bugs’ that prevent the software from communicating with connected iOS devices used as extra displays.” Users of other desktop extensions apps like Air Display and iDisplay are also reporting incompatibility with the latest version of macOS.

https://futurism.com/russia-debuts-postal-drone-crash-into-wall/

Someday, in the future, our skies will be full of whirring machines delivering anything we could ever want or need, from medical supplies to pizzas to the latest item from our Amazon overlords.

 

That day is not today.

 

On Monday, Russia’s postal service tested a delivery drone in the city of Ulan-Ude, Siberia. Instead, though, the drone crashed violently into a wall of nearby building, turning the UAV into a mess of jumbled parts.

Russia had announced its plans to start delivering mail via drone. It seems like a smart idea, especially in such a huge country where severe weather often interrupts mail delivery.

 

Here was the original plan for Monday’s test. The $20,000 drone was supposed to pick up a small package and deliver it to a nearby village, Reuters reports. Instead the device failed spectacularly, only making it a short distance before crashing into a three-story building. The small crowd gathered to watch the test can be heard uttering expletives, according to Reuters.

 

No one was injured in the crash, and it didn’t do any damage, except to Russia’s pride.

https://apnews.com/d716aac4ad744b4cae3c6b13dce12d7e

For the first time, the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages.

 

The use of what are known as cellphone-site simulators by foreign powers has long been a concern, but American intelligence and law enforcement agencies — which use such eavesdropping equipment themselves — have been silent on the issue until now.

 

In a March 26 letter to Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that last year it identified suspected unauthorized cell-site simulators in the nation’s capital. The agency said it had not determined the type of devices in use or who might have been operating them. Nor did it say how many it detected or where.

 

The agency’s response, obtained by The Associated Press from Wyden’s office, suggests little has been done about such equipment, known popularly as Stingrays after a brand common among U.S. police departments. The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the nation’s airwaves, formed a task force on the subject four years ago, but it never produced a report and no longer meets regularly.

 

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