This Week in Computer Hardware 415: AMD’s EPYC Threadripper Headed To the VEGA Frontier

We talk AMD’s Threadripper… it’s a 16 core 32 thread MONSTER coming this summer! Why Ryzen’s 1080p gaming performance is all about memory latency. And Vega, which promises to spank the Fury X. In news that doesn’t involve AMD, Google IO showed off a standalone Daydream VR headset, Amazon has 4K Fire TVs and new $50 Fire Tablets…and if you need a ton of storage, WD has released 10TB Reds. All that and more on This Week In Computer Hardware!

This Week in Tech 614: $46 at the Piggly Wiggly

The WannaCry ransomware attack is far from over. Amazon introduces the Echo Show – will the touchscreen voice assistant/videophone flop? Microsoft announces their own voice assistant, the Cortana Speaker. The US plans to ban laptops on flights from Europe. Comcast and Charter agree not to compete on wireless. Russian hackers pwned by French presidential campaign

–Christina Warren needs friends in Seattle.
–Father Robert Ballecer just got back from Malta.
–Roberto Baldwin got hung up on by AT&T customer service.
–Alex Wilhelm’s name will not set off your Amazon Voice Assistant.

This Week in Tech 613: My Husband’s an iDoctor

Mark Zuckerberg drops in for dinner unannounced, talks with firemen, and feeds a calf. Is he running for President, or just trying to convince us he’s not secretly a robot? Apple has more than $250 billion in cash – what should it do with all that money? Microsoft introduces Windows 10 S, the Surface Laptop, Code Builder for Minecraft: Education edition, and more tools for schools. How much technology do schools need? Amazon’s new echo has a camera, and its next one will have a touchpad. Is ubiquitous voice computing going to lead to the end of privacy forever? The Google Docs phishing attack makes us question if users are to blame. Facebook and Twitter want to be your next TV.

–Amy Webb’s new book is The Signals are Talking
–Nick Bilton’s new book is American Kingpin
–Brianna Wu is running for Congress in Massachusetts

This Week in Tech 612: Sky Pirates of Silicon Valley

Apple slashes affiliate commissions and stops paying Qualcomm royalties. Google’s founders each have their own flying contraptions in the works. Amazon’s new Echo Look wants pictures of your clothes. Uber wants all of your data. WikiTribune wants to fight fake news. Hackers just want money from Netflix. The Juicero was just a bad, bad idea.

–Ashley Esqueda has the last three pairs of chunky hot pink LA Eyeworks glasses in existence
–Greg Ferro points out that American blimps used safe, non-explosive helium.
–Devindra Hardawar begs you not to see The Circle

Following a public outcry, Amazon will reinstate encryption on its Fire devices this spring

By | TechSpot

There are rare occasions when a consumer outcry can cause a company to reverse an unpopular decision it has made, and it seems Amazon is the latest firm to bow to public pressure. Only one day after an update removed local encryption in its Fire range of products, Amazon has decided to restore the feature.

Amazon said it removed the encryption, which it referred to as “enterprise features,” because customers weren’t using it. One of the features in question allowed owners to encrypt their device with a pin which, if entered incorrectly 30 times in a row, deleted all the data stored on it.

Fire OS 5 was originally released in the fall of last year, but the issue came to light earlier this month when Amazon released an over-the-air update for its older Fire devices to upgrade from OS 4.

The e-commerce giant’s move was particularly surprising when you consider that Amazon is one of the big tech companies filing a court brief supporting Apple in its battle with the Department of Justice. The outcome of the San Bernardino shooter iPhone case could have a profound effect on how firms implement encryption in their products, and whether they should include a backdoor to grant authorities access.

As you would expect, Amazon’s decision wasn’t well received, and the company decided that returning the encryption features would be in everyone’s best interests.

“We will return the option for full disk encryption with a Fire OS update coming this spring,” a spokesperson said. Amazon didn’t state what prompted the company to change its mind, but the amount of negative publicity it received, coupled with the attention from the Apple case, doubtlessly played a big part.

The 10 most popular TechSpot news stories of 2015

By TechSpot Staff | TechSpot

As 2015 comes to a close we’re taking a look back at the year’s most popular stories on TechSpot. Throughout the day we’ve gone compiled the most read stories narrowed down by company/topic, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, tech culture news, security and our reviews and longer-form features. To wrap up, these are the most read posts overall in any category.

We hope you enjoyed our daily dispatch of technology news and analysis as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing it to you. Here’s to an even more exciting 2016!

#10 Amazon may soon give FedEx, UPS and USPS the boot

Amazon is reportedly the entity behind a secretive air cargo operation launched this past September codenamed “Aerosmith.”

#9 Multi-monitor, ultra wide or 4K: What delivers the best gaming experience?

delivers gaming experience guest

A performance and overall gaming experience analysis using four different display setups: 16:9 (1080p or 2560×1440), multi-monitor surround, 21:9 ultra-wide, and 4K (technically 16:9, but different due to high pixel density).

#8 Panasonic’s consumer-grade exoskeleton can be yours in September

Read More

Verizon denies throttling Amazon’s cloud, Netflix

Verizon is denying a charge leveled by a security expert and seemingly acknowledged by its own customer service department that it is “limiting bandwidth” to Amazon Web Services, and by extension Netflix, in response to a recent court decision.

Just a few weeks ago a Washington D.C. appellate court struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s net neutrality rules. The judge ruled that the FCC cannot regulate how ISPs like Verizon deliver services, which could open the door to ISPs providing different connect speeds to different services. Verizon says it has not changed its connection policies since the net neutrality rules were struck down.

David Raphael, director of engineering for cloud security provider iScan, outlines in a blog post how he began noticing that his Internet connection at home was slow. It got to a point where it began impacting his streaming service from Netflix, he says. So he did a couple of tests. From his home he got a bandwidth rate of 40kbps when accessing Amazon Web Services’ Simple Storage Service (S3). When he tested it from his work, he got 5000kbps. Both his home and work use Verizon’s FiOS Internet Service.

He contacted a Verizon customer support representative to inquire about the issue. After what he says was about a half hour, he asked the representative point-blank if Verizon is now limiting bandwidth to cloud providers such as AWS. “Yes, it is limited bandwidth to cloud providers,” the online chat representative said. Raphael responded, “And this is why my Netflix quality is so bad right now?”

The Verizon representative’s response: “Yes, exactly.”

Raphael says he’s worried the net neutrality wars are upon us. “In my personal opinion, this is Verizon waging war against Netflix. Unfortunately, a lot of infrastructure is hosted on AWS. That means a lot of services are going to be impacted by this.”

Verizon denies favoritism in speeds

In response to a request for an explanation, executive director of communications for Verzion Edward McFadden replied:

“We treat all traffic equally, and that has not changed. Many factors can affect the speed a customer’s experiences for a specific site, including, that site’s servers, the way the traffic is routed over the Internet, and other considerations. We are looking into this specific matter, but the company representative was mistaken. We’re going to redouble our representative education efforts on this topic.”

Raphael’s blog post is already garnering considerable attention on social media sites. On Twitter some users are wondering if Raphael’s account is one of the first results of the net neutrality ruling. On HackerNews, a tech forum, users point out that the statement is from a Verizon customer service representative and should be taken in that context.

Following the net neutrality ruling, Verizon stated that it had no plans to make any changes to its Internet service. “Today’s decision will not change consumers’ ability to access and use the Internet as they do now,” company officials wrote in a statement posted on its website. “The court’s decision will allow more room for innovation, and consumers will have more choices to determine for themselves how they access and experience the Internet.”

Neither Amazon nor Netflix immediately responded to a request for comment.

via Verizon denies throttling Amazon’s cloud, Netflix | PCWorld.

Cable providers eager to enter internet streaming market

It appears some of the nation’s largest TV providers are feeling the heat from Netflix and other streaming services. Not only did DirecTV purchase Hulu to give it some expertise in this area, but the company is now trying to secure over-the-top (OTT) rights from programmers. The purpose of OTT is to allow subscribers to directly access movies and TV shows via the internet, instead of a conventional set-top box. The initiative to acquire these rights is not limited to DirecTV, it also includes Time Warner Cable and Charter Communications.

According to the Los Angeles Times, TV providers don’t plan on making the transition to online content anytime soon. The primary motivation is to get on equal footing with rivals Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. They effectively want to widen their potential distribution channels, in the scenario that internet streaming becomes the most popular viewing method. A DirecTV spokesperson told the LA Times, “Our programming deals are confidential so we can’t specifically comment, but our one objective in these deals is not to restrict access but to ensure we get equal or better treatment with both existing and new competitors.”

On another note, Intel is also trying to enter the broadband TV space. Although they wanted to launch the service later this year, they have failed to land any programmers to sign on. As a result, Intel is making up for its unproven reputation in the TV industry by offering extremely lucrative deals. Early reports suggest that Intel is willing to pay nearly 75 percent more than traditional cable companies for the same content.

Industry analysts have also suggested that Intel will have to land deals with five of the major six US media companies in order to provide a competitive breadth of channels. Not surprisingly, the chip-maker has tried their best to enter the market. A cable network executive explained that “they are very aggressive”, while a secondary source believes that once one programmer signs on, the rest should fall like dominos.

via Cable providers eager to enter internet streaming market – TechSpot.