It’s holiday season. There just isn’t much technology-related news. Below are the ones that I manage to which are interesting and are related to topics I care about.
Apple apologizes for not telling customers iPhones with older batteries would slow over time – Apple has today posted a letter on its website and a technical article in its Knowledge Base apologizing for not being more transparent about how it handles performance on iPhones with older batteries. Last week, Apple issued a statement that made it clear that changes it made a year ago were indeed slowing down the maximum performance of iPhones with older batteries. Techcrunch
Still living under the tyranny of the password in 2017 – When I lost access to my Google account recently, it left a gaping hole in my digital life and showed me just how tenuous the link to our online world can be. One thing I learned from the story I wrote last week about my experience was that I was far from alone. I got more than a dozen emails and tweets from folks who had been similarly locked out of Google, Facebook or Amazon Prime, and couldn’t figure out how to find their way back. Techcrunch
China begins regulating QR code payments – In an attempt to cut down on fraud, China’s central bank has announced plans to begin regulating payments by QR codes, barcodes, and other scannable codes. The regulations will initially cap payments by traditional QR codes to 500 yuan, or about $76 USD. When additional security measures are applied, the cap can raise to 5,000 yuan, or around $765 USD. At an even higher security level, banks and payment processors are given discretion over the cap. The Verge
Apple to release source code for Lisa operating system in 2018 – The source code for Apple’s ill-fated Lisa operating system and some of its key applications will be released to the general public in 2018. Techspot
Hackers are spreading cryptocurrency mining malware through Facebook Messenger – Either by choice or through hacks, drive-by cryptomining is becoming popular. The increasing price of cryptocurrencies has seen more websites surreptitiously mine Monero using visitors’ CPUs. But a newly discovered mining malware is even more malicious, and it’s being spread through Facebook Messenger. Techspot
AWS showed no signs of slowing down in 2017 – AWS had a successful year by any measure. The company continued to behave like a startup with the kind of energy and momentum to invest in new areas not usually seen in an incumbent with a significant marketshare lead. Techcrunch
MICROSOFT SURFACE BOOK 2 REVIEW: BEAUTY AND BRAWN, BUT WITH LIMITS – I always wanted Microsoft to build a laptop, and it finally went ahead and built one without any tricks earlier this year. The Surface Laptop has no gimmicks, no kickstand, and no detachable screen. It’s simply the best laptop you can buy right now. The Verge
Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot is a parkour master – Parkour! That’s what we should all be devoting our combined robotics expertise towards. There’s no nobler human pursuit, so of course we should create a robot that can master the so-called ‘sport of kings.’ And yes, that is the true sport of kings. Techcrunch
Amazon’s creepy home delivery service security can be circumvented, claim researchers – The service model offered by Amazon Key, which gives the company’s delivery corps access to customers’ homes via smart lock, sounds kind of sketchy under the best circumstances. Amazon, however, assured potential customers there’d be nothing to worry about with Key — the system offers 24/7 monitoring via the Alexa-enabled Cloud Cam to monitor deliveries. Mashable
OnePlus 5T flagship starts at $499, launches November 21 – Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus unveiled its latest flagship, the OnePlus 5T, at a media event today in Brooklyn. OnePlus’ latest, a “T” release similar to Apple’s “S” phones, is kind of like a mid-cycle release. Techspot
Apple releases iOS 11.1.2 to fix iPhone X cold weather issue – Apple has made iOS 11.1.2 available, the second minor point release it’s put out in as many weeks. This one is specifically designed to address a bug where the iPhone X could become temporarily unresponsive to touch input when moving from warm weather to dramatically colder temperatures – like venturing outside in winter in Canada, for instance. Techcrunch
Student Clusterers Demolish HPCG Record! Nanyang Sweeps Benchmarks – Nanyang pulled off the always difficult double-play at this year’s SC Student Cluster Competition. The plucky team from Singapore posted a world record LINPACK, thus taking the Highest LINPACK Award, but also managed to notch the highest HPCG score as well. This is quite an achievement. HPCWire
DJI launches an Apple-exclusive Mavic Pro – DJI launched the limited edition Mavic Pro Alpine White today, an all-white version of the Mavic Pro with a color-coordinated remote control and propellers to match. The drone is available at Apple.com and Apple Stores in most countries. The Verge
Even new phones are no longer guaranteed to have the latest version of Android – The OnePlus 5T and Razer Phone are two fundamentally different devices, which are nonetheless united by one unfortunate downside: both of them are going on sale this month without the latest version of Android on board. OnePlus will tell you that this issue is down to its extremely stringent testing process, while Razer offers a similar boilerplate about working as fast as possible to deliver Android Oreo. But we’re now three months removed from Google’s grand Oreo launch, timed to coincide with this summer’s total eclipse, and all of these excuses are starting to ring hollow. Why do Android companies think they can ship new devices without the latest and best version of the operating system on board? The Verge
China now has more supercomputers on the world’s top 500 list than the U.S. – China has reached a supercomputing milestone. The country now has more machines on a list of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers than the U.S. Mashable
Trump administration to release rules on disclosing cyber flaws -The Trump administration is expected to publicly release on Wednesday its rules for deciding whether to disclose cyber security flaws or keep them secret, a national security official told Reuters. Channel NewsAsia
Apple’s latest macOS update dropped a ton of new emoji – Hundreds of new emoji are finally starting to make their way into the world. Apple dropped the latest public beta of macOS High Sierra and the update comes with hundreds of new emoji, including animals, dinosaurs, and a bunch of smileys. Mashable
WhatsApp finally lets you recall messages you’ve sent by mistake – WhatsApp has finally got your back when you send a message to the wrong person or group. The Facebook-owned messaging app is rolling a feature that will finally let its 1 billion-plus users delete a message for all people within a conversation. Techcrunch
Apple debuts its first MacBook sleeve – Apple has been making gadgets for decades. And as one of the world’s favorite consumer electronics makers, the company has also made plenty of cases and sleeves to protect those gadgets, most notably for the iPhone and iPad. But Apple has never made its own laptop/MacBook sleeve, until today. Techcrunch
Google addresses Pixel 2 XL display issues with software update and 2-year warranty – The Pixel 2 XL has been hitting the headlines recently, but not for the reasons Google would have wanted. Some users were already complaining about the display’s muted colors, blue tint, and grainy textures, and last week brought reports of what appeared to be screen burn-in. After promising to investigate the issues, Google has now announced its findings. Techspot
Microsoft may be working on a foldable PC similar to its canceled Courier project – Microsoft might be revisiting Courier, the dual-screen tablet concept from 2009 that never made it into production. The product was a seven-inch, dual-screen portable PC that folded up like a book. The interface was to involve a combination of finger-swiping gestures and a stylus for writing notes or entering URLs into the browser. Techspot
Microsoft has officially halted production of the Kinect – The writing was on the wall for Microsoft’s flagship motion control device and now, it’s finally official: the company has ceased all production of the Kinect. Techspot
Blockchain expected to become top digital business trend and disrupter in 2018 – Blockchain technology is set to become the top digital business trend and disrupter in 2018, IT solutions and services firm Dimension Data has said in its latest report. Business Insider
Amazon Web Services Beats Cloud Rivals with First Volta Instances – Driven by a surging demand for HPC and AI compute power, the delay between the introduction of high-end GPUs and adoption by cloud vendors is shrinking. With the Nvidia V100 launch ink still drying and other big cloud vendors still working on Pascal generation rollouts, Amazon Web Services has become the first cloud giant to offer the Tesla Volta GPUs, beating out competitors Google and Microsoft. HPCWire
Apple calls Face ID quality change report ‘completely false’ – Apple is calling into contention an earlier report from Bloomberg that claimed the company had lowered the accuracy of the face recognition in order to increase iPhone X production yields, calling the report “completely false” in a statement to The Verge. The Verge
New BadRabbit ransomware spreads through Eastern Europe – A new ransomware attack named BadRabbit is spreading through Russia, Ukraine, and other Eastern European countries. Targeting corporate networks, computer systems for the Kiev Metro, Ukraine’s Odessa International Airport, several Russian media outlets, and others have been affected, with systems encrypted and computers displaying a ransom message. The Verge
Microsoft’s Windows 10 breaches privacy law, says Dutch DPA – The Dutch data protection authority has concluded that Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system breaches local privacy law on account of its collection of telemetry metadata. The OS has been available since the end of July 2015. Techcrunch
Amazon finally makes a waterproof Kindle, after 10 years of Kindles – Amazon has been selling Kindles for 10 years now, but “waterproof” hasn’t appear on its list of incremental technological advancements until now. The company just announced a new version of its popular e-reader that builds on last year’s Kindle design and now has an IPX8 waterproof rating. The Verge
Hyatt breach exposed customer payment data at 41 hotels – Hyatt announced today that its payment systems were breached, exposing credit card data from 41 hotels in 11 countries. The hack was discovered in July and the investigation only just recently concluded. Techcrunch
AWS and Microsoft double down on deep learning with Gluon, a simplified ML model builder – AWS and Microsoft may be arch rivals when it comes to competing for business in cloud storage and services, but when it comes to breaking ground in newer areas where volumes of data make a difference to how well the services work and creating systems that are easier to use, collaboration is key. Today, the two companies announced a new deep learning interface called Gluon, designed for developers of all abilities (not just AI specialists) to build and run machine learning models for their apps and other services. Techcrunch
Fake Adobe Flash malware locks your Android phone’s data unless you pay up – Consider this yet another PSA on why you should never ever download Adobe Flash Player, or anything resembling it if you’re using an Android phone. Security researchers at ESET have discovered a new kind of ransomware infecting Android phones on a level nobody’s ever seen before. Called DoubleLocker, the exploit encrypts the data on the infected device and then changes its PIN number so victims are locked out of their device unless they pay the ransom demanded by hackers. Mashable
Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner – On Tuesday (Oct. 10), Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. HPCWire
Fujitsu Tapped to Build 37-Petaflops ABCI System for AIST – Fujitsu announced today it will build the long-planned AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) which is set to become the fastest supercomputer system in Japan and will begin operation in fiscal 2018 (starts in April). ABCI will use Intel’s Xeon Gold processors and Nvidia V100 GPUs and deliver 550 petaflops theoretical peak performance in half-precision floating point and 37 petaflops of double-precision peak floating point performance. The award is from Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). HPCWire
Qualcomm fires another shot at Apple with a new lawsuit in China – Qualcomm has filed a lawsuit against Apple in its continuing legal battle over patents, this time looking to block the manufacturing and sale of iPhones in China, according to a report by Bloomberg this morning. Techcrunch
WD shows off market-ready MAMR tech for monster hard drives – Western Digital showed off a a prototype hard drive with a potentially revolutionary new energy-assisted magnetic recording technology called microwave-assist magnetic recording (MAMR). The company says the new tech could potentially be ready for market by the end of 2019, and it could allow the manufacture of 40 TB hard drives by 2025. For context, WD is now currently offering 14 TB drives to datacenter customers and 12 TB drives are just entering the general market. The company performed the reveal at its “Innovating to Fuel the Next Decade of Big Data” event at its headquarters in Silicon Valley yesterday. Techreport
Chaos and hackers stalk investors on cryptocurrency exchanges – LONDON, SHANGHAI, NEW YORK: Dan Wasyluk discovered the hard way that trading cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin happens in an online Wild West where sheriffs are largely absent. Channel Newsasia
Apple would like to remind the FCC that it can’t activate imaginary FM radios that iPhones don’t have – Apple responded today to FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who issued a statement that “urged” Apple to activate the FM chips that he claimed are in iPhones in the name of public safety. Techcrunch
Amazon still has no idea why Google pulled Youtube from the Echo Show – Even as Amazon unveiled a whole new collection of Echo devices, it was still smarting from one major partner’s decision to block video content from its big-screen Echo Show. Mashable
Apple could bring the iPhone X’s best feature to future models — without the OLED screen – Apple’s newest iPhones force customers to make a difficult choice: Should they upgrade immediately to the iPhone 8, or spend $1,000 and wait for the iPhone X and leave bezels behind with its glorious edge-to-edge OLED display? Mashable
NASA delays launch of the world’s most powerful space telescope, again – NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has experienced another delay. The Verge
US Exascale Program – Some Additional Clarity – The last time we left the Department of Energy’s exascale computing program in July, things were looking very positive. HPCWire
BlackBerry, yes BlackBerry, is making a comeback as a software company – When you think about dead companies walking, BlackBerry was clearly one that came to mind, but under the leadership of CEO John Chen, the company is actually making a comeback as a software company focused on security, and it’s latest quarterly earnings report suggests the pivot is working splendidly. Techcrunch
Oracle’s board will unanimously reject a shareholder request for a gender pay gap audit – Et tu, Safra? When Oracle meets for its annual shareholder meeting on November 15, the board of directors will vote to reject a shareholder proposal requesting that the company do a payroll audit to check for a gender pay gap. Business Insider
Nvidia boss: Moore’s Law is dead, GPUs will soon replace CPUs – Nvidia boss Jensen Huang has become the latest expert to declare that Moore’s Law is dead. Speaking at the GPU Technology conference in Beijing, China, the CEO also said that advancements in graphics processors mean GPUs will soon replace CPUs, DigiTimes reports. Techspot
GovTech signs deal with Tableau to equip public officers with visual analytics skills – SINGAPORE: At least 1,500 public officers in Singapore will be equipped with skills in visual analytics over the next three years, after the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech) signed a memorandum of intent with Tableau Software on Friday (Sep 29). Channel Newsasia
The list grows: Whole Foods hit by hackers – Whole Foods Market — which was recently acquired by tech giant Amazon (AMZN, Tech30) — said Thursday that hackers were able to gain access to credit card information for customers who made purchases at some of its in-store taprooms and restaurants. CNN
I woke up especially early today at around 0645hrs. Went to the washroom and then I went back to my bed attempting to sleep. But I just couldn’t sleep. So instead I just laid there thinking about stuff before getting up at around 0709hrs. Took a pill for my gastritis and then brushed my teeth.
Used my iPad Pro for a bit to browse the web and look through my Facebook news feed before having my breakfast at around 0740hrs.
Watch some YouTube video on my iPad pro while eating. After I’m done, I went for a quick shower and got ready to go to my client’s office.
Got a cold brew and a Turkey Ham with Egg and Cheddar Sandwich from Subway after I arrived at Raffles Place at around 0940hrs.
I started doing some work at around 1030hrs. While writing codes, I was messing around with the virtual machine running on my MacBook pro. I was attempting to figure out why the MSSQL database connection was slow and Windows itself was sluggish. So I was powering on and off the virtual machine. On the third attempt, my MacBook Pro suffered from a kernel panic. I mean, the Windows VM was loading up after I logged in and I was concurrently browsing the web.
I of course went and remove the kext, “tl.uds.netusb controller”, because it was an unnecessary kernel extension. It was the TP-Link USB controller software for the printer my previous company was using. Since I already left, this dump reminded me that I don’t need the controller anymore.
After that, I restarted my MacBook Pro one more time after the system started up again. Luckily I saved my work already and so I could continue from where I left off.
I tried the VM one more time and it was still fine. So after I’m done testing one of the feature that I was implementing, I powered off the VM and focus on another feature that don’t need the VM just yet.
Now, I personally hate virtual machines and is looking for alternatives. I’m thinking about buying an Intel NUC just to host Windows-specific stuff (E.g. Microsoft SQL Server). It is so that I can have a portable server and not worrying about internet connectivity or data breaches (the database contains sensitive client information), while I do my main work on the MacBook Pro (no, I’m not going back to Windows). If I need to any stuff like testing out SQL scripts, I could just do a remote desktop into the NUC.
I don’t think it make sense for me to spend maybe SGS$3000 or more to get a Surface Pro with decent specification or maybe < SG$1500 for a budget laptop. Weight and price are both concerns of mine. If anyone got any other better suggestions do let me know in the comments.
Decided to call it a day at around 1700hrs to avoid the evening crowd. Went home, played a few rounds of Plague Inc., reached home and unpack my Mac again.
I opened up my Apple Mail and went through all the emails from all my email accounts. I got a shock when I saw that I to pay Amazon for usage of the AWS. At first, I thought I had shutdown all the instances that I used. It turns out that I forgot to shutdown the RDS instance and my S3 bucket was still active. I made payment and quickly terminate and delete the RDS instance and S3 bucket. I am contemplating if I should shut down the account since I don’t think I will be using it personally.
After that, I went for a shower and started watching Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 4. Now this is the episode to die for.
I’m not gonna even try to warn anyone about spoilers since this is the internet age. Everything is out there already.
To sum the whole episode up: the Lannisters got severely roasted by the dragon and swarmed by the Dorathki warriors. Jamie’s fate is unknown. Bran Stark is too calm while Arya Stark is a seriously good fighter. Littlefinger is still being the resident creeper.
Earlier today, I actually wanted to watch Atomic Blonde but the friends that I asked either didn’t want to watch or not free. Since it is ridiculously rated R21 in Singapore, I have to watch it in the cinemas since I don’t think I will be able to get it from iTunes. If it really comes down to it, I will watch it by myself. Just hope there are still shows this week.
Personally, I never quite like the idea of censorship or ratings. I mean, the world itself is not that friendly or nice. There are so many things going on. The act of censorship or ratings is like trying to shield people from realities of the world or preventing people from seeing new ideas.
I guess my stance on censorship comes from the fact that I am mostly immune to violent imageries, and I can deal with mature content or thought provoking stuff. I’m not even grossed out by gore or blood in films. I can tell what is fake or propaganda, and what is real.
But I can’t say the same for the other 16, 17 or 18 year-old Singaporeans. I mean even some 21-year-olds still have the mindset of a 16-year-olds. So I shall just say my piece and let it go. Beside I’m already old enough that not really restricted by these ratings unless the content is banned or blocked by the government.
I think I better stop here as I will probably go on and on about some other stuff. I will share more of my thoughts about some other stuff in separate entries or another journal.