Tech Tuesday – Zuck’s New AI, Samsung Flip Phone, Voter Hacking
Tetra Ninja Fandom! Welcome to another Tech Tuesday. Tech news and updates bundled up here for you, without the Day 1 DLC.
This week’s tech news includes the following:
1. Zuckerburg Announces AI Debut
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg has been working on an artificial intelligence project as part of his annual “personal challenge,” and is now ready to demo it in September.
According to Zuckerburg, the AI can control most of his house, as well as “some pretty fun things” (whatever that means). He even joked that the AI only responds to his own voice, ignoring his wife.
We don’t know much about it yet, but we’ll learn whether or not Zuckerburg will alter the AI landscape sometime this September.
2. Forced Updating Comes to Windows 7/8.1
One of the (many) reasons some users preferred to stick to older versions of Windows instead of upgrading to Windows 10 was that older versions did not force updates on users. In Windows 7 and 8.1, users could pick and choose which updates they installed, when to install them, or choose not to install them at all. …Or at least they could.
According to a Microsoft TechNet Blog post, Microsoft will be forcing “Monthly Rollup” update bundles on users of Windows 7 and 8.1 soon.
“Each month’s rollup will supersede the previous month’s rollup, so there will always be only one update required for your Windows PCs to get current. i.e. a Monthly Rollup in October 2016 will include all updates for October, while November 2016 will include October and November updates, and so on.”
While this is worded in such a way to sound like a good thing – only 1 update per month required – the downside is that now users will have no choice with which updates they install. Either choose all of the updates Microsoft provides, or leave your system totally vulnerable. Ouch.
3. Hackers Target Voter Registration
According to a bulletin obtained by Yahoo News, the FBI is investigating digital attacks on voter registration systems in Arizona and Illinois this past July. The Illinois registration was down for 10 days and the information of as many as 200,000 registered voters was stolen. The attack in Arizona introduced malware to the system but did not steal any data.
The bulletin did not attribute to the attack to any specific group, but did claim it was a foreign attack, and Yahoo News traced evidence to Russia.
While all reports seem certain that election results themselves could not be altered by these means, it’s still scary to see the system be so vulnerable, and irregularities and mishaps with the system hurt everyone.
4. Samsung Flip Phone Leaks & Rumors
SamMobile claims to have detailed information about Samsung’s latest Android flip phone – the Samsung Galaxy Folder 2.
According to SamMobile, the phone will be limited to China and retail for $250. The phone will have a 3.8-inch screen, a Qualcomm processor, and 2GB of RAM. Not the most high-specced phone, but for an Android flip phone, it works!
The phone will also have a 5MP front-facing camera, a 8MP rear-facing camera, a 2,000 mAh battery and run Android Marshmallow.
I’m sure there’s plenty of us in the US that could appreciate an early-2000s throwback with this phone.
5. HacBook Elite – OS X Hackintosh Laptop
While skimming my Facebook feed today, I came across a post for this in one of the Hackintosh enthusiast Facebook Groups that I am in. This is the “Hacbook Elite” – a campaign to sell a high-powered HP laptop that can run Apple’s OS X for just $329.
Just not officially.
Apple is very restrictive about their software and only supports it running on their official Mac hardware. However, there is an avid community around the concept of a “Hackintosh” – building a custom PC with OS X-compatible hardware and running a modded version of the OS X operating system on it.
The problem with making a Hackintosh is that you have to be super careful about what hardware you buy – as there aren’t Mac-compatible drivers laying around like with Windows. Not all hardware will work, and some hardware takes a lot more configuration than others. Some users can just boot an ISO and install OS X instantly, whereas some may never get it working.
It appears that the group behind the HacBook Elite aims to solve that problem by selling refurbished HP EliteBooks specifically configured to run OS X. They’re presumably getting around the legal issues here by not actually shipping the laptops with OS X on them – users still have to install the OS themselves.
I’ve reached out to them about reviewing their HacBook. We’ll see if they reply.
What do you think about this week’s tech news? Would you use a flip phone in 2016? Comment below!
~ Adam // EposVox