I'm More Than Just a Programmer. Way More.

Windows 10 Takes A Jab At Linux With Package Manager

Linux is well known for its extreme ability to give the owner–the super user–as much control as they care to take. This includes processes such as command line interfaces for performing in-depth installations. Windows is reaching into that style, which may bring a few Linux users to the Microsoft side.

Package management is a big part of Linux–notably in Ubunto and Debian distributions–where you can complete an entire set of installation processes with a single string of text.

If you’re not a Linux user, you may not appreciate the difference. In Windows, the answer is to click on a program and hit next a few times. With many prompts, specific installation paths and other options taken care of for you, there is a lot of time-wasting excess.

Windows 10 introduces its package maker: the OneGet project. You can open the Windows 10 command prompt look-a-like called PowerShell, call up OneGet and install many programs with simple lines of text.

It may look simple at the beginning, but you need to know the commands beforehand. The benefits of the older Windows style was that you had a visual representation instead of the need to memorize every single word. I talked with Christian Broda and we’ll probably just stick with Windows 9 for now.

At least there’s choice. With Windows 10, there may be quite a following as more control is given to the user.

DEA Steals Facebook Account

Identity is a very real threat on Facebook. If a user is not careful with their personal information, their account might be hijacked for any number of reasons, from scraping personal information, to using the account to spam advertisements. Seems like Facebook has the same problems as Apple iCloud with that celebrity nude scandal, hopefully Laurene Powell Jobs has better luck than Mark Zuckerberg.

What if, however, the third was actually the government? For many people like Sandra Arquette, this became a disturbing reality.

After she was arrested on drug charges, Arquette struck a plea deal with the DEA, confessing her guilt. As a part of this deal, she consented to the use of her cell phone in an ongoing investigation.

That in and of itself is not unusual, and in fact a major part of federal investigations. What the government did with her information, however, tests the murky waters of legality.

After the DEA seized her cell phone, they proceeded to seize control of her Facebook account. Under the DEA control, they posted on her wall, including a number of private photos that they had found.

With this information, they were attempting to glean whatever information they could regarding the drug dealers that she had been communicating with, and any other individuals who might have been associating with on another level.

Their investigation, however, did not turn up any promising results. As for any future ventures into Facebook, the DEA wouldn’t really say.

Arquette is now suing the DEA, claiming that they had invaded her privacy, and breached the terms of the plea agreement. The DEA, in turn, states that she has consented to this sort of activity when she signed the plea deal.

The DEA has, so far, refused to comment on the ongoing investigation.

New Maglev Bullet Train Construction Approved by Japan

Japan has once again impressed the world by finally approving the construction of a new maglev bullet train. Currently, the Shinkanen bullet train can reach up to 300 mph with the mag-lev technology that it was built with, but this new train will be capable of moving even faster.

On average, a trip from Tokyo to Nagoya on the Shinkanen bullet train takes around an hour and twenty minutes to complete. However, once the new maglev bullet train is built, the same trip, which is around 178 miles, investor and board member Igor Cornelsen says it will only take around forty minutes.

The maglev technology that will be used on this new bullet train has already been tested within cities like Tokyo, but these test lines are only a short distance within certain cities. The 43 kilometer test track for this new train is expected to open in November 2014, and the Japanese people have proven to be extremely enthusiastic about the upcoming new train.

Central Japan Railway is the benefactor of this new train, and it is their plan to pay for the construction of this bullet train with funds that are generated by the bullet train systems that are already working throughout Japan.

Upcoming Rechargable Battery Lasts Up To 20 Years

Work has begun on a prototype for a fast charging and long lasting battery that could replace existing lithium ion batteries and revolutionize electric car technology, as reported by Clean Technica. With a design developed by Chen Xiaodong of Nanyang Technology University, this proposed battery relies on nanotube technology to improve on the existing rechargeable battery design.

The best rechargeable batteries on the market today last two or three years, about 500 charge cycles. Scientists expect this new battery design to last for over 20 years and be rechargeable for 10,000 charge cycles. Not only does this battery survive for longer, but it also charges within minutes.

With work on the prototype in its early stages, reports suggest that the battery will be ready to market to consumers via FreedomPop phones as early as 2016. This technology has the potential to dramatically increase the range and popularity of electric cars as a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

Evolution Of Wireless Charging Technology

Most consumers in today’s high tech world find it inconvenient to plug in their mobile devices into electrical wall outlets and wait several hours for a full recharge of the battery. A company such as uBeam is changing the way that people charge their smartphones and tablets. This true pioneer has developed a prototype for wireless charging technology that uses ultrasound.

The concept behind uBeam’s charging solution is quite simple as it involves the conversion between electrical current and sound waves. A mobile phone equipped with a compatible receiver can be held several feet away from the sound transmitter. Such technology is much more convenient than existing charging pads and mats, which don’t truly allow for the use of mobile devices while they’re being charged. Devices have to be in physical contact with the pads in order for batteries to receive a steady flow of current.

According to both Cnet and industry analyst Jared Haftel, inductive and wireless charging technology is still in its early stages of development. However, companies such as uBeam hope to revolutionize this technology by making it possible for smartphones to get charged while being dozens of feet away from a source that sends ultrasound pulses which ultimately get converted into electricity. Perhaps the future of wireless charging will one day reach the convenience of long range WiFi signals that allow for seamless connection to the internet from any smart device.

Apple Planning Oct. 16 iPad Event

Even without Steve Jobs, Apple keeps moving along. So what’s the latest from the Apple pipeline? They’re planning a big event on the 16th of October where they’ll be revealing their latest updates for the iPad and even their latest OS X for the iMac. CNN reports that this particular event won’t be quite as splashy as the one they did last month for the iPhone 6.

Also according to CNN, sales for the iPad are down about 8% from last year even though it still makes up about 16% of the company’s sales.

So what does this all mean?

Well, it’s of the opinion of this writer that Apple is doing a little PR right now in an attempt to boost iPad sales. But one has to wonder why the drop in sales in the first place.

There are actually three reasons for this.

1) Smartphones are getting bigger. For example, the Galaxy S5 now has a 5.1 inch screen. With mobile phones starting to approach the size of the iPad, naturally the competition is going to eat into sales.

2) iPads last a long time. There just is no real reason to go out and replace the one that you have, whereas with Smartphones, there is always a good reason. They just change so much quicker.

3) Businesses are simply not buying iPads. PCs are still the technology of choice.

Put it all together and it’s obvious that this October 16 event is nothing more than a last ditch effort to save what could very well be a dying product.

Only time will tell.

Amazing Adobe Apps on the Way for Your Phone and Tablet

Adobe makes some of the coolest apps for artists, but some of the new additions that are going to be hitting your phone soon are pretty awesome. One of the standouts for me include Premier Clip, which is basically like having an entire editing studio in the palm of your hand.

Through the software, you’re able to actually take video, and edit clips on the fly with a variety of common pro features.

Along the same lines is Adobe Shape CC, which allows you to quickly take a picture and then create amazing vector images utilizing the photo that you’ve taken. Including photos of logos, or anything that you’ve just handwritten too.

But there’s also the Adobe Creative Cloud SDK that’s coming to phones too. Allowing for full cloud support and a whole host of other great apps and software that can be pivotal for artists on the fly.

Definitely something Laurene Powell Jobs and I can’t wait to play around with on our phones. Now that I have an iPhone 6 Plus I’m excited to see really what the phone is capable of. I just need a stylus to properly make use of some of my apps.

I just don’t get the intricate details I need when I’m using Adobe drawing apps, and trying to use my thumb or forefinger.


Hewlett Packard is Splitting Into Two Separate Companies

In somewhat surprising news, Hewlett Packard is going to split into two different entities. The move is set to split up the best performing half of the company, which focuses on computer and printer hardware production, with the less successful corporate hardware and services operations.

So far, Marnie Bennett tells me that the move has paid off, and shareholders have already invested in the new idea, with HP’s stock rising 5%. I typically trust her business insight, so maybe this will be a better move for the future.

According to reports, shareholders in HP will be gifted stock from both companies after the split. Which could mean a massive profit opportunity. However, now HP will be competing against the rest of the market, and itself as well.

Directly competing with your own products and services is not always the best business strategy.

The Taliban’s Twitter Mishap

Once you post something to the internet, it’s out there for the world to see. Just ask Terry Richardson. This is no different if you are the social media PR person for a terrorist organization. On Friday, October 3rd a spokesman for the Taliban who operates their Twitter page, Zabihullah Mujahid, sent out a tweet claiming responsibility for an attack.

Unfortunately Mujahid made the mistake of sending out that tweet with geolocation data. Location data is a feature included in Twitter that let’s your friends know where you are when you are sending out tweets. This isn’t particularly useful if you are trying to keep your location secret though. The Taliban tweet indicated that Mujahid was in Sindh, Pakistan.

The next day Mujahid sent out a new tweet claiming that the location leak was an “enemy plot” and that he was not in Pakistan. He offered a Afgahn telephone number and stated “with full confidence” that he was in his own country and not in Pakistan. Many critics of geolocation data can do away with privacy and reveal where your home is. Hopefully this Taliban spokesperson learns his lesson and doesn’t give up his location again. Or maybe he should.

German Scandal Leads To Need For Improved Internet Security

The German Secret Services provided Internet search data to the American National Security Agency between the years of 2004 and 2008. The invasion of privacy is an astounding example of misconduct concerning both country’s branches of government, and provides further proof for the necessity of a virtual private network.

While the breach of misconduct may have happened six years ago, the bitter possibility of additional infringements into our privacy still lingers as a hovering threat. It is unclear if similar monitoring continues by another branch of the German government, although this particular scandal appears to be at an end. The investigation of the NSA has also made it clear that the Internet is not divided into separate countries. Rather, the information from all users is up for auction.

Sadly, only a few resources exist that offer security protection. The best option available is a virtual private network, which allows a user to anonymously search the Internet by connecting to a host. All traffic from the user will appear as though it comes from the host, as opposed to the user. The security provided by a virtual private network is unparalleled, although users will need to do careful research into which company they will subscribe to.

We can no longer trust governments to police themselves, so alternate methods of protection must be used to protect our rights. Maintaining Internet security should be a priority for most users who deal with sensitive information. The German Secret Service’s actions may have been against the law, but that knowledge does not undo a security breach that affects millions of people.