Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for August 13, 2013:
- Elon Musk revealed the details of his Hyperloop transport system and the Internet went wild! In short, Musk proposes building two steel tubes mostly along Interstate 5 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. 28 passengers would board an aluminum capsule every 30 seconds to 2 minutes to be whipped at a top speed of 768 miles per hour in a low-pressure environment. Hyperloop would cost an estimated $6 billion. Musk has open-sourced the idea and requests ideas and improvements be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Read more at businessweek.com.
- the U.S Secret Service has released the first 104 pages of agency documents about the late coder and activist Aaron Swartz, including a brief report on Swartz’s suicide less than three months before his scheduled trial. In January 2011, Swartz was caught using MIT’s public network to bulk-download 4 million academic articles. MIT had a subscription to the archive that made it free to use from MIT’s campus. The Secret Service was brought into the case early on, and federal prosecutors ultimately charged Swartz with wire fraud and computer hacking. Read more at wired.com.
- According to Windows Weekly's own Mary Jo Foley, Windows 8.1 will be available to the general public in mid-October even though the OS update is on target to go RTM at the end of this month. PC makers will receive a version of 8.1 soon so they can test out the update with new hardware also slated for October. Windows 8.1 has been widely considered a response to all the criticisms Windows 8 faced with a number of new features like a Start flag on the desktop. Read more at zdnet.com.
- Microsoft's getting soft in its old age. Previously the Xbox One wwas not supposed to be able to operate without the Kinect on. Now Xbox One platform architect Marc Whitten says the Xbox One will run perfectly fine even if the Kinect isn't connected to it. Whitten also confirmed that you can turn the Kinect completely off even when it is connected and it will not collect any information. Read more at pcmag.com.
- Norwegian officials say they won't let Apple take aerial photographs of Oslo to create 3D images for its Maps app. Anyone wishing to fly over the capital to take pictures requires a licence from the authorities. Other map brands have used flat satellite images for their services. Nokia also has 3D-images of Oslo's buildings in its Here product but only for parts of the city. News of the denial was first reported by the local newspaper Aftenposten. It said officials were worried about the public having access to detailed views of government buildings. Read more at bbc.co.uk.
- Facebook just picked up speech-recognition developer Mobile Technologies. Tom Stocky, product-management director at Facebook, said this "is an investment in our long-term product roadmap..." In the past, Mobile Technologies built an app that allowed for speech-to-speech translation as well as providing automatic interpretation services for lectures. Read more at bloomberg.com.
- Tibet.net, the Chinese-language website of the Tibetan government-in-exile, has been compromised, according to security company Kaspersky Lab. The malicious software could be used to spy on visitors. Kaspersky reports the site has been under attack since 2011 but previous breaches have been quietly fixed without attracting attention. Read more at bbc.co.uk.
- Samsung's 55-inch Curved OLED set is nine thousand dollars, but that's quite a bit less than the $15,000 quoted last month. the Samsung KN55S9C was designed with a curved profile in order to "envelope" viewers -- your viewing experience more immersive. The OLED set includes the company's Multi-View feature, which lets two people watch different programming at the same time when using compatible active 3D glasses, and it's compatible with the Evolution Kit Samsung introduced at CES. The 55-inch KN55S9C is on its way to select retailers. Read more at engadget.com.
- One sign that Google is the new Apple is that we here at Tech news Today now get "you cover too much Google" complaints instead of "you cover too much Apple" complaints. Another sign is that Google's new products lead to a spate of complaints about bugs. The new Nexus 7 apparently has problems with GPS and multitouch. Chatter about phantom inputs and screen freak outs have become common on the XDA Developers and Google Product forums according to Engadget. Google says "The Android team is aware of this issue and investigating." Read more at engadget.com.
- There's a new class action lawsuit against Microsoft that claims MS "issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company's financial performance and its tablet computer, the Surface RT." Microsoft recently took a $900 million charge for the Surface RT, parts and accessories on its last quarterly statement. If you want to join the class action, you'll have to be a Microsoft stock holder between the period of April 18, 2013 and July 18, 2013. Read more at cnet.com.
For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for August 13, 2013.