Tech News Today for May 23, 2017
Tech News for Tuesday May 23, 2017
Microsoft’s education event in Shanghai is underway and, as expected, a new Surface Pro was unveiled that does away with its numbering scheme altogether. Configurations begin with Core m3 and Core i5 models up to Intel’s seventh generation Kaby Lake processor in higher end units. Microsoft says the new lineup is capable of 13.5 hours of battery life, includes a new hinge design that allows the display to lay nearly flat without snapping, and includes support for the Surface Dial. One thing you won’t find in the box is the Surface Pen, now that it’s an option on every model and no longer included with purchase. Read more at theverge.com.
In other Microsoft news, the company is making inroads with the Chinese government by creating a version of Windows 10 that's just for them. The company announced the special build in Shanghai today, but we don't know many specific details. It's called the "Windows 10 China Government Edition" and comes after more than a year of collaboration with local trader China Electronics Technology Group Corp (CETC) and is based on Windows 10 Enterprise Edition. Windows head Terry Meyerson says it includes Enterprise level security, identity, deployment, and manageability features and different encryption algorithms within its computer system. There might be additional components that we can only guess at, but according to Bloomberg, the data that the Microsoft OS extracts will stay in China and not be delivered back to Microsoft. Read more at blogs.windows.com.
The Chaos Computer Club is demonstrating how it's not impossible to fool a Samsung Galaxy S8 secured by Iris scanning technology to gain access to the device. Their video shows how someone can snap a digital picture of a person’s face from up to 15 feet away using the night mode setting, print that photo out on normal paper, drop a wet contact lens onto the eye ball, and instantly bypass the security measure. Samsung has said that Iris Protection is nearly on par with the strength of fingerprint security, but even that is capable of being bypassed, and no security measure is completely fool proof. Read more at gizmodo.com.
According to Bloomberg's sources, there's an internal email list tracking harrassment and bias complaints at Google. The list, called "Yes, at Google" is meant to point out that racial bias and sexual harrassment happens, even at Google. Pro tip: It happens everywhere. People familiar with the matter at Google chose to tell Bloomberg about the list anonymously, but management says they are aware and supportive of any means people have to help create a more inclusive workplace. Harassment is a pretty pervasive problem, but unlike Uber it does not appear that Google has a broken culture. Read more at bloomberg.com.
It’s Go time once again, as Google’s AlphaGo AI played against and defeated the world’s top Go player, Ke Jie, in game one of three. This time around, AlphaGo won by the closest margin possible, one half point, demonstrating how the AI is less concerned about its margin of victory and more concerned with simply making winning moves. Ke Jie said after the match "Last year, it was still quite humanlike when it played. But this year, it became like a god of Go," illustrating how far the artificial intelligence driving AlphaGo has come in a year's time. Read more at nytimes.com" target="_blank">Read more at nytimes.com.
Huawei's new Matebook looks like a MacBook Air, but will only cost you a cool $1,572. Today the company announced the new slim aluminum 13-inch MateBook X, the slightly heftier 15.6-inch MateBook, and a new 2-in-1 called the MateBook E, all runnning Windows 10. All the Matebooks are running Intel's new Kaby Lake processors and will start shipping this summer. Last year Huawei released a two-in-one detatchable Matebook that was roundly criticised for being neither a great tablet nor a great laptop. Huawei looks to have learned something and not just because they now come in rose gold. Read more at engadget.com.
Chinese tech company LeEco held a confusing event last October where it showcased a number of TVs, phones, and even self driving cars and Android powered bicycles in an effort to take on the US market in full force. Flash forward to May 2017, and the company announced layoffs to the tune of around 70% of its US workforce, 325 employees in total. Not only that, founder and CEO Jia Yueting is stepping down from his leadership of Leshi, the public listed unit that controls LeEco. He’ll be replaced by former Lenovo executive Liang Jun. Read more at cnet.com.