Breakfast Briefing: Windows Phone 9 release date hint, Evernote hacked, 64-bit Windows RT
Today’s top tech stories include the next Windows Phone update, ARM’s CEO hints at 64-bit Windows RT, Evernote hacked, how to confuse Google’s self-driving car, and the Centre for Computing History reveals its new location.
Next Windows Phone update before holidays – will it be Blue?
Microsoft has revealed in a job posting that the next update to Windows Phone – perhaps Windows Phone 9 – will arrive before the end of the year, adding weight to rumours that the much speculated upon Windows Blue update is set to arrive this year.
Of course, Microsoft didn’t actually mention Windows Blue in the job advertisment, merely saying the company was “getting ready for our next release targeting the holiday of this year”, The Verge reports.
Make a note to change your password: Evernote hacked
Evernote is the latest tech company to be hacked, with the note-taking system forcing all users to reset their passwords after an attack last week. “In our security investigation, we have found no evidence that any of the content you store in Evernote was accessed, changed or lost,” the company said. “We also have no evidence that any payment information for Evernote Premium or Evernote Business customers was accessed.”
However, it did admit that the hackers managed to grab usernames, email addresses and account passwords – although Evernote has at least hashed and salted the passwords, adding a layer of protection.
ARM: Microsoft working on 64-bit Windows RT
ARM’s CEO Warren East isn’t worried about struggling Windows RT sales, according to a report from Tom’s Hardware. “I’m well aware there is a perceived wisdom that RT hasn’t been as successful as lots of people thought it was going be,” East said during an interview. “Quite certainly I’m sanguine about it.”
He suggested that Microsoft may be working on a 64-bit version of Windows RT, which would come in handy as ARM’s 64-bit architecture is set to arrive next year. “Companies like Microsoft, everybody in the technology space, when they look at … ARM in the future are thinking about 64-bit,” he said.
How to confuse Google’s self-driving car
Business Insider has taken a look into the problems facing Google’s self-driving car. While it’s already a far better driver than most humans, there are a few obstacles Google still needs to overcome – including snow. When the white stuff covers roads, the car’s systems have a hard time “seeing” lane markers, making it difficult to drive.
The car is also confused by changes to roads layouts that aren’t yet in its map, and by temporary obstacles such as road construction – especially when that leads to traffic being controlled by hand signals. “When a human is directing traffic with hand signals – and especially when these hand signals conflict with a traffic light or stop sign – the cars get confused.”
Centre for Computing History has found a building
The Centre for Computing History is currently a collection under lock and key – viewable by appointment only – after it was forced to relocate, but that’s set to change, now that the museum has found its own building in Cambridge.
Work still needs to be done getting the building and the exhibits ready – find out how you can help the Centre for Computing History here.
Algorithm prints offensive Amazon T-shirt
Amazon found itself juggling a PR disaster over the weekend, when the site was found selling T-shirts bearing the slogan “Keep Calm and Rape On”.
The T-shirts were quickly withdrawn once Twitter got hold of the story, but how on Earth did they get on the site in the first place? The T-shirts were being sold by a US partner called Solid Gold Bomb, which claims it uses an algorithm to create millions of different T-shirt slogans, which are then printed on demand.
“I would never promote such product in our company and it was clear to see this when looking across the millions of T-shirts that we offer or can produce on demand,” Solid Gold Bomb owner, Michael Fowler, told CNN. “Had these items ever sold, we would have immediately pulled the series and are doing so on our own and Amazon channels worldwide.”
He might want to restrict some other choice words available to his misogynistic algorithm. The company was also selling T-shirts with the slogan “Keep Calm and Hit Her”.
Watson goes to college
After hurting the pride of mankind by beating human competitors in a US quiz show, IBM has decided to bring its supercomputer down a peg or two by sending it back to college. Watson is being packed off to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and professor James Hendler has told GigaOm what he’s got planned for the class smart-arse.
Watson will be sent to the institute’s Cognitive Science Department, where students will attempt to stretch the supercomputer’s abilities. “Can Watson be made to solve word problems it has never seen before? Can we enable it to justify the answers it gives? Could it be made into a conversationalist rather than just a question-answerer?” Hendler wonders.
If they can get Watson to write T-shirt slogans that aren’t brutally offensive, it can probably get a Saturday-job at Amazon, too.