February 7, 2017 brianradio2016

Features limited to the iPhone 7 Plus helped boost sales of the larger smartphone, but they were not the only reasons why a higher percentage of customers went big last year, analysts said.

“The nature of the market is also shifting,” said Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies, in a recent interview. As consumers encounter large-screen smartphones with more frequency — especially ones owned by friends — there’s a bandwagon effect, he explained.

Although the shift to bigger screens has been strongest in China and other Asian markets, the iPhone 7 Plus accounted for a larger proportion of new iPhones sold in the U.S. as well, said Bajarin, citing his firm’s research.

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February 7, 2017 brianradio2016

One of the trickiest parts of proving the value of emerging smart city technology is showing how city residents could benefit from data being picked up by sensors located in such areas as on light poles and along streets.

On Tuesday, officials in Kansas City, Mo., took steps to connect how such real-time data gathered by sensors provides benefits to its citizens.

City officials unveiled an online interactive map for the public that shows available parking, traffic and KC Streetcar locations in real time with data gathered from 122 video sensors along a two-mile segment of Main Street in the downtown.

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February 7, 2017 brianradio2016

One out of every 50 new U.S. jobs last year came from the solar industry, with growth in that industry outpacing the overall U.S. economy by 17 times, according to a new report.

Overall, there were 260,077 solar workers in 2016, representing 2% of all new jobs, according to the Solar Foundation’s Solar Jobs Census 2016.

solarcity solar power Lucas Mearian

SolarCity workers prepare to install panels on the rear of a home.

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February 7, 2017 brianradio2016

For H-1B workers, one of the most hated and frustrating parts of working in the U.S. is this: Their spouses were idled, unable to work under law. That changed in 2014, when President Obama signed a regulation that allowed some spouses to get a job. But the future of this rule may be in doubt under the new administration.

President Donald Trump’s administration, which is broadly repealing Obama-era regulations, is reviewing the H-1B spouse rule as well, according to a new court filing.

The Obama rule change affected H-1B holders who were seeking green cards or permanent residency. It allowed their spouses to get work authorization. There may have been as many as 180,000 spouses eligible, according to a lawsuit that’s challenging this rule.

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February 7, 2017 brianradio2016

A flaw in an old Intel chip could crash servers and networking equipment, and the chipmaker is working to fix the issue.

The issue is in the Atom C2000 chips, which started shipping in 2013. The problem was first reported by The Register.

In January, Intel added an erratum to the Atom C2000 documentation, stating systems with the chip “may experience [an] inability to boot or may cease operation.”

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February 7, 2017 brianradio2016

Hey Google: Has it really been three full months since Google Home came into the world?

I’ll answer that (since Google Home couldn’t — I tried): Yes! Yes, it has. That funny little air-freshener-shaped doohickey first entered our lives this past November. And while I had plenty of doubts about the need for and effectiveness of such an apparatus, I decided it was my professional obligation to pick one up and put it in our house.

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February 7, 2017 brianradio2016

Arch Linux: A simpler kind of Linux?

Arch Linux certainly has its share of fans, with some being quite passionate about their favorite distribution. Recently a writer at Linux.com wrote a post about Arch and considered it to be a “simpler kind of Linux.”

Carla Schroder reports for Linux.com:

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February 7, 2017 brianradio2016

For today’s knowledge workers, heavy workloads and slow productivity growth is a major challenge. Some products and services emphasize processes and systems such as continuous improvement and removing wasteful steps. Others emphasize the human aspects of productivity—a manager training a junior employee to take over a task, for example. AI assistants offer another approach to the workplace productivity challenge, but are they ready for “prime time” use in the enterprise?

As with user interface and design innovation, consumer AI assistants have made important early contributions that are finding their way into enterprise solutions. Apple’s Siri, launched in 2011, has a variety of capabilities, including performing internet searches and setting reminders. Given the wide variety of tasks it is asked to perform, Siri holds up fairly well. Siri, along with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Now, represent the “comprehensive voice based AI” philosophy. That sort of general-purpose AI assistant has much promise, but is also more prone to failure, and therefore less suitable as a workplace productivity tool.

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(Insider Story)