Around the IT Industry 7/8-7/12

by Modis on July 12, 2013

Feds Asked to Sit Out Defcon over NSA Scandal

The NSA/PRISM scandal hasn’t endeared the United States government to many. This includes the organizers at Defcon. Once a place where hackers, federal agents, and professionals could attend a conference based on mutual respect, the mood of the conference has soured. Hackers were hoping that the Bush-era government’s perception of hackers may have changed under President Obama; however, this appears to no longer be the case. Calling a “time out,” Defcon suggests that it may be best for the federal government to sit this year’s Defcon out. It remains to be seen how strictly they will enforce their do-not-attend policy for the government. Defcon begins August 1.

UK Teaching Programming Starting at Age 5

The United Kingdom Department for Education has announced an ambitious new venture to teach its students programming beginning at age 5. Scrapping a boring old technology program where students once were drilled in how to use programs such as Excel and Word, the new computer technology course aims to have students as young as 12 writing animations using Scratch. Scratch is an MIT created program which allows students to make their own simple games. By 16, the UK aims to have its students learning logic and theory by delving into app creation for smartphones and mobile devices.

Data Brokers are Selling Your Car’s Location

For the low cost of $10 USD, data broker TLO is selling your car’s location to anyone that cares to pay the price. The technology is far from outstanding, but it can still offer a glimpse into what were thought to be private excursions. With a database of over 10 million cars, license plates are on display to anyone that wants the information. One possible long term issue of this technology (and its selling) is that it could gather information on who has been visiting specific places in order to target advertising opportunities. This information may also be distributed more freely, due to a lack of regulation currently in place on how this data is gathered and traded.

Liquid Metals the Next Advancement for 3D Printing

3D printing has passed another milestone. The ability to print liquid metals has now been created, opening a world of technological opportunity. This could mean self-repairing computer circuits, new electronic possibilities, and the possibility of 3D printed structures. The fact that the metal is liquid means that it could be surrounded by another material such as rubber or plastic, enabling the metal to be used in a variety of ways. The metal used in this technology is comprised of gallium and indium, which forms a skin when exposed to air. This skin enables the metal liquid to hold its shape.

Every Dutch Citizen Will Reside Within 15 Miles of an Electric Vehicle Charging Station by 2015

The Dutch government has announced a plan to roll out a nationwide electric vehicle charging program, pushing for a more environmentally friendly transportation focus. The nation’s Terra fast chargers are capable of charging an electric car in 15-30 minutes. The initiative underscores the government’s willingness to consider more development and technology geared toward EV transportation. The United States has few charging stations compared to its EU counterparts, with Estonia also rivaling Zürich–possessing 160 vehicle charging stations. The Dutch startup company Fastend will be responsible for manufacturing more than 200 vehicle charging stations by 2015.

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