pCell to Make 4G a Thing of the Past and Other Tech Headlines for 3/10-3/14

by Modis on March 14, 2014

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pCell: The Next Wireless Technology?

If you’re not satisfied with 4G wireless technology, your dreams could soon be coming true. pCell, a new wireless standard that could make your cell phone work 1,000 times faster than 4G connectivity with a decrease in signal issues, has been in the works since 2011. Rather than using a network of carefully spaced cell towers, pCell would use a massive number of router-like boxes, known as pWaves, to provide better service to smaller areas. Rather than working against interference, the technology would embrace the collision of radio waves to provide everyone their own “personal cell” network.

Intel’s 800Gbps Cables on the Way to Supercomputers and Cloud Data Centers

Intel and its partners have announced they will be sending 800Gpbs cables to supercomputers and cloud data centers sometime within the second half of this year. The cables are comprised of 64 fibers, each capable of sending 25Gpbs, and are available in multiple configurations, to provide up to 1.6 terabits of data per cable. 32 fibers are meant for sending data and 32 cables are meant to receive it. Based on the Silicon Photonics technology, the cables are huge improvement over the 10Gbps cables commonly used to connect data centers today. Corning and US Conec worked with Intel to produce the cables, and this week, the companies have announced their intention to sell the cables.

New Programming Language Lets Anyone Calculate Anything

Computer genius and controversial mathematician Stephen Wolfram announced this week the release of the Wolfram Language. It’s the programming language he developed to power his math software Mathematica and his “computational knowledge engine” Wolfram Alpha. The language will combine computational and visualization algorithms with databases and natural language processing to create a knowledge-based programming language. It is intended to be flexible enough for both beginners and experts to create programs to solve problems and perform data analysis. At this point, there’s a great deal of debate about how this plays into natural vs. artificial intelligence, and whether or not this is a stride forward in AI technology.

Adobe Flash Player: Two Important Vulnerabilities Patched

Adobe Flash Player was updated to Flash Player 12.0.0.77 for Windows and Mac and Flash Player 11.2.202.346 for Linux this week, to address security issues that would allow hackers to view the contents of a computer’s clipboard and prevent resources loaded from various websites from interacting with each other. If your Flash Player is embedded in a browser plugin in Chrome, or Internet Explorer 10 or 11, your updates will be delivered automatically through the browser’s update system. The patches are considered important, rather than critical, because the bugs do not allow for remote code execution.

Obama to Seek Broad Expansion of Overtime Pay

This week, President Obama announced he will direct the U.S. Department of Labor to revamp guidelines to result in more overtime pay for millions of workers, including computer technicians and IT professionals. Under the current law, these employees are classified as “professionals” or “executive” which allow businesses to skirt the overtime regulations. The new changes would allow more computer and IT professionals to qualify for overtime, alongside President Obama’s attempt to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour. Fewer salaried employees would be exempt from overtime pay, shifting more of the ever increasing corporate profit into worker’s pockets, in an effort to give back to the economy.

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