IBM is creating larger brain-mimicking computers

IBM says it wants to make intelligent computers that can make decisions like humans. This week, it shipped the NS16e, its largest brain-inspired computer yet, and has big goals ahead.

The company plans to create bigger versions of the NS16e — which was purchased by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory — to come closer to matching the scale of a human brain.

“Perhaps one day we may see a single rack of neurosynaptic system with as many neurons and synapses as in a human brain,” said Jun Sawada, a researcher at IBM, in a blog entry

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from Computerworld News http://www.computerworld.com/article/3050404/computer-hardware/ibm-is-creating-larger-brain-mimicking-computers.html#tk.rss_news

FCC votes for strict new broadband privacy rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has taken a major step toward new regulations requiring ISPs to get customer permission before using or sharing their Web-surfing history and other personal information.

The FCC voted 3-2 Thursday to approve a notice of proposed rule-making, or NPRM, the first step toward passing new regulations, over the objections of the commission’s two Republicans.

The rules, which will now be released for public comment, require ISPs to get opt-in permission from customers if they want to use their personal information for most reasons besides marketing their own products.

Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Rielly complained that the regulations target Internet service providers but not social networks, video providers and other online services.

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from Computerworld News http://www.computerworld.com/article/3050585/security/fcc-votes-for-strict-new-broadband-privacy-rules.html#tk.rss_news

Here’s how Hololens could transform car buying

Microsoft’s Hololens promises to merge the real and virtual worlds in ways that haven’t been possible before, and on Thursday, the company demonstrated one way the gadget could transform the way we buy cars and just about any other major product.

The demonstration, which you can watch below, used a Caterpillar earth mover, but it’s not difficult to see how this could be expanded to cars, houses, furniture, or a host of other goods.

It begins with a sales pamphlet — the kind of thing you might pick up when shopping for a product. With a tablet PC pointed at the pamphlet, a 3D model of the machine sprang to life on screen, but the experience gets much cooler with Hololens.

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from Computerworld News http://www.computerworld.com/article/3050449/virtual-reality/heres-how-hololens-could-transform-car-buying.html#tk.rss_news

Intel’s fastest 22-core Broadwell chip comes to new servers

Every time Intel announces new Xeon chips, server makers waste no time in announcing new products to take advantage.

Lenovo, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell have announced faster servers with Intel’s new Xeon E5-2600 v4 chips based on the Broadwell architecture. The chips have up to 22 cores and are significantly faster than the Haswell-based Xeon E5-2600 v3, which shipped last year.

Dell measured a 28 percent improvement in server application performance based on SAP benchmarks on the new chips, compared to performance with the Haswell server chips. Lenovo benchmarks showed a 44 percent CPU improvement. Benchmark results vary depending on the application.

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from Computerworld News http://www.computerworld.com/article/3050447/servers/intels-fastest-22-core-broadwell-chip-comes-to-new-servers.html#tk.rss_news

Edge browser edges Chrome in early adoption sweepstakes

Microsoft yesterday claimed that its newest browser, Edge, had increased its usage faster than did Google’s Chrome after its 2008 launch.

“[Edge is] ahead right now of even the start of Google Chrome, a very successful browser, has gotten off to,” said Charles Morris, a program manager on the Edge team, during a Wednesday session at Build, Microsoft’s annual developer conference.

Morris used that to illustrate Microsoft’s belief that Edge has been doing fine in attracting users, a counter to some of the commentary about the browser’s uptake. Computerworld, for example, has characterized Edge adoption as surprisingly weak, considering that it is the default browser in Windows 10 and Microsoft’s aggressive efforts to make sure customers ran it, including dropping support of many older versions of Internet Explorer (IE) and changing users’ browser preference when they upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1.

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from Computerworld News http://www.computerworld.com/article/3050446/microsoft-windows/edge-browser-edges-chrome-in-early-adoption-sweepstakes.html#tk.rss_news

5 things you should know about two-factor authentication

One of the best pieces of security advice any computer expert can give you is to enable two-factor authentication for websites that support it. With password breaches so common nowadays, it could be the one thing that keeps hackers from stealing your identity online.

Here are five points to help you understand this technology.

1. Two-factor authentication or two-step verification?

A lot of people think they’re the same thing, but that’s not accurate.

There are three types of authentication factors: something you know, such as a password or PIN; something you have, such as a mobile phone or a special USB key; and something you are, such as your fingerprint or other biometric identifier.

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from Computerworld News http://www.computerworld.com/article/3050364/security/5-things-you-should-know-about-two-factor-authentication.html#tk.rss_news

NASA to test inflatable habitat for future Mars missions

The SpaceX cargo resupply launch for the International Space Station set for April 8 will have something more than the usual scientific experiments, food and replacement parts for the orbiter.

The spacecraft will be carrying the BEAM space habitat made by Las Vegas-based Bigelow Aerospace that will be attached to the outside of the space station for a two-year test.

NASA scientists expect that inflatable habitats, also known as expandables, will eventually house astronauts when they land on Mars.

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from Computerworld News http://www.computerworld.com/article/3050401/space-technology/nasa-to-test-inflatable-habitat-for-future-mars-missions.html#tk.rss_news