Technology News and Trends: December 2023

Apple Vision Pro Production Ramping Up: Apple is reportedly increasing production of the Apple Vision Pro to meet its release date goal, now set for February.

iPhone 16 Models to Feature A18 SoC: All iPhone 16 models launching next year will reportedly feature Apple’s A18 SoC, according to leaked code in iOS 18.

Activision CEO Bobby Kotick to Step Down: Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is set to step down by the end of the year, with Matt Booty taking over.

Google’s Handling of Non-Consensual Explicit Imagery: Google has explained how it handles non-consensual explicit imagery in its spam policies and ranking guide.

Google’s Sullivan Collecting Problematic Search Results: Google’s Sullivan is collecting and submitting low-quality and problematic search results.

Dr Akira Yoshino Wins VinFuture Prize: Dr. Akira Yoshino has been chosen for the Grand Prize of the VinFuture Prize in recognition of his contributions to the invention of lithium-ion battery (LIB).

Dr. Yoshino invented a completely new combination of carbon for the negative electrode and LiCoO2 (lithium cobalt oxide) for the positive electrode. He developed the fundamental technology for the LIB which uses aluminum as a positive current collector material, and fabricated the world’s first LIB cell.

He also developed other technologies that were essential for the successful commercialization of the LIB, including technology for fabricating electrodes, technology for assembling batteries, and other technology that made the LIB possible as a small, lightweight rechargeable battery.

University Of Stuttgart Goes Exascale: The University of Stuttgart has spent €115 million to go exascale.

IBM Demos Transistor With Liquid Nitrogen Cooling: IBM has demonstrated a transistor with liquid nitrogen cooling.

jQuery Users Stuck on Unmaintained Versions: A jQuery survey shows that the majority are using unmaintained versions, but upgrading might not be easy.

JetBrains Releases Stable Version of KotliMultiplatform: JetBrains has offered the first stable release of KotliMultiplatform.

WebAssembly Needs Better Tools: WebAssembly is increasingly used for plug-ins and serverless, but needs better tools.

Microsoft’s Radius Project to Mitigate Kubernetes Limitations: Microsoft-sponsored Radius project aims to mitigate the limitations of Kubernetes.

Cerabyte Shows Off Ceramic Archival System: Cerabyte shows off a prototype ceramic archival system.

DRAM Sales Surge Shows Micron Recovery Strengthening: DRAM sales surge shows Micron recovery strengthening.

How to Remove Nosey Apps from Your Device:

  1. Check your phone’s permissions for installed apps: Go to your device’s Privacy & Security settings. Here, you can select functions like Contacts, Photos, and Camera to see which third-party apps have requested permission to access this information.
  2. Deny unnecessary permissions: If you find an app that has unnecessary permissions, tap the slider to halt its access. Be cautious of apps that require permissions that are not relevant to their function.
  3. Delete unused apps: If there are apps that you no longer use or find suspicious, it’s best to remove them from your device. You can do this by going to your device’s settings, finding the app in the list of installed apps, and selecting ‘Uninstall’.
  4. Be mindful of new downloads: When downloading new apps, be sure to read the permissions that the app requests. If an app is asking for permissions that don’t seem necessary for its function, it might be best to reconsider the download.
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Apple Releases Surprise Update for iPhone: Apple just released a surprise update for your iPhone — why you should install iOS 17 2 1 right now.

GRUB 2 12 Bootloader Brings SDL2 Support: GRUB 2 12 Bootloader brings SDL2 support, boot loader interface.

KDE Plasma 6 Beta 2 Released For Testing:

KDE Plasma 6 Beta 2 is the second beta version of the upcoming KDE Plasma 6.0 desktop, along with KDE Gear applications and KDE Frameworks 6.0. It’s now available for public testing. This release is part of KDE’s 6th Megarelease, which is set to be published at the end of February 2024.

The software in this second beta release is reaching stability fast, but it’s still not recommended for use in a production environment. The final release is only 10 weeks away. After this second Beta, there will be two Release Candidates, one on the 10th and the other on the 31st of January.

Plasma is KDE’s flagship desktop environment. It’s renowned for being flexible, powerful, lightweight, and configurable. It can be used at home, at work, for schools, and research. Plasma 6 is the upcoming version of Plasma that integrates the latest version of Qt, Qt 6, the framework upon which Plasma is built. Plasma 6 incorporates new technologies from Qt and other constantly evolving tools, providing new features, better support for the latest hardware, and supports for the hardware and software technologies to come.

KDE Gear is a collection of applications produced by the KDE community. Gear includes file explorers, music and video players, text and video-editors, apps to manage social media and chats, email and calendaring applications, travel assistants, and much more. Developers of these apps also rely on the Qt toolbox, so most of the software will also be adapted to use the new Qt6 toolset.

KDE’s Frameworks add tools created by the KDE community on top of those provided by the Qt toolbox. These tools give developers more and easier ways of developing interfaces and functionality that work on more platforms.

The KDE community encourages users to download and install a Plasma 6-powered distribution to a test machine and start trying all its features. They also encourage users to report bugs promptly, so they can solve them. However, they still recommend users to continue using stable versions of Plasma, Frameworks, and apps for everyday work.

Intel Meteor Lake Arc Graphics A Fantastic Upgrade:

Intel’s Meteor Lake Arc Graphics is a significant upgrade that competes with AMD’s RDNA3 integrated graphics. It delivers substantial generational advantages and leading power efficiency. The open-source GPU compute support and overall software ecosystem are impressive. The Intel Meteor Lake processors already enjoy support from the Intel Compute-Runtime stack, providing OpenCL 3.0 support and oneAPI Level Zero support. This upgrade has exceeded expectations in both GPU compute performance and graphics benchmarks, making it a fantastic upgrade in the world of integrated graphics.

Acer Aspire 1 ARM Laptop Has Nearly Complete Upstream Linux Support: Acer Aspire 1 ARM Laptop has nearly complete upstream Linux support.

QEMU 8 2 Released With New Devices: QEMU 8 2 has been released with new VirtIO-Sound & VirtIO-GPU “Rutabaga” devices.

Sound Open Firmware 2 8 Released With New Intel & AMD Bits: Sound Open Firmware 2 8 has been released with new Intel & AMD bits.

The Linux Kernel Looks To Drop SPARC 32-bit CPU Support:

The Linux Kernel is considering dropping much of the remaining SPARC 32-bit CPU support. This is part of a winter-time cleaning where a set of patches have been posted to remove SPARC32 support for old 32-bit Sun workstations. However, the mainline Linux kernel stops short of dropping the SPARC32 architecture entirely. These proposed kernel patches drop the Sun-4M and Sun-4D targets while leaving remaining SPARC32 elements used by the LEON processor designs. This move aims to eliminate outdated hardware support and lighten up the codebase.

DeepSouth, the World’s First Supercomputer Capable of Simulating Human Brain: The machine, called DeepSouth, is capable of performing 228 trillion operations per second. It’s the world’s first supercomputer capable of simulating networks of neurons and synapses at the scale of the human brain.

GenAI Services to Account for 29.0 Percent of Overall AI Spending: GenAI Services, including IT and business services, will nearly equal infrastructure spending by the end of the forecast with a five-year CAGR of 94.2 percent.

Discovery of a Structural Class of Antibiotics with Explainable Deep Learning:

The discovery of a new class of antibiotics was made possible through the use of explainable deep learning. This approach was used to explore chemical spaces, which are typically explored using black box models that do not provide chemical insights. The researchers developed an explainable, substructure-based approach for the efficient, deep learning-guided exploration of chemical spaces. They determined the antibiotic activities and human cell cytotoxicity profiles of 39,312 compounds and applied ensembles of graph neural networks to predict antibiotic activity and cytotoxicity for 12,076,365 compounds. Using explainable graph algorithms, they identified substructure-based rationales for compounds with high predicted antibiotic activity and low predicted cytotoxicity. They empirically tested 283 compounds and found that compounds exhibiting antibiotic activity against Staphylococcus aureus were enriched in putative structural classes arising from rationales. One of these structural classes of compounds is selective against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci, evades substantial resistance, and reduces bacterial titres in mouse models of MRSA skin and systemic thigh infection. This approach enables the deep learning-guided discovery of structural classes of antibiotics and demonstrates that machine learning models in drug discovery can be explainable, providing insights into the chemical substructures that underlie selective antibiotic activity.

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Who is Mercy Chelangat

Mercy Chelangat is a distinguished figure in both the engineering and athletic fields. In the engineering world, she is known as the Ambassador of the IEEE Smart Village (ISV) Africa Fund Development Working Group and the PES R8 Women in Power Representative for the Eastern Africa Region. She leads in the development, integration, and execution of ISV fundraising strategies. As the Smart Village ambassador, Mercy has conducted workshops on sustainable community development through the three ISV pillars: Energy, Education, and Entrepreneurship. She is an electrical engineer with a focus on renewable energy technologies and is an avid researcher in emerging trends such as electric vehicles and e-Mobility.

In the athletic world, Mercy Chelangat is a long-distance runner who has competed in events such as the women’s 10,000 metres at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics. She also competed in the senior women’s race at the 2018 African Cross Country Championships held in Chlef, Algeria. Her dedication and achievements in both fields make her a remarkable individual.

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Who is Robert E. Kahn and Why Did He Get the Medal of Honor

Robert Elliot Kahn, born on December 23, 1938, is an American electrical engineer known for his pioneering work in the development of the internet. Along with Vinton Cerf, Kahn is one of the principal architects of the internet. They were the chief designers of a set of communication rules, or protocols, to allow computers to exchange data in a network. These protocols are known as the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP), which form the fundamental communication protocols at the heart of the internet.

Kahn’s work has been widely recognized and he has received numerous awards. In 2004, Kahn won the Turing Award with Vint Cerf for their work on TCP/IP. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest civilian award in the United States, for his significant contributions to the development of the internet. His work has had a profound impact on the world, enabling global communication and information exchange, and transforming numerous aspects of society, including business, education, and entertainment.

What are Flow Batteries?

Flow batteries are a type of rechargeable battery where energy is stored in electrolyte solutions in external tanks. The active materials are pumped through a cell and a membrane, allowing for the storage and discharge of electrons. This design allows for independent scaling of power and energy, long cycle life, and potentially lower total cost of ownership. They are particularly suited for large-scale energy storage applications. Despite these advantages, flow batteries currently suffer from lower energy efficiency and specific energy compared to other battery types like lithium-ion batteries.

Wired Perspectives: Multi-View Wire Art Embraces Generative AI:

Wired Perspectives: Multi-View Wire Art Embraces Generative AI” is a project that introduces DreamWire, an AI system that creates multi-view wire art (MVWA). MVWA is a static 3D sculpture with diverse interpretations from different viewpoints. DreamWire allows users to express their vision through text prompts or scribbles, freeing them from intricate 3D wire organization. The system uses 3D Bézier curves, Prim’s algorithm, and knowledge distillation from diffusion models to represent 3D wire art, ensuring spatial continuity and overcoming data scarcity. The system also provides insights into the trade-off between connectivity and visual aesthetics.

Slab Casting – A New Way To Combine 3D Printing And Ceramics:

Slab casting is a novel method that combines 3D printing and ceramics. It involves the use of 3D printing to create formwork parts, which are then used in the casting process. This allows for the creation of complex and unique geometric features in ceramic materials. The process is particularly beneficial in the production of large-scale ceramic items, as it allows for greater precision and complexity in design. The combination of 3D printing and ceramics in slab casting represents a significant advancement in manufacturing technology, opening up new possibilities for the design and production of ceramic products.

Google Pitches AI Developers with Gemini Pro:

Google has introduced Gemini Pro, a state-of-the-art AI model, as part of its efforts to make AI more accessible and beneficial for everyone. This model is a part of Google’s new Gemini series, which also includes Gemini Ultra and Gemini Nano. These models represent one of the biggest science and engineering efforts undertaken by Google.

Gemini Pro is a multimodal AI model, meaning it can reason across various forms of data including text, images, video, audio, and code. This makes it highly versatile and capable of handling a wide range of tasks. It has been optimized for different sizes and use cases, making it suitable for a variety of applications.

Developers can access Gemini Pro through the Gemini API in Google AI Studio. The API provides several features that developers can leverage, including function calling, embeddings, semantic retrieval, custom knowledge grounding, and chat functionality. This allows developers to build sophisticated AI applications using Gemini Pro.

To engage with Gemini Pro, developers can follow these high-level steps:

  1. Access the Gemini API: Developers can access the Gemini Pro model through the Gemini API in Google AI Studio.
  2. Leverage the Features: The API provides several features that developers can leverage, including function calling, embeddings, semantic retrieval, custom knowledge grounding, and chat functionality.
  3. Integrate Gemini Pro into Applications: Once developers have accessed the Gemini Pro model and leveraged its features, they can integrate it into their applications. This can be done using the API provided by Google AI Studio.
  4. Test and Iterate: After integrating Gemini Pro into their applications, developers should test their applications thoroughly and iterate on their designs as necessary.

By following these steps, developers can effectively engage with Gemini Pro and leverage its capabilities to build sophisticated AI applications.

DDN Partners with Lambda Labs: DDN is working with GPU-as-a-Service farm Lambda Labs to supply its storage to Lambda’s customers.

Dremio CEO Predicts Growth of Generative AI: Dremio CEO Sendur Sellakumar predicts the Generative AI hype train will continue to grow exponentially.

The Futurum Group Announces Retirement of Randy Kearns: The Futurum Group, which acquired The Evaluator Group, has announced the retirement of the very well-known analyst, Randy Kearns.

General Micro Systems Launches X9 Spider Storage Module: General Micro Systems (GMS) has new removable mass storage with the X9 Spider Storage Module for US military applications.

Hammerspace’s AI Strategy [AI and Data Management]: Molly Presley, the global marketing head at Hammerspace, argues that one of the biggest challenges facing organizations is putting distributed unstructured data sets to work in their AI strategies while simultaneously delivering the performance and scale not found in traditional enterprise solutions.

HPE’s Supercomputers [High-Performance Computing]: HPE is building two new supercomputers at the High-Performance Computing Center of the University of Stuttgart (HLRS).

Kioxia’s New Memory Card [Hardware]: Kioxia Europe GmbH has started mass production of an Exceria Plus G2 2TB UHS-1 microSDXC memory card for smartphone owners, content creators, and gamers.

Jim Handy’s Blog on MS-SSDs and NVMe-oC [Data Storage]: Jim Handy of Objective Analysis has written a blog discussing Memory-Semantic SSDs (MS-SSDs) and NVMe-over-CXL (NVMe-oC).

Snowflake’s Acquisition of Samooha [Cloud Computing]: Cloud data warehouser Snowflake is acquiring Samooha, a data clean room provider.

StorPool’s 2024 Data Storage Buyers Guide [Data Storage]: StorPool has had Marc Staimer, president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, write a 2024 Data Storage Buyers Guide – a practical paper on evaluating, selecting, and deploying block storage systems.

Toshiba’s Privatization [Corporate News]: Toshiba has been taken private by a private equity consortium led by Japan Industrial partners. The deal is worth 2 trillion yen ($11 billion) and follows years of turmoil with the debt-ridden company being fought over by Japanese interests and external activist investors.

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