Weekend tech reading: Intel's 9 Series chipsets, devs bring the Oculus Rift on a roller coaster

By on May 11, 2014, 2:00 PM
intel, oculus rift

This is Intel's 9 Series chipset So, this is a bit weird. Today marks the official introduction of Intel's 9 Series chipset. Motherboards based on the chip have been selling for weeks, and we've even reviewed one of 'em, but the press embargo for the chipset didn't lift until just now. Go figure. This chipset launch is unusual in another way, too. As far as I can tell, it's the first time Intel has introduced a new core-logic platform without an updated CPU alongside it. The recent Haswell Refresh is little more than a speed bump for last year's silicon, so it doesn't count. The Tech Report

Google's chance to dominate the robot car market is quickly slipping away Self driving car software has made a lot of progress in the last year, none more so than Google’s own offering. The Google car has learned about railroad crossings and cyclist hand signals, highway shoulder etiquette and the government hell-mazes we call construction zones. Though some companies have been working on self-driving technology for longer than Google, feature announcements from rivals like Audi, Tesla, and Volvo imply that their software still lags in that kind of detailed, everyday versatility. ExtremeTech

The great smartphone war For three years, Apple and Samsung have clashed on a scale almost unprecedented in business history, their legal war costing more than a billion dollars and spanning four continents. Beginning with the super-secret project that created the iPhone and the late Steve Jobs’s fury when Samsung -- an Apple supplier! -- brought out a shockingly similar device, Kurt Eichenwald explores the Korean company’s record of patent infringement, among other ruthless business tactics, and explains why Apple might win the battles but still lose the war. Vanity Fair

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee has heart attack Samsung Electronics Co.'s chairman was in stable condition at a hospital in Seoul on Sunday after a heart attack. Lee Kun-hee, 72 years old, had trouble breathing late Saturday and was sent to a hospital emergency room near his home. Mr. Lee showed symptoms of cardiac arrest and the hospital staff had to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to Samsung Medical Center, where Mr. Lee was being treated. Mr. Lee was in recovery on Sunday, the hospital said. The WSJ (also, Cisco's Internet of things chief resigns)

How two indie devs snuck a concealed Oculus Rift and laptop onto a roller coaster for the ride of a lifetime It's an overcast morning at an undisclosed theme park in the UK, the temperature is just right -- wearing a sweatshirt won't be conspicuous. Good thing too, lest security find the device strapped around Edmond O'Driscoll's chest. After passing through security and making their way to the target, Edmond O'Driscoll and Jonathan Forder were ready to put their plan into motion. They'd take the device onto the roller coaster where weeks of planning would culminate. Road to VR

Quantum random number generator created using a smartphone camera One of the hidden foundations of modern life are random numbers. If you make credit card payments over the internet, for example, you’re a serial user of random numbers which are necessary to guarantee the security of your personal details. And with the advent of techniques such as quantum cryptography, which guarantees perfect secrecy and requires vast quantities of random numbers, the demand for these mathematical objects is set to increase dramatically. Medium

The wizard of Minecraft It's a wet monday morning in Stockholm, and the door to Markus Persson's office is closed. The wooden blinds to the windows that look out at the 35 employees of his company, Mojang, are drawn; his assistant tells me that he is in a meeting with his officemate, company co-founder Jakob Porser. Forty minutes later, I find out why I've been kept waiting: Persson -- one of the biggest taxpayers in Sweden, the creator of an estimated $2 billion company -- has been at a PC playing a first-person shooter... Rolling Stone

Defending the Open Internet The future of the Internet -- which means the future of communications, culture, free speech and innovation -- is up for grabs. The Federal Communications Commission is making decisions that may determine how open the Internet will be, who will profit most from it and whether start-ups will face new barriers that will make it harder for ideas to flourish. Tim Wu, 41, a law professor at Columbia University, isn’t a direct participant in the rule making, but he is influencing it. The NY Times

We are rate limiting the FCC to dialup modem speeds until they pay us for bandwidth The Federal Communications Commission is planning to vote for a proposal on May 15th to scrap Net Neutrality. Instead of all sites being given fair and equal access to consumers, this proposal will allow for your ISP to create special internet speed lanes for ultra-rich corporations, and force their own customers wanting to access your site into an internet traffic jam lane that's slower. NeoCities (and the code to do it yourself)

Meet the godfather of wearables It all started with beavers. When Alex Pentland was three years into his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, in 1973, he worked part-time as a computer programmer for NASA’s Environmental Research Institute. One of his first tasks  -- part of a larger environmental-monitoring project -- was to develop a method for counting Canadian beavers from outer space. There was just one problem: existing satellites were crude, and beavers are small. The Verge

China may build an undersea train to America China is planning to build a train line that would, in theory, connect Beijing to the United States. According to a report in the Beijing Times, citing an expert at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Chinese officials are considering a route that would start in the country's northeast, thread through eastern Siberia and cross the Bering Strait via a 125-mile long underwater tunnel into Alaska. The Washington Post

In his words: How a whitehat hacked a university and became an FBI target David Helkowski stood waiting outside a restaurant in Towson, Maryland, fresh from a visit to the unemployment office. Recently let go from his computer consulting job after engaging in some “freelance hacking” of a client’s network, Helkowski was still insistent on one point: his hack, designed to draw attention to security flaws, had been a noble act. Ars Techncia

"A multiplayer game environment is actually a dream come true for an economist" In October 2011, the Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis received an unusual email. "I'm the president of a videogame company," it began. The message was from the head of Valve Software, the influential video game design firm behind such industry-defining titles as the sci-fi shooter Half-Life and the first-person puzzle adventure Portal. Reason

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