Getting on a plane is about to get a lot easier according to a new report, which found that airports will increasingly automate passenger and security checks.
Just over half of the airports questioned for the Sita Airport IT Trends Survey said they will increase the number of passenger check-in kiosks, with a quarter planning to add new features to kiosks such as the ability to print out bag tags and scan travel documents.
In a rush? Walk-through body scanners could speed up pre-flight checks in futurePhoto: IATA
Long queues for boarding and security checks could also be alleviated, as the survey found that by 2014 just over one-third of airports will have introduced electronic gates for self-boarding and 42 per cent will have e-gates that carry out security checks, such as confirming that a passenger matches their passport.
Airports are also hoping to reduce queues for checking in luggage, with more than half, 53 per cent, planning to introduce bag-drop desks that serve multiple airlines by 2014. Read more...
A US congressman is pushing Amazon for details of its cloud-based browsing, Silk, specifically asking what data the company is gathering and how it intends to make use of it.
In an open letter (2-page PDF/263KB, short and to the point) Congressman Edward Markey asks Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos specifically what information is being collected by Silk, how Amazon intends to make use of it, and how the company will go about ensuring users have given explicit permission to have their behaviour monitored in this way.
That last point intimates that such permission should be explicitly requested, while Amazon was probably hoping that the usual user assent to unread Terms & Conditions would suffice. Read more...
HP's VirtualSystem for Microsoft includes HP servers and Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization software, and will help customers to rapidly deploy applications including SharePoint, Exchange Server, and SQL Server, said Jeff Carlat, director of industry standard servers and software marketing, enterprise storage, servers, and networking.
The virtual workloads, hardware, and other resources can be managed using HP's Insight Control and Microsoft System Centers.
The servers provide a path to help customers build private and public clouds, and link the two in a hybrid cloud, he said. VirtualSystem for Microsoft uses the same architecture as the HP CloudSystem, which combines storage, networking, and servers to reduce latency when scaling configurations in cloud deployments. Read more...
Western Digital said its primary manufacturing facility in Thailand was flooded over the weekend, with its secondary site also at risk, raising the possibility of a global shortage of hard disk drives (HDD) in the current quarter.
The company said Monday that it has decided to extend the suspension of its operations in the country announced last week.
Flooding has killed over 290 people in Thailand since July, according to reports.
Seagate Technology, another disk drive maker with operations in Thailand, said last week that disruption in the supply of components could lead to constrained supply of drives in the fourth quarter, although its factories in the country were in operation. An update on the situation is expected from the company on Thursday. Read more...
A Republican lawmaker has submitted legislation that would make foreign students who earn advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) at U.S. universities automatically eligible for a green card or permanent residency if they have a job offer.
If this bill by U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) sounds familiar, it should. In June, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), introduced legislation seeking the exact same thing.
Indeed, Labrador's bill appears to be a cut-and-paste version of what Lofgren is seeking. Lofgren's bill is HR 2161, and Labrador's is HR 3146.
"It's kind of a novelty to take something word for word out of another bill, but it is probably not the first time it has happen in Congress," said Lofgren, in an interview. She called it disconcerting and said she has spoken to Labrador about it.
The difference is in the scope of the bills. Labrador's bill limits itself to green cards for advanced degree graduates. What Lofgren proposed was more comprehensive. Her bill sought, among other things, green cards for foreign entrepreneurs who invest in the U.S., as well as H-1B and L-1 visa reforms, including eliminating the lowest level of the prevailing wage scale. Read more...
If you think the storage systems in your data centers are out of control, imagine having 449 billion objects in your database, or having to add 40 terabytes of new data each week.
The challenges of managing massive amounts of big data involve storing huge files, creating long-term archives and, of course, making the data accessible.
While data management has always been a key function in corporate IT, "the current frenzy has taken market activity to a whole new level," says Richard Winter, an analyst with Wintercorp Consulting Services, a firm that studies big data trends.
New products appear regularly from established companies and startups alike. Whether it's Hadoop, MapReduce, NoSQL or one of several dozen data warehousing appliances, file systems and new architectures, the data analytics segment is booming, he says.
"We have products to move data, to replicate data and to analyze data on the fly," says Winter. "Scale-out architectures are appearing everywhere as vendors work to address the enormous volumes of data pouring in from social networks, sensors, medical devices and hundreds of other new or greatly expanded data sources." Read more...
We know Apple [AAPL] never entered the search business, allying itself instead with Google. Those days are gone, and I think its possible the all-new Siri personal assistant technology may become the future of search.
Siri is threat
The way I see it, millions of Siri users have been putting the intelligent assistant through its paces this weekend. Overall, people seem pretty pleased with how things have gone. They're liking how accurately Siri picks up voice commands in loud rooms; they're noting its idiosyncracies; and it is winning recognition as the best-in-class solution of its kind.
And I assume it is picking up data. I'm assuming it learns as questions are asked, I'm assuming its answers become more refined as it is asked to engage in various tasks. I would expect Siri to be growing its database of questions and answers every second of every day, learning from its users. Read more...
He made his remarks even as news emerged that Yahoo's chief technology officer, Raymie Stata, has just been replaced.
"Honestly, it's fine," Levinsohn said when asked how things are at Yahoo in the wake of Bartz's departure, during an appearance at the Web 2.0 Summit, where he was interviewed on stage by conference co-chairman John Battelle.
"If you've done jobs like this over the years, you sort of get used to it," he said, referring to shakeups at the executive level.
Levinsohn declined to comment about rumors that Yahoo and AOL might merge, and remained mum when asked about the process to find a new CEO. Read more...
Catcher Technology, a Taiwanese company that has factories in the People's Republic, confirmed over the weekend that it had partly shuttered a plant in eastern China after local officials fielded complaints of a "strange odor" emanating from the facility.
Catcher produces 60% of the so-called "unibody" aluminum cases for Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, some casings for the iMac, and components for the Smart Cover that Apple sells as an iPad 2 accessory, according to Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities.
White said that the remaining 40% of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air cases are produced by rival Hon Hai Precision, part of Foxconn Technology. Read more...
Kodak, let us admit, is doomed. Founded over a century ago, it has dominated film for as long as film has existed, but now that film is on the verge of ceasing to exist, they have very little to dominate. They’re short on cash and while they deny plans to file for bankruptcy, many question whether they will have the luxury of choice a few years from now.
My first preference for the preservation of this company would be for them to sell off their patents and focus on film until they’re buried by progress. That’d be Kodak going out with its boots on, so to speak. But I doubt that’s going to happen.
What needs to happen instead is Kodak needs to abandon any pretense of being a household word. They’ve had a good run — for an entire century their name has been synonymous with film. But it will never be as recognizable again. So why throw money away on an entire division creating low-margin, unoriginal devices that are going to be obsolete in a few months and duplicated by pirate OEMs anyway? No, Kodak needs to go invisible. Read more...