Monday Blues: Smart Watches, Dino-Censaur, Quantum Spy vs Spy, Dark Internet, and other News

Hello Monday. How fine you are! A lot of news over the weekend, part of the increasing trend as we head toward Christmas. Gadgets are on the agenda with Smart Watch Moto 360 now available in New Zealand, if you buy it via eBay, and Microsoft’s new “band” looking rather, yuck. China vs U.S. in Quantum Encryption war and a warning the Internet is going dark as general encryption continues to make its way into everyday websites.


The Moto 360 is still ages away from general availability in New Zealand and other countries, i.e. waiting for us to be price gouged no doubt, however thanks to the marvelous geo-unlocked world of eBay, you can buy yours now for between $300 – $400 including same week shipping.

She’s a big beast, but pretty, and after playing with it for over a week I am impressed, it’s changed the way that I use my phone forever.

The watch replays all your notifications on your phone from txts, to Facebook, Twitter, and so on. It also tells me I am a lazy bugger if I don’t walk enough steps in a day and supposedly can display your heart rate, though it can never find mine (oh irony). It flashes cards from Google Now and has voice activation so when you are driving you can ask it for directions, which it proudly displays on your watch. Along with a bunch of different watch faces it has a couple of other apps with more to come.

Downsides. Battery is going to have to be charged at least once a day with heavy use, putting us back into the age of our wind-up turn of the 19th century fob watches. Go Google can be very annoying at times seemingly going from incredibly accurate to hopelessly useless. Oh. It only runs on Android and it only runs on certain versions of Android. So check check check before you buy it.

The Dino-Censaur is taking a pasting in the comments section of this Stuff article after seemingly threatening ISP’s with legal action over global mode. As I pointed out Friday, I think it’s a pretty dumb idea, as does most of the tech commentators for that matter. Aside from the “what century is this guy living in” comments it has sparked an entire debate around whether this is a conspiracy whereby large American content interests, including the RIAA, have “owned the censor.” It’s a valid question I suppose, like I said, someone using could ask in short order what the actual story is.

Here was an interesting story over the weekend:

“China will soon have the world’s most secure major computer network, making communications between Beijing and Shanghai impenetrable to hackers and giving it a decisive edge in its quiet cyberwar with the United States.
In two years’ time, a fibre-optic cable between the two cities will transmit quantum encryption keys that can completely secure government, financial and military information from eavesdroppers.” – Source


“We heard Nasa is building a quantum line between Los Angeles and San Francisco,” said Prof Pan. “And IBM and Google are both investing heavily.”

This is extreme edge technology. It works, I am going to bastardize this badly, by using photons to transmit encryption keys. Because of the nature of Quantum Physics, if someone else looks at those keys (a spy), the very nature of it changes and the system is warned, and the keys are made useless. Quantum computing is mad. Not only can a chip be on and off, in the traditional manner, it also can be in an “other” state. Some scientists have theorised that quantum computing gets its massive kick by breaking up processing, sending it into other universes, then reassembling it in our own. Get your head around that.

At $10m plus for a single quantum computer this is not consumer technology.

Meanwhile, the Internet is slowly going dark as encryption becomes more pervasive:

“Large numbers of websites and Internet services are disappearing behind encrypted connections, part of a growing “visibility void” in which organisations struggle to tell friendly traffic from foe.” – Source

While the article is a bit press release, it’s an interesting sign of the times that 69 percent of traffic to the top global fifty websites is now encrypted. Keep that up I say.

In other news, Computerworld New Zealand seem to have fixed their content issue with having no New Zealand reporting over the weekend as well. The news feed now contains local news, rather than just international pieces.

Finally, if you are ready to share your “work place IT nightmares” then Stuff is running a free-copy, submit your own story, on that very thing.

“A staggering $9 billion is spent on IT in New Zealand every year, yet new research shows almost 80 per cent of New Zealand workers believe they’re not as productive as they could be due to their workplace IT systems.” – Source

This was priceless:

“Do you spend more time turning computers, printers and projectors on and off again than you do getting your job done?”

If you are ready to impart your decades of wisdom to the masses, then that is the assignment for you.




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