Technology News

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  • Charles Geschke, co-founder of Adobe and co-inventor of the PDF, has died at 81
    by Kim Lyons on April 18, 2021 at 2:05 pm

    Photo by Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images Charles “Chuck” Geschke, a co-founder of Adobe who helped develop the PDF, has died at age 81, the company said in a statement. “This is a huge loss for the entire Adobe community and the technology industry, for whom he has been a guide and hero for decades,” Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said in an email to Adobe employees. ”As co-founders of Adobe, Chuck and John Warnock developed groundbreaking software that has revolutionized how people create and communicate,” Narayen said. “Chuck instilled a relentless drive for innovation in the company, resulting in some of the most transformative software inventions, including the ubiquitous PDF, Acrobat, Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.” Geschke earned a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon... Continue reading…

  • Federal investigators looking into breach at software code testing company Codecov
    by Kim Lyons on April 18, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Federal officials are investigating a security breach at software auditing company Codecov, which apparently went undetected for months, Reuters reported. Codecov’s platform is used to test software code for vulnerabilities, and its 29,000 clients include Atlassian, Proctor & Gamble, GoDaddy, and the Washington Post. In a statement on the company’s website, Codecov CEO Jerrod Engelberg acknowledged the breach and the federal investigation, saying someone had gained access to its Bash Uploader script and modified it without the company’s permission. “Our investigation has determined that beginning January 31, 2021, there were periodic, unauthorized alterations of our Bash Uploader script by a third party, which enabled them to... Continue reading…

  • Roblox to introduce content ratings for games to better restrict age-inappropriate content
    by Kim Lyons on April 17, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images Virtual gaming platform Roblox is developing content ratings for games and easier-to-use parental controls, the company’s chief privacy officer Remy Malan told The Wall Street Journal. Half of Roblox’s audience of more than 30 million daily users are kids under 13, but the platform has struggled at times to contain sexually explicit content. Age-inappropriate games sometimes surface up on kids’ “recommended for you” lists, according to the WSJ. The platform’s current system restricts kids to specific games, but under the new system, parents would have more information about what kids might find in a given game; until you play a game, it’s not always clear that it might have explicit or inappropriate content in it. Malan did not... Continue reading…

  • Google introducing a feature in Chrome 90 to create links to highlighted text on a webpage
    by Kim Lyons on April 17, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge An upcoming feature in Chrome 90 will allow users to create a link to a section of a website that they’ve highlighted. First launched as a browser extension called Link to Text Fragment last year, Google has now added the feature within Chrome itself. The new feature is still rolling out to users; I wasn’t able to get it to work even after I updated to Chrome 90. But the feature works just like the browser extension did, according to a blog post from Google product manager Kayce Hawkins: Visit a web page, highlight the text you want to create a link to, right click, and select “copy link to highlight.” A URL ending in a pound sign (#) is generated, which you can then share with others. When they open the link, they’ll be sent to the... Continue reading…

  • Amazon has canceled its Lord of the Rings MMO game
    by Kim Lyons on April 17, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Amazon Game Studios has canceled a Lord of the Rings online role-playing game, Bloomberg reported. The company announced the project with Leyou-owned Athlon Games back in 2019, and planned it to be a free-to-play game for PC and consoles. The game was to be set “at a time long before the events of The Lord of the Rings, exploring lands, people and creatures never seen before by fans of the Tolkien universe,” according to an announcement from Athlon at the time. But Leyou was acquired by Tencent Holdings in December, and an Amazon spokesperson said in an email to The Verge that the company was “unable to secure terms to proceed with this title at this time.” The team from the LOTR project will work on other games for the company, the... Continue reading…

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  • How Do Delivery Robots Work? How They Safely Deliver Your Packages
    by Gavin Phillips on August 19, 2020 at 11:00 am

    A distant future involving robotic package deliveries is now very much a reality. Advances in robotics, GPS tracking, automation, and navigation now mean you might not find a delivery person at your door with your package. You might find a delivery robot instead. With semi-autonomous robots beginning to enter the world, here’s a look at how delivery robots work. What Is a Delivery Robot? A delivery robot is an automated robot that brings your delivery directly to your door. These robots aren’t walking and talking humanoids; rather, these robots are cute delivery containers on six wheels, resembling giant (but friendly-looking!)...Read the full article: How Do Delivery Robots Work? How They Safely Deliver Your Packages

  • Step Up Your Pomodoro Productivity With These 6 Methods
    by Lee Nathan on August 19, 2020 at 10:00 am

    If you’ve ever used the Pomodoro Technique, you’ve probably noticed an increase in productivity and focus. But most people aren’t aware that there’s a lot more you can do with it. The way that it breaks up your day can lead to some powerful benefits. Let’s take a look at some less traditional methods to apply the Pomodoro Technique to. If you’re not familiar with it, check out the basics of Pomodoro first. 1. Goal Setting Have you ever finished a day and felt like you didn’t get enough done? Sometimes you might have actually had a productive day, but...Read the full article: Step Up Your Pomodoro Productivity With These 6 Methods

  • Portable, Powerful Solar Panel: Maxoak SP120 Review
    by James Bruce on August 18, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Our verdict of the Maxoak SP120:Weighing less than 7lbs, the Maxoak SP120 outputs a serious amount of power in a convenient and portable package. You're paying a premium for the portability though, so consider if you actually need to carry it around or whether a static panel could do the job. 1010Most portable solar panels are tiny and really only designed to trickle charge a smartphone. If you have a large portable battery pack then finding a suitably powerful and genuinely portable solar panel can be tricky. The Maxoak SP120 is both affordable, portable, and with 120W output, powerful enough...Read the full article: Portable, Powerful Solar Panel: Maxoak SP120 Review

  • How to Access Region Blocked Videos Without a VPN
    by Christian Cawley on August 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Wherever you are in the world there is always a reason to want to bypass region blocking. For example, internet users outside the US might want to access Netflix or Hulu; those in the US might want the UK version of BBC iPlayer. To combat this, VPNs are popular—but they’re not the best solution. Here’s how to watch geo-blocked videos without VPN software. Why VPNs Aren’t Great for Bypassing Region Blocks When you connect to a VPN (Virtual Private Network) your internet traffic is forwarded through the VPN server. So, if you’re in the UK and you connect to a...Read the full article: How to Access Region Blocked Videos Without a VPN

  • 11 Basic Encryption Terms Everyone Should Know by Now
    by Gavin Phillips on August 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Chances are that you’re familiar with the word encryption. You’ve probably heard about how important it is, as well as how vital it is for keeping so much of our hyper-networked lives secure. Use WhatsApp? You’re using encryption. Log into online banking? Same again. Have to ask the barista for a Wi-Fi code? That’s because you’re connecting to a network using encryption—the password is the key. But even though we use encryption in our day-to-day lives, most encryption terminology remains mysterious. Here’s a list of 11 essential encryption terms you need to understand. 1. Plaintext Let’s start with the most...Read the full article: 11 Basic Encryption Terms Everyone Should Know by Now

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  • The Patch Tuesday focus for April: Windows and Exchange (again)
    by Greg Lambert on April 16, 2021 at 5:57 pm

    On Tuesday, MIcrosoft rolled out another broad series of updates across its Windows ecosystems, including four vulnerabilities affecting Windows that have been publicly disclosed and one security flaw — reportedly exploited already — that affects the Windows kernel. That means the Windows updates get our highest “Patch Now” rating, and if you have to manage Exchange servers, be aware that the update requires additional privileges and extra steps to complete.It also looks as if Microsoft has announced a new way to deploy updates to any device, wherever it is located, with the Windows Update for Business Service. For more information on this cloud-based management service, you can check out this Microsoft video or this Computerworld FAQ. I have included ahelpful infographic which this month looks a little lopsided (again) as all of the attention should be on the Windows and Exchange components.To read this article in full, please click here

  • BrandPost: Even With Windows Autopilot, Enterprises Face Device Configuration Challenges
    by Brand Post on April 16, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    As enterprises move to modern IT management, where users get a more streamlined, “mobile-like” experience with their computing devices, many are running into challenges with the time it takes to fully configure new devices.With Windows Autopilot, customers exit the image creation and maintenance business. Instead, they purchase devices with a corporate-ready image, such as Windows and Office, and deliver the devices to their employees. When an employee turns on the new PC, it configures itself from a cloud-based profile, registers in Azure Active Directory, and enrolls into a modern, unified endpoint management platform such as Microsoft Endpoint Manager.To read this article in full, please click here

  • Appogee becomes one-stop shop for enterprise iOS deployment
    by Jonny Evans on April 16, 2021 at 2:21 pm

    The Apple-focused enterprise services market continues to evolve. Case in point: Apple-only value-added-reseller Appogee is now offering a fully-managed iOS hardware deployment thanks to an arrangement with TRUCE Software.A one-stop enterprise mobile shop At its simplest, this means enterprises choosing to deploy iOS devices across their business can approach Appogee to purchase, deploy, and create contextually-aware management tools for these new fleets. The system integrates tools from both TRUCE and Jamf and means businesses can accelerate their mobile strategy, and do so while ensuring their own policies can be enforced on a device and user basis.To read this article in full, please click here

  • Lenovo’s global employee kickoff: The evolution of company meetings?
    by Rob Enderle on April 16, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Disclosure: Most of the vendors mentioned are clients of the author.When I first started in technology, I worked for ROLM Systems and our employee events were largely weekly: we’d get together on Friday afternoons for beer, snacks, and updates.  All-hands meetings were  less frequent and required travel; they were nowhere near as much fun but just as critical for understanding top-level strategy and my role within it. (I was less a fan of these because I’d often end up getting a virus — large crowds and finger food are a danger — and spending a week to recover every other time.)But big events often get employees, particularly sales employees, fired up and motivated. And  they help create critical connections we often need to complete a task or progress as an employee. I’ve been wondering how companies are handling these things during the pandemic, so I was excited to be invited to Lenovo’s all-hands meeting virtually.  It was nicely done, given the limitations of technology.To read this article in full, please click here

  • Windows 10 Insider Previews: A guide to the builds
    by Preston Gralla on April 15, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Microsoft never sleeps. In addition to its steady releases of major and minor updates to the current version of Windows 10, the company frequently rolls out public preview builds to members of its Windows Insider Program, allowing them to test out — and even help shape — upcoming features.Microsoft numbers Windows 10 releases using a YYH1/YYH2 format, with the YY standing for the last two numbers of the year and H1 or H2 referring to the first or second half of the year. So the most recent version of Windows is officially referred to as Windows 10 version 20H2, or the October 2020 Update. The next feature update, due in the spring of 2021, will be version 21H1.To read this article in full, please click here

  • A Handful of Resources for Learning About the Start of the American Revolution
    by (Richard Byrne) on April 18, 2021 at 10:28 am

    Tomorrow is Patriots' Day here in Maine, in Massachusetts, and in a handful of other states. It's a day to mark the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. As a good New Englander with an appreciation of history, every year at this time I like to share a handful of resources for teaching and learning about the American Revolution. Images of the Revolutionary War is a compilation of images about the Revolutionary War. The images in the collection chronicle the stirrings of rebellion in the pre-revolution years, the war from both American and British perspectives, and events following the Revolutionary War.Minute Man National Historical Park offers detailed lesson plans that can be in conjunction with a visit to the park and lesson plans that can be used independent of a visit to the park. Take a look at the Legacy of Conflict lesson plan designed for 5th grade students (link opens a PDF) to get a sense of the type of detailed resources that the park offers.Creating Google Earth tours of Revolutionary War battle sites is an activity that I did for many years with my U.S. History students. Students would create multimedia placemarks for each battle in sequence. The placemarks contained information about the outcome and significance of each battle. Here's a video on how to make a tour with with the browser-based version of Google Earth.Video LessonsKeith Hughes has a popular video in which he explains the American Revolution for middle school and high school students.Crash Course has an extensive series on U.S. History. Included in that series is Taxes & Smuggling - Prelude to Revolution.Mr. Betts has a YouTube channel on which he posts cartoons and song parodies to teach U.S. History lessons. Here's one he did about the Battles of Lexington and Concord.For Red Sox Fans!This is usually the day that the Boston Marathon is held and Red Sox play a morning game. Neither is happening this year. For my fellow Red Sox fans here's a famous clip from the 2007 Patriots' Day game.This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

  • A Handful of Alternatives to Google Expeditions
    by (Richard Byrne) on April 18, 2021 at 9:51 am

    As I mentioned on Friday, Google is shutting down Tour Creator at the end of June. They're also shutting down Google Expeditions at the end of June. For some teachers that is the bigger loss. And while I haven't yet found any alternatives that have the same capability as Expeditions for teachers to guide students through a virtual tour, I do have some alternatives to Expeditions for just viewing virtual tours. Here's my short, but growing list of alternatives to Google Expeditions. Google Arts & CultureThe Google Arts & Culture app includes many of the experiences that are present in Google Expeditions. The one thing that you can't do is guide students on tours. Google has introduced a new teacher center for Google Arts & Culture. In this video I provide an overview of how to use the Google Arts & Culture teacher center. The video includes directions for sharing specific portions of an Arts & Culture experience with your students.  Sites in VRSites in VR is a free app that features immersive imagery of notable landmarks around the world. The imagery can be viewed in VR headsets or without them. Unfortunately, there is not any audio accompanying the views in Sites in VR. National GeographicNational Geographic's YouTube channel has more than 50 videos that are designed to be watched in virtual reality. In fact, you can find lots of YouTube videos that are intended for viewing in VR by simply refining your search to 360 or 180 VR in YouTube's search filters. See my screenshot below for more information about that. City WalksCity Walks is a neat website where you can go for a virtual walk in more than a dozen cities around the world. You can experience the cities with or without sound. You can go for virtual walks in the daytime or at night. At the start of each walk you'll see some quick facts about the city that might help you understand a little more about what you're seeing during the walk. City Walks is essentially a really nice display of street-level YouTube videos with some additional menu options overlaid on them. That's not meant as a knock on the site as it is a nice site. That does mean that there isn't any interactivity built into virtual walks like you might experience in a virtual reality experience. The video sources for City Walks are clearly labeled in the lower-right corner of each screen. Story SpheresStory Spheres is a tool that I included in Friday's list of alternatives to Tour Creator. In addition to using it to make your immersive VR stories, you can use to browse a gallery of stories made by other Story Spheres users. Just click the explore tab on Story Spheres to start browsing through the stories. There is a search function on the gallery as well. This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, Today Headline, and 711Web.

  • Games, Canva, and Comments - The Week in Review
    by (Richard Byrne) on April 17, 2021 at 10:27 am

    Good morning from Maine where at this time last week it was sunny and 60 degrees. Today, it's snowy and 28F. Such is life in the spring in Maine. We're hoping that it warms up a little bit today because we're planning to go to the Maine Wildlife Park for opening weekend. If you have little kids, the Maine Wildlife Park is a must-see if you're ever in the vicinity of Gray, Maine. Regardless of the weather, we're going to have a fun weekend and I hope that you also have a fun weekend. This week I hosted the first installment of my Teaching History With Technology course. A dozen people joined me for the first week. While registration is closed for that course, I do have some other on-demand courses available here on Practical Ed Tech. These were the week's most popular posts: 1. 19 Canva Tutorials for Teachers and Students - Certificates, Comics, and More!2. 12 Fun, Challenging, and Interesting Geography Games for Students3. e-Comments Makes It Easy to Add Canned Comments to Documents and Learning Management Systems4. How to Quickly Duplicate and Sort Jamboard Pages5. Thousands of National Parks Pictures and Videos to Use in Google Earth6. How to Add Audio to TeacherMade Activities - And Integrate Google Classroom7. How to Create Your Own Online Board Game On-demand Professional DevelopmentTen Search Strategies Students Need to KnowA Crash Course in Making & Teaching With VideoA Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social StudiesOther Places to Follow Me:The Practical Ed Tech Newsletter comes out every Sunday evening/ Monday morning. It features my favorite tip of the week and the week's most popular posts from Free Technology for Teachers.My YouTube channel has more than 35,000 subscribers watching my short tutorial videos on a wide array of educational technology tools. I've been Tweeting as @rmbyrne for fourteen years. The Free Technology for Teachers Facebook page features new and old posts from this blog throughout the week. And if you're curious about my life outside of education, you can follow me on Instagram or Strava.This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin and 711Web.

  • How to View Find Timelapse Imagery in Google Earth
    by (Richard Byrne) on April 17, 2021 at 9:47 am

    This week Google made a big announcement about the introduction of new timelapse imagery to the web version of Google Earth. The imagery is part of the "Voyages" section of Google Earth. Within Voyages you'll find the new timelapse imagery arranged into stories and collections. You can also just browse through it on your own. Google Earth Pro (the free desktop version of Google Earth) has offer timelapse imagery for many years. That imagery is still available in the same place that it always has been found. That place is in the time-slider menu in Google Earth Pro. In this short video I demonstrate how to view timelapse imagery in the web version and in the desktop version of Google Earth. Applications for Education In the video above I showed some of the timelapse imagery of urban sprawl around some cities in the United States. That imagery could be used as the prompt for a research assignment for students to investigate the causes of the growth of those cities. If you're interested in learning more about Google Earth and Google Maps, take a look at my self-paced Crash Course in Google Earth & Maps for Social Studies. This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, Today Headline, and 711Web.

  • Quickly Cite Websites With Bibcitation's Chrome Extension
    by (Richard Byrne) on April 17, 2021 at 9:37 am

    Earlier this week I published a blog post about Bibcitation's new Chrome extension for quickly citing websites. Some of its key features include automatic formatting of citations in dozens of styles, easy transfer of citations to your documents, and one-click addition to your existing Bibcitation bibliographies. Yesterday, I made this short video that demonstrates the key features of Bibcitation's Chrome extension. Take a look and see how easy it is to use Bibcitation. Applications for EducationAs I wrote earlier in the week, one of the things that I have always liked about Bibcitation is that it provides support for dozens of citation styles in addition to the standard MLA and APA formats. Bibcitation is also easy to edit if students do find a mistake with the formatting. Finally, Bibcitation doesn't require students to register in order to use it. Completed Bibliographies can be downloaded as a document, as a BibTex file, or as HTML. This post originally appeared on If you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission. Sites that steal my (Richard Byrne's) work include CloudComputin, Today Headline, and 711Web.

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  • NASA has selected SpaceX’s Starship as the lander to take astronauts to the moon
    by Neel V. Patel on April 16, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Later this decade, NASA astronauts are expected to touch down on the lunar surface for the first time in decades. When they do, according to an announcement made by the agency, they’ll be riding inside SpaceX’s Starship vehicle. NASA’s award of a $2.9 billion contract to build Starship, first reported by the Washington Post on…

  • Geoffrey Hinton has a hunch about what’s next for AI
    by Siobhan Roberts on April 16, 2021 at 10:00 am

    Back in November, the computer scientist and cognitive psychologist Geoffrey Hinton had a hunch. After a half-century’s worth of attempts—some wildly successful—he’d arrived at another promising insight into how the brain works and how to replicate its circuitry in a computer. “It’s my current best bet about how things fit together,” Hinton says from his…

  • The $1 billion Russian cyber company that the US says hacks for Moscow
    by Patrick Howell O'Neill on April 15, 2021 at 6:09 pm

    The hackers at Positive Technologies are undeniably good at what they do. The Russian cybersecurity firm regularly publishes highly-regarded research, looks at cutting edge computer security flaws, and has spotted vulnerabilities in networking equipment, telephone signals, and electric car technology.  But American intelligence agencies have concluded that this $1 billion company—which is headquartered in Moscow,…

  • Building a high-performance data and AI organization
    by MIT Technology Review Insights on April 15, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    CxOs and boards recognize that their organization’s ability to generate actionable insights from data, often in real-time, is of the highest strategic importance. If there were any doubts on this score, consumers’ accelerated flight to digital in this past crisis year have dispelled them. To help them become data driven, companies are deploying increasingly advanced…

  • Why is it so hard to review the Johnson & Johnson vaccine? Data.
    by Cat Ferguson on April 15, 2021 at 9:00 am

    The future of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine remains in limbo after an advisory panel recommended taking a deeper look into reports of rare—and sometimes fatal—side effects. The US Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration advised suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Tuesday, after reports that six…

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  • Consumer agency warns against Peloton Tread+ use, as company pushes back
    by Brian Heater on April 17, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    Almost exactly a month ago, Peloton CEO John Foley wrote an open letter about the the company’s treadmill. “I’m reaching out to you today because I recently learned about a tragic accident involving a child and the Tread+, resulting in, unthinkably, a death,” it begins. “While we are aware of only a small handful of

  • Why it’s not surprising to see nine-figure AI rounds 
    by Henry Pickavet on April 17, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    This week Scale AI raised a $325 million Series E. The company, as TechCrunch has written, works in the data labeling space. And it has been on a fundraising tear over the last few years.

  • What does it take to create a startup ecosystem?
    by Natasha Mascarenhas on April 17, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Say it louder for the people in the back: As tech grows bigger by the minute and venture capital adds dollar signs by the day, a startup hub’s success is not an either/or situation. The next Silicon Valley is a tired narrative, when in reality startups look, innovate and create differently all over the world.

  • How one founder build a startup around compassion and care facilitated by AI
    by Darrell Etherington on April 17, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    In the second episode of our new podcast Found, our guest is Brie Code. Code is the founder and CEO of TRU LUV, a startup based out of Toronto that has its roots in the game industry, but that is taking a radically different approach to designing interactive experiences based on a historically-overlooked motivating paradigm

  • Hear how StockX brought the sneaker scene to Detroit
    by Alex Wilhelm on April 17, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    At TechCrunch’s Detroit City Spotlight this week, I sat down with Rae Witte, the journalist behind the StockX EC-1. TechCrunch’s EC-1 push allows individual authors to go deep on a particular company. And as StockX has been headquartered in Detroit since its inception, we took the chance to dig into our reporting in front of