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Technology predictions for the coming year
Last month I went to the CANARIE conference in Toronto to hear Duncan Stewart, director of technology at Deloitte Canada, present his predictions on technology in 2014. The presentation was based on the 2014 Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecommunications Report. This report, which has been published annually since 2001, is available. I was intrigued enough by Duncan’s presentation to read the report itself, which is more than 60 pages long and quite detailed. I recommend it to everyone, although perhaps waiting for the 2015 version would make sense at this stage.
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Possible cybersecurity flaws in medical devices probed
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is investigating about two dozen cases of suspected cybersecurity flaws in medical devices and hospital equipment that officials fear could be exploited by hackers, a senior official at the agency told Reuters.
The products under review by the agency's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, or ICS-CERT, include an infusion pump from Hospira Inc and implantable heart devices from Medtronic and St Jude Medical, according to other people familiar with the cases, who asked not to be identified because the probes are confidential.
Audi tests driverless-car technology at racing speeds
Waterloo Region Record
Two Audi RS7 performance sedans raced around a track in northern Germany. The car without a driver won this matchup by five seconds.
In its effort to bring autonomous-driving technology to the streets, Volkswagen's Audi is testing unmanned vehicles at speeds as fast as 305 kilometres per hour. In these experiments, the car decides for itself the best way to take the corners in its race against human drivers.
Arena powered by top-line technology
St. Catharines Standard
Tucked away in all four corners of the new Meridian Centre in St. Catharines are four locked rooms that serve as the heart of the $50 million facility’s technology system.
The Internet, video, audio, phone lines and other bits of data flow in and out of these rooms like blood being pumped through digital arteries to keep the building alive.
New Starbucks app will have your latte waiting
For those of you who just can't wait to spend $4 for your Venti latte, Starbucks is about to allow customers to pre-order and prepay for their daily caffeine hit using a mobile app.
The service, aimed at attracting customers who are put off by the lines during the morning rush, will debut in the Portland market later this year and be rolled out to stores nationally in 2015, the company announced.
Diamond thread could make space elevator possible
For 100 years, futurists have dreamed about a device that could take people and goods into space without the use of expensive rockets or spaceships.
The key component of such a space elevator would be an ultra-strong, 36,000-kilometre cable. One end would be anchored to the Earth and the other attached to a counterweight in orbit.
A machine carrying goods or people could climb the cable in order to deliver goods into space, says CBC science columnist Torah Kachur.
Samsung shows off flexible, rollable battery technology
When LG released the LG G Flex, the company talked a lot about how making the device flexible required a flexible battery as well as a flexible display. However, it looks like LG isn’t the only company looking at innovative battery technology.
According to the latest reports, Samsung is dabbling in flexible batteries that can be rolled into a tube.
It's time to rethink our use of technology in schools
Probably the biggest change in education over the last few decades has been the introduction of new technology. But what difference does it really make?
I recently sat in on a talk by Bob Harrison, a former teacher, lecturer and college principal who is now education advisor to Japanese electronics giant Toshiba.
Nanoparticle technology triples the production of biogas
Researchers of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) have developed the new BiogàsPlus, a technology which allows increasing the production of biogas by 200 per cent with a controlled introduction of iron oxide nanoparticles to the process of organic waste treatment.
The development of BiogàsPlus was carried out by the ICN2's Inorganic Nanoparticle group, led by ICREA researcher Víctor Puntes, and by the Group of Organic Solid Waste Composting of the UAB School of Engineering, directed by Antoni Sánchez.
Report: Wearable health technology still just a novelty
Consumers have not yet embraced wearable health technology, but they could be persuaded to do so if given the right incentives, a new PwC report predicts.
The report identified what many others before it have: Wearable devices, for now, remain novelty items. One-third of surveyed consumers who bought such a device more than a year prior said they use the device infrequently or no longer at all.
They expressed disappointment that the information generated was inconsistent or unreliable, and they worried about privacy: More than 80 per cent were concerned the technology would invade their privacy and make them more vulnerable to security breaches.
Hungary plans new tax on Internet traffic, public calls for rally
Hungary plans to impose a new tax on Internet data transfers, a draft 2015 tax bill submitted to parliament late showed, in a move that could hit Internet and telecoms providers and their customers hard.
The draft tax code contains a provision for Internet providers to pay a tax of 150 forints (60 U.S. cents) per gigabyte of data traffic, though it would also let companies offset corporate income tax against the new levy.
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