In 1988, when Jean-Louis Gassée took a close look at Apple’s “highly automated” Macintosh factory in Fremont, Calif., what he saw was not pretty. Mr. Gassée, His experience assembling a Macintosh computer display and then stuffing chips into a computer motherboard is an important part of the story behind the artful language on the iPhone box — “Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China.” After Apple announced a large new campus in Austin, Tex. — creating as many as 15,000 jobs, none of them expected to be manufacturing — it’s worth looking at the company’s flirtation with advanced manufacturing in Silicon Valley in the 1980s. Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, had an abiding fascination with the tradition of Henry Ford and the original mass manufacturing of automobiles in Detroit, as well as the high-quality domestic manufacturing capabilities of Japanese companies like Sony. But his efforts to … [Read more...] about Apple Computers Used to Be Built in the U.S. It Was a Mess.
Will Facebook's new Oculus Go virtual-reality headset finally get you interested in virtual reality? Oculus Go, which goes on sale Tuesday, is a self-contained $199 mobile VR unit that successfully takes out some of the pain points of the immersive technology by letting you operate it without tethering it to a computer or plugging in a smartphone. The Facebook-owned unit is trying to make the case that Oculus Go is the most “approachable” VR headset out there. After testing the Go for more than a week, let me give Oculus its due: It may not be perfect, but it’s easy to set up, and most importantly, fun to use, an opinion shared by friends and family members who I let try it. I’m still not fully persuaded that the masses are ready to go all-in on VR, if only because wearing a contraption on your head is going to make at least some of you feel uncomfortable, claustrophobic, or weird — and there's always a call for … [Read more...] about Facebook’s Oculus Go ditches computer and phone in latest, $199 test of virtual reality
It’s crunch time for college applications, and hopeful high school seniors are working hard to impress admissions committees to land a spot at the school of their choice. But what if that committee wasn’t actually a committee of people. What if, instead, you had to impress a robot – or win over an artificial intelligence-driven algorithm? You did everything you could to package your application to highlight just the right combination of grades, extracurriculars and eye-catching essays the counselor at your high school said the admissions committees at your target schools were looking for. Was it all a big waste of time? Relax, the robots aren’t coming for college admissions quite yet. Real people will still be deciding on applicants for quite some time, and in all likelihood will always have the final say on admissions. Yet, just as artificial intelligence is in the relatively early stages of impacting practically every business, AI will almost certainly assume … [Read more...] about Who’s going to review your college applications – a committee or a computer?
New Delhi – Indian police said Thursday they have arrested nearly two dozen people on suspicion of defrauding people around the world by sending fake pop-up messages warning them that their computers were infected with a virus and offering to fix the problem at a price. Police officer Ajay Pal Sharma said those arrested Tuesday and Wednesday posed as representatives of Microsoft and other companies and used their logos. The arrests were made after input from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol, Sharma said. Microsoft was the complainant in the case. He said those arrested have been running the scam out of call centers in the Indian capital and the neighboring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for months. The pop-up messages prompted victims in the United States, Britain, Australia and other countries to call a phone number shown on their computer screens, he said. They would then be scammed out of money in exchange for supposedly fixing the problem. Those … [Read more...] about Dozens arrested in international computer virus scam
This story was originally published on September 14, 2018. (CNN Business)The United States just took a step forward in its battle for global computing supremacy. The US House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill Thursday to help it match China in quantum computing capabilities. Quantum computers promise to be orders of magnitude faster than the traditional computers we use today. The bill was passed shortly after the Center for New American Security, a Washington, DC-based think tank of former Pentagon officials, warned in a new report China's focus on quantum technologies could help it to surpass the United States military. Traditional computers store data as a binary digit, like a light switch that's on or off. Quantum computing relies on qubits, which can be in many positions at once. This creates new possibilities for more powerful computers, and quantum advocates speak excitedly of new options such as more secure communications and improved cancer treatments. Read … [Read more...] about China bet big on quantum computing. Now the US races to keep up.