Test Tube Burgers

Test tube burgers. Would you eat one? From PCMag:

Imagine you are a vegetarian. You became one in college, briefly experimented with veganism, but then settled down and simply cut meat out of your diet. You did so for ethical reasons; you just couldn’t stand the thought of the way animals were mistreated in the factory farming system. Later you learned this same industrial farming system is also one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases.

Now imagine instead you are a code-at-all-costs kind of developer. You sit at your computer and grind out lines of code to execute for your clients or to realize your big idea. You could care less about where your food comes from as long as it gives you the energy to push through and get the job done.

Now we have something both vegetarians and coders might enjoy: the Frankenburger. It looks, smells, and tastes like the real thing, only this burger was grown in a test tube. How about a similarly derived steak? Or salmon? Or even the whole hamburger, bun and all?

NY Introduces Bill To Ban Sale Of Encrypted Smartphones

From Loopinsight.com:

Any smartphone that is manufactured on or after January first, two thousand sixteen, and sold or leased in New York, shall be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider. This means the mere threat of this law will have a chilling effect on iPhone sales. If someone sells an iPhone built this year, they are subject to massive fines ($2500 per phone) on the off chance that the bill passes.

Robots Will Replace 5 Million Workers By 2020

From Reuters as reported by Huffington Post:

Disruptive labor market changes, including the rise of robots and artificial intelligence, will result in a net loss of 5.1 million jobs over the next five years in 15 leading countries, according to an analysis published in Davos on Monday.

The projection by the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is holding its annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort this week, assumes a total loss of 7.1 million jobs, offset by a gain of 2 million new positions.

The 15 economies covered by the survey account for approximately 65 percent of the world’s total workforce.

 

Remember the Xbox 360 Scratched Disks

For those of you who own a Xbox 360, you probably have at least one scratched disk rendering it unplayable. It’s a well-know issue within the Xbox 360 community. Thousands of users have lost money due to the damaged disks. In 2007, a class action suit was filed against Microsoft. Microsoft continues to fight, and even had the case dismissed a few years back, stating that there were not enough complaints to warrant such a case. From Kotaku.com:

According to an AP report released on Friday (via Polygon), a federal judge dismissed the class action suit in 2012, stating there were not enough complaints to justify a class action suit. Shortly after the dismissal was reversed by a federal appeals court.

And so this past Friday the Supreme Court of the United States of America agreed that they would hear Microsoft’s last attempt to shake the class action lawsuit. The company wants to argue that since individual claims from defendants in the class action had been thrown out previously, the group claim should as well.

The Supreme Court will rule over whether or not Microsoft has to face the class action suit. Should their decision come back in the plaintiffs’ favor, we’ll check back in another five years or so to see how it’s going.

Microsoft Skype Integration with Slack

You can now make Skype calls within Slack.

Microsoft released on January 14 a preview version of Skype integration for Slack. The preview enables teams on Slack to make Skype voice or video calls from within Slack. Slack is an instant messaging-collaboration platform for teams. Anyone on the Slack team will be able to start a Skype call from a computer by typing “/skype” into the Slack chat regardless of whether team members are using Slack on the Web, Windows, Mac, iOS or Android, according to a Microsoft blog post announcing the integration.

From ZDNet.

Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances

You can now purchase reserved instances for applications that run on a part-time basis. From Amazon:

You can now purchase Amazon EC2 Scheduled Reserved Instances for applications that run on a part-time basis. Reserved Instances provide a capacity reservation so that you can have confidence in your ability to launch the number of instances you have reserved when you need them.

Starting today, the new Scheduled Reserved Instances option allows you to reserve capacity on recurring daily, weekly, and monthly schedules. For example, you can purchase a daily reservation such as midnight to 6am every day, a weekly reservation such as 8am-5pm every weekday, or a monthly reservation such as the first five days of each month.

Details.