Friday Five for July 28th, 2017

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 at 15:05

Good News, Data Junkies: USB Speeds Doubling Again


If you're the type of person who copies hundreds of photos or mammoth video files to your external hard drive, good news: USB ports are about to double in speed again.

USB, the port that every phone and PC uses to transfer data, tops out today at the 10 gigabits per second with USB 3.1. The new USB 3.2 technology doubles that to 20Gbps using new wires available if your device embraces the newest USB hardware -- specifically the modern USB-C connectors and cables.

Well, maybe. The industry group that announced the move Tuesday, the USB Implementers Forum, isn't willing to commit to 20Gbps just yet. Marketing plans need to be finalized before USB IF starts making any performance promises.

Read more:

"Marketing plans"...

Microsoft Paint to be Killed Off After 32 Years

Microsoft's next Windows 10 update, called the Autumn (or Fall in the US) Creators Update, will bring a variety of new features. But one long-standing stalwart of the Windows experience has been put on the chopping block: Microsoft Paint.

First released with the very first version of Windows 1.0 in 1985, Paint in its various guises would be one of the first graphics editors used by many and became a core part of Windows. Starting life as a 1-bit monochrome licensed version of ZSoft's PC Paintbrush, it wasn't until Windows 98 that Paint could save in JPEG.

Read more:

A moment of silence, if you please...

For those of you who say Paint is no good!

Flash & The Future of Interactive Content


Adobe has long played a leadership role in advancing the interactivity and creative content - from video, to games and more - on the web. Where we've seen a need to push content and interactivity forward, we've innovated to meet those needs. Where a format didn't exist, we invented one - such as with Flash and Shockwave. And over time, as the web evolved, these new formats were adopted by the community, in some cases formed the basis for open standards, and became an essential part of the web.

But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, we've seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.

Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners -- including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla -- Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.

Read more:

First Paint, now this... what's next, AOL?

Lawsuit Seeks Ajit Pai's Net Neutrality Talks with Internet Providers


The Federal Communications Commission was sued [Wednesday] by a group that says the commission failed to comply with a public records request for communications about net neutrality between the FCC officials and Internet service providers.

On April 26, a nonprofit called American Oversight filed a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request asking the FCC for all records related to communications on net neutrality between Internet service providers and Chairman Ajit Pai or Pai's staff. The group asked for "correspondence, e-mails, telephone call logs, calendar entries, meeting agendas," and any other records of such communications.

Read more:
The fight goes on.

Samsung Ends Intel's 24-year Reign, Becomes the Largest Chipmaker in the World


Samsung announced its quarterly results yesterday, and became the most profitable company in the world. However, the company broke a few other records as well. It ended Intel's 24-year reign as the largest semiconductor-based chipmaker in the world. Samsung has now leapfrogged Intel by posting a higher revenue as well as operating profits during Q2 2017.

The South Korean electronics giant consistently developed new DRAM and flash storage technologies. However, what helped Samsung in becoming the king of semiconductor chips is that it quickly responded to the changes in the industry. On the other hand, Intel couldn't make successful chipsets for mobile devices, failed in capitalizing on the growing smartphone, tablet, and wearable devices segment.

Read more:

Samsung's on top.