Daily Tech Briefing: June 23, 2014

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2014-06-23 Print this article Print

Google, Microsoft join Apple in offering smartphone 'kill switch'; Microsoft previews all-cloud Azure disaster recovery service; AMD aims to boost APU energy efficiency 25-fold by 2020; and more.

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Read more about the stories in today's news:


Google and Microsoft will be joining Apple in adding a "kill switch" feature into their Mobile device software. The kill switch will erase all personal information on a phone and make it unusable in an effort to deter smartphone thefts.

Mobile device makers have come under pressure to add a kill switch features because the large number of often violent thefts. Federal Communications Commission reports show that 30 percent of robberies in major cities involve mobile devices.

Fred Humphries, vice president of U.S. Government Affairs for Microsoft, explained that the most effective strategy for combating phone thefts is one that combines the efforts of law enforcement, consumer education and new technology features.

To help cast aside any doubts regarding cloud-based disaster recovery, Microsoft is offering a preview of Azure Site Recovery (ASR) to Azure. Microsoft officials explained the new capabilities of ASR, which now allow the cloud-based disaster recovery site to span multiple geographies.

Microsoft's Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Windows Server and System Center, stated that individuals who have been skeptical about cloud-based disaster recovery in the past will be surprised with the details of the ASR features.

Officials with Advanced Micro Devices announced that the company plans to improve the energy efficiency of their accelerated processing units 25-fold by 2020.

These gains are much greater than the ones the company has made in the previous six years. AMD CTO Mark Papermaster announced at the China International Software and Information Service Fair that energy efficiency is central to the company's development processes.

The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted in support of an amendment to curb spying on Americans by the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency.

H.R. 2399, the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act, restricts the government's ability under the Patriot Act to collect information on Americans who aren't part of an ongoing investigation. Furthermore, it requires secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court opinions to be made available to Congress and for summaries to be made public.


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