Weekend tech reading: What to expect from 5G, Intel plans 7nm chips, abandoning your antivirus is safest says ex-Firefox dev

Everything you need to know about 5G Today’s mobile users want faster data speeds and more reliable service. The next generation of wireless networks — 5G — promises to deliver that, and much more. With 5G, users should be able to download a high-definition film in under a second (a task that could take 10 minutes on 4G LTE). And wireless engineers say these networks will boost the development of other new technologies, too, such as autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. IEEE Spectrum

Google Translate is about to get a lot better, thanks to Google’s machine learning push Google CEO Sundar Pichai is offering a big new update that should affect anyone who’s ever used Google’s translation services. The new version will be rolling out in 2017 via Google Cloud, Pichai said. “We have improved our translation ability more in one single year than all our improvements over the last 10 years combined,” Pichai told investors in a quarterly call, after parent company Alphabet reported mixed results. CNBC

The Steam Controller Configurator’s untapped power Back at Steam Dev Days 2016, Valve graciously invited me to share the stage in explaining the Steam Controller to developers: That talk was pretty general and big-picture, so I would like to follow it up with some more practical tips derived from my own experience adding native Steam Controller support to my own game, Defender’s Quest: Valley of the Forgotten, and explain some of the many benefits you can get from doing the same. Gamasutra

Satechi claims its USB-C Power Meter will stop bad cables from killing your gadgets Bad USB-C cables are an ongoing problem that plague the new universal port specification. If a cable is drawing too much power, or is wired poorly, it can fry your laptop instantly, so getting this right is crucial. Unfortunately, the best way right now to tell if a cable is dangerous or not is to see if Google engineer Benson Leung has tested the cable to see if it meets the proper standards for the USB-C spec. The Verge

A deep dive into HandBrake and video transcoding An obvious interest area of mine is in ripping (and watching) movies using my Mac. I’ve talked about everything from installing the tools I use to how I rip to how to make sure I update the ripping tools. And though I’ve included some comparison pictures in the how-I-rip article, I’ve never done a deep dive into the various ripping options and how they compare on three key fronts: Robservatory

Intel pursues Moore’s Law with plan to make 7nm chips this year Intel’s next big Moore’s Law advance will be a 7-nm pilot plant it is establishing this year to explore the upcoming manufacturing process. The chipmaker announced it was establishing the pilot plant during an earnings call on Thursday. For decades, Moore’s Law has been the guiding light for Intel to make teenier, faster, and more power-efficient chips. Computerworld

Disable your antivirus software (except Microsoft’s) I was just reading some Tweets and an associated Hacker news thread and it reminded me that, now that I’ve left Mozilla for a while, it’s safe for me to say: antivirus software vendors are terrible; don’t buy antivirus software, and uninstall it if you already have it (except, on Windows, for Microsoft’s). Robert O’Callahan

Luggable PC For laptops to be as portable as they are, they have to make trade off in power, or upgrade ability, or affordability. When one needs a full power computer that can be upgraded with commodity components, it won’t be thin or light. But does it have to be a huge bulky box? The goal of this project is to make a chassis that can take the same kind of inexpensive commodity components as the big tower cases do, but more portable than the standard tower. Hackaday

Sorry, what exactly is the point of Windows Defender Security Center? Microsoft is often chided for overloading and reusing feature names. And so it is with the new Windows Defender Security Center in Windows 10. Why do we need such a thing, you ask? That’s an interesting question. But you need to know what it is first. And I challenge you to find the answer in Microsoft’s announcement post about this new feature. Thurrott.com (also, Thinking about Windows 10 alternatives)

“You took so much time to joke me” — two hours trolling a Windows support scammer Technical support scams are the bottom of the barrel for cyber-crime. Using well-worn social engineering techniques that generally only work on the least sophisticated computer users, these bootleg call-center operations use a collection of commercially available tools to either convince their victims to pay exorbitant fees for “security software” or extort them to gain control of their computer. Ars Technica

For this metal, electricity flows, but not the heat There’s a known rule-breaker among materials, and a new discovery by an international team of scientists adds more evidence to back up the metal’s nonconformist reputation. According to a new study led by scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and at the University of California, Berkeley, electrons in vanadium dioxide can conduct electricity without conducting heat. Berkeley

The end of terrible Wi-Fi is near Everybody hates Wi-Fi. The boxes are ugly, and it never seems to work when you need it. But just when you thought wireless internet was unfixable, the most boring and hated appliance in your house may be on the verge of actually, um, working. Bloomberg

DragonflEye Project wants to turn insects into cyborg drones As hard as we’re trying, it’s going to be a very long time before we’re able to build a robotic insect that’s anywhere near as capable or versatile as a real one. So for now, we rely on a cybernetics approach to get real insects to do our bidding instead. Over the past several years researchers have managed to steer large insects using electrical implants… IEEE Spectrum

When games get collectibles right I can’t remember the point at which I received the new crystal-tracking device in Grow Up, but I can remember what I thought when I did. I thought: Well, I won’t be using that. Tracking down the glowing chunks of crystal scattered around the landscape had been one of the great joys of Grow Home, a game which is hardly short on greatness or joy in the first place. Euro

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Adobe will stop selling Contribute and Director on February 1, drop Shockwave for Mac support on March 14 Adobe today announced Adobe Contribute and Adobe Director will no longer be for sale nor supported as of February 1, 2017. At the same time, Adobe is also stopping Shockwave for Mac updates and support on March 14, 2017 after the last release of the product. Venture Beat

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