Stories by Bob Brown

Wi-Fi blocking debate far from over

Following the FCC’s warning in January that it would no longer tolerate the Marriotts of the world blocking visitors’ WiFi hotspots, I set a reminder on my calendar to revisit the topic six months later. After all, the issue of WiFi blocking sparked strong reactions from IT pros, end users and vendors of wireless LAN products early in the year, and I figured it wasn’t over yet. With the FCC's Smart City order earlier this month, it turns out my intuition was right.

Middle-aged drivers risking kids' safety by using cell phones in droves

New research finds that most middle-aged drivers use cell phones regularly while on the road, even when kids are in the car.

Prominent healthcare CIO: FDA medical device security warning "will be the first of many"

Dr. John Halamka has taken to his <a href="http://geekdoctor.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-security-of-medical-devices.html">"Life as a Healthcare CIO" blog</a> to sound the alarm on medical device threats in the wake of the FDA late last week issuing its first cybersecurity warning about a specific medical device.

See Video: Sysadmins take wild ride in giant iMac wheel

And there I was, thinking I was making the most of my MacBook Air box by using it as a stand for my laptop rather than forking over the money for a fancier stand.

Named Data Networking consortium preps for workshop, hackathon

The <a href="http://named-data.net/project/">Named Data Networking project</a>, which is working on an Internet architecture designed to better handle data and application access in an increasingly mobile world, is hosting its second annual community meeting and its first hackathon next month at the UCLA campus.

Harvard CISO shares 5 pearls of IT security wisdom

Chief Information Security Officer Christian Hamer, who is responsible for policy and awareness across Harvard University and whose team handles security operations and incident response, took part on a panel last week at the Campus Technology conference in Boston (Campus Technology's Rhea Kelly moderated; ESET researcher Lysa Myers was also an expert panelist). Here's a selection of Hamer's more notable observations:

Americas are just 2 weeks away from running out of IPv4 addresses

John Curran, <a href="https://www.arin.net/">CEO of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN),</a> told attendees at the <a href="http://events.campustechnology.com/Events/CT-Summer-Educational-Technology-Conference/Information/HOME.aspx">Campus Technology conference</a> in Boston on Wednesday that the IP address authority's pool of IPv4 addresses has dwindled to 90,000 and will be exhausted in about two weeks.

Apple back-to-school sale features free Beats headphones for Mac buyers

Apple signaled the all-too-soon winding down of summer Thursday by revealing its annual back-to-school sale, which features free headphones for qualified Mac buyers.

Google-infused storage startup Cohesity reveals itself

Mohit Aron has a tough act to follow: His previous startup, Nutanix, may be on the cusp of filing for an IPO that values the hyperconverged infrastructure company at $2.5 billion. But Aron is off to a good start with his new venture, Cohesity, which this week emerges from stealth mode with $70 million in venture funding, reference-able customers such as Tribune Media, and a focus on a potentially big market in converging the secondary storage that houses so much DevOps, data protection, analytics and other unstructured data.

In Pictures: Cisco Live!

Outgoing and incoming Cisco CEOs John Chambers and Chuck Robbins weren’t the only attractions at the annual Cisco event in San Diego this week.

9 hot enterprise storage companies to watch

Amidst all the venture investments this year in startups that generate gobs of data -- from those focused on everything from apps to drones to the Internet of Things to Big Data -- are a batch of newcomers aiming to help organizations store and access all that information. Yes, storage companies are pulling in big bucks in 2015, as they did in 2014, and a couple have even double-dipped this year and announced two rounds of funding.

Apple to open source Swift programming language

"We think Swift is the next big programming language, the one that we'll all be doing application and system programming on for 20 years to come," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering who in addition to discussing Swift introduced Apple's iOS 9 developments.

Yahoo does Spring Cleaning: Shuts down Maps, Pipes & more

In case you were wondering what it is exactly that Yahoo does these days, the company says its focus is on "search, communications and digital content." The rest must go, and as such, Yahoo today has announced some things it is getting rid of.

Really smart phones: Now they can predict your GPA

Researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Texas at Austin have developed an Android app that they say can predict students' grade point averages without prior knowledge of data such as SAT scores, IQ or school track records. What's more, the technology could have future applications for predicting employee performance.

In Pictures: 20 best iPhone/iPad games

Star Wars Rebels, Fireworks, Shakespeare and lots of quests are featured in top iPhone and iPad games.