Technology archive for 2016-06-15

Walmart Experimenting With Robotic Shopping Cart For Stores

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Bloomberg: Bloomberg reports Walmart is working with a robotics company to develop a shopping cart that helps customers find items on their lists and saves them from pushing a heavy cart through a sprawling store and parking lot. The carts are a way for brick-and-mortar stores to stay relevant in the convenience factor to match the likes of Amazon and other online retailers, says founder and chief executive officer of Five Elements Robotics Wendy Roberts. She said on Tuesday at the Bloomberg Technology Conference 2016 that her company was working with the "world's largest retailer" on such a shopping cart. In 2014, Five Elements Robotics introduced Budgee, a personal robot that can follow its user around inside and outdoors and carry things. The robot costs $1,400 and is helpful for people with disabilities, says Roberts. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cybercrime market sells servers for as little as 6 dollars to launch attacks

(3 years ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A major underground marketplace acting like an eBay for criminals is selling access to more than 70,000 compromised servers allowing buyers to carry out widespread cyber-attacks around the world, security experts said on Wednesday.

EU proposes cutting wholesale roaming rates

(3 years ago)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union proposed on Wednesday cutting the wholesale roaming rates that telecoms operators pay each other when customers surf the Internet abroad to pave the way for the abolition of retail roaming charges by summer next year.

Social Media Overtakes Television As Young People's Main Source of News, Says Report

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: Of the 18-to-24-year-olds surveyed, 28% cited social media as their main news source, compared with 24% for TV. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism research also suggests 51% of people with online access use social media as a news source. The report, now in its fifth year, is based on a YouGov survey of about 50,000 people across 26 countries, including 2,000 Britons. Facebook and other social media outlets have moved beyond being "places of news discovery" to become the place people consume their news, it suggests. And news via social media is particularly popular among women and young people. The study found Facebook was the most common source -- used by 44% of all those surveyed -- to watch, share and comment on news. Next came YouTube on 19%, with Twitter on 10%. Apple News accounted for 4% in the US and 3% in the UK, while messaging app Snapchat was used by just 1% or less in most countries. According to the survey, consumers are happy to have their news selected by algorithms, with 36% saying they would like news chosen based on what they had read before and 22% happy for their news agenda to be based on what their friends had read. But 30% still wanted the human oversight of editors and other journalists in picking the news agenda and many had fears about algorithms creating news "bubbles" where people only see news from like-minded viewpoints. Most of those surveyed said they used a smartphone to access[..]

SoftBank sees up to $2.4 billion profit on Alibaba share sale

(3 years ago)
TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp said on Wednesday it expects to book profit of 200 billion yen to 250 billion yen ($1.9 billion to $2.4 billion) this financial year from the sale of shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Asymmetric Molecule, Key To Life, Detected In Space For First Time

(3 years ago)
schwit1 quotes a report from Yahoo News: Scientists for the first time have found a complex organic molecule in space that bears the same asymmetric structure as molecules that are key to life on Earth. The researchers said on Tuesday they detected the complex organic molecule called propylene oxide in a giant cloud of gas and dust near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Akin to a pair of human hands, certain organic molecules including propylene oxide possess mirror-like versions of themselves, a chemical property called chirality. Scientists have long pondered why living things make use of only one version of certain molecules, such as the 'right-handed' form of the sugar ribose, which is the backbone of DNA. The discovery of propylene oxide in space boosts theories that chirality has cosmic origins. The scientists in the new study used radio telescopes to ferret out the chemical details of molecules in the distant, star-forming cloud of gas and dust. As molecules move around in the vacuum of space they emit telltale vibrations that appear as distinctive radio waves. Future studies of how polarized light interacts with the molecules may reveal if one version of propylene oxide dominates in space, the researchers said. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

macOS Sierra tidbits: Gatekeeper "Anywhere" option removed, optimized storage with iCloud, RAID support, more (Joe Rossignol/MacRumors)

(3 years ago)
Joe Rossignol / MacRumors:macOS Sierra tidbits: Gatekeeper “Anywhere” option removed, optimized storage with iCloud, RAID support, more  —  Apple yesterday announced macOS Sierra, the latest version of its Mac software platform and renamed successor to OS X El Capitan.  The first beta was released …

Chef launches Habitat, an open source project to make applications infrastructure-independent (Frederic Lardinois/TechCrunch)

(3 years ago)
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:Chef launches Habitat, an open source project to make applications infrastructure-independent  —  Chef today launched Habitat, a new open source project that allows developers to package their applications and run them on a wide variety of infrastructures.  —  Habitat essentially wraps applications …

Peter Thiel's Lawyer Wants To Silence Reporting On Trump's Hair

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Follow the report that Gawker has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after facing multiple lawsuits funded by tech billionaire Peter Thiel, it's being reported that Thiel's lawyer, Charles J. Harder, is threatening to sue Gawker for reporting on the company that made Donald Trump's hair, claiming copyright prohibits Gawker from republishing his threat. He sent the company a letter on behalf of Edward Ivari, the owner of the company Gawker suggests may be behind Trump's hair. Gawker said it was sent a six-page letter that claims the story "was 'false and defamatory,' invaded Ivari's privacy, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, and committed 'tortious interference' with Ivari's business relations." Gawker reporter Ashley Feinberg suggested in a lengthy Gawker story that Trump secretly underwent Ivari International's $60,000 "microcylinder intervention" treatment, with the company's offices located on the 25th floor of Trump Tower. Gawker called Ivari's claims "ridiculous," and noted that the statements at issue were pulled from his own publicity materials and from public records of a 2001 lawsuit against the company. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Air, Land, Sea, Cyber: NATO Adds Cyberspace To Operation Areas

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Phys.Org: On Tuesday, NATO decided to make cyber operations part of its war domain, along with air, sea, and land operations. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the decision is not aimed at any one particular country, just that allies need to be able to better defend themselves and respond to computer network attacks. Phys.Org reports: "The decision has been long in coming, particularly amid rising tensions with Russia, which has proven its willingness to launch computer-based attacks against other nations. About a year ago, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told NATO that it must improve its ability to protect itself before it builds its cyberwar capabilities. And he pledged that the U.S. would used its expertise to help allies assess their vulnerabilities and reduce the risk to their critical infrastructure. In 2014, after years of debate, NATO finally agreed that a cyberattack could rise to the level of a military assault and could trigger the Article 5 protections, which allow the alliance to go to the collective defense of another member that has been attacked. New research from the Pew Research Center shows that cyberattacks are the second most-feared entity among Americans after ISIS. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hacker Steals 45 Million Accounts From Hundreds of Car, Tech, Sports Forums

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: A hacker has stolen tens of millions of accounts from over a thousand popular forums, which host popular car, tech, and sports communities. The stolen database contains close to 45 million records from 1,100 websites and forums hosted by VerticalScope, a Toronto-based media company with dozens of major properties, including forums and sites run by AutoGuide.com, PetGuide.com, and TopHosts.com. "We are aware of the possible issue and our internal security team has been investigating and will be collecting information to provide to the appropriate law enforcement agencies," said Jerry Orban, vice-president of corporate development, in an email. In a sample given to ZDNet, the database shows email addresses, passwords that were hashed and salted passwords with MD5 (an algorithm that nowadays is easy to crack), as well as a user's IP address (which in some cases can determine location), and the site that the record was taken from. LeakedSource, which confirmed the findings, said in its blog post that it was "likely that VerticalScope stored all of their data on interconnected or even the same servers as there is no other way to explain a theft on such a large scale." A LeakedSource group member said it was "not related" to the recent hacks against MySpace, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. The report goes on to say: "A cursory search of the list of domains caught up in the hack revealed that none of the sites [ZDNet] checked offered basic[..]

Apple to disable plug-ins like Flash, Java, Silverlight, and Quicktime by default in Safari 10, to focus on HTML5 content (Juli Clover/MacRumors)

(3 years ago)
Juli Clover / MacRumors:Apple to disable plug-ins like Flash, Java, Silverlight, and Quicktime by default in Safari 10, to focus on HTML5 content  —  In Safari 10, set to ship with macOS Sierra, Apple plans to disable common plug-ins like Adobe Flash, Java, Silverlight, and QuickTime by default in an effort to focus …

Online Loans Made In China Using Nude Pictures As Collateral

(3 years ago)
HughPickens.com writes: There is more than one way to get a student loan in China as People's Daily Online reports that many Chinese university students use their nude pictures as IOUs on online lending platforms, putting themselves at the risks of having everybody -- including their parents -- see them naked. Borrowers are also required to upload pictures of their ID cards and report their family information, including their address and cellphone numbers. "The nude photos will be made public if the borrowers fail to repay their debts with interest," an insider was quoted as saying. The credit varies based on the borrower's education background. Usually an undergraduate student can receive 15,000 yuan ($2,277) in credit, while those studying at famous universities as well as doctorate students can receive even larger loans. Snapshots of threatening collection messages have also gone viral, with a photo of a female borrower and a message reading how the lender would send the photo and her naked video footage to her family members if she could not pay back her 10,000 yuan borrowed on an annual interest rate of 24 percent within a week. "Naked IOUs started long ago. Not only university students but many others also borrowed money with nude pictures," says insider surnamed Zhang. Zuo Shenggao from Jingshi Law Firm says that nude photos are actually invalid as collateral in terms of laws. "Nude photos are not property. It is in the category of reputation rights," says Shenggao.[..]

Twitter Invests $70 Million In Music Streaming Service SoundCloud

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Recode reports that Twitter has decided to purchase a piece of the music streaming service SoundCloud. Roughly two years ago, Twitter thought about buying SoundCloud, but ultimately ended up walking away from the music service. Now, Twitter has invested around $70 million "as part of a round that should end up in the $100 million-range." Recode reports: "The round is expected to value SoundCloud at about $700 million -- the same value that investors placed on the company in 2014, when it raised $60 million; since then it has also raised a debt round." Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wouldn't comment on the specifics, but did confirm Twitter's stake in the company. "Earlier this year we made an investment in SoundCloud through Twitter Ventures to help support some of our efforts with creators," said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. "They've been great partners of ours over the years and their community-supported approach mirrors ours in many ways." Twitter may try and integrate SoundCloud into its service to increase growth and engagement, while SoundCloud may try and use Twitter to promote its newly launched subscription service. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackers sought to steal over $3 billion through wire-transfer fraud: FBI

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hackers have sought to steal more than $3 billion from businesses in a pernicious, fast-growing type of scam in which criminals impersonate company executives in emails ordering large wire transfers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned on Tuesday.

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi says testing its own digital currency

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ confirmed on Tuesday it is conducting experiments on a digital currency utilizing the technology behind the virtual currency bitcoin.

Obama Finally Ditches BlackBerry, Switches To Samsung Galaxy S4

(3 years ago)
Obama has finally been able to ditch his BlackBerry handset, something which he was stuck with for more than six years. Mr. President appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and told the audience that it was only this year that he was able to get a real smartphone. There's one caveat, though. The Android smartphone Obama has gotten is a "hardened" version, with pretty much all the unrequired features removed from it. Laughing with the audience, Obama said, the phone feels like the fake toy handset kids play with. ArsTechnica, citing documentations, claim that Obama is using a Samsung Galaxy S4 (a phone that was released in 2013), as it is the only smartphone currently supported by the Defense Information Systems Agency. From the report: The S4 is currently the only device supported under DISA's DOD Mobility Classified Capability-Secret (DMCC-S) program. In 2014, a number of Samsung devices were the first to win approval from the National Security Agency under its National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP) Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) program -- largely because of Samsung's KNOX security technology. And the S4, layered with services managed by DISA, is the first commercial phone to get approval to connect to the Secret classified DOD SIPRNet network. DISA has been working with vendors and the National Security Agency's Information Assurance Directorate to develop a Top Secret-capable mobile device for use by the Defense Department and the national[..]

Zelda breathes new life into Nintendo

(3 years ago)
Nintendo shows the first gameplay footage from a new Zelda game - a title that could determine the fortunes of its next console.

The Biggest Maker of Raspberry Pis Has Been Acquired For $871 Million

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Verge: The biggest manufacturer of the Raspberry Pi minicomputer, Premier Farnell, has been acquired by Swiss industrial component supplier Daetwyler Holding AG for roughly $871 million. According to Bloomberg, the deal will reportedly help both companies compete better in the components market. "By combining forces, we significantly increase our competitiveness and extend our product range," Daetwyler Chairman Ulrich said in a statement, "facilitating a one-stop shopping experience for our wide range of customers from a multitude of industries." Premier Farnell is one of the only companies with a license to design and distribute Raspberry Pis. The Wall Street Journal says the Raspberry Pi devices are a big part of the company's business, as the division in charge of the Pi raked in 16 percent of the company's total revenue last year. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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