Technology archive for 2016-06-28

Researchers Find Game-Changing Helium Reserve In Tanzania

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes from a report via CNN: Helium is an incredibly important element that is used in everything from party balloons to MRI machines -- it's even used for nuclear power. For many years, there have been global shortages of the element. For example, Tokyo Disneyland once had to suspend sales of its helium balloons due to the shortages. The shortages are expected to come to an end now that researchers from Oxford and Durham universities have discovered a "world-class" helium gas field in Tanzania's East African Rift Valley. They estimate that just one part of the reserve in Tanzania could be as large as 54 billion cubic feet (BCf), which is enough to fill more than 1.2 million medical MRI scanners. "To put this discovery into perspective, global consumption of helium is about 8 billion cubic feet (BCf) per year and the United States Federal Helium Reserve, which is the world's largest supplier, has a current reserve of just 24.2 BCf," said University of Oxford's Chris Ballentine, a professor with the Department of Earth Sciences. "Total known reserves in the USA are around 153 BCf. This is a game-changer for the future security of society's helium needs and similar finds in the future may not be far away," Ballentine added. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple Patents a Way To Keep People From Filming At Concerts and Movie Theaters

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Apple has patented a system that prohibits smartphone users from taking photos and videos at concerts, movie theaters and other events where people tend to ignore such restrictions. The patent has been award to Apple today and was first spotted by Patently Apple. QZ reports: "It outlines a system which would allow venues to use an infrared emitter to remotely disable the camera function on smartphones. According to the patent, infrared beams could be picked up by the camera, and interpreted by the smartphone as a command to block the user from taking any photos or videos of whatever they're seeing. The patent also outlines ways that infrared blasters could actually improve someone's experience at a venue. For example, the beams could be used to send information to museum-goers by pointing a smartphone camera at a blaster placed next to a piece of art." The report also mentions that the patent could in theory be used to help police limit smartphone filming of acts of brutality, or help a government shut off filming in certain locations. Last week, SlashGear reported that Alicia Keys is the latest musician to ban cellphones at her events. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Verizon is marketing a $1.2B bond backed by mobile phone contracts, the first of its kind in US, with three categories rated triple-A to single-A by Fitch (Joe Rennison/Financial Times)

(3 years ago)
Joe Rennison / Financial Times:Verizon is marketing a $1.2B bond backed by mobile phone contracts, the first of its kind in US, with three categories rated triple-A to single-A by Fitch  —  Verizon is marketing a $1.2bn bond backed by mobile phone contracts, the first of its kind in the US, which could pave the way to similar deals from other mobile phone providers.

China launches new carrier rocket

(3 years ago)
China's next-generation carrier rocket blasted off from the country's new Wenchang space port Saturday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Sculpture controlled by bees

(3 years ago)
Deep inside the Royal Botanical Gardens in London, a 40 ton steel sculpture has arisen in a peaceful wildflower meadow. The structure is called "The Hive" -- a 17 meter tall ode to the plight of honeybees, created by artist Wolfgang Buttress.

$1,000 device 3D-scans body fat

(3 years ago)
Naked Labs makes a 3D body scanner for your home. Founder Farhad Farahbakhshian tells CNN's Samuel Burke that the company's device will tell you if your diet or workout is making a difference, before you'd see results on a scale.

(3 years ago)
See photos of the Solar Impulse 2's attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only solar power.

(3 years ago)

(3 years ago)
Chinese fans were glued to their screens watching the NBA finals thanks to a savvy business move from one Chinese tech giant. CNN's Andrew Stevens reports.

Let's Stop Freaking Out About Artificial Intelligence

(3 years ago)
Former Google CEO, and current Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Google X founder Sebastian Thrun in an op-ed on Fortune Magazine have shared their views on artificial intelligence, and what the future holds for this nascent technology. "When we first worked on the AI behind self-driving cars, most experts were convinced they would never be safe enough for public roads. But the Google Self-Driving Car team had a crucial insight that differentiates AI from the way people learn. When driving, people mostly learn from their own mistakes. But they rarely learn from the mistakes of others. People collectively make the same mistakes over and over again," they wrote. The two also talked about an artificial intelligence apocalypse, adding that while it's unlikely to happen, the situation is still worth considering. They wrote:Do we worry about the doomsday scenarios? We believe it's worth thoughtful consideration. Today's AI only thrives in narrow, repetitive tasks where it is trained on many examples. But no researchers or technologists want to be part of some Hollywood science-fiction dystopia. The right course is not to panic - it's to get to work. Google, alongside many other companies, is doing rigorous research on AI safety, such as how to ensure people can interrupt an AI system whenever needed, and how to make such systems robust to cyberattacks.It's a long commentary, but worth a read.[..]

Olympic unisuits protect against polluted waters

(3 years ago)
The U.S. Olympic rowing team will appear in seamless unisuits when they hit the bay waters of Rio de Janeiro this summer. Though many viewers will notice only the second-skin fit, these innovative suits will also be providing much-needed protection against the foul waters of Guanabara Bay. The unisuits are knitted with antimicrobial material, their designer said.

Here's How Pinterest Plans to Get You To Shop More

(3 years ago)
Pinterest is figuring out new ways to bolster its revenue. On Tuesday, the social media company announced a range of new e-commerce features that will encourage its users (the service attracts more than 100 million users every month) to purchase items directly from its website. One of the biggest features is visual search for products, which will allow users to take a picture of an object and then see similar items to buy on Pinterest. The company has also announced a shopping bag that can be accessed on its mobile apps and website. From a Fortune report:Merchants will be able to create dedicated pages displaying all the merchandise being sold through Pinterest and, like Amazon, will suggest items that a user might want to buy. [...] The company wants to make it increasingly easier for people to buy items on its site. If Pinterest does have ambitions of becoming more of an e-commerce destination, it makes sense for Pinterest to start emulating moves made early on by e-commerce giant Amazon, such as personalization and recommended items. The key to personalization for Amazon has been the trove of data it has accumulated in order to recommend more products to its users. Pinterest said that its users are currently pinning four million items per day, and this data could be key to providing users with more personalized recommendations.[..]

Sources: Airbnb seeking a new investment round at a valuation of around $30B, about a year after raising at a reported $24B valuation (New York Times)

(3 years ago)
New York Times:Sources: Airbnb seeking a new investment round at a valuation of around $30B, about a year after raising at a reported $24B valuation  —  Airbnb, which lets users list their homes and apartments for short-term rentals, is in talks for a new round of investment that would value the company …

US Healthcare Records Offered For Sale Online

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes:Three U.S. healthcare organisations are reportedly being held to ransom by a hacker who stole data on hundreds of thousands of patients. The hacker has also put the 650,000 records up for sale on dark web markets where stolen data is traded. Prices for the different databases range from $100,000 to $411,000. Buyers have already been found for some of the stolen data, the hacker behind the theft told news site Motherboard. No information about the size of the ransom payment sought by the data thief has emerged, although he did say it was "a modest amount compared to the damage that will be caused to the organisations when I decide to publicly leak the victims." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Leaked investor update doc: Lyft had record May, providing 12.7M rides in the month but volume may flatten with Austin retreat and college students heading home (Biz Carson/Business Insider)

(3 years ago)
Biz Carson / Business Insider:Leaked investor update doc: Lyft had record May, providing 12.7M rides in the month but volume may flatten with Austin retreat and college students heading home  —  Lyft had a record May, completing 12.7 million rides in the month, according to a leaked investor update viewed by Business Insider.

Amazon gives the Alexa 'app store' a makeover, now lets you add new Skills by voice (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

(3 years ago)
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:Amazon gives the Alexa ‘app store’ a makeover, now lets you add new Skills by voice  —  It will now be easier to add “Skills” - new functionality by way of voice-activated apps to Amazon's smart speaker Echo, and its other Alexa-powered devices, Amazon announced this morning.

Evernote raises prices of paid plans: Plus tier now $4, previously $3, and Premium tier now $8, previously $6; device sharing on free tier limited to 2 devices (Dan Seifert/The Verge)

(3 years ago)
Dan Seifert / The Verge:Evernote raises prices of paid plans: Plus tier now $4, previously $3, and Premium tier now $8, previously $6; device sharing on free tier limited to 2 devices  —  Evernote today announced a new suite of pricing for its paid plans and new limitations for its free service.

China Tells App Developers To Increase User Monitoring

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: The Cyberspace Administration of China has imposed new regulation for the mobile app community, requiring that developers keep a close watch over users and keep a record of their activities. However, the proposed legislation would also prevent apps from requesting unnecessary access to users' contacts, camera, microphone and other spurious installation requests. The regulator introduced the new laws in the name of cracking down on illegal use of mobile platforms for the distribution of pornography, fraud and the spread of 'malicious' content. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Pinterest is rolling out a shopping bag, buyable pins on web, visual search with your camera (Jordan Novet/VentureBeat)

(3 years ago)
Jordan Novet / VentureBeat:Pinterest is rolling out a shopping bag, buyable pins on web, visual search with your camera  —  Pinterest, the startup whose app lets people pin photos and other content to boards and even buy things shown in pins, today announced that the buy buttons that first appeared on the app are now coming to the web version.

Facebook launches official Share and Save Chrome extensions and redesigns its web-embeddable Like, Share, and Follow buttons (Yue Cai/Facebook Developers)

(3 years ago)
Yue Cai / Facebook Developers:Facebook launches official Share and Save Chrome extensions and redesigns its web-embeddable Like, Share, and Follow buttons  —  Today, we're introducing several new ways for developers to help people improve their sharing and saving experience.  This includes two new Chrome extensions …

Airbnb Has Sued Its Hometown Of San Francisco

(3 years ago)
Robert Mclean, reporting for CNN:Airbnb is taking its hometown to federal court. The company has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco, objecting to short-term rental rule changes approved by its Board of Supervisors. A new ordinance set to take effect in late July would require all Airbnb hosts to register with the city. If they do not, Airbnb would be fined up to $1,000 a day for each listing, putting the burden on the company to make sure each listing is legal. But the city's $50 registration process is analog enough to turn off many hosts. It can't be completed online and requires submitting all the documents in person. Airbnb contends the new rule violates the Communications Decency Act, Stored Communications Act and the First Amendment. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook now has official Save and Share extensions for Chrome (Nate Swanner/The Next Web)

(3 years ago)
Nate Swanner / The Next Web:Facebook now has official Save and Share extensions for Chrome  —  Taking dead aim at Pocket, Facebook is releasing a ‘Save to Facebook’ extension for the Chrome browser as well as a new ‘Share’ extension.  —  Launched at F8 , the Save button lets you tuck articles away on Facebook to read later on.

Microsoft To Make Saying No To Windows 10 Update Easier

(3 years ago)
Less than a week after a California-based woman won $10,000 lawsuit against Microsoft over Windows 10 upgrades, the Redmond-based company has announced it will make it easier for users to say no to Windows 10 updates. The company plans to change the Windows 10 update prompt to make it clearer and easier for Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users to schedule or reject upgrading to Windows 10. ZDNet reports:Microsoft officials said late on June 27 that the new update experience -- with clearer "upgrade now, schedule a time, or decline the free offer" -- will start rolling out this week. Microsoft also will revert to making clicking on the Red X at the corner of the Windows 10 update box dismiss the update, rather than initiate it, as it has done for the past several weeks. Microsoft officials said they are making the change "in response to customer feedback." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Taiwanese chip supplier says Apple conservative on orders: Nikkei

(3 years ago)
(Reuters) - Taiwanese chip firm Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc said on Tuesday that its biggest customer, Apple Inc, was being more conservative in placing orders compared with last year, according to the Nikkei.

London start-up scene weighs threat of British Techxit

(3 years ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Britain's tech start-up scene was having a bumper year in terms of new company creation, fresh funding and acquisitions by global tech players before voters decided to leave the European Union in Thursday’s referendum.

Young Turks: e-commerce start-ups bet on enviable demographics

(3 years ago)
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - When Demet Mutlu dropped out of Harvard six years ago to found an online fashion retailer in her native Turkey, friends thought she was crazy to leave the world's top business school for a leap into the unknown.

Siemens to invest $1.1 billion in new startups unit

(3 years ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German industrial group Siemens plans to invest 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) over the next five years in a new startups unit to help it develop businesses in areas such as artificial intelligence and decentralized electrification.

EU regulators readying third Google antitrust charge: sources

(3 years ago)
BRUSSELS - Alphabet's Google may face a third EU antitrust charge as soon as next month, this time focusing on its revenue mainstay AdWords ad placement service, three people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Chinese economic cyber-espionage is diminishing, says U.S. official

(3 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said on Tuesday that Chinese hacking activity appears to have declined since the Chinese government vowed last September to stop supporting the hacking of U.S. trade secrets.

Young Turks: e-commerce start-ups bet on enviable demographics

(3 years ago)
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - When Demet Mutlu dropped out of Harvard six years ago to found an online fashion retailer in her native Turkey, friends thought she was crazy to leave the world's top business school for a leap into the unknown.

China tightens rules for mobile app developers

(3 years ago)
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has tightened rules for mobile app developers including requiring real-name registration and preserving users' activity logs, the country's internet regulator said on Tuesday, as Beijing looks to strengthen oversight of the growing app market.

EU regulators readying third Google antitrust charge: sources

(3 years ago)
BRUSSELS - Alphabet's Google may face a third EU antitrust charge as soon as next month, this time focusing on its revenue mainstay AdWords ad placement service, three people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Chinese economic cyber-espionage is diminishing, says U.S. official

(3 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said on Tuesday that Chinese hacking activity appears to have declined since the Chinese government vowed last September to stop supporting the hacking of U.S. trade secrets.
| 1 |2 |3 |


TC:0.0958