Technology archive for 2017-01-05

Ask Slashdot: Why Did 3D TVs and Stereoscopic 3D Television Broadcasting Fail?

(2 years ago)
dryriver writes: Just a few years ago the future seemed bright for 3D TVs. The 3D film Avatar smashed all box office records. Every Hollywood studio wanted to make big 3D films. The major TV set manufacturers from LG to Phillips to Panasonic all wanted in on the 3D TV action. A 3D disc format called Blu-ray 3D was agreed on. Sony went as far as putting free 3D TVs in popular pubs in London to show Brits how cool watching football ("Soccer" in the U.S.) in Stereo 3D is. Tens of millions of dollars of 3D TV related ads ran on TV stations across the world. 3D Televisions and 3D content was, simply put, the biggest show in town for a while as far as consumer electronics goes. Then the whole circus gradually collapsed -- 3D TVs failed to sell well and create the multi-billion dollar profits anticipated. 3D at home failed to catch on with consumers. Shooting genuine stereo 3D films (not "post conversions") proved to be expensive and technically challenging. Blu-ray 3D was only modestly successful. Even Nvidia's stereo 3D solutions for PC gamers failed. What, in your opinion, went wrong? Were early 3D TV sets too highly priced? Were there too few 3D films and 3D TV stations available to watch (aka "The Content Problem")? Did people hate wearing active/passive plastic 3D glasses in the living room? Was the price of Blu-ray 3D films and Blu-ray 3D players set too high? Was there something wrong with the stereo 3D effect the industry tried to popularize? Did too many people suffer 3D[..]

After reaching near-record high, Bitcoin drops from $1,150 to $887, a 23% decline, in six hours (Paul Vigna/Wall Street Journal)

(2 years ago)
Paul Vigna / Wall Street Journal:After reaching near-record high, Bitcoin drops from $1,150 to $887, a 23% decline, in six hours  —  Digital currency saw huge moves Thursday as China's yuan gained strength  —  Bitcoin approached record highs and then fell sharply into a bear market—all in one morning.

Intel's Compute Card Is a PC That Can Fit In Your Wallet

(2 years ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Intel mostly missed the boat on smartphones, but the company is trying to establish a firm foothold in the ever-broadening marketplace for connected appliances and other smart things. Intel's latest effort in this arena is its new "Compute Card," a small 94.5mm by 55mm by 5mm slab that includes a CPU and GPU, RAM, storage, and wireless connectivity. Intel hasn't given us specific information about the specs and speeds of its first Compute Cards, but you can expect the fastest ones to approach the performance of high-end fanless laptops like Apple's MacBooks. Intel told us that processors with a TDP of up to 6W could fit inside the Compute Cards, which covers both low-power Atom chips like those that powered early versions of Intel's Compute Stick to full Core M and Y-series Core i5 and i7 CPUs like the ones you find in laptops. Intel says that the card uses a variant of the USB-C port called "USB-C plus extension" to connect with the systems it's plugged into. That connector gives devices direct access to the USB and PCIe buses as well as HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs. The company considers the Compute Card to be a replacement of sorts for the Compute Stick, which Intel says will probably disappear from its roadmap in 2018 or so. The issue with the Compute Stick from Intel's perspective is that its input and output ports were unnecessarily limiting -- it could only connect to HDMI ports and could only accept a[..]

How the digital legacy of the Obama White House will live on via tech projects such as a Twitter bot, a Giphy page, and Internet Archive sharing (Alex Kantrowitz/BuzzFeed)

(2 years ago)
Alex Kantrowitz / BuzzFeed:How the digital legacy of the Obama White House will live on via tech projects such as a Twitter bot, a Giphy page, and Internet Archive sharing  —  President Obama was the first US President to use Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook Live and YouTube to engage the public.

FTC Takes D-Link To Court Citing Lax Product Security, Privacy Perils

(2 years ago)
Reader coondoggie writes: The Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against network equipment vendor D-Link saying inadequate security in the company's wireless routers and Internet cameras left consumers open to hackers and privacy violations. The FTC, in a complaint filed in the Northern District of California charged that "D-Link failed to take reasonable steps to secure its routers and Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, potentially compromising sensitive consumer information, including live video and audio feeds from D-Link IP cameras." For its part, D-Link Systems said it "is aware of the complaint filed by the FTC." According to the FTC's complaint, D-Link promoted the security of its routers on the company's website, which included materials headlined "Easy to secure" and "Advance network security." But despite the claims made by D-Link, the FTC alleged, the company failed to take steps to address well-known and easily preventable security flaws such as "hard-coded" login credentials integrated into D-Link camera software -- such as the username âoeguestâ and the password âoeguestâ -- that could allow unauthorized access to the cameras' live feed, etc. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Report Finds Improvements in Chesapeake Bay's Overall Health

(2 years ago)
A new report finds water clarity in the Chesapeake Bay is the best it's been in decades, and native rockfish, oyster and blue crab populations are rebounding as the overall health of the nation's largest estuary improves

Uber Drivers Deemed To Be Employees By Swiss Insurance Provider

(2 years ago)
An anonymous shares a TechCrunch article: Uber has suffered another setback to its operational model in Europe after a Swiss insurance agency ruled that Uber drivers are employees, not freelance contractors as the company claims -- meaning it must pay social security contributions. This follows a similar ruling by a UK employment tribunal in October which found that the two Uber drivers bringing the claim were employed as workers by Uber, rather than being freelance contractors. Swiss broadcaster SRF says the Suva agency made its decision on the status of Uber drivers in the market on account of their inability to set price or payment type, and because they are threatened with consequences from Uber if they do not fulfill its requirements. The Suva described its decision on the classification as a "clear conclusion." The public sector insurer is involved in determining whether workers are freelance or not as a provider of compulsory on-the-job accident insurance which is required for certain high risk professions. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Norway to switch off FM radio in risky, unpopular shift to digital

(2 years ago)
OSLO (Reuters) - Norway is set to become the first nation to start switching off its FM radio network next week, in a risky and unpopular leap to digital technology that will be closely watched by other countries considering whether to follow suit.

China To Plow $361 Billion Into Renewable Fuel By 2020

(2 years ago)
China will invest $361 billion in renewable power generation between 2016 and 2020, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said Thursday, as the world's largest energy market pushes to shift away from coal power. From a report: The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the NEA said in a blueprint document that lays out its plan to develop the nation's energy sector in a five-year period. The NEA repeated its goal to have 580 million tonnes of coal equivalent of renewable energy consumption by 2020, accounting for 15 percent of overall energy consumption. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Razer Built a Laptop With Three Screens Because Why Not?

(2 years ago)
At CES in Las Vegas today, Razer unveiled a prototype that could change the way we play. Behold: Project Valerie, the world's first laptop to incorporate three built-in monitors. From a report on Engadget: Each screen measures 17.3 inches with 4K resolution -- that's 12k total (11520 x 2160) viewing space. They slide out from the central lid chassis under their own power and autonomously position themselves to create a full 180-degree viewing area, powered by NVIDIA's Surround View technology, which enables programs to spread a single image across multiple monitors. All of the computer's wiring is internal so you won't have to worry about snagging power cords as the screens deploy. The Valerie also utilizes Razer's short-throw keyboard, an all-aluminum case and the computing prowess of the 17-inch Blade Pro. No word on pricing. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dell unveils Canvas, a 27-inch 2560x1440 sloped desk-based monitor for creatives compatible with PCs to rival Microsoft's Studio, ships in April with price TBD (Jacob Kastrenakes/The Verge)

(2 years ago)
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:Dell unveils Canvas, a 27-inch 2560x1440 sloped desk-based monitor for creatives compatible with PCs to rival Microsoft's Studio, ships in April with price TBD  —  The most exciting part of Microsoft's Surface Studio — an all-in-one PC announced back in October — was its ability to fold …

Dell debuts 32-inch 8K 7680x4320 monitor, giving 280ppi, on sale March 23 for $4,999 (Vlad Savov/The Verge)

(2 years ago)
Vlad Savov / The Verge:Dell debuts 32-inch 8K 7680x4320 monitor, giving 280ppi, on sale March 23 for $4,999  —  The 32-inch Dell UP3218K has more than 33 megapixels and a billion colors  —  If CES is a preview of the future, then give me more of this particular flavor.  Dell today announces a new 32-inch …

To help keep users coming back, Fitbit debuts in-app community features for goal-setting and more, launching in the coming months (Georgia Wells/Wall Street Journal)

(2 years ago)
Georgia Wells / Wall Street Journal:To help keep users coming back, Fitbit debuts in-app community features for goal-setting and more, launching in the coming months  —  Company announces software updates and new app features for its fitness trackers and smartwatch at CES  —  LAS VEGAS—At the world's largest technology hardware confab …

Origin PC's Custom, Professional Overclocking Will Push Your Kaby Lake Chip Past 5GHz

(2 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Intel's new Kaby Lake desktop processors may not be huge improvements over their Skylake predecessors in terms of raw speed, but they've got it where it counts in one enthusiast-friendly area: overclocking. Now the high-end custom PC builder Origin is putting its (and your) money where its mouth is. Origin's has offered professional overclocking as a $75 option in its systems for a while, and now the builder is touting that Kaby Lake desktops chips will go up to -- and potentially over -- the 5GHz barrier. Hot, hot, hot, hot damn. Intel's chips haven't hit such lofty heights since the Sandy Bridge days and the Core i7-2600K. Since then, Intel's processors usually tap out around the 4.5GHz mark. While the current wording for Origin's professional overclocking doesn't guarantee a set frequency due to the silicon lottery -- promising only that "Origin PC's award winning system integrators will overclock your processor and squeeze out every last megahertz" with every overclock "stringently tested and benchmarked for ensured stability" -- the company must feel darn confident to market that 5GHz number in big, bold numbers in a press release. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Prime members can use Alexa to reorder meals they've had in the past from Amazon Restaurants in LA, SF, Seattle, more (James Vincent/The Verge)

(2 years ago)
James Vincent / The Verge:Amazon Prime members can use Alexa to reorder meals they've had in the past from Amazon Restaurants in LA, SF, Seattle, more  —  But you can only order dishes you've had in the past  —  We're only five days into 2017, but Amazon is on a tear with new updates and support for its digital assistant Alexa.

Verizon Executive Says Company Unsure About Yahoo Deal

(2 years ago)
A senior executive of Verizon said on Thursday the company was unsure about its planned acquisition of Yahoo's internet business. From a report on Reuters: "I can't sit here today and say with confidence one way or another because we still don't know," Marni Walden, president of product innovation and new businesses, said at the Citi 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas.To walk away, Verizon likely will have to show the overall value of Yahoo has declined as a result of the two hacking disclosures. "I have to have certain facts in order to be able to make a decision," she told WSJ. "There's a lot of stuff we don't know." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Minecraft Has Now Sold Over 25 Million Copies on PC and Mac

(2 years ago)
An anonymous reader shares a Neowin article: Minecraft is a 3D video game created by Markus Persson, and published on PC by Mojang back in 2011. Ever since its release, it's been very popular and has become a global phenomenon. Received positively by reviewers and consumers alike, it has been a commercial success. In fact, its continuing popularity prompted Microsoft to buy Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014. It so happens that the game has sold over 25 million copies on PC and Mac to-date. According to the latest statistics publicly available on Mojang's website, Minecraft has sold 25,072,545 copies on PC and Mac. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Niantic Labs taps wearable startup to boost popular Ingress game

(2 years ago)
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian wearable technology startup Mighty Cast unveiled a programmable wristband on Thursday that Pokemon Go developer Niantic Inc is using to add features to its augmented reality online game Ingress.

Lyft more than doubles Q4 ridership year-over-year to 52.6M, with 18.7M in December alone compared to Uber's 78M (Greg Bensinger/Wall Street Journal)

(2 years ago)
Greg Bensinger / Wall Street Journal:Lyft more than doubles Q4 ridership year-over-year to 52.6M, with 18.7M in December alone compared to Uber's 78M  —  President John Zimmer says the is paring back incentives and is on a path toward overall profitability  —  Ride-hailing service Lyft Inc. more than doubled its quarterly ridership …

Rumors of Cmd's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

(2 years ago)
Senior Program Manager at Microsoft has responded to speculations that Command Prompt is going away. He writes: The Cmd shell remains an essential part of Windows, and is used daily by millions of businesses, developers, and IT Pro's around the world. In fact: 1. Much of the automated system that builds and tests Windows itself is a collection of many Cmd scripts that have been created over many years, without which we couldn't build Windows itself! 2. Cmd is one of the most frequently run executables on Windows with a similar number of daily launches as File Explorer, Edge and Internet Explorer! 3. Many of our customers and partners are totally dependent on Cmd, and all its quirks, for their companies" existence!In short: Cmd is an absolutely vital feature of Windows and, until there's almost nobody running Cmd scripts or tools, Cmd will remain within Windows. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Streaming overtakes U.S. digital music sales for first time: Nielsen

(2 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Canadian rapper Drake helped music streaming services explode in 2016, rising by 76 percent in the United States to overtake digital sales of music for the first time in history, Nielsen Music said on Thursday.

Streaming overtakes U.S. digital music sales for first time: Nielsen

(2 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Canadian rapper Drake helped music streaming services explode in 2016, rising by 76 percent in the United States to overtake digital sales of music for the first time in history, Nielsen Music said on Thursday.

Saudi body rules on insider trading in Mobily shares

(2 years ago)
DUBAI (Reuters) - A special Saudi Arabia committee has found a number of individuals guilty of providing insider information and insider trading in shares of telecoms operator Mobily , leaving them facing potential jail terms of between one and two years, the kingdom's Capital Market Authority (CMA) said on Thursday.

Sources: details from Mark Zuckerberg's candid weekly Q&A sessions almost never leak because staffers fear reprisal, such as firings and peer pressure (Kurt Wagner/Recode)

(2 years ago)
Kurt Wagner / Recode:Sources: details from Mark Zuckerberg's candid weekly Q&A sessions almost never leak because staffers fear reprisal, such as firings and peer pressure  —  The CEO opens up to 16,000 employees once a week.  Why don't you hear more about it?  —  On a Friday afternoon in July 2015 …

Apple Removes NYTimes App in China, Shows How Far It Is Willing To Go To Please Local Authority

(2 years ago)
Apple has removed the New York Times app from its store in China after a government request, in an example of how far the company will go to please the authorities in its third-largest market. From a report: China operates what is thought to be the largest internet censorship regime in the world, blocking thousands of foreign websites viewed as a threat by the ruling Communist party. Google, Twitter, Facebook Youtube and Instagram are all inaccessible. Apple removed the English and Chinese-language versions of the New York Times app on 23 December, although it was not immediately clear why. "We have been informed that the app is in violation of local regulations," said Carolyn Wu, an Apple spokeswoman. "As a result the app must be taken down off the China app store. When this situation changes the app store will once again offer the New York Times app for download in China." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Minecraft has now sold over 25M copies on PC and Mac, six months after crossing the 100M sales mark across all platforms (Usama Jawad/Neowin)

(2 years ago)
Usama Jawad / Neowin:Minecraft has now sold over 25M copies on PC and Mac, six months after crossing the 100M sales mark across all platforms  —  Minecraft is a 3D video game created by Markus Persson, and published on PC by Mojang back in 2011.  Ever since its release, it's been very popular and has become a global phenomenon.

Snapchat accused of misleading investors to drive up its IPO in ex-employee lawsuit; company says his claims have no merit (Ashley Cullins/Hollywood Reporter)

(2 years ago)
Ashley Cullins / Hollywood Reporter:Snapchat accused of misleading investors to drive up its IPO in ex-employee lawsuit; company says his claims have no merit  —  An ex-Snapchat employee says he was fired just weeks after the company poached him from Facebook and is being blackballed.  Snap says his claims have no merit.

Snapchat Cited False User Numbers in Order To Boost IPO, Alleges Lawsuit by Ex-worker

(2 years ago)
A lawsuit filed against Snap Inc. by a former employee claims the company reported false growth numbers to investors in an effort to inflate its valuation. An anonymous reader shares a report: The plaintiff, Anothony Pompliano, joined the company (then known as Snapchat) as a growth lead in September of last year from Facebook. Pompliano claims the company's "institutional pandemic" of misrepresentation of its user numbers was fueled by its pursuit of a multi-billion dollar initial public offering (IPO) -- a number of prior reports have claimed the company could go public as soon as March. Snap's visual messaging app Snapchat is known for its popularity with younger millennials (aged 25 and under). Despite remaining tight-lipped about its official statistics, leaked reports put its daily active user base at 150 million (higher than that of fellow social platform Twitter). Additionally, its daily video views count hit an impressive 10 billion in April 2016. Numbers like these have had the industry buzzing over its expected IPO, with analysts claiming the company could be valued as high as $25 billion. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple App Store Developers Earned $20 Billion in 2016, Up 40 Percent Year Over Year

(2 years ago)
Apple said Thursday its App Store generated $20 billion for developers in 2016, a 40 percent increase from 2015, helped by the popularity of games such as Pokemon Go and Super Mario Run and increased revenue from subscriptions. From a report on CNBC: "2016 was an amazingly great year for the App Store," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told CNBC. "We continue to advance what is available for developers to create. And our catalog of apps grew 20 percent to 2.2 million." Schiller said the biggest drivers for the App Store included games such as "Pokemon Go," which was the most downloaded app in 2016; "Super Mario," which was the most downloaded app on Christmas and New Year's days; and subscription-based apps, such as Netflix, Hulu and Time Warner's HBO Go. The tech giant said its biggest day of sales on the App Store was on Jan. 1, 2017, when customers spent a record $240 million. The top grossing markets included the U.S, U.K., Japan and China, which saw 90 percent year-over-year growth. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

India reluctant to give special tax incentives to Apple

(2 years ago)
(Reuters) - India is resisting tech giant Apple Inc's demand for tax incentives to make iPhones in the country, with the trade minister saying on Thursday that the government may not make exceptions for the U.S. company.

Flush with funds, Israeli tech firms delay exits

(2 years ago)
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Whenever potential buyers have approached Tel Aviv-based Fiverr, the technology firm has said no; like a growing number of Israeli start-ups, it has enough backing from private investors to stay independent for longer.

Bitcoin plunges by a fifth

(2 years ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - Digital currency bitcoin fell more than 20 percent in the space of four hours of trading on Thursday, putting it on track for its worst daily performance in nearly two years.

Developers earned $20B from App Store in 2016, up 40% from 2015; January 1, 2017 saw biggest single day sales of $240M (Apple)

(2 years ago)
Apple:Developers earned $20B from App Store in 2016, up 40% from 2015; January 1, 2017 saw biggest single day sales of $240M  —  Cupertino, California — Apple today announced that the App Store welcomed 2017 with its busiest single day ever on New Year's Day, capping a record-breaking holiday season …

Bitcoin Is Crashing

(2 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Bitcoin is getting smashed. The cryptocurrency was down 18% to about $892 per coin as of 8:17 a.m. ET on Thursday. It is the biggest drop in two years. Earlier this week, on its first trading day of the new year, Bitcoin crossed above the $1,000 mark for the first time since 2013, but it has now tumbled below that level. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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