Technology archive for 2017-01-06

US Releases Declassified Report On Russian Hacking, Concludes That Putin 'Developed a Clear Preference' For Trump

(2 years ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released its unclassified report on Russian hacking operations in the United States. "We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election," according to the report. "Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump." The report, titled "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections," details the successful hack of the Democratic National Committee. "The Kremlin's campaign aimed at the U.S. election featured disclosures of data obtained through Russian cyber operations; intrusions into U.S. state and local electoral boards; and overt propaganda," according to the report. The report states that Russian intelligence services made cyber-attacks against "both major U.S. political parties" to influence the 2016 election. The report also publicly names Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks.com, two sources of stolen information released to the public, as Russian operatives working on behalf of the country's military intelligence unit, the GRU. Officials from the organization were recently the target of U.S. sanctions. WikiLeaks is also cited as a recipient of stolen information. The[..]

Facebook hires former CNN anchor Campbell Brown for news role

(2 years ago)
(Reuters) - Former CNN reporter, anchor and host Campbell Brown is joining Facebook Inc to lead its news partnerships team, an appointment aimed at repairing the online social media company's troubled relationship with the traditional media.

Fake Malware-Filled Super Mario Run Apps Take Advantage of Android Absence

(2 years ago)
Mickeycaskill writes: Nintendo's Super Mario Run was downloaded more than 40 million times in the first four days it was available. But an Android version has yet to materialize. An official release is on the way, but cybercriminals are taking advantage of this vacuum by spreading malicious apps masquerading as the real thing. The "Android Marcher trojan" appears as a fake landing page advertising the release of the game, where it can be downloaded onto users' devices. It then targets financial and banking apps and can modify your settings and read your contacts. The popularity of Pokemon GO last year saw similar scams emerge as users waited for the game. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

T-Mobile Eliminates Cheaper Postpaid Plans, Sells 'Unlimited Data' Only

(2 years ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: T-Mobile USA will stop selling its older and cheaper limited-data plans to postpaid customers, shifting entirely to its new "unlimited" data plans that impose bandwidth limits on video and tethering unless customers pay extra. To ease the transition, T-Mobile will offer bill credits of $10 a month to customers when they use less than 2GB per month. T-Mobile began its shift to unlimited data plans in August with the introduction of T-Mobile One, which starts at $70 a month. While there are no data caps, customers have to pay a total of $95 a month to get high-definition video and mobile hotspot speeds of greater than 512kbps. The carrier said in August that the unlimited plan would be "replacing all our rate plans," including its cheaper plans that cost $50 or $65 a month. Nonetheless, T-Mobile kept selling limited postpaid data plans to new customers for a few months, but yesterday CEO John Legere said that as of January 22, T-Mobile One will be the "only postpaid consumer plan we sell." Existing postpaid customers can keep their current plans. For new customers, T-Mobile will presumably keep selling its prepaid plans that cost $40 to $60 a month and come with 3GB to 10GB of data. T-Mobile also said yesterday that it will start including taxes and fees in its advertised rate when customers sign up for new T-Mobile One plans and enroll in automatic payments, essentially giving subscribers a discount. "The average monthly[..]

U.S. intel report says Putin directed cyber campaign aimed at helping Trump

(2 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "an influence campaign" in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election with the goal of undermining the democratic process and denigrating Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, a new, declassified intelligence report said on Friday.

Microsoft Formally Shuts Down Its TechRewards Program

(2 years ago)
From a report on Neowin: A few months ago, Microsoft announced that it was shuttering its TechRewards program in 2017. The project, that was originally started by Nokia under the name DVLUP rewards program, aimed to reward developers with badges, XP, gift cards and other prizes for developing or incorporating new features in their apps. When Microsoft acquired Nokia's devices and services division back in 2014, the program was rebranded to Microsoft TechRewards. Today, Microsoft has formally shut down the TechRewards program. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Trump says hacking did not affect U.S. election outcome

(2 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump said on Friday that the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election was not affected by cyber attacks after intelligence agencies briefed him on their conclusion that Russia had staged cyber attacks during the campaign.

AT&T and Time Warner Still Trying To Sidestep FCC Scrutiny of Merger

(2 years ago)
AT&T and Time Warner say they have a plan to avoid a Federal Communications Commission review of their pending merger. From a report on Ars Technica: An FCC review would be necessary if Time Warner transfers any FCC licenses to AT&T, but Time Warner might get rid of any such licenses before the deal is finished. "Time Warner has conducted a review of all licenses that it holds that are granted by the FCC," AT&T said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday. "While subject to change, it is currently anticipated that Time Warner will not need to transfer any of its FCC licenses to AT&T in order to continue to conduct its business operations after the closing of the transaction." "Time Warner has been looking to transfer or sell its licenses to another broadcaster for some time, according to a person familiar with the matter. "Time Warner can contract with third parties instead of owning the licenses, the person said." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google CEO Says Next Wave Of Affordable Smartphones Should Cost $30

(2 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Google started the Android One program to get affordable smartphones into all corners of the globe. Those devices cost around $100, which is very good for an up-to-date device. However, Google CEO Sundar Pichai doesn't think $100 is good enough. Even $50 is too much. His goal is $30. "The right price point for smartphones in India is $30, and pursuing high-quality smartphones at the price point will unlock it even more." ndia currently has the largest base of Android users, and most of those users have phones that cost less than $150. Pichai went on to say that cheaper devices are only part of the solution. They also need services that can run reliably on "flaky" networks. He says Google is working on making more services adapt to slow internet. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Trump to order anti-hacking plan within 90 days of taking office: statement

(2 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump said he had a "constructive" meeting with members of U.S. intelligence agencies on Friday and plans to appoint a team to give him a plan to combat cyber attacks within 90 days of taking office on Jan. 20.

Apple missed internal revenue and profits goals in 2016, company's SEC filing says, the first miss since Tim Cook became CEO (Austen Hufford/Wall Street Journal)

(2 years ago)
Austen Hufford / Wall Street Journal:Apple missed internal revenue and profits goals in 2016, company's SEC filing says, the first miss since Tim Cook became CEO  —  Executives miss out on part of cash incentives as annual sales, operating profit fall short of goals  —  Apple Inc. said Chief Executive Tim Cook …

SpaceX Gets the Green Light To Resume Rocket Launches

(2 years ago)
Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket company has been cleared to resume flying following a launch pad explosion four months ago, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said on Friday. From a report on Fortune: The decision clears SpaceX to attempt to launch a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 10 Iridium Communications satellites as early as Monday, a day later than originally planned. SpaceX, owned by Tesla Motors Chief Executive Officer Musk, on Friday declined to comment about what caused the delay. Liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is targeted for around 10:26 a.m. PST/1:26 p.m. EST. The FAA, which oversees commercial U.S. space launches, oversaw SpaceX's investigation into why a Falcon 9 rocket burst into flames on a launch pad in Florida as it was being fueled for a routine, prelaunch test on Sept. 1. The accident destroyed the $62 million booster and a $200 million Israeli communications satellite that had been partly leased by Facebook to expand Internet access in Africa. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cyber Experts Report 'Chasing Ghosts' After US Warning

(2 years ago)
Computer security specialists say technical details the government said could show whether computers had been infiltrated by Russian intelligence services were poorly done and wound up triggering numerous false positives

Study Documents Tree Species' Decline Due to Climate Warming

(2 years ago)
A new study says a distinctive type of tree that thrives in soggy soil from Alaska to Northern California could become a casualty of climate warming over the next 50 years

Norway Embarking on Shutdown of FM on National Broadcasts

(2 years ago)
Norway will start on becoming the first country to phase out the analogue frequency modulation technology, or FM, for national and some regional broadcasting

Intel's 94.5x55x5mm Compute Card with laptop level CPU can be inserted into all-in-one PCs, smart TVs, other devices; more details will be announced in June (Andrew Cunningham/Ars Technica)

(2 years ago)
Andrew Cunningham / Ars Technica:Intel's 94.5x55x5mm Compute Card with laptop level CPU can be inserted into all-in-one PCs, smart TVs, other devices; more details will be announced in June  —  Compute Card is intended as a more versatile replacement for the Compute Stick.  —  Intel mostly missed the boat on smartphones …

Samsung Proves Its Business Remains Sound Despite Note 7 Fiasco

(2 years ago)
Samsung underscored the resilience of its business when it reported its best operating profit in three years, weathering the death of its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 with the help of its workmanlike chip and display divisions and cheaper smartphones. From a report on Bloomberg: The world's largest maker of mobile devices posted a 50 percent surge in quarterly operating profit after demand from Chinese smartphone brands pushed up memory chip prices and buoyed the unit that makes organic light-emitting diode screens. Samsung also touched up an older phone line-up with new colors and features, helping tide it over in the Note 7's absence. Samsung is emerging from its biggest corporate crisis, when reports of incendiary Note 7s forced the Korean company to kill its most profitable gadget. It still hasn't revealed the results of a subsequent investigation into an episode that cost Samsung more than $6 billion and assured Apple of the lead in premium devices over the holidays. It's now counting on its next marquee phone to repair its reputation. "Despite the Note 7's vacuum, Samsung acquitted itself well on the back of sound S7 sales," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst with IBK Securities Co. in Seoul. "After a softer landing in the first quarter, Samsung is on track for record June quarter profit with the new S8 coming to market."[..]

Fewer People Are Dying of Cancer Than Ever Before

(2 years ago)
The number of Americans dying of cancer has dropped to a 25-year low, equaling an estimated 2,143,200 fewer deaths in that period, says the new annual report from the American Cancer Society. In that time, the racial and gender disparities that exist in cancer rates have also narrowed somewhat, but they remain wide in many places. From a report on The Outline: Though the incidence of cancer remained stable for women and dropped slightly -- by 2 percent -- in men, rates remain overall 20 percent higher in men while rate of death for men is 40 percent higher than in women. The rates of both incidence and death vary wildly based on the type of cancer. The data that the ACS is using run through the end of 2014 for incidents of cancer and through 2013 for deaths. Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women.. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Renault-Nissan is the first customer for Microsoft's Azure-based, rebranded Connected Vehicle Platform (Dina Bass/Bloomberg)

(2 years ago)
Dina Bass / Bloomberg:Renault-Nissan is the first customer for Microsoft's Azure-based, rebranded Connected Vehicle Platform  —  Company shifts away from Windows in favor of flexible approach that lets automakers pick the tech they need  —  Microsoft Corp. is rebooting its push to sell software for cars …

Brain Region That Recognizes Faces Keeps Growing in Adulthood

(2 years ago)
An anonymous reader shares an Engadget report: Neurologists thought that your brain was basically set once you hit early childhood, but researchers from Stanford have discovered one part that keeps growing. Using new MRI imaging techniques, they found that the "fusiform gyrus," which is mostly responsible for recognizing human faces, keeps expanding well after other regions have stopped. The research could lead to more sophisticated cellular analysis of the brain and help patients with a disorder called "facial blindness." Normally, our brain actually loses neurons between early childhood and puberty in a process called "pruning." That applies to visual parts of the brain that identify things like cityscape or hallways, but not faces. The researchers used two different MRI machines to scan both brain activity and density in two different parts of the brain: the region responsible for identifying faces, and an area used for other types of visual recognition. They then compared those structures in the brains of children (aged five to 12) to adults between 22 to 28. It turned out that adults had thicker fusiform gyrus regions than kids, different levels of proteins and cells and more activity. By contrast, the other visual regions showed lower levels of development. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Plans Big Reorganization Of Partner and Services Groups Starting Feb 1

(2 years ago)
Microsoft is planning to consolidate many of its partner and services teams in a reorganization, as well as add a new digital team focused on the cloud. From a report: Microsoft confirmed that the shift will take effect Feb. 1, and the goal is to unify teams across its Worldwide Commercial Business group. Microsoft has been working to break down barriers between teams to better serve partners and customers for years, going back to CEO Steve Ballmer's 2013 One Microsoft plan. Microsoft said in a statement that no layoffs will occur as a direct result of the reorganization, which is being announced internally today. Microsoft added that "like all companies, Microsoft reviews its resources and investments on an ongoing basis." As part of the move, Microsoft says it will bring together its enterprise and partner group and public sector, small and mid-market solutions, and partners teams. A new group called Microsoft Digital will push Microsoft's current customers and partners to use the company's cloud programs. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Faraday Future Unveils Super Fast Electric Car

(2 years ago)
Start-up Faraday Future has unveiled a self-driving electric car that it says can accelerate from zero to 60mph (97km/h) in 2.39 seconds. Faraday says the FF91 accelerates faster than Tesla's Model S or any other electric car in production. From a report on BBC: It was shown off at the CES tech show in Las Vegas. But Faraday Future has faced financial difficulties and one analyst said it had to challenge "scepticism" following last year's CES presentation. The FF91 was introduced via a live demo, in which it drove itself around a car park and backed into an empty space. Pre-recorded footage also showed the car accelerating from standstill to 60mph in 2.39 seconds. Tesla's fastest model did it in 2.5 seconds on the same track. Late in the presentation, however, there was an awkward moment when Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting tried to demonstrate the car's self-parking function on stage in front of the audience. This time, the vehicle remained stationary. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple Cuts Tim Cook's Pay After 2016 Performance Falls Short

(2 years ago)
Apple cut CEO Tim Cook's 2016 pay after the iPhone maker missed its revenue and profit goals for the year. From a report on CNBC: Although Cook's annual salary went up by $1 million, he received $8.75 million in total compensation for the year, according to an SEC filing posted on Friday, down from the $10.28 million he received in 2015. Company executives received about 89.5 percent of their targeted annual incentives. The company said its annual sales were down nearly 4 percent, or $215.6 billion, from its target of $223.6 billion, and its operating income was down 0.5 percent from its target at $60 billion, according to the filing.Apple last year faced declining revenue as it grappled with the first prolonged slump in iPhone sales. The salary of some other executives were also trimmed. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft To Revamp Windows 10 UI With Upcoming 'Project Neon' Update, Leaked Images Show

(2 years ago)
Microsoft plans to revamp the user interface on Windows with an upcoming update called Project Neon. Chatter about this new update has been doing rounds for quite some time, but now first images of where Microsoft is going with the design changes are here. According to MSPowerUser, Microsoft will introduce a new component dubbed "Acrylic" to the overall Windows 10 design, which will serve as a method for developers to further customize the appearance of their universal apps. Project Neon also focuses on Microsoft's efforts with 3D and HoloLens, tweaking UI elements in places where you interact with a mouse pointer. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Diesel Cars Produce More Toxic Emissions Than Trucks and Buses, EU Study Says

(2 years ago)
Modern diesel cars produce more toxic emissions than trucks and buses, according to European researchers. That's because heavy duty vehicles in the EU have much stricter regulations than cars, and so even if they meet lab tests, cars end up producing much more nitrogen oxides (NOx) when driven on actual roads. From a report: The new report, released by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), shows that trucks and buses tested in Germany and Finland emitted about 210mg NOx per kilometer driven, less than half the 500mg/km produced by diesel cars that meet the highest "Euro 6" emission standards. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Norway To Become First Country To Switch Off FM Radio

(2 years ago)
Norway is set to become the first country to switch off its FM radio network next week, as it takes the unpopular leap to digital technology. Reuters reports: Critics say the government is rushing the move and many people may miss warnings on emergencies that have until now been broadcast via the radio. Of particular concern are the 2 million cars on Norway's roads that are not equipped with Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) receivers, they say. Sixty-six percent of Norwegians oppose switching off FM, with just 17 percent in favor and the rest undecided, according to an opinion poll published by the daily Dagbladet last month. Nevertheless, parliament gave the final go-ahead for the move last month, swayed by the fact that digital networks can carry more radio channels. By the end of the year, all national FM broadcasts will be closed in favor of DAB, which backers say carries less hiss and clearer sound throughout the large nation of 5 million people cut by fjords and mountains. Torvmark said cars were the "biggest challenge" - a good digital adapter for an FM car radio costs 1,500 Norwegian crowns ($174.70), he said. For the same cost, digital radio in Norway allows eight times more radio stations than FM. The current system of parallel FM and digital networks, each of which cost about 250 million crowns ($29 million), saps investments in programs.[..]

FTC sues D-Link over lax security in its routers and IP cameras, says D-Link used hard-coded logins, left private software sign-in key code online for 6 months (Michael Cooney/Network World)

(2 years ago)
Michael Cooney / Network World:FTC sues D-Link over lax security in its routers and IP cameras, says D-Link used hard-coded logins, left private software sign-in key code online for 6 months  —  FTC: D-Link failed to take reasonable steps to secure its routers and Internet Protocol (IP) cameras, potentially compromising sensitive consumer information

Toshiba to meet banks Tuesday, loan waiver expected: sources

(2 years ago)
TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp plans to meet with creditor banks on Tuesday to explain how it is addressing a massive charge that the Japanese company says it must take on its U.S. nuclear business, three bankers briefed on the meeting said.

LG Electronics estimates first quarterly operating loss in six years

(2 years ago)
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Electronics Inc estimated on Friday it fell to its first quarterly operating loss in six years in October-December, a drop that analysts pinned on continued mobile losses and seasonally weaker appliances sales.
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