Technology News

Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

(22 minutes ago)
theodp writes In case you've fallen behind on your TMZ reading, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson used his Microsoft money to outbid Beyonce and Jay Z for the most expensive mansion in Beverly Hills. Now, the Minecraft mogul's new $70 million mega-mansion has been recreated inside the game that made him rich. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

U.S. FCC pauses Comcast-Time Warner merger review until January 12

(22 minutes ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Monday paused until January 12 its informal 180-day countdown for the review of the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc over delays in document submission.

Google's putting song lyrics right into your search results

(58 minutes ago)
Despite what your ears may tell you, The Ramones wanted to be sedated (not "a piece of bacon"). There probably isn't one among us who hasn't turned to the oracles of the web to vanquish a pesky mondegreen, and Google's starting to make that process j...

Tempo smart calendar app for iOS updated with new widget, notifications, 9 languages, launches in 26 new countries in Asia (Abhimanyu Ghoshal/The Next Web)

(One hour ago)
Abhimanyu Ghoshal / The Next Web:Tempo smart calendar app for iOS updated with new widget, notifications, 9 languages, launches in 26 new countries in Asia  —  Tempo for iOS updated with new widget, notifications and languages  —  Smart calendar app Tempo got a major update today that takes full advantage of the new functionality available in iOS8.

North Korean Internet Is Down

(One hour ago)
First time accepted submitter opentunings writes "Engadget and many others are reporting that North Korea's external Internet access is down. No information yet regrading whether anyone's taking responsibility. From the NYT: "Doug Madory, the director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research, an Internet performance management company, said that North Korean Internet access first became unstable late Friday. The situation worsened over the weekend, and by Monday, North Korea’s Internet was completely offline. 'Their networks are under duress,' Mr. Madory said. 'This is consistent with a DDoS attack on their routers,' he said, referring to a distributed denial of service attack, in which attackers flood a network with traffic until it collapses under the load." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Barilla uses 3D printing to find its next pasta shapes

(One hour ago)
Pasta maker Barilla is no stranger to having 3D printing improve its methods for churning out products for the masses. Now, it's looking to leverage those tools for some new pasta designs. After a recent competition, the company revealed three winner...

How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

(2 hours ago)
HughPickens.com writes Bloomberg News reports that venture capitalist and paypal co-founder Peter Thiel has a plan to reach 120 years of age. His secret — taking human growth hormone (HGH) every day, a special Paleo diet, and a cure for cancer within ten years. "[HGH] helps maintain muscle mass, so you're much less likely to get bone injuries, arthritis," says Thiel. "There's always a worry that it increases your cancer risk but — I'm hopeful that we'll get cancer cured in the next decade." Human growth hormone also known as somatotropin or somatropin, is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. Thiel says he also follows a Paleo diet, doesn't eat sugar, drinks red wine and runs regularly. The Paleolithic diet, also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional diet designed to emulate, insofar as possible using modern foods, the diet of wild plants and animals eaten by humans during the Paleolithic era. Thiel's Founders Fund is also investing in a number of biotechnology companies to extend human lifespans, including Stem CentRx Inc., which uses stem cell technology for cancer therapy. With the 70 plus years remaining him and inspired by "Atlas Shrugged," Thiel also plans to launch a floating sovereign nation in international waters, freeing him and like-minded thinkers to live by libertarian ideals with no welfare, looser building[..]

North Korea is suffering a complete internet outage

(2 hours ago)
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (that's "North Korea" to the common man) has just four networks that connect to the world wide web -- and none of them are working today. "The situation now is they are totally offline," Doug Madory, director...

Apple expands its social presence with new iTunes Tumblr blog (Benjamin Mayo/9to5Mac)

(2 hours ago)
Benjamin Mayo / 9to5Mac:Apple expands its social presence with new iTunes Tumblr blog  —  In an interesting move, Apple has today launched a Tumblr blog for iTunes.  The ‘blog’ runs a highly customized theme that more closely reflects Apple's own website than a typical Tumblr page.

Pirate Bay Domain Back Online

(2 hours ago)
Zanadou writes On December 9 The Pirate Bay was raided but despite the rise of various TPB clones and rumors of reincarnations, thepiratebay.se domain remained inaccessible, until today. This morning the Pirate Bay's nameservers were updated to ones controlled by their domain name registrar binero.se . A few minutes later came another big change when The Pirate Bay's main domain started pointing to a new IP-address (178.175.135.122) that is connected to a server hosted in Moldova. So far there is not much to see, just a background video of a waving pirate flag (taken from Isohunt.to) and a counter displaying the time elapsed since the December 9 raid. However, the "AES string" looks promising. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Argentine Court Rules Orangutan Is a "Non-Human Person"

(2 hours ago)
First time accepted submitter Andrio writes In an unprecedented decision, an Argentine court has ruled that the Sumatran orangutan 'Sandra', who has spent 20 years at the zoo in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires, should be recognized as a person with a right to freedom. The ruling, signed by the judges unanimously, would see Sandra freed from captivity and transferred to a nature sanctuary in Brazil after a court recognized the primate as a "non-human person" which has some basic human rights. The Buenos Aires zoo has 10 working days to seek an appeal." A similar case involving chimpanzees failed to provide "non-human person" status here in the U.S. earlier this month. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google unveils the first complete version of its self-driving car

(2 hours ago)
Google had a (not very well-kept) secret when it unveiled its experimental self-driving car: that first example you saw was just a mockup that lacked many of the basics. At last, however, the internet giant has unveiled a complete prototype of the ca...

Google expands Android One program from India to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal (John Ribeiro/PC World)

(2 hours ago)
John Ribeiro / PC World:Google expands Android One program from India to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal  —  Google Android One phones to sell in three more Asian countries  —  Google's low-cost Android One smartphones will be selling in the coming weeks in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, three small but fast-growing markets …

North Korea's internet appears to be under mass cyber attack (Max Fisher/Vox)

(3 hours ago)
Max Fisher / Vox:North Korea's internet appears to be under mass cyber attack  —  Internet connectivity between North Korea and the outside world, though never robust to begin with, is currently suffering one of its worst outages in recent memory, suggesting that the country may be enduring a mass cyber attack …

Google announces its self-driving car is now fully functional (Emil Protalinski/VentureBeat)

(3 hours ago)
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:Google announces its self-driving car is now fully functional  —  Google today announced it has completed the first build of its self-driving vehicle prototype.  This is the first fully-functional self-driving car from the company.  —  It's one thing to modify an existing car to give it self-driving capabilities.

Problem Solver Beer Tells How Much To Drink To Boost Your Creativity

(3 hours ago)
mrspoonsi writes When you've been stuck on a problem or that creative spark just won't come, the chances are you've turned to a cup of coffee to get things moving. A quick java infusion can certainly help, but studies also suggest that alcohol can also have a positive impact on your creative cognition. University of Illinois Professor Jennifer Wiley determined that a person's "creative peak" comes when their blood alcohol level reaches 0.075, lowering their ability to overthink during a task. Medical Daily reports that marketing agency CP+B Copenhagen and Danish brewery Rocket Brewing wanted to help drinkers reach their imaginative prime, so they decided to create their own beer to do just that. The result is The Problem Solver. It's a 7.1 percent craft IPA that its makers say offers a "refined bitterness with a refreshing finish." To ensure you reach the optimum creative level, the bottle includes a scale, which determines how much of the beer you need to drink based on your body weight. The agency does offer a word of warning though: "Enjoying the right amount will enhance your creative thinking. Drinking more will probably do exactly the opposite." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Lawsuits: Sony should have expected hack

(3 hours ago)
Former employees of Sony Pictures Entertainment have filed four lawsuits against the company following a massive security breach.

NASA emails a wrench to space

(3 hours ago)
Thanks to a 3-D printer aboard the ISS, astronaut Barry Wilmore got the wrench he needed to make a repair.

The Big Picture: Catching an intense solar flare in action

(3 hours ago)
It's no longer rare to hear reports of solar flares that could affect Earth, but seeing them in vivid detail? That's another matter. Thankfully, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory recently captured a high-intensity X1.8 flare (80 percent more intense ...

FAA, Industry Launch Drone Safety Campaign

(3 hours ago)
Retailers say small drones, which are indistinguishable from today's more sophisticated model aircraft, are flying off the shelves this Christmas.

Google Adds Song Lyrics To Top Of Search Results, Points Searchers To Google Play (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

(3 hours ago)
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:Google Adds Song Lyrics To Top Of Search Results, Points Searchers To Google Play  —  Google is now displaying music lyrics at the top of its search results pages when you search for “song name” plus “lyrics” on Google - a move that may reduce the number of visits to music lyrics sites …

TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

(4 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes The TSA has gathered an impressive pile of confiscated weapons this year. In early November the agency had already discovered 1,855 firearms at checkpoints. In addition to guns, they've also collected machetes, hatchets, swords, giant scissors, brass knuckles, cannonballs, bear repellent and, this past October, an unloaded cannon. "Maybe someone has a lucky inert grenade they brought back from some war, or a nice cane was given to them and they forgot that the thing is actually a sword," said Jeff Price, author of Practical Aviation Security, "It's the people that are carrying stuff like chainsaws that make me wonder." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Uber's legality under scrutiny in Taiwan and Chinese mega city Chongqing (Reuters)

(4 hours ago)
Reuters:Uber's legality under scrutiny in Taiwan and Chinese mega city Chongqing  —  Uber business model faces legal scrutiny in Taiwan, Chinese mega city  —  (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc is under fire in Taiwan and the Chinese mainland mega city Chongqing over concerns that it and its drivers …

Telefonica adds fiber optic contracts as regulator mulls action

(4 hours ago)
MADRID (Reuters) - Telefonica retained its grip on Spain's lucrative fiber optic market in October, data showed on Monday, days after the Spanish regulator warned it could force the former telephone monopoly to open up its next-generation network to competitors.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson on Surface Pro, how he was once an Apple guy

(4 hours ago)
No, those bright blue, ruggedized devices being used on NFL sidelines aren't iPads. They're Surface Pro 2s. And while they may look like Apple's renowned tablet from afar, at least to some NFL commentators, Microsoft's been trying to help players and...

Cheap spyware used by stalkers

(4 hours ago)
Stalkers and abusers are increasingly using cheap spyware to monitor and harass their victims, a new charity claims.

Hot Springs At Yellowstone Changed Their Color Due To Tourist Activity

(4 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes Researchers say that the different colors of the hot springs in Yellowstone National Park are caused by human contamination. From the article: "Researchers at Montana State University and Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany have created a simple mathematical model based on optical measurements that explains the stunning colors of Yellowstone National Park's hot springs and can visually recreate how they appeared years ago, before decades of tourists contaminated the pools with make-a-wish coins and other detritus. If Yellowstone National Park is a geothermal wonderland, Grand Prismatic Spring and its neighbors are the ebullient envoys, steaming in front of the camera and gracing the Internet with their ethereal beauty. While the basic physical phenomena that render these colorful delights have long been scientifically understood—they arise because of a complicated interplay of underwater vents and lawns of bacteria—no mathematical model existed that showed empirically how the physical and chemical variables of a pool relate to their optical factors and coalesce in the unique, stunning fashion that they do." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Don't like what Santa gave you? Destroy it

(4 hours ago)
'Tis the season to, you know, get a lot of gifts you don't necessarily want. We at Engadget know how it goes, and we also know how badly you'd like to burn, break and bash those bunk presents. So we did the dirty work for you -- literally. If you lik...

South Korean Power Plants To Conduct Cyber-Attack Drills Following Hack

(4 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes South Korea's nuclear operator has been targeted in a cyber-attack, with hackers threatening people to 'stay away' from three of the country's nuclear reactors should they not cease operations by Christmas. The stolen data is thought to be non-critical information, and both the company and state officials have assured that the reactors are safe. However, KHNP has said that it will be conducting a series of security drills over the next two days at four power plants to ensure they can all withstand a cyber-attack. The hacks come amid accusations by the U.S. that North Korea may be responsible for the punishing hack on Sony Pictures. Concerns have mounted that Pyongyang may initiate cyber strikes against industrial and social targets in the U.S. and South Korea. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Steven Sinofsky predicts tablet resurgence, big enterprise challenges in 2015; sees 4K, beacons, payments, and more as technologies to watch (Steven Sinofsky/Re/code)

(5 hours ago)
Steven Sinofsky / Re/code:Steven Sinofsky predicts tablet resurgence, big enterprise challenges in 2015; sees 4K, beacons, payments, and more as technologies to watch  —  Forecast: Workplace Trends, Choices and Technologies for 2015  —  What's in store for 2015 when it comes to technology advances in the workplace?

The International Space Station is now making 3D-printed tools

(5 hours ago)
It's official: you can "upload" tools to space. Following its earlier test run, the International Space Station has used 3D printing to make a ratchet based on instructions sent from Earth. It's not exactly a sophisticated implement, but it underscor...

South Korean nuclear plant hacked, government says no risk to reactors, but experts concerned (Reuters)

(5 hours ago)
Reuters:South Korean nuclear plant hacked, government says no risk to reactors, but experts concerned  —  South Korea nuclear plant operator says hacked, raising alarm  —  (Reuters) - Computer systems at South Korea's nuclear plant operator have been hacked, the company said on Monday …

Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

(5 hours ago)
An anonymous reader points out this story at The Atlantic about new research and approaches in the science of discipline. "At the end of a gravel road in the Chippewa National Forest of northern Minnesota, a group of camp counselors have gathered to hear psychotherapist Tina Bryson speak about neuroscience, mentorship, and camping. She is in Minnesota by invitation of the camp. Chippewa is at the front of a movement to bring brain science to bear on the camping industry; she keynoted this past year's American Camping Association annual conference. As Bryson speaks to the counselors gathered for training, she emphasizes one core message: At the heart of effective discipline is curiosity—curiosity on the part of the counselors to genuinely understand and respect what the campers are experiencing while away from home....She is part of a progressive new group of scientists, doctors, and psychologists whose goal is ambitious, if not outright audacious: They want to redefine "discipline" in order to change our culture. They want to rewrite—or perhaps more precisely said, rewire—how we interact with kids, and they want us to understand that our decisions about parenting affect not only our children's minds, but ours as well. So, we're going to need to toss out our old discipline mainstays. Say goodbye to timeouts. So long spanking and other ritualized whacks. And cry-it-out sleep routines? Mercifully, they too can be a thing of the past. And yet, we can still help[..]

Disney World starts accepting Apple Pay and Google Wallet this week

(6 hours ago)
Making a trip to Walt Disney World during the holidays? You might not avoid the long queues or endless parking lots, but you won't always have to pull out your wallet. As promised back in September, the Orlando area theme park will start accepting mo...

Texas Instruments Builds New Energy Technology For the Internet of Things

(6 hours ago)
dcblogs writes Texas Instruments says it has developed electronics capable of taking small amounts of power generated by harvested sources and turning them into a useful power source. TI has built an efficient 'ultra-low powered' DC-to-DC switching converter that can boost 300 to 400 millivolts power to 3 to 5 volts. To power wearables, the company says it has demonstrated drawing energy from the human body by using harvesters the size of wristwatch straps. It has worked with vibration collectors, for instance, about the same size as a key. It is offering this technology as a means to power sensors in Internet of Things applications, as well as to augment battery power supplies in wearables. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Mother can make your home smart, but does it need to be?

(6 hours ago)
Over the last few weeks, every person who has come into my home has gone through the same sort of rough conversation."What's that?""It's a new device that I'm testing. Do you like it?""Not really, it's a bit creepy."This, then, is what happe...

Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

(7 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes Author Graeme Reynolds found his novel withdrawn from Amazon because of excessive use of hyphens. He received an email from Amazon about his werewolf novel, High Moor 2: Moonstruck, because a reader had complained that there were too many hyphens. "When they ran an automated spell check against the manuscript they found that over 100 words in the 90,000-word novel contained that dreaded little line," he says. "This, apparently 'significantly impacts the readability of your book' and, as a result, 'We have suppressed the book because of the combined impact to customers.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tor Warns of Possible Disruption of Network Through Server Seizures

(7 hours ago)
itwbennett writes "Without naming the group responsible, the Tor project warned that it could face attempts to incapacitate its network in the next few days through the seizure of specialized servers called directory authorities. These servers guide Tor users on the list of distributed relays on the network that bounce communications around. 'We are taking steps now to ensure the safety of our users, and our system is already built to be redundant so that users maintain anonymity even if the network is attacked. Tor remains safe to use,' wrote 'arma' in a post Friday on the Tor project blog. The 'arma' developer handle is generally associated with project leader Roger Dingledine. There were no reports of a seizure by late Sunday. The project promised to update the blog and its Twitter account with new information." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Oracle buys Datalogix, beefs up digital marketing cloud (Larry Dignan/ZDNet)

(7 hours ago)
Larry Dignan / ZDNet:Oracle buys Datalogix, beefs up digital marketing cloud  —  Summary:Oracle's acquisition of Datalogix complements the purchase of BlueKai and rounds out its data cloud.  —  Oracle on Monday said it acquired Datalogix, which provides digital marketing data as a service.

Blackberry helps Boeing with its hyper-secure 'Black' smartphone

(7 hours ago)
On top of laser weapons, passenger jets and space stuff Boeing is also, weirdly, building an ultra-secure Android smartphone called "Black" (not to be confused with the Blackphone). According to the Telegraph, it's now enlisted BlackBerry's help to m...

GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

(7 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes The Telegraph reports, "GCHQ has lost track of some of the most dangerous crime lords and has had to abort surveillance on others after Edward Snowden revealed their tactics ... The spy agency has suffered "significant" damage in its ability to monitor and capture serious organized criminals following the exposes by the former CIA contractor. Intelligence officers are now blind to more than a quarter of the activities of the UK's most harmful crime gangs after they changed their communications methods in the wake of the Snowden leaks. One major drug smuggling gang has been able to continue flooding the UK with Class A narcotics unimpeded for the last year after changing their operations. More intense tracking of others has either been abandoned or not started because of fears the tactics are now too easy to spot and will force the criminals to "go dark" and be lost sight of completely." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

This beer tells you how much to drink to boost your creativity

(8 hours ago)
When you've been stuck on a problem or that creative spark just won't come, the chances are you've turned to a cup of coffee to get things moving. A quick java infusion can certainly help, but studies also suggest that alcohol can also have a positiv...
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