Technology News

Sony Pictures' computers are still locked as hackers demand equality

(33 minutes ago)
Sony Pictures' employees around the globe are still locked out of their company computers after they were hacked on the 24th by a group calling itself the "Guardians of Peace." Now, new details have emerged that shed some light on what they want and ...

Blinkbox extends offline movie and TV playback to Android tablets

(One hour ago)
When offline playback arrived for Blinkbox's video streaming service on the iPad, we knew that Android support couldn't be far behind. After all, Tesco has plenty of Hudl 2 tablets to sell this Christmas, which all heavily promote its services. So fo...

Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

(One hour ago)
An anonymous reader writes: I live in a relatively large college town that's within easy driving distance of several major metropolitan centers. In many ways, the infrastructure around here is top-notch. The major exception is the electrical grid. Lightning storm? Power outage. Heavy winds? Power outage. Lots of rain? Power outage. Some areas around town are immune to this — like around the hospital, for obvious reasons. But others seem to lose power at the drop of hat. Why is this? If it were a tiny village or in the middle of nowhere, it would make sense to me. What problems do the utility companies face that they can't keep service steady? Do you deal with a lot of outages where you live? I'm not sure if it's just an investment issue or a technological one. It hasn't gotten better in the decade I've lived here, and I can imagine it will only get worse as the infrastructure ages. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

China's Google will launch a smart bike later this year

(One hour ago)
What's the next hot connected gadget category? Forget watches, we're thinking bikes, judging by the overwhelming interest in crazy, innovative new models like Teague's 'Denny' e-bike. Chinese search giant Baidu is all over that with the Dubike, a non...

Samsung Electronics to buy back $2 billion in shares (Se Young Lee/Reuters)

(One hour ago)
Se Young Lee / Reuters:Samsung Electronics to buy back $2 billion in shares  —  (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) on Wednesday announced a $2 billion share buyback plan, its first since 2007, following investor calls for higher returns against a backdrop of rapidly declining profits.

HP fourth-quarter revenue drops on weak enterprise demand

(2 hours ago)
(Reuters) - Hewlett-Packard Co said its quarterly revenue fell in almost every business segment over the year, highlighting weaknesses ahead of the company's planned 2015 separation of its enterprise services from its traditional computer and printing units.

Digital copyright issues are affecting car modifications

(2 hours ago)
Tinkering to get better performance out of your ride is one of the more rewarding aspects of vehicle ownership. The thing is, as cars have become more and more computer-dependent, getting a horsepower boost or better gas mileage by swapping exhaust s...

US expresses 'concern' over EU proposal to break up Google (Richard Nieva/CNET)

(3 hours ago)
Richard Nieva / CNET:US expresses ‘concern’ over EU proposal to break up Google  —  The United States Mission to the European Union says antitrust issues should not be “politicized.”  —  The United States doesn't seem to like the European Parliament's proposed breakup of Google.

EE confirms it's also talking to BT about a possible sale

(3 hours ago)
BT surprised many when it confirmed it's currently in talks to buy back mobile operator O2, nearly 10 years after it sold the company to Telefonića. However, it isn't the only carrier that the telecoms giant is interested in. Rumours suggested that E...

Samsung Electronics to buy back $2 billion in shares

(3 hours ago)
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Wednesday announced a $2 billion share buyback plan, its first since 2007, following investor calls for higher returns against a backdrop of rapidly declining profits.

UN committee calls on countries to protect right to privacy

(4 hours ago)
A United Nations panel has approved a resolution that would have its General Assembly call on states to respect and protect the right to privacy in the digital age.

NSF Commits $16M To Build Cloud-Based and Data-Intensive Supercomputers

(4 hours ago)
aarondubrow writes: As supercomputing becomes central to the work and progress of researchers in all fields, new kinds of computing resources and more inclusive modes of interaction are required. The National Science Foundation announced $16M in awards to support two new supercomputing acquisitions for the open science community. The systems — "Bridges" at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and "Jetstream," co-located at the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute and The University of Texas at Austin's Texas Advanced Computing Center — respond to the needs of the scientific computing community for more high-end, large-scale computing resources while helping to create a more inclusive computing environment for science and engineering. Reader 1sockchuck adds this article about why funding for the development of supercomputers is more important than ever: America's high-performance computing (HPC) community faces funding challenges and growing competition from China and other countries. At last week's SC14 conference, leading researchers focused on outlining the societal benefits of their work, and how it touches the daily lives of Americans. "When we talk at these conferences, we tend to talk to ourselves," said Wilf Pinfold, director of research and advanced technology development at Intel Federal. "We don't do a good job communicating the importance of what we do to a broader community." Why the focus on messaging? Funding for American supercomputing[..]

In Another Fire Sale, Amazon Cuts Phone Price to $199 Unlocked, Still With a Free Year of Prime (Ina Fried/Re/code)

(5 hours ago)
Ina Fried / Re/code:In Another Fire Sale, Amazon Cuts Phone Price to $199 Unlocked, Still With a Free Year of Prime  —  It's no secret that Amazon has a lot of unsold Fire Phones, but the question has been how the retailer would look to sell its inventory.  —  Screenshot by Re/code

Union pushes for better conditions for security guards on Apple campus (Julia Love/Mercury News)

(5 hours ago)
Julia Love / Mercury News:Union pushes for better conditions for security guards on Apple campus  —  As organized labor expands its efforts in Silicon Valley, a local union and civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson are pushing for better working conditions for the security guards who work at Apple's campus.

The CIA and Homeland Security want to delete almost all their emails

(5 hours ago)
Usually, deleting emails is a no-fanfare, one-click affair -- but not when you're the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Security. Both agencies have recently submitted proposals to the National Archives and Records Administrat...

Sony is developing an e-paper smart watch, entire face and band will function as a display (Bloomberg)

(6 hours ago)
Bloomberg:Sony is developing an e-paper smart watch, entire face and band will function as a display  —  Sony Said to Plan E-Paper Watch in Test of Innovation  —  Sony Corp. (6758) is developing a watch made out of electronic paper for release as soon as next year in a trial of the company's …

Hollywood Comes Back To Silicon Valley With A New SyFy Reality TV Show (Ryan Lawler/TechCrunch)

(6 hours ago)
Ryan Lawler / TechCrunch:Hollywood Comes Back To Silicon Valley With A New SyFy Reality TV Show  —  Hollywood just can't get enough of geeks coding in hoodies.  Following the successful first season of Mike Judge's HBO brilliant farce Silicon Valley, NBC Universal techie network SyFy will try to show what being inside the tech bubble is really like.

One of Sony's first 'new' ideas is a smartwatch that's all e-ink

(6 hours ago)
Sony's first idea to be born out of its new built-in "venture style" plan to create new products and wow, well, you and me, appears to a combination of its e-ink reader tech and smartwatch devices. According to people familiar with the matter, both t...

New Snowden Docs Show GCHQ Paid Telcos For Cable Taps

(6 hours ago)
Advocatus Diaboli sends word of a new release of documents made available by Edward Snowden. The documents show British intelligence agency GCHQ had a deep partnership with telecommunications company Cable & Wireless (acquired later by Vodafone). The company allowed GCHQ to tap submarine cables around the world, and was paid millions of British pounds as compensation. The relationship was so extensive that a GCHQ employee was assigned to work full time at Cable & Wireless (referred to by the code name “Gerontic” in NSA documents) to manage cable-tap projects in February of 2009. By July of 2009, Cable & Wireless provided access to 29 out of the 63 cables on the list, accounting for nearly 70 percent of the data capacity available to surveillance programs. ... As of July of 2009, relationships with three telecom companies provided access to 592 10-gigabit-per-second pipes on the cables collectively and 69 10-gbps “egress” pipes through which data could be pulled back. The July 2009 documents included a shopping list for additional cable access—GCHQ sought to more than triple its reach, upping access to 1,693 10-gigabit connections and increasing egress capacity to 390. The documents revealed a much shorter list of "cables we do not currently have good access [to]." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

If you've ever wanted a video-based contacts list, now's your chance

(6 hours ago)
Tired of just having static pictures to visually guide you through your contacts list? If so, you're in luck. A new app for iOS brings video updates to said collection of names and numbers so "you can see what all your friends are up to." The softwar...

Tencent to Distribute HBO Dramas, Movies Online in China (Juro Osawa/Wall Street Journal)

(7 hours ago)
Juro Osawa / Wall Street Journal:Tencent to Distribute HBO Dramas, Movies Online in China  —  Each Program Will Require Chinese Government Approval Before Being Offered on Tencent Video  —  HONG KONG— Time Warner Inc. 's HBO signed a deal with Tencent Holdings Ltd. to distribute its TV dramas and movies through …

Megaupload's Dotcom says extradition fight leaves him bust

(7 hours ago)
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, one of the world's most wanted cyber fugitives, says his nearly three-year fight against extradition to the United States to face online piracy charges has left him broke.

Betaworks' latest experiment-turned-product is #Homescreen, a simple app that lets users share their iPhone home screens (Jordan Crook/TechCrunch)

(7 hours ago)
Jordan Crook / TechCrunch:Betaworks' latest experiment-turned-product is #Homescreen, a simple app that lets users share their iPhone home screens  —  Homescreen Is Betaworks' Latest Experiment-Turned-Product  —  When someone picks up their phone to take a peek, I can't help but take a peek, too.

HBO teams up with Tencent to sell its TV shows in China

(7 hours ago)
China's strained relationship with the concept of intellectual property is one of the reasons that you can buy a local copy of a Range Rover Evoque for a third of the price. That's one of the reasons why western businesses are wary about selling thei...

Vine now lets you favorite accounts and get push notifications when they post new videos (Emil Protalinski/VentureBeat)

(8 hours ago)
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:Vine now lets you favorite accounts and get push notifications when they post new videos  —  Twitter today updated its Vine app with the ability to favorite accounts.  You can download the new version now directly from Apple's App Store and Google Play.  —  Favoriting other Vine users …

Twitter declines to release full-archive search API to devs, wounds third-party clients again (Marco Arment/Marco.org)

(8 hours ago)
Marco Arment / Marco.org:Twitter declines to release full-archive search API to devs, wounds third-party clients again  —  New Twitter search API won't be available to third-party clients  —  This is just the next step in killing third-party apps.  Twitter doesn't have the guts to just end them outright …

ISS's 3-D Printer Creates Its First Object In Space

(8 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: NASA reports that the 3-D printer now installed on the International Space Station has finally finished its first creation. After it was installed on November 17th and calibrated over the next week, ground control sent it instructions yesterday to build a faceplate for the extruder's own casing. The process was mostly a success. "[Astronaut Butch Wilmore] Wilmore removed the part from the printer and inspected it. Part adhesion on the tray was stronger than anticipated, which could mean layer bonding is different in microgravity, a question the team will investigate as future parts are printed. Wilmore installed a new print tray, and the ground team sent a command to fine-tune the printer alignment and printed a third calibration coupon. When Wilmore removes the calibration coupon, the ground team will be able to command the printer to make a second object. The ground team makes precise adjustments before every print, and the results from this first print are contributing to a better understanding about the parameters to use when 3-D printing on the space station." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Pew Research: You know the internet, but you might not 'get' it

(9 hours ago)
Given how ubiquitous smart devices are, one might think that, overall, people would have a pretty comprehensive knowledge of tech. That isn't exactly the case. According to a recent Pew Research survey, 60 percent of the representative sample knew th...

'StealthGenie' Spyware Seller Fined $500,000

(9 hours ago)
A man who advertised and sold the notorious StealthGenie mobile spyware has pleaded guilty, walking free but earning himself a $500,000 fine.

StealthGenie CEO ordered to pay $500K fine for selling spyware app, surrender source code to government (Department of Justice)

(10 hours ago)
Department of Justice:StealthGenie CEO ordered to pay $500K fine for selling spyware app, surrender source code to government  —  Man Pleads Guilty for Selling “StealthGenie” Spyware App and Ordered to Pay $500,000 Fine  —  A Danish citizen today pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Virginia and was ordered …

Uber Said Close to Raising Funding at Up to $40B Value (Serena Saitto/Bloomberg)

(10 hours ago)
Serena Saitto / Bloomberg:Uber Said Close to Raising Funding at Up to $40B Value  —  Uber Technologies Inc. is close to raising a round of financing that would value the mobile car-booking company at $35 billion to $40 billion, according to people with knowledge of the situation.  —  T. Rowe Price Group Inc …

Facebook's AI group hires Vladimir Vapnik, who pioneered statistical learning theory and co-invented the Support Vector Machine method (Facebook AI Research)

(10 hours ago)
Facebook AI Research:Facebook's AI group hires Vladimir Vapnik, who pioneered statistical learning theory and co-invented the Support Vector Machine method  —  We are delighted to announce that Vladimir Vapnik has joined Facebook AI Research.  —  Vladimir is universally known in the machine learning …

BlackBerry offers up to $550 if you ditch your iPhone for a Passport

(10 hours ago)
If the industry based its grades solely on effort, there's no doubt BlackBerry would be among the first top spots. Now, whether or not those efforts are actually effective, well, that's a completely different story. Since its notable decline, the Can...

Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

(10 hours ago)
storagedude writes: With LTO media sales down by 50% in the last six years, is the end near for tape? With such a large installed base, it may not be imminent, but the time is coming when vendors will find it increasingly difficult to justify continued investment in tape technology, writes Henry Newman at Enterprise Storage Forum. "If multiple vendors invest in a technology, it has a good chance of winning over the long haul," writes Newman, a long-time proponent of tape technology. "If multiple vendors have a technology they're not investing in, it will eventually lose over time. Of course, over time market requirements can change. It is these interactions that I fear that are playing out in the tape market." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Going Out App YPlan Raises $24M As It Lays Off Staff, Plans Pivot Into Long-Tail Events (TechCrunch)

(11 hours ago)
TechCrunch:Going Out App YPlan Raises $24M As It Lays Off Staff, Plans Pivot Into Long-Tail Events  —  YPlan — the app that gives people with no plans a curated selection of things to do and the ability to buy tickets to do them — has some big plans of its own.  TechCrunch has learned and confirmed …

Twitter has talked to Bieber-backed Shots: Source (Kristin Cwalinski/CNBC)

(11 hours ago)
Kristin Cwalinski / CNBC:Twitter has talked to Bieber-backed Shots: Source  —  Twitter has talked about an acquisition of Shots, the selfie app backed by singer Justin Bieber, a source close to Shots told CNBC on Tuesday.  —  Twitter's acquisition plans became the subject of hot speculation on Monday …

'StealthGenie' SpyWare Seller Fined $500,000

(11 hours ago)
A man who advertised and sold the notorious StealthGenie mobile spyware has pleaded guilty, walking free but earning himself a $500,000 fine.

Firefox will let you search specific websites with one click

(11 hours ago)
Mozilla isn't just rethinking its choice of default search engines in Firefox; it's overhauling the search bar itself. An upcoming version of the web browser will let you search a specific site with one click. If you want to find an ancient Twitter u...

The People Who Are Branding Vulnerabilities

(11 hours ago)
antdude points out a story at ZDNet about how the naming of security vulnerabilities and exploits has evolved into branding and awareness campaigns. Heartbleed set the trend early this year, having a distinct name and logo to represent a serious security problem. It seemed to work; the underlying bug got massive exposure, even in the mainstream media. This raises a new set of issues — should the response to the disclosure of a vulnerability be dependent on how catchy its name is? No, but it probably will be. Heartbleed charmed the public, and in a way, it was designed to do so. By comparison Shellshock, POODLE (aka clumsy "Poodlebleed"), Sandworm, the secretively named Rootpipe, Winshock, and other vulns seem like proverbial "red headed stepchildren" — despite the fact that each of these vulns are critical issues, some are worse than Heartbleed, and all of which needed fast responses. The next "big bug" after Heartbleed was Shellshock — real name CVE-2014-6271. Shellshock didn't have a company's pocketbook or marketing team behind it. So, despite the fact that many said Shellshock was worse than Heartbleed (rated high on severity but low on complexity, making it easy for attackers), creating a celebrity out of Shellshock faced an uphill climb. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Engadget Daily: Yoga 3 Pro, the 'day one patch,' and more!

(11 hours ago)
If you bought Halo: The Master Chief Collection, then you're probably still waiting for online multiplayer to be un-broken. Welcome to the age of the "day one patch." That's not all we have on deck, though -- read on for Engadget's news highlights fr...

Netflix Sues a Former Exec - Now Yahoo's CIO - For Allegedly Collecting Kickbacks (Peter Kafka/Re/code)

(12 hours ago)
Peter Kafka / Re/code:Netflix Sues a Former Exec — Now Yahoo's CIO — For Allegedly Collecting Kickbacks  —  Netflix says a former executive collected kickbacks from vendors he helped connect to the streaming video company.  —  Now Netflix is suing its former employee, who is currently Yahoo's chief information officer.

Firefox Will Soon Offer One-Click Buttons For Your Search Engines

(12 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today unveiled some of the new search features coming to Firefox. The company says the new additions are "coming soon to a Firefox near you" but didn't give a more specific timeline. The news comes less than a week after Mozilla struck a deal with Yahoo to replace Google as the default search engine in its browser for U.S. users. At the time, the company said a new search experience was coming in December, so we're betting the search revamp will come with the release of Firefox 34, which is currently in beta. In the future release, when you type a search term into the Firefox search box, you will get a list of reorganized search suggestions from the default search provider. Better yet, a new array of buttons below these suggestions will let you pick which search engine you want to send the query to. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NASA is 3D printing objects in space

(12 hours ago)
At long last, 3D printing has conquered its final frontier: space. NASA has successfully printed its first 3D object aboard the International Space Station. It's just a tiny faceplate that identifies the printer maker (Made In Space), but it's both a...

How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

(12 hours ago)
anavictoriasaavedra sends this quote from Wired: "Eccentric billionaires are tough to impress, so their minions must always think big when handed vague assignments. Ross Perot's staffers did just that in 2006, when their boss declared that he wanted to decorate his Plano, Texas, headquarters with relics from computing history. Aware that a few measly Apple I's and Altair 880's wouldn't be enough to satisfy a former presidential candidate, Perot's people decided to acquire a more singular prize: a big chunk of ENIAC, the "Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer." The ENIAC was a 27-ton, 1,800-square-foot bundle of vacuum tubes and diodes that was arguably the world's first true computer. The hardware that Perot's team diligently unearthed and lovingly refurbished is now accessible to the general public for the first time, back at the same Army base where it almost rotted into oblivion. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft to pay China $140 million for 'tax evasion' (Bill Rigby/Reuters)

(13 hours ago)
Bill Rigby / Reuters:Microsoft to pay China $140 million for ‘tax evasion’  —  (Reuters) - China has levied about $140 million in back taxes from Microsoft Corp in the first major case concerning cross-border tax evasion in the country, as regulators ramp up pressure on U.S. corporations doing business there.
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