Technology News

China ruling could ban some Apple iPhones sales amid Qualcomm fight

(5 minutes ago)
Chip supplier Qualcomm Inc on Monday said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the sale of several older Apple Inc iPhone models in China due to two patent violations around software features, though Apple said its phones remain available in the country.

Start-Ups Aren't Cool Anymore

(5 minutes ago)
A lack of personal savings, competition from abroad, and the threat of another economic downturn make it harder for Millennials to thrive as entrepreneurs. From a story: Research suggests entrepreneurial activity has declined among Millennials. The share of people under 30 who own a business has fallen to almost a quarter-century low, according to a 2015 Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Reserve data. A survey of 1,200 Millennials conducted in 2016 by the Economic Innovation Group found that more Millennials believed they could have a successful career by staying at one company and attempting to climb the ladder than by founding a new one. Two years ago, EIG's president and co-founder, John Lettieri, testified before the U.S. Senate, "Millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in recent history." Some of the reasons have been well-documented. The romantic view of entrepreneurship involves angel investors and venture capital funds, but in fact, the ordinary entrepreneur is more likely to fund a start-up using personal savings -- something underemployed Millennials simply could not build as they entered the workforce during or in the immediate wake of the Great Recession. Funding from friends and family is the next most common source, but this personal network could not help much during the most recent economic downturn, when so much home equity was underwater. Student debt worsened the underlying economic problems. According to a report by the[..]

Google Will Shut Down Google+ Four Months Early After Second Data Leak

(47 minutes ago)
Google+ has suffered another data leak, and Google has decided to shut down the consumer version of the social network four months earlier than it originally planned. From a report: Google+ will now close to consumers in April, rather than August. Additionally, API access to the network will shut down within the next 90 days. According to Google, the new vulnerability impacted 52.5 million users, who could have had profile information like their name, email address, occupation, and age exposed to developers, even if their account was set to private. Apps could also access profile data that had been shared with a specific user, but was not shared publicly.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Video Games Won't Be Part of the Paris Olympics

(One hour ago)
The Olympic Games regularly add new events, but officials aren't quite ready to embrace eSports. From a report: This weekend, the International Olympic Committee met for the 7th Olympic Summit, where competitive video gaming was among the topics of discussion. The verdict? It's still "premature" to discuss including them in the Olympic games. That's bound to be disappointing to supporters, who had hoped for a breakthrough in the 2024 Paris games. Tony Estanguet, co-president of the Paris Olympic committee, is a proponent of bringing video games to the Olympics.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nasa's Voyager 2 Probe 'Leaves the Solar System'

(2 hours ago)
The Voyager 2 probe, which left Earth in 1977, has become the second human-made object to leave our Solar System. From a report: It was launched 16 days before its twin craft, Voyager 1, but that probe's faster trajectory meant that it was in "the space between the stars" six years before Voyager 2. The news was revealed at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in Washington. And chief scientist on the mission, Prof Edward Stone, confirmed it. He said both probes had now "made it into interstellar space" and that Voyager 2's date of departure from the Solar System was 5 November 2018. On that date, the steady stream of particles emitted from the Sun that were being detected by the probe suddenly dipped. This indicated that it had crossed the "heliopause" -- the term for the outer edge of the Sun's protective bubble of particles and magnetic field. And while its twin craft beat it to this boundary, the US space agency says that Voyager 2 has a working instrument aboard that will provide "first-of-its-kind observations of the nature of this gateway into interstellar space".Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bangladesh briefly shuts dozens of online news sites, citing security concerns

(2 hours ago)
Bangladesh's telecoms regulator shut down dozens of online news portals for several hours on Monday, citing security reasons, as officials scrutinize hundreds of sites before a parliamentary election this month.

Qualcomm Says It Won Case Banning Sale of Older iPhones in China

(3 hours ago)
Qualcomm says it has won a ruling in China against Apple that bans the sale of some iPhone models in that country. From a report: The Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court ruled that Apple is infringing two Qualcomm patents and issued injunctions against the sale of the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X, the San Diego, California-based chipmaker said in a statement Monday. The most recent models introduced in September, the iPhone XS, XR and XS Max, are not covered by the ban.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

UK Just Banned the National Health Service From Buying Any More Fax Machines

(3 hours ago)
The UK's NHS will be banned from buying fax machines from next month -- and has been told by the government to phase out the machines entirely by 31 March 2020. From a report: More than 9,000 fax machines are in use by the NHS, a July survey found. All will be replaced by email, according to a report from the BBC. The shift, ordered by UK health secretary Matt Hancock, is intended to improve patient safety and make communications more secure. Rebecca McIntyre, a cognitive behavioral therapist, told the BBC that using fax machines made it difficult to ensure patient's information was actually sent to the right place, and that it wasn't being seen by non-authorized people. "You would not believe the palaver we have in the work place trying to communicate important documents to services (referrals etc)," she said. "We constantly receive faxes meant for other places in error but this is never reported." Further reading: The Fax is Not Yet Obsolete.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Driveway Encounter With Microsoft's President Led To $25 Million For Code.org

(4 hours ago)
Long time reader theodp writes: At Monday's kickoff event with Melinda Gates for Computer Science Education Week 2018, Microsoft President Brad Smith revealed how a 2013 driveway encounter led to Microsoft's decision to commit $25 million to Code.org, whose CEO Hadi Partovi happens to live next door to Smith. "At the top of the hill, we share a common driveway," Smith said. "I can't even drive into the garage at night if he is standing in the way. Well, actually I can, but running him over is not the right path." Five years ago, Smith recalled, Partovi was in his driveway (King of the Hill-inspired artist's impression), "and he said, 'I have an idea [for then-nascent Code.org]. There is an important problem that we can help solve, because for too many people they look at these opportunities in computer science, and they don't appreciate that in truth anybody can aspire to be the next Melinda Gates or the next Bill Gates or the next Jeff Bezos or the next Sheryl Sandberg or Mark Zuckerberg. What they need, what they deserve, is the opportunity to learn this fundamental field.'" Earlier this year, Code.org celebrated its 5th anniversary and thanked Microsoft and other tech donors for making it possible for the nonprofit to change U.S. K-12 public education. Smith also announced Monday that Microsoft would invest an additional $10 million in Code.org to help expand the tech-bankrolled nonprofit's work. "The renewed partnership," Microsoft explained, "will focus on ensuring that[..]

EU's Vestager may investigate Apple Pay if there are formal complaints

(4 hours ago)
EU regulators looked into Apple's mobile payment service and found it was not market dominant but they could review it again if they receive formal complaints, Europe's antitrust chief said on Monday.

EU's Vestager may investigate Apple Pay if there are formal complaints

(4 hours ago)
EU regulators looked into Apple's mobile payment service and found it was not market dominant but they could review it again if they receive formal complaints, Europe's antitrust chief said on Monday.

Netflix's Biggest Competition Isn't Sleep -- It's YouTube

(4 hours ago)
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings loves to identify sleep as the biggest competition of its service. "Sometimes employees at Netflix think, 'Oh my god, we're competing with FX, HBO, or Amazon, but think about it. If you didn't watch Netflix last night: What did you do? There's such a broad range of things that you did to relax and unwind, hang out, and connect -- and we compete with all of that," he once said. "You get a show or a movie you're really dying to watch, and you end up staying up late at night, so we actually compete with sleep," he added. Turns out, Hastings does not need to look that far for competition. From a report: Despite Netflix and Amazon investing billions of dollars in producing original content, they are struggling to make inroads in emerging markets. YouTube, on the other hand, is growing rapidly, becoming a daily habit for even new internet users. In India, for instance, YouTube reaches 245 million unique users each month, or 85 percent of all internet users in the country, the company told VentureBeat. About 60 percent of all YouTube traffic in India comes from outside of its six major cities. [Globally, YouTube has 1.9 billion monthly active users.] As consumption on YouTube grows, creators are also finding loyal audiences. In India alone, YouTube now has more than 600 channels with more than 1 million subscribers, up from 20 channels in 2016. Record label T-Series, which is fighting with PewDiePie for the title of most-subscribed YouTube channel, took 10[..]

Qualcomm wins preliminary China import ruling against some iPhone models

(4 hours ago)
Chip supplier Qualcomm Inc on Monday said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of several Apple Inc iPhone models in china due to patent violations.

Huawei Honor View20 and Samsung A8s have hole-punch cameras

(5 hours ago)
Two smartphones with cameras encircled by their screens are launched within hours of each other.

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They're Not Keeping It Secret

(5 hours ago)
Dozens of companies use smartphone locations to help advertisers and even hedge funds. They say it's anonymous, but the data shows how personal it is. From a report: The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails -- each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user. One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor of New York during the day and returns to Long Island at night. [...] An app on the device gathered her location information, which was then sold without her knowledge. It recorded her whereabouts as often as every two seconds, according to a database of more than a million phones in the New York area that was reviewed by The New York Times. At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services to get local news and weather or other information, The Times found. Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States -- about half those in use last year. The database reviewed by The Times -- a sample of information gathered in 2017 and held by one company -- reveals people's travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Qualcomm wins import ban against several Apple iPhones in China

(5 hours ago)
Qualcomm Inc on Monday said it had won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of several Apple Inc iPhone models in China that the court found violated two of Qualcomm patents.

FACC sues former CEO, CFO for $11 million over cyber fraud failings

(5 hours ago)
Chinese-owned plane parts maker FACC is suing its former chief executive and ex finance chief who it alleges failed to do enough to protect it from a cyber fraud costing tens of millions of euros, an Austrian court said.

Elon Musk has 'no respect' for US regulator

(6 hours ago)
Tesla's co-founder says he has no respect for the regulator, which fined him over tweets about making the company private.

Fortnite: Gamer charged with assault during live stream

(6 hours ago)
He moves off camera and a woman's voice is heard shouting "woman basher" and "you hit me in the face".

Global Carbon Emissions Jump To All-Time High in 2018

(8 hours ago)
Global carbon emissions will jump to a record high in 2018, according to a report, dashing hopes a plateau of recent years would be maintained. It means emissions are heading in the opposite direction to the deep cuts urgently needed, say scientists, to fight climate change. From a report: The rise is due to the growing number of cars on the roads and a renaissance of coal use and means the world remains on the track to catastrophic global warming. However, the report's authors said the emissions trend can still be turned around by 2020, if cuts are made in transport, industry and farming emissions. The research by the Global Carbon Project was launched at the UN climate summit in Katowice, Poland, where almost 200 nations are working to turn the vision of tackling climate change agreed in Paris in 2015 into action. The report estimates CO2 emissions will rise by 2.7% in 2018, sharply up on the plateau from 2014-16 and 1.6% rise in 2017. Almost all countries are contributing to the rise, with emissions in China up 4.7%, in the US by 2.5% and in India by 6.3% in 2018. The EU's emissions are near flat, but this follows a decade of strong falls. "The global rise in carbon emissions is worrying, because to deal with climate change they have to turn around and go to zero eventually," said Prof Corinne Le Quere, at the University of East Anglia,who led the research published in the journal Nature. "We are not seeing action in the way we really need to. This needs to change[..]

Austrian retailers file antitrust complaint against Amazon

(8 hours ago)
Austrian retailers have filed a complaint against Amazon with their national competition authority over the U.S. e-commerce giant's dual role as a retailer and a marketplace.

Austrian retailers file antitrust complaint against Amazon

(9 hours ago)
Austrian retailers have filed a complaint against Amazon with their national competition authority over the U.S. e-commerce giant's dual role as a retailer and a marketplace.

Twitter CEO criticized for no mention of Rohingya plight in Myanmar tweets

(9 hours ago)
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has come under fire for tweets about his meditation retreat in Myanmar and encouraging people to visit the country without mentioning what the United Nations has described as "ethnic cleansing" of the Rohingya Muslim minority.

Alexa is Implementing Self-Learning Techniques To Better Understand Users

(10 hours ago)
In a developer blog post published this week, Alexa AI director of applied science Ruhi Sarikaya detailed the advances in machine learning technologies that have allowed Alexa to better understand users through contextual clues. From a report: According to Sarikaya, these improvements have played a role in reducing user friction and making Alexa more conversational. Since this fall, Amazon has been working on self-learning techniques that teach Alexa to automatically recover from its own errors. The system has been in beta until now, and it launched in the US this week. It doesn't require any human annotation, and, according to Sarikaya, it uses customers' "implicit or explicit contextual signals to detect unsatisfactory interactions or failures of understanding." The contextual signals range from customers' historical activity, preferences, and what Alexa skills they use to where the Alexa device is located in the home and what kind of Alexa device it is. For example, during the beta phase, Alexa learned to understand a customer's mistaken command of "Play 'Good for What'" and correct them by playing Drake's song "Nice for What."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Electric Airplane Revolution May Come Sooner Than You Think

(12 hours ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: An all-electric mini-airliner that can go 621 miles on one charge and replace many of the turboprops and light jets in use now -- flying almost as far and almost as fast but for a fraction of the running costs -- could be in service within three years. But this isn't another claim by another overoptimistic purveyor of electric dreams. It's using current technology, and the first planes are being built right now. In fact, the process of gaining certification from aviation regulators for what would be the world's first electric commuter plane has already started. The pressurised Alice from Israeli company Eviation is a graceful-looking composite aircraft with one propeller at the rear and another at the end of each wing, placed to cut drag from wingtip vortices. Each is driven by a 260 kW electric motor, and they receive power from a 900 kWh lithium ion battery pack. Alongside its 650 mile range, the pressurised $3 million-plus Alice can carry nine passengers and two crew, and cruise at 276 mph -- up there with the speed of the turboprops that are widely used in the commuter role, if not anywhere near that of jets. But crucially, says Eviation chief executive Omer Bar-Yohay, "operating costs will be just 7 to 9 cents per seat per mile," or about $200 an hour for the whole aircraft, against about $1,000 for turboprop rivals.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Australian watchdog wants a regulator for dominant Google, Facebook

(13 hours ago)
Australia's competition watchdog on Monday recommended tougher scrutiny and a new regulatory body to check the dominance of tech giants Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google in the country's online advertising and news markets.

China sets up online games review panel, raises approval resumption hopes

(14 hours ago)
Chinese regulators have set up an online video games ethics committee that has already reviewed 20 titles, state media said, raising hopes the government was preparing to resume an approval process that has been frozen for most of this year.

Australian watchdog wants a regulator for Google, Facebook

(14 hours ago)
Australia's competition watchdog on Monday recommended tougher scrutiny and a new regulatory body to check the dominance of tech giants Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google in the country's online advertising and news markets.

China's AI start-up Megvii raising $500 million at $3.5 billion valuation: sources

(15 hours ago)
Chinese artificial intelligence provider Megvii Inc, commonly known as Face++, is targeting to raise $500 million in a new funding round that pegs the current valuation of the firm at $3.5 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Japan is Giving Away Free Houses

(15 hours ago)
There are some 8 million abandoned homes -- or akiya -- in Japanese suburbia, according to The Japan Times . And if you've got a visa allowing you to live in Japan, some of them can be yours for free or very low prices, and the government may give you a subsidy to renovate one. From a report: There are even databases devoted to helping people find these homes, known as "akiya banks." What's driving the government to give away homes? In part, it has to do with Japan's aging population: According to the World Bank, the country's population decreased by -0.2% in 2017 alone, while China and the U.S. slowly grew 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. There are simply fewer people in Japan than there once were -- roughly 1.3 million fewer people than in 2010 by one count [paywall].Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Australian regulator says probe of tech giants spurs five investigations

(17 hours ago)
Australia's competition regulator says it has five investigations afoot as a result of its examination of the market power and public influence of tech giants such as Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google.

China Forms New Body To Review Ethics Risks of Video Games

(17 hours ago)
China has established a new body that reviews ethical issues in video gaming, marking the country's latest attempt to tighten control over the world's biggest games market. From a report: The recently formed Online Games Ethics Committee has so far evaluated an initial batch of 20 video game titles, according to a report on Friday from state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV). This was the first time the committee's existence was made public. Without elaborating, the CCTV report said the ethics committee rejected nine games for publication in the domestic market, while ruling that certain content be modified in the 11 other games that were reviewed. The report neither revealed which government department the ethics committee was directly under nor identified the 20 games that the body processed. The creation of the Online Games Ethics Committee has come amid concerns over internet addiction, childhood myopia and unsuitable content in China's US$38 billion video games market, which has led Beijing to tighten its control over the industry and freeze the approval of new titles this year.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

China says rejecting physical cash is illegal amid e-payments popularity

(18 hours ago)
China's central bank on Monday warned that rejecting cash as a form of payment was illegal, saying that such practices could eventually could cause the loss of confidence in physical money and was unfair to those not accustomed to electronic payments.

Australian watchdog calls for more scrutiny of Google, Facebook

(18 hours ago)
Australia's competition watchdog on Monday recommended a new regulatory body be set up to monitor tech giants Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google and their dominance of the online advertising and news markets.

Scientists Say Most Diverse Coral Site Ever Seen on Great Barrier Reef Discovered

(18 hours ago)
In a space no longer than 500 metres, researchers say they recorded at least 195 different species of corals. From a report: A team of researchers says it has discovered the most diverse coral site ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef. Great Barrier Reef Legacy, a non-profit organisation that conducts research trips on the reef, and scientist Charlie Veron, known as the godfather of coral, have identified the site on the outer reef. In a space no longer than 500 metres, the researchers say they recorded at least 195 different species of corals on a research expedition last month. The group first stumbled upon the site on a voyage last year, and returned in November to conduct studies. "I've spent eight years working on the Great Barrier Reef in just about every nook and cranny," Veron said. "I thought there would be nothing new for me on the Great Barrier Reef." Veron returned with the group to record the corals and will write a paper on the site. He said it was located in a general area that had been affected by widespread coral bleaching and coral mortality and it would take further work to assess why this particular spot had survived so far. It also appeared to have been unaffected by cyclones and other factors such as crown of thorns that threaten coral health.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Huawei CFO seeks bail on health concerns; Canada wants her in jail

(19 hours ago)
A top executive of China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] argued that she should be released on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing, citing fears for her health while incarcerated in Canada along with other factors, court documents showed on Sunday.

Huawei CFO seeks bail, cites health fears behind bars: court documents

(20 hours ago)
A top executive of China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] argued that she should be let out on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing due to severe hypertension and fears for her health while incarcerated in Canada, court documents released on Sunday showed.

Australia competition watchdog flags concerns over tech firms' use of user data

(20 hours ago)
Australia's competition regulator on Monday outlined concerns about the ability of social media companies like Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google to monetize content and the extent to which consumer data is used for targeted advertising.

'What Straight-A Students Get Wrong'

(20 hours ago)
From a story: Year after year, I watch in dismay as students obsess over getting straight A's. Some sacrifice their health; a few have even tried to sue their school after falling short. All have joined the cult of perfectionism out of a conviction that top marks are a ticket to elite graduate schools and lucrative job offers. I was one of them. I started college with the goal of graduating with a 4.0. It would be a reflection of my brainpower and willpower, revealing that I had the right stuff to succeed. But I was wrong. The evidence is clear: Academic excellence is not a strong predictor of career excellence. Across industries, research shows that the correlation between grades and job performance is modest in the first year after college and trivial within a handful of years. For example, at Google, once employees are two or three years out of college, their grades have no bearing on their performance. Academic grades rarely assess qualities like creativity, leadership and teamwork skills, or social, emotional and political intelligence. Yes, straight-A students master cramming information and regurgitating it on exams. But career success is rarely about finding the right solution to a problem -- it's more about finding the right problem to solve.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Alibaba Already Has a Voice Assistant Way Better Than Google's

(22 hours ago)
Like Google's Duplex, Chinese internet giant Alibaba has its own humanlike voice assistant capable of making restaurant reservations and salon appointments. But unlike Google, which has rolled out the feature to select audience, Alibaba's offering already has a wider reach. And it's smart, too. From a report: On December 2 at the 2018 Neural Information Processing Systems conference, one of the largest annual gatherings for AI research, Alibaba demoed the AI customer service agent for its logistics company Cainiao. Jin Rong, the dean of Alibaba's Machine Intelligence and Technology Lab, said the agent is already servicing millions of customer requests a day. The pre-recorded demo call involved the agent asking a customer where he wanted his package delivered. In the back-and-forth exchange, the agent successfully navigated several conversational elements that demonstrated the breadth of its natural-language capabilities. Take this exchange at the beginning of the call, translated from Mandarin: Agent: Hello, I am Cainiao's voice assistant. I am -- Customer: Hello. A: Yes, hi, you have package scheduled for morning delivery to 588 Culture West Road. Is it convenient for you to receive? C: Who are you? A: I am Cainiao's voice assistant. I'd like to confirm your morning delivery to 588 Culture West Road. Does that work for you? C: I'm not home in the morning. A: Then do you have another address that you'd like to use? Within 30 seconds, the agent has smoothly handled three[..]

Can the US Stop China From Controlling the Next Internet Age?

(23 hours ago)
Tech executives worry China will turn to tit-for-tat arrests of Americans in response to the detention of Meng Wanzhou. And the worries don't stop there. Kara Swisher, writing at The New York Times: Imagine, if you will (and you should), a big American tech executive being detained over unspecified charges while on a trip to Beijing. That is exactly what a number of Silicon Valley executives told me they are concerned about after the arrest this week of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom company Huawei, in Canada at the behest of United States officials. "It's worrisome, because it's an escalation we did not need," one executive said, referring to the already tense trade talks between the two countries. "What China will do, given all the existing tensions, is anyone's guess." No one I spoke to would talk on the record, out of fear of antagonizing either side and also because no one knows exactly what is happening. But many expressed worry about the possibility of tit-for-tat arrests. While everyone focuses on the drama of the arrest -- Ms. Meng was grabbed while changing planes at the airport -- and its effect on the trade talks and stock prices, to my mind there is a much more important fight brewing, and it is about tech hegemony. Specifically, who will control the next internet age, and by whose rules will it be run? Until recently, that answer was clearly the United States, from which the Internet sprang, wiring the world together and, in[..]

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey criticised for 'tone deaf' Myanmar tweets

(23 hours ago)
Jack Dorsey is accused of ignoring the persecution of the country's Muslim Rohingya minority.

NHS told to ditch 'absurd' fax machines

(23 hours ago)
Almost 9,000 fax machines are currently used by the NHS in England - but that is set to change.

'Digital museum' brings millions of fossils out of the dark

(23 hours ago)
A global effort to digitally record millions of fossils is set to transform the study of evolution.
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