Technology News

Tim Cook says bringing Apple Pay to China is his top priority there (Xinhua News Agency)

(9 minutes ago)
Xinhua News Agency:Tim Cook says bringing Apple Pay to China is his top priority there  —  China Exclusive: Tim Cook: Apple wants everything it develops to enter China market  —  Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook said he hopes to adapt all of Apple's developments to work for the Chinese market, which he describes as a “key market” for the tech giant.

A Low Cost, Open Source Geiger Counter (Video)

(9 minutes ago)
Sawaiz Syed's LinkedIn page says he's a "Hardware Developer at GSU [Georgia State University], Department of Physics." That's a great workplace for someone who designs low cost radiation detectors that can be air-dropped into an area where there has been a nuclear accident (or a nuclear attack; or a nuclear terrorist act) and read remotely by a flying drone or a robot ground vehicle. This isn't Sawaiz's only project; it's just the one Timothy asked him about most at the recent Maker Faire Atlanta. (Alternate Video Link) Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AT&T locks your iPad Air 2's SIM so you can't switch carriers without a new one

(9 minutes ago)
Apple's iPad Air 2 launched with a very, very pleasant surprise: If you splurged on an LTE model, you could choose whether you wanted to jump on Sprint's, T-Mobile's or AT&T's networks (along with EE's if you're in the UK), with nary a SIM card swap...

Apple's slipping iTunes sales prove streaming is the future

(27 minutes ago)
iTunes numbers looked solid, if not outright impressive, when Apple reported fourth-quarter earnings this week. Sales were up from $4.3 billion to $4.6 billion year-over-year. But Apple doesn't break out music purchases from those numbers, so it's difficult to tell what accounts for all that money. But now we know: It's not music.

Creators of 'Room' say Facebook copied their chatroom app, threaten legal action (Jordan Kahn/9to5Mac)

(33 minutes ago)
Jordan Kahn / 9to5Mac:Creators of ‘Room’ say Facebook copied their chatroom app, threaten legal action  —  Facebook's new ‘Rooms’ app Room Inc's ‘Room’ app  —  Following the launch of Facebook's new “Rooms” app for iPhone, the company behind a similar piece of software called “Room” …

The ratings: Most net neutrality groups get poor grades for funding transparency

(51 minutes ago)
After a spate of news stories about alleged "astroturf" advocacy in a contentious U.S. net neutrality debate, the IDG News Service looked into the funding transparency of several think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the issue. Several disclose limited or no information about their funding, we found.

Advocacy groups accused of obscuring corporate ties in net neutrality debate

(51 minutes ago)
A spate of recent news stories have revealed that a wide variety of lobby groups have financial ties to broadband carriers and trade associations, accusing them of faking grassroots opposition to strong net neutrality rules.

Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy

(51 minutes ago)
The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process.

Computer Scientist Parachutes From 135,908 Feet, Breaking Record

(51 minutes ago)
An anonymous reader writes: The NY Times reports that Alan Eustace, a computer scientist and senior VP at Google, has successfully broken the record for highest freefall jump, set by Felix Baumgartner in 2012. "For a little over two hours, the balloon ascended at speeds up to 1,600 feet per minute to an altitude of 135,908 feet, more than 25 miles. Mr. Eustace dangled underneath in a specially designed spacesuit with an elaborate life-support system. He returned to earth just 15 minutes after starting his fall. ... Mr. Eustace cut himself loose from the balloon with the aid of a small explosive device and plummeted toward the earth at a speeds that peaked at more than 800 miles per hour, setting off a small sonic boom heard by observers on the ground. ... His technical team had designed a carbon-fiber attachment that kept him from becoming entangled in the main parachute before it opened. About four-and-a-half minutes into his flight, he opened the main parachute and glided to a landing 70 miles from the launch site." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Nexus 9 wasn't designed to be an iPad killer

(51 minutes ago)
The Nexus 9 wasn't designed to be an iPad killer; it was designed to inspire Google's Android partners to create one instead. Though you'd be forgiven for thinking otherwise: It was announced one day before the iPad Air 2 and mini 3, comes with a...

Google exec sets a new record for highest-altitude jump (video)

(51 minutes ago)
Move over Felix Baumgartner (pictured above) -- just two years after the daredevil's record setting 128,000 foot Red Bull Stratos space jump, Google VP Alan Eustace has topped it. The New York Times reports Eustace rode a balloon 135,908 feet above...

Nest Acquires Home Automation Hub Revolv, But Will Stop Selling It (Liz Gannes/Re/code)

(One hour ago)
Liz Gannes / Re/code:Nest Acquires Home Automation Hub Revolv, But Will Stop Selling It  —  Nest today said it had acquired Revolv, the smart home automation devicemaker, for its developer platform.  —  The deal closed this morning with undisclosed terms.  It wasn't about adding the Revolv home automation hub …

U.S. TV Airwaves Auction for Smartphones Delayed to 2016 (Todd Shields/Bloomberg)

(One hour ago)
Todd Shields / Bloomberg:U.S. TV Airwaves Auction for Smartphones Delayed to 2016  —  The Federal Communications Commission delayed to early 2016 an auction of U.S. airwaves surrendered by television stations that's intended to help feed the growing number of smartphones and tablets.

Nest can now talk to Pebble and other home automation products

(One hour ago)
Nest's thermostat and smoke detector now works with more third-party home automation products, the first fruits of the developer program that the Google-owned company launched in June. First in the list is something you're likely familiar with:...

Apple awards eight top executives stock worth up to $27M each; vesting begins in April 2017 (Gregg Keizer/Computerworld)

(One hour ago)
Gregg Keizer / Computerworld:Apple awards eight top executives stock worth up to $27M each; vesting begins in April 2017  —  Apple hands 8 execs stock awards worth up to $27M  —  Apple recently awarded eight executives stock grants that were worth almost $13 million each at Thursday's closing price, with as much as another $14 million up for grabs.

Google VP Alan Eustace breaks Felix Baumgartner's world record for highest-altitude jump (John Markoff/New York Times)

(One hour ago)
John Markoff / New York Times:Google VP Alan Eustace breaks Felix Baumgartner's world record for highest-altitude jump  —  Alan Eustace Jumps From Stratosphere, Breaking Felix Baumgartner's World Record  —  Credit: J. Martin Harris Photography/PSDC  —  ROSWELL, N.M. — A well-known computer scientist parachuted …

Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads

(One hour ago)
Trailrunner7 writes: A security researcher has identified a Tor exit node that was actively patching binaries users download, adding malware to the files dynamically. The discovery, experts say, highlights the danger of trusting files downloaded from unknown sources and the potential for attackers to abuse the trust users have in Tor and similar services. Josh Pitts of Leviathan Security Group ran across the misbehaving Tor exit node while performing some research on download servers that might be patching binaries during download through a man-in-the middle attack. What Pitts found during his research is that an attacker with a MITM position can actively patch binaries–if not security updates–with his own code. In terms of defending against the sort of attack, Pitts suggested that encrypted download channels are the best option, both for users and site operators. "SSL/TLSis the only way to prevent this from happening. End-users may want to consider installing HTTPS Everywhere or similar plugins for their browser to help ensure their traffic is always encrypted," he said via email. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Canadians now have faster mobile data than you

(One hour ago)
Our Canadian neighbors have already been given a taste of Rogers' extremely data-friendly LTE, but now the carrier is officially rolling out its LTE-Advanced network across 12 different cities. In fact, it's the first North Amercian carrier to launch...

AT&T Locking Apple Interchangeable SIMs in iPad Air 2 and Retina Mini 3 (Kelly Hodgkins/MacRumors)

(2 hours ago)
Kelly Hodgkins / MacRumors:AT&T Locking Apple Interchangeable SIMs in iPad Air 2 and Retina Mini 3  —  Apple's new Apple SIM card in the iPad Air 2 and the Retina iPad mini 3 is designed to be universal, usable across a variety of wireless carriers in the US and UK, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and UK's EE.

NSA's director of SIGINT leaves position after reports of a potential conflict of interest (BuzzFeed)

(2 hours ago)
BuzzFeed:NSA's director of SIGINT leaves position after reports of a potential conflict of interest  —  Exclusive: Shakeup At NSA After BuzzFeed News Reports On Potential Conflict Of Interest  —  Top National Security Agency official Teresa Shea is leaving her position after BuzzFeed News reported on her and her husband's financial interests.

Employers Worried About Critical Thinking Skills

(2 hours ago)
Nerval's Lobster writes: Every company needs employees who can analyze information effectively, discarding what's unnecessary and digging down into what's actually useful. But employers are getting a little bit worried that U.S. schools aren't teaching students the necessary critical-thinking skills to actually succeed once they hit the open marketplace. The Wall Street Journal talked with several companies about how they judge critical-thinking skills, a few of which ask candidates to submit to written tests to judge their problem-solving abilities. But that sidesteps the larger question: do schools need to shift their focus onto different teaching methods (i.e., downplaying the need for students to memorize lots of information), or is our educational pipeline just fine, thank you very much? Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sprint's iPhone for Life plan now offers annual upgrades and adds iPhone 5S option (Roger Cheng/CNET)

(2 hours ago)
Roger Cheng / CNET:Sprint's iPhone for Life plan now offers annual upgrades and adds iPhone 5S option  —  Sprint's iPhone for life program to offer annual upgrades  —  The carrier ups the ante again with its iPhone-leasing program that starts at $30 a month and allows customers to swap in a new device each year.

What's up with Engadget Expand?

(2 hours ago)
We're just two weeks away from our free Engadget Expand event, taking place at New York City's Javits Center on November 7th and 8th and there's still so much to tell you about. If you can't join us in person, don't worry -- we'll keep you updated...

Hailo says Uber blocked investors

(2 hours ago)
After pulling out of the US, taxi app Hailo complains that rival Uber is blocking potential investors from offering funding.

Dark Souls II named game of the year

(2 hours ago)
DayZ, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and Assassins Creed are also among the winners.

Amazon Quietly Launches A Functional App Store Within Its Main Android Application (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

(2 hours ago)
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:Amazon Quietly Launches A Functional App Store Within Its Main Android Application  —  Until recently, if you wanted to install an application from Amazon's own Appstore onto your Android device, you would have to install the Amazon Appstore app separately.  And this is a bit of a hassle …

Court shuts down alleged PC tech support scam

(2 hours ago)
A court has shut down a New York tech support vendor after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accused the company of scamming computer users into paying hundreds of dollars for services they did not need.

Senator wants Whisper to explain how it tracks users, shares their data

(2 hours ago)
Social media app Whisper, a supposedly anonymous way for users to post online confessions, is now facing privacy questions from a U.S. senator after reports that it tracks locations of users and has shared their information with other companies.

'Fantasia: Music Evolved' and its origins in the Kinect-hacking scene

(2 hours ago)
The developers at Harmonix aren't afraid to hit the reset button if something isn't working correctly. Chances are, strumming a plastic Stratocaster changed quite a bit before you ever even started playing "Creep" by Radiohead in Rock Band. Same goes...

New material could lead to longer-lasting batteries

(3 hours ago)
Researchers have taken a step forward in developing batteries that can store 10 times more energy than existing lithium-ion batteries.

Apple's music sales down 13% this year; Beats Music to relaunch as part of iTunes in 2015 (Hannah Karp/Wall Street Journal)

(3 hours ago)
Hannah Karp / Wall Street Journal:Apple's music sales down 13% this year; Beats Music to relaunch as part of iTunes in 2015  —  Apple iTunes Sees Big Drop in Music Sales  —  Dive of at Least 13% in Download Sales Underscores Music Industry's Fragile Recovery

Recent Nobel Prize Winner Revolutionizes Microscopy Again

(3 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Eric Betzig recently shared in the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on high-resolution microscopy. Just yesterday, Betzig and a team of researchers published a new microscopy technique (abstract) that "allows them to observe living cellular processes at groundbreaking resolution and speed." According to the article, "Until now, the best microscope for viewing living systems as they moved were confocal microscopes. They beam light down onto a sample of cells. The light penetrates the whole sample and bounces back. ... The light is toxic, and degrades the living system over time. Betzig's new microscope solves this by generating a sheet of light that comes in from the side of the sample, made up of a series of beams that harm the sample less than one solid cone of light. Scientists can now snap a high-res image of the entire section they're illuminating, without exposing the rest of the sample to any light at all." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

FCC now anticipates start of incentive auction in early 2016

(3 hours ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission expects to begin the major auction of low-frequency airwaves in early 2016 instead of the previously planned mid-2015, an FCC official said in a Friday blog post.

Synaptics hit by weak demand for touchscreen chips for smartphones

(3 hours ago)
(This Oct. 23 story has been corrected to change references to IC (interface controller) from fingerprint touch ID. This version has removed background paragraph on touch ID)

AMD slashes A-series desktop APU prices

(3 hours ago)
AMD recently slashed the suggested prices of its Kaveri A-Series accelerated processing units (APUs) by about 20 percent. The new prices mean a 3.7GHz quad-core AMD A10-7850K will soon cost around $143, down from $179.

Decades-old Scientific Paper May Hold Clues To Dark Matter

(3 hours ago)
sciencehabit writes: Here's one reason libraries hang on to old science journals: A paper from an experiment conducted 32 years ago may shed light on the nature of dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity appears to keep the galaxies from flying apart. The old data put a crimp in the newfangled concept of a 'dark photon' and suggest that a simple bargain-basement experiment could put the idea to the test. The data come from E137, a "beam dump" experiment that ran from 1980 to 1982 at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California. In the experiment, physicists slammed a beam of high-energy electrons, left over from other experiments, into an aluminum target to see what would come out. Researchers placed a detector 383 meters behind the target, on the other side of a sandstone hill 179 meters thick that blocked any ordinary particles. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tumblr Updates Video Player With Auto Play, Vine-Like Loops, And More (Sam Gutelle/Tubefilter)

(4 hours ago)
Sam Gutelle / Tubefilter:Tumblr Updates Video Player With Auto Play, Vine-Like Loops, And More  —  Recently, rumors have circulated about Yahoo's plan to turn Tumblr into a potential YouTube competitor.  For that to happen, Tumblr's in-house video player need to be on par with its rivals, and the blogging site seems to understand that.

PCGamingWiki Looks Into Linux Gaming With 'Port Reports'

(4 hours ago)
AberBeta writes: PCGamingWiki contributor Soeb has been looking into the recent larger budget game releases to appear on Linux, including XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Borderlands: The Pre–Sequel produced by Mac porting houses Feral and Aspyr. Soeb reports that while feature parity is high, performance could be a bit better. Performance differences aside, the games are finally arriving on Linux — now the userbase needs to expand to make a virtuous cycle. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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