Technology News

Three announces mobile ad-block trial

(31 minutes ago)
Mobile service provider Three confirms it will block advertising on its network for a day-long trial in June.

Paypal founder is 'comic book villain'

(31 minutes ago)
Gossip site Gawker accuses Paypal founder Peter Thiel of being 'vindictive' and a 'comic book villain' who uses his billions to fund libel suits against the site.

Secret Text In Senate Bill Would Give FBI Warrantless Access To Email Records

(49 minutes ago)
mi quotes a report from The Intercept: A provision snuck into the still-secret text of the Senate's annual intelligence authorization would give the FBI the ability to demand individuals' email data and possibly web-surfing history from their service providers using those beloved 'National Security Letters' -- without a warrant and in complete secrecy. [The spy bill passed the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, with the provision in it. The lone no vote came from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who wrote in a statement that one of the bill's provisions "would allow any FBI field office to demand email records without a court order, a major expansion of federal surveillance powers." If passed, the change would expand the reach of the FBI's already highly controversial national security letters. The FBI is currently allowed to get certain types of information with NSLs -- most commonly, information about the name, address, and call data associated with a phone number or details about a bank account. The FBI's power to issue NSLs is actually derived from the Electronic Communications Privacy Act -- a 1986 law that Congress is currently working to update to incorporate more protections for electronic communications -- not fewer. The House unanimously passed the Email Privacy Act in late April, while the Senate is due to vote on its version this week. "NSLs have a sordid history. They've been abused in a number of ways, including targeting of journalists and use to collect an[..]

Vietnam restricted access to Facebook during Obama visit: activists

(3 hours ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Vietnamese government restricted access to Facebook Inc inside Vietnam for several days this week as part of a broader crackdown on human rights and political dissidents during a visit by President Barack Obama, two activist organizations said on Thursday.

Mars Is Coming Out Of An Ice Age

(3 hours ago)
Taco Cowboy quotes a report from Reuters: An analysis of radar images that peered inside the polar ice caps of Mars shows that Earth's neighbor is coming out of an ice age that is part of an ongoing cycle of climate change, scientists said on Thursday. Using images taken by satellites orbiting Mars, the researchers determined that about 20,872 cubic miles (87,000 cubic km) of ice has accumulated at its poles since the end of the ice age, mostly in the northern polar cap. Scientists are keenly interested in piecing together the climate history of Mars, which contains strong evidence that oceans and lakes once pooled on its surface, bolstering the prospects for life. From the perspective of an Earthling, every day on Mars may feel like an ice age. According to NASA, temperatures on Mars may hit a high at noon at the equator in the summer of roughly 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), or a low of about minus-225 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-153 degrees Celsius) at the poles. The Martian ice began its retreat about 370,000 years ago, marking the end of the last ice age, according to the research published in the journal Science Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple Not Allowed To Open Stores In India

(6 hours ago)
ffkom writes: Reuters reports: "India has said Apple Inc must meet a rule obliging foreign retailers to sell at least 30 percent locally-sourced goods if it wishes to open stores in the country, a senior government official told Reuters. A change in legislation last year exempted foreign retailers selling high-tech goods from the rule, which states 30 percent of the value of goods sold in the store should be made in India. However, Apple's products were not considered to be in this category, said the official, who has direct knowledge of the matter." Now just imagine what Apple stores in the U.S. would look like if 30% of their offerings had to be made in the US... "They did ask for a waiver but didn't provide any material on record to justify it. The decision was taken only after a thorough examination of their application," the source said. Apple planned to open at least three stores in India by the end of 2017. Separate sources said Apple talked with the Indian government about a relaxation of the rule before it filed an application to open stores in the country in January. In a report from The Wall Street Journal (Warning: source may be paywalled), one of India's government officials said, "We are sticking to the old policy. We want local sourcing for job creation. You can't have a situation where people view India only as a market. Let them start doing some manufacturing here." Currently, Apple sells its products "through a network of Indian-owned distribution companies[..]

Facebook starts selling offsite ads targeting non-users too (Jon Russell/TechCrunch)

(7 hours ago)
Jon Russell / TechCrunch:Facebook starts selling offsite ads targeting non-users too  —  Facebook's advertising network is already a colossal business — it helped the social network bring in over $5 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter alone — but it is about to take a step towards become …

Push for encryption law falters despite Apple case spotlight

(8 hours ago)
WASHINGTON/ SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - After a rampage that left 14 people dead in San Bernardino, key U.S. lawmakers pledged to seek a law requiring technology companies to give law enforcement agencies a "back door" to encrypted communications and electronic devices, such as the iPhone used by one of the shooters.

Exclusive: Verizon turns to former Yahoo bankers for bid - sources

(9 hours ago)
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc is working on its bid for Yahoo Inc's core assets with an investment bank which was, as recently as last year, one of the U.S. internet company's top advisers, people familiar with the matter said.

Patent Troll VirnetX Wants To Ban FaceTime and iMessage, Increase Damages Award By $190M

(10 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, patent troll VirnetX won a court battle with Apple to the tune of $625 million. Now, the company wants to increase the damages award by $190 million. Law360 reports: "At a post-trial hearing Wednesday, Texas technology company VirnetX argued that although an injunction blocking Apple's popular video chatting and messaging features, along with a virtual private network on demand feature, may seem like a harsh remedy, it is necessary because of the irreparable harm Apple's infringement caused the company. VirnetX also asked the court to increase the jury's damages award by at least $190 million, arguing that Apple has been the 'poster child' for unreasonable litigation tactics." VirnetX also wants the court to block FaceTime and iMessage entirely. "Meanwhile, Apple argued that in light of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions rejecting the four patents-in-suit, an injunction would be inappropriate, as would any ongoing royalty based on FaceTime, iMessage and virtual private network on demand features. The tech giant also sought a mistrial based on a purportedly inappropriate argument to the jury and argued that the company is entitled to a judgment of non infringement, despite the jury verdict, based on VirnetX's allegedly insufficient evidence," reports Law360.[..]

Anonymous Hackers Turned Stock Analysts Are Targeting US, Chinese Corporations

(12 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: A smaller group of Anonymous, called Anonymous Analytics, reached the conclusion that DDoSing is stupid and never fixes anything, so they decided to use their hacking skills and stock market knowledge to make a difference in another way. For the past years, the group has been compiling market reports on U.S. and Chinese companies and publishing their results. Their reports have been noticed by the stock market, who recently started to react to their findings. The most obvious case was of Chinese lottery machine maker REXLot. The hackers discovered that REXLot inflated its revenue and the amount of cash on its balance sheet, based on the amount of interest earned. "The group published its findings on June 24, 2015, and REXLot stock price plummeted from 0.485 Hong Kong dollar per share to 0.12, before trading was suspended [for ten months]. REXLot rejoined the market on April 18, 2016, this year, but even after submitting a 53-page report, the company stock fell again by 50 percent," reports Softpedia. Anonymous Analytics then published two more reports on the company, urging the market to sell, and two days later, Reuters reported that REXLot did not have enough cash to make due bond payments, which meant the company had to sell assets to repay bonds. Other companies on which the group published market reports include Qihoo 360 and Western Union.[..]

Smartphone Surveillance Tech Used To Target Anti-Abortion Ads At Pregnant Women

(13 hours ago)
VoiceOfDoom writes: Rewire reports: "Last year, an enterprising advertising executive based in Boston, Massachusetts, had an idea: Instead of using his sophisticated mobile surveillance techniques to figure out which consumers might be interested in buying shoes, cars, or any of the other products typically advertised online, what if he used the same technology to figure out which women were potentially contemplating abortion, and send them ads on behalf of anti-choice organizations?" Regardless of one's personal stance on the pro-choice/anti-abortion debate, the unfettered use of tracking and ad-targeting technology which makes this kind of application possible is surely a cause for concern. In Europe, Canada and many other parts of the world, the use of a person's data in this way would be illegal thanks to strict privacy laws. Is it time for the U.S. to consider a similar approach to protect its citizens? Google has been reportedly tracking users on around 80 percent of all 'Top 1 Million' domains. Facebook is doing something similar. A recent report shows that Facebook uses smartphone microphones to identify the things users are listening to or watching based on the music and TV shows its able to identify. Facebook says the feature must be turned on, and that "it's only active when you're writing a status update."[..]

Scott Walker Rents Out Email and Donor Lists To Pay Campaign Debt

(14 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: In an effort to pay off his hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt racked up from his failed presidential run, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is renting out his email and donor lists to other candidates. Wisconsin Gazette reports: "The campaign owed $1.2 million at the end of 2015 and has paid off about $308,000 since then, according to campaign finance records. The bulk of those payments have been made possible by income from Granite Lists, a New Hampshire-based company that rents out Republican donor lists. Granite Lists has paid more than $172,000 to Walker's campaign since it ended in September. In April alone, Granite Lists brought the campaign nearly $50,000, comprising most of the total $70,930 the campaign brought in that month. In addition to flat-rate charges, candidates can set up revenue-sharing agreements, where some of the proceeds they obtain from donors are diverted back to the list owner. Candidates can also pay a flat rate of $10,500 to email Walker's entire 675,000-person email list and $7,000 to email the 225,000 donors and presidential sign-ups, according to Granite Lists website. [Granite Lists] calls Walker's donor file 'one of the hottest donor lists to hit the market in years.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Antibiotic-Resistant E Coli Reaches The US For The First Time

(14 hours ago)
New submitter maharvey writes: A woman in Pennsylvania has contracted a strain of E Coli that is unaffected by all known legal antibiotics, including the antibiotics of last resort. We have had bacteria that were resistant, but this is the first bacteria that is completely immune. Such bacteria were known in China, but since the woman has not traveled recently it means she contracted it in the wild in the USA. This is a major step toward the terrifying post-antibiotic world. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nick Denton challenges Peter Thiel to a public debate in open letter, says decade-long campaign by Thiel is out of proportion, asks about ultimate intent (Nick Denton/Gawker)

(15 hours ago)
Nick Denton / Gawker:Nick Denton challenges Peter Thiel to a public debate in open letter, says decade-long campaign by Thiel is out of proportion, asks about ultimate intent  —  Nearly a decade ago, after you had opened up to friends and colleagues, a gay writer for Gawker shared an item with the readers of Valleywag …

Study: '50% of Misogynistic Tweets From Women'

(15 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: A study performed by researchers behind the Internet campaign "Reclaim," suggests that half of all misogynistic tweets posted on Twitter come from women. The campaign is designed to show the public the impact of hate speech and abuse on social media. They have opened an online forum to discuss ways to make the internet less aggressive, sexist, racist and homophobic. For the study, thinktank Demos counted the number of uses of "slut" and "whore" were used on Twitter to indicate misogyny. They analyzed 1.5 million tweets sent by UK Twitter users over a three-week period and used its own Natural Language Processing tool to filter the tweets in order to determine whether they were used aggressively, conversationally, or for self-identification. Demos found 6,500 unique users being targeted by 10,000 explicitly aggressive and misogynistic tweets. Internationally, they recorded more than 200,000 aggressive tweets using the same terms that were sent to 80,000 people in the same three-week period. It claims it found 50 percent of the abusive tweets to have come from women. BBC also notes a study performed in 2014 from cosmetics firm Dove that found over five million negative tweets were posted about beauty and body image. Four out of five of those tweets were sent by women. Read more[..]

Facebook and Microsoft partner to lay highest capacity transatlantic internet cable yet, connecting Virginia and Spain with a bandwidth of 160Tbps (Cade Metz/Wired)

(16 hours ago)
Cade Metz / Wired:Facebook and Microsoft partner to lay highest capacity transatlantic internet cable yet, connecting Virginia and Spain with a bandwidth of 160Tbps  —  Facebook and Microsoft are laying a massive Internet cable across the middle of the Atlantic.  —  Dubbed MAREA—Spanish for “tide” …

Millennials Value Speed Over Security, Says Survey

(16 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Daily Dot: Millennials stand apart from other Americans in preferring faster Internet access to safer Internet access, according to a new survey. When digital-authentication firm SecureAuth asked people from all age groups whether they would rather be safer online or browse faster online, 57 percent of Americans chose security and 43 percent chose speed. But among millennials, the results were almost reversed: 54 percent chose speed over security. Young people are also more willing than the overall population to share sensitive information over public Wi-Fi connections, which are notoriously insecure as they allow anyone on the network to analyze and intercept passing traffic. While a clear majority (57 percent) of Americans told SecureAuth that they transmitted such information over public Wi-Fi, nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) of millennials said they did so. A surprising 44 percent of millennials believe their data is generally safe from hackers, and millennials are more likely than members of other age groups to share account passwords with friends. Americans overall are paying more attention to some aspects of digital security. An October 2015 study by the wireless industry's trade group found that 61 percent of Americans use passwords on their smartphones and 58 percent use them on their tablets, compared to 50 percent and 48 percent, respectively, in 2012. The recent study lines up with a report published on May 24 that[..]

Android Is 'Fair Use' As Google Beats Oracle In $9 Billion Lawsuit

(17 hours ago)
infernalC writes: Ars Technica is reporting that the verdict is in, and that the jury decided that Google's duplication of several Java interfaces is fair use. Ars Technica writes that Google's Android OS does not infringe upon Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by "fair use." The jury unanimously answered "yes" in response to whether or not Google's use of Java APIs was a "fair use" under copyright law. The trial is now over, since Google won. "Google's win somewhat softens the blow to software developers who previously thought programming language APIs were free to use," Ars Technica writes. "It's still the case that APIs can be protected by copyright under the law of at least one appeals court. However, the first high-profile attempt to control APIs with copyright law has now been stymied by a "fair use" defense." The amount Oracle may have asked for in damages could have been as much as $9 billion. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Solar Impulse Pilot Shares Most Sublime Moment of Journey

(17 hours ago)
Bertrand Piccard spoke to ABC News from the cockpit shortly after the milestone.

This Homeless Shelter Is Empowering Teen Girls by Teaching Them to Code

(17 hours ago)
The girls are learning to create small programs, apps and video games.

Google Patents Sticky Car Hood to Trap Pedestrians

(17 hours ago)
The human flypaper is designed to mitigate injuries when a car, person collide.

At UN Climate Talks Some Worry About Brexit, Trump Impacts

(17 hours ago)
Climate negotiators ended their first talks after last year's landmark Paris Agreement with some delegates expressing concern about the potential impacts of upcoming votes in the U.S. and Britain

Hang up: Dutch Look at Banning Use of Cellphones on Bikes

(17 hours ago)
The Dutch government is considering banning the country's millions of cyclists from using their cellphones while riding, saying pedaling and phones are a dangerous mix

NASA Hits Snag While Inflating New Room at Space Station

(17 hours ago)
NASA has hit a snag while inflating a new experimental room at the International Space Station _ the world's first pump-it-up room for astronauts

Solar Impulse Pilot Snaps an Extreme Selfie

(17 hours ago)
Solar Impulse will stop in New York next before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

Bar Offers Escape Plan for Bad Tinder Dates

(17 hours ago)
The bar can, "discretely move them away."

Watch: Interview With Solar Impulse Pilot

(17 hours ago)
ABC News' Alyssa Newcomb speaks with Bertrand Piccard as he completes the solar-powered airplane's flight across the U.S.

Ferocious Solar Storms May Have Helped Life Take Root on Earth

(17 hours ago)
Ferocious solar storms 4 billion years ago may have been key to warming the Earth and creating the conditions for life to form on the planet, according to a new study.

Is the Word 'Mormon' Really Trademarked?

(17 hours ago)
Can the Mormon Church trademark the term "Mormon?" A legal dispute with a small business asks that question.

WhatsApp's Co-founder Is Upset About Apple's New Messaging Features

(17 hours ago)
In today’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple rolled out a few new features for its iMessage app, including audio and video messages, and group messaging capabilities. Not all tech junkies were happy about Apple’s innovation.  Co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, tweeted out this message after Apple’s...

Rich, Thriving, Busy: Where Hot Or Not's Co-Founders Are Today

(17 hours ago)
Before there was Facebook, or YouTube, or Twitter, there was HOTorNOT, the website where (in the words of co-founder James Hong), “People uploaded their picture for others to rate on a scale of 1 to 10 based on hotness.” Hong and his partner, Jim Young, once told Newsweek that their inspired idea was born when the two U.C. Berkeley electrical engineers disagreed over the attractiveness of a passing woman. The site they launched in 2000 originally was called “Am I Hot Or Not.” But like “The Facebook,” its name quickly got pared down to its essence.

Remember Those Embarrassing Myspace Photos? Myspace Does ...

(17 hours ago)
Remember those terrible photos you posted on Myspace ten years ago? Well, Myspace does – and they might send you some to refresh your memory.
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