Technology News

Starbucks hit by major computer failure

(50 minutes ago)
Starbucks suffered what appears to be a major computer system failure late Friday.

Oracle CEO says 95% of its products will be available in the cloud by October, up from 65% (Jack Clark/Bloomberg Business)

(56 minutes ago)
Jack Clark / Bloomberg Business:Oracle CEO says 95% of its products will be available in the cloud by October, up from 65%  —  Oracle CEO Hurd Plans to Lift Almost All Products Into Cloud  —  Oracle Corp. plans to make almost all of its services available via the Internet by mid-October, Co-Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd said …

Buggy Win 95 Code Almost Wrecked Stuxnet Campaign

(One hour ago)
mask.of.sanity writes: Super-worm Stuxnet could have blown its cover and failed its sabotage mission due to a bug that allowed it to spread to ancient Windows boxes, malware analysts say. Stuxnet was on the brink of failure thanks to buggy code allowing it to spread to PCs running older and unsupported versions of Windows, and probably causing them to crash as a result. Those blue screens of death would have raised suspicions at the Natanz nuclear lab. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Creep your friends out with this online GIF tool

(One hour ago)
GIFs are usually a source of delight and wonder. Artist Vince McKelvie, however, has taken that wonder and warped it beyond recognition. In his new site, click drag click, you can create animated terrors by plugging in a URL of a photo or GIF. Then, ...

The 9 best apps for Apple Watch you can get right now (Jacob Kastrenakes/The Verge)

(One hour ago)
Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:The 9 best apps for Apple Watch you can get right now  —  Apple has the best smartphone ecosystem, the best tablet ecosystem, and as of today, the best smartwatch ecosystem when it comes to apps.  But the app story is dramatically different on the Watch in a way that you won't quite understand until you start to use one.

Allegation: Philly Cops Leaned Suspect Over Balcony To Obtain Password

(2 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes with this news from Ars Technica: If you want access to encrypted data on a drug dealer's digital device, you might try to break the crypto—or you might just try to break the man. According to testimony from a police corruption trial currently roiling the city of Philadelphia, officers from an undercover drug squad took the latter route back in November 2007. After arresting their suspect, Michael Cascioli, in the hallway outside his 18th floor apartment, the officers took Cascioli back inside. Although they lacked a search warrant, the cops searched Cascioli's rooms anyway. According to a federal indictment (PDF), the officers 'repeatedly assaulted and threatened [Cascioli] during the search to obtain information about the location of money, drugs, and drug suppliers.' That included, according to Cascioli, lifting him over the edge of his balcony to try to frighten out of him the password to his Palm Pilot. That sounds like a good time for a duress password. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Navy researchers make bulletproof glass out of clay

(2 hours ago)
The US Naval Research Laboratory announced a major breakthrough in materials science on Thursday. After decades of research and development, the NRL has created a transparent, bulletproof material that can be molded into virtually any shape. This mat...

Patents Show Google Fi Was Envisioned Before the iPhone Was Released

(2 hours ago)
smaxp writes: Contrary to reports, Google didn't become a mobile carrier with the introduction of Google Fi. Google Fi was launched to prove that a network-of-networks serves smartphone users better than a single mobile carrier's network. Patents related to Google Fi, filed in early 2007, explain Google's vision – smartphones negotiate for and connect to the fastest network available. The patent and Google Fi share a common notion that the smartphone should connect to the fastest network available, not a single carrier's network that may not provide the best performance. It breaks the exclusive relationship between a smartphone and a single carrier.Meanwhile, a story at BostInno points out that Google's not the only one with a network-hopping hybrid approach to phone calls. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Charter's Advisers Said to Contact Time Warner Cable for Talks (Bloomberg Business)

(3 hours ago)
Bloomberg Business:Charter's Advisers Said to Contact Time Warner Cable for Talks  —  Advisers for Charter Communications Inc. have already reached out to Time Warner Cable Inc. to begin friendly talks on an acquisition after Comcast Corp. withdrew its bid for the company, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Quirky wine rack could refill itself using Amazon Dash

(3 hours ago)
Do you wake up in the middle of the night, soaked in cold sweat and frantically worrying, "Oh God, is my wine rack sufficiently full?" Well, fear not, because this automated wine rack from Quirky not only keeps tabs on your vital vino supply, it coul...

Google lets you send notes and directions to your Android phone from search on desktop (Alex Chitu/Google Operating System)

(3 hours ago)
Alex Chitu / Google Operating System:Google lets you send notes and directions to your Android phone from search on desktop  —  Android Action Cards in Google Search  —  Google has a few search cards that let you send some information to an Android phone from your desktop computer.  In addition to finding your device …

Bees Prefer Nectar Laced With Neonicotinoids

(3 hours ago)
Taco Cowboy writes: Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. Neonicotinoids kill insects by overwhelming and short-circuiting their central nervous systems (PDF). Shell and Bayer started the development of neonicotinoids back in the 1980s and 1990s. Since this new group of pesticides came to market, the bee population has been devastated in regions where they have been widely used. Studies from 2012 linked neonicotinoid use to crashing bee populations. New studies, however, have discovered that bees prefer nectar laced with neonicotinoids over nectar free of any trace of neonicotinoids. According to researchers at Newcastle University, the bees may "get a buzz" from the nicotine-like chemicals in the same way smokers crave cigarettes. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

These tiny gecko-inspired robots can lift over 100x their weight

(3 hours ago)
Beware the tiny robot uprising, which at this point are taunting us with the equivalent of superhuman strength. Researchers at Stanford have created several tiny bots that can move things more than 100 times their weight, reports New Scientist. They'...

Github DDoS Attack As Seen By Google

(4 hours ago)
New submitter opensec writes: Last month GitHub was hit by a massive DDoS attack originating from China. On this occasion the public discovered that the NSA was not the only one with a QUANTUM-like capability. China has its own "Great Cannon" that can inject malicious JavaScript inside HTTP traffic. That weapon was used in the GitHub attack. People using Baidu services were unwitting participants in the denial of service, their bandwidth used to flood the website. But such a massive subversion of the Internet could not evade Google's watchful eye. Niels Provos, engineer at Google, tells us how it happened. Showing that such attacks cannot be made covertly, Provos hopes that the public shaming will act as a deterrent. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Department of Defense creates new cyberunit in Silicon Valley

(4 hours ago)
In order to better combat cyberthreats to national security, the US Department of Defense is setting up shop in Silicon Valley. At a lecture today at Stanford University, Defense Secretary Ash Carter outlined the department's new focus on cyberdefens...

Seattle PD pushes for transparency by hiring a coder/critic

(4 hours ago)
Remember Tim Clemans, the formerly anonymous programmer who requested all of the city police department's for basically all of its bodycam footage and emails? His data petitioning ultimately led to the launch of a YouTube channel that puts that on-th...

Microsoft hints at potential C# 7 features

(4 hours ago)
Microsoft is moving forward with plans for version 7 of its C# language, posting lists of potential features, including tuples, pattern matching, nullability tracking and syntax for lists.

Apple Watch products that will make people hate you even more

(4 hours ago)
People hate you. They see that Apple Watch on your wrist and they hate you because they don't have one. But don't let the haters stop you from proudly wearing your Apple Watch. In fact, you should go one step further. Pimp that Watch like it's nobody's business. All you need are the right accessories, and they're right here.

Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

(4 hours ago)
writertype writes: Last month, Microsoft began talking about PlayReady 3.0, which adds hardware DRM to secure 4K movies. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm are all building it in, according to Microsoft. "Older generations of PCs used software-based DRM technology. The new hardware-based technology will know who you are, what rights your PC has, and won’t ever allow your PC to unlock the content so it can be ripped. ... Unfortunately, it looks like the advent of PlayReady 3.0 could leave older PCs in the lurch. Previous PlayReady technology secured content up to 1080p resolution using software DRM—and that could be the maximum resolution for older PCs without PlayReady 3.0." Years back, a number of people got upset when Hollywood talked about locking down "our content." It looks like we may be facing it again for 4K video. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

BlackBerry considers closing Sweden operations: WSJ

(4 hours ago)
(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is considering closing its offices in Sweden, a move that would result in the loss of up to 100 jobs, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting a company spokeswoman.

My first hour with Apple Watch: Unboxing, pairing, and personalizing this strange new device

(5 hours ago)
It arrived earlier than I expected, a narrow rectangular box with nothing particularly special or Apple-like about it. But that nondescript brown package belied the brilliant white box inside, which contained an equally bright 38mm Apple Watch Sport with silver aluminum face and blindingly white band.

Computer Takes on Poker Pros at Texas Hold 'Em

(5 hours ago)
Computers may have proven their superiority at chess, but what about poker, where mind games are as much a part of the game as the cards themselves?

Formula 1 aerodynamics will make grocery stores more efficient

(5 hours ago)
No, that's not a typo. It turns out Formula 1 racing technology, specifically aerodynamics, can help rid grocery stores of the so-called "cold aisle" issue. Using aerofoils that are designed to guide the direction of air flow around a race car, Willi...

Apple Watch Launches

(5 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: The Apple Watch's release date has arrived: retailers around the world have quietly begun putting them on their shelves, and customers are beginning to receive their shipments. Reviews have been out for a while, including thoughtful ones from John Gruber and Nilay Patel. Apple has published a full user guide for the software, and iFixit has put up a full teardown to take a look at the hardware. They give it a repairability score of 5 out of 10, saying that the screen and battery are easily replaced, but not much else is. Though Apple designated the watch "water-resistant" rather than "waterproof", early tests show it's able to withstand a shower and a swim in the pool without failing. Ars has an article about the difficulty of making games for the Apple Watch, and Wired has a piece detailing its creation. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

BitTorrent reportedly laid off dozens of employees

(5 hours ago)
According to Buzzfeed, BitTorrent drastically reduced its US workforce on Thursday. Multiple anonymous sources reportedly confirmed that about 40 of the company's 150 domestic employees were sacked yesterday morning. BitTorrent has struggled to turn ...

How and Why the U-Pick Game Marathon Raises Money With Non-Stop Gaming (Video)

(6 hours ago)
On June 12 through 14th of this year, the fourth (not "fourth annual," but close) iteration of the U-Pick Video Game Marathon for Charity --“UPickVG IV” for short --will be streaming on an Internet connection near you. The U-Pick crew's volunteers will be playing and broadcasting video games, non-stop, as a fundraiser for Charity Water, a cause they've supported since the beginning. I talked with organizers Stephanie and Grant Kibler from their video-game lounge of a living room about what it takes to broadcast an online gathering like this, and why they've adopted this as an annual event. Hint: some esoteric video-capture hardware helps, and so does a beefy network connection, for high-quality streaming of games that pre-date today's multiplayer, network-oriented options. That's significant, because U-Pick's stable of titles isn't limited to modern ones, and observers are encouraged to suggest appropriate games (hence "U-Pick").The remote viewers' choices and donations influence the event by deciding which games are represented on the Wheel of Destiny that the team spins to decide which games get played.The play itself, though,*is* limited to the players who'll be on hand at a Northern Virginia co-working space that will serve as this year's venue. It turns out to be easier to stream the output of old consoles than it is to control them from remote (never mind the latency that would mean), but maybe one day participants will be able to play as well as[..]

Apple wins appeal in China over patent rights to Siri voice recognition software (Yahoo! Finance)

(6 hours ago)
Yahoo! Finance:Apple wins appeal in China over patent rights to Siri voice recognition software  —  Apple wins patent appeal in China  —  Companies:  —  RELATED QUOTES  —  SymbolPriceChange  —  130.2179  —  +0.5479  —  Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) has won an appeal in China over patent rights …

Cooking with Watson: Australian asparagus and pig's feet croquettes

(6 hours ago)
'Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson' is a collaboration between IBM and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Once a week, as part of an ongoing series, we'll be preparing one recipe from the book until we've made all of them. Wish us...

Sky Guide for Apple Watch brings space to your wrist

(6 hours ago)
Every 90 minutes and some change, the International Space Station (ISS) completes a circuit of the Earth. Two Seattle developers want you to remember the wonder of humanity's continuous presence in space for nearly 15 years, and raise your wrist and wave digitally.

How Acer plans to go after hardcore gamers

(6 hours ago)
A year ago, Acer was struggling and Jason Chen, its newly appointed CEO, thought the company could stay afloat by cutting its reliance on PCs and expanding in wearables and mobile devices. In view of the success of its Chromebooks and the pending release of Microsoft's Windows 10, however, Chen is now doubling down on PCs.

Teardown of Apple Watch shows sensor could measure blood oxygen levels

(6 hours ago)
The Apple Watch's sensor may hold more health monitoring functions than Apple has revealed, including measuring blood oxygen levels, a feature that's not enabled on the device and that Apple hasn't talked about.

Apple Begins Offering Virtual "Personal Setup" Appointments To New Watch Owners (Sarah Perez/TechCrunch)

(6 hours ago)
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:Apple Begins Offering Virtual “Personal Setup” Appointments To New Watch Owners  —  As a number of early customers will receive their Apple Watch smartwatches today, Apple has also begun to send out email invitations offering “personal setup” appointments that take place via video sessions with an Apple Specialist.

Starwood Hotels debuts Apple Watch app for keyless entry at over 100 locations (Ben Lovejoy/9to5Mac)

(6 hours ago)
Ben Lovejoy / 9to5Mac:Starwood Hotels debuts Apple Watch app for keyless entry at over 100 locations  —  Your Apple Watch can now open your hotel room door at over 100 Starwood Hotels  —  Starwood Hotels has allowed guests to use their iPhone as their room key since last November, and today announced that guests …

JXE Training Day: How to play your first 'League of Legends' match

(6 hours ago)
We covered the League of Legends basics during our very first episode Training Day. Loc Tran, he of San Jose State University's rising League team, gave us the lowdown on just what mobile online battle arena (MOBA) games actually are, what it's like ...

German Intelligence Helped NSA Spy On EU Politicians and Companies

(7 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: We've known for some time already that intelligence agencies operate beyond rules, laws, and regulations. Now, we learn that the NSA and the German intelligence service, BND, lied and withheld information about misuse from the German Chancellor's Office. "The BND realized as early as 2008 that some of the selectors were not permitted according to its internal rules, or covered by a 2002 US-Germany anti-terrorism "Memorandum of Agreement" on intelligence cooperation. And yet it did nothing to check the NSA's requests systematically. It was only in the summer of 2013, after Edward Snowden's revelations of massive NSA and GCHQ surveillance, that the BND finally started an inquiry into all the selectors that had been processed.According to Der Spiegel, investigators found that the BND had provided information on around 2,000 selectors that were clearly against European and German interests. Not only were European businesses such as the giant aerospace and defense company EADS, best-known as the manufacturer of the Airbus planes, targeted, so were European politicians—including German ones. However, the BND did not inform the German Chancellor's office, which only found out about the misuse of the selector request system in March 2015. Instead, the BND simply asked the NSA to make requests that were fully covered by the anti-terrorism agreement between the two countries. According to Die Zeit, this was because the BND was worried that the NSA[..]
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