Technology News

BT Announces Free Service To Screen Nuisance Callers

(50 minutes ago)
An anonymous reader writes: British telco BT is launching a free landline service for UK customers which promises to divert millions of unwanted calls. A dedicated team at BT will monitor calls made to UK numbers, across its network of over 10 million domestic landlines, to identify suspicious patterns, which could help to filter out nuisance callers. The flagged numbers will then be directed to a junk voicemail box. The company has estimated that the voicemail 'net' will catch up to 25 million cold calls every week. It explained that to achieve this success rate, it would be deploying enormous amounts of compute power to monitor and analyse large amounts of data in real-time. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hacking of Health Care Records Skyrockets

(2 hours ago)
Roughly one out of every three Americans had their health-care records compromised and most are completely unaware.

Ransomware Hits UK Website, Defaces Homepage

(3 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: The website of the British Association for Counseling & Psychotherapy has been hit by a variant of the CTB-Locker ransomware. While the ransomware proclaims itself to be CTB-Locker, there are a ton of clues that reveal this may be a fake and this is actually the first ever ransomware family created to target websites and not computers. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tesla improves Summon feature with more safety

(4 hours ago)
Tesla's slow but steady progression towards fully autonomous driving continues. Last month, the company announced beta testing of its "Summon" remote parking feature.The California-based electric vehicle maker is updating the feature to increase the...

In study of 3M Github pull requests, women's code accepted at higher rate, unless "gender identifiable" (Julia Carrie Wong/Guardian)

(5 hours ago)
Julia Carrie Wong / Guardian:In study of 3M Github pull requests, women's code accepted at higher rate, unless “gender identifiable”  —  Women considered better coders - but only if they hide their gender  —  Researchers find software repository GitHub approved code written by women at a higher rate …

New Metallic Glass Creates Potential For Smart Windows

(6 hours ago)
frank249 writes: A B.C. engineering lab has created metal-coated glass that transmits up to 10 per cent more light than conventional glass and opens the door to windows that function as electronics. The most immediate use of the technology is to create windows that can be programmed to absorb or reflect heat, depending on the needs of a building's occupants. Adding electronic control to windows will allow you to change the amount of light and heat passing through to more effectively use the energy provided by the sun naturally, Lead investigator Kenneth Chau credit films like Iron Man or Star Trek with providing them inspiration. "There is a dream that we can make glass smarter," he said. "These films give us concepts to strive for; the hard work is uncovering the science to make it happen." All those hours spent watching Star Trek are now starting to look like a "pretty good investment," he said. The results were published this week in the journal Scientific Reports. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Congress passes bill permanently barring state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet (Alan Fram/Associated Press)

(7 hours ago)
Alan Fram / Associated Press:Congress passes bill permanently barring state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet  —  CONGRESS GIVES FINAL OK TO BANNING LOCAL INTERNET TAXES  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress voted Thursday to permanently bar state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet …

Shape-shifting polymer straightens out from body heat

(8 hours ago)
There have been plenty of tries at shape-changing materials, but this one might be the most practical yet. The University of Rochester has created a polymer that returns to its original shape when subjected to body heat -- touch a curled mess of the...

Facebook exploring counter speech tactics to discredit extremist speech, including giving up to $1K in ad credits and funding student competitions (Wall Street Journal)

(8 hours ago)
Wall Street Journal:Facebook exploring counter speech tactics to discredit extremist speech, including giving up to $1K in ad credits and funding student competitions  —  Facebook Adds New Tool to Fight Terror: Counter Speech  —  Tuesday mornings, Monika Bickert and her team of content cops meet to discuss ways …

LinkedIn Is Open Sourcing Their Testing Frameworks

(9 hours ago)
destinyland writes: LinkedIn is open sourcing their testing frameworks, and sharing details of their revamped development process after their latest app required a year and over 250 engineers. Their new paradigm? "Release three times per day, with no more than three hours between when code is committed and when that code is available to members," according to a senior engineer on LinkedIn's blog. This requires a three-hour pipeline where everything is automated, from committing code to releasing it into production, along with automated analyses and testing. "Holding ourselves to this constraint ensures we won't revert to using manual validation to certify our releases." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

After a bevy of acquisitions by major brands, the age of indie fitness apps is over (Lauren Goode/The Verge)

(10 hours ago)
Lauren Goode / The Verge:After a bevy of acquisitions by major brands, the age of indie fitness apps is over  —  The age of indie fitness apps is over  —  What do Endomondo, MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, Runtastic, FitStar, and RunKeeper all have in common?  —  Aside from all being smartphone apps that track …

Rock the vote for your favorite game in the GDC awards

(10 hours ago)
Want to make your voice heard in this year's Game Developer's Choice Awards? How about doing the same for the Independent Game Festival's accolades? Boy howdy, you're covered in both cases. Once again, the GDCA and IGF are opening up the floor for au...

Snapchat hopes you'll subscribe to video channels

(10 hours ago)
Snapchat isn't content with simply offering videos through Discover and hoping you'll watch them... it wants to give you a reason to keep coming back. Recode sources understand that Snapchat is planning to let you subscribe to Discover channels. Yo...

Visa's investment in Square represents about 1 percent stake

(10 hours ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Visa Inc , the world's largest credit and debit card company, said on Friday it currently has about a 1 percent stake in mobile payments company Square Inc based on a 2011 investment.

App shakes up earthquake science by turning users into sensors

(10 hours ago)
NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Smartphones could become the makeshift quake detectors of the future, thanks to a new app launched Friday designed to track tremors and potentially save the lives of its users.

ISPs want "flexible" privacy rules that let them "innovate" with customer data (Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica)

(11 hours ago)
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:ISPs want “flexible” privacy rules that let them “innovate” with customer data  —  ISPs should be able to choose how they protect customer data, they tell FCC.  —  Broadband industry lobby groups urged the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday not to impose privacy rules that dictate …

Stolen Netflix Log-ins Are a Bargain on Black Market

(11 hours ago)
If you can't stand the idea of paying full price for Netflix, there's a black market just waiting to sell you credentials for rock-bottom prices.

Apple is replacing USB-C cables that shipped with early MacBooks

(11 hours ago)
If you were an early adopter of Apple's slimmed-down MacBook, then this may apply to you. According to the company, a "limited number" of laptops sold between its launch in April of 2015 and June 2015 have USB-C cables that could fail due to an unspe...

Ubisoft Talks Splitscreen and the Division

(11 hours ago)
SlappingOysters writes: Ubisoft's next entry in the Tom Clancy series is pushing at the boundaries of three genres, mixing the RPG, the squad-based shooter and the MMO into The Division. The game features drop-in, drop-out co-op in a near-future, post-pandemic New York that seamlessly allows players to transition from PvE to PvP environments without any menus or lobbies. However, despite its co-op gameplay, The Division does not support splitscreen. Finder.com.au recently ran an extensive hands-on with the game, as well as an interview with Ubisoft Massive's creative director Magnus Jansén regarding the decision to forgo splitscreen co-op. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google says it will not participate in the FCC's upcoming auction for 600 MHz airwaves (Reuters)

(12 hours ago)
Reuters:Google says it will not participate in the FCC's upcoming auction for 600 MHz airwaves  —  Google says will not participate in 2016 U.S. airwaves auction  —  Alphabet Inc's Google will not participate in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's upcoming auction of broadcast airwaves …

The Public Access Weekly: Ooh! A piece of candy...

(12 hours ago)
Just once I'd like to wake up on a Friday morning and not get Rebecca Black's infamous song stuck in my head -- but every Friday it sneaks in there like the overachieving ear worm that it is. (Perhaps I really do gotta to get down on Friday....) So...

Twitter says Dorsey continues to forego direct compensation

(12 hours ago)
(Reuters) - Twitter Inc Chief Executive Jack Dorsey has agreed to continue to forego any form of direct compensation, a regulatory filing by the company showed on Friday.

US Copyright Law Forces Wikimedia To Remove the Diary of Anne Frank

(12 hours ago)
Today, the Wikimedia Foundation announced its removal of The Diary of Anne Frank from Wikisource, a digital library of free texts. According to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act, works are protected for 95 years from the date of publication, meaning Wikimedia is not allowed to host a copy of the book before 2042. Rogers, the Legal Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, says this is just one of the many examples of the overreach of the United States' current copyright law. He goes on to say, "Our removal serves as an excellent example of why the law should be changed to prevent repeated extensions of copyright terms." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Is Shutting Down Picasa In Favor of Photos

(12 hours ago)
Google has been steadily migrating its resources towards the Photos ecosystem since the company first announced it at last years I/O developers conference. Today, Google announced that it will shut down Picasa. Starting May 1st, Google will start phasing out Picasa from its product lineup, moving over to Google Photos. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Android app turns your phone into an earthquake detector

(12 hours ago)
Your smartphone can already warn you about earthquakes. UC Berkeley, however, is going one step further: it wants your phone to help detect those quakes. The school has released an Android app, MyShake, that uses your phone's motion sensors to detect...

Amazon Echo gets Alexa integration with Ecobee so you can control thermostats via voice (Aaron Tilley/Forbes)

(13 hours ago)
Aaron Tilley / Forbes:Amazon Echo gets Alexa integration with Ecobee so you can control thermostats via voice  —  Amazon Echo Can Now Control Thermostats  —  Amazon Echo has become a surprise hit among the tech crowd.  The $180 tube-shaped speaker gives users access to Amazon's cloud-based voice service, Alexa.

Smartphones May Soon Provide Earthquake Warnings

(13 hours ago)
sciencehabit writes: When it comes to an earthquake, just a few seconds' warning could make the difference between life and death. But many earthquake-prone countries lack the seismic networks that would give their citizens the lead time to find cover or shut down critical utilities. Now, a group of enterprising engineers is looking at a substitute network: smartphones. Using smartphones' built-in accelerometers, researchers have invented an app, released today, that they say can detect strong earthquakes seconds before the damaging seismic waves arrive. MyShake, as the app is called, could become the basis for an earthquake warning system for the world's most vulnerable regions. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple urges judge to make up mind about unlocking phones for Feds

(13 hours ago)
Today, Apple tried to prod New York Magistrate Judge James Orenstein into settling a months-old debate about unlocking an iPhone at the heart of a criminal investigation. A letter submitted by one of the company's attorneys maintains these sorts of u...

Researchers Improve Efficiency of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles By Almost 12%

(13 hours ago)
hypnosec writes: A new study has put forward claims that by working on and improving the energy management system (EMS) that decides when the switch from 'all-electric' mode to 'hybrid' mode in plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, efficiency of these vehicles can be improved by as much as 12 per cent. Researchers have shown in their lab tests that blended discharge strategies wherein power from the battery is used throughout the trip, have proven to be more efficient at minimizing fuel consumption and emissions. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Echo starts talking to your thermostat

(14 hours ago)
Amazon's voice-guided Echo speaker can serve as everything from an exercise coach to a game machine, but its latest addition could be particularly helpful if you're shivering as you read this. The Echo now offers voice control over thermostats, star...

US Copyright Law Forces Wikimedia To Remove the Diary of Anne Frank

(14 hours ago)
Today, the Wikimedia Foundation announced it's removal of The Diary of Anne Frank from Wikisource, a digital library of free texts. According to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), works are protected for 95 years from the date of publication, meaning Wikimedia is not allowed to host a copy of the book before 2042. Rogers, the Legal Counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, says this is just one of the many examples of the overreach of the United States' current copyright law. He goes on to say, "Our removal serves as an excellent example of why the law should be changed to prevent repeated extensions of copyright terms." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

An All-Star Slam Dunk: 1B 'Likes' for NBA on Social

(14 hours ago)
It's the first professional sports league to surpass 1 billion likes and followers across its social media platforms.

NBCUniversal has a streaming service for reality TV fans

(14 hours ago)
If you're a fan of American reality TV shows but you live in the UK, Ireland or Australia, you'll soon be in luck. NBCUNiversal announced Hayu, a streaming service dedicated to the high-quality content only reality television can offer. The monthly s...

How Univision is beating the competition to 4K sports streaming

(14 hours ago)
4K is everywhere. The technology is rapidly making its way into people's homes, in the form of a wide assortment of 4K-ready devices that includes cameras, TVs and smartphones. Then there are the Netflix and Amazons of the world, which are on a missi...

French Court Rules That Facebook Can Now Be Sued in France

(14 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: A Paris court of appeal has ruled in favor of a French complainant whose account was suspended, because he linked to an image of the 1866 Gustav Courbet nude 'L'Origine du monde', currently residing at the Musee d'Orsay. The appeals court not only agreed that the user's suspension by Facebook constitutes censorship, but the ruling itself negates Facebook's insistence that all legal challenges take place in its native California. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SyFy's futuristic cop show 'Halcyon' will have 5 VR episodes

(15 hours ago)
In the year 2058, virtual reality is so commonplace that big-city police have established a Virtual Reality Crimes Unit. In this branch, detective Julie Dover ends up investigating an incident that shouldn't even be possible -- a real-life murder tha...

Apple Bug: January 1, 1970 Could Kill Your iPhone

(15 hours ago)
Want to go back in time to that date? Just make sure you don't do it on your iPhone.

Eddie Cue says Apple has 782M iCloud users and 11M+ Apple Music subs, and Craig Federighi addresses complaints of bugs in Apple apps on John Gruber's podcast (Sean O'Kane/The Verge)

(15 hours ago)
Sean O'Kane / The Verge:Eddie Cue says Apple has 782M iCloud users and 11M+ Apple Music subs, and Craig Federighi addresses complaints of bugs in Apple apps on John Gruber's podcast  —  Apple Music now has over 11 million subscribers  —  Apple senior vice presidents Craig Federighi and Eddy Cue appeared on John Gruber's podcast …

Study links North Korea to Sony hack and malware campaign

(15 hours ago)
Cyber-security firms Kaspersky and Alienvault Labs announced at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit that they had uncovered new evidence linking the massive Sony Pictures hack of 2014 with an ongoing malware attack directed at South Korea. The secu...

Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Have a Pager? Do You Find It Useful?

(15 hours ago)
New submitter Chance Callahan writes: I am starting a business, helping a friend with his own startup, and volunteering regularly with a major political campaign (#feelthebern). One thing I have noticed is that my phone likes to die at the most inconvenient times and leaves me out of touch with people. With the business I'm starting requiring clients to be able to get ahold me quickly, I have been seriously considering getting a two-way pager. It's much easier swap out a AA battery once a month then to worry "will client X be able to get ahold me in the event of an emergency?" So, Slashdot, the million dollar question is, in the age of cell phones, do you have a pager? Do you still find it useful? Do any other "dead-tech" tools still play a big role for your communications? For example, fax machines are still big in Japan, and a lot of people keep landlines, too. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Paris appeals court on nudity censorship case: Facebook cannot mandate that French users sue in California (Megan Geuss/Ars Technica)

(15 hours ago)
Megan Geuss / Ars Technica:Paris appeals court on nudity censorship case: Facebook cannot mandate that French users sue in California  —  France says Facebook must face French law in nudity censorship case  —  Paris court says Facebook cannot mandate that its French users sue in California.

UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal rules computer hacking by GCHQ is not illegal after GCHQ admitted to using the practice in UK and abroad (Brian Wheeler/BBC)

(15 hours ago)
Brian Wheeler / BBC:UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal rules computer hacking by GCHQ is not illegal after GCHQ admitted to using the practice in UK and abroad  —  Tribunal rules computer hacking by GCHQ is not illegal  —  GCHQ is operating within the law when it hacks into computers and smart phones, a security tribunal has ruled.

Apple to launch new iPhone, iPad in March: 9to5mac

(15 hours ago)
(Reuters) - Apple Inc is on target to introduce its next iPhone and iPad models on March 15, and aims to start selling the devices in the same week, technology blog 9to5Mac reported, citing sources.

After first 100 days, Canada PM Trudeau takes Twitter queries

(15 hours ago)
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who never skips a chance to reach out to voters, marked 100 days in office on Friday by fielding Twitter questions on topics from Star Wars to economics to what he had for lunch.

Google says will not participate in 2016 U.S. airwaves auction

(16 hours ago)
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google will not participate in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's upcoming auction of broadcast airwaves for wireless industry use, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday.
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