Technology News

Ask Slashdot: What Can I Really Do With a Smart Watch?

(17 minutes ago)
kwelch007 writes I commonly work in a clean-room (CR.) As such, I commonly need access to my smart-phone for various reasons while inside the CR...but, I commonly keep it in my front pocket INSIDE my clean-suit. Therefore, to get my phone out of my pocket, I have to leave the room, get my phone out of my pocket, and because I have a one track mind, commonly leave it sitting on a table or something in the CR, so I then have to either have someone bring it to me, or suit back up and go get it myself...a real pain. I have been looking in to getting a 'Smart Watch' (I'm preferential to Android, but I know Apple has similar smart-watches.) I would use a smart-watch as a convenient, easy to transport and access method to access basic communications (email alerts, text, weather maps, etc.) The problem I'm finding while researching these devices is, I'm not finding many apps. Sure, they can look like a nice digital watch, but I can spend $10 for that...not the several hundred or whatever to buy a smart-watch. What are some apps I can get? (don't care about platform, don't care if they're free) I just want to know what's the best out there, and what it can do? I couldn't care less about it being a watch...we have these things called clocks all over the place. I need various sorts of data access. I don't care if it has to pair with my smart-phone using Bluetooth or whatever, and it won't have to be a 100% solution...it would be more of a convenience that is worth the several hundred[..]

Your Xbox One now plays Pandora radio and Vevo music videos

(17 minutes ago)
You haven't had many choices for streaming music on the Xbox One so far; you've largely been limited to Xbox Music or the occasional YouTube mix. You'll have some proper options very shortly, though. Apps for both Pandora's internet radio service (US...

No fitness for Christmas: Jawbone delays UP3 until 2015

(35 minutes ago)
If you were planning to star the new year on a healthy note with Jawbone's UP3 fitness band, you'll have to put that resolution on hold.

Family Sharing is convenient, but comes with its own risks

(35 minutes ago)
No Mac is an island, and every iPad is part of the main. But Apple has, for many years, had trouble with letting a group of allied people--let's call them a "family"--make best used of shared devices and shared digital purchases. Family Sharing is the latest attempt by Apple to facilitate families' sharing (if not caring).

Organized criminals targeting individual iPhone, Android users

(35 minutes ago)
A well organized criminal group is targeting both iOS and Android users with highly targeted man-in-the-middle attacks, according to a new threat advisory from Akamai Technologies, Inc.

Sharpton stops short of calling on Sony executive to resign

(35 minutes ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton on Thursday did not call for Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Amy Pascal to step down over racially insensitive emails, despite expectations that he might seek her resignation.

WordPress 4.1 arrives with new default theme, distraction-free writing mode, Vine embeds, and more (Emil Protalinski/VentureBeat)

(59 minutes ago)
Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:WordPress 4.1 arrives with new default theme, distraction-free writing mode, Vine embeds, and more  —  WordPress.org today launched WordPress 4.1, which adds a slew of new features to help you “focus on your writing” with the blog management tool.  You can download the new release now from WordPress.org/Download (6.4MB).

This freedom-loving laptop discovered how to make Intel CPUs boot without closed firmware

(One hour ago)
You may be rolling an obscure flavor of Linux on your new laptop and sporting a Free Software Foundation bumper sticker on your bio-diesel powered V-Dub, but chances are your laptop isn't really that "free," thanks to closed firmware binaries hidden deep inside hardware itself.

Review: Duet Display brings fast response to the iPad-as-external-monitor game

(One hour ago)
Laptop users who occasionally need more screen real estate can benefit from an additional display. And there are quite a few iOS apps (with companion Mac apps) that let you use an iOS device as that display. But, up to this point, what they lack is speed due to the slow Wi-Fi signal that allows the two devices to communicate. A team of ex-Apple employees address this issue with Duet Display, an iOS app that works in conjunction with a Mac app and a wired connection between your Mac and iPad.

Apple's holiday push for AIDS-fighting nonprofit (RED) raised $20 million

(One hour ago)
Apple's past Black Friday deals were never anything major--usually small discounts that covered sales tax and not much else. For last year's annual shopping holiday, the company moved to free gift cards with purchase, and this year was more of the same. But this past Black Friday, your purchases also raised money for the AIDS-fighting nonprofit (RED) and The Global Fund--more than $20 million in total.

BBC investigation finds Apple repeatedly not meeting its supply chain standards on workers' hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers (Richard Bilton/BBC)

(One hour ago)
Richard Bilton / BBC:BBC investigation finds Apple repeatedly not meeting its supply chain standards on workers' hours, ID cards, dormitories, work meetings and juvenile workers  —  Apple ‘failing to protect Chinese factory workers’  —  The undercover reporter filmed workers falling asleep on 12-hour shifts

Australia Moves Toward New Restrictions On Technology Export and Publication

(One hour ago)
An anonymous reader writes Australia is starting a public consultation process for new legislation that further restricts the publication and export of technology on national security grounds. The public consultation starts now (a few days before Christmas) and it is due by Jan 30th while a lot of Australians are on holidays. I don't have the legal expertise to dissect the proposed legislation, but I'd like some more public scrutiny on it. I find particularly disturbing the phrase "The Bill includes defences that reverse the onus of proof which limit the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty" contained in this document, also available on the consultation web site. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Which Chromebooks are worth buying?

(One hour ago)
Seven years ago, netbooks were all the rage with consumers, providing a cheap and easy way to get online and carry out other basic computing tasks. They died out as cellphones and tablets became popular, with some companies even forecasting the death...

UN General Assembly OKs Digital Privacy Resolution

(One hour ago)
Thursday's resolution, approved by consensus and drafted by Germany and Brazil, is nonbinding but reflects continuing alarm.

India Successfully Test Fires Its Heaviest Rocket

(One hour ago)
vasanth (908280) writes India on Thursday moved forward in rocket technology with the successful flight testing of its heaviest next generation rocket and the crew module . The 630-tonne three-stage rocket, Geo-Synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III, carried active solid boosters, liquid core stage and a passive cryo stage and a crew module to test its re-entry characteristics. This rocket is capable of doubling the capacity of payloads India can carry into space and it can deposit up to four tonne class of communication satellites into space. India also plans to use this rocket for ferrying Indian astronauts into space. For India, ISRO (the Indian space agency) perfecting the cryogenic engine technology is crucial as India can save precious foreign exchange by launching heavy duty communication satellites by itself. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

U.S. judge says concerned about Google antitrust lawsuit

(One hour ago)
SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) - A U.S. judge said on Thursday she would require consumers suing Google to submit additional factual details in order for an antitrust lawsuit over Android to proceed.

White House says U.S. weighing proportionate response to Sony hack

(One hour ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Thursday that U.S. officials were treating a cyber attack on Sony Pictures as a serious national security matter and that President Barack Obama's National Security Council was considering a proportionate response.

United Nations concerned by 'highly intrusive' digital spying

(One hour ago)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations General Assembly expressed concern on Thursday at digital spying and said unlawful or arbitrary mass surveillance and the interception and collection of online data are "highly intrusive acts" that violate privacy rights.

Stores fight back as Christmas delivery delays hit e-tailers

(One hour ago)
BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - The Christmas rush is exposing the limitations of internet-only retailers as surging orders cause delivery delays, allowing Europe's shops to fight back with "click and collect" services and more in-store theater.

U.S. startup sues France's Orange over social calling app

(One hour ago)
(Reuters) - French telecom group Orange SA confirmed on Wednesday that it has been sued in California by San Francisco-based startup Telesocial in an intellectual property case, but said that the startup's claims were unfounded.

Hulu's push for exclusives gets a big boost from Fox

(One hour ago)
As we've said so many times (this week) the battle between streaming services has become all about what exclusive content each one has to offer, and with HBO joining in soon it's only going to get tougher. It's no surprise then, that Hulu's next atte...

Amazon Web Services updates console to simplify management

(2 hours ago)
As enterprises have increased the number of systems they run on Amazon Web Service's cloud, keeping track of it all has become more difficult. But the company is now trying to rectify that with the help of better tagging.

Sony hit with second employee lawsuit over hack

(2 hours ago)
Sony Pictures has been hit by a second lawsuit alleging it didn't do enough to safeguard the personal information of employees that was lost in a major hack in late November.

'Dark Web' Market for Illegal Guns and Drugs Grows

(2 hours ago)
The sites have names like Evolution, Agora and Nucleus, where criminals can buy and sell all manner of illegal goods and services.

Mobile analytics firm Mixpanel raises $65M Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz at an $865M valuation (Lizette Chapman/Wall Street Journal)

(2 hours ago)
Lizette Chapman / Wall Street Journal:Mobile analytics firm Mixpanel raises $65M Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz at an $865M valuation  —  Mixpanel Raises $65 Million to Build Predictive Data Tech  —  Suhail Doshi has big dreams for his mobile and Web analytics company Mixpanel Inc. and has just raised $65 million …

Cause and Effect: How a Revolutionary New Statistical Test Can Tease Them Apart

(2 hours ago)
KentuckyFC writes Statisticians have long thought it impossible to tell cause and effect apart using observational data. The problem is to take two sets of measurements that are correlated, say X and Y, and to find out if X caused Y or Y caused X. That's straightforward with a controlled experiment in which one variable can be held constant to see how this influences the other. Take for example, a correlation between wind speed and the rotation speed of a wind turbine. Observational data gives no clue about cause and effect but an experiment that holds the wind speed constant while measuring the speed of the turbine, and vice versa, would soon give an answer. But in the last couple of years, statisticians have developed a technique that can tease apart cause and effect from the observational data alone. It is based on the idea that any set of measurements always contain noise. However, the noise in the cause variable can influence the effect but not the other way round. So the noise in the effect dataset is always more complex than the noise in the cause dataset. The new statistical test, known as the additive noise model, is designed to find this asymmetry. Now statisticians have tested the model on 88 sets of cause-and-effect data, ranging from altitude and temperature measurements at German weather stations to the correlation between rent and apartment size in student accommodation.The results suggest that the additive noise model can tease apart cause and effect[..]

U.S. weighs response to Sony hacking attack blamed on North Korea

(2 hours ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States was considering possible options on Thursday in response to a major cyber attack on Sony Pictures blamed on North Korea, amid calls for tougher sanctions on Pyongyang to cut it off from the global banking system.

Micromax launches the phone that got OnePlus banned in India

(2 hours ago)
Micromax has just revealed the first product from its Yu smartphone collaboration with Cyanogen: the Yureka. Even ahead of its launch, the $142 handset has gained a certain notoriety. Cyanogen declared it would no longer update OnePlus One phones sol...

U.S. weighs response to Sony hacking attack blamed on North Korea

(2 hours ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States was considering possible options on Thursday in response to a major cyber attack on Sony Pictures blamed on North Korea, amid calls for tougher sanctions on Pyongyang to cut it off from the global banking system.

Redfin raises $70.9M to continue national real estate expansion (John Cook/GeekWire)

(2 hours ago)
John Cook / GeekWire:Redfin raises $70.9M to continue national real estate expansion … Redfin today announced $70.9 million in fresh funding, money that the Seattle real estate brokerage will use to continue its national expansion.  Total funding in the 10-year-old company now stands at $166 million.

Minecraft maker plans spin-off game

(2 hours ago)
Minecraft maker Mojang is planning a spin-off game based on its hugely popular block-building title.

Net overseers hit by phishing attack

(2 hours ago)
Hackers have managed to penetrate the internal network used by the organisation that oversees the net's addressing system.

Microsoft nixes EU browser ballot screen

(3 hours ago)
Microsoft has pulled the plug on the browser ballot screen it was forced to display in the aftermath of a threat by the European Union's antitrust agency five years ago.

Will Ripple Eclipse Bitcoin?

(3 hours ago)
First time accepted submitter groggy.android writes This year's biggest news about Bitcoin may well turn out not to be the repeat of its surge in value last year against the dollar and other state currencies but its impending eclipse by another independent but corporate-backed digital currency. Popularly known as Ripple, XRP shot up in value last year along with other cryptocurrencies that took advantage of the hype around Bitcoin. However, among the top cryptocurrencies listed in Coinmarketcap.com, a site that monitors trading across different cryptocurrency exchanges, Ripple is the only one that not only regained its value after the collapse in the price of Bitcoin but has more than doubled from its peak last year. In September it displaced Litecoin to become the second most valuable cryptocurrency. Even more surpising, a Ripple fork, Stellar, is one of the two other cryptocurrencies in the Coinmarketcap top ten that have risen sharply in value during the last few weeks. What makes Ripple different from Bitcoin? Strictly speaking, Ripple isn't the name of the digital currency but of the decentralized payment network and protocol created and maintained by the eponymous Ripple Labs. Users of the Ripple system are able to transact in both cryptocurrency and regular fiat currency like the dollar without passing through a central exchange. XRP is the name of the native unit of exchange used in the Ripple network to facilitate conversion between different currency types. Read[..]

Microsoft sells MixRadio to messaging service Line

(3 hours ago)
When Microsoft completed its multi-billion dollar purchase of Nokia, it also acquired a number of apps and services that were surplus to requirements. One of those was music-streaming app MixRadio, which spun off as a standalone service earlier this ...

Secret is relaunching as a faster anonymous social network with chat (Casey Newton/The Verge)

(3 hours ago)
Casey Newton / The Verge:Secret is relaunching as a faster anonymous social network with chat  —  Talk to any of Secret's 15 million users in just two taps  —  When Secret launched in February, it quickly became the most talked-about new social network in Silicon Valley.  Like other '"anonymish" social networks …

Messaging Firm Line Buys Microsoft's MixRadio To Take Its Focus On Music Global (Jon Russell/TechCrunch)

(3 hours ago)
Jon Russell / TechCrunch:Messaging Firm Line Buys Microsoft's MixRadio To Take Its Focus On Music Global  —  Last month we reported that Microsoft was considering spinning out MixRadio, but it turns out the music service's future is with someone else: Japan-based messaging firm Line which just announced an undisclosed deal to buy it.

After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

(3 hours ago)
MojoKid writes Les Baugh, a Colorado man who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago, is looking forward to being able to insert change into a soda machine and retrieving the beverage himself. But thanks to the wonders of science and technology — and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) — he'll regain some of those functions while making history as the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control two Modular Prosthetic Limbs (MPLs). "It's a relatively new surgical procedure that reassigns nerves that once controlled the arm and the hand," explained Johns Hopkins Trauma Surgeon Albert Chi, M.D. "By reassigning existing nerves, we can make it possible for people who have had upper-arm amputations to control their prosthetic devices by merely thinking about the action they want to perform." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Expect Labs Raises $13 Million for 'Anticipatory' Computing (Lizette Chapman/Wall Street Journal)

(3 hours ago)
Lizette Chapman / Wall Street Journal:Expect Labs Raises $13 Million for ‘Anticipatory’ Computing … Expect Labs Inc. is poised to expand its speech recognition technology that predicts what you will say-and what you intend to search for-before you say it.  —  The idea driving the San Francisco-based startup is to provide …
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