Technology News

Interview with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom on how the service reached 700M MAUs by increasing the pace of shipping products, future growth prospects, more (Farhad Manjoo/New York Times)

(37 minutes ago)
Farhad Manjoo / New York Times:Interview with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom on how the service reached 700M MAUs by increasing the pace of shipping products, future growth prospects, more  —  At a recent all-hands meeting with employees, Kevin Systrom, a founder and chief executive of Instagram, showed off one of his favorite charts …

Trend Micro report details political-influence activities of cyber espionage group Pawn Storm, aka APT28, Fancy Bear, Sednit, over the last two years (Doug Olenick/SC Magazine US)

(37 minutes ago)
Doug Olenick / SC Magazine US:Trend Micro report details political-influence activities of cyber espionage group Pawn Storm, aka APT28, Fancy Bear, Sednit, over the last two years  —  An in depth look at the cyberespionage gang Pawn Storm by Trend Micro reveals an incredibly complicated and capable group …

The Cheap Energy Revolution Is Here, and Coal Won't Cut It

(37 minutes ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: Wind and solar are about to become unstoppable, natural gas and oil production are approaching their peak, and electric cars and batteries for the grid are waiting to take over. This is the world Donald Trump inherited as U.S. president. And yet his energy plan is to cut regulations to resuscitate the one sector that's never coming back: coal. Clean energy installations broke new records worldwide in 2016, and wind and solar are seeing twice as much funding as fossil fuels, according to new data released Tuesday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). That's largely because prices continue to fall. Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity in the world. But with Trump's deregulations plans, what "we're going to see is the age of plenty -- on steroids," BNEF founder Michael Liebreich said. "That's good news economically, except there's one fly in the ointment, and that's climate." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

On-demand ride service Gett confirms acquisition of rival Juno for $200M, as Uber's rivals consolidate businesses; Gett CEO says firm hopes to raise this year (Ingrid Lunden/TechCrunch)

(One hour ago)
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:On-demand ride service Gett confirms acquisition of rival Juno for $200M, as Uber's rivals consolidate businesses; Gett CEO says firm hopes to raise this year  —  The competitive landscape for transportation apps has become a little smaller today.  Gett has announced that it has acquired Juno, a rival in the New York market.

WATCH: Possible data breach at Chipotle Mexican Grill

(One hour ago)
The fast food restaurant cautions customers to check their credit statements.

WATCH: Facebook enhances picture capabilities

(One hour ago)
Users will be able to add animated graphics to their pictures through a technology called augmented reality.

Israel says it repelled a wide-ranging cyberattack

(One hour ago)
Israel says it has repelled a large cyberattack on government offices and private citizens

Amazon Wants To Put a Camera and Microphone in Your Bedroom

(One hour ago)
On Wednesday, Amazon announced the Echo Look, the latest gadget in the company's new Echo-powered hardware lineup. Motherboard explains: The newly announced Echo Look is a virtual assistant with a microphone and a camera that's designed to go somewhere in your bedroom, bathroom, or wherever the hell you get dressed. Amazon is pitching it as an easy way to snap pictures of your outfits to send to your friends when you're not sure if your outfit is cute, but it's also got a built-in app called StyleCheck that is worth some further dissection. [...] "All photos and video captured with your Echo Look are securely stored in the AWS cloud and locally in the Echo Look app until a customer deletes them," a spokesperson for the company said. "You can delete the photos or videos associated with your account anytime in the Echo Look App." Motherboard also asked if Echo Look photos, videos, and the data gleaned from them would be sold to third parties; the company did not address that question. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Spotify acquires Mediachain, the firm behind an open, blockchain-based tool for recognising artist's work online (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)

(One hour ago)
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:Spotify acquires Mediachain, the firm behind an open, blockchain-based tool for recognising artist's work online  —  Spotify has acquired Mediachain, the New York-based startup behind an open source peer-to-peer database and protocol for registering, identifying, and tracking creative works across the internet.

Game guide malware 'targeted more than 500,000 users'

(One hour ago)
App-based guides for games like Fifa targeted more than 500,000 users with malware, a cyber-security company says.

Fitbit investigates report of 'exploding' tracker

(One hour ago)
A woman in Wisconsin said she suffered second-degree burns when her fitness tracker exploded.

Twitter users up but 'headwinds' forecast

(One hour ago)
More people than ever are regular users of the message-in-brief platform, but it is still losing money.

Premature lambs kept alive in 'plastic bag' womb

(One hour ago)
Scientists were able to keep premature lambs alive for a month using an artificial "plastic bag" womb.

Amazon launches Echo Look, a $200 "style assistant" camera for taking selfies that works via Alexa commands (Brian Heater/TechCrunch)

(One hour ago)
Brian Heater / TechCrunch:Amazon launches Echo Look, a $200 “style assistant” camera for taking selfies that works via Alexa commands  —  With the addition of a camera, Amazon's new Echo Look device can now see and hear all.  The device is a sort of standalone selfie machine so users can take full-length photos …

Uber updates its app to make rider ratings more visible, in an effort to encourage good behavior, and adds options for low UberPool ratings (Andrew J. Hawkins/The Verge)

(One hour ago)
Andrew J. Hawkins / The Verge:Uber updates its app to make rider ratings more visible, in an effort to encourage good behavior, and adds options for low UberPool ratings  —  Are you a 4.9?  —  It used to be that if you wanted to see how many stars you've racked up as an Uber rider, you had to basically excavate your rating from the app.

Maybe Don't Manually Install Windows 10 Creators Update, Says Microsoft

(One hour ago)
Two weeks after Microsoft started rolling out Windows 10 Creators Update, the company has asked the users to avoid manually installing the major update. A report adds: But why? Because the update is causing problems for users. The first phase of the rollout targeted newer devices -- those most likely to be able to run the OS update with the minimum of problems -- and Microsoft is using the feedback from that first batch of updated systems to decide when to begin the next phase of the rollout. "For example, our feedback process identified a Bluetooth accessory connectivity issue with PCs that use a specific series of Broadcom radios," an executive said. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Spacecraft flies between Saturn and rings in historic 1st

(2 hours ago)
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has ventured into the never-before-explored region between Saturn and its rings

GE fixes bug in power software as researchers warn of grid hacks

(2 hours ago)
(Reuters) - General Electric Co said on Wednesday it is fixing a bug in equipment used in electric power systems after three New York University researchers said they identified a vulnerability that could be exploited to shut down parts of the electric grid.

Windows is Bloated, Thanks to Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform

(2 hours ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: Over the weekend, I put together a little tool that scans executable files for PNG images containing useless Adobe Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) metadata. I ran it against a vanilla Windows 10 image and was surprised that Windows contains a lot of this stuff. Adobe XMP, generally speaking, is an Adobe technology that serializes metadata like titles, internal identifiers, GPS coordinates, and color information into XML and jams it into things, like images. This data can be extremely valuable in some cases but Windows doesn't need or use this stuff. It just eats up disk space and CPU cycles. Thanks to horrible Adobe Photoshop defaults, it's very easy to unknowingly include this metadata in your final image assets. So easy, almost all the images on this site are chock full of it. But you can appreciate my surprise when a bunch of important Windows binaries showed up in my tool. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

LTE wireless components targeted in patent infringement probe -U.S. trade panel

(2 hours ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Wednesday it had launched a probe based on a complaint by the South Korean company LG Electronics Inc that some imported LTE wireless communications devices or components infringe upon its patents.

Chris Sacca retires from startup investing and will stop appearing on Shark Tank; Lowercase Capital will not raise another fund (Dan Primack/Axios)

(3 hours ago)
Dan Primack / Axios:Chris Sacca retires from startup investing and will stop appearing on Shark Tank; Lowercase Capital will not raise another fund  —  Chris Sacca, one of the earliest investors in companies like Uber and Twitter, today announced that he has decided to stop making investments in technology startups.

Suicide of an Uber Engineer: Widow Blames Job Stress

(3 hours ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: Joseph Thomas thought he had it made when he landed a $170,000 job as a software engineer at Uber's San Francisco headquarters last year. [...] But his time at Uber turned into a personal tragedy, one that will compel the ride-hailing company to answer questions before a judge about its aggressive work culture. Always adept with computers, Joseph Thomas worked his way up the ladder at tech jobs in his native Atlanta, then at LinkedIn in Mountain View, where he was a senior site reliability engineer. He turned down an offer from Apple to go to Uber, because he felt he could grow more with the younger company and was excited about the chance to profit from stock options when it went public. But at Uber, Thomas struggled in a way he'd never experienced in over a decade in technology. He worked long hours. He told his father and his wife that he felt immense pressure and stress at work, and was scared he'd lose his job. [...] One day in late August, Zecole (the wife) came home from dropping their boys off at school. Joseph was sitting in his car in the garage. She got into the passenger seat to talk to him. Then she saw the blood. Joseph had shot himself. [...] Uber declined to comment on the legal dispute and said Thomas never complained to the company of extreme stress or racial discrimination.[..]

Cyber extortion demands surge as victims keep paying: Symantec

(3 hours ago)
TORONTO (Reuters) - Hackers are demanding increasingly hefty ransoms to free computers paralyzed with viruses, as cyber criminals seek to maximize profits from large numbers of victims willing to pay up, according to cyber security firm Symantec Corp.

Alibaba may provide Brazil credit services, paper reports

(3 hours ago)
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has plans to provide credit services in Brazil, Jack Ma, the company's executive chairman, was quoted as saying in Wednesday's edition of O Estado de S. Paulo.

Instagram now has 700M monthly active users, adding 100M new users in just over four months (Kurt Wagner/Recode)

(4 hours ago)
Kurt Wagner / Recode:Instagram now has 700M monthly active users, adding 100M new users in just over four months  —  It took the company just four months to add 100 million new accounts.  —  Instagram is growing faster than it ever has before.  —  The photo and video app, which is owned by Facebook …

Five Years Later, Legal Megaupload Data Is Still Trapped On Dead Servers

(4 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: It's been more than five years since the government accused Megaupload and its founder Kim Dotcom of criminal copyright infringement. While Dotcom himself was arrested in New Zealand, U.S. government agents executed search warrants and grabbed a group of more than 1,000 servers owned by Carpathia Hosting. That meant that a lot of users with gigabytes of perfectly legal content lost access to it. Two months after the Dotcom raid and arrest, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a motion in court asking to get back data belonging to one of those users, Kyle Goodwin, whom the EFF took on as a client. Years have passed. The U.S. criminal prosecution of Dotcom and other Megaupload executives is on hold while New Zealand continues with years of extradition hearings. Meanwhile, Carpathia's servers were powered down and are kept in storage by QTS Realty Trust, which acquired Carpathia in 2015. Now the EFF has taken the extraordinary step of asking an appeals court to step in and effectively force the hand of the district court judge. Yesterday, Goodwin's lawyers filed a petition for a writ of mandamus (PDF) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which oversees Virginia federal courts. "We've been asking the court for help since 2012," said EFF attorney Mitch Stolz in a statement about the petition. "It's deeply unfair for him to still be in limbo after all this time."[..]

Israel's Cellcom launches cheap TV, phone, internet packages

(5 hours ago)
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Cellcom, Israel's biggest mobile phone operator, launched on Wednesday low-cost "quadruple play" packages of internet, mobile phone, landline calls and TV, promising to shake up the country's telecoms market.

Twitter beats Q1 estimates with $548M revenue and 328M MAUs, up 9M QoQ and 7M more than expected, says daily usage up 14% YoY; stock up 11% in premarket trading (Julia Boorstin/CNBC)

(5 hours ago)
Julia Boorstin / CNBC:Twitter beats Q1 estimates with $548M revenue and 328M MAUs, up 9M QoQ and 7M more than expected, says daily usage up 14% YoY; stock up 11% in premarket trading  —  In a surprise after several quarters of disappointing results, Twitter on Wednesday reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue.

Security firm: Cyberattacks against Saudi Arabia continue

(6 hours ago)
Researchers at U.S. antivirus firm McAfee say the cyberattacks that have hit Saudi Arabia over the past few months are continuing, revealing new details about an unusually disruptive campaign

YouTube Kids now has 8M+ weekly active viewers, expands service to select LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs (AJ Crane/YouTube Blog)

(6 hours ago)
AJ Crane / YouTube Blog:YouTube Kids now has 8M+ weekly active viewers, expands service to select LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs  —  Love using the YouTube Kids app on your phone and tablet?  Well, we're excited to announce that now you can enjoy your favorite videos on select smart TVs too!

Sergey Brin Is Reportedly Building 'Massive Airship' In NASA Research Center

(7 hours ago)
Google co-founder Sergey Brin is secretly building a "massive airship" inside of Hangar 2 at the NASA Ames Research Center, according to a report from Bloomberg. "It's unclear whether the craft, which looks like a zeppelin, is a hobby or something Brin hopes to turn into a business," reports Bloomberg. When asked about further details, Brin wrote in an email: "Sorry, I don't have anything to say about this topic right now." From the report: The people familiar with the project said Brin has long been fascinated by airships. His interest in the crafts started when Brin would visit Ames, which is located next to Google parent Alphabet Inc.'s headquarters in Mountain View, California. In the 1930s, Ames was home to the USS Macon, a huge airship built by the U.S. Navy. About three years ago, Brin decided to build one of his own after ogling old photos of the Macon. In 2015, Google unit Planetary Ventures took over the large hangars at Ames from NASA and turned them into laboratories for the company. Brin's airship, which isn't an Alphabet project, is already taking shape inside one. Engineers have constructed a metal skeleton of the craft, and it fills up much of the enormous hangar. Alan Weston, the former director of programs at NASA Ames, is leading Brin's airship project, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing the secretive plans. Weston didn't respond to requests for comment.[..]

As Dubai focuses on future, cybersecurity a growing concern

(8 hours ago)
Dubai races toward a future of self-driving cars, drones filling up its skies, but cybersecurity is a growing concern

Romania: hundreds of taxis, buses protest Uber

(8 hours ago)
About 200 taxis and buses have parked outside the government offices, demanding that Uber and other online taxi services be outlawed in Romania

Naked selfie-detecting app Gallery Guardian tested

(9 hours ago)
Gallery Guardian is designed to protect children from explicit images, but does not spot every snap.

Facebook baby killing: Grief and questions after shocking murder

(9 hours ago)
It comes after a Thai man broadcast the murder of his 11-month daughter on Facebook Live.
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