Technology News

Facebook must adhere to German Holocaust denial laws, says Berlin

(2 days ago)
Facebook must stick to German laws which ban Holocaust denial, the Justice Ministry in Berlin said on Thursday after Mark Zuckerberg caused outrage by saying his platform should not delete such comments.

Trump says EU taking advantage of U.S. with $5 billion Google fine

(2 days ago)
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said the European Union was taking advantage of the United States, pointing to the record $5 billion fine that European antitrust regulators slapped on Google on Wednesday.

Should the Word 'Milk' Be Used To Describe Nondairy Milk-Alternative Products?

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration seems to have soured on nondairy milk-alternative products that use the term "milk" in their marketing and labeling -- like popular soy and almond milk products. In a talk hosted by Politico, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced Tuesday that the FDA will soon issue a new guidance on the use of the term. But he added that products aren't abiding by FDA policies as they stand now. He referenced a so-called "standard of identity" policy that regulates how milk is defined and should be identified. "If you look at our standard of identity -- there is a reference somewhere in the standard of identity to a lactating animal," he said. "And, you know, an almond doesn't lactate, I will confess." He went on to explain that the issue is that the agency hasn't been enforcing its own policy or putting the squeeze on product makers -- and that it's time to get abreast of the labeling language. But, he admitted, curtailing the wording of non-moo juice labeling isn't an easy task because it means that the agency has to change its "regulatory posture." "I can't just do it unilaterally," Gottlieb said. Hence, the agency is putting together a new guidance for manufacturers to help skim the fat from the market. Gottlieb said the agency will soon tap the public for comments on the terminology and hopes to wring out a new policy within a year.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Comcast drops pursuit for Fox assets, to focus on Sky offer

(2 days ago)
Comcast Corp said it dropped its pursuit of a group of media assets owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc on Thursday and will focus on its offer for European pay-TV group Sky Plc .

Comcast drops pursuit for Fox assets

(2 days ago)
Comcast Corp has dropped its pursuit of a group of media assets owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc on which it was bidding against Walt Disney , and instead will focus on its offer for UK TV group Sky , the company said on Thursday.

Vietnam says controversial cybersecurity law aims to protect online rights

(2 days ago)
Vietnam's new cybersecurity law is designed to protect online rights and create a "safe and healthy cyberspace," the foreign ministry said on Thursday, although critics have warned it gives the Communist-ruled state more power to crack down on dissent.

EU regulators charge Qualcomm with additional violation in pricing case

(2 days ago)
EU antitrust regulators on Thursday charged Qualcomm with a new violation in a case where the U.S. chipmaker has been accused of selling chipsets below cost to drive out Nvidia Corp unit and British phone software maker Icera.

Zuckerberg in Holocaust denial row

(2 days ago)
The Facebook founder's assertion that Holocaust deniers should be given a voice has outraged many.

Switzerland seeks to regain cryptocurrency crown

(2 days ago)
Swiss regulators are stepping up efforts to halt an exodus of cryptocurrency projects from the country, after two of only a handful of banks active in the nascent sector shut their doors on it in the last year.

ESO's Very Large Telescope Now Delivers Images Sharper Than Hubble

(2 days ago)
ffkom shares an excerpt from a press release via the European Southern Observatory: ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has achieved first light with a new adaptive optics mode called laser tomography -- and has captured remarkably sharp test images of the planet Neptune, star clusters and other objects. The pioneering MUSE instrument in Narrow-Field Mode, working with the GALACSI adaptive optics module, can now use this new technique to correct for turbulence at different altitudes in the atmosphere. It is now possible to capture images from the ground at visible wavelengths that are sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The combination of exquisite image sharpness and the spectroscopic capabilities of MUSE will enable astronomers to study the properties of astronomical objects in much greater detail than was possible before.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SoftBank's Son says Japan is 'stupid' to disallow ride-sharing

(2 days ago)
SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son blasted Japan on Thursday for not allowing ride-sharing services, calling it "stupid" and saying the country was lagging overseas rivals in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Alphabet to deploy balloon Internet in Kenya with Telkom in 2019

(2 days ago)
Alphabet Inc's Loon said on Thursday it would deploy its system of balloons to beam high-speed Internet access with Telkom Kenya from next year to cover rural and suburban populations, marking its first commercial deal in Africa.

Alphabet to deploy balloon Internet in Kenya with Telkom in 2019

(2 days ago)
Alphabet Inc's Loon said on Thursday it would deploy its system of balloons to beam high-speed Internet access with Telkom Kenya from next year to cover rural and suburban populations, marking its first commercial deal in Africa.

Roblox blames 'gang rape' on hacker adding code to game

(2 days ago)
The makers of the online children's game say a hacker uploaded malicious code to one of its servers.

Chinese Space Official Seems Unimpressed With NASA's Lunar Gateway

(2 days ago)
schwit1 shares a report from Behind The Black: At a science workshop in Europe this week, Chinese space officials made it clear that they found the concept of NASA Lunar Orbiting Platform-Gateway (LOP-G) to be unimpressive and uninteresting. Moreover, they said that while it appears we will be delaying our landings on the Moon for at least a decade because of LOP-G, they will be focused on getting and building a research station on the surface, right off the bat. [From a report via Ars Technica:] "Overall, [Pei Zhaoyu, who is deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration], does not appear to be a fan of NASA's plan to build a deep space gateway, formally known as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, at a near-rectilinear halo orbit. Whereas NASA will focus its activities on this gateway away from the Moon, Pei said China will focus on a 'lunar scientific research station.' Another slide from Pei offered some thoughts on the gateway concept, which NASA intends to build out during the 2020s, delaying a human landing on the Moon until the end of the decade at the earliest. Pei does not appear to be certain about the scientific objectives of such a station, and the deputy director concludes that, from a cost-benefit standpoint, the gateway would have 'lost cost-effectiveness.'"Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon hands goodwill to eBay with move to shut Australians out of overseas sites

(2 days ago)
Australian home entertainment installer Paul Boon has relied for years on Amazon.com Inc's U.S. website for cheap wall racks and other parts to keep his costs down.

SoftBank's Son says Japan is 'stupid' for not allowing ride-sharing

(2 days ago)
SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son slammed on Thursday the Japanese government's ride-sharing ban and said the country had fallen behind overseas rivals in areas such as artificial intelligence and fintech.

Russian Shipwreck Allegedly Carrying $130 Billion In Gold Has Been Rediscovered

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Mechanics: A salvage company has located the remains of a Russian warship lost during the the Russo-Japanese War. The battle-damaged cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi was scuttled off the coast of Korea in 1905, reportedly carrying a cargo of gold worth an estimated $130 billion in today's dollars. An international consortium of companies plans to salvage the gold. According to the Telegraph, the Donskoi was found less than a mile off the coast of Ulleung island, at a depth of 1,423 feet in the Sea of Japan. A submersible descended to the wreck and captured an image of the ship's name on the stern in the Cyrillic alphabet. The South Korean Shinil Group, which discovered the wreck, plans to recover the gold sometime later this year with help from companies in China, Canada, and the U.K. At the time of her sinking Donskoi was reportedly carrying 5,500 boxes of gold bars and 200 tons of gold coins with a street value today of $130 billion. That's more than twice Russia's 2017 defense budget, which was $61 billion. If the treasure does materialize, the Russian government will receive half of the recovered amount. The money that's not going to Russia will reportedly be invested in a railroad line linking North Korea, South Korea, and Russia. A small percentage (10%) will also be invested in tourism projects on Ulleungdo Island, including a museum dedicated to the vessel.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Speakers, TVs, Kleenex in demand on Amazon Prime Day

(2 days ago)
Online shoppers purchased more than 100 million products worldwide during Amazon.com Inc's annual Prime Day sale this week, despite glitches on its mobile app and websites that prevented several customers from placing orders.

California man pleads guilty to terrorism charges

(2 days ago)
A California man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to opening social media accounts to provide support to Islamic State, according to court documents.

Leaked Documents Show Facebook's 'Threshold' For Deleting Pages, Groups

(2 days ago)
Facebook has repeatedly referenced to lawmakers a "threshold" that must be reached before the platform decides to ban a particular page for violating the site's policies, but it hasn't discussed its guidelines publicly. Motherboard has obtained internal Facebook documents laying out what this threshold is for multiple types of different content, including some instances of hate speech. From the report: One Facebook moderator training document for hate speech says that for Pages -- Facebook's feature for sections dedicated to, say, a band, organization, public figure, or business -- the Page admin has to receive 5 "strikes" within 90 days for the Page itself to be deleted. Alternatively, Facebook moderators are told to remove a Page if at least 30 percent of the content posted by other people within 90 days violates Facebook's community standards. A similar 30 percent-or-over policy exists for Facebook Groups, according to the document. In a similar vein, another hate speech document says that a profile should be taken down if there are 5 or more pieces of content from the user which indicate hate propaganda, photos of the user present with another identifiable leader, or other related violations. Although the documents obtained by Motherboard were created recently, Facebook's policies change regularly, so whether these exact parameters remain in force is unclear. Of course this still depends on moderators identifying and labeling posts as violating to reach that threshold.[..]

Corning's New Gorilla Glass 6 Will Let Your Phones Survive 15 Drops

(2 days ago)
Corning just announced its most durable glass yet: Gorilla Glass 6. "The company says that the glass will survive up to 15 drops from a one meter height and can be 'up to two times better' than Gorilla Glass 5," reports The Verge. From the report: As phones get slimmer and have ever sleeker glass displays, reports have appeared that the slimness may actually cancel out the improvements in new iterations of Gorilla Glass, since thinner glass is weaker glass, even if it's become stronger. Still Corning argues that sleek edge-to-edge displays have actually led to stronger smartphones. Sometimes, in smartphones of previous years, the bezel would crack first, then leading to a weakness in the glass. There's also a tradeoff between drop resistance and scratch resistance, which Corning has admitted to in the past. Corning says that Gorilla Glass 6 will have the same amount of scratch resistance as previous generations. So although the company claims the new generation of Gorilla Glass is "better," you shouldn't expect new phones made with the glass to be more scratch-resistant. The first devices to feature Gorilla Glass 6 are expected to arrive near the end of the year.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

eBay Is Conducting a 'Mass Layoff' In the Bay Area

(2 days ago)
eBay is planning to slash nearly 300 jobs from Bay Area locations by July 20, calling the cuts a "mass layoff." Those being laid off were informed at the end of June, reports The Mercury News. The San Jose-based company estimated that it would eliminate 224 jobs in San Jose, 41 in San Francisco, and five in Brisbane. From the report: "This action is expected to be permanent," eBay stated in the Employment Development Department filing. "No affected employee has any bumping rights." Over the one-year period that ended in March, eBay lost $1.64 billion on revenues of $9.84 billion, according to information posted on the Yahoo Finance site. During the first quarter that ended March 31, eBay earned $407 million on revenues of $2.58 billion. Compared to the year-ago first quarter, profits were down 60.7 percent and revenue rose 12 percent.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

DeepMind, Elon Musk and Others Pledge Not To Make Autonomous AI Weapons

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: Yesterday, during the Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the Future of Life Institute announced that more than 2,400 individuals and 160 companies and organizations have signed a pledge, declaring that they will "neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade or use of lethal autonomous weapons." The signatories, representing 90 countries, also call on governments to pass laws against such weapons. Google DeepMind and the Xprize Foundation are among the groups who've signed on while Elon Musk and DeepMind co-founders Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman have made the pledge as well. "Thousands of AI researchers agree that by removing the risk, attributability and difficulty of taking human lives, lethal autonomous weapons could become powerful instruments of violence and oppression, especially when linked to surveillance and data systems," says the pledge. It adds that those who sign agree that "the decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine." "I'm excited to see AI leaders shifting from talk to action, implementing a policy that politicians have thus far failed to put into effect," Future of Life Institute President Max Tegmark said in a statement. "AI has huge potential to help the world -- if we stigmatize and prevent its abuse. AI weapons that autonomously decide to kill people are as disgusting and destabilizing as bioweapons, and should be dealt[..]

EU order against Google opens new doors for mobile industry

(2 days ago)
A European Union antitrust judgment against Google on Wednesday invites more competition from software developers including Microsoft Corp , Amazon.com Inc and Samsung Electronics Co , but still leaves them at an disadvantage, industry executives and analysts told Reuters.

IBM Wants $167 Million From Groupon Over Alleged Patent Infringement

(2 days ago)
On Monday, IBM asked a jury to award the company $167 million in a lawsuit against deals site Groupon for using patented technology without authorization. The patents involve e-commerce technology that had already been licensed to Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet for between $20 million and $50 million per company. "Most big companies have taken licenses to these patents," IBM's lawyer, John Desmarais, said. "Groupon has not. The new kid on the block refuses to take responsibility for using these inventions." Reuters reports: Groupon lawyer J. David Hadden argued that IBM was overreading the scope of its patents and claiming ownership of building blocks of the internet. "A key question for you in this case is whether these patents cover the world wide web," Hadden told jurors. "They do not and that is because IBM did not invent the world wide web." An IBM executive is expected to testify during the two-week trial about licensing deals with technology companies like Amazon and Google, providing a rare glimpse into IBM's efforts to derive revenue from its large patent portfolio. The Armonk, New York-based company invests heavily in research and development and has secured more U.S. patents than any other company for the past 25 years.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

IBM gets boost from new businesses, tops estimates

(2 days ago)
International Business Machines Corp on Wednesday reported second-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts' expectations as it benefited from growth in higher-margin businesses including cybersecurity and cloud computing.

EBay revenue misses as weak U.S. sporting season hits StubHub

(2 days ago)
EBay Inc missed analysts' estimates for second-quarter revenue on Wednesday, as its online ticket marketplace StubHub had a disappointing quarter, leading the e-commerce website to forecast underwhelming third-quarter results.

Hackers Account For 90 Percent of Login Attempts At Online Retailers

(2 days ago)
Hackers account for 90% of of e-commerce sites' global login traffic, according to a report by cyber security firm Shape Security. They reportedly use programs to apply stolen data acquired on the dark web -- all in an effort to login to websites and grab something of value like cash, airline points, or merchandise. Quartz reports: These attacks are successful as often as 3% of the time, and the costs quickly add up for businesses, Shape says. This type of fraud costs the e-commerce sector about $6 billion a year, while the consumer banking industry loses out on about $1.7 billion annually. The hotel and airline businesses are also major targets -- the theft of loyalty points is a thing -- costing a combined $700 million every year. The process starts when hackers break into databases and steal login information. Some of the best known "data spills" took place at Equifax and Yahoo, but they happen fairly regularly -- there were 51 reported breaches last year, compromising 2.3 billion credentials, according to Shape. Taking over bank accounts is one way to monetize stolen login information -- in the US, community banks are attacked far more than any other industry group. According to Shape's data, that sector is attacked more than 200 million times each day. Shape says the number of reported credential breaches was roughly stable at 51 last year, compared with 52 in 2016. The best way consumers can minimize these attacks is by changing their passwords.Read more of this story[..]

Zuckerberg: If Someone Gets Fired For Data Abuse 'It Should Be Me'

(3 days ago)
Mark Zuckerberg isn't planning to fire himself. At least, not at the moment. From a report: During an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher published Wednesday, the Facebook CEO touched on Russians interfering with US elections, misinformation, data breaches, the company's business model and more. When asked by Swisher who's to blame for the Cambridge Analytica scandal and related data misuse, Zuckerberg said he "designed the platform, so if someone's going to get fired for this, it should be me." Swisher followed up by asking if he was going to fire himself. "Not on this podcast right now," he said. Zuckerberg also defended the social media platform's decision not to kick off conspiracy theory-peddling websites like the far-right InfoWars. From a report: Zuckerberg said that instead of banning websites outright, the company removes individual posts that violate Facebook's terms of service. Posts promoting violence are particularly likely to be taken down, he added. Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, said even Holocaust deniers have a place on the platform as long as they genuinely believe the content they share. "I find that deeply offensive," he said. "But at the end of the day, I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Warns Android Might Not Remain Free Because of EU Decision

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The EU's decision to force Google to unbundle its Chrome and search apps from Android may have some implications for the future of Android's free business model. In a blog post defending Google's decision to bundle search and Chrome apps on Android, Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlines the company's response to the EU's $5 billion fine. Pichai highlights the fact a typical Android user will "install around 50 apps themselves" and can easily remove preinstalled apps. But if Google is prevented from bundling its own apps, that will upset the Android ecosystem. "If phone makers and mobile network operators couldn't include our apps on their wide range of devices, it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem," explains Pichai, carefully avoiding the fact that phone makers will no longer be forced to bundle these apps but can still choose to do so. Pichai then hints that the free Android business model has relied on this app bundling. "So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven't had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model," says Pichai. "But we are concerned that today's decision will upset the careful balance that we have struck with Android, and that it sends a troubling signal in favor of proprietary systems over open platforms." While it may be a bluff to court popular opinion, Google is threatening to license Android to phone makers. "[I]f phone[..]

EBay's third-quarter forecast misses estimates

(3 days ago)
EBay Inc forecast third-quarter profit below analysts' estimates on Wednesday as efforts to revamp its e-commerce platforms failed to impress investors.

Robocall Firm Exposes Hundreds of Thousands of US Voters' Records

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: RoboCent, a Virginia Beach-based political robocall firm, has exposed the personal details of hundreds of thousands of US voters, according to the findings of a security researcher who stumbled upon the company's database online. The researcher, Bob Diachenko of Kromtech Security, says he discovered the data using a recently launched online service called GrayhatWarfare that allows users to search publicly exposed Amazon Web Services data storage buckets. Such buckets should never be left exposed to public access, as they could hold sensitive data.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Europe hits Google with record $5 billion antitrust fine, appeal ahead

(3 days ago)
European antitrust regulators fined Google a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) on Wednesday and ordered it to stop using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals, a ruling which the U.S. tech company said it would appeal.

IBM quarterly results top estimates

(3 days ago)
International Business Machines Corp on Wednesday reported second-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts' expectations as it benefited from growth in higher-margin businesses including cybersecurity and cloud computing.

EBay second-quarter profit rises 7.7 percent

(3 days ago)
EBay Inc reported a 7.7 percent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, as tweaks to its websites and a focus on marketing drew more shoppers at a time when it has been trimming its workforce.

Europe hits Google with record $5 billion antitrust fine, appeal ahead

(3 days ago)
European antitrust regulators fined Google a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) on Wednesday and ordered it to stop using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals, a ruling which the U.S. tech company said it would appeal.

British Airways Says Computer Problems Affecting Operations at Heathrow

(3 days ago)
British Airways said on Wednesday that its operations at London's Heathrow, Europe's biggest airport, were disrupted because of an issue with a supplier's IT systems. From a report: "We are working with our supplier to resolve the matter and are sorry for the disruption to our customers' travel plans," the company said in a statement. Further reading: The Telegraph, which reports that several flights have been delayed or cancelled because of the IT failure.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

IBM quarterly revenue tops estimates

(3 days ago)
International Business Machines Corp on Wednesday reported second-quarter revenue that beat analysts' expectations as it benefited from growth in higher-margin businesses including cybersecurity and cloud computing.

Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 To Support True UTC-Compliant Leap Second

(3 days ago)
Mehedi Hassan, writing for Thurrott: Microsoft is bringing support for leap seconds -- yes, that one extra second -- to Windows, starting with Windows 10 Redstone 5 and Windows Server 2019. With the upcoming updates for Windows 10, Microsoft's operating system now deals with leap seconds in a way that is incredibly accurate, UTC-compliant, and traceable. Leap seconds typically occur every 18 months, resulting in one extra second. The extra leap second occurs to adjust with the earth's slowed down rotation, and an extra second is added to UTC in order to keep it in-sync with mean solar time. To deal with the extra second more appropriately, Windows 10 will now display that extra second, instead of directly jumping to the next one. H/T Perfycat who adds: The new move makes Windows Server the first OS to have full support of the rare but valid timestamp of: 23:59:60. Linus Torvalds has long maintained that users needs to chill out about leap seconds. Further reading: Microsoft's blog post 1, and blog post 2.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

British Airways reports computer problems affecting check-in

(3 days ago)
British Airways said on Twitter on Wednesday it is experiencing some "system issues" and "online check-in is down" as some passengers reported that planes operated by the company were not taking off from London's Heathrow Airport.

Israel's Elbit on hunt for more takeovers

(3 days ago)
Israeli military electronics firm Elbit Systems, which has just completed two acquisitions in the United States and Israel, remains on the lookout for potential takeover targets in the United States and Europe, a top official said Wednesday.

Frequent Smart Phone, Internet Use Linked To Symptoms Of ADHD in Teens

(3 days ago)
Most teens today own a smartphone and go online every day, and about a quarter of them use the internet "almost constantly," according to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center. Now a study published this week in JAMA suggests that such frequent use of digital media by adolescents might increase their odds of developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. From a report: "It's one of the first studies to look at modern digital media and ADHD risk," says psychologist Adam Leventhal, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California and an author of the study. When considered with previous research showing that greater social media use is associated with depression in teens, the new study suggests that "excessive digital media use doesn't seem to be great for [their] mental health," he adds. Previous research has shown that watching television or playing video games on a console put teenagers at a slightly higher risk of developing ADHD behaviors. But less is known about the impact of computers, tablets and smartphones.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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