Technology News

Italy’s Mediaset hikes stake in ProSieben in pan-Europe TV drive

(23 hours ago)
Italy's top commercial broadcaster Mediaset has raised its stake in German rival ProSiebensat.1 to 15.1% as it presses ahead with plans to create a pan-European TV platform to tackle slow growth and stiffer competition.

Amazon Will Open its Own Grocery Store Next Year

(23 hours ago)
Amazon on Monday said it plans to open its first new brand of grocery store in California next year, as it amps up its ambitious push to become a bigger name in food. From a report: "Amazon is opening a grocery store in Woodland Hills in 2020," an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to CNET on Monday morning, soon after the company published four new jobs postings for the location. Woodland Hills is a neighborhood in Los Angeles. The store will be different from Amazon-owned Whole Foods, the company said. It didn't say whether it will open more of these locations, what its selection or pricing will be, or what the brand name is. But in the jobs postings, the company described the Woodland Hills location as "Amazon's first grocery store," suggesting that it will have the Amazon brand name and that the company could expand to multiple sites.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Venezuelan foreign ministry temporarily loses access to Twitter account

(23 hours ago)
Venezuela's foreign ministry temporarily lost access to its account with social media service Twitter Inc over the weekend, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

Venezuelan foreign ministry temporarily loses access to Twitter account

(23 hours ago)
Venezuela's foreign ministry temporarily lost access to its account with social media service Twitter Inc over the weekend, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

Google's Secret 'Project Nightingale' Gathers Personal Health Data on Millions of Americans

(2 days ago)
Google is teaming with one of the country's largest health-care systems on a secret project to collect and crunch the detailed personal health information of millions of Americans across 21 states, WSJ reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter and internal documents. From the report: The initiative, code-named "Project Nightingale," appears to be the largest in a series of efforts by Silicon Valley giants to gain access to personal health data and establish a toehold in the massive health-care industry. Amazon.com, Apple and Microsoft are also aggressively pushing into health care, though they haven't yet struck deals of this scope. Google launched the effort last year with St. Louis-based Ascension, the country's second-largest health system. The data involved in Project Nightingale includes lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, complete with patient names and dates of birth.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

WeWork in talks to hire T-Mobile's John Legere as CEO: WSJ

(2 days ago)
WeWork is in discussions with T-Mobile US Inc Chief Executive Officer John Legere to take over as head of the office-sharing start-up, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

YouTube Says it Has 'No Obligation' To Host Anyone's Video

(2 days ago)
Speaking of YouTube and moderation, the Google-owned video service is rolling out updated terms of service on December 10th, and a new line acts as a reminder that the company doesn't have to keep any video up that it doesn't want to. From a report: "YouTube is under no obligation to host or serve content," the new terms of service policy reads. It's another way of saying that just because YouTube is a relatively open platform, it doesn't mean that the company is required to keep videos up. YouTube has faced criticism from all sides over its video removal process. Some critics argue that YouTube could do more to take down videos that butt up against the company's rules but don't outright violate them; others argue that YouTube ought to be a fully open platform and shouldn't control what remains up and what doesn't. Executives have long defended the platform as a champion of free speech, but have started to clamp down on the type of videos allowed to circulate.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple To Launch AR Headset in 2022 with Smart Glasses To Follow in 2023, Report Claims

(2 days ago)
According to a report by The Information, Apple is planning to launch an augmented reality (AR) headset in 2022, followed by a sleeker pair of AR glasses in 2023. From a report: While we've heard loads of similar reports over the years, this one -- if accurate -- is different. First, The Information claims that Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about the project at an internal gathering of as many as 1,000 Apple employees, which is an uncommonly large number. Second, the report contains loads of details, not only about the AR headset/glasses hardware, but also about Apple's plans and ideas about the concept of wearable augmented reality devices. First, the headset. It's code-named N301 and will be a virtual reality and augmented reality hybrid. On the outside, it will look like a "sleeker" Oculus Quest, with cameras mounted on the outside (important for AR, which must include a way to view reality in order to mix virtual elements into it). It will be lightweight and comfortable enough to be worn for extended periods of time, the report says. Inside, the headset will have a high-resolution display and 3D-mapping capabilities, as well as the ability to detect humans. Perhaps the more interesting gadget of the two are the AR glasses, which are code-named N421. These will be meant to worn all day, meaning they'll have to be slimmer, lighter and more comfortable than the headset. Apple's current prototypes are essentially sunglasses with "thick frames" with the electronics stuffed inside,[..]

Alibaba's Singles' Day Sales Top $38 Billion

(2 days ago)
After 24 hours of frenzied buying and selling, and weeks of advertising and promotions before it, the Alibaba Group said today its sales hit another record high on Singles' Day, the biggest shopping day on the planet. From a report: The Chinese e-commerce giant said its 11th Singles' Day event sold goods worth 268 billion yuan, or $38.3 billion, easily exceeding last year's record $30.7 billion haul. Electronics gadgets and fashion items were among the most sold goods this year, company executives said in an interview. More than half a billion people from a number of countries participate in the event, which is China's equivalent to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Except, Singles' Day is much larger. The five-day Black Friday clocked under $25 billion in sales last year. Alibaba Group said earlier today that it had netted its first $1 billion in sales this year in just 68 seconds. The shopping glitz hosted a number of celebrities including Taylor Swift and Asian pop icon GEM to generate buzz.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Uber's Kalanick sells 21% of his stake after share lockup expires

(2 days ago)
Uber Technologies Inc co-founder and former chief executive Travis Kalanick has sold nearly 21% of his stake in the ride-hailing company following the expiry of a so-called lockup period, a regulatory filing from late Friday showed.

Dutch court orders Facebook to pull financial fraud adverts

(2 days ago)
A Dutch court has ordered Facebook to remove advertisements that misuse the likeness of a local celebrity to promote fraudulent Bitcoin-related investments.

Twitter takes steps to keep UK election 'healthy and safe'

(2 days ago)
Twitter said it would make it easier to report misleading information about the voting process in Britain's Dec. 12 election, less than a month after its global ban on political advertising comes into force.

Surgeons Transplanted Pig Skin Onto Humans for the First Time

(2 days ago)
In a pathogen-free facility in Grafton, Massachusetts, a small town about 40 miles west of Boston, genetically engineered miniature pigs are being bred to donate their skin to humans. From a report: Their skin, which looks remarkably similar to the human variety and is referred to as Xeno-Skin, will be transplanted by surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital to a small group of burn victims in an attempt to speed up the healing process. It's the first experiment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use animal tissue in humans, a necessary step toward someday transferring entire organs grown in animals to people who need them -- a process known as xenotransplantation. The need for such organs is dire. Each day, 20 people die waiting for an organ transplant. More than 113,000 people in the United States are currently waiting for one, while only 36,528 transplants were performed in 2018, according to government data. Every year, the waiting list grows, greatly outpacing the number of available organs. For decades, researchers looked to animal donors as a way to ease this chronic shortage, but transplants from animals have often failed. Xeno-Skin, developed by Boston-based biotech company XenoTherapeutics, shows promise. So far, one patient has received the genetically engineered pig skin graft, and five more burn victims are slated to receive it. The grafts are meant to be temporary and will be removed once the patients' own skin has grown back. Doctors[..]

Twitter takes steps to keep UK election 'healthy and safe'

(2 days ago)
Twitter said it would make it easier to report misleading information about the voting process in Britain's Dec. 12 election, less than a month after its global ban on political advertising comes into force.

Facebook Co-founder Chris Hughes Doesn't Recall Zuckerberg Discussing the Iraq War at Harvard

(2 days ago)
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has said that he doesn't recall Mark Zuckerberg ever discussing the Iraq War during the early days of the company, contradicting recent comments from the CEO tying the war to his views on free speech. From a report: "I had never heard that before, and the internet had never heard that before," Hughes said an event with the Bay Area Chapter of the American Constitution Society. "I don't remember ever talking about that with Mark." Last month, Zuckerberg told an audience at Georgetown University that discussion about the Iraq War at Harvard, where he was a student, and on Facebook in its embryonic days, played a key role in his controversial positions on policing speech. Unlike other social media companies, Facebook has said it won't ban political advertising nor will it play the role of fact-checker. In claiming that Facebook was meant to promote dialogue about the Iraq War, which began in 2003, Zuckerberg took a departure from the well-known origin tale that includes the development of Facemash, a predecessor to Facebook where students could compare females at the college and decide who was more attractive. [...] "I was at protests protesting the Iraq War," Hughes said. "I did not go to any with Mark Zuckerberg."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Instagram influencer behind 'bullying' anonymous account

(2 days ago)
Clemmie Hooper apologises for using a different social-media platform to criticise fellow influencers.

Uber CEO Calls Saudi Murder of Khashoggi 'a Mistake', Scrambles To Backtrack

(2 days ago)
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told "Axios on HBO" that the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "a mistake" by the Saudi government, and then he compared it to Uber's self driving accident in which a woman died. From a report: An hour later, Khosrowshahi called Axios to express regret for the language he used. The next day he sent the following statement: "I said something in the moment that I do not believe. When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Poland asks Netflix to make changes to documentary about Nazi death camp guard

(2 days ago)
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has pressed Netflix, the U.S. streaming and production company, to make changes to a documentary that includes a map showing Nazi death camps inside the borders of modern Poland.

Amazon's $1.5 million political gambit backfires in Seattle City Council election

(2 days ago)
Seattle voters, in a rebuke to heavy corporate campaign spending by Amazon.com, have kept progressives firmly in control of their city council, reviving chances for a tax on big businesses that the tech giant helped fend off last year.

Carrie Fisher Was Originally Going To Be 'The Last Jedi' In the Final Star Wars Movie

(2 days ago)
Luke Skywalker wasn't going to be the only Jedi in the final Star Wars movie, reports Yahoo Entertainment:In the original version of the ninth and final installment, The Rise of Skywalker, his sister, Leia (played by Carrie Fisher), was going to emerge as a full-fledged Jedi warrior, complete with her very own lightsaber. That's according to no less an authority than Fisher's real-life brother, Todd Fisher, who filled us in on what the plan was for his sister's iconic character prior to her sudden death in December 2016. "She was going to be the big payoff in the final film," Fisher reveals exclusively to Yahoo Entertainment. "She was going to be the last Jedi, so to speak. That's cool right....? People used to say to me, 'Why is it that Carrie never gets a lightsaber and chops up some bad guys,'" Fisher says, noting that Alec Guinness was roughly the same age when Obi-Wan Kenobi battled Darth Vader in A New Hope. "Obi-Wan was in his prime when he was Carrie's age...!" Unfortunately, a version of The Rise of Skywalker where Leia picks up her father and brother's chosen weapon can only exist in our imaginations. After Fisher's death, her alter ego's arc had to be re-conceived by returning director J.J. Abrams, who previously directed the actress in 2015's The Force Awakens. "The truth is that J.J. Abrams was great friends with Carrie... he had an extraordinary sense of love for her," her brother says. It was that love that led the filmmaker to make a bold, and creatively[..]

German mobile operators team up to plug network holes

(2 days ago)
Telefonica Deutschland said on Monday it would team up with competitors Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone to build 6,000 new mobile masts in Germany, as part of a joint push to close gaps in network coverage.

HSBC and RBS set to launch new digital banking platforms

(2 days ago)
British banking heavyweights HSBC and RBS are launching new digital banking platforms, as competition for digitally savvy customers steps up in the face of a wave of online startups.

Alibaba's Singles' Day sales hit $30 billion, on track for record

(2 days ago)
Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Monday that sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz crossed the $30 billion mark at 4:31 p.m. (0831 GMT), putting the event on track to set a record in its 11th year.

Alibaba's Singles' Day sales hit $30 billion, on track for record

(2 days ago)
Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Monday that sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz crossed the $30 billion mark at 4:31 p.m. (0831 GMT), putting the event on track to set a record in its 11th year.

Thousands of Bots Are Retweeting Claims of Voter Fraud In Kentucky

(2 days ago)
"It's deeply concerning to see shady coordinated disinformation campaigns trying to undermine our democracy," says the man who apparently defeated Kentucky's Republican governor Bevin in a close election last Tuesday. The New York Times reports on what happened in the hours after Twitter user "Overlordkraken1" decided to tweet to his 19 followers that he'd "just shredded a box of Republican mail-in ballots."[H]yperpartisan conservatives and trolls were pushing out a screenshot of the message, boosted by what appeared to be a network of bots, and providing early grist for allegations of electoral theft in Kentucky. High-profile right-wing figures were soon tweeting out their own conspiracy theories about the election being stolen -- messages that were in turn pushed by even more trolls and bots -- and the Bevin campaign began talking about "irregularities" in the vote without offering any specifics or evidence. The talk has only intensified in the days since, though it has yet to be matched by any evidence of actual election rigging. But with Mr. Bevin's choosing not to concede, and Kentucky authorities' preparing to recanvass all of the votes at his insistence, Kentucky is shaping up to be a case study in the real-word impact of disinformation -- and a preview of what election-security officials and experts fear could unfold a year from now if the 2020 presidential election comes down to the wire... Data compiled by VineSight, a start-up that detects disinformation on social[..]

Factbox: China's love of e-commerce powers Alibaba's Singles' Day

(2 days ago)
China's dominant e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding raked in $23 billion worth of sales in the first nine hours of its annual Singles' Day shopping extravaganza on Monday, setting records as the event celebrates its 11th year.

Alibaba Singles' Day sales jump 25% in first 9 hours to $23 billion

(2 days ago)
Chinese retailer Alibaba on Monday said sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz jumped 25% in the first nine hours to $23 billion, nearly two thirds of U.S. rival Amazon.com Inc's online store sales in the latest quarter.

On Singles' Day, green groups warn of China's surge in packaging waste

(2 days ago)
Accumulated waste from China's e-commerce and express delivery sectors stands to more than quadruple by 2025 unless action is taken to rein it in, green groups said on Monday, as an online shopping spree known as Singles' Day broke new sales records.

Factbox: China's love of e-commerce powers Alibaba's Singles' Day

(2 days ago)
China's dominant e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd raked in $23 billion worth of sales in the first nine hours of its annual Singles' Day shopping extravaganza on Monday, setting records as the event celebrates its 11th year.

Alibaba Singles' Day sales jump 25% in first 9 hours to $23 billion

(2 days ago)
Chinese retailer Alibaba on Monday said sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz jumped 25% in the first nine hours to $23 billion, nearly two thirds of U.S. rival Amazon.com Inc's online store sales in the latest quarter.

Alibaba Singles' Day sales jump 25% in first 9 hours to $23 bln

(2 days ago)
Chinese retailer Alibaba on Monday said sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz jumped 25% in the first nine hours to $23 billion, nearly two thirds of U.S. rival Amazon.com Inc's online store sales in the latest quarter.

How Tech From Australia Could Prevent California Wildfires and PG&E Blackouts

(2 days ago)
"Technology developed to combat Australia's deadly bushfires could slash California's fire risk and reduce the need for PG&E's 'public safety power shutoffs'," reports IEEE Spectrum. "See the video to watch an advanced power diverter cut off 22,000 volts of power in less than 1/20th of a second, preventing ignition of dry brush," writes Slashdot reader carbonnation. IEEE Spectrum reports:California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) delivered a bitter pill last month when it said that deliberate blackouts to keep its lines from sparking wildfires could be the new normal for millions of customers for the next decade -- a dangerous disruption to power-dependent communities that California governor Gavin Newsom says "no state in the 21st Century should experience." Grid experts say Newsom is right, because technology available today can slash the risk of grid-induced fires, reducing or eliminating the need for PG&E's "public safety power shutoffs...." Some of the most innovative fire-beating grid technologies are the products of an R&D program funded by the state of Victoria in Australia, prompted by deadly grid-sparked bushfires there 10 years ago. Early this year, utilities in Victoria began a massive rollout of one solution: power diverters that are expected to protect all of the substations serving the state's high fire risk areas by 2024. "It's not cheap to put one in but once you do it, you've got 1,000 kilometers of network that's suddenly a lot[..]

On Singles' Day, green groups warn of China's surge in packaging waste

(2 days ago)
Accumulated waste from China's e-commerce and express delivery sectors stands to more than quadruple by 2025 unless action is taken to rein it in, green groups said on Monday, as an online shopping spree known as Singles' Day broke new sales records.

Alibaba Singles' Day sales hit $23 billion in first nine hours

(2 days ago)
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Inc on Monday said sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz hit 158.31 billion yuan ($22.63 billion) in its first nine hours, up 25% from 126.72 billion yuan at the same point last year.

Reactions To the News That Microsoft's Edge Browser Is Coming to Linux

(2 days ago)
"Microsoft is bringing Edge to Linux, for all the Microsoft fans running Linux," jokes the headline at the Inquirer. ("We can just imagine the amount of bunting and party poppers that the Linux community has just ordered. After all, why wouldn't you want a browser from the company that you joined Linux to get away from?") And the headline at Liliputting quips that the Edge browser "is coming to Linux (whether you want it or not)," calling the move "the latest evidence that Microsoft's relationship to Linux has changed a lot in recent years. But TechRadar had an even more sardonic headline. "Hell freezes over as Microsoft Edge comes to Linux."One other thing to consider is that the introduction of Edge to Linux is something of a thorny subject in that the folks who choose a Linux distro often do so to break away from the chains of Microsoft and Windows (or indeed Apple). So certainly some of the more fervent open source types out there may not welcome a Microsoft browser with open arms, and doubtless it will be regarded with suspicion in some quarters. No matter how much Microsoft has been banging the open source drum in many different ways in recent times. That said, there will doubtless be Linux users who are curious, and may want to pick up a mainstream alternative to Firefox on Linux which, when compared to Chrome -- with its famous memory hogging antics -- makes a far preferable choice in some respects. Edge will also do streaming better (by default Chrome limits you to[..]

Alibaba Singles' Day sales hit $12 billion in first hour

(2 days ago)
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Inc said on Monday that sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz hit 84 billion yuan ($12 billion) within the first hour, up 22% from last year's early haul of 69 billion yuan.

Alibaba Singles' Day sales hit 84 billion yuan in first hour

(2 days ago)
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Inc said on Monday that sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz hit 84 billion yuan ($12 billion) within the first hour, up 22% from last year's early haul of 69 billion yuan.

Apple co-founder says Apple Card algorithm gave wife lower credit limit

(2 days ago)
Apple Inc co-founder Steve Wozniak joined in the online debate accusing the algorithm behind the iPhone maker's credit card of discriminating by gender, deepening the scrutiny surrounding the newly launched Apple Card.
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