Technology News

Facebook revenue jumps as U.S. privacy penalty looms

(21 hours ago)
Facebook Inc beat analysts' estimates for quarterly revenue on Wednesday, aided by growth in its Instagram business and a surge in advertising sales, while also setting aside up to $5 billion to cover anticipated official U.S. privacy penalties.

Microsoft quarterly revenue beats estimates on cloud growth

(21 hours ago)
Microsoft Corp beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Wednesday, fueled by its Azure cloud computing unit and the continued shift to the subscription version of its Office software.

Some Amazon Sellers Are Paying $10,000 A Month To Trick Their Way To The Top

(22 hours ago)
Amazon's marketplace is so competitive that it has led to the emergence of a secretive, lucrative black market where agents peddle "black hat" services, sometimes obtained by bribing Amazon employees, that purportedly give marketplace sellers an advantage over their rivals, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News. These consultants charge up to $10,000 to manipulate rankings by rewriting URLs and programming bots to click on products, a report says. From the report: Other tactics to promote sellers' products include removing negative reviews from product pages and exploiting technical loopholes on Amazon's site to lift products' overall sales rankings. These services make it harder for Amazon sellers who abide by the company's terms of service to succeed in the marketplace, and sellers who rely on these tactics mislead customers and undermine trust in Amazon's products.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Applying For Your Next Job May Be an Automated Nightmare

(22 hours ago)
merbs writes: If you think looking for a job is already daunting, anxiety-riddled, and unpleasant, just wait until the algorithms take over the hiring process. When they do, a newfangled 'digital recruiter' like VCV, which just received $1.7 million in early investment, hopes it will look something like this: First, a search bot will be used to scan CVs by the thousands, yours presumably among them. If it's picked out of the haystack, you will be contacted by a chatbot. Over SMS, the bot will set an appointment for a phone interview, which will be conducted by an automated system enabled by voice recognition AI. Next, the system will ask you, the applicant, to record video responses to a set of predetermined interview questions. Finally, the program can use facial recognition and predictive analytics to complete the screening, algorithmically determining whether the nervousness, mood, and behavior patterns you exhibit make you a fit for the company. If you pass all that, then you will be recommended for an in-person job interview. [...] VCV, which did not respond to a request for comment, is far from alone here. A growing suite of startups is pitching AI-driven recruitment services, promising to save corporations millions of dollars throughout the hiring process by reducing overhead, to pluck more ideal candidates out of obscurity, and to reduce bias in the hiring process. Most offer little to no evidence of how they actually do so. VCV's much-larger competitor, HireVue,[..]

Scientific Linux Distro is Being Discontinued; The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and CERN Will Move To CentOS

(23 hours ago)
Scientific Linux, a 14-year-old operating system based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and which was maintained by some significant members of the scientific community such as The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and CERN, is being discontinued. From a report: While current versions (6 and 7) will continue to be supported, future development has permanently ended, with the organizations instead turning to CentOS -- another distro based on RHEL. "Scientific Linux is driven by Fermilab's scientific mission and focused on the changing needs of experimental facilities. Fermilab is looking ahead to DUNE and other future international collaborations. One part of this is unifying our computing platform with collaborating labs and institutions," said James Amundson, Head of Scientific Computing Division, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Drivers Think Bikers Are Less Than Human, Survey Says

(2 days ago)
Researchers have found an explanation for why many drivers act out toward cyclists: They are actually dehumanizing people who ride bikes, according to an April study by Australian researchers in the journal Transportation Research. From a report: And this dehumanization -- the belief that a group of people are less than human -- correlates to drivers' self-reported aggressive behavior. Since 2010, cyclist fatalities have increased by 25 percent in the US. A total of 777 bicyclists were killed in crashes with drivers in 2017, and 45,000 were injured from crashes in 2015. Data compiled by the League of American Bicyclists also suggests that, in some states, bicyclists are overrepresented in the number of traffic fatalities. "The idea is that if you don't see a group of people as fully human, then you're more likely to be aggressive toward them," said Narelle Haworth, a professor and director of the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety at Queensland University of Technology, one of the authors of the study. The researchers asked 442 Australians, including those who identified as cyclists, to rank the average cyclist on a scale from ape to human. This ape-to-human diagram has been used in other studies, like this one from 2015, looking at the dehumanization of marginalized groups, such as Muslims and black people.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dick Barnes, pioneer behind oldest working computer, dies

(2 days ago)
Dick Barnes co-designed the machine used by engineers who built the world's first commercial nuclear reactor.

Jacinda Ardern leads effort to curb online extremism

(2 days ago)
New Zealand and France will host a summit aimed at curbing the use of social media to promote terrorism.

Google 'retaliating against harassment protest organisers'

(2 days ago)
Organisers of walkouts in protest at Google's treatment of women say they are facing backlash at work.

Google Wing drones approved for US home deliveries

(2 days ago)
Drone home delivery company Wing will start deliveries in rural Virginia "within months".

Vodafone named 'worst' mobile network

(2 days ago)
Annual study of more than 6,000 mobile customers names most and least popular UK network providers.

Vodafone 'gigafast' ad banned after Virgin Media complaint

(2 days ago)
The promotion described broadband packages as being "gigafast" that did not offer 1Gbps speeds.

Apple and Qualcomm settle billion-dollar lawsuit

(2 days ago)
The surprise settlement brings a long-running legal battle between the two tech firms to an end.

Technology to keep dementia patients out of hospital

(2 days ago)
Radar technology and tiny brain-monitors are just some of the devices being tested by a new research centre.

Game of Thrones: Now TV glitch hits Apple TV owners

(2 days ago)
Sky's Now TV app failed to load for some viewers while displaying a degraded version of the show.

PlayStation 5: Sony reveals first details of next-gen console

(2 days ago)
Sony's next-gen console, which will replace the PS4, will be much faster and include improved audio.

Amazon 'flooded by fake five-star reviews' - Which? report

(2 days ago)
Top-rated reviews on popular items are dominated by unknown brands, consumer group Which? finds.

Swedish Social Democrats' Twitter account hacked

(2 days ago)
Messages posted on the hijacked account included anti-immigration rhetoric.

Facebook given TED talk challenge

(2 days ago)
Journalist Carole Cadwalladr challenges Mark Zuckerberg to address TED about "election fraud".

The tech that could help clean polluted air

(2 days ago)
A new system at London Marylebone station is helping to remove harmful gases from the environment.

The basketball coverage directed and filmed by AI

(2 days ago)
The British Basketball League is testing a new way of filming games that picks the action using AI.

Could a computer ever create better art than a human?

(2 days ago)
Music, films and works of art are increasingly made using AI. But can machines ever be truly creative?

'Why I write fake online reviews'

(2 days ago)
Two people explain why they post made-up reviews, while psychologists deconstruct the power of the review.

What do drones and GPS owe to a 1744 shipwreck?

(2 days ago)
When HMS Victory sank, she took with her an early prototype of the gyroscope, crucial to modern technology.

The Pokemon card artist 'taking the border off the artwork'

(2 days ago)
Pictures of classic Pokemon cards turned into unique artworks which sell for hundreds of dollars.

Box lifting warehouse robots unveiled

(2 days ago)
BBC Click's Jen Copestake looks at some of the week's best technology stories.

How virtual reality may help Grenfell survivors 'let go of emotions'

(2 days ago)
England footballer Les Ferdinand is using VR to try to help young men deal with the trauma of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Axiom soccer indie game takes a shot at goal

(2 days ago)
Marc Cieslak reviews the game Axiom Soccer - a mashup between football and a third person shooter.

The robot that tidies up bedrooms

(2 days ago)
Robots are good at repetitive tasks but struggle with new objects. Can they be trained to overcome that?

Hacker Can Monitor Cars And Kill Their Engines After Breaking Into GPS Tracking Apps

(2 days ago)
Reader eatmorekix writes: A hacker broke into thousands of accounts belonging to users of two GPS tracker apps, giving him the ability to monitor the locations of tens of thousands of vehicles and even turn off the engines for some of them while they were in motion, Motherboard has learned. The hacker, who goes by the name L&M, told Motherboard he hacked into more than 7,000 iTrack accounts and more than 20,000 ProTrack accounts, two apps that companies use monitor and manage fleets of vehicles through GPS tracking devices. The hacker was able to track vehicles in a handful of countries around the world, including South Africa, Morocco, India, and the Philippines. On some cars, the software has the capability of remotely turning off the engines of vehicles that are stopped or are traveling 12 miles per hour or slower, according to the manufacturer of certain GPS tracking devices. By reverse engineering ProTrack and iTrack's Android apps, L&M said he realized that all customers are given a default password of 123456 when they sign up. At that point, the hacker said he brute-forced 'millions of usernames' via the apps' API. Then, he said he wrote a script to attempt to login using those usernames and the default password. This allowed him to automatically break into thousands of accounts that were using the default password and extract data from them.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chipmaker ASM beats first-quarter targets, sees market outperformance in 2019

(2 days ago)
Dutch semiconductor supplier ASM International on Wednesday reported first-quarter revenue of 249 million euros ($278.5 million) and an order intake of 235 million euros, both exceeding its own expectations.

First 'Marsquake' Detected on Red Planet

(2 days ago)
There are earthquakes and moonquakes, and now a NASA spacecraft has detected what's believed to be a "marsquake" on the Red Planet. From a report: The spacecraft picked up the faint trembling of Mars's surface on 6 April, 128 days after landing on the planet last November. The quake is the first to be detected on a planetary body other than Earth or Moon. The shaking was relatively weak, the French space agency CNES said on 23 April. The seismic energy it produced was similar to that of the moonquakes that Apollo astronauts measured in the late 1960s and early 1970s. "We thought Mars was probably going to be somewhere between Earth and the Moon" in terms of seismic activity, says Renee Weber, a planetary scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "It's still very early in the mission, but it's looking a bit more Moon-like than Earth-like," she says. It's not yet clear whether the shaking originated within Mars or was caused by a meteorite crashing into the planet's surface.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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