Technology News

Could 'invisible barcodes' revolutionise recycling?

(3 days ago)
A pilot is in progress to see if invisible barcodes on packaging can improve recycling rates.

Adobe readies for the age of smart glasses and deepfakes

(3 days ago)
Richard Taylor looks at what is new at the LA Adobe Max Creative Conference for BBC Click.

Apple launches app to let users enroll in health studies

(3 days ago)
Apple Inc on Thursday launched an app that will let users of its devices to enroll in three health studies, allowing them to share health-related data for medical research.

New York airport regulator partners with ride-share company Via

(3 days ago)
Ride-share provider Via said on Thursday it had partnered with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to provide flat-rate shared trips from New York City's LaGuardia Airport, which is plagued by congestion and limited access to public transit.

'Cryptoqueen' brother admits role in OneCoin fraud

(3 days ago)
Konstantin Ignatov, brother of Dr Ruja Ignatova, pleads guilty to crypto-currency fraud.

Apple Is Considering Bundling Digital Subscriptions as Soon as 2020

(3 days ago)
Apple is considering bundling its paid internet services, including News+, Apple TV+ and Apple Music, as soon as 2020, in a bid to gain more subscribers, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. From a report: The latest sign of this strategy is a provision that Apple included in deals with publishers that lets the iPhone maker bundle the News+ subscription service with other paid digital offerings, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing private deals. Apple News+, which debuted in March, sells access to dozens of publications for $10 a month. It's often called the "Netflix of News." Apple keeps about half of the monthly subscription price, while magazines and newspapers pocket the other half. If Apple sold Apple News+ as part of a bundle with Apple TV+ and Apple Music, publishers would get less money because the cost of the news service would likely be reduced, the people said. As the smartphone market stagnates, Apple is seeking growth by selling online subscriptions to news, music, video and other content. Bundling these offerings could attract more subscribers, as Amazon.com's Prime service has done.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Public Cloud Providers' Network Performance Wildly Varies

(3 days ago)
ThousandEyes, a cloud analysis company, in its second annual Cloud Performance Benchmark, has succeeded in measuring a major performance factor objectively: Public cloud providers' global network performance. ZDNet reports: In this study, ThousandEyes looked at the five major public cloud providers: Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. It did by analyzing over 320 million data points from 98 global metro locations over 30 days. This included measuring network performance from within the U.S. using multiple ISPs and global network measurements and by checking out speeds between availability zones (AZ)s and connectivity patterns between the cloud providers. Besides measuring raw speed, the company also looked at latency, jitter, and data loss. First, ThousandEyes found some cloud providers rely heavily on the public internet to transport traffic instead of their backbones. This, needless to say, impacts performance predictability. During the evening Netflix internet traffic jam, if your cloud provider relies on the internet, you will see slowdowns in the evening. So, while Google Cloud and Azure rely heavily on their private backbone networks to transport their customer traffic, AWS and Alibaba Cloud rely heavily on the public internet for the majority of transport, IBM takes a hybrid approach that varies regionally. What about AWS Global Accelerator? If you pay for this service, which puts your traffic on the[..]

Pope tells tech companies they are responsible for child safety

(3 days ago)
Pope Francis said on Thursday that technology company executives and investors must be held accountable if they put profit before the protection of children, including from easy access to pornography on the web.

How SoftBank is putting its stamp on LatAm's venture capital scene

(3 days ago)
SoftBank, whose $5 billion Latin America fund has showered regional startups with cash, is also courting local venture capital funds, an unusual move for the Japanese investor that has jolted the region's tech scene.

Pope tells tech companies they are responsible for child safety

(3 days ago)
Pope Francis said on Thursday that technology company executives and investors must be held accountable if they put profit before the protection of children, including from easy access to pornography on the web.

Altice Portugal gets new offers for fiber network, sees sale 'soon': CEO

(3 days ago)
Altice is analyzing offers it has received in the last few months for its Portuguese fiber optic network and expects the long-awaited sale to happen "very soon," the telecoms firm said on Thursday.

Ford to use Mustang name for electric SUV

(3 days ago)
Ford Motor Co will use the Mustang name, previously reserved for a muscle car, for an electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) that customers in the United States, Canada and Europe can start ordering on Nov. 17, the company said on Thursday.

Ford to start taking reservations for electric SUV next week

(3 days ago)
Ford Motor Co will start taking reservations for its electric sport utility vehicle, Mustang Mach-E, starting Nov. 17, when the U.S. automaker unveils the vehicle at an event in Los Angeles, the company said on Thursday.

French government forms cybersecurity pact with major French companies

(3 days ago)
The French government signed on Thursday a three-year cybersecurity pact with eight of the country's leading companies, as major world nations step up security arrangements in the wake of recent high-profile hacking incidents.

French government forms cybersecurity pact with major French companies

(3 days ago)
The French government signed on Thursday a three-year cybersecurity pact with eight of the country's leading companies, as major world nations step up security arrangements in the wake of recent high-profile hacking incidents.

Alibaba to pioneer paperless listing in break with Hong Kong norm

(3 days ago)
Alibaba's planned $13.4 billion share sale will be Hong Kong's first paperless stock market listing, a source with knowledge of the matter said, breaking with a long-held tradition of investors placing stock orders in bank branches.

George Lucas Has Apparently Changed the Famous Greedo Scene In 1977's Star Wars Again, For Disney+

(3 days ago)
Freshly Exhumed shares a report from The Guardian: George Lucas, whose departure from all things Star Wars seems to have been greatly exaggerated -- appears to have yet again doctored the famous Greedo scene in 1977's Star Wars [prior to it being shown on the Disney+ streaming service]. The scene depicts the Mos Eisley cantina in which Harrison Ford's Han Solo is confronted by an alien bounty hunter and winds up shooting him dead in a brief flurry of blaster fire. It has been much discussed over the years, largely because Solo shot Greedo in cold blood in the original, "Han shot first" 1977 cut, while in later versions Lucas re-edited the footage to depict Greedo as the aggressor, with Han returning fire in self-defense. Many fans have speculated about what effect that subtle change had on Han's transformation in the original trilogy from cold-hearted hustler to hero of the resistance. Now Lucas has tinkered all over again, to further muddy the waters. As seen on new streaming service Disney+, the scene features Han and Greedo shooting at roughly the same moment -- to be fair, this is a change introduced several years back. But now, Greedo appears to utter the phrase "MacClunkey!" before succumbing to his wounds. Reports suggest Lucas made the changes some years ago, perhaps around the time he sold Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion, in 2012. Celebrities such as Stephen King and Patton Oswalt have speculated about what the re-edit means for the future of Star Wars, though[..]

Alibaba goes paperless for $13.4 billion listing in a first for Hong Kong: source

(3 days ago)
Alibaba Group will carry out Hong Kong’s first paper-less stock market listing with its $13.4 billion share sale, according to a source with knowledge of the matter, ending the long-held tradition of Hong Kong investors queuing in bank branches to place stock orders.

Motorola Resurrects the Razr As a Foldable Android Smartphone

(3 days ago)
After teasing it last month, Motorola has officially announced the successor to the Motorola Razr. The "razr," as it is called, "keeps the same general form factor but replaces the T9 keypad and small LCD with a 6.2-inch foldable plastic OLED panel and Android 9 Pie," reports The Verge. "It'll cost $1,499 when it arrives in January 2020." From the report: The new Razr is a fundamentally different take on the foldable phones that we've seen so far: instead of turning a modern-sized phone into a smaller tablet, it turns a conventional-sized smartphone into something much smaller and more pocketable. [...] The core of the phone is, of course, the display. It's a 6.2-inch 21:9 plastic OLED panel that folds in half along the horizontal axis. Unfolded, it's not dramatically bigger than any other modern phone, and the extra height is something that the Android interface and apps adapt to far better than a tablet-size screen. The screen does have a notch on top for a speaker and camera and a curved edge on the bottom, which takes a bit of getting used to, but after a minute or two, you barely notice it. There's also a second, 2.7-inch glass-covered OLED display on the outside that Motorola calls the Quick View display. It can show notifications, music controls, and even a selfie camera mode to take advantage of the better main camera. Motorola is also working with Google to let apps seamlessly transition from the front display to the main one. There are some concerns about[..]

Icahn takes stake in HP, pushes for merger with Xerox: WSJ

(3 days ago)
Activist investor Carl Icahn has bought a $1.2 billion stake in HP Inc and is pushing for the personal computer maker's merger with printer maker Xerox Corp , arguing that a union could yield big profits for investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Icahn pushes for Xerox-HP merger: WSJ

(3 days ago)
Activist investor Carl Icahn is pushing for the proposed merger of Xerox Corp and HP Inc , arguing that a union of the printer makers could make big profits for investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Warren lashes out at Goldman over Apple Card bias claims: Bloomberg

(3 days ago)
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned Goldman Sachs's response to allegations of bias in how the bank evaluates applicants for Apple Inc's credit card, suggesting it should pull down the algorithm if it cannot be explained, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

Hologram-Like Device Animates Objects Using Ultrasound Waves

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Researchers in Southampton have built a device that displays 3D animated objects that can talk and interact with onlookers. A demonstration of the display showed a butterfly flapping its wings, a countdown spelled out by numbers hanging in the air, and a rotating, multicolored planet Earth. Beyond interactive digital signs and animations, scientists want to use it to visualize and even feel data. While the images are similar, the device is not the sort of holographic projector that allowed a shimmering Princess Leia to enlist Obi-Wan Kenobi's help in Star Wars. Instead, it uses a 3D field of ultrasound waves to levitate a polystyrene bead and whip it around at high speed to trace shapes in the air. The 2mm-wide bead moves so fast, at speeds approaching 20mph, that it traces out the shape of an object in less than one-tenth of a second. At such a speed, the brain doesn't see the moving bead, only the completed shape it creates. The colors are added by LEDs built into the display that shine light on the bead as it zips around. Because the images are created in 3D space, they can be viewed from any angle. And by careful control of the ultrasonic field, the scientists can make objects speak, or add sound effects and musical accompaniments to the animated images. Further manipulation of the sound field enables users to interact with the objects and even feel them in their hands. "The images are created between two horizontal[..]

GitHub Faces More Resignations In Light of ICE Contract

(3 days ago)
TechCrunch reports that another employee, engineer Alice Goldfuss, has resigned from GitHub over the company's $200,000 contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). From the report: In a tweet, Goldfuss said GitHub has a number of problems to address and that "ICE is only the latest." Meanwhile, Vice reports at least five staffers quit today. These resignations come the same day as GitHub Universe, the company's big product conference. Ahead of the conference, Tech Workers Coalition protested the event, setting up a cage to represent where ICE detains children. Last month, GitHub staff engineer Sophie Haskins resigned, stating she was leaving because the company did not cancel its contract with ICE, The Los Angeles Times reported. Last month, GitHub employees penned an open letter urging the company to stop working with ICE. That came following GitHub's announcement of a $500,000 donation to nonprofit organizations in support of "immigrant communities targeted by the current administration." In that announcement, GitHub CEO Nat Friedman said ICE's purchase was made through one of GitHub's reseller partners and said the deal is not "financially material" for the company. Friedman also pointed out that ICE is responsible for more than immigration and detention facilities.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

John Carmack Stepping Down As CTO of Oculus To Work On AI

(3 days ago)
Oculus CTO John Carmack announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from the augmented-reality company to focus his time on artificial general intelligence. The Verge reports: Carmack will remain in a "consulting CTO" position at Oculus, where he will "still have a voice" in the development work at the company, he wrote. Recent comments from Carmack suggest he may have soured on VR. Carmack was a champion of phone-based VR for years at Oculus, but in October, he delivered a "eulogy" for Oculus' phone-based Gear VR. And in a video for receiving a lifetime achievement award this week at the VR Awards, he said that "I really haven't been satisfied with the pace of progress that we've been making" in VR.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple Is Finally Willing To Make Gadgets Thicker So They Work Better

(3 days ago)
Apple has started to make its products thicker in an effort to give people what they want: functionality over form. This is a good thing. There are two recent examples: this year's iPhones and the new 16-inch MacBook Pro. Todd Haselton writes via CNBC: This is a theory, but it seems this may be that there are some design changes being made after the departure of Apple's former chief design officer Jony Ive. Ive was known for creating gorgeous products but, sometimes as we've seen with the older MacBook keyboard, perhaps at the cost of functionality. Form over function, as they say. [...] If you look back at the iPhone 8, for example, the phone measured just 7.3-mm thick, an example of Apple's seeming obsession with creating devices that were as thin as possible but often at the cost of battery life. But this year, Apple put a huge focus on battery life because it knows that's one of top things people want from their phones (along with great cameras). As a result of the larger battery, this year's iPhone 11 is slightly fatter at 8.3-mm thick. It's barely noticeable but shows that Apple knows people are willing to sacrifice on thinness for a phone that lasts all day. Then there's the 16-inch MacBook Pro that was announced on Wednesday. It's less than 1-mm thicker than the 15-inch MacBook Pro that it replaces, and it weighs 4.3 pounds instead of 4 pounds in the prior model. It's 2% larger than the 15-inch MacBook Pro, too. All of this helps Apple include what people want in a[..]

The NYPD Kept an Illegal Database of Juvenile Fingerprints For Years

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Intercept: For years, the New York Police Department illegally maintained a database containing the fingerprints of thousands of children charged as juvenile delinquents -- in direct violation of state law mandating that police destroy these records after turning them over to the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services. When lawyers representing some of those youths discovered the violation, the police department dragged its feet, at first denying but eventually admitting that it was retaining prints it was supposed to have destroyed. Since 2015, attorneys with the Legal Aid Society, which represents the majority of youths charged in New York City family courts, had been locked in a battle with the police department over retention of the fingerprint records of children under the age of 16. The NYPD did not answer questions from The Intercept about its handling of the records, but according to Legal Aid, the police department confirmed to the organization last week that the database had been destroyed. To date, the department has made no public admission of wrongdoing, nor has it notified the thousands of people it impacted, although it has changed its fingerprint retention practices following Legal Aid's probing. "The NYPD can confirm that the department destroys juvenile delinquent fingerprints after the prints have been transmitted to DCJS," a police spokesperson wrote in a statement to The Intercept. Still, the way the[..]

WeWork losses widen to $1.25 billion amid record office space expansion

(4 days ago)
The We Company, owner of WeWork, said on Wednesday net losses in the third quarter more than doubled to $1.25 billion as the money-losing shared-office operator added a record number of desks to its global network but was unable to control rising costs.

Cisco forecast disappoints as global worries weigh on client spending

(4 days ago)
Cisco Systems Inc on Wednesday forecast second-quarter revenue and profit below expectations as increasing global economic uncertainties kept clients away from spending more on its routers and switches.

Key antitrust lawmaker frustrated with Google's Fitbit deal

(4 days ago)
Lawmakers pressed top U.S. antitrust enforcers on their probes of tech giants Alphabet's Google , Facebook , Amazon and Apple on Wednesday, with the chair of a House subcommittee expressing frustration over the companies' continued acquisitions.

GitHub Places Open-Source Code In Arctic Cave For Safekeeping

(4 days ago)
pacopico writes: GitHub's CEO Nat Friedman traveled to Svalbard in October to stash Linux, Android, and 6,000 other open-source projects in a permafrost-filled, abandoned coal mine. It's part of a project to safeguard the world's software from existential threats and also just to archive the code for posterity. As Friedman says, "If you told someone 20 years ago that in 2020, all of human civilization will depend on and run on open-source code written for free by volunteers in countries all around the world who don't know each other, and it'll just be downloaded and put into almost every product, I think people would say, 'That's crazy, that's never going to happen. Software is written by big, professional companies.' It's sort of a magical moment. Having a historical record of this will, I think, be valuable to future generations." GitHub plans to open several more vaults in other places around the world and to store any code that people want included.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

U.S. Senate to hold November 20 hearing on testing, deployment of self-driving cars

(4 days ago)
The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will hold a Nov. 20 hearing on the testing and deployment of self-driving vehicles that will include top U.S. safety officials, as Congress has struggled to pass legislation on autonomous vehicles.

YouTube's New Kids' Content System Has Creators Scrambling

(4 days ago)
As of Tuesday afternoon, YouTube is requiring creators to label any videos of theirs that may appeal to children. If they say a video is directed at kids, data collection will be blocked for all viewers, resulting in lower ad revenue and the loss of some of the platform's most popular features, including comments and end screens. It's a major change in how YouTube works, and has left some creators clueless as to whether they're subject to the new rules. The Verge reports: Reached by The Verge, Google confirmed that this new system was the result of a landmark $170 million settlement YouTube reached with the Federal Trade Commission in September for allegedly violating children's privacy. It's the largest fine ever collected under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which forbids collecting data from children under the age of 13 without explicit consent from their parents. In this case, the ruling means YouTube can't employ its powerful ad-targeting system on anyone who might be under the age of 13 -- a dire problem for a platform with so many young users. The new system is already sending creators reeling over what exactly is considered kids' content and what could happen if they unintentionally mislabel videos. Some of YouTube's most popular categories falls into a gray area for the policy, including gaming videos, family vlogging, and toy reviews. [...] In theory, YouTube has always been subject to COPPA, but those restrictions have taken on new urgency[..]

WeWork third-quarter losses widen to $1.25 billion as expansion ramps up

(4 days ago)
The We Company, owner of WeWork, said on Wednesday net losses in the third quarter widened to $1.25 billion from $497 million a year earlier as its money-losing shared-office business doubled in size with a record number of desks added to its network.

Apple Watch detects irregular heartbeats in U.S. study

(4 days ago)
Apple Inc's Heart study, the largest yet to explore the role of wearable devices in identifying potential heart problems, found the device could accurately detect atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

Stadia Launch Developer Says Game Makers Are Worried 'Google Is Just Going To Cancel It'

(4 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Google has a long and well-documented history of launching new services only to shut them down a few months or years later. And with the launch of Stadia imminent, one launch game developer has acknowledged the prevalence of concerns about that history among her fellow developers while also downplaying their seriousness in light of Stadia's potential. "The biggest complaint most developers have with Stadia is the fear that Google is just going to cancel it," Gwen Frey, developer of Stadia launch puzzle game Kine, told GamesIndustry.biz in recently published comments. "Nobody ever says, 'Oh, it's not going to work,' or 'Streaming isn't the future.' Everyone accepts that streaming is pretty much inevitable. The biggest concern with Stadia is that it might not exist." While concerns about Stadia working correctly aren't quite as nonexistent as Frey said, early tests show the service works well enough in ideal circumstances. As for the service's continued existence, Frey thinks such concerns among other developers are "kind of silly." "Working in tech, you have to be willing to make bold moves and try things that could fail," Frey continued. "And yeah, Google's canceled a lot of projects. But I also have a Pixel in my pocket, I'm using Google Maps to get around. I only got here because my Google Calendar told me to get here by giving me a prompt in Gmail. It's not like Google cancels every fucking thing they make." "Nothing[..]

Google Pay to offer checking accounts through Citi, Stanford Federal

(4 days ago)
Alphabet Inc's Google said on Wednesday it will offer personal checking accounts next year through its Google Pay app, initially in partnership with Citigroup Inc and a small credit union at Stanford University.

Facebook Says Government Demands For User Data Are at a Record High

(4 days ago)
Facebook's latest transparency report is out. The social media giant said the number of government demands for user data increased by 16% to 128,617 demands during the first-half of this year compared to the second-half of last year. From a report: That's the highest number of government demands its received in any reporting period since it published its first transparency report in 2013. The U.S. government led the way with the most number of requests -- 50,741 demands for user data resulting in some account or user data given to authorities in 88% of cases. Facebook said two-thirds of all of the U.S. government's requests came with a gag order, preventing the company from telling the user about the request for their data. But Facebook said it was able to release details of 11 so-called national security letters (NSLs) for the first time after their gag provisions were lifted during the period. National security letters can compel companies to turn over non-content data at the request of the FBI. These letters are not approved by a judge, and often come with a gag order preventing their disclosure. But since the Freedom Act passed in 2015, companies have been allowed to request the lifting of those gag orders.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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