Technology News

Fallen Tech Star Imagination Technologies Up For Sale After Apple Row Bites

(3 days ago)
UK chip designer Imagination Technologies -- which is in dispute with Apple, its largest customer -- has put itself up for sale. Shares in the company more than halved in April when Imagination said that Apple was to stop using its technology. From a report: The firm was regarded as a leading light in Britain's burgeoning tech sector, but ran into trouble when the phones giant, by far its biggest customer, said it would no longer rely on it for graphics design. Apple accounts for more than half of Imagination's revenues and last year held takeover talks with Imagination. Two parts of the business, MIPS and Ensigma, were already up for sale. Imagination said it has received "interest from a number of parties for a potential acquisition of the whole group." It is in "preliminary discussions" with the aid of bankers from Rothschild. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook updates mission statement to "give people power to build community, bring the world closer together", from "making the world more open and connected" (Josh Constine/TechCrunch)

(3 days ago)
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:Facebook updates mission statement to “give people power to build community, bring the world closer together”, from “making the world more open and connected”  —  “Making the world more open and connected” had one fundamental flaw: it didn't push for any specific positive outcome from more connection.

Facebook introduces new group admin tools, including group analytics, scheduled posts, membership request filtering, more (Kang-Xing Jin/Facebook)

(3 days ago)
Kang-Xing Jin / Facebook:Facebook introduces new group admin tools, including group analytics, scheduled posts, membership request filtering, more  —  Today we hosted our first-ever Facebook Communities Summit in Chicago with hundreds of group admins where we announced new features to support their communities on Facebook.

University of Missouri To Use Open Source And Other Cheaper Alternatives For General Education Textbook

(3 days ago)
Rudi Keller, writing for Columbia Tribune: The University of Missouri will move quickly to use open source and other cheaper alternatives for general education textbooks, building on initiatives already in place, system President Mun Choi said. At an event with members of the Board of Curators, administrators, lawmakers, faculty from all four campuses and student representatives, Choi said the intent is to save money for students while providing up-to-date materials. Faculty, including graduate assistants, will be eligible for incentive payments of $1,000 to $10,000 for preparing and adopting materials that save students money, Choi said. Textbooks are sometimes overlooked as a contributor to the cost of attending college, Choi said. "We want to provide our students an opportunity to have a low cost, high-quality alternative," Choi said. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sources: US election hacking was more extensive than previously known, including theft of voter records and at least one successful alteration of voter data (Massimo Calabresi/TIME)

(3 days ago)
Massimo Calabresi / TIME:Sources: US election hacking was more extensive than previously known, including theft of voter records and at least one successful alteration of voter data  —  The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least …

Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com invests $397M in London-based luxury boutique marketplace Farfetch, with JD.com CEO Richard Liu joining its board (Jason Del Rey/Recode)

(3 days ago)
Jason Del Rey / Recode:Chinese e-commerce firm JD.com invests $397M in London-based luxury boutique marketplace Farfetch, with JD.com CEO Richard Liu joining its board  —  The deal will help London-based Farfetch expand its Chinese operations.  —  JD.com, Alibaba's largest rival in the Chinese e-commerce market …

Experts: US exiting climate pact may doom some small islands

(3 days ago)
With the US pulling out of Paris climate accord, scientists and government leaders say some small island nations may not survive

'Coal King' Is Suing John Oliver, Time Warner, and HBO

(3 days ago)
Reader Daetrin writes: Robert E. Murray, CEO of one of the largest coal mining companies in the US, is suing John Oliver, HBO, and Time Warner for defamation (alternative source) over a comedic report on the status of the coal industry in John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight". The report began with the decline of the coal mining industry, Trump's promises to revive it, and the plight of the workers involved, but was also highly critical of the business practices and safety record of Murray Energy Corporation and Robert Murray's leadership of the company. When the company was contacted about the piece before airing they responded with a cease and desist letter and threatened to sue. John Oliver continued with the segment anyway, saying "I didn't really plan for so much of this piece to be about you, but you kinda forced my hand on that one." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Exclusive: Fake online stores reveal gamblers' shadow banking system

(3 days ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - A network of dummy online stores offering household goods has been used as a front for internet gambling payments, a Reuters examination has found.

Tesla says exploring China car plant with Shanghai government

(3 days ago)
(Reuters) - Tesla Inc is exploring the possibility of establishing a Chinese manufacturing plant with the Shanghai municipal government, the U.S. electric carmaker said on Thursday in a statement.

Europe sets sights on cheap rocket engine by 2030s

(3 days ago)
PARIS (Reuters) - Europe aims to develop a low-cost, reusable rocket engine for use after 2030 under a deal between Airbus Safran Launchers and the European Space Agency (ESA).

Facebook to keep wraps on political ads data despite researchers' demands

(3 days ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook said it would not disclose information about political campaign advertising or related data such as how many users click on ads and if advertising messages are consistent across demographics, despite arguments from political scientists who want the data for research.

Foxconn founder: US expansion might top $10 billion

(3 days ago)
The chairman of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn says it may spend more than $10 billion to set up manufacturing in the United States, and will announce investment plans by early August for at least three states

With her blog post about toxic bro-culture at Uber, Susan Fowler proved that one person can make a difference (Kara Swisher/Recode)

(3 days ago)
Kara Swisher / Recode:With her blog post about toxic bro-culture at Uber, Susan Fowler proved that one person can make a difference  —  The former engineer took a big swing at the car-hailing giant, and did us all an even bigger favor.  —  It was Lao Tzu who said that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

AMD Looks To 'Crush' Intel's Xeon With New Epyc Server Chips

(3 days ago)
AMD has unveiled the first generation of Epyc, its new range of server processors built around its Zen architecture. Processors will range from the Epyc 7251 -- an eight-core, 16-thread chip running at 2.1 to 2.9GHz in a 120W power envelope -- up to the Epyc 7601: a 32-core, 64-thread monster running at 2.2 to 3.2GHz, with a 180W design power. From a report: These chips are built on the same fundamental architecture as the company's Ryzen CPU cores, and they're aimed at the incredibly powerful data center market. AMD's 32-core / 64-thread Epyc CPUs combine four eight-core dies, each connected to the other via the company's Infinity Fabric. According to AMD, this approach is significantly cheaper than trying to pack 32 cores into a single monolithic die -- that approach would leave the company potentially throwing away huge amounts of silicon during its production ramp. The Infinity Fabric is deliberately over-provisioned to minimize any problems with non-NUMA aware software, according to Anandtech. Each 32-core Epyc CPU will support eight memory channels and two DIMMs per channel, for a total maximum memory capacity of 2TB per socket, or 4TB of RAM in a two-socket system. Each CPU will also offer 128 lanes of PCI Express 3.0 support -- enough to connect up to six GPUs at x16 each with room left over for I/O support. That's in a one-socket system, mind you. In a two-socket system, the total number of available PCI Express 3.0 lanes is unchanged, at 128 (64 PCIe 3.0 lanes are[..]

With Her Blog Post About Toxic Bro-Culture at Uber, Susan Fowler Proved That One Person Can Make a Difference

(3 days ago)
Kara Swisher, writing for Recode: It was Lao Tzu who said that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." In the case of complete and utter change reeling through Uber right now -- culminating in the resignation of its once untouchable CEO Travis Kalanick -- it turns out that it began with one of the most epic blog posts to be written about what happens when a hot company becomes hostage to its increasingly dysfunctional and toxic behaviors. It was clear from the moment you read the 3,000-word post by former engineer Susan Fowler about her time at the car-hailing company that nothing was going to be the same. Titled simply, "Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber," the essay deftly and surgically laid out the map that the media and others would use to prove to its out-to-lunch board and waffling investors that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick had to go. In her account, Fowler was neither mean nor self-righteous, although in reading the story that she laid out about her horrible time there, it would have been completely fair for her to have taken that tone. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Interviews with key Microsoft staff shed light on its AI strategy, utilizing Cortana and chatbots, and the firm's plans to compete with Facebook and Google (Jessi Hempel/Wired)

(3 days ago)
Jessi Hempel / Wired:Interviews with key Microsoft staff shed light on its AI strategy, utilizing Cortana and chatbots, and the firm's plans to compete with Facebook and Google  —  Yoshua Bengio has never been one to take sides.  As one of the three intellects who shaped the deep learning that now dominates …

Verizon Is Killing Tumblr's Fight For Net Neutrality

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: In 2014, Tumblr was on the front lines of the battle for net neutrality. The company stood alongside Amazon, Kickstarter, Etsy, Vimeo, Reddit, and Netflix during Battle for the Net's day of action. Tumblr CEO David Karp was also part of a group of New York tech CEOs that met with then-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in Brooklyn that summer, while the FCC was fielding public comment on new Title II rules. President Obama invited Karp to the White House to discuss various issues around public education, and in February 2015 The Wall Street Journal reported that it was the influence of Karp and a small group of liberal tech CEOs that swayed Obama toward a philosophy of internet as public utility. But three years later, as the battle for net neutrality heats up once again, Tumblr has been uncharacteristically silent. The last mention of net neutrality on Tumblr's staff blog -- which frequently posts about political issues from civil rights to climate change to gun control to student loan debt -- was in June 2016. And Tumblr is not listed as a participating tech company for Battle for the Net's next day of action, coming up in three weeks. One reason for Karp and Tumblr's silence? Last week Verizon completed its acquisition of Tumblr parent company Yahoo, kicking off the subsequent merger of Yahoo and AOL to create a new company called Oath. As one of the world's largest ISPs, Verizon is notorious for challenging the principles of net[..]

Toshiba chooses US-Japan bidder for memory chip biz sale

(3 days ago)
Money-losing Toshiba Corp. has chosen a U.S.-Japan consortium as the preferred bidder in the sale of its lucrative memory chip business, but hurdles remain as an American joint-venture partner is opposing the move

Einstein letters on God, McCarthy, Israel go up for auction

(3 days ago)
Letters sent by Albert Einstein to fellow physicist David Bohm are set to go on auction in Jerusalem

Low U.S. inflation? It's your phone: BlackRock bond manager

(3 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans' love of their smartphones and apps may be contributing to the sluggish pace of inflation that is worrying Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, a top bond manager at BlackRock, the world's biggest asset manager, said on Wednesday.

Tesla reaches agreement with Shanghai to explore production: Bloomberg

(3 days ago)
Tesla's revenue from China more than tripled to over $1 billion last year, according to its annual report.

UK rail ticket machines hit by IT glitch

(3 days ago)
Rail ticket machines across the UK fell out of service during the morning commute.

Exclusive: Fake online stores reveal gamblers' shadow banking system

(3 days ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - A network of dummy online stores offering household goods has been used as a front for internet gambling payments, a Reuters examination has found.

Facebook introduces new privacy tools to combat catfishing and guard profile photos from being misused, in India now, and other countries soon (Claire Zillman/Fortune)

(3 days ago)
Claire Zillman / Fortune:Facebook introduces new privacy tools to combat catfishing and guard profile photos from being misused, in India now, and other countries soon  —  Facebook on Wednesday is unveiling new features that it hopes will make women in India feel safer on its platform.

Domestic Appliances Guzzle Far More Energy Than Advertised, Says EU Survey

(3 days ago)
Chrisq writes: An EU study has found that many electronic devices and appliances use more energy in real-world conditions than in the standard EU tests. Often the real world figures are double those in the ratings. Sometimes this is achieved by having various optional features switched off during the test. For example, switching on modern TV features such as "ultra-high definition" and "high-dynamic range" in real-world test cycles boosted energy use in four out of seven televisions surveyed -- one by more than 100%. However some appliances appear to have "defeat devices" built in, with some Samsung TVs appearing to recognize the standard testing clip: "The Swedish Energy Agency's Testlab has come across televisions that clearly recognize the standard film (IEC) used for testing," says the letter, which the Guardian has seen. "These displays immediately lower their energy use by adjusting the brightness of the display when the standard film is being run. This is a way of avoiding the market surveillance authorities and should be addressed by the commission." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Foxconn to continue to pursue Toshiba chip unit acquisition: Sharp CEO

(3 days ago)
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's Foxconn will continue to pursue an acquisition of Toshiba Corp's chip business, a day after the troubled conglomerate chose a rival suitor as the preferred bidder, the head of Foxconn's Japanese unit said.

Chinese bicycle-sharing startup Mobike expands into Japan

(3 days ago)
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese bicycle-sharing startup Mobike has set up a subsidiary in Fukuoka city in northern Japan and plans to begin service later this year, it said on Thursday.

Leaders of Russia, Brazil agree to expand ties

(3 days ago)
Leaders of Russia and Brazil have agreed to expand their dialogue on international issues

Google to push for law enforcement to have more access to overseas data

(3 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google will press U.S. lawmakers on Thursday to update laws on how governments access customer data stored on servers located in other countries, hoping to address a mounting concern for both law enforcement officials and Silicon Valley.

Curiosity Rover Decides, By Itself, What To Investigate On Mars

(3 days ago)
sciencehabit writes: NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, in part to analyze rocks to see whether the Red Planet was ever habitable (or inhabited). But now the robot has gone off script, picking out its own targets for analysis -- precisely as planned. Last year, NASA scientists uploaded a piece of software called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) adapted from the older Opportunity rover. Curiosity can now scan each new location and use artificial intelligence to find promising targets for its ChemCam. Compared with the estimated 24% success rate of random aiming at picking out outcrops -- a prime target for investigation -- the current version of AEGIS lets the rover find them 94% of the time, researchers report. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Imagination Technologies puts itself up for sale after dispute with Apple over licensing rights, says "it has received interest from a number of parties" (Kate Holton/Reuters)

(3 days ago)
Kate Holton / Reuters:Imagination Technologies puts itself up for sale after dispute with Apple over licensing rights, says “it has received interest from a number of parties”  —  Imagination Technologies (IMG.L), the British company in dispute with its biggest customer Apple (AAPL.O) over licensing rights …

Georgia official discounts threat of exposed voter records

(3 days ago)
Georgia's top election official plays down discovery of gaping network security hole at outfit that manages Georgia's elections and that left the state's 6.7 million voter records exposed to hackers

Sources: Apple seeks to reduce the 58% share of revenue labels get on Apple Music, and labels are open to a cut if subscriptions, other criteria are met (Bloomberg)

(3 days ago)
Bloomberg:Sources: Apple seeks to reduce the 58% share of revenue labels get on Apple Music, and labels are open to a cut if subscriptions, other criteria are met  —  Labels' deals with Apple expire in the next couple weeks  —  Apple Inc. is seeking to reduce record labels' share of revenue from streaming …

Microsoft Admits Disabling Anti-Virus Software For Windows 10 Users

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Microsoft has admitted that it does temporarily disable anti-virus software on Windows PCs, following an competition complaint to the European Commission by a security company. In early June, Kaspersky Lab filed the complaint against Microsoft. The security company claims the software giant is abusing its market dominance by steering users to its own anti-virus software. Microsoft says it implemented defenses to keep Windows 10 users secure. In an extensive blog post that does not directly address Kaspersky or its claims, Microsoft says it bundles the Windows Defender Antivirus with Windows 10 to ensure that every single device is protected from viruses and malware. To combat the 300,000 new malware samples being created and spread every day, Microsoft says that it works together with external anti-virus partners. The technology giant estimates that about 95% of Windows 10 PCs were using anti-virus software that was already compatible with the latest Windows 10 Creators Update. For the applications that were not compatible, Microsoft built a feature that lets users update their PCs and then reinstall a new version of the anti-virus software. "To do this, we first temporarily disabled some parts of the AV software when the update began. We did this work in partnership with the AV partner to specify which versions of their software are compatible and where to direct customers after updating," writes Rob Lefferts, a partner[..]

Altice USA prices IPO at $30/share, raising $1.92B, more than any other U.S.-listed telecom since 2000 and valuing the company at over $20B (Wall Street Journal)

(3 days ago)
Wall Street Journal:Altice USA prices IPO at $30/share, raising $1.92B, more than any other U.S.-listed telecom since 2000 and valuing the company at over $20B  —  The initial public offering of cable company Altice USA raised $1.9 billion, more money than any other U.S.-listed telecom since 2000, an encouraging sign for the beleaguered sector.

How the pressure on Travis Kalanick played out in the days and hours leading to his resignation (Mike Isaac/New York Times)

(3 days ago)
Mike Isaac / New York Times:How the pressure on Travis Kalanick played out in the days and hours leading to his resignation  —  Travis Kalanick's final hours as Uber's chief executive played out in a private room in a downtown Chicago hotel on Tuesday.  —  There, Mr. Kalanick, who was on a trip to interview executive candidates …

Remember When You Called Someone and Heard a Song?

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a Motherboard article: If you were youngish in the early 2000s, you probably remember this phenomenon -- calling a friend's cell phone, and instead of hearing the the standard ring, you heard a pop song. Called ringback tones, this digital music fad allowed cell phone owners to subject callers to their own musical preference. Ringback tones were incredibly trendy in the early and mid-2000's, but have since tapered off nearly to oblivion. Though almost nobody is buying ringbacks anymore, plenty of people still have them from back in the day. [...] In the process of writing this story, I heard from several people that they or someone they knew still had a ringback tone, in large part because they have had it for years, and don't know how to get rid of it. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

White House aims to speed U.S. drone, wireless technologies

(3 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House is bringing together drone makers, wireless companies and venture capitalists on Thursday to look at ways government can help speed new technologies to the marketplace.

Toshiba shares slip as it gears up for chip unit sale

(3 days ago)
TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares of Toshiba Corp skidded on Thursday, as the company aims to seal a deal worth some $18 billion by next week for the sale of its chip business needed to cover massive losses.
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