Technology News

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How a company founded by ex-spies uses AI to fight hackers

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Cybersecurity firm Darktrace uses artificial intelligence to stop cyber attacks before they even start.

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A global heatmap from GPS-tracking company Strava that tracks people's exercise habits could pose security risks for military forces around the world.

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Digital artist Jan Frojdman spent three weeks shifting through 33,000 images obtained from NASA to create this 3D model of Mars.

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New lifesaving drone rescues swimmers

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A new lifesaving drone has been used to rescue two teenagers from the rough seas off the coast of Australia's Lennox Head, New South Wales.

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Two swimmers were in serious trouble off the coast of Australia, until a drone came to their rescue.

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All stories start somewhere, and the story of the driverless car begins in a research lab in Pittsburgh, where Carnegie Mellon University Professor Red Whittaker was one of the first to develop a fully autonomous driving machine.

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The programs controlling driverless cars are computers, after all, and all computers are hackable.

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More than 1.25 million people die every year in auto accidents. Driverless cars could change that.

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Autonomous vehicles will reshape how we live in more ways than you think.

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Are we prepared for a massive disruption in the jobs market?

Best Linux Distribution

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Linux Journal: We started things off with Best Linux Distribution, and nearly 10,000 readers voted. The winner was Debian, with many commenting "As for servers, Debian is still the best" or similar. One to watch that is rising in the polls is Manjaro (7 percent), which is independently based on the Arch Linux. Manjaro is a favorite for Linux newcomers and is known for its user-friendliness and accessibility. And, now for the top three LJ winners: Debian (33 percent), openSUSE (12 percent), and Fedora (11 percent).Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Say goodbye to humans behind the wheel. Self-driving cars are coming faster than you think, and the changes they bring will reach far beyond our roads. Meet the companies building our driverless future and find out what to expect when machines take the wheel.

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Below the surface of the Internet we all know, lies a deeper, darker web where a piece of your personal data may end up.

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Are innovative transport systems the way to go in the future? Some of these inventors think so.

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Crypto-currency Craze 'Hinders Search For Alien Life'

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Scientists listening out for broadcasts by extra-terrestrials are struggling to get the computer hardware they need, thanks to the crypto-currency mining craze, a radio-astronomer has said. From a report: Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) researchers want to expand operations at two observatories. However, they have found that key computer chips are in short supply. "We'd like to use the latest GPUs [graphics processing units]... and we can't get 'em," said Dan Werthimer. Demand for GPUs has soared recently thanks to crypto-currency mining. "That's limiting our search for extra-terrestrials, to try to answer the question, 'Are we alone? Is there anybody out there?'," Dr Werthimer told the BBC. "This is a new problem, it's only happened on orders we've been trying to make in the last couple of months."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SpaceX gets U.S. regulator to back satellite internet plan

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Elon Musk's SpaceX, fresh off the successful launch this month of the world's most powerful rocket, won an endorsement on Wednesday from the top U.S. communications regulator to build a broadband network using satellites.

Apple's Software 'Problem' and 'Fixing' It

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According to media reports, Apple is planning to postpone some new features for iOS and macOS this year to focus on improving reliability, stability and performance of the existing versions. Steven Sinofsky, a former President of the Windows Division, shared his insights into the significance of this development: Several important points are conflated in the broad discussion about Apple and software: Quality, pace of change, features "versus" quality, and innovation. Scanning the landscape, it is important to recognize that in total the work Apple has been doing across hardware, software, services, and even AI/ML, in total -- is breathtaking and unprecedented in scope, scale, and quality. Few companies have done so much for so long with such a high level of consistency. This all goes back to the bet on the NeXT code base and move to Intel for Mac OS plus the iPod, which began the journey to where we are today. [...] What is lost in all of this recent discussion is the nuance between features, schedule, and quality. It is like having a discussion with a financial advisor over income, risk, and growth. You don't just show up and say you want all three and get a "sure." On the other hand, this is precisely what Apple did so reliably over 20 years. But behind the scenes there is a constant discussion over balancing these three legs of the tripod. You have to have all of them but you "can't" but you have to. This is why they get paid big $. [...] A massive project like an OS[..]

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Wonders of the universe

MPEG-2 Patents Have Expired

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New submitter jabuzz writes: Unless you live in the Philippines or Malaysia, then MPEG-2 has now joined the likes of MP3 and AC3 and gone patent free with the expiration of US patent 7,334,248.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Messenger Kids Advocates Were Facebook-Funded

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Fast Company: Facebook unveiled this kid-friendly version of its signature messaging service in December, while the YouTube Kids scandal was in full swing. Messenger Kids, Facebook said, had been designed to serve as a "fun, safer solution" for family communications. It would be available for children as young as 6, the company said. To forestall criticism, Facebook asserted that the app had been developed alongside thousands of parents and a dozen expert advisors. But it looks like many of those outside experts were funded with Facebook dollars. According to Wired, "At least seven members of Facebook 13-person advisory board have some kind of financial tie to the company." Those advisors include the National PTA, Blue Star Families, Connect Safely, and the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Kaspersky Lab Sues Over Second Federal Ban

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Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has filed a lawsuit targeting the second of two federal bans on its wares. The latest suit goes after language in a defense law explicitly blocking the purchase of Kaspersky products. An earlier suit targets a Homeland Security directive doing the same. From a report: The bigger picture: With the White House reluctant to institute additional sanctions on Russia, White House Cyber Czar Rob Joyce pointed to Kaspersky as an example of the Trump administration taking Russia seriously. While Kaspersky isn't alleged to be involved in the election hacks of 2016, it's hard not to see the actions against the firm in the context of deteriorated relations with Moscow, as part of a growing spat between the two countries.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Germany Considers Free Public Transport in Fight To Banish Air Pollution

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"Car nation" Germany has surprised neighbours with a radical proposal to reduce road traffic by making public transport free, as Berlin scrambles to meet EU air pollution targets and avoid big fines. From a report: The move comes just over two years after Volkswagen's devastating "dieselgate" emissions cheating scandal unleashed a wave of anger at the auto industry, a keystone of German prosperity. "We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars," three ministers including Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks wrote to EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella in the letter seen by AFP Tuesday.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple in talks for first order from Chinese chipmaker: Nikkei

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(Reuters) - Apple Inc is in talks to buy storage chips from Yangtze Memory Technologies, a move that would mark the iPhone maker's first buy from a Chinese memory chipmaker, the Nikkei reported on Wednesday.

Google's Chrome Ad Blocking Arrives Tomorrow

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Google is enabling its built-in ad blocker for Chrome tomorrow (February 15th). From a report: Chrome's ad filtering is designed to weed out some of the web's most annoying ads, and push website owners to stop using them. Google is not planning to wipe out all ads from Chrome, just ones that are considered bad using standards from the Coalition for Better Ads. Full page ads, ads with autoplaying sound and video, and flashing ads will be targeted by Chrome's ad filtering, which will hopefully result in less of these annoying ads on the web. Google is revealing today exactly what ads will be blocked, and how the company notifies site owners before a block is put in place. On desktop, Google is planning to block pop-up ads, large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sound, and ads that appear on a site with a countdown blocking you before the content loads. Google is being more aggressive about its mobile ad blocking, filtering out pop-up ads, ads that are displayed before content loads (with or without a countdown), auto-play video ads with sound, large sticky ads, flashing animated ads, fullscreen scroll over ads, and ads that are particularly dense.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google raises price of YouTube TV, adds sports, Turner

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(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google is raising the price of its YouTube TV online service for new customers as it adds channels from Time Warner Inc's Turner, National Basketball League and Major League Baseball, the company said Wednesday.

Google raises price of YouTube TV, adds sports, Turner

(6 days ago)
(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google is raising the price of its YouTube TV online service for new customers as it adds channels from Time Warner Inc's Turner, National Basketball League and Major League Baseball, the company said Wednesday.

AMP For Email Is a Terrible Idea

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An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a report via TechCrunch, written by Devin Coldewey: Google just announced a plan to "modernize" email with its Accelerated Mobile Pages platform, allowing "engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences." Does that sound like a terrible idea to anyone else? It sure sounds like a terrible idea to me, and not only that, but an idea borne out of competitive pressure and existing leverage rather than user needs. Not good, Google. Send to trash. See, email belongs to a special class. Nobody really likes it, but it's the way nobody really likes sidewalks, or electrical outlets, or forks. It not that there's something wrong with them. It's that they're mature, useful items that do exactly what they need to do. They've transcended the world of likes and dislikes. Email too is simple. It's a known quantity in practically every company, household, and device. The implementation has changed over the decades, but the basic idea has remained the same since the very first email systems in the '60s and '70s, certainly since its widespread standardization in the '90s and shift to web platforms in the '00s. The parallels to snail mail are deliberate (it's a payload with an address on it) and simplicity has always been part of its design (interoperability and privacy came later). No company owns it. It works reliably and as intended on every platform, every operating system, every device. That's a rarity today and a hell of a valuable one.[..]

Mi mi mi: super fans of China's Xiaomi stoke IPO ambitions

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BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Wang Bin, 29, is a serious "mi fan", one of the ardent followers of Xiaomi Technology Co Ltd, the maker of smartphones and other electronic products that looks headed for a big initial public offering, perhaps as early as this year.

Toshiba names ex-banker as CEO, seen tackling opposition to chip unit sale

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp appointed a former banker experienced in dealing with distressed companies as CEO, and forecast its first annual profit in four years, helped by a buoyant chip business that it has agreed to sell.

U.S. senators concerned about Chinese access to intellectual property

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China is trying to gain access to sensitive U.S. technologies and intellectual properties through telecommunications companies, academia and joint business ventures, U.S. senators and spy chiefs warned on Tuesday at a Senate hearing.

Japan Display books fourth straight quarterly loss, no partner yet

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan Display Inc reported a fourth straight quarter of loss and said its search for a global partnership was taking more time than expected, showing its growing struggles as customers shift to a newer display technology.

The Next Falcon Heavy Will Carry the Most Powerful Atomic Clock Ever Launched

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schwit1 shares a report from Space.com: This isn't your average timekeeper. The so-called Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC) is far smaller than Earth-bound atomic clocks, far more precise than the handful of other space-bound atomic clocks, and more resilient against the stresses of space travel than any clock ever made. According to a NASA statement, it's expected to lose no more than 2 nanoseconds (2 billionths of a second) over the course of a day. That comes to about 7 millionths of a second over the course of a decade. n an email to Live Science, Andrew Good, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory representative, said the first DSAC will hitch a ride on the second Falcon Heavy launch, scheduled for June. Every deep-space mission that makes course corrections needs to send signals to ground stations on Earth. Those ground stations rely on atomic clocks to measure just how long those signals took to arrive, which allows them to locate the spacecrafts position down to the meter in the vast vacuum. They then send signals back, telling the craft where they are and where to go next. Thats a cumbersome process, and it means any given ground station can support only one spacecraft at a time. The goal of DSAC, according to a NASA fact sheet, is to allow spacecraft to make precise timing measurements onboard a spacecraft, without waiting for information from Earth. A DSAC-equipped spacecraft, according to NASAs statement, could calculate time without waiting for measurements from Earth --[..]

Amazon Echo Dot ad cleared over cat food order

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A television ad that caused a viewer's Echo Dot device to try to order cat food has been cleared.

Toshiba appoints ex-banker as CEO, forecasts first profit in four years

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp appointed a former banker from a key creditor bank as CEO and forecast its first annual profit in four years, making progress in its efforts to recover from billions of dollars in losses at its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.

Japan Display reports fourth straight quarterly loss

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan Display Inc reported on Wednesday a fourth consecutive quarterly net loss, as its slow adoption of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology resulted in fewer orders from its largest client, Apple Inc.

Chinese online retailer JD.com raises $2.5 billion for logistics arm

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BEIJING (Reuters) - JD.com Inc said on Wednesday it had raised $2.5 billion for its logistics arm, as the second-largest Chinese e-commerce firm seeks to further bolster its position in online retail in its home country and beyond.

Sam's Club consolidates membership structure, offers free shipping

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(Reuters) - Warehouse chain Sam's Club, a unit of Walmart Inc, said on Wednesday it will consolidate its membership structure for customers and improve its e-commerce offerings by adding free shipping and opening more e-commerce warehouses this year.

Baidu earnings beat forecasts, eyes U.S. listing for video unit iQiyi

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SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese internet search firm Baidu Inc posted a forecast-beating quarterly revenue increase and unveiled a U.S. listing plan for its Netflix-like video platform iQiyi as it looks to rev up new drivers for growth.

New Horizons Probe Captures Images At Record Distance From Earth

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jwhyche writes: The New Horizons probe has captured the farthermost images of Earth. The probe took images of Earth from a distance of over 3.79 billion miles on December 5th, 2017. This beats the image Voyager 1 captured 27 years ago. The Voyager image was taken at a distance of 3.75 billion miles and has become known as the "Pale Blue Dot" photo. Engadget notes that this new record is likely to be broken again within a matter of months. "The [New Horizons spacecraft] is slated to swing by another Kuiper Belt object (2014 MU69) on January 1st, 2019 and record more imagery in the process," reports Engadget. "So long as the mission goes according to plan, New Horizons could hold on to its lead for a long time."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Walmart goes to the cloud to close gap with Amazon

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SAN BRUNO/SUNNYVALE, Calif. (Reuters) - One of Walmart Inc's best chances at taking on Amazon.com Inc in e-commerce lies with six giant server farms, each larger than ten football fields.
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