Technology News

Tech firms improve cooperation on extremism but more needed, U.S. security chief says

(3 days ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - Technology firms have improved cooperation with the authorities in tackling online militant material but still must act quicker to remove propaganda fuelling a rise in homegrown extremism, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke said on Wednesday.

Pentagon chief asks Congress to not hinder cyber defense

(3 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis this week asked Congress to halt pending legislation that would compel the U.S. to alert foreign governments when the Pentagon has decided to combat certain cyber attacks, according to a letter sent to lawmakers.

Pentagon chief asks Congress to not hinder cyber defense

(3 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis this week asked Congress to halt pending legislation that would compel the U.S. to alert foreign governments when the Pentagon has decided to combat certain cyber attacks, according to a letter sent to lawmakers.

Some children's GPS watches have security flaws: EU consumer group

(3 days ago)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Some smartwatches for children sold in Europe pose security risks, including potentially allowing hackers to take control of and track a watch, the EU's main consumer lobby said on Wednesday, following a new report by one of its members.

Mozilla To Document Cross-Browser Web Dev Standards with Google, Microsoft, Samsung, and W3C

(3 days ago)
Mozilla has announced deeper partnerships with Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and web standards body W3C to create cross-browser documentation on MDN Web Docs, a web development documentation portal created by Mozilla. From a report: MDN Web Docs first came to fruition in 2005, and it has since been known under various names, including the Mozilla Developer Network and Mozilla Developer Center. Today, MDN Web Docs serves as a community and library of sorts covering all things related to web technologies and standards, including JavaScript, HTML, CSS, open web app development, Firefox add-on development, and more. The web constitutes multiple players from across the technology spectrum and, of course, multiple browsers, including Microsoft's Edge, Google's Chrome, Mozilla's Firefox, and the Samsung Internet Browser. To avoid fragmentation and ensure end-users have a (fairly) consistent browsing experience, it helps if all the players involved adhere to a similar set of standards.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitter looks to toughen rules on online harassment, abuse

(3 days ago)
(Reuters) - Twitter Inc plans to toughen its rules on online sexual harassment and impose stronger penalties for misconduct, according to an email it sent to a group of safety advocates, academics and researchers that helps the social media service set its policies.

Snapchat signs Olympic deal with Eurosport

(3 days ago)
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Social media platform Snapchat will present Winter Olympics content at next year's event in Pyeongchang after striking a deal with Discovery communications' Eurosport, a move which could help the Games reach the younger demographic it craves.

EU-U.S. data transfer pact passes first annual review

(3 days ago)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A year-old pact underpinning billions of dollars of transatlantic data transfers won a green light from the European Union on Wednesday after a first review to ensure Washington protects Europeans' data stored on U.S. servers.

Online groceries are a hard sell, even to avid internet shoppers: poll

(3 days ago)
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most U.S. shoppers are fiercely loyal to local food stores, calling them better than online options, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll that raises questions about how much Amazon.com's $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods will shake up the supermarket business.

Twitter looks to toughen rules on online harassment, abuse

(3 days ago)
(Reuters) - Twitter Inc plans to toughen its rules on online sexual harassment and impose stronger penalties for misconduct, according to an email it sent to a group of safety advocates, academics and researchers that helps the social media service set its policies.

IBM shares head for biggest gain in eight years

(3 days ago)
(Reuters) - Shares in International Business Machines Inc surged 9 percent on Wednesday after it beat expectations on revenue and gave an outlook that hinted one of the world's first big computing names was back on a growth track after six years in retreat.

Snapchat signs Olympic deal with Eurosport

(3 days ago)
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Social media platform Snapchat will present Winter Olympics content at next year's event in Pyeongchang after striking a deal with Discovery communications' Eurosport, a move which could help the Games reach the younger demographic it craves.

Native American tribe holding patents sues Amazon and Microsoft

(3 days ago)
(Reuters) - A Native American tribe sued Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp in federal court in Virginia on Wednesday for infringing supercomputer patents it is holding for a technology firm.

Cryptocurrency hedge funds top 100 for first time

(3 days ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - Hedge funds that trade cryptocurrencies reached over 100 for the first time, according to new data from fintech research house Autonomous NEXT, of which more than three-quarters launched in 2017.

EU-U.S. data transfer pact passes first annual review

(3 days ago)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A year-old pact underpinning billions of dollars of transatlantic data transfers won a green light from the European Union on Wednesday after a first review to ensure Washington protects Europeans' data stored on U.S. servers.

Online groceries are a hard sell, even to avid internet shoppers: poll

(3 days ago)
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Most U.S. shoppers are fiercely loyal to local food stores, calling them better than online options, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll that raises questions about how much Amazon.com's $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods will shake up the supermarket business.

The Internet Is Ripe With In-Browser Miners and It's Getting Worse Each Day

(3 days ago)
Catalin Cimpanu, reporting for BleepingComputer: Ever since mid-September, when Coinhive launched and the whole cryptojacking frenzy started, the Internet has gone crazy with in-browser cryptocurrency miners, and new sites that offer similar services are popping up on a weekly basis. While one might argue that mining Monero in a site's background is an acceptable alternative to viewing intrusive ads, almost none of these services that have recently appeared provide a way to let users know what's happening, let alone a way to stop mining behavior. In other words, most are behaving like malware, intruding on users' computers and using resources without permission. [...] Bleeping Computer spotted two new services named MineMyTraffic and JSEcoin, while security researcher Troy Mursch also spotted Coin Have and PPoi, a Coinhive clone for Chinese users. On top of this, just last night, Microsoft spotted two new services called CoinBlind and CoinNebula, both offering similar in-browser mining services, with CoinNebula configured in such a way that users couldn't report abuse. Furthermore, none of these two services even have a homepage, revealing their true intentions to be deployed in questionable scenarios.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

"Maybe It's a Piece of Dust"

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: I was in the Grand Central Station Apple Store for a third time in a year, watching a progress bar slowly creep across my computer's black screen as my Genius multi-tasked helping another customer with her iPad. My computer was getting its third diagnostic test in 45 minutes. The problem was not that its logic board was failing, that its battery was dying, or that its camera didn't respond. There were no mysteriously faulty innerworkings. It was the spacebar. It was broken. And not even physically broken -- it still moved and acted normally. But every time I pressed it once, it spaced twice. "Maybe it's a piece of dust," the Genius had offered. The previous times I'd been to the Apple Store for the same computer with the same problem -- a misbehaving keyboard -- Geniuses had said to me these exact same nonchalant words, and I had been stunned into silence, the first time because it seemed so improbable to blame such a core problem on such a small thing, and the second time because I couldn't believe the first time I was hearing this line that it was not a fluke. But this time, the third time, I was ready. "Hold on," I said. "If a single piece of dust lays the whole computer out, don't you think that's kind of a problem?"Read more of this story at Slashdot.

EU says data privacy deal with US can be improved

(3 days ago)
The European Union says that the one-year-old rules governing trans-Atlantic data transfers are working well but that some improvements can still be made to the system seeking to guarantee EU citizens privacy protection from U.S. companies

WATCH: Hulu lowers monthly subscription plan for new customers

(3 days ago)
This change comes after Netflix hiked their subscription prices a week ago.

EU unveils measures to tackle low-tech attacks

(3 days ago)
The EU is unveiling new measures to help counter low-tech attacks following a spate of killings in major cities by extremists driving vehicles into crowds of people

Amazon's Next Big Bet is Letting You Communicate Without a Smartphone, Says Alexa's Chief Scientist

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: The next big function to take off on Amazon's Echo devices will be voice or video calling -- which is a way Alexa can reduce the need to have your smartphone on your at all times, said Rohit Prasad, VP and Head Scientist at Alexa Machine Learning. "If you have not played with calling and the video calls on Echo Show, you should try it because that is revolutionizing how you can communicate," Prasad said in an exclusive interview with CNBC at an Alexa Accelerator event in Seattle Tuesday night. (The event is dedicating to developing new voice-powered technologies.) "When you can drop in on people who have given you access -- so I can drop in and call my mom in her kitchen without her picking any device -- it's just awesome." (Amazon added the ability to call mobile numbers and landlines for free onto Echo devices a few weeks ago.) Amazon doesn't have a smartphone that lets customers bring a digital assistant everywhere -- like Apple's Siri and Google's Assistant -- and communicating through Alexa devices is one way of reducing the need for a personal handset, Prasad said "I can easily drop in and talk to my kids," Prasad says. "They don't have a smartphone so that's my easiest way to talk to them. It's yet another area where Alexa is taking the friction away."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chrome 62 Released With OpenType Variable Fonts, HTTP Warnings In Incognito Mode

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier today, Google released version 62 of its Chrome browser that comes with quite a few new features but also fixes for 35 security issues. The most interesting new features are support for OpenType variable fonts, the Network Quality Estimator API, the ability to capture and stream DOM elements, and HTTP warnings for the browser's Normal and Incognito mode. The most interesting of the new features is variable fonts. Until now, web developers had to load multiple font families whenever they wanted variations on a font family. For example, if a developer was using the Open Sans font family on a site, if he wanted a font variation such as Regular, Bold, Black, Normal, Condensed, Expanded, Highlight, Slab, Heavy, Dashed, or another, he'd have to load a different font file for each. OpenType variable fonts allow font makers to merge all these font family variations in one file that developers can use on their site and control via CSS. This results in fewer files loaded on a website, saving bandwidth and improving page load times. Two other features that will interest mostly developers are the Network Quality Estimator and the Media Capture from DOM Elements APIs. As the name hints, the first grants developers access to network speed and performance metrics, information that some websites may use to adapt video streams, audio quality, or deliver low-fi versions of their sites. Developers can use the second API -- the Media Capture from DOM Elements[..]

Twitter toughens guidelines on harassment: report

(3 days ago)
(Reuters) - Twitter has toughened its stance on online sexual harassment and abuse, laying out stronger penalties for misconduct on the social media platform in an email to its Trust and Safety Council published by Wired late on Tuesday.

Twitter toughens guidelines on harassment: report

(3 days ago)
(Reuters) - Twitter has toughened its stance on online sexual harassment and abuse, laying out stronger penalties for misconduct on the social media platform in an email to its Trust and Safety Council published by Wired late on Tuesday.

Tribal 'Sovereign Immunity' Patent Protection Could Be Outlawed

(3 days ago)
AnalogDiehard writes: The recent -- and questionable -- practice of technological and pharmaceutical companies selling their patents to U.S. native Indian tribes (where they enjoy "sovereign immunity" from the inter partes review (IPR) process of the PTO) and then the tribes licensing them back to the companies is drawing scrutiny from a federal court and has inspired a new U.S. bill outlawing the practice. The IPR process is a "fast track" (read: much less expensive) process through the PTO to review the validity of challenged patents -- it is loved by defendants and hated by patent holders. Not only has U.S. Circuit Judge William Bryson invalidated Allergan's pharmaceutical patents due to "obviousness," he is questioning the legitimacy of the sovereign immunity tactic. The judge was well aware that the tactic could endanger the IPR process, which was a central component of the America Invents Act of 2011, and writes that sovereign immunity "should not be treated as a monetizable commodity that can be purchased by private entities as part of a scheme to evade their legal responsibility." U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) -- no stranger to abuses of the patent system -- has introduced a bill that would outlaw the practice she describes as "one of the most brazen and absurd loopholes I've ever seen and it should be illegal." Sovereign immunity is not absolute and has been limited by Congress and the courts in the past. The bill would apply only to the IPR proceedings and[..]

Twitter pledges tougher action against abuse

(4 days ago)
The social network says it will impose new restrictions on pornographic and hateful imagery.

China's electric car output to hit one million next year: BAIC chairman

(4 days ago)
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's electric vehicle (EV) production could touch 1 million units next year and 3 million units by 2020, said Xu Heyi, chairman of carmaker BAIC Group, on Wednesday, likely exceeding a government set target.

JPMorgan to buy online payment provider WePay

(4 days ago)
(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co said on Tuesday it would acquire online payment provider WePay as the bank looks to integrate payments into software used by small businesses.

U.S. senator probes Pentagon on Russian source code reviews

(4 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. senator on Tuesday asked the Defense Department to explain how it manages the risks when it uses software that has been scrutinized by foreign governments, saying the practice may represent a national security threat.

Amazon to ship electronics in Brazil from third-party sellers

(4 days ago)
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc began offering electronics from third-party sellers to Brazilian shoppers on Wednesday, expanding beyond books in the fiercely competitive e-commerce market in Latin America's largest economy.

YouTube debuts comedy video series in virtual reality push

(4 days ago)
(Reuters) - YouTube virtual reality video series "The Confessional" debuted on Tuesday, featuring comedians Trevor Noah, Judd Apatow and Howie Mandel, as parent company Google races Facebook Inc to attract viewers to the new medium.

Over 30,000 Published Studies Could Be Wrong Due To Contaminated Cells

(4 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Alert: Researchers warn that large parts of biomedical science could be invalid due to a cascading history of flawed data in a systemic failure going back decades. A new investigation reveals more than 30,000 published scientific studies could be compromised by their use of misidentified cell lines, owing to so-called immortal cells contaminating other research cultures in the lab. The problem is as serious as it is simple: researchers studying lung cancer publish a new paper, only it turns out the tissue they were actually using in the lab were liver cells. Or what they thought were human cells were mice cells, or vice versa, or something else entirely. If you think that sounds bad, you're right, as it means the findings of each piece of affected research may be flawed, and could even be completely unreliable. Horback and fellow researcher Willem Halffman wanted to know how extensive the phenomenon of misidentified cell lines really was, so they searched for evidence of what they call "contaminated" scientific literature. Using the research database Web of Science, they looked for scientific articles based on any of the known misidentified cell lines as listed by the International Cell Line Authentication Committee's (ICLAC) Register of Misidentified Cell Lines.There are currently 451 cell lines on this list, and they're not what you think they are -- having been contaminated by other kinds of cells at some point in[..]

Taiwan ministry expresses 'deep concern' about Qualcomm's antitrust fine

(4 days ago)
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan's economics ministry said it is "deeply concerned" about the antitrust agency imposing a $775 million fine on Qualcomm Inc , in a rare public display of disagreement between authorities.

EU-U.S. data transfer pact to pass first annual review

(4 days ago)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A year-old pact underpinning billions of dollars of transatlantic data transfers will get the green light from the European Union on Wednesday after the first review to ensure Washington protects Europeans' data stored on U.S. servers.

SpaceX's Reusable Rockets Win US Air Force General's Endorsement

(4 days ago)
As the military looks to drive down costs, the head of U.S. Air Force Space Command said he's "completely committed" to launching future missions with recycled rockets like those championed by SpaceX's Elon Musk. "It would be 'absolutely foolish' not to begin using pre-flown rockets, which brings such significant savings that they'll soon be commonplace for the entire industry, General John W. 'Jay' Raymond said," reports Bloomberg. From the report: "The market's going to go that way. We'd be dumb not to," he said. "What we have to do is make sure we do it smartly." The Air Force won't be able to use the recycled boosters until they're certified for military use, a process that Raymond suggested may already be in the works. "The folks out at Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles that work for me would be in those dialogues," he said, declining to specify when certification could take place. "I don't know how far down the road we've gotten, but I am completely committed to launching on a reused rocket, a previously flown rocket, and making sure that we have the processes in place to be able to make sure that we can do that safely."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Latest: Xi: China resolved against Taiwan independence

(4 days ago)
President Xi Jinping says China "has the resolve, the confidence and the ability" to defeat any Taiwanese bid for formal independence

China's Xi calls for more technology development

(4 days ago)
President Xi Jinping has called for China's ruling Communist Party to step up technology development, an area fraught with complaints Beijing encourages theft of foreign know-how and blocks access to emerging industries

Twitter vows new crackdown on hateful, abusive tweets

(4 days ago)
Twitter vowed to crack down further on hate speech and sexual harassment on its platform, days after CEO Jack Dorsey said in a tweet-storm that the company was "still" not doing enough to protect its users

Peer Pressure Forced Whales and Dolphins To Evolve Big Brains Like Humans, Says Study

(4 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: The human brain has evolved and expanded over millennia to accommodate our ever-more-complex needs and those of our societies. This process is known as "encephalization" and has given us the big brain we need to communicate, cooperate, reach consensus, empathize, and socialize. The same is true for cetaceans, like whales and dolphins, it seems. These sea creatures also grew big brains in order to better live in societies, according to a study published on Oct. 16 in Nature Ecology & Evolution. According to Michael Muthukrishna, an economic psychologist at the London School of Economics and co-author of the study, the researchers used two related theories, the Social-Brain Hypothesis and the Cultural-Brain Hypothesis, to make predictions about various relationships between brain size, societal organization, and the breadth of behaviors the cetaceans would display. Then they tested these predictions by creating and evaluating a comprehensive database of cetacean brain size, social structures, and cultural behaviors across species using data from prior studies on 90 types of whales and dolphins. The study found that cetaceans had complex alliances and communications, played and worked together for mutual benefit, and could even work with other species, like humans. Some also have individual signifiers, sounds that set them apart from others, and can mimic the sounds of others. In addition, it found that brain size predicted[..]

Greenpeace faults many tech giants for environment impact

(4 days ago)
The environmental group Greenpeace has issued a report giving technology titans like Samsung Electronics, Amazon and Huawei low marks for their environmental impact

North Korea says it plans to launch many more satellites

(4 days ago)
North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador says the country plans to launch many more satellites and is accusing the United States of trying to block its efforts to help achieve the peaceful development of outer space

Parts of unmanned Russian spaceship burn up over Dubai

(4 days ago)
Parts of a discarded Russian cargo spaceship have burned across the night sky of the Arabian Peninsula

US tech giants may find their future shaped by Europe

(4 days ago)
The likes of Facebook, Google and Apple are facing an uncomfortable truth: Europe's culture of tough corporate oversight, not America's light-touch regulation, may soon rule their industry

Proposed New Mexico science standards omit global warming

(4 days ago)
A proposed overhaul of New Mexico's state science standards for public schools comes under intense criticism at a packed public hearing for omitting or deleting references to global warming, evolution and the age of the Earth.
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