Technology News

eBay Will Now Price Match Amazon, Walmart and Others On Over 50,000 Items

(3 days ago)
eBay announced today a new Price Match Guarantee for over 50,000 items across its site -- promising that it will have the best deal online, or it will match the lowest price of a competitor. While only select items are available for this offer, "the move is a significant effort on eBay's part to ensure that it doesn't lose customers to Amazon, Walmart and other online stores as the market consolidates behind the industry's major players," reports TechCrunch. From the report: In order to qualify, the item must be one of the new, unopened items sold daily through eBay Deals, for starters. Deals are eBay's selection of "trending" inventory across all its categories -- like consumer electronics, home & garden, and fashion. The deals are also generally offered at 20 percent to 90 percent off, and are sourced from over 900 of eBay's trusted sellers. These sellers include both smaller merchants looking to grow their customer base as well as major consumer brands. At any time, eBay says there are "tens of thousands" of items offered through the Deals site, with featured deals updating at least once per day, beginning at 8 AM PT. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NSA Opens GitHub Account, Lists 32 Projects Developed By the Agency

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hacker News: The National Security Agency (NSA) -- the United States intelligence agency which is known for its secrecy and working in the dark -- has finally joined GitHub and launched an official GitHub page. GitHub is an online service designed for sharing code amongst programmers and open source community, and so far, the NSA is sharing 32 different projects as part of the NSA Technology Transfer Program (TTP), while some of these are "coming soon." "The NSA Technology Transfer Program (TTP) works with agency innovators who wish to use this collaborative model for transferring their technology to the commercial marketplace," the agency wrote on the program's page. "OSS invites the cooperative development of technology, encouraging broad use and adoption. The public benefits by adopting, enhancing, adapting, or commercializing the software. The government benefits from the open source community's enhancements to the technology." Many of the projects the agency listed are years old that have been available on the Internet for some time. For example, SELinux (Security-Enhanced Linux) has been part of the Linux kernel for years. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sources: Bill Gurley is in talks to leave Uber's board of directors, is expected to hand his seat to fellow Benchmark partner Matt Cohler (Eric Newcomer/Bloomberg)

(3 days ago)
Eric Newcomer / Bloomberg:Sources: Bill Gurley is in talks to leave Uber's board of directors, is expected to hand his seat to fellow Benchmark partner Matt Cohler  —  Benchmark partner Bill Gurley is in talks to leave Uber Technologies Inc.'s board of directors, two people familiar with the matter said.

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.

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Isolate a Network And Allow Data Transfer?

(3 days ago)
Futurepower(R) writes: What is the best way to isolate a network from the internet and preventintrusion of malware, while allowing carefully examined data transferfrom internet-facing computers? An example of complete network isolation could be that each user would have two computers with a KVM switch and a monitor and keyboard, or two monitors and two keyboards. An internet-facing computer could run a very secure version of Linux. Any data to be transferred to that user's computer on the network wouldperhaps go through several Raspberry Pi computers running Linux; the computerscould each use a different method of checking for malware. Windows computers on the isolated network could be updated using Autopatcher, so that there would never be a direct connection with the internet. Why not use virtualization? Virtualization does not provide enough separation; there is the possibility of vulnerabilities. Do you have any ideas about improving the example above? Read more of this story at Slashdot.

University of Michigan getting driverless shuttles this fall

(4 days ago)
Driverless shuttle will carry students at the University of Michigan this fall

WATCH: Uber founder resigns

(4 days ago)
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns over allegations of sexual harassment within the company.

WATCH: A closer look at technology designed to prevent hot car deaths

(4 days ago)
ABC News' Paula Faris tests the Driver's Little Helper car seat monitor technology system to see how it alerts drivers about a child in the backseat.

Bixby Voice beta hands-on: appears to lack knowledge base, struggles with text messages, but interacts well with third-party apps, works best on local tasks (Chris Welch/The Verge)

(4 days ago)
Chris Welch / The Verge:Bixby Voice beta hands-on: appears to lack knowledge base, struggles with text messages, but interacts well with third-party apps, works best on local tasks  —  You'll be tapping 'Let's improve' a lot  —  The Bixby button on the side of Samsung's fantastic Galaxy S8 is finally getting its most important feature: voice support.

South Korea Signs On To Build Full-Scale Hyperloop System

(4 days ago)
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) has partnered with the South Korean government and local universities to build the world's first full-scale Hyperloop system. "The agreement was actually signed back in January but only revealed this week, and sees HTT team up with the South Korean government's department of technological innovation and infrastructure, along with the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building (KICT) and Hanyang University," reports New Atlas. From the report: It involves the construction of a full-scale testbed, licensing of HTT's vacuum tube, levitation, propulsion and battery technologies along with the co-development of safety standards and regulations. The agreement is a multi-year partnership intended to build a new transportation system for South Korea, one which will be known as the HyperTube Express and carry passengers between Seoul and Busan in under 20 minutes, compared to the current three-hour drive. HTT may be setting out to build the world's first Hyperloop but it is no guarantee, with fellow startups Arrivo and Hyperloop One also moving full-steam ahead with their plans. The latter in particular seems to be making solid progress, recently showing off a full-scale test track in Nevada and forming agreements with Russia, Finland and Dubai to explore the feasibility of a Hyperloop in those countries. It's too early to tell who will be first out of the gate, but the competition is certainly heating up.[..]

Green light for UK driverless car road trials

(4 days ago)
A demo in Nuneaton is the last in a series of trials for driverless cars before they move onto public roads.

Oracle profit beats as cloud shift gains steam, shares at record

(4 days ago)
(Reuters) - Oracle Corp's quarterly profit blew past Wall Street estimates and the business software maker forecast an upbeat current-quarter earnings, indicating that the company's transition to cloud is starting to pay off.

Oracle profit beats as cloud shift gains steam, shares at record

(4 days ago)
(Reuters) - Oracle Corp's quarterly profit blew past Wall Street estimates and the business software maker forecast an upbeat current-quarter earnings, indicating that the company's transition to cloud is starting to pay off.

Amazon's grocery push playing catch up with Chinese e-commerce giants

(4 days ago)
BEIJING (Reuters) - As Amazon.com Inc looks to swallow U.S. grocery chain Whole Foods, China's tech giants are already digesting hefty bricks-and-mortar deals, taking the lead in the battle to transform supermarket shopping with big data and better supply chains.

Amazon's grocery push playing catch up with Chinese e-commerce giants

(4 days ago)
BEIJING (Reuters) - As Amazon.com Inc looks to swallow U.S. grocery chain Whole Foods, China's tech giants are already digesting hefty bricks-and-mortar deals, taking the lead in the battle to transform supermarket shopping with big data and better supply chains.

Sources: Snapchat quietly acquired social mapping startup Zenly last month for $250M to $350M; Zenly to continue running independently (Josh Constine/TechCrunch)

(4 days ago)
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:Sources: Snapchat quietly acquired social mapping startup Zenly last month for $250M to $350M; Zenly to continue running independently  —  Snapchat's newest feature Snap Map is based on its latest acquisition, social mapping startup Zenly.  TechCrunch has learned that Snapchat has bought Zenly …

Facial Recognition Is Coming To US Airports

(4 days ago)
Facial recognition systems will be coming to U.S. airports in the very near future. "Customs and Border Protection first started testing facial recognition systems at Dulles Airport in 2015, then expanded the tests to New York's JFK Airport last year," reports The Verge. "Now, a new project is poised to bring those same systems to every international airport in America." From the report: Called Biometric Exit, the project would use facial matching systems to identify every visa holder as they leave the country. Passengers would have their photos taken immediately before boarding, to be matched with the passport-style photos provided with the visa application. If there's no match in the system, it could be evidence that the visitor entered the country illegally. The system is currently being tested on a single flight from Atlanta to Tokyo, but after being expedited by the Trump administration, it's expected to expand to more airports this summer, eventually rolling out to every international flight and border crossing in the U.S. U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Larry Panetta, who took over the airport portion of the project in February, explained the advantages of facial recognition at the Border Security Expo last week. "Facial recognition is the path forward we're working on," Panetta said at the conference. "We currently have everyone's photo, so we don't need to do any sort of enrollment. We have access to the Department of State records so we have photos of U.S.[..]

Scrutiny intensifies over safety at US nuclear weapons lab

(4 days ago)
The safety record at Los Alamos National Laboratory is facing intensifying criticism as work ramps up to produce a key component for the U.S. nuclear weapons cache

Virgin Mobile Becomes World's First iPhone-Exclusive Carrier, Offers Year of Service For $1

(4 days ago)
BrianFagioli quotes a report via BetaNews: Goodness gracious, Virgin Mobile USA has made quite the bold moves today. The cellular service provider has become the world's first iPhone-exclusive carrier. In other words, it will no longer offer Android at all. Crazy, right? This is through a partnership with Apple, and Virgin will offer many versions of the device, including iPhone 6, 6S, 7, and SE. The craziness doesn't stop there, however, as there is even something much more exciting -- Virgin Mobile USA is offering unlimited talk, text and data for a dollar. No, that is not a typo -- a single buck will get you unlimited everything for up to a year! This is through a new scheme called "Inner Circle." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

California May Restore Broadband Privacy Rules Killed By Congress and Trump

(4 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A proposed law in California would require Internet service providers to obtain customers' permission before they use, share, or sell the customers' Web browsing history. The California Broadband Internet Privacy Act, a bill introduced by Assembly member Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) on Monday, is very similar to an Obama-era privacy rule that was scheduled to take effect across the US until President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress eliminated it. If Chau's bill becomes law, ISPs in California would have to get subscribers' opt-in consent before using browsing history and other sensitive information in order to serve personalized advertisements. Consumers would have the right to revoke their consent at any time. The opt-in requirement in Chau's bill would apply to "Web browsing history, application usage history, content of communications, and origin and destination Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of all traffic." The requirement would also apply to geolocation data, IP addresses, financial and health information, information pertaining to minors, names and billing information, Social Security numbers, demographic information, and personal details such as physical addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers. Read more of this story at[..]

Uber's crisis was a failure of oversight and shows founders should be constrained by lieutenants, mentors, and a forceful board of directors (Farhad Manjoo/New York Times)

(4 days ago)
Farhad Manjoo / New York Times:Uber's crisis was a failure of oversight and shows founders should be constrained by lieutenants, mentors, and a forceful board of directors  —  Travis Kalanick's spectacular rise and fall at Uber contains many lessons for the technology industry.  But one lesson should rise above the others …

Oracle beats Q4 estimates with $10.9B revenue, up 3% YoY, as total cloud revenue reaches $1.36B, up 58% YoY; stock up 8%+ after hours (Jordan Novet/CNBC)

(4 days ago)
Jordan Novet / CNBC:Oracle beats Q4 estimates with $10.9B revenue, up 3% YoY, as total cloud revenue reaches $1.36B, up 58% YoY; stock up 8%+ after hours  —  Oracle shares jumped as much as 9 percent in extended trading on Wednesday after the company beat earnings estimates for the fiscal fourth quarter.

How Hollywood Got Hacked: Studio at Center of Netflix Leak Breaks Silence

(4 days ago)
Earlier this year, hackers obtained and leaked the episodes of TV show Orange Is the New Black. In a candid interview, Larson Studios' chief engineer David Dondorf explained how the audio post-production business allowed the hacker group to gain access to the Netflix original content. Dandorf says the company hired private data security experts to find how it was breached. The investigation found that the hacker group had been searching the internet for PCs running older versions of Windows and stumbled across an old computer at Larson Studios still running Windows 7. From the report: Larson's employees just didn't know all that much about it. Having a computer running an ancient version of Windows on the network was clearly a terrible lack of oversight, as was not properly separating internal servers from the internet. "A lot of what went on was ignorance," admitted Rick Larson. "We are a small company. Did we even know what the content security departments were at our clients? Absolutely not. I couldn't have told you who to call. I can now." It's a fascinating story about how the hacker group first made contact and tried to threaten Larson Studios' president and his wife, and how they responded. Worth a read. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Even Telecom Workers Don't Want To Talk On the Phone

(4 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: Of the 1,000 Americans surveyed by Fundera, more than half said they prefer email, even though an often overflowing inbox has been proven to hinder productivity. Other methods of communicating paled in comparison. For instance, face-to-face conversations came in a distant second, preferred by only 15.8% of respondents, while phone calls came in at the bottom across 17 different industries. Even telecom workers don't want to talk on the phone: 70% would prefer to use instant messages or email. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tumblr, known for its activism on internet issues like net neutrality and the SOPA/PIPA fight, may change to be less outspoken, now that it's owned by Verizon (Kaitlyn Tiffany/The Verge)

(4 days ago)
Kaitlyn Tiffany / The Verge:Tumblr, known for its activism on internet issues like net neutrality and the SOPA/PIPA fight, may change to be less outspoken, now that it's owned by Verizon  —  One of the open internet's fiercest defenders has a new boss  —  In 2014, Tumblr was on the front lines of the battle for net neutrality.

Just 14 People Make 500,000 Tons of Steel a Year in Austria

(4 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg Businessweek feature: The Austrian village of Donawitz has been an iron-smelting center since the 1400s, when ore was dug from mines carved out of the snow-capped peaks nearby. Over the centuries, Donawitz developed into the Hapsburg Empire's steel-production hub, and by the early 1900s it was home to Europe's largest mill. With the opening of Voestalpine AG's new rolling mill this year, the industry appears secure. What's less certain are the jobs. The plant, a two-hour drive southwest of Vienna, will need just 14 employees to make 500,000 tons of robust steel wire a year -- vs. as many as 1,000 in a mill with similar capacity built in the 1960s. Inside the facility, red-hot metal snakes its way along a 700-meter (2,297-foot) production line. Yet the floors are spotless, the only noise is a gentle hum that wouldn't overwhelm a quiet conversation, and most of the time the place is deserted except for three technicians who sit high above the line, monitoring output on a bank of flatscreens. "We have to forget steel as a core employer," says Wolfgang Eder, Voestalpine's chief executive officer for the past 13 years. "In the long run we will lose most of the classic blue-collar workers, people doing the hot and dirty jobs in coking plants or around the blast furnaces. This will all be automated."[..]

Snapchat's New Snap Map Lets You Share Your Location With Friends

(4 days ago)
Snapchat is expanding into the world of mapping. A new feature announced on Wednesday called Snap Maps will let the app's 166 million users share their locations with each other, according to a company blog post. From a report: From the default camera view, you pinch with two fingers to zoom out and see the map. Friends who have opted into sharing their location through Snap Map (it's off by default) will appear in Bitmoji form. You can share with select friends, all friends, or with no one if you pick "Ghost Mode." Snapchat is very quick to note that your location is only updated when you open the app -- so there shouldn't be any background tracking to worry about. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Honda Shuts Down Factory After Finding NSA-derived Wcry In Its Networks

(4 days ago)
A Honda factory near Tokyo was shuttered for over 24 hours this week after its computers became infected with WannaCry, the same ransomware virus responsible for crippling systems in dozens of countries last month, the car manufacturer said Wednesday. From a report: The automaker shut down its Sayama plant northwest of Tokyo on Monday after finding that WCry had affected networks across Japan, North America, Europe, China, and other regions, Reuters reported Wednesday. Discovery of the infection came on Sunday, more than five weeks after the onset of the NSA-derived ransomware worm, which struck an estimated 727,000 computers in 90 countries. [...] Honda officials didn't explain why engineers found WCry in their networks 37 days after the kill switch was activated. One possibility is that engineers had mistakenly blocked access to the kill-switch domain. That would have caused the WCry exploit to proceed as normal, as it did in the 12 or so hours before the domain was registered. Another possibility is that the WCry traces in Honda's networks were old and dormant, and the shutdown of the Sayama plant was only a precautionary measure. In any event, the discovery strongly suggests that as of Monday, computers inside the Honda network had yet to install a highly critical patch that Microsoft released in March.[..]

Walmart to Vendors: Get Off Amazon's Cloud

(4 days ago)
Amazon vs. Waltmart saga continues. It turns out, Walmart isn't thrilled about its partners using Amazon's cloud, and it's telling them to get off it (alternative source). From a report: Walmart is telling some technology companies that if they want its business, they can't run applications for the retailer on Amazon's leading cloud-computing service, Amazon Web Services, several tech companies say. [...] Walmart, loath to give any business to Amazon, said it keeps most of its data on its own servers and uses services from emerging AWS competitors, such as Microsoft's Azure. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Periscope debuts Super Hearts, which viewers can buy in-app using virtual coins starting at $0.99, earning creators a monthly pay-out (Josh Constine/TechCrunch)

(4 days ago)
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:Periscope debuts Super Hearts, which viewers can buy in-app using virtual coins starting at $0.99, earning creators a monthly pay-out  —  Periscope has a new revenue stream and a new way to attract the best live video content to its Twitter-owned app.  Today Periscope launches Super Hearts …

Etsy Slashes Almost a Quarter Of Its Staff In Attempt To Refocus

(4 days ago)
Etsy, the online market for artisan and handmade goods, said on Wednesday that it will reduce its workforce by 15 per cent on top of another round of job cuts announced last month. From a report: CEO Josh Silverman announced this morning that Etsy was laying off 15 percent of its workforce. That's in addition to layoffs that were announced in early May; the total workforce reduction comes in at 22 percent, or about 230 employees. Silverman said the layoffs were part of an effort to focus on Etsy's "vital few initiatives," though he didn't specify exactly what parts of the company were being a drag. The only indication was that the company would focus on its "core marketplace." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dailymotion relaunches video platform with a focus on premium content and four themes: news, sports, music, and entertainment (Chris O'Brien/VentureBeat)

(4 days ago)
Chris O'Brien / VentureBeat:Dailymotion relaunches video platform with a focus on premium content and four themes: news, sports, music, and entertainment  —  In an effort to make a fresh start, Dailymotion announced today that it is reinventing its video platform with a narrower focus and a new premium service that features quality over users' videos.

Twitter to let streaming video stars collect money from fans

(4 days ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc plans on Wednesday to launch a system for people to earn money by streaming live on its Periscope service, a first for Twitter and a way for the company to try to compete with YouTube and others in the search for internet talent.

Toshiba says it's chosen a Japanese consortium to buy its microchip business, overlooking US-based Western Digital; full details of the deal expected next week (Gerry Doyle/New York Times)

(4 days ago)
Gerry Doyle / New York Times:Toshiba says it's chosen a Japanese consortium to buy its microchip business, overlooking US-based Western Digital; full details of the deal expected next week  —  HONG KONG — As Toshiba, the embattled technology giant, battles for survival, it has turned to a group led by the Japanese government …

Jack Ma: In 30 Years People Will Work Four Hours a Day and Maybe Four Days a Week

(4 days ago)
There could be benefits from artificial intelligence, Self-made billionaire, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma said, as people are freed to work less and travel more. From a report: "I think in the next 30 years, people only work four hours a day and maybe four days a week," Ma said. "My grandfather worked 16 hours a day in the farmland and [thought he was] very busy. We work eight hours, five days a week and think we are very busy." He added that if people today are able to visit 30 places, in three decades it will be 300 places. Still, Ma said the rich and poor -- the workers and the bosses -- will be increasingly defined by data and automation unless governments show more willingness to make "hard choices." "The first technology revolution caused World War I," he said, "The second technology revolution caused World War II. This is the third technology revolution." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitter to let streaming video stars collect money from fans

(4 days ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc plans on Wednesday to launch a system for people to earn money by streaming live on its Periscope service, a first for Twitter and a way for the company to try to compete with YouTube and others in the search for internet talent.

Former homeland secretary says FBI delayed notification of cyber hack

(4 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told a congressional panel on Wednesday that there was a delay between the time the FBI first made contact with the Democratic National Committee about Russia hacking its servers and the time he was notified at the Department of Homeland Security.
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