Technology News

Bangladesh Bank official's computer was hacked to carry out $81 million heist: diplomat

(5 days ago)
MANILA (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi central bank official's computer was used by unidentified hackers to make payments via SWIFT, and carry out one of the biggest-ever cyber heists, a Bangladeshi diplomat said on Thursday at the end of a Philippine Senate inquiry.

Swedish authorities hold crisis talks after suspected telecoms sabotage

(5 days ago)
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's civil emergency agency held a crisis meeting on Friday to discuss a number of cases of suspected sabotage involving telecommunications masts and a computer outage that grounded air traffic across much of the country.

Gaming ransomware gang shuts down

(5 days ago)
The gang who made the notorious Teslacrypt ransomware virus has shut up shop and released the master key it used to scramble data.

ARM Announces Next-Gen 64-Bit Artemis Mobile Chip On 10nm TSMC FinFET Process

(5 days ago)
MojoKid writes from a report via Hot Hardware: ARM has been working closely with TSMC for years now. Over the last six years or so especially, ARM and TSMC have collaborated to ensure that TSMC's cutting-edge process technologies work well with ARM's processor IP. However recently, ARM just announced the successful tape-out of a test chip featuring next-generation, 64-Bit ARM v8-A mobile processor cores, codenamed Artemis, manufactured using TSMC's upcoming 10nm FinFET process technology. The test chip features what ARM calls an Artemis cluster. It's essentially a quad-core processor with power management IP, a single-shader Mali graphics core, AMBA AXI interconnect, and test ROMs connected to a second cluster by an asynchronous bridge that features the memory subsystem, which is stacked with a Cortex M core that handles control logic, some timers, SRAM, and external IO. Compared to 16nm FinFET+, at nominal voltage, the 10nm test chip offered a 12% performance improvement in a similar power envelope. In super-overdrive mode (Vsod), the Artemis test chip offered similar performance, but at 30% lower power.SoCs for premium mobile devices with next-generation cores produced on the 10nm process node are expected to arrive later in the second half of this year. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Special Report: Cyber thieves exploit banks' faith in SWIFT transfer network

(5 days ago)
LONDON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Shortly after 7 p.m. on January 12, 2015, a message from a secure computer terminal at Banco del Austro (BDA) in Ecuador instructed San Francisco-based Wells Fargo to transfer money to bank accounts in Hong Kong.

Panasonic says it can move up investment for Tesla battery plant if asked

(5 days ago)
TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp is prepared to move up its investment plans for Tesla Motors Inc's battery plant if needed to meet strong demand for the electric car maker's upcoming Model 3 sedan, an executive at the Japanese electronics group said.

China approves sweeping plan to clean up online finance industry: sources

(5 days ago)
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's government has approved a sweeping plan to clean up the country's online financial sector, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter, including rules to limit the activities of P2P lending firms, the source of recent fraud scandals.

Google Appeals French Order For Global 'Right To Be Forgotten'

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Alphabet Inc's Google appealed on Thursday an order from the French data protection authority to remove certain web search results globally in response to a European privacy ruling, escalating a fight on the extra-territorial reach of EU law. In May 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that people could ask search engines, such as Google and Microsoft's Bing, to remove inadequate or irrelevant information from web results appearing under searches for people's names -- dubbed the "right to be forgotten." Google complied, but it only scrubbed results across its European websites such as Google.de in Germany and Google.fr in France, arguing that to do otherwise would set a dangerous precedent on the territorial reach of national laws. The French regulator, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), fined Google 100,000 euros ($112,150.00) in March for not delisting more widely, arguing that was the only way to uphold Europeans' right to privacy. The company filed its appeal of the CNIL's order with France's supreme administrative court, the Council of State. "One nation does not make laws for another," said Dave Price, senior product counsel, Google. "Data protection law, in France and around Europe, is explicitly territorial, that is limited to the territory of the country whose law is being applied." Google's Transparency Report indicates the company accepts around 40 percent of requests for[..]

Special Report: Cyber thieves exploit banks' faith in SWIFT transfer network

(6 days ago)
LONDON/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Shortly after 7 p.m. on January 12, 2015, a message from a secure computer terminal at Banco del Austro (BDA) in Ecuador instructed San Francisco-based Wells Fargo to transfer money to bank accounts in Hong Kong.

Alphabet CEO Larry Page defended Android's use of Java APIs on the stand, saying they were "free and open" (Joe Mullin/Ars Technica)

(6 days ago)
Joe Mullin / Ars Technica:Alphabet CEO Larry Page defended Android's use of Java APIs on the stand, saying they were “free and open”  —  “It was established industry practice,” says Page, as Oracle v. Google nears end.  —  SAN FRANCISCO—Alphabet CEO Larry Page testified in federal court this morning …

Exclusive: Suppliers question Tesla's goals for Model 3 output

(6 days ago)
DETROIT/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc has surprised parts makers with plans to move up the launch of high-volume production of its Model 3 to 2018, two years earlier than planned - an acceleration that supplier executives and industry consultants said would be difficult to achieve and potentially costly.

Apple's new SF flagship store introduces suite of changes that will come to future flagship stores including remodelling of "Genius Bar" as "Genius Grove" (Nick Statt/The Verge)

(6 days ago)
Nick Statt / The Verge:Apple's new SF flagship store introduces suite of changes that will come to future flagship stores including remodelling of “Genius Bar” as “Genius Grove”  —  In downtown San Francisco, situated across the street from the city's iconic Union Square Park …

Samsung and Alibaba announce that Samsung Pay will work with Alipay (Wall Street Journal)

(6 days ago)
Wall Street Journal:Samsung and Alibaba announce that Samsung Pay will work with Alipay  —  South Korean smartphone giant is desperate to revive its position in the Chinese market  —  Samsung Electronics Co. agreed with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s financial-services affiliate to cooperate on mobile payments …

ARM buys computer vision specialist Apical for $350M to bolster its IoT initiative (Lauren Fedor/Financial Times)

(6 days ago)
Lauren Fedor / Financial Times:ARM buys computer vision specialist Apical for $350M to bolster its IoT initiative  —  UK chip designer Arm Holdings has bought imaging specialist Apical as the tech company shifts its focus away from smartphones and steps up its investments in new markets.

Sources: Verizon and others are expected to bid $2B to $3B for Yahoo's core business, less than $4B to $8B figure reported earlier (Wall Street Journal)

(6 days ago)
Wall Street Journal:Sources: Verizon and others are expected to bid $2B to $3B for Yahoo's core business, less than $4B to $8B figure reported earlier  —  Most of previous bids for core business came in the range of $4 billion and $8 billion; bids are due first week of June  —  Verizon Communications Inc …

Why Don't Scientists Kill The 'Demon In The Freezer'?

(6 days ago)
HughPickens.com writes: Smallpox was one of the most devastating diseases humanity has ever faced, killing more than 300 million people in the 20th century alone. But thanks to the most successful global vaccination campaign in history, the disease was completely eradicated by 1980. By surrounding the last places on earth where smallpox was still occurring -- small villages in Asia and Africa -- and inoculating everyone in a wide circle around them, D. A. Henderson and the World Health Organization were able to starve the virus of hosts. Smallpox is highly contagious, but it is not spread by insects or animals. When it is gone from the human population, it is gone for good. But Errol Moris writes in the NYT that Henderson didn't really eliminate smallpox. In a handful of laboratories around the world, there are still stocks of smallpox, tucked away in one freezer or another. In 2014 the CDC announced that vials containing the deadly virus had been discovered in a cardboard box in a refrigerator located on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. How can you say it's eliminated when it's still out there, somewhere? The demon in the freezer. Some scientists say that these residual stocks of smallpox should not be destroyed because some ruthless super-criminal or rogue government might be working on a new smallpox, even more virulent than existing strains of the virus. We may need existing stocks to produce new vaccines to counteract the new[..]

US Bans Electronic Cigarettes From Checked Baggage Over Fire Risks

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this month, the FDA announced it would regulate electronic cigarettes and other new tobacco products. Now, the U.S. Transportation Department announced it is permanently banning passengers and crew members from carrying electronic cigarettes in checked baggage or charging the devices onboard aircraft. They have cited a number of recent incidents that show the devices can catch fire during flight. Passengers can still carry e-cigarettes in their carry-on baggage or on their person, they just can't use the devices on flights. "Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent and important safety measure." The new rule covers e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, and battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices in general. It does not prohibit passengers from transporting other battery-powered devices for personal use like laptop computers or cellphones. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Is A Serial Tracker

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Two Princeton academics conducted a massive research into how websites track users using various techniques. The results of the study, which they claim to be the biggest to date, shows that Google, through multiple domains, is tracking users on around 80 percent of all Top 1 Million domains. Researchers say that Google-owned domains account for the top 5 most popular trackers and 12 of the top 20 tracker domains. Additionally, besides tracking scripts, HTML5 canvas fingerprinting and WebRTC local IP discover, researchers discovered a new user fingerprinting technique that uses the AudioContext API. Third-party trackers use it to send low-frequency sounds to a user's PC and measure how the PC processes the data, creating an unique fingerprint based on the user's hardware and software capabilities. A demo page for this technique is available. Of course, this sort of thing is nothing new and occurs all across the web and beyond. MIT and Oxford published a study this week that revealed that Twitter location tags on only a few tweets can reveal details about the account's owner, such as his/her real world address, hobbies and medical history. Another recently released study by Stanford shows that phone call metadata can also be used to infer personal details about a phone owner.[..]

Google self-drive CEO: No plans to expand Fiat Chrysler partnership

(6 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Google has no plans to expand its partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV to create a self-driving car, the program chief at the Alphabet Inc unit said on Thursday, affirming that the technology company was still in talks with other potential partners.

California court certifies lawsuit against Facebook over private message scanning as a class action, but rules out any monetary damages (Russell Brandom/The Verge)

(6 days ago)
Russell Brandom / The Verge:California court certifies lawsuit against Facebook over private message scanning as a class action, but rules out any monetary damages  —  Facebook may have violated federal privacy laws by scanning private messages, according to a lawsuit certified for class action yesterday in Northern California District Court.

There Were Mega-Tsunamis On Mars

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Mechanics: Today, a team of scientists has announced the first discovery of extraterrestrial tsunamis. A team of astronomers and geologists led by J. Alexis Rodriguez at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona has uncovered evidence of massive tsunamis on Mars billions of years ago. As Rodriguez reports, two separate mega-tsunamis tore across the red planet around 3.4 billion years ago, a time when Mars was a mere 1.1 billion years old and nearby Earth was just cradling its first microbial lifeforms. The two tsunamis created 150-foot-high shore-break waves on average, and some absolutely monster waves up to 400 feet tall. Rodriguez and his colleagues outline their tsunami findings today in the journal Scientific Reports. From the report: "Rodriquez and his colleagues stumbled across evidence of these tsunamis while scouring over images of Mars' relatively flat northern planes. Two regions called Chryse Planitia and Arabia Terra. Using detailed infrared maps rendered by the thermal camera on the 15-year-old Mars Odyssey orbiter, the scientists identified the high water marks of the tsunamis -- features that look a lot like ancient ocean coastlines." Within the last year alone, scientists have spotted the signs of flowing water on Mars, recently discovering how water flows on the red planet. NASA has detected atomic oxygen in the atmosphere of the planet, too.[..]

Superjet Technology Nears Reality After Successful Australia Test

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Yahoo: A two-hour flight from Sydney to London is a step closer to reality after the latest successful test Wednesday of hypersonic technology in the Australian desert. A joint US-Australian military research team is running a series of 10 trials at the world's largest land testing range, Woomera in South Australia, and at Norway's Andoya Rocket Range. Hypersonic flight involves traveling at more than five times the speed of sound (Mach 5). Scientists involved in the program -- called Hypersonic International Flight Research Experimentation (HIFiRE) -- are developing an engine that can fly at Mach 7, Michael Smart of the University of Queensland told AFP. He added that the scramjet was a supersonic combustion engine that uses oxygen from the atmosphere for fuel, making it lighter and faster than fuel-carrying rockets. The experimental rocket in the trial on Wednesday reached an altitude of 278 kilometers and a target speed of Mach 7.5, Australia's defense department said. The first test of the rocket was conducted in 2009. The next test is scheduled for 2017 with the project expected to be completed in 2018. It's only a matter of time before such high-speed transportation technology is implemented into our infrastructure. Last week, Hyperloop One conducted a successful test of its high speed transportation technology in the desert outside Las Vegas.[..]

SoftBank Opens Pepper Robot to Android in Bid to Broaden Appeal (Bloomberg)

(6 days ago)
Bloomberg:SoftBank Opens Pepper Robot to Android in Bid to Broaden Appeal  —  Pepper will run applications from Google's Android platform  —  Masayoshi Son sought to position Pepper as an app platform  —  SoftBank Group Corp. is opening its Pepper robot to Android apps.

Apple unveils new store design in San Francisco

(6 days ago)
(Reuters) - Apple Inc unveiled a new vision for its hugely successful retail stores on Thursday, aiming to give shoppers the experience of setting foot in the headquarters of the company credited with inventing the smartphone.

Google Patents Self-Driving Car That Glues Pedestrians To The Hood In A Crash

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: Google just got a patent for a special kind of coating on self-driving cars that could help prevent pedestrian injuries. The company wants to coat autonomous vehicles with a sticky substance so that if they hit a pedestrian, the person would be glued to the car instead of flying off. "[The pedestrian] is not thrown from the vehicle, thereby preventing a secondary impact between the pedestrian and the road surface or other object," says the patent, granted on Tuesday. Google explains that an "adhesive layer" would be placed on the hood, front bumper and front side panels of a car. A thin coating would protect it until an impact occurred. Google is paying Arizona residents $20 per hour to test its self-driving vehicles. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Now you can embed Reddit posts on other websites (Anthony Ha/TechCrunch)

(6 days ago)
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:Now you can embed Reddit posts on other websites  —  Reddit posts are going to get the chance to live beyond Reddit itself, thanks to new embedding capabilities.  —  If you're an online writer or publisher, that means you can start including live Reddit content in your stories.

TeslaCrypt Ransomware Maker Shuts Down, Releases Master Key

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader writes: The TeslaCrypt ransomware makers have officially closed down shop and apologized for all the damage they have caused in the past. TeslaCrypt upset a lot of gamers as it would locate and encrypt video games on your Windows PC. With the recent decision to shut down, anti-ransomware researchers have been able to create a fool-proof decryption app called TeslaDecoder (Link is a direct download). Now, many of the hard drives rendered useless by the malware are available to use, and almost every file can be accessed using the unlock system. "TeslaCrypt's website was on the Tor network and now consists of a master key and an apology," writes TechCrunch. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase said it will add Ethereum's ether to its trading platform on Tuesday (Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss/Reuters)

(6 days ago)
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss / Reuters:Bitcoin exchange Coinbase said it will add Ethereum's ether to its trading platform on Tuesday  —  Bitcoin exchange Coinbase said late Thursday it will add digital currency ether on its trading platform next Tuesday.  —  With the launch of ether trading next week, Coinbase is also changing …

Product Hunt launches a shop to let makers sell their products right on the site (Sarah Buhr/TechCrunch)

(6 days ago)
Sarah Buhr / TechCrunch:Product Hunt launches a shop to let makers sell their products right on the site  —  Product Hunt, the popular aggregation site for apps, gadgets, and other products, has figured out a path to revenue for the relatively new platform - let product makers sell their wares right on the site and take a cut.

Google Chrome To Disallow Backspace As a 'Back' Button

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Google Chrome is going to stop people from accidentally deleting everything they've been doing. A future version of the app will stop the backspace button from also functioning as a "back" button. The change has already been rolled out in some experimental versions of the app, and has upset some users. Developers have said that the feature is only being partly enabled for now, in case there is "sufficient outcry" and it needs to be rolled back. People regularly press the button thinking that they're deleting a word from a form, developers said, but then find that they weren't actually typing into that form and so accidentally go back, losing everything they've done. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Pew report: 72% of US adults have used a shared or on-demand service, 15% have used a ride-hailing app (Aaron Smith/Pew Internet)

(6 days ago)
Aaron Smith / Pew Internet:Pew report: 72% of US adults have used a shared or on-demand service, 15% have used a ride-hailing app  —  The sharing economy and on-demand services are weaving their way into the lives of (some) Americans, raising difficult issues around jobs, regulation and the potential emergence of a new digital divide

Humanoid 'Pepper' Robot Needs US Android Programmers

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from USA Today: Japan-based SoftBank Robotics announced Wednesday at Google I/O, the company's annual developer's conference, that it is opening a new Pepper-focused outpost in San Francisco and unveiling an Android SDK, or software development kit, in the hopes of enticing programmers to write code for the robot. Asked if SoftBank will roll out at SDK for iOS developers, Carlin says he wouldn't rule anything out but "for the moment Android is the pervasive language." Pepper is a white hard-plastic robot with humanoid features such as large eyes and arms as well as a display screen for a chest. The robot is said to be able to read human emotions by processing visual and vocal inputs through its various microphones and cameras. Its purpose is to be "much more than a robot, he is a genuine humanoid companion created to communicate with you in the most natural and intuitive way," according to the company's website. Pepper already has been deployed commercially in Japan, where it is used to greet customers at 140 SoftBank Mobile stores as well as help take orders at fast food eateries and discuss car model details at dealerships. Carlin says programmers working on Pepper-related tech will get access to "a best in class developer portal" that includes a developer forum, links to robotics workshops, access to SoftBank's engineering team and scientific details about Pepper. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) at[..]

Larry Page spars with Oracle attorney at Android trial

(6 days ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google did not pay to use Oracle's software in millions of smartphones, but the company believed that the intellectual property was free for anyone to use, Larry Page, chief executive of Google's parent company, told jurors in court on Thursday.

Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz argues Google split the Java community in two, cost Oracle hundreds of millions of dollars (Kate Conger/TechCrunch)

(6 days ago)
Kate Conger / TechCrunch:Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz argues Google split the Java community in two, cost Oracle hundreds of millions of dollars  —  Oracle and Google are back in the courtroom again — the same court they started in back in 2010, when Oracle first sued Google over the company's use of 37 Java APIs in its Android operating system.

The Average Age For a Child Getting Their First Smartphone Is Now 10.3 Years

(6 days ago)
An anonymous reader writes: A TechCrunch article, citing a report on Influence Central, states that the average age for a child getting their smartphone is now 10.3 years. The report adds that 64% of kids have access to the Internet via their own laptop or tablet, compared to just 42% in 2012. Also, 39% of kids get a social media account at 11.4 years, and 11% get a social media account when they were younger than 10. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

IDC analyst says Chromebooks outsold Macs for the first time in the US in the latest quarter (Tom Warren/The Verge)

(6 days ago)
Tom Warren / The Verge:IDC analyst says Chromebooks outsold Macs for the first time in the US in the latest quarter  —  Google's low-cost Chromebooks outsold Apple's range of Macs for the first time in the US recently.  While IDC doesn't typically break out Windows vs. Chromebook sales, IDC analyst Linn Huang confirmed the milestone to The Verge.

Men Are Sabotaging The Online Reviews Of TV Shows Aimed At Women

(6 days ago)
FiveThirtyEight has an interesting article today which accuses men of sabotaging the online reviews of TV shows aimed at women. The publication cites an example of "Sex and the City", a show which apparently won plenty of awards and ran for many years on TV, getting hammered by males on IMDb. Compared to women, who amounted to 60% of the people who rated the show with an average of 8.1, men gave it a 5.8 rating. It's not an isolated case, FiveThirtyEight says, citing several other instances where the male audience has downvoted shows aimed at women audience. From the article: The shows with the largest proportion of male raters are mostly sports, video game web series, science fiction and cartoons. The programs with the highest proportion of female voters are -- at least the American ones -- mostly from The CW and Freeform, the new name of the network previously called ABC Family. This list is pretty hilarious. Beyond the top 25, shown in the table above, male-dominated shows of note include: "Blue Mountain State" (92 percent male), "Batman: Beyond" (91 percent), "Batman: The Animated Series" (90 percent), "The Shield" (90 percent), "Ballers" (90 percent), "Justice League" (90 percent), and "The League" (88 percent). "Star Trek: Enterprise" is the most male-heavy of the various official live-action Trek enterprises, while "Battlestar Galactica" still managed to grab 15 percent of its ratings from women, which is somewhat shocking. For women, other skewed programming includes[..]

Google Play Store and Over a Million Android Apps Coming To Chromebooks

(6 days ago)
It's official: the Google Play Store is coming to Chrome OS. The company announced on Thursday that it is bringing more than 1.5 million Android apps to Chromebooks. Google adds that zero efforts are required from developers' end for their Android apps to function on Chrome OS. Users will also be able to see notifications and have in-line replies on the desktop. Users on developer channel builds of Chrome OS will get an option to use Google Play and Android apps starting early next month. Regular users on select Chromebook models will have this feature in September. Ars Technica has tons of more details about it. The Verge says Android apps are just what Chromebooks needed. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Unreal Engine adds full Google Daydream VR support, native Unity support coming this summer (Lucas Matney/TechCrunch)

(6 days ago)
Lucas Matney / TechCrunch:Unreal Engine adds full Google Daydream VR support, native Unity support coming this summer  —  VR developers looking to get started on readying content for Google's new Daydream VR platform can get started today thanks to an Unreal Engine preview version (4.1.2) that adds support for the Google platform.

Google will compete with its partners and sell its own Daydream virtual reality headsets (Ina Fried/Recode)

(6 days ago)
Ina Fried / Recode:Google will compete with its partners and sell its own Daydream virtual reality headsets  —  Think Nexus, but for VR.  —  While focusing yesterday on its new virtual reality headset as a design that will be licensed to partners, Google also plans to sell a version of Daydream itself.
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