Technology News

Judges ruling on secret telecoms cases found to own Verizon stock

(2 days ago)
It looks as if the judges who operate the gateway between the NSA and the cable companies may not be as impartial as their job description requires them to. An investigation by Vice has revealed that several judges who sit on the Foreign Intelligence...

Proliferation of new online communications services poses hurdles for law enforcement (Ellen Nakashima/Washington Post)

(2 days ago)
Ellen Nakashima / Washington Post:Proliferation of new online communications services poses hurdles for law enforcement  —  Federal law enforcement and intelligence authorities say they are increasingly struggling to conduct court-ordered wiretaps on suspects because of a surge in chat services, instant messaging …

Can Data Analytics Make Teachers Better Educators?

(2 days ago)
"We're all data analysts now," has become a common refrain in the data analytics world as organizations increasingly rely on data to provide 360 degree views of their businesses and customers and to aid their decision-making. In many ways, this has been true all along -- employees have always had to make decisions based on the information at their disposal, often incomplete, analog or anecdotal in nature.

Build Your Own Gatling Rubber Band Machine Gun

(2 days ago)
New submitter melarky (3767369) writes This is a fun weekend project that most nerds will appreciate. Step by step instructions and also a handy video will make the construction of this project fast and easy. I have seen lots of plans for sale (or actual guns/kits for sale), but couldn't seem to find any plans for free. I played around with a few different designs (even cut my first few on a homemade CNC machine) and finally landed on this design. I made the guide more accessible to the general public (no need for a CNC machine here), so if you've ever dreamed of ending friendships because of hundreds of rubber band welts, now's your chance! We'd like to see your home-made projects, too. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chinese Officials Visit Microsoft Offices

(2 days ago)
Chinese government officials made sudden visits to Microsoft offices in China, but the company declined to give any reason for the inspections.

Healthcare Industry Enters Meaningful Use Waiting Game

(2 days ago)
After a flurry of activity, there hasn't been much recent news from Washington about the future of the meaningful use incentive program. That has left the healthcare industry to play the waiting game. Few are happy about it.

How Aryaka's global private network speeds access to Internet apps

(2 days ago)
If you are trying to improve global access to your applications, you have probably considered one of several solutions: stringing together your own private network, purchasing WAN optimization appliances, or using a managed cloud-based service provider. Figuring out the benefits of each solution isn't easy and it is hard to test for variations in Internet connectivity, specific applications and other conditions.

Top CIOs Keep Their Attention on Staff Retention

(2 days ago)
Three CIOs discuss their strategies for keeping top tech on staff by focusing on opportunity, mobility and purpose.

World's Largest Amphibious Aircraft Goes Into Production In China

(2 days ago)
stephendavion (2872091) writes "Chinese aircraft manufacturer China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA) has started trial production of its TA600 amphibious aircraft, claimed to be the world's largest of its kind. With an expected maiden flight late next year, the Chinese plane would replace Japan's ShinMaywa US-2 short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft as the largest of its kind globally." Take a look at a side profile illustration of the CA-600, on this Korean language page. The TA600 has a huge maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons, but looks a bit puny compared to Howard Hughes' H-4 Hercules. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The battle for virtual reality: Google, Samsung, Sony and Oculus VR (Ben Gilbert/Engadget)

(2 days ago)
Ben Gilbert / Engadget:The battle for virtual reality: Google, Samsung, Sony and Oculus VR  —  Back in June, Google revealed Cardboard: an open-source attempt at mobile virtual reality.  Heck, even the “hardware” is open source —here are instructions to make your own, right now!  —  But the concept is more than a low-tech solution to mobile VR.

Hacker McKinnon turns search expert

(2 days ago)
Gary McKinnon, the computer hacker who was the subject of a 10-year legal battle over US extradition, reinvents himself as a search expert.

Chinese users tire of older social networking sites

(2 days ago)
Social networking sites in China that are modeled on Facebook are having a hard time holding on to users, with customers like Beijing resident Shi Yunfeng, drifting away to newer services.

Zillow to Acquire Trulia for $3.5 Billion (Michael J. de la Merced/New York Times)

(2 days ago)
Michael J. de la Merced / New York Times:Zillow to Acquire Trulia for $3.5 Billion  —  For much of the last nine years, Zillow and Trulia have competed in the online real estate listings market they helped create.  —  But after a speedy six-week courtship, the two are set to combine forces.  —  Zillow agreed on Monday to buy Trulia …

Zillow To Acquire Trulia In $3.5B Stock-For-Stock Deal (Darrell Etherington/TechCrunch)

(2 days ago)
Darrell Etherington / TechCrunch:Zillow To Acquire Trulia In $3.5B Stock-For-Stock Deal  —  Zillow is going to acquire Trulia in a deal worth $3.5 billion in stock, according to the company.  The combination of these two real estate tech companies should secure Zillow's position as a market leader in the U.S. …

The Oculus Rift DK2: In-Depth Review (and Comparison To DK1)

(2 days ago)
Benz145 (1869518) writes "The hotly anticipated Oculus Rift DK2 has begun arriving at doorsteps. The DK2s enhancements include optical positional tracking and a higher resolution panel, up from 1280×800 to 1920×1080 (1080p) and moved to a pentile-matrix OLED panel for display duties. This means higher levels of resolvable detail and a much reduced screen door effect. The panel features low persistence of vision, a technology pioneered by Valve that aims to cut motion artefacts by only displaying the latest, most correct display information relative to the user's movements – as users of the DK1 will attest, its LCD panel was heavily prone to smearing, things are now much improved with the DK2." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook Post Triggers Deadly 'Mob Violence'

(2 days ago)
"They took the law into their own hands," a Pakistani police chief told NBC News. "What followed was unabated mob violence."

Europe approves Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats (Steve Dent/Engadget)

(2 days ago)
Steve Dent / Engadget:Europe approves Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats  —  Apple is official a step closer to owning Beats, as the $3 billion merger has just been cleared by European regulators.  The EU commission ruled that the merger “did not raise concerns because the combined (headphone) market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low.”

Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

(2 days ago)
The recent death by overdose of Google executive Timothy Hayes has drawn attention to the phenomenon of illegal drug use (including abuse of prescription painkillers) among technology workers and executives in high-pay, high-stress Silicon Valley. The Mercury News takes a look at the phenomenon; do the descriptions of freely passed cocaine, Red Bull as a gateway drug, and complacent managers match your own workplace experiences? From the Mercury News article: "There's this workaholism in the valley, where the ability to work on crash projects at tremendous rates of speed is almost a badge of honor," says Steve Albrecht, a San Diego consultant who teaches substance abuse awareness for Bay Area employers. "These workers stay up for days and days, and many of them gradually get into meth and coke to keep going. Red Bull and coffee only gets them so far." ... Drug abuse in the tech industry is growing against the backdrop of a national surge in heroin and prescription pain-pill abuse. Treatment specialists say the over-prescribing of painkillers, like the opioid hydrocodone, has spawned a new crop of addicts -- working professionals with college degrees, a description that fits many of the thousands of workers in corporate Silicon Valley. Increasingly, experts see painkillers as the gateway drug for addicts, and they are in abundance. "There are 1.4 million prescriptions ... in the Bay Area for hydrocodone," says Alice Gleghorn with the San Francisco Department of Public Health.[..]

Here's a book about people tweeting about writing their novels

(2 days ago)
Sorry guys, I can't tweet this picture of a cat wearing a party hat right now, because I'm #amwriting. I'm in a coffee shop, you see, with my laptop and notebook proudly displayed so that anyone who walks past will know that I'm #amwriting a novel....

Russia offers $110,000 Tor bounty

(2 days ago)
Russia offers 3.9m roubles ($110,000; £65,000) in a contest for ways to crack the identities of users of the Tor network.

Ultrapak external battery packs can grab a full charge for a standard smartphone in 15 minutes (Farhad Manjoo/New York Times)

(2 days ago)
Farhad Manjoo / New York Times:Ultrapak external battery packs can grab a full charge for a standard smartphone in 15 minutes  —  How to Charge Your Phone in 15 Minutes  —  Say you've got 15 minutes in an airport between flights and your phone is nearly dead.  What do you do?  —  In the past, you had two choices.

Europe approves Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats

(2 days ago)
Apple is officially a step closer to owning Beats, as the $3 billion merger has just been cleared in Europe. The EU commission ruled that the merger "did not raise concerns because the combined (headphone) market share of Apple and Beats Electronics...

Layoffs cool Microsoft employees' opinion of CEO Satya Nadella

(2 days ago)
The percentage of Microsoft current and former employees who approve of CEO Satya Nadella has dropped since the company announced layoffs.

Non-IBM Power8 servers, chips to appear early next year

(2 days ago)
The story originally headlined "Non-IBM Power8 servers, chips to appear early next year," posted on the wire Thursday, has been corrected. The headline and first sentence have been changed, a new sentence has been added to the third paragraph and the quote in the sixth paragraph has been changed.

Non-IBM Power8 servers, chips to appear early next year

(2 days ago)
The story originally headlined "Non-IBM Power8 servers, chips to appear early next year," posted on the wire Thursday, has been corrected. The headline and first sentence have been changed, a new sentence has been added to the third paragraph and the quote in the sixth paragraph has been changed.

Non-IBM Power8 servers, chips to appear early next year

(2 days ago)
The story originally headlined "Non-IBM Power8 servers, chips to appear early next year," posted on the wire Thursday, has been corrected. The headline and first sentence have been changed, a new sentence has been added to the third paragraph and the quote in the sixth paragraph has been changed.

Criminals ride Google coattails in DDoS attacks

(2 days ago)
The easy access Google's web crawlers have to sites is increasingly being exploited by cybercriminals in launching distributed denial of service attacks, a security vendor says.

Bitcoin catches on in tech-savvy Romania

(2 days ago)
BUCHAREST (Reuters) - In a well-lit office with red window frames in downtown Bucharest, Romania's first bitcoin ATM attracts many who until it opened in May had to buy or sell the digital currency face-to-face or through wire transfers.

How Your Security System Could Be Hacked To Spy On You (Kashmir Hill/Forbes)

(3 days ago)
Kashmir Hill / Forbes:How Your Security System Could Be Hacked To Spy On You  —  On a recent Friday evening, Logan Lamb and his girlfriend turned up at a co-worker's birthday party in Knoxville, Tennessee with a 12-pack of cheap beer, 4 craft beers for the birthday boy, and some hacking tools, namely a software-defined radio …

Microsoft says government officials make sudden visit to China offices

(3 days ago)
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese government officials made sudden visits to Microsoft Corp's China offices, a Microsoft spokeswoman said on Monday, but declined to give a reason.

Hitchhiking Robot Makes Epic Trip Across Canada

(3 days ago)
Can a robot travel nearly 4,000 miles relying solely on the kindness of human strangers?

New photo app is all Selfies, all the time

(3 days ago)
We know what you're thinking, but a new app called Selfies is actually kind of fun, considering that it's a barely-promoted one-off from Automattic (the company responsible for WordPress). It told TechCrunch that Selfies was in development for eight...

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble head toys

(3 days ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and other items from third-party sellers using a new personalization option on its website.

Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

(3 days ago)
Forbes has an update on what sort of future Nokia faces, as Microsoft reveals a strategy for making sense of the acquisition: [Microsoft EVP of devices Stephen] Elop laid out a framework for cost cuts in a memo to employees on July 17. Devices would focus on high and low cost Windows smartphones, suggesting a phasing out of feature phones and Android smartphones. Two business units, smart devices and mobile phones, would become one, thereby cutting overlap and overhead. Microsoft would reduce engineering in Beijing and San Diego and unwind engineering in Oulu, Finland. It would exit manufacturing in Komarom, Hungary; shift to lower cost areas like Manaus, Brazil and Reynosa, Mexico; and reduce manufacturing in Beijing and Dongguan, China. Also, CEO Stya Nadella gave hints about how Microsoft will make money on Nokia during Tuesday' conference call. Devices, he said, "go beyond" hardware and are about productivity. "I can take my Office Lens App, use the camera on the phone, take a picture of anything, and have it automatically OCR recognized and into OneNote in searchable fashion. There is a lot we can do with phones by broadly thinking about productivity." In other words, the sale of a smartphone is a means to other sales. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble head toys

(3 days ago)
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and other items from third-party sellers using a new personalization option on its website.

London will be a 5G city by 2020, promises Boris

(3 days ago)
As London becomes the bright shining center of the European tech scene, it's only natural that the city would like to maintain its place at the top of the pile. That's why mayor Boris Johnson is pledging that London will roll out a 5G network across...

European Startups Raise Highest Quarterly VC Financing Since 2001 (Lisa Fleisher/Wall Street Journal)

(3 days ago)
Lisa Fleisher / Wall Street Journal:European Startups Raise Highest Quarterly VC Financing Since 2001  —  LONDON—European startups have had a bumper few months, raising €2.1 billion (more than $2.8 billion) from venture-capital investors in the second quarter of 2014, the highest quarterly total since 2001, according to data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

Apple to Buy Radio App Swell for $30 Million (Liz Gannes/Re/code)

(3 days ago)
Liz Gannes / Re/code:Apple to Buy Radio App Swell for $30 Million  —  Apple is close to buying the Pandora-for-talk-radio app Swell, according to multiple sources.  —  The deal is worth about $30 million, these sources say.  —  Swell had raised $7.2 million from investors including DFJ, Google Ventures and InterWest Partners.

This floating 3D video shows 'Star Wars' holograms are closer than we think

(3 days ago)
Thanks to Prince Leia's famous Star Wars plea, true holograms rank just behind flying cars as tech we want, nay deserve to have in our lifetimes -- and Tupac-style flimflam won't cut it. Now, an exhibition from artists Chris Helson and Sarah Jackets...

How Bird Flocks Resemble Liquid Helium

(3 days ago)
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A flock of starlings flies as one, a spectacular display in which each bird flits about as if in a well-choreographed dance. Everyone seems to know exactly when and where to turn. Now, for the first time, researchers have measured how that knowledge moves through the flock—a behavior that mirrors certain quantum phenomena of liquid helium. Some of the more interesting findings: Tracking data showed that the message for a flock to turn started from a handful of birds and swept through the flock at a constant speed between 20 and 40 meters per second. That means that for a group of 400 birds, it takes just a little more than a half-second for the whole flock to turn." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Korean baseball team recruits robots as stand-ins for fans

(3 days ago)
In South Korea, the Hanwha Eagles baseball team has gained a bunch of new fans that'll never abandon them even if they lose every game they play. After all, these new die-hard supporters are robots -- stomping, chanting, Mexican waving faceless...

A history of the undersea cables that carry much of the world's international internet traffic (Builtvisible)

(3 days ago)
Builtvisible:A history of the undersea cables that carry much of the world's international internet traffic  —  Messages in the Deep - The Remarkable Story of the Underwater Internet  —  In October of 1971, in the midst of the Cold War, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Halibut entered heavily guarded Russian waters in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code

(3 days ago)
First time accepted submitter Brett W (3715683) writes "The security researchers that first published the 'Heartbleed' vulnerabilities in OpenSSL have spent the last few months auditing the Top 50 downloaded Android apps for vulnerabilities and have found issues with at least half of them. Many send user data to ad networks without consent, potentially without the publisher or even the app developer being aware of it. Quite a few also send private data across the network in plain text. The full study is due out later this week." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How well do Uber drivers rate you?

(3 days ago)
Uber's car service lets you rate your drivers, but it also lets them rate you. The customer might always be right, but some customers are simply jerks -- and the system lets drivers know what they might be in for. Until now, there's been no way to...

Watson's first consumer-facing use: advising military members on transition to civilian life (Darryl K. Taft/eWeek)

(3 days ago)
Darryl K. Taft / eWeek:Watson's first consumer-facing use: advising military members on transition to civilian life  —  USAA Taps IBM's Watson as Military Veterans Advisor  —  For the first consumer-facing application of IBM's Watson cognitive computing technology, USAA, the insurance and financial services firm …

Reddit, still unprofitable, looks to grow ad revenues without alienating users (Mike Isaac/New York Times)

(3 days ago)
Mike Isaac / New York Times:Reddit, still unprofitable, looks to grow ad revenues without alienating users  —  Can Reddit Grow Up?  —  Since its founding nine years ago, Reddit has stuck to its own weird guns.  —  The site, where users find, share and talk about web links and photos, has been faithful to an antiquated design …
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