Technology News

Iliad founder ready to pour 1.4 billion euros into the telecom firm

(8 hours ago)
French billionaire Xavier Niel said on Tuesday he was ready to pour 1.4 billion euros into Iliad to show his commitment to the telecoms group he founded and majority owns, despite several tough quarters and a share price plunge.

Vodafone's future in India in doubt after latest setback

(9 hours ago)
Vodafone said its future in India could be in doubt unless the government stopped hitting operators with higher taxes and charges, after a court judgment over license fees resulted in a 1.9 billion euro group loss in its first half.

Study Reveals How Two Strains of One Bacterium Combine To Cause Flesh-Eating Infection

(9 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A new study by a team of scientists that included researchers from the University of Maryland and the University of Texas Medical Branch used genetic analysis to reveal how two different strains of a single species of flesh-eating bacteria worked in concert to become more dangerous than either one strain alone. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on November 11, 2019. [...] The original infection -- cultured from a patient who developed the severe flesh-eating disease known as necrotizing fasciitis -- was diagnosed as a monomicrobial disease. Traditional diagnostics could only determine that the infection was caused by a single species of bacteria called Aeromonas hydrophila. But the disease baffled clinicians when it rapidly turned deadly, requiring a quadruple amputation to save the patient's life. Through genetic analysis of the culture, Rita Colwell, a Distinguished University Professor in the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and a co-author of the study, and her team discovered important differences among the individual bacterial cultures that could not be detected through standard diagnostic methods. In two previous papers, Colwell and her colleagues isolated and identified two genetically distinct strains of the bacteria that caused the infection. They labeled those strains necrotizing fasciitis 1 (NF1) and necrotizing fasciitis 2 (NF2). In[..]

UK reaches 10% full-fibre milestone

(9 hours ago)
The technology lets people browse the web at connection speeds of hundreds of megabits per second.

Instagram is trialling removing likes on some US posts

(9 hours ago)
The social media platform is removing visible 'likes' for some users, after trials in seven countries.

The 'indestructible' robots which do backflips

(9 hours ago)
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a video of nine four-legged robots hopping around the campus.

The fake video where Johnson and Corbyn appear to endorse each other

(10 hours ago)
A 'deepfake' video has been made where the PM and Labour leader endorse one another in the election.

In streaming wars, Disney reaches beyond kids and families

(10 hours ago)
During commercial breaks in a broadcast of World Wrestling Entertainment's WWE SmackDown, fans were shown ads for Walt Disney Co's new streaming service, Disney+. So were "Monday Night Football" viewers and video gamers watching Twitch.

Vodafone ups earnings guidance after it returns to growth in second quarter

(11 hours ago)
Vodafone , the world's second largest mobile operator, increased its full-year earnings guidance, reflecting improving organic growth trends as difficult markets in Spain and Italy start to ease and it integrates its German cable acquisition.

L'Oreal, Nestle score big at Alibaba's Singles' Day shopping fest

(11 hours ago)
Chinese shoppers snapped up food supplements, facial masks and baby milk powder at the world's largest shopping festival, with brands such as L'Oreal and Nestle among the biggest winners, Alibaba data showed.

Honda Works On Second EV, Quits Diesel, and Puts Hydrogen On Hold

(12 hours ago)
Socguy writes: In late October, at Honda's "Electric Vision" event in Amsterdam, the company said it was "electrifying" its entire product line, which mostly means hybrids. "We will bring further battery-electric products to the market," they said. At the same time it would seem, diesel and hydrogen are on the way out. Katsushi Inoue, Honda Europe's president, said: "Maybe hydrogen fuel cell cars will come, but that's a technology for the next era. Our focus is on hybrid and electric vehicles now." Diesel is also on the way out as in September, Honda said it would phase out all diesel cars by 2021. In addition to the all-electric Honda E, which is launching in Europe next year, the company will introduce a second EV that's expected to be revealed by 2022.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

China orders ByteDance's Toutiao to fix search, saying national hero smeared

(13 hours ago)
China's internet regulator ordered ByteDance news app Jinri Toutiao to clean up its search engine, saying the search function threw up "slanderous" information on a late Communist Party military leader.

EPA To Limit Science Used To Write Public Health Rules

(15 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Trump administration is preparing to significantly limit the scientific and medical research that the government can use to determine public health regulations, overriding protests from scientists and physicians who say the new rule would undermine the scientific underpinnings of government policymaking. A new draft of the Environmental Protection Agency proposal, titled Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science, would require that scientists disclose all of their raw data, including confidential medical records, before the agency could consider an academic study's conclusions. E.P.A. officials called the plan a step toward transparency and said the disclosure of raw data would allow conclusions to be verified independently. The measure would make it more difficult to enact new clean air and water rules because many studies detailing the links between pollution and disease rely on personal health information gathered under confidentiality agreements. And, unlike a version of the proposal that surfaced in early 2018, this one could apply retroactively to public health regulations already in place. [...] [The draft] shows that the administration intends to widen its scope, not narrow it. The previous version of the regulation would have applied only to a certain type of research, "dose-response" studies in which levels of toxicity are studied in animals or humans. The new proposal would require access to[..]

Ransomware attack at Mexico's Pemex halts work, threatens to cripple computers

(17 hours ago)
A ransomware attack hit computer servers and halted administrative work on Monday at Mexican state oil firm Pemex, according to employees and internal emails, in hackers' latest bid to wring ransom from a major company.

Ransomware attack at Mexico's Pemex halts work, threatens to cripple computers

(17 hours ago)
A ransomware attack hit computer servers and halted administrative work on Monday at Mexican state oil firm Pemex, according to employees and internal emails, in hackers' latest bid to wring ransom from a major company.

Tesla Shows Off Chinese-Made Model 3s Ahead of Shanghai Factory Start

(17 hours ago)
Work on Tesla's Shanghai factory, dubbed Gigafactory 3, is just about finished, and the company is weeks away from beginning large-scale manufacturing. Ars Technica reports: According to Bloomberg, Tesla chairman Robyn Denholm said last week that Tesla is waiting for manufacturing certification from local government. The company hopes that will happen before the end of the year. Tesla recently posted images of some of the first Chinese-made Model 3s on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform similar to Twitter. Tesla allowed Chinese reporters to take additional photos of the vehicle. There are a couple of obvious differences from the American model. The back of the car has Chinese characters on the left and "Model 3" on the right. Like the cars Tesla is currently shipping to China, these new Model 3s also sport dual charging ports. One port is for the European Type 2 charging standard, while the other is for a Chinese charging standard. Tesla will initially use batteries from Panasonic in its Chinese-made cars, just as it does in the United States. Bloomberg recently reported that Tesla is negotiating a deal to start using batteries from Chinese battery maker CATL starting next year. Tesla is aiming to produce at least 1,000 vehicles per week at its Chinese factory before the end of the year. That could help Tesla achieve its overall goal to deliver at least 360,000 vehicles for the calendar year.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Vows To 'Honor' California's Sweeping Privacy Law Across Entire US

(18 hours ago)
Microsoft said on Monday that it would honor the "core rights" provided to Californians through the state's landmark data privacy law and expand that coverage across the entire United States. The Verge reports: In a Monday blog post, Julie Brill, Microsoft's chief privacy officer, said that the company will extend the main principles of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) across the U.S. just as it did with Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year. The law goes into effect in California on January 1st, 2020. CCPA, which was approved in June 2018, is one of the fiercest and most sweeping data privacy regulations in the U.S. It's somewhat similar to GDPR. Under CCPA, companies must disclose to users what personal data of theirs is being collected, whether it is sold and to whom, and allow users to opt out of any sales. Users must also have access to their data and be able to request that a company delete it. "Under CCPA, companies must be transparent about data collection and use, and provide people with the option to prevent their personal information from being sold," Brill wrote. "Exactly what will be required under CCPA to accomplish these goals is still developing." Brill continued, saying that Microsoft will closely monitor any changes to how the government asks companies to enforce the new transparency and control requirements under CCPA. "CCPA marks an important step toward providing people with more robust control over their data in the[..]

Alibaba's Singles' Day sales hit record $38 billion; growth slows

(18 hours ago)
Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's sales for its 24-hour Singles' Day shopping blitz hit a record $38.4 billion, more than U.S. rival Amazon.com Inc's haul last quarter from online store sales.

Alibaba's Singles' Day sales hit record $38 billion; growth slows

(18 hours ago)
Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's sales for its 24-hour Singles' Day shopping blitz hit a record $38.4 billion, more than U.S. rival Amazon.com Inc's haul last quarter from online store sales.

Lithium-Sulfur Battery Project Aims To Double the Range of Electric Airplanes

(18 hours ago)
Oxis Energy, of Abingdon, UK, says it has a battery based on lithium-sulfur chemistry that can greatly increase the ratio of watt-hours per kilogram, and do so in a product that's safe enough for use even in an electric airplane. Specifically, a plane built by Bye Aerospace, in Englewood, Colo., whose founder, George Bye, described the project in this 2017 article for IEEE Spectrum. From a report: The two companies said in a statement that they were beginning a one-year joint project to demonstrate feasibility. They said the Oxis battery would provide "in excess" of 500 Wh/kg, a number which appears to apply to the individual cells, rather than the battery pack, with all its packaging, power electronics, and other paraphernalia. That per-cell figure may be compared directly to the "record-breaking energy density of 260 watt-hours per kilogram" that Bye cited for the batteries his planes were using in 2017. This per-cell reduction will cut the total system weight in half, enough to extend flying range by 50 to 100 percent, at least in the small planes Bye Aerospace has specialized in so far. If lithium-sulfur wins the day, bigger planes may well follow. [...] One reason why lithium-sulfur batteries have been on the sidelines for so long is their short life, due to degradation of the cathode during the charge-discharge cycle. Oxis expects its batteries will be able to last for 500 such cycles within the next two years. That's about par for the course for today's lithium-ion[..]

European tech investor Balderton launches $400 million start-up fund

(19 hours ago)
European venture capital firm Balderton Capital is launching a $400 million fund to invest in technology start-ups, bringing its total funds under management to $3 billion, it said on Tuesday.

Canada's OpenText To Buy Cloud Security Firm Carbonite For $1.42 Billion

(19 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Enterprise information management (EIM) company OpenText is acquiring cloud data backup and protection service Carbonite in a deal worth $1.42 billion. Carbonite, which offers a number of data backup and protection services for consumers and businesses, had become the subject of significant takeover rumors over the past few months after its revenue dropped. CEO Mohamad Ali stepped down in July and was replaced on an interim basis by board chair Steve Munford. Carbonite's announcement was timed to coincide with its Q3 2019 financials, which revealed a net loss of $14 million, compared to a small net income of $600,000 during the same period last year. Founded in 1991, OpenText is among Canada's biggest software companies, specializing in helping enterprises manage all their content and unstructured data in the cloud or on-premises. The company has made a number of other notable acquisitions in the recent past, including Dell EMC's enterprise content division, which it bought for $1.6 billion in 2017, and file-sharing service Hightail, formerly YouSendIt, which it bought for an undisclosed amount last year. OpenText hasn't offered any specifics around how it will leverage Carbonite's technology post-acquisition. But the latter's focus on backing up and protecting data stored in the cloud makes it easy to imagine the two platforms complementing each other as a growing number of businesses migrate to the cloud. "Following[..]

Tencent Music's quarterly revenue beats on subscriber growth

(19 hours ago)
China's Tencent Music Entertainment Group reported better-than-expected third-quarter revenue on Monday, as the music streaming company added more paying users.

Google Reveals Stadia Launch Lineup of 12 Games

(20 hours ago)
As we approach the November 19th launch date of Stadia, Google has revealed there will be just 12 games available to start. ExtremeTech reports: Stadia is similar to GeForce Now and Microsoft's upcoming xCloud service. Instead of downloading a game or buying a physical copy, Stadia renders the games on a Google server and streams the video down to your devices. Companies have been trying to figure this out for almost a decade, ever since OnLive began offering cloud gaming services in 2010. Even if Stadia works perfectly, it won't matter if it lacks content. The initial launch lineup has a little of everything, but the emphasis is on little. Here's the list of games you'll be able to buy on November 19th: Assassin's Creed Odyssey; Destiny 2: The Collection; GYLT; Just Dance 2020; Kine; Mortal Kombat 11; Red Dead Redemption 2; Rise of the Tomb Raider; SAMURAI SHODOWN; Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition; Thumper; and Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition. Google has, of course, announced other games for Stadia. Anything previously announced like Darksiders Genesis and Borderlands 3 will come later. Google promises the latter will launch on Stadia in 2019 along with more titles like Rage 2, Grid, and Metro Exodus. Stadia launches on November 19th exclusively for players who ordered the Founder's Edition starter kit. That comes with three months of Stadia Pro ($10 per month after), a limited edition controller, a Chromecast Ultra, and a copy of Destiny 2. The base version of[..]

SpaceX Launches Another 60 Starlink Satellites, Sets Two Rocket Reuse Records

(20 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: SpaceX launched another 60 of its internet satellites on Monday morning from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in a mission that set two new company records for reusing its rockets. Starlink represents SpaceX's ambitious plant to create an interconnected network of as many as 30,000 satellites, to beam high-speed internet to consumers anywhere in the world. This was the second full launch of Starlink satellites, as SpaceX launched the first batch of 60 in May. The company sees Starlink as a key source of funding while SpaceX works toward its goal of flying humans to and from Mars. Monday's launch also represented the fourth mission for this SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket booster, which landed and was reused after three previous launches, making this the first time the company landed a rocket booster four times. The booster, the large bottom portion of the rocket, previously launched satellites and then landed successfully for missions in July 2018, October 2018 and February 2019. Additionally, SpaceX used a fairing (the rocket's nosecone) that the company fished out the Atlantic Ocean after a mission in April -- the first time a company has refurbished and used that part of a rocket again. The company has been working to catch the fairing halves in a net strung above the decks of two boats, using parachutes and onboard guidance systems to slowly fly the fairings back into the nets. SpaceX caught its first fairing half on a boat in June. "We[..]

WeWork In Talks To Hire T-Mobile CEO John Legere

(21 hours ago)
According to The Wall Street Journal, WeWork is in discussions with T-Mobile CEO John Legere to take over leadership of the troubled office-sharing startup (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source). From the report: WeWork's parent, formally known as We Co., is searching for a CEO who can stabilize the company following the erratic tenure of its co-founder Adam Neumann. After WeWork's failed attempt at an initial public offering, SoftBank Group Corp. bought a majority stake in the company last month in a bailout, severing most ties with Mr. Neumann. The startup is looking for a new leader who could join as soon as January, some of the people said. There is no guarantee that Mr. Legere, who stands to receive a windfall if T-Mobile completes its proposed takeover of Sprint Corp. next year, would accept the position or that another candidate won't emerge. Like Mr. Neumann, Mr. Legere is known as an unconventional executive. The 61-year-old has spent the past six years running T-Mobile with a pugnacious style, trashing his rivals on Twitter as "Dumb and Dumber," using foul language and dressing in the company's signature magenta. He has turned around T-Mobile's operations, luring millions of cellphone customers from larger players and initiating the pending takeover of Sprint. Two WeWork executives, Artie Minson and Sebastian Gunningham, have served as co-CEOs since September when Mr. Neumann resigned under pressure as chief executive. SoftBank executives are seeking to[..]

Tencent Music quarterly revenue beats estimates on higher paying users

(21 hours ago)
China's Tencent Music Entertainment Group beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Monday, as the music streaming service attracted more paying users.

Twitter Proposes Flagging Deepfakes, But Would Only Remove Content That Threatens Harm

(21 hours ago)
Twitter is proposing a handful of new features designed to help its users spot "synthetic" or "manipulated" media, including deepfake videos. From a report: The social networking giant last month announced plans to implement a new policy around media assets that have been altered to mislead the public. Today heralds Twitter's first draft proposal, alongside a public consultation period, as it works to refine the rules and how they will be enforced. "When you come to Twitter to see what's happening in the world, we want you to have context about the content you're seeing and engaging with," said Twitter VP of trust and safety Del Harvey in a blog post. "Deliberate attempts to mislead or confuse people through manipulated media undermine the integrity of the conversation."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google signs healthcare data and cloud computing deal with Ascension

(21 hours ago)
Alphabet Inc's Google signed its biggest cloud computing customer in healthcare yet, according to an announcement on Monday, gaining with the deal datasets that could help it tune potentially lucrative artificial intelligence tools.

Google signs healthcare data and cloud computing deal with Ascension

(21 hours ago)
Alphabet Inc's Google signed its biggest cloud computing customer in healthcare yet, according to an announcement on Monday, gaining with the deal datasets that could help it tune potentially lucrative artificial intelligence tools.

Microsoft says it will follow California's digital privacy law in U.S.

(22 hours ago)
Microsoft Corp said in a blog post on Monday that it would honor California's privacy law, known as CCPA, throughout the United States, expanding the impact of a strict set of rules meant to protect consumers and their data.

Study of Over 11,000 Online Stores Finds 'Dark Patterns' on 1,254 sites

(22 hours ago)
A large-scale academic study that analyzed more than 53,000 product pages on more than 11,000 online stores found widespread use of user interface "dark patterns" -- practices meant to mislead customers into making purchases based on false or misleading information. from a report: The study -- presented last week at the ACM CSCW 2019 conference -- found 1,818 instances of dark patterns present on 1,254 of the ~11K shopping websites (~11.1%) researchers scanned. "Shopping websites that were more popular, according to Alexa rankings, were more likely to feature dark patterns," researchers said. But while the vast majority of UI dark patterns were meant to trick users into subscribing to newsletters or allowing broad data collection, some dark patterns were downright foul, trying to mislead users into making additional purchases, either by sneaking products into shopping carts or tricking users into believing products were about to sell out. Of these, the research team found 234 instances, deployed across 183 websites.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft says it will follow California's digital privacy law in U.S.

(22 hours ago)
Microsoft Corp said in a blog post on Monday that it would honor California's privacy law, known as CCPA, throughout the United States, expanding the impact of a strict set of rules meant to protect consumers and their data.

Google Chrome To Identify and Label Slow Websites

(22 hours ago)
Is it the web page that's slow or is it your network connection? In the future, Google's Chrome web browser may have an answer for you. From a report: Google announced today a plan to identify and label websites that typically load slowly by way of clear badging. The company says it may later choose to identify sites that are likely to be slow based on the user's device and current network conditions, as well. Google hasn't yet determined how exactly the slow websites will be labeled, but says it may experiment with different options to see which makes the most sense. For example, a slow-loading website may show a "Loading..." page that includes a warning, like a caution icon and text that reads "usually loads slow." Meanwhile, a fast website may display a green progress indicator bar at the top of the page instead of a blue one. And for links, Chrome may use the context menu to help users know if the site will be slow so you can decide whether or not you want to click.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

WeWork begins search for a new CEO: sources

(22 hours ago)
WeWork has started a search for a new chief executive following the departure of its co-founder Adam Neumann, people familiar with the matter said on Monday, as the U.S. office-sharing start-up seeks to reverse its widening losses.

Twitter wants your feedback on its deepfake policy plans

(23 hours ago)
Social media platform Twitter on Monday unveiled its plan for handling deepfake videos and other manipulated media, and called for feedback from the public.

Google Wants Chrome To Offer Instantaneous and Native App-Like Experiences

(23 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes: At Chrome Dev Summit in San Francisco today, Google shared its latest vision for the web. First, the company is trying to make loading disappear via instantaneous experiences. The company demoed Web Bundles, a new platform primitive that lets developers distribute their content across any format without a constant connection, and Portals, an experimental API that lets developers instantly give users access to their web experiences. Secondly, Google wants to have Chrome offer native app-like experiences. The Background Sync API will proactively cache web content and SMS Retriever adds two factor SMS functionality to web apps.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitter wants your feedback on its deepfake policy plans

(23 hours ago)
Social media platform Twitter on Monday unveiled its plan for handling deepfake videos and other manipulated media, and called for feedback from the public.
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