Technology News

Volkswagen plans electric vehicle plant with JAC in China: local government

(7 hours ago)
German automaker Volkswagen AG's joint venture with China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co (JAC) plans to invest 5.06 billion yuan ($750.8 million) in a new electric car factory in eastern Hefei city, according to local authorities.

UK PM May clear protecting national security information is of highest importance: spokesman

(7 hours ago)
British Prime Minister Theresa May is clear the protection of information on national security matters is of the highest importance, her spokesman said on Thursday.

UK minister: Huawei discussion leaks 'unacceptable', criminal investigation possible

(7 hours ago)
British culture minister Jeremy Wright said on Thursday he could not rule out a criminal investigation over the "unacceptable" disclosure of confidential discussions on the role of China's Huawei Technologies in 5G network supply chains.

Nokia plunges to surprise quarterly loss, shares hit six-month low

(7 hours ago)
Finland's Nokia plunged to a surprise quarterly loss after it failed to supply 5G telecoms equipment in time, and said the security dispute surrounding rival Huawei was creating pressure to invest as customers reassess their suppliers.

Wirecard seeks to refocus on growth after audit approval

(7 hours ago)
German payments company Wirecard sought on Thursday to refocus on growth after securing audit approval of annual results which had been delayed by allegations of fraud and false accounting at its Singapore office.

UK PM May clear protecting national security information is of highest importance: spokesman

(7 hours ago)
British Prime Minister Theresa May is clear the protection of information on national security matters is of the highest importance, her spokesman said on Thursday.

UK minister: Huawei discussion leaks 'unacceptable', criminal investigation possible

(7 hours ago)
British culture minister Jeremy Wright said on Thursday he could not rule out a criminal investigation over the "unacceptable" disclosure of confidential discussions on the role of China's Huawei Technologies in 5G network supply chains.

UK 5G supply chain review will report when ministers have made decisions: minister

(8 hours ago)
The British government's review of the 5G supply chain will report its conclusions once ministers have made a decision but National Security Council conversations should be confidential, culture minister Jeremy Wright said on Thursday.

Volkswagen to build electric vehicle plant with JAC in China: local government

(8 hours ago)
German automaker Volkswagen AG's joint venture with China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co (JAC) plans to invest 5.06 billion yuan ($750.83 million) in a new electric car factory in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei, according to local authorities.

UK 5G supply chain review will report when ministers have made decisions: minister

(8 hours ago)
The British government's review of the 5G supply chain will report its conclusions once ministers have made a decision but National Security Council conversations should be confidential, culture minister Jeremy Wright said on Thursday.

Volkswagen to build electric vehicle plant with JAC in China: local government

(8 hours ago)
German automaker Volkswagen AG's joint venture with China's Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co (JAC) plans to invest 5.06 billion yuan ($750.83 million) in a new electric car factory in the eastern Chinese city of Hefei, according to local authorities.

Researchers Measure Atom With Half-Life of 18 Sextillion Years

(8 hours ago)
A detector designed to hunt for dark matter has succeeded in detecting one of the rarest particle interactions in the universe. "According to a new study published today in the journal Nature, the team of more than 100 researchers measured, for the first time ever, the decay of a xenon-124 atom into a tellurium 124 atom through an extremely rare process called two-neutrino double electron capture," reports Live Science. "This type of radioactive decay occurs when an atom's nucleus absorbs two electrons from its outer electron shell simultaneously, thereby releasing a double dose of the ghostly particles called neutrinos." From the report: By measuring this unique decay in a lab for the first time, the researchers were able to prove precisely how rare the reaction is and how long it takes xenon-124 to decay. The half-life of xenon-124 -- that is, the average time required for a group of xenon-124 atoms to diminish by half -- is about 18 sextillion years (1.8 x 10^22 years), roughly 1 trillion times the current age of the universe. This marks the single longest half-life ever directly measured in a lab. Only one nuclear-decay process in the universe has a longer half-life: the decay of tellurium-128, which has a half-life more than 100 times longer than that of xenon-124. But this vanishingly rare event has only been calculated on paper.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SoftBank invests in Alphabet business for cellphone antennas in the sky

(10 hours ago)
A SoftBank Corp subsidiary said on Wednesday it had invested $125 million in an Alphabet Inc company that is working to fly cellphone antennas high in the atmosphere to provide internet in areas that are difficult to reach.

Nokia plunges to surprise quarterly loss, shares slump

(10 hours ago)
Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia plunged to a surprise quarterly loss due to a delay in booking 5G payments and said on Thursday the security dispute surrounding rival Huawei was creating near-term pressure to invest.

Spotify loses access to major Indian label

(10 hours ago)
Music streaming service Spotify Technology SA said it will remove all songs belonging to one of India's oldest record labels from its app after they failed to agree on licensing terms, months after the Swedish company's launch in the country.

Spotify loses access to major Indian label

(10 hours ago)
Music streaming service Spotify Technology SA said it will remove all songs belonging to one of India's oldest record labels from its app after they failed to agree on licensing terms, months after the Swedish company's launch in the country.

Japan's Zozo sees profit recovering this year after bodysuit blunder

(11 hours ago)
Japanese online fashion retailer Zozo Inc said it expects its profit to recover in the current fiscal year, after booking its first-ever annual drop in earnings on a failed experiment with bespoke tailoring and clashes with fashion brands.

Adult Children Are Costing Many Parents Their Retirement Savings

(11 hours ago)
pgmrdlm shares a report from CBS News: Half of American parents are unable to save as much as they'd like to for retirement, and their grown offspring -- whom they still count as dependents -- are to blame, according to a new Bankrate.com study. While they likely mean well, parents who support children into young adulthood often end up encumbered when they reach retirement age. They can inadvertently hamstring their kids, too. Seventeen percent of the couples surveyed by Bankrate.com said that they sacrificed their own retirement savings by "a lot" to help their adult children. Another 34 percent said they'd "somewhat" sacrificed their savings plans. Not surprisingly, the lowest earners saved the least. Seventeen percent of couples making less than a combined $50,000 a year and have at least one child who is 18 or older said they were helping pay their adult children's bills but not setting aside any money for retirement. The study found a generational divide when it comes to perceptions of parents supporting adult children. "Millennials between the ages of 23 and 38 believe they should be supported for longer, and expect some expenses, like student loans, to be covered up to the age of 23," reports CBS News. "Baby boomers, meanwhile, think parents should wean children off their bank accounts sooner across almost every category of expense, including cell phone bills, car payments and travel costs." Millennials and baby boomers both agree that young adults by age 23 should be[..]

Nokia reports surprise first quarter loss

(13 hours ago)
Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia reported a surprise quarterly loss on Thursday, citing hard competition in its core business, the networks unit.

Panasonic may upgrade Japan plant to make advanced Tesla batteries: source

(14 hours ago)
Panasonic Corp may upgrade one of its battery plants in Japan to produce advanced-format battery cells for Tesla Inc if needed by the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Scientists Have Developed a Brain Implant That Can Read People's Minds

(15 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The team at the University of California, San Francisco says the technology is "exhilarating." They add that their findings, published in the journal Nature, could help people when disease robs them of their ability to talk. The mind-reading technology works in two stages. First an electrode is implanted in the brain to pick up the electrical signals that maneuver the lips, tongue, voice box and jaw. Then powerful computing is used to simulate how the movements in the mouth and throat would form different sounds. This results in synthesized speech coming out of a "virtual vocal tract." "The system is better with prolonged sounds like the 'sh' in ship than with abrupt sounds such as the 'buh' sound in 'books,'" the report adds. "In experiments with five people, who read hundreds of sentences, listeners were able to discern what was being spoken up to 70% of the time when they were given a list of words to choose from."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Feds Are Dropping Child Porn Cases Instead of Revealing Their Surveillance Systems

(15 hours ago)
SonicSpike shares a report from Reason: The Department of Justice has been dismissing child pornography cases in order to not reveal information about the software programs used as the basis for the charges. An array of cases suggest serious problems with the tech tools used by federal authorities. But the private entities who developed these tools won't submit them for independent inspection or hand over hardly any information about how they work, their error rates, or other critical information. As a result, potentially innocent people are being smeared as pedophiles and prosecuted as child porn collectors, while potentially guilty people are going free so these companies can protect "trade secrets." The situation suggests some of the many problems that can arise around public-private partnerships in catching criminals and the secretive digital surveillance software that it entails (software that's being employed for far more than catching child predators). With the child pornography cases, "the defendants are hardly the most sympathetic," notes Tim Cushing at Techdirt. Yet that's all the more reason why the government's antics here are disturbing. Either the feds initially brought bad cases against people whom they just didn't think would fight back, or they're willing to let bad behavior go rather than face some public scrutiny. An extensive investigation by ProPublica "found more than a dozen cases since 2011 that were dismissed either because of challenges to the[..]

SoftBank invests $125 million in Alphabet venture to put cellphone antennas in the sky

(15 hours ago)
A SoftBank Corp business seeking to find a way to fly cellphone antennas high in the atmosphere to provide internet in underserved areas said on Wednesday it was investing $125 million in an Alphabet Inc spinoff working on the same problem.

Apple Allegedly 'Plotted' To Hurt Qualcomm Years Before It Sued the Company

(16 hours ago)
Apple allegedly wanted to hurt Qualcomm before it ever filed suit against the company, according to documents obtained by Qualcomm as the two companies prepared to meet in court. CNET reports on what has been made public: In September 2014, a document from Apple titled "QCOM - Future scenarios" detailed ways the company could exert pressure on Qualcomm, including by working with Intel on 4G modems for the iPhone. Apple and its manufacturing partners didn't actually file suit against Qualcomm until more than two years later. A second page of that document, titled "QCM - Options and recommendations (2/2)" revealed that Apple considered it "beneficial to wait to provoke a patent fight until after the end of 2016," when its contracts with Qualcomm would expire. "They were plotting it for two years," Qualcomm attorney Evan Chesler, of the firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, said during his opening arguments last week. "It was all planned in advance. Every bit of it." The unknown Apple team behind the September 2014 document recommended applying "commercial pressure against Qualcomm" by switching to Intel modems in iPhones. Apple ultimately started using Intel modems in about half of its iPhones with devices that came out in 2016. In the US, it embedded Intel modems in AT&T and T-Mobile models of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but it still used Qualcomm in versions for Verizon and Sprint. Qualcomm, for its part, knew by June 2014 about Apple's plans to use Intel chips in 2016,[..]

Ford Invests $500 Million In Electric Pickup Truck Maker Rivian

(17 hours ago)
Ford is investing $500 million in electric pickup truck maker Rivian, saying the two companies will work together to develop a new battery plug-in vehicle for Ford. CNN reports: Company executives said Ford will still move ahead with its own electric vehicle development efforts, including a plug-in version of the Ford F-150 pickup. They said the vehicle it will develop with Rivian will be an addition to its future lineup. Ford has announced plans to spend $11 billion transforming the company in coming years, including a move toward electric and self-driving vehicles. It said Wednesday that this $500 million investment is in addition to that $11 billion effort. It also said the joint effort with Rivian is in addition to Ford's plans to work with Volkswagen to develop a number of vehicles, including electric ones. Rivian has yet to start production of its electric trucks. Its first vehicle, a high-end electric pickup truck with planned range of more than 400 miles on a single charge, will be available in late 2020, the company says. Rivian has nevertheless attracted significant investment from many deep-pocket investors, including a $700 million investement from Amazon announced in February.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon's Alexa Team Can Access Users' Home Addresses

(17 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: An Amazon team auditing Alexa users' commands has access to location data and can, in some cases, easily find a customer's home address, according to five employees familiar with the program. The team, spread across three continents, transcribes, annotates and analyzes a portion of the voice recordings picked up by Alexa. The program, whose existence Bloomberg revealed earlier this month, was set up to help Amazon's digital voice assistant get better at understanding and responding to commands. Team members with access to Alexa users' geographic coordinates can easily type them into third-party mapping software and find home residences, according to the employees, who signed nondisclosure agreements barring them from speaking publicly about the program. While there's no indication Amazon employees with access to the data have attempted to track down individual users, two members of the Alexa team expressed concern to Bloomberg that Amazon was granting unnecessarily broad access to customer data that would make it easy to identify a device's owner. When Bloomberg first reported on the Alexa auditing program, Amazon said "employees do not have direct access to information that can identify the person or account as part of this workflow." In a new statement responding to this story, Amazon said "access to internal tools is highly controlled, and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train[..]

UK To Let Huawei Firm Help Build 5G Network

(18 hours ago)
AmiMoJo writes: The UK government has given Chinese telecoms giant Huawei the go-ahead to supply equipment for the UK 5G data network. The company will help build some "non-core" parts such as antennas. But the plans have concerned the home, defense and foreign secretaries. The U.S. also wants its allies in the "Five Eyes" intelligence grouping -- the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand -- to exclude Huawei. Huawei said it was "pleased that the UK is continuing to take an evidence-based approach to its work," adding it would continue to work cooperatively with the government and the industry.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Databricks Open-Sources Delta Lake To Make Delta Lakes More Reliable

(19 hours ago)
Databricks, the company founded by the original developers of the Apache Spark big data analytics engine, today announced that it has open-sourced Delta Lake, a storage layer that makes it easier to ensure data integrity as new data flows into an enterprise's data lake by bringing ACID transactions to these vast data repositories. TechCrunch reports: Delta Lake, which has long been a proprietary part of Databrick's offering, is already in production use by companies like Viacom, Edmunds, Riot Games and McGraw Hill. The tool provides the ability to enforce specific schemas (which can be changed as necessary), to create snapshots and to ingest streaming data or backfill the lake as a batch job. Delta Lake also uses the Spark engine to handle the metadata of the data lake (which by itself is often a big data problem). Over time, Databricks also plans to add an audit trail, among other things. What's important to note here is that Delta lake runs on top of existing data lakes and is compatible with the Apache spark APIs. The company is still looking at how the project will be governed in the future. "We are still exploring different models of open source project governance, but the GitHub model is well understood and presents a good trade-off between the ability to accept contributions and governance overhead," said Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and CEO at Databricks. "One thing we know for sure is we want to foster a vibrant community, as we see this as a critical piece of technology[..]

Microsoft tops $1 trillion as it predicts more cloud growth

(19 hours ago)
Microsoft Corp on Wednesday briefly topped $1 trillion in value for the first time after executives predicted continued growth for its cloud computing business.

Slack is expected to file listing prospectus this week: WSJ

(19 hours ago)
Slack Technologies Inc is expected to reveal its filing for a direct listing on the stock market as soon as this week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Security Flaw Lets Attackers Recover Private Keys From Qualcomm Chips

(19 hours ago)
Devices using Qualcomm chipsets, and especially smartphones and tablets, are vulnerable to a new security bug that can let attackers retrieve private data and encryption keys that are stored in a secure area of the chipset known as the Qualcomm Secure Execution Environment (QSEE). From a report: Qualcomm has deployed patches for this bug (CVE-2018-11976) earlier this month; however, knowing the sad state of Android OS updates, this will most likely leave many smartphones and tablets vulnerable for years to come. The vulnerability impacts how the Qualcomm chips (used in hundreds of millions of Android devices) handles data processed inside the QSEE.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Mozilla Highlights AI Bias and 'Addiction by Design' Tech in Internet Health Report

(20 hours ago)
Mozilla this week released the 2019 Internet Health Report, an analysis that brings together insights from 200 experts to examine issues central to the future of the internet. From a report: This year's report chose to focus primarily on injustice perpetuated by artificial intelligence; what NYU's Natasha Dow Schull calls "addiction by design" tech, like social media apps and smartphones; and the power of city governments and civil society "to make the internet healthier worldwide." The Internet Health Report is not designed to issue the web a bill of health, rather it is intended as a call to action that urges people to "embrace the notion that we as humans can change how we make money, govern societies, and interact with one another online." [...] The modern AI agenda, the report's authors assert, is shaped in part by large tech companies and China and the United States. The report calls particular attention to Microsoft and Amazon's sale of facial recognition software to immigration and law enforcement agencies. The authors point to the work of Joy Buolamwini, whom Fortune recently named "the conscience of the AI revolution." Through audits published by Buolamwini and others in the past year, facial recognition software technology from Microsoft, Amazon's AWS, and other tech companies was found to be less capable of recognizing people with dark skin, particularly women of color.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tesla promises return to profit after first-half losses

(20 hours ago)
Tesla Inc said on Wednesday it would return to profit in the third quarter of 2019 after racking up two consecutive losses in the first half of the year, as it struggled to deliver cars to customers and launched a cheaper version of its Model 3 sedan.

Facebook beats profit estimates, sets aside $3 billion for privacy penalty

(20 hours ago)
Facebook Inc on Wednesday blew away Wall Street profit estimates in the first quarter as it kept a lid on the costs of making its social networks safer, and set aside $3 billion to cover a settlement with U.S. regulators, calming investors who had worried about the outcome of a months-long federal probe.

Twitter not amused by long wait for Tesla earnings

(21 hours ago)
Twitter was ablaze on Wednesday with humorous commentary and speculation over why Tesla Inc's first-quarter earnings release was so late. As of 5:05 p.m. ET (2105 GMT), one hour after the market close, the results still had not been released.

Academy Leaves Door Open To Netflix After Tussle Over Oscars Eligibility Rules

(21 hours ago)
The Academy of Motion Picture and Arts and Sciences has ruled that films from streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will continue to be eligible to win Academy Awards. The Academy had considered changing Rule Two, which allowed any film to be eligible for an Academy Award as long as it had a seven-day run in a Los Angeles theater. From a report: That proposal, reportedly pushed by megadirector Steven Spielberg, would have made it difficult for streaming services such as Netflix to compete for the academy's big prizes by restricting eligibility to just films that got a significant run in theaters. Films that debuted online and only got a limited theatrical release simply would be out of luck. But when the academy's board of governors released its rules for next year's prize -- a book that runs to 35 pages, all told -- the would-be changes were not among them. "We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions," John Bailey, president of the academy, said in a statement released Tuesday night. "Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration." Further reading: Justice Department Warns Academy About Changing Oscar Rules To Exclude Streaming.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tesla reports first-quarter losses, more to come

(21 hours ago)
Tesla Inc on Wednesday reported a $700 million loss for the first quarter and said it would also lose money in the second as it struggled to deliver cars to customers and launched a cheaper version of its Model 3 sedan.

Microsoft gets a boost from Windows as cloud stays on track

(21 hours ago)
Microsoft Corp beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and revenue on Wednesday, powered by a surprise boost in Windows revenue and as growth in its cloud business stayed on track.

Twitter not amused by long wait for Tesla earnings

(21 hours ago)
Twitter was ablaze on Wednesday with humorous commentary and speculation over why Tesla Inc's first-quarter earnings release was so late. As of 5:05 p.m. ET (2105 GMT), one hour after the market close, the results still had not been released.

Facebook Sets Aside $3 Billion For a Potential FTC Fine

(21 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: Facebook is taking a $3 billion charge as a contingency against a possible fine by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency has been investigating Facebook, but has not announced any findings yet. The one-time charge slashes Facebook's first-quarter net income considerably, although revenue grew by 25% in the period. The FTC has been looking into whether Facebook is in violation of a 2011 agreement promising to protect user privacy. The social network said Wednesday that its net income was 85 cents per share in the January-March period. Revenue grew 26 % to $15.08 billion from a year earlier. Excluding the charge, it earned $1.89 per share. Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of $1.62 per share and revenue of $14.98 billion. Facebook's monthly user base grew 8% to 2.38 billion. According to The New York Times, Facebook says it's expected to be fined up to $5 billion for privacy violations, including improper handling of people's data involving Cambridge Analytica, as well as a major data breach.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft profit, revenue beat estimates on cloud growth

(21 hours ago)
Microsoft Corp beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit and revenue on Wednesday, powered by adoption of its Azure cloud computing service and the subscription version of its Office software.
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