Alexa can now wake you up with your favorite song. Maybe, just maybe, Alexa's new alarms can make you actually enjoy getting up in the morning. You can finally instruct Amazon's voice assistant to wake you up in the morning with a song of your choice. SEE ALSO: Canada, meet Amazon Alexa
Views: 420 Tech Channel
Snapchat launches Your 2017 Story retrospective feature. 2017 is (mercifully) almost over, and the social giants are ever eager to recap your year. For the past few years, Facebook has offered users a “Year In Review” video, and now it’s Snapchat’s turn. Your 2017 Story is pretty much what it sounds like. Snapchat selects Snaps you saved to your Memories throughout 2017, and packages them in a unique story you can save and share with your friends. To access Your 2017 Story, just tap the memories icon. You’ll find it at the top of the “All” tap. If you’re happy with it, you can save and share it. If not, Snapchat says you can edit it, which is great if there’s a relationship (and subsequent break-up) you’d rather not be reminded of, or something to that effect.
Views: 469 Tech Channel
ARM Announces Project Trillium, a New Dedicated AI Processing Family, AI and machine learning are the hottest topics in computing today. Dozens of companies are attempting to establish themselves in the market, from Google and Amazon to Intel and Nvidia. Now, ARM is throwing its own hat into the ring with its just-unveiled Project Trillium, a new line of processors specifically dedicated to AI. There are three components to the new processor family. The ARM ML (Machine Learning) Processor is a new mobile chip designed for efficient, low-power machine learning workloads.
Views: 139 Tech Channel
Amazon reveals what its lobbyist is doing in Atlanta — and it has nothing to do with its new headquarters (AMZN). The registration of an Amazon lobbyist in Georgia spurred speculation that the company could house its new headquarters in the state ESB Professional/Shutterstock
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Samsung SmartThings Link for Nvidia Shield TV review A cheap smart home hub with one inherent shortcoming. The Nvidia Shield TV streaming box just keeps getting cooler. In addition to doubling as a Plex server, an over-the-air DVR, and a hands-free Google Assistant, the Shield can also now serve as a smart home hub with the addition of a Samsung SmartThings Link. This $40 dongle plugs into one of the Shield’s two USB ports, where it can control smart light bulbs, switches, plugs, and any other appliances and devices that work with the full-sized SmartThings hub (here’s a list). In fact, it’s very nearly the same as that $100 product, but at a fraction of the cost (assuming you already own Nvidia’s $180 streaming box). Yet there is one crucial difference: A dedicated hub can reside anywhere in the house, but the SmartThings Link is inherently bound to wherever your TV lives. If that happens to be in the corner of your house, you might run into some range issues. The SmartThings Link also doesn’t include a couple of minor offline and battery-backup features that the full-sized Hub offers. The SmartThings Link is roughly the size of a Bic lighter, with a full-sized USB plug on one end. It comes with a short USB extension cable, which you’ll need to keep the Link from blocking the Shield’s other open USB port.
Views: 729 Tech Channel
'The f.ight isn’t over' Tech erupts after the FCC's vote to k.ill net neutrality. A supporter of Net Neutrality protests the FCC's recent decision to repeal the program in Los Angeles
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Want a more flexible job These 10 positions offer the best s.hot. If there's one benefit employees seem to be clamoring for these days, it's a flexible work arrangement. Flexible work arrangements can run the gamut from telecommuting options to condensed workweeks, and they help employees achieve the ever-elusive goal of striking a reasonable work-life balance. If you're hoping for a flexible job, you should know that there are certain professions that lend to more leeway. Flexjobs recently compiled a list of the most flexible job categories out there, and here's what they came up with. More:Workplace tips: 7 cities with the shortest work commutes More:Career advice: 5 signs you’re stuck in the rat race
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Stop using champagne flutes — this is the best way to drink champagne. Bubble physicist, Helen Czerski, reveals why you should care about the glass you are drinking your champagne from. Helen Czerski: One of the things that is very irritating if you ever have to go shopping for things to fill a flat is there seem to be so many different types of wine glass. It's only a thing to drink wine out of, right? It's got sort of a stem, and it's got a flat bit and it's got a cup bit. How complicated does it need to be? And it turns out, in the case of champagne especially, the shape of the glass does matter quite a lot. So to understand what shape a champagne glass should be, you, first of all, need to know what the glass is doing. At the bottom of the glass, there's something very important going on because that's the only part of the glass that is rough. If you've got a champagne glass and it's got bubbles coming from everywhere around the inside of the glass, I hate to tell you this but the glass is dirty. Don't tell your host, it won't make you popular. So in a clean champagne glass, there is a rough bit at the bottom. And champagne has dissolved gas in it, carbon dioxide at really high pressure, six or seven atmospheres, which is one of the reasons that champagne bottles are so big and so thick. And that gas would like to come out of solution but it needs a place to start. So that little roughness at the bottom of the pointy bit, those little sort of grooves in the glass, those are really good places for a new bubble. So that's why bubbles rise just from the center of the glass and they rise up in a thin column. It's because that's the place you can make bubbles. So then you've got to worry about what happens next. And you'll see the bubbles get a little bigger as they rise because more and more gas is joining them. And as the bubbles go, they don't just move through the fluid, they actually drag liquid with it. So that thin column of bubbles sets up a bubble engine so fluid, the champagne, is being dragged up the middle and then the bubbles stay at the top but the wine has to come back down the outside. So you get this bubble engine going and that has two important consequences. The first thing is that it's always bringing new champagne to the top and that means flavors can get out of the champagne and into the air above it. And the reason that matters is because quite often when we think we are tasting things, what we are actually doing is smelling things. So when you lift a glass of champagne to your nose, just as much as what's in the wine, what matters is in the air just above it because that's the bit that goes right up your nose just as you take a sip. So if you got a bubble engine that is going round and round, it's bringing lots of new champagne to the top, so lots of flavor molecules can get released into that little bit of space. The other thing that happens is that when the bubbles come to the top and burst, they actually do the job for you. They spit little particles up your nose and so even more flavor gets delivered upwards. So this little bubble engine is really important for the flavor of the champagne.
Security firm Keeper sues news reporter over vulnerability story. News site Ars Technica. (Screenshot: ZDNet/CBS Interactive) Keeper, a password manager software maker, has filed a lawsuit against a news reporter and its publication after a story was posted reporting a vulnerability disclosure. Dan Goodin, security editor at Ars Technica, was named defendant in a suit filed Tuesday by Chicago-based Keeper Security, which accused Goodin of "false and misleading statements" about the company's password manager. Goodin's story, posted December 15, cited Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, who said in a vulnerability disclosure report he posted a day earlier that a security flaw in Keeper allowed "any website to steal any password" through the password manager's browser extension.
The Best Nintendo Switch Games for Kids, Nintendo consoles are synonymous with kid friendliness, and the Switch is no exception. However, this is a system in which Mario and Sonic sit right next to Doom and Skyrim, and it can be hard to filter out the Switch's more adult-oriented games when you're looking for something fun to play with your little ones. With that in mind, here are the best kids' games for Nintendo Switch, from inviting platformers to fun multiplayer experiences for the whole family. Credit: Ubisoft Super Mario Odyssey delivers classic 3D Mario platforming with an exciting twist. Thanks to your sentient hat Cappy, you can now capture and morph into anything from a Bullet Bill to a slab of meat as you explore the game's inventive levels. Mario games are almost always kid-friendly, but Odyssey goes the extra mile by offering an Assist Mode that provides increased health, objective markers and other helpful things. There's even a co-op mode that lets a second player control Cappy, which is an excellent way to introduce your child to the magic of Mario's latest adventure.
LastPa.ss’ Authenticator app might not be as secure as you think. For those of you using LastPass as your password manager of choice, you’ve probably heard of or used the company’s Authenticator app. Released last year, LastPass Authenticator introduces two-factor authentication to your LastPass account and other supported applications. As useful as the app is, it appears that there is a glaring security hole that bypasses any fingerprint or PIN authentication you have in place.
Report Samsung Galaxy S9 to launch in February 2018 (Updated). 91 Mobiles Update (12/27): Another report coming out of Korea has again suggested that the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will launch slightly earlier than their predecessors. ETNews (via Phone Arena) suggests that Samsung will be in full mass production by the end of January 2017, with a view to announcing both phones in February – likely at MWC 2018 – ahead of a March retail launch. The report also reaffirms that the Galaxy S9 will come with a single camera unit, while the S9 Plus will sport a dual-camera module.
Views: 21 Tech Channel
MoviePa.ss blocks access to select AMC theaters. MoviePass exploded in popularity over the holidays, reaching over one million concurrent subscribers in December. With a $9.95 monthly subscription fee, that adds up to be a pretty nice chunk of change for the company. For the unaware, MoviePass is a service that allows subscribers to watch as many movies as they'd like in theaters for a single monthly fee, making it ideal for weekly or even daily moviegoers. There's only two caveats of note: you can't see the same movie twice and you can only watch one movie per day. Due to MoviePass' recently popularity surge, the company has struggled to keep up with demand for their service. To help offset some of their growing costs, the company has announced plans to invest in film creation to boost revenue. Theater executives have come out against the service, calling it "unsustainable." This belief might prove true if MoviePass' latest decision is anything to go by - many MoviePass subscribers have reportedly found that their service debit cards no longer work at a "small handful" of AMC theaters, including some of the most popular locations.
Now you know what Control Center's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth buttons really do. When Apple released iOS 11 with a redesigned Control Center in September, they also quietly made a change to how the shortcut buttons for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth worked. On iOS 10 and earlier, tapping them turned these wireless connections completely on and off. But on iOS 11, it merely disconnected your devices temporarily, while still allowing features like AirPlay and AirDrop to work. Apple hasn't changed how the buttons work back to the old way, but at least it's more clear what's happening on iOS 11.2. SEE ALSO: 5 easy tricks to help you free up storage space on your iPhone
SendBird raises $16 million to help developers add messaging features to their apps. SendBird, a company that provides the infrastructure for developers to build messaging and chat services into their apps, has raised $16 million in a series A round of funding led by Shasta Ventures and August Capital, with participation from Y Combinator and FundersClub. Redwood City, California-based SendBird serves up a messaging SDK and chat API that enable mobile apps and websites to offer chat and messaging features. On the surface, the service seems similar to something like Twilio or MessageBird, which also allow developers to integrate communication features into their own apps; however, those two platforms were built more more on a telephony infrastructure that caters to calls and SMS. SendBird, on the other hand, is more about internet protocol (IP) messaging, which offers richer functionality, including easier photo sharing, group chats, and more. A more direct competitor to SendBird would be a startup such as Layer, which raised a $15 million round earlier this year and which claims big-name backers such as Salesforce and Microsoft. Above: SendBird: Examples
Views: 212 Tech Channel
Voatz raises $2.2 million to make elections tamper-proof. Today, mobile-focused voting company Voatz announced a $2.2 million seed round of funding to roll out blockchain-based voting in the U.S. One of blockchain technology’s big promises is that it will be a democratizing force, and the blockchain community has long talked about making voting more secure, reliable, and unhackable. In fact, a number of countries and company boards are already testing out various blockchain-based voting solutions. Voatz (pronounced “votes”) combines biometrics and blockchain tech to enable secure, auditable elections. The platform is currently in beta release. It runs on a public permissioned blockchain built on the HyperLedger framework and doesn’t use any form of cryptocurrency, so the company has no plans for an ICO. $2.2 million may sound like small change in an era when blockchain companies are pulling in massive sums of money through initial coin offerings (ICOs). But Voatz considers itself an elections company first and foremost — one that uses blockchain to fix what’s broken with the electoral infrastructure. “So in that respect, it is somewhat different from a ‘typical’ blockchain startup,” Voatz cofounder and CEO Nimit Sawhney told VentureBeat.
Views: 20 Tech Channel
Aura can detect motion anywhere in your house using nothing but Wi-Fi radio waves. If you’ve never heard of Aura, prepare to be simultaneously wowed and a little creeped out. This brilliant home system serves as a house-wide motion detection system, but it doesn’t use any conventional motion detectors like the ones you’ve seen before. Instead, Aura constantly monitors the Wi-Fi radio waves that are always present in your home, and it reads the patterns they make as they bounce around through every room in your house or apartment. Those patterns change anytime there’s motion, and Aura uses that info to send you notifications, trigger an alarm, or even perform actions with your smart home gadgets thanks to IFTTT integration. The Aura Starter Kit is available right now on Amazon, and we definitely recommend checking it out.
Views: 10 Tech Channel
5 health-promoting plants that will clean the air in your home — and are very hard to k.ill. Sure, it's easy to stay alive when you're outside.Forest and Kim Starr - Flickr It can be tough keeping plants alive indoors, especially during the dark, dry, winter months. But if they can thrive, indoor plants have all sorts of benefits. Plants can regulate indoor humidity, and they've been shown to make people feel content and peaceful around the world. In Norway, office workers report that having plants at work helps them stay productive and healthy. In Japan, plants literally fight crime — a Tokyo neighborhood dealing with a spate of break-ins planted flowers and saw its burglary rates fall 80%.
Views: 3 Tech Channel
Dfinity raises $61 million for blockchain-based cloud, The Dfinity blockchain project has big aspirations for the $61 million it raised from Polychain Capital and Andreessen Horowitz today. The company wants to create a new, decentralized cloud — a “cloud 3.0” — that will cut the costs of running cloud-based business applications by 90 percent and upend the current cloud services model led by Amazon and Google. The backing of respected VC firms, a sharp team, and the promise of a new type of blockchain able to move fast, all indicate this is a project worth watching. But it can be hard to nail down exactly what Dfinity’s mission is. In an interview with VentureBeat, team leader Dominic Williams talked about everything from enabling a new internet populated with open, decentralized versions of popular services like eBay, Dropbox, and Uber to enabling consumers to heat their houses with the specialized, server-grade hardware they’ll be able to use to mine Dfinity coins. The project’s true selling point, though, seems to be that it would give enterprises access to what Williams calls an “internet computer” — a single, infinitely scaleable, internet-based computer. A business that today hosts applications and processes on, say, Amazon Web Services has to rent multiple computer instances, each of which need to be configured and maintained, Williams explained, whereas, once the Dfinity network is available, businesses will be able to run all of their systems in one place:
Views: 188 Tech Channel
Uber sells its leasing business to startup Fair.com. SAN FRANCISCO — Uber announced Tuesday that it is selling its car-leasing subsidiary to Santa Monica-based tech startup Fair.com. The move allows Uber to concentrate on its core business while still offering drivers without cars the ability to lease a vehicle for a month or more in order to drive for the ride-hailing company. Fair.com, which launched in Los Angeles in August and earlier this month expanded to San Diego and San Francisco, will acquire the active lease portfolio of Uber's XChange Leasing through a combination of equity and debt secured during its latest funding round, the company said in a statement. More: Uber enlists its drivers in the fight against sex trafficking with new national campaign
Views: 17 Tech Channel
ROBOT exploit from 1998 resurrected, leaves top websites' crypto vulnerable. A number of the most popular websites and services online, including Facebook and PayPal, are vulnerable to an exploit which has resurfaced from 1998. The security flaw, dubbed ROBOT, was first discovered almost two decades ago by Daniel Bleichenbacher. PKCS #1 1.5 padding error messages produced by secure sockets layer (SSL) servers allow for an adaptive-chosen ciphertext attack which "fully breaks the confidentiality of TLS when used with RSA encryption," according to researchers Hanno Böck and Juraj Somorovsky from Hackmanit GmbH, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, and Tripwire VERT's Craig Young.
Views: 265 Tech Channel
Use Alexa to control nearly anything in your house with this $15 box. It seems like Amazon’s virtual personal assistant Alexa is making its way to just about every connected device on the planet these days. The problem, of course, is that not all the devices in your house are connected. If you want to control a “dumb” lamp, fan, coffee maker, or just about anything else using Alexa, check out the GYMAN Wi-Fi Smart Plug Mini. It’s about half the price of comparable products from other companies, and it doesn’t need a hub or anything to work. Here’s what you need to know from the product page:
Samsung teases new ‘Galaxy On’ smartphone on Amazon, likely to launch in India soon. Samsung will soon launch a new Galaxy On smartphone in India soon. The new Galaxy On smartphone will be exclusive to Amazon India, as the e-commerce site has set up a dedicated page to build the hype ahead of the launch. Based on the teased images, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy On phone will focus on performance and design. Additionally, the smartphone will offer users to shop “in a new way”, suggesting that it might come with Samsung Pay functionality. The successor to the Galaxy On Max could be the way, naturally. The original Galaxy On Max made its debut in July this year. The mid-end phone was launched in the market at a price of Rs 16,900 via Flipkart. The Galaxy On Max isn’t the flashiest smartphone on the market, but based on our testing, it seems like a solid effort in the mid-end segment. The Galaxy On Max offers a great design and build quality for its price, along with decent cameras and balanced performance. Meanwhile, SamMobile believes it could be a variant of the Galaxy J7 Pro, a phone that was announced back in June. Apparently, the Galaxy J7 Pro will be re-branded in India under the ‘Galaxy On’ range. Just for a quick recap, the J7 Pro sports a 5.5-inch Full HD display, Exynos 7870 chipset, 3GB RAM, 64GB expandable storage, and a 3600mAh battery. Made out of metal, a 13 MP camera can be seen on both the front and back, alongside a fingerprint sensor and Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. The South Korean major badly needs a hit smartphone in the mid-end segment in order to remain competitive. Samsung is struggling in the Indian smartphone market as Chinese players like Xiaomi and Oppo continue to dominate. The big winner continues to be Xiaomi, which saw demand for its Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A continue to grow.
Views: 12 Tech Channel
Samsung Galaxy S8, Note 8 users reporting random screen wake-up issues. It looks like Samsung Galaxy S8 users and some Galaxy Note 8 are complaining of a new issue. This one causes the display to randomly turn on while the phone is on charge. The reports come after Samsung had acknowledged reports that some Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy S8 Plus were facing issues with the device after the battery hit zero per cent as the phones would not charge. Users found their phones bricked in some cases, though Samsung said it has only got a small number of these reports. Now posts on Reddit and Samsung’s own Galaxy forums are highlighting the new issue. It seems in case of the Galaxy S8 and Note 8, the display comes alive while the phone is charging. Samsung’s flagship phones come with an Always-On display which will show a black background, time and some notifications when the phone’s screen has not been used for a while. According to one post on Reddit, a user wrote that the issue has been plaguing his wife’s AT&T Samsung Galaxy S8 since November. The post says the S8 display will “randomly wake up while charging from the always on display to the lock screen,” adding, “the damn screen is so bright when it switches it is waking me up at night.” Meanwhile, a Samsung moderator on another community forum, urged users to try these steps like a soft reset to solve the issue. Factory rests and cleaning cache don’t seem to helping at all, one user wrote on the company’s community forums. Samsung hasn’t issued a formal statement on this matter at this point.
Views: 73 Tech Channel
2017 Was a Terrible Year for Internet Freedom. Think of a country that stifles internet freedom. You might first jump to the oppressive regimes of North Korea, China, or Cuba, where internet access is either forbidden or radically restricted. But in fact, according to a recent study by the non-profit Freedom House, the principles of internet freedom are under attack worldwide—including in the United States. And it's only getting worse. Overt government restrictions, after all, aren't the only way to impede internet freedom. As fake news and propaganda flourish online, and automated bot accounts bloom on social media, the manipulation and distortion of information serves as its own kind of censorship. The crisis is global. Freedom House based its findings on an annual study of 65 countries, in which the group's researchers collect data on factors like ready access to the internet in that country, limits on content, intentional manipulation of online conversations, and the treatment of bloggers and content creators, among other details. Researchers then score each country based on those metrics. In 2017, it found that nearly half of the 65 countries experienced a decline since June of 2016, while just 13 made gains. It was the seventh consecutive year in which internet freedom has eroded since Freedom House began studying this trend in 2011. That means that internet freedom has long experienced a global decline. But according to Adrian Shahbaz, a Freedom House research manager, the unprecedented rise of state-sponsored manipulation and election meddling online was unique to 2017, and may prove much harder to fix than other ills. "Manipulation is much more difficult to detect and combat than other types of censorship because of how dispersed it is, and the sheer amount of people engaged in it," he says.
Views: 3 Tech Channel
SpaceX keeps US Air Force’s confidence after satellite’s loss. The US Air Force command that certified Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp for military missions says it remains confident in the company’s capabilities despite the disappearance this month of a classified satellite it launched. “Based on the data available, our team did not identify any information that would change SpaceX’s Falcon 9 certification status” after “a preliminary review of telemetry that was available to us from” the January 7 launch, Lieutenant General John Thompson, commander of the Space and Missile Systems Center, said in a statement to Bloomberg News. While Thompson’s comments were carefully qualified – he emphasized that ‘the Air Force will continue to evaluate data from all launches’ – they bolstered SpaceX’s position that its Falcon 9 rocket apparently ‘did everything correctly’ in the mission code-named Zuma. That may increase scrutiny of Northrop Grumman Corp, which oversaw the mission and built the satellite as well as the coupling to release it from the second-stage rocket. Northrop has repeatedly declined to discuss its role in the mission. Spokesman Tim Paynter has said “we cannot comment on classified missions.” SpaceX was certified by the Air Force in 2015 to compete for military launches against United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp. For Musk, who also heads the electric-vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc, it was a hard-won victory against what he portrayed as a government-blessed monopoly.
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Tidal will be free to try for 12 days starting on Christmas. Tidal is ringing in the New Year the right way. The streaming music provider on Friday announced it will be offering a 12-day free trial of its Hi-Fi and Premium tiers beginning December 25, 2017, and running through January 5, 2018. Free trial offers aren’t typically newsworthy. In fact, you can score a free 30-day trial of Tidal as we speak. What’s different about Tidal’s upcoming offer, however, is the fact that you’ll only need to submit an e-mail address to qualify – no credit card required. Most trial offers request a valid credit card so they can charge you for the service when you forget to cancel. As part of Tidal’s free trial, users will have access to the full platform via the web and on mobile devices.
Views: 13 Tech Channel
Is your iPhone b.attery causing your smartphone to run slowly Heres what to do. Apple has now apologized for slowing down older iPhones as their batteries age, which could lead you to ask, "What does this mean to me and my iPhone?" The device maker says it has been using software updates to help prolong the life of batteries in several models including the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The fix helped "avoid unexpected shutdowns" and protected the phones, Apple says, but also caused some phones to take longer to launch apps and do other functions. As awareness of the slowdown spread, some consumers filed lawsuits charging the Cupertino, Calif. tech company with deliberately sabotaging older smartphones to prompt new sales. If your iPhone seems slow, buying a new one isn't your only option. You could instead replace the battery. To appease customers Apple is lowering the price of replacement batteries for iPhone 6 models or later from $79 to $29, starting in late January and through 2018.
6-core/12-thread Core i7 for $200, i7-5820K Revisited. Released in August 2014 for a reasonable $390 -- the most affordable Haswell-E processor available at the time -- Intel's hexa-core Core i7-5820K has proven popular among enthusiast builders over the years and it's about time we see how it compares against more modern CPUs. Today, the chip can be purchased for nearly half the price it originally fetched and we managed to find one online for around $200, which seems to be about the going price. By default, the 5820K works at a base frequency of 3.3GHz but depending on the workload it can boost up to 3.6GHz (a mild increase, admittedly) and it also packs 15MB of L3 cache alongside 1.5MB of L2 cache, which was a significant increase over the mainstream Core i7 range back in 2014.
We drove a $66,000 Volvo S90 and a $48,000 Buick LaCrosse to see which sedan we liked better — here's the verdict. The Volvo S90.Volvo Two venerable names in the auto industry: Volvo and Buick.
Vanguard, the fund giant with nearly $5 trillion in a.ssets, is using blockchain to underpin its mutual funds. AP Photo/Connie Zhou
Pint-sized meteor gives Boston a light show. Boston residents who happened to be gazing skyward got an end-of-the-year surprise last night as a meteor sped through the sky, creating a “ball of light” visible for hundreds of miles. The tiny fragment of space rock produced quite a stir, with countless sighting reports flooding social media and attracting the attention of local news outlets. “I saw a bright blue flash while I was out shoveling,” one resident posted on the Facebook page of local ABC affiliate WCVB. “Then a fireball like missile pass over me.” The fireball wasn’t a missile, but a pint-sized meteor that was likely only about the size of a golf ball. But it still managed to light up the sky as it was incinerated in Earth’s atmosphere. Don't Miss: 2018 already looks brighter thanks to this $25 deal on LED headlight conversion kits for any car
Views: 37 Tech Channel
South Korea mulls cryptocurrency ban but it's far from finalized. Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. News from South Korea is causing turmoil in the cryptocurrency market. The country's Justice minister Park Sang-ki said the country is preparing a ban on cryptocurrency trading, Reuters reported Thursday. The news likely caused a price correction of most major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, which is down 2.27 percent in the last 24 hours, and Ethereum, which is down 9.77 percent according to CoinMarketCap.
Microsoft is getting aggressive about stealing away Goo.gle, Dropbox, and Box customers (MSFT), Google, Box, and Dropbox, be warned: Microsoft is coming for your customers. On Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new offer to entice companies to use its OneDrive cloud storage service. If you're a business that's already using any of those three competitors, Microsoft will give you its OneDrive for Business service for free until your contract with the other company ends.
Views: 6 Tech Channel
China's Huawei flags slower smartphone and overall revenue growth. HONG KONG (Reuters) - China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] on Friday flagged overall and smartphone revenue figures for 2017 that represented its slowest growth in four years, and vowed to extend its global reach with more premium products next year. The telecom equipment and smartphone maker expects 2017 revenue to rise 15 percent to 600 billion yuan ($92.08 billion), Chief Executive Ken Hu said in his New Year’s message. That represents the slowest growth since 2013 for Huawei. Its fast revenue growth in recent years has been slowing as Chinese telecom carriers complete the construction of the world’s largest 4G mobile network and as competition intensifies in the smartphone market. Hu said Huawei’s smartphone shipments in 2017 totaled 153 million units and its global market share topped 10 percent, cementing its position as the world’s third-largest smartphone maker after Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc.
The Army expects to roll out a new targeting system that can turn artillery into a 'giant sniper rifle' this year. Soldiers from the 8th Field Artillery Regiment detect, recognize, and identify a target using the Joint Effects Targeting System Target Laser Designation System.
Views: 252 Tech Channel
TRAI releases consultation paper on National Telecom Policy 2018. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday issued a consultation paper seeking stakeholders’ view to formulate the National Telecom Policy 2018. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), through its letter dated August 21, 2017 requested the TRAI to suggest its policy inputs for formulation of National Telecom Policy – 2018. The DoT, on its web-site, has stated that the new telecom policy will be governed by the key guiding principle of alignment with the national vision. Its major themes will be regulatory and licensing frameworks impacting the telecom sector, connectivity-for-all, quality of services, ease of doing business, and absorption of new technologies including 5G and Internet of Things (IoT). The policy has, “common strategies to leapfrog India amongst top-50 nations in international rankings in terms of network readiness, communications systems and services, to attract an investment of $100 billion in telecommunication sector, and to attain average speed of 20 Mbps for wireless and 50 Mbps for wireline internet connectivity.” The government through the new telecom policy seeks to spur the socioeconomic development up to the bottom of the pyramid by ensuring voice, video and data connectivity for all, provide reliable and secured connectivity with assured quality of service. Stakeholders are requested to furnish their written comments by January 19, 2018.
Microsoft Teams gets calling to external phone systems functionality. On December 12, Microsoft began to roll out support for some of the advanced calling capabilities that previously were only in Skype for Business to its Microsoft Teams service. From Microsoft's Tech Community blog post: (Thanks to Directions on Microsoft's Jim Gaynor for the heads up on the addition of these new advanced calling features to Teams.)
Views: 42 Tech Channel
eBay hires chief scientist for AI efforts, eBay on Tuesday announced it has hired Jan Pedersen to join the company as vice president and chief scientist for artificial intelligence. He will lead eBay's AI efforts, including strategy, computer vision, natural language understanding, and machine learning to bring more AI tools to commerce. eBay said Pedersen will be based in its San Jose, CA headquarters and report to CTO Steve Fisher. He will officially start on Feb. 20. In his role, Pedersen will also lead AI R&D investments, and a team of research, data, and applied scientists. See also: What is AI? Everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence
AMD processors will get a firmw.are update for the Spectre CPU exploit, but it's optional. AMD will release firmware updates for its processors to protect against the devastating Spectre CPU exploits that affect every modern computer, phone, and tablet. Unlike Intel’s flurry of CPU firmware updates, however, they aren’t being treated as critical must-install patches. When Meltdown and Spectre were uncovered, AMD said that its CPUs aren’t vulnerable to Meltdown, the first Spectre flaw would be resolved via operating system and software updates, and “differences in AMD architecture mean there is a near zero risk of exploitation” of the Spectre second variant. Nevertheless, while AMD CTO Mark Papermaster says “we believe that AMD’s processor architectures make it difficult to exploit Variant 2,” AMD now plans to patch its CPUs against it. AMD will start releasing “optional microcode updates” (emphasis ours) for Ryzen, Threadripper, and Epyc processors to its partners this week, with firmware updates for older processors coming in the future. Like the Intel firmware updates, you won’t get AMD’s directly from AMD itself. Instead, you’ll need to download them from the maker of your PC, laptop, or motherboard through their support pages. But you might not want to be so quick to do that. When Microsoft said the Meltdown and Spectre fixes could slow down PCs, it specifically said Spectre’s second variant is the only one that requires a CPU microcode update—and that the fixes for the second Spectre variant are the ones that can affect your PC’s performance. Rushed firmware updates can be finicky too. Intel’s CPU fixes are making some Haswell- and Broadwell-based computers reboot more often, for example.
Views: 62 Tech Channel
15 Oscar-Nominated Movies You Can Stream Right Now, The Oscars air Sunday, March 4, and if you like to predict the academy's winners, or just want to catch up on some of the year's best films, you should start watching now. Not all the films are available for streaming now. But you can stream Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, Blade Runner 2049, Get Out, Mudbound, The Big Sick and many of the entries from the Best Documentary and Best Animated Feature categories. Here's a list of the Academy Award nominees you can stream right now on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and more.
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App Store now requires games to share loot box odds. Apple recently changed its App Store review guidelines — now any game developer who wants to include loot boxes will also have to tell you how likely it is you’ll get the rare item you want. The update, spotted by Polygon, includes a change to the payment section of the guidelines, which now state: Apps offering “loot boxes” or other mechanisms that provide randomized virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase. In practice, this should function the same as Blizzard’s new rules of disclosure for Chinese Overwatch players. The company recently listed the odds of getting each kind of item in a loot box on its Chinese website, after Chinese gaming regulations forced the transparency.
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SuperMeat raises $3 million for lab-grown chicken. Israeli biotech startup SuperMeat has announced a $3 million seed funding round to help bring its lab-grown meat products to market. Founded out of Tel Aviv in 2015, SuperMeat is one of a number of lab-made meat startups seeking to capitalize on the burgeoning sustainable food sector. The company’s so-called “clean meat” is created by growing cells that have been extracted from chicken, bypassing the costly and environmentally-unfriendly process of breeding, feeding, and slaughtering animals. SuperMeat reeled in more than $200,000 in crowdfunding via Indiegogo in 2016, so the company’s latest cash infusion represents its first notable external equity-based funding. Leading the round were U.S-based VC firms New Crop Capital and Stray Dog Capital, though PHW — a billion-dollar German poultry company — also participated in the round. Maintaining animals raised for meat has a significant impact on the environment, through the consumption of land, energy, and water, and this is why a number of “meat substitute” companies have come to the fore promising a more sustainable approach. Back in August, Memphis Meats raised $17 million from DFJ, food giant Cargill, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Atomico, while last month U.S. meat giant Tyson Foods upped its stake in plant-based food startup Beyond Meat. Earlier today, TGI Fridays announced it was adding Beyond Meats’ burger to its menus across the U.S.
Uber and Waymo just reached a $245 million settlement, The legal battle between two of the biggest tech titans is finally over — at least for now. The attorney representing Waymo, the self-driving car company spun out of Google, settled its court case with ride-hailing giant Uber on Friday. Google's parent company, Alphabet, is set to receive 0.34 percent of Uber's equity at a $72 billion valuation as part of the agreement.
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Facebook is banning all ads for bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and ICOs (FB). Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Indianapolis’ Springbuk raises $20 million for its employer-facing health analytics softw.are. Springbuk, an Indianapolis-based provider of health intelligence software, announced today that it has raised a $20 million series B round. The round was led by HealthQuest Capital and Echo Health Ventures. St. Louis-based Lewis & Clark Ventures and Indianapolis-based Elevate Ventures also participated in this round. According to Crunchbase’s data, Springbuk’s series B is the largest raised by an Indianapolis company since media startup The Odyssey raised a $25 million series B in 2015. It’s a positive development in an area (the Midwest) where scale-up capital has traditionally been hard to come by. VentureBeat’s Heartland Tech channel invites you to join us and other senior business leaders at BLUEPRINT in Reno on March 5-7. Learn how to expand jobs to Middle America, lower costs, and boost profits. Click here to request an invite and be a part of the conversation. Springbuk, which launched its software in 2015, targets employers that are looking to assess how effective the various benefits services they offer are.
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Elon Musk apparently wasn't joking about a Boring Company flamethrower — it's here. Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work. You might think that Elon Musk is a bit of a joker, but in hindsight, basically every joke he'd uttered became a real project. First he joked about boring a tunnel to escape Los Angeles' hideous traffic jams, and the Boring Company was born. Then he said he's going to send a Tesla car to Mars, and it appears that he's actually going to go through with it. But after he'd sold $600,000 worth of Boring Company hats, Musk said the next Boring Company product would be a flamethrower. Surely he must have been kidding about that one? Well, think again. The company website now has a "flamethrower" page.
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Hyperkin plans to revive the Game Boy before Nintendo has a chance. The market for retro gaming hardware has been around for ages, but no one knew quite how massive it could be until Nintendo came out with the NES Classic Edition in 2016. The miniature console sold out immediately, and every time it came back in stock, it was gone as quickly as it had arrived. Nintendo followed it up with the SNES Classic Edition in 2017, and despite having significantly more stock, still managed to sell out at virtually every retailer. Taking advantage of the wave of enthusiasm for old school hardware, gaming peripheral maker Hyperkin announced at CES 2018 this week that it is working on an updated version of Nintendo’s Game Boy that will actually play original Game Boy games in addition to featuring countless improvements over the original hardware. Don't Miss: Today’s best deals: Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue, $12 Alexa bulb, Ring Video Doorbell, Crock-Pot, more
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Ruling raises songwriter royalties from Spotify, Apple Music by 44%. The mechanical royalty rates—royalties paid out to songwriters and publishers, as distinct from those paid out to performers—will increase by nearly 44 percent over the next five years. This comes as a result of a ruling from the United States Copyright Royalty Board after hearings that were held from March through June of last year. Currently, 10.5 percent of streaming services' monthly gross revenue is assigned to be paid to songwriters and publishers; the payouts are determined by the number of streams in that period. That will rise each year until it reaches 15.1 percent in 2022. This year, the rate will be 11.4 percent, it will be 13.3 percent in 2020, and so on. Songwriters and publishers have long claimed they've gotten the short end of the stick with regards to streaming music royalties. One songwriter, Nashville-based Kevin Kadish, claimed in 2015 that he received only $5,679 from 178 million Pandora streams. In 2016, the National Music Publishers' Association settled a deal with Spotify to help music publishers and songwriters claim royalties, as the messiness of the current system has led to lawsuits and other negative outcomes. The National Music Publishers' Association was also involved in the fight for this ruling, alongside the Association of Independent Music Publishers. Variety reports that writers were looking for a per-stream rate but did not achieve that goal. However, higher rates are still seen as a victory. That's partly because of the significant rate increase, but also because the ruling further simplifies and streamlines the terms by which the rates are paid out.
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YouTube CEO YouTube Red is “really a music service” coming to “a hundred” more countries, YouTube In July last year, Google announced that its music service, Google Play Music, would merge with its premium YouTube service, YouTube Red. News on the merger was quiet until December 2017, when Bloomberg reported that Google would be releasing the combined service, internally referred to as “Remix,” by March 2018.
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