31 May 2014

Video Streaming Quality, YouTube now rating US ISPs

Transparency and Accountability -- YouTube keeping track of ISPs and letting you know:

YouTube starts rating US ISPs, puts its weight behind settlement-free peering — Tech News and Analysis"Google wants you to know which ISPs provide the best streaming experience, and it wants ISPs to work with it to ensure HD-quality streams without buffering.... The report also shows which ISPs are capable of delivering SD quality video without buffering, and which ones deliver videos at a lower performance, or in other words will leave you completely frustrated. To get to these results, YouTube monitored streams over a 30 day period. Only ISPs that were capable of delivering HD at least 90 percent of the time are being called HD verified...."

for more info go toGoogle Video Quality Report: "There are many factors that influence your video streaming quality, including your choice of Internet Service Provider (ISP). Learn how your ISP performs and understand your options."

Search for flair grows as gadgets become accessories
Boston Globe
Apple's $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics, by far the company's ... The standard Google Glass product looks more like something out of Star Trek ...

Google steps up efforts for more racial diversity
Boston Globe
Google has had more trouble diversifying its workforce than its computer ... One year,Google says, there were just two black people in the United ... The company hired one of them, and Microsoft hired the other, according to ... to shareholder meetings this spring at such companies as Google, Facebook, ...

Google's Motorola Mobility to Close Factory in Texas
Wall Street Journal
Motorola, which Google plans to sell, opened the factory in May 2013. ... Apple's latest iPhone sells for $650 without a contract on the website of AT&T ...

Google now taking requests to censor results in Europe
San Jose Mercury News
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google is starting to accept requests from Europeans who want to erase unflattering information from the results produced by the ...

Apple hits new “Beats” ahead of WWDC
MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Well, now that you can scratch Apple Inc.'s acquisition of Beats Music and Beats Electronics off the list of things ...

Microsoft, Salesforce.com Make Nice, Marry Apps
InformationWeek
Salesforce apps will work with Office 365, Windows, Windows Phone. Microsoft keeps using ExactTarget. But don't expect Salesforce apps on Azure....

Google to test self-driving cars
Los Angeles Times
Self-driving prototypes will have manual controls to override the autonomous driving systems. But Google plans to build the bulk of the cars as fully ...

Microsoft Preparing To Jump Into The Wearables Market With Its Own Smartwatch
Forbes
A spokesman for Microsoft would not comment on the details. ... “Microsoft needs to run across Apple and Android platforms,” said a recent research ...

8 books Amazon is making it hard to buy
CNNMoney
Amazon has been pressuring Hachette to accept its terms -- consequently, ... Patterson wrote on his Facebook page: "What I don't understand about this particular battle tactic is how it is in the best interest of Amazon customers.

Apple is still an iPhone story, for now
MarketWatch
Last year, when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hosted its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, its shares were trading around $439. One year later ...

Surprise: Microsoft's working on a smartwatch of its own - Engadget
By Zach Honig
Apple's reportedly working on one, Google's developing an entire ecosystem and hundreds of smaller companies either have products already on the ...
Engadget RSS Feed


Apple Stock Rises iPhone 6 Rumors - Business Insider
By Jim Edwards
Apple Stock Is Going Through The Roof As People Figure Out Just How ... Yahoo Finance ... Login With Facebook Login With Twitter Login With Google .... Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wins Clippers bidding war for $2 billion.
Markets


What's the Most Expensive Thing You Can Find on Amazon? - Gizmodo
By Eric Limer
This week, Amazon added (absurdly expensive) commemorative coins to the long list of ... Just a year after starting it up, Google's shutting down its Texas-. ... Beats by AppleMakes Monster's Big Mistake Even Bigger ... bHide; EShare to Kinja; jShare to Facebook· iShare to Twitter · rGo to permalink.
Gizmodo


Jimmy Iovine, David Geffen & Oprah Winfrey Outbid by Ex-Microsoft Exec for LA Clippers - Radio.com
By Brian Ives
Music industry mogul Jimmy Iovine is about to get a big payoff for selling Beats Audio toApple, but it looks like a bid he was involved with to purchase ...
Radio.com


more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



30 May 2014

Tech News: Apps Kill Your Battery; Internet Trends 2014 (slides)


KPCB Internet trends 2014 (Mary Meeker) slides from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers - internet users growth slows; increasing share to mobile devices 

Mary Meeker: Mobile devices equal big data devices | Mobile technology - InfoWorld: "First, the basics: Overall, Internet usage continues to grow -- 2.6 billion users as of the end of 2013 -- but its growth rate has started to flatten, and much of the growth is in markets that Meeker describes as "more difficult to monetize," such as India, Indonesia, and Nigeria. Most of that Internet usage is shifting to mobile devices, with the lion's share of engagement taking place on smartphones rather than tablets despite the latter's booming sales. Even there, it's starting to level off: Smartphone subscriber growth is flattening, with the majority of growth taking place in what Meeker calls "underpenetrated markets" like China and Brazil...."

Apps KILL your Battery --
New Study Shows that Free Apps Are Killing Your Battery | TIME.com: ...A new study conducted by researchers at Purdue University found that 65% to 75% of the energy used by free apps is committed to user tracking, downloading ads and uploading user information. That means only 25% to %35 of the energy is used for performing tasks like, you know, actually running the app’s core function....

Apple WWDC 2014: 9 Things To Expect
InformationWeek
It's true that the annual developers event, much like Google I/O in late June, is more than tutorials, handshakes, and hangovers. It's a global stage ...

Apple buying Beats for $3 billion
CNNMoney
Apple is officially buying Beats for $3 billion, just shy of the rumored price leaked a few weeks ago, the companies announced Wednesday.

Google's Self-Driving Cars Have No Steering Wheel
InformationWeek
Google hopes to get its self-driving cars ready for public deployment by 2018. And though reality and politics might push the date back, the company is ...

Microsoft's Nadella: We're In 'Post-Post' PC Era
InformationWeek
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduces Skype Translator, says we've entered a "post-post" digital world in which personalized experiences instead of ...

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's Collaboration Game: Can He Drive Innovation Growth?
Forbes
Microsoft helped usher-out carbon paper, typewriters, adding machines, ... of computing – a coveted spot now held by competitors like Apple and Google? ... has gained ground recently but lacks the buzz and momentum of Google. ... This is where Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has stumbled badly in her ...

Microsoft shoots to shorten Internet Explorer's long tail
Computerworld
Computerworld - Microsoft today spelled out priorities for its Internet ... Other browser makers -- Apple, Google and Mozilla -- have larger portions of ...

Apple device hijacking spreads to US as Aussies urged to change passwords
The Age
Apple device owners who have iCloud accounts are being told to change their passwords by Australian authorities in the wake of a hijacking attack ...

Google Glass will not succeed: FitBit designer Gadi Amit
Sydney Morning Herald
Google Glass will not be a commercial success, according to Gadi Amit, who designed one of the world's most popular wearable technology gadgets.

Egyptian democracy activist Wael Ghonim joins Google Ventures - Fortune Tech
By Miguel Helft, senior writer
After an extended sabbatical from Google, Ghonim, who is 33, began ... at The New York Times covering companies like Apple, Facebook and Google. ... he has chronicled major industry events -- from the Microsoft antitrust trial to ...
Fortune Tech: Technology blogs,...


Facebook Ad Targeting and it's Opportunities — Amy Porterfield
By Amy
On this episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast, I discussed Facebook ad targeting with Rick Mulready....
Amy Porterfield


Apple buys Beats and plans home control system to rival Nest - Dezeen
By Anna Winston
Tech giant Apple has bought Dr Dre's Beats headphone company for $3 ... It is being viewed as a rival to Google's Nest – the home climate system ...
Dezeen


Early Apple prototypes
By Jason Kottke
Early Apple prototypes MAY 28 2014 ... by Hartmut Esslinger, a collection of photographs of prototypes his company Frog Design worked on for Apple Computer. ...
kottke.org


Google Is Building Its Own Self-Driving Car Prototypes - IEEE Spectrum
By Lucas Laursen
Google's next self-driving cars will be custom-built prototypes with no steering wheels or control pedals, the company announced yesterday.
IEEE Spectrum Recent Content

more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



29 May 2014

Google Driverless Cars, Facebook WhatsApp deal, Apple Passwords

Technology News Updates:

Google's Next Phase in Driverless Cars: No Brakes or Steering Wheel
New York Times
Humans might be the one problem Google can't solve. For the past four years, Googlehas been working on self-driving cars with a mechanism to ...

Facebook Seeks EU Antitrust Review of WhatsApp Deal
Wall Street Journal
Facebook agreed to buy messaging company WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock in February. ... "Facebook might prefer to go to the commission than go before several ... app Instagram for more than $1 billion in 2012, and, a year earlier, Microsoft Corp. ...Amazon Murder Raises Brazil Tensions.

Apple urges hacked users to change passwords
CNET
Following a hack that saw iPads, iPhones and Macs across Australia compromised and held to ransom, Apple has urged affected iCloud users to change their passwords. . . .

Amazon says quick end unlikely in dispute with Hachette
Chicago Tribune
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is preparing for a long battle with Hachette Book Group over a contract dispute that led the U.S. online ...

Apple's 800M accounts spent $3.29 each last quarter, down 24%
Fortune
But the App Store is taking up the slack, and Apple could still bring iTunes to Android. Click to enlarge. FORTUNE -- "Online services is an ...

Apple plots home break-in, home automation break-through
Computerworld
Computerworld - Apple will trumpet its entry into the home automation ... includes everyone from Google and Samsung to Cisco and Intel, they said.

Fidelity, Amazon, others backing FinTech startup program
Boston Globe
Fidelity Investments, Thomson Reuters, and Amazon.com are jointly launching a business startup program in the Boston area later this year that will ...

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg not summoned to Iran, prosecutor says
San Jose Mercury News
TEHRAN, Iran -- An Iranian prosecutor Wednesday denied reports that a local judge ordered Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear ...

For Microsoft's CEO, no need to mince words
Fortune
Appearing at a conference in California, Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella ... Plus,Google's Sergey Brin on self-driving cars. ... Amazon (AMZN), for instance, understands the importance of its Kindle app on the iPad. Years ago, Apple figured out how critical it was to produce a version of iTunes for ...

Apple and Google angle for control of the Internet of Things
Fortune (blog)
Which is what makes the so-called Internet of Things (IoT, per Wikipedia) so interesting, especially now that Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) have ...

Microsoft gets most things right with Surface Pro 3
Detroit Free Press
NEW YORK — Microsoft had Apple in the cross hairs when it introduced the Surface Pro 3 tablet last week. Every one of Apple's tablet rivals has ...

Apple Will Stream The WWDC 2014 Keynote Live On June 2 | TechCrunch
By Darrell Etherington
Apple will be streaming this year's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 2 at 10 AM PT (1 PM ET), the company announced today.
TechCrunch

Google Analytics Premium launches executive-level business reporting - Analytics Blog
By Adam Singer
“Prior to using roll-up reporting we had no way to see all of our sites in a single GoogleAnalytics view. Now we can easily compare our nine sites and ...
Google Analytics Blog

more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



28 May 2014

China Social Media (video)

How the West Can Capitalize on China Social Media: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play)
Vincent Digonnet, executive chairman of APAC at Razorfish, discusses the growth of social media in China with John Dawson on Bloomberg Television's "On The Move Asia." (Source: Bloomberg May26)

Amazon escalates standoff with publisher Hachette Book Group
Los Angeles Times
In its ongoing battle with publisher Hachette, Amazon has removed ... who on hisFacebook page noted that the purchase of books written by him, Malcolm ... The issue was also e-books; Apple Inc. was about to launch its iBookstore.

Microsoft, Apple, and device discontinuity
CNET
Microsoft argues that the Surface will save you from having to buy a MacBook and an iPad, but its integrated tablet comes at the price of a disjointed ...

Facebook, Google dumb down the new media
MarketWatch
The movie “Network” taught us: “I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!” But, funny, the network in question was supposed to be ...

Apple wins patents on Game Center, iPhone Burst Mode
CNET
patentimages.jpg A look at Apple's Burst Mode patent drawings. Apple ... are Apple'sanswer to some of the features -- but not all -- found in Microsoft's ...

Google 'Right To Be Forgotten' Ruling Unlikely to Repeat in US
NBCNews.com
... Security Agency secretly broke into communications on Yahoo and Google abroad and targeted overseas ... "The right to be forgotten is a great idea philosophically, but it is wrong to put the onus on Google or Facebook," she said.

Apple granted patent for embedding sapphire displays in LiquidMetal iPhone chassis
Apple Insider
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday issued Apple a patent describing a process in which an iPhone's display glass — including ...

Google hands TV control powers to your phone with Chromecast TV adaptor
The Australian
Login with Facebook ... Google says the company has been working to have Australian content available. ... Google Chromecast product manager Raunaq Shah said more than 5000 developers ... Julian Hardy bought his Chromecast from online retailer Amazon towards the end of last year and says he ...

Apple's next big thing: Your iPhone controls your home
Washington Post
Apple's new software platform would turn the iPhone into a remote control for ... from customers' online habits is one of Google's main income sources.

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg ordered to Iranian court over privacy issues
Detroit Free Press
TEHRAN, IRAN — A judge in southern Iran has ordered Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in court to answer complaints by ...


more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



27 May 2014

How to Protect Your Company From Data Breaches (video)

How to Protect Your Company From Data Breaches: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play)
How to Protect Your Company From Data Breaches - Verizon's Eddie Schwartz discusses how to avoid data breaches with Angie Lau on Bloomberg Television's "First Up." (Source: Bloomberg May 26)

Report: Apple plans to introduce a connected home platform at WWDC
PCWorld (blog)
Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off in a week, and ... And big tech companies already want in: Look no further than Google's ...


Apple focuses on music creation, travel writing in latest 'Your Verse' iPad ads
Apple Insider
Apple on Sunday released two new spots for its "Your Verse" iPad campaign touting the tablet's music creation and travelogue capabilities with stories from composer Esa-Pekka Salonen and travel writer Cherie King. Composer and principal conductor of the ...


Apple asks US court to make Samsung remove infringing features
Computerworld
IDG News Service - Following up on a jury verdict, Apple has asked a court in California to order Samsung Electronics to stop using features that were ...

Google 'Right To Be Forgotten' Ruling Unlikely to Repeat in US
NBCNews.com
... Security Agency secretly broke into communications on Yahoo and Google abroad and targeted overseas ... "The right to be forgotten is a great idea philosophically, but it is wrong to put the onus on Google or Facebook," she said.

Google, Costco and Facebook Best Employers in the US: Glassdoor Poll
NDTV
Google, Facebook and wholesale retailer Costco offer the best pay and benefit packages in the United States, according to employee ratings compiled ...

A Look At Amazon's Burgeoning Robot Army
Inventorspot
Currently, Amazon utilizes around 1,000 robot workers on its facility floors. ... In short, it looks like Google's not the only one building a robot army.

Facebook: We should know about the 4 new privacy
Views Times
Facebook has finally caved to public pressure and agreed to improve its privacy settings, but the tighter security for its traditional features also comes ...

Apple iPhone 6 is coming: What you should know
KENS 5 TV
Going into an iPhone launch there's never much doubt about whether Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) latest addition to the key lineup will sell better than its ...

Google's current stance on patents with Android would have prevented Google from ever having ...
Apple Insider
This might remind you of Apple's Siri, or the development of the NCSA web ... Out of the ashes of the Dot Com Crash, Yahoo and Microsoft rapidly began earning ... Over the ten years since that Yahoo deal, Google has maintained an ..... 


Yahoo's Ad Business Ain't Dead Yet - Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) | Seeking Alpha
By Alex Cho
Some environments are a little more ad-friendly, like the Facebook homepage, whereas other environments aren't as easy to advertise on, like Yahoo ...

Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium: "Once upon a time, a friend of mine accidentally took over thousands of computers. He had found a vulnerability in a piece of software and started playing with it. In the process, he figured out how to get total administration access over a network. He put it in a script, and ran it to see what would happen, then went to bed for about four hours. Next morning on the way to work he checked on it, and discovered he was now lord and master of about 50,000 computers. After nearly vomiting in fear he killed the whole thing and deleted all the files associated with it. In the end he said he threw the hard drive into a bonfire. I can’t tell you who he is because he doesn’t want to go to Federal prison... This story isn’t extraordinary at all. Spend much time in the hacker and security scene, you’ll hear stories like this and worse...." (read more at link above)

U.S. Case Offers Glimpse Into China’s Hacker Army - NYTimes.com: "One man accused of being a hacker for the Chinese military, Wang Dong, better known as UglyGorilla, wrote in a social media profile that he did not “have much ambition” but wanted “to wander the world with a sword, an idiot.” Another, Sun Kailiang, also known as Jack Sun, grew up in wealthy Pei County in eastern China, the home of a peasant who founded the ancient Han dynasty and was idolized by Mao. They and three others were indicted by the United States Justice Department this week, charged with being part of a Chinese military unit that has hacked the computers of prominent American companies to steal commercial secrets, presumably for the benefit of Chinese companies...."

Intel Vs. Qualcomm: Who Has The Better Roadmap For 2015? - Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) | Seeking Alpha"Intel will gain market share as a result of aggressive pricing and performance gains. However, I don't think Intel's graphics and modem solution will match Qualcomm's in 2015."

more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



26 May 2014

Windows 8 is a Failure, Surface is a Failure, Time to Kill Both

Microsoft has been busy compounding its mistakes --

It's Time to Kill Surface | stratechery by Ben Thompson: "....Windows 8 is a failure, rendering reason 1 moot. In fact, from what I understand the Windows group is laser-focused on simply making Windows acceptable to their enterprise base, which has been very vocal in their displeasure.... When you consider the original goals, none of which have been met, and the original dangers, all of which have come to pass, the only conclusion is that Surface is a failure...." (read more at the link above)

What Microsoft gets wrong about the tablet-laptop redundancy | Ars Technica: ".... like with all of the convertible laptop-tablets that have come before, we won't be surprised if this pitch's initial effect doesn't play out to a grand success."


TelexFree Bankruptcy, What Comes Next? (video above)
Trouble at TelexFree: What Comes Next? - Spreecast: "TelexFree LLC, a Massachusetts Internet calling service provider, stands accused of operating one of the largest pyramid schemes in history. The company, now in bankruptcy, is facing civil fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, and its owners have been criminally charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. What path will the company’s bankruptcy likely follow, and what are the consequences for investors located around the word? Two lawyers who have been closely following the case join The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Corrigan to discuss."

New success in protecting customer rights unsealed today - Microsoft on the Issues - Site Home - TechNet Blogs: "Posted by Brad Smith General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft On Thursday, a federal court in Seattle unsealed documents related to an FBI National Security Letter that Microsoft successfully challenged in court late last year. This marks an important and successful step to protect Microsoft's enterprise customers regarding government surveillance.... "


Google Close To Snapping Up Satellite Startup Skybox Imaging For $1B+, Say Sources | TechCrunch"Google is closing in on a deal for Skybox Imaging, a satellite company that specialises in recording very detailed landscape pictures and video, TechCrunch has heard from three different sources."

Book review: ‘Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper: How Innovation Keeps Proving the Catastrophists Wrong,’ by Robert Bryce - Books - The Boston Globe: "...A fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, Bryce delights in mocking the pessimists of the past and the present, with their anxieties over the prospects of environmental collapse and resource depletion, and deploys plenty of hard data to support his sunny view of the future. The reason for his confidence is summed up in his title. For the past two centuries, people have produced the necessities of life in far greater abundance and much higher quality because we’ve gotten so good at making things smaller, faster, lighter, denser, and cheaper... The “denser” bit might seem obscure, but it’s a crucial ingredient in Bryce’s formula. The Industrial Revolution, and all the marvels that have followed from it, were made possible by “dense” energy sources that deliver a lot of power relative to their weight...."


more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



25 May 2014

Humans, Robots, Asimov's Laws

Yes, we NEED Asimov's Laws --

Do We Need Asimov's Laws? | MIT Technology Review: "In 1942, the science fiction author Isaac Asimov published a short story called Runaround in which he introduced three laws that governed the behaviour of robots. The three laws are as follows:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
He later introduced a fourth or zeroth law that outranked the others:
0. A robot may not harm humanity, or, by inaction, allow humanity to come to harm...." (read more at the link above)

Free phone service FreedomPop unveils $20 'Unlimited' plan - CNET: "Firm launches paid "Unlimited Everything" plan, adds LTE phones to offerings to mark its move to Sprint's LTE network."

U.S. may act to keep Chinese hackers out of Def Con hacker event | Reuters: "....Washington could use such visa restrictions and other measures to keep Chinese from attending the August Def Con and Black Hat events to maintain pressure on China after the United States this week charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into U.S. companies to steal trade secrets...."

Apple, Google, Intel And Adobe Settle The Employee Rip Off Suit
Forbes
Apple Apple, Google Google, Intel Intel and Adobe have agreed to settle the civil suit alleging that they ripped off their employees by having ...

Microsoft Surface Pro 3: 10 Tablets Paved Its Way
InformationWeek
About 40% of Americans own a tablet or e-reader, but that didn't happen overnight. These 10 devices shaped the evolution of the modern tablet.

Apple hits 52-week high as Beats buzz builds
MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Apple Inc. shares hit a 52-week high Friday as the company geared up for its big developer conference and ...

Amazon plays hardball -- and puts the hurt on consumers
CNET
If the average Amazon-loving book buyer were to go to the company's ... said had conspired with Apple to fix e-book prices in an attempt to keep Amazon from ... In a post on Facebook titled "Four of the most important paragraphs I'll ever ... ComparingMicrosoft's Surface Pro 2 to the new Surface Pro 3.

Apple iPhone 5c 8GB launched in India for Rs 37500: Will Apple's new gamble pay off?
Firstpost
Finally, Apple has launched the 8GB version of its iPhone 5C in India for Rs 37,500, a move aimed at capturing a larger share of the burgeoning ...

Google Glass Fans Fight Restaurant Ban With Bad Reviews
Mashable
It's only been a few months since the infamous anti-Google Glass bar incident in San Francisco, and now it looks like some users of the device are ...

Microsoft Fought the FBI, But the FBI Won
Top Tech News
Government requests like those from the FBI for Microsoft's enterprise customer data are extremely rare, so the firm says it seldom has to litigate ...

Apple looking to ban sale of Samsung products
CNET
Early-May trial verdict found Samsung infringed three Apple mobile patents. Apple ...Apple is looking to ban the sale of Samsung gadgets yet again.

Apple iPhone 6 is coming: What you should know
USA TODAY
Going into an iPhone launch there's never much doubt about whether Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) latest addition to the key lineup will sell better than its ...


Meteor shower disappoints stargazers, but not too much
Washington Post
All in all, many people suggested, it was better to have searched for meteors early Saturday morning and not seen them than never to have looked at all. Published reports had indicated that a cascade of shooting stars might streak through the morning skies ...

Roombots Self-Assemble into Furniture
EE Times
PORTLAND, Ore. -- In what the lead researcher calls a "crazy" project conjoins dual round robots with three degrees-of-freedom--called Roombots -- which self-assemble into the type of furniture of your choice. Conceived at the Biorobotics Laboratory ...

Aliens Exist And Will Be Found Pretty Soon, Say Scientists
Forbes
It used to be that if you asked an astronomer if there was intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, you'd get some sort of hedged response involving the vastness of the universe and statistical probabilities that you'd expect from a diligent scientist. I've asked ...

more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)


24 May 2014

You Can Say 'OK Google' to your desktop Chrome Browser

"OK Google" --

Google listens after you say 'OK Google' to your desktop Chrome | ZDNet:Google announced the arrival of the voice trigger in Chrome on Wednesday, bringing its standard voice-command for initiating a search on Android, Google Now, or actions on Glass to the desktop too. Previously, to activate a voice search in Chrome on the desktop, users would have to click on the microphone icon in the search box.The new voice command only works on google.com and is available for Chrome users outside the US and in some other languages, so long as they're on that domain — rather than, for example, Google.com.au or Google.es. The feature is supported on Chrome for Linux, Macs and Windows...

The Godzillas of cable TV have come to wreak havoc on your wallet | Money | theguardian.com: "....While there are a lot of channels, the content that we love to watch – think that NFL package, or Game of Thrones – has been getting more costly for telecom providers to purchase. (Comcast, for instance, in the two years before the proposed Time-Warner merger was announced, had seen costs soar about 20%.) Merging is one strategy these behemoths hope will help them limit (or at least cope with) the size of those costs. Cable companies aren’t swallowing all of those costs, of course. Indeed, they’ve been passing as much of them on to consumers as they feel they can: that’s why the odds are that your cable bill has risen at four times the rate of inflation of late...."

Google Developing Tablet With Advanced Vision Capabilities - WSJ.com: "...The device would come with a 7-inch screen and will be equipped with two back cameras, infrared depth sensors and advanced software that can capture precise three-dimensional images of objects, said these people. The tablet is being developed as part of a Google research effort dubbed Project Tango, according to a person familiar with that effort, and could be released ahead of the company's annual developer conference scheduled for the end of June, said this person...."

Amazon escalates standoff with Hachette
USA TODAY
Sign in with FacebookSign in with GoogleSign In FAQ ... An ongoing standoff betweenAmazon and one of the leading New York publishers has ... who on his Facebook page noted that the purchase of books written by him, ... Apple was about to launch its iBookstore and Macmillan, Hachette and other ...

Facebook offers privacy checkup to all 1.28b of its users
Boston Globe
SAN FRANCISCO — Do you know who can see what you are posting on Facebook, including your photos, birthday, and personal cellphone number?

Apple, Google, others agree to $324.5 million settlement in wage case
Los Angeles Times
Apple, Google and other tech giants accused of artificially suppressing ... however, faltered in part because executives at Facebook were reluctant to ...

Microsoft prays for service revenue with free Windows 8.1 with Bing for tablets
Computerworld
Computerworld - Microsoft today confirmed that it will be giving a new ... 2013, a far cry from the 35% of Apple's iOS and the 61% of Google's Android.

Google promises to patch Chrome OS for 5 years - Computerworld: The Chromebook end of support list can be found on Google's website. It will be updated if Google decides to again extend support for select models, and when new devices hit the market.


Microsoft Challenged Secret FBI Request for Data About Customer
Wall Street Journal
The newly disclosed documents shed unusual light on the steps tech companies have taken to combat government data requests after leaks from ...

Apple removes weed dealing game from app store
CNNMoney
The makers of a game called Weed Firm says Apple removed the app from the ... It was also taken down from the Google (GOOGL) Play store, but the ...

Google's Settlement with European Union Faces Increased Pressure
Wall Street Journal
The pressure to revise the antitrust deal is the latest in a series of European broadsides against the Mountain View, Calif. company. Agence ...

more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



23 May 2014

Ask the FCC Why Comcast, Verizon and AT&T Can Not Be Like Google Fiber!

Google Fiber: we don’t charge for peering, don’t have fast lanes - Hear that Tom Wheeler, FCC, US Congress, Barack Obama? What is WRONG with Washington DC and the industry incumbents is they all have their heads up their _____. At this point, the incumbents and the US government (including FCC) have done such a poor job providing low-cost, fast internet for the US, let's just turn it all over to Google!

Google Fiber: we don’t charge for peering, don’t have fast lanes — Tech News and Analysis: "....Of course, this was more than Google gloating about how fast Fiber is. The post also comes at a time where Netflix sees itself pressured to strike paid peering deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon to improve an otherwise subpar video streaming experience for the customers of those ISPs."

Google Fiber Blog: "Google Fiber provides the ‘last-mile’ Internet connection to your home. Meanwhile, content providers spend a lot of money (many billions of dollars) building their own networks to transport their content all the way to those ‘last-mile’ connections....we invite content providers to hook up their networks directly to ours. This is called ‘peering,’ and it gives you a more direct connection to the content that you want. We have also worked with services like Netflix so that they can ‘colocate’ their equipment in our Fiber facilities. What does that mean for you? Usually, when you go to Netflix and click on the video that you want to watch, your request needs to travel to and from the closest Netflix data center, which might be a roundtrip of hundreds or thousands of miles. Instead, Netflix has placed their own servers within our facilities (in the same place where we keep our own video-on-demand content). Because the servers are closer to where you live, your content will get to you faster and should be a higher quality."


Google Plans Low-Cost, High Quality Wi-Fi Networks For Small- And Medium-Sized Businesses, Report Says | TechCrunch: "Google is apparently planning to offers subsidized, commercial-grade Wi-Fi hardware to small and medium-sized businesses, The Information reports, alongside software to help greatly improve the quality of the Wi-Fi experience at places like doctors’ offices, restaurants, gyms and more. The hardware would be the only cost involved, as it would use the businesses’ existing Internet connections, unlike the Google-provided Wi-Fi networks running at Starbucks businesses across the U.S."

Wheeler Says F.C.C. Will Examine Peering Arrangements - NYTimes.com: "The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday that the agency would examine the type of paid-priority arrangements that Netflix recently entered into with Comcast, a deal that created an uproar of accusations that the F.C.C. was allowing companies to buy fast-lane Internet access to consumers. The chairman, Tom Wheeler, told a House panel Tuesday that the commission “needs to be looking at and will be looking at” those types of agreements, which are business-to-business contracts known as peering arrangements. Mr. Wheeler also stated that position last week after the commission voted to release its open Internet proposal for public comment. The stance is significant because Mr. Wheeler has long said that peering agreements do not fall under the umbrella of what is commonly referred to as “net neutrality,” which is the focus of the commission’s open Internet proposals introduced last week..."

Google Backs Netflix in Epic Battle With Comcast
Wired
Netflix is now paying Comcast for a direct connection to the internet service provider, as it seeks to ensure that Comcast customers experience fewer ...

House of Representatives passes 'gutted' NSA surveillance reform | The Verge: "Privacy watchdogs hope Senate will roll back amendments to USA Freedom Act"

HP: Cheapest quad-core tablet yet comes in at just $99.99 | BGR: "The HP 7 Plus features a 1GHz quad-core processor, a 7-inch, 1024 x 600 resolution display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage (and microSD card slot), 2-megapixel rear camera, 0.3-megapixel front camera, 2800 mAh battery and Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. If you purchase the tablet from HP’s website, you’ll also receive 25GB of lifetime storage with Box and Kingsoft Office software."

JD.com Is Latest Chinese Company to Soar In U.S. Trading Debut - MoneyBeat - WSJ: "Investors are going shopping for JD.com Inc.JD 0.00%, the newly public e-commerce juggernaut, adding to a mostly buoyant market for Chinese companies listing in the U.S."

Heard on the Street: Sina Spreads Gloom Amid Chinese Internet Boom - WSJ.com: "Chinese Internet portal operator Sina SINA -9.38% is giving investors plenty to worry about, and not much to look forward to."

Google feels political wind shift against it in Europe - FT.com

Marc Andreessen: Tech companies are still fuming over the NSA: "....Chief executives from leading companies including Netflix, Google and Facebook met with senior White House officials in December, and again in March. While the Obama administration said at the time that the meetings helped clear the air on intelligence reforms, Andreessen argued Monday that the White House has not done enough to mitigate the NSA's impact on tech companies' reputations, particularly overseas. "The level of trust in U.S. companies has been seriously damaged, especially but not exclusively outside the U.S.," said Andreessen. "Every time a new shoe drops — and there are 10,000 of them — it serves a blow to the U.S." Some estimates suggest the news about the NSA's surveillance practices may have cost tech companies tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue...."

How the Internet of Things Will Change Business | MIT Technology Review: "....Gordon Bell, a Microsoft researcher and a pioneer of the original computer revolution, believes no one knows exactly what form computing will take on the Internet of things. But he says that’s unsurprising. The importance of the PC and the smartphone became clear only after their development. “The ‘Internet of things’ is a way of saying that more of the world will become part of the network,” he says. “That is what is going on. We are assimilating the world into the computer. It’s just more and more computers.”"

Samsung Music will close its doors on July 1 | News | TechRadar: "Samsung is encouraging anyone using the service to "take the time to download all purchased content and use any remaining vouchers for Samsung Music before July 1, 2014 - after that date they will no longer be available." 

HP Shares Fall on Light Results; Plans to Cut up to 16,000 More Jobs | Re/code

more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



22 May 2014

Do Not Call; Angela Ahrendt and Apple Retail; Google Stories

For Do Not Call violations, Sprint will pay FCC $7.5M in largest ever settlement | Ars Technica: "On Monday, Sprint agreed to pay the Federal Communications Commission $7.5 million to resolve violations of the Do Not Call registry—the largest settlement payout ever. The program first began in 2003 as a way to allow Americans to opt out of unsolicited sales calls...."
More info: https://www.fcc.gov/document/sprint-pay-record-75m-resolve-do-not-call-investigation

Do Not Call list tops 200 million, some scammers still ignore it | Ars Technica: "It's quite amazing that any of this came to pass, really. When the registry was being considered back in 2002, telemarketing opposition was fierce, and for obvious reasons. The industry was large, powerful, and willing to be unbelievably annoying. It also saw quite clearly that a tough Do Not Call rule would chop off its business at the knees...."

Angela Ahrendts’ plan for the future of Apple Retail: China emphasis, mobile payments, revamped experience | 9to5Mac: "...Ahrendts’ third critical focus for taking retail into the future is a planned revamp of the end-to-end Apple Store sales experience. From the point in which a customer finds the product he or she wants to purchase, to how they discuss the product with Apple Store employees, to how they pay for the product, Ahrendts would like to redesign the complete experience. Of course, Ahrendts’ job is not to bring Burberry to Apple Retail, but to improve Apple’s stores for the next decade—a period in which Apple will dive into wearable devices, new fashion-oriented products, and mobile services...."

Google+ Stories thinks it can top your vacation slideshow - CNET: "Google+ expands automation with the new Stories and Movies features, which create digital travelogues of your vacation...."


Official Google Blog: Google+ Stories and Movies: memories made easier"To get started with Stories and Movies, simply back up your photos and videos to Google+. And that’s it. Auto Awesome will get to work in the background, and you’ll get notified when a story or movie is ready. In fact: if your photo library is already online, you may already have stories waiting for you. So look for the new app in Google Play, view the full list of improvements on Google+, and enjoy your walks down memory lane."

Chrome Releases: Stable Channel Update for Chrome OS - Google Chrome Releases - Blogger
By Dharani
The Stable channel has been updated to 35.0.1916.116 (Platform version: 5712.61.0) for all Chrome OS devices except ASUS Chromebox and ...
Google Chrome Releases


Google Launches Panda 4.0 - SEW
By Jennifer Slegg
It's official. Panda 4.0 has officially hit the Google search results. Google and Matt Cutts have confirmed Panda 4.0 began rolling out yesterday, and it ...
Search Engine Watch - Latest

Google Beats Apple As BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brand
Forbes
Google has usurped Apple—leader for three years in a row—on the 2014 ... Amazonranked as the world's most valuable retail brand for the second year ... Facebook grew 68 percent to a brand value of $35.7 billion, while both ... Yahoo re-entered the ranking last year and increased again this year (44 ...

Apple vs. Samsung: Imminent settlement prospects appear dim
San Jose Mercury News
Apple and Samsung have dashed hopes that last week's peace treaty between the iPhone giant and Google might be a prelude to an imminent global ...

Facebook expands 'I'm a Voter' feature to international users
Los Angeles Times
Facebook expanded its "I'm a Voter" feature to international users for the first time last month during India's general election. Facebook expanded its ...

Google eyeing up to $30 billion in foreign buyouts
Washington Post
SAN FRANCISCO — Google is amassing cash overseas to help finance a foreign shopping spree that could cost the Internet company up to $30 ...

Yahoo Close to Acquiring Video-Streaming Startup
Wall Street Journal
A Yahoo spokeswoman declined to comment. ... she aims to turn her video site, Screen, into a viable competitor to Google Inc.'s YouTube. ... This year, Yahoo has held talks to acquire online video services Fullscreen Inc. and ...

Exclusive: Facebook to expand video ads to seven countries outside US
Reuters
Facebook began selling the ads in the United States in March to a small group ...Facebook said the performance of the initial group of video ads in the ...


Newly discovered praying mantis hunts like a tiger
The Verge
Researchers have discovered a new type of praying mantis previously unknown to science in Rwanda's remote Nyungwe national park. Dystacta tigrifrutex — also known as the tiger bush mantis — earned its name from the hunting practices of the female ...


more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



21 May 2014

Under FCC Proposal, US Internet Fast Lanes Would Actually Slow the Internet

So much for the FCC Net Neutrality [sic] proposal -- anyone want slow internet?

How the Web's Fast Lanes Would Work Without Net Neutrality - WSJ.com: "If U.S. regulators end up allowing telecom companies to set up fast lanes on the public Internet, companies that make the needed gear say the remaining service would inevitably get a little slower..."

Steve Wozniak to the FCC: Keep the Internet Free - Steve Wozniak - The Atlantic: "...Finally, the thought hit me that every time and in every way that the telecommunications careers have had power or control, we the people wind up getting screwed. Every audience that I speak this statement and phrase to bursts into applause. That's how the people think. They don't want this to encroach on their Internet freedom...."

Forget 'the Cloud,' Computing's Future Is in 'the Fog' - WSJ.com: "....Here's the reality: Getting data into and out of the cloud is harder than most engineers, or at least their managers, often are willing to admit. The problem is bandwidth....Overall, according to the World Economic Forum, the U.S. ranks 35th in the world in terms of bandwidth per user...."

Protecting Human Rights Online: Lessons from the Americas | Electronic Frontier Foundation: "... Here are the guiding principles for free expression and thought outlined by the report: Access: States should promote universal access, not only to infrastructure but also to technology necessary for its use, so as to make information on the Internet available to everyone. Pluralism: Maximizing the diversity of voices participating in the public debate is a goal in itself of the democratic process. In this sense, the report states that robust guarantees of the exercise of freedom of expression through the Internet are vital for opening up the public sphere. Non-discrimination: States must provide free access and user choice for sending and receiving any lawful content, application, or service through the Internet. Such content should not be subject to conditions, restrictions, and directives such as blocking, filtering, or interference. This is a necessary condition for exercising freedom of expression on the Internet. Privacy: Individual privacy should be carried out pursuant to reasonable and proportional standards that do not end up arbitrarily restricting the right to freedom of expression...."

China does what every Power User has already done-- written off Windows 8 --
China bans use of Microsoft's Windows 8 on government computers | Reuters: "...The Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban on installing Windows 8 on government computers as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products, posted on its website last week. The official Xinhua news agency said the ban was to ensure computer security after Microsoft ended support for its Windows XP operating system, which was widely used in China...."


ProtonMail - Easy to Use Email So Secure NSA Cannot Break It; What About NSA Other Attacks?: "...A main motivation behind starting ProtonMail was the human rights component. Referencing a writer in China who blogged about the service, Yen said, "Say you're an activist in China fighting for democracy, this is a life or death service."..."

This is what happens when you pester your friends for their relationship status with Facebook’s new ‘Ask’ button: "This creepy addition is called “Ask,” and you’ll see it in your Facebook friends’ “About” tab next to every field they’ve left blank. If your friend hasn’t chosen a relationship status, for instance, you’ll now be able to ask that they share that information, either publicly or just with you. The same idea applies if they haven’t specified their college, hometown, current company and location."

Study released on US Federal Government IT problems (source: Politico ): HealthCare.gov is just one of many federal IT disasters and the Public Spend Forum has released a report and hosted a roundtable that explored why the government struggles to buy and manage its technology. The study covers many of the issues: failure of leadership, "checks the box" culture, and proscriptive requirements. The report says federal projects fail because no one can agree on the actual problem. Recommendations include establishing clear lines of authority, developing simple requests that draw in a broader array of vendors and encouraging risk-taking. The report is here: http://publicspendforum.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/billionsinthebalance.pdf

AT&T Says It Wants to Sell Web TV, Too | Re/code: "AT&T’s proposed $48.5 billion acquisition of DirecTV will accelerate its plans to offer an Internet television service. AT&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said DirecTV holds established entertainment industry relationships that will help speed the company’s efforts to deliver video via mobile devices and high-speed Internet service. He told Wall Street investors that he anticipates offering an Internet TV service within 12 to 18 months of the deal closing...."

Modi's Role Model: Margaret Thatcher or Lee Kuan Yew? : The New Yorker: "....Relative to his predecessors, he is likely to emphasize manufacturing and infrastructure projects—two key aspects of the “Asian tiger” model—such as his proposal for a high-speed rail network. In addition, he will probably talk about expanding the ASEAN-India free-trade area and liberalizing India’s employment laws, which nearly all sides agree need some reform. In historical terms, though, that would all add up to more of the same medicine that India has been taking for twenty-odd years, rather than a radical break in a Thatcherite direction..."

Everything You Need To Know About Twitch.tv And Why Company Could Be A Steal For Google - Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) | Seeking Alpha: ".... The first reason why Twitch is a compelling acquisition target in the content space is because it avoids all costs associated with generating content... The other factor that YouTube has been trying to mimic lately is how players on Twitch have immense individual brand power. Twitch.tv is just as much about telling the narrative of the individuals as it is about watching them play video games. On Twitch can you watch a high school student go from playing 2-3 hours per day after he finishes his homework to competing on the Staples Center stage for a million bucks, and experience all the highs and lows along the way.... "

Yahoo Close to Acquiring Video-Streaming Startup - WSJ.com: "...soon bolster its Web-video technology with another acquisition. The Internet portal is close to finalizing an acquisition of video-streaming startup RayV Inc., according to people familiar with the matter..."

Bitcoin Exchanges Probed Over Shuttered Drug Market - WSJ.com: "U.S. authorities have opened a new front in their investigation into bitcoin exchanges and other businesses that deal in the online currency, examining possible ties between the firms and the online drug bazaar Silk Road, according to people familiar with the matter...."


more technology news below ( @ web version--link below)



20 May 2014

Chinese Military Hackers Indicted by US (video)

Hacking Charges Against China Unprecedented: Brown: Video - Bloomberg:
(Allow video to load after clicking play)
FTI Consulting's Thomas Brown and Bloomberg's Phil Mattingly discusses the U.S.-China cyber war with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg video. May 19, 2014)

The US Justice Department on Monday charged members of the Chinese military with conducting economic cyber-espionage against American companies, marking the first time that the United States has leveled such criminal charges against a foreign country. Industries targeted by the alleged cyberspying ranged from nuclear to steel to solar energy, officials said. In some cases, they said, the hacking by a military unit in Shanghai was conducted for no other reason than to give a competitive advantage to Chinese companies, including state-owned enterprises. (source infra) -- this has been going on for a very long time, but Chinese hacking must have been really successful in stealing US trade secrets, intellectual property, and other data, for the Obama administration to take this action --

U.S. announces first criminal charges against foreign country for cyberspying - The Washington Post: "...Holder said the Obama administration “will not tolerate actions by any nation that seeks to illegally sabotage American companies and undermine the integrity of fair competition in the operation of the free market.”...."

China's theft of business secrets is beyond espionage: "....But U.S. officials have consistently said that Chinese spying for the benefit of private companies oversteps the bounds of traditional espionage done for national security reasons. Chinese officials have said the United States is acting hypocritically, since it also engages in cyber espionage. The Justice Department said Monday it charged five Chinese hackers with breaking into U.S. companies, stealing reams of data and then providing it to Chinese firms. The United States engages in cyber spying activities but does not penetrate commercial companies for the benefit of domestic firms, said James Lewis, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies...."

China's Baidu Hires Andrew Ng, Stanford Professor and Google's Deep Learning Collaborator, for New Silicon Valley Artificial Intelligence Lab | MIT Technology Review: "Baidu has long been referred to as “China’s Google” because it dominates Web search in the country. Today the comparison grew more apt: Baidu has opened a new artificial-intelligence research lab in Silicon Valley that will be overseen by Andrew Ng, a Stanford professor who played a key role at Google in a field called deep learning. He was also a cofounder of the online education company Coursera...."

More than 100 charged in Blackshades crackdown
ZDNet
Over 100 people in the United States and around the world have been charged following an international effort to crack down on the remote access malware, Blackshades. The coordinated crackdown involved 18 countries, including Australia, Canada and ...

Google in Talks About Possible Acquisition of Twitch
Wall Street Journal
Google in Talks About Possible Acquisition of Twitch. Google's ... For Google, Twitch would be a potential boost to its YouTube video service. YouTube ...

Amazon's Drone Team Is Hiring: Look At These Nifty Job Ads
Forbes
Amazon.com's founder, Jeff Bezos, keeps saying that he wants to revolutionize package delivery by using drones. Skeptics snicker, but Bezos won't ...

Microsoft's money pit: Surface has lost $1.2B
Computerworld
Computerworld - Microsoft has lost more than $1.2 billion so far on its Surface tablet business, an expensive experiment that makes tomorrow's ...

Microsoft Brings SAP Apps To Azure Cloud
InformationWeek
SAP apps are coming to Azure and BusinessObjects now talks to Microsoft Power BI, but in-memory cloud options for Hana, SQL Server must wait.

Microsoft Just Short Changed Everyone Who Has Bought An Xbox One
Forbes
... Of course this wasn't in the official announcement that Microsoft will sell a $399 ... Microsoft even had a superficially convincing reason: “We've also heard ... Microsoft devices in their larger battle with Apple and Google

Yahoo Japan drops $3.2 billion plan to buy eAccess from SoftBank
Reuters
Yahoo Japan, the country's biggest Internet portal and 42.6 percent owned by ... YahooJapan President Manabu Miyasaka had said after the March ...

Apple, Samsung Blame Each Other for Lack of Settlement
Bloomberg
Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) blamed each another for impeding progress toward a settlement of their patent disputes in a ...

Google buys corporate mobile-device manager Divide
Boston Globe
Divide also offers an app for Apple Inc.'s iPhones. Although Divide is joining Android, the company reassured existing iPhone customers that their ...

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