tech

Twitter assuages growth concerns for now as shares soar 35 pct

Twitter assuages growth concerns for now as shares soar 35 pct

By Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc halted a slowdown in user-growth in the second quarter with the help of product tweaks and services built around the summer's World Cup, assuaging concerns for now that the online messaging service had peaked. Twitter, which has battled to reverse a steady decline in its once-heady pace of growth, surpassed targets for virtually every metric Wall Street scrutinizes. Before Tuesday's after-hours surge, Twitter had lost about 40 percent of its market value since the start of 2014. "The expectations going in had become quite low," said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.

Facebook to shut down Gifts service in latest e-commerce shift

Facebook to shut down Gifts service in latest e-commerce shift

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will shut its 2-year-old Gifts shop on Aug. 12, as the world's largest social network tests other ways to let consumers buy products on its website. "We'll be using everything we learned from Gifts to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the web, on mobile, and directly on Facebook," the company said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Facebook Gifts opened in 2012 as a way for users to buy gifts such as socks and teddy bears.

Amazon says lower ebook prices benefit authors, publishers

Amazon says lower ebook prices benefit authors, publishers

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc, locked in a war with publisher Hachette Book Group over ebook prices, said its push for lower prices was good for authors, publishers and booksellers. Upset over its ebook prices, Amazon has delayed deliveries and cut discounts on some books published by Hachette, the fourth-largest U.S. book publisher, owned by France's Lagardere. In a blog post on the Amazon site authored by the "Amazon Books team", the ecommerce giant said e-books were very price sensitive. Amazon claims that pricing an e-book at $14.99 or $19.99 is too expensive and unjustifiable in most cases.

Applied Micro ships microserver chips in challenge to Intel

By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Applied Micro Circuits has begun shipping a new kind of low-power server chip that might challenge heavyweight Intel in cutting-edge data centers. The Sunnyvale, California, company disappointed Wall Street on Tuesday with first fiscal quarter revenue and second-quarter revenue outlook that missed expectations due to a declining legacy business, sending its shares 4 percent lower after hours. In the quarter that ended in June, Applied Micro Circuits recognized its first revenue from the chips - about a $1 million - and the company said it expects "meaningful" revenue from the chips in the quarters ending in December and March as shipments build.

BlackBerry buffs up security credentials with Secusmart deal

BlackBerry buffs up security credentials with Secusmart deal

By Euan Rocha NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is buying a privately held German firm that specializes in voice and data encryption, it said on Tuesday, in a bid to burnish its credentials with highly security-conscious clients like government ‎agencies. The acquisition is the latest by the smartphone pioneer to build on niche areas in an attempt to reinvent itself under new Chief Executive John Chen and recover ground ceded to Apple Inc's iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co's Galaxy devices. "It is a really reassuring sign that BlackBerry is now less focused on firefighting and more focused on identifying and building for the long-term into enterprise services," said CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber. Still, BlackBerry shares fell 4 percent to $9.54 on Nasdaq and C$10.45 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

China regulator announces anti-monopoly probe of Microsoft

China regulator announces anti-monopoly probe of Microsoft

By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp MSFT.O over its Windows operating system, in the latest of a growing number of competition probes that have unnerved Western firms in China. China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) is also investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and has made copies of the firm's financial statements and contracts, the agency said on its website on Tuesday. It said Microsoft, which has struggled to make inroads in China due to rampant piracy, has not fully disclosed information about Windows and its Office software suite. Microsoft is one of the biggest U.S. companies to fall under the eye of Chinese regulators as they ramp up their oversight in an apparent attempt to protect local companies and customers.

Indian online retailer Flipkart raises $1 billion

MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's largest online e-commerce company, Flipkart, raised $1 billion in new capital this week as the company gears up for competition with Amazon's push into the Indian market.

Windows Phone 8.1's first update arrives next week with a cute Chinese Cortana

Windows Phone 8.1's first update arrives next week with a cute Chinese Cortana

After accidentally detailing its first update to Windows Phone 8.1 earlier this week, Microsoft is now ready to officially reveal exactly what’s included in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. There aren't many big visible changes with this update, but instead it includes a number of small improvements just a few months after the initial Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview release. If you’re a Developer Preview user then expect to see the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 arrive next week. Cortana heads to the UK, China, Canada, Australia, and India

'Mario Kart 8' fails to stem growing Nintendo losses

'Mario Kart 8' fails to stem growing Nintendo losses

Nintendo made an operating loss of ¥9.47 billion ($92.7 million) in its first quarter of 2014, with the launch of Mario Kart 8 sparking a bump in Wii U hardware sales that wasn't big enough to boost the company's financial performance. Wii U sales were 510,000 between April and June, a year-on-year jump of 219 percent, as Mario Kart 8 itself moved 2.82 million copies — over half of all Wii U titles for the quarter, and enough to make it the console's third best-selling game of all time. This means that over 80 percent of people who bought Mario Kart 8 were existing Wii U owners before this quarter, so it hasn't yet convinced many newcomers to pick up the console. Nintendo hasn't altered its forecast of a ¥40 billion operating profit for fiscal 2014, and still predicts that it will sell 3.6 million Wii U consoles during the period.

How the AP-GfK poll was conducted

The Associated Press-GfK poll on immigration was conducted by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications July 24-28. It is based on online interviews of 1,044 adults who are members of GfK's nationally representative KnowledgePanel.

Billions of GI Bill funds go to for-profit schools

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have flocked to for-profit colleges, including a troubled chain that is closing or selling its campuses amid a series of federal and state investigations.

How Tech Innovation Leads To Sustainable Solutions In Developing Nations

How Tech Innovation Leads To Sustainable Solutions In Developing Nations

It seems as if the days of manually doing routine tasks such as shopping and health care are slowly fizzling into obsolescence. People in both developed and developing countries are reshaping their daily lives and interactions as digital technology becomes intertwined with their everyday activities.Interested in this trend, Accenture and...

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

NEW YORK (AP) — The little blue bird is flying high. Stronger-than-expected financial results pushed Twitter's stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter.

Top 10 YouTube Channels for Leaders

Top 10 YouTube Channels for Leaders

With over 6 billion hours of video and thousands of channels, YouTube has something for everyone -- even for those of us who want to become better leaders.Over the last year I've subscribed to a number of YouTube channels that have consistently helped me identify new trends, understand best practices, and spot high-impact opportunities.Here is...

Here is the memo Comcast sent to employees after the 'rep from hell' call went viral

Here is the memo Comcast sent to employees after the 'rep from hell' call went viral

It's now been two weeks since AOL executive and former Comcast subscriber Ryan Block published a recording of his insane dialogue with an overly persistent customer service representative, and we finally have the memo that the company sent out immediately afterward. "Recently, an unfavorable phone call into Comcast has been circulating on the Internet," the memo says. "If you receive a call from the media regarding this incident, please refer to the Media Inquiry Policy to transfer them to your local media contact." Comcast is committed to delivering outstanding service to each and every customer.

Awesome Kickstarter hit revolutionizes water balloon fights

Awesome Kickstarter hit revolutionizes water balloon fights

A new, interesting product is taking Kickstarter by storm – Tinnuss Enterprises’ Bunch O Balloons, which has already raised well over $600,000 with 23 days left in the campaign, or more than 60 times its initial funding goal. The purpose of Bunch of Balloons is quite simple: allow kids to quickly fill up lots of balloons with water, so they can truly have fun instead of spending so much time filling them up with water. The Bunch O Balloons contraption has a hose attachment that’s linked to many tiny balloons which fill up with water almost simultaneously. Each Bunch O Balloons kit lets users fill up 37 balloons at the same time, and the ingenious tool will fill up to 100 water balloons in under

Hollywood joins forces with Kodak to keep movie film alive

Hollywood joins forces with Kodak to keep movie film alive

After lobbying by directors including Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and JJ Abrams, movie studios are negotiating a deal with Kodak that would secure the company's ability to keep producing motion picture film. The Wall Street Journal reports that the agreement is likely to see studios commit to buying from Kodak in set quantities for upcoming years regardless of their plans to actually shoot movies in the format. Kodak is now the sole major provider of movie film following Fujifilm's exit from the market in 2013. The rise of professional digital cinema cameras from the likes of Arri and RED have hastened Kodak's predicament;

OkCupid experiment may violate FTC rules on deceptive practices

By Casey Sullivan (Reuters) - OkCupid’s disclosure that the popular dating website intentionally misled couples about their suitability could open it up to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission inquiry, according to lawyers and experts in consumer-protection law. On Monday, President Christian Rudder disclosed in a blog post that OKCupid had conducted experiments on its users, including a test to see whether its assessment of their matchability led to successful dating. "To test this, we took pairs of bad matches...and told them they were exceptionally good for each other," Rudder wrote. ...

Twitter flies on surprisingly strong numbers

Twitter flies on surprisingly strong numbers

Twitter shares shot higher by some 30 percent Tuesday after its quarterly report showed surprisingly strong revenue and user growth, despite a widening loss. "You would have liked to see them do a lot better than that on users."

Now you have another way to circumvent Snapchat’s core privacy features

Now you have another way to circumvent Snapchat’s core privacy features

In theory, Snapchat users should not be able to save any of the shared photos and messages in the app, but there are some ways files can still be saved, defying Snapchat’s core feature. One such trick is Snapkeep, The Daily Dot reveals, an app that lets users open any shared content from Snapchat. Snapkeep looks similar to Snapchat, as it closely replicates its functionality. Users can log in with their Snapchat credentials, at which point they’ll be able to browse through anything that was shared with them without any time limits. Saving files is apparently a hassle-free procedure, and Snapkeep users will be able to bring up pictures without alerting the other party in a SnapChat. While the app

Why it's so hard to survive Comic-Con

Why it's so hard to survive Comic-Con

There's so much to love about San Diego Comic-Con, from the big movies and games to the cosplayers. So how did it end up feeling so miserable? Let's break it down.

Xbox steps up its game with the best free Games with Gold offering yet

Xbox steps up its game with the best free Games with Gold offering yet

It wasn’t long ago that we talked about the one way the Xbox One was beating the PlayStation 4, but if the free monthly offering of Games with Gold keeps getting better at this rate, we’ll have to add an asterisk to that headline. Microsoft announced via the Xbox Wire on Monday that the Games with Gold for August would include Crimson Dragon and Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut on Xbox One as well as Motocross Madness and Dishonored on Xbox 360. Crimson Dragon was actually a launch title for the Xbox One and serves as a spiritual successor to the cult hit Panzer Dragoon series. It’s an on-rails shooter in which the protagonist battle fantastical foes while mounted on a dragon.

23andMe lands $1.4 million grant from NIH to detect genetic roots for disease

Home genetics startup 23andMe has secured a $1.4 million two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to build survey tools and expand its gene database. With these funds from NIH, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the company intends to use its stores of genetic data for various research projects. External researchers will be able to access information on thousands of diseases and traits for more than 400,000 people. The grant "enables researchers from around the world to make genetic discoveries," Anne Wojcicki, chief executive officer of 23andMe, said in a statement.

Canada says China hacked science agency computers

Canada says China hacked science agency computers

Canada accused China on Tuesday of hacking into the computers of its research and development arm, which Beijing strongly denied. China partners each year with thousands of Canadians firms to roll out new technologies, and took advantage of this arrangement to engage in a cyber attack, Ottawa said. "Recently, the government of Canada, through the work of the Communications Security Establishment, detected and confirmed a cyber intrusion on the IT infrastructure of the National Research Council of Canada by a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor," said a government statement.

Facebook to close up shop on its digital gift card service

Facebook to close up shop on its digital gift card service

If you want to buy your friend a gift card to go stuff themselves at Chilis, you're going to have to do it somewhere else than Facebook soon. The social network today said it's shuttering its gifts service, which let people buy gift cards in the form of digital codes. According to Facebook, which spoke to Recode, the service is being shut down for good August 12th in favor of simply letting developers and companies offer their own online stores, complete with "buy" buttons for goods. On its help page, Facebook notes that those who have received digital gifts or that have a balance from a Facebook Card can still redeem those after the end of the program.

internet

OkCupid experiment may violate FTC rules on deceptive practices

By Casey Sullivan (Reuters) - OkCupid’s disclosure that the popular dating website intentionally misled couples about their suitability could open it up to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission inquiry, according to lawyers and experts in consumer-protection law. On Monday, President Christian Rudder disclosed in a blog post that OKCupid had conducted experiments on its users, including a test to see whether its assessment of their matchability led to successful dating. "To test this, we took pairs of bad matches...and told them they were exceptionally good for each other," Rudder wrote. ...

Facebook to shut down Gifts service in latest e-commerce shift

Facebook to shut down Gifts service in latest e-commerce shift

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will shut its 2-year-old Gifts shop on Aug. 12, as the world's largest social network tests other ways to let consumers buy products on its website. "We'll be using everything we learned from Gifts to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the web, on mobile, and directly on Facebook," the company said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Facebook Gifts opened in 2012 as a way for users to buy gifts such as socks and teddy bears.

U.S. Senate bill proposes sweeping curbs on NSA surveillance

U.S. Senate bill proposes sweeping curbs on NSA surveillance

Senator Patrick Leahy introduced legislation on Tuesday to ban the U.S. government's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records and Internet data and narrow how much information it can seek in any particular search. The bill, which has White House backing, goes further than a version passed in May by the U.S. House of Representatives in reducing bulk collection and immediately drew warmer response from privacy advocates and technology companies. Revelations last year by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden prompted President Barack Obama to ask Congress in January to rein in the bulk collection and storage of records of millions of U.S. domestic telephone calls.

Netflix agrees to pay AT&T to ensure smooth video downloads

Netflix agrees to pay AT&T to ensure smooth video downloads

Video streaming service Netflix has agreed to pay U.S. broadband provider AT&T Inc to ensure smooth delivery of Netflix content to Internet users, the companies said on Tuesday. The announcement of the deal, struck in May, comes as Netflix has been waging a public campaign against such fees, which they present as tolls, and calling on the Federal Communications Commission to review the market. Having brokered this so-called interconnection agreement, AT&T and Netflix are now working to build out new network connections for Netflix content to be delivered directly to AT&T's servers "to improve the viewing experience for our mutual subscribers," the companies' representatives said.

Amazon says lower ebook prices benefit authors, publishers

Amazon says lower ebook prices benefit authors, publishers

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc, locked in a war with publisher Hachette Book Group over ebook prices, said its push for lower prices was good for authors, publishers and booksellers. Upset over its ebook prices, Amazon has delayed deliveries and cut discounts on some books published by Hachette, the fourth-largest U.S. book publisher, owned by France's Lagardere. In a blog post on the Amazon site authored by the "Amazon Books team", the ecommerce giant said e-books were very price sensitive. Amazon claims that pricing an e-book at $14.99 or $19.99 is too expensive and unjustifiable in most cases.

Man arrested in stabbing death of LA Clippers player's aunt

Police in California have arrested a man wanted for the fatal stabbing of the aunt of a Los Angeles Clippers player in a crime that drew national attention after the basketball star pleaded on social media for help in finding the suspect, authorities said on Tuesday. Michael Williams, 51, was arrested in Sacramento thanks to a citizen's tip, police said in tweet. Williams was wanted for the July 8 murder of his estranged wife, 48-year-old Tanganyika Williams, who is the aunt of Clippers forward Matt Barnes. Barnes took to social media last week, posting pictures of Michael Williams to his Instagram and Twitter accounts, asking anyone who had seen the man to call his family or the police with details.

Travel software provider Concur teams up with Airbnb, Uber

(Reuters) - Travel software provider Concur Technologies Inc said it added Airbnb Inc and Uber Technologies Inc to its network to improve business travel and streamline expenses. Shares of Concur, whose main consumer brand is TripIt, rose nearly 3 percent on Tuesday.

Always misplacing keys, wallet? Lost and found apps may help

Always misplacing keys, wallet? Lost and found apps may help

By Natasha Baker TORONTO (Reuters) - Finding misplaced keys, wallets and purses could get easier with new apps that take the guess work out of trying to remember where they might be. “With all of the technology around us, it’s still crazy to think that we still lose our things,” said Nick Evans, chief executive office of Tile, based in San Mateo, California.

In rare move, Canada accuses Chinese of trying to hack government network

In rare move, Canada accuses Chinese of trying to hack government network

By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Tuesday took the unusual step of singling out Chinese hackers for attacking a key computer network and lodged a protest with Beijing, raising tensions at a time when Ottawa wants to boost oil sales to China. Officials said "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" had recently broken into the National Research Council. The council, the government's leading research body, works with major firms such as aircraft and train maker Bombardier Inc.. Canada has reported hacking incidents before but this was the first time it had singled out China. China is often cited as a suspect in various hacking attacks on companies in the United States and other nations.

U.S. GMO crop companies double down on anti-labeling efforts

One year after the launch of a social media effort to allay consumers' concerns about the safety of foods made from genetically modified crops, U.S. companies that develop GMOs have further committed to a multimillion-dollar campaign to defeat attempts to add GMO labels to such foods. "We are not going to sit down for that (labeling)," Cathleen Enright, spokeswoman for the effort, said in an interview. It is the mechanism that we can’t abide." Monsanto Co., Dow Chemical and other GMO crop backers last summer kicked off an interactive website, called GMO Answers, as the centerpiece of a broad effort to win over consumers. A speakers' tour and social media advertising are part of the effort.

Canada foreign minister protests to China over hacking attempt

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird protested to his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday about what he said was an attempt by China-sponsored hackers to break into a key computer system in Ottawa, a government official said. Baird had "a full and frank exchange of views" with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Beijing, spokesman Adam Hodge said. Canada said "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" recently broke into computers at the National Research Council, the Canadian government's leading research and technology organization.

Internet users often unclear about their data use: U.S. watchdog

By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumers often incorrectly estimate how much data they consume online and pay Internet providers for more downloading and uploading than they actually do, a U.S. government watchdog said in findings released on Tuesday. The observations were preliminary from the Government Accountability Office's review of the practice of usage-based pricing, in which consumers pay Internet service providers (ISPs) for a specific amount of data they agree to consume instead of a flat fee for unlimited data. In a study requested by California Representative Anna Eshoo, the GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, found consumers often were unclear about what online activities consumed the most data and paid ISPs too much either for data they did not use or through overage fees for exceeding data caps. Most wireline ISPs told the GAO that usually only 1 percent to 2 percent of users exceeded their data caps.

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on Monday, weeks after Facebook Inc admitted to misleading users in a psychological study. "When we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are," co-founder Christian Rudder wrote in a blog post. "Even when they should be wrong for each other." Conversely, couples told they were bad matches, even when OkCupid's algorithm showed the opposite, were less likely to exchange four messages. Exchanging four messages is an OkCupid measure for gauging romantic interest.

U.S. social media asks: Who is that woman in black?

U.S. social media asks: Who is that woman in black?

By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - A quiet woman wearing a flowing, black dress and mysteriously strolling along busy highways in parts of the U.S. Southeast and Midwest has the curious wondering who she is and spurred a social media site to document her trek. She has been dubbed the "Woman in Black," by TV stations, police and followers on the Web, including those on a Facebook page where she has been tracked on a nearly 500-mile journey with a black bag and walking stick in hand that has taken her from Ranger, Georgia, to Athens, Ohio, since July 18. Raymond Poles told Reuters he is the woman's brother, identifying her as Elizabeth Poles, 56, a U.S. Army veteran, mother of two children and a widow from Motts, Alabama. Elizabeth Poles had been receiving treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals to deal with the deaths of her husband in 2008 and her father in 2009, he said.

Africa e-commerce firm expands to new markets

Africa e-commerce firm expands to new markets

By Emma Thomasson BERLIN (Reuters) - Online retailer Jumia, a would-be African Amazon set up by German venture capital firm Rocket Internet, is expanding into three new markets - Uganda, Ghana and Cameroon, the company said on Monday. Jumia, which launched in 2012, already operates in Nigeria, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Kenya, offering up to 100,000 different items for sale from its local warehouses. We are coming to markets which are not as mature in terms of Internet penetration and Internet savviness but still there is a big appetite for this service," Jumia co-founder Sacha Poignonnec told Reuters. Berlin-based Rocket Internet is bidding to create the largest Internet empire outside the United States and China, seeking to replicate the success of Amazon and Alibaba in markets such as Africa, Latin America and Russia.

Bitcoin catches on in tech-savvy Romania

Bitcoin catches on in tech-savvy Romania

By Luiza Ilie BUCHAREST (Reuters) - In a well-lit office with red window frames in downtown Bucharest, Romania's first bitcoin ATM attracts many who until it opened in May had to buy or sell the digital currency face-to-face or through wire transfers. The interest in bitcoin in Romania stands out in a region where national currencies are widely seen as poor substitutes for the euro. In the western town of Oradea, 370 miles (595 km) away from the capital, the first bitcoin exchange in the country has drawn more than 2,000 clients in the seven months since it opened, with transactions totaling 5.12 million lei ($1.57 million). Bitcoin is still an infant in Europe relative to the United States, where hundreds of start-ups backed by some Wall Street traders and venture capitalists have propelled consumer and media interest.

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

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

By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and other items from third-party sellers using a new personalization option on its website. Before it is printed by one of Amazon's sellers, users can customize a product like as a bobble head figure by changing its skin and eye color, hair style and outfit, Amazon said. "The customization is something we're keenly interested in," said Petra Schindler-Carter, director for Amazon marketplace sales, speaking in an interview. "We'll always look for new applications for that." Amazon, which has more than 240 million users, has expanded its marketplaces division to include new areas such as fine art and wine.

At least six dead in attacks on southern Yemen army posts

Militant attacks on two army outposts in southern Yemen killed at least eight people early on Sunday, local officials said, two months after the government said it had cleared that area of al Qaeda fighters in an offensive. Yemen, with help from the United States, is battling an insurgency by Islamist militants including members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has also planned attacks on international airliners and other foreign targets. The area of Mahfad in Abyan Province of southern Yemen was the scene of some heavy fighting in May between the army and militants in a government campaign to reclaim territory under effective AQAP control. AQAP and other militants have since then continued to stage attacks in Abyan and other provinces.

BuzzFeed writer Benny Johnson fired for plagiarism

BuzzFeed writer Benny Johnson fired for plagiarism

(Reuters) - The news and entertainment website BuzzFeed has fired the writer Benny Johnson after its editors said they found he plagiarized others' work 41 times. BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith in a note late on Friday called writer Benny Johnson "a creative force" at his best, but said a review of more than 500 posts revealed dozens of instances where he copied sentences and phrases verbatim from other websites. Smith said the plagiarism on the seven-year-old site was brought to light this week by Twitter users.

Verizon to slow down speeds for some unlimited data subscribers

Verizon to slow down speeds for some unlimited data subscribers

By Marina Lopes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Verizon Communication Inc's high speed wireless customers who subscribe to the company's legacy unlimited data plans might experience slower speeds starting Oct. 1, the company said on Friday. Verizon will slow services for the top 5 percent of data users who are on unlimited plans in places where the network is experiencing high demand, the company announced on its website. The policy is currently in effect for unlimited subscribers on the 3G network, but will be expanded to its 4G, higher speed network in October. Verizon stopped offering unlimited data plans in 2012.

Facebook says SEC's IPO probe ends, extending WhatsApp closing date

Facebook says SEC's IPO probe ends, extending WhatsApp closing date

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dropped its probe into the social networking company over events surrounding its controversial initial public offering. In its quarterly report filed on Thursday, Facebook said the regulator in May "notified us that it had terminated its inquiry and that no enforcement action had been recommended by the SEC." Facebook shares began trading on May 18, 2012, but soon fell below their $38 per share offering price and had lost more than half their value by the middle of August, angering investors. Investors also complained they were not told just prior to the IPO that analysts at Facebook's investment banks were cutting their forecasts after learning of the company's internal projections for advertising revenue. The end of the SEC probe does not affect shareholder litigation against Facebook, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and many banks over the Menlo Park, California-based company's IPO.

Europe debates how far to push 'right to be forgotten'

Europe debates how far to push 'right to be forgotten'

By Leila Abboud and Julia Fioretti PARIS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European regulators have not yet decided whether to try to force search engines such as Google and Microsoft's Bing to scrub results globally when people invoke their "right to be forgotten" in the region. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin - who heads France's privacy watchdog and the WP29 group of EU national data protection authorities - said in an interview on Friday that no consensus had yet been reached on what she called a "complicated issue". The European Union's top court ruled in May that search engines must take down certain results shown under a search of a person's name if the information was "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant". Although the "right to be forgotten" existed as a concept in European law, the ruling marked the first time companies like Google have been asked to field such requests from the public.

Amazon's spending spree raises margin concerns

Amazon's spending spree raises margin concerns

Amazon.com Inc's heavy investment in content and technology to fight off deep-pocketed rivals is proving to be more costly than many had expected, raising fears that operating earnings will be remain under pressure indefinitely. Amazon's shares fell 12 percent to $314.76 in early trading on Friday, wiping out about $18 billion from its market value. Amazon is engaged in "a massive ecosystem war" with Apple Inc, Google Inc and Microsoft Corp Macquarie Research analyst Ben Schachter said. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Holdings Group Ltd [IPO-BABA.N] also looms as a threat to Amazon as it expands in the U.S. market, Schachter and others say.

Chubby Checker, HP settle lawsuit over penis-measuring app

Chubby Checker, HP settle lawsuit over penis-measuring app

The singer Chubby Checker has settled a lawsuit in which he accused Hewlett-Packard Co of using his trademarked name without permission on a software app that purported to measure the size of a man's penis. HP denied liability in agreeing to settle with Checker, whose given name is Ernest Evans, but agreed not to make future use of his stage name, likeness or related trademarks. In his February 2013 lawsuit against HP and its Palm unit, the singer objected to HP having in October 2006 begun online sales of "The Chubby Checker" app, which purported to let women estimate the size of a man's genitals based on his shoe size. A federal judge last August let Checker pursue part of his case, saying one might infer that HP should have known that "the owner of the Chubby Checker mark would never have consented to license the mark for such a vulgar purpose." HP spokeswoman Sarah Pompei on Friday declined to elaborate on the settlement.

Ride app Uber gets respite in German city of Hamburg

Ride app Uber gets respite in German city of Hamburg

Uber, whose smartphone app summons rides at the touch of a button, won a new lease of life in the German city of Hamburg on Friday when a court suspended a ban imposed by local regulators. Hamburg traffic authorities told Uber earlier this week to stop operating in the northern port city on the grounds that its drivers lacked passenger transport licenses, one of a number of challenges to the San Francisco-based company from regulators and traditional taxi services across the globe. Uber retaliated with a complaint against the ban and a Hamburg court on Friday allowed it to continue operations while the court deliberates on the merits of the case. Uber said in a statement on Friday it welcomed the court's decision.

Amazon spending more than $100 million on original content in third-quarter

By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc is spending more than $100 million on original video content in the third quarter, considerably higher than its spending a year ago and in the second quarter, Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said on Thursday. The largest U.S. online retailer, which also reported a larger-than-expected second-quarter loss Thursday, is beefing up its digital content. Szkutak told analysts during a call that members of Amazon's Prime membership program are increasingly streaming free videos online.

Amazon's heavy investing eats into bottom line, shares drop

Amazon's heavy investing eats into bottom line, shares drop

By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc posted a much larger-than-expected loss in the second quarter as it continues its rapid pace of investment in new businesses such as digital content and consumer electronics. Amazon's stock price has dropped 10 percent so far in 2014, with investors leery of betting on its long-term growth at the expense of little to no profit. Amazon is investing heavily in new businesses and hardware products, as it prepares to take on major tech rivals from Apple Inc and Google Inc to Netflix. Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said Amazon had a "tremendous amount of opportunities" and its investments were "certainly impacting short-term results." The company is spending more than $100 million on original video content in the third quarter, a substantial increase compared to last year and the second quarter, Szkutak said.

Amazon's 'Fire' smartphone contains chips from Qualcomm, Samsung, NXP

Amazon's 'Fire' smartphone contains chips from Qualcomm, Samsung, NXP

By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's new "Fire" smartphone contains chips from Qualcomm Inc, NXP Semiconductors NV, and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, according to repair and teardown specialists iFixit, which pried one open on Thursday. The Fire phone also houses chips from Synaptics Inc and Skyworks Solutions Inc, said the repair outfit, which made a name for itself taking apart devices like Apple Inc's iPhone and identifying its internal components.

Website lets donors pay Detroit residents' overdue water bills

Website lets donors pay Detroit residents' overdue water bills

By Aaron Foley DETROIT (Reuters) - Widespread water shutoffs in Detroit have led to the creation of a website that allows donors to anonymously pay the overdue bills of residents in the bankrupt city, a site organizer said on Thursday. Recent efforts by the cash-strapped municipal water authority to collect tens of millions of dollars in overdue bills has attracted international attention and critics say the disconnections are inhumane and unfair to the poor. The donor site, DetroitWaterProject.org, was born from a Twitter conversation between programmer Tiffani Bell of Fayetteville, North Carolina and designer Kristy Tillman of Boston who were concerned about the water issue, Bell said in an email. Customers with delinquent bills share their account information with the site, where they are matched with donors.

Zillow in talks to buy rival real-estate website Trulia: Source

(Reuters) - U.S. real estate website operator Zillow Inc Z.O is in advanced talks to buy smaller rival Trulia Inc TRLA.N, according to people familiar with the matter. Trulia shares jumped as much as 40.5 percent to $57 on Thursday, valuing the company at $2.10 billion, after Bloomberg News reported Zillow may reach a deal to buy the company as soon as next week. The stock ended up 32 percent at $53.74 on the New York Stock Exchange. The proposed acquisition would allow the company to corner a larger share of online spending on real estate listings and advertising.

Google under fire from regulators on EU privacy ruling

Google under fire from regulators on EU privacy ruling

By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google's GOOGL.O handling of "right to be forgotten" requests from European citizens came under fire by regulators after the search engine company restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only, a person familiar with the matter said. Regulators quizzed Google over its decision to remove search results only from its European search engines such as google.co.uk, which means that anyone can easily access the same information by switching to the widely used google.com, said the source, who was present at the meeting. The European Union's top court in May ruled that people have a right to request that years-old personal information that is no longer relevant be removed from Internet search results. Google has so far approved more than half of roughly 90,000 incoming requests, sought additional information in about 15 percent of cases, and rejected around 30 percent of them, according to a source close to the company.

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after critical tweet

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after critical tweet

(Story refiled to correct typographical error on third paragraph) (Reuters) - A Minnesota man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent. Duff Watson said he was flying from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday and tried to board in a spot for frequent flyer privileges he held and take his sons, ages 6 and 9, with him, even though they had a later spot to board the plane. Watson replied that he had boarded early with them before and then sent out a tweet that read "RUDEST AGENT IN DENVER. Once at the gate, the agent said that unless the tweet was deleted, police would be called and the family would not be allowed back onboard.

Facebook shares hit record high as market likes earnings

Facebook shares hit record high as market likes earnings

Shares of Facebook Inc hit a record high on Thursday after a surge in mobile advertising revenue helped the world's No. 1 social network trounce analysts' expectations for quarterly profit and revenue. At that price, Facebook's market value is just short of $200 billion, putting the company in position to overtake IBM Corp as the fourth-largest U.S.-listed tech company. The top three are Apple Inc , Google Inc and Microsoft Corp . At $100, Facebook would be valued at more than $250 billion.

ECB says website hacked, no sensitive data affected

ECB says website hacked, no sensitive data affected

The European Central Bank said on Thursday its website had been hacked and some email addresses and other contact information stolen but insisted no market-sensitive data were affected. The hackers broke into a database storing details of people who had registered for ECB conferences, visits and other events, the bank said. "No internal systems or market sensitive data were compromised," the ECB said in a statement. The ECB is currently running a particularly sensitive review of the euro zone's top lenders, collecting streams of data to gauge whether banks have valued loans and other assets correctly, before it starts supervising them.

China regulator determines Qualcomm has monopoly: state-run newspaper

China regulator determines Qualcomm has monopoly: state-run newspaper

By Paul Carsten and Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - China's antitrust regulator has confirmed that Qualcomm Inc, one of the world's biggest mobile chipmakers, has a monopoly, the state-run Securities Times newspaper reported on Thursday, as Qualcomm's chief executive held talks in China. The regulator, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), is investigating Qualcomm's local subsidiary after it said in February the U.S. chipmaker was suspected of overcharging and abusing its market position in wireless communication standards, allegations which could see it hit with record fines of more than $1 billion. The Securities Times report, based on unidentified sources it said were close to the NDRC, did not say whether the regulator had determined that Qualcomm had abused its monopoly.

Flaws could expose users of privacy-protecting software, researchers say

By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Researchers have found a flaw that could expose the identities of people using a privacy-oriented operating system touted by Edward Snowden, just two days after widely used anonymity service Tor acknowledged a similar problem. The most recent finding concerns a complex, heavily encrypted networking program called the Invisible Internet Project, or I2P. Though a core purpose of I2P is to obscure the Internet Protocol addresses of its roughly 30,000 users, anyone who visits a booby-trapped website could have their true address revealed, making it likely that their name could be exposed as well, according to researchers at Exodus Intelligence. “People shouldn’t trust something wholeheartedly just because Snowden says,” Exodus Vice President Aaron Portnoy told Reuters.

FTC commissioner warns on mobile health-data gathering

Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill, speaking in Washington on Wednesday, expressed concern about the way apps on smartphones and mobile devices are siphoning sensitive health data, and how some of that information may then be shared with third parties. The debate around the gathering of consumer data is intensifying as Silicon Valley tech companies take a more active interest in mobile health. Apple Inc and Google Inc revealed new health-focused services for apps developers in recent months, dubbed Google Fit and HealthKit. Brill's comments followed a May report in which the FTC revealed the results of a study of mobile health-app developers, which found that a good portion collect consumer health data and give it to third-party entities.

LA Clippers player asks followers for help in finding aunt's killer

LA Clippers player asks followers for help in finding aunt's killer

(Reuters) - A player for the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers has taken to social media to ask for help in finding a man wanted for stabbing his aunt to death, generating new tips in the case, his family said on Wednesday. Clippers forward Matt Barnes posted pictures of Michael Williams, 51, to his Instagram and Twitter accounts on Tuesday, saying the man was wanted by police in the California capital in connection with the fatal stabbing of his aunt, Tanganyika Williams, 48. On Wednesday, Tanganyika Williams' adult son, David Williams Jr., said that since that message was published, the family has received multiple calls from people who said they had seen Michael Williams in stores around Sacramento. "There are going to be less and less places that this guy is going to have to hide," said David Williams, who is not related to the suspect by blood.

Facebook beats Wall Street targets, stock hits record high

Facebook beats Wall Street targets, stock hits record high

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's fast-growing mobile advertising business helped drive a 61 percent increase in revenue during the second quarter, beating Wall Street's financial targets and sending shares to a record-high in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook now counts 1.5 million advertising customers and the company's ad business saw strong growth across all of its geographic regions, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. Investors bid up shares of Facebook roughly 5 percent to $75.13 in after-hours trading on Wednesday, giving the Internet company a roughly $190 billion valuation, putting it on par with IBM Corp. "It might be more expensive from a market cap perspective, but I don’t think anyone was expecting this level of profitability," JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey said. Facebook's operating margin expanded to 48 percent of revenue in the second quarter, up from 31 percent in the year-ago period.

gadgets

Naked woman slashes three during Pittsburgh-area street fight

By Elizabeth Daley PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Pennsylvania authorities were searching on Tuesday for a woman who, apparently nude, stabbed and slashed other women in a street fight at a public housing complex outside of Pittsburgh. The brawl on Monday was captured on cell phones and security cameras, showing the woman wielding a knife and wounding three people, two seriously, according to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Housing Authority Police Chief Mike Vogel. The woman, identified as La Keysh Collins, 41, of Pittsburgh, appeared to be nude, but Vogel said it was unclear whether she joined the melee clothed or naked.

BlackBerry buffs up security credentials with Secusmart deal

BlackBerry buffs up security credentials with Secusmart deal

By Euan Rocha NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is buying a privately held German firm that specializes in voice and data encryption, it said on Tuesday, in a bid to burnish its credentials with highly security-conscious clients like government ‎agencies. The acquisition is the latest by the smartphone pioneer to build on niche areas in an attempt to reinvent itself under new Chief Executive John Chen and recover ground ceded to Apple Inc's iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co's Galaxy devices. "It is a really reassuring sign that BlackBerry is now less focused on firefighting and more focused on identifying and building for the long-term into enterprise services," said CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber. Still, BlackBerry shares fell 4 percent to $9.54 on Nasdaq and C$10.45 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

BlackBerry Is the Only Phone Secure Enough for German Officials

BlackBerry Is the Only Phone Secure Enough for German Officials

Mobile security has become a major concern of the German government, ever since Edward Snowden's leaks revealed last year that the NSA had tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. They are now taking steps to protect themselves against wiretaps of this sort, and have turned to BlackBerry to help.  Interior ministry spokesperson Tobias Plate told the Financial Post, "We have a federal authority for information security and they checked several smartphones, and the only brand that was approved by them is the BlackBerry smartphones… it’s the security of the device." BlackBerry recently announced the purchase of SecuSmart, a German security company specializing in preventing phone tapping. BlackBerry has also recently launched secure BBM.

BlackBerry to buy Germany's Secusmart

BERLIN (AP) — German voice and data encryption specialist Secusmart, which helps equip the German government with secure smartphones, says it's being acquired by BlackBerry for an undisclosed sum.

BlackBerry’s newest acquisition looks like the smartest move it’s made all year

BlackBerry’s newest acquisition looks like the smartest move it’s made all year

BlackBerry has been doubling down on its reputation as the most secure mobile device manufacturer lately and the company just made a very smart move that could solidify that reputation even further. BlackBerry announced that it acquired German security firm Secusmart on Tuesday and as ZDNet points out, this could be a very big move for BlackBerry as it tries to make sure its enterprise and government customers don’t jump ship to iOS and Android devices. Why is Secusmart such a big deal? ZDNet informs us that its Secusmart Security Card is “a mini-computer integrated into the micro-SD card” that “contains the NXP SmartMX P5CT072 crypto-controller with a PKI coprocessor for authentication” and features “an additional high-speed coprocessor encrypts voice and

New iPhone 6 leak gives us a great look at the device’s major redesign

New iPhone 6 leak gives us a great look at the device’s major redesign

The rear iPhone 6 shell which has appeared in various reports so far has leaked yet again, as YouTube channel iCrackUriDevice has apparently scored a copy of the component directly from a manufacturer. In a short video, iCrackUriDevice goes over all the design changes expected for the iPhone 6, including the phone’s thin profile, relocated power button, iPod touch-like volume rockers, round corners, redesigned antennas on the back, and increased size of the device, while comparing it to last year’s flagship iPhone model, the iPhone 5s. FROM EARLIER: Foxconn pulls out the big guns to ensure iPhone 6 production goes perfectly The component is similar to other iPhone 6 rear shell leaks, and is consistent with what the many iPhone 6 dummy

This might be the worst advice BlackBerry has ever received

This might be the worst advice BlackBerry has ever received

We’ve seen a lot of different ideas for how BlackBerry can turn itself around over the years but none of them has ever struck us as flat-out crazy… until now. IntoMobile’s Dusan Belic says that BlackBerry needs to make a big move to counter Apple’s huge deal with IBM and that the best way to do this would be by partnering with HP. Yes, that HP. Essentially, Belic thinks that BlackBerry needs to have a company with HP’s ties to the enterprise hawking its smartphones despite the fact that BlackBerry itself already has plenty of experience selling its smartphones to business customers. He also thinks that BlackBerry and HP could team up to create joint smartphone-laptop hybrid products along the

Using Facebook on your smartphone is about to get much more annoying

Using Facebook on your smartphone is about to get much more annoying

Facebook may want to look up the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” TechCrunch reports that Facebook plans to take away the messaging feature from its core app and force users to download the separate Facebook Messenger app if they want to chat with their friends. Facebook has apparently been testing out using Messenger as its sole messaging app in Europe and has been encouraged by the results so far, TechCrunch says. TechCrunch says that the good news is that “mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites” for the time being and won’t be forced to use a separate app. WhatsApp users should also be happy with the

Your smartphone is about to kill off another piece of outdated technology

Your smartphone is about to kill off another piece of outdated technology

Smartphones have effectively replaced a lot of the gadgets that we used to buy, including calculators, compasses, alarm clocks and dedicated GPS trackers. And now The Wall Street Journal reports that smartphones look poised to kill off another antiquated piece of technology — hotel key cards. Per the Journal, Hilton is planning to implement technology that will let its guests use their smartphones to open up their hotel rooms starting next year. The new integration of smartphones as hotel keys is part of a $550 million investment that Hilton is making to make it easier for guests to use their smartphones not just to unlock their rooms but to pick out their rooms and to check in and out of hotels.

Your smartphone is about to kill off another piece of arcane technology

Your smartphone is about to kill off another piece of arcane technology

Smartphones have effectively replaced a lot of the gadgets that we used to buy, including calculators, compasses, alarm clocks and dedicated GPS trackers. And now The Wall Street Journal reports that smartphones look poised to kill off another antiquated piece of technology — hotel key cards. Per the Journal, Hilton is planning to implement technology that will let its guests use their smartphones to open up their hotel rooms starting next year. The new integration of smartphones as hotel keys is part of a $550 million investment that Hilton is making to make it easier for guests to use their smartphones not just to unlock their rooms but to pick out their rooms and to check in and out of hotels.

New leak compares key component from iPhone 6 and ‘iPhone Air’ phablet

New leak compares key component from iPhone 6 and ‘iPhone Air’ phablet

Apple’s next generation iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch “iPhone Air” phablet are reportedly nearing the mass production phase and as a result, we’ve seen component leaks kick into high gear recently. Monday morning we seemingly saw the main printed circuit board (PCB) from the iPhone 6 for the first time, and now a new leak may show the iPhone 6 circuit board next to the same component from the larger 5.5-inch iPhone, again supporting the notion that Apple is planning two new iPhone models this year. FROM EARLIER: iPhone 6 and next-gen Retina iPad mini rendered by design master French Apple news site Nowhereelse.fr on Monday published photos it obtained from an unnamed source in China that supposedly show both main circuit boards

7 awesome paid iPhone apps you can download for free right now (a $24 value!)

7 awesome paid iPhone apps you can download for free right now (a $24 value!)

It’s the last week of July and as we enter the last month of summer freedom before school starts again, we need to make sure that we finish out the month on a high note. We’ve been sharing tons of paid iPhone and iPad apps we you lately that have gone on sale for free for a limited time, and we have no plans to slow down now. Monday has brought some great new sales with it, and we have hand-picked seven sweet paid iOS apps that you can get for free if you move quickly. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way

Galaxy S4 bursts into flames under sleeping 13-year-old girl’s pillow

Galaxy S4 bursts into flames under sleeping 13-year-old girl’s pillow

Let this cautionary tale serve as a reminder to everyone: don’t buy unauthorized parts or accessories for your smartphone. We have seen stories of combusting cell phones before, but perhaps none have been quite as unsettling as a new report from this past weekend. According to a Dallas, Texas-based Fox affiliate, a 13-year-old girl was awoken last week when she smelled something burning. As it turns out, the Samsung Galaxy S4 that she slipped under her pillow as she fell asleep had caught fire in the middle of the night and had begun to burn her pillow and sheets. “I didn’t think much of it, so I went back to sleep and then I woke up again and it was more prominent,”

It will soon be legal to unlock your phone and move to another carrier

It will soon be legal to unlock your phone and move to another carrier

Handset unlocking in the U.S. is not exactly legal when done by device owners looking to move to a different mobile operator, but this will soon change, Reuters reports, as the cellphone unlocking bill has cleared the House. President Barack Obama said he’s looking forward to signing it into law. “This is something that Americans have been asking for and I am pleased that we were able to work together to ensure the swift passage of legislation restoring the exemption that allowed consumers to unlock their cell phones,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said. “The bill congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier

Massive increase in R&D spending suggests awesome new Apple products are on the way

Massive increase in R&D spending suggests awesome new Apple products are on the way

It’s been a long time since Apple had anything to prove in the mobile world, but as iPhone iterations have become increasingly indistinguishable from one another, the Cupertino crew realized it might be time to catch up with the rest of the industry. And catch up they will — this year’s iPhone 6 display is expected to stretch to 4.7 inches and its phablet counterpart might feature an enormous 5.5-inch display. FROM EARLIER: Apple’s iPhone 6 launch will be even bigger than anyone imagined There are also rumors of a Retina MacBook Air, new iPad models and even a smartwatch of some kind, all of which have resulted in the biggest increase in Apple’s R&D spending and commitments to third-party manufacturing and

5.5-inch iPhone 6 and new iPads reportedly heading to production in September

5.5-inch iPhone 6 and new iPads reportedly heading to production in September

A new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News says that Apple will start mass-producing the 5.5-inch iPhone 6, the second-generation iPad Air and the third-generation iPad mini in September, further confirming earlier stories on the matter. FROM EARLIER: Here’s why you won’t be able to buy a 5.5-inch iPhone 6 in September Some previous reports said that Apple is experiencing certain production issues, especially with the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 model, which is why the handset will be delayed. Others disagreed, saying that Apple will intentionally delay the iPhone 6 phablet because the company doesn’t want to create any competition between the 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch versions at launch. Economic Daily News also mentions some manufacturing issues, saying that initial shipments will be small, but things should

Dell, BlackBerry downplay threat from Apple-IBM alliance

Dell, BlackBerry downplay threat from Apple-IBM alliance

By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - IBM Corp's recent move to partner with Apple Inc to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now. Top executives at Dell and BlackBerry Ltd scoffed at the threat posed by the alliance this week, arguing the tie-up is unlikely to derail the efforts of their own companies to re-invent themselves. I think it just made a good press release," John Swainson, who heads Dell's global software business, said in an interview with Reuters in Toronto on Thursday. PC maker Dell and smartphone maker BlackBerry are in the midst of reshaping their companies around software and services, as the needs of their big corporate clients morph.

All the disgusting and terrible phones I’d rather use than Amazon’s Fire phone

All the disgusting and terrible phones I’d rather use than Amazon’s Fire phone

I honestly feel like I’m in a scene from Billy Madison. Amazon has finally released a smartphone, and since Amazon PR won’t talk to us ever since I leaked the Amazon Kindle 2 like six years ago, I had to go buy one today in order to play with it. The radio silence also might have something to do with all of our incredible reporting detailing every single angle and feature of the phone prior to release, but… anyway. Amazon has spent so much money on the Fire phone, it’s incredibly incredible how downright horrible it is. The project was almost forced to release years ago, and I just can’t comprehend what device we would be talking about if that had actually happened.

4 more awesome paid iPhone apps that are free right now

4 more awesome paid iPhone apps that are free right now

Before the sun sets on another week, we have one last batch of paid iPhone and iPad apps to share with you that are currently on sale for free for a limited time. This has been a terrific week for thrifty app shoppers looking to save money on some awesome paid apps. Today, we have four more solid offerings to share, but you’d better hurry because these sales could end at any time. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously,

Sense is the latest awesome product to take Kickstarter by storm

Sense is the latest awesome product to take Kickstarter by storm

Sense reached its Kickstarter goal of $100,000 in just seven hours, becoming a new Kickstarter star on its way to almost $400,000 in pledges with 28 days left in its crowdfunding campaign. Developed by Hello, Sense is an advanced sleep-tracking gadget that aims to improve our time in bed. “Sense lets you know how you are sleeping; what is affecting your sleep and how to correct the bad; what the ideal environment for you when sleeping is and how to achieve that; helps you to fall asleep soundly, as well as waking you up in the morning at the right point in your sleep cycle to avoid feeling terrible,” the company says. The Sense system consists of a Sense ball-like device

Apple is building stores in India just for iPhones and iPads

Apple is building stores in India just for iPhones and iPads

Apple is planning to open stores in India which will only sell iOS devices following significant growth in sales of the iPhone and iPad over the past several years. Our sister site BGR India reports that the exclusive stores will contain three weeks worth of supply once they’re up and running and should require just 3-4 employees to operate, including a store manager, an iOS promoter and one or two sales managers. Apple will also take on 50% of the cost for the 10-15 demo units required to appear at each location. This is apparently going to be a relatively barebones operation, but still an encouraging sign for a high-end smartphone vendor in a region where budget devices reign supreme. In fact, sources say that

BlackBerry stock is up 100% since Christmas, even as BBM grows weaker

BlackBerry stock is up 100% since Christmas, even as BBM grows weaker

BlackBerry is up more than 5% on Thursday, buoyed by the CEO’s comments about partnerships that might mirror the recent Apple-IBM pact. That Apple-IBM alliance was seen by some as a fatal blow to BlackBerry, since it gives iOS another boost in the enterprise market. But BlackBerry has recently started resembling a mythical Canadian beast that absorbs fatal blows with polite disinterest, growing only stronger as its prospects weaken. The company’s handset business remains on the ropes, with its last stronghold of Indonesia about to come under siege by a Xiaomi product offensive. The new square BlackBerry phone has been greeted by a sort of incredulous embarrassment, though the company remains relentlessly upbeat about its prospects. But perhaps the biggest recent setback

4 awesome paid iPhone apps you can now download for free

4 awesome paid iPhone apps you can now download for free

Is your iPhone or iPad looking a bit barren these days? Do you need some cool apps to help breathe new life into your iOS device? Don’t despair, friends, because we have just what the doctor ordered. Paid iPhone and iPad apps go on sale all the time, and we dig through them all to offer you the most solid selection available. Today, we have four nifty apps for you to check out. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now —

In China, Apple's focus pays off while Samsung feels squeeze

In China, Apple's focus pays off while Samsung feels squeeze

The mobile industry has long held that Samsung's broad range of mobile devices makes it nimble in changing markets, while Apple loses out by rigidly sticking to its high-end gadgets. Apple Inc's latest quarterly results showed sales of its high-end phones in China grew at nearly twice the pace analysts had expected. Meanwhile, budget offerings from Chinese firms won at the cheaper end, effectively squeezing industry leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd .

Here’s why many people want their BlackBerrys back after switching to iOS and Android

Here’s why many people want their BlackBerrys back after switching to iOS and Android

Following the release of the original iPhone in 2007 and the subsequent launch of Android, many people with work-issued phones spent years asking for their employers to switch away from BlackBerry smartphones to more modern devices. Finally, as Apple and Google increased their focus on security and BlackBerry hit dire straights a few years ago, workers began getting what that wanted and bring your own device (BYOD) policies became more common. More recently, however, an interesting trend is being observed: Workers want their BlackBerrys back. FROM EARLIER: BlackBerry says its square phone is already stealing back iOS and Android users CIO’s Tom Kaneshige reports on an interesting phenomenon that we’ve heard rumblings of in the past. At companies where employees were permitted

With sales sputtering, Apple's iPad looks to IBM alliance

With sales sputtering, Apple's iPad looks to IBM alliance

By Christina Farr SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple Inc's iPad is losing steam just four years after its release, but an alliance with International Business Machines Corp could rejuvenate a flagging product by entering into a largely untapped corporate market. Apple shipped 13.2 million iPads in the June quarter, 8 percent fewer than a year earlier and lagging Wall Street's forecast for 14 million or more. Apple helped create the tablet market in 2010 with its first iPad. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook described iPad sales as "very bifurcated" - they continue to grow at 50 percent or above in emerging markets such as the Middle East and China, but in developed countries like the United States, the "market is weaker."     Research firm IDC lowered its forecast for 2014 worldwide tablet demand growth to 12.1 percent - a fraction of the 51.8 percent expansion of 2013.

Crazy rumors say thinner iPad mini ‘Air’ is coming soon, 12.9-inch iPad Pro set for 2015

Crazy rumors say thinner iPad mini ‘Air’ is coming soon, 12.9-inch iPad Pro set for 2015

The iPhone 6 may be the hottest device coming from Apple this year, but that doesn’t mean the company has stopped working on some other interesting products. A new report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News says Apple will soon launch an even slimmer iPad mini model, and that it’s still working on a bigger iPad Pro version. FROM EARLIER: iPhone 6 and next-gen Retina iPad mini rendered by design master The third-generation iPad mini – awkwardly referred to as the “iPad mini Air” – will supposedly be 30% thinner than its predecessor. MacRumors points out that, with the Retina iPad mini, Apple increased the profile of the tablet from 7.2mm (in first-gen 7.9-inch tablet) to 7.5mm. Assuming the new report from

iPhone 6 preorders already available from 30+ sellers

iPhone 6 preorders already available from 30+ sellers

Apple’s next-generation iPhone 6 probably won’t launch for about another two months, and all we have to go on right now in terms of what to expect is a series of leaks and unconfirmed reports. That won’t stop more than 30 companies from taking preorders for Apple’s upcoming new iPhone 6, however. FROM EARLIER: iPhone 6 and next-gen Retina iPad mini rendered by design master The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that more than two dozen sellers have taken to Alibaba’s Taobao marketplace in an effort to capitalize on the incredible amount of hype surrounding Apple’s upcoming iPhone 6. The phone is expected to be the first iPhone to feature a significantly larger display; Apple’s iPhone 5 increased the screen size

5 awesome paid iPhone and iPad apps that are free for a limited time

5 awesome paid iPhone and iPad apps that are free for a limited time

Did you miss out on any of the awesome paid iPhone and iPad apps we’ve shared with you over the past few days that have gone on sale for free for a limited time? Don’t worry… we’ve got five more for you today. Supporting developers by paying for good apps is very important, but it’s difficult to resist a good sale every now and then. So get your iPhones and iPads ready, and be sure to download anything that looks appealing as soon as possible because these sales could end soon. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they

How to install iOS 8 beta 4 right now without a developer account

How to install iOS 8 beta 4 right now without a developer account

Apple pushed out its fourth beta version of iOS 8 on Monday, and the update came right on time. iOS 8 beta 4 is a huge improvement over earlier betas in a number of ways, offering several new features such as a redesigned Control Center, as well as plenty of bug fixes that make it easier for iOS developers to test their apps ahead of iOS 8′s public release this fall. Of course, the fixes are also greatly appreciated by non-developers who pay $99 for the opportunity to get their hands on Apple’s unreleased iOS software before any of their friends. As it turns out, iPhone and iPad owners don’t even need to pay for a developer account to install iOS

BlackBerry says its square phone is already stealing back iOS and Android users

BlackBerry says its square phone is already stealing back iOS and Android users

A lot of people who now use iPhones and Android phones once used BlackBerry devices many years ago, and now BlackBerry says that its new square BlackBerry Passport is bringing some of them back into the fold. In a new post highlighting consumer response to its newest smartphone, BlackBerry picks up on several comments left on different websites of people who say that they can’t wait to dump their current smartphones for the BlackBerry Passport. “I  like it,” wrote one man named Hassam Mirzai. “The phone is small enough to carry in my pocket and large enough to read text comfortably. I currently have a Samsung Note II. When I bought my Note II, it looked weird too. After 2 or

wireless

Naked woman slashes three during Pittsburgh-area street fight

By Elizabeth Daley PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Pennsylvania authorities were searching on Tuesday for a woman who, apparently nude, stabbed and slashed other women in a street fight at a public housing complex outside of Pittsburgh. The brawl on Monday was captured on cell phones and security cameras, showing the woman wielding a knife and wounding three people, two seriously, according to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Housing Authority Police Chief Mike Vogel. The woman, identified as La Keysh Collins, 41, of Pittsburgh, appeared to be nude, but Vogel said it was unclear whether she joined the melee clothed or naked.

Why 16GB Smartphones Are the Biggest Rip-off in Tech

Why 16GB Smartphones Are the Biggest Rip-off in Tech

The other day, I hit a huge wall with my iPhone a wall so big I couldn't upgrade to the latest version of iOS. True, I cheaped out and bought the lowest-capacity 16GB iPhone 5s last September, but at the time, I didn't want to spend an extra $100 for the 32GB model. Want to know how much smartphone makers pay for that 16GB worth of extra capacity?

BlackBerry buys German anti-eavesdropping firm

BlackBerry buys German anti-eavesdropping firm

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry announced Tuesday the purchase of German voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping firm Secusmart, whose customers include NATO and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government. The two companies had already partnered to offer Secusmart-equipped BlackBerry handsets to most German government ministries and to the chancellor herself following allegations last year of the United States spying on its ally. The deal firms BlackBerry's reputation for secure mobile communications, chief executive John Chen said in a statement.

BlackBerry buffs up security credentials with Secusmart deal

BlackBerry buffs up security credentials with Secusmart deal

By Euan Rocha NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is buying a privately held German firm that specializes in voice and data encryption, it said on Tuesday, in a bid to burnish its credentials with highly security-conscious clients like government ‎agencies. The acquisition is the latest by the smartphone pioneer to build on niche areas in an attempt to reinvent itself under new Chief Executive John Chen and recover ground ceded to Apple Inc's iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co's Galaxy devices. "It is a really reassuring sign that BlackBerry is now less focused on firefighting and more focused on identifying and building for the long-term into enterprise services," said CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber. Still, BlackBerry shares fell 4 percent to $9.54 on Nasdaq and C$10.45 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

BlackBerry Is the Only Phone Secure Enough for German Officials

BlackBerry Is the Only Phone Secure Enough for German Officials

Mobile security has become a major concern of the German government, ever since Edward Snowden's leaks revealed last year that the NSA had tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone. They are now taking steps to protect themselves against wiretaps of this sort, and have turned to BlackBerry to help.  Interior ministry spokesperson Tobias Plate told the Financial Post, "We have a federal authority for information security and they checked several smartphones, and the only brand that was approved by them is the BlackBerry smartphones… it’s the security of the device." BlackBerry recently announced the purchase of SecuSmart, a German security company specializing in preventing phone tapping. BlackBerry has also recently launched secure BBM.

New concept gives us a tantalizing peek of how fantastic our favorite apps will look on Android L

New concept gives us a tantalizing peek of how fantastic our favorite apps will look on Android L

We can’t wait to see how great our favorite apps will look on Android L and its gorgeous new Material Design UI. Droid Life points us to a new concept video that takes elements of Material Design and applies them to Instagram to give us a sneak peek at what the app will look like once Android L releases this fall. As you can see in the video, the Instagram concept features both the new app animations and the flatter design that Google unveiled at Google I/O last month. The concept, which was designed by Emmanuel Pacamalan, really shows us how Android L can help developers be more creative with how their users can interact with their apps and how they

BlackBerry to buy Germany's Secusmart

BERLIN (AP) — German voice and data encryption specialist Secusmart, which helps equip the German government with secure smartphones, says it's being acquired by BlackBerry for an undisclosed sum.

BlackBerry’s newest acquisition looks like the smartest move it’s made all year

BlackBerry’s newest acquisition looks like the smartest move it’s made all year

BlackBerry has been doubling down on its reputation as the most secure mobile device manufacturer lately and the company just made a very smart move that could solidify that reputation even further. BlackBerry announced that it acquired German security firm Secusmart on Tuesday and as ZDNet points out, this could be a very big move for BlackBerry as it tries to make sure its enterprise and government customers don’t jump ship to iOS and Android devices. Why is Secusmart such a big deal? ZDNet informs us that its Secusmart Security Card is “a mini-computer integrated into the micro-SD card” that “contains the NXP SmartMX P5CT072 crypto-controller with a PKI coprocessor for authentication” and features “an additional high-speed coprocessor encrypts voice and

‘Fake ID’ security flaw could be the greatest threat to Android phones yet

‘Fake ID’ security flaw could be the greatest threat to Android phones yet

One Android feature that never made its way to iOS may be the cause of one of the most worrying security exploits ever on the mobile platform. AppleInsider reports that Bluebox Security has found an Android design flaw that could potentially allow malware apps to take over someone’s device without requiring users to manually give the app permission to access their phones. Dubbed ‘Fake ID,’ the flaw allows the malicious apps to send fake credentials to Android, granting the app the ability to take on the form of another legitimate app that would have more extensive access to the device. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the trusted apps that ‘Fake ID’ can assume the identity of is Adobe Flash, an Android-specific feature that Steve Jobs refused

Touchpico Turns Any Surface into a Touch Screen

Touchpico Turns Any Surface into a Touch Screen

It almost sounds like a late-night infomercial: It's an Android PC and a portable projector. The projector will be able to run any Google App, and can stream activity from your phone, PC or Mac. MORE: The Best Android Wear Smartwatch Apps So Far

Windows Phone fans finally have something to be excited for this year

Windows Phone fans finally have something to be excited for this year

This hasn’t been the most exciting year for Windows Phone hardware, most likely because Microsoft has been devoting a lot of energy to finalizing its plans for what to do with the recently acquired Nokia handset division. However, things may be about to change because new reports suggest that we’re going to see some brand-new Windows Phone devices hit the market very soon. The Verge’s Tom Warren reports that Microsoft is planning to release two new Windows Phone devices this fall — a low-end device that will be primarily marketed as a “selfie” phone that features a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a more high-end model that will feature a PureView camera and will be a replacement for the Lumia 720.

This might be the worst advice BlackBerry has ever received

This might be the worst advice BlackBerry has ever received

We’ve seen a lot of different ideas for how BlackBerry can turn itself around over the years but none of them has ever struck us as flat-out crazy… until now. IntoMobile’s Dusan Belic says that BlackBerry needs to make a big move to counter Apple’s huge deal with IBM and that the best way to do this would be by partnering with HP. Yes, that HP. Essentially, Belic thinks that BlackBerry needs to have a company with HP’s ties to the enterprise hawking its smartphones despite the fact that BlackBerry itself already has plenty of experience selling its smartphones to business customers. He also thinks that BlackBerry and HP could team up to create joint smartphone-laptop hybrid products along the

Motorola Nexus 6 reportedly really coming, as Android Silver might be delayed

Motorola Nexus 6 reportedly really coming, as Android Silver might be delayed

Google and Motorola are apparently indeed working together on a Nexus 6 smartphone, a phablet of gigantic proportions unlike anything Motorola has done while under Google. Following a recent report from Android Police, which has obtained details about the Motorola “Shamu” Nexus 6, The Information said that it has been able to independently verify the device, adding that Google’s rumored Android Silver line of premium devices may be delayed. “Motorola is also getting a boost from working on an undisclosed phone-tablet project with Google—the type of initiative which, ironically, it could not pursue as a Google subsidiary due to concerns about favoring the house-owned Android vendor over others,” the publication wrote. “After Lenovo agreed to buy Motorola, Google’s Android unit

LG launches the curious Tab Book 11

LG launches the curious Tab Book 11

It's essentially an 11.6-inch Android tablet, but one that seems to think it's a Chromebook or a laptop. For a start, it has a slide-out keyboard and behind the IPS display is a very potent Intel Haswell Core i5 processor. This is the sort of chipset usually reserved for notebooks like the 13-inch MacBook Pro, meaning that, from a performance aspect seeing as it's just running Android, it's like using a sledgehammer to tap in a nail. Rich media like videos take up a lot of space but the Tab Book 11 has a 128GB solid state drive plus support for MicroSD cards for further memory expansion.

Facebook to drop messaging from main mobile app

Facebook to drop messaging from main mobile app

Following what the company describes as a successful trial in Europe, the world's largest social network is going to confine the ability to message Facebook friends solely to the dedicated Facebook Messenger app. Over the coming days users of both the Android and iPhone versions of Facebook's mobile app will discover that when they receive a message from a friend -- be it a straight text, a selfie or a video -- rather than being able to read it within the app, they will get a notification that a message has arrived and that in order to view it they will have to install Facebook Messenger. Facebook is yet to take to its official blog to announce this global mobile migration but, when pushed, it did release an official statement to the media, saying: "In the next few days, we're continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they'll need to download the Messenger app. As we've said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences.

Pregnant NY woman says she was put in chokehold by NYPD officer

By Curtis Skinner NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York woman who is seven months pregnant complained on Monday that she was put in a chokehold by a New York police officer after barbecuing outside her home, fueling a controversy that has raged in the city following a man's death linked to the technique. Rosan Miller, 27, told a news conference set up by civil rights advocates that she was in "a lot of pain," following the incident, which was recorded on cell phone video and shown to reporters. Miller said police questioned her and her husband, Moses Miller, 34, on Saturday for grilling outside their Brooklyn home before the scuffle took place. "The community is traumatized," said former City Council member Charles Barron who stood beside Miller at the conference.

Samsung is ‘hiring like crazy’ trying to come up with original ideas

Samsung is ‘hiring like crazy’ trying to come up with original ideas

Samsung’s biggest fear is that it will become just another small-margin smartphone vendor along the lines of LG, HTC, Xiaomi and countless others. This is why it’s invested so many resources into creating its own Tizen mobile platform and why it’s tried unsuccessfully to heavily modify Android with overlays like Magazine UX to move its mobile devices beyond being vehicles for Google’s Android platform. Business Insider now reports that Samsung is “hiring like crazy” in anticipation of its massive, yet-to-be-opened Silicon Valley research and development center to come up with fresh ideas for whatever the company’s “next big thing” will be. Bob Brennan, the senior vice president of Samsung’s Memory System Application Lab, tells Business Insider that his unit is scooping up “top

Is the world’s best Android phone about to become the world’s best Windows Phone too?

Is the world’s best Android phone about to become the world’s best Windows Phone too?

The HTC One (M8) is definitely a top contender for the title of being 2014’s best Android phone and now it might become 2014’s best Windows Phone as well. Tom Warren’s sources claim that HTC is planning to make a Windows Phone version of the One (M8) that will supposedly release later this year.  PhoneArena chimes in to add that HTC’s flagship Windows Phone may be called the HTC One (W8) and will even include the same Duo Camera and BoomSound speakers found in the Android version. PhoneArena’s sources say that the Windows Phone version of the One (M8) will likely release on Verizon by the end of September. While it may seem strange that HTC would release the exact

Cool new app turns your Android phone into a video game controller with gesture support

Cool new app turns your Android phone into a video game controller with gesture support

When it comes to video games, mobile gaming grows more impressive with each new device generation. Controlling a game with on-screen buttons never quite offers the same experience as a physical video game controller though, so it seems odd that Ideum would put so much time and effort into creating an app that transforms an Android smartphone or tablet into a video game controller for PC gaming. The result is quite impressive, however, and it actually adds some nifty functionality that standard gaming controllers simply cannot offer. Ideum recently updated its GestureWorks Gameplay app to add Android compatibility, thus letting gamers use Android smartphones and tablets to play video games on their computers. Unlike typical controllers, Gameplay can be customized for each game and it

Samsung’s plans to challenge Android fall apart yet again

Samsung’s plans to challenge Android fall apart yet again

Samsung has hit another roadblock in its troubled journey to replace Android as the primary operating system for its mobile devices. The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung is postponing the release of its first Tizen phone, the Samsung Z, which was originally set to go on sale in Russia in the third quarter of this year. The company didn’t give any specific reasoning for the delay, but did note that it still needs to “further enhance [the] Tizen ecosystem,” referencing the platform’s lack of software. This is only the latest in a string of setbacks keeping Tizen at bay while Android continues to dominate the mobile market. In January, Japan’s biggest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, revealed it would be indefinitely delaying its own

Galaxy S4 bursts into flames under sleeping 13-year-old girl’s pillow

Galaxy S4 bursts into flames under sleeping 13-year-old girl’s pillow

Let this cautionary tale serve as a reminder to everyone: don’t buy unauthorized parts or accessories for your smartphone. We have seen stories of combusting cell phones before, but perhaps none have been quite as unsettling as a new report from this past weekend. According to a Dallas, Texas-based Fox affiliate, a 13-year-old girl was awoken last week when she smelled something burning. As it turns out, the Samsung Galaxy S4 that she slipped under her pillow as she fell asleep had caught fire in the middle of the night and had begun to burn her pillow and sheets. “I didn’t think much of it, so I went back to sleep and then I woke up again and it was more prominent,”

The Nexus 6 may be coming from the most unexpected source

The Nexus 6 may be coming from the most unexpected source

Despite what many rumors said about the possibility of a Nexus smartphone being made by this particular company in previous years, it appears Motorola had to be bought and sold by Google to get an actual chance to making a Nexus smartphone. Following all the rumors that claimed Google is getting ready to discontinue the Nexus smartphone line next year, the company denied such plans at I/O 2014, suggesting a Nexus 6 is indeed in the making. And Android Police says that phone, dubbed Shamu, may be a 5.9-inch Motorola beast. FROM EARLIER: Why Google needs Android L’s awesome Material Design “The rumor this time is simple – according to information made available to us, Motorola is working on a

It will soon be legal to unlock your phone and move to another carrier

It will soon be legal to unlock your phone and move to another carrier

Handset unlocking in the U.S. is not exactly legal when done by device owners looking to move to a different mobile operator, but this will soon change, Reuters reports, as the cellphone unlocking bill has cleared the House. President Barack Obama said he’s looking forward to signing it into law. “This is something that Americans have been asking for and I am pleased that we were able to work together to ensure the swift passage of legislation restoring the exemption that allowed consumers to unlock their cell phones,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said. “The bill congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier

Samsung postpones launch of Tizen smartphone

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday it is delaying sales of its first Tizen-powered smartphone in the latest setback to the company's ambition to create a mobile platform to rival Google's Android or Apple's iOS.

Samsung delays Tizen smartphone sales launch

Samsung delays Tizen smartphone sales launch

Samsung Electronics said Monday it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google's Android system. The delay is seen as a blow to Samsung's campaign to carve out a niche in mobile software and services, to complement its dominant hardware role. The Samsung Z, which has been specially developed by Samsung to run on the Tizen platform, was to go on sale in Russia in the third quarter of this year before reaching other markets. The vast majority of Samsung's popular devices, including its flagship Galaxy S smartphones, use Android.

Amazon credit card reader coming

Amazon credit card reader coming

Just like PayPal and Square, the online retailer is planning to launch a device that plugs into smartphones and tablets so that they can be used to validate card payments. 9to5Mac has managed to get its hands on a set of internal documents from US retail giant Staples that detail an Amazon Card Reader that will go on sale starting on August 12 and that it is going to be selling for $9.99. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that earlier this month, Amazon quietly launched a mobile wallet app that is compatible with Android smartphones as well as Amazon's own devices. It can currently be used for storing gift cards, membership and loyalty cards;

Americans Are One Signature Away From Legally Unlocking Cell Phones

Americans Are One Signature Away From Legally Unlocking Cell Phones

It may seem like common sense to have phones automatically switch carriers or use new carriers when abroad, but a controversial line in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act had made it illegal in 1998 to unlock a cell phone to switch service providers. After 19 months of petitioning President Barack Obama (amounting to more than 114,000 signatures) and pushing the bill, the House agreed to fix the legislation. "This is something that Americans have been asking for and I am pleased that we were able to work together to ensure the swift passage of legislation restoring the exemption that allowed consumers to unlock their phones," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement. We love you #unlocking bill! — Christopher J. Lewis (@ChrisJ_Lewis) June 6, 2013

This app will let you delete all your drunk texts once you sober up

This app will let you delete all your drunk texts once you sober up

Wiper is a new smartphone app that will let you do something you may have wanted to do with certain drunk texts, and that’s delete them after the fact both on your phone as well as on the recipient’s handset. Spotted by Business Insider, Wiper is available for iOS and Android devices, where it acts almost like any other messaging app, allowing users to chat (text and voice), as well as send and receive media files. However, its trick lies in the “Wipe” button, which can be used by any party in the conversation to delete parts of the chat, or the entire thing, from all devices. Wiper will automatically get rid of everything in the chat, whether it’s text, photos or videos,

Cellphone unlocking bill clears U.S. House, heads to Obama

By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on Friday to give mobile-phone users the right to 'unlock' their devices and use them on competitors' wireless networks, something that is now technically illegal. President Barack Obama said in a statement that he looked forward to signing the bill into law. "The bill congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cell phone carrier that meets their needs and their budget," Obama said. The lawmaking follows a 2012 ruling by the Library of Congress, the minder of U.S. copyright law, that effectively made phone unlocking illegal, even after the consumer completed the contract with its wireless carrier.

Dell, BlackBerry downplay threat from Apple-IBM alliance

Dell, BlackBerry downplay threat from Apple-IBM alliance

By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - IBM Corp's recent move to partner with Apple Inc to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with corporate applications has excited investors in both companies, but two rivals say they are unperturbed for now. Top executives at Dell and BlackBerry Ltd scoffed at the threat posed by the alliance this week, arguing the tie-up is unlikely to derail the efforts of their own companies to re-invent themselves. I think it just made a good press release," John Swainson, who heads Dell's global software business, said in an interview with Reuters in Toronto on Thursday. PC maker Dell and smartphone maker BlackBerry are in the midst of reshaping their companies around software and services, as the needs of their big corporate clients morph.

Why Google isn’t afraid to kill your favorite products

Why Google isn’t afraid to kill your favorite products

In addition to explaining why Google actually needs the gorgeous new Material Design deployed on Android L, android apps and the web, Google’s Search design guru Jon Wiley talked during the same Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session about the reasons why Google has to sometimes remove features from products, or products, even though some people may still be interested in using them. One user asked Wiley why Google removed a specific Search feature – in this case the Google Discussion search filter that allowed him to search forums and discussions, and the exec offered quite an extensive reply. “One thing that’s almost always guaranteed with product design: when you add a feature, no one complains about it outright; if they don’t

Save $100 on the new king of Android phones

Save $100 on the new king of Android phones

BGR reviewed LG’s G3 smartphone earlier this week and we called it the new king of Android phones. The flagship devices features cutting-edge specs and is the first mass-market smartphone to sport a quad HD (2K) display with a pixel density of 538 pixels per inch, making it sharper than anything else on the market by a landslide. Despite the fact that the G3 just launched in the United States last week, interested consumers can already get their hands on this great smartphone for $100 off the standard purchase price. FROM EARLIER: LG G3 review: Android has a new king Nationwide retail giant Best Buy is currently offering a great sale on the new LG G3 smartphone. For shoppers looking to

Why Google needs Android L’s awesome Material Design

Why Google needs Android L’s awesome Material Design

Android L’s main feature so far is the new Material Design that Google will also use across platforms and on the web, and whose new rules developers are also encouraged to abide by. But why did Google decide to go for a complete makeover of Android, apps and the web? Google designer Jon Wiley, who works on Google Search design, hosted a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session during which he explained why Google needs Material Design. Unsurprisingly, Material Design is supposed to further enhance Google’s Search performance and offer a better user experience across all devices. “I’m one of the instigators of material design. It actually came about a couple of years ago when we were working on a design problem

7 great Android apps that will make your phone more like Android L

7 great Android apps that will make your phone more like Android L

Google’s upcoming new version of Android is an absolutely gorgeous reimagining of the company’s mobile operating system. Dubbed “Material Design,” Google has employed a new design identity throughout the user interface that makes Android L far more beautiful and approachable than the OS has ever been in the past. While Apple has done a great job of flattening its iOS platform in an effort to modernize it, Google is taking a different approach, adding different levels to the UI that combine with new graphics to create a great experience. The problem, of course, is that Android L won’t be available until sometime this fall and even then, there’s no telling when vendors will finally start updating their phones. Luckily, you don’t have

Moto 360 will have one important feature other Android Wear devices lack

Moto 360 will have one important feature other Android Wear devices lack

In addition to being the only Android Wear device that will have a round watch face, the Moto 360 will also pack a unique feature existing competitors lack, Android Police reports, and that’s an ambient light sensor that will surely come in handy when it comes to adjusting to the lighting in a new environment and saving battery life. FROM EARLIER: ‘I saw a Moto 360 this morning’ and I liked it LG’s G Watch and Samsung’s Gear Live both come without ambient light sensors, which means users have to manually adjust brightness depending on where they are. But the Moto 360 will not come with such annoyances, and Motorola’ Cathay Bi has confirmed the smartwatch’s ambient light sensor during

Video: Don’t be fooled by this extremely detailed iPhone 6 clone running Android

Video: Don’t be fooled by this extremely detailed iPhone 6 clone running Android

The iPhone 6 isn’t even out yet and it already has a few clones that mimic its appearance and software very well, with 9to5Google having found a new video hands-on demo of one such device. While the clone is based on the leaked dummy iPhone 6 units that flooded the Internet and is fully working, it’s not actually running iOS 8. Instead, it’s running an Android version that has been customized to look just like iOS. The Wico6 is the name of this new clone, which features a 4.7-inch display with 960 x 540 resolution, 2.4GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and Android 4.2.2 under the hood. Even though it appears the device has a Touch ID home button, it’s

Here’s how Verizon’s Android bloatware might become the best ever

Here’s how Verizon’s Android bloatware might become the best ever

One of the reasons users passionately hate carriers is the bloatware they fill Android devices with, as in many cases a mobile operator’s app collection that comes preloaded on a new handset may be somewhat difficult to remove for an average user. In some countries, there already are laws that require carriers to let their subscribers delete any apps they want on a handset, but that’s hardly a widespread practice. Luckily for Verizon customers, Big Red is willing to make some changes to its approach to bloatware, Droid-Life reports, starting with the LG G3. FROM EARLIER: LG G3 review: Android has a new king “Verizon is trialing a new service on the LG G3. Pre-loaded applications will install in the

Verizon remixes the HTC One mini 2’s name, launches it for $50

Verizon remixes the HTC One mini 2’s name, launches it for $50

Buyers looking to score a brand new HTC One mini 2 from Verizon will have to look for the HTC One remix in the carrier’s inventory, as Big Red decided to have a special name for HTC’s latest mini smartphone. To further mark its territory, Verizon has plastered its logo all over the front and back of the phone. FROM EARLIER: HTC One mini 2 review The HTC handset is available starting today for just $49.99 on a new two-year contract with Verizon or for $22.49 per month for 20 months when purchased with Verizon Edge. The full price of the handset is $449.99, in case the other options aren’t interesting enough. The HTC One remix is not a top-of-the-line Android

apple-macintosh

Obama eats ribs with 4 Kansas City letter writers

Obama eats ribs with 4 Kansas City letter writers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — President Barack Obama feasted on barbecue Tuesday with four people who wrote him letters in a trip to highlight the struggles of working families in American's heartland, as the clock ticked on pressing issues before Congress goes on summer break.

Partisan gridlock robs senators of feel-good laws

Partisan gridlock robs senators of feel-good laws

WASHINGTON (AP) — The "Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2014" seemed ideal for Sen. Kay Hagan's re-election bid in politically divided North Carolina, where many people like to hunt and fish. Her bill would open more federal lands to hunters, and conservation groups liked it too.

Shells hit UN school in Gaza, kill 15

Shells hit UN school in Gaza, kill 15

JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli tank shells slammed into a crowded U.N. school sheltering Gaza war refugees Wednesday, killing 15 Palestinians and wounding 90 after tearing through two classroom walls, a health official and a spokesman for a U.N. aid agency said.

AP ANALYSIS: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

AP ANALYSIS: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The savage fighting between Israel and Hamas is escalating in Gaza, cease-fire efforts take on elements of farce, and bravado rules the public discourse. But even through the fog of war, a few endgame scenarios can nonetheless be glimpsed.

Landslide hits Indian village, 150 may be trapped

NEW DELHI (AP) — A landslide hit a village in western India following torrential rains Wednesday, sweeping away scores of houses and raising fears that more than 150 people could be trapped, officials said.

Poll: Americans cool to border-crossing children

Poll: Americans cool to border-crossing children

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.

Senate likely to come up short on border bill

Senate likely to come up short on border bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to deal with the immigration surge at the border appears headed for procedural defeat in the Senate as lawmakers trade blame over their inaction on the crisis.

US appeals court blocks Mississippi abortion law

US appeals court blocks Mississippi abortion law

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's governor and attorney general will have to decide whether to challenge a federal appeals court ruling that is keeping the state's only abortion clinic in business.

Trafficking bust reveals worries over missing kids

Trafficking bust reveals worries over missing kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — When FBI agents and police officers fanned out across the country last month in a weeklong effort to rescue child sex trafficking victims, they pulled minors as young as 11 from hotel rooms, truck stops and homes.

UCLA wades through damages from pipe flooding

UCLA wades through damages from pipe flooding

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The quiet summer campus of UCLA found itself suddenly steeped in water and chaos after a major water pipe burst and spewed some eight million gallons, stranding people in parking garages and flooding the school's storied basketball court less than two years after a major renovation.

Edward Norton’s mission to help you raise money for a good cause

Edward Norton is a Hollywood A-lister with memorable roles in "Primal Fear," "Fight Club" and "American History X." He's also a passionate philanthropist with an entrepreneurial spirit. After running the New York City Marathon for charity in 2009, he got the idea of developing an online platform that would combine fundraising with social media; soon after he co-founded Crowdrise.

NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports.

Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

Senate confirms McDonald as VA secretary

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans' waits for health care and VA workers falsifying records to cover up delays.

Trial reveals Bob McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO

Trial reveals Bob McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO

Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife were barely on speaking terms when they accepted $165,000 in gifts and loans from a vitamin company executive, defense attorneys said on Tuesday at the start of the pair's corruption trial. Federal prosecutors described Robert and Maureen McDonnell as conspiring to take gifts from Jonnie Williams, the chief executive of Star Scientific Inc, in exchange for promoting his products. "At the time of this supposed conspiracy, the McDonnells' marriage had broken down and they were barely on speaking terms," defense attorney William Burck said.

Dozens dead in China attacks; Muslim leader calls for restraint

Dozens dead in China attacks; Muslim leader calls for restraint

By Ben Blanchard BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese police shot dead dozens of knife-wielding attackers on Monday morning after they staged assaults on two towns in the western region of Xinjiang, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday. A gang armed with knives had first attacked a police station and government offices in the town of Elixku, in Shache county, it said, quoting local police. The dead and injured include not just Uighurs but members of China's majority Han Chinese population, the report said. The U.S.-based Rebiya Kadeer, president of the exiled World Uyghur Congress, called for restraint, saying in a statement that she was worried "China will use this incident to step up repression, causing more people to lose their freedom." The attack took place at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which officials had tried to get Muslims in Xinjiang to ignore, in an indication of what rights groups say is discrimination targeting the Uighurs.

White House: Delay climate change action, pay $150B a year

White House: Delay climate change action, pay $150B a year

Delaying efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could cost the US $150 billion per year, the White House warned Tuesday in a report on the economic consequences of inaction on climate change. "Although delaying action can reduce costs in the short run, on net, delaying action to limit the effects of climate change is costly," the report said. "A delay that results in warming of 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels, instead of 2 degrees, could increase economic damages by approximately 0.9 percent of global output," the report said. "These costs are not one-time, but are rather incurred year after year because of the permanent damage caused by increased climate change resulting from the delay," the report said.

social-media

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high

NEW YORK (AP) — The little blue bird is flying high. Stronger-than-expected financial results pushed Twitter's stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter.

Twitter flies on surprisingly strong numbers

Twitter flies on surprisingly strong numbers

Twitter shares shot higher by some 30 percent Tuesday after its quarterly report showed surprisingly strong revenue and user growth, despite a widening loss. "You would have liked to see them do a lot better than that on users."

Privacy Groups Send Letter To FTC, Demand Facebook Investigation

The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission demanding they put an end to Facebook’s tracking habits, calling Facebook’s practices a hazard to consumers. “We express deep alarm over the announcement … that Facebook is planning to collect the web browsing activities of Internet users for targeted advertising,” the letter said. (RELATED: FTC Sues Amazon Over In-App Spending) The announcement to which the letter refers is a June blog post found on Facebook’s website: “Starting soon in the U.S., we will also include information from some of the websites and apps you use.” Facebook also tacked on a quick disclaimer: “This is a type of interest-based advertising, and many companies already do this.”

Facebook to shut down Gifts service in latest e-commerce shift

Facebook to shut down Gifts service in latest e-commerce shift

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will shut its 2-year-old Gifts shop on Aug. 12, as the world's largest social network tests other ways to let consumers buy products on its website. "We'll be using everything we learned from Gifts to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the web, on mobile, and directly on Facebook," the company said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Facebook Gifts opened in 2012 as a way for users to buy gifts such as socks and teddy bears.

Twitter assuages growth concerns for now as shares soar 35 pct

Twitter assuages growth concerns for now as shares soar 35 pct

By Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc halted a slowdown in user-growth in the second quarter with the help of product tweaks and services built around the summer's World Cup, assuaging concerns for now that the online messaging service had peaked. Twitter, which has battled to reverse a steady decline in its once-heady pace of growth, surpassed targets for virtually every metric Wall Street scrutinizes. Before Tuesday's after-hours surge, Twitter had lost about 40 percent of its market value since the start of 2014. "The expectations going in had become quite low," said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.

Wall Street ends down; Twitter rallies after-hours

Wall Street ends down; Twitter rallies after-hours

By Ryan Vlastelica NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Tuesday, dropping in a broad selloff as a weak outlook from courier company UPS weighed on sentiment and pressured transportation stocks. Although a rally in telecom stocks helped to limit the broader market's decline, the S&P 500 ended below its 14-day moving average for a second straight day. United Parcel Service shares fell 3.7 percent to $98.86 after the world's biggest courier company slashed its earnings forecast for the year due to spending to boost capacity. Nonetheless, this earnings season has largely been a positive for equities.

Using Facebook on your smartphone is about to get much more annoying

Using Facebook on your smartphone is about to get much more annoying

Facebook may want to look up the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” TechCrunch reports that Facebook plans to take away the messaging feature from its core app and force users to download the separate Facebook Messenger app if they want to chat with their friends. Facebook has apparently been testing out using Messenger as its sole messaging app in Europe and has been encouraged by the results so far, TechCrunch says. TechCrunch says that the good news is that “mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites” for the time being and won’t be forced to use a separate app. WhatsApp users should also be happy with the

Facebook to drop messaging from main mobile app

Facebook to drop messaging from main mobile app

Following what the company describes as a successful trial in Europe, the world's largest social network is going to confine the ability to message Facebook friends solely to the dedicated Facebook Messenger app. Over the coming days users of both the Android and iPhone versions of Facebook's mobile app will discover that when they receive a message from a friend -- be it a straight text, a selfie or a video -- rather than being able to read it within the app, they will get a notification that a message has arrived and that in order to view it they will have to install Facebook Messenger. Facebook is yet to take to its official blog to announce this global mobile migration but, when pushed, it did release an official statement to the media, saying: "In the next few days, we're continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they'll need to download the Messenger app. As we've said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences.

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on Monday, weeks after Facebook Inc admitted to misleading users in a psychological study. "When we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are," co-founder Christian Rudder wrote in a blog post. "Even when they should be wrong for each other." Conversely, couples told they were bad matches, even when OkCupid's algorithm showed the opposite, were less likely to exchange four messages. Exchanging four messages is an OkCupid measure for gauging romantic interest.

U.S. social media asks: Who is that woman in black?

U.S. social media asks: Who is that woman in black?

By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - A quiet woman wearing a flowing, black dress and mysteriously strolling along busy highways in parts of the U.S. Southeast and Midwest has the curious wondering who she is and spurred a social media site to document her trek. She has been dubbed the "Woman in Black," by TV stations, police and followers on the Web, including those on a Facebook page where she has been tracked on a nearly 500-mile journey with a black bag and walking stick in hand that has taken her from Ranger, Georgia, to Athens, Ohio, since July 18. Raymond Poles told Reuters he is the woman's brother, identifying her as Elizabeth Poles, 56, a U.S. Army veteran, mother of two children and a widow from Motts, Alabama. Elizabeth Poles had been receiving treatment at Veterans Affairs hospitals to deal with the deaths of her husband in 2008 and her father in 2009, he said.

Facebook Scam Tricks Users into Hacking Themselves

Facebook Scam Tricks Users into Hacking Themselves

The latest Facebook scam promises to give people the ability to hack into anyone's account. The scam appears as either an email or a Facebook post on your Timeline purportedly from a friend of the victim. "Hack any Facebook account following three steps," the scam promises.

Footballer James Rodriguez tops global social media chart: Starcount

Footballer James Rodriguez tops global social media chart: Starcount

Soccer star James Rodriguez, who took home the Golden Boot at the World Cup, is once again the talk of social media after being recruited by Real Madrid. Previously unknown to many soccer fans around the world, he was a fixture on social media during his star turn at the World Cup. Last week it was announced that Rodriguez had been signed to Real Madrid, and media sources picking up on a report from Spanish newspaper Sport reported that the team had sold 345,000 James Rodriguez shirts in the 48 hours after he signed to the team. The buzz continued over onto social media.

Pakistan mob kills woman, girls, over 'blasphemous' Facebook post

By Syed Raza Hassan ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A Pakistani mob killed a woman member of a religious sect and two of her granddaughters after a sect member was accused of posting blasphemous material on Facebook, police said Monday, the latest instance of growing violence against minorities. The dead, including a seven-year-old girl and her baby sister, were Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslim but believe in a prophet after Mohammed. A 1984 Pakistani law declared them non-Muslims and many Pakistanis consider them heretics. Police said the late Sunday violence in the town of Gujranwala, 220 km (140 miles) southeast of the capital, Islamabad, started with an altercation between young men, one of whom was an Ahmadi accused of posting "objectionable material".

Facebook says SEC's IPO probe ends, extending WhatsApp closing date

Facebook says SEC's IPO probe ends, extending WhatsApp closing date

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dropped its probe into the social networking company over events surrounding its controversial initial public offering. In its quarterly report filed on Thursday, Facebook said the regulator in May "notified us that it had terminated its inquiry and that no enforcement action had been recommended by the SEC." Facebook shares began trading on May 18, 2012, but soon fell below their $38 per share offering price and had lost more than half their value by the middle of August, angering investors. Investors also complained they were not told just prior to the IPO that analysts at Facebook's investment banks were cutting their forecasts after learning of the company's internal projections for advertising revenue. The end of the SEC probe does not affect shareholder litigation against Facebook, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and many banks over the Menlo Park, California-based company's IPO.

Nigeria nabs accused $6 million Facebook fraudster

Nigerian security forces say they have arrested a suspected internet fraudster accused of stealing nearly $6 million from people who thought were paying fees to apply for government jobs. Emmanuel Okeh, ...

Facebook stock hits all-time highs on strong earnings

Facebook stock hits all-time highs on strong earnings

Facebook stock jumped to record highs Thursday as strong earnings from the leading social network sparked fresh buying. The rise lifted Facebook's market value to some $190 billion. Facebook said Wednesday that profits leapt to $791 million during the three months ended June 30, a 138 percent increase from a year earlier. Revenue in the quarter surged to $2.91 billion, with approximately 62 percent of that money coming from ads served up on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet computers.

Royal Caribbean and Facebook are big market movers

Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market: NYSE Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., up $4.33 to $60.56 The cruise ship operator reported ...

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after critical tweet

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after critical tweet

(Story refiled to correct typographical error on third paragraph) (Reuters) - A Minnesota man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent. Duff Watson said he was flying from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday and tried to board in a spot for frequent flyer privileges he held and take his sons, ages 6 and 9, with him, even though they had a later spot to board the plane. Watson replied that he had boarded early with them before and then sent out a tweet that read "RUDEST AGENT IN DENVER. Once at the gate, the agent said that unless the tweet was deleted, police would be called and the family would not be allowed back onboard.

Facebook shares hit record high as market likes earnings

Facebook shares hit record high as market likes earnings

Shares of Facebook Inc hit a record high on Thursday after a surge in mobile advertising revenue helped the world's No. 1 social network trounce analysts' expectations for quarterly profit and revenue. At that price, Facebook's market value is just short of $200 billion, putting the company in position to overtake IBM Corp as the fourth-largest U.S.-listed tech company. The top three are Apple Inc , Google Inc and Microsoft Corp . At $100, Facebook would be valued at more than $250 billion.

U.S. News Twitter Chat: How to Develop Good Online Learning Habits

On Thursday, July 31, U.S. News Education will host a Twitter chat to help students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree online develop good habits for success. Topics will include advice on how to best use online discussion forums and tips on ways to effectively balance school and work.

Facebook profit story pushes shares to new high

Facebook profit story pushes shares to new high

Facebook shares soared to a new high on word that the social network's quarterly profit and user numbers jumped as it thrives in a world gone mobile. Net income leapt to $791 million during the three months ended June 30 in a 138 percent increase from the $333 million made during the same period a year earlier, the world's biggest social network said. "We had a good second quarter," said Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Revenue in the quarter surged to $2.91 billion, with approximately 62 percent of that money coming from ads served up on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet computers.

Facebook beats Wall Street targets, stock hits record high

Facebook beats Wall Street targets, stock hits record high

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's fast-growing mobile advertising business helped drive a 61 percent increase in revenue during the second quarter, beating Wall Street's financial targets and sending shares to a record-high in after-hours trading on Wednesday. Facebook now counts 1.5 million advertising customers and the company's ad business saw strong growth across all of its geographic regions, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. Investors bid up shares of Facebook roughly 5 percent to $75.13 in after-hours trading on Wednesday, giving the Internet company a roughly $190 billion valuation, putting it on par with IBM Corp. "It might be more expensive from a market cap perspective, but I don’t think anyone was expecting this level of profitability," JMP Securities analyst Ronald Josey said. Facebook's operating margin expanded to 48 percent of revenue in the second quarter, up from 31 percent in the year-ago period.

Twitter admits to diversity problem in workforce

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Twitter acknowledged that it has been hiring too many white and Asian men to fill high-paying technology jobs, just like several other major companies in Silicon Valley.

World Isn't Yet Facebook's Oyster

The Facebook train just keeps on chugging. In fact, Facebook's results looked good on nearly every metric. There seems little room for doubt that Facebook has a powerful growth engine, which should continue to help it take share in the rapidly growing segment of mobile advertising. Essential to doing that will be Facebook's ability to monetize users from outside the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Facebook 2Q earnings, revenue soar

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Facebook is on a roll. The world's largest online social network posted sharply higher earnings on Wednesday as revenue from mobile advertising continued to grow, and more people used it, more often.

British MP sorry over Gaza 'fire a rocket' tweet

British MP sorry over Gaza 'fire a rocket' tweet

A British lawmaker apologised Wednesday after tweeting that he would likely fire rockets into Israel if he lived in the Gaza Strip. "The big question is -- if I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket? -- probably yes," Liberal Democrat member of parliament David Ward said on Twitter. The Board of Deputies of British Jews called on Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, to suspend Ward once again from the junior party in Britain's governing coalition.

security

Israel's 'Iron Dome' makers were hit by hackers, expert says

By By Eric Auchard VIENNA (Reuters) - Three Israeli defense contractors behind the Iron Dome missile shield and related systems were robbed of hundreds of documents by hackers linked to the Chinese government starting in 2011, a U.S.-based computer forensics expert said on Tuesday. Comment Crew, as the hacking group is known, stole designs for Israeli rocket systems in a spree of attacks during 2011 and 2012, Joseph Drissel, chief executive of Cyber Engineering Services (CyberESI), said in a phone interview. The targets of the online attacks were top military contractors Elisra Group, Israel Aerospace Industries[ISRAI.UL], and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. The companies built the system that now partially insulates Israel from rocket barrages fired from the Gaza Strip.

‘Fake ID’ security flaw could be the greatest threat to Android phones yet

‘Fake ID’ security flaw could be the greatest threat to Android phones yet

One Android feature that never made its way to iOS may be the cause of one of the most worrying security exploits ever on the mobile platform. AppleInsider reports that Bluebox Security has found an Android design flaw that could potentially allow malware apps to take over someone’s device without requiring users to manually give the app permission to access their phones. Dubbed ‘Fake ID,’ the flaw allows the malicious apps to send fake credentials to Android, granting the app the ability to take on the form of another legitimate app that would have more extensive access to the device. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the trusted apps that ‘Fake ID’ can assume the identity of is Adobe Flash, an Android-specific feature that Steve Jobs refused

In rare move, Canada accuses Chinese of trying to hack government network

In rare move, Canada accuses Chinese of trying to hack government network

By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Tuesday took the unusual step of singling out Chinese hackers for attacking a key computer network and lodged a protest with Beijing, raising tensions at a time when Ottawa wants to boost oil sales to China. Officials said "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" had recently broken into the National Research Council. The council, the government's leading research body, works with major firms such as aircraft and train maker Bombardier Inc.. Canada has reported hacking incidents before but this was the first time it had singled out China. China is often cited as a suspect in various hacking attacks on companies in the United States and other nations.

Canada foreign minister protests to China over hacking attempt

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird protested to his Chinese counterpart on Tuesday about what he said was an attempt by China-sponsored hackers to break into a key computer system in Ottawa, a government official said. Baird had "a full and frank exchange of views" with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during a meeting in Beijing, spokesman Adam Hodge said. Canada said "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" recently broke into computers at the National Research Council, the Canadian government's leading research and technology organization.

Huawei says ships 34 million smartphones in H1 globally, up 62 percent year-on-year

Huawei says ships 34 million smartphones in H1 globally, up 62 percent year-on-year

By Yimou Lee HONG KONG (Reuters) - China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said smartphone shipments in the first half rose 62 percent year-on-year, as it targets the more expensive smartphone sector dominated by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc. Shenzhen-based Huawei has shipped 34.27 million smartphones globally in the first six months ending June 30 - about 43 percent of its annual shipment target of 80 million, according to Reuters' calculations based on figures provided by Huawei. "We recorded faster growth in areas such as Middle East and Africa and Latin America, with 275 percent and 550 percent year-on-year growth in the second quarter, respectively," Shao Yang, vice president of marketing in the consumer business group, told Reuters in a written statement. "Based on the growth momentum at the moment, we are firmly moving toward our full-year target," Shao said, adding that smartphones are now accounting for 97 percent of Huawei's global phone shipments.

Aretha Franklin Kicked Out of Johnny Rockets

Aretha Franklin Kicked Out of Johnny Rockets

Today in celebrity gossip: A Johnny Rockets waiter out-diva'd Aretha Franklin, Keith Urban's fans nearly drank themselves to death at his concert, and Comic-Con yielded so many celebrity group-selfies. Ordering a hamburger to go and then deciding to eat it in the restaurant.

Apple iPhones allow extraction of deep personal data, researcher finds

Apple iPhones allow extraction of deep personal data, researcher finds

By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Personal data including text messages, contact lists and photos can be extracted from iPhones through previously unpublicized techniques by Apple Inc employees, the company acknowledged this week. The same techniques to circumvent backup encryption could be used by law enforcement or others with access to the "trusted" computers to which the devices have been connected, according to the security expert who prompted Apple's admission. In a conference presentation this week, researcher Jonathan Zdziarski showed how the services take a surprising amount of data for what Apple now says are diagnostic services meant to help engineers. As word spread about Zdziarski’s initial presentation at the Hackers on Planet Earth conference, some cited it as evidence of Apple collaboration with the National Security Agency.

Senior U.S. Homeland Security cyber official Larry Zelvin to retire

Senior U.S. Homeland Security cyber official Larry Zelvin to retire

Larry Zelvin, the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's center for countering cyber threats, is retiring next month after a government career of nearly 30 years during which he advised U.S. businesses on fighting hostile hackers. Zelvin helped coordinate efforts to advise U.S. banks as they responded to denial of service attacks believed to have originated from Iran, which disrupted their websites in recent years. He also assisted U.S. retailers looking to prevent cyber attacks on their point of sales systems after last year's unprecedented breach at Target Corp. A spokesman said a successor has not been named to run the agency's National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) in suburban Virginia, which helps government agencies and private firms identify and respond to cyber attacks.

ECB says website hacked, no sensitive data affected

ECB says website hacked, no sensitive data affected

The European Central Bank said on Thursday its website had been hacked and some email addresses and other contact information stolen but insisted no market-sensitive data were affected. The hackers broke into a database storing details of people who had registered for ECB conferences, visits and other events, the bank said. "No internal systems or market sensitive data were compromised," the ECB said in a statement. The ECB is currently running a particularly sensitive review of the euro zone's top lenders, collecting streams of data to gauge whether banks have valued loans and other assets correctly, before it starts supervising them.

Nokia's fortunes brighten on heavy network spending

By Sakari Suoninen and Jussi Rosendahl HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia surprised investors with strong quarterly earnings and raised its full-year profit margin forecast as network operators install more powerful systems to cope with surging mobile data traffic. The Finnish company sold its once-dominant phone business to Microsoft in April, leaving it more reliant on a mobile network equipment business that shrank by 8 percent in the April-to-June quarter. Much of the decline was due to foreign currency fluctuations and divestments and Nokia said it expected network sales to return to growth in the second half of the year after a period in which the company sought to exit unprofitable contracts. The company raised its profitability estimate for networks, saying its operating margin this year would be at or slightly above the high end of a long-term target of 5 to 10 percent.

U.S. says Chinese man pleads guilty in military technology sting

A 28-year-old Chinese man pleaded guilty on Wednesday of attempting to smuggle military technology obtained from undercover U.S. agents out of the United States to China, the U.S. Justice Department said. Bo Cai, an employee of a Chinese technology firm, was accused along with his cousin Wentong Cai, 29, of trying to illegally export sensors primarily manufactured for sale to the U.S. Department of Defense. Wentong Cai, who was in the United States on a student visa, has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. The U.S. Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations prohibit the export of defense-related materials from the United States without a license or written approval from the U.S. Department of State.

NYC official: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

NYC official: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

NEW YORK (AP) — Some of the hottest tickets in town — to Broadway hits, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake concerts, a New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox game — were snapped up by an international ring of cyber thieves who commandeered more than 1,000 StubHub users' accounts to make big money by fraudulently buying tickets and reselling them, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud case

Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud case

By Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) - Police have arrested seven people on charges they were tied to an international ring that defrauded eBay Inc's StubHub online ticketing service of some $1.6 million, the latest in a string of high-profile cybercrime busts in recent months. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr announced the arrests on Wednesday. They were charged with involvement in a cybercrime ring that used stolen credit card numbers to purchase thousands of tickets to events, including concerts of Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z as well as games for sports teams including the Boston Red Sox and New York Giants, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday. StubHub's head of global communications, Glenn Lehrman, told Reuters his firm has been working with law enforcement around the world for the last year on the case.

Reuters U.S. Sports Schedule at 2 PM EDT on Wednesday, July 23

July 23 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2 PM ET on Wednesday: - - - - The duty editor is Steve Ginsburg, 202-898-8427 - - - - NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE Wednesday: NFC previews and rankings by division - - Broncos owner Bowlen battling Alzheimer's, resigns control of team Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is resigning control of the team to focus on battling Alzheimer's Disease. ...

Six indicted in New York for involvement in StubHub cyber fraud

Six indicted in New York for involvement in StubHub cyber fraud

New York (Reuters) - Six people were indicted in New York for involvement in a global cybercrime ring that took over more than 1,000 accounts of eBay Inc's StubHub online ticket reselling service, according to a statement released by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. Cybercriminals are believed to have defrauded StubHub of $1 million, the statement said, citing City of London Police Commissioner Adrian Leppard. (Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York. Writing by Jim Finkle in Boston; Editing by Chris Reese)

AP source: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

AP source: Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

NEW YORK (AP) — Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said.

Apple denies intentionally compromising iOS security, explains ‘backdoor’ features

Apple denies intentionally compromising iOS security, explains ‘backdoor’ features

Following an extensive security report from an iOS forensic and security expert that questioned some of Apple’s iOS tools when it comes to the user’s security and privacy (see his questions in the image above), Apple has taken another step to address “backdoor” concerns on top of stating that it’s not working with anyone to include backdoors in any of its products. Researcher Jonathan Zdziarski said in his paper that certain tools available in iOS will allow governmental spying agencies and other third parties to remotely control an iOS device and install silent malware that could then be used to spy on an unsuspecting user. Apple has published a new support document on its website, offering some explanations on how

PayPal signs "ten of thousands" customers in Nigerian launch

PayPal signs

By Chijioke Ohuocha LAGOS (Reuters) - PayPal has signed up "tens of thousand" of Nigerians in its first week of operating in Africa's biggest economy, with consumers already purchasing items from Britain, China and the United States via its online platform, a company official said. E-commerce remains in its infancy in most of Africa but is growing exponentially with the advent of online retailers such as Jumia, partly owned by South African phone operator MTN, and a growing middle class with money to spend. ...

Integrating Into the 'Internet of Things' (Op-Ed)

Integrating Into the 'Internet of Things' (Op-Ed)

Kevin Curran is a reader in Computer Science at the University of Ulster and an IEEE Senior Member. The Internet of Things  (IoT) will allow consumers to interact with nearly every appliance and device they own. We are seeing elements of the IoT in the marketplace already, with home automation having a strong consumer pull — controlling the lights and temperature, closing the garage door while across town, getting alerts from a smoke detector. If IoT is campaigning to run nearly every aspect of people's digital lives, we need to consider factors that will ensure a seamless and safe introduction.

China's Xiaomi hopes Mi 4 smartphone can take on Apple

China's Xiaomi hopes Mi 4 smartphone can take on Apple

Xiaomi launched its flagship Mi 4 smartphone at a glitzy event in Beijing, where the Chinese budget handset maker's chief executive sought to challenge larger U.S. rival Apple Inc. The Mi 4 comes as budget handset makers in China are competing more aggressively on price and generous features, with even high-end manufacturers feeling the pressure. Dressed in a black T-shirt and blue jeans, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun took aim repeatedly at iPhone maker Apple during the presentation on Tuesday, comparing the design and manufacturing process of his new 4G handset to the U.S. firm's more expensive offerings. "Even our white color is whiter!" Apple, which was due to announce second-quarter earnings later on Tuesday, was not immediately available to comment. The forthright Jun spent nearly an hour on stage describing the Mi 4 phone's construction - particularly its beveled metal rim whose similarity with Apple's phones drew murmurs of "iPhone" from the journalists at the event.

Apple denies having included a backdoor in iOS or other products

Apple denies having included a backdoor in iOS or other products

An extensive research paper from a security specialist revealed earlier this week that governments and other third-parties with malicious intentions would be able to use certain tools in iOS to extract information from iPhones and other iOS devices, without the user’s consent or knowledge. Apple has already issued a response on the matter, denying the existence of backdoors in its products, and further emphasizing the security and privacy features of iOS. “We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues,” Apple wrote in an email statement that was published on Twitter by Financial Times journalist Tim Bradshaw.

Fund managers unconvinced by Apple rebound

Fund managers unconvinced by Apple rebound

By David Randall and Edwin Chan NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple, once a can't-miss stock, is finding it tough to persuade portfolio managers to come back into the fold. Yet the company remains one of the most significantly underweighted stocks among large cap fund managers, according to a Goldman Sachs report. Part of the reason for a lack of portfolio manager enthusiasm is that Apple Inc no longer seems to be the hot growth company of old, fund managers say. Apple reports results for its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday, July 22.

Fund managers unconvinced by Apple rebound as firm readies results

Fund managers unconvinced by Apple rebound as firm readies results

By David Randall and Edwin Chan NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple, once a can't-miss stock, is finding it tough to persuade portfolio managers to come back into the fold. Yet the company remains one of the most significantly underweighted stocks among large cap fund managers, according to a Goldman Sachs report. Part of the reason for a lack of portfolio manager enthusiasm is that Apple Inc no longer seems to be the hot growth company of old, fund managers say. Apple reports results for its fiscal third quarter on Tuesday, July 22.

Hacking talks axed over the years

(Reuters) - A highly anticipated talk on how to identify users of the Tor service, widely used to access the Internet anonymously, has been withdrawn from next month's annual Black Hat security conference. Hacking experts disclose vulnerabilities at conferences to alert the public about security flaws, both to pressure developers to fix them and to warn users about products that may not be completely safe. Here are some examples of other hacking talks that have been pulled from conferences over the past decade: 2013 - Three European computer scientists canceled a talk on hacking the locks of luxury cars at a prestigious U.S. academic conference known as USENIX, after Volkswagen AG obtained a restraining order from a British court. 2007 - Security firm IOActive Inc pulled a talk at Black Hat DC on bugs in radio-frequency identification, or RFID, technology, saying it was pressured to do so by RFID technology firm HID Global Corp. 2005 - Cisco Systems Inc persuaded security firm Internet Security Systems to pull a discussion on hacking routers by researcher Michael Lynn at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas.

Security researcher: iOS security has been intentionally compromised by Apple

Security researcher: iOS security has been intentionally compromised by Apple

Apple’s placing a lot of emphasis on iOS security (especially when compared with that “toxic hellstew” Android) and on privacy (again, compared to its rival) but it turns out that iOS might not be as secure or private as Apple has led customers to believe. Security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski has a new paper out called “Identifying Backdoors, Attack Points, and Surveillance Mechanisms in iOS Devices,” in which he reveals Apple’s complex tools inside iOS that would allow Apple to share certain user data at the request of law enforcement without the user knowledge. More importantly, with or without Apple’s help, spying agencies such as NSA and other third parties that are very familiar with how iOS operates can apparently use these vulnerabilities to grab plenty

Kenya military Twitter account hacked

The Twitter account run by Kenya's military was taken over by hackers claiming to be from the international activist collective Anonymous, a military spokesman said Monday No internal military systems ...

Huawei's H1 revenue up 19 percent year-on-year at $22 billion

Huawei's H1 revenue up 19 percent year-on-year at $22 billion

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's No. 2 telecom equipment maker, said on Monday it will achieve sustainable growth in 2014 after posting a 19 percent jump in first-half revenue to 135.8 billion yuan ($21.88 billion). "Driven by increasing investments in LTE networks worldwide, Huawei has further solidified its leadership position in mobile broadband," Huawei's CFO Cathy Meng said in the statement. "Rapid growth in software and services helped maintain steady growth in our carrier network business." Meng said Huawei achieved "sustainable growth" in its consumer business, which includes smartphone manufacturing, thanks to better brand awareness.

Snowden seeks to develop anti-surveillance technologies

Snowden seeks to develop anti-surveillance technologies

By Jim Finkle NEW YORK (Reuters) - Edward Snowden, a former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of major U.S. surveillance programs, called on supporters at a hacking conference to spur development of easy-to-use technologies to subvert government surveillance programs around the globe.  Snowden, who addressed conference attendees on Saturday via video link from Moscow, said he intends to devote much of his time to promoting such technologies, including ones that allow people to communicate anonymously and encrypt their messages. He escaped the United States after leaking documents that detailed massive U.S. surveillance programs at home and abroad - revelations that outraged some Americans and sparked protests from countries around the globe. At the HOPE hacking conference, several talks detailed approaches for thwarting government surveillance, including a system known as SecureDrop that is designed to allow people to anonymously leak documents to journalists. The conference featured about 100 presentations on topics ranging from surveillance to hacking elevators and home routers.

Golf-Blood spilt as Els says he put 'jinx' on his group

Golf-Blood spilt as Els says he put 'jinx' on his group

By Martyn Herman HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Ernie Els left a spectator bloodied with a wild opening tee shot, defending champion Phil Mickelson went out of bounds, and Bubba Watson's promising start was blown away at the British Open on Thursday. Double Open champion Els went round in 79 after being visibly shaken by the bloody aftermath of an errant drive at the first and then missing two tiddlers on the green, one with a casual back-handed putt usually reserved for park hackers.

Hackers target Nest as a warning to Google about data-sharing

If you ask Nest about sharing data with its new owner, the company will say that advertising isn’t part of its business model and that it plans to protect the privacy of its customers from Google. Nest will have to share some data with Google and others in order to enable automatic home-related features, but it is not supposed to lead to Google targeting users with even more ads than it currently does. To make sure Google won’t someday spam Nest owners with ads, a group of hackers plans to take preemptive action against Google and Nest, Forbes reports. Researchers from the University of Central Florida have found a vulnerability they can exploit in order to stop Nest thermostats from sending data to

Hackers target Nest in as a warning to Google about data-sharing

If you ask Nest about sharing data with its new owner, the company will say that advertising isn’t part of its business model and that it plans to protect the privacy of its customers from Google. Nest will have to share some data with Google and others in order to enable automatic home-related features, but it is not supposed to lead to Google targeting users with even more ads than it currently does. To make sure Google won’t someday spam Nest owners with ads, a group of hackers plans to take preemptive action against Google and Nest, Forbes reports. Researchers from the University of Central Florida have found a vulnerability they can exploit in order to stop Nest thermostats from sending data to

Blood spilt as Els says he put 'jinx' on his group

By Martyn Herman HOYLAKE England (Reuters) - Ernie Els left a spectator bloodied with a wild opening tee shot, defending champion Phil Mickelson went out of bounds, and Bubba Watson's promising start was blown away at the British Open on Thursday. Double Open champion Els went round in 79 after being visibly shaken by the bloody aftermath of an errant drive at the first and then missing two tiddlers on the green, one with a casual back-handed putt usually reserved for park hackers.

These are the absurd names British intelligence spies have to remember to spy on you

These are the absurd names British intelligence spies have to remember to spy on you

In case you didn’t know it by now, spy agencies are really good – and hopefully effective – at spying on people, including both actual valid targets as well as unsuspecting citizens who aren’t plotting anything bigger than a trip to an exotic country. To further demonstrate the power of one such agency – NSA’s close buddy, the British GCHQ, in this case – The Intercept has published a new Snowden leak, which reveals such ambitious mass spying plans, as well as their silly names. “The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and

'Smart' technology could make utilities more vulnerable to hackers

By Christoph Steitz and Harro Ten Wolde FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Last November, Felix Lindner came very close to shutting down the power supply of Ettlingen, a town of almost 40,000 people in the south of Germany. "We could have switched off everything: power, water, gas," Lindner, head of Berlin-based Recurity Labs, an IT security company, said. Fortunately for residents, Lindner's cyber attack on its energy utility, Stadtwerke Ettlingen, was simulated. "The experiment has shown that sensitive, critical infrastructure is not sufficiently protected," said Eberhard Oehler, managing director of the utility, Stadtwerke Ettlingen.

Insurers struggle to get grip on burgeoning cyber risk market

Insurers struggle to get grip on burgeoning cyber risk market

High profile cases of hackers seizing sensitive customer data from companies, such as U.S. retailer Target Corp or e-commerce company eBay Inc, have executives checking their insurance policies. Increasingly, corporate risk managers are seeing insurance against cyber crime as necessary budget spending rather than just nice to have. The insurance broking arm of Marsh & McLennan Companies estimates the U.S cyber insurance market was worth $1 billion last year in gross written premiums and could reach as much as $2 billion this year. The European market is currently a fraction of that, at around $150 million, but is growing by 50 to 100 percent annually, according to Marsh.

FBI cyber expert is ex-discount furniture salesman

FBI cyber expert is ex-discount furniture salesman

PITTSBURGH (AP) — J. Keith Mularski's world has expanded greatly since he stopped selling discount furniture to join the FBI in 1998. Now recognized as a foremost expert on cybercrime, Mularski's profile has risen since the U.S. Justice Department used Mularski's sleuthing to bring two indictments with worldwide ramifications.

open-source

Signal brings painless encrypted calling to iOS

Signal brings painless encrypted calling to iOS

As the NSA leaks create new demand for secure voice and texting apps, it’s a lesson developers have learned over and over. When it comes to tackling that problem, Whisper Systems has an unusually strong track record. It's called Signal, a free iOS app aiming for the simplest and easiest encrypted call you'll ever make. The process will be familiar to RedPhone users, but the interface here is more polished, adopting the flat look of iOS 7 and 8.

Hack-Proof Drones? This Could Make It Happen

Drones are an integral part of modern warfare, which is just one of many reasons why it would be unusually bad if malefactors were able to hack them. (See the recently finished season of 24.) seL4, an ironclad drone programming protocol, is about to go open-source, allowing both governments and enthusiasts to keep their autonomous flying machines secure.

Historic Civil War battle sites have a mobile app

Historic Civil War battle sites have a mobile app

ATLANTA (AP) — This week marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta, one of the key conflicts of the Civil War, and researchers at Emory University's Center for Digital Scholarship have released a mobile app for the tour.

The award-winning writer who is perfecting the art of digital comics

The award-winning writer who is perfecting the art of digital comics

The comics industry mastered Hollywood a long time ago, but the tried-and-true comic book has had a harder time making the transition to digital. The biggest player in the game right now is Comixology, which long ago established itself as the gold standard of comics distribution online. How do you make a viable digital comics business while pushing the medium forward? Award-winning writer Mark Waid gets all that, and could be the one to get the business right — as one of comics' big-name authors, he's worked as a collaborator on a few major projects in digital and even helped with Comixology's earlier well-received design efforts.

A map of all the drone no-fly zones in America

A map of all the drone no-fly zones in America

While commercial drone businesses gear up, large parts of US airspace are already off-limits to drones. A new map project called Don't Fly Drones Here takes a look at exactly where the remote crafts have been banned, through the magic of open-source maps.

Israel detains soldiers after WhatsApp leaks about Gaza casualties

The Israeli military said on Wednesday it had detained several soldiers and a civilian on suspicion of leaking Gaza casualty figures over social media before families of the dead or wounded could be formally informed. A week into ground fighting with Hamas that has killed at least 32 soldiers, some Israelis complain of first learning their relatives were dead through WhatsApp, or of being misled by erroneous messages into believing they were among the toll. "Notifying a family of a soldier or officer who was killed in action is one of the most sensitive and well-planned procedures that exists in the military, as befits such a serious moment," the military said in a statement announcing the arrests following an investigation that it described has having employed "both open-source and undercover means". The army has revised its own official information regarding a soldier it initially reported as killed in Gaza on Sunday, but later designated as missing in action.

Tesla Can Keep Its Patents (Op-Ed)

Tesla Can Keep Its Patents (Op-Ed)

Steven Rubin is a partner at Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP where he chairs the firm's Patent Practice Group and co-chairs its Cybersecurity Practice Group. Tesla made news a few weeks ago by offering a "license" to their intellectual property. Specifically, Tesla indicated on their web site "Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology." Some have applauded Tesla for sharing their technology. Tesla's statement — like the open-source model it references — raises many questions, causing ambiguity and uncertainty.  [Free for All: Tesla Motors Makes Electric Car Patents Open Source ]

'Off Grid' makes data your most powerful weapon

'Off Grid' makes data your most powerful weapon

In 2011, Rich Metson was a metal worker who was just starting to dabble in the world of coding and open source software. Perhaps surprisingly, the designers actually view the overall message as a somewhat secondary consideration.

Google and Samsung are reportedly fighting again, and this time it's over smartwatches

Google and Samsung are reportedly fighting again, and this time it's over smartwatches

Google and Samsung are reportedly at odds once again. According to The Information, Google CEO Larry Page is unhappy that Samsung is pushing Tizen as its chosen smartwatch platform. The report describes a "tense private meeting" between Google's leader and Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee earlier this month, during which Page voiced displeasure about the fact that Samsung invests far more in Tizen-based watches like the Gear 2 and Gear Fit than it does Android Wear. Samsung has said Tizen will play no small role in its future plans, though the company failed to produce a smartphone running the open source software on time. Larry Page thinks Samsung is investing too much in Tizen and not enough in Android Wear

Samsung's Tizen phone delayed yet again

Samsung's Tizen phone delayed yet again

Samsung's plans to diversify its portfolio with the introduction of smartphones running the open source Tizen OS have had to be postponed once more. In a statement sent to The Verge, the Korean company says that it "plans to postpone" the Russian release of the phone, but will continue to "actively work with Tizen Association members to further develop TIzen OS and the Tizen ecosystem." This follows the scuppering of plans to release a Tizen handset in Japan last year, which Samsung rationalized as the result of "poor market conditions." The strategy was altered again earlier this year to focus in on a few developing markets — among which Russia was to be the leader — where Samsung anticipates it can do well. It's a peculiar situation since Samsung already has Tizen running on multiple smartwatches and was previously able to release smartphones running the Bada OS that was eventually integrated into the development of Tizen.

Yes, potato salad belongs on Kickstarter

Yes, potato salad belongs on Kickstarter

"Is this the kind of business Kickstarter wants to run?" First, there’s always been a place for jokes on Kickstarter. Second, this particular joke is especially fitting given Kickstarter’s current goals. People tend to have a lot of opinions about what belongs on Kickstarter

Slovak architect turns billboards into homes for the homeless

Slovak architect turns billboards into homes for the homeless

As some European cities install spikes on pavements to prevent homeless people bedding down for the night, one architect in Slovakia plans to give them a proper abode -- made from billboards. The Gregory Project uses advertising hoardings, usually placed along roads in a V-shape to be visible from both directions, to create small but functional homes for the homeless by adding a third wall and a roof. Slovak architect Michal Polacek told AFP he hopes his novel design will "help the homeless to return to normal life, find a job and eventually find a better place to stay". Polacek's one-bedroom triangular homes include a kitchen and bathroom and are powered by solar panels or connected to the same network that lights the billboards at night.

New Google Glass App Makes Mind Control Real

New Google Glass App Makes Mind Control Real

Google Glass wearers are getting one step closer to controlling the Force with their feelings, thanks to new app, MindRDR (get it - mind-reader). You'll need to buy the Neurosky EEG sensor (MindWave Mobile headset starts at $79.99) to pair with Glass, and you'll need to sideload the app from GitHub. With the app, you can take a picture and send it to Facebook, just by concentrating or relaxing.

Dabiq: the smiling face of Iraq-Syria 'caliphate'

Dabiq: the smiling face of Iraq-Syria 'caliphate'

Pictures of smiling locals, tales of life-changing experiences, articles glorifying centuries of heritage and predicting a bright future: if the "caliphate" straddling Iraq and Syria had an airline, Dabiq would be its in-flight magazine. For now, global jihad's latest English-language publishing endeavour is distributed online and the aircraft over Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's dominion are more likely to be warplanes and drones than commercial jets. In design, it strongly resembles the Inspire magazine published by Al Qaeda's franchise in the Arabian peninsula that disseminated bomb-making instructions and aimed to engender "lone wolf" militants, a goal achieved in 2013 with the Boston bomber brothers. The editorial emphasis in Dabiq, analysts say, is more on state-building than on incitement or operational issues.

S.Africa intel sees 'abuses' in Nigeria battle against Boko Haram

S.Africa intel sees 'abuses' in Nigeria battle against Boko Haram

Nigeria faces a prolonged battle to quash the bloody Boko Haram insurgency despite a "hardline" campaign that has witnessed rights abuses by both the state and the militants, according to a South African intelligence assessment obtained by AFP. A National Defence Force Defence Intelligence division briefing -- delivered to visiting Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan on Tuesday -- offered a blunt assessment of Africa's crises, including Nigeria's fight against Boko Haram and its Islamist offshoot Ansaru. The government in Abuja faces a "prolonged armed insurgency" with little prospect for resolution, the briefing said, adding that the "security situation in Nigeria is expected to deteriorate". "Prospects for conflict resolution are likely to remain bleak -- government persists (in a) hardline counter-insurgency response to the crisis that has degenerated into human rights abuses by the state and militants alike."

5 great paid iPhone apps that are free for a limited time

5 great paid iPhone apps that are free for a limited time

Can we ever really have enough apps on our iPhones and iPads? It’s pretty great how the simple act of taking 10 seconds to download a new app can completely change your smartphone experience. Just a few dollars is often all it takes — but sometimes we can do it for free. Today, we have five nifty paid apps to share with you that are currently on sale for free for a limited time. See anything you like? Click the links at the end of each section to get them before these sales are over. These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way

Update Adobe Flash on your system right now

Update Adobe Flash on your system right now

Adobe on Tuesday issued a critical security update to patch a vulnerability that could help hackers “take control” of computers after users visit various sites, CNET reports. Security blogger Michele Spagnuolo, who detailed the security exploit, says the Flash issue can be used by hackers to steal cookies that authenticate users on “thousands of websites.” “Adobe has released security updates for Adobe Flash Player 14.0.0.125 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh and Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.378 and earlier versions for Linux,” Adobe wrote. “These updates address vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system. Adobe recommends users update their product installations to the latest versions.” Among the websites that may have been targeted

Inbox is the next company that thinks it has figured out how to fix email overload

Inbox is the next company that thinks it has figured out how to fix email overload

Email is a daily chore that can be quite annoying, whether it’s for work or leisure (if there is such a thing), but a new company called Inbox thinks it has found a way to make email a more pleasant experience. Founded by former Dropbox engineer and Nest designer Michael Grinich and Christine Spang, who previously worked at Ksplice on the Linux kernel, Inbox wants to take on Gmail and everyone else with an open-source solution that’s built by an “email company” rather than an “advertising company,” The Next Web reports. “Email is here to stay, the company says. “But developing with email has become more and more difficult over the years. Old protocols and formats have made it nearly impossible

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' gets clever Plague Inc. gaming tie-in

'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' gets clever Plague Inc. gaming tie-in

Already well established as a mobile, console and computer game, "Plague Inc." will play host to a theatrical tie-in that shows how the Planet of the Apes came to be. Similar in scope to popular board game Pandemic, which is also available on iOS, but taking the side of a microscopic enemy, "Plague Inc." will welcome the simian update "very soon" on iOS, Android, Linux, PC and Mac according to James Vaughan of developer Ndemic; "When I was making 'Plague Inc.' (as a hobby) 3 years ago - I was watching the previous film 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' and the end credits scene gave me a lot of inspiration," he wrote on his studio website. "Crazy to think that 'Plague Inc.' is now big enough to work directly with the film's sequel!"

Qualcomm briefly takes down Android code for CyanogenMod, Sony and itself

Qualcomm briefly takes down Android code for CyanogenMod, Sony and itself

The Android community just got a big (if brief) scare. In the space of a few days, Qualcomm has both made and retracted a Digital Millennium Copyright Act request that took down 116 code repositories (many of them Android-focused) that were allegedly using the chip maker's confidential technology. As it turns out, quite a few of the targets were legitimate users running the company's open source software.

Chumby rises from the dead: smart alarm clock relaunches with 1,000 apps

Chumby rises from the dead: smart alarm clock relaunches with 1,000 apps

What if your alarm clock told you jokes, streamed Pandora radio, and let you keep a little electronic pet? Chumby, the smart alarm clock that launched in the 2000s, has struggled to remain relevant in the age of ubiquitous smartphones. "After a year-long hiatus, the Chumby Service has finally been completely restored," writes Duane Maxwell, former vice president of software at Chumby who relaunched the company under the name Blue Octy. Chumby offers more than 1,000 apps for a $3 monthly subscription, though the company's not above begging for donations.

You can now hack Android L

You can now hack Android L

Hackers, start your engines — Andorid L is ready to be picked apart and made even more awesome. Google has released the source code for its brand new mobile operating system, currently referred to as “Android L.” The Android L source code has been made available through the Android Open Source Project website for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 tablet (current-generation model and previous-generation model) and Nexus 10 tablet. FROM EARLIER: Here’s how top designers are responding to Google’s gorgeous new Android UI The move follows the release of a developer preview version of Android L, which Google made available to Android developers shortly after its Google I/O 2014 keynote last week. Pushing out the developer preview version and Android L’s source code

'Dreamfall Chapters' switches to episodic model

'Dreamfall Chapters' switches to episodic model

Kickstarter success "Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey" is opting to pursue delivery in five parts, or chapters, better fitting with its name and allowing more time to polish the game's latter stages. It's the third in a long-running and well-esteemed adventure series that began in 1999 with "The Longest Journey" and then continued on its way in 2006 with the highly acclaimed "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey." "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" introduced Spanish-Chinese heroine Zoë Castillo, and it's she who is the main character of Mac, PC and Linux game "Dreamfall Chapters." By releasing the first episode slightly earlier than planned, the RTG team hopes that the income will sustain their effort a while longer as they work on finishing "Dreamfall Chapters."

'Open Informant' turns your private messages into public protest

'Open Informant' turns your private messages into public protest

Given the widespread surveillance of groups like the National Security Agency, it's easy to feel like your private digital life isn't all that private — and a new art project aims to make that feeling a bit more obvious by turning your body into "an instrument for protest." Called "Open Informant," the project is a simple badge with an E Ink display. The badge is coupled with an app on your smartphone, which searches your phone's messages and communications for NSA trigger words like "assassination" or "bomb." It then displays those words on the badge in bold for everyone to see.

gaming

Nintendo posts $97 mn quarterly net loss on higher costs

Nintendo posts $97 mn quarterly net loss on higher costs

Japanese videogames giant Nintendo on Wednesday posted a $97 million quarterly net loss, as higher costs tied to sales of its Wii U console dug into its bottom line as sales weakened. The Kyoto-based company said its net loss for the three months through June came in at 9.92 billion yen ($97.14 million) on sales of 74.70 billion yen, down 8.4 percent from a year earlier The shortfall comes after Nintendo logged its third straight year of losses in the fiscal year ended March, underscoring the challenges faced by the one-time industry titan. On Wednesday, Nintendo said it sold 510,000 Wii U consoles globally in the quarter, well up from 160,000 units in the same quarter last year.

Xbox steps up its game with the best free Games with Gold offering yet

Xbox steps up its game with the best free Games with Gold offering yet

It wasn’t long ago that we talked about the one way the Xbox One was beating the PlayStation 4, but if the free monthly offering of Games with Gold keeps getting better at this rate, we’ll have to add an asterisk to that headline. Microsoft announced via the Xbox Wire on Monday that the Games with Gold for August would include Crimson Dragon and Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut on Xbox One as well as Motocross Madness and Dishonored on Xbox 360. Crimson Dragon was actually a launch title for the Xbox One and serves as a spiritual successor to the cult hit Panzer Dragoon series. It’s an on-rails shooter in which the protagonist battle fantastical foes while mounted on a dragon.

Stephen Colbert’s Video Game Is Way Better Than Kim Kardashian’s [VIDEO]

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert is not impressed with Kim Kardashian’s new video game. On Monday night’s episode of “The Colbert Report,” the host claimed he doesn’t even know what Kardashian does (as if any of us do), which makes it even more impressive that she stands to make up to $85 million from the in-app purchases of “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.” “She might be able to take some time off from… Again, I do not know what she does,” Colbert said.

Here’s one more way the PS4 is better than the Xbox One

Here’s one more way the PS4 is better than the Xbox One

PlayStation 4 owners who also happen to love watching 3D content should know that Sony has just updated its new console to support 3D Blu-ray playback, the company revealed in a short tweet. “PS4 System Software 1.75 is now ready to download. Get downloading!” the company wrote on its PlayStation Europe account, posting the image above that confirms 3D Blu-ray movies will be now supported on the console. Like Sony, Microsoft is also interested in offering 3D Blu-ray playback support, but that will happen at some point in August, in a following software update for the Xbox One. Thus, PS4 obtained another victory in its battle with Microsoft’s console, albeit a small one, being the first to support 3D Blu-rays. PS4

EA just unveiled an awesome gaming subscription service that you can only get on Xbox One

EA just unveiled an awesome gaming subscription service that you can only get on Xbox One

EA announced on Tuesday that it would be partnering with Microsoft to introduce a new $4.99 a month membership service called EA Access exclusively on the Xbox One. The service is in beta at the moment and will only be available to a limited number of Xbox One owners at first, but EA Access will launch for everyone else soon. With a subscription to EA Access, gamers will have unlimited access to a collection of EA games on the Xbox One called The Vault, which currently holds FIFA 14, Madden NFL 15, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4 as the initial lineup. As EA notes, this is over $100 worth of games for just under $5 a month. Simply load up EA Access and any of

With PlayStation network, Sony goes back to the future in search of revival

With PlayStation network, Sony goes back to the future in search of revival

By Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp is hammering out plans to rise from the ashes of nearly $10 billion lost in six years by building a future around its last consumer electronics blockbuster - the PlayStation. Sony plans to reposition the video console warhorse as a hub for a network of streamed services, according to three senior officials, offering social media, movies and music as well as games. The plans to coax more revenue from the PlayStation's network of users are being developed by a new breed of managers brought in by Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai. Analysts say if Sony gets it right, the game and network business could earn about $1 billion in the fiscal year from April 2016 - making it the most profitable part of the company bar a financial services unit.

Cool new app turns your Android phone into a video game controller with gesture support

Cool new app turns your Android phone into a video game controller with gesture support

When it comes to video games, mobile gaming grows more impressive with each new device generation. Controlling a game with on-screen buttons never quite offers the same experience as a physical video game controller though, so it seems odd that Ideum would put so much time and effort into creating an app that transforms an Android smartphone or tablet into a video game controller for PC gaming. The result is quite impressive, however, and it actually adds some nifty functionality that standard gaming controllers simply cannot offer. Ideum recently updated its GestureWorks Gameplay app to add Android compatibility, thus letting gamers use Android smartphones and tablets to play video games on their computers. Unlike typical controllers, Gameplay can be customized for each game and it

JD.com to sell Microsoft's Xbox One games console in China

JD.com to sell Microsoft's Xbox One games console in China

JD.com Inc, China's second-biggest e-commerce company by market share, will accept pre-orders for Microsoft Corp's Xbox One games console in China from July 28 to July 30, the firm said on Monday. The pre-orders will be taken via Tencent Holdings' mobile social networks Mobile QQ and WeChat, known as Weixin in China, JD.com said in a statement. Tencent holds a 17.6 percent stake in JD.com. The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to be released in mainland China since the government banned console sales in 2000, citing games' effects on mental health.

Microsoft is ready to attack China with an exclusive Xbox One deal

Microsoft is ready to attack China with an exclusive Xbox One deal

Microsoft is far from beating Sony in the new gaming console war, but the company is reportedly ready to attack a huge market in the coming months. The Wall Street Journal has learned that the Xbox One maker will partner with China Telecom, the country’s most important fixed-line operator, to launch its latest console. Starting in September, China Telecom will become the exclusive Xbox One retailer in the country. The company revealed that potential buyers looking “to enjoy the games an entertainment experience at home,” will have to sign up for a broadband subscription when buying the new console. Neither China Telecom nor Microsoft mentioned the price of the Xbox One for China, or an actual release date. The console is available

This is what Halo 2 looks like on Xbox One

This is what Halo 2 looks like on Xbox One

For many Xbox fans, the long-awaited announcement of Halo 2: Anniversary was a highlight of E3 2014. No one ever doubted that Xbox classic would be remastered for the new generation, but it was an exciting announcement nevertheless, especially when coupled with the reveal of The Master Chief Collection. Now 343 Industries has returned to the stage just a month later to show off the first overhauled cinematic cutscene from the Anniversary edition of Halo 2, and it’s even more stunning than you might have imagined. Rather than just lay an HD skin on top of the original cinematics, 343 Industries brought on Blur Studio to completely rework the scenes from the ground up. It might not be Halo 5, but it

Playstation and Xbox butt heads at Hong Kong games fair

Playstation and Xbox butt heads at Hong Kong games fair

Fans dressed as Transformers, Iron Man and Jedi knights were among thousands at the first day of Hong Kong's comic and games expo Friday, where Xbox and Playstation went head-to-head with their new consoles. The Ani-Com show at the city's harbourside convention centre is one of the biggest of its kind in Asia and was packed with teenagers, many of them in coloured wigs and costumes mimicking their favourite Japanese comic book heroes. While some lined up for limited edition toys and figures, hundreds of gaming aficionados queued at Sony and Microsoft's booths to try the games giants' latest launches. Sony was showcasing the Playstation 4 and much-anticipated racing game, 'Driveclub' while US rival Microsoft was promoting its Xbox One console.

Upcoming video games: 'The Last of Us Remastered,' 'Firefall'

Upcoming video games: 'The Last of Us Remastered,' 'Firefall'

Joel and Ellie set out into the urban wilderness once more in "The Last of Us Remastered," aliens invade Brazil and beyond in "Firefall," Washington State is rediscovered in 2,400AD in "Eidolon" and "Lovely Planet" offers speed, shooting, and a pastel color palette.

China Telecom to sell Microsoft's Xbox One from September

China Telecom to sell Microsoft's Xbox One from September

China Telecom Corp Ltd will sell Microsoft Corp's Xbox One gaming console in China from September through an exclusive contract, the country's third-largest telecommunications company said on Friday. The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to be released in mainland China since the government banned console sales in 2000, citing games' effects on mental health. The price has not yet been decided, China Telecom spokesman Ivan Wong told Reuters by telephone. Joanna Li, Microsoft's China spokeswoman, said the console would be offered exclusively to China Telecom's 30 million broadband customers.

Burglar Gets Eight Years After His Break-In Is Caught On Xbox Live

Jay Georgiou, 19, was one of two robbers who broke into the flat on April 1, according to The Argus. The robbers made off with cellphones, a laptop and the Xbox, but apparently didn’t realize the entire incident was being transmitted online to the occupants’ friend in Brighton, who alerted authorities after hearing the it transpire via audio. “This was a terrifying incident for the victims who appear to have been targeted entirely by mistake,” Detective Constable Richard Holder said. “The robbers were brutal in their treatment of the friends but Georgiou even stopped during the incident to take a phone call from his probation officer as he had missed an appointment.”

The one way Xbox One is crushing PS4

The one way Xbox One is crushing PS4

Sony took advantage of Microsoft’s early missteps to ensure that the PlayStation 4 would come out on top as the new console generation kicked off, but after being on the market for over half a year, one surprising disparity has begun to arise in the Xbox One’s favor. Despite a steady stream of updates on both consoles, the PS4 has gained very little in the way of new features while the Xbox One is loaded with functionality it didn’t have at launch. This has been the case for months, as Microsoft has been sticking to substantial, consistent monthly updates while Sony has taken a scattershot approach without adding anything notable to the PS4. The imbalance came to a head this week when

The Wii U’s upcoming release calendar should fill Nintendo fans with dread

The Wii U’s upcoming release calendar should fill Nintendo fans with dread

The release of the critically acclaimed Mario Kart 8 gave the Wii U a nice sales boost but Nintendo can’t rely on just one game to make the Wii U relevant. This is why when we look at the calendar of upcoming Wii U releases, we get a sinking sense of dread, especially because we still don’t have a confirmed release date for the new Super Smash Bros. game yet. So what does Nintendo have coming up to entice gamers to pick up the Wii U? Next week the game Wooden Sen’SeY will release and then it’s more than two months before Hyrule Warriors comes out on September 26th. Skylanders Trap Team follows quickly afterward on October 5th, followed by Bayonetta 2

ESPN picks up $10m 'Dota 2' video game tournament

ESPN picks up $10m 'Dota 2' video game tournament

The world championships for team game "Dota 2" conclude on July 21, and ESPN3 will carry live broadcasts of the tournament's final four-day knockout phase. In competitive terms, this year's tournament is not only the biggest in terms of winnings, but one of the most unpredictable, with 2013's winning team failing to get out of the group stage, alongside a clutch of other favorites.

Fall of Xbox Studios Shows Online TV's Uncertain Future

Fall of Xbox Studios Shows Online TV's Uncertain Future

Microsoft has officially announced that Xbox Entertainment Studios will be shuttering its windows for good over the next few months. It’s not an entirely surprising move coming hot on the heels of Microsoft’s announced restructuring, which would eliminate 18,000 jobs. Gaming is the heart and soul and golden calf of Microsoft's operation.

Ex-Panamanian dictator Noriega sues over video game portrayal

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is joining the league of world leaders and governments upset over their portrayals in movies and video games: He's suing the company behind the game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II.” Mr. Noriega is suing Activision Blizzard Inc. for using his name and depiction without permission. Lampooning dictators and particularly colorful world leaders is regular fare for movies and video games.

Microsoft to shutter Xbox television show studio

Microsoft to shutter Xbox television show studio

Microsoft on Thursday confirmed that its studio devoted to original television programs for Xbox consoles will be shuttered as part a massive overhaul of the workforce. Projects started by Xbox Entertainment Studios will be completed, but the unit launched as part of a push to expand the consoles beyond gaming will be shuttered in coming months, the US technology titan told AFP. During a major E3 video game industry gathering in Los Angeles in June Microsoft brought the focus back to games in a shift from stressing how Xbox is evolving into a multipurpose entertainment center for films, television, music, and more. Closing Xbox Entertainment Studios is part of an unprecedented workforce reduction announced by Microsoft chief Satya Nadella, according to a copy of a memo sent by Xbox head Phil Spencer to his team.

Nadella is axing Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios as well

Nadella is axing Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios as well

Following the enormous round of layoffs announced this morning, Microsoft has now confirmed that Xbox Entertainment Studios will be getting the axe as well. Re/code was the first to report that despite the fact the entertainment division of the Xbox team didn’t receive a mention in Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s letter on Thursday morning, Microsoft will be shutting the door on future Xbox original programming initiatives. Xbox Entertainment Studios was created in 2012 after Microsoft hired a veteran of the TV industry, former CBS entertainment president Nancy Tellem, to lead the charge. Microsoft announced the first batch of Xbox Originals coming from the division back in April. Several of the shows already in production, including Halo Nightfall and the documentary series “Signal to Noise,” will be completed,

Why the Xbox One looks like a terrific long-term investment

Why the Xbox One looks like a terrific long-term investment

For many of us, nine years was far too long to wait for a new generation of consoles. Although the PlayStation 3 and especially the Xbox 360 were as much platforms for continued growth as they were gaming consoles, many would argue that the industry was going limp by 2013. There were plenty of standout releases, but if anything was going to reinvigorate developers, it would be new hardware. We’re only a few months into the latest generation, but that hasn’t stopped curious gamers from wondering how long this one will last. Speaking with TechRadar at a recent Xbox event, Xbox UK marketing chief Harvey Eagle said that despite Sony’s early lead, the race has only just begun. “Look I mean the Xbox 360 generation is

Ditching Kinect may have saved the Xbox One from falling permanently behind the PS4

Ditching Kinect may have saved the Xbox One from falling permanently behind the PS4

So far it seems like Microsoft’s decision to unbundle Kinect from the Xbox One has been a good one. Microsoft said this week that monthly sales of the Xbox One in the United States more than doubled ever since it decided to start offering the console by itself without the Kinect sensor for $400, or $100 less than what the console cost with Kinect. “Over the past month, we’ve seen a strong spike in interest in our Xbox One console options, including the new $399 offering, and the amazing lineup of games announced during E3,” Microsoft writes. “Since the new Xbox One offering launched on June 9th, we’ve seen sales of Xbox One more than double in the US, compared to

Jailed ex-strongman Noriega says damaged by video game portrayal

Jailed ex-strongman Noriega says damaged by video game portrayal

Former dictator Manuel Noriega may be serving time in a Panamanian prison for the killing of political opponents, but that doesn't mean he likes being portrayed in a video game as a murderer. Noriega, 80, has filed a lawsuit against video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc, saying the company is using his image in its wildly popular "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" game without his permission, in an effort to “increase the popularity and revenue” from the title. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. In the complaint, Noriega said he had been damaged by Activision’s portrayal of him as “the culprit of numerous fictional heinous crimes,” including kidnapping and murder, adding that Activision was using his likeness to heighten the game’s realism and increase sales.

You might soon be able to test out hot new Xbox One and PS4 games before they release

You might soon be able to test out hot new Xbox One and PS4 games before they release

When Minecraft first went on sale, it wasn’t finished yet. In fact, it’s still not finished, but when the first Minecraft alpha release hit the Internet, a light went off. Five years later, early access games have become an indelible part of the PC gaming ecosystem, perhaps most notably with DayZ and Rust, and now console makers are looking for a way to bring unfinished games to the living room as well. Speaking with Gamasutra, PlayStation VP of Publisher and Developer Relations Adam Boyes says that putting a game out on the PS4 before it’s ready for a full release is “one of the massive conversations we have internally” —  at what point is a game ready to see the light

LeapFrog's $150 LeapTV is like Wii's Younger Sibling

LeapFrog's $150 LeapTV is like Wii's Younger Sibling

Today I got some hands-on time with LeapFrog's latest product, called Leap TV. This $150 gaming console system is tailor-made for children aged three to eight. Available this holiday season, LeapTV comprises a console, camera and controller that you hook up to your TV.

Kids Teach Robots To Play Angry Birds

Georgia Tech wants to help rehabilitate disabled children by having them teach robots how to play Angry Birds. In a press release, Georgia Tech professor Ayanna Howard explained the robot to be learning robot. According to Georgia Tech, robots can be used to help children who are recovering from illness or injuries and can’t use fine motor skills. Pre-programmed robots assisting with a child’s daily tasks and needs can be a huge asset for parents, especially since robots are tireless. Rehabilitating muscle movement can be as simple as teaching a robot how to play Angry Birds, Howard said.