tech

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 .

Google under fire from regulators over response to EU privacy ruling

Google under fire from regulators over response to EU privacy ruling

By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google's handling of "right to be forgotten" requests from European citizens will come under fire from the continent's privacy watchdogs on Thursday, after the search engine restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only. European data protection authorities are meeting representatives of Google, Microsoft, which operates the Bing search engine, and Yahoo to discuss the implementation of the landmark ruling from Europe's top court upholding people's right to request that outdated links be removed from Internet search results. European Union privacy watchdogs have several concerns on the way the ruling, which has pitted privacy advocates against free speech defenders, is being implemented, particularly by Google, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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.

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.

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.

There’s no Swatch in your future iWatch

There’s no Swatch in your future iWatch

Apple is widely expected to launch at least a couple of different iWatch models this fall, that will be laden with many sensors for fitness and health purposes, and connect to iPhones for notifications and other data. While VentureBeat has learned from sources in the know that Apple has bigger smartwatch plans than that, as the company is working with famed watch giant Swatch on releasing several other iWatch models, the Swiss company told Bloomberg that it doesn’t plan to work with Apple on the iWatch. FROM EARLIER: New report claims Apple will release three different iWatches VentureBeat said that Apple may be working with other partners in the watch business in addition to Swatch, to make sure that its iWatch will suit

LG Electronics flags further mobile improvement after Q2 profit jump

LG Electronics flags further mobile improvement after Q2 profit jump

By Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - LG Electronics Inc signalled further improvement in its mobile business after record smartphone sales propelled the South Korean manufacturer to its highest quarterly profit in more than three years. Chief Financial Officer Jung Do-hyun on Thursday said mobile income should improve again in the current quarter with the help of LG's flagship G3 smartphone, which has been well-received by critics since its late-May launch. "We expect further improvement." LG said operating profit rose 26.5 percent to 606 billion won ($589.04 million) in April-June, versus a 524 billion won mean estimate of 39 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That marked LG's highest operating profit since at least 2011, the earliest date for which restated earnings are available.

LG Electronics says 2Q profit more than doubled

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — LG Electronics Inc. reported a forecast-beating quarterly profit Thursday and gave an upbeat outlook for smartphone profitability as its mobile division ended a streak of losses.

Nokia CEO Suri says has strong momentum in Europe sales

Finnish telecoms gear maker Nokia has good prospects for sales in Europe and North America in the coming quarters, its chief executive said on Thursday after the company posted better-than-expected quarterly results. Rajeev Suri, who was promoted in April to become the group's CEO, also told Reuters that Nokia was not too concerned that its business would be hit by potential sanctions against Russia due to the Ukraine crisis. "In Europe, we have significant deal momentum, that we think will play into new network deployment projects we expect to have in the second half (of the year)," he said in a telephone interview. "In North America, we are between projects at the moment in roll-out and expect it to accelerate in the coming quarters." Asked about political tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East, Suri said that a globally operating company always has risks, but added that the company saw some impact from the crises in some Middle Eastern markets in the second quarter.

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.

European Central Bank hit by data theft

BERLIN (AP) — The European Central Bank said Thursday that email addresses and other contact information have been stolen from a database that serves its public website, though it stressed that no internal systems or market-sensitive data were compromised.

Google offers big prize for small power box

Google offers big prize for small power box

Google is offering a million-dollar prize for a breakthrough that would make solar or wind generated electricity more enticing for everyday uses. Google teamed with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers to back a "Littlebox Challenge" promising to reward whoever comes up with the best design for a device no bigger than a laptop that can efficiently convert direct current to alternating current commonly used in homes and businesses. Renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines create direct current that must be converted into alternating current, the system for which now involves complex power grids and sources such as fossil or nuclear fuels.

Nokia profits rise after sale of handset division

HELSINKI (AP) — Telecommunications and wireless equipment maker Nokia Corp. saw its shares surge on Thursday after it reported higher profits and an improved earnings outlook in the wake of its sale to Microsoft of its troubled handset division.

Dassault to buy planning software provider Quintiq

PARIS (Reuters) - Dassault Systemes is to buy business planning software company Quintiq, its second acquisition this month, taking the French management solutions company into the metals, mining, oil and gas, rail delivery and freight industries for the first time. Dassault said it would pay about 250 million euros ($336 million) in cash for Netherlands and United States based, privately-held Quintiq, which is majority owned by its senior management team. ...

Apple might be launching its mobile wallet with the iPhone 6

Apple might be launching its mobile wallet with the iPhone 6

Apple might be launching a mobile wallet alongside the iPhone 6, according to The Information. The company is reportedly in discussion with various banking institutions and credit card associations, including Visa who has allegedly agreed to work with the unannounced payments product. Details about how Apple intends to handle information transfer remain unclear. One of The Information's sources has also stated that Apple may opt to focus on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi instead.

Google Maps now helps you find breakfast spots in thunderstorms

Google Maps now helps you find breakfast spots in thunderstorms

Google isn't about to let Foursquare's upcoming redesign steal the spotlight. The search engine giant is today introducing a more context-sensitive version of the Explore function for its Maps app. The revamped feature now offers suggestions based on time and weather conditions, allowing users to schedule outdoor picnics around hurricane alerts. The My Location button in the Google Maps Android app is being enhanced as well, and will now automatically provide localized data like restaurant reviews and transit schedules. Places can also be saved for later, and a blog post written by Google Maps Product Manager Taj Campbell suggests that search results will grow more specialized depending on use.

Nokia Q2 profit up 20 percent to $285 million

HELSINKI (AP) — Telecommunications and wireless equipment maker Nokia Corp. says second-quarter profit rose 20 percent to 213 million euros ($285 million) on the back of improved profitability of its key networks unit.

Texas governor's startup fund is not all it seems

Texas governor's startup fund is not all it seems

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has distributed $205 million in taxpayer money to scores of technology startups using a pet program designed to bring high-paying jobs and innovation to the nation's second most-populous state.

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.

'Final Fantasy' designer creates the wildest take on Batman yet

'Final Fantasy' designer creates the wildest take on Batman yet

If nothing else, Square Enix artist Tetsuya Nomura has built up a distinctive style over the years — his androgynous, zipper-heavy designs for characters in games like Kingdom Hearts and the Final Fantasy series are recognizable anywhere. But none of that will have prepared you for his surreal take on Batman, revealed in action figure form at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.

Netflix is bringing enough bandwidth to France to take on many ISPs

Netflix is bringing enough bandwidth to France to take on many ISPs

Netflix has learned a thing or two from its U.S. online movie streaming business, and the company will apparently bring an impressive infrastructure in the new European markets it plans to serve starting with this September. GigaOm reports the company is coming to France with 1Tbps of bandwidth, which apparently is more capacity than some of the country’s top ISPs have. Netflix’s 1Tbps of bandwidth is “the equivalent to the capacity needed by a medium-sized ISP that serves about 5 million end subscribers,” the publication writes, or more than local carriers SFR and cable operator Numericable have. The data comes from Netflix’s director of network architecture and strategy David Temkin who posted the image above on Twitter, saying that “Open Connect comes to Paris! With 1 Terabit

internet

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.

Google under fire from regulators over response to EU privacy ruling

Google under fire from regulators over response to EU privacy ruling

By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google's handling of "right to be forgotten" requests from European citizens will come under fire from the continent's privacy watchdogs on Thursday, after the search engine restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only. European data protection authorities are meeting representatives of Google, Microsoft, which operates the Bing search engine, and Yahoo to discuss the implementation of the landmark ruling from Europe's top court upholding people's right to request that outdated links be removed from Internet search results. European Union privacy watchdogs have several concerns on the way the ruling, which has pitted privacy advocates against free speech defenders, is being implemented, particularly by Google, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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.

Angie's List forecasts revenue below Street

Angie's List Inc, which operates a website that allows users to review local businesses, forecast quarterly revenue below estimates and reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss as it spent more to sign up customers. Angie's List, which competes with Yelp Inc and HomeAdvisor Inc, said it expects revenue of $80.5 million-$82.5 million for the third quarter ending September. Analysts on average were expecting $86.63 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Angie's List's "big deals" product, which offers emailed discounts to members, lagged expectations and weighed on the revenue forecast, Barrington Research Associates analyst Jeff Houston said. The company, named after co-founder Angie Hicks, also forecast marketing expenses of $20 million-$23 million.

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.

TripAdvisor's profit misses estimate as costs climb

(Reuters) - Online travel research company TripAdvisor Inc reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, sending its shares down 9 percent in extended trading. Total selling and marketing costs rose 53 percent to $127 million in the second quarter ended June 30. Net income rose to $68 million, or 47 cents per share, from $67 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier. (http://bit.ly/1A7iLn8) Excluding items, TripAdvisor earned 55 cents per share, 6 cents below what analysts on average had expected, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. ...

U.S. to Internet providers: We are watching your speed promises

U.S. to Internet providers: We are watching your speed promises

By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. communications regulators on Wednesday reminded Internet service providers to promise consumers only the speed and quality of service that they actually deliver, or face penalties. In an advisory, the Federal Communications Commission urged both fixed and wireless Internet service providers (ISPs) to comply with regulations that say the companies must be clear and accurate in the information they tell consumers about their broadband services. The warning shot to ISPs, such as Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc, comes as the agency crafts new "net neutrality" rules that guide how broadband providers manage web traffic on their networks. The transparency regulations are the only part of the previous "net neutrality" rules set in 2011 that were struck down in court in January.

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)

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.

German city Hamburg seeks to ban Uber ride service

German city Hamburg seeks to ban Uber ride service

By Jan Schwartz and Maria Sheahan HAMBURG/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Hamburg has told Uber, a U.S. car service whose smartphone app summons rides at the touch of a button, to stop operating in the German city, adding to resistance the company has faced globally from local regulators and taxi drivers. San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc, valued at $18.2 billion in a fundraising last month just four years since its 2010 launch, has touched a raw nerve by threatening to open up a traditionally tightly controlled and licensed market. Uber customers order and pay for a taxi with its application on their smartphones. Instead of having taxis prowl city streets looking for customers, Uber allows smartphone users to summon a nearby car to pick them up.

Some WSJ computer systems taken offline after cyber attack: Dow Jones

(Reuters) - Computer systems containing the Wall Street Journal's news graphics were hacked by outside parties, according to the paper's publisher Dow Jones & Co. The systems have been taken offline to prevent the spread of attacks, but Journal officials have not found any damage to the graphics, the newspaper said citing people at the Wall Street Journal familiar with the matter. A hacker who goes by the Twitter handle of w0rm allegedly posted tweets and screenshots claiming to have hacked the Journal's website and offered to sell user information and credentials needed to control the server. Representatives for Dow Jones were not immediately available for comment.

Canada launches plan to improve Internet in remote areas

Canada launches plan to improve Internet in remote areas

By Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian government on Tuesday invited remote communities across the country that lack high-speed Internet access to make a claim on some of the C$305 million ($284 million) it plans to spend over the next three years to upgrade access. The government's Connecting Canadians plan aims to deliver high-speed Internet - judged to be speeds faster than 5 megabits per second (5 Mbps) - to 280,000 households that it says sit below that line. The plan "will still leave many Canadians struggling to catch up with our global counterparts when it comes to broadband access, reliability, and speed," said Steve Anderson, executive director of OpenMedia.ca. The country's telecom regulator wrote to BCE Inc, Telus Corp, and Manitoba Telecom Services last month, concerned they would miss an end-August deadline to complete remote access projects already underway.

Facebook's Zuckerberg to testify at N.Y. forgery trial: prosecutors

Facebook's Zuckerberg to testify at N.Y. forgery trial: prosecutors

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - The government will call Mark Zuckerberg to testify against an upstate New York man accused of trying to cheat the billionaire founder of Facebook Inc out of half his stake in the social media company, a federal prosecutor said on Tuesday. Zuckerberg is expected to be a key witness against Paul Ceglia, who is charged with forging a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg that purportedly entitled him to half of Facebook. “It's a witness that the government 100 percent knows it will be calling at trial,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Frey said at a court hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter in New York federal court. The charges stem in part from a 2010 civil lawsuit Ceglia filed against Zuckerberg and Facebook in Buffalo, New York, claiming the two men signed a contract when Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard University that gave Ceglia half of a planned social networking website.

Google must face U.S. privacy lawsuit over commingled user data

Google must face U.S. privacy lawsuit over commingled user data

A federal judge rejected Google Inc's bid to dismiss a privacy lawsuit claiming it commingled user data across different products and disclosed that data to advertisers without permission. Saying his decision was a close call, U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, ruled on Monday night that Google must face breach of contract and fraud claims by users of Android-powered devices who had downloaded at least one Android application through Google Play. Other parts of the lawsuit were dismissed, including claims brought on behalf of account users who switched to non-Android devices from Android devices after Google had changed its privacy policy in 2012 to allow the commingling. "Like Rocky rising from Apollo's uppercut in the 14th round, plaintiffs' complaint has sustained much damage but just manages to stand," Grewal wrote in a 28-page decision, referring to the film series starring Sylvester Stallone as the boxer Rocky Balboa.

Over 30 financial institutions defrauded by phone apps used to intercept passwords

Over 30 financial institutions defrauded by phone apps used to intercept passwords

By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - More than 30 financial institutions in six countries have been defrauded by sophisticated criminal software that convinces bank customers to install rogue smartphone programs, a major security company reported on Tuesday. Though many of the elements of the malicious software, including the interception of one-time passwords sent to phones, have been used elsewhere, the latest criminal campaign is unusual in that it combines many different techniques and leaves few traces. Researchers at Trend Micro Inc, which dubbed the campaign Emmental after the Swiss cheese, said they were working with European police and major banks on the continent that were early victims. Banks in Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and Japan have all been hit, with damages somewhere in the millions of dollars, said Trend Micro Chief Cyber security Officer Tom Kellermann.

Blog posts on article about Alibaba's China leadership links censored

Blog posts on article about Alibaba's China leadership links censored

Microblog posts about a New York Times article on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding's [IPO-BABA.N] close ties to descendants of China's leaders have been removed by censors, a censorship monitoring group said on Tuesday. Alibaba has been in the spotlight as it prepares its stock market listing - potentially the largest ever tech debut in the United States - particularly over its complicated web of affiliations and corporate governance. One censored post on the Weibo Corp microblog included a Chinese version of the New York Times piece, with the comment, "It's not only Yahoo and SoftBank behind Alibaba," Weiboscope, a University of Hong Kong project that publishes and analyses censored posts, said. Yahoo Inc, with a 22.5 percent stake in Alibaba, and SoftBank Corp with a 34.3 percent ownership are Alibaba's two biggest shareholders.

Comcast, Lionsgate add more app content for film buyers

Comcast, Lionsgate add more app content for film buyers

(Reuters) - Lions Gate Entertainment Corp will provide extra content through apps for dystopian thriller "Divergent" and other films to Comcast Corp customers who purchase digital versions of the film through Xfinity On Demand, the companies announced on Tuesday. The "Divergent" app will be available starting Tuesday on mobile devices and later on TV through Comcast's X1 set-top box. Lions Gate also plans to release bonus app content for future films with digital purchases through Xfinity, the companies said.

Talk on cracking Internet anonymity service Tor canceled

By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A highly anticipated talk on how to identify users of the Internet privacy service Tor was withdrawn from the upcoming Black Hat security conference, a spokeswoman for the event said on Monday. The talk was canceled at the request of attorneys for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where the speakers work as researchers, the spokeswoman, Meredith Corley, told Reuters. The Black Hat conference, one of the longest-running and best-attended security trade shows in the world, is scheduled for Las Vegas August 6-7. Corley said a Carnegie Mellon attorney informed Black Hat that one of the speakers could not give the Tor talk because the materials he would discuss have not been approved for public release by the university or the Software Engineering Institute (SEI).

Italy gives Google 18 months to change data use practices

Italy gives Google 18 months to change data use practices

By Danilo Masoni MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's data protection regulator has given Google 18 months to change the way it treats and stores user data, bringing to an end an investigation that is part of a European drive to reform the internet giant's privacy practices. Regulators in several European nations including Italy began a joint inquiry last year after Google consolidated its 60 privacy policies into one, combining data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and social network Google+. In a statement on Monday, the Italian watchdog said Google's disclosure to users on how their data was being treated remained inadequate, despite the company having taken steps to abide by local law. The watchdog gave the group 18 months to comply fully and indicated a series of measures Google must put into practice.

Facebook 'selfie' leads to shoplifting arrest in Illinois: police

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois woman made police work easy when she allegedly stole a colorful, leopard-pattern dress from a small boutique, then posted a picture of herself wearing it on Facebook, police said on Monday. Danielle Saxton, 27, of West Frankfort allegedly took a dress and other items from Morties Boutique on July 11, and was spotted walking away from the store by the owner's son, said owner Gay Williams Morton and police. The store described the stolen items on Facebook. News travels fast in the small southern Illinois town, and within about two hours, someone sent a link to Saxton's Facebook post, where she'd posted a "selfie" with the message "Love my dress," Morton said.

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.

Beauty apps show 'before and after,' glamorize selfies

Consumers can experiment with different looks in the apps that act like augmented reality mirrors. With the Beauty Mirror app, which uses filters, people can see how they would look with fewer wrinkles, bigger lips or lifted eyebrows in a real-time photograph or video. “Our idea was to apply a subtle, realistic change to a person’s reflection so that when someone put it on Facebook no one would know it was an altered video,” said Parham Aarabi, the CEO of Toronto-based ModiFace, which created the app. The ability to change 2-D photos before uploading them to Facebook has been really popular, but now people can take video and touch it up using the app too,” he said.

China has more people going online with a mobile device than a PC

China has more people going online with a mobile device than a PC

The number of China's internet users going online with a mobile device - such as a smartphone or tablet - has overtaken those doing so with a personal computer (PC) for the first time, said the official China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) on Monday. China's total number of internet users crept up 2.3 percent to 632 million by the end of June, from 618 million at the end of 2013, said CNNIC's internet development statistics report. China is the largest smartphone market in the world, and by 2018 is likely to account for nearly one-third of the expected 1.8 billion smartphones shipped that year, according to data firm IDC. Chinese e-commerce is dominated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd [IPO-BABA.N], which is preparing for a mammoth initial public offering widely expected to take place in September.

UK's Nationwide Building Society customers hit by online banking outage

UK's Nationwide Building Society customers hit by online banking outage

UK lender Nationwide Building Society's customers were unable to access online banking and a mobile banking app on Sunday after a scheduled overnight maintenance overran. Nationwide spokeswoman Michelle Slade said that the online bank and mobile banking app were now back up and running. "Unfortunately our overnight planned maintenance has overrun and is affecting customers accessing our online bank and mobile banking app," the customer-owned lender's spokeswoman said. The customers of Britain's third-biggest provider of mortgage and savings products complained of the online banking glitch on social networking site Twitter.

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.

Singapore Airlines says sorry for social media posts after MH17

After getting a drubbing on social media for making statements deemed "insensitive" after the downing of flight MH17, Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) issued a public apology on Saturday and expressed solidarity with families affected by the air tragedy. Hours after the Malaysia Airlines jetliner was shot down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing 298 people, SIA's Facebook and Twitter updates said its own flights were not using Ukraine airspace. "You better come up with a more considerate, diplomatic and a more sensitive status before you lose customers," said a post by Edwin Lim on SIA's Facebook page. "Very, very inappropriate and disappointing status." SIA, Singapore's best known brand, later also clarified that its flights had been re-routed to alternative paths that were away from Ukrainian airspace after the shooting of MH17.

Amazon starts Netflix-style book service amid publisher spat

Amazon starts Netflix-style book service amid publisher spat

By Deepa Seetharaman NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc launched a $9.99-per-month subscription service on Friday that lets customers read as much as they choose from its library of more than 600,000 digital books. Subscribers to the Kindle Unlimited service can read e-books, including "The Hunger Games" and "Life of Pi," on Amazon's Kindle e-reader or any device with a Kindle app. The launch of Kindle Unlimited comes as Amazon remains mired in a months-long contract dispute with the No. 4 U.S. publisher Hachette Book Group, owned by France's Lagardere, over how to price e-books. Amazon is also in talks about digital book pricing with Simon & Schuster, owned by CBS Corp. Amazon's move to offer the Kindle Unlimited service reflects consumers' growing preference toward subscription-based models for consuming digital media, such as Netflix Inc for movies and television shows and Spotify for music.

U.S. judge OKs warrant for Google user's emails, stoking debate

U.S. judge OKs warrant for Google user's emails, stoking debate

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge in New York has granted prosecutors access to a Gmail user's emails as part of a criminal probe, a decision that could fan the debate over how aggressively the government may pursue data if doing so may invade people's privacy. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said Friday he had authorized a warrant to be served on Google Inc for the emails of an unnamed individual who is the target of a money laundering investigation. Gorenstein said his decision ran counter to several other judges' rulings in similar cases that sweeping warrants give the government improper access to too many emails, not just relevant ones. Google did not respond to a request for comment.

With 1 million comments, U.S. net neutrality debate nears first marker

With 1 million comments, U.S. net neutrality debate nears first marker

By Alina Selyukh WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. companies, consumer advocates and citizens submitted more than 1 million comments to the Federal Communications Commission, drawing contentious divisions on the issue of net neutrality as the first deadline to comment approached Friday. The FCC will continue collecting comments, made in response to these first submissions, until Sept. 10 as it weighs how best to regulate the way Internet service providers (ISPs) manage web traffic crossing their networks. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed new rules in April after a federal court struck down the FCC's previous version of such rules in January. The FCC's draft rules propose banning ISPs from blocking users' access to websites or applications but allowing some "commercially reasonable" deals between content providers and ISPs to prioritize delivery of some web traffic.

Apple should do more to tackle in-app purchases problem: EU

Apple should do more to tackle in-app purchases problem: EU

By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Apple has provided no concrete and immediate solutions to tackle the problem of adults and children racking up credit card bills by making "in-app" purchases on tablets and mobile phones, the European Commission said on Friday. Apple said it would address the concerns brought up by the Commission, although it gave no time frame for when it might make the changes, the EU executive said.

Google's executive shuffle highlights its growing ambitions

Google's executive shuffle highlights its growing ambitions

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's reshuffle of its senior ranks underscores the Internet company’s evolving business ambitions, analysts say. Three years after co-founder Larry Page took the reins back as chief executive officer, his team of lieutenants is clearly undergoing a refresh. On Thursday, Google announced the surprise departure of its veteran business chief Nikesh Arora, who will become Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp. Arora represents the latest in a string of personnel changes within Google’s top ranks over the past 16 months, affecting major divisions from Youtube to its popular Android mobile software. They included the departed Vic Gundotra, who oversaw the Google+ social network;

Twitter to unveil new metrics to show wider reach: WSJ

Twitter to unveil new metrics to show wider reach: WSJ

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc, which has been struggling to revive flagging user growth, is expected to introduce new metrics to show that its microblogging service has a wider audience who may not necessarily be logged in to their accounts, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company, which went public in November, is expected to launch four new metrics when it reports second-quarter earnings on July 29, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Twitter currently measure its reach using traditional metrics such as monthly active users, monthly unique visitors and timeline views. Twitter has reported lackluster user and usage growth for the last couple of quarters and its stock price has nearly halved in the last six months.

NZ's Chorus makes deal to get paid early for UFB network work

New Zealand telecommunications network operator Chorus Ltd said on Friday it had agreed a plan with a government agency that would allow the company to be paid earlier for building the government-sponsored ultra fast broadband network. The company, which is building about three-quarters of the national network, said under the conditional deal it could bring forward up to NZ$178 million of payments. Chorus has said that its ability to build the ultra fast broadband network is being diminished by regulator plans to control prices it can charge internet service providers for access to its network.

Google's business chief departs for SoftBank in latest leadership change

Google's business chief departs for SoftBank in latest leadership change

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's chief business officer, one of Chief Executive Officer Larry Page's key lieutenants and the company's main liaison to Wall Street, is leaving the Internet search company, the latest high-ranking executive to depart. Nikesh Arora, who joined Google nearly a decade ago, will move to Japan's SoftBank Corp as vice chairman, according to a post by Page on the Google+ social network. Omid Kordestani, who has led sales teams at Google for years, will take over in the interim, marking the latest change to Google's senior leadership in past months. Android operating software boss Andy Rubin stepped aside last year, and Salar Kamangar, head of the YouTube video website, was succeeded in February by longtime Google ad executive Susan Wojcicki.

Dance music label sues YouTube star over copyright

By Andrew Chung NEW YORK (Reuters) - Michelle Phan has garnered millions of adoring Internet fans for teaching them how to look like Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie or even Barbie, but a popular dance music record label is not one of them. Ultra Records LLC and Ultra International Music Publishing LLC are suing Phan for copyright infringement, alleging she used songs and compilations from some of the world’s biggest dance music DJs and groups in her creative videos without a license.

Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs this year as it chops Nokia

Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs this year as it chops Nokia

By Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella kicked off one of the largest layoffs in tech history on Thursday, hoping to reshape the aging PC industry titan into a nimbler rival to Apple and Google, and jolt a culture at the company that is used to protecting its existing Windows and Office franchises. Microsoft Corp said on Thursday it will slash up to 18,000 jobs, or 14 percent of its workforce, over the next 12 months as it almost halves the size of its newly acquired Nokia phone business and tries to become a cloud-computing and mobile-friendly software company. Beyond the Nokia reductions, Nadella gave few clues about where the ax will fall or what areas will receive more funding. Nadella said he will answer questions from employees at a town hall meeting at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington, on Friday and flesh out his plans publicly after Microsoft's quarterly earnings report on July 22.

gadgets

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

iOS 8 beta 4 is now available for download

iOS 8 beta 4 is now available for download

Apple has been releasing new updates steadily since the first developer build of iOS 8 was let loose on June 2nd, and iOS 8 beta 4 couldn’t come soon enough considering how buggy beta 3 has been. Now, the latest and greatest iOS 8 build for developers — and anyone else who pays Apple $99 each year for a developer account — is available for download, just as our inside sources said it would be. FROM EARLIER: Cutting through the hype: The 5 best new features in iOS 8 iOS 8 beta 4 is available immediately for developers with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices that are compatible with the new iOS 8 software. As always, it can be installed as an over the air (OTA) update

BlackBerry appoints new chief operating officer

BlackBerry has appointed Marty Beard, the former chief executive of LiveOps, Inc. as its new chief operating officer. Beard starts immediately and will be responsible for such things as marketing, BlackBerry ...

New iPhone 6 parts leak further supports huge upcoming redesign

New iPhone 6 parts leak further supports huge upcoming redesign

With several independent reports claiming that mass production of Apple’s new iPhone 6 gets underway this month, leaks are kicking into high gear. Yes, believe it or not, the consistent flow of iPhone rumors and leaks we have seen over the past few months was not “high gear.” We saw a few interesting iPhone 6 leaks slip out over the past few days, and one of them was a leak of what is claimed to be a completely revamped iPhone 6 part that, if authentic, further supports the notion that we’re in for a big redesign in Apple’s iPhone lineup this fall. FROM EARLIER: This is the best iPhone 6 news we’ve heard so far A user on Chinese-language gadget forum Mac X has

iPhone 6 shell with embedded Apple logo seemingly seen for first time

iPhone 6 shell with embedded Apple logo seemingly seen for first time

We have good news and bad news, Apple fans. The good news is that the increasing volume of iPhone 6 parts leaks is almost certainly evidence that the new handset is entering mass production. The bad news is that if the latest leak is authentic, rumors that the back of the iPhone 6 might not be as ugly as it appears on the many dummy mockups we’ve seen might not pan out. FROM EARLIER: iPhone 6 and next-gen Retina iPad mini rendered by design master As rumor has it, the schematics for Apple’s next-generation iPhone 6 and “iPhone Air” phablet leaked from Foxconn several months ago. Using those schematics, people have been creating iPhone mockups that supposedly feature the same size

3 awesome paid iPhone apps you can download for free right now

3 awesome paid iPhone apps you can download for free right now

We shared tons of awesome paid iPhone and iPad apps with you last week that were all on sale for a limited time, but that doesn’t mean we’re stopping there. Today marks the start of a new week, and it also marks the start of some great new sales on various paid iOS apps. As always, download anything that looks appealing as quickly as possible because these sales could end at any time, be it an hour from now or a day from now. 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

BlackBerry names ex-Sybase executive as chief operating officer

BlackBerry names ex-Sybase executive as chief operating officer

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Limited named Marty Beard as its chief operating officer on Monday, filling a position that had been vacant since November following a management reshuffle. Beard was most recently chief executive officer of LiveOps Inc, a provider of cloud applications for customer service. Prior to that he was an executive of Sybase, an enterprise software maker that was formerly run by current BlackBerry CEO John Chen. BlackBerry said Beard in his new role would be responsible for marketing, application development, quality and customer care, among other things. ...

Amazon's New Netflix-Style Service May Remind You of a Library

Amazon's New Netflix-Style Service May Remind You of a Library

Amazon launched a monthly subscription service that will allow e-readers to e-read unlimited e-books on their Kindles. Introducing Kindle Unlimited! Unlimited Reading. Here's how it'll work: For a monthly fee of $9.99, Kindle users can browse the Amazon bookstore and wherever they see the logo for Kindle Unlimited, they'll be able to download the title for free. Considering it takes me 2 months to read a book, that's a pass for me. — Jeff Fino (@jefino) July 19, 2014

Amazon starts Netflix-style book service amid publisher spat

Amazon starts Netflix-style book service amid publisher spat

By Deepa Seetharaman NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc launched a $9.99-per-month subscription service on Friday that lets customers read as much as they choose from its library of more than 600,000 digital books. Subscribers to the Kindle Unlimited service can read e-books, including "The Hunger Games" and "Life of Pi," on Amazon's Kindle e-reader or any device with a Kindle app. The launch of Kindle Unlimited comes as Amazon remains mired in a months-long contract dispute with the No. 4 U.S. publisher Hachette Book Group, owned by France's Lagardere, over how to price e-books. Amazon is also in talks about digital book pricing with Simon & Schuster, owned by CBS Corp. Amazon's move to offer the Kindle Unlimited service reflects consumers' growing preference toward subscription-based models for consuming digital media, such as Netflix Inc for movies and television shows and Spotify for music.

Amazon officially unveils eBook subsciption service Kindle Unlimited

Amazon officially unveils eBook subsciption service Kindle Unlimited

Amazon officially announced its eBook and audiobook subscription service Kindle Unlimited on Friday after an accidental leak revealed the details of the service less than 24 hours earlier. Subscribers will have access to over 600,000 eBooks and thousands of Audible audiobooks on Kindles as well as iOS, Android and other devices for $9.99 a month. Eligible books will feature the Kindle Unlimited logo and a “Read for Free” button. On top of the thousands of free audiobooks available to subscribers, anyone who signs up for Kindle Unlimited will be given a complimentary three-month membership to Amazon’s Audible service as well, which offers over 150,000 audiobooks to members. “With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre—you

BlackBerry’s firewall is about to come under siege

BlackBerry’s firewall is about to come under siege

Batten down the hatches, BlackBerry — Hurricane Xiaomi is barreling toward you. The Wall Street Journal reports that even though red-hot Chinese vendor Xiaomi has had trouble getting its phones approved for sale in Indonesia, the company does expect to get the green light very soon. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president for global operations, tells the Journal that if all goes as planned, Xiaomi will start selling its smartphones in Indonesia by the end of August. Why is this such a big deal for BlackBerry? Largely because Indonesia has been BlackBerry’s firewall when it comes to handset sales. It launched its low-cost BlackBerry Z3 handset there and by all accounts it’s apparently been a hit so far. However, BlackBerry has never

iOS 8′s four most surprisingly useful features

iOS 8′s four most surprisingly useful features

We still have about two months to go before Apple’s new iOS 8 software is released to the public, but developers — and anyone else with a $99 developer account — have already spent more than a month with the new operating system. Visually, iOS 8 isn’t anything like the dramatic update we saw went Apple updated its mobile software from iOS 6 to iOS 7. Behind the scenes, however, iOS 8 is probably Apple’s most massive update in years. Of course, not all the action takes place behind the scenes; there are plenty of awesome new user-facing features in iOS 8 that iPhone and iPad users will love, come September. We covered many of them in our iOS 8 preview back in June,

6 awesome paid iPhone apps that are free for a limited time

6 awesome paid iPhone apps that are free for a limited time

What a week it has been for iPhone and iPad apps. We’ve shared more than $60 worth of paid iPhone apps this week that all went on sale for free for a limited time, and now we’re finishing out the week on a high note. BGR has dug through all of the various apps that have gone on sale over the past few hours and hand-picked the six best iPhone and iPad apps. Want them for free? You’d better move fast because as always, 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

Next-generation iPhone to enter mass production this month: media

Next-generation iPhone to enter mass production this month: media

Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, the world's largest contract manufacturer of electronic goods, will begin mass production of Apple Inc's next-generation iPhone this month, local media reported Friday. Mass production of a 4.7-inch successor to the wildly popular iPhone 5 series of smartphones will begin during the third week of July, Taiwan's Economic Daily News said, without citing sources. A separate report issued Thursday by a China state-run news service said Hon Hai is planning to hire 100,000 workers at its mainland facilities to meet future demand for the gadget, citing comments made by the chief of the Henan Provincial Commerce Department.

Nokia’s handset business is nearly dead – but Microsoft would be crazy to give it up

Nokia’s handset business is nearly dead – but Microsoft would be crazy to give it up

The new Microsoft layoff wave will axe thousands of employees from Nokia’s old handset unit and will close down the once crucially important Oulu R&D center that used to be the source of global phone innovation, from internal antennas to 3G tech. Many now view the handset industry as an unprofitable sunset business that has little relevance outside Apple and Samsung. What does it matter if Nokia is now a pure infrastructure company or if BlackBerry stops manufacturing handsets? In reality, there are strong reasons to hold onto a loss-making, shrinking, marginal consumer electronics business. That’s because even a sinking platform can be a launchpad for lucrative new businesses while creating a consumer electronics business out of nothing is fiendishly difficult.

This is easily the greatest iPhone accessory we’ve ever seen

This is easily the greatest iPhone accessory we’ve ever seen

It’s not always easy to find innovative, high-quality iPhone accessories amid all the garbage out there. We discussed the problem recently while reviewing the only iPad stylus you should care about, and it will remain an issue for the foreseeable future. There are some great accessories out there though, and a new one that will be released later this year could very well be the greatest iPhone accessory we’ve ever seen. A startup called Hevo Labs recently launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in an effort to make their idea, dubbed “Cabin,” a reality. What is Cabin? In a nutshell, it’s a MagSafe system for the iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. For those who have never owned a MacBook laptop, Apple uses

4 awesome paid iPhone apps you can download for free right now

4 awesome paid iPhone apps you can download for free right now

This week has been a fantastic one for paid iPhone and iPad apps that have gone on sale for free. In fact, we’ve shared more than $50 worth of iOS apps so far that could have all been downloaded without paying a dime (and some are still free if you move quickly). Today, we’re back with another four apps to add to the list, and they’re all terrific offerings you won’t want to miss out on. 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

Apple-IBM deal weighs on BlackBerry shares

BlackBerry shares dropped Wednesday after details emerged of a partnership between two of the world's biggest technology companies — Apple and IBM — aimed at business customers. IBM Corp. will be creating ...

New gadget could revolutionize keyboards… by ditching them entirely

New gadget could revolutionize keyboards… by ditching them entirely

Imagine a tablet that is just as conducive to productivity as a notebook computer, but has absolutely no additional bulk. Imagine the same solution could allow you to type just as quickly on an iPad or a smartphone as you do on a desktop computer, but without the need to add any big keyboard accessories to your bag. This is the future that a new startup in Austin, Texas has envisioned, and the company is now working to make this future a reality. Dubbed AirType, the company is currently developing what it calls a “keyboardless keyboard.” The solution is currently in the early prototype phase, and it involves placing two bracelet-like devices around your hands and then typing on a table as

Amazon ponders Netflix-like service for ebooks: report

Amazon ponders Netflix-like service for ebooks: report

Amazon.com Inc is considering a new e-book subscription service called "Kindle Unlimited," that aims to replicate popular video-streaming models for the digital books market, according to several online reports and a test page that briefly appeared on the Internet retailer's website. The page, spotted by tech blog Gigaom but since taken down, touted a service that for $9.99 a month, would grant unlimited access to more than 600,000 titles including popular books "Life of Pi," and "Water for Elephants," as well as blockbuster franchises like the "Hunger Games," and "Lord of the Rings." A brief promotional message described the service as available "on any device." Other details remained unclear, however, and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Unlike video streaming, which is dominated by services such as Netflix Inc and Amazon's own Instant Video, few on-demand, buffet-type options exist for digital readers beyond smaller players such as Sribd.

Amazon is testing out a ‘Spotify for Books’ service

Amazon is testing out a ‘Spotify for Books’ service

Amazon is about to change the way we acquire books once again. According to Gigaom, members of the Kindle Boards discovered a page on Tuesday which appears to reveal an upcoming eBook subscription service called “Kindle Unlimited” which would allow subscribers to access over 600,000 titles and thousands of audiobooks “on any device” for $9.99 a month. Although the test pages have since been removed, you can still find them on Google Cache. At the time of writing, a page titled “KU Test” is still available on the Amazon website, listing 638,424 titles which are presumably going to be part of the service if and when it launches. As Gigaom points out, many of these titles are also available through Amazon’s lending

Apple-IBM deal dents BlackBerry's prospects, slams stock

Apple-IBM deal dents BlackBerry's prospects, slams stock

By Euan Rocha TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd's shares took a beating on Wednesday after IBM Corp outlined plans to partner with Apple Inc to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with applications for business users. The Apple-IBM tie up, beginning this fall, is set to target the customer base that BlackBerry needs to woo as part of a turnaround under new Chief Executive Officer John Chen. "It is not a crushing blow at this early stage, but ‎it is a negative for BlackBerry," said IDC analyst John Jackson. "There can be little question that it is unwelcome, if not entirely unexpected news." BlackBerry's stock has been on a tear this year.

Apple agrees to conditional $450 million e-books antitrust accord

Apple agrees to conditional $450 million e-books antitrust accord

(Reuters) - Apple Inc has agreed to pay $450 million to resolve U.S. state and consumer claims the iPad manufacturer conspired with five major publishers to fix e-book prices, according to court records filed Wednesday. A ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversing the liability finding could under the settlement either reduce the amount Apple pays to $70 million, with $50 million for consumers, or eliminate payments altogether.

Guy who said BlackBerry would fold in 2013 says BlackBerry will fold in 2015

Guy who said BlackBerry would fold in 2013 says BlackBerry will fold in 2015

Back in 2012, 24/7 Wall St.’s Douglass McIntyre wrote that in the following year, BlackBerry would fold. The prediction that BlackBerry was on its way out wasn’t terribly bold — BGR had already been reporting on the various signs that trouble was brewing in Waterloo for several years — but the time frame seemed a bit overzealous. As expected, that prediction didn’t end up panning out. Now, BlackBerry is considered by several industry watchers to be back on the right path. Even after a rough morning session following news of Apple’s IBM tie up, BlackBerry shares are up about 40% so far in 2014. But despite the positive sentiment and upward trend, McIntyre is back again with a new prediction: BlackBerry will

wireless

Fleksy keyboard brings new tricks to Android as it prepares for iOS 8′s arrival

Fleksy keyboard brings new tricks to Android as it prepares for iOS 8′s arrival

Fleksy, a popular Android keyboard app that’s going to also be available on iOS 8 devices this year, on Wednesday released a new update in the Google Play Store that brings various new features including a major redesign, premium themes and emoji, and 17 new languages that had only been available in the beta. After updating to Fleksy 3.0, users will be able to access a Fleksy Store that contains the new themes and customizations. The new premium features will only be available to premium customers on Android, and will land on iOS this fall, the company revealed. “The average Fleksy user uses our product 180 times a day, and spends 1.5 hours looking at the keyboard each and every day. We believe

Simpsons World Will Stream Every Episode Ever

Simpsons World Will Stream Every Episode Ever

Up and at them! If you love The Simpsons, from the best of the best to the worst episode ever, you'll be happier than the happiest man in Springfield to learn that a new streaming service will offer all 552 episodes for fans to consume at their leisure. Entertainment news site HitFix was keeping its eye on Springfield when it covered an announcement from FXX (just in case there was any doubt that you are watching Fox). The Simpsons World streaming service will debut in October for computers (they've got the Internet on computers now), iOS devices, Android devices, streaming boxes, smart TVs and Xbox consoles (no PlayStation support just yet) — more than enough time to prepare for the lousy Smarch weather.

Compact HTC One Remix Coming to Verizon for $99

Compact HTC One Remix Coming to Verizon for $99

The HTC One M8 is one of the best smartphones around, but at 5 inches, its display is a bit too large for some consumers. Enter the HTC One Remix. Coming to Verizon on July 24, the $99 Remix is a slightly smaller version of the M8, with a 4.5-inch display.

No, LG, we don’t want to play in your circle

No, LG, we don’t want to play in your circle

The LG G3 is one of the latest Android beasts to hit stores, and one of the few smartphones that actually packs a high-resolution 2K display that offers users an even better mobile experience, whether they’re browsing the web, watching videos or – especially – playing games. So why on earth would you want G3 buyers to play games that occupy only a tiny portion of that gorgeous new display, LG? The company’s official case accessory for the handset has a round window that can be used to access certain apps on the screen, and developers can add QuickCircle functionality to their apps, including games, as well. To further promote this feature, LG launched the industry’s “first games for play specifically in QuickCircle Window,” which

Android grabs more tablet market share: survey

Android grabs more tablet market share: survey

Global sales of tablet computers edged higher in the second quarter, in the slowest growth since 2009, research firm Strategy Analytics said Wednesday. Growth was led by devices using the Google Android operating system. Android tablet sales rose 11 percent to 36.8 million in the March-June period, the survey found, and grabbed a 70 percent market share. Apple sales fell from a year earlier to 13.3 million, according to Strategy Analytics' figures which were above Apple's own report this week showing 12.3 million.

Android grabs more tablet market share

Android grabs more tablet market share

Global sales of tablet computers edged higher in the second quarter, in the slowest growth since 2009, research firm Strategy Analytics said Wednesday. Growth was led by devices using the Google Android operating system. Android tablet sales rose 11 percent to 36.8 million in the March-June period, the survey found, and grabbed a 70 percent market share. Apple sales fell from a year earlier to 13.3 million, according to Strategy Analytics' figures which were above Apple's own report this week showing 12.3 million.

How to stop pesky Android apps from annoying you with notifications once and for all

How to stop pesky Android apps from annoying you with notifications once and for all

Android’s notification system is without question the best in the business right now. It’s flexible and actionionable, providing a means for users to interact with notifications to save steps. For example, a user can archive or delete a new email in Gmail without ever having to open up the app. As great as Android’s notification system is, however, there are still plenty of apps that abuse it and pester users with annoying or useless notifications. Thankfully, there is a remarkably simple way to stop annoying apps from bugging you with notifications. As noted by Phone Arena in a recent post, a few quick taps and a change to a single setting can save you from dozens of headaches in the future

Android L’s gorgeous Material Design is coming soon to all Android phones… sort of

Android L’s gorgeous Material Design is coming soon to all Android phones… sort of

After a report a few days ago revealed that Google was working on updating its Play Store (desktop and Android app versions) to include its new Material Design, Google on Tuesday teased the new redesign coming to the Play Store Android app. “Our latest update is rolling out right now! We’re excited to share a sneak peek of what you’ll get in the coming days,” the company said in a post on Twitter, adding a teaser image that highlights some of the new changes. While the update may not seem like a big deal at first glance, checking various listings for apps, movies, books and albums will immediately bring to the surface various Material Design elements. The new Google Play Store

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

This is your best chance yet to get your hands on a OnePlus One… but you’d better hurry

This is your best chance yet to get your hands on a OnePlus One… but you’d better hurry

Among Android enthusiasts, the OnePlus One is easily the most desirable new smartphone of 2014 so far. It doesn’t have the 2K display from LG’s G3, the gorgeous metal build from the HTC One (M8) or the massive marketing budget backing Samsung’s Galaxy S5, but it’s a cutting edge smartphone powered by the highly hackable CyanogenMod software. What’s more, it’s shockingly affordable. The only problem, of course, is that it’s still almost impossible to buy one. But thankfully, OnePlus just gave hopeful prospective One owners their best chance yet to get their hands on one. “To celebrate the announcement of our Bamboo StyleSwap Cover, we are giving away 5,000 invites to those who haven’t received invites thus far,” OnePlus said

Netflix will attack six European markets this September

Netflix will attack six European markets this September

It’s no secret that Netflix to expand in additional European markets this year, but the company has never offered an exact rollout plan for the new countries it wants to conquer. Fortunately, in a new letter to shareholders spotted by Android Police, Netflix confirmed that its European presence will see a significant increase in September, when the movie streaming service will reach six new markets. “Outside the U.S., we generated continued growth in all of our markets. We ended Q2 with 13.8 million international members, growing 78% y/y,” the company wrote in the letter. “In September, we’ll be launching Netflix in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg. This launch into markets with over 60 million broadband households will significantly

Apple's iPhone sales rose 48 percent in China in June quarter: CFO

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple's iPhone unit sales in greater China jumped about 48 percent and Mac computer sales rose 39 percent in the June quarter, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri told Reuters on Tuesday. Lower-cost phones sold there by up-and-coming rivals, such as Xiaomi, appeared to be taking market share mainly from other companies that rely on Google's Android mobile software, Maestri added. "We have a really good runway in front of us with China Mobile," Maestri said in an interview, referring to Apple's main carrier partner in the world's No. 2 economy. ...

Did HTC just leak its unannounced smartwatch in a new video?

Did HTC just leak its unannounced smartwatch in a new video?

Wearable tech hasn’t quite taken off like many analysts expected it to, but Android Wear could be the beginning of something big. Samsung and LG have already thrown their hats in the ring with the Gear Live and the G Watch, and Motorola hopes to blow everyone away with the gorgeous Moto 360 later this summer, but many of the biggest names in mobile electronics haven’t revealed their plans yet. HTC is one of those vendors, but we may have gotten our first glimpse of the company’s Android Wear entry in an HTC Design video published earlier this month. At 35 seconds in, we see an HTC employee sitting at his computer with two mysterious items sitting on his desk: an empty

Google must face U.S. privacy lawsuit over commingled user data

Google must face U.S. privacy lawsuit over commingled user data

A federal judge rejected Google Inc's bid to dismiss a privacy lawsuit claiming it commingled user data across different products and disclosed that data to advertisers without permission. Saying his decision was a close call, U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, ruled on Monday night that Google must face breach of contract and fraud claims by users of Android-powered devices who had downloaded at least one Android application through Google Play. Other parts of the lawsuit were dismissed, including claims brought on behalf of account users who switched to non-Android devices from Android devices after Google had changed its privacy policy in 2012 to allow the commingling. "Like Rocky rising from Apollo's uppercut in the 14th round, plaintiffs' complaint has sustained much damage but just manages to stand," Grewal wrote in a 28-page decision, referring to the film series starring Sylvester Stallone as the boxer Rocky Balboa.

This $30 spray will make you iPhone or Android phone waterproof

This $30 spray will make you iPhone or Android phone waterproof

Sony isn’t exactly enjoying smooth sailing in the global smartphone market right now, but it did start an awesome trend. Following the Japanese electronics giant’s lead, a number of smartphone vendors are now focused on making their flagship phones water-resistant. Samsung’s Galaxy S5, the company’s latest hero phone, is a perfect example, and the handset’s water-resistant treatment will end up saving consumers tons of money and plenty of aggravation by helping the phone survive spills and quick dunks. But what about those of us with handsets like the iPhone or various Android models that don’t feature any waterproofing? As it turns out, there may be a cheap product that can help. A company called Impervious offers a like-named solution that, according to the

Verizon reports solid Q2 results as tablets offset slowing smartphone sales

Verizon reports solid Q2 results as tablets offset slowing smartphone sales

Verizon on Tuesday posted second-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s expectations as huge tablet sales offset the continued decline of cell phone contract additions. Verizon posted earnings of $1.01 per share, or $4.34 billion in profit, which is down significantly from the $5.2 billion profit it recorded in the year-ago quarter. Revenue climbed nearly 6% to $31.48 billion, however. The nation’s top carrier only added 304,000 net new cell phone subscribers in the quarter, but 1.15 million new tablet additions certainly helped to bolster the company’s results. Verizon’s full press release follows below. Verizon Delivers Sixth Consecutive Quarter of Double-Digit Operating Income and Earnings Growth 2Q 2014 HIGHLIGHTS Consolidated • $1.01 in earnings per share (EPS), compared with 78 cents per share

The Nexus 9 isn’t the only tablet HTC is working on

The Nexus 9 isn’t the only tablet HTC is working on

HTC is widely expected to make Google’s next Nexus tablet – an 8.9-inch premium device that was already spotted in internal Google code, and which is referred to Nexus 8 or Nexus 9 in various reports – but the company may launch two other tablets of its own, @evleaks has learned. “Besides the T1 Volantis/Flounder/Nexus 9, HTC is developing two other tablets: the T7 and T12,” the leaker wrote, without revealing any details about the T7 and T12. HTC has not launched a new Android tablet in years – the company had two such devices in stores in 2011, including the Flyer (pictured above) and Jetstream that few Android users may remember – but it’s apparently planning a big comeback.

Accused Android app pirates face criminal charges

Accused Android app pirates face criminal charges

US prosecutors on Monday unsealed indictments against six people suspected of collectively pirating millions of applications tailored for Android-powered mobile devices. Criminal charges were leveled at leading members of "piracy groups" SnappzMarket, Appbucket, and Applanet, according to the US Department of Justice. "Copyright infringement discourages smart people from doing innovative things," US attorney Sally Quillian Yates of the Northern District of Georgia said in a release. "This problem is especially acute when it comes to rapidly developing technologies, like apps for smart phones, and these defendants are now being held accountable for the intellectual property they stole."

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

Framed Turns Digital Images Into Wall Art

Framed Turns Digital Images Into Wall Art

The internet is full of digital art that would look great on your wall. FRM has created FRAMED, a digital canvas for digital artists, which comes in 24- or 40-inch models and works with an iOS or Android app. The HD screens with IPS technology support 16.7 million colors, and according to the company, 180 degree viewing angles.

Don’t expect any updates to fix Android L troubles

Don’t expect any updates to fix Android L troubles

If you happen to run Android L, or a port based on it, on your device and you’re wondering whether Google will release an update to fix any of the potential issues discovered with the Developer Preview ROM, you should know there’s a slim chance that will happen. German publication Smartdroid.de picked up a Google+ discussion in which Googler Rich Hyndman, who shared more details about Android L in a video published recently on YouTube, revealed that updates aren’t exactly in the picture for Android L. “They’ll be some extras coming, like the 64-bit emulator. But I don’t believe new device images are coming,” Hyndman answered to a question related to Android L Developer Preview updates availability. “[T]he preview release

BlackBerry appoints new chief operating officer

BlackBerry has appointed Marty Beard, the former chief executive of LiveOps, Inc. as its new chief operating officer. Beard starts immediately and will be responsible for such things as marketing, BlackBerry ...

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

iPhone 6 Rumors - Specs, Sizes, Camera, Display

iPhone 6 Rumors - Specs, Sizes, Camera, Display

Apple's iPhone 5s and 5c launch marked some noteworthy firsts for the company. It was the first time Apple offered two new handsets at the same time, and it's also the only time we've seen so many color choices, including gold. More important, the iPhone 5s became the world's first smartphone capable of 64-bit computing.

Leaked photo may have just revealed Motorola’s next big smartphone

Leaked photo may have just revealed Motorola’s next big smartphone

Motorola is really starting to turn things around now, and its reversal of smartphone fortunes has had absolutely nothing to do with sexy high-end flagship smartphones. Instead, Motorola is attacking the low end with dirt-cheap smartphones that are sleek, stylish and surprisingly capable. It already has several great entry-level and mid-range models available in key regions around the world, and now Motorola’s next big smartphone launch may have just been spoiled by a newly leaked photo. As hinted at by the subtle watermark, Android fan blog Mallando no Android on Monday published a photo of what it claims to be Motorola’s upcoming second-generation Moto G smartphone. The device, which is currently being referred to as the Moto G2, reportedly features the model

BlackBerry names ex-Sybase executive as chief operating officer

BlackBerry names ex-Sybase executive as chief operating officer

TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Limited named Marty Beard as its chief operating officer on Monday, filling a position that had been vacant since November following a management reshuffle. Beard was most recently chief executive officer of LiveOps Inc, a provider of cloud applications for customer service. Prior to that he was an executive of Sybase, an enterprise software maker that was formerly run by current BlackBerry CEO John Chen. BlackBerry said Beard in his new role would be responsible for marketing, application development, quality and customer care, among other things. ...

Asian shares mixed after MH17 losses

Asian shares mixed after MH17 losses

Asian markets were mixed on Monday, as bargain-hunting was offset by lingering geopolitical concerns after last week's downing of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine.

Sony's Walkman Makes Comeback

Sony's Walkman Makes Comeback

TOKYO—Thirty five years after its debut, Sony Corp.'s Walkman is enjoying a little comeback. The ZX1, as Sony's gadget is called, is in many ways the antithesis of Apple Inc.'s slender iPod, and the Walkman's own svelte predecessors. Sony says each ZX1 is manually carved from a block of expensive aluminum, which helps reduce noise. "The message for our designers and engineers was: please create a good product without worrying about the cost," said Kenji Nakada, Sony's sound product planner.

Amazon launches unlimited e-book subscription plan

Amazon launches unlimited e-book subscription plan

US online giant Amazon unveiled a Netflix-style subscription plan for unlimited access to e-books, a move which could shake up the world of publishing. The $9.99 per month Kindle Unlimited program offers access to some 600,000 titles in the Amazon Kindle format. Subscribers will be able to access the books on Amazon's Kindle tablets, as well as other devices with a Kindle app, including iPads and iPhones, Windows devices and Android-powered mobile gadgets. Amazon is using a model made popular by Netflix for films and television programs, but also by services such as Spotify for music.

Amazon officially unveils eBook subsciption service Kindle Unlimited

Amazon officially unveils eBook subsciption service Kindle Unlimited

Amazon officially announced its eBook and audiobook subscription service Kindle Unlimited on Friday after an accidental leak revealed the details of the service less than 24 hours earlier. Subscribers will have access to over 600,000 eBooks and thousands of Audible audiobooks on Kindles as well as iOS, Android and other devices for $9.99 a month. Eligible books will feature the Kindle Unlimited logo and a “Read for Free” button. On top of the thousands of free audiobooks available to subscribers, anyone who signs up for Kindle Unlimited will be given a complimentary three-month membership to Amazon’s Audible service as well, which offers over 150,000 audiobooks to members. “With Kindle Unlimited, you won’t have to think twice before you try a new author or genre—you

Get up to $125 off the Moto X right now

Get up to $125 off the Moto X right now

Motorola’s Moto X is definitely showing its age at this point, but for people on a budget looking for a capable mid-range smartphone with no service contract, the X is still a terrific option. And for the next five days, it’s an even better option than it normally is. Ahead of the rumored launch of a next-generation model, Motorola has made a coupon available for a limited time that will let customers purchase a brand new off-contract Moto X at a deep discount. How deep? The coupon knocks $100 off the price of the 16GB model, making it $299.99, and it will chop $125 off of the 32GB and 64GB Moto X handsets, giving them final prices of $324.99 and $374.99, respectively. To

Tiny Magnet Brings Wireless Charging to the iPhone

Tiny Magnet Brings Wireless Charging to the iPhone

Many Android smartphones come with wireless charging ability. HEVO designed a Lightning-compatible microadaptor, which magnetically connects to the iPhone 5s charging port just like the MagSafe connector on a MacBook. Among those devices are the Cabin portable battery case, the Cabin charging dock and the Magadaptor that plugs into the Lightning charging cord also from HEVO.

This Wand Lets You Text Without a Signal

This Wand Lets You Text Without a Signal

When paired with the free iOS or Android app, you can send messages and your GPS location (on an offline-ready map) to a specific individual who also has a goTenna. MORE: 12 Surprising Things Your Android Phone Can Do

BlackBerry’s firewall is about to come under siege

BlackBerry’s firewall is about to come under siege

Batten down the hatches, BlackBerry — Hurricane Xiaomi is barreling toward you. The Wall Street Journal reports that even though red-hot Chinese vendor Xiaomi has had trouble getting its phones approved for sale in Indonesia, the company does expect to get the green light very soon. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president for global operations, tells the Journal that if all goes as planned, Xiaomi will start selling its smartphones in Indonesia by the end of August. Why is this such a big deal for BlackBerry? Largely because Indonesia has been BlackBerry’s firewall when it comes to handset sales. It launched its low-cost BlackBerry Z3 handset there and by all accounts it’s apparently been a hit so far. However, BlackBerry has never

Google Maps for Android just got some awesome new features

Google Maps for Android just got some awesome new features

Google Maps for Android is getting a new update, Android Police reports, which will bring users some interesting features for their favorite maps applications. Google Maps v8.2 for Android will support conversational voice actions in navigation mode – users will be able to ask things like “how long until destination,” “what’s my next turn” or tell Google to “show traffic,” – although they’ll have to make sure they hit the proper phrasing precisely, in order to actually be able to trigger an appropriate response from Google Maps. Another nifty feature concerns cycling enthusiasts. Bicycles owners will now be able to avoid steep climbs, or choose steeper climbs if that’s what they fancy, as Google Maps will now show elevation details in bicycle

Smartphone suit against Google plays into rivals' hands

Smartphone suit against Google plays into rivals' hands

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. consumer lawsuit accusing Google of monopolizing prime real estate on Android smartphones will help mobile rivals like Microsoft make their antitrust case with European regulators should damaging secrets emerge in court. The suit, filed in California federal court in May by two smartphone consumers, said Google requires handset manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to restrict competing apps like Microsoft's Bing search on Android phones, partly by making Google's own apps the default. Google argued last week the proposed class action should be dismissed because consumers still are free to use the other apps. If a judge lets the lawsuit proceed, plaintiffs' attorneys would be allowed to delve into internal Google emails and contracts with smartphone companies, and could interview Google executives under oath, said Steve Berman, who represents the consumers.

Asian shares hit by news of Ukraine air tragedy

Asian shares hit by news of Ukraine air tragedy

Asian markets were mostly lower on Friday after a Malaysia Airlines jet came down in battle-wracked Ukraine, sparking geopolitical tensions and sending Wall Street tumbling as the US claimed the aircraft had been shot down. Airline stocks retreated, led by a slump in already under-pressure Malaysia Airlines as the company faced up to its second major disaster in four months following Thursday's tragedy that killed almost 300 people. MH17 was carrying 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it crashed in eastern Ukraine. Ukraine's government described the incident as a "terrorist act", while comments attributed to a pro-Russia rebel chief suggested his men may have downed it by mistake, believing it was a Ukrainian army transport plane.

Google's executive shuffle highlights its growing ambitions

Google's executive shuffle highlights its growing ambitions

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's reshuffle of its senior ranks underscores the Internet company’s evolving business ambitions, analysts say. Three years after co-founder Larry Page took the reins back as chief executive officer, his team of lieutenants is clearly undergoing a refresh. On Thursday, Google announced the surprise departure of its veteran business chief Nikesh Arora, who will become Vice Chairman of SoftBank Corp. Arora represents the latest in a string of personnel changes within Google’s top ranks over the past 16 months, affecting major divisions from Youtube to its popular Android mobile software. They included the departed Vic Gundotra, who oversaw the Google+ social network;

Despite making killer phones, HTC has been an ungodly mess for the past two years

Despite making killer phones, HTC has been an ungodly mess for the past two years

Is there any company that so regularly releases great products while also regularly being in the midst of turmoil as HTC? Engadget’s Brad Molen has written a comprehensive timeline of major executive departures at HTC over the past two years and they show how HTC has faced constant turnover at key positions without showing any signs of stabilizing anytime soon. The most recent departures are former chief marketing officer Benjamin Ho and president of engineering and operations Fred Liu. Ho’s departure was entirely predictable since he was the brains behind HTC’s decision to spend $1 billion on an unbelievably terrible ad campaign centered around Robert Downey, Jr. In fact, if HTC hadn’t canned Ho after he blew $1 billion of the company’s

New leak reveals what could be the world’s greatest gaming tablet

New leak reveals what could be the world’s greatest gaming tablet

NVIDIA already makes killer smartphone and tablet chips and now it looks like it’s going to soon release a killer tablet of its own as well. @evleaks has just posted a new leaked picture of a device called the NVIDIA Shield Tablet, 2014 that looks like a very slick device that will put a lot of emphasis on mobile gaming. As you can see in the picture below, the device’s display is showing off classic games such as Portal and Half-Life 2, and its store has options to buy both Android games and traditional PC games. In other words, this tablet looks like it’s going to blow away every other tablet out of the water when it comes to CPU

apple-macintosh

Matt Bai: On the torture report, a confrontation looms

Matt Bai: On the torture report, a confrontation looms

Sometime this summer, probably when as many Americans as possible are tanning on a beach and not paying attention, the White House is expected to release a version of a classified report on torture during the Bush years. Actually, what's likely to become public is only the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report.

FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets.

Arizona execution takes nearly 2 hours

Arizona execution takes nearly 2 hours

PHOENIX (AP) — A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S.

Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — A flight operated by Air Algerie and carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday, the plane's owner said.

Gaza fighting rages amid cease-fire efforts

Gaza fighting rages amid cease-fire efforts

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli tanks and warplanes bombarded the Gaza Strip on Thursday, as Hamas militants stuck to their demand for the lifting of an Israeli and Egyptian blockade amid U.S. efforts to broker a cease-fire.

Iraq: Attack on prisoner convoy kills 60 people

Iraq: Attack on prisoner convoy kills 60 people

BAGHDAD (AP) — Gunmen attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad on Thursday, setting off a gunbattle with troops in which scores of prisoners and eight soldiers were killed, brutally underscoring Iraq's instability as lawmakers convened to elect a new president.

Taiwan airline suspects bad weather caused crash

Taiwan airline suspects bad weather caused crash

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Stormy weather trailing behind a typhoon was the likely cause of a plane crash on a Taiwanese island that killed 48 people on board and injured 10 on the plane and five on the ground, the airline said Thursday.

Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work

Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work

WASHINGTON (AP) — After spending nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, the Social Security Administration still can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will.

Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of late Pleistocene fossils: The bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom of a sinkhole-type cave.

Fighting rages near MH17 crash site in Ukraine

Fighting rages near MH17 crash site in Ukraine

Fighting between Ukrainian troops and rebels raged Thursday near the crash site of Malaysian flight MH17, as experts in Britain begin analysing crucial data from the downed airliner's black boxes. A Dutch team leading the probe into the downing of MH17 was stuck in Kiev, unable to join a handful of international investigators at the site, after two warplanes were shot down Wednesday just 45 kilometres from the impact scene in insurgent-held territory. As the EU prepares to hit Russia with further sanctions over allegations it is arming the separatists accused of downing MH17, dozens more bodies are to be flown to the Netherlands, a day after the first 40 corpses arrived in the grieving nation.

Senator: PTSD influenced thesis plagiarism

Senator: PTSD influenced thesis plagiarism

Sen. John Walsh of Montana said Wednesday his failure to attribute conclusions and verbatim passages lifted from other scholars' work in his thesis to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College was an unintentional mistake caused in part by post-traumatic stress disorder.

CDC lab director behind anthrax mishap resigns

CDC lab director behind anthrax mishap resigns

By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The director of a U.S. government bioterror lab that potentially exposed scores of workers to live anthrax last month has resigned, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. Michael Farrell, head of the CDC's Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory (BRRAT) in Atlanta, had been reassigned from his position last month after the agency disclosed the safety breaches. He submitted his resignation on Tuesday, the CDC said. “I can confirm that he was the team lead for the BRRAT lab since 2009 and that he’s resigned from that position,” said CDC spokesman Thomas Skinner.

social-media

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.

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.

Facebook's Zuckerberg to testify at N.Y. forgery trial: prosecutors

Facebook's Zuckerberg to testify at N.Y. forgery trial: prosecutors

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - The government will call Mark Zuckerberg to testify against an upstate New York man accused of trying to cheat the billionaire founder of Facebook Inc out of half his stake in the social media company, a federal prosecutor said on Tuesday. Zuckerberg is expected to be a key witness against Paul Ceglia, who is charged with forging a 2003 contract with Zuckerberg that purportedly entitled him to half of Facebook. “It's a witness that the government 100 percent knows it will be calling at trial,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Frey said at a court hearing before U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter in New York federal court. The charges stem in part from a 2010 civil lawsuit Ceglia filed against Zuckerberg and Facebook in Buffalo, New York, claiming the two men signed a contract when Zuckerberg was a freshman at Harvard University that gave Ceglia half of a planned social networking website.

Putin signs law seen as crimping social media

Putin signs law seen as crimping social media

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a law requiring Internet companies to store all personal data of Russian users at data centres in Russia, a move which could chill criticism on foreign social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. These companies, which do not have offices in Russia, have become a vital resource for opposition groups and refuse to hand over user data to governments. The use of Russian data centres would make them and other Internet companies subject to Russian laws on government access to information. The Kremlin said the law was aimed at "improving the management of personal data of Russian citizens on computer networks" and that companies which do not comply with the legislation would be blocked.

Facebook lets users squirrel items away

Facebook lets users squirrel items away

Facebook on Monday began letting people squirrel away online tidbits such as links to chew on more thoroughly later. "Now you can save items that you find on Facebook to check out later when you have more time," software engineer Daniel Giambalvo said in a blog post on the leading social network. The feature is being added as Facebook users increasingly connect with the social network from mobile devices while on the go, with only snippets of time to explore Internet offerings. Letting people save items for later scrutiny encourages people to return and spend more time on Facebook, increasing opportunities for the social network to cash in on money-making tools such as advertising.

Britain's Prince Harry voices hatred of Twitter

Britain's Prince Harry voices hatred of Twitter

Britain's Prince Harry has spoken of his hatred for the micro-blogging website Twitter due to its role in the invasion of his privacy, newspapers reported Tuesday. Harry was speaking to students at an event promoting the upcoming inaugural Invictus Games, a Paralympics-style multi-sports event for wounded service personnel. The prince, fourth in line to the throne, is behind the creation of the Games, which will take place from September 10 to 14 in London, and was on hand to present certificates to the schoolchildren marking the completion of their social media training. The 29-year-old encouraged the youngsters to get involved with the Games across social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter -- but confessed that he would not be joining them online.

Facebook 'selfie' leads to shoplifting arrest in Illinois: police

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois woman made police work easy when she allegedly stole a colorful, leopard-pattern dress from a small boutique, then posted a picture of herself wearing it on Facebook, police said on Monday. Danielle Saxton, 27, of West Frankfort allegedly took a dress and other items from Morties Boutique on July 11, and was spotted walking away from the store by the owner's son, said owner Gay Williams Morton and police. The store described the stolen items on Facebook. News travels fast in the small southern Illinois town, and within about two hours, someone sent a link to Saxton's Facebook post, where she'd posted a "selfie" with the message "Love my dress," Morton said.

Dutch Twitter avatars go black demanding MH17 bodies' return

Dutch Twitter avatars go black demanding MH17 bodies' return

Dutch social media users are turning their profile photos black and tweeting the hashtag #BringThemHome as anger mounts that bodies from flight MH17 have not yet been repatriated from Ukraine. Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans was one of the first to make his Facebook cover photo black in a sign of mourning. Since then Twitter and Instagram users in the Netherlands and around the world have posted black screens or ribbons, demanding the 298 dead, 193 of them Dutch, be repatriated from war-torn Ukraine. A Dutch-language website and petition bringthemhome.nl has been set up calling for the bodies' swift repatriation and for the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, to prosecute those responsible for the disaster, believed to have been caused by a rebel missile.

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 ...

US Embassy apologies to Ghana leader for tweet

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Ghana is apologizing after a staff member sent what's being described as "an errant tweet" criticizing the president from the official Embassy Twitter account.

Kuwait court upholds 10-year jail term for Twitter user

Kuwait court upholds 10-year jail term for Twitter user

Kuwait's top court on Monday upheld a 10-year jail sentence for a Shiite Twitter user for insulting the Prophet Mohammed and his wife and companions. Hamad al-Naqi, 24, was also charged with insulting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and spreading false news that undermined Kuwait's image abroad, the verdict said. Naqi, a member of Kuwait's Shiite minority, denied the accusations, saying his Twitter account was hacked. Human Rights Watch strongly criticised the sentence and urged authorities to immediately release him after the appeals court confirmed the sentence in October last year.

Facebook to Unveil a 'Buy' Button in Your Newsfeed

Facebook to Unveil a 'Buy' Button in Your Newsfeed

Facebook is letting you take "liking" something to a whole new level with the introduction of a "Buy" button within users' posts and news feeds later this week. #TDSBreakingNews Facebook getting 'buy' button on ads. The move is being viewed as a direct challenge to Amazon.  From the Business Line: In an image of what this feature looks like, a ‘Buy’ button sits in the bottom right corner of the ads that users normally see as they scroll through their Facebook news feeds. This feature is currently in its test phase, so it is being used only for a few small and mid-size businesses in the US.

Stats don't lie: Shakira most 'liked' pop star on Facebook

Stats don't lie: Shakira most 'liked' pop star on Facebook

Colombian pop star Shakira has become the first person to reach more than 100 million fans on Facebook, becoming the most "liked" celebrity on the social network in the process. The multi-lingual singer, who recently performed at the closing ceremony of the 2014 Brazil World Cup, stands ahead of rivals Eminem and Rihanna, who have amassed 91.9 million and 89 million fans respectively. The number of fans a person has on Facebook is measured by how many people have chosen to "like" their page and follow updates from it. Shakira was particularly active on the social network during the World Cup, sharing a host of pictures from behind the scenes.

Experts: Social media can feed Munchausen by proxy

Experts: Social media can feed Munchausen by proxy

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Experts say the case of a mother accused of poisoning her 5-year-old son to death with salt appears be an example of how social media feeds into Munchausen by proxy, a disorder in which caretakers purposely harm children and then bask in the attention and sympathy.

Singapore Airlines says sorry for social media posts after MH17

After getting a drubbing on social media for making statements deemed "insensitive" after the downing of flight MH17, Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) issued a public apology on Saturday and expressed solidarity with families affected by the air tragedy. Hours after the Malaysia Airlines jetliner was shot down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing 298 people, SIA's Facebook and Twitter updates said its own flights were not using Ukraine airspace. "You better come up with a more considerate, diplomatic and a more sensitive status before you lose customers," said a post by Edwin Lim on SIA's Facebook page. "Very, very inappropriate and disappointing status." SIA, Singapore's best known brand, later also clarified that its flights had been re-routed to alternative paths that were away from Ukrainian airspace after the shooting of MH17.

CNN reassigns reporter after 'scum' tweet

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN has pulled reporter Diana Magnay out of the Middle East after she referred to a group of Israelis who had allegedly threatened her while reporting on Gaza as "scum" in a tweet.

Shakira's Facebook page hits record 100m likes

Shakira's Facebook page hits record 100m likes

Colombian pop singer Shakira rode her World Cup success to a new milestone on Facebook, announcing to her fans on Friday that her page had reached 100 million followers. While Shakira was already the most popular celebrity on the site, her follower count got a major boost with the World Cup song "La La La," helping catapult her to greater fame. The star posted a video on her Facebook page to thank fans for the achievement. Shakira generated a stream of buzz in the months leading up to the World Cup, releasing a self-titled album and then reworking the album single "La La La" into the World Cup anthem "La La La (Brazil 2014)." She then headlined the World Cup closing ceremony in Rio on July 13, performing the song with Brazilian star Carlinhos Brown.

Great Food and Health Twitter Lists to Follow

If you've ever attempted to jump into Twitter, chances are good that you got overwhelmed by the onslaught of random information and jumped right out again. While Twitter can be a great resource, it can also be a colossal waste of time. The key is using a targeted approach, and one of the more useful tools in Twitterland is Twitter lists. A list on Twitter is simply a group of accounts that have a common theme -- "vegan restaurants in Boston," for example. ...

Inspector general probing US 'Cuban Twitter' plan

Inspector general probing US 'Cuban Twitter' plan

The inspector general for the nation's international aid agency is probing a once-secret Obama administration program that created a social media network in Cuba, The Associated Press has learned. The ...

Facebook testing on-screen button for buying

Facebook testing on-screen button for buying

Facebook said Thursday it was testing a feature that lets users of the leading social network make purchases by simply pressing an on-screen "Buy" button. "People on desktop or mobile can click the 'Buy' call-to-action button on ads and page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook," the California-based Internet titan said in an online post. The intent was to gauge the potential to drive retail sales through the Facebook news feed or on pages at the online social network, the post indicated. Credit or debit card information will be safeguarded by Facebook, which will provide the option of storing personal financial information to make future purchases speedier, according to the social network.

Twitter to unveil new metrics to show wider reach: WSJ

Twitter to unveil new metrics to show wider reach: WSJ

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc, which has been struggling to revive flagging user growth, is expected to introduce new metrics to show that its microblogging service has a wider audience who may not necessarily be logged in to their accounts, the Wall Street Journal reported. The company, which went public in November, is expected to launch four new metrics when it reports second-quarter earnings on July 29, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Twitter currently measure its reach using traditional metrics such as monthly active users, monthly unique visitors and timeline views. Twitter has reported lackluster user and usage growth for the last couple of quarters and its stock price has nearly halved in the last six months.

In social media battle, IDF uploads while Hamas accounts are deleted

With dueling Twitter hashtags, Facebook feeds and YouTube channels, the Israeli Defense Forces and the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, are trading not just firepower but trying to win over hearts and minds worldwide. Twitter suspended several accounts used by Hamas on Wednesday. One page, used by the military wing of Hamas, Al Qassam Brigades (@qassamfeed), accumulated 15,000 followers. Twitter’s terms of service block use of the website to “a person barred from receiving services under the laws of the United States or other applicable jurisdiction.” Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the State Department, obstructing access to American commercial products. 

Jason Biggs Defends Malaysia Airlines Joke Tweet; Calls Critics 'Losers'

Jason Biggs Defends Malaysia Airlines Joke Tweet; Calls Critics 'Losers'

Jason Biggs is defending a polarizing Tweet about the Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed on Thursday. Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles? — Jason Biggs (@JasonBiggs) July 17, 2014 "Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?" the "Orange Is the New Black" star wrote, which caused a flurry of responses – both negative and positive – from others on Twitter. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew members in a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, when it crashed in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border, and area riddled with violence from pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces.

Facebook tests 'Buy' button

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is testing a "Buy" button in its latest effort to help businesses boost their sales through the world's biggest online social network.

Passenger Makes Eerie Facebook Post Before Boarding Downed Malaysia Airlines Plane

A passenger who appears to have been on the crashed Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine on Thursday posted a photo of his plane with an eerie message before boarding the ill-fated Boeing 777. Cor Pan posted the photo on Facebook of the Malaysia Airlines plane from the Amsterdam Airport on Thursday. Pan’s post appears to be a reference to the Malaysia Airlines flight from earlier this year that has never been found. The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 295 people on board was shot down Thursday over Ukraine, near the Russian border. See the Facebook post:

Inspector probing US 'Cuban Twitter' plan

Inspector probing US 'Cuban Twitter' plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chief investigator the U.S. international aid agency is probing a once-secret Obama administration program that created a social media network in Cuba, The Associated Press has learned.

Facebook tests new 'buy' button for online purchases in U.S.

Facebook tests new 'buy' button for online purchases in U.S.

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc is testing a new "buy" button on its website that will let consumers purchase products that are advertised on its social network. The new service, which Facebook described on Thursday as a test with a "few small and medium-sized businesses" in the United States, represents the Internet social networking company's latest effort to play a bigger role in the e-commerce business. Facebook said its new Buy button will be available on the mobile and desktop PC version of its website and will allow consumers to purchase goods directly from participating businesses. "None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases," the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

security

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.

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 Maryland, which helps government agencies and private firms identify and respond to cyber attacks.

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.

Chinese man accused of hacking into US computers

SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. authorities have charged a Chinese businessman with hacking into the computer systems of U.S. companies with large defense contracts, including Boeing, to steal data on military projects, including some of the latest fighter jets, officials said Friday.

Microsoft says cybercrime bust frees 4.7 million infected PCs

Microsoft says cybercrime bust frees 4.7 million infected PCs

By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said it has freed at least 4.7 million infected personal computers from control of cyber crooks in its most successful digital crime-busting operation, which interrupted service at an Internet-services firm last week. The world's largest software maker has also identified at least another 4.7 million infected machines, though many are likely still controlled by cyber fraudsters, Microsoft's cybercrime-fighting Digital Crimes Unit said on Thursday. Richard Domingues Boscovich, assistant general counsel of the unit, said Microsoft would quickly provide government authorities and Internet service providers around the world with the IP addresses of infected machines so they can help users remove the viruses. "Those victims are currently not aware they are infected," Boscovich said in an interview.

Beijing Security Conference Offers $10,000 Bounty for Tesla Hack

Beijing Security Conference Offers $10,000 Bounty for Tesla Hack

The Symposium on Security for Asia Network (SyScan), a security conference in Beijing, is asking attendees to try their hand at hacking into a Tesla car. The conference will be full of security experts and if one of them succeeds at cracking Tesla's code, they will walk away with $10,000. The conference takes place next Wednesday and Thursday, so participants have time to prepare their hacking tactics.  John Pescatore, director for emerging security trends at The SANS Institute, told Fox News, "They have a good security reputation mainly because nobody has pounded on them yet." 

Report: Chinese hackers hit US personnel networks

Report: Chinese hackers hit US personnel networks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chinese hackers broke into the computer networks of the Office of Personnel Management earlier this year with the intention of accessing the files of tens of thousands of federal employees who had applied for top-secret security clearances, according to The New York Times.

Symantec in talks with Chinese government after software ban report

By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. security software maker Symantec Corp said it is holding discussions with authorities in Beijing after a state-controlled Chinese newspaper reported that the Ministry of Public Security had banned use of one of its products. The China Daily reported last week that the ministry had issued an order to its branches across the nation telling them to uninstall Symantec's data loss prevention, or DLP, products from their systems and banning their future purchase, saying the software "could pose information risks." (http://bit.ly/1okVF3v)The vaguely worded report did not explain why the ministry believed Symantec's software presented a security threat. Symantec is the latest large U.S. technology company to encounter challenges in China since last year when former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden began leaking details about U.S. surveillance programs.

Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers: NYT

Chinese hackers pursue key data on U.S. workers: NYT

(Reuters) - Chinese hackers broke into the computer networks of the U.S. government agency that keeps the personal information of all federal employees in March, the New York Times reported, citing senior U.S. officials. The hackers appeared to be targeting files on tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances, the newspaper said.

US, China talk cyberhacking amid new allegations

US, China talk cyberhacking amid new allegations

Top American officials said Thursday they challenged their counterparts in China to rein in alleged cybersecurity infringements as a new allegation emerged of a brazen attempt by Chinese hackers to break ...

China, U.S. to boost security ties, but no breakthroughs

China, U.S. to boost security ties, but no breakthroughs

By Lesley Wroughton and Michael Martina BEIJING (Reuters) - China and the United States agreed on Thursday to boost military ties and counter-terrorism cooperation during high-level annual talks in Beijing, but there was little immediate sign of progress on thorny cyber-security or maritime issues. The two-day talks, led by Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew for the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang and top diplomat Yang Jiechi for China, were never expected to achieve great breakthroughs. After discussions on topics ranging from the value of China's currency to North Korea, Yang said the two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in counter-terrorism, law enforcement and military-to-military relations. On two of the most sensitive issues - maritime disputes and cyber-spying - Yang largely restated Beijing's position on both.

Philippines nabs Taiwanese, Chinese linked to scam

Philippine police arrested 44 foreigners who allegedly ran an online blackmail syndicate that defrauded victims in China and Taiwan by duping them into believing that their bank accounts have been used ...

Philippines arrests Taiwanese in alleged bank scam

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine police arrested 44 Taiwanese who allegedly ran an online blackmail syndicate that defrauded victims in China and Taiwan by duping them into believing that their bank accounts have been used by money launderers or terrorists, police said Thursday.

open-source

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.

Bloodthirsty Jihadists on the Verge of Taking Iraq

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a brutal jihadist group on par with the most ruthless branches of al-Qaeda. The quick advance of ISIS through Iraq to the outskirts of Baghdad has left Western intelligence agencies playing catch-up on the group’s motivations.

Goat Simulator hops onto Mac, Linux, and store shelves

Goat Simulator hops onto Mac, Linux, and store shelves

Goat Simulator, the hit PC game that lets you play the part of a rampaging barnyard animal capable of donning jetpacks and riding skateboards (in addition to more conventional goat attributes), has been available for download on Steam since April.

How to run Android L without a compatible Nexus device

How to run Android L without a compatible Nexus device

Google’s Android L Developer Preview can only be installed on two devices, including the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013), so Android fans who don’t have access to either model won’t be able to try out Android L on their existing devices just yet. However, there’s one other way to take Android L for a test drive, GigaOm reports, and that’s using it on an emulator. While it may not be as cool as using Android L on an actual smartphone as tablet, as this method involves a computer, it’s still better than nothing. In addition to the Android L ROMs, Android users will have to download and install Android SDK on a Windows PC, Mac or Linux. The SDK contains

Expect Nexus devices this year, as Google won’t ditch them in favor of Android Silver

Expect Nexus devices this year, as Google won’t ditch them in favor of Android Silver

Some reports have revealed that Google plans to ditch the Nexus family of devices next year and replace it with an Android Silver line that would consist of high-end devices running a stock Android version, much like Google Play Edition devices. Moreover, a report claimed a Nexus 6 would not be launched this year, somewhat further backed up by LG, which recently denied plans to build such a device for Google this year. However, Google head of Android engineering and the Nexus program at Google told ReadWrite that the Nexus line isn’t going anywhere, which seems to indicate that a Nexus 6 smartphone is still in the cards, just as a recent rumor suggested. “People just get excited by concepts

HP Helion Keynote at Cloud Foundry Summit

HP Helion Keynote at Cloud Foundry Summit

HP's commitement to open source and cloud continues to grow as we recently were one of three keynotes at the Cloud Foundry Summit. The HP Helion team is commited to delivering an enterprise PaaS for the OpenStack community and is fully engaged wtih the Cloud Foundry project.

gaming

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.

'Frozen' PlayStation 4 console announced for Japan

'Frozen' PlayStation 4 console announced for Japan

Adorned with golden snowflake designs, the Disney Pixar film's logo, and the lead characters Elsa and Anna, a special edition PlayStation 4 console is an official tie-in for the games and entertainment machine.

Ditching the Kinect requirement is boosting Xbox One sales

Ditching the Kinect requirement is boosting Xbox One sales

Although Microsoft still has plenty of catching up to do in the coming months, the Xbox One is finally seeing a jolt in sales after the removal of Kinect and subsequent $100 price drop. At a talk attended by TrustedReviews, Xbox UK Marketing Director Harvey Eagle claimed the company is pleased by the improvement. “Our momentum has really improved in the past weeks and months and we’re obviously really happy about that,” said Eagle. “And by momentum I mean sales.” Not only was removing Kinect good for consumers, it also frees up some of the Xbox One’s power, allowing developers to get more out of their games on the new console. With a 10% GPU boost, the resolution-gate which has dominated

All the reasons why the PS4 is consistently crushing the Xbox One

All the reasons why the PS4 is consistently crushing the Xbox One

When the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One launched last November, everyone expected it to be a close race. If anything, Microsoft had a slight advantage coming off of an enormously successful near-decade with the Xbox 360, but eight months later, Sony is so far out in front that the lead seems insurmountable. So how did the PS4 become an international smash hit, doubling the sales of the Xbox One month after month? Abigail Elise at the International Business Times has explored the issue in depth, quoting industry analysts and executives to help put the console war into context and explain Sony’s unexpected success. “Hats off to Sony, they’ve had a great start; they have been in more countries and – to date,

How the PS4 took a lead over the Xbox One before it even existed

How the PS4 took a lead over the Xbox One before it even existed

One of the keys to the early success of the PlayStation 4 was its release date. When Sony took the stage in February last year to reveal the PS4, everyone was a bit taken aback, Sony included. Speaking at the Develop Conference in Brighton, SCEI President Andrew House admitted that although Sony wasn’t prepared to show off the new console at the time, the company knew that it wanted to be the first on the scene. “I think we were probably earlier in the announce than we have been previously, and that was very deliberate,” said House. “I wanted to be out there first with the first announcement for this generation so you’ve got an opportunity to stake the ground and hopefully take something of a

Microsoft’s new CEO explains why dumping the Xbox would be incredibly stupid

Microsoft’s new CEO explains why dumping the Xbox would be incredibly stupid

It’s sort of sad that Microsoft has to defend keeping around its most popular consumer product to Wall Street analysts, but apparently it does. Late last year, Normura analyst Rick Sherlund and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen called on Microsoft to dump the Xbox because it was a persistent money loser for the firm. However, in his new manifesto sent out to Microsoft employees, CEO Satya Nadella spends a good chunk of time defending the Xbox’s place in Microsoft’s product line and explains why keeping it around is hugely important to the company’s future in consumer electronics. “The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming,” Nadella writes. “We are fortunate to have Xbox in our

Zynga names Google executive to board of directors

By Malathi Nayak SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Zynga Inc has appointed Regina Dugan, a vice president of engineering at Google, to its board, the online gaming company said on Wednesday. Dugan, 51, also leads the advanced technology and projects group at Google that works on new inventions like a tablet that uses 3D motion and depth sensing capabilities. In a blog post, Zynga Chief Executive Officer Don Mattrick said that Dugan's expertise would help Zynga offer "next generation entertainment experiences that span categories, platforms and devices." Zynga, known for its "FarmVille" game, has set in motion a business revival plan by overhauling top management, trimming staff and introducing titles that can be played on smartphones and tablets. Dugan becomes the second female director on Zynga's board alongside former Yahoo executive Ellen Siminoff.

'Beyond: Two Souls' - remastered for PlayStation 4?

'Beyond: Two Souls' - remastered for PlayStation 4?

Just as "The Last of Us" is to receive a remastered edition for PlayStation 4, it would seem that another PlayStation 3 exclusive, "Beyond: Two Souls," will be given the same treatment. "Indigo Prophecy"), prizing cinematic storytelling and emotional impact as players steer Jodie Holmes through an arduous journey of discovery and adventure. April saw the retrieval of a reference to the PlayStation 4 edition from a programmer's résumé; The remastered edition of "The Last of Us" had been subject to similar speculation before its official announcement, first mentioned in passing by a Turkish Sony executive in March, and then via a premature promotional image that went up on the PlayStation Store in April.

Beta version of "Destiny" video game launches in July

Beta version of

A beta version of hotly-anticipated "Destiny" video game will launch on Internet-linked PlayStation and Xbox consoles this month. PlayStation console owners will be able to explore "Destiny" beginning on July 17, and the beta version will spread to Xbox consoles on July 23, according to publisher Activision and game maker Bungie Studios. Playing the game will require redemption codes obtained by pre-ordering, along with subscriptions to online gaming networks for PlayStation or Xbox consoles. "Destiny" will be officially released on September 9 for play on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles as well as their predecessors, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Video Games Go Wild for Reboots

Hits like ‘Super Mario Bros.’ and ‘Zelda’ aren't just revived because it’s what gamers want. Reboots, remakes, and reimaginings are often about system compatibility—and money.

Lindsay Lohan sues over likeness in video game

Lindsay Lohan sues over likeness in video game

Actress Lindsay Lohan is suing the creators of "Grand Theft Auto V" over a character she contends is an unsanctioned virtual version of herself. Lohan filed suit in New York on Wednesday, her 28th birthday, accusing publisher Take-Two Interactive and studio Rockstar Games of weaving her persona into GTA V without her permission. Take-Two is based in Lohan's birthplace, New York City. Lohan's lawsuit argues that her privacy was violated by imbuing her likeness into a character and creating a "Lindsay Lohan look-alike side mission" to promote the videogame.

Here’s how Android TV could compete with PS4, Xbox One

Here’s how Android TV could compete with PS4, Xbox One

Android gaming consoles haven’t had any success to speak of thus far, from the swift decline of the Ouya to the overlooked debuts of M.O.J.O. and GameStick, but Android TV might be the first platform capable of bringing Google Play Games to the television. So how could Android TV succeed where Ouya, the crowd-funded phenomenon with its own exclusive games, failed? Jared Newman wrote a piece for Time exploring the potential of Android TV as a game console and the advantages it has over previous incarnations of Android in the living room. Ouya just didn’t have as wide of an entertainment app selection outside of gaming as it needed to survive among the Apple TVs and the PlayStation 4s of the world. Consumers might have been intrigued by

You can shape the Xbox One’s future – here’s how

You can shape the Xbox One’s future – here’s how

Microsoft is continuing to streamline the Xbox One Preview program with a new Dashboard app which allows members of the program to send feedback and see the changelog without leaving their couches. Uncovered by the sleuths at NeoGAF, the Xbox Preview Dashboard will feature quick polls (“a single question from the Xbox team”), surveys and announcements, as well as the ability to rate the current update, register for or opt out of the Preview program or report a problem for the team to investigate. One of the features Microsoft plans to implement in the future will give users the power to request new features for the Xbox One, but the post from the Xbox forums shared on NeoGAF doesn’t mention any specifics.

Lindsay Lohan sues makers of 'Grand Theft Auto V' video game

Lindsay Lohan sues makers of 'Grand Theft Auto V' video game

By Curtis Skinner NEW YORK (Reuters) - Actress Lindsay Lohan is suing the makers of the popular "Grand Theft Auto V" video game, saying it used her likeness without permission, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday. Lohan accused New York-based Take-Two Interactive Software Inc and its label Rockstar Games of creating a look-alike character named Lacey Jonas to boost sales, according to the complaint in state Supreme Court in New York. For months ahead of the game's release, the complaint said, the companies promoted the Lacey Jonas character and a side plot in which players must rescue her from swarms of paparazzi. Lohan was once one of Hollywood's most sought-after young actresses with starring roles in movies such as 1998's "The Parent Trap" and 2004's "Mean Girls," but of late has become better known for her legal woes that include theft and reckless driving.

Here are all the free Xbox 360 and Xbox One games Live Gold users get in July

Here are all the free Xbox 360 and Xbox One games Live Gold users get in July

Microsoft finally caught up with Sony this month as the Games with Gold program expanded to the Xbox One, bringing two free downloadable games to Xbox Live Gold subscribers who have moved on to the new generation. As the month comes to a close, Microsoft is preparing a new batch of games for Xbox One and Xbox 360, but Xbox One owners are getting the short end of the stick this time around. If you subscribe to Xbox Live Gold, Major Nelson says you will be able to download Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood on Xbox One next month. Unfortunately, Max has been available through Games with Gold all month, which means Xbox One owners will