tech

BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

(Reuters) - Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd is cutting jobs across the world, the company said on Friday, as it consolidates its software, hardware and applications business. BlackBerry, which reported a 16.8 percent fall in quarterly revenue in March, had about 6,225 full-time employees as of Feb. 2015, according to its website. The company is reallocating resources to capitalize on growth opportunities and achieve profitability across all its business segments, a company spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.

Microsoft, Salesforce talks fell through on pricing: CNBC

Microsoft, Salesforce talks fell through on pricing: CNBC

Microsoft Corp and Salesforce.com Inc held "significant talks" this spring but failed to agree on a price, CNBC reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Microsoft was willing to offer about $55 billion for the world's biggest maker of online sales software. Salesforce founder and Chief Executive Marc Benioff had expected as much as $70 billion, CNBC reported on Friday.

Founder of Facebook's Oculus hit with lawsuit

Founder of Facebook's Oculus hit with lawsuit

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The founder of virtual reality glasses maker Oculus VR Inc, acquired by Facebook Inc for $2 billion, has been accused of taking confidential information he learned while working with another company and passing it off as his own, according to a lawsuit filed this week. The plaintiff, Hawaii-based company Total Recall Technologies, said it hired Oculus founder Palmer Luckey in 2011 to build a prototype head mounted display. Facebook's $2 billion acquisition of Oculus last year was its first-ever hardware deal, as the company sought a way into the fast-growing wearable devices arena.

Intelligence Agency: opening up to a changing world

By Andrea Shalal SPRINGFIELD, Va. (Reuters) - Much about the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency remains classified, but the U.S. spy agency that maps and analyzes the earth is opening up more than ever, from sharing computer source code on a public website to tapping new sources of intelligence. The NGA's director, Robert Cardillo, is leading what he calls a "seismic shift" in the agency's culture to help it better exploit social media, commercially available imagery and other data to continue providing high-level intelligence to the U.S. government. The NGA this week opened its doors to GitHub, the world's largest site for sharing source code, to advance another goal - to encourage its employees to share analytical tools and other computer programs and get feedback from other developers.

Contest for Nokia's HERE seen as a three-way race

Contest for Nokia's HERE seen as a three-way race

By Andreas Cremer and Arno Schuetze NECKARSULM, Germany (Reuters) - The contest for Nokia's maps business has become a three-way race between German carmakers, a consortium including Uber and Baidu, and a third group including China's Tencent and Navinfo, people familiar with the process said. Finland's Nokia has started an auction of its maps business HERE while it completes its 15.6 billion euros ($17.2 billion) takeover of network equipment maker Alcatel Lucent . German automakers Daimler , BMW and Volkswagen's premium brand Audi have teamed up with private equity firm General Atlantic to form what is being described as the "Industry consortium", two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

Adult online dating site reports data security breach of member information

(Reuters) - An online dating site for adults seeking sexual trysts has been hacked, potentially compromising the personal information of some of its 64 million members, the company said on Friday. AdultFriendFinder.com, part of Sunnyvale, California-based FriendFinder Networks Inc, said it had contacted law enforcement, including the FBI, and a private investigative team to review the incident. "FriendFinder Networks Inc. recently became aware of a potential data security incident," the company said in a statement on Friday.

Star Trek fan gives William Riker the hilarious, strange TV show he deserves

Star Trek fan gives William Riker the hilarious, strange TV show he deserves

The world was never graced with a Star Trek spinoff series devoted to commander William Riker's escapades, but one YouTuber is giving us a tantalizing taste of what could have been. The (brief) pilot episode of Riker is cobbled together from The Next Generation, and it embraces the absurdity of the seminal sci-fi show to hilarious effect. Then again, Riker was never one to shy away from alien species.

Obama administration wants to make the skies safer for birds

Obama administration wants to make the skies safer for birds

The Obama administration proposed new laws this week that would protect birds from threats like oil wells, gas flares, and power lines. The laws would provide a comprehensive framework for preventing migratory bird killings resulting from human intervention. The most established bird protection law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), is nearly 100 years old, and most of it doesn't account for recently developed threats.

Glow in the dark toilet seat is finally a reality: Meet ‘Potty Glow’

After years of having his idea for a glow in the dark toilet seat scoffed at, Dave Reynolds of Lebanon, Tennessee is the one having the last laugh. Reynolds’ product, appropriately called Potty Glow, is now available for purchase at Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s for just $50. “I kept telling this story over and over to people and they laughed,” Reynolds said during a recent TV interview, “and I said, ‘One day you’re not going to laugh at me. One day you’re going to go to the bathroom and think of me.’” Mission accomplished. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why As far as ideas go, a glow in the dark

Good deal: $200 off Retina 5K iMac

Good deal: $200 off Retina 5K iMac

Earlier this week, Apple cut the price of its beautiful Retina 5K iMac by $200, but Best Buy is where you'll want to go if you're looking for the best deal on the new all-in-one. The big box store is taking another $200 off the model this weekend, bringing it down to $2,099.99. The model comes with a 3.5GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB Fusion drive, and discrete AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics. Of course, the most notable feature is that stunning 27-inch, 5120 x 2880 screen. There's even more good news: if you have a . ...

California regulators approve farmers' plan to reduce water usage by 25 percent

California regulators approve farmers' plan to reduce water usage by 25 percent

Water regulators in California this week approved a deal set forth by farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta who voluntarily agreed to cut their water usage this upcoming season. Farmers with established water rights like this have not faced state-mandated restrictions since the 1970s. Because the agreement was made with just a small number of farmers, it's unlikely to affect the state's water supply in a significant way, the Times reports.

The Weekender: Eurovision, IndyCar, and cybersecurity extortion

The Weekender: Eurovision, IndyCar, and cybersecurity extortion

This week, we learned what it was like to be a child research subject, we rode in an IndyCar, and we went to the talent competition Eurovision. Brooklyn-based DJ collective the Deep host a raucous Memorial Day party at an undisclosed location this Monday. Scientific studies on humans have strict ethical guidelines nowadays, but that wasn't always the case.

After break, Senate to reconsider Patriot Act extension

After break, Senate to reconsider Patriot Act extension

WASHINGTON (AP) — Unable to end a struggle over how to deal with government surveillance programs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a last-minute session to consider retaining the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records.

Best and craziest sports plays from the last week

With the NBA and NHL playoffs in full swing, not to mention some exciting action from Major League Baseball  and various soccer leagues, this past week was chock full of great and crazy exciting sports plays. Below are a few of the better ones you might have missed over the last 7 days. DON’T MISS: 3 new iOS 9 features were just revealed in a huge new leak We don’t usually start with hockey, but this one is too good to pass up. Nothing as cliche as a hockey player scoring a goal by headbutting it in soccer style. Alas, the goal was ultimately disallowed. The ‘goal’ was shot by Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw during Game 2 of the NHL Western

How Disney Imagineering revealed the secrets of Tomorrowland two years ago

How Disney Imagineering revealed the secrets of Tomorrowland two years ago

Tomorrowland is now in theaters, and since the project was mysteriously announced four years ago it’s appeared to be many things: an ‘80s-style children’s adventure, a mysterious sci-fi tale of interlocking mysteries, and — as I mentioned in our review — a story about the hope and optimism that technology and exploration can unleash in everyone. The promotional ramp-up to the movie has also revealed that there’s a complicated backstory in play, with a tie-in book and mysterious promotional videos hinting at secret societies and grand utopian visionaries. It began with the blog of a young girl named Amelia whose grandfather had worked with Walt Disney, and as players visited real-world locations and examined artifacts that “Amelia” mailed out, they learned about a mysterious group known as Plus Ultra and its connection to the 1964 World’s Fair (a location that’s popped up in Tomorrowland’s trailers).

Supercharging your gaming PC

Supercharging your gaming PC

The question is not "How fast do you want your PC to go?" No, the real question you have to ask yourself when it comes to upgrading a gaming PC is "How fast do you want to spend your money?"

Senate blocks House surveillance bill, 2-month extension

Senate blocks House surveillance bill, 2-month extension

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate struggled unsuccessfully to prevent an interruption in critical government surveillance programs early Saturday, blocking a House-passed bill and several short-term extensions of the USA Patriot Act.

Senate votes down USA Freedom Act, putting bulk surveillance powers in jeopardy

Senate votes down USA Freedom Act, putting bulk surveillance powers in jeopardy

In a midnight session, the Senate has voted down the USA Freedom Act, putting one of the legal bedrocks of the NSA's bulk surveillance programs into jeopardy. The Patriot Act is set to expire at the end of the month, and the USA Freedom Act would have extended large portions of the act in modified form. Tonight's failure to arrive at a vote makes it likely that many of those powers will automatically expire, although Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) scheduled a last-minute session on May 31st for one last shot at passing the bill.

Why Mark Zuckerberg wants kids to play video games

Video games have gotten a bad rap for years now. They create killers, many critics like to claim. They glorify criminal behavior, some politicians often shout. But often left out of the video game discussion is how video games can actually be helpful to a child’s intellectual development. While it may sound a bit outlandish at first, video games can often help kids hone their problem solving skills, sometimes without them even realizing it. What’s more, kids who really love video games often start trying their hand at making their own, a sentiment recently articulated by none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who credits his childhood love of video games with turning him into a programmer. DON’T MISS: 3 new iOS 9

Indie artist delivers an impassioned and smart defense of Spotify

Just because Jay-Z’s Tidal service has been a bomb so far, that doesn’t mean artists aren’t right to be upset about the paltry sums of money they’re receiving from Spotify. However, Fort Frances lead singer David McMillin argues over at PopMatters that musicians shouldn’t be upset at Spotify at itself but at their own record labels for taking such huge chunks of cash from Spotify royalties. RELATED: Sorry, Tidal: Kanye West’s new album may be an Apple Music exclusive Instead of going through a major label to distribute work on Spotify, McMillin’s band pays a distributor called TuneCore $50 per album per year to distribute the band’s records on Spotify and nearly two dozen other streaming sites and online music stores. The

How an 8-minute surgery could completely fix your poor eyesight

One of the things technology will most likely fix at some point down the road is poor eyesight. And it might happen sooner than we think, if Ocumetics Technology is successful with its Bionic Lens trials. DON’T MISS: This $11 quick charger from Amazon will charge your phone 75% faster (deal is back!) The company has developed something called the Ocumetics Bionic Lens, CBC News reports, a device that can be implanted into the eye and replace your natural lens to give you perfect vision. The tiny Bionic Lens, which looks like a tiny button, would be inserted into the eye during an eight-minute surgery where the patient’s sight would be corrected instantly. The device would be folded like a taco in

internet

Adult online dating site reports data security breach of member information

(Reuters) - An online dating site for adults seeking sexual trysts has been hacked, potentially compromising the personal information of some of its 64 million members, the company said on Friday. AdultFriendFinder.com, part of Sunnyvale, California-based FriendFinder Networks Inc, said it had contacted law enforcement, including the FBI, and a private investigative team to review the incident. "FriendFinder Networks Inc. recently became aware of a potential data security incident," the company said in a statement on Friday.

New Alberta government ousts lawmaker after offensive photo post

New Alberta government ousts lawmaker after offensive photo post

Alberta's newly elected government suspended one of its rookie legislators on Friday after offensive pictures she posted on social media before being elected emerged. Sociology student Deborah Drever, 26, was elected for the New Democratic Party in the May 5 election that ended 44 years of Progressive Conservative rule in the province. Drever had already gained notoriety after posting photos on her Facebook account showing her posing beside a marijuana-themed shirt and another showing a manicured hand giving the middle finger to the Canadian flag.

Founder of Facebook's Oculus hit with lawsuit

Founder of Facebook's Oculus hit with lawsuit

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The founder of virtual reality glasses maker Oculus VR Inc, acquired by Facebook Inc for $2 billion, has been accused of taking confidential information he learned while working with another company and passing it off as his own, according to a lawsuit filed this week. The plaintiff, Hawaii-based company Total Recall Technologies, said it hired Oculus founder Palmer Luckey in 2011 to build a prototype head mounted display. Facebook's $2 billion acquisition of Oculus last year was its first-ever hardware deal, as the company sought a way into the fast-growing wearable devices arena.

U.S. moves to facilitate social media in Crimea

The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday authorized American businesses and individuals to facilitate personal communications over the Internet like social media, instant messaging and photo sharing in Crimea, annexed by Russia from Ukraine last year. The department's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced it had issued a general license allowing for the exportation of such services and software to people in Crimea. A department spokesperson, who asked not to be named, said, "The general license allows personal Internet-based communications – such as social networking, instant messaging, and emails – and certain software necessary to enable it, between the United States and U.S. persons and Crimea." Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and numerous other online platforms were covered by the action.

Hootsuite says could go public sooner after Shopify IPO success

By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp VANCOUVER/TORONTO (Reuters) - The successful initial public offering of Shopify could prompt Hootsuite, another promising Canadian tech startup, to tap public markets sooner rather than later, its chief executive said on Thursday. Ottawa-based Shopify's shares rose as much as 69 percent in the e-commerce software maker's U.S. debut on Thursday, giving it a $2 billion-plus valuation. The CEO of Vancouver-based Hootsuite, which sells software to manage social media to companies and organizations, said the investor enthusiasm for Shopify's launch bolsters their own plans.

Russia warns Google, Twitter and Facebook on law violations

Russia warns Google, Twitter and Facebook on law violations

By Maria Tsvetkova and Eric Auchard MOSCOW/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Russia's media watchdog has written to Google, Twitter and Facebook warning them against violating Russian Internet laws and a spokesman said on Thursday they risk being blocked if they do not comply with the rules. Roskomnadzor said it had sent letters this week to the three U.S.-based Internet firms asking them to comply with Internet laws which critics of President Vladimir Putin have decried as censorship.      "In our letters we regularly remind (companies) of the consequences of violating the legislation," said Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky.     He added that, because of the encryption technology used by the three firms, Russia had no way of blocking specific websites and so could only bring down particular content it deemed in violation of law by blocking access to their whole services.

Exclusive: Genealogy website Ancestry.com explores sale: sources

Exclusive: Genealogy website Ancestry.com explores sale: sources

Ancestry.com LLC, the world's largest family history website helping users trace their heritage, is exploring a sale that could value it at between $2.5 billion and $3 billion, including debt, according to people familiar with the matter. Permira Advisers LLC, the buyout firm that owns most of privately held Ancestry, has hired investment banks to run an auction for the company, the people said this week. Permira declined to comment, while an Ancestry spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

U.S. Navy secretary says paying attention to cyber threats

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is working hard to improve the cyber security of its computer networks and weapon and communications systems, while bracing for potential attacks on power grids and fuel supplies, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Wednesday. Mabus said cyber warfare was a clear threat given Russia's use of cyber attacks before its physical invasions of Crimea and Georgia. It's in every system because we are so networked." Mabus confirmed recent media reports that the Navy was looking at replacing IBM servers used for its Aegis combat system after International Business Machines Corp's $2.1 billion sale of its server division to China's Lenovo Group Ltd last year.

NetApp results miss estimates; shares fall

(Reuters) - Data storage equipment maker NetApp Inc reported fourth-quarter results below analysts' estimates, hurt by lower sales to original equipment manufacturers, sending its shares down more than 10 percent in extended trading. The company, which cut about 500 jobs, also forecast first-quarter profit below market estimates. NetApp has been trying to boost growth by focusing on cloud-based products as businesses cut spending on high-end storage systems.

CareFirst says cyberattack stole data of 1.1 million users in U.S

(Reuters) - CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which sells health insurance in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, said on Wednesday that a cyberattack compromised the data of 1.1 million current and former members. In May, Premera Blue Cross said that 11 million customers' information may have been exposed in a hack. CareFirst said that the attackers accessed one database and could have potentially acquired member user names created by individuals to use CareFirst's website, names, birth dates, email addresses and member identification numbers.

Spotify to start offering videos

Spotify to start offering videos

Streaming music service Spotify will soon provide video content from musicians, news organizations and TV networks in a bid to sign up more subscribers, the company said on Wednesday. A new recommendation function, similar to what rival Pandora Media Inc offers, will let people pick channels based on lifestyle activities, like "songs to sing to in the shower," or "100 plus hits form the 1980s," the Stockholm-based company said. In a splashy event in New York, Spotify founder and Chief Executive Daniel Ek highlighted the discovery nature of the revamped platform that he said will deliver more relevant music and content to Spotify users.

Internet the key front in China's battle with Western hostile forces: military paper

The Internet is the most important front in China's ideological battle against "Western anti-China forces", the country's military newspaper said on Wednesday, adding that online controls were essential to the government's survival. Calls to reject Western thought and values have grown stronger under President Xi Jinping, who has urged more "ideological guidance" at universities and the study of Marxism. Like many officials before him, Xi is steeped in the long-held belief of the ruling Communist Party that loosening control could bring chaos and the break-up of China.

Telstra says newly acquired Pacnet hacked, customer data exposed

Telstra says newly acquired Pacnet hacked, customer data exposed

Australian telecommunications firm Telstra Corp Ltd said on Wednesday computer systems at its recently acquired undersea cable company Pacnet Ltd had been hacked, potentially exposing sensitive customer information to theft. Telstra said the corporate information technology network of Pacnet, email and other business management systems of the company, had been accessed by an unauthorized third party several weeks before its $550 million takeover of the firm was completed on April 16. Telstra said it didn't know who was behind the hack.

Governor of Japan's Okinawa to press U.S. for removal of base

Governor of Japan's Okinawa to press U.S. for removal of base

By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) - The governor of the Japanese island of Okinawa said on Wednesday he will travel to the United States next week to press his demand that a U.S. military base be removed from his island to lighten the burden of a people weary of hosting U.S. troops. Takeshi Onaga, who won election last year as Okinawa governor largely on his stand against U.S. bases, has accused Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of looking down on the island and its people. "Unless we make the alliance something with dignity and pride, with both Japan and America deserving of respect, I don't believe that the economy in Asia will grow more stable," Onaga said.

China to spend $182 billion to boost Internet by end of 2017

China to spend $182 billion to boost Internet by end of 2017

China will spend more than $182 billion to boost Internet speeds by the end of 2017, a top government body said, as Beijing moves towards a more service-driven economy to boost growth. The State Council said the government will invest more than 430 billion yuan ($69.3 billion) this year on network construction, with at least another 700 billion yuan ($112.8 billion) spent over the following two years. China ranked 82nd in the world for average Internet connection speed, slower than Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, according to cloud computing services provider Akamai's State of the Internet report for the fourth quarter of 2014.

Airbnb faces setback as San Francisco may limit length of stays

Airbnb faces setback as San Francisco may limit length of stays

San Francisco may become the second California city in a month to limit length of stays arranged by accommodation services like Airbnb, which matches people wishing to rent out all or part of their homes to temporary guests. A city committee late on Monday advanced a proposal that would limit hosts to renting accommodation to no more than 60 days a year, down from 90 currently. Airbnb has grown quickly and is valued at far more than $10 billion, with analysts assuming it can overcome any major regulatory backlash.

Alibaba's Ma says Kering lawsuit 'regrettable'

Alibaba's Ma says Kering lawsuit 'regrettable'

By Christine Kim SEOUL (Reuters) - The founder of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd on Tuesday called "regrettable" a lawsuit by a group of luxury goods firms owned by Kering SA accusing the Chinese e-commerce giant of being a conduit for counterfeiters. Executive Chairman Jack Ma was speaking after Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other brands owned by Kering sued Alibaba in the United States on Friday, accusing it of knowingly making it possible for counterfeiters to sell their products throughout the world. Ma also said Alibaba was interested in investing in U.S. tech companies, confirming media reports that the e-commerce firm is in talks with Apple Inc over an electronic payments system.

Convicted murderer in 'Serial' podcast allowed to call new witness

(Reuters) - A Baltimore man serving life for murder, whose conviction was called into question by last year's "Serial" podcast, will get a chance to call a new witness who says she can give him an alibi. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted Adnan Syed an opportunity to call a woman who said in an affidavit she saw him at a library around the time of the murder of his ex-girlfriend and high school classmate, Hae Min Lee, on Jan. 13, 1999. Syed appealed his 2000 murder conviction arguing that his legal counsel was ineffective for not interviewing the witness, Asia McClain, and for not seeking a plea deal.

Obama tweets, and a million follow: 'It's Barack. Really!'

Obama tweets, and a million follow: 'It's Barack. Really!'

By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama sent his first tweet from his very own account on Twitter on Monday, quickly amassing a million followers in five hours, the latest of many White House efforts to amplify his message with social media. Really! Six years in, they're finally giving me my own account," Obama tweeted from his verified @POTUS account. A Twitter spokesman could not immediately confirm whether Obama had set a record. According to Guinness World Records, the fastest pace to a million followers was set by actor Robert Downey Jr. in 23 hours and 22 minutes in April 2014.

Property management software maker AppFolio files for IPO

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Pacific Crest Securities and William Blair are underwriters to the IPO. The California-based company, whose investors include BV Capital and IGSB, provides software to small and medium-sized property managers and also offers legal software for small law firms under the brand "MyCase".

AT&T working on exclusive content for connected cars

AT&T working on exclusive content for connected cars

By Malathi Nayak NEW YORK (Reuters) - AT&T Inc is gearing up to bring connected car users exclusive content such as videos and games that can be streamed onto personal mobile devices later this year, AT&T's senior vice president of emerging devices Chris Penrose said. AT&T has signed up eight automaker partners, including General Motors Co, Audi AG and Ford Motor Co, to hook up cars with Internet access. The goal is to offer free or paid content exclusively for connected car users and sell more data, Penrose said in a recent interview. AT&T is talking to its auto industry partners and content companies to bring new content like "special" shows or gaming levels on phones and tablets in connected cars, Penrose said.

Flightradar24 finds not just planespotters flocking to its website

Flightradar24 finds not just planespotters flocking to its website

By Victoria Bryan and Peter Maushagen BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Within 40 minutes of Germanwings flight 4U9525 crashing in the Alps in March French accident investigators from the BEA authority were on the phone to plane tracking website Flightradar24. "BEA called us and we of course passed the information over to them right away," the website operator's chief executive Fredrik Lindahl said.

Fitness studios keep clients on track with photos, social media

Fitness studios keep clients on track with photos, social media

Boutique fitness studios are keeping track of clients' progress with methods ranging from videotaping their workouts to measuring their fat, to posting a friendly nudge on their Facebook pages. Gregory Chertok, a sports psychology consultant with the American College of Sports Medicine, said research has shown that even small amounts of social support can produce large and lasting gains in physical activity. In a 2007 study by Stanford University in California, researchers showed that even a simple, computer-generated phone call could be effective in motivating the sedentary to exercise. “These exercisers are being held accountable by their fitness studios to a degree,” he said.

Thailand worried by blast of anti-migrant vitriol on social media

By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand expressed concern on Monday at a wave of anti-migrant vitriol on social media, which the government said underlined why it cannot accept any more of the asylum seekers who have been arriving by boat on its shores. The United Nations has urged Southeast Asian governments to mount a coordinated rescue operation for thousands of desperate Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar adrift in rickety boats in the Andaman Sea. Following an appeal from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Thailand's junta said it would set up temporary shelters for those that did make it ashore, prompting an outpouring of bile on social media from those who do not want migrants to stay.

Malaysia's Najib hits back at critics in blog post

Malaysia's Najib hits back at critics in blog post

Malaysia's embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak broke his silence on Sunday after weeks of calls from long-time leader Mahathir Mohamad for his resignation over corruption and mismanagement allegations. The prime minister has been weakened by the attacks of his predecessor, but still retains support within the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. In his first detailed response to these attacks, Najib said that he had nothing to do with the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, and had even sworn an oath to that effect on the Koran in a mosque. Mahathir, Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister, withdrew his support for Najib last year after the long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition fell short of a popular majority in the 2013 elections but retained power.

No sign hackers got info in attack on German parliament system: spokeswoman

No sign hackers got info in attack on German parliament system: spokeswoman

The German Bundestag lower house of parliament is trying to repair its computer system after a hacking attack but there are no indications yet that hackers accessed information, a parliamentary spokeswoman said on Saturday. The Bundestag is analyzing what happened and experts from the Bundestag administration and the BSI (the German Federal Office for Information Security) are working to repair the system, the spokeswoman said. On Friday a German media report said that unknown hackers had been attempting to access the Bundestag's internal data network for several days.

California man sues Uber claiming it stole ride-sharing idea

California man sues Uber claiming it stole ride-sharing idea

A California man has sued Uber Technologies Inc and its Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick, claiming they stole his idea for a cellphone-based car hailing service. Kevin Halpern sued Uber, Kalanick and several early investors in the company in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday, accusing them of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract. Uber, the San Francisco-based ride sharing company that was valued at $40 billion in its last funding round, called the claims "completely baseless" and vowed to fight them. Halpern founded a company called Celluride Wireless in 2003, six years before Uber was created.

Cyberattack on Penn State college said to have come from China

Pennsylvania State University said on Friday that two cyberattacks at its College of Engineering, including one in 2012 that originated in China, compromised servers containing information on about 18,000 people. Penn State, a major developer of technology for the U.S. Navy, said there was no evidence that research or personal data such as social security or credit card numbers had been stolen. Cybersecurity firm Mandiant has confirmed that at least one of the two attacks was carried out by a "threat actor" based in China, Penn State said.

Online gambling firm GVC bids for bigger rival Bwin.Party

Sports betting and gaming company GVC Holdings Plc said it had submitted a bid for bigger rival Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc, which put itself up for sale last year. Bwin's shares were up 9.6 percent at 98.00 pence at 1422 GMT (10.22 a.m. ET) on Friday. The stock, which was up earlier in the day on hopes of a deal, touched a high of 99.70 pence after GVC's statement. GVC said if Bwin were to agree to a deal, it would be treated as a reverse takeover due to Bwin's size.

France's Sarkozy attracts mockery with Twitter chat

France's Sarkozy attracts mockery with Twitter chat

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy drew a wave of mocking comments about his judicial woes when he launched a rare question-and-answer session on Twitter on Friday. As soon as the Q&A session was announced, dozens took to Twitter to question him on issues such as his decision to rename the conservative party "The Republicans" and the financing of his political campaigns. The public response was such that some local media branded the PR operation a failure before Sarkozy even started answering the questions, with one tweet showing a picture of someone looking for a needle in a haystack with the headline: "Someone in @NicolasSarkozy's team has just found ... a tweet he can answer." Live Twitter Q&A sessions can be a tricky exercise.

Facebook 'tramples European privacy law': Belgian watchdog

Facebook 'tramples European privacy law': Belgian watchdog

By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium's privacy watchdog accused Facebook on Friday of trampling on European privacy laws by tracking people online without their consent and dodging questions from national regulators. The Privacy Protection Commission (CPVP/CBPL), which is working with German, Dutch, French and Spanish counterparts, launched the blistering attack after trying to find out more about the U.S. social media giant's practices. It urged Internet users to install privacy software to shield themselves from Facebook's tracking systems, whether they have an account with the social network or not. It said in a statement that Facebook had refused to recognize Belgian and other EU national jurisdictions, insisting it was subject only to the law in Ireland, the site of its European headquarters.

India, China leaders try hand at "selfie" diplomacy

India, China leaders try hand at

In a rare show of everyman charm from one of China's most elite politicians, Premier Li Keqiang appeared in a grinning selfie with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. Modi, who is visiting China this week to boost economic ties and discuss a persistent border dispute, is known for being at ease with social media, including a large follower base on Twitter. Modi set up an account on the microblogging site Weibo, China's answer to Twitter, ahead of his trip, prompting a flurry of mostly skeptical messages from the Chinese public. China's leadership has experimented with more unscripted interactions in recent years.

Pandora to appeal court ruling that gives BMI higher royalties

(Reuters) - Internet radio service Pandora Media Inc said it will appeal a rate court ruling that could force the company to pay higher royalties to Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) for music licenses. BMI said on Thursday the New York Rate Court ruled in its favor and agreed that the royalty rate of 2.5 percent of revenue was "reasonable, and indeed at the low end of the range of fees of recent licenses." Pandora said in an emailed statement the ruling could increase its content costs as a percentage of revenue by 80 basis points. The latest court decision comes close on the heels of a court ruling in favor of Pandora last week, rejecting an effort by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) to charge Pandora more to license its music from 2013 to 2015.

Netflix in talks with Jack Ma-backed Wasu to enter China: Bloomberg

Netflix in talks with Jack Ma-backed Wasu to enter China: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Video streaming company Netflix Inc is in talks with Jack Ma-backed Wasu Media Holding Co and other potential partners to enter China's booming online video market, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Netflix is seeking a partner that has licenses for content on all devices, including mobile phones, computers and set-top boxes, the report said. Reuters could not immediately reach Wasu Media for comment and Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside regular business hours. Netflix earlier said it was developing plans to launch a "modest" service in China if it can get permission to operate in the world's most populous country.

Symantec revenue misses Street on strong dollar

(Reuters) - Antivirus and security software maker Symantec Corp's quarterly profit and revenue missed Wall Street estimates, hurt by a strong dollar and lower demand for its consumer security products. Symantec, best known for its Norton antivirus software, also forecast weaker-than-expected first-quarter profit and revenue, sending its shares down 3 percent in extended trading. The company, whose security products come bundled with PCs, said it expects an adjusted profit of 41-44 cents per share in the current quarter and revenue of $1.50 billion-$1.54 billion. Analysts on an average were expecting a profit of 45 cents per share on revenue of $1.62 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Slowing PC sales have hurt the company's security business, while sluggish demand for storage and data management software has diminished the value of its cash-cow Veritas business.

CITIC Securities' teams up with China Renaissance to serve Internet firms

CITIC Securities Co Ltd, China's biggest brokerage, will partner with boutique investment bank China Renaissance to provide M&A, restructuring and initial public offering-related services for Internet companies. Well-connected local firms like China Renaissance are seeing a boom as entrepreneur-driven private businesses, particularly in the technology sector, overtake state-owned companies to drive investment banking revenues in China. While CITIC has seen profits soar on the back of a sharp rally in the nation's stock markets, it and other Chinese brokerages are keen to develop new revenue sources as Beijing's plans to allow commercial banks and other finance firms to own brokerage license will increase competition. A new team to be set up by CITIC Securities and China Renaissance will also handle OTC and A-share listings as well as develop financial products, the companies said in a statement late on Wednesday.

China aims to boost Internet speeds, cut prices

China aims to boost Internet speeds, cut prices

China will accelerate development of its high-speed broadband networks to raise Internet speeds and cut prices, long bugbears in a country where many people still have no access to the web. Telecoms firms should make rapid moves to cut prices and increase urban broadband speeds by around 40 percent, according to a statement issued late on Wednesday by China's State Council, the country's cabinet. China's investment in broadband could benefit global network equipment makers such as Ericsson and Nokia Oyj's Alcatel-Lucent, as well as home-grown players like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and ZTE Corp. The statement did not say how much investment would be needed, but officials have previously earmarked around 2 trillion yuan ($322 billion) to improve China's broadband infrastructure by 2020. The cabinet statement added that China would look to open up the telecoms market and encourage increased competition, including through expanding a pilot scheme for broadband services this year.

India learns to 'fail fast' as tech start-up culture takes root

India learns to 'fail fast' as tech start-up culture takes root

By Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Clara Ferreira-Marques BENGALURU, India (Reuters) - After ping pong tables, motivational posters and casual dress codes, India's tech start-ups are following Silicon Valley's lead and embracing the "fail fast" culture credited with fuelling creativity and success in the United States. Taking failure as a norm is a major cultural shift in India, where high-achieving children are typically expected to take steady jobs at recognized firms.

Facebook raises minimum pay for contractors to $15 per hour

Facebook raises minimum pay for contractors to $15 per hour

By Yasmeen Abutaleb NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook raised wages for its contract workers, such as cafeteria staff and janitors, to a minimum of $15 per hour amid rising tension over the wage gap between the technology sector's elite and the lower-paid workers. Contractors will also receive a minimum of 15 days of paid vacation days and a $4,000 new child benefit for parents who do not receive parental leave, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a Wednesday post on Facebook. Facebook implemented the wage increase for some workers at its Menlo Park headquarters as of May 1. The company declined to say how many contract workers it employs or name any of its vendors.

Wal-Mart challenges Amazon with unlimited shipping service for $50 per year

Wal-Mart challenges Amazon with unlimited shipping service for $50 per year

Wal-Mart Stores Inc is planning to test a new unlimited online shipping service this summer for $50 per year, a move that may hurt Amazon's annual $99 Prime shipping service. Wal-Mart's service, which will be by invitation only for now, will offer selected products on the company's website to customers within three days or less, company spokesman Ravi Jariwala told Reuters. Wal-Mart offers more than 7 million products on its website. The move underscores Wal-Mart's efforts to scale its online business rapidly and gain a share of a market dominated by Amazon.

gadgets

BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

(Reuters) - Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd is cutting jobs across the world, the company said on Friday, as it consolidates its software, hardware and applications business. BlackBerry, which reported a 16.8 percent fall in quarterly revenue in March, had about 6,225 full-time employees as of Feb. 2015, according to its website. The company is reallocating resources to capitalize on growth opportunities and achieve profitability across all its business segments, a company spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.

Nexus 6: Another reason why Google might favor phablets over smaller phones

Google surprised Android fans who were anxiously waiting for a new Nexus smartphone last year by only launching one new handset, a 6-inch Nexus 6 phablet that proved to be too big for some users. The correlation between the gadget’s name and its screen size might help explain why Google had to release a phablet last year. Google may have also done it to show developers what apps running on a vanilla version of Android look on a phablet, though. That said,  there might be one other reason behind Google’s decision to only launch a bigger Nexus phone in 2014. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why Google’s advertising chief Sridhar Ramaswamy on Thursday told The

Deal alert: Get an iPhone 6 for $450, or 10% off anything else at Gazelle

Earlier this week we told you about two great deals for smartphone shoppers who were more interested in saving money than having the latest and greatest gear. For these consumers, the prospect of a modern phone for $250 off contract or even an older handset for just $20 may be too good to pass up. But there is another group of consumers that wasn’t addressed by these deals. These shoppers want the latest and greatest smartphones, but they don’t want to pay top dollar to get them. Well, gadget fans, look no further. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why Those of you who are looking to score one of the latest new

6 Android M features fans want to see unveiled at Google I/O next week

We always try to keep up with assorted fan communities to get a sense of how they’re feeling about their favorite products. Reddit’s Android fan community is typically very smart and insightful, which is why we were interested to see what Android M features they’d most like to see Google unveil at its big Google I/O conference next week. Here are the six most popular responses as ranked by upvotes. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why Multiwindow support: This is something that Apple is reportedly working on for iOS 9 and most specifically its 12-inch iPad Pro. Being able to have multiple app windows open at once and being able to

8 awesome paid iPhone apps on sale for free for a limited time

It’s been quite a week for paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free, and yesterday’s list was our biggest one yet. There were 10 apps in total in Thursday’s sale post, and a few of them can still be downloaded for free if you hurry. Today, however, we have eight fresh paid iOS apps that are all on sale for free for a limited time. DON’T MISS: This $11 quick charger from Amazon will charge your phone 75% faster (deal is back!) 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

BlackBerry to buy up to 12 million shares for cancellation

BlackBerry to buy up to 12 million shares for cancellation

BlackBerry, which has not repurchased any outstanding securities in the last one year, said it would present a new employee share purchase program and propose an increase in its equity incentive plan at its annual meeting next month. BlackBerry said it would buy the shares, representing about 2.6 percent of its outstanding public float, over the Nasdaq Stock Market or on the Toronto Stock Exchange, subject to approval.

HBO can’t do anything to stop Game of Thrones piracy

Try as it might, HBO simply can’t keep Game of Thrones piracy at bay. Despite HBO’s best efforts as of late, which have included going after Periscope users and even bars holding public viewings of the show, the demand for GOT is simply too overwhelming to keep piracy in check. This week’s most recent episode was reportedly downloaded over 3.5 million times in just a 24-hour period, setting a new record in the process. So even with HBO Now subscriptions presumably doing quite well (the iOS app is the 8th highest grossing app on the App Store), GOT related piracy is seemingly a force that can’t be stopped. DON’T MISS: $10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy

Fresh leak shines light on Motorola’s third-gen Moto X

Motorola has yet to unveil the third-gen Moto X but various reports are already offering plenty of details on the purported specs and features of the device. One such report comes from a Verizon employee who apparently has knowledge of two new interesting features coming to Motorola handsets. DON’T MISS: $10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers Verizon engineer Jose Arturo revealed on Google+ (now deleted) that the Droid Turbo will receive the Lollipop treatment in mid-June. Further digging through his older posts, Droid-Life has discovered new Moto X details as well. In a post in April, Arturo said that Motorola will bring “front-facing flash for selfies” and microSD support to the 2015 Moto

Huge leak reveals the OnePlus Two’s high-end specs

The OnePlus One successor is likely going to be a powerful and affordable Android smartphone, though the Chinese startup has yet to formally introduce the OnePlus Two. Expected to be released at some point in the third quarter of the year, the OnePlus Two may have already been spotted in benchmarks disguised as the One. DON’T MISS: $10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers Identified on Geekbench as the OnePlus One A2001 – the actual model number of the One is A0001 – this OnePlus Two candidate appears to be a high-end smartphone by 2015 standards. The phone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM, putting it on par with other flagship

Major new details emerge about Apple’s completely redesigned 12-inch iPad

We’re finally starting to get a steady stream of leaks about Apple’s fall lineup of products, thanks once again to 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman. It seems that Apple is actually working on two different 12-inch iPad models that are now codenamed “J98″ and “J99.” However, Gurman says that both devices aren’t yet far along enough to nail down a concrete release date because Apple is still working on their software and apparently hasn’t lined up sufficient hardware components to produce the device at the appropriate scale. FROM EARLIER: iOS 9 leak: One of Apple’s biggest new iOS apps has been revealed What’s most interesting here is that Gurman says Apple is designing a special version of iOS to run on the tablets

iOS 9 leak: One of Apple’s biggest new iOS apps has been revealed

Apple is going to unveil iOS 9 at WWDC next month, and the first details about are slowly coming in. A new report shares info about a brand new iOS application you might find on your iPhone and iPad as soon as iOS 9 is rolled out this fall. DON’T MISS: One simple trick could free up gigabytes of space on your iPhone According to 9to5Mac, which has been accurate about Apple’s hardware and software plans on more than one occasion, iOS 9 could have a new Home app that’s going to service as a control center for HomeKit devices. Launched last year, HomeKit is supposed to offer companies that are working on smart connected devices for your home a way of integrating them

10 awesome paid iPhone apps that are on sale for free today

Yesterday’s list of paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free was a great one, and there are still a few limited-time freebies if you hurry back to that post and snag them. Today, however, we have our biggest list of the week. There are 10 apps in total on Thursday’s list, and each one would normally cost between $0.99 and $4.99 to buy. Right now, however, they’re all completely free — but only if you hurry! DON’T MISS: One simple trick could free up gigabytes of space on your iPhone 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

Outage alert: 11 Apple services are having serious problems this morning

Bad news, Apple fans: you may wake up on Thursday to find that a whole host of Apple’s cloud-based services are completely down or at least slow to respond this morning. Apple’s service status page shows that 11 different services in total are experiencing downtime or are at least having problems that will cause them to perform slowly for some users. Here’s the complete list of affected services: DON’T MISS: One simple trick could free up gigabytes of space on your iPhone Back to My Mac Documents in the Cloud Find My iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac iCloud Account & Sign In iCloud Backup iCloud Drive iCloud Keychain iCloud Mail iMovie Theater iWork for iCloud beta Photos Interestingly, not all

Google Maps update brings even better traffic alerts

Google on Wednesday announced that its newest Google Maps update will offer users even better traffic alerts, just in time for the busy Memorial Day weekend. DON’T MISS: $10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers The company said on its LatLong blog that the only thing that might slow you down this weekend is traffic, as Memorial Day is one of the busiest driving days of the year. But Google Maps can help you reach your destination with the fewest delays, Google says, and the updated traffic alerts will probably come in handy. “Now when you input your destination, you’ll get an explanation of upcoming traffic conditions that helps you identify the quickest

8 awesome paid iPhone apps that are free downloads for a limited time

We saw plenty of great feedback following yesterday’s list of paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free, and there are even still a few sales in that post that haven’t ended yet, so be sure to check them out. Today, of course, we have a fresh batch of iOS apps on sale. There are eight apps on today’s list and as always, these sales might only last for a few more hours so hurry if you want to save! DON’T MISS: Netflix is testing a redesign that users are going to love – see it first right here These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no

Some see differences between perceptions of Waco, Baltimore

WASHINGTON (AP) — The prevailing images of protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over police killings of black men were of police in riot gear, handcuffed protesters, tear gas and mass arrests. The main images of a fatal gun battle between armed bikers and police in Waco, Texas, also showed mass arrests — carried out by nonchalant-looking officers sitting around calm bikers on cell phones.

7 awesome paid iPhone apps on sale for free today

There’s no question that we had some great paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free in Monday’s list. In fact, if you hurry back to that post, you can still download a few of them without paying a dime. Today, however, we have a fresh new list of seven paid iOS apps that are all on sale for a limited time. DON’T MISS: This hidden iPhone feature lets you perform one of 6 secret functions in an instant 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

Android is about to get a new Google Maps update – download it here before it’s released

If a survey asked smartphone users to identify the mobile apps they cannot live without, we have no doubt that Google Maps would find itself very close to the top of the list. As such, it’s always worth bringing the news to users’ attention when a new update is released — or is about to be released. Google Maps 9.9 for Android devices is ready to roll out to devices around the world, but you don’t have to wait another minute to download it. DON’T MISS: $10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers The good news is that yes, Google Maps is about to be updated and you can download the new version right

With iOS 9 looming, Samsung’s copy of Apple’s best iOS 8 feature has just been released

The timing couldn’t have been better. In the morning, Samsung managed to get its $930 penalty for copying the iPhone reduced by a substantial amount. Then, in the afternoon, Samsung released its copy of what is likely the best feature that Apple introduced last year when it rolled out iOS 8. What a day! DON’T MISS: $10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers Apple’s iOS 8 software was packed full of great new features, but one stood out for many people as the crown jewel of the new OS: Continuity. With this new set of functionality, Apple customers with multiple devices could share different kinds of data between them. For example, a user could

It is flat-out amazing how powerful both the Galaxy S6 and Apple Watch are

Given how quickly technology is advancing, it’s easy to lose sight of just how remarkable our modern-day gadgets are. Both the Galaxy S6 and the Apple Watch are exceptional devices that pack a ton of computing power into small pieces of hardware — and a new infographic shows us exactly how far computing tech has advanced over the years to make such devices possible. DON’T MISS: Yet another reason to love Netflix: It’s helping to kill reality TV Created by Experts Exchange, the infographic looks at the history of technology by comparing the processing performances of various devices. Specifically, the infographic analyzes the evolution of tech by looking at Floating Operations Per Second (FLOPS) processing performance of different gadgets, including phones, watches and

Why is BlackBerry still making phones? CEO Chen gives a very smart answer

One reason that BlackBerry is lucky to have John Chen at the helm is that, unlike his predecessors, he’s very much grounded in reality about the state of the company. So while former CEO Thorsten Heins was known for making delusional statements about there being nothing wrong with the company even though it was in a downward spiral at the time, Chen has helped stabilize things and has forced BlackBerry to focus more on its core strengths. DON’T MISS: Tim Cook trolls Android users during George Washington University commencement speech One of those strengths, however, is no longer selling smartphones to consumers. In its last fiscal quarter, the company reported selling just 1.6 million smartphones worldwide, which is a steep fall

$10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers

The number of tools that nefarious hackers have at their disposal these days is positively frightening. Attacks seem to be growing more complex and more dangerous by the day, and we constantly see new stories emerge that cause us to rethink our own security practices. But as we are reminded constantly, it doesn’t always take complex machinery or even any real coding know-how to steal things using technology — in fact, people were recently caught using an iPod nano and a piece of plastic to steal cash from ATMs. Now, it looks like anyone can spy on others in the vicinity with a new gadget that is cheap, relatively easy to build, and looks just like a normal cell phone charger. DON’T MISS: The most infuriating thing about

The most infuriating thing about the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch won’t be the best-selling device in Apple’s lineup anytime soon, but it’s certainly one of the most important. It’s the first new product Apple has launched since the original iPad back in 2010, and it’s also the company’s first foray into an exciting new market. Two exciting new markets, actually, since the Apple Watch is really the only device to marry wearables and luxury goods. I have spoken a great deal about the Watch on our podcast and I’ve started writing about it as well, but I’m not running a full review until I’ve spent more time with it. In the meantime, there are certain parts of the Watch experience that I’m highlighting in individual posts. Last time, I discussed

8 awesome paid iPhone apps that are on sale for free today – a $42 value!

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s that time of day again when we give you the lowdown on terrific iPhone apps that are on sale for free right now for a limited time. In our latest edition, we’ve cobbled together eight paid apps that would normally cost around $42 but that are completely free to download if you act right now. Check them all out below! These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is that

Meet Brease, the device that gives you your own personal cloud

Internet users have plenty of options for cloud storage, and many of them are quite affordable. But it might be even cheaper to control your own cloud that you’d be able to store in your own home and upgrade at your own convenience. That’s exactly what Brease, the white cloud-shaped gadget pictured above, wants to help you with. DON’T MISS: 10 terrific Gmail features that are hidden in plain sight The first thing you’ll need to do with Brease is to plug it in and hook it up to the Internet. Once that’s done, you can add as much storage as possible to it by connecting flash drives and external hard drives to it, which can then be accessed from anywhere in

10 awesome paid iPhone apps on sale for free for a limited time

Yesterday’s list of paid iPhone and iPad apps that were on sale for free was one of our best of the week, but we’re going to outdo ourselves with Thursday’s list. Not only have we found some really great paid iOS apps that are currently on sale for free, we’ve managed to dig up 10 of them today, making this our biggest list of the week. If you want even more paid apps for free, head back to yesterday’s post, where there are a few apps that are still on sale. DON’T MISS: The little red dot that saved me from my iPhone These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their

Look at how shockingly easy it is to steal an Apple Watch

Apple put a huge amount of time and effort into the creation of the Apple Watch, the company’s first new product line since the original iPad was released in 2010. The hardware is a cut above anything we’ve seen launch ahead of the device, and the software experience widens the gap even further. But there’s one area Apple apparently didn’t put much thought into at all, and the Watch is absurdly easy for thieves to steal as a result. DON’T MISS: The little red dot that saved me from my iPhone With the Apple Watch, Apple has done a fantastic job of protecting the user’s data. Most data is stored off-device on the iPhone anyway, but the personal data that is found on

This is the Galaxy S6 Active

A recent leak claimed to show images of Samsung’s third distinct Galaxy S6 model, the Galaxy S6 Active. The Android handset maker has yet to announce the rugged handset, but a well-known gadget leaker has already confirmed its existence by revealing press renders of the device. DON’T MISS: The little red dot that saved me from my iPhone Known leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) posted the pictures on Twitter, responding with a simple “agreed” to GSM Arena’s tweet sharing the leaked Galaxy S6 Active yesterday. Furthermore, Android Police has been able to independently verify that image, saying that’s what the phone will look like, “with a very small margin of error.” The Galaxy S6 Active in these new renders (see below) looks exactly like the one in yesterday’s

T-Mobile is offering Samsung fans a deal that might be too good to pass up

T-Mobile is preparing a new special Samsung deal for customers looking to purchase both a top Galaxy handset and a tablet while offering qualifying buyers $100 cash back. DON’T MISS: The little red dot that saved me from my iPhone The promotion started on May 13th, just as internal documentation initially seen by TmoNews revealed a few days ago, and includes only high-end Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge smartphones, and the Galaxy Tab S and Galaxy Tab 4 tablets. The offer is already available online, at T-Mobile.com. To be eligible for the offer, users have to buy both devices no less than 30 days apart. The second gadget, even if it’s a

Deal alert: Save $125 on the Moto X, which is still one of the world’s best Android phones

If you’re an avid gadget fan on the hunt for a new smartphone, only the latest and greatest handsets will suffice. You’ll check out the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the HTC One M9, LG’s upcoming new G4, and perhaps one or two other devices. But for people out there who don’t need the latest and greatest gadgets, the prospect of saving hundreds of dollars and still getting a terrific smartphone is quite appealing, even if it’s not among the latest and greatest phones out there. If the option of saving some money and still getting a great phone sounds appealing to you, Motorola has a new deal you won’t want to

How to (sort of) run Windows on your iPad

Windows PC owners who also happen to own an iPad may have wondered whether they’d be able to use the tablet as a second display for their main computing machine. Starting today, there’s an iOS app for that, one that Mac users might already be familiar with, and one that’s now available for 40% off its regular price to celebrate the new milestone. DON’T MISS: After losing 50 lbs in 3 months, this is the iPhone app that will help keep me on track Dubbed Duet Display, the application has been available in the App Store for quite a while, letting Mac users extend their virtual workspace to a second screen. Duet Display works with iPhones as well, and any iOS device that’s running iOS 7

wireless

Glow in the dark toilet seat is finally a reality: Meet ‘Potty Glow’

After years of having his idea for a glow in the dark toilet seat scoffed at, Dave Reynolds of Lebanon, Tennessee is the one having the last laugh. Reynolds’ product, appropriately called Potty Glow, is now available for purchase at Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s for just $50. “I kept telling this story over and over to people and they laughed,” Reynolds said during a recent TV interview, “and I said, ‘One day you’re not going to laugh at me. One day you’re going to go to the bathroom and think of me.’” Mission accomplished. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why As far as ideas go, a glow in the dark

BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide as it consolidates businesses

(Reuters) - Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd is cutting jobs across the world, the company said on Friday, as it consolidates its software, hardware and applications business. BlackBerry, which reported a 16.8 percent fall in quarterly revenue in March, had about 6,225 full-time employees as of Feb. 2015, according to its website. The company is reallocating resources to capitalize on growth opportunities and achieve profitability across all its business segments, a company spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement.

How to turn your old Android phone into a handy Chromecast remote

Attention Chromecast users: Your Chromecast experience can significantly be improved by turning one of your older Android devices into a dedicated Chromecast remote, as one Android fan has discovered. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why After purchasing a $19.99 Moto G from Best Buy, Reddit user Laschoni turned into a single-purpose Chromecast remote. You don’t need a Moto G, either — any old Android device you might have around the house could be turned into your own customized Chromecast remote. In addition to downloading various apps that have Chromecast streaming support, the Android user installed Nova Launcher to remove bloatware from the home screen, turned off syncing features (including Hangouts and Gmail) and used

This is Uber’s self-driving car prototype

It’s no secret that Uber is interested in cutting costs by replacing current cars with smart self-driving cars in the future. And it looks like the first self-driving cars from Google will not be the only ones performing test drives in the U.S., as Uber is also experimenting with this nifty technology. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why The Pittsburgh Business Times has spotted one such car on the city’s streets, and the vehicle was clearly marked with “Uber Advanced Technologies Center.” “This vehicle is part of our early research efforts regarding mapping, safety and autonomy systems,” Uber spokeswoman Trina Smith told the publication in an email. As can be easily seen in the image,

Nexus 6: Another reason why Google might favor phablets over smaller phones

Google surprised Android fans who were anxiously waiting for a new Nexus smartphone last year by only launching one new handset, a 6-inch Nexus 6 phablet that proved to be too big for some users. The correlation between the gadget’s name and its screen size might help explain why Google had to release a phablet last year. Google may have also done it to show developers what apps running on a vanilla version of Android look on a phablet, though. That said,  there might be one other reason behind Google’s decision to only launch a bigger Nexus phone in 2014. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why Google’s advertising chief Sridhar Ramaswamy on Thursday told The

OnePlus Two’s monster specs confirmed by fresh leak

After a leaked benchmark on Thursday shared some details about the OnePlus Two’s high-end specs, a new report brings even more information about the company’s next-gen Android handset. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why A OnePlus handset with model number A2003 has been spotted complete with a specs list on benchmarking website Ludashi.com, Android Headlines reports. According to the leaked specs, the OnePlus Two features a 1920 x 1080 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 SoC with Adreno 430 GPU, 3GB of RAM, 13-megapixel camera and 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The previous leak, showing a Geekbench test for a OnePlus One A2001, also said the phone will have a Snapdragon 810 processor and

Excited to try Google’s game-changing Project Fi? You’re in for a long wait

Google’s recently launched MVNO wireless initiative sounds like an intriguing proposition for Nexus 6 owners, especially now that the company is sending out the first invites for it. However, many users who have asked for an invite might have to wait a longer time before they’ll be able to actually start using it. DON’T MISS: A major feature from Android M and the next-gen Nexus phone has leaked According to Droid-Life, Google sent out emails telling everyone who signed up for Project Fi that invites may only arrive at some point in mid-summer. Apparently, Google wants to ensure a “high-quality experience,” to all Project Fi subscribers, although the company isn’t explaining what that means and whether it’s related to Project Fi coverage.

This Android phone has a massive 6,000mAh battery and costs just $290

Now this is a phone that should give you at least a full day’s charge… and very likely at least three. GizmoChina brings us word that Chinese manufacturer Innos has just released a new smartphone that features a huge 6,000mAh battery, which just happens to be the biggest battery we’ve ever seen on a smartphone. Innos says this will deliver power that lasts between three to five days per charge depending on use. DON’T MISS: Here’s the complete set of 38 new emoji coming to your phone next year How did the little-known manufacturer pack so much battery power into what looks like a pretty thin device? “The manufacturer uses a unique ‘Double cell structure’ technology,” GizmoChina informs us. “It comprises of two batteries, one being an

500 million Android devices at risk: Researchers find that factory reset doesn’t completely wipe data

One of the most important things to do before selling or giving away a used smartphone is to wipe the device clean. After all, the last thing anyone wants is for a complete stranger to have access to all of their personal data. Unfortunately for Android users, researchers from Cambridge University recently discovered that performing a data wipe on Android devices doesn’t clear the device as one would expect. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why Even with full-disk encryption in play, researchers found that performing a factory reset on Android smartphones isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. “ found the file storing decryption keys on devices was not

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak reflect on early Apple days in rare video

FastCompany directs us to a fascinating and somewhat obscure Apple video which features company co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak engaging in a bit of nostalgia as they discuss the early days of Apple and the impact that both the Apple I and the Apple II had on society and the state of computing. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why The video begins with a little known tidbit about Apple’s early days in the mid-70s. Back in 1975, Jobs and Wozniak convinced Kramer Electronics to sell them computer parts with 30 day terms on the promise that they had an outstanding purchase order from the Byte Shop, one of the

First Apple Watch update may have seriously crippled one of its most important features

The heart rate sensor on the back of the Apple Watch is very accurate, a recent report has shown, on par with some of the most accurate heart rate monitors that are currently available. Unfortunately, it looks like Apple may have inadvertently crippled the heart rate functionality with its most recent software update. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why Soon after the Apple Watch received its Watch OS 1.0.1 update, some users noticed that their devices weren’t writing heart rate data to the Health app on the iPhone as often as they should, complaining about their experience on forums including MacRumors and Apple’s own support pages. The device records your heart rate during intense workouts,

Deal alert: Get an iPhone 6 for $450, or 10% off anything else at Gazelle

Earlier this week we told you about two great deals for smartphone shoppers who were more interested in saving money than having the latest and greatest gear. For these consumers, the prospect of a modern phone for $250 off contract or even an older handset for just $20 may be too good to pass up. But there is another group of consumers that wasn’t addressed by these deals. These shoppers want the latest and greatest smartphones, but they don’t want to pay top dollar to get them. Well, gadget fans, look no further. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why Those of you who are looking to score one of the latest new

6 Android M features fans want to see unveiled at Google I/O next week

We always try to keep up with assorted fan communities to get a sense of how they’re feeling about their favorite products. Reddit’s Android fan community is typically very smart and insightful, which is why we were interested to see what Android M features they’d most like to see Google unveil at its big Google I/O conference next week. Here are the six most popular responses as ranked by upvotes. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why Multiwindow support: This is something that Apple is reportedly working on for iOS 9 and most specifically its 12-inch iPad Pro. Being able to have multiple app windows open at once and being able to

3 new iOS 9 features were just revealed in a huge new leak

9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has been all over iOS 9 leaks this week and he’s back with a new report today that outlines more features the new software will deliver. In the preface to his article, Gurman makes clear that this is not going to be the most exciting iOS release. In fact, he says that Apple is putting most of its work into adding stability improvements for the platform, which went through several less-than-stellar releases with iOS 7 and iOS 8. That said, he did highlight three features we can expect to see at WWDC this year. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why The first feature is something called Rootless

Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why

Earlier this week, we told you about an Android fan who went running back to Google after spending just two weeks with an iPhone. Both platforms are very mature and capable at this point, but sometimes it’s hard to give up an operating system you’ve grown accustomed to in favor of something new and different. Of course, there are also plenty of times when a user jumps from one platform to the other and loves the new software so much, he wonders how he ever went so long without switching. DON’T MISS: This $11 quick charger from Amazon will charge your phone 75% faster (deal is back!) While pundits continued to argue over whether or not Apple was too late in launching the iPhone 6

This $11 quick charger from Amazon will charge your phone 75% faster (deal is back!)

Last week, we told you about a great deal happening on Amazon. For just $11, users were able to purchase a special charger that uses Quick Charge 2.0 technology to charge their compatible smartphones and tablets up to 75% faster than some stock wall chargers. This was apparently a pretty appealing prospect for BGR readers, because they flooded the site and the charger was sold out a short while later. Well if you missed out on that deal, don’t despair: The $11 quick charger deal is back on at Amazon — at least, while supplies last. DON’T MISS: 2 great Android phones you can buy right now for shockingly low prices The Aukey Quick Charge 2.0 18W USB turbo charger will work with

Here’s the complete set of 38 new emoji coming to your phone next year

Where would the world be without emoji? Sure, people would be able to communicate a bit less awkwardly in person. And yes, perhaps at least one person under the age of 25 would probably know the difference between your and you’re. But those are small prices to pay for the ability to text someone with a series of cute little graphics instead of having to string sentences together. Well, emoji fans, you’re in for a treat: There are 38 new emoji coming soon to an iPhone or Android phone near you, and we’ve got the full list right here. DON’T MISS: One simple trick could free up gigabytes of space on your iPhone Wish you could let your family know you’re pregnant without having

A major feature from Android M and the next-gen Nexus phone has leaked

Google has already unwillingly confirmed that it’s going to unveil Android M at its I/O 2015 conference next week, and a few reports now claim to have knowledge of one of the major features that are going to be available to Android M users in the near future. DON’T MISS: Key iPhone 6s specs seemingly detailed in new report According to independent reports from BuzzFeed and ArsTechnica, Android M might be finally getting native support for fingerprint authentication. “The new functionality will allow users to log in to all of the supported applications on their Android devices without entering a password,” BuzzFeed has learned from its sources. Other details about the fingerprint functionality or Android M have not been shared.

The NSA came up with a brilliantly sneaky way to hack your Android phone

Once again, we have to tip our cap in grudging admiration for the lengths the National Security Administration will go to hack into our mobile devices. The Intercept has published some new documents leaked by Edward Snowden that show how the NSA and other spy agencies at one point planned to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks between end users and Android app stores to infect users’ phones with spyware. FROM EARLIER: Here are the most ridiculous questions al-Qaeda asks on its official job application “The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google,” writes The Intercept. “As part of a pilot project codenamed

BlackBerry to buy up to 12 million shares for cancellation

BlackBerry to buy up to 12 million shares for cancellation

BlackBerry, which has not repurchased any outstanding securities in the last one year, said it would present a new employee share purchase program and propose an increase in its equity incentive plan at its annual meeting next month. BlackBerry said it would buy the shares, representing about 2.6 percent of its outstanding public float, over the Nasdaq Stock Market or on the Toronto Stock Exchange, subject to approval.

Playboy puts clothes back on for new mobile app

Playboy puts clothes back on for new mobile app

Playboy on Thursday launched a new mobile app -- but don't look for nudity. The magazine's new Playboy NOW mobile app for Android and Apple devices is tailored to its updated "safe for work" strategy, which emphasizes lifestyle and culture over buttocks and breasts. "The strong acceptance of Playboy's brand position in digital, as exemplified by the high levels of engagement on Playboy.com, Playmates.com and all of our social media channels, is a clear indication that our digital strategy is working," said Scott Flanders, chief executive of Playboy Enterprises.

Huge leak reveals the OnePlus Two’s high-end specs

The OnePlus One successor is likely going to be a powerful and affordable Android smartphone, though the Chinese startup has yet to formally introduce the OnePlus Two. Expected to be released at some point in the third quarter of the year, the OnePlus Two may have already been spotted in benchmarks disguised as the One. DON’T MISS: $10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers Identified on Geekbench as the OnePlus One A2001 – the actual model number of the One is A0001 – this OnePlus Two candidate appears to be a high-end smartphone by 2015 standards. The phone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM, putting it on par with other flagship

Android user switches from a flagship phone to a $75 cheapie… and he’s never been happier

You don’t need a high-end flagship phone to have a good experience — in fact, it turns out you can be perfectly happy with a dirt-cheap device. Engineer Abhishek Anand writes about his recent experience downgrading from a flagship Sony Xperia ZL smartphone to a $75 Moto E that he bought on Flipkart. The bottom line is that he’s much, much happier overall with his dirt-cheap phone than he was with his flagship device. RELATED: What happens when a longtime iPhone user switches to a $90 Android phone Granted, unlike a lot of dirt-cheap Android phones, the Moto E is a quality device for the price. It doesn’t offer the best specs or the sleekest design but it functions well and performs basic

There’s a new BBM for iOS feature that will actually make iMessage users jealous

True story: a little over a year ago, a friend of mine asked me to help him pick out an Android phone because he was tired of his iPhone. For a few hours spread out over the course of a week, we chatted off and on about what he didn’t like about the iPhone and what he was looking for in a new phone. We finally landed on the HTC One, and he went out and bought one the day his contract was up. But then just three days later, he switched back to his iPhone. “I can’t live life as a green bubble,” he told me. There is indeed something addictive about those little blue bubbles. But truth be told, iMessage

2 great Android phones you can buy right now for shockingly low prices

Here at BGR, most of our smartphone coverage focuses on brand new smartphones that are cutting-edge and high-end. After all, a huge portion of our readership consists of savvy tech fans who always need to have the latest and greatest gear. But not all of our readers are quite so enthusiastic, and some would rather save money and buy a more affordable smartphone — after all, $650, $750 or even $800+ is a whole lot of cash to spend on a phone. If you’re looking to buy a new smartphone and want to get some serious bang for your buck, here are two options that you can pick up at shockingly low prices. DON’T MISS: Potentially big Apple Watch vulnerability could let thieves use

Apple rejects app update due to microscopic mention of ‘Android’

We all know that Apple can be exceedingly nit-picky when it comes its overseeing its App Store, but the latest incidence of developer babysitting is a bit much even for them. In the latest example of Apple’s App Store rejection policy gone awry, the company recently rejected an update to Breaking, an app which lets users curate the type of news items they’d like to appear in the “Today” feed from within iOS’ Notification Center. DON’T MISS: Netflix is testing a redesign that users are going to love – see it first right here Sounds like a useful enough app, but a recent update to the app was rejected because Apple’s review team noticed that one of the app’s screenshots mentioned the

Sorry, you can’t have these affordable high-end Android phones

Even though they get plenty of attention from the press, the newest Android flagships aren’t necessary the best choices for many smartphone buyers, especially for Android fans looking for affordable high-end devices. The Asus ZenFone 2 is one alternative, a cheap Android phone that packs 4GB of RAM and costs just $299 in the U.S. However, there are plenty of other premium Android phones overseas that meet the same criteria: They’re powerful and significantly cheaper than the Galaxy S6, Nexus 6, HTC One M9 or LG G4. Unfortunately, many of them are also out of your reach, including the following two devices. DON’T MISS: Netflix is testing a redesign that users are going to love – see it first right here The P8000 is a

New Lollipop update released for Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 9 – find the download links right here

Google has begun rolling out the latest version of its Lollipop operating system to a few new Android devices this week, including the Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 9 tablet with LTE capabilities. If you own any of these devices, you should be able to download the 5.1.1 update over-the-air in the coming days, but we’ve included direct links below if you’d rather not wait. DON’T MISS: A simple Google Now trick might fix poor battery life on Galaxy S6 and other phones Android Police points out that Nexus 9 owners will need to ensure that their tablets are updated to Android 5.0.2 before moving on to the latest version. Be sure to read the instructions on Android Police before attempting

NTSB has possession of Amtrak engineer's cell phone

NTSB has possession of Amtrak engineer's cell phone

Investigators are combing through phone records, locomotive data, radio transmissions and surveillance video to determine if the engineer in last week's deadly Amtrak derailment was using his cellphone while at the controls, federal authorities said Wednesday.

Investigators pore over phone records of engineer in Amtrak crash

By Frank McGurty NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal investigators are analyzing the cell phone records of the engineer in last week's deadly Amtrak derailment to determine if he was making calls or texting when he was operating the train, officials said on Wednesday. Investigators are aware that engineer Brandon Bostian made calls and texts on the day of the May 12 crash in Philadelphia that killed eight and injured more than 200, but do not yet know if any of the activity was during the time he was operating the train, the National Transportation Safety Board said. Amtrak engineers are required to turn off their phones when behind the controls, officials have said.

This iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6 battery pack solves the one charging issue that matters most

The most annoying problem smartphone users have to deal with is battery life. Regardless of whether they prefer the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6, chances are buyers will worry about running out of battery in certain instances, and they’ll seek external battery packs to make sure they’re covered during busier days. All these battery packs have one problem that’s not immediately clear to the buyer though, and one a new Kickstarter project aims to fix it. DON’T MISS: Netflix is testing a redesign that users are going to love – see it first right here Called LumoPack, the new battery pack wants to significantly improve charging times — not for the iPhone or Android device, but for the battery pack itself. The

Uh-oh: World’s most accurate Apple insider says Apple Watch sales are falling short

The Apple Watch definitely sold well eight out of the gate but does it really have much of a shelf life once the initial hype dies down? A new research note flagged by 9to5Mac suggests that it may not. KGI Securities this week made a massive cut to its Apple Watch sales projections by between 20% to 30% in Q3 2015. What’s more, KGI says that it’s cut its estimate of total Apple Watch sales for the year from the consensus range of 20 million to 30 million units down to 15 million units. FROM EARLIER: Sorry, Android fans: Samsung denial means you’ll have to wait for the phablet of your dreams Why does KGI believe Apple Watch sales aren’t going to

Samsung Flow Enters Beta to Take on Apple Continuity

Samsung Flow Enters Beta to Take on Apple Continuity

One of the best features of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite for Apple fans is Continuity, a feature that effortlessly connects Apple phones, tablets and computers. For Android users on Samsung phones, that gap may be about to close. Samsung Flow, which transfers content easily between Samsung phones and tablets, is now available on the Google Play store in beta form.

apple-macintosh

Ohio patrolman acquitted in 2 deaths amid 137-shot barrage

Ohio patrolman acquitted in 2 deaths amid 137-shot barrage

A patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire was acquitted Saturday in a case that helped prompt the U.S. Department of Justice determine the city police department had a history of using excessive force and violating civil rights.

Fate of U.S. domestic surveillance program uncertain after Senate vote

Fate of U.S. domestic surveillance program uncertain after Senate vote

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate blocked a measure to extend spy agencies' bulk collection of Americans' telephone records early on Saturday, leaving the fate of the program uncertain days before its June 1 expiration. By a vote of 54-45, the Senate failed to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to advance a bill that would have extended for two months provisions of the "USA Patriot Act" that allow the collection of vast amounts of telephone "metadata." The data collection program, in which the National Security Agency sweeps up vast amounts of Americans' telephone records and business information, was exposed two years ago by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who is now a fugitive in Russia. The vote against the extension came after the Senate narrowly blocked the "USA Freedom Act," a bill that would end the bulk telephone data collection and replace it with a more targeted program.

In chaos of deadly Texas gang fight, self-defense claims may abound

In chaos of deadly Texas gang fight, self-defense claims may abound

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas laws that offer a high degree of protection to those who act in self-defense may make it difficult to prosecute the 170 people jailed for a Sunday motorcycle gang fight that left nine dead, with hundreds of weapons seized by police. Texas allows a person to use deadly force with legal arms in self-defense if they believe such force is immediately necessary to protect against someone using deadly force against them. A person can also claim self-defense to protect themselves if someone is prepared to use force against them for a variety of crimes including aggravated kidnapping, sexual assault or robbery.

Safety measures ordered for failed oil pipeline in California

Safety measures ordered for failed oil pipeline in California

By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Owners of an oil pipeline that burst in California this week must take numerous corrective measures, including an in-depth analysis of factors contributing to the spill and a plan to fix any flaws found, before they can restart the line, U.S. safety officials said on Friday. The corrective action order issued on Thursday by the U.S. Transportation Department's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration, or PHMSA, is not regarded as a disciplinary enforcement sanction against the company, Plains All American Pipeline LP , officials said.

Fierce gunbattle kills 43 in west Mexico cartel territory

Fierce gunbattle kills 43 in west Mexico cartel territory

ECUANDUREO, Mexico (AP) — The latest in a series of clashes between Mexican authorities and a powerful, fast-growing drug cartel turned into the deadliest confrontation in recent memory, with 42 suspected gang gunmen and one Federal Police officer killed during a three-hour firefight at a remote western ranch.

Senate clears White House-backed trade bill

Senate clears White House-backed trade bill

In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen the administration's hand in global trade talks, clearing the way for a highly unpredictable summer showdown in the House.

Moore endures under ‘the mercy of the sky’

Moore endures under ‘the mercy of the sky’

Known as the “tornado alley of tornado alley,” Moore, Okla., has been hit by six major tornadoes since 1998. In an adaptation from her new book, “The Mercy of the Sky,” Yahoo News correspondent Holly Bailey writes about the emotional toll on her hometown as it waits for the next big storm.

Quadruple-murder suspect held without bond in Washington

Quadruple-murder suspect held without bond in Washington

Daron Wint, 34, of Lanham, Maryland, is accused of holding construction business owner Savvas Savopoulos and the others captive until he got $40,000 in cash, then killing them and setting fire to their mansion, according to court documents. Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent Cohen Jr. said he was being held without bond.

IS suicide bomber attacks Saudi Shiite mosque, killing 21

IS suicide bomber attacks Saudi Shiite mosque, killing 21

An Islamic State group suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, killing 21 people and wounding 81 in an assault that threatens to fan sectarian tensions. The bomber struck during the main weekly prayers in Eastern Province, where assailants linked to the Sunni extremist IS killed seven members of the minority Shiite community in November. The interior ministry said a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the mosque in the Shiite-majority city of Qatif, the official SPA news agency reported.

Ireland turns out for historic vote on gay marriage

Ireland turns out for historic vote on gay marriage

Irish voters turned out in force Friday for a historic referendum on whether same-sex marriage should become legal, after a campaign that has exposed divisions in the traditionally Catholic nation. After 15 hours of voting, the ballot boxes were sealed at 10:00pm (2100 GMT) across the republic, with polling stations reporting higher-than-expected voter numbers. State broadcaster RTE said polling stations were recording a higher turnout than usual for referendums, with voting levels in cities such as Dublin, Limerick and Waterford predicted to top 60 percent.

social-media

Founder of Facebook's Oculus hit with lawsuit

Founder of Facebook's Oculus hit with lawsuit

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The founder of virtual reality glasses maker Oculus VR Inc, acquired by Facebook Inc for $2 billion, has been accused of taking confidential information he learned while working with another company and passing it off as his own, according to a lawsuit filed this week. The plaintiff, Hawaii-based company Total Recall Technologies, said it hired Oculus founder Palmer Luckey in 2011 to build a prototype head mounted display. Facebook's $2 billion acquisition of Oculus last year was its first-ever hardware deal, as the company sought a way into the fast-growing wearable devices arena.

Zuckerberg: Games led to programming, led to Facebook, led to annoying users with games

Zuckerberg: Games led to programming, led to Facebook, led to annoying users with games

There might not be a Facebook if a younger Mark Zuckerberg hadn't fallen in love with video games like Sid Meier's Civilization series, the Facebook founder said during a recent question and answer event. "I definitely would not have gotten into programming if I didn't play games as a kid," Zuckerberg said. Playing games made him want to create games, which led to his first programming experiences.

U.S. moves to facilitate social media in Crimea

The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday authorized American businesses and individuals to facilitate personal communications over the Internet like social media, instant messaging and photo sharing in Crimea, annexed by Russia from Ukraine last year. The department's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced it had issued a general license allowing for the exportation of such services and software to people in Crimea. A department spokesperson, who asked not to be named, said, "The general license allows personal Internet-based communications – such as social networking, instant messaging, and emails – and certain software necessary to enable it, between the United States and U.S. persons and Crimea." Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and numerous other online platforms were covered by the action.

Islamic State claims Yemen mosque attack: Islamic State Twitter statement

Islamic State claims Yemen mosque attack: Islamic State Twitter statement

A bomb exploded at a Shi'ite Houthi mosque in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, wounding 13 people, a security source said, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Twitter. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have seized large swathes of territory, including Sanaa, prompting formation of a Saudi-backed Arab coalition that is using air power to try to halt their advances. "Members of the caliphate in Sanaa have detonated an explosive device in a Houthi mosque in the people's district...which lead to the death and injury of many of them [Houthis]" said the Islamic State.

Kim's Social Media Blocking Rule

Kim's Social Media Blocking Rule

Kim Kardashian has a message for her critics – let's see you try it! In the final installment of Billy Bush's exclusive interview with Kim, the reality star-turned-mogul talked about dealing with the haters, and the one thing that will make her block someone on social media.

Russia warns Google, Twitter and Facebook on law violations

Russia warns Google, Twitter and Facebook on law violations

By Maria Tsvetkova and Eric Auchard MOSCOW/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Russia's media watchdog has written to Google, Twitter and Facebook warning them against violating Russian Internet laws and a spokesman said on Thursday they risk being blocked if they do not comply with the rules. Roskomnadzor said it had sent letters this week to the three U.S.-based Internet firms asking them to comply with Internet laws which critics of President Vladimir Putin have decried as censorship.      "In our letters we regularly remind (companies) of the consequences of violating the legislation," said Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky.     He added that, because of the encryption technology used by the three firms, Russia had no way of blocking specific websites and so could only bring down particular content it deemed in violation of law by blocking access to their whole services.

Americans tweet, text, surf ... while driving

Americans tweet, text, surf ... while driving

The poll released by AT&T as part of a safety campaign found almost seven out of 10 US smartphone users acknowledged some kind of smartphone activity while driving. Among the other findings: 62 percent keep their smartphones within easy reach while driving, 30 percent of people who post to Twitter while driving do it "all the time" and 22 percent who access social networks while driving cite addiction as a reason. The survey released Tuesday by AT&T polled 2,067 adult smartphone users and was conducted by Braun Research.

Fed minutes in view; Target's profit surges; Google and Twitter strike a deal

Will investors like what Janet Yellen and company say when the Fed releases minutes of its last meeting later today? We have a preview. Plus, Target's profit surges. Is going back to cheap-chic paying off for the retailer? And two tech titans strike a deal. We'll tell you what Twitter and Google are doing.

Survey shows a scary number of people check email, use Facebook and even take selfies while driving

A survey commissioned by AT&T reveals that smartphone owners are doing a lot more things on their devices they’re not supposed to do than just texting while driving. DON’T MISS: This unbelievably cheap Android phone with 4GB of RAM is ready for launch The telephone survey was conducted by Braund Research on 2,067 individuals who drive at least once a day and who own a smartphone, The New York Times reports. Texting still remains a high priority for drivers, with 61% admitting to texting while driving. 33% of respondents said they email while driving and 28% surf the Internet. More than 10% use Instagram and Snapchat. As many as 27% of drivers age 16 to 65 say they’re using Facebook

Twitter-Google deal puts tweets in search results

Twitter-Google deal puts tweets in search results

Google and Twitter announced a partnership Tuesday to display tweets in search results, renewing a tieup that ended in 2011. The move will allow Google to get more real-time results in its search queries, and help Twitter boost engagement after a period of sluggish user growth which has weighed on its stock price. "We're excited to team up with Google to bring Twitter's unique, real-time content to Google's search results," said Twitter vice president Jana Messerschmidt.

Israel jails Palestinian over incitement on Facebook

Israel jails Palestinian over incitement on Facebook

An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian from east Jerusalem to eight months in prison for "inciting to violence or terror" on his Facebook page. In its ruling, the Jerusalem Magistrates Court quoted a series of statements and postings by A-Tur resident Sami Dais, 27, on Facebook between July and November last year in which he praised deadly attacks on Jews. The incriminating posts were put online as a wave of violence rocked the city, during which there were clashes in east Jerusalem and several Palestinians staged lone wolf attacks.

What does Obama's Twitter account tell us about him?

On Monday, President Obama joined the Twittersphere officially as @POTUS. Previously the president mass communicated his 140-character messages via the official White House communications account (@WhiteHouse) or the @BarackObama account. The latter account has over 59 million followers, and is the Twitter account for the non-profit organization named Organizing for Action (OFA), which Mr. Obama and his political supporters started during his campaigns, reports The Washington Post.

Filmmakers look to Twitter, Facebook for stars

Filmmakers look to Twitter, Facebook for stars

Well, as any good horror film producer knows, the best place to look these days is on Facebook and Twitter. The Z-list purveyors of schlock at Cannes Film Festival, hawking such memorable titles as "Jurassic Prey" and "Sky Sharks", say social media plays an increasingly crucial role in casting actors. When Ted Chalmers, president of Tom Cat Films, happened across the Facebook page of tattoo model Rachelle Nicole Hoffman, he knew she would be perfect for his new film "Angel of Darkness" that he was filming in Arizona. Hoffman already had 200,000 followers on Facebook, thanks to her distinctive body art.

On Mad Men, spoilers, and staying the hell off Twitter for the night

On Mad Men, spoilers, and staying the hell off Twitter for the night

Last night was pretty silly with pop culture events. There was the big debut of Taylor Swift's cameo-heavy video, there was the Mad Men series finale, and of course a new episode of Game of Thrones. It gave away the end of Mad Men less than two hours after the episode was over. There is always a rush to discuss these things after they happen, and this would be a very different conversation if the publications had waited even 24 hours.

Fitness studios keep clients on track with photos, social media

Fitness studios keep clients on track with photos, social media

Boutique fitness studios are keeping track of clients' progress with methods ranging from videotaping their workouts to measuring their fat, to posting a friendly nudge on their Facebook pages. Gregory Chertok, a sports psychology consultant with the American College of Sports Medicine, said research has shown that even small amounts of social support can produce large and lasting gains in physical activity. In a 2007 study by Stanford University in California, researchers showed that even a simple, computer-generated phone call could be effective in motivating the sedentary to exercise. “These exercisers are being held accountable by their fitness studios to a degree,” he said.

Thailand worried by blast of anti-migrant vitriol on social media

By Amy Sawitta Lefevre BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand expressed concern on Monday at a wave of anti-migrant vitriol on social media, which the government said underlined why it cannot accept any more of the asylum seekers who have been arriving by boat on its shores. The United Nations has urged Southeast Asian governments to mount a coordinated rescue operation for thousands of desperate Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar adrift in rickety boats in the Andaman Sea. Following an appeal from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Thailand's junta said it would set up temporary shelters for those that did make it ashore, prompting an outpouring of bile on social media from those who do not want migrants to stay.

Illuminating Tweets: Northern Lights Tracked via Twitter

Thanks to Twitter, the chances of spotting the aurora borealis are getting better, scientists report. Monitoring tweets about auroras can provide accurate and timely alerts of when and where auroras are visible from the ground, said lead study author Nathan Case, a space weather scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The website also searches Twitter for tweets that are likely to be aurora reports. The project was sparked by a strong geomagnetic storm in 2011, when an aurora that stretched as far south as Alabama triggered several thousand tweets.

France's Sarkozy attracts mockery with Twitter chat

France's Sarkozy attracts mockery with Twitter chat

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy drew a wave of mocking comments about his judicial woes when he launched a rare question-and-answer session on Twitter on Friday. As soon as the Q&A session was announced, dozens took to Twitter to question him on issues such as his decision to rename the conservative party "The Republicans" and the financing of his political campaigns. The public response was such that some local media branded the PR operation a failure before Sarkozy even started answering the questions, with one tweet showing a picture of someone looking for a needle in a haystack with the headline: "Someone in @NicolasSarkozy's team has just found ... a tweet he can answer." Live Twitter Q&A sessions can be a tricky exercise.

Facebook 'tramples European privacy law': Belgian watchdog

Facebook 'tramples European privacy law': Belgian watchdog

By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium's privacy watchdog accused Facebook on Friday of trampling on European privacy laws by tracking people online without their consent and dodging questions from national regulators. The Privacy Protection Commission (CPVP/CBPL), which is working with German, Dutch, French and Spanish counterparts, launched the blistering attack after trying to find out more about the U.S. social media giant's practices. It urged Internet users to install privacy software to shield themselves from Facebook's tracking systems, whether they have an account with the social network or not. It said in a statement that Facebook had refused to recognize Belgian and other EU national jurisdictions, insisting it was subject only to the law in Ireland, the site of its European headquarters.

YouTube crowned 'coolest' social media channel

YouTube crowned 'coolest' social media channel

A new GWI Social report has crowned YouTube the "coolest" social platform for teens. The GWI Social report is a is quarterly breakdown by GlobalWebIndex on the latest trends in social networking. According to the data, while Facebook still topped the charts as the coolest social media platform overall, among adults (37 percent) and teens (16-19 year olds) together -- only 14 percent of teens agreed. Rather, this younger, yet sought-after demographic picked YouTube as their most-favored social media source.

Ukraine accuses Facebook of pro-Russia bias

Ukraine accuses Facebook of pro-Russia bias

A senior aide to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday accused Facebook of political bias, ahead of a question-and-answer session with co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. "There is pro-Russian influence and pressure on the Facebook office in Russia," said deputy head of the presidential administration Dmytro Shymkiv, who is negotiating with the global social network to solve the problem. He claimed Russian moderators are overseeing Ukrainian users and are swayed by the Kremlin's political agenda in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Facebook users in Ukraine have flooded the social network with allegations of pro-Russian political bias.

Facebook raises minimum pay for contractors to $15 per hour

Facebook raises minimum pay for contractors to $15 per hour

By Yasmeen Abutaleb NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook raised wages for its contract workers, such as cafeteria staff and janitors, to a minimum of $15 per hour amid rising tension over the wage gap between the technology sector's elite and the lower-paid workers. Contractors will also receive a minimum of 15 days of paid vacation days and a $4,000 new child benefit for parents who do not receive parental leave, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a Wednesday post on Facebook. Facebook implemented the wage increase for some workers at its Menlo Park headquarters as of May 1. The company declined to say how many contract workers it employs or name any of its vendors.

Facebook dives deep into news with publisher deal

Facebook dives deep into news with publisher deal

Facebook pushed deeper into the media business Wednesday by crafting a deal with news publishers which allows the social network to deliver articles directly to readers and could reshape the news landscape. The long-anticipated move by Facebook means it will host news items on its servers to give readers faster access. The plan has been hotly debated in the news industry -- by those who argue it can help struggling media groups, and others who say news organizations will lose control of their content to the social network. The new feature called Instant Articles "makes the reading experience as much as ten times faster than standard mobile web articles," Facebook said.

White House praises new Facebook minimum wage policy for contractors

White House praises new Facebook minimum wage policy for contractors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday praised Facebook's new minimum wage and family leave policy, which raises minimum hourly salaries for contractors to $15 per hour. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the Tuesday announcement from the social media company is an example of the kind of leadership on such issues now seen with more frequency from the public sector. (Reporting By Julia Edwards)

Facebook launches 'Instant Articles.' Will it change how we read news?

Facebook came one step closer on Wednesday to changing the way we read the news. After months of closed-door negotiations between the Internet giant and nine major media companies, Facebook will begin to host its new partners’ articles directly on its site through a page called Instant Articles. “The New York Times has been cautious about the Facebook program, viewing it as an experiment that could help it learn more about subscribers and potential subscribers who are reading its articles on Facebook,” wrote Vindu Goel and Ravi Somaiya for The New York Times. Along with the Times, American news outlets Buzzfeed, National Geographic, the Atlantic, and NBC News will participate in the instant articles project, as will European media companies the Guardian, BBC News, Bild, and Spiegel Online. Starting Wednesday, each of the nine partners will post articles to the Instant Articles page.

Twitter founder feeling 'Super' as he heads in new direction

Twitter founder feeling 'Super' as he heads in new direction

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Biz Stone knows abandoning a struggling project to try something else can be a smart move. After all, he was part of a team that dumped the seldom-heard podcasting service Odeo nearly a decade ago to work on a new idea called Twitter that transformed how people communicate and made him a multimillionaire.

Facebook to let nine news companies publish news to mobile feeds

Facebook to let nine news companies publish news to mobile feeds

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc tied up with nine news publishers to launch "Instant Articles" that will let them publish articles directly to the social network's mobile news feeds. Instant Articles will let stories load more than 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles and will include content from publishers such as the New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, Facebook said in a blog post on its website. The news publishers can either sell and embed advertisements in the articles and keep all of the revenue, or allow Facebook to sell ads. The other launch partners for Instant Articles are NBC, The Atlantic, The Guardian, BBC News, Spiegel and Bild, Facebook said.

security

Sliver of Clinton emails hint at lingering political trouble

Sliver of Clinton emails hint at lingering political trouble

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private email account about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that was later classified "secret" at the request of the FBI, underscoring lingering questions about how responsibly she handled sensitive information on a home server.

Clinton received sensitive info on private email account

Clinton received sensitive info on private email account

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private email account about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that was later classified "secret" at the request of the FBI, according to documents released Friday, underscoring lingering questions about how responsibly she handled sensitive information on a home server.

Adult dating site investigating breach of user data

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — The operator of a popular adult dating website said Friday it's investigating a data security breach following reports that hackers stole names, email addresses and information about the sexual orientation or habits of up to 4 million members.

3 new iOS 9 features were just revealed in a huge new leak

9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman has been all over iOS 9 leaks this week and he’s back with a new report today that outlines more features the new software will deliver. In the preface to his article, Gurman makes clear that this is not going to be the most exciting iOS release. In fact, he says that Apple is putting most of its work into adding stability improvements for the platform, which went through several less-than-stellar releases with iOS 7 and iOS 8. That said, he did highlight three features we can expect to see at WWDC this year. DON’T MISS: Former Android diehard ‘never looking back’ after switch to iPhone 6 – find out why The first feature is something called Rootless

A major feature from Android M and the next-gen Nexus phone has leaked

Google has already unwillingly confirmed that it’s going to unveil Android M at its I/O 2015 conference next week, and a few reports now claim to have knowledge of one of the major features that are going to be available to Android M users in the near future. DON’T MISS: Key iPhone 6s specs seemingly detailed in new report According to independent reports from BuzzFeed and ArsTechnica, Android M might be finally getting native support for fingerprint authentication. “The new functionality will allow users to log in to all of the supported applications on their Android devices without entering a password,” BuzzFeed has learned from its sources. Other details about the fingerprint functionality or Android M have not been shared.

Do this now: Secure your adult dating profiles – a major site was just hacked

In case you happen to have one or multiple adult dating website profiles, you might consider securing them right away, as one of the world’s largest such websites has been hit by hackers. The attackers managed to steal highly sensitive personal data for four million users, leaking them online in spreadsheet format. DON’T MISS: Key iPhone 6s specs seemingly detailed in new report According to Channel 4, the dating site in question is Adult FriendFinder which has more than 63 million global users. In addition to usual personal data including usernames, email addresses, dates of birth and addresses, the stolen data also contains more sensitive information regarding the user’s sexual orientation and preferences, and whether they’re looking for extramarital affairs

Audi will enhance Chinese connected-car services with Baidu

Audi will enhance Chinese connected-car services with Baidu

Germany's Audi will enhance connected-car services in China to meet growing demand for driver-assistance systems and driverless technology in the world's largest auto market. Volkswagen's flagship luxury brand said on Friday it will jointly develop navigation map data, positioning algorithms and point-of-interest functions with China's web services provider Baidu. Chinese Internet companies and auto makers have been quick to team up to start developing partly self-driving and Internet-connected cars, following a path already trodden by U.S. tech giants Google Inc and Apple Inc. "We are now taking our next big step in China," Chief Executive Rupert Stadler said at the carmaker's annual shareholder meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany.

The NSA came up with a brilliantly sneaky way to hack your Android phone

Once again, we have to tip our cap in grudging admiration for the lengths the National Security Administration will go to hack into our mobile devices. The Intercept has published some new documents leaked by Edward Snowden that show how the NSA and other spy agencies at one point planned to conduct man-in-the-middle attacks between end users and Android app stores to infect users’ phones with spyware. FROM EARLIER: Here are the most ridiculous questions al-Qaeda asks on its official job application “The agencies used the Internet spying system XKEYSCORE to identify smartphone traffic flowing across Internet cables and then to track down smartphone connections to app marketplace servers operated by Samsung and Google,” writes The Intercept. “As part of a pilot project codenamed

Hewlett-Packard sells stake in Chinese unit for $2.3B

Hewlett-Packard sells stake in Chinese unit for $2.3B

NEW YORK (AP) — Hewlett-Packard is selling a controlling stake in its China server and storage unit, a move that comes as the Chinese government, apparently worried about U.S. cyberspying, has encouraged the use of local companies.

Watch this immediately: The most amazing airplane safety video of all time

With the advent of mobile devices, odds are pretty high that most people these days don’t pay attention to airline safety videos. Delta, however, is out to change that with a new Internet-meme themed video that splices together your standard flight safety instructions with an avalanche of Internet memes, both new and old. To top it all off, the video even features a few cameos worth keeping an eye out for. DON’T MISS: One simple trick could free up gigabytes of space on your iPhone While there are innumerable Internet memes to choose from, Delta did a good job picking some of the more recognizable ones when putting this video together. If this becomes the default safety video on Delta flights, well,

U.S. aims to limit exports of undisclosed software flaws

(This story refiles the May 20 story to change "fund" to "find" in paragraph 13) By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department proposed new export controls Wednesday that would treat unknown software flaws as potential weapons, a move aimed at reducing the security industry’s aid to rival nations. The regulations are broadly written and cover what are known as “zero-day” flaws, or security vulnerabilities that the software vendors do not know about. Hackers and defense contractors often sell information about such flaws to government agencies or the maker of the software, and internal U.S. sales could continue.

Stuck in Gaza, hackers open lines to the world

By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - With jobs scarce and time on their hands, some tech-savvy Gazans have found a new way to make money - hacking Internet-based phone lines and routing international calls for a fee. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) hacking has been a phenomenon for years. There are various ways of hacking VoIP networks, but people familiar with the practice in Gaza say it involves using dedicated servers to scoop up as many telephone IP addresses as possible, especially from big corporations and businesses.

Tanzanian leader says aid conditions degrading

Tanzanian leader says aid conditions degrading

By Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said on Thursday that Western donors are setting degrading conditions for aid to the east African nation and he could be forced in time to tell them: "keep your aid".     Tanzania, one of Africa's biggest per capita aid recipients, has experienced repeated delays in payments due to donor concerns about corruption, poor governance and the slow pace of reforms. ...

U.S. Navy secretary says paying attention to cyber threats

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is working hard to improve the cyber security of its computer networks and weapon and communications systems, while bracing for potential attacks on power grids and fuel supplies, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said Wednesday. Mabus said cyber warfare was a clear threat given Russia's use of cyber attacks before its physical invasions of Crimea and Georgia. It's in every system because we are so networked." Mabus confirmed recent media reports that the Navy was looking at replacing IBM servers used for its Aegis combat system after International Business Machines Corp's $2.1 billion sale of its server division to China's Lenovo Group Ltd last year.

CareFirst says cyberattack stole data of 1.1 million users in U.S

(Reuters) - CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, which sells health insurance in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, said on Wednesday that a cyberattack compromised the data of 1.1 million current and former members. In May, Premera Blue Cross said that 11 million customers' information may have been exposed in a hack. CareFirst said that the attackers accessed one database and could have potentially acquired member user names created by individuals to use CareFirst's website, names, birth dates, email addresses and member identification numbers.

Panel OKs $51B for Justice, NASA over Democratic protests

WASHINGTON (AP) — A GOP-controlled House panel Wednesday approved a $51 billion measure providing the Justice Department and NASA with modest budget hikes, but the legislation falls well short of what's needed to win President Barack Obama's signature.

Huawei stakes claim in 'Internet of Things' market with new operating system

Huawei stakes claim in 'Internet of Things' market with new operating system

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker, on Wednesday became the latest tech giant to present its own take on the 'Internet of Things' (IoT), centered on an operating system designed to allow household and business appliances to communicate with each other online. At an event in Beijing, Huawei executives showcased its "Agile IoT" architecture, including an operating system called LiteOS to control basic devices. ...

Adblock Plus just released an ad-blocking Android browser – here’s how to get it

Adblock Plus is the most popular desktop ad-blocking software on the planet, and the team behind the popular browser extension is now taking its talents to the mobile web. Meet the Adblock Browser, a mobile app for Google’s Android platform that focuses on delivering users all the content they want with none of the ads that support it. DON’T MISS: Android is about to get a new Google Maps update – download it here before it’s released Beginning Wednesday, users can join a special Google+ community that will give them access to an early beta version of the Adblock Browser for Android devices. The company says its browser will “block annoying ads automatically, saving users battery speed, keeping them safe and handing them control while

$10 gadget that looks like a harmless phone charger lets you spy on your coworkers

The number of tools that nefarious hackers have at their disposal these days is positively frightening. Attacks seem to be growing more complex and more dangerous by the day, and we constantly see new stories emerge that cause us to rethink our own security practices. But as we are reminded constantly, it doesn’t always take complex machinery or even any real coding know-how to steal things using technology — in fact, people were recently caught using an iPod nano and a piece of plastic to steal cash from ATMs. Now, it looks like anyone can spy on others in the vicinity with a new gadget that is cheap, relatively easy to build, and looks just like a normal cell phone charger. DON’T MISS: The most infuriating thing about

This is the smartphone Google’s next Nexus phone might be based on

The rumor frenzy surrounding Google’s upcoming new Nexus phone continues, as new details emerge about one of the two Nexus handsets that will supposedly launch this fall. Earlier rumors have suggested that both Huawei and LG are working on their own next-gen Nexus handsets, with the former model said to be the bigger handset of the two. A new report now states that the Huawei Nexus phone will be built on top of the design of the Mate 8, an upcoming high-end handset expected to be released in the coming months. DON’T MISS: The most infuriating thing about the Apple Watch Online Chinese publication MyDrivers reports that the Huawei Nexus phone will be built using the Mate 8 as a reference design, though the device might have a smaller 5.7-inch

Exclusive: Help us fight fakes, Alibaba's security chief tells global brands

Exclusive: Help us fight fakes, Alibaba's security chief tells global brands

By John Ruwitch HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - When it comes to fighting fakes, Alibaba's head of internet security says cooperation beats the courtroom any day. Ni Liang, who runs the Hangzhou, China-based company's anti-counterfeiting operations, was speaking to Reuters days after Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other luxury brands owned by Paris-based Kering SA sued Alibaba in New York, alleging the e-commerce giant had knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell fakes. Ni said brands had a better chance of succeeding in clamping down on the pervasive counterfeit trade if they talked to Alibaba, instead of suing it. The company has been dogged for years by accusations that it doesn't do enough to fight intellectual property rights violations and also listed counterfeits as a risk before its record-breaking $25 billion IPO in September.

Windows 10 for pirates: An ‘attractive’ upgrade offer is coming, but not a free upgrade

It took Microsoft a while, but the company has finally clarified its stance on the Windows 10 upgrade for pirated copies. Previously, the company said the upgrade will be still available as a free of charge download for PC owners that have installed pirated copies of Windows 7 or later, and then further elaborated on the matter by adding that these Windows 10 copies will still be labeled as not genuine. In a new blog post, the company said that Windows 10 won’t be free for pirates. DON’T MISS: Incredible ‘bioconcrete’ can heal itself thanks to limestone-producing bacteria The company will watermark the desktop of non-genuine Windows 10 builds to notify the user. Those Windows pirates who will want to

No sign hackers got info in attack on German parliament system: spokeswoman

No sign hackers got info in attack on German parliament system: spokeswoman

The German Bundestag lower house of parliament is trying to repair its computer system after a hacking attack but there are no indications yet that hackers accessed information, a parliamentary spokeswoman said on Saturday. The Bundestag is analyzing what happened and experts from the Bundestag administration and the BSI (the German Federal Office for Information Security) are working to repair the system, the spokeswoman said. On Friday a German media report said that unknown hackers had been attempting to access the Bundestag's internal data network for several days.

Unknown hackers attack German parliament's data network

Unknown hackers attack German parliament's data network

Unknown hackers have attacked the German Bundestag lower house of parliament's computer system, a parliamentary spokeswoman said on Friday. German news magazine Der Spiegel's online edition had earlier said that the internal data network had been subject to an attack. It said experts had noticed several days ago that unknown attackers had tried to get into the data network. "There was an attack on the Bundestag's IT system," parliamentary spokeswoman Eva Haacke said, giving no further details.

Limit ball carry and use more par-threes: Jacklin

Limit ball carry and use more par-threes: Jacklin

By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) - Former Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin has called on golf's ruling bodies to take action over what he describes as the biggest divide that has ever existed between professional players and weekend hackers. Jacklin believes more par-three layouts need to be built to encourage players back out on to the course and wants to limit the huge distances that top players hit the ball. "There's never been a bigger divide between professional and amateur golf and I think the golf ball's the issue," the 1969 British Open and 1970 U.S. Open champion told Reuters in an interview.

Golf-Limit ball carry and use more par-threes - Jacklin

By Tony Jimenez LONDON, May 15 (Reuters) - Former Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin has called on golf's ruling bodies to take action over what he describes as the biggest divide that has ever existed between professional players and weekend hackers. Jacklin believes more par-three layouts need to be built to encourage players back out on to the course and wants to limit the huge distances that top players hit the ball. "There's never been a bigger divide between professional and amateur golf and I think the golf ball's the issue," the 1969 British Open and 1970 U.S. Open champion told Reuters in an interview.

Android fans might finally get the Nexus 5 successor they’ve dreamt of this year

It’s been nearly two years since Google and LG teamed up to create the highly acclaimed Nexus 5, and now a new report claims Android fans might finally get a proper sequel to the device later this year. DON’T MISS: The little red dot that saved me from my iPhone Recent rumors have stated that Huawei and LG may both be chosen to make new Nexus phones in 2015, which would mark the first time Google has released two flagship Nexus phones in the same year. Android blog Android Pit has added more fuel to these rumors by claiming that LG is indeed interested in making a new Nexus smartphone this year. According to the source, a new Nexus phone is “under consideration” at LG, although other details

China aims to boost Internet speeds, cut prices

China aims to boost Internet speeds, cut prices

China will accelerate development of its high-speed broadband networks to raise Internet speeds and cut prices, long bugbears in a country where many people still have no access to the web. Telecoms firms should make rapid moves to cut prices and increase urban broadband speeds by around 40 percent, according to a statement issued late on Wednesday by China's State Council, the country's cabinet. China's investment in broadband could benefit global network equipment makers such as Ericsson and Nokia Oyj's Alcatel-Lucent, as well as home-grown players like Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and ZTE Corp. The statement did not say how much investment would be needed, but officials have previously earmarked around 2 trillion yuan ($322 billion) to improve China's broadband infrastructure by 2020. The cabinet statement added that China would look to open up the telecoms market and encourage increased competition, including through expanding a pilot scheme for broadband services this year.

Hollywood filmmakers are calling the ‘six strikes’ anti-piracy policy a ‘sham’

Ever since its inception, the voluntary “six strikes” Copyright Alert System has been one of the most controversial in the film industry… but maybe not for the reasons you think. In effect, the policy was meant to give pirates six warnings before throttling their download speeds or blocking their access to torrent sites, but many filmmakers believe it doesn’t go nearly far enough. DON’T MISS: The next Apple device I want Google to dominate TorrentFreak reports that a new organization called the Internet Security Task Force (ISTF) was established in April, consisting of several small studios that want the “six strikes” policy revoked altogether and replaced with something that could actually make an impact. “We’ve always known the Copyright Alert System (CAS) was ineffective, as it

Consumer Reports: Galaxy S6’s iPhone features make it a worse choice than Galaxy S5

The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge are widely seen as some of the best Android smartphones money can buy this year, and certainly the best Samsung handsets made to date. But that doesn’t mean everyone has been impressed with Samsung’s new iPhone-inspired design philosophy. DON’T MISS: 10 amazing Google apps and tools you probably never knew existed As was the case with previous smartphones, Consumer Reports put the Galaxy S6 through a battery of tests. Interestingly though, the organization found the device unable to beat the Galaxy phone that’s currently at the top of its smartphone rankings: the 2014 Galaxy S5. The metal design that seems to be inspired by the iPhone 6 is apparently the main reason Consumer Reports still believes the Galaxy S5 is

FreedomPop’s free cell phone service now available in Europe

There’s a new mobile offer that Europeans looking for even more affordable cellphone service should know about. After selling free mobile service to American smartphone buyers for a few years, FreedomPop is now doing the same thing in its first European market, the U.K. DON’T MISS: 11 huge features of the next iPhone and iPhone Plus revealed by insider The company on Tuesday announced that it’s going to be the first carrier to offer free mobile service to interested customers in the region. The most basic (and free) plan includes 200 voice minutes, 200 texts and 200MB of data per month. Buyers looking to subscribe to FreedomPop’s offer only need FreedomPop’s new application or a new international SIM. Additionally, FreedomPop subscribers get

open-source

Intelligence Agency: opening up to a changing world

By Andrea Shalal SPRINGFIELD, Va. (Reuters) - Much about the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency remains classified, but the U.S. spy agency that maps and analyzes the earth is opening up more than ever, from sharing computer source code on a public website to tapping new sources of intelligence. The NGA's director, Robert Cardillo, is leading what he calls a "seismic shift" in the agency's culture to help it better exploit social media, commercially available imagery and other data to continue providing high-level intelligence to the U.S. government. The NGA this week opened its doors to GitHub, the world's largest site for sharing source code, to advance another goal - to encourage its employees to share analytical tools and other computer programs and get feedback from other developers.

How a Start-up Aims to Cut School Electric Bills and Make Money Doing It

How a Start-up Aims to Cut School Electric Bills and Make Money Doing It

Now, a new start-up says it can help solar-powered schools and small businesses tap into a fresh source of savings: their energy bill. Tumalow wants to give schools battery storage systems for free—then use its own software to calculate exactly the right time to discharge the battery’s stored energy. “After salaries, energy is the second-highest expenditure for a typical school district,” said Tumalow founder Will Galbraith, whose company is based in McLean, Virginia.

U.S. aims to limit exports of undisclosed software flaws

(This story refiles the May 20 story to change "fund" to "find" in paragraph 13) By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Commerce Department proposed new export controls Wednesday that would treat unknown software flaws as potential weapons, a move aimed at reducing the security industry’s aid to rival nations. The regulations are broadly written and cover what are known as “zero-day” flaws, or security vulnerabilities that the software vendors do not know about. Hackers and defense contractors often sell information about such flaws to government agencies or the maker of the software, and internal U.S. sales could continue.

Bill Nye's organization launched a solar sail. It could change space travel.

Bill Nye's organization launched a solar sail. It could change space travel.

Most spacecraft, once launched from the Earth, move around in space with thrusters: small rockets that burn fuel, emit exhaust, and push the craft along. On Wednesday, scientists launched a very different kind of spacecraft — the LightSail, which has a large, thin Mylar sail designed to catch sunlight and convert the pressure of solar rays into forward momentum. The launch was a test of whether the sail could successfully unfold and deploy, and it was a success. If this sort of technology is perfected, it could someday allow us to send spacecraft all over the solar system at much lower costs than we can right now, since it means heavy fuel won't have to be launched into orbit.

You can download an Adblock Plus browser for Android

You can download an Adblock Plus browser for Android

Adblock Plus is one of the most popular desktop browser extensions, but so far it hasn't had a real presence on mobile. The app is built off of Firefox's open-source Android browser, so you know more or less what to expect if you've used that before. In a brief test of Adblock Browser on a Galaxy S6, the app appeared to remove all ads that should have been displayed on each page.

SQL and Hadoop: It's complicated

SQL and Hadoop: It's complicated

With the 1.0 release of Apache Drill and a new 1.2 release of Apache Hive, everything you thought you knew about SQL-on-Hadoop might just have become obsolete

Huawei launches 10KB LiteOS to power the internet of things

Huawei launches 10KB LiteOS to power the internet of things

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is preparing to launch an operating system for the internet of things that's just 10 kilobytes in size. The company says that its "LiteOS" is the "lightest" software of its kind and can be used to power a range of smart devices — from wearables to cars. Huawei predicts that by 2025 there will be roughly 100 billion internet-connected devices in the world, with two million new sensors deployed every hour.

​Google still supports Docker

​Google still supports Docker

Yes, Google is supporting more container formats than Docker, but that doesn't mean it's turning against Docker in its cloud programs.

Russia isn't building its own mobile operating system

Russia isn't building its own mobile operating system

Whether it's for reasons of security, national pride, or a mixture of the two, Russia wants to have fewer iPhones and Android phones. Instead of relying on American tech, the country wants to support "independent" mobile operating systems like the Sailfish OS, or Tizen. Last week, government officials met with leading figures in Russia's IT industry and representatives of Jolla — the company that designs Sailfish — to discuss how to crack Apple and Google's duopoly.

IBM launches OpenStack services

IBM launches OpenStack services

The company said that it will roll out a series of OpenStack services designed to help enterprise customers use the cloud framework for hybrid, private and public cloud deployments.

​Canonical claims LXD crushes KVM

​Canonical claims LXD crushes KVM

Canonical, Ubuntu Linux's parent company, claims its container-based hypervisor LXD is much better than KVM, Linux's built-in virtual machine hypervisor.

gaming

Why Mark Zuckerberg wants kids to play video games

Video games have gotten a bad rap for years now. They create killers, many critics like to claim. They glorify criminal behavior, some politicians often shout. But often left out of the video game discussion is how video games can actually be helpful to a child’s intellectual development. While it may sound a bit outlandish at first, video games can often help kids hone their problem solving skills, sometimes without them even realizing it. What’s more, kids who really love video games often start trying their hand at making their own, a sentiment recently articulated by none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who credits his childhood love of video games with turning him into a programmer. DON’T MISS: 3 new iOS 9

Introducing Tanaan Jungle: six things to know about World of Warcraft's newest zone

Introducing Tanaan Jungle: six things to know about World of Warcraft's newest zone

World of Warcraft's patch 6.2 has been on test servers for a while now. When it goes live in the coming weeks, it will bring a number of major new features to those playing the popular MMO, most notably a whole new zone called Tanaan Jungle. When the Warlords of Draenor expansion first launched on Nov 13, 2014, Tanaan Jungle was actually the first glimpse players got of the new/old (time travel!) world of Draenor.

Windows 10 Beta for Xbox One Coming After Summer

Windows 10 Beta for Xbox One Coming After Summer

By appealing to vanity (and rocking a Battletoads logo for your twitter avatar), even you can get Microsoft to dish on upcoming products. After tweeting to Xbox chief Phil Spencer using the affectionate term "big Phil," Twitter user @dave125norco got Microsoft's gaming head to announce that the Windows 10 beta for Xbox One will be coming out in the “post-summer” time window. While Microsoft has still not declared a specific release date for Windows 10, it has announced that it will take place sometime during summer 2015.

Walmart has hot deals on the PS4 and Xbox One that you have to check out

Looking to buy a brand-new Xbox One or PlayStation 4? Luckily, Walmart has you covered, regardless of what console model you favor most. The retailer is currently running two promotions on Xbox One and PS4 that save you almost $60 on either console. DON’T MISS: Internet Health Test aims to tell you if your ISP is violating net neutrality The Xbox One Halo: The Master Chief Collection Console Bundle plus an additional controller will cost you $349 on Walmart, or $59 off the regular price for the same two products. In addition to the Xbox One Wireless Controller, which might be the more obvious selection for a second controller, you get six other models to choose from. The PS4 deal also comes with a

PlayStation's E3 press conference is coming to movie theaters across North America

PlayStation's E3 press conference is coming to movie theaters across North America

PlayStation's June 15 E3 press conference will be streamed live in movie theaters in every state in the U.S. and three locations in Canada, the company announced today. The PlayStation E3 Experience will be shown in more than 75 theaters for free. Attendees for the  event will also watch an exclusive 30 minute post-press conference show hosted by Geoff Keighley.

Splatoon began as tofu blocks and rabbits, 14 years after Nintendo's last new characters

Splatoon began as tofu blocks and rabbits, 14 years after Nintendo's last new characters

In its earliest stage, Nintendo's upcoming shooter Splatoon was a prototype with combatants shaped like tofu blocks, according to the transcript of an interview between the game's creators and Nintendo's president and CEO, Satoru Iwata. "There was a white thing and a black thing shaped like blocks of tofu, and they were shooting ink and they had to steal each other's turf," Hisashi Nogami of Nintendo''s Entertainment Analysis & Development Division told Iwata. Nintendo EAD is responsible for developing new products.

New trailer for Adam Sandler’s movie Pixels might convince you to hate video games forever

Well, it was a good run. Video games have meant a lot to me over the years — they’ve even helped inform my career path. But after watching the latest trailer for Pixels, I’m thinking it’s finally time to do away with childish things. Video games are dead. DON’T MISS: One simple trick could free up gigabytes of space on your iPhone All right, that might be an overreaction, but the more I see of Pixels, the new retro video game comedy from Adam Sandler and co., the less I understand it. Who is the audience for a movie featuring video game characters from three decades ago? Kids want to see movies about Minecraft and LEGO, not Centipede and Pac-Man. Regardless of

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: PS4 vs. Xbox One performance comparison

There’s no doubt that The Witcher 3 is one of the momentous game releases of the year, and now that it’s out, we need to nitpick it until there’s nothing left to discuss. As it does with every major multiplatform release, Eurogamer has put both the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game to the test to see which comes out on top. READ MORE: 10 photos of the stunning $300M Silicon Valley HQ Samsung is set to open this year Although the game is stunningly gorgeous regardless of platform, Eurogamer found in its analysis that both console versions of the game are inconsistent from a performance standpoint. “The first distinction is that PS4 caps its frame-rate at 30fps (with v-sync), while Xbox One runs with

Somebody in Osama bin Laden's compound played video games

Somebody in Osama bin Laden's compound played video games

It appears that some of the residents passed the time in the remote safe house by playing video games, according to documents collected from the site that were declassified and released today by the U.S. government. Listed among "Documents Probably Used by Other Compound Residents" is a game guide for Delta Force: Xtreme 2, a first-person shooter from California-based studio NovaLogic. A publication referred to as "Game Spot Videogame Guide" also appears in the list, with no specific video game mentioned.

Xbox One gets its official over-the-air tuner today, available in a $99.99 bundle

Xbox One gets its official over-the-air tuner today, available in a $99.99 bundle

Xbox One owners in the U.S. and Canada can now watch over-the-air TV on their consoles, according to an Xbox Wire post. To watch broadcast TV, you'll need the $59.99 Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One, which is available at Amazon and the Microsoft Store. The Microsoft Store is offering a $99.99 bundle that includes an antenna that connects to the included tuner.

Want a white Xbox One and four Halo games? Microsoft is selling a limited edition bundle

Want a white Xbox One and four Halo games? Microsoft is selling a limited edition bundle

Microsoft will release a limited edition Xbox One bundle for $349 this month that includes Halo: The Master Chief Collection, according to a post today on Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb's site. The U.S.-only bundle ships with a code for a 59.11 GB download of The Master Chief Collection, which includes Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4. A black Master Chief Collection Xbox One bundle is currently on sale for $349.99.

Nintendo makes the perfect hire

Nintendo makes the perfect hire

Look, when you're Nintendo, and you get a chance to hire this guy, you do it, if only for the chance to write this kind of a press release: