tech

Tech workers seek to use Steve Jobs evidence in upcoming trial on no-hire accords

Tech workers seek to use Steve Jobs evidence in upcoming trial on no-hire accords

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four large technology companies should not be allowed to limit evidence about Apple Inc co-founder Steve Jobs at an upcoming trial over no-hire agreements in Silicon Valley, according to a court document filed late on Thursday by employees suing the firms. Tech workers brought a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to avoid competing for each other's employees in order to avert a salary war. The case, which is closely watched in Silicon Valley, is largely built on emails among top executives, including Apple's late chief executive Jobs and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

By Orhan Coskun ANKARA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan applied to Turkey's constitutional court on Friday to challenge the alleged violation of his and his family's rights by social media, a senior official in his office told Reuters. Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The Twitter block was lifted earlier this month after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey.

Retailer Michaels Stores confirms payment card data breach

Retailer Michaels Stores confirms payment card data breach

(Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Thursday confirmed that there was a security breach at certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers. The company said in January that it was working with federal law enforcement officials to investigate a possible data breach. Michaels Stores said the breach, which took place between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014, may have affected about 2.6 million cards, or about 7 percent of payment cards used at its stores during the period. There was no evidence that data such as customers' name or personal identification number were at risk, Michaels Stores said in a statement.

Weibo debut highlights complicated dance with Chinese censors

Weibo debut highlights complicated dance with Chinese censors

By Gerry Shih and Yimou Lee SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Weibo Corp executives on Thursday toasted the Chinese social media firm's debut at Nasdaq's New York headquarters. Hours earlier in Beijing, Charles Xue, a Chinese-American venture capitalist and prominent Weibo user, celebrated a different kind of coming-out: his release after eight months in jail. The timing of the two events, though coincidental, highlights the fundamental challenge for Shanghai-based Weibo: progressing from being a microblogging phenomenon in China to becoming an entrenched member of the international social media industry. Now, as Weibo celebrates its warm reception on international financial markets, its conflicts with censors at home raise the question of whether the firm known as the "Twitter of China" may eventually be derailed by government interference.

Google still a top pick for Wall Street, despite mobile ad challenges

Google still a top pick for Wall Street, despite mobile ad challenges

Google Inc's disappointing first-quarter results left Wall Street unfazed about the internet giant's ability to come to grips with the shift to the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google shares were down about 3 percent in early trading on Thursday, and at least 12 brokerages cut their target price on the stock. "Despite an expectations-miss quarter, Google remains one of the best-positioned stocks for many of the secular growth drivers in the Internet space," RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney, who kept his "outperform" rating on the stock, said in a note to clients. Of the 46 analysts covering Google, 35 have a "buy" or equivalent rating on the stock.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

WASHINGTON (AP) — People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw.

Beats Music update lets you subscribe from inside the iOS app

Beats Music update lets you subscribe from inside the iOS app

Odds are that you weren't riveted by Beats Music when it first arrived, but the streaming service has just delivered a pair of big updates that may give you a good excuse to tune in. For the iOS app, the biggest improvement is visible when you're signing up -- you can now subscribe from within the software rather than heading to the web. The move makes it that much easier to keep the music flowing after your trial is over, and may just help Beats grow its fledgling customer base.

Spec Sheet: Toshiba's 4K laptop tries to dominate the high-res competition

Spec Sheet: Toshiba's 4K laptop tries to dominate the high-res competition

Apple may be responsible for really kicking off the demand for high-resolution displays on all of ours smartphones and tablets, but it's other companies that have taken the idea and ran with it. That's true on laptops too, where everything from Samsung's Ativ Books to Asus' Zenbooks have received super high-res displays that in many cases outclass even Apple's Retina Macbook Pros when it comes to pixels. Now, Toshiba is taking things a notch further, announcing a laptop with a 15.6-inch 4K display that'll be available in the US for $1,499.99 beginning next week. Though laptops with displays that go beyond 1080p have only started popping up recently, they're already offered by a surprisingly wide selection of manufacturers.

Ex-Microsoft engineer invents a new machine to help you brew the perfect batch of beer

Ex-Microsoft engineer invents a new machine to help you brew the perfect batch of beer

Home brewing is rewarding but it’s also often fraught with peril — if you don’t thoroughly sterilize all of your equipment or if you drop in the yeast while your wort is still hot, it can ruin hours of hard work. Bloomberg Businessweek has written a profile on former Windows engineer Bill Mitchell, who left Microsoft in 2010 to work full-time on PicoBrew, a startup that’s dedicated to take away as many potential pain points as possible for home brewers. Last fall, PicoBrew launched a Kickstarter for Zymatic, its own automatic beer brewing appliance that raised more than $660,000, or more than four times its original goal of $150,000. PicoBrew’s pitch is very appealing to anyone who’s ever tried their hand

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

NEW YORK (AP) — A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Old-school RPG fans still get nostalgic when you bring up Baldur’s Gate, the classic Bioware D&D-based adventure that set the standard for computer RPGs when it was released all the way back in 1998. In fact, the Balur’s Gate series’s popularity has been so enduring that studio Beamdog has overhauled it with improved graphics and features while also adding touch controls to make it easy to play on tablets. Although Beamdog released its Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for the iPad a while ago, the studio has finally gotten around to porting it to Android, and it’s now available on the Google Play store for $9.99. Although the iPad version of the overhauled Baldur’s Gate received mixed marks for its buggy controls,

White House delays Keystone XL pipeline decision indefinitely

White House delays Keystone XL pipeline decision indefinitely

Despite passing the State Department's final environmental analysis earlier this year, the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is facing more delays well before developments get underway. In an announcement made today, the Obama White House stated that it is putting its final approval of the project on hold. According to White House officials, the decision to delay the presidential go-ahead comes as Nebraska lawmakers debate whether or not the 1,179-mile pipeline can be built through the state. US District Court Judge Stephanie Stacy overturned a law in February that originally approved the project, stating in her ruling that the law violated Nebraska's state constitution.

How the Touch Screen Became So Out of Touch

How the Touch Screen Became So Out of Touch

The touch screen -- interface of the future or gimmicky marketing headache? When the first touch screen interfaces came out (at least in a big consumer kind of way) it was in smartphones. Sure there have been other instances of touch screen interfaces (ATM machines, TV remotes, etc.) but no touch screen application has ever become so prolific, so fast, as did the smartphone touch screen. It seemed like overnight we began seeing every sort of tech device coming to us with a touch screen built into it, so much so that the usefulness became very hit or miss. In

Nike reportedly abandons the FuelBand and lays off its hardware division

Nike reportedly abandons the FuelBand and lays off its hardware division

Nike confirmed to CNET this afternoon that the company is laying off people in its hardware division, which makes the FuelBand line of fitness trackers. "As a fast-paced, global business we continually align resources with business priorities," Nike spokesman Brian Strong told The Verge in an email. Citing an unnamed source, CNET reports that as many as 55 people on Nike's 70-person hardware team were laid off on Thursday. The original FuelBand launched in 2012, but Nike was slow to iterate on it.

Blizzard’s free Hearthstone card game conquers the iPad

Blizzard’s free Hearthstone card game conquers the iPad

Blizzard’s new Warcraft-inspired card game soft-launched on iPad in early April, and was released worldwide earlier this week as a free download. However, in less than a day the game took the App Store by storm, quickly becoming the top application in the Top Free Apps charts in many markets. According to data provided by App Annie, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now the No. 1 free app in 38 markets where the App Store is available to customers, including the U.S. When looking at iPad games only, the app is No. 1 in 40 countries. Hearthstone quickly dethroned previous title holders, including Microsoft’s recently launched Office for iPad suite of productivity apps, but also many other free-to-play games. Hearthstone

Dutch man's case linked to Amanda Todd

Dutch man's case linked to Amanda Todd

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Canadian police confirmed an arrest has been made in the Netherlands in the case of a Canadian teenager who was blackmailed into exposing herself in front of a webcam. The 15-year-old later committed suicide after detailing her harassment on a YouTube video watched by millions around the world.

Samsung running out of time against Apple in court

Samsung running out of time against Apple in court

Both sides get 25 hours each to call up, and cross-examine one another's witnesses — and Samsung's running low. By the end of the day the company had a little under four hours left, time it needs to convince a jury that Apple's infringing on two of its patents. Samsung spent much of this week attempting to pick apart Apple's argument it had copied features from iPhones, iPods, and iPads. That ultimately ended with Samsung's chief attorney pleading (unsuccessfully) with the judge for more time to make its case.

Mt. Gox CEO won't appear in U.S. for questions about bankruptcy case

Mark Karpeles, the chief executive of Mt. Gox, said he would not come to the United States to answer questions about the Japanese bitcoin exchange's U.S. bankruptcy case, Mt. Gox lawyers told a federal judge on Monday. In the court filing, Mt. Gox lawyers cited a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which has closely monitored virtual currencies like bitcoin. "Mr. Karpeles is now in the process of obtaining counsel to represent him with respect to the FinCEN Subpoena. Until such time as counsel is retained and has an opportunity to 'get up to speed' and advise Mr. Karpeles, he is not willing to travel to the U.S.", the filing said.

Easter weekend flash sale offers PS3 and Vita games for $0.99

Easter weekend flash sale offers PS3 and Vita games for $0.99

U.S. PlayStation fans weren’t fortunate enough to receive a big Easter promotion like their European counterparts, but Sony is making up for it with a 99 cent flash sale this weekend, slashing prices on over 25 games on the PlayStation Network. Sony announced on the PlayStation Blog that the offer had officially gone live on Friday, featuring PlayStation 3, Vita and PS2/PS1 Classics that will cost you less than a dollar to pick up. The full list follows below. Back to the Future: The Game – Full Series Blast Factor Braid Crash Bandicoot Crash Bandicoot 2 Crash Bandicoot 3: WARPED Crash Commando CTR: Crash Team Racing echochrome ii Everyday Shooter Gex: Enter the Gecko Gotham City Imposters Jurassic Park: The Game – Full Season Plants vs Zombies

SpaceX continues its mission toward reusable rockets

SpaceX continues its mission toward reusable rockets

Metamucil One, you’re go for take off. Remember, you will be carrying 40 tons of Metamucil, America’s number one fiber supplement. Since the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, astronauts have been forced to deal with eating food that does a real number on their digestive systems. The launch of Metamucil One marks a major step forward in the NASA astronaut diet. Thank you for your patriotism.

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson

Though he's personally disappointed in the way the World Wide Web has emerged and become integral to our relationship with knowledge, Nelson's influence on the many people who have shaped our digital world is immense.

DARPA envisions a smarter, safer autopilot

DARPA envisions a smarter, safer autopilot

Autonomous aircraft serve their purpose, but there's no question that pilotless passenger flights are a long way off, if they ever become a reality. Still, there's obviously room for improvement when it comes to on-board systems that assist pilots in their duties. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is in the process of creating an advanced autopilot system called ALIAS (yes, another acronym).

Private Spies Deserve More Scrutiny

Private Spies Deserve More Scrutiny

Sure, the NSA, CIA and FBI deserve scrutiny, but we should devote our attention to the private sector also. Outsourcing has always been a convenient way to avoid accountability.

Verizon to finally roll out KitKat for the Galaxy S4 on May 2nd

Verizon to finally roll out KitKat for the Galaxy S4 on May 2nd

It’s taken far too long, but it looks like an update to the latest version of Android on Verizon’s Galaxy S4 is finally in sight. Android Geeks obtained a leaked document from one of its readers which points to May 2nd as the launch date for Android 4.4.2 KitKat on the S4, around two months after the roll out began for AT&T and Sprint subscribers. Google has made it clear that the inexplicable update delays will be handled more efficiently in the future, but for now, Verizon customers are dependent on internal leaks to learn about software updates. Android Geeks pointed out that KitKat began appearing on Verizon’s LG G2 this week as well, so hopefully anyone with a recent Android device and a subscription to

Facebook's Paper App Gets New Legs to Stand On Its Own

Facebook's Paper App Gets New Legs to Stand On Its Own

Paper, Facebook's highly-lauded, but little-used "story" app, got a small update on Friday that allows it to stand apart from the main Facebook app. Before this update, Paper users had to switch over to the main Facebook app to see those functions, undermining the notion of Paper as a Facebook replacement. That small update is important because of Zuckerberg's recent comments to The New York Times, in which he said that the future of Facebook is not in the main Facebook app but in smaller, more specifically focused apps. Thus far, it's being positioned as the Thinking Person's Facebook, full of links to editor-picked stories from higher-quality media outlets and an audience intent on reading. And though the app ranks low on the most-downloaded list, Facebook executives have been pleased with the intensity of its use so far.

Tubecore wants you to hack and mod its beautiful, modular speaker

Tubecore wants you to hack and mod its beautiful, modular speaker

Let's be honest: Wireless speakers are a dime a dozen. The options are seemingly endless, and new ones arrive on an almost daily basis. Companies have begun to push the boundaries of design as of late, making options that are an aesthetic step above the larger outfits. Tubecore's Duo certainly does that, but it's also so much more.

Nearly one-third of morning-after pills in Peru are fake

Nearly one-third of morning-after pills in Peru are fake

A whopping 28 percent of morning-after pills in Peru are fake. A study published today in PLOS ONE relates how some emergency contraceptives contain inadequate amounts of active ingredients that, in many cases, aren't being released quickly enough into the body to be considered effective. In the study, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology tested 25 batches of emergency contraceptives purchased from 15 pharmacies and distributors in Lima, Peru. Peru isn't the only country that has had to deal with fake contraceptives.

US newspaper industry revenue fell 2.6 pct in 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. newspaper industry revenue fell last year, as increases in circulation revenue weren't high enough to make up for shrinking demand for print advertising, an industry trade group said Friday.

AT&T adds more data and a hotspot option to prepaid GoPhone plans

AT&T adds more data and a hotspot option to prepaid GoPhone plans

AT&T is adding more data to its GoPhone prepaid smartphone plans without raising monthly fees in the process. If you're currently paying $60 a month for 2GB, your allotment will jump to 2.5 gigs, while those on the $40, 250MB plan will now get 500MB per month. More data is only part of the value proposition for GoPhone customers, though; the new 2.5GB plan will now offer the ability to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot.

Motorola will soon launch an even cheaper, slimmer Android handset

Motorola will soon launch an even cheaper, slimmer Android handset

Motorola has previously hinted that it wants to offer users an even more affordable smartphone this year, and Tecnblog says it learned that such a handset will launch this May. The Moto G has been one of Motorola’s best-selling smartphones thanks to its affordable price, and this new device may be even cheaper. According to a person that reportedly works for a Brazilian mobile operator, the cheaper Motorola handset would pack a 4.3-inch display with unspecified resolution, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, 5-megapixel camera, 3G support, FM Radio antenna, 1900mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat. Three versions of the handset have apparently been approved by Brazilian Telecommunication regulator Anatel, including the single-SIM XT1021, the dual-SIM XT1022 and the

3D-printed cast concept uses ultrasound to heal broken bones

3D-printed cast concept uses ultrasound to heal broken bones

Last year, Victoria University of Wellington graduate Jake Evill created the Cortex cast, a concept that sought to potentially replace traditional plaster casts while also offering the added benefit of being lightweight and odor-free. Now, the Osteoid cast, a new concept designed by Deniz Karasahin, takes things a step further by adding an ultrasound device meant to speed up the healing process. The next step for this design is to create a locking mechanism for the cast that protects the limb and cast itself in as effective a way as possible.

Cheap 3D printers are poised to wreck companies’ powers to enforce their IP

Cheap 3D printers are poised to wreck companies’ powers to enforce their IP

Ten days ago a 3D printer called The Micro started a Kickstarter campaign with the modest goal of raising $50,000 in a month. With 18 days to go, the project has already raised nearly $3 million. The Micro has gained more than 10,000 followers and all of the early production runs of the $199 and $299 versions of the device have sold out. New supporters will have to pick a February 2015 shipment date of pay at least $600 for very early test production runs. Obviously, the frenzy of excitement around The Micro seems to indicate that there is real fascination about the idea of owning a 3D printer priced at the level of a video game console. But what happens if The

Get A New iPhone 5S For Zero Dollars, Just By Finding A Surviving Radio Shack

Get A New iPhone 5S For Zero Dollars, Just By Finding A Surviving Radio Shack

Looking to buy a brand-spanking-new iPhone 5S on the cheap? Your best bet might be to go somewhere you haven't been in a long, long time: a RadioShack. The struggling electronics chain has a new promotion in which you can trade an eligible iPhone 4S for the fancy 5S. Crazy, right? It's not exactly straightforward, but here's how it works. Normally, an iPhone 5S with a new or renewed contract costs $199. Starting Friday, RadioShack is knocking $100 off the price of a 5S with contract. Then, if you own an old 4S in working condition, you can get a

internet

Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

By Orhan Coskun ANKARA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan applied to Turkey's constitutional court on Friday to challenge the alleged violation of his and his family's rights by social media, a senior official in his office told Reuters. Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The Twitter block was lifted earlier this month after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey.

Facebook rolls out 'nearby friends' feature

Facebook rolls out 'nearby friends' feature

Facebook on Thursday began rolling out a feature allowing users of its mobile app to use smartphone location to discover friends near them. The optional "nearby friends" feature "helps you discover which friends are nearby or on the go," said product manager Andrea Vaccari in a blog announcement. "If you turn on Nearby Friends, you'll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up," Vaccari said. "For example, when you're headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward."

Patent consortium Rockstar loses bid to move Google case

Patent consortium Rockstar loses bid to move Google case

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected a request by patent consortium Rockstar to transfer patent litigation from Google Inc's home turf in California to Texas, according to a court ruling. Rockstar, which counts Apple Inc as an investor, outbid Google and paid $4.5 billion for thousands of former Nortel Network Corp patents as the networking products supplier went bankrupt in 2011. Last year, the consortium sued several handset manufacturers whose phones operate on Google's Android operating system, which fiercely competes with Apple mobile products.

Weibo debut highlights complicated dance with Chinese censors

Weibo debut highlights complicated dance with Chinese censors

By Gerry Shih and Yimou Lee SAN FRANCISCO/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Weibo Corp executives on Thursday toasted the Chinese social media firm's debut at Nasdaq's New York headquarters. Hours earlier in Beijing, Charles Xue, a Chinese-American venture capitalist and prominent Weibo user, celebrated a different kind of coming-out: his release after eight months in jail. The timing of the two events, though coincidental, highlights the fundamental challenge for Shanghai-based Weibo: progressing from being a microblogging phenomenon in China to becoming an entrenched member of the international social media industry. Now, as Weibo celebrates its warm reception on international financial markets, its conflicts with censors at home raise the question of whether the firm known as the "Twitter of China" may eventually be derailed by government interference.

SEC's information technology at risk of hacking: report

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has failed to protect its data network against possible breaches, to encrypt highly sensitive information, or to use strong enough passwords, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday. In addition to the cybersecurity failings, even the physical security in place to protect SEC data and equipment from being accessed or stolen is lax, a 25-page GAO report said, with workstations located in an area open to all agency staff. The report comes just two days after the SEC issued a nine-page blueprint that put Wall Street firms on notice that they should brace themselves for some tough questions from agency examiners about their cybersecurity policies and practices. "Information security control weaknesses in a key financial system's production environment may jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information residing in and processed by the system," the GAO wrote.

Sina Weibo soars in debut, overcoming censorship concerns

Sina Weibo soars in debut, overcoming censorship concerns

By Alexei Oreskovic and Tanya Agrawal SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Weibo Corp rose as much as 41 percent in their U.S. debut on Thursday, sweeping aside concerns that censorship in China will hurt the growth of the country's Internet sector and broader worries about the outlook for tech-sector stocks. Investors are watching the biggest debut of a Chinese Internet company in years, hoping for clues as to demand for the highly anticipated IPO of far larger e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd . Sina Weibo's early gains came after the owner of a Chinese Twitter-like messaging service priced its shares at the very bottom of a target range of $17 to $19, and cut its offer to 16.8 million American Depositary Shares from 20 million. "People had concerns that there's some competition over there and that engagement on Weibo may be challenged in the future, but I think Weibo is still a social media platform, that people still use it every day," said Henry Guo of JG Capital.

Twitter broadens advertising reach through app-install ads

Twitter broadens advertising reach through app-install ads

By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc took a significant step Thursday towards broaden its advertising business by offering mobile ads urging people to install apps on its social network as well as through MoPub, the mobile-advertising network it acquired last year. As the mobile app economy grows, app developers have been willing to pay increasing amounts to advertise on major sites like Facebook to boost their app downloads. Twitter said Thursday it could reach 1 billion unique mobile devices through its MoPub network, which places ads inside of hundreds of apps. Twitter, which acquired MoPub last year for roughly $350 million, reaches a more limited audience of 240 million users through its own Twitter.com Web site and mobile apps.

Google misses revenue target, ad prices slide

Google misses revenue target, ad prices slide

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's first-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street targets and margins narrowed as the price of its ads continued to decline, underscoring the challenges Internet companies face as the world shifts toward mobile devices. Shares of Google were down 3 percent to $539.80 in afterhours trading on Wednesday, after initially sliding roughly 6 percent on the news. The number of "paid clicks" by consumers on Google's ads increased by 26 percent in the first quarter, disappointing some analysts who had hoped for stronger volume growth. And the average "cost per click" declined 9 percent, extending a downward trend as mobile advertising, typically cheaper than traditional online ads, make up a bigger slice of its business.

Weibo cuts IPO size amid selloff in technology stocks

Weibo cuts IPO size amid selloff in technology stocks

(Reuters) - China's Weibo Corp, a Twitter-like messaging service company, raised a less-than-expected $286 million after it cut the size of its U.S. initial public offering amid a selloff in technology shares and concerns about slowing user growth. The offering comes ahead of the much-anticipated IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which holds stake in Weibo. Weibo, controlled by Web portal company Sina Corp, sold 16.8 million American depositary shares (ADSs) at $17 each, the company said on Thursday. At the offer price, Weibo is valued at $3.46 billion.

U.S. SEC releases cyber security examination blueprint

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators have unveiled a road map that lays out how they plan to make sure Wall Street firms are prepared to detect and prevent cyber security attacks. The SEC also plans examinations of more than 50 firms that will focus on cyber security-specific issues. The document's release comes several months after Jane Jarcho, an associate director in the SEC's investment adviser examination program, announced in a speech the agency planned to scrutinize whether firms have policies to prevent cyber attacks. The SEC subsequently followed up with a March 26 roundtable where experts debated how public companies, brokerages, asset managers and exchanges can protect themselves from cyber threats, and what role the U.S. government should play to ensure such attacks are adequately disclosed.

Google first-quarter revenue misses Wall Street targets

Google first-quarter revenue misses Wall Street targets

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's first-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street targets and margins narrowed as the price of its ads continued to decline, pushing its shares sharply lower. Shares of Google were down 5.7 percent at $525 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. The number of "paid clicks" by consumers on Google's ads increased by 26 percent in the first quarter, disappointing some analysts that had hoped for stronger volume growth. "It's an average quarter from a great company," said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis.

Japanese Internet firms offer something new: high returns

Japanese Internet firms offer something new: high returns

By Ayai Tomisawa TOKYO (Reuters) - Some Japanese Internet companies are getting a boost from foreign investors as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pushes for an elusive strength his country's firms are not known for - high returns. After a slow start, the index is attracting attention after Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, the world's largest pension fund, adopted the JPX-400 as a benchmark for some of its passive stock investments.

China e-commerce giant Alibaba seen filing for U.S. IPO next week: sources

China e-commerce giant Alibaba seen filing for U.S. IPO next week: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is expected to file the prospectus for its U.S. initial public offering next week, sources said on Wednesday, moving closer to what could be the biggest-ever listing by a technology firm. Alibaba's documents could be filed as soon as Monday, added the sources, who couldn't be named because the plans aren't yet public. The IPO could be worth more than $16 billion, surpassing the previous record for a technology share sale set by Facebook Inc in 2012, Reuters previously reported. ...

China's Baidu launches mobile payment app

China's Baidu launches mobile payment app

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Baidu Inc, China's leading internet search provider, has launched a mobile payment and wealth management platform after its main domestic rivals launched similar products. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, through its mobile payment arm, Alipay, launched Alipay Wallet in January 2013, which included a money-market investment product, Yu'e Bao, marketed as a high-yielding substitute for traditional bank deposits. Tencent followed in August with WeChat Payment, a payment and investment platform linked to its popular WeChat mobile messaging app. ...

Yahoo sees flat second quarter as revenue growth remains elusive

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc on Tuesday forecast second-quarter revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs, of $1.06 billion to $1.1 billion, in line with expectations for about $1.08 billion. That is roughly flat from the $1.07 billion in revenue that Yahoo posted in the same quarter of 2013. (Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic. Editing by Andre Grenon)

Twitter buys social data provider Gnip, stock soars

Twitter buys social data provider Gnip, stock soars

Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it bought social data provider Gnip for an undisclosed amount, signaling that it would take on a new role of packaging and selling data, a service in demand by business and government. The social media company said separately that it hired a Google executive to lead its consumer product development, filling a position that had been vacant since January. Investors reacted positively to the news, sending Twitter shares up more than 11 percent, the biggest gain since the day it went public in November. Twitter said in a blog post that the Gnip deal allowed it to burrow more deeply into the 500 million tweets sent daily on its network.

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf grab

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf grab

By Jennifer Saba NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As, is going after more eyeballs, and advertising, by allowing members of its passionate community to post their own news more quickly and easily. Reddit, majority owned by Conde Nast parent Advanced Publications, last month rolled out a new feature that lets users of the nine-year-old site post live updates, allowing them to report in real time. The live updates allow selected users, dubbed "reporters" by Reddit, to instantly stream unlimited posts during the course of an event such as the conflict in the Ukraine, an earthquake in Los Angeles, or a game played in real time, without having to refresh the page. "Reddit members are doing amazing things with very minimal tools and were hitting some barriers," said Erik Martin, general manager.

Google to buy drone-maker Titan Aerospace

By Alexei Oreskovic (Reuters) - Google Inc has acquired solar-powered drone maker Titan Aerospace as the Web search giant ramps up plans to deliver wireless Internet access to remote parts of the world. Titan Chief Executive Vern Raburn declined to provide information on the price of the deal, which he said closed on Monday morning. The 20-person company will remain in New Mexico for the foreseeable future, Raburn said, with all employees joining Google. The deal could further Google's efforts to deliver Internet access to remote regions of the world. ...

Carrefour to revive Brazil e-commerce business: CEO

Carrefour to revive Brazil e-commerce business: CEO

By Dominique Vidalon PARIS (Reuters) - Carrefour, the world's second-largest retailer, plans to revive its e-commerce operations in Brazil this year after shutting the business down in 2012 as part of a broader group restructuring. Chief Executive Georges Plassat revealed the plan at the annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday. He also told investors that Carrefour wanted to boost its local profile in Brazil, its second-largest market after France and an emerging country it has earmarked for expansion. ...

Infosys says staff exodus a worry after fourth quarter profits beat estimates

Infosys says staff exodus a worry after fourth quarter profits beat estimates

By Soham Chatterjee and Nivedita Bhattacharjee BANGALORE/MUMBAI (Reuters) - Staff left India's second largest IT services exporter Infosys Ltd at an unprecedented pace in the last quarter, worrying its management and raising investors' concerns about its ability to win lucrative contracts even as it posted a higher-than-expected net profit for the period. Infosys, however, appears to be having a particularly difficult time with staff as it undergoes a restructuring aimed at lifting growth to match rivals including sector leader Tata Consultancy Services Ltd and third-ranked Wipro Ltd. The attrition rate, currently bigger than its two rivals, is the highest ever seen and "more than we are comfortable with", Chief Executive S.D. Shibulal told a briefing after the company posted a 25 percent increase its net profit for the fourth quarter that ended March 31. The company's annualized staff attrition rate stood at 18.7 percent at the end of March, the company said, up from 16.3 percent at the end of the same quarter last year and in line with the rate of staff exits in the previous quarter.

Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet

Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet

By Orhan Coskun ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Twitter will close some accounts in Turkey but will not for now set up an office there as the government wants, a senior Turkish official said late on Monday after talks over a dispute which saw the government ban the site for two weeks. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The Twitter block was lifted 11 days ago after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey.

Social media firms operating in Turkey must open office: minister

Social media firms operating in Turkey must open office: minister

ANKARA (Reuters) - Social media firms operating in Turkey must open representative offices in the country, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Tuesday after Ankara held talks with Twitter aimed at resolving a dispute which led to a two-week ban on the site. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter temporarily in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle were leaked on their sites. YouTube remains blocked. ...

'Heartbleed' blamed in attack on Canada tax agency, more expected

'Heartbleed' blamed in attack on Canada tax agency, more expected

By Jim Finkle and Louise Egan BOSTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's tax-collection agency said on Monday that the private information of about 900 people had been compromised as hackers exploited the "Heartbleed" bug, and security experts warned that more attacks will likely follow. The breach allowed hackers to extract social insurance numbers, which are used for employment and gaining access to government benefits, and possibly some other data, the Canada Revenue Agency said.

Facebook plans to provide mobile payment services: FT

Facebook plans to provide mobile payment services: FT

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc is preparing to join the mobile-payments race with remittances and electronic-money services on the social network, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing several people involved in the process. The company is close to obtaining approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to start a service that would allow users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange with others, the people told the FT. The company has also had partnership talks with at least three London start-ups — TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo — that offer online and mobile international money transfer services, three people involved in the discussions told FT. Facebook's specific plans, including which countries the electronic-money services would be available in, were not immediately clear.

U.S. retailers to share cyber threat data after Target attack

U.S. retailers to share cyber threat data after Target attack

U.S. retailers are planning to form an industry group for collecting and sharing intelligence about cyber security threats in a bid to prevent future attacks in the wake of last year's big attack on Target Corp. The National Retail Federation said on Monday it will establish an Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or ISAC, for the retail industry in June. ISACs are industry groups that typically run security operations centers that operate around the clock, providing alerts about emerging threats to their members and sharing information provided by law enforcement and other government agencies. There are more than a dozen such organizations among industries including financial services, emergency services, healthcare, technology companies, public transportation and utilities. The financial services industry ISAC, which is widely considered the most successful group of its type, will help retailers set up the new organization.

Dutch police question girl, 14, over American Airlines Twitter threat

Dutch police question girl, 14, over American Airlines Twitter threat

Dutch police said on Monday they were questioning a 14-year-old girl in connection with an apparent threat she sent to American Airlines via Twitter over the weekend. A spokeswoman for Rotterdam police said the girl, who has not been named but who called herself Sarah on the social networking site, had addressed a tweet to the U.S.-based airline implying she was a militant planning an attack. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm gonna do something really big bye," she wrote on Sunday from the account @Queen_Demetriax, which Twitter now shows as suspended. Police spokeswoman Tinet De Jong said the girl was being questioned in the company of a relative at a police station in Rotterdam after Twitter had disclosed to them the Internet address from which she had written the message.

Turkey accuses Twitter of 'tax evasion', calls for local office

Turkey accuses Twitter of 'tax evasion', calls for local office

By Orhan Coskun ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey urged executives from Twitter to open an office and start paying Turkish tax on Monday in the first direct talks since a two-week ban imposed on the site as the government battled a corruption scandal. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. YouTube remains largely blocked in Turkey. The prime minister on Saturday accused Twitter of being a "tax evader", repeating his combative stance ahead of the talks between his government and the San Francisco-based company.

Blackberry plans Heartbleed patches as mobile threat scrutinized

Blackberry plans Heartbleed patches as mobile threat scrutinized

By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd said it plans to release security updates for messaging software for Android and iOS devices by Friday to address vulnerabilities in programs related to the "Heartbleed" security threat. Researchers last week warned they uncovered Heartbleed, a bug that targets the OpenSSL software commonly used to keep data secure, potentially allowing hackers to steal massive troves of information without leaving a trace. Security experts initially told companies to focus on securing vulnerable websites, but have since warned about threats to technology used in data centers and on mobile devices running Google Inc's Android software and Apple Inc's iOS software. Scott Totzke, BlackBerry senior vice president, told Reuters on Sunday that while the bulk of BlackBerry products do not use the vulnerable software, the company does need to update two widely used products: Secure Work Space corporate email and BBM messaging program for Android and iOS.

Microsoft sued over browser miscue that led to $731 million EU fine

Microsoft sued over browser miscue that led to $731 million EU fine

By Bill Rigby SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp's board faces a lawsuit over the way it handled an error with its Internet Explorer browser that ended up costing the company a record-breaking $731 million fine by European antitrust regulators. The lawsuit, brought by shareholder Kim Barovic in federal court in Seattle on Friday, charges that directors and executives, including founder Bill Gates and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, failed to manage the company properly and that the board's investigation was insufficient into how the miscue occurred. The legal action is the first to emerge from a humiliating episode for Microsoft, which the software company has never fully explained and has accounted for only as a "technical error." In March last year, the European Union levied its largest ever antitrust fine against Microsoft for breaking a legally binding commitment made in 2009 to ensure that consumers in Europe had a choice of how they access the internet, rather than defaulting to Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

White House, spy agencies deny NSA exploited 'Heartbleed' bug

White House, spy agencies deny NSA exploited 'Heartbleed' bug

By Mark Hosenball and Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House and U.S. intelligence agencies said on Friday neither the National Security Agency nor any other part of the government were aware before this month of the "Heartbleed" bug, denying a report that the spy agency exploited the glitch in widely used Web encryption technology to gather intelligence. The White House, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued statements after Bloomberg reported that the NSA was aware of the bug for at least two years and exploited it in order to obtain passwords and other basic information used in hacking operations. "Reports that NSA or any other part of the government were aware of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability before April 2014 are wrong," White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

Man confesses in first public trial in China's rumor crackdown: Xinhua

A popular internet microblogger confessed in court to spreading rumors about the Chinese government, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday, in the first public trial since China began cracking down on online rumors last year. Rights advocates say China's campaign to quash online rumors, which began last summer, is tantamount to crushing free expression. Online rumors are particularly pervasive in China, where traditional media is heavily regulated by the government and public trust in the media is low. Qin Zhihui invented a story that the Chinese government gave 200 million yuan ($32.5 million) in compensation to the family of a foreign passenger killed in a high-speed train crash in 2011, Xinhua said.

'Heartbleed' computer bug threat spreads to firewalls and beyond

'Heartbleed' computer bug threat spreads to firewalls and beyond

By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - Hackers could crack email systems, security firewalls and possibly mobile phones through the "Heartbleed" computer bug, according to security experts who warned on Thursday that the risks extended beyond just Internet Web servers. Developers rushed out patches to fix affected web servers when they disclosed the problem, which affected companies from Amazon.com Inc and Google Inc to Yahoo Inc. Yet pieces of vulnerable OpenSSL code can be found inside plenty of other places, including email servers, ordinary PCs, phones and even security products such as firewalls. Def Con's network uses an enterprise firewall from McAfee, which is owned by Intel Corp's security division.

Google to sell Glass to public next week

Google to sell Glass to public next week

Google Inc will take online orders for its Glass wearable gadget on April 15, in its biggest push to get the $1,500 wraparound Web-ready glasses out to the U.S. public. For a limited time starting Tuesday, Google will make the wearable device available to more than just the select group of users such as apps developers in its Glass Explorer program. In a blogpost, Google did not say how many pairs it would sell, just that the quantity would be limited. Google has run campaigns in the past to drum up public involvement, including inviting people to tweet under the hashtag #ifihadglass for a chance to buy a pair of the glasses.

Turkey keeps YouTube block despite court rulings

Turkey keeps YouTube block despite court rulings

Turkish authorities defied court orders and reaffirmed a ban on YouTube imposed after the posting of illicit recordings of top secret security talks that was cited by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as part of a "dirty campaign" to topple him. Turkey's telecoms regulator said on Thursday it would not end a block on YouTube, despite court rulings lifting the ban. "The measure blocking access to the youtube.com internet site remains in place," the Information and Communications Technologies Authority (BTK) said in a statement on its website. Access to Twitter had also been barred until the Constitutional Court ruled last week that this violated the law.

Facebook smartphone chats pushed to Messenger app

Facebook smartphone chats pushed to Messenger app

Facebook on Wednesday began pushing smartphone chats between friends to a stand-alone Messenger application. The move to make members of the world's leading online social network resort to Messenger for text exchanges on the move comes shortly after Facebook outlined a strategy to focus on specialized "apps" for smartphones and tablets. "Today we are starting to notify people that messages are moving out of the Facebook app and over to the Messenger app," Facebook said in an email response to an AFP inquiry. The change coming in an update to Facebook applications for iPhones and Android-powered mobile devices is starting in "a handful" of countries in Europe.

Facebook to require separate mobile app for messages

Facebook to require separate mobile app for messages

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will no longer let users send and receive private messages within its main smartphone app, and will require that users install a separate messaging app, the Internet company said on Wednesday. Facebook began notifying users in France, England and several other European countries on Wednesday that beginning in a couple of weeks they will need to install the company's standalone Messenger app in order to send and receive messages. Facebook plans to eventually require that users in all countries install the Messenger app, spokesman Derick Mains said, though he could not provide a specific timeframe for the change. The move is intended to ensure that users have a consistent and high-quality experience, a Facebook spokesman told Reuters.

Little Internet users can do to thwart 'Heartbleed' bug

Little Internet users can do to thwart 'Heartbleed' bug

Researchers have observed sophisticated hacking groups conducting automated scans of the Internet in search of Web servers running a widely used web encryption program known as OpenSSL that makes them vulnerable to the theft of data, including passwords, confidential communications and credit card numbers. OpenSSL is used on about two-thirds of all web servers, but the issue has gone undetected for about two years. Kurt Baumgartner, a researcher with security software maker Kaspersky Lab, said his firm uncovered evidence on Monday that a few hacking groups believed to be involved in state-sponsored cyber espionage were running such scans shortly after news of the bug first surfaced on Monday. "There is nothing users can do to fix their computers," said Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer with security software maker F-Secure.

gadgets

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Old-school RPG fans still get nostalgic when you bring up Baldur’s Gate, the classic Bioware D&D-based adventure that set the standard for computer RPGs when it was released all the way back in 1998. In fact, the Balur’s Gate series’s popularity has been so enduring that studio Beamdog has overhauled it with improved graphics and features while also adding touch controls to make it easy to play on tablets. Although Beamdog released its Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for the iPad a while ago, the studio has finally gotten around to porting it to Android, and it’s now available on the Google Play store for $9.99. Although the iPad version of the overhauled Baldur’s Gate received mixed marks for its buggy controls,

Blizzard’s free Hearthstone card game conquers the iPad

Blizzard’s free Hearthstone card game conquers the iPad

Blizzard’s new Warcraft-inspired card game soft-launched on iPad in early April, and was released worldwide earlier this week as a free download. However, in less than a day the game took the App Store by storm, quickly becoming the top application in the Top Free Apps charts in many markets. According to data provided by App Annie, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now the No. 1 free app in 38 markets where the App Store is available to customers, including the U.S. When looking at iPad games only, the app is No. 1 in 40 countries. Hearthstone quickly dethroned previous title holders, including Microsoft’s recently launched Office for iPad suite of productivity apps, but also many other free-to-play games. Hearthstone

Video: Awesome accessory puts transparent physical keyboard on your iPad’s screen

Video: Awesome accessory puts transparent physical keyboard on your iPad’s screen

Tactus Technology is a startup that has developed an accessory that can create transparent keyboard buttons on top of a touchscreen display. The company is working with Taiwan-based Wistron, Business Insider reports, to manufacture such a keyboard case accessory for the iPad, which should start shipping later this year. The cases, which will cost between $80 and $100, will work with help of a liquid that forms the physical buttons when such a feature is needed. The cases have two components, including a thin display layer that looks like a screen protector, but allows fluid to pass through it, and a hard-shell backing which will supposedly store the liquid in addition to protecting the device. With a push of a button,

Leaked pics may give us our first glimpse at the next-gen iPad Air

Leaked pics may give us our first glimpse at the next-gen iPad Air

The flood gates have apparently opened in April as Apple device leaks have begun to hit the Internet at an alarming pace. From blueprints to cases to components, we’ve seen enough purported information about the iPhone 6 to build our own, but other than an analyst report on the next iPad’s release date, Apple’s next tablet has remained relatively well hidden. OneMoreThing.nl looks to fix that with the most promising next-gen iPad leaks yet — two photos showing off what might be the front of the iPad Air 2, complete with an integrated display. The current iPad architecture separates the display and the panel, but with an integrated display, the next iPad Air could be even thinner than its predecessor. With

Fourth U.S. Navy official charged in bribery investigation

By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The fourth U.S. Navy official charged in the widening corruption investigation of a Singapore-based defense contractor made his first court appearance on Thursday, accused of accepting gifts of cash, electronics and luxury hotel stays. Petty Officer First Class Dan Layug, 27, is charged with conspiracy to commit bribery, according to a complaint unsealed on Thursday. He is accused of accepting payments of $1,000 a month, plus expensive electronic gadgets and luxury hotel stays, in exchange for information he provided on Navy ships' schedules to Glenn Defense Marine Asia, the company at the center of the scandal. The company's CEO, native Malaysian businessman Leonard Glenn Francis, is charged with plying Navy officials with cash, concert tickets, prostitutes and other gifts to win business.

Video: Awesome tiny wearable gadget could help the blind read

Video: Awesome tiny wearable gadget could help the blind read

FingerReader is the name of a wearable gadget that could help visually impaired people read printed text in books and even on electronic devices, thus opening up additional possibilities to them. Developed by MIT researchers, FingerReader wants to help the blind access more resources than what’s already available in braille format. TechCrunch reports that, according to a recent study from the Royal National Institute of the Blind in Britain cited by one of the researchers, in 2011 only 7% of books are available in large print, unabridged audio and braille. Currently in prototype phase, the FingerReader is essentially a ring that you can use to follow a line of text in a book or on a screen. Thanks to the built-in

You can now buy a Retina iPad mini from Apple for as cheap as $339

You can now buy a Retina iPad mini from Apple for as cheap as $339

If you’ve been holding out for a discount on the latest line of iPads, you’re in luck. 9to5Mac noticed on Thursday that refurbished Retina iPad minis are now available on Apple’s website, starting at $339 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi-only model in silver and space gray. 32GB Wi-Fi models are listed at $419 and 64GB models will run you $509. Each of these prices represents between a 15-16% discount off of the standard price for a new device. Last year’s Retina iPad mini features a 7.9-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution display, 64-bit A7 processor, M7 motion coprocessor, 10 hour battery life, 5-megapixel camera and weighs just 0.73 pounds. As with other refurbished products sold by Apple, the refurbished iPad mini

Longtime iPhone devotee heaps praise on the Galaxy S5′s camera

Longtime iPhone devotee heaps praise on the Galaxy S5′s camera

iPhone fans are fanatically loyal to their favorite device but they can also give credit where it’s due. iMore writer Allyson Kazmucha, who writes obsessively about how to get the most out of your iPhone and iPad, has conducted a very thorough camera shootout involving the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8). While Kazmucha typically found that the One (M8)’s new camera lagged behind the iPhone 5s’s camera in terms of quality, she couldn’t say the same thing about the Galaxy S5′s camera, which she said was in some ways superior to the iPhone 5s’s. Before we get to her conclusions, we should note that she tested these cameras for a number of different picture scenarios, including low-light

iOS 8’s Siri will help you identify any song you hear

iOS 8’s Siri will help you identify any song you hear

Apple will integrate Shazam song discovery features in its upcoming iOS 8 mobile operating system, Bloomberg reports, in an attempt to further increase iTunes music sales. Shazam integration will be built within iOS 8 in a similar manner to Twitter integration, the publication says, which means iPhone and iPad owners won’t have to download a separate app to enable it. Shazam, a very popular online service which currently has more than 90 million monthly users, can capture sound from a phone’s microphone and compare it to a song to identify the song. Apple reportedly plans to give its voice-based assistant Shazam powers as well, and users will be able to simply ask Siri what song is playing. Bloomberg has also

Apple is getting ready to release iOS 7.1.1 to fix multiple bugs

Apple is getting ready to release iOS 7.1.1 to fix multiple bugs

Have you noticed some annoying bugs that cropped up after you installed iOS 7.1 onto your smartphone or tablet? Don’t worry, because apparently Apple has as well. 9to5Mac notices that several visits to its website from around Apple’s campus in Cupertino, Calif. have come from devices running on iOS 7.1.1, which 9to5Mac says is a new update to iOS 7.1 that Apple is testing out to address multiple bugs in iOS 7.1. 9to5Mac also says that there has been a noticeable uptick in iOS 7.1.1 visits in recent days, which likely means “the bug fix update will come over-the-air to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches in the near future.”

Blizzard’s free World of Warcraft card game Hearthstone is now available worldwide on iPad

Blizzard’s free World of Warcraft card game Hearthstone is now available worldwide on iPad

Blizzard announced on Wednesday that its free-to-play collectible card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is finally rolling out worldwide for the iPad. Hearthstone has been available on the iPad in select regions for a few weeks, but April 16th represents the app’s official international launch. The app supports the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation iPads as well as the iPad mini, Retina iPad mini and iPad Air. If you’ve somehow missed out on the explosive popularity of Blizzard’s latest title, Hearthstone is a collectible card game that offers some of the most impressive visuals and easy-to-learn gameplay in the genre. A series of tutorial battles will walk you through the nine available classes, each of which has class specific cards and a

Does BlackBerry finally know what it’s doing again?

Does BlackBerry finally know what it’s doing again?

It’s way too early to declare BlackBerry on the comeback trail, but Wired nonetheless finds a lot to like in the company’s recent investment in health tech startup NantHealth, a move that the publication calls BlackBerry’s “first good idea in years.” Why is this particular investment such a good idea? As Wired explains, it’s a sign that BlackBerry has really and truly thrown in the towel trying to compete with Apple and Google and is instead focussing on niche markets where its core strengths are actually valued. “After years of lousy calls and stubborn attempts to stay relevant with consumers, the NantHealth investment is a promising sign that BlackBerry is doubling down on niche markets — the one place where

BlackBerry's meltdown sparks start-up boom in Canada's Silicon Valley

BlackBerry's meltdown sparks start-up boom in Canada's Silicon Valley

By Sayantani Ghosh, Ashutosh Pandey and Euan Rocha (Reuters) - The troubles at BlackBerry Ltd, which fired more than half its staff and lost more than 90 percent of its market value as consumers shunned its smart phones, might have spelled disaster for the company's hometown of Waterloo, Ontario. More than 450 start-ups opened for business in the twin cities of Waterloo and Kitchener last year, more than four times the number begun in 2009, according to Communitech, a local company that advises them. Often, the new companies are being founded by former BlackBerry employees chasing their entrepreneurial ambitions in a community that's Canada's answer to technology hubs in California and elsewhere. "For those who are trying to get a new tech business off the ground, get it funded, and not get lost in the shadow of Silicon Valley, Waterloo can be the best place to get your company on the map," said Sean McCabe, vice-president of engineering at drone manufacturer Aeryon Labs Inc in Waterloo.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that that nation's biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Apple cannot escape U.S. states' e-book antitrust cases: judge

Apple cannot escape U.S. states' e-book antitrust cases: judge

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Tuesday lost an attempt to dismiss lawsuits by state attorneys general accusing it of conspiring with five major publishers to fix e-book prices. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote's ruling paves the way for attorneys general in 33 states and territories to move forward, along with attorneys for consumers, in pursuing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages at a July 14 trial. Following a non-jury trial, Cote in July found that Apple from 2009 to 2010 conspired with the publishers to raise e-book prices and impede competitors such as Amazon.com Inc. The states had pursued the liability finding alongside the U.S. Justice Department without any objection by Apple and obtained a subsequent injunction against the iPad maker in September that called for the appointment of a compliance monitor. But as the case moved into a damages phase, Apple argued that the states lacked standing to maintain an action for damages, arguing they had not alleged they had suffered any injury.

Here’s an even cheaper way to unlock the full Office for iPad

Here’s an even cheaper way to unlock the full Office for iPad

Microsoft finally launched its Office productivity suite for iPad a few weeks ago, but the free application will only let users view documents unless an Office 365 subscription is purchased. The company offers new subscribers a way to purchase Office 365 inside the iOS application for $99.99 per year, out of which Apple gets its own cut. However, Microsoft on Tuesday announced that its Office 365 Personal subscription, a cheaper alternative for buyers, is now available at a big discount. Unveiled in mid-March, Office 365 personal costs $69.99 per year or $6.99 per month, and is available online at Office365.com, from Microsoft stores, and from other partners. While Office 365 Personal is indeed a cheaper option for Office users looking for

BlackBerry buys minority stake in healthcare IT firm

BlackBerry buys minority stake in healthcare IT firm

By Euan Rocha TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday it bought a minority stake in privately held healthcare IT firm NantHealth, a move that offers a glimpse into the type of niche markets the smartphone maker is targeting as it attempts to engineer a turnaround. Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry, a pioneer in the smartphone industry, has fallen on hard times as its market share has waned in recent years. BlackBerry's Chief Executive John Chen, who took the reins at the company less than six months ago, sees healthcare as one of the sectors in which the company has an advantage, due to a heightened focus on patient privacy and BlackBerry's vast array of networks that can manage and secure data on mobile devices. "BlackBerry's capabilities align closely with NantHealth's," said Chen in a statement on Tuesday.

Not even BlackBerry can escape the Heartbleed bug

Not even BlackBerry can escape the Heartbleed bug

Here’s how you know that Heartbleed is a serious and widespread problem: Even BlackBerry is scrambling to push out patches for it. Although BlackBerry prides itself with being the world’s leader in mobile security, Reuters reports that it was caught flat-footed by the Heartbleed bug just like everyone else and is now planning “to release security updates for messaging software for Android and iOS devices by Friday to address vulnerabilities in programs” exposed by the massive new security flaw. Heartbleed is a major flaw in OpenSSL, the security protocol used to encrypt web traffic, that could potentially allow hackers to swipe any data that users send over the web. News about the bug sent shockwaves throughout the tech industry last week as companies are now

Moto X+1: A rinse and repeat strategy?

Moto X+1: A rinse and repeat strategy?

Motorola’s yet-to-be-unveiled Moto X+1 smartphone will have even more customization options than its predecessor, @evleaks revealed in a recent tweet, including the leather backplate option that was previously rumored. The well-known gadget leaker has obtained a document that lists 25 different back covers users will apparently be able to choose from when ordering the device. According to the leak, the backplates have five categories including “Cool,” “Neutral,” “Warm,” “Wood,” and “Leather.” Each category has several options for buyers to choose from when “moto-making” their device – it’s likely Motorola will keep the Moto Maker customization tool in place for upcoming smartphone models. However, many of these options are already available to buyers for customizing the Moto X, aside from the new leather

The tale of two Androids: Before and after the iPhone

The tale of two Androids: Before and after the iPhone

Taking the stand on Friday in the second U.S. Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit, Google’s Android engineering vice president Hiroshi Lockheimer said that the company did not copy iPhone when designing Android. However, Re/code and AppleInsider have obtained internal Google documents submitted into evidence that remind us just how different Android was in the beginning, with the first Android devices not even supposed to support touchscreen displays. “We like to have our own identity,” Lockheimer said while defending Android, revealing that he joined Google in April 2006 to work on Android. The documents in question, however, show how the identity of Android was shaped around the iPhone’s launch, turning it from a BlackBerry lookalike into an iPhone alternative. The “Android Project Software Functional

Blackberry plans Heartbleed patches as mobile threat scrutinized

Blackberry plans Heartbleed patches as mobile threat scrutinized

By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd said it plans to release security updates for messaging software for Android and iOS devices by Friday to address vulnerabilities in programs related to the "Heartbleed" security threat. Researchers last week warned they uncovered Heartbleed, a bug that targets the OpenSSL software commonly used to keep data secure, potentially allowing hackers to steal massive troves of information without leaving a trace. Security experts initially told companies to focus on securing vulnerable websites, but have since warned about threats to technology used in data centers and on mobile devices running Google Inc's Android software and Apple Inc's iOS software. Scott Totzke, BlackBerry senior vice president, told Reuters on Sunday that while the bulk of BlackBerry products do not use the vulnerable software, the company does need to update two widely used products: Secure Work Space corporate email and BBM messaging program for Android and iOS.

Amazon to unveil smartphone in time for winter holidays: WSJ

Amazon to unveil smartphone in time for winter holidays: WSJ

Amazon.com Inc is preparing to launch its long-rumored smartphone in the second half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people briefed on the company's plans. The Internet retailer would jump into a crowded market dominated by Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The company has recently been demonstrating versions of the handset to developers in San Francisco and Seattle. Amazon has made great strides into the hardware arena as it seeks to boost sales of digital content and puts its online store in front of more users. Amazon recently launched its $99 Fire TV video-streaming box and its Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets already command respectable U.S. market share after just a few years on the market.

Dow Jones: Amazon’s 3D smartphone is real and it’s launching in June

Dow Jones: Amazon’s 3D smartphone is real and it’s launching in June

Every year at around this time, we get word that Amazon will at long last launch a smartphone of its own to go along with its popular Kindle Fire line of tablets. However, CNBC points us to a new Dow Jones report that claims Amazon’s smartphone will at long last launch in June and will have a screen capable of displaying 3D images without having to wear any glasses. We heard about Amazon testing out a 3D smartphone last year and now it looks like Amazon is ready to take the wraps off it. Developing…

Dow Jones: Amazon’s 3D smartphone is real and it will ship by September

Dow Jones: Amazon’s 3D smartphone is real and it will ship by September

Every year at around this time, we get word that Amazon will at long last launch a smartphone of its own to go along with its popular Kindle Fire line of tablets. However, CNBC points us to a new Wall Street Journal report that claims Amazon’s smartphone will at long last be announced in June and will have a screen capable of displaying 3D images without having to wear any glasses. The Journal’s sources say that the phone will be able to display 3D images by employing “retina-tracking technology embedded in four front-facing cameras, or sensors, to make some images appear to be 3-D, similar to a hologram.” We heard about Amazon testing out a 3D smartphone last year and now it

Court reverses conviction of man in iPad data case

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court reversed the conviction of man imprisoned for illegally gaining access to AT&T's servers and stealing the email addresses of more than 100,000 of iPad users, ruling Friday that prosecutors tried him in the wrong state.

U.S. court voids man's conviction for hacking celebrities' iPads

U.S. court voids man's conviction for hacking celebrities' iPads

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously threw out the conviction of an Arkansas man for stealing the personal data of about 120,000 Apple iPad users, including big-city mayors, a TV news anchor and a Hollywood movie mogul. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the prosecution of Andrew Auernheimer did not belong in New Jersey, hundreds of miles from his alleged crimes, and as a result, his November 2012 conviction and 41-month prison sentence could not stand. Writing for a three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Michael Chagares also admonished prosecutors that the Internet's "ever-increasing ubiquity" did not give the government carte blanche to prosecute cybercrime wherever it wishes. "Cybercrimes do not happen in some metaphysical location that justifies disregarding constitutional limits on venue." Auernheimer, who went by the names Weev, Weelos and Escher, had been convicted by a Newark jury of one count of conspiracy to violate the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by accessing AT&T Inc servers, and one count of identity theft.

LG G3 specs apparently leaked, including 2K display and 3GB of RAM

LG G3 specs apparently leaked, including 2K display and 3GB of RAM

It can be difficult for an Android device to stand out in the crowded smartphone market. Without a unique feature or a killer set of specifications, consumers are going to stick with what they know, which is why the latest leak for what could be LG’s next flagship phone is even more intriguing. My LG Cell Phones happened across a User Agent Profile on Sprint’s website for an unannounced LG phone with model number LS990, and based on the specs, this could be the G3 we’ve been anticipating. According to the profile, the LG-LS990 will feature a 5.5-inch Quad HD (1440 x 2560 resolution) display, 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, 13-megapixel rear camera, 2.1-megapixel front

Top secret document suggests Samsung knowingly lied about tablet sales

Top secret document suggests Samsung knowingly lied about tablet sales

New evidence from the second Apple vs Samsung U.S. patent lawsuit reveals that Samsung grossly misrepresented its Galaxy Tab sales when it first started selling Galaxy-branded Android tablets, Fortune reports. In early January 2011, a report from Strategy Analytics citing comments made to investors by a Samsung executive said that Samsung had shipped 2 million Galaxy Tabs in under six weeks. The report caused a big debate at the time over whether the number was accurate, and over whether or not those 2 million tablets were actually purchased by consumers. Now, top secret Samsung documents from February 2012 reveal that Samsung’s tablet sales in 2011 were very weak, amounting to about a million units in the U.S. for the whole year of 2011. Meanwhile, Apple’s iPad

Amazon acquires Comixology, the world’s most popular digital comics platform

Amazon acquires Comixology, the world’s most popular digital comics platform

Amazon announced on Thursday that it will acquire Comixology, the most popular digital comic platform on the market. Comixology shot up the download charts when it first hit the iPad, bringing comic books from all of the top publishers to screens around the world. In 2011 and 2012, Comixology ranked as one of the ten top grossing apps on the App Store. According to VP David Naggar, Amazon is looking forward to “investing in the business, growing the team, and together, bringing comics and graphic novels to even more readers.” Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the Comixology team will remain in its New York office once the deal has been finalized in the second quarter of 2014. The full press

Sprint scores exclusive edition of the HTC One (M8) [updated]

Sprint scores exclusive edition of the HTC One (M8) [updated]

It appears that not all HTC One (M8) handsets are created equal, at least in the U.S., where Sprint has apparently scored an exclusive version of the handset that packs Harman/Kardon speakers. The news was tweeted earlier this week by gadget leaker @evleaks and was then confirmed on the xda-developers forums. Even though Sprint’s HTC One (M8) model may be special when it comes to sound, neither Sprint nor HTC are advertising the feature just yet. Other users have found Harman/Kardon audio traces on their handsets, posting images that seem to prove their Sprint One (M8) have special sound capabilities. Specifically, a screenshot shows a Harman/Kardon audio menu in the Settings app, which doesn’t appear on other handset versions, including the AT&T and international versions

Sprint scores exclusive edition of the HTC One (M8)

Sprint scores exclusive edition of the HTC One (M8)

It appears that not all HTC One (M8) handsets are created equal, at least in the U.S., where Sprint has apparently scored an exclusive version of the handset that packs Harman/Kardon speakers. The news was tweeted earlier this week by gadget leaker @evleaks and was then confirmed on the xda-developers forums. Even though Sprint’s HTC One (M8) model may be special when it comes to sound, neither Sprint nor HTC are advertising the feature just yet, supposedly for legal reasons. “The Sprint version has Harman/Kardon speakers in it whereas the other versions do not. They were waiting to announce this for all of the patents and agreements with JBL and Harman/Kardon to pass. This was confirmed by our HTC Midwest Account Manager,” xda-developers user newalker91

Google to sell Glass to public next week

Google to sell Glass to public next week

Google Inc will take online orders for its Glass wearable gadget on April 15, in its biggest push to get the $1,500 wraparound Web-ready glasses out to the U.S. public. For a limited time starting Tuesday, Google will make the wearable device available to more than just the select group of users such as apps developers in its Glass Explorer program. In a blogpost, Google did not say how many pairs it would sell, just that the quantity would be limited. Google has run campaigns in the past to drum up public involvement, including inviting people to tweet under the hashtag #ifihadglass for a chance to buy a pair of the glasses.

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Ex-Microsoft engineer invents a new machine to help you brew the perfect batch of beer

Ex-Microsoft engineer invents a new machine to help you brew the perfect batch of beer

Home brewing is rewarding but it’s also often fraught with peril — if you don’t thoroughly sterilize all of your equipment or if you drop in the yeast while your wort is still hot, it can ruin hours of hard work. Bloomberg Businessweek has written a profile on former Windows engineer Bill Mitchell, who left Microsoft in 2010 to work full-time on PicoBrew, a startup that’s dedicated to take away as many potential pain points as possible for home brewers. Last fall, PicoBrew launched a Kickstarter for Zymatic, its own automatic beer brewing appliance that raised more than $660,000, or more than four times its original goal of $150,000. PicoBrew’s pitch is very appealing to anyone who’s ever tried their hand

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Old-school RPG fans still get nostalgic when you bring up Baldur’s Gate, the classic Bioware D&D-based adventure that set the standard for computer RPGs when it was released all the way back in 1998. In fact, the Balur’s Gate series’s popularity has been so enduring that studio Beamdog has overhauled it with improved graphics and features while also adding touch controls to make it easy to play on tablets. Although Beamdog released its Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for the iPad a while ago, the studio has finally gotten around to porting it to Android, and it’s now available on the Google Play store for $9.99. Although the iPad version of the overhauled Baldur’s Gate received mixed marks for its buggy controls,

Easter weekend flash sale offers PS3 and Vita games for $0.99

Easter weekend flash sale offers PS3 and Vita games for $0.99

U.S. PlayStation fans weren’t fortunate enough to receive a big Easter promotion like their European counterparts, but Sony is making up for it with a 99 cent flash sale this weekend, slashing prices on over 25 games on the PlayStation Network. Sony announced on the PlayStation Blog that the offer had officially gone live on Friday, featuring PlayStation 3, Vita and PS2/PS1 Classics that will cost you less than a dollar to pick up. The full list follows below. Back to the Future: The Game – Full Series Blast Factor Braid Crash Bandicoot Crash Bandicoot 2 Crash Bandicoot 3: WARPED Crash Commando CTR: Crash Team Racing echochrome ii Everyday Shooter Gex: Enter the Gecko Gotham City Imposters Jurassic Park: The Game – Full Season Plants vs Zombies

Verizon to finally roll out KitKat for the Galaxy S4 on May 2nd

Verizon to finally roll out KitKat for the Galaxy S4 on May 2nd

It’s taken far too long, but it looks like an update to the latest version of Android on Verizon’s Galaxy S4 is finally in sight. Android Geeks obtained a leaked document from one of its readers which points to May 2nd as the launch date for Android 4.4.2 KitKat on the S4, around two months after the roll out began for AT&T and Sprint subscribers. Google has made it clear that the inexplicable update delays will be handled more efficiently in the future, but for now, Verizon customers are dependent on internal leaks to learn about software updates. Android Geeks pointed out that KitKat began appearing on Verizon’s LG G2 this week as well, so hopefully anyone with a recent Android device and a subscription to

Motorola will soon launch an even cheaper, slimmer Android handset

Motorola will soon launch an even cheaper, slimmer Android handset

Motorola has previously hinted that it wants to offer users an even more affordable smartphone this year, and Tecnblog says it learned that such a handset will launch this May. The Moto G has been one of Motorola’s best-selling smartphones thanks to its affordable price, and this new device may be even cheaper. According to a person that reportedly works for a Brazilian mobile operator, the cheaper Motorola handset would pack a 4.3-inch display with unspecified resolution, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, 5-megapixel camera, 3G support, FM Radio antenna, 1900mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat. Three versions of the handset have apparently been approved by Brazilian Telecommunication regulator Anatel, including the single-SIM XT1021, the dual-SIM XT1022 and the

Cheap 3D printers are poised to wreck companies’ powers to enforce their IP

Cheap 3D printers are poised to wreck companies’ powers to enforce their IP

Ten days ago a 3D printer called The Micro started a Kickstarter campaign with the modest goal of raising $50,000 in a month. With 18 days to go, the project has already raised nearly $3 million. The Micro has gained more than 10,000 followers and all of the early production runs of the $199 and $299 versions of the device have sold out. New supporters will have to pick a February 2015 shipment date of pay at least $600 for very early test production runs. Obviously, the frenzy of excitement around The Micro seems to indicate that there is real fascination about the idea of owning a 3D printer priced at the level of a video game console. But what happens if The

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday. The poll by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners found 53 percent of new mobile phones activated by US customers were Android devices in the January-March period. Apple's iOS, the platform used by the iPhone, accounted for 42 percent, the survey found. Late last year 20 percent bought a "basic" mobile phone.

Samsung’s Milk Music streaming service will add premium subscriptions

Samsung’s Milk Music streaming service will add premium subscriptions

Samsung launched Milk Music last month seemingly out of nowhere, a music streaming service to compete with Pandora, Spotify, Beats Music and countless others already on the market. The draw of Milk Music appeared to be its lack of subscription fees, but an infographic posted on the Samsung Tomorrow blog reveals that the ad-free basic service was only a limited time offer, and a $3.99/month premium service is coming soon. Powered by Slacker, Milk Music already houses more than 13,000,000 songs on its 200+ stations, so if you’re a Samsung device owners looking for a slick alternative to the established services, the app is worth downloading while the basic service is still ad-free. The infographic can be found below.

Watch this incredible video of Elon Musk’s reusable rocket in action

Watch this incredible video of Elon Musk’s reusable rocket in action

One of the problems with space travel is how wasteful it is — the rockets that help propel space shuttles into the atmosphere fall off once they reach a certain height and are often completely unsalvageable after they crash back down to Earth. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has just posted a new video showing off its Falcon 9 Reusable (F9R) rocket in action and it looks like the team at SpaceX have done some mind-blowing engineering work. As you can see, the video shows the F9R taking off and then hovering 250 meters in the air before slowly descending and then gently landing right back on the launch pad it took off from. Musk and SpaceX are working

HTC has a secret weapon for taking on Samsung, and it’s not what you think

HTC has a secret weapon for taking on Samsung, and it’s not what you think

No matter how positive the reviews are for its products, HTC can’t seem to break out from behind the shadow of Samsung. Without a veritable army of devices flooding store shelves, it’s difficult for any phone maker to make an impact in the Android smartphone market. But HTC believes that by closing the gap on dedicated cameras, it can attract an even wider audience while trumping the competition. Speaking with Vodafone, HTC’s camera expert Symon Whitehorn said that the phone camera will continue to be a vital aspect of the industry’s growth and development. “As smartphones have become people’s primary camera, we expect more of them,” says Whitehorn. “That’s why we’ve put so much investment into the camera – because smartphone

Finally, Apple Maps is good for something

Finally, Apple Maps is good for something

Sure, Apple Maps might send you into a death trap in the Australian outback or onto an airport runway, but it does do things that other mapping services don’t, such as being able to find imaginary monsters. AppleInsider points out that hunters of the Loch Ness Monster claim that they found an image of the mythical beast on a satellite image provided by Apple’s iOS Maps, which was something that they didn’t find when they tried looking for it on Google Maps. Loch Ness enthusiast Andy Dixon tells The Daily Mail that that he captured an image of what he claims to be the Loch Ness Monster on his iPhone through iOS Maps, although the image in his picture actually looks

Biometrics expert slams Apple and Samsung fingerprint scanners as unsecured ‘gimmicks’

Biometrics expert slams Apple and Samsung fingerprint scanners as unsecured ‘gimmicks’

It’s pretty safe to say that computer science Professor Willy Susilo won’t be relying on a fingerprint scanner to keep his mobile phone secure. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Susilo says that the fingerprint scanners used by Apple and Samsung are mere “gimmicks” that hackers can easily fool and that don’t give users and real biometric security.  That said, Susilo doesn’t think that this means biometrics have no place mobile security. In fact he’s very bullish on two different kinds of biometrics scanners that may one day grace our smartphones: Retina scanners and vein scanners. Susilo is more optimistic about vein scanners, mostly because there are concerns among biometrics researchers that iris scanners could present cancer risks. Another advantage to

Video: Awesome accessory puts transparent physical keyboard on your iPad’s screen

Video: Awesome accessory puts transparent physical keyboard on your iPad’s screen

Tactus Technology is a startup that has developed an accessory that can create transparent keyboard buttons on top of a touchscreen display. The company is working with Taiwan-based Wistron, Business Insider reports, to manufacture such a keyboard case accessory for the iPad, which should start shipping later this year. The cases, which will cost between $80 and $100, will work with help of a liquid that forms the physical buttons when such a feature is needed. The cases have two components, including a thin display layer that looks like a screen protector, but allows fluid to pass through it, and a hard-shell backing which will supposedly store the liquid in addition to protecting the device. With a push of a button,

New Samsung transparent displays blur the line between virtual reality and the real world

New Samsung transparent displays blur the line between virtual reality and the real world

Although Samsung often gets tagged as a copycat in the realm of smartphones, the company really does produce some remarkable innovations, particularly in the realm of displays. Patent Shot has spotted a recently filed Samsung patent for a new kind of transparent display technology that can be used to convincingly add digital images to the real world and thus blur the line between virtual reality and physical reality. What makes this technology particularly impressive is the way it’s capable of tracking where a user is and adjusting the image accordingly. So if you had a store window with a virtual display set up on one of Samsung’s transparent screens, people looking at it would be able to see it from

Tablets are killing consoles in the video streaming market

Tablets are killing consoles in the video streaming market

There’s a major fight brewing in the rapidly growing video streaming market over which device consumers use the most to watch their favorite online content. Game consoles, PC’s and connected devices linked to television sets have all proven somewhat popular… and yet it seems that nothing can stop the tablet juggernaut.  The latest sign of rapid tablet ascendancy in streaming video consumption comes from the BBC (PDF), which tracks closely the performance of iPlayer, one of the most popular methods to view video content in the United Kingdom. The iPlayer is now generating more than 10 million video requests a day, up from 2.5 million a day in April 2009. And what is really striking is how much of the demand

Research shows it’s ‘blind luck’ that asteroids haven’t destroyed a major city yet

Research shows it’s ‘blind luck’ that asteroids haven’t destroyed a major city yet

Well, here’s something happy to think about as you head into the weekend. Phys.org brings us word that three former NASA astronauts are going to present new research next week showing that there have been 26 asteroid crashes since 2001 that have caused “atomic-bomb-scale explosions” that have fortunately been far away from major population centers. The research, which was conducted by the B612 Foundation, used data from a nuclear weapons warning network to measure the impact of major asteroid strikes on the Earth’s surface. “This network has detected 26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts,” explained B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu, a physicist who worked at NASA from 1994 until 2007. “It shows that asteroid impacts are

Here are 10 hidden Galaxy S5 features you should check out right now

Here are 10 hidden Galaxy S5 features you should check out right now

Unlike in previous years, Samsung announced the Galaxy S5 at MWC 2014 rather than hosting its own event later in spring. And unlike in previous years, the company only highlighted certain new features of the handset during the event – probably the fresh partnership with Google played a role in that – instead of showing all the new software tricks it has devised for the new flagship. However, in a post on its blog, the company highlighted 10 hidden features Galaxy S5 buyers should be aware of. While it doesn’t come with a stylus, the Galaxy S5 supports pencil input, allowing users to write on it with a pencil. To enable the feature, users will have to go to Display settings and

Leaked pic seemingly shows iOS 8 running on an iPhone 5s

Leaked pic seemingly shows iOS 8 running on an iPhone 5s

Apple is expected to unveil iOS 8 at WWDC 2014 in early June, but meanwhile plenty of reports have detailed some of the features it will have to offer, with various alleged image leaks showing what the new operating system would look like on a bigger iPhone 6 display. But iOS 8 will be compatible with older devices as well, and PhoneArena has obtained an image that shows iOS 8 running on an iPhone 5s. While it’s not clear whether the image is genuine, or how the leaker obtained a copy of iOS 8, other sites have reported steady iOS 8 sightings in website analytics, suggesting that Apple is already testing iOS 8 ahead of WWDC. In addition to old default iOS

Leaked pics may give us our first glimpse at the next-gen iPad Air

Leaked pics may give us our first glimpse at the next-gen iPad Air

The flood gates have apparently opened in April as Apple device leaks have begun to hit the Internet at an alarming pace. From blueprints to cases to components, we’ve seen enough purported information about the iPhone 6 to build our own, but other than an analyst report on the next iPad’s release date, Apple’s next tablet has remained relatively well hidden. OneMoreThing.nl looks to fix that with the most promising next-gen iPad leaks yet — two photos showing off what might be the front of the iPad Air 2, complete with an integrated display. The current iPad architecture separates the display and the panel, but with an integrated display, the next iPad Air could be even thinner than its predecessor. With

Ex-Apple CEO Sculley admits the very obvious: Forcing Jobs out was a mistake

Ex-Apple CEO Sculley admits the very obvious: Forcing Jobs out was a mistake

It’s safe to say that former Apple CEO John Sculley has some regrets in his career. In an interview with The Times of India, Sculley admits that ousting Apple cofounder Steve Jobs as CEO way back in 1985 was “a mistake” that cost the company dearly and set it on the path toward near-oblivion. However, Sculley says that the decision was much more justifiable at the time it was made because Jobs’ always-difficult personality was even tougher to rein in during his younger years. “I think, in hindsight, for the founder to leave was a mistake and I was a part of that,” Sculley tells The Times of India. “But, Steve in 1985 was not the same as the Steve

New report says sub-$100 Google Nexus smartphone is coming

New report says sub-$100 Google Nexus smartphone is coming

Google may be working on a new kind of Nexus device that could be even more affordable than its predecessors, a new report from Asia says. However, the device won’t be a high-end model like the others, but rather an entry- to mid-range device that would sell for under $100, thus being significantly more affordable than any previous Nexus handsets. The device will reportedly pack an unspecified MediaTek processor, with Google is said to already be working on with the Taiwanese chipmaker for this particular device. However, no other details have been mentioned about such a Google Nexus initiative. It’s unclear what handset maker would actually build such an ultra-affordable Nexus handset. Google is also rumored to launch a bigger high-end 8.9-inch Nexus tablet

You can now get the iPhone 5s for just $99 on contract

You can now get the iPhone 5s for just $99 on contract

The launch of the iPhone 6 is still months away but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some incredible deals on the iPhone 5s. Case in point: MacRumors points out that RadioShack is now selling the iPhone 5s for just $99 with a two-year contract from Verizon, AT&T or Sprint, which happens to be one of the lowest prices we’ve ever seen for Apple’s latest flagship phone. The new price for the 5s at RadioShack is the same on-contract price that Apple originally charged for the iPhone 5c, so now it looks like interested buyers now have even less reason to pick up a 5c than they did before. What makes this deal even better is that MacRumors says that

HTC scores a major coup against Samsung, hires the man behind its killer ad campaigns

HTC scores a major coup against Samsung, hires the man behind its killer ad campaigns

Is HTC finally, at long, long last, going to get a decent marketing campaign? The Wall Street Journal reports that HTC has officially brought on Paul Golden, Samsung’s former U.S. marketing chief, to be a consultant to HTC chairwoman Cher Wang. During his time at Samsung from 2008 through 2012, Golden was instrumental in establishing the company’s Galaxy brand as the main alternative to Apple’s iPhone through a series of first-rate ads that often took humorous shots at Apple fans’ expense. What this means for HTC’s future marketing efforts is unclear but we can bet that there won’t be any more horrendous Robert Downey Jr. spots or ads about Hipster Troll Car Washes going forward.

‘Highly sophisticated malware’ stole credit card data from 3M Michaels customers

‘Highly sophisticated malware’ stole credit card data from 3M Michaels customers

After LaCie announced earlier this week it was the victim of a massive credit card breach that lasted for a year, crafts store Michaels revealed in a press release that hackers may have stolen credit card data for 3 million of its customers, including buyers that shopped at its Aaron Brothers subsidiary. The company has hired two independent security firms to conduct an extensive investigation, which revealed that payment systems in Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores were attacked by “highly sophisticated malware” that had not been seen before by either firm. While the malware has been neutralized at this time, the company determined that the hack was quite extensive, allowing hackers to steal certain payment information including card number and

Titanfall not strong enough to keep Xbox One sales on par with PS4

Titanfall not strong enough to keep Xbox One sales on par with PS4

Sony on Thursday announced that it sold over 7 million PlayStation 4 units, significantly more than what it envisioned for its fiscal year 2013. Microsoft made its own announcement yesterday as well, highlighting the strong sales of Titanfall, a shooter game that’s not available on the PS4, and which was named the number one selling game in March according to NPD numbers. However, while Titanfall has helped Microsoft sell more Xbox One units, it wasn’t enough to keep Xbox One sales on par with PS4 sales. The company also announced that more than 5 million Xbox One units have been sold-in to retailers since launch, with sales apparently outpacing Xbox 360 sales by more than 60% at the same point

HTC reportedly hires Samsung exec who made Galaxy the 'next big thing'

HTC reportedly hires Samsung exec who made Galaxy the 'next big thing'

HTC has confirmed the hiring of Paul Golden, a former Samsung US chief marketing officer, following a report from Bloomberg News. Golden, whose LinkedIn page says he "created and launched the highly successful Galaxy brand," was at Samsung between 2008 and 2012, a time in which the Korean company rose to global prominence in the smartphone market. A lawyer for Samsung in the ongoing patent trial with Apple claimed its provocative "Next Big Thing" campaign drove its rival "crazy" after kicking off in 2011. HTC on Friday confirmed the hiring The Verge, with a spokesperson providing the following statement: "HTC continues to invest in talent and recruitment as part of our broader human resources strategy to ensure the continued strength of our company's organizational structure."

Video: Awesome tiny wearable gadget could help the blind read

Video: Awesome tiny wearable gadget could help the blind read

FingerReader is the name of a wearable gadget that could help visually impaired people read printed text in books and even on electronic devices, thus opening up additional possibilities to them. Developed by MIT researchers, FingerReader wants to help the blind access more resources than what’s already available in braille format. TechCrunch reports that, according to a recent study from the Royal National Institute of the Blind in Britain cited by one of the researchers, in 2011 only 7% of books are available in large print, unabridged audio and braille. Currently in prototype phase, the FingerReader is essentially a ring that you can use to follow a line of text in a book or on a screen. Thanks to the built-in

Video: Incredible computerized glove lets you make music with the flick of a wrist

Video: Incredible computerized glove lets you make music with the flick of a wrist

Wearable tech has a lot of promise, but the endless parade of smartwatches from every company with the means to create one has diluted the field. One of the more fascinating projects that exists far outside of this box is Imogen Heap’s Mi.Mu Glove, a musical tool that allows musicians to create music without confining themselves to a computer. By simply moving a gloved hand, the user can change countless aspects of the sound created with the Mi.Mu Glove, from the pitch and the volume to the instrument being emulated. As Heap explains in the Kickstarter video, “currently you’d need a small team of people to set it all up.” If the project is funded, the team will be able to finish designing the software and the hardware

You’ll have a hard time getting your hands on a OnePlus One

You’ll have a hard time getting your hands on a OnePlus One

Even though the OnePlus One, one of the most exciting high-end Android handsets set to release so far this year, will soon be available to customers in many markets at a very affordable price compared to competitors, not all interested buyers will be able to get one as easily as expected. The phone, which promises to deliver a better performance than other newly launched flagships, will sell for under $400 in 16 initial markets across the globe. OnePlus has already promised that the shopping experience should be quite smooth, no matter where the buyers order a One from. But in a new announcement, it revealed a major issue that will potentially cripple the shopping experience of some buyers. Apparently the

Aereo goes on the offensive against broadcasters ahead of SCOTUS hearing

Aereo goes on the offensive against broadcasters ahead of SCOTUS hearing

In a last effort before its April 22nd hearing, Aereo is defending its service in a “media blitz,” as Re/code calls it, whose purpose is to better inform everyone that its business isn’t infringing on any copyright laws. The company will explain next week to the Supreme Court why its services are legal, in its view, and why they aren’t violating the copyright o broadcasters. The company has put up a special Protect My Antenna site that shows Aereo’s main arguments for the hearing. The company says that customers should benefit from the same privileges they always had when it comes to watching over-the-air free television, and recording those programs for personal use, even if they’re able to do so using

Patent consortium Rockstar loses bid to move Google case

Patent consortium Rockstar loses bid to move Google case

By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected a request by patent consortium Rockstar to transfer patent litigation from Google Inc's home turf in California to Texas, according to a court ruling. Rockstar, which counts Apple Inc as an investor, outbid Google and paid $4.5 billion for thousands of former Nortel Network Corp patents as the networking products supplier went bankrupt in 2011. Last year, the consortium sued several handset manufacturers whose phones operate on Google's Android operating system, which fiercely competes with Apple mobile products.

Scary Android malware uses Facebook to bypass two-factor authentication

Scary Android malware uses Facebook to bypass two-factor authentication

Android users have yet another piece of malware to worry about. PC World points out a technique that is specifically targeting Facebook users who use mobile banking. On computers infected with this trojan, users will see a message when visiting Facebook’s website alerting them that “due to a rising number of attempts in order to gain unlawful access to the personal information of our users and to prevent corrupted page data to spread Facebook administration introduces new extra safety protection system.” If users click on the alert, they will then be directed to a page that instructs them to specify their mobile operating system and phone number. After that, they are then given a QR code for downloading an app on

You can now buy a Retina iPad mini from Apple for as cheap as $339

You can now buy a Retina iPad mini from Apple for as cheap as $339

If you’ve been holding out for a discount on the latest line of iPads, you’re in luck. 9to5Mac noticed on Thursday that refurbished Retina iPad minis are now available on Apple’s website, starting at $339 for a 16GB, Wi-Fi-only model in silver and space gray. 32GB Wi-Fi models are listed at $419 and 64GB models will run you $509. Each of these prices represents between a 15-16% discount off of the standard price for a new device. Last year’s Retina iPad mini features a 7.9-inch, 2,048 x 1,536 pixel resolution display, 64-bit A7 processor, M7 motion coprocessor, 10 hour battery life, 5-megapixel camera and weighs just 0.73 pounds. As with other refurbished products sold by Apple, the refurbished iPad mini

You can see exactly where your Facebook friends are in real time, but only if they let you

You can see exactly where your Facebook friends are in real time, but only if they let you

Facebook on Thursday took the wraps off of a new feature that, depending on your perspective, is either incredibly cool or incredibly creepy. For this reason, the company has wisely decided to make this new feature strictly an opt-in affair to avoid completely freaking out users who are sensitive to privacy. The new feature, called Nearby Friends, lets you “occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up.” The feature lets you and your friends give your precise locations in real time, although you have to explicitly give the app permission before it’s allowed to do so. More crucially, the new feature won’t flip on at all unless you specifically tell it to, which

Time Warner Cable launches Hotspot 2.0: Log in once, then never again

Time Warner Cable launches Hotspot 2.0: Log in once, then never again

It looks like Time Warner Cable just simplified the Wi-Fi hotspot once and for all. Gigaom reports that Time Warner enabled Hotspot 2.0 capabilities across its public Wi-Fi network this week, allowing customers to log in a single time and then remain connected any time their devices pick up a signal in the future. The upgraded software has been available to broadband customers since March, but this marks the first large-scale implementation of the software. The goal is to give Time Warner customers access to the Internet anywhere they go. Not only will customers be able to avoid those pesky login screens, but the connection will be encrypted using WPA2 security. “This was a good opportunity to get a secure connection to our customers,” said VP

New poll shows Google’s Glass, robots and self-driving cars are tough sells

New poll shows Google’s Glass, robots and self-driving cars are tough sells

According to a recent survey, Americans are excited for futuristic technology that you might see in a sci-fi novel, but are anxious about how we’ll get there. That’s the conclusion from a report from a Pew Research Center released today which asked 1,000 Americans what they thought of various technological advancements. “The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage,” according to the report. For inventions that are not expected soon, but in the next 50 years, respondents were generally optimistic. 59% said they think technology will improve life in the next half-century, and 81% said they think people who need organ transplants

Longtime iPhone devotee heaps praise on the Galaxy S5′s camera

Longtime iPhone devotee heaps praise on the Galaxy S5′s camera

iPhone fans are fanatically loyal to their favorite device but they can also give credit where it’s due. iMore writer Allyson Kazmucha, who writes obsessively about how to get the most out of your iPhone and iPad, has conducted a very thorough camera shootout involving the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8). While Kazmucha typically found that the One (M8)’s new camera lagged behind the iPhone 5s’s camera in terms of quality, she couldn’t say the same thing about the Galaxy S5′s camera, which she said was in some ways superior to the iPhone 5s’s. Before we get to her conclusions, we should note that she tested these cameras for a number of different picture scenarios, including low-light

Video: Orange is the New Black returns to Netflix with even angrier cellmates

Video: Orange is the New Black returns to Netflix with even angrier cellmates

One of the biggest surprises of 2013 was Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original series that lacked the star power of House of Cards, but made up for it with incredible writing, performances and an ending that left viewers speechless. After an 11 month hiatus, the prison drama will return to Netflix on June 6th with 13 new episodes, and as usual, all the episodes will be released simultaneously. Netflix debuted the first trailer for season 2 on Thursday, welcoming back a vast majority of the cast from the first season, along with a few new faces. Watch the premiere trailer for the second season of Orange is the New Black below.

Verizon sends email on customer’s behalf without telling him as part of sleazy PR campaign

Verizon sends email on customer’s behalf without telling him as part of sleazy PR campaign

Sleazy astroturf campaigns are nothing new in the corporate world but Verizon may have just taken things to a whole new level. Ars Technica reports that New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities (BPU) recently received hundreds of identically worded emails from different people that all supported Verizon’s demands that it be let off the hook for building out broadband infrastructure that it had agreed to build as part of an agreement with the state that dates back to two decades ago. There’s a problem, however: Some of the people who supposedly sent emails to the board say they did no such thing. “I am a customer only to Verizon and I was not contacted by them to submit anything,” one irate

This is what apps could look like on the iPhone 6′s bigger display

This is what apps could look like on the iPhone 6′s bigger display

While Apple is yet to reveal details about its bigger iPhone plans, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – who has a good track record reporting on Apple unreleased products – last week revealed many details about a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 including its screen resolution. According to him, the bigger iPhone will have a strange 1334 x 750 Retina display with a pixel density of 326 pixel per inch density. In new reports, MacRumors and a The Verge forums user explained why that resolution makes sense, showing how the home screen and apps could look like on such a display. Taking into account the fact that Apple has always tried to offer developers a seamless way to adapt to bigger displays when it comes to app

apple-macintosh

U.S. puts off decision on Keystone XL pipeline

U.S. puts off decision on Keystone XL pipeline

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely.

Captain of sunken S. Korean ferry, 2 crew arrested

Captain of sunken S. Korean ferry, 2 crew arrested

MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — The captain of the ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 300 missing or dead, was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members also were taken into custody, including a mate who a prosecutor said was steering in challenging waters unfamiliar to her when the accident occurred.

SpaceX making Easter delivery of station supplies

SpaceX making Easter delivery of station supplies

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A SpaceX supply ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Friday, setting the stage for an Easter morning delivery and urgent spacewalking repairs later in the week.

Autopsies completed on 7 babies found in Utah garage

Autopsies completed on 7 babies found in Utah garage

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (AP) — The Utah State Medical Examiner's Office has completed autopsies of seven infants found in cardboard boxes in a woman's garage, but it is unclear when the results will be released.

South Korean media reports ferry captain's arrest

South Korean media reports ferry captain's arrest

Investigators arrested Lee Joon-Seok and two of his crew early in the morning. All three have been criticised for abandoning hundreds of passengers trapped in the ferry, as they made their own escape. Lee was charged with negligence and failing to secure the safety of passengers in violation of maritime law.

Public skepticism surges in Nigeria after false military report

Public skepticism surges in Nigeria after false military report

As he waited outside a hospital on Wednesday for the body of one of his friends to be released for burial, Basiru Youseff, a young toy salesman, was bitter about government claims that they crushing the insurgency. Violence in Nigeria reached new heights this week, with the biggest attack on the capital in the city’s history, gun battles in the countryside, and the abduction of at least 129 girls from their schoolhouse by militants.  It is not known who perpetrated these attacks, though Boko Haram insurgents are widely blamed. While the military may make such comments in an effort to keep up morale, it feeds public frustration with a military that seems incapable of stemming what appears to be a widening conflict. “The skepticism in the public mind is increasing, perhaps even about the government’s culpability with the security concerns that Nigerians have,” says Clement Nwankwo, who heads the Policy and Legal Advocacy Center in Abuja.

Fender Stratocaster turns 60

Fender Stratocaster turns 60

An original 1954 Fender Stratocaster head stock, left, is shown next to a 2014 model, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 at a studio in Scottsdale, Ariz. April 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the very first Stratocaster ever sold. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Emotions, questions mount as S. Korea ferry rescue efforts continue

Emotions, questions mount as S. Korea ferry rescue efforts continue

As rescuers struggled to find some 270 people still missing and feared dead, officials say the investigation into South Korea's ferry disaster is focusing on the sharp turn it took just before it began listing and whether a quicker evacuation order could have saved lives.

Sub search for missing plane to be done in week

Sub search for missing plane to be done in week

PERTH, Australia (AP) — An underwater robotic submarine is expected to finish searching a narrowed down area of the Indian Ocean seabed for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane within the next week, after completing six missions and so far coming up empty, the search coordination center said Saturday.

13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Search teams recovered a 13th body Saturday from the snow and ice covering a dangerous climbing pass on Mouth Everest, where an avalanche a day earlier swept over a group of Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak.

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

WASHINGTON (AP) — People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw.

Looming, creeping landslide splits home in Wyoming

Looming, creeping landslide splits home in Wyoming

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — A sudden lurch in a creeping landslide in the northwest Wyoming resort town of Jackson split a house in two and forced workers to abandon just-begun efforts to stabilize the hillside.

Student fought bureaucrats for Holocaust justice

Student fought bureaucrats for Holocaust justice

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Charlotte van den Berg was a 20-year-old college student working part-time in Amsterdam's city archives when she and other interns came across a shocking find: letters from Jewish Holocaust survivors complaining that the city was forcing them to pay back taxes and late payment fines on property seized after they were deported to Nazi death camps.

Delay won't quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL

Delay won't quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms.

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

5 features an Amazon phone might offer

NEW YORK (AP) — A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

social-media

Facebook's Paper App Gets New Legs to Stand On Its Own

Facebook's Paper App Gets New Legs to Stand On Its Own

Paper, Facebook's highly-lauded, but little-used "story" app, got a small update on Friday that allows it to stand apart from the main Facebook app. Before this update, Paper users had to switch over to the main Facebook app to see those functions, undermining the notion of Paper as a Facebook replacement. That small update is important because of Zuckerberg's recent comments to The New York Times, in which he said that the future of Facebook is not in the main Facebook app but in smaller, more specifically focused apps. Thus far, it's being positioned as the Thinking Person's Facebook, full of links to editor-picked stories from higher-quality media outlets and an audience intent on reading. And though the app ranks low on the most-downloaded list, Facebook executives have been pleased with the intensity of its use so far.

Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

By Orhan Coskun ANKARA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan applied to Turkey's constitutional court on Friday to challenge the alleged violation of his and his family's rights by social media, a senior official in his office told Reuters. Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The Twitter block was lifted earlier this month after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey.

Facebook rolls out 'nearby friends' feature

Facebook rolls out 'nearby friends' feature

Facebook on Thursday began rolling out a feature allowing users of its mobile app to use smartphone location to discover friends near them. The optional "nearby friends" feature "helps you discover which friends are nearby or on the go," said product manager Andrea Vaccari in a blog announcement. "If you turn on Nearby Friends, you'll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up," Vaccari said. "For example, when you're headed to the movies, Nearby Friends will let you know if friends are nearby so you can see the movie together or meet up afterward."

Scary Android malware uses Facebook to bypass two-factor authentication

Scary Android malware uses Facebook to bypass two-factor authentication

Android users have yet another piece of malware to worry about. PC World points out a technique that is specifically targeting Facebook users who use mobile banking. On computers infected with this trojan, users will see a message when visiting Facebook’s website alerting them that “due to a rising number of attempts in order to gain unlawful access to the personal information of our users and to prevent corrupted page data to spread Facebook administration introduces new extra safety protection system.” If users click on the alert, they will then be directed to a page that instructs them to specify their mobile operating system and phone number. After that, they are then given a QR code for downloading an app on

You can see exactly where your Facebook friends are in real time, but only if they let you

You can see exactly where your Facebook friends are in real time, but only if they let you

Facebook on Thursday took the wraps off of a new feature that, depending on your perspective, is either incredibly cool or incredibly creepy. For this reason, the company has wisely decided to make this new feature strictly an opt-in affair to avoid completely freaking out users who are sensitive to privacy. The new feature, called Nearby Friends, lets you “occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up.” The feature lets you and your friends give your precise locations in real time, although you have to explicitly give the app permission before it’s allowed to do so. More crucially, the new feature won’t flip on at all unless you specifically tell it to, which

Facebook rolls out location-sharing feature

Facebook rolls out location-sharing feature

Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby using a new feature the company is launching on Thursday. The "Nearby Friends" feature must be turned on ...

Can a Facebook 'Like' Protect a Company from Lawsuits?

Can a Facebook 'Like' Protect a Company from Lawsuits?

Cereal giant General Mills recently updated its legal policies to decree that if you, the happy consumer, download any GM coupons, like any of their Facebook pages, or participate in their contests, you officially waive your right to sue them in court. According to the new privacy rules posted on its website, interacting in any way with a General Mills product forbids consumers from suing in cases in which serious problems arise; Instead, these consumers will be pushed into "forced arbitration," The New York Times reports, a tactic often used by corporations to protect them from finicky juries and stricter standards of liability.  These new provisions contain an agreement to resolve any and all disputes you may have with General Mills or any of its affiliated companies or brands contain through informal negotiations and, if these negotiations fail, through binding arbitration.

Twitter broadens advertising reach through app-install ads

Twitter broadens advertising reach through app-install ads

By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc took a significant step Thursday towards broaden its advertising business by offering mobile ads urging people to install apps on its social network as well as through MoPub, the mobile-advertising network it acquired last year. As the mobile app economy grows, app developers have been willing to pay increasing amounts to advertise on major sites like Facebook to boost their app downloads. Twitter said Thursday it could reach 1 billion unique mobile devices through its MoPub network, which places ads inside of hundreds of apps. Twitter, which acquired MoPub last year for roughly $350 million, reaches a more limited audience of 240 million users through its own Twitter.com Web site and mobile apps.

Facebook's 'Great Unbundling' Will Make It Easier to Ignore the Noise (and Lame Friends)

Facebook's 'Great Unbundling' Will Make It Easier to Ignore the Noise (and Lame Friends)

Facebook is "basically unbundling the big blue app," Mark Zuckerberg told The New York Times' Farhad Manjoo this morning. Rejoice, Facebook users, that means it will be way easier to ignore, unfollow, and defriend your annoying connections. The "Great Unbundling," as GigaOm puts it, signals that the future of Facebook is less in its main app than in smaller, more specifically-focused apps. With the addition of WhatsApp and other breakaway features, you might be a regular Facebook customer without ever visiting the main site again.

Teenager uses Facebook to save Romania's stray dogs

Teenager uses Facebook to save Romania's stray dogs

By Radu Marinas and Bogdan Cristel BUCHAREST (Reuters) - When French film actress Brigitte Bardot began a campaign to spare the thousands of stray dogs in Romania's capital from being put down, she did it with a $150,000 donation scheme. A similar campaign is being waged by Ana-Maria Ciulcu, a 13-year-old schoolgirl with braces on her teeth who uses Facebook to appeal to dog lovers all over Europe - and to make sure the dogs go to the right homes. Ciulcu was a baby when Bardot started her sterilization campaign in 2001. But Bucharest's state-funded wards now hold 2,800 dogs, and 2,000 dogs have been euthanized in the past two months, according to Romania's Authority for Animal Surveillance and Protection.

How to Use Social Media to Land a Job

Are you discounting social media as a way to land a job? Or are you relying 100 percent on LinkedIn to help you create your digital footprint? Research shows employers benefit from using social media to attract candidates. The Society for Human Resource Management's 2013 survey, Social Networking Websites and Recruiting/Selection, found 77 percent of organizations use social networking sites to recruit potential job candidates.

Twitter buys social data provider Gnip, stock soars

Twitter buys social data provider Gnip, stock soars

Twitter Inc said on Tuesday it bought social data provider Gnip for an undisclosed amount, signaling that it would take on a new role of packaging and selling data, a service in demand by business and government. The social media company said separately that it hired a Google executive to lead its consumer product development, filling a position that had been vacant since January. Investors reacted positively to the news, sending Twitter shares up more than 11 percent, the biggest gain since the day it went public in November. Twitter said in a blog post that the Gnip deal allowed it to burrow more deeply into the 500 million tweets sent daily on its network.

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf grab

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf grab

By Jennifer Saba NEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As, is going after more eyeballs, and advertising, by allowing members of its passionate community to post their own news more quickly and easily. Reddit, majority owned by Conde Nast parent Advanced Publications, last month rolled out a new feature that lets users of the nine-year-old site post live updates, allowing them to report in real time. The live updates allow selected users, dubbed "reporters" by Reddit, to instantly stream unlimited posts during the course of an event such as the conflict in the Ukraine, an earthquake in Los Angeles, or a game played in real time, without having to refresh the page. "Reddit members are doing amazing things with very minimal tools and were hitting some barriers," said Erik Martin, general manager.

Some new Facebook friends may signal relationship troubles

By Allison Bond NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who add new romantic interests to their Facebook "friends" list while in a romantic relationship tend to have a lower level of commitment to their current mate, a recent study finds. The fact of having old flames on one's friend list, however, is unrelated to commitment level, according to the report that examined whether conduct on Facebook is something romantic partners should worry about. "People are using Facebook and other social media sites to make romantic connections with people they would entertain having a relationship with, even if they are in a committed romantic relationship," said Michelle Drouin, lead author of the paper and a psychologist at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Past research indicates that Facebook has been cited in as many as one third of divorces in recent years, according to Drouin and her colleagues.

Twitter buys data analytics partner Gnip

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter says it has bought its data partner Gnip, which provides analysis of the more than 500 million tweets its users share each day — to advertisers, academic institutions, politicians and other customers.

US Airways investigating pornographic tweet sent to complaining customer

US Airways investigating pornographic tweet sent to complaining customer

US Airways said it was investigating a pornographic tweet on Tuesday sent on its Twitter account in response to a customer complaint about a flight delay, which went viral on social media. US Airways issued an apology on Monday immediately after deleting the tweeted photograph of a naked woman lying on a bed with a toy airplane between her legs, said Davien Anderson, spokesman for US Airways. By Tuesday morning, the apology had been retweeted nearly 13,000 times and social media was flooded with jokes and gripes about the image. Anderson said US Airways, part of American Airlines Group Inc, was investigating the mishap.

Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet

Turkey says Twitter agrees to close some accounts, no tax deal yet

By Orhan Coskun ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Twitter will close some accounts in Turkey but will not for now set up an office there as the government wants, a senior Turkish official said late on Monday after talks over a dispute which saw the government ban the site for two weeks. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The Twitter block was lifted 11 days ago after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey.

Social media firms operating in Turkey must open office: minister

Social media firms operating in Turkey must open office: minister

ANKARA (Reuters) - Social media firms operating in Turkey must open representative offices in the country, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Tuesday after Ankara held talks with Twitter aimed at resolving a dispute which led to a two-week ban on the site. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter temporarily in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle were leaked on their sites. YouTube remains blocked. ...

Would you trust Facebook to be your bank?

Would you trust Facebook to be your bank?

It’s been a long time since Facebook was just a social media platform, and now the empire is looking to expand into yet another field. The Financial Times reports that Facebook is just weeks from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland to offer services that would let users store their money, as well as pay and exchange that money with other users. Facebook would become an “e-money” institution, making the virtual currency valid throughout Europe. Facebook has discussed partnering with financial start-ups in London, digging deeper into the European economy, but the long-term goal appears to integrating the new services within developing countries. “Facebook wants to become a utility in the developing world, and remittances are a gateway drug to financial inclusion,” one source told the Financial

Not quite the model tweet by US Airways

Not quite the model tweet by US Airways

US Airways rushed out an apology Monday after a graphic sexual image was tweeted from its official Twitter account in response to a disgruntled customer. The company triggered shock, howls of protest and a deluge of crude jokes on the Internet when they responded to Twitter user @ellerafter by attaching an extremely not-safe-for-work photograph of a model of a Boeing 777 jet plane in a woman's vagina. "Elle" had complained that her flight sat for an hour on the tarmac, prompting an apology from the airline's Twitter feed, @USAirways. But inexplicably the graphic and uncensored image was attached to the tweet.

Twitter's Lockup Holds Key to Stock

Amid the technology sector selloff, Twitter's recent nosedive may be one of the few actually tied to something specific: On May 5, the lockup on 489 million Twitter shares not previously eligible for sale will expire. Certainly, the social-messaging company felt compelled Monday to issue a statement saying that co-founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, along with Chief Executive Richard Costolo, have no "current plans" to sell shares. Another big holder, Benchmark Capital, also doesn't plan to sell or distribute Twitter stock "before or immediately after" the lockup expiration. Altogether, they control about 20% of the company, according to Twitter's last proxy filing.

Facebook plans to provide mobile payment services: FT

Facebook plans to provide mobile payment services: FT

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc is preparing to join the mobile-payments race with remittances and electronic-money services on the social network, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing several people involved in the process. The company is close to obtaining approval from the Central Bank of Ireland to start a service that would allow users to store money on Facebook and use it to pay and exchange with others, the people told the FT. The company has also had partnership talks with at least three London start-ups — TransferWise, Moni Technologies and Azimo — that offer online and mobile international money transfer services, three people involved in the discussions told FT. Facebook's specific plans, including which countries the electronic-money services would be available in, were not immediately clear.

No Corporate Tweet Will Ever Be Worse than US Airways' Tweet of a 777 Crashing Into a Vagina

No Corporate Tweet Will Ever Be Worse than US Airways' Tweet of a 777 Crashing Into a Vagina

So somehow, US Airways' official Twitter account tweeted a picture of a nude woman with a toy airplane inserted into her vagina. The list of things that would be worse to tweet is short enough that we feel comfortable awarding the airline All-Time First Place Victor in Worst Corporate Social Media #Brand Strategy. You know that little box that shows a Twitter profile's recent "Photos and videos"? That box for US Airways used to be a bit spicier, showing a bit more than plane interiors (so to speak).

Google Just Bought the Drone Company that Facebook Had Its Eye On

Google Just Bought the Drone Company that Facebook Had Its Eye On

Google swept in and agreed to buy Titan Aerospace, a high-altitude drone manufacturer, on Monday, months after Facebook had entered into talks to buy the company. Titan, based in New Mexico, will go to Google for an undisclosed sum. The Wall Street Journal's report on the sale notes that the drone maker will help Google with its "Project Loon" initiative, which looks to provide internet access to remote areas using large high-altitude balloons. In a statement, Google said: 

Dutch teen, 14, arrested for Twitter airline threat

Dutch teen, 14, arrested for Twitter airline threat

Dutch police have arrested a teenaged girl after she allegedly tweeted a threat to American Airlines posing as an al-Qaeda member, a police spokesman said on Monday. The 14-year-old girl named Sarah "reported to the police this morning accompanied by a relative", Rotterdam police's Roland Ekkers said. Sarah apparently posted the message that landed her in hot water on social network Twitter on Sunday morning. American Airlines then responded, saying "Sarah, we take these threats very seriously.

Twitter executives meet Turkish officials amid free speech row

Twitter executives meet Turkish officials amid free speech row

Twitter executives met Turkish government officials for talks Monday amid accusations of tax evasion by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a row over content on the social media site. They are the first direct talks since Ankara banned access to the site last month over leaks on the social network implicating Erdogan's inner circle in corruption, and accusations by the government that Twitter ignored various court orders to remove some links deemed illegal. "We will specifically ask Twitter to follow court orders," Tayfun Acarer, the head of Turkey's Communication Technologies Institution (BTK), was quoted as saying by the private NTV television as he headed to the meeting in the capital Ankara.

Twitter founders, CEO to keep shares after 'lockup'

Twitter founders, CEO to keep shares after 'lockup'

Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams and chief executive Dick Costolo have no short-term plans to sell their shares in the social network, according to documents released Monday. A regulatory filing by Twitter said the three major shareholders "have informed us that they have no current plans to sell any of their shares of Twitter common stock." The news comes weeks ahead of the so-called lockup expiration on May 5, the date after which insiders would be allowed to sell holdings following Twitter's initial public offering last year. Under company policies and securities laws, the three would need to notify Twitter about any sales, so the earliest possible sale would be "90 days after our next open window," said the document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dutch police question girl, 14, over American Airlines Twitter threat

Dutch police question girl, 14, over American Airlines Twitter threat

Dutch police said on Monday they were questioning a 14-year-old girl in connection with an apparent threat she sent to American Airlines via Twitter over the weekend. A spokeswoman for Rotterdam police said the girl, who has not been named but who called herself Sarah on the social networking site, had addressed a tweet to the U.S.-based airline implying she was a militant planning an attack. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm gonna do something really big bye," she wrote on Sunday from the account @Queen_Demetriax, which Twitter now shows as suspended. Police spokeswoman Tinet De Jong said the girl was being questioned in the company of a relative at a police station in Rotterdam after Twitter had disclosed to them the Internet address from which she had written the message.

Turkey accuses Twitter of 'tax evasion', calls for local office

Turkey accuses Twitter of 'tax evasion', calls for local office

By Orhan Coskun ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey urged executives from Twitter to open an office and start paying Turkish tax on Monday in the first direct talks since a two-week ban imposed on the site as the government battled a corruption scandal. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. YouTube remains largely blocked in Turkey. The prime minister on Saturday accused Twitter of being a "tax evader", repeating his combative stance ahead of the talks between his government and the San Francisco-based company.

Facebook Wants to Get Into Your e-Wallet

Facebook Wants to Get Into Your e-Wallet

The National Bank of Facebook won’t be setting up branches on the corner anytime soon, but the world’s largest social network is apparently moving further into financial transactions than just facilitating the purchase of virtual cows for Farmville players. According to a report in the Financial Times, the California-based social media giant is only a few weeks away from receiving approval to operate as an “electronic money institution” (EMI) in Ireland. Because of European Union regulations, this would allow Facebook to offer transactional and payments services across the EU. According to the Central Bank of Ireland, electronic money is “value stored on a technical device such as a chip card or indeed, a computer memory.

Twitter CEO, co-founders not to sell shares after lockup ends

Twitter CEO, co-founders not to sell shares after lockup ends

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc co-founders, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, and Chief Executive Richard Costolo have informed U.S. regulators that they did not plan to sell the microblogging company's shares after post-IPO restrictions are lifted in May. Twitter, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, had a 180-day restriction on sale of shares by early investors. Another Twitter investor, Benchmark, informed regulators that it did not plan to sell the stock before or immediately after the expiration of the lockup period on May 5. Twitter's shares, which were priced at $26 each in its IPO, were up 2 percent at $40.95 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Facebook reportedly planning money storage and transfer services

Facebook reportedly planning money storage and transfer services

Facebook is reportedly planning to take a step into financial services, allowing users in select regions to store money online to use for making payments and transferring funds to others. According to the Financial Times, Facebook could obtain regulatory approval in Ireland to begin offering these services as an "e-money" institution within a matter of weeks. This approval would apparently allow it to operate throughout Europe.

Twitter CEO, co-founders not selling stock

NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter says its CEO Dick Costolo and co-founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams have no plans to sell any of their shares when the company's post-IPO lock-up expires on May 5.

Hey, American Airlines: Not every Twitter threat needs to be taken seriously

Hey, American Airlines: Not every Twitter threat needs to be taken seriously

On their way back from a vacation in Mexico, his family (all U.S. citizens) were going through a security checkpoint when a U.S. border officer asked if they had any questions. I was reminded of that story yesterday, when some kid made a joke about terrorism to American Airlines on Twitter. The airline’s account immediately responded that it had reported her IP address to the FBI, and a classic Twitter firestorm followed.

Twitter executives head to Turkey for gov't meeting

Twitter executives head to Turkey for gov't meeting

Twitter executives will meet officials from Turkey's government, a company spokesman said Sunday, after the country's prime minister vowed to pursue the site for alleged tax evasion. "I can confirm that Twitter representatives will be in Turkey to meet with government officials," a Twitter spokesman said, without providing further details. Reports have said a meeting between Twitter and Turkish government officials was set for Monday.

Turkey PM threatens to 'go after' Twitter for tax evasion

Turkey PM threatens to 'go after' Twitter for tax evasion

Turkey's prime minister said Saturday he will "go after" Twitter, accusing the site of tax-evasion, after it was used to spread damaging leaks implicating his inner circle in corruption claims. In a televised speech, Recep Tayyip Erdogan also launched a tirade against the nation's highest court for ruling against a ban on Twitter, charging that it put the rights of businesses above that of Turkey's. "Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are international companies established for profit and making money," Erdogan said. "Twitter is at the same time a tax evader.

Extra-terrestrial Tweet-up links Tokyo with space

Extra-terrestrial Tweet-up links Tokyo with space

An unusual "Tweet-up" -- a meeting of people who know each other on Twitter -- involving an ambassador, an astronaut and a prime minister has taken place on a video-link between Japan and the International Space Station. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy chatted with the Japanese commander of the ISS, Koichi Wakata, as he circled the Earth hundreds of miles up. "Congratulations Commander Wakata on being the first Japanese commander of the space station and I am glad that we follow each other on Twitter," Kennedy said. "Ambassador Kennedy, it's quite an honour that you follow my tweets," Wakata replied.

Congress reacts to US-backed 'Cuban Twitter'

In hearings this week on foreign-aid spending, Congress was divided on a now-defunct social media program in Cuba that was secretly backed by the U.S. government. A recent investigation by The Associated Press revealed the program, designed to undermine the island's communist government.

security

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

WASHINGTON (AP) — People who have accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw.

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Old-school RPG fans still get nostalgic when you bring up Baldur’s Gate, the classic Bioware D&D-based adventure that set the standard for computer RPGs when it was released all the way back in 1998. In fact, the Balur’s Gate series’s popularity has been so enduring that studio Beamdog has overhauled it with improved graphics and features while also adding touch controls to make it easy to play on tablets. Although Beamdog released its Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for the iPad a while ago, the studio has finally gotten around to porting it to Android, and it’s now available on the Google Play store for $9.99. Although the iPad version of the overhauled Baldur’s Gate received mixed marks for its buggy controls,

Biometrics expert slams Apple and Samsung fingerprint scanners as unsecured ‘gimmicks’

Biometrics expert slams Apple and Samsung fingerprint scanners as unsecured ‘gimmicks’

It’s pretty safe to say that computer science Professor Willy Susilo won’t be relying on a fingerprint scanner to keep his mobile phone secure. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Susilo says that the fingerprint scanners used by Apple and Samsung are mere “gimmicks” that hackers can easily fool and that don’t give users and real biometric security.  That said, Susilo doesn’t think that this means biometrics have no place mobile security. In fact he’s very bullish on two different kinds of biometrics scanners that may one day grace our smartphones: Retina scanners and vein scanners. Susilo is more optimistic about vein scanners, mostly because there are concerns among biometrics researchers that iris scanners could present cancer risks. Another advantage to

Research shows it’s ‘blind luck’ that asteroids haven’t destroyed a major city yet

Research shows it’s ‘blind luck’ that asteroids haven’t destroyed a major city yet

Well, here’s something happy to think about as you head into the weekend. Phys.org brings us word that three former NASA astronauts are going to present new research next week showing that there have been 26 asteroid crashes since 2001 that have caused “atomic-bomb-scale explosions” that have fortunately been far away from major population centers. The research, which was conducted by the B612 Foundation, used data from a nuclear weapons warning network to measure the impact of major asteroid strikes on the Earth’s surface. “This network has detected 26 multi-kiloton explosions since 2001, all of which are due to asteroid impacts,” explained B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu, a physicist who worked at NASA from 1994 until 2007. “It shows that asteroid impacts are

Attention Scrapbookers: Michaels Confirms Credit Card Data Breach

Attention Scrapbookers: Michaels Confirms Credit Card Data Breach

Michaels Stores finally confirmed on Thursday that the credit card data of nearly 3 million customers was compromised in a recent data breach. A company subsidiary, Aaron Brothers, had up to 400,000 customer credit cards compromised by the breach, while Michaels Stores reported about 2.6 million vulnerable cards. The company concluded that the data breach happened at a limited number of point-of-sale systems at Michaels stores, using "highly sophisticated malware" not previously encountered by the security firms hired to investigate the breach. Michaels confirmed that it is aware of a "limited number" of fraudulent charges potentially connected to the breach.

‘Highly sophisticated malware’ stole credit card data from 3M Michaels customers

‘Highly sophisticated malware’ stole credit card data from 3M Michaels customers

After LaCie announced earlier this week it was the victim of a massive credit card breach that lasted for a year, crafts store Michaels revealed in a press release that hackers may have stolen credit card data for 3 million of its customers, including buyers that shopped at its Aaron Brothers subsidiary. The company has hired two independent security firms to conduct an extensive investigation, which revealed that payment systems in Michaels and Aaron Brothers stores were attacked by “highly sophisticated malware” that had not been seen before by either firm. While the malware has been neutralized at this time, the company determined that the hack was quite extensive, allowing hackers to steal certain payment information including card number and

Scary Android malware uses Facebook to bypass two-factor authentication

Scary Android malware uses Facebook to bypass two-factor authentication

Android users have yet another piece of malware to worry about. PC World points out a technique that is specifically targeting Facebook users who use mobile banking. On computers infected with this trojan, users will see a message when visiting Facebook’s website alerting them that “due to a rising number of attempts in order to gain unlawful access to the personal information of our users and to prevent corrupted page data to spread Facebook administration introduces new extra safety protection system.” If users click on the alert, they will then be directed to a page that instructs them to specify their mobile operating system and phone number. After that, they are then given a QR code for downloading an app on

Retailer Michaels Stores confirms payment card data breach

Retailer Michaels Stores confirms payment card data breach

(Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Thursday confirmed that there was a security breach at certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers. The company said in January that it was working with federal law enforcement officials to investigate a possible data breach. Michaels Stores said the breach, which took place between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014, may have affected about 2.6 million cards, or about 7 percent of payment cards used at its stores during the period. There was no evidence that data such as customers' name or personal identification number were at risk, Michaels Stores said in a statement.

Business Highlights

___ China factories face new challenge as growth slows Chinese manufacturers are discovering that being an efficient low-cost producer is no longer enough to prosper in the face of the country's slowing ...

Researcher finds flaw in Samsung fingerprint check

BERLIN (AP) — A Berlin-based researcher says he has managed to fool the fingerprint-based security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone using wood glue and a picture of the original print.

Hackers make Siri vastly more useful by modifying it to control Nest, Spotify

Hackers make Siri vastly more useful by modifying it to control Nest, Spotify

Siri is getting a lot of competition from Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana these days, but some young hackers have just made Siri much more useful, even if they did so without Apple’s permission. Engadget draws our attention to GoogolPlex, a new hack for Siri developed by a quartet of freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania that lets you use Apple’s voice-enabled personal assistant to adjust the temperature on your Nest thermostat or to shuffle through your Spotify playlist. What makes this particular hack really great is that it’s extremely easy to set up. First, you need to go to your Wi-Fi settings on your iOS device and click on the “i” icon next to the network you’re connected to. From there,

It Took Just Four Days to Hack the Samsung Galaxy S5's Fingerprint Scanner

It Took Just Four Days to Hack the Samsung Galaxy S5's Fingerprint Scanner

It took German "researchers" at SRLabs just four days to created a fake fingerprint using wood glue that can bypass the scanner on the brand new Samsung Galaxy S5. Unlike the iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is integrated with PayPal, and the fingerprint scanner is used to authorize transactions and money transfers in the device. PayPal issued a statement in regards to the security scare: “PayPal never stores or even has access to your actual fingerprint with authentication on the Galaxy S5. Brett McDowell, head of ecosystem security at PayPal, believes that this hack proves only a very minor threat: “This is not something you can do on any number of devices.

U.S. SEC releases cyber security examination blueprint

By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators have unveiled a road map that lays out how they plan to make sure Wall Street firms are prepared to detect and prevent cyber security attacks. The SEC also plans examinations of more than 50 firms that will focus on cyber security-specific issues. The document's release comes several months after Jane Jarcho, an associate director in the SEC's investment adviser examination program, announced in a speech the agency planned to scrutinize whether firms have policies to prevent cyber attacks. The SEC subsequently followed up with a March 26 roundtable where experts debated how public companies, brokerages, asset managers and exchanges can protect themselves from cyber threats, and what role the U.S. government should play to ensure such attacks are adequately disclosed.

American Funds urges password change to counter 'Heartbleed' bug

American Funds urges password change to counter 'Heartbleed' bug

By Jim Finkle and Ross Kerber BOSTON (Reuters) - American Funds, the No. 3 U.S. mutual fund family, advised some customers to change user names and passwords on Wednesday as the number of companies and people affected by the notorious "Heartbleed" bug grows. American Funds also advised customers who logged into Americanfunds.com from December 12, 2013 to April 14 to create new security questions and delete their browsing history. Heartbleed refers to a security bug in software known as OpenSSL used in about two-thirds of all websites and many other technology products. Dan Guido, chief executive of cybersecurity startup Trail of Bits, said more warnings are likely because no company will want to be remiss in trying to protect customers.

Why Heartbleed could be much worse for Android users

Why Heartbleed could be much worse for Android users

Even though Google does not have a Heartbleed problem, particularly since the company has known about the OpenSSL bug a month before everyone else, a large number of Android users may still be at risk, The Guardian reports. And that’s not because Google has not patched the security flaw, but rather because Heartbleed indirectly benefits from several factors. For starters, Heartbleed only affects one version of Android and that’s the “old” Android 4.1.1. However, that also happens to be a very popular Android version running on Android phones, with as many as 50 million users running it on their current devices. The number comes from analytics firm Chitika, although Google is only saying that “less than 10%” of Android devices activated worldwide are

Not even Tor can keep you safe from Heartbleed

Not even Tor can keep you safe from Heartbleed

So here’s some sort-of good news: Cybercriminals might be just as freaked out about the Heartbleed bug as the rest of us. Trend Micro analyst J.D. Sherry writes that revelations about the gaping hole in the Open SSL, the security protocol used to encrypt web traffic, have caused “shell shock in the Deep Web as many of the hidden services within the TOR (The Onion Router) are impacted as well.” Why is Heartbleed so potentially thorny for people who use Tor? Well consider what makes Tor so popular for criminals in the first place: It keeps your online activity anonymous by routing your traffic through several different servers before sending it through to your computer. However, the anonymity of your communications can become compromised

Beware, phone thieves: The smartphone ‘kill-switch’ is coming

Beware, phone thieves: The smartphone ‘kill-switch’ is coming

The five largest U.S. wireless carriers and many smartphone makers including Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and others on Tuesday announced they have agreed to include “kill-switch” technology in all smartphone models released after July 2015, Re/code reports, in a move that should help decrease smartphone thefts and further protect customer data. The companies have agreed to include software features in upcoming models that will allow users to remotely wipe their data and render the devices inoperable once they’re lost or stolen. Apple already has such features in place in iOS 7, allowing iPhone users to better protect their devices against theft – the “Activation Lock” feature in iOS 7 prevents devices from being reactivated even after being

Terrifying interactive map shows global cyber attacks happening in real time

Terrifying interactive map shows global cyber attacks happening in real time

Heartbleed is hardly the only online threat we have to worry about these days. The massive OpenSSL bug should certainly be taken seriously — here are all the passwords you should change immediately because of Heartbleed — but there are threats around just about every corner on the Internet. LaCie on Wednesday confirmed that it was the last company to fall victim to a massive cyber attack where users’ credit card data was compromised, but it is hardly the only recent target. In fact, you’ll be shocked to learn how many cyber attacks are taking place right now as you read this. Antivirus and Internet security software firm Kaspersky recently created a beautiful and terrifying interactive world map that gives us a real-time

LaCie is the latest victim of massive credit card breach

LaCie is the latest victim of massive credit card breach

French company LaCie, maker of various storage solutions, on Tuesday announced that it has been the victim of a massive attack that exposed the personal data of buyers, including credit cards, to a third party. The company said it was informed by the FBI on March 19 that “an unauthorized person used malware to gain access to information from customer transactions that were made through LaCie’s website.” The company has hired an investigation firm, and has temporarily disabled its online store, while it secures it. LaCie said that it believes all transactions made between March 27, 2013 and March 10, 2014 may be affected. Hackers were apparently able to access customers’ names, addresses, emails, card numbers and expiration dates and

Once-Leading Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Calls It Quits

Once-Leading Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Calls It Quits

Mt. Gox, once the leading Bitcoin exchange, has given up its plans to rebuild following a devastating data breach in February. On February 28, Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy just days after going offline due to security concerns. The resulting public relations nightmare caused bitcoin prices to dip and ruined Mt. Gox’s credibility as a secure place to store cryptocurrency.

Samsung executive says Galaxy S5 to outsell S4, sees second quarter rollout for Tizen phone

Samsung executive says Galaxy S5 to outsell S4, sees second quarter rollout for Tizen phone

By Miyoung Kim and Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's new Galaxy S5 smartphone should outsell its predecessor and defy predictions that the South Korean titan's latest model will struggle in a tough market for high-end handsets, a top executive said. The world's biggest smartphone maker has slashed prices of the S5, which rolled out globally on Friday, offered a gift pack worth $600, and more than doubled the number of initial launching countries to 125 in a bid to sustain growth in the mobile business, which generates 70 percent of its total profit. A smooth launch is crucial for Samsung, which reported its second straight quarter of profit decline earlier this month as margins in the key smartphone business come under growing pressure from cheaper Chinese rivals. "(The S5) is selling faster than the S4 so far, though it's difficult to share specific numbers as we're still at early stages," Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung's product strategy team, told Reuters in an interview.

Wireless industry makes anti-theft commitment

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A trade group for wireless providers said Tuesday that that nation's biggest mobile device manufacturers and carriers will soon put anti-theft tools on the gadgets to try to deter rampant smartphone theft.

Why you should expect your favorite websites to crash over the next few weeks

Why you should expect your favorite websites to crash over the next few weeks

If you find yourself unable to access your favorite websites over the next few weeks, don’t worry: The Internet isn’t broken, it’s just undergoing very needed repairs. The Washington Post has talked with some security experts who expect that patching the Heartbleed bug is going to cause major disruptions on the Internet for a while as major web companies scramble to guard their websites against a bug that caught the tech world flat-footed last week. “Imagine if we found out all at once that all the doors everybody uses are all vulnerable — they can all get broken into,” Jason Healey, a cybersecurity scholar at the Washington-based Atlantic Council, told the Post. “The kinds of bad things it enables is

Google knew about Heartbleed for around a month and never told anyone

Google knew about Heartbleed for around a month and never told anyone

For the past week, a lot of the tech world has been trying to figure out what to do about the Heartbleed bug that has the potential to compromise the security of any website that uses the Open SSL encryption protocol. However, The National Journal reports that Google got a big head start on patching Heartbleed because it discovered the security hole back in March and never told anyone else about it. In some ways this isn’t too surprising since companies often make sure to patch their own websites and services when they discover security flaws before telling the world about them. However, The National Journal notes that “keeping the bug secret from the U.S. government may have left federal

Regulators: No interruption after utilities hacked

Electric, natural gas and major water companies and regional distribution systems in Connecticut have been penetrated by hackers and other cyber attackers, but defenses have prevented interruption, state ...

Major Google Glass update rolls out, as new orders open up

Major Google Glass update rolls out, as new orders open up

Google on Friday is not only opening up Google Glass orders to interested buyers looking to score a pair of smart glasses, but it’s also rolling out a major update to its wearable device, bringing KitKat to Glass owners. Starting with 9 a.m. EDT, Google will be opening up a “limited number of spots in the Explorer Program,” but the device will only be available to U.S.-based customers willing to spend $1,500 for it. As for KitKat for Glass, Google describes it as its “most exciting” update for the device yet. “Our most exciting update is subtle, but big,” the company wrote on Google+. “We’ve been working on a significant upgrade to a new version of the Glass software. It’s not a

Not even BlackBerry can escape the Heartbleed bug

Not even BlackBerry can escape the Heartbleed bug

Here’s how you know that Heartbleed is a serious and widespread problem: Even BlackBerry is scrambling to push out patches for it. Although BlackBerry prides itself with being the world’s leader in mobile security, Reuters reports that it was caught flat-footed by the Heartbleed bug just like everyone else and is now planning “to release security updates for messaging software for Android and iOS devices by Friday to address vulnerabilities in programs” exposed by the massive new security flaw. Heartbleed is a major flaw in OpenSSL, the security protocol used to encrypt web traffic, that could potentially allow hackers to swipe any data that users send over the web. News about the bug sent shockwaves throughout the tech industry last week as companies are now

Google unveils email scanning practices in new terms of service

Google unveils email scanning practices in new terms of service

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc updated its terms of service on Monday, informing users that their incoming and outgoing emails are automatically analyzed by software to create targeted ads. The revisions more explicitly spell out the manner in which Google software scans users' emails, both when messages are stored on Google's servers and when they are in transit, a controversial practice that has been at the heart of litigation. Last month, a U.S. judge decided not to combine several lawsuits that accused Google of violating the privacy rights of hundreds of millions of email users into a single class action. Users of Google's Gmail email service have accused the company of violating federal and state privacy and wiretapping laws by scanning their messages so it could compile secret profiles and target advertising.

'Heartbleed' blamed in attack on Canada tax agency, more expected

'Heartbleed' blamed in attack on Canada tax agency, more expected

By Jim Finkle and Louise Egan BOSTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's tax-collection agency said on Monday that the private information of about 900 people had been compromised as hackers exploited the "Heartbleed" bug, and security experts warned that more attacks will likely follow. The breach allowed hackers to extract social insurance numbers, which are used for employment and gaining access to government benefits, and possibly some other data, the Canada Revenue Agency said.

Maker of Android flashlight app with 50M downloads avoids fine after selling location data

Maker of Android flashlight app with 50M downloads avoids fine after selling location data

This past December, we reported that a popular Android app called Brightest Flashlight could do more than just shine light. Brightest Flashlight was a simple flashlight app that was highly-rated and had over 50 million installs. However, it had one devious, hidden feature: It would share personal data, such as your location, with advertisers. The FTC caught wind of this and began investigating the developer. According to GigaOm, the FTC reached a settlement with the developer last week, and it looks like he got away easy. Erik Geidl, the single developer behind Brightest Flashlight, will have to stop collecting location data unless he clearly explains how and why he’s doing so. He will also have to delete any location data he

U.S. retailers to share cyber threat data after Target attack

U.S. retailers to share cyber threat data after Target attack

U.S. retailers are planning to form an industry group for collecting and sharing intelligence about cyber security threats in a bid to prevent future attacks in the wake of last year's big attack on Target Corp. The National Retail Federation said on Monday it will establish an Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or ISAC, for the retail industry in June. ISACs are industry groups that typically run security operations centers that operate around the clock, providing alerts about emerging threats to their members and sharing information provided by law enforcement and other government agencies. There are more than a dozen such organizations among industries including financial services, emergency services, healthcare, technology companies, public transportation and utilities. The financial services industry ISAC, which is widely considered the most successful group of its type, will help retailers set up the new organization.

Google acquires drone-making startup Titan Aerospace

Google acquires drone-making startup Titan Aerospace

Google announced on Monday that it would be acquiring Titan Aerospace, a startup that develops high-altitude, solar-powered drones. Titan Aerospace was previously courted by Facebook for a reported $60 million buyout, but it appears that Google struck first. The Wall Street Journal reports that Google did not divulge the price of the acquisition, but the search giant did say that the 20 or so employees of Titan will remain in their New Mexico location. CEO Vern Raburn will also continue to run the company. Google plans to ingratiate the Titan team with its own Project Loon, an undertaking which hopes to expand Internet coverage by building large, Internet-enabled balloons for areas of the world that are not yet online. “It’s still early days,

Everything iPhone users need to know before switching to Android

Everything iPhone users need to know before switching to Android

iPhone fans are by far the most loyal fans out there, but Android Authority has put together a very comprehensive guide for the tiny minority of iPhone users out there who are interested in making the switch to Google’s mobile operating system. The guide contains five major sections for iPhone users that tell you how to move your iPhone contacts, calendars, images, bookmarks and music over to your shiny new Android device. Interestingly, most of the transfers can be done pretty easily through Apple’s own iCloud service that backs up your iPhone’s contacts, calendar events, bookmarks and other key data. In fact, the only part of Android Authority’s guide that doesn’t at all involve iCloud is its recommendations for moving your

Here’s how to protect yourself with two-step verification on 11 top websites

Here’s how to protect yourself with two-step verification on 11 top websites

Heartbleed is a very scary bug that came to light recently and once again sent the Internet into a frenzy with talk about how to protect yourself from security vulnerabilities and hackers. Several sites also published guides covering how to protect yourself from Heartbleed, suggesting that using stronger passwords could somehow have kept users safe from having their data compromised by Heartbleed. Using complex passwords is always a good idea, but even the longest password would have been vulnerable in the case of this particular flaw. What would have offered users solid protection, however, is two-step verification. Two-step verification is a security measure that adds an additional layer of authentication in order for users to log into a website. So, for example, you might first

German research center target of espionage attack

The German Aerospace Center says it was the target of a suspected espionage attack for several months. The research center on Monday confirmed a report by German magazine Der Spiegel and said it had asked ...

The tale of two Androids: Before and after the iPhone

The tale of two Androids: Before and after the iPhone

Taking the stand on Friday in the second U.S. Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit, Google’s Android engineering vice president Hiroshi Lockheimer said that the company did not copy iPhone when designing Android. However, Re/code and AppleInsider have obtained internal Google documents submitted into evidence that remind us just how different Android was in the beginning, with the first Android devices not even supposed to support touchscreen displays. “We like to have our own identity,” Lockheimer said while defending Android, revealing that he joined Google in April 2006 to work on Android. The documents in question, however, show how the identity of Android was shaped around the iPhone’s launch, turning it from a BlackBerry lookalike into an iPhone alternative. The “Android Project Software Functional

Why Obama's response to the Heartbleed bug is so troubling

Why Obama's response to the Heartbleed bug is so troubling

On Friday, the Obama administration unequivocally denied a report that the NSA had exploited the Heartbleed vulnerability to gather intelligence, part of a swift effort to shut down a damaging storyline that featured the government knowingly failing to shield millions of Americans from an online security flaw. But in so doing, the administration also made two important admissions. First, it can, if pressed, use plain English free of obvious deceit, in contrast to the obfuscation that has characterized the government's response to a stream of revelations about the NSA's vast internet dragnet. The vulnerability made it possible to obtain whatever data was in the memory of the computer during the authentication process, which meant that protective measures like user passwords or security questions might be accessible to hackers.

open-source

LG Smart TVs To Offer Chromecast-like Functionality

LG Smart TVs To Offer Chromecast-like Functionality

Google's Chromecast is arguably the easiest way to broadcast mobile content to a big screen, but it's hardly the only game in town. LG has released Connect SDK, an open source software development kit that allows developers to create apps that will have Chromecast-like capabilities that will work across LG Smart TVs, the Amazon Fire TV, the Roku 3 and Roku Streaming Stick and even the Chromecast. In a way, LG releasing Connect SDK is very similar to Google releasing the Chromecast's SDK in February.

Video: Incredible computerized glove lets you make music with the flick of a wrist

Video: Incredible computerized glove lets you make music with the flick of a wrist

Wearable tech has a lot of promise, but the endless parade of smartwatches from every company with the means to create one has diluted the field. One of the more fascinating projects that exists far outside of this box is Imogen Heap’s Mi.Mu Glove, a musical tool that allows musicians to create music without confining themselves to a computer. By simply moving a gloved hand, the user can change countless aspects of the sound created with the Mi.Mu Glove, from the pitch and the volume to the instrument being emulated. As Heap explains in the Kickstarter video, “currently you’d need a small team of people to set it all up.” If the project is funded, the team will be able to finish designing the software and the hardware

LG tries to create a universal AirPlay for apps

LG tries to create a universal AirPlay for apps

LG says that Apple TV support is also in the works, but isn't supported at launch. Apple TV's AirPlay is the most popular, but recently Chromecast has garnered a lot of attention. Other attempts to compete with AirPlay like DIAL and DLNA have failed because of technical problems or lack of support. Can anything beat AirPlay?

Google now lets you access your computer through Android with Chrome Remote Desktop

Google now lets you access your computer through Android with Chrome Remote Desktop

Google's Chrome Remote Desktop service, first launched in 2011, is coming to mobile. Today, the company released an Android app that will let users access their desktop computers, whether through a Chrome web app for Mac, PC, and Linux or through Chrome OS itself. GigaOm reported a few days ago that the app was in beta testing, but it's now available to anyone with an Android phone or tablet, though doing much with the former will be a little cramped. There's no precise date given for an iOS version, but Google says it will be coming later this year.

Building blocks: how Project Ara is reinventing the smartphone

Building blocks: how Project Ara is reinventing the smartphone

The model is there because the people behind Project Ara are currently trying to think through potential retail experiences that would help people configure their phones. Such technical jargon is par for the course inside Google's Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP) group, which is in charge of Project Ara. At ATAP, simple things like Lego blocks represent ridiculously complex ideas. The head of Project Ara, Paul Eremenko, says he is planning "the most custom mass-market product ever created by mankind" without a trace of irony in his voice.

Philippe Starck leads 3D-printable furniture project TOG

Philippe Starck leads 3D-printable furniture project TOG

The French designer and a collective of other artists have launched TOG, a project aimed at making customizable 3D-printable furniture more accessible to the masses. TOG stores will be opened around the world, and customers will also be able to access designs through the project's website, where designers will someday be able to share their patterns through an open source platform. In the future, Starck and his fellow designers hope to take the TOG concept one step further, giving users the ability to download and print the the designs themselves using 3D printing kiosks that could one day be available to the public. Customers would be able to create all of their home and office furnishings through the 3D printer, as long as the items are made of materials compatible with the machine.

Here’s when to watch tonight’s rare ‘blood moon’ eclipse

Here’s when to watch tonight’s rare ‘blood moon’ eclipse

We’re just hours away from witnessing the first of a super-rare tetrad of “blood moon” eclipses but it might start a little too late for those of us who want to watch it on the east coast. As NPR tells us, the moon will start turning blood-red at 1 a.m. ET and won’t peak for another couple of hours at 3 a.m. ET. If you’re on the west coast, however, the times for eclipse-watching become much more reasonable since it starts at 10 p.m. PT and peaks at midnight PT. The good news is that even if you miss the eclipse tonight, you’ll have more opportunities to catch it pretty soon. Astronomers are projecting that tonight’s “blood moon” eclipse will

NASA Space Apps 'Hackathon' Draws Future Tech Trailblazers

NASA Space Apps 'Hackathon' Draws Future Tech Trailblazers

They have all gathered to take part in NASA's third annual International Space Apps Challenge — a 48-hour global hackathon that aims to find solutions to problems faced on Earth and in space. As part of the fun contest, teams around the world will spend the weekend trying to tackle 40 challenges released by NASA. The tasks are designed to address many of the agency's top priorities, and the event is part of NASA's growing involvement in citizen science initiatives. The challenges fall into five categories — Earth Watch, Technology in Space, Human Spaceflight, Robotics and Asteroids — and include such diverse tasks as figuring out how to turn a smartphone into a nanosatellite;

NSC backs disclosing software vulnerabilities

WASHINGTON (AP) — Disclosing vulnerabilities in commercial and open source software is in the national interest and shouldn't be withheld from the public unless there is a clear national security or law enforcement need, President Barack Obama's National Security Council said Saturday.

Heartbleed: the bug that put the internet on high alert

Known by the dramatic name Heartbleed, the bug left the widely-used, open source OpenSSL protocol vulnerable to attacks that could put servers' private encryption keys into the hands of hackers. Major sites like Yahoo, Imgur, Flickr, LastPass, and countless others were left vulnerable, and, worst of all, the bug's been in the code for years. There was an emergency patch, but until it was installed, tens of millions of servers were exposed. Letting attackers listen in on data traffic

White House, spy agencies deny NSA exploited 'Heartbleed' bug

White House, spy agencies deny NSA exploited 'Heartbleed' bug

By Mark Hosenball and Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House and U.S. intelligence agencies said on Friday neither the National Security Agency nor any other part of the government were aware before this month of the "Heartbleed" bug, denying a report that the spy agency exploited the glitch in widely used Web encryption technology to gather intelligence. The White House, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued statements after Bloomberg reported that the NSA was aware of the bug for at least two years and exploited it in order to obtain passwords and other basic information used in hacking operations. "Reports that NSA or any other part of the government were aware of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability before April 2014 are wrong," White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

NASA Space App 'Hackathon' Launches in NYC This Weekend

NASA Space App 'Hackathon' Launches in NYC This Weekend

NEW YORK — NASA is hosting its third annual International Space Apps Challenge this weekend, a global hackathon-type event that pits teams against one another in a fun contest to come up with solutions to address real needs on Earth and in space. The two-day Space App Challenge event, scheduled to take place at nearly 100 different locations across six continents, will bring people together to tackle 40 new challenges based on NASA's goals and mission priorities. The challenges fall into five categories — Earth Watch, Technology in Space, Human Spaceflight, Robotics and Asteroids — and include tasks such as figuring out how to turn a smartphone into a nanosatellite; "The idea of a Challenge is so compelling because it acknowledges the fact that the world is facing serious challenges — and that we all have to work together to approach them," event organizers wrote on the official Space App Challenge website.

Tech agenda: DevNation 2014

Tech agenda: DevNation 2014

Co-located with the annual Red Hat Summit, DevNation 2014 is one of the premier events for anyone who builds with open source.

'Heartbleed' bug a critical Internet illness

'Heartbleed' bug a critical Internet illness

The "Heartbleed" flaw in Internet security is as critical as the name implies and wider spread than first believed. Warnings about the danger exposed early this week reached widening circles on Thursday, with everyone from website operators and bank officials to Internet surfers and workers who tele-commute being told their data could be in danger. "Heartbleed is a catastrophic bug in OpenSSL," well-known computer security specialist Bruce Schneier said in a post at his schneier.com website. The Heartbleed flaw lets hackers snatch packets of data from working memory in computers, creating the potential for them to steal passwords, encryption keys, or other valuable information.

'Super Planet Crash' Game Lets You Build (and Destroy) Alien Solar Systems

'Super Planet Crash' Game Lets You Build (and Destroy) Alien Solar Systems

"Super Planet Crash" challenges the public to create a planetary system with various kinds of alien planets, ranging from Earth-size planets to gas giants to more massive dwarf stars. But we also wanted to create a portal for students and teachers so that anyone can use it," Greg Laughlin, an astronomy professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who led the development of the software, said in a statement. With the help of students — principally Stefano Meschiari (now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas, Austin) — Laughlin created Systemic. It's been used in institutions like Columbia University in New York City, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and UCSC.

'Armello' pitch mixes board, card and video games

'Armello' pitch mixes board, card and video games

The lush surrounds of fairy-tale animal kingdom "Armello" form the backdrop for a proposal that blends board game, card game and video game traditions -- and one that's been received with great enthusiasm. Described by its Australian creators as a multiplayer digital board game, "Armello" has been in the works as an out-of-hours project for over three years and has already accumulated eight months of prototyping via a more conventional board game format. And thanks to a partnership with fellow Melbourne studio 12 Field Animation, "Armello" has a number of animated shorts that recall classic cartoon adventures. Asking for 200,000 Australian dollars (approximately $187,500 USD) from Kickstarter backers, the team at League of Geeks is looking to bring "Armello" to iPad, PC, Mac and Linux, with Android and Windows tablet versions set as a stretch goal.

'Heartbleed' bug puts encrypted data in danger

'Heartbleed' bug puts encrypted data in danger

Trust in the Internet took a major blow on Tuesday as alarm spread that software commonly used to encrypt and secure online transactions could wind up giving away the store. Computer security specialists, website masters, and fans of online privacy were worriedly abuzz with word of a freshly-discovered flaw in online data-scrambling software that hackers can turn to their advantage. A bug dubbed "Heartbleed" in OpenSSL encryption software lets attackers illicitly retrieve passwords and other bits of information from working memory on computer servers, according to cyber-defense specialists at Fox-IT.

Internet “Heartbleed” Bug Exposing Passwords To Hackers

We’ve all seen the icon of a padlock preceding an “https:” internet URL. A major security bug officially called CVE-2014-0160, but given the name Heartbleed because it can bleed information from websites, has compromised that security.

'Heartbleed' Bug Kills Security on Millions of Websites

'Heartbleed' Bug Kills Security on Millions of Websites

The Heartbleed bug, as it's called by the researchers who discovered it, would let anyone on the Internet get into a supposedly secure Web server running certain versions of OpenSSL and scoop up the site's encryption keys, user passwords and site content. Once an attacker has a website's encryption keys, anything is fair game: Instead of slipping through a proverbial crack in the wall, he can now walk in and out the front door. Many other top sites — including Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, Twitter, Apple and Microsoft — are not currently vulnerable, though some may have been in the past.

Mozilla’s CEO Mess: Bad Choice, Worse Outcome

Even miles away from Silicon Valley, you could see this coming. Brendan Eich resigned from the Mozilla Corporation on Thursday, less than two weeks after being elevated to the chief executive’s job at the maker of the popular Firefox open-source web browser.

Wikipedia unveils font redesign

Wikipedia unveils font redesign

On its Twitter account Wikipedia on Thursday noted that readers "might have noticed some font changes on the sites." A statement posted on the official Wikimedia blog claimed the updates aimed to make content more 'readable, consistent, available and accessible'. Ahead of the implementation, in an interview with Fast Co last week, Wikimedia Director of User Experience Jared Zimmerman explained that the modifications to the site's typefaces, designed to make the pages more readable, would be very subtle, but highlight a bigger font issue worldwide. According to Fast Co, the world's favorite encyclopedia's modification will cover a huge 32,533,899 pages in 287 languages, increasing the font size and differentiating main text and chapter header typefaces.

Tech agenda: NAB Show

Tech agenda: NAB Show

One of the biggest shows on Earth dedicated to creating and distributing creative content in an increasingly digital world kicks off this weekend.

gaming

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Now Android fans can play one of the greatest computer games ever on their tablets

Old-school RPG fans still get nostalgic when you bring up Baldur’s Gate, the classic Bioware D&D-based adventure that set the standard for computer RPGs when it was released all the way back in 1998. In fact, the Balur’s Gate series’s popularity has been so enduring that studio Beamdog has overhauled it with improved graphics and features while also adding touch controls to make it easy to play on tablets. Although Beamdog released its Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition for the iPad a while ago, the studio has finally gotten around to porting it to Android, and it’s now available on the Google Play store for $9.99. Although the iPad version of the overhauled Baldur’s Gate received mixed marks for its buggy controls,

Easter weekend flash sale offers PS3 and Vita games for $0.99

Easter weekend flash sale offers PS3 and Vita games for $0.99

U.S. PlayStation fans weren’t fortunate enough to receive a big Easter promotion like their European counterparts, but Sony is making up for it with a 99 cent flash sale this weekend, slashing prices on over 25 games on the PlayStation Network. Sony announced on the PlayStation Blog that the offer had officially gone live on Friday, featuring PlayStation 3, Vita and PS2/PS1 Classics that will cost you less than a dollar to pick up. The full list follows below. Back to the Future: The Game – Full Series Blast Factor Braid Crash Bandicoot Crash Bandicoot 2 Crash Bandicoot 3: WARPED Crash Commando CTR: Crash Team Racing echochrome ii Everyday Shooter Gex: Enter the Gecko Gotham City Imposters Jurassic Park: The Game – Full Season Plants vs Zombies

Florida man charged with murdering son so he could play video games

Florida man charged with murdering son so he could play video games

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler and left him to die in a playpen, police said on Friday. Cody Wygant, 24, was arrested on Thursday on charges of third-degree murder, which is an unplanned killing, and child neglect with great bodily harm, the Citrus County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, Heather Yates, said. Wygant, who is from Homosassa, located about 92 miles west of Orlando, told investigators that he was trying to play Xbox games online at 1 a.m. on Thursday and became frustrated by his son, Daymeon, who was crying uncontrollably, according to the arrest affidavit. Wygant said he placed his hand over the boy's mouth and nose for three to four minutes until the child appeared exhausted and lethargic.

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' skips Xbox One in puzzling postponement

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' skips Xbox One in puzzling postponement

Primed for a multi-platform launch the week of April 29, movie tie-in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is now without an Xbox One version, after the new console's edition of the game was pulled with less than two weeks to go. Australian website Gamers Honest Truth was told by "sources close to Activision" that the Xbox One edition had been delayed indefinitely. And members of internet forum NeoGAF then followed up on the news and noticed that the Xbox One game's release had been quietly erased from its own official website. With trade news outlet MCV on the trail, Activision then confirmed that Beenox's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" had been put on indefinite hiatus -- "we are revising our release plans for ASM2 on Xbox One.

Microsoft reports strong sales of XBox One

Microsoft reports strong sales of XBox One

Microsoft said Thursday it has sold more than five million XBox One consoles since they were launched in November. The news came a day after video game competitor Sony said it had sold more than seven million PlayStation 4 consoles since mid-November. Sony's numbers refer to sales to consumers while Microsoft's involve sales to retailers. Sales of XBox One were 60 percent higher than those of Microsoft's earlier iteration XBox 360 during the same length of time after it hit the market, Yusuf Medhi, vice president of marketing, strategy and business, wrote on the Microsoft blog in announcing the figures.

Titanfall not strong enough to keep Xbox One sales on par with PS4

Titanfall not strong enough to keep Xbox One sales on par with PS4

Sony on Thursday announced that it sold over 7 million PlayStation 4 units, significantly more than what it envisioned for its fiscal year 2013. Microsoft made its own announcement yesterday as well, highlighting the strong sales of Titanfall, a shooter game that’s not available on the PS4, and which was named the number one selling game in March according to NPD numbers. However, while Titanfall has helped Microsoft sell more Xbox One units, it wasn’t enough to keep Xbox One sales on par with PS4 sales. The company also announced that more than 5 million Xbox One units have been sold-in to retailers since launch, with sales apparently outpacing Xbox 360 sales by more than 60% at the same point

Microsoft's Xbox One sales cross 5 million

Microsoft's Xbox One sales cross 5 million

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp has sold over 5 million Xbox One video game consoles to retailers since its launch in November, the company said on Thursday. In January, the U.S. software company said Xbox One sales had crossed three million as of the end of 2013. The console went on sale on November 22 in 13 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, a week before rival Sony Corp's PlayStation 4 was released. Sony said on Wednesday it sold over 7 million PlayStation 4 units as of April 6 and is struggling to keep up with consumer demand. ...

Zynga seeks new harvest with mobile FarmVille game

Zynga seeks new harvest with mobile FarmVille game

Social games pioneer Zynga on Thursday released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players. The San Francisco-based game maker set on its heels by a shift away from desktop computers is out to regain momentum with the mobile-format "Farmville 2: Country Escape" for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. "Just as the original 'FarmVille' created a global phenomena when it launched, we expect the same from 'Country Escape,'" game general manager Jamie Davies told AFP while providing an early glimpse at the title. The original "FarmVille" will mark its fifth anniversary in June.

Video: Sony shares major details from the next PlayStation 4 update

Video: Sony shares major details from the next PlayStation 4 update

Sony detailed the first major update for the PlayStation 4 on Wednesday, introducing the SHAREfactory video editor and the ability to pre-download games that haven’t hit the PlayStation Store yet. Despite its unending success in the marketplace, the PlayStation 4 has fallen behind the Xbox One recently in terms of additional features. Microsoft began patching Xbox One almost immediately after launch, adding an enhanced Twitch application, improving the party system and updating the UI. One of the more compelling features of the Xbox One is the Upload Studio app, which allows players to record, edit and share their gameplay footage with others. PlayStation 4 owners can record footage as well, but there is no way to edit the footage from

Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top seven million

Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top seven million

Sony says it has sold seven million PlayStation 4 worldwide since its launch last year and admitted it can't make them fast enough, in a welcome change of fortune for the Japanese consumer electronics giant. "The response from the global gaming community for PS4 (PlayStation 4) has been overwhelming and we are truly humbled that gamers are selecting PS4 as their next generation console of choice," Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., said in a statement. "The PS4 journey has just begun, and although we are still facing difficulties keeping up with the strong demand worldwide, we remain steadfast in our commitment to meet the needs of our customers," he said. Software sales for the console are also strong, with more than 20.5 million copies sold in retail stores worldwide and through digital downloads on PlayStation Store as of April 13, 2014, it said.

Sony sells more than 7 million PlayStation 4 consoles

Sony sells more than 7 million PlayStation 4 consoles

By Malathi Nayak SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Sony Corp said on Wednesday it sold more than 7 million PlayStation 4 videogame consoles in just over four months to April 6, double the number of the older version, PlayStation 3, sold in about the same time frame after its launch. Sony is struggling to keep pace with demand for the videogame console, the Japanese company said in a statement. "Although we are still facing difficulties keeping up with the strong demand worldwide, we remain steadfast in our commitment to meet the needs of our customers," Andrew House, president and group chief executive officer of Sony Computer Entertainment, said in the statement. The $399 PlayStation 4 went on sale on November 29 in the United States, Western Europe and Latin America, around the same time that rival Microsoft Corp's Xbox One was released.

Blizzard’s free World of Warcraft card game Hearthstone is now available worldwide on iPad

Blizzard’s free World of Warcraft card game Hearthstone is now available worldwide on iPad

Blizzard announced on Wednesday that its free-to-play collectible card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is finally rolling out worldwide for the iPad. Hearthstone has been available on the iPad in select regions for a few weeks, but April 16th represents the app’s official international launch. The app supports the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation iPads as well as the iPad mini, Retina iPad mini and iPad Air. If you’ve somehow missed out on the explosive popularity of Blizzard’s latest title, Hearthstone is a collectible card game that offers some of the most impressive visuals and easy-to-learn gameplay in the genre. A series of tutorial battles will walk you through the nine available classes, each of which has class specific cards and a

Microsoft details every new feature coming in new Xbox One update

Microsoft details every new feature coming in new Xbox One update

Microsoft has shown that it is dedicated to improving the Xbox One user experience, having already issued multiple big software updates for the new console that was released just five months ago. Beginning late Monday night, the company began rolling out its Xbox One April update, which includes a number of fixes and new features that were detailed by Microsoft on one of its blogs. Xbox programming director Larry Hryb, better known by his Xbox Live user name “Major Nelson,” ran through all of the new features on his blog Monday night: Game and app saves and updates. A game save progress bar will show you the status of your game saves. You will also be able to easily tell what games

Atari gets into real-money gambling

Atari, the maker of classic video games like "Pong" and "Centipede," is about to make things a bit more interesting for players. The company said Tuesday that it is getting into real-money ...

Xbox One update rolling out with Kinect improvements and friend notifications

Xbox One update rolling out with Kinect improvements and friend notifications

Microsoft seems to be improving its Xbox One software on a monthly basis, and April is no different. Starting today, the software maker is rolling out its latest update to Xbox One consoles, bringing some new features and improvements along the way. Xbox 360 owners will be familiar with friend notifications when players arrive online, but the Xbox One strangely lacked this feature at launch. Today’s update brings the friends notifications back, along with the ability to identify friends who are playing multiplayer games. Microsoft has also turned its attention to improving Kinect voice and motion detection with April's update.

When Selling Your Home on Your Own Makes Sense

When Selling Your Home on Your Own Makes Sense

Only, you don't want to give up 6 percent in real estate agent commissions. For some people and situations, trying to sell a house on your own -- called “for sale by owner,” or FSBO -- is a mistake. The National Association of Realtors claims that FSBOs represented 9 percent of home sales in 2012 and that the "typical" FSBO home sold for $174,900, versus $215,000 for an agent-assisted sale. In 2003, Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate in Farmville, VA, had two months to sell before moving cross country.

'Project Totem' Brings Indie Platforming to Xbox One

Indie games were mostly a curiosity on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but now represent major opportunities for the PS4 and Xbox One. Press Play is an indie studio under Microsoft's wing, and hopes that its new "Project Totem" will be a feather in the Xbox's cap. Tom's Guide went hands-on with "Project Totem" (which will not be the game's final title) at PAX East 2014.

Facebook Wants to Get Into Your e-Wallet

Facebook Wants to Get Into Your e-Wallet

The National Bank of Facebook won’t be setting up branches on the corner anytime soon, but the world’s largest social network is apparently moving further into financial transactions than just facilitating the purchase of virtual cows for Farmville players. According to a report in the Financial Times, the California-based social media giant is only a few weeks away from receiving approval to operate as an “electronic money institution” (EMI) in Ireland. Because of European Union regulations, this would allow Facebook to offer transactional and payments services across the EU. According to the Central Bank of Ireland, electronic money is “value stored on a technical device such as a chip card or indeed, a computer memory.

Nintendo's 'Tomodachi Life' trailer is totally weird (in a good way)

Nintendo's 'Tomodachi Life' trailer is totally weird (in a good way)

Surprising game fans with confirmation that the "Tomodachi" series would venture outside of Japan for the first time with a June 6 release of "Tomodachi Collection," Nintendo's video announcement featured digital versions of several high-ranking executives. Suited and booted as they might normally be, Nintendo's chiefs instead found themselves playing with kittens, taking baths, chanting to television cameras and rocking out in front of thousands within the confines of "Tomodachi Life." Well rated by Japanese magazine Famitsu with a 36/40 score upon its April 2013 release, "Tomodachi Life" takes its name from the Japanese word for "friend." It promises "a crazy world where Mii characters of you, your friends, your favorite characters and anyone else you can imagine all live together: sometimes in harmony, sometimes not," explained Nintendo of Europe president Satoru Shibata during a special Nintendo Direct broadcast.

Zynga names Best Buy executive David Lee as CFO

Zynga Inc., the maker of Farmville and other digital games, said Thursday that it has named a chief financial officer. The San Francisco-based company said David Lee will take over as its chief financial ...

Zynga names former Best Buy executive chief financial officer

Zynga names former Best Buy executive chief financial officer

By Malathi Nayak SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Zynga Inc appointed former Best Buy executive David Lee its chief financial officer as Zynga continued reshuffling its ranks to try to return the "Farmville" creator to growth. Lee, 42, will step into the role on April 14 and replace current Chief Financial Officer Mark Vranesh, who has decided to leave the company, the games publisher said in a regulator filing late last week. Zynga has sought to revive its business by overhauling top management, trimming staff and introducing titles that can be played on smartphones and tablets. Lee was previously the senior vice president of corporate finance, treasury, mergers and acquisitions and corporate strategy at retail giant Best Buy.

Date set for New Mexico dig for Atari 'E.T.' games

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — Organizers of a search in a New Mexico landfill for a rumored stash of what some call the worst video game ever made by Atari announced Thursday that the dig will get underway this month.

Video: Super Smash Bros. coming to 3DS this summer, Wii U in fall

Video: Super Smash Bros. coming to 3DS this summer, Wii U in fall

Nintendo announced on Tuesday night that the highly anticipated next-gen installment of Super Smash Bros. will finally release on the 3DS this summer and on the Wii U in fall. Along with the release window, Nintendo also went into detail about the visual enhancements of the multiplatform title, the game’s dedication to the competitive fighting community and the introduction of some new (and not-so-new) faces. Unlike previous games in the series, Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U will run at 60 frames per second, although some of the additional in-game features, such as Pokemon and Assist Trophies, will run at 30 fps. Both versions of the game will also feature two separate modes of play: For Fun and For Glory. In For Fun

Game developer says it’s ‘physically impossible’ for Xbox One to match PS4 performance

Game developer says it’s ‘physically impossible’ for Xbox One to match PS4 performance

The Xbox One’s graphics performance is expected to significantly improve once Microsoft releases new DirectX 12 drivers. But according to one popular game developer, that won’t put the console on par with Sony’s PlayStation 4. In fact, it’s apparently “physically impossible” for the Xbox One to match the PS4 when it comes to computing power. Oddworld Inhabitants co-founder Lorne Lanning suggested in late March during an interview with Xbox Achievements that the performance gap between the two consoles will disappear in the future. However, it appears that he wasn’t actually referring to the computing differences between the two devices. A few days later, in an interview with Worlds Factory, Just Add Water CEO Stewart Gilray said that Lanning’s words were misunderstood. “Actually that

'Armello' pitch mixes board, card and video games

'Armello' pitch mixes board, card and video games

The lush surrounds of fairy-tale animal kingdom "Armello" form the backdrop for a proposal that blends board game, card game and video game traditions -- and one that's been received with great enthusiasm. Described by its Australian creators as a multiplayer digital board game, "Armello" has been in the works as an out-of-hours project for over three years and has already accumulated eight months of prototyping via a more conventional board game format. And thanks to a partnership with fellow Melbourne studio 12 Field Animation, "Armello" has a number of animated shorts that recall classic cartoon adventures. Asking for 200,000 Australian dollars (approximately $187,500 USD) from Kickstarter backers, the team at League of Geeks is looking to bring "Armello" to iPad, PC, Mac and Linux, with Android and Windows tablet versions set as a stretch goal.

Grand Theft Auto V rumored to be landing on PS4, Xbox One and PC in June

Grand Theft Auto V rumored to be landing on PS4, Xbox One and PC in June

Rumors of next-gen and PC releases for the best-selling Grand Theft Auto V have been floating around since long before the game even launched, but after months of silence from Rockstar, most of us had given up hope for an announcement anytime soon. It’s not much to go on, but considering how long it’s been since the gossip died down, we figured this potential leak was worth covering. TECH-NICK, manager of German retailer Saturn.de, said in a tweet that the release of GTA V for PC, Xbox One and PS4 is expected in June. He clarified in another tweet that the release information is only a rumor. Hopefully we’ll hear more at E3, which also happens to take place in June.