- The frantic swordfighting of 'Nidhogg 2' arrives on August 15th
SUMMARY: If you're a fan of in-person two-player games, there's a good chance you've heard of Nidhogg. Its frenetic swordfighting is easy to pick up, difficult to master and oozing with Atari 2600-style visual charm. There's only been so much you could do wi...
- Ashley Madison will pay $11.2 million to data breach victims
SUMMARY: Ashley Madison is still picking up the pieces two years after the massive data breach that exposed millions of users' information. The parent company of the cheat-on-your-spouse website continues to deny any wrongdoing, but it has agreed to settle th...
- After Math: Are you not entertained?
SUMMARY: It's been an exciting week for the entertainment industry. Netflix is leading Emmy season with 18 nominations, Oculus permanently dropped the price of its VR headset and Whiz Khalifa has been crowned the new king of YouTube. Numbers, because how else...
- Ben Heck's ultimate sub-$400 media center
In what may be a strange change of pace for The Ben Heck Show, instead of voiding warranties, Felix is following them as he puts together the components necessary to build an Arch Linux-based media center. There are a number of considerations to...
- Tesla will open '2 or 3' more Gigafactories in the US
SUMMARY: It's no secret that Tesla wants to open Gigafactories around the world to keep up with demand for electric cars and storage batteries, but how many of those will open in the US? Now we know: Elon Musk has confirmed that "2 or 3" additional factories...
- Hit indie FMV game 'Her Story' gets a spiritual sequel
SUMMARY: Did you enjoy Her Story, the indie title that revived the use of full-motion video in games? You're not alone: Sam Barlow's game sold over 100,000 copies, a lot for a small-budget release, and won its share of acclaim, including multiple awards. An...
- Disney's immersive 'Star Wars' hotel is a Jedi dream come true
SUMMARY: No, you're not dreaming: Walt Disney World plans to open an insanely ambitious immersive Star Wars hotel that sounds like something out of Westworld. Every guest will experience a completely unique story throughout their stay, which will "touch every...
- GM is renting cars to Uber drivers in Australia
SUMMARY: GM is expanding the presence of its Zipcar-style service Maven in Australia. The company has begun testing Maven Gig in Sydney through a pilot program with Uber a few months after it started trialing the main Maven service in Melbourne. Unlike the pr...
- Amazon may unveil its own messaging app
SUMMARY: The messaging app field is as hot as ever with Apple, Facebook and Google (among others) slugging it out... and Amazon appears to want in on the action. AFTVnews claims to have customer survey info revealing that Amazon is working on Anytime, a mess...
- Sprint hopes smartphone leases will woo new subscribers
SUMMARY: Sprint has revealed yet another two new programs in an effort to lure subscribers away from other carriers. Back in June, it introduced a promo offering other carriers' customers a year of free data. Now, it has launched Sprint Flex and Sprint Deals,...
- 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' behind the scenes footage is here
SUMMARY: After offering up a quick look at Star Wars: The Last Jedi in April, Disney gave us a further taste at its D23 Expo today with a new behind the scenes reel. More than anything, it sets the mood for what looks to be a particularly dramatic film. Accor...
- The world of 'Toy Story' is coming to 'Kingdom Hearts 3'
SUMMARY: Kingdom Hearts 3 has been slow in coming, but you'll at least get a reward for your patience. Square Enix took to Disney's D23 stage to announce that the action role-playing game will have our heroes visit the world of Pixar's Toy Story -- yes, you'l...
- Disney's 'Powers United VR' puts you in the boots of a superhero
SUMMARY: If it wasn't already clear that Disney is big on wearable gaming, it is now. It just introduced Powers United VR, and it's pretty much what you'd expect if you dreamed up a superhero virtual reality game. You step into the suit of one of multiple l...
- Best and worst gaming laptop brands 2017
SUMMARY: Choosing the right notebook is hard, but selecting the perfect gaming laptop is even more challenging. In addition to specs like the processor, graphics card and storage drives, you need to consider the special sauce that each manufacturer adds to it...
- Lenovo made an augmented reality headset for 'Star Wars' games
SUMMARY: Here's something you probably weren't expecting out of a Disney fan event: a Star Wars augmented reality headset. Lenovo and Lucasfilm have teased headgear that uses your smartphone to bring the space epic into the real world. There's precious litt...
- Watch Disney's D23 video game event at 4PM Eastern
SUMMARY: You probably don't think of a Disney fan expo as a go-to source for video game news, but you might need to reconsider this year. The media giant is livestreaming a Video Game Showcase starting at 4PM Eastern, and it promises better looks at Disney-th...
- Behind Netflix's Emmy nominations haul are more shows than ever
SUMMARY: After passing 100 million subscribers, overtaking cable TV in customer numbers in the US and expanding to over 190 countries, Netflix is starting to cement something else: sustained prestige.
A record haul of 91 Emmy nominations puts Netflix -- whic...
- Recommended Reading: Spotify's other playlist problem
Spotify Sweats Over
Bandwidth Problem as
Labels Vie for
Andy Gensler ,
Spotify was forced to defend itself against allegations it uses fake artists to cut costs last week, but the streaming service is facing another playli...
- New in our buyer's guide: The OnePlus 5 and two Surface devices
SUMMARY: This month's buyer's guide additions fill almost every product category: We've got a smartphone, VR headset, games console, notebook and a 2-in-1. Those last two both come from Microsoft in the form of the Surface Laptop and the new Surface Pro. At t...
- How Valve inspired Neill Blomkamp to start his own movie studio
SUMMARY: Neill Blomkamp has a question: "If you could break apart films and treat them a little bit more like software, what would that look like?"
Whether it's blindly following Amazon Instant recommendations or waiting for a film to hit Netflix instead of...
- How can we stop algorithms telling lies?
SUMMARY: Algorithms can dictate whether you get a mortgage or how much you pay for insurance. But sometimes they’re wrong – and sometimes they are designed to deceive
Lots of algorithms go bad unintentionally. Some of them, however, are made to be criminal. Algorithms are formal rules, usually written in computer code, that make predictions on future events based on historical patterns. To train an algorithm you need to provide historical data as well as a definition of success.
We’ve seen finance get taken over by algorithms in the past few decades. Trading algorithms use historical data to predict movements in the market. Success for that algorithm is a predictable market move, and the algorithm is vigilant for patterns that have historically happened just before that move. Financial risk models also use historical market changes to predict cataclysmic events in a more global sense, so not for an individual stock but rather for an entire market. The risk model for mortgage-backed securities was famously bad – intentionally so – and the trust in those models can be blamed for much of the scale and subsequent damage wrought by the 2008 financial crisis. Continue reading...
- Ten tips that will make you a master of Instagram
SUMMARY: It is one of the fastest-growing social networks, but are you making the most of its photo and video features? Get some handy hints
When Instagram was launched in October 2010, it was an app for applying stylish “filters” to your photos and sharing them with friends. Six and a half years (and a $1bn acquisition by Facebook) on, it has 700m active users and a host of advanced features.
It’s still simple to share a photo – or a video now – with a few taps. However, if you talk to some of the people who have tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers on the service, you’ll realise there’s a lot to learn about mastering it. Continue reading...
- Genius or hubris? Why turning down Facebook may be Snapchat's big mistake
Turning down a $3bn offer made Snapchat famous for its bold vision. But now Facebook is catching up, leading some to predict a ‘long and painful death’
For years Snapchat was seen as David to Facebook’s Goliath, but it looks as though the underdog has lost its swagger.
Shares in the messaging app’s parent company Snap fell sharply this week after one of the investment banks that helped to take the company public downgraded its stock. Continue reading...
- Our electric car is driving on sunshine | Letters
SUMMARY: Solar-powered vehicles are here – but are they really the answer?
Our solar panels occupy only a third of our roof area. Even so, on a summer day they produce about the same power our Volkswagen electric car draws as it charges from a plug in the garage.
So, to the extent that we top up during the day, we are literally driving on sunshine: nil use of resources, nil pollution, and, in the context of your article (Battery cars may eat up more than Hinkley Point’s capacity by 2030, 13 July), nil load on national power generation infrastructure. Going for a drive in serene, effortless near-silence, knowing that it hasn’t cost anybody anything, is quite simply wonderful. Continue reading...
- Woman's selfie causes '$200,000 of damage' to artworks – but was it a stunt?
Leaning back into a pedestal to try to get the perfect angle took out a whole row of sculptures at an LA gallery – at least that’s the way it looks
A woman in Los Angeles has apparently demonstrated just how damaging selfies can be by destroying whole row of pieces of art while trying to get that perfect image.
The moment, captured on video at the 14th Factory exhibition space in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles shows a woman apparently bending down to try to get the perfect angle for a selfie shot down a row of the Hypercaine exhibition by Hong Kong-based artist Simon Birch and a series of international collaborators. Continue reading...
- Thousands sign up to clean sewage because they didn't read the small print
Those who fell for the gag clause inserted into wifi terms and conditions committed to more than a month of community service
Do you read the terms and conditions? Probably not. No one does. And so, inevitably, 22,000 people have now found themselves legally bound to 1000 hours of community service, including, but not limited to, cleaning toilets at festivals, scraping chewing gum off the streets and “manually relieving sewer blockages”.
The (hopefully) joke clause was inserted in the terms and conditions of Manchester-based wifi company Purple for a period of two weeks, “to illustrate the lack of consumer awareness of what they are signing up to when they access free wifi”. The company operates wifi hotspots for a number of brands, including Legoland, Outback Steakhouse and Pizza Express. Continue reading...
- Life hack: how to best arrange your iPhone apps, one icon at a time
After years of fiddling, I finally cracked it. This is how you should organise your home screen – and it’s advice that could be handy for Android users too
In the 10 years since the iPhone launched, I’ve never really settled on a way to arrange my home screen that I actually like. Folders seem clunky but no folders leaves me with too many things multiple swipes away. Organising by what I use most leaves me with the rarely but rapidly needed apps buried, while organising by speed of access leaves me tapping through multiple times a day.
And then there’s aesthetics. Some apps simply don’t deserve to be on my first home screen no matter how much I use them. Mostly games. Game designers can’t make an attractive icon for the life of them, it seems. Continue reading...
- A memory box for the digital age – tech podcast
Kumbu is a service to preserve your digital memories – but how do you decide which of our mountain of data to keep?
Leigh Alexander speaks to Ziad Wakim and Arnaud Bressier of Kumbu, a new service designed to help you preserve your digital memories, and to hopefully make the process enjoyable rather than a chore. But how do we decide which of our mountain of data to keep? And what do the likes of Facebook think about user’s data being used in this way? Continue reading...
- Australia's plan to force tech giants to give up encrypted messages may not add up
Malcolm Turnbull says the ‘law of Australia’ will prevail over the ‘laws of mathematics’ in new legislation on encryption. But he is on shaky ground
The Australian government is proposing legislation, similar to that introduced in the UK, that will compel technology companies to provide access to users’ messages, regardless of whether they have been encrypted.
The attorney general, George Brandis, said on Friday: “What we are proposing to do, if we can’t get the voluntary cooperation we are seeking, is to extend the existing law that says to individuals, citizens and to companies that in certain circumstances you have an obligation to assist law enforcement if it is in within your power to do so.” Continue reading...
- New law would force Facebook and Google to give police access to encrypted messages
Under government plan, internet companies would be obliged to give law enforcement agencies warranted access
The Australian government has proposed a new cybersecurity law to force global technology companies such as Facebook and Google to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted messages sent by suspected extremists and criminals.
Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday the law would be modelled on Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act, passed in November, which gave intelligence agencies some of the most extensive surveillance powers in the western world. Continue reading...
- Mercedes-Benz E300 Coupe AMG Line: car review | Martin Love
Mercedes-Benz is having its best ever year – and leading the charge is the imperious new E-Class
Kevin Ashton didn’t take the usual route into computing. The man who coined the term “the internet of things” actually studied Scandinavian literature at the University of London. He now lives in Austin, Texas, and is one of the foremost thinkers on exactly where the internet is taking us and how it will impact on our everyday lives. In a recent interview he envisioned that in “25 years we’ll be able to live in Edinburgh and commute in our self-driving cars to London via a trunk road designed especially for the purpose, at speeds of up to 250mph.” Well, maybe… but one thing is for sure: I’ll still be stopping for a bowl of delicious home-made soup at Tebay services in the Lakes.
If Kevin’s vision comes true, chances are that Mercedes will be making many of the cars we’ll be driving, I mean, that we’ll be driven in. In terms of sales, the maker has just had its most successful ever first half year (1,144,274 units sold) and most successful ever June (209,309 cars delivered). Sales are up 35% in China and 47% in South Korea. The German builder uses terms like “private retreat” and “digital living space” to describe today’s cars and its prototype luxury sedans. Continue reading...
- Hospitals to receive £21m to increase cybersecurity at major trauma centres
Jeremy Hunt pledges funding for 27 hospitals across England after the WannaCry ransomware attack disabled NHS IT systems
Hospitals responsible for treating patients from major incidents including terrorist attacks will receive £21m to beef up their cybersecurity in the wake of the WannaCry assault on NHS IT systems.
Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, has pledged the extra money to try to stop future malware attacks disrupting operations and appointments in key medical centres. Continue reading...
- Local radio station keeps getting hijacked by song about masturbation
Ofcom hunting pirate who persistently overrides frequency of Mansfield 103.2 to play The Winker’s Song by Ivor Biggun
The communications regulator is hunting a radio pirate who has repeatedly hijacked the airwaves of a local station with a deliberately offensive song about masturbation.
The Winker’s Song, a 1970s ditty by an artist going by the name Ivor Biggun, has been illegally forced on to the output of Mansfield 103.2 at least eight times in the last month. Continue reading...
- 'NotPetya' malware attacks could warrant retaliation, says Nato affiliated-researcher
If malware outbreak was state sponsored it could count as violation of sovereignty and open possibility of countermeasures, says Tomáš Minárik
The NotPetya malware that wiped computers at organisations including Maersk, Merck and the Ukrainian government in June “could count as a violation of sovereignty”, according to a legal researcher at a Nato-affiliated cybersecurity organisation.
If the malware outbreak was state-sponsored, the researcher says, it could open the possiblity of “countermeasures”. Those could come through retaliatory cyber--attacks, or more conventional means such as sanctions, but they must fall short of a military use of force. Continue reading...
- Parliament cyber-attack hits fewer than 90 email accounts
Spokesman says number affected is less than many feared but that investigation is under way into potential data loss
Fewer than 90 email accounts belonging to peers and MPs are believed to have been hacked by an orchestrated cyber-attack, a parliamentary spokesman said on Sunday.
The Houses of Parliament were targeted by hackers on Friday in an attack that sought to gain access to accounts protected by weak passwords. Continue reading...
- Russian hackers 'traded stolen passwords of British MPs and public servants'
Credentials of officials – including MPs, diplomats and senior police officers – reportedly sold on Russian websites after 2012 attack on LinkedIn
Passwords belonging to British politicians, diplomats and senior police officers have been traded by Russian hackers, it has been reported.
Security credentials said to have belonged to tens of thousands of government officials, including 1,000 British MPs and parliamentary staff, 7,000 police employees and more than 1,000 Foreign Office staff, were in the troves sold or swapped on Russian-speaking hacking sites. Continue reading...
- WannaCry ransomware attack 'linked to North Korea'
UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has linked recent attacks to the North Korean-affiliated hacking team Lazarus Group, according to reports
Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has reportedly attributed the WannaCry malware, which affected the NHS and other organisations worldwide in May, to the North Korean-affiliated hacking team Lazarus Group.
The NCSC, which is the public face of the British defence against cyber-attacks and works closely with the UK surveillance agency GCHQ, said it would neither confirm or deny the reports. But a separate source confirmed the NCSC had led the international investigation into the WannaCry bug and completed its assessment within the last few weeks. Continue reading...
- University College London hit by ransomware attack
Hospitals with relationship to university suspend email servers in precautionary measure against phishing scam
University College London has been hit by a “major” ransomware attack which brought down its shared drives and student management system.
The attack has also led to a number of hospital trusts suspending their email servers as a precautionary measure, in an attempt to prevent the repetition of last month’s damaging WannaCry epidemic. Continue reading...
- WannaCry attacks prompt Microsoft to release Windows updates for older versions
The company typically releases security updates for operating systems it still supports – but in wake of serious cyber-attack it has reassessed the policy
Microsoft has released new security updates for older versions of Windows as it warns of potential cyber-attacks by government organisations.
The patches include updates to Windows XP, the operating system that was targeted by the WannaCry ransomware attack in May that attacked parts of the NHS and other companies worldwide. Continue reading...
- Pay to sway: report reveals how easy it is to manipulate elections with fake news
Fake News Machine research comes amid increasing concern about hacking elections and the ways that fake news on social media has manipulated voters
Political campaigns can manipulate elections by spending as little as $400,000 on fake news and propaganda, according to a new report that analyzes the costs of swaying public opinion through the spread of misinformation online.
The report from Trend Micro, a cybersecurity firm, said it also costs just $55,000 to discredit a journalist and $200,000 to instigate a street protest based on false news, shining a light on how easy it has become for cyber propaganda to produce real-world outcomes. Continue reading...
- State of the Art: How to Smoke Out Where Broadband Companies Stand on Net Neutrality
SUMMARY: Broadband companies suggest they support so-called net neutrality. But they have also pushed to rewrite the current net neutrality rules.
- Uber Offers a Thankless Job, and the Applications Flood In
SUMMARY: Even as Uber faces problems like a broken culture and a legal battle, many are coveting the ride-hailing company’s vacant chief executive job.
- The Pop-Up Employer: Build a Team, Do the Job, Say Goodbye
SUMMARY: “Flash organizations,” modeled on filmmaking, find their way into fields like software and pharmaceuticals, assembling freelancers and then disbanding.
- As ‘Game of Thrones’ Returns, Is Sharing Your HBO Password O.K.?
SUMMARY: Are you using your friend’s ex-boyfriend’s parents’ password to watch the latest television shows? You’re not alone.
- Farhad’s and Mike’s and Nellie’s Week in Tech: Struggles for Snap
SUMMARY: Three Times tech reporters discuss Snap’s difficulties as a public company, and the so-called net neutrality debate.
- Quit Your Job for a Better One? Not if You Live in Idaho
SUMMARY: As some states make it harder to block workers from going elsewhere, Idaho has passed a law that tips the scale toward their employers.
- Songkick Sells Concert-Recommending Service to Warner
SUMMARY: The sale includes the music start-up’s name and event listings platform but not its ticketing business, which is involved in a lawsuit against Ticketmaster.
- While Some Cry ‘Fake,’ Spotify Sees No Need to Apologize
SUMMARY: Spotify’s playlists are dotted with hundreds of songs done by composers under pseudonyms, but the company says it is just soliciting music to meet demand.
- Surround Sound? You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet
SUMMARY: At Empac, musicians and technicians are learning to work with sophisticated advances in spatial audio technologies.
- Text for Happiness. Or Sadness. Get Art Back.
SUMMARY: A playful project using cellphone texts and art turns into a viral hit — as well as a window into our cultural soul.
- Tech Tip: Finding Support for a Missing Instagram Account
SUMMARY: Both personal and professional users have seen their accounts suddenly go missing, but there are ways to report the errors, and precautions to take.
- Essay: If Tech Execs Act Like Spoiled Brats, Should We Spank Them?
SUMMARY: Misbehaving technology executives and investors need more than sensitivity training and public scorn.
- Wheels: Paddle Shifters Move From the Fast Track to the H.O.V. Lane
SUMMARY: Designed to allow racecar drivers to change gears quickly, paddle shifters are increasingly found in standard vehicles, but their usefulness for commuters is debatable.
- Bits: Daily Report: Coveting Uber’s Chief Executive Job
SUMMARY: Despite all the issues facing Uber, many people in in Silicon Valley and beyond would love to have the company’s chief executive job.
- Tech Tip: How to Find Out Which Mac Software Needs Updating
SUMMARY: The next version of Apple’s operating system will be the last one to fully support 32-bit applications, but you can check now to see what needs upgrading.
- Common Sense: As a Guru, Ayn Rand May Have Limits. Ask Travis Kalanick.
SUMMARY: For all the influence of the Objectivist principles set forth in “The Fountainhead” and other works, some prominent followers have run into trouble.
- Toshiba Resumes Talks Over Contentious Sale of Microchip Unit
SUMMARY: The troubled Japanese tech company had announced plans to sell the unit to a group of investors, setting off a public battle with Western Digital.
- Uber and Yandex, a Russian Ride-Hailing Rival, Opt to Share the Road
SUMMARY: The competitors have decided to stop battling for market share and instead operate jointly in a handful of Eastern European countries.
- Uber Drivers Win Preliminary Class-Action Status in Labor Case
SUMMARY: A federal court gave conditional certification in a suit by several plaintiffs, allowing them to recruit among the roughly 18,000 drivers who opted out of arbitration.
- Who Needs Hard Drives? Scientists Store Film Clip in DNA
SUMMARY: In a first, researchers converted a movie into a DNA sequence and inserted it into bacteria. They hope to someday use the technology to record cell behavior.