- Plantronics offers affordable wireless audio for your workouts
SUMMARY: Plantronics' latest BackBeat wireless headphones have tended to focus on value for your hard-earned cash, and that's definitely the focus today. It's launching a range of BackBeat Fit headphones that promise sweat-resistant designs without a huge ou...
- Mobike's dockless bike-sharing service comes to Washington, DC
SUMMARY: Washington DC is one of the most bike-happy cities in America, with around five percent of commuters pedaling around the city each day. That's one of the reasons why Mobike, a company that has mostly been in China and Europe until now, is launching a...
- CNBC: Tesla is working on its own AI chip with help from AMD
SUMMARY: It's no secret that Tesla always wanted to develop an in-house chip to handle its cars' autonomous functions. Well, according to CNBC, the EV-maker is close to reaching that goal -- with help from AMD. The company is reportedly building its chip on t...
- FIFA 18's story mode has become the franchise’s best feature
SUMMARY: When FIFA 17 came out last year, its standout feature was something called "The Journey." For the first time in the franchise's 24-year history, EA Sports added a story mode where you can pretend to live the life of a professional soccer (er, footbal...
- Democrats call for tougher online ad spending rules
SUMMARY: Politicians aren't just asking Facebook to testify on how suspicious Russia-linked ads allegedly reached its social network -- they want some political reform to prevent this from happening again. A mix of House and Senate Democrats have written a l...
- Google is buying HTC's Pixel team for $1.1 billion
SUMMARY: After weeks (months, and years) of speculation, HTC has announced that its "Powered by HTC" R&D division -- the team behind Google's Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones -- will be purchased by Google for $1.1 billion in cash. According to HTC's CFO Pe...
- Google Assistant and IFTTT can close your garage door
SUMMARY: We haven't gotten to the point of voice-activated vacuum cleaners yet, but closing your garage door with an "Ok Google" has arrived. Garage-door company Chamberlain has announced that its MyQ app will now work with Google Assistant in addition to you...
- Autonomous delivery drone network set to take flight in Switzerland
SUMMARY: Matternet has long used Switzerland as a testing ground for its delivery drone technology, and now it's ramping things up a notch. The company has revealed plans to launch the first permanent autonomous drone delivery network in Switzerland, where i...
- 'Overwatch' fights toxic players by muting them on Xbox Live
SUMMARY: Yesterday, Overwatch's team released the new map, Junkertown, and a few character tweaks in a moderately-sized update. But tucked away in the patch notes was a new tool in Blizzard's fight against toxicity in the game: Xbox Live users that earn enoug...
- Knightscope’s new security bot looks like a mini concept car
SUMMARY: Robot maker Knightscope has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Its K5 security robot took a look at the harsh world and chose to throw itself into a fountain. And a different K5 robot was attacked and knocked over by a drunk guy. But...
- FTC warns influencers about relying on Instagram's ad marker
SUMMARY: Up and coming social media stars posting sponsored content may want to take a careful look at today's #Influencers101 Twitter chat from the FTC. The agency tried to clarify a number of issues cropping up around promotional material posted to social m...
- Saudi Arabia lifts ban on messaging apps like Skype and Snapchat
SUMMARY: Saudi Arabia will lift a ban on internet calls at 8PM ET today that had stood since 2013. Services that follow rules set by the country's Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) will be allowed to operate, according to a spokesman...
- Sequel to 'Final Fantasy' creator's free-to-play game launches today
SUMMARY: Final Fantasy creator Hironubu Sakaguchi has had some good success with his action-RPG-puzzle mobile game, Terra Battle. The free-to-play sequel — Terra Battle 2 — is out on both iOS and Android, but if you want to play it, you'll need to...
- Epic hopes 'PUBG'-style 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' will tempt gamers
SUMMARY: Epic Games' Fortnite has been out for a while in paid Early Access, but hasn't quite taken off in the same way that, say, Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) has. The hot new indie "battle royale" title has a massive, rabid user base and an impressiv...
- Sean Penn will star in Hulu’s upcoming Mars series, 'The First'
SUMMARY: In May, Hulu ordered a straight-to-series show called The First. Set in the not too distant future, the series depicts the first human mission to Mars and humankind's first attempts at colonizing another planet. Today, Variety reports that Sean Penn...
- Nintendo issues takedowns for ‘Super Mario 64 Online' mod videos
SUMMARY: Last week, modders released a tool that enabled folks to play the classic game Super Mario 64 online in massive multiplayer batches with up to 23 of their friends. To be clear, this was just a plugin that allowed folks who were already playing emulat...
- Toshiba's chip drama ends with sale to a financial group
SUMMARY: The long-running bidding war over Toshiba's flash memory business has effectively come to an end... and the winner probably isn't who you expected. Toshiba has agreed to sell its NAND division to a group led by the private equity firm Bain Capital fo...
- Motorola's Moto X4 now works on Google Project Fi
SUMMARY: Google's efforts to disrupt the mobile carrier network have certainly proven popular for people who can feasibly use it, but it's no secret that the rollout of Project Fi has been restricted by the narrow choice of handsets available. Now, the search...
- Waymo wants $2.6 billion from Uber for a single trade secret
SUMMARY: During a hearing today wherein Alphabet's self-driving unit Waymo asked a judge to delay its upcoming trial against Uber in order to review new evidence, Reuters reports that one of Uber's attorneys said Waymo is seeking $2.6 billion for the alleged...
- Facebook tightens safeguards against hate-driven targeted ads
SUMMARY: Facebook was caught more than a little off-guard when ProPublica discovered ads targeted at racists, and today it's taking steps to prevent those hate-filled ads from showing up again. The social network's Sheryl Sandberg has announced plans to tight...
- Google to buy part of HTC's smartphone operations for $1bn
Deal will not involve purchase of direct stake and HTC will continue to run its remaining phone business
Google has announced a deal to acquire part of Taiwanese firm HTC Corp’s smartphone operations for about $1bn.
The deal will not involve the purchase of a direct stake and HTC will continue to run its remaining smartphone business. Continue reading...
- Facebook to tighten ad targeting after antisemitic 'fail', says Sheryl Sandberg
Chief operating officer announces policy change after social network allowed advertisers to seek out ‘Jew haters’, saying company ‘never intended’ such usage
Facebook is tightening controls on its advertising targeting tools, chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg announced in a statement acknowledging that the ability for advertisers to target “Jew haters” until last week was “totally inappropriate and a fail on our part”.
The policy change follows an embarrassing report by ProPublica on Thursday that the company’s ad-buying system allowed advertisers to target users interested in antisemitic subjects. Subsequent reporting found additional bigoted terms in Facebook’s system that could be used to target advertisements. Continue reading...
- Sean Parker: the internet is not the answer for those seeking change
At a Global Citizen event in New York, The Napster founder and early president of Facebook says it took the election of Donald Trump to alert people of the need to take their activism offline to be heard
Sean Parker is one of the biggest names associated with the earliest days of social media, but the tech billionaire on Tuesday urged those interested in activism – especially against the Trump administration – to go offline if they wanted to make their voices heard.
Related: How social media saved socialism Continue reading...
- Facebook admits industry could do more to combat online extremism
Admission comes as British PM and French president propose fining firms that move too slowly to remove extremist content
Facebook has conceded that technology companies could do more to counter online extremism after Theresa May and the French president, Emmanuel Macron, proposed fining firms that move too slowly to remove extremist content being shared by terrorist groups.
The social media giant told a meeting between political leaders and its own executives as well as others from Google and Microsoft at the United Nations general assembly in New York that it is now employing thousands of content reviewers around the globe and a staff of 150 people dedicated to countering terrorism on its platform in an attempt to remove more extremist content. Continue reading...
- HTC suspends shares in wake of Alphabet takeover rumours
Taiwanese smartphone and VR headset maker could become in-house manufacturer for Google-branded products
The Taiwanese smartphone and virtual reality headset manufacturer HTC will halt shares from Thursday, pending the “release of material information” following media reports of a purchase by Google’s parent, Alphabet.
The once-powerful smartphone market player, which started life as a manufacturer of other brands’ handsets and now makes the Vive VR headset, has seen sales fall year on year for the best part of half a decade as competition from Chinese and South Korean rivals increased. Continue reading...
- Amazon to release Alexa-powered smartglasses, reports say
Unlike Google Glass and Snapchat’s Spectacles, the glasses reportedly won’t feature a camera, instead focusing on linking to Amazon’s voice assistant
Amazon is planning to release a pair of Alexa-enabled smartglasses as the latest addition to its range of voice-controlled devices, according to reports.
Unlike most previous smartglasses, such as the ill-fated Google Glass experiment and Snapchat’s Spectacles, the Amazon glasses won’t feature a camera in any form, bypassing the privacy concerns that have plagued the form-factor in the past. Continue reading...
- Facebook bans Rohingya group's posts as minority faces 'ethnic cleansing'
As hundreds of thousands flee a brutal campaign by the Myanmar military, the social media company labels an insurgent group a ‘dangerous organization’
Amid international accusations that Myanmar’s military is engaging in “ethnic cleansing” of the Rohingya Muslim minority, Facebook designated a Rohingya insurgent group a “dangerous organization” and ordered moderators to delete any content “by or praising” it.
The decision, which the company said was made after an internal assessment of the group, came shortly before activists began complaining that the company was censoring posts about the brutal military campaign against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Continue reading...
- Apple cuts cookies – but there is more to come in the online advertising arms race
Apple’s latest software update has enraged companies who have been using cookies to track users across the web
Apple is cutting down on how many cookies advertisers can force on to your devices, with changes coming to iPhones, iPads and Macs. The advertisers, naturally, are not happy.
Digital cookies are small text files that can be used to track users as they surf the web, helping to build up a detailed profile of which sites they visit, what they do while they are there, and how long they do it for. Continue reading...
- Fire HD 10: Amazon cuts price and doubles storage with new 10in tablet
New media-focused Android device has hands-free Alexa, faster processor, better screen and longer battery life – all for £150
Amazon has unveiled a new, improved and cheaper large-screen Fire HD 10 Android tablet, now featuring hands-free Alexa integration, a much better screen and longer battery life.
The 2017 Fire HD 10 continues Amazon’s recent moves in tablets, cutting prices, adding features and increasing the durability of its line that is aimed squarely at media consumption rather than content creation or work. The company’s £50 Fire 7 and £80 Fire HD 8 have both become popular thanks to being low cost but feature rich. Continue reading...
- Robots 'could take 4m UK private sector jobs within 10 years'
Royal Society of Arts survey suggests technology could phase out mundane roles, raise productivity and bolster wages
Four million jobs in the British private sector could be replaced by robots in the next decade, according to business leaders asked about the future of automation and artificial intelligence.
The potential impact amounts to 15% of the current workforce in the sector and emerged in a poll conducted by YouGov for the Royal Society of Arts, whose chief executive, Matthew Taylor, has been advising Downing Street on the future of modern work. Continue reading...
- I think I'm too old for Call of Duty, send help | Keith Stuart
I was once a sharp shooter but I’m being outgunned by younger competitors. If this was the real military, I’d be honourably discharged
There comes a point in every athlete’s career when they realise they are what commentators often euphemistically refer to as “off the pace”. They’re not winning those 50/50 balls anymore, they’re not as fast, they’re getting injured more often and it’s taking longer to recover. The same thing happens in competitive video games, and I think it’s pretty much happened to me.
Earlier this month, games publisher Activision ran two closed beta tests for Call of Duty: WWII, the latest title in the blisteringly fast online multiplayer shooter series. Betas are early previews in which a selection of people are invited to play the game online while the developers study the data to make sure the servers work and that nothing gets in the way of the shooting. Continue reading...
- Chatterbox: Wednesday
The place to talk about games and other things that matter
It’s Wednesday. Continue reading...
- Equifax: credit firm was breached before massive May hack
Maligned Atlanta-based agency finally goes public on earlier data breach, which happened in March, following reports company only notified payroll customers
Equifax, the credit monitoring agency that lost personal data of 143 million US customers in a massive hack in May, has revealed that it was also the victim of an earlier breach in March.
The earlier breach was serious enough for the company to notify customers, and bring in the information security firm Mandiant to investigate. But the millions of Americans whose personal data the company stockpiles to power its services are not technically customers of the company, and so it did not inform them. Continue reading...
- CCleaner: 2m users install computer cleaning program … that contains malware
Tool now owned by security firm Avast was hacked via a supply chain attack, an increasingly common method of infection
More than two million users of computer cleaning tool CCleaner installed a version of the software that had been hacked to include malware, the app’s developer confirmed on Monday.
Piriform, the developer of CCleaner now owned by security firm Avast, says that its download servers were compromised at some point between 15 August, when it released version v5.33.6162 of the software, and 12 September, when it updated the servers with a new version. Continue reading...
- Facebook’s war on free will
SUMMARY: How technology is making our minds redundant. By Franklin Foer
All the values that Silicon Valley professes are the values of the 60s. The big tech companies present themselves as platforms for personal liberation. Everyone has the right to speak their mind on social media, to fulfil their intellectual and democratic potential, to express their individuality. Where television had been a passive medium that rendered citizens inert, Facebook is participatory and empowering. It allows users to read widely, think for themselves and form their own opinions.
We can’t entirely dismiss this rhetoric. There are parts of the world, even in the US, where Facebook emboldens citizens and enables them to organise themselves in opposition to power. But we shouldn’t accept Facebook’s self-conception as sincere, either. Facebook is a carefully managed top-down system, not a robust public square. It mimics some of the patterns of conversation, but that’s a surface trait. Continue reading...
- Equifax hack puts data of 400,000 UK customers at risk
US credit rating firm’s announcement comes after UK authorities order it to alert British clients of cybersecurity breach
About 400,000 people in the UK may have had their information stolen following a cybersecurity breach at the credit monitoring firm Equifax.
The US company said an investigation had revealed that a file containing UK consumer information “may potentially have been accessed”. Continue reading...
- Equifax hack: two executives to leave company after breach
Chief information officer and chief security officer to exit immediately, company announces as it highlights security efforts
Equifax announced late Friday that its chief information officer and chief security officer would leave the company immediately, following the enormous breach of 143 million Americans’ personal information.
It also presented a litany of security efforts it made after noticing suspicious network traffic in July. Continue reading...
- Equifax hack: credit monitoring company criticized for poor response
Customers and security experts say response to breach that exposed personal data of 143 million Americans has been disorderly and under-resourced
Credit monitoring company Equifax has been criticized by customers and security experts for an inadequate response to a data breach that included the personal information of up to 143 million Americans.
The hack was especially problematic because of the sensitivity of the information stolen, including names, social security numbers, addresses, birthdays and driver’s licence numbers – details that make it easy for cybercriminals to fraudulently assume victims’ identities. Continue reading...
- Why do big hacks happen? Blame Big Data | Jathan Sadowski
The Equifax hack, which exposed 143 million people, is a reminder that data companies have too much power
Equifax, one of the largest credit reporting agencies, revealed on Thursday that it was hacked back in May, exposing the personal data of up to 143 million people. The data accessed by hackers contains extremely sensitive information like social security numbers, birth data, consumer’s names, driver’s license numbers and credit card numbers.
This breach is a monumental failure of cybersecurity, which raises many pressing privacy concerns. However, beyond those issues, it also illustrates a fundamental problem of the data economy as a whole: databanks like Equifax are too big. Continue reading...
- Equifax told to inform Britons whether they are at risk after data breach
US-based credit ratings firm says records of UK citizens were among those unlawfully accessed during cyber-attack in July
Equifax, the US credit ratings firm victim to an unlawful breach of security, has been told to inform British residents “at the earliest opportunity” if their personal information has been put at risk, the Information Commissioner said on Friday.
Equifax says it holds details on over 44 million Britons, and said that records of UK and Canadians citizens were among the unlawfully accessed confidential data for 143 million Americans. Continue reading...
- Internet Giants Face New Political Resistance in Washington
SUMMARY: Facebook, Google and Amazon are coming under increasing pressure by regulators concerned about their growing power.
- Facebook, After ‘Fail’ Over Ads Targeting Racists, Makes Changes
SUMMARY: Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, promised “more human review and oversight” to make sure offensive terms aren’t used to target ads.
- Tech Fix: Apple Watch Series 3 Excels, Even if You Don’t Need Cellular
SUMMARY: Date night without your iPhone? That’s now doable with the new cellular Apple Watch, which for the first time can be untethered from your smartphone. Here’s our review.
- Former Apple Engineers Working on New Eyes for Driverless Cars
SUMMARY: The Silicon Valley start-up Aeva is developing new sensors that could significantly improve how autonomous vehicles see the road.
- Google Is Buying HTC’s Smartphone Expertise for $1.1 Billion
SUMMARY: The deal bolsters Google’s ability to build mobile hardware and joins two companies already working together on one of Google’s upcoming Pixel phones.
- S.E.C. Says It Was a Victim of a Computer Hack Last Year
SUMMARY: The commission said the attackers could have exploited private information for trading purposes.
- Tech We’re Using: Avoiding Cameras While Training the Lens on Food
SUMMARY: Pete Wells, The Times’s restaurant critic, discussed how he avoids cameras to protect his identity and how technology has transformed the dining scene.
- Europe Renews Offensive on Silicon Valley With Tax Reforms
SUMMARY: A new set of proposals presented by officials in Brussels seek to tax technology companies differently, but risk being seen as an effort to target American tech giants.
- Toshiba Reaches Tentative Deal to Sell Microchip Unit
SUMMARY: The board of the Japanese conglomerate is close to an agreement with a group of investors led by Bain Capital, although details must still be finalized.
- Tech Tip: Getting Social With Waze
SUMMARY: The traffic app is great at giving directions and rerouting around jams, but it also includes features for drivers when they’re not on the road.
- Amazon ‘Reviewing’ Its Website After It Suggested Bomb-Making Items
SUMMARY: A British television news report said that the online retailer’s algorithms were automatically offering items that could be used to create an explosive device.
- Before Wisconsin, Foxconn Vowed Big Spending in Brazil. Few Jobs Have Come.
SUMMARY: The Taiwanese company’s manufacturing model has not translated easily to other countries, where it faces different social, political and labor conditions.
- The iPhone 8 Reviews: What the Critics Say
SUMMARY: Reviewers considered the phones a modest upgrade over the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but several suggested waiting for the iPhone X.
- An Earthquake Hits and Angelenos Shelter on Twitter
SUMMARY: It may have been mild and standard, but it happened in Los Angeles. So, naturally, earthquake was a trending topic on Twitter by early Tuesday.
- Book News: YouTube Star Hank Green Will Publish His First Novel Next Year
SUMMARY: Following in the footsteps of his older brother, the best-selling novelist John Green, Hank Green will publish his first novel with Dutton.
- Tech Tip: Why Deleted Tweets Still Linger Online
SUMMARY: Even if you kill a Twitter post from your timeline, a search engine may give it a second life until it updates its index files.
- State of the Art: The iPhone 8: A Worthy Refinement Before the Next Generation
SUMMARY: Apple’s new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have a ring of familiarity. But the phones may feel like a solid upgrade from older models because of their new processor.
- High Tech Meets High Art in a 3-D Opera
SUMMARY: Michel van der Aa’s “Blank Out,” at the Park Avenue Armory, brings together a live singer onstage and another who appears only in a 3-D film.
- Tech Tip: Outlook for Android, Plain and Simple
SUMMARY: Microsoft’s mobile version of Outlook for the Android platform doesn’t offer text-formatting options, but it does manage your mailbox.
- How the Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes
SUMMARY: While millions lost electricity across Florida, and thousands of homes and businesses were flooded in Miami and Texas, the data centers powering the internet held firm.