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+ - You can now explore Google Street View with virtual reality->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Google Cardboard, the tech giant's low-cost virtual reality headset that's literally made of cardboard and works with phones, is now compatible with Street View.

Google announced on Tuesday that users can wear the headset and experience Google Maps Street View in a new, immersive way.

The headset, which costs as little as $10 and is available for purchase online (or you can make one at home), works with any Android phone that can fit within the holder — however, 4.7-inch devices are the limit. Users then open Street View in Google Maps on the phone, double-tap a lower-right, look-around icon on the corner of the display to sync everything up. After that, the headset shows a 360-degree view of the location. This means it's possible to simulate looking up at a skyscraper in Shanghai while sitting in an apartment in the U.S."

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+ - Uber agrees to temporarily suspend service in Portland-> 1

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Uber is standing down for the next three months in Portland, just one of the cities where it has run into trouble.

The company said it would stop picking up customers there for three months after the city sued, asking a judge to order Uber to stop operating until it is in compliance with safety, health and consumer protection rules.

But Uber fully expects to be back. In fact, this could be good news for Uber fans in the long-run.

The city has agreed to update its laws, creating a new regulatory framework for companies like Uber that tend to fall somewhere between a taxi and a ridesharing service. People use it by requesting a driver with a smartphone app.

Uber, which operates in 60 cities across 21 countries, has run into problems because its drivers do not always meet the city's regulations for taxi and car services.

Last week, for example, a judge in Spain temporarily blocked Uber because the Madrid taxi service said it was unfair to competition and not properly licensed."

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+ - Survey: No Consensus How to Curb Eroding Online Privacy->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "new survey says that as online privacy continues to erode, governments, technology workers and individuals will struggle to respond.

The report titled "The Future of Privacy," sponsored by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center, was released Thursday and explores the future of digital privacy over the next decade.

It surveyed many privacy advocates, digital entrepreneurs, journalists and Internet pioneers.

Participants were asked to share their thoughts to a question put forward by researchers: Would governments be able to develop digital privacy policies that protected individuals but also allowed for business innovation by 2025?

Fifty-five percent of those responding said no while 45 percent said such a privacy infrastructure was likely to be developed. The study comes as the United Nations General Assembly is considering a measure calling on nations to respect a "right to privacy in the digital age."

Report authors noted several recurring themes among those participating in the study.

For those who were pessimistic about the future of online privacy, many concluded that, with so many different cultural perspectives and government policies on privacy, there was no way to create one global Internet policy."

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+ - Woman on Reddit bearing the name of man's ex-girlfriend gets free world trip->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Jordan Axani planned to travel around the world with his girlfriend Elizabeth Gallagher, until they broke up. Now, he'll embark on Sunday on the circumnavigation with Elizabeth Gallagher.

No need for a double-take: The name may be the same, but the person answering to it isn't.

Axani had booked his-and-her airline tickets in his name — and his girlfriend's, he said. So, after his ex went overboard, he had to find a new co-passenger with the same name, he said, because the tickets were non-transferable.

Axani is Canadian, as is his ex, so the new Elizabeth Gallagher needed to be, too, to make the switch work. So, he took to social messaging service Reddit to find her.

After threw out the offer in early November for a free round-the-world trip, social media posts avalanched down at the hashtag #ElizabethGallagher.

Elizabeth Quinn Gallagher from Nova Scotia quickly tweeted Axani a photo of her passport. Scrawled on the shot in hot pink, the words "Take me!!!"

He did, he announced on Wednesday, but though "Quinn" came at him straight out of the chute, making the final choice wasn't that simple, Axani said in a statement. Many deserving women had contacted him."

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+ - Google Strikes Deal With Verizon to Reduce Patent Troll Suits->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Google Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. struck a long-term patent cross-license agreement to reduce the risk of future patent lawsuits, the latest in a string of deals that signal a slowdown after years of aggressive patent wars.

The deal effectively bars the companies from suing each other over any of the thousands of patents the companies currently own or acquire in the next five years. It also protects the companies if either sells a patent to another company, and that company attempts a lawsuit.

“This cross license allows both companies to focus on delivering great products and services to consumers around the world,” said Kirk Dailey, Google’s head of patent transactions."

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+ - BlackBerry Launches New Phone 'The Classic'->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "BlackBerry unveiled a new device on Wednesday meant to appeal to the smartphone maker’s traditional customers with signature BlackBerry phone features such as a physical keyboard and trackpad.

Dubbed the Classic, the new phone is part of the Canadian company’s plan to reignite sales and return to profitability by focusing on business customers after its previous attempt to appeal to consumer customers fell flat.

The plan also focuses on increased sales of management-device software and security services to enterprise customers.

The Classic has a traditional qwerty keyboard, a row of navigation keys to manipulate the device’s operating system and a trackpad to scroll through lists—features that made the company’s Bold device popular with lawyers, bankers and other professionals.

Smartphone Maker Seeks to Appeal to Traditional Customers With Signature BlackBerry Phone Features"

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+ - Sony hackers threaten theaters with 9/11-style attack-> 1

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The Sony hackers story has taken a new and more ominous turn.

A message from the Guardians of Peace group warns of a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen Seth Rogen and James Franco's North Korean comedy The Interview.

"The world will be full of fear," the message reads, according to Varietyand Buzzfeed, adding, "Remember the 11th of September 2001."

The National Association of Theatre Owners, is "not commenting at this time," said spokesman. Jackie Brenneman.

Film critic and historian Leonard Maltin was at a loss for words over the latest turn of unprecedented events.

"I don't know how to respond or react. I've never faced anything like this before," Maltin said. "There have been protests over films. But I cannot think of threats from an anonymous group like this.""

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+ - Uber limits 'God view' to improve rider privacy->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Uber has rolled back employee access to its "God view" mode, which allows the company to track riders' locations and other data.

The ride service company was faced with questions about its privacy policies from U.S. Senator Al Franken, following a series of recent privacy debacles. Uber's updated policy is detailed in its response to the senator's questions.

Franken sent Uber a letter in November after news reports made two things clear: The ride service company collects lots of data on customers — and some executives don't exercise that power responsibly.

In one case, an Uber employee using "God View" easily tracked a reporter's movements on her way to a meeting. In another case, Uber executive Emil Michael proposed digging up dirt on journalists who were critical of his company and spread details of their personal lives."

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+ - Skype Unveils Preview of Live English to Spanish translator->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The Skype preview program will kick-off with two spoken languages, Spanish and English, and 40+ instant messaging languages will be available to Skype customers who have signed-up via the Skype Translator sign-up page and are using Windows 8.1 on the desktop or device.

Skype asked two schools to try Skype Translator – Peterson School in Mexico City, and Stafford Elementary School in Tacoma, USA – playing a game of ‘Mystery Skype’ in which the children ask questions to determine the location of the other school. One classroom of children speaking Spanish and the other speaking English, Skype Translator removed this language barrier and enabled them to communicate."

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+ - California sues Uber over practices->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "California prosecutors on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Uber over the ridesharing company's background checks and other allegations, adding to the popular startup's worldwide legal woes.

San Francisco County District Attorney George Gascon, meanwhile, said Uber competitor Lyft agreed to pay $500,000 and change some of its business practices to settle its own lawsuit.

Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey partnered with Gascon in a probe of the nascent ridesharing industry. A third company — Sidecar — is still under investigation and could face a lawsuit of its own if it can't reach an agreement with prosecutors.

Uber faces similar legal issues elsewhere as it tries to expand in cities, states and countries around the world.

The companies have popular smartphone apps that allow passengers to order rides in privately driven cars instead of taxis. All three are based in San Francisco."

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+ - Rosetta science: Study suggests water on Earth did not come from comets->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "ter a 10-year journey through the solar system, an epic rendezvous with a speeding comet, and the drama of Philae's triple landing, the science phase of the Rosetta mission has officially begun.

In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science, researchers working with Rosetta's ROSINA instrument report that the water being released into space by comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko has a different chemical fingerprint than the water on Earth. This finding leads the authors to conclude that water on Earth probably came from asteroids, rather than comets.

One of the many mysteries that scientists hoped Rosetta would help solve is how our planet came to be flooded with water."

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+ - Harvard Law Professor Goes to War Over $4 Worth of Chinese Food->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Ben Edelman is an associate professor at Harvard Business School, where he teaches in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets unit.

Ran Duan manages The Baldwin Bar, located inside the Woburn location of Sichuan Garden, a Chinese restaurant founded by his parents.

Last week, Edelman ordered what he thought was $53.35 worth of Chinese food from Sichuan Garden’s Brookline Village location.

Edelman soon came to the horrifying realization that he had been overcharged. By a total of $4.

If you’ve ever wondered what happens when a Harvard Business School professor thinks a family-run Chinese restaurant screwed him out of $4, you’re about to find out."

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+ - Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain's pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence.

He told the BBC:"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."

His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of AI.

"It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate," he said.

Prof Hawking is not alone in fearing for the future.

In the longer term, the technology entrepreneur Elon Musk has warned that AI is "our biggest existential threat".

In his BBC interview, Prof Hawking also talks of the benefits and dangers of the internet.

He quotes the director of GCHQ's warning about the net becoming the command centre for terrorists: "More must be done by the internet companies to counter the threat, but the difficulty is to do this without sacrificing freedom and privacy.""

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+ - Google told to expand right to be forgotten->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Google is under fresh pressure to expand the "right to be forgotten" to its international .com search tool.

A panel of EU data protection watchdogs said the move was necessary to prevent the law from being circumvented.

Google currently de-lists results that appear in the European versions of its search engines, but not the international one.

The panel said it would advise member states' data protection agencies of its view in new guidelines.

However, a link is provided at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen offering an option to switch to the international .com version. This link does not appear if the users attempted to go to a regional version in the first place.

Even so, it means it is possible for people in Europe to easily opt out of the censored lists."

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+ - BlackBerry will buy your iPhone for $550->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "BlackBerry wants your iPhone, and will pay for it.
In return, customers they will have to switch to Passport, the smartphone with a square screen that Blackberry launched earlier this year.

BlackBerry will pay $550 to iPhone users who participate in the so-called "trade up" plan.
That would cover the basic cost of a Passport, which is currently retailing for $499 on Blackberry's web site."

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