Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

+ - 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"

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - 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.""

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - 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.""

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - 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."

Link to Original Source

+ - Sony to offer partial refunds for gaming console->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Hundreds of thousands of people who bought the handheld gaming console PlayStation Vita are in line for a partial refund from Sony because of questionable claims in its advertising.

The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday it had reached a settlement with Sony Computer Entertainment America, the U.S.-based arm of the PlayStation business, over advertising claims that the government contended were misleading.

As part of the proposed settlement, Sony will provide refunds to those who bought the PS Vita console before June 1, 2012. They'll be eligible for either a $25 cash or credit refund — or a $50 merchandise voucher from Sony. The company will contact consumers about the refunds or vouchers via email.

The advertising claims at issue — Sony highlighted "game changing" technology features of the PS Vita — were made during the U.S. launch of the product in early 2012. The console sold for about $250."

Link to Original Source

+ - In major shift, Firefox to use Yahoo search by default in US->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Google's 10-year run as Firefox's default search engine is over. Yahoo wants more search traffic, and a deal with Mozilla will bring it.

In a major departure for both Mozilla and Yahoo, Firefox's default search engine is switching from Google to Yahoo in the United States.

"I'm thrilled to announce that we've entered into a five-year partnership with Mozilla to make Yahoo the default search experience on Firefox across mobile and desktop," Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer said in a blog post Wednesday. "This is the most significant partnership for Yahoo in five years."

The change will come to Firefox users in the US in December, and later Yahoo will bring that new "clean, modern and immersive search experience" to all Yahoo search users. In another part of the deal, Yahoo will support the Do Not Track technology for Firefox users, meaning that it will respect users' preferences not to be tracked for advertising purposes.

With millions of users who perform about 100 billion searches a year, Firefox is a major source of the search traffic that's Google's bread and butter. Some of those searches produce search ads, and Mozilla has been funded primarily from a portion of that revenue that Google shares. In 2012, the most recent year for which figures are available, that search revenue brought in the lion's share of Mozilla's $311 million in revenue."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google rents world's biggest digital billboard in Times Square->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Google has become the first company to rent to the world's largest and most expensive digital billboard in Times Square, New York.

The billboard is eight stories high and is estimated to cost $2.5m (£1.6m) to hire for four weeks.

The screen, which is the size of a football field, is mounted on the side of the Marriot Marquis hotel.

Around 300,000 pedestrians are estimated to pass by the billboard every day.

Times Square's brightly-lit billboards are some of the most iconic and well-known outdoor advertising spaces.

The new billboard was turned on on Tuesday evening and will show a nature-inspired digital art piece for a week until Google's adverts begin running.

Hundreds of tourists watched as the screen was turned on.

The screen is also connected to cameras, allowing for interactive content.

The US tech giant is reported to have hired the screen until January 2015."

Link to Original Source

+ - Report: Apple to Add Beats Music App to iOS Devices->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "As iPhone and iPad users know, there are a few apps that stay on your device no matter what — Messages, Weather, Apple Maps, GameCenter, Stocks, etc. They come pre-installed when you buy your handset, and you can't delete them.

Soon, that list of mandatory apps could also include Beats Music. According to a report from The Financial Times, Apple is planning to roll the subscription music service it picked up as part of its $3 billion Beats acquisition into its iOS mobile operating system. This means, the service will be available on every iPhone and iPad — whether you like it or not.

The rollout is expected to happen at some point next year, possibly as early as March, sources familiar with the situation told The Financial Times. The move would mark Apple's first major push into subscription streaming music, a market that Spotify currently dominates.

"Pre-installing apps on devices is seen as a fast track to reaching new customers," the report notes. "Apple could also take advantage of its new mobile payments service to enable customers to subscribe with just one touch of the iPhone's fingerprint reader.""

Link to Original Source

"Buy land. They've stopped making it." -- Mark Twain

Working...