Court blocks Trump's delay of fuel efficiency penalties
Apr23

Court blocks Trump's delay of fuel efficiency penalties

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The Trump administration’s efforts to undo car efficiency guidelines just hit a major obstacle. A federal court has blocked a White House attempt to delay the implementation of a rule toughening penalties for automakers that don’t meet national fuel efficiency standards. The measure (which was supposed to take effect in July 2017) raises the penalty rate by $8.50 for every tenth of a mile per gallon beyond the minimum fuel standard. The hope, unsurprisingly, was to encourage brands to hit Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) targets through 2025, reducing CO2 emissions and saving drivers money. It’s not certain what if anything the White House can do next, although EPA chief Scott Pruitt has been pushing to relax the standards and reduce the ability of states to set stricter environmental protection policies. Companies could still be on the hook if they fell short of goals, but the chances of their falling short would be that much lower. As it stands, the administration’s attempt to roll back penalties may have come too late for both hesitant automakers and the fossil fuel industry. Many major car companies are ramping up their electric vehicle efforts to the point where they’ll have many EV models on the road within the next few years. Average efficiency is likely to climb simply because fewer cars will be using fuel in the first place, and a gas-guzzling SUV may soon become more of a liability than an asset. Source: New York Attorney General Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Why is a celebrity personal finance guru suing Facebook?
Apr23

Why is a celebrity personal finance guru suing Facebook?

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Martin Lewis is a British journalist, TV presenter and Ralph Nader-esque campaigner who has announced that he will sue Facebook for defamation. The consumer champion has seen his face co-opted by nefarious types who use his name (and brand) to sell cryptocurrency scams. These get-rich-quick ads are often posted on Facebook, and since the social network doesn’t seem to have a handle on them, Lewis is taking the battle to court. Lewis is the founder of MoneySavingExpert, a hugely influential UK site that advises people on the cheapest financial and commercial products. If you’ve ever read The Points Guy, then you’ve got a fair idea of what Lewis does, but with a focus on consumer credit and household bills. He regularly appears on Good Morning Britain, one of the UK’s major morning shows and even has his own prime-time broadcast TV show. So, in the UK at least, he has cultivated a brand as an honest and serious champion of consumer rights. Which explains why so many crypto scams have harnessed his likeness to sell “Bitcoin from home,” and “Increase your income!” scams. Often, as in the example images seen here (taken from Lewis’ own statement), the scammers mock up fake news pages from BBC News and other reputable news websites. You may not be fooled, but others have been, and Lewis says that one individual was duped into spending £100,000 ($140,000) on such scams. Lewis isn’t the only person to become an unwilling spokesperson for scam adverts, and Richard Branson has also suffered a similar fate. We have seen adverts posted online that feature an image of the Virgin Group billionaire that has been photoshopped to make him look bloody. When you click through, it directs you to a fake-CNN page advertising a way for people to get rich quick with cryptocurrencies or binary trading investments. It is not clear if Branson took his criticism further, or sought to shut down fraudulent uses of his image in another way. You may, of course, be wondering how these adverts reach the eyeballs of most folks, and it’s mostly down to self-service ad platforms. Essentially, anyone with a credit card can sign up to buy ads on the social network, and can target them to specific groups of people. Put very, very simply, you can upload an image, set a target demographic, and a budget for how much you’re prepared to spend. It probably isn’t hard to use a platform to target, say, vulnerable folks with professional-looking adverts. Lewis is, however, targeting Facebook rather than the advertising individuals themselves,...

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Facebook explains what advertisers know about you
Apr23

Facebook explains what advertisers know about you

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Facebook is still facing heat over its privacy controls in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and it’s trying to reassure users that their personal info isn’t on the open market. The social network has posted a detailed Q&A explaining just what advertisers know about you — and importantly, what they don’t. It stressed that it doesn’t personally identify you, and that it’s only selling “space” for ads in the same way a TV network might, not the data itself. Marketers get the generic demographics for their ads, the pages you like, the articles you visit and information they already had from elsewhere (such as existing purchases or a third-party app). The company also emphasized that you can opt out of ad targeting (though not advertising as a whole). It also insists that its social network is the product, not you — it’s the “ability to connect” that matters, Facebook said. While these are important points and may help assuage the fears of those convinced Facebook is harvesting every ounce of personal data, it doesn’t entirely address the concerns that prompted Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress. The concern wasn’t that Facebook was selling data, but that it didn’t keep close tabs on what data apps could collect (“Thisisyourdigitallife” collected info about users’ friends without consent) and didn’t notify users when it discovered that the data had been compromised. And while Facebook is refuting the notion that it’s treating users as products, it’s still true that Facebook’s business model revolves around advertising — with customized ads whenever possible. That’s why ad targeting is opt-out rather than opt-in, after all. It might be difficult to completely escape privacy concerns so long as Facebook has reason to share something about you, even if it’s something as simple as a page like. Source: Facebook Newsroom Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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'Super Mario 64: Ocarina of Time’ is the perfect Nintendo mashup
Apr23

'Super Mario 64: Ocarina of Time’ is the perfect Nintendo mashup

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Super Mario 64 is considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time. Its large, imaginative levels and increasingly difficult challenges have defined the 3D platformer genre since its release on the Nintendo 64. Similarly, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time — the first in the franchise with 3D graphics — is considered a classic with a record 99 rating on Metacritic. Both have been celebrated with portable re-releases and a deluge of fan movies, artwork and soundtrack remixes. But never have the two games been combined in a fan-made ROM hack like Super Mario 64: Ocarina of Time. The unofficial and legally dubious project allows players to traverse Hyrule, the mystical kingdom found in the Zelda series, as Nintendo’s portly plumber. The world is a little different to the one found in Link’s adventure, however. Hyrule Castle, for instance, is owned by Peach and patrolled by pink Bob-ombs. The Forest Temple, located in the Lost Woods, is filled with colorful Boos instead of flaming skulls. Epona, Link’s reliable steed, has been replaced with wooden carriages dragged by overzealous Chain Chomps. The game is a meticulous recreation of Hyrule inside the Super Mario 64 engine. Kaze Emanuar, a prolific modder, rebuilt every house, dungeon and fairy fountain so it would be recognizable to longtime Zelda fans. Each map was adjusted, however, to accommodate Mario’s acrobatic move-set — unlike Link, the mustachioed hero can wall jump, triple-jump and backflip — and the placement of 170 stars. Some rooms are inaccessible or streamlined so that players can quickly reach the next boss or power-up. It’s a bizarre, but perfectly playable mashup that Emanuar has been building toward for five years. He grew up in the German city of Bremen and discovered emulators — applications that mimic older video game hardware — as a 17-year-old in high school. Most people use emulation to quickly (and often illegally) play titles from their childhood. Emanuar’s first exposure, however, was through a Super Mario 64 ROM hack called Star Road. He tried to play it with a mouse and keyboard at first but quickly discovered that a controller was almost mandatory. “Playing Mario 64 mods with keyboards,” he explained, is “something you should never do to yourself. If you love yourself, and like anyone, you should definitely go and get a USB controller.” Emanuar enjoyed the difficulty of Star Road, which went beyond the challenges found in Super Mario 64. He had been programming games on his calculator and was instantly intrigued by the N64 modding community. “When I saw...

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Samsung is making six TV series just for VR
Apr23

Samsung is making six TV series just for VR

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. With all the immersive games, films and documentaries available, there are plenty of interesting VR experiences for your headset. Samsung wants to make sure you’ll never run out, announcing today its “Pilot Season.” It’s a “new initiative aimed at infusing exclusive original episodic Virtual Reality content into the Samsung VR Video service,” according to the company. Starting today, you’ll be able to watch pilot episodes of six new series on the Gear VR, and who knows, you may find your new favorite binge there. The six shows are varied in topic and format — &Design is a docu-series that studies how design intersects with different aspects of life. There’s also cartoon comedy Bro Bots, set in a Futurama-esque world, about two British police robots in the NYPD, as well as The Interpretation of Dreams, which reimagines Sigmund Freud’s original case studies. Having checked out all the pilots at a recent Tribeca Film Festival-related event in New York, I’m most intrigued by &Design — its subject matter alone is fascinating (the first episode studies death and design), but it’s also told in a compelling manner. I’d watch it as a regular TV show, although the show’s makers do make good use of the VR format and space to bring details close to your eyes. Samsung isn’t simply curating and distributing these shows on its video portal — it also funds them. Pilot Season gives grants to “a select set of indie filmmakers” to create original, exclusive content, and also offers them the opportunity to use Samsung’s professional 360-degree camera the 360 Round. Not all the shows are photo-realistic, though. Bro Bots, Lightcatcher and Voyages are animations, for example. To give you a better idea of what to expect, here’s a list of the six series, as described by Samsung: &Design (Sibling Rivalry and Curious Octopus) An original episodic series about design that will change the way we look at the world. The series presents design in its intersection with science, technology and anthropology, weaving an array of items that link each episode by a universally humanistic theme. With renowned and charismatic design curator Paola Antonelli as our guide, the series will take audiences on a captivating, fun, and often surprising journey around the globe to reveal the stories of different projects and the Artists behind them. From designed objects we rely on but rarely think about, to bizarre inventions, to artifacts from other cultures, “&Design” will invite us to see the world in a new way. Bro Bots (Breaking Fourth) A scripted sci-fi comedy series in VR, set in...

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Scientists grow human brain tissue in mice
Apr23

Scientists grow human brain tissue in mice

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Brain “organoids” made from stem cells are a promising way to study the brain, but the longest they’ve survived in a petri dish is just five weeks. Researchers from the Salk Institute recently implanted a bean-sized brain organoid into a mouse, and covered it with a transparent window. The material was able to get a blood supply from the mouse and survived for up to 233 days, displaying the same properties and growth as if it were in a newborn. It’s a big advance for organoids and could help scientists study and treat mental illness and brain injuries. The Salk team figured they could keep the cells alive for a longer period if they could just get a consistent blood supply to them. So, they removed a small amount of mouse brain tissue and grafted the organoids into a blood-vessel-rich part of the mouse brain. For the first time ever, vessels formed with blood flowing through them, and the organoid developed new neurons and neuronal support cells called astrocytes. Amazingly, the grafted neurons formed connections to themselves and the host organ, another first, and fired together in a synchronized way. “This indicates that the increased blood supply not only helped the organoid to stay healthy longer, but also enabled it to achieve a level of neurological complexity that will help us better understand brain disease,” said Salk researcher Abed AlFattah Mansour. So, did the human brain tissue make the mice any smarter or self-aware? No, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it). After a day, the human brain-implanted mice made fewer mistakes in a maze, but just a day later, they performed the same as normal mice. The purpose, in any case, was not to make smarter mice, but advance organoid research so that it could be used to treat humans. Scientists believe that by successfully growing them in lab animals, they can better understand how the human brain develops — both normally and when illnesses occur. “This work brings us one step closer to a more faithful, functional representation of the human brain and could help us design better therapies for neurological and psychiatric diseases,” said senior author Rusty Gage. Via: Stat News Source: Nature Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Bloomberg: Amazon wants to build a home robot
Apr23

Bloomberg: Amazon wants to build a home robot

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Bloomberg is claiming that Amazon is looking to build a home robot that would do for personal androids what the Kindle did to reading. The website’s sources-in-the-know claim that the giant’s hardware division, Lab126, is working on some sort of domestic droid, codenamed “Vesta.” Apparently, project Vesta has been in development for some time, but this year the company began aggressively hiring roboticists. It’s thought that the first tests of Vesta, in select employees’ homes, will come at the end of this year. The report is little more than shadows and dust at this point, and there’s little solid information to go on within. It’s thought that Vesta could become a sort of roaming Echo, following you around the house waiting for you to bark orders at it. The device would likely take advantage in advances in autonomous movement that have helped push self-driving car tests. There’s no guarantee that Amazon will ever release such a product, and may just be investigating the concept right now. Home robots are, after all, a notoriously tricky proposition, from the privacy and security implications through to the often high cost. A device like Pepper, which isn’t designed to be a consumer product, costs thousands of dollars and isn’t that useful. Meanwhile, plenty of smaller, cheaper home robots, from Omate’s Alexa-powered Yumi, Kuri and ASUS’ Zenbo, have all been announced with some fanfare. Sony has brought back its Aibo after a long hiatus, priced at 179,000 yen (around $1,739), and that can do pretty much nothing. Not to mention that the only robot that most people are happy to have around the house is one that’ll do the vacuuming. Source: Bloomberg Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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ASUS made a sub-$200 smartphone to fight Xiaomi in India
Apr23

ASUS made a sub-$200 smartphone to fight Xiaomi in India

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Having surpassed the US to become the second largest smartphone market after China, India is now the latest battleground for some of the top mobile brands. According to Canalys, even Samsung lost its top position there to Xiaomi as of Q4 2017, followed by Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo. Meanwhile, ASUS is continuing its fight over there by announcing the ZenFone Max Pro (M1), an India-centric mid-ranger that’s priced competitively — even more so than Xiaomi’s recently launched Redmi Note 5 Pro. This also happens to be ASUS’ first stock Android device, which is partly why it’s able to be shipped with Android 8.1. According to ASUS, pretty much everything about the ZenFone Max Pro was based on a survey — conducted by market research firm Ipsos — of over 2,000 Indian consumers. The result was a product that’s somewhat similar to the Redmi Note 5 Pro, but with slight advantage over certain specs. And ultimately, this ZenFone starts at 10,999 rupee (about $170; 3GB RAM plus 32GB storage), thus undercutting the Redmi’s 13,999 rupee base price (about $210; 4GB + 64GB). The ZenFone also offers a 4GB RAM plus 64GB storage configuration, but at 12,999 rupee (about $200) it’s still slightly cheaper. It’s clear that ASUS is really trying to put up a good fight here. Both devices feature a 6-inch 2,160 x 1,080 IPS LCD, a nice mid-range Snapdragon 636 processor plus a rear fingerprint reader (face unlock is available, too), but the ZenFone Max Pro’s display has a higher 450-nit brightness plus a higher 1500:1 contrast ratio. Other goodies include a larger 5,000 mAh battery, a dedicated microSD card slot alongside dual SIM slots, a supposedly louder speaker and a newer version of Android (the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with Android 7.1 customized by Xiaomi’s MIUI 9). All of this while managing the same 180 gram weight, but with a gentle bump to 8.46mm on its thickness. Photography-wise, the ZenFone Max Pro has a 13MP + 5MP pairing for the bokeh-enabled main camera, and on the other side there’s an 8MP front camera plus an LED flash for easier selfies. While the main camera has a slightly higher resolution than its Redmi counterpart, its selfie camera is much weaker than the Redmi’s 20MP offering. Obviously, it’s not always about quantity, so we shall see when the comparison tests come out. The good news for some of us outside of India is that the ZenFone Max Pro will likely make it to other markets, albeit with slightly different specs. For now, this phone will be launched...

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Report reveals the extent of China's tech sexism problem
Apr23

Report reveals the extent of China's tech sexism problem

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Chinese tech companies like Baidu and Alibaba have been using blatant sexism to attract job candidates and advertising jobs for “men only,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) has reported. “Major companies like Alibaba have published recruitment ads promising applicants ‘beautiful girls’ as co-workers,” said HRW China Director Sophie Richardson. Furthermore, Chinese authorities have not been enforcing laws that prohibit workplace gender discrimination, it adds. In a 99-page report, HRW analyzed 36,000 ads posted on Chinese job sites over the last five years. Many of the ads state a preference for men, and others require women to have a certain height, weight, looks or other qualities that have nothing to do with the position’s duties. For instance, Alibaba published ads enticing men by saying that “beautiful girls” and “goddesses” worked for the company. It also posted photos of female employees, describing them not for their qualifications or achievements, but as “late night benefits,” Bloomberg noted. Tencent, on its official WeChat recruitment account, quoted a male worker as saying “the reason I joined [the company] originated from a primal impulse. It was mainly because the ladies at human resources and that interviewed me were very pretty.” In a statement, Tencent told Bloomberg that “we are sorry [the ads] occurred and we will take swift action to ensure they do not happen again. Tencent values diverse backgrounds and recruits staff based on talent and ability. ” Baidu, which also posted misogynistic listings, said it deeply regretted the postings that occurred in “isolated instances” and has since removed them. Gender discrimination in advertising is prohibited by China’s labor and advertising laws. However, the government has not only not enforced the problem, but 13 percent of civil service job listings in 2017 specified “men only” or “men preferred,” while none required or preferred women. One reason why is that “traditional and deeply discriminatory views” are often held in corporations, said HRW, referring to those questioning women’s capabilities or not willing to accommodate maternity leave. Another problem is that activists who have fought sexual objectification have been met with hostility by the Chinese government. When the #MeToo movement erupted on social media, for instance, it was censored, as authorities take a dim view toward activism of any kind. “Instead of harassing and jailing women’s rights activists, the Chinese government should engage them as allies in combating gender discrimination in the job market -– and beyond,” Richardson said. Via: Bloomberg Source: Human Rights Watch Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Smart glasses could stream video without killing your battery
Apr23

Smart glasses could stream video without killing your battery

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. There a number of reasons why camera-equipped smart glasses haven’t taken off, whether it’s dorky designs, bans or just a lack of practical applications beyond niche audiences. However, there’s a common theme for them all: they need big batteries to handle all that streaming video, which guarantees a bulky set of spectacles. There might be a solution in the long run, however. University of Washington researchers have crafted a video streaming method that consumes up to 10,000 times less power than traditional methods. The trick, the team said, is to offload most of the hard work to another device using clever wireless transmissions. Conventional cameras typically have to process and compress video before sending it out over wireless. This approach directly attaches pixels in the camera to the wireless antenna, and uses backscatter (that is, reflecting signals transmitted to the device) to send the data in pulses to a nearby phone or PC that takes care of the processing. There are already devices that use backscatter, but they’ve so far been limited to low-data uses like sensors — this can deliver 720p video. You aren’t going to share video from your eyewear in the near future. The current prototype glasses are limited to 10 frames per second at distances of up to 14 feet (there’s also a security camera that operates at 13 frames per second). However, the practical uses are fairly clear. You could have smart glasses and wearable cameras with much smaller batteries, or even no battery at all if they generate power from radio signals. This, in turn, could lead to wearable cameras in unusual places. The scientists envision sports matches where every athlete is wearing a camera that never needs a bulky battery pack — first-person sports cams wouldn’t be novelties outside of motorsports. Via: Gizmodo Source: UW News Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Iran bans banks from trading cryptocurrencies
Apr23

Iran bans banks from trading cryptocurrencies

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Iran is borrowing a page from China when it comes to regulating money: if your real-world currency is in trouble, crack down on the virtual kind. The country’s central bank has banned other banks and financial institutions from buying, selling or promoting cryptocurrencies in the wake of reforms meant to quell volatility for the Iranian rial, such as banning money changes outside of banks and unifying exchange rates. The rial’s value has been plummeting over fears the US would reinstate sanctions that could hurt Iran’s economy. The ban is an extension of anti-laundering agency’s ban passed in December. While Iran’s situation is more volatile than China’s, the objective is likely the same: this could reduce the likelihood that anxious traders will buy up cryptocurrency and sell conventional money. While formats like bitcoin have their own problems with volatility, investors might see that as a better bet than the rial’s record lows. This theoretically pushes people back toward official money and gives it some stability, however artificial it might be. Source: Reuters Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Mt. Gox chief returns as an exec at a VPN giant
Apr22

Mt. Gox chief returns as an exec at a VPN giant

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles may still be on trial for embezzlement in Japan, but that isn’t stopping him from playing an influential role in the cryptocurrency world. As part of an interview with Fortune, the one-time bitcoin exchange leader has confirmed that he’s now the CTO for London Trust Media, a company best known for its popular VPN service Private Internet Access. It’s also an investor in cryptocurrency services like BlockExplorer, Purse.io and Zcash, but Karpeles insists he’s not involved in that side of the business. London Trust Media co-founder Andrew Lee said he was happy to “give a second chance” to Karpeles in his “critical hour.” The stint may be short-lived. As Fortune notes, Japan’s conviction rate is over 99 percent. Short of a surprise, there’s a real chance he’ll be serving a prison sentence and possibly facing other restrictions on what he can do. He’s presently out on bail and isn’t allowed to leave Japan. Japanese police arrested Karpeles in 2015 on claims that he had artificially inflated the balance of a personal account by playing fast and loose with transaction records Mt. Gox used to convert bitcoins to dollars. It would falsely state that he had transferred $1 million into the account, for example. He has always protested his innocence and isn’t responsible for the theft of 650,000 coins that contributed to Mt. Gox’s downfall, but it’s doubtful that prosecutors will see things his way. Moreover, there’s an additional quirk. You see, Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy claimants are limited by Japanese to the values as of the exchange’s collapse in 2014 — thanks to bitcoin’s surging price, it’s theoretically possible to revive the company (there’s a petition in progress) and send billions of dollars to Karpeles. That sounds good on the surface, but Karpeles would face both a 60 percent tax and an inevitable string of lawsuits. Short of recovering all the bitcoins to fend off those creditors, even his best case scenario looks fairly grim. Via: Bitcoin.com Source: Fortune Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Amazon, Netflix and studios sue subscription service over piracy
Apr22

Amazon, Netflix and studios sue subscription service over piracy

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Hollywood studios usually fight piracy by chasing after software add-ons and free streaming services, with the occasional device thrown in. A paid service, however? That’s relatively rare… or at least, it has been. Amazon, Netflix and multiple Hollywood studios (including Disney, Fox, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros.) have sued SET Broadcast over allegations its SET TV service is used expressly for piracy. While there is a dedicated set-top box, the centerpiece is a $20 per month subscription service that offers access to over 500 live TV channels and “thousands” of on-demand shows, including Netflix shows and movies that are still officially limited to theaters. As you might guess, the media giants argue SET TV is focused “overwhelmingly, if not exclusively” on pirated material. The companies also accuse SET Broadcast of going so far as to pay for video reviews and other sponsored material to drive subscriptions. The firm hasn’t commented on the case so far. The lawsuit could have SET pay dearly. The court would order the service shut down, of course, but it would also impound devices and demand damages up to $150,000 for every piece of pirated work. That could easily amount to millions of dollars even if the penalties were limited to on-demand videos. Between the number of media industry companies involved in the case and the penalties they’re asking, it’s clear that the lawsuit is intended as a message to anyone that would design a service with piracy in mind — especially if they have the gall to charge for it. Via: TorrentFreak Source: GeekWire Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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It's now safe to skin your Nintendo Switch
Apr22

It's now safe to skin your Nintendo Switch

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. When it became clear that vinyl wraps and other stickers were damaging the Switch, you could practically hear the wailing from console customizers everywhere. How were you supposed to add a personal touch to Nintendo’s machine without giving it a permanent paint scheme? At last, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Dbrand is now offering Switch skins that it promises are “100% safe” for the system’s plastic housing. The company said it spent a year working with 3M to create a “unique” adhesive that won’t wreck the design. As always, the amount you pay depends on how much customization you want. It costs $5 per Joy-Con skin, $10 for the Switch itself, $7 for the dock’s side and $8 for the dock’s accents. All told, you’re looking at about $28 to cover the system head-to-toe, and that’s before the $10 tempered glass screen protector. You’re also applying these skins yourself, remember. Still, it’s definitely easier to swallow that cost than to pay for paint, especially knowing that you can remove or swap skins if you ever change your mind. Via: Dbrand (Twitter) Source: Dbrand Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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US military hopes to launch rockets in 'days, not years'
Apr22

US military hopes to launch rockets in 'days, not years'

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Even in the era of private spaceflight companies, the process of getting a rocket into space is glacially slow: it can take months or years to schedule and prepare for a mission. That was fine when launching any rocket was a special occasion, but DARPA thinks the industry can do better. The military research agency recently kicked off a Launch Challenge that encourages companies to cut these launch timetables to “days, not years.” Teams will have to develop systems that can launch two low Earth orbit rockets at different sites within days of each other, and with little advance notice. They’ll only know where the first launch site will be within a “few weeks,” and they’ll learn about the payload mere days before blastoff. There isn’t a huge amount of turnaround time: the actual competition will take place in late 2019, with a “competitors’ day” helping to get the ball rolling on May 23rd of this year. There will be a strong incentive to pick up the pace, though, as DARPA is offering $10 million for the top prize ($9 million and $8 million for second and third places respectively), and every team that completes the first launch scores $2 million. And it’s not just about achieving speed at all costs. Officials will judge launches not only on timeliness, but on the accuracy of the launch, the nature of the payload and the rocket mass. The challenge is clearly useful to the military, which could use rapid turnaround times to launch spy and communications satellites at the very moment they’re needed. However, the results of the challenge could help with launches of all kinds going forward. The current system is utterly impractical for space tourism, where frequent launches would be necessary to improve the economies of scale and make trips vaguely affordable. Via: Space.com, SpaceNews Source: DARPA Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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The best projector for a home theater
Apr22

The best projector for a home theater

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. By Chris Heinonen This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here. The Sony VPL-HW45ES is the best projector for a dedicated home theater because it offers superb contrast ratios, accurate colors, plenty of light output, low input lag for gaming, and flexible setup options to help it fit almost any location. Typically selling for around $2,000, it costs about $1,000 less than anything else offering comparable performance. Who should buy this A dedicated home theater projector is meant for a room that offers complete light control. One of the major improvements in these projectors over entry-level models is the ability to produce much darker blacks, giving you better contrast ratios, but you’ll need to eliminate ambient light to appreciate this feature. You should also pair your projector with a good screen, which will give you brighter, more accurate images. Finally, you also need a surround speaker system. Projectors designed for a dedicated home theater room don’t have any speakers, so they need a separate sound system, usually with a receiver. How we picked and tested Photo: Chris HeinonenK We looked for home theater projectors with 1080p resolution or higher, a pair of HDMI inputs, and flexible installation options. Some high-contrast projection screens require the projector to be centered to work optimally, and we imagine that many people dedicating a room to a home theater might not be custom-building it for that purpose, so DLP projectors that require mounting above or below the center of the screen didn’t fit our criteria. And since few people still care about 3D support, we didn’t require that in the projectors we tested. Going by those criteria, we chose to test four projectors for our most recent update to this guide. To find out how the projectors stacked up against one another, we measured them ourselves using test equipment, including an i1Pro2 spectrometer and a Klein K10-A colorimeter, as well as test patterns from a DVDO AVLab TPG and an HDFury Integral. We tested for light output, contrast ratio, color and color-temperature accuracy, and more. To read more about our tests, see our full guide to home theater projectors. Our pick Photo: Chris HeinonenK The Sony VPL-HW45ES is based on the higher-end VPL-HW65ES, dropping many of the advanced features that most people don’t need but keeping the performance nearly identical. For almost everyone, the VPL-HW45ES is the better choice, as it offers great contrast ratios, accurate colors, low input...

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VW's electric Pikes Peak racer accelerates faster than an F1 car
Apr22

VW's electric Pikes Peak racer accelerates faster than an F1 car

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. After months of promises and teases, VW has formally unveiled its electric Pikes Peak race car… and its performance might be surprising even in light of earlier hype. The I.D. R Pikes Peak is built to smash Pikes Peak’s EV record of 8 minutes and 57 seconds not through brute force, but by achieving a finely tuned power-to-weight ratio. While the 680HP two-motor powerplant may not sound like much when the existing record holder (Drive eO’s PP100) packed a whopping 1,596HP, VW’s vehicle will weigh under 2,500lbs versus 2,646lbs for its archrival. Combine that with potentially better aerodynamics (the VW car is closer to a Le Mans car than the usual hill climber) and the result is an EV that can outperform some of the fastest race cars. With a 0-60MPH time of 2.25 seconds, VW claims its machine can accelerate faster than a Formula 1 or Formula E racer. That could be crucial on Pikes Peak, where top speed matters far less than how you recover speed. The weight savings come in part through energy regeneration. While many EVs can restore energy while braking, VW’s system manages to produce about 20 percent of the necessary energy through braking alone. You don’t necessarily need a giant battery to make it to the top, in other words. The I.D. R Pikes Peak makes its debut at the 2018 race on June 24th. VW certainly isn’t guaranteed to seize the record, since that depends on both ideal weather conditions and an exceptional performance from both the car and driver Romain Dumas (a Pikes Peak champ). It would represent a milestone in EV performance if the company did, though, and the lessons learned from this car could apply to far more ordinary EVs. The real challenge may be to beat the Unlimited class record of just under 8 minutes and 14 seconds, set in 2013 with a customized Peugeot 208. While modified EVs are already quicker than conventional Pikes Peak cars (which hover around 9 minutes 30 seconds), it’ll likely take further breakthroughs in power and weight savings to give EVs the overall performance lead. Source: Volkswagen Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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In 'This is Climate Change,' you can't look away from the destruction
Apr22

In 'This is Climate Change,' you can't look away from the destruction

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It’s one thing to read about melting glaciers. It’s another to sit and stare at one, as large chunks slowly slide off, crashing thunderously into the water below. In that moment, watching the destruction of a natural wonder, it’s hard not to feel like we’re failing to protect the Earth. That’s the experience I had while watching This is Climate Change, a virtual reality series from Danfung Dennis and Eric Strauss from the VR studio Condition One. It goes a step beyond Planet Earth, giving you a direct look at how humans are affecting our planet in 360-degree video. After premiering their first episode at Sundance, which is focused on melting glaciers in Greenland, Dennis and Strauss are bringing the rest of the series to the Tribeca Film Festival. They each center on a different issue: One gives you a birds-eye view of the Amazon rainforest, which makes the rampant deforestation to make room for the cattle industry there even more devastating. In another, we see members of California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Protection taking on some of last year’s tumultuous wildfires. And finally, we see how climate change directly affects the most vulnerable: in Somalia and nearby African countries, it led to widespread famine that’s put millions of children’s lives at risk. “I think ‘seeing’ is sort of what you get from a traditional documentary. What’s different about VR is that you’re experiencing it,” Dennis said during our interview for Build Series (above). “The screen melts away, and you’re in these worlds, you’re in these environments. And you feel it in a very different way. Your body reacts to it as if you’re actually there. And so it can leave a really indelible mark on your memory and psyche of… ‘I remember being there,’ instead of just, ‘I watched a film.'” I’ve seen plenty of 360-degree VR films over the past few years, but This is Climate Change stands out with its polished production. Every shot looked pristine, even though I was watching it in a first-gen Gear VR headset. And the 3D stereoscopic imagery gave everything just the right amount of depth. While they relied on drones for some shots, Dennis also went the extra to place their VR cameras in potentially dangerous locations, like a tiny iceberg that might not have supported his weight. The first two episodes of This is Climate Change will be available on Within’s VR app tomorrow, and the remaining two will be available in the coming months. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip...

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After Math: Number stations
Apr22

After Math: Number stations

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It was a week of hodge-podgery for the tech industry. AT&T rolled out its almost-5G service, Amazon finally revealed its Prime membership figures and Facebook continued its multi-year streak as “Company Least Encumbered by Any Discernible Form of Human Ethics”. Numbers, because you can’t convince me Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t cut his own hair. 100 locations: AT&T is setting the stage for its new 5G network, which is slated to roll out to a dozen American cities by the end of the year. Ahead of that switch flippage, the company announced this week that it will be debuting a 5G-ish fixed-in-place network as well as a faster version of LTE in parts of Boston, Sacramento and McAllen, Texas. 70 percent: That’s the share of Puerto Rican households who once again have power after the island’s latest blackout. And to think, after the US has stood by and done nothing. 1.5 billion users: That whole thing where Mark Zuckerberg went before congress and said he supported enacting GDPR protections for Facebook users outside of Europe? Guess what? He was only kidding! 20 million installs: Apparently a whole lot of people on the internet are suckers. Google just killed five top-rated ad-blocking apps after AdGuard published a report about how they’re laden with extra code that harvests data from websites that you frequent. Great job everyone. 100 million members: So, that’s how many people in the US subscribe to Amazon Prime. Not sure why the company treated that figure like such a huge secret for so many years, given that a third of the US was in on the game. 100 3D printed parts: We’re living in the future here, people. Instead of relying on an armada of seamstresses like they did back in the Apollo Era, today’s NASA uses 3D printing. In fact, more than 100 pieces of the Orion crew capsule will be additively constructed. 24/7: Oh yes, this will do wonders for the accident rates in its factories. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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The next 'Doom' movie won't play in theaters
Apr22

The next 'Doom' movie won't play in theaters

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Do you remember the original Doom movie from 2005? You’d be forgiven if you didn’t — while it had recognizable stars (most notably Dwayne Johnson), it was a critical and commercial flop that only really found life after it left the big screen. However, that isn’t stopping Hollywood from giving it another shot. After years of rumors, NBCUniversal has confirmed to Variety that a new Doom movie is in the works, no doubt meant to capitalize on the game series’ revival. Actress Nina Bergman has already revealed that she’ll play a role in the movie, which reportedly has a “super cool director.” There are no plot details at this point, although you can presume it will involve the forces of Hell, Mars and a lot of firepower. Just don’t expect to see this movie in a theater. Universal 1440 Entertainment, which handles non-theatrical titles, is responsible for producing the flick — that means it’s headed straight to digital, disc and cable. While it’s not certain the movie will land on subscription streaming services, it’s a distinct possibility given how Netflix has been snapping up movies that would have struggled at the box office. In that light, there’s very little risk for Universal. However good the new Doom may be, it won’t live or die based on a short theatrical run. It can get wide distribution (and potentially significant viewership) for relatively little effort. That option simply wouldn’t have been available 13 years ago. Wow I’m doing the next “Doom” movie w Universal Pictures! I just signed all the paperwork💃🏼I get to go back to Bulgaria again and work with some of my favorite people💕This movie w a super cool Director AND my new record coming out, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world🍀 pic.twitter.com/q8t4iI0bgO — Nina Bergman (@ninabergman) April 17, 2018 Via: Variety Source: Nina Bergman (Twitter) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Ben Heck designs a glue gun with Fusion 360
Apr22

Ben Heck designs a glue gun with Fusion 360

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Ben and Karen talk through some of the suggestions from element14 Community members for the super glue gun build, before moving forward with the motor placement for the final design. However, Ben is concerned that the handle might end up too thick if the motor is placed next to or near the handle. Luckily, Karen has a proposed design change that could make all of Ben’s headaches go away — for a while, at least. So, Ben goes back to his trusty Autodesk Fusion 360 to make those changes to the design. Follow along in the video above. Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Battle royale hybrid 'Darwin Project' is now free to play
Apr22

Battle royale hybrid 'Darwin Project' is now free to play

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It’s tough to compete in the battle royale world, especially with Fortnite in the room. How do you convince players to try your game if they aren’t immediately enraptured? Scavengers Studio knows how: give it away. The company has turned E3 darling The Darwin Project into a free-to-play title, with a new customization progression system coming on April 24th. Scavengers isn’t shy about the reasoning, noting that a lack of players on some servers led to longer queues and trouble finding matches for the survival-themed brawler. If you already bought the Early Access title, you’ll get a Founder’s Pack with a slew of cosmetic items. Should you want a refund, you can ask for one in the coming days as long as you’re in line with Steam’s policies. And before you ask: much like Fortnite, nothing you buy in-game will give you an edge over rival players. There’s no certainty the gratis gameplay will help, but it underscores how cutthroat the battle royale landscape has become. Outside of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, it’s hard for paid games to break through no matter how innovative their concepts may be. This at least gets Darwin Project‘s foot in the door, and might keep existing fans from drifting away. Source: Steam, Scavengers Studio Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Apple will shutter its last Watch-exclusive store in May
Apr22

Apple will shutter its last Watch-exclusive store in May

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. On May 13th, the last Apple Watch-exclusive store will close its doors. The shop, which is located inside Shinjuku, Tokyo’s posh Isetan department store, is one of the three pop-ups the tech titan built when it launched the wearable back in 2015. Twitter user Shotaro Akiba has shared a photo on Twitter showing the department store’s announcement. Apple shut down the other two pop-ups in London and Paris way back early last year, so the news isn’t exactly surprising. Besides, the one in Shinjuku has been on borrowed time ever since the iPhonemaker opened a full-fledged store right across Isetan earlier this month. やっぱり伊勢丹のApple Watch Storeは閉店か… pic.twitter.com/moYjXCfYRp — Shotaro Akiba (@ShotaroAkiba) April 21, 2018 You may want to drop by the pop-up if you’re in Japan to see if they still have good deals on offer. According to 9to5mac, the shop held a fire sale on Isetan’s website just recently, selling its remaining Apple Watch Edition inventory for as little as $700. Those 18-karat gold watches sold for at least $10,000 and as much as $17,000 when they first became available. It also might be your last chance to see an Apple Store that doesn’t quite look like the company’s usual spaces. If you’re not in Japan and would still like a glimpse of the shop, though, check out the video below: Via: 9to5mac Source: Shotaro Akiba (Twitter) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Teen who hacked top US officials gets two years in prison
Apr21

Teen who hacked top US officials gets two years in prison

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The teenager who founded the hacking group that broke into ex-CIA chief John Brennan’s email has been sentenced to serve two years at a youth detention center. Kane Gamble went by the alias “Cracka” when he and his group “Crackas With Attitude” targeted top US officials, including FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and their families and colleagues, a few years ago. Authorities arrested the UK native in early 2016, and he pleaded guilty to 10 hacking charges in October 2017. In addition to sentencing the now-18-year-old to two years in prison, the judge also ordered his computers to be seized. CWA’s MO is called “social engineering” — they’d impersonate their victims and call internet and phone providers’ customer support hotlines in order to get confidential info and to reset their targets’ passwords. The group stole 40 attachments from Brennan’s email, some of which were published by Wikileaks. They also broke into Clapper’s and his wife’s emails, home phone and internet connection. While in control of Clapper’s FIOS connection, they said they redirected all calls to his number to the Free the Palestine movement. The group stole and leaked the contact info of 20,000 FBI personnel, as well. After Gamble and another 15-year-old CWA member were arrested in 2016, the remaining members told Motherboard that they will only stop their activities if the US cuts ties with Israel. Gamble’s lawyer said he never meant traumatize people on an individual basis: “In a naive, immature and childish way,” the lawyer said in court, “he thought he could do something about it, he could make a nuisance of himself by targeting people in America and that would somehow get them to change US policy as a result of what he was doing from his bedroom.” The judge, however, disagreed, calling CWA a “cyber gang” that ran “an extremely nasty campaign of politically-motivated cyber terrorism.” Via: Motherboard Source: BBC Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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WikiLeaks loses access to a key cryptocurrency account
Apr21

WikiLeaks loses access to a key cryptocurrency account

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. This hasn’t been the best week for WikiLeaks, to put it mildly. Coinbase has shut off the WikiLeaks Shop’s account for allegedly violating the cryptocurrency exchange’s terms of service. In other words, the leak site just lost its existing means of converting payments like bitcoin into conventional money. While Coinbase didn’t give a specific reason (it declines to comment on specific accounts), it pointed to its legal requirement to honor “regulatory compliance mechanisms” under the US’ Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. This doesn’t prevent WikiLeaks from accepting cryptocurrency, but it will have to scramble to find an alternative if it wants to continue taking digital money from customers buying shirts and coffee cups. Unsurprisingly, the organization is less than thrilled — it’s calling for a “global blockade” of Coinbase, claiming that the exchange is reacting to a “concealed influence.” As Andreas Antonopoulos and The Verge observe, there’s a degree of irony here: WikiLeaks adopted cryptocurrency in 2010 precisely to get away from conventional payment services that had shut off access. Formats like bitcoin supposedly couldn’t be held back. As you may have noticed, though, regulators see things differently — they’ve increasingly cracked down on potential abuses. That doesn’t necessarily say anything about WikiLeaks’ culpability, but Coinbase’s action isn’t coming out of the blue. Via: The Verge Source: WikiLeaks Shop (Twitter) Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Valve acquires the creators of 'Firewatch'
Apr21

Valve acquires the creators of 'Firewatch'

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Campo Santo has widely been regarded as the little game studio that could. Its very first game, Firewatch, won numerous awards and even landed a movie deal. It won’t be quite so indie going forward, however: the development team is joining Valve. While the full terms aren’t available, the team members are moving to Bellevue, Washington and will continue developing In the Valley of Gods as a Valve game. There’s no word yet on how this will affect Idle Thumbs podcasts. If you ask Campo Santo, the two companies are a natural fit. The company said there was an “obvious match” with Valve, which felt similarly about game development. Valve also saw creators with a “unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives.” It’s not shocking that Campo Santo would join a larger company. As successful as it has been, it was still a fledgling studio without vast resources. For Valve, though, it’s more surprising: the company’s once extensive game development has largely narrowed down to Dota 2 and its card game spinoff Artifact, with legendary talent leaving for greener pastures. This doesn’t necessarily herald a revival of Valve’s in-house work (sorry, Half-Life 3 likely remains dead), but it indicates that the company doesn’t just want to be known for Steam and its hardware experiments. Source: Campo Santo Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Apple will replace swollen batteries in newer MacBook Pros
Apr21

Apple will replace swollen batteries in newer MacBook Pros

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. It hasn’t been that long since the iPhone battery fiasco, but Apple already has another battery issue to deal with. The tech giant has launched a battery replacement program for 13-inch MacBook Pros without Touch Bar manufactured between October 2016 and October 2017. A “limited number” of its base Pro laptops are prone to a component failure — it didn’t mention which component, only that the devices’ built-in batteries will swell if it malfunctions. Just earlier this month, the company announced a similar program for 42mm Series 2 Watches, since their batteries also have the tendency to swell. Unlike its battery replacement for iPhone 6 or newer models that’ll set you back $29, though, Apple will swap your MacBook Pro battery for free… so long as you have an eligible model. Cupertino said it’s not a safety issue, but if you can get the replacement at no cost, it’ll probably be best to take advantage of the offer. Since not all 13-inch Pros without Touch Bar are affected (other and older models aren’t prone to the same component failure) you’ll first have to make sure you’re covered under the program. Simply go to the program page and look up your serial number, which you can find in About this Mac (click the Apple logo on the top menu), under your laptop or on its box. If you’re eligible for a replacement, you’ll have to find an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider, but you can also mail your laptop to a repair center. Even if you’re physically going to a store, you may want to wipe your data after backing it up anyway, since your laptop might still have to be sent to a repair center and stay there for three to five days. (In case you already had your battery replaced, you can ask Apple for a reimbursement.) Take note that Apple wants to resolve any other issue your MacBook might have before replacing your battery, and that extra repair might not be free. Via: Reuters Source: Apple Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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SEC charges third 'mastermind' in ICO fraud case
Apr21

SEC charges third 'mastermind' in ICO fraud case

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. The SEC is clearly determined to crack down on everyone involved in Centra Tech’s allegedly fraudulent initial coin offering. Officials have filed fraud charges against a third “mastermind” in the case, Raymond Trapani, for reportedly helping to whip up false claims about the $32 million ICO and manipulate trading to keep the offering’s price up. As evidence, the SEC trotted out a group text message where Trapani reportedly told Centra’s Sohrab Sharma to “cook me up” a fake document while trying to get the company’s tokens listed on an exchange using bogus credentials. The SEC hopes to not only recover any “ill-gotten gains” from Trapani (plus penalties), but to ban him from serving in a company’s leadership or participating in any other securities trading. He’s facing additional fraud charges from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, three of which could put him in prison for up to 20 years. These latest charges come several weeks after the SEC stepped up the heat on dodgy cryptocurrency and token schemes, and Centra Tech is arguably the highest-profile scheme so far with star-studded endorsements (DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather among them). Regulators want to be clear that they have just as much authority over digital securities as the conventional kind, and stiff charges like these theoretically warn other fraudsters who might think the internet is a ‘safe’ place for their crimes. Via: TechCrunch Source: SEC, Justice Department Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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GSMA puts eSIM work 'on hold' due to US collusion investigation
Apr21

GSMA puts eSIM work 'on hold' due to US collusion investigation

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. Don’t expect to see embedded SIM technology in your phone any time soon. The GSMA, which oversees key cellular standards, has placed eSIM spec work “on hold” while the US Department of Justice investigates the possibility of collusion between AT&T, Verizon and the GSMA to stifle the card-free technology. The GSMA didn’t offer an explanation of why it was pausing development, and instead stressed that American eSIM users would need to “explicitly consent” to a carrier-locked eSIM (such buying a phone on contract). All three parties have so far said they’re cooperating with the Justice Department, although Verizon previously tried to downplay it by saying it was “much ado about nothing” and just a “difference of opinion” with unnamed phone equipment makers. The technology replaces the usual card with a chip that uses software to associate you with a given service provider. On top of freeing up room inside devices (crucial for wearables like the Apple Watch or Gear S3), it makes it much easier to switch carriers — you could sign up for a new network without even talking to another human being. And it’s that last part that reportedly has the companies scared. Many networks thrive on cultivating loyalty, whether it’s by locking you in through payment plans or just requiring that you stay in touch. If you could use an eSIM to leave in a heartbeat, carriers might lose a lot of that loyalty and would have to compete more aggressively for your business. Via: Reuters Source: GSMA Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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Recommended Reading: Tesla and Waymo's self-driving data quests
Apr21

Recommended Reading: Tesla and Waymo's self-driving data quests

Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter. How Tesla and Waymo are tackling a major problem for self-driving cars: Data Sean O’Kane, The Verge In order for cars to drive themselves, the vehicles and their systems require loads of data. And gathering those details are one of the main goals for companies developing the autonomous cars that will eventually take us to the office. The Verge takes a look at how two of the main players in the self-driving space — Tesla and Waymo — are gathering gobs of data in very different ways. Facebook didn’t seem to care I was being sexually harassed until I decided to write about it Jesselyn Cook, HuffPost There were a few stories about issues with Facebook’s reporting tools this week, but this one from a reporter at HuffPost is by far the most eye-opening. Neopets was run by Scientologists Sarah Bellman, The Outline You may recall the Neopets hype in the early 2000s, but what you might not know is that the company, as The Outline describes it, “employed business practices directly connected to the Church of Scientology.” Share on Facebook.Share on Twitter.Share on Google+Share on StumbleUponShare on Twitter.Follow @DailyTechWhip Source: Engadget - Read the full article...

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