Google's Loon brings internet-by-balloon to Kenya

BBC TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:28
The network of balloons travels by predicting the speed and direction of winds in the stratosphere.

Computer crime drops by a third in England and Wales

SKY TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:25
Computer crime in England and Wales has dropped by 31% over the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

EU regulators charge Qualcomm with additional violation in pricing case

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 14:02
EU antitrust regulators on Thursday charged Qualcomm with a new violation in a case where the U.S. chipmaker has been accused of selling chipsets below cost to drive out Nvidia Corp unit and British phone software maker Icera.

World's first artificial meteor shower to light sky in 2020

SKY TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:45
A Japanese company which claims it can produce shooting stars on demand has said it will create the world's first artificial meteor shower in 2020.

PUBG game apologises for 'offensive mask'

BBC TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 13:21
The makers of a popular online game apologise after an in-game item upsets some Korean fans.

Zuckerberg in Holocaust denial row

BBC TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 12:44
The Facebook founder's assertion that Holocaust deniers should be given a voice has outraged many.

Switzerland seeks to regain cryptocurrency crown

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 12:16
Swiss regulators are stepping up efforts to halt an exodus of cryptocurrency projects from the country, after two of only a handful of banks active in the nascent sector shut their doors on it in the last year.

Doctors Can Prevent More Amputations With Limb Saving Surgery

VOA TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 12:00
For more than 30 years, doctors have worked to save people's arms and legs. VOA's Carol Pearson reports, saving a limb after an accident or infection can take an entire team of specialists at a limb preservation center.

SoftBank's Son says Japan is 'stupid' to disallow ride-sharing

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 11:28
SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son blasted Japan on Thursday for not allowing ride-sharing services, calling it "stupid" and saying the country was lagging overseas rivals in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Why hoverboards may be wheelchairs of the future

SKY TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 11:09
Although there are over one million wheelchair users in the UK, a lack of modern designs means more than half are unable to work.

Facebook to Remove ‘Fake News’ That Leads to Violence

VOA TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 11:00
Facebook says it will begin removing false information from its site that could lead to violence. “There are certain forms of misinformation that have contributed to physical harm” in certain countries, the U.S. social media giant said in a statement Wednesday announcing the policy. The company says it will work with local organizations to identify such information, including written posts and doctored photos. Facebook has been accused for allowing users to spread hate speech and false information that has led to recent violence in Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India. Sri Lanka imposed a state of emergency in March after false news posted on Facebook led to deadly attacks on the country’s minority Muslim population by Buddhist mobs. The California-based company was thrust into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign through the spread of misinformation among voters. It was revealed last September that Russians, using fake names, used social media to try to influence voters ahead of the election. Facebook founder and chief operating officer Mark Zuckerberg sparked criticism Wednesday when he tried to explain the difference between misinformation and offensive speech.  In an interview published by the technology news site Recode, Zuckerberg said he would not ban people who deny the Holocaust, the mass genocide of 6 million European Jews carried out by Nazi Germany.

Report: Asia-Pacific Factories Lead in Using Digital Technology

VOA TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 10:20
She may not be the warmest waitress, but she serves a nice, hot cup of “Joe” at a café on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. Though this robotic barista is still getting help from her human counterpart, she is a signal that Asia is ahead of the curve in embracing new technologies ahead of the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. A recent report from PwC Global, a professional services firm, studied 1,155 manufacturing businesses based on how much they were embracing and incorporating innovations in technology, from drones to 3-D printing. Across the board, companies in the Asia-Pacific region scored higher than their counterparts elsewhere in the world. In Thailand, for instance, manufacturing companies have widely adopted new technologies to transform their operations. “Many are using robots to assemble products at their factories to rely less on human labor, reduce costs, and boost overall efficiency,” said Vilaiporn Taweelappontong, consulting lead partner at PwC Thailand. ​ASEAN catches up The report graded firms based on questions about the kinds of tools they were introducing into their workplaces. For example, manufacturers were asked if they made use of virtual reality; 44 percent in the Asia Pacific said they did compared with 34 percent in the United States and 19 percent in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The regional group Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reports that small and medium enterprises are using new technology to catch up to bigger rivals. “Digitization is enabling SMEs across ASEAN to participate in cross-border trade, allowing them to grow and scale their businesses while reducing costs,” said Bidhan Roy, a general manager at Cisco Systems Pte Ltd. ​Benefits of youth Observers say the Asia-Pacific region benefits from its youth. The relatively young population means people are amenable to different work environments and business operations, as well as having a keen interest in using new technology. Another advantage? The region’s economies are also somewhat young, with many just opening up to global trade in the last two decades. In addition its underdeveloped infrastructure has the ability to adapt for future needs, like public transit or drone deliveries. “Asian companies have the advantage of setting up robust digital operations from essentially a blank slate in terms of factory automation, workforce, and even organizational IT [information technology] networks as a whole,” the PwC report said. Baby steps But more is needed to make these companies successful. Cisco Systems’ Roy noted that small and medium firms “are at varying stages of maturity in terms of digital adoption” and could use collaboration with governments and corporations. PwC Thailand’s Vilaiporn agreed on the benefit of collaboration. “Thailand 4.0 will only be successful if both the government and private sectors understand their roles in fostering investment and focusing on research and development, as well as equipping the workforce with necessary skill sets and capabilities,” he said. The “4.0” refers to the latest industrial revolution, which goes beyond mechanization and automation. It entails business processes becoming more efficient through a comprehensive application of technology, from smart devices to machine learning.

Zuckerberg: Facebook will not ban Holocaust denial

SKY TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 10:03
Holocaust denial should not be banned on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has said.

Alphabet to deploy balloon Internet in Kenya with Telkom in 2019

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 09:38
Alphabet Inc's Loon said on Thursday it would deploy its system of balloons to beam high-speed Internet access with Telkom Kenya from next year to cover rural and suburban populations, marking its first commercial deal in Africa.

Amazon hands goodwill to eBay with move to shut Australians out of overseas sites

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 07:52
Australian home entertainment installer Paul Boon has relied for years on Inc's U.S. website for cheap wall racks and other parts to keep his costs down.

SoftBank's Son says Japan is 'stupid' for not allowing ride-sharing

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 07:38
SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son slammed on Thursday the Japanese government's ride-sharing ban and said the country had fallen behind overseas rivals in areas such as artificial intelligence and fintech.

Vaping and nicotine linked to cot death

SKY TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 05:18
Using e-cigarettes or nicotine patches during pregnancy could increase the risk of cot death in newborns, an early study has found.

Speakers, TVs, Kleenex in demand on Amazon Prime Day

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 05:06
Online shoppers purchased more than 100 million products worldwide during Inc's annual Prime Day sale this week, despite glitches on its mobile app and websites that prevented several customers from placing orders.

Bezos’ Blue Origin Sends Spacecraft Higher Than Ever

VOA TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 03:54
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket company shot a capsule higher into space Wednesday than it’s ever done before. The New Shepard rocket blasted off from West Texas on the company’s latest test flight. Once the booster separated, the capsule’s escape motor fired, lifting the spacecraft to an altitude of 389,846 feet. That’s 74 miles or 119 kilometers. It’s part of a safety system intended to save lives once space tourists and others climb aboard for suborbital hops. Wednesday’s passenger was Mannequin Skywalker, an instrumented dummy in a blue flight suit that’s flown before, plus science experiments. The booster and capsule, both repeat fliers, landed successfully. It was the ninth test flight and lasted 11 minutes. “Crew Capsule looks great even after it was pushed hard by the escape test. Astronauts would have had an exhilarating ride and safe landing,” Bezos said in a tweet. “Great engineering and the lucky boots worked again.” Blue Origin has yet to announce when it will start selling tickets or how much flights will cost. Launch commentator Ariane Cornell promised it would be soon. “It’s coming,” she said. Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, aims to send people and payloads into orbit from Cape Canaveral. Those missions will rely on the bigger, more powerful New Glenn rocket still under development. He’s named his rockets after NASA’s original Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard, the first American in space, and John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth.

Kitty Hawk Flyer: 'A big drone that a human can fit in'

BBC TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 02:55
A look inside the Kitty Hawk Flyer, a new flying car from the firm backed by Google's Larry Page.

EU order against Google opens new doors for mobile industry

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 01:56
A European Union antitrust judgment against Google on Wednesday invites more competition from software developers including Microsoft Corp , Inc and Samsung Electronics Co , but still leaves them at an disadvantage, industry executives and analysts told Reuters.

Fortnite: Schools 'could learn lessons from gaming'

BBC TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 01:33
Should teachers in Wales adopt some of the techniques from gaming to make lessons more engaging?

Different world

BBC TECH - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 01:28
This is how people did their jobs before having all the answers at the tips of their fingers.

IBM gets boost from new businesses, tops estimates

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 00:51
International Business Machines Corp on Wednesday reported second-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts' expectations as it benefited from growth in higher-margin businesses including cybersecurity and cloud computing.

EBay revenue misses as weak U.S. sporting season hits StubHub

TECHNEWS - Thu, 07/19/2018 - 00:45
EBay Inc missed analysts' estimates for second-quarter revenue on Wednesday, as its online ticket marketplace StubHub had a disappointing quarter, leading the e-commerce website to forecast underwhelming third-quarter results.

Microsoft's focus on cloud, partnerships paying off

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 23:38
In the elevator industry, breakdowns are bad for business.

EBay's third-quarter forecast misses estimates

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:53
EBay Inc forecast third-quarter profit below analysts' estimates on Wednesday as efforts to revamp its e-commerce platforms failed to impress investors.

British Airways says Heathrow flights hit by computer problems

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:38
British Airways canceled and delayed flights at London's Heathrow, Europe's biggest airport, on Wednesday due to problems with a supplier's IT systems, the airline said.

Europe hits Google with record $5 billion antitrust fine, appeal ahead

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:35
European antitrust regulators fined Google a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) on Wednesday and ordered it to stop using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals, a ruling which the U.S. tech company said it would appeal.

IBM quarterly results top estimates

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:34
International Business Machines Corp on Wednesday reported second-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts' expectations as it benefited from growth in higher-margin businesses including cybersecurity and cloud computing.

EBay second-quarter profit rises 7.7 percent

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:29
EBay Inc reported a 7.7 percent rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday, as tweaks to its websites and a focus on marketing drew more shoppers at a time when it has been trimming its workforce.

British Airways says Heathow flights hit by computer problems

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:19
British Airways canceled and delayed flights at London's Heathrow, Europe's biggest airport, on Wednesday due to problems with a supplier's IT systems, the airline said.

IBM quarterly revenue tops estimates

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 22:12
International Business Machines Corp on Wednesday reported second-quarter revenue that beat analysts' expectations as it benefited from growth in higher-margin businesses including cybersecurity and cloud computing.

British Airways says computer problems affecting operations at Heathrow

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:40
British Airways said on Wednesday that its operations at London's Heathrow, Europe's biggest airport, were disrupted because of an issue with a supplier's IT systems.

NASA could launch satellites from UK spaceports

SKY TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:37
NASA could one day launch satellites from Britain, the new space agency boss has told Sky News.

British Airways reports computer problems affecting check-in

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:23
British Airways said on Twitter on Wednesday it is experiencing some "system issues" and "online check-in is down" as some passengers reported that planes operated by the company were not taking off from London's Heathrow Airport.

Israel's Elbit on hunt for more takeovers

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 21:21
Israeli military electronics firm Elbit Systems, which has just completed two acquisitions in the United States and Israel, remains on the lookout for potential takeover targets in the United States and Europe, a top official said Wednesday.

U.S. tech enforcer says will read 'closely' EU statement on Google

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 20:25
The head of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which has investigated Alphabet's Google in the past for abuse of web dominance, said on Wednesday he would take a close look at Europe's recent decision to fine the company 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion).

Hyundai sets up showroom on Amazon

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 20:10
Hyundai Motor Co said on Wednesday it will set up a showroom on that will help car buyers book test drives, check dealer inventories and compare pricing and reviews.

Roblox blames 'gang rape' on hacker adding code to game

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 20:05
The makers of the online children's game say a hacker uploaded malicious code to one of its servers.

Farnborough Airshow: Aston Martin unveils sports car for the skies

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 19:05
James Bond's favourite car company has plans to develop small aircraft with engine giant Rolls-Royce.

America Movil says AT&T-Time Warner deal will not change Latam market

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 18:57
The CEO of America Movil, Latin America's largest telecommunications company by subscriber numbers, said on Wednesday that AT&T Inc's acquisition of Time Warner will do little to change the telecoms landscape in the region.
Categories: TECHNOLOGY NEWS's stock market value hits $900 billion, threatens Apple

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 18:50's stock market value reached $900 billion on Wednesday for the first time, marking a major milestone in its 21-year trajectory as a publicly listed company and threatening to dislodge Apple as Wall Street's most valuable jewel.

Elon Musk Apologizes for Comments About Cave Rescue Diver

VOA TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 18:48
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has apologized for calling a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile, saying he spoke in anger but was wrong to do so. There was no immediate public reaction from diver Vern Unsworth to Musk's latest tweets. Musk's initial tweet calling Unsworth a "pedo" was a response to a TV interview Unsworth gave. In it, he said Musk and SpaceX engineers orchestrated a "PR stunt" by sending a small submarine to help divers rescue the 12 Thai soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave. Unsworth said the submarine, which wasn't used, wouldn't have worked anyway. "My words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths ..." Musk tweeted. "Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone." Musk's Sunday tweet, later deleted, had sent investors away from Tesla stock, which fell nearly 3 percent Monday but recovered 4.1 percent Tuesday. Unsworth told CNN earlier this week that he was considering legal action. He did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press. In his latest tweets, Musk said the mini-sub was "built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader." Musk has 22.3 million followers and his active social media presence has sometimes worked well for Tesla. The company has said in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it doesn't need to advertise because it gets so much free media attention. But straying away from defending his companies into personal insult brought Musk some unfavorable attention at a time when Tesla, worth more than $52 billion, is deep in debt and struggling for profitability.  In northern Thailand on Wednesday, the 12 Thai soccer players and their coach answered questions from journalists, their first meeting with the media since their rescues last week. Doctors said all are healthy.

Cute Robots Invade Smithsonian Museum

VOA TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 17:53
Known as the largest education, and research complex in the world, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC is a collection of 19 museums that house more than 140 million unique items. It’s no wonder it's been called "the nation’s attic.” But there’s a novel addition to the venerable complex -- a smart new technology that interacts with visitors. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti introduces us to the Smithsonian's newest resident.

Google committed a very serious offence says Vestager

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 17:02
The EU's competition chef explains why she believes Google deserves a record-sized fine over Android.

America Movil says still evaluating bid on Brazil's Cemig

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 17:01
America Movil, Latin America's largest telecoms firm by number of subscribers, said on Wednesday that it is still evaluating whether to participate in the sale of Brazil's Cemig Telecom.

Alibaba to buy minority stake in Focus Media to tap digital marketing

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 16:58
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Wednesday said it has agreed to acquire a minority stake in China's Focus Media Information Technology Co Ltd to tap into the digital marketing sector.

Child sexual abuse inquiry fined for data breach

SKY TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 16:38
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse has been fined after a bulk email was sent that could have identified victims of abuse.

Amazon in talks to invest in India's MedPlus: FactorDaily

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 16:17 Inc is in early talks to invest in Indian pharmacy chain MedPlus, Indian news website FactorDaily reported on Tuesday, citing sources.

Google, hit with record $5 billion EU antitrust fine, to appeal

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 16:09
EU antitrust regulators hit Google with a record 4.34 billion euro ($5 billion) fine on Wednesday for using its Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals, and Google said it would appeal.

Apple iCloud: Chinese data now managed by state-owned firm

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 15:45
Privacy advocates have warned that storing iCloud data on Chinese servers will make emails and messages vulnerable

Amazon sells more than 100 million products on Prime Day event

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 15:45 Inc said online shoppers purchased more than 100 million products worldwide during its Prime Day sale, despite glitches on its mobile app and websites that prevented customers from placing orders.

SAP sales software pitch gets high marks, execution now key

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 15:02
Germany-based SAP's late push into fast-growing sales and marketing software has won Europe's most valuable technology company plaudits from industry analysts. Now it must show it can deliver.

Abuse inquiry fined £200,000 for email data breach

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 15:01
A mass email using the "to" field instead of the "bcc" field identified possible abuse victims.

Scientists: Social isolation is vital to evolution

SKY TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:51
Reproduction has long been considered the key moment of evolution but new research suggests that social isolation can be just as vital.

EU's fine on Google is 'excellent decision': French government

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:40
The French government said on Wednesday that it welcomed the record 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion) fine imposed on Google by European Union regulators, with a government spokesman describing it as an "excellent decision".

Germany forces 1,050 Tesla owners to forgo electric car bonus

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:37
Germany's Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control said 1,050 owners of a Tesla Model S will be forced to forgo a 2,000 euro electric car subsidy because the value of their vehicles had surpassed an eligibility threshold.

After record Google fine, EU's Vestager says she likes the U.S

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:28
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she "very much liked" the United States, countering a reported remark by President Donald Trump that she "hated" the country because of her antitrust actions against U.S. firms.

After record Google fine, Vestager says she likes the U.S.

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:01
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she "very much liked the U.S." following a record-setting 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion) fine for Google for using its Android mobile operating system the thwart rivals.

Google hit with record $5 billion euro EU antitrust fine

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:36
EU regulators hit Google with a record 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion) antitrust fine on Wednesday for using its Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals.

Google says will appeal EU fine

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:21
Google said it will appeal against a record 4.34-billion-euro ($5.04 billion) fine levied by EU antitrust regulators on Wednesday over illegal restrictions on Android smartphone makers and mobile network operators.

Google hit with record $5 billion EU antitrust fine

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:19
EU regulators hit Google with a record 4.34 billion euros ($5 billion) antitrust fine on Wednesday for using its Android mobile operating system to squeeze out rivals.

Uber hires former adviser to David Cameron to lead lobbying in northern Europe

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:15
Uber Technologies has hired an ex-adviser to former British prime minister David Cameron to lead the ride-hailing firm's lobbying efforts in northern Europe, less than a month after the company won a reprieve to operate in London.

Google's antitrust cases in Europe

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:13
BRUSSELS - Alphabet unit Google was hit with a record-breaking 4.34 billion euro ($5.04 billion) fine on Wednesday, topping the 2.4 billion euros it was ordered to pay in another case last year.

EU regulators fine Google record $5 billion in Android case

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:12
EU antitrust regulators levied a record 4.34-billion-euro($5.04 billion) fine against Google on Wednesday for illegal restrictions on Android smartphone makers and mobile network operators.

EU regulators fine Google record $5 bln in Android case

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 13:01
EU antitrust regulators levied a record 4.34-billion-euro($5.04 billion) fine against Google on Wednesday for illegal restrictions on Android smartphone makers and mobile network operators.

Grab to set up artificial intelligence lab with Singapore university

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 12:31
Southeast Asia's Grab is jointly investing S$6 million ($4.4 million) with the National University of Singapore to launch an artificial intelligence (AI) laboratory to help improve the efficiency and utilization of vehicles on its platform.

3D-printed gun blueprints given go-ahead by US government

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 12:21
After a four-year battle with the US government, Defense Distributed can publish blueprints for guns.

EU to fine Google record 4.3 billion euros over Android: source

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 12:09
The European Commission will fine Google a record 4.3 billion euros ($5 billion) on Wednesday over its Android mobile operating system, a source close to the matter told Reuters.

EU to hit Google with 4.3 billion euro fine in Android case: source

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 11:34
EU antitrust regulators will on Wednesday levy a 4.3-billion-euro ($5 billion) on Google for using its dominant Android mobile operating system to block rivals, a person familiar with the matter said.

India's online ticketing portal BookMyShow raises $100 million funding

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 11:12
Bigtree Entertainment Pvt Ltd, owner of online movie and events ticketing portal BookMyShow, on Wednesday said it has raised $100 million in its latest round of funding from a group of investors.

EU expected to fine Google $5 billion over Android: Bloomberg

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 10:49
Alphabet Inc's Google is expected to be fined a record 4.3 billion euros ($5.00 billion) by the European Union over its Android system, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

EU's Vestager to hold news conference, Google decision expected

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 10:37
EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager will hold a news conference at 1100 GMT, the European Commission said on Wednesday, where she is expected to announce a record fine against Google for using its Android mobile operating system to block rivals.

Google launches game on Tencent's Wechat as it eyes China market

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 10:35
Alphabet Inc's Google said on Wednesday it has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) game on Tencent Holdings Ltd social media app WeChat, as the company continues to show tentative signs of re-entering China's consumer market.

Google slammed with £3.8bn fine by EU

SKY TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 10:28
Google has been fined £3.8bn by the EU for abusing its control of the Android operating system by forcing vendors to pre-install its apps.

12 new moons orbiting Jupiter - one may hit the others

SKY TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 10:04
Astronomers have discovered 12 new moons orbiting Jupiter, bringing the total to 79.

Elon Musk apologies to Thai cave diver for Twitter attack

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 09:15
The tech entrepreneur called a British cave diver in Thailand a "pedo guy" for mocking his mini-sub.

Cute Robots Invade the Smithsonian

VOA TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 09:09
Known as the largest education, and research complex in the world, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC is a collection of 19 museums that house more than 140 million unique items. It’s no wonder it's been called "the nation’s attic.” But there’s a novel addition to the venerable complex -- a smart new technology that interacts with visitors. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti introduces us to the Smithsonian's newest resident.

Elon Musk sorry for calling cave diver a 'paedo'

SKY TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 09:09
Elon Musk has apologised for calling a British cave diver a "paedo" on Twitter.

Uber says it has invested $500 million in Mexico since 2013

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 06:39
Uber Technologies Inc said on Tuesday that it has invested more than $500 million in Mexico since it launched there in 2013, underscoring the country's importance to the ride-hailing firm as it faces new competition.

Why is Facebook Keen on Robots? It's Just the Future of AI

VOA TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 05:45
Facebook announced several new hires of top academics in the field of artificial intelligence Tuesday, among them a roboticist known for her work at Disney making animated figures move in more human-like ways.   The hires raise a big question — why is Facebook interested in robots, anyway?   It's not as though the social media giant is suddenly interested in developing mechanical friends, although it does use robotic arms in some of its data centers. The answer is even more central to the problem of how AI systems work today.   Today, most successful AI systems have to be exposed to millions of data points labeled by humans — like, say, photos of cats — before they can learn to recognize patterns that people take for granted. Similarly, game-playing bots like Google's computerized Go master AlphaGo Zero require tens of thousands of trials to learn the best moves from their failures.   Creating systems that require less data and have more common sense is a key goal for making AI smarter in the future.   "Clearly we're missing something in terms of how humans can learn so fast," Yann LeCun, Facebook's chief AI scientist, said in a call with reporters last week. "So far the best ideas have come out of robotics."   Among the people Facebook is hiring are Jessica Hodgins , the former Disney researcher; and Abhinav Gupta, her colleague at Carnegie Mellon University who is known for using robot arms to learn how to grasp things.   Pieter Abbeel, a roboticist at University of California, Berkeley and co-founder of the robot-training company, says the robotics field has benefits and constraints that push progress in AI. For one, the real world is naturally complex, so robotic AI systems have to deal with unexpected, rare events. And real-world constraints like a lack of time and the cost of keeping machinery moving push researchers to solve difficult problems.   "Robotics forces you into many reality checks," Abbeel said. "How good are these algorithms, really?"   There are other more abstract applications of learnings from robotics, says Berkeley AI professor Ken Goldberg. Just like teaching a robot to escape from a computerized maze, other robots change their behavior depending on whether actions they took got them closer to a goal. Such systems could even be adapted to serve ads, he said — which just happens to be the mainstay of Facebook's business.   "It's not a static decision, it's a dynamic one," Goldberg said. In an interview, Hodgins expressed an interest in a wide range of robotics research, everything from building a "compelling humanoid robot" to creating a mechanical servant to "load and unload my dishwasher."   While she acknowledged the need to imbue robots with more common sense and have them learn with fewer examples, she also said her work in animation could lead to a new form of sharing — one in which AI-powered tools could help one show off a work of pottery in 3-D, for example.   "One thing I hope we'll be able to do is explore AI support for creativity," she said.   For Facebook, planting a flag in the hot field also allows it to be competitive for AI talent emerging from universities, Facebook's LeCun said.   Bart Selman, a Cornell computer science professor AI expert, said it's a good idea for Facebook to broaden its reach in AI and take on projects that might not be directly related to the company's business — something that's a little more "exciting" — the way Google did with self-driving cars, for example.   This attracts not just attention, but students, too. The broader the research agenda, the better the labs become, he said.

Fashion Firms Upend Design Routine to Focus on Speed, Trends

VOA TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 03:45
Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was a hot style in sneakers and wanted to quickly jump on the trend for dressier shoes. It put a poll up on its website asking shoppers what style they liked, and based on that had a shoe for sale online in just one week.   What web shoppers saw was a 3-D rendering — no actual shoe existed yet. Creating a traditional prototype, tweaking the design and making a sample would have taken six to nine months, and the company might have missed out on the interest in knit.   "The web attention span is short," said Betabrand CEO Chris Lindland. "So if you can develop and create in a short time, you can be a real product-development machine." Shoppers looking at the shoe online could examine the peekaboo detail or check out how the sole was put together, as they would from photos of a real product. They don't get the actual shoes instantaneously — they have to wait a few months. But the use of digital technology in designing and selling means hot trends are still getting to people far faster than under the old system.   "Retailers and brands who are embracing this are going to be winners of the future," said David Bassuk, managing director of consulting group AlixPartners. "This is flipping the business model on its head."   It's a big cultural change for clothing makers. For decades, the process meant designers sketched ideas on paper, a design got approved, and the sketches went to a factory that created prototypes. Designers and product developers made tweaks and sent prototypes back and forth. Once a final version was approved, it was sent to the factory to be copied for mass production. Getting something from design to a store could take at least a year. Now, some companies have designers sketching on high-resolution tablets with software that can email 3-D renderings of garments with specifications straight to factories, as better technology makes the images look real and the pressure to get shoppers new products swiftly intensifies. The goal is to reduce to six months or less the time it takes to get to store shelves.   Even chains like H&M, which once set the standard for speed by flying in frequent small batches, are realizing that's not fast enough. H&M, which has seen sales slow, is starting to digitize certain areas of its manufacturing process.   For clothing makers and retailers, the shift means design decisions can happen closer to when the fashions actually hit the shelves or website. That means less guessing so stores aren't stuck with piles of unsold clothes that need to be discounted.   The 3-D technology is used in just 2 percent of the overall supply networks, estimates Spencer Fung, group CEO of Li & Fung, which consults with more than 8,000 retailers including Betabrand and 15,000 suppliers globally. But he believes that will change as retailers begin prioritizing speed and realize that cutting down on design time and prototypes saves money.   "You can actually essentially create an entire collection before you even cut one garment," said Whitney Cathcart, CEO of the Cathcart Technologies consulting firm. "So it reduces waste, it reduces lead times, it allows decision making in real time, so the entire process becomes more efficient."   Fung imagines a scenario where a social media post with a celebrity in a red dress gets 500,000 "likes." An alert goes to a retailer that this item is trending. Within hours, a digital sample of a similar dress is on its website. A factory can start to produce the dress in days.   "Consumers see it and they want it now," says Michael Londrigan of fashion college LIM in New York. "How do you bring it to market so you don't miss those dollars?"   Nicki Rector of the Sonoma Valley area in California bought a pair of Betabrand's Western-style boots last summer based on the 3-D rendering.   "It looked real," said Rector, who examined the images of the heel and the insoles. She didn't worry about buying off a digital image, reasoning that if you're buying online you can't really know how something's going to fit until you put it on your feet. She said knowing it was designed from customer input also helped make the wait OK.   Betabrand has sold 40,000 pairs of shoes priced from $128 to $168 over the past year, all from digital renderings, and plans to add 15 to 20 such projects this year. At a Levi Strauss & Co. research and development facility in San Francisco, designers use programs that offer the look of a finished garment and let them make changes like adding pockets quickly, rather than requiring a new prototype. When they're set, they can send a file to the factory for mass production. Using digital samples can shorten the design time to one week or less from an eight-week timeframe, Levi's says.   Few companies are yet selling directly to shoppers off digital renderings like Betabrand, and are instead showing them to store buyers or to factories rather than using traditional samples.   Xcel Brands uses them for its own brand of women's tops and for the company's Judith Ripka jewelry line. The company, which also makes clothes for Isaac Mizrahi and Halston, will start using them for other brands within the year. CEO Robert D'Loren hopes to start putting 3-D samples on its website next year.   Tommy Hilfiger has an interactive touchscreen table where buyers can view every item in the collection and create custom orders. And Deckers Brands, the maker of Ugg boots, is using digital renderings of the classic boot in 10 colors, eliminating the need for 10 prototypes for store buyers. That helps reduce cost and increases speed.   Using digital designs also mean the exact specifications for different Levi's design finishes can be uploaded to a machine that uses lasers to scrape away at jeans. No need to teach employees how to execute a designer's vision, in a minute and a half the lasers have given the jeans the exact weathered look that took workers wielding pumice stones twenty minutes to half an hour.   "Thirty years ago, jeans were only available in three shades — rinse, stonewash and bleach," said Bart Sights, head of the Levi's Eureka lab. "Our company now designs 1,000 finishes per season." Such a long lead time "pushes production and creation too far away." Levi's latest technology alleviates this issue, he said.

America Movil's second-quarter net profit plummets on currency losses

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:57
Mexico's America Movil, the largest telecommunications firm in Latin America by number of subscribers, saw its net profit slide 94 percent in the second quarter, hammered by currency-related swings.

'Netflix effect' poses challenge to British TV

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:38
Video streaming services now have more subscribers than traditional pay TV services in the UK.

Google braced for giant Android fine from EU

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:36
The European Commission has claimed Android unfairly extended Google's dominance of search.

TV streaming services overtake pay-TV in Britain: Ofcom

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:27
The number of Britons subscribing to TV services like Netflix, Amazon and Sky's NOW TV, has overtaken traditional satellite and cable TV for the first time, media regulator Ofcom said on Wednesday.

Business booming for giant cargo planes

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:17
$7tn of goods travel by air every year. Much of it goes in the hold of normal airliners. But for those big, awkward loads, something rather larger is required.

Driving ambition

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:10
A student racing car competition wants to tackle a global shortage of recruits into engineering.

Rose gold rising

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:07
Rose gold clothes, shoes, furniture, cars, weddings - why is this colour still so popular?

Formula 1: The tech driving the races

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 01:00
BBC Click gets exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the technology behind F1.

Biggest losers: Who shed followers in the Twitter detox?

BBC TECH - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:48
Twitter has started deleting locked accounts, leaving several celebrities with much fewer followers.

America Movil net profit plummets in second quarter

TECHNEWS - Wed, 07/18/2018 - 00:06
America Movil, Latin America's largest telecommunications firm by number of subscribers, reported second-quarter net profit of 818 million pesos ($41.2 million), down 94.3 percent from the same period last year.

Twitter Suspended 58M Accounts in Last Quarter of '17, AP Says

VOA TECH - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 23:46
Twitter suspended at least 58 million user accounts in the final three months of 2017, according to data obtained by The Associated Press. The figure highlights the company's newly aggressive stance against malicious or suspicious accounts in the wake of Russian disinformation efforts during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. Last week, Twitter confirmed a Washington Post report that it had suspended 70 million accounts in May and June. The huge number of suspensions raises questions as to whether the crackdown could affect Twitter's user growth and whether the company should have warned investors earlier. The company has been struggling with user growth compared with rivals like Instagram and Facebook. The number of suspended accounts originated with Twitter's "firehose,'' a data stream it makes available to academics, companies and others willing to pay for it. The new figure sheds light on Twitter's attempt to improve "information quality'' on its service, its term for countering fake accounts, bots, disinformation and other malicious occurrences. Such activity was rampant on Twitter and other social media networks during the 2016 campaign, much of it originating with the Internet Research Agency, a since-shuttered Russian "troll farm'' implicated in election disruption efforts by the U.S. special counsel and congressional investigations. Twitter declined to comment on the data. But its executives have said that efforts to clean up the platform are a priority, while acknowledging that its crackdown has affected and may continue to affect user numbers. Twitter has 336 million monthly active users, which it defines as accounts that have logged in at least once during the previous 30 days. The suspensions do not appear to have made a large dent in this number. Twitter maintains that most of the suspended accounts had been dormant for at least a month, and thus weren't included in its active user numbers. Following the Post report, which caused Twitter's stock to drop sharply, Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal took to Twitter to reassure investors that this number didn't count in the company's user metrics. "If we removed 70M accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us,'' he tweeted last Monday. Shares recovered somewhat after that tweet. The stock has largely been on an upswing lately, and more than doubled its value in the past year. Twitter is taking other steps besides account deletions to combat misuse of its service, working to rein in hate and abuse even as it tries to stay true to its roots as a bastion of free expression. Last fall, it vowed to crack down on hate speech and sexual harassment, and CEO Jack Dorsey echoed the concerns of critics who said the company hadn't done enough to curb such abuse.

The app changing the dating scene for India's disabled people

BBC TECH - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 23:41
The BBC's Ayeshea Perera meets the makers of an app seeking to improve opportunities to socialise.

Silver Snipers: The geriatric gamers on a mission

BBC TECH - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 23:34
A group of five elderly Swedish gamers has stormed an online battlefield.

Toshiba may face renewed shareholder accounting claims: U.S. appeals court

TECHNEWS - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 22:50
A U.S. appeals court gave investors in Toshiba Corp's U.S.-listed securities another chance to show they suffered losses because the Japanese industrial conglomerate misled them about its internal controls before a 2015 accounting scandal.

Social media companies defend filtering practices before Congress

TECHNEWS - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 19:21
Facebook Inc , Alphabet Inc and Twitter Inc told a U.S. House panel on Tuesday that the social media companies are not discriminating against content for political reasons.

Egypt Targets Social Media With New Law

VOA TECH - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 18:27
Egypt’s parliament has passed a law giving the state powers to block social media accounts and penalize journalists held to be publishing fake news. Under the law passed on Monday social media accounts and blogs with more than 5,000 followers on sites such as Twitter and Facebook will be treated as media outlets, which makes them subject to prosecution for publishing false news or incitement to break the law. The Supreme Council for the Administration of the Media, headed by an official appointed by President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, will supervise the law and take action against violations. The bill prohibits the establishment of websites without obtaining a license from the Supreme Council and allows it to suspend or block existing websites, or impose fines on editors. The law, which takes effect after it is ratified by Sissi, also states that journalists can only film in places that are not prohibited, but does not explain further. Supporters of Sissi say the law is intended to safeguard freedom of expression and it was approved after consultations with judicial experts and journalists. But critics say it will give legal basis to measures the government has been taking to crack down on dissent and extend its control over social media. Sherif Mansour, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, said the vague wording of the law allows authorities to interpret violations and control the media. “That power of interpretation has been a constant powerful legal and executive tool that was used to justify excessive aggressive and exceptional measures to go after journalists,” he told Reuters. Hundreds of news sites and blogs have been blocked in recent months and around a dozen people have been arrested this year and charged with publishing false news, many of them journalists or prominent government critics.  

EU's Vestager to brief Google CEO ahead of record Android fine: source

TECHNEWS - Tue, 07/17/2018 - 18:24
EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager will brief Google CEO Sundar Pichai by telephone later on Tuesday on her ruling on the company's Android mobile operating system, a person familiar with the matter said.