NASA prepares (yet again) to launch weather satellites from the belly of a plane
NASA's CYGNSS mission, an initiative to send eight small satellites into space on a Pegasus XL rocket, is slated for another takeoff this morning. The launch was originally set for Monday but was...
Japanese ad shows off speed of Apple Pay | Cult of Mac
Apple's latest Japanese ad aims to show just how speedy Apple Pay is -- particularly when it comes to getting you home on time.
California tells Uber to get a permit for its self-driving cars
It turns out that the San Francisco test isn't strictly legal.
Sony's new high-end wireless PS4 headset coming on January 17
Naughty Dog will release an 'Uncharted 4' patch that supports the model's 3D audio tech.
'Doctor Who' Christmas special trailer features a superhero and aliens in NYC
The Tardis lands in New York where the Doctor will battle aliens alongside a masked vigilante in the "Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Return of Doctor Mysterio," airing Christmas Day.
Facebook Messenger’s artsy new camera turns any text into filters
What's better than a few geofilters? A billion algorithmically generated filters. That's Facebook Messenger's strategy to steal the visual communication crown..
Download now: Super Mario Run now available for iPhone, iPad
The iconic Nintendo character has popped out of a warp tunnel and found himself in the App Store.
Facebook Messenger gets a new camera with special effects
Facebook definitely isn't depending solely on Instagram to take on Snapchat . It's introducing an upgraded camera in Facebook Messenger that promises to not only be simpler, but help you spruce up your shots with Snapchat-style effects. The camera is quicker to access wherever you are in the messaging app, and shooting video is just a matter of holding down the conspicuously-placed shutter button. And the effects? You can now add 3D masks and special effects, such as turning yourself into a holiday-appropriate reindeer or adding a prop. There's also a new picker that helps you find "thousands" of art objects and effects.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to step down after Trump’s inauguration
“Serving as FCC Chairman during this period of historic technological change has been the greatest honor of my professional life. I am deeply grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity. I am especially thankful to the talented Commission staff for their service and sacrifice during my tenure. Their achievements have contributed to a thriving communications sector, where robust investment and world-leading innovation continue to drive our economy and meaningful improvements in the lives of the American people. It has been a privilege to work with my fellow Commissioners to help protect consumers, strengthen public safety and cybersecurity, and ensure fast, fair and open networks for all Americans.”
Many Americans Believe Fake News Is Sowing Confusion
While fake news became an issue during the highly charged 2016 presidential election campaign, Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to say that these stories leave Americans deeply confused about current events. About six-in-ten Republicans say completely made-up news causes a great deal of confusion (57%), and about the same portion of Democrats say the same (64%). And although independents outpace Republicans (69% say fake news causes a great deal of confusion), they are on par with Democrats. This perception is also mostly consistent across education, race, gender and age, though there is some difference by income. While a majority of those who make less than $30,000 a year say fake news causes a great deal of confusion (58%), this is a lower proportion than among those who make between $30,000 and $75,000 (65%) and those who make $75,000 or more (73%).
‘Super Mario Run’ is Here—and Shigeru Miyamoto Told Us 7 Surprising Things About It
Although this is the first Super Mario game in which the hero runs automatically, it’s not a new idea. “On Wii, we experimented specifically with a game where you only press the A button on the Wii Remote to make Mario jump,” Miyamoto says. It didn’t go anywhere, he says, because it wasn’t suited to the console. “We felt, well, we have a plus-control pad, and we have an analog stick, we don’t need to just force people to play with only one button,” he says. “Also, we looked at taking that idea and applying it in a rhythm-style music game where you try to have Mario jump in rhythm. We felt that, yeah, this could make a fun game, but there’s not really a need for it to be a Mario game.”
Instagram hits 600 million users as its growth speeds up
Instagram's growth isn't slowing down just because it reached the half-billion user mark ... if anything, it's gathering steam. The image-centric social network reports that it now has over 600 million users, the last 100 million of which joined in the past 6 months. To put it another way, Instagram's growth is accelerating -- when it reported the 500 million figure, it had taken 9 months to garner the last 100 million. But what's creating this momentum?
Florida appeals court orders man to surrender iPhone passcode
A Florida man accused of voyeurism can be forced to share the passcode of his iPhone 5, the state's Second District Court of Appeals ruled this week, potentially challenging established interpretations of the Fifth Amendment.
The suspect, Aaron Stahl, originally gave verbal consent for police to search his iPhone for photos, but withdrew it before sharing his passcode, Courthouse News said. Police obtained a warrant for the phone, but were still unable to access its contents —since iOS 8, the encryption on iPhones makes it virtually impossible to extract data without a passcode or Touch ID, especially since a device can be set to auto-erase after 10 failed passcode attempts.
In some other U.S. cases police have been able to compel people to supply a Touch ID unlock, but the iPhone 5 lacks the appropriate sensor, and regardless there's only a limited window in which iOS will accept Touch ID input without re-entering a passcode.
A trial judge initially denied a state motion that would force Stahl to surrender his passcode, saying it would violate Fifth Amendment protections against self-incriminating testimony.
Patent suggests Nintendo Switch could be getting a VR headset
Though the patents were only published on December 15, they were filed all the way back in June so it’s likely that if these features are to be included, the decision has already been made. As with all patents, though, just because it’s been granted doesn’t mean there’s any guarantee that we’ll ever see this headset appear as a real Switch accessory.
Self-driving cars are prone to hacks — and automakers are barely talking about it
But it also depends on when an attack occurs. For example, a
self-driving car at night might be programmed to rely more on its
lidar system since the cameras can't see as well in the dark,
Petit said. If a hacker were to then spoof the lidar, it doesn't
have as much data to fall back on, and it could put the car and
its passengers in a dangerous situation.
9 Preview app tips every Mac owner should know
The Preview app ought to have a better opinion of itself. This stock Mac app goes around calling itself "Preview" when it can do so much more than just preview files. To help Preview form a more positive view of itself and help you get the most out of the app, I present 9 things Preview can do beyond showing you previews of files.
The 2017 movies we're geeking out for
Among the superheroes and sequels (and superhero sequels) a host of sci-fi, fantasy, animated and action treats are heading for the big screen.
Hey IoT devs: Deadline is looming for that Bluetooth innovation award
“Last year’s winners – an advanced Bluetooth beacon used to improve food safety and a smart flood sensor designed to alleviate natural disaster fallouts – prove that the power of Bluetooth is only limited by the imagination. The applications we’ve received so far this year demonstrate the amazing scope of the tech, highlighting the technology’s ability to inspire creators to build the next generation of technology that will transform our day-to-day lives,” said Katy Scheck, Director of Marketing, Bluetooth SIG.
The Top Holiday Gift Ideas and Gift Guide for Mac Lovers
It’s the holiday season and you’re bound to know someone who is a longtime Mac fanatic. That’s why it’s a good idea to read through this year’s iPhoneHacks Mac holiday gift guide. These are our top picks for the best Mac, MacBook cases, and accessories. They should make great gifts this year (some are even stocking stuffers) and there is something for every budget.
Verizon reportedly looking for way out of bid to buy Yahoo
After it was revealed over 1 billion Yahoo accounts were hacked in 2013, the wireless carrier is reportedly looking for a lower price -- or even a way out.
California mandates energy-efficiency standards for computers
Implementing the new standards would, for example, add $10 to $14 to the cost of a desktop computer at first but will save consumers more than $40 to $55 in electricity bills over five years, the commission said. The standards would add an extra $1 to the cost of a laptop, $5 to the cost of a monitor and $13 to workstations and small-scale server costs, though the corresponding savings on electricity are said to be proportionately higher.
The world of wearables as we know it is changing. Not so long ago it was revealed that Fitbit will be acquiring Pebble for the sum of $40 million, while obliterating future Pebble products expected a debut on the market in 2017.
WordPress blogs now support 360-degree videos in virtual reality
On mobile, the experience is somewhere in between the two. WordPress will be able to tap into your phone or tablet’s gyroscope so that the photo or video will respond to how you move the device around. If the phone is inside something like a Cardboard VR viewer, then it’d essentially be the same experience as on a real VR headset; and even if you’re just holding it in the air, it’ll still be more natural than clicking and dragging around.
Airbnb Now Offers “Social Impact Experiences.” How Much Good Will They Do?
If Airbnb’s social impact experience scales anything like its lodging service, can we be assured it will be a force for unequivocal good? Currently, says Airbnb’s Rubey, any would-be host for the social impact program must prove that it's a registered nonprofit, per the laws of the country in which it operates. She adds that where possible, Airbnb will "cross-reference those nonprofit partners with an independent third-party vetting service." Rubey is aware of concerns surrounding orphanage volunteering and explains, "We’re not exploring opportunities with orphanages at this time." She says that for now, most NGO’s on the Airbnb platform don't ask for much in the way of volunteering at all. Rather, "they see this as more of a way to educate and showcase their work. They use it more more as a marketing opportunity."
Instagram has doubled its monthly active user base in two years
It appears that the rise of Snapchat and all its Spectacles fun have yet to slow Instagram’s growth: the Facebook-owned company today announced that it has reached 600 million monthly active users, doubling its figure from 2014.
Here are the 10 best video games of 2016
We only list 10 titles here as our picks for the best video games of the year, but really, every fan of games won in 2016. This was a hard list to create, but here are some of our favorites.
Giving The Gift Of VR This Holiday Season? Here's Everything You Need To Know
So Vive has an edge in terms of out-of-the-box VR power (which Rift owners can match with additional investment in hardware). On the other hand, the Rift is easier to use and has a more refined design. Either way, both systems offer experiences that can be breathtaking in a way that lower-end systems simply aren’t. If the price tag doesn't scare you, you can be pretty confident about springing for either model. When you strap on a Vive or a Rift with Touch, you are playing with the best consumer VR on the market today. It’s unlikely any competitors will succeed in one-upping the Vive or Rift in the coming year.
Donald J. Trump on Twitter
Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!
Uber ordered to stop self-driving vehicle service in San Francisco
That means it’s only been less than one day since Uber started its test, had its first documented incident with the vehicles and was ordered by the state to stop what it was doing. This definitely looks more like the risk-happy Uber of the early days that often acted in contravention of local regulators to achieve its business goals.
How to Start Posting Snaps on Snapchat App for iPhone
But you can change styles by tapping the “T” icon again. This will first switch to a freestyle bold text type that’s left aligned. Tap the “T” icon again to make it center aligned. These two styles are freeform. You can pinch and zoom to make them bigger/smaller and move it around, wherever you want. When using the last two styles, you’ll also see a color picker on the top-right. Swipe over the spectrum to change the color of the text.
ICYMI: Hairy robots are better than smooth
Today on In Case You Missed It: Roboticists from China created an artificial skin for robots that simulate hair with glass-shrouded microwires. A gripper hand with the 'hair' on it's skin was able to feel when an object was slipping because of the hair, then adjust its grip. Lets just hope they keep the full Teenwolf under control. The helium-filled balloon bot designed for search and inspection jobs is here.
Yahoo's billion account breach: 5 things you should do to stay safe
If you made the mistake of using your Yahoo password elsewhere and haven’t changed it yet, you should do so immediately and review the security settings of those accounts too. It’s very likely that hackers have already cracked your password and had three years to abuse it.
How to Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows XP
Times were simpler in 2001. Amazon had just turned its first profit, Google was still just doing search, and Windows had a new bright green Start button you could spot from the other side of a room. If you want to coat your modern Windows OS with some vintage XP design cues, here’s how to do it.
Amazon Prime Air makes its first drone delivery | ZDNet
Prime Air's beta trial has so far only made deliveries to two customers, though Amazon said it plans to extend the trial in the coming months to "dozens" of people who live within several miles of the Amazon UK facility equipped with drones. Amazon is only permitted to operate its drones during daylight hours when there's low wind and good visibility. It plans to use the trial to improve the safety and reliability of its systems and operations.
macOS Sierra 10.12.2 Removes 'Time Remaining' Battery Life Indicator
macOS Sierra 10.12.2, released this morning ('//www.macrumors.com/2016/12/13/apple-releases-macos-sierra-10-12-2/'), features several key bug fixes and addresses an issue that has plagued some customers who purchased a new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar - battery life ('//www.macrumors.com/2016/12/03/macbook-pro-battery-life-concerns/').
Apple believes that the battery life indicator in macOS Sierra is ultimately inaccurate and has led to some confusion about battery performance, and so it has been removed in macOS Sierra 10.12.2.
A legal team led by Verizon General Counsel Craig Silliman is assessing the damage from the breaches and is working toward either killing the deal or renegotiating the Yahoo purchase at a lower price, the person said. One of the major objectives for Verizon is negotiating a separation from any future legal fallout from the breaches. Verizon is seeking to have Yahoo assume any lasting responsibility for the hack damage, the person said.
Verizon could kill its $4.8 billion deal with Yahoo
After Wednesday's announcement that 1 billion Yahoo account credentials had been stolen as far back as 2013, Verizon is reportedly considering scrapping the deal entirely.
ASUS' ROG Strix GL502VS is a mid-range (and VR-ready) gaming laptop
That's right, we're living in a new era of gaming laptops -- an age when any machine worth its salt will bear a "VR Ready" sticker. The Strix is the first of this breed to land on Engadget's review desk. With a score of 6,135 in VRMark's "Orange Room" benchmark (and 1,640 in the more intensive "Blue Room" experience), the GL502VS is indeed a VR-capable gaming PC. It can run pretty much everything available in today's consumer virtual reality market. It can't, however, play all those VR games at their highest fidelity.
This is the future of the fight against cancer
You may be wondering what a cancer-centric post is doing on a tech blog. While you’re right to be skeptical, the truth is that tech titans are the unsung heroes needed to treat and prevent the world’s deadliest diseases.
Should Microsoft be your AI and machine learning platform? | ZDNet
Helping simplify the process for firms building their own machine learning model is Azure Machine Learning . Launched in 2014, this managed data science platform provides many of the components needed to build machine learning models. The bundled Azure Machine Learning Studio offers a graphical tool that lets users link together pre-built modules that handle each stage of training for machine-learning models. Users can drag and drop modules that link to datasets, pre-process data, run machine-learning algorithms and refine machine learning models. The platform allows users to build their own modules written in R or Python code. Once trained, models can be published as web services, which can be linked to by applications and respond to requests on-demand or during batch processing.
Jobs · Senior Backend Developer
Razorpay is an online payment gateway which allows Indian businesses to collect payments online through credit card, debit card, netbanking and popular wallets including Mobikwik, PayUmoney, FreeCharge, Airtel Money, Ola Money and PayZapp.
The top 30 gadgets of 2016
From the retro gaming delights of Super Mario Bros to virtual reality, home-bots and hybrid cars, here is this year’s must-have technology
The state of privacy in post-Snowden America
10 Many technology experts predict that few individuals will have the energy or resources to protect themselves from “dataveillance” in the coming years and that privacy protection will likely become a luxury good. Another prediction from 2,511 experts we canvassed was that the prospect of achieving bygone notions of privacy will become more remote as the Internet of Things takes hold and people’s homes, workplaces and the objects around them will “tattle” on them. A more hopeful theme about privacy’s future was sounded by experts who argued that new technology tools would become available that would give consumers power to negotiate on equal footing with corporations about information sharing and also allow them to work around governments trying to collect data.
Group Test: All-In-One desktop systems - Video | ZDNet
We examine contenders from the top five PC vendors.
Get your startup’s HR right the first time with this Ultimate Human Resources Training
What do many startup entrepreneurs never consider on top of getting their product to market? The ins-and-outs of assembling HR departments. Unglamorous perhaps, but absolutely essential. And with the instruction you’ll get in the
Hollywood feels the Force with electrifying 'Rogue One' premiere
After the premiere, giddy guests headed up the street (still sheltered by the gargantuan tent) to Hollywood nightclub Avalon, where they could snag photo ops with Stormtroopers and Darth Vader — if they dared — or test out a 360 virtual reality experience that put them in the cockpit of their own X-wing during a blistering battle with the Imperial fleet.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft just sent the first images from its new orbit around Saturn
After 20 years of traveling through space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is taking a close look at Saturn before plunging into the planet in September 2017. And it’s finally sending us some of its first pictures back.
HP Stream 14 review: This laptop's best feature is its rock-bottom price
You can, of course, use those ports for a keyboard and mouse to avoid the laptop's touchpad and keyboard. The latter isn't altogether unpleasant, but there's very little travel and the keys feel thin and flimsy like they might pop off or stop working if you type too hard. The touchpad is generally OK, but I recommend shutting off most of the multitouch options like pinch-to-zoom and turning up the palm rejection setting.
Meet Trump's archenemy on Twitter
"I think he has a remarkably — and this is not a joke — I think he has a remarkably small penis, and I’m going to tell you exactly why. Because first of all, if it was even remotely average, we would have seen it by now. That guy, that’s the kind of guy who is definitely sending dick pics. If he can even find that perfect angle where it looks bigger — I don’t have any experience with this — but if he did, he would send it and he hasn’t. So, it’s tiny."
This hidden Apple Watch feature helps find a lost iPhone in the dark
You probably already know that you can use your Apple Watch to ping your iPhone as long as they're close to each other. (Open Control Center on your Watch and tap on the Ping icon, the button with the iPhone and sound waves coming out of it.) Your iPhone will beep a few times; you then repeat the process until you find your phone.
7 Video Marketing Hacks for Social Media
And now it seems that companies all over world are actually paying attention, practicing what I preach and putting video at the heart of their marketing mantra. Pretty soon, nobody will bother reading or writing anything online as the internet becomes totally submerged by the medium of moving pictures.
Heroin deaths surpass gun homicides for the first time, CDC data shows
In a grim milestone, more people died from heroin-related causes than from gun homicides in 2015. As recently as 2007, gun homicides outnumbered heroin deaths by more than 5 to 1.
Trump team takes swipe at US intel groups over Russian hacking
US intelligence agencies think Russia wanted to aid a Trump victory with hacks during the election, say reports. Trump's transition team fires back.
How to use your wearable's VO2 Max feature in your fitness routine
It is important to keep in mind that a normal medical VO2 Max test is done in a lab and requires an individual to wear a mask while performing an increasingly difficult treadmill run, and during that time, the volume of oxygen entering and leaving the lungs is measured. This level of accuracy is not within the capability of a wristband or watch. Therefore, wearable tech measurements are just a good estimate.