FCC prepares for net neutrality reversal
The regulations protecting a free and open internet may not survive the next few months.
Yes, Antonio Banderas scented candles are a real thing that exist
Antonio Banderas, aka Zorro, has put his acting career on hold to embark on something potentially more profitable—scente
Jupiter to shine super-bright Friday night, and here's why
On April 7, Jupiter will make its closest approach to Earth this year, coming to within about 400 million miles of our home planet and appearing unusually bright in the night sky.
Watch these trans kids learn the value of self-love from their parents
A heartwarming new video shows parents sharing inspirational affirmations with their transgender kids.
Adobe's Sensei AI could make your amateur selfies look like pro headshots
There weren’t enough tools for jazzing up your selfies already, apparently. Now Adobe is offering new tools for letting you “fix” your selfies. Using Sensei, its artificial intelligence algorithm, Adobe Research proposes to let you fiddle with your selfies even more than you already do with an as-yet unnamed app which will “turn bad portraits into …
Samsung's new Galaxy S8 adverts emphasize display and new form-factor
Samsung has dropped three new made-for-TV adverts on YouTube, each demonstrating a feature of the Galaxy S8 - the South Korean giant's new flagship handset.
We May Finally Get an AMD-Powered Chromebook
Hints of AMD entering the Chromebook market discovered in a Coreboot code review.
Google adds fact check to global search results in the war against fake news
Google is upping the ante in its battle against fake news and false information on the web by introducing fact checks from third parties in its search and news results.
Twitter dropped its lawsuit after the US government withdrew its demand to unmask those behind anti-Trump account
The US government, Twitter said in the complaint, "may not compel
Twitter to disclose information regarding the real identities of
these users without first demonstrating that some criminal or
civil offense has been committed, that unmasking the users'
identity is the least restrictive means for investigating that
offense, that the demand for this information is not motivated by
a desire to suppress free speech, and that the interests of
pursuing that investigation outweigh the important First
Amendment rights of Twitter and its users."
Walt Mossberg is retiring in June
And, in the best professional decision of my life, I converted myself into a tech columnist in 1991. As a result, I got to bear witness to a historic parade of exciting, revolutionary innovation — from slow, clumsy, ancient PCs to sleek, speedy smartphones; from CompuServe and early AOL to the mobile web, apps, and social media. My column has run weekly in a variety of places over the years, most recently on The Verge and Recode under the Vox Media umbrella, where I’ve been quite happy and have added a podcast of which I’m proud.
The best SSDs
If we were upgrading a laptop or buying the primary drive for a desktop without an M.2 PCIe slot, we'd get the 500 GB Samsung 850 EVO (also available in M.2 SATA and mSATA form factors). The 850 EVO is fast, cheap, and consistent, and it comes from a company that makes its own SSD controllers, firmware, and NAND. That means it gets first dibs on the good stuff, and is able to design the entire SSD to work together from the start. Samsung has made some of the best SSDs for the past five hardware generations, and this one is no exception. The 850 EVO isn't the cheapest great SSD, but it is the best cheap SSD, even two years after launch. It offers a great combination of price, performance, and capacity, plus ample write endurance, hardware encryption support, and an exceptionally long five-year warranty.
The Weekly Wrap: Time to prep for Windows 10 Creators Update
But Microsoft also included lesser-known changes that may not be as showy, but are still good to know about because they affect the underlying way the OS works, and how you can use it on a more technical level.
Jay Z pulls albums from Apple Music and Spotify | Cult of Mac
Tidal owner Jay Z has decided to pull all of his albums from rival streaming services Apple Music in an apparent effort to woo over new subscribers, or increase piracy of his music.
Industrial IoT: Think of it as a May-December romance
But when you dig into it, you’ll soon discover that data—and systems animated by data—have been an essential player on the factory floor for decades. The first industrial robot, Unimate, went live in a General Motors facility in 1959 . SCADA systems for controlling industrial equipment have been around so long many have forgotten, or never learned, what the acronym stands for. Oil and gas producers played a big part in bringing technologies like GPS and data visualization to the mainstream.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 5 said to move to Intel Kaby Lake processors
Microsoft’s hardware lineup, including Surface Book and Surface Pro devices, are due for a refresh, but we still haven’t heard that much about what’s going to come along with the upgrades. Now, Windows watch Paul Thurrott has provided a few details on the Surface Pro 5, which sounds like it’ll be an iterative update of the flagship Windows tablet hybrid.
Netflix's TV apps now have a screensaver to highlight original content
Very quietly, Netflix has introduced a new screensaver feature in its TV apps. Whenever you leave your console or TV box mid-film, it’ll bring up a screensaver promoting one of Netflix’s original productions.
Adidas kicks off sneakers with 3D-printed soles
In a partnership with Adidas, the company is providing the technology to produce custom soles for the sportswear-maker's Futurecraft 4D sneakers, starting in limited production and ramping up to about 5000 pairs for sale by the end of the year.
Kayak's new travel site is... a spreadsheet?
The site works just like the mainline site; you can book cars, flights, hotels, trains, and package vacations. But the key difference is that should your boss pass by your desk, it’ll look like you’re hard at work crunching numbers.
10 ways to use grep to search files in Linux - TechRepublic
Windows search is not without certain charms, but when I need to find files or their contents, or search for specific system information, the grep command in Linux never ceases to amaze me through its power and versatility.
3D printed parts give Honda's McLaren race cars an advantage at Grand Prix - TechRepublic
"The ability to rapidly model, build and evaluate new components is an invaluable asset for any fast-moving and dynamic racing organisation," said Eric Boullier, racing director at McLaren Racing. "It has become clear that motorsport's reliance on rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, and the ability to radically cut time to market, is increasing. Our partnership with Stratasys will not only increase our output in that area, but also allow us to dynamically explore and utilise the cutting-edge of Stratasys' new 3D printing innovations and solutions."
O2 is bringing free 1 Gbps WiFi to the City of London
Workers and residents in London's "Square Mile" will enjoy free 1 Gbps WiFi connections, thanks to a new deal between the City of London Corporation and mobile carrier O2. The multi-million pound deal will see Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure Ltd (CTIL) -- a joint venture between Vodafone and O2 owner Telefónica -- place "small cell" 4G mobile hotspots on lampposts, street signs, buildings and CCTV arrays in order to provide blanket superfast internet coverage across the city.
Can virtual reality enable 3D creation for all?
If you look at the evolution of capturing the world around us, we keep getting closer and closer to what the world actually looks like. We started replicating nature using painting and sculpting, caves and stones were our canvas. Photography was invented about 200 years ago. It took another 40 years before color photography. We got cinematography a few years after that. But we live in a 3D world, and the next big phase of capture is volumetric.
Watch: The story of Erica, the most autonomous humanoid robot on earth
In a world where people daydream about engaging in passionate romances with virtual assistants, the boundary between humans and machines is gradually washing away. But no other high-tech invention disrupts this dichotomy more than Erica, the world’s most autonomous humanoid robot.
You won't be able to buy autonomous cars until 2026, says Ford
Autonomous cars might be road ready in less than five years, but it will take another decade before the general public are allowed to buy them, according to Ford’s head of research, Ken Washington.
Detroit Passes Silicon Valley As Center For Self-Driving Research
Silicon Valley has been the epicenter of all major tech advancement in the past decade, but when it comes to self-driving, Detroit could snatch that the title away.
Is there still hope for internet privacy in the US?
According to CNET , if the agency is successful in dismantling net neutrality, the Federal Trade Commission would be back in charge of regulations concerning internet privacy. That’s worrying because the FTC model only requires ISPs to allow customers to opt out of having their personal information shared with third parties – not opt in.
Hey internet, get ready for another big fight over net neutrality
This is something these companies have wanted for a long time, as the FTC operates far differently than the FCC. The FCC actively makes rules and enforces them; the FTC passively watches markets and only acts if it's presented with evidence of bad practices. Net neutrality advocates have little to no faith that this kind of hands-off regulation would be effective.
In case you haven't had your dose of paranoia fuel today, WikiLeaks released new information concerning a CIA malware program called "Grasshopper," that specifically targets Windows. The Grasshopper framework was (is?) allegedly used by the CIA to make custom malware payloads. According to the user guide : "Grasshopper is a software tool used to build custom installers for target computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems ." Grasshopper is designed to detect the OS and protection on any Windows computer on which it's deployed, and it can escape detection by anti-malware software. If that was enough for you to put your computer in stasis, brace yourself for a doozy: Grasshopper reinstalls itself every 22 hours, even if you have Windows Update disabled. As if this wasn't alarming enough, the Grasshopper user guide even states upfront that Grasshopper uses bits from a toolkit taken from Russian organized crime.
GameStop confirms possible breach of customer credit card info
GameStop confirmed with CNET that it had received notifications that credit card data from its website was offered for sale, and that it's been working to address the issue. The retailer also posted a security update on its website on this issue and offered apologies to its customers:
Trump Administration Backs Down From Order to Unmask 'Rogue' Twitter Critic
In these circumstances, Defendants may not compel Twitter to disclose information regarding the real identities of these users without first demonstrating that some criminal or civil offense has been committed, that unmasking the users’ identity is the least restrictive means for investigating that offense, that the demand for this information is not motivated by a desire to suppress free speech, and that the interests of pursuing that investigation outweigh the important First Amendment rights of Twitter and its users. But Defendants have not come close to making any of those showings. And even if Defendants could otherwise demonstrate an appropriate basis for impairing the First Amendment interests of Twitter and its users, they certainly may not do so using the particular investigatory tool employed here—which Congress authorized solely to ensure compliance with federal laws concerning imported merchandise—because it is apparent that whatever investigation Defendants are conducting here does not pertain to imported merchandise.
The next Call of Duty mobile game is being made by the Candy Crush creators
Though Call of Duty doesn’t exactly seem like a natural move for the creators of colorful titles like Candy Crush and Bubble Witch, the company was acquired by Activision back in 2015 so it hasn’t come completely out of nowhere.
Otonomo raises $25 million to help connected-car makers monetize their data
Otonomo , a cloud-based platform that pulls together car manufacturers, app developers, and other service providers to leverage data generated from connected vehicles, has raised another $25 million in “strategic” funding. The round was led by automotive supplier Delphi Automotive, with participation from existing investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, StageOne Ventures, and Maniv Mobility.
Microsoft releases first Windows 10 'Redstone 3' PC test build | ZDNet
Windows 10 Build 16170 for Fast Ring PC Insiders is the first test build of the 'Redstone 3' release of Windows 10 expected this Fall.
Skype adds Japanese to its real-time voice translator
As Skype noted in a blog post , "Japanese has commonly been noted as one of the most difficult languages for native English speakers to learn." So this new addition should serve as a huge benefit to users, especially for those who already use Skype Translator for its nine other spoken languages, including: English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese (Mandarin), Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Arabic, and Russian.
Pay disparities against women at Google are ‘systemic’, labor department testifies
Labor officials detailed the government’s discrimination claims against Google at the Friday hearing while making the case for why the company should be forced to comply with the DoL’s requests for documents. Wipper said the department found pay disparities in a 2015 snapshot of salaries and that it needs earlier compensation data to evaluate the root of the problem and needs to be able to confidentially interview employees.
Zack Whittaker on Twitter
Just in: A huge trove of patient data has leaked online, thanks to telemarketers' bad security. More here: http://zd.net/2oFqyvh pic.twitter.com/rbJFMv8YaY
Gregg Keizer on Twitter
When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location.
You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history.
Italy just banned Uber in favor of taxis
The court ruled in favor of the country’s taxi drivers — who filed the suit — claiming Uber was “unfair competition.” Now Uber can’t use it’s apps — including UberBlack, Uber LUX, X, and Select — and it can’t promote or advertise itself at all within the country.
Uber calls claims it stole self-driving technology 'demonstrably false'
“Uber’s assertion that they’ve never touched the 14,000 stolen files is disingenuous at best, given their refusal to look in the most obvious place: the computers and devices owned by the head of their self-driving program,” a Waymo spokesperson said in a statement. “We’re asking the court to step in based on clear evidence that Uber is using, or plans to use, our trade secrets to develop their LiDAR technology, as seen in both circuit board blueprints and filings in the State of Nevada.”
Elon Musk gets into the holiday spirit with a new Tesla feature
He said a "feature" was coming soon that would bring "one touch access" to all the discovered gems (no word yet on what that "discovered" caveat means — are there even more Easter eggs?!) Alongside his coy message, Musk shared a picture that included a sketch pad, a Christmas ornament, and a planet labeled "Mars." These all refer to known features hidden in the car's software.
Trump's Supreme Court Pick Could Shape Bioethics for Generations
Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s freshly-announced nominee for the US Supreme Court, has spent his career weighing matters of life and death. His views on life—that it is sacred and “intrinsically valuable”—are likely to shape court decisions in areas from abortion to assisted suicide for decades to come.
Twitch takes PayPal and others to court over ambitious spambot
It’s a little unsettling to think of Twitch taking this many other companies one might be associated with to court to breach privacy. Considering the spam messages include racist, homophobic, and sexist comments, however — and has rendered some channels’ chats “unusable” — it’s not hard to see why Twitch is going after them from every possible angle.
Salesforce's literal view from the top
Benioff said the top floor, the 61st, will become a community gathering space called the Ohana Floor after the Hawaiian word for family. The space, with sweeping views of the city, will be a Salesforce conference and event space during business hours. At night and during the weekends, the space will be available to a wider community of partners and nonprofits for use free of charge.
People are daydreaming about passionate romances with Siri and Alexa
Spike Jonze might not have been that far off when he imagined a romantic affair between a human and an operating system in his sci-fi love drama Her . As it turns out, people are increasingly starting to develop feelings for their virtual assistant baes like Siri and Alexa.
How Google wants to crowdsource machine learning with smartphones and Federated Learning - TechRepublic
Being that the updates are encrypted, not stored in the cloud, and only used to average with other updates, Google's post said that the Federated Learning model will help ensure privacy when it comes to machine learning. Also, due to a special protocol, "no individual phone's update can be inspected before averaging," the post said. It could also help cut power use and latency.
Italy issues a nationwide Uber ban
Uber’s latest regulatory roadblock happens to be the entire country of Italy. In a court ruling issued today, all of Uber’s services were banned in the European country after a Rome judge ruled in favor of Italy’s major taxi associations that the ride-hailing service amounted to unfair competition, according to a report from Reuters . That means Uber’s Black, Lux, Suv, X , XL, Select, and Van services are all blocked from operating in Italy and Uber cannot advertise at all in the country.
The Here One earbuds gently blasted the real future of AR into my ears
The Here One’s gave me my first taste of what an augmented layer of sonic reality can do for your quality of life. The app that comes with the buds gives you the option of different ‘Filters’ for different environments. The Airplane filter reduces the jet engine noise to a gentle whisper, the City filter cancels out traffic and wind noise, and the Office filter suppresses even the most violent keyboard abusers.
Salesforce's $1 billion skyscraper will be the most expensive building in San Francisco — take a look
Salesforce Tower will be the city's tallest and most expensive building when it's completed in July. The 1,070-foot high-rise is expected to cost its developer, Boston Properties, $1.1 billion.
How to use Excel's Scenario Manager analysis tool - TechRepublic
All three analysis tools are what-if tools. In other words, you can see the impact of changing input values without changing the actual data. Last month's article showed you how to use Goal Seek, a what-if analysis tool that tells you how input values must change to achieve a specific goal. The Scenario Manager lets you substitute input values for multiple cells (up to 32). In this way, you can view the results of different input values (or scenarios) at the same time.
Disabled Americans are less likely to use technology
Some experts have suggested the sharing economy may bring about a more inclusive digital experience. Data from a 2015 Pew Research Center survey show that disabled Americans have the same or less experience with the sharing economy when compared with those who report having no disabilities. For example, only 7% of adults with a disability say they have ever used a ride-hailing app, compared with 18% of adults who don’t have a disability. But disabled Americans are also just as likely as those without a disability to say they have ever ordered groceries online or hired someone to do a task or run an errand via an online platform (only around 5% of both groups say they have done either of these online activities).
The 20 best office spaces we've ever seen | ZDNet
Here are 20 offices that make us happy just looking at them. Collectively, they are triumphs of design, tech, and sustainability. (If we missed any office eye candy, including yours, let us know in comments.)
These Photographs Document The Global Obsession With Conspicuous Wealth
One of the trends Greenfield documents is the new twist on enviously peering over the hedge at the neighbor’s house. “People used to compare themselves to their neighbor down the road, who maybe had a slightly bigger car or closet,” she says. “But with the rise of reality TV and the affluent lifestyles dominating what we see on television–and with people watching so much of it–we’re actually more influenced by these shows than by our neighbors, and we spend more time with them. What we’re seeing is that people are no longer looking to buy a home in a neighborhood because their family or friends or church is there; instead, they’re looking to move into the biggest house they can afford. So what they have in common with their neighbors is mainly their ability to borrow.” It is, she says, a breakdown of traditional community through real estate, in which “people are more interested in keeping up with the Kardashians than with the Joneses.”
How to configure an Excel file for use in Power BI - TechRepublic
One of the simplest ways to take advantage of Power BI's data visualization abilities is to link it with an Excel workbook—it is the way most business users will employ the Power BI tool. But there are some key tips to keep in mind before you attempt to link your Excel workbook. This quick tutorial will show how to prepare your workbook for Power BI.
Henry Cavill Screen-Tested for Man of Steel in Christopher Reeve's Iconic Superman Suit
The Man of Steel Superman costume is a perfectly fine rendition of Superman’s classic look, if a little muted in color. But somewhere in an alternate world Henry Cavill took to the silver screen in the classic Superman costume of the original comics, just like Christoper Reeve, and I bet it looked as fantastic as this image teases.
These Are the Wildly Advanced Space Exploration Concepts Being Considered by NASA
Earlier today, NASA announced funding for 22 projects as part of its Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. From a planet hopping laser-driven sail and a solar powered Venusian weather balloon to an autonomous rover on Pluto, the future of space exploration looks incredibly bright.
How Good Are the 'Best' Star Wars Books, Really?
These parts are ridiculous, but they can’t be separated from the parts of the books that are amazing. The sprawl enriches a universe fans wanted to see more of in a bunch of really interesting ways. For as much as I loathe Borsk Fey’lya—a character who exists partially to answer the question “What’s a Bothan?”—the introduction of a high-ranking member of the New Republic that is unlikeable is very valuable. And Fey’lya spars with Admiral Ackbar, who is positioned as a great military mind but also a bad politician. Fey’lya’s the opposite, and their fights gave a lot more dimension to the Rebels/New Republic than we ever got before. (Ackbar is one of my very favorites. How Fey’lya treats him is one of the many reasons I long to pitch him out a window)