Travel App Offers 'Most Comprehensive Guide' to North Korea
A travel app company is launching guides for controversial destinations. The first: North Korea.
Little Girl Celebrates Beating Cancer With Katy Perry Music Video
The cancer survivor Addy celebrates her health victory with a special version of Katy Perry's 'Roar.'
'Shaq Fu' Sequel Will Try to Be Actually Good
'Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn' is fully funded on crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo, bringing back Shaquille O'Neal to video games after 20 years.
The Scandalous Life of Cats, Exposed
[Video] A Cute and funny video that depicts a cat as a drunk.
How to Pack Perfectly for a Weekend Trip
You'll be out the door in no time with these tips and tricks for how to pack a bag for a quick getaway.
Proposed law would clarify who gets access to a deceased person’s digital accounts
The Uniform Law Commission, a body of lawyers who produce uniform legislation for states to adopt, recently drafted the “Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (FADA)," which would grant fiduciaries broad authority to access and control digital assets and accounts.
HP to invest over $1 billion in open-source cloud computing
Cisco Systems Inc laid out plans in March to offer cloud computing services, pledging to spend $1 billion over the next two years, while Microsoft Corp said it will increase its cloud storage offering for business users 40-fold.
Pandora Trials Promoted Stations Native Ad Unit with 10% of Users
It’s difficult to predict what each station will look like though. The company said Promoted Stations will “drive Pandora listeners to custom content”, before suggesting they’ll all offer a slightly different blend of brand-related tunes. “Pandora consults with advertisers to produce content in a variety of ways based on the listening experience brands want to create for their respective audiences,” it said. “This can entail custom content from an artist or a mix of songs powered by Pandora’s Music Genome Project.”
First travel app to North Korea offers guide to secretive country
A new app offers travellers to North Korea tips on what to see and where to eat and drink in the largely off-limits country. The British-designed app also helps users plan and book their trip
After only 11 days, ‘Moves’ abandons promise, starts sharing all data with Facebook
A Facebook spokesperson responded to an inquiry by Mashable , reiterating that it has no plans on merging FB data with Moves. However, the company needs access to the Moves data in order to provide support, which includes “performing technical maintenance and developments of the service that improve the experience with the app.” In other words, Moves won’t commingle data with Facebook, but will share data with it. An odd distinction to make, especially in this case.
Huawei hopes P7 phone will help it 'Ascend' to Apple-like heights - CNET
It's an ambitious goal, but it's tough. Huawei reached 4.9 percent of global handset shipments in the first quarter of 2014, according to analyst firm IDC, but that's far short of Apple's 15.5 percent and Samsung's 30.2 percent. Those rivals are hardly standing still -- nor are LG Electronics, Lenovo, Motorola, and new Chinese challengers like Xiaomi.
Marissa Mayer Explains Why Yahoo Is Undervalued | TechCrunch
On stage today at TechCrunch Disrupt New York, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer pushed against the narrative that Yahoo is worth nothing. The company has a market capitalization in the tens of billions, but it’s been pointed out that if you add up the value of its stakes in Yahoo Japan and Alibaba, the company could be valued at something approaching zero.
Next Big Thing You Missed: Inside Tindie, a Thriving New Marketplace for DIY Gadgets | Business | WIRED
The tech cognescenti love talking about Kickstarter as a place for bootstrapping hardware projects. But the less-glamorous Tindie could prove just as important to the evolution of hardware design. Where Kickstarter is all about funding slick and shiny products that haven’t been built yet, Tindie is a straightforward marketplace for cruder devices that already exist, devices often built in small batches with limited amounts of capital. The result is a community of indie hardware makers who can feed off each other, a place that can help bootstrap a much wider revolution in hardware design.
How Comcast Is Trying To Turn The Internet Into The Old, Broken Phone System | Techdirt
I can almost understand Comcast's evil nature, it's what many colossal corporations end up doing. What's infinitely worse is how our government is so completely corrupt that they don't even try to keep up appearances anymore, they just completely sell out right out in the open and use doublespeak to sell it through the media. My conclusion is that the government has big plans to better control and of course monitor the internet, so they need a company like Comcast to be their front man. I shudder to think what things will be like in just a few years. There's one simple reason why this is happening, people with money and power wish it and now that the safeguards have been subverted, it's all too easy.
Yahoo’s Alibaba Windfall Means Firepower to Chase Google
Mayer and investors will still benefit from Alibaba’s growth, because Yahoo is keeping 60 percent of its shares. Robert Peck, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, said Alibaba is the most valuable piece of Yahoo, accounting for more than half the price of the stock, which he gives a $40 target. Less than $7 of it is tied to Yahoo’s main business, he said in an April 16 note to investors.
Reinventing the internet: A political protocol to protect the internet, and where to find it
These unofficial political protocols, which defy formal definition, encourage access and expression over walls and silence. Today, at a time when governments are redoubling their attempts to censor the internet – not just in Turkey but in Iran, China and Russia — it’s helpful to explore where the internet’s political protocols developed in the first place, and how to protect and make them stronger.
Second Life’s Creator Says Virtual Reality Will Go Beyond Games | MIT Technology Review
Updating imagery shown to the eyes with a delay of less than 10 milliseconds relative to head movements generates a magical sense of being “present” in a virtual space. My own experiments have shown that a second kind of presence—the feeling of really being face-to-face with another person—requires an end-to-end delay (including hardware, software, and network transmission) of around 100 milliseconds or less between your movement and their perception of that movement.
Huge coalition led by Amazon, Microsoft, and others take a stand against FCC on net neutrality
A sizable coalition of technology companies has today taken a stand in favor of net neutrality in the form of a letter to the Federal Communications Commission. The group, led by giants including Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, and Yahoo, challenges a proposal the FCC is considering that threatens net neutrality .
HP Chromebox - CNET
HP's Chromebox delivers the power of Chrome OS in one compact package
Depending on Who's Counting, Chromebooks Are Either an Enormous Hit or Totally Irrelevant
IDC says that 2.5 million Chromebooks were sold worldwide in 2013. At first blush, that sounds like it might conceivably jibe with NPD’s figure of 1.76 million units sold in the first 11 months of the year. Except that NPD’s number was for sales to U.S. businesses, while IDC says that “virtually zero” Chromebooks went to enterprises (i.e. corporate customers) and that it’s consumers who are buying them. I can’t reconcile these viewpoints.
An Open Letter to Brogrammers
Computer programming is a tough job. It's not for the faint of heart or the fair of sex. It's grueling, high-stress work, demanding that you sit on a comfortable chair in an air-conditioned office for hours on end, typing on a keyboard while looking at a monitor. Women just aren't rugged enough for that. Plus, as everyone knows, women can't code. At best, they can maybe contribute in their small way to large open-source projects, but really, they're much better suited for accessorizing PowerPoint presentations written by real coders. Manly coders. If this is the world you live in, bro, I'm afraid I have some really bad news for you. I'd like to introduce you to someone. This is Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. She was a lady's lady, an aristocrat who lived in the 1800s and who did all of the things young women of noble birth did back then--danced, wrote poetry, and penned long flowery letters to her tutor. She also wrote the world's first computer program in 1842, in the margins of a technical document she was translating from Italian into English. Yes, you read that right.
LG's New Fridge, Washing Machine and Oven Can Talk
Quirky? Yes. Useful? Maybe. The fridge camera can send photos of its contents back to you so you know what items you need to buy when you’re out shopping. The washing machine can be remotely activated so that loads are finished before you get home from work. While the microwave/oven includes recipe suggestions, and will tell you what ingredients are necessary for specific dishes — not to mention that it will auto-select the appropriate settings.
Flying 3D Printers Could Help Seal Off Nuclear Waste
A quadcopter outfitted with an on-board 3D printer could be used to seal off and transport nuclear waste, or even to build structures in the middle of nowhere, according to its inventor, Mirko Kovac of University College, London. "In effect, it's the world's first flying 3D printer," New Scientist writes. "One day such drones might work together to help remove waste from nuclear sites or help patch up damaged buildings."
Drone inspectors: UK airline easyJet looks to tech to cut costs
Virgin's the kind of brand we're not shocked to see playing with the latest tech -- after all, Richard Branson's got a space plane . Experiments with Google Glass, smartwatches and iBeacon for Virgin have all focused on boosting customer experience, as long as you're in Upper Class, anyway. European airline easyJet, however, is known for its no-frills, low-cost approach, which is why we're curious to see the company investing in an "innovation" arm that looks at how new technologies can be applied to aviation, with no immediate return. easyJet sees it differently, though, as the long-term goal is to save money by reducing technical delays, or hopefully avoiding them all together. This has a knock-on effect of improving customer service by minimizing disruptions, of course, but make no mistake: easyJet's motivated to explore emerging tech because a grounded plane might as well be a money pit.
EasyJet drones and aviation tech
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Mysterious writing in rare 16th-century Homer identified - CNET
The mysterious marginalia found in a 16th-century edition of Homer's Odyssey has been identified by a digital humanities student from the Archivio di Stato di Milano in Italy.
AOL plunks down $101M for ad-tech startup Convertro
Contrary to its name, Convertro is not an evil robot that uses its crazy-good math skills to destroy the human race. No, the startup actually provides businesses with a marketing attribution service, which is a non-cookie based tracking method to gather consumer data. It then analyzes that data and helps identify which advertising or marketing efforts were the most successful in driving sales.
Design Is Why 2048 Sucks, and Threes Is a Masterpiece | Design | WIRED
It’s hard to overstate just how good Threes really is. Touch Arcade’s review deemed it a “ perfect mobile game .” Ken Wong, the lead designer of the Escherian insta-classic Monument Valley said Threes , ostensibly a rival for mobile mindshare, was “one of the most elegantly designed games since Tetris.” Indeed, its central mechanic–sliding like-numbered tiles together to create higher-numbered tiles–is so utterly simple and exquisitely satisfying it seems like the type of thing that doesn’t get invented so much as discovered. Like one stormy night, a cloistered indie dev woke up with a start, grabbed a notebook, and scribbled furiously until there it was, in completely and flawlessly formed.
Hyperrealistic virtual reality adventure Loading Human headed to Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus
That's if the studio achieves its Kickstarter goal of $30,000, of course. The 11-person team claims it can create the first episode of a planned three episode game for that paltry sum, with backer benefits ranging from the basic (a thank you in the game) to the extreme ($5,000 gets your face in the game in place of the main character -- creepy!). But when will you get the game itself, given the total lack of a release date (or even a window) for consumer-ready VR headsets? Untold Games is anticipating "Q1 2015" for Rift availability (though, ya know, that's not from Oculus), so maybe then? Only time will tell.
Huawei Ascend P7 Preview - CNET
While the Huawei Ascend P7 has a decent lineup of specs and a super-slim body, it doesn't seem to offer a huge amount to distinguish itself from its competitors. With a slower processor than its Qualcomm-packing rivals and of course without the brand appeal of Samsung, Sony or Apple, Huawei will need to stick a very reasonable price tag on the P7 if it hopes to seriously compete.
Sen. Franken Calls Net Neutrality The “Free Speech Issue Of Our Time” | TechCrunch
Ask yourself the following: How long into the future will you simply have a single pipe into your home for all information? Tongue-out-of-cheek, the Internetization of all content makes the issue of net neutrality more relevant, not less. If we allow for boundaries to be set up — and yes, a faster lane for richer companies is a material barrier to new firms that don’t have the cash; the advantage to one is the obstacle to the other — we endanger all future content, from TV on down, because it will flow over the same cables.
Twitter Cofounders' Net Worth Plummets As Shares Slide
I cover the richest people on the planet as part of Forbes’ wealth team. I report on how billionaires make, spend and lose their fortunes and track wealth across the globe for the Forbes World’s Billionaires list and the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list. I’m interested in how the 1% use their money to help others – or peddle influence to engage in wrongdoing. In the past, I’ve reported for the Miami Herald, ProPublica, The Center for Investigative Reporting, GlobalPost, the Village Voice, and other publications. I was also a fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University. Follow me on Twitter @katiasav. Send tips or comments to email@example.com.
House committee unanimously passes phone surveillance reform bill
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), one of the staunchest reform advocates, attempted to resurrect the back door search ban included in the original bill. The committee, largely guided by Sensenbrenner's philosophy, shot down the amendment, along with several more proposals that would have raised the bar for searches and made the bill's language more specific. In a more successful move, Rep. Linda DelBene (D-WA) was able to reinstate transparency rules that make it easier for companies to report the number of surveillance requests they receive. Otherwise, the bill remains largely the compromise that was announced earlier this week. That has worried worried reform proponents like the ACLU, but they've tended to grant it provisional support, if only because it's a concrete step towards change. "The committee's actions are a step towards bringing the government's surveillance regime in line with the Constitution, even as more reforms are needed," said the ACLU's Laura Murphy in a statement. Before the vote, Kevin Bankston of the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute said he was "incredibly disappointed" with the removal of back door search provisions, but he remained supportive of the bill as a whole.
Apple planning sixth Manhattan Apple Store on Madison Avenue
They should really open one on 34th street between 5th and 6th avenue. There’s been a vacant 2 story, 3 storefront wide space with all the aluminum on glass look. It used to be the Esprit store but its been empty for a while now. Would make a nice spot to fill the lack of Apple store in midtown Manhattan.
Has Twitter’s Stock Hit Rock Bottom? - Digits - WSJ
Twitter’s shares continued to breach new lows on Wednesday, falling 3.7% to $30.66 and prompting the question: Has the stock hit rock-bottom yet?
Apple’s Secret Superpower Is Selling Stuff, Not Making It | Business | WIRED
In that context, Apple’s online hardware-selling business itself almost seems like an afterthought. The web version of the Apple Store is fine, but it’s nothing exceptional. But that could soon change, now that former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts has come on board to head up Apple’s retail operations, online and off. Apple, it turns out, is already one of the world’s best not just at making but selling stuff. Imagine what could happen if it actually started trying.
Finally, a Real Business Use for Google Glass
The first benefit here is that the picker’s both hands are now free to access products in the shelves. The second benefit is the step towards a paperless world: lists no longer need to be printed, signed and bound. The third and probably the biggest advantage is the time saved by sending orders directly to the Google Glass, without first printing, signing and binding them. The fourth benefit is error reduction. Since the orders appear one by one on the Glass, orders cannot be mixed or forgotten. The traditional paper pick list contains a long list of all orders, which increases the chance of mixing up or missing orders.
The 5 Awesome New Features of the Latest Google Maps Update
Google Maps is rolling out new features to its mobile Android and iOS apps that are meant to improve commuting by automobile, train, and even the Uber car service. The company announced the slew of updates meant to prevent “life’s everyday hiccups” Tuesday morning in a blog post .
Deutsche Telekom's Slovak unit posts slight rise in first-quarter revenue, profit down
PRAGUE (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Slovak Telekom reported a 2.4 percent rise in first-quarter revenue to 196.9 million euros, helped by an increase of mobile data income, it said on Wednesday.
5 of The Biggest News Stories for May 6th - IGN
Today, Microsoft gave us the date and time we can expect their big E3 announcements to take place. Clearly, the E3 mania is gradually on the rise. Are you excited yet? Watch today's Fix to get pumped on that and the other exciting things happening in our geek and gamer world.
Amazon, Netflix and tech giants defend net neutrality in letter to FCC
Suppose you fly somewhere with Netflix Airlines and you pay for your bags to be transported and placed on the baggage claim cart for pick up after arriving, based on luggage weight. But your destination airport is Comcast Airport, and they also have their own airline – Comcast Air – which competes with other airlines. So, after arriving at Comcast Airport, the Comcast baggage crew (which is the only crew who can do this, mind you) takes your bags off the plane, just like they do all the other planes. HOWEVER, because you flew with Netflix Airlines, they have a policy where they will hold your luggage for 24 hours before putting your bags on the cart. Meanwhile, customers flying with Comcast Air have their bags placed on the cart immediately when getting off the plane. Comcast will also place bags immediately on the cart for other airlines who pay Comcast Airport a fee, despite the fact that customers already paid for their bags to be transported and put on the cart.
Michelle Obama: It's Time to Bring Back Our Girls
Michelle Obama added her voice to the global campaign to bring home the missing Nigerian girls, who were kidnapped from their school on April 15.
Google Releases Play Services 4.4 with Street View Imagery
Google today updated Google Play Services to version 4.4, adding Street View imagery, running and walking detectors, as well as several new features in Games Services, Mobile Ads, and Wallet. The new version is rolling out worldwide now; once it’s available in your region, you’ll be able to download it directly from Google Play .
Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire fresh takes heading to 3DS in November
INTRODUCING POKÉMON OMEGA RUBY AND POKÉMON ALPHA SAPPHIRE, AN EPIC ADVENTURE LAUNCHING WORLDWIDE IN NOVEMBER 2014
May 7, 2014- The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo announced today that Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire will launch worldwide in November 2014, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 2DS. Pokémon fans will collect, battle, and trade Pokémon in a new adventure.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire are a fresh take on Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire, which launched in 2003 and were fan-favourite hits on the Game Boy Advance system. The new titles promise to take players through a dramatic story within a spectacular new world.
Tesla's First Gigafactory Site Will Break Ground Next Month
He did not say which states have been selected as the first and second sites. But he disclosed California may be back in the running to get a gigafactory site. California did not make Tesla’s original list of four Southwest states — Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas — that the company was considering for the big battery plant, which promises to create 6,500 jobs.
Google Acquires Cloud Monitoring Service Stackdriver | TechCrunch
According to Google, the company will continue to offer all of its existing services going forward and will provide users with tools for working in a hybrid cloud environment. For the time being, the team will focus on integrating the service with the Google Cloud Platform, however, so that Google’s customers “can take advantage of these new advanced monitoring capabilities.”
Alibaba's deal-making ripples across Silicon Valley
Alibaba's vision for the world's largest consumer market has been the subject of intense industry speculation. Silicon Valley insiders who have held discussions with the company, which handles more online transactions than Amazon and eBay combined, say its U.S. deals are central to its strategy of becoming the world's dominant e-tailer.
Report: Fingerprint Sensor Coming to iPad Air and iPad Mini
Touch ID is one of the signature features on the iPhone 5S . While one could argue that it is more useful on the phone, it only makes sense that the technology would find its way to the iPad. When we asked Apple why the iPad Air didn't have Touch ID, the answer was simple: The iPad team didn't find out about the new feature in time to add the component and software to its design.
Nintendo explains opposition to same-sex relationships in Tomodachi Life - CNET
"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life," a Nintendo of America representative told the Associated Press . "The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that Tomodachi Life was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary."
Bloomberg: Microsoft Readying Small Qualcomm and Intel Powered Surfaces
Rumors have long-swirled about a small Surface tablet, and a a "small gathering" on being organized by Microsoft on May 20th is thought to be the day such a device could be unveiled. If Microsoft is plumping for Qualcomm in the RT model, it will mark a move away from the current Nvidia chips that Microsoft uses in its tablets. [ Bloomberg ]
Nintendo: Tomodachi Life is here, is straight, get used to it
Nintendo responded to an outpouring of fan requests for LGBT representation in its upcoming Nintendo 3DS game Tomodachi Life , denying the possibility of same-sex relationships among the game's Mii denizens.
The upcoming Tomodachi Life features Mii characters based on a player's real-world acquaintances, pairing them up in an ongoing series of unlikely situations. Though Tomodachi Life allows male characters to go on dates and marry female characters, the game does not grant the same opportunities for same-sex couples.
"Nintendo never intended to make any form of social commentary with the launch of Tomodachi Life ," a Nintendo of America representative said in a statement to the Associated Press. "The relationship options in the game represent a playful alternate world rather than a real-life simulation. We hope that all of our fans will see that Tomodachi Life was intended to be a whimsical and quirky game, and that we were absolutely not trying to provide social commentary."
Though North American players will never see same-sex relationships within the world of Tomodachi Life , the Japanese version of the game shipped with a glitch last year that allowed same-sex coupling among male characters.
Lawyers bully redditor for negative Amazon.com router review
After posting the negative review of a Medialink Wireless Router product—which became the “most helpful” negative review on Amazon.com—an attorney for Mediabridge sent him a letter explaining that the company “zealously guards its hard-earned reputation” and that “you have harmed Mediabridge and we intend to hold you liable for all damages sustained.”
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E-COMMERCE AND THE FUTURE OF RETAIL: 2014 [SLIDE DECK]
We've created a slideshow highlighting the retail categories where e-commerce is having the most impact, and where there is still opportunity for disruption. The shift away from physical retail toward digital retail is happening faster than many observers expected.
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The TheTechNewsBlog Daily, by TheTechNewsBlog: updated automatically with a curated selection of articles, blog posts, videos and photos.