Google reinforces undersea cables after shark attacks
Sharks have been biting down on fibre optic cables under the pacific, possibly confused by electrical signals that resemble fish. By Samuel Gibbs
IAC Agrees To Work With Regulators On Cyberbullying Protections Following Ask.fm Deal | TechCrunch
Ask.fm is a conversational Q&A service. Ask.fm offers creating a profile URL that can be addressed by others users with questions. Visiting this page questions can be asked anonymously or including the name. Questions that have recently been answered are visible on the users profile page. Ask.fm allows to record video using webcam and post it as answer to the question. The website has been translated …
Bumped From Your Hotel? WalkSource Aims To Find You A Free Room Fast | TechCrunch
I personally have never been walked, but I could see how it could be a frustrating experience, especially if it occurs at a hotel you were looking forward to visiting or you are transferred far from your original destination. My main reservation with a service like WalkSource is that by making it easier for hotels to relocate customers, they might walk them more frequently.
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Edge Past 300 Million Units in the Second Quarter; Android and iOS Devices Account for 96% of the Global Market, According to IDC
The dominant smartphone operating systems (OS), Android and iOS, saw their combined market share swell to 96.4% for the quarter, leaving little space for competitors. Android was the primary driver with its vendor partners shipping a total of 255.3 million Android-based smartphones in 2Q14, up 33.3% year over year. Meanwhile, iOS saw its market share decline despite posting 12.7% year-over-year shipment growth. While Android and iOS both realized gains from a year ago, the rest of the market recorded losses.
Apple bans use of two potentially dangerous chemicals in iPhone and iPad assembly
Apple investigated 22 different factories in the span of four months, and found that both benzene and n-hexane were not dangerous to the 550,000 employees who work at the plants, based on the way the devices are constructed (and not the chemicals themselves). Benzene has been linked to cause leukemia, and n-hexane has reportedly been the root cause of nerve damage. Apple’s ban of the chemicals is a step in making sure that employees are not in danger in the future.
The Firefox OS Flame Developer Reference Phone Starts Shipping | TechCrunch
Firefox OS hasn’t yet managed to crack the charts in any significant manner, and Android is eating up the low end of the market in the wake of Nokia mostly walking away. Microsoft is also getting serious about targeting entry-level consumers with cheap, contract-free hardware thanks to lower or absent license fees for its Windows Phone OS. The Flame could help it generate more interest in software, which could attract more users, but at this stage, fighting off the incumbents seems like an impossible task.
5 Things UX And UI Designers Could Learn From Wes Anderson
Mobile designers should see the big picture of an app and simultaneously understand that its value lies in every interaction the consumer has with it. Successful apps are often the byproduct of detailed user and use case research. Take a recommendation app, for example: a UI/UX designer should consider the app as a tool aligned with the users' needs, desires, and behaviors, and design a product to be helpful around specific use cases. Interaction designer Shlomo Goltz observes , “Personas are intertwined with goals, and scenarios, all of which relate to one another in same way the main character, plot, and objective do in a novel or movie."
Snapchat Could Be Stripped Of Valuable “Tap-And-Hold For Video” Patent | TechCrunch
Though Snapchat applied for the patent before Mojo, the U.S. uses a “first-to-invent” not a “first-to-file” rule, and Mojo actually created a legal “reduction to practice” or working model of tap-and-hold for video three weeks before Snapchat filed.That means it may have the upper hand in the case, even though Mojo Media never publicly launched an app with the feature.
The Giver Review - IGN
For a sci-fi film that was made on such a tight budget (an estimated $30 million), The Giver's art direction is quite impressive. The fanciful design of the community hearkens back to the mid-20th century ideals of modern living, with sleek, modular "dwellings" and sterile facilities serving as the backdrop. (This is contrasted by the Giver's home, which is cluttered, wood-paneled and full of books.) Noyce's use of color -- or lack thereof -- is also striking, if only because we're not used to seeing such fantastical worlds in greyscale. Subtly, though, color seeps into the images as Jonas discovers more and more about the community -- but then starkly switches back to monochrome whenever Streep's character looms.
Spring, David Tisch’s Latest Venture, Is Instagram For Shopping | TechCrunch
David is the Managing Partner of BoxGroup, a New York City based seed-stage angel capital firm. BoxGroup is an investor in over 120 seed stage technology companies including Vine, GroupMe, Blue Apron, BarkBox, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Oscar, Flatiron Health, DataMinr, Behance, Handybook and more.
David is also the co-founder and Chairman of Spring - a mobile marketplace for shopping. Spring allows …
BitTorrent Sync Apps Offer Escape From Big Brother | Business | WIRED
The growth of Sync apps is in the early, fragile stages. None of the software is even at the so-called “beta” stage of development, where wider testing can begin. And all of the apps could be scuttled by one false move at BitTorrent Inc., the file-sharing company that developed Sync and controls the platform interfaces on which Sync developers build. But the emerging Sync ecosystem offers an intriguing example of how corporate prerogatives can help promote, rather than undermine, pro-privacy practices like encryption and decentralization. It also offers evidence that some developers want to avoid or escape the Apple and Google app stores, which tend to reward apps with invasive ads and tricks to sell digital goods within the apps. If one or two Sync apps take off, it could bolster the entire business of selling privacy-friendly software.
Amazon Helps Mom-and-Pop Store in Barcelona Reach Global Village
For Fabregas, 37, the tipping point came after he set up a website to market his range of dinosaurs, pirate ships and paddling pools, to save on printing costs for his traditional paper catalog. The shop was struggling to stay in business when he took over in 2009 after his father retired. Then Amazon representatives saw the website and invited him to join the third-party vending platform the Seattle-based online retailer was opening in Spain.
You can use your phone to film the police, even if they tell you not to
What you going to do John – roll-over and let your nation degenerate into a police brutality state? If it is you getting smacked in the face by a state-paid goon would you prefer everybody passing-by to let them beat you an cower in fear or stand-up for you. If you ‘don’t know how useful it is’ frankly I think you just have not given the subject much and the correct level of thought or you are so cowered and conditioned by the power of the state and their representatives that you have lost touch with what an ‘inalienable’ right actually is.
Taxi-App: Berlin verbietet Uber - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Interessant, dass die Frage "Uber oder nicht" in Deutschland zur Grundsatzdiskussion �ber freie Marktwirtschaft vs. b�ses Taximonopol hochgejazzt wird. Das Problem wird sich vermutlich relativ schnell selbst erledigen, wenn
a) der erste Uber-Fahrer sein Auto samt Fahrgast zu Schrott f�hrt und der Fahrgast sehr schnell feststellen wird, dass die Versicherung (vollkommen vertragsgem��) die Zahlung verweigert
b) derselbe Uber-Fahrer dann feststellt, dass auch er unversichert war, weil er sein Fahrzeug widerrechtlich gewerblich genutzt hat.
Bis dahin soll jede(r) Deutsche doch selbst entscheiden, ob er oder sie komplett ohne Versicherungsschutz durch die Stadt fahren m�chte, um ein paar Euro zu sparen. Ein Verbot ben�tigen wir hierf�r meines Erachtens nicht - dies ist nur kostenlose Werbung f�r eine Firma, deren Gesch�ftsmodell in Deutschland schlicht illegal ist.
(Was nichts an der Tatsache �ndert, dass etwas mehr Konkurrenz im Taxigewerbe manchmal nicht schlecht w�re.)
Weibo second-quarter revenue doubles as ad sales jump
Weibo, which made its listing debut in the United States in April, said advertising and marketing revenue nearly doubled to $59.6 million in the second quarter ended June 30.
Onename.io Aims To Streamline Bitcoin Transactions | TechCrunch
Why is this tool interesting? Well, if you’ve ever tried to send or receive bitcoin using QR codes or by cutting and pasting a wallet code, you quickly discover that it’s a process fraught with danger. Did you scan the right QR code? Did you type in all the numbers? Did you read every single digit of the wallet address? Considering you could be feasibly be dumping a few hundred dollars into a black hole if you accidentally transpose a number, it’s a real concern.
Berlin bans Uber on 'safety grounds'
The Premier League has told the BBC they're clamping down on football fans uploading goals and other match highlights on social media, ahead of the new season. Thousands of short clips, also known as 'vines', were posted online during the World Cup but the Premier League are warning supporters that tweeting copyrighted material is illegal and equivalent to film piracy.
After my first impulse to jump up and go buy him an iPod Touch, I soon realized that, to use an iPod, or any audio device for that matter, one needs to be able to see the tiny controls. So I started looking at existing audio book solutions for the blind. A couple of things exist, but this market seems to be mainly targeted at people that still have a whole life of being blind ahead of them and are willing to invest time into learning very specific technologies. However, this was not my grand-father's situation. I worried that he would lose his motivation (of which he didn't have much left anyway at that point), so I needed to come up with something better. And since I hadn't found anything suitable that I could go out and buy, I would need to build it myself.
This is what makes the snapping bone sound in Mortal Kombat X
That juicy explosion of a crushed skull in Mortal Kombat X is actually the sound of a watermelon splattering on a layer of plastic in NetherRealm's foley studio. The remaining bone snaps, cranium hits and squishy organ sounds are mostly made with various fruits and vegetables, Warner Bros Marketing Games Manager Brian Goodman told Joystiq at Gamescom.
Mortal Kombat X is an exceedingly gruesome game, done in a way that makes it clear that NetherRealm knows how ridiculous it's being at all times. The art team stressed to accurately portray the sub-dermal anatomy of each character, Goodman said – and then Scorpion rips a hole though Sub-Zero's torso until his heart dangles in the middle of his gaping chest cavity. Ridiculous.
The next time you pick up a melon at the store, try picturing it as Raiden's melon . Yum.
[Image: Warner Bros]
Anonymous reveals Ferguson police officer's name
Thursday morning, Anonymous released the name of the man it believes to be the police officer who shot and killed Brown over the weekend. A tit-for-tat is now underway, with hackers on one side and police on the other.
Free Startup Idea: BurritoCannon | TechCrunch
So it’s lunch time, and you haven’t accomplished nearly enough to warrant yourself a jaunt outside to get some food, let alone having iced so many to-dos that you are going to leave the office for a sit-down meal.
New World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, gets release date
World of Warcraft is coming up on ten years old—an entire decade—and despite some steep drops in player numbers recently, the game is still going strong.
Avago to sell LSI's Axxia Networking Business to Intel for $650 million
Avago bought LSI in December last year for $6.6 billion, and has been divesting units as it seeks to counter volatility in its main wireless business and focus on the fast-growing storage chip market.
Michael J. Fox Smart Watches Are Right On Time For Parkinson's Breakthrough
Back To The Future actor Michael J. Fox could make a major breakthrough in the monitoring and treatment of Parkinson’s disease as his foundation begins equipping patients with Intel Basis smart watches – and a specially developed app – that can track people’s movements and how they manage the condition.
Gamescom 2014: Breaking Down Bloodborne's Combat System - IGN
The main character is walking in a wooded area, and on all sides is surrounded by densely-packed tombstones. Everything has a sickly yellow-brown tinge, as if the forest is rotting. Up ahead in an opening is a house surrounded by peasant ladies holding torches and blades. Dressed in shabby clothes, they're much taller than you and let out a horrendous cackle as soon as they see you and begin to attack. With no shield in hand, there's definitely more emphasis on attacking – nowhere to hide – but also rolling out of harm's way. Managing your stamina will still be integral to how Bloodborne plays, as will be spotting weaknesses in its enemies. At this point the producer pointed out that being elderly ladies it might be a good idea to test their bad hips. So in the footage, the player rolls into the enemies and momentarily puts them off balance creating a window of attack. The producers underscored the fact that Bloodborne still rests of those principles of measured combat.
Linode Founder Chris Aker on why you don't want to mess with The Onion
When he quit his paying job and needed a new gig, Chris Aker started Linode in 2003, well before any of the public cloud providers showed up. And Linode, a conflation of “Linux” and “node,” which he initially ran out of his bedroom, became an early fan favorite among developers needing an easy way to create and run workloads. Here he talks about why he’s not wild about Linode being characterized as a virtual private server company as opposed to a cloud provider, which he calls a distinction without a real difference except for marketing purposes.
YouTube Rolls Out New TV Interface, Starts With Xbox One | TechCrunch
The channel and playlist pages also got a bit of a makeover. Instead of just a single side-scrolling list, they now feature multiple sub-genres. That actually makes the application much more interesting to use because previously, scrolling through the long list was rather annoying and not an easy way to discover content that was interesting to you. Most of the time when you are using YouTube on the TV, after all, you are simply browsing for a funny cat video, and the easier Google can make it for you to find those, the more time you are likely going to spend with the service.
Emotions rise as Tomb Raider goes to Xbox
"The recent decision to release the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider as an Xbox One exclusive alienates the majority of the fan base and will ultimately lead to the demise of the franchise."
For a vocal group of fans it's not just a business move, but a killing blow. Microsoft's claim to Rise of the Tomb Raide r, as an Xbox-only game for Holiday 2015 , is incurring the sort of backlash and petition-signing flurry (seen above) that's well known to veterans of the infamous console wars. And it's not even the first time a Tomb Raider sequel has been through this – just ask Sega Saturn owners who had to get a PC or PlayStation if they wanted to a keep their streak of unearthed relics.
The fallout comes from a good place: Long-time raiders have grown up with Lara Croft and her tomb-trashing style of archeology, still fondly recalling their first encounter with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, or the fatal result of a badly judged swan dive. Those moments belong to them, stored in a box that runs regardless of which console sits beneath the TV.
But you buy a console for the games, and Rise of the Tomb Raider is a good thing to have if you're in the business of selling consoles.
Q&A: Lenovo CEO on How It Plans to Grow With Smartphones
Yang: With the Motorola acquisition, we can become an even stronger global player. Motorola’s business is very complementary to Lenovo’s smartphone business. They are strong in North America and Latin America. Their new products are showing some strong results in Western Europe and India too. When the two companies are combined we will definitely become a more competitive player in most of the key markets.
California Drought Is Worst Since at Least 1895, Data Shows
Using this index, the National Weather Service forecast office in Hanford, California, which is in the north-central part of the state, plotted the SPEI for the state of California, going all the way back to the beginning of reliable instrument records in 1895. What they found was that the ongoing drought beat the benchmark drought of 1976-77 for the worst reading on the SPEI scale.
Twitter admits its hands-off approach to harassment isn’t working anymore
Twitter users drove Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda off the site by tweeting that her father’s death was her fault. In response, Twitter promised to change and expand its anti-harassment policies.
Sprinklr Acquires TBG Digital, One Of Facebook's Biggest Ad Clients, Ahead Of Its IPO
Sprinklr's future as an enterprise social media management company — via an IPO — is the worst-kept secret in the world of adtech. Sprinklr CEO Ragy Thomas is known to want to build "a $10 billion company." TBG, by contrast, has been a rather curious beast. Started by CEO Simon Mansell in the bedroom of his mother's house in the U.K. back in 2001, TBG has grown largely on the power of its own revenues and now has offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Hamburg. We hear it has been fending off acquirers for years.
Internet of Bling: Samsung Buys SmartThings for $200 Million
As Lauren Goode wrote at the time: “SmartThings sells kits, for just under $200, that include a basic router and small adhesive sensors. The sensors attach to various objects in your home and, ultimately, connect to your Wi-Fi network. You then control those appliances with the SmartThings iPhone app. But SmartThings is more than just things; it’s a platform, one that Hawkinson believes should be as open as possible.”
Gamescom 2014: Microsoft Hopes Developers Will Continue to Use Kinect - IGN
"That wasn’t, in any way, to make any editorial statement about the future of Kinect," Harrison said. "It’s just that these were the games we wanted to highlight in our briefing. The games that we focused on in our briefing were the blockbusters and exclusives for this holiday, 2014."
The US Government Is Awful At Technology, In One Chart
In an interview this week, Mikey Dickerson, a former site reliability manager for Google and head of the new U.S. Digital Service, said the new team would help change how the government buys software and builds technology. For example, Dickerson said he wants government agencies working like startups and testing software projects every few weeks instead of waiting until they are completed months later to see if they work.
Captain America 3 writer continues campaign to bring M.O.D.O.K. to the screen
“There are people that I’m always wanting to bring in,” said Markus. “I want to put M.O.D.O.K. into something, but you can’t just drop a giant floating head in! It’s not like ‘Oh, we have to go talk to this guy – there’s something I should tell you about him first…’ Suddenly the whole movie needs to take on that structure in order to accommodate him. I never win that fight!”
30-Year-Old Who Sold His Startup For $170 Million Just Wrote 1,284 Slides On How To Win Life
30-Year-Old Who Sold His Startup For $170 Million Just Wrote 1,284 Slides On How To Win Life
Edward Snowden: 'I'd volunteer for prison' to return to US
Edward Snowden may have recently received a three-year extension of his stay in Russia, but the former National Security Agency contractor says in a new interview with WIRED magazine that he still clings to hope of returning home to the United States, even if it means living behind bars.
Luminal Closes $10M Series B Round For Its Cloud Management Service | TechCrunch
As Stella told me yesterday, he believes that “owning and operating cloud infrastructure is challenging on many levels.” It’s still hard to ensure that your instances are running the latest configurations, for example. “Even when you automate builds, use scripts to do deployment, and use CM tools to update your infrastructure, over time there is configuration drift and variable performance based on neighbors and other factors,” he said. “Also, keeping your network, security and storage configurations correct and known is a big challenge.”
Tinder owner buys social network Ask.fm - Telegraph
Tinder owner IAC has bought social network Ask.fm, promising to create a safer
environment for teenagers to communicate freely
IoT Tools and Solutions
. It handles the first piece of the IoT application development puzzle - getting your device online and publishing data. Tomorrow, we launch freeboard™, a web-based tool that allows you to build beautiful, fully-interactive user-interfaces for your connected devices; like dashboards, consoles, control panels, etc. Combined, dweet + freeboard, give you everything you need to put together a rock solid IoT application quickly and easily. But because they are modular they can be used individually and/or in conjunction with other open, 3rd-party platforms. Both tools are available for free (check out the websites for more detail).
IDC Q2 2014: Android and iOS on 96.4% of Smartphones
Android and iOS accounted for 96.4 percent of all smartphone shipments in Q2 2014, leaving even less for the competition as the Google-Apple duopoly hit a new high. Android grew its share to 84.7 market share, while iOS fell to 11.7 percent, Windows Phone slipped to 2.5 percent, and BlackBerry tanked to 0.5 percent.
The Third Smartphone Ecosystem Is Ending With A Whimper
Windows Phone’s share of shipments fell to 2.5% of the total from 3.4% a year ago, as shipments dropped by more than 9%. BlackBerry’s share fell to 0.5% from 2.8% — below the market share of the “other” category — amid a total collapse in shipments.
Newly Released Documents Show NSA Abused Its Discontinued Internet Metadata Program Just Like It Abused Everything Else | Techdirt
James Clapper's office (ODNI) has released a large batch of declassified documents , most of which deal with the NSA's discontinued Section 402 program. What this program did was re-read pen register/trap and trace (PR/TT) statutes to cover internet metadata, including sender/receiver information contained in email and instant messages. (Not to be confused with the Section 702 program, which is still active and harvests internet communications.)
Notably, this marks only the second time that the ODNI has acknowledged the document release has been compelled by a FOIA lawsuit.
Following a declassification review by the Executive Branch, the Department of Justice released on August 6, 2014, in redacted form, 38 documents relating to the now-discontinued NSA program to collect bulk electronic communications metadata pursuant to Section 402 of the FISA (“PRTT provision”). These documents are also responsive to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
As EPIC's site notes (and the ODNI's doesn't), the program was authorized in 2004, but no legal justification was provided to Congressional oversight until a half-decade later.
Humin, The App That Organizes Phone Contacts By How You Know Them, Is Now In The App Store | TechCrunch
Jain tells me Humin learns what’s most relevant to you over time and the more you use it. Add a new contact via the app and it will begin to provide relevance around that new contact such as the geo-location where you met and when that was and then scour through each of your contacts to reveal who you know in common to provide a deeper connection. I added Jain into contacts in the app just by his number. His name and info, including the 17 friends we happen to have in common, immediately popped up. His name and contact info are neatly stored within the regular iPhone contacts app as well.
Facebook’s Quest to Build an Artificial Brain Depends on This Guy | Enterprise | WIRED
He pushed it in the face of enormous skepticism. In the ’80s, when LeCun first got behind the idea of convnets—an approximation of the networks of neurons in the brain—the powerful computers and enormous data sets needed to make them work just didn’t exist. The very notion of a neural network had fallen into disrepute after it failed to deliver on the promises of scientists who first dreamed of artificial intelligence at the dawn of the computer age. It was hard to publish anything related to neural nets in the major academic journals, and this would remain the case in the ’90s and on into the aughts.
Fly Or Die: The New Foursquare | TechCrunch
Foursquare is a free mobile app that helps users keep up and meet up with friends. Since 2009, [more than 45 million people](https://foursquare.com/about) have joined Foursquare, checking in around the world over 5 billion times. Those check-ins power the Foursquare Explore search engine, which provides personalized recommendations of the best places nearby.
In addition, more than 1.6 million businesses …
From Tom Hanks, an app ode to the typewriter
From Tom Hanks, an app ode to the typewriter
Actor Tom Hanks, who has a passion for old-school typewriters, has helped create an app aimed at turning iPad's into those quirky, sound-filled machines of yesteryear
Check out this story on USATODAY.com: http://usat.ly/VnFMlg
Ebay in talks to take bitcoins at payments unit : WSJ
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What It Takes to Win the World’s Highest Computer Science Honor | Science | WIRED
One summer afternoon in 2001, while visiting relatives in India, Subhash Khot drifted into his default mode — quietly contemplating the limits of computation. For hours, no one could tell whether the third-year Princeton University graduate student was working or merely sinking deeper into the living-room couch. That night, he woke up, scribbled something down and returned to bed. Over breakfast the next morning, he told his mother that he had come up with an interesting idea. She didn’t know what it was, but her reserved older son seemed unusually happy.
Lenovo's net profit jumps 23%
HONG KONG—Lenovo Group Ltd. is on a fast track to become a significant competitor in smartphones—not just in China but also overseas, taking on Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc. Already the world's largest personal-computer maker by shipments, the Chinese company has made significant progress in smartphones. In the second quarter, Lenovo not only became the No. 1 smartphone maker in China, overtaking Samsung, but was the No. 4 vendor by shipments world-wide, according to research firm IDC. Analysts predict Lenovo...