Tech News Feed

The Morning After: Friday, February 24 2017

Engadget - 1 hour 32 min ago
Good morning. We spent two days with the Nintendo Switch and we have feelings. Amazon is citing the First Amendment in defense of its robot Alexa, and we look forward to transforming into cups and bananas in Bethesda's forthcoming Prey.

Apple reportedly pays big bucks to buy, shut down - CNET

CNET News - 1 hour 37 min ago
The company recently bought the rights to the domain, which was previously held by an Asian social networking site.

Former HTC bigwig joins Android creator's 'stealth startup' - CNET

CNET News - 1 hour 50 min ago
Andy Rubin, the creator of Android, is said to be working on a company to challenge Apple and Google for mobile dominance.

Cloudflare Leaks Sensitive User Data Across the Web

SlashDot - 2 hours 32 min ago
ShaunC writes: In a bug that's been christened "Cloudbleed," Cloudflare disclosed today that some of their products accidentally exposed private user information from a number of websites. Similar to 2014's Heartbleed, Cloudflare's problem involved a buffer overrun that allowed uninitialized memory contents to leak into normal web traffic. Tavis Ormandy, of Google's Project Zero, discovered the flaw last week. Affected sites include Uber, Fitbit, and OK Cupid, as well as unnamed services for hotel booking and password management. Cloudflare says the bug has been fixed, and Google has purged affected pages from its search index and cache. Further reading: The Register, Ars Technica

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Server bug leaks user data for thousands of popular websites

Engadget - 2 hours 52 min ago
A number of high-profile websites have been leaking their users personal data into the ether, thanks to an error at their hosting provider. Cloudflare, which provides services to companies like Patreon, Fitbit and OKCupid among others, had an error i...

Lyft's biggest rollout takes it to 50 new cities

Engadget - 4 hours 2 min ago
Lyft has just announced its biggest expansion to date. The ride-sharing service is now available in over 50 new cities and four new states across the US. They're mostly located in the Midwest, but the list also includes a few other parts of the count...

Google issue accidentally crashed Google Wifi and OnHub devices - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 28 min ago
A factory reset will fix the problem, the company said.

Google Allo's desktop client is in the works

Engadget - 5 hours 11 min ago
Google just can't stop when it comes to messaging apps. While its texting software for Android has a new name, the AI-powered Allo is coming to a new platform soon. VP Nick Fox teased a desktop web client for the service in a tweet, while saying that...

Life Expectancy Set To Hit 90 In South Korea, Study Predicts

SlashDot - 5 hours 32 min ago
According to a study published in the journal The Lancet, researchers have predicted that South Korea will likely become the first country where the average life expectancy will exceed 90 years. The researchers led by public-health researcher Majid Ezzati at Imperial College London used data from the World Health Organization and a suite of 21 statistical models they developed to figure out how life expectancy will change in 35 developed countries by 2030. Nature reports: Life expectancy is expected to increase in all 35 countries, in keeping with steady progress in recent decades, the team found. But it is South Korean women who will be living longest by 2030: there is a nearly 60% chance that their life expectancy at birth will exceed 90 years by that time, the team calculates. Girls born in the country that year can expect to live, on average, to nearly 91, and boys to 84, the highest in the world for both sexes. The nation's rapid improvement in life expectancy -- the country was ranked twenty-ninth for women in 1985 -- is probably down to overall improvements in economic status and child nutrition, the study notes, among other factors. South Koreans also have relatively equal access to health care, lower blood pressure than people in Western countries and low rates of smoking among women. As for the United States, the life expectancy is "predicted to be among the lowest of these countries by 2030; 80 for men (similar to the Czech Republic) and 83 for women (similar to Mexico)."

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Caitlyn Jenner tweets of Trump's 'disaster' transgender policy - CNET

CNET News - 5 hours 38 min ago
Commentary: In a video, the Olympian turned reality star asks the president to call her.

Cadillac addresses 'a nation divided' in Oscars ad - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 32 min ago
Commentary: As if to warm everyone up for a political Oscars show, the carmaker insists the nation can be united.

Amazon refuses to hand over Alexa info for murder investigation

Engadget - 7 hours 18 min ago
Amazon continues to resist law enforcement's demands to hand over the audio recordings for an Echo involved in an Arkansas murder investigation. The tech titan has filed a motion to throw out a search warrant from prosecutors, arguing that both the u...

Someone just bought an oil tanker on China's eBay - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2017-02-23 23:54
You can buy anything you want on Taobao, including sea vessels... if you have $11 million to spare.

Google's Android texting app has a new name

Engadget - Thu, 2017-02-23 23:09
Despite how common texting is, its integration on Android has always lagged slightly behind, as Google appeared to focus on other things. Sometimes it wrapped the feature into other services/apps like Google Voice and Hangouts, but lately, the main A...

Samsung increases transparency on donations amid scandal - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2017-02-23 23:08
The company lowers the monetary threshold for financial donations requiring board approval.

Self-Driving Cars Should Be Liable For Accidents, Not the Passengers: UK Government

SlashDot - Thu, 2017-02-23 22:30
"Electric charging points at all major motorway services and petrol stations, and the occupants of a self-driving car aren't liable in the case of an accident -- those are two of the measures proposed by a new law that the UK government hopes will let us reap the rewards of improved transport technology over the next few years," reports Ars Technica. "These changes are part of the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill (VTAB), a draft law that is basically a shopping list of governmental desires." From the report: The first item on the bill involves automated vehicles, and how to ensure that the vehicle's owner (which may or may not be a driver) and potential accident victims are protected. The bill says that insurance companies must offer two types of protection: for when a vehicle is acting autonomously, but also if the human driver decides to takes control. Essentially, the government wants to make sure that an accident victim can always claim compensation from the insurance company, even if the car was acting autonomously. It would then be up for the insurance company to try and reclaim that money from the car maker through existing common law and product liability arrangements. In a somewhat rare display of tech savviness, there are two exemptions listed in the bill. If the vehicle owner makes unauthorized changes to the car's software, or fails to install a software update as mandated by their insurance policy, then the insurer doesn't have to pay. It isn't clear at this point which capabilities will be enough to classify a vehicle as "self-driving." The draft law asks the department for transport (DfT) to work it out, post haste, and then to determine which vehicles qualify for the new type of insurance. The planned law also outlines new governmental powers to improve the UK's electric charging infrastructure.

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Uber, Fitbit, OKCupid information exposed by wide-reaching flaw - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2017-02-23 22:12
Bug affecting 3,400 websites leaked data, including usernames, passwords and messages sent by end-users.

Google's Immerse VR series debuts with exploration of racial identity

Engadget - Thu, 2017-02-23 22:09
Google's virtual reality offerings are taking off. While their engineers develop techniques to simulate user faces hidden behind headsets that will make streaming VR less clunky, the NBA recently released an original show for Daydream VR. But today,...

What tech's saying about Trump's transgender policy reversal - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2017-02-23 21:45
Tech companies strongly oppose the president rescinding policies for transgender students.

Disney's Maker Studios changes strategy and lays off employees

Engadget - Thu, 2017-02-23 21:22
Disney-owned Maker Studios is putting its business through a major overhaul in an effort to become profitable. According to The Wall Street Journal, Disney is laying off around 80 people -- some of them are Maker employees, while some are from the Ho...