Tech News Feed

Kaia's motion-tracking workout app remembers which rep you're on

Engadget - Thu, 2019-03-21 05:00
Kaia Health caught our attention last year with an app that tracks your motion using your phone's camera in a bid to help you achieve perfect squat form, though we found it didn't quite hit the mark. Still, Kaia is elevating the concept with an updat...

Telltale's 'The Walking Dead' delivers its final episode next week

Engadget - Thu, 2019-03-21 04:02
The final season of Telltale's The Walking Dead series will come to an end next week, when the fourth and last episode is released by TWD creator Robert Kirkman's Skybound Games. When Telltale Games virtually shut down and laid off everyone working o...

1,600 Korean Hotel Guests Were Secretly Filmed and Live-Streamed Online

SlashDot - Thu, 2019-03-21 03:00
dryriver shares a report from CNN: About 1,600 people have been secretly filmed in hotel rooms in South Korea, with the footage live-streamed online for paying customers to watch, police said Wednesday. Two men have been arrested and another pair investigated in connection with the scandal, which involved 42 rooms in 30 accommodations in 10 cities around the country. Police said there was no indication the businesses were complicit in the scheme. Cameras were hidden inside digital TV boxes, wall sockets and hairdryer holders and the footage was streamed online, the Cyber Investigation Department at the National Police Agency said in a statement. The streaming site had more than 4,000 members, 97 of whom paid a $44.95 monthly fee to access extra features, such as the ability to replay certain live streams. The site had more than 4,000 members, 97 of whom paid a $44.95 monthly fee to access extra features, such as the ability to replay certain live streams. Between November 2018 and this month, police said, the service brought in upward of $6,000.

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Apple rolls out pastel Watch bands and iPhone cases for spring

Engadget - Thu, 2019-03-21 02:56
Apple has revealed new Watch bands and iPhone cases for spring, and they sure look like an explosion of colorful pastel hues to fit the season. You can now get an iPhone XS or XS Max silicone case ($39) in Spearmint, Papaya and Delft Blue, and the XS...

Shampoo magnate uses glasses-free 3D to push budget phones

Engadget - Thu, 2019-03-21 01:02
Remember how shampoo magnate John Paul DeJoria threw himself into the mobile world five years ago? He's now offering smartphones -- and they might be appealing if you find most budget phones a little boring. Rokit's newly launched Io 3D and Io Pro...

San Francisco Moves To Ban E-Cigarettes Until Health Effects Known

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Officials in San Francisco have proposed a new law to ban e-cigarette sales until their health effects are evaluated by the U.S. government. The law appears to be the first of its kind in the U.S. and seeks to curb a rising usage by young people. Critics, however, say it will make it harder for people to kick addiction. A second city law would bar making, selling or distributing tobacco on city property and is aimed at an e-cigarette firm renting on Pier 70. Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its proposed guidelines, giving companies until 2021 to apply to have their e-cigarette products evaluated. A deadline had initially been set for August 2018, but the agency later said more preparation time was needed. San Francisco city attorney Dennis Herrera, one of the co-authors of the bill, which is yet to be approved, said reviews should have been done before they were sold. Juul, one of the most popular U.S. e-cigarette firms, rents space on Pier 70. It said in a statement: "This proposed legislation begs the question -- why would the city be comfortable with combustible cigarettes being on shelves when we know they kill more than 480,000 Americans per year?"

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Crowdfunded Nanoloop synth doesn't need a Game Boy to make beats

Engadget - Wed, 2019-03-20 22:54
Nanoloop has been a cornerstone of chiptune music for years, but using one has meant either owning a Game Boy or making do with a mobile app. You won't have to make those compromises for much longer. Developer Oliver Wittchow and crew are crowdfund...

HardOCP Is Getting 'Mothballed' As Kyle Bennett Accepts Job At Intel

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 22:20
Slashdot reader grasshoppa writes: Kyle Bennett, long-time owner/operator of one of the last independent review sites, HardOCP, announced that effective April 1st he will be leaving it behind to start a new career at Intel. "Effective April 1, 2019 I will be taking on the position of Director of Enthusiast Engagement for Intel's Technology Leadership Marketing group," Bennett writes. "Intel wants to reconnect with the top of the high-performance consumer pyramid which contains hardware enthusiasts, overclockers, gamers, and content creators. This is the part of our community that has great influence through word of mouth and online engagement. I'll be focusing on helping Intel get back in touch with this audience and re-establishing a voice and dialog on where the company is going with its future technologies. If you are reading this, you are very likely already part of this group." He goes on to say that he does not want to sell HardOCP or HardForum and see those properties turned into something that he would not be proud of. Instead, "HardOCP will be 'mothballed,'" he writes. "It will no longer publish news, editorial, or hardware review content. [...] HardForum.com will be sold to a company that I have done business with for years, one that I can trust to run it in the way you are familiar with. HardForum will be demonetized and all advertising and commission links removed. Simply put, HardForum will not make money in any way..." You can read Bennett's full statement here.

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Postmates cuts its delivery fee if you join a group order

Engadget - Wed, 2019-03-20 21:42
A new feature from Postmates lets people who live close to each other score free food delivery. The popular food delivery app's new "Party" feature groups together restaurant orders from customers who live in the same neighborhood. Hungry patrons can...

AT&T CEO Interrupted By a Robocall During a Live Interview

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 21:40
At an Economic Club event in Washington, DC today, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was interrupted on stage by a robocall, pausing an interview in front of dozens of people and driving home that absolutely no one is safe from the spam epidemic. From a report: Over the past few months, regulators at the Federal Communications Commission have been feeling the pressure from lawmakers and consumers who are urging them to put an end to the relentless onslaught of robocalls people receive every day. Last year, consumers received over 26.3 billion of these scammy calls and the problem only appears to be getting worse. "I'm getting a robocall, too," Stephenson said during the Economic Club event, ultimately declining the call on his Apple Watch. "It's literally a robocall."

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Google Will Implement a Microsoft-Style Browser Picker For EU Android Devices

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 21:00
Back in 2009, the EU's European Commission said Microsoft was harming competition by bundling its browser -- Internet Explorer -- with Windows. Eventually Microsoft and the European Commission settled on the "browser ballot," a screen that would pop up and give users a choice of browsers. Almost 10 years later, the tech industry is going through this again, this time with Google and the EU. After receiving "feedback" from the European Commission, Google announced last night that it would offer Android users in the EU a choice of browsers and search engines. Ars Technica reports: In July, the European Commission found Google had violated the EU's antitrust rules by bundling Google Chrome and Google Search with Android, punishing manufacturers that shipped Android forks, and paying manufacturers for exclusively pre-installing Google Search. Google was fined a whopping $5.05 billion (which it is appealing) and then the concessions started. Google said its bundling of Search and Chrome funded the development and free distribution of Android, so any manufacturer looking to ship Android with unbundled Google apps would now be charged a fee. Reports later pegged this amount as up to $40 per handset. We don't have many details on exactly how Google's new search and browser picker will work; there's just a single paragraph in the company's blog post. Google says it will "do more to ensure that Android phone owners know about the wide choice of browsers and search engines available to download to their phones. This will involve asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use."

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Volvo To Add In-Car Sensors To Prevent Drunk Driving

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 20:20
Volvo is installing cameras and sensors in its cars from the early 2020s, monitoring drivers for signs of being drunk or distracted and intervening to prevent accidents. These new safety features come a couple weeks after the automaker announced it will limit the top speed to 112mph on all its new cars from 2020 to help reduce the number of accidents. Reuters reports: Head of R&D Henrik Green said cameras will be installed on all Volvo models built on its SPA2 platform for larger cars, starting from the XC90 SUV in the early part of the next decade, before being added to smaller cars built on its CMA platform. Volvo said intervention if the driver is found to be drunk, tired or distracted by checking a mobile phone - among the biggest factors in accidents - could involve limiting the car's speed, alerting the Volvo on Call assistance service, or slowing down and parking the car. CEO Hakan Samuelsson said that while the strategies meant Volvo might lose some customers keen on high speeds, it also opened opportunities to win parents who wanted to buy the safest car to carry their children. "It would be easy to say that people can do whatever they like but we feel we have a responsibility to do this. Maybe people will see us as 'Big Brother,' but if we save some lives then it's worth it," he told journalists. Volvo also said it would introduce Care Key on cars from 2021, allowing buyers to set speed limits, and that it was talking to insurers to offer better terms for users of these safety features.

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Windows 7 message alerts users to the end of security updates

Engadget - Wed, 2019-03-20 20:17
Microsoft really, really wants you to know that Windows 7's security updates will end soon. A newly deployed update will warn users that Microsoft will stop providing security updates for the operating system after January 14th, 2020, with a not-so-...

Four Wikipedias To 'Black Out' Over EU Copyright Directive

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 19:40
Sherwin Siy and Jan Gerlach, writing for the Wikimedia Foundation: Volunteer editor communities in four language Wikipedias -- German, Czech, Danish, and Slovak -- have decided to black out the sites on 21 March in opposition to the current version of the proposed EU Copyright Directive. Those language editions of Wikipedia will redirect all visitors to a banner about the directive, blocking access to content on Wikipedia for 24 hours. A final vote on the directive is expected on 26 March. These independent language communities decided to black out in the same way most decisions are made on Wikipedia -- through discussion and consensus, something summarized in a statement from the German Wikipedia volunteer community: "Each of these independent Wikipedia communities has been engaging in public online discussions as to their course of action, and voting on whether and how to protest. They have done this according to their own rules of governance."

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Apple's news service adds the Wall Street Journal at the last minute

Engadget - Wed, 2019-03-20 19:38
Whatever trouble Apple has had recruiting publishers for its paid news service, it appears to have scored at least one big coup. New York Times tipsters claim the Wall Street Journal has agreed to join the service mere days ahead of Apple's March 25...

'Energizing Times': Microsoft To 'Go Big' at E3 in Response To Google Stadia

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 19:00
Microsoft announced its Xcloud game-streaming service last August, with the ambition of streaming console-quality games to gamers wherever they are. Yesterday, Google made its foray into the space with the announcement of Stadia. Google promises that Stadia will be "coming [in] 2019," potentially stealing a march on Xcloud, which is due only to enter public trials this year. But in an internal email sent to rally the troops, Phil Spencer, Microsoft's gaming chief, seemed unsurprised and apparently unconcerned. He wrote: We just wrapped up watching the Google announcement of Stadia as team here at GDC. Their announcement is validation of the path we embarked on two years ago.. Today we saw a big tech competitor enter the gaming market, and frame the necessary ingredients for success as Content, Community and Cloud. There were no big surprises in their announcement although I was impressed by their leveraging of YouTube, the use of Google Assistant and the new WiFi controller. But I want get back to us, there has been really good work to get us to the position where we are poised to compete for 2 billion gamers across the planet. Google went big today and we have a couple of months until E3 when we will go big. We have to stay agile and continue to build with our customer at the center. We have the content, community, cloud team and strategy, and as I've been saying for a while, it's all about execution. This is even more true today. Energizing times.

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Dyson's latest handheld vacuum works smarter, not harder

Engadget - Wed, 2019-03-20 19:00
The weather's warming up, which means spring is almost here. That heralds the cleaning out of musty apartments, students studying for finals and of course, allergy season. Dyson just unveiled a trio of products that can take care of all of thos...

Many People Think AI Could Make Better Policy Decisions Than Politicians

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 18:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: A new survey on Europeans' attitudes towards technology found that a quarter of people would prefer it if policy decisions were made by artificial intelligence instead of politicians. The Center for the Governance of Change at Spain's IE University polled 2,500 adults in the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, and the Netherlands in January. The results reflect an intense anxiety about the changes brought about by advances in tech, with more than half of respondents worried that jobs would be replaced by robots, and 70% saying that unchecked technological innovation could do more harm than good to society. Respondents also expressed concerns about the impact of digital relationships replacing human contact as more people spend time online. Perhaps most interestingly, a quarter of the respondents said they would prefer AI to guide decisions about governance of their country over politicians. Around the world, citizens have expressed a growing disillusionment with democracy, and an increased skepticism that their voice has an impact on political decisions. But algorithmic decisions aren't a problem-free solution: they can be embedded with the prejudice and bias of their programmers or manipulated to achieve specific outcomes, making the results as potentially problematic as the ones made by humans. The study also found that respondents expected governments to reduce the disruption that technology might have on their lives with regulation, limits on automation, and support for people affected by job losses. This "highlights the paradox in which we live," the authors wrote. "People are disillusioned with governments, yet at the same time ask them to tackle the societal and economic negative effects that emerging technologies might have."

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AT&T and Comcast test 'verified' phone calls to fight spam

Engadget - Wed, 2019-03-20 18:19
Robocalls have gotten so bad that competitors AT&T and Comcast are teaming up to tackle the problem together. Their plan is to "authenticate and verify" calls. In other words, they'll let you know when an incoming call is really from the number l...

China's E-Buses Dent Oil Demand More Than Electric Cars Do

SlashDot - Wed, 2019-03-20 17:40
China's fleet of electric buses appear to be denting oil demand more than electric cars. "By the end of this year, a cumulative 270,000 barrels a day of diesel demand will have been displaced by electric buses, most of it in China," reports Bloomberg, citing a new report published by BloombergNEF. "That's more than three times the displacement by all the world's passenger electric vehicles (a market where Tesla has a share of about 12 percent)." From the report: Despite rapid growth, the impact on the oil market from electric vehicles remains relatively small. Collectively, buses and electric vehicles account for about 3 percent of oil demand growth since 2011, and 0.3 percent of current global consumption, according to BloombergNEF figures and data from the International Energy Agency. Buses matter more because of their size and constant use. For every 1,000 electric buses on the road, 500 barrels of diesel are displaced each day, BloombergNEF estimates. By comparison, 1,000 battery electric vehicles remove just 15 barrels of oil demand. Still, the EV market's impact on oil consumption is only going to grow. By 2040, electric vehicles could displace much as 6.4 million barrels a day of demand, while fuel efficiency improvements will erase another 7.5 million barrels a day, according to BloombergNEF's May 2018 long-term EV outlook.

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