Tech News Feed

Facebook will send postcards to verify US election ad buyers

Engadget - Sat, 2018-02-17 18:58
Facebook has a new yet very old solution to fighting Russian manipulation attempts during future US elections: conventional mail. Global policy program director Katie Harbath has revealed that the social network will send postcards to verify the ide...

Facebook Admits SMS Notifications Sent Using Two-Factor Number Was Caused by Bug

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-02-17 18:00
Facebook has clarified the situation around SMS notifications sent using the company's two-factor authentication (2FA) system, admitting that the messages were indeed caused by a bug. From a report: In a blog post penned by Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, the company says the error led it to "send non-security-related SMS notifications to these phone numbers." Facebook uses the automated number 362-65, or "FBOOK," as its two-factor authentication number, which is a secure way of confirming a user's identity by sending a numeric code to a secondary device like a mobile phone. That same number ended up sending users Facebook notifications without their consent. When users would attempt to get the SMS notifications to stop, the replies were posted to their own Facebook profiles as status updates.

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Joel McHale's weekly Netflix show premieres this weekend

Engadget - Sat, 2018-02-17 17:32
As promised, Joel McHale's weekly Netflix show is premiering on February 18th -- and you now have a better idea of what to expect going in. The streaming service has posted a preview of The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale that gives a feel for wha...

Most Cities Would Welcome a Tech Billionaire, But Peter Thiel?

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-02-17 17:00
Sarah McBride, writing for Bloomberg: Tech billionaire Peter Thiel is moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco, adding another dose of legitimacy to a burgeoning startup scene in Southern California -- along with some controversy. The co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, Thiel runs Founders Fund, one of the more-respected venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. He comes with a little baggage, though, including his staunch support for President Donald Trump, his secretive funding of the legal battle between Hulk Hogan and Gawker.com, and comments some people say have been derogatory toward women. "I'm not sure why Peter Thiel believes he'll receive a warmer reception on the L.A. tech scene than he's had in Silicon Valley," said Tracy DiNunzio, chief executive officer of Tradesy, a fashion-reselling company based in Santa Monica, California. "Our venture and startup ecosystem is fairly left-leaning."

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Google app beta adds built-in screenshot-editing tools

Engadget - Sat, 2018-02-17 16:01
Google app is extremely close to rolling out a built-in screenshot-editing tool -- so close that you can now try it out as a beta tester on Android. If you join the app's beta program and download version 7.21, you'll find an option that says "Edit a...

How Does Chinese Tech Stack Up Against American Tech?

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-02-17 16:00
The Economist: China's tech leaders love visiting California, and invest there, but are no longer awed by it [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled]. By market value the Middle Kingdom's giants, Alibaba and Tencent, are in the same league as Alphabet and Facebook. New stars may float their shares in 2018-19, including Didi Chuxing (taxi rides), Ant Financial (payments) and Lufax (wealth management). China's e-commerce sales are double America's and the Chinese send 11 times more money by mobile phones than Americans, who still scribble cheques. The venture-capital (VC) industry is booming. American visitors return from Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen blown away by the entrepreneurial work ethic. Last year the government decreed that China would lead globally in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. The plan covers a startlingly vast range of activities, including developing smart cities and autonomous cars and setting global tech standards. Like Japanese industry in the 1960s, private Chinese firms take this "administrative guidance" seriously.

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LinkedIn Users Will Soon Know What Jobs Pay Before Applying for Them

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-02-17 15:00
LinkedIn just introduced a way to help its members avoid going through the interview process for jobs with salaries that do not meet their expectations. From a report: The professional network announced the rollout of Salary Insights, which will add estimated or expected salary ranges to open roles, getting the numbers either through salary ranges provided by employers or estimated ranges from data submitted by members. The feature will launch "in the coming weeks." Salary Insights marks the next step after LinkedIn Salary, which the professional network launched in November 2016 to provide its users with information on salaries, bonuses and equity data for specific job titles, as well as factors that impact those salaries, including experience, industry, company size, location and education level.

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Twitter’s fake news problem is getting worse

Engadget - Sat, 2018-02-17 14:30
Earlier this week, we endured another school shooting. This time, in Parkland, Florida, where at least 17 students were killed. During the shooting's aftermath, hoaxes and disinformation spread on Twitter. It's a phenomenon that happens after every t...

New Star Wars Mighty Muggs force their way into NY Toy Fair - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-02-17 14:18
New Mighty Muggs toys of C-3PO, Captain Phasma and Maz Kanata debut at Toy Fair 2018.

The past, present and Afrofuturism of 'Black Panther' - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-02-17 14:11
Commentary: Art like "Black Panther" overturns stereotypes to reclaim the past and reimagine the future. To understand the film's power, you need to understand Afrofuturism.

Hot Wheels Augmoto puts AR lightning, missiles in your race - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-02-17 14:02
Vrooom! Car racing gets spiced up with augmented-reality effects shown off at Toy Fair 2018.

YouTube Red is Having an Identity Crisis

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-02-17 14:00
During an onstage conversation at Recode's Code Media this week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki called YouTube Red a music streaming service -- first time any executive from the company has referred to YouTube Red as foremost a music service. From a report: This differs from comments that other YouTube executives have made in the past, including YouTube's head of global content Susanne Daniels, who last year described YouTube Red as a premium subscription streaming service that offers Hollywood-quality shows and movies. Launched in October 2015, YouTube Red has always been positioned by YouTube as three services in one: It offers ad-free access to all of YouTube; it's a music streaming service that also gives access to Google Play Music; and it's consistently releasing original movies and TV shows, starring Hollywood talent and homegrown stars that users already subscribe to. Two years later, this has created somewhat of an identity crisis for the streaming service. As Wojcicki said in her interview, she sees YouTube Red as a music service. And she does not expect to spend billions of dollars on content to effectively compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others.

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Schiit’s tiny gizmo breaks a cardinal audiophile rule - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-02-17 13:47
Schiit Loki is a four-band equalizer that lets you easily tweak the sound of your speakers, headphones and music.

Genesis will show a new concept car in New York - Roadshow

CNET News - Sat, 2018-02-17 13:35
And it sounds like it'll be a doozy.

RightEye’s portable eye-tracking test catches concussions and reading problems in five minutes

TechCrunch - Sat, 2018-02-17 13:02
 They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but physiologically speaking, they’re windows to the brain. RightEye is a startup that looks through that window to detect common but often subtle vision issues resulting from concussions and other brain troubles. Its quick, portable eye-tracking station can tell in minutes whether you should see a doctor — or look into becoming a pro… Read More

Learning To Program Is Getting Harder

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-02-17 13:00
theodp writes: While Google suggests that parents and educators are to blame for why kids can't code, Allen Downey, Professor at Olin College argues that learning to program is getting harder . Downey writes: The fundamental problem is that the barrier between using a computer and programming a computer is getting higher. When I got a Commodore 64 (in 1982, I think) this barrier was non-existent. When you turned on the computer, it loaded and ran a software development environment (SDE). In order to do anything, you had to type at least one line of code, even if all it did was another program (like Archon). Since then, three changes have made it incrementally harder for users to become programmers: 1. Computer retailers stopped installing development environments by default. As a result, anyone learning to program has to start by installing an SDE -- and that's a bigger barrier than you might expect. Many users have never installed anything, don't know how to, or might not be allowed to. Installing software is easier now than it used to be, but it is still error prone and can be frustrating. If someone just wants to learn to program, they shouldn't have to learn system administration first. 2. User interfaces shifted from command-line interfaces (CLIs) to graphical user interfaces (GUIs). GUIs are generally easier to use, but they hide information from users about what's really happening. When users really don't need to know, hiding information can be a good thing. The problem is that GUIs hide a lot of information programmers need to know. So when a user decides to become a programmer, they are suddenly confronted with all the information that's been hidden from them. If someone just wants to learn to program, they shouldn't have to learn operating system concepts first. 3. Cloud computing has taken information hiding to a whole new level. People using web applications often have only a vague idea of where their data is stored and what applications they can use to access it. Many users, especially on mobile devices, don't distinguish between operating systems, applications, web browsers, and web applications. When they upload and download data, they are often confused about where is it coming from and where it is going. When they install something, they are often confused about what is being installed where. For someone who grew up with a Commodore 64, learning to program was hard enough. For someone growing up with a cloud-connected mobile device, it is much harder. theodp continues: So, with the Feds budgeting $200 million a year for K-12 CS at the behest of U.S. tech leaders, can't the tech giants at least put a BASIC on every phone/tablet/laptop for kids?

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Labor board says Google legally fired diversity memo writer

Engadget - Sat, 2018-02-17 12:59
James Damore may claim Google was wrong to fire him over his memo criticizing the company's diversity culture, but a federal government overseer begs to differ. The National Labor Relations Board has published a January memo recommending a dismissal...

Unlocked phones vs. locked phones: Why you should care - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2018-02-17 12:13
In this edition of Ask Maggie, CNET's Marguerite Reardon breaks down what you need to know about the carrier practice of locking phones.

Google Auto Trends report says we're all dog-obsessed dashcam buyers - Roadshow

CNET News - Sat, 2018-02-17 12:00
In an attempt to better understand the changing automotive landscape, Google crunched a bunch of its data to find out what it is we all care care about, when it comes to cars.

New Scanning Technique Reveals Secrets Behind Great Paintings

SlashDot - Sat, 2018-02-17 12:00
Researchers in the US have used a new scanning technique to discover a painting underneath one of Pablo Picasso's great works of art, the Crouching Woman (La Misereuse Accroupie). From a report: Underneath the oil painting is a landscape of Barcelona which, it turns out, Picasso used as the basis of his masterpiece. The new x-ray fluorescence system is cheaper than alternative art scanning systems -- and it is portable, making it available to any gallery that wants it. Details were revealed at the American Association for the Advancement for Science in Austin, Texas. The Crouching Woman is a painting from Picasso's blue period. What is remarkable is that the landscape painting beneath -- probably by a student artist -- is turned 90 degrees. The contour of the hills in the background becomes the crouching woman's back. She takes on the shape and form of the Catalan countryside. Kenneth Brummel, a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, said that he was "excited" when he first learned what lay underneath the Crouching Woman. "It helps to date the painting and it also helps to determine where the painting was made," he told BBC News. "But it also gives a sense of the artists with whom the painter was engaging. And these insights help us ask new, more interesting and scientifically more accurate questions regarding an artist, their process and how they arrived at the forms that we see on the surface of a painting."

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