Sun, 23 Oct 2016 04:08:46 UTThe acquisition would combine a telecom giant that owns a leading cellphone business, DirecTV and an internet service with the company behind HBO, CNN, and some of the world's most popular entertainment, including "Game of Thrones," the "Harry Potter" franchise and professional basketball. The prospect of another media giant on the horizon has already drawn fire on the campaign trail. Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, said the deal "raises some immediate flags about consolidation in the media market" and said he would press for more information on how the deal will affect consumers. After its attempt to buy wireless competitor T-Mobile was scrapped in 2011 following opposition from regulators, AT&T doubled down on television by purchasing satellite-TV company DirecTV for $48.5 billion. AT&T is expected to offer a streaming TV package, DirecTV Now, by the end of the year, aimed at people who have dropped their cable subscriptions or never had one. Jeff Bewkes, the Time Warner CEO who will stay with the company for an undefined transition period, added that more money will help fund production of additional programming and films. (AT&T, of course, will still have to strike such deals with entertainment conglomerates it doesn't own.) The combined company is also likely to lean more heavily on advertisements targeted at individuals based on their interests and personal details. Buying Time Warner may be "a good defensive move" against Comcast as the cable giant continues stretching into new businesses, New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin said in a Friday note.
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 22:33:18 UTNEW YORK (AP) — Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? [...] the attackers now have a secret weapon in the increasing array of internet-enabled household devices they can subvert and use to wreak havoc. Jason Read, founder of the internet performance monitoring firm CloudHarmony, owned by Gartner Inc., said his company tracked a half-hour-long disruption early Friday affecting access to many sites from the East Coast. According to a report from the cybersecurity firm Verisign, the largest DDoS attack perpetrated during the second quarter of this year peaked at just 256 billion bits per second. Lance Cottrell, chief scientist for the cybersecurity firm Ntrepid, said while DDoS attacks have been used for years, they've become very popular in recent months, thanks to the proliferation of "internet of things" devices ranging from connected thermostats to security cameras and smart TVs. The average North American home contains 13 internet-connected devices , according to the research firm IHS Markit. Since the attacks usually don't harm the consumer electronics companies that build the devices, or the consumers that unwittingly use them, companies have little incentive to boost security, Cottrell said. For its part, a member of New World Hackers who identified themselves as "Prophet" told an AP reporter via Twitter direct message exchange that collective isn't motivated by money and doesn't have anything personal against Dyn, Twitter or any of the other sites affected by the attacks. [...] monthly subscription fees for these services are generally equal to a typical DDoS extortion payment, giving companies little incentive to pay for them.
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 12:49:03 UTA smartphone application that allows residents to report the presence of construction dust or the burning of leaves and garbage in New Delhi's public parks to authorities was launched Friday. The newest measure, the phone app, was launched by the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, a monitoring group set up on the order of India's Supreme Court in April.
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:18:36 UT
Withering cyberattacks on server farms of a key internet firm repeatedly disrupted access to major websites and online services including Twitter, Netflix and PayPal across the United States on Friday. Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn Inc. said its data centers were hit by three waves of distributed denial-of-service attacks, which overwhelm targeted machines with junk data traffic. The data flood came from tens of millions of different Internet-connected machines — including increasingly popular but highly insecure household devices such as web-connected cameras. The level of disruption was difficult to gauge, but Dyn serves some of the biggest names on the web, providing the domain name services that translate the numerical internet addresses into human-readable destinations such as "twitter.com." Steve Grobman, chief technology officer at Intel Security, compared an outage at a domain name services company to tearing up a map or turning off GPS before driving to the department store. Jason Read, founder of the internet performance monitoring firm CloudHarmony, owned by Gartner Inc., said his company tracked a half-hour-long disruption early Friday in which roughly one in two end users would have found it impossible to access various websites from the East Coast. For James Norton, the former deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security who now teaches on cybersecurity policy at Johns Hopkins University, the incident was an example of how attacks on key junctures in the network can yield massive disruption. Dyn officials said attacks stemmed from tens of millions of devices connected to the internet — closed-circuit video cameras, digital video recorders and even thermostats — that were infected with malware. Security experts have recently expressed concern over increasing power of denial-of-service attacks following high-profile electronic assaults against investigative journalist Brian Krebs and French internet service provider OVH . In a widely shared essay titled "Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet," respected security expert Bruce Schneier said last month that major internet infrastructure companies were seeing a series of worrying denial-of-service attacks.
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:10:34 UTSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Russian man has been charged with hacking and stealing information from computers at LinkedIn and other San Francisco Bay Area companies, federal prosecutors announced Friday. A grand jury indicted Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 29, of Moscow on Thursday on charges including computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco said. The U.S. has accused Russia of coordinating the theft and disclosure of emails from the Democratic National Committee and other institutions and individuals in the U.S. to influence the outcome of the election.
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:50:54 UTIn court documents, Dyson acknowledged that its claim became false once Lift-Away came out, but insisted it took prompt steps to eliminate the "twice the suction" advertising from the market, including spending nearly $1 million to replace packaging. A footnote said the claim referred to only one Dyson vacuum — the DC40 — but Dyson argued in court filings that the footnote was so small and inconspicuous that most consumers would not have noticed it and assumed the claim compared it to every full-size Dyson upright. Stacey Dogan, a Boston University law professor who specializes in intellectual property and competition law, said these kinds of cases can become emotional for two companies who take brand loyalty seriously.
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:20:20 UTA 55-foot tall statue of a nude woman unveiled this week in the working-class community of San Leandro is stirring controversy and a lot of conversation. The statue — roughly three times as tall as Michelangelo's David — is made of steel mesh in the form of a graceful dancer, with an arched back and arms stretched overhead. The debate is not over the statue's artistic merit or its message of female empowerment, which is aimed at the general public, not the tech industry. The statue, called "Truth is Beauty," is on private property at the edge of a new tech office complex — in a highly trafficked and visible area just across from San Leandro's commuter rail station. The sculptor, Marco Cochrane, says he was marked as a child by the rape of a neighborhood friend and tries through art to bring attention to sexual assault and to the fear of many women, but also to the strength women feel when not afraid.
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:43:01 UTPARIS (AP) — Prosecutors from France, Belgium, Spain and Morocco called Friday for the ability to unlock phones and computers and to gain access to encrypted communications to aid in the fight against terrorism. Following a two-day meeting in Paris, prosecutors in charge of counterterrorism investigations in the four countries issued a joint statement Friday to "alert" national and international authorities, internet providers, software makers and telecommunication operators about the obstacles posed by data encryption and the locking systems of smartphones and computers. Molins referred to the U.S. case earlier this year in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation engaged in a high-profile fight with Apple to access data from a locked iPhone used by a shooter in the San Bernardino, California, terrorist attack.
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:17:50 UTMOSCOW (AP) — Joggers, taxi drivers, players of Pokemon Go and senior Russian officials are seeking an explanation of why mobile phone apps that use GPS are malfunctioning in central Moscow. A programmer for Russian internet firm Yandex, Grigory Bakunov, said Thursday his research showed a system for blocking GPS was located inside the Kremlin, the heavily guarded official residence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Users of GPS have complained on social media in recent months that when they are near the Kremlin their GPS-powered apps stop working or show them to be in Moscow's Vnukovo airport, 29 kilometers (18 miles) away.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:48:05 UTSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Most U.S. consumers haven't heard of LeEco, but the Chinese technology company is setting out to become a household name with smartphones and flat-screen TVs that undercut the prices of Apple, Google, Samsung and other industry stalwarts. LeEco heralded its entrance into the U.S. market during a Wednesday showcase in San Francisco, where the company unveiled a sleek smartphone called the LePro 3 that will sell for $400 and an internet-connected TV with a 7-foot screen priced at $5,000. LeEco is promising its giant TV, called the UMax 85, will be as good or better than other high-end home entertainment systems that cost $8,000. The company also is selling a smaller smartphone and smaller TVs with screens ranging from 43 inches to 65 inches. Besides the phones and TVs, LeEco also is coming to the U.S. with a virtual-reality headset, a high-tech bicycle and an electric car in a challenge to Tesla Motors. The company wants to bundle the devices with other services, including an online video package of shows and movies that ties into its origins as the "Netflix of China." Other Chinese companies that tried to make a splash in the U.S. consumer electronics market have barely made a ripple.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:17:28 UTThe fiscal first-quarter results released Thursday provided further validation for the strategy that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been pursuing since he took over the reins 2 1/2 years ago. If the shares trade similarly during Friday's regular trading session, they will surpass their previous split-adjusted high of $59.97 reached in December 1999 near the height of the dot-com boom and just before co-founder Bill Gates turned his CEO job over to his longtime friend, Steve Ballmer. With sales of PCs running Microsoft's Windows operating system falling, Nadella has been pouring money and resources into remote data centers that deliver the company's services online to smartphones, tablets and other devices. Microsoft's commercial cloud services are now on pace to generate about $13 billion in annual revenue and should reach the company's goal of hitting $20 billion during the fiscal year ending in June 2018, Nadella told analysts in a conference call.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 21:30:45 UTIn the lawsuit, Apple says Mobile Star imprinted Apple logos on cables and chargers that "pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock." Apple says it purchased the products on Amazon and later told the online retailer that they were fake.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:57:52 UTLONDON (AP) — U.K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Thursday that Britain's military is launching cyberattacks against the Islamic State group in support of the offensive on the Iraqi city of Mosul, a first-of-its kind acknowledgement that British forces are launching attacks across the internet. Fallon's public admission, which came several months after a senior U.S. military official boasted of dropping "cyberbombs" on the Islamic State group, is a sign that some Western military leaders are tentatively opening up about the use of hacking on the battlefield. Last month, for example, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported that the German army hacked into an Afghan telecommunications firm as part of an operation to help free a kidnapped aid worker.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 20:20:20 UT(AP) — Nintendo has announced a new gaming system that combines a portable handheld device with a dock to use at home. The company says the Switch features a dock to connect the system to a TV.
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:26:18 UTNEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's own video store will no longer have the starring role on the company's Fire TV streaming devices. Software updates coming this year will give movies and TV shows from Netflix, HBO and other competitors equal prominence on the devices' home screen. Amazon's Fire TV has offered solid performance at reasonable prices, but its home screen has been cluttered with Amazon products — whether to rent or buy, or offered at no extra charge through Amazon's $99-a-year Prime program.