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Tech News


Global computer outage grounds BA Heathrow, Gatwick flights

Sat, 27 May 2017 13:43:15 UT

LONDON (AP) — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday as a global IT failure caused severe disruption for travelers on a busy holiday weekend. Passengers at Heathrow reported long lines at check-in counters, flight delays and failures of BA's website and mobile app. Passenger Phillip Norton tweeted video of an announcement from a pilot to passengers at Rome's Fiumicino airport, saying the problem affects the system that regulates what passengers and baggage go on which aircraft.

Alexa: Take me out to the ball game and buy me some peanuts!

Sat, 27 May 2017 06:10:18 UT

SEATTLE (AP) — Inside the suites of Safeco Field are the typical, palatial amenities that come with a premium experience at a ballpark: private entries, leather seats, a food spread with numerous culinary options and drinks galore. The Mariners and hometown neighbor Amazon have partnered to put the Alexa voice-activated operating system in every suite at Safeco Field. [...] you might learn that people don't order food as much as they order drinks, or something like that and working with these guys tweak the experience based on the stuff they want to deliver for their guests. Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks is now a lot simpler than screaming through the crowd at the vendor walking the aisles or waiting in line for concessions, at least for those that have paid for the premium experience of sitting in one of the Safeco Field suites. By giving a basic command line — "Hey Alexa, ask the Mariners ..." — the system is integrated into the room. Asking for the TV to be changed, requesting the server to stop by, or even playing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," is as simple as making the verbal request. There are some special features that can be requested and are only accessible to suite holders in the ballpark and go beyond the typical amenities, including a high-above camera shot of home plate and one from behind the pitcher.

French designer shows off DIY robot in public for 1st time

Fri, 26 May 2017 15:31:51 UT

French designer shows off DIY robot in public for 1st time The life-size plastic model responded to English-language commands Friday, picking up and dropping a small ball and swiveling its head to follow people. Designer Gael Langevin unveiled the robot at a technology fair in Romania this week.

Utah law that could send online bullies to jail criticized

Fri, 26 May 2017 01:28:46 UT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah lawmakers hope a new, unusual law cuts down on increasingly troubling forms of cyber harassment by giving authorities the ability to send online bullies to jail for a year. Law enforcement, school officials and support groups back the effort, but some lawyers and a libertarian-leaning group have balked at what they call vague language in the law. The regulation won unanimous approval in the Legislature and makes it a crime to post information online that can identify someone, including their name, photo and place of employment, to "intimidate, abuse, threaten, harass, frighten, or disrupt the electronic communications of another." An advocacy group says the measure might have helped a gay Utah State University student who was afraid to come forward in 2013 to report being sexually assaulted after someone started posting his photo and phone number on Craigslist along with details on the forms of sex he was interested in.

Zuckerberg urges Harvard grads to build a world of 'purpose'

Fri, 26 May 2017 00:39:47 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Mark Zuckerberg returned Thursday to Harvard, where he launched Facebook and then dropped out, telling graduates it's up to them to bring purpose to the world, fight inequality and strengthen the global community. He shared stories about graduates such as David Razu Aznar, a former city leader who led the effort to legalize gay marriage in Mexico City, and Agnes Igoye, who grew up in conflict zones in Uganda and now trains law enforcement officers. In February, he sketched out an ambitious, if vague, vision for Facebook that committed the company to developing "social infrastructure" that would help build a "global community that works for all of us." It has connected people who would have never met otherwise, letting them form supportive networks online and offline. [...] it has allowed people to communicate in developing countries even if they don't have a phone number or a smartphone. [...] it has also served to spread misinformation bordering on propaganda, hateful views and bullying, reflecting the worst parts of humanity back to us. Later in the speech, Zuckerberg's voice cracked with emotion as he talked about a high school student he mentors who is living in the U.S. illegally. Others receiving honorary degrees included the actress Judi Dench, the composer John Williams (known for Star Wars, ''Harry Potter and many other scores) and Somali human rights activist and physician Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe.

In His Words: Mark Zuckerberg addresses Harvard Class of '17

Thu, 25 May 2017 21:26:20 UT

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave a commencement speech at Harvard University on Thursday, 12 years after dropping out to focus on what's now the world's biggest social network. President Faust, Board of Overseers, faculty, alumni, friends, proud parents, members of the ad board, and graduates of the greatest university in the world: How many of you remember exactly what you were doing when you got that email telling you that you got into Harvard? I was playing "Civilization" and I ran downstairs, got my dad, and for some reason, his reaction was to video me opening the email. Mine was Computer Science 121 with the incredible Harry Lewis. [...] any of you graduating can use that line. Today I want to talk about purpose. [...] I'm here to tell you finding your purpose isn't enough. Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void. To keep our society moving forward, we have a generational challenge — to not only create new jobs, but create a renewed sense of purpose. You see, my hope was never to build a company, but to make an impact. [...] as all these people started joining us, I just assumed that's what they cared about too, so I never explained what I hoped we'd build. Without a sense of higher purpose, this was the startup dream come true. After one tense argument, an adviser told me if I didn't agree to sell, I would regret the decision for the rest of my life. Relationships were so frayed that within a year or so every single person on the management team was gone. Today I want to talk about three ways to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose: by taking on big meaningful projects together, by redefining equality so everyone has the freedom to pursue purpose, and by building community across the world. [...] let's take on big meaningful projects. Millions of volunteers immunized children around the world against polio. [...] let me tell you a secret: If I had to understand everything about connecting people before I began, I never would have started Facebook. The idea of a single eureka moment is a dangerous lie. How about stopping climate change before we destroy the planet and getting millions of people involved manufacturing and installing solar panels? How about curing all diseases and asking volunteers to track their health data and share their genomes? How about modernizing democracy so everyone can vote online, and personalizing education so everyone can learn? [...] we're all entrepreneurial, whether we're starting projects or finding or role. [...] an entrepreneurial culture thrives when it's easy to try lots of new ideas. Right now our society is way over-indexed on rewarding success and we don't do nearly enough to make it easy for everyone to take lots of shots. There is something wrong with our system when I can leave here and make billions of dollars in 10 years while millions of students can't afford to pay off their loans, let alone start a business. Look, I know a lot of entrepreneurs, and I don't know a single person who gave up on starting a business because they might not make enough money. [...] I know lots of people who haven't pursued dreams because they didn't have a cushion to fall back on if they failed. If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, if I didn't know I'd be fine if Facebook didn't work out, I wouldn't be standing here today. Previous generations fought for the vote and civil rights. [...] as technology keeps changing, we need to focus more on continuous education throughout our lives. [...] yes, giving everyone the freedom to pursue purpose isn't free. In one year, three of four U.S. millennials made a donation and seven out of ten raised money for charit[...]

Clarification: Serena Williams-Silicon Valley story

Thu, 25 May 2017 20:52:37 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — In a story May 24, The Associated Press reported that tennis star Serena Williams has 39 Grand Slam titles. The figure includes 14 for doubles and two for mixed doubles. She has 23 singles titles.

Dear, Harvard: 10 memorable quotes from Zuckerberg's speech

Thu, 25 May 2017 20:40:21 UT

Dear, Harvard: 10 memorable quotes from Zuckerberg's speech Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to Harvard with a message on fighting inequality and taking risks in the name of innovation. Zuckerberg, who, like the graduates, is a millennial, started Facebook in his Harvard dorm room in 2004. If I had to know everything about connecting people before I got started, I never would have built Facebook. There is something wrong with our system when I can leave here and make billions of dollars in 10 years while millions of students can't even afford to pay off their loans, let alone start a business. Previous generations fought for the vote and civil rights. [...] I promise you, if you just take an hour or two a week — that's all it takes to give someone a hand and help them reach their potential. [...] it's tough to care about people in other places when we don't first feel good about our lives here at home. The forces of freedom, openness and global community against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism and nationalism.

Harvard campus news site hacked to troll Mark Zuckerberg

Thu, 25 May 2017 19:04:26 UT

A mystery hacker has it out for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Qatar hack, bloody Bahrain raid follow Trump's Mideast trip

Thu, 25 May 2017 15:52:39 UT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar found itself on the defensive once again Thursday as more Arab nations blocked access to websites of its flagship Al-Jazeera news network, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump's Mideast visit positioned America squarely with Sunni Arab countries against Shiite power Iran. Bahrain and Egypt joined Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in blocking the websites, the latest development in a regional crisis sparked by what Qatar described as hackers publishing fake comments on Iran and other issues via its state-run news agency this week. While Trump's visit reassured a six-nation Saudi-led Gulf alliance of its regional standing, tiny, energy-rich Qatar has found itself on the fringes of the Western-backed alliance as the hack rekindled long-standing suspicions over its support of Islamists. [...] the peninsular nation's relations with its neighbors were thrown into chaos this week after Qatari authorities say its state-run news agency was hacked. Messages on the news agency's Twitter account that Qatar also blamed on the hackers said it planned to recall some of its ambassadors from Arab nations.

Computer wins 2nd game against Chinese go champion

Thu, 25 May 2017 09:25:39 UT

WUZHEN, China (AP) — A computer beat China's top player of go, one of the last games machines have yet to master, for a second time Thursday in a competition authorities limited the Chinese public's ability to see. Internet users outside China could watch this week's games live but Chinese censors blocked most mainland web users from seeing the Google site carrying the feed. State media reports on the games have been brief, possibly reflecting Beijing's antipathy toward Google, which closed its China-based search engine in 2010 following a dispute over censorship and computer hacking. The official response to the match, a major event for the worlds of go and artificial intelligence, reflects the conflict between the ruling Communist Party's technology ambitions and its insistence on controlling what its public can see, hear and read. Censorship orders to Chinese media are officially secret and government officials refuse to confirm whether online material is blocked.

New Zealand test rocket makes it to space but not to orbit

Thu, 25 May 2017 07:35:24 UT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — California-based company Rocket Lab said Thursday it had launched a test rocket into space from its New Zealand launch pad, although the rocket didn't reach orbit as hoped. Rocket Lab was given official approval last week to conduct three test launches from the remote Mahia Peninsula on the North Island. New Zealand has never had a space program but officials hope regular launches could change perceptions of the South Pacific nation and generate hundreds of millions of dollars each year in revenue. Rocket Lab plans to keep costs low by using lightweight, disposable rockets with 3D-printed engines.

Need cash? Facebook expands personal fundraising tools

Wed, 24 May 2017 21:49:21 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is expanding its fundraising tools that let users ask friends and strangers to give them money to help pay for education, medical or other expenses. With the latest update unveiled Wednesday, it has added sports and community fundraisers as options.

House OKs bill making nude photo sharing in military a crime

Wed, 24 May 2017 19:03:14 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has unanimously approved legislation that makes it a crime for U.S. service members to distribute intimate photos or videos of people without first getting their consent. The scandal came to light after it was discovered that sexually explicit photos of female and male Marines were being shared on a secret Facebook page.

Airlines have rules about taking photos, video on planes

Wed, 24 May 2017 14:29:59 UT

In April, a JetBlue Airways crew called airport police to meet a man who they said continued to record a selfie video during a security-sensitive time in flight, while the cockpit door was opened. With airline customer service in decline, videotaping is the only way that passengers can make sure they are treated fairly, says Gary Leff, a travel blogger who has criticized the airlines over the issue. The Transportation Security Administration says that photography at checkpoints is fine if people don't take images of monitors or interfere with screeners. Lawyers who specialize in First Amendment or travel law say airlines generally cannot limit photography or video recording in an airport because it is a public space. [...] there is no law against taking photos or video on an airplane, and it is unlikely that anyone would face legal jeopardy for taking pictures of an altercation on a plane or their own peaceful dispute with an airline employee, Larsen says. After a video of a confrontation over a stroller between an American Airlines flight attendant and a mother with two young children, the airline grounded the employee.