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Google's digital assistant branches out to Nest camera

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:38:20 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's voice-activated assistant is branching out to Nest's deluxe security camera in an expansion that may amplify the privacy concerns surrounding internet-connected microphones. The virtual assistant is being offered to owners of the Nest Cam IQ in a free update rolling out Wednesday. The move comes just two weeks after Nest moved back under Google's direct control after spending nearly 2 1/2 years as a separate company owned by the same parent, Alphabet Inc. The $300 Nest Cam will give Google another potentially valuable earhole in its battle with Amazon and Apple to build digital command centers in people's home.



Turkey to develop unmanned tanks, president says

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:39:25 UT

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's president says the country will develop unmanned tanks to minimize risks to soldiers in combat. Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the plan Wednesday during a speech delivered at a conference on Turkey's five-year development plan. His comments came as Turkey's military is carrying out a cross-border offensive in Syria to clear a border enclave of Syrian Kurdish rebels. Erdogan said: "We need to be able to manufacture unmanned tanks and we will do this ... We are becoming a country that is catching this technology." The Turkish leader said that U.S. refusal to provide Turkey with drones in the past had forced the country to develop and produce its own.



Broadcom is adjusting its buyout offer for Qualcomm

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:00:19 UT

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Broadcom is adjusting its buyout offer for Qualcomm, a day after that chipmaker raised its bid for NXP Semiconductors to approximately $43.22 billion. Broadcom Ltd. said Wednesday its revised offer includes $57 in cash and $22 in Broadcom shares. Its prior bid included $60 in cash and the rest in stock. Broadcom said that if Qualcomm doesn't complete the NXP takeover, it will go back to offering $60 in cash and the rest in Broadcom stock. The proposed deal's value still tops more than $121 billion in cash and stock. Broadcom said the rest of the terms are unchanged, including an $8 billion termination fee. San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. makes the Snapdragon chips used in smartphones and tablets.



US doing little to combat Russia meddling in next elections

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:10:57 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Russians are going to try it again. Even President Donald Trump's intelligence chiefs say so. But with congressional primaries just two weeks away, the U.S. has done little to aggressively combat the kinds of Russian election meddling that was recently unmasked in federal court. Special counsel Robert Mueller's surprise indictment last week in his wide-ranging Russia investigation sounded a fresh alarm to the U.S. government, social media companies and state election officials who are readying for the 2018 midterms.



Insiders: Russia troll farm even zanier than indictment says

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:14:24 UT

MOSCOW (AP) — A Clinton-Obama sex tape using body doubles. A Facebook page promoting Texas independence riddled with grammatical mistakes. Islamic State anthems blasting out during the nightshift. The U.S. indictment centered on a Russian troll farm only scratches the surface of the St. Petersburg agency that allegedly produced online content to sway the 2016 presidential election — and glosses over how unconvincing some of its stunts could be. Many of the more eye-popping accounts of the Internet Research Agency's activities have come from former staff members. One, Alan Baskaev, told the independent Russian television channel Rain last year that the agency made a video that looked like a U.S.



Israel successfully tests advanced missile defense system

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:29:51 UT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it has successfully tested the country's advanced missile defense system capable of defending against ballistic missile threats outside the atmosphere. The Defense Ministry says Monday's successful mission test of the Arrow-3 interceptor is "a major milestone" in Israel's ability to defend itself "against current and future threats in the region." Two previous tests of the system were recently called off. Arrow-3 is part of the multi-layered system Israel is developing to defend against both short- and mid-range rockets fired from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, as well as Iran's long-range missiles. It includes Iron Dome, David's Sling, and the Arrow-2 systems.



Only On AP: Puck, player tracking being tested at Olympics

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 11:14:17 UT

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Finland players looked at the numbers and laughed. They couldn't believe captain Lasse Kukkonen only had five sprints in a game and Petri Kontiola had a whopping 46. Even better: They don't even know what qualifies as a sprint. "We were looking at the stats and average speeds and making fun of some guys," forward Oskar Osala said. "How can you have 46 sprints in a game? It sounds like a ridiculous amount of sprints." At these Olympics, data on speed, acceleration, stopping, distance traveled, shift lengths and ice time is available to teams in what could be the next step for puck and player tracking across hockey, including the NHL.



Medical examiner taps DNA science to find missing persons

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 16:41:25 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — For families who have searched years for missing loved ones, donating a sample of their DNA is often a last, desperate act to confirm their worst fears. New York City's medical examiner is leading a nationwide effort to collect genetic material and match it with unidentified human remains. It's a way to finally give family members some answers and maybe some solace. "People will not rest without answers, at least some answers," said Dr. Barbara Sampson, the city's chief medical examiner. Over the last decade, thousands of DNA samples have been donated to the city's medical examiner's office.



Indictment: Social media firms got played by Russian agents

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:55:57 UT

Friday's election-interference indictment brought by Robert Mueller, the U.S. special counsel, underscores how thoroughly social-media companies like Facebook and Twitter were played by Russian propagandists. And it's not clear if the companies have taken sufficient action to prevent something similar from happening again. Thirteen Russians, including a businessman close to Vladimir Putin, were charged Friday in a plot to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through social media propaganda. The indictment said the Russians' conspiracy aimed, in part, to help Republican Donald Trump and harm the prospects of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.



Russians charged with meddling in 2016 presidential race

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 03:05:55 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an extraordinary indictment, the U.S. special counsel accused 13 Russians Friday of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, charging them with running a huge but hidden social media trolling campaign aimed in part at helping Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. The federal indictment, brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, represents the most detailed allegations to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign that sent Trump to the White House. It also marks the first criminal charges against Russians believed to have secretly worked to influence the outcome. The Russian organization was funded by Yevgeny Prigozhin, the indictment says. He is a wealthy St.



The Latest: 13 Russians accused of plot to disrupt election

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 03:01:22 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the indictments in the special counsel's Russia probe (all times local): 10 p.m. The U.S. special counsel has accused 13 Russians of an elaborate plot to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, charging them with running a huge but hidden social media trolling campaign aimed in part at helping Republican Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. The federal indictment, brought by special counsel Robert Mueller, represents the most detailed allegations to date of illegal Russian meddling during the campaign that sent Trump to the White House. The Russian organization was funded by a wealthy St. Petersburg businessman with ties to the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin.



Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

Sat, 17 Feb 2018 00:56:23 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down and others who question Facebook's financial support of some advisers who approved of the app. Messenger Kids lets kids under 13 chat with friends and family. It displays no ads and lets parents approve who their children message. But critics say it serves to lure kids into harmful social media use and to hook young people on Facebook as it tries to compete with Snapchat or its own Instagram app. They say kids shouldn't be on such apps at all — although they often are.



Stars of the Olympics are changing the sponsorship game

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 18:50:59 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — A gold medal used to be the golden ticket for lucrative endorsements — think Mary Lou Retton on a Wheaties box. But in the age of social media, athletes are making a name for themselves well ahead of time. Even more so than in Rio in 2016 and Sochi in 2014, Pyeongchang athletes are Olympian at building brands. Before breakout star Chloe Kim won gold in the snowboarding halfpipe event, her infectious personality and heartwarming origin story had already won her sponsorships from Toyota , Samsung , Visa and others. Of course, winning a gold medal amplifies an athlete's reach. When Kim started the Olympics, she had 15,000 Twitter followers. She now has more than 285,000.



Belgian court orders Facebook to stop collecting data

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:33:08 UT

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian media say a Brussels court has ordered Facebook to stop collecting data about citizens in the country or face fines for every day it fails to comply. The daily De Standaard reported Friday that the court upheld a Belgian privacy commission finding that Facebook is collecting data without users' consent. It said the court concluded that Facebook does not adequately inform users that it is collecting information, what kind of details it keeps and for how long, or what it does with the data. It has ruled that Facebook must stop tracking and registering internet usage by Belgians online and destroy any data it has obtained illegally or face fines of 250,000 euros ($311,500) every day it delays.



Amazon to pay $1.2 million in illegal pesticide settlement

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 21:59:57 UT

SEATTLE (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a $1.2 million settlement with Amazon over the sale and distribution of illegal pesticides, one of the largest penalties assessed under federal pesticides laws. Federal regulators said the agreement settles allegations that the Seattle-based internet giant committed nearly 4,000 violations between 2013 and 2016 for selling and distributing imported pesticide products not licensed for sale in the United States. The pesticides, including insecticide in the form of chalk and cockroach bait powder, were sold by independent sellers who offered the products through Amazon's website.