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Google Maps removes cupcake counter after 'fat shaming' backlash

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:51:04 UT

When Google rolled out a new test feature for its iOS Maps app, it no doubt thought it was helping users stay healthy. Instead, it succeeded in making some very angry.




Univision goes dark for Verizon's cable customers

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 17:39:23 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Univision's channels have gone dark for Verizon's 4.7 million Fios cable customers because of a contract dispute. Verizon says Univision wants payments for its networks to more than double. Verizon says this is an "excessive price increase" given "reported declining viewership." Univision says it's still attracting viewers despite industry ratings declines. Fights over channels' cost between cable companies and owners of TV networks have become more common in recent years. Channel blackouts can last a few hours or drag on for many months and may prompt customers to cancel their cable subscriptions. The channels were pulled Monday afternoon.



Parts of unmanned Russian spaceship burn up over Dubai

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 16:28:36 UT

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Parts of an unmanned Russian cargo spaceship burned across the night sky of the Arabian Peninsula, drawing gasps from Dubai to Riyadh before breaking up in the Earth's atmosphere and scattering in the Indian Ocean. The fiery end Monday night to parts of Progress MS-07 came as planned after it delivered 2.5 metric tons (2.75 tons) of water, food and scientific equipment to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. But its 80-second appearance in the skies of the United Arab Emirates stunned onlookers in a region where Iran regularly test-fires ballistic missiles and Shiite rebels in Yemen have threatened to use them against Abu Dhabi.



Facebook buys anonymous teen compliment app TBH

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:35:42 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook has bought TBH, a teen-focused app that lets people give anonymous compliments to each other through polls and messages. Facebook on Tuesday confirmed the purchase, announced on TBH's blog, but did not say how much it paid. TBH, internet-slang short for "to be honest," says more than 5 million people have downloaded its app since it launched on Aug. 3. TBH, which is only available for Apple devices at the moment, will continue to exist as a stand-alone app. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, also owns Instagram and WhatsApp and has tried and failed to buy Snapchat several years ago.



Microsoft rolls out new Windows 10 update and laptops

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 15:01:00 UT

Microsoft has begun rolling out an update to its Windows 10 operating system, hoping to spark enthusiasm for its virtual- and augmented-reality ambitions. The semi-annual update became available Tuesday. Along with virtual experiences, the Fall Creators Update brings new ways to share photos and video and work with 3-D imagery. Several of Microsoft's partners — Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo — are simultaneously launching their first "Windows Mixed Reality" headsets Tuesday. Samsung is releasing one next month. Microsoft is also announcing a new generation of laptops in its Surface line. Two versions of the new Surface Book 2 — one 13.5 inches and the other 15 inches — will go on sale next month.



Self-driving cars could ease traffic, but increase sprawl

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 14:18:26 UT

BOSTON (AP) — A new study inspired by Boston's early experiments with self-driving cars finds that the technology could ease congestion, but might also lead to more cars on the road and further encourage urban sprawl. The report, released Tuesday by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum, is a mostly optimistic take on how autonomous vehicles could change cities. Three companies are now testing self-driving cars in Boston's Seaport District. One of them, NuTonomy, has also partnered with ride-hailing service Lyft to research how passengers book and route a self-driving car.



Google's Pixel 2: A phone built for artificial intelligence

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 13:02:27 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — What's most fascinating about Google's new Pixel 2 phone is what's to come. The phone sets itself apart with promises to bake in Google's powerful artificial-intelligence technology for quick and easy access to useful, even essential information. But much of the neat stuff will come later. The phone coming out Thursday is more of a teaser. To be sure, the Pixel 2 is a solid phone. It's not as elegantly designed as an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy phone. But it delivers a strong tie-in to Google's services, including those intended to fetch what you need automatically. ___ VISUAL SEARCH ENGINE The Pixel 2 comes with Google Lens, a way of searching Google just by pointing your camera at a landmark, object or storefront.



Greenpeace faults many tech giants for environment impact

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 08:53:06 UT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The environmental group Greenpeace issued a report on Tuesday giving technology titans including Samsung Electronics, Amazon and Huawei low marks for their environmental impact. Many of the biggest technology companies failed to deliver on commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and are still reluctant to commit fully to renewable energy, according to Greenpeace USA's Guide to Greener Electronics. The report, which assessed 17 top global tech companies in three areas, also faulted many of them for failing to use more recycled materials in their products and slow progress in phasing out use of toxic materials.



US tech giants may find their future shaped by Europe

Tue, 17 Oct 2017 08:41:34 UT

LONDON (AP) — Silicon Valley is a uniquely American creation, the product of an entrepreneurial spirit and no-holds-barred capitalism that now drives many aspects of modern life. But the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple are increasingly facing an uncomfortable truth: it is Europe's culture of tougher oversight of companies, not America's laissez-faire attitude, which could soon rule their industry as governments seek to combat fake news and prevent extremists from using the internet to fan the flames of hatred. While the U.S. has largely relied on market forces to regulate content in a country where free speech is revered, European officials have shown they are willing to act.



Netflix sinking deeper into debt to fuel subscriber growth

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 23:06:01 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix is sinking deeper into debt in its relentless pursuit of more viewers, leaving the company little margin for error as it tries to build the world's biggest video subscription service. The big burden that Netflix is shouldering hasn't been a major concern on Wall Street so far, as CEO Reed Hastings' strategy has been paying off. The billions of dollars that Netflix has borrowed to pay for exclusive series such as "House of Cards," ''Stranger Things," and "The Crown" has helped its service more than triple its global audience during the past four years — leaving it with 109 million subscribers worldwide through September. That figure includes 5.



Researchers discover vulnerability affecting Wi-Fi security

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:57:14 UT

Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or spread malicious software while someone is logged into a computer or mobile device. A report published Monday said the breach could only happen if an attacker is within range of the potential victim, but the weakness could affect anyone using a Wi-Fi network, whether at home, the office or at a public coffee shop. The Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group, says there's no evidence that the vulnerability discovered by researcher Mathy Vanhoef has been exploited maliciously. It affects WPA2, a protocol used to secure Wi-Fi networks. The group says the problem can be resolved through straightforward software updates.



Fact-checking fake news on Facebook works - just too slowly

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:04:03 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's effort to limit the spread of fake news using outside fact-checkers appears to be having an effect — although that finding comes with a major caveat. Once a story receives a false rating from a fact-checker, Facebook says, subsequent "impressions" can fall off by 80 percent. Impressions count the number of times Facebook users see a particular post. But it routinely takes more than three days for a false story that appears on Facebook to be passed along to fact-checkers and given a false rating. And most impressions occur when the story first comes out, not three days later. That's the case with all news, both true and fake.



Court agrees to take on US-Microsoft dispute over emails

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 17:11:48 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Monday to take on a major dispute over the government's authority to force American technology companies to hand over emails and other digital information sought in criminal probes but stored outside the U.S. The justices intervened in a case of a federal drug trafficking investigation that sought emails that Microsoft keeps on a server in Ireland. The federal appeals court in New York said that the emails are beyond the reach of a search warrant issued by an American judge. The Trump administration and 33 states told the court that the decision is impeding investigations into terrorism, drug trafficking, fraud and child pornography because other courts are relying on the ruling in preventing U.



Yahoo can provide dead man's emails to family, court says

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 16:10:52 UT

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts' highest court says federal law does not prohibit Yahoo from providing a deceased man's family members access to his email account. The Supreme Judicial Court said Monday that a lower court was wrong to conclude that the Stored Communications Act prohibited Yahoo from giving Robert and Marianne Ajemian access to their brother John's email messages. John died in a bicycle accident in 2006. His siblings were appointed personal representatives of his estate. Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo argued that federal law prohibits them from handing over the man's emails. But the Supreme Judicial Court said that the law "does not stand in the way of Yahoo doing so.



Twitter turns over 'handles' of 201 Russia-linked accounts

Sat, 14 Oct 2017 01:03:40 UT

MENLO PARK, Calif. (AP) — Twitter has handed over to Senate investigators the profile names, or "handles," of 201 accounts linked to Russian attempts at influencing the 2016 presidential election. The company has stepped up its efforts to cooperate with investigators after it was criticized for not taking congressional probes seriously enough. The handover occurred this week, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly about it. What remains unclear is whether posts associated with those accounts have been deleted from Twitter's servers. Politico reported on Friday that the company had deleted the tweets in line with its privacy policy. Twitter had no comment on that report.