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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: High-Tech

seattlepi.com: Technology News From the Associated Press





 



Apple depicts Qualcomm as a shady monopolist in $1B lawsuit

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:50:55 UT

Apple launched its legal attack three days after the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit alleging Qualcomm has been imposing unfair licensing terms on manufacturers. Besides cooperating with the FTC's investigation, Apple says it has been providing information about its dealings with Qualcomm to regulators in Europe, South Korea and Taiwan.



Report: 'Net neutrality' foe Ajit Pai is new FCC head

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:58:24 UT

The Republicans' FCC majority would help them roll back pro-consumer policies that upset many phone and cable industry groups, including net neutrality rules that bar internet service providers from favoring some websites and apps over others. Consumer advocates have been concerned that a deregulation-minded FCC could potentially allow more huge mergers, overturn new protections for internet users and lead to higher costs for media and technology companies that rely on the internet to reach consumers. Pai opposed online privacy regulations that force broadband providers to ask consumers for permission before using their data, saying they are more onerous than the requirements for internet companies like Google and Facebook. The report, issued in the last days of the Obama administration, took issue with the way companies like AT&T and Verizon exempted their own video services from wireless data caps, effectively making them cheaper to stream on phones and tablets than rival services such as Netflix.



Trump gets Obama's house, title — even his Twitter handle

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:58:18 UT

The technological transition came just as Trump took the oath of office Friday, giving him a clean digital slate while preserving hundreds of tweets and posts made during President Barack Obama's time in office. Trump sent his first tweets as president from @realDonaldTrump, the personal account where his thousands of candid on everything from immigration to golf course conditions helped propel him into a political force. Turning over social media accounts is a modern twist on the complex presidential transition — the 21st century version of handing over nuclear codes and the keys to the Oval Office. The White House's digital transition plans, announced a week before the election, stressed that the National Archives would preserve social media content in a similar fashion as paper records.



The Latest: New Mexico files lawsuit over faulty air bags

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 21:53:15 UT

Attorney Hector Balderas' office filed the lawsuit Friday afternoon in state district court, saying the manufacturers had a duty to ensure their products were safe and that concealment of air bag defects amounted to unfair and deceptive trade practices under New Mexico law. Takata already has agreed to pay $1 billion in fines and restitution as part of plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department over the yearslong scheme to conceal the deadly defect in its inflators. The attorney general's office argues in a lawsuit being filed Friday that the manufacturers had a duty to ensure their products were safe and that concealment of air bag defects amounted to unfair, deceptive and unconscionable trade practices under New Mexico law. Takata already has agreed to pay $1 billion in fines and restitution as part of plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department over the yearslong scheme to conceal the deadly defect in its inflators.



New Mexico targets Takata, auto makers over faulty air bags

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 21:39:48 UT

New Mexico targets Takata, auto makers over faulty air bags The attorney general's office argues in a lawsuit filed Friday that the manufacturers had a duty to ensure their products were safe and that concealment of air bag defects amounted to unfair, deceptive and unconscionable trade practices under New Mexico law. The state is seeking civil penalties for each defective air bag that entered the New Mexico market and penalties for each day the manufacturers misrepresented the safety of their products. The attorney general's office is bringing the case against Takata and the car makers with help from Grant and Eisenhofer, a national law firm that handles class-action securities litigation and major consumer protection lawsuits.



Freeze-dried food and 1 bathroom: 6 simulate Mars in dome

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 19:20:04 UT

HONOLULU (AP) — Crammed into a dome with one bathroom, six scientists will spend eight months munching on mostly freeze-dried foods — with a rare treat of Spam — and have only their small sleeping quarters to retreat to for solace. The simulated stay on Mars with a carefully selected crew of researchers embarked on a mission Thursday to gain insight into the psychological toll a similar real-life voyage would have on astronauts. The man-made dome that the four men and two women call home is outfitted with futuristic white walls and an elevated sleeping platform on the world's largest active volcano in Hawaii. A video released by the group shows the six scientists in matching red polo shirts arriving and entering the dome to farewell handshakes from program associates. Except for the presence of the white van that brought the group, the scene was reminiscent of the red planet — the dome set in a barren, rock-strewn and reddish landscape with distant hills giving the feel of a wind-swept and forbidding environment. To maintain the crew's sense of isolation, bundles of food, including some canned goods and snacks, will be dropped off a distance from the dome, and the team members will send a robot to retrieve them.



How to watch inauguration events, with or without TV

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 05:11:05 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The lack of a TV set shouldn't prevent you from following Friday's presidential inauguration ceremony, the pomp and circumstance surrounding it, and the many protests and marches planned around the country. Television channels carrying the inauguration live include ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, C-SPAN and Fox News, as well as Telemundo in Spanish. Without a TV, you can check their websites, apps or YouTube channels to watch the events and commentary. The Post also plans live coverage of Friday evening's balls with its fashion critic Robin Givhan, style writers and others. Digital media darling BuzzFeed will host a Facebook Live event called BuzzFeed News Live At Trump's Inauguration: USA Today is offering virtual reality and 360-degree coverage of the events, with cameras at the Capitol, the National Mall and along the inaugural parade route. If you have friends attending the inauguration, the marches, or both, look for their live video streams on Facebook or Twitter, or Instagram Stories on the photo-sharing app. — C-SPAN: 7 a.m. to conclusion, live coverage of oath of office, parade and inaugural balls.



Samsung to announce cause of Galaxy Note 7 fire on Jan. 23

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 03:14:54 UT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung Electronics said Friday it will announce on Jan. 23 the reason why its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones overheated and caught fire. The announcement comes after a South Korean court dismissed on Thursday a request by prosecutors to arrest Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong heir. Lee, the conglomerate's heir and de facto head, is under investigation for alleged bribery in connection with an influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye.



Uber pays $20 million to settle claims of driver deception

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 01:06:14 UT

"Many consumers sign up to drive for Uber, but they shouldn't be taken for a ride about their earnings potential or the cost of financing a car through Uber," said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. To ensure cars are widely available, Uber has persuaded hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. to become drivers by dangling the lure of making money at any time that's convenient for them. The drivers are treated as independent contractors, another contentious issue because the classification excludes them from many of the benefits and protections given to full-time employees. [...] in a statement published on Uber's website from May 2015 through August 2015, CEO Travis Kalanick boasted that the mid-range annual incomes of the service's New York city drivers exceeded $90,000 and the mid-range annual earnings of its San Francisco drivers topped $74,000, according to the FTC.



How to watch inauguration events, with or without TV

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 23:37:01 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The lack of a TV set shouldn't prevent you from following Friday's presidential inauguration ceremony, the pomp and circumstance surrounding it, and the many protests and marches planned around the country. Television channels carrying the inauguration live include ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, C-SPAN and Fox News, as well as Telemundo in Spanish. Without a TV, you can check their websites, apps or YouTube channels to watch the events and commentary. The Post also plans live coverage of Friday evening's balls with its fashion critic Robin Givhan, style writers and others. Digital media darling BuzzFeed will host a Facebook Live event called BuzzFeed News Live At Trump's Inauguration: USA Today is offering virtual reality and 360-degree coverage of the events, with cameras at the Capitol, the National Mall and along the inaugural parade route. If you have friends attending the inauguration, the marches, or both, look for their live video streams on Facebook or Twitter, or Instagram Stories on the photo-sharing app. — C-SPAN: 7 a.m. to conclusion, live coverage of oath of office, parade and inaugural balls.



US ends probe of Tesla fatal crash without seeking recall

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 19:54:50 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tesla Motors Inc. won't face a recall or fine as a result of a fatal crash involving its Autopilot system, but U.S. safety regulators are warning auto manufacturers and drivers not to treat semiautonomous cars as if they were fully self-driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Thursday it found that the system had no safety defects at the time of the May 7 crash in Florida, and that it was primarily designed to prevent rear-end collisions rather than other crash scenarios. The probe began June 28, nearly two months after a driver using Autopilot in a 2015 Tesla Model S died when it failed to spot a tractor-trailer crossing the car's path on a highway in Williston, Florida, near Gainesville. The investigation "helps clarify that cars are still supposed to be driven by attentive people, and if people behind the wheel aren't attentive, it's not the technology's fault," said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book. The agency says self-driving features could dramatically reduce traffic deaths by eliminating human error, which plays a role in 94 percent of fatal crashes. When Tesla released Autopilot in 2015, some safety advocates questioned whether the Palo Alto, California, company and NHTSA allowed the public access to the system before testing was finished.



NY lawsuits blame social media in terror attacks

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 17:36:06 UT

[...] that isn't enough, say lawyers for the families of terror victims, including a brother and sister killed in last year's bomb attacks in Brussels and an American college student slaughtered in Paris. In a string of lawsuits filed in New York, they say they want Twitter and Facebook to pay damages for failing to stop violent extremists from using their platforms to recruit followers, intimidate enemies and raise money. Another lawsuit filed last year on behalf of five people killed or injured in terror attacks linked to Hamas blames Facebook Inc., saying it provides material support to Hamas. The plaintiffs include the families of Taylor Force, a Vanderbilt University student and Lubbock, Texas native stabbed to death in Tel Aviv last March, Yaakov Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old dual Israeli-American citizen kidnapped and killed in Israel in 2014, and 3-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun, who was killed in 2014 when a Hamas operative drove his car into a crowd at a train station in Jerusalem. For legal support, Twitter cites a November ruling at a U.S. court in San Francisco brought by relatives of two U.S. government contractors shot and killed in 2015 at a law enforcement training center in Amman, Jordan.



Spain arrests Russian wanted by US for alleged hacking

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 16:52:13 UT

The court said a Madrid judge questioned him by videoconference over charges of criminal conspiracy in connection with electronic and computer fraud for which he is wanted by the U.S. It said he was ordered jailed because of the seriousness of the offenses and the risk of him fleeing justice as he had done previously in the United States.



It's getting harder for a plane to vanish and not be found

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:05:41 UT

[...] Atholl Buchan, director of flight operations at the International Air Transport Association, which represents most international carriers, said a repeat of MH370 is "highly unlikely" since many airlines have already increased their efforts to keep tabs on planes over open ocean where they are beyond the reach of land-based radar. [...] the requirement doesn't apply to existing planes. Since airliners often have a lifespan of 20 years or more, it could take decades before all airliners meet the new requirement. [...] the beacons are only helpful if searchers already know where to look. Because currents and water temperatures can weaken the signals, searchers usually have to be pretty close to pick them up. —ICAO approved a requirement that new aircraft designs certified after Jan. 1, 2021, have some means for retrieving a plane's flight data recorder, or the information contained in it, before the recorder sinks to the ocean floor.



German anti-trust case against Audible, Apple dropped

Thu, 19 Jan 2017 12:13:22 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's anti-trust agency says it's dropping its investigation of Amazon subsidiary Audible and Apple after the two companies agreed to end exclusivity deals for audiobook supply and distribution.