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Preview: Seattle Post-Intelligencer: High-Tech

seattlepi.com: Technology News From the Associated Press





 



European flight safety agency issues drone guidelines

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 12:33:02 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Europe's flight safety authority has published its first proposal on the safe operation of small drones, to serve as a guideline for the European Commission to adopt concrete regulations later this year. The Cologne-based European Aviation Safety Agency says the goal of the proposals announced Thursday , which apply to drones weighing up to 25 kilograms (55 pounds), is to create uniform regulations that respect people's privacy and security, while allowing the industry to "remain agile, to innovate and continue to grow." It seeks to tailor regulations to where the drone is flown, saying "flying the same drone over a city center or over the sea entails a completely different risk.



Walmart to launch new online home shopping experience

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 05:03:14 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Bohemian or traditional? Walmart is launching a new online home shopping experience in the coming weeks that will let shoppers discover items based on their style. The move, announced Thursday, is the first glimpse of the company's broader campaign to redesign its site with a focus on fashion and home furnishings. The overhauled website will be launched later this year and will mirror how people shop for different items. While some purchases like groceries are transactional, others like fashion and home furnishings require more discovery. Later this spring, Walmart is rolling out its new Lord & Taylor dedicated page as part of its partnership with the department store chain's parent company Hudson's Bay.



White nationalist is latest to sue over social media ban

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 22:35:05 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A prominent white nationalist is suing Twitter for banning his accounts at a time when social networks are trying to crack down on hateful and abusive content without appearing to censor unpopular opinions. Jared Taylor filed the lawsuit Tuesday in state court in San Francisco, marking the latest legal challenge filed by right-wing groups and figures banned from social media sites. Taylor is the founder of the Virginia-based New Century Foundation, an IRS-classified charity that operates the American Renaissance online magazine. The magazine touts a philosophy that it's "entirely normal" for whites to want to be a majority race.



Less is more: Why the Olympics broadcast beats online

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 20:48:50 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — When it comes to the Olympics, too much choice can paralyze you with indecision. With five television channels, online streaming, virtual reality and Snapchat, where do you even start? Catch curling on the USA Network, and you might miss that superb — or disastrous — figure skating routine that will be talked about on social media and in the office. Tune into a stream of figure skating, and you might miss that medal-winning run down the slopes. With an event as sprawling as the Olympics, sometimes the straight-up linear TV broadcast is best, even if you're watching that online. Experts make the choices for you; all you have to do is lean back on your couch.



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.



SpaceX postpones California satellite launch due to winds

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 14:58:16 UT

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — SpaceX has postponed a satellite launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company called off Wednesday's pre-dawn launch due to strong upper-level winds. Liftoff of Spain's PAZ (pahs) radar-imaging satellite is rescheduled for 6:17 a.m. Thursday. The timing of the launch has created expectations of a repeat of the light show caused by a December launch that was visible for hundreds of miles and set off a storm of social media postings. However, weather conditions this week are much less clear as clouds stream across Southern California ahead of a trough of low pressure that may bring rain.



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.



Maduro: Digital currency puts Venezuela on tech vanguard

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 02:49:18 UT

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Cash-strapped Venezuela on Tuesday became the first country to launch its own version of bitcoin, a move President Nicolas Maduro celebrated as putting his country on the world's technological forefront. In its first hours on the market, the so-called petro racked in $735 million worth in purchases, Maduro said without providing details. The petro is backed by Venezuela's crude oil reserves, the largest in the world, yet it hit the market as the socialist country sinks deeper into an economic crisis marked by soaring inflation and food shortages that put residents in lines for hours to buy common products. "We have taken a giant step into the 21st Century," Maduro said in a nationally broadcast show.



California law that blocked posting actors' ages struck down

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 01:55:27 UT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California law that sought to prevent age discrimination in the entertainment industry by blocking a popular Hollywood website from posting the ages of actors was struck down Tuesday as unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said the law passed in 2016 violated the First Amendment rights of IMDb.com by preventing it from publishing factual information on its website that provides information about movies, television shows and their casts and crews. The law was a "direct restriction on speech" and was flawed because it was not narrowly tailored and was "underinclusive" by targeting IMDb, Chhabria said.



Report: Hawaii wasn't ready to handle missile threat alert

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 00:56:16 UT

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii's nuclear missile scare showed that the state began testing alerts before fully developing a plan to address the ballistic missile threat and that a public outreach campaign months earlier wasn't effective, said a report released Tuesday. The state Department of Defense, the agency that oversees Hawaii's emergency management, released the internal review after an alert was sent to cellphones, televisions and radio stations across the state last month. The notification, which read "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL," triggered widespread panic as more than a million residents and visitors feared they were about to face a ballistic missile strike. Gov.



Italy warns of election threat as rival parties court Russia

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 20:32:49 UT

ROME (AP) — Italian government officials are warning of possible foreign interference in the March 4 general election, sounding the alarm following the U.S. indictment of Russian trolls and evidence of Russian-sourced fake news on popular Italian platforms. Premier Paolo Gentiloni on Tuesday released Italy's annual security report, which aside from highlighting the threat of Islamic extremism, warned about online "influence campaigns" that aim to "condition both the sentiment and political orientation of public opinion, especially at election time." The report didn't mention Russia by name. But for months, U.S.



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.



Qualcomm raises bid for NXP to about $43.22B

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 15:05:09 UT

Qualcomm is raising its takeover bid for NXP Semiconductors by nearly 16 percent to about $43.22 billion, citing in part NXP's strong results since the companies first announced their merger in October 2016. The move announced Tuesday comes as Qualcomm itself is in the crosshairs of Broadcom Ltd., which earlier this month raised its own cash and stock bid for Qualcomm to $121 billion. Qualcomm, based in San Diego, had offered $110 per share cash for NXP, based in The Netherlands. It said Tuesday it's now offering $127.50 per share. The chipmaker said holders of 28 percent of NXP stock have agreed to tender their shares at the higher price.