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Industry & Technology

It's a Pivotal moment: Dell's cloudy soft limb hits the stock market

The Register - April 20, 2018 - 2:52pm
Still firmly in Big Mike's clutches despite IPO

Pivotal has set its initial public offering share price at $15, with hopes of raising $555m and an anticipated $14-$16 price band. The shares are expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange from today.…

Google gives up on Google Allo, hopes carriers will sort out RCS messaging

Ars Technica - April 20, 2018 - 2:48pm


It's time for another chapter in the saga of Google's messaging mess. This latest news comes from The Verge, which reports that Google will be abandoning its most recent messaging app failure, Google Allo, in favor of a renewed push for the carrier-controlled RCS (Rich Communication Services) protocol.

Google Allo was Google's attempt at a WhatsApp clone, and it launched just a year-and-a-half ago with a laundry list of deficiencies. It used a phone-centric login system and didn't support using a Google account. It only worked on one device at a time and didn't have an interface for desktop or laptop computers. Distribution wasn't great either, as Allo wasn't one of the mandatory Google apps included in every Android phone. None of this really mattered since Allo didn't support sending SMS messages, so there was no one to talk to anyway. Google's other chat service, Google Hangouts, was better in nearly every way.

With such a half-baked launch, the real unknown for Google Allo was what kind of resources Google would throw at it. Like Android, which also entered a market late in the game, Allo needed a massive amount of resources to catch up to the competition. Instead, we were treated to an absolutely glacial development pace that mostly focused on new sticker packs. It took a full year before Allo addressed one of its biggest flaws—not working on a desktop—and even then, login was handled by a janky QR code pairing system that only worked on one extra device at a time. Google users expect a Google account-based login that works on all devices all the time, just like Hangouts.

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Creaky NHS digital infrastructure risks holding back gene boffinry, say MPs

The Register - April 20, 2018 - 2:21pm
Ask for clear budgets, better training and yup, public engagement

The state of the NHS's digital infrastructure and a lack of clear budgets risk holding back the UK’s efforts in genomic medicine and research, MPs have said.…

Nintendo Labo's creators answer our biggest questions - CNET - News - April 20, 2018 - 2:11pm
What is Nintendo's cardboard dream all about, where will it go next... and how long will the cardboard stuff last? We asked its creators.

Best mobile games of 2018 - CNET - News - April 20, 2018 - 1:30pm
Looking for a new game to play on your phone or tablet? Here are our picks of the best mobile games.

German supreme court rejects ad-block challenge

BBC Technology News - April 20, 2018 - 1:19pm
Publishing giant Axel Springer has lost a long-running case seeking to limit the use of Adblock Plus.

Two's company, Three's unbowed: You Brits will pay more for MMS snaps

The Register - April 20, 2018 - 1:08pm
UK mobe network ups charges for sunshine selfie-takers, just in time for their hols

Mobile operator Three UK is celebrating the approach of British summer by, er, hiking its charges for some of its services.…

AI helps grow 6 billion roaches at China's largest breeding site - CNET - News - April 20, 2018 - 1:05pm
The system ensures an optimal growth environment for the cockroaches, which are eventually crushed to make a "healing potion" that cures ailments like stomachache.

Netflix film examines why NASA shunned women astronauts in early days

Ars Technica - April 20, 2018 - 1:00pm

Enlarge / An undated file photo of some of the Mercury 13 candidates. (credit: Mercury 13 / Netflix)

This June, the world will mark the 55th anniversary of the first woman flying into space. Valentina Tereshkova, an amateur Russian skydiver, spent nearly three days in orbit inside a spherical Vostok 6 capsule. The first American woman, physicist Sally Ride, would not follow Tereshkova into space for another two decades.

A new documentary on Netflix, Mercury 13, examines the question of why NASA did not fly women in space early on and, in particular, focuses on 13 women who underwent preliminary screening processes in 1960 and 1961 to determine their suitability as astronauts. The film offers a clear verdict for why women were excluded from NASA in the space agency's early days—"good old-fashioned prejudice," as one of the participants said. Mercury 13 will be released Friday.

The film admirably brings some of these women to life, all of whom were accomplished pilots. There is Jerrie Cobb, who scored very highly in the preliminary tests and gave compelling testimony before Congress in an attempt to open NASA's early spaceflight programs to women. Another key figure is pilot Jane B. Hart, married to a US Senator from Michigan, whose experience in the project compelled her to become one of the founders of the National Organization for Women.

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Make mine Marvel: 80 years of superheroes fill Seattle museum - CNET - News - April 20, 2018 - 1:00pm
Sit for a spell with The Thing, and check out T'Challa's costume at the new Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes exhibit.

Flip through 32 Marvel-ous images from this super new exhibit - CNET - News - April 20, 2018 - 1:00pm
For a look at everything from rarely seen vintage comic books to modern movie props, including Black Panther's suit, get yourself to Seattle.

The 49 best iPhone games - CNET - News - April 20, 2018 - 1:00pm
If you're all about the iPhone, these are some of the best games you can play.

Facebook removes 1.5 billion users from protection of EU privacy law

Ars Technica - April 20, 2018 - 12:45pm

Enlarge / Mark Zuckerberg in 2017. (credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Facebook has quietly altered its terms of service, making stricter Irish data protection laws no longer binding on the vast majority of its users. The revision was first reported Wednesday by Reuters.

Now, Facebook’s headquarters in California will be responsible for processing any relevant legal claims, and American law will be binding for those outside the EU.

Previously, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said Facebook would implement new EU rules "everywhere." While Facebook may claim that it is offering EU-style control globally, removing this provision in its own terms of service suggests that the company is trying to mitigate its potential legal liability.

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And so it begins: Veritas lays off UK workers, R&D bods hit hardest

The Register - April 20, 2018 - 12:41pm
At least 100 out at cloud data wrangling biz, sources claim

Troubled private-equity-owned Veritas started making layoffs in the UK yesterday as its parent continues to implement cost-cutting measures.…

The 45 best Android games of 2018 - CNET - News - April 20, 2018 - 12:30pm
These are unequivocally the best Android games on the planet.

God of War (2018) review - CNET - Reviews - April 20, 2018 - 12:15pm
God of War is on a different level. Kratos' next chapter propels the franchise into the stratosphere and resets the bar for technical prowess in a console game.

Facebook removes 'gay sex for rent' posts

BBC Technology News - April 20, 2018 - 12:13pm
An investigation found groups offering free accommodation for young men in exchange for sex.

Android Go review—Google’s scattershot attempt at a low-end Android OS

Ars Technica - April 20, 2018 - 12:00pm

Enlarge (credit: Android)

Here in the US and other developed countries, the smartphone and Internet markets are more or less saturated—most people are online and swiping away at their smartphones. This isn't the case everywhere though—only about half of the worldwide population is on the Internet. That means there are more than 3.5 billion people that don't have access to the largest collection of human knowledge (and dank memes) ever assembled.

These throngs of disconnected people come from poorer countries, so when they do eventually get online, they will do so via the most inexpensive devices they can get. The cheapest online-capable devices we make are also the smallest: smartphones. And on smartphones, unless you're spending several hundred dollars on an Apple device, there's one OS out there: Android.

Google has taken to calling these people the "next billion users" and has been chasing them for some time with various programs. The effort we're looking at today, Android Go, is Google's largest to date. It offers the whole Android package but reworked with entry-level phones in mind.

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Government demands for people's personal info from Microsoft reach all-time low

The Register - April 20, 2018 - 11:59am
Just 23k requests in first half of 2017, says Windows giant

Government requests for people's data from Microsoft fell to the all-time low of 23,000 in the last half of 2017, as Redmond's rate of rejecting the requests rose to a high of 17 per cent.…

Google's Project Zero exposes unpatched Windows 10 lockdown bypass

ZDnet News - April 20, 2018 - 11:56am
Google denies multiple requests by Microsoft for an extension to Project Zero's 90-day disclose-or-fix deadline.

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