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Get a Martian mVoice smartwatch with Alexa for $68 - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 7:36pm
Forget Alexa, though -- she's not really the main attraction. A stylish watch and customizable notifications are. Plus: Learn how to start a side-hustle biz for $26.

Feds charge Barclays trader with fraud in Hewlett-Packard deal

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 7:07pm
Forex head alleged to have manipulated market in 'front-running' scheme

The former head of foreign currency exchanges at Barclays New York has been charged in the US with devising and executing a "scheme to defraud HP of money and property", according to an indictment entered yesterday.…

The mirrors at CES had a lot to say about your life and looks - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 7:05pm
At this year's tech show in Las Vegas, companies showed off mirrors that analyze your skin, organize your wardrobe and more.

Smart mirrors, smart mirrors at CES, which ones did we like the best? - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 7:01pm
We saw internet-connected mirrors that analyze your skin, organize your wardrobe and more at this year's tech show. Here are the ones that caught our eye.

Apple rejects net neutrality testing app, says it offers “no benefits to users”

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 6:59pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Brian A. Jackson)

An iPhone application that attempts to detect whether ISPs are throttling online services was rejected by Apple when its developer tried to get it into the company's App Store.

David Choffnes, a Northeastern University professor who researches distributed systems and networking, built an app called "Wehe" that tests the speeds of YouTube, Amazon, NBCSports, Netflix, Skype, Spotify, and Vimeo. Abnormally low speed results for one or more of those services might, in theory, provide evidence that your mobile carrier is throttling a service.

But as Motherboard reported today, Apple refused to let the app into the iPhone App Store, telling him that "your app has no direct benefits to the user." Motherboard was able to test a beta version of the app using Apple's TestFlight platform and provided this screenshot of the application in action:

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Apple and Google buses under fire in Silicon Valley

BBC Technology News - January 18, 2018 - 6:52pm
Buses carrying Apple and Google employees to work have been targeted while en route.

Facebook diversifies board with American Express CEO - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 6:51pm
Kenneth Chenault, who plans to retire from American Express this year, will become Facebook's first black board member.

Project Fi’s “Bill Protection” works out to an $80 “unlimited” plan

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 6:40pm


When we looked at Google's Project Fi cellular service at launch, we worked out that the pay-per-MB service was great for people who use a small amount of data or those who need a flexible amount of data from month to month. It didn't make sense for people who consistently use a ton of data, though, as you could essentially rack up an unlimited bill.

Now Project Fi is throwing a bone to big data users with "bill protection," a cap on the amount Project Fi will charge. Project Fi bills will now cap out at $80, no matter how much data you use. This basically works out to a Project Fi unlimited plan. Fi bills start out at $20 for unlimited calls and texts, then "$10 per GB" (though you are billed to the exact megabyte). Before this new plan, an $80 bill would work out to 6GB of data usage, but with bill protection, you can now go up to 15GB of usage with no additional fees. Above 15GB, Project Fi can either work as a not-really-unlimited "unlimited" plan, where your speed is throttled, or you can start paying $10 per GB again to jump back into unthrottled data usage. Google has a calculator for the new plan here.

Fi bills now stop at $80, with full speed data up to 15GB. (credit: Google)

Google's MVNO service is turning into a unique and useful cellular carrier. In addition to the flexible month-to-month billing, Fi combines the networks from Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular. You can get multiple data-only SIM cards for free, free hotspot capabilities, and international data in more than 135 countries—all data usage counts toward your $10-per-GB bill. Sometimes you don't need a SIM card at all—on the Google Pixel 2, you can provision your phone for Project Fi service using the built-in eSIM chip. Fi has also absorbed all the functionality of Google Voice—you can forward your number to any other device, there's online or app-based voicemail with transcriptions, and you can get text messages on any device through the Google Hangouts app or website.

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Sundance 2018 films tackle technology's pleasures and perils - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 6:30pm
From revenge porn to growing up on YouTube and Instagram, movies in this year's festival explore the darker side of the digital age.

DigitalOcean cuts cloud server pricing to stop rivals eating its lunch

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 6:29pm
Faces up to AWS, Google with future per-second billing plan

Faced with a customer base being lured away by cheaper cloud compute services at its competitors, DigitalOcean has cut prices and increased RAM and SSD storage for its users.…

Home Office admits it sent asylum seeker’s personal info to the state he was fleeing

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 6:03pm pays £15,500 in damages after failed fact-check

An asylum seeker has won £15,500 from the UK’s Home Office after it blabbed confidential information about his persecution in his home country - to authorities in the state.…

Planet finally stops setting warmest year records; 2017 merely finishes Top 3

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 6:03pm

Enlarge / The results from NASA's dataset (showing temperature above the 1951-1980 average), which ranks 2017 as the 2nd warmest year on record. (credit: NASA)

Last year had its fair share of attention-grabbing natural disasters, so you can be forgiven for not keeping an eye on the global average temperature as the months rolled by. But NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the UK Met Office all announced their final tally today: 2017 ranks as the second or third warmest year on record, depending on which dataset you ask.

In the NASA dataset, 2017 comes in a few hundredths of a degree Celsius above third-place 2015, while NOAA puts 2015 a touch above 2017. The UK Met Office dataset also ranks 2017 in third. The datasets use slightly different methods, including different approaches to handling the polar regions, where weather stations are sparse.

It turns out that the cold weather in the eastern United States around the holiday season was not indicative of what was happening on the rest of the planet, much less for the rest of the year. President Donald Trump may have been tweeting that "we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming," but he was doing so during an exceedingly warm year.

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Mazda rotary engines will juice up self-driving Toyota EVs - Roadshow - News - January 18, 2018 - 6:02pm
It's not exactly how enthusiasts would want the rotary to come back, but it's better than nothin'.

Twitch challenges YouTube with new video producer tools, Disney partnership

Ars Technica - January 18, 2018 - 6:00pm

Enlarge (credit: Twitch)

The Amazon-owned video site Twitch announced it's introducing new tools for its creators, essentially, to build hype around their upcoming videos. Twitch, which is best known for live-streamed gaming content, will debut "video producer" tools today that let creators make landing pages, countdown timers, and reruns for their content.

As explained in Twitch's blog, a new part of the upload workflow will be "Premieres," which is a different category of video than "Live" or "Rerun." Creators must make landing pages for all Premiere videos, which seems to mean that any premade, uploaded video will need a landing page. Viewers can set reminders from a video's landing page for an alert before the video is available. Creators can also use a countdown timer to build anticipation for the release of their newest video. Reruns, which are separate from Premiers, are exactly what they sound like: videos that already aired that creators have scheduled to play again.

Twitch's new system contrasts with YouTube's in that, when an uploaded YouTube video goes live, it simply appears on the site. Unless you've subscribed to the creator's channel or opted to receive alerts when that creator uploads, you won't always know when that creator posts a new video. While Twitch's video producer tools don't necessarily make it easier for new viewers to find a creator's content, they make it easier for loyal fans to never miss a new video. For creators, Twitch claims the tools provide "more control over their path to success" by giving them new ways to ensure their audience keeps coming back.

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Scumbag who tweeted vulnerable adults' details is hauled into court

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 5:34pm
Kent bloke 'threatened' privacy watchdog that he'd release more

A man from Kent, England, has been prosecuted under the UK's Data Protection Act for leaking sensitive police information on Twitter.…

36 of the best movies about AI, ranked

ZDnet News - January 18, 2018 - 5:27pm
Here's a whole list of AI movies to stream next time you're in the mood for something self-aware

Infiniti will electrify lineup, debut EV in 2021 - Roadshow - News - January 18, 2018 - 5:08pm
It wants more than half its global sales to come from electrified cars by 2025.

Someone is touting a mobile, PC spyware platform called Dark Caracal to governments

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 5:00pm
Hundreds of gigabytes already slurped, say EFF and Lookout

An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and security biz Lookout has uncovered Dark Caracal, a surveillance-toolkit-for-hire that has been used to suck huge amounts of data from Android mobiles and Windows desktop PCs around the world.…

Investigation outs Dark Caracal, the high-tech spying network for hire to governments

The Register - January 18, 2018 - 5:00pm
Advanced surveillance system puts mobile first for stealing data

An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and security firm Lookout have uncovered Dark Caracal, a highly advanced spying platform sucking huge amounts of data from mobiles and desktops around the world.…

New biggest radio telescope to help detect alien signals - CNET - News - January 18, 2018 - 4:59pm
China plans to build another big radio telescope that could boost the quest to determine if we're alone in the universe, and solve other long-standing mysteries.

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