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Industry & Technology

Apple reportedly target of shakedown over iCloud accounts - CNET - News - March 23, 2017 - 1:28am
Hackers demand $75,000 in bitcoin by April 7 in exchange for not resetting account credentials, Motherboard reports.

Super Mario Run makes leap to Android - CNET - News - March 23, 2017 - 1:14am
The popular smartphone game hits Android devices three months after its iOS debut.

​Impossible Foods to supersize production of lab-grown burger - CNET - News - March 23, 2017 - 1:03am
The maker of meatless patties opens a large-scale production facility and plans to pump out 1 million pounds of faux meat every month.

Strike that: 17,000 AT&T workers down tools in California, Nevada

The Register - March 23, 2017 - 12:48am
I dreamed I called Joe Hill last night

More than 17,000 workers for AT&T belonging to the Communications Workers of America downed tools and went on strike in California and Nevada on Wednesday after restructuring talks broke down.…

It wasn't the money: Wozniak on robots, design, and Apple's origins - IT industry - March 23, 2017 - 12:32am

More than 40 years after founding Apple Computer, Steve Wozniak has a lot to say about the early days of the world's richest company -- and about technology, learning, and being a born engineer.

On stage at the IEEE TechIgnite conference in Burlingame, California, on Wednesday, he gave a glimpse into how a tech legend thinks.

On open source

In the early Seventies, Wozniak read about phone phreaking, in which "phreakers" made free phone calls by using electronics to mimic the tones used for dialing each number. To learn how to do it, he went to the only place he knew that had books and magazines about computers: The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. He went on a Sunday and walked right in. "The smartest people in the world don't lock doors," Wozniak said.

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China's ZTE pleads guilty to selling US tech to Iran - CNET - News - March 23, 2017 - 12:19am
The telecom equipment maker may be on the hook for as much as $1.2 billion for violating sanctions against Iran.

Early Snapdragon 835 benchmarks show mixed results from semi-custom design

Ars Technica - March 23, 2017 - 12:05am

(credit: Qualcomm)

When it announced the Snapdragon 835, Qualcomm promised that the latest in its family of ARM systems-on-chips would boost performance by 27 percent with a 40 percent reduction in power consumption. The first early benchmarks of the processor that Qualcomm doesn't want us to call a processor have been run and the results are... well, they're a little uneven.

Anandtech went to Qualcomm's San Diego headquarters and was shown the 835 running in a hardware platform reference—a basic smartphone built around the chip that serves as a platform for hardware testing and software development. During this visit, they were able to run a handful of basic benchmarks to gauge the performance of the new chip.

Naively, one would assume that Snapdragon 835 would be faster than the 820/821 that went before it. 835 is, after all, a higher number than 820, and higher numbers usually mean better when it comes to processors. But the situation with the 835 is more complicated than that. In the early days of the modern smartphone era, Qualcomm's 32-bit ARM Snapdragon chips were generally best-in-class. While many ARM chips use core designs that are developed by ARM itself in the UK, Qualcomm did something different; it had a pair of custom designs, Scorpion in 2008 and Krait in 2012, developed in house. These designs were broadly superior to ARM's Cortex-A8, A9, and A15 designs that other companies were using.

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The oldest Vespa in existence is up for auction - Roadshow - News - March 22, 2017 - 11:37pm
It's No. 3 of the 60 prototypes.

Here are the 9 best features in Android O - CNET - News - March 22, 2017 - 11:37pm
Google released a developer version of Android O, and here are some of our favorite features and why you should actually care.

Don’t Buy the Latest Trump Surveillance Hype

Wired - March 22, 2017 - 11:18pm
Rep. Devin Nunes made some unprecedented statements today. But even if they're true, they don't prove what the White House wishes they did. The post Don't Buy the Latest Trump Surveillance Hype appeared first on WIRED.

Stupid, dangerous and viral: Saying '108' to Siri - CNET - News - March 22, 2017 - 11:07pm
Law enforcement agencies around the world are asking people to stop giving Apple's digital assistant the three-digit code for emergency services in India.

With racy sperm pics on a smartphone, men can easily test fertility

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 11:04pm

Enlarge / The smartphone-based semen analyzer tests for male infertility in seconds from the privacy of home with a 3D-printed setup costing less than $5, which can analyze most semen samples in less than 5 seconds. (credit: Vignesh Natarajan)

The male equivalent of the at-home pregnancy test may have just landed.

With a simple smartphone device and a chip that slurps up sperm, men can easily and cheaply measure the count and motility of their swimmers. The test is about 98 percent accurate, takes less than five seconds, and requires no training to run, Harvard researchers report Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine. It’s also cheap—the device and the microfluidic chip cost just $4.45 total to manufacture.

Researchers are hopeful that the invention will help couples trying to have children—as well as those trying not to. Worldwide, it's estimated that more than 30 million men face fertility issues at some point. And couples in developing countries or remote areas may not have easy access to fertility clinics. On the flip side, those who undergo vasectomies are encouraged to monitor their sperm counts afterward to make sure the procedure worked. A simple, mobile phone-based test could help both groups.

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The Senate Prepares to Send Internet Privacy Down a Black Hole

Wired - March 22, 2017 - 10:32pm
Senators could vote as early as today to not only reverse the Obama-era FCC's action but block the agency from passing similar rules in the future. The post The Senate Prepares to Send Internet Privacy Down a Black Hole appeared first on WIRED.

Amazon's next big market: Dubai? - CNET - News - March 22, 2017 - 10:19pm
The Seattle online retailer reportedly agrees to buy leading Arab world e-commerce player

The arcade world’s first Easter egg discovered after fraught journey

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 10:15pm

(credit: Arcade Flyer Archive)

The historical record of video games received a strange shake-up on Wednesday from Ed Fries, the ex-Microsoft executive who had a huge part in the creation of the original Xbox. Fries took to his personal blog, which typically covers the world of retro gaming, to announce a zany discovery: he had found the world's earliest known arcade game Easter egg.

His hunt began with a tip from Atari game programmer Ron Milner about the 1977 game Starship 1. This tip seemingly came out of nowhere, as the duo were talking about an entirely different '70s arcade game, Gran Trak 10, which Fries was researching separately. Starship, Milner said, had a few special twists that didn't all make it to market, but one did: a secret message to players. The game would display "Hi Ron!" if players put in the right combination of button commands. This type of thing is better known to gaming fans as an Easter egg, and more than a few Atari games had them as a way to include the developer's name (which Atari never put in games or on cabinets).

Milner didn't tell anyone at Atari about the secret message for 30 years, he told Fries, and one reason is because he'd forgotten how to trigger it.

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Grab 'em by the pussy! Trump's lawyers 'send cease-and-desist letters' to a KITTEN website

The Register - March 22, 2017 - 10:01pm

Lawyers for US President Donald Trump have sent not one, but two cease-and-desist letters to a website featuring his face being pawed by kittens, it is claimed.…

17,000 AT&T technicians and call center workers go on strike [Updated]

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 10:00pm

Enlarge (credit: Mike Mozart)

Update on March 23: Less than 24 hours after it began, AT&T said that "The brief grievance strike has been resolved and employees are returning to work today."

Negotiations for a new contract are still ongoing, but in the meantime AT&T agreed that it "will no longer require technicians to perform work assignments outside of their expertise and classification," the union said.

Original story:

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Putting light in a spin generates a ring of fire on gold film

Ars Technica - March 22, 2017 - 9:50pm

Enlarge / The evolution of the vortex over femtoseconds. (credit: Spektor et. al.)

The late 20th and early 21st century have seen a revolution in the study of light. Far from the old days of seeing things dimly through microscopes, we are now in the position to freeze light, use it to make materials transparent, and watch it spiral around on a gold surface.

Watching light do its thing is very difficult. This sounds a bit silly, as we observe the world through the effects of light. But what we actually see is an average effect. Light, shade, colors, and texture all come to us via the intensity of light, provided by lots of individual photons. We are in no position to see the femtosecond flickering of the field that averages to our spectacular view of the world.

All the interesting stuff we see is related to the amplitude and phase of the light field, though. And the amplitude of a light wave changes very fast, going through a complete cycle in two to three femtoseconds. The wavefront (phase) also travels very fast, moving around 300 nanometers every femtosecond. Tracking this sort of motion is tricky, but it reveals all sorts of intriguing stuff.

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Bonavita 8-Cup Connoisseur Brewer Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - March 22, 2017 - 9:47pm
Bonavita's new Connoisseur coffee maker sports an improved design to create even better pots of drip.

LinkedIn add news curation with ‘trending storylines’ - IT industry - March 22, 2017 - 9:42pm

LinkedIn is taking a more forceful approach to news curation. The company today is releasing a “trending storylines” feed that lives alongside your personally curated feeds to showcase news articles and related posts personalized based on your interests and profession.

The experience is like the trending topics Facebook surfaces for its users. The trending storylines are determined by a mix of algorithms and human curation from LinkedIn’s editorial team. When you are in the trending storylines tab, you can also follow new people and topics to improve your primary feed.


LinkedIn's new trending storylines feed is personalized by algorithms as well as editorial curation. (Click for larger image.)

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