(Reuters) - AT&T Inc will join rival Verizon Communications in disclosing details on government requests for customer data starting in 2014, after investors called on the two largest U.S. carriers to reveal more about controversial spying operations. New York-based Verizon, the second-largest U.S. telephone company by revenue, unveiled its move on Thursday following pressure from activist investors concerned about the extent of network operators' roles in systematic government surveillance. ...
By Mark Hosenball and Dhanya Skariachan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Investigators believe that overseas hackers were responsible for the cyber attack on U.S. retailer Target Corp that compromised up to 40 million payment cards during the first three weeks of the holiday shopping season, a person familiar with the matter said on Friday. Meanwhile the blogger who first broke news of the breach, Brian Krebs, reported that data stolen from Target had begun flooding underground markets that sell stolen credit cards. KrebsOnSecurity.com reported on Friday that cards stolen from Target were being offered at "card shops" for rates starting at $20 each and going to more than $100. Target has said that hackers accessed data on up to 40 million payment cards over 19 days through Dec 15 in the second-largest retail breach in U.S. history.
By Jennifer Saba (Reuters) - News Corp on Friday made its first acquisition as a stand-alone company with the $25 million purchase of social news tool Storyful. Founded in 2008 and based in Dublin, Ireland, Storyful verifies and manages the rights holders of news and videos on social media platforms such as Twitter in real time. "Storyful has become the village square for valuable video, using journalistic sensibility, integrity and creativity to find, authenticate and commercialize user-generated content," News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said in a statement. ...
JPMorgan Chase & Co mailed incorrect replacements for payment cards to about 4,000 people for the state of Connecticut after personal data stored at the bank was accessed in a cyber attack this summer. The bank made the mistake as it tried to reissue Connecticut-branded cards to pay unemployment compensation and tax refunds for the state, according to an announcement from Connecticut Treasurer Denise Nappier. JPMorgan notified the state of the error on Thursday, the statement said. The security breach had affected 14,335 accounts in Connecticut and some 465,000 across the country.
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Protesters blocked buses said to be operated by Google Inc and Apple Inc in San Francisco and Oakland on Friday, the latest sign of a growing backlash against the booming tech industry's impact, especially on access to affordable housing in the region. A small sign in the front window said only "Main Campus, Ridgeview." An Internet search showed that Apple has offices on Ridgeview Court, not far from its headquarters in Cupertino, California, 40 miles south of San Francisco. Two Google buses in Oakland were also targeted by protesters on Friday morning, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. "We want the ruling class, which is becoming the tech class, to listen to our voices and listen to the voices of folks that are being displaced," said a protester in San Francisco who addressed the crowd by loudspeaker from the back of a pickup truck parked in front of the bus.
By Aurindom Mukherjee (Reuters) - Oracle Corp, the world's No. 2 business software maker, said it would buy web-based marketing software maker Responsys Inc for about $1.39 billion to bolster its cloud computing offerings. Oracle, led by billionaire Larry Ellison, has been focusing on cloud software to fend off competition from nimbler rivals such as Salesforce.com and Workday Inc, which offer web-based products at prices that often undercut Oracle. ...
After a month of lagging behind its Android counterpart, Google has finally updated Google Play Music to include features missing from the initial release. In addition to a UI refresh for iOS 7, the app now includes "I'm Feeling Lucky" radio, which builds an instant playlist based on the user's listening habits, and genre radio stations for paying All Access subscribers. Added creature comforts include the ability to search for genres and auto-playlists — all the better to enjoy the service's more than 20 million songs.
Considering how new the idea of competent virtual reality gaming is, it’s no surprise that developers aren’t lined up out the door to implement the technology quite yet. There are plenty of excited developers and gamers who want to take advantage of the Oculus Rift, but until the device proves itself on the market, it will be a niche product. Unless, of course, the team at Oculus VR starts bringing on developers itself to make games for the Rift. Gamasutra reports that Oculus VR has hired David DeMartini, formerly EA’s senior vice president, to be in charge of the company’s new publishing division. “What I’m doing at Oculus, it’s not particularly different from what I did for seven years at EA as
This week's teasers for Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp and Kate Mara, have finally led to the full-length trailer for the film. The movie will explore how renowned AI researcher Dr. Will Caster, played by Depp, will be forced to upload his consciousness into a machine after a botched assassination attempt. The transfer is successful, but, like in so much science fiction, the power that comes with being an AI construct starts to consume him, leaving his loved ones to look on powerlessly.
One of the perks of working at a major Silicon Valley company is a shuttle ride to work. But as housing prices rise in the San Francisco Bay Area, angry activists are targeting those shuttles to protest the region's gentrification. In Oakland, protesters attacked a Google bus today, smashing a window and distributing fliers reading "Get the fuck out of Oakland" to Google employees on board. My Gbus got hit by protesters in Oakland and they broke a window.
The past couple of years have seen tablets compete over which one can deliver the best display. However, the big battle over the next year may be over which tablet can deliver the best battery life, especially once manufactures start shipping more tablets Intel’s low-power Haswell tablet processors. And a new dispatch from Consumer Reports suggests that the next generation of tablets will have battery life beyond anything we’ve ever imagined. Consumer Reports did some testing on Lenovo’s new Yoga 8 tablet and has found that it delivers an industry-best 18.5 hours of battery life, a full five hours better than the previous tablet battery champion Nexus 7. How was Lenovo able to deliver such amazing battery life? Consumer Reports says that we can credit the device’s odd-looking
The Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 may get the lion's share of attention, but that doesn't mean Samsung has stopped working on less expensive smartphones as well. Over the past several weeks, Samsung has unveiled both the Galaxy Grand 2 and the Galaxy Core Advance, a pair of lower-end smartphones that update devices it launched less than a year ago. The Galaxy Grand 2 is the more interesting of the pair, resembling the Galaxy Note in both size and style. While various reports have pointed to a release in the near future for the Grand 2, Samsung still hasn't detailed exactly when it'll come out or what it'll cost.
Samsung may use the same kind of faux leather design — or “pleather” — seen on the Galaxy Note 3 smartphone and Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 edition) tablet in future notebook models, according to a person that reportedly attended a Samsung S Academy event and posted details about it on Korean site Seeko. The new Ativ Book 9 family will reportedly run Windows 8.1 and feature four 2W speakers for improved sound, as well as a leather-like case complete with a stitching effect along the edges. A supposedly leaked image shows an Ativ Book 9 Style laptop that has a white faux leather lid. In addition to the unreleased Ativ Book 9 models that could be unveiled at next month’s
Many web veterans can share horror stories of friends and family who installed a few too many browser toolbars, some of them by accident. Google is clearly eager to avoid those disasters in Chrome -- it's instituting a new Chrome Web Store policy that will limit extensions to a single purpose. From now on, new extensions can't sneak in toolbars, secondary extensions or other features that aren't part of the core functionality.
Fitbit is a top name in fitness tracking devices, but the company's products often haven't been the most inclusive choice for Android users. That situation has now significantly improved, as Fitbit has updated its Android app with support for a number of new phones — including the Moto X, the latest Nexus devices, and six recent Droid models. The trick is support for Bluetooth Low Energy. Fitbit trackers use BLE to sync with mobile devices, but unlike Apple — whose mobile products have supported BLE since the iPhone 4S — the Android ecosystem has been slow to adopt the technology by comparison.
A new torrent-indexing site comes from Spain using search technology financed by the government and developed by a P2P veteran who managed to defeat big music labels in court. Pablo Soto was cleared by a court in 2011 in a case pursued by big labels including Universal, Sony, EMI, Warner and the “Spanish RIAA” Promusicae which were seeking €13 million in damages from Soto’s company that created various file-sharing services. The court found Soto’s software to be “totally neutral,” TorrentFreak reports, while the labels argued it was designed to infringe on their copyrights and profit from them. Soto then developed the Foofind search engine after receiving a €1.6 million grant from the Spanish government, and came up with a torrent
Snapchat released a significant update to its iOS app today that includes support for a range of new services, including swipeable photo filters. An update to the app reveals support for a range of filters, including "smart filters" that include the current time, temperature, and even how fast you're moving. "We just decided as a holiday present to the Snapchat community that we would put out a couple things we thought were fun," Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said in an interview with The Verge. Tap 'manage' and you'll see six new settings, including visual filters and 'smart' filters.
WASHINGTON (AP) — AT&T Inc. says it will publish reports on the number of requests for customer information that it receives from law enforcement agencies, the latest move in the telecommunications industry toward fuller disclosure amid debate over government surveillance programs.
Spotify finally caved to the pressure last week and introduced its own ad-supported free streaming feature for mobile users. The smartphone version is restricted to Shuffle Play and artist/album radio stations, but that hasn’t stopped users from downloading Spotify in droves. According to CNET, Spotify saw four times the number of downloads since the feature launched last week. The company hasn’t released any official numbers yet, but there’s little doubt that free streaming would fail to draw a crowd. Spotify also climbed into the top 10 in the App Store in 20 markets, including the U.S. after the rollout. There’s still plenty of catching up to do before Spotify can overtake Pandora, but it’s certainly on the right track.
It's been a hot second, but we're back with your host Brad Molen and guest Myriam Joire for a year-in-review episode. It's been a wild ride with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 picking up the processing pace, Motorola joining the smartphone market with renewed vigor and John Legere's refusal to let crazy get in the way of good ideas. Those on a budget could get quality in more ways than one and if the sky was the limit, you could get that too.
With its rocky initial public offering now a distant memory, Facebook said today that will make a secondary offering of its stock next week that could raise $1.5 billion. The company said in a blog post that it will sell 70 million shares priced at $55.05, using the proceeds "for working capital and other general corporate purposes." Meanwhile, CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to sell 41.3 million of his own shares, with the majority of the proceeds used to pay taxes on the exercise of his stock options earlier this year. Also today, Facebook became an official member of Standard & Poor's S&P 500 Index, which comprises common stocks picked by the financial company. The move, which follows several quarters of strong profits, means Facebook will now be traded as part of the index funds popular with mutual funds and other investment vehicles.
Foursquare's rolling out a new Android app, adding in new motion effects and integrating some of this month's iOS tweaks. That first feature, best known in the video community as the "Ken Burns effect," animates location header images with panning and zoom. You can still scroll through the top five photos from each venue, but images up top won't stop moving until you head over to the full-screen gallery tool.
Things have been going poorly for BlackBerry for a while now but the past quarter might have been its worst yet. Not only is the company losing money hand-over-fist, but its quarterly revenues collapsed to $1.2 billion, a stunningly low number for a company that was once at the top of the smartphone market. The Guardian’s Charles Arthur has posted a chart tracking BlackBerry’s quarterly revenue over the past several years and the sharp, rapid drop in revenues since their peak in 2011 is truly a sight to behold. What makes this really remarkable is that the company’s revenue collapse only accelerated this year after it released devices based on BlackBerry 10, the mobile platform that was supposed to be
If you're anything like us, the thought of sifting through mountains of media to create a year in review video is more than a little intimidating. However, it just got a lot easier for some Google+ members. The social network is now using Auto Awesome to create year in review clips for anyone who has been uploading enough photos and videos throughout 2013; if you're one of the lucky ones, the clip should be available in about a week.
NEW YORK (AP) — It's tough to shop for techies. They already own everything with a plug or rechargeable battery. But fear not, a slew of unique technology gifts have hit the market just in time for Christmas.
You've been so busy that you forgot to get a gift for someone on your list. Don't panic. We've rounded up the best last-minute gifts: presents you can send your loved ones digitally that will arrive in email immediately, even on Dec. 25. From movies and e-books to software and apps, these downloadable gifts will really save your Christmas ham.
We hope you weren't too attached to Google Play Books' PDF upload support on Android, because you just lost it -- albeit temporarily. Following some code sleuthing, Android Police has confirmed that Google removed PDF uploading; for now, you're limited to transferring EPUB books. The PDF support was experimental, Google says, and should come back with a future app update.
A recent exposé from Bloomberg Businessweek painted a critical picture of Amazon’s work environment for executives, but a petition currently gaining momentum in the UK suggests that things are far worse for some of the company’s warehouse staff. The Guardian points us to a petition on Change.org that had collected nearly 45,000 signatures as of the time of this writing. Under the heading “@AmazonUK: This Christmas, pay the Living Wage across UK operations,” the petition suggests that Amazon’s seasonal warehouse staff faces “demeaning” working conditions and also that they ”won’t earn enough to buy the bare essentials of life” due to Amazon’s low wages for agency staff. The petition is accompanied by the following letter: To: Jeff Bezos, Amazon Amazon, please
With Target already reeling from a massive hack that left up to 40 million credit and debit cards compromised, The New York Times now reports that all that data has been pouring into the black market since the break-in. Security experts, including security blogger Brian Krebs, say that criminals sell stolen credit cards in bulk, with individual cards going for as little as a quarter or as high as $100 depending on the credit limit. While the company states that it hasn't received many fraud complaints since news of the breach broke, it has given affected account numbers to credit card companies. BREAKING: Following credit card data breach, Target CEO says store will offer 10% discount on in-store purchases this weekend.
PKPKT (pronounced "pickpocket") is a new iPhone game that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to simulate digital pickpocketing. By tapping three times on the top of your iPhone, you can attempt a steal. "[BLE] was the first technology in a while that really piqued my interest," says PKPT developer Jeremy Schoenherr, and he's not alone. The game is one of several new ways that BLE is getting utilized on the iPhone.
(Reuters) - Japanese tech and telecoms group SoftBank Corp's Chief Executive Masayoshi Son held talks with at least five banks to finance a possible bid by Sprint Corp to buy a majority stake in T-Mobile US Inc in 2014, Bloomberg reported, citing sources. Son met with executives of Credit Suisse Group AG, Mizuho Bank Ltd, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co to get financing of about $20 billion, the report said. (http://r.reuters.com/fef65v) Raine Group LLC was reported to be advising SoftBank for the bid that could see Sprint, the third-largest U.S. ...
Sometimes, peer pressure can be a beautiful thing. Just hours after Verizon said it would start publishing transparency reports, AT&T has followed suit with plans of its own. Big Blue will largely mirror its rival's moves and publish a semi-annual internet report that breaks down law enforcement requests by type, such as court orders.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan will get to spend more time outside a mental hospital where he has been confined for most of the past three decades, a judge ruled Friday.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Elisa Noel rushed to the county clerk's office with her partner immediately after learning that a federal judge overturned Utah's ban on gay marriage. They waited in line for a wedding license and were married in an impromptu ceremony punctuated with Noel giving the officiant a high-five.
TORONTO (AP) — Canada's highest court struck down the country's anti-prostitution laws Friday, a victory for sex workers who had argued that a ban on brothels and other measures made their profession more dangerous. The ruling drew criticism from the conservative government and religious leaders.
WASHINGTON (AP) — His health care plan facing a dicey transition, President Barack Obama said Friday that insurance sign-ups are surging now that the government's website is working better for consumers. But it was too soon to say the rollout has turned the corner.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Holiday travelers in the Midwest and parts East and South were keeping a leery eye Friday on a band of foul weather stretching across the nation's midsection that was threatening to mar the opening weekend of one of the year's busiest travel periods.
How to sum up an entire year of news in just 10 photos? The very notion is daunting when we consider that the AP's award-winning team of hundreds of staff photographers, freelancers and photo editors sends out some 3,000 photos every 24 hours - over 1 million photos a year - to our subscribers around the globe.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Cheers erupted as the mayor of Salt Lake City officiated the first gay marriage ceremony in the state in an office building about three miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church.
Washington (AFP) - A weary Barack Obama, eyelids heavy, predicted Friday that the restorative power of sleep and the sunshine of his native Hawaii would restore his wilting fortunes after a bleak year.
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