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ZTE’s sketchy crowd-sourced phone is already a failure

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:22:49 -0500

In a move that everyone saw coming a mile away, ZTE has had to admit that its "Hawkeye" sticky-backed, eye-tracking, crowdsourced smartphone is already a colossal failure. Having raised just $35,000 of its $500,000 Kickstarter goal with time waning, Jeff Yee, ZTE's VP of planning and partnerships posted a lengthy blog post on the company's site admitting the firm's error in attempting to crowdfund a totally underwhelming device with middling specs. "After posting the project on Kickstarter and then releasing the detailed specifications of Hawkeye, we realize that our decision to introduce the CSX hands-free features on a mid-range device may not have met the expectations of those that backed this project and those that are early adopters and discovering Project CSX through Kickstarter," Yee explained. "It was our mistake." Now, with fewer than 200 backers on its campaign, ZTE is trying to determine what it can change in order to get more people to jump in. As has been the case with most aspects of the crowdsourced phone project, the company is running a poll. Among the choices are a swap from the Qualcomm 625 to the 835 (currently in the lead with 47% of votes), a bump in battery capacity from 3,000 mAh to 3,500 mAh, and a change to a stock version of Android with eye tracking software pre-installed. Unfortunately for ZTE, the second most popular response on the poll is "Other," with dozens of would-be buyers listing their own perfect tweaks in the comments section. The company will certainly not be able to please everyone, but it's hoping to make enough improvements to the specs that it can actually follow through with its production plans.


'Net neutrality' foe Ajit Pai is new FCC head

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:51:34 -0500

President Donald Trump has picked a fierce critic of the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules to be chief regulator of the nation's airwaves and internet connections. In a statement Monday, Ajit ...



Samsung bounces back from Note 7 recall with its best quarter in three years

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:18:19 -0500

It turns out that Samsung’s business is doing just fine following one of its most embarrassing product fumbles in recent memory. The company posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings today in line with expectations outlined this month, earning 9.2 trillion won (about $7.2 billion) in profit on sales of 53.3 trillion won (about $45.8 billion). It also makes this quarter Samsung’s most profitable in more than three years, despite the Galaxy Note 7 recall that has embroiled the South Korean company in controversy for the last five months.



This is LG's G6 smartphone, coming February 26th

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:18:54 -0500

Mobile World Congress will be missing its usual Samsung flagship star in Barcelona next month, but there’s another Korean company ready to fill the void. LG has set a February 26th date for the unveiling of the G6, its next flagship Android phone, and The Verge has obtained the first image of the upcoming phone. As previously revealed by LG Display and confirmed by The Verge, the G6 will feature a large 5.7-inch display with an unusual aspect ratio of 2:1 and an emphasis on minimal bezels.



Google Voice: First major update in years brings new look, new features

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:46:14 -0500

Until a post popped up on Google's blog earlier today , I had nearly forgotten that the Google Voice app existed. As it turns out, I had every reason to forget about it -- Google hadn't updated it in five years. That drought finally ended on Monday as Google begin rolling out a massive update for the Google Voice apps. The most obvious change is the user interface, which has been completely overhauled to finally look like something that belongs in the second half of this decade. It's cleaner, sleeker and fits in much better with the rest of Google's modern apps, both on mobile devices and on the web. There are now separate tabs in the inbox for texts, calls and voicemails. Additionally, conversations with a contact all now appear in the same thread, and messaging has been upgraded to support group and photo MMS. Google is also introducing Spanish transcription for voicemails, but says it will improve in time. "Going forward, we’ll provide new updates and features to the Google Voice apps," promises Google. "If you currently use Hangouts for your Google Voice communication, there’s no need to change to the new apps, but you might want to try them out as we continue to bring new improvements." In other words, it sounds like this is just the beginning of Google Voice's resurrection, so if you preferred the Voice app to Hangouts, you might want to download it again and see how it has changed. We've provided links to the app on the web as well as iOS and Android below: Web: https://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.googlevoice iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-voice/id318698524?&mt=8


You can finally say ‘Computer’ to your Echo to command it

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:42:33 -0500

Amazon has added a new wake word to the Echo and the Echo Dot, and it’s the one that anybody who’s ever watched Star Trek wants: “Computer.” You can enable it by opening up the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android phone, then digging down into the settings to “Wake Word.” Where before you would only have seen three options: Alexa, Amazon, and Echo, you should now see a fourth and obviously the best one, Computer.Oddly enough, the update to enable the new word has been rolling out slowly and intermittently for just over a week now, but apparently only a few people noticed it. ...



Pokemon Go unleashed on game-mad South Korea six months late

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:01:05 -0500

Nintendo Co's smash hit Pokemon Go was unleashed on South Korea on Tuesday, six months after it was released elsewhere in the world, a delay caused by security fears over Google Maps. "We have waited very long and worked very hard to launch Pokemon Go in South Korea," said Lim Jae Boem, chief executive of Pokemon Korea. The game was jointly developed by Nintendo and Niantic Inc. Pokemon Go relies on Google Maps to work.



Yahoo beats Wall Street view, sees Verizon deal closing in second quarter

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:28:47 -0500

Yahoo Inc on Monday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon Communications Inc should be completed in the second quarter, allaying some investor concerns that the deal might collapse. The $4.8 billion Verizon transaction had originally been expected to close in the first quarter but was delayed by the disclosure of two major cyber breaches that exposed information from more than a billion Yahoo accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe into whether Yahoo's data breaches should have been disclosed sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.



As attacks grow, EU mulls banking stress tests for cyber risks

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 06:43:19 -0500

By Francesco Guarascio BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is considering testing banks' defenses against cyber attacks, EU officials and sources said, as concerns grow about the industry's vulnerability to hacking. Cyber attacks against banks have increased in numbers and sophistication in recent years, with criminals finding new ways to target banks beyond trying to illicitly obtain details of their customers' online accounts. Global regulators have tightened security requirements for banks after that giant cyber fraud, one of the biggest in history, and in some countries have carried out checks on lenders' security systems.



iPhone assembler Foxconn may invest $7B in US display plant

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:47:48 -0500

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — The Taiwanese company that assembles Apple's iPhones and other electronics is considering investing $7 billion in a U.S. factory to produce display panels that would create as many as 50,000 jobs.


Samsung Elec fourth-quarter profit jumps as record chip profit masks Note 7 failure

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:59:52 -0500

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday said fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent, matching its earlier guidance, as record earnings in its chips business masked the negative impact of its failed Note 7 phones. The world's biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips said October-December operating profit was 9.22 trillion won ($7.93 billion), compared with prior guidance of 9.2 trillion won. Revenue remained flat at 53.3 trillion won from the same period a year earlier, versus its estimate of 53 trillion won. Samsung also said it plans to buy back 9. ...



$4.75 gets you an iPhone 7 Plus screen protector that stops people from spying on you

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:30:35 -0500

For whatever reason, the glass screens on Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are far more prone to scratching than any other iPhones. Even if you're always careful, the simple act of repeatedly putting the phone in your pocket and taking it out again will scratch up your display over time. In order to prevent your iPhone screen from getting all scratched up, you need a glass screen protector. And if you're going to protect your screen from scratches anyway, you might as well protect it from prying eyes while you're at it. A 2-pack of Cambond iPhone 7 Plus Privacy Screen Protectors typically costs $12 on Amazon, which is a price that's beyond fair for these items. But if you use the coupon code AIZDX49O between now and the end of the day on January 31, you'll get the 2-pack for just $9.49 — that's less than $5 each! Some highlights from the product page: Privacy protection for your private information: Screen is only visible to persons directly in front of screen to keep your personal information from the view of left and right side at a certain angle; Please imagine that you use our Cambond privacy screen protector on your device and when you are out on the metro or bus, sure you can protect your sensitive data on your phone from the prying eyes Note: Turn your device display brightness up, this iPhone 7 Plus privacy cover will darken the image; It also does not cover the entire screen, leaving reasonable edge space for your protective cases Maximum protection for your iPhone 7 Plus screen: Cambond privacy anti-spy screen protector would keep your screen from daily scratches, shocks, bumps and smudge and it is recommended using with a case Bubble free installation: Updated installation step would let you quickly align the iPhone 7 Plus glass screen protector with your iPhone 7 Plus and bubble-free by one click and we have made a non-glue area on the TOP of the guide sticker and the dust-absorber so that you can hold it without sticking your hand Lifetime warranty: we would offer a lifetime warranty for this iPhone 7 Plus Privacy glass screen protector with our friendly Cambond customer service team and please feel free to contact us if you have any query


Nest rehires its old CTO back after her brief run at Apple

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:49:18 -0500

After just seven months at Apple, robotics expert Yoky Matsuoka is rejoining Alphabet’s Nest as its chief technology officer. Matsuoka left Nest back in 2015 from her position as vice president of technology to join Twitter, only to decline the job to focus on overcoming her life-threatening illness. At Nest, Matsuoka will use her robotics background to define roadmaps for the engineering and product teams, according to Bloomberg.



Samsung Electronics warns of political risks as chips boost Q4 profit

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:39:24 -0500

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday said it expects profit growth in 2017 despite challenges arising from political uncertainty, after record chip earnings glossed over the Note 7 smartphone fiasco in the fourth quarter. The South Korean tech giant and Apple Inc rival is embroiled in an influence-peddling scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye, with five Samsung Group executives already grilled by prosecutors and investigations ongoing. "The uncertain business environment such as the changing political landscape in Korea and overseas poses a challenge to the execution of mid- to long-term business strategies, such as M&A and investment decisions and developing new growth engines," Samsung Electronics said in a statement.



Samsung says batteries caused Note 7 fires, may delay new phone launch

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 04:06:10 -0500

By Hyunjoo Jin and Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd indicated on Monday that its latest flagship Galaxy S smartphone could be delayed as it pledged to enhance product safety following an investigation into the cause of fires in its premium Note 7 devices. Samsung mobile chief Koh Dong-jin said procedures had been put in place to avoid a repeat of the fires as the South Korean firm prepares to launch the Galaxy S8, its first premium handset since the Note 7's demise. "Samsung Electronics will be working hard to regain consumer trust." Koh said the Galaxy S8 would not be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona beginning Feb. 27, the traditional forum for Galaxy S series launches.



Old Android malware still infecting millions of users

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:01:14 -0500

Remember HummingBad ? It’s an “old” malware from early-to-mid 2016, which was discovered and addressed at the time. However, it looks like it wasn’t killed, and a version of it called HummingWhale has been found in the Google Play store, inside over 20 apps that were downloaded several million times by unsuspecting users. HummingWhale comes with “cutting edge techniques” that let it perform fraud better than before, Check Point says . That’s the same group that identified the first strain of the malware, which affected more than 10 million users last year. Check Point also discovered its creators and concluded that the malware was able to generate some $300,000 per month from fraudulent advertising. That’s right, this malware doesn’t steal sensitive data from you. Instead, it hijacks ad views for profit. The new Google Play apps seem to be camera-related apps uploaded under names of fake Chinese developers. Each of these apps has an encrypted file that’s “suspiciously large.” The malware can be used to download and execute other apps. Moreover, the app can use an Android plugin to upload fraudulent apps on a virtual machine. “First, the Command and Control server (C&C) provides fake ads and apps to the installed malware, which presents them to the user,” Check Point writes. “Once the user tries to close the ad, the app, which was already downloaded by the malware, is uploaded to the virtual machine and run as if it is a real device. This action generates the fake referrer id, which the malware uses to generate revenues for the perpetrators.” The malware is more sophisticated than its predecessor in many ways. It can install apps without getting elevated permissions, and it can install an infinite number of fraudulent apps without actually overloading the device. That means the user would not even notice that something is wrong. Additionally. HumingWhale also tries to increase its Google Play reputation using fraudulent comments and ratings. Check Point told BGR that it informed Google About these new malware apps, which were removed from Google Play. This is how you check if your phone or tablet was infected with a HummingBad strain, although the tools might not necessarily detect HummingWhale as well.


This is what happens when Apple finds underage workers in its factories

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:47:53 -0500

One of the most difficult things to square as a consumer is the knowledge that not everyone who worked to produce your clothes, your food and your electronics wouldn't be old enough to work if they lived in the United States. There are of course oversights at factories all over the world, but even the biggest companies can't catch everything. Thankfully, some are willing to take action when they find children in their factories. Over the weekend, a Redditor with the handle Illegal_sal shared a link to Apple's Labor and Human Rights page on the company's Supplier Responsibility subsite. On that page, Apple explains what happens when it discovers that child labor laws have been violated at a factory building its devices: "We do not tolerate underage labor in our supply chain. If we find underage workers in our suppliers’ factories, we make the suppliers return the children to their homes, pay for their education at a school of their family’s choice, and continue to provide income for basic needs until they reach the legal working age. We also enlist a third-party organization to monitor the children’s progress and report back to us. After they complete their education, suppliers must offer them reemployment. In 2015, we found three cases of underage labor — and we will continue to look for it." When Quartz looked into this program several years ago, it discovered that the participation rate for underage workers who were given the opportunity to participate in Apple's free education program in 2011 was around 34%. While that is certainly a discouraging number, it's nice to see that the pressure labor activists have put on Apple over the past several years has forced the company to take a more active approach.


Netflix acquires documentary about Hulk Hogan’s fight with Gawker

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:22:32 -0500

Netflix is continuing its splurge on new movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, acquiring the worldwide rights for legal documentary Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press. The movie, helmed by award-winning documentary director Brian Knappenberger, looks at last year’s court case between Hulk Hogan and Gawker — a battle secretly bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire and friend-of-Trump Peter Thiel.



Stunning fossil discovery: Giant otter was size of wolf

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:30:33 -0500

Millions of years ago, a wolf-sized otter swam around ancient swampy China, scientists have discovered. The huge otter would have weighed about 110 pounds, and lived about 6.24 million years ago, according to a new report. The fossilized remains of this now-extinct ancient otter— one of the largest otters known— were discovered in a mine in China’s Yunnan Province, and part of what makes it remarkable is that the find included a nearly-complete cranium. “One of the really unique things about this discovery is that it's a pretty complete cranium,” Denise Su, coauthor on a new study about the huge otter and the head of paleobotany and paleoecology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said in a video describing the otter fossils. “And complete crania are really rare in the fossil record,” she continued. “So we were incredibly lucky to be able to find this— it was completely flattened due to distortions of the fossilization process.” To deal with the fact that the specimen was so fragile, the scientists made CT scans to digitally reconstruct the cranium of this enormous otter, permitting them to rotate it and study it virtually. The otter had a big, strong jaw, and may have eaten shellfish and mollusks in its ancient, watery environment, according to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. https://youtu.be/b9Aj1zN9p0A “From the vegetation and other animal groups found at Shuitangba, we know that it was a swampy, shallow lake with quite dense vegetation,” Su said in a statement , referring to the location of the find in Yunnan Province. Before this discovery, scientists only had ancient teeth found in Thailand that represented this extinct otter lineage, and the new find will help them learn more about otter evolution. The new otter species is called Siamogale melilutra , and the researchers who discovered it have published their findings in The Journal of Systematic Paleontology.


The telecom industry is already celebrating Trump’s business-friendly FCC pick

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:52:24 -0500

Industry groups are already celebrating the appointment of Ajit Pai as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Comcast, Verizon, and groups representing AT&T, Charter, and many major TV networks have put out statements commending President Trump’s pick and his business-friendly policies, including being opposed to net neutrality and in favor of big mergers. Comcast called Pai a “terrific appointment” and commended “his tireless efforts” to boost “investment and innovation,” while Verizon called Pai a “critical thinker” who advocated for “smart, forward-looking policies in the communications space.” Charter echoed their support, with executive VP Catherine Bohigian saying that Pai has a “keen intellect” and understands “the appropriate amount of regulation” needed to spur business growth.



LG Display reports record fourth quarter profit of $778 million

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:53:11 -0500

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter operating profit rose 180 percent from a year earlier in its largest quarterly profit ever, due to a pickup in panel prices. The world's biggest liquid crystal display maker said October-December operating profit was 904.3 billion won ($778.33 million), beating a Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimate of 845 billion won drawn from a survey of 27 analysts. Revenue for the quarter rose 18 percent from a year earlier to 7.9 trillion won, LG said. (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Chris Reese)



New ‘Walking Dead’ promo teases the fight ahead

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 23:14:16 -0500

The second half of Walking Dead’s season 7 is fast approaching, and I don’t know whether to be excited or not. Aside from a few good episodes, including the extremely violent premiere, season 7 failed to impress. Hopefully, the second half of the season will be much better — for some reason, I still hope AMC will turn things around. But until then, let’s check out a brand new video teaser for the show. We saw the synopsis for the second half of the season a few days ago, and we know that “the second half of the season will focus on preparing for war and gathering the supplies and numbers to take Negan down once and for all.” In other words, it’s time to fight — of course, we knew season 7 will be all about Rick’s war with Negan. The new 15-second clip AMC shared on Twitter a few hours ago focuses exactly on that part, the fighting. In fact, it pretty much sounds like something Rick might say either to Ezekiel or Gregory — or both — to convince them to join forces to defeat Negan. As it stands now, Alexandria is too weak to face off against the Saviors. Rick needs all the help it can get, and The Kingdom and The Hilltop can definitely help. https://twitter.com/WalkingDead_AMC/status/823296767462510592 Fighting for freedom starts on February 12th on AMC, so there’s plenty of time to mentally prepare for it.


US fights Microsoft's bid to tell users when feds take data

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:03:45 -0500

The U.S. Justice Department asked a judge Monday to throw out a lawsuit from Microsoft and keep a law that prohibits technology companies from telling customers when the government demands their electronic ...



LG Display reports record fourth-quarter profits; panel prices seen rising further

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:06:54 -0500

South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter operating profit nearly doubled from a year earlier to its quarterly record due to a pickup in panel prices. The world's biggest liquid crystal display (LDC) maker said the all-time high profit was caused by the upward trend of panel prices and a favorable foreign exchange rate. "The upwards trend of panel prices is anticipated to continue thanks to the low inventory level in the industry and the trends towards large-size panels," Chief Financial Officer Don Kim said in a statement.



This tool can crack your Android lock in five attempts or less

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:00:52 -0500

Fingerprint security is becoming a standard feature on many Android devices, but there's still plenty of people who rely on the trust pattern lock. If you're one of those people you might want to go ahead and make the switch, because researchers have developed a tool that can covertly capture your finger pattern and deduce what your unlock pattern is, even without directly seeing the screen. The software can reliably crack a user's pattern in as few as five attempts. As PhysOrg reports , the research was carried out by a individuals from several universities including Lancaster University, China's Northwest University, and the University of Bath. The team built the software to analyze the hand movements of people as they unlock their devices, even if the back of the phone is facing the would-be attacker, and it works from over eight feet away, making it viable in a place like a coffee shop or restaurant. The tool, which can be installed on a mobile device, utilizes a smartphone camera to capture the movements of a person's hand as they unlock their phone. That data is then run through an algorithm that produces a handful of likely unlock patterns. What's particularly interesting about the tool is that the more complicated the user's unlock pattern is, the easier it becomes to crack. With more movements from which to visualize the pattern, the tool has a greater chance of nailing it on the first try. After pitting the software against 120 different unlock patterns from random users, the tool cracked over 95 percent of the codes within the first five attempts. The researchers suggested the best way to protect yourself from someone using a similar tool would be to cover your hand while unlocking, or simply use a different security method entirely.


Here’s an awesome new battery technology that will never make it into your phone

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:12:38 -0500

Stop me if you've heard this one before: an awesome, revolutionary, life-changing battery technology was just developed by researchers, allowing smartphones to last longer with less degradation over time, and maybe it'll end up in your next device. Cool, right? This latest breakthrough in battery design comes from Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, where professor Christopher Wolverton has devised a new method of designing lithium ion batteries that helps manufacturers determine the perfect cathode coating material to use. In theory, the new system would make batteries more reliable as they age, with less degradation in charge capacity. Unfortunately, we'll probably never benefit from it, because mobile device battery technology is cursed. I have a confession: I can no longer write stories about new battery breakthroughs with any kind of genuine excitement. It's not that I don't want my smartphone battery to be better than it is today — on the contrary, I'd love to be able to forget my charger for at least a few days at a time — but no matter how fantastic the discovery, concept, or design is, it never seems to make it into production. Seriously, look at all these awesome battery breakthroughs from recent months: A battery that literally runs on gravity  A battery that stores five times the charge as a normal Li-ion A smartphone battery that completely recharges in just 15 minutes A battery with a cathode coating that prevents degradation (again!) A battery that prevents itself from catching fire A battery made of sand that outperforms Li-ion A battery made of lithium sulfur A battery made of lithium metal that has double the capacity And that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you go back a couple of years or more you'll see even more example of battery breakthroughs that remain completely absent from our lives. A battery that can be recharged in seconds A battery that can recharge via voice A battery that literally charges itself A Li-ion battery that is 2,000 times more powerful A battery made of a polymer membrane that will kill Li-ion A battery that is actually the body of the device itself Don't get me wrong; if the new system developed by Northwestern's bright minds manages to actually spawn more reliable, longer-lasting batteries for retail devices I'll be happy to eat my words. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever have to.


Why Cyborg Essentials should be your penetration testing platform

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 21:48:00 -0500

Penetration testing is essential for knowing where your network and systems are weak. Jack Wallen says the right tool for that task is the Debian-based Cyborg Essentials.



This is LG's G6 smartphone, coming February 26th

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:18:54 -0500

Mobile World Congress will be missing its usual Samsung flagship star in Barcelona next month, but there’s another Korean company ready to fill the void. LG has set a February 26th date for the unveiling of the G6, its next flagship Android phone, and The Verge has obtained the first image of the upcoming phone. As previously revealed by LG Display and confirmed by The Verge, the G6 will feature a large 5.7-inch display with an unusual aspect ratio of 2:1 and an emphasis on minimal bezels.



Female animators break down cartoon-women stereotypes

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:11:30 -0500

For a long time, nearly all of the animation students at the California Institute of the Arts' were men. Today, most of CalArts' more than 250 animation students are women, and one of their goals is to ...


You can try Android’s best new feature right now

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:00:01 -0500

The best feature announced at Google I/O last year -- and honestly, one of a few genuinely new improvements baked into Android in the last year -- was Instant Apps, the capability for Android phones to download and run Android apps on the fly, without needing a specific install. According to a post on the Google Developers Blog , a limited test of Instant Apps is starting for all users today. Apps including Buzzfeed, Periscope and Viki can all be downloaded for users on the fly. The way it works is that you'll click a normal link to view some kind of content. Rather than taking you to a webpage, it will instantly load a "module" of a relevant app to display content. For example, if you click through to a Buzzfeed page through a Google search result, it might take you to a module of the Buzzfeed app to take a quiz on why millenials are the absolute worst, rather than the web version. Google's hoping that Instant Apps will let developers and designers fully utilize the powers of an Android phone, rather than being limited by the capabilities of the mobile web. Right now, there aren't too many examples of how this tech is going to change smartphone usage, but it could end up being a big deal in the future. As virtual reality and augmented reality grow, content will require using more of your smartphone's sensors and power, which requires more than just a webpage. Google's hoping that Instant Apps -- and, by extension, Android itself -- will be the answer. The limited trial is rolling out for select apps and all users using the latest version of Android right now. Some software features are open to all developers now, with the full SDK promised to roll out to devs over the coming months.


LG Display reports record fourth-quarter profits; panel prices seen rising further

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:22:16 -0500

South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd said on Tuesday it reported a record fourth-quarter operating profit of 904.3 billion won ($778.33 million) due to a pickup in panel prices. The world's biggest liquid crystal display (LDC) maker said the profit was caused by the upward trend of panel prices and a favorable foreign exchange rate. "The upwards trend of panel prices is anticipated to continue thanks to the low inventory level in the industry and the trends towards large-size panels," Chief Financial Officer Don Kim said in a statement.



Samsung bounces back from Note 7 recall with its best quarter in three years

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:18:19 -0500

It turns out that Samsung’s business is doing just fine following one of its most embarrassing product fumbles in recent memory. The company posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings today in line with expectations outlined this month, earning 9.2 trillion won (about $7.2 billion) in profit on sales of 53.3 trillion won (about $45.8 billion). It also makes this quarter Samsung’s most profitable in more than three years, despite the Galaxy Note 7 recall that has embroiled the South Korean company in controversy for the last five months.



Netflix acquires documentary about Hulk Hogan’s fight with Gawker

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 22:22:32 -0500

Photo by John Pendygraft-Pool/Getty ImagesNetflix is continuing its splurge on new movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, acquiring the worldwide rights for legal documentary Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press. The movie, helmed by award-winning documentary director Brian Knappenberger, looks at last year’s court case between Hulk Hogan and Gawker — a battle secretly bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire and friend-of-Trump Peter Thiel. ...



You can finally say ‘Computer’ to your Echo to command it

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:42:33 -0500

Amazon has added a new wake word to the Echo and the Echo Dot, and it’s the one that anybody who’s ever watched Star Trek wants: “Computer.” You can enable it by opening up the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android phone, then digging down into the settings to “Wake Word.” Where before you would only have seen three options: Alexa, Amazon, and Echo, you should now see a fourth and obviously the best one, Computer. Second, said Trekkies will also probably note that until you can fully access LCARS with the Echo, this isn’t really the Star Trek dream we actually want. Anyway, you can talk to Amazon by barking the word “Computer” out loud now, and you don’t even have to pick up a mouse to do it.



Microsoft leads the pack in enterprise collaboration tools--but for how long?

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 19:00:03 -0500

Forrester Research reports that Microsoft is the market leader in enterprise collaboration software, but the lead is precarious at best.



Nest rehires its old CTO back after her brief run at Apple

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 17:49:18 -0500

After just seven months at Apple, robotics expert Yoky Matsuoka is rejoining Alphabet’s Nest as its chief technology officer. Matsuoka left Nest back in 2015 from her position as vice president of technology to join Twitter, only to decline the job to focus on overcoming her life-threatening illness. At Nest, Matsuoka will use her robotics background to define roadmaps for the engineering and product teams, according to Bloomberg.



The telecom industry is already celebrating Trump’s business-friendly FCC pick

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 18:52:24 -0500

Industry groups are already celebrating the appointment of Ajit Pai as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Comcast, Verizon, and groups representing AT&T, Charter, and many major TV networks have put out statements commending President Trump’s pick and his business-friendly policies, including being opposed to net neutrality and in favor of big mergers. Comcast called Pai a “terrific appointment” and commended “his tireless efforts” to boost “investment and innovation,” while Verizon called Pai a “critical thinker” who advocated for “smart, forward-looking policies in the communications space.” Charter echoed their support, with executive VP Catherine Bohigian saying that Pai has a “keen intellect” and understands “the appropriate amount of regulation” needed to spur business growth.