Showing posts from August, 2013

Google Confirms It Has Acquired Android Smartwatch Maker WIMM Labs

Google Confirms It Has Acquired Android Smartwatch Maker WIMM Labs Natasha Lomas posted 4 hours ago Google has confirmed it acquired WIMM Labs last year, a company that previously made an Android-powered smartwatch before shuttering operations in 2012. At the time a message on its website said it had entered into an exclusive partnership without releasing further details, but it’s now clear that partner was Google, rather than Apple as some had initially speculated. Google’s WIMM Labs acquisition was reported earlier by Gigaom. Google is rumoured to be developing a smartwatch of its own, with patents turning up earlier this year (filed in 2011), and a report by the FT that claimed Google’s Android team was in the process of developing such a device. Google has also hinted at Android powering a range of wearable devices in the past, when CEO Larry Page let slip during a quarterly earnings call this year that Glass runs on its smartphone and tablet OS, and that Android is “pre

Microsoft and Google to sue over US surveillance requests

Microsoft and Google to sue over US surveillance requests Technology firms want to be allowed to publish information about US government requests under the Fisa legislation     Rory Carroll in Los Angeles     The Guardian, Friday 30 August 2013   Microsoft and Google are to sue the US government to win the right to reveal more information about official requests for user data. The companies announced the lawsuit on Friday, escalating a legal battle over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa), the mechanism used by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other US government agencies to gather data about foreign internet users. Microsoft's general counsel, Brad Smith, made the announcement in a corporate blog post which complained of the government's "continued unwillingness" to let it publish information about Fisa requests. Each company filed a suit in June arguing that they should be allowed to state the details under the first amendme

Microsoft will craft XP patches after April '14, but not for you

Microsoft will craft XP patches after April '14, but not for you The company   could   keep shipping updates, even play the pay-to-patch card Gregg Keizer August 26, 2013   (Computerworld) Just because Microsoft doesn't plan on   giving   Windows XP patches to the public after April 8, 2014, doesn't mean it's going to stop   making   those patches. In fact, Microsoft will be creating security updates for Windows XP for months -- years, even -- after it halts their delivery to the general public. Those patches will come from a program called "Custom Support," an after-retirement contract designed for very large customers who have not, for whatever reason, moved on from an older OS. As part of Custom Support -- which according to analysts,   costs about $200 per PC   for the first year and more each succeeding year -- participants receive patches for vulnerabilities rated "critical" by Microsoft. Bugs ranked as "important," t

Colorado Sales Of Public Data To Marketers Can Mean Big $$ For Governments

Colorado Sales Of Public Data To Marketers Can Mean Big $$ For Governments August 26, 2013 10:00 PM DENVER (CBS4) – Roughly 60 percent of the mail we get can be classified as junk mail, but sometimes that flood of mail seems nonstop, and the pitches are often unsettlingly specific. This tends to happen particularly after major life events. A CBS4 Investigation has uncovered that government agencies at all levels are selling personal information to marketing companies. Eric Meer is a small business owner who works out of his home in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood. Meer says he was deluged by direct mail after registering his small business with the Colorado Secretary of State. He says many of the ads he received were deceptive asking him to pay fees that he wasn’t required to pay. Meer had a hunch the Secretary of State was selling his business information to marketing companies. CBS4 confirmed his hunch was right. Last year, the Secretary of State brought in $59,0

Facebook friends could change your credit score

Facebook friends could change your credit score By Katie Lobosco  @KatieLobosco August 26, 2013: 6:20 AM ET Some tech startups are using your online social data to determine your creditworthiness. NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Choose your Facebook friends wisely; they could help you get approved -- or rejected -- for a loan. A handful of tech startups are using social data to determine the risk of lending to people who have a difficult time accessing credit. Traditional lenders rely heavily on credit scores like FICO, which look at payments history. They typically steer clear of the millions of people who don't have credit scores. But some financial lending companies have found that social connections can be a good indicator of a person's creditworthiness. One such company, Lenddo, determines if you're friends on Facebook (FB) with someone who was late paying back a loan to Lenddo. If so, that's bad news for you. It's even worse news if the delinq Wants To Help You Pull The Plug On All Those Pesky Online Accounts Wants To Help You Pull The Plug On All Those Pesky Online Accounts Chris Velazco Friday, August 23rd, 2013 It's tiring, isn't it? Doing everything online, I mean. Everyday you log into services tailor-made for shopping, searching, sharing, watching, chatting, curating, reading, bragging - that's a lot of places to keep your personal information, and no one could blame you if you wanted to try to pare down on those extraneous connections. Hell, I'd like nothing better myself sometimes. A U.K.-based duo consisting of developer Robb Lewis and designer Ed Poole seem to understand that desire awfully well, and they teamed up to create what may be a truly indispensable resource. It's called, and as the name sort of implies, it's a directory of links to pages where you can lay waste to your myriad online accounts. It's a deceptively simple resource. You're greeted with a sizable grid that points you to a slew of po

NSA employees spied on their lovers using eavesdropping programme

NSA employees spied on their lovers using eavesdropping programme Staff working at America's National Security Agency – the eavesdropping unit that was revealed to have spied on millions of people – have used the technology to spy on their lovers. By Harriet Alexander 11:18AM BST 24 Aug 2013 The employees even had a code name for the practice – "Love-int" – meaning the gathering of intelligence on their partners. Dianne Feinstein, a senator who chairs the Senate intelligence committee, said the NSA told her committee about a set of "isolated cases" that have occurred about once a year for the last 10 years. The spying was not within the US, and was carried out when one of the lovers was abroad. One employee was disciplined for using the NSA's resources to track a former spouse, the Associated Press said. Last week it was disclosed that the NSA had broken privacy rules on nearly 3,000 occasions over a one-year period. John DeL

Samsung’s New 6.3-Inch ‘Galaxy Mega’ Phone Pushes the Limits

7:37 pm Aug 19, 2013 MOBILE Samsung’s New 6.3-Inch ‘Galaxy Mega’ Phone Pushes the Limits By Thomas Gryta There was a time when companies tried to make mobile phones as small as they possibly could. This is not that time. Samsung Electronics, which (literally) pushed the boundaries of the smartphone with its Galaxy Note line, is going where no phone maker has gone before with the Galaxy Mega. The Galaxy Note II sports a 5.5-inch screen. The Mega, making its U.S. debut this month, brings a 6.3-inch screen to the “phablet” party, although you might need custom pockets if you actually want to bring it to a party. (Find the specs of the Mega here.) By comparison, the original iPhones had just a 3.5-inch display, and Apple only raised that size to 4 inches last year with the latest model. It’s been less than three years since Steve Jobs went on a rant about the evils of devices that tried to slip in between the smartphone and tablet. “No tablet can compete with t
The Future of Advertising: 'Pay-Per-Gaze' Is Just the Beginning BY CHRIS TAYLOR 19 HOURS AGO Mashable Op-Ed This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication. Advertising is going to change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 100. If you need proof of that, just look at the patent Google was granted Thursday for a Google Glass-based ad system. Dubbed "pay-per-gaze," the content would charge advertisers for the number of times someone literally looked at their ad. The concept is buried pages deep in a patent for a "gaze tracking technique ... implemented with a head-mounted gaze-tracking device that communicates with a server." It would likely make money hand over fist, and is clearly the main future-focused impetus for the patent. But it's far from the only one. What is this head-mounted gaze-tracking device of which they speak? "Eyeglasses including side-arm
Google outage reportedly caused big drop in global traffic Most Google services, including search, were down for a few minutes Friday, prompting much of the Internet to start the weekend early...and then quickly change its mind. Eric Mack by Eric Mack  August 16, 2013 6:06 PM PDT For a very brief few minutes on Friday you may have noticed some Google services, most notably search, appeared to be down. If not, maybe you noticed the ensuing freak-out across Twitter and the rest of the Internet. At first glance the flash outage was little more than an opportunity for a few good one-liners and a chance to actually stand up from the keyboard and walk around for a few minutes. If we had connected nanobots floating around in our bloodstreams, certainly they would have registered a worldwide uptick in caffeine intake during those few moments. As it turns out though, Google's downtime did appear to have global, measurable repercussions, according to analytics firm GoSqu

Beyond Google Glass: The wearable tech that will revolutionize business

Beyond Google Glass: The wearable tech that will revolutionize business Think wearable technology is only about porn on your glasses, silly watches, and digital pedometers for runners? Think again. Companies like SAP, Epson, IBM, Plantronics, and even Walt Disney are bringing wearable technology to business. In the not-too-distant future, mechanics will see the schematics of heavy equipment they need to repair on a heads-up display, and flexible semiconductors will be implemented within the bodies of patients to broadcast data to their doctors. Office workers will connect directly with customer data via a telephonelike headset, and visitors to Disneyland will wear wristbands that double as admission tickets, hotels keys, and payment cards. Check out these real-world examples of wearable tech geared toward transforming business. SAP and Vizux: Heads-up data delivery Who says wearable technology is only for the digerati? Not SAP vice president Paul Boril. The German software g

Brazil sues Samsung over work conditions

Brazil sues Samsung over work conditions Last updated: August 14, 2013 7:44 pm By Samantha Pearson in São Paulo and Simon Mundy in Seoul Brazilian public prosecutors are suing Samsung for R$250m ($109m) in damages over alleged poor working conditions at the electronic group’s vast plant in the Amazon city of Manaus. The Public Prosecutor for Labour of the Amazon has accused the company of putting its employees’ health at risk by forcing them to carry out intense but repetitive activities for long periods on the factory line. Samsung’s Manaus factory, which has 6,000 employees, instructed workers to perform triple the amount of movements considered safe under ergonomic studies, prosecutors said. Employees were found working up to 10 hours on their feet, while one worked 27 straight days without a day off, prosecutors said in a statement late on Tuesday. Samsung has promised to conduct a thorough review and fully co-operate with the Brazilian authorities once

Google Submits Patent For Minority Report Style Eye Tracking Device

Google Submits Patent For Minority Report Style Eye Tracking Device ·            “Head mounted” technology will relay “emotional analytics” to advertisers Steve Watson Aug 15, 2013 While the current incarnation of Google Glass continues to prompt worry and debate as far as privacy concerns go, the company is working behind the scenes on potentially much more disturbing technology, as revealed by a recently underreported patent application. The   patent filing   describes a “head mounted device”, for example hi-tech glasses, that would have the ability to track eye movement, effectively monitoring reactions to external stimuli, including changes in emotion. The patent indicates that Google would use the technology to analyze reactions to advertisements that the user is watching on a television, computer, or other viewing device. The application notes that miniscule inward facing cameras would track pupil dilation and feed back the informa

Fidelity develops investment app for Google Glass

Fidelity develops investment app for Google Glass By Michael B. Farrell |  GLOBE STAFF     AUGUST 13, 2013 Fidelity’s app allows Google Glass wearers to see quotes of major stock indexes after the market closes. Fidelity Investments has created one of the first investment apps for use with Google Glass, the small wearable computer from search giant Google Inc. The app has a modest first goal: allowing Google Glass wearers to see quotes of major stock indexes after the market closes. Eventually, however, the app could be used by Fidelity customers to perform more complex tasks such as looking up stock quotes and getting alerts about companies in their portfolios. “We expect that this whole area of wearables will develop rapidly,” said Sean Belka, senior vice president and director of the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology. “If that’s where our customers are going, that’s where we want to be.” Google Glass lets wearers view the Web through a tiny transparen
GOOGLE: If You Use Gmail, You Have 'No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy' By Paul Szoldra Published 4:47 pm, Tuesday, August 13, 2013 If you happen to be one of the 400 million people who use Google's Gmail service for sending and receiving emails, you shouldn't have any expectation of privacy, according to a court briefing obtained by the Consumer Watchdog website. In a motion filed last month by Google to have a class action complaint dismissed, Google's lawyers reference a 1979 ruling, holding that people who turn over information to third parties shouldn't expect that information to remain private. From the filing (emphasis added): Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their communications are processed by the recipient’s ECS provider in the course of delivery. Indeed, “a person has no legitima