Showing posts from October, 2014
Spain OKs 'Google Tax' demanded by news publishers Associated Press 9 hours ago MADRID (AP) — Spain's parliament has approved new intellectual property laws that allow news publishers to charge aggregators each time they display news content in search results. The law goes into effect Jan. 1 but does not specify how much aggregators like Google News could be charged. Spain's AEDE group of news publishers had lobbied for what is known as the "Google Tax" but has not provided specifics. Google Inc.'s Spanish division said Thursday it was disappointed with the outcome and will work with Spanish news publishers to help them increase income. Google last year agreed to help French news organizations increase online advertising revenue and fund digital publishing innovations to settle a dispute there over whether it should pay for news content in its search results.

Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice

Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice 29 October 2014 by Helen Thomson As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That's no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot physically speak communicate with the outside world. "If you're reading text in a newspaper or a book, you hear a voice in your own head," says Brian Pasley at the University of California, Berkeley. "We're trying to decode the brain activity related to that voice to create a medical prosthesis that can allow someone who is paralysed or locked in to speak." When you hear someone speak, sound waves activate sensory neurons in your inner ear. These neurons pass information to areas of the brain where different aspect

Apple vs Walmart: Mobile Payments Reveal A Clash Of Titans

RETAIL 10/28/2014 @ 3:00PM Apple vs Walmart: Mobile Payments Reveal A Clash Of Titans There’s a battle shaping up in the retail world that pits two of the largest and most powerful players — Apple and Walmart — directly against each other, thanks to Apple’s new payment platform. It’s an interesting example of an internal industry struggle spilling out into a public street. The core of the matter is Apple Pay, Apple’s new mobile payment system that launched Monday. Simple, elegant and safe mobile payment options have long eluded retailers and technology companies, and Apple Pay promises to bring us a lot closer to a solution that both works, and works for consumers. Apple Pay works with point of sale terminals equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. It lets users tap to pay, assuming they own an iPhone 6 and have uploaded a credit card to work with the program. Not all retailers have NFC terminals and even a couple who do — namely CVS and Rite Aid —

In China, high demand for robots but too many robot manufacturers

In China, high demand for robots but too many robot manufacturers By Pete Sweeney 8 hours ago By Pete Sweeney SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China wants domestic companies to buy more locally made robots to lift productivity, but industry insiders have warned its policies are over-stimulating the market and that robot manufacturers were "coming up like mushrooms." Government officials, worried that productivity growth may have turned negative since 2009, see the promotion of automation as a policy that will increase efficiency. Chinese manufacturers, struggling with increasing costs of labor, also favor more use of robots where possible. The confluence of policy support and market demand made China the world's biggest buyer of robots in 2013, overtaking Japan. At the same time, both central and local governments are encouraging new domestic players to capture market share from established foreign brands. In its five-year economic plan for 2011-2015, Beiji

FBI created fake Seattle Times Web page to nab bomb-threat suspect

Originally published October 27, 2014 at 7:43 PM | Page modified October 28, 2014 at 5:03 PM FBI created fake Seattle Times Web page to nab bomb-threat suspect The FBI created a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times Web page to plant software in the computer of a suspect in a series of bomb threats to Timberline High School in 2007, documents reveal. By Mike Carter Seattle Times staff reporter The FBI in Seattle created a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times web page to plant software in the computer of a suspect in a series of bomb threats to Lacey’s Timberline High School in 2007, according to documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in San Francisco. The deception was publicized Monday when Christopher Soghoian, the principal technologist for the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, D.C., revealed it on Twitter. In an interview, Soghoian called the incident “outrageous” and said the practice could result in “significan

People trust NSA more than Google, survey says

People trust NSA more than Google, survey says In a result consistent with previous polling, a new poll has respondents claiming they're more concerned about Google seeing all their private data than the government. by Chris Matyszczyk October 28, 2014 4:49 PM PDT People claim to trust Google less than they trust the NSA. Are they telling the truth? People don't always say what they think. Especially in business and love. Please, therefore, consider this question: whom would you trust more with your private data: the NSA, a company like Google, or your mom? I ask because I'm looking at the results of a survey, conducted between October 9 and 12, that asked just that. It asked simple questions, to which its sponsors hoped to get simple answers. The results went like this. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being "I am shivering uncontrollably with fear") the idea of Google or a similar concern having access to all your private data got a concern

Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself

Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself The new hybrid device might not need humans at all. By Sage Lazzaro 10/29 3:22pm In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to fear, as computers will always need a programmer to tell them what to do. Today’s news brings us to the Neural Turing Machine, a computer that will combine the way ordinary computers work with the way the human brain learns, enabling it to actually program itself. Perhaps my CS friends should reevaluate their position? The computer is currently being developed by the London-based DeepMind Technologies, an artificial inte

EU slams Hungary Internet tax plan as bad precedent

EU slams Hungary Internet tax plan as bad precedent AFP 15 hours ago Brussels (AFP) - The European Union on Tuesday denounced Hungary's plan for an Internet tax as a new threat to political freedom in the country and also for broader EU economic growth. EU digital commissioner Neelie Kroes believes it is a "particularly bad idea" and will continue to support protests like those against the proposed levy held Sunday in Budapest, her spokesman Ryan Heath said. The proposal has to "be seen as part of that pattern of actions which have limited freedoms," Heath told reporters in Brussels. He was referring to the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Oban, which has cracked down on media regulation and the justice system. "If Hungary becomes a precedent in this instance, it can become a problem in a lot of other member states and become a problem for Europe's wider economic growth," Heath said. "The digital part of

Attkisson: Government agency bugged my computer - "Worse than anything Nixon ever did"

Ex-CBS reporter: Government agency bugged my computer By Kyle Smith and Bruce Golding October 27, 2014 | 7:36am A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a “government-related entity” that planted classified documents on her computer. In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed. “This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying. She speculates that the motive was to lay the groundwork for possible charges against her or her sources. Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattr

Silicon Valley joins quest to ‘cure’ ageing

October 26, 2014 5:57 pm The Silver Economy: Silicon Valley joins quest to ‘cure’ ageing By Andrew Ward From earliest recorded history, a procession of emperors, alchemists and charlatans have searched in vain for the mythical elixir of life. So perhaps it should be no surprise that the hunt for a cure for ageing is the latest investment fad among the gods of our time: US technology entrepreneurs. Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and an early Facebook backer, are among those to have poured personal wealth into the quest. They were joined last year by Google, whose secretive biotech start-up, Calico, is receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from the internet group to support its bid to unlock the secrets of ageing. Some have mocked such ventures as Silicon Valley hubris. But others believe these west coast visionaries have accurately anticipated the next big breakthrough in medical science: a significant extension in heal

CVS follows Rite-Aid, shuts off Apple Pay

CVS follows Rite-Aid, shuts off Apple Pay Paul Ausick, 24/7 Wall St. 6:06 p.m. EDT October 26, 2014 Last Thursday drug store chain Rite Aid Inc. (RAD) reportedly stopped accepting payments made through the just launched Apple Pay system from Apple (AAPL). On Saturday, CVS Health (CVS) was reported to have followed suit at its CVS pharmacy stores. The issue appears to be a conflict between Apple Pay and a mobile payment system called CurrentC that is being developed by a retailer-owned mobile technology outfit called Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX). Unlike Apple Pay, CurrentC does not use an NFC chip, but instead generates a QR code that is displayed on the merchant's checkout terminal. Customers who have already linked their bank accounts to the CurrentC system scan the QR code from the terminal and the transaction is completed. When Apple announced Apple Pay in early September, both Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) and Best Buy (BBY) said they had no plans to adopt the new

Apple iTunes sees big drop in music sales

Apple iTunes sees big drop in music sales By Hannah Karp Published: Oct 24, 2014 2:31 p.m. ET Digital music sales at Apple Inc.’s iTunes store have fallen 13% to 14% world-wide since the start of the year, according to people familiar with the matter, underscoring the fragility of the music industry’s nascent recovery. The dive in download sales is stark compared with a much shallower dip last year. Global revenue from downloads fell 2.1% in 2013, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, but that decline was offset by increases in revenue from ad-supported and subscription streaming services, resulting in overall digital revenue growth in most markets last year. Factoring in CD sales, which have been plunging for well over a decade, overall music sales in most of the world held steady last year. Japan was an exception, with steep drops in physical and digital sales alike. World-wide revenue from recorded music totaled $15 billion in 201

The Real Cybors

  The Real Cybors 20th October 2014  By Arthur House Forget wearable tech. The pioneers of our “post-human” future are implanting technology in to their bodies and brains. Should we stop them or join them? BY ARTHUR HOUSE Ian Burkhart concentrated hard. A thick cable protruded from the crown of his shaven head. A sleeve sprouting wires enveloped his right arm. The 23 - year-old had been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident four years ago. But, in June this year, in a crowded room in the Wexner Medical Centre at Ohio State University, Burkhart’s hand spasmed into life. At first it opened slowly and shakily, as though uncertain who its owner was. But when Burkhart engaged his wrist muscles, its upward movement was sudden and decisive. You could hear the joints – unused for years - cracking. The scientists and medical staff gathered in the room burst into applause. The technology that made this possible, Neurobridge, had successfully reconnecte

Next Big Trend: Robots That Follow You Around

Next Big Trend: Robots That Follow You Around BY TIM MOYNIHAN   10.13.14  |   6:30 AM  Dozens of robots will descend upon the Back Bay for the RoboBusiness conference in Boston this week. A few of them may even try following you home. Within the world of robots and drones, there is a growing trend toward tailing you—with your permission in this case. It’s great for recreational use, where unmanned aerial vehicles, equipped with GoPro cameras, create mesmerizing video selfies for far less than the cost of renting a helicopter and hiring a film crew. 3D Robotics’ Iris+ drone and its DroidPlanner 2.0 software have a “Follow Me” mode for just these kinds of shots, as do models from Hexo+ and AirDog. And this being the mobile era, the Iris+ and Hexo+ work their magic by connecting to your smartphone and using its GPS data as a flight plan. The AirDog system requires wearing or carrying a little wireless module called an AirLeash. Such tech makes sense in a drone, but more

Can a headband app calm you down?

Can a headband app calm you down? By MAC KING Mashable's senior tech correspondent sits alone in the newsroom. On Samantha Kelly Murphy's forehead sits a $300 headband. It restrains none of her hair but connects wirelessly to an app on her phone. That app professes to calm Murphy's breathing, body, and brain as much as 30 minutes of yoga in just three minutes of headband time. "It kind of looks like Google Glass when you put it on," she says. While its app tells me to think of as many languages or presidents as I can, Muse says the sensors on this headband monitor my brain waves to determine how I think. "I was kind of skeptical what would happen in just three minutes, but I did actually feel a noticeable difference afterwards," Murphy says. While Muse asks Murphy to stare at a beach scene and count her breaths, it also may represent the next wave of wearable technology. "A new trend in wearables that help you relax,&q

Tesla's Elon Musk: ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.’

Elon Musk: ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon.’ By Matt McFarland October 24 at 2:37 PM Tesla chief executive Elon Musk warned that artificial intelligence could be our biggest existential threat and believes there should be some regulatory oversight at the national and international level, while speaking at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium Friday. (MIT Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has warned about artificial intelligence before, tweeting that it could be more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Speaking Friday at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium, Musk called it our biggest existential threat: I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think the

FEC Democrats push for controls on Internet political speech

FEC Democrat pushes for controls on Internet political speech Opponents: ‘Nothing short of a Chinese censorship board’ By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times - Friday, October 24, 2014 The FEC deadlocked in a crucial Internet campaign speech vote announced Friday, leaving online political blogging and videos free of many of the reporting requirements attached to broadcast ads — for now. While all three GOP-backed members voted against restrictions, they were opposed by the three Democratic-backed members, including FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel, who said she will lead a push next year to try to come up with new rules government political speech on the Internet. It would mark a major reversal for the commission, which for nearly a decade has protected the ability of individuals and interest groups to take to engage in a robust political conversation on the Internet without having to worry about registering with the government or keeping and reporting records of their