Daily Report: A Net Neutrality Setback for Facebook in India
In the United States, the social media giant has been an advocate of equal treatment of all Internet content. In India, regulators who share that belief have effectively blocked a free Facebook service.
Sci-fi sandbox game Planetoid Pioneers debuts on Steam Early Access
Planetoid Pioneers is a sci-fi sandbox game where you visit little “planetoids” and explore the physics-based environments. It is debuting today on Steam Early Access on the PC. The game from independent developer Data Realms is sort of like Minecraft in space, and it is counting on users to help make the game into a […]
GamesBeat weekly roundup: Rockstar’s new lawsuit, and Titanfall 2 announced
Welcome to another GamesBeat weekly roundup! This time, the PlayStation 4 outsells the Xbox One (again), someone puts Flappy Bird on an e-cigarette, and we review anticipated games like Dark Souls 3 and Bravely Second: End Layer. Happy reading, and have a great weekend! Pieces of flair and opinion The DeanBeat: The narrative of the […]
The DeanBeat: The narrative of the underdog in the gaming industry
Our GamesBeat Summit 2016 event is approaching on May 3-4, and I am the head cheerleader and organizer of it. It’s going to call out stories about the “underdogs” of gaming and the lessons that we can extract from them. It’s only our second GamesBeat Summit event, and I’m looking forward to the talks, stories, […]
Microsoft rolls out preview of plugin-free Skype for Web support in Edge
Microsoft today launched a preview of plugin-free Skype calls in Microsoft Edge. The new functionality works anywhere you can use Skype in the browser: Skype for Web, Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive. Both voice and video calls are supported, including one-to-one and group sessions. A Microsoft spokesperson says the preview is rolling out gradually and […]
Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out
New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with [...]
Chrome for Android adds ability to download content for offline viewing
Google has announced a new update for Chrome for Android. This update adds several improvements, but the most notable is the new ability to download content for offline viewing. This content can include music, videos, and even full web pages, allowing users to quickly save content that they find and then freely view [...]
T-Mobile Digits enables one number across multiple devices
T-Mobile today announced that is beginning a limited beta of a program called Digits, which allows customers to use one number across multiple connected devices. This roster of devices includes phones, tablets, wearables and personal computers, though T-Mobile says that Digits will work on most Internet-connected devices. Customers can call, text, and access voicemail [...]
Pebble is shutting down, with Fitbit acquiring the company’s assets
Pebble has announced that, as of today, the company is shutting down as an independent entity. Pebble’s former competitor, Fitbit, will be acquiring key Pebble assets, exlcuding the company’s hardware products. The news comes after a long period of silence from Pebble that gave way to rumors of the company’s acquisition by Fitbit.
The fitness wearable market is huge, with companies like Fitbit, Garmin, and Jawbone releasing dedicated fitness devices for those looking to get healthier. Huawei is joining the party with the Fit, a smartwatch aimed at fitness.
The Huawei Fit features a 1.04″ 208×208 monochrome display, an ambient light sensor, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, an [...]
Google aims for organization with latest app update
Google has announced that it is now rolling out a new update to its Android app that simplifies and organizes the information on display. Beginning with this update, information is grouped into two sections, one for staying up to date with interests and one for upcoming personal info, such as events and flights.
Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary: Tour the sites, ships and planes of World War II - CNET
75 years ago today, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and launched the US into World War II. To commemorate the anniversary, here are 10 photo tours of the ships, aircraft and battlefields of that war and beyond.
Trump Is Considering an Insane Silicon Valley Libertarian to Head the FDA
As far as jobs enshrined at the top of our impenetrable bureaucracy go, the head of the Food and Drug Administration is pretty important. The chief of the FDA is responsible for setting the course of an organization that oversees the safety and efficacy of a huge array of products that Americans use everyday, from…
Turning a Hydropower Jetbike Into a Star Wars Speeder Bike Is Totally Brilliant
I’m not exactly sure what’s going on in this Star Wars fan film by Devin Super Tramp but I’m also pretty sure that it doesn’t really matter because it features real life versions of the speeder bike. Refashioning Jetovators, which are basically water powered motorcycles, into the style of a speeder bike basically…
Verizon Customers Are Saying They Can't Send Texts to Other Networks
Tuesday evening, multiple Verizon cellphone users began reporting that they were unable to transmit text messages between their phones and numbers associated with other carriers. The reason why was not immediately clear.
Passport Website Rejects Asian Man's Photo for Having 'Closed' Eyes
Anyone who’s dealt with the complexities of passport photo requirements would probably jump at the chance to have their pics checked online, but automated systems can have their own complications, as a New Zealand man recently learned.
This Crazy Basketball Shot Off a 583-Foot Tower Made Such an Unexpected Spin
Leave it to the Harlem Globetrotters to come up with new ways to nail trick shots. Though it’s not the tallest basketball shot ever made (that award goes to this 593-foot shot off a dam), the Harlem Globetrotters version might be even more unique because there’s this weird, almost reverse arc to the shot. Instead of…
Watch the Evolution of Disney Animation Movies from 1937 to 2016
From Snow White and the Seven Dwarves all the way back in 1937 to Zootopia which was released this year, this video features clips from over 45 Disney animated movies and shows how Disney’s style has changed over the years. But what’s probably most impressive is how fantastic the animation from the old movies still…
Analog, LCD driver IC firms seeing orders slow down
Taiwan-based analog and LCD driver IC design specialists have seen their customers, mainly China-based ones, slow down their pace of orders which could result in lower revenues for December, according to industry sources.
DRAM contract prices rise to US$18 in November, says DRAMeXchange
Prices in both the contract and spot markets for PC DRAM memory rose in October and November, according to DRAMeXchange. The average contract price of mainstream 4GB modules rose about 2.9% sequentially to US$18 in November.
Doctor and med student develop drone capable of delivering medical supplies to disaster sites
Top Priority Sector:
BOLTON, MS Dec. 6, 2016 Two new disaster drones delivered telemedical packages to victims and rescue personnel in a simulated mass casualty event Tuesday at John Bell Airport in Bolton, Mississippi. The technology debuted before an audience including Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and representatives from Homeland Security, Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, and the United Nations.
IdentityMind Global and AU10TIX partner to fight e-commerce fraud
Top Priority Sector:
NICOSIA, Cyprus Dec. 6, 2016 IdentityMind Global clients can benefit from deep-learning and machine-learning enhanced ID document fraud detection and ID-to-Selfie face comparison services that are seconds-fast and best in market in handling borderline quality images.
CACI wins massive task order to support Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization
Top Priority Sector:
ARLINGTON, VA Dec. 5, 2016 CACI International Inc (NYSE: CACI) announced today that it has been awarded a task order, with a ceiling value of $1.77 billion, to provide deployable analytical operations, integrated intelligence, and training services to the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO). The five-year task order, awarded under the General Services Administration OASIS contract, represents new work for CACI in its Intelligence Services market area.
Secured Communications to connect more than 2,700 Las Vegas cops
Top Priority Sector:
LOS ANGELES and SAN FRANCISCO Dec. 6, 2016 More than 2,700 sworn officers in the Las Vegas area are now communicating in-the-field via encrypted voice, text, video and file sharing on the Secured Communications, LLC, mobile connection platform.
PepperBall partners with Jordanian facility to train security personnel on non-lethal measures
Top Priority Sector:
AMMAN, Jordan Dec. 2, 2016 The King Abdullah II Special Operations Training Center (KASOTC) is the premier training center in the Middle East for police, military, and special operations. In KASOTC’s continuous vision and mission to be at the forefront of integrating training and technology within the region and the world, it is pleased to announce that it has strategically partnered with PepperBall® to create a customized non-lethal training course for the police, military and security forces worldwide.
Deal: Moto 360 Sport smartwatch selling for $104 on Amazon
The white Moto 360 Sport has been blessed with a $55 price cut on Amazon, dropping its retail price to just $103.99. If you’re interested in picking up another color option, you’ll need to shell out a bit more. The black Moto 360 Sport is still listed at $174.00 and Flame is listed for $129.88. The ...
Bloomberg: Samsung Galaxy S8 will feature a virtual home button embedded in its bezel-less display
Bloomberg's sources have confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will feature a bezel-less display with an embedded virtual home button. They also claim that the retail debut of the phone has been moved back due to the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
Pokémon GO leak: Shinies, genders, costumes, and more found hidden inside the latest update
As so often is the case, references to exciting new features were found hidden inside the code of Pokémon GO's latest 0.49.1 update. Everything from shinies, to genders, and even costumes were mentioned -- some (or all) of which could be announced this Monday, December 12th.
Smart thermostats allow you to control the temperature of your home from your phone, save energy, and create cool recipes and actions with the internet. And when you get more home automation devices the smart thermostat can be used as the central hub.
Bring back the slick “new phone” feeling to your display using this amazing wax
Whether it's your car or your smartphone, chances are if you love something, you want to baby it. If you want to keep your phone's display feeling like new (or rejuvenate an old one), this glass wax is the perfect solution.
Microsoft and Qualcomm Collaborate To Bring Windows 10, x86 Emulation To Snapdragon Processors
An anonymous reader quotes a report from AnandTech: Today at Microsoft's WinHEC event in Shenzhen, China, the company announced that it's working with Qualcomm to bring the full Windows 10 experience to future devices powered by Snapdragon processors. These new Snapdragon-powered devices should support all things Microsoft, including Microsoft Office, Windows Hello, Windows Pen, and the Edge browser, alongside third-party Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps and, most interestingly, x86 (32-bit) Win32 apps. They should even be able to play Crysis 2. This announcement fits nicely with Microsoft's "Windows Everywhere" doctrine and should come as no surprise. It's not even the first time we've seen Windows running on ARM processors. Microsoft's failed Windows RT operating system was a modified version of Windows 8 that targeted the ARMv7-A 32-bit architecture. It grew from Microsoft's MinWin effort to make Windows more modular by reorganizing the operating system and cleaning up API dependencies. The major change with today's announcement over Windows RT and UWP is that x86 apps will be able to run on Qualcomm's ARM-based SoCs, along with support for all of the peripherals that are already supported with Windows 10. This alone is a huge change from Windows RT, which would only work with a small subset of peripherals. Microsoft is also focusing on having these devices always connected through cellular, which is something that is not available for many PCs at the moment. Support will be available for eSIM to avoid having to find room in a cramped design to accommodate a physical SIM, and Microsoft is going so far as to call these "cellular PCs" meaning they are expecting broad support for this class of computer, rather than the handful available now with cellular connectivity. The ability to run x86 Win32 apps on ARM will come through emulation, and to demonstrate the performance Microsoft has released a video of an ARM PC running Photoshop.
Cesarean Births Could Be Affecting Human Evolution, Study Says
CanadianRealist writes: Larger babies delivered by cesarean section may be affecting human evolution. Researchers estimate cases where the baby cannot fit down the birth canal have increased from 30 in 1,000 in the 1960s to 36 in 1,000 births today, [according to estimates from researchers at the University of Vienna in Austria.] Science Alert reports: "In the past, larger babies and mothers with narrow pelvis sizes might both have died in labour. Thanks to C-sections, that's now a lot less likely, but it also means that those 'at risk' genes from mothers with narrow pelvises are being carried into future generations. More detailed studies would be required to actually confirm the link between C-sections and evolution, as all we have now is a hypothesis based on the birth data." Agreed, more studies required part. Cesareans may simply be becoming more common with "too large" defined as cesarean seems like a better idea. It's reasonable to pose the question based simply on an understanding of evolution. Like it's reasonable to conjecture that length of human pregnancy is a compromise between further development in utero, and chance of mother and baby surviving the delivery.
Earth's Day Lengthens By Two Milliseconds a Century, Astronomers Find
Researchers at Durham University and the UK's Nautical Almanac Office compiled nearly 3,000 years of celestial records and found that with every passing century, the day on Earth lengthens by two milliseconds as the planet's rotation gradually winds down. The Guardian reports: The split second gained since the first world war may not seem much, but the time it takes for a sunbeam to travel 600km towards Earth can cost an Olympic gold medal, as the American Tim McKee found out when he lost to Sweden's Gunnar Larsson in 1972. For those holding out for a whole extra hour a day, be prepared for a long wait. Barring any change in the rate of slowing down, an Earth day will not last 25 hours for about two million centuries more. Researchers at Durham University and the UK's Nautical Almanac Office gathered historical accounts of eclipses and other celestial events from 720BC to 2015. The oldest records came from Babylonian clay tablets written in cuneiform, with more added from ancient Greek texts, such as Ptolemy's 2nd century Almagest, and scripts from China, medieval Europe and the Arab dominions. The ancient records captured the times and places that people witnessed various stages of solar and lunar eclipses, while documents from 1600AD onwards described lunar occultations, when the moon passed in front of particular stars and blocked them from view. To find out how the Earth's rotation has varied over the 2,735-year-long period, the researchers compared the historical records with a computer model that calculated where and when people would have seen past events if Earth's spin had remained constant. The astronomers found that Earth's spin would have slowed down even more had it not been for a counteracting process. Since the end of the most recent ice age, land masses that were once buried under slabs of frozen water have been unloaded and sprung back into place. The shift caused the Earth to be less oblate -- or squished -- on its axis. And just as a spinning ice skater speeds up when she pulls in her arms, so the Earth spins faster when its poles are less compressed. Changes in the world's sea levels and electromagnetic forces between Earth's core and its rocky mantle had effects on Earth's spin too, according to the scientists' report in Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Paris Makes All Public Transportation Free In Battle Against 'Worst Air Pollution For 10 Years'
Paris has barred some cars from its streets and has made public transportation free as it suffers from the worst and most prolonged winter pollution for at least 10 years, the Airparif agency said on Wednesday. The Independent reports: Authorities have said only drivers with odd-numbered registration plates can drive in the capital region on Wednesday. Drivers of even-numbered cars were given the same opportunity on Tuesday, but could now be fined up to 35 EUR if they are caught behind the wheel. More than 1,700 motorists were fined for violations on Tuesday. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said images of smog blanketing the capital were proof of the need to reduce vehicle use in the city center. The air pollution peak is due to the combination of emissions from vehicles and from domestic wood fires as well as near windless conditions which means pollutants have not been dispersed, the Airparif agency said. "This is a record period (of pollution) for the last 10 years," Karine Leger of AirParif told AFP by telephone. For more than a week, Airparif has published readings of PM10 at more than 80 micrograms per cubic meter of air particles, triggering the pollution alert. Along with odd-numbered cars, hybrid or electric vehicles as well as those carrying three or more people will be allowed to roam the roads. Foreign and emergency vehicles will be unaffected.
Doyodo RetroEngine Sigma Is a Linux-Powered Classic Video Game Emulation Console
BrianFagioli quotes a report from BetaNews: The Nintendo NES Classic is quite an amazing console. True, it is not as powerful as modern game systems like Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but it comes pre-loaded with many classic NES titles. Unfortunately, its strength is also its weakness -- those pre-loaded titles are the only games you can play. You cannot load other games, so you are stuck with what you got. As an alternative, some folks use software emulation and ROMs on their computers to play countless video game titles. Of course, there are moral concerns here, as you are often downloading the games illegally -- unless you own the physical copy, that is. Even then, it is a gray area. Today, a company called Doyodo launched a new Linux-powered emulation console on Indiegogo. The device not only plays NES games, but Atari, Game Boy, PlayStation 1, Genesis, and more. You play using USB controllers. In addition, it can serve as a media player (with Kodi) or a full-fledged Linux desktop. Some other features include 4K video playback, Wi-Fi networking built in, and a compact and portable design. There's even a deluxe version that ships with Bluetooth, an extra controller and 32GB of storage; the basic configuration includes just one controller and 16GB of storage. You can view the Indiegogo page here.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Makes Game For Third Annual Hour of Code
Eloking writes: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter account lit up today with a message all too familiar to many indie devs: Mr. Trudeau has made a video game, and he'd like everyone to play it. It was a cute bit of promotion for Hour of Code, the computer science education event masterminded every year by the Code.org nonprofit. While the Hour of Code websites hosts one-hour tutorials (in 45 languages) for coding all sorts of simple applications, game developers may appreciate that the lion's share appears to be game projects, like the one Trudeau modified into a sort of hockey-themed Breakout variant.
NASA Awards $127 Million Contract For Refueling Mission Spacecraft
Satellites cost millions of dollars to be launched into space and there's no guarantee that they will work without electrical or mechanical problems once in orbit. NASA has recently announced that it will award a $127 million contract to a company that aims to use a robotic spacecraft to fix satellites in space, thus potentially saving millions of dollars in the long-run by fixing satellites that would otherwise be "expensive e-waste." Gizmodo reports: NASA has just announced that it will award a $127 million contract to the California-based satellite company Space Systems/Loral for Restore-L, a robotic spacecraft capable of grasping, refueling and relocating a satellite in low Earth orbit, in addition to testing technologies for future missions. SSL has three years to build the bot, which is projected to launch in 2020. Without the ability to refuel, a satellite's lifespan is restricted by the amount of propellant engineers can pack in its tank at launch. That lifespan can be cut even shorter should the spacecraft encounter any electrical or mechanical problems on orbit. As more and more satellites reach the end of their operational lifespans, government agencies and private companies have been working to remedy this problem by developing robots that can give satellites a tune-up in zero-gravity. DARPA, for instance, recently launched a program aimed at designing robots capable of servicing satellites at the hard-to-reach but highly-desirable perch of geosynchronous orbit, 22,000 miles above Earth. NASA's Satellite Servicing Division, meanwhile, has a handful of on-orbit repair and refueling technology demonstrators in the works, including a robotic arm with the same range of motion as a human arm, a navigation system designed to help robots rendezvous with moving objects in space, and Restore-L, which combines these and other capabilities into a multi-purpose space mechanic. For now, Restore-L's primary goal is to refuel Landsat 7, a critical Earth-monitoring satellite operated by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. If successful, the spacecraft may be modified for all sorts of other useful tasks, from mopping up the ever-growing halo of space junk encircling our planet, to servicing exciting new science missions like the Asteroid Redirect Mission, which will grab a multi-ton boulder from the surface of an asteroid and tow it back to orbit around the Moon.
'The Circle' Trailer Looks An Awful Lot Like Google
theodp writes: If you never got around to reading Dave Eggers' novel The Circle, the tale of a powerful tech company that bears a more-than-passing resemblance to Google (and has an Apple spaceship-like HQ) is coming to the big screen and the first trailer is out. The film has a release date of spring 2017, and stars Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and John Boyega. Remember, sharing is caring!
Sprint: LG G Flex Will Launch Online on January 31 for $299 on Contract
Starting today, Sprint customers can pre-order the unique LG G Flex smartphone for $299 online with a two year contract. By pre-ordering between now and January 31st, customers will receive a complimentary Quickwindow Folio Case, which is valued at $60. Sprint…
Motorola Announces Moto X Launch in UK, France, and Germany on February 1
Certain European consumers interested in the Moto X smartphone from Motorola will soon have their chance to purchase the excellent handset. Expected to launch on February 1st, Motorola will sell its iconic Moto X device in Black or White in…
Shared services centres flop: Only one UK.gov department uses them
National Audit Office puts head in hands, weeps for taxpayers' wasted dosh
The government's plan to move all of Whitehall's back office IT into shared services centres has been such a flop, all but one department has pulled out of the scheme, according to the National Audit Office.…
Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? - UK.gov
Interesting response to 'lack of clarity' on details moan
The government has insisted it is effectively communicating the benefits of its controversial smart meter programme - despite MPs having identified a "lack of clarity" over the "problem" the scheme is trying to solve.…
Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges
Resistance is futile
The Circle, Dave Eggers' novel about a society dominated by an omniscient, cult-like Silicon Valley internet company, has been given the big-screen treatment, with the trailer emerging this week. The movie's promo site has a witty parody of the "onboarding" process for a web platform – enjoy the unreadable EULA as it flashes past, and all your privacy and personal data is slurped up.…
Trinidad opposition leader proposes truce over election deadlock
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- Political leader of the opposition United National Congress (UNC), Kamla Persad-Bissessar, has written to Trinidad and Tobago prime minister and political leader of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM), Dr Keith Rowley...
Commentary: Tens of billions in Wall Street theft while political corruption prevents prosecution
On the record, the FBI states that the actions of Wall Street’s major credit rating agencies and banks do not rise to the level of criminal activity. Off the record, they found the evidence overwhelming and disturbing. In this case, we have sworn testimony, fraudulent public documents, audit trails...
Press freedom organisation calls for release of Dutch journalist jailed in Panama
PARIS, France -- Press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called for the immediate release of Okke Ornstein, a Panama-based Dutch journalist who was arrested last month in Panama City to begin serving the absurdly disproportionate 20-month jail sentence...
Suriname drug trafficker sentenced to eleven years in US prison
NEW YORK, USA -- A Surinamese man convicted of acting as the "right-hand man" to the son of the country's president as part of a scheme to send large amounts of cocaine to the United States was sentenced on Tuesday to 11-1/4 years in a US prison. Edmund Muntslag, who was arrested after...
The holiday season is a time of tradition, and traditions have a funny way of becoming expectations -- like getting lots of stocking stuffers and spending days on end with family and friends. But what if you are going to spend much or all of the holiday season alone? What’s a person to do?
After all the dancing and the prancing in Caracas, we still know precious little about the gas agreement that was signed by Prime Minister Rowley and President Maduro on Monday. What do we know? At the post-Cabinet news conference on Thursday, Rowley said that he was going to “sign...
Dispute over selection of judges halts election challenges in Haiti
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- The Departmental Electoral Litigation Office (BCED) in Haiti was unable to hear arguments on Monday as planned from lawyers in election challenges brought by three of the losing candidates in last month’s presidential poll, Fanmi Lavalas, LAPEH and Pitit Desalin.
Bahamas minister backtracks on $2 billion Chinese project
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Bahamas minister of agriculture and marine resources, Alfred Gray, said on Monday that his October letter to Bahamas ambassador to China, Paul Andy Gomez, giving him the green light to further pursue a $2.1 billion China-Bahamas agri-fisheries...