Flash-based drives may soon be as cheap as the spinning kind

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 10:54pm
If you've noticed that solid-state drives (and the PCs that include them) no longer cost an arm and a leg, you're not alone. Researchers at DRAMeXchange understand that the price per gigabyte of an SSD has fallen off a cliff in the past three years,...

CDC: Nearly half of American homes no longer have landlines

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 10:19pm
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new survey Tuesday, showing that nearly half of all American households now use only cell phones rather than older landlines. In total, 47 percent of the 21,000 households queried were c...

Zuckerberg To Give Away 99% of His Facebook Stock

Slashdot - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 10:05pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Facebook stock currently held by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan is worth roughly $45 billion. Today, the couple posted a letter addressed to their newborn daughter outlining plans to give away 99% of that stock so their daughter can "live in a better world." They say, "Our initial areas of focus will be personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities." The letter also includes a long list of problems that need to be solved and situations that need to be improved: human health, learning, clean energy, equality, unhealthy childhoods, and more. They go out of their way to mention that many of these will not be solved quickly, and will need investments on a 100-year scale to be worthwhile. They're making internet access another major issue: "The internet is so important that for every 10 people who gain internet access, about one person is lifted out of poverty and about one new job is created."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New AI 'Gabriel' wants to whisper instructions in your ear

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 9:33pm
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are building an AI platform that will "whisper" instructions in your ear to provide cognitive assistance. Named after Gabriel, the biblical messenger of God, the whispering robo-assistant can already guide yo...

IRS promises to get a search warrant before spying on cellphones

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 9:03pm
The IRS will no longer use "Stingray" cellphone-tracking devices unless the agency receives a search warrant supported by probable cause, in accordance with the Department of Justice's Policy Guidance, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says in a letter....

WSJ: Yahoo may sell itself off

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 8:34pm
Yahoo's attempt at turning around its fortunes hasn't gone that well: on top of sagging profits and departing execs, it's still heavily dependent on both its Japanese business as well as its stake in Chinese internet giant Alibaba. And now, it sounds...

Yahoo Shares Spike 7% On Report That It Might Sell Off Its Core Business

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 8:14pm
 The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the board of Yahoo is considering selling off its core business in a series of upcoming meetings. So, naturally, shares of the company spiked 7 percent in extended trading once the news came out. This is significant for Yahoo, which for the most part has seen its core business stagnate and the value of its stake in Alibaba outweigh the value of… Read More

What's on your HDTV: 'Rainbow Six: Siege,' Bill Murray

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 8:14pm
The holiday season is upon us. While college football's regular season wraps up, we're looking forward to the newest Tom Clancy game, Rainbow Six: Siege, and the season finale of Doctor Who. NBC is planning to air The Wiz Live and Netflix's big holid...

Los Angeles Flirts With Pre-Crime

Slashdot - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 8:03pm
An anonymous reader writes: The city of Los Angeles is considering a new plan to fight prostitution: sending letters to men who solicit prostitutes in the hopes that the letters are seen by family members. Why not just arrest them while they're doing it? Because these letters aren't being sent to the houses of men who were convicted, or even arrested. Instead, automated license plate readers would scan the cars driving down streets known to have a prostitution problem, and the letters would be sent to the address associated with those vehicles. An article about the plan says, "There isn't 'potential' for abuse here, this is a legislated abuse of technology that is already controversial when it's used by police for the purpose of seeking stolen vehicles, tracking down fugitives and solving specific crimes."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Comcast starts describing live video entertainment to the blind

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 7:22pm
Sadly, the blind and others with visual impairments tend to lose some of the impact of live TV, especially entertainment. They'll get the dialogue, but they'll frequently miss the sight-based cues. Comcast thinks it can help, though. When a live p...

Greek Banks Under Cyberattack, Face Ransom Demands

Slashdot - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 7:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Hackers have targeted three Greek banks for a third time in five days, demanding a ransom from each lender of 20,000 bitcoin (€7m), according to Greek police and the country's central bank. A group calling itself the Armada Collective demanded the bitcoin ransom after staging its first attacks last Thursday, and then threatened a full collapse of the unnamed banks' websites if they refused to pay up. These initial attacks took the form of a distributed denial of service — flooding the banks' websites with requests so that they crashed under the strain. On Thursday, they succeeded in disrupting electronic transactions at all three banks for a short period, but customer information was protected, a police official said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Kobe Bryant’s Retirement Post Had 1 Million Clicks In First Two Hours

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 7:01pm
 When Kobe Bryant decided to share his intentions to retire after this season, his 20th, the way he did it was…different. Even though he did a press conference later that evening, he chose to share the news via Twitter and Facebook. Both posts linked to a heartfelt poem about his career. It was hosted by Derek Jeter’s site The Players’ Tribune and the site immediately… Read More

Google’s November Self-Driving Car Report Details Learnings, A Pull-Over, And A Rear-End Collision

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 6:47pm
 Google’s monthly self-driving car reports are fun to read through, and gives transparent accounts of what the team is up to, how the cars are performing, and any lessons learned along the way. Last month focused on pedestrians with Halloween being a helper. Read More

Sequoia Capital’s Alfred Lin On Why Uber’s Valuation Is Twice That Of Airbnb’s

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 6:41pm
 Today, at the Post-Seed conference in San Francisco, Alfred Lin, the former COO and CFO of Zappos and now a Sequoia Capital partner, was asked a variety of on-stage questions about the current market. Among them was whether Lin thinks it’s a good time to start a fund. “Probably not,” he said. “Valuations are high. But it doesn’t matter if you’re [thinking]… Read More

Air Asia Pilot Response Leads To Plane Crashing

Slashdot - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 6:38pm
hcs_$reboot writes: The investigation took a year, but we finally know why Air Asia Flight QZ8501, en route to Singapore from the Indonesian city of Surabaya on December 28 last year, crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 162 people on board. The crash was caused by a combination of system malfunctions and improper pilot responses to cascading electrical and rudder-system problems. A cracked solder joint on the Airbus A320 resulted in an electrical interruption that caused computer-generated warnings of a rudder malfunction. The problem occurred four times during the flight. The first three times, the flight crew responded according to standard procedure, investigators said. The fourth time, however, the flight-data recorder indicated actions similar to those of circuit breakers being reset. That led the autopilot to disengage. Investigators said the crew was unable to react appropriately to "a prolonged stall condition," ending in the crash. The investigation points to weaknesses in pilot training in dealing with upsets, or when an aircraft is angled greater than 45 degrees.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Santa's village comes to life as Google's holiday tracker goes online

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 6:36pm
Now that Thanksgiving is complete and the holidays are officially upon us, Google has unveiled a new and expanded Santa's Village for 2016. The dedicated website is part of the company's annual Santa Tracker app promotion. This year, visitors will ha...

Samsung made a web browser for the Gear VR

Engadget - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 6:15pm
Yes, there are already plenty of great games for Gear VR, but Samsung wants to keep enriching the platform with content. That's why it is introducing Internet for Gear VR, a web browser for people who own its smartphone-powered virtual reality headse...

9 Gifts For The Smartest Smart Home

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 6:02pm
 Choose from 16 million shades of color, make grandpa feel more secure by showing him who’s at the door when he’s not even there and get the house turnt with a rendition of Alvin and the Chipmunk’s “All I want for Christmas” at the moment your visiting family steps in the door with these hand-picked devices we think you’ll enjoy giving or getting this… Read More

Only One Week To Submit Your Application For 1st And Future

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 6:00pm
 There is exactly one week until applications close for 1st and Future, the startup competition that TechCrunch is staging with the NFL and Stanford University on February 6 at Stanford’s CEMEX Auditorium. Get your application in today. Four startups will compete for top honors in each of the competition’s three categories: Tomorrow’s Athlete, Bringing Home the Game and The… Read More

Why Israel Will Probably Never Have A Tech Giant And Why That’s Not Something To Regret

TechCrunch - Tue, 12/01/2015 - 6:00pm
 For many years, Israelis used to lament that the local tech scene, while considered second only to Silicon Valley and generating many successful startups, has never been able to grow a world tech leader such as Nokia. Why don’t we have our own “Nokia?” people used to ask — while pointing a finger at entrepreneurs and investors alike. Read More