Technology

Amazon Alexa Can Now Order An Uber From Your Echo Speaker Or Fire TV

TechCrunch - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:19am
 It’s been a big week for Amazon’s connected speaker Echo. First the company rolled out a way to order pizza just by asking Echo’s virtual assistant to place an order for you. It then added the much-requested Spotify to the list of supported streaming music services. And today, Amazon has announced integration with on-demand car service, Uber. Read More

Apple Watch discounted by up to £120 at Currys PC World

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:19am
Apple's debut smartwatch has received some hearty discounts at Currys and PC World stores across the UK. Point your browser to either retailer's website and you'll notice a number of deals that take between £50 and £120 off the normal ask...

Netflix renews 'Orange is the New Black' for three more seasons

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:12am
Netflix just announced it is bringing back Orange is the New Black for a 5th, 6th and 7th season. The streaming service's original series, created by Jenji Kohan (Weeds) and produced by Lionsgate, has been a hit since it debuted in 2013. With many aw...

Bing’s New Apps For iOS And Android Focus On Finding Deals, Local Offers

TechCrunch - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:00am
 Microsoft’s Bing is trying to carve out a niche for itself on mobile by focusing on the types of common searches and information requests people need to access while on the go. To that end, the company this week rolled out new iOS and Android applications with features like a barcode scanner for price comparisons, a tool to find the cheapest nearby gas prices, and, on iOS to start, a… Read More

When Will The Machines Wake Up?

TechCrunch - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 11:00am
 Machines matter to people. But, they “matter” only because they affect people. It’s widely supposed that today’s machines themselves cannot be “affected” — because they have no feelings, no conscious thought, no sentience. Interestingly enough, it might not always be that way. While biology has held a relatively firm monopoly on… Read More

Apple will reportedly accept damaged iPhones for trade-in

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:49am
Apple's iPhone recycling program is handy for getting rid of your old handset when you buy a new one. However, the initiative doesn't allow customers to trade in older models if they have screen damage, a broken camera or buttons that don't work. 9to...

Grandma's Phone, DSL, and the Copper They Share

Slashdot - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:45am
szczys writes: DSL is high-speed Internet that uses the same twisted pair of copper wire that still works with your Grandmother's wall-mounted telephone. How is that possible? The short answer is that the telephone company is cheating. But the long answer delves into the work of Claude Shannon, who figured out how much data could be reliably transferred using a given medium. His work, combined with that of Harry Nyquist and Ralph Hartley (pioneers of channel capacity and the role noise plays in these systems), brings the Internet Age to many homes on an infrastructure that has been in use for more than a hundred years.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The fabulous life of a professional 'Street Fighter' player

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:30am
Darryl Lewis stows his luggage in the plane's overhead bin and settles into his seat, ready for another takeoff, another trip for work. He's seated next to an older man who's flying with his family. Eventually, the man turns to Lewis and asks him a s...

Google's AI will take on the world Go champ live on YouTube

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:26am
Google's victory over a top Go player was unprecedented, but can its artificial intelligence program DeepMind beat the world champion? We'll find out starting on March 9th, when DeepMind's "AlphaGo" program takes on South Korea's Lee Sedol in a $1 mi...

Audio software can make phone calls more intelligible

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:05am
It can be tough hearing each other on the phone no matter how much you shout if you're in a noisy environment. Fraunhofer believes its new audio software can solve that problem, though, and make even garbled loudspeaker announcements at train station...

UK Wants Authority To Serve Warrants In U.S.

Slashdot - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:04am
schwit1 writes with this news, as reported by USA Today: British and U.S. officials have been negotiating a plan that could allow British authorities to directly serve wiretap orders on U.S. communications companies in criminal and national security inquiries, U.S. officials confirmed Thursday. The talks are aimed at allowing British authorities access to a range of data, from interceptions of live communications to archived emails involving British suspects, according to the officials, who are not authorized to comment publicly. ... Under the proposed plan, British authorities would not have access to records of U.S. citizens if they emerged in the British investigations. Congressional approval would be required of any deal negotiated by the two countries.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Instagram Confirms Test Of Multiple Account Switching On iOS

TechCrunch - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 10:02am
 Instagram confirmed it’s running a test involving multiple account switching on iOS, following reports on Thursday from users who said they saw the feature go live in their app. The company would not speak to its further plans regarding a public rollout, but the news is promising. Last November, Instagram was testing the feature on Android with members of its Instagram beta test… Read More

Apple Watch Took Two-Thirds Of Smartwatch Market In 2015, Says Analyst

TechCrunch - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:53am
 Apple does not break out sales of its debut wearable, the Apple Watch, so it’s up to analysts to stump up the sales estimates — and the latest to do so, Canalys, reckons the Apple Watch accounted for two-thirds of the smartwatch market in 2015, with more than 12 million units shipped by its count in total — and more than five million of those in the holiday quarter. Read More

'Godus Wars' developer kills microtransactions after outcry

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:43am
Last week Peter Molyneux had to contend with a hacked Twitter account, but this week he's dealing with disgruntled gamers. His 22cans studio just released a Steam Early Access version of Godus Wars, the much-anticipated, more fighty sequel to Godus....

In Japan, a Battle Brewing Over the Right To Record 4k and 8k Broadcasts

Slashdot - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:23am
AmiMoJo writes: Japanese broadcasters have indicated that 4k and 8k broadcasts may have recording disabled via a 'do not copy' flag [via Google Translate], which receivers would be expected to obey. Now the Internet Users Association (MIAU) and Shufuren (Housewives Federation) have submitted documentation opposing the ban. The document points out that the ban will only inconvenience the majority of the general audience, while inevitably failing to prevent unauthorized copying by anyone determined to circumvent the protection.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Visa wakes up to the sound of the internet

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:19am
If you had to name the pre-eminent internet payments platform, you'd probably say PayPal -- a fact that sends Visa executives into a frenzy. That's why the big V has announced that it's embracing this new-fangled interweb thing that it's just now hea...

BBC will make its first broadcast into space tomorrow

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:05am
British astronaut Tim Peake has already achieved a number of "firsts" while aboard the International Space Station, but his next milestone will possibly be the most entertaining. Tomorrow (February 6th), Peake and his two astronaut colleagues will vi...

ICYMI: Soft robot challenge, NASA's space sails and more

Engadget - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 9:00am
Today on In Case You Missed It: NASA announced a space probe this week that will use solar sails to leave Earth's orbit; the first spacecraft from the agency to do so. It should go up in 2018 and its mission is to get a good view of an asteroid.

K-12 CS Framework Draft: Kids Taught To 'Protect Original Ideas' In Early Grades

Slashdot - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 8:42am
theodp writes: Remember that Code.org and ACM-bankrolled K-12 Computer Science Education Framework that Microsoft, Google, Apple, and others were working on? Well, a draft of the framework was made available for review on Feb. 3rd, coincidentally just 3 business days after U.S. President Barack Obama and Microsoft President Brad Smith teamed up to announce the $4+ billion Computer Science for All initiative for the nation's K-12 students. "Computationally literate citizens have the responsibility to learn about, recognize, and address the personal, ethical, social, economic, and cultural contexts in which they operate," explains the section on Fostering an Inclusive Computing Culture, one of seven listed 'Core K-12 CS Practices'. "Participating in an inclusive computing culture encompasses the following: building and collaborating with diverse computational teams, involving diverse users in the design process, considering the implication of design choices on the widest set of end users, accounting for the safety and security of diverse end users, and fostering inclusive identities of computer scientists." Hey, do as they say, not as they do! Also included in the 10-page draft (pdf) is a section on Law and Ethics, which begins: "In early grades, students differentiate between responsible and irresponsible computing behaviors. Students learn that responsible behaviors can help individuals while irresponsible behaviors can hurt individuals. They examine legal and ethical considerations for obtaining and sharing information and apply those behaviors to protect original ideas."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hamster Pad Helps You Find Cool Slack Communities

TechCrunch - Fri, 02/05/2016 - 8:26am
 Are you a Slovenian web dev? A French iOS programmer? A sad person in need of friends? Get thee to the Hamster Pad. This new site Matt Schlicht and his buddy Adam McKenna aggregates hundreds of Slack communities, from programming-centric rooms to rooms for writers. “Nothing like Hamster Pad exists right now. We have literally taken the Slack API and started to create an entire social… Read More