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Facebook Debuts ‘Rooms’ App For Chats

October 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Facebook Debuts ‘Rooms’ App For Chats

Facebook is going old school, with a stand-alone app for discussion boards geared towards allowin users to talk about shared interests without having to use their real names. The company released Rooms on Thursday, its answer to the craze around posting and sharing anonymously. People can use any name they want and don’t need a Facebook account. The app contains rooms geared around various topics, all of which require an invite link to enter. Providing an email address is optional, for the... 

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Google Continues Artificial Intelligence Expansion, Partners With Oxford U.

October 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Google Continues Artificial Intelligence Expansion, Partners With Oxford U.

Google Inc is growing its artificial intelligence area, hiring more than half a dozen leading academics and experts in the field and announcing a partnership with Oxford University to “accelerate” its efforts. Google will make a “substantial contribution” to establish a research partnership with Oxford’s computer science and engineering departments, the company said on Thursday regarding its work to develop the intelligence of machines and software, often to emulate... 

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Is Unity Up to Something Big?

October 24, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Is Unity Up to Something Big?

Earlier today Unity Technologies caused quite a stir in the games industry with the announcement that former Electronic Arts chief exec John Riccitiello would be taking over the CEO job for David Helgason. While EA struggled to make shareholders happy, Unity has been seeing tremendous growth, becoming a favorite toolset for large and small publishers and especially indies. In fact, the company serves over 600,000 monthly developers. But what does Unity really have up its sleeve? Is the hiring of... 

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Twitter Launches Fabric SDK

October 24, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Twitter Launches Fabric SDK

Twitter has introduced Fabric, a modular mobile platform that the firm claims will make it easier for developers to build great apps. Twitter is looking to embrace the developer community after having alienated it in 2012 when it tightened API rules governing third-party app developers. The company said during its first developer conference that Fabric is a ‘modular mobile platform’, or developer toolkit, which brings together tools and services from a mixture of outfits already under... 

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Do Exocomets Come In Different Forms?

October 24, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Do Exocomets Come In Different Forms?

Astronomers investigated Beta Pictoris, a relatively young star located about 63 light-years from the sun. At only about 20 million years of age — far younger than the 4.6-billion-year-old sun — Beta Pictoris is surrounded by a huge protoplanetary disk. A disk of gas and dust just like this one encircled the sun in its youth. For nearly 30 years, scientists have detected subtle changes in the light from Beta Pictoris that researchers thought were caused by exocomets traveling in front of the... 

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Pandora’s Listeners Decline

October 24, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Consumer Electronics
Pandora’s Listeners Decline

Pandora Media Inc, owners of the leading Internet radio service, reported a lower-than-expected increase in listeners in the third quarter, sending the company’s shares down 6 percent in extended trading on Thursday. Pandora said it had 76.5 million active listeners as of Sept. 30, an increase of 5.2 percent from a year earlier. Analysts, on average, had expected 76.7 million, according to market research firm StreetAccount. Total listener hours rose to 4.99 billion from 3.99 billion, but again... 

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Survey Reveals Workers Using Personal Devices For Job-related Tasks

October 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Survey Reveals Workers Using Personal Devices For Job-related Tasks

Many workers use their personally owned smartphones and other technology devices for job tasks, but a new survey reveals a big percentage are doing so without their employer’s knowledge. Market research firm Gartner surveyed 4,300 U.S. consumers in June who work at large companies (with more than 1,000 employees) and found 40% used personally owned smartphones, tablets, laptops or desktops as a primary or supplemental business device. That 40% might not be unusual, but more surprisingly, Gartner... 

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U.S. Government Investigating Medical Device Hacking Threats

October 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
U.S. Government Investigating Medical Device Hacking Threats

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is looking into about two dozen cases of suspected cybersecurity flaws in medical devices and hospital equipment that officials believe could be exploited by hackers, a senior official at the agency told Reuters. The products under review by the agency’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, or ICS-CERT, include an infusion pump from Hospira Inc and implantable heart devices from Medtronic Inc and St Jude Medical Inc, according... 

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Samsung Shows Off 20nm DDR4

October 23, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Samsung Shows Off 20nm DDR4

Samsung has started shipping its first 8Gbit DDR4 memory chips and 32GB dual in-line memory modules (Dimms) for servers manufactured using a 20nm process technology. The Korean chip maker said the 20nm production process had been expanded from its PC and mobile memory markets to the enterprise server market with these fresh components, which it began producing earlier this month. The new 32GB module offers a data transfer rate per pin of up to 2,400Mbps, equating to a 29 percent performance increase... 

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Google Launches Two-Factor Security Key

October 23, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
Google Launches Two-Factor Security Key

Google has added account authentication via USB stick to its two-step verification process, offering users a more convenient way to sign in to their accounts in a secure manner. As detailed in a Google security blog post, a compatible USB Security Key can now be used to log-in to Google accounts with two-step authentication. The addition of the USB Security Key, Google claims, ensures that the log-in website is an actual Google website and not a fake. Two-step authentication normally asks the user... 

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Microsoft Releases First Windows 10 Update

October 23, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Computing
Microsoft Releases First Windows 10 Update

Microsoft has issued the first update for Windows 10 Technical Preview, launching its fast-paced release strategy. The update, designated as Build 9860, followed the Oct. 1 release of the preview, which Microsoft has offered businesses and technology enthusiasts to give potential customers a look at the work in progress and collect feedback during development. The Oct. 1 version of Windows 10 was labeled Build 9841. “Sometimes [updates] will be more frequent and sometimes there will be longer... 

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EMC Buys More Of VCE

October 23, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Computing
EMC Buys More Of VCE

Data storage products maker EMC is buying much of Cisco’s stake in their joint venture VCE. The VCE joint venture, set up in 2009 as a one-stop shop for data centres, bundles Cisco’s networking equipment and servers with EMC’s storage gear and software from EMC’s VMware subsidiary. EMC is expected to merge VCE into its business and consolidate its sales into its quarterly results and an announcement will be made later today. EMC on Tuesday said it would make an announcement... 

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Mobile Phone Growth In U.S. Continues To Slow Down

October 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Mobile Phone Growth In U.S. Continues To Slow Down

The overall mobile phone market in the U.S. will fall off this year by 1% even as many emerging countries around the world see robust growth. After several years of accelerated growth, the U.S. market is feeling the effects of market saturation and smartphone ownership that’s lasting longer than once expected, Ramon Llamas, an analyst IDC, said in an updated forecast. IDC’s five-year forecast issued for October significantly undercuts its April forecast, dropping expectations for U.S.... 

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The Xbox One Goes Social Next Month

October 22, 2014 by Michael   | Category: Gaming
The Xbox One Goes Social Next Month

November Xbox One update, explaining that it will throw a bucketful of new features into the console. The firm polishes the console experience on a monthly basis and this month sees it swathe the device in tweaks and social networking positives. Whether you use the console to browse the internet, talk to people, do social networking, watch television, or even play games, you will see some sort of improvement, according to spokeschap Major Nelson. “We’re bringing you new and exciting ways... 

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Sprint Cuts Jobs At Its Headquarters, More To Follow

October 22, 2014 by mphillips   | Category: Mobile
Sprint Cuts Jobs At Its Headquarters, More To Follow

Sprint recently eliminated more than 400 jobs from its headquarters in Overland Park, Kan., an amount that equals about 6% of the 7,500 workers there. The company is expected to make more job cuts this month, including from other locations in the U.S., further lowering the ranks of its 33,000-person work force. Since January, the company has cut its ranks by about 5,000, from 38,000. The latest headquarters cuts were in IT and portfolio management and Sprint’s network, technology and product areas,... 

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