Technology

PlayStation Plus to jump in price from $50 to $60 annually, from $18 to $22 quarterly on September 22 (Jeff Grubb/VentureBeat)

TechMeme - 42 min 14 sec ago

Jeff Grubb / VentureBeat:
PlayStation Plus to jump in price from $50 to $60 annually, from $18 to $22 quarterly on September 22  —  Sony is about to start charging more for one of its best gaming services.  —  PlayStation Plus will jump in price from $50 to $60 annually, according to an announcement on Sony's PlayStation Blog.

Categories: Technology

NanoRacks Plans To Turn Used Rocket Fuel Tanks Into Space Habitats

Slashdot - 2 hours 12 min ago
An anonymous reader writes from a report via IEEE Spectrum: A couple of weeks ago NASA announced it has committed $65 million to six companies over the course of two years for the purpose of developing and testing deep-space habitats that could be used for future missions to Mars. One of the six companies, called NanoRacks, is attempting to take empty fuel tanks from the upper stages of rockets and turn them into space habitats on-orbit. IEEE Spectrum reports: "A rocket like the the Atlas V, which can deliver payloads of nearly 19,000 kg to low Earth orbit, consists of three primary pieces: on the bottom, you've got the first stage booster, which consists of a huge engine and some big tanks holding kerosene fuel and oxidizer. Above that, there's the second stage, which consists of one or two smaller engines, a big tank for storing liquid hydrogen fuel, and a smaller tank for oxidizer. The payload, which is what all of the fuss is about, sits on top. The first stage launches the rocket off of the pad and continues firing for about four minutes. Meanwhile, the second stage fires up its own engine (or engines) to boost the payload the rest of the way into orbit. On the Atlas V, the second stage is called Centaur. Once Centaur gets its payload where it needs to go, it separates, and then suicides down into Earth's atmosphere. Getting a payload into space is so expensive because you have to build up this huge and complicated rocket, with engines and guidance systems and fuel tanks and stuff, and then you basically use it for like 15 minutes and throw it all away. But what about the second stage? You've got a whole bunch of hardware that made it to orbit, and when getting stuff to orbit costs something like $2,500 per kilogram, you then tell it to go it burn itself up in the atmosphere, because otherwise it's just useless space junk." NanoRacks thinks this is wasteful, so they want to turn these tanks into deep space habitats. IEEE notes that the hydrogen fuel tank on a Centaur upper stage has a diameter of over 4 meters, and an interior volume of 54 cubic meters, while the inflatable BEAM module that arrived at the ISS earlier this year has an interior volume of 16 cubic meters. For more details, IEEE Spectrum spoke with Jeff Manber, CEO of NanoRacks, and Mike Johnson, NanoRacks' Chief Designer. You can read their responses here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Galaxy Note7 handily beaten by one-year-old iPhone 6s in real-world app speed test (Juli Clover/MacRumors)

TechMeme - 4 hours 11 min ago

Juli Clover / MacRumors:
Galaxy Note7 handily beaten by one-year-old iPhone 6s in real-world app speed test  —  Earlier this month, Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note 7, its newest smartphone with a 14-nanometer Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 quad-core 64-bit processor, 4GB RAM, a 12-megapixel camera, waterproofing, and wireless charging.

Categories: Technology

Android Pay adds Walgreens for first retail store loyalty card integration (Jordan Kahn/9to5Google)

TechMeme - 5 hours 7 min ago

Jordan Kahn / 9to5Google:
Android Pay adds Walgreens for first retail store loyalty card integration  —  Walgreens today announced that its loyalty rewards program is now integrated with Android Pay at checkout, making it the first retail store location to support the feature through Google's Android-based payments service.

Categories: Technology

New Mexico Nuclear Accident Ranks Among the Costliest In US History

Slashdot - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 11:30pm
mdsolar quotes a report from Los Angeles Times: When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground nuclear dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in the Carlsbad desert community and quickly reported progress on resuming operations. The early federal statements gave no hint that the blast had caused massive long-term damage to the dump, a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program that spans the nation, or that it would jeopardize the Energy Department's credibility in dealing with the tricky problem of radioactive waste. But the explosion ranks among the costliest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, according to a Times analysis. The long-term cost of the mishap could top $2 billion, an amount roughly in the range of the cleanup after the 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. The Feb. 14, 2014, accident is also complicating cleanup programs at about a dozen current and former nuclear weapons sites across the U.S. Thousands of tons of radioactive waste that were headed for the dump are backed up in Idaho, Washington, New Mexico and elsewhere, state officials said in interviews. "The direct cost of the cleanup is now $640 million, based on a contract modification made last month with Nuclear Waste Partnership that increased the cost from $1.3 billion to nearly $2 billion," reports Los Angeles Times. "The cost-plus contract leaves open the possibility of even higher costs as repairs continue. And it does not include the complete replacement of the contaminated ventilation system or any future costs of operating the mine longer than originally planned."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Uber swallows self-driving truck startup Otto for $680 million

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 10:00pm

Ride-hailing giant Uber announced on Thursday that is has acquired Otto for approximately $680 million.

All of Otto’s team, which includes ex-leader of Google’s self-driving project, Anthony Levandowski, will move to Uber. They will work on the company’s self-driving project and report directly to CEO Travis Kalanick.

See also: Self-driving tech startup Otto wants truckers to keep on…napping

Otto’s research facilities in Palo Alto and San Francisco will continue to operate, and will share data with Uber’s Pittsburgh research center.

The acquisition price, at the time of writing, is calculated at $680 million by Bloomberg. That’s the value of slightly less than one percent equity in Uber, which Otto investors will receive. Uber will also provide 20 percent of the profits from its future trucking business, giving investors a long term reward for the acquisition.

Otto was not planning to build its own trucks, instead utilizing the current big rigs and installing a self-driving system inside. The startup has built its own sensors, including a LiDAR sensor, which is a useful radar tool for self-driving systems.

“Together with Uber, we will create the future of commercial transportation: first, self-driving trucks that provide drivers unprecedented levels of safety; and second, a platform that matches truck drivers with the right load wherever they are,” said Otto in a blog post confirming the acquisition.

Uber wants control of entire transport industry

Uber has been investing heavily into new transportation sectors in the past year, including food and commercial delivery. Long haul trucking might seem like a huge step for the private firm—valued at more than $60 billion—but it is just another move to make Uber the de-facto brand for all types of transport.

The acquisition announcement came a few hours after Uber and Volvo announced a $300 million investment into self-driving. Volvo will provide 100 SUVs to the Pittsburgh research center, which will be deployed on the roads by the end of the month.

The post Uber swallows self-driving truck startup Otto for $680 million appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

5 women who are changing the IoT world

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 9:43pm

Many argue that the tech world — including IoT — is one big bro-nopoly. Why?

Well, maybe because only 5% of all VC funding goes to women-led startups. Embarrassing.

In addition, according to LinkedIn’s Talent blog survey, 91% of hardware engineers are men. Disconcerting.

Not to mention the Wired stats showing that of the thousands of venture deals minted from 2012 to 2014, so few black women founders raised money that statistically speaking the number might as well be zero or at least statistically insignificant. The exact number is 24 out of 10,238, or just 0.2 percent.

See also: IoT powering a record M&A feeding frenzy

Oh, and of those few that did raise money, the average amount of funding is $36,000. To get a better picture, compare that number with what the average white male raises: $1.3 million.

But while those stats surely are depressing and demotivating at best, meet 5 strong and absolutely amazing women who refused to accept the status quo as they defy gravity on a daily basis, successfully running their tech companies and changing the world on a daily basis.

Alicia Asin, Co- Founder & CEO, Libelium

Libelium is a wireless sensor network platform provider that delivers open-source, low-power consumption devices that are easy to program and implement for Smart Cities solutions and a wide range of M2M and sensor projects. As a CEO and co-founder, Alicia is focused on how IoT is becoming the next tech revolution, starting with Smart Cities. She is a frequent speaker at international conferences on issues related to Smart Cities, Wireless Sensor Networks and the IoT. Alicia is also the first woman to receive the National Young Entrepreneur at the 2014 meeting of the Spanish Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs (CEAJE).

Ayah Bdeir, CEO, littleBits Electronics

littleBits is an award-winning platform of easy-to-use electronic building blocks empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small. Ayah Bdeir is a co-founder of the Open Hardware Summit, a TED Senior Fellow and an alumna of the MIT Media Lab. Her list of achievements includes becoming: one of Business Insider’s 26 Most Powerful Women Engineers, one of Inc. Magazine’s 35 Under 35, one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, one of the CNBC Next List, and one of MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35.

 

Anne Lauvergeon, Chairman, SIGFOX 

SIGFOX is a provider of dedicated cellular connectivity for the Internet of Things and Machine-to-Machine communications. The company’s network complements existing high-bandwidth systems by providing economical, energy-efficient two-way transmission of small quantities of data, thus lowering barriers to wide implementation of IoT and M2M solutions, and greatly extending the battery and service life of connected devices. Anne holds an advanced degree in physics and chemistry. She was CEO of Areva from 2001 to 2011, and Chairman and CEO of Areva from 1999 to 2011, making her the only woman to run a nuclear energy company. In 2009, Fortune ranked her #4 on a list of the ten most powerful international female leaders. Currently Anne is the Chairman of the board at Sigfox, a French IoT startup, working on what it refers to as very low cost “ultra-narrow band”, on a mission to revolutionize the IoT world.

 

Limor “Ladyada” Fried, Founder, Adafruit

Adafruit Industries is an open-source hardware company based in New York City. It was founded by Limor Fried in 2005, in her MIT dorm room, and now employs more than 50 people in the heart of NYC. Limor is a double MIT EECS graduate, who was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine, as well as awarded Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the year. Ladyada was a founding member of the NYC Industrial Business Advisory Council. Adafruit is ranked #11 in the top 20 USA manufacturing companies and #1 in New York City by Inc. 5000 “fastest growing private companies.” Adafruit is featured in Google’s Economic Impact Report. Limor was named a White House Champion of Change in 2016.

 

Meredith Perry, Founder and CEO, uBeam

uBeam is a Los Angeles, California based wireless power startup that transmits power over-the-air to charge electronic devices. Meredith founded uBeam in 2011 while studying at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, Meredith served as a student ambassador for NASA, where she worked on technology to detect life on Mars, experimented in zero gravity and researched and published papers in astrobiology and medicine. She graduated in 2011 with a degree in paleobiology. Meredith has been included in Fortune’s “40 Under 40” Mobilizers, Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Vanity Fair’s “The New Establishment.” She has also been recognized as one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People” and was the recipient of Elle Magazine’s Genius Award.

An inspiration for women and men alike

While those five brilliant entrepreneurs are a true inspiration for men and women alike, there are a lot more women out there beating the odds and making huge impact day in and day out. Hopefully, with their winning attitudes and determination the numbers cited at the beginning of this post will soon become inaccurate and will be replaced with more balanced ones.

The post 5 women who are changing the IoT world appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

North Korea Unveils Netflix-Like Streaming Service Called 'Manbang'

Slashdot - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 9:05pm
North Korea has unveiled a set-top box that offers video-on demand services similar to Netflix. The service is called Manbang, which translates to "everywhere" in Korean, and allows consumers to stream documentaries about Kim Jong Un and other "educational" programs, as well as five live TV channels. "If a viewer wants to watch, for instance, an animal movie and sends a request to the equipment, it will show the relevant video to the viewer [...] this is two-way communications," according to NK News. It reportedly works by plugging the set-top box into an internet modem, then connecting an HDMI cable from the cable box to the TV. A very small number of North Koreans will actually be able to use the device as "only a few thousand [...] have access to the state-sanctioned internet, in a nation of 25 million people," reports New York Daily News.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Cisco plans layoffs on pivot towards IoT and cloud

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 9:00pm

Cisco has revealed plans to slash 5,500 jobs in its fourth quarter earnings report, in a move to restructure the company and focus on emerging and growing markets.

Internet of Things, data security, data centers, cloud, and collaboration tools will be the focus on the company post-restructure.

See Also: China IIoT efforts will dominate global market: Economist

The networking equipment giant will spend $700 million in redundancy payments to get rid of seven percent of its workforce. Most of the redundancies will take place at Cisco’s slow moving sectors.

Reports before the earnings call said that Cisco would remove 20 percent of its workforce.
“We expect to reinvest substantially all of the cost savings from these actions back into these businesses and will continue to aggressively invest to focus on our areas of future growth,” said a Cisco representative.

Not the first IoT-related layoffs

It is not the first “old” tech company to restructure its organization around new emerging markets: Hewlett Packard recently split its enterprise and PC divisions, IBM cut thousands of jobs earlier this year, and Microsoft has seen a major reshuffling to cloud and enterprise.

As well, Intel announced earlier this year that they would shut down old line businesses, lay off employees and restructure their investment unit to turn away from hardware plays and focus on IoT, data analytics and the cloud.

Cisco made $12.6 billion in revenue in Q4 and $2.8 billion in profit, up 28 percent compared to last year. We could see that profit rise even higher, if Cisco is able to keep businesses interest in its older products while reducing the staff size.

The market has reacted rather apathetically to Cisco’s restructuring, moving from $30.52 on Friday to $30.60 on Monday. Wall Street analysts were mostly pleased with the earnings, many pushed the price target up a few dollars, according to 24/7 Wall St.

The post Cisco plans layoffs on pivot towards IoT and cloud appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Bill Gates's Net Worth Hits $90 Billion

Slashdot - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 8:35pm
schwit1 quotes a report from Bloomberg: The net worth of the world's richest person Bill Gates hit $90 billion on Friday, fueled by gains in public holdings including Canadian National Railway Company and Ecolab Inc. Gates's fortune is now $13.5 billion bigger than that of the world's second-wealthiest person, Spanish retail mogul Amancio Ortega, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. At $90 billion, the Microsoft Corp. co-founder's net worth is equal to 0.5 percent of U.S. GDP. Less than two weeks ago, Bill Gates topped Forbes' "100 Richest Tech Billionaires In The World 2016" (Warning: may be paywalled) list with an estimated fortune of $78 billion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Nick Denton's farewell post, detailing the rise and fall of Gawker, as the site shuts down today (Nick Denton/Gawker)

TechMeme - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 8:25pm

Nick Denton / Gawker:
Nick Denton's farewell post, detailing the rise and fall of Gawker, as the site shuts down today  —  Gawker.com is shutting down today, Monday 22nd August, 2016, some 13 years after it began and two days before the end of my forties.  It is the end of an era.

Categories: Technology

BHU's 'Tiger Will Power' Wi-Fi Router May Be The Most Insecure Router Ever Made

Slashdot - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 8:05pm
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: A Wi-Fi router manufactured and sold only in China can easily run for the title of "most insecure router ever made." The BHU router, whose name translates to "Tiger Will Power," has a long list of security problems that include: four authentication bypass flaws (one of which is just hilarious); a built-in backdoor root account that gets created on every boot-up sequence; the fact that it opens the SSH port for external connections after every boot (somebody has to use that root backdoor account right?); a built-in proxy server that re-routes all traffic; an ad injection system that adds adverts to all the sites you visit; and a backup JS file embedded in the router firmware if the ad script fails to load from its server. For techies, there's a long technical write-up, which gets funnier and scarier at the same time as you read through it. "An attacker authenticating on the router can use a hardcoded session ID (SID) value of 700000000000000 to gain admin privileges," reports Softpedia. "If he misspells the SID and drops a zero, that's no problem. The BHU router will accept any value and still grant the user admin rights."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

IoT and analytics powering record tech M&A feeding frenzy

ReadWriteWeb - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 7:23pm

The Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics are driving mergers and acquisition activity to new heights, as both tech and non-tech firms look to evolve their business models.

A Forbes article delved into the recent Ernst & Young (EY) report that examined M&A activity in the second quarter.

The EY report found that deal activity between April and June broke the all-time record for technology M&A valued at or above $1 billion. Aggregate value for Q2 reached just over $127 billion, nearly doubling the value from the previous quarter.

“The combination of digital disruption and slow organic growth drove Q2 2016 to near unprecedented deal-making levels for the technology sector overall,” according to the report’s authors. It added that many of the quarter’s 28 deals were driven by the emergence of IoT and data analytics, and the ensuing rush to capitalize on these burgeoning technologies.

With IoT-related M&A activity increasing by 28% compared to the same time period last year, the technology is proving to have strong momentum.

“…seven of the quarter’s eight connected car deals involved IoT technology (including mapping and tracking technologies). Six deals also targeted IoT security technology,” said the report.

The study included a mention of Brocade’s $1.5 billion acquisition of enterprise WiFi provider Ruckus Wireless, which is connected to the IoT space.

Big data analytics deals booming

Meanwhile, deal volume related to big data analytics increased 13% for the quarter compared to Q2 last year. EY attributed this growth to companies from many sectors recognizing the power of data to evolve and modernize their firms.

“Tech and non-tech companies alike pursued transformational deals, often to build broader end-to-end solutions in response to customer demand,” it said.

And EY sees the technology sector M&A frenzy continuing on into the future, as companies from all sectors seek out acquisitions to compete in a fast-evolving global marketplace.

“Because the technology industry is in such major transformation, we expect 2016 technology M&A to continue at a record or near-record pace for the foreseeable future, driven by the disruptive digital technologies that the industry is itself bringing to market,” said the report.”

“Tech companies will continue turning to M&A to accelerate their transformations and to build end-to-end solutions. Some will continue going private to manage their transformations away from public-market scrutiny,” said EY. “Non-tech companies will increasingly acquire tech, driving up cross-industry blur — and all will pursue security technologies.”

The post IoT and analytics powering record tech M&A feeding frenzy appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Turkish Journalist Jailed For Terrorism Was Framed, Forensic Report Shows

Slashdot - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 7:20pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Turkish investigative journalist Baris Pehlivan spent 19 months in jail, accused of terrorism based on documents found on his work computer. But when digital forensics experts examined his PC, they discovered that those files were put there by someone who removed the hard drive from the case, copied the documents, and then reinstalled the hard drive. The attackers also attempted to control the journalist's machine remotely, trying to infect it using malicious email attachments and thumb drives. Among the viruses detected in his computer was an extremely rare trojan called Ahtapot, in one of the only times it's been seen in the wild. Pehlivan went to jail in February of 2011, along with six of his colleagues, after electronic evidence seized during a police raid in 2011 appeared to connect all of them to Ergenekon, an alleged armed group accused of terrorism in Turkey. A paper recently published by computer expert Mark Spencer in Digital Forensics Magazine sheds light into the case after several other reports have acknowledged the presence of malware. Spencer said no other forensics expert noticed the Ahtapot trojan in the OdaTV case, nor has determined accurately how those documents showed up on the journalist's computer. However, almost all the reports have concluded that the incriminating files were planted. "We are not guilty," Baris Pehlivan told Andrada Fiscutean via Motherboard. "The files were put into our computers by a virus and by [attackers] entering the OdaTV office secretly. None of us has seen those documents before the prosecutor showed them to us." (OdaTV is the website Pehlivan works for and "has been critical of the government and the Gulen Movement, which was accused by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan of orchestrating the recent attempted coup.") In regard to the report, senior security consultant at F-Secure, Taneli Kaivola, says, "Yes, [the report] takes an impressive level of conviction to locally attack a computer four times, and remotely attack it seven times [between January 1, 2011, and February 11, 2011], as well as a certain level of technical skill to set up the infrastructure for those attacks, which included document forgery and date and time manipulation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Aluminum NES Maker Announces Smaller, Cheaper Analogue Nt Mini

Slashdot - Mon, 08/22/2016 - 6:40pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Polygon: Analogue, the company behind the aluminum NES known as the Analogue Nt, is releasing a smaller, less expensive version of its console this January. Known as the Analogue Nt mini, the new version of the long-sold out hardware will be 20 percent smaller and carry a lower price: $449. The original Analogue Nt was priced at $499, but its tinier successor will outclass the original model with a better offering, the company says. The mini will comes with RGB and HDMI output (1080p/720p/480p) built in. The console will include a wireless 8Bitdo NES30 controller and Retro Receiver -- compatible with PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii and Wii U Pro Controllers -- as part of the package. In addition, the Nt mini will support over 2,000 NES, Famicom and Famicom Disk System games.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology