Technology

Comcast announces it will raise data cap from 300GB to 1TB on June 1; unlimited data customers will pay $50/month more (Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica)

TechMeme - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 5:15pm

Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
Comcast announces it will raise data cap from 300GB to 1TB on June 1; unlimited data customers will pay $50/month more  —  A Comcastic miracle: Data caps will go from 300GB to a terabyte  —  Going over the cap will be harder, but also more expensive.  —  Comcast today announced …

Categories: Technology

Get Ready for A Beautiful Planet, a Jaw-Dropping IMAX Movie From Space

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 5:14pm
The new IMAX documentary A Beautiful Planet relies on shooting with digital cameras. The post Get Ready for A Beautiful Planet, a Jaw-Dropping IMAX Movie From Space appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Uber's New Policy Fines Riders Who Are Two Minutes Late

Slashdot - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:39pm
Uber says it has revised some of its policies to better compensate its drivers. As part of which, the company is testing charging customers a fee if they make a driver wait for more than two minutes (current waiting time is five minutes). Furthermore, the taxi aggregator says it is changing the ride cancellation grace period from five minutes to two minutes, adding that the fees can range from $5 to $10, depending on your city. Our very own Logan Abbott aka Whipslash faced this issue today. Though he tells us that the company refunded his money after he emailed and filed a complaint. The Verge reports:The feature was built in response to drivers' complaints about waiting for passengers, Uber said. In a statement released to The Verge and TechCrunch, Uber noted that these updated terms would ensure that "the whole system runs more smoothly and the Uber experience improves for everyone." Reduced wait times and the ability to charge for idle time, as well as compensation if riders cancel after two minutes, obviously benefit drivers, earning them a few extra dollars and allowing them to move onto the next fare sooner. But how this will make the passenger experience smoother is unclear. Traffic, wrong turns, and faulty GPS all contribute to making pick-up times unreliable. This can leave passengers out in the cold, waiting for drivers to arrive. Uber explained that if a driver is more than five minutes late for an estimated arrival, users can cancel the ride with no penalty.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

PayPal beats expectations with Q1 net income of $452M, up from $353M last year, and net revenue of $2.54B, up 19% YoY (Ryan Mac/Forbes)

TechMeme - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:35pm

Ryan Mac / Forbes:
PayPal beats expectations with Q1 net income of $452M, up from $353M last year, and net revenue of $2.54B, up 19% YoY  —  PayPal Grows Revenue 19% In Strong First Quarter  —  PayPal reported first quarter earnings for 2016 on Wednesday and continued to show growth in its core payments business.

Categories: Technology

WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: The Shield

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:30pm
Want a "cop who makes his own rules" show that actually goes beyond its trope? We have a show for you to binge. The post WIRED Binge-Watching Guide: The Shield appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Facebook announces it will add a new class of non-voting stock for the company that will help keep Zuckerberg in control (Matthew Lynley/TechCrunch)

TechMeme - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:25pm

Matthew Lynley / TechCrunch:
Facebook announces it will add a new class of non-voting stock for the company that will help keep Zuckerberg in control  —  Facebook is adding a new class of stock that will help keep Zuckerberg in control  —  Facebook today, as part of its earnings release, said it would add a new class …

Categories: Technology

New Node.js v6 boosts security, reliability for IoT jobs

ReadWriteWeb - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:15pm

Amidst the fast-changing landscape of the Internet of Things (IoT), the world’s fastest growing open source platform Node.js launched a major update that will enhance its security, reliability and performance for IoT-related solutions.

News of the update came from the Node.js Foundation, an industry-backed, community-led consortium that developed the open source platform. It announced the release of version 6 of Node.js, a universal platform that is used for IoT, microservice architectures, mobile, web applications and enterprise application development.

Currently Node.js has 3.5 million users and is posting an annual growth rate of 100% – the fasted growing open source platform in the world. The consortium says Node.js is the only unified platform that can be used by full stack JavaScript developers for IoT, mobile, back end and front end projects.

“The Node.js Project has done an incredible job of bringing this version to life in the timeline that we initially proposed in September 2015. It’s important for us to continue to deliver new versions of Node.js equipped with all the cutting-edge JavaScript features to serve the needs of developers and to continue to improve the performance and stability enterprises rely on,” said Node.js Foundation community manager Mikeal Rogers. “This release is committed to Long Term Support, which allows predictable long-term stability, reliability, performance and security to the growing number of enterprise users that are adopting Node.js as a key technology in their infrastructure.”

The Foundation’s diverse member base includes such companies as: Google, SAP, GoDaddy, Fidelity, Groupon, Yahoo! and NodeSource.

Node.js v6 key upgrade is 4x performance

A key upgrade with the latest Node.js version (Node.js v6) is its enhanced performance — four times faster than version 4 — which will significantly cut startup time for large applications.  As well, the latest Node.js version will come equipped with v8 JavaScript engine 5.0, which features improved support for ECMAScript 2015.

Meanwhile, security received upgrading as well, with several new features that make it easier to write secure code for Node.js V6. Its new Buffer API helps cut the risk of vulnerabilities and bugs filtering into applications through a new constructor method for creating Buffer instances. And other enhancements allow developers to use older modules safely that have not been updated for use with the new constructor.

Lastly, reliability has been boosted by a focus on increased testing and documentation for Node.js v6, which assists companies that are currently using the platform or are exploring the possibility in the future.

The post New Node.js v6 boosts security, reliability for IoT jobs appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Even N00bs Can Rock Out on Magic Instruments’ New Guitar

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:09pm
Magic Instruments' guitar isn't a guitar, exactly. But it sounds like one. The post Even N00bs Can Rock Out on Magic Instruments' New Guitar appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Facebook Reports First Quarter 2016 Results and Announces Proposal for New Class of Stock (Facebook)

TechMeme - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:05pm

Facebook:
Facebook Reports First Quarter 2016 Results and Announces Proposal for New Class of Stock  —  Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2016.  —  “We had a great start to the year,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO.

Categories: Technology

Can Halo Sport change our brain efficiency?

ReadWriteWeb - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:00pm

In the era of the quantified self  we are able to use a range of trackers and monitors within the Internet of Things (IoT) to assess and monitor our health throughout each day and night. But a small suite of companies like Thync and Fisher Wallace Laboratories have extended this reach to the use of  wearables to transform the capabilities of the brain to manage conditions like mild fatigue, depression and insomnia.

The latest device comes from Halo Neuro, a headset called Halo Sport, targeting athletes that resembles headphones and uses what it calls neuro-priming – another term for transcranial direct current stimulation which involves the use of electrical pulses to encourage the brain to form new pathways to increase performance. It’s an approach that comes deeply steeped in scientific research. Halo Neuro consists of a team of 20 with impressive credentials, half of which are engineers, the rest doctors and neuroscientists.

I recently spoke to Halo’s co-founder and CEO, Dr. Daniel Chao, about how Halo Sport works and the impetus for the latest wearable.

He explained some of their background research around neuro-priming which involved double-blind, controlled experiments with 1,000 people to determine efficacy and safety:

“A lot of people ask us how we got to the athletic market, certainly not an obvious place for a bunch of neuroscientists to fall into, it was really the data that led us there. In our first year of operation we didn’t think about products or markets, our goal was to generate data from the thousand people and to really let to data drive us to our first market and our first product. We were informed by the published literature and our own results regarding the stimulation of the motor cortex. Only after generating the data did we start to think who would be interested in a motor cortex stimulator. The motor cortex controls movement so the natural affinity was athletes. We starting collaborating with different athletic organizations to test our systems in their population of people, firstly college students and then taking it up the chain to professional Olympic athlete level. We continued to see results at that level.” Halo Sport brings results for U.S. ski team

The results are impressive. On average Halo is shown to increase learning by 50% and overall performance by 10%. The United States Olympic Ski & Snowboard association used Halo and saw a 1.7X increase in performance with their athletes.

Pro athletes everywhere from the NFL‘s combine to MLB teams are using Halo to improve their game. Halo released a limited run of their consumer headsets shipping this fall and they are gearing up to announce a general availability preorder date this fall.

In the first instance the pool of elite athletes seem an odd focus, given the size of the pool – particularly as Chao’s previous business, NeuroPace, developed an FDA-approved implantable brain stimulator for epilepsy.

Dr. Chao explained that the minutiae of improvement in elite sports is why they were the perfect people:

“In elite athletes, 1-2% improvement is huge.  For example, we’ve been doing some work with the US Ski Team. I  was invited to do the World Championships and noticed that with any of these sports at the highest level,  the difference between 1st and 2nd place  – let alone 20th – is just a sliver”.

However Neuro Sport is not limited to athletes in their prime but can have benefits to even the amateur or enthusiastic athlete. I was curious to see if Dr. Chao had tested the headset on himself:

“I’ve used it probably 100 times. I’m an avid cyclist, and in my mid 40s, my personal record is very difficult to beat. These days it’s more about treading water than improving.  There’s a hill north of San Francisco that is notorious for cycling enthusiasts and I beat my personal best by 15 seconds doing a fairly focused training plan. I was really proud of that.”

Halo is already working with some of the nation’s top hospitals on researching the use of their technology to accelerate the rate of recovery in stroke patients. The U.S. Military has accelerated pilot and sniper training by 50% with neurotechnology similar to Halo Sport. Further down the road, Halo plans to release a model to improve memory and hopefully aid Alzheimer’s patients.

The post Can Halo Sport change our brain efficiency? appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Intel Declares Independence From PC, Prioritizes Cloud, IoT and 5G Efforts

Slashdot - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 4:00pm
A week after announcing 12,000 job cuts, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has shared vision for the company, hinting a shift in its prime focus away from PC business. In a blog post, Krzanich said that the company will be actively growing its data center business. The chip maker also plans to focus on chips and technologies for IoT devices. "The biggest opportunity in the Internet of Things is that it encompasses just about everything in our lives today-- it's ubiquitous," Krzanich said. The company also plans to boost its memory chips business and make a push towards utilizing them in data centers and various cloud services. Intel said that it has made several investments in this field, noting the $16 billion acquisition of Altera last year. The company says it will be playing a big role in the move to 5G connectivity. "Connectivity is fundamental to every one of the cloud-to-thing segments we will drive," he writes. Over the years, Intel has failed to keep up with Moore's Law, an axiom that semiconductor density will double about every two years. The company previously extended the timeframe to 2.5 years, but Krzanich assures customers that the they are working to make further advances in order to meet the goal. "Moore's Law is fundamentally a law of economics, and Intel will confidently continue to harness its value," Krzanich said. PCWorld has extensively reported on this.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Netflix to add in-app billing to Android app over the next few weeks, won't charge customers extra for subscriptions (Janko Roettgers/Variety)

TechMeme - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 3:55pm

Janko Roettgers / Variety:
Netflix to add in-app billing to Android app over the next few weeks, won't charge customers extra for subscriptions  —  Netflix to Add In-App Billing to Its Android App, Courtesy of Google Play … Netflix wants to make it easier for Android users to pay for their monthly subscription fees …

Categories: Technology

Culture Podcast: Beyoncé Helps Soothe Our Woes After the Loss of Prince

Wired - Top Stories - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 3:30pm
Some weeks on the podcast, things are pretty leisurely. This was not one of those weeks. The post Culture Podcast: Beyoncé Helps Soothe Our Woes After the Loss of Prince appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Oculus releases a Minecraft version for Gear VR headsets on the Oculus Store for $6.99 (Jeff Grubb/VentureBeat)

TechMeme - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 3:20pm

Jeff Grubb / VentureBeat:
Oculus releases a Minecraft version for Gear VR headsets on the Oculus Store for $6.99  —  Minecraft enters virtual reality on Samsung's Gear VR headset  —  It's time to move beyond the smartphone screen and into the world of Minecraft.  —  Microsoft has launched Minecraft: Gear VR Edition on the Oculus Store for $7.

Categories: Technology

German Nuclear Plant Infected With Computer Virus

Slashdot - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 3:20pm
archatheist shares a Reuters report: A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility's operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station's operator said on Tuesday. The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE. The viruses, which include "W32.Ramnit" and "Conficker", were discovered at Gundremmingen's B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualization software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Smartphone Shipments Flat For the First Time, Says IDC

Slashdot - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 2:42pm
An anonymous reader writes: Smartphone vendors shipped a total of 334.9 million smartphones worldwide last quarter. This figure is up just 0.2 percent from the 334.3 million units in Q1 2015, marking the smallest year-over-year growth on record. We saw hints of this in yesterday's Apple earnings report, when the company reported an iPhone sales drop for the first time. Despite the poor state of the worldwide smartphone market, Samsung continues to dominate. In Q1 2016, the South Korean company once again shipped more smartphones than any other vendor.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

India Makes It Compulsory For Phones To Have a 'Panic Button'

Slashdot - Wed, 04/27/2016 - 2:01pm
Reader itwbennett writes: Starting in January 2017, all feature phones sold in India will need to have a panic button that will alert "police, designated friends and relatives, for immediate response in case of distress or security related issues," said Minister of Communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Twitter late Tuesday. The measure is one of many responses by the Indian government to the growing women safety issues in the country. Furthermore, starting in January 2018, mobile phones will also be required to have GPS systems to help pinpoint the location of the affected person in the event of harassment or distress, said Prasad.Mashable has more details.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology