Latest headlines in Computers News

  • A simple explanation of No Man’s Sky and its internet-fueled controversy (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 12:00:57)
    The first trailer for No Man’s Sky, published in December 2013, promised a universe with enough planets, creatures, and vegetation that it could not be fully explored by one player in a lifetime. My buddy Austin Walker concisely dismantled that logic at Vice before the game’s release, but No Man’s Sky has nonetheless attracted a good deal of controversy. To explain the game, and the community’s reaction, I invited my colleague Andrew Webster to the show.
  • Facebook is giving away the software it uses to understand objects in photos (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 12:00:06)
    Facebook is open sourcing a set of computer vision software tools that can identify both the variety and the shape of objects within photos. The tools, developed by the Facebook AI Research (FAIR) team, are called DeepMask, SharpMask, and MultiPathNet, and all three work in tandem to help break down and contextualize the contents of images. DeepMask and SharpMask are more experimental research projects and focus on what the FAIR team calls segmentation.
  • Auto, technology industries clash over talking cars (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 11:57:32)
    Cars that wirelessly talk to each other are finally ready for the road, creating the potential to dramatically reduce traffic deaths, improve the safety of self-driving cars and someday maybe even help ...
  • Leslie Jones hack reportedly being investigated by the FBI (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 11:49:51)
    The FBI is looking into the hack of comedian Leslie Jones' iCloud account, TMZ reports. The investigation is still in the early stages, and TMZ says the FBI is "developing a strategy" for finding the person or group of people responsible for yesterday's attack. Yesterday afternoon, personal photos were taken from Jones' iCloud account and posted to her Tumblr, along with her driver's license and passport.
  • Google now lets you play solitaire and tic-tac-toe in search (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 11:40:10)
    Google will now allow you to play games with search results. When you search for solitaire or tic-tac-toe, it will return a playable game as a result. Type in solitaire or tic-tac-toe to Google, and it will display the game for you to play, right in the search results.
  • Frank Ocean and the cars of Blonde (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 11:36:33)
    In the essay on the Tumblr account that accompanies his site-specific magazine and album release of Blonde and Endless, Frank Ocean asks, "How much of my life has happened inside of a car?" He recalls his time in a "sinewy crossover SUV," how his manager once rescued him from a bad trip in a Porsche truck, and how after money and fame and London living, he ordered a Porsche GT3 RS, essentially because as a made musician, he could. The essay is the most obvious example to date of the particular way Frank Ocean uses cars in in his writing to unpack exactly how automobiles have shaped him.
  • WhatsApp lied, of course it will share user data with Facebook (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 11:25:26)
    WhatsApp users were rattled more than two years ago when they heard Facebook was ready to pay $19 billion to buy the popular messaging app. The worry was that WhatsApp will share data with Facebook, which would learn even more details about you. At the time, WhatsApp made it clear that something like that won’t happen. But as it turns out, WhatsApp lied. DON’T MISS: iPhone 7: New leak may have just solved the only mystery left WhatsApp will be sharing a limited amount of user data with Facebook , including your phone number, The New York Times reports. That should help Facebook offer better friend suggestions and deliver more relevant ads. Users will be able to opt out of sharing their phone number with Facebook. WhatsApp also wants to make it easier for you to communicate with businesses – or is it the other way around? – without involving spam or banner ads. The company said you won’t see ads in WhatsApp going forward, and that your chats will still be end-to-end encrypted. Facebook or anyone else would not be able to read your messages. “We won’t post or share your WhatsApp number with others, including on Facebook, and we still won't sell, share, or give your phone number to advertisers,” the company wrote. Here’s what WhatsApp’s co-founder Jan Koum said two years ago about what privacy will mean after Facebook acquires the company. “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA, and we built WhatsApp around the goal of knowing as little about you as possible: You don't have to give us your name and we don't ask for your email address,” he wrote. “We don’t know your birthday. We don’t know your home address. We don’t know where you work. We don’t know your likes, what you search for on the internet or collect your GPS location. None of that data has ever been collected and stored by WhatsApp, and we really have no plans to change that.” But Facebook will know a lot of things about you by simply getting access to WhatsApp data, however often that happens. Who knows what will be shared that. No matter how you look at it, you can’t but be disappointed about WhatsApp lying.
  • This year's summer blockbuster is a drone ad (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 11:20:02)
    Wingsland China-based company Wingsland launched its new S6 drone this past week with probably the best short action film that hawks a product. The movie turns the S6 into a protagonist that eventually helps track down criminals with its spotlight and reunite couples through its removable emoji display board. In my unofficial movie critic opinion, this ad is quality viewing. It builds enough mystery to keep the viewer intrigued. S6 is referenced before we know who or what it is. The twist of it being a drone? I didn’t see that coming. And it ends happily! SPOILER ALERT: the S6 saves the day. ...
  • Following widespread backlash, here’s what Respawn is doing to fix ‘Titanfall 2’ (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:56:52)
    Last weekend, after months of anticipation , players finally got their hands on Titanfall 2 . In order to prepare for the game's late October release, Respawn Entertainment launched a Tech Test on PS4 and Xbox One both to stress-test the multiplayer servers and to get valuable feedback from players. As it turns out, not everyone was enthused with the sequel. In fact, the general consensus was widely negative, as Respawn had changed many of Titanfall's fundamental features and slowed the pace of the game to a crawl. DON'T MISS:  How to decode Pokemon Go’s new appraisal feature Thankfully, the Tech Test isn't the final build that will ship to consumers in two months. In preparation for the second Tech Test, which kicks off on Friday, August 26th, Respawn has made several significant changes to the game which should address a vast majority of the issues that players had with the first test. First and foremost, Respawn is adjusting the mobility of the pilots to be more in line with the original Titanfall . Although the slower pace was meant to help with predictability (i.e. getting randomly shot in the back less often), it had some "unintended side effects" as well, such as "causing players to lose momentum while wallrunning." Here are Respawn's solutions to the issue: We’ll be tuning air speed and wall-running speed to be faster. Players should once again accumulate and retain more speed when chaining wallruns. Another change that had players scratching their heads was the lack of guaranteed Titans. In Titanfall , players would slowly build up a Titan meter throughout the match, even if they were standing still. They could speed the meter up by capturing objectives or defeating enemies, but eventually, everyone would get a Titan. In the first Tech Test, this was no longer the case. It was suddenly far more difficult to get a Titan, and if you performed poorly enough, there was a chance you wouldn't get a Titan at all. Respawn has adjusted the meter for Tech Test 2: Pilots will once again acquire a small passive amount of Titan meter every few seconds. These changes alone should satisfy many distraught fans, but there were plenty of other adjustments as well, such as to the survivability of Titans, the mobility of Titans and to the HUD (which some players found distracting). Regardless of whether or not these changes are enough to "fix" Titanfall 2 for the players who were unimpressed by the first Tech Test, it's great to see that Respawn is listening intently to fan feedback in the weeks before launch. Titanfall 2 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 28th.
  • EMC's new Native Hybrid Cloud could make it easier to build cloud-native apps (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:41:50)
    EMC recently announced updates to its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud suite, as well as a new Native Hybrid Cloud on VCE VxRail 200 offering.
  • Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4 has a big 4,100 mAh battery and a tiny price tag (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:40:29)
    Some of the shine is starting to come off Xiaomi, with the Chinese smartphone maker overtaken by domestic rivals in recent sale figures. However, the company's latest handset — the Redmi Note 4 — is sticking with a familiar playbook, offering slick design and plenty of specs without breaking the bank.
  • DJI announces a new Osmo with a zoom lens (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:37:07)
    DJI has just announced an update to the Osmo, the handheld version of the stabilizing gimbal and camera that the company uses on its drones. The new Osmo is on sale starting today for $649. The Osmo+ uses the Zenmuse X3 Zoom camera, a version of the Zenmuse Z3 aerial camera the company announced back in July.
  • In Sweden and Finland, tech companies help refugees find work (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:32:21)
    Both Nordic nations are stretched thin processing thousands of new asylum seekers. The tech industry is lending a much-needed hand.
  • Google Doodle celebrates the diverse beauty of US National Parks (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:30:55)
    The National Park System is turning 100, and The Verge is celebrating with Wilderness Week: a look at the natural world, its freaky critters, and its future. Today's Google Doodle celebrates the 100th anniversary of US National Parks through a video that beautifully illustrates the wonders of nature. The animation highlights all the ways our national parks inspire awe, from the breathtaking landscape of the Grand Canyon to their role as vibrant ecosystems. Designated in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson, the US National Park Service has provided 84 million acres of protected land for the free-spirited to explore.
  • New video goes behind the scenes of an iPhone 7 leak for the first time ever (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:27:26)
    As has been the case in previous years, there’s an increasing number of image and video leaks originating from Asia ahead of the new iPhone launch. We’ve seen the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in a variety of pictures and hands-on videos, although most of them were not functional devices. Instead, we only got to see dummy units. All of them are similar when it comes to overall design, and we’re used to seeing iPhone 7 units pop up in all sorts of colors, including traditional ones and brand new options. Now, anew video goes behind the scenes and gives us an inside look at the facilities that make these iPhone 7 mockups. DON’T MISS: iPhone 7: New leak may have just solved the only mystery left Obtained by Twitter user @the_malignant , the video below shows what appears to be a Rose Gold iPhone 7 Plus that’s about to be engraved with the markings you expect to see on the back of the handset. However, from the looks of that workbench, the machine doesn't appear to be in a Foxconn or Pegatron plant. In fact, it’s beyond unlikely someone would be able to capture video of an unreleased iPhone device from inside Foxconn or Pegatron. https://twitter.com/the_malignant/status/768505918447296513 The iPhone in the video looks very much like most of the iPhone 7 units that have popped up on Weibo and YouTube in recent weeks. And it's shops with equipment like the machine you see above make them. The models are then used by case makers and other iPhone accessory companies — and they're shown off in leaks, of course. That’s not to say that these iPhone 7 models aren't accurate in terms of design. It just goes to show that people who are in the business of making iPhone clones are getting better and better at it. It's believed that these dummy units are based on actual iPhone 7 schematics that leaked from Foxconn months ago. Apple should unveil the iPhone 7 in early September, and launch it by the end of the month.
  • WhatsApp draws closer to Facebook, makes it easier for businesses to message you (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:21:27)
    WhatsApp finally updates its terms and conditions, two years after being bought by Facebook.
  • Amazon offers up car advice with Amazon Vehicles (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:19:54)
    The new site within Amazon.com can steer you to research on thousands of cars and trucks, as well as customer reviews.
  • WhatsApp to share user data with Facebook (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:19:39)
    Mobile messaging service WhatsApp on Thursday announced it would begin sharing subscriber data with parent Facebook, giving advertisers better access to information on WhatsApp's one billion-strong user base. The company said the change would allow Facebook to target advertising at WhatsApp users who are also on the social media platform, and help WhatsApp fight spam on its service. "By connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them," WhatsApp said in a statement.
  • All Queens Must Die (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:09:19)
    The cows were the first to go because cows are big, and killing them was easy. The ranchers on Santa Cruz Island had been killing cattle for more than century already. Rounded up, marched onto ships and motored 20 miles across the Pacific to mainland California, the cows were slaughtered, just like they’d been slaughtered for a hundred years, or longer even. By the early 1980s, the cows were gone. So were nearly all the ranchers. All Queens Must DieOn Santa Cruz Island, they killed the cows, sheep, and bees. Now it’s time to finish the job
  • Yosemite, and President Obama, head into virtual reality (Yahoo Tech 2016-08-25 10:01:33)
    In a new project with National Geographic, Barack Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to project himself into virtual reality — in this case, a 360-degree representation of Yosemite National ...