p US lawmakers try to clear up FTC control over data collectionThe US Representatives who just weeks ago repealed privacy rules for ISPs now want to enact a new set of restrictions.Tennessee Republican rep Marsha Blackburn is sponsoring the bill [PDF], known cheekily as the "Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (or BROWSER) Act of 2017."The bill would explicitly set the terms under which ISPs could collect and distribute information on their customers, and when they would need to get opt-in or opt-out permission.It would also establish US trade watchdog the FTC as the governing body for internet privacy rules.The BROWSER Act would require ISPs to get user consent when using collected information for purposes other than billing, security, or emergency response.
p But boffins say better tools are needed to nab scofflawsResearchers analyzing the emissions defeat devices found in automobiles made by the Volkswagen Group and Chrysler Fiat Automobiles have developed a way to test software for misbehavior, but they caution that lack of visibility into programming code could pose a challenge for regulators.In 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency charged Volkswagen AG and its subsidiaries, Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America, with violating the Clean Air Act.The agency said the company had used a "defeat device" to alter diesel engine emissions on vehicles over the span of several years during regulatory testing.The scandal claimed the company's CEO at the time, Martin Winterkorn, and is expected to cost the company at least $18.3 billion.In April, a US judge hit the company with a $2.8 billion criminal fine.
p DJI has announced that drone operators with one of its aerial vehicles will experience restricted operation if they update to the latest firmware or software but fail to properly activate the product afterward.This is part of a ‘new application process’ the company detailed over the weekend, saying that it applies to all of its customers except those located in China.Failing to update will cause camera streaming to be disabled and more.This appears to be a move on DJI’s part to ensure that its customers’ drones are equipped with the necessary information for regulations in their own country.The activation requirement will kick off the end of this week and will apply to anyone who updates their drone with the new firmware, with the only exception being the A3 and N3 standalone products.This requirement also applies for those who use any of the DJI GO or GO 4 mobile apps at any point in the future.
p "If you're considering sharing confidential information to a reporter – or to anyone externally – for the love of all that's Googley, please reconsider!So reads an ominous email titled "INTERNAL ONLY.REALLY" sent from the head of investigations at Google, Brian Katz.Katz was responding to a leak of internal jokes about Nest CEO Tony Fadell as well as a transcript of a talk he gave to an "open meeting" of Google employees.Except one of the people Katz fired claims he didn't leak anything.And so late last year he sued Google for unjustly terminating his contract and pointed the finger at a corporate culture of secrecy and fear.
p The world of Pokemon merchandise is as wide as it is deep.From Build-A-Bear stuffed animals to trading cards, there’s some kind of Pokemon merchandise for everyone out there.Today we can add one more group of people to that list: the ultra-rich.Swiss watchmaker Romain Jerome has introduced a brand new luxury watch that has sports a Pokemon theme, but if you want one, it’s going to cost you a lot of money.That’s the asking price for this timepiece, the Tourbillon Pokemon, forcing it well into the realm of luxury watches.For that amount, you’d expect it to be adorned with diamonds or something like that, but at first glance, it certainly doesn’t appear to be something that demands a quarter of a million dollars.
p Universal has officially unveiled the “Dark Universe,” the name for its shared universe of monster movie reboots now kicking off with The Mummy next month.It’s also confirmed some major cast members and the next ghoulish entry in the franchise.Announced in a press release today, Bride of Frankenstein, due out February 14, 2019, will be directed by Beauty and the Beast’s Bill Condon as the next entry in the series — taking the place of a previously planned, unrevealed title originally due for release on April 13, 2018.Casting for the titular Bride is underway, with an announcement due soon.The movie and its rebranding for the Dark Universe was also accompanied today with a teaser highlighting a new theme composed by the legendary Danny Elfman, which will appear in The Mummy and recur throughout future movies in the franchise.Aside from the Bride of Frankenstein announcement, Universal also further confirmed that the previously-rumoured Johnny Depp and Javier Bardem will be coming aboard the Dark Universe as the Invisible Man and Frankenstein’s Monster, respectively, in future films—joining Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, and Sofia Boutella as main stars in the spooktacular monsterverse.
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p A failed computer will result in two astronauts conducting an emergency spacewalk at the International Space Station tomorrow, NASA has announced, enabling the ISS to resume operations with its primary (rather than backup) system.The computer is one of two units that control systems on the space station, though NASA reassures everyone that none of t he astronauts have been or will be in danger from the computer failure.NASA announced the planned spacewalk on Sunday, saying that the ISS’s backup system is currently controlling some of its equipment and systems.The space box that will replace the failed computer has already been tested and deemed suitable.Both station commander Peggy Whitson and flight engineer Jack Fischer from NASA will be conducting the spacewalk.The space agency estimates that it will take two hours to conduct the spacewalk.
p Apple will unveil the next big thing for its various software operating systems at WWDC 2017, including iOS 11 and the next macOS major update.But the iPhone maker is also tipped to launch a variety of new products at the show, including the Siri speaker, a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and new MacBooks.A new report says that Apple is indeed expected to launch new laptops this quarter, and there’s reason to be excited.In a new research note to customers, TrendForce said that notebooks are having a little moment, again.Shipments for the first quarter of the year grew by 6.1% compared to last year, totaling around 37.81 million.That’s a 15.6% decline from the Christmas quarter, but still an impressive result for the period.
p If you’re thinking about buying an Xbox One S, then good news: Microsoft has announced a new price cut to help tempt you further.The promotion drops the price on a few different Xbox One S bundles, meaning that you’ll have a pack-in game and in some cases a special edition console to look forward to.Even better is the fact that this sale is on 1TB console bundles, giving you plenty of storage right from the start.There are three bundles at the center of this sale – the Battlefield 1 special edition bundle, Gears of War 4 bundle, and the Halo Wars 2 bundle.In the case of the Battlefield 1 bundle, you’ll be getting a special edition console, and though the image Microsoft shared shows a standard Xbox One S in the Gears 4 bundle, the one that features a limited edition red console is also on sale.With this promotion, you’ll be saving $50 off the cost of one of these consoles.
p 'Orphan memory' could unlock more secrets hidden in our universeA team of physicists has proposed a new idea about gravitational waves that will allow other researchers to find more exotic objects in space.Gravitational waves, which were predicted by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, were finally detected in September 2015.These waves are produced as objects in space accelerate and move, leaving behind a ripple of energy that travels through spacetime.The signals left over allow researchers to piece together information behind the source of the emissions.So far, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) has only detected particularly violent events, such as the merging of black holes.
p We’ve heard so many times that companies are going to start testing 5G networks “soon” that it’s actually surprising when a test really takes place.But don’t let all noise around 5G diminish from a new test by Verizon and Ericsson, which achieved a 6.4Gbps connection in a car being driven around a racetrack.The test happened in a car so that it could be gratuitously pegged to the Indy 500 race next weekend.But conducting a speed test in a moving vehicle really is a significant real-world milestone.It’s easy enough to get insane transmission speeds in a controlled lab environment, using a bunch of big antennas aimed at each other.But taking that connection out into the real world, and putting it on top of a moving target, is a very different proposition.
p LG has announced that its latest X-series smartphone, the LG X Venture, is launching in the United States through AT This handset is designed for ‘active lifestyles’ and others who require a rugged phone capable of withstanding demanding use.The LG X Venture, among other things, is MIL-STD 810G tested and includes things like a waterproof design able to handle submersion in up to 1.5m of water for up to half an hour at a time.The LG X Venture, which will be launching in countries around the world including in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, features a 5.2-inch Full HD (423ppi) resolution display alongside a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor and 2GB of RAM.The phone features 32GB of internal storage space as well as a microSD card slot that supports cards up to 2TB in capacity.Other features include a 16-megapixel rear camera with a standard-angle lens, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera with a wide-angle lens, as well as a 4,100mAh battery, Android 7.0 Nougat, and support for 4G LTE networks.Connectivity includes NFC, Bluetooth 4.2, and 802.11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi.
p This month we had a chat with author Walter Isaacson about his work on humanizing several of histories most influential geniuses.Isaacson is the author of Steve Jobs’ most famous biography – you might remember him from this 60 Minutes interview given after Jobs’ death.In 2007 he released the book “Einstein: His Life and Universe”, and in 2017, National Geographic began releasing the episodic TV series “Genius” using Isaacson’s biography.Researching geniuses like Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs gave Isaacson a unique depth in understanding how they worked and lived.Isaacson’s next project involves yet another genius that we can’t help but cross our fingers might someday be the subject of another bio-pic: Leonardo da Vinci.With the Steve Jobs movies, I had less involvement.
p Fallout from the cataclysmic Fyre Festival is still going, per a new report in the New York Times, and it’s spread from its owner and organisers to Bahamian locals.If you’ll recall, Fyre Media co-owners Billy McFarland, 25, and rapper turned mojito-mogul, Ja Rule, sold 8,000 tickets to a two-weekend music festival in the Bahamas.The gathering was heavily promoted — it was hawked by high-profile models like Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski, and promised headlining acts like Blink-182, Migos, and Iggy Azalea.As the world would very quickly learn, however, none of that happened — in fact, the entire thing was a giant clusterfuck.Festival attendees quickly slapped Ja and McFarland with a £80 million class action lawsuit, alleging fraud and negligence.But now, though festival attendees have largely made it back from the carnage, it turns out that local businesses and residents may have gotten the worst part of the deal.
p Ever since Pokemon Go launched last July, players have been wondering when and how they would be able to get their hands on Legendary Pokemon like Zapdos, Moltres and Mewtwo.None of them were available when the game launched, and even with the addition of Generation 2 Pokemon, we’ve still never seen a Legendary Pokemon in-game.That’s going to change before the end of the summer.At the 21st Annual Webby Awards last week, Pokemon Go received a great deal of attention, culminating with the award for “Best Mobile Game.” Niantic global marketing lead Archit Bhargava was in attendance to accept the award, and gave the following acceptance speech: “This summer will be legendary.”You can see the moment for yourself at the 18:52 mark in the video below:Niantic has not given any specific release dates for its future updates, but it sure sounds like we’re going to see at least one Legendary Pokemon in Pokemon Go at some point in the next few months.
p One down, at least seven more to goComputer-controlled locks are some of the more popular Internet of Things devices making it into the home, and in the first settlement of its kind, the New York Attorney General has reached an agreement with a manufacturer to make them more secure against hackers.Of the dozen locks tried, eight were breakable by sniffing communications between the machinery and the app controlling it, and one of the remaining devices was so poorly made it could be opened with a screwdriver.Two of the devices mentioned, the QuickLock Padlock and QuickLock Doorlock sold by SafeTech in Utah, were beatable because the signals were sent in plain text rather than being encrypted."Today's settlement with SafeTech marks the first time an Attorneys General's Office has taken legal action against a wireless security company for failing to protect their customers' personal and private information," said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman."Companies employing new technologies must implement and promote good security practices and ensure that their products are secure, including through the use of encryption.
p Things are about to get very quiet in Eastern TexasThe US Supreme Court has issued a ruling that could block patent-holding firms from seeking out friendly courts to hear their infringement claims.An 8-0 ruling by the nation's top court in the TC Heartland v Kraft Foods [PDF] case held that a company can be sued only in the state where it is incorporated, rather than in any district where the company happens to do business.The unanimous decision (newcomer Neil Gorsuch did not take part in the hearing) will place stricter limitations on where patent infringement suits can take place, and will bar plaintiffs from seeking out friendly judges more likely to side with patent holders (such as the infamous Eastern District of Texas).The Supreme Court's ruling overturns a US Circuit Court finding, which held that any place a company fell under jurisdiction could be the venue for a patent hearing.Rather, the Supreme Court says, courts should follow a 1957 ruling that sets the defendant's place of incorporation as the venue for infringement cases to take place.
p Thus far, the Far Cry series has put us in a number of exotic locations.The first and third games took place on tropical islands, while Far Cry 2 was set in Africa and Far Cry 4 took us to Himalayas.With those locales under its belt, it might strike some folks as a bit of a surprise to learn that Far Cry 5 will be set in Montana.Yes, the fifth Far Cry will be making something of a departure from previous games in the series, dropping players in the state ranked 44th in terms of overall population, Montana.Joking aside, Montana does offer a varied landscape, with mountains, badlands, plains, lakes, and prairies, so if we’re looking for a Far Cry with a beautiful environment as the backdrop, Montana should prove to be a good choice.Unfortunately, the debut teaser trailer tells us almost nothing about the game.
p In a major shakeup today, Ford has ousted longtime CEO Mark Fields and replaced him with Jim Hackett, the former executive in charge of Ford’s self-driving car program and a widely acknowledged “transformational business leader.”Hackett’s experience will be a huge change from Fields, who was the definition of a company man.Fields was recruited by Ford in 1989 and worked his way up through the business, starting with regional positions and moving up to the Chief Operating Officer by 2012.He was appointed CEO in 2014, but since then Ford’s share price has plummeted by 40%.Ford’s board of directors is clearly moving in a different direction with the new CEO.Rather than putting its faith in someone who knows the car industry inside out, it’s chosen a man with proven success steering an established company through a major change.
p Nest is working on a new security camera product, at least according to a newly surfaced source, that features 4K resolution able to facilitate high-resolution zooming within a 1080p Full HD video.According to the leak, this camera product will be intended for home security and feature ‘advanced smart features’ like automatic zooming in on a region when the camera detects motion.The camera will work with a home’s WiFi network to provide remote access, as well.The information comes from Android Police, which reports that the source behind the information is trustworthy and that there’s full confidence in this product’s existence.The idea behind the camera, per that source, seems to be a sort of ‘futuristic’ zooming feature that leverages 4K’s high resolution to provide high-resolution zooming within a room.As one example, this Nest camera will provide a 1080p Full HD video feed of the room being monitored by the camera.
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