Matthew Simmons

Matthew Simmons

Followers 63
Following 22
UK
The US State Department experienced a worldwide outage on Friday (18 August) that affected its entire unclassified system.Officials said the system-wide outage began early Friday morning around 2am EST."We are working to restore service as soon as possible.Other communication systems are available and being used," the Department said in a statement.During a press conference on Friday, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert described the downtime as a "technical glitch".Service was eventually restored by early afternoon, Reuters reported.
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UK
Judges frown upon fishing for incriminating data on phonesThe US Circuit Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia on Friday overturned the conviction of a gang member because investigators obtained a search warrant for his devices without probable cause.In other words, crucial evidence obtained by investigators using a search warrant to seize and scan all phones and other gadgets on sight has been thrown out.Ezra Griffith, of Washington DC, was found guilty in 2013 of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, having been previously convicted of attempted robbery.The then 23-year-old came under the suspicion of DC police officers investigating a gang-related murder due to his involvement with a rival gang and because of surveillance video.His arrest on firearms charges followed a search of his girlfriend's apartment that resulted in the recovery of a gun, something Griffith could not lawfully possess.
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It worked, but felt far less futuristic than "real" Alexa on an Echo speaker.Now, nearly two years later, Fire TV owners can finally command their devices with a simple "Alexa..." command, without having to use any remote.I found that like many Alexa skills I had to get the commands right (namely, remember to say "Alexa" a lot and "Fire TV" occasionally) but once I got the hang of that, it worked great.If you only have one Fire TV device, Amazon says Alexa can link them automatically using a voice command, but since I wanted to test multiple Fire TV devices, I had to link them using the Alexa app.Despite appearing to be linked, and having the latest software according to the menus, both failed to work with Alexa.Instead my Dot issued responses such as, "I had trouble communicating with your device.
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US
Perhaps one of the most poorly named products in recent memory, the new Essential phone arrives just in time to make us wonder why it even exists.Using a “modular” design, the idea is to add pieces like a 360-degree camera or maybe some sort of connected home gadget to the smartphone, which runs a stock version of Android.It also uses a slick black enclosure, something that might make you think of a recent Blackberry model.While the modular design seems novel (Motorola does the same thing) and I’m impressed that any company would even try to go up against Apple and Samsung, there’s already some signs that this will be an uphill climb.It also costs $699, which is not exactly a budget price.Worse, the one unusual feature related to adding modules is the one thing that also makes it a little less compelling.
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UK
Fisker’s new electric car will make its official debut at CES 2018, with the Fisker EMotion promising not only zero-emissions but full autonomous driving.Preorders of the car began in June, with Fisker taking a $2,000 deposit for what’s expected to be a $129k EV by the time it actually launches.However, so far potential owners have had to take a lot on faith.That’s because only a few details about the EMotion have actually been shared until now.Fisker is the latest automaker from Henrik Fisker, who previously set up Fisker Automotive and created the sinuous Fisker Karma.That struggled with reliability issues, was slammed by Consumer Reports, and then saw its maker declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013.
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UK
If you’re a professional photographer who assumed that slapping an obtrusive watermark across your work would protect it from being misused online, Google’s got some bad news for you.A team of researchers from the company has found a way to automatically and perfectly erase the watermarks used by popular stock photography organisations.Before this research was recently presented at the 2017 Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference, the easiest way to remove a watermark from an image was to either pay for the rights to use it, or go the slightly less easy route and spend an hour in Photoshop painstakingly erasing any overlaid graphics, which more often than not yielded poor results.Even the advanced automated cloning and erasing tools in the latest versions of Photoshop can’t completely erase a watermark without a lot of human assistance, but Google’s new software can, as long as it’s able to study a large batch of sample images that have all been watermarked with the same logo or artwork.It’s much easier to remove a watermark from a photo if you can extract a copy of those overlaid graphics first.So what Google’s software does is first scan thousands of sample images from a given stock photo provider, comparing each one until it detects a repeating pattern that inevitably reveals the watermark being used.
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US
Not that you’ll get a good look at much besides its backlit outline.And sure, it is uncanny and cool that the moon sits at just the right distance from the Earth to blot out the sun.Let’s go with moon fans—know the moon’s real calling card is its wild topography, visible almost nightly with the right telescope.The San Francisco-based company also created a smartphone augmented reality app to work with it: Aim your phone’s camera at the model, and labels pop up over the craters, mare, and Apollo landing sites.The models are called Lunars, and they come in three sizes, from a little bigger than an eyeball to a little smaller than a brain.This is all pretty remarkable, given that nobody even knew what the far side of the moon looked like until 1959, when the Soviet Union's Luna 3 probe sent back its first grainy images.
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China
Most of the nation should see fairly quiet weather Monday for the Great American Eclipse, the National Weather Service said.Folks in a narrow swathe of land from Oregon to South Carolina will see the total eclipse, while most of the rest of North America, along with portions of South America, Africa and Europe, will see a partial eclipse.The cloudiest and potentially rainiest spots should be the Upper Midwest and the Southeast, the weather service predicts.The cloudy skies in the Upper Midwest will be due to a storm that’s forecast to push through the region, while the view in the Southeast could be marred because of typical afternoon summer thunderstorms.Morning low clouds could also fill skies in coastal areas of Washington, Oregon and California, AccuWeather said.But other than those cloudy skies, most of the West should have clear or mostly clear skies for eclipse viewing, especially in eastern Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming.
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China
The Azdome DAB211 is the latest product launched by the Chinese company specialized in car dashcams.The camera is equipped with an Ambarella A12 chip and an OV4689 image sensor.This combo should be able to bring high quality video and a smooth user experience.The DAB211 is also filled with really useful features, such as built-in GPS, 150 wide angle, ADAS, hidden design, starlight night vision, HDR and more.For these reason the camera can be adapted to different usage scenarios.The Azdome DAB211 comes with that the company calls “hidden design”, meaning the camera isn’t easy to spot, and behind it we find a big 2.31-inch LCD display.
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China
MGCOOL have just released a video introduction of the recently launched MGCOOL Explorer 2C action cam.One of the best features on the camera is the 2-inch display on the back and a super easy to use UI, which is what we see being worked on at the beginning of the video.Let’s check it out down below!In the video we can see the different shooting modes and features the camera packs, going from time-lapse to slow-motion videos and light painting photography.The Explorer 2C also comes with gyro stabilization and an advanced 7 glass HD lens coupled with a 170-degree wide angle lens.The camera also comes with a waterproof case which allows you to bring it up to 30 meters underwater.
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China
Although China’s e-commerce industry is growing at a rapid rate, industry experts point to offline infrastructure as a future bottleneck unless more investment is made in this area.Online retail sales in mainland China amounted to 5.156 trillion yuan (US$764.85 billion) in 2016 – equal to 3,729 yuan per capita – up 26.3 per cent from sales in the previous year, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.From 2007 to 2016 the sector grew at a compound annual growth rate of 67.2 per cent.More than 60 per cent of Tmall International’s orders are fulfilled via the bonded online shopping model, according to the mall’s operator Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post.For consumers, the bonded model provides buyer protection and shortens delivery times, while for customs it reduces the number of directly shipped packages that must be handled and, in theory, cuts the number of untaxed parcels entering the country, according to Alibaba.“I am positive on the e-commerce trend but it is obviously more complicated than just supply and demand,” said Tammy Tang, executive director of industrial services in China for Colliers International.
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China
The Hangzhou Court of the Internet—said to be to first internet court in the world—officially went into operation today.The court was launched in June and plans to accept filings electronically and try cases via live stream.Its main task is to handle the rising number of online disputes, including copyrights, purchases, defamation, contracts, and loans.The Hangzhou cyber court will have jurisdiction over certain online and e-commerce related cases in the Hangzhou area and will use an online platform that allows people to file cases and attend trials, according to China Law Blog.Hangzhou was chosen because it is the home of many internet companies, including Alibaba.In recent years, the city has seen a surge of e-commerce related cases and has decided to run a pilot program for disputes coming from the online sphere in 2015.
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China
After announcements that Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, JD, and ten other companies will acquire China Unicom (中国联通) shares at a price of RMB 78 billion ($11.7 billion), sales of shares in China Unicom’s Hong Kong listed units were suspended without explanation on Wednesday leading to confusion in the market.Trading of the company’s Shanghai-listed shares was stopped in April.However, China Unicom issued a public announcement yesterday, saying that the suspension is due to technical reasons and that will be no changes in the agreement.The company will disclose the non-public offering plan and other relevant documents within three trading days and resume trading on Monday, according to TMT (in Chinese).Unicom is set to sell 10.9 billion shares, or 35% of its shares, to a total of 14 companies, which besides BAT, include JD, Didi, and Suning.The shares will be sold for RMB 6.80 each.
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UK
When staff at CyberKeel investigated email activity at a medium-sized shipping firm, they made a shocking discovery."Someone had hacked into the systems of the company and planted a small virus," explains co-founder Lars Jensen.Whenever one of the firm's fuel suppliers would send an email asking for payment, the virus simply changed the text of the message before it was read, adding a different bank account number.The firm was launched more than three years ago after Mr Jensen teamed up with business partner Morten Schenk, a former lieutenant in the Danish military who Jensen describes as "one of those guys who could hack almost anything".The consequences of suffering from the NotPetya cyber-attack for Maersk included the shutting down of some port terminals managed by its subsidiary APM.Breaking into a shipping firm's computer systems can allow attackers to access sensitive information.
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Mic.com laid off staffers on Thursday in what is part of a larger pivot to video that it will begin later this month.The millennial-news site said in a memo circulated among staffers that it would lay off 25 people, primarily from its news and editorial departments this morning amid a larger reorganization of the company."We made these tough decisions because we believe deeply in our vision to make Mic the leader in visual journalism and we need to focus the company to deliver on our mission," founder Chris Altchek wrote."As new platforms emerge and existing platforms continue to grow, we believe this will become a dominant form of news consumption for our audience," he wrote.Mic will hold an all-hands meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss the changes.Some staffers have speculated about layoffs since the company announced it would hold a daylong meeting on August 24 to discuss the future of the company.
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Ford’s first truck, the Model TT, went on sale in 1917.In the 100 years since, the Blue Oval company has established a vehicle lineup that is one of the most recognizable in the world with its F-Series full-size pickup truck.With only two model years under its belt, the 2018 F-150 is merely a mild refresh.Although significant changes are minimal, year-over-year updates include increases in power, payload, and fuel efficiency.Automatic start-stop is now included and a segment-first 10-speed automatic transmission is available on all models not equipped with the 3.3-liter V6.All cabs can be ordered with either two- or four-wheel drive, and all but the high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine can be selected for any cab configuration.
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Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group got one step closer Thursday to setting up shop in Wisconsin.The Wisconsin state assembly voted to approve a $3 billion tax-incentive package for the Taiwanese firm to build a display-panel plant that Gov.Scott Walker says will bring thousands of jobs to the state.Mr. Walker said the vote was “the next big step in bringing a high-tech ecosystem to Wisconsin.”Foxconn, best known for assembling Apple Inc. iPhones in China, is planning to build a $10 billion, 20 million square-foot campus that will primarily produce high-resolution liquid-crystal displays used in smartphones and car dashboards in addition to TVs.The deal was announced last month at a White House ceremony as part of President Donald Trump’s efforts to revive the U.S. manufacturing industry.
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China
Xiaomi's first offline experience store in the northwestern region of China opened in Wangfujing Outlets, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.On the first day of the opening of this new store, it welcomed 12,000 customers and realized sales of CNY596,000.This is the eighth store under the cooperation between Wangfujing Group and Xiaomi and it is also the first Xiaomi store that opens in Wangfujing Outlets.With an operating area of 215 square meters, the new store includes a 125-square-meter customer experience zone, a 50-square-meter product sales zone, and a rest area.Products displayed in the store include Xiaomi's smartphones, laptops, home appliances, and electronic product accessories.Yang Haiyan, general manager of Hohhot Wangfujing Outlets, said that the arrival of Xiaomi further improves the brand quality of Hohhot Wangfujing Outlets and expands their category operating models.
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UK
Internet companies typically take a hands-off approach to offensive content on their networks, erring on the side of maintaining an open internet.For Twitter, the debate has bubbled up in the form of rampant harassment, and the company has responded by slowly, grudgingly blocking high-profile harassers from its platform.After a violent weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended with a protester being killed, that fight has focused on GoDaddy, Cloudflare, and other companies that provide web hosting and DDoS protection for neo-Nazi websites like The Daily Stormer.“I think we have to have a conversation over what part of the infrastructure stack is right to police content.”Prince explained in an internal email to staffers that he doesn’t think CEOs of internet companies should be in the position of policing content on their networks—he told Gizmodo he thinks that’s a job that should ultimately be left up to law enforcement if the content violates the law—but felt pushed to act because the operators of the Daily Stormer are “assholes.”“I realised there was no way we were going to have that conversation with people calling us Nazis,” Prince said.
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Cable giant HBO’s very embarrassing 2017 has continued to get more embarrassing.On Wednesday night, hacker squad OurMine Security Group compromised Game of Thrones’ Twitter account, posting a message to its 6 million plus followers saying “Hi, OurMine are here, we are just testing your security.”“HBO team please contact us to upgrade the security - ourmine .org -> Contact,” the hackers added.The post has since been removed.OurMine has a history of targeting everyone from corporate CEOs to BuzzFeed.It says it is a white hat group, though it usually tries to hit up its targets with a sales pitch.
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