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Latest Technology News (RSS feed)
IBM shareholder sues company, alleging it overvalued chip unit

A worker is pictured behind a logo at the IBM stand on the CeBIT computer fair in HanoverBy Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - IBM Corp was sued on Monday by a shareholder that said it committed securities fraud by failing to write down a money-losing semiconductor unit before agreeing to pay another company $1.5 billion to take that unit off its hands. The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court arose from IBM's announcement last Oct. 20 that it would sell the unit to GlobalFoundries Inc, and take a related $4.7 billion pre-tax charge. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc is among IBM's largest shareholders. According to the complaint, IBM inflated its stock price before selling the semiconductor unit by carrying the unit's property, plant and equipment assets on its books at $2.4 billion, when it should have known the assets were worthless.


Exclusive: Obama sharply criticizes China's plans for new technology rules

U.S. President Obama speaks during an interview with Reuters at the White House in WashingtonBy Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Monday sharply criticized China's plans for new rules on U.S. tech companies, urging Beijing to change the policy if it wants to do business with the United States and saying he had raised it with President Xi Jinping. In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he was concerned about Beijing's plans for a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the passcodes that help protect data, and install security "backdoors" in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access. "This is something that I’ve raised directly with President Xi," Obama said. "We have made it very clear to them that this is something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States." The Chinese government sees the rules as crucial to protect state and business secrets.


Washington says waiting for China response on tech rule concerns

A map of China is seen through a magnifying glass on a computer screen showing binary digits in SingaporeThe Obama administration is waiting for China to respond to concerns raised about planned new rules pushing Chinese banks to purchase high-tech products from domestic vendors, a senior State Department official said on Monday. U.S. business groups have complained about the regulations, and senior officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, have written to their Chinese counterparts about them. "We have put forward our position and we ... have to see now what actions they take, but they have certainly registered that we have put forward our concerns," Catherine Novelli, under secretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment, told reporters at a round table discussion. Draft Chinese government regulations would force technology vendors to meet stringent security tests before they can sell to China's banks.


Connecticut launches probe into Lenovo use of Superfish software

Lenovo tablets and mobile phones are displayed during a news conference on the company's annual results in Hong KongConnecticut Attorney General George Jepsen's office said on Monday it has launched an investigation into Lenovo Group Ltd's sales of laptops pre-loaded with Superfish software, which the U.S. government last month warned made users vulnerable to cyber attacks. The office said that Jepsen last week sent letters to Lenovo, the world's biggest personal computer maker, and privately held software maker Superfish asking them to provide information, including contracts and emails that discuss their partnership. Reports that the pre-loaded software tracks users' web searching and browsing for advertising purposes are "alarming revelations" that suggest Lenovo may have "seriously undermined computer users' online security and privacy," Jepsen said in his Feb. 27 letter to Lenovo. A Lenovo spokesman said the company has seen Jepsen's letter "and will cooperate in responding to the query." Superfish has not yet received the letter but expects to cooperate fully with the investigation, according to an email from a spokeswoman.


Sony Mobile head says division is not being sold: Le Figaro

Sony's Xperia Aqua models are shown at the Mobile World Congress in BarcelonaThe head of Sony Mobile told French daily newspaper Le Figaro that the division is not being sold, only two weeks after Sony Corp Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said he would not rule out considering an exit strategy. "At the beginning of February there was speculation about a sale of Sony Mobile," division head Hiroki Totoki was quoted as saying by the newspaper in an interview published on its website late on Monday. "It's completely untrue." Totoki said that Sony Corp CEO Hirai had come to Barcelona, where the Mobile World Congress is taking place this week, to speak about "the importance of this business for Sony". Totoki also told Le Figaro that Sony Mobile's portfolio of products is too diverse and needs to be refocused.


Intel launches chip for new push into low-price smartphones

The sign hanging outside the Intel booth is seen at the International Consumer Electronics show (CES) in Las VegasBy Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Intel Corp is shipping new mobile chips that represent the semiconductor company's biggest hope for making progress in smartphones this year. Responding to a growing market in China for low-cost handsets often priced below $100, Intel announced plans for the chip, code named Sofia, in late 2013 at a meeting with investors. "We went from PowerPoint to shipping in 15 months," said Aicha Evans, General Manager of Intel's Platform Engineering Group. As well as smartphones, the Sofia chip fills a gap in Intel's lineup of chips for tablets.


What is the Game Developers Conference and why does it matter?

What is the Game Developers Conference and why does it matter?This week, many of the people who design, publish, teach, and promote video games are meeting in San Francisco for the annual Game Developers Conference. While it lacks the glitz and bombast of the better known Electronic Entertainment Expo, the conference is no less an important meeting for the video game industry. Here many industry veterans and newcomers mingle, sharing their ideas and experiences. It's part video game designer boot camp and class reunion.


Android TV can soon turn phones into game controllers

Android TV can soon turn phones into game controllersGoogle sells a very traditional controller for those who want to play games on an Android TV, but soon, you may not need to buy one. Google is rolling out a new set of tools for developers that includes the ability to turn nearby Android phones into custom controllers. It also makes the investment to start gaming smaller for those who already own an Android phone.


Tim Cook talks Edward Snowden, Apple Car and more in new interview
As part of Tim Cook’s recent worldwide tour, which has included stops in Israel, Germany, and the U.K, the Apple CEO recently sat down for a far ranging interview with the German-language newspaper BILD (paywall required). The interview touched on a number of interesting topics, including Cook’s thoughts on Edward Snowden, Steve Jobs, and, of course, what Cook makes of all the Apple Car rumors that have sprung up in recent weeks. Don’t Miss: Tim Cook spills key new details about the Apple Watch On the topic of Snowden, Cook refrained from giving his thoughts on Snowden’s decision to leak what ostensibly seems to be the entirety of the NSA’s playbook. Still, he did note that the entire affair was beneficial
Google selling wireless plans to get more people online

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Android, Chrome and Apps, talks during a conference during the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Search giant, self-driving car developer, smartphone and tablet maker. Turned data plan provider?


Here are some of the outrageous cars coming to this year's Geneva Motor Show

Here are some of the outrageous cars coming to this year's Geneva Motor ShowPress days for this year's Geneva Motor Show officially kick off tomorrow, March 3rd — but many of the announcements have already started to trickle out. Here's just a small taste of the insanity: Aston Martin will be unveiling its most outrageous production car ever, Lamborghini is showing an even hotter version of the blistering Aventador, and Mercedes-Benz appears to have gone full YOLO with a lemon-lime Geländewagen that's been tricked out with enough offroading hardware to survive the surface of Mars.


Former HP chairman admits 'mistake' in venture firm sexism trial

Lane appears at San Francisco Superior CourtOnetime highflying tech executive Ray Lane testified on Monday during a sex discrimination trial involving his former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, that he made a mistake in judgment involving the harassment of a female venture capitalist at the firm. Lane, who previously served as executive chairman of Hewlett-Packard Co and president of Oracle Corp , told the court that he erred in not immediately informing others that Trae Vassallo told him about unwanted advances by her colleague, Ajit Nazre, during a 2011 business trip. Whether Kleiner reacted appropriately to allegations of sexism is at the heart of the suit, filed by former partner Ellen Pao.


Apple pro apps target producers

Apple pro apps target producersApple power apps enable audio and video producers to create arresting work and are worthy marketing and advertising tools for any business.


Watch the first trailer for Orphan Black season 3

Watch the first trailer for Orphan Black season 3If you haven't started streaming Orphan Black on Amazon Prime, you now have a month to catch up. After last season's big reveal, Sarah Manning and her "sisters" are on the run from the groups out for their lives, all while the conspiracy surrounding their origin and their enemies gets deeper and much weirder. Orphan Black has earned critical acclaim for being one of the best sci-fi series on television today, so we're looking forward to the premiere on April 18th.


What ever happened to VDI?

What ever happened to VDI?I've followed the VDI space for the past five years and I'm wondering, "What ever happened to VDI?" I thought that by now someone would have stepped up and given us something workable. Let's find out if someone has.


Office Q&A: Mask and merge Access input, detour Outlook replies

Office Q&A: Mask and merge Access input, detour Outlook repliesSusan Harkins helps readers find simple Office solutions, including how to merge Access input mask characters into a Word document and avoid unwanted replies in Outlook.


Dating app Tinder premium plan aims at under-30 crowd

Tinder, the popular dating app which allows smartphone users to find a partner by swiping on a picture, launched a premium, paid subscription version of the service MondaySmartphone dating app Tinder launched a premium paid subscription version on Monday, but drew criticism over a pricing system that charges older users more. Tinder Plus, which has been tested since late last year, has subscription fees varying by age and country.


The world’s most secure Android phone just took things up a notch
Silent Circle, makers of the most secure Android smartphone in the world, announced a bunch of new products on Monday at MWC 2015, including a new Blackphone 2 smartphone, a Blackphone+ tablet and special upcoming software features to further improve your privacy while you’re on a mobile device. DON’T MISS: The two worst things about Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge The Blackphone 2, which is coming at some point in the second half of the year and will be priced at $649 like its predecessor, will not only secure your digital life while using the phone, but it also promises to be a beast of an Android handset by packing some impressive specs. The phone has a 5.5-inch Full
Watchdog: Air traffic control system is a hacking risk
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's system for guiding planes and other aircraft is at "increased and unnecessary risk" of being hacked, according to a report by government watchdog released Monday.
Mophie announces battery case for Galaxy S6 and its non-removable battery

Mophie announces battery case for Galaxy S6 and its non-removable batterySeeing Samsung's Galaxy S6 wrapped in a bulky battery case could soon become pretty common. During yesterday's unveiling of the Galaxy S6, Samsung repeatedly claimed that now is a perfect time for the company to say goodbye to user-swappable batteries. Samsung's stance is that since the S6 can charge faster than any other smartphone and now supports wireless charging, there's no real loss in trading the replaceable battery for the S6's fantastic industrial design. Priced at $99.95, the case will include a 3,300 mAh battery that can offer "more than 100 percent" of an additional charge for Samsung's latest phones.


Jawsdropper: Mark Cuban to play president in 'Sharknado 3'

Jawsdropper: Mark Cuban to play president in 'Sharknado 3'Technically Incorrect: From "Shark Tank" to "Sharknado" is but one fin-flap for the tech entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner. His co-star is Republican commentator Anne Coulter.>


This browser extension wants to stop you from tweeting something you'll regret

This browser extension wants to stop you from tweeting something you'll regretTwitter can be an innocuous journal of mundane thoughts, a breeding ground for unrestrained hate, or a place where people say really dumb things they will soon regret. A new browser extension wants to help you prevent that feeling of regret by making sure you never tweet the dumb thing in the first place. As tweets continue to garner more clout in the news world, the time it takes for a tweet to go from an unnoticed missive sent out to 100 followers to a reason for large-scale public condemnation is getting smaller. Take Justine Sacco, who became the face of regrettable tweeting when in 2013 she tweeted a tone-deaf, racist comment before boarding an 11-hour flight from London to Cape Town.


Microsoft’s quiet Android coup
Although Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hasn’t fundamentally changed Microsoft’s core business ever since taking over from Steve Ballmer, one thing we’ve noticed is that Nadella is much better at sticking subtle daggers into rivals. So where Microsoft under Ballmer used to go after Google with all the subtlety of a steroid-infused elephant with megaphones strapped to each if its tusks — remember the painfully awful “Scroogled” campaign, for instance — Nadella has been adept at coming up with clever ways to undermine Google’s domination of its own Android mobile platform. RELATED: Microsoft comes up with another sneaky way to drive a wedge between Google and Android This is why it was so interesting that, as ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes, one of Microsoft’s biggest
Google, Facebook update contrasting plans to connect world

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives for a press conference at the Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, March 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Sci-fi solutions or making friends one at a time? Google and Facebook are taking different routes to expanding Internet use and access among the unconnected in developing countries.


Whoa! Algebraic! 'Adventure Time' Lego set angling to become official

Whoa! Algebraic! 'Adventure Time' Lego set angling to become officialOh my glob! Take the adventures of Jake the dog and Finn the human to an all-new level by voting for this fan-made "Adventure Time" set on Lego Ideas.>


AWS gets the cloud reboot drill down

AWS gets the cloud reboot drill downThe latest round of Xen security fixes won't disrupt Amazon Web Services customers.


Instagram: How It's Changing the World of Photography
The popular smartphone application Instagram has drastically changed the way we look at photography, and further, our world. The photo-worthy moments we share with our followers serve as an important function in cultivating the photographic artistic eye. The Instagram photos we choose to share can be seen as our own personal documentation of...
Wrist action: phone firms bet on 'year of smartwatch'

Chinese electronics group Huawei, one of the firms seeking to seduce buyers with Internet-connected devices, shows off its new smartwatch in Barcelona on March 1, 2015Defying scepticism and geek-stigma, mobile phone firms are determined this year to sell you a wristwatch wirelessly connected to your mobile phone. US giant Apple's release of its first "smartwatch" -- expected by April -- is set to make 2015 a "tipping point for wearables", research group CCS Insight said in a report. In anticipation of that launch, Apple's Asian rivals scrambled to unveil their own connected wrist gadgets in Barcelona on Sunday on the eve of the World Mobile Congress trade show in Barcelona. Chinese telecom giant Huawei also unveiled a deluxe smartwatch: a round stainless steel creation that it says can receive text messages, email and call notifications as well as monitoring your heart rate and calories burned.


Apple Watch gets huge spreads in two more top magazines
Did you know that the Apple Watch is currently in the midst of a world tour? Not a physical one, of course — we’ll have to wait until April for that — but rather a print tour, popping up in some of the most popular magazines around the world. Last week, we got an early look at the spread appearing in the March issue of Vogue, and now China’s East Touch and England’s The Sunday Times have joined in as well. READ MORE: Prices for Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge leaked Apple took over three pages in the Style supplement of The Sunday Times, with some bizarre photography of model Guinevere Van Seenus and a piece by Claudia Croft discussing her reluctant excitement for
Samsung Galaxy S6's missing features, split-personality problem

Samsung Galaxy S6's missing features, split-personality problemIs Samsung afraid to commit to one Galaxy S6? The two new models are the same, except for the screen -- and both remove features fans loved. Meanwhile, HTC shows off the Grip fitness band and Vive VR headset.>


Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard set to direct Spider-Man film

Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard set to direct Spider-Man filmLatino-Review reports that Marvel has tapped Drew Goddard to write and direct the upcoming Spider-Man film, which will hit theaters in 2017. Goddard, who was originally onboard to direct the standalone Sinister Six spinoff, will be involved in making Spider-Man fit to join the Avengers, along with building up his conflict with the Sinister Six in the long run. Goddard, in addition to his aborted credit in Sony's Spider universe, co-wrote his directorial debut Cabin in the Woods with current Marvel heavyweight Joss Whedon, so him being pulled into the project makes sense.


Meet the one auto CEO who’s excited by the rumored Apple Car
With mounting evidence that Apple is at the very least exploring the possibility of developing a car, we’ve seen the expected influx of comments from auto industry veterans skeptical of Apple’s plans.  A few weeks ago, for example, former GM CEO Dan Akersson cautioned Apple that they have no idea what they’re getting into. Shortly thereafter, Mercedes-Benz chief Dieter Zetsche essentially laughed off the notion that an Apple Car might pose any sort of competitive threat. Related: The Apple Car is real, and Apple hopes to launch it by 2020 But one auto CEO is seemingly enthusiastic about welcoming Apple to the auto industry with open arms. According to a report from CNET, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn recently articulated that
Netflix's new sci-fi series from the Wachowskis is coming on June 5th

Netflix's new sci-fi series from the Wachowskis is coming on June 5thThe next wave of original programming from Netflix is officially on the way. Today the streaming giant announced premiere dates for a number of new shows, including fan favorite Orange is the New Black and Sense8, the sci-fi drama series created by the Wachowskis and famed writer J. Michael Straczynski. It's just one premiere in what promises to be a very busy few months for Netflix. This past Friday, Netflix released the latest season of its flagship series House of Cards and is building up a formidable slate of original programming for 2015, with comedy specials from Jen Kirkman and Chris D'Elia also on the way (not to mention the April 10th debut of Daredevil). The company will need to keep the pressure on, as shows like Amazon's Transparent have proven that Netflix doesn't have a monopoly on compelling, award-winning programs.


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