Obama announces sanctions for Russian election hacking

The Obama administration announced today that it will impose sanctions on Russian intelligence services and officials in response to the hacks of American political institutions during the election season.

Continue reading “Obama announces sanctions for Russian election hacking”

Carrie Fisher has died at the age of 60

Remembering a brilliant actress, author, and human

Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars series, has died at age 60. Fisher suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday, according to TMZ. An EMT on board administered CPR until the flight landed, and she was rushed to a nearby hospital. A family spokesperson confirmed her death this morning to People Magazine and said,She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly.”

Continue reading “Carrie Fisher has died at the age of 60”

Verizon knocks $100 off the second generation Moto 360

Time to get a watch

Smartwatches might be in a slide, but the good news is that means we’re bound to see some decent deals as a result. Price was always one of our hangups with the second generation Moto 360, but Verizon is now selling it for $200 with free shipping — at least $100 cheaper than you can find most other places.

Lenovo, LG, and Huawei all announced earlier this year that they aren’t planning to release new smartwatches anytime soon, so this is likely to be the last Moto 360 for a while. The good news is that the second generation Moto 360 is one of the watches that will support Android Wear 2.0 when it’s released.

Continue reading “Verizon knocks $100 off the second generation Moto 360”

Apple working with Consumer Reports to pin down inconsistent MacBook Pro battery test results

On December 22nd, Consumer Reports said it could not recommend the MacBook Pro — a first for a Mac laptop. It caused a stir! Consumer Reports’ reasoning was simple: it got wildly inconsistent battery test results every time it tried to test multiple versions of the laptop. Its test is one that’s pretty common across the industry, loading up web pages one after another:

For the battery test, we download a series of 10 web pages sequentially, starting with the battery fully charged, and ending when the laptop shuts down. The web pages are stored on a server in our lab, and transmitted over a WiFi network set up specifically for this purpose. We conduct our battery tests using the computer’s default browser—Safari, in the case of the MacBook Pro laptops.

Continue reading “Apple working with Consumer Reports to pin down inconsistent MacBook Pro battery test results”

Cyanogen failed to kill Android, now it is shuttering its services and OS as part of a pivot

It’s been a rocky few months for Cyanogen, the ambitious startup that aimed to build a better version of Android than Google. It has laid off staff, let go of its CEO and parted ways with another co-founder — now it is shutting down its services and nightly software builds on December 31.

The news was announced in a brief blog post released late on Friday:

As part of the ongoing consolidation of Cyanogen, all services and Cyanogen-supported nightly builds will be discontinued no later than 12/31/16. The open source project and source code will remain available for anyone who wants to build CyanogenMod personally.

Continue reading “Cyanogen failed to kill Android, now it is shuttering its services and OS as part of a pivot”

Trump announces plans to dissolve his family’s foundation

President-elect Donald Trump announced Saturday afternoon that he plans to dissolve his family’s foundation in the wake of questions regarding possible conflicts of interest once he takes office.

Mr. Trump issued the decision in a press release, which said the Donald J. Trump Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to groups that support veterans, law enforcement officers and children.

Continue reading “Trump announces plans to dissolve his family’s foundation”

Tesla’s Autopilot will now stick to the speed limit

And the promised Enhanced Autopilot update is still awaiting validation.

Autopilot-enabled Teslas are about to become slightly more conservative drivers. The company’s latest software update will match the top speed to the posted speed limit when the vehicle’s Autosteer function is engaged, TechCrunch reports today. In the previous version, Autopilot was allowed to speed by about five mph on undivided highways, but the new cap won’t apply on freeways where the system is limited to 90 mph.

Continue reading “Tesla’s Autopilot will now stick to the speed limit”

Russian ambassador to Turkey dies after gun attack in Ankara – Foreign Ministry

A body lies on the ground as a man with a pistol gestures at the scene of a shooting in Ankara, Turkey, on December 19.

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot by a gunman in Ankara, where he was attending a photo exhibition, the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed.

“This is a tragic day in the history of Russian diplomacy. Today, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov died after being shot at during a public event in Ankara,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Monday evening.

The assault on the Russian ambassador is an “act of terrorism,” she added.

Continue reading “Russian ambassador to Turkey dies after gun attack in Ankara – Foreign Ministry”

Twitter won’t share tweets with law enforcement data hubs

Its partner Dataminr can’t contribute information to surveillance-friendly fusion centers in the US.

Twitter is still determined to avoid facilitating mass surveillance by spies and law enforcement. The company has told Dataminr, a firm it partly owns, to stop sharing tweets with the 77 law enforcement fusion centers (that is, data hubs where agencies share info and make connections) in the US. This doesn’t prevent police from sifting through Twitter posts, but it certainly makes their work harder. The centers won’t have ready access to “billions” of tweets they can pass on to the federal government for spying purposes, according to the ACLU.

Continue reading “Twitter won’t share tweets with law enforcement data hubs”

President Obama signs nationwide ticket-bot ban into law

The bill aims to ensure equal access to popular events for the general public.

New York already passed legislation banning the use of ticket buying bots, but President Obama has just made the ban a nationwide law. Today, the president signed the “Better Online Ticket Sales (BOTS) Act of 2016” which makes it illegal to use software to purchase tickets to popular events. Of course, the end goal of doing so is to resell them at a higher price. As you might expect, the law aims to give the general public a fair shot at concerts, sporting events and more that sell out quickly.

Continue reading “President Obama signs nationwide ticket-bot ban into law”