Facebook delays smart speaker as privacy scandal grows

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Embroiled in controversy, Facebook has delayed the release of its smart speaker. Caught leaking data on millions of its users, the company apparently decided this would be the wrong time to introduce a product designed to gather even more such information. Facebook scrapped its plan to launch a competitor for Apple’s HomePod and Amazon’s Echo […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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‘Fortnite’ hot streak grows with a record-breaking YouTube stream

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Fortnite's Battle Royale mode continues to be a cultural phenomenon, and YouTube just provided some stats to back that up. To begin with, the company's Ryan Wyatt has revealed that a Battle Royale event set a record for the largest single live game…
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Apple grows carrier billing options in UK, France, Germany & other European nations

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People wanting to take advantage of carrier billing for Apple Music, the App Store, and other Apple online services now have further options in several European countries.
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Security risk against enterprises continues undimmed as IoT popularity grows

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The increased popularity of the IoT leading to growing adoption is one of the main reasons for more cybersecurity attacks against enterprises and utilities, according to a new Navigant Research report.

The report, titled “Managing IoT Cybersecurity Threats in the Energy Cloud Ecosystem”, evaluates cybersecurity threats in relation to IoT affecting enterprises and utilities alike. With IoT popularity, new threats are coming in and the need for a stronger IoT security lingers.

According to the report, over the last few years, the need to shield cybersecurity attacks has heightened as corporates are demanding robust security along value and supply chains. So far as domestic consumers are concerned, similar demand to improve security of IoT devices and services is noted.

Neil Strother, principal research analyst with Navigant Research, said: “The mushrooming number of IoT devices being deployed by utilities and other enterprises carries an obvious and growing security risk. Smart managers need a comprehensive strategy to stay ahead of potentially devastating threats to IoT assets. No longer can managers rely on an old-school reactive approach; instead, they and their security teams must adopt the latest proactive and predictive tools and methodologies to keep devices and systems safe.”

Another report from Navigant Research has placed Philips Lighting, Acuity Brands, Eaton, and OSRAM among the leading players in the IoT lighting market. The report evaluated a total of 16 vendors including the giants – Cisco, Intel, Schneider Electric, and Siemens – although they are labelled as challengers and not contenders or leaders. Navigant Research argues that the global IoT lighting market is all set to touch $ 5.5 billion by 2027 from $ 808.2 million in 2018.

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Project Fi grows international coverage to 170 countries

Google Project Fi international coverage alert

Project Fi has long offered international usage in more than 100 countries without roaming fees, but today Google’s wireless service is getting even better when it comes to international usage.

Google says that Project Fi now has coverage in even more countries. The list of newly-covered countries includes Algeria, Belize, Morocco, Guam, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Uganda, and many more.

Google is also rolling out a new Project Fi feature that’ll make prepping for your international travel a bit easier. Project Fi can now send you a notification in the Project Fi app to let you know that the country you’ll be traveling to is included in Project Fi’s coverage. The app figures this out based on your upcoming international flights from Gmail.

You can turn these notifications off in your account settings if you’d like.

International travel can be stressful, and one of the things that you have to do before going to a different country is make sure that you’ll have cell coverage there. These Project Fi improvements aim to make your travel a bit less stressful, which is great news for anyone using Project Fi’s service.

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‘Sea of Thieves’ will live or die by how its world grows

Sea of Thieves is unquestionably an absolute blast to play. It unashamedly embraces every seafarer cliché and trope so you can live out all your pirate fantasies, just without the sunburn, scurvy and missing appendages. You can down grog until…
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Counterclockwise: base storage grows, but the card slot remains popular

A while back, we walked down memory lane to revisit storage milestones on mobile phones. That article focused only on the stand-out devices, today we’re going to take a broader look. We will look at the base storage for all phones added to our database since 2005. We’re only be counting phones with 4GB or more as anything less is basically the same from our current point of view. Last time, we highlighted the Nokia N91, which was the first phone to deliver 8GB of storage (with a micro HDD). However its base version had only 4GB – that’s the metric we’re tracking today, the minimum…

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In a Bid to Compete, Apple Grows Fleet of Self-Driving Cars

A Bigger Fleet

Apple is ramping up its work on self-driving cars. The Silicon Valley tech company has reportedly increased its autonomous fleet of test vehicles to 27.

According to Bloomberg Apple has registered another 24 Lexus RX450h SUVs. This increases their test driving fleet nearly ten-fold; the company obtained a permit for three autonomous cars from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in April 2017.

Tech Crunch notes the Lexus SUVs are popular among companies interested in self-driving vehicles. The SUVs are easily retrofitted with additional sensors that work seamlessly with those already installed.

Apple’s initial permit prompted speculation that the company would be designing their own autonomous car under the name “Project Titan.” While the company’s recent direction hasn’t eliminated that possibility, it’s clear that Apple is more focused on self-driving software than designing actual vehicles.

“We are very focused on autonomous systems,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said to investors in August 2017. “We do have a large project going, and are making a big investment in this. From our point of view, autonomy is sort of the mother of all AI projects.”

Self-Driving Mania

Apple has a lot of work to do if it wants to compete with other companies in the self-driving car industry. Tesla already sells vehicles with semi autonomous systems, while automakers like General Motors are already giving rides in their self-driving cars.

Meanwhile, Google and Waymo are testing their autonomous Chrysler Pacifica Minivan in San Francisco, and have plans to launch their own ride-hailing service. It won’t be the only autonomous taxi service around, however, as Uber will be joining the race for driverless cabs in 2019. Even a few Lyft-branded vehicles were making the rounds around CES 2018.

That said, it’s not as if Apple hasn’t been testing vehicles. The company’s autonomous Lexus SUVs were spotted on the road last year. But a larger Apple fleet will likely lead to more public sightings.

When Apple is finally ready to unveil their self-driving technology to the public, it’s likely to incorporate other Apple products, especially Siri, into the design. After all, nothing says self-driving cars like an AI assistant that speaks to the driver and passengers.

The post In a Bid to Compete, Apple Grows Fleet of Self-Driving Cars appeared first on Futurism.

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Android Oreo and Nougat usage grows in Google’s January 2018 report

Android Oreo Easter egg Pixel XL

Google has once again given us an update on its Android distribution stats.

For the 7-day period ending January 8, 2018, Google says that 0.7 percent of all Android devices that accessed the Play Store were running Oreo. That breaks down to 0.5 percent running Android 8.0 and 0.2 running running Android 8.1. That’s up slightly from last month.

Android Nougat (7.0 and 7.1) grew from last month as well, finishing January 2018 at 26.3 percent usage. Android Marshmallow (6.0) fell slightly to finish at 28.6 percent.

Android platform distribution Google January 2018

Android Lollipop (5.0 and 5.1) fell, too, finishing the month at 25.1 percent usage. Android KitKat (4.4) fell to 12.8 percent usage, Android Jelly Bean (4.1-4.3) usage slipped to 5.6 percent this month, while Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and Android Gingerbread (2.3) held steady at 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

These numbers show that usage of Android Oreo and Nougat continues to grow while all other versions slip. That’s not terribly surprising, as there are still very few devices out there running Oreo, and they’re mostly Google’s own Pixel and Nexus devices. Meanwhile, we’re still seeing phones launch with Nougat in tow. Once flagship phones from Samsung, LG, and others begin to get their Oreo updates, we should see Oreo gain a bigger slice of Google’s pie.

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Global Smartphone SoC market grows 19%, crosses $8 Billion in revenues in Q3 2017: Report

Global smartphone SoC market has crossed $ 8 billion in Q3 2017 as the chipset market grew 19% according to Counterpoint Research’s Component Tracker for Q3, 2017. Despite the neck tight problems throughout the year, Qualcomm topped the list and is responsible for 42% of the total revenue generated by chipsets followed by Apple. Though Apple claimed … Continue reading “Global Smartphone SoC market grows 19%, crosses $ 8 Billion in revenues in Q3 2017: Report”
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