Apple-supported CLOUD Act passes Congress, will change how governments share data

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The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act, a piece of legislation that would change international rules about sharing of data among governments, passed Congress Thursday, as part of the omnibus spending bill, and the president signed it into law.
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Amazon passes Alphabet to become the second most valuable U.S.-listed company

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(Reuters) – became the second most valuable publicly listed U.S. company on Tuesday, surpassing Google parent Alphabet for the first time. Amazon shares finished up 2.69 percent at $ 1,586.51, for a market capitalization of $ 768 billion, underscoring Wall Street’s confidence in its relentless expansion into cloud computing, grocerie…Read More
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Stephen Hawking passes away at age 76

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Late Tuesday night the family of Stephen Hawking announced that the physicist has passed away at the age of 76. Awarded more than a dozen honorary degrees, Hawking theorized that black holes emitted a form of thermal radiation, and contributed to wor…
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IDC: Wearables grew 7.7% in Q4 2017, Apple passes Xiaomi and Fitbit for first place

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As demand for wearable electronics continues to grow, Apple has taken a decisive lead away from rivals Fitbit and Xiaomi, IDC reports today. Apple dominated the wearables market during 2017’s holiday quarter with a 21 percent market share and led the category for the year with a narrower but still solid 15.3 percent share.

Apple’s wearable leadership in 2017 is a major step up from 2016, when the company had less than half of then-leader Fitbit’s 22.5 million shipments, and 5 million fewer than Xiaomi. At the time, Xiaomi’s wearable shipments were growing much faster than Apple’s, but that turned around for 2017.

Thanks to strong sales of the Apple Watch Series 3 and a comparatively weak holiday quarter for Fitbit, Apple shipped 8 million units worldwide to Fitbit’s 5.4 million, with Xiaomi at 4.9 million. For the year, Apple shipped 17.7 million units to number two Xiaomi’s 15.7 and Fitbit’s 15.4 million. IDC said that the 1 percent or less difference between Xiaomi’s and Fitbit’s numbers made them a statistical tie for second place.

Collectively, 37.9 million wearables were shipped in the 2017 holiday quarter, up 7.7 percent over the 2016 quarter. All five of the top companies in the space shipped over 1.5 million units, though once again, the “Others” category was the largest — both for the quarter and year, with 15.6 million shipments in the quarter and 55.5 million for 2017. This means over 40 percent of wearable shipments continue to come from smaller players, though the number is falling as larger brands — particularly Apple — continue to grow.

Apple’s overall strength for the year was largely the result of its holiday performance, as IDC pointed out that “4Q17 was the first quarter that Apple held the market leader position all to itself after spending several quarters close behind Fitbit or Xiaomi.” The firm suggested Apple was picking up upgraders from basic wearables, as well as people interested in the Apple Watch Series 3’s cellular connectivity.

IDC noted that Huawei had the largest growth in the top five, though its focus on China has been “somewhat detrimental,” as the brand receded slightly on the world stage. Similarly, though Xiaomi’s shipments have been fairly steady, the company predominantly sells to Chinese customers, with under 15 percent of shipments going outside the country.

The firm was positive on Fitbit, noting that while its shipments were down, the company has been deepening its health care reach and setting the stage for future growth. It also characterized Garmin’s slight increase as attributable more to fast growth in its smartwatches than to its basic fitness trackers. Interestingly, it had nothing to say on Fossil, which was the fifth-ranked wearables vendor for the year but not a leader for the quarter.

Apple – VentureBeat

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House passes contentious anti-online sex trafficking bill

Sex-trafficking victims, prosecutors and state attorneys will be able to sue websites that host ads and content linked to the sex trade under the bill the House has just approved. The bill called "Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Traffick…
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Verizon adds 500MB plan for $30/month, 3G mobile hotspot to Prepaid Unlimited plan, and $5/day prepaid Travel Passes

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Verizon has just announced a couple of changes to its network, including a new 500MB plan for $ 30, the addition of 3G mobile hotspot to Prepaid Unlimited, and Travel Passes for prepaid users that’ll make visiting Mexico and Canada a little bit easier. This news comes after last month’s addition of 500MB of LTE per day to Go Unlimited customers in the same two countries.

Basically, there are three main updates here.

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Verizon adds 500MB plan for $ 30/month, 3G mobile hotspot to Prepaid Unlimited plan, and $ 5/day prepaid Travel Passes was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Man Claims to Be Time Traveler from 2030, Passes Polygraph Test

A man who claims to be a time traveler from the year 2030 has apparently passed a lie detector test when giving a handful of predictions about the future.

The man, known only as “Noah,” insists that he must remain anonymous and that his face must be blurred. Noah also claims that he is 50-years-old, but has taken an “age rejuvenating drug” to make himself appear 25.

Noah has previously given some predictions about the future in an interview with YouTube channel Paranormal Elite. But this time around, another YouTube channel, Apex TV, has subjected Noah to a lie detector test while he gave many of the same predictions.

Among them are forecasts about Trump being re-elected president, humans reaching Mars in 2028, and the introduction of robots that can independently operate a home. Noah added that artificial intelligence will be “huge,” phones will only get bigger, and that a Google Glass-like device will “take over” within the next decade.

Interestingly, Noah also said that time travel has already been invented but is being kept secret — and will only be made public in the year 2028. Also, someone named Ilana Remikee is apparently going to be president in 2030.

Noah claims to have hard evidence proving all of these predictions, but can’t give us it because of “paradoxes.”

Is It Fake?

The general scientific consensus is that time travel into the past isn’t possible. But suspending disbelief, there are other issues with these predictions.

Polygraph (or “lie detector”) tests are notoriously easy to beat, and their value as instruments capable of catching untruths is becoming increasingly weaker. According to the American Psychological Association, “most psychologists agree that there is little evidence that polygraphs can accurately detect lies.”

Similarly, Noah’s predictions are actually pretty boring. Apple is working on a Google Glass-like device, consumer demand is shifting toward bigger phones, smart home products are becoming increasingly mainstream, and Elon Musk seems pretty committed to sending people to Mars within the next few decades. One doesn’t need to be a time traveler to make similar predictions.

It’s also a bit suspicious that “Ilana Remikee” doesn’t show up in any Google queries or vital record searches. To be president in 2030, one would have to have been born in the U.S. (natural-born-citizen clause) in 1993 in order to be 35 (the minimum age) in 2028 (the closest election year to 2030). That person would be 24- or 25-years-old currently.

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Super Mario Run passes 100 million installs on the Play Store

Super Mario Run arrived on the Play Store nearly a year ago, after a brief exclusivity period on iOS. It quickly became a hit, and gained a spot on our best Android games of 2017 list. Now it has passed 100 million installs on the Play Store.

The game has been updated a few times since release, and the full unlock price has dropped to $ 4.99 at least once.

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Super Mario Run passes 100 million installs on the Play Store was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Nougat finally becomes the most popular Android version just as Oreo passes 1% of the market

Google has published its monthly analysis of Android market share today, and we have some big news. For the first time in history, the most used version of the OS is now Nougat – which launched in August of 2016, almost 18 months ago. It takes the crown from Marshmallow, in fact its predecessor. Nougat is now at 28.5% of the pie (up from 26.4%), while Marshmallow dropped to 28.1% (from 28.6% last month). Lollipop completes the podium, still commanding 24.6% of the market at this time. While all the older versions of the OS lost market share, Oreo is still gaining. At the same… – Latest articles

Android Oreo passes 1 percent usage in Google’s latest platform stats

Android Oreo superhero logo

A new month means new Android platform distribution numbers, and this month’s stats show that a milestone has been reached.

Google today posted its latest Android distribution figures, showing which versions of Android accessed the Play Store during the 7-day period ending February 5. Android Oreo (8.0 and 8.1) combined for 1.1 percent, the first time that we’ve seen Oreo break 1 percent usage.

Android platform distribution February 2018

Usage of Android Nougat (7.0 and 7.1) grew this month compared to last month, finishing at 28.5 percent in February. Android Marshmallow (6.0) wasn’t so lucky, slipping half a percent to finish at 28.1 percent usage.

Android Lollipop (5.0 and 5.1) usage fell this month, too, ending up with 24.6 percent. Android KitKat (4.4) usage also fell, finishing at 12.0 percent.

Rounding out this month’s Android distribution numbers is Android Jelly Bean (4.1-4.3) dropping to 5.0 percent usage, Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) slipping to 0.4 percent, and Android Gingerbread (2.3) dropping to 0.3 percent.

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