• It looks like Russia and smells like Russia ... but is it Russia?

    Published: Fri, Oct 31, 2014

    It's easy to say Russians are hacking the White House and major U.S. companies. It's harder to prove it. When cybersecurity firms and U.S. government officials attribute attacks to the Russian government -- or independent hackers operating with Kremlin approval -- the typical evidence they use is pretty circumstantial: A computer virus was written in Russian, created during Moscow working hours and aimed at anti-Russian targets.

  • Can anything save Sony?

    Published: Fri, Oct 31, 2014

    Sony is in dire straits. Major rating agencies Fitch and Moody's have downgraded the company to "junk" status. Standard & Poor's has warned it could soon do the same. The company has announced plans to scale back its smartphone business. On Friday, Sony reported a second quarter net loss of $1.2 billion, and the company confirmed it's on track to lose a staggering $2.1 billion this fiscal year.

  • What happens when your friend’s smartphone can tell that you’re lying

    Published: Fri, Oct 31, 2014

    In just a few weeks, the next installment of “The Hunger Games” will arrive in movie theaters. The latest in a long line of films to depict a future all-knowing or controlling government — think “1984” or “Minority Report” — the dystopian tale will likely be a runaway hit. But the power to seem all-knowing – or at least know more than do now – may soon lie in technology that’s already in the palm of your hand. We are nearing a point where our smartphones will be able to recognize a face or voice, in real life or on-screen. And identification is only the most basic of the possibilities. Many app-makers are experimenting with software that can also analyze – able to determine someone’s emotions or honesty just by a few facial cues.

  • Starbucks to deliver in 2015

    Published: Fri, Oct 31, 2014

    Starbucks will offer a delivery option in its mobile app in select areas next year. The announcement came Thursday after the company reported "disappointing quarterly sales," reports the Associated Press. In a conference call, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said, "Imagine the ability to create a standing order of Starbucks delivered hot or iced to your desk daily. That's our version of e-commerce on steroids," reports Advertising Age.

  • Business strikes back with user reviews

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    In business, it might pay to keep the customer happy, but how far should you go just to keep the peace? Thanks to new technology, a bad review now cuts both ways and the peer review is increasingly a feature of everything from holidays and restaurants to cab rides and flat shares. For Bereket Hagos, who drives an Uber car in central London, the two-way street of peer reviews has democratized a process that was normally arbitrated by employers.

  • Verizon ad tech raises privacy concerns

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    Attention Verizon Wireless customers: you may be getting tracked online. The mobile carrier has been using technology that assigns unique identification codes to users as they browse the Web on their phones, sparking privacy concerns.

  • Feds fine dating site for making fake profiles

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    Turns out I'm not actually that popular with the ladies of flirtcrowd.com. The Federal Trade Commission has fined UK-based JDI Dating for using fake, computer-generated profiles to trick users into upgrading to paid memberships. JDI -- which operates 18 dating websites, including cupidswand.com, flirtcrowd.com and findmelove.com -- must pay a $616,165 fine and reform its practices. The case is the first for the FTC against an online dating site.

  • The world is running out of plasma TVs

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    And then there were none. The last company to make plasma TV screens for U.S. consumers said this week that it would stop production of plasma sets in November. The widely expected announcement by LG has put the final nail in plasma TV's coffin. Samsung (SSNLF) said earlier this year that it too would stop making plasma screens by November. Panasonic, the only other manufacturer of plasma TVs for U.S. consumers, shut down its plasma screen production in 2013.

  • The 7 quirkiest Kickstarter gadgets

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    Crowdfunding and high-tech innovation were made for each other. With the emergence of sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, inventors with an idea, but not much cash, have been able to skip traditional business models and go straight to consumers who are excited to be part of something new and exciting.

  • NYSE, Nasdaq 'normal' after seeing trading issues

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    NYSE, Nasdaq, BATS and other exchanges reported issues with price and trading data Thursday afternoon, due to market-wide glitch at a key piece of market infrastructure that consolidates quotes and trading data. The software issue was with the SIP, the Security Information Processor, for stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It reported "market-wide issues" between 1:40 p.m. ET and 1:50 p.m. ET, according to alerts from the NYSE.

  • Headed to the movies? Get ready to leave your Google Glass at home.

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    Get ready to hear "Please silence your mobile phones -- and take off your Google Glass" in a movie theater near you. The Motion Picture Association of America and an industry group representing the owners of 32,000 moving screens across the United States announced Wednesday that they have updated their anti-theft policy banning recording devices to include "wearable tech," such as Google Glass.

  • People trust NSA more than Google, survey says

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    People don't always say what they think. Especially in business and love. Please, therefore, consider this question: whom would you trust more with your private data: the NSA, a company like Google, or your mom? I ask because I'm looking at the results of a survey, conducted between October 9 and12, that asked just that. It asked simple questions, to which its sponsors hoped to get simple answers.

  • Tim Cook: "I'm Proud to be Gay"

    Published: Thu, Oct 30, 2014

    Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them. At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.

  • 'Operation' game creator John Spinello needs operation

    Published: Wed, Oct 29, 2014

    (CNN) -- John Spinello created the game of "Operation" nearly 50 years ago. Since then, millions have attempted to remove small plastic body parts from Cavity Sam without lighting up his red nose and hearing that sweat-inducing BUZZ. In a weird twist of fate, Spinello now needs an operation himself -- one he can't afford, according to a Crowdrise fundraiser launched by his friends.

  • 100,000 Hungarians march against 'internet tax' - Telegraph

    Published: Wed, Oct 29, 2014

    Up to 100,000 Hungarians have rallied in Budapest in protest over a new "internet tax" that critics have condemned as "government despotism" and an assault on the freedom of information. The demonstration on Tuesday night was the second in three days and the biggest since Hungary's ruling Fidesz party came to power in 2010.

  • Apple Pay Runs Afoul of MCX, a Group With a Rival Product

    Published: Wed, Oct 29, 2014

    One week after its debut, Apple’s new mobile wallet is showing promise with consumers. Apple’s rivals in the payments industry, meanwhile, are scrambling to prevent it from being too successful. Even before Apple Pay was announced, a coalition of retailers refused to accept it in their stores. More than 50 companies make up this group, the so-called Merchant Customer Exchange or MCX, including global retail giants like Walmart, Best Buy and Gap Inc.

  • When You Feel Like the Oldest Person at Work

    Published: Wed, Oct 29, 2014

    One of the traits of boomers I always point out in my intergenerational workplace programs is the inability to see ourselves as “old,” says Phyllis Weiss Haserot in Next Avenue.   So I was intrigued reading journalist Michele Willens’ recent New York Times opinion piece, “ When Did We Get So Old? ” She wrote that boomers (like her) at work tend to “settle into one of two groups.” There are those who prefer being around younger people, said Willens, and those who prefer places where they are on the younger end of the age spectrum of “the people in the room.”   I am firmly in the first camp, eager to interact with my many twentysomething and thirtysomething colleagues and new friends that age. I thrive on the energy of what’s next and my interest and passion resonates with them. I consider myself very fortunate to be “cross-generational.” But not everyone in their 50s and 60s feels that way.

  • Manuel Noriega's 'Call of Duty' lawsuit dismissed

    Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    (CNN) -- A California judge has dismissed former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega's lawsuit against the creators of the "Call of Duty" video game franchise. "This court concludes that Noriega's right of publicity is outweighed by defendants' First Amendment right to free expression," Judge William H. Fahey of the Los Angeles Superior Court said in an order Monday.

  • Google searching for cancer cure

    Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    Google is searching for a cancer cure. The company announced Tuesday that it is experimenting with designing nanoparticles that would detect cancer and other diseases before their onset. Andrew Conrad, head of Google (GOOG) Life Sciences division, said it would be to the body what an oil change is to a car.

  • Government accuses AT&T of misleading 'unlimited data' customers

    Published: Tue, Oct 28, 2014

    AT&T is back in the government's crosshairs. The Federal Trade Commission announced a lawsuit Tuesday alleging that AT&T (T, Tech30) misled mobile customers with "unlimited" data plans, deliberately slowing their connection speeds in a practice known as throttling. The FTC said AT&T "failed to adequately disclose" the fact that when unlimited customers reached a certain data limit in a billing cycle, it reduced their connection speeds by as much as 90%. As a result, the complaint alleged, many common smartphone applications -- like web browsing, GPS navigation and streaming video -- became "difficult or nearly impossible to use."