• Obama says hacks show need for cybersecurity law

    Published: Tue, Jan 13, 2015

    President Barack Obama said Tuesday the cyber attacks against Sony and the Pentagon's Central Command highlight the need for toughened laws on cybersecurity. Obama made the comment as the White House unveiled a proposal to revive cybersecurity legislation stalled over the past few years. "With the Sony attack that took place, with the Twitter account that was hacked by Islamist jihadist sympathizers yesterday, it just goes to show how much more work we need to do -- both public and private sector -- to strengthen our cybersecurity," the president said at a meeting with congressional leaders.

  • Crayola sorry after hackers fill Facebook page with sex jokes

    Published: Mon, Jan 12, 2015

    Crayola is apologizing after hackers filled its Facebook page with off-color content, according to The Associated Press. The Forks Township, Pennsylvania-based crayon and marker manufacturer regained control of the page late Sunday and removed the offending posts. Instead of burnt sienna and cerulean blue, the page’s 2.4 million followers saw cartoon breasts and sophomoric sex jokes.

  • Saudi prince: $100-a-barrel oil 'never' again

    Published: Mon, Jan 12, 2015

    Saudi billionaire businessman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal told Maria Bartiromo for USA Today that we will not see $100-a-barrel oil again. The plunge in oil prices has been one of the biggest stories of the year. And while cheap gasoline is good for consumers, the negative impact of a 50% decline in oil has been wide and deep, especially for major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia. Even oil-producing Texas has felt a hit. The astute investor and prince of the Saudi royal family spoke to Bartiromo exclusively last week as prices spiraled below $50 a barrel. He also predicted the move would dampen what has been one of the big U.S. growth stories: the shale revolution.

  • Watch Steve Jobs' announcement of the first iPhone exactly 8 years later

    Published: Fri, Jan 9, 2015

    Eight years ago, on Jan. 9, 2007, Steve Jobs climbed the stage during Apple's annual Macworld conference, and announced the first iPhone, Mashable reports. Starting off with the words "We're gonna make some history today," company cofounder Jobs tricked the audience by claiming he was going to introduce three products: an iPod with touch controls, a mobile phone and an Internet communications device. However, Jobs unveiled only one product: the iPhone, Apple's first-ever smartphone.

  • Robert Redford: Here's Why Keystone XL Is the Wrong Choice for Our Nation

    Published: Fri, Jan 9, 2015

    The new Republican majority in Congress wants to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline for dirty tar sands oil, says Robert Redford in the Huffington Post. President Obama announced he will veto bills that bypass the official review of Keystone XL. There are plenty of reasons to block these bills and this pipeline.

  • Hollywood Studios Are Helping to Bring Virtual Reality Closer to Home

    Published: Wed, Jan 7, 2015

    After a year of experiments, Hollywood has begun to embrace virtual reality as a potentially lucrative part of its future. 21st Century Fox Inc. (FOXA) has crafted an immersive clip using the film “Wild,” while Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s HBO has created a similar experience with the cable TV drama “Game of Thrones.” Fox uses a Samsung headset to give users a 3-D, 360-degree view. While the clips are only demos getting shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, they point to where Hollywood is headed with virtual reality. Fox is betting consumers will one day buy immersive video products just as they now purchase DVDs or songs.

  • Chocolate Shortage Spurs Revival of Cocoa in Amazon

    Published: Wed, Jan 7, 2015

    With chocolate prices surging, a former Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) banker wants to help revive cocoa farming in the Amazon basin, where the beans are thought to have evolved about 15,000 years ago. His campaign, located in Peru, is part of a Latin American push to gain more control of an industry now dominated by West African farmers who provide 70 percent of the market. The effort comes as drought, disease and government price controls have cut into the ability of Africa’s suppliers to meet demand, boosting prices by 7.4 percent in 2014.

  • Cheap oil is killing my job

    Published: Tue, Jan 6, 2015

    Marcus Benson moved 1,500 miles from his home in Philadelphia to North Dakota for the shale boom, says CNN Money. He made the lengthy drive -- with no job and nowhere to live -- in April 2012 after hearing on the news that the state had the lowest unemployment rate in the country. He immediately landed good-paying work loading rail cars with sand used for fracking.

  • Brewery Sorry for Gandhi Beer

    Published: Mon, Jan 5, 2015

    An American brewery has apologised for putting a picture of Indian independence hero Mahatma Gandhi on its beer cans, reports say. BBC News reports New England Brewing Company's move came after a petition was filed in an Indian court saying that the move had "insulted" the leader. Gandhi led non-violent resistance to British rule in India.

  • This exists: Plant that grows 'ketchup' and 'fries'

    Published: Mon, Jan 5, 2015

    An Oregon seed company is unveiling a new nightshade to accompany your summer barbecues, The Oregonian reports. The "Ketchup 'n' Fries" is a hybrid of tomato and potato plants. The roots of the TomTato are thin-skinned white potatoes attached to a vine of red cherry tomatoes. The plant was released in the United Kingdom this year. The Territorial Seed Company in Cottage Grove is selling the TomTato in its 2015 seed catalog as a way for home gardeners to maximize use of limited space. Instead of planting potatoes and tomatoes in separate areas, the company's literature for the TomTato advises that the plant can grow in a 10-gallon container.

  • Steak, strippers & sweet rides: Wall Street’s back

    Published: Sat, Jan 3, 2015

    The 2014 holiday season is expected to be the best for retailers in three years. Whether it was lower gas prices, confidence in the job market or egg nog-related, the Main Street consumer decided to splurge. So if Main Street is spending money again, 2015 just may be the year that Wall Street and the rest of the 1 percent go back to doing what they love — and what the 99 percent loves to hate them for — spending money.

  • The Unending Anxiety of an ICYMI World

    Published: Sat, Jan 3, 2015

    In case you missed it, the initials ICYMI stand for the first five words of this sentence. In the event you have, indeed, missed it (ITEYH, I, MI has not taken off yet for some reason), it’s most likely because you’re not on the Internet much, particularly Twitter, where individuals and outlets deploy it every few seconds to bring links to the attention of others who may not have seen them. The New York Times now even has a section at the bottom of its app called “In Case You Missed It” with articles from previous days. While the extended phrase has been used in conversation for a long time, the shorthand betrays an anxiety central to the Internet epoch. There is simply too much readable, viewable and listenable data for anyone to stay abreast of, as a humor piece, “I’m All Caught Up!” by Nick Mickowski in McSweeney’s, playfully suggested.

  • Chick-fil-A admits to 'potential data breach' at some of its restaurants

    Published: Fri, Jan 2, 2015

    Chick-fil-A is investigating a credit card breach at some of its restaurants. The breach may have affected more than 9,000 customer cards, according to a report from security journalist Brian Krebs. Mashable reports the Atlanta-based chicken-restaurant chain, however, is vague about the breach, saying only that it has "received reports of potential unusual activity involving payment cards used at a few of our restaurants."

  • Lewis Rudolph, a Krispy Kreme founder, dies

    Published: Wed, Dec 31, 2014

    William Lewis Rudolph was a teenager when he joined his family’s emerging doughnut business during the Great Depression and helped open Nashville’s first Krispy Kreme shop. Mr. Rudolph, who went by Lewis, began working at the Charlotte Pike store with his father, sister and two brothers in the mid-1930s, and over the years he helped build the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp., that has delighted consumers for decades and become an icon of Southern fare. He died Sunday at age 95, according to The Tennessean.

  • FBI briefed on alternate Sony hack theory

    Updated: Tue, Dec 30, 2014

    FBI agents investigating the Sony Pictures hack were briefed Monday by a security firm that says its research points to laid-off Sony staff, not North Korea, as the perpetrator — another example of the continuing whodunit blame game around the devastating attack. Even the unprecedented decision to release details of an ongoing FBI investigation and President Barack Obama publicly blaming the hermit authoritarian regime hasn’t quieted a chorus of well-qualified skeptics who say the evidence just doesn’t add up.

  • Chipotle apologizes for 'hands up, don't shoot' protest

    Published: Tue, Dec 30, 2014

    After fiery criticism, Chipotle Mexican Grill has released a statement about a "spontaneous, unplanned action" in which an employee raised his hands in a "hands up, don't shoot" protest when nine New York police officers entered a Brooklyn location of the popular burrito chain, USA TODAY reports. In the statement, Chipotle co-CEOs Steve Ells and Monty Moran apologized to the officers involved in the incident, as well as "many of the people who have contacted us regarding the issue."

  • Christmas returns hit new high

    Published: Mon, Dec 29, 2014

    A record number of unwanted Christmas goods will be returned this year, but eretailers are not equipped to cope, logistics experts have warned. Approximately 30m unwanted goods worth a total of £500m will be returned during the holiday period this year, according to research by LCP Consulting, a logistics consultancy.

  • Google's Gmail service blocked in China

    Published: Mon, Dec 29, 2014

    Google Inc.'s e-mail service, Gmail, was blocked in China in what may be a government attempt to limit or even ban access to the firm's services, according to USA TODAY. Data from Google's Transparency Report show that online traffic from China to Gmail fell sharply on Friday and dropped to nearly zero on Saturday. There was a tiny rise on Monday. Earl Zmijewski, vice president of data analytics at U.S.-based Internet analysis firm Dyn Research, said his tests showed that China's government had blocked Google IP addresses in Hong Kong used by people on the mainland to access Gmail services.

  • Fans drunk in love with Drinking Jacket Kickstarter

    Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Too bad the Drinking Jacket won't be ready in time for this New Year's Eve. A Kickstarter campaign looking to fund the apparel made for booze aficionados was only seeking $50,000, and has instead netted more than $450,000.

  • Google now displays song lyrics in search results

    Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Google is starting to show the full text of song lyrics in search results. It's a clean and quick solution to the current messy method of looking up lyrics. Song lyric sites are notoriously slow, and they inundate you with pop-up ads.