A secret meeting in Hong Kong, a stunning revelation and a pulitzer prize-winning news story. Sound exciting enough to grace the silver screen? Sony sure thinks so — the company’s film branch just bought up the rights to Glenn Greenwald’s No Place to Hide, the story behind the journalist’s fabled meeting with Edward Snowden. The book covers Greenwald’s early meetings with Snowden and offers no small amount of commentary on the NSA’s surveillance practices, but it could be a difficult story to put to film: Snowden is still in Russia, after all. Still, Sony Pictures is rearing to take a stab at it, and is putting the project in the hands of Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the producers behind James Bond films like Skyfall and Quantum of Solace. Considering the kind of international trouble Bond gets himself into, it could be a good fit — just don’t expect it to be an action film.
Source: New York Times
While Netflix and others work on new ways to stream movies to your browser through HTML5 that don’t use Flash or Silverlight plugins, Hollywood’s requirements for DRM to prevent copying have put Mozilla in a bind. The DRM proposed means user’s don’t know exactly what’s going on their machines or if it’s violating their privacy, but without it Firefox will eventually be locked out of streaming most movies and TV shows. As a result, Mozilla announced plans to roll it out in the next few months on Windows, Mac and Linux versions of the browser, so one upside could be official Netflix support on Linux.
The situation is similar to what Mozilla faced in 2012 when it added support for the patent-laden h.264 video codec in order to avoid irrelevance. As the blog post puts it, not adding the tech would force users to switch to Internet Explorer, Chrome or Safari which are already implementing support. While future versions of Firefox will support the DRM technology (known as EME and CDM), users will be able to turn it on or off on their own, and the closed source code will be surrounded by an open source wrapper. In a technical breakdown of what it plans to do, Mozilla explains it’s using Adobe Access DRM tech. The implementation means the DRM can work by binding content to the device it’s playing on, but also control how much information about the user is being revealed. According to the FAQ, right now the tech is only coming to desktop Firefox, and not Firefox on Android or Firefox OS.
If DNA is code, and code can be art, then DNA can be art… right? Harvard artist in residence Joe Davis certainly thinks so. He’s working on a project, Malus Ecclesia, that will insert Wikipedia entries into the non-essential genetic strands of apples. The effort will translate English Wikipedia articles to DNA’s four nucleotide letters (A, C, G and T) and use bacteria to insert the resulting text into saplings. When the saplings are grafted on to apple stock and grow up, they’ll bear fruit with that genetic data (and therefore the articles) intact, producing very real trees of knowledge.
Davis’ living artwork won’t be as revelatory as the biblical tree, though. The bacteria can only hold a few thousand words, while Wikipedia has roughly 2.5 billion; it will take a large grove to hold the entire database. You probably also won’t get to take a bite, since there are tough US regulations on genetically modified plants. Even so, it should be an impressive feat if everything goes as planned — and it could serve as a proof of concept for other, more practical uses of genes as storage systems.
[Image credit: Sami Keinanen, Flickr]
Filed under: Science
Source: The New Yorker
We first learned of MakerBot’s Digital Shop plans back and CES, and now the 3D printing outfit has announced its first licensing agreement: Sesame Street. That’s right folks, starting today you can download the requisite files needed to print your own Mr. Snffuleupagus, with more characters making their debuts in the months to come. This particular option prints in just under three minutes and only deducts $1.29 from your bank account. The downside? Snuffy’s source files are only compatible with the Replicator 2 and fifth-generation Replicator — according to the online shop’s specs. It shouldn’t be a surprise that characters from Sesame Street are the first available here as MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis used to work for Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. “3D printing is like having an engineering education in a box, but with Sesame Street, it has a playful and familiar twist,” Pettis said.
The LG G3 is turning heads, and now some more heads will turn that full renders of the new flagship have hit the web today. These renders show us the black, gold, and silver metal version of the LG G3, and yes, they are simply beautiful. LG plans on announcing their new baby on May 27th during their live event that we hope will be live streamed. So check out the different renders on this post, and let us know if the LG G3 is in your future, and what color you will go with.
Apple is facing a complaint from the Norwegian Consumer Council over the terms and conditions for its iCloud service, reports ZDNet. The consumer watchdog group claims the agreement violates the Norwegian Market Act, which governs marketing practices in the country.
The complaint arose from a study of seven cloud storage providers offering service in Norway and was part of a broader investigation into how digital services are being offered to Norwegian consumers. The Norwegian Consumer Council cited Apple for its 8,600 word iCloud terms of service, which it claims is “convoluted and unclear.”
Particularly troubling to the Consumer Council were terms that allow Apple to modify the agreement at its discretion without notifying customers of the changes.
“Cloud storage services rely on users’ trust and confidence. However, the current terms undermine this. It is important that consumer rights and privacy also apply to online services. We are convinced that all parties are better served with more user-friendly terms. Apple offers to store valuable information on behalf of its users, but gives itself the right to amend the agreement at its sole discretion. As consumers, we are left with no real rights or security. Receiving notice when terms change should be a bare minimum requirement. The fact that this can be done without informing the users is unacceptable,” Finn Myrstad, head of digital services unit at the Consumer Council, said in a statement.
This is one of several overseas complaints Apple has faced recently, including a Belgian claim that Apple misled consumers about warranty information and an accusation of tax fraud by Italian authorities.
Despite these occasional hurdles, Apple continues to operate a strong global business with international sales accounting for 66 percent of revenue in Q2 2014. Apple also opened its first stores in Brazil and Turkey this year, and now has a retail presence in 15 countries worldwide.
With many of the prepaid wireless companies switching up their plans recently, Straight Talk is quick to fall inline. However, while some might decrease the amount of data provided with their plans, Straight Talk is bumping theirs up.
Straight Talk advertises its $45 plan to have “unlimited” data, but anyone who reads the fine print knows that this claim isn’t entirely true. Okay, yes, you do have infinite data, but it was set up so that once you peaked at 2.5GB the data was throttled down to an almost unusable speed. Now the company is offering a jump up by a half to 3GB, with the price staying at the same point.
This is good news for customers of the Walmart-exclusive wireless company. Straight Talk has already seen extreme success due to its offer of a cheap unlimited plan, as well as the option to bring your own phone from other carriers. They’re apparently not going to stop trying to bring the best deals of any prepaid plan.
The $45 unlimited plan isn’t the only one that is changing, either. They will also add an extra 500 minutes and unlimited texts to their $30 “All you need” plan as well. This will work well for the people who don’t need the data or talk time, and use their phone mostly to text.
Straight Talk continues to dominate the prepaid phone market, and it looks like they aren’t in any rush to give up that position. Its obvious that they are determined to keep their prices to a minimum, while offering the same kind of service that the big carriers do. Every company has their shortcomings, but at least Straight Talk is attempting to remain on top.
SOURCE: PR Newswire
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Yahoo has recently acquired Blink! Secret Messaging app for a undisclosed amount. The app is very similar to Snapchat except it’s not pictures, it’s messages.
Blink has posted the news on their website and has stated that the messaging service will shut down in the coming weeks. Blink was originally launched in April of 2013 and lasted a little over a year.
Yahoo has recently been buying up mobile startups in an effort to get into the online services market since so many users are now using tablets and smartphones to access the web. We don’t know exactly how much Blink went for, but from prior buyouts such as Facebook’s acquisition of Whatsapp for $19 billion, we can expect a pretty sizable amount here as well.
The post Yahoo! scoops up self-destructing message app Blink appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Jawbone makes an activity tracker that goes on your wrist. Automatic makes an activity tracker that plugs into your car. The opportunities for synergy there just seem endless, don’t they? Thanks to a little inspiration from a well-received hackathon project, these two tracking tech companies have partnered up to put all your movement data Jawbone’s iOS and Android companion apps.
Should you own both devices and install Automatic’s software from the Jawbone App Gallery, all the driving data the dongle collects (think trip time, average MPG, start/stop locations and more) will appear in your Jawbone feed. Why? Well, there’s the sheer utility of it, for one — users of both devices now have a single location that highlights their day’s back-and-forth. There’s also a more contemplative angle, too. By seeing your movement in one shot, you’ll also get a sense of how your time is split between being active and cussing at others from behind the wheel. With any luck, you’ll start to reconsider which of your trips require a car in the first place. That’s potentially great news for your body and the environment… though Automatic’ll probably be a little sad you’re not zipping around as much as you used to.
With Hyperloop still a twinkle in Elon Musk’s eye, we’ve got to look elsewhere for our futuristic transport. Thankfully, Aerofex has stepped up with its Aero-X, a hoverbike that is finally scheduled to launch in 2017. Two users can ride this motorbike-like vehicle, where the wheels have been replaced with carbon fiber rotors that’ll lift you 10 feet into the air. This first model has a top speed of 45 miles per hour, and a full tank will carry you for an hour and 15 minutes — making it good enough for a short trip to the store. The Aero-X has a weight limit of 310 pounds, so if you’re going to pretend you’ve got a speederbike, probably best to leave the stormtrooper armor at home. Still, it’s available to pre-order right now, assuming you’ve got $85,000 stashed down the back of the couch, plus the refundable $5,000 deposit, of course.
Filed under: Transportation