Today's Top Technology Headlines
- U.S. says hackers probed voting systems, no sign of damage
(Reuters) - Hackers have probed the voting systems of many U.S. states but there is no sign that they have manipulated any voting data, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Saturday. National security officials are investigating a number of possible leads suggesting that cyber-criminals are trying to influence the Nov. 8 presidential election, including by hacking into systems run by the Democratic National Committee. Republican candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly charged that the U.S. election system is "rigged" and top Democrats in Congress have charged that Russia is behind repeated attempts to access both party data and state voting systems.
- Exclusive: EU wants Google to stop anti-competitive Android practices, fine expected
By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators plan to order Alphabet's Google to stop paying financial incentives to smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search exclusively on their devices and warned the company of a large fine, an EU document showed. Google received a copy in April in which the European Commission accused it of using its dominant Android mobile operating system to shut out rivals. The EU competition enforcer in its charge sheet, known as a statement of objections, said it planned to tell the U.S. technology giant to halt payments or discounts to mobile phone manufacturers in return for pre-installing Google's Play Store with Google Search.
- Apple loses patent retrial to VirnetX, owes $302.4 million
By Andrew Chung NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal jury in Texas on Friday night ordered Apple Inc to pay more than $302 million in damages for using VirnetX Holding Corp's patented internet security technology without permission in features including its FaceTime video conferencing application. The verdict came in a new trial in Tyler, Texas that had been ordered by the judge in the case, Robert Schroeder, who last August threw out VirnetX's $625.6 million win over Apple from a previous trial because he said jurors in that case may have been confused. VirnetX and Apple have been fighting over patents for years.
- California proposes giving more freedom to test self-driving cars
By Alexandria Sage SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California will allow companies more leeway in testing self-driving cars on public roads while restricting how the nascent technology is advertised under revised draft regulations released on Friday. The original draft regulations by the Department of Motor Vehicles were criticized by some tech companies, such as Alphabet Inc's Google, and carmakers as being overly restrictive and stifling innovation. California has been at the forefront of the fast-growing autonomous vehicle industry, fueled by technology companies in Silicon Valley, and is one of a handful of states to have passed regulations enabling self-driving car testing on public roads.
- Yahoo hack may become test case for SEC data breach disclosure rules
By Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Yahoo's disclosure that hackers stole user data from at least 500 million accounts in 2014 has highlighted shortcomings in U.S. rules on when cyber attacks must be revealed and their enforcement. Democratic Senator Mark Warner this week asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Yahoo and its senior executives properly disclosed the attack, which Yahoo blamed on Sept. 22 on a "state-sponsored actor." The Yahoo hack could become a test case of the SEC's guidelines, said Jacob Olcott, former Senate Commerce Committee counsel who helped develop them, due to the size of the breach, intense public scrutiny and uncertainty over the timing of Yahoo's discovery.
- German lawyer makes hate-speech complaint against Facebook
German prosecutors are again considering whether to press charges against Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook executives for failing to staunch a tide of racist and threatening posts on the social network during an influx of migrants into Europe. Munich prosecutors said they had received a complaint filed by a German technology law firm two weeks ago alleging that Facebook broke strict national laws against hate speech, sedition and support for terrorist organizations. Attorney Chan-jo Jun, who filed a similar complaint in Hamburg a year ago, is demanding that Facebook executives be compelled to comply with anti-hate speech laws by removing racist or violent postings from their site.
- How would sex work in space?
Elon Musk doesn’t want to simply send humans to Mars. The SpaceX CEO has bigger ambitions. Given that Musk hasn’t figured out how to keep people alive on the trip to the Red Planet, it’s unlikely he has details on how people will make more people once they’re there.
- India gets $8 billion worth telecoms spectrum bids on auction's first day
India started its biggest ever telecoms airwaves auction on Saturday, receiving 535.31 billion rupees ($8.04 billion) worth of bids on the first day of the sale, a senior government official said. Market leaders Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone's local unit and Idea Cellular Ltd are pitted against new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd in the battle for airwaves to boost their high-speed data services in what is the world's second-biggest market by mobile phone subscriptions. The total value of the airwaves put on the block is estimated to be worth $84 billion based on the auction reserve price set by the government, although industry executives and analysts expect only part of it to be sold.
- AI's just not that into you -- yet
- You can try Android 7.1’s launcher features right now through Action Launcher
Android 7.1 is expected to come with some new Launcher features, including Launcher Shortcuts and a sliding All Apps drawer as soon as next week. If you don’t want to wait until then, or you don’t have a device that will get a quick update to the latest version of Android, you can check them out now through a third-party app called Action Launcher. Chris Lacy, the developer of Action Launcher, was inspired by Android Police’s breakdown of the Launcher update and integrated the features the website previewed into his own app.
- 5 decisions that made the Nobel Prizes look bad
Nobel Prizes cannot be revoked, so the judges must put a lot of thought into their selections for the six awards, which will be announced in the next two weeks. A discovery might seem groundbreaking today, ...
- Trump rant hits at Alicia Machado supposed 'sex tape'
- 19 science fiction and fantasy books to pick up this October
Kuni Garu is now known as Emperor Ragin, and is forced to balance progress against the demands of his people. The story is about an artistic director named Felix who is fired from the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival and exiled to the backwoods of Canada.
- New iOS app lets you transfer playlists between Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and iTunes
If you’re a music lover, there’s undoubtedly never been a better time to be alive. Thanks to services like Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes and YouTube, the ability to listen to music from across the world has never been more affordable or accessible. But with so many avenues to listen to music, accessing your favorite songs and playlists across varying services can often be an exercise in frustration. When Apple Music first debuted, for example, many people were eager to see what Apple’s take on music streaming was like. One downside, though, is that users who had previously built-up playlists on sites like Spotify had no way to export them to Apple Music. At long last, there’s now a new iOS app that promises to solve this admittedly first-world problem. DON’T MISS: Yup, now the iPhone 7 is exploding Dubbed 25 Most Played , the app is rather simple but extremely helpful. In short, it lets users “import, share, find, follow and port” playlists across Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music and iTunes. In other words, if you’ve got an extensive number of carefully constructed playlists on iTunes from back in the day, 25 Most Played promises to make it a breeze to import it into any music service of your choosing. The app description reads in part: 25 Most Played is a free music app for finding, managing, and following music playlists for iTunes and Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube. Import your playlists from one service and play them on another. And if you are moving to a new music streaming service, 25 Most Played can port your playlists for you. … 25 Most Played allows you to follow playlists created by your friends on other streaming services and listen to them on the music streaming service you use – even with the videos on YouTube. Import your playlists so you can play them at parties even if the host doesn’t use the same platform as you. Find playlists created by your friends, by people in your city, or by strangers with good music taste and save them to your home screen so they are easy to find and play via the music streaming service you prefer. Will Apple eventually remove the app? It's hard to say but it certainly wouldn’t surprise us. Which is to say, if you’re at all protective and serious about your musical playlists, you might want to try downloading this app (accessible via the source link below) as soon possible.
- Apple has been ordered to pay VirnetX $302.4 million in patent lawsuit
A jury has ordered Apple to pay $302.4 million to VirnetX Holding Corp. after it found that the tech giant's FaceTime feature infringed on the VirnetX's patents related to secure communications. The case will now go to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington DC. Virnetx is a communications technology company founded by a group of employees at the Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) which developed security technology for various federal agencies.