Today's Top Technology Headlines
- BlackBerry to buy rival Good Technology for $425 million
By Allison Martell TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's BlackBerry Ltd said on Friday it will buy rival mobile software provider Good Technology Corp for $425 million, to boost its ability to help corporate clients manage smartphones running on different operating systems. The cash deal may help BlackBerry, a one-time smartphone pioneer, win new customers for its services business, a priority as it shifts focus to device management software for enterprise customers. BlackBerry said it expects to realize about $160 million in revenue from the acquisition in the first year after the deal closes, expected by late November.
- Automakers, Google take different roads to automated cars
By Paul Lienert and Joseph White DETROIT (Reuters) - From his laboratory at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, automated vehicle pioneer Raj Rajkumar says self-driving cars will evolve step-by-step, with humans staying in charge for a long time to come. More than 2,500 miles west in Mountain View, California, Chris Urmson, head of Google Inc's self-driving car program since 2009, has a different view: A fully automated vehicle that requires no input or intervention from humans is a safer choice, and one that could be ready for production by 2020. Partially automating a car can reduce certain accident risks, but can also create new safety challenges not easily solved by current technology.
- Justice Department tightens cellphone tracking rules
By Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors and some federal law enforcement agencies will need to obtain a search warrant to use devices that track cellphone locations, under a policy announced by the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday. Until now, U.S. attorneys and Justice Department agencies, including the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, have been able to use cell-site simulators without applying for a warrant or outlining a probable cause. Cell-site simulators replicate phone towers to pick up location-identifying information that enables law enforcement to apprehend fugitives, conduct narcotic investigations or rescue a kidnapped child, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told reporters on Thursday.
- Qualcomm president says splitting company may not create value
By Liana B. Baker NEW YORK (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc's President Derek Aberle, under pressure from activist hedge fund Jana Partners to improve the licensing and chip design firm's stock performance, on Thursday sounded a cautionary note about a potential breakup of the company. Stressing that the board and management do not expect to complete a review of a possible split until the end of the year, Aberle told Reuters that Qualcomm agrees with Jana that its stock is undervalued. Aberle said that investors calling for a split are taking a "sum of the parts" analysis and believe that Qualcomm's two divisions - its highly profitable licensing arm and its chips unit - would be valued more highly as independent companies.
- Ex-Tesla engineer charged with illegally accessing employee evaluations
A former Tesla Motors engineer has been charged in federal court with felony computer intrusion for accessing his manager's email account, sharing employee evaluations with others and posting confidential information on the Web. Nima Kalbasi, a 28-year-old Canadian, then "tried to harm Tesla's reputation and credibility by making false and misleading comments," the FBI said in a statement on Thursday. Kalbasi appeared in U.S. District Court in San Jose on August 27, the FBI said.
- Protesters condemn U.S. case over Rentboy.com male escort website
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gay and civil rights activists gathered in downtown Brooklyn on Thursday to condemn the prosecution of the chief executive officer and six employees of male escort website Rentboy.com for promoting prostitution. About 50 protesters gathered outside the federal court where charges are pending against Rentboy.com CEO Jeffrey Hurant and the employees, who were arrested last week as authorities seized the website, which marketed to gay men. The case has prompted outrage among some gay rights activists, who questioned why prosecutors are only now targeting the service after it had operated transparently for nearly two decades.
- This sheep is my Patronus
It poses little problem to me except for prohibiting me from enjoying Milk Duds, a candy which is not even in my top 10. Another thing I had put off indefinitely was choosing a Patronus. Yes, I know from the legend of Harry Potter that having an animal that represents your personality / essence / paternity is super important.
- New trailers: Concussion, Beasts of No Nation, The Daily Show, and more
We're one week out of summer movie season, and suddenly all of the superheroes and action stars have disappeared. It's a really nice change of pace! Now trailers are rolling out for thrillers and serious dramas, and a lot of them look really good. Head below to see 13 of the best trailers that came out this week.
- How it works: Inside the BB-8 Star Wars drone that’s blowing everyone’s mind
The new Star Wars movie isn’t even out yet, and we already have a character that we totally love: the spinning BB-8 drone that’s even cuter than R2-D2. Yes, I said it. Unsurprisingly, the tiny robot that went viral after appearing in the first official trailer has inspired a series of smart, remote-controlled toys that everyone’s talking about. But how does it really work? DON’T MISS: I think I’ve figured out how much the new Nexus 5 will cost Sphero now has a $149.99 gadget that you can already buy in stores, and it’s controlled using your smartphone and your voice. What makes the spherical robot very interesting is the head sitting on top of the sphere that remains somewhat stationary even when the device is moving.
- The Vergecast 169: VMAs, the future of TV, and IFA
This week on The Vergecast, Dieter, Nilay, Emily, and Hype-Seater-in-turn Nicola Fumo talk about the VMAs and what they did to Miley's career. Also, Kanye. Also, Apple TV. Also, the unbearable confusion of how much it costs to just buy an iPhone. It's enough to cause an adorable little droid to fling itself off of the table. We don't recommend you do that, though.
- Forget football: How fantasy sports are helping kids learn
- Wikipedia founder defends decision to encrypt the site in China
This summer, Wikipedia switched to encrypted HTTPS for all users, preventing ISPs from seeing which pages a user was visiting or injecting traffic into the stream. Wikipedia was blocked in mainland China following the changes and has remained blocked for more than two months now, a result that has been controversial among a number of anti-censorship groups and drawn significant opposition from Chinese editors of the site. "I think our approach has been better than anyone’s," Wales says in the interview.
- Amazon slashed $150 off the price of Google’s Nexus 6 – now starts at just $350!
There are plenty of phones out there now that can deliver a somewhat pure Android experience, but there’s still only one Nexus. True hardcore Android fans know that Nexus is the only way to go if you want the latest and greatest Google has to offer without any of the fluff or bloat dumped on top of Android by vendors and carriers. Plus, Nexus phones always get Android updates the instant they become available, while other handsets have to wait months for the update. Now, thanks to a huge sale happening over on Amazon, there has never been a better time to buy the latest Nexus phone: Amazon is now selling the Google Nexus 6 for just $349.99 for the 32GB
- Facebook working with schools on a personalized learning app
- F-U-N-D-E-D: Why a global auto giant just invested in a tiny parking app