Access to fast broadband Internet may not be dumbing younger generations down after all, with faster Web access is more conductive to learning, according to the "States with Faster Internet Access Have Smarter People" report published by High Speed Internet. The top five states with the fastest Internet service, Virginia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington, had students with ACT scores in the top 15.
Meanwhile, the five states with the slowest Internet had average ACT scores towards the lower-end of the rankings: Alaska, Montana, Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia. There were a few states that had the fastest Internet service but were in the bottom 20 average ACT scores: Michigan, North Dakota, and Utah.
A few states bucked the trend, such as Maine, which was 37th overall in Internet speed, but had the fourth best ACT average. Technology is a great asset for students, but still isn't a magic tool that will automatically make students more intelligent or learn better than students in other parts of the country - but can be utilized to make a major impact long-term.
Microsoft has decided to pull the plug on the $500 Titanfall Xbox One bundle that featured an Xbox One game console, Kinect, one month of Xbox Live Gold, and a copy of Titanfall. The bundle only went on sale in March but Titanfall - while the best-selling Xbox One game title - didn't wow gaming fans the way it was expected to.
Instead of a Titanfall bundle, gamers can choose a $500 bundle that has an Xbox One, Kinect, and a free copy of Forza Motorsport 5. Furthermore, the company will introduce a $399 Madden NFL 15 bundle on August 26, with a $399 Sunset Overdrive bundle planned for October 28. Gamers seem more excited for the 1TYB Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Xbox One bundle that will be available in November.
"Titanfall bundle is done," said Phil Spencer, Microsoft Xbox head, in a Tweet responding to fans.
Verizon Wireless is reportedly planning to open its own app store to try to compete with the Google Play Store on Android-powered devices. Android has around one billion users worldwide, which is why Verizon wants to offer a unique service to its wireless subscribers.
If true, it'd be a curious move by Verizon, as Google and Apple clearly dominate the app market, which is a multi-billion dollar industry. Customers spent $10 billion in Apple's App store in 2013, with Google sales figures unavailable - Google gives device manufacturers and wireless carriers 30 percent of revenue from apps sold, and Apple doesn't return anything to partners.
However, Google is cutting back revenue to carriers and hardware manufacturers, which is why Verizon hopes to step up and have a bigger influence in the app market. Verizon is the No. 1 wireless carrier in the United States and reportedly has the best network quality out of all four major carriers.
Audio company Cambridge Audio recently announced three new Bluetooth speakers that are somewhat pricey but should still win over music listeners. The Go, Go Radio and Bluetone 100 will all be available later this year, as the wireless speaker market becomes even more competitive.
The Go is designed to instantly stream music from smartphones, tablets, and computers, with 18 hours of playback per charge. It includes NFC technology for one-touch Bluetooth pairing to smartphones and other devices. The Go Radio includes the same specifications but also includes an FM Radio with 3 pre-sets and LED digital display. The Bluetone 100 features 100 Watt amplification and a working range up to 105 feet, with 180 degree sound dispersion.
The Cambridge Audio Go will be released in September with a $179.99 MSRP; the Go Radio will be available in November for $199.99 MSRP; and the Bluetone 100 will be available in September with a $299.99 MSRP.
The healthcare industry is still being slammed by cyberattacks, with 90 percent of organizations losing patient data at one time or another, according to research from the Ponemon Institute. It's a frightening thought because the medical industry faces more data breaches than the military and banking industries combined.
Cybercriminals have shown great interest in targeting the healthcare industry, as stolen records are worth more on the underground market. Credit card information can fetch around $1 per stolen record, but medical data earns up to $50+ per stolen credential.
"They can't keep up [with hackers]," said J.D. Sherry, Trend Micro security firm adviser for hospitals and healthcare organizations. "Their resources are tremendously overwhelmed. With day-to-day business, IT security is not top of mind."
Electronics maker Samsung and bookstore Barnes & Noble recently launched the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, a 7-inch device including an HD display. The Nook 4 is available now with a $179 price tag after $20 instant rebate, including more than $200 in free content to help draw in customers.
The device includes a quad-core processor, 8GB storage, 3-megapixel rear camera and 1.3-megapixel front camera, and runs Google Android 4.4 Kit Kat.
"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is the most advanced Nook ever, delivering the great Nook experience our customers have come to love, with the high-performance tablet features they've asked for," said Michael Huseby, Barnes & Noble CEO, in a press statement. "We invite reading and entertainment fans to visit their local Barnes & Noble store to experience the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook."
Researchers impressed with octopuses and squid and their impressive camouflage abilities have created a color-changing camouflage technology. A study published in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" journal revealed a new flexible material consisting of light sensors and temperate-sensitive dye. The technology is able to detect and adapt colors based on its surroundings, but is currently limited to black and white only.
Researchers wanted to study animals in the wild, specifically cephalopods able to camouflage themselves, in an effort to create a new material from collected data. The U.S. Navy has helped fund research, but there has been a great amount of interest from private sector companies hoping to utilize this type of custom material.
"Real cephalopods are capable of levels of active camouflage orders of magnitude more sophisticated than our system," said John Rogers, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researcher, in a statement. "But we hope to eventually design manmade systems that rival those we see in biology."
The FBI is currently investigating the theft of 1.2 billion Internet logins and passwords compromised by Russian criminals. Credentials were taken from more than 420,000 websites and servers over a few years, with Hold Security obtaining some of the credentials earlier this month. The hacker group responsible has become better organized using sophisticated tools to compromise data, and originated from simply being a spam operation.
Not much is known about the breach, though it includes stealing data from both small and large websites in multiple countries, including the United States and Russia. It remains unknown which companies are vulnerable due to the theft, and it's unknown what the criminal gang plans to do with the stolen data.
"The FBI is investigating the recently reported incident involving the potential compromise of numerous usernames and passwords, and will provide additional information as the nature and scope of the incident becomes clearer," said Josh Campbell, FBI spokesman, in a statement to the media.
Verizon Wireless has the best network quality out of the top four U.S. wireless carriers, according to a new report released by RootMetrics. Verizon and AT&T are extremely close in the rankings, with T-Mobile leapfrogging Sprint to capture the No. 3 spot.
The RootMetrics report indicated Verizon dominated testing, capturing overall network performance, network speed and network reliability. The company's wireless service seemed to perform well in metropolitan areas and at individual state levels, RootMetrics pointed out.
"Verizon has recaptured the top spot in speed, while AT&T has slipped a little," said Bill Moore, RootMetrics CEO, in an interview with CBS News. "Overall the companies are neck and neck. When it comes to reliability, AT&T is getting closer to parity with Verizon."
Amazon Fire Phone sales are being hampered due to exclusivity to the No. 2 wireless carrier, AT&T, according to a recent study released by Chitika Insights. Instead of directly monitoring the overall number of users, Chitika tracked the amount of Web activity through the phone, studying "tens of millions" of ad views.
Industry analysts noted that limiting itself to just one of the four major U.S. wireless carriers would have an impact on sales. It appears Amazon was ready to make the Fire Phone a long-term project and didn't expect immediate success with its introductory device.
Meanwhile, the LG G3 smartphone saw a rise in sales, especially when Verizon Wireless and Sprint introduced the device to their subscribers. Amazon likes to keep sales figures secret from the media and general public, and it will be difficult to verify Chitika's research, but it wouldn't be surprising to hear Fire Phone sales grinding away.