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TweakTown News Posts - Page 59

FAA makes flying drones near sports stadiums a punishable crime

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 11:30 pm

The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) posted a warning that says drone operators that fly their aircraft near or over sports stadiums and racetracks could be punished by monetary fines and up to one year in jail. The rules will change flight patterns over 150 stadiums and racetracks with 30,000 or more people.


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Drones will no longer be able to fly under 3,000 feet within three miles of a NCAA Division I college stadium, Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium, or National Football League (NFL) stadium - and the same rules apply for any Indy Car, NASCAR Sprint Cup or Champ series auto tracks.


The FAA is working to commercialize drone use, and while that has proven to be a drawn out mess, a growing number of private citizens are flying drones.

Comcast settles overcharging lawsuit, will fork over $50 million

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 10:30 pm

Comcast will pay $50 million to end an 11-year-old class-action overcharging lawsuit that was filed by angry Philadelphia customers. The lawsuit was filed on December 8, 2003, and originally wanted $875 million from the cable giant.


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The payments, credits and free upgrades will be issued to subscribers in Philadelphia and four other local counties - and will help out curren and former subscribers from January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2008, according to legal documents.


Plaintiffs will receive a measly $15 payout, as just $16.67 million will be paid out in cash or customer credit - including four months of free Internet service upgrades, six free pay-per-view movies two free months of The Movie Channel, or one free month upgrade to Extreme 105 service.

Continue reading 'Comcast settles overcharging lawsuit, will fork over $50 million' (full post)

'State sponsored' Russian hacker group is attacking geographic rivals

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 9:30 pm

A likely Russian state-sponsored hacker group is being blamed for launching cyberattacks against NATO, Georgia, the Caucasus, Eastern Europe and Western European defense contractors, according to a report from FireEye. The APT28 group launches phishing attacks with links to websites that look like authentic news, with compromised information the type of data the Russian government would be interested in acquiring.


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"The Sofacy group is using multiple malware families, including some that are not mentioned in the FireEye paper," said Aleks Gostev, Kaspersky Lab chief security expert of Global Research and Analysis. "They have been very active lately and have registered many domains in order to launch phishing attacks."


The FireEye report also notes APT28 sought "sensitive tactical and strategic intelligence" from governments in the region. Russia has been blamed for a number of coordinated cyberattacks against targets across Europe and in the United States, including a recent attack on the White House - and breaching point of sale (POS) machines of Home Depot.

Nintendo shocks with big profit turnaround with stronger Wii U sales

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 8:32 pm

Gaming company Nintendo managed to generate $132 million profit during the first six months of its fiscal year, which puts the company on track for its first annual profit since 2010. Also offering a bit of surprise, the Wii U game unit doubled sales year-over-year up to 1.1 million units, with a strong boost from the Mario Kart 8 release in May.


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Of course, the Wii U only sold 460,000 units worldwide during the same period last year, so while 1.1 million is significantly better, Nintendo is still currently in the fight of its life.


Much of the gaming world is focused on the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 game consoles, Nintendo has quietly increased sales of the Wii U.

iOS 8 now installed on more than 50 percent of Apple mobile devices

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Software | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 7:30 pm

Apple iOS 8 has captured 52 percent of the company's active mobile devices, continually taking market share from iOS 7. From Oct. 13 to Oct. 27, iOS increased from 48 percent up to 52 percent, with some analysts saying software bugs and possible lack of additional features have prevented some users from upgrading.


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The required 5GB of free space also likely doesn't help, as Apple hasn't been able to convince owners to clear much-needed space before updating.


Despite the release of iOS 8.0.1 - which caused serious headaches for some iPhone 6 Plus owners - the adoption rate for iOS 8 is still significantly higher than the rival Google Android mobile operating system. Android 4.4 KitKat was publicly launched before November 2013, and has captured just 25 percent after an entire year.

Almost half of Californians at risk in 2013 due to data breaches

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 6:32 pm

Personal information of 18.5 million California residents, almost half of the state's total population, suffered from a data breach due to hacking, theft or other personal data exposure in 2013. Up to one-third of the total suffered from some form of fraud, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said - with the 167 significant breaches and 18.5 million number six times higher than 2.5 million accounts stolen in 131 reported breaches one year earlier.


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Not surprisingly, the Target breach contributed to the significant increase, but as cybersecurity experts warned, a number of companies are suffering from large scale data breaches.


"Data breaches... threaten the privacy, the security and the economic well-being of consumers and businesses," Harris said. Cybercriminals don't prefer residents in California over other states, but the California Data Breach Report forces businesses and government agencies to publicly disclose breaches of more than 500 people.

Microsoft shows no selling standalone white Xbox One controllers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Gaming Consoles | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 5:30 pm

Microsoft doesn't plan to release a standalone white Xbox One controller, and interested gamers must purchase the Sunset Overdrive bundle. Microsoft executive Aaron Greenberg said the company is "not planning white controllers at this time," when recently asked via Twitter.


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It's worth noting that Greenberg didn't say the company would never release a standalone white Xbox One, but gamers shouldn't expect it anytime soon.


Meanwhile, the Sony PlayStation 4 features black, white, blue, red and camouflage color DualShock 4 Wireless controllers for gamers.

Taco Bell rolls out mobile ordering app for customers

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 4:30 pm

Fast food restaurant Taco Bell has released a new app that allows customers to browse the restaurant's menu, customize and place orders. Customers will be able to alert their local restaurant if they plan to pick up food inside or at the drive-thru. The Taco Bell mobile ordering app is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.


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To help promote its new app, Taco Bell's Facebook, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr have gone dark with the following message: "The new way to Taco Bell isn't on the Internet - it's #onlyintheapp."


"Technology has fundamentally changed the way people interact with brands," said Brian Niccol, Taco Bell president. "All can be done any time, any place on a smartphone."

Continue reading 'Taco Bell rolls out mobile ordering app for customers' (full post)

Lowe's hopes the OSHbot will help assist customers while browsing

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 3:23 pm

Lowe's has developed the OSHbot to see if robots on wheels will be able to improve the store's customer service, with testing currently being done in an Orchard Supply Hardware store in San Jose, California. The robot will greet customers as they enter the store, and ask to see if they need help finding an item. The robot has voice support for English and Spanish, with other languages to be supported in the future.


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"Using science fiction prototyping, we explored solutions to improve customer experiences by helping customers quickly find the products and information they came in looking for," said Kyle Nel, from the Lowe's Innovation Labs. "As a result we developed autonomous retail service robot technology to be an intuitive tool customers can use to ask for help, in their preferred language, and expect a consistent experience."


The OSHbot stands 5-feet tall and includes a front and back screen that can be used for video conferences with other store employees, along with displaying in-store specials. The OSHbot also includes a 3D scanner able to identify items.

Apple CEO Tim Cook defends Apple Pay against stores shunning service

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 29, 2014 2:31 pm

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes his Apple Pay service will develop into a long-term mobile payment hit, despite WalMart, Best Buy, CVS, Rite Aid, and more than 50 other retailers developing their own service. Even with one million registered credit cards in the first three days, it remains uncertain if mobile users are willing to purchase an iPhone just for Apple Pay.


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"It's a skirmish," Cook recently said when asked about retailers choosing not to embrace Apple Pay. "Merchants have different objectives sometimes. But in the long arc of time, you only are relevant as a retailer or merchant if your customers love you."


Launching Apple Pay, even if a contingent of retailers don't want to use the service, the Silicon Valley company hopes to entice more users towards the iPhone.

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