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For a number of years the US government has limited the resolution of satellite images that could be used by commercial firms. The restrictions on images meant that anything smaller than 50cm had to be pixilated. Those restrictions have now been lifted.
Under the new rules objects as small as 50cm are now allowed to be used commercially. This decision means that Google and others can now use significantly higher resolution images. One company has said that it plans to use images with features as small as 31cm.
Google announced Project Loon about a year ago and to many it sounded like something farfetched that would never come to reality. As it turns out Google was very serious about Project Loon. The project uses high altitude balloons to provide internet connectivity to an area at broadband speeds.
Google has been testing and tweaking Project Loon in Brazil using the high-flying balloons to provide internet connectivity to a small rural town called Campo Maior, which didn't have web access before. Google has also had one of its balloons circle the globe in 22 days and has units in its network designed to stay in the air for over 100 days.
Back in April of this year, Nest stopped selling the Protect smoke alarm after an issue surfaced with the wave feature. The wave feature was designed to allow the user to silence the alarm and that feature was malfunctioning leading to Nest issuing a patch that disabled it on units in use.
Nest has now announced that the Protect is available for purchase again. However, the wave feature is still disabled on the Protect. An investigation into a solution for the wave issue is underway. The Nest Protect is designed to alert a smartphone if smoke is detected so you can keep an eye on your home or office from afar.
Popular retailer Target recently suffered a technical glitch when point-of-sale (POS) systems at checkouts in retail stores. It's unknown how many stores were affected by the problem, but Twitter users across the country reported long lines as Target tried to quickly address the problem.
With nothing to do but wait in lines, it isn't surprising to hear shoppers took to Twitter to voice their complaints. It's an unfortunate incident for Target, as the company's large data breach late last year already left customers angry.
The company was quick to note the computer issue wasn't related to a security incident, according to company spokesperson, Molly Snyder: "Target has identified an issue impacting checkout at some of our U.S. stores. The glitch is causing delays at some checkouts, but is not in any way related to a security issue. We apologize to anyone impacted, and we are working with guests in stores where the issue has not yet been resolved to accommodate their needs. We will provide updates as they are available."
If you travel around much of your local area, you are sure to see some of the large and ugly metal cell phone towers that power the nation's wireless infrastructure. In some cities, there are laws that prevent mobile companies from installing these big eyesores. That means that companies are having to get sneaky with the way they install towers.
Wireless companies are now putting up so-called stealth cell phone towers that are able to blend into the environment. You may live right up the street from one of these towers and not know it. For instance, the bell tower of the church in this image hides a fully functional cell phone tower.
A former Microsoft employee is facing three months in jail and a whopping $100 fine after stealing trade secrets and leaking Windows 8 builds to a French blogger. Alex Kibkalo faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but reached a deal with federal prosecutors for a massively reduced sentence.
In a latter included in his court documents, Kibkalo said: "For sure, I got my lesson not to discuss my work projects with external parties". Microsoft went down a very different path when investigating this case, with the Redmond-based software giant secretly going through Kibkalo's Hotmail account and Messenger logs, in order to find out if he was leaking pre-release information about Windows 8 RT and Microsoft's Activation Server Software Development Kit.
Do you want some bitcoins and have a minimum of $200,000 for a deposit? If so, prepare for the U.S. federal government's auction of bitcoins that once belonged to the defunct Silk Road black market website.
The U.S. Marshals Service is spearheading the auction, and all interested parties must register by June 23. The auction itself begins on June 27 and will run for 12 hours. Everyone participating must submit a registration form, copy of a government-issued photo ID, and a wire transfer deposit. The 30,000 bitcoins currently are currently valued around $17.3 million currently exchanging at $600 per bitcoin. It appears the federal government has monitored the value of bitcoin and has tried to time the auction at a time when bitcoin value appears to be rising yet again.
The feds also seized another 144,336 bitcoins that belonged to Silk Road head Ross William Ulbricht, however, he is contesting their forfeiture. Interestingly, Ulbricht's attorney argues that bitcoin isn't real currency, and says charges should be dismissed and the cryptocurrency should be returned.
Apple is working iPhone users in Europe that some of the USB adapters could pose a safety risk. Apple has found that some of its USB adapters that shipped bundled with iPhones and were sold separately could overheat leading to a safety risk. The adapters shipped in Europe with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S.
These adapters were sold from October 2009 until September 2012. The affected adapters have model A1300 printed on the on the bottom of the unit. You can see an example in the image above.
Virgin Galactic is the company that Richard Branson put together over the last few years that will eventually take passengers into space. Only the wealthy will be able to afford these trips, as ticket prices will cost well over $100,000 each according to reports.
Word has surfaced that Google is in talks to purchase a stake in Virgin Galactic. According to the rumor, it's not a chance to send normal people into space that Google wants. Rather Google wants access to satellite launching technology. Google bought Skybox Imaging this week for $500 million.
Everything is getting smart these days from our phones to our watches. A new smart cup has turned up from a company called Mark One that is called the Vessyl. The smart cup has some interesting abilities. It knows what you put inside and can break the liquid down to its most vital components using sensors inside the cup.
The goal of the cup is to help us change how we consume liquids during the day. The cup can monitor caffeine and sugar amounts and tracks calories. It also has a proprietary hydration measurement that it tracks called Pryme. All of these metrics that the cup can record are synced with an app on your smartphone.