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Starbucks has began upgrading its Silicon Valley stores to include wireless charging tables that allow a patron's wireless device to get a boost of energy while their owners get their much needed recharge as well. The company says that 10 of its stores located in Silicon Valley are getting tables that are outfitted with high-tech Duracell Powermat equipment.
"More and more customers are using Starbucks as their home base, and they are looking to recharge in a number of ways," said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer, Starbucks Coffee Company, in a statement to the press. "We have seen positive customer response to wireless charging through our tests in Boston and are pleased to now extend this experience for our customers in the Silicon Valley area."
Unfortunately, not all wireless charging platforms are compatible with the tables as there are at least three different wireless charging standards out at the moment. The company says that the tables are compatible with those that adhere to the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standards which have been adopted by Google, BlackBerry, HTC, LG, Samsung, ZTE, and a few other brands.
Today, Reuters has reported that Yandex Co-Founder and CIO of the Russian search giant Yandex has been pronounced brain dead. Llya Segalovich was recently diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer and has been receiving treatment for some time now and this turn of events came abruptly and was quite unexpected.
"Mr. Segalovich had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer and was responding well to treatment and working a full schedule, before unexpectedly succumbing to complications last night," the Russian company said in a statement at 10:55 a.m. in Moscow, after receiving information that he had died.
"We want to clarify an earlier statement that the company put out. We have since learnt that Ilya is in coma and on life support although not showing any brain function. Our thoughts are with him at this time," Arkady Volozh said on a conference call later in the day.
Segalovich co-founded the business over two decades ago with Volozh when they created software that allowed searching The Bible based on context, and then in 2007 they created Yandex.ru, Russia's largest Internet search engine. Back in March, Segalovich sold off 0.2 million of his shares and had planned on donating the money to charity. This left him with 2.5 percent of the company, while Volozh retained 10.5 percent.
Here's a list of the US Congressmen who voted for, and against the amendment to stop the NSA spying on the world
Ah, US politics - it's all a House of Cards. Well, the NSA nearly had their funding cut earlier today, but there were more 'for' votes than 'against' votes with Congress today.
Representative Justin Amash presented an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill, which would have seen the NSA lose their ability to use tax payers money to spy on everyone. TechCrunch embedded a Scribd document, where you can see all of the members' votes. It's interesting, to see just who is with the Americans, and who is not.
We're not trying to start anything here, but any Congressmen who votes for the spying of the American people doesn't sound too patriotic now, do they? Check out the list here.
During a press event later today, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to announce that all UK broadband accounts will have adult content filtered by default before the end of the year. These restrictions can only be removed by the account-holder calling up their ISP and specifically requesting that porn be allowed on their account. Additionally, public Wi-Fi providers will now be forced to advertise if they utilize the porn filter or if they have removed it.
Cameron has also made it known that he wishes to outlaw what he calls "extreme pornography," of which the details are vague but we do know that it includes child pornography, and other extreme acts that are considered illegal in the UK. He will be requesting that the Child Exploitation and Online Protection center compile a "blacklist" of terms that might be used to search for such "extreme pornography." This was would then be used to block searches containing the terms. Additionally, ISPs have no choice in participating in the blacklist-filtering as Cameron says that they will be forced into action.
The founder of Bose Corp., Amar Bose, died on Friday, aged 83. Bose had been a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology unveil his death.
Bose's discoveries lead to new designs for speakers and other audio components that led him toward his path of being a billionaire. Bose's first contracts were actually quite large, with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration - you know, NASA - for improvements on audio communications.
It wasn't long after this contract that Bose entered the commercial audio market and have seen huge success since.
Human Rights Watch's Senior Russian Researcher Tanya Lokshina has just revealed that Edward Snowden is planning to file for asylum in Russia and will then prepare to travel to Latin America. Lokshina was a member of the team of human rights experts that were invited to meet with Snowden recently. New York Times reporter Ellen Barry replayed Lokshina's reports via Twitter early this morning.
Latin America would be a very friendly place for Snowden to travel to as Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador have all offered him asylum. Venezuela is the only official offer that is outstanding. The other countries listed require Snowden to be in-country before the request for asylum can be processed.
Russian president Vladimir Putin commented that his country would only grant asylum to Snowden if he ceased any activities with which he intends to harm Russia's "American Partners." Snowden replied by saying "No actions I take or plan are meant to harm the US." I wonder if he meant no harm when he disclosed US spying activities to the Chinese?
This morning, the World Service Authority issued NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a world passport based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This World Passport grants Snowden the right to travel throughout the world without limitations. It does not stop him from being extradited back to the US if he lands in a country that has extradition treaties with the US.
Currently Snowden is immobilized in a Moscow airport transit lounge with no outgoing ticket to any nation. The WSO says that this is a flagrant violation of article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that everyone has the right to leave any country including his own and be returned to his own country.
Iran has followed through with its plans to launch its own national email service which requires all citizens to sign up for it as a "safe" way to communicate with government officials. Each citizen was given an email address but before they can use it, account holders will have to provide their local post office with a full name, their national identification number, and their postal code.
Mohammad Hasan Nami, Iran's minister for information and communication technology, said: "For mutual interaction and communication between the government and the people, from now on every Iranian will receive a special email address along with their postcode." He added that "With the assignment of an email address to every Iranian, government interactions with the people will take place electronically."
Independent experts doubt the plan, however, and say that the plan will most likely not materialize across the country as the newly elected president Hassan Rouhani, who has taken a softer line on Internet and web censorship, is due to be sworn-in in August.
Some Google users were shocked to find the service not available this morning, which caused a small bout of mass hysteria on social networking sites such as Facebook. The outages began around 9:30 AM ET and reports began to surface on Facebook and Twitter shortly thereafter.
An hour later, around 10:30 AM ET, all of Google services had appeared to be restored and back to their full functionality. Among the services affected were Google+, Google Drive, YouTube, and Gmail. The outages appear to have only affected those living in the southeast region of the United States, however, this reporter experienced no interruptions at all.
As typhoon season approaches, Google has expanded its Public Alerts system to include Taiwan and has launched a dedicated crisis map for the country in preparation for the rainy season. These new additions come just in time as weather agencies are currently monitoring a typhoon that can hit the island any day now.
In a blog post this morning, Google said that starting today, the Google Public Alerts page (Source #2) will feature severe weather alerts for typhoons and flood-related events in Taiwan. Additionally, these alerts will also appear on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Now. For example, if a typhoon alert is issued, the alert will be displayed once you search for relevant information on Google Search and Google Maps. Google Now on Android or iOS will also display a card with information about any typhoon alert if the warning has been issued near your location.
Google has also launched a dedicated Google Crisis Map for Taiwan (Source #3) that provides details in the event of a crisis such as shelter locations, evacuation routes, and much more. Google has teamed up with Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau, Water Resource Agency, Soil and Water Conservation Bureau, Directorate General of Highways, and the National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction to get such a project up and running.