Posts Tagged: says

Court OKs lawsuit by woman who says she helped create Pinterest

Pinterest must now face a lawsuit from a former friend of one of its founders who claims she helped create the platform. Bloombergreported that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Seabolt on Thursday denied the company’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Christine Martinez, the plaintiff, claims she was asked by co-founder Ben Silbermann to help revive the app. The digital market strategist claims to have developed features tied to Pinterest’s Boards and created a marketing plan to enlist bloggers to promote the platform, among other contributions. 

Martinez filed a lawsuit against the company in September, and Pinterest filed the motion to dismiss in December. The company argued that Martinez’s claims are too old to fall within the statute of limitations. Seabolt disagreed with this and said Martinez “sufficiently alleges” that she and the Pinterest founders agreed to deferred compensation. Pinterest went public in 2019, an event that Seabolt deemed “transformative” and in his view sealed the company's obligation to pay Martinez.

In a statement to Engadget, Pinterest's chief communications officer LeMia Jenkins Thompson noted that the court dismissed several of Martinez's claims. Thompson also stated that, "as the facts come out, we are confident the evidence will confirm that Plaintiff’s claims are meritless and that the rest of this baseless lawsuit should be dismissed." 

According to the New York Times, Martinez was never formally employed at nor did she ever sign a written contract with the San Francisco-based company. Instead, Martinez argues that the agreement was implied, based on her discussions with Sciarra and Silbermann.

Martinez, who is a former lifestyle blogger and founder of an eccomerce startup, told the Times she was eager to help friends. “[…The Pinterest co-founders] had no marketing background or expertise in creating a product for women.”

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

TikTok says it’s storing US data domestically amid renewed security concerns

TikTok says it’s achieved a “significant milestone” toward its promises to beef up the security of its US users’ data. In a new update, the company says it has “changed the default storage location of US user data.”

As the company notes, it had already stored much of its user data in the United States, at a Virginia-based data center. But under a new partnership with Oracle, the company has migrated US user traffic to a new Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

“Today, 100% of US user traffic is being routed to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” the company wrote in a blog post. “We still use our US and Singapore data centers for backup, but as we continue our work we expect to delete US users' private data from our own data centers and fully pivot to Oracle cloud servers located in the US.” Additionally, TikTok says it has made “operational changes,” including a new department “with US-based leadership, to solely manage US user data for TikTok.”

The moves are part of a longstanding effort by TikTok to address US officials’ concerns over how user data is handled by TikTok and parent company ByteDance. The company has been working to separate US user data so that it’s not accessible to China-based ByteDance as US lawmakers eye legislation to curb the influence of Chinese tech companies.

Still, the new safeguards are unlikely to fully sway critics of TikTok, who say the company still hasn’t addressed all potential concerns about how US user data is handled. In fact, just after TikTok published its blog post, BuzzFeed Newspublished a report that raises new questions about how the company handles the data of its US users.

The report, which was based on hours of internal meetings leaked to BuzzFeed, says that “China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users.” The recordings, which cover a time period between last September and January 2022, offer new details about the complex effort to cut off Bytedance's access to US user data.

The report quotes an outside consultant hired by TikTok to oversee some of the work saying that they believed there was “backdoor to access user data in almost all” of the company’s internal tools. It also quotes statements from several employees who say “that engineers in China had access to US data between September 2021 and January 2022, at the very least.”

It also notes that while data deemed “sensitive,” like users’ birth dates and phone numbers, will be stored in the Oracle servers, other information about US-based users could remain accessible to ByteDance. “ByteDance’s China-based employees could continue to have access to insights about what American TikTok users are interested in, from cat videos to political beliefs,” the report says.

That may not seem as serious as more personal information like birthdays and phone numbers, but it’s exactly the kind of details that some lawmakers in the US have raised concerns about. US officials have questioned whether the app’s “For You” algorithm could be used as a means of foreign influence.

“We know we're among the most scrutinized platforms from a security standpoint, and we aim to remove any doubt about the security of US user data,” TikTok said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Hyundai says it’s the first to pilot a large autonomous ship across the ocean

Autonomous ships just took a small but important step forward. Hyundai's Avikus subsidiary says it has completed the world's first autonomous navigation of a large ship across the ocean. The Prism Courage (pictured) left Freeport in the Gulf of Mexico on May 1st, and used Avikus' AI-powered HiNAS 2.0 system to steer the vessel for half of its roughly 12,427-mile journey to the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Korea's western Chungcheong Province. The Level 2 self-steering tech was good enough to account for other ships, the weather and differing wave heights.

The autonomy spared the crew some work, of course, but it may also have helped the planet. Avikus claims HiNAS' optimal route planning improved the Prism Courage's fuel efficiency by about seven percent, and reduced emissions by five percent.

As you might have guessed, the feat didn't quite usher in an era of zero-crew shipping. The other half of the trip still required human navigation, and most of the route was in the open sea. It would have been tougher for an autonomous system to control the entire voyage, particularly in ports where docking and packed waterways would pose additional challenges.

Avikus plans to commercialize HiNAS 2.0 by the end of the year. And even if fully AI-driven shipping is nowhere on the horizon, the company hopes its Level 2 autonomy will mitigate crew shortages, improve safety and reduce the environmental impact of seaborne transportation. The firm also expects to bring this navigation to leisure boats, not just giant merchant ships. Your next pleasure ride aboard a cabin cruiser or yacht might not always require someone at the helm.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Google says they’re finally optimizing Android tablet apps. Do you believe them?

At Google I/O this year, Google said they were working with developers and manufacturers to finally give Android apps the tablet-optimized versions they deserve. No more upscaled, wonky UI that leaves a ton of wasted space, blown up phone apps, or things that are just straight up broken and unpleasant to use on an Android […]

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Elon Musk says he has the financial backing for his proposed Twitter takeover

Elon Musk now has access to the funds he'd need to buy Twitter. According to an SEC filing, Musk has received "commitment letters" that would supply about $ 46.5 billion to buy all of Twitter's outstanding common stock and take control. The Tesla CEO is "exploring" this tender offer following a lack of response from Twitter, the filing reads.

We've asked Twitter for comment. While the company hasn't directly addressed Musk's offer, initially pegged at $ 43 billion, it recently approved a temporary "poison pill" measure intended to discourage hostile takeovers. The plan would let some shareholders buy more stock if anyone buys more than 15 percent of outstanding stock without the board of directors' approval, diluting the value of Musk's stake. He's already the largest individual shareholder with 9.2 percent ownership.

Musk made the offer claiming that it was meant to protect free speech, and has suggested he could unlock Twitter's potential with features like an edit button (which Twitter was already working on) and an open source algorithm. However, it also comes as the executive fights the SEC over alleged finance rule violations that frequently relate to his tweets. The entrepreneur has multiple strong incentives to purchase Twitter, and the financial backing illustrates just how serious he is.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Whistleblower says Microsoft spent millions on bribes abroad

In an essay published Friday on the whistleblower platform Lioness, former Microsoft manager Yasser Elabd alleged that Microsoft fired him after he alerted leadership to a workplace where employees, subcontractors and government operators regularly engaged in bribery. He further alleges that attempts to escalate his concerns resulted in retaliation within Microsoft by managers, and eventual termination from his role.

Elabd claims in his essay that he worked for Microsoft between 1998 and 2018, and had oversight into a "business investment fund " — essentially a slush fund to "cement longer-term deals" in the Mid-East and Africa. But he grew suspicious of unusual payments to seemingly unqualified partners. After examining several independent audits, he discovered what he believes is a common practice: After setting up a large sale to entities in the region, a "discount" would be baked in, only for the difference between the full-freight cost and discounted fee to be skimmed off and divided between the deal-makers.

“This decision maker on the customer side would send an email to Microsoft requesting a discount, which would be granted, but the end customer would pay the full fee anyway. The amount of the discount would then be distributed among the parties in cahoots: the Microsoft employee(s) involved in the scheme, the partner, and the decision maker at the purchasing entity—often a government official,” Elabd alleged.

The former Microsoft manager gave several examples of suspicious transactions and red flags he witnessed over his two decades working for the company abroad. In one audit, Microsoft gave the Saudi Ministry of the Interior a $ 13.6 million discount which never reached the agency’s doors. In 2015, a Nigerian official complained that the government paid $ 5.5 million for licenses "for hardware they did not possess."

In another example, Qatar’s Ministry of Education paid $ 9.5 million, over a period of seven years, for Microsoft Office and Windows licenses that went unused. Auditors later discovered that employees at that agency didn’t even have access to computers.

“We are committed to doing business in a responsible way and always encourage anyone to report anything they see that may violate the law, our policies, or our ethical standards,” Becky Lenaburg, a VP at Microsoft and deputy general counsel for compliance and ethics, wrote in a statement to The Verge. “We believe we’ve previously investigated these allegations, which are many years old, and addressed them. We cooperated with government agencies to resolve any concerns.”

Elabd claims his attempts to alert managers resulted in his being shouted at by one manager, iced out of certain deals and told by an executive that he had effectively set himself up to be let go after attempting to involve CEO Satya Nadella. After being terminated, Elabd wrote that he brought his documentation before the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice. He claims the DoJ refused to take up his case. According to Protocol, the SEC dropped the case earlier this month due to a lack of resources.

“As I alleged in my complaint to the SEC, Microsoft is violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and continues to do so brazenly. And why wouldn’t they?" wrote Elabd. "By declining to investigate these allegations and the evidence I’ve given them, the SEC and DOJ have given Microsoft the green light.”

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

5G adoption in retail stores will triple by 2024, study says

U.S. retailers are expecting 5G usage in their stores to explode over the next few years as customers seek out better digital in-store experiences.
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Good news! Microsoft says that Android 11 could roll out to the Surface Duo in 2021

Microsoft announced the Surface Duo 2 earlier this week which boasts fixes for many of the complaints leveled at the first model, including the presence of Android 11. Those who stumped up the cash for the original Surface Duo will be painfully aware that it’s still languishing on Android 10, the version of Android that […]

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Elon Musk says he tried to sell Tesla to Apple and Tim Cook snubbed him

Elon Musk apparently once tried to sell Tesla to Apple. Replying to a tweet about yesterday’s Reuters report on the Apple’s electric car ambitions, Musk said, “During the darkest days of the Model 3 program, I reached out to Tim Cook to discuss the p…
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DARPA says it’s getting closer to snatching drones out of midair

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is still developing its Gremlins project, which is apparently getting closer to grabbing drones out of the sky. The agency said it was "inches from success" during its latest round of test flights…
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A new leak says theOnePlus Nord N10 5G and Nord N100 are launching in the US on October 26

We all know that the OnePlus 8T is being announced on October 14th sporting a 120Hz Ultra-smooth display and a fancy glass rear panel, but it seems that the brand is launching a couple of more affordable phones in its new Nord series less than two weeks later. Dubbed the Nord N10 5G and Nord […]

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Huawei says that phones running EMUI 11 will be able to ‘upgrade’ to HarmonyOS

Huawei held its annual Developer Conference yesterday and besides announcing some very interesting laptops, smartwatches, and earphones, also revealed that its HarmonyOS will debut on smartphones during 2021, which is big news in itself. Today brought another intriguing factoid with Huawei saying that devices running on EMUI 11, which is only just beginning to roll […]

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Microsoft says Apple’s game streaming policy will lead to ‘a bad experience’

Earlier today, Apple revised its App Store guidelines to give companies such as Microsoft and Google a way to offer their video game streaming platforms on iOS, but did so with a major caveat. Apple said those companies could release catalog-style ap…
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Uber CEO says his company can’t hire all of its drivers in California

Whatever the outcome of its ongoing legal spat with the state of California, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi doesn’t believe his company can employ all the people who drive for the platform in California, at least not without a fundamental rethinking of i…
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Microsoft says it’s aiming to close TikTok deal by September 15th

Microsoft added a dose of clarity to the reports of its impending TikTok purchase tonight, issuing a blog post that confirms it’s pursuing discussions with ByteDance. The company notes that CEO Satya Nadella discussed the matter with President Trump,…
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Google says that something special is coming today – likely the Nest smart speaker

After a week that saw the new Nest smart speaker make its debut in a certification image from its Japanese certification that gave it a rather drab appearance with Google hastily sending out a press render and promo video to tech sites, it seems that today is the day that all will be revealed. Well, […]

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Nintendo says 140,000 more NNID accounts have been illegally accessed

Nintendo shut down NNID logins back in April after it discovered hackers had compromised some 160,000 accounts using legacy credentials. Now, the company says that figure was more like 300,000. In a Japanese language statement posted today, Nintendo…
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Elon Musk says Starship is SpaceX’s ‘top priority’ from now on

Don’t expect SpaceX to lavish much more attention on Crew Dragon now that it has launched people into orbit. CNBC said it had obtained email from Elon Musk asking staff to treat Starship as the “top SpaceX priority,” pushing them to “dramatically and…
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Zuckerberg says he will ‘review’ policies after employee backlash

Mark Zuckerberg shared a seven-part plan following widespread criticism from employees over his handling of Donald Trump’s Facebook posts last week. The update comes after a week of increasingly vocal dissent from within the company. In the note, Zuc…
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Latest leak says OnePlus Z will be using a Snapdragon 765 CPU, not a MediaTek chip

The OnePlus Z is leaking again, but this time we’ve actually got something interesting to talk about. The phone was originally tipped to a use a MediaTek Dimensity 1000 CPU, which was believable; OnePlus has always used Qualcomm processors, but MediaTek’s latest offering is a pretty solid bang for the buck without compromising performance. This […]

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Google says nationwide coronavirus website is in development

President Trump misspoke when he said Google was developing a national screening and test result site for potential coronavirus patients (that's just Verily's Bay Area pilot for now), but there was apparently a degree of truth involved. In a series…
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Ring says its app will allow more control over data shared with Google, Facebook

A couple of weeks ago, the Electronic Frontier Foundation published the results of its investigation into data the Ring app is sharing with third parties. While the Amazon-owned company has faced criticism over its links to law enforcement and the se…
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New music label says it can use AI to find the next big artist

At this point, artificial intelligence isn't a new concept to musicians. We've seen artists like Björk and Arca use the technology to create new musical arrangements. But a new label called Snafu Records thinks it can also use AI to discover the…
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Huawei says it may ‘never’ return to using Google apps on its phones, even if the ban is lifted

In a recent post, I asked if Huawei is still relevant in the west considering that the US ban is still in effect but maybe the better question to ask would have been if Huawei would return to using Google’s apps and services if or when the ban is lifted. According to Huawei’s Product Manager […]

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CDC says a toxic compound may be responsible for vaping illnesses

The Center for Disease Control is edging closer to an explanation for vaping-related lung illnesses. The agency has determined that vitamin E acetate, a compound present in all 29 lung tissue samples obtained from patients, is a "potential toxin of…
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Huawei’s Richard Yu says that Google apps could roll out to Mate 30 Pro overnight once the US ban is lifted

Huawei launched the new Mate 30 Pro in Munich yesterday without Google apps and services installed out of the box thanks to the company getting caught in the trade war between the US and China. It’s a great shame that consumers outside of the US are beginning to feel the impact of the trade dispute, […]

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NASA says satellite that India shot down may threaten the ISS

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine called India's destruction of one of its satellites a "terrible, terrible thing" that could endanger astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Addressing employees, he said a missile that shot down a satellit…
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Meizu says its port-free Zero phone was a failed marketing stunt

You may recall that a little over a month ago, Meizu launched a crowdfunding campaign for its futuristic "Zero" port-free smartphone, but at $ 1,299 a piece (plus that single $ 2,999 "Exclusive Pioneering Unit"), it comes as no surprise that the overly…
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HTC says it hasn’t given up on mobile yet, plans to release new phones soon

The former ‘King of Android,’ HTC, has been absent from our minds in recent months that have seen flagship smartphones launched by just about every other handset maker. With the exception of the ludicrous blockchain smartphone, Exodus 1, HTC has been quietly existing in the shadows of its competitors, with its most recent offering being the […]

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FCC investigator says Pai didn’t give Sinclair preferential treatment

More than a few people thought FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was acting suspiciously ahead of the failed Sinclair-Tribune merger. The regulator's Office of the Inspector General, however, would beg to differ. The watchdog has published a report determining…
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US says ZTE can resume limited business while sanctions are debated

The Trump administration has handed ZTE another lifeline, Bloomberg reports, allowing it to resume certain business activities while US lawmakers decide how to deal with the company going forward. In April, the US Commerce Department banned ZTE from…
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Tesla says it’s being underpaid because its batteries are too fast

It looks like Tesla's batteries are too fast for their own good. As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the company claims it's not being properly paid for the electricity its South Australia battery farm is generating for the country's power grid. An…
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Too in love with your phone? That’s a problem says new Motorola study

For years now leadership, management and self-improvement gurus have talked about people needing to establish a better work-life balance. Prepare for a new term to start being tossed about courtesy of Motorola who recently coined “phone-life balance.” The nature of that balance is in a bad place according to a recently completed study commissioned by […]

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Redbox says Disney lawsuit is a baseless attempt to stamp out rivals

Last month, Disney filed a lawsuit against Redbox claiming that the rental company was violating Disney's copyrights. Redbox buys the Disney discs it rents at retail and when those discs come with download codes for digital copies, Redbox sells them…
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New report says HTC’s U11 EYEs will launch on January 15th with 6-inch 18:9 display

CES 2018 hasn’t exactly been a motherlode of excitement for the smartphone segment, with most announcements centering around accessories such as smart speakers with Google Assistant built-in and Razer’s Project Linda. Luckily, thanks to a certain serial leaker, we now know that HTC is planning on launching a brand new handset called the U11 EYEs […]

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Apple says slower performance of older iPhones is intentional

You're not alone if you've noticed a slowdown in the performance of your older iPhone. The thing is, it may be more related to your battery than the phone itself. After a post on Reddit and a followup by benchmarking software Geekbench's founder, App…
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Natural Cycles says contraceptive app is more effective than the pill

Contraceptive app Natural Cycles is more effective than the pill, according to the latest and largest study into the app's efficacy. After testing 22,785 women throughout 224,563 menstrual cycles, the startup found the app provided 99 percent contrac…
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Qualcomm touts some Android firsts the chipmaker says they brought us

Likely as a bit of a dig at Apple and the iPhone ecosystem, a day before Apple reveals their latest updates to the iPhone line of devices Qualcomm posted about some of the “firsts” the company has achieved for Android devices. Some of these pre-date their adoption by Apple and some may still be exclusive […]

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Carphone Warehouse says a lack of ‘innovation’ is hurting sales

Your smartphone is probably the most important technology purchase you'll ever make. It travels everywhere you go, delivers the sum of total human knowledge and helps you capture important memories with photos and video. In fact, they're so good at p…
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Google says its partners will have Android 8.0-flavored hardware by the end of 2017

You want Android 8.0 Oreo pretty bad, so Google is pushing its partners to get the latest version of its platform onto new and existing devices. It’s typical for Google’s in-house devices to get software updates first. That’s why no one should be surprised that Oreo will be on the Pixel, Pixel C, Nexus 6P, […]

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Andy Rubin says the Essential Phone will be released “in a few weeks”

It looks like the wait for the Essential Phone to be released is coming to an end soon. When a phone launches, the expectation is that it’ll be released in a couple of weeks. Companies don’t like waiting to long to go from launch to release as all of the hype generated typically dies off. […]

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DJ Koh says Samsung will debut the Galaxy Note 8 in August

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 will be announced next month. We knew this even though it wasn’t official, but now it’s official. Samsung’s DJ Koh, head of the mobile division, was speaking at a press conference in Taiwan when he revealed that the Galaxy Note 8 becomes official in August. The confirmation aligns with previous launches […]

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Motorola says Android 7.0 Nougat for the Moto X Pure Edition is in “final field testing”

No, the Moto X Pure Edition doesn’t have Android 7.0 Nougat despite what you’ve heard. It’s been a very bumpy path for owners of the Moto X Pure Edition who’ve wait so long for the software update. Google released Nougat almost an entire year ago, and the 2015 that runs stock Android is still without […]

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Andy Rubin says the Essential Phone should ship in about 30 days

Now we know when you should expect to see the Essential Phone ship in the United States. Speaking with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference hosted by Recode, Essential’s Andy Rubin revealed that its first phone should ship in around the next 30 days. Neither Essential nor Rubin would share anything about availability beyond pricing in […]

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Microsoft says it already patched ‘Shadow Brokers’ NSA leaks

Yesterday, the mysterious "Shadow Brokers" posted some hacking tools for Windows that were allegedly stolen from the NSA. All of them were at least a few years old, but exploited flaws in several versions of the operating system to move across networ…
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Android security came a long way in 2016 but Google says there is more work

Google made significant strides in shutting down malicious apps and distributing security updates last year, but has identified areas of improvement in a year-in-review blog post.

The post Android security came a long way in 2016 but Google says there is more work appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends

Young, sexy, and adventurous? Guess says its new Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch is for you

Fashion brand Guess has announced the Guess Connect smartwatch range, new models powered by Android Wear 2.0 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear platform. The watches will come in styles suitable for men and women.

The post Young, sexy, and adventurous? Guess says its new Android Wear 2.0 smartwatch is for you appeared first on Digital Trends.

Wearables–Digital Trends

Lily Drone team says it has no timeframe for issuing refunds

When Lily Robotics announced that its self-flying, follow-along camera drone wouldn't be produced, it promised to refund $ 34 million in pre-orders back to its customers. That's still the plan, but according to a new refund request form, the company i…
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Computer says no: New Jersey is using an algorithm to make bail recommendations

If you get arrested in New Jersey, you could find yourself either approved or denied bail based on the recommendation of an algorithm. And, believe it or not, it could help banish bias.

The post Computer says no: New Jersey is using an algorithm to make bail recommendations appeared first on Digital Trends.

Cool Tech–Digital Trends

Homeland Security contractor says Chinese software secretly infected Blu phones

Chinese Android software secretly transmitted personal data including text messages, call details, and contacts from tens of thousands of phones sold by Florida-based smartphone maker Blu.

The post Homeland Security contractor says Chinese software secretly infected Blu phones appeared first on Digital Trends.

Android Army–Digital Trends