December 24, 2013

Apple to buy vacant Mesa building, bring 2,000 jobs to Valley

A company that will make small pieces of high-tech glass for Apple products plans to employ about 700 people at the now-vacant First Solar Inc. factory in east Mesa.

This is the first significant Arizona presence for Apple Inc., which is buying the building for its supplier, GT Advanced Technologies Inc. Apple looked closely at the Phoenix area about two years ago before deciding to award a much larger facility to Austin.

Read more...Apple to buy vacant Mesa building, bring 2,000 jobs to Valley

November 24, 2013

Mark Zuckerberg spends $30 million on four homes to ensure privacy - NBC

It's not uncommon for celebrities to buy the properties next to their homes to ensure privacy, but usually when they do this, the neighboring homes are already on the market.

But when you're Mark Zuckerberg and worth $19 billion, you can usually find a price that your neighbors would be willing to sell for.

Read more...Mark Zuckerberg spends $30 million on four homes to ensure privacy - NBC

October 27, 2013

NSA backlash sparks new technology - World - CBC News

From Silicon Valley to the South Pacific, counterattacks to revelations of widespread National Security Agency surveillance are taking shape, from a surge of new encrypted email programs to technology that sprinkles the Internet with red flag terms to confuse would-be snoops. Policy makers, privacy advocates and political leaders around the world have been outraged at the near weekly disclosures from former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden that expose sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs.

Read more...NSA backlash sparks new technology - World - CBC News

‘Sugar daddy’ websites see uptick amid shutdown

Nationally, websites that exchange cash or resources for relationships, and those that facilitate affairs have seen an increase in sign-ups since the start of government shutdown.

In some cases, it’s government workers signing up, and in others, it’s likely people who benefit from government programs.

But neither type of site’s growth is being fueled by Arizonans., which launched in 2006 and calls itself the world’s largest sugar daddy site, says it’s experienced a 50 percent spike in average daily sign-ups since Sept. 29, just before last Tuesday’s shutdown, according to spokesman Leroy Velasquez.

Read more...‘Sugar daddy’ websites see uptick amid shutdown

NYSE Runs A Twitter IPO Trial To Avoid NASDAQ's Facebook Problems - Forbes

Given that the best comment on how Twitter should do its IPO so far has been “not like Facebook FB -0.94%” it sounds pretty reasonable that the NYSE should have called the staff in to have a test run yesterday. Given that Twitter’s IPO isn’t that far away everyone would be a great deal happier knowing that the systems are able to handle it:

Read more...NYSE Runs A Twitter IPO Trial To Avoid NASDAQ's Facebook Problems - Forbes

October 26, 2013

Twitter & TV | Twitter for Business

The water cooler used to be the place where people gathered to talk about TV. Now, 95% of the public social conversation around TV happens on Twitter. Here are a few best practices to engage and grow your audience using the power of this medium.

Read more...Twitter & TV | Twitter for Business

Trade-in options abound for smartphones -

NEW YORK (AP) — Feeling stuck with your old smartphone? Do you covet new releases like the iPhone 5S that boast niftier features like fingerprint sensors?

There’s good news. A growing number of options allow you to trade in your old phone for cash or credit so you can buy a new one.

 — MORE CHOICES: Online site helped pioneer the trend toward recouping cash on your old smart phone or other gadget.

Read more...Trade-in options abound for smartphones -

Street Legal $170,000 Mini Formula One Races Along Malibu - Businessweek

 I inch out of a restaurant parking lot and onto California’s Pacific Coast Highway, questioning my sanity. I’ve driven some strange contraptions in my time, but the BAC Mono is one of the oddest.

A single-seat machine with an open cockpit, the Mono looks like a simplified Formula One car. It starts at a lofty $170,000 and I’ve never seen anything like it off the track.

Read more...Street Legal $170,000 Mini Formula One Races Along Malibu - Businessweek

NASA preparing to launch 3-D printer into space

MOFFETT FIELD, California (AP) — NASA is preparing to launch a 3-D printer into space next year, a toaster-sized game changer that greatly reduces the need for astronauts to load up with every tool, spare part or supply they might ever need.

The printers would serve as a flying factory of infinite designs, creating objects by extruding layer upon layer of plastic from long strands coiled around large spools. Doctors use them to make replacement joints and artists use them to build exquisite jewelry.

Read more...NASA preparing to launch 3-D printer into space

F.A.A. Nears New Rules on Devices -

The rules on when to turn off electronic devices on airplanes have long been a sour, and sometimes contentious, point for travelers. But faced with a surge of electronics on airplanes and under pressure from a growing number of tech-savvy — and increasingly tech-dependent — passengers, the Federal Aviation Administration recognized that change was inevitable.

This week, an F.A.A. advisory panel will meet to complete its recommendations to relax most of the restrictions. The guidelines are expected to allow reading e-books or other publications, listening to podcasts, and watching videos, according to several of the panel’s members who requested anonymity because they could not comment on the recommendations. The ban on sending and receiving e-mails and text messages or using Wi-Fi during takeoff or landing is expected to remain in place, as is the prohibition on making phone calls throughout the flight, the panel members said.

Read more...F.A.A. Nears New Rules on Devices -

October 14, 2013

High-tech update makes $100 bill harder to fake

FORT WORTH, Texas — A glitzier, high-tech version of America’s $100 bill is rolling off the presses and headed for wallets soon.

Despite years of production-related delays, the updated $100 bill has undergone a major makeover that includes a color-changing inkwell, 3-D security ribbon and more texture on Benjamin Franklin’s collar.

 The new, more expensive C-note is scheduled to enter circulation on Oct. 8, and it also has a higher calling: It aims to fight back against counterfeiters by using better printers and technology.

Read more...High-tech update makes $100 bill harder to fake

October 6, 2013

How Twitter's I.P.O. Filing Evolved to Contain New Details -

Laying the groundwork for its initial public offering, Twitter on Thursday filed a regulatory document that contains important details about its business.

But Twitter may not have intended for some of those details to make their way into the public eye.

The document that came out on Thursday, called an S-1, was the first public filing to disclose important financial data about the company, like earnings and revenue, as well as other information that might help investors decide if they want to buy the company’s shares. But Twitter had already filed four earlier versions of this document with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those versions were not made public at the time, but late on Thursday, Twitter released them.

Read more...How Twitter's I.P.O. Filing Evolved to Contain New Details -

Could the Silk Road Closure be Good for Bitcoin? : The New Yorker

By the time the F.B.I. shut down Silk Road—an online black market for illegal drugs, computer-hacking tools, and even contract killings earlier this week, the site had nearly a million registered users. The Web site refused all forms of payment except Bitcoin, a digital currency “designed to be as anonymous as cash,” according to a criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of New York against Ross Ulbricht, the site’s alleged creator and administrator. And at the time of the shutdown, Silk Road had processed sales totaling more than nine and a half million bitcoins—worth about 1.2 billion dollars at the time of the Ulbricht’s arrest in San Francisco on Tuesday, though the currency’s value has fluctuated widely.

Read more...Could the Silk Road Closure be Good for Bitcoin? : The New Yorker

September 28, 2013

APS solar plant produces electricity, even after dark

A massive new solar plant near Gila Bend that has the unique ability to produce power long after the sun sets has begun sending power to the grid.

The Solana Generating Station was built by Abengoa Solar, a subsidiary of a Spanish company, and it is sending test power to Arizona Public Service Co. The plant is expected to reach its full capacity in October.

Once it’s fully up and running, Solana will, for a time at least, be the largest power plant of its kind in the world.

Read more...APS solar plant produces electricity, even after dark

Off-limits phone data was tracked for 3 years -

SAN FRANCISCO — SAN FRANCISCO U.S. officials for nearly three years accessed data on thousands of domestic phone numbers they shouldn't have and then misrepresented their actions to a secret spy court to reauthorize the government's surveillance program, documents released Tuesday show.

The government's explanation points to an enormous surveillance infrastructure with such incredible power that even the National Security Agency doesn't fully know how to properly use it: Officials told a judge in 2009 that the system is so large and complicated that "there was no single person who had a complete technical understanding" of it.

Read more...Off-limits phone data was tracked for 3 years -

September 21, 2013

Danica Patrick Better For Go Daddy’s Brand Than Van Damme? | WebProNews

Earlier this month, we reported that Go Daddy has dropped the GoDaddy girls in favor of a new “ass-kicking” small business message in its advertisements. They kicked this new strategy off during the NFL season opener with an ad featuring screen legend Jean-Claude Van Damme.

“Go Daddy may have to bring sexy back,” a YouGov spokesperson tells WebProNews. “Trading in provocative auto racer Danica Patrick in a bikini for action star Jean-Claude Van Damme playing musical instruments in a bakery has not given Go Daddy’s new ad campaign a promising start with consumers.”

Since the ad spot premiered, they say, ad awareness has increased nearly 50%, and the brand’s perception has shown improvement, but in the past five days, consumer perception of the company has fallen to just below where it was before the ad launched, with equal positive and negative feedback from consumers.

Read more...Danica Patrick Better For Go Daddy’s Brand Than Van Damme? | WebProNews

Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch unveiled: 'slimmer, lighter, faster' Note 3 comes in 9 different colours | Mail Online

Following months of mounting tension and fierce speculation, Samsung has finally unveiled its Galaxy Gear smartwatch and revealed a 'slimmer, lighter, faster' Galaxy Note 3 phablet.

Speaking at the IFA conference in Berlin, Samsung's CEO JK Shin said: 'For the first time we have given Galaxy Note 3 a warm texture-touch cover. It's slimmer, lighter, and more powerful and all in a beautiful design.'

He then told the crowd he was getting a call and unveiled the smartwatch, adding that the Galaxy Note is powered by the Galaxy Gear and he hopes the watch will become 'a fashion statement.'

Read more...Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch unveiled: 'slimmer, lighter, faster' Note 3 comes in 9 different colours | Mail Online

YellowJacket iPhone Case with Stun Gun Hope to Deter Thefts of Apple's Latest Phones - ABC News

Apple is set to release later this week what it is calling the most forward-thinking smartphone, and one that also addresses one of the biggest issues facing users -- smartphone thefts that have come to be called Apple picking.

Apple itself has beefed up security with a fingerprint sensor and some new software features that makes it harder for a thief to use a stolen phone, but Louisiana-based YellowJacket has a deterrent with a bit more sting.

That idea? An iPhone 5S case with a stun gun.

Read more...YellowJacket iPhone Case with Stun Gun Hope to Deter Thefts of Apple's Latest Phones - ABC News

Hackers Reveal Nasty New Car Attacks--With Me Behind The Wheel (Video) - Forbes

Stomping on the brakes of a 3,500-pound Ford Escape that refuses to stop–or even slow down–produces a unique feeling of anxiety. In this case it also produces a deep groaning sound, like an angry water buffalo bellowing somewhere under the SUV’s chassis. The more I pound the pedal, the louder the groan gets–along with the delighted cackling of the two hackers sitting behind me in the backseat.

Read more...Hackers Reveal Nasty New Car Attacks--With Me Behind The Wheel (Video) - Forbes

Microsoft to buy Nokia phones, patents for $7.2 billion

HELSINKI (AP) - Microsoft Corp. is buying Nokia Corp.'s line-up of smartphones and a portfolio of patents and services in an attempt to strengthen its fight with Apple Inc. and Google Inc. to capture a slice of the lucrative mobile computing market.

The 5.44 billion euros ($7.2 billion) deal announced late Monday marks a major step in the company's push to transform itself from a software maker focused on making operating systems and applications for desktop and laptop computers into a more versatile and nimble company that delivers services on any kind of Internet-connected gadget.

 "It's a bold step into the future - a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies," Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer told reporters at Nokia's headquarters in Finland Tuesday. "It's a signature event."

Read more...Microsoft to buy Nokia phones, patents for $7.2 billion

September 8, 2013

Testers of Google Glass weigh pros and cons -

Among the people testing Google Inc.'s wearable computer are teachers, dentists, doctors, radio disc jockeys, hairstylists, architects, athletes and even a zookeeper.

Some 10,000 people are trying out an early version of Glass, most of them selected as part of a contest.

To get a sense of the advantages and drawbacks of the device, the Associated Press spoke to three Glass owners who have been using the device since late spring: Sarah Hill, a former TV broadcaster and current military-veterans advocate; David Levy, a hiking enthusiast and small-business owner; and Deborah Lee, a stay-at-home mom.

Read more...Testers of Google Glass weigh pros and cons -

Scientists test simpler, cheaper IVF method

LONDON — Since the first test-tube baby was born more than three decades ago, in vitro fertilization has evolved into a highly sophisticated lab procedure. Now, scientists are going back to basics and testing a simpler and cheaper method.

In the West, many would-be parents spend thousands of dollars for IVF, which involves pricey incubators and extensive screening. But European and American scientists say a simplified version of the entire procedure aimed at developing countries could be done for about $265 with generic fertility drugs and basic lab equipment that would fit inside a shoebox.

Read more...Scientists test simpler, cheaper IVF method

September 7, 2013

Telemarketers ignoring Do Not Call law | Appleton Post-Crescent |

The average monthly complaints from consumers who signed up for the national Do Not Call list but still are getting telemarketing calls have jumped 63percent from 2011.

The statistics are in data from the Federal Trade Commission, which maintains the list.

 Much of the blame is on a proliferation of computerized robocalls, according to Lois Greisman, the FTC’s director of marketing practices.

Read more...Telemarketers ignoring Do Not Call law | Appleton Post-Crescent |

September 2, 2013

TiVo Roamio Pro - Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) - CNET Reviews

With its just-announced line of Roamio DVRs, TiVo is one big step closer to an all-in-one box for live, recorded, and on-demand TV.

Though I don't know that it's wise to name a product after something that has an indelible relationship to a tragedy, the company's newest DVR goes hard-drive-to-hard-drive with Dish's Hopper with Sling, offering lots of tuners, tons of storage, and options for sending content to other rooms without buying additional DVRs. It also makes it easier to load up your mobile devices (at least, iOS ones for now) with recordings. The Roamio boxes further sweeten the on-demand video pot with a heavy dollop of online video options, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube, meaning you can jump to those services -- and search them -- without having to switch the input on your TV.

Read more...TiVo Roamio Pro - Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) - CNET Reviews

A scientific guide to posting Tweets, Facebook posts, Emails and Blog posts at the best time - The Buffer Blog

We're pretty keen on optimal timing for social media here at Buffer, and I figured it was high time I collected all the information we have about online communication into one place. I've collected research and stats on Twitter, Facebook, email and blogging to help you find the best time to communicate with others in each format. 

China's Social Media Revolution

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Innovation Works Chairman and CEO Dr. Kai-Fu Lee discusses China's social media revolution with Emily Chang on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

August 24, 2013

Google Glass beta test generates excitement, innovation among medical professionals | Inside Higher Ed

Google Glass, the search engine giant’s augmented reality device, is in the hands of a select few beta testers -- and among them, a small number of educators. While many instructors say they will spend the fall semester determining whether the gadget deserves a role in the classroom, Glass is already affecting how some medical professors teach their craft.

Since Glass was announced in 2012, developers and users itching to stay at the bleeding edge of technology have conjured up ideas about the device's potential. Indeed, Google’s February raffle on Twitter and its own social network, Google+, invited anyone to justify why they deserve an early version of Glass -- in 50 words or less -- using the hashtag “#ifihadglass.” If chosen, raffle winners still had to shell out $1,500.

Read more...Google Glass beta test generates excitement, innovation among medical professionals | Inside Higher Ed

Can the Fashion Industry Make Google Glasses Chic? | Fashionista

This weekend, while flipping through Marie Claire‘s September issue, I was reminded that Nina Garcia has vowed to wear Google Glass throughout Fashion Week. That means front-row live streams of runways shows will be projected through the eyes of the Project Runway judge. Pretty neat.

Vogue is also enamored with Google Glass, giving the lenses a starring role in a September issue fashion spread. Chic.

With those two haute endorsements, Google must be feeling pretty great about its product’s coolness factor. Especially since it plans to begin selling Google Glass to consumers at the beginning of 2014. However, there’s a problem with this “Google Glass as fashion accessory” talk. The glasses, with their wire frames and goofy lens shape, are pretty ugly. Like, objectively ugly.

Read more...Can the Fashion Industry Make Google Glasses Chic? | Fashionista

Microsoft details 3D printing in Windows 8.1 | PCWorld

With companies like MakerBot creating digitizers aimed at making 3D printing easier, Microsoft is betting that we’ll all be printing offYoda figurines and retirement gifts from our desktops soon.

To get ready for the coming 3D craze, and to cater to professionals already working with the technology, Microsoft is aiming to make 3D printing as easy as 2D printing in Windows 8.1. The easiest way to do that, Microsoft says, was to base its new 3D printing pipeline on the tried and true process of Windows document printing.

We’ve known about the new Windows feature since June when the company announced the Windows 8.1 preview. But in a recent blog post, Microsoft provided a little more detail about how 3D printing will work in the upcoming version of Windows due out October 17.

Read more...Microsoft details 3D printing in Windows 8.1 | PCWorld

Heavy Metal Television hiring music video DJs in Phoenix

As the brains behind “The Greatest Music Ever Created and How it Ruined Our Lives,” an Internet music show produced in Mesa, Eric Braverman had interviewed such long-haired luminaries as Ted Nugent, Metallica, Slayer and Slipknot.

But he thought he could do more for metal, Braverman says, if he had his own MTV-style network. And he wanted it online.

“I didn’t understand why Iron Maiden wasn’t on Jay Leno all the time,” Braverman says with a laugh. “So I was like, ‘Can I just make my own heavy-metal television channel that works like an actual TV channel?’ And my technical people were like, ‘Yeah, you can.’ ”

He found financial backing in Sharon Chambers of Down to Earth, a music-management company in Los Angeles. And with that funding, Heavy Metal Television made its Internet debut Oct. 30 — or Devil’s Night.

Read more...Heavy Metal Television hiring music video DJs in Phoenix

Bezos, Amazon’s Founder, to Buy The Washington Post -

The Washington Post, the newspaper whose reporting helped topple a president and inspired a generation of journalists, is being sold for $250 million to the founder of, Jeffrey P. Bezos, in a deal that has shocked the industry.

Donald E. Graham, chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Company, and the third generation of the Graham family to lead the paper, told the staff about the sale late Monday afternoon. They had gathered together in the newspaper’s auditorium at the behest of the publisher, Katharine Weymouth, his niece.

Read more...Bezos, Amazon’s Founder, to Buy The Washington Post -

The First Lab-Grown Hamburger Is Served | Popular Science

Since 2008, Dr. Mark Post has been working on growing edible meat in a laboratory. Today, at an event in London, the first in-vitro hamburger has been served.

Muscle stem cells were taken from a cow's shoulder in a gentle biopsy and grown in calf serum, with micro-exercise so they wouldn't be flabby. 20,000 cells were then assembled into a burger, bound with bread crumbs and egg (but curiously no salt), colored with beet juice and saffron, and presented to the public. The event was also broadcast on

Read more...The First Lab-Grown Hamburger Is Served | Popular Science

August 21, 2013

Facebook leaps into games publishing |

SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook wants a cut of the revenue from the mobile games business.

The company today said it plans to take a role beyond its position of games platform to that of promoter and publisher. Facebook's new pilot program, dubbed Mobile Games Publishing, will allow it to promote small- and medium-sized games and take a cut in the sales in return.

 "We are invested in the success of these games, and in exchange for a revenue share, we will be collaborating deeply with developers in our program by helping them attract high-quality, long-term players for their games," Facebook said in a blog post.

Read more...Facebook leaps into games publishing |

August 20, 2013

A real keyboard for smartphones, tabs

As someone who makes a living with a pen, notebook and a keyboard, I can tell you how important it is to have tools that don’t get in the way of conveying words, ideas and information.

Pens and notebooks are pretty basic and rarely fail, unless of course you show up, as I once did, without a pen during a brief one-on-one interview with the governor.

The keyboard, however, is essential and is far more variable in effectively putting words quickly on a screen and into print. There is a keyboard “feel” that can slow you down and interrupt your thoughts if the keystrokes don’t come easily.

Read more...A real keyboard for smartphones, tabs

GoDaddy poised for more growth

GoDaddy, the Scottsdale-based company that made its mark selling .com domain names, is hoping to cash in on the next generation of Web addresses that will be allowed this year.

More descriptive domain names that end with things like .pizza or .plumber will be attractive to businesses, said Blake Irving, GoDaddy chief executive.

“I don’t think it will be a gold rush; a gold rush implies there is some scarcity,” Irving said of the new options coming to the market. “But it should create some lift for our business.”

GoDaddy Group Inc., with 55 million domain names under management and $1.3 billion in sales last year, is well-positioned under the new leadership of Irving for the Web-address expansion. There are more than 220 million domain names in use worldwide.

Read more...GoDaddy poised for more growth

Arizona home to one of world’s largest solar plants

GILA BEND — Just off the highway that many Valley residents travel on their way to California, thousands of mirrors planted on 3 square miles of former farmland are about to change the solar landscape in Arizona.

The $2 billion Solana Generating Station, once it begins sending power to the grid in August, will be one of the largest solar plants of its kind in the world. It won’t be unique in the amount of power it makes from the sun, but for what it generates after sunset.

Not only will the plant have a capacity of about 280 megawatts, enough to serve about 70,000 homes at once, but it will also be able to continue providing much of that power for six hours after sunset thanks to an innovative heat-storage system that doesn’t rely on expensive batteries.

Read more...Arizona home to one of world’s largest solar plants

August 18, 2013

Scottsdale arming officers with body cameras

The Scottsdale Police Department is starting to implement a new on-the-body video camera into its standard protocol for officers.

About two months ago, the department purchased 10 Axon Flex body cameras and equipped police officers throughout the downtown Scottsdale area with them. Officers can wear them on their hats, glasses or collars and it gives them the option to record any and all incidents throughout their shifts, said Sgt. Mark Clark of the Scottsdale Police Department.

“There have been studies that have found that when officers are using cameras to videotape contacts, that both the officer’s behavior and the person’s they’re contacting behavior is better because they know they are on camera,” Clark said.

Read more...Scottsdale arming officers with body cameras

August 17, 2013

QR Gameplan uses tech for tailored ads -

In 2010, Maurine Karabatsos approached her boss with a new technology-driven marketing strategy that hinged on quick response codes, or QR codes.

QR Gameplan

Where: 2400 Arizona Biltmore Circle, Phoenix.

Employees: 10.

Interesting stat: 47 percent of businesses say they used QR codes for marketing in 2012, according to, an online platform for data visualization.


So sure her concept would prove successful for the title agency, Karabatsos gave a friendly warning.

"I told him, 'I have this great idea, and if you don't want to do it, I'm going to start my own company,'" Karabatsos said.

The real-estate veteran implemented her plan, which was a hit and well-received by her employer. It also led to Karabatsos launching her own business, QR Gameplan, that same year.

Read more...QR Gameplan uses tech for tailored ads -

July 10, 2013

Valley police departments utilizing digital fingerprinting

A hand-held device that resembles a cellphone and taps fingerprint databases to help police officers identify people in the field is catching on with several departments in the Valley.

Officers say the devices are a valuable tool — particularly when they encounter people who aren’t carrying ID cards or who give false information.

“With these finger scanners ... you’re talking less than a minute (and) you know who you’re dealing with,” Chandler Sgt. Joe Favazzo said.

“The safety factor and the time-saving factors are just amazing.”

Not everyone is as sold on them, however, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, which has voiced privacy concerns.

July 7, 2013

China surpassing U.S. with 54.9 petaflop supercomputer - Computerworld

Computerworld - China has produced a supercomputer capable of 54.9 petaflops, more than twice the speed of any system in the U.S., according to a U.S. researcher who was in China last week and learned the details.

China's latest system was built with Intel chips, but includes indigenously produced Chinese technologies as well. The Chinese government spent about $290 million on it.

Read more: China surpassing U.S. with 54.9 petaflop supercomputer - Computerworld

PayPal looks to conquer space (payments)

NEW YORK — PayPal wants to begin to figure out how payments and commerce will work beyond Earth’s realm once space travel and tourism take off.

PayPal, which is eBay Inc.’s payments business, is launching a PayPal Galactic initiative with help from the nonprofit SETI Institute and the Space Tourism Society, an industry group. The goal is to determine how commerce will work in space. Issues include regulation and what currency will be used.

PayPal’s president, David Marcus, said that while space tourism was once the stuff of science fiction, it’s becoming a reality.

‘‘There are lots of important questions that the industry needs to answer,’’ he said.

Read more: PayPal looks to conquer space (payments

Google's Loon Project Puts Balloon Technology in Spotlight

Google's Project Loon aims to bring remote parts of the globe online with a ring of floating balloons. The balloons will drift through the stratosphere—which is about twice as high as commercial planes fly—to deliver 3G service to off-the-grid areas.

The ambitious project's recent test launch on New Zealand's South Island has generated a lot of media buzz, but it turns out that high-altitude platforms (HAP) have been around for a while.

A decade ago, the European Union funded the CAPANINA project to deliver broadband from high-altitude platforms in the stratosphere. Back in 2005, it successfully produced broadband wireless access at distances of up to 37 miles (60 kilometers) from a free-floating balloon in the stratosphere over northern Sweden.

Read more: Google's Loon Project Puts Balloon Technology in Spotlight

June 15, 2013

Gannett in $2.2 Bil Deal to Acquire Belo Station Group | Variety

Gannett Co. is betting big on the future of local broadcast TV, setting a $2.2 billion deal to acquire station owner Belo Corp.

Deal will nearly double Gannett’s station holdings to 43 from 23, giving the parent company of USA Today TV stations in 21 of the top 25 markets. It will also expand Gannett’s clout with the Big Three networks as an owner of NBC, CBS and ABC affiliates reaching nearly one-third of U.S. TV households.

Gannett will pay $1.5 billion in cash, or $13.75 a share, to acquire Dallas-based Belo. Deal also includes the assumption of $715 million in existing Belo debt.

Read more: Gannett in $2.2 Bil Deal to Acquire Belo Station Group | Variety

New Myspace takes it back to the future | The Japan Times

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – Tim and Chris Vanderhook think Myspace had it right — at one point. And they believe they’ve revived and improved that formula for success as the revamped first titan of social media debuts its latest incarnation.

The Vanderhooks unveiled the new on June 12, revealing a site focused on entertainment that combines social networking with streaming music. There are new features aimed at helping musicians, writers and other artists connect with their followers, an app and a radio function.

Read more: New Myspace takes it back to the future | The Japan Times

Agile, simple iOS 7 could be heaven for Apple users

SAN FRANCISCO — Think Apple’s critics struck a raw nerve with the company?

“Can’t innovate anymore, my ass.” That’s from Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president for worldwide marketing, speaking on stage at the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Schiller was essentially talking about Apple’s new tubular-designed Mac Pro, the kind of powerful computer used by developers who make up much of the WWDC audience. But he might as well have been addressing Apple’s most vocal detractors, those who say that Samsung is now the company that Apple used to be and that Tim Cook isn’t Steve Jobs. These are the fickle what-have-you-done-for-me-lately types who wonder whether the company that altered the tech landscape with the Mac, iPod and iTunes, iPhone and iPad has lost its mojo. As if pumping out game-changing hardware is some sort of divine obligation.

Read more: Agile, simple iOS 7 could be heaven for Apple users

Gov't proposes rules for self-driving cars

The agency released a set of proposed rules and regulations for autonomous vehicles Thursday while, at the same time, announcing plans for its own research programs looking into self-driving technology.

NHTSA recommends that states issue separate driver licenses, or at least special driver license endorsements, for those who wish to operate autonomous vehicles. These special licenses or endorsements should be given only after someone has completed a training that would cover such things as how and when to take over control of a vehicle.

Read more: Gov't proposes rules for self-driving cars

Wearable-technology pioneer Thad Starner on how Google Glass could augment our realities and memories

Countless wearers of Google Glass stalked the halls of this year's Google I/O developer conference, but only a lucky few were sporting the prescription model, which makes room for lenses in a more conventional glasses frame. Among those lucky early adopters with imperfect vision was Thad Starner, a Georgia Tech professor who, in 2010, was recruited to join a top-secret project at Google's fabled X Lab. That project, as it turned out, was Glass, and Starner's role on the team as a technical lead would be a vital one.

Starner claims he invented the term "augmented reality" in 1990 and, after experimenting with wearable technologies for 20 years now, offered us a rare perspective on where the stuff has been and where it's headed. So, then, we were very glad to get a few moments to chat with the man at I/O and get his insight into how we got to be where we are and, indeed, get some suggestions from him on where we're going from here.

Read more: Wearable-technology pioneer Thad Starner on how Google Glass could augment our realities and memories

Internet Marriages on Rise in Some Immigrant Communities -

With a red embroidered veil draped over her dark hair, Punam Chowdhury held her breath last month as her fiancé said the words that would make them husband and wife. After she echoed them, they were married. Guests erupted in applause; the bride and groom traded bashful smiles.

Just then, the Internet connection cut out, and the wedding was abruptly over.

Normally one of the most intimate moments two people can share, the marriage had taken place from opposite ends of the globe over the video chat program Skype, with Ms. Chowdhury, an American citizen, in a mosque in Jackson Heights, Queens, and her new husband, Tanvir Ahmmed, in his living room with a Shariah judge in his native Bangladesh.

Read more: Internet Marriages on Rise in Some Immigrant Communities -

June 11, 2013

June 2, 2013

With high-tech guns, users could disable remotely - Yahoo! News

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A high-tech startup is wading into the gun control debate with a wireless controller that would allow gun owners to know when their weapon is being moved — and disable it remotely.

The technology, but not an actual gun, was demonstrated Tuesday at a wireless technology conference in Las Vegas and was shown to The Associated Press in advance. It comes at a time when lawmakers around the U.S. are considering contentious smart gun laws that would require new guns to include high-tech devices that limit who can fire them.

The new Yardarm Technologies LLC system would trigger an alarm on an owner's cellphone if a gun is moved, and the owner could then hit a button to activate the safety and disable the weapon. New guns would come with a microchip on the body and antennas winding around the grip. It would add about $50 to the cost of a gun, and about $12 a year for the service.

"The idea is to connect gun owners more directly with their guns, no matter what the circumstance," said Yardarm CEO Robert Stewart.

Read more: With high-tech guns, users could disable remotely - Yahoo! News

Microsoft Releases Xbox One Videogame Console -

Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.37% unveiled a reinvented Xbox videogame console Tuesday, demonstrating an advanced motion and voice-control system and new television functions as it tries to thrust the machine back into the spotlight amid changing consumer habits.

The Redmond, Wash., software giant said its new device, dubbed Xbox One, was designed to take advantage of new technologies to offer customers ways to play games while responding to trends such as the popularity of smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft also integrated technology from its Skype video chatting subsidiary into Xbox One, allowing customers to interact with friends using a more refined version of the Kinect motion and speech sensor.

Xbox One also can play and control live television streaming from a cable or satellite set-top box.

Read more: Microsoft Releases Xbox One Videogame Console -


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