Technology News

Toyota develops app to start up car from smartphone

San Francisco, Nov 1 : Japanese car maker Toyota has developed an app called Smart Key Box that lets people use smartphones to access and start up a car.

The app would only allow users that have previously signed up for the shared-use car to operate it, providing a more secure way of lending and renting cars, Toyota said in a statement on Monday.

For the pilot programme that will begin in San Francisco in January has invested in Getaround in October -- a peer-to-peer sharing service that allows private car owners to rent out their vehicles when they are not using them.

The device works with a cloud service where an individual can be given access to a specific car for a set time period, CNET reported.

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Facebook has tough chance against ad blockers: Indian-origin scientist

New York, Aug 16 : A team of researchers who include an Indian-origin scientist has created an experimental ad that proves that Facebook cannot win against ad blockers on its platform.

The social media giant last week said that it would make its ads indistinguishable from regular posts and hence impossible to block.

But soon, the developers of leading adblocking company Adblock Plus released an update which enabled the tool to continue blocking Facebook ads.

Now, Assistant Professor Arvind Narayanan and undergraduate Grant Storey from Princeton University have created an experimental ad "highlighter" for the Chrome browser to prove that Facebook's effort may not yield desired results.

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Adding bugs to build better computer bug-finder

Washington D.C, Jul 10 : A team of researchers has come up with a new strategy that can help train bug-finding tools to catch more vulnerabilities.

Researchers at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering, in collaboration with the MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Northeastern University, are taking an unorthodox approach: Instead of finding and remediating bugs, they're adding them by the hundreds of thousands.

Brendan Dolan-Gavitt is a co-creator of LAVA, or Large-Scale Automated Vulnerability Addition, a technique of intentionally adding vulnerabilities to a program's source code to test the limits of bug-finding tools and ultimately help developers improve them. In experiments using LAVA, they showed that many popular bug finders detect merely 2 percent of vulnerabilities.

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Citizen journalism opens door to cyber bullying

Washington D.C, Jun 15 : Often hailed as a more democratic form of journalism, citizen journalism, where the public contributes to the reporting, analysis and dissemination of news, has a dark side, according to a recent study.

Sociologist and criminologist Agneta Mallen at Lund University in Sweden has studied the widely known phenomenon and shown some of its downsides, including how it sometimes leads to outright cyber bullying.

"Common within this type of citizen journalism is that it is perceived as truth to at least the same extent as ordinary journalism", said Mallen.

She argues that the credibility is enhanced by the often poor film quality and shaky image, giving the viewer a high sense of presence, allowing them to become less critical of the source.

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Twitter invests USD 70 million in music streaming service SoundCloud

New York, June 15 : Micro-blogging website Twitter has invested USD 70 million in popular music streaming service SoundCloud, a move that may push Twitter's stalled growth and engagement with its over 300 million users.

According to a Re/Code report, "Twitter has invested around $70 million in the music service, as part of a round that should end up in the $100 million-range."

Nearly two years ago, the micro-blogging site had planned to buy SoundCloud but since then, had gone silent on this.

"We can confirm that Twitter has made an investment in SoundCloud. Both companies facilitate and inspire contemporary culture to happen in real time while reaching millions of people around the world," a SoundCloud spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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Apple to announce bringing of Siri to Mac, third-party apps at WWDC

San Francisco, June 13 : Tech giant Apple is likely to bring computer program Siri, which works as an intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator to the Mac.

The announcement for the same would be made in the week-long Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off today, the Verge quoted the Wall Street Journal as saying.

Apple introduced Siri as an iPhone feature in 2011 and it opened a door for the people finding information or completing tasks on their devices by speaking rather than typing or tapping.

The company would also give developers access to its Siri voice assistant so that they can incorporate it into their apps.

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India, US to enhance cooperation in cybersecurity

Washington, June 8 : India and the US stressed on cooperation on cyber issues, including to promote closer cooperation between their law enforcement agencies to combat cybercrime and also to share information on a real time on malicious cybersecurity threats and establish appropriate mechanisms to improve such information sharing.

A fact sheet on the framework for the US-India Cyber Relationship, issued during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Tuesday, says that cooperation on cyber issues is a key component of the bilateral relationship between India and the US.

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Express more in 140 characters on Twitter soon

New York, May 25 : Micro-blogging site Twitter is rolling out new features that will help its over 300 million users express even more in 140 characters.

In the coming months, it will make changes to simplify Tweets, including what counts toward your 140 characters. So for instance, @names in replies and media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos and polls) will no longer "use up" valuable characters.

"When replying to a tweet, @names will no longer count toward the 140-character count. This will make having conversations on Twitter easier and more straightforward, no more penny-pinching your words to ensure they reach the whole group," Twitter said in a blog post on Tuesday.

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Facebook sued in US for scanning private messages

New York, May 20 : A lawsuit against Facebook has been filed in a US court, alleging that the social networking giant may have violated federal privacy laws by scanning private messages, a media report said on Friday.

The lawsuit, certified for class action in Northern California District Court, claims that Facebook follows the practice of scanning and logging URLs sent through the site's private messaging system which is in violation of both the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California Invasion of Privacy Act, technology website The Verge reported.

The plaintiffs claim that Facebook routinely scans those URLs for advertising and other user-targeting data and maintains those records in a searchable form.

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Google to phase out Flash on Chrome

California, May 16 : Internet giant Google has announced its plans to phase out Flash support in its Chrome browser as a default.

"Later this year we plan to change how Chromium hints to websites about the presence of Flash Player, by changing the default response of Navigator.plugins and Navigator.mimeTypes. If a site offers an HTML5 experience, this change will make that the primary experience. We will continue to ship Flash Player with Chrome, and if a site truly requires Flash, a prompt will appear at the top of the page when the user first visits that site, giving them the option of allowing it to run for that site (see the proposal for the mock-ups)," the company said in a blog post.

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Google to pay drivers to test its self-driving cars

California, May 13 : With internet giant Google about to test its self driving car in Arizona, United States, the company is hiring local drivers at USD 20 per hour.

The driver is expected to act as vehicle safety specialists who will be behind the wheel and ready to take over at a moment's notice.

The employees are expected work under 12-24 month contracts driving vehicles from six to eight hours per day, the Verge reports.

"Drivers are required to have a bachelor's degree, a clean driving record and criminal history, and the ability to type at least 40 words per minute. They will also be expected to keep their work confidential and will need to pass a number of in- and out-of-car training courses," the California-based company said in a statement.

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US Senator seeks answers from Facebook over claims of bias

Washington: A top American Senator has sought clarification from Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg on reports that the company's employees routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social networking site's influential "trending" news section.

"Facebook must answer these serious allegations and hold those responsible to account if there has been political bias in the dissemination of trending news," Senator John Thune, Chairman of Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation said after dispatching a strongly-worded letter to Facebook co-founder and CEO Zuckerberg yesterday.

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Now you can speak to Amazon's Alexa through your iPhone

New York, May 8 : Now you can speak to Amazon's Alexa through your iPhone. Yes, the company's voice assistance can connect to iOS 9.0 devices through an app named 'Lexi'.

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Facebook reports surge in revenue from ads

California, Apr. 29 : Social networking giant Facebook has announced an increase of 15 per cent in active users and as a result surge in advertising revenues as well by 57 per cent.

"We had a great start to the year. We are focused on our 10-year roadmap to give everyone in the world the power to share anything they want with anyone," said founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Last month, the site announced that it would be letting people order things within its chat services. People can head to the Messenger app and chat to their favourite flower or pizza company, the independent reports.

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No connection between Internet video portals, its views

Washington D. C., April 26 : Did you know Internet video portals do not control views well?

Video portals have counters that register the number of views, thus reflecting the success of the piece.

This data can have economic implications, since with some online advertising campaigns that use videos, the portals can charge based on the number of registered views.

One of the problems with the fraud that exists in this area is that of 'bots,' computer programs that replicate the behavior of an Internet user, and which can therefore artificially increase the number of views.

"YouTube has a unique system for detecting fraud that is relatively efficient, but it has some inconsistencies," comments one of the study's authors, Ruben Cuevas.

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