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FDA Releases New Cybersecurity Guidelines For Medical Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '16 at 05:51 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's internet-connected department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released its recommendations for how medical device manufacturers should maintain the security of internet-connected devices, even after they've entered hospitals, patient homes, or patient bodies. Unsecured devices can allow hackers to tamper with how much medication is delivered by the device -- with potentially deadly results. First issued in draft form last January, this guidance is more than a year in the making. The 30-page document (PDF) encourages manufacturers to monitor their medical devices and associated software for bugs, and patch any problems that occur. But the recommendations are not legally enforceable -- so they're largely without teeth. The FDA issued an earlier set of recommendations in October 2014 (PDF), which recommended ways for manufacturers to build cybersecurity protections into medical devices as they're being designed and developed. Today's guidance focuses on how to maintain medical device cybersecurity after devices have left the factory. The guidelines lay out steps for recognizing and addressing ongoing vulnerabilities. And they recommend that manufacturers join together in an Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) to share details about security risks and responses as they occur. Most patches and updates intended to address security vulnerabilities will be considered routine enhancements, which means manufacturers don't have to alert the FDA every time they issue one. That is, unless someone dies or is seriously harmed because of a bug -- then the manufacturer needs to report it. Dangerous bugs identified before they harm or kill anyone won't have to be reported to the FDA as long as the manufacturer tells customers and device users about the bug within 30 days, fixes it within 60 days, and shares information about the vulnerability with an ISAO.

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Overclocker Pushes Intel Core i7-7700K Past 7GHz Using Liquid Nitrogen
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '16 at 03:01 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's if-you-can't-stand-the-heat-get-out-of-the-kitchen department:
MojoKid writes from a report via HotHardware: If you've had any doubts of Intel's upcoming Kaby Lake processor's capabilities with respect to overclocking, don't fret. It's looking like even the most dedicated overclockers are going to have a blast with this series. Someone recently got a hold of an Intel Core i7-7700K chip and decided to take it for an overclocking spin. Interestingly, the motherboard used is not one of the upcoming series designed for Kaby Lake, but the chip was instead overclocked on a Z170 motherboard from ASRock (Z170M OC Formula). That bodes well for those planning to snag a Kaby Lake CPU and would rather not have to upgrade their motherboard as well. With liquid nitrogen cooling the processor, this particular chip peaked at just over 7GHz, which helped deliver a SuperPi 32M time of 4m 20s, and a wPrime 1024M time of 1m 33s. It's encouraging to see the chip breaking this clock speed, even with extreme methods, since it's a potential relative indicator of how much headroom will be available for overclocking with more standard cooling solutions.

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China Plans To Land Probes On Far Side of Moon, Mars By 2020
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '16 at 12:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's dark-side-of-the-moon department:
China has revealed some ambitious plans for space domination in the 2020s. On Tuesday, China set out its plans to become the first country to land a probe on the far side of the moon, in around 2018, and launch its first Mars probe by 2020. Phys.Org reports: "To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly," read a white paper setting out the country's space strategy for the next five years. It says China aims to use space for peaceful purposes and to guarantee national security, and to carry out cutting edge scientific research. The white paper released by the information office of China's Cabinet points to the growing ambitions of China's already rapidly advancing space program. Although the white paper doesn't mention it, China's eventual goal is the symbolic feat of landing an astronaut on the moon. The white paper reiterated China's plans to launch its first Mars probe by 2020, saying this would explore and bring back samples from the red planet, explore the Jupiter system and "conduct research into major scientific questions such as the origin and evolution of the solar system, and search for extraterrestrial life." The paper says the Chang'e-4 lunar probe will help shed light on the formation and evolution of the moon.

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Amazon Patents System To Defend Drones Against Hackers, Jammers and Arrows
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 08:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's desperate-times-call-for-desperate-measures department:
As Amazon prepares its drone-based delivery service Prime Air for the United States, the company has been looking for ways to keep its drones safe while they're flying to and from their destinations. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company has patented a plan that lays out countermeasures for potential threats ranging from computer hacking to lightning flashes to bows and arrows. GeekWire reports: The "compromise system" that Amazon's engineers propose relies on an array of sensors to orient the drone based on the sun's position in the sky, if need be. That's in case the drone gets confused by, say, lightning or a muzzle flash. The system also provides for a mesh network, in which drones would check with each other and other data sources -- including satellite signals -- to verify the readings they're following. If there's a discrepancy in the data, the drone would tally up the verdicts from all of the sources available, then go with the majority opinion. The onboard compromise system would be designed to keep the drone on track even if someone tried jamming its communication system. And if the drone became completely disoriented, it would be programmed to land safely and broadcast its location to its handlers. Now, about those arrows: Amazon lays out a scenario in which an attacker shoots an arrow at a drone in the air. "The malicious person may be attempting to cause the UAV to fall to ground, so that that malicious person may steal or destroy the UAV," the application reads. This is what Amazon suggests would happen: "The compromise module detects the presence of the arrow and generates the UAV compromise data indicating that a threat exists that may compromise the UAV. The fail-safe module terminates the navigation to the first computing device, and the fail-safe module directs the UAV towards the ground. In some implementations, the fail-safe module may be configured to direct the UAV to take evasive maneuvers, navigate to a safe landing or parking zone for inspect, and so forth."

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Apple Tops Holiday Sales With 44 Percent of All New Device Activations
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 06:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's top-of-the-list department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Mac Rumors: Apple's iPhone and iPad were the most popular mobile devices gifted during the holidays this year, according to new data shared by Yahoo-owned mobile analytics firm Flurry. Flurry examined device activations by manufacturer between 12/19 and 12/25, finding Apple devices to be twice as popular as Samsung devices. 44 percent of all new phone activations were Apple iPhones, while Samsung smartphones accounted for 21 percent of activations. Huawei, LG, Amazon, Oppo, Xiaomi, and Motorola trailed behind with between two and three percent of activations each. Google's Pixel smartphone, which came out in October, did not make Flurry's list. Last year, Flurry released a similar report, and Apple devices made up 49.1 percent of all device activations, while Samsung devices came in at 19.8 percent. Phablets, or smartphones and tablets ranging in size from 5 inches to 6.9 inches, continued to grow in popularity. In 2016, the phablets category, which includes the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, 6s Plus, and 7 Plus, was responsible for 37 percent of total device activations. Medium-sized phones, like the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7, were responsible for 45 percent of all activations. Activations of full-sized tablets, like the iPad, have continued to wane. From Flurry's report: "While Samsung is slowly growing in popularity throughout the holiday season, up 1% from last year, Apple devices continue to be the gift to give. Holding the third and fourth positions for activations are Huawei and LG; which is remarkable, as both manufacturers do not have an individual device within the top 35 devices activated. Their high rank is likely due to the fact that they have wide variety of devices and affordable options (hundreds of phablet and medium phones) for consumers to choose from."

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Vera Rubin, Pioneering Astronomer Who Confirmed Existence of Dark Matter, Dies At 88
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 06:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department:
Mikkeles quotes a report from CBC.ca: Vera Rubin, a pioneering astronomer who helped find powerful evidence of dark matter, has died, her son said Monday. She was 88. Vera Rubin found that galaxies don't quite rotate the way they were predicted, and that lent support to the theory that some other force was at work, namely dark matter. Rubin's scientific achievements earned her numerous awards and honors, including a National Medal of Science presented by then-president Bill Clinton in 1993 "for her pioneering research programs in observational cosmology." She also became the second female astronomer to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

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Avatar-Style Manned Robot Takes First Steps In South Korea
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's baby-steps department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ValueWalk: A robot designed by a veteran of science fiction blockbusters which bear a striking resemblance to the military robots seen in the movie Avatar has taken its first baby steps. The robot standing in a room on the outskirts of Seoul, South Korea stands four meters (13 feet) tall and weighs 1.5 tons. In a Facebook post, designer Vitaly Bulgarov said, "Everything we have been learning so far on this robot can be applied to solve real-world problems." His previous work experience includes work on film series such as Transformers, Terminator and Robocop, reports phys.org. Its creators at the Hankook Mirae Technology, a robotics company in South Korea, claim it is the world's first. About 30 engineers there worked hard conducting initial tests Tuesday afternoon, notes phys.org. For the engineers, it was a challenge to build the giant robot because the unprecedented scale meant they had nothing to refer to. Company chairman Yang Jin-Ho said, "Our robot is the world's first manned bipedal robot and is built to work in extreme hazardous areas where humans cannot go (unprotected)." A pilot sitting inside the robot's torso made some limb movements, and the robot, Method-2, mimicked them with his metal arms, each weighing 130 kilograms (286 pounds). It is so huge that it is twice the size of a tall man, and when it takes a step, the ground shakes with a loud whirring of motors. Method-2 has grabbed the media's attention due to its enormous size, but its creators say that the core achievement of the project is the technology they developed. How the robot will be used is unclear so far, but it is seen more as a test-bed for various technologies that will make it possible for the creators to build robots of any type and size in the future, notes phys.org.

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Uber Launches 'Uber Freight' Website To Prepare the World For Autonomous Delivery Trucks
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's future-of-trucking department:
Uber has launched a website for a service called Uber Freight. While there are little details about the company's expansion from ride-hailing, Uber Freight is meant to prepare the world for autonomous delivery trucks, according to Inverse. From the report: Uber acquired a startup called Otto, which planned to bring the first self-driving trucks to market, in August. Since then the company has used its trucks to deliver 50,000 cans of beer and hundreds of Christmas trees in San Francisco. This new service won't use those trucks, at least not at the beginning. Instead it will function much like Uber's existing platform: Some people will sign up to drive items across the country, and others will join so they can send packages without having to sign a contract with established shipping companies. The service will likely bring "surge pricing" to trucking, too. Uber Freight could also help Otto's trucks by using data gathered from drivers on the platform. This would allow the self-driving vehicles to learn from experienced people while regulators figure out how to govern autonomous trucks and the technology catches up to all of the promises made by its creators. Uber Freight's launch coincides with growing interest in trucking from many tech companies. Nikola Motor Company wants to use tech to make trucking more environmentally friendly and appealing to millennials; Tesla's working on self-driving trucks; the list could go on. Uber told Inverse it's going to wait until the new year to elaborate on how the system works. "We don't have any new information to share at the moment," a spokesperson said, "but hope to in the new year so please do stay in touch." It looks like the future of trucking -- or at least one potential future -- is going to take a little while longer to make its debut.

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Millions of Websites Vulnerable Due To Security Bug In Popular PHP Script
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's time-to-update department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via BleepingComputer: A security flaw discovered in a common PHP class allows knowledgeable attackers to execute code on a website that uses a vulnerable version of the script, which in turn can allow an attacker to take control over the underlying server. The vulnerable library is PHPMailer, a PHP script that allows developers to automate the task of sending emails using PHP code, also included with WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and more. The vulnerability was fixed on Christmas with the release of PHPMailer version 5.2.18. Nevertheless, despite the presence of a patched version, it will take some time for the security update to propagate. Judging by past incidents, millions of sites will never be updated, leaving a large chunk of the Internet open to attacks. Even though the security researcher who discovered the flaw didn't publish any in-depth details about his findings, someone reverse-engineered the PHPMailer patch and published their own exploit code online, allowing others to automate attacks using this flaw, which is largely still unpatched due to the holiday season.

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Panasonic To Invest Over $256 Million In Tesla's US Plant For Solar Cells
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 03:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's team-work department:
According to Reuters, Panasonic will invest more than $256 million (30 billion yen) in a New York production facility of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors to make photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules. Reuters reports: Japan's Panasonic, which has been retreating from low-margin consumer electronics to focus more on automotive components and other businesses targeting corporate clients, will make the investment in Tesla's factory in Buffalo, New York. The U.S. electric car maker is making a long-term purchase commitment from Panasonic as part of the deal, besides providing factory buildings and infrastructure. In a statement on Tuesday, the two companies said they plan to start production of PV modules in the summer of 2017 and increase to one gigawatt of module production by 2019. The plan is part of the solar partnership that the two companies first announced in October, but which did not disclose investment details. Tesla is working exclusively with longtime partner Panasonic to supply batteries for its upcoming Model 3, the company's first mass-market car. Panasonic is also the exclusive supplier of batteries to Tesla's Model S and Model X.

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Police Request Amazon Echo Recordings For Homicide Investigation
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 02:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's always-listening department:
Tulsa_Time quotes a report from CNET: Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot are in millions of homes now, with holiday sales more than quadrupling from 2015. Always listening for its wake word, the breakthrough smart speakers boast seven microphones waiting to take and record your commands. Now, Arkansas police are hoping an Echo found at a murder scene in Bentonville can aid their investigation. [First reported by The Information, investigators filed search warrants to Amazon, requesting any recordings between November 21 and November 22, 2015, from James A. Bates, who was charged with murder after a man was strangled in a hot tub. While investigating, police noticed the Echo in the kitchen and pointed out that the music playing in the home could have been voice activated through the device. While the Echo records only after hearing the wake word, police are hoping that ambient noise or background chatter could have accidentally triggered the device, leading to some more clues. Amazon has not sent any recordings to the officers but did provide Bates' account information to authorities, according to court documents. The retailer giant said it doesn't release customer information without a "valid and binding legal demand." "Amazon objects to over-broad or otherwise inappropriate demands as a matter of course," the company said in a statement. Even without Amazon's help, police may be able to crack into the Echo, according to the warrant. Officers believe they can tap into the hardware on the smart speakers, which could "potentially include time stamps, audio files or other data."] Police also found a Nest thermostat, a Honeywell alarm system, wireless weather monitoring in the backyard and WeMo devices for lighting at the smart home crime scene. Officers have also seized an iPhone 6S, a Macbook Pro, a PlayStation 4 and three tablets in the investigation.

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Fitbit Drops Lawsuit Against Jawbone
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 02:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's case-closed department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Just before the Christmas holiday, Fitbit dropped a case it filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission claiming Jawbone had violated one of Fitbit's patents. The trial for this case had been set for March 2017, and if Fitbit had won, it would have prevented Jawbone from importing its devices into the US. In a report from The Wall Street Journal, Fitbit states: "Jawbone appears to be a different company. SEC filings of one of its biggest investors now value Jawbone shares as worth nothing, as well as indicate that Jawbone has filed for bankruptcy or is in default." There are no reports of Jawbone being in default, nor has the company filed for bankruptcy. Jawbone gave a statement to Recode which states: "By dismissing this action, Fitbit is no longer seeking to block importation of Jawbone devices, including Jawbone products in development. Jawbone believes this case -- involving patents already found once to be invalid -- should have been dismissed long ago by Fitbit." This is likely the simplest ending that any of the lawsuits between Fitbit and Jawbone will have. In April, the ITC ruled in Fitbit's favor after Jawbone filed a claim stating its rival had infringed on some of its sleep monitoring and data output patents. Later in August, Fitbit came out on top again after the ITC ruled it did not misappropriate trade secrets from Jawbone.

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T-Mobile Is Killing the Remaining Galaxy Note7 Units Today
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 01:02 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's good-riddance department:
Samsung may only be in the planning stages for its Note7-disabling update in South Korea, but over in the U.S. things are in full swing. The company announced earlier this month that such an update would be sent out to all remaining Note7 units in the US starting on December 19. And now it's time for the first of the big four carriers to push the software to devices it's sold. From a report: That carrier is T-Mobile, which is starting the rollout today. The update will prevent the handset for charging, and will display a notification with information about Samsung's Galaxy Note7 recall and the steps needed to return the device. The build number for the update is N930TUVU2APL2.

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Iconic Star Wars Actress Carrie Fisher Dies at 60
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 01:02 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's RIP department:
Carrie Fisher, the actress, author and screenwriter who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" film franchise, died on Tuesday morning at the age of 60. From a report: "It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning," reads the statement. Fisher was flying from London to Los Angeles on Friday, Dec. 23, when she went into cardiac arrest. Paramedics removed her from the flight and rushed her to a nearby hospital, where she was treated for a heart attack. She later died in the hospital. The daughter of renowned entertainers Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher, Fisher was brought up in the sometimes tumultuous world of film, theater and television. Escaping Hollywood in 1973, the star enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she spent over a year studying acting. Just two years later, though, the bright lights of Hollywood drew her back, and Fisher made her film debut in the Warren Beatty-led Shampoo. Her role in Star Wars would follow in 1977 -- and she detailed the experience, including her on-set affair with costar Harrison Ford, in her latest memoir, The Princess Diarist. She was only 19 when the first installment of the beloved sci-fi franchise was filmed. Fisher's fans, family, and colleagues have paid their tribute to the actress The Guardian has published an intense tribute to Fisher in an article titled "The loss of Carrie Fisher is felt by all who love Hollywood, warmth and wit". From BBC's obituary of Fisher: She was a self-confessed bookworm as a child reading poetry and classical literature. Her high school education was disrupted by the lure of the stage when she appeared in the musical Irene alongside her mother, and she never graduated. She moved to London where she enrolled in the Central School of Speech and Drama before returning to the US and attending the Sarah Lawrence arts college near New York. Having managed to kick drugs and alcohol, she was rushed to hospital in 1985 after accidentally taking an overdose of sleeping pills and prescription drugs. The episode formed the basis for her first novel, the semi-autobiographical Postcards from the Edge, in which she satirised her own dependence on drugs and the sometimes difficult relationship she had with her mother. Three years later Fisher adapted it into a screenplay, and it was made into a film starring Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid. Fisher -- who had bipolar disorder -- also wrote and frequently talked in public about her years of drug addiction and mental illness. Carrie Fisher's fame as an actress rested on just one role, but it was a role in one of the best known and most successful film franchises in cinema history. She was remarkably frank about the personal difficulties she had fought and overcome. "There's a part of me that gets surprised when people think I am brave to talk about what I've gone through," she once said. "I was brave to last through it." The world is poorer without you, Fisher. Rest in peace.

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Torrent Website ExtraTorrent Under DDoS Attacks; Pirate Bay Also Down
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 11:41 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's outage-report department:
It's getting harder for people who don't like paying for movies, music, and applications. Popular torrent website ExtraTorrent is suffering an outage Tuesday, the site confirmed. The site says it is on the receiving end of DDoS attacks, observing 40 to 50 million requests coming from the United States every hour. The site told TorrentFreak that it has been facing "tons of cyberattacks" over the past three days. The Pirate Bay is also down for many users. Users who try to access the site get a CloudFlare downtime warning, or a new Captcha error.

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Facebook's Safety Check Activated For Fake Bangkok Bombing
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 11:41 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's falling-for-it department:
Fake news has plagued Facebook over the last year, and now even the social media giant is falling for it. From a report on CNET: The site's Safety Check feature has been crucial during terrorist attacks and natural disasters, helping friends and families find out if their loved ones are safe during emergencies. It's been activated across the world more than 335 times by its users, for events like hurricanes, mass shootings and terrorist attacks. On Tuesday, the automated tool went haywire, pushing out an alert about an explosion in Bangkok, Thailand, citing "media sources" as a confirmation. It was deactivated within an hour after those media sources turned out to be fake news. One of the sites used as a media source was Bangkok Informer, which scraped a video from the 2015 Erawan bombing.

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The US Government is Loaning Millions of Dollars To Jumpstart Urban Farming
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 10:22 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
An anonymous reader writes: Every year, the US Department of Agriculture devotes millions of dollars to farmers in rural areas. The government is increasingly starting to offer assistance to urban farms, too. In 2016, the USDA funded a dozen urban farms, the highest number in history, Val Dolicini, the administrator for the USDA Farm Services Agency, tells Business Insider. In 2017, he expects the USDA to funnel even more money toward farms on rooftops, in greenhouses, and in warehouses. USDA Microloans, a program that offers funding up to $50,000, is specifically geared toward urban farmers. Established in 2013, the program has awarded 23,000 loans worth $518 million to farms in California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Though it is open to all farmers, urban farmers often apply for it because it offers the money on a smaller scale than other programs. Seventy percent (or about 16,100 of those loans) have gone to new farmers, many of them in cities.

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China Renews Calls For Tighter Cyberspace Security
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 10:22 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's meanwhile-in-China department:
China's top cybersecurity body reaffirmed its commitment to heightened cybersecurity surveillance on Tuesday, calling for increased scrutiny of local and foreign technology used in industries deemed critical to the national interest. From a report on Reuters: A strategy document, released by the Cybersecurity Administration of China (CAC), laid out the framework for a controversial cybersecurity law released in November, which foreign business groups say could bar overseas firms from competing in the market. The CAC has previously countered these claims, saying the measures are not designed to target foreign enterprises, but to counter rising threats of terrorism and cyber-theft. The paper said key Chinese industries must "carry out a security review" of technology to prevent providers and other groups from "implementing unfair competition" and "harming the interests" of users.

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With Cyanogen Dead, Google's Control Over Android Is Tighter Than Ever
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 09:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's in-the-aftermath department:
Last week, Cyanogen Inc announced it is shutting down all its services. A day later, CyanogenMod announced that it is going away too. Regardless of how you found Cyanogen's commercial operating system or open source fork CyanogenMod, the demise has bigger implications. From a report on GreenBot: Cyanogen might never have seriously threatened to take control of Android, but the upstart's shutdown still represents a major victory for Google. As Google showed with the launch of the Pixel, the company is taking steps to ensure no one ever gets close to stealing Android's soul ever again. [...] In many ways, Cyanogen encapsulated more of the spirit of Google's mobile OS project than Android itself ever did. As an early offshoot of the mainstream project designed and supported by habitual modders, Cyanogen was in many ways more aligned with the iOS jailbreaking community than Android proper, bringing customization and features far beyond those available in the stock OS. But almost as quickly as Android took off, Google began reining it in. By implementing stricter rules for manufacturers to prevent further fragmentation -- including licensing of its apps and mandatory inclusion of its search bar widget -- Google actively worked to keep deviant versions of Android on the fringes. Nonetheless, CyanogenMod persisted, surviving cease-and-desist orders, takeover rumors and general Google-led consternation. And now it's all over. Google won, not by waging war with Cyanogen but by doubling down on its own vision, forging partnerships with manufacturers, and working to ensure that Google's Android remained the world's Android.

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Amazon Prime Video's Global Launch Looks Soft, But It's Just a First Step
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '16 at 09:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-does-it-fare department:
Earlier this month, Amazon announced that it is expanding its Prime Video on-demand video streaming service to over 200 countries and territories. But how good is the content catalogue? A report on Variety explores: In several countries looked at by Variety, the company hasn't even bothered to translate the PrimeVideo.com website's interface from English into the local language. And its content offerings seem scant and lacking in local flavor. Amazon's strategy appears to be a two-step process: first establish a global footprint, then go back and build out more tailored platforms in key new markets with better-curated and more local-language content, similar to what the company has already done in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Austria, and Japan. In India, they set up a local operation prior to their Dec. 14 launch there. "We are just getting started. It's still day one for us," Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Studio, wrote in emailed comments to Variety. "Like everything we do at Amazon, we are focused on continuously improving the customer experience, including adding content and localizing features over time," Price said, noting that Prime will be adding new Amazon originals as well as licenced and localized programming in the future. To do this, Amazon will likely start cutting larger acquisition deals with prominent local players, including leading broadcasters.

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