US Senate leader pushes to extend NSA phone dragnet

The U.S. Senate was deadlocked on Friday over whether to extend authorization for the National Security Agency’s massive collection of domestic telephone records, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell insisting the surveillance program should continue with no new limits.With a weekend deadline looming, McConnell advocated for extending the section of the Patriot Act that the NSA has used to justify its collection of millions of U.S. phone records over the last nine years. Section 215 of the Act, which allows the agency to collect any telephone and business records relevant to a counterterrorism investigation, expires June 1, and Congress is scheduled to take a week-long recess starting this weekend.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 12:25 pm

Microsoft offers Windows 10 carrot, threatens with stick

Microsoft has extended the carrot. Later it will brandish the stick.Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for the first year after its release. But once those 12 months are over, users will have to purchase a retail copy of the OS or license it through a volume deal, according to a briefly-available blog post by Microsoft's Australian arm.For just a few hours this week, a blog post -- first pulled, then restored but without the previous content -- spilled a few details that, while assumed, had not been officially revealed by the Redmond, Wash. developer.What if Windows went open source tomorrow? "After the first year, upgrades will be paid via boxed product and VL [volume license] Upgrades," the blog stated.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 12:24 pm

Cisco's IoE keeps abreast of cancer

The Internet of Things/Everything can serve as a potentially lifesaving tool. Sensor-based wearable technology can monitor bodily vitals to determine if any health risks are imminent.Cisco and customer Cyrcadia Health are involved in the development of what it calls an iTBra to monitor a woman’s body temperature to determine if she is at risk for breast cancer. The iTBra is a personal screening tool intended as an intelligent monthly breast health monitor.The iTBra is made up of patches placed under a normal bra that collect up to 12 hours of normal and abnormal cellular activity associated with breast cancer. The iTBra bra is designed to take tissue density, a gating factor in the accuracy of mammography screening, out of the detection equation.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 10:29 am

Geekiest and techiest new Scrabble words

ScrabbleThe new Collins Official Scrabble Words book is out, and perhaps much to the disdain of purists and much to the delight of techies, the book contains 6,500 new words among its 276,000 total permissible ones and a lot of the new ones are technology related. The World English-Language Scrabble Players Association will officially adopt the new list in September, according to NPR.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 10:22 am

Getting my first VCR was Very Cool, Really

I remember getting my first VCR as clearly as I do my first bicycle … and my memory of the latter has the unfair advantage of having been captured on 18-mm film by my father. (I recently rescued the film, camera, projector and tri-pod projection screen from my Dad’s house before his move into assisted living. Someday my kids will get an old-school viewing.)As for that first VCR, it arrived in the early 1980s and was a transformative acquisition: For the first time, I was able to watch full-length, unedited, uncensored Hollywood movies at home without commercials. Taken for granted in this age of on-demand and Neflix, it was an amazing advancement at the time.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 10:12 am

IDG Contributor Network: Connected cars will overload mobile networks, report says

If you think stop-and-go city traffic can be bad around rush hour, just wait until connected cars get in on the act and start bringing mobile networks to a standstill too. There isn't enough capacity, a new report says.Market intelligence strategist Machina Research paints a gloomy connectivity picture of excessive growth from M2M, which includes connected cars.Growth in that area threatens to disrupt all mobile data traffic.Parking lot UK-based Machina Research analyzes Internet of Things (IoT), M2M and Big Data. Its report says that mobile data will double in certain cells at rush hour. The report predicts a 97% increase over 10 years. The big driver will be cars.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 8:32 am

Adblock browsers for Android and iOS to keep mobile ads, tracking at bay

By building browsers with integrated ad blocking, German company Eyeo hopes to attract more users. A beta version of the Android browser is now available for download from the Play store.There are several reasons people choose to block ads: They can cause pages to load slower, consume data plans, and shorten battery life, according to Eyeo. The company also contends users are safer since malware often hides behind ads.The Adblock Browser for Android is based on Firefox and Adblock Plus. The functionality is the same as when using the existing Adblock Plus add-on.The reason for developing browsers with ad blocking baked in is that the add-on hasn’t attracted many users. By integrating the functionality, it becomes easier for non-tech savvy users to benefit from it, according to Ben Williams, communications and operations manager at Eyeo.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 7:40 am

Torque G02 smartphone doesn't mind a saltwater dunk

Many smartphones can stand up to a splash or a dip in fresh water, but they don’t go too well in seawater due to the corrosive salt.Now electronics maker Kyocera has launched an Android smartphone in Japan that’s at home in shallow seas, allowing users to surf, selfie and text at the same time.The Torque G02 is a ruggedized outdoor phone that can be dunked in seawater to a depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. In Kyocera’s tests, it also withstood the weight of a 100 kilogram load spread evenly across its surface.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 7:10 am

6 things almost every viral Kickstarter has in common

For many entrepreneurs, crowdfunding is a mystery. Celebrity music videos can flop, while simple, silly ideas can go viral overnight. Some campaigns are all about grassroots fundraising, while others can succeed on the strength of one or two wealthy backers.MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: The most magnificent high-tech flying machines On closer inspection, however, there are a few signals in the noise. We looked at the thousand most successful Kickstarter projects ever based on percent funded—campaigns that raised more than 15 times as much money as they asked for—then compared those numbers to every Kickstarter campaign in history, over 220,000 in all.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 6:56 am

As smartwatches gain traction, personal data privacy worries mount

Growing interest in smartwatches has sparked user privacy concerns as companies find ways to collect and use personal health, location and purchasing data found on the wearable devices of their customers and workers."Consumers need to demand, at a minimum, clear information about what exactly the collected information will be used for," said Irina Raicu, director of Internet ethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in an email. "The broader privacy concern is that information collected from various [wearable] sources is increasingly being combined to create profiles from individual users and draw inferences about their future actions, preferences, etc."To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 6:53 am

Is security really stuck in the Dark Ages?

It had to be a bit of a jolt for more than 500 exhibitors and thousands of attendees at RSA Conference 2015 last month, all pushing, promoting and inspecting the latest and greatest in digital security technology: The theme of RSA President Amit Yoran’s opening keynote was that they are all stuck in the Dark Ages.MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: 26 crazy and scary things the TSA has found on travelers To make the point “visually,” Yoran even spent his first minute or so on stage speaking in pitch darkness, “stumbling around,” backed by the sound of an ominous, moaning wind.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 6:47 am

Offshore captive centers are again a thriving outsourcing model

Captive centers — in-house IT and business process delivery arms — accounted for one quarter of the $150 billion global services market last year, according outsourcing consultancy and research firm Everest Group.While there was significant talk of the demise of the offshore captive center in the previous decade the approach is alive and well in 2015, says H Karthik, partner and leader of Everest Group’s global sourcing research practice.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 6:44 am

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Friday, May 22

Connected cars will add to mobile traffic jamsExpect mobile networks to struggle as they are called on to handle a rapidly increasing number of connected cars. Traffic growth from M2M (machine to machine) connections, particularly from cars, will cause headaches for mobile operators, says Machina Research. Car connections are expected to surpass 500 million in 2019 and then 1 billion in 2023, when they will account for more than half of all M2M connections over cellular networks. And they’ll use lots of data, thanks to connected entertainment and navigation systems.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 6:35 am

Factory reset in Android phones leaves sensitive user data behind

It’s common sense to reset an Android phone to its factory state before selling or disposing of it. But beware, researchers recently found that this often fails to properly wipe all sensitive user data from the device.A test on 21 second-hand smartphones running Android versions between 2.3.x (Gingerbread) and 4.3 (Jelly Bean) revealed that it’s possible to recover emails, text messages, Google access tokens and other sensitive data after the factory reset function had been used.The study was done by researchers Laurent Simon and Ross Anderson from the University of Cambridge in the U.K. on used devices bought from eBay between January and May 2014. The devices included models from Samsung Electronics, HTC, LG Electronics, Motorola and three from Google’s Nexus line of phones.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 6:15 am

Secom security drone follows, photographs intruders

If you think drones are more than slightly creepy, wait until you meet one that will autonomously follow you and record video.Japanese security company Secom is launching a drone that will automatically launch when an intruder is detected and follow him or her while sending video to human supervisors.The sleek silver quadcopter was shown off this week at the inaugural International Drone Expo held in Makuhari outside Tokyo, where about 50 companies gathered to exhibit drones and related technologies.The UAV will be offered to businesses in Japan operating on relatively large parcels of land—big enough to warrant a flying security camera—such as shopping malls and supermarkets with large parking lots.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 5:50 am

Freelance hacking site vows to clean up dodgy listings

Charles Tendell is trying to repair a reputation problem for his website, Hacker’s List.The site debuted in November and quickly drew high-profile attention, including a front-page story in the New York Times. It’s an online marketplace where people can list computer-security related jobs for bidding and match them with the right “hacker.”It has been criticized as amateurish since forums where such deals are made are password-protected and generally hard to find for regular Internet users. It has also raised concern since many projects up for bidding appear illegal.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 22 May 2015 | 1:30 am

Leaked database of Adult Friend Finder still online

Adult Friend Finder, one of the largest online dating sites, may have been breached more than two months ago, and the sensitive files—include names, ages, email addresses, zip codes and more—are apparently still online.British broadcaster Channel 4 reported Thursday that the website had been breached, although information regarding the breach had been trickling out in a low-key way for some time.FriendFinder Networks, a California-based company that owns Adult Friend Finder and other dating websites, said in an advisory that it has contacted law enforcement and is investigating.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 10:00 pm

ICANN chief to leave office early, may miss key transition

The ICANN leader who kicked off the Internet organization’s move away from U.S. government control will leave his post early, possibly before the transition is finished.Fadi Chehadé, who became president and CEO of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in September 2012, will step down in March 2016, ICANN announced on Thursday. He is leaving for a new career in the private sector, outside of the domain name industry, the group said. Chehadé’s term was to have lasted until June 2017.Chehadé’s biggest job at the helm of ICANN, which coordinates the Internet’s DNS (Domain Name System) and Internet Protocol addresses, has been to shepherd its transition away from U.S. control. ICANN operates under a contract from the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is scheduled to expire in September.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 7:55 pm

Google to change Maps search system after offensive White House results

Google said Thursday it would make changes to its Maps search system after racist search terms brought up the White House among their top results.In Google Maps, some queries containing racist terms against African-Americans listed the White House and other surprising places among their top results. Google apologized and said it was working on a fix, but it had little else to say about what was causing the results to appear or how the company would fix the issue.Now Google is providing more information. The company has begun to update its ranking system to address a majority of the searches in question, by building on a previous algorithmic change that was developed for Google Search, Google said in a blog post.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 6:05 pm

US Senate leader to push for vote to renew NSA phone dragnet

The U.S. Senate on Thursday failed to move forward on efforts to extend the section of the Patriot Act that the National Security Agency has used to collect millions of domestic telephone records.Congress is facing an effective deadline of this weekend to extend the phone records collection section of the antiterrorism law, with Section 215 of the Patriot Act expiring June 1 and lawmakers scheduled to take a weeklong break after finishing business this week.On Thursday, Senators were wrestling with three alternatives: allow the Patriot Act’s records collection program to expire, extend the program with no new limits, or pass a House of Representatives bill that aims to end bulk records collection but allows the NSA to search phone and business records in a more targeted manner.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 5:50 pm

Feds want terabit-speed optical SDN-based system

A branch of the US Department of Energy wants to take software-defined network technology and combine it with a high-speed underlying optical system that will be capable of supporting large scientific applications. +More on Network World: What network technology is going to shake up your WAN?+ Specifically the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research in the Office of Science at the U.S. DOE said that networks are becoming too complicated to manage and control, especially as they provide critical support for sophisticated distributed extreme-scale science activities and Big Data-intensive scientific collaborations.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 4:35 pm

HP's profit slips 21 percent as services business stumbles

Hewlett-Packard has reported another drop in quarterly revenue and profit, with a notable 16 percent slide in its enterprise services business.The company said it’s on track to divide itself into two companies later this year, but made a last minute change to its leadership plans: CFO Cathie Lesjak will move to HP Inc., the division that will sell PCs and printers, and not to HP Enterprise, as originally planned.HP has been trying to expand its business for a few years without success, and the split is a bold gambit to see if can perform better as two companies. Revenue slipped 7 percent in the quarter ended April 30, to $25.5 billion—its 15th straight quarter of declining sales.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 4:30 pm

Apigee adds some Swagger to API design

For developers who want to expose their Web applications to other computers and Internet services, API platform vendor Apigee is offering a free online tool to help create APIs using the increasingly popular Swagger API specification.With the Apigee API Studio, now in available in beta, developers can build REST-based APIs (application programming interfaces) in a browser, and have Apigee mock servers test them to ensure they operate as expected.REST stands for Representational State Transfer, the dominant architecture currently used by Web applications to exchange data. A REST-based API exposes the functionality of an application through a set of Internet accessible commands.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 3:55 pm

Salesforce Community Cloud gets recommendation tool to boost engagement

After launching its Community Cloud last August for companies trying to engage their customers online, Salesforce has now given the platform a major update.Community Cloud, designed to let companies create their own “LinkedIn-style” communities for customers, partners and employees, has a new Targeted Recommendations feature aimed at promoting user engagement in these sites.Powered by algorithms that analyze both structured and unstructured data, the new feature is designed to bring community members the most relevant content, including posts, resources, files and groups. Community managers can suggest content with specific information or post an announcement into the feed and direct it at a specific group, member type or individual. Within a fitness-related community, for example, one could offer a coupon for running shoes.To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 3:30 pm

NPR clarifies an incorrect correction

This is the best clarification of an incorrect correction you’ll see today: Thanks, NPR.And if you want to read the story – “First In Fish: 'Fully Warmblooded' Moonfish Prowls The Deep Seas” – you can do so here.(Hat tip to Poynter Staff Writer Ben Mullin.)To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Posted by on 21 May 2015 | 3:24 pm