Technology

Wed
08
Feb
John Lister's picture

Smart TV Maker Spied on Viewing Habits, Sold Data

Vizio is to pay $2.2 million in fines after tracking viewing habits on 11 million smart TVs without their owners' knowledge or permission. They then sold the details, including personal information, to advertisers. As part of a settlement, Vizio has ... now agreed to inform customers about the practice and promises to always get their express consent before tracking any viewing. It will also have to delete much of the data it has already collected. Vizio had relied on the idea that customers retained enough control because there was a setting named "Smart Interactivity" that could ... (view more)

Thu
02
Feb
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Computer AI Masters Poker

An artificial intelligence program has beaten professional poker players for the first time. It may sound trivial but marks a major advance in technology that could have practical benefits. Computers beat human experts at chess many years ago, and ... last year a computer beat the world champion at the far more complex board game "Go" for the first time. That was significant because the sheer number of possible moves available in Go means ever the most powerful computer can't assess every possible move. Instead the program had to learn to use human tactics such as heuristics (in ... (view more)

Thu
29
Dec
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Amazon Gadget could be Murder Case Key

Amazon has refused to give police access to data from a home gadget that may have recorded audio relevant to a murder investigation. The company says its policy is to only provide customer information if and when it gets a valid court order. The ... request by Arkansas police is for information that may have been recorded by an Amazon Echo. That's a gadget that combines a wireless speaker with voice recognition and an Internet connection. It lets users give voice commands for actions such as selecting music to play, carrying out voice searches of the Internet and controlling smart devices ... (view more)

Tue
27
Dec
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Tesla Autopilot No Longer Breaks Speed Limit

Tesla's automatic car steering tool will now restrict the car to the local speed limit on most roads. Users had previously been able to set the system to run up to five miles over the limit. The changes are to a feature which has the full title of ... Autopilot Traffic-Aware Cruise Control. It not only controls the car's speed as with normal cruise control, but automatically adjusts to keep a safe distance from surrounding vehicles and steers the car to keep in the lane. (Source: electrek.co ) Freeways an Exception to No-Speeding Policy Once the latest update takes effect, the feature ... (view more)

Wed
26
Oct
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Experts: Kids Tablet Use Requires Parental Interaction

Experts say toddlers should be allowed limited access to tablets and other gadgets. It reverses previous advice that kids under two be kept away from small screens altogether. The advice comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It now ... recommends 18 months as the minimum age to "use" screen devices, but says children aged five and under should spend a maximum of one hour a day in front of screens. It's not a case of 'anything goes', however. The AAP says young kids should only use screens for specific purposes. These include watching "high quality" ... (view more)

Wed
14
Sep
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Netflix Urges FCC to End All Data Caps

Netflix has called upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to examine whether data caps are harming the expansion of broadband data. The company, which also has close interest on the subject, says the FCC might have a legal duty to take ... action on the matter. The company complained in particular about monthly data limits on home broadband such as those imposed by Comcast, which recently enforced a 300GB a month cap on some customers - along with steep overage fees ($10 per 50GB). However, Comcast now says the cap has been bumped to 1TB , with unlimited data available in some areas, ... (view more)

Tue
13
Sep
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Tesla Auto: Perfect, Hands-Free Safety 'Impossible'

Elon Musk, the man behind the Tesla electric cars, says that the "Autopilot" and other self-driving systems will never be perfectly safe. Instead, he insists that safety for such features is improving, and the latest changes would have prevented a ... recent death. In the case of Tesla models, the autopilot cars are not fully autonomous in the same way as self-driving cars, such as Google's test vehicles . Instead, the technology is pitched somewhere between such cars and the far more common 'cruise control' feature. The Autopilot feature on the Tesla Model S combines a windshield camera, a radar ... (view more)

Tue
16
Aug
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Audi to Reveal Red Light Secrets

Audi will soon fit its cars with a technology that can coordinate with traffic lights in several US cities. According to Audi, the feature is being billed as more about convenience, rather than a safety measure. The new feature is being built into ... an existing navigation and information service called Audi Connect, which carries a $25 a month service fee. The feature will involve an extra display on the dashboard that coordinates wirelessly with traffic signals and shows the driver how long they have until the light will turn green if at a full stop. The theory is that this will let drivers ... (view more)

Tue
09
Aug
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Hulu Abandons Free Service; to become Subscription Only

Hulu is ditching its free TV service, though it will still be available in a different form. Analysts believe the move was forced on it by the television industry. Up until now, Hulu users had three options for streaming video online. The free, ... basic service let users watch many network and cable shows the day after broadcast - but only if users watched commercials. In most cases, the five most recent episodes of a show were available online. Customers can also pay $7.99 a month for a "limited commercials" option, or $11.99 a month to cut out commercials altogether. Both of these ... (view more)

Wed
20
Apr
John Lister's picture

Global PC Sales Continue To Slump

Worldwide PC sales have fallen to their lowest level in almost a decade according to new estimates. It's also now four years since sales rose year-on-year. The figures come from analyst Gartner, which gathers together data from a range of sources. ... Strictly speaking, it estimates shipments to retailers rather than actual sales to consumers and businesses. That can have a lag effect, but doesn't affect overall trends - over the long run, sales affect how many units retailers order. (Source: gartner.com ) According to the company, shipments between January and March this year totaled 64. ... (view more)

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