White House will name Ron Klain as ‘Ebola Czar’

See the original posting on The Verge

The Obama administration will name Ron Klain as “Ebola Czar,” reports CNN. Klain, a former White House official and general counsel of Revolution, an investment group, will be responsible for coordinating the government’s response to Ebola within the US.

“It may be appropriate for me to appoint an additional person.”

Until now, CDC director Tom Frieden had largely been responsible for overseeing Ebola interventions in the US. But a series of blunders at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas — the hospital where Thomas Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the US was being treated — prompted questions over Frieden’s abilities to direct Ebola interventions while keeping up with his other responsibilities.

“It may be…

Continue reading…

This MasterCard with a built-in fingerprint sensor is coming in 2015

See the original posting on The Verge

MasterCard has announced the world’s first contactless payment card that uses your fingerprint to authenticate payments. It’s partnered with Zwipe, the company behind this biometric technology, on a card that will only permit charges if your thumb is resting on the built-in sensor. You can wave it near an NFC reader for contactless payments, and it’s also fully compatible with chip terminals. Fingerprint data is all stored locally inside the card’s secure element and is never transmitted to MasterCard. And since biometric authentication obviates any need to enter a PIN, Zwipe says this is fundamentally more secure than the chip and PIN system. The company already ran a pilot with Norway’s Sparebanken DIN bank, but the prototype card used…

Continue reading…

How to secure the world’s most-wanted video files

See the original posting on The Verge

Laura Poitras’s CitizenFour arrives in theaters this weekend, offering an inside look at the Snowden leaks and the eight days Snowden spent in a hotel room in Hong Kong as the first stories were published. The leaks themselves required intense security measures, but editing and distributing the film has presented a challenge of its own. CitizenFour contains two separate stories which were held back until the film’s carefully orchestrated premiere: one on industry infiltration in China and Germany and another on Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, and her new residence in Moscow. Countless other secrets left behind in the editing room, and had to be protected throughout the process.

Continue reading…

Google rolling out new Search update to downrank ‘most notorious’ pirate sites

See the original posting on The Verge

Google and the copyright lobby have been, to some extent, enemies for years — they probably will be as long as Google is an index for the web and the web contains pirated media. But as the company’s grown up, it’s partnered with the music industry to root out piracy (or pay royalties) on YouTube; it’s set up its own book, movie, and music store with Google Play; and last year, it put up a report detailing its attempts to fight copyright infringement and assuring rightsholders that YouTube and Search made up only a small portion of pirate traffic. This year, it’s taking the same tack, with a few new details.

Google’s report outlines some of the information it regularly releases in its transparency reports, including the huge jump in DMCA…

Continue reading…

‘The New York Times’ wants you to help decode ads from the age of Don Draper

See the original posting on The Verge

If Mad Men has taught us anything —aside from the fact that the blatant sexism and racism of postwar America hasn’t improved very much with time— it’s that the 1960s were a golden age of advertising. Back then, companies didn’t have fancy tracking algorithms capable of automatically turning you into an unwitting spokesperson for a giant tub of lubricant. No, instead they had to rely on creative copywriters and visual artists to make ads that popped, even in black and white. If you want to see a bunch of the work from this era, head on over to Madison, an aptly named new online archive from The New York Times that collects a bunch of vintage advertisements that printed in the newspaper throughout the decade. Many are bizarre and…

Continue reading…

Former Google attorney Michelle Lee nominated to run US patent office

See the original posting on The Verge

Former Google patent chief Michelle Lee has been nominated by President Obama to run the US Patent and Trademark Office, potentially placing a tech-industry leader in a key position as the government continues to work toward reforming the patent process and stamping out trolls. Lee is currently the USPTO’s deputy director and was previously running its Silicon Valley office, having come there in 2012 after nearly a decade at Google as an attorney and head of patents. She also holds degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. Her nomination to director still needs to be approved by the Senate. Businessweek reports that the lead position has been vacant for nearly two years.

Bringing reform to the US patent system has…

Continue reading…

Samsung’s Chromebook 2 can now be purchased with Intel inside for $250

See the original posting on The Verge

When Samsung released its Chromebook 2 earlier this year, it shipped with the company’s own Exynos 5 Octa chipset. And you can still buy those 11.6 and 13-inch models — though better Chromebooks exist. Today, Samsung’s adding a third option: a second 11.6-inch Chromebook 2 powered by an Intel processor. To be more specific, it’s a fanless Celeron N2840 chipset that can run at up to 2.58GHz. The Intel Chromebook 2 has 2GB of RAM, whereas the models running Samsung’s own chip feature 4GB of memory, so you may need to occasionally cut back on the number of tabs you’ve got open. If you’re set on an Intel chip, Acer’s C720P with an i3 processor is another option. Storage remains the same at 16GB; obviously Chrome OS places a huge focus on…

Continue reading…

Microsoft’s Xbox One preview program turns into a game

See the original posting on The Verge

Microsoft’s Xbox One preview program has been delivering the latest updates to console owners since February in exchange for feedback before a release rolls out to every console. The preview program is now turning into a game. If you participate in quests, surveys, quick polls, or ratings then you’ll accumulate points for every piece of feedback. Just like a game like Destiny, you’ll be able to level up with points, and Microsoft is promising some “exciting perks” for preview members as they reach higher levels.

There are 50 levels in total, with a number of preview pics to unlock along the way. Xbox Live achievements won’t be rewarded as part of the levelling up process, but Microsoft isn’t ruling that out as a possibility in the…

Continue reading…

The SIM card is about to die

See the original posting on The Verge

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Apple’s dealings with SIM cards in the past seven years, it’s that Apple gets what Apple wants.

The little gold-plated circuits — which identify you as a subscriber on a particular carrier — plug into phones, tablets, and basically anything else with a cellular radio. Customers of GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile have been using them since time immemorial; CDMA carriers like Sprint and Verizon have started using them since switching to LTE. Apple hates SIMs, and has hated them for as long as the iPhone has existed: it is known to have explored the use of embedded, non-removable SIMs in the past.

Finally, with the iPad Air 2 and mini 3, Apple has decided to start making its move by using a…

Continue reading…

‘Minecraft’ movie may be made by ‘Night at the Museum’ director

See the original posting on The Verge

The Lego Movie made it clear that a film based on a plotless, block-based property could somehow be wildly successful and really funny, so we really ought to be looking forward to the upcoming Minecraft movie. Work on the movie was first announced last year, and now Deadline is reporting that Shawn Levy, director of children’s films like Cheaper by the Dozen and the Night at the Museum series, is in talks to direct and develop it. Producers behind The Lego Movie and Mean Girls are already on board, which definitely seems like a good sign. It otherwise doesn’t sound like work on Minecraft has gotten too far, which means there’s no word yet on what the movie will actually be like or how many hours of it will involve watching someone hit…

Continue reading…

Apple’s iPad Air 2 shows that tablet photography is here to stay

See the original posting on The Verge

Not long after the original iPad debuted, I was home for the holidays and saw a husband take a picture of his wife at a bar with a BlackBerry PlayBook. Being from a small town that always seems a bit behind the times, it surprised me that he had the new PlayBook in the first place, let alone that it was his camera of choice.

It was an easy sight to laugh at then, and it’s remained an easy target — just look at how a large swath of Twitter reacted when, at today’s Apple event, Phil Schiller said that the iPad Air 2 “the best viewfinder for composing your photos and your videos”:

Continue reading…

OS X Yosemite is now available to download

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple’s latest desktop operating system, OS X Yosemite, is now available to download from the Mac App Store. It’s a free update, and it delivers a whole host changes, most notably a revamped visual style that’s a lot more colorful than the OS X you’re used to. In fact, the Yosemite makes your Mac’s operating system look a lot more like iOS than traditional OS X, and it brings the two operating systems together in a few more ways too.

One of the biggest features in Yosemite is the ability for it to let you move your work between your Mac, iPhone, and iPad and then pick up exactly where you left off on another device. It also adds a few smaller — but still quite useful – integrations with iOS, such as the ability to send and receive text…

Continue reading…

Buy an iPad mini 2 while you still can

See the original posting on The Verge

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of marketing, spent roughly 29 seconds talking about the brand new iPad mini 3 today. Schiller is a man who’s normally eager to showcase his company’s latest hardware achievements, but this afternoon he sped over the 7.9-inch tablet in record time. There was a single slide dedicated to what’s gone into the “upgraded” iPad mini. Apart from the addition of Touch ID, nothing looked different from last year. Apart from Touch ID, nothing is different from last year. And yet by the end of today’s event, Apple somehow wound up with five iPads in its product family. Something’s gone wrong.

Continue reading…

Zack Snyder is building a fortress in the desert for ‘Batman v. Superman’

See the original posting on The Verge

Batman v. Superman is shaping up to be an absolutely huge movie given that it has Zack Snyder behind the camera and at least a good five or so superheroes in it. So naturally, Snyder and crew are building at least one big set to go along with all of that. Albuquerque’s KOAT caught them at work on a set out in the desert around Deming, New Mexico. It’s not totally clear what the structure is just yet, but it looks like it encompasses a number of large buildings and potentially some guard towers forming a town, settlement, or fortress. You’ll find out just how destroyed it all gets on March 25th, 2016.

Continue reading…

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ gets a new old cast member: Ewok actor Warwick Davis

See the original posting on The Verge

Star Wars: Episode VII doesn’t have a subtitle yet, but maybe it should be called Return of the Ewok. Warwick Davis, the actor who played the charismatic Ewok warrior Wicket W. Warrick in Return of the Jedi, popped up in a new video today to gleefully announce he had received a call to return to a galaxy far, far, away. The 44-year-old Davis comically shows off his enthusiasm with a false beard, but doesn’t specify exactly what role he will be playing, or whether Ewoks will appear in Star Wars: Episode VII at all. In fact, Davis could easily be playing another character entirely, or even several new characters, as he did in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (he played young Anakin Skywalker’s Rodian friend Wald and two other…

Continue reading…

Twitter introduces a way to play audio inside tweets

See the original posting on The Verge

Twitter has built a new card for playing audio inside tweets, and its first partner is a company it once considered buying. Soundcloud will bring its full catalog to Twitter Audio Cards, the companies said today, the first of many partners to come. And the audio card has a unique function: you can “dock” the card inside the Twitter apps for iOS and Android to that you can keep listening as you scroll through your timeline.

Continue reading…

Google reports $16.52 billion in revenue, profits stutter as ads move to mobile

See the original posting on The Verge

Google posted mixed results for its third quarter this year. Revenue was $16.52 billion, not excluding traffic acquisition costs, a 20 percent rise over the same period in 2013. But its profit of $3.72 billion was down slightly from the same period in 2013, when it reported $3.76 billion in profit. Analysts were expecting the company to generate earnings per share of $6.53, but Google reported an EPS of $6.35. The stock was down a little, about 3 percent, in after-hours trading based largely on that miss.

Continue reading…

Apple introduces iPad mini 3 with Touch ID, but an old processor

See the original posting on The Verge

The third-generation iPad mini is here, and yes, it’s got a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built in. Apple just (very quickly) introduced the iPad mini 3 during an event at its Cupertino headquarters. Looking at the device straight on, you’d be hard pressed to spot any major differences between Apple’s latest 7.9-inch tablet and the iPad mini with Retina display that was released last year. Aside from the Touch ID home button, it’s identical: a Retina display up front, chamfered edges, and an…

Continue reading…

Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite review

See the original posting on The Verge

For nearly two decades, the release of a new PC operating system was an event. Upgrading cost money; you had to go to the store to get the necessary floppy disk or a CD; the new OS was expected to be different and better in basically every way. I’ll never forget the first time I booted Windows XP, or the day I finally got to jump again to Windows 7.

The last few years, Apple’s taken a decidedly simpler approach. It still rents event space and touts the new features, but your new operating…

Continue reading…

Apple SIM lets you switch between AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile on new iPads

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple’s iPads with built-in cellular antennas have long let you hop between carriers just by swapping out the SIM card, something Apple seems to have solved with one SIM card that can hop onto whatever carrier you pick from a list inside iOS. The new technology, called Apple SIM, is only available in the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3, and limited to some carriers in the US and in the UK. It potentially paves the way for the company to include the same technology in the iPhone so it could just sell one device to people for them to set up with their carrier of choice later on.


In terms of the initial carriers, Apple says its new SIM technology works with short-term plans, like the monthly and on-demand data packages with AT&T,…

Continue reading…

1 1,621 1,622 1,623 1,624 1,625 1,719