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By Grant Ecker | Social, Mobile, Cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things

Boeing shows off weapon for destroying drones with a freaking laser

Rouge drones, meet Boeing's Compact Laser Weapons System.

Boeing showed off its Compact Laser Weapons System this week. It's a portable laser weapon that can take drones out of the sky by directing a precise blast of heat energy. The weapon takes 15 minutes to set up and around 15 seconds to take …

Aeronautics

NYC Taxis Are Testing An Uber-Like App Called Arro

The battle between yellow cabs and Uber cars is about heat up.

According to Crains New York, a new app called Arro is being beta tested among 7,000 yellow and green taxis in the NYC area, allowing potential passengers to e-hail a regular cab instead of an Uber. The app should roll out fully in a …

New York City

YouTube as you know it is about to change dramatically

The way you experience YouTube may be dramatically different before the end of the year. According to multiple sources, the world’s largest video-sharing site is preparing to launch its two separate subscription services before the end of 2015 — Music Key, which has been in beta since last …

YouTube

Google's self-driving cars might be too good at braking for cyclists

Google's self-driving cars are cautious by design, but in at least one instance, it may be a bit too much. A cyclist posting on a road bike forum says that an encounter between themself and a self-driving car ended up with neither moving more than a few inches for a good two minutes. The cyclist …

Google

Google uses Search as a secret job interview tool

Google is well known for its love of puzzles and leaving little hidden secrets dotted around and it turns out that the company applies similar …

Google

WSJ: Amazon axes hardware projects after Fire Phone failure

An Amazon exec revealed last year that the company's continuing to develop more Fire phones despite the first one's failure to sell. According to The Wall Street Journal, though, that might not happen anytime soon: Amazon's shelving future phone plans, among other projects, and has even laid off a …

Amazon Dash

Windows 10 running on 75 million devices, Microsoft says

Less than a month after rollout, the operating system's adoption is humming along.

Windows 10's adoption is continuing at a strong pace, according to …

Microsoft

This new app lets you control your Android phone from your computer

If you’ve ever gotten tired of picking up your Android phone while you’re sitting in front of your computer, well, you’re not the only one. A new Chrome app allows you to use your Android phone right from any computer that can run Chrome. It works on Windows, Mac OS X, and Chromebooks.

The new Vysor …

Android Apps

Amazon's one-hour delivery service arrives in Seattle (updated)

You'd think that Amazon would have been quick to offer its super-fast Prime Now delivery service in its home territory of Seattle, but nope -- it's just getting around to correcting that seeming oversight. The company has confirmed part of a recent scoop by launching Prime Now in both Seattle as …

Amazon

Turn any television in your house into a huge touchscreen with this $130 gadget

The way we interact with screens has changed drastically over the past few decades. We rarely go more than a day without touching the display of a …

Touchscreens

Four weeks with Jet (aka 'My month without Amazon')

I placed my very first order on Amazon.com for two very popular albums back on June 20th, 2000. I'd later go on to place about 230 orders, including everything from a mattress (no wait, make that two mattresses; don't ask) and soap -- lots and lots of soap. I loved Amazon so much that at one point …

Amazon

96.8 percent of new smartphones sold are either iPhone or Android devices

The latest quarterly smartphone sales data from Gartner is out today, and it tells a very familiar story. BlackBerry keeps shrinking, Microsoft is stagnating, and Google and Apple are tightening their already dominant grip over the entire market.

Out of 329 million recorded phone sales over the past …

iPhone

Microsoft’s Bid to Make Outlook More than Email

Email as we know it is changing—and so is Microsoft’s strategy for its cornerstone product, Outlook. Last week, the company announced partnerships with third-party companies to integrate additional functionalities—including those from Uber, Yelp, Evernote, PayPal, and Boomerang—into Outlook email. …

Email

Your Car Can Be Hacked. So What Are Auto-Makers Doing About It?

When I watched some security researchers hack into several cars without even touching them, my head exploded a little bit.Read more...

Research

Samsung is deflating its own hype bubble

Here's a quick summary of Samsung's accomplishments over the past week: it launched two high-spec smartphones with their own distinct features and design; it opened preorders immediately; it delivered some of the phones early, ahead of a full release this Friday. All great successes — except then …

Samsung

This year's IRS breach is way bigger than the agency initially thought

Back in May, the Internal Revenue Service said thieves nabbed info for 100,000 people through its transcript website. Today the agency increased that number by an additional 200,000 folks, bringing the total number of potential cases to 334,000. Using a "Get Transcript" tool to access tax returns …

Internal Revenue Service

Inflatable ‘space elevator’ invented by scientists

Astronauts would ascend 12 miles into the stratosphere before taking off under new plans to build a space lift

It is an idea that every small child has had at some point. Instead of sending up rockets into space, why not simply build a huge lift.

Now a Canadian firm has been granted a patent for a …

Space

Boeing has patented a flying drone that turns into a submarine

Early this year, the US Patent and Trademark Office approved a patent application from Boeing's Nathan Hiller for a "rapid deployment air and water vehicle."

In other words, Boeing's has patented a remotely operated flying drone that can transform into a submarine.

Here's how it works.

According to …

Patents

Verizon abandons contracts: Everything you need to know (FAQ)

Confused about Verizon's shake-up of the way you pay for wireless service? CNET has you covered with all of the answers.

Verizon has made some big …

Verizon

Even Eagles Hate Drones

It’s not just fishermenor emergency responderswho hate having drones annoyingly buzzing overhead. Apparently the Australian wedge-tailed eagle isn’t …

Drones

Microsoft finds another sneaky way to steal Android away from Google

Microsoft has been making some killer Android apps lately and now it seems the company has come up with another way to have its software replace …

Google

What does Google’s new Alphabet mean for you?

Google — well it’s not exactly Google anymore — dropped a bombshell on the business world this somnolent Monday afternoon in the dead of summer.

Announcing a radical restructuring and name change, Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created a new business entity called Alphabet with …

Google

Hackers can now steal fingerprints from Android phones

New research reveals security threats in fingerprint scanners on Android mobile devices.

No need for a dusting brush or CSI kit to lift a fingerprint these days. Hackers have exploited Android devices with fingerprint scanners allowing them to lift fingerprints remotely.

New research and information …

Android Phones

How to protect yourself against Windows 10’s controversial new Wi-Fi Sense feature

There is absolutely no question that the response to Windows 10 has been overwhelmingly positive. Yes, people are running into some problems after …

Wi-Fi

China to restrict exports of certain drones and supercomputers

A new cold war may be brewing between China and the West, and it's centered around the 21st century's weapon of warfare of choice: drones.

China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) has issued a statement announcing that the country will restrict exports of high-performance drones starting Aug. 15.

The new …

Asia

German car makers agree to buy Nokia’s mapping business for $3.2B, report says

A consortium of German car makers have reportedly agreed to buy Nokia’s Here mapping technology.

Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen-owned Audi have agreed to buy the mapping business for almost $3.2 billion, according to Reuters. The agreement comes after a nearly two month stand-off between the three car …

Nokia

Six reasons why there are two 5Gs … and maybe more

GUEST:

My company, InterDigital, recently sponsored a survey conducted by the Telecom Industry Association on the topic of 5G development and deployment – one of the first of its kind, and necessary reading in these early days of 5G. Necessary reading because, quite frankly, we’re still in the …

Internet of Things

Samsung's Galaxy Note 5 should be an evolutionary upgrade

Still wondering what Samsung is going to unveil at its August 13th event? Well-known tipster Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) might have just removed what few doubts are left. He not only posted official-looking snapshots of both the Galaxy Note 5 and its curvier S6 Edge+ sibling, but revealed purported …

Samsung

Facebook Finally Reveals Its Own Internet Drone, And It’s Huge

'Aquila' will beam invisible internet lasers from the sky

While Project Loon found an initial home in Sri Lanka, Facebook has its own update for its plan to provide wireless internet from the skies.

Mark Zuckerberg announced the completion of Aquila, Facebook’s first full-scale aircraft designed to …

Facebook