Tamara Avalon

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Obama appoints Silicon Valley veteran as first chief data scientist

The United States government has its first chief data scientist. DJ Patil, a veteran of tech and internet companies Skype, PayPal, eBay, and LinkedIn, was appointed to the role by President Obama this week. Behind his lengthy full title — Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for …

Lenovo Caught Installing Adware On New Computers

It looks like Lenovo has been installing adware onto new consumer computers from the company that activates when taken out of the box for the first time.<p>The adware, named Superfish, is reportedly installed on a number of Lenovo’s consumer laptops out of the box. The software injects third-party ads …

Ray wants to be the last remote control you’ll ever buy

David Skokna wants to simplify TV, one button at a time. That’s why Skokna and his team at Ray Ventures are introducing a remote control to replace …

Samsung Acquires Apple Pay Rival LoopPay

Samsung today announced plans to purchase LoopPay, in an effort to compete with Apple's Apple Pay payments service. The two companies were in previously talks over a potential partnership in December for a payment system that would rival Apple Pay.<p>LoopPay's technology stores payment information …

Apple Pay

Sony Eyes Healthy Profits By 2018 With New Focus On PlayStation And Entertainment

Sony announced its latest corporate reshuffle which will see it focus on its PlayStation and its entertainment businesses, as well as its CMOS image sensor unit, as it bids to return to healthy profit levels by 2018.<p>The company has reported six net loses over the last seven years, but it said that …

Sony Music

This Computer Program Can Tell Whether You’ve Taken A Placebo

Even when you can’t<p>What’s the difference between a working painkiller and a placebo? Well, you can see it in people’s brains. Brain and pain researchers in the U.K. and U.S. report they’ve developed a prototype algorithm that is able to tell whether a patient took a working analgesic versus a …

Google pushes back on expansion of FBI hacking powers

As US law enforcement agencies look for more power over the digital realm, they're facing increasing pushback from tech companies, particularly Google's public policy arm. With a recent filing, Google pushed back against an obscure committee measure that would seek to give the FBI increased warrant …

Microsoft beefs up Outlook apps for iOS, Android

Microsoft has polished up its Outlook apps for iOS and Android just two weeks after their debut.<p>In a blog post Tuesday, Microsoft's Office 365 Team outlined the features available in an update to the mobile email apps. Some of the new features and changes affect only the iOS app or the Android app, …

Reddit giving 10% of 2014 ad revenue to charity

When a company reports their earnings, we tend to marvel at the amount they brought in (or didn’t). From there, not much seems to happen, at least in …

Apple reportedly poached employees from A123 Systems to work on battery tech, now faces unfair competition lawsuit

Apple has poached five key engineers from A123 Systems to work in a new battery division at the Cupertino technology company, with some hires possibly going as far back as June, a new report claims. The battery maker claims that these hires violated agreements it had in place to prevent them from …

Employment

Samsung's smart TVs fail to encrypt voice commands

<b>Samsung has acknowledged that some of its smart TV models are uploading their owners' voices to the internet in an unencrypted form.</b><p>The apparent oversight makes it easier for hackers to spy on customers' activities.<p>The matter was brought to the public's attention by UK-based cybersecurity …

Samsung Acquires Payments Startup to Compete With Apple Pay

Samsung was already an investor in the Massachusetts-based startup LoopPay.<p>Samsung thinks it has found its Apple Pay competitor, and it’s acquiring the startup to make sure no one gets access to it.<p>The giant phone maker said on Wednesday it has acquired LoopPay, a U.S.-based company whose …

Google warns of US government 'hacking any facility' in the world

Google is boldly opposing an attempt by the US Justice Department to expand federal powers to search and seize digital data, warning that the changes would open the door to US “government hacking of any facility” in the world.<p>In a strongly worded submission to the Washington committee that is …

Surveillance

Snapchat Now Lets You Shoot Video And Play Music At The Same Time

Snapchat has solved one of the most annoying problems with mobile video so you can finally record your dance parties, even if you’re the DJ.<p>The startup been experimenting for some time with ways to better integrate music into its application. Today it’s launching a new feature that allows you to …