Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Technology

‘Hitchbot’ nearing journey’s end

KELOWNA, B.C.—The chatty, social-media-savvy robot that’s been thumbing rides with Canadians over the past three weeks is nearing the end of its Halifax-to-Victoria hitchhiking adventure.
Its creators say the last time it checked in early yesterday morning, “Hitchbot” was passing through Kelowna, B.C. on its way to the Open Space art centre on Vancouver Island.

Be careful on Twitter, recruits: College coaches are watching for bad social media behaviour

At St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama, the high school that produced Crimson Tide quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Jake Coker, there’s a new preseason ritual for football players: the social media talk.

Companies cater to outdoor enthusiasts who want to take electronic devices into wilderness

SALT LAKE CITY — It used to be that outdoor enthusiasts went into the wilderness to unplug. Now, most want to stay plugged in to their electronic devices as long as they can.

How to strengthen and secure your passwords in 7 simple steps

NEW YORK — This week’s news that a Russian crime ring has amassed some 1.2 billion username and password combinations makes now a good time to review ways to protect yourself online.
The hacking misdeeds were described in a New York Times story based on the findings of Hold Security, a Milwaukee firm that has a history of uncovering online security breaches.

Exclusivity clauses banned in wireless roaming contracts

OTTAWA—Wireless carriers in Canada have been banned from imposing exclusivity conditions in contracts that forced smaller firms to use more expensive roaming networks.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission issued the prohibition order late last week, saying it was aimed at enhancing competition in the wireless marketplace.

NASA Mars mission in 2020 to try to turn Martian air into key rocket fuel ingredient: oxygen

WASHINGTON — NASA plans to make oxygen — a key ingredient of rocket fuel — on Mars early next decade.
Space agency officials unveiled seven instruments they plan to put on a Martian rover that would launch in 2020, including two devices aimed at bigger future Mars missions.

Chinese hack NRC computers

OTTAWA—Chinese hackers have infiltrated the computer systems at the National Research Council, forcing it to shut down its IT network for an extended period, the federal government revealed today.
The Treasury Board Secretariat said there is no evidence other government computer systems or data have been compromised.

Memo warns of Bitcoin-related crime

OTTAWA—The high level of anonymity and lack of regulation associated with Bitcoin transactions may make the virtual currency “an attractive payment method for criminals,” warns a newly-disclosed Finance Department memo.

Big Lake Ontario shark hoax shows risks posed by viral marketing, experts say

TORONTO — An online video hoax of a shark in Lake Ontario that caused real-world consternation this past week demonstrates the attention-grabbing risks marketers are taking in an increasingly media-fractured universe, experts say.
The problem, they say, is efforts to stand out from the crowd via “prankvertising” or “guerrilla” marketing can easily backfire.

Nations hiding increased use of private companies for digital snooping on citizens

GENEVA — Governments on every continent are hiding an increasing reliance on private companies to snoop on citizens’ digital lives, the U.N. human rights office said Wednesday.

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