Friday, December 19, 2014

Technology

Sony axes movie release

NEW YORK—The unprecedented hack of Sony Pictures, which a U.S. official says is linked to North Korea, may be the most damaging cyberattack ever inflicted on an American business.
The fallout from the hack that exposed a trove of sensitive documents, and this week escalated to threats of terrorism, forced Sony to cancel release of the North Korean spoof movie “The Interview.”

Powdered alcohol? Not so fast, say lawmakers worried about its impacts

DENVER — Powdered alcohol hasn’t even arrived in stores yet, but states already are moving to ban the product touted by its inventor as an easy way to mix a drink on the go.
Colorado is the latest state considering prohibiting “Palcohol” amid concern it will increase underage drinking. The product is marketed as an ounce of rum or vodka in powdered form, which is then added to water.

Robin Williams, World Cup, Ebola top the list of 2014’s fastest-rising searches on Google

SAN FRANCISCO — Robin Williams’ suicide seared into the world’s collective mindset more than anything else this year, based on what people were searching for on Google.

If all-electric car gets its power from coal, new study says it is dirtier than gasoline

WASHINGTON — People buying all-electric cars where coal supplies the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study says those plug-in vehicles can be making the air dirtier and worsening global warming.
Ethanol isn’t so green, either.

Hacker whodunit: US company says fake clues throw researchers off cyberattackers’ trail

LONDON — It’s a hacker whodunit.
Researchers say they have a wealth of clues — but no clear answers — as to the identity of those behind a series of newly discovered cyberattacks targeting Russian and Eastern European embassies, oil companies and military officers.

Mobile apps still collect vast amounts of personal data on kids, despite FTC privacy rule

WASHINGTON — Worried that toy stores, fast food chains, and other retailers are tracking your kids online this holiday season?

Dawn of Orion: NASA launches new spacecraft and new era of exploration in unmanned test flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s new Orion spacecraft streaked into orbit Friday on a high-stakes test flight meant to usher in a new era of human exploration leading ultimately to Mars.

’No showstoppers:’ NASA launch of new Orion spacecraft stalled by wind, test flight unmanned

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA stood poised to usher in a new era of exploration Thursday with the premier launch of its new Orion spacecraft, but gusty winds repeatedly held up the countdown.
“No show-stoppers,” launch commentator Mike Curie stressed, noting the team had until midmorning to send Orion on its way.

Beacons hit stores ahead of holidays, but will they be a gift or a lump of coal for shoppers?

NEW YORK — From American Eagle to Apple Stores, beacons are popping up everywhere. Are they a shopper’s best friend or another pesky Big Brother monitoring our every move?

IBM software lets people help researchers fight Ebola by donating PC, mobile processing power

OAKLAND, Calif. — IBM has engineered a way for everyone to join the fight against Ebola — by donating processing time on their personal computers, phones or tablets to researchers.

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