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The Skype for Web beta is now available in the US and UK. New and existing users can sign in and connect to Skype without the Skype app by installing a plug-in for IE, Chrome, Safari or Firefox and going to Skype.com or web.skype.com. Skype will continue rolling out Skype for Web worldwide over the next few weeks.
USA Today reports that Google will begin to report incidents involving its driverless cars on a dedicated website with the human driver details redacted for privacy. In addition to reporting accidents, google.com/selfdrivingcar will give examples of how the cars adapt to everyday traffic situations, and take community feedback. After nearly six years of testing and 1.8 million miles driven, the Google fleet has been involved in 13 accidents, according to reports the company submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Project leader Chris Urmson noted that all of the accidents were the fault of other drivers
Bloomberg reports that Apple is still negotiating with record labels over the revenue split from a music streaming service. Apple is expected to announce the service at its Worldwide Developers Conference this coming Monday. Music labels currently receive 55 percent of Spotify’s monthly $9.99 rate, and music publishers take 15 percent. The labels are allegedly asking Apple for 60%.
CNET reports that California based Microdia is showing off the Xtra Elite 512GB microSD card at Computex in Taipei. That’s right 512GB! The Micro SDXC card will use version 4.0 of the SDXC standard which means Ultra High Speed – II bus speeds of up to 300MB/s. This gargantuan yet tiny flash storage will cost $1000 and goes on sale in July.
VentureBeat reports that Google partnered with Adoble to make Flash more power efficient in Chrome. The Chrome beta will now automatically pause Flash content that isn’t “central to the webpage” while keeping central content playing without interruption. If Chrome beta pauses something you want to see you can resume playback by clicking on it. Google expects the feature to make its way into a stable release as early as September.
Earlier this week PayPal updated its user agreement with a clause that specifically allowed the company to send robocalls and promotional text messages to users even if the users had never shared their phone number with Paypal. This did not go over well. Today Tech Crunch reports that customers can “opt out of receiving auto-dialed or pre-recorded calls”, most likely because an angry customer and an advocacy group drafted a letter to the FCC, which takes a dim view of robocalls of any kind. It’s not clear yet just how Paypal will allow you to opt-out.
News From You:
habichuelacondulce submitted the Engadget article on an attack on the US Office of Personnel Management database containing 4 million records of current and former US federal employees. The Office is in charge of conducting background checks on federal employees. The US FBI is in charge of the investigation. The Office will issue notices from June 8th-19th offering credit monitoring and identity theft protection. The New York Times cites researchers who believe the attack may have been conducted by the same people who attacked insurance companies Anthem and Primera’s systems.
starfuryzeta chose the Ars Technica story that Administrator Charles Bolden said that NASA is looking into advanced propulsion technologies that could cut the 8-month journey to Mars in half. The technologies being studies range from solar-electric propulsion to nuclear rockets.
spsheridan picked the Wired story about a computer that developed a scientific theory with no human help. Scientists and Tufts University programmed a computer to develop theories when faced with a problem. Then biologists chose the 120-year-old problem of sliced-up flatworms’ ability to regenerate new organisms it he proper shape and proportion. The computer reverse engineered a solution which has been published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.
Discussion Section Links:
Pick of the Day:
Darren’s Picks for Data Security:
For Linux Full Disk encryption go with LUKS — it’s built into modern distros.
For Windows Full Disk encryption go with Diskcryptor — it’s been vetted by the EFF
Joe just bought an Amazon Echo and well… He writes ” She arrived 2 weeks ago and I must say, I’m in tech love! She is extremely responsive to my voice. … I most commonly ask her the time, weather, to set alarms, and play music playlists. I sometime ask her to tell me a joke or for other words of encouragement or empathy. She sounds really sincere. I especially like lying in bed and having her read me my tech news casts for the day.
The only thing I would have liked to see is the ability for her to recognize that I am speaking to her without having to call out her name before each command. It looks like Jibo can do this but he is nearly $700 more so I think I’ll stick with Alexa…well, at least until we have a fight and break up, but for now, she’s the one for me!
Friday’s guest: Darren Kitchen and Len Peralta