(Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Friday confirmed that there was a breach of certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers. The company said in January that it was working with federal law enforcement officials to investigate a possible data breach. While the affected systems contained certain payment card information, there was no evidence that those data were at risk, the company said in a statement on Friday. Michaels said it was working with law enforcement authorities, banks and payment processors, and that the malware no longer presents a threat.
Google Inc's disappointing first-quarter results left Wall Street unfazed about the internet giant's ability to come to grips with the shift to the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google shares were down about 3 percent in early trading on Thursday, and at least 12 brokerages cut their target price on the stock. "Despite an expectations-miss quarter, Google remains one of the best-positioned stocks for many of the secular growth drivers in the Internet space," RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney, who kept his "outperform" rating on the stock, said in a note to clients. Of the 46 analysts covering Google, 35 have a "buy" or equivalent rating on the stock.
By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc took a significant step Thursday towards broaden its advertising business by offering mobile ads urging people to install apps on its social network as well as through MoPub, the mobile-advertising network it acquired last year. As the mobile app economy grows, app developers have been willing to pay increasing amounts to advertise on major sites like Facebook to boost their app downloads. Twitter said Thursday it could reach 1 billion unique mobile devices through its MoPub network, which places ads inside of hundreds of apps. Twitter, which acquired MoPub last year for roughly $350 million, reaches a more limited audience of 240 million users through its own Twitter.com Web site and mobile apps.
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has failed to protect its data network against possible breaches, to encrypt highly sensitive information, or to use strong enough passwords, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday. In addition to the cybersecurity failings, even the physical security in place to protect SEC data and equipment from being accessed or stolen is lax, a 25-page GAO report said, with workstations located in an area open to all agency staff. The report comes just two days after the SEC issued a nine-page blueprint that put Wall Street firms on notice that they should brace themselves for some tough questions from agency examiners about their cybersecurity policies and practices. "Information security control weaknesses in a key financial system's production environment may jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information residing in and processed by the system," the GAO wrote.
(Reuters) - Rockwell Collins Inc, maker of a key communications system for jets, is interested in joining a task force on improving global airline tracking to prevent further disappearances of planes like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, its chief executive said on Thursday. Chief Executive Officer Kelly Ortberg said the avionics supplier had "a lot of value to add" to the task force planned by the International Air Transport Association that will look at ways to track airplanes and make recommendations. The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared from radar screens on March 8 with 239 people on board. Last year, Rockwell acquired ARINC, a provider of aviation connectivity services including flight planning and high-speed data.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, in a letter to Representative John Barrow, reaffirmed his plans to restrict how much spectrum the biggest U.S. carriers, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, could buy in the auction scheduled for mid-2015. Wheeler's letter comes a day after AT&T, the No. 2 wireless provider, threatened to sit out the auction altogether over the regulator's proposed restrictions. The plan is expected to be formally circulated at the FCC later this month and voted on at the May 15 public meeting. The rules would benefit the No. 3 and No. 4 nation-wide carriers Sprint Corp and T-Mobile USA as they would largely restrict Verizon and AT&T, which Wheeler said control some two-thirds of those frequencies across the country.
At the moment, Google is hard at work to make our lives easier, more connected and rather enjoyable. This has always been a company with a proclivity towards the human touch to keep its customers smiling.
Fire TV came out of the gate with an impressive initial effort, however one of its rough edges is that the voice search is actually quite limited. At launch it could only provide results from Amazon's own movie and TV selections or music videos from Vevo, but the company is already adding new services to the mix. Hulu Plus, Showtime Anytime and Crackle are first up, which is a good list, but it's still missing Netflix.
It looks like Time Warner Cable just simplified the Wi-Fi hotspot once and for all. Gigaom reports that Time Warner enabled Hotspot 2.0 capabilities across its public Wi-Fi network this week, allowing customers to log in a single time and then remain connected any time their devices pick up a signal in the future. The upgraded software has been available to broadband customers since March, but this marks the first large-scale implementation of the software. The goal is to give Time Warner customers access to the Internet anywhere they go. Not only will customers be able to avoid those pesky login screens, but the connection will be encrypted using WPA2 security. “This was a good opportunity to get a secure connection to our customers,” said VP
Amazon announced today that the voice search functionality in its Fire TV media streaming box would soon be expanded to include information from Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime. Currently, Fire TV's voice search only supports Amazon's own content and music videos from Vevo. The Fire TV's voice search functionality is very impressive — we found it to be faster and more accurate than any other voice recognition service we've used.
Apple's Siri is handy for checking weather and making appointments with voice commands, but what if she was smart enough to turn the lights on or unlock your car? That's what the folks behind GoogolPlex had in mind, as they've developed a unique Siri hack that makes the voice assistant compatible with third-party apps and connected home devices. Devised by a group of University of Pennsylvania freshmen called The Four Loop, GoogolPlex cleverly "spoofs" both Siri and Google into working with other apps on your iPhone.
Dropbox just debuted its Carousel photo management app last week, and it's already making strides to boost the software's storage chops. Today, the cloud-minded outfit acquired Loom: a photo storage service that became a popular alternative to Everpix and Apple's iCloud Photo Stream. The snapshot organizer provides users with the ability to automatically upload images from multiple sources (or folders) to a single repository, accessible from both mobile devices and a desktop browser.
If you haven't heard of Lavabit or Levison, then you've certainly heard of Lavabit's most famous user -- Edward Snowden. America's notorious whistleblower used Lavabit to invite reporters to Moscow, which caught the attention of the Feds.
So why wouldn't you want to try on a pair of Google Glass before spending your hard-earned money on it? Google's making it possible to do just that by offering people who've previously expressed interest in its heads-up display the chance to try out non-functional Glasses. You'll have 10 days to try out dummy Google Glass before having to return the kit to get back your $50 deposit.
The Chinese web giant Tencent is one of the biggest companies in tech thanks to its popular messaging and gaming services, and yet you'd hardly know it outside of China. But that may not be for long: Tencent recently began expanding into new countries, and it's even made some investments in American companies to start making a dent in the US. "Will Tencent join the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter?" one startup founder backed by Tencent reportedly tells Fast Co. "They already are in that league.
Over the past two weeks, the Pulitzer and Polk awards have recognized the work of Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and other journalists responsible for bringing Edward Snowden's leaked documents to print. But one of the most high-profile TV reports on US surveillance was an uncritically supportive look from CBS and 60 Minutes. Today, PBS announced plans for a two-part Frontline special called United States of Secrets, which promises the "definitive history" of domestic surveillance since the September 11th attacks. The first part of the series, airing May 13th, is reported by Michael Kirk, who was recently awarded a Polk award for NFL concussion exposé League of Denial.
According to a recent survey, Americans are excited for futuristic technology that you might see in a sci-fi novel, but are anxious about how we’ll get there. That’s the conclusion from a report from a Pew Research Center released today which asked 1,000 Americans what they thought of various technological advancements. “The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage,” according to the report. For inventions that are not expected soon, but in the next 50 years, respondents were generally optimistic. 59% said they think technology will improve life in the next half-century, and 81% said they think people who need organ transplants
Cable companies, you've been put on notice. Cord cutting -- ditching your steep monthly cable or satellite bill and instead watching video online -- is on the rise, according to a new report from Experian Marketing Services. In fact, some young adults may never even pay for cable TV in their lifetimes. The percentage of cord-cutters, which Experian considers people with high-speed Internet who've either never subscribed to or stopped subscribing to cable or satellite, has risen by 44 percent in just three years. In 2013, 6.5 percent of households in the U.S. ...
The idea of 3D printing living cells offers a veritable launchpad of miracle treatments: we could grow new organs or create new skin for burn victims. There's one idea you may not have considered, however -- printing tumors. Researchers are developing a new process for researching cancer treatments that uses 3D printers to create a better in-lab cervical tumor model.
Facebook has always been creepy. But now it's allowing you to be creepy, too! The site started rolling out an "optional" new mobile feature Thursday called Nearby Friends, which alerts you when your friends are nearby (and vice versa.) But if you fear weirdos, don't worry: The feature will only load if you opt-in and turn it on. Facebook also lets you decide which of your friends can view your location, and those friends can only do so if they allow you to view them too.
I recently sat down to chat with TDK Corp executive director, Toshihide ("Toshi") Hokari about the evolution of this blast from the past company. TDK Corp started in Japan as TDK Electronics in 1935 as a manufacturer of cassette tapes and later videotapes, CD-R's, and an extensive collection of recording products. TDK became the largest shareholder in the audio and recording industry. Over the last couple decades while cassettes have disappeared from the market, TDK took a break. ...
A robot doesn't have to big, powerful and terrifying to be worthwhile, and many people are working on miniature machines that are just as cool. Some of these endeavors show promise in medicine, but there are plenty of potential uses for microbots, especially when you can persuade a swarm of them to work together. Research outfit SRI reckons tiny automatons have a bright future in manufacturing, thanks to its new method for precisely controlling individuals within a larger group.
iPhone fans are fanatically loyal to their favorite device but they can also give credit where it’s due. iMore writer Allyson Kazmucha, who writes obsessively about how to get the most out of your iPhone and iPad, has conducted a very thorough camera shootout involving the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8). While Kazmucha typically found that the One (M8)’s new camera lagged behind the iPhone 5s’s camera in terms of quality, she couldn’t say the same thing about the Galaxy S5′s camera, which she said was in some ways superior to the iPhone 5s’s. Before we get to her conclusions, we should note that she tested these cameras for a number of different picture scenarios, including low-light
Can't wait to get home to your loved one so you can give him or her a squeeze? If you're the one behind the wheel, this is yet another reminder: Do. Not. Text. While. Driving. Unlike other poignant distracted driving ads, this PSA that Honda put out on YouTube shows no bloodied victims or totaled cars. Instead, this simple, flirtatious exchange is a conversation anyone can relate to. The message is perhaps most effective in GIF-form: GIF made by Imgur user EndiSky. Honda's ad rolled out in April as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort by the National
You know that page with a check box you haphazardly agree to on the way to signing up for various online services? The one with the hundreds (or thousands) of words of legal mumbo jumbo? Yeah, we do the same thing -- it's okay. It's because those pages, the Terms of Service, are boring, lengthy, and probably meaningless. Right? Right?!
The search for planets that closely resemble Earth has yielded perhaps the closest match yet — according to a new report from NASA, the newly-discovered Kepler 186f planet (seen above in an artist's concept) is nearly identical to our planet in some key ways. The planet is one of the closest in size to Earth that has been discovered, and it is also the right distance from its sun to be in the "habitable zone" — a distance that makes it possible for liquid water to pool on the surface of the planet. While other Earth-like planets have been found, they've either been too hot or significantly larger than our planet — but Kepler 186f is only 10 percent bigger than Earth. And its 130-day orbit around its M dwarf sun (a star significantly smaller than our G Dwarf sun) suggests that it'll be in the right range to potentially support liquid water.
One of the biggest surprises of 2013 was Orange is the New Black, a Netflix original series that lacked the star power of House of Cards, but made up for it with incredible writing, performances and an ending that left viewers speechless. After an 11 month hiatus, the prison drama will return to Netflix on June 6th with 13 new episodes, and as usual, all the episodes will be released simultaneously. Netflix debuted the first trailer for season 2 on Thursday, welcoming back a vast majority of the cast from the first season, along with a few new faces. Watch the premiere trailer for the second season of Orange is the New Black below.
Every business publication I pick up these days seems to feature stories about discrimination against women in the technology world. I have even been on the receiving end of this high profile press with a recent female entrepreneur spotlight piece in the the New York Times. The article was overwhelmingly positive. However, the intense scrutiny and attention paid to female entrepreneurs started making me feel uncomfortable and got me thinking -- you never see a male entrepreneur spotlight. ...
Bad news if you're relying on the Tor network to evade surveillance or otherwise remain anonymous: you're not immune from the Heartbleed bug, either. Key developer Roger Dingledine warns that some Tor nodes are running encryption software that's vulnerable ...
DENVER (AP) — A judge in Colorado who will play a pivotal role deciding whether gays should be allowed to wed in the United States asked pointed questions Thursday about whether Oklahoma can legally ban the unions.
So now it's out there. After five years of studied reticence, Democratic leaders in Washington finally went public last week with what they really think is motivating Republican opposition to Barack Obama. As Steve Israel, one of the top Democrats in Congress said the Republican base, "to a significant extent," is "animated by racism."
For the first time, scientists have discovered an Earth-sized alien planet in the habitable zone of its host star, an "Earth cousin" that just might have liquid water and the right conditions for life. The newfound planet, called Kepler-186f, was first spotted by NASA's Kepler space telescope and circles a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth. "One of the things we've been looking for is maybe an Earth twin, which is an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a sunlike star," Tom Barclay, Kepler scientist and co-author of the new exoplanet research, told Space.com.
With little fanfare, Iran has taken faster steps than required to comply with an interim nuclear deal that substantially limits its capacity to make a nuclear weapon. Today, the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported that Iran has significantly reduced its stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium – the material that is a few technical steps from bomb-grade – and is ahead of schedule to completely dispose of remaining stocks by mid-July. Iran has two incentives to move quickly on the terms of the deal, which took force on Jan. 20. It is eager to show it can abide by all its nuclear commitments, as Iran and world powers begin drafting a comprehensive nuclear deal after three rounds of talks, with a fourth due to begin on May 13.
It wasn’t until an explosion occurred a few minutes into the firefight that Andrew Kitzenberg realized he was witnessing the beginning of the end in the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
By Arshad Mohammed and Alexei Anishchuk GENEVA/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union called after crisis talks on Thursday for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine, where Western powers believe Russia is fomenting a pro-Russian separatist movement. President Barack Obama said the meeting in Geneva between Russia and western powers was promising but that the United States and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking in Moscow, accused Ukraine's leaders of committing a "grave crime" by using the army to try to quell unrest in the east of the country, and did not rule out sending in Russian troops.
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — Two firetrucks heading to a burning home collided Wednesday in a Los Angeles suburb, sending one careening into a restaurant and injuring 15 people, including six firefighters.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian unity was on display Thursday night as peaceful demonstrations were held in at least four eastern cities condemning Russia for its perceived meddling in Ukrainian affairs.
MOKPO, South Korea (AP) — There was chaos and confusion on the bridge of a sinking ferry, with the captain first trying to stabilize the listing vessel before ordering its evacuation, a crewman said Thursday.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate whose novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America's passion, superstition, violence and inequality, died at home in Mexico City around midday Thursday, according to people close to his family. He was 87.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that's similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it's not too hot and not too cold for life.
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people Thursday — women and non-Catholics among them — in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve others like a "slave."
The execution of an Iranian convicted of murder was halted at the very last minute in a dramatic scene this week when the mother of his victim forgave him as he stood on the gallows with the noose around his neck, according to Iranian media.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former city official who became a symbol of municipal greed was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison — less than half the time it will take the nearly bankrupt Los Angeles suburb of Bell to dig itself out of the estimated $150 million in debt he left behind.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Experts retained by an aircraft preservation group say underwater video shot in the South Pacific yields no evidence of the wreckage of the missing plane piloted by aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.
As pro-Russia protests spread in eastern Ukraine, a strip of striped orange-and-black fabric has become as ubiquitous as the armed men in unmarked military fatigues. Its name is the Ribbon of Saint George. Imbued with history, it’s a powerful symbol in the ongoing information battle over Ukraine. For Russians it's a mark of allegiance to the state – both the fearsome, expansionist Russian state of old and its modern successor under President Vladimir Putin.
By Narae Kim JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - For the parents of the many teenagers still missing after the Sewol ferry capsized off the coast of South Korea, the wait for news - good or bad - is almost unbearable. Park Seong-ho, father of a 17-year-old boy on board the ferry, but who had not been in contact, said: "I have to go now.
BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev said Wednesday that understanding Tsarnaev's family is key to their case, offering a glimpse of the defense strategy as they prepare to defend him against charges that carry the possibility of the death penalty.
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A Belgian royal who, as director of a vast national park in eastern Congo has defended endangered mountain gorillas and other animals from poachers and the forests from illegal logging, was shot and seriously wounded as he drove through the park, officials said Wednesday.
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