posted less than an hour ago on yahoo! technology news
Amazon has added a new wake word to the Echo and the Echo Dot, and it’s the one that anybody who’s ever watched Star Trek wants: “Computer.” You can enable it by opening up the Alexa app on your iPhone or Android phone, then digging down into the settings to “Wake Word.” Where before you would only have seen three options: Alexa, Amazon, and Echo, you should now see a fourth and obviously the best one, Computer.Oddly enough, the update to enable the new word has been rolling out slowly and intermittently for just over a week now, but apparently only a few people noticed it. ...

Read More...
posted less than an hour ago on yahoo! technology news
Millions of years ago, a wolf-sized otter swam around ancient swampy China, scientists have discovered. The huge otter would have weighed about 110 pounds, and lived about 6.24 million years ago, according to a new report. The fossilized remains of this now-extinct ancient otter— one of the largest otters known— were discovered in a mine in China’s Yunnan Province, and part of what makes it remarkable is that the find included a nearly-complete cranium. “One of the really unique things about this discovery is that it's a pretty complete cranium,” Denise Su, coauthor on a new study about the huge otter and the head of paleobotany and paleoecology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said in a video describing the otter fossils. “And complete crania are really rare in the fossil record,” she continued. “So we were incredibly lucky to be able to find this— it was completely flattened due to distortions of the fossilization process.” To deal with the fact that the specimen was so fragile, the scientists made CT scans to digitally reconstruct the cranium of this enormous otter, permitting them to rotate it and study it virtually. The otter had a big, strong jaw, and may have eaten shellfish and mollusks in its ancient, watery environment, according to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. https://youtu.be/b9Aj1zN9p0A “From the vegetation and other animal groups found at Shuitangba, we know that it was a swampy, shallow lake with quite dense vegetation,” Su said in a statement , referring to the location of the find in Yunnan Province. Before this discovery, scientists only had ancient teeth found in Thailand that represented this extinct otter lineage, and the new find will help them learn more about otter evolution. The new otter species is called Siamogale melilutra , and the researchers who discovered it have published their findings in The Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

Read More...
posted less than an hour ago on yahoo! technology news
Yahoo Inc on Monday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon Communications Inc should be completed in the second quarter, allaying some investor concerns that the deal might collapse. The $4.8 billion Verizon transaction had originally been expected to close in the first quarter but was delayed by the disclosure of two major cyber breaches that exposed information from more than a billion Yahoo accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe into whether Yahoo's data breaches should have been disclosed sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Read More...
posted less than an hour ago on yahoo! technology news
South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd said on Tuesday it reported a record fourth-quarter operating profit of 904.3 billion won ($778.33 million) due to a pickup in panel prices. The world's biggest liquid crystal display (LDC) maker said the profit was caused by the upward trend of panel prices and a favorable foreign exchange rate. "The upwards trend of panel prices is anticipated to continue thanks to the low inventory level in the industry and the trends towards large-size panels," Chief Financial Officer Don Kim said in a statement.

Read More...
posted less than an hour ago on yahoo! technology news
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday said fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent to its highest in over three years, as record earnings in its chips business masked the negative impact of its failed Note 7 phones. Samsung also said it plans to buy back 9.3 trillion won worth of shares this year. Samsung expected earnings to decline in the current quarter from the preceding quarter because of "increased marketing expenses in the mobile business and a sales decrease of TVs due to weak seasonal demand".

Read More...
posted less than an hour ago on yahoo! technology news
Stop me if you've heard this one before: an awesome, revolutionary, life-changing battery technology was just developed by researchers, allowing smartphones to last longer with less degradation over time, and maybe it'll end up in your next device. Cool, right? This latest breakthrough in battery design comes from Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, where professor Christopher Wolverton has devised a new method of designing lithium ion batteries that helps manufacturers determine the perfect cathode coating material to use. In theory, the new system would make batteries more reliable as they age, with less degradation in charge capacity. Unfortunately, we'll probably never benefit from it, because mobile device battery technology is cursed. I have a confession: I can no longer write stories about new battery breakthroughs with any kind of genuine excitement. It's not that I don't want my smartphone battery to be better than it is today — on the contrary, I'd love to be able to forget my charger for at least a few days at a time — but no matter how fantastic the discovery, concept, or design is, it never seems to make it into production. Seriously, look at all these awesome battery breakthroughs from recent months: A battery that literally runs on gravity  A battery that stores five times the charge as a normal Li-ion A smartphone battery that completely recharges in just 15 minutes A battery with a cathode coating that prevents degradation (again!) A battery that prevents itself from catching fire A battery made of sand that outperforms Li-ion A battery made of lithium sulfur A battery made of lithium metal that has double the capacity And that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you go back a couple of years or more you'll see even more example of battery breakthroughs that remain completely absent from our lives. A battery that can be recharged in seconds A battery that can recharge via voice A battery that literally charges itself A Li-ion battery that is 2,000 times more powerful A battery made of a polymer membrane that will kill Li-ion A battery that is actually the body of the device itself Don't get me wrong; if the new system developed by Northwestern's bright minds manages to actually spawn more reliable, longer-lasting batteries for retail devices I'll be happy to eat my words. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever have to.

Read More...
posted about 1 hour ago on yahoo! technology news
SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday said fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent, matching its earlier guidance, as record earnings in its chips business masked the negative impact of its failed Note 7 phones. The world's biggest maker of smartphones and memory chips said October-December operating profit was 9.22 trillion won ($7.93 billion), compared with prior guidance of 9.2 trillion won. Revenue remained flat at 53.3 trillion won from the same period a year earlier, versus its estimate of 53 trillion won. Samsung also said it plans to buy back 9. ...

Read More...
posted about 1 hour ago on yahoo! technology news
Industry groups are already celebrating the appointment of Ajit Pai as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Comcast, Verizon, and groups representing AT&T, Charter, and many major TV networks have put out statements commending President Trump’s pick and his business-friendly policies, including being opposed to net neutrality and in favor of big mergers.

Read More...
posted about 1 hour ago on yahoo! technology news
Until a post popped up on Google's blog earlier today , I had nearly forgotten that the Google Voice app existed. As it turns out, I had every reason to forget about it -- Google hadn't updated it in five years. That drought finally ended on Monday as Google begin rolling out a massive update for the Google Voice apps. The most obvious change is the user interface, which has been completely overhauled to finally look like something that belongs in the second half of this decade. It's cleaner, sleeker and fits in much better with the rest of Google's modern apps, both on mobile devices and on the web. There are now separate tabs in the inbox for texts, calls and voicemails. Additionally, conversations with a contact all now appear in the same thread, and messaging has been upgraded to support group and photo MMS. Google is also introducing Spanish transcription for voicemails, but says it will improve in time. "Going forward, we’ll provide new updates and features to the Google Voice apps," promises Google. "If you currently use Hangouts for your Google Voice communication, there’s no need to change to the new apps, but you might want to try them out as we continue to bring new improvements." In other words, it sounds like this is just the beginning of Google Voice's resurrection, so if you preferred the Voice app to Hangouts, you might want to download it again and see how it has changed. We've provided links to the app on the web as well as iOS and Android below: Web: https://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.googlevoice iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/google-voice/id318698524?&mt=8

Read More...
posted about 2 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
In a move that everyone saw coming a mile away, ZTE has had to admit that its "Hawkeye" sticky-backed, eye-tracking, crowdsourced smartphone is already a colossal failure. Having raised just $35,000 of its $500,000 Kickstarter goal with time waning, Jeff Yee, ZTE's VP of planning and partnerships posted a lengthy blog post on the company's site admitting the firm's error in attempting to crowdfund a totally underwhelming device with middling specs. "After posting the project on Kickstarter and then releasing the detailed specifications of Hawkeye, we realize that our decision to introduce the CSX hands-free features on a mid-range device may not have met the expectations of those that backed this project and those that are early adopters and discovering Project CSX through Kickstarter," Yee explained. "It was our mistake." Now, with fewer than 200 backers on its campaign, ZTE is trying to determine what it can change in order to get more people to jump in. As has been the case with most aspects of the crowdsourced phone project, the company is running a poll. Among the choices are a swap from the Qualcomm 625 to the 835 (currently in the lead with 47% of votes), a bump in battery capacity from 3,000 mAh to 3,500 mAh, and a change to a stock version of Android with eye tracking software pre-installed. Unfortunately for ZTE, the second most popular response on the poll is "Other," with dozens of would-be buyers listing their own perfect tweaks in the comments section. The company will certainly not be able to please everyone, but it's hoping to make enough improvements to the specs that it can actually follow through with its production plans.

Read More...
posted about 2 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter operating profit rose 180 percent from a year earlier in its largest quarterly profit ever, due to a pickup in panel prices. The world's biggest liquid crystal display maker said October-December operating profit was 904.3 billion won ($778.33 million), beating a Thomson Reuters StarMine SmartEstimate of 845 billion won drawn from a survey of 27 analysts. Revenue for the quarter rose 18 percent from a year earlier to 7.9 trillion won, LG said. (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Chris Reese)

Read More...
posted about 2 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
President Donald Trump has picked a fierce critic of the Obama-era "net neutrality" rules to be chief regulator of the nation's airwaves and internet connections. In a statement Monday, Ajit ...

Read More...
posted about 2 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
After just seven months at Apple, robotics expert Yoky Matsuoka is rejoining Alphabet’s Nest as its chief technology officer. Matsuoka left Nest back in 2015 from her position as vice president of technology to join Twitter, only to decline the job to focus on overcoming her life-threatening illness. At Nest, Matsuoka will use her robotics background to define roadmaps for the engineering and product teams, according to Bloomberg.

Read More...
posted about 2 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
One of the most difficult things to square as a consumer is the knowledge that not everyone who worked to produce your clothes, your food and your electronics wouldn't be old enough to work if they lived in the United States. There are of course oversights at factories all over the world, but even the biggest companies can't catch everything. Thankfully, some are willing to take action when they find children in their factories. Over the weekend, a Redditor with the handle Illegal_sal shared a link to Apple's Labor and Human Rights page on the company's Supplier Responsibility subsite. On that page, Apple explains what happens when it discovers that child labor laws have been violated at a factory building its devices: "We do not tolerate underage labor in our supply chain. If we find underage workers in our suppliers’ factories, we make the suppliers return the children to their homes, pay for their education at a school of their family’s choice, and continue to provide income for basic needs until they reach the legal working age. We also enlist a third-party organization to monitor the children’s progress and report back to us. After they complete their education, suppliers must offer them reemployment. In 2015, we found three cases of underage labor — and we will continue to look for it." When Quartz looked into this program several years ago, it discovered that the participation rate for underage workers who were given the opportunity to participate in Apple's free education program in 2011 was around 34%. While that is certainly a discouraging number, it's nice to see that the pressure labor activists have put on Apple over the past several years has forced the company to take a more active approach.

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd said on Tuesday its 2016 operating profit fell 19 percent from a year earlier. The world's biggest liquid crystal display maker said its operating profit last year was 1.3 trillion won ($1.12 billion). In the October-December quarter, LG Display made an operating profit of about 904 billion won, according to Reuters calculations. (Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Chris Reese)

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
Mobile World Congress will be missing its usual Samsung flagship star in Barcelona next month, but there’s another Korean company ready to fill the void. LG has set a February 26th date for the unveiling of the G6, its next flagship Android phone, and The Verge has obtained the first image of the upcoming phone. As previously revealed by LG Display and confirmed by The Verge, the G6 will feature a large 5.7-inch display with an unusual aspect ratio of 2:1 and an emphasis on minimal bezels.

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
For a long time, nearly all of the animation students at the California Institute of the Arts' were men. Today, most of CalArts' more than 250 animation students are women, and one of their goals is to ...

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
Telecom giant Sprint said Monday it would buy one-third of rap mogul Jay Z's Tidal streaming platform, breathing new life into a service whose star power has failed to translate into market dominance. Sprint, which is owned by Japan's Softbank Corp. and is the fourth-largest mobile service provider in the United States, plans to roll out Tidal content exclusives for the carrier's customers. A joint statement did not reveal the size of the deal but music industry magazine Billboard said Sprint would pay $200 million for the 33 percent stake.

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
Vinyl’s resurgence in popularity means more companies are coming up with new and different ways to play back all those newly purchased records. Which means we get devices like Love, which puts a new spin on the turntable concept by packing the entirety of the hardware of the device into what is essentially a giant, spinning tonearm. (function(d, s, id) {var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if (d.getElementById(id)) return;js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3";fjs.parentNode. ...

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
Tesla is adopting a take-it-slow approach to the rollout of its next-generation Autopilot system, in an effort to balance safety concerns against its race to put advanced self-driving technology in the hands of its customers. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that customer safety is the primary reason behind Tesla’s slow deployment of Autopilot features and Elon Musk himself advised owners to exercise caution when using Autopilot when part of the system was rolled out over the weekend. Back in October, Tesla rolled out a suite of more advanced sensor hardware in its cars — radar, cameras, and an onboard “supercomputer” — but the software that makes the safety and driver assist features work wasn’t yet complete.

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
Not stupid fun, to be clear, just fun that defies rational analysis — in this case, a full-body haptic suit created for the cult musical shooter Rez Infinite. The Synesthesia Suit straps 26 discs around your arms, legs, and torso, where they vibrate in time to an experience. Combine it with a virtual reality headset, and you’ve got a perfect way to escape the crowds of something like Sundance.

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
Google and LG are planning to mark the launch of Android Wear 2.0 with a pair of smartwatches, it was reported last week, and today Techno Buffalo has published what it claims is an image of the coming wearables. Co-developed with Google (think Nexus), these are purported to be the next flagship devices for Android Wear. The design matches up with initial details revealed by VentureBeat’s Evan Blass: they’ve both got circular displays and a rotating digital crown that will be used to navigate menus along with the touchscreen.

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
The NES Classic has been permanently out of stock ever since it first launched last November. Nintendo has been hustling to increase production to meet the unprecedented demand, and it looks like it might be working. Target stores across the country currently have the NES Classic in stock and ready for you to buy right now. According to NowInStock's Target stock checker, Targets all around the country currently have between 1 and 10 units on shelves. A quick check of areas around New York, New Jersey and LA show some stores with stock, so it's definitely worth putting your ZIP code in and checking stock. Target stores are reportedly getting daily stock, so if you don't find anything today, it could be worth camping out your nearest big Target early tomorrow morning. The amount of stock different stores receives depends on size and location, with big suburban stores near big cities normally being the best bet. There's also a rumor going around that ToysRUs stores are getting a huge stock dump on January 26th, which could be worth checking out. Right now, Walmart and Target are the only two physical stores getting any inventory, but it seems that Nintendo is slowly starting to catch up with demand. As more units have been coming available, prices on second-hand resellers on Amazon have been falling. While the NES Classic ran about $250 before Christmas, prices are now down around $150. That's still a huge increase over the $60 RRP, but it shows that the NES Classic supply is very slowly catching up on demand. To keep track on stock, you're still best off using BrickSeek  and NowInStock , which offer features to help you track and receive notifications for online stock. For your local stores, the best bet is still to try and call and speak to an employee in the releveant department, who may be willing to help you work out when stock will next arrive.

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
The U.S. Justice Department wants a judge to throw out a lawsuit from Microsoft and keep a law that prohibits technology companies from telling customers when the government demands their electronic data. ...

Read More...
posted about 3 hours ago on yahoo! technology news
If you do a lot of photo work and need to easily sync images and videos to your Google Drive account via your Chromebook, check out this tutorial.

Read More...