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drone racing league sets world record for fastest quadcopter

the drl racerx drone weighs just 800 grams. drone racing league the drone racing league (drl), one of the preeminent groups working to make organized drone racing an official sport, has set a guinness world record for the fastest ground speed by a battery-powered quadcopter.what's hot on zdnetthe drl says its hand-built racerx drone reached speed never-before-seen top speed of 179.6 miles per hour. in order to set the guinness world record achievement, the drone needed to fly back and forth across a measurement course of 100 m (328 ft.). the actual record is set as the average top speed achieved on each of those flights, which clocks in at 163.5 miles per hour.on earlier flights, drl said prototypes of the racerx drone burst into flames due to the extreme battery heat at top speed."we're thrilled to put our proprietary technology to the test, as we're all about speed and pushing the limits of drone design here at drl," said drl founder and ceo nicholas horbaczewski. "the record-setting racerx represents the culmination of years of technological innovation by our team of world class engineers, and we're very excited to unveil the fastest racing drone on earth."drone racing is still a niche interest among tech enthusiasts, but it's starting to gain momentum with mainstream audiences. last year, the drl snagged a deal with espn and espn2 to broadcast a full season of races, which are elaborate productions that mimic mainstream racing events. the group hopes to s...





shopify adds ebay as its latest merchant sales channel

what's hot on zdnetshopify announced thursday that its merchants can now sell products to consumers via a new ebay sales channel. the integration will allow users of shopify's e-commerce platform to sync their inventory and sell their products on ebay directly from their shopify accounts. customer service and order fulfillment services are also available from a centralized location within the shopify platform. shopify offers similar integrated sales channels through amazon, buzzfeed, facebook, pinterest, facebook messenger. shopify said more than 60 percent of its merchants sell in two or more channels."shopify is the industry leader when it comes to multi-channel commerce, and we look to partner with the best and biggest platforms to bring new sales opportunities to our merchants," said satish kanwar, vp of product at shopify. "the ebay channel has the potential to introduce our merchants to ebay's millions of buyers, exposing merchants to a massive number of new sales opportunities."shopify generally targets small business merchants with access to customizable store templates, marketing tools, sales analytics and inventory management to help them with the jump into online retail. its sales channel strategy really kicked into gear a year ago with the launch of the sales channel sdk and its subsequent "sell anywhere" motto. shopify's not the only player in the ecommerce saas space with ties to outside marketplaces. bigcommerce inked a cross-selling deal with ebay in...





samsung focus for galaxy owners: better than outlook for business users

yesterday i wrote about the continued improvements in microsoft outlook for android and ios devices. while this is my default app on most of my smartphones, there is another i find even better on the samsung galaxy s8 plus. at the very end of 2016, samsung announced the focus app for galaxy smartphones. since i had returned my note 7s, i didn't have an active samsung phone and never even considered this application until i started browsing through the galaxy apps store on my s8 plus a couple of weeks ago. the samsung focus app is an incredibly valuable tool for the enterprise with a single interface that brings together tabs with a focus page, consolidated email, calendar, memos, and contacts. you can designate priority senders and with a single tap see attachments, emails, tasks, events, and memos associated with that contact. it's an awesome tool for productivity and actually keeps me using my galaxy s8 plus even though i want to bounce onto other phones.the focus tab brings together today's events and communications from the day with priority senders. when you get to the bottom of the page, the priority senders who have communications from that day appear up top so you can quickly navigate to them.





photos: inside vast abandoned mine set to be world's biggest data center

the abandoned mine that will house the lefdal mine datacenter was originally used for extracting olivine, a magnesium iron silicate. the facility is tunneled on six levels, featuring mountain halls with roof heights of up to 16 meters/52 feet, accessible via underground 'avenues' and 'streets' in a grid.the maximum potential floor space is 120,000 square meters, or nearly 1.3 million square feet. the statue of liberty, boeing 737, trailer and car on the lower right of the picture show the colossal scale of the facility.





us customs says border agents can't search cloud data from travelers' phones

us customs and border protection has clarified to the us senate that, even though it can search electronic devices at the border without consent and in most cases without a warrant, it does not have the authority to go through data stored in the cloud."cbp's authority to conduct border searchers extends to all merchandise entering or departing the united states, including information that is physically resident on an electronic device transported by an international traveler," the agency said in a memo, as nbc news reports. "therefore, border searches conducted by cbp do not extend to information that is located solely on remote servers."the memo was issued by kevin mcaleenan, the cbp's acting commissioner, in response to questions from sen. ron wyden (d-oregon). see a key section of the memo here and the full memo below. "with my concurrence, cbp's office of field operations issued [guidelines] in april 2017 reminding its officers of this precise aspect of cbp's border search policy," mcaleenan wrote. as nbc notes, travelers don't necessarily have to unlock their devices or give cbp authorities their password. however, customs agents can "detain" the phone, mcaleenan said. "in this digital age," mcaleenan wrote, "cpb must... conduct limited and targeted inspections of electronic devices to determine whether they contain contraband (such as child pornography), information indicating inadmissibility, or information that could present a threat to national securi...





why startupland needs the veil of ignorance

many recent discussions on privacy and data governance have focused on the practical, and on the short term. that's understandable, given that here in australia our mandatory data breach notification regime looms large, and europe's general data protection regulation (gdpr) follows soon after. but balance is a good thing.i was pleased, therefore, that the data + privacy asia pacific conference in sydney on wednesday kicked off with a look at the ethics of data stewardship. not the everyday what, where, and how of data operations, but the why of doing any of these data things in the first place.this framing was deliberate, australia's information and privacy commissioner, timothy pilgrim, told zdnet."there is no irony in the fact that often the most personal information is the richest in its potential for public data use," said pilgrim in his opening remarks. therein lie the ethical problems.how do we balance personal risks with the opportunity for public good, or at least the good of the organisation collecting the data? what counts as having a "genuine interest" in collecting the data, as opposed to sucking in as much as possible as soon as possible?new ways of analysing data, re-identifying supposedly anonymous data, and reaching conclusions are being developed rapidly. even the biggest players like google and facebook would admit they've no idea what might be possible even a few years ahead.so how do we work within the ocean of future possibilities when data can be...





shopify adds ebay as its latest merchant sales channel

what's hot on zdnetshopify announced thursday that its merchants can now sell products to consumers via a new ebay sales channel. the integration will allow users of shopify's e-commerce platform to sync their inventory and sell their products on ebay directly from their shopify accounts. customer service and order fulfillment services are also available from a centralized location within the shopify platform. shopify offers similar integrated sales channels through amazon, buzzfeed, facebook, pinterest, facebook messenger. shopify said more than 60 percent of its merchants sell in two or more channels."shopify is the industry leader when it comes to multi-channel commerce, and we look to partner with the best and biggest platforms to bring new sales opportunities to our merchants," said satish kanwar, vp of product at shopify. "the ebay channel has the potential to introduce our merchants to ebay's millions of buyers, exposing merchants to a massive number of new sales opportunities."shopify generally targets small business merchants with access to customizable store templates, marketing tools, sales analytics and inventory management to help them with the jump into online retail. its sales channel strategy really kicked into gear a year ago with the launch of the sales channel sdk and its subsequent "sell anywhere" motto. read more:





how to protect yourself from the verizon data breach

more security newsanother day, another major data breach. this time around it's personal. when verizon was shown to have as many as 14 million subscriber records revealed, i was one of them. lucky me. lucky you.these customer records were contained in log files from verizon customers service calls during the last six months. each record included the customer's name, their cell phone number, and account pin.armed with this information, hackers could access your account. once that's done, they can hijack your phone number and take over your account. that's bad enough, but wait, there's more. what's worst is once this is done, a hacker could break into your email or any other accounts protected by two-factor authentication (2fa). that's because most 2fa systems use your phone number as its second level of authentication.verizon claims "no other external party accessed the data." of course, if you'd asked the company earlier if someone could find six months of customer records on an exposed and unprotected amazon s3 cloud server, it would have said that was impossible. i think i'll take my own steps to protect my account.to do this, you need to login into your verizon wireless account. along the way, you must enter your password and make sure your security image is correct. if it's not, or your password --after double-checking -- doesn't work, you have bigger problems. someone may have cracked your account. in this case, call (800) 922-0204 or dial *611 from your mob...





moving into production, staying in the cloud

you probably know by now that the economics of the cloud are compelling. the economics of the public cloud are even more so, because you let go of a lot of capital resources and risk.but about all that risk: is it too risky to host your applications in the public cloud? there was a time, perhaps, but we're well past it. the major public cloud providers have very mature platforms and vast pools of expertise, and security vendors are building out their cloud expertise, as well.even large, sophisticated, and security-obsessed institutions like jp morgan chase are using the public cloud. last year, deutsche bank reported that public cloud adoption among big banks was widespread. and it's not just banks. last year, johnson and johnson announced a major commitment to the public cloud. both jp morgan and j&j plan to use multiple cloud providers. so if you choose to go with a public cloud, you won't really be a pioneer.clearly, these very large and cautious organizations are comfortable with the viability of the public cloud. they haven't gone into detail on exactly how they do it, but they are almost certainly using the same features available to everyone from amazon web services, microsoft azure, and google cloud platform.public cloud deployments are extensions of your own network built on the public cloud. they have access to the public cloud's features but connect through secure, encrypted channels to your own network. you can extend your own ip addresses and dns into this n...





atm skimmers who stole $420,000 plead guilty in us court

file photo members of an atm skimming gang which made off with at least $420,000 in stolen cash have pleaded guilty after being hunted down by police.more security newson tuesday, the us department of justice (doj) said that four members of a large criminal ring have pleaded guilty of their parts in the scheme.atm skimming is the use of external modifications to cash dispensers in order to steal customer information, including the theft of card details which can later be used when creating clone cards, allowing others to make unauthorized purchases or to be sold in underground web forums. criminals may choose to use card reading devices or pinhole cameras fitted above number pads which are difficult to see but able to record pin numbers.us law enforcement says that these tactics were successfully used on pnc and bank of america atms in new jersey, leading to the theft of at least $428,581.new york residents marcel peckham, 43, catalin dragomir, 33, eduard ticu, 32, and silvester papp, 25, all pleaded guilty on tuesday in newark federal court before us district judge esther salas.the four individuals will each be charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, which carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.peckham admitted to providing counterfeit atm cards to other conspirators while dragomir, ticu, and papp each admitted to making unauthorized cash withdrawals using the counterfeit atm cards between march 2015 and ju...





why apple doesn't want you repairing your broken iphone or ipad

despite several states introducing right to repair legislation to help make it easier and cheaper for people to repair their broken electronic devices, companies such as apple and microsoft are hard at work lobbying to prevent such laws from being passed. so why are companies such as apple and microsoft so against you having the right to repair your broken devices?must read : how much power does your smartphone charger waste? the popular belief seems to be that the reason why companies are opposed to people being able to fix their own devices is money and greed. if your device is broken then, haha, you have to go out and buy another, so cha-ching. you get the chance to empty your wallet and the company makes another sale, and the consumer capitalism machine continues to march forward. but it's not all about money and greed. no really, stop laughing, it isn't.it pro toolbox toursee full gallery1 - 5 of 32 next prev as someone who has spent several decades taking things apart and then having a better than average success to put them back together again in a workable condition, i know a little about the repair industry from not only the consumer electronics side of things, but also automotive.what's hot on zdnet ok, let's get one thing out of the way. money does play a part in it. a big part. if your device is broken then you're either a potential customer for buying a new one, or a potential customer for the authorized repair center, both of which generate rev...





how to make sure your charger or power bank doesn't blow up your expensive smartphone

what's the best way to avoid problems?buy devices from a reputable vendor. i've yet to come across a charger from apple or samsung or amazon that has been unsafe. as for third-party brands, i've found anker to be consistently high-quality and i've never had an issue with a product.avoid no-name brands, or brands that you've never heard of.if in doubt, seek advice. reputable manufacturers are always open to being asked safety-related issues, so if you think something isn't right, disconnect the device and get in touch with them.don't take chances - you (and the people around you) only get one life, and it's worth a heck of a lot more than a cheap charger or power bank you picked up from a dollar store or online.do you come across dangerous devices?yes.what sort of bad things have you seen?i've seen charger explode, power banks smolder, chargers that have metallic parts that expose the user to dangerous mains current, and i've seen countless device break apart to expose the electronics when used.what's the most important piece of test equipment?your senses!look for signs of visual damagefeel for overheatingsmell for smokelisten for snaps, crackles or pops when the device is in usealso use common sense - if something doesn't feel right, don't take chances!what do you do with devices that fail?i report them to the relevant authorities. i work closely with uk trading standards to remove unsafe devices from market.have you had an electric shock?yes, a few times. is it ...





yahoo's bullet looks ahead in querying streaming data

a few months back, we posed the question of whether the world needs another streaming engine. now we'll extend that question to querying. virtually each streaming engine has a way to submit queries - otherwise, why would you need a streaming engine? although streaming engines offer the promise of fresh real-time data, the ugly truth is that they must cache data first. that means that most streaming query engines must look back at data that has already been collected.as it tracked user engagement over its internet properties, yahoo was seeking a more lightweight means for performing the fairly rudimentary queries that are typically thrown at data in motion, such as counts, averages, ranks, and distributions. and given the traffic levels, it sought a means for validating the sensors and instrumentation that picks up these counts. in fact, validation became the primary use case for this new project.the result is the bullet project, which yahoo just open sourced on github. bullet is a highly distributed framework designed for cloud multi-tenant data centers that let you run "forward-looking' queries. bullet queries act on data flowing through the system after you submit the query. in other words, you query data that will arrive, rather than data that has already arrived. unusual for an open source project, bullet also includes a visual user interface, so you're not necessarily restricted to command line or third party tools. and it also has a rest api for programmatic access....





uber patches security flaw leading to subdomain takeover

screenshot via youtube uber has patched a security flaw which allowed attackers to compromise its sign-on service and left subdomains vulnerable. security researcher arne swinnen disclosed the details of the exploit this week after uber resolved the problem. according to the security expert, uber was vulnerable to subdomain takeover due to the single sign-on (sso) system at auth.uber.com, as well as session and cookie hijacking. swinnen says the problem lay within the sso, which was based on shared cookies between all *.uber.com subdomains. if one subdomain was compromised and cookies were stolen, this left all of them exposed -- potentially escalating the breach to authentication bypass on the full system and all subdomains protected by it, such as vault.uber.com, partners.uber.com, and riders.uber.com. the saostatic.uber.com pointed to an amazon cloudfront cdn via a dns cname, however, the hostname was not registered there. this allowed swinnen to quickly take over this domain. now this domain was compromised as uber forgot to remove this record, the researcher was then able to steal valid session cookies through sso due to cookie sharing. "uber did have some countermeasures in place to prevent this, but these were bypassed and reported together with the subdomain takeover for increased impact," swinnen said. "any compromised *.uber.com subdomain could be used to perform the same attack, although uber explicitly mentioned several *.uber.com subdomains as out of ...





hp keeps up strong pc sales amid slumping worldwide shipments

worldwide pc shipments continued their downward trend for the second quarter of 2017, according to the latest data from gartner and idc. while the overall market remains in a slump, hp managed to improve its year-over-year sales and keep its position as the top pc vendor for the second quarter in a row. worldwide pc shipments totaled 61.1 million units for q2 2017, according to gartner, representing a 4.3 percent decline from q2 2016. that makes q2 the 11th straight quarter of declining shipments. idc had similar tallies, reporting that worldwide shipments of traditional pcs totaled 60.5 million units, for a 3.3 percent year-over-year decline. while the overall market shrunk, hp managed to post 6.2 percent year-over-year growth for q2, according to idc, giving it nearly 23 percent market share for the quarter. gartner reports that hp posted 3.3 percent growth compared with a year prior, giving it five consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth and nearly 21 percent market share. lenovo remains the no. 2 worldwide vendor, but idc reoprts its shipments shrank 5.7 percent globally, in part because of signiifcant slowing in north america. gartner said lenovo shipments shrank 8.4 percent with declines in all key regions.dell took third place, growing 3.7 percent, according to idc. gartner showed dell coming in third with 1.4 percent growth for q2, its fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year global shipment growth. shortages of key components such as solid state drives conti...





llamas of war sidelined by robots, part of growing trend

even animals are losing their jobs.llamas, long used by the israeli defense forces (idf) as porters to hump equipment through difficult terrain, are set to get their marching orders. by september, the last of the idf's infantry llamas will be replaced by an experimental deployment of robots, according to tel aviv-based haaretz.the idf hasn't released much information about the bots, but they look like an updated version of israeli contractor roboteam's probot, a lightweight heavy payload unmanned vehicle. probot can carry up to 1500 pounds and maintain speeds of 6 mph through rough terrain. designed to accompany small infantry teams, it can be teleoperated via remote control, set to follow the leader, or use gps waypoint navigation.the move to unmanned vehicles is part of a growing trend as militaries around the world ramp up use of unmanned ground, sea, and air vehicles. in the last decade, aerial drones have changed modern war tactics while raising intractable ethical questions. for military contractors, the move to small unmanned systems and away from piloted aircraft and tanks, what's known in military speak as "exquisitely manned systems," is big business. the unmanned ground vehicle market is projected to grow from usd 1.49 billion in 2016 to usd 2.63 billion by 2021.the u.s. army is currently experimenting with a number of robotic systems, including the maars unmanned ground vehicle, which is designed for reconnaissance and surveillance and can be mounted with a ...





apple users can now make app store purchases with paypal

(image: paypal) apple pay is ahead of the pack, but pay-by-iphone is still limited only 13 percent of iphones have apple pay activated -- and how many are actually using it?apple on wednesday said paypal customers will soon be able to pay for app store, apple music, itunes, and ibooks purchases across iphone, ipad, ipod touch, apple tv, apple watch, and desktop devices using their paypal account.until now, apple id users were required to use a bank card or gift card to make app, music, subscription, or movie purchases. paypal can be utilized to store your credit card or debit card to make purchases across the internet, so you won't have to re-enter your card number on each online store you're trying to purchase from. it'll be available soon for users in the us, uk, canada, mexico, australia, austria, france, germany, israel, italy, the netherlands, and spain. they can select "paypal" as their payment method from their account settings in the app store, apple music, itunes, and ibooks.paypal said the payment method for apple id users is rolling out on wednesday to mexico, canada, germany, the netherlands, and the uk. paypal will launch to the us and other countries "soon."paypal shares on wednesday hit an all-time high following announcement of the new apple partnership. iphone 8: here's what we think we know so...see full gallery1 - 5 of 20 next prev





ibm launches services platform based on watson

what's hot on zdnetibm is using watson and a data lake compiling operational information from banking, airlines and retails to build out a cognitive services platform.the system, dubbed the ibm services platform with watson, is built on big blue's cloud. the game plan is to pitch the services platform as a way to integrate watson and cognitive capabilities across multiple industries. in theory, ibm's services platform with watson would augment human intelligence and make the 44 zetabytes of data by 2020 more manageable to analyze. danske bank is an early adopter of the services platform under a 10-year broader contract. danske bank will use the platform to develop new financial services. ibm's bet is that the services platform can use proactive automation to fix issues, analyze content, and guide humans to resolve problems. ibm's services platform with watson will aim to hit a bevy of services from creating to integration to operations. parts of the ibm services platform with watson include:a data link that's based on more than 30 years of ibm services data.a client insights dashboard to provide visibility into the it environment.automated service delivery tools.watson, which will ingest structured and unstructured data and provide analysis.read more:





china seals scientists in lab to study moon madness

nasa chinese volunteers have begun to live in a sealed laboratory environment in order to simulate what a moon base may be like without any interaction with the outside world.what's hot on zdnetthe 200-day experiment is taking place in a 160-meter-square cabin behind sealed steel doors in a bunker and will require the university student volunteers to maintain a self-sustaining environment, which will include recycling everything from plants to urine.according to local media people's daily, the "moon-like" environment will be a testing ground to see how isolation and limited space, which would be the norm in a moon colony, impacts both mental and physical health.the students were sealed inside on sunday.dubbed "yuegong-1" or "lunar palace," the bunker is located at beihang university, beijing, and the sealed laboratory has previously been the home of another group of four who stayed there for a total of 60 days.the lunar palace consists of a living area, two plant cultivation modules, four bedroom cubicles, a bathroom, a waste-treatment room and another section built for raising animals. in order to deal with waste, the volunteers will need to keep a bio-fermentation system running, and the by-products will be used to grow crops.this experimental system is called the bioregenerative life support system (blss) and was previously tested back in 2014. however, in this round, the group will also be tested to see how they react to periods of time without sunlight.r...





amazon prime day breaks records for sales, prime signups

image: cnetamazon's third installment of prime day is in the books and has officially been crowned the biggest single-day sales haul in its history.what's hot on zdnetthe ecommerce giant said the prime day 2017 event grew by more than 60 percent compared to the same 30 hours last year, which was itself another record-breaking sales day for the company.in terms of amazon-branded devices, amazon said prime day shoppers bought more than seven times as many alexa-powered devices as compared to prime day 2016, with the event bringing in record sales for the echo, fire tablets and kindle. prime members' most popular purchase on prime day was the echo dot, amazon said.see:amazon ceo jeff bezos' 2017 annual letter: what decision-makers can learnimpressive as the sales tally may be, to amazon, sales are only a secondary goal during that one-day event. prime day is a benefit exclusive to prime members, which means non-prime customers had to subscribe to the service -- albeit with an optional 30-day free trial -- to access the deals. amazon does not provide exact details on prime signups, but it did say that more new members joined prime on july 11 than on any other day in the site's history."tens of millions of prime members made a purchase on prime day 2017, more than 50 percent higher than the prior year," amazon touted in a press release release.additionally, research from consumer intelligence research partners (cirp), a firm that's been tracking amazon prime's growth for ...