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Angry Birds maker Rovio names new CEO

Angry Birds products are displayed during a news conference in Hong KongFinland's Rovio, the maker of the Angry Birds mobile game, said it has hired Pekka Rantala from beverage maker Hartwall to take over as its new chief executive by the beginning of next year. Current CEO Mikael Hed, son of board chairman Kaj Hed, will join the company's board of directors as well as take on the role of chairman at Rovio's animation studios. After scoring a global breakthrough with Angry Birds in which players use a slingshot to attack pigs who steal birds' eggs, Rovio has expanded the brand into an animated TV series and merchandising of toys and clothing. Rovio said several years ago it could go public in Hong Kong or New York, but has later said it was not planning an initial public offering any time soon.




Apple working with NXP for pay-by-touch technology in new iPhone: FT

Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo(Reuters) - Apple Inc is working with Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV to add secure near-field communications (NFC) technology into the next iPhone, which would enable smartphone users to pay by touch, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with Apple's plans. NXP will provide the secure near-field communications chips that will allow an iPhone to connect with payment terminals or ticketing systems, the daily reported. Apple has invited media to a "special event" in its hometown of Cupertino, California on Sept. 9, when the iPhone maker is expected to unveil the latest versions of its best-selling smartphones.




Google tests airborne drones to deliver goods

A Google search page is reflected in sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in BrusselsBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc is developing airborne drones capable of flying on their own and delivering anything from candy to medicine, the Internet company said on Thursday. The effort, which Google calls Project Wing, marks the company's latest expansion beyond its Web-based origins and could help Google break into lucrative markets such as commerce and package delivery, ratcheting up the competition with Amazon.com Inc. Google, the world's largest Internet search engine, said it will take years of development to create a service with multiple vehicles flying multiple deliveries per day. An early version of the drone, which Google showcased in a video on its website, has a 1.5 meter-(yard-)wide wingspan and is capable of flying pre-programmed routes. "These planes have much more in common with the Google self-driving car than the remote-controlled airplanes people fly in parks on weekends," Google said on its website, referring to the company's test fleet of automobiles that use sensors and radars to navigate city streets and freeways on their own.




China's Tencent shuts messaging accounts after censorship rules-state media

A picture illustration shows a WeChat app icon in BeijingChina's Tencent Holdings Ltd has suspended more than 300 accounts on its WeChat mobile messaging app and banned around 40 others as government restrictions on spreading political news online take effect, state media said on Friday. Earlier this month, China imposed new rules on what kind of information can be spread via instant messaging apps as well as restrictions on accounts which can broadcast news to large numbers of followers. Of the 357 accounts closed down by Tencent as of August 25, 46 were permanently banned while the rest were suspended, the official Xinhua news agency said on its microblog.




SoftBank, Sprint to offer Sony Xperia smartphone for first time: sources

A shop clerk is seen through a window displaying a logo of SoftBank Corp at its branch in TokyoBy Yoshiyasu Shida and Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese wireless operator SoftBank Corp will offer a Sony smartphone for the first time, selling a soon-to-be-launched Xperia in Japan, and in the United States via its unit Sprint, sources with knowledge of the matter said. The deal could give a much-needed boost to Sony's struggling mobile division, which last month cut its outlook and said it did not expect to make a profit in the year to next March. Sony faces stiff competition from low-cost Chinese smartphone makers, and its mobile unit has a limited presence in the key U.S. Four sources told Reuters that a Sony flagship Xperia smartphone would be available from SoftBank in time for Japan's winter holiday shopping season.




U.S. banking group says unaware of any 'significant' cyber attack

JP Morgan Chase & Co sign outside headquarters in New YorkThe group, known as the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or FS-ISAC, includes all major U.S. "There are no credible threats posed to the financial services sector at this time," the group said in an email to its members. FS-ISAC told members in the email that it decided not to raise its barometer of threats facing banks during a regularly scheduled conference call on Thursday.




iPhone 6 -- the jolt that mobile payments need

iPhone 6 -- the jolt that mobile payments needApple's rumored embrace of true mobile payments may finally shake up how we pay for goods and services after years of empty promises.>




Nokia's HERE Maps is coming to Android as a Samsung exclusive

Nokia's HERE Maps is coming to Android as a Samsung exclusive




Toshiba pushes TransferJet in the West, wants it embedded in smartphones

Toshiba's TransferJet adaptors could make moving data to and from your phone very speedy indeedToshiba's plans for new high-speed wireless transfer technology start with USB adaptors. The company has grander goals for the obscure TransferJet tech, however.>




Google’s secret same-day delivery drone program is not so secret anymore

Google’s secret same-day delivery drone program is not so secret anymoreSearch, mail, maps, Android, glasses, Internet balloons, self-driving cars, robots, satellites and drones are just a few of the many products Google has to offer, or has started working on, with the latter being the company’s latest revelation. According to The Atlantic, Google is very interested in same-day delivery options, and already has a two-year old drone product – now not a secret anymore – to tackle this particular desire from users. Google is not the only company looking to offer same-day deliveries – the company is already offering such services in certain markets albeit not via air – as Amazon has unveiled its drone program a few months ago. Google’s drone project is called Project Wing, and relies on a




Get strangers to deliver the bad news with 'Somebody' messaging app

Get strangers to deliver the bad news with 'Somebody' messaging app




What to expect at Apple's upcoming event

Wish we could say more event inviteAfter months of speculation, the world's most secretive consumer technology company has finally sent out the official invites to an event on September 9, where the unveiling of the iPhone 6 is expected to take place. Back in May, when Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, sat down with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at the inaugural Code Conference, he said: "We've got the best product pipeline that I've seen in my 25 years at Apple." The statement got Apple's fans very excited and hinted that a host of new devices, including another truly innovative product in the mold of the original iPod, iPhone or iPad, were on their way. The new phone looks set to have a 4.7-inch display, much larger than the one found on the current flagship iPhone 5S, and Apple is also expected to offer a ‘phablet' version of the device with a 5.5-inch display and as much as 128GB of space on board for productivity, music and video storage.




4 'iWatch' alternatives Apple could unveil on Sept. 9

Interface designer Todd Hamilton released an iWatch mock-up in January 2014, showing the world what an Apple watch-wristband combo might look like.Apple may show off a wearable device at its September iPhone event. But don't call it an iWatch just yet. Here's what else Apple watchers say the company could be cooking up.>




Play-Fi takes on Sonos in wireless audio

Sarah TewCommentary: Sonos has done a great job of keeping competition at bay over the years, but a new industry initiative promises to crank up the volume on multiroom audio.>




Unfiltered America: one Instagram account is documenting the Everyday USA

Unfiltered America: one Instagram account is documenting the Everyday USADavid Guttenfelder returned to the US last month after spending the previous 20 years working as a photojournalist overseas. His career with the Associated Press had taken him to far flung places across the globe — Nairobi, Tokyo, North Korea — so his return should have marked a homecoming for the Iowa native. “The United States kind of feels like a foreign country to me,” Guttenfelder says. “I’ve never worked here as a photographer before.




Wear next for wearables? in CNET UK podcast 401

Wear next for wearables? in CNET UK podcast 401Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of wearable technology, from watches to woolly wares. This week the team look forward to the big trend at this year's IFA.>




You can still win a free Moto 360 with a Yo, as company apologizes for epic contest fail

You can still win a free Moto 360 with a Yo, as company apologizes for epic contest failMotorola has decided to use the viral, yet-not-really-necessary, Yo “messaging” app to promote the upcoming Moto 360 smartwatch, and offer 20 lucky fans the chance of winning the device during the promotion. All a smartphone user had to do to try and win the gorgeous Moto 360 was to simply send a “Yo” to Motorola, but the contest ended badly for many participants, and now the company wants to make up by giving away an extra batch of Moto 360 units. What Motorola did once the contest was over was to contact winners on Yo to tell them they have won the device. But the company also contacted many other people telling them they’ve also won. When the users accepted




US researching implants that'll help your body and mind heal itself

US researching implants that'll help your body and mind heal itself




Samsung navigates away from Google with Here maps for Galaxy phones

Samsung navigates away from Google with Here maps for Galaxy phonesGoogle Maps may be one of the undeniable strengths of the Android platform, however Samsung has decided to offer an alternative in the form of Nokia's Here maps. A beta version of Here for Android will be made available exclusively for Samsung Galaxy devices when the newly announced Gear S smartwatch hits stores in October. The partnership bringing Here to Samsung's Android smartphones is just an extension of the same licensing agreement that provides the mapping functionality on the Korean company's Tizen-powered smartwatch. Google and Samsung's relationship has been growing increasingly fractious in recent times.




Chinese e-commerce rivals challenge Alibaba
BEIJING (AP) — China's biggest property developer, Wanda Group, and Internet giants Baidu and Tencent unveiled a new e-commerce venture Friday in a challenge to industry leader Alibaba Group ahead of its U.S. stock offering.

China to offer tax breaks on electric cars, limited mostly to local brands
China said on Friday it would offer tax breaks on purchases of electric cars predominantly made by Chinese automakers, in its latest policy measure to boost green vehicles in the world's biggest auto market, amid rising concern over pollution. Last month, the official Xinhua news agency reported the government would stop levying sales tax on approved models of green cars from Sept. 1. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted on its website on Friday a list of 17 vehicles from 11 automakers, including one model each from the China joint ventures of Nissan Motor Co Ltd, General Motors Co and Daimler AG. The moves comes as China renews its push to popularize all-electric cars and heavily electrified so-called plug-in hybrid cars.

Google Lunar XPrize: Part-Time Scientists visit the moon in Germany

Google Lunar XPrize: Part-Time Scientists visit the moon in GermanyEighteen teams are in a race to get to the moon, with a $30 million payoff. Team Part-Time Scientists recently explored a simulated lunar surface in Bremen, Germany.>




Nokia's Here map app arrives on Tizen, before Android Wear

Nokia's Here map app arrives on Tizen, before Android WearNokia's Here Android app gives you turn-by-turn navigation on the new Samsung Gear S, powered by Tizen.>




Samsung denies child labour at Chinese supplier

A visitor looks at a Samsung Electronics Galaxy S5 smartphone at a showroom in Seoul on April 29, 2014South Korea's Samsung Electronics has refuted fresh allegations by a labour protection watchdog that one of its suppliers in China hired child workers. New York-based China Labor Watch (CLW) claimed in a report Thursday that Samsung supplier HEG Technology had hired people under the age of 16 at its facility in Huizhou, China. Samsung, however, insisted that a recent onsite investigation found no underage or student workers at the facility. "The investigation found that there were no child workers nor student workers working in the Samsung Electronics production line at HEG," the company said in a statement e-mailed to AFP on Friday.




Oculus Rift turns rollercoaster ride into a virtual shooter

Oculus Rift turns rollercoaster ride into a virtual shooter




Singapore switches on super-fast 100Gbps network for researchers

NBN CoThe country's new SLIX network will allow rapid transmission of data between researchers -- and let students in partner universities enjoy super-fast Internet speeds.>




Google tests using drones to deliver goods

Google's Project Wing (video) screengrabGoogle on Thursday said it is testing using drones to deliver items bought online, putting its own spin on similar efforts by Internet retail titan Amazon.com. Two years of research into what Google referred to as "Project Wing" was capped this month with test flights delivering candy, water, medicine, dog treats and other items to two farmers in Queensland, Australia. "Self-flying vehicles could open up entirely new approaches to moving goods," California-based Google said in a blog post disclosing the project. Project Wing drones were described as having more in common with Google's self-driving car than remote-controlled aircraft used by hobbyists.




Brazil arrests 'greatest destroyers' of the Amazon rainforest

Brazil arrests 'greatest destroyers' of the Amazon rainforestAuthorities in Brazil this week arrested members of a criminal gang that they described as "the greatest destroyers" of the Amazon rainforest. As the BBC reports, the organization allegedly logged and burned enormous swathes of the rainforest and sold public Amazon lands for farming, resulting in estimated damages worth more than $220 million, according to the Brazilian Federal Police. Most of the Amazon lies within Brazil's borders, and deforestation rates have increased alarmingly in recent months. In 2009, Brazil pledged to reduce deforestation rates by 80 percent by the end of this decade, though its efforts have been hampered by poor enforcement and widespread corruption.




Tesla, Chinese firm plan 400 charging stations
BEIJING (AP) — Tesla Motors Co. and a state-owned Chinese phone carrier announced plans Friday to build 400 charging stations for electric cars in a new bid to promote popular adoption of the technology in China.

Australia's consumer watchdog sues US games giant Valve

Fans play newly released Xbox One games at the Microsoft retail store at Tysons Corner Center on November 21, 2013 in McLean, VirginiaAustralia's consumer watchdog Friday said it was taking online US video games giant Valve to court for allegedly making "false or misleading representations" and refusing to offer refunds. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said Valve Corporation, which operates digital video games distribution platform Steam for more than 65 million customers worldwide, allegedly breached local consumer law. "Valve may be an American-based company with no physical presence in Australia, but it is carrying on business in Australia by selling to Australian consumers, who are protected by the Australian consumer law," the ACCC said in a statement.




Chrome update lets you share your browser, not your history

Chrome update lets you share your browser, not your history




The world wants a bigger iPhone and big smartphones in general

Sarah TewThe launch of a bigger iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 phablet are just days away, and multiple surveys say supersized phone screens are exactly what the public craves.>




Tomorrow Daily 044: NASA advances its SLS program, Leap Motion for VR, and a 3D-printed castle

Artistic concept of the SLS MKI's maiden voyage.On today's show, Ashley and Khail talk about NASA's newest milestone in its journey to Mars, Leap Motion Controller's newest VR accessory, and a 3D-printed castle.>




Pregame film study shifts to phones, tablets

In this photo from Aug. 14, 2014, John Wirtz, Chief Product Officer of Hudl, speaks of his company's product in Lincoln, Neb. Hudl is a software company that has developed a way to immediately get game film to coaches after games and break down and separate different plays by type. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)Oklahoma cornerback Zack Sanchez had just found out the Sooners would be facing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Shortly thereafter, his game prep began. On his cell phone.




Xbox One update rolling out with new media player and SmartGlass app improvements

Xbox One update rolling out with new media player and SmartGlass app improvementsMicrosoft’s big September update for Xbox One is rolling out to consoles today, just under a month after the company made it available to select beta testers. The update includes a number of improvements focused at the TV integration on the Xbox One, including a boot to TV option, live TV mini guide, and an expansion of Microsoft’s OneGuide TV guide data to Brazil, Mexico, Austria, and Ireland. The biggest feature is a new media player app that allows Xbox One owners to play files from attached USB devices. Codec support is robust, and Microsoft plans to support formats like animated GIFs and MKV by the end of the year.




Watch Edgar Wright's most hyper-dramatic movie close-ups

Watch Edgar Wright's most hyper-dramatic movie close-upsIt's pretty easy to work out when you're watching an Edgar Wright movie: the British director has a penchant for using close-ups to tell little visual jokes, making mundane objects hilariously important with crash-zooms and portentous music. Filmmaker Jaume R. Lloret, who previously cataloged every death in Quentin Tarantino's movies, has pored through all of Wright's films to catalog his use of close-ups. The resulting video shows his use of the technique in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and the director's "Cornetto trilogy" — Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End.




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