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Facebook to cut down on censorship, allowing “significant” graphic posts

By Xinhua SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook has decided to cut down on its censorship of graphic posts which might violate its community standards against nudity and violence, as long as these posts are deemed "newsworthy and significant." "In the weeks ahead, we're going to begin allowing more items that people find newsworthy, significant or important to the public interest -- even if they might otherwise violate our standards," the company's PR officials said in a blog post on Friday. The move came after the "napalm girl" controversy stirred outcry from some Facebook users, who complained about being prevented from posting or sharing the world-famous photograph. The image, which shows a naked 9-year-old girl fleeing a napalm attack during the Vietnamese war, was said to have violated Facebook's ban on images of naked children, according …

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Attacks on the internet keep getting bigger and nastier

Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? It's beginning to look that way. On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. The hacker group claiming responsibility says that the day's antics were just a dry run and that it has its sights set on a much bigger target. And the attackers now have a secret weapon in the increasing array of internet-enabled household devices they can subvert and use to wreak havoc. MEET THE FIRE HOSE Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn Inc. said its server infrastructure was hit by distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks. These work by overwhelming targeted machines with junk data traffic — sort of like knocking someone over by blasting them …

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Nintendo combines portable and home gaming with Switch

Nintendo has announced a new gaming system that combines a portable handheld device with a dock to use at home. Nintendo Switch will be released in March. The gaming giant released a preview video of the console Thursday. The company says the Switch features a dock to connect the system to a TV. Users can lift the device from the dock and use it in portable mode as well. The Switch comes with detachable controllers. It also features single and multiplayer capabilities. Nintendo says an exact launch date, price and more specifics will be released later.

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Internet rights group pushes for open competition in telco industry

MANILA -- An Internet rights advocacy group is asking the government to urge the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to review the telecommunication deal of PLDT, Globe Telecom and San Miguel Corp (SMC) and provide guidelines that will reallocate radio frequencies to allow the entry of new competitors in the industry. Democracy.Net.PH explained that an open competition in the telecoms industry will provide consumers more options for faster and affordable Internet access. Engr. Pierre Tito Galla, co-founder and co-convenor of Democracy.Net.PH, stated that the present telecoms industry is dominated by PLDT/Smart and Globe Telecom which control radio frequency waves or spectrums that are crucial in the operation of mobile Internet services in the country. The group stated that with the acquisition deal of Globe and Smart of the 700MHZ frequency band of SMC, they …

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Samsung smartphone found emitting smoke at Japan airport

TOKYO -- Japan's transport ministry said Friday that a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone belonging to a foreign passenger was found emitting smoke at Kansai International Airport in western Japan earlier this week. No one was injured in the incident. According to the ministry, the smartphone started to emit smoke around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, shortly after its owner tried to detach the battery at a security check point for international flights. It is believed to be the first such incidence in Japan, though a series of similar incidents had been reported overseas with the Galaxy Note 7. The South Korean electronics giant has halted production and sale of this specific model of smartphone which has not been sold in Japan. Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has prohibited passengers from bringing …

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Tesla may enter ride ride-hailing business next year

DETROIT — Electric car maker Tesla Motors has plans to get into the ride-hailing and sharing businesses. The company hinted at the venture earlier this week when it announced that all of its cars would come equipped with hardware needed to drive themselves. The company says in a disclaimer that use of Teslas to make money with ride-hailing or sharing will be allowed only on Tesla's own network. Details will be released next year. A Tesla spokeswoman wouldn't comment on the matter. Tesla announced Wednesday that all cars including the lower-cost Model 3 would have more cameras, sensors, radar and computing power so they can drive themselves. Software would be updated over the internet to allow the cars to do more as the features are tested.

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US cyber attacks hit Twitter, Netflix, other top websites

Successive cyber attacks took large portions of the internet off line on Friday, rendering major companies including Twitter and Netflix inaccessible to millions of users in the United States and elsewhere. Multiple times in a single day, the attacks incapacitated a crucial piece of internet infrastructure, frustrating or outright blocking access to websites and exposing vulnerabilities in the overall internet network. It also commanded the attention of top US security agencies including the Department of Homeland Security. "DHS and the FBI are aware and are investigating all potential causes" of the outages, a spokeswoman said. The outages left internet users unable to post messages, shop, watch videos and play games online for parts of the day. A Twitter user, @tylerthebadwolf, expressed frustration once he regained access. Repeated attacks "Holy moly! I haven't been able to get in …

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We’re Afraid of Getting Hacked, but We’re Not Doing Much About It

A hack at Sony Pictures that exposed more than 170,000 emails in 2014 derailed a much-hyped film's release and prompted a months-long industry freakout. A hacking incident at Yahoo now threatens to derail a sale to Verizon. WikiLeaks' releases of Democratic officials' hacked private emails are providing near-endless fodder for Donald Trump's presidential campaign. And yet, while large numbers of Americans appreciate the threat of getting hacked, they don’t seem to be changing their behaviors in any appreciable way. That’s a key finding of a new poll of views of online privacy, funded by Craig Newmark, the founder of classified-ad website Craigslist. The poll, overseen by Rad Campaign, a creative agency, and Lincoln Park Strategies, a research firm, found that trust in social networks has declined over the past two years, even …

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Apple: Many ‘genuine’ Apple products on Amazon are fake

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple says it has been buying Apple chargers and cables labeled as genuine on Amazon.com and has found nearly 90 percent of them to be counterfeit. The revelation comes in a federal lawsuit filed by Apple against a New Jersey company on Monday over what Apple says are counterfeit products that were sold on Amazon. In the lawsuit, Apple says Mobile Star imprinted Apple logos on cables and chargers that "pose a significant risk of overheating, fire, and electrical shock." It says the chargers and cables were being sold on Amazon as genuine Apple products. Apple says it purchased the products on Amazon and later told the online retailer that they were fake. Amazon then identified Mobile Star as the source. Amazon isn't named in the suit, but said in a …

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Robots friends or foes? It depends says robot, AI experts at 17th WKF

Will machines be friends or foes to humans in the future? That was the question robotic and artificial intelligence engineers and researchers debated during the session of Human and Robot Coexistence at the World Knowledge Forum on Thursday. Dennis Hong, a professor of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who had swept the RoboCup championships, an annual international robotics competition, from 2011 to 2015 and one of 10 young geniuses selected by U.S. science magazine Popular Science, projected humanoid robots would be rather evolved into ones that can fill in jobs in areas that humans can not accomplish or pet-like robots. Hong said he is currently conducting studies on applications for humanoids in disaster recovery and management. With current technology, it is yet impossible to develop robots that could either coexist like fellow …

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