China moving cops on-site to police Internet companies
The Chinese government is tightening its grip on the Internet and putting members of the security forces in the offices of the biggest online firms in the country. The Ministry of Public Security wants to be able to quickly respond to suspected online crimes, it said in a statement, citing “cyber attacks, the online spread of terrorist information, Internet fraud, and the stealing of personal information.”
Do-Not-Track may get some bite from new EFF initiative
Turning on the “do-not-track” option on your browser has long been little more than wishful thinking on the part of users who care about privacy online. Now a group led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation wants to make that a more meaningful action with a standard policy it hopes advertisers, analytics companies and publishers will adopt in order to respect the wishes of users who don’t want to be tracked online. Getting the support needed to make a real difference will be an uphill battle, they acknowledge.
Lollipop lag shows few Android devices upgraded to the latest OS
Android remains a highly fragmented ecosystem, Greenbot reports: The latest platform distribution numbers show that about nine months after the launch of Android Lollipop, only 18.1 percent of devices that checked in to the Play Store during a seven-day period ending August 3rd were running 5.0 or above. There’s not much Google can do to get devices upgraded, unlike competitor Apple, and that leaves many devices vulnerable to security flaws that strike at older versions of the mobile OS.
Xbox One will get better UI from Windows 10 in November
The Xbox One menu system will finally get a facelift in November, when Microsoft moves to Windows 10 as the backbone of the console’s software, PC World reports. Based on demos, the new interface will be much faster. It’s also going to lose the Windows 8-inspired Live Tiles and grid-based layout that some found confusing.
Apple says it’s not planning to offer phone service
Taking a break from its long-standing policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation, Apple PR actually shot down a story, dismissing Business Insider’s report that it was in talks with telcos to launch its own-branded mobile phone service. “We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO,” an Apple spokeswoman told Cnet.
Makerbase catalogs, connects tech talent
A new site called Makerbase bowed at Tuesday’s White House Demo Day event, and aims to build a “database of digital projects like apps, websites or artworks, and the makers who create them,” reports GeekWire. The site is the brainchild of Gina Trapani and Anil Dash of the ThinkUp app, and one of its goals is to promote diversity and inclusion in tech.
GE goes after a piece of the industrial IoT market with Predix cloud
General Electric is pitching a cloud service for the Internet of Things market, with a focus on delivering industrial data and analytics to markets like aviation, healthcare, energy and transportation. Its new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) will be based on its Predix platform—already being used by Japanese Internet and telecommunications company SoftBank to develop custom apps for new markets such as shipping and manufacturing.
Startups are working with NASA scientists at Ames Research Center to develop some of the coolest tech in Silicon Valley.
One last thing
Here’s the sad truth about the much-hyped Lexus hoverboard, from a Verge writer who got to ride it.