Ransomware interrupted The Weather Channel's morning show
On Thursday morning, from 6AM to 7:39AM, viewers weren't able to learn any useful weather information from The Weather Channel. The TV network had to show a taped program instead of airing its morning show AMHQ because it suffered a security breach that took it off air. The network explained that it experienced issues due to a "malicious software attack," which the FBI told the Wall Street Journal took the form of the all-too-familiar ransomware attack.
Google and Amazon end their ridiculous streaming-video spat
A tiff that has run since late 2017 is finally over. YouTube will be available on Amazon's Fire TV devices in the coming months, and Amazon Prime video will work with Chromecast and Android TV devices as well. Note: this only applies to Fire TV devices -- there are still no plans for an official YouTube app on the Echo Show. And there's no YouTube app planned for Amazon's Fire tablets.
Google and Amazon both launched ad-supported music streaming for their smart speakers
If you don't want to pay for a music subscription, but you do want to stream tunes from the cloud to your smart device, Spotify and Pandora aren't your only options. Yesterday, Google announced a free version of YouTube Music available on Google Home devices -- with ads. Later on, Amazon revealed that Alexa has access to a free catalog from Amazon Music -- also with ads.
Russia worked hard to recruit social-media users to campaign for Trump
Released yesterday -- on CD-ROM -- the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, titled "The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election," highlights how the IRA created thousands of accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr to create posts in "support for the Trump Campaign and opposition to candidate [Hillary] Clinton."
Fitbit Versa Lite review
According to Cherlynn Low, this is a capable fitness tracker, thanks to long battery life and robust workout features. But when you can get a faster, better watch for what amounts to the price of two dinners, it's hard to justify buying the limited Fitbit Lite.
Microsoft's SeeingVR toolkit uses software to emulate bifocals
Virtual reality can be a rush to the senses, but not if you have vision problems. Microsoft researchers are trying to solve that problem via a tool kit for Unity VR developers to help players with low vision. Since vision problems vary by individual, the research team at Microsoft decided on a kit approach, so players can customize their experience. The kit includes a bifocal lens, a magnifier, controls to adjust for brightness and contrast, edge enhancement and depth measurements. There's also support for reading text out loud or audio descriptions of what's in a particular scene.
But wait, there's more...
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