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Yahoo adds more security to thwart surveillance PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL LIEDTKE, AP Technology Writer   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:05

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yahoo has added more layers of security in its effort to shield people's online lives from government spying and other snooping.

The measures announced Wednesday include the completion of a system that encrypts all information being transmitted from one Yahoo data center to another. The technology is designed to make the emails and other digital information flowing through data centers indecipherable to outsiders.

Search requests made from Yahoo's home page are also now automatically encrypted, and the Sunnyvale, Calif., company is promising to make it more difficult for unauthorized intruders to hack into other services, including video chats, within the next few months. Yahoo strengthened the security of its email in January.

"Whether or not our users understand it, I feel it's our responsibility to keep them safe," Alex Stamos, Yahoo's recently hired chief information of security, told a small group of reporters.

Stamos, a former security consultant, joined Yahoo Inc. less than a month ago as part of the company's anti-snooping crusade.

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Amazon unveils Fire TV set top streaming device PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:44

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is introducing a set top box that allows streaming of online video content.

The company says the Amazon Fire TV device has better speed, performance and search functions than other streaming services such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast.

The device runs Google's Android operating system and will offer Netflix, Hulu and other streaming channels in addition to Amazon Prime instant video. It has voice search via its remote control to make searching easier.

The announcement comes as the online retailer faces increasing pressure to boost its bottom line after years of furious growth. As more Americans shop online, Amazon has spent heavily to expand its business into new areas — from movie streaming to e-readers and groceries — often at the expense of its profit.

Meanwhile, Amazon.com Inc. has invested heavily on making TV shows and movies available to customers who pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime. Amazon recently boosted the annual fee to $99 from $79 annually. Members benefit from two-day shipping of certain items and access to videos including original series like "Betas" and "Alpha House."

Currently, the service relies on third-party devices like the Roku box to stream its programs to TVs.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
FDA OKs first hay fever allergy immunotherapy tablet PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 11:46

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first tablet for gradually reducing hay fever allergy symptoms, an alternative to uncomfortable allergy-desensitizing shots.

Oralair, a tablet that dissolves quickly under the tongue, is approved for patients aged 10 through 65. It's to be taken daily starting four months before grass pollen season to reduce allergic reactions to five grass types.

In patient testing, it reduced symptoms and need for medications by up to 30 percent, compared with dummy pills. Common side effects include throat irritation, mouth swelling and the possibility of severe allergic reactions.

Oralair is made by France's Stallergenes SA.

Meanwhile, drugmaker Merck & Co. of Whitehouse Station, N.J., expects an FDA ruling by midyear on two immunotherapy tablets, one for ragweed and one for grass pollen allergies.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Samsung: Patents developed by Google engineers PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 06:31

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Samsung fired back at Apple's accusations of patent theft Tuesday, saying the South Korean tech giant didn't write any of the Android software on its smartphones and tablets, Google did.

"Not one of the accused features on this phone was designed, much less copied, by anyone at Samsung," Samsung attorney Peter Quinn said. "The accused features on this phone were developed independently by some of the software engineers at Google, up the road in Mountain View."

The finger-pointing took place in U.S. District Court in San Jose, where Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are accusing each other of stealing ideas from each other. At stake: more than $2 billion if Samsung loses, about $6 million if Apple loses.

On opening day, Google Inc. — which is not named in the litigation — was clearly a large part of it.

The trial marks the latest round in a long-running, worldwide series of lawsuits between Apple and Samsung over mobile devices.

Quinn told jurors that Apple's gripe is with Android, a Google-developed smartphone operating system that now makes up about 70 percent of the global market.

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