By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A few days after selling WhatsApp to Facebook for $19 billion, Jan Koum stepped into a suite at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco to celebrate with old friends, including CEOs, reformed hackers and a few people who fell into both those camps. Conducted over snacks and beer, the late-night festivity was a spontaneous reunion of a security super-group that had come to Koum's aid in 2000 as he grappled with a denial-of-service attack that knocked Yahoo offline when Koum was responsible for security there. The two most famous exceptions are WhatsApp, the messaging service that Koum co-founded, and Napster, the pioneering file-sharing company that was shut down by the music industry in 2001. Napster Co-founder Shawn Fanning was one of several members still in high school.
Baidu Inc has formed a partnership to apply for a private banking license, as China's biggest search engine provider moves from acting as a store front for money market funds to a certified financial institution. Baidu and other Chinese Internet companies such as Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd have offered wealth management products since last year. They have attracted millions of investors thanks to interest rates on consumer deposits that are higher than those offered by banks, which are subject to a cap of 3.3 percent for one-year savings.
By Aron Ranen and Brandon Lowrey TEMPLE CITY, California (Reuters) - A Japanese American man thought to be the reclusive multi-millionaire father of Bitcoin emerged from a modest Southern California home and denied involvement with the digital currency before leading reporters on a freeway car chase to the local headquarters of the Associated Press. Satoshi Nakamoto, a name known to legions of bitcoin traders, practitioners and boosters around the world, appeared to lose his anonymity on Thursday after Newsweek published a story that said he lived in Temple City, California, just east of Los Angeles. Newsweek included a photograph and described a short interview, in which Nakamoto said he was no longer associated with Bitcoin and that it had been turned over to other people.
By William Mallard TOKYO (Reuters) - A week after the collapse of Mt. Gox, Japan is still struggling to craft a response to the bitcoin phenomenon, saying the crypto-currency is not legal tender, though it might be taxable and subject to money-laundering controls. The issue took on new prominence in Japan on February 28, when Mt. Gox sought Chapter 11-style bankruptcy protection, saying it had lost bitcoins and cash worth some half a billion dollars due to hacker attacks. Although the government understands that bitcoin is not issued or backed by any government or central bank, "we have not grasped the situation in its entirety." The authorities are monitoring the Mt. Gox bankruptcy process and, if necessary, will consider a response, said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Fewer than 1 percent of Mt. Gox's 127,000 creditors are Japanese, the company has said.
British online fashion retailer boohoo.com will list on London's AIM market next week with a market capitalization of 560 million pounds ($936 million) after tapping into current investor appetite for internet retail stocks. Boohoo's larger rival, ASOS, also listed on London's junior market AIM, has a market capitalization of 5.6 billion pounds - a value that would place it in the FTSE 100 index were it to shift to the main stock market. About 55 percent of boohoo's enlarged issued share capital would be freely tradable post flotation.
By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - High-speed trader Infinium Capital Management, which has struggled financially, has stopped trading and is working to wind down the company, President Mark Palchak told Reuters on Thursday. Currency broker FXCM Inc and a subsidiary have acquired five trading desks, physical assets and 48 employees from Infinium to start a new joint venture, V3 Markets, Palchak and FXCM said. Palchak, who is chief executive of the new company, said the employees represented a majority of Infinium's traders. It included approximately $11.9 million owed by Infinium to FXCM, according to the brokerage.
Massachusetts' highest court has declared that it's not illegal to take photographs up the skirts of women in public — so-called "upskirt" photos — sparking calls for new legislation to explicitly outlaw the practice. In a ruling handed down Wednesday, the state's Supreme Judicial Court said that a man who took photos up the skirts of women riding the Boston subway did not violate state law, because the women he photographed could not be considered nude or partially nude. "A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is 'partially nude,' no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing," the court said in its ruling. Prosecutors in the case had argued that the state's statutes could be interpreted to include upskirt photographs, but the defense argued that the laws only cover people who are nude or partially nude, and that the woman in question did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy on the subway.
Released this week on both Android and iOS, Smash Hit has a minimalist appearance, but the task of throwing your balls of destruction at crystal pyramids and glass walls becomes trickier with every passing second. The ambient music syncs up with the pace of your progress through each level, while the subtle sound effects and perfectly modelled physics make the whole experience truly immersive.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's prime minister has threatened drastic steps to censor the Internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube, where audio recordings of his alleged conversations suggesting corruption have been leaked in the past weeks, dealing him a major blow ahead of this month's local elections.
Hewlett Packard is trying to pull off a flanking maneuver on the Android market, through low-profile launches of low-cost devices. We recently came across the company's VoiceTab phablets during a side-show at Mobile World Congress, and now we're looking at a more traditional 7.85-inch tablet called the HP 8. In return for $170, you'll get a plain-looking device that, aesthetically, has more in common with last year's Slate 7 than with the faux-metal VoiceTabs.
The Federal Aviation Administration may want to go through some rigorous testing before it allows commercial drone flights on a broader basis, but the National Transportation Safety Board isn't willing to wait that long. One of the Board's judges ...
Android users looking for something to fill the hole that Flappy Birds once occupied now have a less trivial time sink in the form of QuizUp. As you'd expect from a trivia app worth its salt, it comes loaded with tons of topics (over 400) to choose from, including lifestyle, TV and literature. And, since it's a social game, you can test your expertise in any of those subjects against friends and strangers.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto said Thursday that he is not the creator of bitcoin, adding further mystery to the story of how the world's most popular digital currency came to be.
Over the past 24 hours, a man believed to be the founder of Bitcoin was chased through the streets of Los Angeles, only to deny having any involvement in the project. But the identity of the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto isn't the only Bitcoin news of the day: Japan has decided that Bitcoin isn't actually a currency. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Japanese government has decided that the virtual currency isn't actually money as far as the country's regulators are concerned. Japanese authorities began investigating the sudden closure of Mt. Gox early last week, even though Japan's financial authorities claimed they didn't have jurisdiction over the matter.
A new application plans to help out with all those restless nights when falling asleep seems to be next to impossible, provided that your sleep disorder is related in any way to caffeine intake. Jawbone’s new “Up Coffee” mobile application will tell you when you’ll finally be able to fall asleep, or at least when that should happen according to your coffee habits. Up Coffee requires a few personal details from you, Engadget reports, including sex, weight and caffeine tolerance. After that, the user will be responsible for strictly logging all beverages that contain caffeine for best results. Once that’s done, the app will be able to determine to some extent when the caffeine will no longer prevent you from
Consider it an unspoken, but universally true rule: if it can be used for porn, it will be. Texting, Snapchat, Skype and video streaming technology have all fallen to mankind's more base desires, and now, Vine has too. According to a post on the Vine blog, the company has determined that a small percentage of its users are posting videos that "are not a good fit" for its community.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere loves to talk trash about his rivals’ networks but recent studies have indicated that T-Mobile has some work to do if it wants to match the network quality of Verizon and AT&T. Thankfully for Legere, he has a sugar daddy in the form of parent company Deutsche Telekom that for the time being is willing to lay down the cash necessary to back up Legere’s boasts. The Wall Street Journal reports that Deutsche Telekom this year is focussing much more on making long-term investments than short-term profits in the United States, which inevitably means that it will be spending more money investing in T-Mobile’s network and acquiring new customers in 2014. “Instead of aiming for potentially higher adjusted
Even though CES 2014 is long gone, some of the stuff announced there is just now starting to become available for purchase. Case in point: Sharp's Quattron+ lineup, a series of 2014 AQUOS televisions featuring the latest and greatest, including a revamped SmartCentral platform. But that's not what's interesting here.
By Kevin Krolicki and Nathan Layne TOKYO (Reuters) - Like other bitcoin evangelists, Ken Shishido is ready to write off the money he lost in the bankruptcy of Tokyo-based virtual currency exchange Mt. Gox as the price of revolutionizing global finance. "In the early days of the automobile, there were traffic accidents because you didn't have traffic lights or pedestrian crossings," he said hours after Mt. Gox said on Friday it had lost up to half a billion dollars of investor funds, including some of his own. "But we didn't ban automobiles." Shishido, who lives in Tokyo, was one of about 1,000 investors in Japan who became creditors in Mt. Gox's bankruptcy when the company capped a tumultuous period of weeks by filing for bankruptcy on Friday. He lost about a tenth of his investment in bitcoin in Mt. Gox, he said, and expected none of that money to come back.
Watch Dogs made a huge splash at E3, promising to be one of the stand-out launch window titles for the new consoles, but to our dismay, the game was delayed until spring just weeks before it was scheduled to release. Months later, Ubisoft is finally ready to share a new release date: May 27th on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. The game is still going to make it to the Wii U as well, but Ubisoft hasn’t set a date quite yet. Along with the date comes a new trailer, delving deeper into the story of Aiden Pearce, the hacker who plans to use the city of Chicago as a weapon against his foes. He looks really angry.
EdX's open online education system has drawn a lot of interest -- enough interest that the non-profit has just loosened up its membership structure to allow for more participants. The revamp lets 12 additional organizations offer free internet-based courses, ...
Today in things that make my chosen profession look bad, Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, who Newsweek is pretty damn sure is the man behind Bitcoin, told the journalists who descended upon his house that he did not invent Bitcoin. This morning, the cover story for Newsweek's return to print went live and it was a doozy: Leah McGrath Goodman found the mysterious man who created Bitcoin, known only as "Satoshi Nakamoto." Everyone thought that was a pseudonym, but it turns out it's his real name and he's a 64-year-old man who lives in Southern California and wants nothing to do with any of this. But Goodman never found anything conclusively linking Nakamoto to Bitcoin;
Surprise, surprise: A lot of people are interested in buying Samsung’s Galaxy S5. SamMobile notices that T-Mobile senior product manager Desmond Smith has tweeted out that his company has now received 300,000 pre-registrations for the Galaxy S5, which is particularly impressive since it was just over a week ago that T-Mobile announced it had already received 100,000 pre-registrations. Pre-registrations aren’t the same as pre-orders, of course, since they aren’t commitments to buy a device and are only sign ups to be alerted it when it becomes available. Nonetheless, getting 300,000 pre-registers in just a week and a half is definitely indicative of high interest in the Galaxy S5, although it will have a tough act to follow since the Galaxy S4
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all handpicked by the editors here at the site. Click on through the break, and enjoy.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Google barge built with recycled shipping containers proved its seaworthiness Thursday as it cruised from the San Francisco Bay to Stockton. But many other details about the odd-looking vessel remain a mystery. Here are five things that we do know so far:
A California man who Newsweek claimed was the inventor of the popular digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin is now denying the report. Dorian Nakamoto told the Associated Press that he's not "the face behind Bitcoin," despite a claim by Newsweek that he was deeply involved with its inception. Nakamoto says he first heard about Bitcoin three weeks ago Newsweek's original report claimed Nakamoto (named in the story as Bitcoin creator "Satoshi Nakamoto") helped create the currency, though did not have him on the record admitting it.
Microsoft is clearly excited about the upcoming release of Titanfall on March 11th, so much so that the company has created exclusive consoles for the game’s creators. Employees at Respawn Entertainment, the game development studio behind Titanfall, have tweeted pictures of the exclusive consoles provided by Microsoft. While Microsoft is selling a limited edition Titanfall Xbox One controller, the console itself is not for sale. It looks identical to an image leaked in January, suggesting Microsoft had considered selling this particular console as part of a bundle package.
Mexico's telecoms regulator said on Thursday it has decided who is dominant in telecommunications and broadcasting, a key ruling widely expected to impose tougher anti-trust measures on the local mobile and fixed line units of tycoon Carlos Slim's America Movil as well as broadcaster Televisa. The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) said it had approved the imposition of measures to boost competition that include the unbundling of the local loop for the dominant telecoms player, which it did not identify. The dominance ruling is part of a wider telecommunications and broadcast reform approved by the government.
An administrative judge on the National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that the commercial use of small drones is in fact legal, despite six years of Federal Aviation Administration statements to the contrary. Today Judge Patrick Geraghty dismissed a $10,000 fine levied by the FAA against Raphael Pirker, a Swiss drone operator who used a camera drone to film on the University of Virginia campus. "At the time of respondent's model aircraft operation... there was no enforceable FAA rule or FAR Regulation application to model aircraft or for classifying model aircraft as an UAS," the judge writes.
There have been leaks showing the front of the Nokia Lumia 630 (aka Moneypenny), but a complete view of the Windows Phone 8.1 hardware has been elusive... until now. Frequent tipster @evleaks has posted an apparent press shot revealing the back of the bright-hued device, and it suggests that the 630 will represent a sharp break from the designs of the Lumia 620 and 625. There's no camera key or flash, for a start -- mobile photography fans may want to give this phone a pass.
Mexico's telecoms regulator has decided on market dominance, industry sources said on Thursday, a key ruling widely expected to go against the local mobile and fixed line units of tycoon Carlos Slim's America Movil as well as broadcaster Televisa. A regulatory official said separately that the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) held an extraordinary session on Thursday, and decided on the issues on its agenda.
What will Google’s robots have in common with Google+? Apparently they’ll be everywhere and you won’t be able to escape them. Bloomberg reports that Google chairman Eric Schmidt said this week that his company is experimenting with using robots to automate a lot of the more mundane tasks we do every day. In this way, says Schmidt, “robots will become omnipresent in our lives in a good way” because they’ll “replace a lot of the repetitive behavior in our lives.” Google has spent a lot of money on buying up robotics firms recently and has scooped up at least eight different robotics companies over the last year alone. Among the companies Google has bought are Boston Dynamics, which is best
OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — The early auditions for the Republican Party's next presidential contest are in full swing at the nation's largest annual gathering of conservative activists, where some of the GOP's most prominent religious conservatives are facing off.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Opening statements were set to begin Friday in the court-martial of an Army general accused of sexually assaulting a captain under his command with whom he had a three-year affair.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The International Criminal Court on Friday convicted a rebel leader of charges including murder and pillage over a deadly attack on a village in eastern Congo, but acquitted him of rape, sexual slavery and using child soldiers.
MANDRA, Pakistan (AP) — Amna Bhatti has spent half a century shaping mud into bricks in a huge kiln south of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. She started by paying off her parents' debt and now she's on to her late husband's. She'll probably spend the rest of her life here.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Relief may be on the way for a weather-weary United States with the predicted warming of the central Pacific Ocean brewing this year that will likely change weather worldwide. But it won't be for the better everywhere.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bowing to the Pentagon, the Senate agreed after impassioned debate Thursday to leave the authority to prosecute rapes and other serious crimes with military commanders in a struggle that highlighted the growing role of women in Congress.
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine lurched toward breakup Thursday as lawmakers in Crimea unanimously declared they wanted to join Russia and would put the decision to voters in 10 days. President Barack Obama condemned the move and the West answered with the first real sanctions against Russia.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — In a surprising move after Russia flexed its military might in the Crimean Peninsula, Ukraine's new leadership has reached out to oligarchs for help — appointing them as governors in eastern regions where loyalties to Moscow are strong.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius has testified at the double-amputee runner's murder trial that their relationship ended when he cheated on her with Reeva Steenkamp, the woman he fatally shot last year.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A neighbor of Oscar Pistorius testifying in his murder trial said Friday that the bangs he heard after a woman's screams on the night of Reeva Steenkamp's shooting were likely too quick to be the sounds of a cricket bat on a door, as the star athlete's defense team claims.
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — A doctor who said he saw Oscar Pistorius weeping over his dead or dying girlfriend after he shot her has resumed testimony in the murder trial of the double-amputee runner.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dr. Frank Jobe, a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who was the first to perform an elbow procedure that became known as Tommy John surgery and saved the careers of countless major league pitchers, died Thursday. He was 88.
A reclusive Japanese American man thought to be the father of Bitcoin emerged from his Southern California home and denied any involvement with the digital currency, before leading reporters on a car chase leading to the headquarters of the Associated Press. Satoshi Nakamoto, a name known to legions of bitcoin traders, practitioners and boosters around the world, appeared to lose his anonymity on Thursday after Newsweek published a story that said Nakamoto lived in Temple City, California, just east of Los Angeles, and included a photograph. In the afternoon, Nakamoto stepped outside and told reporters he had nothing to do with bitcoin but was looking for someone who understood Japanese, to buy him a free lunch. According to a Los Angeles Times reporter, who followed his car, Nakamoto was driven to the Associated Press offices in downtown Los Angeles, where he again denied any involvement with bitcoin.
A man named as being the enigmatic creator of Bitcoin has denied having a role in the virtual unit, telling reporters he was "not involved." In an exclusive report, Newsweek identified a 64-year-old Japanese-American physicist as being the mysterious person known as "Satoshi Nakamoto" behind the Bitcoin revolution. However the man, who told the Associated Press (AP) his name is Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, told reporters outside his modest two-story house in suburban Los Angeles: "I'm not involved in Bitcoin." Nakamoto, who was pursued by a media pack as he drove off for an interview at the AP's offices, told the agency that the first time he heard of Bitcoin was when his son told him he had been contacted by a Newsweek reporter three weeks ago.