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Apple to announce plans for its $97 billion cash balance

Apple scheduled an announcement Monday on plans for its huge cash balance, estimated to be at least $97 billion from sales of its hugely successful gadgets like the iPad and iPhone. An Apple statement said chief executive Tim Cook and chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer would hold a conference call…

Are video games just propaganda and training tools for the military?

It’s a shadowy and lucrative relationship. But just how close are video-game developers with various military outfits? And how does it affect the games we play? It’s Monday night, the kids are in bed, and I am trying to kill Osama bin Laden. I stalk through his Abbottabad compound and…

Solar power station in Spain works at night

FUENTES DE ANDALUCIA, Spain — A unique thermosolar power station in southern Spain can shrug off cloudy days: energy stored when the sun shines lets it produce electricity even during the night. The Gemasolar station, up and running since last May, stands out in the plains of Andalusia. From the…

Corporations have a big advantage when it comes to ‘big data’

Computers are spewing forth data at astronomical rates about everything from astrophysics to internet shopping. And it could be hugely valuable, writes John Naughton One of the most famous quotes in the history of the computing industry is the assertion that “640KB ought to be enough for anybody“, allegedly made…

The top 50 Android phone apps

There is far more to smartphone life than Apple’s iPhone. Google launched its Android software in 2008 and has since sold more than 300m of its smartphones; currently, more than 850,000 are added to that number every day. More than 450,000 apps are available on Google Play, which is generating…

New app allows users to compare drug habits

Global Drugs Survey project offers personalized information that reflects people’s risk factors to help them avoid harm Is the amount of drugs or alcohol you consume dangerous? How much are your peers taking? Should you be cutting down? Are you more at risk than anyone else when it comes to…

Google hires Digg’s Kevin Rose

Google confirmed Friday that it has hired Digg co-founder Kevin Rose and other members of the team at his latest project, Milk, an incubator for startups making “apps” for mobile gadgets. The 35-year-old serial entrepreneur considered a Silicon Valley star will evidently be putting his skills to work on the…

Smithsonian celebrates ‘The Art of Video Games’

Video games have come a long way since the first simple adventures of Mario and Pac-Man and now enter the realm of art in a major exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington that celebrates gaming’s rich creative side and the people behind a medium that’s still in…

Father of slain journalist Daniel Pearl wins award for artificial intelligence

WASHINGTON — Judea Pearl, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, has been awarded the prestigious 2011 A.M. Turing Award. Pearl, 75, was being honored for “innovations that enabled remarkable advances in the partnership between humans and machines,” the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) said. The award, named for…

‘Total Information Awareness’ surveillance program returns, bigger than ever

A new feature story in this month’s Wired blows the lid off plans for a massive new National Security Agency data center in Utah that represents the resurrection of a program that Congress killed in 2003, known as “Total Information Awareness,” targeting literally all electronic communications all over the world —…

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