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Google and U.S. automakers diverge on road map for self-driving cars

In 2012, a small team of Google Inc engineers and business staffers met with several of the world’s largest car makers, to discuss partnerships to build self-driving cars. In one meeting, both sides were enthusiastic about the futuristic technology, yet it soon became clear that they would not be working…

Google execs visit Cuba to promote ‘a free and open Internet’

Google (Xetra: GGQ1.DE – news) executive chairman Eric Schmidt visited Cuba this week along with three other top executives to promote “a free Internet,” Cuban independent online newspaper “14yMedio” reported Sunday. The four executives “met with officials,” spoke “with youth at polytechnical schools” and, on Saturday, visited the University of…

California Governor Jerry Brown signs bill to bring bitcoin and other currency into fold

California Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law a bill that clears away possible state-level obstacles to alternative currencies such as bitcoin. The legislation repeals what backers said was an outdated California law prohibiting commerce using anything but U.S. currency. Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, the bill’s author, said earlier…

Google executives visit Cuba for first time to promote open Internet

A team of top Google executives is visiting Cuba to promote open Internet access, according to a dissident blogger who says she met the group in Havana. The team, led by Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, met with Cuban officials as well as independent people in the technology and digital field,…

Facebook may have experimented with controlling your emotions without telling you

Researchers at Facebook ran an experiment on nearly 700,000 randomly chosen users to see if their overall emotional state could be manipulated by the types of posts they see in their feeds. Think Progress reported on a scientific paper published on Friday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of…

NSA releases first ‘transparency report’ on surveillance sweep

The US National Security Agency released its first “transparency report” Friday, as part of an effort to quell the firestorm over reports of its massive data collection efforts. The NSA report said that in 2013, it obtained fewer than 2,000 orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. That included…

U.S. auctions nearly 30,000 bitcoins seized in raid on ‘Silk Road’ online market

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Marshals Service on Friday auctioned off about 30,000 bitcoins seized during a raid on Silk Road, an Internet black-market bazaar where authorities say illegal drugs and other goods could be bought. An online auction took place over a 12-hour period on…

German parliament cuts ties with Verizon in wake of spying scandal

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s lower house of parliament has joined the government in cutting ties with U.S. telecoms firm Verizon Communications Inc , in reaction to a scandal last year over U.S. government spying and allegations firms were handing over data. According to information disclosed by former U.S. intelligence contractor…

Linux is the quiet revolution that will leave Microsoft eating dust

By Andrew Smith, The Open University Linux, the most widely used open source operating system in the world, has scored a major publicity coup in the revelation that it is used on 94% of the world’s top 500 supercomputers. Every operating system has technical issues and Linux has not been…

California pair arrested over ‘My Red Book’ prostitution website

By Madeleine Thomas SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – An adult website that prosecutors say hooked up prostitutes with clients, under a thin disguise of offering strip club reviews, has been shut down and the website’s two Northern California operators were arrested, federal authorities said on Thursday. Eric “Red” Omuro, 53, of…

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