Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Kroger’s mobile scanning tech will cut checkout lines in 2018

Kroger’s mobile scanning tech will cut checkout lines in 2018

Kroger plans to expand use of technology that enables customers to scan products as they're put into the shopping cart, eliminating the need to stand in traditional checkout lines. Though the Scan, Bag, Go system isn't new, Kroger has revealed that it will be expanding it to 400 stores next year, a move perhaps spurred by Amazon Go and Walmart's own rumored alternative.

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Google Maps bans business reviews left by former employees

Google Maps bans business reviews left by former employees

Disgruntled former employees, those feeling wronged in one way or another, have a tendency to take out their frustration online. One may seek a sense of justice or revenge by lambasting their former place of employment online, and chief among those online review destinations is Google. The Internet giant has updated its Google Maps policy to ban that specific kind of review: the kind left for a business by a former worker.

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Internet Archive gets $1m Bitcoin donation from anonymous philanthropist

Internet Archive gets $1m Bitcoin donation from anonymous philanthropist

The Internet Archive has been gifted $1 million in bitcoins as a donation to help fund the organization. The donation was given by an unnamed philanthropist via the Pineapple Fund, which has given money in the form of bitcoin to a variety of charities. Internet Archive is now the 14th entity to receive bitcoin from the philanthropist, who states on their website that they're donating most of their coin to the greater good.

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Apple, Amazon tipped in talks over Saudi Arabia investments

Apple, Amazon tipped in talks over Saudi Arabia investments

Amazon and Apple are both in talks to expand their presence in Saudi Arabia, according to sources, potentially marking the first time both will have a direct presence in the country. Details are fuzzy at this time, though sources indicate that both companies have been in talks, with Apple discussing a licensing deal that may see an Apple Store or several launch in the country.

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North Korea airport adds WiFi, but with a big limitation

North Korea airport adds WiFi, but with a big limitation

North Korea has made the surprising decision to launch WiFi service at its main airport, marking a big change for the tiny nation. The introduction of a public WiFi network is surprising, but the related restrictions aren't: it isn't available to just anyone. The wireless Internet access is restricted to some international travelers, but a recent report of attempted use didn't end well.

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NASA and American Girl team for Luciana, an aspiring astronaut

NASA and American Girl team for Luciana, an aspiring astronaut

NASA has partnered with American Girl, the two have announced, hoping to "inspire young girls to learn about" STEM-related fields. The space agency's involvement comes via a Space Agency Agreement, NASA explains. For its part, NASA provided American Girl with its input for the doll company's upcoming related book series, as well as reviewing the NASA-themed merchandise and providing experts for the company's advisory board.

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Motorola, HTC confirm they don’t make older smartphones slower

Motorola, HTC confirm they don’t make older smartphones slower

Unlike Apple, HTC and Motorola say they don't slow down older smartphones. Confirmation follows public outcry over Apple's decision to slow down iPhone models as they -- or, more specifically, their lithium-ion batteries -- age. Despite having a pretty good reason for slowing down the devices, Apple's attempt at mitigating problems caused by li-ion batteries has proven very controversial, and public attention has turned to other smartphone makers.

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Can Bitcoin survive the loss of anonymity?

Can Bitcoin survive the loss of anonymity?

Early on, the most appealing thing about bitcoin was its anonymity, making it the payment of choice for online black markets. The appeal has since broadened, though anonymity remains a key factor for many cryptocurrency users...and it could be anonymity, or the lack thereof, that influences whether cryptocurrencies grow or wither. South Korea has just announced a major change to cryptocurrency trading, stating that everyone within the nation who trades will need to use their real name.

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LastPass Authenticator for Android update fixes security vulnerability

LastPass Authenticator for Android update fixes security vulnerability

Password manager LastPass offers an authenticator app simply called LastPass Authenticator, which was recently revealed to have poor security on Android. The authentication app is designed to add an element of security by offering an alternative to the traditional 2FA SMS method of authorizing access. Turns out, though, that Android users may be more vulnerable by using LastPass Authenticator, as it gives hackers a (convoluted) way to nab the codes.

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NASA wants to send a spacecraft to explore Alpha Centauri

NASA wants to send a spacecraft to explore Alpha Centauri

Alpha Centauri, a star system located more than four light-years from Earth, has caught NASA's eye in a big way. A Jet Propulsion Laboratory team wants to send a spacecraft to explore the system, though it will take decades to get all the groundwork in place. The exploration, should it actually happen, would take place around the Apollo II mission's 100th anniversary in 2069.

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Instagram recommended content rolls out in user home feeds

Instagram recommended content rolls out in user home feeds

Instagram is rolling out recommended posts to its users, a new reality first revealed via a test spotted in early December. The change is exactly what it sounds like -- a way for Instagram to push content it thinks you will like based on your own activity on the platform. The company explains on its help site that it determines which content to suggest based on the stuff that is "liked" by the accounts you choose to follow.

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FBI fingerprint analysis software may contain Russia-linked code

FBI fingerprint analysis software may contain Russia-linked code

Fingerprint analysis software used by the FBI and many law enforcement agencies may contain code created by a Kremlin-linked Russian entity, according to whistleblowers and related documents. The revelation, assuming it is correct, raises questions about whether US officials have been using software compromised by Russian code, the latest in a growing number of cyber issues related to the nation. This follows Facebook's own disclosure revealing extensive Russian propaganda on the social network aimed at manipulating the 2016 election.

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