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Samsung Electronics downbeat on third quarter prospects as profits slide

Customers attend a workshop about the Samsung Galaxy S5 in JakartaBy Se Young Lee SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. on Thursday reported its worst quarterly profit in two years and flagged uncertain earnings prospects for its key handset business, fuelling worries about its ability to return to growth. The downbeat guidance, as well as Samsung's decision to keep its interim dividend unchanged from last year, put the shares of South Korea's biggest company by market value on track for their worst daily percentage decline in nearly eight months. Samsung expects July-September handset shipments to pick up by 10 percent from the previous quarter and said it planned to release a new premium smartphone employing a new design and material, underscoring efforts by the world's largest smartphone maker to regroup. With its flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone outsold by Apple Inc's iPhone 5S in May and its cheaper devices feeling the squeeze from Chinese rivals like Xiaomi, Samsung also vowed to revamp its mid-to-low-tier product lineup with more aggressive pricing and a focus on a smaller set of products.

07/31/2014 12:47 AM

China slams Canada for 'irresponsible' hacking accusations
China's foreign ministry accused Canada on Thursday of making irresponsible accusations lacking any credible evidence after Canada singled out Chinese hackers for attacking a key computer network and lodged a protest with Beijing. Officials said "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" had recently broken into the National Research Council. The council, Canada's leading research body, works with major companies such as aircraft and train maker Bombardier Inc.. Canada has reported hacking incidents before, but this was the first time it had singled out China. China is often cited as a suspect in various hacking attacks on companies in the United States and other countries.
07/31/2014 06:49 AM

Hackers can tap USB devices in new attacks, researcher warns
By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - USB devices such as keyboards, thumb-drives and mice can be used to hack into personal computers in a potential new class of attacks that evade all known security protections, a top computer researcher revealed on Thursday. Karsten Nohl, chief scientist with Berlin's SR Labs, noted that hackers could load malicious software onto tiny, low-cost computer chips that control functions of USB devices but which have no built-in shields against tampering with their code. It is almost like a magic trick," said Nohl, whose research firm is known for uncovering major flaws in mobile phone technology. Nohl said his firm has performed attacks by writing malicious code onto USB control chips used in thumb drives and smartphones.
07/31/2014 09:06 AM

Sony warns smartphone weakness will brake profit progress after first-quarter surge

Logo of Sony Corp is pictured at an electronic store in TokyoBy Sophie Knight TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp warned it doesn't now expect to make money on smartphones this year, citing weak demand, as the consumer electronics maker said restructuring will still help it turn a profit on its TVs after 10 years of losses. As it said April-June operating profit doubled, boosted by its videogames business and a one-off asset sale, Sony on Thursday cut its smartphone sales target this fiscal year by 14 percent. Sony now expects to just break even in the business this year, down from a previous operating forecast of 26 billion yen ($253 million), and is reviewing its mid-term strategy. Samsung Electronics also flagged its own uncertain handset earnings prospects on Thursday, undercut by Chinese rivals like Xiaomi, while Sony said progress by Chinese smartphone makers was a factor in its own sales shortfall.

07/31/2014 05:29 AM

Xiaomi's star rises as Chinese handset makers gnaw at Samsung's share: report

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's mobile company Xiaomi, speaks at launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4 in BeijingXiaomi Inc, the three-year old company known as the Apple of China, has become the world's No.5 smartphone maker by market share while Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's lead has continued to shrink, a report by Strategy Analytics shows. Three out of the world's top 5 smartphone sellers were Chinese manufacturers in the second quarter, Strategic Analytics said, as China's low-cost offerings on the Android operating system whittle away Samsung's market share.

07/31/2014 04:37 AM

Panasonic confirms will invest in $5 billion Tesla battery plant

People look at Panasonic Corp's Viera televisions displayed at an electronics store in TokyoBy Sophie Knight TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp confirmed on Thursday it would invest in U.S. electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc's planned $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant in the United States, but said it had yet to decide on the size of its investment. The Japanese company, which already supplies batteries for Tesla, said it was gauging the demand for batteries before deciding on an amount. "We have not yet decided exactly how much we will invest and when," said Chief Financial Officer Hideaki Kawai. "However, Tesla is a very important partner to us and discussions are continuing.

07/31/2014 06:08 AM

The swift death of ReaganBook, the Facebook for patriots

The swift death of ReaganBook, the Facebook for patriotsIf I could look back now, I would say the whole prospect fell apart after Satan poked me. I joined ReaganBook when I saw it billed earlier this week (admittedly, on liberal sites) as the conservative response to Facebook. Surely a name like ReaganBook — a name devoid of any irony, part of a logo that includes an illustration of the president, cowboy hat adorned, done in the style of the Obama "Hope" image — would be bait to any liberals hoping to while away a few minutes on a fake profile. The site requires no proof of identity (or semblance to reality) to log in, which becomes immediately obvious: everyone seems to be either using real names, the names of famous conservatives, or the names of famous conservatives paired with sex acts.

07/31/2014 09:23 AM

The first detailed Moon photo was taken 50 years ago today

The first detailed Moon photo was taken 50 years ago todayUntil 50 years ago today, we had never seen exactly what the Moon's surface looked like. As the Space Race heated up, NASA launched the first Ranger probe in 1961, intending to capture photographs and scout the way forward for a human landing.

07/31/2014 09:08 AM

Siemens CEO needs more time to fix energy business issues

A Siemens logo is pictured on an office building of Siemens AG in MunichBy Maria Sheahan FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Siemens AG will need more time to shake off problems at its energy business that have weighed on profits, its chief executive said on Thursday, indicating investors hoping for a fast improvement will have to be patient. "There is no quick fix for this (energy business) matter," CEO Joe Kaeser told analysts and reporters. Kaeser unveiled a corporate overhaul for Germany's second-biggest company by market value in May, dubbed "Vision 2020", that will simplify the group's structure and aims at making up ground lost to more profitable competitors such as Switzerland's ABB and U.S.-based General Electric. The former finance chief, who got the top job when his predecessor was pushed out a year ago, has also sought to improve the way Siemens handles big risky projects, which led to average annual project charges of 700 million euros in recent years, to improve profitability.

07/31/2014 08:50 AM

Play '80 Days,' a steampunk remix of Jules Verne's classic novel

Play '80 Days,' a steampunk remix of Jules Verne's classic novel80 days is a fantastical reinterpretation of the Jules Verne classic Around the World in Eighty Days. Here, airships and mechanical men intermingle with more mundane aspects of the 19th century to create an environment that is both familiar and charmingly strange. Much as in the book, the main goal in this interactive fiction game for iOS devices is to traverse the globe within the eponymous time span. A large part of 80 Days is delivered through Meg Jayanth's gorgeous writing, which players interact with via text prompts.

07/31/2014 08:50 AM

Inside the 'Destiny' beta: why Bungie's next epic could be bigger than 'Halo'

Inside the 'Destiny' beta: why Bungie's next epic could be bigger than 'Halo'The new space epic from Halo developer Bungie, Destiny just wrapped up an open beta before its upcoming September launch. I managed to get that helmet.

07/31/2014 08:31 AM

LG announces its first big 4K OLED TV with a non-ridiculous price tag

LG announces its first big 4K OLED TV with a non-ridiculous price tag

07/31/2014 08:28 AM

Watch this crazy GoPro video of a man leaping off a four-story building

Watch this crazy GoPro video of a man leaping off a four-story buildingRepeat after me, everyone: Do not try this at home. GoPro has just posted an amazing new video that shows us what it’s like to jump from the roof of a four-story building and live to tell about it. The video was made by professional stuntman Ethan Swanson, who expertly figured out the proper angle and force of his jump that he would need to land on the downward slope of a smaller building’s roof below and slide safely to the ground. In the end, the only damage he sustained was of a torn pants leg. GoPro videos have really taken off this year, as so far we’ve seen some insane footage of tornadoes, car crashes and accidental sky dives. GoPro

07/31/2014 08:25 AM

Strategy Analytics: 85% of phones shipped last quarter run Android

Strategy Analytics: 85% of phones shipped last quarter run AndroidStrategy Analytics already has smartphone sales numbers for the second quarter of 2014, with the company revealing that Android gained even more market share during the period, at the expense of all its competitors. Global smartphone shipments for Q2 2014 reached 295.2 million units, 27% more than the same period last year when 233.0 million units were shipped. Of those, 84.6% (249.6 million) were Android smartphones, up from 80.2% during Q2 2013. “Like the PC market, Android is on the verge of turning smartphone platforms into a one-horse race,” Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston said. “Its low-cost services and user-friendly software remain wildly attractive to hardware makers, operators and consumers worldwide. Rival OS vendors are going to have to do

07/31/2014 08:00 AM

Cyborg conversion incomplete: my life with finger implants

Cyborg conversion incomplete: my life with finger implantsPush hard on my skin, and you’ll find that the source is two lumps of glass, metal, and plastic embedded in my right hand: a years-old magnet in the ring finger and a newer NFC chip in my thumb webbing. I first heard about magnet implants in college, but I didn’t seriously pursue one until my colleague Ben Popper got his for the piece that would become "Cyborg America." At a Brooklyn tattoo parlor in 2012, I watched someone cut along the top of my finger, tear open a pocket with a dowel, and slide in a dark rod about half the size of a sunflower seed. I began to catalog sensations: the vicious pinch of picking up a Buckyball, the jitter of using a microwave, the sense of floating when I hovered my hand above another magnet.

07/31/2014 08:00 AM

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