AP Technology NewsBrief at 5:14 a.m. EST
(Associated Press Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Ride-hailing apps offer new way to get around townSAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ When Hesky Kutscher needed to get across town, he didn't call a taxi. He tapped a smartphone app called Lyft, which allows users to request car rides. Minutes later, a black hatchback with a big fluffy, pink mustache on its grille pulled up. Kutscher hopped in the front seat and gave the driver a fist bump. Then they cruised over the hilly streets of San Francisco, chatting like neighbors until he was dropped off near Union Square.
Snapshots of Sandy: Group restores victims' photosNEW YORK (AP) _ Of all the images of Superstorm Sandy's destruction, the ones that linger for Florence Catania are the torn, stained pictures that hung on her walls. Her mother's decades-old wedding portrait, her own eighth-grade graduation photo, a snapshot that captured her mom on a carefree teenage day, all damaged in a Sandy-sparked fire at Catania's home in suburban Deer Park, N.Y.
Twitter, Washington Post targeted by hackersNEW YORK (AP) _ Social media giant Twitter is among the latest U.S. companies to report that it is among a growing list of victims of Internet security attacks, saying that hackers may have gained access to information on 250,000 of its more than 200 million active users. And now, The Washington Post is joining the chorus, revealing the discovery of a sophisticated cyberattack in 2011. Twitter said in a blog post on Friday it detected attempts to gain access to its user data earlier in the week. It shut down one attack moments after it was detected.
UK sends hand-held helicopter drones to war zoneLONDON (AP) _ Britain's military says its soldiers in Afghanistan have been issued with surveillance drones so small they can fit in the palm of your hand. The Scandinavian-designed Black Hornet Nano weighs as little as 16 grams (0.56 ounces) _ the same as a finch. The four-inch-long (10-centimeter-long) helicopter is fitted with a tiny camera which relays still images and video to a remote terminal.
Research firm: Apple now biggest US phone sellerNEW YORK (AP) _ The launch of the iPhone 5 and the declining popularity of non-smartphones have made Apple the biggest seller of phones in the U.S. for the first time, research firm Strategy Analytics said Friday. The firm estimates that Apple shipped 17.7 million iPhones of all kinds to U.S. buyers in the October to December period, meaning it accounted for one in three new phones.
Sony likely to unveil next PlayStation on Feb. 20NEW YORK (AP) _ Sony is poised to unveil the next PlayStation game console on Feb. 20, a date that would give the Japanese electronics company a head start over Microsoft's expected announcement of an Xbox 360 successor in June. Sony Corp. invited journalists to an evening press event in New York City. The company has not said what it plans to show off, but signs indicate that it'll be the PlayStation 4. Sony would only say that it "will deliver and speak about the future PlayStation business."
Panasonic, Sharp expect red ink despite yen helpTOKYO (AP) _ Japanese electronics makers Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. both stuck to full year forecasts for massive losses even as results for the latest quarter got a boost from the weaker yen. The two Osaka-based companies are among the Japanese electronics makers battered by price plunges in gadgets and hot competition from more successful rivals such as Apple Inc. and South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co.
Teenage hacker sentenced in UK for cyber-attacksLONDON (AP) _ A British court has sentenced a teenage hacker to youth rehabilitation after he and other members of the Anonymous movement carried out cyber-attacks targeting financial sites like PayPal and Visa. Jake Birchall had admitted conspiring to impair the operation of computers in 2010 and 2011. The 18-year-old Birchall was sentenced Friday to 18 months of rehabilitation and 60 hours of unpaid work.
Minister: Iceland refused to help FBI on WikiLeaksLONDON (AP) _ Iceland's interior minister said Friday that he ordered the country's police not to cooperate with FBI agents sent to investigate WikiLeaks two years ago, offering a rare glimpse into the U.S. Department of Justice's investigation of the secret-busting site. Ogmundur Jonasson told The Associated Press that he was upset when he found out that FBI agents had flown to the country to interview an unidentified WikiLeaks associate in August 2011.
NY Times says Chinese hacked paper's computersBEIJING (AP) _ Chinese hackers repeatedly penetrated The New York Times' computer systems over the past four months, stealing reporters' passwords and hunting for files on an investigation into the wealth amassed by the family of a top Chinese leader, the newspaper reported Thursday. Security experts hired to investigate and plug the breach found that the attacks used tactics similar to ones used in previous hacking incidents traced to China, the report said. It said the hackers routed the attacks through computers at U.S. universities, installed a strain of malicious software, or malware, associated with Chinese hackers and initiated the attacks from Chinese university computers previously used by the Chinese military to attack U.S. military contractors.
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