TIME FIFA

Twitter Is Exploding Right Now Over the Major FIFA Arrests

Social media users are shocked by news of arrests in the FIFA criminal case

It’s the viral event of the month. The Twittersphere has exploded with an overwhelmingly one-sided and raucous celebration at the news that nine senior officials at Fifa have been indicted on charges of wire fraud, bribery and racketeering.

Here’s a taste of it.

There’s the restrained satisfaction of past stars who have to watch their words now they’re media pundits…

And the irony of the game being cleaned up by a country that ignored it for the best part of 120 years wasn’t lost on some.

There was delight at how the staff at the 5-star Bauer au Lac hotel in Zurich protected the dignity of their esteemed guests as they were led off to face the rap.

And there were inevitably reminders of the human cost of building the stadiums for the World Cup in Qatar, which campaigners say have already cost over a thousand migrant workers’ lives.

It would be fair to say that a general air of skepticism prevailed regarding President Sepp Blatter’s absence from the list of the indicted.

Some had fun with Fifa spokesman Walter de Gregorio’s claim that Blatter is “calm” but “is not dancing in his office.”

Others even went so far as to doubt Mr. de Gregorio’s claim that Blatter and Fifa were fully cooperating with the investigation.

But most looked forward cheerfully to the future, nonetheless.

A few optimists highlighted the lucrative possibilities for the next edition of the Fifa-branded computer soccer game.

But most of all, there has just been a huge outpouring of relief and joy from fans across the world at the thought that, despite all of the evidence to the contrary over the years, even Fifa and its officials aren’t above the law.

 

 

TIME Apple

This Bizarre New Bug Is Causing iPhones to Melt Down

It's reportedly generated by a specific single line of text

A single line of text can reportedly freeze and shut down iPhones.

Technology blogs are reporting that a specific text message, when sent to an iPhone from any device, causes the phone to crash, shut down, and turn back on—and in some cases, some users are still unable to access messages again until the offending sender sends another text message. (The recipient can also return the phone to normal by responding to the sender from a different device, like an iMessage-enabled Mac or iPad, some sites report.) Users on Reddit have been discussing the problem and how to fix it.

The text message itself is not exactly something people would happen to be writing in the course of a normal day. If someone texts this to you, they are likely doing it with malicious intentions. We won’t replicate the specific message here, but it includes the words “effective,” “power,” and then a string of characters, including Arabic and Chinese letters.

A post on Reddit’s Apple subreddit, however, does share the message. And it is quickly resulting in people using the text to play jokes on their friends:

It’s unclear whether this is an accidental bug, or a sort of failsafe that Apple intended by design. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the issue and will update this story. Some news sites have suggested the cause of the bug is a problem with how the iPhone displays Arabic text. Regardless of the cause, the issue appears to be already becoming a popular and dangerous tool for aggravating pranks.

 

TIME snapchat

‘We Need to IPO,’ Says Snapchat Founder

Evan Spiegel
Jae C. Hong—AP Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel poses for photos, in Los Angeles on Oct. 24, 2013.

After declining an acquisition offer from Facebook in 2013, the startup's founder says he has closed the door to all future offers

Snapchat CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel has revealed the most definitive plans yet about the financial future of his messaging app.

“We need to IPO, we have a plan to do that,” he said Tuesday. “An IPO is really important.”

Spiegel’s comments on stage at the Code tech conference in Southern California, show that he is serious about an initial public offering for Snapchat. The app has made a splash by letting users send photos and short videos that disappear after the recipient sees them.

Although Spiegel teased the audience with the idea of an initial public offering, he remained vague about any of the details. There was no mention of when such an IPO would take place — whether months or years in the future — or how big it would be.

Spiegel swatted away questions about selling Snapchat to a larger company down the road. He famously turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook in 2013. At the time, Spiegel was called “arrogant” and “foolish.” But he’s since built up Snapchat from a silly app for teens to a media company with large advertisers and partners like CNN and Vice. Earlier in 2015, Snapchat introduced Discover, a separate section in its app where users can consume bite-sized news content from its partner publishers.

On stage, Spiegel also explained that part of Discover’s purpose is to entertain users, in many cases between sending and receiving messages from their friends. The goal of filling up more of users’ time also explains why the company is now moving toward focusing on how long users spend on the service instead of merely the number of them who login. But with that said, Spiegel shared that his service now has more than 100 million daily active users, and that 65% of them — that’s 65 million — send photos or videos every day.

His point was obvious. In his view, Snapchat isn’t just for adolescents sending silly messages.

TIME Google

How Google is Helping Amputees get 3D-printed Prosthetics

Google
Virginia Mayo—AP Google

The tech giant has promised to donate in a big way to causes trying to help people with disabilities

When it’s not busy building self-driving cars or sci-fi glasses, Google sometimes does a little good like pledging a $600,000 grant to the Enable Community foundation to provide free prosthetics to those who need them.

The grant is part of a new initiative, Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities, that the tech giant announced Tuesday. Google said it will donate $20 million from its non-profit arm, Google.org, to “nonprofits using emerging technologies to increase independence for people living with disabilities,” according to a blog post.

Enable Community, one of the two initial recipients of grants, connects volunteers who use 3D printing to create and customize prosthetic limbs for those who need them.

Google also announced a $500,000 grant for World Wide Hearing, an organization that will test and develop a low-cost kit for diagnosing hearing loss and fitting hearing aids. The kit will rely on smartphones to make the help affordable and accessible to people in developing countries.

Google’s research and development division, Google X, has already delved into how technology can help improves the lives of people with disabilities. For example, it acquired Lift Labs last year, which has created a spoon that automatically adjusts for shaking by people with Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative tremors. The spoon’s mechanism vibrates to counter the user’s tremors and enable them to eat more easily.

TIME Innovation

Watch: This Robot Cockroach Is Surprisingly Mesmerizing

It runs extremely fast

Artificial cockroaches have come a long way since Joe’s Apartment.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have created a tiny, cockroach-like robot that can run around fast enough to launch a second, partner robot into flight.

The lab aims to mimic the ways animals sense the world around them and move about in very small robots, a.k.a. millibots. The so-called VelociRoACH above is strapped to a harness carrying another bot, the H2Bird, which it tosses into the air after a running start. (Another version of the robo-roach, dubbed the X2-VelociRoACH, is the fastest robot relative to size, according to the researches, and can reach running speeds of about 11 miles per hour.)

It’s simply cool to look at. But researchers say the system shows the benefits of getting multiple robots with different capabilities (ground speed in one, flight in another) to work together. This allows both to be more efficient. Or as the lab puts it:

Placing the H2Bird on top of the VelociRoACH decreases the cost of transport of the VelociRoACH by approximately 16 percent. This decrease in the cost of transport would be useful in a situation where the VelociRoACH and the H2Bird had to both reach a point 80 meters away and the H2Bird had to fly 20 meters in the air, where the VelociRoACH cannot reach…In situations such as these, cooperative locomotion would be more efficient than independent locomotion.

The lab’s website says, at the moment, the tiny bots are remote controlled. The next step? Making both autonomous.

TIME Smartphones

This Creepy New Malware Tracks Your Subway Ride

Passengers read their smart phones in Beijing on March 8, 2015.
Zhang Peng—Getty Images Passengers read their smart phones in Beijing on March 8, 2015.

Even if you don't have cell phone service underground

A team of Chinese researchers have developed a way to surreptitiously track your subway rides by tapping into your smartphone data.

The Nanjing University scientists designed software that captures your smartphone’s motion sensor data and matches it to a subway map, inferring your location with up to 92% accuracy, according to the report published last week. Since accelerometers aren’t as protected as other phone functions like GPS, hackers may still be able to steal data even if there’s limited cell service underground, the study suggests.

Researchers emphasized that their results highlight how vulnerable motion sensors are to hacking. “If an attacker can trace a smartphone user for a few days, he may be able to infer the user’s daily schedule and living/working areas and thus seriously threaten her physical safety,” the authors wrote. “Another interesting example is that if the attacker finds Alice and Bob often visit the same stations at similar non-working times, he may infer that Bob is dating Alice.”

Other research has shown how hackers can steal accelerometer data to determine what a smartphone user is typing.

 

TIME Vox

Online Publisher Vox Acquires Tech News Site Recode

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook talks to tech writer Walt Mossberg during an Apple event in San Francisco
© Robert Galbraith / Reuters—REUTERS Walt Mossberg, Recode's co-founder (right foreground), speaks with Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The deal adds to Vox Media's growing news operations and gives it a powerful tech conference business

Online news publisher Vox Media said on Tuesday that it’s acquiring Recode, an influential tech news site, adding to a growing wave of consolidation in the tech media world.

Exact terms of the all-stock deal for Recode’s parent, Revere Digital, were not disclosed. But it appears that Recode will remain fairly intact and that its two well-known founders, journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, will continue to lead their team under the same brand name. Recode’s product reviews team, however, will move over to another one of Vox’s tech publications, The Verge, and Mossberg will write for both sites, The Verge co-founder and editor-in-chief Nilay Patel said.

The news was announced at Recode’s flagship conference, Code, which kicked off Tuesday in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

This acquisition is just the latest in a roller-coaster year tech-focused news sites. On March 9, GigaOm, a nine-year-old blog founded by journalist Om Malik, abruptly shut down (Fortune has since hired six of its former writers). On Tuesday, Austin-based Knowingly said it had acquired some of GigaOm’s assets and will relaunch the site in August. Last week, TechCrunch owner AOL sold to Verizon for $4.4 billion, bringing up questions about the future of TechCrunch and Engadget, another tech blog under the AOL umbrella. AOL has since said there will be no immediate changes.

As part of Vox Media, Recode will have access not only to its new owner’s bigger audience — Vox’s sites had 53.2 million unique US visitors in April, according to comScore, compared with only 1.5 million for Recode — but also its company resources like marketing and ad sales, Swisher and Mossberg noted in announcing the news. Recode will join Vox’s other properties, including the tech news site The Verge and the sports-focused SB Nation.

Both Recode and The Verge will have divided responsibilities with Recode covering the business side of the tech industry while The Verge will drill down into its products. “We have focused on the business of tech, while The Verge has focused on covering tech from a lifestyle perspective,” Swisher and Mossberg said.

Vox Media has raised $107.6 million in funding to date.

TIME Apple

A Chinese Scion Outfitted His Dog in Apple Watch Bling

They're the gold versions, too

China isn’t exactly known for its kindness to dogs — but at least one canine is being showered with riches.

Wang Sicong, the son of one of China’s richest men, Wang Jialin, posted photos online of his dog wearing two gold Apple Watches on Monday. The gold Apple Watches retail between $10,000 and $17,000, and having two for a dog seems to be exactly the kind of extravagance deplored by China’s government. Still, it’s hard to be disgusted at Wang’s show of wealth once you see how happy his dog looks:

According to the caption, Wang’s dog is generally satisfied with the gifts, even if there’s not one on each paw: “I have new watches! I’m supposed to have four watches since I have four long legs. But that seems too uncouth so I kept it down to two, which totally fits my status. Do you have one?”

TIME Companies

Why AOL’s CEO Is Getting a $59 Million Bonus

Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL Inc., speaks during an interview with Fox Business Channel in New York
© Brendan McDermid / Reuters—REUTERS Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL Inc., speaks during an interview with Fox Business Channel in New York December 3, 2014.

His new long-term contract with Verizon includes a 'Founders' Incentive Award'

We already knew that AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong stood to make a bundle from his company’s $4.4 billion sale to Verizon Communications. Thanks to new documents filed Tuesday, we also know that Armstrong’s payout includes a “Founders’ Incentive Award” worth about $59 million.

The bonus stems from Armstrong’s deal with Verizon [fortune-stock symbol=”VZ”] — a long-term contract that will keep him employed with the telecom giant — which stipulates the AOL CEO will get stock equal to 1.5% of AOL’s [fortune-stock symbol=”AOL”] market value once and if the sale is finalized. AOL’s market value was around $3.9 billion when the deal was announced, which means Armstrong would get about $59 million in stock options. Half of them would vest three years after the deal closes, while the remaining half vest after four years.

Armstrong, who collected about $6.9 million in compensation from AOL last year, has a 6.7% ownership stake in that company, which would be worth about $84 million based on current market value.

Tuesday’s filing also confirmed previous reports that Verizon had considered pursuing a joint venture that would have given Verizon access to AOL’s advertising technology business, which is seen as a key component to the deal.

[Re/code]

TIME Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina Says the Chinese ‘Don’t Innovate’

Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina speaks at TechCrunchÕs Disrupt conference on May 5, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina speaks at TechCrunchÕs Disrupt conference on May 5, 2015 in New York City.

The presidential hopeful explained 'that is why they are stealing our intellectual property'.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and current Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina apparently doesn’t think very highly of the Common Core education policy or of China’s ability to innovate.

How are those two things related? Well, Fiorina has criticized proponents of Common Core who think the policy will help U.S. students compete with Chinese students in subjects like math and science. The 2016 presidential hopeful told Iowa political video blog Caffeinated Thoughts earlier this year that the U.S. education system should not be modeled after China’s. Chinese students may test well, she said, but they fall short when it comes to innovation.

BuzzFeed pulled this quote from Fiorina’s video interview, in which she cited her years of business experience in China:

‘I have been doing business in China for decades, and I will tell you that yeah, the Chinese can take a test, but what they can’t do is innovate,’ she said. ‘They are not terribly imaginative. They’re not entrepreneurial, they don’t innovate, that is why they are stealing our intellectual property.’

Fiorina has broached this subject before, arguing in her book, Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey, that China’s educational model is “too homogenized and controlled to encourage imagination and risk taking.”

The former HP [fortune-stock symbol=”HPQ”] chief executive’s political experience is limited to her failed 2010 U.S. Senate bid. Fiorina’s tenure as HP CEO ended in 2005, when the company’s board forced her to resign following years of stagnant profits and a massive, ill-advised merger with Compaq.

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