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Apple blames third-party batteries for exploding headphones

© Provided by IBT US Apple has blamed third-party batteries for an explosion of Beats By Dre headphones that burned a woman’s face while she was sleeping on a flight in February, according to the Australian Associated Press.
The Australian woman, who asked not to be identified, was traveling from Beijing to Melbourne, Australia when she woke up two hours into the flight to the sound of her headphones exploding and a burning sensation. The woman’s face, hands and hair were burned during the incident.She was looking to get reimbursement for her headphones and ruined clothing, but Apple said the incident was not due to product defects.
"Our investigation indicated the issue was caused by a third-party battery," the Cupertino company said in a statement shared by the woman's lawyers.The woman said she bought the batteries in Australia."The headphones don't work without batteries, yet nowhere on the headphones - or their packaging - did it specify which brand of batter…

Now, suggested Gmail replies tailored to your preferences

© Courtesy of Google If you use Google's Gmail app, you may have seen something new pop up on your screen this week: suggested responses for your emails.The move illustrates one way that Google is using its increased focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning. If you're wondering why and how Google can make these suggestions, here are some answers about the feature and how it works.
What’s going on?Google calls the feature Smart Reply, and it’s pretty much what it sounds like. Google algorithms are scanning your messages and using the information it gleans to suggest ways that you could reply to any given message.The feature is based off an idea from Gmail engineer Bálint Miklós, Google said in a 2015 blog post. Miklós asked the Google Research team if there was any way to create some tappable template replies in Gmail. There are, after all, plenty of emails to which one could respond with just a “Got it,” “Thanks,” or “See you soon!” Having some pre-made responses a…

How to decrypt your files if you've been hit by WannaCry

© Provided by IBT US A group of security researchers have created a tool that can help users hit by the massive WannaCry ransomware attack decrypt their files without paying the ransom or wiping their device.
The tool, named Wanakiwi, is capable of defeating the WannaCry ransomware, which encrypts a user’s files and demands a payment made in Bitcoin in order for the victim to regain access to their machine.WannaCry hit more than 300,000 machines in 150 countries last Friday, including computer systems of hospitals in England and major corporations around the world. Those attacks have slowed since the first wave, but have not stopped entirely. The attackers have made more than $50,000 from the attacks thus far and will likely continue to attack.
For those still holding out from the initial infection or hit by the residual attacks, Wanakiwi may be able to offer some reprieve.The tool doesn’t work for all machines, but it has been tested and shown to be successful on Windows XP, Windows Se…

Mining the moon for rocket fuel to get us to Mars

© Provided by IBT US Forty-five years have passed since humans last set foot on an extraterrestrial body. Now, the moon is back at the center of efforts not only to explore space, but to create a permanent, independent space-faring society.
Planning expeditions to Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor is no longer just a NASA effort, though the U.S. space agency has plans for a moon-orbiting space station that would serve as a staging ground for Mars missions in the early 2030s. The United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, is planning a lunar fueling station for spacecraft, capable of supporting 1,000 people living in space within 30 years.Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Robert Bigelow all have companies aiming to deliver people or goods to the moon. Several teams competing for a share of Google’s US$30 million cash prize are planning to launch rovers to the moon.We and 27 other students from around the world recently participated in the 2017 Calt…

Hands-free phone tricks to prevent distracted driving

Replay Video SETTINGSOFF HDHQSDLO Perhaps there’s one silver lining to battling the daily commute: you can stay productive and connected while behind the wheel – safely – thanks to today’s hands-free technology.  After all, holding a phone up to your ear can be a major distraction to those driving, while texting on a phone is even worse. Not only could you face a serious fine for distracted driving, but you might hurt yourself or others, or cause damage to your vehicle. Of course, the best thing to do is focus solely on driving and leave the phone in the glove box, but seasoned drivers who want to safely multitask have a few hands-free options to consider.
Bluetooth-enabled vehicles, speakerphones, headsets© Provided by USA Today If the vehicle doesn’t have Bluetooth, drivers might opt for an aftermarket Bluetooth speakerphone that slips over the sun visor, sits on the dashboard, or sticks to the windshield (a visor is recommended as the microphone will be closest to your mouth, and is l…

The weirdest star in space is acting up again. Is it aliens?

© Provided by CNET Artist's representation of a crumbling Dyson sphere orbiting KIC 8462852 In 2015, astronomers discovered what's become known as one of the strangest stars seen so far in the universe. Weird things are happening around KIC 8462852 (aka Tabby's Star or Boyajian's Star) once again, sending scientists into a panic to get as many big telescopes trained on it as possible.
What's weird about the star is that it goes through dramatic and somewhat random periods of getting dimmer from our viewing perspective here on Earth. Stars tend to get dim when things like planets or even huge clouds of dust pass in front of them, but that kind of thing usually happens on a regular schedule, and only accounts for slight amounts of dimming.But the dimming observed at KIC 8462852 doesn't fit the usual patterns of planets or a companion star (which it does have, but it's very distant and can't explain what astronomers are seeing). To make things weirder, the …

Twitter warns Vine users of bug that may have exposed emails

© Press Association A file photo of Vine Vine has already been shut down, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean the information you provided to the Twitter-owned company is secure. Twitter just sent out a mass email to Vine users alerting them of a “bug” that briefly allowed third parties to view email addresses and phone numbers associated with Vine accounts. If you get the email, your information was likely exposed — though that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being misused by anyone. The company makes no mention of any passwords having been exposed during the window that it claims lasted “less than 24 hours.”The bug affected the Vine Archive, which the company describes as a “time capsule” (perhaps graveyard?) of all Vines that were uploaded with the service. The Vine Archive remains viewable from web browsers, although no new uploads are supported; Vine’s smartphone app was repurposed into a camera app and can no longer browse the defunct social network.Twitter is urging users who rec…