This app teaches Australia about its 500 Indigenous first nations

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When Kevin Rudd was prime minister of Australia, Ngarluma man Tyson Mowarin was struck that the Mandarin-speaking leader could say hello at the foot of the Great Wall of China, but could not say hello in the local indigenous language at the foot of Uluru.

Using Welcome to Country, his free iOS app that uses geo-location to deliver users cultural information about Aboriginal groups indigenous to the area, Mowarin told Mashable Australia he hopes to ensure all Australians know as much about the country’s native people as they do about countries across the ocean.

More about Tyson Mowarin, Apps, Welcome To Country, Australia, and Tech


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In upcoming Yahoo talks, Starboard to push for control of board

Yahoo billboard Daniel Spisak Flickr

(By Michael Flaherty & Liana B. Baker, Reuters) – Starboard, the activist hedge fund leading an investor revolt against Yahoo’s  management team, will push for control of the company’s board in talks scheduled for next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The talks between the two sides represent an effort by the Internet company to avoid a proxy contest just weeks before a March 26 deadline for Starboard and other shareholders to submit board of director nominees.

Starboard is seeking at least four board representatives in order to gain control of Yahoo’s seven-member board, the people said this week.

Yahoo’s board has been weighing whether to offer two or more seats to Starboard, the New York Post has reported.

Should talks fail, Starboard previously said it was prepared to submit a slate of directors.

A proxy contest would come as Yahoo presses ahead with an auction for its core Internet business. Some Yahoo investors are concerned that a proxy fight would hinder the auction effort, sowing doubts among potential buyers over the stability of Yahoo’s board, the sources said.

Starboard, however, does not want to miss an opportunity to gain board seats, one of the sources added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Yahoo and Starboard declined to comment.

Boutique bank Evercore Partners has been retained to help defend against Starboard’s campaign, in addition to existing advisors Goldman Sachs Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co and PJT Partners, people familiar with the matter said. Evercore declined to comment.

The Yahoo committee is sending out financial information to interested parties next week, and hopes to have a short list of bidders by April, according to people familiar with the matter.

Telecommunications company Verizon and publisher Time are among the companies expected to bid for Yahoo’s core business, while some private equity firms are expected to team up for potential bids.

“I want to make it very clear: between management, Marissa, myself, the rest of the management, her management team, and the committee, and the Board, we’re absolutely all aligned,” Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman said at a conference this week, referring to Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. “We’re looking at this in terms of what creates the best shareholder value.”

To obtain seats, Starboard must win over several of Yahoo’s large institutional investors plus co-founder David Filo, its largest shareholder with a 7.5 percent stake.

(Additional reporting by Deborah Todd in San Francisco; Editing by David Gregorio)



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Silicon Valley’s Hottest Startup Incubator Takes On This Indian Venture

Just one year ago, Indian e-coupon aggregator LafaLafa.com was barely a blip in the mind of, well, anyone. It’s been quite the year though – testament to the booming tech environment in India, they’re one of the privileged few to be on their way to be accelerated by one of Silicon Valley’s hottest startup incubators.


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DX Digest: Mark Grannan on Core Services Architecture #DXS15

DX Digest: Mark Grannan on Core Services Architecture #DXS15

In a comment responding to Part 1 of my conversation with Forrester analyst Mark Grannan, Arjan van Rooijen, the chief evangelist with customer experience management platform provider SDL, said, “I strongly believe practitioners need to transform their practices to meet the demands of a digital era.” Technology

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NSA director just admitted that government copies of encryption keys are a big security risk

NSA chief Michael S. Rogers speaks at Fort Meade.

The director of the NSA, Admiral Michael Rogers, just admitted at a Senate hearing that when Internet companies provide copies of encryption keys to law enforcement, the risk of hacks and data theft goes way up.

The government has been pressuring technology companies to provide the encryption keys that it can use to access data from suspected bad actors. The keys allow the government “front door access,” as Rogers has termed it, to secure data on any device, including cell phones and tablets.

Rogers made the statement in answer to a question from Senator Ron Wyden at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 2.06.46 PMWyden:  “As a general matter, is it correct that anytime there are copies of an encryption key — and they exist in multiple places — that also creates more opportunities for malicious actors or foreign hackers to get access to the keys?

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 2.07.12 PMRogers: Again, it depends on the circumstances, but if you want to paint it very broadly like that for a yes and no, then i would probably say yes.”

View the exchange in this video.

Security researchers have been saying for some time that the existence of multiple copies of encryption keys creates huge security vulnerabilities. But instead of heeding the advice and abandoning the idea, Rogers has suggested that tech companies deliver the encryption key copies in multiple pieces that must be reassembled.

From VentureBeat

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“The NSA chief Admiral Rogers today confirmed what encryption experts and data scientists have been saying all along: if the government requires companies to provide copies of encryption keys, that will only weaken data protection and open the door for malicious actors and hackers,” said Morgan Reed of the App Association in a note to VentureBeat.

Cybersecurity has taken center stage in the halls of power this week, as Chinese president Xi Jinping is in the U.S. meeting with tech leaders and President Obama.

The Chinese government itself has been linked with various large data hacks on U.S. corporations and on U.S. government agencies. By some estimates, U.S. businesses lose $ 300 billion a year from Chinese intellectual property theft.

One June 2nd, the Senate approved a bill called the USA Freedom Act, meant to reform the government surveillance authorizations in the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act expired at midnight on June 1st.

But the NSA has continued to push for increased latitude to access the data of private citizens, both foreign and domestic.



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Everything Oculus announced today: $99 Gear VR, Touch release date, Minecraft, and more

It's coming soon.

It’s Oculus Connect keynote day, and the company had a lot of stuff to announce despite a claim that consumers shouldn’t get too excited about the event in Los Angeles.

Here are all the big announcements:

Samsung’s $ 99 Gear VR

While Oculus is planning to release the amazing new Rift headset in Q1 2016, one of its biggest partners, Samsung, revealed it will release the consumer version of Gear VR in November for just $ 99. This will work with Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, and Note 5.

From VentureBeat

Gaming is in its golden age, and big and small players alike are maneuvering like kings and queens in A Game of Thrones. Register now for our GamesBeat 2015 event, Oct. 12-Oct.13, where we’ll explore strategies in the new world of gaming.

Oculus SDK 1.0 is coming in November

Both Rift and Gear VR will need a lot of VR content, and Oculus is planning to update its software-development kit to help studios do exactly that. One of the big things this SDK will come with is direct drivers — this will enable the headset to work without having to fiddle with setting up the Rift as an external monitor.

Oculus Arcade

This is a 1980s-style arcade simulator that enables you to feel like you’re playing Pac-Man at a stand-up machine.

Trailer for Rift games

 

Twitch, Hulu, Netflix, and more to support Oculus Video

netflix-virtual-reality-app

Developers are working on plenty of games for virtual reality, but Oculus is expecting all kinds of content to make the leap to its Rift and Gear VR systems. That includes video services like Netflix and Hulu — the latter of which revealed it is planning to build VR-native videos.

“Oculus Ready” PCs

You’re gonna need a beefy PC to use an Oculus Rift, but you won’t need to guess if certain systems will work. Oculus announced it will work with hardware manufacturers like Dell, Alienware, and Asus on a line of “Oculus Ready” rigs that cost less than $ 1,000.

Minecraft comes to Rift

Microsoft is planning to make the Windows 10 Edition of its block-building game Minecraft compatible with Xbox One.

Oculus is working on its equivalent of Xbox Live and the App Store

Facebook, the owner of Oculus VR, has said that it won’t try to make a lot of money on the Rift hardware. That means it’s going to make the real cash on the app and software side. And we saw a little bit of that today when the company revealed how its platform will handle social features, analytics, and distribution.

Oculus Touch trailer and release date

The incredible Oculus Touch controllers, which brings your hands into VR, aren’t coming out until Q2 of 2016. But here’s a trailer to show what they can do.

Oculus Medium

Oculus chief executive officer Brendan Iribe said that every new platform needs a paint app, and Medium is what his company is calling its take on 3D drawing.

Epic reveals new Oculus Touch demo Bullet Train

More information:

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A Wedding Ring Spins More Like a Boomerang Than a Coin  

Spin a coin on a flat surface, and it spirals much like a planet orbiting a star — at least until it runs out of steam and rattles to a stop on the table. But spin a wedding ring the same way, and it will make a surprising abrupt turn, following a trajectory more like a boomerang.

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