Here is the latest in Technology News from CNET.
Oculus Rift VR being used for tsunami disaster training in Japan – CNET
A Japanese university is hoping to prepare the country’s citizens for what they could be in for if another huge earthquake hits.
Pay up or else: Ransomware is the hot hacking trend of 2016 – CNET
There are steps you can take before forking over cash for vital files held hostage. Your results, however, may vary.
Data-cheap Facebook Lite hits 100 million users in the developing world – CNET
The Android-exclusive is the fastest growing Facebook app, and one part of the company’s mission to connect the emerging world.
Newly discovered Australian spider breathes underwater, eats toads – CNET
The spider has been named in honour of world renowned physicist and string theory expert Brian Greene.
Apple worries of increased iPhone snooping if FBI wins case – CNET
Apple’s Eddy Cue tells Univision that the battle could lead to law enforcement using your iPhone’s camera and microphone to keep an eye on you.
Alaska Airlines rearranges flight to view solar eclipse – CNET
A flight from Anchorage to Honolulu was purposely delayed so that passengers could view the complete solar eclipse.
Self-driving cars could someday roll around on futuristic tire balls (Tomorrow Daily 328 show notes) – CNET
Goodyear unveiled a concept video for spherical tires at the Geneva motor show, and they look like they came straight out of a science-fiction novel.
International ‘Ghostbusters’ trailer has even more Chris Hemsworth – CNET
Footage from the upcoming “Ghostbusters” movie continues to trickle out with more slapstick and brawny Chris Hemsworth scenes.
Google turns search into your personal travel agent – CNET
Do you daydream about your next big trip when you’re browsing on your phone? Google has a tool for you.
Miss the solar eclipse? Watch a video of the sun swallowed whole – CNET
A total solar eclipse was only visible over parts of Southeast Asia, but you can see all the shadowy highlights in one video.
Volvo puts weight behind a single charging standard for all EVs – Roadshow
The automaker believes EV adoption is being held back in part by competing charging standards.
Obama ramps up tech cred ahead of SXSW visit – CNET
President Barack Obama is pushing a bevy of tech initiatives ahead of his appearance at the famed culture and tech conference.
Dos Equis exiles Most Interesting Man in the World to Mars – CNET
Technically Incorrect: Beloved by some, less beloved by others, the iconic ad character is being dismissed from this planet, never to return.
Watch Google’s self-driving car hit a bus – CNET
Technically Incorrect: A new video captures the moment when an autonomous Google SUV smacks into the side of a public bus. The bus driver is a little surprised.
Saving California’s coastline using pics from drones, phones – CNET
Scientists from the Nature Conservancy are using crowdsourced smartphone and drone imagery to track coastal erosion from El Nino.
Facebook faces off against Snapchat, nabs filters app Masquerade – CNET
In a strategic move against Snapchat, the world’s largest social network buys a popular app that lets users slap silly masks and effects on their selfies and share them on social networks.
The case of the missing iPhone 7 audio jack – CNET
If leaked photos claiming to show an iPhone 7 case have any merit, your next iPhone could sport dual speakers. Meanwhile, the standard audio jack appears MIA.
Google releases Android N preview, hello split screen (CNET Update show notes) – CNET
The next version of Android arrives in a developer preview. But while we check out new features, Google is also busy with its AI computer defeating the Go world champion. Is this how mankind goes down?
New ‘Captain America’ teasers hype tomorrow’s trailer – CNET
Two new teasers have dropped ahead of Thursday’s new “Captain America: Civil War” trailer.
Mark Zuckerberg reminds America: ‘We are a nation of immigrants’ – CNET
Facebook’s CEO is supporting President Obama’s efforts to ensure undocumented immigrant children are not deported.
Virtual reality: Hype or the real deal? (The 3:59, Ep 7) – CNET
The 3:59 podcast digs deep into whether virtual reality is worth the money for average folks.
iPhone sales growth slows in China – CNET
Apple is still the top brand in the world’s largest smartphone market, but local rival Huawei is hot on its heels, according to the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
‘The X-Files Deviations’ swaps the Mulder siblings’ fates – CNET
A new comic from IDW casts Samantha Mulder as the alien-obsessed FBI agent searching for the truth. CNET’s Bonnie Burton chats with the creative team Amy Chu and Elena Casagrande.
There may never be a full fix for Volkswagen diesels in the US – Roadshow
An official with the California Air Resources Board points out the eventuality that’s been hanging over our heads all along.
See an airborne jet ski wipe out a drone – CNET
Some drones should get hazard pay. Watch what happens when a large jet ski rockets into the air and takes on a delicate drone.
Shamans using sites like Facebook for black magic, says Malaysian official – CNET
A communications officer with a government ministry has reportedly warned people against posting pictures of themselves on social media, lest they be used in black magic rituals.
Uncharted 4 gets ‘Making Of’ series, watch first episode here – CNET
The first of five installments is called “The Evolution of the Franchise” and it’s a good one.
XCOM 2’s first expansion gets release date, new details – CNET
Find out when the Anarchy’s Children expansion launches and see some images from it here.
Nvidia’s The Division PC graphics guide helps improve performance – CNET
Plus, corporation acts fast following widespread reports that its Division 364.47 driver was triggering critical problems.
Microsoft may compensate Xbox Live users affected by recent downtime – CNET
Affected by the recent Xbox Live problems? Compensation may be coming your way.
Google tries to get jump on Apple with early release of new Android — sort of – CNET
The search giant releases Android N, though it’s meant only for developers for now. Regardless, Android N is Google’s latest software volley in its smartphone war with Apple.
PlayStation VR shouldn’t be used by children under 12 and here’s why – CNET
A notice also warns that some people may experience things like “motion sickness, nausea, disorientation, blurred vision, or other discomfort.
You know Photoshop, but probably ignore it on your phone – CNET
Nearly seven years after Photoshop arrived on phones, adoption of Adobe’s mobile apps for creative types remains lackluster, a CNET survey reveals.
Snowden: FBI’s claim about unlockable iPhone is ‘bulls***’ – CNET
The FBI is lying about its inability to hack into an iPhone used by a shooter in December’s San Bernardino massacre, says the NSA whistleblower.
Lollipop is now the hottest flavor of Android – CNET
Meanwhile, the newest version, Marshmallow, remains a scarce commodity on the phones you and your friends are using.
360-degree views coming to video game live streaming – CNET
A South Korean company will be debuting the new technology at the Game Developers Conference later this month.
If you think drones are scary, don’t read this (pictures) – CNET
Right now they don’t do much more than hover and take video. But that’s gonna change.
Google exec can’t wait for a computer to love him – CNET
Technically Incorrect: Ray Kurzweil insists that in the near future computers will know what it is to think and be like us.
Bionic fingertip allows an amputee to feel textures for the first time – CNET
An artificial fingertip interfacing directly with the user’s nerves has allowed an amputee to distinguish between textures.
Apple has support of independent voters in FBI iPhone battle – CNET
In a 2-to-1 margin, independent voters say the iPhone maker shouldn’t cooperate with government efforts to crack open a terrorist’s iPhone, according to a new poll.
Google hooked us on the geekiest game you’ve never heard of – CNET
100,000 people just watched a computer play an ancient Chinese board game on YouTube, and Artificial Intelligence won. This is how Google takes over the world.
Drone racing: NASCAR in the sky – CNET
They may have been created for the military, but drones are working their way into everyday life.
J.K. Rowling publishes new story about skin-walkers – CNET
Harry Potter fans are in for a treat: The first installment of “Magic in North America” series on Pottermore website posted today explores the history of Native American mythology and magic.
We bring you peas: Vegetables grown in simulated Mars dirt – CNET
An experiment to test the viability of growing food on the Red Planet has resulted in successful crops of 10 different vegetables.
Amazon’s live shopping show merges QVC with YouTube (CNET Update show notes) – CNET
“Style Code Live” debuts to draw in younger shoppers to buy clothing and beauty items on Amazon. Meanwhile, Apple Pay expands to gas stations, and you don’t need to get out of your car to pay.
I enshrined my cat in the creepy ‘Game of Thrones’ Hall of Faces – CNET
The macabre Hall of Faces is set to feature in season 6 of “Game of Thrones.” You, too, can become a resident of the ghoulish archive.
Facebook flaw offered easy way to crack into accounts – CNET
An Indian computer researcher nabs $15,000 from Facebook’s bug bounty program after alerting the social network to a simple, but serious, security hole.
‘Moov’ chair transforms restlessness into power (Tomorrow Daily 327 show notes) – CNET
Can’t stay still in your seat? The more you move around in this chair, the more charging power you generate.
Startups seek slam dunk in front of Sacramento Kings fans – CNET
The Kings and a local venture capital firm are sponsoring a contest in which fans will decide which startup should be backed.
Consumers could get $19M from Home Depot breach – CNET
Home improvement store offers to settle lawsuit over 2014 hack that exposed more than 50 million credit card accounts.
Home Depot offers $19M to settle customers’ hacking lawsuit – CNET
The 2014 hack of the home-improvement retailer’s payment systems exposed more than 50 million credit card accounts.
Do people think you’re a jerk? Peeple may help you find out – CNET
When people heard about the app that helps you review people on the Internet, they panned it as a terrible idea. Now it’s been released.
Call for a Lyft without leaving Facebook – Roadshow
The ride-sharing company opened up its API for third-party developers, and Facebook Messenger marks its first big integration.
Anatomical balloon dog sculpture shows off inflatable innards – CNET
Ever wonder what a balloon dog would look like on the dissection table? Artist Jason Freeny has the answer.
Rainpal: A USB-charging windshield wiper for your helmet – Roadshow
While the premise is simple, the final product is anything but.
Why are more pedestrians dying in collisions? – Roadshow
A new Governors Highway Safety Association study looks for reasons why pedestrian deaths are up nearly 10 percent over last year.
‘Game of Thrones’ season 6 trailer hints at battles to come – CNET
The first full preview of the next chapter in the HBO hit series is here. And it shows the struggle for the Iron Throne is far from over.
Want to learn how to operate a Tesla? Head to YouTube – Roadshow
The automaker uploaded a series of how-to videos, explaining the ins and outs of its somewhat-daunting infotainment system.
Samsung Galaxy S7 rocks, but will anyone care? (The 3:59, Ep. 6) – CNET
The 3:59 tackles the latest Samsung flagship phone, takes a look at Apple Pay and pays tribute to International Women’s Day.
Cops pull over driver with 15-foot tree stuck in the car grille – CNET
Police couldn’t ignore a car driving around with an entire tree smooshed into the front, a missing bumper and an allegedly drunk driver behind the wheel.
Amazon Video to get its own virtual-reality team – CNET
A job posting reveals the company’s intentions to build a VR platform with the hope of creating immersive entertainment experiences.
Star Wars Battlefront March update out now – CNET
Here’s what’s new in the latest Star Wars Battlefront content drop.
GTA 5 and Red Dead publisher not interested in ‘milking’ franchises, says exec – CNET
“We’ve seen that fatigue in other franchises.”
Following child sex conviction, Adam Johnson is purged from FIFA 16 – CNET
Former Sunderland player faces a five-year prison sentence; Name also wiped from PES 2016 and Football Manager.
Total War: Warhammer release date delayed – CNET
Final PC system requirements announced; Detailed”We’re pulling out all the stops for you,” says dev.
The FCC wants to help everyone afford high-speed Internet – CNET
The agency aims to subsidize the costs of broadband access so that low-income households pay a minimal monthly cost. Not everyone is in favor of the plan.
Nintendo to close Mario Kart TV website – CNET
Players will no longer be able to watch Mario Kart 8 races on the website, but YouTube functionality remains.
‘B2Bomber’ asteroid misses Earth; humanity exhales – CNET
The 100-foot-wide space rock ends up safely passing us by, but there could be many more like it lurking in space undetected.
World’s tech leaders, convened in secret, talk Trump – CNET
Tim Cook, Larry Page and Elon Musk joined billionaires and politicos in debating the Republican hopeful, according to the Huffington Post.
Steve Wozniak sides with Apple in ‘lame’ FBI iPhone case – CNET
He opines to Conan O’Brien that the FBI “picked the lamest case they ever could.” Woz doubts the government would find anything on the iPhone that Apple has been told to unlock.
For women in tech, it’s been a so-so year – CNET
The tech industry knows it needs to do a better job attracting and keeping women. In honor of International Women’s Day, we give you a quick look at some of the results so far.
From Ada to Brill: Why have we always dissed women in tech? – CNET
Silicon Valley faces tough questions about how it treats women, echoing a problem that’s gone on for at least 200 years. On International Women’s Day, we take a look back.
ExxonMobil lets you buy gas using Apple Pay at the pump – CNET
The petrochemical giant rolls out the service to more than half of its 10,000 US locations, meaning you can make your purchase through its app before you even get out of your car.
VW GTI TCR is one boss touring car – Roadshow
Not that you can go out and get one, because they’re already sold out.
Daily fantasy sports bill signed into law in Virginia – CNET
Law regulates how sites like DraftKings and FanDuel can operate legally in the state, distinguishing them from gambling sites.
The 19th century women who catalogued the cosmos – CNET
Called the Harvard Computers, a team of women in the 19th century catalogued the stars and developed systems that are still in use today.
The Harvard Computers who changed astronomy (pictures) – CNET
These four women are little known, but their contributions to astronomy are still in use over a century later.
New J.K. Rowling stories to debut about wizarding history in America – CNET
“The wizarding world you thought you knew is much bigger than you imagined.” Four original stories by Rowling will debut in “Magic in North America” series this week on the Pottermore website.
8K TV broadcasting coming to Japan during 2016 Olympics – CNET
The Olympics Broadcasting Services will be shooting 8K content during the 2016 games, trialling the ultra-high-resolution format ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Toyota’s latest navigation tech isn’t for cars – Roadshow
Project Blaid uses cameras and processing power to help the visually impaired navigate inside buildings, where traditional GPS assistance devices fall short.
‘It’s prehistoric!’ Today’s teens react to Windows 95 – CNET
Teens give Windows 95 a spin and learn about a time when dial-up Internet and patience were required to run a desktop computer.
Verizon racks up $1.35M fine for violating consumer privacy – CNET
Federal regulators are getting serious about protecting consumer privacy online and have settled an investigation with Verizon over its use of “supercookies,” which track users’ online whereabouts.
Google copyright takedown requests jump to 76 million in past month – CNET
The number of requests from copyright holders to get rid of links to allegedly infringing content has more than doubled compared to last year.
Boy engrossed in phone saved from flying baseball bat by dad – CNET
Technically Incorrect: A boy isn’t paying attention at a spring training game between the Pirates and the Braves.. Luckily for him, his dad is.
World Drone Prix is about as futuristic as it gets (Tomorrow Daily 326 show notes) – CNET
The World Drone Prix race tracks look like they came straight out of a cool science fiction novel, and you’ll be able to live stream the competition this weekend.
Justice Dept. appeals ruling in NY iPhone encryption case – CNET
The FBI wants another judge to review a motion that would force Apple to unlock an iPhone linked to an accused drug dealer in New York — a request that was denied last month.
Volkswagen’s US diesel fix could still be months away – Roadshow
This, despite a district judge setting a deadline of March 24 for both the automaker and the regulators overseeing its proposed remedy.
See what’s new at Amazon Prime Video for March 2016 – CNET
Amazon grabs some fun movies, including “Ghostbusters” and “American Psycho.” Then there are the un-fun movies like “American Psycho 2” and “Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure.”
Rare Civil War-era shipwreck discovered in the ocean – CNET
A critical piece of American Civil War history sits on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean as researchers work to identify the well-preserved mystery ship.
Mandated car communication spells windfall for chipmakers – Roadshow
Chip suppliers for the automotive industry such as NXP and ST Microelectronics will see expanding sales due to US and European connected car initiatives.
Celebrating BMW’s centennial with 30 of its greatest hits (pictures) – Roadshow
Over the last 100 years, BMW has graduated from small-time builder of quirky automobiles to one of the world’s leading luxury and technology powerhouses. Join us as we celebrate its centennial by taking a look back at 30 of its most important models.
‘Star Trek’ and lots of other movies free to stream right now – CNET
“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” join a ton of new movies available for free online.
Schwarzenegger taps Snapchat for presidential endorsement – CNET
The celebrity and former governor uses the social app to endorse one of the four remaining Republicans seeking their party’s nomination.
Here’s what our sun will look like in 5 billion years – CNET
Take a peek into the way, way distant future courtesy of a Hubble Space Telescope image showing the last days of a dying star.
Hackers are targeting your Apple computer for ransom (The 3:59, Ep. 5) – CNET
On the podcast, we discuss “ransomware” hitting Apple computers, whether hoverboards are still a thing and the impact of email on our lives.
Apple’s appeal in e-book price fixing case nixed by Supreme Court – CNET
The decision means Apple will have to pay $400 million to book buyers to settle a DOJ lawsuit that found it conspired with other publishers to fix prices on e-books.
Mercedes trolls BMW on its 100th anniversary – Roadshow
To celebrate 100 years of BMW, Mercedes is offering every BMW employee free admission to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
Subaru’s new global platform will arrive with 2017 Impreza this year – Roadshow
It’s built to accommodate not only gasoline engines, but also a variety of electrified powertrains.
Blood-stirring Darth Maul fan film pulses with lightsaber action – CNET
Darth Maul steps into the spotlight for fast and furious fight scenes in a lovingly made Star Wars short. Spoiler alert: There’s no Jar Jar Binks.
Fable Legends cancelled, Lionhead closure proposed – CNET
Studio founded by Peter Molyneux could be closed.