Instagram backtracks after user privacy revolt
Language in Instagram's new terms of service raised privacy concerns until the company backtracked Tuesday.
December 18th, 2012
05:44 PM ET

Instagram backtracks after user privacy revolt

Faced with a loud and angry backlash from some of its most active users, photo-sharing app Instagram backtracked Tuesday on new language that appeared to give the company ownership of their images.

"The language we proposed ... raised question about whether your photos can be part of an advertisement," Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote in a blog post. "We do not have plans for anything like this and because of that we're going to remove the language that raised the question."

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Filed under: Social media • Technology
November 30th, 2012
01:54 PM ET

Syria caused Internet blackout, security firm says

Despite claims to the contrary, the Syrian government is almost certainly responsible for a blackout Thursday that shut down virtually all Internet service in the country, according to a leading Web security firm.

"The Syrian Minister of Information is being reported as saying that the government did not disable the Internet, but instead the outage was caused by a cable being cut," writes Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare. "From our investigation, that appears unlikely to be the case."

Fighting again between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad disrupted much of Damascus on Friday, and there was no Internet service throughout much of Syria for a second straight day. The airport was closed to flights, and fighting killed another 31 people across the country on Friday, according to an opposition group that counts casualties.

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Filed under: Syria • Technology
July 20th, 2012
11:00 PM ET

Police: Suspect got guns, ammo legally

At least 12 people were killed and another 58 wounded when a gunman opened fire during an early Friday morning screening of the new Batman movie at an Aurora, Colorado, theater, Police Chief Dan Oates told reporters. (Earlier, police said 14 were dead and 38 wounded.)

The heavily armed suspect has been identified as James Holmes, a 24-year-old Aurora resident who had been a doctoral student at the University of Colorado. He was arrested without putting up a fight at the theater moments after police arrived, Oates said.

Chaos broke out during the showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the Century Aurora 16 theater when the shooting began, police and witnesses said. A man told CNN affiliate KUSA that people were confused when the shooting started because many believed the sound of gunfire was coming from the movie.

According to Oates, Holmes' apartment housed a device with "incendiary devices, some chemical elements linked together with all kinds of wires."

Below are running updates: (See full story | Photos)

[Updated 11:00 p.m. ET] Some residents of Aurora, Colorado, gathered in community, prayer and faith late Friday to honor the victims of a shooting inside a local movie theater.

"Today, we came to pray. Today we came to heal," said Rhonda Fields, a Colorado state representative.

"This is a very sad situation. I don't know about you, but I'm shaken. We have 12 people that lost their lives just behind us ... I don't know what else to do but to pray," she said.

Fields spoke at an evening vigil that brought together various faith leaders, and which was held near where the shooting took place.

[Updated 9:43 p.m. ET] Twelve people are dead and 58 wounded following a mass shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, police investigator Trevor Materasso told CNN by telephone Friday night. The toll given earlier by Police Chief Dan Oates during a press conference Friday night was incorrect, authorities said.

[Updated 9:27 p.m. ET] Chad Weinman, CEO of of Chesterfield, Missouri, told CNN that he believed his firm sold items to shooting suspect James Holmes.

The company checked its records after employees heard about the shooting and found a receipt matching Holmes' name and his Aurora, Colorado, address, Weinman said.

The receipt showed that Holmes bought an $106.99 Blackhawk urban assault vest, a $52.99 Blackhawk Omega Elite triple pistol magazine, a $52.99 Blackhawk Omega Elite M16 magazine pouch, and a $77.99 Blackhawk Be-Wharned silver knife.

With shipping costs, the total bill came to $306.99, according to a copy of the receipt provided to CNN.

The firm sells equipment to military and police personnel - as well as weekend warriors, Weinman said.

[Updated 9:24 p.m. ET] Authorities expect within the hour to have a complete list of casualties from the mass shooting at a movie theater and will begin the process of notifying families, Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said.

[Updated 9:20 p.m. ET] The suspect is believed to have obtained all his guns and ammunition legally, Police Chief Dan Oates said.

[Updated 9:18 p.m. ET] The suspect is in Arapahoe County Jail, Police Chief Dan Oates said. He will have his first court appearance at 8:30 a.m. on Monday.

[Updated 9:15 p.m. ET] Five apartment buildings, including the suspect’s apartment building have been evacuated as police try to figure out how to get into the suspect’s booby-trapped apartment, Police Chief Dan Oates said. Police will not try to enter the apartment until at least Saturday.

[Updated 9:12 p.m. ET] The suspect purchased 6,000 rounds of ammo over the Internet, Police Chief Dan Oates said.

[Updated 9:11 p.m. ET] The last of the bodies were removed from the theater by 5 p.m. local time, Police Chief Dan Oates said.

[Updated 9:07 p.m. ET] As of 3:30 p.m. Mountain time, 11 shooting victims were in critical condition in local hospitals, Gov. John Hickenlooper said at a news conference. There were 30 victims still in hospitals in total, he said.

[Updated 7:26 p.m. ET] It is possible authorities may wind up using robots to blow up the booby traps and explosives inside the shooting suspect's apartment because it may be too dangerous to send people in to do it, a law enforcement source tells CNN’s Susan Candiotti.


#CNNAfterDark lights up Twitter
January 4th, 2012
08:59 AM ET

#CNNAfterDark lights up Twitter

What happens when news anchors and political pundits get punchy after watching caucus results until the wee hours of the morning?

#CNNAfterDark happens. And the internet takes notice.

The fictional show title was rolled out by Anderson Cooper and other CNN anchors and reporters as things got loopy while they watched Republican election results from Iowa slowly trickle in.

The Twitter hashtag #CNNAfterDark became a “trending topic,” meaning it was one of the most discussed things on the social-media site at that moment. So did #EdithAndCarolyn – a pair of local Republican officials in Iowa who brought sass and style to a pair of phone interviews. (Or was it #CarolynandEdith? It’s all a bit of a blur).


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Filed under: Politics • TV
'Jeopardy!' to pit human champs against IBM computer
December 14th, 2010
02:26 PM ET

'Jeopardy!' to pit human champs against IBM computer

Call it the digital age's John Henry showdown. But this time, it's "Jeopardy!," not a train tunnel, and an IBM computer instead of a steam shovel.

The iconic game show announced Tuesday that it will pit Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, its all-time most successful contestants, against "Watson," an IBM computing system, in a series of battles next year.

The showdown, to be aired February 14-16, will feature two matches to see if a machine can compete in a contest that will require it to interpret real-language questions (or, in "Jeopardy!" parlance, answers), research them and answer quicker than the flesh-and-blood champs.

"After four years, our scientific team believes that Watson is ready for this challenge based on its ability to rapidly comprehend what the 'Jeopardy!' clue is asking, analyze the information it has access to, come up with precise answers, and develop an accurate confidence in its response," David Ferrucci, the scientist leading the IBM Research team that has created Watson, said in a written release.

"Beyond our excitement for the match itself, our team is very motivated by the possibilities that Watson's breakthrough computing capabilities hold for building a smarter planet and helping people in their business tasks and personal lives."

Watson's software is powered by an IBM Power7 server and, according to developers, is optimized to process complex questions and render answers quickly.

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Filed under: Showbiz • Technology • TV
November 16th, 2010
10:46 AM ET

Beatles music at last comes to iTunes

It's been a long and winding road, this relationship between Apple and the Beatles.

But Tuesday, at long last, the Fab Four made it to iTunes.

"We're really excited to bring the Beatles' music to iTunes," said Beatle Paul McCartney said in an Apple news release. "It's fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around."

The iTunes store's main page featured a host of Beatles albums for sale, beneath an early photo of the supergroup.

The update came in advance of what Apple had promised would be a 10 a.m. ET announcement that would make Tuesday, "A day to remember."


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Filed under: Technology • Apple
September 8th, 2010
02:20 PM ET

New Google Instant shows search results as you type

Tired of waiting the tenths of a second it takes to get Google search results?

Google promises it'll get faster.

The search giant on Wednesday introduced Google Instant, which will give users suggested results before they're even done typing.

"It's not quite psychic, but it is very clever," said Othar Hansson, a senior software engineer at Google.

Using the new system, as a query is typed, the search box immediately jumps to the top of the search page, and a constantly changing list of suggested pages appears. If the user finds the right site, they don't need to finish typing or hit "enter."

Google Instant will begin rolling out on most browsers to users in the United States on Wednesday and be introduced afterward in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and other countries.

If someone doesn't like the feature, they can disable it from the search page.


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Filed under: Google • Technology
July 16th, 2010
01:41 PM ET

Apple offers free cases for iPhone 4 reception problem

After a presentation saying the iPhone 4's reception problems have been "blown way out of proportion," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Friday that all owners will receive free bumper cases to fix the issue.

People who already paid for a case, which reduces interference, will get a refund, Jobs said.

"We're not perfect; phones aren't perfect," Jobs said. "We want to make all our users happy."

The iPhone 4 broke Apple sales records after its release on June 24, drawing positive reviews from tech bloggers and almost religious fervor from Apple fanatics who lined up for hours to get their hands on one.

It has sold more than 3 million units, Jobs said Friday, and has been the most successful product launch in Apple history. He maintained that, despite the reception issue, the phone remains "our best product ever."

"It's not like Apple has had its head in the sand on this," Jobs said. "It's only been 22 days."


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Filed under: Technology • Apple
April 13th, 2010
10:59 AM ET

Apple unveils 'faster' MacBook Pros

Apple would like you, if just for a moment, to forget about the iPad.

The company on Tuesday rolled out its newest MacBook Pro laptops, promising faster processors and longer battery life while reminding folks that machines can specialize in areas the much-hyped slate computer doesn't.


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Filed under: Apple • Technology
April 9th, 2010
01:22 PM ET

Keeping Flash off the iPad could hurt, Adobe says

Adobe, the makers of the Flash animation platform, said Apple's refusal to run Flash on the iPad, iPhone and other products could hurt the company's bottom line.

The comments were part of an official quarterly report filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"[T]o the extent new releases of operating systems or other third-party products, platforms or devices, such as the Apple iPhone or iPad, make it more difficult for our products to perform, and our customers are persuaded to use alternative technologies, our business could be harmed," read the report.


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Filed under: Technology • Apple
March 23rd, 2010
11:06 AM ET

Opera submits browser for iPhone approval

Web browser company Opera has submitted an app for the iPhone that it promises will make surfing on the device faster - if Apple allows it.


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Filed under: Apple • Technology