Project Loon’s LTE balloons are floating over Puerto Rico

About a month after Hurricane Maria’s devastating landfall on Puerto Rico, and a couple of weeks after the FCC gave clearance, Project Loon is bringing wireless internet to people on the island. Part of (Google parent company) Alphabet’s X innovation lab, the project uses balloons circling the Earth at high altitude to provide wireless connections. …

The Reaper Botnet Could Be Worse Than the Internet-Shaking Mirai Ever Was

The Mirai botnet, a collection of hijacked gadgets whose cyberattack made much of the internet inaccessible in parts of the US and beyond a year ago, previewed a dreary future of zombie connected-device armies run amuck. But in some ways, Mirai was relatively simple—especially compared to a new botnet that’s brewing. While Mirai caused widespread …

Shopkick lays off about 10 percent of staff

Shopkick, a shopping rewards app owned by SK Telecom, laid off a little more than 10 percent of its staff (about 30 people) yesterday, TechCrunch has learned. Shopkick CEO Bill Demas confirmed the layoffs to TechCrunch, saying the layoffs were part of a broader restructuring of the business. Shopkick, which was founded seven years ago, …

Google wants to pay you to find bugs in popular third-party Android apps

Google is eager to clamp down on security flaws associated with some of the most high-profile apps in its Android library, so it’s enlisting white-hat hackers as a part of the effort. Should you successfully find a bug in a qualifying app on Google Play, Google will pay you nifty $1,000 for your efforts. Google …

Movie ‘sanitizer’ VidAngel files for bankruptcy

“…chapter 11 is simply a reorganization and part of our legal and business strategy,” Harmon wrote in a blog post. “Per federal law, chapter 11 reorganization automatically pauses our lawsuit with Disney and the other plaintiffs in California.” In an attempt at positive spin, CEO Neal Harmon also wrote that the strategy lets them continue …

Elon Musk gets permission to begin Boring Co. digging in Maryland

Elon Musk’s week is going pretty great thus far, between meeting the creators of Rick & Morty and now gaining permission to dig even more tunnels – besides the one he already got the OK to begin digging back closer to home in Hawthorne. The new tunnel will be a 10.3-mile one that undercuts a …

Gadget Lab Podcast: New Alexa Speakers From Sonos and Ultimate Ears

A surge of voice-assisted speakers rushed the shores this month. So if you’ve always loved the Echo’s smarts but hated the way it sounds, well, now you can remedy that by getting an Alexa speaker from Sonos or Ultimate Ears. Or you can get one of Amazon’s newly retooled (and better sounding) Echo or Echo …