Tech

Canada introduces rules for recreational drone users

TORONTO (AP) -- Canada is bringing in strict measures and fines for recreational users of drones. Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Thursday announced restrictions to curb the number of incidents in which recreational drones have come too close to planes. The incidents have more than tripled since 2014. Recreational drone operators must now mark their drones with their contact information and cannot fly them at night or in cloudy conditions.

Google hopes to improve search quality with 'offensive' flag

NEW YORK (AP) -- Google is trying to improve the quality of its search results by directing review teams to flag content that might come across as upsetting or offensive. With the change, content with racial slurs could now get flagged under a new category called "upsetting-offensive." So could content that promotes hate or violence against a specific group of people based on gender, race or other criteria.

Dallas scrambles to fix 911 delays in wake of 2 deaths

DALLAS (AP) -- Dallas officials are working with T-Mobile engineers to determine what's prompting a flood of ghost calls that's forced hundreds of 911 calls to be placed on hold and may have slowed the emergency response to two people who died. Dallas resident David Taffet confronted Mayor Mike Rawlings at a news conference Wednesday to say it took 20 minutes to get through to 911 after his husband stopped breathing last week.

Pakistan wants Facebook, Twitter to help it combat blasphemy

ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan said Thursday it has asked Facebook and Twitter to help it identify Pakistanis suspected of blasphemy so that it can prosecute them or pursue their extradition. Under Pakistan's strict blasphemy laws, anyone found to have insulted Islam or the Prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death.

Yahoo breach indictments may shed light on other hacks

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. authorities may now be in a better position to figure out if Russian hackers and Russian spies swayed last year's presidential elections. A scheme uncovered during a federal investigation into a huge Yahoo security breach may have opened a window into other hacks potentially instigated by foreign governments, according to computer security experts.

Hackers' delight: Businesses put selves at risk for invasion

NEW YORK (AP) -- Randell Heath isn't sure how hackers got into his company's website -- all he knows is a supplier called, saying the site had become an online store selling Viagra and Cialis. The problem might have been at the company that hosts the site. It might have been that Heath's passwords weren't strong enough.

Woman burned after headphones explode on flight to Australia

SYDNEY (AP) -- An Australian woman suffered burns to her face after her battery-operated headphones exploded during a flight from Beijing to Melbourne, Australian air safety investigators said Wednesday. The woman, whose name was not released, fell asleep on the plane while wearing the headphones and awoke to a loud explosion about two hours into the flight, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said in a statement about the Feb. 19 incident.

Hackers hijack Twitter accounts over Turkish diplomatic feud

LONDON (AP) -- Hundreds of Twitter accounts have been hijacked amid the ongoing diplomatic feud between Turkey and two European nations, Germany and the Netherlands. It's not clear how many accounts were taken over altogether but a slew of them, ranging from celebrities to government agencies, suddenly began issuing anti-German and anti-Dutch abuse in Turkish late Tuesday. "This is a small Ottoman slap," the swastika-studded messages read in part, blasting "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi Holland.

Swedish student startup gets deal to build electric cars

LUND, Sweden (AP) -- A group of Swedish university students that raised 1.2 million euros ($1.3 million) in crowdfunding for their startup to build electric cars has caught the attention of German industrial heavyweight Siemens. The two sides said Wednesday that they were starting a partnership that will see them create 50,000 lightweight city cars annually starting next year.

The seal whiskerers: Navy looks to sea life for new ships

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) -- The U.S. Navy is enlisting the help of seals -- but not the kind of highly trained special operatives with whom it usually associates. Real seals, specifically their whiskers, may be the key to a new way for ships and underwater vehicles to sense their environment, scientists think. When a fish swims by, a hungry seal senses the wake with its whiskers.

German official wants $53M fines for social media hate posts

BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's justice minister is proposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($53 million) for social networking sites that fail to swiftly remove illegal content, such as hate speech or defamatory "fake news." The plan announced Tuesday marks a further step in Germany's attempt to impose its strict domestic laws against incitement on the free-wheeling world of online chatter.

Pandora starts on-demand music subscription service

NEW YORK (AP) -- Internet radio company Pandora is launching an on-demand music service for $10 a month. Pandora's existing service works more like radio. People listen to music on customizable stations. The premium service launching this month will let users choose specific songs or albums and will personalize recommendations based on people's listening habits. There is also an "offline mode.

NYC sues Verizon, claims broken promises on Fios cable

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City has sued Verizon, saying the phone giant broke its 2008 promise to make its Fios cable service available to all city residents. The city said in a lawsuit Monday that Verizon missed a 2014 deadline to extend wire by every home or apartment building in the city -- in technical parlance, "passing" the home. The city also argues that Verizon hasn't installed service for thousands who requested it.

Clarification: Yahoo-Executives story

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- In a story March 13, The Associated Press reported that more than 1 billion Yahoo users had been affected by two security breaches. The story should have specified that more than 1 billion user accounts had been broken into, as some accounts might have belonged to the same individuals.

Shhh! How to stream March Madness when the boss isn't around

NEW YORK (AP) -- The 67-game March Madness basketball tournament begins Tuesday, with many games taking place during the day when you're, ahem, supposed to be working. Fortunately for you -- but not your bosses -- all NCAA Tournament games will be available online. Many of the early round games, though, will require a password through your cable or satellite TV subscription.

Russia: WikiLeaks dump shows CIA disguise capability

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's foreign minister says the WikiLeaks dump of purported U.S. intelligence has highlighted the CIA's reported capability to imitate an electronic trace usually left behind by hackers from other nations. Sergey Lavrov said Thursday that while Russia has been accused of leaving its "fingerprints" after hacks on the U.S., documents released by WikiLeaks show that "the CIA could get access to such 'fingerprints' and then use them." The U.S.

WikiLeaks aid on CIA software holes could be mixed blessing

NEW YORK (AP) -- WikiLeaks has offered to help the likes of Google and Apple identify the software holes used by purported CIA hacking tools -- and that puts the tech industry in something of a bind. While companies have both a responsibility and financial incentive to fix problems in their software, accepting help from WikiLeaks raises legal and ethical questions.