Snapchat has started selling its Spectacles camera glasses online (SNAP)

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Until now, the only way to buy Snapchat’s Spectacles has been through yellow vending machines that appear unannounced in random cities for 24 hours.

Starting Monday, Snapchat will also sell its camera-equipped sunglasses on its website. Anyone in the US can order a pair of the $130 glasses, which record 10-second video clips and connect to the Snapchat app.

Snapchat maker Snap Inc. is also shutting down its Spectacles pop-up store in New York City that’s been open since late November. A spokesperson confirmed that the company’s “Snapbot” vending machines will continue to appear throughout the US after going on a “brief” hiatus.

Snap made a big splash with the unexpected debut of Spectacles last fall. The product garnered long lines during the weeks leading up to the holidays, and pairs were quickly resold online for thousands of dollars. Demand has since slowed, and Snap likely feels confident that it can finally fulfill online orders.

Spectacles represent Snap’s first hardware effort to rebrand itself as a “camera company” ahead of its $22 billion public offering in March. Snap said it had planned to “significantly broaden the distribution of Spectacles” in its IPO paperwork earlier this month, although the product “has not generated significant revenue” yet.

SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about Snapchat’s Spectacles glasses

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REPORT: The UK will be short of 800,000 digital workers by 2020 as a result of Brexit

A coder Jonatan Poljo works in the Mojang company office in Stockholm January 18, 2013. A pool table, a pinball machine, board games and Lego dot the offices of Mojang, the small Swedish company behind the wildly popular Minecraft video game, and one of its founders is wearing a tuxedo and purple tie on a recent

The UK tech industry risks a shortfall in skills to the tune of 800,000 jobs by 2020, according to research published on Sunday by policy group Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec).

The study, first reported by The Sunday Times, urges the UK government to take urgent action and create a new high-skilled visa for overseas tech workers.

In order to qualify for the hypothetical six month visa, immigrants would have to have studied at a designated institution or passed certain exams in specific programming languages. Anyone that doesn’t receive a job offer after the six month visa runs out would have to return to their home country.

Alex Depledge MBE, chair of Coadec, said in a statement: “If Britain is going to succeed in a post-Brexit world, the UK’s tech sector must be able to hire global talent. That means a smart visa system that enables the best and the brightest to come to the UK from wherever they are in the world.”

Tech workers from outside the EU currently have to apply for one of 20,000 Tier 2 visas, which are also open to accountants, solicitors and management consultants, or one of 200 “exceptional talent” visas, which are endorsed by Tech City UK.

taavet hinrikus transferwise ceoCoadec’s report will be launched in Parliament on February 21 by digital economy minister Matt Hancock and MP David Jones, who is the minister of the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU).

Coadec claims that the digital tech sector, which received £6.7 billion from investors in 2016, accounts for 3 million jobs in the UK.

The organisation also claims that on average, three of a tech startup’s first 10 hires are from outside the UK, the report claims.

Taavet Hinrikus, cofounder of fintech firm TransferWise, said in a statement: “For the UK’s tech sector to thrive, we have to find solutions to the current talent and skills shortages.

“It’s everything from how we build the capacity in the UK through education, and how we attract the best from around the world through immigration policies. Post-Brexit, the need is even more pressing.”

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YouTube is killing off its unskippable 30-second ads (GOOG)

Susan Wojcicki

YouTube will stop serving unskippable 30-second ads to users in 2018, Google announced on Friday.

The company will instead push its other unskippable ad formats, including the 6-second ad unit it launched in April and its 20-second ads. (We first spotted the story on Campaign.)

A Google spokesperson told Business Insider: “We’ve decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.”

According to YouTube, more than half of its video views come from mobile users, where a 30-second ad can negatively affect consumers with a smaller data plan.

The video sharing website also faces competition from Facebook, which began testing mid-roll ads, allowing advertisers to insert ads after users have watched 20 seconds of a video, earlier this year.

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A single typo let hackers steal $400,000 from a bitcoin rival

thief robber stealing hack riot

Typos aren’t just a headache — they can sometimes have very costly consequences.

On Friday, digital currency Zcoin announced that a typographical error had let an unidentified attacker make a profit of around $400,000 (£320,000).

Zcoin is similar to Bitcoin — it’s a digital currency powered by cryptography, and without any single central bank. It’s based on Zerocoin, a software protocol that was developed to to provide its users with “complete financial privacy and anonymity.”

But in implementing it, the Zcoin made a single screw-up. “Yesterday, our team found a bug in our implementation of Zerocoin,” Zcoin community manager Reuben Yap wrote in a blog post on Friday. “A typographical error on a single additional character in code allowed an attacker to create Zerocoin spend transactions without a corresponding mint.”

In other words, they got a single letter wrong in their code — and this let a hacker steal coins by cashing out from single transactions multiple times.

Yap emphasises that there’s nothing wrong with Zcoin’s cryptography — it was just the typo that was the problem. “The exploit happened due to the bug in the code and not from any weakness in the cryptography. The bug from the typo error allowed the attacker to reuse his existing valid proofs to generate additional Zerocoin spend transactions,” he wrote.

In short: It’s human error, they argue, rather than any fatal flaw in the Zcoin project.

The still-unidentified attacker was able to steal around 370,000 Zcoins — around $680,000-worth (£546,000) at current exchange rates, according to CoinMarketCap. Almost all of these have already been sold on, netting the attacker a profit of around 410 bitcoin — $437,000 (£351,000) — according to Zcoin.

The attacker evaded detection for weeks by slowly making payments and withdrawals. “From what we can see, the attacker (or attackers) is very sophisticated and from our investigations, he (or she) did many things to camouflage his tracks through the generation of lots of exchange accounts and carefully spread out deposits and withdrawals over several weeks,” Yap wrote.

“We estimate the attacker has created about 370,000 Zcoins which has been almost completely sold except for about 20,000+ Zcoin and absorbed on the market with a profit of around 410 BTC. In other words, the damage has already been mostly absorbed by the markets.”

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Google and Bing are about to make it tougher to search for illegal streaming and download sites (GOOG, MSFT)

piracy pirate flag skull and crossbones

  • Google and Microsoft have signed up to a voluntary code promising more collaboration with rightsholders.
  • The search engines have until June 1 to show progress on demoting pirate sites in search.
  • Autocomplete may stop showing pirated sites as suggestions.

Google and Microsoft’s Bing have agreed to make it tougher for people to find illegal streaming and download sites on their search engines after striking a deal with rightsholders.

The search engines have signed up to a voluntary code of practice which makes collaboration with rightsholders easier. The code is not being shared publicly.

According to joint statement issued by rightsholder groups the Alliance for IP, the BPI, and the MPA, the code will:

“… accelerate the demotion of illegal sites following notices from rights holders, and establishes ongoing technical consultation, increased co-operation and information sharing to develop and improve on the process. It will also enable new practices to be adopted where needed.”

If this sounds woolly, that’s because neither Google or Microsoft have agreed to take specific action yet, sources with knowledge of the plans told Business Insider.

As a first step, the search engines will work out how to demote pirate sites in search results and report their findings to rightsholders later this year.

Gennaro Costaldo, a spokesman for the BPI, told Business Insider that if you search for “Coldplay download”, the top results show infringing links. Google does point users to Coldplay on YouTube, Spotify, and Deezer in its information box, but the first page of results mostly comprises links to pirate sites.

Google piracy screenshot

Rightsholders not only want these sites delisted or demoted, they also want to stop proxy and mirror versions reappearing.

“There’s a sense that this is a new period of collaboration,” Costaldo said.

The search engines have until June 1 to show progress. Sources told Business Insider the government can take action if rightsholders aren’t happy with the changes, but it isn’t clear whether this might mean fines or regulation.

Another item on the agenda is autocomplete. If, for example, you search for “download Coldplay for”, autocomplete suggests “download coldplay songs for free” as a possible search term. Clicking through on that term shows an infringing site offering free Coldplay MP3 downloads.

Google said in a statement: “Google has been an active partner for many years in the fight against piracy online. We remain committed to tackling this issue and look forward to further partnership with rights holders.”

News of Google and Microsoft signing up to the voluntary code comes after internet service providers in the UK began sending piracy warning letters to users, as part of the “Get It Right from a Genuine Site” campaign.

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