Netflix open-sources its microservices orchestrator

From InfoWorld: Netflix has developed a microservices orchestrator called Conductor and is now offering it via open source.

Inspired by the company's need to run business processes for streaming titles worldwide, Conductor was built as a cloud-based orchestration engine. It manages workflows, can pause and restart processes, and uses a JSON DSL-based blueprint to define execution flow. It also features a user interface to visualize process flows and can scale to millions of concurrently running process flows.

Twitch unveils 'IRL' for videos that go beyond gaming

From CNET: Twitch, a video-centric online community for computer-game fans, launched a new content category Thursday designed to get its users sharing moments from their everyday lives. The Amazon-owned site also said it would bring live-streaming to its mobile app in 2017.

Called IRL -- for the olds out there that's "in real life" -- the new category is meant to let users upload and stream clips that take them beyond their "core identity" as gamers.

BlackBerry stops making phones, licenses the BlackBerry name to TCL for Android phones

From PC World: The BlackBerry smartphone is dead: Long live the BlackBerry smartphone.

A week after it officially pulled out of the smartphone market, BlackBerry has agreed to license its brand to handset manufacturer TCL.

The Chinese company will make and market future BlackBerry handsets worldwide except for India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, where BlackBerry has already struck local licensing deals.

This is hardly new territory for TCL, which manufactured BlackBerry’s last two handsets, the Android-based DTEK50 and DTEK60.

Samsung's next Galaxy A5 could get a curved display

From CNET: Samsung may give its lower-cost Galaxy A5 phone for 2017 something that right now only its highest-end phones have: a curved screen, according to leaked renderings and rumors that are tied to the phone. Samsung is the only device maker currently selling phones with wraparound displays (LG seems to have stopped, at least for now) -- that makes a curved screen a giant selling point that no other rival can offer.

Yahoo reports massive data breach involving 1 billion accounts

From InfoWorld: In what is likely the largest data breach ever, Yahoo is reporting that data associated with more than 1 billion user accounts was stolen in August 2013.

The incident is separate from a breach Yahoo reported in September involving at least 500 million users that originally occurred in late 2014 and shook public trust in the company.

Stolen user data from this new breach involves names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and hashed passwords using an aging algorithm known as MD5 that can be cracked.

Fitbit won't ax Pebble smartwatch services for at least a year

From CNET: Owners of Pebble's smartwatches don't have to worry about their devices suddenly stopping after the company's acquisition by Fitbit.

The fate of the devices was left in doubt last week after the announcement that Fitbit, one of the biggest names fitness trackers, would acquire the assets and intellectual property of Pebble. But Fitbit is telling Pebble customers they can expect their devices to continue ticking until at least through 2017.

Adobe fixes actively exploited critical vulnerability in Flash Player

From PC World: Adobe Systems has released security updates for several products, including one for Flash Player that fixes a critical vulnerability that’s already known and exploited by attackers.

The Flash Player update fixes 17 vulnerabilities, 16 of which are critical and can be exploited to execute malicious code on affected systems. One of those vulnerabilities, tracked as CVE-2016-7892 in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) catalogue, is already being used by hackers.

Apple's iOS Support app comes to the US

From CNET: iPhone users: it just got a little easier to handle problems with your phone.

Apple has launched a standalone app so people who use iPhones and other iOS devices can keep track of and maintain their gadgets.

The app, which Apple previously launched in the Netherlands and Italy, is now available in the US. Apple will roll the app out to more countries that have Apple Stores in the coming weeks.

Windows 10 1607 patch KB 3206632 solves ‘dropped internet connection’ bug

From InfoWorld: If you’ve been concerned about—or bitten by—the dropped internet connection bug that flared up a week ago, take solace: The latest Windows 10 version 1607 (Anniversary Update) cumulative update appears to fix the problem. If you install KB 3206632, the Dec. 13 cumulative update for Windows 10 1607 that was released yesterday, and bring your build number up to 14393.576, that bug disappears.

That’s the good news. Unfortunately, a few niggling problems remain.

Amazon Prime's delivery by drone just became a reality

From CNET: Rush orders just got a whole lot speedier. Today, Amazon announced the first successful Prime Air delivery. On December 7th, 2016, an Amazon drone dropped off a package in the backyard of a customer, 13 minutes after the customer ordered it.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, touted the achievement on Twitter.

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