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Internet Television

HBO will unbundle from cable TV in 2015, but CEO hints at internet bundles
Oct. 15, 2014 - 8:45 AM PDT Oct. 15, 2014 - 8:45 AM PDT HBO will finally offer its HBO Go service to customers without a TV subscription next year: HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler said at an investor meeting Wednesday that
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This is why Netflix loves the little ones: 75 of its kids shows have 2+ million viewers
Oct. 15, 2014 - 4:01 PM PDT Oct. 15, 2014 - 4:01 PM PDT Netflix continues to be everyone’s favorite babysitter: 75 of the kids shows currently on Netflix have attracted more than two million viewers in the U.S. alone this
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How did GamerGate become a lightning rod for violence — and is social media helping or making it worse?
Oct. 15, 2014 - 3:44 PM PDT Oct. 15, 2014 - 3:44 PM PDT Every now and then, the roiling sea of bitterness and even outright malevolence that lurks in the dark corners of the internet gets forced out into the open, and the
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In Q3 Netflix added two international subscribers for every new U.S. member, but price hike slowed growth
Oct. 15, 2014 - 1:10 PM PDT Oct. 15, 2014 - 1:10 PM PDT Netflix experienced slower-than expected growth in Q3 of 2014, adding a total of 3 million members worldwide. Growth was especially slower on the domestic side: Netflix
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Here comes the Nexus Player: Google and Asus release first Android TV device for $99
Oct. 15, 2014 - 9:18 AM PDT Oct. 15, 2014 - 9:18 AM PDT Android TV is here: Google will start to sell the very first Android TV device next month. The Nexus Player, which was announced in conjunction with the Nexus 6 phone,
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Earth News Reports

Michigan Poised to Start Banning Tesla Sales 19 October 2014, 22.26 Transportation
Michigan Poised to Start Banning Tesla Sales
Share on TumblrEmail Michigan just passed a bill in state legislature that essentially bans Tesla from selling cars within the state. HB 5606 prohibits vehicle manufacturers from selling cars directly to
Read More 168 Hits 0 Ratings
The Startram Maglev Train Could Make Space Travel Cheaper & More Efficient
Share on TumblrEmail Space travel is a costly and inefficient process. Not only does it take a large amount of fuel to send the lightest payload into orbit (the Space Shuttle used over one million pounds of
Read More 154 Hits 0 Ratings
Insane Russian Attack Bike is Powered by a Chainsaw 19 October 2014, 22.26 Transportation
Insane Russian Attack Bike is Powered by a Chainsaw
Share on TumblrEmail Other than the fact that it was constructed in Russia, we aren’t entirely sure who’s responsible for this mean-looking chainsaw bike. While it may look like it’s designed for the
Read More 175 Hits 0 Ratings
The Key Art Awards 2014: the best movie posters of the year 19 October 2014, 22.26 Green Architecture
The Key Art Awards 2014: the best movie posters of the year
The Key Art Awards are more famous for their focus on teasers and previews, but they also reward posters. On this post you can see a few of the print finalists, for the full list, just check this page on their website. The post
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Print love: new fine art prints published this week 19 October 2014, 22.26 Green Architecture
Print love: new fine art prints published this week
Poetic, funny, witty, or just beautiful, new art prints are published online every day. With this new weekly feature, I’ll try to share the best of new digital printmaking projects on a regular basis. The great escape by
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20 awesome typographic packaging designs 19 October 2014, 22.26 Green Architecture
20 awesome typographic packaging designs
In this competitive marketplace, if you want to survive with your products then packaging design plays a vital role. For a designer, when it’s the matter of packaging designs, typography is the first thing that hits his/her
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6 WordPress plugins to create cool image effects 19 October 2014, 22.26 Green Architecture
6 WordPress plugins to create cool image effects
As we all know “A picture speaks a thousand words,” it is very essential to pay close attention to images in websites. It has the power to attract your potential customers. That is why today we are here with 6 WordPress
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Illustrations by Jared Muralt 19 October 2014, 22.26 Green Architecture
Illustrations by Jared Muralt
Stunning illustrations by Jared Muralt, a talented illustrator from Bern, Switzerland. Make sure you don’t miss his shop. The post Illustrations by Jared Muralt appeared first on Design daily news. Download the free
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Amazing wooden tables by Lee Jae-Hyo 19 October 2014, 22.26 Green Architecture
Amazing wooden tables by Lee Jae-Hyo
Someone please explain me how these are made technically. Lee Jae-Hyo, a Korean artist, created a set of tables and furnitures made of pieces of wood attached together by some kind of magical technique. He also creates
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Historic photos where guns are replaced by flowers 19 October 2014, 22.26 Green Architecture
Historic photos where guns are replaced by flowers
Blick, a French creative artist, had fun with old war photos and made a pacific statement by exchanging guns in the pictures with flowers. Some powerful images. The post Historic photos where guns are replaced by flowers
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Technology News Reports

The Right Way to Fix the Internet 19 October 2014, 22.26 Tech
The Right Way to Fix the Internet
If you’re like most people, your monthly smartphone bill is steep enough to make you shudder. As consumers’ appetite for connectivity keeps growing, the price of wireless service in the United States tops $130 a month in
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Carbon Sequestration: Too Little, Too Late? 19 October 2014, 22.26 Tech
Carbon Sequestration: Too Little, Too Late?
A few carbon capture and sequestration projects are under way, but economics and politics are holding the technology back. By David Talbot on October 13, 2014 This coal power plant in Saskatchewan is the first
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Microsoft’s Quantum Mechanics 19 October 2014, 22.26 Tech
Microsoft’s Quantum Mechanics
In 2012, physicists in the Netherlands announced a discovery in particle physics that started chatter about a Nobel Prize. Inside a tiny rod of semiconductor crystal chilled cooler than outer space, they had caught the first
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How a Wiki Is Keeping Direct-to-Consumer Genetics Alive
When Meg DeBoe decided to tap her Christmas fund to order a $99 consumer DNA test from 23andMe last year, she was disappointed: it arrived with no information on what her genes said about her chance of developing
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Air Traffic Control for Drones 19 October 2014, 22.26 Tech
Air Traffic Control for Drones
If large numbers of commercial drones are to take to the skies, they’ll need an air traffic control system. By Tom Simonite on October 17, 2014 Drones at the San Francisco headquarters of Airware. The company will soon
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Can Apple Pay Do to Your Wallet What iTunes Did for Music?
The point-of-sale terminal at the CVS drugstore in Palo Alto, California, can accept payments through a quick tap from a smartphone. The clerk isn’t sure how it works, though he knows it does because “a few kids” have
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Michigan Poised to Start Banning Tesla Sales 19 October 2014, 22.26 Transportation
Michigan Poised to Start Banning Tesla Sales
Share on TumblrEmail Michigan just passed a bill in state legislature that essentially bans Tesla from selling cars within the state. HB 5606 prohibits vehicle manufacturers from selling cars directly to
Read More 168 Hits 0 Ratings
The Startram Maglev Train Could Make Space Travel Cheaper & More Efficient
Share on TumblrEmail Space travel is a costly and inefficient process. Not only does it take a large amount of fuel to send the lightest payload into orbit (the Space Shuttle used over one million pounds of
Read More 154 Hits 0 Ratings
Insane Russian Attack Bike is Powered by a Chainsaw 19 October 2014, 22.26 Transportation
Insane Russian Attack Bike is Powered by a Chainsaw
Share on TumblrEmail Other than the fact that it was constructed in Russia, we aren’t entirely sure who’s responsible for this mean-looking chainsaw bike. While it may look like it’s designed for the
Read More 175 Hits 0 Ratings
Nexus 6: The best Android smartphone for wireless and LTE connectivity
Google’s new Motorola-made Nexus 6 is a monster of a phone — both in terms of form and function — with cellular wireless capabilities that outclass any other Android device on the market today. Launching with Android
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How to watch Apple’s iPad event live stream on Windows and Android
Updated @ 12:38, October 16: If you’re trying to watch the live stream of Apple’s iPad event on Windows or Android, the following instructions (which were for the iPhone 6 event in September) should still work. The only
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Google finds critical vulnerability in SSL 3.0 called POODLE
The web is built on standards — but as those standards evolve and change, it’s common for previous standards to remain as options for compatibility reasons. The dangers of this practice are highlighted in a recent Google
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Samsung develops 60GHz WiFi capable of 4.6Gbps, will be in devices next year
Samsung has announced that it’s entering the 60GHz 802.11ad WiFi game. Samsung says it has a commercialized version of 60GHz WiFi (aka WiGig) that’s capable of 4.6Gbps, or 575 megabytes per second — about five times
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Gadget Lab Podcast: Did You Hear That Apple Had an Event This Week?
The iPad Air 2 is demonstrated at Apple headquarters on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif. Apple unveiled the thinner iPad with a faster processor and a better camera as it tries to drive excitement for tablets amid
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Game|Life Podcast: Software Sales Slump and Bayonetta Makes a Comeback
Bayonetta 2. Nintendo The NPD Group has released (some tiny amount of) data on the game industry’s September sales, and it’s not all good news, as we discuss on this week’s Game|Life podcast. While hardware sales are
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What’s Scarier, Haunted Houses or Haunted People?
Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring. Warner Bros. Halloween season is the perfect time to watch horror movies, and a reliable standby of the genre is the haunted house story. Recent examples range from the understated (The Woman
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The Tragic Medical History Behind That Crazy Knick Finale
Mary Cybulski/Cinemax [Spoiler alert: The following piece contains spoilers for The Knick season finale, "Crutchfield." Stop here if you haven't seen it. You've been warned.] There were about a bajillion “Oh, crap!”
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Snapchat Ads Are Heading Your Way Starting This Weekend
WIRED It’s happened to Twitter. And Tumblr. And Instagram. And now, Snapchat’s day has finally come. Beginning this weekend, the ephemeral messaging app will start rolling out paid advertisements for the first time. The
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The Internet Sleeps at Night. Really. 19 October 2014, 22.24 Tech
The Internet Sleeps at Night. Really.
Gif: University of Southern California Here in the United States, we spend most of our time in an always-on world—a place where internet connections are as constant and reliable as the lights or running water. But this
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How does PlayStation Now on the PS3 compare to the PS4?
In September, Sony rolled out the PlayStation Now beta service to the PS3. The public beta has been available on the PS4 for a while now, but this additional release spurred me to take another look at the service. This
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HP announces split into two companies, but sadly they won’t be called H and P
HP, after years of will-they-won’t-they deliberation, has officially announced that it will be split into two separate companies: HP Inc, which will focus on PCs and printers, and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will
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Hong Kong protesters turn to mesh networks to evade China’s censorship
The rather cramped streets of Hong Kong are currently lined with tens of thousands of people — the Umbrella Revolution. They are mostly students and members of Occupy Central, who are protesting for a fully democratic
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You can now stream Photoshop to your Chromebook: A huge win for Google
In a somewhat surprising move, Adobe and Google have announced a streaming version of Photoshop for Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and the Chrome browser. This is potentially massive news for Chromebooks, as the lack of Big Software
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IBM leaves the x86 market at long last: Lenovo’s $2.1 billion acquisition approved (updated)
Updated @ 9:09am, September 29: Lenovo has finally received approval from US and EU regulators for its acquisition of IBM’s low-end x86 server business. The $2.1 billion acquisition should be finalized by Wednesday this
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Shellshock: A deadly new vulnerability that could lay waste to the internet (updated)
Updated @ 8:10am, September 29: Another remote code execution vulnerability has been found in Bash. It is unrelated to the first Shellshock vulnerability, but it is essentially the same deal: It’s very easy to exploit, and
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The Contrarian’s Guide to Changing the World
Is the technology investor Peter Thiel brilliant, or is he just strange? He is nothing if not industrious. Since he cofounded PayPal, in 1998, Thiel has had a hand in some of the most important and unexpected tech companies
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Can Sucking CO2 Out of the Atmosphere Really Work?
Physicist Peter Eisenberger had expected colleagues to react to his idea with skepticism. He was claiming, after all, to have invented a machine that could clean the atmosphere of its excess carbon dioxide, making the gas
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Should Industrial Robots Be Able to Hurt Their Human Coworkers?
Standards bodies are wrestling with the impact of accidental robot strikes. By Tom Simonite on October 6, 2014 Baxter, a collaborative robot from Rethink Robotics, works on a mocked-up assembly line. How much should a
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Fun with Food 08 October 2014, 23.44 Tech
Fun with Food
Things reviewed Nordic Food LabNoma Copenhagen, Denmark Ever since cooks began playing with the equipment of the food industry, chefs have felt compelled to join one of two camps. The first believes any kitchen is
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What It Will Take for Computers to Be Conscious
The world’s best-known consciousness researcher says machines could one day become self-aware. By Antonio Regalado on October 2, 2014 Christof Koch Is a worm conscious? How about a bumblebee? Does a computer that can
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An Industrial-Size Generator That Runs on Waste Heat, Using No Fuel
Startup Alphabet Energy has its first product: what it says is the world’s largest thermoelectric generator. By Kevin Bullis on October 9, 2014 Alphabet Energy’s new generator uses thermoelectric materials to convert
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NSA Mind-Bender: We Won’t Tell You What Info We Already Leaked to the Media
NSA headquarters. Wikimedia Commons Longtime reporters who cover the NSA know that any time we ask the obstinate spy agency for information, we’re probably going to hit a brick wall. But who would have thought that trying
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New iRobot App Lets You Control a ‘Bot Army With an Android Tablet
irobot You may be familiar with iRobot’s Roomba vacuums, but some the company’s other robots perform much harder (and more dangerous) tasks. There are around 6,000 iRobot’s defense and security robots deployed
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Two Incredible Views of Super Typhoon Vongfang From Space
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team This beautiful image of Super Typhoon Vongfon over the Philippine Sea was taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite at 12:25 a.m. ET this morning. Below, another incredible view of the massive
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The Design Thinking Behind London’s New $4B Subway Trains
The London Underground revealed new plans today for subway cars, designed by British travel design firm PriestmanGoode. Photo: PriestmanGoode The London Underground revealed new plans today for subway cars,
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How Facebook Made Your Mobile Messages Move at Super Speed
If you’ve noticed your Facebook mobile messages zipping around a little more quickly over the past few months, you can thank a little-known open-source project called Apache Thrift. Facebook designed Thrift and has long
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Amazon Is Opening a Store in NYC, But It’s Not Really for Shopping
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Jim Merithrew/WIRED It had to happen: Amazon is opening a store. A physical store. At least, that’s what The Wall Street Journal is reporting, citing unnamed sources. The Journal says the
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INTERVIEW: Tesla Climate Riders Drive 1,100 Miles to People’s Climate March
Share on TumblrEmail  A team of sustainability leaders from Orlando, Florida, drove a  Tesla Model S Sedan 1,100 miles to the People’s Climate March in New York City to demonstrate that zero emission
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TEST DRIVE: 10 Things You Need to Know About Toyota’s 2015 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle
Share on TumblrEmail For the past 20 years, Toyota has been working on a vehicle that could revolutionize the way we get around. It’s virtually silent, its emissions are so clean you could drink them, and
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Japan Conducts First Public Test of New 311 MPH ‘L-Zero’ Maglev Train
Share on TumblrEmail Japan invented high-speed rail (HSR) in 1964 with the Shinkansen bullet train – and now The Land of the Rising Sun is leading the way towards the next generation of fast trains with the
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Towards infinite-capacity wireless networks, with twisted vortex radio waves
Researchers at the University of Southern California, building on its previous work on infinity-capacity twisted laser vortex networks, has now adapted its technology to work with boring ol’ radio waves. The previous
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iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: The world’s best phones for wireless and LTE connectivity
With every release of the iPhone, Apple dramatically improves the wireless radio capabilities in ways that no other device maker has ever matched. With the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus , Apple continues that trend, setting the
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Amazing Self-Driving Stained Glass Car Lets You Sleep on the Way to Work!
Share on TumblrEmail Dominic Wilcox knows that driverless cars will become a reality in the not-too-distant future – and since drivers will not actually need to
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Audi Nabs California’s First Autonomous Driving Permit 20 September 2014, 19.54 Transportation
Audi Nabs California’s First Autonomous Driving Permit
Share on TumblrEmail Audi has a lot to celebrate as it has just announced that it is the first automaker to receive an autonomous driving permit in California. A range of new autonomous vehicle laws have gone
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LAST CHANCE: Win a PUBLIC Bike (Worth $574) or a Solar Power Backpack in Inhabitat’s Back to School Contest!
Share on TumblrEmail It’s that time of year again – school bells are ringing across the States, and students everywhere are getting ready for a brand new year. To encourage you to green your
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Technology Stalled in 1970 20 September 2014, 19.53 Tech
Technology Stalled in 1970
Peter Thiel says he’s trying to get entrepreneurs to go after bigger problems than the ones Silicon Valley is chasing. By Tom Simonite on September 18, 2014 Peter Thiel Peter Thiel has been behind some prominent
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Radical New DNA Sequencer Finally Gets into Researchers’ Hands
A DNA sequencer the size of a cell phone could change where, and how, gene research occurs. By Antonio Regalado on September 17, 2014 The DNA sequencer built by Oxford Nanopore draws power from a computer’s USB
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Making Innovation 20 September 2014, 19.53 Tech
Making Innovation
The hubs of advanced manufacturing will be the economic drivers of the future because innovation increasingly depends on production expertise. By Nanette Byrnes on September 16, 2014 Visitors to the Crosspointe
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Audi Drives Innovation on the Shop Floor 20 September 2014, 19.53 Tech
Audi Drives Innovation on the Shop Floor
A carmaker’s automated body shop illustrates how German manufacturing is moving forward. By Russ Juskalian on September 16, 2014 The frame of an A3 sedan sits in the laser brazing chamber at Audi’s Ingolstadt
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Gene-Silencing Drugs Finally Show Promise 20 September 2014, 19.53 Tech
Gene-Silencing Drugs Finally Show Promise
The disease starts with a feeling of increased clumsiness. Spilling a cup of coffee. Stumbling on the stairs. Having accidents that are easy to dismiss—everyone trips now and then. But it inevitably gets worse. Known as
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Intel Says Laptops and Tablets with 3-D Vision Are Coming Soon
Your next laptop or tablet may have 3-D sensors that let it recognize gestures or augment a real scene with virtual characters. By Tom Simonite on September 12, 2014 Look out: Intel’s 3-D sensing technology is small
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Launching Levi’s Stadium: A Day in Digital Content
Craig Howe Documenting the launch of a new stadium is a once in a lifetime experience, let alone a stadium in the heart of Silicon Valley. On Sunday Scott Kegley, Senior Manager of Digital and Social Media for the San
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Tech Time Warp of the Week: A Look Back at Larry Ellison’s Most Outrageous Moments as a CEO
Oracle founder and all-around Silicon Valley legend Larry Ellison is stepping down as CEO of the world’s most frighteningly powerful database company after 37 years at the helm. And though this is largely ceremonial—he
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Game|Life Podcast: Destiny, Hyrule Warriors, Smash Bros, Minecraft
Hyrule Warriors Nintendo You know how sometimes on the Game|Life podcast we don’t really know what to talk about? No chance of that happening this week. Tune in to hear Bo Moore and me discuss Destiny, Hyrule Warriors,
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New Resident Evil Tries to Finally Bring Back the Horror
Claire Redfield, amateur prison janitor, has a rough first day. Capcom Claire Redfield, amateur prison janitor, has a rough first day. Capcom Resident Evil Revelations 2's settings evoke horror, but the
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Alibaba Is Already Bigger Than Facebook, Amazon, and IBM
Alibaba CEO Jack Ma outside the New York Stock Exchange prior to his company’s initial public offering Friday. Jason DeCrow / AP Amazon, Facebook, IBM, Intel. As of midday on Friday, Alibaba is now worth more than all of
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This Burly, $65K Motorcycle Is Inspired by a Fighter Plane
The F6F Hellcat fighter plane was the original inspiration for the bikes in the Hellcat series. Confederate Motorcycles The F6F Hellcat fighter plane was the original inspiration for the bikes in the Hellcat
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Aerofex Develops a Working Hover Bike That’s Straight Out of Return of the Jedi!
Share on TumblrEmail How many of you watched Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and wished you had a speeder bike like the ones Luke and Leia race through the forests of Endor? Well, you may not have to wait much
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Local Motors 3D-Prints Incredible Full-Scale Car in Just 44 Hours!
Share on TumblrEmail Arizona-based Local Motors has succeeded in creating the world’s first 3D-printed car at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago. Called the Strati, the
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Analyzing Bitcoin: Why BTC is so valuable, and whether it will still be in the future
This article is the result of a year-long collaboration between myself and Dr. Justin Gash, Associate Professor Mathematics at Franklin College. For the past year, we’ve tracked and analyzed the movements of the Bitcoin
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Apple unveils Apple Pay, a digital wallet for your iPhone 6 and Apple Watch
Apple has announced its new mobile payments system: Apple Pay. As expected, it will allow you to use your iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, or Apple Watch as a digital wallet, paying at one of the 220,000 contactless payment locations
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The great Internet Slowdown: Join tomorrow’s protest against the FCC’s new net neutrality rules
Tomorrow, September 10, will mark the first great Internet Slowdown — a protest by some of the web’s largest companies over the FCC and US government’s handling of net neutrality. All across the web, on sites such as
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How to watch Apple’s iPhone 6 event live stream on Windows and Android
Later today, Apple will unveil the iPhone 6 at a special event in Cupertino, California. Somewhat unusually for Apple, it will be broadcasting a live video stream of the event — but, for reasons we still can’t fathom,
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Win a PUBLIC Bike (Worth $574) or a Solar Power Backpack in Inhabitat’s Back to School Contest!
Share on TumblrEmail It’s that time of year again – school bells are ringing across the States, and students everywhere are getting ready for a brand new year. To encourage you to green your
Read More 301 Hits 0 Ratings
Toyota’s New Transforming Urban Utility Vehicle is the Swiss Army Knife of Cars!
Share on TumblrEmail Makers, meet your DIY dream car. Toyota‘s Calty Design Research Studio just unveiled its brand new Urban Utility concept car – an ultra flexible vehicle with a transforming interior
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This Family is e-Biking 6200 Miles Across the US to Set a World Record!
Share on TumblrEmail How do you top crossing the Americas by car with the entire family in tow? If you are the Camper Clan family, you do it by setting a Guinness World Record by traveling 6,200 miles across
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“Hello, Computer” -- Intel’s New Mobile Chips Are Always Listening
Tablets and laptops coming later this year will be able to constantly listen for voice commands thanks to new chips from Intel. By Tom Simonite on September 5, 2014 New processors: A silicon wafer etched with Intel’s
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Google Launches Effort to Build Its Own Quantum Computer
Google’s crack at a quantum computer is a bid to change computing forever. By Tom Simonite on September 3, 2014 Quantum core: Techniques developed at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to build this device,
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On the Horns of the GMO Dilemma 10 September 2014, 18.52 Tech
On the Horns of the GMO Dilemma
Can genome-editing technology revive the idea of genetically modified livestock? By Antonio Regalado on September 2, 2014 Four years ago, Scott Fahrenkrug saw an ABC News segment about the dehorning of dairy cows, a
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“Hello, Computer” -- Intel’s New Mobile Chips Are Always Listening PDF Print E-mail

Tablets and laptops coming later this year will be able to constantly listen for voice commands thanks to new chips from Intel.

New processors: A silicon wafer etched with Intel’s Core M mobile chips.

A new line of mobile chips unveiled by Intel today makes it possible to wake up a laptop or tablet simply by saying “Hello, computer.” Once it has been awoken, the computer can operate as a voice-controlled virtual assistant. You might call out “Hello, computer, what is the weather forecast today?” while getting out of bed.

Tablets and lightweight laptops based on the new Core M line of chips will go on sale at the end of this year. They can constantly listen for voice instructions thanks to a component known as a digital signal processor core that’s dedicated to processing audio with high efficiency and minimal power use.

“It doesn’t matter what state the system will be in, it will be listening all the time,” says Ed Gamsaragan, an engineer at Intel. “You could be actively doing work or it could be in standby.”

It is possible to set any two- or three-word phrase to rouse a computer with a Core M chip. A device can also be trained to respond only to a specific voice. The voice-print feature isn’t accurate enough to replace a password, but it could prevent a device from being accidentally woken up, says Gamsaragan. If coupled with another biometric measure, such as webcam with facial recognition, however, a voice command could work as a security mechanism, he says.

Manufacturers will decide how to implement the voice features in Intel’s Core M chips in devices that will appear on shelves later this year.

The wake-on-voice feature is compatible with any operating system. That means it could be possible to summon Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana in Windows, or Google’s voice search functions in Chromebook devices.

The only mobile device on the market today that can constantly listen for commands is the Moto X smartphone from Motorola (see “The Era of Ubiquitous Listening Dawns”). It has a dedicated audio chip that constantly listens for the command “OK, Google,” which activates the Google search app.

Intel’s Core M chips are based on the company’s new generation of smaller transistors, with features as small as 14 nanometers. This new architecture makes chips more power efficient and cooler than earlier generations, so Core M devices don’t require cooling fans.

Intel says that the 14-nanometer architecture will make it possible to make laptops and tablets much thinner than they are today. This summer the company showed off a prototype laptop that is only 7.2 millimeters (0.28 inches) thick. That’s slightly thinner than Apple’s iPad Air, which is 7.5 millimeters thick, but Intel’s prototype packed considerably more computing power. 

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Google Launches Effort to Build Its Own Quantum Computer PDF Print E-mail

Google’s crack at a quantum computer is a bid to change computing forever.

qubit wafer

Quantum core: Techniques developed at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to build this device, known as a qubit, will be used to try to build a working quantum computer at Google.

Google is about to begin designing and building hardware for a quantum computer, a type of machine that can exploit quantum physics to solve problems that would take a conventional computer millions of years.

Since 2009, Google has been working with controversial startup D-Wave Systems, which claims to make “the first commercial quantum computer.” And last year Google purchased one of D-Wave’s machines. But independent tests published earlier this year found no evidence that D-Wave’s computer uses quantum physics to solve problems more efficiently than a conventional machine.

Now John Martinis, a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, has joined Google to establish a new quantum hardware lab near the university. He will try to make his own versions of the kind of chip inside a D-Wave machine.

Martinis has spent more than a decade working on a more proven approach to quantum computing, and built some of the largest, most error-free systems of qubits, the basic building blocks that encode information in a quantum computer.

“We would like to rethink the design and make the qubits in a different way,” says Martinis of his effort to improve on D-Wave’s hardware. “We think there’s an opportunity in the way we build our qubits to improve the machine.” Martinis has taken a joint position with Google and UCSB that will allow him to continue his own research at the university.

Quantum computers could be immensely faster than any existing computer at certain problems. That’s because qubits working together can use the quirks of quantum mechanics to quickly discard incorrect paths to a solution and home in on the correct one. However, qubits are tricky to operate because quantum states are so delicate.

Chris Monroe, a professor who leads a quantum computing lab at the University of Maryland, welcomed the news that one of the leading lights in the field was going to work on the question of whether designs like D-Wave’s can be useful. “I think this is a great development to have legitimate researchers give it a try,” he says.

Since showing off its first machine in 2007, D-Wave has irritated academic researchers by making claims for its computers without providing the evidence its critics say is needed to back them up. However, the company has attracted over $140 million in funding and sold several of its machines (see “The CIA and Jeff Bezos Bet on Quantum Computing”).

There is no question that D-Wave’s machine can perform calculations. And research published in 2011 showed that the machine’s chip harbors the right kind of quantum physics needed for quantum computing. But evidence is lacking that it uses that physics in the way needed to unlock the huge speedups promised by a quantum computer. It could be solving problems using only ordinary physics.

Martinis’s previous work has been focused on the conventional approach to quantum computing. He set a new milestone in the field this April, when his lab announced that it could operate five qubits together with relatively low error rates. Larger systems of such qubits could be configured to run just about any kind of algorithm depending on the problem at hand, much like a conventional computer. To be useful, a quantum computer would probably need to be built with tens of thousands of qubits or more.

The chip at the heart of D-Wave’s latest machine has 512 qubits, but they are wired into a different, more limited, component known as a quantum annealer. It can only run a specific algorithm used for a specific kind of problem that requires selecting the best option in a situation with many competing requirements—for example, determining the most efficient delivery route around a city.

Martinis was a coauthor on a paper published in Science earlier this year that took the most rigorous independent look at a D-Wave machine yet. It concluded that in the tests run on the computer, there was “no evidence of quantum speedup.” Without that, critics say, D-Wave is nothing more than an overhyped, and rather weird, conventional computer. The company counters that the tests of its machine involved the wrong kind of problems to demonstrate its benefits.

Martinis’s work on D-Wave’s machine led him into talks with Google, and to his new position. Theory and simulation suggest that it might be possible for annealers to deliver quantum speedups, and he considers it an open question. “There’s some really interesting science that people are trying to figure out,” he says.

Martinis thinks his technology for fabricating qubits could make better quantum annealers. Specifically, he hopes to make one whose qubits can more stably maintain a quantum state known as a superposition—effectively both 0 and 1 at the same time. The qubits of D-Wave’s machine can maintain superpositions for periods lasting only nanoseconds. Martinis has built qubits that can do that for as long as 30 microseconds, he says.

Martinis makes his qubits from aluminum circuits built on sapphire wafers and chills them to 20 millikelvin—a fraction above absolute zero—so that they become superconducting. D-Wave’s chip requires similar cooling to operate, but has circuits made from a superconducting material called niobium, on top of silicon wafers. Martinis is in the process of switching to making his own qubits on silicon, and believes certain electrical insulator materials used in D-Wave’s chips may be limiting its performance.

However, Google has not given up on D-Wave. In an online statement, the leader of Google’s quantum research said that the two companies will continue to work together, and that Google’s D-Wave computer will be upgraded with a new 1,000 qubit processor when it becomes available.

Hear more from Google at EmTech 2014.

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On the Horns of the GMO Dilemma PDF Print E-mail

Can genome-editing technology revive the idea of genetically modified livestock?

Four years ago, Scott Fahrenkrug saw an ABC News segment about the dehorning of dairy cows, a painful procedure that makes the animals safer to handle. The shaky undercover video showed a black-and-white Holstein heifer moaning and bucking as a farmhand burned off its horns with a hot iron.

Fahrenkrug, a molecular geneticist then at the University of Minnesota, thought he had a way to solve the problem. He could create cows without horns. He could save farmers money. And by eliminating the dairy industry’s most unpleasant secret, he might even score a public relations success for genetic engineering.

The technology Fahrenkrug believes could do all this is called genome editing (see “Genome Surgery” and “Genome Editing”). A fast, precise new way of altering DNA, it’s been sweeping through biotechnology labs. Researchers have used it to change the genes of mice, zebrafish, and monkeys, and it is being tested as way to treat human diseases like HIV (see “Can Gene Therapy Cure HIV?”).

With livestock, gene editing offers some extraordinary possibilities. At his startup, Recombinetics, located in St. Paul, Minnesota, Fahrenkrug thinks he can create blue-ribbon dairy bulls possessing traits not normally found in those breeds but present in other cattle, such as lack of horns or resistance to particular diseases. Such “molecular breeding,” he says, would achieve the same effects as nature might, only much faster. In short, an animal could be edited to have the very best genes its species can offer.

That could upend the global livestock industry. Companies could patent these animals just as they do genetically modified soybeans or corn. Entrepreneurs are also ready to challenge the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has never approved a GMO food animal. They say gene editing shouldn’t be regulated if it’s used to merely swap around traits within a species. “We’re talking about genes that already exist in a species we already eat,” says Fahrenkrug.

The use of the technology remains experimental and far from the food chain. But some large breeding companies are starting to invest. “There may be an opportunity for a different public acceptance dialogue and different regulations,” says Jonathan Lightner, R&D chief of the U.K. company Genus, which is the world’s largest breeder of pigs and cattle and has paid for some of Recombinetics’ laboratory research. “This isn’t a glowing fish. It’s a cow that doesn’t have to have its horns cut off.”

GMO Bust

To date, GMO food animals have been a complete bust. After the first mice genetically engineered with viral DNA appeared in the 1970s, a parade of other modified animals followed, including sheep that grow extra wool thanks to a mouse gene, goats whose udders made spider silk, and salmon that mature twice as quickly as normal. But such transgenics—animals incorporating genes from other species—mostly never made it off experimental farms.

Opponents of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) gathered millions of signatures to stop “frankenfoods,” and the FDA has held off approving such animals as food. AquaBounty Technologies, the company that made the fast-growing transgenic salmon, has spent 18 years and $70 million trying to get the fish cleared. Two years ago, the University of Guelph, in Ontario, euthanized its herd of “enviropigs,” engineered with an E. coli gene so they pooped less phosphorus, after giving up hope of convincing regulators.

Lenore bulls

More meat: The genome of the Nelore bull on the right was edited to produce 30 percent more muscle fiber.

Genome editing can also be used to create transgenic animals. But cows edited to be hornless would not have DNA from a different species, just DNA from a different breed of cattle. That is what entrepreneurs hope will create a regulatory loophole. The FDA’s regulations on genetically engineered animals, issued in 2009, didn’t anticipate gene editing and, in Fahrenkrug’s opinion, may not cover it. 

In response to questions from MIT Technology Review, the FDA agreed that its rules “addressed the technology at the time.” But the agency says it reserves the right to regulate gene editing, too. “We are carefully considering the appropriate regulatory approach for products made using this technology but have not reached any decisions,” said agency spokeswoman Theresa Eisenman.

To make hornless dairy cows, Fahrenkrug says, he looked up the genetic sequence that naturally causes Angus cattle, a beef variety, to lack horns. Following nature’s no-horns recipe, he used a gene-editing method called TALENs in his lab to introduce it into skin cells from a horned Holstein bull. In total, he deleted 10 DNA letters and, in their place, added 212. Some of those cells were then turned into embryos through cloning and used to impregnate several cows. Fahrenkrug is expecting the first of several hornless calves to be born within a few weeks. He declined to say where they were being kept, citing the risk of sabotage by animal-rights or anti-GMO activists.

Scared to Death

Any genetic tinkering with the food supply could arouse opposition, but Fahrenkrug hopes the vision of a hornless cow could make people see things his way. Animal-rights campaigners hate GMOs. But they hate dehorning more. Farmers do it only because they have to. Douglas Keeth, an investor in Recombinetics, says his great-grandmother was gored to death by a dairy cow. “When I was a young man working on a farm, we’d dehorn cattle with mechanical means. You do 100 steers and, well, it’s a bloody mess,” he says. “You wouldn’t want to show that on TV.”

Although not all cattle have horns, most Holsteins do. According to the Holstein Association USA, all 30 of the top-rated Holstein bulls in the U.S. have horns. Semen from these champion bulls, which are prized for fathering offspring that produce titanic amounts of milk, is frozen and shipped around the globe. After more than a century of selective breeding, the average dairy cow in the U.S. produces 23,000 pounds of milk a year (compared with about 5,000 pounds for an ordinary cow).

With Holsteins smashing milk records, any effort to mix in useful new traits by mating is challenging. That’s because crossing a record milker with a lesser animal will dilute its pedigree, says Lightner, whose company shipped $177 million worth of frozen bull semen last year. It can take several generations of crosses to make a true milk champion again.

Gene editing, by contrast, is fast and precise. Last year, working with the Roslin Institute and Texas A&M University, Fahrenkrug easily created Brazilian Nelore cattle with increased muscle mass. He did that by adding to Nelore embryos a muscle-boosting mutation that occurs naturally in breeds like Belgian Blues, though it had never before been seen in rangy, heat-tolerant Nelores. The edit consists of deleting 11 DNA letters from a single gene, thereby cutting production of a muscle-regulating protein called myostatin. Lightner says such feats are why Genus has started underwriting gene-editing research. “We haven’t realized the opportunity for genetic engineering in animals to any degree,” he says. “But these new approaches that let us move traits around could be transformational.”

Fahrenkrug’s ideas have grabbed the attention of dairy farmers, too. The technology “is very cool,” says Tom Lawlor, head of R&D for the Holstein Association USA. But he says milk producers are afraid of genetic engineering. “The technology definitely looks promising and seems to work, but we would enter into it slowly as opposed to rapidly for fear the consumer would get the wrong idea,” he says. “We get scared to death, because our product is milk, and it’s wholesome.”

Conventional breeding has also become far more precise thanks to DNA tests. By July of this year, an international collaboration calling itself the “1,000 Bull Genomes Project” had decoded the DNA of 234 dairy bulls, including Swiss Fleckviehs, Holsteins, and Jerseys. Breeders can now accurately size up an animal’s genes at birth. One result is that a few hornless bulls are already approaching top-ranked status. That leaves Lawlor unsure if there’s much of a need for gene editing.

Patented Cattle

In January, Fahrenkrug filed a patent application laying claim to any animal whose genes are edited to remove their horns. The threat of cattle patents has alarmed some farmers already distressed by seed patents. “They could take semen from my bull, gene-edit it, patent it, and the farmer will get totally screwed,” says Roy MacGregor, who breeds hornless cattle in Peterborough, Ontario. “They should not be allowed to.”

Anti-GMO campaigners also won’t have to look far for reasons to criticize gene editing. There are easy targets, like a strategy Fahrenkrug conceived to prevent cattle from reaching sexual maturity. That may make it quicker to fatten them for slaughter. It would also allow gene-editing companies to keep selling animals without the risk of “uncontrolled breeding of the animals by the buyers,” as another of Recombinetics’ patent applications puts it.

It’s possible, even probable, that cautious regulators, activists, and commercial challenges will keep products from gene-edited animals off supermarket shelves for years. Maybe forever. But what’s not slowing down is the advance of gene-editing technology. “People will say to me, ‘You realize this changes everything, don’t you?’ Because it does,” says Fahrenkrug. “The genome is information. And this is information technology. We have gone from being able to read the genome to being able to write it.”

Gain the insight you need on GMO at EmTech MIT.

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2014 Visionaries | Innovators Under 35 PDF Print E-mail

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The Apple Watch May Solve the Usual Smart Watch Annoyances PDF Print E-mail

Apple’s first smart watch seems like the best of its kind so far, but the user experience is still a little unclear.

Apple iWatch

Show off: CEO Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch on Tuesday.

Today I finally got to try on a smart watch that fits my wrist, looks good, and purports to be full-featured yet not overly annoying.

While other smart watches I’ve tried and spied have been mostly clunky, finicky, ugly, and, frankly, not all that smart (see “So Far Smart Watches Are Pretty Dumb”), Apple’s just-announced Apple Watch looks stylish, thoughtfully designed, extremely customizable, and full of great technology that is cleverly implemented. In other words, it appears to be awesome.

But it only “appears” to be awesome, as I was not able to try out a fully functional one. Apple did not make them available to journalists in its demo pen after announcing the product—along with two extremely slim, updated iPhones—on Tuesday morning near its headquarters in Cupertino, California. And Apple has not said when it will be available, specifically, other than early in 2015.

I was able to get a feel for it, though, as demo devices running a noninteractive loop of some of the functions the Apple Watch will have when it is released were available to try on. A demo staffer, meanwhile, showed me features of an Apple Watch on her own wrist that I was not allowed to touch (that one, too, did not look fully functional).

Apple is offering the Apple Watch in three different finishes: a sport-geared one with an anodized aluminum body, a more “classic” one in shiny stainless steel, and a fashion-geared one with an 18-karat-gold body. The most inexpensive model will cost $349, which is pricey but not insane for a useful, everyday gadget (and definitely not very expensive for a nice watch), and all of them will require an iPhone to be functional.

The Apple Watch will come in two sizes (38 millimeters and 42 millimeters), which is great news for anyone like me who doesn’t have a meaty wrist. On my arm, the smaller one felt a bit heavier than I’d like, and looked pretty thick, but it wasn’t uncomfortable and definitely fit better than other smart watches I’ve tried on. It has a crisp, bright display protected by sapphire, which is harder than glass and so should be less prone to scratches and breakage (see “Sapphire Screen Would Test Apple’s Manufacturing and Design Skills”).

Apple has clearly put a lot of thought into the ways users should (and shouldn’t) interact with wearable tech. The Apple Watch has a touch screen, and as the demo staffer used her finger to navigate, the apps on the screen moved fluidly. The display is also force-sensitive, which means it can tell the difference between a tap and a press, which enables a broader number of controls. There’s also voice control for doing things like tweeting and sending messages.

Apple iWatch

Friendly faces: The crown on the side of the Apple Watch can be used to scroll through a list of contacts.

Even cleverer: a turn of the dial on the left side zooms in and out of maps and a moves between different pictures of contacts—a somewhat obvious-seeming way to navigate such a small display without totally obstructing it (and one that’s been around for quite a while).

A big annoyance of mine with other smart watches is their obtrusive alerts, but Apple has clearly thought about that, as it is trying to incorporate a new kind of haptic feedback that is less annoying than your standard wrist-based buzz. The demo watch I wore gave me a sense of this with a notification that felt like a slight tap. This will be used for, among other things, letting you know when to turn if you’re getting directions via the watch, making it possible to navigate without looking at your wrist or phone.

Beyond challenging other smart watch makers, the Apple Watch is a huge threat to activity-tracker makers like Fitbit and Jawbone. It has several sensors on its backside including what two demo staffers confirmed to me is a photoplethysmogram, or PPG, sensor, which tracks changes in blood flow by shining a light on your skin and measuring how it scatters off your blood vessels (see “Using Your Ear to Track Your Heart”). You may have seen this type of measurement in a hospital in the form of a device that grasps your fingertip, and it can be used to accurately derive a host of biological signals like heart rate, temperature, and respiration rate. On the Apple Watch, it works in concert with an accelerometer and also takes advantage of the GPS and Wi-Fi on the iPhone to measure activities and calories burned.

This kind of sensor gives the Apple Watch the potential for much more accurate tracking than many devices already on the market, and that data will presumably be available to third-party health and fitness apps; the data collected will feed back to the iPhone and into the new Health app included in the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. A new operating system, IOS 8, will be included on the new iPhones (which are coming out on September 19) and will be available to existing iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users on September 17.

Apparent awesomeness notwithstanding, there are many unknowns about the Apple Watch that temper my excitement. The screen on the device is extremely bright, and adjustable, but it’s not clear how it will perform in bright sunlight or, really, any kind of light other than the darkened demo room with strategic lighting.

The watch is also water-resistant and has a battery that’s meant to last through a day of use, according to one of Apple’s product demo staffers, but full details of its robustness and battery life haven’t been released.

And then there’s no way to tell how accurate its heartbeat sensing will be. The wrist is a sensible location for a wearable device, but it’s a tricky body part to use for accurately gauging body signals because there’s a lot of noise to filter out from motions that aren’t really related to our overall activity.

There’s the possibility that the Apple Watch really just does too much. It can be used to answer phone calls, and a walkie-talkie feature lets you communicate with other Apple Watch users (I’m skeptical this will become much more than a fun gimmick). A developer kit will let outside developers build apps for it. Apple even announced a new payment feature on Tuesday, Apple Pay, that brings contactless payment to the iPhone via the use of near-field communication, and the Apple Watch will be able to do this, too.

Ultimately, of course, it will be up to users to decide how good the Apple Watch is, and how it’s used—nobody will force you to enable all kinds of notifications, pick up incoming calls, or buy a pack of gum from your wrist. And, like the rest of you, I’ll reserve my final judgment for an unknown date in the not-too-distant future when I actually get to try it out. 

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Sapphire Screens Would Test Apple’s Manufacturing and Design Skills PDF Print E-mail

To make sapphire screens, Apple would need to source high-quality raw material and be clever about incorporating it into devices.

Crystal clear: A slice of a sapphire crystal.

At Apple’s latest product unveiling tomorrow, CEO Tim Cook may sing the praises of super-strong sapphire, and proclaim it as the perfect screen material for its new iGadgets.

Cracked screens are a common problem for smartphone users, so virtually unscratchable, unbreakable screens could make for a compelling marketing campaign. But just how durable sapphire will be is debatable. Much will depend on how well Apple can manufacture it in large quantities, and how it incorporates the material into its devices.

Rumors have been circulating for months that Apple plans to use sapphire, a substance that is significantly harder than glass, in its latest iPhones, and perhaps its first iWatch. The company’s decision to invest about $700 million in an industrial sapphire plant in Arizona starting last year has added considerable weight to the theory.

Sapphire is already used in small amounts to make scratch-resistant screens for luxury watches, and Apple uses small pieces of sapphire to protect the camera and the home button on the iPhone 5S. But sapphire’s high cost has limited its applications; although new ways of growing sapphire crystals have made it cheaper to produce in recent years, it’s still roughly five times more expensive than toughened glass.

While sapphire can be much stronger than the toughened glass now used for most smartphone screens (it is second only to diamond on a standard scale of hardness), if it isn’t processed correctly, it can actually be more prone to breaking.

Indeed, one test of a new smartphone with a sapphire display from Kyocera shows it cracking after a drop of just three feet. And Corning, the company that makes the Gorilla Glass, which is widely used in smartphones, has produced a video of sapphire cracking after being scuffed up by a few everyday objects.

But Corning is hardly an unbiased observer, and these tests say little about how Apple’s devices will perform, because the properties of sapphire depend so heavily on how it is processed and incorporated into devices.

Some types of cutting and polishing can introduce defects into the material that make it easier to break than glass. “Any flaws or scratches dramatically reduce the strength,” says Neil Alford, a material engineering professor at Imperial College of London. The material’s properties also depend on the orientation of the crystal—certain cuts of sapphire are stronger than others.

To prevent a gadget’s screen from cracking, you need to do two things, according to Robert Ritchie, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies the failure mechanisms of materials. First, you need be careful to avoid defects that might allow scratches, because these can lead to more serious cracks. Second, the overall design needs to absorb the energy of an impact. Sapphire itself isn’t great at this—it’s a brittle material, though slightly more fracture-resistant than glass, Ritchie says. So you need to be clever about how you package it in a phone or a watch, so that the other materials in the device can absorb the energy of an impact.

If Apple does announce sapphire-screened devices on Tuesday, and those screens prove resilient to scratching and breaking, it will be because the company has succeeded in both engineering the material and incorporating it into devices with great skill.

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With Mobility’s Future Hanging on 200-Year-Old Tech (Batteries), Power-Savings Amps Up PDF Print E-mail

Image: twicepix/Flickr

twicepix/Flickr

The most interesting devices on the market these days are connected with Wi-Fi. When I first started writing about wireless LANs, the name of the game was connecting laptops. The far-sighted architects of those first standards saw the possibility of connecting everything, but even they are impressed by what we have managed to accomplish.

In the tech world, we used to talk about how higher performance CPUs were struggling to keep up with the demands of new software. Now, in computing and the world of the Internet of Things, the new race is between batteries and the demands of devices. Computing power is no longer the limitation. We are now limited by battery life.

Computing power growth is described as following Moore’s Law, but all the processing power in the world does not help if your device has now power. To take one example, the iPhone battery has improved by 15% since the first iPhone hit the market, but it is obvious that the capability of the hardware and demands of software have grown by more than 15%. And the iPhone is not even the worst case.

Sensors of all sorts, whether smart locks from companies like August, or smoke detectors like Birdi, need to carefully manage battery capacity. (One of the neatest things about Birdi is that they monitor battery capacity. Rather than waiting for the chirping sound to annoy you into hastily locating a replacement, Birdi sends you a new battery before your old one is dead.)

The core problem faced by mobility devices, however, is a mismatch in capabilities. In hardware, we are accustomed to exponential growth, where each year brings another new percentage leap in capacity. In batteries, capacity growth is linear, and the amount of energy in batteries has already reached potentially dangerous levels. In a memorable turn of phrase, the energy density of lithium batteries is now comparable to hand grenades.

Coping with the potential for user desires and needs of hardware to pull away from the battery capacity to run them is a consistent topic of discussion within the industry, and one that I often feel in my professional life working for a Wi-Fi infrastructure company. With so many of these devices connecting over Wi-Fi networks, we have a small role to play in power efficiency. (One of my many activities within the Wi-Fi Alliance was to lead the development of requirements for an emerging new power-saving technology that enables devices to make more efficient use of their battery charge.)

Batteries are now two centuries old, and remain vitally important for powering portable, mobile, and wearable devices. Continued innovation in these devices depends on keeping the gap between the demands for stored energy by the device and the ability of batteries to supply it.

Future progress depends not on sharp increases in battery capacity, but in a diversity of techniques to extend battery life. Microprocessors are now rated on power consumption in addition to raw speed, using part of the ongoing miniaturization to lower power consumption instead of increasing processing power. System designers everywhere are working to improve power-saving capabilities in displays, network interfaces, and protocols.

In the future, small devices might even use solar cells to gather energy during the day to be stored for operation in the dark, removing the need for charging from the electrical grid altogether.

Matthew Gast is the Director of Advanced Technology at Aerohive Networks.

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Hacked Celeb Pics Made Reddit Enough Cash to Run Its Servers for a Month PDF Print E-mail

reddit_tile-inline

Reddit

If you saw Kate Upton or Jennifer Lawrence naked last week, there’s a good chance you saw them on the social news site Reddit. The self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet” was one of the main hosts of the celebrity nude photographs hacked from Apple’s iCloud accounts and leaked across the Internet. Over the weekend, Reddit cleaned up the portions of the site that hosted the stolen photos—but not before it had made a significant chunk of revenue from its role in the massive celebrity sext-spillage.

In just six days, Reddit earned enough money from the nude pics scandal to power its servers for roughly a month, says John Menese, the 33-year-old creator of a Reddit sub-forum expressly launched to share the photos. That statistic, he says, is based on how many times members of the subreddit paid for so-called Reddit “gold,” the $3.99-per-month premium accounts that users often gift to each other to bestow a few extra features and prestige. Each subreddit publicly displays the amount of server time paid for by its members’ Reddit gold, and Menese tracked his forum’s contribution until just before it went offline. His estimate of the site’s take from the sext scandal doesn’t include any advertising revenue the site may have made from the quarter billion pageviews Menese’s subreddit created during its short time on the web.

“If Reddit had wanted to, they could have banned us on Sunday when our traffic broke their servers,” says Menese, a 33-year old salesman at a Las Vegas call center. “Instead, they chose to milk a week of publicity and a month of server time in Reddit gold before they stepped in.”

Menese and another moderator of the subreddit, which they called TheFappening in a reference to Reddit’s lingo for masturbation, say that Reddit credited their users for paying for at least 27 days worth of site server time before the forum was banned Saturday. For comparison, that would mean it generated about half as much revenue from Reddit gold in six days as the site’s “programming” subreddit, the oldest on the site, earned in the four years since Reddit’s gold program was created.

Reddit staff didn’t respond to WIRED’s request for comment on its financial rewards from its TheFappening scandal. But one administrator admitted in a long note about the staff’s ambivalence on the issue that it had “hit new traffic milestones, ones which I’d be ashamed to share publicly.”

That immense traffic, however, already was waning when Reddit banned TheFappening. At its peak on September 1st, the site pulled in 141 million visitors in a day, according to numbers Menese accessed as a moderator of the subreddit. By September 2, it only attracted 45 million pageviews. By September 6, when Reddit finally pulled TheFappening from the site, the majority of the forum’s users visitors likely had moved on.

“It’s sad that Reddit already made their money and then made a show of banning the site,” says Menese.

That belated filtering, long after Reddit had received the majority of the scandal’s financial benefits, provides ammunition to critics; they accuse it of profiting from its anything-goes community at the expense of victims like the women whose photos were hacked from Apple’s iCloud accounts and subjected to its users’ horny feeding frenzy. The issue is particularly timely as the site seeks to raise a new round of investment at a valuation higher than $500 million. As T.C. Sottek wrote at the Verge, “Reddit is a kleptocracy that speaks to lofty virtues while profiting from vice,” and went on to compare TheFappening to “sexual assault, condoned by a state that earns revenue from it.”

In a statement on the scandal, Reddit CEO Yishan Wong was sympathetic but unapologetic about hosting the photos. “We understand the harm that misusing our site does to the victims of this theft, and we deeply sympathize,” he wrote. “Having said that, we are unlikely to make changes to our existing site content policies in response to this specific event.”

Menese, for his part, is unrepentant about his involvement in violating the privacy of a dozen innocent women. He argues that TheFappening only linked to the images, and that he wasn’t involved in their initial theft. He points to other existing corners of Reddit that host stolen nudes, like the “celebs” subreddit or “candid fashion police,” where users post creep shots of women under the guise of critiquing their fashion sense. “There are lots of other subreddits that have questionable content,” he says. “But they’re still up right now because people whose photos are on them don’t have lawyers.”

He’s still not sure why those sites—along with far more hideous ones like WatchPeopleDie and SexyAbortions—are allowed to persist while his own forum was banned. “Reddit basically stands up for free speech until it becomes inconvenient for them to do so,” he says.

Or, he might have added, until it no longer helps them pay their server costs.

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Project to Turn Bitcoin Into an All-Powerful Programming Language Raises $15M PDF Print E-mail

Vitalik Buterin. Image: Vitalik Buterin

Vitalik Buterin. Vitalik Buterin

A year ago, Vitalik Buterin was a teenaged college dropout dabbling in the bitcoin digital currency. Now, he’s the founder of a futuristic programming project that just got backed to the tune of $15 million.

The project is called Ethereum—an effort to transform the kind of technology used in bitcoin into something that can help you build, well, anything—and after a two-month Kickstarter-style crowdfunding campaign, it has raised 30,000 bitcoin, or close to $15 million at today’s bitcoin prices. According to Buterin, Etherum could represent the future of the blockchain—the cryptographically backed distributed public ledger that drives bitcoin—and apparently, many others agree with him.

The tool is part of a sweeping movement to remake internet services using a blockchain—software that’s controlled not by a central authority but by a worldwide network of machines. Developers are building everything from secure chat services to social networks, hoping to remove common tools from the control of big corporations like Google and Twitter. But Ethereum seeks to widen the scope of this effort even further.

Buterin and his cohorts will build their own blockchain, but instead of simply logging financial transactions, the Etherium blockchain will come with a Python-like scripting language that will let you do all kinds of fancy programming. You could write games, online storage services, or even algorithmically determined smart contracts. “You can write anything that you would be able to write on a server and put it on to the blockchain,” says Buterin. “Instead of Javascript making calls to the server, you would be making calls to the blockchain.”

Instead of Javascript making calls to the server, you would be making calls to the blockchain.

Buterin and crew have also funded the project in a unique way. Those who donated bitcoins to the project received something else in return: Ethers, the digital currency that will be mined by the Ethereum software when it officially goes online, sometime in the next few months.

Bitcoin are valuable because they’re both useful as a currency and in short supply. Only 21 million bitcoin will ever be created. That’s not the case with Ethers. Buterin and company plan to produce 15 million of them each year on their blockchain. There’s another important difference too. You will need to use Ethers in order to run software on the Ethereum network. Buterin calls it the platform’s programming “fuel.” The 30,000 bitcoin sale is a bet that people will actually want to do this.

As far as Buterin is concerned, it’s also seed money for his new project. There are already about 20 core developers working on Ethereum, which is backed by about eight bitcoin-rich investors. Now, he is going to hire some more. “We intend to spend the bulk of the money to work on the core code,” he says.

Close to 200 other hackers are playing around with the Ethereum code. They’ve build software such as domain name registrars, online voting apps, crowd-sourcing platforms, and even simple computer games on an Ethereum test-bed. Those early test programs will get their chance to run on the real Etherium platform when the project starts mining its genesis block in the next few months.

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Page 5 of 89

Computer News Reports

Lenovo recruits Ashton Kutcher to unveil its new Yoga 3 Pro and ThinkPad Yoga 14
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New Lenovo Yoga tablet hides a surprise: A projector for impromptu movie nights
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Sony’s PS4 game streaming Xperia Z3v lands on Verizon Oct. 23 for $199 on contract
Florence Ion Sony announced Thursday that it’s finally bringing one of its Android-powered smartphones to more than one carrier in the U.S. Verizon Wireless will be the second carrier ever to offer one of Sony’s
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Holograms and 3D porn: Expert predictions for a gigabit Internet
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Microsoft updates Skype for Windows, Mac with new chat interface
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Android SMS worm Selfmite returns, more aggressive than ever
A new version of an Android worm called Selfmite has the potential to ramp up huge SMS charges for victims in its attempt to spread to as many devices as possible. The first version of Selfmite was discovered in June, but
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Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype hands-on: A VR alien waved at me and I waved back
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New Oculus Rift 'Crescent Bay' prototype packs integrated audio and 360-degree tracking
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Oculus open-sources original Rift developer kit's firmware, schematics, and mechanics
Kicking off the Oculus Connect conference in Los Angeles this weekend, Oculus's Nirav Patel announced that the original Oculus Rift developer kit (DK1) is now fully open-source, with the exception of the pieces that aren't
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IEEE standards group wants to bring order to IoT 20 September 2014, 19.54 Computers
IEEE standards group wants to bring order to IoT
The IEEE is embarking on an ambitious effort to build a overarching architecture for the Internet of Things, spanning a multitude of industries and technologies. IEEE P2413, which the Institute of Electrical and
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Samsung launches free'My Knox' app for securing its latest smartphones
Samsung on Thursday announced price reductions and updates for its Knox security and management software for IT shops and a free My Knox service that is directly available to professionals using ActiveSync. My Knox can be
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InfiniDB going out of business, but its database will live on as open source
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Apple Watch under scrutiny for privacy by Connecticut attorney general
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Data loss detection tool mines the ephemeral world of 'pastes'
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'Tiny banker' malware targets US financial institutions 15 September 2014, 21.19 Computers
'Tiny banker' malware targets US financial institutions
A banking trojan, known for its small size but powerful capabilities, has expanded the number of financial institutions it can collect data from, according to security vendor Avast. Tiny Banker, also known as Tinba, was
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Wi-Fi group acts to simplify peer-to-peer video, printing and other tasks
The Wi-Fi Direct standard for linking two devices without a LAN is about to get easier to use. Wi-Fi Direct is the peer-to-peer version of the hugely popular wireless technology that the Wi-Fi Alliance has now been
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Facebook open sources its mcrouter data-caching tool 15 September 2014, 21.19 Computers
Facebook open sources its mcrouter data-caching tool
Facebook is releasing mcrouter, its software for turning many cache servers around the world into one distributed system, as open source. The company announced the release on Monday at its @Scale conference in San
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Yahoo slams new 'digital will' law, says users have privacy when they die
What should happen to your personal digital communications—emails, chats, photos and the like—after you die? Should they be treated like physical letters for the purposes of a will? Yahoo doesn’t think so. The
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Dense server battle to heat up with Intel's Xeon D next year
Ahead of competition from ARM servers, Intel is putting more weight in the server space with a new Xeon D family of chips, which will be in systems next year. Xeon D chips will be the first server chips based on the
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SAP, Ericsson team up for mobile management and apps 10 September 2014, 18.52 Computers
SAP, Ericsson team up for mobile management and apps
SAP and Ericsson have joined forces to help enterprises manage mobile devices and apps as a service. The partnership will turn SAP’s Mobile Secure software suite for mobile device management, security and applications
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Coinbase expands Bitcoin services in Europe 10 September 2014, 18.52 Computers
Coinbase expands Bitcoin services in Europe
Coinbase, one of the more prominent exchanges for buying and selling bitcoins, is opening up wider access to the digital currency in Europe. The company announced Wednesday the international expansion of its service into
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T-Mobile takes Wi-Fi voice and text everywhere 10 September 2014, 18.52 Computers
T-Mobile takes Wi-Fi voice and text everywhere
T-Mobile USA is making a big bet on Wi-Fi, offering unlimited voice calls and text messaging over any Wi-Fi network on every new smartphone it sells, including on networks outside the U.S. The new offering, called Wi-Fi
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Intel talks wireless charging and RealSense 3D cameras, coming over the next year
Image: Intel Intel plans to make the wire-free future of the PC a reality as early as the first quarter of 2015, when the first “Skylake” reference designs ship to hardware makers. Kirk Skaugen, the senior vice
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Chinese regulator urges Qualcomm to help local companies make money
Qualcomm is being urged by a top Chinese regulator to make money in the country in tandem with its local partners. On Wednesday, Lu Wei, the head of China’s State Internet Information Office, weighed in on the
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Communications

Joomla! Specific Links
Joomla! Specific LinksA selection of links that are all related to the Joomla! Project.
Channel 4 Dumping 4oD In Favor Of All 4 | New Streaming Television Hub For UK Viewers
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Live Streaming Pioneer Justin.tv Shuts Down As Twitch Prepares For Acquisition By Google
Justin.tv is no more, with the pioneering live streaming service having suddenly shut down after seven years. Meanwhile, its replacement, Twitch.tv, is making a series of changes which suggests it’s preparing to be acquired
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Netflix In Talks To Broadcast Seinfeld Episodes On Demand | Successful Sitcoms Never Die
Seinfeld could soon be available to stream on Netflix, with Jerry Seinfeld, the creator and star of the classic sitcom, suggesting talks are ongoing. However, Netflix could face competition from rival streaming services, and
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YouTube Unveils New Features For Content Creators | Studio App, Crowdfunding, 60fps
YouTube would be nothing without content, and original content, no less. And the people who create that original content need as many tools at their disposal as possible. YouTube has delivered a new set of features to content
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Netflix Expands Into Mainland Europe: Streaming Video In France, Germany, Austria
Netflix is officially expanding into mainland Europe, announcing its intentions to launch in six more countries by the end of 2014. In doing so, it faces several new challenges in France, Germany, Austria, and others. Strong
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Watch Penny Dreadful Online | Season 1 Full Episodes Video Streaming & Torrent Search
Penny Dreadful Synopsis Penny Dreadful is a horror drama television series produced by Showtime that premiered in April of 2014. Created by John Logan Penny Dreadful combines some of the most horrifying characters from
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Microsoft Reveals Xbox Originals | Halo TV Show Amongst Content In Development
Microsoft has long held ambitious plans to turn its games console into a media hub delivering masses of content of all kinds into people’s living rooms. With Xbox Originals, it may be on its way to realizing this dream.
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Yahoo Wants To Beat YouTube | Coaxing YouTube Stars With Advertising Revenues
YouTube is one of the tentpoles of the Web at this point in time, being a household name and one of the most-visited sites on the Internet. And yet Yahoo is reportedly planning to compete with YouTube by launching its own
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Google & Viacom Settle YouTube Fight | Seven-Year Copyright Lawsuit Ends Amicably
Google and Viacom have finally resolved the long-running lawsuit over videos uploaded to YouTube almost a decade ago. The terms of the out-of-court settlement aren’t being disclosed but we’re just pleased this
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The BBC Unveils New-Look iPlayer | A Responsive HTML5 Design Brings It Up To Date
The BBC has unveiled the new iPlayer, and its free catch-up television service has undergone several big changes. The biggest being an HTML5-powered responsive design driving the whole effort. The New iPlayer The BBC has
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Google Ordered To Remove ‘Innocence Of Muslims’ Over Actress’ Copyright Claims
An appeals court has ordered Google to remove a controversial short film from YouTube after an actress who appeared in Innocence Of Muslims filed a copyright claim. The decision seems to go against existing thinking on
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LoveFilm Becomes Amazon Prime Instant Video In The UK, With £79 Adding A Raft Of Extras
LoveFilm is no more, being rebranded as Amazon Prime Instant Video and being folded into the existing Amazon Prime service. Most people will have to pay more money for the service, but the £79-per-year asking price buys you
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Netflix News Roundup: Subscriber Numbers, Pricing Tiers, Net Neutrality Statement
Netflix has had a big news week, with various stories emerging from and about the streaming video company. This includes revenue and subscriber numbers, plans for new pricing tiers and an expansion into Europe, and a statement
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What The Net Neutrality Ruling Means For Online Video 18 January 2014, 22.47 4G Voice, Video, & Data
What The Net Neutrality Ruling Means For Online Video
A recent decision by an appeals court in Washington to chuck out net neutrality rules could have dire consequences for everyone using the Internet. Including those who both deliver and consume online video. Net Neutrality
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Vdio Is Dead | Rdio Shutters Video Service 28 December 2013, 22.35 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Vdio Is Dead | Rdio Shutters Video Service
Vdio is no more, with parent company Rdio deciding to shutter the online video service. The reasons for the closure remain unclear, but it seems that there just wasn’t room for Vdio in an already-crowded market. It didn’t
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YouTube’s Content ID Crackdown On Let’s Play Videos Draws Ire From Gamers & Developers
YouTube’s recent crackdown on Let’s Play videos, with an aggressive new Content ID update, has left a bad taste in the mouths of everyone involved. Except the companies making money from videos they really had no business
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Google Fights Back After YouTube Comments Spam Increased | Google+ Integration Staying
Google has finally addressed the issues affecting the new YouTube comments system, controversially rolled out earlier this month. Unfortunately, while small changes are being made to plaster over the cracks, the elephant in
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YouTube Changes Comments System To Google+, Even Jawed Karim Complains 10 November 2013, 00.35 4G Voice, Video, & Data
YouTube Changes Comments System To Google+, Even Jawed Karim Complains
Google has rolled out the new YouTube comments system, which is designed to stop the absurd levels of spam and trolling which have plagued the site in recent years. Unfortunately the new system requires Google+ integration,
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File contained a virus and was deleted 02 November 2013, 22.56 4G Voice, Video, & Data
File contained a virus and was deleted
I had a client that was recently getting this message.  If you are getting it, the cause can be a misconfiguration or worse. The result can sometimes be caused by faulty anti virus programs.  Or anti virus programs that were
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YouTube Launching Paid Spotify-Like Streaming Music Service Before End Of 2013
Google is set to launch a YouTube music streaming service before the end of 2013, at least if current persistent rumors are to be believed. This service will work the same way as Spotify, with a hefty catalog of music
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Is Online Streaming Availability To Blame For Movie Piracy? Research Suggests It Could Be
Do people pirate things because they’re cheap and want to get whatever they can for free? Or is the practice less sinister and more about getting hold of things that aren’t available in the format they favor? These are
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Netflix Originals Keeping Subscribers Happy | Original Content Strategy Already Working
Original content looks like being a small but significant part of the future of online television.. It’s certainly an area Netflix, amongst others, has explored, and one which, according to a new report, looks to be working
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YouTube Founders Unveil MixBit, A Vine & Instagram Competitor With Hidden Tricks
The mobile video space is becoming more crowded by the day. Following on from Vine and its six seconds of recording simplicity, and Instagram and its 15 seconds of recording simplicity, comes MixBit. Can this new startup
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YouTube Opening New Production Studio In New York | Original Content Ramped Up
YouTube is set to continue its efforts to evolve from the home of a disparate collection of funny animal videos into the home of truly talented individuals all creating professional-quality programming. In order to affect this
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Google Launches Chromecast, a $35 Dongle That Streams Content From Mobile To TV
Google recently unveiled Chromecast, a $35 dongle that is able to stream content from mobile devices to your television. This is Google’s latest attempt to grab a foothold in the TV industry, which it’s going to need to be
Read More 0 Comments 6545 Hits 0 Ratings
Hulu Owners Decide Not To Sell After All | Fox, NBC, & Disney Reinvest Millions Instead
Hulu has been withdrawn from sale for the second time in its history, with the joint partners once again deciding against accepting the bids that were coming in, just as they did in 2011. Instead, the three partners are
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Video on Instagram Arrives To Compete With Vine | Facebook & Twitter Go Head-To-Head
Facebook and Twitter have been at war as competing social networks for a number of years. But the latest battleground between the two is mobile video, with Video on Instagram (owned by Facebook) arriving as a direct response
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PalmPad: HP Slate in Palm Clothing? 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
PalmPad: HP Slate in Palm Clothing?
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Home Health Monitoring is Big Business 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Home Health Monitoring is Big Business
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Last Minute Geek’s Holiday Gift Guide 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Last Minute Geek’s Holiday Gift Guide
Dec. 20, 2010 - 11:36 AM PDT Dec. 20, 2010 - 11:36 AM PDT The geek in your life is hard enough to find appropriate gifts for the holidays, and this year, once again you waited until the last moment. Never fear, we have scoured
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Android This Week: Leveling Off; Fring Calling; LogMeIn 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Android This Week: Leveling Off; Fring Calling; LogMeIn
Dec. 18, 2010 - 6:00 AM PDT Dec. 18, 2010 - 6:00 AM PDTSummary: The growth of Android in the smartphone space has been phenomenal, but recent ad statistics show it may be leveling off. VoIP calling is hot on Android, however,
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MobileTechRoundup 226 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
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Kindle for Android Gets Periodicals, In-App Store 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Kindle for Android Gets Periodicals, In-App Store
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Samsung ATIV Smart PC 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
Samsung ATIV Smart PC
The tablet market is going into hyperdrive.  The announcement of Microsoft’s foray into the tablet market utilization with Windows 8 architecture made a few ripples.  It will be really interesting to see how this plays
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Norton Hotspot VPN 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
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Briefly unavailable for scheduled maintenance WordPress Error 17 June 2013, 15.02 4G Voice, Video, & Data
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Tesla's sales model? It's simple: don't sell cars: If you are waiting with bated breath for electric vehicles to revolutionize the transportation sector, you are likely to pass out. If it happens, it will not be an overnight process. That...
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