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Movie studios’ worst nightmare has just gotten even better for pirates

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 14:12

Movie studios’ worst nightmare has just gotten even better for piratesPopcorn Time, also known as Netflix for Pirates, also known as a nightmare for Hollywood and its fight against piracy, has just gotten better for users, or at least for those people who happen to have an Android device. Popcorn Time announced on its blog that it has updated its Android app, adding Chromecast streaming support to the mix. “Androiders- we’re sorry…,” Popcorn Time wrote. “But it appears that all your free time from now on will be spent ‘veggy’ing’ in front of your TV watching your favorite movies and TV shows which will be casting from your Android device… The health administration does advise getting up every hour or so to stretch your limbs, empty your bladder, and pay attention to

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Apparently, the internet loved the 2014 World Cup final

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 14:08

Apparently, the internet loved the 2014 World Cup finalThe numbers speak for themselves: This year's World Cup has been setting records all over the place. Not only did it keep folks in the US tuned into their team with services like WatchESPN, but who could forget the most tweeted-about sports game ever in that 7-1 thumping suffered by host nation Brazil -- Sad Brazilians, anyone? Yesterday's final, meanwhile, which ultimately saw Germany beat out Argentina for football's biggest prize, set great numbers for social media and TV networks alike.

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Reality sinks in for Microsoft

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:51

Reality sinks in for MicrosoftHere’s one thing that’s interesting about Satya Nadella’s Microsoft: It’s no longer insisting that it can keep partying like it’s 1999. While Microsoft under former CEO Steve Ballmer used to point to its dominance of the desktop market as its ultimate trump card to use against anyone who said Apple and Google posed a threat to its business, the company is now acknowledging the reality that it’s actually something of an underdog. Per GeekWire, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner said on Monday that Microsoft really does have to think like a challenger because the reality is that its Windows operating system is only on a tiny percentage of computing devices throughout the world. “The reality is the world’s shifted, the world’s

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Microsoft says super-cheap Windows devices are on the way

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:41

Microsoft says super-cheap Windows devices are on the wayIt used to be that if you only wanted to pay $199 for a brand-new laptop, you'd have to try your luck on Black Friday or pick up a Chromebook. Not so anymore. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner outed a $199 HP Windows laptop called the Stream at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference this morning, and it should see the light of day in time for the holiday season.

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Scientific journal retracts 60 papers linked to fraudulent peer-review ring

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:36

Scientific journal retracts 60 papers linked to fraudulent peer-review ringOne of the largest publishers of scientific journals is retracting 60 papers after an internal investigation found that they had been part of an orchestrated ring of fraud. In a statement released last week, Sage Publications said that it had uncovered a series of papers published in the Journal of Vibration and Control between 2010 and 2014 that had been sent to be peer reviewed by people using false identities. Sage believes that the ring is centered on the work of Peter Chen, from the National Pingtung University of Education, and potentially others from his university. In a statement to Retraction Watch, Sage explains that it uncovered at least 130 email accounts used to circumvent its system of peer review.

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Man tries wearing smartwatches for a week, still finds them virtually useless

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:32

Man tries wearing smartwatches for a week, still finds them virtually uselessIs Silicon Valley deluding itself into thinking that smartwatches are going to be the next game-changing gadget? That certainly seems to be the case for the early generation of smartwathces, as New York Magazine’s Kevvin Roose tried wearing two different smartwatches at all times for a week and found them to be virtually useless. “In the past week, I’ve been called ‘Inspector Gadget’ twice, had a near-calamitous accident involving spray-on sunblock, and felt my arm vibrate so often I started treating it as a phantom limb,” Roose writes. “I’ve been wearing two smartwatches for several days apiece, and so far, it’s been an enlightening experience. Though not necessarily a hopeful one.” The big problem for Roose’s experience with smartwatches is

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Report says Apple ‘fanboys’ will make the iWatch an incredible success

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:14

Report says Apple ‘fanboys’ will make the iWatch an incredible successThe smartwatch market is dominated by Samsung, followed by Sony and Pebble, according to a mid-May Strategy Analytics report, but that may change as soon as Apple’s rumored iWatch launches. Obtained by Forbes, a new research note from Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty reveals that Apple’s ecosystem strength and consumer loyalty are going to drive an incredible amount of sales in the first year alone. Citing data from AlphaWise, Huberty says that Apple’s brand loyalty continues to grow and that, thanks to its integrated ecosystem of devices and the “halo effect,” Apple may be able to sell more than 30 million iWatch units in the first 12 months, for $300 a pop. iWatch sales would bring in an extra $9 billion in revenue, and

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The United Kingdom can manipulate major communication services, from Facebook to phone calls

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 13:13

The United Kingdom can manipulate major communication services, from Facebook to phone callsBritish intelligence agency GCHQ is able to not just monitor, but also modify many of the world's most widely-used communications services: Facebook, YouTube, and phone calls are just a few of the services affected. The Intercept revealed the documents today (which can be read here), continuing reporter Gleen Greenwald's year-plus of working with whistleblower Edward Snowden on exposing the clandestine surveillance tactics of the United States and Britain.

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Netflix streaming on Verizon just keeps getting worse

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:57

Netflix streaming on Verizon just keeps getting worseSo now we know why Verizon decided to come out and accuse Netflix of essentially choosing to make its own traffic slow on its network — it seemingly wanted to preempt some more bad news in the most recent Netflix ISP rankings. Ars Technica notices that Netflix’s performance on Verizon’s FiOS network tanked by another 17% over the last month, which is a major embarrassment for Verizon given that it had already come to an agreement with Netflix months ago to improve the connections that Netflix used to send traffic through its network. Overall, the average Netflix streaming speed on FiOS dropped from 1.9Mbps in May to a dismal 1.58Mbps in June, which is an even bigger drop in speeds

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MIT's new material opens the door to squishable, shape-shifting robots

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:43

MIT's new material opens the door to squishable, shape-shifting robotsRobots tend to be either very rigid or very soft, but neither extreme is ideal; ideally, machines could both squish themselves into tight spaces and remain sturdy for strength-dependent tasks. They just might, thanks to a team-up between MIT and Google's Boston Dynamics. The two have developed a composite material that can switch between hard and soft states on the fly.

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Old Spice's new spokesman is a creepy humanoid robot

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:42

Old Spice's new spokesman is a creepy humanoid robotIf DirecTV's creepy marionette ads weren't unsettling enough for you, say hello to the new "face" of Old Spice: Mandroid. We're not sure whether this awkward robot is meant to parody our strange fascination with robotics or if he's simply Old Spice's next try at a viral advertising hit. The first commercial sees Mandroid walking on the beach and singing the praises of Old Spice deodorant and body wash. Before Mandroid can get an answer out, the humanoid's entire face falls off. Thanks to Old Spice, his admirer ignores the mess of wires and computer chips before her and takes his indecipherable bleeps and bloops as a resounding "yes."

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This app shows how Apple might implement 3D tech into the iPhone and iPad

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:39

This app shows how Apple might implement 3D tech into the iPhone and iPadWhen Apple acquired PrimeSense, the 3D sensing company that invented the Kinect, there was no immediate indication as to how Apple would take advantage of the team and its technology. Some analysts believed this would be yet another step toward the long-rumored iTV while other sources claimed the $360 million investment would help improve Apple’s iOS Maps app — the same one that had Alaskan tourists driving on to an airport runway last year. It remains to be seen whether or not this speculation will become reality, but we finally have our first non-speculative look at how the PrimeSense technology could be implemented into an iOS device. The itSeez3D app, available free for the iPad 4 and iPad Air on the

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New art installation turns light beams into 3D shapes floating in mist

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:39

New art installation turns light beams into 3D shapes floating in mistThis may just be the future of the laser light show. In the display, millions of light beams are projected through smoke and reflected against curved mirrors so they intersect with other light beams, creating brighter points of light for the viewer. The artists have carefully calibrated each light beam's path in the installation so they together create spheres, diamonds, and other shapes.

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eBay, Sotheby's unveil tie-up on art auctions

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:35

People pass by a Sotheby's auction house logo in the Russian History Museum in Moscow, May 23, 2007US online giant eBay and the renowned auction house Sotheby's announced a partnership Monday for online sales of art and collectibles. The two firms said they would produce live auctions at Sotheby's headquarters in New York and create a special Web portal that allows for "real-time bidding from anywhere around the world." The companies will also "explore themed and time-based sales, as well as live auctions from Sotheby's other global salesrooms." "The growth of the art market, new generation technology and our shared strengths make this the right time for this exciting new online opportunity," said Bruno Vinciguerra, Sotheby's chief operating officer.

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New apps let workers rate each other - with positive questions

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:35

A woman uses her Apple iPhone while walking through Times Square in New YorkNew apps remove the guessing game by allowing colleagues to anonymously rate each other. Knozen, a free iPhone app, allows colleagues to rate each other on traits such as assertiveness, patience, analytical ability, friendliness and skepticism. “Knowing more about yourself is a gift, and knowing more about how you’re perceiving others and where it’s different and where it’s the same can be really useful,” said Marc Cenedella, the founder and chief executive officer of New York-based Knozen. The app, which operates via a work email address when at least seven colleagues in the same company are signed up, poses questions about which colleague is likely to exhibit a particular personality trait such as assertiveness or patience.

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Spain's Gowex files for bankruptcy, ex-CEO could face 10 years in jail

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:34

Garcia Martin, former CEO of Spanish wireless networks provider Gowex, leaves the High Court in MadridSpanish wireless networks provider Gowex filed for bankruptcy on Monday, a week after an accounting fraud at the firm was revealed, while the High Court said its founder could face a jail sentence of more than 10 years. Law firm Velez & Urbina said Gowex had decided to file for bankruptcy because it was in a state of "imminent insolvency" and faced a "financial standstill" after a high number of contracts were ended and new projects were canceled. Former Chief Executive and Chairman Jenaro Garcia Martin said on July 6 that he had misrepresented the financial accounts for at least the last four years. Following his testimony before the High Court on Monday, Garcia Martin had his passport seized and was banned from leaving Spain.

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When high-speed trading is too fast for clocks to keep up

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:24

When high-speed trading is too fast for clocks to keep upThere are myriad questions about high-speed trading, including whether such traders have unfair advantages in the stock market. Here, The Wall Street Journal explains a problem that dramatically illustrates how fast it really is. "Clock drift" is the common term for timepieces moving slightly out of sync. In another industry, that might barely be noticeable, let alone a problem. In the stock exchange, not being able to pinpoint changes down to the millisecond can make it hard to track data or even provide cover for illegal trading. And regulators are still figuring out how to fix the problem.

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Insurers struggle to get grip on burgeoning cyber risk market

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:20

A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in ParisHigh profile cases of hackers seizing sensitive customer data from companies, such as U.S. retailer Target Corp or e-commerce company eBay Inc, have executives checking their insurance policies. Increasingly, corporate risk managers are seeing insurance against cyber crime as necessary budget spending rather than just nice to have. The insurance broking arm of Marsh & McLennan Companies estimates the U.S cyber insurance market was worth $1 billion last year in gross written premiums and could reach as much as $2 billion this year. The European market is currently a fraction of that, at around $150 million, but is growing by 50 to 100 percent annually, according to Marsh.

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Leaked image may reveal the new Start Menu coming soon to Windows 8.1

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:16

Leaked image may reveal the new Start Menu coming soon to Windows 8.1Microsoft’s next-generation Windows 8 desktop and tablet platform has been something of a mess thus far. Traction is finally picking up now that Windows XP is no longer supported and Windows 8.1 has been released along with some much-needed refinements, but Windows 8 has hardly been the boost PC vendors were hoping for. Consumers and enterprise users have a long list of common complaints, and Microsoft seems to be doing a good job of addressing them slowly but surely. Soon, one of the biggest complaints will finally be addressed. For the most part, users do not appear to be particularly fond of Microsoft’s new tile-based user interface. This new Start screen remains one of the most controversial elements of Windows 8,

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$20 reusable chip detects type-1 diabetes quickly and cheaply

Mon, 07/14/2014 - 12:03

$20 reusable chip detects type-1 diabetes quickly and cheaplyResearchers from Stanford University have developed a microchip that could make it much less costly to diagnose type-1 diabetes. The debilitating disease often strikes children, and the quicker it's detected, the easier it is to treat. The current test, however, is a time-consuming, costly burden for both hospitals and patients, requiring radioactive materials and several days of time.

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