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Thursday, December 18

Amazon Prime Now offers one-hour deliveries in Manhattan

After experimenting with same-day deliveries in a number of cities, Amazon is now increasing the speed of delivery for some customers with the launch of Prime Now. The new service, launching in Manhattan today, will let Prime subscribers place orders for thousands of essential items, and receive the delivery on their doorstep in an hour or less. ...

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UK carriers agree to £5B investment to improve mobile phone networks

A suggestion by the British government has prompted carriers to improve their mobile networks. EE, O2, Vodafone, and Three have all agreed to collectively invest at least £5 billion ($7.8 billion) into a program to improve their mobile networks across the United Kingdom, in order to avoid being forced to implement a proposed "National Roaming" scheme. ...

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ICANN servers accessed following 'spear phishing' attack

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization which allocates IP addresses and oversees the use of domain names, has been the latest high-profile victim of hacking. The non-profit confirmed its systems were accessed by unauthorized individuals earlier this month, following a "spear phishing" attack in late November. ...

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Briefly: Colbert Report in Street View, Netflix on Dish Hopper DVR

Google has recreated the set of The Colbert Report in Street View, in honor of the show's last episode. The virtual tour of the studio, including around the main desk and interview area, was created by Business View, a service which uses a Google-certified photographer or agency to take photographs at a location before generating the explorable 360-degree images. ...

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Review: Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solutions. While consumers often compromise in battery life, design or sound, the sub-$100 market offers a wide array of choices. Computer builder Dell entered into the Bluetooth speaker market with a value model, looking to entice consumers with a long battery life and compact, minimal design...

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Android Lollipop will get an update in Q1 of 2015

The latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, has been experiencing a bit of a rocky road since its release, with version 5.0.1 already having been pushed out to address some of the issues. Rumors are surfacing that Lollipop 5.1 will be released in early 2015 -- however, some users may not be able to update until July, if ever....

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Wednesday, December 17

Microsoft hits 1.5 million total Windows 10 'Insiders'

Back in October, Microsoft launched the "Windows 10 Insider program, "where PC experts and IT Pros can get access to a technical preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops." As of December 17, 1.5 million users have joined the program, Microsoft has announced. In the December update for the forthcoming OS version, Microsoft's Gabe Aul said roughly 30 percent of Insiders, or 450,000 users, are "highly active" in t...

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Hands On: SuperSync (OS X, Windows)

Apple's iTunes media player has been around since 2001 -- meaning that for many users, it's likely that their library has traversed multiple system upgrades, duplicating and splintering across a variety of drives and mobile devices along the way. For this, there is SuperSync, an app designed to provide access to all your music in one location, allow libraries to be accessed via the Internet, and organize multiple mus...

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Uber announces 'greater investment' in screening, safety standards

In response to the concerns of customers, legal troubles and bans in multiple markets around the world, rideshare/taxi service Uber has begun a study into ways to better screen drivers and improve overall safety. Phillip Cardenas, Uber's head of global safety, outlined the company's plans in a recent blog post today. Cardenas comes from Airbnb where he spearheaded the creation of that company's safety program....

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Sprint facing fines for charging customers for unwanted services

Mobile phone service provider Sprint could be facing a fine of as high as $105 million or other disciplinary actions from the FCC after a study by the agency concluded that the carrier was willfully participating in a practice called "cramming," in which users are often tricked into signing up for "premium" services (such as ringtones or special messages) from a third-party, which then adds monthly charges to the use...

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Breaking: US reverses, to say North Korea behind Sony hack tomorrow

US government officials now believe North Korea is, in fact, behind the attack of Sony Pictures Entertainment's computer system and subsequent data leaks, according to reports. The government is also said to be preparing to make an official statement about its findings, which may arrive as soon as tomorrow, though apparently there is still some internal debate as to what kind of response to make to the insular countr...

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Jobs' deposition in Apple-Real trial to remain private

As a postscript to Apple's unanimous win in a lawsuit brought by audio software company Real, Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers on Wednesday turned down media requests to make public a videotaped deposition from Steve Jobs, in one of his final filmed appearances, that was presented during the trial. Jobs, who was quite ill at the time and just months from his resignation from Apple and later death, was videotaped answerin...

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New Windows ransomware strain replicates like a virus

Earlier this month the official blog of security firm KnowBe4 revealed information about a new strain of Ransomware. On top of the usual encryption of files on a computer and demanding payment in Bitcoin currency to regain access, VirRansom can replicate itself like a virus, infecting any and all files on a computer before spreading through a network....

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Threats issued by Sony hackers against 'The Interview' viewers [u]

[Updated with Sony canceling the film's release] People intrigued by Sony Pictures movie The Interview may reconsider watching it in the cinemas at release, as a message appears to directly threaten its viewers. A posting claimed to be from the Guardians of Peace, the group supposedly behind the hacking of Sony's corporate network, appears to suggest some form of major incident will take place at premieres. ...

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Netflix caching for offline playback 'never going to happen'

Netflix will not be allowing its users to cache television shows and movies from the streaming service for later playback, an executive has advised. In an interview, Director of Corporate Communications and Technology Cliff Edwards denied Netflix would offer offline storage of content, categorically stating "It's never going to happen." ...

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Apple Canada ordered to turn over documents in carrier deal probe

The Federal Court of Canada has agreed to order Apple's Canadian division to turn over documents to the Competition Bureau, Reuters reports. Apple has already handed over some requested documents, but may not be handing over as much as the Bureau wants or needs. The Chief Justice for the court, Paul Crampton, is due to sign the order later today....

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BlackBerry Classic ships with 3.5-inch square screen, retro appearance

BlackBerry has formally launched a retro-styled smartphone it previously teased. Housed in a casing reminiscent of earlier models, the BlackBerry Classic has a few modern tricks up its sleeve to go with the familiar QWERTY keyboard, including an optical trackpad and a touch-enabled 3.5-inch 720x720-resolution square display....

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Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for the Apple gadgeteer

It's not too late, but its getting close. In fact its so close, that any helping hand might be welcome to help pick presents for the Apple-centric device lover in your life. Good news! We see every conceivable gadget all year -- use our knowledge to benefit you! This week, Electronista and MacNN have suggestions for the best gift options for the Apple fan in your life. ...

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Hands On: Mujjo Refined Touchscreen Gloves

It shouldn't be a secret that normal, cheap knit gloves actually don't contain enough fabric to prevent a persons finger from interacting with a capacitive screen. This means that, yes, normal knit gloves are technically touchscreen gloves but normal cheap knit gloves also don't contain enough fabric to keep a persons hands warm in most cold weather. That's where Refined Touchscreen Gloves by Mujjo come in - promisin...

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Sony unveils head-mounted display, plans production next year

Sony has unveiled its own take on the Google Glass wearable concept, with a similar heads-up display. The Single-Lens Display Module is a two-section unit which can be temporarily attached to a normal pair of glasses or sunglasses, providing a small Glass-style OLED screen to one side of the user's field of view which can be used to show various kinds of data useful to the wearer at that moment. ...

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Briefly: Instagram filter collection grows, Pebble Android Wear alerts

Instagram has updated its famous photo filters, for the first time in two years. The Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua effects have been added to both the Android and iOS versions of the app, each shifting and softening the photograph's colors in varying ways. The app has also updated how the various effects are displayed, providing a blurred preview of filters, while a "Manage" button will allow users to hi...

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Lawsuit over 'Angry Birds' pet toys goes forward

This week Hartz Mountain, a maker of pet toys, requested a federal judge dismiss a lawsuit by Seattle artist Juli Adams regarding the sale of her intellectual property without her permission or knowledge. The case is notable because Adams' designs were the basis of the characters now universally known as "Angry Birds," a name originally suggested by Adams and since used widely by Rovio and Hartz to market both the vi...

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Hands On: Lenovo Yoga 2 Tablet

Lenovo has had considerable success with its beautifully-designed Yoga notebooks, which are renowned for being very flexible in the way that they can be set up for productivity or content consumption. The company tried to take this same successful formula across to its tablet line-up with the original Yoga Tablet, which ran Android. Second time around, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, mixes things up a little more on the mu...

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'Grinch' exploit puts Linux servers, Android phones at risk

In a blog post today, AlertLogic Chief Security Evangelist Stephen Coty outlined ways to identify and protect against a Linux server exploit he has dubbed "Grinch." Citing a 2013 report from W3Tech stating that approximately 65 percent of all web servers utilize a Unix or Linux-based operating system, he said that the danger is that Grinch can be used to "steal Christmas." At the crux of this exploit is a way to acce...

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Apple's iPhone gains share, will likely topple second-place Nokia

According to new quarterly figures from industry analysts Gartner, enormous growth by Apple's iPhone has eroded worldwide mobile phone share -- including both smartphones and feature phones -- from top seller Samsung and second-place Nokia, with Apple potentially taking the second spot from Nokia after this quarter's expected record-breaking iPhone sales are announced. For the most recent quarter, Apple was within on...

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Asustor announces four new Network-Attached-Storage (NAS) options

Taiwanese network storage solutions provider Asustor launched four new NAS devices today. The two- and four-bay models in each of two new lines come in advance of eight- and 10-bay models, which will be released at a later time. 'The new 50T and 51T series NAS devices feature high performance CPUs that can automatically increase their frequency when needed,' said Asustor Product Manager Johnny Chen, adding that the a...

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