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Monday, December 22

12-inch MacBook Air entering production early next year, report says

Production of Apple's rumored 12-inch MacBook Air -- along with the Apple Watch -- should enter mass production in the first quarter of 2014, supply chain sources tell Digitimes. Suppliers are allegedly beginning to accelerate work on related components. The new Air is expected to have an Intel Broadwell processor, and an even thinner and lighter design....

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Boeing working with BlackBerry on Black smartphone security

BlackBerry is helping Boeing with developing its Black smartphone, it has been revealed. The smartphone from the defense and aerospace producer, previously reported to be a tamper-proof device capable of wiping stored data in the event of anyone attempting to open it, will now use BlackBerry's software platform to provide an extra layer of security. ...

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Holiday Gift Guide -- gifts for gamers

Gamers can be very selective in the types of things they want for the holidays, but Electronista and MacNN are offering some hints on gadgets that should appeal to any gamer on the shopping list. From smaller items that enhance play on consoles and computers to a tablet that allows gamers the ultimate on-the-go experience, out gaming gift guide should prepare shoppers for the upcoming season....

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Staples confirms attack on retail system, over 1M credit cards stolen

An intrusion into Staples' point-of-sales systems earlier this year put 1.16 million credit and debit cards at risk, the retailer admitted on Friday. Approximately 115 of the company's 1,400 retail stores across the United States were affected by malware on its systems, though the store apparently managed to eradicate the malware and improve system security in mid-September. ...

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Fox News channels pulled from Dish Network as negotiations fail

A stand-off between Dish Network and 21st Century Fox has led to two channels being dropped from Dish customers' program guides. Fox News and Fox Business is no longer being offered for viewing by the satellite TV broadcaster, with the two companies apparently failing to agree on the terms of a new distribution contract. ...

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Briefly: LG G2 Android Lollipop leak, Virgin Atlantic free tablets

The Android Lollipop upgrade may reach the LG G2, if a leaked screenshot is to be believed. According to TuttoAndroid, the screenshot is said to show the G2 as running Android 5.0.1, with part of the screenshot showing a new flatter user interface in line with Material Design principles. No date for the update has been provided, but if the image is genuine, it could start reaching phones as early as January next year...

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Sunday, December 21

Weekly Game Replay: Valve's handling of Hatred, Telltale's Minecraft

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN put together a one-stop article for some of the major news in the video game industry in the past week. In this week's edition of the Weekly Game Replay, we look at Valve's handling of Hatred on Steam Greenlight, Mojang and Telltale Games team up for a narrative-based Minecraft game, a judge gives the go-ahead on a Killzone resolution lawsuit, World of Warcraft is exploring in-gam...

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Obama: Sony hack not act of war; Anonymous promises attacks on NK

In an interview recorded on Friday, President Obama clarified his remarks last week regarding the Sony Pictures hack. The president denies swirling discussions about the hack being an act of war, and called it "an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive." Additionally, late Sunday, tweets purport that hacker collective Anonymous is about to wade into the fray against North Korea for its role in th...

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Saturday, December 20

Friday Deals: Ultra HD monitor, Game and console bundles, more [U]

[Updated with more deals!] There is less than a week until Christmas, and depending on where you live, approximately four days available for deliveries of presents. If there are more presents to get before the big day, you're likely to be spending a lot on quicker deliveries, so why not even out the cost by getting some great Friday Deals? Every Friday afternoon, we search for bargains on hardware, peripherals, gadge...

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BlackBerry creeping closer to profit with $148 million quarterly loss

Cellphone manufacturer BlackBerry has published its most recent quarterly results. While the company is trumpeting a return to profitability, it still incurred a fair value debenture charge, forcing the company to post a $148 million loss on the quarter, or $0.28 per share. Without the debenture, it would have posted a modest profit of $2 million. While it appears that the cost-cutting measures are starting to pay of...

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Judge completely denies HP's Autonomy buy class action suit settlement

A US district judge in San Francisco has outright rejected HP's settlement offer to settle the Autonomy acquisition class action suit in the US. Saying that "the shareholders appear to be relinquishing a whole universe of potential claims regarding HP governance and practices," Judge Charles Breyer has kicked the settlement back to the plaintiffs without suggestions for recovery. The matter is now likely to head to t...

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Google sues MPAA-driven Attorney General, Hood calls for 'time out'

Google has launched its own legal effort to stop Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood's effort with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to pin the search engine as the cause of the world's piracy problem. Google claims in the court filing in Mississippi's district court that Hood has filed a "burdensome, retaliatory" subpoena against it, which would require a massive financial and labor effort to ...

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NK demands joint Sony hack investigation; Sony pulls movie promos

North Korea has verbally fired back at allegations that it is behind the Sony Pictures attack. Calling the recent FBI statement identifying the country as the culprit "groundless slander," the country is demanding a joint investigation into the hack, with the country's experts and US law enforcement working side-by-side. If the US should refuse, North Korea's foreign ministry promised "grave consequences," presumably...

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Halo studio giving ODST, free month of Live to compensate for issues

Microsoft game studio 343 Industries has spelled out a compensation package for users affected by the matchmaking flaws that Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been plagued with since launch. The package includes Halo 3 adjunct title ODST, which was not expected to be released, a remastered multiplayer map, a month of Xbox Live service, and a character nameplate for use in-game....

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Friday, December 19

Apple Pay already accounting for one percent of all digital payments

A study by research firm ITG suggest that Apple Pay -- introduced in October -- is already accounting for one percent of all digital payments - for comparison purposes, the three-plus-year-old Google Wallet system holds about four percent of digital payments. The firm also noted that those using Apple Pay increased spending using mobile payments, and tended to use the technology frequently -- resulting in a jump in s...

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Briefly: Always-on voice search on Chrome OS, Amazon 4K video in UK

Google is bringing the always-on "Ok Google" voice command to Chromebooks. Spotted in the Dev Channel version of the operating system by Francois Beaufort, the function lets users perform a search verbally at any time, in a similar manner to some Android smartphones. It is unknown if or when the feature will reach non-developer users. ...

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DirecTV users get access to Fox Now, FX Now, Nat Geo app content

DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers to the satellite-based TV service access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect, the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers such as cable operators....

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T-Mobile settles FTC 'cramming' lawsuit, agrees to pay $90M

T-Mobile has settled a lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over complaints the carrier allowed third-party companies to place unauthorized charges to customer bills. As part of the "cramming" settlement, T-Mobile has agreed to pay out at least $90 million in fines and refunds, as well as altering its third-party billing practices. ...

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FBI: North Korea responsible for Sony Pictures hack, leaks [u]

[Updated with comments from President Barack Obama] North Korea is responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has now announced. The statement about the agency's investigation into the intrusion of the movie studio's computer network, and subsequent leaks, comes at the same time as messages supposedly coming from the hackers wanting Sony to do more than halt the release of ...

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CalDigit reveals $200 Thunderbolt Station 2

CalDigit has launched the Thunderbolt Station 2, a new Thunderbolt 2 dock. Like some alternatives, the dock includes two Thunderbolt 2 ports, three powered USB 3.0 ports, and connections for HDMI, Ethernet, and audio input/output. Two eSATA 6G ports are also present, supporting storage formats not normally enabled by a Thunderbolt dock....

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Apple's Cook, Williams 'deeply offended' by BBC supply chain expose

In a new email memo to the company's UK workforce, Apple's Senior VP of Operations Jeff Williams claims that he and CEO Tim Cook were "deeply offended" by a BBC Panorama documentary exposing labor abuses in the company's supply chain. Specifically, Williams and Cook are said to have been "deeply offended by the suggestion that Apple would break a promise to the workers in our supply chain, or mislead our customers in...

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Samsung shutting down ChatOn cross-platform messaging service in 2015

Samsung is shutting down its ChatOn messaging service in the next few months, the manufacturer has announced. The cross-platform messaging service will go dark on February 1 for the majority of users around the world, though apparently users in the United States could have access to the service for a little while longer than everyone else. ...

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Uber agrees with Portland council to suspend service for three months

Uber is putting a stop to its app-based taxi service in Portland, just two weeks after it launched. The Wall Street Journal reports the company made an agreement with the city to put a hold on the service for a three-month period, while the two parties negotiate and create a regulatory framework that allows ridesharing services to coexist with existing cab companies and other transportation options. ...

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Google posts response to leaked Sony 'Project Goliath' emails

In the past weeks, quite a lot has been revealed about Sony's role in ongoing anti-piracy efforts due to the leak of emails as part of the fallout of the North Korean-based GOP attack on the studio. In a post on Thursday on the Google Public Policy Blog, Kent Walker, Google SVP and general counsel, outlined even more leaks that describe a combined and carefully planned effort by Sony and five other studios that began...

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Hottest Apple products see improved supply for final Xmas push

In the past month, shipping times have been variable for some of Apple's most in-demand products. However, ship dates for the two new iPhone models, the 6 and 6 Plus -- along with the recently-introduced Retina 5K iMac -- have dropped just ahead of the final push of gift-buying for the holiday season. Both online ship times and same-day in-store pickup schedules have improved....

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Misfortune Cookie exploit endangers 12 million routers

Researchers from Check Point Software Technologies released information on Thursday about an exploit they are calling "Misfortune Cookie." This bug was introduced into "RomPager" software, which is commonly embedded into residential gateway devices such as routers, beginning in 2002. A conservatively-estimated 12 million un-patched devices, connected to the Internet in 189 countries, are at risk....

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Analysis: Title II regulation, with forbearance, the best path forward

Since President Barack Obama voiced his support for reclassification of ISPs as utilities, there has been much debate back and forth, and back again on the topic of "Title II" regulation of carriers. Would it be the dystopian nightmare anti-government zealots and the carriers proclaim, or would it provide a golden utopia of progress for consumers and American businesses alike?...

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