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Friday, July 25

Cellphone unlocking bill without bulk unlock ban passed by House

In an unexpected move, and avoiding a potential fight, the House of Representatives has passed bill S517, aiming to make cellphone unlocking legal. The amended bill, passed by the Senate last week, was passed with no changes -- a controversial clause of the bill previously passed by the House, prohibiting bulk unlocking by companies, has been removed from the final passed version....

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Verizon to begin throttling some 'unlimited' LTE users

Starting October 1, Verizon will begin throttling some of its "unlimited" LTE users, according to an official announcement. The carrier promises that only five percent of that group -- those using 4.7GB or more per month -- will be affected, and "only in places and at times when the network is experiencing high demand." Unlimited 3G access has been throttled in a similar manner for some time....

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Bose suing Beats over infringement of active noise reduction patents

In a court filing discovered today, Bose is suing Beats over noise cancellation headphone technology. Bose claims that Beats has knowingly infringed on 50 years of "signficant investment in the research, development, engineering, and design" on the technology, with the Beats lineup for sale now using "36 US patents and applications" that Bose now owns or has filed for....

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Russian government offers $110,000 bounty for Tor tracking code

The Russian government is offering a bounty for anyone who works out how to track Tor users. A prize of 3.9 million rubles ($111,000) from Russia's Interior Ministry has been set for anyone able to provide a tool capable of monitoring the movements of one individual user on the Tor network, following a rise of the number of users of the anonymizing network in the country. ...

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Lyft caves to NYC regulators, strict TLC-regulated licensure required

Lyft has conceded many of its talking points to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), but has forged an agreement to commence operation. Pickups will commence today at 7PM in all five boroughs, but all drivers need to be licensed by the TLC prior to accepting pickups. As part of the deal, Lyft will also need to shut down in Buffalo and Rochester to enhance insurance that it offers to riders and drive...

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Amazon Fire Phone now available to purchase in United States

Amazon has put its first smartphone on sale in the United States. Available through Amazon directly or via AT&T, the Fire Phone marks a departure from the retailer's usual Kindle Fire tablet range, by being a smaller mobile device and by using five front-facing cameras for the company's "Dynamic Perspective" 3D-effect user interface. ...

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Production of new iPads, 5.5-inch iPhone yet to begin, rumor claims

Although mass production of a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is underway, other Apple products due this fall -- including new versions of the iPad Air and iPad mini, and the 5.5-inch iPhone -- have yet to begin assembly, according to Chinese-language publication UDN. The new iPads are expected to enter production in September, but there is no reported timeframe for the 5.5-inch iPhone. UDN makes no mention of the iWatch, someth...

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Friday Deals: 4TB Hard drive, Surface RT, OTA TV streamer, more!

It's that time of the week again! Time for Friday Deals! Every Friday, we're going to take a look at current sales, and bring you what we think are some of the best bargains on prime apps, gadgets, and peripherals for you, the discriminating MacNN and Electronista reader. All prices are verified at the time of publication, but any sales may not be valid if you're reading a few days down the line. Check pricing before...

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LG reportedly testing user removal of pre-installed "bloatware"

Verizon is said to be testing out an option to remove pre-installed applications from smartphones. Starting with the LG G3, the carrier will apparently give the option to remove "bloatware" apps which are either already installed beforehand or added to the smartphone as part of the initial activation process, a feature which could help users free up storage capacity. ...

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Briefly: Google Glass webcam support, Google Play offline games

Google has added support for external cameras to Google Glass, on top of the existing built-in imaging sensor. Android Police reports the latest Glass Development Kit update enables the use of an external webcam connected via a USB On-The-Go (OTG) cable, though it warns plug-and-play does not work, and if it includes a microphone, it may disable voice commands. Glass owners looking to try it out will have to wait for...

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Presidential executive order over drone usage reportedly on the way

President Barack Obama may issue privacy guidelines for commercial drones in the United States, claims a report. Plans to issue an executive order allegedly involve the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) working with consumer groups, and companies planning to operate drones in the future, to create "voluntary best practices" for the unmanned aircraft. ...

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ComiXology starts offering DRM-free backups of digital comics

ComiXology, the digital comic book retailer owned by Amazon, is now allowing users to make backups of some downloaded comics. For a number of publishers, the service will make PDF and CBZ versions of comic book purchases free of any digital rights management (DRM), effectively letting customers view the comics they own in other reader apps. ...

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Review: Razer Taipan mouse

The list of gaming devices is growing larger with each passing day. A large number of companies have entered the gaming input arena, already containing some well-known names in the industry. Many PC gamers know one such name, Razer, as the go-to company for mice and other controls. The Taipan is a mouse that Razer has offered since 2012, but gave it new flair with a white finish this May. Does the new finish give gam...

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Thursday, July 24

Report: Google signs deal to purchase game-streaming platform Twitch

A new report has surfaced that Google has signed a deal that would see the search giant picking up the popular game streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion. The report adds builds on the previous report floating around that Twitch was being courted by Google's video arm for a possible purchase with a price tag in the same ballpark. By purchasing Twitch, Google could be positioning itself to be the number one destina...

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Potential 5.5-inch iPhone flex cables, SIM trays leak

A new set of pictures from a Taiwanese enthusiast site could provide the first evidence of the existence of a 5.5-inch iPhone if legitimate. The images, showing flex cables for the volume-mute button as well as the wake-sleep control, also include an unknown longer flex cable previously unseen in an iPhone model, as well as a set of micro-SIM trays. All are said to be for a 5.5-inch iPhone which has been long-rumored...

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FCC gets a chance to flex muscle on municipal broadband issue

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could soon have a chance to act on Chairman Tom Wheeler's promise to overturn state laws when it comes to municipal broadband networks. Today, the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga (EPB) filed a petition with the agency asking that they step over state law to allow them to expand access....

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Briefly: Origin's EVO15-S laptop, Adata's DDR3 overclocking memory

Origin PC has announced its new EVO15-S gaming laptop, as well as a Back to School promotion. The laptop is thin, with a width measuring 0.78 inches, and weighing 4.36 pounds. Featuring a fourth-generation Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB of DDR3 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M 3GB discrete graphics and Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 sound, the 15-inch laptop manages up to four hours of battery life. The EVO15-S includ...

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GOG launches Linux support with 50 games, celebrates with sale

GOG, the gaming website and merchant previously known as Good Old Games, announced today that it has added support for Linux, delivering on an earlier promise to expand to the operating system. The DRM-free game distributor said earlier in the year that one of the next steps for the company would be to add support Linux distros....

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US Court issues temporarily order to stop bitcoins domain auction

A US District Court judge in Washington state issued a restraining order yesterday, placing a temporarily restriction on the bitcoins.com domain from being auctioned off. Yesterday, Tibanne KK, the company owned by former Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles, was ordered to account for and hold all assets. The order stems from a legal issue between CoinLab and Mt. Gox dating back to 2013....

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Amazon widely misses street, hit with $126 million quarterly loss

Amazon today announced financial results for its second quarter. The company reports that net sales increased 23 percent to $19.34 billion in the second quarter, compared with $15.70 billion in second quarter 2013. However, despite the increase in sales, the company's net loss was $126 million in the second quarter, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $7 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in sec...

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Crowdfunding Critic: Pond wireless charging system

Historically, MacNN and Electronista have covered few, if any, in-progress crowd-sourced projects unless there was something unusual about them, like making 100x their goal. Starting this week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons we're going to look at crowd-funded projects that we find interesting. Keep in mind that we aren't specifically endorsing any projects, or telling you that there aren't any risks in funding a...

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Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition releases delayed by EA

Electronic Arts (EA) appears to be in need of additional time for two of its highly-anticipated releases that were scheduled for this year. Battlefield Hardline, which saw a beta test launch after the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, the third installment of the role-playing series, are seeing their release dates pushed back....

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Proposed French law may require Uber drivers to go home between fares

French legislators are continuing to work against app-based driver services, by proposing a new law changing the way they operate. The proposal from the French Senate would require drivers for car-service companies to return to their headquarters, or in the case of a driver using Uber or a similar service, a parking garage or their home, between clients. ...

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Review: Cambridge Audio DacMagic XS

Every computer with a microphone or headphone port has one -- a digital to analog converter (DAC). There are nearly as many chipsets and DAC models as there are models of laptop, and as many opinions on the efficacy of various implementations. Cambridge Audio has a USB one to supplement its line -- the DacMagic XS. Does the little device do as it promises, and actually boost the listening quality of digitally encoded...

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Google Play Music All Access pass offered to US Chromecast owners

Google is providing owners of the Chromecast streaming dongle in the United States free access to Google Play Music All Access for 90 days. An extension of an offer which has already been made available in other Chromecast countries for some time, it is being made available to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Chromecast's launch. ...

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OS X Yosemite public beta now available

As promised earlier this week, Apple has begun seeding the first public beta of OS X Yosemite. Access is limited to the first million people entered into the OS X Beta Program. That requires having both an Apple ID and a Mac running OS X Mavericks....

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Briefly: Oyster for web, mobile web browsers, IFTTT's Square channel

Oyster, an e-book subscription service, has announced its launch of new web and mobile web readers. The expansion marks its second new platform in the past month (with the first launch specifically for Android users in June). Pages in the web reader will scroll smoothly from top to bottom, with five reader themes to select from. Oyster is partnered with over 1,600 publishers, and offers access to a diverse library fo...

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Apple's iPad maintains global dominance, but loses further ground

Although Apple's iPad is still the leading tablet globally, the company is continuing to lose marketshare, according to new IDC shipment data. Year-over-year, Apple's June-quarter tablet share fell from 33 to 26.9 percent, based on shipments of 13.3 million iPads this quarter versus 14.6 million in Q2 2013. The company's next closest competitor, Samsung, saw its share slip from 18.8 percent to 17.2....

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Steam Controller image leak suggests another iteration coming soon

Valve Software may have made another change to its Steam Controller, the gaming peripheral designed for use with Steam Machine game consoles. An image appearing in files associated with the beta version of the PC Steam client shows a modified version of the last controller design, with four face buttons instead replaced by a thumbstick....

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Google adds Explore location discovery to Google Maps mobile apps

Google is adding a new option to the Google Maps app for Android and iOS, providing suggestions for nearby locations to visit when traveling. The new "Explore" button, appearing on the apps this week, will offer up a variety of restaurants and coffee shops in the immediate and surrounding area, as well as other potential activities for the user to try out. ...

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Swatch denies any involvement with Apple on iWatch tech

Swatch has quickly denied a report that it's working with Apple on iWatch-related projects, according to Reuters. A spokeswoman for the company claims that the report is unfounded, and that the only involvement Swatch has with phone makers is supplying various components, such as integrated circuits. Apple's iWatch is expected to ship in the fall....

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Sony agrees to $15M settlement over 2011 PlayStation Network hack

Sony has agreed to a preliminary settlement worth $15 million in a hacking class-action lawsuit in the United States. The agreement, which still requires approval from a judge, will see Sony handing out free games to console owners affected by the April 2011 PlayStation Network hack, which saw the shutdown of the service and Qriocity for several weeks, as well as compromising personal data and credit card information...

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Researchers tout 1TB RRAM storage for future mobile devices

Future smartphones could ship with storage measured in terabytes, according to researchers at Rice University. The team has spent five years working on a method to produce resistive RAM (RRAM) at room temperature and with a low voltage, rather than at the high temperatures or voltages it typically requires, with the technique likely to help current RRAM manufacturing efforts, allowing it to be included in devices in ...

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Razer works with WeChat for messenger integration on $100 Nabu

Game peripherals manufacturer Razer is adding support for WeChat to its Nabu smartband, while also confirming the device is shipping soon. The two companies are apparently working together on ways to use the Nabu, including exchanging contacts by shaking hands and comparing fitness statistics with friends using WeChat, as well as allowing the wearable device to display notifications from the messaging service. ...

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Briefly: Booq's Cobra pack, NatureArt 6.0 released

Booq has announced the release of its newest laptop backpack offering this week: the Cobra pack. Comprised of a 1680 denier ballistic nylon exterior with a water-repellent coating, items within the pack are protected from weather conditions, and its quilted inner lining prevents damage during transport. The bag's main compartment features two open pockets and a slip pocket that offers easy access to something like a ...

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