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Thursday, August 28

Plantronics announces new Bluetooth headphones, BackBeat Pro

Plantronics announced a new model of Bluetooth headphones this week with the BackBeat Pro. The over-the-ear headphones feature a long battery life, 40mm drivers, active noise-cancelling technology and "Plantronics signature audio performance and design." Not leaving noise cancelling as the only trick of the headphones, Plantronics also added a smart feature to help consumers pick up where they left off if the headpho...

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Samsung reveals Amazon Instant Video 4K streams start this October

Amazon Instant Video will soon start to stream TV shows and films in 4K-resolution, with Samsung Ultra HD televisions set to be among the first to receive the content. The electronics giant revealed that the retailer will start streaming the high-resolution video to customers with 4K-compatible televisions from October, with all global versions of Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video set to receive it at the ...

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Uber prevails in German court, yet service called 'probably illegal'

The Hamburg, Germany court system has reauthorized Uber to operate, at least temporarily. Despite the resurrection, which was based on a technicality, the court did dictate that the service was "probably illegal" as drivers for the service lack a passenger transportation license, similar to the situation that Lyft faced in New York City....

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Dyson video strongly hints at robotic vacuum cleaner launch

A video teaser from Dyson suggests the company is preparing to launch its first robotic vacuum cleaner. A video hinting at a launch on September 4th for N223 provides quite a few clues that it will be some form of automated cleaner, though it is not entirely clear if it will be in a similar vein to devices offered by current market leader Roomba. ...

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JPMorgan Chase systems infiltrated, banking data may have been stolen

JP Morgan Chase & Co plus at least four other financial institutions have reportedly come under attack by hackers. According to a quartet of people familiar with the investigation, the possibility exists that gigabytes of customer data, including banking information, may have been stolen by the assailants with a "zero-day" attack, who may to be linked to Russian state-sponsored hackers....

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Microsoft CEO journeying to China, antitrust investigation underway

Sources close to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claim that the executive is slated to visit China in late September. While the visit is scheduled, and has been for at least two weeks, unclear is whether Nadella will visit the Chinese government, or attempt to clear up any issues related to the China State Administration for Industry and Commerce's (SAIC) antitrust examination of the software giant....

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Sony IFA teaser hints at Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z3 Tablet Compact

Sony is starting to tease devices it is planning to show at IFA next week, with a video trailer hinting that there will be three items revealed. The video, heavily referring to the number three throughout, could be pointing to the launch of the Xperia Z3, the Xperia Z3 Compact, and a tablet which could end up being the Z3 Tablet Compact. ...

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Apple officially announces September 9 press event [u]

[Updated with Bloomberg confirmation of iWatch debut] As anticipated, Apple has formally announced a September 9 press event. Unlike past fall events, however, this one will be held at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California, rather than the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco. It will begin at 10AM Pacific time, or 1PM Eastern....

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iPhone 6 will include NFC-based payment tech, sources say

The next-generation iPhone should include NFC-based mobile payment technology, sources tell Wired. The magazine doesn't go into specifics, except to claim that the mobile payment system will be "one of the hallmark features of the device when it's unveiled on September 9." A past report from The Information suggested that there might be a "secure element" in the new iPhone that would safeguard financial information, ...

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Microsoft removes 1,500 misleading apps from Windows Store

Microsoft is cleaning up its Windows Store catalog, by ejecting misleading apps. After modifying the Windows Store app certification requirements to try and prevent fake apps from reaching the app store in the first place, the company has started to comb through its app listings, and has already removed more than 1,500 apps from the store. ...

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Photos indicate silver, gold, space gray colors for iPhone 6

New photos from French site Nowhereelse indicate that the iPhone 6 will again come in silver, gold, and "space gray" tone. SIM trays and Touch ID sensors all show the same range of colors used for the iPhone 5s. The trays may also be somewhat curved, presumably to fit the rounded edges on the iPhone 6's chassis....

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Ricoh launches Pentax K-S1 20MP DSLR with LED indicators on grip

Ricoh's Pentax K-camera collection has been joined by a new mid-class camera. The Pentax K-S1 is a DSLR with a 20-megapixel CMOS sensor combined with the Prime MII imaging engine, giving it a maximum sensitivity of ISO 51,200, a top shutter speed of 1/6000 of a second, and a continuous shooting rate of up to 5.4 frames per second. ...

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LG G Watch R replaces square face with round P-OLED screen

LG has surprisingly revealed its round-faced Moto 360-like smartwatch ahead of next week's IFA trade show. The G Watch R follows on from the original G Watch launched in July, though instead of a square display of the original, LG has exchanged it for a circular Plastic OLED (P-OLED) screen, measuring 1.3 inches across and with a resolution of 320x320. ...

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Samsung unveils Gear S with SIM card, curved display, Gear Circle

Samsung has unveiled a new Gear smartwatch and earphones before its Unpacked event at IFA. The Gear S updates the original device's bulky design into a slimline and stylish smartwatch with a curved two-inch 360x480 Super AMOLED display, though unlike the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, this edition adds the SIM card and 3G connection from the rumored Gear Solo, allowing it to work independently from a smartphone....

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Olympus adds selfie-friendly display to Pen E-PL7 16MP camera

The latest in the Olympus Pen Micro Four Thirds camera line has been revealed as a shooter that caters itself to selfie photography. The PEN E-PL7 features a 3-inch 1.04 million-dot touch-enabled display on the back capable of flipping 180 degrees downwards, an action which triggers a "Selfie Mode" that optimizes settings for self portraits. ...

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Wednesday, August 27

Report: Eight high-profile sites hit by browser exploits last week

A "malvertising" campaign made the rounds last week hitting at least eight high-profile websites according to security firm Fox-IT. The firma noticed that the sites were redirecting their visits to other places, allowing it to discover that sites were using vulnerabilities in software like Java and Flash to inject malicious programs. The purpose of the "malvertising" was to infect machines with botnet malware involve...

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Enthusiast crowd keeps Windows XP alive, creates new service pack

Windows XP hold outs might be able to put off upgrading to a new version of Windows for the time being, as long as they don't mind patching the operating system through unofficial channels. While support for the operating system was officially dropped by Microsoft on April 8, a new service pack has been released by a community project that's keeping the aging operating system alive....

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Microsoft to put standalone Kinect for Xbox One on sale in October

Since the release of the Xbox One, Microsoft has experienced a rough relationship with consumers due in part to the Kinect. When the company ditched the sensor and dropped the price of the console by $100, sales were said to have doubled with the new the $400 sensor-less console option in place. However, now Microsoft says that it's seeing a demand for the Kinect. On a post on Xbox Wire today, the company said it wou...

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GOG expands beyond game sales, begins offering DRM-free movies

Gaming marketplace GOG has undergone several changes this year, from announcing an expansion of its practices to compete better with Steam with GOG Galaxy to adding support for Linux games. Today, the company announced that it was extending its business to films, partially as an effort to show how effective the digital rights management-free (DRM) download model is....

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California court denies Apple injunction against Samsung products

The US District Court for the Northern District of California has again denied Apple a permanent injunction against Samsung products accused of violating three of its patents. Although the court and a jury found that Samsung did indeed infringe Apple IP -- including the famous "slide to unlock" patent -- the judge in the case, Lucy Koh, explains that Apple couldn't show that an injunction was warranted. The ruling is...

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CyberPower PC release new 15-inch gaming notebook, the Raven X6

CyberPower PC recently announced a new entry in its series of notebook gaming machines. The Raven X6 notebook features a 15.6-inch full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS LED-backlit screen coupled with an Intel processor and Nvidia graphics that the company claims uses "very little power from the socket until you need it." ...

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T-Mobile adds six music streaming services to Music Freedom program

T-Mobile is expanding its Music Freedom program, almost doubling the number of music streaming services which can be used by subscribers without touching their LTE allowance. The seven existing music services, including iTunes Radio, Pandora, and Spotify, have been joined by another six, just two months after the carrier launched the initiative. ...

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Apple iWatch announcement due in September, not October, report says

Apple is planning to announce the long-speculated iWatch health and fitness wearable at its September 9 iPhone event, rather than in October as was originally anticipated, says Re/code's John Paczkowski. It's not clear whether Apple accelerated its schedule, or if October was just a speculative rumor. In any case, the iWatch is expected to exploit not just HealthKit -- Apple's health and fitness tracking platform -- ...

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Multi-hour TWC Internet outage caused through network maintenance

Time Warner Cable's nationwide outage of its Internet and phone service earlier today was caused by a problem during routine maintenance, the company claims. The multi-hour fault, which affected a large proportion of its 15 million subscribers including 11.4 million Internet customers, has been rectified for the majority of affected subscribers. ...

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Dropbox streamlines Pro account to single $9.99 1TB subscription

Cloud storage service Dropbox has drastically updated its paid offerings, changing not only the pricing, but also adding new features to the subscription. The new Pro account provides a large 1 terabyte allocation of cloud storage to customers, far more than the old Pro account allowed, with the Pro subscription priced at $9.99 per month. ...

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Corel PaintShop Pro X7 adds content-aware Magic Fill tool

Corel has released PaintShop Pro X7, a major upgrade of its photo-editing suite. The biggest addition is said to be Magic Fill, a Photoshop-like "content-aware" tool that can erase an object and replace it with content that matches the background, even if that background is varied. Several other tools have also been added, including Text and Shape Cutters -- used to create objects based on underlying images -- and ...

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Thinner MacBook Air's release window is nebulous, sources say

Despite earlier reports, the release window for a thinner MacBook Air -- possibly with a 12-inch screen -- is now ambiguous, according to Digitimes. Taiwanese supply chain sources say that the machine will ship "possibly at the end of 2014 or in 2015," although component production has allegedly started "in small volumes." That could mean that even if the product doesn't arrive this year, it will ship in the first ...

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LG Gx2 launches with mid-range specifications, laser autofocus system

LG has launched its fourth smartphone for the month, following the L Bello, L Fino, and G3 Stylus. The LG Gx2 is another large-screened device that combines the styling of the LG G3 with lower specifications, though the smartphone uses the same laser autofocus system as its flagship counterpart combined with a lower-resolution 8-megapixel rear camera for quicker focusing....

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Kobo Aura H2O adds water resistance, dustproofing to e-reader

Kobo has unveiled an update to its Aura e-book reader, one which allows the e-reader to fend off the occasional splash of water. The Aura H2O is claimed to be the first of its kind to be IP67 certified for water and dust-proofing, meaning it can survive being submerged at a depth of 1 meter (3 feet) for up to 30 minutes. ...

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Hands-on: OnePlus One '2014 Flagship Killer'

OnePlus is an ambitious new OEM out of China founded in late 2013 with designs on conquering the smartphone market. Its first handset is the audacious OnePlus One, which recently started shipping to the US and select European markets. Interestingly, instead of jumping into the market with a 5-inch smartphone, the company's first effort is a 5.5-inch phablet that it is marketing as a 'Flagship Killer.' With its intent...

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HTC reveals Desire 510 with 4.7-inch display, 64-bit processor

HTC has launched an entry-level Desire-branded smartphone capable of 64-bit processing. The Desire 510 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410, a quad-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, and though it will initially run as a 32-bit processor initially, HTC may enable its 64-bit processing once Android L starts to roll out to consumer devices in the future. ...

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HP recalls 6M notebook power cords over melting issues

Over 6 million notebook power cords sold with HP and Compaq notebooks are being recalled, over a possible fire risk. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that HP has received 29 reports where power cords dispatched with notebooks or sold separately overheated, resulting in charring or melting of the cable, with two claims of minor burns, and 13 claims of property damage. ...

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Minnesota set to deploy 40,000 iPads to students

Even as questions arise about the LA Unified School District's handling of its botched and now-abandoned iPad program, Apple continues to win school districts over to the tablet. The St. Paul School District in Minnesota is launching a program that will offer tens of thousands of iPads to students in a total of 61 schools over time, with an initial rollout to 37 schools in the city. The district is leasing the equipm...

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