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Samsung shutting down ChatOn cross-platform messaging service in 2015

39 minutes ago | Posted in: software, iPhone apps

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

1 hour ago | Posted in: industry

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

3 hours ago | Posted in: industry, security

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 this year to provide funding and legal support for the MPAA's efforts to court State Attorney Generals and target Google directly.

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Hottest Apple products see improved supply for final Xmas push

3 hours ago | Posted in: iPhone, computers, Apple

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

4 hours ago | Posted in: computers, security, peripherals

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

7 hours ago | Posted in: industry

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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Plaintiffs in Google antitrust lawsuit required to submit more details

8 hours ago | Posted in: industry, software, mobile phones

US District Judge Beth L. Freeman ruled on Thursday that she requires the plaintiffs, Gary Feitelson and Daniel McKee, in a lawsuit against Google to submit more details. The two consumers allege that Android-based smartphone prices are being negatively impacted because manufacturers must agree to pre-load apps like the Google search app by default, instead of making deals with, for instance, Bing. The judge has said she would most likely dismiss the lawsuit as it stands, but is giving the plaintiffs a chance to revise it with additional evidence.

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White House encourages US telecommunications to enter Cuban market

10 hours ago | Posted in: Investor, industry

In a fact sheet released on Wednesday, the White House has outlined some of the ways normalization of relations with Cuba will impact trade and travel. The document covers not only how many cigars Americans can bring home with them from trips to the island nation, but encouraged telecommunications companies to improve the Cuban people's connection to the rest of the world.

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Hands On: Supreme Ruler (Steam for OS X, Windows)

11 hours ago | Posted in: gaming, software

War games may have originated from the need to boost military logistics and planning, but they have since become popular with civilian gamers. Risk and Chess are two popular war games most people are familiar with, as are Civilization and Hearts of Iron. How does newcomer Supreme Ruler Ultimate, by Battlegoat Studios, stack up to the classics?

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Interview fallout continues: actors complain, Team America taken down

12 hours ago | Posted in: security

The fallout from the Sony Pictures hack continues, and is now affecting more than just The Interview. Theaters planning to screen Team America: World Police instead of the James Franco movie have been stopped from doing so, while a number of celebrities have all denounced Sony Pictures' decision to withdraw The Interview from distribution, and the White House has refused to comment on the hack investigation.

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New USB thumb drive-sized device can take over computers

12 hours ago | Posted in: computers, security, software, hacks

A new USB microcontroller -- roughly the size of a small thumb drive -- has been demonstrated as a proof-of-concept device that leverages a serious and unfixable vulnerability in USB easily take over and install malware on any unlocked computer. Though it requires physical access or tricking the user into inserting the controller into a USB port, the device has worrying implications for any computer left unattended for more than a minute -- the time it takes for the device to gain admin access, change network settings, install a backdoor and remove any obvious sign of intrusion.

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Intel processors rumored to appear in two Lenovo smartphone launches

16 hours ago | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

Intel is rumored to be supplying processors for two Lenovo smartphones set to launch next year. A report Lenovo is aiming to announce two new smartphones in the first quarter, possibly at CES or Mobile World Congress, with Intel providing not only its 64-bit Atom processors for the mobile devices, but also LTE-Advanced cellular radios.

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Apple rejects conclusions of BBC expose showing supply chain abuses

16 hours ago | Posted in: computers, industry, Apple

Ahead of the airing of a Panorama documentary on the subject, the BBC has published a web piece revealing the outcomes of its investigation into Apple's supply chain. The network went undercover and charges that promises to protect the rights of workers were "routinely broken." In particular the BBC found violations of standards for work hours, ID cards, dormitories, meetings, and underage labor at Pegatron factories on the outskirts of Shanghai.

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Jimmy Fallon gives out iPad Air 2 to Tonight Show studio audience

18 hours ago | Posted in: iPad

On Wednesday's episode of the Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon gave away an iPad Air 2 to every member of the studio audience. The segment (below) was part of a week-long series of giveaways. It wasn't identified which models people were getting, although NBC may have opted to give people 16GB Wi-Fi versions, given the costs involved. Even at that bottom tier, the tablet costs $499.

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Jawbone delays shipping Up3 fitness tracker until early 2015

19 hours ago | Posted in: gadgets

Jawbone will be missing out on the bump in revenues from holiday sales of its new flagship product entirely, it has been reported. The Up3, launched at the start of November and originally set to ship before the end of the year, will instead be delayed to early next year, thanks to delays caused by a number of manufacturing issues.

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Amazon Prime Now offers one-hour deliveries in Manhattan

20 hours ago | Posted in: industry

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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Previous News

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

22 hours ago | Posted in: industry, mobile phones

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

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: security

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

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: gadgets, software, Graphics/Web Design

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

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: audio

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. But is the Dell AD211 a good buy for consumers looking to get the most out of their money, or does it fail to meet modest expectations? Find out in our review.

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Android Lollipop will get an update in Q1 of 2015

Thu December 18, 2014 | Posted in: developer, mobile phones

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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Microsoft hits 1.5 million total Windows 10 'Insiders'

Wed December 17, 2014 | Posted in: computers, software

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 the program.

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Hands On: SuperSync (OS X, Windows)

Wed December 17, 2014 | Posted in: software, audio

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 music libraries as to stay organized. Aimed at DJs, avid music collectors, and anyone with multiple libraries, SuperSync aims to get all your tracks in a row. Pricing is organized by license packs, starting at $23 for 2 computers. We took a look at SuperSync for ourselves, and took some of its features for a test run.

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Uber announces 'greater investment' in screening, safety standards

Wed December 17, 2014 | Posted in: industry, hacks

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

Wed December 17, 2014 | Posted in: iPhone, industry, mobile phones

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 user's bill. Like AT&T and T-Mobile before it, Sprint has run afoul of authorities for taking a cut of these scams, and thus having an incentive to allow them to continue, despite customer complaints.

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

Wed December 17, 2014 | Posted in: industry, security

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 country. Previously, the FBI had said it had "no evidence" of a direct North Korean connection, though the country was suspected from the outset.

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