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FISA Court judges ruling on surveillance reportedly own Verizon stock

07/28, 2:35pm

Judges sitting on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) may not be entirely impartial, according to a report. A number of judges on FISA Court allegedly own stock in Verizon, one of the companies subject to NSA bulk surveillance orders issued by the court, with the report suggesting this could be considered as unethical behavior by judges in an important role.

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T-Mobile CEO launches $100 four-line promotion, attacks AT&T

07/28, 12:08pm

T-Mobile has unveiled a new promotional price plan, one which is taking aim directly at AT&T. In remarks against AT&T's "Best-Ever Pricing for Families" marketing, T-Mobile CEO John Legere relayed details of a plan effectively providing four lines on the carrier's Simple Choice shared price plan, complete with 10GB of LTE service, for $100 per month.

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European Commission approves Apple acquisition of Beats

07/28, 10:08am

The European Commission has authorized Apple's $3 billion takeover of Beats, according to an official statement. The organization was tasked with scrutinizing any possible antitrust concerns in the deal. In its judgment, the Commission notes that while both Apple and Beats sell headphones in Europe, even their combined marketshare is low, and the companies aren't in close competition. Their headphones are said to "differ markedly in functionality and design."

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Uber closes Javascript hack exposing driver review of passengers

07/28, 9:40am

Cab-hailing service Uber has patched a hole which allowed passengers to find out their average score based on reviews from Uber drivers. A Javascript hack which surfaced over the weekend polled Uber servers for the passenger score, giving a response between 1.0 and 5.0, though Uber has been quick to close the loophole in order to protect its driver review system.

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New MacBook Pros could be released on Tuesday

07/28, 9:20am

The MacBook Pro refreshes hinted at during the weekend may ship on Tuesday, according to a source for French site MacG. The updated 13-inch Pro is said to have a "J44a" model name, while its 15-inch counterpart is the "J45a." The source didn't have any specifications or prices to share.

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Amazon opens 3D printing store with curated list of customizable items

07/28, 7:52am

Amazon has become the latest retailer to offer sales of 3D printed objects. Just as with Hasbro, the Amazon 3D Printing Store is making more than "200 unique print-on-demand products" available to buy and created through manufacturing partners, and though it is a curated collection of items instead of a user-designed object printing service, it still provides customers the chance to customize some of their purchases before printing.

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LG G Vista leak claims 5.7-inch display, mid-range specifications

07/28, 5:45am

A large-screened mid-ranged smartphone from LG is on the way to Verizon, according to reportedly leaked documents. Claimed to be called the LG G Vista, the smartphone appears to combine the specifications of the G3 Beat unveiled earlier this month with a device slightly bigger than the current flagship G3, albeit without the "Quad HD" display.

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Briefly: PS4 3D Blu-ray support, Amazon card reader speculation

07/27, 6:14pm

Sony's PlayStation has announced that its next system update for PS4 will include support for 3D Blu-ray releases. The firmware update, v1.75, is anticipated to arrive next week, according to PlayStation Europe's tweet from earlier today. This information was released in light of Microsoft's announcement of Xbox One's upcoming 3D Blu-ray support.

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Samsung patent application for tablet sleeve uses prior Apple art

07/27, 4:30pm

A new patent application from Samsung has surfaced, in which the company is seeking to claim a patent on a new type of sleeve for tablets. While that would not be cause for concern in most cases, some of the art in the application makes a direct call to a familiar cover for Apple's iPads. In the filing, Samsung - which has been repeatedly accused by Apple and others of "slavishly copying" the iPhone maker -- introduces prior art in the form of Apple's Smart Cover.

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Coalition of authors blames 'thuggish' Amazon for Hachette dispute

07/26, 10:01am

Some authors have begun to side with publisher Hachette in its struggle against Amazon. A letter, signed by almost 900 authors, is objecting to the way that Amazon is handling Hachette, saying that the fight is "harming authors who have nothing to do with this dispute to gain leverage." Amazon claims to be "looking out for the customer" in the dispute, and has already responded to the unpublished letter, calling the spearhead of the campaign "entitled" and an "opportunist."

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Verizon to begin throttling some 'unlimited' LTE users

07/25, 3:45pm

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

07/25, 3:27pm

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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Amazon Fire Phone now available to purchase in United States

07/25, 12:05pm

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

07/25, 10:31am

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

07/25, 8:31am

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 a developer to create an app for it, as Google does not supply an application to view through a connected webcam.

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