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Windows 10 build 9901 leak shows updated Cortana, UI tweaks

12/15, 7:27am

More leaks for Windows 10 have surfaced, ahead of an event planned to show off the Microsoft operating system on January 21st. The latest leak of build 9901 includes a more refined design for the Cortana virtual assistant than in previous reports, with the changes accompanied by a number of other tweaks and small changes to the Windows interface.

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Briefly: Baidu Maps uses Here outside of China, Google Earth API

12/15, 6:17am

Here, Nokia's mapping service, is going to provide content for the Android and iOS Baidu Maps app, as well as desktop maps. The agreement will allow Baidu to offer its Chinese travelers access to maps for areas outside of China for the first time, with Taiwan set to be the first country covered and others set to follow. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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Sony ignored security evaluation before GOP hack, more data coming

12/14, 3:10pm

Months before the hacker intrusion on Sony Pictures' network, analyst firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) performed an analysis on the company's security, and found it lacking. More than 100 devices were found to be unmonitored by corporate security following an incomplete transition from a private security firm to an in-house team. As a result, any Sony response to network intrusion would be, in the words of the auditors, "slow, fragmented, and incomplete, if it would even happen at all." However, corrective actions proposed by PWC seemingly went undone, which left the doors to the company open, sometimes literally, facilitating the attack.

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Amazon UK hit by software bug, third-party items sold for $0.01

12/14, 1:16pm

A brief error on Amazon.co.uk, the British version of the online mega-store, led to thousands of third-party sales erroneously priced at $0.01. A glitch by Amazon Marketplace's Repricer Express led to the pricing errors, between 7PM and 8PM GMT on December 12. Compounding the problem, Amazon seller's fees had not been cut, leading to a temporary situation where sellers were actually giving money to Amazon to sell the goods for near-free.

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Friday Deals: 23-inch Dell monitor, Destiny, iMac, SSD storage [u]

12/13, 11:10pm

[Updated with more deals] Christmas is just 13 days away, and unless you spent wisely during Black Friday, you have just two weekends left to buy presents. Hopefully today's Friday Deals, the post where we list the best online deals worthy of the discerning MacNN and Electronista reader, will provide some gift inspiration for you. As always, deal pricing is correct at the time of publication but could change at a later time, so verify the price before purchasing. Also, remember to check back to this post later, as we will continue to add more deals across the weekend.

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Briefly: Bookbook case for iPhone 6, Dropbox badge early access

12/13, 9:59pm

TwelveSouth has announced the release of its Bookbook wallet case for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Comprised of genuine leather, the wallet case additionally functions as a hands-free stand, and disguises one's iPhone to look like a vintage book. The Bookbook features a removable shell that protects the enclosed iPhone from damage. Priced at $60, the Bookbook for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is available in black and brown.

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FCC overrules carriers, defines 'broadband' as 10Mbps minimum

12/12, 7:27pm

Over the objections of carriers and cable companies, the FCC on Friday voted to change the definition of the term "broadband" to require a minimum speed of 10 megabits (one megabit equals one-eighth of a megabyte) per second (Mbps) download speed -- an upgrade from the previous definition of 4Mbps -- while keeping the old definition's requirement of at least 1Mbps upload. Although the US is far behind many other countries in typical broadband speed (and US customers pay more for the slower speed that typical prices in many other places), AT&T and Verizon, along with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, argued that 4Mbps was sufficient for consumers.

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Legal action over 2011 MacBook Pro extends into Canada

12/12, 1:33pm

A second class action lawsuit has been filed against Apple over the 2011 MacBook Pro. The new case originates in Canada, specifically from a Montreal-based lawfirm, Lex Group Attorneys. Like the original US case, the new suit states that Apple shipped MacBooks with bad soldering of an AMD graphics chip to the logic board, and that this led to a variety of graphics problems. To get it fixed, some customers were forced to pay out-of-warranty repair costs that could scale up to $600, despite Apple apparently being at fault.

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Google Nexus 9 with LTE connectivity ships in US through T-Mobile

12/12, 12:58pm

A variant of the Google Nexus 9 tablet with cellular connectivity is now on sale in the United States, two months after it was first unveiled. The Nexus 9 LTE, being sold first through T-Mobile before other carriers and Google Play, is identical to the already-available 32GB Wi-Fi model, but includes the requisite cellular radios to connect to T-Mobile's network.

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Samsung already manufacturing A9 chips at Austin plant, report claims

12/12, 12:27pm

Samsung has already started manufacturing Apple A9 processors at its factory in Austin, Texas, claims South Korea's Electronic Times. Production is fact said to have started just this Thursday, using the company's latest 14nm manufacturing process. The story is consistent with other recent reports suggesting A9 production would begin by the end of the year, and statements from within Samsung that it would be supplying Apple with 14nm hardware.

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Monthly sales of Xbox One in US beats PlayStation 4 for first time

12/12, 11:18am

Microsoft has beaten Sony for the first time in a long while, in terms of console sales. Sales data from NPD reveals that the Xbox One outsold the PlayStation 4 in the United States for the month of November, with the pre-holiday spending breaking a sales streak Sony has enjoyed since the launch of its console in the country last year.

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Review: Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens camera

12/12, 9:09am

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking. Kodak thinks they have a solution in the Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens camera. Kodak's clip-on camera is an independent all-in-one 16MP cylindrical-shaped digital camera that attaches to both Android and IOS smartphones. The concept is not exactly new to the market, as Sony has their similar versions. Does the PixPro SL10 stand out? Check our review to find out.

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WSJ: Google closing engineering office in Russia over law changes

12/12, 7:33am

A Google engineering office located in Russia is reportedly closing, in the wake of changes to the law concerning user data. According to the Wall Street Journal, the search giant is going to be pulling out just the engineering office, with a large contingent of employees working on sales, business partnerships, user support, marketing, and communications set to remain.

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Briefly: YouTube animated GIFs, Google Translate additions

12/12, 6:46am

YouTube has added an animated GIF tool to some of its videos. Spotted by Gizmodo, the tool appears under the Share menu, with users able to select a section of video and create a six-second GIF from the clip, complete with a caption at the top and bottom. So far, the tool has been discovered on some videos created by PBS, but it may appear on other YouTube content in the future.

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Facebook AI lab working on digital assistant to filter drunk photos

12/11, 8:55pm

Pictures of drunk people on Facebook may lessen in future, if plans revealed by the social network's AI research lab come to fruition. Lab head Yann LeCun wants to create a digital assistant for Facebook which is capable of detecting whether photographs being uploaded to the service are being done while the user is under the influence of alcohol, with the aim of preventing anything the user would find embarrassing when they are sober from being shown to visitors.

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