Show Notes – July 6th, 2015

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/pirate-bay-founders-fbi-has-prenda-law-under-investigation/

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Netflix Card is your pay-as-you-go gateway to binge watching In the UK, if you want to sign up for Netflix, your options are basically PayPal or your bank card. With the Netflix Card, however, the company has just introduced a new pay-as-you-go option, allowing you to continue sampling the service beyond the f…
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Amazon’s Treasure Truck is like an ice cream truck for deals You can’t really accuse Amazon of being afraid to try something new. While we await drone-powered deliveries, Amazon is launching a new service called “Treasure Truck” that’s basically the equivalent of a neighborhood ice cream truck for killer deals…
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Lego Wants to Stop Producing Oil-Based Bricks Since 1963, Lego toys off all shapes and sizes have been moulded from ABS plastic, a material with a long list of pros; but thanks to the reliance on petroleum to make ABS, sustainability isn’t one of them. That’s why Lego is spending hundreds of millions of dollars finding an alternative. The company will spend $150 million on research and development of sustainable alternatives to the ABS plasti
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The Key to Longer-Lasting Smartwatches Might Be Stupidly Simple Smartwatches are not endowed with the greatest battery life, thanks to the limited space available. But for the increasingly large number of circular smartwatches on the market, there’s one simple change that could yield a quarter more power: stop trying to fit rectangular batteries into round bodies.LG Chem, the battery-making division of Korean manufacturer LG, is releasing a hexagonal battery a
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PayPal explains when it will hit you with robocalls When PayPal updated its user agreement with language suggesting that it had broad powers to make automated calls (aka robocalls) and texts, customers were understandably nervous. Was the company going to spam you until you bought more stuff using its…
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The ‘father of SMS,’ Matti Makkonen, dies at 63 It’s a sad day in the cellphone world. Matti Makkonen, widely considered the “father of SMS,” has died from illness at the age of 63. The Finnish creator pitched the concept of text messaging over cellular networks in 1984 and helped get the ball rol…
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Sprint Found In Violation of Prism Patents Sprint was found culpable of infringing on two patents held by Prism Technologies. The patents in question pertain to accessing protected computer resources and were used by Sprint in its “Simply Everything” and “Everything Data” plans, according to Prism. Sprint was ordered to pay a fine of $30 million. Sprint rejects the decision and said it will appeal. “We believe the
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The Campaign to Crowdfund Greece’s Bailout Has Crashed Indiegogo Yesterday we told you about a silly crowdfunding campaign to bail out Greece. Apparently there’s been so much interest that Indiegogo’s servers have been overloaded. The campaign is currently down. No joke. [Update: It’s back up and going strong.]We’re experiencing connectivity issues due to overwhelming worldwide interest in the @GreekBailout campaign. Thanks for your patience.June 30, 2015Now, i
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Is This Time Capsule Filled With $1 Million and a Ghost or Nah? Does this mason jar contain a treasure map? Or maybe a million dollars? Or maybe even the ghost of a pirate that spent decades stalking the coast of Florida? No one knows for sure. All we do know is that a Florida woman recently found this old mason jar in a decaying tree trunk and now she’s selling it on eBay.Donna Handforth of Oceanway, Florida discovered the mason jar after her dogs started dig
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UK police seize thousands of Android streamers modded for piracy Set-top boxes help deliver streaming services like Netflix and Now TV into our homes, but they’re also giving rise to less-than legal methods of watching films, TV shows and sport. As manufacturers have embraced the open nature of Android, enterprisi…
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The New Steve Jobs Trailer Is All About Seth Rogen’s Woz Today there’s a new trailer for the other other other Steve Jobs movie, the one starring Michael Fassbender. But this trailer gives us the first real look at Seth Rogen as Woz… and damned if I’m not going to see this movie just to watch him.Don’t get me wrong, Fassbender as Jobs is an inspired choice—even though he looks nothing like him, he feels a lot more like him than other Jobs we’ve seen b
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Feds hunt for suspects in California internet backbone attack A string of attacks in California on one of the core portions of the internet has the FBI searching for suspects. The latest disruption occurred yesterday morning when three fiber-optic cables were cut in Alameda county in the Bay Area. The interrupt…
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You Can Feel These Plasma Holograms Made With Femtosecond Lasers With each passing year, engineers are getting closer to recreating the 3D interface technology that pop culture has rendered so clearly for decades. Just last fall, a Japanese company called Burton Inc. unveiled a system that used lasers to create 3D displays in mid-air which, Burton said, could be used to notify people of emergencies. Now we’re seeing the evolution of that technology—but it’s def
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Uber pushes for rule changes by using drivers as mail couriers Uber is no stranger to using grassroots campaigns to push for pro-ridesharing regulation, but it just took things one step further: it’s turning its app into a political activism tool. If you live in St. Louis, you now have an UberLetters option that…
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How Google is Trying to Free You From Your Cell Phone Plan In April, Google unveiled Project Fi — a new wireless service the company claims will deliver faster speeds and better coverage with a unique, economical approach to pricing. Today, we’re going to take a look at what Google wants to do, and how they plan to pull it off. What Is Project Fi? Project Fi is Google’s effort to ensure that everyone has access to a high speed wireless network all the tim
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Redefining the purity ring “I know that we can’t change people’s behavior,” says Irina Rymshina, “but in later life they may want children and they certainly don’t want cancer. I think that we can help them.” She’s talking about Hoope, a wearable device that, it’s hoped, will …
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Apple to pay $450 million in e-book price-fixing suit Apple conspired with publishers to artificially raise the price of e-books, the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled today, upholding a verdict from 2013. Now that the company has lost its appeal, Apple is expected to pay $450 millio…
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Reddit In Chaos After Allegedly Firing AMA Coordinator Victoria Taylor If you tried to visit r/IAmA (one of Reddit’s biggest subs) recently, you were probably greeted by the image above. And if you’ve been absolutely anywhere else on the site at all in the past few hours, you probably noticed that everyone is flipping their collective shit over speculation that Victoria Taylor, the high-profile coordinator that kept IAmA afloat, was suddenly and mysteriously fired. A
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Major Government Spying Service Supplier Hacked, 400GB of Data Stolen An Italian company called Hacking Team, which supplies intrusion and surveillance tools to governments and law enforcement agencies, has been hacked. The intruders have made off with 400GB of data which is now being leaked online.The tranche of document reveals details about the company’s clients, along with passwords and details about the use of its products. So far, points out CSO, the list of c
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Uber hires guards to protect drivers from protests in South Africa Uber has been forced to recruit private security guards to preserve the safety of its drivers in Johannesburg, South Africa. The move was prompted by protests at the city’s Gautrain Station and Sandton City that threatened to break out into violence….
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San Francisco is serious about Airbnb regulation Since San Francisco is all about startups, it’s no surprise that the city changed its laws to accommodate one of its most successful: Airbnb. Last year, officials passed the so-called “Airbnb law,” legalising short-term rentals of private property wi…
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BP agrees to historic settlement over oil spill British energy company says it will pay up to $19bn for damage caused by Gulf of Mexico oil spill five years ago.
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Heads-up displays in cars can hinder driver safety Heads-up displays (HUDs) in cars were once a rare thing. More and more, new cars now come with HUDs as standard, and you can even buy aftermarket HUDs. HUDs project useful information like the car’s current speed and navigation directions into the driver’s field of view, saving them from having to look down at an instrument panel or display, the idea being to reduce distractions and keep a drive
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5 Ways to Stay Safe From Bad Tor Exit Nodes Tor is one of the most powerful tools for protecting your privacy on the Internet. But, as one recent experiment proved, its power comes with serious limitations. Today, we’re going to talk a little about how Tor works, what it does and does not do, and how to stay safe while using it. Tor in a Nutshell Tor works like this: when you send a message through Tor, it’s sent on a randomly-generated cou
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BBC cuts 1,000 jobs to combat licence fee shortfall For a long time, the BBC has operated knowing that licence fee funding may be taken away. With all eyes on how it spends public money, the broadcaster tightened its belt and committed to saving £1.5 billion by 2017. The problem with this, and cost-cu…
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TracFone Finally Agrees To Allow Phone Unlocking jfruh writes: While most Slashdot readers probably enjoy the latest and greatest smartphones and heavy-use data plans, millions of Americans use low-cost, prepaid featurephones, and many of those are sold under various brand names owned by TracFone. Today, after much pressure from the FCC, TracFone admitted that its customers also have the right to an unlocked phone that they can port to a differe
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Why You Think Some Things Are Common on Social Media When They’re Not Have you ever found yourself staring at Facebook, blinking in disbelief because you can’t quite fathom why something is so popular? Well you might just be victim of a network quirk that makes it appear as though something is common—when in fact it’s actually rare.A new piece of research from the University of Southern California reveals a new kind of naturally occurring illusion that means you may
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Plex Hacked, Change Your Password Now If you use the Plex media server for your movie and TV library and have ever used the Plex forums, you’ll need to change your password this morning. The company announced its forum servers were hacked, leaving email addresses, forum messages, and hashed passwords vulnerable.The company says that only users who have used the Plex forums should be affected. That being said, it may still be worth res
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GCHQ did spy on Amnesty International, secret tribunal admits The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), which provides oversight for UK intelligence services, admitted yesterday that its judgement made on 22 June wrongly failed to declare that Amnesty International had been subject to unlawful surveillance by GCHQ. The IPT revealed this in an email sent to the ten NGO claimants involved in the earlier legal challenge to UK government surveillance. As Amnest
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Man killed by a factory robot in Germany On Wednesday, Volkswagen said that a 22-year-old external contractor for the company had been killed by a robot at a production factory in Baunatal, Germany. Heiko Hillwig, a VW spokesperson speaking to the AP about the incident, said that the robot grabbed the worker and crushed him against a metal plate. The worker died later at a nearby hospital due to complications from his injuries. Hillwig
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Chicago’s new ‘cloud tax’ raises some questions about the future of streaming services A new “cloud tax” takes effect today in Chicago and streaming services as well as online databases sit in the crosshairs. The tax is a combination of two recent rulings from the Department of Finance: the first covers “electonically delivered amusements” such Netflix and Spotify, and the second covers “nonpossessory…
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NSA’s hacking tool is apparently as easy to use as a Google search It’s been a couple of years since Edward Snowden and The Guardian introduced us to the NSA’s spying tool called XKeyscore. Now, The Intercept has published new details about it from 48 documents Snowden provided, revealing that it’s a lot more powerf…
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Cuba Connecting Universities With Fiber lpress writes: Two Cuban universities have fiber links and fiber connections will be available to all Cuban universities in January 2016. One of the currently connected universities is in the west, near Havana (satellite ground station) and one in the east, near the undersea cable landing. Cuba will use Chinese equipment for DSL to the home and Wifi access points. Read more of this story at Sla
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This Video Shows Hand Exercises for Gamers and Heavy Computer Users If you spend long hours attached to your keyboard and mouse—whether for gaming or work—try these stretching exercises. They’ll not only make your hands and wrists feel better, you might get faster and more efficient when gaming.Dr. Levi Harrison offers several tips and simple exercises in the video above, including whole hand exercises and special thumb exercises.(By the way, if you’re concerned a
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AMC’s ‘Humans’ is an android story that’s really about us Early on in AMC’s newest sci-fi show, Humans, a teenager


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