Show Notes, October 27th, 2014

National Network to End Domestic Violence

NNEDV’s Safety Net: National Safe & Strategic Technology Project creates resources to help victims and agencies respond effectively to the many ways that technology impacts victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual violence and stalking, including:

This is a play that just ended in London about lolsec – about cyber criminal prosecution
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Verizon attaches privacy-obviating unique ID to customers’ internet requests Wired: “A trump card to obviate established privacy tools such as private browsing sessions or “do not track” features.”
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20 More Cities Want To Join the Fight Against Big Telecom’s Broadband Monopolies Jason Koebler writes At least 20 additional American cities have expressed a formal interest in joining a coalition that’s dedicated to bringing gigabit internet speeds to their residents by any means necessary—even if it means building the infrastructure themselves. The Next Centuries Cities coalition launched last week with an impressive list of 32 cities in 19 states who recognize that fast int
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Where Snowden gets recognized the most in public, in Moscow: computer stores Edward Snowden in conversation with Katrina vanden Heuvel and Stephen F. Cohen of The Nation. Photo by Nicola Cohen.Funny little tidbit in a piece about Edward Snowden in The Nation. Read the rest
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Marriott hotels will soon offer wireless charging in lobbies If you find yourself staying in a Marriott hotel later this month, you may encounter wireless charging in the lobby. The lodging outfit is set to install Qi-equipped tech from Kube Systems in the greatroom lobbies of 29 locations in October. Stations…
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Virtual reality can’t cause PTSD, but it can treat it Usually when we talk about virtual reality on Engadget, we talk about it in terms of entertainment, but it’s important to remember that the technology can be much more than a mere toy. It’s ability to substitute reality for any imaginable experience…
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Point-and-click classic ‘Myst’ is getting a TV show and a new tie-in game Need a shot of early-’90s nostalgia? The classic PC adventure game Myst is getting a TV adaptation. The game’s creators at Cyan Worlds have signed a deal with Legendary TV and Digital Media (a branch of the film production company) and the show will…
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GitHub’s free student bundle gets you started on writing code It’s harder to score student discounts on programming tools now that many of them are subscription services, but GitHub has just launched a bundle that could make it far less expensive to get cracking. Its new Student Developer Pack gives you free…
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We just had an out-of-body experience with this robot-Oculus project It’s an unusual experience for a weekday afternoon: I stare up to see myself, staring up. I’m strapped into an Oculus Rift VR headset, which is both controlling (and streaming from) cameras atop a 1.5ft robot roaming around my feet. This robot on…
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Plastc wants to be the only credit card you’ll ever need Your fat wallet wants to meet Plastc — a device which its manufacturers claim can replace most of the credit/gift/loyalty cards you currently mule about. It works by pairing with an app on your phone (via Bluetooth), which provides near unlimited…
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​Warner Bros is building a holographic Batcave for the Oculus Rift Like comic books? Then you’re probably familiar with the style of Bruce Timm, the father of the DC animated universe — a specific era (and style) of DC Comics animation projects that started with the 1992 Batman: The Animated Series. If you missed…
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The one (gesture control) ring to rule them all While many companies are tinkering with lasers, ultrasound and even arm muscles for touchless gesture control on portable devices and desktop PCs, Japan’s 16Lab just wants to put a pretty ring on you. The yet-to-be-named titanium wearable is designed…
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Toshiba prototype is a simpler, lighter Google Glass rival… with a catch Nearly every tech company wants in on the wearables game, but they can’t all be Google Glass or Apple Watches — not that they have to be. But hey, here’s Toshiba — and it’s got a Toshiba Glass prototype to show off. We’ll say this right at the…
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Tour one of Earth’s grandest deserts in Google Street View Visiting a large desert in person can be difficult. Roads will only take you so far, and you probably aren’t used to navigating gigantic sand dunes. Thankfully, you no longer have to plan a whole adventure just to see this austere beauty at ground…
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HTC RE is an Action Cam for Everyone HTC today announce the RE Camera, a small standalone camera device that connects to any Android or iOS device. Roughly the size and shape of an inhaler, the waterproof body sports an ultra-simple interface with a capture button you press to snap a still, and hold down to record video. It turns on automatically when you touch the body. The 16-megapixel Sony Exmor sensor is paired with an ultra-wide
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Chromecast’s custom backgrounds are finally here Google initially promised a summer release for Backdrops at I/O, but once we passed the autumn solstice it was anyone’s guess when the Chromecast feature would arrive. But hey, it’s rolling out now and that’s what matters, right? To use your own G+…
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Pandora lets artists know just how well their music is doing Many musicians put their tunes on Pandora in the hopes that they’ll build an audience, but how are they supposed to know it’s working? That’s what the streaming service’s new Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) aims to solve. The initiative gives…
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Pivotal Living hopes you’ll pay $12 a year to use its fitness tracker Fitness trackers come a dime a dozen and worse, they all seem to do the same thing: monitor your step count, calorie burn and sleep quality. As it happens, the Life Tracker 1, the first device from a startup called Pivotal Living, does all these…
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Technology changed product placement (and you didn’t even notice) As the music video starts, Avicii nonchalantly wanders into Stockholm’s Tele2 Arena. He strolls past the venue’s reception; a Grand Marnier poster gets some vital screen time. The bass drops. The crowd goes wild. For some reason, I feel like…
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Google Earth for Android is now faster, better at 3D exploration Heads up, Android fans: Google Earth for your phones is about to get a lot better. That’s what the folks in Mountain View are promising, anyway — they’ve released an update to the app brings with it snappier performance and improved labels for maps…
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‘SimCity BuildIt’ lets Canadians play urban planner before anyone else While Canada is the brunt of countless jokes, it seems like our friendly neighbors to the north have the last laugh this time. At least when it comes to playing SimCity on the go, that is. The folks at EA have recently soft-launched SimCity BuildIt…
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Watch an episode of ‘MST3k,’ with or without the jokes explained Ordinarily, people talking during a movie is our idea of hell, but in Mystery Science Theater 3000’s case, we’re more than happy to allow it. The thing is, unless you’ve got a pop culture brain that’d make Tarantino blush, you’re not going to know…
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Google is partnering with Oxford University to improve its A.I. Google is assembling a team comprising some of the world’s most renowned artificial intelligence researchers to create… something? Back in January, Google bought A.I. company DeepMind for a reported $400 million, and no one really knew why. Now,…
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Bay Area tech company caught paying imported workers $1.21 per hour Ever heard of Electronics for Imaging? We hadn’t either until this morning, but it’s apparently a multimillion dollar, multinational, public corporation based out of Fremont, California. And the United States Department of Labor just caught EFI…
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NYPD is getting equipped with over 40,000 mobile devices Thanks to a massive $160 million investment, the New York City Police Department is on its way to receive a combination of up to 41,000 smartphones and tablets. Known as the NYPD Mobility Initiative, which will be mostly financed by criminal asset…
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Canadians now have faster mobile data than you Our Canadian neighbors have already been given a taste of Rogers’ extremely data-friendly LTE, but now the carrier is officially rolling out its LTE-Advanced network across 12 different cities. In fact, it’s the first North Amercian carrier to launch…
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Yardarm will tell dispatchers when and where police fire guns With the exception of maybe old Andy Taylor, most police officers in the United States carry a firearm as part of their standard equipment. Wouldn’t it be nice to know when those sidearms are drawn, and why? A Silicon Valley startup called Yardarm…
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Drug stores drop Apple Pay and Google Wallet to push their own payment tech If you’re bent on using Apple Pay or Google Wallet for your shopping, you may have to be finicky about your choice of drug stores. Both CVS and Rite Aid have shut off their support for NFC-based payments just days after Apple Pay went live. Try to…
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Roku wants to grow its media hub empire with a public stock filing Roku frequently comes across as the little media player company that could: its streaming box business is growing in spite of much larger competition. As healthy as it is, though, this upstart now appears eager to join the big leagues. Tipsters for…
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Italy hopes free public WiFi will help revive its economy What would you do to stimulate a sluggish economy? Push tourism? Cut taxes? Well, Italy is trying something a little different: free public WiFi. Over 100 legislators have proposed spending €5 million ($6.3 million) over three years to help install…
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Exoskeleton for your hand lets you feel virtual objects and control robots Chinese company Dexta Robotics set out to develop a hand motion-capturing device last year, but instead of creating a glove like everybody else, they designed an impressively affordable exoskeleton. This device called Dexmo — available in classic…
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The MTA Celebrates 110 Years with Vintage Trains — Design News The first MTA trains started running 110 years ago, and today the subway celebrates. Vintage low-voltage trains will run from 11 am to 3 pm between 42nd Street – Times Square and 96th Street, departing on the half hour. READ MORE »
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Weekend tech reading: Ubuntu’s 10th birthday, The Witcher 3’s opening video, Xerox Alto source code In October of 2004, a new Linux distro appeared on the scene with a curious name — Ubuntu. Even then there were hundreds, today if not thousands, of different Linux distros available. A new one wasn’t particularly unusual, and for some time after its quiet preview announcement, Ubuntu went largely unnoticed…
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Google is giving non-profits its latest satellite maps Non-profit groups don’t often have the luxury of using satellite maps to gauge their progress clearing landmines or saving trees. Getting fresh imagery is typically expensive, if it’s an option at all. Google’s recent acquisition Skybox wants to fix…
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EU Court Rules Embedding YouTube Videos Is Not Copyright Infringement Maurits van der Schee writes “The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that embedding a copyrighted YouTube video in your site is not copyright infringement. From the article: “The case in question was referred to EU’s Court of Justice by a German court. It deals with a dispute between the water filtering company BestWater International and two men who work as independent com
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‘Internet tax’ sparks huge protests in Hungary Hungary needs cash, so it seemed like a pretty clever idea to tax that most necessary of utilities: the internet. Unfortunately, while the notion may have gone down well with the nation’s accountants, the feeling wasn’t shared amongst the general…
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Click your Bluetooth heels three times to call an Uber iStrategy Labs’ Dorothy is a mobile app and Bluetooth-based switch (called the Ruby) that slips into your shoe. Click your heels together three times and it triggers an action on your smartphone like calling an Uber. Read the rest
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Fitbit announces three new activity trackers, including a GPS watch The last year has been a bit rough for Fitbit. The biggest thorn in its side has obviously been the allergic reactions to, and the subsequent recall of, its Force fitness tracker. Despite having spent the better part of 2014 without its flagship…
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Amazon goes after Roku and Chromecast with $39 Fire TV Stick Amazon’s Fire TV is doing very well for itself, but it’s hard to justify that $99 price when a Roku Streaming Stick is $50 and a Chromecast is only $35. That’s why the company has whipped out the Amazon Fire TV stick that can be snagged for as little…
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Amazon Fire TV Stick There are a lot of set-top box options out there, but if we’re being honest, most of us just want access to Netflix, Hulu, and maybe a couple other services…Visit Uncrate for the full post.
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A Scientific Reason to Stick to One Device at a Time This research is making me change my habits.
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Using Excel to Watch Movies at Work The Excel subreddit exploded earlier this week when redditor [AyrA_ch] shared his custom spreadsheet that allowed him to play video files on a locked-down work computer. How locked down? With no access to Windows Media Player and IE7 as the only browser (all plugins disabled, no HTML5), Excel became the unlikely hero to cure a 3-hour boredom stint. Behind the cascade of rectangles and in the land
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Facebook’s anonymous Rooms is a chat app that feels like the old days Facebook’s new Rooms app is weird, and it isn’t long after installation that you figure out why. You don’t log in with your Facebook credentials. Your profile picture appears nowhere. It doesn’t tap into your contacts. If Rooms’ iOS-only App Store…
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Everything You Didn’t Know You Wanted To Know About Pumpkins For those who celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving, this is the time of year when the humble pumpkin really shines. For Halloween, we carve cool Jack-o’-lanterns, and for thanksgiving, we make pies out of them. Most of us don’t think about pumpkins very often. We go through life knowing they are out there, but we don’t lose sleep wondering about the finer points of just what makes a pumpkin tick. W
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EFF launches a new version of Surveillance Self-Defense Hugh from the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, “We’re thrilled to announce the relaunch of Surveillance Self-Defense (SSD), our guide to defending yourself and your friends from digital surveillance by using encryption tools and developing appropriate privacy and security practices. The site launches today in English, Arabic, and Spanish, with more languages coming soon.” Surve
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CERN hopes you know what these things are, cause it has no idea Scientists, we’re told, need to be very good at record keeping in order to make sure that others can follow their logic. It’s just a shame that whoever was running the photography archive at CERN wasn’t paying attention during that lesson. The…
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Hybrid Play clips turn playground toys into videogame controllers A group of developers thought it would be fun to merge playground activities with mobile gaming — so they did. They’ve created a system called Hybrid Play that lets kids (or adults, no judgment here) control games on their phones with see-saws,…
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Google wants to help manage your e-mails with new Inbox app While it may not be overly evident, e-mail has undergone a drastic change over the past several years. Once a service for simply sending and receiving personal correspondence, today’s inboxes are filled with all sorts of messages including social network notifications, newsletters, bills, reminders and invitations – and that’s not…
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Learn to Pick Locks for Fun and an Increased Understanding of Security Learning to pick locks is a fun exercise in learning about locking mechanisms, honing a useful skill, and getting a better understanding of how locks work and protect—or fail to protect—you and your stuff.This classic post has been republished is part of our Evil Week series at Lifehacker, where we look at the dark side of getting things done. Knowing evil means knowing how to beat it, so you can
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‘Dorothy’ lets you click your heels to hail a cab What if you could click your red heels to get home, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz? A new wearable concept — aptly dubbed “Dorothy” — might let you do just that. It consists of a small clip called “Ruby” that attaches to your shoe and…
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Google’s ‘Inbox’ is a smarter take on email, created by the Gmail team If you’re anything like us, Google’s Gmail has an iron grip on your life. Google’s looking to create a whole new iron grip with a new app from its Gmail team, and it’s called “Inbox.” What is it? That’s a good question — Google’s made a demo slash…
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Accessible, CC-licensed academic site comes to the US Michael says, “‘The Conversation’ has been in Australia for a couple of years: writing by academics, for a lay audience, which aims to be readable and relevant. Their slogan is ‘academic rigor, journalistic flair’, and they’ve done pretty well at that so far.” Read the rest
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Google Panda and the High Risk of Using Aggressive or Deceptive Advertising Aggressive or deceptive advertising tactics can heavily impact user engagement, which in turn can cause serious Panda issues. Learn how to avoid, and deal with, advertising tactics that ring the Panda dinner bell.
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Ferrari’s hybrid commits sacrilege, rolls in electric-only mode Pop quiz, hotshot. How much horsepower do you get with a 789HP V12 and 160HP electric motor? Any Ferrari fan knows the (insane) answer: 949. That’s the total output from the $1.69 million hybrid LaFerrari, and Ferrari has always said that both motors…
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Posting revenge porn could soon become a serious criminal offence The posting of ‘revenge porn’ may become unequivocally illegal in England and Wales soon, after the House of Lords agreed yesterday the law should be amended to specifically include the practice. Currently, anyone that shares explicit images to…
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NPR: ’80s ads are responsible for the lack of women coders Back in the day, computer science was as legitimate a career path for women as in medicine, law or science. But in 1984, the number of females majoring in computing-related subjects began to fall, and is now as low as 20 percent compared to those…
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PhotoMath uses your phone’s camera to solve equations Need a little help getting through your next big math exam? MicroBlink has an app that could help you study more effectively — perhaps too effectively. Its newly unveiled PhotoMath for iOS and Windows Phone (Android is due in early 2015) uses your…
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Hands-on with the Xbox One’s TV tuner The Xbox One’s €29.99/£24.99 TV Tuner is now available, but it’s far from just a glorified channel changer for Microsoft’s console. As we mentioned, it came out only in Europe because many of us across the pond get our TV fix from over-the-air…
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‘Simpsons World’ To Launch Tomorrow With On-Demand Access to Every Episode of ‘The Simpsons’ Just when the effects of FXX’s “Every. Simpsons. Ever.” marathon were beginning to wear off, just when you were finally… Read More
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The Doom Of The Double Irish, And How It Affects You Technology companies currently using a tax scheme known as the Double Irish will soon have to look for other ways to reduce their tax burdens. Starting next year, the controversial tax reduction measure will no longer work for new companies. Companies already using it — including tech giants Google, Apple, Adobe, Amazon and Oracle — will have until 2020 to stop. How the Double Irish Works Companie
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Google to Fight Piracy by Modifying Search Algorithms Google has updated its search engine algorithms in an attempt to restrict piracy websites appearing high in its search rankings.
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Gmail 5.0 for Android has a brand new look and supports Outlook and Yahoo Google has been visually refreshing the look of a number of its Android apps recently, and now it looks as though Gmail is next on the list. Along with the aesthetic overhaul, the latest update to Gmail for Android also contains a few notable feature additions as well.
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Uber gets a failing grade from Better Business Bureau, but taxis do too The latest scuffle between Uber and the taxi industry is, as you might expect, a bit one-sided. The Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association (TLPA) trade group recently issued a press release stating that the Better Business Bureau has given…
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Fast-charging batteries will power your gadgets for 20 years Fast-charging batteries are all nice and good, but the lifespan matters, too — why should you have to replace power packs (or entire devices) every couple of years ? You may not have to give up performance or longevity if researchers at Nanyang…
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Controlling your Android phone with one button isn’t as great as it sounds The Pressy one-button Android controller found an eager audience when it debuted on Kickstarter in August 2013, overshooting its original funding goal of $40,000 to the tune of almost $700,000. Inserting the Pressy into an Android phone adds an extra…
12d
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Luxy dating app doesn’t care about poor people Out of the many different app categories which exist today, dating is certainly among the most popular. Whether it’s Tinder, Grindr, OkCupid or Siren, there’s definitely something for everyone. And now that “everyone” includes arrogant, rich…
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Doctors report a case of Google Glass addiction You’ve probably heard of Google Glass owners who seemingly can’t put the wearable down, but there’s now at least one reported instance of genuinely addictive behavior. Doctors at Naval Medical Center San Diego claim that a 31-year-old Navy serviceman…
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Fitbit’s new wearable looks like a watch, crams in GPS and a heart rate monitor It’s been a while since we’ve seen a new Fitbit product, but according to a leak obtained at The Verge, that’s because the company’s been working on something a little special. The Fitbit Surge is a “fitness superwatch” that houses two must-haves for…
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UK wants tougher prison sentences for internet trolls Online harassers in the UK may soon face much harsher consequences for their scare tactics. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling tells the Daily Mail that a newly proposed measure will let magistrates send cases of internet abuse and threats to crown…
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‘Doctor Who’ will soon teach kids how to code The BBC is tapping everyone’s favorite time-traveling doctor to help get kids into coding. The broadcaster is launching The Doctor and the Dalek, a Doctor Who-themed game that features a number of puzzles designed to instill the fundamentals of…

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