Technology

Google Makes Compute Engine Autoscaler Generally Available

Google Makes Compute Engine Autoscaler Generally Available

Google announced the general availability of Compute Engine Autoscaler and 32-core VMs. Compute Engine Autoscaler lets you dynamically scale the number of instances in response to load conditions by defining the ideal utilization of your group of compute instances. It will add instances when needed and remove them when traffic is low. According to Google, Autoscaler will scale from zero …

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Google Doubles Its Knowledge Graph Health Info, Lets You Download As PDF

Google Doubles Its Knowledge Graph Health Info, Lets You Download As PDF

Earlier this year, Google boosted the amount of health information it provides to users via the Knowledge Graph. When you ask about a common health condition, you can get instant medical facts related to it right form the results page. It shows symptoms, treatments, details about how common it is, whether it’s critical or contagious, what ages it affects, etc. …

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Google Ranking Signal Comes With A New Caveat

Google Ranking Signal Comes With A New Caveat

Earlier this year, Google began taking into account a site’s mobile-friendliness for ranking search results on mobile devices. It provided sites with a helpful mobile-friendly test tool so that they can make sure their pages were up to snuff. If a page passed the test, it would be good as far as that particular signal is concerned. Now, there’s a …

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Pandora Turns 10, Offers One Ad-Free Day for All

Pandora is celebrating a big birthday this month, and it’s handing out a small gift to its users. On September 9th, Pandora will turn 10. It’s declared the day “Listener Love Day” and with that comes 24 hours of ad-free streaming – for everyone – no matter what you pay for the service. Everyone in the US will enjoy ad-free …

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Amazon Beats Netflix to Offline Playback on iOS and Android Devices

Amazon Beats Netflix to Offline Playback on iOS and Android Devices

When battling a rival streaming service, snagging and producing content isn’t the only way to differentiate yourself – you can also improve access to said content. And that’s what Amazon just did for Prime Video. The company is making a portion of its content available for offline playback – meaning you can download certain movies and TV shows in order …

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Google Launches Android Wear For iOS

Google Launches Android Wear For iOS

Google is rolling out Android Wear, its wearables operating system, for iOS so that people with iPhones can use their devices along with devices like Android watches. Android Wear now supports iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus running iOS 8.2+. In a post on the official Google blog, the company says, “When you wear something every day, you …

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New iPhones Coming Sept. 9, As Apple Announces Event

Apple’s next big event will take place on September 9th. The company has just sent out press invitations, which feature the phrase “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” It’s widely expected that Apple will unveil two news iPhone models at the event – likely the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. As is the case with all of Apple’s mid-number …

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Have We Seen The Last Of Amazon’s Fire Phone?

Have We Seen The Last Of Amazon’s Fire Phone?

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what a colossal failure Amazon’s Fire Phone was. Despite negative reviews and an overwhelming lack of consumer interest in the device, it had seemed as though Amazon would work to improve on the device with future models, but now it’s not looking so likely. After years of anticipation, Amazon finally unveiled its …

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Amazon Prime Instant Video Hits Japan Next Month

Amazon Prime Instant Video Hits Japan Next Month

Not to be outdone, Amazon is also expanding its streaming video services to Japan. Netflix recently confirmed that it will officially launch in Japan – its first Asian country – on September 2nd. Now, Amazon has announced that it will also launch its Prime Instant Video offering in Japan in September. This will be only the fourth country in which …

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Orange Is The New Black Has Been Watched by Over Half of Netflix Users, Says Survey

Netflix has never, and at least according to its higher ups, will never, release ratings. In other words, Netflix doesn’t want to tell you how many of its subscribers are watching its original programming. Since it doesn’t sell advertising, it doesn’t need to. Also, in the past, Netflix has acted as though it’s not even a metric they really care …

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Amazon Launches Underground, a New App with “Actually Free” Apps

Amazon Launches Underground, a New App with “Actually Free” Apps

Amazon has just announced a new Android app store called Amazon Underground, and the company promises “over ten thousand dollars in apps, games, and in-app items that are actually free.” It looks like Amazon is picking up the tab on some freemium apps and offering them to people for free. “Many apps and games that are marked as free turn …

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Uber Sets Up Another Hub for Self-Driving Car Research

Uber is setting up another hub for self-driving car research. This one’s at the University of Arizona. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Uber, and the college announced the initiative on Tuesday. “Through the statement of intent that we signed today, Uber and the UA have agreed to work together on educational, workforce development, and research efforts in optics, engineering, and education …

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Google Lets People in 45 More Countries Edit Maps Again (Including the US)

Google is going to let you hooligans edit its Maps again, even though you couldn’t resist using the tool to draw pissing Androids. The company has announced the second phase of the Google Map Maker reopening. This will open the map-editing tool to another 45 countries, including the US. This means that map maker is now back online in over …

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Samsung on Galaxy Note 5 Design Flaw: ‘Just Don’t Stick the Stylus In the Wrong Way, Guys’

Samsung on Galaxy Note 5 Design Flaw: ‘Just Don’t Stick the Stylus In the Wrong Way, Guys’

It looks like Samsung has something akin to antennae-gate on its hands. Pen-gate? Android Police found a pretty alarming design flaw in the company’s new Galaxy Note 5 – one that can cause permanent or at least hard-to-reverse damage. Apparently, it’s incredibly easily to insert the stylus the wrong way into the device, and this could lead to serious problems. …

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Russia Bans Wikipedia Over Drug Article, Promptly Reverses Course After Edits

Russia Bans Wikipedia Over Drug Article, Promptly Reverses Course After Edits

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (basically its internet watchdog) has been in the news quite a bit lately. The regulatory body seems to be scouring the web, looking to block certain sites of content it deems harmful – which as of late has all related to drugs. Now, over the past couple …

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Google Cloud Storage Gets Offline Media Import / Export

Google announced the launch of Offline Media Import/Export for Google Cloud Storage, enabling users to load data into any class (Standard, DRA, Nearline) by sending physical media like hard disk drives, tapes, and USB drives to third-party service providers who upload data for you. The company says this will be helpful to you if you’re stuck with a slow, unreliable, …

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Stephen Colbert’s First Guests Include Elon Musk, Uber’s Travis Kalanick

Stephen Colbert’s highly-anticipated debut in David Letterman’s old spot is fast approaching, and The Late Show has just revealed the guests Colbert will welcome in his first week. The list includes Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, as well as Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. That’s a lot of tech for a first week, and for a network late night program. …

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Blurry iPhone Photos? Apple Will Replace Some Busted Cameras

Blurry iPhone Photos? Apple Will Replace Some Busted Cameras

If you purchased an iPhone 6 Plus between September of last year and January of this year, there’s a small chance your back camera is a little screwed up. According to Apple, a “failed component” makes some back cameras on the model take blurry photos. If you’ve noticed inexplicable blurriness to some of your shots, and your device falls within …

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Edward Snowden Vetters Settle Fraud Case with DOJ

The contractor tasked with performing background checks for the US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has been fined $30 million for not really completing their background checks. U.S. Investigations Services Inc. (USIS) will forego the money, which they were to collect from the OPM, after “failing to perform required quality control reviews on contracts for background investigations.” Specifically: The government …

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Netflix’s Queen Elizabeth Series ‘The Crown’ Is Its Most Expensive Yet

Netflix’s Queen Elizabeth Series ‘The Crown’ Is Its Most Expensive Yet

The Crown, Netflix’s upcoming series about the life of Queen Elizabeth II, is going to be huge – in terms of scope and cost. The Telegraph reports that the show is Netflix’s most expensive to date – £100 million, or about $157 million. The streaming company ordered a 10-episode season of The Crown last November. According to the Telegraph, the …

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Dropbox Adds Web Bookmarking To Storage Service

Dropbox Adds Web Bookmarking To Storage Service

Dropbox made an interesting announcement on Wednesday in that you can now drag and drop web URLs into Dropbox on the web and desktop and open them on any device. Dropbox positions the feature as ideal for businesses and students for organizing resources, some of which are bound to be web-based. Dropbox’s Shachar Binyamin writes on the company blog: This …

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Microsoft Launches New Windows Server Preview

Microsoft Launches New Windows Server Preview

Microsoft announced the launch of its third Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016, which includes the release of the first public preview of Windows Server Containers as well as new Nano Server functionality and software-defined datacenter enhancements. “Delivering applications quickly is key to staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business environment,” Microsoft says. “To respond, many organizations …

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Alibaba Group’s Cloud Business Expands With New Data Center

Alibaba Group’s Cloud Business Expands With New Data Center

Aliyun, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, announced that it will set up a new cloud data center in Singapore, where the company will also base the headquarters for its overseas business. The center will launch next month. The company notes that the center utilizes a $1 billion investment in cloud computing from Alibaba Group, which will lead to …

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Google Compute Engine Customers Lose Data As Lightning Hits Data Center

Google Compute Engine Customers Lose Data As Lightning Hits Data Center

Google reports that it experienced errors with its Google Compute Engine service from last Thursday through Monday as the result of four successive lightning strikes on electrical systems of one of its data centers in Belgium. According to BBC News, “Some people have permanently lost access to their files as a result.” “Google takes availability very seriously, and the durability …

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Survey: Enterprises Struggle With Full Digital Transformations

Survey: Enterprises Struggle With Full Digital Transformations

BMC is sharing results from a survey of fortune 1000 company IT managers, finding that only five percent of those polled have fully implemented digital services and mobile technologies, though sixty-three percent are currently working on incorporating them. According to the firm, the findings confirm that digital transformation is a top priority for increasing productivity as well as improving customer …

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FCC Fines Another Company Over Wi-Fi Blocking

FCC Fines Another Company Over Wi-Fi Blocking

The Federal Communications Commission has fined an internet provider $750,000 for using Wi-Fi monitoring systems to jam people’s personal hotspots at hotels and convention centers. The FCC says that Smart City, described as an Internet and telecommunications provider for conventions, meeting centers, and hotels, was guilty of blocking people’s mobile hotspots in order to force them to pay for Smart …

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Can Google Make Your Wi-Fi Less Annoying?

Can Google Make Your Wi-Fi Less Annoying?

Google has partnered with TP-LINK on a new router called OnHub aimed at simplifying Wi-Fi and making it less annoying. According to Google, it gives you fast, easy, secure Wi-Fi as opposed to “unplugging and re-plugging cords, trying to decipher blinking lights, or contemplating a call to customer support.” Here’s what OnHub looks like. Pretty simple. As Google notes, it …

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Google’s Humanoid Robot Can Stalk You Through the Woods Now

Google’s Humanoid Robot Can Stalk You Through the Woods Now

In that’s just wonderful news, the Google-owned Boston Dynamics is now testing its ATLAS humanoid robot outdoors, which led to this incredibly creepy footage: No, ATLAS isn’t particularly agile – yet. But the way it ambles along, like a drunk, homicidal toddler, is more than a little unnerving. That’s a Google-owned robot that can pretty much ruin your camping trip. …

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Google Hangouts Gets Its Own Website

Google Hangouts Gets Its Own Website

Google has finally given Hangouts its own dedicated site. Head on over to hangouts.google.com, and you’ll find a full-fledged web client for Google’s popular messaging service. “We are launching another way to use Hangouts today. From our new site you’ll be able to take advantage of the best of Hangouts in the browser, along with an inspiring image to get …

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Study Shows Google Apps For Work Saves Businesses Big Money

Study Shows Google Apps For Work Saves Businesses Big Money

Google commissioned Forrester Consulting to look at the total economic impact (TEI) of the value Google Apps for Work customers get out of the product. The study spans three years of organizations’ use of it, including the moving from legacy on-premise solutions to Google’s cloud-based product. Google for Work president Amit Singh says, “To quantify the complete value of Google …

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Google Makes Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Pub/Sub Generally Available

Google Makes Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Pub/Sub Generally Available

Google announced that it has removed the beta label from Cloud Dataflow, its managed cloud service and programming model for batch and streaming big data processing, and is making it generally available. “Cloud Dataflow is specifically designed to remove the complexity of developing separate systems for batch and streaming data sources by providing a unified programming model,” Google says in …

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Study: 86% Of Enterprises To Connect To Multiple Cloud Providers Within 2 Years

Study: 86% Of Enterprises To Connect To Multiple Cloud Providers Within 2 Years

XO Communications recently commissioned a study from IDC, which found that most enterprises are planning to implement a “multicloud” strategy despite historically being “long-held concerns” about security and performance. More specifically, the number of enterprises that will connect their corporate networks to two or more cloud service providers will triple within the next two years, it finds. According to the …

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Google Makes Cloud Deployment Manager Generally Available

Google Makes Cloud Deployment Manager Generally Available

Back in May, Google released Cloud Deployment Manager in beta. It’s now generally available and ready for anybody to use for production. The tool lets you create, deploy, and manage Cloud Platform resources. You can create dynamic templates that describe your desired configuration and use it to create Cloud resources as a single deployment. In a blog post, Google lists …

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iOS 9 Fixes an Annoying Wi-Fi Issue

iOS 9 Fixes an Annoying Wi-Fi Issue

In gee that’s a simple solution, why isn’t that already a thing news, Apple has built a new Wi-Fi feature into its newest iOS. Apple products never want to let go of Wi-Fi. The signal might be terrible, but iOS will cling to any available Wi-Fi – even if it’s so slow as to render your phone a brick. Instead …

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YouTube Finally Ditches the 301+ View Count

YouTube Finally Ditches the 301+ View Count

The 301+ tyranny is over. YouTube has announced that it’s doing away with the dastardly practice of assigning the “301+” view count on popular new videos. As YouTube explains in the above image, the 301+ placeholder count was instituted with good intentions. When a popular video was acquiring views at a rapid rate, YouTube paused everything at 301 while it …

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Google Fiber’s Next Stop is San Antonio, Its Largest City Yet

Google Fiber’s Next Stop is San Antonio, Its Largest City Yet

It’s official – Google Fiber’s next stop is San Antonio. This will be the biggest city to which Google’s brought its high-speed internet. According to Google, the Fiber installation will require over 4,000 miles of cable. “From starting Bexar BiblioTech, the first all-digital public library in the U.S., to being named a leading city in cybersecurity, San Antonio has developed …

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Apple Says It’s Not Testing Its Own Phone Service

Apple Says It’s Not Testing Its Own Phone Service

Apple is denying a report that said it was testing its own wireless service. “We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO,” said an Apple spokeswoman in a statement. On Monday, a report from Business Insider quoted sources ‘close to Apple’ who said that the company is looking to get into the MVNO game. …

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T-Mobile Is Now the Third-Largest Carrier in the US

T-Mobile Is Now the Third-Largest Carrier in the US

We have a new ranking of the “big four” wireless carriers. T-Mobile has officially passed Sprint and is now the third biggest carrier in the US, according to subscriber count. T-Mobile reported 58.9 million customers last month when it dropped its latest earnings – a gain of about two million. Sprint just reported its latest earnings, and gains of 675,000 …

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3D Printed Drug: FDA Approves Its First, an Epilepsy Medication

3D Printed Drug: FDA Approves Its First, an Epilepsy Medication

Medical tech is a huge market where 3D printing is attempting to make a splash, and now we have another first for the industry. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved its first-ever 3D-printed medication. The drug is called Spritam, and it’s used in the treatment of seizures. Spritam is a “prescription adjunctive therapy in the treatment of partial …

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Apple Is Trying to Make Voicemail a Little Less Terrible

Apple Is Trying to Make Voicemail a Little Less Terrible

Voicemail is pretty terrible, and this is a universally-accepted opinion. Except for your mom. You mom loves leaving voicemails. But even mom probably hates listening to voicemails. In fact, phone owners hate most sorts of talking and listening. The word is powered by texts, and that’s probably not changing for at least the foreseeable future. It’s nice to hear, then, …

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Apple Reportedly Testing Its Own Phone Service

Apple Reportedly Testing Its Own Phone Service

In the future, it’s entirely possible that you’ll never have to deal with anyone other than Apple to use your new iPhone. This is great or not-so-great news, depending on your feelings toward Apple. We’ve heard talks of Apple launching its own phone service for a while, but a new report says that Apple’s already begun trialing said service in …

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Here’s What’s About To Hit Netflix

As you know, content comes and goes on Netflix. Each week, we’re bringing you a list of titles that you’ll be able to stream in the U.S. in the coming days. As always, dates are subject to change. Great news this week, Wing Commander fans… Available on 07/31: Wet Hot American Summer: Season 1 – NETFLIX ORIGINAL It’s the first …

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Facebook Is About to Start Testing Its Internet Drone

Aquila, Facebook’s internet-beaming drone, is complete and ready for testing. Jay Parikh, VP of Global Engineering and Infrastructure, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg just pulled the cover off the device, which is carbon-fiber framed and solar-powered. Aquila has the wingspan of a 737, but weighs only as much as a Prius. Facebook’s plan is to drop it via ballon, and once …

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Google Street View Cars Are Now Tracking Air Pollution

A handful of Google Street View cars are mapping more than roads. Google has teamed up with Aclima, a San Francisco-based company that designs and deploys environmental sensor networks, to equip a small portion of its fleet of Street View cars with mobile sensors. These sensors can track levels of nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, …

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Uber Denies ‘Ghost Cars’, Says It Sometimes Shows Fewer Cars Than Available

According to Uber, this whole ‘Ghost Car’ hullabaloo is nonsense. if you’re unfamiliar with the story, read this. But here’s quick recap from that: When you open the Uber app, the first thing you see is a map with (hopefully) a bunch of cars circling your location. Oh good, you think, there are plenty of drivers right next to me. …

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Google Translate’s Awesome Visual Translation Feature Gets 20 New Languages

When Google first unveiled its visual translation feature inside the Google Translate app, it seemed pretty damn cool. But after a recent trip overseas, it proved itself incredibly useful. Google has just made it even more useful by adding a bunch of new languages. Before, you could hold your phone up to a road sign, menu, or whatever and receive …

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Amazon Wants ‘High-Speed’ Zone for Its Prime Air Delivery Drones, 200 Feet Up

Drones are coming. Commercial drones, that is. In so many years, the sky will be filled with small, unmanned aircraft delivering you pizzas. And new iPhones. That’s been Amazon’s vision for years now, as the company tries to get its Prime Air drone delivery service off the ground. Standing in its way are longstanding rules and regulations concerning commercial aircraft. …

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The White House Just Responded to the Pardon Edward Snowden Petition – Two Years Later

It only took two years, but the White House has finally gotten around to providing a response to a petition asking for the pardon of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Official answer: nope. “As the President said in announcing recent intelligence reforms, ‘We have to make some important decisions about how to protect ourselves and sustain our leadership in the world, …

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Is Uber Populating Its Map with Ghost Cars?

When you open the Uber app, the first thing you see is a map with (hopefully) a bunch of cars circling your location. Oh good, you think, there are plenty of drivers right next to me. I should be able to get a ride in no time. In theory, yes, if all those cars you see on the map are …

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Amazon Prime Music Launches in the UK

More than a year after Amazon debuted its music streaming service in the US, the company has opened it up across the pond. Amazon Prime Music is now live in the UK. Prime Music isn’t a monthly subscription service, like Spotify or Apple Music. Instead, Prime Music is just another perk offered to Amazon Prime members alongside expedited shipping, Amazon …

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Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Hundreds More Call for Ban on Autonomous Weapons

According to Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, Noam Chomsky, and hundreds of AI and robotics researchers, governments should ban autonomous weapons in order to prevent a “military AI arms race.” In a letter signed by over 1,000, Musk, Hawking and others say that most AI researchers “have no interest in building AI weapons, and do not want others to …

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Google Is Stripping Google+ from Its Services – First Up, YouTube

A few years ago, Google went all in with Google+. Google+ is Google, remember? In an effort to unify all Google products under a common banner, Google tied everything to Google+ – including YouTube. This made a lot of people very angry and was widely regarded as a bad move. Google+, as we all know, didn’t really turn out how …

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Here’s A Preview of What’s Coming To (And Going Away From) Netflix In August

As you know, content comes and goes on Netflix. Each week, we’re bringing you a list of titles that you’ll be able to stream in the U.S. in the coming days. As always, dates are subject to change. This time, we’ve got a preview of some titles that will be hitting the streaming service in the month of August. It’s …

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Here’s What’s About to Hit Netflix

As you know, content comes and goes on Netflix. Each week, we’re bringing you a list of titles that you’ll be able to stream in the U.S. in the coming days. As always, dates are subject to change. It’s a short list this week, but it contains a few Netflix originals – including the highly-anticipated Wet Hot American Summer series. …

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YouTube on Android Is Making Crappy Vertical Videos More Bearable

Do you watch or upload a lot of videos on YouTube? Are you sickened by what you see on a daily basis? Do you ever get so frustrated with video orientation that you often hurl your phone across the room in a blinding rage? Vertical Video Syndrome (VVS) is a condition that affects one in every two people. Symptoms include, …

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Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Others Demand Specific Privacy Rules for ISPs

In order to obtain the necessary services that the country’s various internet service providers offer, Americans must give up a lot of personal information. And what those companies do with said information should be a concern of every single American. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and seven other Senators have asked the FCC to implement some specific rules concerning how broadband …

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Netflix Releases First ‘Major’ Update To TV Apps In 2 Years

Netflix just announced the release of what it’s calling its first major update to its television applications since late 2013, when it launched its biggest update ever. The new update will start or resume a title while display “key information” when you select it. “We’re letting the content speak for itself by providing a more immersive and cinematic experience that …

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Google Reminds You It’s Tracking Your Every Move with Creepy, Somewhat Useful New Maps Feature

Here’s the thing: We all know that Google knows everything about us – and of course that includes where you are and where you’ve been. But seeing all of that tracking in a neat little timeline is a tad disconcerting. A little bit neat and possibly useful, but pretty damn weird as well. Google has just launched a new feature …

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The New Google Glass Is Built for Enterprise

In January, Google had a back to the drawing board moment with Google Glass. It shut down its Glass Explorer program, took the product off the market, and began to restructure the whole thing. Google gave the reins to Next CEO Tony Fadell, and moved the project of the Google X lab and gave it its own division. At the …

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Teen’s Homemade Gun-Equipped ‘Drone’ Sparks FAA Investigation

A short YouTube video of a quadcopter has prompted an investigation from the Federal Aviation Administration. This 14-second clip is simply titled “Flying Gun” and shows a handgun mounted on a quadcopter hovering above a wooded area. The gun fires a few shots and the video ends. “Homemade multirotor with a semiautomatic handgun mounted on it. Note: The length from …

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App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, and Other Apple Services Down for Some

Many Apple services are experiencing a pretty major outage today, as the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV, the iBooks Store, iTunes, Beats 1 Radio, and more are all down for some users. According to Apple, it’s only affecting some users. “All Store Services – Some users are affected,” says Apple. “Users are experiencing a problem with the services listed …

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Google Sets a Kill Date for Google+ Photos

This isn’t a shocker – we knew this was coming eventually. But Google has just set a kill date for Google+ Photos. Google will begin to shut down the photo feature inside its struggling social network on August 1st. The death will happen first on Android and then soon after on the web and iOS. Google unveiled its new Google …

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Spotify Will Make You a New Playlist of Deep Cuts Every Monday

When it comes to differentiating itself for the pack, there’s only so much a streaming music service can do in terms of content acquisition – they either have a song, or they don’t. Exclusives and better licensing deals can make one service more attractive than the other, but for the most part, most top-tier streaming platforms all offer the same …

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Ashley Madison Hack Has Been Cleaned Up, Says Company

Online dating site for married people Ashley Madison fell victim to a hack over the weekend, putting the personal information of over 37 million users in jeopardy. Now, the company says it has scrubbed all leaked info. “Using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), our team has now successfully removed the posts related to this incident as well as all …

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Email Spam Rate Lowest In Over A Decade

Email spam levels have reached a twelve-year low according to research from Symantec. The company released its June Intelligence Report looking at targeted attacks and phishing, vulnerabilities, malware, mobile and social media, and of course spam. “There is good news this month on the email-based front of the threat landscape,” it says. “According to our metrics, the overall spam rate …

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Facebook Messenger Is Now Globally Available to Anyone with a Phone Number

In June, Facebook said it was beginning to roll out a new way to use Facebook Messenger – a way to sign up with a phone number and only a phone number. Today, it goes global. As of now, everyone in the world can use Facebook Messenger without a Facebook account. Messenger’s David Marcus made the announcement today. “Excited to …

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Google Self-Driving Cars “Being Hit Surprisingly Often”

Google’s self-driving cars are getting into accidents – but it’s not their fault. Instead it’s human drivers, distracted by their iPhones and such, that keep running into Google’s autonomous vehicles. At least that’s what Google’s Chris Urmson has to day. “Our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the …

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Here’s What’s About To Hit Netflix

As you know, content comes and goes on Netflix. Each week, we’re bringing you a list of titles that you’ll be able to stream in the U.S. in the coming days. As always, dates are subject to change. We’ve got a pretty short list for you this week, but it does have a couple of Netflix originals. Also, fans of …

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Hulu May Let You Go Ad-Free for a Price

One of life’s great annoyances (Why do I pay for Hulu but still have to sit through ads?) may be about to get mitigated. Kind of. Hulu is reportedly thinking about offering ad-free streaming – but there’s a catch. Netflix and Amazon Prime, for instance, offer ad-free streaming for all subscribers. Hulu’s plan, according to the Wall Street Journal, is …

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If Mobile Addicts Were The Population Of A Country, It Would Be Just Smaller Than The U.S.

Yahoo’s Flurry released a new report looking at people’s addiction to their mobile devices. In short, addiction is on the rise. “On June 29th Bank of America released the findings of its second annual report on Consumer Mobility,” says Simon Khalaf, SVP of Publisher Products at Flurry. “The report showed that the US population is perpetually plugged-in with 71% of …

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Google Play Downloads 85% Higher Than App Store [Report]

App Annie, an app data service, which is in use by a reported 700,000 apps, released some new data looking at Android vs. iOS apps. The biggest finding is that in Q2, Google Play’s worldwide downloads were about 85% higher than those from Apple’s App Store. App Annie calls this a significant increase from the 70% gap it saw in …

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Neil Young Says He’s Done with Streaming, Citing Sound Quality

Neil Young says he’s pulling his music from streaming services. No, Young’s issue isn’t money, like Taylor Swift or Prince – Young’s problem is with sound quality, which he calls the worst “in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution.” streaming ends for me today… https://t.co/3CJUtvwjMv — Neil Young (@Neilyoung) July 15, 2015 Here’s what Young had …

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Uber Is Letting Some Drivers Take New Rides During Current Rides

Uber is reportedly testing a new feature in San Diego that allows its drivers to accept new ride requests before they’ve even finished their current fare. From Forbes: “Skip the wait and accept upcoming trips so you can go straight to your next ride,” Uber said in the email. Drivers get a chance to reduce downtime between trips. But Uber …

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Narcos: Here’s the Trailer for Netflix’s Pablo Escobar Series

Netflix has just released the official trailer for its upcoming series Narcos. The show stars Wagner Moura, a well-known star in Brazil, as Pablo Escobar. Game of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal plays a a Mexican DEO agent sent to Colombia on a U.S. mission to capture and ultimately kill him. Here’s Netflix’s official description: NARCOS is the true story of U.S. …

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Is It Time For Flash To Go Away?

The writing has been on the wall for quite a while. Flash is dying a slow death, yet it continues to gasp for air. After some new vulnerabilities were discovered, many have been calling for the plug to be pulled. Do you think there should be an industry-wide halt in Flash use? Let us know what you think. Facebook’s Chief …

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Amazon’s First Original Movie Is Spike Lee’s ‘Chi-Raq’

Amazon, which has begun to have success with its original TV series, is finally jumping into the world of original films. The company has officially announced its first project – Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq. In January, Amazon announced plans to produce at least a dozen original films a year. The movies will be created with theatrical release in mind, but will …

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Netflix Alters How DVD Subscribers Get Email

Netflix is changing the way it emails members of its DVD subscription service. Having been a member for over a decade, I can’t recall a time when this has changed much or at all. They’re going to reduce the frequency of emails by consolidating information. Here’s what the company said in an email to members: Here at Netflix we are …

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Uber Has a New Option for the Elderly and Disabled

Uber is testing a new ride option that caters to the elderly and the disabled. It’s called UberASSIST, and it’s launching in Los Angeles. “At Uber, we strive to create transportation options that fit everyone’s needs. Today we are announcing a new option that will allow riders needing an extra hand to request safe and reliable rides at the tap …

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Google Map Maker Reopens, Tries to Prevent Pissing Androids

After a series of questionable (but kind of funny) edits, Google shut down its map editing tool Map Maker in May while it “made the moderation system more robust.” Today, Google is announced that it will reopen Map Maker in early August, with a new focus on community moderation. “Map Maker will be reopened for editing in early August, and …

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Pluto Image Hits Instagram First as NASA Shares New Horizons Flyby

After more than nine years and a mind-blowing three billion plus miles, NASA’s New Horizons probe has finally made it to Pluto. And the clearest, most detailed look at the dwarf planet was shared on Instagram. This wasn’t accidental. “We made an editorial decision to give the world a sneak peek of the image on Instagram,” NASA social media manager …

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Facebook’s Security Head Calls for the Death of Flash

In 2010, Steve Jobs famously tore down Adobe Flash. Facebook’s new Chief Security Officer wants Flash to die. “It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day,” said Alex Stamos in a recent tweet. “Even if 18 months from now, one set date is the …

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Comcast’s Google Fiber Competitor Is Not Cheap

Comcast has revealed the pricing on it 2Gbps fiber network, and it’s not cheap. As predicted, Gigabit Pro is going to cost you $300 a month ($299.95, to be exact). This is more than double the price of Google Fiber, but also double the speed. Comcast will be offering a promotional rate of $159 – if you agree to sign …

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Netflix Releases Latest ISP Speed Rankings

Netflix just released its monthly update on Internet service provider speed data, ranking the top ISPs in terms of speed for its streaming service. This reflects the month of June. There was a lot more change in the rankings in June compared to other recent months. “In the U.S., there was much movement in the index,” said Netflix’s Anne Marie …

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Comcast’s New Cordcutting Service Has a Lot of Catches

Everyone’s looking to give people more cordcutting options these days – even the guys providing the cord. Comcast has just announced a new streaming service, which it hopes to make available to the entire country by early next year. It’s called Stream, and it will launch in beta in Boston at the end of the summer and then jump to …

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Gerard Depardieu To Star in Netflix’s First French Series

Renowned character actor and Academy Award nominee Gerard Depardieu is heading to Netflix. The French actor will star in Marseille, “tale of power, corruption and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the French port city.” Marseille is Netflix’s first French production. It’s shot entirely in France and will be entirely in French. Depardieu will play Robert Taro, mayor of …

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Here’s What’s About To Hit Netflix

As you know, content comes and goes on Netflix. Each week, we’re bringing you a list of titles that you’ll be able to stream in the U.S. in the coming days. As always, dates are subject to change. Available on 07/09: The Last Unicorn (1982) Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow This animated tale follows a unicorn who believes she …

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Yahoo Mail Makes It Easier To Add Images, Files & Links To Messages

Google isn’t the only one that announced some email improvements on Thursday. Yahoo announced a new feature for when Yahoo Mail users are composing a message that makes it easier to find and add photos, files, GIFs, or links to their messages. “The new compose experience is simple and fun to use — simply click on the new + icon …

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Uber Driver Threatens to Cut Woman’s Neck in Crazy Voicemail

A London Uber driver overreacted, a bit, to a customer who canceled her ride. He threatened to slit her throat. 28-year-old Anne Kealey says that she called an Uber at about 11am, but was forced to cancel the ride when it was a few minutes from her location – as people have to do from time to time. According to …

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Google Glass Picture Taking Could Get Even Dweebier

If you thought you looked cool wearing Google Glass before, wait till you see this. Google has been awarded a patent that allows “a computing device, such as a head-mountable device (HMD), to capture and process images in response to a user placing their hands in, and then withdrawing their hands from, a frame formation” In other words, Google wants …

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Star Wars Fans, You Now Have an Official App

Star Wars mania is a constant aspect of pop culture, but things are really turned up now that Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens in on everyone’s mind. I guess it seemed a good a time as any for Lucasfilm and Disney to finally create an official Star Wars app. You can download is now on iOS and …

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Apple Thinks You’re Really Going to Want an iPhone 6s

Apparently, Apple is pretty damn confident that you’re going to want a new iPhone that simply sports a handful of hardware changes (and no difference in overall design). Apple is reportedly telling manufacturers that it needs up to 90 million of the iPhone 6s, which it is expected to debut this fall. From the Wall Street Journal: Apple is asking …

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Apple’s Record $533M Payment to Patent Troll Voided

In February, a federal jury in Texas sided with a patent licensing company called Smartflash and ordered Apple to pay $532.9 million for infringing upon three patents dealing with data storage, payments, and DRM. Apple vowed to fight it, obviously, saying: “Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no US presence, and is exploiting our patent …

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Taco Bell Delivery Hits 90 Cities Through DoorDash Partnership

Taco Bell knows you can’t get off the couch, and is getting serious about delivering you Crunchwraps. The restaurant is expanding its delivery service to 90 cities in the Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco Bay Area and Dallas regions. This will cover more than 200 stores. “Delivery is yet another example of how we’re using technology and innovation to …

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Netflix Snags Indies to Boost Its Big Film Push

After very successful TV series and documentary ventures, Netflix is getting serious about original feature films. That $60 million buy of Brad Pitt’s new military satire should tell you that. But it’s not just the giant acquisitions that show Netflix’s determination to be a leader in original feature films. Netflix is apparently ramping up efforts to snag the rights to …

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Netflix’s First Original Films Get Release Dates

Up until now, Netflix has created original TV series and documentaries. On October 16th, something pretty significant is happening – Netflix is becoming an official destination for original feature films. The company has just announced the premiere dates of its first four original films. First up is True Detective alum Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation. Based on the bestselling …

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Showtime’s Standalone Streaming Service Is Now Available

Showtime’s standalone streaming service has finally gone live. For $10.99 per month, you can watch Showtime content online without a cable subscription. You’ll be able to stream on Apple devices, Roku, PlayStation Vue, and Showtime’s iOS apps. If you sign up through Hulu, however, Showtime’s new service will be $2 cheaper (Hulu subscription required, of course). Showtime is also offering …

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Chris Tucker, Netflix Sued over Standup Special

On July 10, Rush Hour star Chris Tucker’s first-ever standup special will land on Netflix, as an exclusive. Now, just a few days before his big moment, the actor is being hit with a lawsuit. TMZ reports that another comedian is responsible for the lawsuit. Terry Hodges is suing both Tucker and Netflix, claiming he’s been working on the special, …

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Google Is Testing Self-Driving Cars in Austin

Last month, a fleet of Google’s self-driving cars hit public roads in California. Before that, testing on private roads had always happened around Mountain View. Now, for the first time, Google has taken its self-driving cars outside of California. The company is now testing the technology in Austin, Texas. Well, car, that is. “It’s summertime, so millions of Americans are …

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Hannibal Season 4? Not on Netflix or Amazon, Says Creator

Last month, NBC canceled critical darling Hannibal after three seasons. Ever since, fans of the show – who are particularly diehard – have been hopeful that it would find a savior. Maybe Netflix? Maybe Amazon? Well, apparently it’s going to have to be someone else. Executive producer and creator Bryan Fuller has confirmed that both Netflix and Amazon have passed …

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Lemony Snicket Trailer Is Awesome, but It Didn’t Come from Netflix (or Did It?)

We’ve known for a while now that Netflix has a show in the works based on Lemony Snicket’s (author Daniel Handler) A Series of Unfortunate Events. We don’t know when Netflix is planning to debut the series, and we’ve yet to see any sort of teaser trailer for it. Well, late Sunday, that appeared to have changed when a video …

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