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How much does Microsoft make from PC makers with Windows 8.1?
Microsoft is making Windows 8.1 available to its PC partners for anywhere from 'zero dollars' to $15 per copy, according to recently disclosed OEM licensing information.

Microsoft acquires legal-focused machine-learning vendor Equivio
Microsoft has purchased Equivio, maker of a machine-learning platform for the legal industry, for an undisclosed amount.

Microsoft readies new Surface Hub conferencing system
Microsoft is developing new Windows 10 hardware, including a new conferencing system with Perceptive Pixel multitouch displays and augmented reality glasses known as HoloLens.

Microsoft's Spartan browser: What's under the hood
Microsoft has revealed a few new tidbits about Spartan, its new 'modern' browser for Windows 10, and its relationship with IE.

Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 January preview for desktops
MIcrosoft is rolling out a new test build of Windows 10 for desktops today, January 23.

Microsoft is using 'Azure in a box' to power its own 'Nebula' private cloud
Microsoft is using its own Cloud Platform System to power its internal 'Nebula' infrastructure-as-a-service cloud.

Microsoft, IRS tax battle isn't over yet
Microsoft took a tax hit due to an IRS audit adjustment last quarter, but its ongoing tax dispute with the IRS looks to wage on, possibly for another year.

Microsoft readies new free version of its Power BI business intelligence service
Microsoft is planning to introduce a free version of its Power BI business-intelligence tools/service, and will cut prices on its new, fully featured Pro version.

Microsoft delivers public preview of OneDrive for Business for Mac
Microsoft is rolling out a first public preview of its OneDrive for Business for Mac client, and outlined new and coming updates to its OneDrive app for iOS and Windows.

Microsoft rolls out new Outlook apps for iOS and Android
Microsoft is using the code base from its Acompli acquisition to deliver new Outlook apps for iOS and Android.

CrunchWeek: Apple’s Huge Quarter, Snapchat Discover, And Newsweek’s Cover Fail
 Today’s episode of CrunchWeek is a very special milestone for us here at TechCrunch, marking the 100th time we’ve met up to casually talk about the week’s most interesting news. Read More

Speck of Interstellar Dust Obscures Glimpse of Big Bang - New York Times

Speck of Interstellar Dust Obscures Glimpse of Big Bang

New York Times
Scientists will have to wait a while longer to find out what kicked off the Big Bang. Last spring, a team of astronomers who go by the name of Bicep announced that they had detected ripples in space-time, or gravitational waves, reverberating from the first ...
Scientists recant claim about universe U-T San Diego
BICEP2 Gravitational Wave 'Discovery' Deflates Discovery News
Dazzling 'discovery' of gravitational waves from the Big Bang goes poof with new ... Washington Post
Christian Science Monitor  - SFGate  - Science Now
all 64 news articles »

Even droids know the Force is with vaccination

A long time ago, in a decade far, far away, parents knew the importance of immunizing their children, and doctors were the guardians of health in America. Before the dark times. Before Jenny McCarthy

Given the recent outbreak of measles at Disneyland — a disease that was considered all but eradicated in 2000 — it's ironic to discover that a couple of characters now owned by Disney were involved in the pro-vaccine movement as early as 1977. Namely, R2-D2 and C-3PO.

The metal pair warned Earthlings to get vaccinated "against polio, measles and whooping cough" in the TV ad above, which urged parents to write to a PO Box in Colorado to find out more. (Remember when parents used to write letters, too?) Read more...

More about Star Wars, Watercooler, Videos, and Vaccination

Ohio: No executions until 2016
Ohio will delay the executions of seven death row inmates while searching for an adequate supply of drugs that complies with its new execution protocol, the state's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said Friday.

Third-Party Tesla App Provides Look at Opportunities and Limitations of Apple Watch Development
Apple made its WatchKit SDK available alongside the release of iOS 8.2 and Xcode 6.2 beta in November, enabling developers to begin creating apps and software for the wrist-worn device. Looking beyond mockups and conceptual apps, however, a new third-party Tesla app designed by Eleks Labs offers insight into both the opportunities and limitations that developers face with the first-generation Apple Watch.

According to Eleks Lab mobility business developer Markiyan Matsekh, the technical capabilities of WatchKit do not match the expectations set during the Apple Watch keynote. In developing a prototype Tesla app that allows users to control a Model S over the Internet using a web-service API, the team of software engineers found a lot of functionality to be unavailable to developers at this time.
"If you look at the opportunities available for smart watch application development, you’ll also see a quite pessimistic picture," wrote Matsekh. "Apple does not indulge developers with an abundance of functionality and tools. However, we can hope that the available functions are limited because this is only the first beta version and it will get much better towards the release."
Matsekh claims that developers do not have access to the Apple Watch's gyroscope, accelerometer, built-in speaker and microphone or Taptic Engine system of tactile notifications for development. Additionally, despite the Apple Watch display being touch sensitive, he claims that only Force Touch, which displays the shortcut menu, is available for developers, while GPS is restricted to a paired iPhone.

Even with its current limitations, this Tesla app provides an early look at the opportunities that Apple Watch apps make possible. The multipurpose software brings a lot of Tesla car control functionality to the wrist, such as an overview of the car's battery, temperature and mileage, a controls menu for opening or closing the car and activating the headlights, and various screens related to charging, climate, location and the car's condition.

Despite claiming that the Apple Watch has "weak potential for programmers" based on its current emulator-only development environment, Matsekh recognizes that his assumptions are based off of the first WatchKit SDK available to developers. As with the iPhone and iPad, the first-generation Apple Watch will inevitability have some developmental hiccups that are ironed out over the years.

Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed at the company's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday that the Apple Watch is on schedule to ship in April, likely alongside a new version of WatchKit. MacRumors also learned that Apple has asked some developers to have Apple Watch apps ready for mid-February. In a short few months, a clearer picture should emerge of just how much potential Apple's first wearable device has for developers.

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"It's a scary a movie. I was not allowed to watch it."
Nightmares in the Horror Aisle: Exploring the Movie Art That Traumatized You as a Child

Comedians have a ball with Deflategate
Since the controversy over the deflated balls used by the New England Patriots erupted, the scandal has given comedians plenty of material.

Marriott Drops Petition Asking the FCC to Allow WiFi Blocking
NEWS ANALYSIS: The hotel chain withdraws its petition seeking permission to block WiFi hotspots at its hotel properties as a security measure.

American Dynasty
Congressional Democrats for the past six years have lamented their chilly relationship with President Barack Obama. He doesn't schmooze enough, they say. He is missing the glad-handing gene that makes politics fun. He just doesn't get it.

But they are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel: the prospect of a Clinton back in the White House.

Transgender man, pope meet
Has Pope Francis taken another step to push for tolerance in the Catholic Church?

I wrote a shell script that works on Windows and UNIX.
submitted by kayamon
[link] [2 comments]

You can now order Postmates delivery from your web browser (Rex Santus/Mashable)

Rex Santus /

You can now order Postmates delivery from your web browser  —  Unlike, say, food delivery services like Seamless or Peapod, Postmates delivers almost everything, from a slice of pizza to an iPhone case or a medical prescription.  —  A user can order an item if it's in stock at participating stores …

Verizon Won’t Stop Tracking Users, But At Least You Can Opt Out Now

The saga of last year's privacy controversy over Verizon’s user-tracking behavior continues on. The latest chapter involves the wireless carrier magnanimously deciding Friday to let subscribers opt out of the program, the New York Times reported. 

Not that the idea came purely from the goodness of its heart. As the NYT noted, the decision came less than a day after the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation wrote to Verizon’s chief executive, Lowell C. McAdam, to question his company’s behavior.

Next thing you know, Verizon agreed to let people jump off the good ship “Privacy Fail.”

Shhhh! We’re Tracking You

The fiasco started last year, when a tweet by the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jacob Hoffman-Andrews pointed out Verizon’s user-tracking tactics—primarily because few, if any, people realized what the wireless operator was doing.

Hoffman-Andrews cited an Ad Age article about Verizon's advertising business that mentioned the company’s use of PrecisionID, a tool developed by Verizon’s data marketer, Precision Market Insights. Its website describes PrecisionID as “a deterministic identifier matched to devices on Verizon’s wireless network powering data-driven marketing and addressable advertising solutions…”

The system works by tacking on snippets of code—sometimes called “perma-cookies” or “supercookies”—to mobile traffic headers moving through Verizon's cellular network. This “UIDH” identifier allows the carrier to track its subscribers' mobile browsing activity for advertising purposes. Ad Age’s Mark Bergen wrote, "Precision packages the request as a hashed, aggregated and anonymous unique identifier, and turns it into a lucrative chunk of data for advertisers.”

See also: Why Verizon Is Tracking All Your Mobile Web Traffic

In a Google AdSense world, user-tracking may not seem that outrageous. The difference: Google makes no secret of its ad-targeting behavior, and people knowingly accept those terms in order to use the search giant's free services. Verizon Wireless subscribers pay (sometimes hefty) subscription fees, but they apparently didn’t know they were being tracked.

Instead, they became unwitting participants in a program whose security remains in question. As the NYT points out, Verizon must secure those unique identifiers or supercookies, to ensure external attackers can’t get their hands on them.

Verizon "Takes Privacy Seriously" (Kinda) 

Even if people knew about the program, they would have had no way out until now. The company offered no mechanism to decline participation, like it does with other advertising initiatives. It makes sense, in some ways. If no one knows they’re being tracked, where’s the need? Another possibility: Putting something out there might trigger unwanted attention, and Verizon only puts it out there because it’s forced to now.

That is, of course, not the way the carrier positions its decision to let people opt out. According to its latest press statement:

Verizon takes customer privacy seriously and it is a central consideration as we develop new products and services. As the mobile advertising ecosystem evolves, and our advertising business grows, delivering solutions with best-in-class privacy protections remains our focus. 

We listen to our customers and provide them the ability to opt out of our advertising programs. We have begun working to expand the opt-out to include the identifier referred to as the UIDH, and expect that to be available soon. As a reminder, Verizon never shares customer information with third parties as part of our advertising programs.

The announcement looks like a concession, and a minor one at that. Because if it was serious about privacy, then Verizon would have made user-tracking opt-in, i.e. turned off by default and only activated with consent. Instead, the program is opt-out, indicating it may be turned on by default.

Earlier in January, the Electronic Frontier Foundation began a petition against Verizon and Turn, a partner that makes digital marketing software. The digital rights group seeks demanding punitive federal action for the lack of consumer disclosures over their tracking activity. The petition received more than 2,000 signatures as of Friday. 

Lead photo by Kangrex

Google Now adds data from Lyft, Airbnb and many more apps

Google Now just got a lot smarter, adding data from dozens of outside apps to help people get more things done as they go about their day.

Google Now is a search tool and digital assistant built into Android devices and the Chrome browser, and included as part of the Google search app for iOS. Until now it’s served up information about the weather, restaurant reservations, shipping notifications and nearby events based on people’s past Google searches and reading their Gmail messages. The content is presented as “cards” that users can swipe through and dismiss as they please. The idea is to present helpful information, sometimes before people know they need it.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Flames roar at Moscow library
Firefighters in the Russian capital Moscow battled a large fire in the library of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Podcast interview Robert C. Martin (aka Uncle Bob) of Clean Code starts at 8:30
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Dropcam CEO leaves Nest; founding VP of technology goes to Twitter (Josh Lowensohn/The Verge)

Josh Lowensohn /

The Verge:
Dropcam CEO leaves Nest; founding VP of technology goes to Twitter  —  Two high-level employees at Nest have departed the company this week, The Verge has learned.  Sources say that Nest's vice president of technology Yoky Matsuoka, as well as Greg Duffy who co-founded Dropcam, are no longer with the company.

Google makes Earth Pro available to virtual travelers for free
While we're sure Google Earth works just fine for your daily virtual 'round-the-world travels, the Pro version comes with some really useful features -- even better, it's now completely free. Google Earth Pro, which used to cost an eye-watering $399 ...

The week in 32 photos

Hagel: U.S. ground troops could be needed in Iraq

U.S. President Barack Obama hugs outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia,

Outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says all options must be considered in Iraq.

Computational Geometry in Python
submitted by AlSweigart
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The trailer is dark and full of spoilers
The final two episodes from Season 4 of Game of Thrones were shown again, in remastered IMAX format, along with a trailer for the upcoming season 5. Unsurprisingly, the trailer was posted online, in all its blurry goodness. So HBO decided to release the high quality version and photos from the upcoming season, prompting much speculation on what will and won't be in the tv version of the popular books.

Cassiopeia A: The Surprise Inside an Exploding Star - ABC News

Cassiopeia A: The Surprise Inside an Exploding Star

ABC News
Supernovas, the violent explosions of massive stars after they have exhausted their nuclear fuel, have long been one of the most fascinating mysteries of the universe. Now, a new 3-D map of one of the most well-known supernovas, Cassiopeia A, reveals a ...
Scientists Create 3D Model To Investigate Inside of Supernova Cassiopeia A Pioneer News
Supernova Shows Very Bubbly Shape Guardian Liberty Voice
Why is this supernova so bubbly? Christian Science Monitor
Tech Times  - The Verge  - Discovery News
all 35 news articles »

How to Make XBMC Easier to Use (Especially for Non-Geeks)

So you've created a kickass, play-anything media center with XBMC , but it's a too hard for your less tech-savvy friends and family members to use. Here are a few ways to make your home theater PC so easy that your four year old could use it.


Open vSwitch Setup Guide
submitted by CloudSoftwareDev
[link] [comment]

Gunman filmed Paris store attack
The terrorist who gunned down four people at a kosher market in eastern Paris earlier this month recorded the attack on a camera, a U.S. intelligence official told CNN on Friday.

Remembering Churchill
Britain marks 50 years since wartime leader Winston Churchill's funeral, with PM Cameron saying Churchill was confident freedom "would win out over barbarism and tyranny." Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

Chicago's subways are getting speedy LTE data
Just because you have cellular service in the subway doesn't mean you have good service -- in many cases, your data goes in the dumps when your train ventures underground. That won't be a problem in Chicago for much longer, though. The city has reach...

What Is Brown Fat? 5 Fascinating Facts
Everyone has brown fat, but what exactly is this stuff?

Suits Seek To Force Lyft And Uber To Treat Drivers As Employees (Johana Bhuiyan/BuzzFeed)

Johana Bhuiyan /

Suits Seek To Force Lyft And Uber To Treat Drivers As Employees  —  A group of drivers have filed suits in San Francisco federal court against Lyft and Uber.  The drivers contend that they are misclassified as independent contractors and should be treated and classified as employees of the companies.

NEC aims at Big Data 'sweet spot' with new SAP Hana tool

Cloud computing and SAP’s Hana in-memory database can be a powerful combination for data analysis, and new tools could help to make sure it doesn’t fall down on the job.

On Friday, NEC released a tool designed to make life easier for data analysts by boosting Hana availability in the cloud.

Focusing in particular on users of the Amazon Web Services cloud, the new tool takes advantage of NEC’s ExpressCluster software. The tool can automatically detect system faults as SAP Hana runs on AWS and switch over to a standby server when problems arise. The result, NEC said, is to shorten downtime and improve both availability and operational efficiency.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Outlook app for Android and iOS boosts Microsoft's mobile comeback

The release this week of Microsoft’s first truly native Outlook app for Android and iOS has earned the company accolades and could be a sign its mobile strategy is finally getting on track.

“Microsoft is absolutely doing the right thing putting these important and popular applications on Android and iOS,” said IDC analyst Al Hilwa. “An increasing number of users of these products already use multiple devices, and it is valuable for them to be able to move across platforms with the same tools.”

The new app, released for iOS and in preview mode for Android, is technologically and stylistically different from, Microsoft’s mobile front-end for its Web-based email service. It’s also very different from the Outlook Web App, with which users of Exchange and Office 365 access their business accounts.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Without broadband under Title II, Verizon will get off scot-free for ‘supercookies’

A Title II classification of broadband, normally associated with regulating network neutrality, would also give the FCC more power to ensure the privacy of mobile user data.

Google announces 40 new third-party integrations for Siri competitor Google Now
Search giant Google on Friday revealed that it will allow select Android apps to integrate with Google Now --?the company's answer to Apple's Siri digital assistant -- allowing users of services like AirBnB, Pandora, and Lyft to pull that data into Now.

18 incredible new photos from 'Game of Thrones' Season 5

If you thought that leaked — now official — trailer for Game of Thrones Season 5 was exciting, just wait until you see the 18 just-released photos from the new season

In the images, we get to see our first looks at new characters Doran Martell and The High Sparrow, a new angle on Tyrion's beard, and much more.

See also: Now it's certain: The 'Game of Thrones' show will reach the ending before the books

The new season premieres April 12.

Take a look at the photos below and tell us your thoughts (and sharp observations) in the comments. Read more...

More about Television, Hbo, Entertainment, Tv, and Game Of Thrones

Tiny injectable beeping tags used to track salmon

Each tag is about the length of two grains of rice (Photo: PNNL)

In order to study how young fish such as salmon are affected by swimming through hydroelectric dams, scientists have traditionally equipped them with surgically-implanted acoustic tracking tags. Unfortunately, the implantation procedure can harm the fish, plus the weight of the device can affect their behavior. Now, however, a team at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Washington state has developed a much lighter acoustic tag, that can be injected into fish using a needle... Continue Reading Tiny injectable beeping tags used to track salmon

Section: Science

Tags: Conservation, Fish, Implant, PNNL, Tracking

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Gerard Piqué has second son with Shakira, is winning at life so hard

If we follow sports in part to live vicariously through our favorite athletes, then it's hard to find a better one to emulate than soccer star Gerard Piqué, who has lived more in 27 years than most could hope to in an entire lifetime

Piqué and his girlfriend of four years, a 37-year-old Colombian singer you may have heard of called Shakira, just welcomed their second baby boy together. Young Sasha Piqué Mebarak joins his two-year-old brother Milan

See also: Shakira teams with Facebook for baby shower to benefit children in need

But Piqué, a defender for one of the world's most iconic soccer clubs in FC Barcelona, hasn't just fathered two sons with one of the world's most beautiful women and most famous pop stars. His on-field success is mind-boggling too Read more...

More about Music, Soccer, Entertainment, and Sports

New Apple and IBM enterprise app delivers a lot of utility

The first of 100 new apps this year from the partners will help utility company workers streamline their daily jobs.

Daily Video: Amazon's New WorkMail Target Business Users
Amazon's new WorkMail targets business users; Intel pushes wireless computing with latest vPro chips; Samsung Q4 sales, profit improve, but problems persist; and there's more.

Comparing the original iPhone to the iPhones 6 and 6 Plus

Gizmag takes a look back at the original iPhone, to see how it compared to today's models

Normally we compare smartphones to help you make the best buying decision. But this time we're going to line up the original 2007 iPhone with Apple's latest handsets, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – because, hey, isn't it fun to see how far we've come?.. Continue Reading Comparing the original iPhone to the iPhones 6 and 6 Plus

Section: Mobile Technology

Tags: Apple, iPhone, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Product Comparison, Smartphones, specs

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