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End Date: Monday May-11-2015 19:26:46 PDT
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We knew already that Windows 10 would offer multiple paces of update delivery. The range of options includes a pure security fix-only Long Term Servicing branch, a consumer-paced monthly mix of security and feature improvements, and even the Insider Program for pre-release access to in-development features.

For consumers, this will all be managed through Windows Update. And at its Ignite conference in Chicago today, Microsoft announced the enterprise counterpart: Windows Update for Business. Internally, Microsoft refers to Windows Update as "WU" (pronounced "Woo"), and one assumes that the company similarly calls Windows Update for Business "WUB" with an altogether more dubsteppy pronunciation.

WUB will take the basic WU experience in Windows 10—selectable update speeds, peer-to-peer downloading of updates—and extend it with business-oriented features. The two big ones are the ability to define maintenance windows and policy-based configuration of update policy according to business need.

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Researchers have uncovered new malware that takes extraordinary measures to evade detection and analysis, including deleting all hard drive data and rendering a computer inoperable.

Rombertik, as the malware has been dubbed by researchers from Cisco Systems' Talos Group, is a complex piece of software that indiscriminately collects everything a user does on the Web, presumably to obtain login credentials and other sensitive data. It gets installed when people click on attachments included in malicious e-mails. Talos researchers reverse engineered the software and found that behind the scenes Rombertik takes a variety of steps to evade analysis. It contains multiple levels of obfuscation and anti-analysis functions that make it hard for outsiders to peer into its inner workings. And in cases that main yfoye.exe component detects the malware is under the microscope of a security researcher or rival malware writer, Rombertik will self-destruct, taking along with it the contents of a victim's hard drive.

In a blog post published Monday, Talos researchers Ben Baker and Alex Chiu wrote:

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On last night’s episode of Silicon Valley, a mention was made of WIRED doing a profile on Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti. While we’d been keeping it under wraps, it’s time to finally publish that profile. Enjoy.

In the moments leading up to being anointed the technorati’s newest wunderkind, Nelson Bighetti got one last dose of anonymity.

Gavin Belson was at his podium (though when is he not?), eyes aglint, seeing the future as he so often does. But today, Hooli’s Chief Innovation Officer’s retinas were reflecting the promise of Hooli [XYZ], a new division of the company focused on using breakthrough technology to achieve radical solutions using breakthrough technology. “Magellan circumnavigating the globe was a moonshot,” Belson said, “Alan Turing breaking the Enigma cipher was a moonshot…no idea will be too big for our newest division.”

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Amp up your Instagram game and augment your iPhone’s unblinking eye with one of these kits.

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Dan Winters

Moment Case $69, plus lenses

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Weight loss company Weight Watchers continues its recent acquisition spree with the purchase of Hot5. The startup will join a couple of other mobile apps Weight Watchers has bought to help its customers get in shape.

Hot5 was originally launched in August 2013 and moved to a subscription model enabling customers to pay monthly and receive access to a wide range of short fitness videos they can use from the app. The app has had 400,000 downloads from users and tens of thousand monthly active users currently. But by being a part of Weight Watchers, the company could pour gasoline on its adoption among consumers who are already customers of the diet and fitness company.

This is one of a series of acquisitions Weight Watchers has made over the past year or so, as it’s been trying to expand available services that it can offer to its customers. Last spring, Weight Watchers bought Wello, a service that connects customers with personal trainers online. The company followed that up with the acquisition of Weilos, which provides a platform for sharing images and weight loss success stories.

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You shouldn’t trust anyone with your bitcoins, and Case is well aware of that. Over the past few years, Mt.Gox, Bitstamp and countless other centralized services have suffered serious security breaches. But Case is about to put an end to all this, as this startup has built one of the most secure hardware bitcoin wallets in the world. The startup is launching onstage today at Disrupt NY.

“There’s no easy and secure way to use bitcoin. You’re either getting security, or you’re getting ease of use,” co-founder and CEO Melanie Shapiro told me. Case wants to provide both — security and ease of use.

Case is a small credit card-shaped device with a tiny screen, a fingerprint sensor, a camera, a built-in GSM chip and a few buttons. Any time you want to make a bitcoin transaction, you press the bitcoin button, scan the QR code with the camera, swipe your finger and you’re done. Everything happens on the device; you don’t have to log in with a complicated password or use a smartphone app.

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U.S. biotech startup BioBots sits at the intersection between computer science and chemistry. Its debut product, a desktop 3D printer for biomaterials, which was just demoed on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY — printing Van Gogh’s ear in replica, no less — combines hardware, software and wetware. It’s the latter area where the core innovation sits, says co-founder Danny Cabrera.

Biofabrication, the process of artificially building living tissue structures, is not a new field — there is more than a decade of research in this area already. But Cabrera and his co-founders believe they have spotted an opportunity to overhaul expensive (circa $100,000+), large, complex legacy devices — taking inspiration from the small, low-cost desktop 3D printers being used by the maker movement to extrude plastic.

Instead of plastic, BioBots’ 3D printer uses a special ink that can be combined with biomaterials and living cells to build 3D living tissue and miniature human organs. The use-case at this point is for research and pre-clinical screening, such as drug testing (as a replacement for animal testing). It’s not about 3D printing replacement organs from a person’s own cells — albeit developments in this area are heading (incrementally) in that direction. More near term future potential for the tech is to help foster bespoke disease therapies, according to Cabrera.

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Nintendo’s Amiibo toys are selling well; almost too well, depending on who you’re asking. Fans are frustrated that many specific models are very hard to get, unless you’re willing to pay a lot on sites like eBay. Nintendo wants you Amiibo-hungry diehards to know it’s going to be okay, thanks to ramped-up shipping efforts and re-issues of Amiibo that have already ended their planned production runs.

Here’s Nintendo’s statement in its entirety, but the key takeaway is that they’re planning to bring back some old favorites, and that they’re also looking to improve the value proposition of Amiibo in general, through both lower-cost Animal Crossing Amiibo cards instead of figurines, and a new app for Wii U that lets you use your Amiibo with some “greatest hits”-style levels and scenes from favorite NES and SNES games.

We appreciate the enthusiasm that our fans continue to show toward amiibo. Sales for the product have exceeded our expectations. We understand how frustrating it can be at times if consumers are unable to find certain figures, and we apologize for that.

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Following Comcast's unsuccessful takeover bid, high-level talks have reportedly taken place between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable over a possible merger, in spite of the bad blood between the two companies.

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Liberty Media chairman John Malone has personally reached out to Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, according to the Wall Street Journal. Liberty Media is a media and communications conglomerate and major shareholder in Time Warner Cable.

Marcus will reportedly meet with Charter CEO Tom Rutledge this week at the annual National Cable and Telecommunications Association convention in Chicago, which began on Monday. It could prove to be a somewhat awkward conversation after Charter's attempted hostile takeover of Time Warner Cable last year.

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The YouTube app has disappeared from many second-generation Apple TV units, users noted on Monday, with both the home screen icon and references to the app in Settings vanishing overnight.

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No warning was given for the removal, and many users have expressed frustration with the change. The app remains fully functional on third-generation Apple TVs.

Late last month, Google updated the YouTube Data API to enable newer features and announced that older devices, including the second-generation Apple TV, would no longer be supported. This had the consequence of breaking the existing YouTube apps on a number of devices, including an assortment of HDTVs, Blu-ray players, and game consoles as well as iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch units running iOS 6 or earlier.

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Think about playing today’s hottest games in your living room — literally. Microsoft’s HoloLens intends to make virtual into reality, but at a price. The device will support apps made in iOS, Android as well as Windows 10, would be perfect to pair with a gaming console. The big question is: can anyone afford it?

This isn’t the first time virtual reality has tried to venture into the gaming console space. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy debuted in 1995. However, it was way too ahead of its time. Its red and black color scheme caused eye strain and the poor quality of games sent it to an early grave.

An unnamed Microsoft executive told the New York Times that the HoloLens would cost “significantly more” than a gaming console. Current game console prices for systems like PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One range from about $300 to $500. It is still unclear how much more “significantly more” might be as of this writing.

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It seems as if we're not alone in thinking that America's spies may have trodden on a few too many civil liberties of late. That's why senior officials at the Justice Department are calling for a wide-ranging review of electronic surveillance practices and will open up a little bit about why, and when, this technology is used. A report by the Wall Street Journal reveals that there's a big push for greater transparency, but no-one's quite sure on how many beans they should spill in order to restore public trust but not give helpful hints to criminals.

Ever since the Snowden leaks, the public have been exposed to a constant stream of revelations about how authorities use technology to spy upon us. For instance, the ACLU found that stingray devices were used 47 times by police in Erie County, New York, but only got the court's permission once. For those not in the know, a stingray is a fake cellphone tower that sucks up all the mobile traffic in the immediate region, making them perfect for spying on a city block's residents at the same time.

The paper cites an example from Baltimore, where officers are normally required to obtain a court order to get a person's cellphone details. However, there's also a shortcut if the information is time sensitive, enabling them to request from the phone company directly under the auspices of it being an emergency. You'll win no prizes for guessing which process is more frequently used, with one anonymous source describing a deluge of requests along the emergency back door channel.

The road to restoring the public's trust will be a long one, but there are some reasons to be optimistic, at least. The paper has noted that the FBI is no longer simply snatching people's information without permission, but is now submitting requests for search warrants to Judges. That should provide some much-needed oversight to what has previously been an unsupervised process, and let's just hope that some more agencies remember to abide by due process.

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Live-streaming video app Meerkat launched a few weeks ahead of Periscope, Twitter’s own take on live-streaming, and for a short while it seemed as though that would be enough to keep Meerkat ahead. Then Twitter limited Meerkat’s access to its social graph and suddenly, Meerkat’s future wasn’t so certain.

Twitter has also done a lot to heighten Periscope’s public profile, even urging celebrities to use its app instead of Meerkat. With that kind of pressure, it was clear that Meerkat would need to resort to alternate measures moving forward.

Meerkat managed to beat Periscope to the punch in developing an Android app, and it has also now begun distancing itself from Twitter. An update to the app announced over the weekend introduces Facebook support, including the ability for users to log in with their Facebook account. Users will also be able to post notices of upcoming streams as well as currently airing streams directly to Facebook.

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mf1.jpgThe finished Millennium Falcon. Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

In the lead-up to international "Star Wars" celebrations on May the Fourth, Lego master builders Dan Steininger and Chris Steininger spent two days overseeing an ambitious project: the creation of the world's biggest Millennium Falcon built entirely of Lego bricks.

Alongside Han Solo's iconic freighter, the father-son team also built two Imperial TIE fighters -- with help from visitors to the Westfield Southland mall in Melbourne, Australia. Visitors were invited to choose a side, the Galactic Empire or the Rebels, to determine with which project they would assist.

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Former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina speaks at a Republican event in Nashua, N.H., on April 18, 2015. Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina is running for president, and judging by her own website and her brief history in politics, her time at the computer maker will play a major role in that bid.

Fiorina announced the news on her Twitter account and on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday. In a video posted to her Twitter account, she said that she's running for president because she believes the US "is at a pivotal point."

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Mapping each step of a dev process can make the transformation more fact-based. It might look like micromanagement, but Nordstrom's Courtney Kissler calls it "honoring reality."
10 Linux Distros You Need To Know

10 Linux Distros You Need To Know

(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Doing lean and agile development of mobile apps sounds like a cool way to work, right? But at Nordstrom, getting there first meant doing some boring, ditch-digging work of mapping out every single step that every employee took to deliver a new version of the retailer's mobile app.

That "value-stream map" showed Nordstrom took 28 weeks to deliver a mobile app version, said Courtney Kissler, Nordstrom VP of e-commerce and store technologies, in a session at the Interop Las Vegas Conference, held April 27-May 1.

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Long before it officially existed, there were rumors that the Apple Watch had disappointing battery life. It wasn't long afterward that we started to hear companies were preparing to build external power packs to compensate. Thankfully, the folks over at Reserve Strap have discovered that you don't have to sacrifice style in favor of usefulness, thanks to the six-pin "diagnostic" port found on the bottom of the watch case. It turns out that the feature doesn't just transmit data, but can receive power at far faster rates than the magnetic inductive charging panel on the underside.

As Reserve Strap says, it means that accessory makers can now build more elegant straps that look a lot closer to the originals than a janky external case. It also makes us hopeful that, much like Pebble Time's connected accessory port, companies could build straps with functions that run beyond just recharging the device. Of course, Apple won't be happy with any of this, and will probably do everything it can in its power to hamper their progress -- after all, Jonathan Ive doesn't believe there's even a need for you to own a battery case.

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Digital Music Couldn't Exist Without the Fourier Transform

This is the Fourier Transform. You can thank it for providing the music you stream every day, squeezing down the images you see on the Internet into tiny little JPG files, and even powering your noise-canceling headphones. Here’s how it works.

The equation owes its power to the way that it lets mathematicians quickly understand the frequency content of any kind of signal. It’s quite a feat. But don’t just take my word for it—in 1867, the physicist Lord Kelvin expressed his undying love for this fine piece of mathematics, too. He wrote, “Fourier’s theorem is not only one of the most beautiful results of modern analysis, but it may be said to furnish an indispensable instrument in the treatment of nearly every recondite question in modern physics.” And so it remains.

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