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To pursue its continuing obsession with thinness, Apple has gone to extraordinary lengths with the keyboard on the new 12-inch MacBook, redesigning it in a way that is thoroughly distinct from its Macbook Air and MacBook Pro stablemates.

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According to Apple, the the new MacBook's key assembly is about 40 percent thinner than previous designs and was necessary to keep the entire machine under 0.52 inches thick at its deepest point.

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Anne Thwacks writes The British Government web site for applying for for a licence to be a security guard requires a plugin providing Internet Explorer emulation on Firefox to login and apply for a licence. It won't work with Firefox without the add-on, but it also wont work with Internet Explorer! (I tried Win XP and Win7 Professional). The error message says "You have more than one browser window open on the same internet connection," (I didn't) and "to avoid this problem, close your browser and reopen it." I did. No change.

I tried three different computers, with three different OSes. Still no change. I contacted their tech support and they said "Yes ... a lot of users complain about this. We have known about it since September, and are working on a fix! Meanwhile, we have instructions on how to use the "Fire IE" plugin to get round the problem." Eventually, I got this to work on Win7pro. (The plugin will not work on Linux). The instructions require a very old version of the plugin, and a bit of trial and error is needed to get it to work with the current one. How can a government department concerned with security not get this sort of thing right?"

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Portray as a nut? He IS a nut.

He had the gall to question Obama's citizenship (born in Hawaii to an American woman and Kenyan father), when Cruz was born in Canada (to an American woman) and has a Cuban father.

But now it's crazy to question his ability to run for the presidency because his mother was American, ya know just like Obama which he claimed meant Obama didn't meet the requirements because the birth certificate is a forgery and he was actually born in Indonesia, a foreign country, just like Canada.

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It doesn't happen often, but a judge has called out police officers for using a non-existent offense -- "contempt of cop" -- to justify the use of force against a detained person. Multnomah County (OR) Judge Diana Stewart cleared 16-year-old Portland resident Thai Gurule of several charges brought against him after he was pummeled and tased by police officers for… well, basically for responding angrily to a somewhat derogatory gesture.

Police that night had been looking for a group of seven to nine African American men, including one shirtless one, who had been walking the streets, reportedly damaging property and yelling profanities. Within minutes of receiving the group's last known location, police several blocks away focused their attention on a group of three young men: Gurule, his 20-year-old brother and their friend.
That was the narrative up to the point where Thai Gurule found himself on the receiving end of fists and Tasers. Ignoring the fact that this group had little in common with the suspects other than race, we come to what turned this incident into a confrontation and, finally, a one-side melee.

The following comes from the judge's statement on the dismissal of charges:

As the youth walked past, Officer Hughes said, "Hey" to the youth and when the youth continued, he again said, "Hey" and clapped his hands.

Thai Gurule turned to face Officer Hughes and in an angry or aggressive voice said "Don't fucking clap your hands at me". Officer Hughes stepped forward while the youth stepped back.

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Alien Nation, the 1988 buddy cop / sci-fi mashup, is getting a remake, The Hollywood Reporter reports. While the original movie centered around the first police officer from an alien race, the Fox reimagining will reportedly explain how and why the aliens came to Earth in the first place.

Art Marcum and Matt Holloway, the writing team behind the first Iron Man movie, are set to write the screenplay. Beyond that, no other casting or release details are known, but THR suggests the movie will draw inspiration from the studio's Planet of the Apes remake.

Mandy Patinkin played the original alien officer, while James Caan was his disgruntled human partner. We're hoping some cameos are in the cards, at least.

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Apple employees march in San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade in this photo posted to Twitter by CEO Tim Cook last June. Cook and other tech execs are angry about a law passed in Indiana that critics say is discriminatory.Apple employees march in San Francisco's Gay Pride Parade in this photo posted to Twitter by CEO Tim Cook last June. Cook and other tech execs are angry about a law passed in Indiana that critics say is discriminatory.Screenshot by CNET

Tech heavyweights including Apple CEO Tim Cook are pressuring the state of Indiana over a new "religious freedom" law critics say will be used to discriminate against gays and others.

Cook sent a tweet Friday saying Apple, one of the world's most successful companies and most popular brands, is "deeply disappointed" about the legislation. And Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, a major purveyor of corporate software and services, tweeted that the company would "dramatically reduce" its investments in the state. A Salesforce subsidiary employs from 2,000 to 3,000 people in Indiana, Benioff told tech site Recode, and also hosts a major customer event there that last year brought about $8 million in spending to the state.

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Defendant Kleiner Perkins emerged victorious today after being battered by a month-long trial, with a jury finding against Ellen Pao on every one of her claims of gender discrimination and retaliation.

In a case that has captivated audiences well beyond the tech industry, Pao filed suit in 2012 against the storied Silicon Valley venture capital firm, where she had been a junior partner. Had the jury found in her favor, she could have won as much as $160 million. Through 24 grueling days in a downtown San Francisco courthouse, she exposed stories of all-male company ski trips and sexual harassment of another partner at the firm.

She also brought up smaller slights: double standards in how aggressive women are allowed to be and how their success in investments translates into promotions.

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Like many people in our industry, I’ve closely followed the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins gender discrimination lawsuit. I have been a Silicon Valley entrepreneur for more than 30 years and have considerable experience working in startups, including one financed by Kleiner Perkins. I have seen and worked with many venture capitalists.

I don’t recognize the place that has been described in the courtroom.

From the testimony at trial, and from the coverage in the media, you would think that Silicon Valley is a hotbed of sexism and discrimination. You would get the impression that women cannot get ahead because they are deliberately and repeatedly denied opportunities. You might picture our offices and boardrooms as football locker rooms, with pin-ups everywhere.

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Thousands of Uber users account credentials could have been compromised, and are up for sale from unscrupulous sellers. At least two separate vendors on dark web marketplace AlphaBay are hawking active Uber accounts, Motherboard reports. Once purchased, these accounts let buyers order up rides using whatever payment information is on file. Those accounts can also show trip history, email addresses, phone numbers, and location information for people's home and work addresses.

People's stolen Uber accounts cost less than a mile in an actual Uber

The sellers are offering up the accounts for $1 and $5 apiece, which incidentally won't even get you a mile in an Uber car in New York City. However those with these stolen logins could theoretically use them to order up free rides until Uber, payment companies, or their real owners realize what's happened. One of the two sellers Motherboard talked to says he or she has already sold more than 100 accounts to other buyers.

An Uber spokesperson told Motherboard that an investigation was underway, adding that it monitors its services for fraud. “We are looking into this and do not have any information to share at this time," an Uber spokesperson said. "We use state of the art technology to prevent, detect, and investigate fraud. It’s important to note that attempting this type of fraud is illegal, and we take appropriate action when we confirm fraud, including notifying the proper authorities.”

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The revelation that Germanwings Flight 9525 may have been intentionally brought down by a suicidal pilot raises the troubling question of what a man mentally ill enough to kill himself and 149 other people was doing flying an airliner.

Investigators still have many questions about just what caused the Airbus A320 to crash into a mountainside in the French Alps on Tuesday, but the the focus is squarely on pilot Adreas Lubitz. And it shows that even the most strenuous screening and training procedures cannot guarantee a mentally or emotionally troubled person does not step into the cockpit.

And it also suggests that, as rigorous as those procedures are, more could be done.

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An anonymous reader writes A small portable media device, costing roughly $50, is allowing North Koreans to access and view foreign media despite tight government censorship, according to a Reuters report. The 'Notel', a mashup of notebook and television, is being described as a symbol of change in the repressed society. Used to watch DVDs and shared content from USB sticks and SD cards, the media player can be easily concealed and transported among families and friends. According to correspondents in the region, as many as half of all urban North Korean households have a notel and are swapping a broad range of banned media such as soaps and TV dramas from South Korea and China, Hollywood blockbusters, and news clips — all of which is strictly forbidden by Pyongyang law.
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Spectre posterDaniel Craig's 007 outfit mines the past. MGM

The first teaser trailer for the new James Bond film "Spectre" has arrived and it's surprisingly low-key. There are no explosions, car chases, train chases, motorcycle chases or foot chases on offer. It only hints at violence, culminating in a single gunshot at the end.

The trailer carries a dark, ominous feeling throughout, but gives very little away. Assuming you skipped reading the leaked "Spectre" script from the 2014 Sony hack, most of what we know about the new film can be boiled down to this summary from 007.com: "In SPECTRE, a cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE."

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Posted by on in Gizmodo

The Best of Gizmodo This Week

Our favorite posts on Giz this week cover everything from the surprising history of brands to the human lab rats researching nootropics on Reddit. We fucked around with some gadgets, baked a laptop in the oven, and paid a drunk guy to evaluate our web design. Then we swung a hatchet around. Enjoy!

The Best of Gizmodo This Week

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The Best Single-Purpose Web Sites That Do Exactly What They Say They Do

Kids these days have the most convoluted web site names. Facebook? Twitter? eBay? I'm sorry, but I like my coffee black and my web sites self-explanatory. Here's a handful of actually useful web sites that do exactly what they sound like.

Blast from the past is a weekly feature at Lifehacker in which we revive old, but still relevant, posts for your reading and hacking pleasure. This week, we're taking a stroll down memory lane through some of our favorite self-explanatory web sites.

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Let's all be honest: the new James Bond film Spectre is proving to be one of the needier movies in recent memory. That's no small feat considering we live in a world where teaser trailers, and teasers for teaser trailers, and Vine teasers for the teasing of trailers is actually, you know, a thing. But to its credit, Spectre has managed to take the crown, besting all others in its never-ending hunt for attention. (Personally, I think it won with the teaser for the teaser poster — when the teaser poster ended up just being a picture of Daniel Craig. You know, the guy that we've already seen play Bond. In three separate movies.)

Still, here we are, and now it's time for Spectre to unveil the requisite teaser trailer. The funny thing? It's actually cool! It's full of foreboding without giving anything away, and makes me want to see James Bond do James Bondian things! And apparently he'll have plenty of opportunity, because according to the official synopsis for the movie "a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind Spectre."

At this point the movie still has the promise and intrigue of surprises to come

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The New Perfect Balance for Your MetroCard Is $27.25

Last year, Ben Wellington from data analysis blog I Quant NY found the perfect amount to add to your MetroCard so you can get an exact number of rides and you're never missing a train because you're a few cents short. Now with the new fare increase, the new perfect balances are $22.30 or $27.25, and there's even a quick-buy button.

The old perfect amounts to add to your MetroCard were $11.90 for exactly five rides, $19.05 for exactly eight rides, and $30.95 for exactly 13 rides. Why those numbers? The whole system is confusing because you get bonus amounts added to your card depending on how much you pay, and the system was designed to be cash and change friendly. According to Wellington, the only perfect amounts you can choose now with the Other Amounts button is $22.30 for exactly nine rides and $27.25 for exactly 11 rides. Everything else will leave you with a practically useless remainder on your card.

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I can't honestly claim to know a whole lot about e-cigarettes. That's because when I was still smoking, I smoked the old fashioned kind of cigarettes. You know, the ones made from tobacco, that cured acne, and that made my breath smell as cool and fabulous as a pub toilet. Plus, everyone was doing it and my lungs weren't going to give themselves cancer, so you know. But, even knowing little about e-cigarettes, I know enough to know that they aren't ale houses located in Riverdale, New Jersey. This is a conclusion that the lawyers over at Lorillard, makers of "blu" e-cigarettes, think is likely to escape the larger population, as they have decided to file a trademark dispute against Blu Alehouse over its name and logo.

The lawsuit filed by Lorillard Technologies Inc. centers on a logo that NJ Ale House LLC is using at its Blu Alehouse in Riverdale, N.J., Law360 reported. According to the news website, the logo features "the word 'blu' surrounded by smoke or flames." The subsidiary of Greensboro-based Lorillard (NYSE: LO) claims that the logo is too much like the branding for blu eCigs.
Let's leave everything else aside for a moment and simply take a look at the two logos to see if they look substantially similar on their own. First is the logo of Blu Alehouse. Note that this logo normally appears alongside the full name of the establishment.
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And now the logo for blu Cigarettes.
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Neither logo is particularly complicated, but even failing to correct for the simplicity of the designs, the two logos are distinctly different. If both logos didn't incorporate the word "blu" in them, there would be absolutely nothing to argue about here. And, again, that's strictly taking the logos into account with no other context. Because once we use the likelihood of customer confusion and the markets of competition tests, I'm failing to see how this wasn't tossed immediately upon a judge's review. An ale house isn't competing with cigarettes in any way. Add to that that it would be quite difficult for even the most moronic and hurried citizens to mistake the two companies for each other, what with the ale house's logo typically appearing alongside other signage that identifies itself as an ale house.

Strangely, an actual judge reviewing the claim thought differently.

U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty found that Lorillard — along with another subsidiary, LOEC Inc. — made "plausible claims for trademark infringement and unfair competition," and he ruled that the case could go on, Law360 reported.
How is the claim of unfair competition even possible? The two companies aren't competing with each other at all. The only mention of competition in the court filing by Lorillard is over the fact that sometimes they advertise their cigarettes at drinking establishments.
LTI and LOEC allege that Blu Alehouse bar and restaurant is directed at a similar consumer base as LTI and LOEC's BLU products because BLU products are promoted at bars, restaurants, and lounges.
But that doesn't actually put the companies in competition with one another. That would be like Budweiser claiming that Big Buds Magazine, here to serve all of your marijuana information needs, infringed on Budweiser marks because they occasionally sell beer to high people. Why should that matter at all?

Hopefully as this case moves forward, a more sensible conclusion is reached.

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Well, that’s a one-two punch for the Wii U: Nintendo said today that its highly anticipated new Legend of Zelda game won’t make its planned 2015 release date, and in case that wasn’t enough, the game won’t even be shown at this year’s E3 Expo in June.

Zelda was set to be the tentpole release for the beleaguered Wii U console this year, so its loss is a pretty massive blow to Nintendo’s holiday lineup. Then again, if you didn’t see this one coming a mile away, you haven’t been paying attention: Nintendo regularly delays its games, especially when said game is a new entry in the Zelda series. (I laid down my marker on this the minute Nintendo announced the game’s release date, by the way.)

And this one in particular is maybe the most ambitious Zelda game the team’s ever done, since it’s the first to take place in a massive open world. The chances that Nintendo would either run into development snags—or simply discover new ideas that they want to implement—were very high.

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Expedition 43 has successfully left the Earth. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka are on their way to the International Space Station, and each one of them is embarking on a record-setting journey.

Kelly and Kornienko's 340-day stay will be the longest amount of time anyone has spent aboard the ISS, breaking the previous record of seven months set back in 2007. And when Kelly lands in March of next year, he will have spent a total of 522 days in space throughout his career — a new NASA record.

Padalka will break the all-time record for total time spent in space

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Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is in talks to acquire Silicon Valley chip builder Altera, according to a report from the The Wall Street Journal. And if such a deal goes through, it would be Intel’s largest takeover ever.

The Journal‘s story is thin on specifics. It doesn’t cite a specific source, and it says the talks are nowhere near complete. “Terms of the potential deal and its timing couldn’t be learned, and it is possible there ultimately won’t be one,” the paper reports. But the acquisition makes a lot of sense for Intel. Altera isn’t a big name, but it builds chips that represent the future of the massive data centers that power the internet.

“I am absolutely not surprised,” Jason Mars, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan whose research focuses on hardware used in the modern data center, says of the rumored deal.

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Google has formed a partnership with medical and consumer goods firm Johnson & Johnson that will see the development of robots to help surgeons in the operating room, according to an announcement made on Friday.

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Johnson & Johsnon said that the deal should be completed in the second quarter, but is still awaiting a review by antitrust regulators. Google will specifically be working with Ethicon, a J&J division dedicated to surgical technology.

In particular the robots will help with minimally invasive surgeries that limit problems like scarring, pain, and lengthy recoveries. The Wall Street Journal reported that Google will be bringing machine vision and image analysis software to the table, with the aim of giving surgeons a better view of operations and/or easier access to relevant information.

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Who On Earth Would Attack Github for Its Anti-Great Firewall Projects?

Github is getting hammered by a huge distributed-denial-of-service attack. Looks like it pissed off the wrong pro-censorship group: The attack is aimed at two popular projects, Great Fire and CN-NY Times, that help Chinese citizens get around their government's restrictive online censors to access blocked content.

Who does that??

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Kinja is in read-only mode. We are working to restore service.

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If you like to do any 3D modeling or animation, Pixar's in-house software that's been used for movies like Toy Story, Cars, and recent films like Guardians of the Galaxy is now completely free to download and use.

RenderMan is used by the big time studios to create photorealistic lighting in CG scenes, and has been used by Pixar to render every one of their animated features. You can download it for free and use it as much as you want, but the one catch is that this is a non-commercial license, meaning you have to buy a commercial license if you're looking to make money off of your creation. It's important to note that RenderMan is not a 3D modeling application, so you'll need to make some 3D models or animations to render first. It can be used alongside Maya, as well as the lighting program KATANA (with compatibility for more software coming soon). You can grab a free trial of Maya or a free copy for students and teachers if you're looking to get started. You can download RenderMan at the link below.

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Ellen Pao Loses 3 of 4 Claims in Blockbuster Gender Discrimination Suit

Ellen Pao, the former Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers junior partner who sued the high-powered Silicon Valley venture capital firm for gender discrimination after she was allegedly sexually harassed, targeted for revenge by a former lover, and passed over for a promotion, lost on three of the suit's four counts Friday.

It initially appeared she'd lost on the fourth count as well, but the vote was 8-4, which is not a sufficient majority. The judge sent the jury back for further deliberation.

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Posted by on in Slashdot

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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A trio of popular media apps received updates Friday, with live broadcasting app Meerkat gaining upgrades to compete with Twitter's Periscope, while Vine moves to 720p video and Instapaper adds Instant Sync and Twitter "textshots."

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In response to the release of Twitter's own competing app, Periscope, popular live broadcasting title Meerkat has received a major point release, v1.1. To get around Twitter denying access to the social graph, Meerkat now has its own recommendation system when searching for users, based on what friends like, retweet, and follow. People can also follow users from within a stream, or share a Meerkat profile to Twitter.

Other improvements include a toggle for whether stream comments are echoed on Twitter, and the ability to retweet scheduled streams from within the app. In-app notifications should now be triggered whenever multiple followed users start streaming.

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Posted by on in Slashdot

So a program designed to write fake papers to unmask sham journals and conferences gets used to write fake papers to prop up sham degrees? Some what ironic; although in fairness to the authors of the paper writing program they never intended it to be used in such a manner. It would seem, as Springer acknowledged, that they should do a good peer review; which would eliminate the need to run paper through a hoax detector unless they started getting so many fake papers that their peer review process was overwhelmed. In that case, a first run through a program would be justified. A more subtle point in the article is that claimed publications from some countries, such as China, should be viewed with suspicion.

As a side note, the sham conference industry is interesting. I periodically get, via LinkedIn, invite stop attend an "important conference" and speak and get a "prestigious award" based on my "outstanding accomplishments and renowned expertise" in my field. Funny how, when I send them my speaking fee requirements they never get back to me nor mail me the award as I request if I am unable to make the conference.

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How (and Why) I Stopped Waiting for Others and Started Traveling Solo

Adventuring alone sounds exciting, but it's also scary. Like most people, I’ve done the majority of my traveling with friends and family. That is, until I realized that I had places I wanted to go and no one wanted to go with me. I struck out on my own because my desire to continue traveling was greater than my fear of being alone.

Why I Decided to Go It Alone

How (and Why) I Stopped Waiting for Others and Started Traveling Solo

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Posted by on in RE/Code

Federal regulators are set to vote next month on a plan to allow wireless carriers and companies including Google to share airwaves with the government, in an effort to make more airwaves available for future wireless devices.

It’s a novel new effort by the Federal Communications Commission, which has spent the last several years trying to free up more airwaves for wireless carriers trying to stay ahead of consumer demand, as well as setting aside some frequencies for new Wi-Fi networks. It would open up airwaves now used mostly by military radar systems.

It could be several years before consumers see any changes, but the move could make much more spectrum available for smartphones and future Internet of Things devices. While the airwaves aren’t really suitable for creating new long-range networks, they could be used to create smaller city-wide wireless broadband networks.

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