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Fantastic Science and Tech Books that Will Reboot Your Brain for Fall

Summer is slipping away fast, but there’s still time to spend a long weekend devouring a book on the beach. And it doesn’t have to be the trashy romance variety: We’ve collected a bunch of great science and tech reads that’ll entertain you while getting your brain in shape for school — or just get you thinking again after a sunny vacation.

Technology and Internet Culture

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler (Free Press)

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Whether it's a cynical move or not, Apple's upcoming release of iOS 9 can give users the ability to block ads on a mobile browser. This is a serious concern for online advertisers.
10 Handy iPhone Apps Worth Downloading

10 Handy iPhone Apps Worth Downloading

(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

As Apple prepares to release iOS 9 -- the company's latest version of its mobile operating system -- later this month to coincide with what many believe is the debut of the iPhone 6s, one feature that is built into the new version of iOS is getting a lot of attention for its disruptive potential to the current economic model of the Internet.

That feature is content blocking for the Safari browser. This brings what has been called "ad blocking" on desktop browsers to the mobile browser. While this behavior is not enabled by default, the new APIs give developers a way to extend the mobile browsers so that they do block content.

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An upgraded LG webOS TV

If you're still rocking a first-generation webOS TV and regret that you didn't hold out for a webOS 2.0 set, don't worry -- you'll soon catch up in some respects. LG is promising a Value Pack Upgrade that gives your webOS 1.0 TV four core features from 2.0, including favorite channels in the launcher, improved search, instant input detection and quick settings. You should also see overall boosts to ease of use and performance. The pack isn't the same as a full-on webOS 2.0 upgrade, but it might alleviate your early adopter's remorse when it starts rolling out on September 21st.

<a href="http://www.engadget.com/products/hp/webos/3-0/">
HP webOS 3.0
</a>
HP webOS 3.0 thumbnail image
Key specs
<a href="http://www.engadget.com/products/hp/webos/3-0/" title="HP webOS 3.0 reviews" target="_blank">
Reviews 4
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Type Mobile / embedded OS Source model Closed, w/ open source Released 2011-07-01 see all specs →

6.5average user rating

Ease of use 8 Speed 6 Configurability 6.5 Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.) 4.5 Openness 7.5

Get better reviews from people who actually have this product!

write a reviewsee all reviews →
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MICROSOFT IS ON the verge of caving in on one of the more controversial features in Windows 10, with plans afoot to offer a patch list to enterprise customers ahead of time.

As part of the Windows-as-a-service ethos being adopted with Windows 10, the company has been reluctant to block any kinds of patches or updates. The idea of 'One Windows' means that avoiding fragmentation should be granular right down to the continuing stream of updates.

However, the policy has caused a lot of frustration, particularly for system administrators who have had decisions taken squarely out of their hands. It can often be the cloister bell for other software if a faulty update, or one that simply isn't compatible with the existing set up, arrives without warning.

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Posted by on in CNET

"Orphan Black" is one of the titles Amazon will allow for download free with a Prime subscription.

BBC America

Being member of Amazon Prime now means your movie won't stop just because your mobile connection does.

Prime members in the US, UK, Germany and Austria can now download movies and TV shows to mobile devices even if they're using Apple iPhones and iPads or phones running on Google's Android software, Amazon said Tuesday.

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Posted by on in CrunchGear

The streamlined 2016 Corvette Stingray is one of the first vehicles to ship with Apple CarPlay in the States. Simply put, it’s an iPhone for your dashboard, which Apple and car makers hope you’ll use instead of the iPhone in your hand.

First, the bad news: CarPlay is far from perfect. It’s boring, for one. And in many cases I found the Corvette’s own infotainment system handled tasks better than CarPlay.

Yet it’s hard to ignore what CarPlay is. It’s the culmination of Apple’s mobile services. Everything from Siri to Maps to Apple Music feels more at home in a car than a phone. Even in this early version, CarPlay trumps any human interaction platform offered by any automaker and it’s all thanks to Siri.

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email support.jpg

 

I am sure if you are into political circles then you will be getting a woody over the release of hundreds of Hillary Clinton's emails. I really don't know what all the hoopla is but one thing is certain - in my experience as a tech, there is one thing that we lay down as SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) and that is what systems get accessed and what systems are off limits to people who are going to use them. Obviously we have a person who held a high political office who didn't know SOP.

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Former Apple Music executive Ian Rogers is reportedly headed to a new role at French luxury multinational LVMH — a firm with which Apple has some connections.

image

In his new role, Rogers will serve as LVMH's chief digital officer, Re/code said on Tuesday. LVMH controls many of the world's biggest luxury brands, from Dom Perignon, Dior, and Louis Vuitton through to Bvlgari and Sephora.In order to assume the role, Rogers will have to move from his current home in California to Paris, the report said.Apple has previously recruited people from LVMH, specifically the sales director for watch brand TAG Heuer in July 2014. The hire was one of a series of high-profile additions during the development of the Apple Watch, as Apple looked to fill in gaps in its knowledge of the fashion and fitness worlds.While at Apple, Rogers helped oversee the development of Beats 1. This included synthesizing the radio station's show lineup, and recruiting former BBC personality Zane Lowe as a lead DJ.Apple confirmed Rogers' exit last week, but the company has said nothing else despite Rogers being a prominent component of the Apple Music team. It's unknown who, if anyone, might be taking over Rogers' duties.
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nest 2

Back in June, Nest overhauled just about every product they make… save for one curious exception: the smart thermostat that most know them for best.

Two months later, Nest’s thermostat is getting an upgrade of its own.

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Storylines add-on
World of Warcraft has a very rich story for a game that is primarily about grinding and raiding. The lore throughout the game, which drives quests and expansions, is often overlooked by players who […]
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Research Tool Demonstrates How Your Facebook Likes Reveal Your Personality

Facebook is full of tools that claim to tell you about your personality. Obviously, most of them are crap. However, the University of Cambridge has created one that analyzes your Facebook likes to reveal the kind of demographic information the company can learn about you.

Giving your information over to a big company like Facebook can induce a little paranoia. Worse yet, you probably don’t get much insight into what the social network can actually figure out with all that data. This tool, created by organizational behavior professor Michal Kosinski for research, demonstrates some of the kinds of information that just your Facebook likes can reveal.

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Recently, Techdirt has written dozens of stories about the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP). That's largely because it seemed to be coming to a conclusion, after many years of negotiations, and so it was important to capture the last-minute twists and turns -- and the dirty deals -- as they happened. But as we reported a few weeks ago, that final breakthrough and completion never happened. Instead, we had the "Maui meltdown", when a whole bunch of old and new problems raised their heads, with the result that TPP may have missed a key deadline that means it won't be happening soon, if ever. That may have seemed an extravagant claim, but it is a sentiment that is gradually beginning to spread among commentators in Asia. Here, for example, is The Diplomat, a specialist title covering that part of the world: The Trans-Pacific Partnership is in trouble. Trade ministers failed last month to conclude the massive 12-nation trade deal by their hoped-for summer deadline, putting negotiations in danger of collapse. The Straits Times offers a very similar view from Singapore: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) seems to be in deep trouble. Earlier this month, negotiators in North America tried to resolve differences over auto parts which were -- along with issues on dairy and sugar -- among the key obstacles to the deal which was meant to be finalised last month in Hawaii.

But as the weeks tick by, the chances are dwindling that these obstacles can be overcome in time to get the agreement to the United States Congress for approval before the US presidential primary elections begin in earnest in February next year.

And everyone seems to agree that once the primaries begin, the TPP is off the agenda indefinitely. Another specialist title for Asia, Nikkei Asian Review, goes further, and makes the following comment: The truth is that the TPP is a second-best option for Asia that will create significant adjustment problems, especially for smaller countries. The priority for Asia should be the RCEP, and if the U.S. and other countries want closer trading relations with Asian countries, it should be in that context. Techdirt introduced the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) back in June, pointing out that it could end up even worse than TPP. But while TPP is at a standstill, RCEP seems to be moving forwards, as this article in The Jakarta Post explains: Southeast Asian countries and their trading partners will continue their talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this October as China and Japan eventually agreed on certain thresholds for import duties on Monday.

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Japan's Olympic committee has decided to scrap the logo for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, following accusations of plagiarism. The committee announced the decision after convening an emergency meeting Tuesday evening, reversing its stance on the logo after it was revealed that the designer, Kenjiro Sano, used images taken from the internet when presenting it, and that his studio copied designs for a previous promotional campaign.

"We have reached a conclusion that it would be only appropriate for us to drop the logo and develop a new emblem," Toshio Muto, director general of the Tokyo organizing committee, said in a press conference following Tuesday's meeting. "At this point, we have decided that the logo cannot gain public support."

After the logos was unveiled in July, Belgian designer Olivier Debie accused Sano of copying a graphic he created for a theater company in Liège, and later took legal action to block the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from using the designs. In July, Debie's studio posted a side-by-side photo of the logos on its Facebook page, noting that "even the [typography] is the same."

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An anonymous reader writes: UK officials have arrested six teenagers suspected of utilizing Lizard Squad's website attack tool called "Lizzard Stresser". Lizard Squad claimed responsibility for the infamous Christmas Day Xbox Live and PlayStation Network attacks. The teenagers "are suspected of maliciously deploying Lizard Stresser, having bought the tool using alternative payment services such as Bitcoin in a bid to remain anonymous," an NCA spokesperson wrote in an official statement on the case. "Organizations believed to have been targeted by the suspects include a leading national newspaper, a school, gaming companies, and a number of online retailers."
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If you're one of the 300 million people who use LinkedIn, you may have noticed its messaging feature needed an update. Apparently, LinkedIn thought so, too.

The social network is gradually rolling out an update starting Tuesday morning to iOS, Android and web that incorporates a slew of new features offered by other services like Facebook Messenger, including chat threads, and the ability to add emoji and GIFs to messages.

"We know many of you have been asking for this ability, and we’ve taken a thoughtful approach to reflect the evolving ways professionals are communicating with one another today, as well as the different ways our members are interacting with each other across our international markets," wrote Mark Hull, LinkedIn's director of product management, in a company blog post.

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Posted by on in RE/Code

LinkedIn is finally rolling out a messaging feature, but you probably won’t see it right away.

The professional network built a direct messaging option, the same kind of quick, casual messaging tool that other networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat already have. LinkedIn is starting with a “10 percent ramp to English global members,” so there’s a good chance you won’t notice the update right away.

LinkedIn is certainly late to launch a messaging product. (At least it acknowledged as much in a blog post Tuesday.) Yes, you could already send private messages on LinkedIn using the InMail feature, but those messages felt much more like email than texting. The new feature is meant to feel much more casual.

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Posted by on in PCWorld

A new phone is supposed to be a clean slate. But alarmingly, that's not always the case.

Security company G Data has identified more than 20 mobile phones that have malware installed despite being marketed as new, according to a research report. And it doesn't appear the infection is occurring during manufacturing.

"Somebody is unlocking the phone and putting the malware on there and relocking the phone," said Andy Hayter, security evangelist for G Data.

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The Chevy Volt was supposed to historic. It would be the first affordable and practical electric car, with an internal combustion engine tucked in to wipe away fears of running out of battery power miles from home.

Developed amidst the turmoil of General Motors’ bankruptcy and bailout, it would signal the automaker could still create innovative, important products. It would save GM’s reputation, if not its bottom line.

Not so much. When it hit the market in 2010, sales were disappointing. Its engine required premium fuel. It had room for just four people. It cost $41,000. It could only go 38 miles on electric power. Sure, it was enough to cover 80-percent of trips Americans make, but it just didn’t live up to the hype.

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A Clever Google Algorithm Could Make 4K Video Half the Size

Viewers of Silicon Valley will appreciate the earth-shattering importance of compression algorithms. To most everyone else, it’s a geeky bit of math that’s of no particular interest. But when Google promises an algorithm that can cut the bandwidth needed to stream a video in half, things get a little more interesting.

In an interview with CNET, Google engineering product manager James Bankoski laid out the details of the upcoming VP10 codec, the successor to the VP9 codec that is already making your YouTube sessions go better. Among a whole bevy of performance improvements is the headline feature: more efficient compression, so that a 4K video file is half the size compared to VP9. http://gizmodo.com/why-you-should...

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