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Office Lens — a portable scanner for mobile devices and one of Microsoft's most impressive Office apps — is now out of preview and available on the Google Play Store.

The app lets users take a photo of "any rectangular media," and then converts it into an easily shareable, searchable document, in Word, PowerPoint, or PDF — similar to what other scanning apps already offer, although Microsoft includes tighter integration with Office, and is making the app available for free.

Office Lens previously launched on iPhone last month, along with the preview version for Android, and today Microsoft is releasing the final version.

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Mary Meeker—the longtime Morgan Stanley analyst turned venture capitalist—dropped her famed Internet trends slide deck this morning. Clocking in at 197 slides in all, the twentieth annual installment of Meeker’s influential report reflects a tectonic shift in how we’ve viewed and used the web over the past two decades.

To put those changes into context: In 1995, Netscape had just enjoyed a hugely successful IPO that spurred an unyielding optimism toward the future the internet industry—an optimism that would find itself sorely tested by the bursting of the dotcom bubble just a few years later.

This year, as Meeker tells it, the landscape of the web is almost completely transformed: everything is optimized for mobile, and we’ve developed an unhealthy obsession with video and a strong appetite for instant gratification. At the same time, Meeker says, the tech industry is becoming aware that it can’t ignore the impact of its actions, especially where the diversity of the industry itself is concerned.

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Aurich Lawson

The Silk Road Trial

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Prosecutors filed papers yesterday arguing for a lengthy sentence (PDF) for Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, one that would be "substantially above the mandatory minimum," which is 20 years. They cite sentencing guidelines that point to life imprisonment as the recommended sentence.

"Ulbricht profited greatly from his operation of Silk Road, ultimately amassing millions of dollars in commissions," government lawyers wrote in the filings. "He was willing to use violence to protect his enterprise, as evidenced by his solicitation of multiple murders for hire in attempts to eliminate perceived threats. At no point has he acknowledged full responsibility or shown true remorse for his actions."

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Williams said that there are over 4,000 apps now available for Apple Watch, a number we’ve previously heard. Williams also discussed the upcoming native SDK for the Apple Watch.

“A week from Monday at our developer conference we’ll release a preview so that developers will be able to write code natively and have access to sensors and we’re really excited about that.”

Williams says that he wore Android Wear watches and other devices for short periods of time but it “didn’t really help them” decide what they wanted to do in the space. Current Apple Watch apps are unable to access sensors on the Watch directly and do not actually run on the Watch, but project their interfaces to its screen from the iPhone. More capable apps will be able to be designed for the Watch once the native SDK — which has many of the functions Apple used to make its own apps — is released at next month’s WWDC conference.

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Jeff Williams, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, said that there are over 4,000 apps now available for Apple Watch, a number we’ve previously heard. Williams also discussed the upcoming native SDK for the Apple Watch. Williams spoke in an interview today at the Code conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.

“A week from Monday at our developer conference we’ll release a preview so that developers will be able to write code natively and have access to sensors, and we’re really excited about that.”

When asked by TechCrunch about the possibility of future Apple Watches giving more transparency to overall health, Williams declined to say anything specific but did acknowledge that Apple was considering adding more sensors.

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Posted by on in Tech Deals
$29.99
End Date: Wednesday Jun-3-2015 10:33:01 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $29.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
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Pebble Time Preview: Why Can't All Smartwatches Be This Simple?

Before the Apple Watch, there was the Pebble—the smartwatch that raised an incredible $10.3 million on Kickstarter. The smartwatch that managed to outsmart Google’s Android Wear. The Best Smartwatch according to critics everywhere. For the past five days, I’ve been wearing its successor: the Pebble Time. It’s the most fun I’ve had with a smartwatch yet.

What Is It?

A wristwatch with a tiny computer inside, plus a tiny 1.25-inch color e-paper screen that delivers notifications from your smartphone, easy access to your calendar, and tiny apps. Works with Android and iOS. Four buttons to scroll and select things. A microphone to send voice replies to texts and emails. Removable lugs so you can attach any standard 22mm band. Sensors so it can act as a basic fitness tracker. Enough waterproofing for a vigorous swim. No limit on the number of apps you can install, unlike the original Pebble.

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What is it with Japan and food shortages lately? You may remember at the end of last year McDonalds was having a bit of a crisis as its Japanese restaurants were running out of fries. The solution was to limit customers to one small pack per visit. It wasn’t the company’s fault, though, US West Coast port labor disputes caused the shortfall. Now we have a butter crisis, but this time local farmers are taking the blame.

Japan isn’t a huge consumer of butter like countries in the West are, but it is required mostly for cake making there. However, something has gone awry and the Japan Dairy Association has had to issue a warning. Local butter supplies are going to fall very short this year, by at least 10,000 tons in the coming months.

japanese_xmas_cake

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Bing's age detection (thankfully) gets it wrong

Microsoft's face-based age detection is still a little wonky (I'm thankfully younger than what you see above), but the company is clearly enamored with it -- you'll now find it in Bing image searches. All you have to do is look for a person and, in most cases, roll over the picture to find a #HowOldRobot that will guess how many birthdays the subject has seen. The feature is available in at least North America, so give it a shot... if for no other reason than to giggle at its occasionally harsh appraisals of your looks.

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You want to know what nVidia’s upcoming GTX 980 Ti is all about, right? So do we, and so when a couple of pictures of the card and a screenshot of GPU-Z appeared online, seemingly breaking down all of the different aspects of it, we couldn’t not post it. It is, however, unconfirmed, and specific details that could verify it were deliberately omitted, so take it with a pinch of salt as not all may be accurate.

With that disclaimer out of the way, the phantom 980 Ti showcased in this screengrab is quite a powerful piece of kit. It sits roughly between the standard 980 and the Titan X with 2816 shader units and a core clocked at 1000MHz at stock, which can be boosted to 1076MHz. There’s 6GB of GDDR5 on board, with a 384-bit interface, which works out to just under 367GB/s of bandwidth.

980ti

Although its naming might suggest that this is a beefed up GTX 980, those specs would peg it as more like a slightly cut-back Titan X (albeit with half as much memory), as it features the same stock core and memory clocks, as well as the same size memory-bus.

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flipboardapp.jpgMore companies are apparently interested in acquiring the news aggregator. Flipboard

Flipboard, whose mobile app features news stories tailored to each reader's interests, could have more potential buyers than originally thought.

Google and Yahoo have separately met with Flipboard to explore a possible acquisition, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the talks. The discussions have occurred "in recent weeks," though both Yahoo and Google are in the early stages of their evaluations and apparently have yet to offer a price.

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Editorial

Pairing an Apple Watch with an iPhone makes Siri easier to access than ever. But with a new voice-controlled Apple TV said to be on the horizon, Siri seems poised to become an even more prevalent part of the Apple ecosystem.

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With the Apple Watch, users can simply raise their wrist and say "Hey Siri," followed by a command or inquiry, and Apple's voice-driven personal assistant will immediately get to work.

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Use Miso to Add Some Extra Dimension to Hummus

If you follow a simple formula, it’s easy to make hummus out of just about anything. But for a completely unexpected twist, try hummus with the addition of miso.

Next time you make hummus, Tara O’Brady, author of the blog Seven Spoons and a new book by the same name, suggests whirring in a generous dollop of the fermented soybean paste. White miso (also known as shiro) a level of roundness to the chickpea spread, as well as a boost of savory umami. For even more of an Eastern accent, finish the dip with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil.

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As Section 215 dies a rather noisy death (OR DOES IT? An emergency session convenes on May 31st, a day normally filled with the quiet emptiness of the extended Memorial Day holiday.), the defenders of the mostly-useless surveillance program are out in force, hoping to keep this part of the Patriot Act from expiring.

Mitch McConnell's hope for a no-questions-asked reauthorization is as dead as Section 215 (in its original form) appears to be. The USA Freedom Act stumbled in the Senate, falling three votes shy of being brought to the floor. Now, everyone seems to have a "fix" they'd like to offer. Unfortunately, some of those offering fixes aren't really interested in cutting back the metadata program.

Like Dianne Feinstein, for instance. About the only thing she's found contemptible about our nation's intelligence agencies is the CIA's proclivity for torturing detainees. And the longer she defends the NSA's intrusive programs, the more it gives off the impression that her main problem with the CIA's torture program is that it was ineffective.

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It’s been more than three years since People Power first began offering Presence, a freemium app that can transform any smartphone or tablet into a Wi-Fi security camera, complete with two-way streaming and some rudimentary motion-detection capabilities. It now wants to take things a step further.

Today the company launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $20,000 for Presence Security: a suite of ZigBee-speaking sensors designed to augment existing Presence home-security setups. There are three bundles in all catering to different needs and budgets: the Presence Security Entry Pack, the Security Pack, and the Premium Pack.

The $199 Entry Pack contains two entry detectors (i.e., two door/window sensors) and a motion sensor. The mid-tier bundle, $299, includes three door/window sensors, one motion sensor, and one sensor each for water, temperature, humidity, and touch. The $499 Premium Pack includes six door/window sensors, three motion sensors, three touch sensors, and two water sensors. You still get just one temperature sensor and one humidity sensor. The Presence Gateway, which speaks Wi-Fi and ZigBee, is common to all three bundles. People Power is selling limited numbers of each package at “early-bird” discount prices.

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ekztgv34ujn5kqbp3rzknqo79xbamtms8wk2-xxbfi0WD HAS OUTED a brand new iteration of its perennial My Passport range of portable hard drives with a crop of new features aboard.

The seventh-generation WD My Passport Ultra comes in a range of funky colours, with the option of a contrasting coloured rubber bumper, coined the WD Grip Pack, to improve personalisation. It should do a little bit for durability too, although this isn't explicitly mentioned.

The My Passport Ultra is available in up to 3TB sizes in Classic Black, Brilliant White, Wild Berry and Noble Blue. A Mac version (My Passport for Mac) has also been refreshed, but there are no colour options.

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You'll hardly have reason to leave your car in the Mad Max's game iteration, and that's exactly how it should be.

The upcoming Avalanche Games title, set in the gritty Mad Max landscape, appropriately focuses heavily on your car. While Max himself levels up, his in-game car — brazenly called the "Magnum Opus" — can be customized to your heart's content as you move through the vast wasteland.

Mashable spent about a half hour playing an early build of Mad Max during a press event in Los Angeles last week. We were allowed to freely explore one section of the game's map, taking on different objectives in the open-world game.

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At I/O last year, Google showed off the next frontiers of Android, announcing versions of the software for cars, wearables, TV and cheap phones in emerging markets. Don’t anticipate anything that seismic this year, however.

Instead, at its annual developer conference, which begins on Thursday, Google is expected to introduce updates that fine-tune these connected platforms while attempting to make the case that they’ve had a solid inaugural year.

It’s a tough case. Sales of Android Wear devices are sluggish while the Apple Watch has captured the lion’s share of buzz. Android Auto is moving slowly too — last year, Google predicted 2015 model cars would be on the road with Android Auto support but very few have yet to hit the road.

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For one brief shining moment, I thought that this story was about a health insurance company being dragged into court and beaten on by their insurance company; and my heart leapt and sang with the unalloyed joy of a Norman Rockwell puppy; because that would just be so beautiful.

Alas, 'Cottage Health' is a medical provider of some sort, so such feelings swiftly evaporated.

That aside, this seems like a situation that is simultaneously common sense(Obviously you won't be able to buy 'cyber insurance' that covers egregious negligence, at least not for any price that doesn't reflect an essentially 100% chance of payout, plus the insurer's profit margins and transaction cost); and likely to be an endless nightmare of quibbling about what 'security' is.

We've all seen the long, long, history of attempts to do security-by-checklist, most of which allow you to say that you 'followed industry best practices' by closing the barn door after the horse is long gone, so long as the barn door was constructed with galvanized nails of suitable gauge and is running any antivirus product, efficacy irrelevant. It's not as though 'security' is fundamentally unknowable and intersubjective, man; but it sure isn't something you'd want a lawyer or a layman attempting to boil down into a chunk of contractual language. Barring some miracle of clarity, I suspect that we'll see quite a few dustups that basically involve the insurer's expert witnesses smearing the policyholder's security measures(if they did it by the checklist, the expert witnesses will be snide grey hats who eat 'best practices' for lunch, if they deviated from the checklist, it'll be hardasses on loan from the PCI compliance auditing process, if they implemented a mathematically proven exotic microkernel it'll be somebody asking why Windows Updates weren't being applied in a timely manner); and the policyholder's expert witnesses puffing like salesmen about how strong the security was; and how it must have been an 'advanced persistent threat' to have hacked through such durable code walls.

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