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Earlier this month, it was rumored that in addition to revealing new tablets, fitness bands, and smartphones, Microsoft would use its upcoming October launch event to show off a slimmer Xbox One. But Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of Xbox, shot those rumors down last night, using Twitter to say that the rumored smaller version of the console is "not real."

Sources familiar with Microsoft's October plans told The Verge last week that the company is planning to use the event to lift the lid on two new Lumia handsets, the Surface Pro 4, and a Microsoft Band 2. Chinese tech site WPDang had claimed that the so-called Xbox One Mini would drop the ability to play Blu-rays, and would be both quieter and smaller than the current model, weighing in at about a third the size. Spencer's unequivocal comment makes it appear that not only will the console not see the light of day in October, but that Microsoft is not currently in the process of making a miniature version of its jumbo-sized home console.

@av_xz Not real.

— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 27, 2015
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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has put out an alert noting that, as part of a larger spear phishing attack campaign, to try to gain control over computers, a group has created a fake EFF website, designed to trick people into thinking they're going to EFF's actual website, but really installing some pretty nasty malware.

Electronicfrontierfoundation.org was not the only domain involved in this attack. It seems to be part of a larger campaign, known as “Pawn Storm”. The current phase of the Pawn Storm attack campaign started a little over a month ago, and the overall campaign was first identified in an October 2014 report from Trend Micro (PDF). The group behind the attacks is possibly associated with the Russian government and has been active since at least 2007.

The attack is relatively sophisticated—it uses a recently discovered Java exploit, the first known Java 0-day in two years. The attacker sends the target a spear phishing email containing a link to a unique URL on the malicious domain (in this case electronicfrontierfoundation.org). When visited, the URL will redirect the user to another unique URL in the form of http://electronicfrontierfoundation.org/url/{6_random_digits}/Go.class containing a Java applet which exploits a vulnerable version of Java. Once the URL is used and the Java payload is received, the URL is disabled and will no longer deliver malware (presumably to make life harder for malware analysts). The attacker, now able to run any code on the users machine due to the Java exploit, downloads a second payload, which is a binary program to be executed on the target's computer.

Needless to say, don't visit the site unless you know what you're doing -- and also, a good reminder not to click on URLs in emails. Go directly to sites.
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$165.00
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Buy It Now | Add to watch list
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Posted by on in PCWorld

Mobile gaming company DeNA has launched a live streaming app that lets users stream anything on their smartphones, from chats to apps and video. 

Mirrativ goes beyond popular video live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat, as well as console-oriented Twitch, because it can broadcast smartphone screen content instead of just live feeds from the camera or video games. 

A blend of the words "mirror" and "narrative," Mirrativ will mirror the content of the broadcaster's screen on those of followers. The broadcaster can receive feedback in real time in the form of stars, questions or comments. 

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Most people get excited for an open bar at a wedding, but at a wedding in Oregon, guests enjoyed an open weed bar, complete with a knowledgable budtender.

John Elledge, a professional cannabis cultivator by day, married Whitney Alexander on Aug. 8 at a Christmas tree farm in West Linn, Oregon. And because the event was held on private property, the weed tent was totally legal.

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Apple says it cares a lot about privacy. Just ask Tim Cook.

Hence, its new iOS 9 operating system will boast a new feature, called App Transport Security, or ATS, which is supposed to require iPhone app developers to use an advanced security protocol. The idea is to keep the operating system lock tight.

Google says it cares a lot about privacy, too. And it says Apple is doing the right thing.

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It seems likely that mankind, and aliens who got started before us, will eventually establish permanent residences off of their home planets. In the not-so-distant future, the majority of mankind, by percentage, will live off-Earth. However, you should think of the planets as being the bottom of very deep holes, with most of them being too hot, cold, poisonous, exposed to radiation, or too much or too little pressure. The task of getting and leaving these places is risky and expensive, too. Let's just give up on the idea of colonizing Mars for the forseeable future, please! It may not always be so, but the solar system's orbital rocks are easier resources to get, and spitting up material from low-gravity objects with mass drivers. There's no point to terraforming a planet when that will take thousands of years, and no human civillization can keep a project like that, and it's cash flow, going for so long.

In short, we're just not gonna live like pale, stick-figure trolls in underground caverns on the moon or mars. Mining will be done by pulling a big bag over an asteroid and breaking it up from the outside in. Attached refining equipment will separate useful elements and chemicals. This will be mostly-automated. We'll use the tailings as concrete to build our colonies. A gigantic mirror will heat the crushed rock and sinter it into shape, like an enormous 3d printer. There is enough material to build millions of them in OUR OWN solar system, and they'll be essentially self-sustaining once they've been established. Conditions inside will be perfect for human life. It's a far better prospect than making do with low-gravity moons and poisonous planetary atmospheres. Groups of colonies might form "countries" and others will operate independently. The colonies will be built robotically, so the cost will eventually drop to the point where one might be owned by a single family or other social group.

While most colonies will participate in a humanity-wide economic and social network, a life of physical isolation and self-sufficiency will be the norm for most. We'll be in communication, but not often physically visiting other colonies. Some of these may try hurtling themselves onward to the next closest star. They'll stay in touch the whole time, they'll just be permanently out of reach from then on.

The stars DO NOT need to be sun-like, nor do they need Earth-like worlds! They just need to have exploitable resources in easy reach. Red and brown dwarfs are more plentiful than any other type, and they'll last orders of magnitude longer, too. This is probably where the majority of intelligent life will live at some point. Not to miss out on any exploitable resource, those who live around dwarf stars will push onward to practically every type of star within reach. A million years or so, and we'll have colonies throughout the galaxy, and hundreds of alien neighbors to enrich our culture and science.

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The 2015 Tesla Model S P85D is officially the highest-rated vehicle ever tested by Consumer Reports. In fact, it's so good, it actually broke the magazine's rating system, achieving 103 points on a 100-point scale. The reviewers call the sedan "a glimpse into the future of the auto industry." They actually had to re-evaluate their criteria to give the EV a maximum score.

The P85D excelled in everything CR threw at it. With a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds, the EV was the quickest vehicle they've tested, though slightly less than the insane promise. At 87 mpge, the sedan was also even more efficient than the previously tested regular 85-kWh model. Things were so amazing that CR has lowered the drawbridge on the website's pay wall to let anyone check out the full ratings.

While the score is perfect, CR still spots a few areas where the P85D can improve. First, the nearly $128,000 price makes the sedan the most expensive vehicle ever tested by the magazine. For the large sum, the reviewers wanted for a little more in the way of tech and comfort – ventilated seats, for example. They would also like some more nobs and buttons on the dashboard. Plus, the car locked the driver out once.

The last car to receive such effusive praise from the magazine was also a Tesla Model S, when it scored 99 points in 2013. The P85D offered just the right upgrades to earn the ultimate score. Listen to CR's full thoughts about the EV in the clip, above.

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Posted by on in Gizmodo

Valve's Virtual Reality Headset is Delayed

It seemed like the amazing HTC Vive virtual reality headset would be the first to market—ahead of Sony’s Morpheus and the Oculus Rift. That’s not necessarily happening. According to a new press release, consumers probably won’t be getting their hands on Valve VR until 2016. Shame.

While originally, the Vive was set to ship this holiday to consumers (here’s the proof) a Valve press release now suggests a staggered rollout: only “a limited quantity of community and developer systems” will be available this holiday, with consumers having to wait till the first quarter of next year.

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Posted by on in CNET

CEO Mark Zuckerberg says a billion people signed in to the social network in a single day. Kim Kulish/Corbis

Facebook has reached a new milestone: 1 billion people using the social network in a single day.

Facebook reached the high mark on Monday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. That means roughly "1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family" in a single day, he added.

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DJI didn’t start out as the best entry-level drone maker on the market but, at this point, it’s safe to say that they’ve taken the crown from Parrot and are truly creating flying machines worth flying. The new Phantom 3 Professional is the gold standard for quadcopter and I was amazed at the ease-of-use and quality of the photos and video it took.

The Phantom 3 is essentially a camera platform. It costs about $1,259 thanks to the impressive camera/gimbal combination mounted to the bottom. You control it via both a handheld control box with multi-axis sticks as well as onscreen via a smartphone tethered directly to the remote control. The smartphone sends GPS and other data to the drone and you can see what the drone sees as you fly.

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A new video from Android Police has been getting publicity after showing how easy it is to break your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 by putting the stylus in backwards. Before we go any further on this issue, we have to emphasize that you should not try this because your phone will (sort of) break.

The Note 5 incorporates an S pen detection feature that launches a display when the pen is removed from it’s slot. But when the pen is put in backwards it hooks on to an internal mechanism that breaks when it is pulled on, thus breaking the detection feature. It’s important to note that the stylus is shaped in a way that the wrong end can fit into the slot without any force. This means that even gravity can jam your stylus, because you don’t even have to put the pen in all the way. Even by putting the pen less than halfway in, the internal mechanism could snag and break… as we unfortunately found out ourselves. To be clear, “break” isn’t exactly the right word: The phone and the stylus still work, it’s the detection mechanism that no longer functions.

What might actually break it is pushing the phone all the way in the wrong way. We found that out too—because our own David Pierce did not heed these warnings. Now, the stylus is stuck inside the phone.

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The Associated Press filed a lawsuit (PDF) this morning, demanding the FBI hand over information about its use of fake news stories. The case stems from a 2007 incident regarding a bomb threat at a school. The FBI created a fake news story with an Associated Press byline, then e-mailed it to a suspect to plant malware on his computer.

The AP sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI last year seeking documents related to the 2014 sting. It also seeks to know how many times the FBI has used such a ruse since 2000. The FBI responded to the AP saying it could take two years or more to gather the information requested. Unsatisfied with the response, the Associated Press has taken the matter to court.

An Electronic Frontier Foundation FOIA request on a different matter revealed the strategy in 2011, but it wasn't made public until last year, when privacy researcher Chris Soghoian saw evidence of the operation in the documents and tweeted about it. That spurred both the AP and The Seattle Times to complain vocally about the FBI's behavior.

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Next month's iPhone event will mark the first time in recent history that Windows users will be able to officially live-stream an Apple presentation, the company quietly revealed on Thursday through the event's website.

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Windows 10 users will be able to watch via Microsoft's built-in Edge browser, according to the site's fine print. This is because the software supports the same HTTP Live Streaming technology found in Apple apps like QuickTime and Safari. Previously, people wanting to tune into an Apple event had to have an OS X, iOS, or Apple TV device, or else find workarounds through software such as VLC. iTunes for Windows technically supports HLS, but for reasons unknown the company has never given it options for tuning into live press events.Using HLS has offered a variety of advantages for Apple, including avoiding Flash, but the standard has comparatively little support beyond the company's ecosystem. The decision has inherently limited the scope of audiences.The event is scheduled for Sept. 9 at 10 a.m. Pacific, or 1 p.m. Eastern. The focus of the event is expected to be on an iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but Apple should also show off a fourth-generation Apple TV enhanced with an A9 processor, an App Store, Siri voice control, and a touchpad remote.
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Posted by on in Geek.com
Pokemon-GTA

Get ready to feast your eyes on a mashup that is equally what-the-heck amazing and a little too disturbing: Grand Theft Auto: Pokemon Edition. YouTuber Merfish modded his GTA V game to resemble the characters from his self-proclaimed favorite series, Pokémon. Then he recreated the opening theme from the North American cartoon. It kinda works in a way that makes me wonder about the truth behind Pokémon.

He has some iconic characters — mostly humans painted in some iconic Pokémon skin colors — that make me wonder just how much drugs the GTA NPCs are on. The mods also include accessories, like Ash’s hat, and Team Rocket as they would appear today.

What’s great is just how matched Merfish got his mashup. There’s even a side-by-side comparison video of the recreation and the original opening to see just how eerily accurate it is. Merfish’s channel sports some other great GTA mashups, such as “Lester the Pooh” and “Three’s Company.”

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Posted by on in TechCrunch

Facebook just heralded a huge milestone, on Monday nearly 1 in 7 humans logged on to its site.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailed the accomplishment in a post from his personal Facebook profile:

On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.

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The Obi SF1 and SJ1.5 are two more low-cost smartphones geared toward emerging markets. The phones run Android and offer sophisticated cameras.
10 Google Milestones: From Stanford Dorm To Alphabet

10 Google Milestones: From Stanford Dorm To Alphabet

(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Another day, another low-cost smartphone promising to change the market appears -- or two of them do. This time the devices are the brainchild of former Apple CEO John Sculley and his new company Obi Worldphone.

The Obi SF1 and SJ1.5, designed by San Francisco-based product studio Ammunition, are aimed at emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The two smartphones feature Obi Lifespeed, a custom user interface for Google Android.

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What the Fedx2019;s Rate Hike Means For Your Credit Card Debt

There’s a lot going on in the economy right now, including all this news about the Fed raising interest rates. The details can be confusing, but what you really need to know is how this will affect you as a consumer. Here’s what the hike means for your debt (and what you should do about it).

There’s been a lot of talk about when exactly the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Long story short, this will impact a lot of things, including your loans and your debt.http://twocents.lifehacker.com/who-is-the-fed...

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Researchers ought to be able to duplicate the findings of other scientists’ work, but a new study suggests that many published psychology results can't be recreated.

A huge, collaborative research project attempted to recreate 100 studies that were recently published in major psychology journals, and it found that only 39 of those studies' results could be replicated. That could mean that the studies were wrong in the first place, but researchers say that the findings tell more about the difficulty of designing a reproducible study than the accuracy of the studies themselves.

Studies need to be reproducible so that scientists can confirm their effects. That's why scientists have generally pushed toward reproducing studies — and not just in psychology. In part, that's to catch scientific fraud, but it's also simply to make scientific findings more trustworthy. In January 2014, the National Institutes of Health announced it would create new initiatives to address these concerns, but there still aren't widely established reproducibility guidelines. The study being published today speaks to why a bigger focus on reproducibility is necessary.

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Last fall, we wrote about how the FBI had set up a fake AP news story in order to implant malware during an investigation. This came out deep in a document that had been released via a FOIA request by EFF, and first noticed by Chris Soghoian of the ACLU. The documents showed the FBI discussing how to install some malware, called a CIPAV (for Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier) by creating a fake news story:
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It later came out that the way the FBI used this was an undercover agent pretended to be an AP reporter and sent the suspect -- a 15 year old high school kid... -- a "draft" of the article to review. And when the kid opened it, the malware was deployed.

In response to this, FBI director James Comey defended the practice, saying that it was legal "under Justice Department and FBI guidelines at the time" and, furthermore, that this bit of deception worked. Comey also said that while guidelines had changed, and such impersonation would require "higher-level approvals," it was still something the FBI could do.

The AP has now sued the FBI, along with the Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press (RCFP) over its failure to reveal any more details about this effort following a FOIA request. For reasons that are beyond me, even though it's the AP filing the lawsuit and the AP writing about the lawsuit, reporter Michael Biesecker apparently doesn't think its readers can handle the actual filing, so they don't include it (this is bad journalism, folks). However, you can read the actual lawsuit here.

In short, the AP made a FOIA request for documents related to this specific case above, as well as "an accounting of the number of times" that the FBI "has impersonated media organizations or generated media-style material" to deliver malware. The FBI said it was working on it, and then bizarrely told the AP that the request was being "closed administratively" because it was being combined with someone else's FOIA request, which left the AP reasonably confused, since they had not initiated that request and had no idea who had.

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