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A big-screen adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith’s bestselling 2009 novel Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — a zombie-fueled spin on Jane Austen’s classic romance novel Pride and Prejudice — has been in the works for over five years now, and the project finally appears to be nearing the finish line with the recent announcement of its official release date.

Directed by Burr Steers (Igby Goes Down), Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will arrive in theaters February 19, 2016.

Grahame-Smith’s novel, which offered an “expanded” take on Austen’s novel about the complicated relationships that develop between a group of sisters and their lovers in 19th century England, became a word-of-mouth success when it was first published in 2009. Combining much of the setting, characters, and plot points of Austen’s tale with ample doses of gory zombie mayhem (and a few ninjas with a knack for fighting the undead), the novel was one of several published around the same time that mixed public-domain literary works with modern pop-culture elements (including Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and Android Karenina, among others).

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Virtual reality isn’t just for video games anymore.

Spearheaded by products like the Samsung Gear VR, Galaxy Note 4, and Oculus Rift, the VR movement has gained a lot of momentum in recent years. As the technology continues to improve, virtual immersion into sporting events, concerts, and even military simulations will become more and more commonplace.

NextVR, a technology company from Laguna Beach, California, has announced a partnership with Fox Sports to explore the potential of virtual reality streaming at NASCAR events. Using cameras mounted on the pit road and next to the track, NextVR recently tested its system for Fox executives at a recent Sprint Cup Series event.

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Significantly expanding the capabilities of the Almond+ and Almond 2015 routers, Securifi has rolled out new functionality today via a firmware update that adds smart home user control to the two Wi-Fi devices. Typically, someone interested in home automation would have to purchase a secondary smart home hub, usually between $50 and $100, and rely on a home’s Wi-Fi network to run automation commands. Conversely, all home automation commands run locally on the Almond+ and Almond 2015, thus there’s no requirement of an Internet connection.

Running home automation commands locally through the router also means response time is reduced compared to systems that require cloud-based technology. If you have invested in ZigBee and Z-Wave sensor technology, both will work immediately with the Almond+ router. The less expensive Almond 2015 only supports ZigBee at this time.

All home automation rules can be set via the desktop interface or with Securifi’s free iOS and Android mobile applications. The user interface can be used to create fairly complex automation scenarios, depending on preference. For instance, when the a sensor is triggered inside your mailbox as the mail is being delivered, it could trigger a LED in the home to turn on, switch to a pre-determined color and ring the doorbell to alert the homeowner.

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Posted by on in Engadget
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The hero of Hell’s Kitchen is just about ready to make his presence known to the world at large in Marvel’s Daredevil, a Netflix offering hitting the streaming service on April 10.

The series focuses on Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) who was doused with chemicals as a boy. The accident robbed him of his sight, but enhanced all of his other senses to super-human levels. Dedicated to pulling himself up out of his rough neighborhood, Matt worked hard at school and eventually became a lawyer by day and a superhero by night.

He’s joined in his regular life by law partner Foggy Nelson (Vincent D’Onofrio) and potential love interest Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). Meanwhile, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk — otherwise known as the Kingpin of Crime — will plague the hero who was trained from a young age by blind warrior Stick (Scott Glenn). When he gets overly banged up in his mission for justice, Murdock heads to Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple, a nurse.

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Tile, the lost item tracker that you can attach to purses, keys, luggage, bikes or anything else that tends to go missing at times, is today rolling out a new feature designed to make it easier for people to get help finding their items. In an update to the company’s iOS and Android applications, users will now be able to share their Tiles with others, including friends, family, roommates, or anyone else they choose in order to increase the chances that their Tile – and whatever it’s attached to – gets found.

The Tile tracker, by way of background, originally began as a crowdfunded device before raising $13 million in seed and Series A funding to fuel its growth. The company had sold over half a million of its small, white square-shaped devices as of last fall, but declined to provide any updated numbers today. Instead, CEO Mike Farley references a different metric: he says the Tile community is finding over 250,000 items every day.

tile-ios

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Another cable company merger was announced today, but it won't be completed unless the government allows Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC).

Charter Communications plans to buy Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion, but the deal is contingent on Comcast's big merger. That's because Charter itself has a stake in Comcast/TWC; Charter stands to gain 1.4 million subscribers from Time Warner Cable in exchange for $7.3 billion. Comcast would also divest itself of 2.5 million subscribers with the spinoff of a new cable company called GreatLand Connections.

Further Reading

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apple-trade-in-program-uk.jpg screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Anyone looking to unload an Android or BlackBerry smartphone can now turn to Apple.

The company expanded its trade-in program on Monday to accept certain models of rival phones, including Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets. Your old phone scores you store credit, which you can then use to purchase a new iPhone 5c, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, though not an Apple Watch, according to Apple news site 9to5Mac. The program is available in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Italy, an Apple spokesperson told CNET.

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Posted by on in Engadget
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Microsoft refreshed the Surface Pro 3 nearly a year ago. The Surface 2, however, has been waiting since late 2013 for a hardware update. Now it’s finally gotten one.

Today, Microsoft revealed the all-new Surface 3. It’s not a gimpy cousin of the larger Surface Pro 3, either. It’s more like a little brother now that Microsoft has shifted to an Intel Atom processor under the hood and ditched the crippled Windows RT for full-blown Windows 8.1 complete with free Windows 10 upgrade. Yes, the Surface 3 can run apps from the Windows Store and Steam, GOG, or any other download site without the need for a jailbreak.

As far as looks go, the Surface 3 is very much like a scaled-down Pro. It’s got the same magnesium chassis and the same kickstand on the back, protecting what lurks beneath its 10.8-inch 1080p touchscreen. That includes a minimum of 64GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. There’s also a beefed-up model that comes with 128GB and 4GB of RAM. Everything has been crammed into a package that’s just 8.7mm thin and weighs just under a pound and a half.

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golfofthrones.jpgPretend to be the King or Queen of the Green while sitting in this Iron Throne made of golf clubs. Direct Golf UK

Everyone could use his or her very own Iron Throne from the hit TV series "Game of Thrones." Now golf enthusiasts can build a Westerosi royal seat using 300 metal golf clubs -- instead of the swords of their defeated enemies.

Dead Beats Create and Direct Golf UK teamed up to make this sporty tribute to the show that's full of fore-play, handicaps and 18 holes (in the back of an enemy).

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The early word is out on Samsung's latest flagship smartphones, with many reviewers praising the company's design efforts — even as they acknowledge its Apple-esque form — while questioning the S6 Edge's raison d'être.

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"After years of building the smartphone equivalents of that Pontiac Aztek, the company has crafted a pair of sleek luxury sedans," Yahoo technology reporter Daniel Howley wrote in his evaluation. Unfortunately, the Galaxy S6 "isn't exactly original, as it looks like an amalgamation of the iPhone 4s and iPhone 6," he said, adding that "the majority" of people who saw his review unit agreed.

Howley did miss the MicroSD slot, removable battery, and waterproofing that were jettisoned thanks to the redesign, but stopped short of calling any of those omissions dealbreakers.

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The Alcatel OneTouch Watch, which got its debut at CES this year, is officially going on sale today with pre-orders starting at $149.99 directly from the company’s U.S. website. The smartwatch is unique among those from larger OEMs in that it works with both iOS and Android smartphones, packing in support for health monitoring features, phone notifications and music controls on both kinds of devices.

Alcatel’s device has a circular face, and at launch will ship with a black sport band (with more options set to be made available later on this year). It uses Bluetooth LE to connect to your device, and has a 42 mm watch face, with a 1.22-inch 240×204 display. The device uses touch-based input, but depends on a tapping interface using the home area that takes up a small chunk of the bottom of the round screen, similar to the Moto 360’s bottom black bar. A printed exterior bezel with number markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 helps hide the fact that it isn’t a full circle.

WATCH 2

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US Patent No. 5,072,856.

A disagreement over a toy that lets kids pretend they're Spider-Man is the impetus for one of two patent cases the Supreme Court is considering this year.

The subject matter in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises is lighthearted enough that one has to imagine some kind of mild joke will be made from the bench. But while the lawsuit doesn't have the weight of the patent cases that were considered by the high court last year, it's no small matter. The question of how far a patent license can last will affect all patent defendants, including the tech companies that face a steady drumbeat of lawsuits from patent trolls.

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Five Four Clothing wants to outfit the geek who prefers to wave his geek flag a bit more discreetly. The company, which offers a subscription-based model for buying clothes, has partnered with Marvel to create a series of pieces based on the Marvel heroes as they appear in films like Avengers: Age of Ultron kicking off on April 1 (we’re pretty sure this isn’t an April Fool’s).

The company offered the following video to more fully explain the project while also showing off more of the clothes in a browseable lookbook.

Five Four explained the collection on their YouTube page as building on a simple principle, “take elements of the Marvel Universe and create a bold new collection from the ground-up.”

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Further Reading

Last fall, a judge in Charlotte, North Carolina, unsealed a multi-case set of 529 court documents that detail the use of a stingray, or cell-site simulator, by local police. After that, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office set out to review the applications and determine which records needed to be shared with defense attorneys.

The DA's office released a statement Friday saying its review is complete, and the county’s top prosecutorial authority found that "only two cases" involved the use of stingrays "for investigative purposes," meaning defense attorneys should be notified.

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UK protests against fracking.

Following the decision last year by New York state to ban fracking for natural gas, a group of senior doctors and academics in the UK has called for a similar, nationwide moratorium on the extraction technique. This would extend the ban on "unconventional oil and gas extraction" announced by the Scottish government earlier this year to the rest of the UK. The Welsh Assembly has already passed a motion against fracking, which is a highly controversial technology in many European countries and not widely deployed there.

In a letter published by the British Medical Journal, the health professionals write: "Fracking is an inherently risky activity that produces hazardous levels of air and water pollution that can have adverse impacts on health. The heavy traffic, noise and odour that accompanies fracking, as well as the socially disruptive effects of temporary ‘boomtowns’ and the spoilage of the natural environment are additional health hazards."

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Although Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed that Apple Pay had "gotten off to the most amazing start," about two-thirds of its users are encountering problems at retail, according to a survey published this week by Phoenix Marketing International.

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The survey of about 3,000 people, obtained by Bloomberg, noted that 66 percent of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus owners — the only ones who can use Apple Pay at retail, until the Apple Watch ships on April 24 — have signed up for the service so far. Almost half of that group, however, is said to have visited a store listed as an Apple Pay partner but discovered that the location wasn't accepting the platform, at least at the time.

Among the problem group, 48 percent said it took too long to process a transaction, and 42 percent said the cashier wasn't familiar with the technology. Some shoppers also complained about transactions being incorrect, or run twice.

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Own an Almond router? It’s about to get a dose of home automation thanks to new firmware from Securifi. The company behind the clever (and attractive) routers just announced a new set of features that will better position its product in the marketplace.

These home automation features are a natural fit for Almond routers since Securifi designed the router to be showcased in a home rather than stuffed in a closet like most routers. The latest router can even be hung on a wall.

Securifi launched the original Almond router in 2012 and quickly followed it up with a new model in 2014. Then, earlier this year, the company pushed out another router that packs more of what made the first two special: It combines top-tier technical specs with a pretty face. And now it does home automation, too.

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SpaceX

On Monday afternoon, Yahoo's photo-sharing platform Flickr announced that it would add public domain and CC-Zero licensing options for users who want to share their work freely with the public. Both options allow others to reuse photos licensed in that manner in any way they wish.

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Gross margins for Apple's March quarter could surprise to the upside, according to investment firm RBC Capital Markets, which raised its price target on the iPhone maker to $142 on Tuesday.

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Analyst Amit Daryanani sees a variety of factors contributing to the margins, which he expects will hit 39.5 percent this quarter. Specifically, he cited yield efficiency, supply chain pricing, and strong sales of the iPhone 6 Plus helping to push margins higher.

In addition, Daryanani sees multiple factors on the horizon that could further improve Apple's margins, including the ramping of production of the Apple Watch in the June quarter.

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