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T-Mobile Will Stop Customers Abusing Unlimited Data

T-Mobile’s ‘unlimited means unlimited’ policy is good for consumers, but it’s also a boon for less scrupulous users who use cell data to replace broadband, with the help of a few dubious workarounds. Starting today, the endless data gravy train is going to stop.

T-Mobile’s top-end plan does actually offer unlimited LTE data — but that’s just for use on your smartphone. When it comes to tethering your laptop to your phone, you get 7GB of high-speed data, after which you’re throttled. However, with some fairly simple workarounds on rooted Android phones, users trick the carrier into seeing tethering use as normal cellphone use — and according to T Mobile, some people are abusing that to the tune of 2TB a month.

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The ferrofluid font in action

You may have seen ferrofluid (aka magnetic ink) used for clever science demonstrations in school, but it might just get a much cooler application before long. Linden Gledhill and Craig Ward have developed Fe2O3 Glyphs, wild-looking characters created by putting a ferrofluid between glass plates and subjecting it to spinning magnetic fields. The result is a sort of anti-font -- while the "letters" look like they could be part of an alien language, they're so unique that you'd likely never produce the same effect twice.

The creators are producing a digital typeface that you can use for your own projects, and they also hope to create a limited run of letterpress art prints to show your friends. You'll need to pitch in to make both of these a reality, though. The duo has launched a crowdfunding campaign that gives you both the digital font and at least one print (either unique or copied). You'll need to pledge at least $30 to get something in return, but it might be worth the cash if you've ever wanted science-influenced artwork in your home.

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Pokémon fans headed to the PAX gaming conference in Seattle suffered a disappointment on Thursday when their schedule party didn't materialize. The reason? Copyright lawyers working for the The Pokémon Company saw the whole fiesta as a giant festival of infringement.

Company lawyers got wind of the unofficial party, which was advertised on a poster (above) that included two characters from the Pokémon universe: Pikachu, the most famous character (or Pokémon), and the dragon-like Snivy. On Wednesday Aug. 26, one day before the party, they sued (PDF) to stop it.

image"Defendants boast that the '5th Annual Unofficial Pokémon PAX Kickoff Party' will feature among other things, 'Pokémon themed shots and drinks - Smash Bros. Tournament with cash prize - Dancing - Giveaways - Cosplay Contest and more,' and an “AMAZIN POKEMON MASHUP," the complaint reads.

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Posted by on in TechCrunch
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In the ever-escalating social media arms race, GIFs are the best way to get attention. Static photos are so 2013. But a new app called Giffiti (like graffiti with GIFs) lets you enhance your pics by overlaying animations. 

Announced by Nalin Mittal this month with a simple post on Reddit, Giffiti rocketed to the front page and hit #14 amongst U.S. Entertainment apps on iOS.

This was not the plan. Mittal had sold his company Appstores.com to InMobi. He left with his friend Tim Jones and was trying to build an app for making birthday video montages called Celebrate. They weren’t getting anywhere, but saw GIF search engines gaining popularity on Reddit and Product Hunt. They took three weeks and built Giffiti. 

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Posted by on in CNET

Netflix users will soon have to find somewhere else to get their fix of "Hunger Games" and "World War Z."

The streaming service announced Sunday it has decided not to renew its movie licensing deal with Epix when the current contract expires at the end of September. In the announcement, the streaming service said it was putting a greater emphasis on original content.

"We've enjoyed a five-year partnership with Epix, but our strategic paths are no longer aligned," Netflix said in a statement to Variety. "Our focus has shifted to provide great movies and TV series for our members that are exclusive to Netflix. Epix focus is to make sure that their movies will be widely available for consumers through a variety of platforms."

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There’s no need to buy new extravagant knife sets every time your blades start to dull. Instead, you can take care of the knives you have and prolong their lifespan. This video will show you how to keep them just as sharp as when you bought them.http://lifehacker.com/dont-buy-expen...

The video above, from the How To You YouTube channel, explains everything you need to sharpen with a whetstone at home, and the best methods for doing so. Obviously, you’ll need a whetstone (as well as a few other things), and you’ll want to work near your sink or a bucket so you have easy access to water. Fill a container with water, then soak the whetstone in it until it stops bubbling. Inspect your blades for any trouble spots, and get to sharpening using the methods and motions described in the video; making sure to check your progress as you go. We’ve talked about sharpening knives with whetstones before, but this guide is a bit more thorough and the old video has since been removed.

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The Daily Mail reports that Julian Assange seems to have yet another foe (or at least friend of a foe) watching persistently while he stays put in the Ecuadorean embassy in London: Harrod's Department Store. The Metro Police, according to Assange, have developed a relationship with the store, and are using that relationship to facilitate their full-time observation of his roosting place in the embassy. When the founder of Wikileaks says "‘We have obtained documents from Harrods [saying that] police have people stationed 24 hours a day in some of the opposing buildings Harrods controls," it seems likely that those documents actually exist.
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Google debuted its own streaming service in 2013 as Google Play Music All Access, after Google Play music's initial debut in 2011. All Access was initially priced at $9.99, but in June of 2015, Google unsurprisingly unveiled an ad-supported, free version to differentiate itself from Apple's subscription Music service.

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Designed to compete directly with other streaming services such as Spotify, Rdio and newcomer Apple Music, All Access is based on Songza, the human-curated music streaming startup acquired by Google last year.

The most striking difference between Google Play Music All Access and Apple Music (apart from the incredibly verbose name) is the user interface, though music curation and discovery services come in at a close second.

Opening up GPMAA, users are first greeted by the day of the week and various playlists arranged around activities like "Waking Up", "Singing in the Shower", and "Getting Out of Bed". These are followed by Recent Activity and Recommended For You. A hamburger button on the top left leads to Playlists, Stations, Artists, Albums, and Songs.

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On Saturday, presidential hopeful and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) made an unusual campaign stop. Wearing his usual shades and messy curls, Paul posed with arms crossed in front of a controversial Utah data center belonging to the NSA. Alongside the photo, posted on Facebook, Paul made a bold campaign pledge: to essentially tear that data center down.

"I'm on my way to the airport, but we decided to stop by the NSA facility in Utah," the caption on Paul's Facebook page says. "When I become president, we'll convert it into a Constitutional Center to study the Fourth Amendment! Bulk data collection must end!"

"Bulk data collection must end!"

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The grand old restaurant Commander's Palace, in New Orleans, is hidden among multicolored mansions in the city's smartest neighborhood, not far from where Sandra Bullock owned a house.

To get in, you have to pass muster: no jeans, no shorts, nothing that would detract from the genteel luxury where the city's old guard drink scandalously cheap 25-cent martinis along with their turtle soup, gumbo and bread pudding. It's a place that, implicitly at least, is dedicated to one of the city's oldest society rituals: keeping up the illusion of wealth from the city's distant past as a fast-growing center of commerce.

Except that one July day, Commander's Palace was full of people who didn't really have to fake it. Tim Williamson, a New Orleans native, was presiding over a dinner of 21 promising young startups that had a rich promise of money and the rebirth of New Orleans. A dozen investors from out of town were there to hear pitches.

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A Really Small Telescope Captured This Gorgeous Galaxy Image

Astronomers say this view of the Andromeda Galaxy is probably similar to what the Milky Way Galaxy would look like from outside.

Like the Milky Way, Andromeda is a spiral galaxy, and it’s our nearest galactic neighbor in the cleverly-named Local Group. Of course, “near” in astronomical terms means about 2.5 million light years. But someday, Andromeda will be much closer; astrophysicists say it will collide with the Milky Way in a few billion years. Eventually, the two galaxies will merge into one big elliptical galaxy.

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Netflix says it is not renewing a distribution deal with cable network Epix, which means its U.S. subscribers will lose access  to big Hollywood movies like “Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “World War Z” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction”at the end of September. The trade-off, says Netflix: It is making its own movies — but subscribers will have to wait a while to see most of them.

Epix is a joint venture of MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment and Viacom’s Paramount. Netflix signed on with the pay TV network 5 years ago, but it hasn’t had exclusive streaming rights for those studios’ films since 2012, when Amazon signed its own Epix deal.

Industry sources say Epix is likely to replace Netflix with a distribution deal with Hulu, the Web video service co-owned by Fox, Disney and Comcast’s NBCUniversal.

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It seems there are no lows to which the recording industry won't sink, reaffirmed this week by a series of anti-piracy ads that exploit the tragic stories of dead (and highly successful) musicians. Violynne won most insightful comment of the week for an open letter to those who might be misled by this campaign:

Dear upcoming artists reading this article, What you're actually reading are the states caused by these performers and their record labels. In a time before royalties (and it took a new copyright law to get them, by the way), these performers had no choice but to trust their labels, many of which withheld thousands, if not millions, from the artists which actually created the music. Their suffering had nothing to do with people stealing their music (trying to walk out with an LP tucked under the shirt isn't easy). Their suffering was due to lost revenue by the labels, most represented by the RIAA (whose sole purpose is to extort as much money from artists as possible). Don't fall for the ruse. Take a few months and learn business, economics, and the law so you can manage, market, and profit by yourself. Because the second you take that advance and sign the dotted line, you'll be hitting the bottle and pain killers too.

For second place, we head to the story of the DOJ dropping a case after being told it can't simply seize laptops at the border. One anonymous commenter pointed out how telling this reaction is:

The government would rather drop a case against a serial killer if it meant saving them the ability to continue spy on others illegally. Proof is this case, as well as the one where they dropped a kidnapping case just so they don't unveil they were using Stingrays to catch the guy. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/08/23/baltimore-police-stingray-cell-surveillance/31994181/ Disgusting.

For editor's choice, we start out on our post about another Techdirt post that disappeared from Google due to a right-to-be-forgotten request. One commenter asked when the last legitimate such request was made, and John Fenderson supplied a simple answer:

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Posted by on in Tech Deals
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End Date: Sunday Sep-6-2015 10:42:46 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $125.00
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Current-generation Apple TV

Do you recall the early days of the Apple TV, when you could expect to pay over $100 to put an Apple-powered media hub in your living room? They might come roaring back. Sources for 9to5Mac claim that the next Apple TV should cost between $149 to $199 (the final price is still up in the air) when it ships, which is reportedly sometime in October. That's still less than the original cost when it was new, but you could be in for sticker shock if you were expecting Apple to keep the price to $99 or less. It could make the Fire TV and Roku 3 look like relative bargains, depending on how attached you are to Apple's ecosystem.

Not that such a hike would be entirely surprising, mind you. Many of the rumors swirling around Apple's next set-top suggest that it'll be a much more powerful device with an A8 processor, more storage, Siri voice recognition, an app store and (in recent rumors) motion control. It wouldn't so much be a sorely overdue update as a redefinition of what the Apple TV is -- instead of focusing almost exclusively on streaming video, it'd be a Shield TV-like box that can handle gaming and other tasks suited to the big screen.

And if that's too rich for your blood, you may not have to worry. The insiders say that the third-generation Apple TV will stick around, and that it'll get the company's long-fabled streaming TV service. You'd miss out on the app store, Siri and other features that would likely require new hardware, but you wouldn't have to scrounge for extra cash just to see how Apple tackles streaming media in the future.

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Nielson

The business of television is currently trying to figure out how to deal with the reality that a growing number of households are using subscription streaming services to get their television programming. Streaming video services based on the internet like Netflix and Amazon don’t provide data to the public about how many people are streaming their shows and both companies are increasingly getting into content production on their own. The Nielson company has started collecting data for almost 1,000 streaming shows, and that’s not necessarily good news for Netflix.

For broadcast television, there has always been “the ratings” to set the benchmark for how well a show was doing and those ratings were the data collected by the Nielsen company from surveys and Nielsen boxes connected to a household’s TV set. The Nielson ratings continue to be collected for television broadcasts, though the diversification of TV programming with the advent of cable and the rise of DVR recording devices have changed the look of the cumulative ratings data over the years.

Nielsen data is still used to estimate how many people are watching a TV show and that estimated number dictates how much ad revenue can be made and how valuable the licensing for the show on a streaming service should be. That’s why it’s so frustrating to businesses used to having the Nielsen ratings as a metric don’t have data for online streaming services. Netflix will reportedly provide data to certain high paying collaborators, but otherwise doesn’t public release data on how many or who is watching their service’s offerings.

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Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

hangover.jpgThere's nothing you can do about it. If you've drunk too much, that is.

Warner Bros/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Whether you've ever been drunk or not, you may be familiar with the concept of the hangover.

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The folks profiled here are tackling data management for the Internet Age, helping us all understand what can be done with a mass of unstructured information. See how their work has transformed the way we handle databases.
Previous1 of 11Next
(Image: danleap/iStockphoto)
(Image: danleap/iStockphoto)

NoSQL started off in 2006-2007 as an edgy, against-the-mainstream name, a counterpoint to the complete dependence on the SQL access language that relational database systems had at the time.

The pioneers of NoSQL systems never said it was their goal to replace SQL systems, which have been the foundation of venerable relational databases for the last 30 years, such as Oracle, DB2, and PostgreSQL. Rather, NoSQL developers wanted to be freed from the restrictions and preoccupation with precision that marked SQL systems. They were driven by the new demands the Internet was placing on how databases operated in the real world.

Here are the key differences between SQL and NoSQL systems:

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CyberPowerPC’s Syber division is diving into Steam Machines with full force, announcing no fewer than six separate models at GDC.

The most affordable, the $500 Syber Steam Machine A, packs an Athlon X4 850 processor, a 2GB Radeon R9 270, 4GB of memory, and 500GB of storage. At the high end, the $1,400 Syber Steam Machine packs a full-blown Core i7-4790K, a GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive. It’s hard to find components more capable than that, folks.

Syber will also craft you a Steam Machine from the hardware of your choice if the premade models don’t cut if for you.

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Posted by on in Geek.com
Million Mile Light

If you go out for an early morning run to stay in shape, getting hit by a car kind of defeats the purpose. Runners often wear reflective clothing or lighting systems to make sure drivers see them, but there’s a Kickstarter going on right now for a new running light that doesn’t need batteries everKickstarter goal.

The small light attaches to your waistband, shirt, or any other clippable bit of clothing (there’s also a strap that comes with it). Each time you take a step, the four bright LEDs flash once. The lenses focus the light so it’s visible from over 200 meters (about 656 feet) away. So a driver will see a flashing light bobbing up and down on the side of the road from a good distance away, hopefully making it easy to avoid running you over.

According to the campaign page, all the design and prototyping work on the Million Mile Light is complete. The video above offers some pretty convincing demos of the device working. Just FYI, the first minute or so is a bit self-indulgent. The rest of the video makes a good case for the light, though.

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