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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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DEM 2016 Clinton

As the saga over Hillary Clinton's emails from her time as Secretary of State continues, the State Department tonight released the largest bundle of recovered messages yet. Amounting to some 7,000 pages, officials told Reuters they include some 150 emails marked as classified, which have had passages redacted. The Clinton campaign continues to maintain that her use of a private email server was not a problem, and that many messages were classified later, but not at the time they were originally sent. So what's in the database? You can search it yourself, to find tidbits including Clinton asking for the broadcast times of Parks & Recreation and The Good Wife and an entirely odd one marked "Gefilte Fish." In another, she asks adviser Huma Abedin to teach her how to use a new iPad when it arrived in June 2010. Riveting stuff.

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Apple may soon find itself playing the role of producer of original video programming, according to a new report.

The Cupertino tech giant has held meetings with Hollywood executives in recent weeks to gauge their interest in helping make original movies and TV shows, producing content that would challenge offerings from Netflix and Amazon Prime, Variety reports. The Apple unit reportedly handling the discussions reports to Eddy Cue, Apple's head of Internet software and services.

The company hopes to begin the hiring process soon for development and production divisions that would begin creating long-form content by next year.

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Red light cameras in Arizona.

The city of Chicago has joined a lawsuit against Redflex, an Australian company that sold the city red light cameras starting in 2003. Redflex announced the legal action in a statement to stockholders (PDF) today, sending the company's already-suffering stock down to $0.17 per share.

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$348.00
End Date: Thursday Sep-3-2015 17:19:13 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $348.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
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A report citing high-ranking executives within the entertainment industry claims Apple is looking to create in-house movie or TV programming, suggesting the company is headed down a path forged by the likes of Netflix and Hulu.

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According to Variety, Apple has been in talks with Hollywood executives over the past few weeks to gauge interest in potential partnerships over "entertainment content," though it is unclear if the company's ambitions lie in television or long-form programming. The overtures come directly from a group tasked by SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, who also runs point on other important content-related revenue makers like iTunes.If the report is accurate, Apple is apparently looking to make a splash if and when a program is announced, as sources claim the company tried to nab Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May after they left hit BBC show "Top Gear" earlier this year. That cast ultimately signed on with Amazon in a multi-million dollar deal.One source claims Cupertino is planning to engage in headhunting operations to glean talent from top content providers including Netflix, a leader in the market that has enjoyed wide praise with its expanding original programming lineup. The process is rumored to go into action over the coming months and, if successful, could lead to a service debut sometime next year. The rest of the report reads as speculation as to the potential of Apple's plans, with guesses as to content format, distribution models and likely tie-ins with an expected, but long overdue, Apple TV over-the-top streaming offering. If Apple does create or co-produce content, whether it be movies or episodic shows, Apple TV exclusivity would be a boon for the hardware platform. Long a middleman serving a world of consumers thirsty for fresh music, movies and television shows, Apple has more recently turned its attention to content creation with Apple Music. For example, the company set up its own Internet radio infrastructure with Beats 1 and reportedly lent a hand in creating music videos for high-profile artists like Eminem, Pharrell and Drake.
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Flying drones are all the rage right now. The latest DJI Phantom is smoking hot. But sitting in your very own one and flying it? That’s uncharted territory…until now.

Check out this dude in the UK hovering above the earth in a contraption with “54 counter-rotation propellers and six grouped control channels with Hobbyking stabilization.”

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In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the federal government stepped up to assure the nation that as horrifically damaging as the storm was, we would all come out of it OK.*

*Offer does not apply to affected residents of New Orleans.

President Bush let us know that FEMA head "Brownie" (born Michael D. Brown) was doing a "heckuva job" botching the government's response. The New Orleans Police Department worked hard to secure critical infrastructure, going so far as to show up in civilian clothes, armed with unapproved weapons. And the FBI, which sent its people to assist in search and rescue operations and to help curtail post-storm looting, made sure an unprecedented tragedy wouldn't go to waste.

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Cut Back on Your Before-Bed Smartphone Addiction With This Exercise

If you want to wean yourself off of the need to look at your phone before bed, some deliberate practice ignoring notifications during the day might help.

Your smartphone can keep you up at night for a couple reasons. The blue light of the screen makes it hard for your brain to get sleepy, and notifications can buzz and beep you to waking up. Even with notifications off, however, you might also develop a fear of missing out (FOMO) if you’re not in direct contact with your phone. The anxiety of knowing that you’re missing notifications can be almost as bad as getting them all night. Larry Rosen at Harvard Business Review suggests that this exercise can help reduce that need to be in contact with your phone, especially right before bed:

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Soon you'll finally be able to change the faceplates on a Nintendo 3DS. Today the company announced that the New Nintendo 3DS — which was previously available in Japan and features swappable faceplates, in addition to improvements like face-tracking 3D and built-in NFC capabilities — will launch in the US as part of a bundle with Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. The handheld, the game, two faceplates, and an amiibo card will be available on September 25th for $219.99. Nintendo previously released the larger New Nintendo 3DS XL, which has the same features but no removable faceplates, in North America back in February alongside the 3DS release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. No word yet on when the smaller version will be available outside of a bundle.

New Nintendo 3DS New Nintendo 3DS

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It’s been a hot second since we’ve heard anything from Telltale about their Minecraft: Story Mode game, but some news dropped at PAX Prime that reminded us all that this is something still in the works!

It looks like you’ll be able to choose the look and feel of your protagonist in Story Mode. Which is cool, because this will be a first for Telltale, but given there isn’t a whole lot to the plot of the game it’s based off of, it probably wasn’t hard to work in. You’ll play as Jesse — a nice gender neutral name — and you can pick if you’re a boy or a girl, and a varying degrees of colors for your skin. Of course, since the default outfit is a pair of overalls, the only thing differentiating between the sexes is a hair cut.

1440784202-mcsm-beta-jesse-variations

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A mere 11.4-millimeter thin, the Samsung Gear S2 brings a light and compact design to your wrist. It offers an incredibly vibrant viewing experience for a smartwatch, thanks to its 1.2-inch circular screen and its 360 x 360 resolution (302 ppi). The applications on the Gear S2 can be viewed with amazing clarity so that users don’t miss notification pop-ups. Also, with the latest Tizen OS and an optimized 1-GHz dual core processor, the Samsung Gear S2 can perform tasks easily and efficiently.

Users can stay connected with at-a-glance notifications to check calendars, e-mails, news and can even send important texts directly from their wrist. Users can choose the Gear S2 with 3G connectivity which incorporates the first-ever e-SIM with voice capability, to perform quick functions without being closely tethered to their phone.

New fitness functions on the Samsung Gear S2 will encourage consumers to stay healthy and active. The 24-hour activity log lets users view daily activity progress and patterns at a glance. It will also send reminder updates to motivate users to stay on track with their fitness goals.

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Google and Sanofi want to make real-time data more useful for diabetes patients and clinicians.
Google OnHub Router: My First 24 Hours

Google OnHub Router: My First 24 Hours

(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Google on Monday said it is working with European pharmaceutical maker Sanofi SA to improve treatments and devices for people with diabetes.

Sanofi, which makes several diabetes medications, plans to collaborate with Google researchers and engineers to develop miniaturized sensing technology that will provide patients with better tools to manage their condition and offer physicians better patient health data.

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