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Back in the good ‘ole days before the internet and Yo and Meerkat and Snapchat, we had one way to talk to people in faraway lands: the telephone. But a microphone and speaker aren’t much use if you’re hearing impaired.

In 1979, a Bell Labs research project devised a way of communicating with sign language, using just the bandwidth of one phone line. 35 years ago, video chat wasn’t feasible for most users, so the challenge was to distil sign language down to something that could be encoded and sent over the (very limited) bandwidth provided by a single phone line.

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After announcing a shift in privacy policy during January 2015, Verizon has finally made the option to opt-out of user tracking available to all subscribers. Dubbed a ‘supercookie’ by critics due to the inability to halt Verizon from using the code to track a subscriber’s location data, general browsing history and app usage information, the new opt-out procedure will completely remove a subscriber’s identifier code from an account.

While subscribers could previously opt out of Verizon’s targeted advertising program, this is the first time that a subscriber has the ability to remove the tracking code and anonymize their accounts within Verizon’s system. Hypothetically, third parties could attempt to gain unauthorized access to that data and invade the privacy of current subscribers that are still opted into tracking.

Speaking to the New York Times, Verizon spokesperson Debra Lewis spoke about user privacy stating “As the mobile advertising ecosystem evolves, and our advertising business grows, delivering solutions with best-in-class privacy protections remains our focus. As a reminder, we never share information with third parties that identifies our customers as part of our advertising programs.”

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We Hope These Funxa0;April Fools' Prank Products Become Real One Day

The worst day of the year is once again upon us, but thanks to ThinkGeek it's made slightly more bearable with a new batch of fictional products that the company might one day actually produce and sell. Some of them are a long shot, but that won't stop us from dreaming.

ThinkGeek actually has a long history of turning its April Fool's Day pranks into actual products. You can now buy that flying Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise frisbee that a year ago we thought could never actually fly. And the same goes for last year's Flux Capacitor car charger that's now just $25 away from being yours.

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Posted by on in Gizmodo

You'd Never Leave This Folding Bike Helmet Behind

I'm normally a safety first, second and third kinda cyclist. But even with my lifelong fear of cars, I'll sometimes leave the helmet at home if I don't want to lug it around an office all day. Wouldn't it be amazing if I could have the best of both worlds? You probably see where this is going.

A folding bike helmet is not a radically new idea. But making one that's simple (and would actually protect your skull) is a challenge that has eluded engineers thus far. At first looks, though, the Fuga helmet seems to tick most of the boxes.

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The Project Spartan interface is attractively minimal.

When announcing that a Windows 10 Preview with the new Project Spartan browser was available, Microsoft made clear that the browser ain't done yet. What we have now is an early iteration of the company's take on a legacy-free forward-looking browser—a browser that's going to ditch the venerable Internet Explorer name.

Superficially, everything about the browser is new. Its interface takes cues from all the competition: tabs on top, in the title bar, the address bar inside each tab. The look is simple and unadorned; monochrome line-art for icons, rectangular tabs, and a flat look—the address bar, for example, doesn't live in a recessed pit (as it does in Chrome) and is integral with the toolbar (unlike Internet Explorer).

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The CEO of Carphone Warehouse, Britain's biggest cellphone retailer, on Tuesday said that his company's 800 stores were left out of the Apple Watch launch scheduled to kick off on April 24, suggesting other big box chains around the world are in the same situation.

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Carphone Warehouse chief Graham Stapleton told The Telegraph that Apple plans to limit Apple Watch sales to Apple Stores and dedicated Apple Watch shops at launch.

"We would love to be able to stock the Apple Watch," Stapleton said. "I've got to be careful what I say but I think they are just going another way with it. We have not been given the opportunity."

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Remember writing grocery lists and sticking them to your fridge? Amazon thinks you should now leave the task of restocking food and household supplies to a button.

The company announced a new device on Tuesday called the Dash Button, which connects to your smartphone using a Wi-Fi network. With one touch, the button will automatically reorder a product. There are buttons for a variety of products that Amazon sells, from Bounty paper towels to Glad trash bags to Larabar energy bars. The device is only available to Prime members.

Amazon’s video on the Dash Button (see above) shows that each button is emblazoned with the brand’s logo. (How’s that for brand loyalty?) The buttons are hangable and stickable, and it seems like the idea is to place the device in an area where you normally stock the product, like a cabinet. Then, you can press the button when you’re running low on a product.

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Slowly but surely, 3D printers are getting cheaper. Drastically cheaper, in fact. In the early days it wasn’t uncommon for even the most basic printer to carry a price tag upwards of $3,000, but in just a few years time, the average price has plummeted. Nowadays there are dozens of printers you can get for under 500 bucks, and some are even cheaper than that.

Tiko is the latest addition to this sub-$500 club. Priced at just $179 on Kickstarter, it’s easily one of the most affordable printers we’ve ever laid eyes on.

delta vs cartesianThe key to its ridiculously low price is Tiko’s simple construction. Like many of the more affordable printers that have surfaced in the past couple years, Tiko is a delta-style 3D printer, meaning it uses three vertically moving parallel motors to change the position of the filament extruder. This configuration allows the machine to make accurate prints without any high-precision rails, linear bearings, or other crazy-expensive CNC components you’d find in cartesian-style printers.

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The Assassin’s Creed series is heading further east than ever before with Assassin’s Creed Chronicles, a three-part downloadable game series that will take players on a historical tour of 16th-century China, 19th-century India, and early 20th-century Russia.

Ubisoft announced the first game of the trilogy, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, last fall as part of Assassin’s Creed Unity‘s season pass. It stars Shao Jun, the sole remaining member of the Chinese Assassin’s Brotherhood, who trained under Assassin’s Creed 2 protagonist Ezio Auditore in some off the franchise’s expanded universe spinoff media. Set in 1526 as the Ming Dynasty is starting to fall, it is a story of revenge, though we do not yet know whom she is avenging.

Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India and Russia will feature assassins named Arbaaz Mir and Nikolaï Orelov, respectively. Both characters have appeared in Assassin’s Creed graphic novels. India takes place in 1841 during the Sino-Sikh War, and Russia will be set in 1918, in the immediate wake of the October Revolution when the Bolsheviks seized power.

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Our partner Toshiba has some fabulous deals this week for you to explore.Save on some of the hottest accessories that the Toshiba offers.

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Posted by on in Wired

A US bankruptcy court has approved a plan to save RadioShack’s remaining retail stores.

RadioShack, founded in 1921 to serve the then emerging radio equipment market, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. But some RadioShack stores will survive after the company was bought by hedge fund Standard General. In keeping the stores open, Standard is sharing store space with wireless carrier Sprint. As reported by Reuters, the stores will carry both the Radio Shack and Sprint names, and Sprint will occupy about a third of each store.

The deal came Tuesday amidst protests from lenders that could have killed RadioShack’s chances for survival. Reuters explains that RadioShack was forced to finalize a deal by April because Chapter 11 give companies only a few months to break leases, which is critical for retailers. Only about 1,740 of RadioShack’s more than 4,000 stores have survived the bankruptcy. But the new deal is expected to save as many as 7,500 RadioStack jobs still in place.

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Posted by on in How To's
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The other day I was online researching all the cool things that Google has for anyone that has an account with them and I decided to turn off an option that Google has for Less Secure apps. What was I thinking.

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I also pull my email through Outlook and when I attempted to do that I received the below error message:

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Microsoft's Surface 3 may be too pricey for binging on Netflix and not quite powerful enough to replace your laptop. Sarah Tew/CNET

Microsoft has yet to find the one true purpose for its Surface tablets. Are they Apple iPad killers, laptop replacements or hybrid two-in-one computers?

That question still applies to the Surface 3, Microsoft's new $499, 10.8-inch tablet announced Tuesday. With it, the company returns to the medium-priced tablet market after a brief hiatus. Unlike the Surface Pro 3, which costs anywhere from $800 to $2,000, this newer mobile computer is aimed at casual consumers.

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Posted by on in Lifehacker

The Custom-Built, Model Home Workspace

Model homes are meant to entice potential homebuyers, and so the rooms in them are designed to be attractive and functional. This model home’s office sports lots of custom storage and a spacious desktop.

The all white color scheme is like a blank slate, against which the wood desktop and the large window stand out. It works as a small home office or could be one end of a bedroom. Either way, the design, by Portico Design Group, could offer you some ideas for customizing or arranging your own home office, model home or not.

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It's the last day of March, which means it's Ashley's birthday! Don't worry, though, we're not taking the day off, we're celebrating with you on the show. We've got some fake stories and some real stories today, because we may or may not be planning something special for tomorrow. No big deal.

In the "real stories" column, we're discussing Facebook's plan to use boomerang-looking drones to beam down internet to rural corners of the planet. Obviously, not all 6 billion people on Earth have a Facebook account and we're assuming that's the goal here. We're also getting into this crazy beer dress, which looks way better than the designer's previous effort (a stinky wine dress that looked like wet Fruit Roll-ups).

We've also got a couple of early April Fools' Day gags on today's show, but from other companies. We'd never try to pull one over on your eyes, everyone. You're way smarter than that, and we know it.

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With its Dash Button and Dash Replenishment Service, Amazon aims to take the Internet of Things mainstream.
11 IoT Programming Languages Worth Knowing

11 IoT Programming Languages Worth Knowing

(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

The Internet of Things went mainstream on Tuesday when Amazon introduced a device with a button that can be pressed to order consumable goods when supplies run low.

The device, called the Dash Button, is a plastic fob with a single button. Once associated with a specific product through Amazon's mobil

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whatsapp-logo.jpgVoice calling is now available to all WhatApps users. WhatsApp

WhatsApp users on Android can now all tap into the app's new voice-calling feature.

Rolled out in February to a small number of people, the call feature then expanded to invitation-only by those who were able to get the feature. Now it's available to all Android phone users. There's just one catch. You may not be able to get it from the version currently up at the Google Play Store.

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With Apple Watch on the horizon, industry analysts are placing their bets on how many units Apple can move on its first weekend of availability, with one prediction pegging the number at one million.

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Based on a potential attach rate of less than one percent of total iPhone users, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a research note published Tuesday he believes Apple could see total Apple Watch sales hit one million units over the weekend starting April 24.

The huge number includes both preorders and launch sales, though it is not yet clear if Apple will have stock on hand to sell to walk-in customers.

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Researchers have uncovered an ongoing espionage campaign that uses custom-developed malware to siphon confidential data out of energy companies around the world.

Trojan.Laziok, as the malware has been dubbed, acts as a reconnaissance tool that scours infected computers for data including machine name, installed software, RAM size, hard disk size, GPU details, CPU details, and installed antivirus software, according to a blog post published Monday by researchers from security firm Symantec. The attackers then use the data to decide how to infect the computer with additional malware, including versions of Backdoor.Cyberat and Trojan.Zbot that are tailored for the a specific compromised computer.

"The detailed information enables the attacker to make crucial decisions about how to proceed further with the attack, or to halt the attack," Symantec researcher Christian Tripputi wrote. "During the course of our research, we found that the majority of the targets were linked to the petroleum, gas and helium industries, suggesting that whoever is behind these attacks may have a strategic interest in the affairs of the companies affected."

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1,4-Butanediol isn’t exactly the flashiest product on the market: with a four-carbon chain bounded by alcohol groups, the thick, colorless liquid is one of those “industrial chemicals” that makes the eyes glaze over. But the diminutive molecule is worth some serious cash, with an estimated global market cap of $2 billion. Ultimately, 1,4-butanediol, also known as BDO, facilitates the production of a range of plastics, polyurethanes, and elastic fibers, making everything from skateboards to Spandex possible.

In a story that is increasingly pervasive in the field of molecular synthesis, BDO’s chemical production protocol – typically involving toxic reactants like formaldehyde – is being challenged by a biological approach. Several years ago, Genomatica secured a patent for “a non-naturally occurring microbial organism” that contains five exogenous genes “expressed in sufficient amounts to produce 1,4-BDO”.

To Axel Trafzer, a Director of R&D in ThermoFisher’s Synthetic Biology unit, U.S. patent number 8067214 represented an important step for an evolving field, a step that was made possible through gene synthesis technologies. To design their BDO production pathway, Genomatica researchers looked for enzymes that could accomplish each reaction and placed them together into a stable host microorganism. With control over the sequences being used, the whole process took just a few years.

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