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Thursday March 26, 2015

PayPal To Pay $7.7M Fine Over US Sanctions

It would've been hilarious if, in addition to the fine, the US Treasury Department froze all of PayPal's accounts and then refused to answer any of the company's complaints for 180 days. big grin

On Wednesday, the online payment service agreed to pay the fine after reaching a settlement with the US Treasury Department. The fine was levied against PayPal based on nearly 500 transactions totaling about $44,000 that potentially violated US sanctions, the Treasury Department said. As part of the settlement, PayPal did not admit to wrongdoing.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cooling: Noctua NH-U9SCPU Cooler @ Tweak.dk

ETC.: ASUS USB 3.1 Type-A Card @ Legit Reviews

CM Storm Octane Mouse & Keyboard @ eTeknix

Storage: Synology DiskStation DS1815+ @ techPowerUP!

Synology DiskStation DS3615xs @ Legion Hardware

Video: Desktop Graphics Card Comparison Guide @ TechARP

Obedience School Sues Yelper For $65K Over Negative Review

You'd think all the negative feedback this story is going to generate would be way worse than a single Yelp review.

A few months ago, a Virginia woman began taking her dog to obedience class, and when the training wasn’t what she expected, she requested a pro-rated refund and wrote a negative review of the school on Yelp. Now she’s facing a $65,000 defamation lawsuit.


Amazon Workers Must Sign 18-Month Non-Compete Agreements

I can see requiring a non-compete agreement for corporate executives, engineers or people with access to trade secrets...but warehouse workers?

The job doesn’t pay very much and is grueling, and also has high turnover. Oh, and employees are asked to sign 18-month non-compete contracts that ban them from working for any competitor of Amazon.


Facebook Developing Solar Drones To Deliver Global Web Access

What is with all these companies that are obsessed with making drones and balloons that deliver web access to remote locations?

The Menlo Park-based company has recently announced plans to deliver global connectivity on the backs of enormous, solar-powered UAV, dubbed project Aquila. The plan is still very much in its initial planning stages but Facebook appears to be dedicated to making it a reality.


8-Bit Instant Camera Gun

This 8-bit instant camera gun is pretty cool. I don't know what purpose it serves, but it is still pretty cool.


RSA Conference Bans Booth Babes

If you are attending RSA Conference 2015, be prepared for a distinct lack of both babes this year, thanks to a new set rues for the security event. Please note that this is in no way sexist as the wardrobe restriction also applies to men, especially if they were ever in an 80's metal hair band.

All Expo staff are expected to dress in business and/or business casual attire. Exhibitors should ensure that the attire of al staff they deploy at their booth (whether the exhibitor’s direct employees or their contractors) be considered appropriate in a professional environment. Attire of an overly revealing or suggestive nature is not permitted. Examples of such attire may include but are not restricted to:

  • Tops displaying excessive cleavage

  • Tank tops, halter tops, camisole tops or tube tops

  • Miniskirts or minidresses

  • Shorts

  • Lycra (or other Second-Skin) bodysuits

  • Objectionable or offensive costumes.


Facebook's AI Can See Inside Your Videos And Posts

Ever wonder how and why your Facebook newsfeed looks the way it does?

Today at F8, its annual developer's conference, the network's CTO Mike Schroepfer talked about a specific AI prototype that can identify content in videos and the context of words. While AI for video can identify 487 types of sport activities, another reads sentences to pinpoint possessives from the grammar used. This allows the company to sift through an overwhelming load of information so it can arrive at a newsfeed that's most appropriate for the user.


Micron and Intel Unveil New 3D NAND Flash Memory

Micron Technology, Inc., and Intel today revealed the availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world's highest-density flash memory. Flash is the storage technology used inside the lightest laptops, fastest data centers, and nearly every cellphone, tablet and mobile device. This new 3D NAND technology, which was jointly developed by Intel and Micron, stacks layers of data storage cells vertically with extraordinary precision to create storage devices with three times higher capacity1 than competing NAND technologies. This enables more storage in a smaller space, bringing significant cost savings, low power usage and high performance to a range of mobile consumer devices as well as the most demanding enterprise deployments.


Gaming [H]eadlines

Half-Life 2 Remastered Free @ Steam

Pillars of Eternity Released @ Blue's News

Rainbow Six Siege Release Date Set? @ VG24/7

Star Wars: Battlefront Teaser Video @ Shacknews

Halo Online PC Trailer

Honestly, I can't believe there are currently no plans to bring Halo Online for the PC to North America. frown


NSA Doesn’t Need To Spy On Your Calls To Learn Your Secrets

Hey, it's "only metadata," what could they possibly learn about you from that? wink

GOVERNMENTS AND CORPORATIONS gather, store, and analyze the tremendous amount of data we chuff out as we move through our digitized lives. Often this is without our knowledge, and typically without our consent. Based on this data, they draw conclusions about us that we might disagree with or object to, and that can impact our lives in profound ways. We may not like to admit it, but we are under mass surveillance.


U.S. Government Wins Millions From Kim Dotcom

The hits just keep rolling in for Kim Dotcom. If it weren't for bad luck, this guy wouldn't have any at all. eek!

The U.S. Government has won its civil forfeiture case against Megaupload and Kim Dotcom. As a result, the U.S. now owns Kim Dotcom's bank accounts, cars, art and other property worth dozens of millions of dollars. Megaupload's founder describes the ruling as unjust and says his team will file an appeal at a higher court.


[H]ardware Round-Up

ETC.: Dell XPS 13 @ PCPer

Gigabyte Brix S BXi7H-5500 @ HotHardware

Steelseries Kinzu V3 @ ocaholic

Storage: OCZ Vector 180 SSD @ HwC

Video: Battlefield Hardline Benchmarked @ TechSpot

Battlefield Hardline Graphics Performance @ Guru3D

Amazon Cloud Drive Launches Unlimited Cloud Storage

Amazon today announced unlimited cloud storage with Amazon Cloud Drive—two new storage plans for customers to securely store their existing content collections and automatically upload endless amounts of new content, including photos, videos, movies, music, and files. With the unlimited plans, customers no longer need to worry about how much storage is needed to keep their content safe and secure—they can choose either the Unlimited Photos Plan or Unlimited Everything Plan and only pay one flat fee per year. A free 3-month trial is available for customers to try either plan:

  • Unlimited Photos Plan (free 3-month trial, then $11.99 per year—equivalent of less than $1 per month): Store an infinite number of photos in Cloud Drive without worrying about taking up space on phones, cameras, or other devices. Customers can upload existing collections and store all future photos taken. This plan also includes 5 GB of additional storage for videos or other documents and files.

  • Unlimited Everything Plan (free 3-month trial, then $59.99 per year—equivalent of less than $5 per month): Store an infinite number of new and existing photos, videos, files, documents, movies, and music in Cloud Drive.


Uber Hopes New Programs Will Help Riders Feel Safer

You know what would make people feel better about Uber? Less stories about rapes, sexual assault, office raids and being banned in other countries.

As for the code of conduct, it's all common sense stuff that Uber says applies equally to drivers and riders. It insists on non-discrimination based on race, religion or sexual orientation, to name a few, along with "human kindness" and non-aggressive behavior. Other clauses prohibit illegal substance like open alcohol containers or drugs, and insist on compliance with other laws and rules of the road.


FTC Says Regrets Releasing Documents On Google Probe

How many of you think there is a reason for the FTC to regret releasing those Google probe documents?

"Contrary to recent press reports, the commission's decision on the search allegations was in accord with the recommendations of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Economics, and Office of General Counsel," the commissioners said. The agency said that it regretted the release of the documents, which were confidential and should not have been included in a response to a Freedom of Information Act request.


Amazon's Prime Now One-Hour Deliveries Come To Dallas

Damn, I want Amazon's Prime Now one-hour delivery service to come to Las Vegas.

Amazon is keeping up the expansion of its one-hour delivery service, saying Thursday it has arrived in parts of Dallas. Two-hour deliveries in those cities are free for Amazon's Prime members, who pay $99 a year for unlimited two-day deliveries and other benefits. One-hour deliveries for Prime members -- only available in certain zip codes -- cost $8.


Battlefield Hardline DRM Follow-Up

It seems the crew at Blue's News was able to get a comment from EA on the whole Battlefield Hardline DRM brouhaha. The bottom line? You can install the game on five different machines in a 24 hour period. After that, you need to call customer support

EA's rep for the game Jino Talens explains that the game allows installation on five different machines per 24 hour period, and that anyone who actually changes hardware often enough to use all those activations can be accommodated by customer service. "Origin authentication allows players to install a game on up to five different PCs every 24 hours," he explains. "Players looking to benchmark more than five hardware configurations in one 24 hour period can contact our Customer Support team who can help."

Ongoing Discussion

ASUS Announces EA-AC87 AC1800 4×4 MIMO GigE To Wireless Bridge

ASUS today announced EA-AC87, a wireless AC-1800 dual-purpose media bridge and access point. It is the world’s first wireless client to use a 4×4 MIMO antenna array. When paired with a suitable 4×4 router, it is capable of delivering the world’s fastest 5GHz speeds of up to 1734Mbit/s. EA-AC87 also features AiRadar with universal beamforming for unrivalled multi-device performance and wide, reliable coverage. With its easily-selected operating modes, the versatile EA-AC87 is perfect for upgrading an older router to the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, or for adding Wi-Fi capability to any wired network device.


Intel Unveils Next Generation Intel® Industrial Solutions System Consolidation Series

Intel today announced the next generation of the Intel® Industrial Solutions System Consolidation Series, offering OEMs, machine builders and system integrators an expanded set of software configurations to simplify the development of industrial solutions using 4th generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor-based platforms. The latest version of the pre-validated, pre-integrated software stack utilizes Wind River* and McAfee* technology to help reduce costs and complexity of developing industrial devices by merging multiple discrete systems to deliver more efficient automation. The software allows embedded machines to run multiple instances of Wind River VxWorks 7, Wind River Linux 7 64bit and Microsoft* Windows 7 64bit using Wind River VxWorks Virtualization Profile, as well as McAfee Embedded Control for expanded security management. The first industrial platform to be certified by Intel for its latest release of the Intel® Industrial Solutions System Consolidation Series software is the EPC-S2100 by Contec DTx.


Wednesday March 25, 2015

House Committee Asks Same Net Neutrality Questions As The 4 Previous Committees

You can't blame politicians for being politicians but this is kind of ridiculous...even for politicians. At least asking the same questions over and over makes it easy for the FCC commissioners to answer them. wink

Today’s hearing before the House Judiciary Committee is the fifth — and last — in a week-long marathon for Wheeler and some of his fellow commissioners. Since last Tuesday, Wheeler has been called upon to explain the net neutrality rule before the House Oversight Committee, the Senate Commerce Committee, the House Commerce Committee, and the House Appropriations Committee.


Descent Underground Kickstarter

How in the world is this Kickstarter for Descent Underground not funded already? The crew is almost half way to their goal with sixteen days to go so, with any luck, they might just pull this one off.


[H]ardware Round-Up II

Cases: Phanteks Enthoo Evolv ITX @ ocaholic

Cooling: CRYORIG H5 Universal @ techPowerUP!

Storage: OCZ Vector 180 SSD @ Legit Reviews

Mushkin Chronos 480GB SSD @ LanOC

WD RED 6TB NAS HDD @ eTeknix

Video: PNY GeForce GTX 960 @ pcGameware

Teens Texting And Driving Even Worse Than We Thought

Let's play a game called "how long can I take my eyes off the road before I crash!" It's a blast! Just asks these kids:


SilverStone Strider Gold 1500W PSU Review

There is a review of the SilverStone Strider Gold 1500W PSU at NikKTech today. For comparison purposes, you can see our evaluation here.

The Strider Gold ST1500-GS by SilverStone is actually the 2nd 1500W (1.5KW) PSU I’ve ever used so i was very interested in its results and as you can all see it didn't disappoint us one bit. Rail stability is almost excellent, build quality is very good, noise levels are quite low (although if you manage to squeeze more power from it they should get slightly higher), the fully modular feature ensures future-proof capability and the 80 Plus Gold Certification promises very good electrical efficiency.


Uber Suspends Driver Accused Of Sexual Assault

Doesn't it seem like damn near everything you hear about Uber these days is something negative?

French news daily Le Parisien reports that Uber has suspended one of its French drivers after his arrest on sexual assault charges. This follows Its UberPop service being banned (again) in Germany, the company's offices in both France and South Korea being raided by the police, and the UN flat out refusing to work with them. In India, Uber has had to begin collecting safety information throughout New Delhi after one of the company's driver was charged with rape.


Stupid Criminal of the Day

I swear you can't make stuff like this up.

A Maine man who’d been wanted by police for several weeks made a couple of critical mistakes that led to his capture — he sent out social media messages pinpointing his location. While they were searching with permission of the resident, they were tipped off that Wallace had posted a new Snapchat message saying police were in the house looking for him and he was hiding in a cabinet. He was found in the cabinet.


CD Shattering At 23,000RPM Captured At 170,000FPS!

This is definitely one of the coolest videos you will see all day.


You Now Embed Facebook Videos

You know all those videos that people steal from YouTube and then repost them on Facebook? Now, instead of searching all over YouTube to find the original video, you can embed those videos directly from Facebook. big grin

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