Friday, 29 March 2013

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Ouya Console Starts Shipping to Kickstarter Backers With 104 Games”

Mashable: Latest 29 News Updates - including “Ouya Console Starts Shipping to Kickstarter Backers With 104 Games”


Ouya Console Starts Shipping to Kickstarter Backers With 104 Games

Posted: 29 Mar 2013 04:21 AM PDT

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Just as promised, the Kickstarter-funded, Android-based gaming console Ouya has started shipping March 28

Users will be happy to know there are already 104 published games for the console, and all are free to try. The available titles include Final Fantasy III, Beast Boxing Turbo, Stalagflight and more

According to Ouya, 8,000 developers have created developer accounts for the system, and new games should be coming "every day"

Though Kickstarter backers will undoubtedly be happy to get their hands on Ouya, the console comes with a couple of caveats that won't sit well with everyone

First, as soon as users boot up Ouya, a software update will happen. While Ouya promises it will be "super fast," it's reminiscent of Nintendo's Wii U launch troubles, which prompted Nintendo president Satoru Iwata to apologize to users Read more...

More about Shipping, Console, Tech, Mobile, and Ouya

Report: Lenovo Wants to Buy NEC's Mobile Unit

Posted: 29 Mar 2013 01:46 AM PDT

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Chinese computer maker Lenovo is in talks to buy NEC's mobile business, Reuters reports citing sources familiar with the matter

Japan's NEC is also talking with potential domestic buyers, the source said. Lenovo is a logical partner to NEC, though, given the two companies have already established a PC-building joint venture in 2011 - Lenovo NEC Holdings

"Amid the rapidly changing market we are considering a number of ways to bolster the competitiveness of our mobile phone business, but nothing has been decided," NEC said in a statement.

NEC, which has been forced to lay off 10,000 workers in 2012, has a tiny global smartphone market share, but it hovers around the fourth place in Japan. It does, however, have some very interesting smartphones, namely the dual-scree Medias W we've seen at this year's Mobile World Congress Read more...

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8 Vendors You Didn't Know Accepted Bitcoins

Posted: 29 Mar 2013 12:19 AM PDT

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The Bitcoin — the first decentralized, peer-to-peer digital currency — was introduced on the web in 2009, but interest is bubbling up once again.

Building on the idea that money is essentially a medium for translating value, the Bitcoin uses cryptography (or encrypting digital information to transmit something securely) for its creation and transactions, rather than a central authority. To learn more about how Bitcoins are created and acquired, we've included a handy explainer video from WeUseCoins.com below.

Bitcoins, while often used for games and even tied to illicit activities every now and then, have been adopted by reputable vendors in addition to traditional forms of payment. Read more...

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How to Make a Computer From a Living Cell

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 08:56 PM PDT

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If biologists could put computational controls inside living cells, they could program them to sense and report on the presence of cancer, create drugs on site as they’re needed, or dynamically adjust their activities in fermentation tanks used to make drugs and other chemicals

Now researchers at Stanford University have developed a way to make genetic parts that can perform the logic calculations that might someday control such activities.

The Stanford researchers’ genetic logic gate can be used to perform the full complement of digital logic tasks and it can store information too. It works by making changes to the cell’s genome, creating a kind of transcript of the cell’s activities that can be read out later with a DNA sequencer. The researchers call their invention a “transcriptor” for its resemblance to the transistor in electronics Read more...

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Marriage Equality's Huge Week on Twitter

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 08:29 PM PDT

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Facebook users weren't the only people affected by the Supreme Court's two gay marriage cases Tuesday and WednesdayTwitter was full of conversations about marriage equality, Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act

Top tweets came from President Obama and Seth MacFarlane; Kennedy was the most mentioned Supreme Court Justice; and "marriageequality" was the most-used term.

Our friends at the Meltwater Group sent along this infographic, which dissects the conversations dominating the social web Tuesday and Wednesday.

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Violin Made of Lasers Actually Sounds Lovely

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 07:55 PM PDT

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Technology lecturer Dylan Menzies doesn’t play the violin in the traditional sense. Instead he uses software and lasers to translate the positioning, speed and motion of a traditional wooden bow into music

His optical sensor-driven O-Bow is encased in copper with a groove for the bowWired reports on his solution for replicating the sound of a violin but making something easier to play:

A system that uses synthesis software to translate data sent from an optical flow sensor, which tracks the speed, motion and angle of a wooden rod in high resolution as it is moved across it. The data is used to modify music created from a hooked-up keyboard (which creates the notes and pitch), meaning a player can replicate the subtle tones of a bow gliding across strings, not just the staccato notes produced by typical orchestral keyboard effects. Read more...

More about Lasers, Musical Instruments, Musical Instrument, Music, and Tech

Wearable Cat Ears Respond to What You're Thinking

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 07:25 PM PDT

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What if you could tell whether or not a friend were paying attention to you based on the position of his ears?

That’s the idea behind Necomimi, a pair of cat-like ears that track your brain waves and move based on what you’re thinking. The ears are being shown off on the floor of this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Just like the ears of your favorite feline friend, these ears will perk up when you’re paying attention to something, then relax when you do, lying dormant to each side. When you get excited about something, the ears will wag back and forth, displaying your enthusiasm to the world around you. Read more...

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Microbiologist Transforms Bacteria Into Photo Art

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 06:52 PM PDT

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Adorning your living room mantel with a petri dish full of germs normally wouldn’t sound appealing. But once you take a look at Zachary Copfer’s unique creations, you might be intrigued — if you’re not already running to the bathroom to wash your hands.

Copfer is a Cincinnati-based microbiologist-turned-artist who figured out a way to create photographs in bacteria, as shown in the video above. To create this "bacteriography," as he calls it, Copfer uses a process similar to darkroom photography: he replaces the enlarger with a source of radiation and, instead of photo paper, he uses living bacteria on a special plate. Read more...

More about Artist, Artwork, Kickstarter, Germs, and Biology

10 IFTTT Recipes to Optimize Your Business

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 06:30 PM PDT

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This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

IFTTT (an acronym for "If This Then That") can be a powerful addition to your business tool belt — if used correctly. The service links everyday actions you take on the web, in order to ensure you're more organized and time-conscious.

By creating IFTTT "recipes," users can effectively build a more efficient lifestyle or business, based on tools they already use. For example, you can create the following recipe: "If a shipping status changes on my Amazon order, then send me a text message." Read more...

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Study Reveals Adults Are Texting While Driving Even More Than Teens

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 05:53 PM PDT

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Contrary to conventional wisdom, it turns out that adults are worse than teenagers when it comes to texting while driving

That's according to the results of a survey conducted by AT&T and published in USA Today, showing that 49% of adult drivers admit to texting behind the wheel. Compare that with 43% of the teen respondents admitting that they text while driving.

The most troublesome part of the survey of 1,011 adult drivers: A surprising 60% of the adult respondents said that three years ago, they never texted while driving. And it's not surprising that 98% of the adult respondents said they knew texting or emailing while driving was unsafe. Read more...

More about Parenting, Texting While Driving, Tech, Gadgets, and Family Parenting

Facebook Announces Android Event April 4

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 05:20 PM PDT

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Facebook sent out invitations to press Thursday for an Android event to be held at its Menlo Park campus next week.

The event invitation simply invited press to “Come See Our New Home on Android,” with no further description of what’s in store

Early rumors speculate that the announcement may be the long-rumored “Facebook Phone,” a handset created through a partnership with HTC that would run a modified version of Android with deep Facebook integration.

During an interview late last year, however, CEO Mark Zuckerberg indicated that a phone has “always been the wrong strategy” for Facebook, making a "Facebook Phone" announcement, at least in the hardware sense, seem pretty unlikely. Read more...

More about Facebook, Android, Tech, Apps Software, and Mobile

Bejeweled Launches for Windows 8

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 05:00 PM PDT

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Bejeweled is on its way to Windows 8.

Modeled after Bejeweled 3, which is available on some other platforms, Bejeweled Live is an adaptation of the popular game designed specifically for the Windows 8 operating system

“Bejeweled began life on Windows 98 way back in 2001 and has enjoyed tremendous global success on more than 20 different platforms since then,” Heather Hazen, executive producer for the Bejeweled franchise, said in a statement

“We’re confident that the beautiful new design and solid foundation of Windows 8 will provide a fantastic experience with Bejeweled Live,” Hazen added.

Bejeweled Live has three different game modes: Classic, Diamond Mine, and Butterflies. Classic is the version of the game players have come to know and love. Butterflies is a slightly different take on the traditional model, where some gems turn into colored butterflies that can take flight on the board while you play. Diamond Mine has you play the game in a mine you need to dig yourself out of. Read more...

More about App, Bejeweled, Windows 8, Entertainment, and Gaming

Honda's New Odyssey Minivan Has a Built-In Vacuum

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 04:20 PM PDT

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In addition to features that appeal to the connected generation, like Smart Start and Honda Link, the cloud-based infotainment system, Honda has introduced an idea that really sucks. The company showed off the 2014 Honda Odyssey Minivan at the New York International Auto Show this week, and the stand-out feature is a built-in vacuum

It's called HondaVAC and it's the world's first in-car vacuum, says Tami Giammarco, lead design engineer for the car's interior. She tells Mashable it's great for families who spend a lot of time in the car

It was developed in conjunction with Shop-Vac and is basically a vacuum hose tucked behind a side panel in the rear cargo area. Got a Cheerios spill way up front? The hose reaches all the way to the front driver's seat, so there's plenty of flexibility, and it comes with two attachments; perfect for reaching those crevices in between seats. Read more...

More about Autos, Vacuum, Honda, Lifestyle, and Travel Leisure

Competition Seeks Next Generation of Cybersecurity Experts

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 04:02 PM PDT

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Think of it as an American Idol in which the contestants aren't fighting for record deals but rather a pathway to joining the next generation of American offensive and defensive cybersecurity experts.

Meet Cyber Aces, a series of experimental state competitions that use a videogame to target participants with the right skills — a mixture of a deep understanding of networking, operating systems and systems administration — to receive a $25,000 scholarship for National Security Agency-level cybersecurity training. Many participants are high school and college-aged, but entrants also include Ph.D. recipients and military veterans Read more...

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Hadouken Meme Strikes Internet Like Lighting

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 03:42 PM PDT

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Sound the alarm, the Internet has a new meme that's about to take off. Internet, meet hadouken. Hadouken, welcome, we hope you stay awhile — 'cuz you are uh-mazing

The meme's spark was kindled in Japan when schoolgirls started posting pictures of themselves throwing balls of lightning at each other, Street Fighter-style. And that's all there is to it. Imgur user grimlockt then kindly pointed it out to the rest of us so we could all benefit from a new photo trend

So make sure to jump on this bandwagon quick, before this meme goes the way of planking, Tebowing and the Harlem Shake

Read more...

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Samsung Galaxy S 4 Pre-Sale Starts April 16 for $249

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 03:09 PM PDT

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The Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone will be available for pre-sale via AT&T starting Tuesday, April 16. It will be priced at $249.99 with a two-year commitment with the carrier.

The new flagship device was announced earlier this month with much fanfare in New York City, but no price details were revealed until now. Other phone carriers on board include Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile

The nearly $250 price tag is a bit higher than most competitors. In fact, the iPhone 5 typically sells for about $200 with the same contract commitment

The 5-inch smartphone comes with what Samsung calls the first full HD Super AMOLED display (1920x1080). The smartphone weighs 4.6 oz. and runs a quad-core 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 in the U.S. (8-core 1.8GHz Exnyos 5 Octa elsewhere). It runs on Android 4.2.2. Jelly Bean and boasts impressive camera functionality, thanks in part to its 13-megapixel rear camera Read more...

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Luvocracy: Pinterest for People Who Actually Want to Buy Stuff

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 02:45 PM PDT

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People flock to Pinterest to collect and keep track of inspirations, whether they're recipes to cook, destinations to visit or clothes to wear. But there's a promising new social network with a similar model focused less on dreaming and more on shopping.

San Francisco-based startup Luvocracy, which launched quietly this fall in beta, is based around the concept that we buy products more when they are recommended by others. And since 92% of consumers trust word of mouth over any form of advertising, according to Nielsen, it's a smart strategy for a company to embrace

Luvocracy

Here's how the site works: Similar to pinning on Pinterest, users can collect looks and products (from beauty products to tech gadgets) and tack them to boards. They can also repin products from friends, brands and tastemakers, which Luvocracy defines as bloggers, editors and stylists Read more...

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Rare 'BioShock' Audio Diary for Sale

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 02:19 PM PDT

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With the release of BioShock: Infinite and its impressive reviews, there's never been a better time to rustle up odds and ends from the franchise. Case in point: A ridiculously rare functional BioShock audio diary is currently up for grabs.

The eBay auction is slated to close on March 31, so collectors don't have long to bid.

How rare is this audio diary exactly? According to gameshirts702, the seller, there's only a grand total of four of these out in the wild. All of them were created as part of a viral marketing effort for the release of BioShock 2. You might remember a little ARG called There's Something in the Sea, and the audio diaries are a direct result of jumping through all of those hoops. Read more...

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6 Essential Apps for Connected Families

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 02:01 PM PDT

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The modern family is more connected than ever, with each member toting a smartphone or mobile device to every appointment, event or play date. Sharing your newborn's first moments or checking in with the kids after school becomes infinitely easier with a plethora of family apps, from private networks to monitoring maps

If you need help planning activities for your little ones, social parenting apps like RedRover can give you ideas. Many family apps include GPS-locating services to keep track of members in real time and quell parents' worries with indicators and alerts. Others help kids with their first smartphone using privacy controls and pre-determined texts Read more...

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Amazon Buys Goodreads to Make Reading Experience More Social

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 01:40 PM PDT

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Amazon announced Thursday that it will acquire Goodreads, the popular social network for books, for an undisclosed sum

Goodreads launched in 2007 and currently has more than 16 million members. The service lets users share and review books they've read or want to read, as well as to keep track of what their friends are reading.

In a statement, Amazon's VP of Kindle Content, Russ Grandinetti, said the two companies will work together "to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike." The acquisition should provide some useful reading data to Amazon and help the ecommerce giant create more of a social reading experience around its Kindle offerings, perhaps giving it a leg up on competition from Apple and Google. Read more...

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Best Buy Employee Saves Vintage Robot From Destruction

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 01:33 PM PDT

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When the robot uprising occurs — and preparations for this eventuality are already underway — perhaps our metallic overlords will be persuaded to spare our lives thanks to the kindness once shown by a noble Best Buy employee.

This week, one of the few remaining R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) units from Nintendo's golden era has been given a new lease on life. At one point destined for destruction in an electronic recycling bin, this kitschy 1980s video game accessory was saved by the quick actions and subterfuge of one nostalgic Best Buy employee.

On Reddit, the employee explained that the robot was brought into his store to be recycled as part of the company's "Renew Blue" program. Though R.O.B.'s production life span was short (on shelves for little more than a year in the mid-’80s), the employee had fond memories of this inanimate video game companion. But when he asked his employer if he could take R.O.B. home and spare him an untimely death, he was denied and told he would lose his job if he tried to abscond with the robot. Read more...

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Tacos Are the New Antidepressants

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 01:17 PM PDT

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Feeling low lately? Down in the dumps? Feel like the world has nothing to offer you and you might as well curl up with your cat and wait for the zombie apocalypse to come? (Alright, alright, no need to get overdramatic people.)

Life's tough, and sometimes science is the best way to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And the famed researchers at Pleated Jeans have uncovered the latest in medical marvels — tacos as antidepressants

Those crunchy, crumbly, cheesy pieces of wonder can bring nothing but goodness to the black hole of your life. Eat and be merry, but ask your doctor first Read more...

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Petition Asks White House to Reverse NASA Outreach Sequester Cuts

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 12:52 PM PDT

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A new online petition asks the White House to repeal budget cuts that have spurred NASA to suspend many of its education and public-outreach efforts.

The petition was created on Friday (March 22), the same day that NASA issued two internal memos outlining how outreach activities are being scaled back as a result of sequestration, the set of across-the-board federal cuts that took effect March 1. The memos began circulating outside the agency Friday as well.

"The sequester's recent cuts on NASA's spending in public outreach and its STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] programs must not be allowed," the petition states. "These cuts would end the many programs NASA has for educating the children of our society, as well as many other forms of public outreach held by NASA." Read more...

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Pianist Plays Killer 'Walking Dead' Theme Song — Zombies Included

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 12:38 PM PDT

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Pianist Sonya Belosouva channels her inner Rick Grimes, the lead character from AMC's The Walking Dead, as she bravely plays a rendition of the television drama's theme song while surrounded by zombies in this slickly produced video.

The piano and violin cover is the first episode of new YouTube series Cosplay Piano, which launched Thursday on comic book legend Stan Lee’s "World of Heroes" YouTube channel.

The Cosplay Piano series plans to tackle more musical themes from the entertainment industry with a touch of cosplay — the type of performance art in which people wear costumes to act as fictional characters Read more...

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Flipboard: 100,000 User-Generated Magazines in First 24 Hours

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 12:21 PM PDT

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On Tuesday, Flipboard released version 2.0 of its iOS app, allowing its more than 50 million registered users to create their own magazines for the first time. In the first 24 hours after launch, more than 100,000 magazines were created, Paul Katz, Flipboard's partner of strategy and development, revealed on stage at a Magazine Publisher Association conference in New York Thursday.

The statistic doesn't necessarily mean that users love the magazine-making feature, but it does indicate they're interested in it. Reviews of the new version in the iTunes Store have been generally positive, though some users have complained that it makes the app too "convoluted," or that it takes too many steps to create a magazine: Read more...

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'Deep-Fried Gadget' Tumblr Will Make You Strangely Hungry

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 12:14 PM PDT

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Coming to the Minnesota State Fair in 2016*

A new Tumblr collection, called Deep-Fried Gadgets, takes a look at what some of our favorite digital accessories — tablets, laptops and earbuds — might look like if we dropped them into the vat with the fries

Brooklyn-based artist Henry Hargreaves created the photos. Whether he ate them with a side of ketchup and ranch dressing is yet to be determined

Check them out for yourself in the gallery above. You can stay up to date with future fried photos here.

Do you know of any other new Tumblr pages worth highlighting? Share them with us below Read more...

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Disqus Founder Answers Questions via Live Chat

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 11:52 AM PDT

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Got a question for Daniel? Use the chat feature above to get it answered live.

Daniel Ha is the CEO and cofounder of Disqus. Daniel studied computer science engineering at UC Davis and interned at big companies before deciding to drop out of school to pursue the startup world. Disqus is the web's discussion network, reaching over 700 million unique visitors every month and spanning nearly any topic or type of community imaginable. Disqus is funded by Y Combinator, Union Square Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, as well as many great angel investors.

#StartupLab is a free virtual mentorship program created by The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of hundreds of America’s most successful young entrepreneurs. #StartupLab takes YEC's mission to help more people start successful businesses to the next level by offering millions of entrepreneurs direct access to YEC members through interactive video chats, email lessons and a library of how-to articles, videos and eBooks. Whether you're just starting up, a current business owner, or you run an organization that supports entrepreneurs, sign up for #StartupLab today for real-world advice from some of the coolest entrepreneurs on the planet. Read more...

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Former BlackBerry Chief Says Board Asked Him to Stay In Charge

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 11:47 AM PDT

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Amidst Thursday's news that BlackBerry sold 1 million BlackBerry 10 smartphones last quarter, the company also announced that co-founder and former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis has retired from the company's board of directors.

Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie stepped down from running BlackBerry (then called Research in Motion) last January and Thorsten Heins took their place.

In an interview with Canada's The Globe and Mail, Lazaridis says that he was asked to stay-on as CEO by the board of directors. "I was asked by the board to reconsider my decision. They wanted me to stay on and help," Lazaridis told the publication. Read more...

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Activision Reveals Animated Human That Looks So Real, It's Uncanny

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 11:39 AM PDT

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Activision showed off the state of the art of real-time graphics on Wednesday, releasing this mind-boggling character demo. The character's skin, facial expressions and eyes look so real, it's uncanny.

When you watch this video, see if you think this character has reached the other side of what's commonly called the "uncanny valley," a term first uttered by early robotics guru Masahiro Mori in 1970. It describes the range of sophistication of animated graphics, from one side of the valley where human figures simply look unrealistic, to the middle of the valley — where they look just realistic enough to be creepy — to our side of the valley, where animation is indistinguishable from reality Read more...

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DDoS Attacks Are Not The Only Way To Disrupt the Global Internet

Posted: 28 Mar 2013 11:26 AM PDT

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The biggest cyberattack ever, triggered by a dispute between Spamhaus and Cyberbunker, was done using a distrubuted denial of service (DDoS) attack. But relatively high-tech techniques are not the only way to severely slow down the global Internet. As it turns out, you can achieve the same damage, and probably even more, with an axe

On Wednesday, three Egyptian divers were arrested when they were trying to cut off a SeaMeWe 4 undersea cable, one of the main Internet wires that connects countries throughout Europe and Asia, as reported by Reuters. While their motives are still unknown (although we can see their faces, uploaded by the Egyptian navy on Facebook), their action might be linked to a series of disruptions and severed connections suffered by SEACOM, an African submarine cable operator, in the last few weeks Read more...

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