T-Mobile launching Nokia’s Lumia 635 with Windows Phone 8.1 on July 5th

See the original posting on The Verge

T-Mobile will be the first major US carrier to release a Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone. The company is launching Nokia’s Lumia 635 this Saturday, July 5th. But you’ll only be able to buy it from the Home Shopping Network on that date, and only with a prepaid Simple Choice plan. T-Mobile has apparently thought it best to stagger the phone’s release; the following week on July 9th, Nokia’s colorful, inexpensive device will go on sale at the carrier’s website for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $7 (totaling $168) on all postpaid Simple Choice plans. It’ll then head to T-Mobile stores beginning July 16th for a “promotional price” of $99, and MetroPCS will carry the Lumia 635 as of July 18th. The Lumia 635 offers a slight step up from the…

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FAA will likely miss 2015 deadline to let companies fly drones, report says

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The Federal Aviation Administration likely won’t be ready to let commercial drones take to the skies in September 2015, despite a recent law directing it to do so, a government audit has found. The report, released last week by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office, found that the FAA is “significantly behind schedule” and that there are still “significant technological, regulatory, and management barriers” preventing the FAA from integrating drones into the national airspace.

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On the man trying to treat cancer with scorpion venom

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Cancer research has seen a boom in the last several months. From modifying the measles virus to fight cancer cells to blowing up malignant cells with new drugs, multiple exciting avenues of treatment are currently being evaluated. Brain cancer researcher Jim Olson wants to add to this body of research, but what he proffers is pretty radical. In order to better isolate malignant cells when patients are under the knife, Olson wants doctors to rely on what he calls Tumor Paint, a fluorescent compound based on the venom from the deadly deathstalker scorpion. Read the whole story at Wired.

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Google buys music service Songza to take on Apple and Beats

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Google announced today that it’s acquiring the streaming-music service Songza for an undisclosed sum. Over the coming months it will be integrating the company’s smart playlist creation into Google Play Music and perhaps YouTube. Songza will remain an active and independent app for the time being. The purchase highlights the increasingly competitive landscape emerging around music, as Apple, Amazon, and Google all seek to differentiate their mobile products by offering top-notch streaming services.

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After Losing In The Supreme Court, Aereo Turns Its Sights To Congress

See the original posting on TechCrunch

aereo-legal-shutterstock_140860981 When the Supreme Court ruled Aereo was illegal last week, many thought it was the final nail in the coffin for the nascent cloud-based antenna service.
But it seems even though CEO Chet Kenojia said he didn’t have a Plan B, he came up with one. On Tuesday he sent a letter to subscribers, calling them to demand action from their representatives in Congress. Read More

Facebook Accidentally Sent Advertisers Receipts And Data For Other People’s Ads

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Facepalm Blue Last night a sizable number of Facebook advertisers received receipts listing other people’s ads, including company names, campaign names, and amount spent. Sources tipped us off to the bug, and Facebook confirms to me it occurred and was fixed in about two hours. It confirms that no one was charged for other people’s ads, despite one victim claiming otherwise, and ad… Read More

MapR Gains $110 Million In Funding Led By Google Capital

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MapR-Logo-New-2014 Google Capital led the latest round of $110 million in financing for Bangalore based MapR Technologies. MapR, which helps companies around the world deploy Hadoop, raised $80 million in private equity from Google Capital, Qualcomm Incorporated, through its venture investment group, Qualcomm Ventures, and existing investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, NEA and… Read More

In praise of Java template engines

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FTC accuses T-Mobile of charging its customers for fraudulent cell phone spam

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T-Mobile may claim that it always has its customers’ best interests at heart, but the US government thinks otherwise. The FTC just filed a suit against the carrier alleging that it has been engaging in the practice of “cramming” its customers’ bills with false charges. According to the FTC, T-Mobile commonly adds charges for “premium” SMS-based subscriptions for services like “flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip” that typically cost $9.99 per month. Furthermore, the FTC is claiming that T-Mobile did nothing to stop these charges for years after it signs showed the services were spam.

Lastly, the FTC says that the services in question had refund request rates of up to 40 percent in a single month — a fact that the…

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