The best set-top box you can buy

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The numbers don’t lie. When Netflix accounts for more than a third of US internet bandwidth, when streaming services are racking up Emmys by the truckload, when cable subscriber numbers dwindle while Amazon Prime Video sign-ups soar, it’s hard to avoid the fact that the age of streaming video is upon us.

That’s not to say we’ve all canceled cable; far from it. But we’ve found other services to supplement ESPN and HBO, better ways to fill time than aimlessly surfing 900 channels to find…

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Here’s why your Comcast rep is yelling at you

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In 2006, a man named Vincent Ferrari called AOL and tried to cancel his internet service. It took him 21 minutes as an increasingly desperate customer service rep named John tried to talk him out of it. “You used this quite a lot,” John says, in a recording Ferrari made of part of the call. “Last month was 545 hours of usage.”

“I don’t know how to make this any clearer, so I’m just going to say it one last time,” Ferrari says. “Cancel. The. Account.”

It goes on.

Last week, AOL vice president Ryan Block had a similar experience with a Comcast rep. Block and his wife spent around 18 minutes on the phone as an aggressive call-center employee asks questions like, “Why is it that you’re not wanting to have the No. 1 rated internet, No. 1…

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Ron Howard is directing a concert documentary on The Beatles

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The Beatles will be back on the big screen next year in a new documentary from Ron Howard, the director behind movies such as A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci CodeAccording to Variety, Howard’s documentary will focus on The Beatles’ on-tour performances, from their 1960s’ beginnings in Liverpool to their final show in San Francisco during 1966. “Their impact on popular culture and the human experience cannot be exaggerated,” Howard says. Howard plans to have the documentary in theaters next year.

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Scientists are one step closer to replacing mechanical pacemakers with biological ones

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Cardiologists in Los Angeles have developed a gene-therapy technique that allows them to transform working heart-muscle cells into cells that regulate a pigs’ heartbeat. This procedure, described today in the Science Translational Medicine, restored normal heart rates for two weeks in pigs that usually rely on mechanical pacemakers. The experiment, researchers say, could lead to lifesaving therapies for people who suffer infections following the implantation of a mechanical pacemaker.

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Google Starts Selling Its Aerial Imagery To Maps For Business Users

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2014-07-16_0940 Google Maps for Business is a service for enterprises and government organizations that need to visualize their assets on a map. Today, the company has announced that customers can now purchase Google’s aerial imagery directly from the company and use it to map public service projects, study the environmental impact of a project, or evaluate a property. Read More

Airbnb Launches Massive Redesign, With Reimagined Listings And A Brand New Logo

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Airbnb Symbol Today at an event for its users, Airbnb announced a massive redesign to its website and mobile apps that is designed to make it easier for users to find the information that they need while also making listings on its platform more appealing. The company also introduced a new, modern logo that will replace the lower-case cursive “a” that has defined it over the last several years. Read More

Popular Bitcoin Mining Pool Promises To Restrict Its Compute Power To Prevent Feared ’51%’ Fiasco

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banker-bitcoin This morning GHash.IO, a popular bitcoin mining pool, announced in a statement that in the future it will “not exceed more than 39.99% of the overall Bitcoin hashrate.” Earlier this year, GHash crested the 50% hashrate mark, sparking fears inside the bitcoin community regarding the so-called ’51% problem.’ The issue isn’t too hard to understand: If any one… Read More

Apple Agrees To Pay As Much As $450M To Settle E-Book Case, But Says It Will Continue Appeal

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apple hq Apple has reached an agreement with 33 states to pay as much as $400 million to consumers to settle the antitrust suit over e-book pricing. Including attorneys’ fees and payments to states, the company could pay a total of $450 million. However, the payment could be reduced, or eliminated entirely, depending on the results of Apple’s ongoing appeal. While a federal judge ruled… Read More

Countable Wants To Makes Politics A ‘Continual Conversation’

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3017123244_b50649c2d9_o Telling your senator how to vote is as easy as “liking” a Facebook picture, thanks to a new app from the creators of TV streaming service SideReel. Countable, available for iOS and coming to Android soon, presents a succinct summary of each piece of legislation Congress is considering, along with a short one-sentence argument in favor of the bill or against it. You are then able… Read More

Samsung moves into Beats territory with US launch of $350 headphones

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Apple and Samsung are already bitter enemies in the smartphone world, and headphones may be their next battleground. Samsung has just launched its “Level” family of high-end audio products in the United States. Each will be available to purchase from Gilt beginning tomorrow.

The lineup, first introduced in April, is led by Level Over, a $349.99 pair of over-ear Bluetooth headphones with active noise cancellation, NFC pairing, and what Samsung claims is “powerful, clear, sharp sound.” They can also be plugged in thanks to a detachable audio cable (with microphone and remote controls for your smartphone). And if you don’t like the way Level Over headphones sound out of the box, Samsung also offers an Android app that allows for EQ…

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BlackBerry Gets Its Own Siri With BlackBerry Assistant

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Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 11.51.02 AM BlackBerry is trying to build up some steam for its upcoming BlackBerry OS 10.3 launch, and for its new BlackBerry Passport hardware, and today that means a new feature reveal: The company detailed BlackBerry Assistant on its official blog today, and the feature looks unsurprisingly like Siri and Cortana for iOS and Windows Phone respectively.
The Assistant features the now-omnipresent… Read More

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