Toyota’s answer to Tesla is this $70,000 fuel-cell car

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Toyota may be the maker of the most iconic hybrid vehicle of them all, the Prius, but the Japanese company refuses to go all-in on electric and is instead focusing on hydrogen fuel cells for powering its future cars. The first among them will be a 2015 sedan that has today been priced at ¥7 million (roughly $70,000) for its launch market of Japan. That’s right in line with Tesla’s Model S, which will be its most direct competitor in the developing market for alternative energy vehicles. Toyota claims a cruising range of 430 miles for its hydrogen-fueled car and a refueling time of just three minutes — both numbers underlining the key benefits of its technology over standard batteries.

After Japan gets it by April 2015, the…

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Aereo loses to broadcasters in Supreme Court fight for its life

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The Supreme Court struck a dramatic blow against Aereo today in a ruling that puts the TV streaming service as it currently exists on its deathbed. In a 6–3 ruling, the court found that Aereo’s service violates the Copyright Act by playing back recordings of broadcasters’ TV shows — even though it legally captures those shows over the air and obtains individual copies for each viewer. Aereo had argued that it was merely providing technology that its subscribers were renting in order to watch TV, posing that the viewers were responsible for playing back those recordings.

“Insofar as there are differences, those differences concern not the nature of the service that Aereo provides so much as the technological manner in which it provides…

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Supreme Court bluntly tells police to ‘get a warrant’ to pry into your phone

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In its second major ruling of the day, the Supreme Court has decided that, unless under certain extreme circumstances, law enforcement may not search cell phones without a warrant. The ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, was reached unanimously by the court, and brings a resolution to a long-standing civil liberties debate with regard to digital privacy.

The decision’s summary is fairly clear on the issue: “The police generally may not, without a warrant, search digital information on a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested.” While the Court does allow for warrantless searches in certain “exigent circumstances” like kidnappings and bomb threats, those are limited and does not apply searches after arrests.

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Security Researchers Uncover The Tools Governments Use To Spy On Our Phones

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shutterstock_157028330 Edward Snowden, whistleblower of the decade, has made it consistently clear that he didn’t trust cellphones. While he never described the methods governments and other miscreants used to crack into our handsets, he maintained that eavesdroppers could hear us even if the phone seemed off and everything on our devices was open to a dedicated hacker. But he never said how it was done. Now… Read More

RainBird Opens Beta To Build Knowledge Base Platform

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A startup with an intriguing API product has raised a small seed round of £330,000. RainBird is an API platform lets developers build knowledge bases or publish web sites based on those knowledge bases. The founders say it’s “a bit like GitHub is with source code repositories”. If you don’t want to pay for it, you are adding knowledge into the RainBird community for… Read More

Somewhere Releases iPhone App For Sharing Your Work (Not Your Life)

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Somewhere.com, which bills itself as a sort of pinterest for sharing your work (not your favorite knitting patterns), has now launched the iPhone app to accompany the site we covered in January. Somewhere’s pitch is that many people think visually and most social platforms (unlike perhaps Pinterest) don’t work that way. And that’s a missing link in business social platforms.… Read More

Dreamworks Backs Kids’ App Maker Fingerprint In New $10.9 Million Funding Round

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fingerprint Kids using iPads and smartphones is a common sight these days, and that trend has allowed a number of companies focused on this very young demographic to grow and expand. Case in point: San Francisco-based kids app maker Fingerprint, led by former Leapfrog exec Nancy MacIntyre, is announcing $10.85 million in Series B funding from new investor, Hollywood entertainment company Dreamworks,… Read More

George Lucas’ art museum will be built in Chicago, not San Francisco

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Supposedly retired filmmaker George Lucas has an extensive collection of art and film memorabilia, built up from his decades in the movie business. What he didn’t have — until now — is somewhere to show that collection off to the public. Lucas has spent the last two years putting together plans for a museum that would house his treasures. Today, he announced that the center, known as the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, would be built in Chicago.

The location is something of a surprise. It was expected that San Francisco would be chosen as the museum’s home by virtue of Lucas’ close ties to the city: both Lucasarts and Industrial Light & Magic call the city’s Presidio region home. Indeed, Lucas submitted plans to the Presidio Trust, which…

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Google to show Android TV set-top box at I/O conference: WSJ

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Bloomberg Businessweek reported earlier today that Google will announce its TV-focused version of Android on stage at the I/O conference tomorrow, but there may be more than software on show. A separate report in The Wall Street Journal claims that Google will have “at least one” set-top box running the Android TV operating system. The Verge first revealed the existence of Android TV in April.

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Congress Names 4 Countries To Anti-Piracy Watchlist

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5635864242_8880e8831f_o A Congressional caucus identified four nations that are failing to address high rates of digital piracy.
As first reported by The Hill, the anti-piracy watchlist released by the International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus — formerly the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus — Tuesday zeroes in on China, Russia, India and Switzerland. Read More

Silicon Valley Moguls Push For Campaign Finance Reform

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13301353274_08e4b0592a_o When it comes to big money in politics, a group of tech magnates is fighting fire with fire — or super PAC with super PAC — according to a report from Reuters. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman have joined forces with the super PAC MayDay, which aims to reduce the influence… Read More

NBA players to ‘crash’ fan-made Google Hangouts after getting drafted

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This Thursday the NBA is holding its annual draft in New York City, and the league is giving some fans a chance to hang out with the top picks — virtually, that is. The NBA is partnering with Google to let some players drop in to Google+ Hangouts created by fans. People just need to mark their Hangout with the hashtag #NBADraftCrash or #TEAMNAMEDraftCrash (with the right team name, obviously), and a player could end up there to answer questions and chat. The NBA says it’s already gotten Aaron Gordon, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, Jabari Parker, and Marcus Smart in on the plan, and is promising others.

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