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

The scuba diver social network that could save your life

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For divers swimming hundreds of feet beneath the ocean’s surface, communication is a notorious challenge. Crews have developed an extensive language of hand signals to express their needs, but they’re hampered by one obvious caveat: the signals rely on people looking at each other. A flat hand making a cutting motion at a throat to indicate “I’m running out of air” is no good if your dive partner is distracted by a shoal of fish. Such challenges help explain why suffocation is the leading cause of diving fatalities, alongside being trapped in underwater caves or wrecks and equipment defects.

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Weird Al rants about the Illuminati in parody of Lorde’s ‘Royals’

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Weird Al is getting a bit weirder for day three in the eight days of music video releases to promote his new album, Mandatory Fun. This third parody is of Lorde’s breakout single “Royals,” which Al twists into a strange infomercial for aluminum foil. The song, called “Foil,” translates surprisingly well, but it’s partway through that things start to get really odd. “Oh by the way I’ve cracked the code,” Al sings. “I figured out these shadow organizations / and the Illuminati know / that they’re finally primed for world domination.” Patton Oswalt costars in the video, and Reno 911! stars Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant cameo as secret agents to wrap things up.

Al is now through several of the biggest parodies on his new album….

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California will fine you $500 per day for using too much water

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California is in a serious drought, one that’s cost thousands of farming jobs and billions of dollars to fight, and will likely continue through 2015, even if El Niño brings some relief. In a move to curb unnecessary use, the state approved major regulations Tuesday that will let law enforcement and government water agencies hand out $500-a-day fines for offenses that waste water, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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Adobe’s Search Ad Report: U.S. Search Spend Up 9%, Google CPC Up 4%

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2014-07-15_1635 Ahead of Google’s quarterly earnings announcement, Adobe today released its latest ad data report for search ads. Based on what the company is seeing on its Marketing Cloud, U.S. search ad spend grew about 9 percent year-over-year, mostly through click growth. For the full year, which includes the traditionally stronger fourth quarter, Adobe expects that spend will increase between 10 and… Read More

BlackBerry Shares Drop More Than 10% In Trading In Wake Of Apple/IBM Deal

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3589676021_7eac5a861c_b The new partnership between IBM and Apple may be a wake up call for Google and companies building Android-based handsets and services targeting enterprise users. But for BlackBerry, it may be more of an alarm bell.
BlackBerry’s shares were down by more than 10% in trading this morning (they’ve been fluctuating) in the wake of the news that IBM and Apple would be creating… Read More

Amazon Tests ‘Kindle Unlimited,’ A Netflix For Ebooks And Audiobooks

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Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 11.26.20 AM Amazon might give readers something to get really excited about: A digital ebook and audiobook subscription service that provides Kindle users with all the content they can consume from a potential library of over 600,000 titles for just $9.99 per month. That’s according to this cached link, first spotted by GigaOM. This ‘Netflix for ebooks’ would compete with existing… Read More

Microsoft May Axe One-Fifth Of Its Nokia-Sourced Finnish Workforce

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Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 8.16.55 AM According to a local-language report in Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, Microsoft is gearing up for around 1,000 layoffs in Finland. Microsoft acquired around 4,700 employees in the country when it purchased substantial assets from Nokia, a deal that closed in April. We reached out but Microsoft declined to comment. At work here is the fact that Microsoft is widely expected to be… Read More

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