Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Calls On Congress To End The NSA’s “Unfettered Bulk Collection Of Data”

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Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 10.28.31 AM Earlier this morning, Microsoft executive vice president and general counsel Brad Smith made the case against pervasive government surveillance, arguing that reform is needed of this nation’s security apparatus. At a talk this morning, the general counsel couched his larger remarks in the historical context of general warrants, the use of which led to the political climate the out of… Read More

Oculus Acquires Carbon Design, The Team That Designed The Xbox 360 Controller

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xbox Since the Facebook acquisition, Oculus has already snatched up just about all of the biggest names in virtual reality. Their next move? Grabbing designers. Oculus has just announced that they will acquire the Seattle-based Carbon Design studio. Even if you don’t recognize the name, you’ve almost certainly seen (or, more likely, used) one of their products. The Xbox 360 controller?… Read More

Ki injects Lisp into JavaScript

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JavaScript is getting another option for functional programming, called Ki.

Described as a “Lisp for your JavaScript,” Ki enables use of functional idioms and data structures — the persistent data structures of the ClojureScript compiler and related libraries — directly within JavaScript, said Luca Antiga, author of Ki and principal scientist at image analysis and data engineering vendor Orobix. “You can use Ki to develop an entire application, a module, a function or even parts of it, with minimal friction with respect to the rest of the JavaScript ecosystem.”

Lisp languages are recognized as a historical element of computing, but Lisp-like languages are exceptionally extensible, said Antiga. “Once you get past the parentheses, you realize that Lisp has essentially no syntax except the very bare minimum, and that bare minimum is very explicit.”

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Google will reportedly show a new version of Android tomorrow

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Get ready to take a first look at the next version of Android tomorrow. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Android chief Sundar Pichai says that he wants to begin showing the world what Google is up to further in advance. To do that, he’ll reportedly preview the next version of Android on stage at Google’s I/O conference on Wednesday, rather than keeping the details a secret until fall, when Google tends to unveil big updates.

“I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner.”

Alongside Android, Google will reportedly also introduce Android TV, a version of the operating system designed to bring it into the living room. The Verge previewed Android TV in detail earlier this year. Pichai will reportedly also discuss…

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Pebble Teams Up With Misfit For Standalone Activity Tracking App

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hero_pebblesteel_misfit_2 Smartwatch maker Pebble aims to be a lot of things to a lot of people, and today it’s deepening its appeal thanks to a new partnership. The hardware startup is teaming with another young gadget company: Misfit, maker of the smart activity and sleep tracking wristband Shine. Misfit has created a Pebble app for the smartwatch that can track a user’s activity – independent of… Read More

Withings New Smartwatch Looks Good Playing Dumb

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1.Withings_Activité_flagship_close-up Here’s a curveball for you: Withings, which is an excellent fitness-based electronics company with all kinds of fun products like trackers and smart scales, has just bested all the smartwatch makers out there with the new Activité watch. At first glance, it looks like any other old analog watch. It has a clean white face, a leather band, and all the class and glamour of a night at… Read More

Shredder appears in new trailer for ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

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The latest trailer for the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is here, and it effectively raises the bar on the action seen in the last spot. Here, the turtles show off their best moves — and we all get to take a good look at Shredder. Buzz is already ramping up surrounding the movie, though fans may worry about the quality of the final product. For one, an early photo of Shredder made him look a bit more like a Transformer than TMNT fans may remember, though that’s hardly a reason to believe that there won’t be plenty of ninja action to love.

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Autopilot problems blamed in deadly Asiana Airlines crash

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The Asiana Airlines crash at San Francisco International Airport last year was the result of its crew’s over reliance on automated systems within the plane, among other possible factors such as crew fatigue, the National Transportation Safety Board said today. The NTSB had speculated last year that misuse of the aircraft’s “auto-throttle” feature, which allows the plane to maintain speed, led to the crash, and it’s now confirming that the crew’s inaccurate expectations of how auto-throttle and auto-pilot worked were among the major issues at fault.

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Hey, remember that time Google accidentally made Skynet?

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We’re on the eve of Google I/O, the company’s annual developer conference. That means there’s going to be a lot to chew on over the next few days in terms of software, APIs, and anything that runs under the hood in Google’s increasingly diverse portfolio of products and services. One of the most striking developments since last year’s conference, however, has very little to do with software: it’s Google’s devotion to exotic companies and hardware initiatives, which are usually connected to…

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YC-Backed ClearTax Tackles India’s Fast Growing Online Tax Filing Market

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Rupees by Flickr user Gopal Vijayaraghavan ClearTax is not the typical Y Combinator launch. Founded in 2011 and based in Delhi, the startup already has a strong presence in India, where it automates the income tax filing process for workers. Last year, over 300,000 people used ClearTax to file their taxes. Furthermore, the company is also the first one focused specifically on the Indian market to join Y Combinator (though the program… Read More

Twitter Is Experimenting With A New Way To Retweet

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twitter-app-sm The best thing about Twitter is that it forces users to embrace brevity thanks to its 140-character updates. It’s also the worst thing about Twitter, turning loquacious tweeters into Twitter stream hogs – as with the disaster that is the multi-part running commentary known as the Tweetstorm. But now Twitter is experimenting with a new feature called “retweet with… Read More

SoundHawk Unveils Wearable For Your Listening Pleasure, Partners With FoxConn

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jYgxKcS19eK6Ficp3YKeHLt2IpKpCn-Cee-2WC-RSSc Somewhere in the midst of too many rock concerts, loud dance clubs and blasting Spotify right into our eardrums, some of us have lost a bit of our hearing – and we’re never gonna get it back. But we’re not deaf, we just can’t pick out certain sounds as articulately as we once could. Soundhawk, a new company backed by True Ventures, has created a wearable device for those… Read More

Regard Is An Analytics Startup That Says Asking Users For Data Is Better Than Taking Everything

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Regard The dream of big data has led to the nightmare of mass surveillance. But perhaps there’s a better way to gather intelligence from user data: namely with consent. The four-man Cambridge, UK-based team behind a new product called Regard, certainly believe so. They’ve set out to build a new kind of analytics platform which puts openness and transparency at its core. Read More

FAA Bans The Use Of Drones To Deliver Packages

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Screen Shot 2014-06-24 at 9.37.23 AM The FAA made it plain this week that Amazon, or anyone else for that matter, won’t be able to deliver packages using a drone in the near future. In a document soliciting feedback regarding drone policy — a “Notice of Interpretation with Request for Comment ” — the FAA calls “delivering packages to people for a fee” a non-hobby or recreation-based… Read More

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