The FXX K is the most extreme Ferrari ever made

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How do you take one of the most ridiculous hypercars ever produced, the Ferrari LaFerrari, and give it some extra juice? Ferrari, unbelievably, has an answer: the FXX K, which will be shown in public for the first time at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit next weekend.

As the name suggests, the FXX K is a member of Ferrari’s XX program, which is pretty unique in the automotive world: basically, the company finds super-rich fanatics of the brand and sells them ridiculous development prototypes…

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UK announces a ‘Google tax’ to stop companies diverting profits overseas

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The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, responsible for setting the UK’s budget, today announced plans for a new 25 percent tax intended to close loopholes that presently see multinational companies extracting their profits to lower-tax regimes like Ireland. It has already been described as a “Google tax,” though it affects a practice that is widespread across the tech industry and others beyond it: Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, and others have all been subject to scrutiny about the ways in which they account for their profits.

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Kalashnikov rebrands its AK-47 killing machine as a ‘weapon of peace’

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Kalashnikov, the company behind one of the world’s most ubiquitous killing machines, has officially rebranded itself as an ambassador of “peace and calm.” As the Guardian reports, the Russian gun manufacturer unveiled a new logo and promotional campaign this week in Moscow, where company representatives described Osama bin Laden’s favorite rifle as a “weapon of peace.”

“It precipitated not just a technological but a social revolution,” reads a voiceover in the company’s new marketing video. “Freedom movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America could at last fight back against professional colonial armies. The AK-47 gave them the chance to demand rights and achieve justice. This is a weapon which helped people defend their families and…

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Creator of The Wire explains why you might not like it in HD

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Like super-sizing and smartphones, there can be a tendency in the consumer industry to assume bigger is better. The same is true of filmed content, where the resolution arms-race has seen TV manufacturers and movie producers push each other up through 720p, 1080p, and 4K resolutions in a relatively short matter of time. But with greatest-of-all-time TV series The Wire set to make its re-mastered, HD debut in the near future, it’s worth remembering that not all filmed material is ready for the high-def treatment, as show-creator David Simon explains on his blog.

Simon says that while HBO executives were keen to move the show over to an HD, 16:9 ratio for the third season, he didn’t want to break with the “visual template” of the first…

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Iran moves forward with death penalty over Facebook posts

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A 30-year-old blogger and photographer has been sentenced to death in Iran for “insulting the prophet of Islam” on Facebook, drawing renewed attention to the country’s notorious human rights record. The man, Soheil Arabi, was convicted in a Tehran criminal court in August after admitting to posting the defamatory content. His lawyers argued that he had done so while “in poor psychological condition,” according to the International Campaign for Human Right in Iran, and that he was merely sharing views held by others. But Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the conviction late last month, and went a step further by adding a charge of “sowing corruption of Earth.” This charge is also punishable by death and cannot be pardoned, according to Arabi’s…

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20th Anniversary PS4 announced in original PlayStation colors

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Sony knows that nostalgia is the way to an adult gamer’s heart. In celebration of the PlayStation’s 20th anniversary, the company has announced a commemorative edition of the PS4, one that uses the color palette of the original machine. Only 12,300 units will be sold worldwide — a number symbolic of the seminal PlayStation’s launch date. Those hoping to pick up one of these gorgeous units can expect to pay 49,980 Yen (excluding tax) in Japan, $499 in North American, and €499 in Europe.

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Gmail now lets you edit Microsoft Office documents from your inbox

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Google has today added a new feature to Gmail inboxes that allows users to edit Microsoft Office documents sent as email attachments. Click the new “edit” option on an Office file attachment and Gmail will convert the file to the relevant Google format, saving it in Google Drive to allow for continuous editing and sharing. Google has also increased the amount of Office file types it can import to Docs to make this process easier — the list now includes 15 less-used Office formats including presentation show files .pps and .ppsx.

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Benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks, US CDC says

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention support male circumcision procedures for male newborns and teenagers in the US, according a draft of federal guidelines released today. The guidelines stop short of recommending the procedure for all newborns. Instead, they suggest that parents should receive counseling from their physicians to discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure. Uncircumcised male teenagers should also receive counseling — along with their parents.

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Verizon has shuttered Sugarstring, its bizarre tech news experiment

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In case you’d been wondering what happened to Sugarstring, Verizon’s recent foray into the world of tech journalism, wonder no more: it’s dead. Verizon has decided to shutter it after just over a month of its existence. Going to Sugarstring.com or any of its published stories will lead you nowhere. In a statement to DSL Reports, Verizon referred to the project as a test, and did not go into detail about what led to its demise. “As you know, we’ve always said this was a pilot project; and as with any pilot project, we evaluate, take our learnings, improve our execution and move forward,” a spokesperson said. “That’s what we’ve decided to do here.”

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Meet the company that’s secretly behind HP’s smartwatch

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HP threw a curveball when it announced a surprisingly good-looking smartwatch earlier this year, the Michael Bastian-designed Chronowing. It doesn’t have the horsepower of an Android Wear device or the to-be-released Apple Watch, but the Chronowing still manages notifications from your phone, has a neat subdial that simulates an analog watch face, and — this is key — actually kind of looks like a real watch.

But HP didn’t make the Chronowing, it turns out. Multiple sources familiar with the relationship have confirmed that the manufacturer behind the timepiece is Meta, the Fossil spinoff that recently launched its own M1 line of smartwatches penned by former Vertu designer Frank Nuovo.

The relatively low-resolution, monochrome square…

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HBO is making a rock ‘n’ roll drama series with Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger

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HBO has just announced that it’s making a full series about rock music in the late 1970s, and has Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger onboard as executive producers. The currently untitled project focuses on fictional record label American Century Records, along with the characters who made rock ‘n’ roll happen at the time.

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Steam takes on Twitch with new broadcasting feature

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Valve is moving into video game streaming with a new broadcasting feature for Steam. Launching in beta today, the feature will let Steam users watch other people play games without leaving the service. It sounds like it’s primarily designed so you can watch your friends — Valve advertises it as a way to “watch friends play, with the click of a button” — but there’s also a public option that lets anyone view a game stream, which puts the service in direct competition with Twitch. You can also use it not only from the Steam client, but also from either Chrome or Safari.

“Watch friends play, with the click of a button.”

At present, broadcasts are only available live, so you won’t be able to share your streams for later watching, and in…

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California will send a man to jail for posting nude pictures of his ex online

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California just sent its first serious message to people who post “revenge porn” online. The state convicted a man today after he posted topless pictures of his ex-partner on her employer’s Facebook page. He will spend a year in jail and three years in probation. He will also have to stay away from his ex.

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These are the invisible benefits male gamers take for granted

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It’s been a long year for gaming, but a much longer one for female gamers — especially for those who’ve spoken out against GamerGate and the rampant sexism endemic to the gaming industry. To help drive home that this is a very real problem, Feminist Frequency‘s Jonathan McIntosh enlisted the likes of IGN‘s Brian Altano, Polygon‘s Arthur Gies, the ever-recognizable Adam Sessler, and several other male gamers to list the ways gaming circles can be far more welcoming to men where they’re actively hostile to women.

“One of the luxuries of being a member of a privileged group,” McIntosh says early on in the video, “is that the benefits afforded to us often remain invisible to us.” Thus, it’s easy to write off the lived experiences of female…

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Clip Art is dead: re-live the glory days of pamphlets and PowerPoint here

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Linguists and historians agree: before emoticons came along, pretty much the only way to communicate with fellow human beings without resorting to awkward grunts and whistles was using Clip Art. Whether you were offering directions to the shop or expressing confusion over FDA genomics regulation, Clip Art had the perfect pictorial representation (3D bubble arrows and Silhouette Figure With Question Mark in these two examples).

Now, however, Microsoft has announced that it’s closing down the…

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FAA and Boeing held responsible for last year’s Dreamliner battery mishap

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a lengthy report delving into the battery fire that grounded the entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet last year. Though the agency doesn’t explicitly identify the cause of the incident, it does name the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Boeing, and lithium-ion battery manufacturer GS Yuasa Corp. all as collective culprits for the fire, with regard to how the battery was manufactured and how it was permitted for use on the plane.

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Apple is just now going to trial over the music DRM it killed in 2009

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Today, Apple begins a defense against a lawsuit featuring nearly 8 million affected people of its FairPlay digital rights management technology, which the company used to lock down iPods from playing music from other digital music stores. A January 2005 complaint filed against Apple’s DRM practices has evolved into a full-blown class action lawsuit that may cost the company as much as $350 million in damages.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers claim Apple’s FairPlay DRM encryption made it difficult and costly for them to move away from the iTunes Store, and impossible to use music they had already purchased from competing services like Musicmatch and Real Networks on their iPods.

Class action lawsuit may cost Apple as much as $350 million in…

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A new Star Wars trailer is coming with Avengers: Age of Ultron

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With the first Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser out of the way and talked about ad infinitum, the next big question is: what’s next? Well, looks like we’ll be waiting at most half a year: SlashFilm reports (and sound logic dictates) that the next Star Wars trailer will play before Disney’s very large superhero blockbuster sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron. That’s scheduled for release May 1st, 2015, which also happens to be the weekend before May 4th — aka Star Wars Day. (“May the Fourth / Force Be With You.” Get it?)

That all seems obvious enough, but what about the 165 or so days before Marvel’s next film? There are two big Disney films in between (Into the Woods on Christmas Day and Cinderella on March 13th), but those don’t…

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Iranian hacker group targeted airlines and factories

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A report released today by the security firm Cylance sheds new light on Iran’s military hacking program, suggesting the country’s capabilities may be far beyond what many expect. Over the past two years, a group tracked by Cylance has attacked more than 50 targets across 16 countries, including the US, South Korea, Israel, and Pakistan, in what researchers have dubbed “Project Cleaver.” The group has paid particular attention to airlines, manufacturers, and defense contractors. In some cases, the group gained access to security control systems at airport gates, potentially allowing for forged gate credentials that would circumvent airport security. They also gained access to PayPal credentials and industrial control systems from other…

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Watch how the beautiful papercraft game Lumino City was built

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Lumino City is an absolutely gorgeous game, a colorful world built entirely of real world materials like paper and cardboard. It’s a process that gives the game a distinct look and feel. “There’s such a sense of warmth you can give to a story using real materials,” creative director Luke Whittaker told The Verge last month. It was also an incredibly time-consuming process; the game, which includes an 8-foot-tall motorized water wheel as its centerpiece, took the small team at studio State of Play three years to build.

Luckily, they’ve been documenting the process, so you can see how the game moved from concept sketches to simple 2D computer models to an intricately detailed papercraft city. It’s fascinating to watch, and the video above…

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