July 21: 33 tabs

Bits and Bytes

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02  Amazon: "This summer, a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the Central Intelligence Agency over the past year will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community."

03  Apple: MKBHD, the guy who made the video showing off the iPhone 6 front sapphire cover, has made another video saying it's not actually sapphire, but likely a composite that contains sapphire. How does he deduce this? Two sheets of sandpaper and an explanation of the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

04  BBC: They're partnering with UK operator EE to trial eMBMS technology. Translation: Let's carve out a tiny chunk of our 4G LTE spectrum and use it to broadcast video.

05  Dell: They're making headlines because they now accept Bitcoin.

06  Facebook: Someone hacked into the Wall Street Journal's Facebook page and posted a "breaking news" update saying Air Force One has been shot down.

07  Google (and somewhat Apple): Starting this September, Google will not be allowed to call freemium games "free" in the European Google Play Store. Apple's App Store may be next.

08  Google: During Q2 2014, Google sold one million Chromebooks to schools.

09  Lenovo: They've issued a statement saying they will indeed continue selling small Windows tablets in the United States. Previous reports incorrectly stated they wouldn't.

10  Microsoft/Nokia: WPCentral says they've confirmed with multiple sources that Nokia's upcoming flagship phone, McLaren, has been killed. Note that this is the phone where Microsoft's fancy pants "3D Touch" technology was supposed to debut.

11  Motorola: An image and a preliminary set of specifications for the next generation Moto G have supposedly leaked. Spoiler: The new Moto G looks pretty much like a bigger Moto E, the camera has been upgraded to eight megapixels, and the chip (Snapdragon 400) and RAM (1 GB) are the same.

12  Netflix: They're going to introduce a "privacy mode" so that whatever you watch in said mode A) Can't be seen the other people sharing your Netflix account and B) Won't be used to recommend you other films.

13  Netflix: This article explains how one man used a VPN to route around Level 3 in order to make Netflix work on his Verizon connection. It's frankly a disgusting demonstration of the politics that are limiting people's enjoyment of the internet.

14  NVIDIA: Everything there is to know about NVIDIA's sequel to the Shield videogame system has leaked. Spoiler: It's an 8.0 inch tablet powered by the NVIDIA K1. It'll launch at the end of this month in the United States. $299 for the Wi-Fi 16 GB model. $399 for the LTE 32 GB model. Europe gets it next month.

15  Oppo: This Chinese handset maker is going to open a factory in Indonesia to serve both the local market and the countries that surround it. Goal is crank out 5 to 10 million units a year.

16  Piracy: "French anti-piracy authority Hadopi has revealed that in the first four years of its operations, it sent initial file-sharing warnings to 9% of French Internet subscribers [Note: That's 3,249,481 people]. Just over 10% of those subscriber accounts went on to receive a second warning, with just 0.4% getting a third. Overall, 116 individuals went on to the court stage."

17  Piracy: Back in May, Spanish courts ordered ISPs in the country to block six piracy sites (SpanishTracker, PCTorrent.com, NewPCT.com, PCTestrenos.com, Descargaya.es and TumejorTV.com). That ban has now been lifted.

18  Piracy: Starting next year, the UK government will send nasty letters to people caught pirating. After an individual receives four such letters, they'll be tarred and feathered. That's obviously not true. What does happen? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Why bother sending the letters at all? To scare people.

19  Sygic: 50 million people use Sygic's GPS navigation app. Many of my friends in Europe use it, but I don't know anyone who uses it in the United States, probably because Google Maps is free and good enough. Anyway, the BBC profiled Sygic and their CEO. For those who don't want to read, there's a four minute video interview at the top of the page.

20  Uber: They're about to get banned in Samsung-ville.

21  UMC: United Microelectronics Corporation, better known as UMC, is a fierce TSMC competitor, yet demand has been so great that the company is going to increase their prices between 5% and 15%, depending on the customer.

22  Verizon: If you're lucky enough to be a Verizon FiOS customer, the ISP has just announced that they're going to increase everyone's upload speed to match their download speed. So if you're on a 75/35 plan, that'll soon be upgraded, for free, to a 75/75 plan.

23  Yahoo: Their share of the U.S. search engine market has hit an all time low: 9.8%.

24  ZTE: This Chinese handset maker doesn't get any love, but that'll soon change. They've just announced that they'll begin selling Android phones with the stock Google launcher. Is this an admission that ZTE has given up on "differentiating" with a custom look and feel?

The Real World

25  Argentina: "Nearly 200,000 people have signed a petition to get a despondent polar bear moved from Argentina to Canada. Arturo, nicknamed 'the world's saddest animal', lives alone in a concrete enclosure in Mendoza, where temperatures can top 100F (38C)." Ugh, the photos are heartbreaking.

26  Iran: "Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the UN nuclear agency says." In return for this gesture, the U.S. will lift their freeze on $2.8 billion of Iranian assets.

27  UK: Researchers have successfully used the hormone kisspeptin to extract women's eggs. Said eggs were used to deliver 12 healthy children. Kisspeptin occurs naturally in the body, whereas hCG, which is typically used to stimulate ovary production, is not. Is hCG dangerous? One in ten women end up producing far too many eggs, which can "lead to kidney failure and potentially death."

28  Ukraine: "Ukrainian officials say 272 bodies have so far been found. Three [Dutch] forensic scientists are aiming to start work on identifying the 196 bodies kept there on a train." I'm no expert in criminal investigations, but three people sounds a bit small, no?

29  USA: "The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States has fallen by a third over the past decade, researchers say. After examining cases from all 50 states, the study found that the diagnosis rate fell to 16.1 per 100,000 people in 2011 from 24.1 in 2002. From 2002 to 2011, 493,372 people were diagnosed with HIV in the US, researchers said."

30  USA: Cynthia Robinson's husband died because he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day. She sued the Reynolds Tobacco Company. She won. She's now $23.6 billion richer.

31  USA: If you want to execute someone in America, you used to have to import some drugs from Europe to get the job done. When Europe stopped selling America those drugs, prisons began experimenting with their own cocktails. Joseph Wood, who was due to be executed, has had his execution delayed because his lawyer thinks Wood should know what's in that cocktail.

32  USA: Scientists researching AIDS have discovered that the virus hides in your brain and in your gut. Today's drugs can make it look like the virus is in check, but it's actually just laying dormant in your skull.

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