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The Snowden Effect, Quantified

The failure of the USA Freedom Act in the Senate earlier this month was a disappointment to many in favor of reforming the National Security Agency. The bill, far from perfect, and certainly incomplete in its scope was thought of by some as a possible first step. To others, it was a way for Congress to pass something that merely looked like reform. It didn’t advance after a procedural… Read More

Via:: TechCrunch

Preview: Office for Android tablets is like Office for iPad, but on Android

Google’s Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps are a lot of things—they’re fast, they’re convenient, and they’re available on both iOS and Android—but you couldn’t call them “powerful.” Even the Web versions of Google’s productivity software are pretty basic compared with the feature-stuffed behemoth that is Microsoft Office, and the mobile apps are minimalist by comparison.

Microsoft was slow to recognize and respond to the things Google’s apps did well (they were good at collaboration and they didn’t cost anything) but it’s made big strides that culminated in the free-to-use Office for iOS apps we got earlier this month. These apps fall short of the capabilities of “real” Microsoft Office, but they offer plenty of the most essential features, and they preserve your documents’ formatting no matter where you’re opening them. Soon, Microsoft will be expanding those efforts by releasing a similar version of Office for Android tablets. We’ve got our hands on a preview version now—let’s take a look at how they stack up to the iPad versions and whether they’ll get the job done for workers who need more than Google’s apps offer.

Different platform, similar experience

Office is going multi-platform, but Microsoft is clearly focused on making all the different versions of it look and feel more or less the same. You can see it in the new OneNote and Outlook apps for OS X, the Office apps for the iPad and iPhone, and now in Office for Android tablets. Look back at Office 2010 for Windows and 2011 for Mac, and you’ll see two products that look and behave pretty differently. Compare any of the newer apps to Office 2013 for Windows, and you’ll see more similarities than differences.

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Via:: Ars Technica

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Twitter’s New App Tracking Capabilities To Help Personalize User Experience, Benefit Advertisers

Starting today, Twitter users on iOS and Android devices will be alerted to a change in the type of data the social network is collecting on them, and will be offered the option to opt-out by adjusting their settings. The data in question is a list of the apps you have installed on your mobile device – a collection of data Twitter is calling the “app graph.” The company… Read More

Via:: TechCrunch

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Gift Guide: The Razor Crazy Cart

While I did say that the Razor Crazy Cart was, well, crazy, it’s well worth a closer look if you have the space and safety equipment to send your kids careening around your driveway at about twenty miles per hour. That’s right: this is your dream go-cart from the folks who made the Razor scooters and, if you have the space and helmets it’s the best fun your kids will have… Read More

Via:: CunchGear

AT&T backtracks on fiber claims, says it won’t really halt 100-city plan

AT&T now says it isn’t really going to halt a huge fiber investment because of net neutrality despite its CEO recently claiming the company would do just that.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors on November 12 that “We can’t go out and invest that kind of money deploying fiber to 100 cities not knowing under what rules those investments will be governed.” Stephenson was referring to an April announcement in which AT&T said it would “expand its ultra-fast fiber network to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities nationwide, including 21 new major metropolitan areas.”

Because of uncertainty about net neutrality rules, Stephenson said at the investor event this month that it would be better to “pause” instead of proceeding with the 100-city investment. Construction in all 100 cities was never guaranteed to begin with, as it was contingent on municipal cooperation with AT&T.

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Via:: Ars Technica

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Cooling Tablet Market Turns To Low-End Devices For Growth

Never in tech history have so many bought so much in such a short time. There was a memorable tweet sent in the final days before the first iPad was released: Someone in tech — and I forget their name and can’t find the tweet, sadly — noted in less than 140 characters that they were about to embark on their last weekend before they would never have to have another without… Read More

Via:: CunchGear

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Quikkly Wants To Be A Better QR Code

You’ve all used a QR code, right? Those weird-looking barcodes you’re supposed to scan using a mobile to open a related web link. Nope? I thought not. For one reason or another, the technology, which was originally developed for the automotive industry to track parts in vehicle manufacturing, has never really gained critical mass from a consumer point of view. Enter Quikkly,… Read More

Via:: TechCrunch

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Sony Pictures hackers release list of stolen corporate files

On Monday, employees at Sony Pictures Entertainment—the television and movie subsidiary of Sony Corp.—discovered that their internal corporate network had been hijacked. A message from an individual or group claiming responsibility appeared on corporate systems, pledging to release sensitive corporate data taken from the network by 11pm GMT on Monday.

Twitter accounts associated with promoting several movies, including Starship Troopers, were briefly hijacked by the attackers. The attackers posted to at least three Twitter feeds, leaving the same message: “You, the criminals including [Sony Pictures CEO] Michael Lynton will surely go to hell. Nobody can help you.” The image posted with the message shows a digitally edited image of Lynton’s head in a dark, hellish landscape.

As of this morning, the network at many Sony offices still appears to be down. Based on information reportedly shared by employees, it could be down for weeks before being restored. The Twitter accounts appear to be back under Sony Pictures’ control.

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Via:: Ars Technica

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