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Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer can buy the LA Clippers, judge rules

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 18:13

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is clear to move ahead with his $2 billion purchase of the LA Clippers today after a judge ruled against the current owner's objection to the sale, reports The New York Times. Ballmer brokered his deal for the team with owner Donald Sterling's wife, who was said at the time to have legal standing to sell the team, after her husband was banned for life from the NBA for making a series of racist statements. The judge also ruled that the Clippers' sale to Ballmer could go through immediately, the Times reports. Ballmer's purchase of the Clippers comes very shortly after his departure from Microsoft — it'll be a very different business to run, but there's good reason to believe that Ballmer can make good money from the team.

Facebook urges users to download Messenger before chat disappears from mobile app

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 18:05

In April, Facebook announced plans to pull messaging from its core mobile apps in favor of moving all chat activity to Messenger. Facebook isn't yet forcing anyone to make the switch; Facebook is trying to make things as seamless as possible and says you won't lose your place when hopping between apps. The company also insists Messenger offers a faster experience with more ways of keeping in touch with your friends (voice messages, video, and of course stickers).

Microsoft will launch another new Surface tablet in October – but not the Surface mini

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 18:00

Microsoft reportedly had plans to unveil a new Surface mini tablet alongside the Surface Pro 3 earlier this year, but the company supposedly cancelled those plans when it realized the mini tablet didn’t offer much in the way of compelling differentiation. Some reports suggest the Surface mini is back in the mix and could launch later this summer, while others state that tablet has been shelved indefinitely. Whatever the case may be, it looks like Microsoft has another new Surface tablet in store for us this fall. According to a new report on Monday from Digitimes that cites unnamed Taiwan-based sources in Microsoft’s supply chain, a new Surface will enter volume production in September ahead of an October debut. Few details are

Cynk shares fall below $1; traders see further decline

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:24
By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cynk Technologies, which was briefly worth billions of dollars last month, saw its shares fall below $1 on Monday, and traders say it is only a matter of time before the stock is once again worth next-to-nothing. Most traders interviewed said the stock is likely to keep falling until it is once again worth no more than a few cents. In addition, short sellers who had borrowed the stock were also buying it to close out positions, also elevating the price a bit, traders said. A trader at Canaccord, who would not identify himself, said any volume was attributable to short covering -- traders who are buying because they had borrowed stock to sell it on the expectation of a price drop.

Apple wants to make it even easier for you to buy an iPhone 6 in its retail stores

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:18

Apple will reportedly offer potential iPhone buyers a new way of acquiring iPhones in its retail stores, in addition to on-contract, prepaid and full price purchases, 9to5Mac has learned. The company will apparently test drive iPhone purchases via carriers’ early upgrade programs, including AT&T Next, T-Mobile Jump and Verizon Edge. It’s not known whether Sprint’s One Up plan will also be supported. FROM EARLIER: 5.5-inch iPhone 6 and new iPads reportedly heading to production in September Following the test phase, the new iPhone purchase option could be rolled out to all Apple retail stores in the U.S., likely in time for the iPhone 6 launch, which is expected to be the biggest iPhone launch in Apple’s history. With either AT&T’s, T-Mobile’s

Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:18

NEW YORK (AP) — Zillow and Trulia, two companies that changed the way people shop for homes, are combining.

Stackable cells allow you to sleep on top of your friends at music festivals

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:16

There may be a much more comfortable and stylish way to stay the night next time you head to a big music festival. Two Belgian design firms have created an efficient new type of campsite that stacks tiny sleeping pods together like a honeycomb.

With PlayStation network, Sony goes back to the future in search of revival

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:03

By Reiji Murai TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sony Corp is hammering out plans to rise from the ashes of nearly $10 billion lost in six years by building a future around its last consumer electronics blockbuster - the PlayStation. Sony plans to reposition the video console warhorse as a hub for a network of streamed services, according to three senior officials, offering social media, movies and music as well as games. The plans to coax more revenue from the PlayStation's network of users are being developed by a new breed of managers brought in by Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai. Analysts say if Sony gets it right, the game and network business could earn about $1 billion in the fiscal year from April 2016 - making it the most profitable part of the company bar a financial services unit.

Leaked footage shows Halo: The Master Chief Collection in action

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:48

Although Halo: The Master Chief Collection comprises four games we’ve already played, 343 Industries still hasn’t shown off much in the way of gameplay footage since announcing the project at E3 this year. That changed this week when the team took the stage at Comic-Con to reveal not only the gorgeous new cinematics that would be appearing in Halo 2, but also the graphical differences between Halo 2 remastered on the Xbox One and the original game, which you can swap between with a single button press. During the Comic-Con presentation, The Spawn Point Blog managed to secretly capture both the footage you see above as well as a rundown of the collection’s immense multiplayer offering, featuring over 100 maps from all four Halo

Exclusive: Flash sale site Rue La La explores sale; Gilt interested - sources

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:36
Online flash sale site Rue La La, which counts eBay as an investor, is exploring a sale that could value the company at around $400 million, people familiar with the matter said on Monday. Boston-based Rue La La, which has attracted interest from online shopping site Gilt Groupe, has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to advise a potential sale, the people said. Representatives for Rue La La and Gilt Groupe did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Founded in 2008, Rue La La was acquired for $350 million by e-commence and marketing services company GSI Commerce, which was bought three years later by eBay.

Hack-Proof Drones? This Could Make It Happen

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:29
Drones are an integral part of modern warfare, which is just one of many reasons why it would be unusually bad if malefactors were able to hack them. (See the recently finished season of 24.) seL4, an ironclad drone programming protocol, is about to go open-source, allowing both governments and enthusiasts to keep their autonomous flying machines secure.

Video: Cortana trolls Siri in new TV commercial

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:24

Microsoft has a new TV commercial for its Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana assistant in which it’s taking new shots at one of its biggest competitors, Apple’s voice-based assistant Siri. The new ad, titled “Happy Anniversary,” shows a smartphone user issuing certain commands to an iPhone 5s (Siri) and a Lumia 635 (Cortana), with only the latter able to recognize them and deliver appropriate responses. FROM EARLIER: How Microsoft plans to give Cortana more brain power than anything Siri can muster Microsoft is basically advertising Cortana’s context-aware algorithm, which will let a Windows Phone user set up a reminder based on a certain type of command that uses various elements, including location and/or the user’s relationship with a person. Interestingly, while Google’s Google Now assistant can offer plenty

FAA wants Southwest Airlines to pay $12 million penalty for sloppy maintenance

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:21

The FAA is seeking a $12 million fine against Southern Airlines after finding that the Dallas-based airline did a lackluster job overseeing repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Back in 2006, Southwest carried out "extreme makeover" alterations that were intended to "eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners," the FAA says.

Civil Rights Clash: Transhumanists Prepare to Challenge an Anti-Cryonics Law in Canada

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:12
British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada that is home to over 4 million people, has a law on the books that prohibits the marketing or sale of services for cryonics. You can still deep-freeze people after they die in the province, but as you might guess, without advertising, it makes it nearly impossible to find willing funeral...

From Ursula to Jon Snow: our favorite cosplay of Comic-Con 2014

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:03

Tens of thousands of people descend on San Diego for Comic-Con each year, making it the perfect place for cosplayers to show off some of their best outfits. It’s hard not to be almost-constantly wowed by the costume work while walking around the convention floor, but some outfits stood well above the rest in terms of accuracy, attention to detail, or just sheer awesomeness.

Is the world’s best Android phone about to become the world’s best Windows Phone too?

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:01

The HTC One (M8) is definitely a top contender for the title of being 2014’s best Android phone and now it might become 2014’s best Windows Phone as well. Tom Warren’s sources claim that HTC is planning to make a Windows Phone version of the One (M8) that will supposedly release later this year.  PhoneArena chimes in to add that HTC’s flagship Windows Phone may be called the HTC One (W8) and will even include the same Duo Camera and BoomSound speakers found in the Android version. PhoneArena’s sources say that the Windows Phone version of the One (M8) will likely release on Verizon by the end of September. While it may seem strange that HTC would release the exact