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1
Sen. Al Franken Not Happy With Uber’s Evasive Responses On Privacy

I believe Americans have a fundamental right to privacy, and that right includes the ability to control who is getting your personal location information and who it’s being shared with. I recently pressed Uber to explain the scope, transparency, and enforceability of their privacy policies. While I’m pleased that they replied to my letter, I am concerned about the surprising lack of detail in their response. Quite frankly, they did not answer many of the questions I posed directly to them. Most importantly, it still remains unclear how Uber defines legitimate business purposes for accessing, retaining, and sharing customer data. I will continue pressing for answers to these questions.

2
T-Mobile ‘Data Stash’ Lets You Roll Over Your Unused Data

T-Mobile will soon let customers roll over their unused 4G LTE cellular data from one month to the next, for up to a year.

3
The brave hostages who got caught in Sydney's Monday morning nightmare

The brave 17 men and woman held inside the Lindt Chocolate Café for 16 hours against their will by an armed gunman, who pledged allegiance with Islamic State, were from of all walks of life but now share a common link of being in the wrong place at the wrong time on Monday morning.

4
Marco Polo: Season 1 Review - IGN

Firstly though, I offer this. Marco Polo, about the famed explorer's early years as part of Kublai Khan's court, gets better as it goes along. I fear a lot of preliminary reviews were correct in saying that the show is a drag, because it is for a while. It takes about four or five episodes for the characters surrounding Polo to rise above just being assorted scowling faces and gruff voices in the Khan's service and develop into more rounded characters, and for Polo to slink into the background a bit allowing others to become the focus. So while advance reviews, which would have been based on the six episodes released to the press, may have been correct about the show being a bit of a weighty snoozer, the back half of the season is the best part.

5
At Microsoft, quality seems to be job none

Yes, I know that Microsoft likes to have everything glued together like a kindergarten art project gone berserk, but this is ridiculous. Having been a Unix guy for decades, I’m accustomed to a philosophy of using simple programs and then building applications up from them. What Microsoft was requiring — get the patch, uninstall Office, install the hotfix, and then reinstall Office — makes my skin crawl. To me, it’s just unacceptable, even in beta.

6
LG leaps quantum dot rivals with new TV - CNET

Samsung is widely expected to launch a line of LCD TVs with "quantum dot" technology at CES 2015, but LG has pipped it to the post with the first official announcement.

7
Sony's Hackers Just Made a Terrorist Threat on The Interview

Sony’s hackers have made a new threat to the public directly, in a new release made alongside the group’s “Christmas gift.”

8
Apple's e-book antitrust case has entered appeals as some judges 'appear sympathetic' to its arguments

According to a report published recently by Reuters , as of this week Apple is within the appeals process in the court proceedings and some of the judges apparently appear “sympathetic” towards Apple and its argument. These sentiments, the argument of Apple, is that the moves it had made regarding e-book pricing were “pro-competitive.”

9
Pebble 2.3 For Android Brings Interactive Notifications, Will Work With Android Wear-Ready Apps

Pebble’s upcoming Android software release will introduce support for directly replying to messages and performing other actions right from the watch based on inbound notifications. The 2.3 software update effectively makes Pebble compatible with apps that have built-in support for Android Wear notifications, giving them a way to benefit from the explosion of app development interest in Google’s wearable platform while continuing to chart their own course.

10
Home Maintenance Startup Happy Home Company Is Waiving Fees For Bay Area Residents With Storm Damage

To be clear, The Happy Home Company doesn’t do the repairs for you. Instead, it helps you figure out what’s broken and who you need to talk to, and it makes the booking for you. So the costs fall into two buckets — there’s the money that’s going to the startup itself (basically a $9.99 monthly subscription fee, plus processing fees for the payments), and the money charged by the repair company or handyman that they book. In this case, The Happy Home Company is waiving the fees that it receives — it’s not promising free repairs.

11
'Data stash'? Why T-Mobile doesn't just call it rollover data - CNET

Data Stash, which is available to any new or existing T-Mobile customer who signs up for a phone plan with 3 gigabytes of data or more, allows you to bank any unused data and use it the following month (up to 12 months). It's a modern equivalent to Cingular Wireless' popular rollover program, which let you move excess voice minutes from month to month.

12
These Are Instagram's Five New Filters

“We know that everyone has their favorite filters,” Instagram said in a statement sent to TIME. “We want to keep things simple as we add more, so we’ve added a new ‘Manage’ button at the end of your filter tray. Tap it to re-arrange the order of your filters and hide the ones you rarely use.”

13
Hackers hint at terror attacks, release more data from Sony Pictures

The group responsible for the attack on Sony Pictures, the GOP (Guardians of Peace), has moved away from their normal rhetoric, issuing a thinly veiled threat of terror attacks on Christmas Day, the date when Sony's picture The Interview is set for general release.

14
The Black List 2014 Is Here To Reveal The Year’s Hottest Unproduced Screenplays

It may seem like an ordinary day to most, but today is special for a certain subgroup of Los Angelino. It’s kind of like the day of the Oscar nomination announcements, except most of these movies haven’t even been made yet. That annual round-up of the hottest unproduced screenplays, the Black List , is here for 2014, and reading it is like a catalog of the most interesting film festival that never happened.

15
NBC will begin live streaming — but not so fast, cord cutters

NBC has announced plans to begin live streaming its network shows, but cord cutters won't have access to the new service.

16
T-Mobile Now Lets You Bank Purchased Data For Up To One Year

T-Mobile continues its massive marketing engine of Uncarrier announcements today with version 8.0 of its ongoing “industry-rocking” moves. Despite the ridiculous tenor of the marketing message and absurd software-style sequential releases, the moves genuinely seem to benefit the consumer, and today’s “Data Stash” unveil is no different: T-Mobile customers will be able to retain data they don’t use from their cap each month, and put it towards future use, starting in January.

17
Instagram Updated with Five New Filters and Real-Time Comments

Instagram has received a nice update today with five new photo filters, compatibility with slow motion video, real-time commenting, and more. Learn more about the new features on the Instagram blog .

18
Ex-Sony employees sue, claim company failed to protect data

(Reuters) - Sony Pictures Entertainment has been sued by two self-described former employees who accuse the movie studio of failing to protect Social Security numbers, healthcare records, salaries and other data from computer hackers who attacked it last month.

19
TAG Heuer enlists partners in smartwatch plan and may make acquisitions

LA CHAUX-DE-FONDS, Switzerland (Reuters) - TAG Heuer is pushing ahead with plans for a smartwatch to more directly compete with the likes of the Apple Watch and may make acquisitions to help drive the strategy, its head said on Tuesday.

20
Your Complete Guide To Binge-Watching "Black Mirror" On Netflix

Liam just can’t shake the hunch that his wife is cheating on him. And his Willow Grain, a tiny device implanted behind your ear that records everything you see and allows you to play back, sort, edit, and delete parts of your memory, isn't easing his concerns. Through some Sherlock-ing and brute force, all of Liam’s questions are answered and are too much for him to bear, causing him to painfully extract his own grain.

21
Director Shawn Levy on why he left the Minecraft movie

Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy has left the Minecraft film adaptation, citing creative differences with the game's developer, Mojang. "[Warner Bros.] asked me to develop how might this ever be a story for a movie, because it's a non-narrative game," Levy told the Wall Street Journal . "We came up with an approach that felt good to us, and I discussed it with Mojang ... and they were like, 'That doesn't sound like what we want ... If we're going to see a movie get made, we don't know what we want but that doesn't feel right.'" Levy claims he had four other movies in various stages of pre-production at the time, and that instead of moving forward with the Minecraft film, he opted to pursue those other projects. Despite his choice to walk away, Levy realizes how important the property is to its fans and how much goodwill (not to mention money) is riding on a feature film adaptation of the beloved sandbox game. "I feel like I've let the children of America down," Levy laughed, before pointing out that another director will likely take his place at the helm of Minecraft very soon.

22
Apple defeats iPod antitrust lawsuit

A jury found Apple did not suppress competition in a decade-old antitrust case that was decided on Tuesday. The class-action lawsuit was levied against the company for questionable business practices concerning iPods, according to reports.

23
Mosaic Design Gets Assist From Robotics and Enterprise Software

Artaic is a Boston-based startup that manufactures beautiful mosaic designs similar to those that have been produced throughout history. What’s different is that the company creates its art using technology and robots to produce thousands of patterns. Ted Acworth, Artaic’s founder and CEO, formed the company in 2007 after seeing a need for a faster, more efficient way to build mosaic designs, which historically has been a labor-intensive process.

24
15 Stylish and Creative Gift Ideas

One thing about TNW readers is that as well as being obsessed with technology, many of you are creative and have a great sense of style, too.

25
Gmail gets Content Security Policy support to stop extensions from loading unsafe code

Google says that “most popular (and well-behaved) extensions have already been updated to work with the CSP standard.” If your extension stops working in Gmail because of the newly added CSP support, the company recommends installing the extension’s latest version.

26
Instagram Updated with New Filters and Design

Just when you thought you had enough filters, Instagram goes and adds more along with an updated design and a whole slew of other new and improved features.

27
Review: Best Fitness Trackers to Get You Up Off the Couch

I use a misfit Shine. Has a battery which allows me to wear it 24 hours a day. It does sleep studies and bluetooths into my phone. The batteries lasts about 4 months. and my only complaint is that the replacement battery has to be a top of line lithium watch battery. Anything else and you will a lot less than 4 months. The sleep study works just fine. It doesn't have display but the lights on the circular face let you know what percentage of your goal you have achieved. Its also waterproof. Its supposed to automatically register swimming but that doesn't work for me. It gives me credit for steps which is fine with me. Its over the top convenience is what I most like about it. I highly recommend it.

28
The best mobile games of 2014

MOBAs continued to gain in popularity this year, and Vainglory successfully brought the genre to the smaller screen. It’s an impressive technical achievement; other than a slightly streamlined set of match mechanics, it delivers all the action and intensity of the group battles that you’d expect from this style of game. And just because it’s on mobile doesn’t mean Vainglory escaped the notoriously steep learning curve of its brethren. This is a hard but rewarding game.

29
The top 12 in tech of 2014

The blockbuster tech item of the year, of course, is the iPhone 6 . At 4.7 inches, the smartphone's display is just big enough, while its larger twin sibling, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, is definitely for phablet lovers only. It has a beautiful design, a great camera and easy-to-use features that make Apple's latest offering above almost all else. Putting it over the top is iOS 8, which brings a host of abilities, chief among them Apple Pay, the company's convenient and possibly revolutionary platform for mobile payments. And as other smartphone prices creep up, the iPhone still starts at just $199 (with a contract).

30
The FBI Used the Web's Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users | WIRED

That attack, “ Operation Torpedo ,” was a 2012 sting operation targeting users of three Dark Net child porn sites. Now an attorney for one of the defendants ensnared by the code is challenging the reliability of the hackerware, arguing it may not meet Supreme Court standards for the admission of scientific evidence. “The judge decided that I would be entitled to retain an expert,” says Omaha defense attorney Joseph Gross. “That’s where I am on this—getting a programming expert involved to examine what the government has characterized as a Flash application attack of the Tor network.”

31
Microsoft rivals unite over data row

"We believe that when one government wants to obtain email that is stored in another country, it needs to do so in a manner that respects existing domestic and international laws," wrote Microsoft's Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate affairs, in a blog post .

32 OmniJoin™ Homepage

OmniJoin™ delivers a best-in-class HD-quality meeting experience that combines multi-party video with smoothly synched audio. From the C-suite on down, your employees will be able to meet online to see their colleagues clearly, share and mark-up files, and play video files virtually instantly, all with surprisingly simple desktop controls – and our training and support programs keep the calls to IT at a minimum.

33
BBC Launches Redesigned iPlayer Radio App For iPad

The developers are careful to note that the BBC iPlayer Radio app for iPad is a ‘work-in-progress,’ perhaps still feeling the bruises from those reviews of the earlier version. They promise they ability to save things to listen later in Favourites and add tracks to BBC Playlister  will be added soon.

34
Korean Air Lines faces sanctions over 'nut rage' incident

South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will penalize Korean Air Lines with up to 21 days of flight suspensions, or a $1.3 million fine, after it was reported the airline pressured crew to lie to the government about an incident on a flight earlier this month.

35
Two of the key early investors in Tesla have a new fund

Two early backers of electric car company Tesla — Nancy Pfund and Ira Ehrenpreis — are teaming up to invest a new fund, for which they’ve been in the process of raising $300 million,  according to a SEC filing  as well as sources we’ve spoken with. Dan Primack first reported the filing  in his newsletter last Thursday.

36
Facebook has started automatically enhancing your mobile photos

Photos uploaded on Android phones will start being enhanced by default in the near future, but it sounds like the feature may stop there. Rather than bringing this to the desktop, Facebook seems to be most interested in improving its users' often poorly shot mobile photos. That makes this far less ambitious than what Google+ is doing, but it could still mean a big change for your feed. Nicer looking photos from your friends means a more enjoyable Facebook all around, so it's good news for everyone if Facebook's photo enhancer works.

37
Senator blasts Uber for weak response to spy scandal

Senator blasts Uber for weak response to spy scandal Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) blasted car service company Uber on Monday for a "surprising lack of detail" in their response to his questions about allegedly spying on users. Franken, chairman of the Senate Check out this story on USATODAY.com: http://usat.ly/1AAtKUy

38
Northzone Closes $325M Seventh Fund

Scandinavian VC firm Northzone , which has offices in the Nordics and also London and New York, and includes Spotify, iZettle and Trustpilot among its portfolio companies, has closed its seventh fund — reporting a hard cap at €250 million ($325 million) for the early stage Fund VII.

39
Meet the cutest animals in science in 2014

Scientists aren't immune to the cute, and Nature — the most highly-cited interdisciplinary journal in the world — has finally acknowledged what we all know: biology research can be pretty adorable. Check out the video, above, for the most important cute animals in scientific research in 2014. From the toupee monkeys to male frogs who find mates by showing off their legs, it's been a year of delightful insights into the cutest parts of the animal world.

40
Twitter Debates Whether to Hit Autoplay on Videos and Here's Why

Twitter bought SnappyTV earlier this year,  and its Amplify ad program, which relies heavily on video, is one area where it has a jump on Facebook. Amplify allows Twitter to partner with sports and entertainment brands like the NFL, which share videos against which the brands sell sponsorships. Twitter said 25 campaigns are currently live on Amplify, a peek for the program. Since launching last year, there have been more than 100 Amplify partnerships touching on everything from the Oscars to the National Basketball Association.

41
Why our drone future is for real -- someday - CNET

One startup is even more ambitious than Amazon. Matternet wants to build a vast network of delivery drones, focusing initially on urgent, 5-pound loads to roadless rural areas and congested cities. Using interlinked base stations where drones swap batteries and manage their loads, Matternet claims delivery costs will be just 24 cents for a 6-mile range. In August, Google revealed Project Wing, a delivery service whose drones would hover and spool packages down a line to their destinations, instead of landing.

42
Apple Pay wins over more banks, still seeking retailers

Why this matters: It’s unclear just how successful Apple Pay has been, though it’s still very early days for the new service. Whole Foods, one of Apple Pay’s most vocal partners, said in October that it saw 150,000 Apple Pay transactions in the days following the service’s rollout. While that’s a drop in the bucket of total credit card transaction volume, it’s a sign that people are interested in Apple Pay. Now that Apple has the support of banks and credit card issuers, it needs to prove that Apple Pay is a better option for retailers than their own mobile payment effort —otherwise, even the most devoted Apple Pay fans will run out of places to use it .

43
Jury finds Apple didn’t harm consumers by adding DRM to iTunes

Well iTunes ruined my Windows Media Center. After installing iTunes, every TV channel I tried to watch in Windows Media Center said that the video driver did not support viewing protected content. Even uninstalling iTunes was no help. I ended up having to wipe out my C: drive and restore from a week-old backup. I lost a week’s worth of E-mail and other updates. I should have known better than to trust anything Apple on a PC. And the whole reason I installed it was based on a falsehood. I had read somewhere that Cold Case episodes (with Detective Lilly Rush) were available on iTunes, but that was a lie!

44
Instagram adds five new filters for subtle photo effects - CNET

On top of the five filters, Instagram now offers a perspective tool for adjusting the horizontal and vertical planes of an image, as well as the ability to upload slow motion video. The update will also unlock real-time commenting on photos, so users no longer need to refresh their feed to see new comments.

45
Omega Skywalker: A watch for astronauts - CNET

Since 1965, when the Omega Speedmaster was NASA-certified for space travel, the watchmaker has served as the official timepiece supplier to the final frontier. On July 21, 1969, the Omega Speedmaster was the first watch on the moon. Its history spans over half a century of space travel -- continued in the watch's latest edition, the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 -- predecessor to the Speedmaster Professional X-33.

46
Franken unhappy with Uber's answers on user data

U.S. Sen. Al Franken isn't satisfied with Uber Technologies' response to privacy questions he asked the ride service.

47
Women's basketball recruiter get sanctioned for sharing a Netflix account

National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) involves itself with regulating over a thousand sports teams, organizations and athletes, it's normally a big deal - especially when deal-makers are looking to offer all kinds of incentives for the best young players.

48
McDonalds is running out of fries in Japan

Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? Not necessarily, but a labor dispute on the West Coast of the United States has caused 3,135 Japanese McDonald's  to restrict their sales of french fries . The dispute, between 20,000 dockworkers and the shipping lines that employ them at 29 ports, has lengthened the time it takes to get the required tonnage of frozen fried potatoes to Japan from two to four weeks.

49
Engadget on Twitter

50
WordPress.com: Create a free website or blog

WordPress.com is the easiest way to create a free website or blog. It’s a powerful hosting platform that grows with you.

51 3 rules to spark learning
52 Trinket Everyday Carry Contest
53 Want to innovate? Become a "now-ist"
54 Legendary Mad Magazine Illustrator Jack Davis Calls It Quits at 90 | WIRED
55 EXCLUSIVE: New York Mag's Boy Genius Investor Made It All Up
56 Bill Nye explains evolution using emoji
57 Goal-Tracking And Self-Improvement App Lift Adds Personal Coaching, Raises $1.1M More
58 NASA Rover Finds Active and Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars
59 Console Madness Giveaway: Free PS4, Destiny Ghost Edition, much more
60 The shocking move to criminalize nonviolent protest
61 How BlackBerry blew it: The inside story
62 Good News You May Have Missed in 2014
63 A Scandalous Makeover at Chartres by Martin Filler
64 The TheTechNewsBlog Daily
65 Why You Should Learn Product Management Instead Of Coding
66 Dine with sharks, drink wine in an ancient tree: 6 of Africa's most unusual eateries
67 THE FUTURE OF MOBILE: 2014 [SLIDE DECK]
68 How NASA Stays Beautiful
69 Source Voice-Over Talent With On-Demand Voice.com API
70 Mobile Advertising Is Exploding And Will Grow Much Faster Than All Other Digital Ad Categories
71 China’s Miyabaobei, An Online Store For Baby Products, Scores $60M Series C
72 The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn
73 6 Imaginative Redesigns For The World's Fastest-Growing And Most Unequal Cities
74 Tough truths about plastic pollution
75 Class-action lawsuits against Sony start rolling in
76 Adorable guinea pigs travel in neat, orderly lines at a Japanese zoo
77 From Lycos to Ask Jeeves to Facebook: Tracking the 20 most popular web sites every year since 1996
78 This Is The Best Time To Drink Your Coffee, According To Science
79 In 1985, Steve Jobs predicted the internet would inspire everyone to buy computers
80 As world leaders try to reduce emissions, carbon dioxide levels keep rising
81 First Americans
82 Russians dump rubles for refrigerators as currency tumbles
83 9 jobs robots could replace in 2015
84 Artist gives Hanukkah a pop-culture spin with Dr. Dreidel
85 Abbi and Ilana ogle hunks poolside in new 'Broad City' trailer
86 The Pirate Bay crew reportedly 'couldn't care less' about weeklong outage
87 Uber intros surge pricing during Sydney hostage siege, then backtracks after user outcry
88 The Nintendo controller in 1 hypnotic GIF
89 3D-printed braces help jumpstart Derby the dog's mobility
90 VPS Hosting and HIPAA Hosting by Atlantic.Net
91 Your Year-end Review 2014 #BizChats Twitter Chat
92 WeWork: Now a $5 Billion Co-Working Startup
93 29 Instagrams That Defined the World in 2014
94 How the wind farms of the future could be underwater
95 Good Samaritans pay off strangers' Toys R Us layaway accounts
96 Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible to Use | The New Yorker