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From an eclipse to an interstellar visitor: Our 5 favorite space moments of 2017

From an interstellar asteroid to rocket landings, it's been a good year in space.

'Black Mirror' Season 4 isn't f*cking around

'U.S.S. Callister' starts the season off with a big bang.

A Steve Jobs Android phone? Oh please don't

Commentary: Two Italian fashion entrepreneurs say they've secured the rights to the "Steve Jobs" trademark worldwide.

Is this the future? Dutch plan vast windfarm island in North Sea

Advanced plans by Dutch power grid aims to build power hub possibly at Dogger Bank whose scale would dwarf current offshore sites

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Top News
1
Donald Trump wants U.S. Postal Service to charge Amazon ‘much more’

(Reuters) – President Donald Trump called on the U.S. Postal Service on Friday to charge “much more” to ship packages for Amazon, picking another fight with an online retail giant he has criticized in the past.

2
A kidnapped crypto executive was reportedly released after paying a $1 million bitcoin ransom

The CEO of a UK-registered cryptocurrency exchange Exmo Finance has reportedly been released from the custody of his kidnappers after a $1 million bitcoin ransom payment, according to a report from the Financial Times.

3
The first supermoon of 2018 will appear on New Year's Day — and it's more special than usual

This event is made a bit more special by the fact that this supermoon is one of three occurring in a row. The first appeared on December 3, this one is on January 1, and we'll see the third on January 31.

4
Amazon 'Digital Day' to Offer Deals on Apps, Games, Comics

On Dec. 29, expect savings of up to 80 percent on more than 5,000 apps, games, movies, eBooks, and other digital goodies.

5
Short fiction from CNET: Time in a Bottle, Part 3

But it was for someone else; it had to be. Studying thousands of photographs and videos, visiting the location dozens of times, noting every variable of sensation, every imperfection and aberration, she at last moved to the former warehouse of a long-absent garden sprayer company in a small Minnesota town and disappeared into this most leviathan of projects. Even with 16 machines, 15 associate re-creators and 21 assembly assistants, it took 13 months to fabricate and assemble the countless pieces, including every scratched piece of furniture, every stained mug and chipped bowl, every yellowed book and folded magazine, every ash-streaked brick in the fireplace. It was here that Meg realized that the true power of bespoke fabrication was in its imperfections, and these were the features that her customers had always, from the beginning, most fervently and emotionally responded to. Everything is born perfect and anonymous, she told the client. Our flaws give us our names. Here are yours, she said, and opened the door to a house that the client hadn't experienced in over 50 years.

6
Macworld on Twitter

A battery is never a lifetime part of any appliance that need a battery. Samething for a watch, a flashlight, a portable computer, a wireless mouse or keyboard and surely a phone. So it’s foreseeable to have to change the iPhone’s battery if you want to keep it more than 2 years.

7
The 100 Most Popular io9 Posts of 2017

Another year is over, and we’re all one step closer to the heat death of the universe. Whether that bums you out or you find it strangely comforting, you’re not going to find a more pleasant look back at 2017 than this collection of io9's most-read posts from the last year. Some of them even aren’t about Star Wars , Marvel movies, or Game of Thrones !

8
Samsung and LG say they don’t slow phones with older batteries like Apple

Samsung and LG’s responses come a day after The Verge reported statements from HTC and Motorola , with both companies saying they did not throttle their phones’ performance as batteries age. Taken together, the statements make it clear that Apple’s battery management practices aren’t standard industry behavior. Whether that’s because other phones don’t need this kind of performance adjustment or that’s because other companies didn’t think to do this is something we can’t say, but the broad frustration and confusion over the issue suggests Apple went too far.

9
2017’s biggest cybersecurity facepalms

WannaCry demanded $300 in Bitcoin from each victim and among those included were the UK's National Health Service (NHS). The ransomworm was stopped in its tracks by the registration of a single domain that behaved like a killswitch. The creators apparently neglected to secure their own self destruct button.

10
This guy is the face of the bitcoin bubble

As the price of bitcoin has soared in recent months, Altucher's face has begun to pop up all over the internet to promote his get-rich-quick-off-bitcoin plan. His likeness is now so common around the internet that people are starting to notice him. Banner ads, YouTube ads, paid search results — he's become the "bitcoin ad guy."

11
How data scientists can improve their careers in 2018

Conversely, a number of data scientists entered the profession from the artificial intelligence and/or advanced mathematics world—it seemed to be a logical progression. These professionals felt they had the hard part figured out, and now it was only a matter of learning about databases. The reality is becoming a data professional is not as easy as it looks. So, when faced with the frustrations of long-running queries and outer joins gone wild, most data scientists revert back to their comfort zone of Bayesian data analysis and stochastic calculus. If this is you, take the leap into the data world and make a commitment to learn about data munging (it's a technical term)—the good, the bad, and the ugly. It's frustrating at times, but it's very rewarding when mastered.

12
The cost of bitcoin payments is skyrocketing because the network is totally overloaded

But the rise in bitcoin's value and the jump in transaction fees aren't as closely linked as they may sound. The price of bitcoin doesn't have a direct impact on transaction fees. It's not like miners are charging more or bitcoin users are having to pay higher fees just because bitcoin is worth more.

13 Techmeme on Twitter

AT&T says all 50 states will participate in FirstNet wireless broadband network for emergency responders, funded with $6.5B over 5 years by federal government ( @anjaliathavaley / Reuters) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-at-t-network/att-says-all-u-s-states-will-use-its-public-safety-netwowrk-idUSKBN1EN1DZ … http://www.techmeme.com/171229/p5#a171229p5 …

14
McAfee founder tweets 'hack' of his account

McAfee's claims come after he announced in April that he intends to build the "world's first truly private smartphone," which he says will be the "most hack-proof smartphone" ever made. Other security experts jumped on the chance to make fun of him, including Marcus Hutchins (better known as MalwareTech), the 23-year-old who briefly slowed the WannaCry attack this year.

15
Forever 21: Yes, hackers breached our payment system

A breach at Forever 21 left customer payment card information exposed to hackers, the retailer confirmed Thursday. The company didn't specify how many customers had information stolen, but said various point of sales terminals were affected between April 3 and November 18, 2017. Hackers collected credit card numbers, expiration dates, verification codes and sometimes cardholder names.

16
The 7 best perks of your new Amazon Prime subscription

Like I said, these are the best-known -- and arguably best -- reasons to have an Amazon Prime subscription. The shipping option will change the way you shop, in part because there's no minimum order; if you need a pack of AAA batteries, you order a pack of AAA batteries. Bam: They show up two days later.

17
Threat modeling: A critical, yet underused, element of cybersecurity risk analysis

"A way of narrowly thinking about the sorts of protection you want for your data. It's impossible to protect against every kind of trick or attacker, so you should concentrate on which people might want your data, what they might want from it, and how they might get it. Coming up with a set of possible attacks you plan to protect against is called threat modeling. Once you have a threat model, you can conduct a risk analysis."

18
I ate Jeff Bezos' mythical 'breakfast octopus' — and I now feel like I have a better understanding of the iconic Amazon CEO

I would have licked the plate clean if it had not breached impropriety. Given what I knew about Bezos and what I now knew about Lola, I wouldn't be shocked if Bezos anticipated Rutledge's question about why he had bought Woot and either ordered the octopus as an elaborate joke or had prepared the quip beforehand.

19
In 2017, the FCC made life easier for your internet provider

The rollback earlier this month of the rules governing net neutrality, or the principle that all internet traffic should be treated fairly, was the most high-profile step taken by the FCC. But Pai also made sweeping changes to the Lifeline program, which subsidizes the cost of phone and broadband service for millions of poor and disabled people, and he's made it easier for big media companies to merge by loosening many of the rules that bar such massive consolidation.

20
The best products of 2017

Lenovo already had an excellent two-in-one with the Yoga 910, but by addressing its few weaknesses and adding new eighth-gen Intel Core i-series processors, the Yoga 920 instantly became the best hybrid we tested in 2017.

21
The top tech headlines of 2017 in videos

TechRepublic covered these stories in a variety of different ways, but there's no denying how popular video became with our readers as a means of understanding these stories. To help recap the year, here are the videos we created to address some of the top tech headlines of 2017.

22
Nintendo’s Switch Brings Some Magic Back

Mr. Kazdal’s changing view on Nintendo is widely shared. This time last year, the company that made Mario and Donkey Kong household names seemed to have lost both its audience and its enchanted touch. Players were moving elsewhere. Losses were piling up.

23
You can now buy an iMac Pro from your local Apple Store | Cult of Mac

In addition, you get four Thunderbolt 3 ports for powering two 5K displays or four 4K displays at once, a 10-gigabit Ethernet port, four USB-A 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. A new thermal design additionally means the iMac Pro runs 80 percent cooler than a regular Mac. Meanwhile, a special T2 chip  — which stores encrypted passwords and acts as a hardware encryption engine — brings a welcome security boost.

24
Popular Chrome extension is secretly mining cryptocurrency

Coinhive , the cryptojacking software that's used in the Archive Poster extension, is freely available to download and is advertised as a way to "monetize your business with your users' cpu power". However, websites and software that use it without a clear warning to users are usually frowned upon at the very least.

25
The Verge 2017 tech report card: SpaceX

Of course, Musk has always talked a big game — and many like to argue that the CEO always does what he says he will do eventually, if not always on schedule. So it’s still unclear if or when these grandiose plans will become reality. However, this was the year that many of SpaceX’s oldest promises finally panned out, and the company surpassed expectations of its biggest naysayers. That means expectations for the company are higher than ever going into next year, and SpaceX will have a high bar to clear if it wants to beat the success of 2017. The company may have started this year wounded, but it certainly finished with a roar.

26
The 10 best games of 2017

2016 brought us amazing titles and new hardware like the PlayStation 4 Pro, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation VR, but 2017, somehow, was even better. Indie titles like Cuphead proved creativity is alive and well, while titles we expected to be good, like Destiny 2, somehow still managed to exceed expectations. Sprinkle in the most powerful console to date, the Xbox One X, and you’ll see why 2017 defied all expectations.

27
Apple faces over a dozen lawsuits. Here's why it might win them all

Primarily, the plaintiffs will have to demonstrate that a significant number of consumers bought new phones purely because of the slowed speed. This will be logistically difficult to prove — they'll need to deduce exactly how much slowdown in the phones in question was caused by Apple's features (rather than other factors), and prove it was that specific performance decrease that drove customers to replace their devices.

28
5 ways to dispose of your Christmas tree

Finally, you can put parts of your Christmas tree to good use. You can cut discs from the tree to make a centerpiece for your dining room table or coasters for the living room. You can make potpourri with the needles (if they're not too dry). Or have the tree chunked and use it as mulch around your yard.

29
Bitcoin startup NiceHash has a new CEO just weeks after hackers stole $63 million from the company

As part of his resignation, Kobal agreed to sell his 45% stake in the company, according to Delo. Part of that stake will be acquired by an outside minority investor, while the rest will be purchased by NiceHash's majority owner, H-Bit, which is owned by Škorjanc's father, Martin Škorjanc.

30
10 New Control Center Features in iOS 11

This control adds a new functionality to iOS that we’ve been waiting for. Tap on the Screen Recording control and you’ll start recording the screen. Once you’re done, tap on the blue bar on the top and confirm from the popup to stop. The video file will be saved in Videos album in Photos app. If you 3D Touch the Screen Recording controls, you get the option to disable pics.

31
A hidden message about Obama golfing was deleted from Trump's website after people noticed

As The Post's Christopher Ingraham wrote on Twitter, it's unclear whether the error message was ever shown. The quip was intended to replace a basic "page not found" message, but there seemed to be errors in the code.

32
Six tech topics for software engineers to watch in 2018

I've never been a huge supporter of using non-native tools for development work. I firmly believe that if you're developing for iOS, you should do that in Xcode with Swift/Objective-C; if you're developing for Android, you should use Android Studio and Java/Kotlin; and if you're developing for Windows, you should use Visual Studio. However, I think Xamarin is an interesting technology that could benefit a lot of developers and is one of the reasons that I'm investing time in learning it in 2018. I also plan to learn C# , which can be used across other platforms besides Xamarin.

33
USA TODAY Tech on Twitter

iPhone maintains reign as top tech best-selling product in 2017 https://usat.ly/2DwEkn9  @Apple #iPhone pic.twitter.com/jVQRfTXrHd

34
Trump accuses Amazon of taking massive subsidies from the 'Post Office' — and it sets an ominous precedent for HQ2

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that the US Postal Service was undercharging Amazon and that it was making the "Post Office dumber and poorer."

35
Android will keep dominating iOS (despite iPhone X) and 6 other tech predictions for 2018

2018 promises to be yet another exciting year in consumer electronics. From surprisingly impressive Android phones to everything for the smart home, we can expect important advances in every industry where consumer electronics play a role. Of course, these days that’s just about every industry there is, as technology continues to forge a path into every area of our lives.

36
How I Use Weekends And Mondays To Stay Productive (And Sane) All Week

I no longer feel frustrated when I’m faced with situations that used to drive me crazy. A little more experience certainly helps, but my Monday and weekend rituals have been my biggest aids in handling the challenges that all founders and business owners face. After all, once the novelty of being an entrepreneur wears off, inspiration fades. Once that happens, each week can quickly become a grind. In my experience, the only real solution is to fall back on systems and habits that maintain your focus and clarity. They’re the things that will help your business succeed–plus keep you stay sane and happy in the process.

37
Everything Amazon’s Alexa learned to do in 2017

In the United Kingdom, SSML can be used to train an Alexa skill to say “blimey” or “Bob’s your uncle,” while skills can be trained to say “bada bing” or “boom” in the United States. SSML can also be used to make Alexa whisper or change her tone of voice, along with many other effects. Siri and Google Assistant also gained more natural or expressive voices this year.

38
Penn Jillette Considers Batman the 'Ultimate American Magician'

Everyone loves to make the same joke about how Bruce Wayne’s bank account makes him one of the strongest Justice Leaguers, but the fact of the matter is, he’s just a man in a bat suit who has no actual superpowers. Magician Penn Jillette knows this, but he still believes there’s something more to Batman.

39
The legendary creator of 'Super Mario' explains why he tries not to hire gamers to work at Nintendo

The Times profile makes clear Miyamoto and Nintendo see this non-traditional approach as a key element in the company's success, and experimentation as an important part of what's kept Nintendo relevant for 30-plus years. Even recent Nintendo bestsellers such as "Super Mario Odyssey" and "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" have been lauded for being examples of the company's willingness to take risks with even its most important franchises.

40
NSW agencies struggle with security basics | ZDNet

During the year, the office said the NSW government agencies it looked at experienced 8,503 cyber attacks, a significant absolute increase on the 1,558 attacks reported last year and 603 attacks a year prior. However, there are a pair of caveats: Two agencies reported 7000-odd attacks between them; and there is no common definition of "cyber attack" within the agencies.

41
Hey Hollywood, Chance the Rapper's got an film idea for you

"Also I got an idea just like this but for like... a racist police officer," he explained. "Because I believe if we can humanize Blacks through orcs in "Bright"we can humanize just about anyone. Im done with this app for the day. But most likely not."

42
Proposed State Laws Would Deny Contracts to Net Neutrality Violators

The cliché of the GOP being the party of states’ rights has been tired for some time: Republicans have worked to hamper the ability of states trying to stem the flow of guns crossing their borders; they’ve floated the idea of preventing states from passing stricter-than-federal rules against polluters; and more recently, they’ve threatened to suspend funds to cities combative of border actions that see federal agents snatching up migrant children outside schools.

43
The Best 'How I Work' Interviews of 2017

This year on How I Work , we learned about the work habits of comedians, writers, developers, and a haunted house designer. Here are the best interviews of the year, and some of their greatest quotes.

44
Where Do the CW's Supervillains Poop? An Investigation

Everybody poops. I don’t care how rarely you hydrate. You poop. It is a fundamental aspect of human biology. And since the aliens we’ve seen in the Arrowverse seem to consume matter, we can assume they poop too. In fact, the only people on Earth who do not appear to poop are the CW set designers responsible for the extrajudicial prisons on Arrow , Supergirl , and The Flash .

45
Netflix Freaks Out Users with Creepy Black Mirror Marketing Stunt

Users of Turkey’s equivalent to Reddit received an unsettling message late last night. Across the site, users began complaining that they’d received a mysterious DM from an account named “iamwaldo” that left many people feeling paranoid and anxious. It appears that was the intention of the message, which is actually a viral marketing ploy to promote the new season of Black Mirror .

46
The weird and wild ways Microsoft's first employees spent the millions they made

Charles Simonyi oversaw the creation of Microsoft Office and was at the company until 2002. Now he's a space-obsessed billionaire who took two trips to the International Space Station. And in 2006, Simonyi told Forbes that he spent 6 months of the year on "Skat," his custom-built 233-foot yacht.

47
How I Became A Morning Person, Read More Books, And Learned A Language In A Year

Another habit I want to focus on this year is exercising more regularly. I’ve noticed that once I put on my exercise clothes, it’s pretty much certain that I’ll go outside for a run, but until those clothes are on, it’s a lot easier to think of excuses for not going out. Getting out my exercise clothes the night before and putting them on quickly in the morning before I can think of excuses tends to help me get out the door faster. This is something I plan to do more regularly when I’m focusing on building this habit.

48
All of io9's 2017 Year in Review Lists in One Convenient Location

We here at io9 absorbed a lot of pop culture this year. A lot . We thought long and hard about what was the best, and what was the worst, and painstakingly put together several posts so our fine readers could tell us how right (or wrong) we were. Here now, for your convenience, are all of them in one handy place.

49
Batterygate: Apple betrayed its customers and now it faces a world of hurt | ZDNet

Even if that is all true, and the company has only been engaged in the practice of adjusting the processor clock to compensate for degrading battery life for a year or so, it now becomes very hard to trust the company to do anything above board. Those shenanigans are now part and parcel of being an Apple customer.

50
Samsung and LG say they don't slow down older phones, either

Samsung was more chatty, saying, “Product quality has been and will always be Samsung Mobile's top priority. We ensure extended battery life of Samsung mobile devices through multi-layer safety measures, which include software algorithms that govern the battery charging current and charging duration. We do not reduce CPU performance through software updates over the lifecycles of the phone.”

51 Niagara Falls is a frigid, beautiful wonderland right now
52 25 high-paying jobs for shy people
53 Well the weather in Chicago is frightful, but these sad tweets are so delightful
54 There's a growing #resistance to cryptocurrency, and is anyone surprised?
55 To see 'Hamilton' for free, head to ... PornHub
56 These startups use AI to “optimize” marketing messages
57 Daredevil Inventor Upgrades an Electric Mobility Scooter to Accelerate Like a Tesla
58 States May Have to Wait Nine Months for Federal Help Securing Election Systems
59 MIT Tech Review on Twitter
60 Digital Trends on Twitter
61 7 potential bidders, a call to Amazon, and an ultimatum: How the Whole Foods deal went down
62 CRYPTO INSIDER: Crypto comes storming back
63 A former Stanford dean reveals 7 ways parents can raise successful kids
64 Stop What You're Doing and Watch Black Mirror's 'USS Callister'
65 Apple’s flagship Chicago retail store wasn’t designed to handle snow
66 This Architectural Kaleidoscope Is Melting My Brain, But Not in a Fun Way
67 The 20 best business schools in America
68 How do I evolve my skills for the cloud era? | ZDNet
69 The internationally-popular Huawei Mate 10 could gain fans in the US with these four features
70 Mashable on Twitter
71 The 1 key thing star founders and CEOs say catapulted their startups into major success
72 Fourth Grade Band Class Is Way Better With Vocoders, Drum Machines, and Daft Punk
73 Digital Trends on Twitter
74 Samsung and LG don't throttle their phones like Apple does | Cult of Mac
75 Another day, another Apple lawsuit (this time, from Texas)
76 Lifehacker on Twitter
77 Here's when all your favorite new phones might be coming out in 2018
78 Why swallowable robots could be the future of healthcare | ZDNet
79 Five tech jobs that AI and automation will make radically more efficient | ZDNet
80 Here's exactly how your iPhone gets slower when you have an old battery
81 Scientists Observe Strange Double Whirlpool Effect in Ocean for First Time
82 The Best Productivity Apps of 2018
83 How the Apple Store in Chicago became a dangerous place this winter
84 Chrome OS, Not Android, Is Probably the Future of Google Tablets
85 8 resolutions to make tech work for you in 2018
86 Ripple Overtakes Ethereum to Become No. 2 Crypto Coin
87 USA TODAY Tech on Twitter
88 Kodi Lands on the Xbox One, Making It the Ultimate Set-Top Box
89 Here's What Would Make Going to the Movies Worth the Money
90 USA TODAY Tech on Twitter
91 The One Way Your Laptop Is Actually Slower Than a 30-Year-Old Apple IIe
92 Why most data scientists are frauds, according to a data scientist
93 The best science fiction, fantasy, and horror novels of 2017
94 How to give your iPhone 7 a glowing Apple logo
95 The biggest space missions and rocket launches we'll see in 2018
96 5 ways to keep strand lights tangle-free for next year