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December 17, 2014

Uber explores using biometrics and lie detectors to screen drivers

Uber has come under fire for allegedly doing little to protect passengers from unscrupulous drivers, and it's determined to improve that reputation -- in some cases, using relatively unusual methods. The ridesharing company's recently hired Head of G...


Hangouts for Gmail brings back the status update

Back when Google Talk ran Gmail-based chats, a handy custom status window made sure all your colleagues and pals knew what you were up to. When Hangouts took over, the tool fell by the wayside. Well, now it's back. Hangouts in Gmail allows you to del...


Facebook's going after eBay and Craigslist with group-based selling

Facebook likes to experiment with little projects that could, someday, be as popular as Poking and Graph Search. One such project is enabling selected users to sell their unwanted items on the social network, in a move that'll surely strike terror in...


Looking into the future: Samsung Gear VR review

You can finally buy a virtual reality headset and use it in your home. Right now -- today -- that is possible. It doesn't cost $10,000 and it doesn't come with caveats like, "This is made for developers." Samsung is officially the first to market wit...


What to get when you want a smarter kitchen

It's that time of year again! You know, the one when you have to hand over your hard-earned cash or dole out the credit card digits to get the loved ones in your life a little something celebratory. Lucky you, we've got a slew of great recommendation...


Navy drone swims like a shark to spy on foes

It's hard to covertly gather intelligence on the open seas; conventional drones and submarines make it rather obvious that something's up. The US Navy might just have a stealthier option with its experimental GhostSwimmer drone, which recently finish...


Sony Pictures cancels 'The Interview' theatrical release (update)

Threats posted by the people behind the unprecedented hacking of Sony Pictures appear to have had the desired effect. The Wall Street Journal and The Hollywood Reporter both state, based on anonymous sources, that the largest movie chains will not de...


BlackBerry's Classic throwback isn't just a gimmick

BlackBerry's "Classic" phone is a curious bit of fan-service, a seemingly conciliatory blend of old and new designed to appeal to Waterloo's die-hards. It might seem a little odd that the company would choose to go all retro on us in 2014, but there'...


Hulu's former chief shows how he'll take on YouTube

If you've been wondering exactly how former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar would take on internet video heavyweights like YouTube, you now have your answer. Kilar's startup, Vessel, has both opened the doors to video producers and revealed just how you'll use ...


Facebook's iPad app now fits in better with your tablet habits

If you use your iPad primarily for reading news and playing games, you're certainly not alone. Facebook definitely realizes that, which is why the social network has updated its iPad app with a new right-hand column (which only appears in landscape m...


DARPA-funded mind-controlled robotic arm now works a lot better

At Expand NY in November, DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar talked about the erm, friendlier projects the agency is funding, including a mind-controlled robotic arm tested by Pittsburgh native Jan Scheuermann. Her test run has recently ended, but the Un...


Netflix comes to Dish's TV set-top boxes

Not all conventional TV providers are at odds with Netflix. Dish just announced that its second-generation Hopper DVRs (and eventually Joeys) are getting an integrated Netflix app starting today. Yes, you can now jump from satellite broadcasts to int...


PS3 and PS4 finally get Plex, and a whole world of streaming (update)

When Plex first arrived on the Xbox One, we figured it would only be a matter of time before the service made its debut on the PlayStation 4. It's taken two months, but finally the company has released an app for Sony's latest console, giving Plex Pa...


BlackBerry's $450 'Classic' phone aims to bridge the past and present

It's been nearly 10 months since the folks in Waterloo announced the throwback BlackBerry Classic, but today's the day the thing officially breaks cover. Hooray? If it wasn't immediately obvious, the "Classic" moniker refers to the fact that the devi...


Snapchat buys eyewear company that lets you record video on the sly

Snapchat quietly bought a company that makes eyewear with Google Glass-like video recording capability, according to hacked Sony emails spotted by Business Insider. Private messages from Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton's inbox revealed a $15 mi...


OnePlus celebrates one year in business with a super-cheap power bank

Exactly one year ago, a little known company by the name of OnePlus arrived on the scene with plans to make "the perfect smartphone." The One certainly lives up to the hype under the hood, but thanks to a flawed invite process, getting your hands on ...


Netflix says offline playback is 'never going to happen'

Ever since Netflix mistakenly said that offline viewing would come to Honeycomb tablets, we've waited (and opined) for the moment when it'd happen. Unfortunately, the streaming company is turning a blind eye to our needs as its head of communications...


To-do list app Todoist now works on Android Wear devices

Calendar notifications are nice, but speaking for, er, other people, not so much if you also forgot to keep your phone nearby. Most of us at least remember to put our watches on, though, and productivity app Todoist now supports Android Wear with loc...


Hulu's new Disney-ABC deal brings 'X-Men' and 'Resurrection'

While Amazon and Netflix take their fight to the awards arena, Hulu is still looking for ways to make its content library stand out. Of course, it has plenty of recently or currently airing TV shows, but these days it's all about the exclusives and t...


When you jump, VERT tells you how high

The majority of fitness wearables concern themselves with walking or running, but what happens if your exercise is more vertical in nature? Step forward VERT, a wearable jump-rate monitor that tells you how fast you can jump, how high you can jump an...


Curiosity detects organic molecules in Martian atmosphere and soil

NASA's Curiosity rover is still going strong on the red planet, observing the atmosphere and analyzing soil samples for the sake of future missions. For instance, the agency has revealed that the rover has sniffed out sudden methane spikes in the atm...


Google brings mood-matching smart playlists to Play Music in the UK

Having millions of tracks available to play can be a blessing when streaming music, but with so much choice, it can often be difficult to find something that matches your mood. Google recognised that some Play Music subscribers could use a hand, so i...


Steam is region-locking PC games to thwart low currency value exploits

Apple isn't the only one making changes to how it deals with the Russian ruble. Valve is taking measures to protect PC game publishers on its Steam platform too, as spotted by NeoGAF's ever-vigilant eyes. The online storefront is region-locking games...


PocketQube kits make it easier for amateurs to build their own satellites

The PocketQube team wants to give even more people access to its relatively affordable 5cm x 5cm x 5cm microsatellites, so it now has ready-to-use kits up for sale on its online store. These kits contain (almost) everything one needs to assemble cube...


Google blocks Gmail add-ons that can spy on your messages

Google isn't satisfied with securing Gmail itself from prying eyes; it's blocking sinister add-ons, too. The email service now supports Content Security Policy, which prevents web extensions from running code that could bypass security or otherwise w...


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