Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


China is cracking down on VPN services with ‘upgrade’

China is cracking down on VPN services with ‘upgrade’

China has been cracking down on Internet freedoms lately, having blocked Gmail last month and been pegged for a man-in-the-middle attack against Microsoft's Outlook recently. A new report shows that isn't the end, however, with word surfacing that the Chinese government has now set its sights on VPN services. Some VPN users inside the nation have reported being unable to use their VPN service, and the reason is said to be due to a Great Firewall "upgrade".

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Domus system promises simple home automation

Domus system promises simple home automation

Domus is the latest addition to the growing number of connected home automation systems, and it promises to have a low bar of entry with a $33 starting price. Using Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, users are able to remotely control certain aspects of their home or office, as well as schedule tasks, monitor energy usage, and more. The system is comprised of the iPlug smart outlet adapter, the Domus app, and the iCon unit for WiFi and IR control.

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Walmart VUDU Spark streaming stick details arrive

Walmart VUDU Spark streaming stick details arrive

Google, Amazon, and Roku have all gotten into the streaming stick game, and signs surfaced a couple months ago that Walmart would soon be doing the same in conjunction with its VUDU service. Now the company has put up a page that shows that launch is imminent -- Walmart is touting its new VUDU Spark streaming stick, a small dongle that resembles Roku's streaming stick and functions, more or less, in the same manner. The device should be up for sale any time now.

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General Motors halts select SUV sales; tire recall inbound

General Motors halts select SUV sales; tire recall inbound

General Motors has halted the sales of several thousand SUVs due to an inbound tire recall from Goodyear. The auto maker sent a notice to dealers telling them to stop selling nearly 6300 of its Enclave, Traverse, and Acadia models, all of them of the 2015 model year. For its part, Goodyear is going to recall about 48,500 tires due to the risk of developing small cracks in the tread, and once that happens GM will then proceed with its own official recall.

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Netflix strikes deal with Duplass brothers for 4 movies

Netflix strikes deal with Duplass brothers for 4 movies

Netflix hasn't been bashful about its plans to release movies and otherwise shift the nature of entertainment consumption, and keeping in step with that is a new announcement tacking a couple more movies to the company's production plans. The Duplass brothers have struck a deal with Netflix, and under it they will make four movies that will ultimately be made available on the service. All four will be small budget movies, and as of right now there are no solid dates for when they'll come around.

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Uber suspended a dozen drivers for getting proper registration

Uber suspended a dozen drivers for getting proper registration

Uber has again pulled a business move that has garnered controversy, this time by suspending drivers who elected to follow state law rather than company demands. In California, individuals who drive for hire are required to register their cars as commercial vehicles rather than personal ones. Some drivers complied with that requirement, but were give the boot by Uber, which told the drivers they must switch over to personal registration to get their driving privileges back. At least 12 drivers were suspended.

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Dish Network liable for millions of telemarketing violations, rules court

Dish Network liable for millions of telemarketing violations, rules court

In a recent court ruling, Dish Network was found to be liable for millions of telemarketing violations, including failure to honor Do Not Call requests. The ruling was made by the Central District of Illinois' district court, which says that Dish has "tens of millions" of calls under its belt that weren't made in line with the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule. This is a partial summary judgement victory for the FTC, which had a case filed on its behalf by the Justice Department back in early 2009.

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Jurassic World toys surface ahead of movie

Jurassic World toys surface ahead of movie

After years of hopes, rumors, leaks, and eventual confirmation and subsequent teases, Jurassic World is (finally) upon us, destined to hit theaters early this summer. As with other movies, the film will be ushered in with a litany of toys, the likes of which have surfaced in several screenshots of dino action figures. Standing biggest among the bunch is a massive 18-inch T-Rex, and of lesser note are some smaller dinosaur toys -- one of which appears to be a hybrid.

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Twitter rolls out tweet translation feature

Twitter rolls out tweet translation feature

Twitter has tapped Microsoft's language translation tool to make reading tweets in languages you don't speak a bit easier. The company announced the new translation feature in a tweet yesterday, saying that the service is being provided using Bing Translator. Those who do not want to see the translations have nothing to fear, with Twitter also tossing in the ability to disable translations if desired. We have got all the details on enabling the feature and more after the jump.

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HealthCare.gov makes changes to data sharing following criticism

HealthCare.gov makes changes to data sharing following criticism

On Wednesday, word surfaced through The Associated Press that HealthCare.gov is shuttling some personal data input by users to third-parties like DoubleClick. The information was not tied to one's identity, and was comprised of things like whether one smokes, is pregnant, and where they live. The report was later confirmed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and it led to protests from those concerned about consumer privacy. In response, the administration has made some changes.

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