Author Archives: Brittany A. Roston


Yahoo has made three National Security Letters public

Yahoo has made three National Security Letters public

National Security Letters are a big deal, and that’s because companies face severe restrictions related to them. No company has been able to make the nature of the letters, nor the number or even a narrow range of the number of letters received, public. As consumer fears about privacy invasions led to a fast scramble on tech companies’ parts to be more transparent, certain law changes have come about, and one of them has led to Yahoo disclosing publishing National Security Letters.

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You can now stream the Bob Ross ‘Beauty is Everywhere’ collection on Netflix

You can now stream the Bob Ross ‘Beauty is Everywhere’ collection on Netflix

Nostalgic for Bob Ross’s soothing painting videos? You can now stream the artist’s “Beauty is Everywhere” collection on Netflix. Ross, who passed away in 1995, hosted a show on PBS in the United States called “The Joy of Painting” from 1983 to 1994. Many have fond memories of watching the show, which received a renewed interest when Twitch streamed all 403 episodes of the show back to back last year.

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China’s new food guidelines try to curb nation’s meat consumption

China’s new food guidelines try to curb nation’s meat consumption

It's no secret that eating meat contributes to climate change; environmentalists and more have long urged the world's citizens to reduce the amount of meat they eat, replacing it with food that is more sustainable and easier on the planet. China recently issued revised dietary guidelines that reflect this, and it could lead to a drastic reduction in the nation's emissions related to meat consumption.

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Viber finally has a Windows 10 app (but it’s in beta)

Viber finally has a Windows 10 app (but it’s in beta)

Prefer Viber over WhatsApp? If you’re a Windows 10 user, you can now download a beta Viber app made specifically for the OS. The new app has been built from the ground up, according to Microsoft, and can be used across all your Windows 10 devices; the app is designed with responsive resizing, adjusting as necessary to fit different device displays. The beta app rolled out in the Windows Store this morning.

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IDC expects ‘substantial slowdown’ in phone shipment growth this year

IDC expects ‘substantial slowdown’ in phone shipment growth this year

In 2014, smartphone shipments grew a massive 27.8-percent, and the next year, 2015, smartphone shipments grew by 10.5-percent. The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects that we’ll see a substantial slowdown in shipments this year, with 2016 (possibly) ending up at around only 3.1-percent. According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, this year will probably see about 1.48 billion smartphone shipments, a number that is estimated to climb to 1.84 billion by 2020.

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Google Play uninstall manager points out the apps you never use

Google Play uninstall manager points out the apps you never use

Phones only have so much space, especially if you have a model like the Galaxy S6 that doesn't offer a microSD slot. On the flip side, apps keep getting bigger, so much so that you've probably run into 'insufficient space' issues from time to time. There are ways to free up space, but the quickest is simply uninstalling some other apps, and now Google Play is helping you do that by pointing out which apps you rarely or never use.

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Google Fiber TV Box gets Google Cast support

Google Fiber TV Box gets Google Cast support

Google has announced that its Fiber TV Box is getting Google Cast, the tech that most people are familiar with via Chromecast. Google Cast has already made its way into some smart TVs, among other devices; the inclusion in Google’s own Fiber TV box isn’t at all surprising and certainly welcomed. With it, owners will be able to cast content from their mobile device to their TV without a separate casting dongle.

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Periscope asks viewers to vote trolls out of broadcasts

Periscope asks viewers to vote trolls out of broadcasts

If the Internet has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t even get along when we don’t have to be physically near each other. There’s no shortage of trolls, and that includes on Periscope. The company has announced a new comment moderation system that allows other users to vote on comments (like downvoting) that are trollish or spam, as well as report them for removal if they’re serious enough. A user could be booted from a broadcast if enough people vote against them.

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E. coli fears renewed as ten million pounds of flour recalled

E. coli fears renewed as ten million pounds of flour recalled

A massive ten million pounds of flour have been recalled in the United States, and is the result of a long and ongoing investigation by the Centers for Disease Control to track down the source of an E. Coli outbreak that spanned 20 states. Mind you, there are no known E. coli cases resulting from the recalled flour. Rather, the flour is being recalled out of “an abundance of caution” due to reports from affected individuals that they’d recently baked some items before contracting the illness.

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Minecraft cracks down on brand promos (by banning them)

Minecraft cracks down on brand promos (by banning them)

Minecraft maker Mojang has banned servers and mods that exist only to promote a product that is unrelated to Minecraft itself. In a statement today, Mojang’s Owen Hill said that the existence of such promos “doesn’t feel right, or more importantly, fun.” As such, Mojang has updated its Commercial Usage Guidelines with a new section, doing so while reassuring users that it won’t “affect the usual server and video monetization.”

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NASA unveils new planet-themed stamps for the USPS

NASA unveils new planet-themed stamps for the USPS

The USPS has just launched a new packet of space-themed stamps, and NASA recently showed them off. Rolling out now at your local post office is a new themed stamp pack called “Views of Our Planets,” and they include images of the various planets in our solar system. The images are stunning, colorful, and include Earth. The pack features a total of 16 Forever stamps.

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T-Mobile Tourist Plan gives travelers 3 weeks of service

T-Mobile Tourist Plan gives travelers 3 weeks of service

Planning to visit the U.S. soon and not sure what you're going to do about cellphone service? T-Mobile is hoping you'll subscribe to its newly announced 'Tourist Plan,' a $30/month subscription option that grants travelers access to the carrier's U.S. service for three weeks. During those three weeks, subscribers will get unlimited data, including a couple gigs of high-speed, a bunch of minutes, and more.

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