Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


Google Fiber prices for Austin detailed

Google Fiber prices for Austin detailed

In October, Google revealed that Austin, Texas will be getting its Fiber offering next month, and following that up has come a preview of the pricing residents will be paying once it arrives. In the previews we see the expected free basic Internet option, as well as the anticipated Gigabit plan, which will run subscribers $70 per month. The company will also be offering an Internet + TV service option through Fiber, which will be priced a bit higher at $130 monthly.

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FAA tipped to require pilot license for commercial drone use

FAA tipped to require pilot license for commercial drone use

The issue of commercial drone usage is (slowly) nearing an end, and that end could come in the form of fairly severe restrictions. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the Federal Aviation Administration will soon propose regulations on commercial drone usage -- including for small and ultra-light drones -- by the end of the year, and among the regulations will be a requirement that operators have a license and undergo pilot certification training, which likely includes learning to pilot manned aircraft.

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Counter-Strike pro players banned for cheating

Counter-Strike pro players banned for cheating

The world of professional gaming is in a bit of an upheaval, with multiple professional Counter-Strike players finding themselves banned after being discovered cheating. The spat is said to have started when the E-Sports Entertainment Association's tools banned Simon "smn" Beck for cheating. This caught the attention of Valve, which then received details from the ESEA and used that to upgrade its own anti-cheat tools. That, then, resulted in multiple players being caught, including professionals players.

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Blood Sport game controller collects blood when you’re hit

Blood Sport game controller collects blood when you’re hit

A Kickstarter campaign for "Blood Sport" has been suspended, according to its page. The reasons for the suspension aren't yet known, but the product itself has caught quite a bit of attention: a game controller that draws blood from gamers when they're hit during gameplay. This is achieved using a regular blood collection machine wired to a game controller so that every time the controller rumbles the blood collection machine briefly turns on. The reason for such a device, according to the makers, is for blood donation events.

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Sony Pictures network hacked, data held for ransom

Sony Pictures network hacked, data held for ransom

Sony Pictures has been hacked, it is being reported, with the company's computer network in New York and other unspecified locations around the globe being taken over by some group referring to itself as "#GOP". The company has reportedly shut down all of its computers in Los Angeles as a precaution, and is investigating the matter. In the course of things, a screenshot of the hack has been made public by an anonymous source, and we have it after the jump.

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Toyota recalls 400k Lexus cars over fire hazard

Toyota recalls 400k Lexus cars over fire hazard

Toyota has recalled over 400,000 Lexus cars over a potential fire hazard, reports Bloomberg. The fires could start as a result of potential fuel leaks, a problem that Toyota will fix under the recall. The news joins a larger mass recall that has swept up several auto makers that use air bag components from Takata Corp. Under that recall, which the NHTSA has demanded become nationwide after first launching as smaller regional recalls, is potentially fatal.

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Flickr Wall Art now lets you print others users’ photos

Flickr Wall Art now lets you print others users’ photos

Flickr's Wall Art printing service, first announced in October, has expanded quickly in its short time, growing from only allowing U.S. users to print their own photographs to including all users regardless of where they're located. Now the photo hosting service has announced its latest update for Wall Art, one that some users had hoped would come about: the ability to print (nearly) any photo available on the site, no longer limiting users to their own library of content.

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Lyft restricts access to user data as Uber debacle continues

Lyft restricts access to user data as Uber debacle continues

Uber has had a rough time lately, and for good reason. The company has been swept up in widespread outcry against its executive Emil Michael's comments about digging up dirt on journalists, as well as concerns over its "God View" that grants access to user data and, more importantly, has been reportedly misused in at least one instance. In the midst of all this, Uber posted a statement regarding its privacy policy this past week, something that caught the attention of Senator Al Franken. Also paying attention are the company's competitors.

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BitTorrent Bleep gets basic offline messaging

BitTorrent Bleep gets basic offline messaging

BitTorrent's secure work-in-progress messaging service Bleep has taken its first step toward offline messaging, the company has announced. Formerly known as BitTorrent Chat, Bleep is a peer-to-peer messaging app that promises to keep one's messages safe from prying eyes, something that in itself made offering offline messaging problematic. Though that issue hasn't been fully resolved, BitTorrent has taken a "basic" step toward offering it by allowing users to send offline messages...with one catch.

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Aura Christmas bulbs offer wireless decorative lights

Aura Christmas bulbs offer wireless decorative lights

For some, decorating the Christmas tree means first untangling the mess of last year's light strands. As with many things, however, that will soon be a tradition of the past, and to help usher in our new wireless reality comes Aura, a Christmas tree decoration with an integrated LED light. Unlike similar products, each bulb is wirelessly powered using a ring that wraps around (or beneath) the tree, eliminating the risk of fires, and controlled using a smartphone via a related mobile app.

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