Must Read Bits & Bytes

Pirate Bay down, National IPC police involved

Pirate Bay down, National IPC police involved

It's happened - The Pirate Bay is down today. Stockholm County Police Intellectual Property Crime National Coordinator Paul Pintér released a statement today about a "crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm." Pintér went on to say that "this is in connection with violations of copyright law." The crackdown coincided with the first loss of signal in several months for piracy and filesharing website The Pirate Bay. This site is down with its forum site, Suprbay.org as well as Bayimg and Pastebay. Several other torrent-friendly sites like Torrage, Istole tracker, EXTV, and Zoink are also down.

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Facebook Search Update: use it before it uses you

Facebook Search Update: use it before it uses you

This week the folks responsible for the search algorithms under the surface of Facebook have made a big update. They're rolling this Search Update out to desktop users throughout the week, and iPhone and iPad users will see it before the end of the week in an app update - Android has not yet been mentioned. What you need to know about this update depends on what kind of a Facebook user you are. Do I get embarrassed easily by old photos? This is the first question you must ask yourself.

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You don’t want a Samsung Gear VR

You don’t want a Samsung Gear VR

You might not want a Samsung Gear VR - not yet, anyway. The first Samsung Gear VR you're going to see on the market - as early as this afternoon - is the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition. This may look like a consumer release, but it's not. AT&T may be suggesting that it is, and Samsung may be suggesting that it is, the team at Oculus VR are making relatively clear that this is not meant to be the end-all, be-all release for the Gear VR. It's got Oculus branding on it, after all - they're not going to let anything out the gate suggesting it's final before they agree 100% that it is, truly, ready for everyone.

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If Nintendo teamed with Google

If Nintendo teamed with Google

If Nintendo teamed with Google, great things would happen. Nintendo would go mobile - and it'd go mobile in style. If Nintendo teamed with Google today, they'd release their game archives as apps, all contained inside an original NES emulator, one that exists as the only place you're able to play these games outside the original NES or Wii. We can imagine this reality thanks to an artist named WoopWoopWoopWooop. He's from Reddit, and this is a mockup. It's not real, but we wish it was.

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Apple’s ‘Best of 2014′ list includes old favs, new artists, fun apps

Apple’s ‘Best of 2014′ list includes old favs, new artists, fun apps

With so much media floating around their platform, Apple has once again rolled out their year-end, best-of awards list. They’ve announced their favorites from 2014, along with a few fun surprises for us. Frozen dominated, with its album being iTunes’ best seller in 2014. Theme song Let It Go was the eighth most downloaded song all year, and two Frozen-themed apps were among the most downloaded of 2014. For the rest of apple’s favorites in 2014, keep reading!

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Orion replay: behind-the-scenes, on the ground

Orion replay: behind-the-scenes, on the ground

Over the past 24 hours, NASA's Orion spacecraft had a weather delay, a rocket valve glitch, and a successful launch. The Delta IV Heavy rocket took off at 7:05 AM Eastern Time, reaching low-Earth orbit in around 20 minutes. What you're about to see is the liftoff replay and a set of behind-the-scenes images you would not have seen in the live feed - on the ground, at the launch site, and behind the control boards at NASA as the rocket took off, then as the craft landed in the Pacific Ocean.

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North Korea denies Sony attack, remains a suspect

North Korea denies Sony attack, remains a suspect

This week a North Korean diplomat denied the hacker attack suspected of being launched by Pyongyang late last month. North Korea has been a primary suspect for the attack since it was launched. Before the attack, North Korean government officials denounced the Sony-made film "The Interview" on grounds that it made light of a proposed assassination of their leader, Kim Jong-Un. An anonymous source has come forth to suggest that United States National Security still considers North Korea a primary suspect in this matter.

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Amazon Fire Phone 2 on the way

Amazon Fire Phone 2 on the way

Amazon CEO Fire Phone Jeff Bezos has indicated that another Fire Phone is on the way. At a Business Insider conference in New York, Bezos spoke with Henry Blodget, CEO of Business Insider. There in reference to what he thought about the state of the Fire Phone, Bezos suggested "ask me in some number of years." He added, "it's going to take several iterations." This after of Amazon via Senior VP of Devices David Limp told Fortune earlier this year: "we're also willing to say, 'we missed.' And so we corrected."

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YotaPhone 2 first-impressions – Odd E Ink Allure

YotaPhone 2 first-impressions – Odd E Ink Allure

You have to give the team at Yota credit for not giving up on their dual-display smartphone dream. The original YotaPhone was a curious - but flawed - riff on the Android smartphone, a regular screen on one side and an E Ink panel on the back, let down by immature software and hardware. Now, with the YotaPhone 2, the company believes both concept and product are ready for the mass market. I’ve been trying the new smartphone out this week ahead of sales kicking off today, and it’s clear there certainly are advantages over opting for more screens, rather than just bigger ones. Read on for some first-impressions.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick Review – A Prime no-brainer

Amazon Fire TV Stick Review – A Prime no-brainer

Amazon may have been late to the streaming box game with the Fire TV, but the retail behemoth isn’t letting that initial tardiness hold it back, following up with an even more affordable way to bring on-demand content to your living room. The Amazon Fire TV Stick comes in at just $39, undercutting Roku and just a few dollars more than Google’s Chromecast, and offers - in broad strokes at least - the same multimedia prospect as its more expensive sibling. At less than half the price of a Fire TV, though, have so many corners been cut as to suddenly leave Jeff Bezos’ dongle unsatisfying? Read on for the full review.

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