Must Read Bits & Bytes

Internet Explorer may need to die

Internet Explorer may need to die

Over the past decade, the decline in popularity of Internet Explorer took place in a big way because of the rise of competition. The last big release of Internet Explorer was with Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7. Internet Explorer 6 is dead, at long last, but the ill effects of this extremely buggy browser are still in full effect today. Is it time for Microsoft to ditch the brand and move on? A tip earlier today suggested that Microsoft's new browser brand may be called Spartan - another Halo brand like Cortana for a full Halo family.

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Forget IE: Microsoft Spartan browser tipped for Windows 10

Forget IE: Microsoft Spartan browser tipped for Windows 10

Internet Explorer is hardly the most loved of browsers, and Microsoft is reportedly planning a drastic fix with a new browser codenamed Spartan tipped to launch alongside Windows 10. Intended to be more lightweight and flexible - borrowing a look and feel more akin to Google's Chrome or Mozilla's Firefox - than previous Microsoft web browsers, Spartan would stick with Microsoft's existing engine technologies under the hood, but wrap them up in such a way that the company's engineers hope users forget whatever bad experiences they may have had with legacy software such as IE6.

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PSN back online as Sony rights Christmas attack

PSN back online as Sony rights Christmas attack

After three days of downtime, millions of frustrated PlayStation owners, and quite probably a fair few tantrums on Christmas morning, Sony's PlayStation Network has finally been restored. The online gaming service had been offline since December 25th, the victim of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), as servers were hammered by web traffic and legitimate gamers were unable to connect for multiplayer titles and more. However, while Microsoft moved relatively quickly to bring Xbox Live back to life, restoring the majority of its services by the following day, Sony's fix was nowhere in sight.

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PSN is down and Sony isn’t handling it very well

PSN is down and Sony isn’t handling it very well

This morning it was made clear that Sony was having trouble with their PlayStation Network. Meanwhile Microsoft was having trouble keeping Xbox Live online - and the hacker group Lizard Squad claimed responsibility. According to reports throughout the day, it would appear that the Xbox Live system had largely repaired problems by around 10AM Central Time - with another spike near 2PM Central Time - with uptime returning again here closer to 5PM Central Time. Sony's PlayStation Network saw problems from around midnight until 10AM Central Time, and again over the past several hours leading up to 5PM Central Time.

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Aviate Android launcher: the Yahoo experience

Aviate Android launcher: the Yahoo experience

This week we've had a chat with Mark Daiss, Product Manager for Yahoo Aviate & Aviate Co-founder on the successful launch and continued updates to the Aviate Android launcher app. With the addition of Yahoo search to the app this week, the full replacement of your standard smartphone user interface is primed for action. Just in time for Christmas, just in time to change the way your brand new Android smartphone looks from the inside out. Supposing you want the Yahoo experience, that is to say.

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Forget something? Here are 5 last minute gift ideas

Forget something? Here are 5 last minute gift ideas

The holidays are a time for giving, spending time with family, and taking a step back to reflect on your year while plotting a course for the one that lies ahea — uh oh, you forgot someone. Sometimes you realize it while typing an opening line for an article, or driving to grandma’s house for dinner. Cousin who-cares is going to be there, and you don’t want to leave them out. What do you do? Don’t worry, even though it’s last minute, you still have options.

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You can watch The Interview online now

You can watch The Interview online now

Controversial Sony Pictures movie The Interview has been released today across multiple streaming services, including Google Play, YouTube Movies, Xbox Video, and a dedicated site, its been announced. The film, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, will be offered for rental or outright purchase. "It was essential for our studio to release this movie," Sony Pictures said today in a statement, "especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech."

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The Interview to open on Christmas Day

The Interview to open on Christmas Day

Apparently Sony has changed its mind. Or the President of the United States changed Sony's collective minds. One way or another, The Interview will be opening in a limited fashion on Christmas Day. The Plaza Atlanta will be one of the theaters to open The Interview on Christmas Day, and the movie will play until the 1st of 2015. After that time, the fate of the film is unknown - to the public, anyway. This film opening has been authorized by Sony officially.

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Google unveils first ‘real build’ of self-driving car

Google unveils first ‘real build’ of self-driving car

Remember that odd little self-driving car from Google? Announced earlier this year, Google’s autonomous car is one of their famed moonshot ideas, meant to alter the way we transport ourselves around town. What you may not have known is their original car was a beta build, more concept than car (it didn’t have headlights, just a place for them). Now, the company is unveiling their first actual self-driving car, which they claim is very close to being road-ready.

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2015 Chrysler 300 first-drive – HEMI Hero

2015 Chrysler 300 first-drive – HEMI Hero

Brash, bold, and anything but banal: when it comes to "American Luxury", the Chrysler 300 epitomizes it perhaps better than anything else. Finding favor over the past decade among rappers and suburbanites alike, its combination of Baby-Bentley styling, meaty engine options, and relatively affordable luxe mean the 300 has set out a clear stall of Chrysler's approach to the full-size sedan space. With drivers more mature, however, and expectations tougher than ever, the 2015 300 has a careful line to follow: the bruising attitude drivers lust after, paired with the cosseting they secretly covet. I cranked up the Beats Audio to find out if the new 300 is Kingpin or Klonopin.

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