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Police test “less lethal” bullet alternative

Police test “less lethal” bullet alternative

In light of recent events in which lethal force was used by police (in several incidents across the United States), a new "less-lethal" alternative is being tested. Created by the company "Alternative Ballistics," this "bullet attachment" hooks on to the front of the police officer's handgun and provides a sort of airbag-like system for the first shot. Once the first shot is fired, every subsequent shot is lethal as ever. This is "The Alternative", and according to the company that makes it, it was invented by a "retired sheriff police officer who did not like that people were being shot when the officers do have time."

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Obama signs divisive cyberthreat bill amid privacy fears

Obama signs divisive cyberthreat bill amid privacy fears

President Obama publicly signed the executive order driving through new cyber security legislation today, using an appearance at Stanford to discuss the controversial balance of privacy and protection. The bill - already a topic of fierce debate in Congress, which had continually refused to pass it - demands greater information sharing between government and private industry, "sharing appropriate information" as relevant to ensure vital infrastructure isn't compromised by hackers or malicious governments. However, exactly what counts as "appropriate", and what impact that has on individual privacy, remains to be seen.

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Behold, fresh freeway terror: Ford’s 2016 Police Interceptor Utility

Behold, fresh freeway terror: Ford’s 2016 Police Interceptor Utility

The flicker of red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror and the wail of sirens: getting pulled over on the freeway is seldom fun, but if you're lucky the cop responsible might show you their new 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility. Freshly revealed ahead of its official debut at the Chicago Auto Show, the heavily-customized SUV doesn't just look the part but - thanks to the input of law enforcement employees themselves - should address some of the frustrations lingering around its predecessor, while also including the ability to recognize a sudden chase and switch the powertrain into pursuit mode automatically.

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French law allows websites to be blocked sans court order

French law allows websites to be blocked sans court order

France is cracking down against extremists and child abusers, and as part of it the nation has unveiled a new law that gives its law enforcement's cybercrime general directorate the power to order an ISP to block a website sans a court order. The ISPs will have 24 hours to obey the request, and will be reimbursed for whatever costs this could result in. Likewise, the ISPs will also be able to appeal the decision if they feel it was an inappropriate order, something that may or may not be honored depending on the specific circumstances.

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Samsung and Microsoft end royalty payments dispute

Samsung and Microsoft end royalty payments dispute

Microsoft and Samsung's very public tiff over patent royalty late fee payments has come to a private end, with both companies making a brief announcement today about a new agreement between them. Says both companies, "Samsung and Microsoft are pleased to announce that they have ended their contract dispute in U.S. court as well as the ICC arbitration." They go on to says that the terms under which this agreement was struck are confidential, and leave the rest of the details in the dark.

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Las Vegas teen arrested for swatting pranks

Las Vegas teen arrested for swatting pranks

A 19-year-old was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada on Thursday for his involvement in a swatting prank that took place in July in Illinois. Evidence was found on Brandon Wilson's computers linking him to the July 10th incident in which a SWAT team was called to respond to a murder, sending officers barging into his victim's home with weapons drawn. Wilson, who uses the online handle "Famed God," is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, where it will be decided if he should be sent to Illinois to face charges.

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Blackberry wins major court case against Typo to the sum of $860,000

Blackberry wins major court case against Typo to the sum of $860,000

...and that is not a typo. Back in the early days of smartphones, Blackberry was the undisputed heavy-weight champion. Everybody who was anybody at the time owned a Blackberry phone. One of the main features of Blackberry’s was the keyboard; as tiny as it was, but people loved typing away on it. Hoping to recapture some of that former glory, A company called Typo introduced an iPhone case that makes your phone look eerily like a Blackberry. Online posts and comments started, and Of course, Blackberry saw it as well. They were not too amused by this, resulting in a major lawsuit in January last year. The former king of cell phones just won this lawsuit and now Typo has to pay up.

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‘Freedom Clip’ gets you past Keurig’s K-Cup rules

‘Freedom Clip’ gets you past Keurig’s K-Cup rules

If you’ve recently purchased a Keurig coffee machine, you know that many third-party pods won’t work in your machine. Protected by DRM, Keurig tamped the cottage industry that popped up around their machines with their latest kit, to the dismay of just about everyone. A new add-on might get you around Keurig’s rules, though. The Freedom Clip snaps into your existing Keurig, and allows for those now-bootleg K-Cups to be used in your new Keurig machine.

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Uber, Lyft swept up in drivers’ lawsuits challenging contractor status

Uber, Lyft swept up in drivers’ lawsuits challenging contractor status

Drivers for Uber and Lyft work as contractors, and as such they're left to deal with certain expenses themselves: gas, maintaining their vehicles, and more. New lawsuits hoping to get class-action status in California are looking to change that, contending that the services' drivers are employees and should be reimbursed for those aforementioned expenses. Uber sought a pretrial ruling that'll peg the drivers on its system as contractors, but didn't ultimately get what it wants, and the issue will be going before a jury.

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Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google caves to privacy demands after UK investigation

Google will change its controversial privacy policy in the UK, acquiescing to regulators who maintain the search giant's attempts to simplify its terms & conditions in fact left them half-baked. The agreement, announced today by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK, will see Google make changes to how it collects, uses, and communicates user data by June 30, 2015, with more adjustments over the coming two years. It's another pain point in what has been a nearly three year long headache for Google, which revealed its new approach to privacy back in early 2012.

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