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FCC considering backup system to prevent 911 service outages

FCC considering backup system to prevent 911 service outages

The U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has said it is looking into options for ways to power backup phone systems that would allow people to call 911 emergency services even in the event of a disaster or other causes of power outage. This comes after the FCC says it has observed a rise in 911 service outages, not necessarily caused by storms, but by software and database failures.

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Amazon’s new diversity report tells a familiar tale

Amazon’s new diversity report tells a familiar tale

We've seen many diversity reports this year, and they all have one thing in common: a relative lack of diversity. Amazon has joined Facebook, Twitter, Google and others by posting its own numbers, and in them we see that same familiar tale comprised of people who are mostly white and mostly male. The company revealed its workforce statistics in a total of four categories, both for the overall company and for its managers when it comes to gender, and the same narrowed down to just those in the US when it comes to race.

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British Museum now lets you 3D print artifact replicas

British Museum now lets you 3D print artifact replicas

3D printing is slowly but surely becoming more available to the average consumer, and the possibilities for it are vast. While the technology is being used to tackle projects as expansive as home construction and food in space, it is also being utilized at the simpler level for creating things like replacement knobs and personalized action figures. Among those simpler uses is the ability to print your own replica of historical items.

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Hungary’s Internet tax nixed following massive protests

Hungary’s Internet tax nixed following massive protests

Hungary's government isn't doing so well financially, and so it decided the best way to address the issue was to tax the Internet. As you'd expect, both citizen and ISP alike were unhappy with the decision, with service providers in particular warning that the planned fees would be a massive -- potentially crippling -- burden. The government dismissed the concerns, and massive protests in the streets soon followed. In response, the government has announced that it has shelved the taxation plan...temporarily. It may, however, return again in the future.

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashes in engine test [Update]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo has crashed during today's test flight, with the high-speed rocket plane coming down east of Mojave. Virgin Galactic first confirmed an incident had taken place via Twitter, with a terse message saying the space plane "has experienced an in-flight anomaly," and promising additional information on the situation to follow. According to local reports, which also confirmed the crash, there has been one fatality and one injury, with SpaceShipTwo itself in pieces on the Californian desert.

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Russian lawmaker wants Tim Cook banned from nation

Russian lawmaker wants Tim Cook banned from nation

Yesterday Apple's Tim Cook made the brave decision to bring a piece of his personal life into the public light. He went into details about his decision, saying in part, "If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone ... then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy." As expected, Cook's comments about his sexuality were met with a lot of commentary -- some good and, unfortunately, some bad. Counted among the bad is a Russian official's statement that Cook should now be banned from entering the nation.

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Harry Potter’s Facebook page full of Halloween hints

Harry Potter’s Facebook page full of Halloween hints

It’s that time of year again, when ghouls and goblins come asking for treats at the doorstep. Scary movies are plentiful, too. Over on the Pottermore Facebook page, curious things have been going on. It seems JK Rowling is cooking up a treat for Harry Potter fans. Or is it a trick? We’re not certain, but a series of clues and riddles hidden in plain sight suggest something significant is coming tomorrow, possibly a new revelation in the new Harry Potter story.

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New app Hash cuts down Twitter noise, delivers news

New app Hash cuts down Twitter noise, delivers news

Twitter is this constantly flowing stream of, well, everything. It’s sometimes had to keep up, especially if you’re too busy to stay glued to your Twitter feed. A new app called Hash might help, though. Released a few days ago, Hash is a cultivated feed of the things people are talking about most, and gives you quick access to the most topical discussions of the day. If you find keeping up difficult, Hash might help you wade through the noise and hear the news.

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Motorola Mobility is now in Lenovo’s pocket

Motorola Mobility is now in Lenovo’s pocket

Lenovo is now the proud owner of Motorola Mobility, the ink finally dry on the acquisition of the smartphone company. Brought out from under Google's umbrella - or, as some might argue, from beneath its shadow - the deal will see Motorola continue to operate its own brand, as well as further develop the Moto and DROID franchises that have included recent releases like the Moto X and the DROID Turbo. It also means a return to the Chinese market, something Motorola has been absent from for some years.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook “proud to be gay”

Apple CEO Tim Cook “proud to be gay”

Apple CEO Tim Cook has publicly and openly discussed his sexuality for the first time, penning a coming out story in which he acknowledges that "I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me." The letter, which begins by reiterating Cook's notorious desire for privacy - despite being chief executive of one of the largest companies in the world, and certainly one of the most visible in the technology space - not only traces his steps to talking about his sexual orientation, but touches on issues of discrimination and the ways in which he would like the news to be taken.

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