Microsoft to Buy Nokia's Phone Arm and Make Its Own Phones (Updated)

Microsoft has agreed to buy Nokia's hardware division for $7.1 billion (£4.6bn) in cash. Microsoft's a company that makes its own phones now. Read More >>

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Will Retire in the Next Year

Microsoft just announced that its CEO, Steve Ballmer, will retire within the next 12 months. He'll remain in his current position until Microsoft finds his replacement. Read More >>

Government Moves to Ban Phones Designed to Fit Up Prisoner Butts

The phones in question (and in butts) are typically made in China and designed to resemble the key fobs of luxury car brands like Bentley, Porsche, BMW, and, uh, Volkswagen. They're going on eBay for about 40 British pounds, marketed as the world's smallest mobile. But that's mostly bullshit. The phones are reportedly being marketed to prisoners, and the people who supply them. The authorities have caught on, though, and have moved onto new ways to get the phones out of the prisoners'... hands. Here's what a spokesperson told BBC: Read More >>

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Watch People Get Flung at a Mountain by a Giant Human Slingshot

What a great summer tradition this is. Every so often, these wonderful folks plop down a gigantic human slingshot and fire people at stuff. Sometimes it's down a slip and slide and into a lake, sometimes it's that, just double. This time it's at a mountain, while eating pizza. It still looks like a lot of fun. [YouTube] Read More >>

This Is What Astronauts Use to Poop in Space (Ew. Awesome...Ew.)

So our dear friend Cmdr. Chris Hadfield shared a horrifying piece of trivia this morning: Soyuz astronauts get two enemas before launch. Which is a little uncomfortable, but necessary because, uh, Soyuz restroom looks like this. Read More >>

Jobs Movie Review: A Sadly Appropriate Metaphor

There isn't very much human about Jobs, Ashton Kutcher's Steve Jobs biopic. It's about Steve Jobs working more than it is about Steve Jobs' work. And that's probably about as unintentionally fitting a character portrait as you'll find — just not always an entertaining one. Read More >>

Sony Vaio Pro Review: Climbing a Steeper Grading Curve

There is no joy in the Sony Vaio Pro. For a laptop that is, in substance, elegant and powerful, that's strange. It's pretty and sleek and slim, but somehow with none of the joie de vivre that typically comes along with that. Read More >>

Acer Aspire S7 Review: The PC Revival Is Late, But It's Here

Laptops are at a point right now where they should all be more or less excellent. Ultrabooks are into their third year of relevance, and the screens and processors that are widely available are good enough that you can piecemeal together a perfectly acceptable laptop from chaff, more or less. So making a great one is about decisions. The Acer Aspire S7 made a bunch of good ones, against just a few dumb ones. And the result puts it in the vanguard of what's shaping up to be a belated PC renaissance. Read More >>

Snowden: Any Unencrypted Message Goes to Every Intelligence Service

The New York Times Magazine has a quick Q&A with Edward Snowden, conducted through intermediary Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who's been filming Snowden. It's mostly straightforward, except for one potentially significant reveal.
The nuts and bolts of the interview are pretty standard, though still interesting given the subject: Snowden went to Poitras and her partner Glenn Greenwald because they were among the few journalists whose work he respected and felt continued to hold those in power accountable; he knew he could trust Poitras when he realised she trusted him less than he trusted her; Poitras and Greenwald were probably bummed out when they showed up and saw how young he is. Read More >>

The Xbox One Can Tell When It's Overheating, and Power Down

So here's a cool thing the Xbox One can do: It automatically recognises when it's overheating, probably because you're an idiot and left a pizza box on top of it, and can adjust on the fly. In fact it's designed with extra room to make those adjustments.
In our chat with Xbox's General Manager of Console Development Leo del Castillo, I asked how Microsoft can account for the unknowns it's facing with the new design, which is much more Blu-ray player-ish than its predecessors, that invites people to set things on top of it. That's never really been a problem for weirdo designs like the SNES or N64, or even the concave Xbox 360. Read More >>

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The Xbox One Is Worse For Everyone If Kinect's Not Mandatory

Using Kinect with your Xbox One is no longer mandatory. Yay, right? No. Wrong. Again. This is another dumb subtraction from Microsoft, presented as choice. Read More >>

The Weirdest iOS 7 Beta Feature (?) Yet

So here's something strange. Syncing from iCloud seems to have changed a bit and I honestly can't tell if it's a good thing or a bad thing.
After installing the newest beta for iOS 7 and loading up a backup from iCloud I noticed that my apps weren't automatically downloading as they do in iOS 6. Instead they were just sitting there, greyed out. The iOS 7 beta's had some trouble syncing and updating apps so I didn't think much of it, figuring the downloads got stuck, and tried turning the iPad on and off, restarting the network, everything. Nothing worked until I randomly just tapped on a few and they downloaded right away. Read More >>

I Really Want a Giant Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary and I Don't Care

Does a 16kg dictionary count as a gadget? I don't know. I don't know. The Oxford English Dictionary is useless. It serves no practical purpose, is devoid of any remnant of meaningful utility, is obsolete, is a 19th century relic compiled over decades during which the whole of the Transcontinental Railroad was built and John Henry dropped dead, replaced by the steam engine, and an iPhone app. Yet doesn't 22,000 pages of words about words sound fun? Read More >>

Scientists Find New Genetic Link for Autism and Schizophrenia

Despite all the years of research that have gone into them, cognitive conditions like autism and schizophrenia are still largely a mystery. Here's one nice step toward figuring them out though: Researchers from UCLA have discovered a specific genetic trait in a small community in Finland that might have some clues.
There are communities in northern Finland that have been extremely isolated from the outside world for years. So many rare genes and genetic defects are more common in those populations. One in particular had a high rate of autism, schizophrenia, and other cognitive conditions. After examining data from 173 participants in that community compared to 1586 from the rest of Finland, it was found that a chromosome 22 deletion was present in 18 of the 173 compared to just one in the larger sample. Read More >>

NSA Appears to Be Tracking the Anonymous Internet

That custom-built malware that's tracking down Tor network users? Turns out it might not be the FBI behind it after all. It looks like it might be the NSA. Read More >>

The Best Way to Troll Someone Who Just Got Laser Eye Surgery

Here's a screenshot from a Reddit user giving a course in Advanced Trolling Theory. Read More >>


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