Ars Technica

Eyes full of Fireflies: Our first look at the Amazon Fire Phone

"After officially unveiling the Amazon Fire Phone, the Seattle company invited us to its headquarters down the road, where they let us go hands-on with new, unique features like Dynamic Perspective and Firefly. We took the opportunity to fill our camera's memory card with photos of the phone and its UI. So in addition to some thoughts from our time using the device (coming soon), this gave us an opportunity to provide a quick visual tour." [Pictures Here]

Facebook removes two of its apps from circulation

"Facebook has removed its Poke and Camera apps from circulation, according to a report late Friday from The Verge. Both apps were pale imitations of a competing app and an acquired app, respectively, and their elimination is another sign that Facebook is reining in its strategy of trying to be all things to all people..."

Feds ask telcos: Please stop letting workers who climb up cell towers die

"According to the agency, 13 worker fatalities occurred in 2013, “more than in the previous two years combined.” OSHA added, “This disturbing trend appears to be continuing, with... four worker deaths occurring in the first five weeks of 2014.”"

Payments experts assure Senate that swipe-and-sign cards will disappear in 2015

"In 2012, MasterCard and Visa decided on a timeline, setting October 2015 as the deadline for the switch away from swipe-and-sign cards, which are notoriously easy to gather information from."

”Chip-and-PIN makes it much harder to copy a card when data is stolen,” a Symantec representative testified before the committee on Tuesday. “It also makes it harder to steal data in the first place due to encryption. It also makes physically stealing a credit card less useful, since you don’t have a PIN.”

As part of budget deal, Congress blocks light bulb efficiency standards

"Unfortunately, efficiency for small items is one case where the free market doesn't typically work. Individually, light bulbs draw very little power, and replacing one won't make any notable difference in a consumer's monthly bills. In addition, the replacement bulbs are more expensive up front and take years to pay off. As a result, there's unlikely to be rapid adoption of more efficient technology, leading to an extended period of wasted energy. By repealing the standards, Congress has ensured that the waste will go on even longer."

Always-on voice search from your desktop: “Ok Google” comes to Google.com

"Today, Google released a Chrome extension that enables always-on voice search from a desktop. With the extension installed, voice search works just like it does on the Nexus 5. When Google.com is open, just say "Ok Google" and then your search term."

PlayStation 4 will launch in North America on November 15

"Back at E3, Sony was only willing to say that the PlayStation 4 would be released this holiday season. Today, the company locked down a North American date of November 15, 2013 for the new system with a European date of November 29. The system will be available for $399/€399/£349 in 32 countries by the end of the year, the company said."

Holy sh*t! Smart toilet hack attack!

"Information security firm Trustwave has reported a potential cyber-attack vector to a device you may have never expected the phrase "security vulnerability" would be applied (other than in reference to the end of a toilet paper roll, that is). In an advisory issued August 1, Trustwave warned of a Bluetooth security vulnerability in Inax's Satis automatic toilet. Functions of the Satis—including the raising and lowering of its lid and operation of its bidet and flushing nozzles—can be remotely controlled from an Android application called "My Satis" over a Bluetooth connection..."

Man views porn using Safari, files lawsuit against Apple

"Sevier is seeking damages and injunctive relief against Apple because they make products that can display porn ("or as the rest of us call it, the Internet," AboveTheLaw notes). So Sevier legally requests that Apple enables a porn-filtering "safe mode" by default on its devices. His complaint notes that "If Apple agrees to sell its devices 'on safe mode' before trial, the Plaintiff will terminate this litigation."

Major Internet firms summoned to porn meeting

"Culture secretary, Maria Miller, is planning to meet with Google, Facebook and other major online companies to discuss how to police access to illegal content on the internet.

The move comes in the wake of the trials of Mark Bridger (jailed for the murder of five-year-old April Jones) and Stuart Hazell (jailed for murdering 12-year-old Tia Sharp), both of whom had accessed child pornography online.

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