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December 17, 2014
The Interview may be a huge exception to Hollywood's rule that there's no such thing as bad publicity. Moviegoers may not be curious enough about the comedy to risk becoming victims of a terrorist attack -- whether carried out by North Korea, the Guardians of the Peace, or some crazy person who's caught up in the uproar. Maybe Sony should try an online launch or send it straight to DVD. [More...]

December 17, 2014
A group of some 150 companies last week moved closer to eliminating the bane of many an online user: the ubiquitous password. The FIDO Alliance, which counts among its members Microsoft, PayPal, Google, Bank of America, Visa and MasterCard, released version 1.0 of its open specifications for strong authentication on the Internet without the use of passwords. [More...]

December 17, 2014
Google's Cardboard virtual reality viewer would have been a worthy April Fool's Day joke, but the cheap gizmo actually works, and developers actually are working to create content for it that goes beyond gimmickry. "Google Cardboard and its SDK open up possibilities for any developer to be the one that brings a unique experience to VR," noted Strategy Analytics' Eric Smith. [More...]

December 16, 2014
Microsoft has launched a new tool that could make the world smaller than ever. The Skype Translator so far only works with the English and Spanish languages, but others likely will be added over time. One of the biggest concerns over this service is accuracy. "How could someone detect or catch it if a mistake is made in the translation?" wondered San Diego State professor Mark Ballam. [More...]

December 16, 2014
On behalf of Sony Pictures Entertainment, high-powered attorney David Boies has sent a letter to several news outlets demanding that they refrain from publishing stories based on material hackers recently stole from the company and that they destroy the pilfered data. The letter to the news organizations claims the stolen information is "protected under U.S. and foreign legal doctrines." [More...]

December 16, 2014
It's surely a testament to the shocking nature of the recent news about Devuan that the Linux blogosphere has been a rather quiet place of late. Yes, there was last week's Turla news, and yes, the holiday season is looming large, likely dampening more than a few spirits. Still, the atmosphere definitely has been subdued down at the blogosphere's seedy Punchy Penguin Saloon. [More...]

December 15, 2014
The Internet should be a basic human right, but access to it is increasingly unequal around the globe, said World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee last week. The Web has the potential to be a great equalizer, he asserted, but only "if we hard-wire the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, affordable access and Net neutrality into the rules of the game." [More...]

December 15, 2014
This has been an interesting quarter. After Andy Grove left, Intel often seemed to struggle with its place in the world and seemed at odds with the computing OEMs. Now, though, it seems more and more like it did when it was 20 years younger. It's not alone, either. Microsoft, which seemed to have forgotten why there were OEMs, suddenly is acting much more like the firm we knew in the early 90s. [More...]

December 13, 2014
One holiday tradition that would be easy to give up would be the obligatory untangling of the tree lights. Aura has come up with a wireless lighting solution that dispenses with jumbles of cords, missing and broken bulbs and burned-out fuses. Also, you get to place each bulb just where you'd like it. It's a nice idea, though some more established lighting firm may go one better and eclipse Aura. [More...]

December 12, 2014
Iowa will be the first state in the U.S. to allow drivers to display their license on a mobile device instead of the traditional plastic card. The plan has raised some concerns over privacy, security, and even the physical safety of drivers who might be suspected of reaching for a gun when all they're doing is grabbing their phone. The Iowa DoT intends to develop a plan to address those and other issues. [More...]

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