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Sep 20, 2016

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Comcast Is Boosting Speeds So You'll Forget About Google Fiber (CMCSA)
Aug 4, 2014

Comcast is increasing its broadband internet speeds in areas where Google Fiber is set up, reports The Consumerist.

Kansas City is the latest metropolis to see enhanced internet speeds at no additional cost to customers. Those paying for 25 megabit service will get 50 megabits, those paying for 50 megabits will get 105, and those paying for 105 will get a whopping 150 megabits, enough for all but the most voracious video streamers. 

For reference, at 25 megabit per second download speeds is plenty fast for most people. However, the higher your download speed, the more likely you are to get better streaming quality when watching videos on YouTube or Netflix.

Google Fiber is on another level.

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Google: Except For Child Pornography, We Do NOT Snoop Your Email Looking For Crimes (GOOG)
Aug 4, 2014

Even though a registered sex offender was recently arrested after Google tipped off authorities to alleged child pornography images in the man's Gmail, Google isn't searching your emails for other crimes, the company told Business Insider.

And it can't mistake an innocent photo for an illegal one. A Google spokesperson told us:

Sadly all Internet companies have to deal with child sexual abuse. It’s why Google actively removes illegal imagery from our services — including search and Gmail — and immediately reports abuse to NCMEC [The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children]. This evidence is regularly used to convict criminals.

Each child sexual abuse image is given a unique digital fingerprint which enables our systems to identify those pictures, including in Gmail.

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REVIEW: Toshibas Dirt-Cheap Windows 8 Tablet Is Surprisingly Good If Youre Shopping On A Budget (MSFT)
Aug 4, 2014

You don’t have to spend a fortune for a PC experience — at least Toshiba doesn’t think so.

The company recently launched its Encore 2 tablet, which packages the full version of Windows 8 into a 8-inch, dirt-cheap $200 tablet.

That’s really cheap for a tablet, especially one that runs a full desktop operating system, not mobile software like Windows RT, iOS, or Android.

But don’t expect this to be as smooth of an experience as you’d get with an iPad Mini or Nexus 7. The Toshiba Encore is much cheaper than these tablets, but for a reason.

After spending some time with the Encore 2, here’s what I came away with.

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Elon Musk's Aerospace Startup Is Building A Spaceport In A Struggling Texas City
Aug 4, 2014

Elon Musk's aerospace startup has settled on the location of its planned commercial spaceport: Brownsville, Texas, an economically struggling stretch of Texas's Gulf coastline. SpaceX is building its launch facility thanks to nearly $13 million in incentives from the Texas state government, including $2.3 million from the Texas Enterprise Fund.

Texas governor Rick Perry introduced the Fund in 2003 as a "final incentive tool" for securing investments in the state that would otherwise be in jeopardy. The SpaceX port arguably falls into that category: as of June of 2013, the company was "tight-lipped" as to the final location of its spaceport, and was looking at sites in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico.

But Texas proved especially willing to court Musk, even aside from the existence of a fund that was specially dedicated to bringing over investments like his.

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10 Things In Tech You Need To Know This Morning (HP, YELP, AAPL, GOOG)
Aug 5, 2014
Today’s “10 Things In Tech” is sponsored by 

Good morning! We're looking at a sunny day with a high in the upper 80s for New York. News time:

1. HP's forthcoming smartwatch will support apps, but it won't have a touch screen. You'll have to use buttons on the side to navigate. Also, it won't run on Android.

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UK Muslim Cabinet Member Resigns In Protest Of 'Morally Indefensible' Gaza Policy
Aug 5, 2014

A British minister who was the first Muslim to sit in the cabinet resigned on Tuesday over the government's policy on Gaza.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a minister at the Foreign Office and minister for faith and communities, wrote on Twitter: "With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza."

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government has drawn criticism, including from the main opposition Labour party, for not taking a tougher line against Israel over its operations in Gaza.

On Monday, Cameron said the United Nations was "right" to condemn an air strike near a school in Rafah on Sunday which killed 10 people but would not say whether he thought it was a "criminal" act.

Warsi's parents were Pakistani immigrants and she was made a member of parliament's upper House of Lords in 2007.

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These 10 Up And Coming Neighborhoods Are About To Be The Next Big Thing In Housing
Aug 5, 2014

The housing recovery has been slowing and home price growth is starting to cool. In fact Case-Shiller home prices fell 0.3% month-over-month in June. 

But there are pockets of the country where housing is rapidly heating up.

The real estate company Redfin says that that the up and coming areas are "mostly adjacent to highly sought after neighborhoods that have become difficult to get into because of high prices and few homes for sale."

Redfin used its own proprietary website data to figure out what neighborhoods are about to get hot.

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Russia Is 'Ready' For Battle In Ukraine
Aug 5, 2014

Russia has significantly built up its troop presence along the Ukrainian border, making it ready for a potential large-scale invasion of southeastern Ukraine if Russian President Vladimir Putin so chooses.

The New York Times' Michael Gordon and Eric Schmitt report, citing Western officials, that Russia has nearly doubled its battalions along the Ukrainian border in recent weeks. There are now 17 more battalions and an additional 19,000 to 21,000 troops that compose a "battle-ready force of infantry, armor, artillery and air defense within a few miles of the border." They could theretically strike with "little to no warning."

Western officials also told the Times that Russia has upped its number of surface-to-air units from eight to 14, and they have deployed more than 30 artilleries.

Western intelligence officials told the paper it's unclear what Putin is planning, but it's clear they are worried about what would be, for all intents and purposes, an invasion under the guise of a "peacekeeping" operation.

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An Exciting Demographic Development Is Unfolding In The US And It Will Benefit The Economy For Years
Aug 5, 2014

Earlier this year, I posted some demographic data for the U.S., see: Census Bureau: Largest 5-year Population Cohort is now the "20 to 24" Age Group and The Future is still Bright!I pointed out that "even without the financial crisis we would have expected some slowdown in growth this decade (just based on demographics). The good news is that will change soon."Changes in demographics are an important determinant of economic growth, and although most people focus on the aging of the "baby boomer" generation, the movement of younger cohorts into the prime working age is another key story in coming years.

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Japanese Scientist Linked To Discredited Stem-Cell Research Commits Suicide
Aug 5, 2014

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese researcher at the center of discredited research that was initially hailed as a potential breakthrough for stem-cell treatment, killed himself after months of stress and exhaustion, officials said on Tuesday.

Yoshiki Sasai, co-author of the high-profile research that had seemed to offer hope for replacing damaged cells or even growing new human organs, was found early on Tuesday at the Riken institute where he worked in Kobe, western Japan, police and the institute said.

"It is confirmed as a suicide," said a police spokesman. "It was a hanging."

Sasai, 52, had been hospitalized in March for stress and become less receptive to media inquiries during the controversy over the team's research, said Riken spokesman Satoru Kagaya.

The scientist "had seemed completely exhausted" in their last phone conversation around May or June, Kagaya told a televised news conference.

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