Monthly Archives: April 2015

Home »  2015 »  April

5 Of The Best Smartphones You Know You Deserve You know it’s time to retire your clunky old phone when it’s starting to give up on you. The signs are clear – you type faster than the letters appear on screen, you literally have to count a few seconds before you can get anything done, and the battery runs out before you even leave the house. Does this sound like your phone? Congrats! You deserve a new smartphone. From playing music to browsing your favorite websites, your new smartphone must be a force to be reckoned with. And the best part? It shouldn’t be as expensive as you think. Here are 5 of the best smartphones that will fulfill that role for you. LG G3: Powerful and Innovative There’s a reason why PC Advisor UK considers the LG G3 the best smartphone of the year. Despite heavy competition from industry heavyweights […]

YouTube Is Purposely Making Shows with Stars You Don’t Know Netflix did it. Amazon did it. Now YouTube is getting into the original content game. But there’s one big difference: the names on the online marquee. The world’s largest online video site announced plans today to partner with some of its biggest stars—Fine Brothers’, Prank vs. Prank, Joey Graceffa, and Smosh—to launch four new original series. Over the next two years, the video-streaming behemoth will also release several feature films in a partnership with AwesomenessTV, a company that helps develop popular YouTube content. The films, as the company touts proudly, will be “driven by YouTube Stars.” But, unless you’re 15, it’s pretty safe to say you probably haven’t heard of them. Because, with its announcement today, YouTube isn’t coming for you (or your eyeballs). It isn’t pitting itself in direct competition with other online original content creators like Amazon and […]

Google Is About to Make Your Wireless Carrier a Lot Less Relevant Google’s new wireless phone service, Project Fi, offers a long list of modern day perks. It automatically moves phones between traditional cellular networks and the WiFi wireless networks inside homes and businesses. Once on WiFi, you can still make calls and send texts. And you can pay for all this in small, flat, monthly fees—avoiding the sort of inflated, strings-attached pricing that so often accompanies our cell services. But the most interesting perk is that the service uses two different wireless carriers—T-Mobile and Sprint—and you don’t have to pick between them. As you move from place to place, Project Fi will not only move you from cellular to WiFi and back again. It will move you between T-Mobile and Sprint, depending on whose signal is the strongest in your particular location. “The unique thing is that you’re no […]

Inside the Elegant, Mesmerizing Subculture of Card Juggling On Friday morning, Dave Buck, Kevin Ho, and Zach Mueller were standing in a gallery space in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, listing their favorite cardistry videos. Cardistry is an arcane but growing pastime in which (primarily) young men shuffle, riffle, twist and toss decks of cards through acrobatic arrangements and sequences. Its practitioners, called cardists, share their feats by recording and posting EDM-backed compilations of their best moves. They already have built something of a canon. “Spring Jam,” Ho says. “Aviv’s Sequence,” Mueller chips in. “And then there’s this guy Pred, who had a video called From the Mothership,” Ho adds. “Oh my god, Pred!” Mueller says. “Yes!” “It’s a whole bunch of stuff with fans that shouldn’t work but it does,” he says. “It was really fresh, nobody had ever seen anything else like it,” Buck says. “It’s such futuristic […]

New Dark-Web Market Is Selling Zero-Day Exploits to Hackers Hackers have for years bought and sold their secrets in a de facto gray market for zero-day exploits—intrusion techniques for which no software patch exists. Now a new marketplace hopes to formalize that digital arms trade in a setting where it could flourish: under the cover of the Dark Web’s anonymity protections. Over the last month, a darknet marketplace calling itself TheRealDeal Market has emerged; it focuses on brokering hackers’ zero-day attack methods. Like the Silk Road and its online black market successors, TheRealDeal uses the anonymity software Tor and the digital currency bitcoin to hide the identities of its buyers, sellers, and administrators. But while some other sites have sold only basic, low-level hacking tools and stolen financial details, TheRealDeal’s creators say they’re looking to broker premium hacker data like highly sought-after zero-days, source code, and hacking services. In some cases, these […]

Clinton To Make Gender Issues Key to Presidential Bid Hillary Clinton gives the keynote speech at a conference in Santa Clara, Feb 24, 2015. Ending years of speculation, Hillary Clinton has confirmed that she will run for president in 2016. Like Republican candidates Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, the former Secretary of State announced the news online. In a YouTube video posted on her website, Clinton lays out her priorities for the coming election season. “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” Clinton says in the video. “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion, so you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead, and stay ahead, because when families are strong, America is strong.” As Clinton takes another shot at becoming the country’s first female […]

Want to See Domestic Spying’s Future? Follow the Drug War David Butow/Corbis The NSA isn’t the only three-letter agency that’s been quietly collecting Americans’ data on a mind-boggling scale. The country learned this week that the Drug Enforcement Agency spied on all of us first, and with even fewer privacy protections by some measures. But if anyone is surprised that the DEA’s mass surveillance programs have been just as aggressive as the NSA’s, they shouldn’t be. The early targets that signal shifts in America’s domestic surveillance techniques aren’t activists and political dissidents, as some privacy advocates argue—or terrorists, as national security hawks would claim. They’re drug dealers. The DEA’s newly revealed bulk collection of billions of American phone records on calls to 116 countries preceded the NSA’s similar program by years and may have even helped to inspire it, as reported in USA Today’s story Wednesday. And the program serves as a […]

The Internet’s Clearly Not Ready to Stream Big TV Events Click to Open Overlay Gallery Saturday night’s college basketball matchup between Wisconsin and Kentucky was the most-watched Final Four game in 22 years. Unless, that is, you were one of a thousand or so Sling TV subscribers who instead got to witness a sputtery mess. It’s the latest in a string of high-profile streaming failures, and it won’t be the last. Being a cord cutter in 2015 is great—until there’s something you actually need to watch live. The Final Four lapse recalled similar recent outages, notably last spring’s stunted Oscars stream for ABC, and Game of Thrones’ season four premiere collapse for HBO Go. The only thing all three have in common? They’re among the first real tests of how the streaming age handles appointment television. So far, the results aren’t promising. According to a mollifying Sling TV tweet, the […]

DEA Agent Charged With Acting as a Paid Mole for Silk Road Click to Open Overlay GalleryAn unnamed agent of the Drug Enforcement Agent enters a building.  Updated at 4:25 p.m. with more information. Nearly 18 months after the Silk Road online drug market was busted by law enforcement, the criminal charges rippling out from the case have now come full circle: back to two of the law enforcement agents involved in the investigation, one of whom is accused of being the Silk Road’s mole inside the Drug Enforcement Agency. DEA special agent Carl Force and Secret Service special agent Shaun Bridges were arrested Monday and charged with wire fraud and money laundering. Bridges is accused of placing $800,000 of Silk Road bitcoins he obtained in a personal account on the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange. But Bridges’ charges pale in comparison with the accusations against the DEA’s Force, who is […]

The Most Epic Demo in Computer History Is Now an Opera Click to Open Overlay GalleryThe Demo Valerie Oliveiro If there’s such a thing as a Big Bang moment for modern computing, it happened on December 9, 1968. On that day, in an underground convention center in the heart of San Francisco, Doug Engelbart gave The Mother Of All Demos, introducing the world to an astonishing slew of technologies including word processing, video conferencing, windows, links, and the humble mouse. Over the course of the 90-minute demonstration, Engelbart laid the foundation for computing for decades to come. Now, that vital moment is being reborn in suitably dramatic form: avant garde opera. This week will see the world premiere of The Demo, a multimedia-heavy musical performance centering on Engelbart’s famous presentation, composed by Mikel Rouse and Ben Neill. The debut performances will happen April 1 and 2 at Stanford’s Bing Concert […]