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It took just 20 minutes for a model drone to locate a missing elderly Wisconsin man, a feat that helicopters, search dogs, and volunteers couldn't accomplish in three days. Just don't tell that to the Federal Aviation Administration, whose regulatory wings are already flapping about model drones. This weekend's discovery of the 82-year-old man in an area of crops and woods comes amid a legal tussle between flight regulators and model drone operators—the latest of which coincidentally involves search-and-rescue missions. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Lumia 530. Nokia If analytics companies are to be believed, the lowly Lumia 520 and its variants have been the most popular Windows Phone handsets ever. Today, Microsoft officially announced that phone's successor, the Lumia 530. It will come in both single- and dual-SIM variants, though it's safe to say that only the single-SIM version will end up making it to the US, and Nokia expects both to be priced at around "€85 (about $114) before taxes and subsidies." The 530 is a somewhat cut-down version of the Lumia 630 that was introduced earlier this year, and the devices share many design elements—eye-melting neon color options, software navigation buttons rather than hardware or capacitive buttons, and no dedicated camera shutter button. Microsoft has made some changes to Windows Phone to make it easier for OEMs to put it on lightly modified Android hardware, and these two Lumias showcase those changes. On the inside, the Lumia 530 is a combination of small upgrades and small downgrades from the 520. Both phones share the same 5MP camera and 512MB of RAM. Storage is down to 4GB (from 8GB in the 520), but the phone's microSD slot will now support cards up to 128GB in size. The resolution of the 4-inch screen increases slightly to 854×480. The 530 uses a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 200 SoC rather than the 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 in the 520, but overall performance may break roughly even since the S4's Krait CPU architecture is faster clock-for-clock than the 200's Cortex A7 architecture. Finally, the GPU takes a minor step down from the Adreno 305 GPU to the Adreno 302. New buyers will still get a solid budget handset, but current 520 users won't need to rush out to buy this one. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Julien GONG Min PCs may not be thriving the way they once were, but Microsoft has posted a strong set of financials for the fourth quarter of its 2014 financial year on the back of substantial, sustained growth in its cloud businesses. Revenue for the quarter was $23.38 billion, up 17.5 percent on the same quarter a year ago. Operating income rose 6.7 percent to $6.48 billion, and earnings per share were down 5 percent to $0.56, with the drop largely attributed to a hefty tax adjustment. The results for the quarter were complicated by Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services business, which closed in April. In the wake of the purchase, the company has adjusted the way it breaks down its earnings. The "Devices and Consumer Hardware" segment has been renamed "Computing and Gaming Hardware." This includes Surface and Xbox hardware. A new segment, "Phone Hardware," will cover the Nokia business. Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Federal Communications Commission will face a lawsuit if it tries to invalidate state laws that restrict the ability of cities and towns to offer Internet service, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday. Such a move would infringe on states' rights protected by the Constitution, the group claimed. Wheeler has said he intends to "preempt state laws that ban competition from community broadband," relying on authority detailed in a court decision that overturned the FCC's net neutrality rules. These state laws make it difficult or impossible for municipalities to create their own broadband networks that compete against private Internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. The US House of Representatives has already approved a budget amendment that would prevent the FCC from invalidating these laws. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A screenshot posted by "w0rm" showing he had dumped the user table from a Wall Street Journal database. Dow Jones & Co. took two servers that store the news graphics for the Wall Street Journal website offline yesterday evening after a confirmed intrusion by a hacker calling himself “w0rm.” The hacker was offering what he claimed was user information and server access credentials that would allow others to “modify articles, add new content, insert malicious content in any page, add new users, delete users, and so on,” Andrew Komarov, chief executive officer of cybersecurity firm IntelCrawl, told The Wall Street Journal. W0rm, according to Komarov, is the same individual previously known as “Rev0lver” and “Hash,” a Russian hacker who tried to sell access to the BBC’s servers last December and attacked the Web servers of Vice Media earlier this year. At 5:30pm ET on July 21, he posted a screenshot to Twitter that showed the e-mail address, username, and hashed password for the database admin on a wsj.com server. He offered to sell the full dump of the database table of authorized users for one bitcoin through an exploit marketplace at w0rm.in. According to the Journal, Dow Jones has taken the servers offline to isolate them and prevent further intrusions into their systems. A spokeperson for the company said, “At this point we see no evidence of any impact to Dow Jones Customers or customer data.” Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Four days after a forensics expert warned that undocumented functions in iOS could leak personal user data, Apple has documented three services it says serve diagnostic purposes. "iOS offers the following diagnostic capabilities to help enterprise IT departments, developers, and AppleCare troubleshoot issues," the support article published Tuesday stated. "Each of these diagnostic capabilities requires the user to have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer. Any data transmitted between the iOS device and trusted computer is encrypted with keys not shared with Apple. For users who have enabled iTunes Wi-Fi Sync on a trusted computer, these services may also be accessed wirelessly by that computer." As Ars reported Monday, three undocumented services include a packet sniffer dubbed com.apple.mobile.pcapd, a file downloader called com.apple.mobile.file_relay, and com.apple.mobile.house_arrest, a tool that downloads iPhone and iPad files to an iTunes folder stored on a computer. Jonathan Zdziarski, the forensics expert who brought the undocumented functions to light on Saturday, published a blog post in response that criticized Apple's characterization of the services. He continued to maintain that at least one of the capabilities—stemming from the file relay service—constitutes a "backdoor" as defined by many security and forensics practitioners. He also took issue with Apple's suggestion that the purpose of the services was limited to diagnostics. He reiterated his previous stance that he doesn't believe Apple added the functions at the request of the National Security Agency. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A rare dwarf galaxy that initiated a burst of star formation within the last billion years. NASA Large galaxies such as the Milky Way appear to have been built by repeated mergers of smaller ones, but not every small galaxy has ended up being swallowed completely by a large one. The Milky Way is orbited by dozens of dwarf galaxies, some of which have been disrupted and stripped of stars, while others may have slipped into orbit largely intact. Similar dwarf galaxies orbit our nearby neighbors, including Andromeda. Based on what we know about these mergers and computer modeling of galaxy formation and growth, the collection of dwarfs should be an unruly lot, having approached the galaxy they orbit from directions that are essentially random. Yet the dwarfs orbiting the Milky Way largely inhabit a single plane, orbiting in a manner analogous to moons around a giant planet. It's easy to dismiss that as a fluke of chance, but that became a bit harder to do as evidence built over the past several years that most of Andromeda's dwarf galaxies were also organized into a single plane. Stranger still, that plane's edge is oriented toward the Milky Way. Now, a French-Australian team of astronomers has figured out a way to search existing data for the presence of planes farther out from the Milky Way, finding that Andromeda's setup is actually quite common. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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This is Yosemite. Andrew Cunningham CN.dart.call("xrailTop", {sz:"300x250", kws:["top"], collapse: true});It's not difficult to get your hands on pre-release Apple software. For a mere $198 a year ($99 each for OS X and iOS) you can download beta versions of operating systems from Apple's developer site even if you've never written a line of code in your life. This year, Apple is taking things a step further. The new public beta program for OS X Yosemite officially launches Thursday, taking software that has traditionally been protected from the public by a $99 paywall and distributing it to the first million users who sign up on Apple's site. It's a very Microsoft-esque way to roll out an OS: you give enthusiasts a chance to work with an early-but-reasonably-stable build in exchange for valuable bug-squashing feedback. Ideally, it will keep Yosemite from suffering from some of the general bugginess that affected iOS 7.0 when it launched last year. In advance of the public beta, we've been given about a week of time to use the third developer preview and get a sense of what Yosemite brings to the table. Beta subscribers will get a slightly newer build of the operating system, but at this point most of the features are locked down and ready for evaluation by the public. Read 53 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Exploring Grado Labs' manufacturing space and creating our own pair of headphones. Shot and edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link) Buried in a packed townhouse on a quiet street in south Brooklyn is a manufacturing operation that produces some of the most renowned headphones in the business. Despite Yelp reviews for the business, Grado Labs doesn't sell directly from its location to consumers, though it does take the occasional walk-up request for repairs. For the most part, its long-time employees, including owner John Grado and his son Jonathan, tinker away through four crowded floors on audio gear that hasn't appeared in advertising since the 1960's. In the building, the company assembles and ships models that range from the flagship PS1000, priced at $1,700, to the $79 SR60s. As of early June, Grado has evolved the drivers for the second time in 23 years, from the I-series to the E-series. The average New York City apartment building is narrow to begin with, but Grado's space is like a house eternally in the middle of moving day. You get around by edging your way around boxes, through the halls, on the stairs, and in the rooms. During the holiday season, Jonathan says, the boxes are stacked high enough to effectively move the walls in. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Amazon's first phone isn't without its charms, but is it good enough to replace the iOS or Android stuff you already have? Andrew Cunningham It took other companies a long time to respond to the iPad. Early efforts like the first Samsung Galaxy Tabs, the Motorola Xoom, and Barnes & Noble's Nook Color had their fans, but compared to Apple's tablets, they all had major flaws. Amazon's first Kindle Fire had its problems too, but Amazon's name recognition and the tablet's $199 price made it one of the iPad's first semi-credible competitors. It opened the door for even better tablets at the same price point, and Android's tablet market share is largely built on the cheap tablet foundation that Amazon helped establish. Amazon's first smartphone is taking the opposite path. It's jumping into the high-end smartphone market surprisingly late in the game. The market started showing signs of saturation, and its competitors are entrenched. At $649 unlocked for a 32GB phone ($199 with a two-year contract), it doesn't have a price advantage. It's also not being subsidized by Amazon's media storefronts or by "Special Offers"-style advertisements. Because it's 2014, because the phone costs what it does, and because there are dozens of great phones to be had at (and well below) this price bracket, it's going to be much more difficult for users to overlook flaws or shortcomings when compared to those first Kindle Fire tablets. Amazon's phone brings unique features like its Dynamic Perspective head tracking cameras and its Firefly scanning software, but can the phone get by on a couple of cool features if it has other problems? Read 60 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Flickr user: TWM Labs Polls relating to publicly controversial scientific issues often trigger a great wailing and gnashing of teeth from science advocates. When large proportions of a population seem poorly informed about evolution, climate change, or genetically-modified foods, the usual response is to bemoan the state of science literacy. It can seem obvious that many people don’t understand the science of evolution, for example—or the scientific method, generally—and that opinions would change if only we could educate them. Research has shown, unfortunately, it's not that simple. Ars has previously covered Yale Professor Dan Kahan’s research into what he calls “cultural cognition,” and the idea goes like this: public opinion on these topics is fundamentally tied to cultural identities rather than assessment of scientific evidence. In other words, rather than evaluate the science, people form opinions based on what they think people with a similar background believe. That shouldn’t come as a shock, especially given the well-known political or religious divides apparent for climate change and evolution. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Michelle Phan, a very popular YouTube user, demonstrates the stretchiness of hair ties. Michelle Phan Popular YouTube user Michelle Phan is being sued for alleged copyright infringement on songs she has used in her videos, according to reports from the BBC. Ultra Records claims that Phan has used 50 of its songs in her YouTube posts and on her website illegally despite one of the label's own artists objecting to the legal action. Phan's YouTube channel centers around using and buying makeup, and her videos are often backed by upbeat music with the artist credited in the video's description. Artists whom Phan has used in her videos include Kaskade, deadmau5, and Calvin Harris. Kaskade spoke out on Twitter about the lawsuit, condemning Ultra for pursuing Phan for copyright infringement. "Copyright law is a dinosaur, ill-suited for the landscape of today’s media," he wrote. "We can’t love (& won’t buy) music we haven’t heard." If it's exposure artists are looking for, Phan's audience isn't a bad target. She boasts over six million subscribers and videos that consistently crack a million views each. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A defendant accused of illegally downloading porn on BitTorrent argued it was like having a pirated CD slipped in his bag on the way out of the store. The judge didn't buy it. zen Sutherland Porn studio Malibu Media files more copyright lawsuits than anyone else in the US since the fall of Prenda Law; hundreds of suits against "John Doe" defendants have been filed in just the last few months. Nearly all of those cases settle before the case is decided on the merits. However, in a rare development yesterday, a Malibu lawsuit proceeded to a judgment—and it was a slam dunk for the porn studio. In a terse five-page order (PDF), US District Judge Robert Jonker tore apart defendant Don Bui's arguments that using BitTorrent and the site Kickass Torrents to get porn files didn't violate Malibu's copyright. In the case, the defendant admitted he had 57 unauthorized copies of Malibu Media movies on his hard drive and had used BitTorrent technology to get them. Bui tried to shift the blame to the Kickass Torrents website, but it didn't work. He also tried to distinguish the technology he used from earlier technologies found to violate copyright laws, like Grokster. That didn't sway Jonker, who wrote: Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Apple has set another quarterly record for iPhone sales, despite the fact that the iPhone 5S is due for replacement relatively soon. Jacqui Cheng It's been another quiet, by-the-books quarter for Apple, which has yet to release any major updates to any of its products so far in this calendar year. For the third quarter of 2014, the company projected it would maintain profit margins between 37 and 38 percent on revenues between $36 and $38 billion, and it met the revenue estimates with profits of $7.7 billion on revenue of $37.4 billion. Revenue is about six percent higher and profit is 11.6 percent higher than Q3 of 2013, in which the company earned $6.9 billion of profit on $35.3 billion of revenue. Andrew Cunningham The company's gross margin was considerably higher than the estimate, at 39.4 percent compared to 36.9 percent a year ago, an increase of 6.8 percent. iPhone and Mac sales were both up over the year-ago quarter—Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones (compared to 31.24 million) and 4.41 million Macs (compared to 3.75 million) this quarter, despite the fact that most of its products are either mid-cycle or nearing the end of their refresh cycles. The delay of Intel's next-generation Broadwell CPUs has kept Apple from making more than minor tweaks to its Mac lineup this year. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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EA The busy holiday gaming season, set to get its start in earnest during a packed October this year, is looking a little less packed today. That's because EA has announced that two of its biggest titles have slipped from planned October release dates to give the developers more time to finish up their work. The bigger of the two delays is the spin-off shooter franchise Battlefield: Hardline, which has been pushed from October 21 to an unspecified date in "early 2015." According to a blog post announcing the move, that delay comes after a post-E3 beta for the game seemingly failed to live up to player expectations. "We’ve been pouring over the data and feedback [from the beta], and have already been putting a lot of it right into the game and sharing it directly with you," DICE VP and Group GM Karl Magnus Troedsson wrote in the blog post. "This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and ways we could push Hardline innovation further and make the game even better. The more we thought about these ideas, the more we knew we had to get them into the game you will all be playing. However, there was only one problem. We would need more time. Time that we didn’t have if we decided to move forward with launching in just a couple of months." Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Sarah Braun A YouTube video featuring a controversial San Francisco lawyer who has been representing landlords in eviction procedures appears to have been newly restored on Tuesday after being made unavailable for a week. The lawyer, Daniel Bornstein, filed a seemingly spurious copyright infringement claim under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Many have noted (including Ars founder Ken Fisher a decade ago) that the DMCA’s notice-and-takedown provision practically encourages an overzealous response from those who claim copyright ownership. The two-minute video depicts Bornstein at a January 2014 seminar in which he is speaking to local landlords but is interrupted by protesters angry at the rise in San Francisco evictions. Many such evictions have been blamed on rising rents, which have in turn been blamed on the huge influx of cash from high-paid tech jobs. (Just last week, the median home sales price in San Francisco topped $1 million for the first time.) Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Greetings, Arsians! Our partners at LogicBuy are back with even more deals. Have you upgraded to 4k yet? The top deal this week is a 28-inch 4K Dell monitor for just $399.99. That's $300 off the MSRP! There are a few options this week from Dell, and the company just started taking Bitcoin. So if you've got some lying around, make the most of them by hitting up these deals. Featured DealLowest price ever! Dell P2815Q 28" 4K UltraHD 3840x2160 Monitor w/3 year warranty for $399.99 with free shipping (list price $699.99) Monitors: Price drop! Dell UltraSharp UZ2715H 27" 1080p Anti-glare IPS Monitor w/ 2MP Webcam, USB 3.0 Hub, 3 year warranty for $337.49 with free shipping (list price $449.99) Dell U2414H UltraSharp 24" 1080p IPS Monitor w/3 year warranty for $269.99 with free shipping (list price $349.99) Dell UP3214Q UltraSharp 32" 3840x2160 IPS Monitor for $2,249.99 with free shipping (list price $2,999.99) Dell UZ2315H UltraSharp 23" 1080p Anti-glare IPS Monitor w/ 2MP Webcam, USB 3.0 Hub for $224.99 with free shipping (list price $299.99) HDTV and home theater Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Developers of the Tor privacy service say they're close to fixing a weakness that researchers for an abruptly canceled conference presentation said provides a low-cost way for adversaries to deanonymize hundreds of thousands of users. The talk previously scheduled for next month's Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas was titled "You Don't Have to be the NSA to Break Tor: Deanonymizing Users on a Budget." The abstract said that the hack cost less than $3,000 and could uncloak hundreds of thousands of users. On Monday, Black Hat organizers said the presentation was canceled at the request of attorneys from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where the researchers were employed, as well as the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). The attorneys said only that the materials to be presented "have not yet been approved by CMU/SEI for public release." Researchers Alexander Volynkin and Michael McCord have yet to explain why their talk was pulled. Tor officials responded by saying that they're working on an update for individual Tor relay nodes that will close the unspecified security hole. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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As part of its last-ditch effort to be classified as a cable company, Aereo has filed certain documentation with the US Copyright Office that has made public previously unknown details about the company. At the end of 2013, Aereo had 77,596 subscribers in 10 cities, according to Peter Kafka, who published the information earlier today. About 27,000 of them lived in New York City, Aereo's first market. Boston, its second market, had 12,000 subscribers, while Atlanta had 10,000. By way of comparison, Kafka notes that Netflix has more than 50 million subscribers worldwide, while Hulu has 6 million subscribers for its premium service. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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This screenshot reminds us that Video Games: The Movie is better than the Bob Haskins Super Mario Bros. film, but that's not saying much. Variance Films The announcement of Video Games: The Movie was exciting and promising enough to help most fans stomach its amateur status (and its awkward title). Not that gaming documentaries are a rarity anymore; other recent, popular flicks have poked their noses into gaming culture, but they’ve typically chosen and focused on a niche, like competitive retro play or small-fry development. VGTM, on the other hand, cast its documentary net wide by way of a giant interview cast. With luminaries like Nolan Bushnell, Warren Spector, Rob Pardo, David Crane (Pitfall), and other important games-history figures, the film’s comprehensive reputation preceded it. Unfortunately, the film's scope, in fact, is its greatest stumble. This feature-length debut from director Jeremy Snead boasts an impressive cast and noticeable polish, but it has “overreach” written all over it, proven by a lack of focus, wildly varying levels of authority, and crippling indecision about whether gaming culture should still adopt the defensive pose of old. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Johns Hopkins Health System is agreeing to pay more than 8,000 women as much as $190 million to settle a lawsuit charging a gynecologist with deploying a secret pencam to shoot photos and videos of patients' sex organs. The Monday settlement is believed to be the largest involving sexual misconduct involving a physician. The male doctor, Nikita Levy, committed suicide last year, days after a fellow doctor became suspicious and alerted administrators at the Baltimore-based hospital—one of the country's most prestigious medical centers. Levy died after wrapping his head in plastic and overdosing on helium. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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No company has lobbied more fiercely against network neutrality than Verizon, which filed the lawsuit that overturned the FCC's rules prohibiting ISPs from blocking and discriminating against Web content. But the absence of net neutrality rules isn't just good for Verizon—it's also good for the blind, deaf, and disabled, Verizon claims. That's what Verizon lobbyists said in talks with congressional staffers, according to a Mother Jones report last month. "Three Hill sources tell Mother Jones that Verizon lobbyists have cited the needs of blind, deaf, and disabled people to try to convince congressional staffers and their bosses to get on board with the fast lane idea," the report said. With "fast lanes," Web services—including those designed for the blind, deaf, and disabled—could be prioritized in exchange for payment. Now, advocacy groups for deaf people have filed comments with the FCC saying they don't agree with Verizon's position. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Robert Scoble Just how profitable is fully acquiring America’s largest mobile phone company? Very. In February of this year, Verizon purchased the remaining minority stake in Verizon Wireless previously held by Vodafone. Verizon has since raked in $4.2 billion in profits during the second quarter of 2014, compared to $2.2 billion over the same time period in 2013. Still, investors remained unmoved: Verizon’s stock price was essentially flat on the news. One data point that likely contributed to the new, bigger company’s bottom line is Verizon Wireless’ ever-rising average revenue per account (ARPA); this rose 4.7 percent quarter-over-quarter, hitting just shy of $160 per month. As recently as January 2014, Verizon customers on average paid the most of any major carrier in the United States, at $148 per month. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Xiaomi is one of the biggest phone makers in China and is often called the "Apple of China" by the western press. The moniker is well-deserved, as the CEO has a penchant for doing product announcements wearing jeans and a black shirt and using Apple's trademark "One More Thing" surprise at the end of a show. Today, the company announced the Xiaomi Mi 4, a new version of its flagship smartphone. The spec rundown is a 5-inch 1080p IPS LCD, 2.5Ghz Snapdragon 801 chipset, 3GB RAM, 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera, and a 3080mAh battery. The real kicker is the price, 1,999 Yuan (about $320) for 16GB of storage, or 2,499 Yuan (about $400) for the 64GB version. The specs are similar to the OnePlus One—a 5.5-inch device for $300—and while the Mi 4 is slightly more expensive, the difference is that you can actually buy the Xiaomi device if you live in China. And sure enough, Xiaomi is still taking inspiration from its western role model, as the Mi 4 looks like a big iPhone. A segmented metal band with chamfered edges surrounds the phone, and it even uses a similar earpiece design. The rest of the outside is plastic, but for the new version Xiaomi says it has incorporated a stainless steel frame into the device. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Just give Riot an excuse to use the banhammer... League of Legends developer Riot Games is ready to take a tougher stance with the toxic players that are ruining the gameplay experience for many of the game's more than 27 million players. Riot Lead Designer of Social Systems Jeffrey Lin announced via Twitter yesterday that, starting immediately, "players that show extreme toxicity (intentional feeding or racism, etc) will be instantly 14-day or permabanned." In a a follow-up post on Reddit, Lin notes that things like "death threats [and] homophobia" will also draw the ire of the new stricter player moderation. Further, players that publicly complain about these bans will now be "named and shamed" through sharing the chat logs that led to the ban. The new banning system will be largely automated, and players caught up in the dragnet will be told they are being banned "until Year 2500," though such permanent bans will have to be reviewed by a human before going into effect. After testing the new moderation system one server at a time, Riot plans to roll the program out across the entire game. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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