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Enlarge (credit: Getty Images/Ulrich Baumgartgen) Google is taking legal action in the US to stop Canada's Supreme Court from controlling its search results worldwide. Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered Google to remove links to webpages owned by a company called Datalink Technologies on all of its search websites, worldwide. Canadian courts had previously found that Datalink was illegally re-labeling products and infringing the intellectual property of a Vancouver tech firm called Equustek. Yesterday, Google filed a lawsuit (PDF) in California, asking a judge to rule that the Canadian order is unenforceable in the US. Google lawyers argue that the order violates both the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which prevents online platforms from being held responsible for most user behavior. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we're back with a big new list of deals to share. Of note is a the Lenovo Y700 gaming notebook, complete with a Core i5 processor, a 14-inch 1080p display, 4GB AMD R9 M375 GPU, 128GB SSD, and 1TB HDD, for just $569 (over $200 off its original price). Apple's AirPods are also back in stock, so now's your chance to get your hands on the popular wireless earbuds before the sell out again. Check out the full list of deals below. Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / A power cable sits in the charge point of a Toyota Motor Corp. FT- EV III concept electric vehicle on display during the China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China, on Saturday, November 21, 2015. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images (credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images) According to reports in The Wall Street Journal and Japan’s Chunichi Shimbun, Toyota is in the “production engineering” stage of building an electric vehicle (EV) battery with a solid electrolyte. Reports suggest the new battery will debut in Japan in a model 2022 car with an all-new platform. So-called “solid state” batteries have both solid electrodes and solid electrolytes. Solid-state batteries can be made smaller and lighter than the lithium-ion batteries that currently power electric vehicles, but engineering such a battery at an attractive price point for mass production has been a challenge. The Chunichi Shimbun reported that Toyota’s battery will be able to charge in a few minutes and have a long range, but the article did not list specifics. A solid-state battery would also reduce the fire risk that comes with lithium-ion batteries that use a liquid electrolyte. And, because the electrolyte wouldn’t be in danger of freezing, it could withstand a wider range of temperatures. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Nitin Jairam Gadkari, minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping of India at the India Economic Summit 2016 in New Delhi, India. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell (credit: World Economic Forum) Companies in the United States, Germany, Japan, and other countries are racing to develop self-driving cars. But India's top transportation regulator says that those cars won't be welcome on Indian streets any time soon. "We won’t allow driverless cars in India," said Nitin Gadkari, India's minister for Road Transport, Highways, and Shipping, according to the Hindustan Times. "I am very clear on this. We won’t allow any technology that takes away jobs." In recent years, new technology has mostly created jobs for drivers. In India, the leading ride-sharing services, Ola and Uber, completed 500 million rides in 2016, creating work for Indian drivers. But Uber's ultimate goal is to introduce fully self-driving cars that will make these driving jobs obsolete. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Gramercy Pictures) The advent of DNA testing has made it uncomfortably clear that our criminal justice system often gets things wrong. Things go wrong for a variety of reasons, but many of them touch on science, or rather the lack of a scientific foundation for a number of forensic techniques. But in 70 percent of the cases where DNA has overturned a conviction, it also contradicted the testimony of one or more eyewitnesses to the events at issue. According to a new perspective published in PNAS, that shouldn't surprise us. The paper's author, Salk neuroscientist Thomas Albright, argues that we've learned a lot about how humans perceive the world, process information, and hold on to memories. And a lot of it indicates that we shouldn't value eyewitness testimony as much as we do. Still, Albright offers some suggestions about how we can tailor the investigative process to compensate a bit for human limitations. Persistence of memory Albright has some history in this area, as he co-chaired a study group at the National Academies of Science on the topic. His new perspective is largely a summary of the report that resulted from the group, and it's an important reminder that we have sound, evidence-based recommendations for improving the criminal justice system. Failure to implement them several years after the report is problematic. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Aurich / Thinkstock) Back in 2012, Adobe recognized that Flash's end was near, with a five- to 10-year timeframe for its eventual phasing out. Today, the company got specific: Flash will be supported through to the end of 2020, after which the Flash player will cease to be developed and distributed. In the early days of the Web, Flash served an essential role, offering graphical and interactive capabilities that simply had no equivalent in plain HTML and JavaScript. Since then, a raft of technologies—canvas for 2D graphics, WebGL for 3D graphics, HTML5's video and audio tags, JavaScript interfaces for microphones and webcams, among others—have piece by piece eliminated the need for Flash. With, most recently, support for DRM-protected video being incorporated into HTML5, the need for Flash is largely eliminated. As such, Adobe, together with Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, has planned to end-of-life the browser plugin. The plugin will be fully supported and maintained until the end of 2020, with browsers such as Chrome and Edge continuing to embed and patch the plugin. Adobe also says that in "certain [unspecified] geographies" it will move to end the support and use of the plugin more aggressively, due to widespread use of outdated versions of the software. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Netflix took an active role in fighting for net neutrality rules in 2014. (credit: Yuri Victor) The biggest websites and the biggest Internet service providers are being summoned to Congress to testify about net neutrality. US Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he is scheduling a full committee hearing titled, "Ground rules for the Internet ecosystem," for September 7. "Today I'm sending formal invitations to the top executives of the leading technology companies including Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, and Netflix, as well as broadband providers including Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, and Charter Communications, inviting each of them to come and testify before our full Energy and Commerce Committee," Walden said during a Federal Communications Commission oversight hearing this morning. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / A look inside the circuitry of a "decapped" arcade chip. (credit: Caps0ff) The community behind the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) has gone to great lengths to preserve thousands of arcade games run on hundreds of different chipsets through emulation over the years. That preservation effort has now grown to include the physical opening of DRM-protected chips in order to view the raw code written inside them—and it's an effort that could use your crowdsourced help. While dumping the raw code from many arcade chips is a simple process, plenty of titles have remained undumped and unemulated because of digital-rights-management code that prevents the ROM files from being easily copied off of the base integrated circuit chips. For some of those protected chips, the decapping process can be used as a DRM workaround by literally removing the chip's "cap" with nitric acid and acetone. With the underlying circuit paths exposed within the chip, there are a few potential ways to get at the raw code. For some chips, a bit of quick soldering to that exposed circuitry can allow for a dumped file that gets around any DRM further down the line. In the case of chips that use a non-rewritable Mask ROM, though, the decappers can actually look through a microscope (or high-resolution scan) to see the raw zeroes and ones that make up the otherwise protected ROM code. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: BTC Keychain) The price of Bitcoin surged late last week as it became clear that a proposal to expand the Bitcoin network's capacity had the support it needed to go into effect. Supporters of the proposal hope that it will put an end to a two-year-old feud that has been tearing the Bitcoin community apart. The core dispute is over how to accommodate the payment network's growing popularity. A hard-coded limit in Bitcoin software—1 megabyte per blockchain block—prevents the network from processing more than about seven transactions per second. The network started to bump up against this limit last year, resulting in slow transactions and soaring transaction fees. Some prominent figures in the Bitcoin community saw an easy fix: just increase that 1MB limit. But Bitcoin traditionalists argued that the limit was actually a feature, not a bug. Keeping blocks small ensures that anyone can afford the computing power required to participate in Bitcoin's consensus-based process for authenticating Bitcoin transactions, preventing a few big companies from gaining de facto control over the network. Read 26 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Making of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, The Santa Fe Opera (YouTube) Steve Jobs has been the subject of all kinds of art over the years, and now scenes from his life will play out on stage with powerful vocals in a new opera. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs highlights the "complicated and messy" life of the Apple cofounder and is the product of a partnership between composer Mason Bates and librettist/Pulitzer Prize winner Mark Campbell. Pairing something as contemporary as the story of Steve Jobs and Apple with a classical medium such as opera may seem like a mismatch. However, Bates was convinced he and Campbell could produce a compelling opera focusing on a big theme of Jobs' life—his need to control everything and make a perfect product, in contrast with the inherent uncontrollable nature of life. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs isn't a simple story, and that's not just due to Jobs' complexities. The stage production is nonlinear, recreating 18 scenes that occurred at various times during Jobs' life and career. It features important characters that made Jobs' who he was by the time he passed away in 2011, including business partner Steve Wozniak, his wife Laurene Powell, and Japanese priest Kobun Chino Otogawa, who helped guide Jobs' conversion to Buddhism. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Getty | John Greim) Regardless the type of dietary supplements—from vitamins, energy drinks, herbal medicines, homeopathic products, to some hormonal treatments—they usually come with big claims about boosting health and wellbeing. While those claims are questionable (and often unfounded), the products collectively do enhance one thing: the volume of calls to poison control centers. Between 2005 and 2012, the rate of supplement-related calls to poison centers increased 49.3 percent, researchers reported Monday in the Journal of Medical Toxicology. In the final year of data, the centers were getting calls at a rate of nearly 10 adverse exposures per 100,000 people. There didn’t seem to be a big jump in use of dietary supplements during that time. Self-reported use among adults has held steady, around 49 to 54 percent, the authors note. But, these supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as are drugs—no FDA review or approval is required before supplements hit the market. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Bill Pugliano & Justin Sullivan, Getty Images) There aren't many people in the world who can justifiably call Mark Zuckerberg a dumb-ass, but Elon Musk is probably one of them. Early on Tuesday morning, in the latest salvo of a tussle between the two tech billionaires over the dangers of advanced artificial intelligence, Musk said that Zuckerberg's "understanding of the subject is limited." I won't rehash the entire argument here, but basically Elon Musk has been warning society for the last few years that we need to be careful of advanced artificial intelligence. Musk is concerned that humans will either become second-class citizens under super-smart AIs, or alternatively that we'll face a Skynet-like scenario against a robot uprising. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images) Google's parent company Alphabet has—with relative ease—gulped down the record €2.4 ($2.7 billion) fine slapped on the ad giant by the antitrust wing of the European Commission in June, following a long-running probe of the company's abuse of dominance in Europe's search market. On Monday, Alphabet reported second quarter net income of $3.52 billion—down 28 percent from the same period a year ago—due to what it said was "the impact of the $2.7 billion European Commission (EC) fine." Alphabet shares barely wobbled, however, following the Q2 results, which saw sales climb to $26 billion, up 21 percent year-on-year. While earnings per share stood at $5.01. Google is yet to confirm whether it plans to appeal against the penalty, which Brussels' competition chief Margrethe Vestager meted out to the company after she concluded that it had breached EU rules "by promoting its own comparison shopping service in its search results, and demoting those of competitors." Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Thermal power plant with sun in Genoa, Italy. (credit: Getty Images) Unless you work at a coal, gas, or nuclear plant, you may not think about water when you think about electricity (certainly at a household level; they don’t mix). But water plays an important part in cooling many power plants, and many power plants also depend on a nearby water source to create steam that drives turbines. So the availability of water for power production is a serious consideration. Not enough water? That power plant could have to shut down. If the water isn’t chilly enough to cool the plant? Same problem. In a paper published in Nature Energy this week, a group of researchers from the Netherlands estimated how water availability would affect coal, gas, and nuclear plants in the European Union out to 2030. The researchers took into account a changing climate that will likely make water reserves scarcer and warmer, but they also accounted for progressive renewable energy policies in EU member countries, which are already prompting some thermoelectric plants to retire in favor of wind and solar (which need negligible amounts of water to operate). The researchers also counted new coal, gas, and nuclear plants that are in the planning or construction stages and will likely come online before 2030. The model tracked the “water footprints” of 1,326 thermoelectric power plants in Europe (that is, the amount of water they need to operate), as well as 818 water basins from which those plants draw water. The researchers found that by 2030, plants along 54 water basins could experience reduced power availability because of lack of water for cooling or steam production, up from 47 in 2014. If the EU were to experience summer droughts like those that occurred in 2003 or 2006, power shortages would follow, the paper noted. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Supergiant Games) Role-playing games and sports video games have more in common than you think. Decades ago, series like Sensible World of Soccer and Tony La Russa Baseball (on PC, not console) filled their career modes with lots of money- and roster-management menus. Modern major-league games and soccer games like FIFA 17 have carried those traditions over, sporting enough card-slotting and story-driven career modes to make them a hat and a wizard robe away from being a full-blown adventure. But what if a sports game went further with its RPG elements? What if it had a high-stakes, internal-drama story, where relationships between teammates—along with the winners and losers you confront along the way—affected everything from the storytelling to the number-crunching min-max possibilities? I invite the big dogs at EA Sports, 2K Games, and Sony Santa Monica to look at a tremendous example of that experiment: Pyre, out today from Supergiant Games. Pyre is a departure from the top-down, world-roaming adventures of Supergiant's previous games Bastion and Transistor. It's definitely not a Zelda-like quest with gritty narration, but it does see Supergiant continuing its streak of taking an established genre and saying, "we're gonna build a helluva narrative and aesthetic world in there." Read 24 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Keith Ivey) A federal judge on Monday refused to block President Donald Trump's advisory panel from demanding that the states hand over their registered voters' full names, political affiliations, addresses, dates of birth, criminal records, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, and other personal identifying information, including whether they voted in elections the past decade. The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which wants to make the data public, has been met with stiff resistance, including from at least 44 states which say they cannot comply with the complete demand because laws in their individual states prohibit them from doing so. But in a lawsuit from the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), which challenged the demand on privacy and other grounds, US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the District of Columbia said Trump's commission is exempt from the usual requirement that agencies consider privacy impacts of their new databases. She said the commission—which at Trump's urging wants to study voting irregularities such as whether dead people have been voting—is not an agency. Therefore, it is exempt from a 2002 law requiring a privacy impact statement for newly created government data systems. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Tim Malabuyo) A mysterious piece of malware that gives attackers surreptitious control over webcams, keyboards, and other sensitive resources has been infecting Macs for at least five years. The infections—known to number nearly 400 and possibly much higher—remained undetected until recently and may have been active for almost a decade. Patrick Wardle, a researcher with security firm Synack, said the malware is a variant of a malicious program that came to light in January after circulating for at least two years. Dubbed Fruitfly by some, both malware samples capture screenshots, keystrokes, webcam images, and information about each infected Mac. Both generations of Fruitfly also collect information about devices connected to the same network. After researchers from security firm Malwarebytes discovered the earlier Fruitfly variant infecting four Macs, Apple updated macOS to automatically detect the malware. The variant found by Wardle, by contrast, has infected a much larger number of Macs and remained undetected by both macOS and commercial antivirus products. After analyzing the new variant, Wardle was able to decrypt several backup domains that were hardcoded into the malware. To his surprise, the domains remained available. Within two days of registering one of the addresses, close to 400 infected Macs connected to the server, mostly from homes located in the United States. Although Wardle did nothing more than observe the IP address and user names of Macs that connected to his server, he had the ability to use the malware to spy on the users who were unwittingly infected. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Adi Chappo) Don’t worry Comic-Con fans, you don’t have to remove your comic books from your checked luggage, despite what a Sunday photo circulated on Twitter suggests. The dust-up began after a person named Adi Chappo tweeted the above, tagging United Airlines, which responded on Twitter: The restriction on checking comic books applies to all airlines operating out of San Diego this weekend and is set by the TSA. ^MD — United (@united) July 23, 2017 But by Monday, the Transportation Security Administration was saying that no such restriction existed. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Some of the free gear the Defense Department handed over to a fake police agency with a fake website. (credit: GAO) If you're not a US military or police buff, you probably have never heard of the 1033 Program. It essentially provides a bureaucratic means to transfer excess military grade weapons to local law enforcement agencies. Sure, you may not like local police departments having all types of military gear, such as grenade launchers, helicopters, boats, M14s, M16s, and so on. And you probably won't like how the agency seemingly doles out the weapons to anybody. All you have to do is apply, create a fake website, and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will oblige. Law enforcement experience is not required. There doesn't seem to be a requirement that the requesting agency actually be real, either. That's according to a new Government Accountability Office report. The government auditing agency created a fake website of a fake police department and applied for the surplus goods. The fake agency was handed $1.2 million in weapons, including night-vision goggles, simulated rifles, and simulated pipe bombs. The simulated rifles and pipe bombs could have been turned into "potentially lethal items if modified with commercially available items," according to the report. Simulated weapons are used for training purposes. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Google) Google has just announced the availability of the fourth and final Android O Developer Preview. As usual, the preview is available for the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel C, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and the Android Emulator. Like the third preview, we're not expecting much in the way of UI changes in this release. It will take some time to find out, but hopefully this preview is a little more stable and performant than the third release. Right now, our Pixel XL test device has a super-slow camera, frequent crashes, and lots of bluetooth issues running the third preview. The Android O APIs have been stable since release 3, so the major news with these release seems to be a stable release of version 26 of the Android Support Library. Despite the name, the Android Support Library is actually a collection of libraries developers can add to their apps to bring some of the latest Android features to an app, regardless of the host OS version. Support Library 26 brings new physics-based animations, downloadable fonts and emojis, and an auto-sizing TextView. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Phazzer's Enforcer weapon retailed for around $600, compared with $900 for a comparable Taser weapon. (credit: Phazzer) Axon, the company formerly known as Taser, said Monday that it has successfully defeated a Florida company in a patent lawsuit over its electrical stun gun design. For Axon, the victory is the third against knockoff rival firms in the last seven years. Last Friday, a federal judge in Florida found that a company called "Phazzer" (yes, like "phaser") "engaged in a pattern of bad faith behavior" as the case has unfolded. Phazzer made a product strikingly similar to the Taser. And the case involving Axon was first filed in 2016, shortly after a Florida county sheriff decided to switch from Taser weapons to Phazzer (largely over cost reasons). To further punish the company, US District Judge Paul Byron ruled in favor of Axon and hit Phazzer with a permanent injunction to make, sell, import, or distribute its own stun guns, likely marking a death knell for the Kissimmee, Florida-based company. For now, Phazzer's website is still up and makes no mention of the lawsuit. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Getty | Xinhua News Agency) Earlier this year, doctors reported the case of three women who went blind after having stem cells derived from their own fat injected directly into their eyeballs—a procedure for which they each paid $5,000. Piecing together how those women came to pay for such a treatment, the doctors noted that at least one of the patients was lured by a trial listing on ClinicalTrials.gov—a site run by the National Institutes of Health to register clinical trials. Though none of the women was ever enrolled in the trial—which never took place and has since been withdrawn—it was enough to make the treatment seem like part of legitimate, regulated clinical research. But it wasn’t. And, according to a new analysis in the journal Regenerative Medicine, it’s not the only case of dubious and potentially harmful stem cell therapies lurking on the respected NIH site. At least 18 ostensible trials listed on the site offer similar stem cell treatments that participants must pay to receive—unlike most trials, which compensate rather than charge participants for experimental treatments. These trials, sponsored by seven companies total, claim to be developing therapies for a wide range of conditions, like erectile dysfunction, type II diabetes, vision problems, Parkinson’s disease, premature ovarian failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, these trials are largely not backed by preliminary research. None of them has Food and Drug Administration approval—even though the agency has published a draft guidance that suggests these treatments are subject to FDA regulation. And some of the studies are only granted ethical approval by review boards with apparent conflicts of interest and histories of reprimands from medical boards and the FDA. Read 31 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Robo-cranes load cargo onto the robo-boat Yara Birkeland in this rendering of the drone ship, under construction in Norway. (credit: Konsberg Gruppen) SpaceX's drone landing ships have already proven that uncrewed vessels can handle some of the most dangerous jobs at sea. Now, two Norwegian companies are poised to put robo-boats into one of the most dull: hauling cargo down the fjord. Two Norwegian companies are teaming together to construct a short-range, all-electric coastal container ship that will eventually operate autonomously—eliminating up to 40,000 diesel truck trips per year. The ship, the Yara Birkeland, will begin operations in 2018 with a crew, but it's expected to operate largely autonomously (and crewless) by 2020 (regulatory clearance permitting, of course). The $25 million Birkeland—described by some shipping executives as the "Tesla of the Seas"— is being jointly developed by the fertilizer company Yara and the maritime and defense technology firm Kongsberg Gruppen. The ship will initially be crewed from an on-board control center within a cargo container. Eventually, the container will be moved ashore, and the ship will be remotely operated. It will navigate autonomously by utilizing GPS and avoid collisions using a combination of sensors. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge / Kim Dotcom, founder of the Internet Party and founder of Megaupload Ltd., speaks during a 2014 news conference. (credit: Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg via Getty Images) According to the New Zealand Herald, a New Zealand High Court judge revealed on Friday that the country’s signals intelligence agency, known as the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) illegally spied on Kim Dotcom for two months longer than previously admitted. Then-Prime Minister John Key apologized to the Megaupload founder back in 2012 for the operation. Under the law at the time, permanent residents like Dotcom were not to be subjected to surveillance by the country’s foreign-looking agency. If the revelation is borne out, it would mean that GCSB continued to spy on Dotcom even after the agency was made aware that the surveillance was illegal. Prime Minister Bill English has not responded to media requests for comment. Shortly after NZ media reported the court's judgement, Dotcom tweeted: Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Alex Wong) Senate and House Democratic leaders today proposed new antitrust laws that could prevent many of the biggest mergers and break up monopolies in broadband and other industries. "Right now our antitrust laws are designed to allow huge corporations to merge, padding the pockets of investors but sending costs skyrocketing for everything from cable bills and airline tickets to food and health care," US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in a New York Times opinion piece. "We are going to fight to allow regulators to break up big companies if they’re hurting consumers and to make it harder for companies to merge if it reduces competition." The "Better Deal" unveiled by Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was described in several documents that can be found in an Axios story. The plan for "cracking down on corporate monopolies" lists five industries that Democrats say are in particular need of change, specifically airlines, cable and telecom, the beer industry, food, and eyeglasses. The Democrats' plan for lowering the cost of prescription drugs is detailed in a separate document. Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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