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In introducing it's $99 set top box, Fire TV, last month, Amazon played up its voice search function as revolutionizing the process of finding content online. But in fact, all it did was revolutionize the search for Amazon content and Vevo music videos, as no other services supported the feature (except Hulu Plus, but in a halfhearted manner). Today (Apr. 17) Amazon took a step to making Voice Search more than a parlor trick by announcing that it will soon support Hulu Plus (fully) as well as free video site Crackle and cable TV companion app Showtime Anywhere.

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(Reuters) - Rockwell Collins Inc, maker of a key communications system for jets, is interested in joining a task force on improving global airline tracking to prevent further disappearances of planes like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, its chief executive said on Thursday. Chief Executive Officer Kelly Ortberg said the avionics supplier had "a lot of value to add" to the task force planned by the International Air Transport Association that will look at ways to track airplanes and make recommendations. The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared from radar screens on March 8 with 239 people on board. Last year, Rockwell acquired ARINC, a provider of aviation connectivity services including flight planning and high-speed data.

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(Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Friday confirmed that there was a breach of certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers. The company said in January that it was working with federal law enforcement officials to investigate a possible data breach. While the affected systems contained certain payment card information, there was no evidence that those data were at risk, the company said in a statement on Friday. Michaels said it was working with law enforcement authorities, banks and payment processors, and that the malware no longer presents a threat.

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At the moment, Google is hard at work to make our lives easier, more connected and rather enjoyable. This has always been a company with a proclivity towards the human touch to keep its customers smiling.

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Fire TV came out of the gate with an impressive initial effort, however one of its rough edges is that the voice search is actually quite limited. At launch it could only provide results from Amazon's own movie and TV selections or music videos from Vevo, but the company is already adding new services to the mix. Hulu Plus, Showtime Anytime and Crackle are first up, which is a good list, but it's still missing Netflix.

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It looks like Time Warner Cable just simplified the Wi-Fi hotspot once and for all. Gigaom reports that Time Warner enabled Hotspot 2.0 capabilities across its public Wi-Fi network this week, allowing customers to log in a single time and then remain connected any time their devices pick up a signal in the future. The upgraded software has been available to broadband customers since March, but this marks the first large-scale implementation of the software. The goal is to give Time Warner customers access to the Internet anywhere they go. Not only will customers be able to avoid those pesky login screens, but the connection will be encrypted using WPA2 security. “This was a good opportunity to get a secure connection to our customers,” said VP

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By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has failed to protect its data network against possible breaches, to encrypt highly sensitive information, or to use strong enough passwords, the Government Accountability Office said on Thursday. In addition to the cybersecurity failings, even the physical security in place to protect SEC data and equipment from being accessed or stolen is lax, a 25-page GAO report said, with workstations located in an area open to all agency staff. The report comes just two days after the SEC issued a nine-page blueprint that put Wall Street firms on notice that they should brace themselves for some tough questions from agency examiners about their cybersecurity policies and practices. "Information security control weaknesses in a key financial system's production environment may jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information residing in and processed by the system," the GAO wrote.

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Amazon announced today that the voice search functionality in its Fire TV media streaming box would soon be expanded to include information from Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime Anytime. Currently, Fire TV's voice search only supports Amazon's own content and music videos from Vevo. The Fire TV's voice search functionality is very impressive — we found it to be faster and more accurate than any other voice recognition service we've used.

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Apple's Siri is handy for checking weather and making appointments with voice commands, but what if she was smart enough to turn the lights on or unlock your car? That's what the folks behind GoogolPlex had in mind, as they've developed a unique Siri hack that makes the voice assistant compatible with third-party apps and connected home devices. Devised by a group of University of Pennsylvania freshmen called The Four Loop, GoogolPlex cleverly "spoofs" both Siri and Google into working with other apps on your iPhone.

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Dropbox just debuted its Carousel photo management app last week, and it's already making strides to boost the software's storage chops. Today, the cloud-minded outfit acquired Loom: a photo storage service that became a popular alternative to Everpix and Apple's iCloud Photo Stream. The snapshot organizer provides users with the ability to automatically upload images from multiple sources (or folders) to a single repository, accessible from both mobile devices and a desktop browser.

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If you haven't heard of Lavabit or Levison, then you've certainly heard of Lavabit's most famous user -- Edward Snowden. America's notorious whistleblower used Lavabit to invite reporters to Moscow, which caught the attention of the Feds.

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These changes will affect not only the aesthetics of the platform, which make it look strangely Facebook-esque, but will also offer some pretty cool added functionalities.

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So why wouldn't you want to try on a pair of Google Glass before spending your hard-earned money on it? Google's making it possible to do just that by offering people who've previously expressed interest in its heads-up display the chance to try out non-functional Glasses. You'll have 10 days to try out dummy Google Glass before having to return the kit to get back your $50 deposit.

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The Chinese web giant Tencent is one of the biggest companies in tech thanks to its popular messaging and gaming services, and yet you'd hardly know it outside of China. But that may not be for long: Tencent recently began expanding into new countries, and it's even made some investments in American companies to start making a dent in the US. "Will Tencent join the likes of Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter?" one startup founder backed by Tencent reportedly tells Fast Co. "They already are in that league.

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Over the past two weeks, the Pulitzer and Polk awards have recognized the work of Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and other journalists responsible for bringing Edward Snowden's leaked documents to print. But one of the most high-profile TV reports on US surveillance was an uncritically supportive look from CBS and 60 Minutes. Today, PBS announced plans for a two-part Frontline special called United States of Secrets, which promises the "definitive history" of domestic surveillance since the September 11th attacks. The first part of the series, airing May 13th, is reported by Michael Kirk, who was recently awarded a Polk award for NFL concussion exposé League of Denial.

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According to a recent survey, Americans are excited for futuristic technology that you might see in a sci-fi novel, but are anxious about how we’ll get there. That’s the conclusion from a report from a Pew Research Center released today which asked 1,000 Americans what they thought of various technological advancements. “The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage,” according to the report. For inventions that are not expected soon, but in the next 50 years, respondents were generally optimistic. 59% said they think technology will improve life in the next half-century, and 81% said they think people who need organ transplants

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Cable companies, you've been put on notice. Cord cutting -- ditching your steep monthly cable or satellite bill and instead watching video online -- is on the rise, according to a new report from Experian Marketing Services. In fact, some young adults may never even pay for cable TV in their lifetimes. The percentage of cord-cutters, which Experian considers people with high-speed Internet who've either never subscribed to or stopped subscribing to cable or satellite, has risen by 44 percent in just three years. In 2013, 6.5 percent of households in the U.S. ...

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The idea of 3D printing living cells offers a veritable launchpad of miracle treatments: we could grow new organs or create new skin for burn victims. There's one idea you may not have considered, however -- printing tumors. Researchers are developing a new process for researching cancer treatments that uses 3D printers to create a better in-lab cervical tumor model.

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Facebook has always been creepy. But now it's allowing you to be creepy, too! The site started rolling out an "optional" new mobile feature Thursday called Nearby Friends, which alerts you when your friends are nearby (and vice versa.) But if you fear weirdos, don't worry: The feature will only load if you opt-in and turn it on. Facebook also lets you decide which of your friends can view your location, and those friends can only do so if they allow you to view them too.

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I recently sat down to chat with TDK Corp executive director, Toshihide ("Toshi") Hokari about the evolution of this blast from the past company. TDK Corp started in Japan as TDK Electronics in 1935 as a manufacturer of cassette tapes and later videotapes, CD-R's, and an extensive collection of recording products. TDK became the largest shareholder in the audio and recording industry. Over the last couple decades while cassettes have disappeared from the market, TDK took a break. ...

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A robot doesn't have to big, powerful and terrifying to be worthwhile, and many people are working on miniature machines that are just as cool. Some of these endeavors show promise in medicine, but there are plenty of potential uses for microbots, especially when you can persuade a swarm of them to work together. Research outfit SRI reckons tiny automatons have a bright future in manufacturing, thanks to its new method for precisely controlling individuals within a larger group.

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iPhone fans are fanatically loyal to their favorite device but they can also give credit where it’s due. iMore writer Allyson Kazmucha, who writes obsessively about how to get the most out of your iPhone and iPad, has conducted a very thorough camera shootout involving the iPhone 5s, the Galaxy S5 and the HTC One (M8). While Kazmucha typically found that the One (M8)’s new camera lagged behind the iPhone 5s’s camera in terms of quality, she couldn’t say the same thing about the Galaxy S5′s camera, which she said was in some ways superior to the iPhone 5s’s. Before we get to her conclusions, we should note that she tested these cameras for a number of different picture scenarios, including low-light

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Can't wait to get home to your loved one so you can give him or her a squeeze? If you're the one behind the wheel, this is yet another reminder: Do. Not. Text. While. Driving. Unlike other poignant distracted driving ads, this PSA that Honda put out on YouTube shows no bloodied victims or totaled cars. Instead, this simple, flirtatious exchange is a conversation anyone can relate to. The message is perhaps most effective in GIF-form: GIF made by Imgur user EndiSky. Honda's ad rolled out in April as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an effort by the National

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The number of smartphone thefts nearly doubled last year, according to a new survey that suggests the crime is rapidly spreading while industry and law-enforcement officials bicker over a solution.

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You know that page with a check box you haphazardly agree to on the way to signing up for various online services? The one with the hundreds (or thousands) of words of legal mumbo jumbo? Yeah, we do the same thing -- it's okay. It's because those pages, the Terms of Service, are boring, lengthy, and probably meaningless. Right? Right?!

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