Tim Cook to deliver 2018 commencement address at Duke, watch the Animoji announcement video here

Duke University announced this weekend that Tim Cook will be the commencement speaker at its 2018 graduation in May. Cook, of course, is a Duke alum himself, having graduated from the school’s Fuqua School of Business with his MBA…

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Vivid colors iPhone wallpaper pack 2

We are going back to back with intense vividly colored iPhone wallpapers. Last week’s Wallpapers of thew Week, vivid wallpaper pack, was one of the most popular wallpaper posts in some time. I figured, let’s rinse and repeat. Today’s collection is inspired by the original iPhone X advertising wallpapers, but in a strong new color scheme. … Read the rest of this post here


Vivid colors iPhone wallpaper pack 2” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Apple’s Green Hills store in Nashville, Tennessee set to close on February 11th for renovations

According to a message posted on the company’s retail website, Apple will temporarily close their Green Hills store in Nashville, Tennessee on February 11th.

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Inside Amazon’s surveillance-powered no-checkout convenience store

 By now many have heard of Amazon’s most audacious attempt to shake up the retail world, the cashless, cashierless Go store. Walk in, grab what you want, and walk out. I got a chance to do just that recently, as well as pick the brain of one of its chief architects. My intention going in was to try to shoplift something and catch these complacent Amazon types napping. But it became clear… Read More

Sex, the final frontier: Cindy Gallop raises $2M from mysterious investor for social sex tech

 “Everything’s a battle,” Cindy Gallop sighs, although ti’s clear she relishes those battles. What she means is that the entire Internet has long been divided into two separate, walled fiefdoms: one labelled “pornography,” the other marked with those three dread words “no adult content.” The territory between those two worlds, which she is trying… Read More

Rooting Android Just Isn’t Worth It Anymore

Back in the day, rooting Android was almost a must in order to get advanced functionality out of your phone (or in some cases, basic functionality). But times have changed. Google has made its mobile operating system so good that rooting is just more trouble than it’s worth.

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Copyright Trolls Obtained Details of 200,000 Finnish Internet Users

Fifteen years ago, the RIAA was contacting alleged file-sharers in the United States, demanding cash payments to make supposed lawsuits go away. In the years that followed, dozens of companies followed in their footsteps – not as a deterrent – but as a way to turn piracy into profit.

The practice is now widespread, not just in the United States, but also in Europe where few major countries have avoided the clutches of trolls. Germany has been hit particularly hard, with millions of cases. The UK has also seen tens of thousands of individuals targeted since 2006 although more recently the trolls there have been in retreat. The same cannot be said about Finland, however.

From a relatively late start in 2013, trolls have been stepping up their game in leaps and bounds but the true scale of developments in this Scandinavian country will probably come as a surprise to even the most seasoned of troll-watchers.

According to data compiled by NGO activist Ritva Puolakka, the business in Finland has grown to epidemic proportions. In fact, between 2013 and 2017 the Market Court (which deals with Intellectual Property matters, among other things) has ordered local Internet service providers to hand over the details of almost 200,000 Finnish Internet subscribers.

Published on the Ministry of Education and Culture website (via mikrobitti.fi) the data (pdf) reveals hundreds of processes against major Finnish ISPs.

Notably, every single case has been directed at a core group of three providers – Elisa, TeliaSonera and DNA – while customers of other ISPs seem to have been completely overlooked. Exactly why isn’t clear but in other jurisdictions it’s proven more cost-effective to hone a process with a small number of ISPs, rather than spread out to those with fewer customers.

Only one legal process is listed for 2013 but that demanded the identities of people behind 50 IP addresses. In 2014 there was a 14-fold increase in processes and the number of IP addresses targeted grew to 1,387.

For 2015, a total of 117 processes are listed, demanding the identities of people behind 37,468 IP addresses. In 2016 the trolls really upped their game. A total of 131 processes demanded the details of individuals behind 98,966 IP addresses. For last year, 79 processes are on the books, which in total amounted to 60,681 potential defendants in settlement cases.

In total, between 2013 and 2017 the Market Court ordered the ISPs to hand over the personal details of people behind a staggering 198,552 IP addresses. While it should be noted that each might not lead to a unique individual, the number is huge when one considers the potential returns if everyone pays up hundreds of euros to make supposed court cases go away.

But despite the significant scale, it will probably come as no surprise that very few companies are involved. Troll operations tend to be fairly centralized, often using the same base services to track and collect evidence against alleged pirates.

In the order they entered the settlement business in Finland the companies involved are: LFP Video Group LLC, International Content Holding B.V., Dallas Buyers Club LLC, Crystalis Entertainment UG, Scanbox Entertainment A/S, Fairway Film Alliance LLC, Copyright Collections Ltd, Mircom International Content Management, Interallip LLP, and Oy Atlantic Film Finland Ab.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

Official Pokémon Go wallpapers for 2018

Looking for your favorite Pokémon Go loading screen wallpapers? You’ll find them — and the story of how they get made! — below!

Pokémon Go changes its loading screen wallpaper roughly once a season, and always in a way that ties into whatever special events or big new features are coming our way. If you’re looking for the latest or past Pokémon Go loading screen wallpapers, you’ve come to the right place.

And if you’re curious to know how Pokémon Go comes up with its designs, Developer Insights has you covered:

When designing a loading screen, the team starts by discussing what the most appropriate Pokémon to feature is based on surrounding events and the latest product release. In the case of the Steelix loading screen, we knew we wanted to celebrate the recent introduction of Pokémon originally from the Johto region to Pokémon GO. We wanted to create a throwback to the original Gyarados loading screen by using an epic Johto region Pokémon with a similar shape and size, and Steelix was the best fit. After choosing the most appropriate Pokémon to feature, it was then time to begin drafting concepts! We spent some time looking at references in various art books, online, and in nature for compelling compositions, lighting, and interesting color schemes. After we had done a bit of research, we created a simple thumbnail sketch (shown below) to discuss the overall idea and rough composition with the team. The plan at this stage was to have a strong sense of what the eventual artwork would look like.

Read the rest of the article for more, and for PNG versions of the loading screen, or scroll down and grab the JPG below!

Winter 2018: Max New Year excite!

Pikachu returns to the loading screen with 2018 in lights, old friends like Bulbasaur, Lavitar, and a call-back starring the Gen 2 babies, as well as new Gen 3 friends like Wurmple, Torchic, Treeko, Mudkip, Wynaut, Slakoth, Skitty, Azuril, and Loudred.

Holidays 2018: Trim the tree with more Gen 3!

Plusle and Minum, Skitty and Delcatty, Raltz and Kirlia, Mudkip and Spheal, Beautifly and Wingull, and a bevy of Seedots trim the Pokémon Go tree with their trainer.

Fall 2017: Halloween, Gen 3!

Gengar is back but this time he’s brought Duskull, Dusclops, Shuppet, Banette, and Sableye from Gen 3 with him. Oh, and a Mimikyu hat as well!

Summer 2017: Raid Battle Boss!

Tyranitar is the Raid Boss and Pikachu blasts it with electric fury while Cyndaquil, Squirtle, Hoppip, Sneasel, and a trio of trainers look on!

Spring 2017: Enter the Steelix

A female Steelix, the Metal Coat evolution item-enhanced form of Onix, bursts up out of the ground to face her soon-to-be new trainer.

Winter 2017: New Year’s Baby Eve

Elekid, Clefa, Pichu, Igglybuff, Togepi, and a lone trainer watch the fireworks (and wonder where Magby is?)

Holiday 2016: Deck the Poké Halls

Santa Hat Pikachu, Snorlax, Clefairy, Eevee, and Squirtle string up the Christmas lights while a lone trainer checks her Dex.

Fall 2016: Halloween trick-or-treat

A trainer checks his Nearby radar while Gengar emerges, eyes glowing red, from the ghostly bowels of an ancient Pokémon tree.

What are your favorite Pokémon loading screens and wallpapers?

Link me in the comments below!

Apple HomePod Receives FCC Approval, Could Launch Soon

Apple’s Siri-powered intelligent speaker, the HomePod, has officially been granted approval by the Federal Communications Commission, or as people more commonly know the organization, the FCC. The approval means that we are likely to be as close to HomePod release as we will get without it physically being in our hands.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Tech Deals: 45% Off Beats Pill+, $10 Off Fire TV Stick For Kodi, $200 Off MacBook Air Starter Bundle, More

The weekend would simply not be the weekend without being able to simply browse through a collection of hand-picked, wonderfully selected, price reduced deals. Yes, that’s right, this is yet another installment of our daily technology deals, which are all in place to let you get new products and accessories in your life without having to pay full price.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Apple Is Currently Replacing Faulty iPhone 6 Plus Units With iPhone 6s Plus Until March

If you own an iPhone 6 Plus that is damaged to the point of needing to be replaced, you may be in luck according to a new report claiming that Apple will be replacing the older iPhone with one a year newer – the iPhone 6s Plus – through March.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

How to Check Uptime of iPhone or iPad to See When Last Booted

Uptime determines how long a computer or iOS device has been turned on for, or at least when the hardware was last booted or rebooted. On a unix machine or any Mac, you can check uptime with the uptime command or system System Information, but the iPhone and iPad has no such mechanism for seeing … Read More

China Seriously Doubts Objectivity of US ‘Pirate Site’ List

Late last week, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) released an updated version of its “Out-of-Cycle Review of Notorious Markets,” identifying some of the worst IP-offenders worldwide.

The overview is largely based on input from major copyright holders and related industry groups. While the US Government admits that it doesn’t make any judgments, the list carries a lot of weight and can hurt the image of companies that are singled out.

For some of the ‘classic’ pirate sites such as The Pirate Bay, this doesn’t really matter. On the contrary, they may see it as a badge of honor. However, for billion-dollar businesses such as Alibaba and VK, it’s a different story.

They are not at risk of being the target of a criminal prosecution, as some classic pirate sites are, but the listing will make them a hot topic on the political agenda.

Interestingly, it seems that not all countries are happy with seeing some of their top companies being singled out. When China’s commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng was confronted with the fact that Alibaba and its Taobao.com site were listed, he made some noteworthy observations.

“In the report, the U.S. frequently discusses the relevant Chinese businesses with the words like ‘reportedly,’ ‘according to authoritative sources’ and the like,” Feng told the local press.

In its report, the US Government stressed that Alibaba should do more to combat counterfeiting and piracy on Taobao.com and other platforms, but China’s officials don’t seem convinced.

“It lacked conclusive evidence and had no relevant figures to back up its points. We have no choice but to express our doubts about the objectivity and reliability of the department that issued the report,” Feng added.

China’s commerce ministry has a point. The USTR report is compiled from comments that are provided by copyright holders. These are not thoroughly vetted, as far as we know, which doesn’t seem very objective.

Even more concerning, copyright holders often cite the USTR’s notorious markets list in legal and lobbying efforts, even though they are in essence their own findings in a rewritten form. While that may be very convenient, it can also be misleading.

Alibaba itself went a step further than the commerce ministry and noted that the company is being used as a “scapegoat” in a geopolitical game. In a detailed ten-page rebuttal, the marketplace responded to the allegations point by point.

“As a result of the rise of trade protectionism, Alibaba has been turned into a scapegoat by the USTR to win points in a highly-politicized environment and their actions should be recognized for what they are,” the company commented.

“The USTR’s actions made it clear that the Notorious Markets List, which only targets non-US marketplaces, is not about intellectual property protection, but just another instrument to achieve the US Government’s geopolitical objectives.”

Critique on the USTR’s Special 301 reports, which the Notorious Markets lists are part of, is not new. Earlier this year Canada’s Government described the process as flawed as it’s mainly driven by one-sided copyright industry claims.

“Canada does not recognize the validity of the Special 301 and considers the process and the Report to be flawed,” a Government memo read.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

How to reboot, reset, or enter DFU mode on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

How do you reboot or DFU iPhone 7 when the Home button has gone Force Touch? Easily, it turns out!

Resetting and DFU mode are the last two steps on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus troubleshooting ladder. When nothing else is working, these steps are your go-tos for getting your phone back into working order. A reset is just a forced reboot — one that you can do even if your device is malfunctioning. DFU (device recovery mode) mode, in contrast, is the last resort: It puts your iPhone into a state where it can still communicate with iTunes on Windows or Mac and be restored, but it won’t trip the boot loader or iOS, in case your software has become royally borked.

How to reboot your iPhone 7

If your iPhone 7 stops responding and you can’t force quit apps or turn it off by holding down the power button, you may need to reboot your device.

  1. Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side.
  2. While continuing to hold the On/Off button, press and hold the volume down button on the left side of your iPhone.
  3. Hold both buttons as the screen turns off, and keep holding them until the screen turns back on and displays the Apple logo.

How to put your iPhone or iPad into DFU mode

If all else has failed, you may need to restore your iPhone; if it won’t restore normally, you’ll need to put it into DFU mode.

  1. Turn Off your iPhone 7 if you haven’t already done so.
  2. Plug in your iPhone 7 to your Mac or PC.
  3. Make sure iTunes is running on your Mac.
  4. Press and hold down the On/Off button on the right side of your device for 3 seconds.
  5. Press and hold down the volume down button on the left side of your iPhone 7 while still holding down the On/Off button.
  6. Keep holding both buttons down for 10 seconds. (If you see the Apple logo, you’ve held them too long and will need to start again.)
  7. Let go of the On/Off Button but keep holding the volume down button for about 5 seconds. (If you see the “Plug into iTunes” screen, then you’ve held it too long and will need to start again.)
  8. If the screen stays black, that’s it! Your iPhone 7 should now be in DFU mode.

At this point, iTunes should show you an alert saying it’s detected your iPhone 7 and will allow it to be restored from scratch or a backup.

Reminder: If you see any logos on your device, you might be in Recovery Mode, but you’re not in DFU mode. If Recovery Mode works, great. If not, try for DFU Mode again.

Questions?

If you have any questions about rebooting your iPhone 7 or putting it in DFU mode, let us know in the comments.

Updated January 2018: Everything’s up to date for iOS 11.

Police Shut Down Pirate Streaming TV Provider, Three Men Arrested

As prices for official multi-channel cable and satellite packages continue to increase, unauthorized streaming TV providers are providing an interesting alternative for those who demand the greatest variety of channels at a cut-down price.

Of course, none of this is legal and as such, authorities are clamping down. Today brings news of yet another pirate raid, this time in the city of Lublin, Poland.

A statement from the Provincial Police Headquarters reveals that officers from the Cybercrime and Economic Crime units conducted an investigation under the supervision of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Lublin. Locations in three provinces – Dolnośląskie, Zachodniopomorskie and Wielkopolskie – were searched.

According to prosecutors, the operators of the website illegally streamed the majority of all television channels available locally, including digital TV and state television. More than 160 channels were supplied via the site without permission. Users were initially given free access to the currently unnamed service but were then encouraged to subscribe to a premium package.

Pirate Streaming TV service (Credit: Polish police)

“The funds obtained from this procedure were invested in the further development of criminal activity and in foreign and Polish companies, of which [the suspects] were owners,” a police statement notes.

Local reports indicate three men, aged 30, 42 and 57, were arrested and brought to the prosecutor’s office. There they faced allegations of illegally distributing pay television and using the revenue as a permanent source of income.

“We estimate that the suspects could have benefited to the tune of nearly 3.5 million zlotys [840,663 euros] via their illegal practices,” police add.

Pirate Streaming TV service (Credit: Polish police)

In addition to the arrests, police also seized equipment including 12 computers, nine servers, tablets, decoders, telephones, more than 60 hard drives and similar devices, plus documentation.

The news of these raids in Poland follows on the heels of a Europol led operation to close down an IPTV operation said to be one of the largest in the world. The still-unnamed provider allegedly serviced around 500,000 subscribers from a base in Bulgaria, where a local ISP has come under the spotlight.

A video of the Polish operation, including a suspect under arrest, is available here.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons

Can You Be a Bitcoin Billionaire? 5 Risk-Free Cryptocurrency Trading Simulators

Bitcoin Trading Simulators

The bitcoin wave has swelled up higher than ever before, and everyone wants a piece of the action. But do you actually stand to make a profit or will you end up losing your money? These free simulators and games will help you learn about cryptocurrency and try your hand at it risk-free. Cryptocurrency is similar to the stock market, and bitcoin is like a blue chip company. Obviously, there are big amounts of money involved and so you should tread with caution. Before you jump into the market, it’s smart to do a mock run and see how you…

Read the full article: Can You Be a Bitcoin Billionaire? 5 Risk-Free Cryptocurrency Trading Simulators

Instagram Now Shows Your Activity Status By Default

instagram-new-features

Instagram has quietly introduced a new feature to the app which means people can see when you were last active on Instagram. On the flipside, you can now see when other people were last active on Instagram. This feature is enabled by default, but it’s easy to disable it. At least for now. Social networking sites rely on interactions between people. Without them, the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram would stop functioning. One way of getting people to keep coming back, and to interact with others, is to shame them for their absence. Which is Instagram’s latest trick. Everyone…

Read the full article: Instagram Now Shows Your Activity Status By Default

The Best White Noise Machine for Canceling Distractions

white-noise-machines

Does sound distract or keep you awake? A white noise machine can help. Most people use noise-canceling headphones to dampen sounds. But there’s another option that doesn’t require wearing bulky earcups: white noise (a random audio signal with differing frequencies and equal intensities) does the same job. With a nature-emulating soundscape, such as wind blustering through trees or a gently rushing waterfall, white noise is well-suited to a variety of applications. Find out what a white noise machine is, why you should use one, and discover the best white noise machines for canceling distractions! What Is a White Noise Machine?…

Read the full article: The Best White Noise Machine for Canceling Distractions

Check Out These Stunning 50 Megapixel iPhone Panorama Images Shot from a Plane

Imagine strapping an iPhone 7 to the bottom of an airplane, placing the camera into Panorama mode, and then flying around and capturing giant sweeping panorama images of the ground as you fly over it. The images would probably look pretty amazing, right? Well there’s no reason to imagine what they’d look like, because one … Read More

10 Self-Improvement Audiobooks to Help Change Your Life

self-improvement-audio-books

Whether you’re looking to meet a New Year’s resolution or simply trying to improve your life, self-improvement audiobooks can help. But there are so many out there that it can be difficult to pick one. That’s why we’ve scoured the internet for the best self-improvement books that you can listen to. From cleaning out clutter to reducing stress, these inspirational audiobooks will help you get your life on track. Audiobooks for a Simpler Life Clearing out clutter and refocusing your mind can have a profound effect on your life. These three books will help you simplify in different areas of…

Read the full article: 10 Self-Improvement Audiobooks to Help Change Your Life

Beats Pill+ Bluetooth Speaker in White Discounted to $116 at Target and Amazon

The Beats Pill+ Bluetooth speaker has received a notable discount today at two retailers, with the White model specifically getting marked down to one of the lowest price points seen for the device. At both Target and Amazon you can get the Beats Pill+ in White for $116.99, which is over $30 lower than the speaker’s more common sale price of $150. When it first launched in 2015, Apple sold the Beats Pill+ for $230.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

The only other color that appears slightly lowered in price as well is Black, but on Target the color has sold out at the time of writing, and on Amazon every other color option is $149.00 and above (you’ll have to add the speakers to your cart to see how much they are). Elsewhere at retailers like Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart, and Newegg the speaker sits at around a similar $149.00 price point, while Apple still sells it for $179.95.

In other Beats sales, Newegg’s official eBay store has the Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones for $197.00, down from $299.00. Colors available include Gloss Black, Gloss White, Rose Gold, and Gold, and there is a limit to three headphones per customer.



The next best prices can be found at Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon, which all have the headphones for about $219.99. Like the Beats Pill+ deal, discounts on the Beats Solo3 headphones at these retailers are mostly focused on one color of the device, this time in Black.

For more discounts on Beats and other products — including a UE Megaboom sale going on right now at Best Buy — be sure to visit our Deals Roundup.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

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