News

SOFTWARE

Perl challenge designed to keep programming language very much alive

The aim of the challenge is to help improve the CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network) by fixing bugs, improving documentation, and updating code and distributions to best practices and current conventions.

INTERNET

Google may liberate Photos and Hangouts from Google+

Google could take the "+" out of Google+ Photos and Hangouts, establishing them as separate products worthy of individual attention.

HARDWARE SYSTEMS

Lenovo vows to stop shipping PCs with third-party bloatware after Superfish fiasco

It only took an embarrassing adware scandal that put millions of PCs at risk, but Lenovo has had a revelation: People just want clean Windows.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

Apple Watch will start your car one day, Tim Cook says

While we count down the days until the Apple Watch is (presumably) revealed at Apple's "Spring forward" event March 9, more details about the much-anticipated wearable continue to dribble out. For instance, the smartwatch was designed to be able to replace your car keys--though it's unlikely that functionality will be turned on at launch.

TELECOMMUNICATION | INTERNET

Spark Electron brings cheap cellular connectivity to the Internet of Things

You might be familiar with Spark, a company that's best known for its Spark Core, an open source Wi-Fi development kit for creating Internet-connected devices. It drew considerable interest on Kickstarter as it blew past its funding goal a year ago before yielding to Photon, a spiritual successor with more bells and whistles. Now Spark is back on Kickstarter, though this time it wants to disrupt the cellular space with its Electron development board.

NETWORKING | TELECOMMUNICATION | GOVERNMENT

The FCC's net neutrality ruling: 5 things you need to know

Advocates for open access to the Internet were popping champagne corks on Thursday after the Federal Communications Commission voted in favor of reclassifying broadband Internet as a public utility. In addition to regulating fixed broadband lines that go into your home, the FCC vote also extended public utility rules to mobile broadband for the first time.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

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Swiss luxury watch makers reveal the horological smartwatch, a direct response to gadgety wearable crap

The Apple Watch may emerge in a cloud of narcotic pixie dust on March 9, but the Swiss watch industry has some fancy new tricks of its own. At a chi-chi Thursday launch event, a trio of unbearably urbane manufacturers revealed MMT (Manufacture Modules Technologies), a platform that will power what the Swiss call "horological smartwatches"--beautiful, analog-display timepieces loaded with the same activity-tracking features offered by the Jawbone UP.

INTERNET

PSA: House of Cards season 3 is here

Netflix's flagship original series House of Cards is back for a third season, dropping into an escalating war over original content.

SOFTWARE

How to enable Chrome's clutter-free experimental reading mode

Other browsers have had it for years, but Chrome is finally adding a "Reader mode" that strips down an online article to its most essential parts--images and text--to make it easier to read. The new feature, dubbed Distill, is currently a work in progress but is still worth trying out for full-time Chrome users.

CONSUMER ELECTRONICS

VLC update adds in-app extensions, resume playback, Android TV support, more

Everybody's favorite open source video player just got even better. The VideoLAN Organization is releasing the stable version of VLC 2.2.0 on Friday, packed with a few goodies ahead of the VLC 3.0.0 release scheduled for later this year.

Expert Opinion

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Apple doesn't need its own gadgets to dominate the smart home

If you believe the weekend rumors, Apple will announce a connected-home platform next week at WWDC. But before you get too excited about an iThermostat and an iFridge and an iCamera watching you sleep, consider this: If Apple does get into the home-automation market, that doesn't necessarily mean it'll make smart-home gadgets of its own.

Editors Pick

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Justin.tv goes off the air

With all signs pointing to a Google purchase of Twitch, the company behind Justin.tv has shut down the live video service.

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Verizon fires back at FCC over data throttling

The FCC called out Verizon for its plans to throttle customers with unlimited data plans who use the most data, so the carrier responded.

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Business faces backlash after threatening $500 fines for negative Yelp reviews

Businesses who don't know how to manage their social media presence should remember that the Internet can be vicious.

Latest Product Reviews

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Key Ingredient kitchen tablet review: Yummy recipes can't rescue this crummy tablet

Meatballs. Giant bacon-wrapped meatballs. The Key Ingredient Recipe tablet suggested this fantastic idea to me when I searched for a meatball recipe. It's a good thing the meatballs were tasty, because that's about the only thing this tablet gets right.