US carriers have 'reaped hundreds of millions of dollars' from bogus charges

A new report published Wednesday claims US wireless carriers have raked in "hundreds of millions of dollars" from unsuspecting customers by "cramming" unauthorized charges onto their bills. The dubious practice often finds wireless subscribers paying for premium short message services (PSMS) they have no recollection of signing up for. Cramming has "caused consumers substantial harm" according...

Apple's set-top box reportedly won't arrive this year

Apple's said to be working on a set-top box that many hope will revolutionize the way we watch TV, but according to The Information, we shouldn't expect to see it this year. The project has reportedly been held up by Apple's inability to strike the necessary deals with cable providers, which are said to be concerned that Apple might eventually replace them as the company that consumers look to when they're shopping for TV services. The potential merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable is also reported to be one of the issues that Apple sees as holding up the deal.

Rights issues reportedly continue to hold up Apple

My favorite thing on Twitter is a stream of fire and crime

I was at a birthday party when I heard about the fire. I wanted to leave but my girlfriend was still dancing, so I went to wait outside in a cul-de-sac courtyard on the back side of the building. The courtyard was full of people smoking or just talking, sound bouncing off the concrete walls. It was almost 1AM. I didn't want to talk to anyone so I found a place to stand on the far side and...

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This colorful tree is designed to grow 40 types of fruit

Even the most beautiful trees tend to bloom in only a single color, but artist Sam Van Aken is growing trees that turn into a kaleidoscopic array of flowers come spring. A project of his, the "Tree of 40 Fruit," has Van Aken grafting 40 different stone fruit branches onto a single tree, ultimately creating a tree that will slowly begin blooming at the beginning of spring and continue through...

Virgin Mobile's new plan offers more control at the expense of net neutrality

Virgin Mobile's new build-your-own smartphone plans may be seen as convenient by many consumers, but they also represent the most glaring net neutrality foul we've seen come from a US carrier. The Sprint-owned company likely suspects that most people won't care about the latter point. Starting next month, Virgin customers will be able to piece together a completely personalized plan — plans that could potentially turn social networks like Facebook and Twitter into line items on your monthly bill. Because with Virgin's new approach, you're no longer just paying for voice, texts, and a bucket...

Chinese smartphone makers are eating away at Samsung Galaxy sales

In a smartphone market that grew by 23 percent over the past year, Samsung has somehow managed to ship fewer phones. The vast Korean conglomerate is still the distant leader in terms of shipments — sending out more than 74 million handsets over the past three months — but its lead has been eroded by a rising tide of low-cost Chinese smartphone makers, according to the latest figures from IDC. Huawei is the standout from that group, recording a...

Samsung's biggest threat comes from China, not Cupertino
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UK police try to spook piracy website users with banner ads

Would an ominous banner ad be enough to dissuade you from illegally stealing an album or movie? UK authorities are apparently hoping so. The City of London Police’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is plastering ads across known piracy websites in an attempt to make users think...

Here's where Tony Stark should live when he moves to San Francisco

With details emerging about the upcoming new Iron Man series at this year's Comic-Con, Marvel has confirmed what the rest of America already knows: San Francisco is where you go if you're looking to launch an app. In the upcoming comic Superior...


This worm's sperm invades and kills females of another species

When it comes to sex, animals have developed a plethora of tricks to avoid mixups with other species. They use sight, smell, and even feel to tell each other apart. But in certain cases, the similarities between species are just too strong, so internal processes, such as a female’s ability to detect sperm from another species and select those that belong to her own, have to pick up the slack. This is what tends to happen with Caenorhabditis worms, a type of roundworm. Unfortunately, this...

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