THE BIG STORY

Aereo takes on broadcasters before the Supreme Court

Instagram's 'Explore' tab now shows photos from people you actually know

Instagram is trying to make its "Explore" section feel more personal, rather than overload users with photos from celebrities they care little or nothing about. Or at least that's the idea, according to TechCrunch. You've likely started seeing more photos that've been liked people you follow on Instagram in place of the food shots and selfies of total strangers that dominated Explore before....

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Roku Streaming Stick review: TV everywhere

It happens every time I travel. I come back to my hotel room, flop into a freshly made bed, pick up the (probably sticky) black remote, and turn on the TV. I’m given the option to mortgage my home to watch a just-out-of-theaters movie, aimlessly surf through a bunch of local and basic cable channels, or take my chances with whatever’s on HBO. I flip through the 28 or so channels for about a...

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Supreme Court says child porn victims can claim payment from anyone who has their images

Victims of child pornography whose images have spread around the internet can now claim damages from anyone who possessed those files, the Supreme Court ruled today, but may not be held liable for as much money as distributors or pornographers.

The case was Paroline vs. United States, in which a woman, "Amy," sought restitution from a Texas man named Doyle Paroline for possessing two images of...

FCC proposal would destroy net neutrality

The Federal Communication Commission's proposal for new net neutrality rules will allow internet service providers to charge companies for preferential treatment, effectively undermining the concept of net neutrality, according to The Wall Street Journal. The rules will allow providers to charge companies for preferential treatment so long as they offer that treatment to all interested parties on "commercially reasonable" terms, with the FCC deciding whether the terms are reasonable on a case-by-case basis. Providers will reportedly not be able to block individual websites, however.

The...

Band of drones can play music better than your average human

You've never heard Strauss performed quite like this. The team at KMel Robotics has assembled a band of hexrotor drones that "have taken up new instruments to play some fresh songs." That "fresh" description isn't exactly serious, as each of the three pieces performed date back either multiple decades or hundreds of years. After kicking off the three song setlist with "Also sprach Zarathustra," the drones move on to "Carol of the Bells" and close with "The Star-Spangled Banner." And the end result sounds surprisingly great.

HBO will stream its shows to cord cutters for the first time on Amazon Instant Video

Amazon and HBO have signed an extensive, multi-year agreement that will bring many of the premium channel's greatest shows including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and The Wire to Amazon Prime Instant Video. The deal also includes "early" seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood. Newer shows like Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will eventually be made available to Prime subscribers, but not until three years after they've first aired on HBO. And...

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Samsung hopes to make FaceTime a headache for Apple

After weeks of playing defense against five Apple patents, Samsung this week went after Apple with two of its own patents: one it says is infringed when people make FaceTime calls, and another that covers the photo gallery feature found on iPhones, iPads, and some iPods.



Government approval of powdered alcohol labels was a mistake

"Palcohol," a company that made headlines recently for its plans to sell powdered alcohol in the US, has hit regulatory issues. After receiving label approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the company has seen that endorsement revoked. According to the Associated Press, citing a TTB representative, the approvals were issued in error. It's not clear how or why the accidental approval occurred, but it was apparently revoked yesterday evening. The Palcohol company says...




Russia's largest social network is under the control of Putin's allies, founder says

The embattled founder of VK, Russia's largest social networking site, said this week that the company is now "under the complete control" of two oligarchs with close ties to President Vladimir Putin. In a VK post published Monday, Pavel Durov said he's been fired as CEO of the website, claiming that he was pushed out on a technicality, and that he only heard of it through media reports. According to Durov, the site will now be under the control of Alisher Usmanov — Russia's richest man and...


Leonardo DiCaprio might play Steve Jobs in upcoming biopic

The director and lead actor of the Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs biopic are still up in the air, and another pair of big names are now reportedly being eyed for the roles: Leonardo DiCaprio and Slumdog Millionaire-director Danny Boyle. The Hollywood Reporter says that Sony Pictures is now in talks to sign Boyle, who has already approached DiCaprio about the possibility of starring as Jobs. The Social Network director David Fincher had previously been in talks to direct with Christian Bale...


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