US surveillance court didn’t reject a single spy order last year

For years, critics have claimed that the US' Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a pushover: it's allegedly so reluctant to reject spying orders that it's little more than a speed bump for the FBI and NSA. True or not, that reputation isn't a…

Apple Will Analyze iPhone Of Teen Missing At Sea

I don’t quite understand why there was any courtroom drama to begin with, assuming that evidence of the boat being intentionally disabled is legit.

The recovered iPhone belonged to 14-year-old Austin Stephanos, who went missing while on a boat trip with Perry Cohen, also 14, in July. The Coast Guard led an eight-day search in the Atlantic, covering 50,000 nautical miles. The boys’ bodies were never found. But Austin’s iPhone was on board when the boys’ boat was recovered last month about 100 miles off the coast of Bermuda. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission gave the recovered iPhone to Austin’s father, Blu Stephanos, but Perry’s mother, Pam Cohen, took the issue to court, fighting to hand the phone over to experts.

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Microsoft Is Storing Data In 10 Million Strands of DNA

First I have to worry about corruption, and now I have to worry about mutation.

Microsoft has partnered with the San Francisco-based biotech startup Twist to investigate DNA data storage. It’s purchased the rights to ten million strings of DNA on which it will encode data, to assess the technique as a long-term, secure storage system. Microsoft simply hands over the data as a digital DNA sequence, then Twist creates it in physical form using synthetic biology techniques. Then it hands the DNA back to Microsoft to play around with. It’s not clear how much data Microsoft is trying to store, but IEEE Spectrum points out that a single gram of the long-chain molecules can store a zettabyte of data—which is 1 million gigabytes.

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Alicia Vikander To Star As Lara Croft In “Tomb Raider”

While Vikander is an Oscar winner, I really don’t see her as the Tomb Raider.

Lara Croft has been found. Alicia Vikander has signed on to star in Tomb Raider for MGM, Warner Bros. and GK Films, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The movie project, which has Roar Uthaug (The Wave) on board to direct, will tell the story of a young and untested Croft fighting to survive her first adventure. MGM and Warner Bros. are co-producing the film, with MGM overseeing production. They acquired the rights from GK Films, which had previously purchased the film rights in 2011 from Square Enix Ltd. Graham King is serving as producer.

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Valve will ban Steam cheaters via their linked phone numbers

Valve knows that players cheating on Steam is a serious problem, and it's taking action to address that in a few new ways. One is offering a matchmaking service for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that's only for folks who've linked their phone numb…

Samsung Working On Standalone Virtual Reality Headset

The current sets aren’t the best option for someone like me who just wants to lay down and watch a movie without being tethered to my PC, so this has my attention.

Samsung’s plans for virtual reality go beyond the company’s current Gear VR headset: The company is working on a standalone virtual reality (VR) headset that will incorporate positional tracking similar to the technologies now available on higher-end headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, revealed the company’s head of R&D for software and services Injong Rhee during the company’s developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday. “We are working on wireless and dedicated VR devices, not necessarily working with our mobile phone,” Rhee said.

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Windows 95 on an Apple Watch is wonderfully impractical

The quest to put Windows 95 on seemingly everything just achieved one of its biggest — or rather, smallest — feats to date. Nick Lee managed to get Microsoft's classic operating system running on an Apple Watch by modfiying a WatchKit app to load…