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Submission + - Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht sentenced to life in prison->

An anonymous reader writes: After being found guilty of seven criminal counts, including drug trafficking and money laundering, Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind the illegal online marketplace known as Silk Road, was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Katherine Forrest.

With all of the counts levied against him, Ulbricht was facing 20 years at a minimum. Prosecutors, though, were hoping for a much longer sentence, writing that they wanted a “lengthy sentence, one substantially above the mandatory minimum” as to make a harsh example out of Ulbricht. They also claim that Ulbricht hasn’t “acknowledged full responsibility or shown true remorse for his actions.”

The life sentence comes sentence in the wake of Ulbricht penning a heartfelt letter to Judge Forrest where he pleaded with the court for leniency.

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Submission + - The FCC's new net neutrality proposal is already ruining the Internet->

zacharye writes: It may seem melodramatic to say that the future of the Internet in the United States was put in jeopardy earlier this year when a U.S. Appeals court killed net neutrality. Unfortunately, it is not melodramatic at all. Apparently the mere possibility that the FCC’s new net neutrality proposal will pass is causing venture capital firms to stop funding startups with services that rely on fast Internet connections for videos, music or other services. The fear is that such companies may need to pay a ransom to large ISPs in the future, and those fees could dramatically impact their profitability...
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Submission + - Unmasked: The world's first clear look at Amazon's unreleased smartphone->

zacharye writes: Amazon is still more than a month away from unveiling its first own-brand smartphone, but there isn’t much mystery that remains. BGR gave the world its first look at the unannounced handset in mid-April, and we followed up with exclusive details surrounding the phone’s unique 3D interface and gesture-based controls. Then, we revealed that “Prime Data” will be one of the device’s key weapons in the crowded U.S. smartphone market. Now, BGR has exclusively obtained a new image of Amazon’s smartphone that reveals the handset’s design for the first time ever...
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Submission + - The Amazon smartphone's secret weapon: Prime Data->

zacharye writes: Amazon is preparing to release its first smartphone this summer and the device will include a variety of hardware and software features that are unlike anything the world has ever seen. These attributes are intriguing and at times innovative, but the company has an ace up its sleeve that could end up being the phone’s most attractive feature...
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Submission + - Beyond 3D: An exclusive inside look at Amazon's smartphone->

zacharye writes: Amazon doesn’t plan to unveil its first smartphone until later this spring, but the world got an early look at the handset last week when BGR posted exclusive photos of the unannounced device. We also shared several key details about the phone’s software, which features unique hardware-assisted 3D effects that will help differentiate Amazon’s smartphone lineup from rival devices. But Amazon’s 3D effects are just the tip of the iceberg — this exclusive report reveals everything there is to know about the exciting software that powers Amazon's upcoming smartphones...
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Submission + - This is Amazon's smartphone: First photos ever of the Kindle phone->

zacharye writes: BGR has spoken with multiple trusted sources and confirmed much of what has been reported thus far. We have also exclusively learned many new details surrounding Amazon’s upcoming smartphone, which is set to debut in the coming months. Finally, we have obtained exclusive photos of a prototype of the unreleased device, giving the world its first look at Amazon’s hotly anticipated phone...
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Submission + - U.S. wireless carriers finally have something to fear: Google->

zacharye writes: Call Google “evil” all you want — I personally love how “evil” Google is — but there is no other company on the planet that can shake things up and disrupt the status quo like Google. Armed with a massive advertising business and an uncanny ability to collect and utilize data in amazing ways, Google has time and time again shown us that it’s not afraid to roll the dice and bet big when it comes to breaking into new categories. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile should all be on high alert, then, because Google is once again rumored to be toying with the idea of launching its own wireless service...
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Submission + - This huge iOS 7 security flaw makes it impossible to recover your stolen iPhone->

zacharye writes: Owners of Apple’s iPhone have the dubious honor of possessing one of thieves’ most sought-after gadgets. In fact, the New York Police Department recently pointed out that thefts of Apple devices were largely responsible for the rise in crime last year. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why lost and stolen device recovery systems such as Apple’s Find My iPhone are hugely important, and we have read several stories about such mechanisms helping people recover their lost devices. But what happens when systems like Find My iPhone can be removed from a stolen iPhone in mere minutes?
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Submission + - These are the 5 iOS features Apple claims Samsung stole->

zacharye writes: According to Apple, Samsung has stolen a number of key iOS features and design elements, and used them when making its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Back in 2012 a jury agreed to some extent, and Apple was ultimately awarded nearly $1 billion in damages as a result. Now, Apple and Samsung find themselves in Judge Lucy Koh’s California court once again to argue over whether or not Samsung stole a different set of patents owned by Apple. Wondering exactly what Apple is claiming Samsung swiped in its Galaxy smartphones this time around? This post has everything you need to know...
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Submission + - 15 tips for squeezing as much battery life as possible out of your iPhone->

zacharye writes: After all these years, battery life is still one of the biggest pain points when it comes to smartphones. Battery technology is always improving, of course, but not nearly fast enough to offset the various new tech that drains the juice from our smartphones. Especially where the iPhone is concerned, the phone’s design is also constantly getting slimmer so there is less space to fit a battery with each new generation. But don’t despair — we’re here to help...
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Submission + - Thank you, Google, for being so 'evil'->

zacharye writes: Using Google’s “don’t be evil” slogan in articles criticizing the technology giant’s hunger for private data is a pastime tech bloggers and journalists have long since worn out. Yes, we know Google is an advertising company. Yes, we know nearly every single product and service in Google’s massive portfolio is used in part to collect personal data from the company’s massive user base. Yes, we know that data is then used to build profiles of each Google user. And yes, we know those profiles are used to serve targeted advertisements. But if Google is "evil," then being evil truly is fantastic for users...
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Submission + - Scientific proof that trolls are ruining the Internet->

zacharye writes: Internet trolls are not a new phenomenon, but people have yet to find a way to effectively stop these woeful web goers from spoiling the fun for the rest of us. They flood forums, blogs, news sites, social media networks and any other page that supports open discussions with the deplorable goal of ruining any hope of meaningful conversation. Trolling is obviously annoying and sometimes even exasperating, but many people don’t realize that it’s much worse than that. As noted in a recent report, we now have actual scientific proof that trolls are ruining the Internet...
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Submission + - Verizon CEO says heavy broadband users should pay more for their service->

zacharye writes: Are you constantly streaming high-definition video, downloading tons of Xbox One games and sending massive files to friends and family? You should pay more for Internet access than your neighbor, who only uses a 10-year-old PC in his living room to read email and occasionally browse the Internet for cat GIFs. This is the position of Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam, who said this week that heavy broadband users should have to pay more for home Internet access than those who don’t take full advantage of the service for which they already pay top dollar...
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Submission + - These six organizations secretly run the Internet->

zacharye writes: Who runs the Internet? Is it Google, the global search leader that trades fantastic free services for borderline frightening insights into user behavior? Is it Apple, whose iPhones and iPads are reportedly used to connect people to the Internet more than any other mobile devices on the planet by a massive margin? Is it the Illuminati? According to a new feature from the team that taught us how to disappear online, there are actually six organizations that secretly run the Internet and you might not have considered any of them...
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Submission + - Fascinating new mobile payment solution works everywhere by tricking card reader->

zacharye writes: The battle for the future of digital wallets is still in its infancy and there are still no clear winners in the United States. What is clear, however, is that NFC-based solutions haven’t seen the widespread adoption some industry watchers had expected. The lack of a universal solution and the cost of upgrading merchant terminals are both huge barriers, and they may never really be overcome. As such, several companies are looking for ways around these limitations by coming up with solutions that work with current equipment. One example we covered recently is Coin, which is building a one card to rule them all solution. Now, another contender called Loop has released a novel product it hopes will change the way we pay for goods and services...
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Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso