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    Google, Apple $415M deal with tech workers gets final approval
    A court in California has approved a $415 million settlement between tech workers and Intel, Google, Apple and Adobe Systems, who were accused of conspiring to prevent the poaching of each other's employees. The final approval has, however, reduced significantly the sums to be paid to lawyers and the class representatives who had initiated the court action. The tech workers, who filed the suit, had alleged that Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar had engaged in an "overarching conspiracy" to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility. Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar had previously settled with the workers for about $20 million.

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    Beyond bitcoin: 7 ways to capitalize on blockchains
    From the beginning, bitcoin has assumed a shadowy, almost outlaw mystique. The technology’s origin and founder remain shrouded in mystery, even to this day. Add to that the Silk Road scandal, in which anonymous users traded bitcoins to buy drugs, landing its pioneer in prison for life, and it’s easy to see why many initially viewed bitcoin as a funding mechanism for the underworld. Even the mathematics of the technology are inscrutable enough to believe the worst.

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    How hard could it be?
    This pilot fish wants to print some large posters, but after getting an estimate of more than $1,000 from a commercial quick-print place it looks like the project is out of his price range.Then he gets lucky. "I felt like I'd won the lottery when somebody told me we had been given a large-format laser printer by another organization that had moved and didn't need it anymore," fish says. "I was told it was an awesome printer, and there was just one problem: It wasn't hooked up to our network."OK, this can't be such a big deal, he figures. He calls the help desk to open a ticket to connect the printer -- and to make sure the process goes smoothly, he gets the local IT support person to talk to the outsourced help desk to tell them what they need to put into the ticket.

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    As police move to adopt body cams, storage costs set to skyrocket
    The police department in Birmingham, Ala. has seen a 71% drop in citizen complaints -- and a 38% drop in use of force by officers -- since deploying 319 body cameras two months ago.The cameras have been so effective that the department plans to buy another 300 cameras from Taser International."The chief's goal is to get a camera on everybody who wears a uniform," said Capt. William Brewer, who heads up Birmingham Police Department's Technology Division.Birmingham is among a growing number of police departments that are rolling out body cameras, spurred in large part by public pressure in the wake of a series of controversial police shootings of civilians. That pressure first began to mount nationally last year in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo. Several other high-profile police shootings since Ferguson have added fuel to the body camera fire.

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    For future wearables, you are the network
    People who wear networked gadgets all over their bodies may someday become networks themselves. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have found a way for wearables to communicate through a person's body instead of the air around it. Their work could lead to devices that last longer on smaller batteries and don't give away secrets as easily as today's systems do.  The proliferation of smartphones, smart watches, health monitoring devices and other gear carried close to the body has led to so-called personal area networks that link the gadgets together and provide a path to the Internet through one that has a Wi-Fi or cell radio. Today, those PANs use short-range over-the-air systems like Bluetooth.

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    ACLU wants court to block NSA's continued phone records collection
    The American Civil Liberties Union is taking the NSA back to court over its continued bulk collection of phone metadata records. Although the law the NSA was using to justify its collection of phone records lapsed on June 1, Congress gave it 180 days to transition to a newer, more narrowly defined process of collecting information. The ACLU is now contesting that. An appeals court already found that the original law, part of the USA Patriot Act, did not justify the collection of such records, so continuing to hoover up that data is unlawful, ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo argued before the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York, which made the original ruling.

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    IDG Contributor Network: Obtaining SharePoint 2013 resources
    Like all technology, SharePoint is constantly changing, via hotfixes, cumulative updates and service packs released by Microsoft. One of the most commonly asked questions I receive from IT pros is, “Where do I find the most current information about SharePoint 2013, specifically for IT pros?”It's a great question because you can search the Internet with questions about SharePoint 2013 and get a wide range of results. But a lot of them are outdated, maybe inaccurate, or there have been updates to specific SharePoint 2013 components that aren’t reflected in returned articles.So I'm going to give you information about a website (yes, one site) that contains up-to-date information about SharePoint 2013. Even better is the fact that this site is managed and updated by Microsoft, meaning you can be confident that the information is likely to be accurate and current. In fact, one of the first things you see at the top of the page is the date it was last updated, so you’ll know that it should contain the latest and greatest information. FYI: the format used to display the date on the page is yyyy-mm-dd, meaning 2015-03-09 indicates it that was last updated on March 9, 2015, not Sept. 3.

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    Microsoft browser users kick older IE editions to the curb
    With less than 20 weeks left before Microsoft stops serving security updates to most versions of Internet Explorer (IE), Windows users last month finally began ditching the soon-to-be-retired editions in significant numbers, data released yesterday showed.Out of the blue a year ago, Microsoft told most IE users that they had to be running IE11 by Jan. 12, 2016. After that date, Microsoft will support IE9 only on the little-used Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008; IE10 only on Windows Server 2012; and only IE11 on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Also on the support list was the new Edge, exclusive to Windows 10.

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    Google updates productivity suite with dictation, integrated search and more
    Google rolled out a big set of updates to its productivity suite today aimed primarily at enhancing its capabilities for students and teachers. The updates include a new tool that lets users search for content to add to a document on Android, and support for dictating documents to their computer using Google's voice recognition capabilities. Voice Typing is only available for the desktop version of Chrome at the moment, and allows users to speak into their computer and get a transcription in real time.

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    The new Moto 360: A smartwatch that fits both men and women
    I've always been a little leery of technology that is specifically aimed at women. In my experience, these products are often manufactured by vendors who feel that the way to market to women is to color the devices pink and/or decorate them with kittens, daisies or anything perceived as cute. Thanks, but no thanks. I'm sure there are a lot of folks out there who like that kind of thing -- but it ain't me, or most of my colleagues over the age of 18.That being said, I have to admit that there are some tech devices -- or products that support tech devices -- that can legitimately be marketed toward the differing gender preferences. For example, as a woman who has narrower shoulders than most males of the same height, I used to find the majority of laptop backpacks to be uncomfortable (or even unusable), because the straps were placed too wide to accommodate my frame. It wasn't until bag manufacturers realized that women used laptops as well that I could purchase a backpack that fit well.

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    Spy equipment suppliers: Report exposes who sells surveillance tech to Columbia
    “We always assume we are being watched. It is part of our understanding. We think it’s a tactic to wear us down. We get tipped off by people in the state. They tell us ‘people are listening to you.’...” Would you be surprised to learn that a priest said that? Father Alberto is just one person living under surveillance in Columbia; he was interviewed by Privacy International as it investigated the shadow surveillance state in Columbia. The second investigative report looked into more than a dozen international companies selling surveillance equipment to Columbian government agencies and police.

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    Long after reports of hacking, baby monitors remain woefully insecure
    Disturbing reports in recent years of hackers hijacking baby monitors and screaming at children have creeped out parents, but these incidents apparently haven't spooked makers of these devices.A security analysis of nine baby monitors from different manufacturers revealed serious vulnerabilities and design flaws that could allow hackers to hijack their video feeds or take full control of the devices.The tests were performed by researchers from security firm Rapid7 during the first half of this year and the results were released Tuesday in a white paper. On a scale from A to F that rated their security functionality and implementation, eight of the devices received an F and one a D.

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