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Iusacell stall is seen at a shopping mall in Mexico CityMEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's competition regulator on Sunday approved AT&T Inc's $1.7 billion purchase of local cellphone company Iusacell, with unspecified conditions, a statement said. The Federal Competition Commission said it set conditions on the deal to "avoid risks to the process of competition" in markets where Iusacell would compete with Carlos Slim's America Movil, which previously counted AT&T as a minority investor. America Movil is Mexico's biggest mobile operator, while Iusacell is a distant third. ...

  Sun, 21 Dec 2014 12:46:33 -0500

File photo of a security guard standing at the entrance of United Artists theater during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los AngelesBy Steve Holland and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism. Washington's longstanding dispute with North Korea, which for years has centered on its nuclear weapons program, has entered new territory with the accusation that Pyongyang carried out an assault on a major Hollywood entertainment company. ...

A magnifying glass is held in front of a computer screen in this picture illustration taken in BerlinBy Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Malicious software likely linked to China is being used to infect visitors to a wide range of official Afghan government websites, U.S. cybersecurity researchers say. ThreatConnect, a Virginia-based cybersecurity firm, said its researchers last week found a corrupted JavaScript file that is being used to host content on "gov.af" websites, and there are no antivirus protections available for the malware. ...

The Blackberry sign is pictured in WaterlooWATRERLOO, Ontario (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is working with Boeing Co on Boeing's high-security Android-based smartphone, the Canadian mobile technology company's chief executive said on Friday. The Boeing Black phone being developed by the Chicago-based aerospace and defense contractor, which is best known for jetliners and fighter planes, can self-destruct if it is tampered with. The Boeing Black device encrypts calls and is aimed at government agencies and others that need to keep communications and data secure. ...

A bitcoin ATM machine is shown at a restaurant in San DiegoBy Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Charlie Shrem, an outspoken supporter of bitcoins, was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday for indirectly helping to send $1 million in the digital currency to the Internet black-market bazaar Silk Road. Shrem, a former vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan to forfeit $950,000 after pleading guilty in September to aiding and abetting an unlicensed money transmitting business. ...

A Staples truck delivers office supplies in San Diego(Reuters) - Office-supply retailer Staples Inc said about 1.16 million payment cards might have been affected by the data breach announced in October. An investigation by external data security experts showed that criminals deployed malware to some point-of-sales systems at 115 U.S. stores, Staples said. The company said it has since eradicated the malware. Staples, which has more than 1,400 stores in the country, said the malware might have allowed access to some transaction data, including cardholder names, payment card numbers, expiration dates, and card verification codes. ...

  Sun, 21 Dec 2014 21:10:37 -0500

North Korea's alleged hack of Sony Pictures was not an act of war, President Barack Obama saysNorth Korea's alleged hack of Sony Pictures was not an act of war, President Barack Obama said in an interview aired Sunday, as Pyongyang threatened reprisals if targeted with sanctions. Obama promised an unspecified "proportionate" response, and said he would "review" whether to return North Korea to the US list of state sponsors of terrorism, after a six-year absence. Republican critics have accused North Korea of waging "cyber warfare" by targeting Sony, urging the president to respond robustly to the crisis.

The Big Picture: Monitoring the brains of online game addicts

Microsoft removes unofficial Snapchat apps from the Windows Phone storeMicrosoft has removed a host of third-party Snapchat alternatives from its Windows Phone store after the photo messaging service indicated that it would start cracking down on unofficial apps in a bid to tighten security. Rudy Huyn, the developer of popular Windows Phone Snapchat alternative 6snap, confirmed on Twitter that his app — and all other third-party Snapchat apps previously available on Microsoft's operating system — had been removed.

Bluetooth for the Blue Period: Art and tech unite in MONA's gallery appAustralia's Museum of Old and New Art is renowned for its unique design, eccentric founder and provocative art. But at the centre of it all, MONA's greatest achievement has been in the technological realm.>

Running with the Sony SmartWatch 3, Pebble update, BlackBerry Classic (MobileTechRoundup show #335)Kevin and Matthew still enjoy chatting about mobile technology after eight years of podcasting. Listen to the show and let them know what you want to hear in 2015.

Snapchat alternatives (and their users) vanish from Windows Phone

California health data exchange goes live with SaaSOrion Health has turned the key on its population health management solution, which delivers data between Blue Shield of California and Cal INDEX.

  Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:30:00 -0500

Data storage issue causes Jetstar outageJetstar passengers faced significant delays over the weekend in Australia following data storage issues at the budget airliner.

  Sun, 21 Dec 2014 18:23:00 -0500

ZDNet's top 7 business tech trends of 2014The 2014 innovation march in business tech included 3D printing advances, Apple mojo, big changes at Microsoft, and the wearables explosion. ZDNet's top editors break it down.

Cadillac will let you replace your rearview mirror with a video feed in 2016In 2016, a rearview mirror with a video display built-in will be a standard option on the Cadillac CT6, the carmaker's upcoming flagship sedan. With the wide-angle video feed enabled, the "mirror" will offer a field of view up to four times greater than that of a standard mirror, according to GM. Of course, when you use a camera mounted in the car's rear instead of a mirror, you won't have to deal with kids or luggage getting in the way of your view, either.

Watch the first steps of a robot inspired by stick bugs

New Final Fantasy XV trailer shows off more crazy and weird road trip actionWe've got to be honest: we don't really know much about the plot of the upcoming Final Fantasy XV, but we're irresistibly drawn to the idea of a road trip movie in a fantasy world. There's just nothing like pulling to the side of the road and piling out of the car to beat down a crew of dudes in armor and some massive land mammals. And as for the story, it is coming together a bit: the latest trailer for the upcoming RPG just came out of the Jump Festa 2015 Japanese convention, and it does fill in a few more gaps. And no, there's still no word on when this game will ship.

Samsung's super-wide curved monitor makes your PC extra trendy

Fox News channels go dark on Dish as contract talks stallThe absence of those channels marks the third major blackout for Dish subscribers in recent months.>

Cars drive by the Sony Pictures Plaza building in Culver City, Calif., Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving the satirical film, "The Interview," about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. He pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama says the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism as Washington decides how to respond to what he calls an "act of cybervandalism," not one of war, against a movie company.

SNL's Serial spoof gets to the bottom of Santa Claus' secretsIt's official: Saturday Night Live has spoofed a podcast, and, of course, it's none other than the hugely popular Serial. Fortunately, the skit is up there with some of the finest work to come out of this uneven season. Cecily Strong pulls off a pitch-perfect Sarah Koenig who's moved past true crime to answer some age-old mysteries about Santa Claus. The Christmas connection is probably the weakest link here, but did you ever think a podcast would be big enough to be parodied on SNL?

FILE - This file photo taken Tuesday, May 13, 2014 shows a row of Google self-driving cars outside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles are safe. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg,File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — California's Department of Motor Vehicles will miss a year-end deadline to adopt new rules for cars of the future because regulators first have to figure out how they'll know whether "driverless" vehicles are safe.

Gamer pleads guilty to making emergency call to report Grand Theft Auto shootingAn allegedly "confused" gamer calls emergency services and says there's been a shooting at his house. He was actually describing the action in his "Grand Theft Auto" game.>

Fox News and Fox Business go dark on Dish as negotiations stallDish customers are in the midst of another channel blackout — hardly an unusual occurrence for the feisty satellite TV provider. This time it's Fox News Channel and Fox Business that are missing from your lineup. The two channels went dark last night as both sides, Dish and 21st Century Fox, failed to come to terms and renew their contract.

Obama doesn't believe the Sony hack was an act of war

Mike Myers, as Dr. Evil, mocks Sony and North Korea on SNLBoth the corporation and the nation have given evil organizations a bad name, says the comically malevolent doctor.>

  Sun, 21 Dec 2014 11:30:55 -0500

The Sony hack: 9 more things you didn't knowIt was another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week for Sony, and we learned even more as reporters sifted through a trove of stolen documents from the Hollywood studio.>

China criticizes US and Sony Pictures, says The Interview is 'nothing to be proud of'China has given its first hint of its stance on the Sony Pictures hack and The Interview, and Americans will likely be displeased. An editorial in The Global Times, a paper run by the state's Communist Party, largely sides with North Korea and strongly criticizes The Interview.

Watch Dr. Evil mock Sony Pictures and North Korea on SNLOf course SNL had to get a few digs in at the Sony hacks this week, and Mike Myers returned as Dr. Evil himself to do the digging. During the show's cold open, the old Austin Powers villain said that Sony, North Korea, and the GOP were all giving evil organizations a bad name. And over The Interview, of all things.

Hands-on with the CM4 Q Card Case for iPhone 6 Plus: Carry cards while using Apple PayEven with Apple Pay serving as your digital wallet, there remains the need for physical cards and that is where the Q Card Case comes in handy.

Obama: Sony Pictures hack was not an 'act of war'President Obama has stopped short of characterizing the Sony Pictures hack as an act of war by North Korea. In an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley that aired early Sunday, the president described the attack as a "very costly, very expensive" act of cybervandalism. However, he did reiterate that the US will respond proportionally to the attack, and is currently reviewing whether or not to put the communist country back on our list state sponsors of terrorism.

  Sun, 21 Dec 2014 08:00:02 -0500

The peculiar star of the Sony hack: EmailThe massive hack has raised questions about First Amendment rights, privacy and cyberwarfare. But there's a subtler issue at play when we look at all the news stories that have come from hacked inboxes: Why do we put this stuff in email?>

Bitcoin exec to spend two years behind bars for Silk Road transactions

On January 15 Alexei Navalny will hear his verdict in a controversial embezzlement case which could see him sent him to prison for up to 10 yearsRussian authorities convinced Facebook to shut off a page inviting people to attend a rally in support of an opposition politician, drawing ire from Internet users Sunday. Supporters on Friday created an event page for January 15, the day President Vladimir Putin's biggest critic Alexei Navalny will hear his verdict in a controversial embezzlement case which could see him sent him to prison for up to 10 years. The prosecutor "demanded to limit access to a number of resources calling for an unsanctioned mass event, including social networking groups.

This large 'stick bug' robot has a name, and it's HectorImagine a giant, mechanical stick bug that comfortably traverse small steps and rough rough terrain like loose gravel. In other words, all the normal accommodations that'd hypothetically keep these creatures from coming into your house through the backyard.

Judge says police can create fake Instagram accounts to see photos

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