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Don't have TV service? You can watch the Super Bowl on Windows and other devices

football-field

We're now counting down the hours to the kickoff of Super Bowl 50, which begins at 6:30PM EST when the Denver Broncos meet with the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, California. The fact that the big game is carried by network TV was a problem a few years ago for anyone who had cut the cord, but those days are changing and doing so quickly.

These days you have options that weren't available in those earlier times. In fact, it's not even just the game, but the halftime show and even the commercials, which sometimes become the real star of the game.

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Julian Assange can't be allowed to hide behind the skirts of WikiLeaks to avoid answering rape allegations

assange

Like Edward Snowden, Julian Assange is an incredibly divisive character. Just as Snowden is viewed by some as a hero for exposing the activities of the NSA, so Assange is viewed as a hero for exposing -- amongst other things -- the darker side of the US military through WikiLeaks. But both figures are also viewed as villains by those who believe that their whistleblowing has endangered national security.

While Snowden scampered off to Russia to avoid the US legal system, Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. While it's certainly true that he's a man of interest for the US which ultimately seeks to prosecute him over the activities of WikiLeaks, Assange is actually holed up in the UK to escape extradition to Sweden where he faces questioning over allegations of rape. He has continually used the additional prospect of extradition to the US for WikiLeaks-related questioning as an excuse for not facing the music in Sweden. This is just about as wrong as it's possible to be.

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Now the Pirate Bay lets you stream just about anything for free

the_pirate_bay

Legalities aside, there is one problem with content made available through the likes of the Pirate Bay. Whether you use traditional torrents or magnet links, you'll (usually) need to wait for a download to complete before you can enjoy the movie, show, or album of your choice. But not anymore.

A new beta feature for the world-famous torrent site makes it possible to stream videos without the need to download them first. By integrating the Torrents-Time plugin, the Pirate Bay now includes a Stream It option for all video torrents.

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Twitter may not be dead after all -- Jack says your timeline is safe... for now

zombie_grave

Twitter went slightly nuts over the last couple of days. Suggestions that the chronological timeline was to be ditched in favor of one controlled by an algorithm gave birth to the #RIPTwitter hashtag. But the panic may have been for nought; Jack Dorsey wants to clear things up.

The Twitter founder took to the site to assure its users that a timeline change is not on the cards -- at least not next week. But what he says may not completely quell the fears of those who have been talking about the death of Twitter.

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What I Don't Like About Apple iPad Pro [third in a series]

iPad Pro Batman Returns

Day 5 morning, and I am close to returning the iPad Pro to T-Mobile. There are too many quirks that reaffirm my contention in this series' second post: Apple's big-ass tablet is a proof-of-concept device that's ready, or so I thought, for few users (digital content creators) but not the masses. Now I wonder if the thang is ready for anyone.

Setting up Apple Pencil should be as easy as pulling off the rear cap, inserting into Lightning port, and acknowledging Bluetooth connect request prompt. But there is no response from the tablet, after a half-dozen attempts, so I Google for solutions. No luck there, and I check Bluetooth settings, where the device doesn't appear. Disconnect my Harman Kardon speakers. No change. Turn off and on Bluetooth. Nope. Detach Pencil, try again. Success! Device shows up, pairs, then disconnects, and stays that way until I try again, and then it's "Groundhog Day" time. I'm Bill Murray reliving the same moment over and over without progress.

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European Court of Human Rights says websites are not responsible for reader comments

speech_bubble

In something of a landmark ruling, the European Court of Human Rights says that websites cannot be held liable for comments left by readers. The ruling comes after a Hungarian website was sued over the content of messages left by readers.

The court said that if websites were held responsible for comments, it would constitute a breach of the right to free expression. Even in the case of 'offensive and vulgar' comments, providing nothing unlawful was written -- such as hate speech -- Hungarian news site Index.hu, and others, could not be held responsible for readers' comments.

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Windows 10 phones home (A LOT) even with all reporting and telemetry disabled

windows_10_spying

One computer user has become so disillusioned with Windows 10's spying features that he has been driven to using Linux Mint as his primary operating system. But Voat user CheesusCrust was curious to find out just how pervasive Microsoft's privacy invasion is. The results of his investigation are quite staggering.

Using a router kitted out with DD-WRT, and a copy of Windows 10 Enterprise installed in a virtual machine on his Linux laptop, he started by disabling every single one of the tracking and telemetry features found in the operating system. Eight hours later, 4,000 connection attempts to 93 different IP addresses were logged, with most of these IPs addresses being linked to Microsoft.

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Apple says it is bricking iPhones with Error 53 for security reasons

bricks

You wouldn't expect a simple iOS update to completely kill your iPhone, but this is exactly what is happening. Users who took their handsets to a third party for repair and subsequently updated their software have run into error 53 and a bricked handset. Apple is not only aware of the problem, but says that it is intentional.

As we learned the other day, the problem seems to arise for people who have had their home key (specifically) fixed by a non-Apple-authorized repairer. Apple has now admitted that iOS detects the home key has been tinkered with, and says that Error 53 is a move to 'protect our customers' -- customers who will, presumably, think twice before upgrading to an iPhone 7.

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#RIPTwitter? What's with all the hoopla?

dead_bird

There have been changes aplenty at Twitter as the company fights to remain relevant in an increasingly crowded social marketplace. There have been rumors that the famous 140-character limit could be dropped, and we're already seeing Twitter dropping the requirement to be logged into an account in order to see conversations. Just like Facebook, Twitter has also experimented with changing the order in which content appears in users' timelines, and it seems like this is something that's due to spread to everyone.

The company could be on the verge of launching a new algorithm-powered timeline that displays tweets not in reverse chronological order, but based on what it thinks you might want to see. Before the change has even been implemented, there has already been something of a backlash, with many people suggesting this could be the death of Twitter. The hashtag #RIPTwitter quickly started trending and is home to vocal opposition to the change.

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Twitter tackles terrorists in targeted takedown

stop_terror

Having previously battled trolls, Twitter has now turned its attention to terrorists and their supporters. The site has closed down more than 125,000 accounts associated with terrorism since the middle of 2015, it announced in a statement.

Although a full breakdown of figures is not provided, Twitter says most of these accounts were related to ISIS. Having increased the size of its account review team, the site has reduced the time it takes to investigate accounts that are reported, and has also started to investigate 'accounts similar to those reported'.

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Firefox OS is leaving handsets but moving on to IoT

home automation

Have we heard enough about the Internet of Things yet, or is it only just the tip of the iceberg? There are more players in this game all the time, and the latest is Mozilla. Yes, the folks who produce the Firefox web browser, among other things.

The move isn't entirely new, the organization alluded to moving its operating system here already. To date Mozilla has been testing products to bring into the fold, and it is moving forward with its plans.

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Is Apple iPad Pro too big? [second in a series]

Apple iPad Pro and Rolling Stone

"Look up, waaaaaay up" is a phrase familiar to Canadians of a certain age, who watched "The Friendly Giant". The kids program aired from 1958 to 1985 on CBC, which our TV antenna grabbed from the local affiliate across the border in New Brunswick (I'm from Northern Maine). There's something about iPad Pro's enormity that makes it feel more like something the Giant would use.

My question this fine Friday: Is iPad Pro too big? For the majority of potential buyers, my answer is unequivocally yes. I don't see a product made for the majority. Whatever Apple's post-PC ambitions, iPad Pro is more a proof-of-concept for future laptop replacement. However, for the few -- creators looking for larger digital canvas -- iPad Pro offers much. For the many, the first version will work out the kinks, such as getting the app platform placed, for mass-market successors. Warning: Embracing the expansive tablet may make switching to something smaller nearly impossible. Size matters, and sometimes larger is better.

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Microsoft: Windows 10 will keep you safe, and this is how

Secure Windows 10

The reason Microsoft has given for pushing Windows 10 so aggressively is it wants to get users to a "safe place". Very altruistic. Although there’s no excuse for forcing users to upgrade in the manner that it has.

Still, there’s no questioning that Windows 10 is Microsoft’s safest operating system to date and to help sell the security benefits, the software giant has put together a web page detailing how the OS can protect you from modern security threats.

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Microsoft Azure IoT hub is now available -- here's what you need to know

Internet of things

Microsoft has released the latest component of its cloud IoT suite, the Azure IoT hub, which was first announced back in September.

Azure IoT Hub is designed to make it easy to connect IoT devices to the cloud as well as allowing bidirectional communication, with device to cloud telemetry and cloud to device commands.

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Heading to the Super Bowl? Stay away from these apps.

Super Bowl 50

Last year’s Super Bowl brought in over  114.5 million viewers worldwide, and chances are even more are gearing up to watch the big game this weekend (we’ll let you decide if it’s for the football or the commercials). While much of the focus should be on the big screen broadcasting the plays, it’s inevitable that viewers will pull their phones out of their pockets throughout the game. With 52 percent of smartphone owners reporting that they check their devices several times an hour or more frequently, and the Super Bowl typically lasts about four hours, it’s almost a given that you’ll be looking at your mobile device at some point during the game.

Social networking apps will probably take up the most time on the phone screen, as last year’s Super Bowl saw more than 28.4 million global tweets, making #SB49 the most tweeted Super Bowl ever. Facebook also boasted some impressive stats, with more than 65 million people posting about the game, including 55 million from the U.S. alone. During the final play of the game (which sealed the deal for a win for the Patriots), over 1.3 million unique people per minute were active on Super Bowl-related content.

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