Alan Buckingham

Torrents come to iOS, Apple approves Blue Downloader


When people hear the word BitTorrent, they tend to leap to conclusions, some of which are inevitably wrong. The fact is, the technology is used to distribute all sorts of content, including Linux distros and music and movies that artists and directors make available.

However, it is largely one of those keywords that sets off alarm bells with Apple, which keeps a tight rein on the content that appears within its iTunes app store. That's why it was a bit shocking when Blue Downloader made its debut.

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Amazon kicks off new pilot season later this month

watching tv

Last year Amazon debuted a number of pilots, though only two survived the final cut -- both Alpha House and Betas had first season runs. Of those, only the former will survive to season two. However, the company continues pushing its own original content, and is now set to debut a new run of pilots for viewers to decide upon.

On August 28th the retail giant will kick off several new shows, all available to any customer who has a Prime subscription. The episodes cover the gamut of content, so pick and choose as you wish.

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New Popcorn Time beta for Android includes free VPN


Regardless of what your views are on 'alternative' methods for getting TV and movie content for viewing, Popcorn Time continues to exist, much to the dismay of the MPAA. The service utilizes BitTorrent technology to get content and streams it to the viewer as it downloads, making for almost instant viewing.

Now the service is taking a step to help its users become more secure, adding a free Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, provided by Kebrum. This means users should be safe from being tracked or intercepted (NSA not included in this statement).

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EFF releases 'behind the scenes' footage of NSA flyover


At dawn on June 27th Greenpeace and the Tenth Amendment Center launched an airship to fly above the NSA data center in Utah. The message on the sides was not subtle -- "Illegal spying below", with an arrow pointing down. It was meant as an alert to action for citizens, and the stunt did have an effect.

Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released behind the scenes footage of the event, filmed by documentary director Brian Knappenberger, who recently released "The Internet's Own Boy", a story of Aaron Swartz.

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NFL Now comes to Roku, Fire TV, Xbox One and other platforms


The NFL pre-season in now underway, with the Hall of Fame game behind us, and several games apiece awaiting every team. But the NFL is also about videos -- both highlights and interviews, even fans can get in on some of the action.

That is arriving on multiple platforms beginning now -- as in NFL Now. The league today rolls out the new app and it took the smart path of making it available on many different platforms. Regardless if you are on a PC, Roku or Amazon Fire TV, you can get in on the action.

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Amazon expands same-day delivery, 6 more cities added

delivery man

Just in case you aren't getting your orders from Amazon quite fast enough, a problem that generally doesn't exist in most cases, you can look forward to same-day delivery now. The company was already doing this in a limited amount of locations, but now is expanding to even more cities.

Customers in Baltimore, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and the Washington DC metro areas can now have access to the quick deliveries, though it does depend on the item you are purchasing, as not everything is in stock within a location that can handle this delivery.

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PayPal 2-Factor Authentication hack found by security researcher


PayPal, the online payment service once owned by Elon Musk and now in the hands of eBay, has become a bit of a staple of daily life on the internet. After all, we can use it for all sorts of payments, money transfers, invoicing and receiving money. But is it as secure as we hope?

An Australian security researcher has uncovered a way to hack past PayPal's Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). Joshua Rogers used the vulnerability he discovered with an eBay account:

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Pebble releases 3 new watch colors, limited time offer


Pebble, a smartwatch maker that was formerly a Kickstarter darling, is on the market, and has been for a couple of years. Little has changed, though the company did release a new version earlier this year, called Pebble Steel. Now there is yet another variation, this time resembling the Swatch of the 80's (yes, I know it's still around).

The company previosuly asked customers to choose the colors they wanted to see. "#ColorMyPebble received thousands of submissions as Pebblers flexed their creative muscles and made their voices heard. Narrowing down everyone’s color ideas to two winners was tough—there were so many shades to love! Orange and Grey emerged triumphant, but we couldn’t shake the desire to produce new colors one day for Pebblers who wanted more", the company announces.

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Amazon Fire TV adds new services, including MLB and Disney


Baseball season is in full swing and marching steadily towards the playoffs, and football is now in pre-season, making it a great time to have easy access to sports information. Now those who have joined, or will soon join, the Amazon ecosystem with a Fire TV, are going to get just that, along with other services as well.

The retailer announces the addition of, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney Jr., Animal Planet Live, and the WWE Network. "Customers are loving the selection on their Fire TV, telling us how easy it is to watch their favorite movies and TV shows, listen to music, and play games in their living room. And because of that, developers continue to bring great apps to the platform, with app selection more than doubling since launch", says Steve Rabuchin, Vice President of the Amazon Appstore.

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If you're missing Flappy Bird then try Amazon Fire TV


Flappy Bird quickly hit the level of phenomena, then just as quickly vanished as the developer pulled it from both the iTunes and Google Play stores. He apparently buckled under the weight of customers becoming addicted and sending complaints directly to him. Hard to say anyone would blame him for that.

Now the simple, but also incredibly hard, game is making a come-back, though under the name "Flappy Birds Family". Those who had already installed it on a phone or tablet never lost it, but the folks who found out too late are now in luck. That is, providing they have an Amazon Fire TV box sitting around.

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Goodbye DirecTV, I'm moving on without the cord


Recently my colleague Joe Wilcox wrote about how he'd cut the cord and was not turning back. I can sympathize, and have made the same move, though I can't promise I'll never go back. Football season is coming, after all, and Sunday Ticket, while costing a fortune, will still tempt me.

I have been a DirecTV subscriber for more than ten years. I truly loved the service, and I paid for that love affair. Perhaps not to the extent of other cable and satellite customers -- I settled for the middle package and didn't bother with premium channels like HBO or Showtime. I did briefly flirt with the sports package, but found it to not be worth the extra hit to my bank account.

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XBMC is officially changing its name, meet Kodi


XBMC has gone through many iterations over the 12 years of its existence. The program, which now powers a number of home theater computers, began life as Xbox Media Player, then morphed into Xbox Media Center, before finally settling on the shorter abbreviation of XBMC.

But the platform has moved so far off from its original Xbox beginnings that it has announced it will get away from the old name as well.

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Doctor Who month comes to Hulu


Long-running TV show Doctor Who, which is produced by the BBC, will be coming back for yet another season on August 23rd. However, fans who can't wait can catch up through Hulu, which has debuted what it terms "Doctor Who Month".

The streaming service is hosting two exclusive specials, as well as a pair of classic episodes that had previously been lost for 30 years. Those episodes were recently recovered and can now be viewed via Hulu.

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BitTorrent releases Bleep for Windows, a closed Alpha chat client

chat instant messaging

Recent revelations, courtesy of Edward Snowden, have given insight into just how much citizens need to worry about NSA activity, and it was an alarmingly large amount. BitTorrent has been working to mitigate these issues, at least as best as possible, with a Sync app that stores no data that can be accessed, and now a new chat app that will do the same.

The service debuts in private Alpha today, allowing testers to jump on board and get a taste of what it's like to use what is claimed to be a "serverless" version of chat.

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Microsoft's Kinect technology powers university library

Kinect for Windows a

Microsoft has made Kinect a big part of its latest gaming console, Xbox One, though customers can now buy the box without that technology tied to it. However, the device can be used for more than just gaming and entertainment.

Liberty University is now using Kinect to power a media wall in the library. The college is located in Lynchburg, Virginia, and is home to some 12,000 students, and around 90,000 more who study through an online program.

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