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Court decision puts Uber on hold in Nevada (for a couple weeks, anyway)

Well, that didn?t last long.

Uber launched its ridesharing service in Nevada Friday, but by Friday evening, a Carson City court ruling came down that prevented the company from doing business in the state until at least November 7, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, District Court JudgeJames Russell issued the ruling at the request of Nevada State Attorney GeneralCatherine Cortez Masto. And as you might expect, the issue all comes down to Uber not conforming to existing taxicab regulations.

The story behind the story: Uber, Lyft, and other app-based ridesharing companies have run into regulatory issues in numerous regions around the world. In September, the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles threatened both Uber and Lyft with legal action ?if they don?t make major changes,? according to SFGate.

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Dreamfall: Chapters Episode One review: A long-awaited journey

It's been fifteen years since The Longest Journey came out, making it a pretty apt name for a series. A cult classic, The Longest Journey is regarded as one of the best point-and-click adventure games and best game stories of all time.In 2007 fans finally got a long-awaited sequel, known as Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, which wrapped up a few story threads from the original game while opening up even more questions.

And now, seven years and one successful Kickstarter campaign later, we finally get Dreamfall: Chapters, an episodic sequel that takes place immediately after the events of the 2007 game.

Was it worth the wait? Let?s dig in.

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Wi-Fi Passpoint standard now knits together SF, San Jose, London

A partnership that lets Wi-Fi users get on free public networks in San Francisco and San Jose, California, with a one-time joining process now also covers a hotspot along the River Thames in London.

The cities at either end of Silicon Valley used the Wi-Fi Alliance?s Passpoint specification to set up Wi-Fi roaming between their city-owned networks earlier this year. The technology lets residents and visitors set up a secure connection with either network and then automatically get on the other city?s system whenever they enter its coverage area.

It?s an arrangement that makes a lot of sense between the two cities: They?re both home to major tech companies and are commuting distance apart. Adding in a river halfway around the world may seem like a stretch, but for travelers, the easy access to Wi-Fi across borders could be a nice convenience?and a sign of things to come.

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Google makes a strategic move, crowns Sundar Pichai as head of product at Google

We have a saying around the Greenbot newsroom that the most exciting tech-centric news usually hits on Friday afternoons. Google just dropped a Friday afternoon news bomb.

Recode reports that Google CEO Larry Page has transferred leadership of all core Google products over to Sundar Pichai, who was formerly head of Android and Chrome OS. He will serve as Senior Vice President of all Google products and will manage a number of divisions, including business and operations, access and energy, Nest, Calico, Google X, corporate development, legal, finance, and business, which includes ad sales. YouTube is not included in the deal because CEO Susan Wojcicki will continue to run that division somewhat independently.

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Nest acquires Revolv and immediately stops sales of one of the top smart-home...

So you bought a Revolv smart hub to manage your smart home. You obviously recognized a well-designed product. The only problem now is that Nest Labs saw the same potential. The folks who designed the world?s most famous thermostat, since gobbled up by Google, have swallowed Revolv?and immediately stopped sales.

I was a bit gobsmacked when I saw the Revolv smart-home hub at CES last January. With this one device and a smartphone app, you could control just about any smart system in your home. The odd-looking device could control your home lighting, your door locks, and your programmable thermostat, but it could also speak to your Sonos mutli-room audio system.

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Big Data Digest: Rise of the think-bots

It turns out that a vital missing ingredient in the long-sought after goal of getting machines to think like humans?artificial intelligence?has been lots and lots of data.

Last week, at the O?Reilly Strata + Hadoop World Conference in New York, Salesforce.com?s head of artificial intelligence, Beau Cronin, asserted that AI has gotten a shot in the arm from the big data movement. ?Deep learning on its own, done in academia, doesn?t have the [same] impact as when it is brought into Google, scaled and built into a new product,? Cronin said.

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Apple mum as Mac owners tussle with Yosemite over Wi-Fi problems

The cries for help from frazzled Mac owners whose Wi-Fi connections went haywire after upgrading to OS X Yosemite are being met by Apple with stone-faced silence.

Affected users have been filing a steady stream of complaints about the problem in discussion forums, blogs, and social media sites since Apple released the latest version of the operating system a week ago.

Attempts by users to isolate the cause of the issue have been fruitless so far. The problem affects a variety of Macs with dissimilar configurations and linked to many different routers. What?s clear is that the problem hit these users after installing Yosemite. In most cases, Wi-Fi becomes unstable, with connections dropping every few minutes, irritatingly slow or simply unusable.

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Apple Pay tops Tim Cook's to-do list in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook says bringing the recently launched Apple Pay system to China is his top priority for doing business the country.

Apple Pay launched on Monday in the U.S. and allows iPhone 6 users to make ?tap-and-go? payments at compatible terminals in retailers. It hasn?t expanded outside the U.S. yet, but international expansion is on the cards. The NFC (near-field communication) technology it uses is already standard in some countries.

Cook made his remarks about China in an interview with the country?s Xinhua News Agency on Friday at the conclusion of a four-day trip to the country. During his visit, he met business partners, toured a Foxconn factory that makes Apple products, and met with a government official regarding ?strengthening? cooperation in the telecommunication sector.

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FCC pushes TV spectrum auction to 2016 after legal challenge

The auction intended to turn many U.S. TV channels into spectrum for mobile services won?t start until early 2016, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission says.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had earlier forecast that the auction would begin in the middle of next year. But in August, the National Association of Broadcasters challenged some aspects of the agency?s plan in court. Due to the schedule for briefings and hearings in that case, plus the complexity of putting together the auction, the agency has pushed back its calendar. It now expects to start accepting applications in fall 2015 and to launch the auction early the following year, according to an FCC blog post on Friday.

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In pictures: Google exec secretly shatters Felix Baumgartner's skydiving alti...
Google exec breaks skydiving altitude record, in secret

Image by Paragon Space Development Corp.

Alan Eustace, the senior vice president of knowledge at Google, apparently has an odd hobby: he likes to break skydiving altitude records.

For the past few years, he has been working with Paragon Space Development Corp. to develop a spacesuit and delivery vehicle to take him nearly into space?farther up, in fact, then the over 36,000 meters that Felix Baumgartner jumped as part of the 2012 Red Bull Stratos venture. How high?135,890 feet, or 41,419 meters. That's 25.73 miles, if you're counting.

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Dragon Age gets sexy, Assassin's Creed: Unity gets ridiculous, and more must-...

At this point I'm convinced the games industry is doing silly things just to provide material for this column.

John Cena reads poetry, Dragon Age has some disturbing "sexy" dialogue, and we get glimpses of both The Witcher 3 and the deceased Star Wars Battlefront III?this is gaming news you need to know for the week of October 20.

Connect your Kinect

If you bought an Xbox One before they stopped forcing you to buy a Kinect, you can now hook it up to your PC directly?provided you buy a $50 adapter. No, I don't know what the adapter does except make the price for an Xbox One Kinect match the price for a standalone PC Kinect.

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Microsoft: Surface Pro 3 tablet is selling at twice the rate of the Pro 2

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 tablet appears to be a bona fide hit, according to Microsoft executives.

In the company's positive earnings report, released Thursday, the company disclosed that Surface revenue topped $908 million for the quarter. It's likely the Surface business will top a billion dollars business before long.

"Surface had strong results this quarter, driven by positive customer response to Surface Pro 3," Satya Nadella, the company's chief executive, told analysts and investors. "The product lineup is the right one and customers are responding favorably. Surface Pro 3 is now in 28 markets and importantly we have improved the business economics of this product line."

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Secretive funding fuels ongoing net neutrality astroturfing controversy

The contentious debate about net neutrality in the U.S. has sparked controversy over a lack of funding transparency for advocacy groups and think tanks, which critics say subverts the political process.

News stories from a handful of publications in recent months have accused some think tanks and advocacy groups of ?astroturfing??quietly shilling for large broadband carriers. In a handful of cases, those criticisms appear to have some merit, although the term is so overused by people looking to discredit political opponents that it has nearly lost its original meaning.

Critics of astroturfing?defined as hiding the sponsors of a message or group as a way to make it appear to have grassroots support?say it twists political debate by making some positions appear to be more popular with the public than they really may be.

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The ratings: Most net neutrality groups get poor grades for funding transparency

After a spate of news stories about alleged ?astroturf? advocacy in a contentious U.S. net neutrality debate, the IDG News Service looked into the funding transparency of several think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the issue. Several disclose limited or no information about their funding, we found.

Astroturfing is commonly defined as a lack of funding transparency, paired with the appearance of grassroots support.

The IDG News Service looked at 14 of the most prominent think tanks and advocacy groups involved in the debate. The following list is not exhaustive, however. It does not include some small organizations, and a handful of groups that have joined the conversation recently.

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Advocacy groups accused of obscuring corporate ties in net neutrality debate

A spate of recent news stories have revealed that a wide variety of lobby groups have financial ties to broadband carriers and trade associations, accusing them of faking grassroots opposition to strong net neutrality rules.

The recent coverage from news organizations has overwhelmingly targeted a lack of funding transparency in groups opposed to strong net neutrality regulations. Some of that coverage disparity may be because groups advocating for strong net neutrality rules tend to be more transparent about their funding than groups opposed, but some pro-net neutrality groups also have limited funding transparency mechanisms.

Much of the reporting on so-called astroturfing has come from Vice.com, the news and culture website that has championed ?immersionist? journalism. Vice is perhaps most famous for sending former Chicago Bulls basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea in early 2013.

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