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Cablevision to introduce true Wi-Fi-only mobile service

It?s hard to go anywhere in an urban environment these days without running into public Wi-Fi hotspots. There are so many, in fact, that Cablevision believes it can offer a purely Wi-Fi based mobile phone service.

The Internet and cable TV provider will offer an all Wi-Fi talk, text, and data service starting in February, according to GiagaOm. The new service, called Freewheel, will be available to Cablevision subscribers for $10 a month and non-Cablevision customers can sign-up for $30 per month.

This won?t be like other Wi-Fi focused competitors such as FreedomPop and Republic Wireless. Those services currently route calls and texts via Wi-Fi when possible but fallback on Sprint?s wireless network when Wi-Fi is not available.

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Motorola returns to China, touts phone customization

Would you like your smartphone?s cover in wood or leather? And how about the device?s metal trim?

Smartphone buyers in China are rarely asked those questions. But in a country already crowded with competition, the Motorola Mobility brand is banking on phone customization as one way to separate itself from the pack.

On Monday, Lenovo?s newly acquired Motorola subsidiary made its formal return to China, after a two-year hiatus from the country. And the brand is hoping to reclaim its spot in the market, with not only high-quality phones, but by giving Chinese consumers control over how the devices look and feel.

?We?re delivering the very best to consumers and giving them the power to choose,? said Motorola chief operating officer Rick Osterloh during a company event.

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Facebook in Turkey ordered to block material insulting Prophet Muhammad

A Turkish court has reportedly ordered Facebook to block access to pages that share material insulting the Prophet Muhammad, threatening to block access to the site in the whole country if it does not comply.

The order to start censoring insulting material was given by the Golbasi Duty Magistrate Court on Sunday, reported the Anadolu Agency, the Turkish press agency. Golbasi is 20 km (12.5 miles) south of the capital city of Ankara. The court issued the order on request of a prosecutor who had investigated social media pages.

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How to handle a Facebook bully or stalker

An anonymous reader has been getting a lot of unwanted, and potentially frightening, attention on Facebook. I offer some advice.

If someone on Facebook continually insults you, upsets you, threatens you, or makes unwanted sexual advances, ask them to stop. If they do, fine. If not, you've got a stalker.

First, ask yourself if you feel physically threatened. If the bully is threatening you with violence, or stalking you in the physical world, or coming to your home, the problem is beyond cyberbullying. You need to call the police.

[Have a tech question? Ask PCWorld Contributing Editor Lincoln Spector. Send your query to answer@pcworld.com.]

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NFL highlights headed to Google search and YouTube this week

It?s not live streams of full games, but after a few years of rumors the NFL and Google have finally signed a media deal. Just in time for the Super Bowl, Google and the National Football League will bring highlight clips to YouTube and Google search results, according to Recode.

The deal also includes NFL-themed OneBox information at the top of search results that we?ve been seeing for a while. When you search for your favorite team, such as the New York Jets (Blech, go Pats! ?ed.), you can see the kickoff time for the next game, a team schedule, and the current score during game time.

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Witcher 3: Wild Hunt hands-on: Four hours with the most anticipated RPG of th...

It finally happened. After two years of hands-off demos, multiple delays, and et cetera, I finally got my grunny hands on The Witcher 3 ?not just for a piddling few minutes or a tightly controlled demo, but for four hours. CD Projekt basically sat me down at a computer, booted the game, and said "Go."

And I went. I finished off the tutorial, completed a half dozen side quests, and got through the story basically to the end of what I'll call "Chapter One." In other words, right when things started to get interesting? That's when I ran out of time.

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Modular smartphones could be reused as computer clusters

The promise of modular smartphones like Google?s Project Ara is that buyers will be able to upgrade components at will?and now Finnish company Circular Devices has come up with a use for discarded computing modules.

Circular Devices is working on its own modular smartphone concept, Puzzlephone, and hopes to ship working products before the end of the year even though it hasn?t yet released a prototype.

The idea behind the Puzzlephone and Project Ara is to increase the longevity of smartphones and reduce waste in the process. With the Puzzlecluster platform, Circular Devices is aiming to take waste reduction one step further.

?It makes no sense to discard a perfectly working computer just because you have upgraded your smartphone. The Puzzlecluster will extend the usable life of the Brain modules way beyond any other smartphone processor,? Alejandro Santacreu, CEO at Circular Devices, said in a blog post on Saturday.

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Adobe pushes critical Flash Player update to fix latest zero-day

Adobe Systems started pushing a critical Flash Player patch to users who have auto-update enabled over the weekend in order to fix a vulnerability that has been exploited by attackers since last week.

An exploit for the vulnerability has been integrated into the Angler Exploit Kit, a tool used by cybercriminals to launch mass drive-by-download attacks, primarily through malicious ads displayed on legitimate websites.

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2015-0311, affects users with Flash Player enabled in Mozilla Firefox and in all versions of Internet Explorer running on Windows 8.1 and earlier. The Flash Player plug-in bundled with Google Chrome also has the vulnerability, but the browser?s security sandbox mechanism prevents its exploitation.

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Coinbase to launch first licensed U.S. Bitcoin exchange

Bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase will launch the first U.S. licensed exchange for the digital currency on Monday, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

While pointing to a ?Lunar? teaser website with a clock counting down to 9 a.m. Eastern Time Monday, Coinbase?s Twitter account also posted a link to documentation for Coinbase Exchange, calling them ?API docs for our new project.?

The move by Coinbase follows plans announced last week for Gemini, a regulated Bitcoin exchange in New York that is backed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and reflects a movement to get financial authorities behind Bitcoin amid continued price declines, hacking and criminal cases as well as the collapse of mammoth Japan-based exchange MtGox 11 months ago.

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Brian Fargo reveals Bard's Tale IV, the first Bard's Tale sequel in 27 years

Wasteland ? Planescape? "Pah," says Brian Fargo, founder of both Interplay and inXile. "Let's go all the way back to 1984, to the beginnings of Interplay. Let's go back...to Bard's Tale ."

I mean, maybe he didn't say it in those words, but the sentiment is the same. Over the weekend Fargo and Co. announced that in addition to developing spiritual Planescape sequelTorment: Tides of Numenera, inXile is commencing work on a proper Bard's Tale sequel, appropriately titled Bard's Tale IV.

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The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, January 26

Coinbase set to open first licensed Bitcoin exchange in U.S.

The first licensed Bitcoin exchange in the U.S. is slated to open Monday morning, courtesy of Coinbase, which has been providing a wallet service for users of the cryptocurrency. The move indicates a growing trend to bring Bitcoin out of the shadows: last week plans were announced for Gemini, another regulated exchange to be based in New York.

Malaysia Airlines has more bad luck: a big hack

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Facebook privacy class action suit to kick off in April

An Austrian court has set a date for Facebook to face a class action complaint about its privacy policy from 25,000 of its users.

The suit was filed in August last year by Max Schrems, front man of the Austrian group Europe-v-Facebook. He claimed Facebook violates European Union law by tracking users on external pages through social plugins, by the use of ?big data? systems to spy on users as well with the aid it allegedly gives to the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) for one of its spy programs.

On April 9, the Vienna Regional Court is set to deal with the admissibility of the case in a first hearing, Europe-v-Facebook said Monday.

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Dell Venue 8 7000 review: A thin, light tablet with a weird depth-sensing camera

I have to be honest here. I?ve only ever really known Dell as a PC maker. The company?s laptops were once a staple on my college campus for those who couldn?t afford a fancy Apple Powerbook, and now some of my colleagues even use a Dell laptop as their daily driver.

So you can imagine my surprise when a Dell-branded Android tablet showed up at my desk with some really supreme specifications and Intel?s latest Atom processor. While the words ?Dell? and ?Intel? don?t exactly conjure up the image of an Android tablet, I?m open to trying out new things. Dell?s new Venue 8 7000 (the exact model number is 7840), as it?s also referred to?scored high marks in its design and functionality. But some of the extra stuff bundled with it, like Intel?s RealSense camera technology, seems like it could really use a little more polishing.

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Peq review: A robust, DIY connected-home system

Peq (pronounced ?peek?) is a robust connected-home system from Smart Home Ventures that includes of a variety of sensors, lighting controls, security cameras, and other components that connect to a wireless central hub manufactured by Netgear. You monitor and control the system using a web browser or a free app on your smartphone or tablet of choice.

You can acquire a Peq system by purchasing $120 starter kit that includes the hub and one door/window sensor, or one of the pricier kit that include more components (the $490 House & Home kit includes the hub, a thermostat, and five sensors: two door/window, two motion, and one water. You can expand the system with additional sensors and components at any time. The Peq system will also work with a of range third-party devices, including smart deadbolts from Yale and Kwikset, the Nest Learning Thermostat, and Philips? Hue LED light bulbs.

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Malaysia Airlines attacked, big data dump threatened

The Malaysia Airlines website has been attacked and the Lizard Squad, one of the groups that claimed responsibility on Monday, threatened to soon ?dump some loot? found on the airline?s servers.

The airline said in a statement on its Facebook page that its Domain Name System (DNS) was compromised and as a result users trying to access the URL www.malaysiaairlines.com were being redirected to a hacker website.

At this stage, Malaysia Airlines? Web servers are intact, it added. The airlines assured customers that it had not been hacked and ?this temporary glitch does not affect their bookings and that user data remains secured.?

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