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Poaching drivers may be the norm for ride-sharing companies

It seems like poaching drivers is par for the course in the ride-sharing industry.

Like Lyft, Sidecar drivers have also been targeted by Uber?s recruitment efforts, Sidecar?s CEO said Thursday?though he admitted that his own company has tried in-car recruitment in the past too.

Recruiters working for Uber have been ordering rides with Sidecar for some time then trying to get the driver to switch companies, Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul said in an interview.

It?s happened in nearly all of the 10 cities where Sidecar operates, and recruiters sometimes offer drivers $500 to make the switch, he said.

Sidecar knows about the recruitment efforts because it hears about them from its drivers, Paul said. It hasn?t received reports about Lyft using similar techniques.

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Hillary Clinton: 'Our technology companies are not part of our government'

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a ?global compact? on surveillance and the use of collected data, saying the U.S. isn?t the only country that does it and American technology companies are unfairly targeted for the government?s actions.

?The U.S. government doesn?t use information for commercial purposes,? while other countries do, Clinton said.

?We need to make it clear to other countries that our technology companies are not part of our government, and that we have more legal processes than any other country that I?m aware of? covering government requests for information, Clinton said during her appearance at the Nexenta OpenSDx Summit, a technology conference in San Francisco.

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Paging Dr. Watson, IBM's medical adviser for the future

IBM continues to make the case for the nascent field of cognitive computing, showing off some Watson prototypes Thursday that could help speed scientific discovery in the medical field, by scanning large volumes of literature and data far more quickly then humans can, and suggesting possible leads.

The New York event was to promote an update to a cloud service, called Watson Discovery Advisor, that can help researchers find fresh connections within mass realms of data.

IBM Research developed Watson to compete with human contestants on the ?Jeopardy? game show in 2011, using natural language processing and analytics, as well as many sources of structured and unstructured data, to formulate responses to the show?s questions.

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5 reasons a small Windows tablet might be in your future

There are a number of smaller Windows tablets hitting the shelves now from Microsoft OEM partnersand more on the horizon.At face value it seems like a late attempt by the Windows ecosystem to get in on the mobile device game. The reality, though, is that Microsoft can still capture a respectable?possibly dominant?stake of the tablet market.

I can hear the uproar already,but let's look at why that might not be so crazy. Here are five reasons a small Windows tablet makes sense, and why you might find yourself owning one very soon.

1. Functionality

Apple?s iPads and the myriad Android tablet options out there are plenty capable, but they?re not Windows. The Windows operating system still owns more than 90 percent of the desktop OS market, which means that the vast majority of iPad and Android tablet owners are faced with trying to find native apps that do what they want and figuring out how to keep data synced between the platforms. A small Windows tablet is?beneath its tiny tablet exterior?a fully-functional Windows PC, which means that the features and functions will be familiar, and users won?t have to learn two separate platforms.

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Time Warner Cable admits problems accessing Microsoft sites

Days after reporting a nationwide outage, Time Warner Cable on Thursday admitted that customers were having problems accessing Microsoft-owned sites.

"We're currently looking into difficulties accessing Microsoft sites. Unfortunately, we do not have additional details presently," the company tweeted at 8:47 AM PT this morning.

While Time Warner Cable did not say specifically what sites were affected, some customers complained they or others could not access Office 365 servers or pull down Windows updates. By approximately noon, however, customers began tweeting that their issues had been resolved.

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Can 'Gundam' fans build a six-story walking robot?

It?s half the size of the Statue of Liberty, has flashing eyes and steam rising from its body as it towers over puny humans by Tokyo Bay.

Godzilla? No, it?s Gundam, one of the most popular science-fiction robots in Japan.

This 18-meter statue has attracted millions of fans since it was built in 2009 to honor the famous machine from anime, which looks like a futuristic suit of samurai armor.

But a consortium of Gundam devotees and companies says it isn?t satisfied with a mere statue. It wants to build another six-story Gundam?a robot version that can actually move.

The backers haven?t decided whether locomotion for the giant would be possible, though it seems unlikely. Nevertheless, such a colossal machine would be the first of its kind and would have to surmount significant engineering challenges.

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Archos preps $149 Windows tablet, new Windows Phone

When the words ?Windows tablet? are mentioned, we usually think of Microsoft?s Surface Pro series and its four-figure price tag. But Archos has announced a small-form-factor Windows tablet for the eye-catching price of $149.

The Archos 80 Cesium tablet includes an 8-inch IPS screen offering 1,280x800 resolution, all for the price one usually associates with an Android tablet. Inside Archos has included an ?Intel quad-core processor? of unknown design?Archos isn?t divulging those details right now.

The Cesium tablet is just one of the products Archos will be showing off next week at the IFA show in Berlin?including a complementary Archos Windows Phone, the Archos 40 Cesium. The $99, 4-inch phone runs Windows Phone 8.1, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 quad-core processor. That?s the same processor that?s expected to power the low-end Lumia 530 as well. The phone will come with yellow, blue, and black cases.

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Samsung's Gear S gives the people what (they think) they want
A standalone smartwatch sounds wonderful, as long as you don't think about it too much.
Preview: 100 turns with Civilization: Beyond Earth

I got my second taste of Civilization: Beyond Earth earlier this week. Before you get excited though, know this?I only got 100 turns. That's double my initial preview's 50 turn maximum, but still a paltry amount of time in terms of any Civilization game. It was basically enough time to start the game, construct a few buildings, research four or five technologies, and then end. I've still experienced very little of the end game's special units, win conditions, or diplomacy.

What I have experienced is...well, Civilization V really.

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What Verizon exclusive? HTC's Windows Phone-powered One M8 is coming to AT&T a...

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on August 20, and has been updated to reflect that the One (M8) will now be offered by both carriers.

On the surface, the announcement of a Windows Phone-powered version of HTC's drool-worthy One M8 smartphone was nothing but a good thing. One of the most appealing smartphones in the land embraced Microsoft's mobile operating system! But the news was tainted by a foul note. No, haters, not the inclusion of Windows Phone itself (though it could certainly use some help these days). I'm talking about the phone?s reported Verizon exclusivity. Nobody?nobody?ever changes carriers to simply snag a particular phone, so limiting the Windows Phone One M8 to Verizon reeked of giving the phone the kiss of death before it even hit the streets.

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Leap Motion reveals bid to become Oculus Rift's head-mounted VR controller

Leap Motion may have a new lease on life thanks to inexpensive virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift.

The company has launched a $20 VR mount for its $80 3D motion controller, allowing it to clip onto any Oculus Rift developer kit. Leap's controller can track minute hand and finger movements at low latency, so the mount could let users bring their hands into the Rift's virtual worlds.

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Apple to hold press event on September 9
The much anticipated announcement of the company's latest products will kick off at 10 a.m. Pacific on September 9, in Cupertino.
EU funds IT projects to help with flood monitoring and protection

The EU is investing in IT to help it and its citizens protect themselves from floods.

So far, the European Commission has invested in apps, software and sensors used to send flood alerts and monitor flood emergencies in real time, the Commission said in a news release on Thursday. The projects could be used in the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), the first operational European system monitoring and forecasting floods across the continent.

One project that aims to prevent and manage floods is Imprints, an initiative of 18 research institutions from seven countries including France, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K. as well as the Commission?s Joint Research Center. It has developed an early warning system, potentially giving people time to get out of harms way, the Commission said.

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Microsoft's OneDrive Android app now supports separate business, personal acc...

If you update Microsoft?s OneDrive app for Android on Thursday, you?ll notice one key addition: you can now upload files to your OneDrive for Business account.

The app is the first OneDrive app published by Microsoft to allow users to upload files to either account?provided you have one, of course. Microsoft provides OneDrive for Business accounts to corporations which subscribe to its Office 365 software services. As of June, those subscribers receive a free terabyte of cloud storage to use as they will.

Microsoft also has published a OneDrive for Business app for iOS, but that app currently can only access the business account, a spokeswoman for the company said via email.

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What happens when Microsoft ends Windows 7 mainstream support next year

Ian Gale heard that Windows 7 will be "finished next year." The truth is far from that.

On January 13, 2015, Microsoft will stop mainstream support for Windows 7--which is still an extremely popular operating system. But you'll still be able to use it safely for another five years.

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

This isn't anything like the run-up to the end of XP support back in April, when everyone in the tech press (including me) warned you about dire consequences if you continued to use XP. That was the end of extended support, which is far more serious than the end of mere mainstream support.

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