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California law will require ‘kill switches’ for smart phones sold in the state

By Joaquin Palomino SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Smartphones in California will be required to come with a “kill switch” to render them useless if lost or stolen under a bill signed Monday by Governor Jerry Brown, the latest effort to stem an epidemic of phone theft in the most populous…

Amazon acquires online gaming broadcaster Twitch for $970 million

By Deepa Seetharaman and Malathi Nayak SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc snapped up live-streaming gaming network Twitch Interactive for about $970 million in cash, marking the largest deal in the U.S. e-commerce company’s 20-year history. The move, announced on Monday by the two companies, is an unusual step for…

Amazon readying an attack on Google’s ad business

US online giant Amazon is preparing to take on Google (Xetra: A0B7FY – news) in one of its core businesses, Internet advertising, the Wall Street Journal said, citing sources familiar with the matter. Amazon is developing its own program to target ads using the information it gathers about the preferences…

US brings new charges against alleged creator of Silk Road underground online drug market

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. prosecutors have brought a trio of new charges against a Texas man accused of creating the underground online drug marketplace Silk Road ahead of his November trial. A new indictment against Ross Ulbricht, 30, filed late on Thursday in Manhattan federal court…

iPhone 6 launch could be delayed by supply shortage for screens

Suppliers to Apple Inc are scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month’s expected launch, supply chain sources said. It’s unclear whether the hiccup could delay the launch or limit the…

Boeing one step closer to completing its space taxi

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boeing Co has completed a key review of its design for a new commercial venture to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, making it the only one of four rival bidders to finish the NASA work on time, company officials said on Thursday.…

Class action against Facebook for privacy violations attracts 60,000 users

VIENNA (Reuters) – An Austrian law student said his class action challenging Facebook for alleged privacy violations had gathered support from 60,000 users and passed its first legal review. Max Schrems, who already has a case involving the social network pending at the European Court of Justice, is claiming damages…

New app allows you to shop in a way that reflects your politics

Everyone is talking about the new study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluding that members of Congress respond to the demands of wealthy donors, corporations and business groups, while the preferences of ordinary citizens barely register. As Robert Reich points out, Gilens and Page analyzed data back before the Supreme…

Despite lip service, Silicon Valley venture capital still a man’s world

By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When she started her child-support tracking business SupportPay, Sheri Atwood expected all kinds of suggestions – but not the tip she got from a female investor who suggested she dye her blonde hair darker to be taken more seriously by venture capitalists. To…

Dandelion taproots yield milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles

Dutch biologist Ingrid van der Meer often meets with disbelief when she talks about her work on dandelions and how it could secure the future of road transport. The reaction is understandable, given most people regard the yellow flowers as pesky intruders in their gardens rather than a promising source…

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