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The IRS web portal is no digital Fort Knox, officials from IRS watchdog Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) told the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. In fact, J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, laid out a strong critique of the tax agency's ability to defend itself from cyber-attacks. Specifically, he cited dozens of security upgrades that had been recommended by his group -- but not implemented by the agency -- that would have reportedly made the most recent data breach "much more difficult" to pull off.

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Xiaomi Mi Band next to an Mi4

Which company do you think is the fast-rising upstart in the wearable world? Fitbit? Jawbone? None of the above, if you ask IDC. It estimates that China's Xiaomi claimed 24.6 percent of the wearable device market in the first quarter of 2015, which is no mean feat when the company didn't even start shipping its first wrist-worn gadget, the Mi Band, until the second half of last year. That still amounts to just 2.8 million devices, but it was enough to shrink the market share for virtually everyone else, including industry leader Fitbit as well as Garmin, Samsung and Jawbone. And Samsung is the only smartwatch maker on the list, we'd add. LG, Motorola, Pebble and other early entrants are lumped into the "others" group.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium's autonomous underwater vehicle

Robotic underwater vehicles from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Research Institute just helped discover one of the Earth's more elusive scientific treasures. Both an autonomous mapping craft and a remotely operated counterpart (which collected video and samples) traveled 12,500 feet to the bottom of Mexico's Pescadero Basin to find the Pacific's deepest hot hydrothermal vents. The machines achieved their feat in just two days, versus the years that it'd take for conventional undersea mapping -- and they achieved the kind of detail that would likely be difficult or impossible using those earlier techniques.

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FBI Surveillance Flights

Thanks to an Associated Press report, we now know more about the FBI's fleet of small surveillance planes that are flying over US cities. It's no secret the aircraft have been used for years to aid the Bureau's efforts on the ground, but recent flights were equipped with cameras and cellphone-tracking technology. The FBI says mass surveillance isn't the purpose of the group of mostly Cessnas (like the one above), maintaining the gear is only used for ongoing investigations -- more often than not, without a warrant. The FBI isn't denying the existence of the aircraft, but the AP linked the fleet to at least 13 fake companies that coordinated over 100 flights in 11 states during a 30-day span starting near the end of April. According to the Bureau, measures are taken for "operational security purposes" and for pilot safety. The FBI also says the phone-tracking tech is rarely used. However, much like the its Stingray devices, the cellphones of nearby people are caught up in the net -- not just the intended target.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik]

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Linux' signature penguin on a PC

In case there was any doubt that Microsoft's war against Linux is (mostly) over, the company just offered another olive branch. The company has revealed that its PowerShell team is working on support for the Secure Shell protocol and shell sessions (aka SSH) to make it easier for Windows- and Linux-based PCs to connect to and remotely control each other. While SSH has been an option in the Windows world, Microsoft's Angel Calvo says there have been "limited implementations" so far -- this would simplify things and give you "tight integration" with Windows that wasn't feasible before. It's too early to tell when the feature will be available, but it's at least in the cards.

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CHINA-MILITARY-AVIATION-TECHNOLOGY

If students want to cheat their way through one of China's most difficult exams, they'll now need to thwart a patrolling drone. The National Higher Education Entrance Exam, known as "gaokao," is held each year and determines whether youngsters will get into the top universities. It's been described as the "world's toughest exam" and can be stressful, even traumatic for students trying to achieve higher grades. Some entrants, ingeniously, try to cheat by capturing their test questions and sending them to someone on the outside, before receiving the answers via an earpiece. Unsurprisingly, China wants to crack down on the practise, so one province is now using a drone to monitor radio activity. When a disturbance is detected, it can alert the invigilators and help determine the culprit's location. The penalties for cheating are fierce, so authorities are hoping the threat alone will be enough to encourage would-be cheaters to spend their free time cramming instead.

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Hornby Model Trains To Rescue Airfix Planes

Hornby, a British company that makes detailed model trains, plastic build-it-yourself toolkits and die-cast collectibles, wants to bring back some of its classic sets. To do so, it's launching a Kickstarter-style site called KitStarter that lets Airfix fans pledge their interest for old and out of production models. Once a set receives enough support from backers, Hornby will trigger a two-week "last orders" period and then put the kit back into limited production. To begin with, the company is starting small with two bird-themed kits -- Bluetits and Bullfinches -- that were originally produced in the 1970s. Hornby plans to add new vintage sets over time and is encouraging fans to submit their most-wanted recommendations in the forums. So if you've ever regretted not completing a particular Airfix collection, this could be your opportunity to finally pick up some missing sets.

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You wouldn't think that technology would have infected the primary colored world of children's TV, but even the Teletubbies have been forced to move with the times. The forthcoming remake of the stoner-favorite show sees the amorphous blobs ditch their stomach-mounted televisions for "touchscreen devices." Naturally, in the real world, it's still a square of grey felt stitched onto the costume, but characters will now interact with this tech in a way that's familiar to kids.

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Showtime's standalone streaming service was tipped back in November, and now it appears we may be close to the official reveal. Variety reports CBS is prepping to announce the subscription option to temp those who've cut the cord as soon as this week -- six months after CEO Les Moonves discussed the service's 2015 arrival on an earnings call.

Update: The service is official, and scheduled to launch in "early July" -- definitely in time for the new seasons of Ray Donavan and Masters of Sex on July 12th. Just like HBO Now, it's coming to Apple's iOS products first (Apple TV, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) and the web via Showtime.com. For now, any word on additional platforms and providers is "coming soon." It's just called "Showtime" and access to the app will cost $10.99, although there will be an initial 30-day free trial. That's not long enough to wait for the (once again featuring David Lynch) Twin Peaks revival, but should be good for a Dexter binge if you're so inclined.

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Tidal Launch Event NYC #TIDALforALL

Jay Z's music-streaming service, Tidal, relies heavily on bringing exclusive content to subscribers. But it knows more features are needed to complement that. Today, in an effort to make the overall experience better for its users, Tidal is launching desktop apps for both Mac and Windows -- albeit in beta form. There's also an updated user interface on mobile and the web, along with the new applications, which comes with extra personalization options, a simplified menu and improved search results. Ticketmaster support has been added too, letting people view artists' tour dates and purchase concert tickets directly from the music service's website or apps; Spotify does something similar through Songkick.

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