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Motorola Moto E

If you were seduced by offers of "unlimited" phone data on prepaid carriers like Straight Talk or Simple Mobile only to find your service unbearably slow after a certain point, the Federal Trade Commission has your back. The carriers' owner, TracFone, has agreed to pay the FTC $40 million to settle charges that it misled customers by advertising unlimited data that was really throttled into oblivion. In other words, Straight Talk was being... less than straight. Beyond the payout, TracFone has to avoid making sketchy claims in its ads and provide refunds to anyone who's been burned. The settlement won't affect a huge number of people, but it could serve as a warning sign to AT&T and other big carriers trying to avoid penalties for similarly shady throttling practices.


Bill Gates

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have brought up the potential dangers of super intelligent AI several times over the past few years (Musk even donated $10 million toward cautious AI research), but now Bill Gates is also getting into the mix. In his Reddit "AmA" Q&A session today, Gates made it clear that he agrees with Musk's stance, which basically amounts to being very careful about how we approach the rise of intelligent machines:

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though, the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned.

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Nike's endorsement of Tiger Woods, the most prominent face in golf, dates back to when he first began his professional career in 1996. Since then, shoe technology has evolved tremendously, thanks to the development of new design materials that have made footwear lighter and more comfortable. To that end, Nike has introduced the TW '15, Woods' latest signature shoe. Unlike in previous versions, though, this release brings Flyweave technology to the table, a first for golf shoes. For the uninitiated, Flyweave made its debut on basketball shoes last year, with the promise of being lightweight, flexible and stable. All of which are important for golfers, too.

But just how much can the TW '15 really help get Tiger Woods back on top? After all, he hasn't won a major tournament since 2008. And, perhaps more importantly, can this $200 sneaker really help the average Joe who wants to take their golf game to the next level? To answer these questions, we spoke to Woods and Nike Senior Director of Athlete Innovation Tobie Hatfield.

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Apparently some people haven't heard that Tesla's dual-motor, all-wheel-drive P85D upgrade to its Model S turns the car into a performance monster. An aptly named "Insane Mode" turns up the power so owners can experience the promised 0 - 60mph in 3.2 seconds (in the regular Sport mode it takes about 4 seconds), and of course a few have been showing it off for their friends. Bruce Weisblat aka DragTimes on YouTube has been having fun with his AWD Tesla ever since it arrived, and a new compilation video showing often-profane passenger reactions has gone viral.

Of course, if you've seen one "acceleration reaction" video then you've just about seen them all, however unlike a Bugatti Veyron or Launch Control'd Nissan this is powered by nothing but electricity and Elon Musk's ego. Nothing compares to experiencing an electric motor's "instant acceleration" for yourself, but if the closest you've been to a P85D (or a Tesla period) is our ride-along video than watching Grandma's reaction can at least give you an idea of how it feels.

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HILVERSUM, NETHERLANDS - JANUARY 28, 2014: Facebook is an online social networking service founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuck

The Super Bowl, the enormous advertising event that has some American Football between the commercial breaks, takes place this Sunday. If you're not a fan, then you may have wanted to find some respite inside your Facebook feed but, unfortunately, that avenue has been closed off this year. According to Reuters, the social network is hoping to muscle in on Twitter's real-time advertising turf by letting businesses target users depending on what messages they post.

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NFC Championship - Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks

If Super Bowl parties aren't your thing, Facebook has a new hub for the big game that aims to be the second screen spot for all your social media commentary. The folks in Menlo Park built a "Super Bowl experience" page that collects posts from your pals, real-time reactions, live scoring updates and more. By using "watching Super Bowl XLIX" in status updates, you can ensure that your hot takes are included in the stream. There's also postings from the NFL, NBC, both teams, players and other notable football minds to keep you up to speed on all the latest happenings. What's more, the page will pull in photos and videos from both the media and folks fortunate enough to be in Glendale. If you'll recall, Twitter developed similar real-time options in the past, and the 140-character network is likely to tip its hand on this year's tools in the days leading up to Beast Mode vs. Bellichick.

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The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill

It's not just American and British spies who want to know what you're downloading. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal that Canada's digital surveillance agency, the Communication Security Establishment, has been monitoring the file transfer activity of at least 102 sites, including Megaupload (while it was running), Rapidshare and Sendspace. The effort, codenamed Levitation, is meant to spot foreign terrorists using these file services to conduct their operations. It may only net a user's IP address in many cases, but the CSE can run its findings through databases from allied intelligence agencies (such as GCHQ and the NSA) to get names, email addresses and other personal details.

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Folks buy the highly secure Blackphone handset for the warm and fuzzy feeling that nobody can see their stuff, but that trust was misplaced until recently, according to security expert Mark Dowd. He found a vulnerability in the text message application of the phone that let attackers steal messages, contacts and location info, and even execute malicious code to gain full control. All a bad guy needed to know was the device's "SilentCircle" account info or phone number.

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See that room above? It looks real, but it's not -- and by that we mean it's just a 3D environment made in Unreal Engine 4. Sure, we already have a pretty good idea what the new engine can do, such as bringing realistic skin (among other things) to games. But this "Unreal Paris" project by CG designer Dereau Benoît proves that it can be used to create objects and environments that look more like photographs of the real thing rather than CG. Benoît has created a snazzy Parisian apartment with receiving rooms, dining area, kitchen, bedroom, hallways and even a full bathroom.

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Dell XPS 13 review (2015): Meet the world's smallest 13-inch laptop

CES has come and gone; the holidays are long past; and now all we're left with are a few months of dreary weather. No fun, right? Right. Except if you're a tech writer. Now that most major companies have revealed their new lineups, we have the exciting job of testing all this stuff; seeing how it holds up in real life. The first product of the year to cross my desk: none other than the Dell XPS 13, a compact 13-inch laptop that ranked as a finalist for our annual Best of CES awards. In addition to being the first system we've tested with Intel's new fifth-generation Core processor, the redesigned XPS is notable for its nearly bezel-less display -- a design feat that allows it to have the footprint of an 11-inch machine. Particularly with a starting price of $800 (pretty reasonable for a flagship laptop), it seemed poised to become one of our new favorite Ultrabooks. And you know what? It actually is.

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