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T-Mobile CEO John Legere

T-Mobile protested its innocence after the Federal Trade Commission accused it of letting text message-based scams run amok in the name of profit, but it's not going to fight that complaint to the bitter end. The UnCarrier has agreed to a settlement that will have it paying "at least" $90 million in fines to the FCC and all 50 states. Moreover, it'll have to both offer full refunds to victims and require explicit permission for third-party charges. In the future, that sketchy celebrity gossip service can't take your cash unless you offer consent. T-Mobile's decision to cry "uncle" isn't surprising given that AT&T already settled with the FTC over similar unauthorized billing. However, it suggests that Sprint faces an uphill battle in its own texting dispute -- history definitely isn't on the company's side.

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Congratulations, Guardians of Peace (and North Korea!) -- you've successfully prevented a "dangerous" Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy from getting released. But guess what? You've also made The Interview, which appeared to be just another slacker comedy from the Freaks and Geeks alums, vastly more important than it ever would have been on its own. That's what we in America call delicious irony.

Sony, in a move President Barack Obama has called "a mistake," has vowed never to release the film in any form -- no VOD, no special digital download -- but it's only a matter of time until it's on every torrent and illegal video-streaming site on the web. And how long do you think it'll be until it makes its way into North Korea? You've won this battle, but you've also ignited a war against censorship that could end up dismantling your fascist control of information. Also, didn't you realize people always want what they can't have?

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It's that time of year again! You know, the one when you have to hand over your hard-earned cash or dole out the credit card digits to get the loved ones in your life a little something celebratory. Lucky you, we've got a slew of great recommendations in our easy-on-the-eyes Holiday Gift Guide.

Need something for that hygiene freak in the fam? Then consider this: Philips' Sonicare AirFloss gets the gunk out from between your teeth using a combo of air blasts and water drops. And it's wireless, so you can clean that grill whenever and wherever you like.

And that's just a taste of what our gift guide has to offer. Dive in here for the full monty!

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Sony's already acquiescing to demands made by the North Korean hackers associated with the Guardians of Peace, and the US' commander-in-chief is none too pleased by it. In a press conference that led off with a recap of his past year in office, President Barack Obama said in no uncertain terms that Sony's decision to cancel the theatrical release of The Interview was "a mistake."

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States," Obama said. "If somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing if they see a documentary they don't like or news reports they don't like. Or even worse, imagine if producers or distributors start engaging in self-censorship because they don't want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. That's not who we are. That's not what America's about."

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MSI GT72 Dominator review: a worthy successor to a great gaming notebook

The last time I saw MSI's Dominator laptop, I was sick of it. There wasn't anything wrong with it, but at the time, the product name belonged to the GT70: a powerhouse gaming machine that hasn't evolved much since its introduction in 2012. Back then, I loved the machine's heavy chassis, superb keyboard and excellent sound -- but over time, the machine's aesthetic trappings began to bore me. Someone at MSI must have felt the same way: Earlier this year, the company released the GT72, a new Dominator with a whole new design. Soon after, it relaunched the machine with NVIDIA's latest graphics architecture. OK, MSI, let's see if you can make me fall in love again.

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Instagram on iOS

Many baulked when Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg agreed to drop $1 billion on Instagram in April 2012. "That's $33 per user," said some; "there's no business model!" screamed others. Less than three years later and Citigroup now says Instagram is worth $35 billion. That's almost 49 times higher than the $715 million Facebook ended up paying after its stock price fell, and considerably higher than rivals Twitter and LinkedIn. How did things go so right?

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Liberian health care worker helping to fight Ebola

You know how your smartphone and computer just do nothing when you're not using them? You can now put those slackers to work in a noble cause: helping cure the Ebola virus. IBM's World Community Grid has teamed up with scientists from the Scripps Research Institute with the "Outsmart Ebola Together" project to tackle the deadly plague. The laboratory has been studying the virus for the last decade, and has mapped potential weak points in Ebola proteins. But the process of narrowing down promising drugs is computationally intensive, which is where you and your device come in.

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4th Annual Critics' Choice Television Awards - Cocktails

RuPaul Charles is nothing if not brutally frank. And with a decades-spanning career that's taken him from former New York City club kid to one-time "Supermodel (of the World)," to current host of Logo TV's cult reality show competition RuPaul's Drag Race and all-around impresario of his brand, he's certainly earned the right to tell it like it is. That candor's what his drag persona would refer to as "No T, No Shade," and it's incredibly refreshing.

Sure, Ru's name may not be the first that springs to mind when you think tech, but with his recently released freemium mobile game Dragopolis 2.0 hitting iTunes and Google Play, he carved some time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about being a "gaymer," the importance of Apple CEO Tim Cook's coming out and why Netflix is the key to his current media empire.

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After a whole host of unconfirmed media reports, the Federal Bureau of Investigation just officially stated it believes that North Korea was indeed involved with a gigantic Sony hack that saw personal information, unreleased movies and thousands of emails leaked online. According to a release issued by the Bureau, an investigation revealed "significant overlap" between the means of attack against Sony and previous hacks conducted by the North Korean government. Earlier reports also suggested that the FBI would identify China as a potential participant (either directly or through use of its network infrastructure) in the attack, but no mention of the country was made in this first announcement.

"North Korea's actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves," the Bureau's statement reads.

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Long before Transformers director Michael Bay choked onstage at Samsung's lavish CES 2014 press conference, the Korean company was just another electronics outfit begging for attention. But after decades at CES, Samsung is now the undisputed king of the show. Its blowout media events are the largest and most difficult to get into. Samsung Electronics CEO BK Yoon is kicking off the show next month by hosting the prestigious opening keynote. And it's one of the few tech giants left standing at CES, as Microsoft and others abandon it. Samsung's glorious rise mirrors its ascent in the mobile industry, and it's also yet another example of the company's oft-repeated formula for success: Time, money and perseverance lead to victory.

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