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Frontback is happy again

Tech startups rarely get a second chance if they fail, since they can't usually draw on the help of either a huge following or a pile of cash. However, the recently defunct Frontback is getting that rare reprieve. The selfie-oriented social service has reached a deal with an as yet unnamed "partner" that will keep it running for the foreseeable future. This mysterious helper believes there's "something incredible" behind the concept of posting both front and back photos, Frontback says, and it's offering "fresh ideas" for what to do next. There's no certainty that Frontback will live happily ever after, but it's at least not going to fade out any time soon.

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Sultan Al Qassemi In Conversation With David Plouffe Hosted By Uber & Harvard Business School Club Of The GCC & The Harvard Kenn

Uber is getting richer and richer. It's now valued at $51 billion after raising another $1 billion in funding, and it got to this stage two years faster than Facebook did. As always, the ride-sharing service has attracted an assortment of investors during its latest funding round -- one of them's none other than tech juggernaut Microsoft, according to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. While neither company has admitted it yet, Bloomberg says Microsoft has agreed to back Uber to the tune of around $100 million. It's unclear whether this means they're pursuing a deeper relationship or if they're working together on a project or two, at least. If you recall, though, Uber's snapped up a portion of Bing's mapping tech back in June, along with a hundred of Redmond's employees.

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Gadget Show Dish

Just as Comcast dips its toe in the internet TV business, Sling TV is claiming that the giant is refusing to run ads for its service on NBC stations that it owns. According to Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch (last seen walking off with our Best of CES Overall Winner trophy), the ads are running across other broadcasters, and on NBC stations not owned by Comcast. If the idea was to cut down on the number of people seeing an alternative to the cable setup, that may have backfired since you're reading this right now. Comcast's NBC stations aren't running the ads in three cities (San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.), but the internet stretches much further.

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Microsoft HoloLens

When Microsoft said that its HoloLens headset would arrive "in the Windows 10 time frame," what did it mean, exactly? Thanks to a BBC interview with Satya Nadella, we now have a better sense of when this augmented reality eyewear will show up. The company chief expects developers and enterprise users to get the first version of HoloLens "within the next year" -- you won't be getting one as a holiday gift, folks. It's not certain just when a personal version will launch, but Nadella describes the overall technology as a "5-year journey" that will eventually branch out to other fields. While that doesn't necessarily leave you high and dry until 2020, it does suggest that you'll have to be patient if you want to play some holographic Minecraft.

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A BMW i3 with ActiveAssist

Apple and BMW may eventually have more in common than just some features in your car's infotainment system. Sources for both Reuters and Manager Magazin understand that the two companies have had "exploratory talks," including a trip by Apple executives to Leipzig to see how BMW builds the i3. Apple reportedly likes that BMW rethought the conventional car manufacturing process for its electric vehicle, and might use what it learned to help make its own EV. While BMW claims that there aren't any active talks about jointly developing a car, a Reuters tipster hears that the firms may revive talks (not necessarily to co-produce a vehicle) later on.

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Facebook's Lollapalooza feed

If you can't make a pilgrimage to Lollapalooza but want to get a sense of what it's like to be there beyond the concert streams, Facebook might have what you're looking for. It's testing an expansion of Place Tips that lets anyone in the US see a feed of Lollapalooza's goings-on, whether they're photos, videos, set times or updates. Ideally, this will give you a feel for the event (and possibly a twinge of regret) without having to brave the crowds and summer heat. Facebook isn't saying when you'll see the feature again, but it's promising to "explore" uses in the future. Don't be surprised if it quickly becomes commonplace. The social network is eager to capture the as-it-happens excitement that you normally find on the likes of Snapchat or Twitter -- this could keep your eyes glued to Facebook after you're done catching up with family and friends.

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WINDOWS 95 CARNIVALIt's hard to believe that Windows is 30 years old this year. Originally a graphic shell that sat on MS-DOS, Windows has blossomed over the years to be the visually rich experience it is today. That's not to say it hasn't encountered a few pitfalls along the way -- Windows ME, anyone? -- but despite weathering rivals from the likes of Apple, Microsoft's pride and joy is still the most widely used personal computer operating system on the planet. In the gallery here, we take a look back at Windows through the ages. Be sure to keep an eye out for a few cameos from Jennifer Aniston, Jerry Seinfeld and, of course, Steve Ballmer.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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If anything's kept pace with how video games have changed over the years, it's how we interact with them. Our biggest touchpoint with virtual worlds is the gamepad and -- akin to how games themselves have evolved from simple 2D affairs into 100-hour-long labyrinths in three dimensions -- controllers have changed to accommodate that. What you'll find in the gallery below is a comprehensive look at gamepads from the past 30-plus years of gaming, including high points and missteps alike.

[Image: Adafruit Industries/Flickr]

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Are you ready for lab-made hamburgers, bug-filled protein bars and 3D-printed cuisine? With the Earth's population rapidly approaching 8 billion and the race to keep up with food demand intensifying, industries have begun to drain essential resources and adversely affect the environment. Thanks to some scientific know-how, we're finding new ways to bypass those issues while still bringing natural and nutritious food to the table. In honor of that quest, we've gathered an assortment of forward-thinking products and projects that aim to alleviate the environmental impact of feeding the world and help kickstart a farming future for our space-faring progeny.

[Images: David Parry / PA Wire (Cultured Beef); Chloe Rutzerveld (Edible Growth); 3D Systems (ChefJet)]

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I entered the doors of the building, an approximately 7-foot Piranha Plant greeted me. Inside, I saw large question block cushions scattered throughout and 25 Wii U stations. Off in the corner was a Mario mascot, posing for photos in front of a big green pipe. If you thought I was in Nintendo Land, you'd be wrong. I was in Facebook's Menlo Park, California, offices. It was the second day of a two-day hackathon collaboration with Nintendo, where employees had the opportunity to create levels with the upcoming game Super Mario Maker. And the ultimate prize? The winning level design would be available to download when the game launches.

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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

This Kentucky Distillery Is Blasting David Bowie Songs to Flavor Its Brandy
by Ashlie Stevens
Munchies

Sounds strange, right? I thought so too, but it actually makes a lot of sense. The vibrations of the barrels triggered by subwoofers placed around the Copper & Kings distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, constantly circulate the company's brandy. This means that liquid spends more time in contact with the oak barrels, much more than the typical, stationary aging process allows.

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Sony Increases PS Plus Prices In Certain Countries

Sure, PlayStation Plus subscribers are used to getting "free" games every month, but they haven't had any say about what the gratis titles would be. Until now. With Vote to Play, you'll have a chance to make your voice heard. PlayStation VP of platforms marketing John Koller writes on the PlayStation Blog that the game with the most votes will automatically be added to the upcoming month's offerings, and that in the first round of voting the runner-up will be available at a discount. Pretty cool, huh? Exactly how the voting process will work (if there will be videos or whatnot to help make informed choices) isn't clear just yet, but Koller writes that more info is coming soon enough. The real question though is if you would've voted for Rocket League, the dark horse from last month's promo that's absolutely dominating the gaming conversation right now.

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Surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital started using 3D-printed copies of patients' affected body parts to prepare for procedures last year. Now, that move has helped save the lives of four children aged two months to 16 years old who suffered from life-threatening blood vessel malformation in their brains. Their condition gave ride to distinctive anatomies that one of the hospital's neurosurgeon, Edward Smith, said were really tricky to operate on. So, the doctors used a combination of 3D printing and synthetic resins to conjure up copies of the kids' deformed vessels, along with nearby normal counterparts and surrounding brain anatomy. That gave them the chance to practice extensively beforehand and reduce possible complications on the operating table.

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JAPAN-FINANCE-FOREX-IT-BITCOIN

It's been months since Tokyo police revealed their belief that the Mt. Gox bitcoin heist was an inside job, and tonight they arrested its former CEO, Mark Karpeles. Some 650,000 bitcoin still remain unaccounted for since the exchange shut down in 2014, which Karpeles blamed on a computer flaw. According to the Wall Street Journal and The Japan News, police in Japan believe Karpeles manipulated the balances of the accounts using it to counter orders from customers and that some of the missing bitcoin may have never existed at all.

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UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: Bryan Shindledecker With Niko The Diabetic Service K9

So how will the US government respond to a recent spate of attacks by hackers, including one that extracted an unprecedented amount of data on government employees from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)? The LA Times and New York Times suggest the Obama administration has decided it must retaliate against China, which is believed to be behind the attacks, but is still working out how to do it. Comments from government officials like Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have highlighted "deterrence" as an ideal outcome, but how?

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The Food and Drug Administration "strongly encourages" hospitals to stop using Hospira's Symbiq Infusion System, because it's vulnerable to cyberattacks that would allow a third party to remotely control dosages delivered via the computerized pumps. Unauthorized users are able to access the Symbiq system through connected hospital networks, according to the FDA and the Department of Homeland Security's Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team. ICS-CERT reported the vulnerability on July 21st and the FDA released its own safety alert on Friday, July 31st. Thankfully, there are no reported incidences of the Symbiq system being hacked.

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Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung isn't waiting around for the verdict of a Chinese lawsuit over bloatware to take action. The company will offer patches in August that let local Android phone owners delete unwanted pre-installed apps on both the Galaxy Note 3, the example cited in the suit, as well as more recent phones like the Galaxy S6. It's not clear just which apps you can purge, but it's safe to presume that many of the non-essential apps are now eligible.

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Zoolander

Marissa Mayer opened up the Yahoo warchest once again, and this time it was to buy the "leading social shopping site," Polyvore. Yahoo's purchasing the whole kit and caboodle from the sounds of it too with Mayer writing on her Tumblr page that it's acquiring not just the service, but the team that built it as well. She says the purchase will work to bolster Yahoo's digital content growth and that current CEO Jess Lee (apparently a Polyvore community member prior to joining the company proper) will report directly to her. And if you're a current Polyvore enthusiast yourself, it doesn't sound like too much should change aside from where current employees report for work -- we'll let you know if those turn out to be offices for ants.

[Image credit: Pink Cow Photography/Flickr]

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satellite navigation system

As is the case with seemingly anything that connects to the internet these days, a security researcher has found that GPS devices which connect to the Globalstar satellite network are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle hacking. According to Synack Inc researcher Colby Moore, who is presenting his findings next week at BlackHat, transmissions within this system are not encrypted. This means they can be intercepted and altered between the sender and recipient -- not good when you're trying to find survivors after a natural disaster. What's more, Moore states that the flaw is a fault in the system's architecture and one that is nearly impossible to patch.

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