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Key Speakers And Views Ahead Of The E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo

While President Obama has joined the voices criticizing Sony Pictures for its decision to pull The Interview, its CEO claims he is "mistaken." In an interview with CNN set to air tonight during Anderson Cooper 360, Michael Lynton tells Fareed Zakaria that "We have not caved. We have not given in." In the pieces CNN has teased, he even says the company would still like for people to see this movie. Lynton claims that he personally did speak to senior officials in the White House about the situation, and asked for help in dealing with it.


[Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]



Tesla's automated battery swap stations that boost cars with a fully charged power pack instead of a slow charge are finally becoming a reality. First shown off over a year ago, the company announced today that it's ready to start a pilot program for invited Model S owners along the San Francisco to LA route, at a facility across the street from its Supercharger station in Harris Ranch, CA. Right now Tesla says the whole process can be done in under three minutes, but with changes to the vehicle design, it says cars could be ready to go in less than a minute (a video of the process being done in 90 seconds is embedded after the break). While charging the company's flagship EV on its Supercharger network is free, for now the by-appointment-only swaps are promised to cost "slightly less than a tank of gas." When they were introduced, the suggestion was a $60 - $80 price range, but even with the price of gas falling, that may have changed too. The point of the pilot program? To figure out if the demand for battery swaps that cost money vs free charging is high enough for the idea (and the $500,000 facilities that make it work) to make sense.

[AFP/Getty Images]

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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.



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!


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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