United States of America flag flies outside Department of Commerce building in Wall Street, New York City.

Wall Street is worried. Not about government regulation or investigations by law enforcement agencies. No, the countries financial institutions are concerned about cyber attacks. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or SIFMA, has proposed that it and the government join forces in an effort to combat the 21st century threat. As Wall Street's biggest trade group, the organization already wields plenty of influence, but to help convince the American government it has hired former NSA director Keith Alexander.

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Wondering what Samsung's virtual reality headset looks like? Well stop wondering, because when it's announced at IFA 2014 later this year, it'll look something like what you see above. That's a render straight from Samsung, care of SamMobile. Our sources confirm that, while what they've seen isn't exactly like what's pictured above, it's very similar; we're guessing the render is a closer approximation to the retail model than the developer kits currently in the wild. Keep in mind Samsung still hasn't even teased the headset we detailed last month across two reports.

It remains a peripheral: You'll use it in conjunction with your phone, which plugs in via USB and acts as your screen. The hardware is built by Samsung; the software by Oculus VR -- the folks behind the incredibly impressive Oculus Rift.

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As one of the Blocks smartwatch team reminded us today, modularity has played an integral role in modern computing. A desktop PC is only a collection of components, after all, which can swapped out and upgraded based on what you need from that particular machine (a process Razer hopes to simplify with Project Christine). Recently, Google and others have been working out how to bring the same level of customization to the smartphone. With smartwatches and fitness trackers a burgeoning tech category, both in terms of consumer interest and product development, the Blocks team sees no reason why wrist-worn technology can't benefit from being modular, too. It's in the process of creating such a gadget and today we caught up with the team at a London event, hosted by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, to talk about its progress and check out an extremely early prototype.

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Folks who have nabbed a ride from Uber during major snowstorms in New York City know all too well about the car service's price gouging during those events. Now, the outfit is capping rates during disasters and "relevant states of emergency" in the US, donating commissions from those surge trips to the American Red Cross. Fares will vary between locales, but prices during a state of emergency will remain under the three highest-priced, non-emergency days of the last two months. If you'll recall, the app-based service calculates rates based on periods of high demand and low driver availability, jacking up pricing to match and ruffling a few feathers in the process. "This policy intends to strike the careful balance between the goal of transportation availability with community expectations of affordability during a disaster," said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

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Amazon Kindle

Despite sounding like a rogue militant organization from G.I. Joe, Hachette is actually a book publishing group. Tame as that may sound, Hachette is currently engaged in a high-stakes game of Chicken with a juggernaut in the book sales world: Amazon. It's all part of a long-running dispute between book publishers and "the everything store"; even the book titled after Amazon's moniker was involved in the dispute. It goes like this: Amazon wants to price its e-books one way, and publishers want things another way. While the negotiations occur, Amazon pushes back by slowing delivery of physical books by publishers involved in negotiations or, sometimes, carrying limited stocks intentionally so the books are unable to be ordered. Another tactic Amazon's now employing in the dispute? Appealing directly to authors. With cash.

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Dubai is hot. Summer temperatures can easily exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and desert conditions can mean weeks without relief. The city is already home to a slew of all-weather venues, such as Ski Dubai, the Middle East's first indoor ski resort, but the UAE's latest project could bring comfort to millions of residents and annual visitors. Mall of the World, as the complex is to be named, will include 20,000 hotel rooms, making up some 100 hotels and apartment complexes, the world's largest indoor theme park, an 8-million square foot mall and a 3-million square foot "wellness district," with doctors and inpatient facilities for medical tourists.

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Geek Girls

Internships aren't just for college students and bad movie premises anymore. Top tech companies like Facebook and LinkedIn are seeking interns at a younger age than ever, with the idea of converting high school-age talent into staff. Before you get all wound up -- cool it! -- know that these interns are being paid generously for their work: in the range of $5K to $8K each month. Some are courted during high school, with internships taking place the summer between high school's end and freshman year of college. Some are courted even earlier: Bloomberg reports at least one instance where an Oregon startup had pre-high school student as an intern. "I felt like age shouldn't hold me back, as long as I can code," intern James Anderson said. He's now 15.

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New GE Countertop Microwave Oven with Rotisserie

If you're into the whole quantified-self movement, or you just fancy watching what you eat, GE is working on new microwave tech that could make manual calorie counting obsolete. The company's R&D department developed a prototype that directly measures the caloric amounts for the foods that it heats. For now, the device only works with blended foods, and requires a uniform mixture to provide accurate values; however, a new gadget is in the works that that will tally stats for a full plate. This means that the essential info for a chicken breast and two vegetables can be sent to a smartphone app while you wait. The folks at GE are using fat and water content to calculate calories as low-energy microwaves pass through weighed portions. It's too early to tell when (or if) the system will make it to consumers, but you may want to ditch those Hungry-Man dinners before your microwave has a chance to provide its own guilt trip.

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GoingSLO On Turri Road - Explored #1 6/12/13

Often the shortest route between two places involves some grey, eight-lane expanse of Interstate that's about as thrilling to drive as it was to pave. Resourceful road-trippers have learned to make use of the avoid highways feature, but that's always a crapshoot. Sometimes you get a scenic country road, sometimes you get trapped in strip mall hell. But researchers at Yahoo Labs have figured out how to measure the "beauty" of a route using an algorithm. "The goal of this work is to automatically suggest routes that are not only short but also emotionally pleasant," which might be especially important to pedestrians looking to avoid grim over passes and busy intersections. The work started by crowdsourcing opinions about images harvested from Street View and Geograph for locations throughout London. The locations that were deemed to be more beautiful by users were then plotted on a map and used as waypoints to provide directions. The resulting routes were on average only 12 percent longer than the shortest path to a destination, but 30 test subject all agreed the results were more pleasing, aesthetically.

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smiling mature woman florist...

Hey small-business owner, you're pretty savvy. I know you're pretty savvy because you're reading this website on the internet, like the savvy small-business owner above. But some of your colleagues aren't quite as connected as you are. And sometimes that disconnected crowd faces serious real-world implications as a result: Take former restaurant owner Rene Bertagna for instance. His long-standing Virginia restaurant, Serbian Crown, closed last year "after nearly 40 years" due to, he believes, an error in Serbian Crown's Google Maps listing. The error was grievous, he tells Wired, and he's now suing Google in a Virginia court.

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