United Airlines detected a breach in its computer systems in May or early June, potentially putting the movements of millions of Americans in the hands of a China-backed hacker group, Bloomberg reports. This is the same group suspected of hacking into the Office of Personnel Management in June and compromising the privacy of 21.5 million people, the site reports. The OPM breach led to the resignation of Director Katherine Archuleta.

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Sprint CEO

The battle between Sprint and T-Mobile for the hearts and phone lines of America's families is heating up. T-Mobile recently updated its Simple Choice family plan to give a family of four unlimited calling and text, as well as 10GB of data to each of them for $120 a month. On Wednesday, Sprint fired back with a revamped Family Share Pack. This package offers four lines, unlimited talk, text and 10GB of shared data for $100 to families that switch from another carrier. And if 10GB isn't enough, Sprint also announced that it will sell a 40GB plan for $20 more per month, $120 in total.

[Image Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP]

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Netflix's new sci-fi adventure, Sense8, follows eight people who suddenly develop psychic powers with each other. To commemorate the series, which is directed by The Matrix's Wachowski siblings, Netflix teamed up with J. Michael Straczynski, the guy who invented Babylon 5, and technologist Patrick Gunderman to create the strangest symphony you've ever heard -- or thought.

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First things first, I wanted to let you guys know that you can now subscribe to Dear Veronica on iTunes! We'll have an RSS feed up soon for you non-iTunes people, so don't think we forgot about you. These things just take time.

Episode-wise, I'm excited to welcome onto the show my friend and my former Tekzilla co-host Patrick Norton of TekThing! He's going to set you straight on the best home automation setup. Plus, we talk about following (or not) awkward acquaintances on Instagram.

Keep sending in those questions to me via email, or on Twitter using the hashtag #DearVeronica. See you next time!

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With the tactile buttons, nostalgic looks and snappy foldability, flip phones have a certain je ne sais quoi. But nobody wants to use a feature phone like a caveman, so Samsung has just revealed its latest model, the Galaxy Folder. It's arriving right after rival LG's Gentle flip phone, but is quite a step up. Along with 4G LTE and Android 5.1, it's got a higher-res 3.8-inch, 480 x 800 screen, twice the RAM (2GB), a sharper 8-megapixel camera and a much bigger battery. Imagine! That'll let you do most of what you normally, then fold your phone away like Lindsey Graham. No, really imagine, because it's available in Korea for $250, but ain't likely to come here.

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7 amazing human-powered gadgets

By Cat DiStasio

Electricity runs the world we live in -- but we often overlook the fact that our own bodies generate quite a bit of energy just by doing what we do. This has led engineers and designers to create a wide array of human-powered gadgets that are as creative as they are fascinating. Many are developed as a response to needs in developing nations, where the grid is unreliable or expensive, but others come about purely as convenient answers to First World predicaments. You'll be amazed to learn what the human body can do, whether it's generating electricity for light simply by grabbing hold of a flashlight or making a sweet winter beanie while kicking back with a good book.

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Tuning an FM radio

You might think that conventional radio is becoming less relevant as time marches on, but AT&T begs to differ. It's requiring that Android phone makers not only include active FM radio chips in their devices from 2016 onwards, but that they switch on chips in as many existing phones as possible. There's no immediate explanation for the throwback, and we've reached out for more details. However, it may boil down to matters of efficiency and utility. FM radio reduces the need for streaming audio if you're not picky about content, and it can be an important source of news during emergencies, when data networks might be down or oversaturated. We're sure that manufacturers won't be happy, since they'll have to work on FM support just to get handsets on AT&T's store shelves. All the same, it's nice to see providers enabling features for a change... even if they're ones that you're not very likely to use.

Update: We've since learned that this isn't as strict as it sounds -- it's a request from AT&T, not a rule. If an Android phone maker declines to include FM, it won't get the boot.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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Ride Hailing Companies-Regulation

People love it when companies make things easier for them, and that's exactly what StubHub is doing today. If you use the service to buy tickets to events, like a live concert or sports game, you'll now be able to book an Uber directly from its iOS and Android apps. The best part about this is that, once you've purchased a ticket, the StubHub application sends a notification to your device (two hours prior to the event) asking if you'd like to request an Uber. And, similar to Live Nation's partnership with the ridesharing firm, there's no need to type in the address to the venue -- StubHub lets drivers know where the drop-off point is.

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As any child of the 1980s can tell you, Disney's Captain EO ride -- starring the "King of Pop", Michael Jackson himself -- was one of the best attractions to ever grace the park. EO debuted at Disney World in Florida back in 1986 and ran for eight years before closing in 1994. Now, Captain EO is back (and not just temporarily like they did after he died). The ride has reopened at Disney World's EPCOT in all of its hokey, 3D glory. Michael Jackson's ragtag team of freedom fighters are set to "bring freedom to countless worlds of despair" -- and keep you entertained for 17 minutes with a mix of '80s futurism and 30-year-old nostalgia.

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Yahoo's Livetext video-messaging app popped up in Hong Kong's iTunes store a few days ago, and now it's rolling out to more locales. The app is the company's effort to provide software similar to its popular Messenger app that's appropriate for how people are chatting these days. This means offering a an option that's similar to Snapchat and the like, but with a focus on one-on-one conversations. With Livetext, you can let the person (no group chats yet) you're chatting with via text get a look at where you are and what you're doing. While the app does provide a video stream, it doesn't include sound. Why? The folks at Yahoo found that enabling sound caused folks to think twice about answering a message and instead wanted to offer "a way to connect that's quick and non-intrusive." It might keep you out of trouble in the office, but we'd surmise most folks would prefer it offer at least the option of some audio.

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Let's face it: Google Translate is a handy tool when traveling abroad or reading text on the web that's written in a different language. The software already offered help with seven languages, and today Mountain View added 20 more. This means that you'll be able to translate to and from English to Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, Indonesian, Polish, Turkish and several others. You'll also be able to leverage one-way translation from English to Hindi or Thai. And all of those are just for printed text.

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Samsung Galaxy A8

Wondering how Samsung manages to cram a 16-megapixel camera into seemingly wafer-thin phones like the Galaxy A8? By developing a brand-spanking new sensor that fits, that's how. The Korean company has built an ISOCELL-based CMOS imager that uses extremely tiny 1.0-micron pixels instead of the 1.12-micron units from the previous model. That may not sound like much of a difference, but it amounts to a sensor that's 20 percent thinner, at a scant 5mm (0.2 inches) deep. In short, you won't have to accept an unsightly camera hump just to get high-resolution shots.

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Livescribe has refreshed one of its older smartpens from way before it had an option that can automatically sync with iOS and Android devices. The new Echo 8GB Pro edition can save up to 800 hours of recording and connects to a Mac or a Windows computer via old-school USB connection, just like its predecessor. It doesn't differ that much from its older sibling, so it's presumably more powerful, with more advanced components. Similar to other Livescribe pens, Echo Pro digitizes what you write on the company's special dot paper and records audio, such as a professor's lecture (or incessant droning, depending on how you see it) at the same time.

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Wearhaus Arc: Is the world ready for 'social headphones'?

Almost exactly a year ago, I received an email about "the world's first social headphones." The main feature of the Wearhaus Arc was their ability to wirelessly connect with other Arcs nearby, letting users broadcast (or listen in to) each other's tunes. Owners of the Arc would be able to create impromptu silent discos, or hyper-local radio stations with just one media player. At a romantic level, I liked the idea. I imagined all the conversations they could start, or connections they might spark, so I wrote about them, suggesting the technology might be better as a "feature" that other brands could license. Despite my reservations, Wearhaus went on to run not one, but two successful rounds of crowdfunding for its bespoke headphones. That product is finally here, and about to go on sale. I've at last had a chance to try it. Has it changed my mind?

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Want to show that the art of sincere, thoughtful communication is dead? You only have to take advantage of a little-known (but recently discovered) Facebook feature. The social network has been quietly rolling out SMS birthday notifications that let you wish a generic "Happy Birthday!" simply by replying "1." Yes, you too can reduce an important milestone in someone's life to a single-digit text reply that takes less effort than it does to unlock your phone. It's true that this could come in handy for the birthdays of Facebook friends you barely know, but we'd say that taking the few seconds extra to write posts on their timelines would be infinitely more considerate -- you're never in that much of a hurry.

[Image credit: Shutterstock / Ruth Black]

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Amazon's drone-delivery service may be a little fanciful, but it looks as if another company is working to make something similar to it a reality. Workhorse has applied to the FAA for special permission to begin testing drone deliveries made from the back of one of the firm's electric cargo vans. The idea is simple enough: as the truck makes its rounds, the roof-mounted HorseFly UAV selects, transports and drops off a parcel right outside the recipient's front door. The neat trick to all of this would be that the system is autonomous, with the human operator only keeping an eye on the landing to ensure there's no accidents.

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If you've ever spent time in the company of young children watching colorful and cartoony TV shows geared to their innocence -- say something on Sprout or Nick Jr. -- then you'll know what it is to live in the world of Henry. The computer-animated virtual reality short about a lonely hedgehog is only the second to come from Oculus VR's newly founded Story Studio, an innovation lab of sorts for VR. But whereas most recent gaming- and entertainment-focused VR works have relied on cheap thrills, suspense and fear to dazzle viewers, Henry instead engages with empathy.

"That was the big question for me: How are people going to connect with him?" says director Ramiro Lopez Dau of Henry's emotional bent. "So we came up with this character who has an obvious problem: He wants to hug people and he's super spiky. So that was the connection because everyone deserves a friend. And Henry doesn't have a flaw. He's just like that; he's a hedgehog. ... So it's more about, okay, there's some meaning here. You will find someone who will accept you for who you are, which is a very universal message. ... There's going to be a very strong point to feel empathy for this guy."

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Cyanogen's certainly set on loading its Android version with Google app replacements. Earlier this year, it announced that it will make Boxer's Gmail-like email app the stock option for Cyanogen OS 12. Now it has revealed that the new calendar made by the same firm will also become a stock app in future versions of the platform. As Boxer is known for making Google app substitutes for those fond of them but who'd rather not tie their details to an account, its new calendar's pretty much like GCal, with events indicated by color-coded blocks. It's integrated with the company's email app, which means you'd instantly know if you're available when you receive an invite in your inbox. Boxer's calendar will come preloaded on Cyanogen OS devices to be released in the next few months, but you can download it right now from Google Play or iTunes.

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Xbox One streaming on Windows 10 is nice and all, but how about getting the power of your PC on the console? Xbox head Phil Spencer has confirmed to the Verge that Microsoft is working on Windows 10 streaming to the Xbox One. He already hinted that such a feature would happen after tweeting that Microsoft would support mice on the Xbox One. He said that "it's actually a little more challenging doing the encoding on the PC side to Xbox," since PC hardware varies widely from user to user, unlike the Xbox One. He added, however, that "challenge is good."

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Back in October, we told you about Afineur's goal of replicating the process of civet coffee without all the pooping. To create a flavor profile similar to the pricey Kopi Luwak beans, and bypass the bowel movements, the company uses fermentation to create coffees with low bitterness and astringency so that fruit and other flavors shine. Well, now's your chance to try it as Afineur's first batch is up for grabs via a Kickstarter campaign. The so-called cultured coffee not only leverages science to create its flavors, but it makes the brew easier on your stomach while leaving those cute little animals out of the equation. The coffee is made in Brooklyn (where the company is based) with the help of Pulley Collective's roasting facility. In terms of origin, the beans are currently sourced from Guatemala, but the folks behind Afineur are "open to new collaborations."

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