App Car Service Startups Continue To Irk Traditional Cab Companies And Regulators

We've already heard reports that Uber was allegedly ordering and canceling Lyft rides in an attempt to sabotage the competition. Well, it turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg -- Uber apparently has a whole secret plan in place to take down its pink mustachioed rival. The Verge has uncovered evidence that Uber has hired a full-on team of independent contractors and provided them with burner phones and credit cards to recruit existing Lyft drivers away and join the Uber clan. Known as "Operation SLOG," these so-called brand ambassadors would call up a Lyft ride, get in the car and then go into their recruiting spiel -- they even have driver kits so they'd be able to sign up the Lyft driver there and then. The SLOG team also took care to not get caught -- The Verge found emails that warned the ambassadors to not request calls from the same place, and there's even a GroupMe account where they can compare Lyft driver profiles so they don't accidentally recruit the same person.

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With Barnes and Noble reduced to borrowing Samsung tablets and Sony giving up altogether, only Kobo stands in the way of Amazon's total e-book domination. Now, the company is hoping to steal a march on its rival by introducing the first waterproof e-reader, the Aura H2O (assuming you don't count Waterfi, and we aren't). It's the first such device that's IP67 certified, meaning that it'll last under a meter of water for up to half an hour if the port cover is closed. The display is the same size as the Aura HD, offering a 6.8-inch touch-enabled e-ink display with ComfortLight tech, offering a resolution of 1,430 x 1,080 and a pixel density of 265 dpi. Like its brethren, it does come with Pocket integration, enabling you to read long form web content away from your tablet or smartphone. There's 4GB of on-board storage and a microSD slot if you want to add in a 32GB card, as well as a battery that's rated for two months of use -- if you only use it for 30 minutes a day, of course. The Kobo Aura H2O will be available on October 1st, priced at $180 in the US/Canada, £140 in the UK and €180 in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands.

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Seagate enterprise hard drive

We're sorry to break the bad news, but that 5TB hard drive you bought last week? Yeah, it's already obsolete. Seagate has started shipping the first-ever 8TB desktop hard disk, doubling the 4TB capacities that seemed huge just a couple of years ago. If it's any consolation, though, this machinery isn't ready to go inside your hot gaming PC. Right now, all those terabytes are destined for data centers where capacity trumps every other concern; Seagate isn't mentioning prices, but enterprise-class storage is rarely cheap. You may want to set aside some money all the same. These extra-roomy drives have a tendency to filter down to the mainstream pretty quickly, so you may soon have more free disk space than you know what to do with... at least, for a little while.

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The Engadget Live tour continued last week, with the latest stop taking place in Boston. Just like at our previous two events, in Austin and Seattle, Beantown didn't disappoint and the reader turnout was incredible. Attendees were treated to a night filled with a myriad of activities, giveaways and social mingling. Want to know what you missed? Check out the picture gallery bellow, where you'll also get a glimpse of what the sponsors brought over to the Royale venue to share with the Engadget aficionados in attendance.

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Doctors think that the World Health Organization should ease off against electronic cigarettes, if only because the dangers have to be less harmful than the real thing. For its part, however, the WHO disagrees, publishing a report saying that it wants these nicotine delivery systems to be regulated with the same scorn as cigarettes and cigars are today. Research into the relative harm of "electronic nicotine delivery systems" is still pretty nascent, but the report claims that while the water vapor they emit has a smaller concentration of nicotine, it may spread more widely in the air -- increasing the risk to children and pregnant women in the vicinity. The WHO concedes that e-cigarettes are preferable to the real thing, at least for now, but only in nations where tobacco smoking is being rapidly reduced. The downside, of course, is that there's no consensus -- beyond a few studies -- that the technology actually helps people to kick the habit.

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Sure, a computer with a 64-bit processor can run almost anything designed for a less robust CPU -- but programs designed specifically for these chips tend to just run, well, better. Google's been trying to drag its web browser into the modern age for a few months now, and today it finally has: Chrome officially supports 64-bit processors on Windows. A beta of the 64-bit code showed up last month, but now it's part of the regular stable release. Why upgrade? Well, aside from gaining a more secure and stable browser, Google says the update significantly increases graphics and media performance on supported machines, and decodes HD YouTube videos 15% faster. Sound good? Check out that source link below.

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Usher's New Look Foundation 2012 World Leadership Conference - Leadership Certification Day

After nearly six years as President of Emerging Devices for AT&T Mobility, Glenn Lurie has been promoted to CEO of the division. The move is part of a major reorganization effort by AT&T to merge Mobility and Business Solutions (Enterprise) into one group. Lurie will continue to report to Ralph de la Vega, who has been tasked with overseeing the new division; de la Vega will in turn report to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. The news was first reported by Fierce Wireless, and Engadget has confirmed the report with official spokespeople. AT&T says that the new group will essentially fold the marketing and distribution arm of AT&T's Business Solutions department into Mobility, which it believes is the next "natural step" toward integrating the company's wireline and wireless operations.

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It used to be that if you wanted to make two Pokémon really wail on each other, you'd have to fire up a fan-made game like Pokémon: Type Wild. At long last, those days are over: after a bit of teasing last year, The Pokémon Company and Namco confirmed today that Pokken Tournament is an honest-to-goodness, button-mashing brawler that'll see the light of day next year. Beyond the thrill of watching a Machamp just going to town on a Lucario, Pokken's arrival is yet another example of Nintendo's new openness towards using game mechanic mashups to liven up long-running franchises. Hyrule Warriors, anyone? What's next, a Punch-Out boxing manager sim? A Fire Emblem RTS? (Please make that one, Nintendo!) Anyway, Pokken is slated to hit Japanese arcades some time in 2015, but given the sad state of arcades in the US, we'll have just to pray for an international console release down the road.

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Those of us who've been frustrated that Hangouts in Gmail has been displaying conversations in chronological order rather than who's online are about to get some relief. Rolling out over the next few days, a new tab in the Hangouts window will allow you to toggle your contacts list there, so you can easily see who's available at the top of the group. What's more, you'll also be able to pin your favorites above the rest -- whether they're online or not. Of course, you'll need to click the "Try the new Hangouts" option in the setting pane in order to leverage the conversation method, if you haven't already done so.

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The rumor mill surrounding Apple is at full force right now. But while people are still waiting for the supposed bigger-screen iPhone (or iPhones) and a smartwatch to show up, we can now add one more device to the list. According to Bloomberg, Apple's set to introduce a 12.9-inch iPad in 2015. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the report claims that production on said iPad, which would be Apple's biggest yet, is scheduled to begin as early as Q1 of next year, noting that it's all part of Tim Cook's plan to "shake up the iPad line." Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard whispers on a 12.9-inch tablet from the iPhone maker, as some outlets have previously reported on leaked parts from a device being known as "iPad Pro." Now whether or not Apple is actually working on one, that's yet to be determined -- but even if it was, let's not forget that companies tend to have a change of heart from time to time.

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