The attorney for Ahmed Mohamed revealed new details about the September events in Texas in a letter sent to both school and city officials in Irving, Texas. If you'll recall, Ahmed is the 14-year-old boy who was arrested under suspicions of creating a "hoax bomb," but the device was nothing more than a clock. Early accounts of the events that day detailed one teacher seeing the gadget and thinking nothing of it before a second told him that it resembled a bomb. In a letter of demand, Mohamed's lawyer alleges that school officials never really thought that the clock was an explosive device, as the second teacher didn't initially treat the gadget like she thought it was dangerous. She did escort Ahmed to the office, where the letter alleges that five police officers, the principal and the assistant principal performed an "interrogation." During that time, he was allegedly not permitted to contact his parents and was forced to sign a letter of confession under the threat of expulsion. Eventually, authorities decided not to charge him, but his family says the damage was done.

Dell XPS 15

Lenovo and Samsung might not be the only big Windows PC makers pre-installing software that compromises your security. Computer buyers have discovered that Dell is shipping at least some PCs (such as the new XPS 15) with a self-signed security certificate that's the same on every system. If intruders get a raw copy of the certificate's private key, which isn't hard, they have an easy way to attack every PC shipping with this code. The kicker? This is much like Lenovo's Superfish exploit, only written by the hardware vendor itself -- Dell had plenty of time to learn from its rival's mistake.

Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal pos

HP isn't done reviving its smartwatch partnerships just because it's helping Movado -- far from it. The tech pioneer has unveiled a smartwatch deal with Titan, the fifth-largest watchmaker in the world and a powerhouse in its native India. The two aren't saying much about what their new wearable entails beyond a design that's "responsive, but not intrusive" (what does that even mean?) and its support for both Android and iOS. However, it's safe to say that HP is doing most of the heavy lifting. Like with other Engineered by HP smartwatches, it's supplying the underlying hardware and software while the watch brand focuses mostly on design and manufacturing.

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Santa Claus On The Beach Surrounded By Young Women In Swimsuit In Miami Beach During Sixties

Winter is coming. And with it also comes the need to show the loved ones in your life just how much you care for them by spending, spending, spending on gifts. Trouble is, there are just so many options to choose from. What you really need is someone, some outside force to hold your credit card-holding hand. And boy, do we have some suggestions for you. Happy Holidays! You're very welcome.​

Not everyone's looking to find the latest gaming console, set of chef knives or wholesome [insert foreign culture here] cookbook boxed up with a bow this holiday season. For those folks that like to unwrap their presents after dark, we've got more than a few salty suggestions to get you (and them) in the spirit.

Image credit: Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Belgium's capital, Brussels, entered lockdown this weekend as authorities swept the city for suspected terrorists, including at least one high-profile fugitive wanted in connection with the Paris attacks. On Twitter, authorities prompted residents to refrain from posting pictures or information about ongoing police movement -- and Belgian residents obliged, with a twist. They flooded the hashtag #BrusselsLockdown with pictures of cats, making information about raids harder to find and showcasing the country's solidarity against terrorism. On Monday, as the city remained under its highest-level terror alert, Belgian federal police thanked residents on Twitter with a picture of cat food and the message, "For the cats who helped us last night... Help yourself!"

[Image credit: Flickr/julochka]

We've known about Square's new NFC-friendly reader for a while, and now the point-of-sale gadget is available for use. Starting today, 100 merchants in "select cities" (quite a few, actually) will begin accepting NFC-driven payments like Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and those newfangled chip credit/debit cards. The reader is a square pad (of course) separate from the company's usual POS setups and sliding readers, allowing you to hover your phone or insert a card to complete purchase. The unit is wireless and pairs with either a countertop system or Square's free mobile app to handle the transactions. However, the new reader itself will set businesses back $49 in order to get started. For the initial rollout, look for the device at businesses in the following cities: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Seattle, St. Louis Tampa, and Washington, D.C.

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best things for your home. Read the full article here.

Preparing a Thanksgiving feast can be a pretty hectic experience, but the right kitchen gear can make it a breeze. Instead of fretting over dinner, wouldn't you rather spend time with family and friends? At The Sweethome, we spend dozens of hours on each of our reviews to find the best gear for all parts of your life. Here are eight of our favorite kitchen-oriented recommendations to help you host like a pro and make the most of Thanksgiving.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.


The Australian state of New South Wales has made it illegal to possess the blueprints necessary to make your own projectile weapons. Lawmakers have passed an amendment to the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 that makes it a crime to own information necessary to produce guns, like the Liberator. If a person is found to have "digital blueprints," they could face a prison term of up to 14 years. This goes beyond 3D printers, too, as the law also includes "electronic milling machines" should anyone want to get creative with their nearest CNC.

Google Street View visits the ancient city of Petra in Jordan

Jordan is home to some extremely significant historical and religious sites. However, visiting those landmarks in person is no mean feat -- which is why Google just added many of them to Street View. Fire up your web browser and you can get virtual, 360-degree tours of more than 30 ancient locations, including the city of Petra (above), Jerash and legendary castles from the Crusades. We suspect that this will pale in comparison to the grandeur of seeing these relics first-hand, but you should at least have an inkling of what the experience would be like.

Shazam is doubling down on what it does best with its latest update: Recognizing songs when your memory (or pop cultural knowhow) fails you. And, for the first time, the app now highlights a search feature on its main page, which lets you dig for more information about songs and artists. The goal, naturally, is to convince you to stay within Shazam rather than hopping over to the web for music research. In my brief testing, the new Shazam app recognized songs from television and radio in a few seconds -- at times it even found a result in under a second. It feels significantly faster than previous versions of the app, which sometimes took over five seconds to lock onto a song. That's not a huge difference, but given that Shazam has been around for years (it was one of the first killer apps back when the iPhone's App Store launched in 2008), it needs to keep improving to keep up with competitors like Soundhound.

Opera Max saving data while you stream music

The data savings of Opera Max for Android may make the most sense when you're watching cat videos, but music matters, too -- listen to a few albums and you'll easily burn through several hundred megabytes. Thankfully, Opera might just have you covered. It just trotted out an update to Opera Max that can optimize your music streaming data by as much as 50 percent in apps like Pandora, Slacker or YouTube Music. The trick is on-the-spot conversion of audio from MP3 or MP4 to the more data-efficient AAC+ format. Yes, that transcoding theoretically affects quality ever so slightly, but it might be worthwhile if you can listen to a few more tunes during your commute.

Did you ever watch Picard's Star Trek and hope that someday, we too might communicate with just the touch of a lapel-worn gadget? No, we didn't really, either -- Bluetooth headsets quickly poured water on that fire. But, Amit Singhal, senior vice president and software engineer at Google did, and the company even made a prototype. In a report in Time, Singhal describes the never-before-known wearable as a simple Bluetooth device controlled by touch, just like on the show. Once activated, your voice command would be passed to your handset, with feedback delivered by either a small speaker, or headphones.

Today, Samsung's making good on a promise recently made to people in the US. The company has announced that its mobile payments system, Samsung Pay, now works with Visa debit and credit cards from Chase bank. Last month, Samsung also said the app would be adding support for gift cards from "top" retailers in entertainment, dining, grocery and fashion, but this feature hasn't officially launched yet. Nevertheless, this shows Samsung is serious about expanding Pay and that, most importantly, it's getting the backing it needs from banks, retailers as well as carriers.

Just in time to entice holiday shoppers, Fibit is updating its Surge and Charge HR fitness trackers with a handful of new features. First, a SmartTrack feature automatically recognizes exercises during your workouts and records them in the Fitbit app along with details on duration, calories burned and heart rate. SmartTrack can determine if you're on the elliptical, outdoor biking, running, walking or doing one of a few aerobic workouts (Zumba, cardio-kickboxing , dance, etc.). It can also detect if you're playing sports like tennis, basketball and soccer. You can personalize the activity recognition too, telling the tech which movements you want logged as exercise and how long you want to be moving before it starts to track them. By default, you'll need to be in motion at least 15 minutes before the recording starts. When it comes to heart-rate tracking, the two wearables are getting improved PurePulse performance for those more intense workout sessions. By using Exercise Mode on the Charge HR and multi-sport modes on the Surge, the gadgets will provide a better "experience" during and after those high-energy activities like Zumba.

If the TV show that you love gets axed before you're ready to let it go, then there are a couple of things you can hope for. For instance, a streaming service could step in to fund a new season of the show, or people can turn to Kickstarter and do it themselves. But it turns out that there's another route towards salvation in the form of a mobile game, which is how Futurama is going to make its auspicious return. 20th Century Fox has signed a deal with German game developer Wooga to create Futurama: Release the Drones. The story will see the Planet Express crew take on MomCo in a delivery war, with players asked to connect groups of drones to solve puzzles.

Not long ago, we saw a new kind of super-fast 3D printer that works by "growing" objects from resin, rather than laboriously depositing the print material in layers. Another company called Nexa3D has launched a product on Kickstarter that's similarly quick, claiming that you'll be able to print objects at a speed of around 1-inch every 3 minutes. That's around 25-100 times faster than a regular 3D printer, and objects can be made to around 120 microns of detail, fairly close to the resolution of a Makerbot Replicator 2. Like the Carbon 3D printer we saw earlier, this new system works by using light to harden a photo-curing resin that is gradually extruded from a tank.

Domino's Pizza Easy Order Button

With more than half of its customers now ordering via its mobile apps, it's fair to say that Domino's has pizza delivery down to a fine art. But in this modern age, there's always room to shave a couple of seconds off the purchasing process. That's where "The Easy Order" comes in. Domino's has brought one-click pizza ordering to the UK, letting you hit a physical button to get your favourite pizza delivered to your doorstep.

One downside of being a billion-dollar movie studio that owns one of history's most popular film series is that it's hard getting the word out about new releases. Take Disney, which is struggling to inform the population that there's a seventh episode of the Star Wars saga coming out in a few weeks. Thankfully, the folks at Google have noticed the studio's plight, and decided to help out by offering customized themes for everyone's favorite internet services.

Pile of small diamonds

Move over, graphene -- you're not the only miracle material in town. Australian researchers have discovered that diamond nanothreads (one-dimensional diamond crystals capped with hydrogen) could be extremely strong. While scientists thought they were brittle when announced just a month ago, it turns out that they become supremely flexible (and thus durable) when you introduce the right kinds of defects. You could create nanoscopic structures that are just as strong as you need them to be, with a 'perfect' mix of bendy and rigid shapes.

Two people play the Collidoscope

Noodling on a synthesizer is normally a solo affair, but Ben Bengler and Fiore Martin have found a way to spice things up. Their Collidoscope lets two musicians play in tandem thanks to the combination of twin keyboards and a clever sample-grabbing mechanism: all you have do is record something and use a hybrid knob/slider to determine what you're sampling. It looks cool (somewhat like a musical, multiplayer Pong), but the big deal is that dueling artists can quickly create a track without breaking their flow. Perfect for live sets, we'd say. The team isn't selling the Collidoscope right now, but there are hints that you'll one day get to buy this competitive composition tool.