BlackBerry Classic

Remember the days when governments were threatening to cut off BlackBerry's secure email because they couldn't spy on your messages? They're back. Pakistan's Telecommunication Authority has ordered local carriers to shut off BlackBerry Enterprise Service from November 30th due to "security reasons." While the agency isn't specific about what those concerns are, BES typically encrypts messages in such a way that an outside party can't (usually) intercept them in mid-flight. Most likely, Pakistan is worried that gangs and terrorists will use BlackBerry phones to chat in secret.

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Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss at a virtual currency hearing

You may still think of the Winklevoss twins as those guys who claimed to have invented Facebook, but they've just taken a big step toward making their names in the digital currency business. The two have filed a New York trust application necessary for them to launch their Gemini bitcoin exchange. The move won't put Gemini on the same level as a bank if it's approved, but it will let the exchange accept deposits, issue loans and serve as an agent for government institutions.

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Inhabitat's Week in Green

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

NASA dropped a bombshell this past week: The Kepler Space Telescope has discovered the most Earth-like planet to date. The rocky planet is slightly larger and warmer than our world, but it orbits a star and has the right conditions for liquid water. Meanwhile, the search for alien life goes on -- and Stephen Hawking gave his support to a $100 million project seeking to find out if we're alone in the universe. Exploring distant worlds is a challenging endeavor -- last week NASA proposed a novel robotic spacecraft that could harvest wind energy while surveying gas giants like Jupiter. And the Smithsonian Institution launched a Kickstarter to save Neil Armstrong's moon landing space suit, which is starting to fall apart after years of storage.

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Minimum Wage

Services like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and Postmates are hallmarks of what's being called the "gig economy." And while presidential candidate Hillary Clinton remarked that companies like these are "unleashing innovation," they've also raised questions about workplace protections. So, to answer some of your questions (and ours), we're hosting a Facebook Q&A this Monday, July 27th at 5PM ET with Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez.

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In case you've already finished Journey and are looking for another gorgeous game that eschews violence, Submerged hits PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in early August. From the sounds of it, the game should be a pretty relaxing affair despite the fact that protagonist Miku is searching a flooded city for a cure for her wounded younger brother. A post on the PlayStation Blog notes that you can explore at your own pace and climb around as you see fit. And as you do, you'll uncover the tale of how the world came to be flooded and a tale of an equally destroyed family. The game gets its good looks thanks to the absurdly powerful Unreal Engine 4, and I'm feeling a bit of an Enslaved: Odyssey to the West vibe from it, myself.

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The coin above wasn't enlarged to make the pincer-like device look extremely small -- it's really that tiny. That "pincer" is a two-millimeter-thin instrument designed and built by a group of researchers from Vanderbilt University for incredibly precise minimally invasive surgery. It's pretty comparable to the da Vinci surgical robot, though that one has bigger needles and requires five to eight millimeter incisions. According to the Vanderbilt team's lead researcher, Robert Webster, the da Vinci works great for abdominal surgery, but it's not ideal for smaller parts of the body. Unfortunately, "the da Vinci uses a wire-and-pulley system that is extremely difficult to miniaturize any further," he said.

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Frontback is sad

The selfie craze might not be slowing down any time soon, but that doesn't mean that self-portraiture products are a license to print money. Need proof? Just look at Frontback. After two years of investment and hype from the likes of Reddit's Alexis Ohanian and Twitter's Jack Dorsey, the selfie-plus-rear-photo service is shutting down. The social network will wind down as of August 15th, and you'll have until September 15th to download all of your pictures. Frontback's iOS client will be reduced to a camera app during the transition, while the Android version is disappearing altogether.

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B6JW6T Woman with Sleep Mask

Nintendo first announced its intention to develop a sleep monitor as part of its "quality of life" initiative in 2014. Now, thanks to a recently published patent unearthed by NeoGAF forum members, we have an idea of what the system could look like. The gamemaker is apparently planning to build a sensor-laden alarm clock-like gadget that's equipped with a projector. Since the documents are mostly in Japanese, we only have their summaries and the device's illustration to go by, which you can see below the fold.

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Twitter on a Galaxy S6 Edge

Hang around Twitter for long enough and there's a good chance that you'll see people rehashing jokes that clearly aren't theirs, whether they're spam bots or less-than-original friends. You might not see that copy-pasted humor for much longer, though: Plagiarism Is Bad has noticed that Twitter is deleting and hiding rip-off joke tweets due to reports "from the copyright holder." While the causes likely vary, freelance writer Olga Lexell says that it's because she genuinely depends on Twitter for a living. She's field-testing jokes, and would rather not have others claim them as their own.

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Grand Theft Auto V really seems like the gift that keeps on giving. The latest present? An unofficial map app (Android, iOS and web) that's been updated with collectibles locations from the current-gen releases like Peyote plants that let you play as sharks, eagles and more -- yes, flying around as a bird of prey is bizarre as it sounds. The differences between this and the official app are pretty major, too. As VG24/7 reports, you can add personal notes to the map, track your collectibles progress and even switch between atlas and satellite views of the terrain. Future plans include making streets searchable by name. Interested? Hit the source links below to grab it for your device of choice.

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A drawing of a proposed grocery store that's likely from Amazon

If you enjoy the luxury of ordering groceries online but would rather not wait at home for your food deliveries, Amazon might soon come to your rescue. Silicon Valley Business Journal understands that Amazon is working on a drive-up grocery store in Sunnyvale, California (a possible concept rendering is shown here) that will rely solely on internet orders -- you'd schedule pickups instead of wandering aisles. Think of it as an AmazonFresh depot that could save you shipping costs while adapting to your schedule.

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Xbox One in China

China technically lifted its longstanding ban on game consoles last year, but only for companies that registered in the Shanghai free trade zone. Needless to say, that put a damper on sales in the world's most populous country. However, the gloves just came off -- China's Ministry of Culture has approved the manufacture and sale of consoles anywhere in the nation. Companies like Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony no longer have to hold back (or rely on black market sales) when doing business. They'll still have to grapple with heavy censorship of the games themselves, but that beats a lack of official options.

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Buying smart bulbs for the home is a little like choosing between HD-DVD or Blu-ray. Like regular old incandescents, or CFL or LED or halogen bulbs, smart bulbs—which can be controlled from your phone—fit into your regular old sockets. But unless you want to have a separate phone app for each room of your home, you'll need to choose a system and stick with it, hoping that the system stays around so you can buy replacements or additions in future. You also have to hope that the app you use to switch your lights on and off is updated to work on any new phone you might buy.

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Nike is ready to pay up to get a two-year-old FuelBand-related class action lawsuit off its back. The case filed back in 2013 against Nike and Apple claimed that there were some "false and/or misleading statements" in the wearable's ads about its ability to track calories and steps accurately, as well as breach of warranty. While the companies maintain that they did nothing wrong, Nike has decided to settle the issue -- it's now offering class members a choice between a $15 cash payout and a $25 gift card redeemable in its US, Puerto Rico and online stores. Apple, which stopped selling FuelBand and other wearables earlier this year, won't be shelling out a single cent.

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While the Voyager 1 probe, launched in 1977, cruises into interstellar space (the farthest man-made object from Earth) and missions like New Horizons capture snaps from the outskirts of the solar system, we've been keeping the heavy hitters close to home. Massive space telescopes that scan the cosmos with augmented eyes have been orbiting the Earth for years to get a clear view of the universe without atmospheric distortion. The Hubble Space Telescope's 1990 launch set a new precedent for these space-based observatories in terms of scale and abilities. These new instruments have helped scientists gather an incredible amount of data and mind-bending photos from deep space. With Pluto hogging the spotlight lately, we decided to take a look back at some of these powerful orbiting eyes and their visual achievements.

[Image credit: JPL]

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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway -- With Me in It
by Andy Greenberg
Wired

This piece from Wired actually sparked a recall that affects 1.4 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles. During the test, hackers were able to use an exploit to "kill" the engine, disable the brakes and track location. Pretty scary stuff.

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Quite a few filmmakers have already unleashed their take on the life of Steve Jobs, with Aaron Sorkin's Michael Fassbender-starrer slated to be released in October. But if you'd rather watch that Jobs documentary that premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in particular -- the same one Apple SVP Eddy Cue found "mean-spirited" -- then, well, here's a taste of it. Oscar winner Alex Gibney's The Man in the Machine doesn't only depict the CEO as a visionary, but also as a ruthless leader. "His stuff was beloved, but it wasn't that he was beloved," a voiceover said in the trailer below the fold, which also shows parts of Gibney's interview with some of Jobs' old co-workers. The documentary will precede Sorkin's movie by a month and will be shown in select theaters on September 4th.

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Video game speedruns are always impressive feats of memorization, skill and flawless gameplay -- but twice a year they're also a conduit for altruism. Next week is one of those times. Starting on July 26th, Summer Games Done Quick will kick off seven full days of Twitch-streamed speedrunning. The goal? Raise as much cash as possible for Doctors Without Borders and have a ridiculously good time.

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US-IT-GOOGLE

Today marks two years since Google debuted Chromecast, the small and affordable streaming device. To celebrate its second birthday, the company's letting owners get in on a couple promotional offers: a free movie rental and access to 90 days of Play Music. Google did something similar last year, but back then it only included the complimentary subscription to its audio-streaming service. For those of you who don't have a Chromecast yet, the deal will be available until December 31st, so there's still some time to take advantage of it.

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