DraftKings Inc. And FanDuel Inc. Applications As Ad Spending Increases

DraftKings and FanDuel may have bitten off more than they can chew when they sued New York to keep their daily fantasy sports games alive in the state. FanDuel's corporate policies from before it self-regulated have been entered into evidence, and some of them only seem to confirm worries about staff abusing their power while playing on rival sites. For a start, the site told workers to "never be among the top five" players on any daily fantasy site, or the top 10 on the tracking site RotoGrinders. They also couldn't have disproportionate numbers of entries in tournaments, and they were supposed to avoid using information on player lineups whenever possible. In other words, don't be too successful -- we don't want you raising suspicions that the games might be rigged.

Close-up of red roses in a bouquet during Sant Jordi Festival, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Plants and electronics frequently get along, but you don't see electronics in plants -- not surprisingly, it's hard to insert circuitry without killing the host. Swedish scientists just overcame one of the biggest hurdles to creating these strange cyborgs, however. They've successfully made the key elements of an electronic circuit inside of a rose and light up ions inside the flower's leaves. The trick was to insert a special polymer that self-assembled into wires throughout the stem, carrying electricity without cutting off the flow of life-giving nutrients.


The Kremlin and the White House famously established a hotline between each other during the Cold War to avoid annihilating each other by mistake, and history is repeating itself now that China is a powerhouse. China and the US have set up a "space hotline" to prevent orbital mishaps and misunderstandings from leading to conflicts. They previously had to go through each other's diplomatic channels -- a big problem when there's an imminent satellite collision or rocket test. Now, they should know the truth right away.

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  • Google's 'About me' is your all-inclusive profile for the company's apps

    In its on-going quest to strip Google+ down to its frame, Mountain View has spun yet another feature from the sputtering social network as a standalone item. A new "About me" page is Google's one-stop shop for updating your profile details across the company's arsenal of apps. Changes made here will...

  • China smashes sales records during its version of Black Friday

    In the US there's Black Friday, but in China, they get all their big online shopping discounts on November 11 aka "Singles Day" instead. As of 4:28am ET today, Alibaba's Tmall, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon, has already made over $11 billion which broke last year's record of $8.97 billion. As reminded...

Apps on a Microsoft Lumia 950

It's true that Windows Phone (and now Windows 10 Mobile) doesn't have as many apps as Android or iOS. However, the perception of that app deficit may be just as problematic -- why would you switch to a Lumia 950 if you assumed that none of your favorite apps had Windows equivalents? Microsoft clearly isn't happy with this state of affairs, as it just released AppComparison for Android to help set the record straight. The app (a spiritual sequel to the old Switch to Windows Phone) tries to match the Android apps on your phone with their mobile Windows counterparts, either giving you an exact parallel or the next best thing.

Motorola's Chicago flagship store is the antithesis of an Apple store

Motorola has exactly one retail store, and it's located in the heart of Chicago's downtown Loop district. I happened to be in the area recently and stopped by on a Friday afternoon before its grand opening. As I found, it is, in many ways, the antithesis of an Apple store. Whereas Cupertino's retail locations feel cold, sterile and a little disconnected, Moto's outpost is warm and welcoming, with an earthy décor and smiling staff at every turn. It's outfitted with bright colors, wood panels and leather accents, while devices like the Moto X, G, E and 360 share display space with plants. What's more, the store encourages you to drop its handsets on the floor to prove how durable they are. Given all this, it's a wonder the company doesn't plan to open any more stores outside its home city.

It's been a heck of a week. With the world still reeling from the Paris attacks, more people than ever are concerned with their personal security. That's why we're featuring five of this week's best posts about stuff that keeps us safe -- and one about a certain CEO that probably could use some more of it after what he said. Remember, there's safety in numbers.

2016 is shaping up to be a tremendous year for green transportation. This week Honda announced plans to launch its Clarity Fuel Cell car next year in the US, while Gogoro is getting ready to roll out its battery-swapping Smartscooters in Europe. Chevrolet scored a grand slam as the 2016 Volt won the Green Car of the Year award, and we jumped behind the wheel of the completely redesigned 2016 Toyota Prius to give you the scoop. We also showcased two wild pedal-powered vehicles: a folding bike that weighs less than a watermelon and the world's longest bicycle, which stretches an absurd 117 feet.


It won't shock you to hear that Android apps send a lot of data, but you may be surprised at how much of it isn't really necessary... or public, for that matter. MIT researchers have determined that "much" of the hidden data sent and received by the 500 most popular Android apps isn't necessary to the functionality. For example, a Walmart app talks to eBay whenever you scan a barcode -- there's no practical difference when you sever that connection. Out of the 47 apps that MIT modified to prove its case, 30 were virtually indistinguishable from the official versions. The rest only had minor issues, like missing ads.

Graham Dunning's Mechanical Techno machine in action

Many techno DJs are used to playing music on vinyl, but creating it? That's another matter. However, Graham Dunning has found a wonderfully strange way to make that idea work. His Mechanical Techno device produces full-on dance tracks by driving several heavily modified records at once with a turntable, with each record relying on unique triggers to produce a sound. Electrical contacts will produce a synth sound as one record spins around, for instance, while piezoelectric triggers create that all-important beat on another disc. The result is techno that's at once analog and not. It sounds digital, but it has the imprecision and unpredictability that you'd never get from software.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Locations Ahead Of Earnings Figures

Third-party forensic experts have discovered that the point-of-sale systems in 54 Starwood hotels across the US and Canada were infected with malware. The company has listed all the locations in its PSA, including various Sheraton, Westin and W properties. That list also notes the possible dates (ranging from November 2014 to October 2015) when each location could have been compromised, and they were all before the hotel chain announced its acquisition by Marriott. Just like what happened to Hilton earlier this year, you might have only been affected if you used your credit cards in one of the 54 hotels' restaurants or gifts shops. Starwood America president Sergio Rivera says there's no evidence that its guest reservation and membership systems also had a security flaw.

Google Holds Press Event Announcing New Products

You may have have a keen eye for that golden "ad" marker when you're searching Google, but not everyone is so astute. UK watchdog Ofcom has posted a study showing that just 31 percent of kids aged 12 to 15 can tell the difference between a Google search ad and the real results just below them. They also tend to be overly trusting, as 19 percent of those young teens believe that all online results must be true. Not surprisingly, the figures get worse with younger children -- just 16 percent of those aged 8 to 11 know whether they're seeing an ad or a result.

Spot, the silent robo-dog made by Google-owned company Boston Dynamics, enjoyed the great outdoors for a week back in September. Not to fetch sticks or roll around in the grass, but to train... with the Marines. It's gone a long way since its time stalking indoors, getting kicked by well-meaning engineers. The corps tested Spot's ability to traverse terrains rougher than concrete floors, such as hills, woodlands and cities, controlling it from 500 meters away with a laptop and a video game controller. It was apparently so easy to pilot the quadruped, even a four-year-old could do it.

Grand Central Apple store

The Genius Bars in Apple's retail stores are supposed to be convenient ways to answer questions and get repairs, but the ever-growing deluge of customers sometimes makes it a pain. Ever waited 20 minutes just to get a Lightning cable replaced? Well, the Cupertino crew may have a clever way to speed up that wait time... and in some cases, save you a trip altogether. Both uSwitch and leaker Sonny Dickson understand that Apple is working on a support app for iOS that would help you get the fix you need. The app would narrow down the cause of your problem by asking questions, and offer chances to contact support, book a Genius Bar appointment or (if it's a relatively minor issue) fix it yourself through how-to guides. Think of it as Apple's support website distilled into a simpler, more powerful form.

We don't exactly know why, but China seems to have a thing for the Pepsi brand. Following the Pepsi edition Oppo N1, another company from the Far East is launching a new device that's simply dubbed the Pepsi Phone. From afar, you may mistake this aluminum device as a rebadged Oppo R7 Plus, but it's actually a variant of the $250 Koobee H7 featuring the same 5.5-inch 1080p display (maybe IPS LCD?) with 2.5D glass, MediaTek MT6592 1.7GHz octa-core processor, 16GB internal storage, 2GB RAM and backside touch fingerprint sensor -- it's likely an older version, though, judging by its thick metallic border like the one on the Huawei Mate 7. It also runs on Koobee's customized Android 5.1 with a Pepsi theme out of the box.

India France Attack Protest

It's no longer surprising that ISIS uses Telegram's secure messaging to conduct its terror campaigns, but what other tools does it use to keep its online actions under wraps? Thanks to researchers at the West Point military academy, we now have a good idea. They've obtained an ISIS operational security guide that shows the outfit's recommended internet services and software, as well as the policies they're supposed to follow. The extremists are advised to use Tor's anonymity network for browsing, Tails as their operating system and messaging services like Telegram, FireChat or iMessage. They're asked to rely on secure phones like the BlackPhone if they can. They're supposed to avoid both anything that gives away their location (for obvious reasons) as well as Dropbox, whose company-managed encryption theoretically lets governments demand access to cloud storage.

With the release of Fallout 4 you need sustenance when wandering the wastelands. Ben mods the game controller mounted Hot Pockets dispenser build with motors and 3D Printing. Survive the Hot Pocketlypse and visit the element14 community for the project's build files, past episodes of the show and to talk with The Ben Heck Show team.

Robots have been helping out around the house for decades, but now that they've been at it for a while, they're almost ready to be deployed into the work force. It's a trial period really and these new synthetic staffers aren't always well-suited to the vocation they've ended up in. Still, they can be found working anywhere from the likes of the kitchen, to the hospitality industry and even testing the waters of super stardom. How's this all going to work out? It's too early to tell, but we've prepared a focus group so you can decide for yourself.

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.

Marvel's Astounding 'Jessica Jones' Rewrites the Definition of Superhuman
Mary McNamara,
Los Angeles Times

Marvel's Jessica Jones is now streaming on Netflix, and to properly prep for your marathon viewing season, take a look at a review from the Los Angeles Times. We've all heard the details about how this series differs from previous Marvel shows and movies, but it looks like what makes this show unique is also what makes it so good. Plus, we get a look at Luke Cage before he his own series.

Mother nursing son

Facebook, Instagram and other social media websites had been in hot water many, many times in the past for purging content other users deem inappropriate. In order to pinpoint the exact reasons for those takedowns and to determine trends in content removals, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a website that tracks censorship across social media outlets. The EFF has built the platform called Online Censorship along with data-driven design company Visualizing Impact. It has resources, such as articles that talk about unjust removal of posts, but it relies on user reports to gather the data it needs.