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If you travel around much of your local area, you are sure to see some of the large and ugly metal cell phone towers that power the nation's wireless infrastructure. In some cities, there are laws that prevent mobile companies from installing these big eyesores. That means that companies are having to get sneaky with the way they install towers.
Wireless companies are now putting up so-called stealth cell phone towers that are able to blend into the environment. You may live right up the street from one of these towers and not know it. For instance, the bell tower of the church in this image hides a fully functional cell phone tower.
A former Microsoft employee is facing three months in jail and a whopping $100 fine after stealing trade secrets and leaking Windows 8 builds to a French blogger. Alex Kibkalo faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, but reached a deal with federal prosecutors for a massively reduced sentence.
In a latter included in his court documents, Kibkalo said: "For sure, I got my lesson not to discuss my work projects with external parties". Microsoft went down a very different path when investigating this case, with the Redmond-based software giant secretly going through Kibkalo's Hotmail account and Messenger logs, in order to find out if he was leaking pre-release information about Windows 8 RT and Microsoft's Activation Server Software Development Kit.
Do you want some bitcoins and have a minimum of $200,000 for a deposit? If so, prepare for the U.S. federal government's auction of bitcoins that once belonged to the defunct Silk Road black market website.
The U.S. Marshals Service is spearheading the auction, and all interested parties must register by June 23. The auction itself begins on June 27 and will run for 12 hours. Everyone participating must submit a registration form, copy of a government-issued photo ID, and a wire transfer deposit. The 30,000 bitcoins currently are currently valued around $17.3 million currently exchanging at $600 per bitcoin. It appears the federal government has monitored the value of bitcoin and has tried to time the auction at a time when bitcoin value appears to be rising yet again.
The feds also seized another 144,336 bitcoins that belonged to Silk Road head Ross William Ulbricht, however, he is contesting their forfeiture. Interestingly, Ulbricht's attorney argues that bitcoin isn't real currency, and says charges should be dismissed and the cryptocurrency should be returned.
Apple is working iPhone users in Europe that some of the USB adapters could pose a safety risk. Apple has found that some of its USB adapters that shipped bundled with iPhones and were sold separately could overheat leading to a safety risk. The adapters shipped in Europe with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S.
These adapters were sold from October 2009 until September 2012. The affected adapters have model A1300 printed on the on the bottom of the unit. You can see an example in the image above.
Virgin Galactic is the company that Richard Branson put together over the last few years that will eventually take passengers into space. Only the wealthy will be able to afford these trips, as ticket prices will cost well over $100,000 each according to reports.
Word has surfaced that Google is in talks to purchase a stake in Virgin Galactic. According to the rumor, it's not a chance to send normal people into space that Google wants. Rather Google wants access to satellite launching technology. Google bought Skybox Imaging this week for $500 million.
Everything is getting smart these days from our phones to our watches. A new smart cup has turned up from a company called Mark One that is called the Vessyl. The smart cup has some interesting abilities. It knows what you put inside and can break the liquid down to its most vital components using sensors inside the cup.
The goal of the cup is to help us change how we consume liquids during the day. The cup can monitor caffeine and sugar amounts and tracks calories. It also has a proprietary hydration measurement that it tracks called Pryme. All of these metrics that the cup can record are synced with an app on your smartphone.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced his company will open its electric car patents for outside use by other automakers, saying big car companies can copy technology and use it in their own "massive manufacturing, sales and marketing" efforts.
Musk hopes to usher in rapid climate change, confirming his company is unable to build enough electric vehicles to realistically address a growing carbon crisis. It was rumored Tesla would open charging technology patents to others, but this is a more significant move by Musk.
"Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world's most talented engineer," Musk recently wrote. "We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen, rather than diminish, Tesla's position in this regard."
Android users have been able to complete purchases in two clicks for a while after the Instant Buy API launched about a year ago. Google has now announced that the same 2-click purchase function is now available for iOS users.
With the instant buy API, iOS devs can now integrate Google Wallet checkout into their apps. The feature will allow users to access shipping and credit card info that is stored on the cloud. The user's payment and shipping details will only be shared with the merchant after they decide to purchase.
It sounds like the big protest that black cab drivers in London planned this week didn't go as planned. We mentioned yesterday that black cab drivers in London planned to create a massive traffic jam as 12,000 drivers came to one area and performed a "go-slow" demonstration to jam up traffic.
The protest was a way for the drivers to show their contempt for Uber, which they maintain is illegal to use in the UK. The protest appears to have backfired as Uber has announced that during the protest, registrations for its app increased by 850%.
Amazon has announced this week that people who subscribe to its Prime service will be getting a new benefit to enjoy. Amazon is rolling out a new music streaming service called Prime Music that will be provided at no additional cost to Prime subscribers who pay $99 per year.
Members subscribed at that price will automatically get access to a catalog of over a million songs. Amazon says that among those songs are tens of thousands of albums from top artists like Justin Timberlake, Pink, Blake Shelton, and lots more.