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September 2012


Texting woman falls off cliff

A woman in Alaska is lucky to be alive after she fell off a cliff while she was sending a text messaage using her phone.

Maria Pestrikoff was smoking at her home, which is on a cliff. As she walked near the edge to toss the cigarette butt (and send a text message), she lost her footing and fell almost 60 feet down.  

Maria’s friend heard her screams for help. The texting and butt-flicking mishap sent her down into the rocks below between boulders.

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RIM execs sing love song as company tries to stay afloat

 As RIM went to show developers its forthcoming operating system, BlackBerry 10, it released a music video of executives pleading for patience.

The love song, performed by the three top honchos, is called “Devs, BlackBerry is going to keep on loving you.” It’s somewhat of a throwback to the 1981 song “Keep on Loving You” by Speedwagon.

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BitTorrent music downloads helping artists: report

Downloading music illegally using platforms like BitTorrent is the enemy of record labels, but a report suggests it might actually be good news for the musicians themselves.  

BitTorrent is a way of sharing files – music, movies and TV shows – between different people on the Internet.

While there are some legal uses for BitTorrent transfers, a majority of traffic is illegal file sharing. In fact, Musicmetric, a group which tracks torrent traffic, found the most shared file in Canada was Kanye West’s album ‘Watch the Throne.’ Strangely, it was the Americans who were after Canadian rapper Drake’s single, ‘The Motto,’ making it the most shared music file in the U.S.

But while recording companies might cringe at the thought of losing tens of millions of dollars in lost sales, some musicians say file sharing is good news.

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Review: Pioneer XW-SMA1

XW-SMA1-K_L2@120508@LHaving a gazillion songs on your phone is great, but it’s not always easy to play your music back on speakers.

Yeah, there’s sound systems with dedicated Apple docks – but that only works if you have an iPhone 4S or older – and all those accessories are outdated with the new interface on the iPhone 5.

And if you don’t have an iPhone, you’re out of luck.

With the new Pioneer XW-SMA1, however, you’re virtually guaranteed a way to get your music to play on this device, either wirelessly or with a traditional wired connection.

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Facebook creeping your ex is bad for you: study

Here’s another report where you scratch your head and wonder: Did we need a study to tell us the truth?

A new study suggests that stalking your ex on social networks after de-friending them makes it harder to get over the person.

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HTC unveils its latest Windows phones – 8X and 8S

HTC-WP-8X-3V-multicolorAhead of the busy holiday season, smartphone maker HTC made a huge and unexpected announcement in New York City on Wednesday for its release of Windows Phone 8X and 8S.

While most media folks in attendance were expecting an announcement on a new HTC Android phone, the surprise came when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joined HTC CEO Peter Chou on stage in a Chelsea sound stage to introduce the newest members of the Windows Phone 8.

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Facebook teams up with Helene Campbell to ‘Like’ organ donation

A 20-year-old woman who crusaded for a double-lung transplant, with the help of Justin Bieber and social media, is joining forces with Facebook to help others looking for an organ transplant.

Facebook is adding a new feature that will allow you to tell others that you’re an organ donor. The thinking is that it will help spread the word that organ donation isn’t all that taboo – and share how important it is that people offer up what they can for organ donation.

For those living under a rock, Helene got Justin Bieber to tweet his support for organ donation early this year. Then, she wound up on the Ellen DeGeneres show via a Skype when she made a plea to find an organ donor.

Helene recently got the double-lung transplant she needed to save her life.

But going back to the new announcement – Facebook users can now share their organ donation status with friends on the world’s largest social network. 

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Search three years of TV news to find out what politicians really said

This is one for your browser bookmarks. The Internet Archive - which was already way cool - just got cooler, with the introduction of a searchable TV news broadcast service. 

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Canon launches full-frame 6D, Olympus updates PEN line

6dPhotographers have a couple new cameras to eye following a pair of announcements Monday morning.

Canon has pulled the wraps off a new full-frame DSLR camera, the new 6D.

It’s designed to slot in between the current price point of the 5D Mark II, with features similar to that of the new 5D Mark III.

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Researchers crack credit cards’ chip and pin features

Credit-cards300Think your credit card’s hack-proof chip is safe? Think again.

A group of researchers from the U.K. have managed to crack a “weakness” found in chip and pin banking cards – a flaw that was previously thought to be nonexistent.

Experts at Cambridge University found the cards could be cloned, or copied, to make other transactions.

Here’s how they cracked it: Each time a purchase is made using a chip and pin card, an “unpredictable number” (UN) is generated at the sales terminal.

This supposedly random number is used to authenticated the card – and the purchase.

But the researchers found that “lackluster equipment” used at sales terminals would make the number highly predictable.

In a blog post, researcher Mike Bond said the card can be cloned once someone can predict the UN.

So what are the banks doing about this? According to the BBC, the researchers reached out to some in Europe, which were “explicitly aware of the problem for a number of years.” The weakness was found to be a surprise to some other banks.

Not exactly reassuring, is that?

Hopefully, the idea is that the banks will take steps to prevent anyone from being ripped off – but that’s before more bad guys figure out ways to scam these chip and pin cards.

Have you been a victim of credit card fraud?

* Video: How unused credit cards can improve your credit score

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.