CyanogenMod receives new round of funding, talks about future plans 0


Expanding the team to push CM even further

The folks over at CyanogenMod have announced today that the company is closing another round of funding. Building on a Series A round of funding of over $7 million to get the new company off to a start, this Series B round is bringing another $22 million into the fold from investors Andreessen Horowitz and Tencent. Initial investors Benchmark and Redpoint will still be involved as well.

CM says that the new hefty chunk of capital will be put towards more team members across every bit of the company — engineering, UX, design, products and more. As for the end users of CyanogenMod, they shouldn't expect too many immediate changes. The long-tail effect of this new funding will of course be new apps, features, services and even more devices that are pre-loaded with CM. We can be sure that this is just the beginning of what CyanogenMod wants to accomplish.

Source: CyanogenMod


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The 19 Best Movie Trailers Of 2013 0

From ‘Hunger Games’ to ‘Wolf of Wall Street.’

By Alex Zalben


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What Holiday Gift From Your Childhood Felt Like the Future? 0

What Holiday Gift From Your Childhood Felt Like the Future?

Believe it or not, these four MP3 players used to represent the future of music. It was the Christmas shopping season of 2000 and there was no iPod, there was no Spotify, and if you were downloading music, it was probably by way of something known as "Napster." (I hope I’m spelling that right.)

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iPhone 5S, Nexus 7 with Extras, Fallout for Free [Deals] 0

iPhone 5S, Nexus 7 with Extras, Fallout for Free [Deals]

If you’ve been holding out for a new iPhone, this is about as good a deal as you’ll ever see on the flagship model. Best Buy is offering the 16GB iPhone 5S for Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint for just $125 with a new contract, a mere $25 more than the lower-end 5c. Get it while you can.

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This Nuclear Bomber Could Break the Sound Barrier Twice Over 0

This Nuclear Bomber Could Break the Sound Barrier Twice Over

Delivering a nuclear strike is only the first phase of a mission. Next comes the most important part: hightailing it out of there before the entire area turns to glass. And for crews aboard America’s first supersonic bomber, getting the heck out of Dodge was done at twice the speed of sound.

Read more…


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Holy Cow, $200 Off Every Single James Bond Film on Blu-Ray, Today Only 0

Holy Cow, $200 Off Every Single James Bond Film on Blu-Ray, Today Only

Hang on to your martinis, Bond fans. Amazon has a completely wackadoo 67% off sale on the Bond 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray box set. That’s all 23 Bond movies for one hundred dollars. But it’s today only, so get moving!

Read more…


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HTC Black Friday promos: Verizon + Sprint HTC One on the cheap, chance to win real gold phone 0

Gold HTC One

Verizon and Sprint HTC Ones available from $49.99 today, $29.99 on Friday and Saturday

HTC has kicked off its Black Friday deals early, giving buyers the chance to pick up the Verizon or Sprint HTC One at a significant discount. From Nov. 24-28 and Dec. 1-7 it's available for $49.99 on-contract for new subscribers and upgrades; this Friday and Saturday that price drops to just $29.99.

HTC is also launching new gold-themed promotion in the run up to the holidays. Enter the manufacturer's #HTCinNYC photo contest, which gives mobile photographers the chance to have their images splashed on HTC's Times Square billboard, and you could win a 24-karat gold One valued at $2,500. (Not to be confused with the less precious champagne-gold model to be sold in Europe.) Two winners will receive the golden handset, and one will also be chosen each week to win a regular, aluminum HTC One.

Source: HTC Black Friday deal, HTC photo contest


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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Rumored to Star in “Sandman” Movie 0

Possibly joining up with a Hollywood controversy, Badass Digest reports that Joseph Gordon-Levitt may star in a new movie rendition of Neil Geiman’s “Sandman.”

Although the the cult-classic comic has had an unstable relationship in Hollywood, reports state that the multi-talented David Goyer has pitched Warner Bros. on a live action portrayal of the franchise. They idea was reportedly well-received. Joseph Gordon-Levitt may star as Morpheus in the movie, but more details are needed before anyone can confirm its production.

“The Dark Knight Rises” superstar also awaits the release of his newest movie, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” coming at us from graphic novel extraordinaire, Frank Miller and “Machete Kills” master, Robert Rodriguez.

Slated for release in 2014, the action-thriller’s synopsis states, “The town’s most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants.”

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Windows XP update locks machines with SVCHOST redlined at 100%: Fix it with KB 2879017 0

It isn’t a new bug, but it’s a killer, and this month’s round of Automatic Updates has brought it back with a vengeance. Freshly installed Windows XP SP3 machines running Windows Update — typically because Automatic Update is turned on — will stall twice. First, when Windows Update accesses the Microsoft website to gather a list of available updates, the machine can lock up for five, 10, 15 minutes — or more — with the CPU and fan running at 100 percent. Then, if the customer waits long enough for the updates to appear, and clicks to install them, the XP machine goes racing away again for five or 10 or more minutes, with the CPU redlined at 100 percent.

If you’ve turned on Windows Automatic Update, your brand-new WinXP SP3 installation may just sit there and churn and churn.

Microsoft has known about the problem for months — probably years — but it hasn’t fixed it. I first saw the problem described in a TechNet post for the June 2013 Black Tuesday patches. In September, reader warwagon on the Neowin support forum described the same problem — and drew more than 100 comments, many of which repeated the same story. Jeff Duntemann talked about the problem in October — and he traces its origins back to 2004. Now the November 2013 Black Tuesday patches are bringing back the same litany, and Microsoft hasn’t made any moves to fix it.

The source of the problem isn’t hard to track down. In every instance I’ve seen, wuauclt.exe — the Windows Update Agent — running in a SVCHOST wrapper takes over the machine. Clearly, there’s a bug in wuauclt running on Windows XP and/or a bug in the way Microsoft’s servers handle wuauclt on XP. Whether Microsoft will ever deign to fix it remains a sore point.

Some people advise that you turn off Automatic Update — I do, too, for reasons painfully obvious in the 17 epic Windows Auto Update meltdowns slideshow — but turning off Automatic Update doesn’t solve the problem. As soon as you venture into Windows Update manually on a fresh Windows XP SP3 machine, the problem comes back.

The best solution appears to be a manual update to Internet Explorer. Yes, Microsoft has messed up wuauclt.exe so badly that it has to be repaired by installing an IE update — not a Windows update — to get it working properly. The fix is part of the October cumulative IE patch known as MS13-080/ KB 2879017. If you manually download and install the October cumulative patch, then you should be able to use Windows Update with no problems.

Operative term: “should.”

The precise download location varies depending on which version of IE you’re using. For IE6 go here. IE7 is here. And IE8 is here.

You would think that simply upgrading to the latest version of IE would solve the problem, but it doesn’t. You have to manually download and apply the patch for your version of IE.

Will Microsoft go in and fix wuauclt.exe — or, better, fix whatever is broken in its back-end processing — before Windows XP turns belly up next year? I wouldn’t bet on it.

This story, “Windows XP update locks machines with SVCHOST redlined at 100%: Fix it with KB 2879017,” was originally published at Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow on Twitter.

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Code Switch Roundup: Mascots, Nurses And Yellow Dogs 0

Yellow Dogs, an indie band from Iran, fled to the United States in 2010 to avoid crackdowns on rock music. This past week, the band met tragedy in a murder/suicide.

Danny Krug/AP

Yellow Dogs, an indie band from Iran, fled to the United States in 2010 to avoid crackdowns on rock music. This past week, the band met tragedy in a murder/suicide.

Danny Krug/AP

Here are some stories about race, ethnicity and culture that have been on our radar here at Code Switch. Share what stories have caught your attention. Tell us on Twitter (@nprcodeswitch) or shout us out in the comments below.

Not every Asian knows martial arts, but …

Jason Chan, owner of a Michelin-recognized sushi restaurant in Chicago, put a would-be iPhone thief in his place. The restaurant owner, who’s been practicing Shidokan (a type of karate) for almost two decades, noticed a disheveled man enter the restaurant and act oddly: The man in question set his jacket down at the bar, asked the bartender for pen and paper, swooped up his own jacket and ran out — toting another customer’s iPhone 5. Chan tracked down the thief, saw him attempting that same ploy at another dig, and swiftly administered a knockout-inducing kick to the thief’s face.

From the Chicago Sun Times:

“He was adversarial, [so I used] hand-to-hand combat techniques to make sure he was unconscious,” Chan said.

” ‘I put him in a maneuver called an arm bar and told him I would break his arm if he tried to get away,’ Chan said. The man kept fighting, so Chan knocked him out with a kick to the face and neutralized him until the police arrived a few minutes later.”

Justice in the Windy City. (And once again, before we dip into any eye-roll-worthy stereotypes: Not all Asians know martial arts. Aaand, moving on.)

A California school that chants “A-R-A-B-S” to honor its mascot

The Coachella Valley High School in California is feeling the heat because of its mascot: a hook-nosed Arab man. The American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee wasn’t happy with the way the high school’s mascot depicts people of Arab descent. The group’s complaint made national news. As NPR’s Sam Sanders reports, the school district and region’s student population is 99 percent Latino. Some of the students feel that they’re being unfairly targeted: Other schools nearby also have controversial mascots. Look at the mascot of Indio High School — a team Coachella Valley’s football team played last Friday — and you’ll see Rajah, an arms-crossed, turbaned Indian prince. Indio, by the way, means “Indian” in Spanish.

Our friends over at NPR Music reminded us that the 12 Years A Slave soundtrack is, yeah, awesome

Ann Powers writes:

“Among the many challenges this film poses to viewers, one is to understand how music has both supported the liberation and self-expression of African-Americans and filled an imaginary space of reconciliation and even joy, where oppressors can lie to themselves about the cruelty they inflict. Music culture in America has often defeated racism and, just as often, perpetuated it. Frequently one gesture can’t be separated from the other. In its focused, exacting examination of slavery’s details, 12 Years A Slave makes music the opposite of a palliative by paying particular attention to how playing and listening to it could simultaneously form imaginary (and very occasionally, real) escape routes for those in bondage and feel like a chain.”

This past week, three members of the Yellow Dogs band died in a murder/suicide

The band, which fled Iran in 2010 to avoid crackdowns on rock music, was poised for success in the U.S. NPR reporter Dan Bobkoff said their sound was a “combination of post-punk psychedelic rock and dance.” The AP reports that the gunman, who had been kicked out of another band last year, entered an apartment and shot and killed musicians Ali Eskandarian, Arash Farazmand and Soroush Farazmand.

Bobkoff talked with Ali Salehezadeh, who managed the band and lived with its members at the house where they were killed.

“I can’t tell you how hard it is to think this is what we’re going to be known for now,” Salehezadeh said. He hopes the band will be remembered for its music.

(For a look at the tragic history of Yellow Dogs, read this New York magazine piece.)

Hospitals deal with patient requests that discriminate against employees

Syrenthia Dysart, a Florida-area nurse, was told her patient’s family had requested a caregiver who was not black: The woman had once been mugged by a black man. Now Dysart is suing the Palms of Pasadena Hospital in St. Petersburg for discrimination.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

“The request made its way up the chain of command, and according to Dysart and a lawsuit she has filed in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, the request resulted in a ‘hospitalwide directive’ — meaning everyone from doctors to janitors were made aware.

“This type of request has been called one of medicine’s ‘open secrets,’ and hospitals often acquiesce.

“Until recently, the subject hasn’t attracted much attention because hospitals often deal with the requests surreptitiously, rescheduling physicians and nurses without explanation.

“But some recent studies and lawsuits have brought light to the practice and have raised the question: What does a hospital do when a patient demands that a doctor or nurse of a particular ethnicity not treat them?”

Junot Díaz, Mark Kurlansky, Julia Alvarez and Edwidge Danticat penned an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times about Dominicans of Haitian descent losing their citizenship in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic Supreme Court’s recent decision revokes the citizenship of Dominicans born after 1929 whose parents aren’t Dominican.

“The ruling affects an estimated 250,000 Dominican people of Haitian descent, including many who have had no personal connection with Haiti for several generations.

“These Dominican citizens are suddenly stateless and without rights simply because of their Haitian ancestry. Dominican animosity and racial hatred of Haitians dates back to at least 1822, when the Haitian army invaded the Dominican Republic, liberated the slaves and encouraged free blacks from the United States to settle there to make Dominicans ‘blacker.’ “

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