Stories for Dec. 2, 2013
On The Web

3D printers can offer us a tangible way to connect with the highly specialized characters and objects we see in the media. Warner Bros. announced today it will offer up a 3D file for the “Key to Erebor,” which is a prop in the upcoming “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” film. This is the first instance I’ve seen of a major institution using downloadable 3D files as a marketing technique.

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In Brief

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 9.14.12 AM
photo: Staples

If you forgot to pick up a new tablet on Black Friday, you can still score a good deal on one today. There are plenty of Cyber Monday discounts on Apple devices floating around out there, but the best one I’ve seen so far is at Staples. If you’re looking to pick up a new iPad Air, you can get the 16GB, space gray, Wi-Fi-only model for $449 – a $50 discount. Other models are discounted as well, mostly by $20 – $30. The deal is being offered until midnight or supplies run out. But if Apple isn’t your thing, you can nab a Kindle Fire HD or HDX from Amazon for $50 off as well.

In Brief


Looking for a new Amazon tablet? Today is a good day for it, provided you’re quick on the draw. As part of its Cyber Monday specials, Amazon is discounting two of its Kindle Fire devices by $50. The 16 GB Kindle Fire HD is $199 while the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is priced at $179, or $200 less than its larger 8.9-inch cousin. If you can splurge and will do more than just read books, I’d opt for the 7-inch HDX model due to the high-resolution screen – 1920 x 1200 resolution — and faster quad-core processor.

In Brief

German police are considering the use of a Shazam-like app for identifying neo-Nazi rock music, Der Spiegel reports. The app would identify far-right bands and their songs, apparently sparing police resources and speeding up investigations as they tackle extremist gatherings (and online radio stations, the article suggests). Nazism is illegal in Germany, as is racist hate speech. However, this app is unlikely to enter into use if legal authorities decide it’s a form of acoustic surveillance, which it plainly is.

In Brief

Akamai Technologies says it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Prolexic Technologies, a Hollywood, FL.-based cloud-based security company, whose products are focused on protecting data centers and corporate applications such as email, file transfers, and VPN from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Under the terms of the agreement, Akamai will acquire Prolexic in exchange for a net cash payment of approximately $370 million.

In Brief

Facebook may soon buy a Bangalore startup, called Little Eye Labs, that provides performance analysis and optimization tools for Android developers. According to a Monday report in India’s Business Standard, advanced talks are being facilitated by the Indian Software Products Industry Roundtable (iSpirt). This may be connected with Facebook’s quest to better optimize its apps to run on low-end devices and spartan internet connections — like Google, the firm is trying to push further into developing markets. In recent months, Google bought French mobile optimization outfit Flexycore and Facebook picked up data compression specialist Onavo.

Stories for Dec. 1, 2013
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