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Softbank in talks to buy Dreamworks Animation

> September 28th, 2014 ---

Japan's Softbank is in talks to acquire Dreamworks Animation, The Hollywood Reporter said late Saturday citing a source. The Wall Street Journal later reported the same news citing "people familiar with the matter."

Softbank is best known as operator of Japan's scrappy, third-ranked cellular carrier. In 2013, it bought the number three U.S. wireless carrier, Sprint, and earlier this year made a play for fourth-ranked T-Mobile USA, but has given up on that acquisition.

Ello social network hit by suspected DDoS attack

> September 28th, 2014 ---

Ello, the social network site intended to serve as something of an antidote to ad-stuffed Facebook, was hit by a suspected Distributed-Denial-of-Service attack today.

The outfit, which has gained plenty of press coverage in the past week after employing the classic invite-only marketing trick to lure in more users, said on its status page within the last hour that it had suffered a major front-end outage on its network.

Fans raise cash to help phone phreaker John Draper, aka Cap‘n Crunch

> September 28th, 2014 ---

An online fundraiser for legendary phone phreaker John Draper, better known as Cap'n Crunch, has passed its target $5,000 in just three days. Draper himself doesn't even know who started the fundraiser, but the money is intended to help with his medical bills. According to a recent blog post, he suffers from both degenerative spine disease and C. Diff, an inflammation of the colon.

Apple expected to begin selling iPhone 6 in China on October 10

> September 28th, 2014 ---

A series of reports from China have pointed to iPhone 6 sales beginning on Friday, October 10. The date was most recently supported by a store preparation timeline presented to retail employees in an internal training course.

The information points to product readiness and employee training that begins October 7 to support initial sales three days later.

Yahoo will ring in the new year by killing its website directory

> September 28th, 2014 ---

Yahoo, which got its start as a digital phone book of websites, is closing that book.

Yahoo will shut down its Directory service on Dec. 31, the company said Friday in a blog post. As for why, the company did not say much beyond this: "While we are still committed to connecting users with the information they're passionate about, our business has evolved and at the end of 2014, we will retire the Yahoo Directory."

What the WinHEC? Microsoft revives Windows engineering event

> September 28th, 2014 ---

Microsoft, which recently announced the consolidation of several of its conferences, is now going in the opposite direction and resurrecting WinHEC, which was last held in 2008.

WinHEC, first held in the early 1990s, was an annual engineering conference aimed at Microsoft hardware partners, with the goal of helping them better integrate their devices with the company's operating system and other software.

Bug in Bash shell creates big security hole on anything with *nix in it

> September 24th, 2014 ---

A security vulnerability in the GNU Bourne Again Shell (Bash), the command-line shell used in many Linux and Unix operating systems, could leave systems running those operating systems open to exploitation by specially crafted attacks. “This issue is especially dangerous as there are many possible ways Bash can be called by an application,” a Red Hat security advisory warned.


Blackberry Passport: No Antennagate or Bendgate Here

> September 24th, 2014 ---

Yes on top of the Blackberry Passport launch we have a new scandal.   Apparently if you put your new iPhone 6 in your back pocket and sit down it bends.  Granted I think anyone who puts their phone in their back pocket is an idiot but this showcases some of the design tradeoffs that Apple makes that Blackberry reverses.  For Apple design, weight, and thin are high priorities which tends to result in phones that are very attractive but also relatively fragile.  For Blackberry battery life, security, and practicality dominate and that makes for a very different phone and experience. 

Apple yanks iOS 8 update after crippling iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

> September 24th, 2014 ---

Apple today released, then quickly pulled, its first update for iOS 8 after customers flooded its support forum with reports that their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus smartphones could no longer connect to a cellular network.

iOS 8.0.1, which was supposed to fix a host of bugs, including several prominent issues that had garnered press -- like one that barred apps relying on Apple's new Healthkit framework -- was released around 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET).

Microsoft, frustrated as ever with H-1B policy, considers options

> September 24th, 2014 ---

A two-day conference on high-skilled immigration policy, which attracted researchers from the U.S. and Europe, offered Microsoft an opportunity to voice frustration over U.S. immigration policy.

William Kamela, a senior federal policy lead at Microsoft who detailed the stakes and options his company faces, said the firm will apply for “roughly” 1,000 H-1B visas in next April’s application period. “And we will get maybe 50% of those,” assuming there is another visa lottery, he said. Lotteries are held once the overall 85,000 cap is exceeded.