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Want to see a classic example of irony? Head to the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) website. The government security group has issued a public warning about Regin... you know, the extra-sophisticated malware that many suspect the US wrote to spy on telecom networks. It's more than a little amusing to see one agency warn about a problem the other may have created, although it raises a few questions when there haven't been similarly direct warnings for (allegedly) state-created attacks like Stuxnet and Duqu. Is it evidence that the US wasn't involved, or that Regin is out of control? An attempt to throw people off the scent? Or something else?

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Finally! It's the time of year once more when Americans line up outside of major retail outlets at absurdly early hours in an effort to score the lowest prices on all manner of consumer goods. Looking for a washer/dryer on the cheap? How about a Samsung Galaxy Note 4? Or how about a new TV for Aunt Linda? She could probably use a new TV. Black Friday -- and, increasingly, the days and weeks surrounding it -- may be your best chance at finding a great deal. And you probably don't have to leave the house!

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OnePlus' store in Beijing

Still haven't scored an invitation for a OnePlus One, and missed out on the rare public sales? You may want to book a flight to China. OnePlus has revealed its first-ever retail shop, which will officially open in Beijing on December 20th. As you might imagine, the product selection is fairly limited -- it'll offer the One smartphone, of course, but you'll mostly find accessories like cases and headphones. To make up for this, OnePlus is positioning this as an "experience" with a water bar as well as plans for both customer training and get-togethers. More stores are expected to roll out in China, although you shouldn't expect them abroad. OnePlus only just teamed with Amazon to launch Indian online sales, so the company has a long way to go before it can even consider a worldwide retail empire.

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A Galaxy Note chained up in a lock

Federal law enforcement might not be having much success pushing for laws that require a security backdoor on your phone, but that doesn't mean it's out of options. Judges (including one who published an opinion on a New York fraud case) have been leaning on the All Writs Act, a 1789 law granting courts power to carry out their duties, to compel phone makers to provide "reasonable technical assistance" in unlocking devices. Theoretically, this could force vendors to help decrypt phones when they'd otherwise say they couldn't.

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Black Friday shopping in 2013

Yes, it's once more time for Black Friday -- that beloved (and sometimes dreaded) day when you can brave crowded stores in hopes of scoring deals on gadgets that would otherwise be out of your reach. But who's offering the sweetest bargains? Never fear: we've rounded up some of the better sales you'll find on or around November 28th, including some pretty hefty discounts on 4K TVs, game consoles and phones. Check out the gallery bellow to browse by store and see which shops are worth visiting, and let your fellow shoppers know if you've spotted any other great offers in the comments.

[Image credit: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images]

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Seven years ago, we brought you the story of a waffle iron that shaped the tasty treats into a keyboard. Plenty of you saw it and wished that you could have one of your very own, and it turns out that good things do come to those who wait. Designer Chris Dimino has taken to Kickstarter to raise money for the production run of The Keyboard Waffle Iron. He's asking for $50,000 to get things moving, with a $60 contribution all you need to get one delivered to your door. Unfortunately, the units won't ship until April, but that should give you four months to get your batter mixing skills up to scratch. I mean, I dunno what more you need - it's a waffle iron in the shape of a keyboard, just go order one already.

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Samsung ChatOn

Samsung may have shut down some of its services in recent months, but ChatOn? It's not going anywhere. While The Korea Times claimed that Samsung was going to drop its messaging service on a "region-to-region" basis because it wasn't making cash, the company tells The Verge that those rumors are "false." The service will stick around for people "worldwide," it says. That's good to hear, although it's true that ChatOn isn't the most popular messaging hub around. While you can use it on most modern devices, it had 100 million users at last check -- a fraction of what you see at powerhouses like WeChat (600 million) and WhatsApp (over 500 million). That's healthy, but it's clear that many see ChatOn as a bonus on Samsung devices rather than a must-have social tool.

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Sony's recently unveiled full-frame, mirrorless shooter, the A7 II, made a number of people quite excited when it was announced last week. Back then, though, the electronics company only revealed pricing and availability for Japan. Good news: Sony announced today that its A7 II will be coming to the US on December 9th, priced body-only for $1,700; there's also a kit that's $2,000, which includes an FE 28-70mm, f/3.5-f/5.6 OSS zoom lens. This price tag is similar to what we saw with the original A7 camera, and that's largely due to the upgrades not being particularly huge. Still, the new A7 II does feature a novel 5-axis, in-body stabilization system, one that Sony claims can adjust itself to many different types of shakes whilst shooting photos and video. Above all, let's not forget the main attraction here is that 24.3-megapixel full-frame sensor -- especially when you think about the compact package it comes in.

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Bing Maps users outside the US will now have a better idea of how long it takes to get from A to B, as Microsoft has just launched Clearflow traffic estimation around the world. The system works by taking live traffic data for main roads and surface streets, then extrapolating it to unreported routes. That differs drastically from Google's approach, in which speed and position data is sent from each Maps user's device to estimate live traffic conditions. Google relies on strength in numbers of its Android (and Maps) ecosystem, which Microsoft lacks -- but Bing Maps uses Nokia's well-regarded Navteq traffic system. Whichever you use, you're now more likely to duck traffic and arrive at the ball on time.

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