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A few things happened after Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker got married in a gorgeous redwood forest in Big Sur, California. The California Coastal Commission took him to task for creating a bizarre fantasy realm without the proper permits. Journalists gleefully jumped into the fray. He wrote a nearly 10,000 word defense of his wedding that also served as a meandering takedown of "internet journalism". As it turns out, Parker's penance wasn't just limited to a $2.5 million charity payout -- SFGate reports he's working on a beach-locating app for the very agency that he ignored when creating his dream wedding.

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Rainn Wilson introducing Josh Ritter

Best known for his roles in The Office and The Rocker, actor-turned-producer Rainn Wilson is reportedly getting ready to bring some of Vine's biggest personalities to TV. According to Deadline, Wilson is set to produce a comedy show called Hollywood and Vine, featuring popular members of Twitter's video-focused social network, like Curtis Lepore, Jerry Purpdrank, Simone Shepherd and a few others. Hollywood and Vine, which is said to be written by Lance Krall (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), will be based on following the lives of these Vine personalities as they try to make it into the crazed world that is Hollywood. A co-creator of Soul Pancake, the media company behind characters such as Kid President, Wilson is quite familiar with people who have gained fame thanks to the internet -- now it's just a matter of translating that to TV instead of YouTube.

[Image credit: pamhule/Flickr]

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Following reports yesterday that China was secretly collecting data from iCloud users, Apple has confirmed to Dow Jones that it is aware of network attacks on its service. The iPhone maker said it knows about "intermittent organized network attacks" on people who were trying to access, although the company failed to mention China specifically in the statement to Dow Jones. Apple did say these recent attacks had not compromised its servers, and added that iOS and desktop users (who running the latest version of OS X) should not be worried -- it appears this issue was limited to the iCloud website. We've reached out to Apple for comment and will keep you in the loop should any more details emerge soon.

Update: Below is Apple's official statement on the matter, along with a link to some browser security instructions.

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PhotoMath on a Windows Phone

Need a little help getting through your next big math exam? MicroBlink has an app that could help you study more effectively -- perhaps too effectively. Its newly unveiled PhotoMath for iOS and Windows Phone (Android is due in early 2015) uses your smartphone's camera to scan math equations and not only solve them, but show the steps involved. Officially, it's meant to save you time flipping through a textbook to check answers when you're doing homework or cramming for a test. However, there's a concern that this could trivialize learning -- just because it shows you how to solve a problem doesn't mean that the knowledge will actually sink in. And if teachers don't confiscate smartphones at the door, unscrupulous students could cheat when no one is looking. The chances of that happening aren't very high at this stage, but apps like this suggest that schools might have to be vigilant in the future.

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Brain activity, computer artwork.

Neural activity maps frequently present an incomplete picture of how a brain works; you can measure electrical activity, stimulate it or visualize the anatomy, but you can't do all three. DARPA and the University of Wisconsin might just pull off that seemingly impossible feat, however. They recently built a hybrid brain sensor that combines both electrical and optical techniques to present a vivid picture of what's happening inside the mind. The sensor is primarily made of ultra-thin graphene (just four atoms thick) that both conducts electricity and lets light through. By putting this device on top of neural tissue, you can simultaneously create brain activity and monitor virtually every aspect of it. Graphene is safe for your body, too, so you shouldn't face the same risks you see with metal alloys.

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It shouldn't surprise you that Google's a big proponent of online security, and that's why it's rolling out support for a new way to prove you are you who are: a USB Security Key. Google's normal approach to two-step authorization involves getting a text on your phone to verify your identity, but that isn't always ideal. Maybe you suck at keeping your phone charged. Or maybe you're abroad (your author's had to deal with that particular headache a few times) and don't want to get slammed with roaming charges. Having a dedicated secure USB key around means you'll be able to log into Google's ecosystem without having to worry about phishing or having your phone handy.

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Starting today, Dish customers will no longer have access to a number of networks from Turner Broadcasting, after both parties couldn't come to terms on a contract extension for these. Among the channels now removed from Dish's programming are: Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Español, HLN, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. As you'll notice, others like TBS and TNT aren't included here, and that's because they're part of a different agreement. Dish is unsure of when, or if, the missing Turner channels will be brought back, but the company says it is "committed to reaching an agreement that promptly returns this content to Dish's programming lineup." If they do, we'll let you know as soon as that happens.


There are myriad devices like the Philips Hue that can be controlled with a smartphone, but how about just... a switch? A company called Avi-on was thinking the same thing, so it created a movable Bluetooth dimmer switch that simply sticks to your wall without any holes or wiring. It can be used to control a number of GE-branded Bluetooth devices, like its Smart Bulbs and indoor and outdoor plugs. The system doesn't require a hub, and Avi-on claims the switch's battery will last "multi-years." If you do want to use a smartphone instead, the company also has iOS and Android apps, with features like timers, scheduling and smart device grouping.

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Google Play Music on a Moto X

You know how there were hints that Google Play Music was about to get a Material Design makeover? As it turns out, that's just a small piece of what's in store. Google has updated its Play Music Android, iOS and web apps with a new Listen Now page that focuses on context-aware music stations from the company's recent acquisition, Songza. Provided you're an All Access subscriber, you'll get to stream curated playlists that fit the time of day and your likely activities -- you may get relaxing playlists to take the edge off your commute home, or uptempo tracks for morning exercise. The page also improves discovery with cards that suggest both new releases and stations based on what you like. Google's redesign should be available today in all 45 Play Music countries, so have at it if you're an avid listener.

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