thorsten-heins-BBCEOFor a while last year, almost every week it seemed there were reports and rumors that BlackBerry, which at the time was in a less than ideal financial situation with tepid outlooks forecasts, was fielding buy-out offers from rivals and competitors.
On Friday, sources speaking to Reuters said the company and its board is "warming up" to the idea of pulling itself from the stock market in efforts to give it some "breathing room" to fix its problems out of the public eye.

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german flagThousands of people demonstrated across Germany yesterday over claims of widespread online privacy invasion by the NSA and demanded the release of Wikileaks whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.
The widespread protests, which occurred in over 30 cities, such as Frankfurt, Munich and Berlin, were led by the organisations such as the Green Party and the #stopwatchingus movement.

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spying NSAThe National Security Agency has chosen to reduce its number of system administrators by around 90%, limiting the number of people with access to secret or classified information. Rather than relying on humans, Director Keith Alexander’s plan is to automate much of the work instead, as he told attendees at a cybersecurity conference in New York City.
What we're in the process of doing - not fast enough - is reducing our system administrators by about 90 percent.

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tmobile-girl-holding-phoneStarting today, T-Mobile are offering all phones, including leading devices such as the Lumia 925 for $0 down, in a promotion for back-to-school. Both new and old customers can receive their free devices for a little extra on their monthly payments, on top of their monthly service rate. A Lumia 925 will cost $20 a month for 24 months, an HTC One will come in at $25 and an iPhone 5 at $27, but only the 16GB version.
In a press release, the carrier drew focus to their JUMP! upgrade plan, which allows people to upgrade their devices before their contract ends. Customers can do this up to twice a year for an extra $10 a month. For those who always want the latest device, this is a very enticing offer.

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One of the most well-known newspapers in the world has just been acquired by one of the biggest names in technology. The Washington Post announced today that Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has purchased the newspaper along with its other related publications for $250 million. The purchase was made by Bezos himself and Amazon is not involved.

Bezos Amazon
In the Washington Post's own story of the deal, it points out that this is a huge event in the newspaper publishing world, as the Post has been owned and run by members of the Graham family for the past 80 years. The newspaper's chief executive Donald Graham secretly put the company up for sale earlier this year and entertained offers from several groups before settling on the one from Bezos.

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amazon packerAmazon may be one of the biggest retailers in the world, but it has surprised investors with an overall net loss for the second-quarter of 2013. A total loss of $0.02 per share has been responsible for a loss of $7 million in total.
The money 'lost' by the company has been invested into warehouses and improving digital content, so it may increase sales growth overall (i.e. lose now, profit later). Amazon's digital content includes MP3s, eBooks and games, so the company can justify the costs.

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spying NSAInformation about various government spy programs has been flooding out into the public recently. From PRISM in the United States to an unnamed program in France, it feels like we're only touching the tip of the iceberg when it comes to governments' invasions of privacy. But even though it's a "government agency" that's running these programs, they require highly technical people to actually run the day to day operations. That's where you come in.
Near the conclusion of the 21st Def Con hacker conference, Motherboard asked attendees whether they'd be willing to work for the NSA. Not surprisingly, most people said that they wouldn't be interested. In fact, the most common response was, "Hell no!" That said, responses  were varied and some people said that they'd enjoy the challenge and would hope that the people in those positions would be able to help reduce the size of the surveillance net.

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Four men from Russia and another from the Ukraine have been charged by the US Justice Department in a massive hacking case, which is being called by one of the attorneys involved as "the largest ever hacking and data scheme breach in the United States."
The Justice Department's press release states that Russia's Vladimir Drinkman, Aleksander Kalinin, Roman Kotov and Dmitriy Smilianets, along with Mikhail Rytikov from the Ukraine, are accused of stealing over 160 million credit card and debit card numbers over a period of seven years from a number of large corporations, including Nasdaq, Visa, Dow Jones and others.

credit card fraud

The amount of money stolen from these businesses as a result of the hacker's actions is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

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A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the internet.

NSA XKeyscore
The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian's earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight.

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After the embarrassing failure of the Nexus Q, Google has introduced another bid to enter the living room with Chromecast, a 2 inch dongle connected by HDMI to any TV. After connecting the device to wi-fi, users just need to open an app such as YouTube from their phone or tablet,  and have it stream directly to the TV. The phone acts as a remote, controlling volume and other settings. All streaming also happens in the background, allowing the owner of the mobile device to continue browsing separately, or even put the device to sleep.

google chromecast
In addition to streaming from YouTube, other apps can make use of Chromecast. For example, Netflix, who has already made use of the allegedly simple Google Cast SDK. The feature works with both iOS and Android,and if using Chrome on Windows, Mac or a Chromebook, full webpages can be mirrored.

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