german flagGermany is reportedly mulling the creation of its own Internet to secure communications from spying by foreign intelligence services in the wake of allegations that the United States bugged German chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.

State-backed Deutsche Telekom is currently urging other German communications firms to "cooperate to shield local Internet traffic from foreign intelligence services" like the National Security Agency (NSA), Reuters reported Friday.

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NSA SealLook, you all know I tend to side with the NSA on issues of data collection for the purpose of protecting American citizens, but sometimes it's okay to have a chuckle at the expense of friends. This one's not quite a knee slapper, but it is worthy of a giggle or two from the It Serves Them Right Dept.
On Monday, we were treated to another breathless report about the NSA's clandestine data collection activities, courtesy the Washington Post and everyone's favorite public enemy, Edward Snowden.

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amazon packerAmazon has increased its minimum order for free shipping to $35 - up by $10.

It's the first price hike in 10 years, with the online retailer previously offering free five-day shipping to non-Prime members with a minimum order of $25.

While the company has not commented, commentators say today's news could be a bid to encourage consumers to buy an Amazon Prime subscription.

 Since it was founded in 1996 by CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon has become a global retail power and dominates the e-book market.

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apple-logo2To no surprise, Apple has announced that it will be holding a press conference on October 22nd where it is expected that the company will announce its new lineup of iPads. With a new A7 chip now in the iPhone, many expect that Apple will use the same chip in the new iPad and that the iPad mini will receive a Retina display too.
At the same event, Apple is expected to announce the availability of OS X Mavericks which has recently hit ‘Gold Master’ which is Apple lingo for public release. The latest version of OS X will be delivered like the previous OS X releases and will come from the App Store.

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united states capitol - west frontWhile the company behind the dysfunctional HealthCare.gov was virtually unknown to the American public until this month, critics say the Obama administration should have known this multibillion-dollar firm had a checkered history with other government contracts.

In projects stretching from Canada to Hawaii, parent company CGI Group and its subsidiaries ran into complaints about its performance. And this was while, and in some cases before, CGI Federal was paid millions, along with other contractors, to create the ObamaCare website.

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att-logo1Starting Oct. 25, AT&T will require new customers to sign up for one of its Mobile Share plans rather than separate plans for different devices.
"Our customers have expressed an overwhelming preference for simplified options that allow them to share data across multiple devices," AT&T said in a blog post.

Current customers will not be required to switch to a Mobile Share plan. "Unlike some wireless providers, none of our customers will be forced to switch plans if they'd like to stick with what they have – even when upgrading to a new device," AT&T said, in a dig at Verizon.

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No-iPhoneThe Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced on Monday that 9 million phone numbers are now indexed on the federal government's Do Not Call Register. This includes 3.85 million mobile phone numbers and 5 million fixed-line phone services.
Around 1 million phone numbers were added over the last year, according to ACMA chairman Chris Chapman.
"The size of the register is an overwhelming endorsement of its effectiveness in significantly reducing telemarketing calls," he said.

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computer hardwareMicrosoft has been trying to convince big businesses to upgrade to Windows 8, and soon Windows 8.1, for about a year now. Yet many major PC makers still offer a way for large companies to get new PCs with Windows 7 installed. One of them is Toshiba and this week, a company executive stated that the vast majority of its PCs sold to businesses still use Windows 7.
When we say "vast majority", that's not an exaggeration. ZDNet quotes Toshiba's B2B product marketing manager Cindy Zwerling as saying, "From a business perspective, I would say 99 percent of our sales are Windows 7." She added, "At this point, there are few exceptions in corporate America in the enterprise space for Windows 8."

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samsung logoSamsung has offered a five-year pause in seeking European sales bans against rivals over standards-essential patents (SEPs) as it seeks to evade a huge fine from regulators.
Rivals including Apple, Ericsson and Nokia will now be able to tell the European Commission - whose antitrust unit publicised the proposals on Thursday - whether they agree with it or feel that it is too weak, a process called "market testing". Apple didn't comment on whether it would submit a response.

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Google's Eric Schmidt is grabbing some attention once again for what comes out of his mouth. He has a reputation for being able to do that, but unfortunately for him the attention is usually just people whipping their heads around in shock.

google eric schmidt
This time, it's the claim that Android has overall better security than the iPhone or iOS (in this case, interchangeable) does. He said this on stage at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. David Willis, Gartner analyst, spoke to to Schmidt saying, "When you say Android, people say, wait a minute, Android is not secure." Schmidt cut him off right there with his claim, "Not secure? It's more secure than the iPhone."

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