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Unlock your phone legally starting today

President Obama will today sign a bill into law that will allow American citizens to legally unlock their phones in order to take them to another cellular carrier, either in the United States or abroad. The President announced his intent to sign the bill last week. The new law is only a temporary measure, and is only valid until 2015.

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Apple officially welcomes Beats to the family

Apple has officially taken ownership of Beats, and is welcoming them to the company with a small section of the Apple website. The words "Welcome to the Family" are followed by a paragraph stating Apple's excitement on bringing Beats into the fold, and looking forward to the future. From the Apple.com:

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HP, Gilt, and Michael Bastian partner for stylish new smartwatch

HP's rushing to pre-empt the iWatch with a smartwatch partnership with designer Michael Bastian and online luxury retailer Gilt. Details of this smartwatch will do are slim, but we do know that they're aiming to have it work with iOS and Android — nope, it's not Android Wear — and that there will be companion apps for both platforms that allow users to customize the watch's interface.

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'BadUSB' malware highlights the danger of plugging random mystery drives into your computer

Another day, another apocalyptic prognostication of computer security doom, this time focusing on the omnipresent USB connection. It's called 'BadUSB', and it's a malware proof-of-concept created by security researchers Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell that exploits a flaw in and resides in the firmware that controls the basic function of USB devices. The researchers claim that it's not a problem that can be patched, saying that they're "exploiting the very way that USB is designed," but in the end all they've done is highlight that you shouldn't go around plugging USB drives, devices, or whatnot that you don't trust into your computer.

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An open air Apple Store is how you renovate with no place to move

While Apple's retail store at the Glattzentrum Mall in Wallisellen, Switzerland is undergoing renovations, the company has set up an open-air shopping experience in the middle of the mall. The result is like an Apple store meets mall kiosk that would allow Apple to maintain its retail presence while updating its existing store.

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Apple's $100M content delivery network will mean better downloads when updates hit

Long rumored, Apple's custom content delivery network (CDN) is now apparently live. The Apple CDN, which provides a more direct route from Apple's servers to customers' devices, enables Apple to provide significantly faster downloads of their products, as well as greatly increasing the available capacity for when mass downloads (OS X and iOS updates) hit.

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French telecom Iliad making a surprise $15B bid for control of T-Mobile US

Update: Iliad has confirmed with a press release that it is indeed making the bid for T-Mobile, and has submitted the offer to T-Mo's Board of Directors. Iliad's owners and Board of Directors have unanimously approved the deal, which would see Iliad paying $15 billion in cash for 56.6 percent of T-Mobile, valuing it at $36.20 per share, a 42 percent premium over its current stock price.

In a bid that's come way out of left field, French telecommunications firm Iliad SA is also offering to buy a controlling stake in T-Mobile US. T-Mobile, itself a subsidiary of T-Mobile Germany, has been engaged in long-running negotiations with US rival Sprint. The $15 billion bid from Iliad comes as a surprise, not just for their previously unexpressed interest, but that Iliad is a smaller company that T-Mobile in both terms of subscribers and value.

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Save big today on huge SSD storage upgrades for your MacBook

Transcend's SSD upgrade kits for the MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro are seeing substantial discounts today on Amazon. The upgrade kits swap out the modular SSD board on older versions of the laptops (alas, they're not compatible with the more recent models) and uses your original SSD as a slim external USB drive. But the deals are only good for today, so if you've been stymied by your limited storage space, you should take a look now.

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Runtastic Orbit keeps things focused on the run

Runtastic, best known for their suite of fitness apps, has today released their Orbit fitness tracker. The Runtastic Orbit tracks a users steps, fitness activities, calories burned, sleep cycles, and even ambient light. The Orbit uses Bluetooth smart to connect to the companion smartphone app, features and OLED display on the front and is waterproof up to 300 feet. Available for $119, the Orbit will be shipping on August 11.

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T-Mobile posts strong Q2 revenue, adds 1.5 million new customers

T-Mobile posted its second quarter earnings today, and the main takeaway is that the carrier is continuing momentum as far as customer acquisition is concerned. The Uncarrier managed to add an additional 1.5 million customers in the second quarter, which makes it the fifth consecutive quarter in which the carrier added more than 1 million subscribers. The number sees T-Mobile crossing 50 million total subscribers for the first time.

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