Anonymity: it’s all the rage–Whisper, Secret–and it’s rage-inducing. A Brazilian court has ruled that Secret must be removed from app stores there, and existing installs must be remotely wiped. The UK’s House of Lords has essentially recommended the extinction of online anonymity.

As usual, judges and politicians don’t understand technology. Anonymity can used for awful things, yes; but it’s incredibly important.

Why? Because cameras keep getting cheaper, and better, and more ubiquitous, as does facial recognition software. As The Economist recently put it: “the idea that anyone will be able hide for long in Nepal, or anywhere else, looks quaint.” Have you ever in your life been photographed doing something embarrassing? Get your explanations ready now: you can expect every picture (or video) you’ve ever appeared in to eventually be connected with you. Traffic cameras, dashboard cameras, police body cameras, drone cameras — every time…

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Apple gave us a lot to digest at today’s WWDC event, including big announcements about iOS 8, Mac OS X Yosemite, and a new programming language called Swift.

But even with two hours to present, Apple still couldn’t fit everything in. The company mentions dozens of new features to be released when iOS 8 hits this fall.

While some of the features will likely be enjoyed by a fairly limited audience (multi-device support for MFi hearing aids), there are a few features that stand out as things Apple lovers have been craving for some time — or hint at cool possibilities in the future.

First up is Wi-Fi Calling, which lets smartphone owners route calls over local wireless connections rather than through potentially flaky cell service. Of course, your cell phone provider has to have the technology in place to support it, which means that right now, only T-Mobile…

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Pilots want to fly, but it’s expensive. People want to travel but it’s a hassle. AirPooler brings them together on its site where pilots can sell empty seats on private plane flights. This bootstrapped startup is launching today with availability on flights out of the Bay Area and San Diego, and gave TechCrunch the exclusive first look at taking collaborative consumption to the sky.

Here’s how it works. Pilots choose a date and itinerary for a trip, say Palo Alto airport to South Lake Tahoe. They enter the type of plane, the number of available seats, and their pilot’s credentials and experience. AirPooler calculates the price per seat by dividing the total flight’s fuel, airport tax, and hangar cost by the number of passengers (pilot included). AirPooler lists the available seats and accompanying info on its site, and anyone can book a spot.

Passengers choose from the available flights, enter…

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The Urban Daily

Dennis Haysbert Manute Sin City

In 2005 “Sin City” wowed audiences with its special mix of dark cinema, sexual tension and copious violence. Almost a decade later Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller’s visually stunning “Sin City” graphic novels back to the screen in “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.” Weaving together two of Miller’s classic stories with new tales, the town’s most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants.

Most of the original cast of Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis and Rosario Dawson are back to tell the stories of this crime ridden zip code. Fresh faces like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ray Liotta bring new characters into the fold while Jeremy Piven and Dennis Haysbert reprise roles previously held by other actors. Haysbert takes on the role of the one-eyed Manute, previously done by the late Michael Clarke Duncan.

Watch the trailer…

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Bring on the school holiday pageants, local baseball games and armchair poetry slams… YouTube today announced that it is expanding its live video services to the masses. Everyone who has a verified account can now stream live video on YouTube, and verified accounts can now create a Google+ Hangout on Air.

The company today has not given an update on how much take-up the live service has seen overall, but big-name, high-profile live events have proven to be major draws on the platform. The Red Bull Stratos Mission, for example, drew 8 million concurrent viewers.

Live events give Google a way to complement the role it plays as the archive of the long-tail and keeper of viral clips. “Appointment” viewing around live events presents specific kinds of advertising opportunities and helps YouTube position itself more securely as a TV alternative.

Whether that positioning can work in the context…

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Yesterday, JD Power released its newest tablet satisfaction study and the Internet went a bit nuts. For the first time, Samsung had edged  out perennial favorite Apple in customer satisfaction on tablets. This was a stark change from volume one of the study which had Apple handily beating its competitors.

There was outcry about how close it was, about how the JD Power chart and scoring (835 to Samsung, 833 to Apple) simply didn’t add up. I have to admit, I was fairly curious about that, and supposed that it had to be about price.

So I reached out to JD Power and spoke to Kirk Parsons, senior director of telecommunications services. What he told us wasn’t too surprising, but it may help clear up some of the confusion. First off, the “power circle” chart that’s being widely circulated is simply a visual tool, and not representative of…

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Microsoft has announced a new $40 billion share repurchase authorization with no expiration date. With the move, Microsoft in effect granted itself $40 billion in latitude to buy its own shares whenever it wants to. The announcement came with a dividend increase of 22 percent to $0.28 per share.

Its stock has responded by doing very little, rising just 0.39 percent in regular trading. It trails the NASDAQ’s rise of 0.76 percent during today’s normal hours. It almost feels odd that investors would less than shrug at the company’s news.

The $40 billion program was not a surprise. Microsoft yet-current $40 billion program (not the one announced today) will wrap on September 30. So Microsoft had to either announce a new program or stop repurchasing its shares, which it would not do. The company’s massive cash accumulation is implicit pressure to return wealth to investors. And share repurchases are an important…

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During this afternoon’s earnings call, Pandora executives said that they would lift for the 40-hour monthly cap on free mobile listening that was announced back in February.

This is actually the second time Pandora has instituted a free cap and then lifted it again — it last lifted the cap in September 2011.

CFO Mike Herring said the decision was based on two factors. First, he described the cap as a “blunt tool” for limiting usage and costs, and in the time since, the company has developed more “surgical techniques” (such as skip limits), that control costs without affecting the listener experience as obviously. He also said that due to improvements the business, particularly in the advertising business, Pandora can now “monetize those hours from 41 onward at a much higher rate.”

Herring also noted that when the mobile cap was reinstituted, usage dropped 10 percent. He said lifting the…

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Yes, you read that right. The Washington Post Company just announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its newspaper publishing business to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos for $250 million.

“I, along with Katharine Weymouth and our board of directors, decided to sell only after years of familiar newspaper-industry challenges made us wonder if there might be another owner who would be better for the Post (after a transaction that would be in the best interest of our shareholders),” said Post Chairman and CEO Donald Graham in a press release. (The Graham family has owned a controlling stake in the Post since the 1930s.) “Jeff Bezos’ proven technology and business genius, his long-term approach and his personal decency make him a uniquely good new owner for the Post.”

In the same release, Bezos promises that “the Post’s values will not change.” He has supposedly asked Post CEO…

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Well, here we go. After a considerable amount of teasing (not to mention cheerleading from Google execs during earnings calls), Motorola Mobility is finally ready to unveil its long-awaited Moto X smartphone to the world, and it’s going to do it at a special event in New York City on August 1.

Actually, you know what? “Unveil” may not exactly be the right word — the veil has basically been off for months if you go the sheer number of leaks we’ve seen make the rounds. At this point we’ve got a pretty good understanding of what the device will look like, what sort of components it’s going to pack inside that peculiarly-curved frame, and what it’s capable of in terms of software. That’s not to say that Motorola hasn’t kept some surprises for the main event — I don’t think anyone has managed to piece together the…

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