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Off topic: Placebo buttons, pawning Prada, gun-safety oops, taken for a ride, ‘shoefiti’

Conditioned for our comfort: Some buttons — at crosswalks, in elevators — are just there for show. In Hong Kong, the Gucci- and Chanel-carrying "wealthy" who need a loan can hand over their purses for collateral. Read More →

Bad publicity: Public firing by AOL’s Tim Armstrong; injuries at LG phone promotion

File these couple of items under Bad Publicity: a public firing by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, and an LG phone giveaway gone awry. • First, in case you missed it, Armstrong last Friday fired a Patch executive mid-conference call, as the Read More →

Who wants some BlackBerry? Let the speculation begin

With BlackBerry now officially for sale, the speculation has begun about who might buy the company. The early consensus? While there are lots of potential suitors, no one company or entity makes an obvious or ideal match. And there's at least Read More →

On 3D printing, ‘Game of Thrones’ and copyright

Last year, we wrote about how 3D printing could be a boon to copyright lawyers. That day could be here any second, judging from a recent exchange between an iPhone dock maker and the maker of "Game of Read More →

SolarCity to acquire Paramount Solar

San Mateo-based SolarCity announced Tuesday that it plans to buy Paramount Solar, a subsidiary of Paramount Equity, in a transaction valued at roughly $120 million. The deal gives SolarCity access to Paramount's remote selling capability, which should further drive Read More →

Quoted: Larry Ellison talks about the NSA, and his problem with Larry Page

"Who's ever heard of this information being misused by the government? In what way? ... It's essential if we want to minimize the kind of strikes that we just had in Boston." — Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO, in an Read More →

Hey Larry, tell us what you really think about Apple’s future

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, never one to mince his words about anything, pretty much made clear to CBS This Morning's Charlie Rose that he thinks Apple is done, finished, kaput. Yes, the world's third-richest man still likes and respects Apple Read More →

Off topic: Name, occupation; setting records; punctuation field guide; OCD love poem; Middle Child’s Day

Smiths, Cooks, Butlers, Wrights and more: on occupations and surnames. A Big Picture look at record-setting attempts so far this year, including the largest gatherings of: hula hoopers, prisoners working out, wearers of underwear on Times Read More →

Facebook buys a voice technology company

Facebook is acquiring new voice recognition tools and talent, with a deal to buy Mobile Technologies, maker of the Jibbigo translation app. Jibbigo is a mobile app for Android and iOS phones that lets users speak a phrase in one language Read More →

Startup camera maker Lytro cut jobs earlier this year

Lytro, the digital camera start-up that has developed a technology that allows users to focus their pictures after taking them, laid off some of its staff earlier this year. Read More →
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