ICE insists it doesn’t use Stingrays to track undocumented immigrants

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Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

In a letter (PDF), the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that the agency doesn’t use its Stingray mobile call-intercepting devices while enforcing immigration laws. It does deploy them when pursuing criminal suspects, however, and individual agents might use them while acting in a joint task force with other federal officers.

“However, such use must be conducted in a manner that protects rights afforded by the United States Constitution, and in compliance with applicable statutory authorities, DHS policy and ICE policy,” wrote acting ICE director Thomas Homan.

Homan penned the letter in response to an inquiry by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR). He confirmed that ICE uses Stingrays in accordance with the DHS’s October 2015 directive on cell-intercepting tech, which require a warrant before deploying the devices. Wyden similarly reached out to the US Attorney General’s office to clarify about how Stingray use affects ordinary Americans, Ars Technica points out. That letter apparently hasn’t received a public response.

Knowing these requirements, the Feds’ recent use of Stingray devices to track down a restaurant worker from El Salvador sounds within legal bounds. He was undocumented, but also guilty of a previous hit-and-run, for which he was deported. That wasn’t the only crime mentioned in the Stingray warrant, though: Another was unlawful re-entry after deportation (specifically, violating 8 USC 1326a), citing when he came back to the US illegally after getting booted out. It stands to reason that any illegal return to the US after deportation might be enough to justify use of Stingrays in future warrants.

 

 

How to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7, episode 6 for free

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We’re finally going beyond the Wall this week. I know that because the episode is called “Beyond the Wall,” and because HBO accidentally leaked the episode earlier this week. This is the second episode of Game of Thrones to leak this season, but I managed to stay strong and avoid watching it until Sunday, so I’m sure you can do the same. What else are you going to do on Sunday night anyway?

Before we get started, it’s worth noting that the Game of Thrones season 7 premiere is still free to watch on HBO’s website. If you missed it, you can catch up right now by heading to this link.

Option #1: Amazon gives Prime members the ability to add HBO to their Prime Video experience for $14.99/month through Amazon Channels, but as long as you remember to cancel, you can start a 7-day free trial just for Sunday. If Prime Video is your primary streaming service, this is a no-brainer.

Option #2: Similar to Amazon, Hulu gives all of its subscribers the ability to add HBO to their package for $14.99/month, but gives them the first month for free. If you’re already paying for one of Hulu’s limited or no commercials plan, or signed up for Hulu’s live TV offering, don’t pass this opportunity up.

Option #3: Another way to watch Game of Thrones this weekend is to take advantage of the HBO Now 1-month trial. The app is available on a wide variety of platforms, from iOS to Android to Roku to Verizon, so no matter which device you use, you should be able to watch the new episode.

Option #4: Finally, if you’re a student, over 70 colleges offer free access to HBO Go. Check and see if your college is on the list, and if it is, head over to HBOGO.com, choose Sign In in the upper-right corner and find your college at the bottom of the “All Providers” list. Some restrictions may apply, but if you’re lucky, you might be able to watch the entirety of Game of Thrones season 7 without lifting a finger.

Prisma hopes to market its AI photo filtering tech

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Rob LeFebvre/Engadget

Prisma’s machine learning photography app may not be as hot as it was in 2016, but that doesn’t mean it’s going away. If the developer has its way, you’ll see its technology in many places before long. The company tells The Verge that it’s shifting its focus from just its in-house app to marketing numerous computer vision tools based on its AI technology, ranging from object recognition to face mapping and detecting the foreground in an image. In theory, you’d see Prisma’s clever processing find its way into your next phone or a favorite social photography app.

The Prisma app is staying put, to be clear — it has 5 million to 10 million monthly users, which is no mean feat for a small startup. It just won’t be the sole focus.

There’s no mention of initial customers, but Facebook likely isn’t in the running given that it already riffed on the photo filtering concept soon after Prisma became popular. Not that Prisma is averse to dealing with its erstwhile rival. Co-founder Alexey Moiseenkov visited Facebook in 2016, and other founder Aram Airapetyan said it “doesn’t matter” who Prisma works with, so long as it can pursue its technology. Don’t be surprised if its technology is interesting enough that a larger company eventually decides that it eventually needs to snap up all of Prisma, rather than paying for a toolkit.

 

 

Microsoft reveals every game enhanced for Xbox One X

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Edgar Alvarez, Engadget

Microsoft has dribbled out details of Xbox One X visual upgrades over the past couple of months, but now it’s laying all its cards on the table. The company’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb has posted a list of all the games currently slated to get some kind of Xbox One X enhancement. Some of them you’ll already know about or would expect, such as many recent Microsoft-published games (including Quantum Break), Assassin’s Creed Origins and Wolfenstein II. However, there are plenty of older and indie titles also in line, such as Astroneer, Firewatch, Hitman and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The list looks impressive at first blush, but it’s also important to remember that only some of the games will be Xbox One X-ready when the console launches on November 7th. Many of these titles, like Anthem, won’t ship until many months later. Microsoft also doesn’t explain just what the enhancements mean. You’ll have to dig deeper to find out whether or not a game runs natively in 4K or relies on upscaling tricks (such as checkerboard rendering), as well as whether or not there are any added visual effects. Think of this as a cheat sheet — it’ll give you a quick idea of which games will improve, but it’s up to you to decide whether or not those improvements justify a purchase.

 

 

You can preorder the Xbox One X and the Project Scorpio Edition right now

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Two months after taking the wraps off of the Xbox One X at E3, Microsoft has officially opened preorders for what it is calling “the world’s most powerful console.” Selling at a suggested retail price of $499, Xbox One X supports HDR, wide color gamut, 4K Blu-ray HD playback and the entire Xbox One game library. It will also play supported games in true 4K Ultra HD.

If that sounds like the upgrade you’ve been waiting for, you can place a preorder for the console at a variety of retailers starting today. But at Gamescom this weekend, Microsoft also unveiled a brand new edition of the Xbox One X called the Project Scorpio Edition. It features a custom design and an exclusive vertical stand, but much like the Xbox One Day One Edition, there is a limited supply.

Here are some of the retailers where you might still be able to find an Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition (which has already begun to sell out on some sites): Amazon, Best Buy, GameStopWalmart, Target and Microsoft. There’s no telling how long the console will stay in stock, so act fast if you want to snag one.

“We are counting down to the launch of Xbox One X later this year and look forward to getting the world’s most powerful console into the hands of our fans,” Corporate VP Mike Nichols said on the Xbox Wire this afternoon. “With 40 percent more power and 60 percent more memory for game developers than any other console, get ready to experience immersive true 4K gaming.”

Oh, and if you’re still on the fence about whether or not the Xbox One X is worth the price of admission, here’s a full list of games that will be enhanced on the Xbox One X (so far).

Xbox One X Now Available For Pre-Order, Scoop Up That Scorpio!

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We saw it teased as Project Scorpio last year, we got to play it for ourselves at E3 this year, and finally this fall we’ll get to own the most powerful video game console yet when the Xbox One X launches November 7. After Microsoft’s Gamescom presentation in Europe pre-orders are now live for the (sort of) next generation Xbox.

Can’t decide where to drop your $500 for the special, day one “Project Scorpio” edition of the Xbox One X? Here are all your options right now.

Amazon
Best Buy
Gamestop
Microsoft Store
Target
Walmart

With all the new and upgraded hardware we’ve seen from Nintendo and Sony over the past few months, it’s almost like we’ve just experienced a soft reboot of this console generation. While every Xbox One X game should theoretically also run on the weaker Xbox One S, the X does offer exclusive improvements, mostly focused on 4K resolution. So your existing Xbox library should look better, especially if you have a 4K TV. Expect even more improved visuals as future games like Assassin’s Creed Origins take further advantage of these killer specs.

However, even with all that power, the Xbox One X still must prepare for a struggle against the more popular PlayStation 4, more powerful PC, and more off the beaten path Nintendo Switch. We recently learned that Crackdown 3, an Xbox One exclusive previously scheduled to launch the same day as the X, has now been delayed to next year. Forza 7 is a great, beautiful game, but can it shoulder an entire system launch? Can ReCore: Definitive Edition?

We’ll find out this fall, but if you’re already convinced you need an Xbox One X, jump on those pre-order links now! Look yourself in the mirror, do your best DMX impression, and say, “X, gonna give it you ya!” Hopefully it’ll be easier to nab than the SNES Classic Edition.

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This is what Alia Bhatt has to say about Baahubali 2

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This is what Alia Bhatt has to say about Baahubali 2

There’s no denying the grandeur of Baahubali 2 at the box office and Alia Bhatt couldn’t agree more. The sunshine of B-town has always got a few nice words to add about literally anything and here she praises Baahubali 2 in the most genuine way possible, “After Baahubali 2, everybody just wants to keep quiet and do good work. After Baahubali 2, I don’t think we have the right to talk about box office (laughs). Having said that, I am not going to negate any of the love that all my films including Badrinath Ki Dulhania have got. The film got the audience that it needed and that turned out to be absolutely perfect for us.”

True, Ms. Bhatt. We all loved her and Varun’s impeccable chemistry on screen, in Badrinath Ki Dulhania and can’t wait to see them again. While Varun Dhawan is all set to kick start promotions for Judwaa 2, Alia Bhatt is currently working on Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi where she will be seen oppsite Vicky Kaushal.

Box office records or not, Alia’s fans love her beyond all measures. 

Microsoft unveils 'Minecraft' edition Xbox One S

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Microsoft

How devoted are you to Minecraft? Devoted enough that you want your console to be a living, breathing representation of the construction game? If so, you’re in luck. Microsoft has unveiled a limited edition Minecraft Xbox One S that drapes the entire console in Mojang’s blocky art style. There’s a grass block on the front, a transparent, redstone-laced bottom and a Creeper-themed green controller (there’s an optional pink, pig-themed gamepad). Naturally, it’ll include a copy of Minecraft (with the Better Together update).

The system arrives on October 3rd. Microsoft hasn’t detailed pricing or regional availability as we write this, but it’ll ship with a 1TB hard drive. We wouldn’t expect it to carry a significant premium over a plain Xbox One S with a bundled game, but don’t be surprised if this becomes the system to get among Minecraft players… well, those who don’t want to play in 4K, at least.

 

 

Ranveer Singh makes his Rainbow ensemble look like the hottest trend at Lakme Fashion Week this season

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Ranveer Singh quite literally bombed everyone as the showstopper for designer Manish Arora on day 4 of Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017. The actor made an appearance looking no less than a shiny rainbow adding to the much celebrated quirkiness in the house.

 

Manish’s collection has always been inspiring in its own way as he has made his mark in the Paris couture over the last couple of years. The designer marks his 10th anniversary in Paris with this collection called Cosmic Love.

 

Check out all the pictures from the glam night right here:

Ranveer Singh

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The Best Star Trek Funko Pops!

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1. Captain Picard (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

The greatest captain ever can be yours as a tiny Funko Pop toy.

Currently $17.50 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

2. Worf (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Be the envy of all of Qo’noS with this Worf Funko Pop!

Currently $20.19 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

3. Captain Kirk In Survival Suit (Star Trek: Beyond)

Boldly go to your Funko Pop collectible display and place the legendary James Tiberius Kirk there with all the rest. He needs his own pedestal.

Currently $12.99 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

4. Geordi La Forge (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

“Forge” a new collection of awesome Star Trek-related Funkos with the indomitable Geordi!

Currently $19.94 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

5. Orion Slave Girl (Star Trek: The Original Series)

The famous green woman who Kirk just can’t get enough of.

Currently $35.31 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

6. “Mirror, Mirror” Spock (Star Trek: The Original Series)

Not buying this Funko Pop would be illogical.

Currently $19.58 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

7. Uhura (Star Trek Beyond)

The Star Trek universe is a much better one with the powerful Uhura around.

Currently $9.40 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

8. Andorian (Star Trek: The Original Series)

The icy inhabitants of the moon planet Andoria, they come in peace and cold.

Currently $15.99 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

9. Data (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

This Number One will soon be your Number One Funko Pop.

Currently $14.88 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

10. Deanna Troi (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Dina senses you’d be sad without her, she is correct.

Currently $14.14 at Amazon. Buy It Here.

Pre-order Xbox One X in a limited Project Scorpio Edition

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The rumors were true. Microsoft is marking the launch of the Xbox One X by starting pre-orders for a limited Project Scorpio Edition for the console. It’ll cost the same $499 as the standard model, but this is more than a rehash of the Day One system that commemorated the Xbox One launch in 2013. On top of Project Scorpio lettering on the console and controller, the machine gets a “sophisticated and dynamic” pattern and an exclusive vertical stand to flaunt your early adopter status. Even the packaging has a twist — it harkens back to the 2001-era Xbox.

You can pre-order from retailers right now (including Microsoft’s own store, Best Buy and Gamestop), and you’ll probably want to consider it if you were already bent on getting the Xbox One X come November 7th. It’s possible that stock will linger around, but we wouldn’t count on it if there’s a rush.

As it is, there will be something if you’re content with “just” 1080p gaming. On top of the Minecraft console, Microsoft is prepping Xbox One S Middle-earth: Shadow of War bundles that include the fantasy slasher as well as 1 month of Xbox Game Pass and 2 weeks of Xbox Live Gold. Both models arrive on October 10th, when they’ll be available in nearly every market at $279 for a 500GB bundle and $349 for the 1TB system.

Xbox One S Shadow of War bundle

 

 

Interesting Check out what Shahid Kapoor is upto during his London vacay

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Interesting! Check out what Shahid Kapoor is upto during his London vacay

All work even during play, make Shahid Kapoor the star he is. Shahid Kapoor is all set for her daughter Misha’s first birthday on the 26th of August and no better place to celebrate it other than London. He, along with wifey Mira flew for a family vacation and as one might think, Shahid Kapoor did not leave his work behind. 

He has already read 14 scripts in the last couple of days and hopefully will be finalizing on a few. too. We are already so excited after hearing this news and eagerly wait for Sasha to announce the same. 

A source close to the actor revealed, “Shahid has been getting a lot of scripts but he hasn’t had anytime to read them. So he thought the vacation would be the best time to think about his next projects.” 

Meanwhile, Shahid will be next seen in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmawati which also stars Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone in the main lead. The makers of the movie plan to wrap up film’s shooting by October so that they can go ahead releasing the film on it’s actual release date, i.e. November 17, 2017

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to romance R Madhavan in Fanney Khan?

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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to romance R Madhavan in Fanney Khan?

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will soon be seen gracing the silver screen with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Fanney Khan. If rumours were to be belived, Rajkummar Rao and Vicky Kaushal were approached for the role opposite the diva, but the latest update from the little birdy has us all excited a few notches higher.

 

R Madhavan, the man taking social media by storm with his fine wine looks will mostly be seen romancing Aishwarya in Fanney Khan. The film also has Anil Kapoor, who was speculated to be paired oppsite Aishwarya.

 

R Madhavan and Aishwarya were last seen together in Guru, sharing a non romantic screen space in the film. We could not be more pumped up for this pairing, with the looks so divine and the cast so fine, Fanney Khan seems like a blockbuster in making already. What say?

Watch what happens when a Tesla owner gets his 97 year old grandfather into a Model S

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When it comes to video reviews of Tesla’s Model S and Model X, there are certainly no shortage of them one can find on YouTube. And while most are rather informative, even entertaining at times, a lot of them end up blending together after a while. That said, a new viral video making the rounds shows us what happens when a Tesla owner shows off the futuristic Model S to his 97-year old grandfather. The video is altogether charming and serves to remind us just how easy it is for those who follow tech closely to take impressive technological advancements for granted.

Filmed by Zev Gitalis, the video begins with Gitalis’ grandfather asking about taking the car on long trips, which prompts Gitalis to tell his grandfather about Tesla’s network of Supercharging stations. Once the pair get into the car, Gitalis shows his grandfather the Model S’ 17-inch digital dash and they get moving.

“Before we go any further,” the grandfather says early on, “it doesn’t make any noise. It’s impressive.”

Shortly thereafter, Gitalis showed off the car’s instant acceleration, which seemed to truly delight his grandfather.

“Oh boy,” he exclaimed gleefully, “you gotta have a parachute to drive this car!”

The entire video is really great and can be viewed below.

Since going live about a week ago, the video has garnered nearly three-quarters of a million views. Indeed, it wouldn’t surprise us if we saw Elon Musk link to the video via Twitter in the coming days.

Build your own dinosaur park in 'Jurassic World Evolution'

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Did you watch Jurassic World and think that the chaos could have been avoided with better park design? You’re going to get a chance to prove your theory. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier has taken the wraps off of Jurassic World Evolution, which will have you running your own park on Isla Nublar. Think of it as a very violent Rollercoaster Tycoon — you’ll build attractions, engineer new dinosaurs and try to prevent your creations from chomping on guests.

The title will arrive on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in summer 2018, or soon after the June release of the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom movie (convenient, isn’t it?). As such, it’s not clear just what the game mechanics are like. With that said, Frontier has a strong pedigree — it’s probably going to produce something considerably better than Trespasser.