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Tesla Model S with sweet rims

If you didn't think that Tesla's Model S P85D was bonkers enough, you're in for a treat. Elon Musk has revealed that the already speedy electric sedan is getting a software update that will improve its 0-60MPH acceleration time by a tenth of a second, to 3.1 seconds. That may not sound like much, but that makes the Model S as quick off the mark as McLaren's MP4-12C supercar. The 'regular' P85 will also get a boost, Musk says, although it won't be "quite as much." No, this won't be news to aftermarket tuners used to wringing out more performance through code, but it's fun to think that a factory firmware upgrade could be the key to winning a drag race.

[Image credit: Free Photos, Flickr]

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Reddit stickers

Reddit may not be subject to as much legal scrutiny as tech giants like Google or Microsoft, but there's enough of it that the internet community has published its first transparency report. The site says that received 55 demands for user info through subpoenas, search warrants and emergency requests in 2014. That's a tiny amount compared to the 174 million total redditors, but that makes it a bigger target than Dropbox and other services that you'd think would be more conducive to secret activity. The site had a bigger problem on its hands with 218 copyright and trademark takedown requests, although it's not clear if that includes any calls to pull celebrity photos stolen in last year's iCloud breach.

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Manning WikiLeaks

We still don't know everything about the information Google handed over to the government about three WikiLeaks employees, but a lawyer for the search giant has answered one question about the incident. While a gag order prevented Google from the three staff members, attorney Albert Gidari told the Washington Post it fought the government for four years to overturn it. Apparently, the government allowed Twitter to notify supporters -- including Icelandic politician Birgitta Jónsdóttir -- of surveillance in 2010 and was shocked at their disagreement. Afterwards, it was determined to avoid that, and fought hard to keep gag orders in place. The lawyer claims it's policy to challenge any gag order with an indefinite time period, but as a law professor told the Post -- the targets of the surveillance have the strongest potential case to reduce the scope of a warrant, if only they knew that it was happening.

[Image credit: Associated Press]



We're in the thick of earnings seasons, friends, and Google just pushed out its latest spate of financials for our eager delectation. Here's the skinny: Google reported a total of $18.01 billion in revenue (closer to $14.5 billion if you don't count those pesky traffic acquisition costs), less than what most of those Wall Street analyst types expected it to. Let's take a closer look at what's going on over there.

We've seen Google dump more of its money into research (as befits a company with such wild-eyed ambitions), and that trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast. By sinking 16 percent of its total revenue into research, Google's R&D spending habits stayed roughly equal with its actions last quarter... which is still a pretty huge improvement over the year-ago quarter. Yeah, we're not shocked by Google's predilection for research either. When you've got a guy like Larry Page sitting behind closed doors with a bunch of big brains trying to suss out what problems really need fixing, it's only natural to see Google pour money into its more ambitious divisions.

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OnePlus I'm hoping...

Now here's something we've never expected to write: Microsoft is investing in Android -- well, sort of. The software giant is reportedly planning to become a minority investor in Cyanogen, best known for its customized version of Android, according to the Wall Street Journal. Neither company is talking about the deal, naturally, and we still don't know how big Microsoft's investment may be. Bloomberg reports that the two companies are in negotiations to create a version of Cyanogen's image that features Microsoft's services (similar to what Nokia did with its X series, which Microsoft killed off). The report comes only a few months after Cyanogen refused a Google buyout offer, supposedly because it wants to keep the dream of a truly open version of Android alive. The more likely reason? Cyanogen will probably end up being worth a lot more after additional investments than what Google was willing to pay.

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Most of us like to blast a collection of inspirational tunes during a workout, and with its latest iOS update, RunKeeper is making that a bit easier. Runners who also have a Spotify premium subscription can now access saved playlists inside the fitness app. You'll need to connect the two services first, but once you do, swiping over to your fine-tuned collections and suggested workout playlists is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, there's no mention of Android users getting the integration as part of future updates. However, RunKeeper says this is the beginning of its foray into music, so perhaps those upcoming tools will cross over.


2014 Kids' Choice Sports Awards - Show

With networks announcing new streaming options on the regular, Nickelodeon is set to reveal a standalone service of its own. During an investor call this morning, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman said the kid-friendly channel will announce its subscription plans in February, targeting mobile devices. Details are scarce for now, but we should hear more soon, as the first of the month is imminent. HBO and CBS have already revealed their plans for cord cutters, and both AMC and ESPN are rumored to be mulling similar models, too. Of course, Nickelodeon will have to compete with the likes of Amazon and Netflix who already offer dedicated streams for younger viewers, included with subscriptions that parents are already paying for.

[Photo credit: Shearer/Invision/AP]


Are we tired of making puns based around the silly name for the Kickstarter-funded, Android-powered, miniature game console, OUYA? No, friends. No we are not. Clearly.

That aside, there's a whole nation of people who are just now hearing of OUYA for the first time: China. That's because Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba reportedly dropped $10 million into OUYA's coffers within the last month, according to The Wall Street Journal -- an investment in trade for bringing OUYA's platform to Alibaba's set-top box. That's quite an investment considering OUYA's poor-to-tepid response in the United States: "The system is rough around the edges in many ways, quite literally when regarding the controller, but the interface and menus also could use work," is what we wrote in our review from 2013. Much of those early edges were eventually smoothed, and OUYA branched out as a software platform known as "OUYA Everywhere." Xiaomi added OUYA everywhere to its set-top boxes last year, and now apparently Alibaba is looking to do something similar.

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Rumors of SkyMall's demise might have been exaggerated, at least if the CEO of Scottevest gets his way. Scott Jordan, head of the company that makes coats with pockets sufficient to carry your entire gadget haul, believes that he's the man to save the moribund publication. According to the businessman, SkyMall was "doomed to fail." Presumably because being trapped 30,000 feet in the air isn't enough to convince you to buy a beer pager or protein-infused ketchup.

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The Nissan GT-R and Chevy's Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo are about to get some fresh company thanks to French automaker Renault. The Alpine Vision Gran Turismo is the latest Gran Turismo 6 ride turned concept vehicle, and weighing in at around 1,984 pounds (900 kilograms) it's lighter than a 2015 Dodge Dart by over 1,200 pounds. Let that sink in for a minute. Okay, still with us? It's rocking a 450 horsepower engine mid-rear, a 199MPH top speed and a rad set of air brakes you can see in the video below. Renault teases that some of the tech from the concept will make it to Alpine's 2016 production model -- which, as Autoblog notes, would be its first since 1995. Should you want a peek at the car in person, it's stationed throughout France until early next month. After that, it's doing laps in Gran Turismo 6 as a free download i​n March.

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