CrunchWeek: iPhone Trade-Ins, The New New Foursquare, And Twitter’s Blue Lines Problem


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This weekend, summer is sadly coming to a close (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least.) But all is not lost! At least we still have CrunchWeek, the show that brings a few of us TechCrunch writers together to chat about the most interesting tech news stories from the past seven days.

This time around, Leena Rao, Anthony Ha and I discussed the ins and outs of Apple’s new iPhone trade-in program, the latest big update to the Foursquare app (and the rumors of a possible Microsoft investment), and Twitter’s latest redesign with lots of controversial blue lines.

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Micromax Fun A63 specs and photos leaked

Micromax Fun A63 specs and photos leaked


Micromax has been on a high recently having captured 22 percent of the Indian smartphone market and now gunning for the top spot. After successfully launching the Canvas 4 A210 earlier this year and with the Canvas Doodle 2 launched earlier this month, the Indian smartphone vendor is said to be readying a new device called Micromax Fun A63.

This piece of information comes from @MMXNewscaster, who’s made a name for leaking Micromax-related info. According to the tweet, the Fun A63 looks like a budget device sporting a 4-inch WVGA display and is powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. Other features said to be included are a 2-megapixel rear camera, VGA front camera, expandable memory, and 1,500mAH battery. On the software front, the device is said to run on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

There’s no word on the pricing of the device or when Micromax plans to launch the device. But if we were to hazard a guess, we expect the device to be launched in the coming weeks priced somewhere around Rs 6,000.

Google Now Update Adds More Entertainment And Travel Features To The Android Personal Assistant App


Google has added a half-dozen new travel and entertainment features to its personalized search service Google Now. With the additions, the company is aiming to capture the attention of the real-world consumer, such as a sports fan watching an NCAA football game, or the recently landed tourist trying to find their rental car.

Like Twitter, Google is drawing on a lot of evidence that indicates people are increasingly consuming entertainment — TV or otherwise — while tapping away on mobile devices to get more information and connect with other viewers. The new features include:

  • New cards for car rentals, concert tickets, and commute sharing.
  • Improved cards for public transit and TV, which now aurally identifies music and program information.
  • The ability to set search reminders for new media releases, as well as receive real-time NCAA football scores.

Google Now pulls information from all of your Google services in a bid…

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How Secure Are You Online: The Checklist


by Thorin Klosowski,

Think you do enough to secure your passwords, browsing, and networking? Prove it.

Not all computer security is about tin foil hats and anonymous browsing. Everyone who uses a computer has a horse in the security race. For the purpose of this post, we’re breaking down online security into four essential parts: passwords, browsers, at-home Wi-Fi and networking, and browsing on public Wi-Fi. Within those categories we’ll give you a checklist of everything you should do, from the bare minimum to the tin-foil-hat best.

Think you’ve done your due diligence with your security? Jump to any of the four sections below to see how you stack up (and boost your security where you may be lacking):

  • Password Security Checklist
  • Browser Security Checklist
  • Home Network Security Checklist
  • Public Wi-Fi Security Checklist

You can find the checklists at  How Secure Are You Online: The Checklist.

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The Nature of the Hills

Epilobium angustifolium, also Chamerion angustifolium

Other common names: Great Willowherb, Rosebay Willowherb(GB), Blooming Sally, and Common, Perennial and Narrow-Leaved Fireweed

Fireweed is the floral emblem of the Yukon.
It grows throughout the temperate Northern Hemisphere.
Fireweed grows in my gardens.
I let it.
It’s beautiful.

The forty or so years since the forest was cleared to build my neighbourhood has not been enough to discourage this stalwart troop of botanical disaster relief. In fact generations would not be enough, as London discovered when firewood appeared to console and heal the (destroyed) city after World War II. It became known then as ‘Bombweed’ since it speedily transformed bomb craters into sunken gardens.

My garden is disturbed ground. A pioneer species, Fireweed appears wherever the earth has been scraped, or especially burned, leaving exposed soil and an open canopy letting in lots of light. Its rhizomes can extend to about 45 cm…

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