Thursday, August 8, 2013

Indian music service Dhingana lands on Windows 8 phones

Indian music streaming service?Dhingana?has launched an app for Windows 8 smartphones, as it seeks to broaden its presence across all key mobile platforms.

The Spotify-like streaming service targeted at Indian and Bollywood music fans?is already available on the Web, mobile Web and as an app for the iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and?Windows tablets.

The Windows Phone Store app will help users discover new music by recommending more albums or playlists based on what the user is currently listening to. It features genre-specific listings, where users can listen to top songs and featured albums within a chosen genre. The app also lets users share songs and playlists with friends via Facebook, Twitter or email.

?We expect that this launch will only add to the growth of our?loyal listenership across the Windows eco-system,? said Swapnil Shinde, the co-founder and COO of?Dhingana.

? Dhingana Windows Phone App

Image Credit: Tauseef Mustafa?via AFP/Getty Images


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Two friends of Boston bombing suspect indicted on federal obstruction of justice charges via Reuters

Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, right, poses with Azamat Tazhayakov, and Dias Kadyrbayev in an undated photo taken in New York.

By Pete Williams and Matthew DeLuca, NBC News

The two friends of Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who were arrested and charged in May now face two additional charges connected to what the FBI says was their attempt to destroy evidence.

Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both students from Kazakhstan, were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury, the next step in bringing them to trial.?

In addition to being accused of conspiracy to obstruct justice, the count on which they were originally arrested, they are now also charged with obstructing justice and aiding and abetting.

The indictment recites the same allegations made in the earlier charges: that they want to Tsarnaev's dorm room and took his laptop computer and his backpack.? The discovered the remnants of fireworks in the backpack, and took all the possessions back to their apartment.?

Prosecutors say that after discussing what to do, the two put the backpack in a garbage bag and placed it in a dumpster. The next morning, prosecutors say, after Tsarnaev had been identified as one of the bombing suspects,?Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov "watched as a garbage truck came to their apartment complex and emptied the contents."

The FBI had earlier disclosed that the backpack was found in the New Bedford landfill.

Thursday's indictment adds a further bit of detail, noting that more than 30 federal agents combed the dump for two days, April 25 and 26.

The indictment pointedly does not mention the name of the other friend of Tsarnaev's arrested in May ? Robel Phillipos.?

The FBI has said he was with the other two when they took the backpack from Tsarnaev's dorm room. Phillipos is scheduled to appear in federal court next week for a preliminary hearing, although his appearance has been postponed twice before, suggesting the possibility that the government is trying to get him to plead. ?

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov?could each face up to 20 years in prison on the count of obstructing justice, plus up to five more years on the count of conspiracy if they are found guilty, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a release on Thursday. Both men were residing in New Bedford, Mass., on student visas and could face the possibility of deportation, according to the office.

They were originally charged May first in a criminal complaint.

Tsarnaev, 19, pleaded not guilty to a 30-count indictment on July 11. His older brother Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police in the manhunt that followed the bombings.

Three people were killed and more than 260 injured after twin explosions from homemade bombs shook the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15.



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Monday, August 5, 2013

Tattoos may hide skin cancer


Tattoos may make pigmented lesions and skin cancers particularly difficult to detect, according to recent research.

Researchers with Laserklinik Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany, and the University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, presented a case study of a 29-year-old male patient who developed malignant melanoma on a pre-existing nevus within a tattoo. The patient had been undergoing laser tattoo removal.

The patient had a tattoo that covered both of his arms and his chest for 10 years before undergoing treatment for removal. During the process, a mole on the patient?s shoulder that had been hidden with black ink was revealed, study authors reported. Treatment was halted until the patient underwent a mole removal and biopsy, which revealed melanoma. According to the researchers, 16 other cases of malignant melanoma hidden by tattoos have been reported in medical literature.

?Pigmented lesions in decorative tattoos cause diagnostic difficulties at a clinical and dermoscopic level. In cases of laser removal of tattoos, hidden suspicious nevi may be revealed gradually,? researchers stated.

Investigators recommended that before patients undergo tattoo removal, clinicians should thoroughly examining a patient?s skin. If a tattoo covers a known pigmented lesion, the lesion should not be treated with a laser, the authors concluded.

The study was published online July 31 in JAMA Dermatology.

To get weekly news and analysis for today's skincare specialists, subscribe to Dermatology Times eNews.


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Man arrested for break-in attempt at Kid Rock's home

By Gillian Spear, Writer, NBC News

Police arrested a man who attempted to break into musician Kid Rock?s Detroit-area home.

The 43-year-old man was seen on security cameras Wednesday afternoon, ramming the gate to Kid Rock?s Clarkston property with his white van. He then exited his van and tried, but failed, to break into the property, according to the Oakland County Sheriff?s Office. The man was on crutches.?

On Friday, Kid Rock, born Robert Ritchie,?wrote on his website that he would be offering a $5,000 reward to anyone with information that could lead to the perpetrator's arrest. Authorities, however, did not seem to think the culprit would be hard to find.

?Clearly, the combination of this vehicle and the person on crutches driving it should make it fairly obvious to someone who knows this individual,? said Oakland County Sheriff Michael McCabe in a press release.

The man was arrested at his home in Independence Township, Mich., on Saturday morning -- his 1994 white Ford van parked in the driveway.?

Authorities said the arrest came after recieving two tips but did not say if the individuals who provided these tips received the reward from Kid Rock.

In the post on his website, the musician made it clear that he does not take security lightly and warned, ?I am an avid hunter and marksman and I will not hesitate to shoot anyone who has myself or family in fear for our?lives.?

An arraignment will likely take place Monday. The man is meanwhile being held at the Oakland County Jail.


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Operation 'Dragon Lady' Uncovers Huge Russian Android SMS Fraud Network

LAS VEGAS ? Ten Russian organizations have tricked thousands of victims into downloading fake Android apps that send premium text messages, each costing from $3 to $18, according to a Lookout Security investigation called Operation "Dragon Lady."

The network is comprised of 10 organizations that create the malware ? which makes up 30% of all malware detected by Lookout in 2013 so far ? as well as thousands of affiliates that make up a vast distribution and marketing network. The affiliates use several techniques, including fake Twitter accounts, to reach as many victims as possible ? and they rack up big profits doing so. Some regularly earn more than $10,000 a month.

Lookout revealed the malware operation in a talk at the DefCon hacking conference on Friday, after launching its investigation last December.

In addition to creating malicious apps, the 10 organizations ? dubbed "Malware HQs" by Lookout ? establish websites that offer affiliates an easy-to-configure platform to develop fake apps and download sites, themselves. What's more, all of this is done on the open Internet.

"These are not guys operating in the shadows," Ryan Smith, senior researcher at Lookout, explained to Mashable. "They're operating in a fairly public manner."

To become an affiliate, an individual simply has to fill out an online form, customize the app with pre-set options, and then copy and paste code into their distribution websites. Basically, no technical knowledge is needed.

The distributors then use Twitter to promote links to fake, free versions of apps that normally cost money, popular apps such as Skype and Opera, or simply porn and MP3s. Victims click, download and typically get an app that redirects them to a website while, in the background, actually sends out premium-rate text messages to phone numbers set up by the Malware HQs. The fraudsters then collect the money, and give a slice of the profit to affiliates.

The Malware HQs operate like a real business, Smith said, providing regular updates, customer service and online assistance to the affiliates. They also offer gamification features to motivate them, publishing rankings online and giving out rewards to the best distributors.

The campaign only focuses on Russia and its neighboring countries, as some of the distributing websites block out traffic that comes from outside these areas. Smith said this is likely because it's easier to maintain a localized business, and that "these affiliates like to be paid out in a very timely way" ? something that's easier to achieve in Russia, where phone customers have a short window of time to dispute charges on their bills.

Still, frauds like these can also be reproduced in other countries, and users should be cautious when clicking on links in their smartphone browsers.

"Don't click on any links you don't trust, don't download any applications from sites you don't trust," Smith said, adding that people should also avoid installing apps from third-party sites, and only use Google Play, whenever possible.

As a general rule, being vigilant will help users steer clear of sites promising free apps that normally cost money. "If something seems like it's too good to be true," Smith said, "It probably is too good to be true."

Image: Flickr, sk8geek


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Music Streaming Services In Australia: What's Here, What's Coming ...

What do you mean you still buy music? Donchaknow all the kids are streaming it these days? Here are the best music streaming services currently available in Australia, as well as a look at what?s not going to come here.

Welcome to Gizmodo?s Streaming Week! This week we?re going to show you the best ways to get the entertainment you want onto whatever screen you want, whenever you want. Tune in at 2pm AEDT in each day to find out more.

In no particular order?

Samsung Music Hub

You already know about Google Play and its ability to throw music onto your Android device, but now it has a streaming service that?s live in Australia.

All Access is a service that takes the best parts of other music services and blends it together. You can upload 20,000 songs to a digital locker in the cloud to keep and have and hold forever like iTunes Match, you can stream songs from curated radio stations like on Pandora and you can buy stuff to keep forever just like Google Play, ironically.


Thanks to a partnership with Australian Radio Network, iHeartRadio has officially launched in Australia.

Rather than being an all-you-can-eat, on-demand music streaming service, iHeartRadio is like Pandora: an internet radio service for internet and terrestrial radio stations around the world. It?s free, unlimited and gradually opening up to Australians between now and September.

Sony Music Unlimited

Music Unlimited is Sony?s own on-demand streaming service that it loads onto everything from Xperia phones and tablets right through to the Playstation 3 and PS Vita.

Launched in June 2010, it supports both iOS and Android platforms runs on a monthly subscription model. It?s great if you use a few different Sony devices (or even just the one) and want to sync your tunes with your vendor?s-own platform.

Nokia Music

Nokia Music is one of the freshest streaming services on the scene, offering Lumia users an alternative to services like Spotify. It supports both streaming of music from playlists as well as a streaming radio service based on your preferences.

You?ll only get Nokia Music, funnily enough, if you have a Nokia Lumia handset, and it?ll set you back $4.99 a month for the premium tier.


While not technically a streaming service, iTunes has Match, a service that identifies the music in your library and matches it to what?s already stored in Apple?s cloud. From there, it lets you stream the music you already own across your authorised devices for $34.99 a year paid upfront.


Spotify took the world by storm when it launched, and eventually it blew into Australia as the streaming wars were hotting up and got everyone all excited for new music paradigms or whatever.

Spotify has both an ad-supported (read: free) tier, as well as a premium tier that ditches the ads, ups the audio quality and enables offline synchronisation with your devices. That will set you back $12 per month.


Rdio is the next best thing to Spotify ? depending on who you ask, of course ? which now runs both freemium and premium tiers. You get 12 million tracks for your $12.90 per month, but interestingly, you get three months of premium for free with no questions asked if you just sign up for an account.

That free offer is governed by a mysterious fair-play policy that restricts how much you can actually stream per month, but it?s nice just to test out the service to see if you want to fork over your dollars or not.


Pandora isn?t so much a music streaming service as it is an internet radio service.

Pandora?s point of difference is music curation by the numbers. It analyses what you give your up votes and down votes to before recommending other tracks based on that information.

Pricing at the moment looks to mirror US pricing: $3.99 for a one-month subscription and $36 for a one-year subscription.


Grooveshark is a web-based streaming service that runs in a browser and pumps out visual, rather than audio, ads to support itself. People upload music to Grooveshark at will and the service lets you register, build playlists, stream and start artist radio streaming.

The only issue with it is that it?s currently being accused by music industry heavyweights like Universal and Sony that it?s in violation of copyrights. Get it before it?s gone.


MOG is an international streaming service that Telstra and BigPond decided it needed in Australia to try and remain competitive in the music space.

A 14-day free trial is available of the service and it?s unmetered if you?re a Telstra BigPond customer. A basic subscription costs $6.99 per month and gets you access to music on your computer, but mobile streaming and offline syncing cost extra at $11.99 per month.


Backed by Southern Cross Austereo (of 2Day Network fame), Sony and Univeral, Songl is an attempt to guide revenue back into radio network coffers. You get both an ad-supported tier for free and a premium tier for $12.99 per month with Songl, as well as access to streaming radio from Triple M and 2DayFM networks.

You can also keep 1000 songs in an offline cache on your tablet or smartphone, if you?re into that sort of thing.


Guvera?s most obvious selling point is free (ad-supported) access on mobile devices, which is something of a rarity in the space.


Deezer is an interesting little social media-based streaming service that offers you free, unlimited music streaming for 12-months. After that time you?re restricted to two hours of streaming per month, or you can jump onto the $6.99 tier which gets rid of ads and enables radio services, or you can get onto the Premium+ tier which allows streaming over 3G/4G networks and offline syncing.

12-months free is a pretty sweet deal, though.


Rara?s big selling points are a nice-looking interface and hand-curated playlists. No free option, but it does have some nice apps.

Xbox Music

Xbox Music is a nice service that streams music between your Microsoft gear. So if you have a Surface, Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 8 laptop, it?s the music streaming service for you, because you can sync your tunes across all of your devices.

Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 8 users will have to pay $11.99 per month for an Xbox Music Pass which gives them access to the service. That includes the millions of songs Windows users will get, as well as the option for unlimited playlists, but on top of that, Xbox 360 users get tens of thousands of music videos, too. You know, for when you want to relive the glory days of Video Hits in your lounge room.


JB Hi-Fi is still one of the most prolific sellers of CDs and vinyl records in Australia, so naturally it?s going to try and cash in on its dominance in the online space, too.

In terms of charges, Now will cost $25 for a three month subscription, $50 for six months or $80 for a full year.

New Myspace

Myspace has been the butt of many jokes for some time now, but the first massive social network has been revived by new owners with guidance from pop guru Justin Timberlake as a hub for artists to upload their music for the streaming joy of members.

It?s still in its early stages but it doesn?t look like Myspace has any subscription tiers when it comes to streaming music, the only catch is that there are no apps, it?s all web-based streaming.

As you can see, Australia has quite a saturated streaming music market, but there are a few services that aren?t available locally that we still pine for.


iTunes Radio

Apple?s own internet radio streaming service was showed off in all its glory at WWDC this year, but it?s still only a US-exclusive service right now. We?ll update you if and when it comes to Australia. is a fun little music service where friends can gather in a digital room and sling records back and forth to create mixes. It was available internationally for a minute after its launch before its owners got copyright attention and threw up the geoblocks. Sorry, Aussie mixers.

What?s your favourite music streaming service? Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments!

Angus Kidman also contributed to this article.

Radio image via Shutterstock


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Eric Pickles will fight Public Commerical Serivces union in the High Court

So when the white-collar Public Commercial Services union threatened the Communities Secretary with legal action, he got himself a top lawyer.

Now Mr Pickles and the PCS union will be slugging it out in the High Court.

The dispute centres on Mr Pickles?s decision to end the automatic collection of union subs from civil service salaries.

The system, known as ?check off?, allows employees who want to sign up to a trade union to have their monthly subscription deducted from their pay packet automatically.

Earlier this year, Mr Pickles issued guidance to councils urging them to end ?check off? or start charging unions for the cost of administration. He is the first Cabinet minister to try to bring an end to the scheme within Whitehall.

The PCS cried foul over what it called a breach of employees contracts and last week gave the Department of Communities and Local Government a deadline to back down.

Instead Mr Pickles has hired formidable QC James Eadie to challenge the PCS.

Experts say Mr Eadie is gifted with a ?phenomenal intellect? and he has often represented the Government on civil liberties and human rights issues in judicial reviews and public law challenges.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ?Eric Pickles?s latest attempt to undermine our union in his department is unnecessary and wholly politically-motivated.?

Let the battle be joined!


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