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By The Next Web | Your weekly tech news catch up from (Updated Every Friday)

Obama signs E-Label act so your next phone can drop the ugly logos

Your next phone might drop the ugly logos on the back altogether, with President Barack Obama officially signing the E-Label act into law today.

The E-Label act means that most of those logos on the back of your phone can be displayed using software instead of on the device itself. This means that …


Sony Pictures hacked, entire computer system reportedly unusable

Reports that Sony Pictures has been hacked have been trickling in this morning, after a thread appeared on Reddit claiming all computers at the company were offline due to a hack.

According to the Reddit thread, an image appeared on all employee’s computers reading “Hacked by #GOP” and demanding …


Productivity advice I learned from people smarter than me

Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of The Obstacle Is The Way, the founder of Brass Check Marketing and gives monthly book recommendations to 30,000 people here.

Like all people, I’d like to think I am a productive person. If I am, however, it’s because I’ve been ruthlessly efficient at one thing: …


Two incredibly useful questions to ask in a job interview

Hiring great people is extremely difficult. A resumé is a good start, and an hour-long conversation can give you an impression of someone’s character, but you often don’t know if you made the right decision until a few months later.

I’m always trying to improve my ‘people reading’ skills and can …

Job Interviews

Your developers aren’t slow, your process is

“Why didn’t we ship last week?”

As managers, it’s easy for us to blame our team for missing deadlines. But are slow developers really the reason you’re not shipping on time?

At Sprintly, we have a lot of data on developer cycle time. We track how long it takes them to complete different types of …

Agile Development

Craigslist hack knocks web classified site offline: Who’s behind it?

The venerable web classifieds site, Craigslist, was knocked offline last night and is still not loading for some visitors. Local versions are redirecting for others. Users visiting the site yesterday evening were redirected to a site called Digital Gangster as a result of what looks like a DNS …


This is the simplest company logo generator you’ll ever use

If you’re somewhat lacking in design skills but really need a logo and a name to get your business up and running, there are a few tools out there that can help you. Last week, we brought you a surprisingly useful business name generator and this time around we’re looking at Withoomph’s logo …


Pew: 66% of Americans don’t know what Moore’s Law is – do you?

PewResearch has announced the results of its Web IQ study today, revealing that most Americans can’t recognize Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and don’t know what Moore’s Law relates to.

Released today, the report looked at 17 different aspects of technology by presenting questions to just over 1,000 …

Sheryl Sandberg

Crimson keyboard has a clever new way of helping you type on iOS

We’ve seen a number of great keyboards for iOS emerge after Apple finally added support for third-party keyboards in iOS 8.

You can get everything from the ever-popular SwiftKey to GIF keyboards or even an auto correcting emoji keyboard. Crimson, however, brings a unique way of typing to the iPhone …


What I would do differently if I was learning to code today

I’ve been learning to build iOS apps in Objective-C for the past few months and I’m finally starting to really get my head around it. It’s been a lot harder and taken a lot longer than I expected.

I often get stuck, get frustrated, and spend many more hours searching for bug fixes than actually …


How data scientists are changing the face of business intelligence

Humans are walking data centers and our interactions and behaviors, no matter how minuscule, are building a near infinite pool of aggregate data over the course of our lifetime.

This data can be used to improve the experience of our lives through analysis of our consumption, interactions and …

7 digital marketing solutions for every startup’s needs

It’s tough being a startup — budgets, growth, and hustling everyday to make that change that you dream about.

As the Digital Marketing Manager, it’s my job to get Sinch — a cloud based communications platform for developers to add calling and messaging to their apps– found online and to get our …


How to get your first 1,000 followers on every social network

You’re taking the dive into a new social network, or you’re itching to grow your existing profile. You’ve got a social media strategy in place and a plan in mind. You’re raring to go.

What would be one of the most encouraging signs when you’re first starting off? I imagine it’d be gaining …


Yandex’s new browser is a bold UI experiment that takes the best from Chrome and Opera

Russian internet giant Yandex has launched an alpha version of its new Chromium-based browser for Windows and Mac OS X that incorporates a few interesting ideas of how a modern browser might look. The main difference from the interface of Chrome or Firefox is the ultimate minimalism and the fact …

Google Chrome

Xiaomi announces its first 4G smartphone in India, the Redmi Note 4G

Xiaomi has just announced its first 4G mobile device in India, dubbed the Redmi Note 4G, with sales slated to begin in December. It has partnered with mobile carrier Airtel to sell the smartphone in their retail stores, in addition to its online local flash sales with Flipkart.

The Chinese …


Hands-on with Parrot’s fun new $499 Bebop Drone

Earlier this week, Parrot announced its latest drone, the Bebop, and the Android-based Skycontroller remote. Here are our impressions from our brief flight time with the gadget, which goes on sale in early December.

Parrot is probably best known for its AR.Drone quadcopter. While the the device has …


Mozilla shows off Firefox’s new search interface

Mozilla recently announced that it was partnering with Yahoo to provide the default search engine in Firefox going forward.

Today, the company has detailed what the future of search in Firefox looks like on its blog.

Firefox’s search will feature an improved search suggestion design and buttons for …


The physics of productivity: Newton’s laws for getting stuff done

In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his groundbreaking book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, which described his three laws of motion. In the process, Newton laid the foundation for classical mechanics and redefined the way the world looked at physics and science.

What most people …


Medium launches a tool to help you build beautiful charts in seconds

Medium has today unveiled a handy tool called Charted for making beautiful charts in a few seconds.

The company says that Charted was built as an internal tool by the Product Science team at Medium to help “analyze data and communicate our findings with the team.”

It’s as simple as giving Charted a …

Open Source

Symantec has a found a spying tool active on computers around the world

Computer security experts Symantec say their researchers have uncovered a sophisticated malware tool on Windows PCs across the globe, that appears to be used for spying and data collection, reports Recode.

Named ‘Regin’, the tool is a Trojan that has infected several organizations’ and individuals’ …


Elon Musk teases new fins for reusable rockets, autonomous spaceport ships

Elon Musk is probably the most interesting person in private space technology right now. Today, he teased a number of new features for his SpaceX rockets and the technology that launches them.

First up is the new x-wing design (no, not the ones from Star Wars) for hypersonic control, which help with …

Elon Musk

Kim Dotcom on extradition, government spying and fighting for the freedom of the internet

It has no doubt been a long few years for Kim Dotcom, the founder of file-sharing service Mega who’s currently being chased by the music labels and movie studios, and battling extradition with US authorities over copyright infringement claims around his now-defunct Megaupload company.

Despite some …

Kim Dotcom

Ideal Gifts: Chromecast can change your TV viewing habits

Arriving in the US back in the summer of 2013, Google finally introduced Chromecast to international waters in March this year, arriving in Canada, the UK and nine other European countries. And for me, it has been something of a revelation in terms of how I watch TV.

Chromecast wasn’t the first …

Entertainment (UK)

What every company should know about hiring tech talent

Vivek Ravisankar is the CEO and cofounder of Y Combinator alumnus HackerRank — a tech talent community for developers and companies that hire developers.

The world is speeding up. Today, every company is a software company on some level. Developers are pushing the envelope, creating, iterating and …

Human Resources

Amazon offers its unlocked Fire Phone at $199

Seeing its grand plans to launch a mobile shopping device go up in flames, Android Police reports that Amazon has decided to sell its Fire Phone without a contract at $199 for the 32GB GSM version through Cyber Monday, after having previously offered an unlocked version at $650 off contract to AT&T …


YouTube creators can now pick a URL that reflects their Channel name

You know how it goes: one day you decide to open a YouTube account under the name of ‘JimmyLovesCats’, and on another you decide to start uploading your favorite videos of your feline friend.

Before too long, you have a following on your Channel, and a branding problem. Your username – and therefore …


EU votes to back a proposal to break Google search away from its other services

Following a four-year antitrust investigation in the region, the European Parliament has voted to break up Google and separate its search business from the company’s other services.

The Parliament does not have the power to break up Google: its vote in Strasbourg is more of a recommendation to EU …


Facebook’s social network for businesses reportedly launching January 2015

Facebook is slated to launch its collaboration and social networking tool for workplaces early next year, reports WSJ.

Dubbed ‘Facebook at Work’, the tool will allow employees to work together on projects and chat in real-time via an interface similar to Facebook’s existing social network, according …


Show off your icons with #Homescreen for iOS

People love to show off their home screens periodically — like during #homescreen2014 earlier this year — and now there’s an app for that.

A new app called #Homescreen from Betaworks takes a screenshot of your iPhone’s home screen, scans it and then creates an interactive image for sharing online. …

iOS Apps