Carrie Fisher has died at the age of 60

Remembering a brilliant actress, author, and human

Carrie Fisher, best known for her role as Princess Leia Organa in the Star Wars series, has died at age 60. Fisher suffered a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles on Friday, according to TMZ. An EMT on board administered CPR until the flight landed, and she was rushed to a nearby hospital. A family spokesperson confirmed her death this morning to People Magazine and said,She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly.”

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Apple working with Consumer Reports to pin down inconsistent MacBook Pro battery test results

On December 22nd, Consumer Reports said it could not recommend the MacBook Pro — a first for a Mac laptop. It caused a stir! Consumer Reports’ reasoning was simple: it got wildly inconsistent battery test results every time it tried to test multiple versions of the laptop. Its test is one that’s pretty common across the industry, loading up web pages one after another:

For the battery test, we download a series of 10 web pages sequentially, starting with the battery fully charged, and ending when the laptop shuts down. The web pages are stored on a server in our lab, and transmitted over a WiFi network set up specifically for this purpose. We conduct our battery tests using the computer’s default browser—Safari, in the case of the MacBook Pro laptops.

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Twitter won’t share tweets with law enforcement data hubs

Its partner Dataminr can’t contribute information to surveillance-friendly fusion centers in the US.

Twitter is still determined to avoid facilitating mass surveillance by spies and law enforcement. The company has told Dataminr, a firm it partly owns, to stop sharing tweets with the 77 law enforcement fusion centers (that is, data hubs where agencies share info and make connections) in the US. This doesn’t prevent police from sifting through Twitter posts, but it certainly makes their work harder. The centers won’t have ready access to “billions” of tweets they can pass on to the federal government for spying purposes, according to the ACLU.

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Facebook finds more exaggerated ad data

A self-audit has revealed flawed metrics, and the company is determined to fix them.

After Facebook realized that it had been overstating video views for years, it conducted an internal review to search for more flaws messing with its ad data… and it’s not happy with what it found. The social network reports that it found multiple problems with how it calculated or represented the info that marketers thrive on. It wasn’t always counting end-to-end video playback properly, for example, since clip lengths would occasionally change when you started streaming. Facebook also over-reported how long people spent reading Instant Articles, and included more clicks and views than it should in some dashboards.

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Watch the first live-action ‘Ghost in the Shell’ trailer

At least some parts of the classic have remained intact.

Want to see how Hollywood takes on Ghost in the Shell outside of a handful of tiny video clips? You just got your chance. Paramount has released a full-length trailer for its spin on the anime/manga classic, and it’s at least interesting — if not necessarily what purists would want. It’s visually stunning, with more than a few moments that will remind you of at least the 1995 animated movie. It’s mainly the casting and unanswered questions that might leave you on the fence ahead of the movie’s March 31st, 2017 launch date.

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New Zealand earthquake: two dead as tsunami threat passes

Damage on a Wellington street after the quake.

Wellington city workers told to stay at home

It is now 9am in New Zealand and the full impact of the overnight 7.5 magnitude earthquake is beginning to be understood. Power is out and phone lines are still down in some areas and roads have cracked and sunk by up to half a metre, restricting access by emergency services.

The small North Canterbury township of Waiau is feared to be worst hit along with Kaikoura, the scene of one of the casualties. Paramedics are being flown by helicopter to Hanmer Springs and Kaikoura, where a command unit is being established.

New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, has suffered some damage with workers in the city centre told to stay home. Ships and ferries are waiting in the harbour until authorities can assess the damage to wharves before they dock, which is expected to be in the mid-afternoon.

Wellington City Council posted an update stating that it was likely not all buildings would be able to be made safe and there was a risk the forecast winds of up to 140kmh could bring glass and other materials into the streets.

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Tsunami alert lifted after New Zealand earthquake, aftershocks kill 2 (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Debris from buildings are seen on a sidewalk past a cordon line in Wellington early on November 14, 2016 following an earthquake centred some 90 kilometres (57 miles) north of New Zealand's South Island city of Christchurch © Marty Melville

New Zealand authorities have issued a tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake hit northeast of Christchurch, the biggest city on South Island. At least two people have been confirmed dead in Kaikoura.

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London tram derailment: Police comb crash site, driver freed on bail

Aerial view of the tram derailment Tram overturns in Croydon, London, UK - 09 Nov 2016 (Rex Features via AP Images)

London (CNN)Police continued Thursday to investigate the site of a tram derailment in Croydon, south London, that killed at least seven people.

The tram’s driver, a 42-year-old man, was released on police bail early Thursday after being arrested following the crash on suspicion of manslaughter. He has not been named by the British Transport Police.

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Trump surveillance fears could lift privacy tech in Europe

The full ramifications of Donald Trump being the next president of the United States of America will not be known for months — perhaps years. Given he’s a man of many conflicting words it’s near impossible to know which of his pledges and pronouncements he will keep or act upon, likely until his administration is up and running and showing its true colors.

Yet uncertainty can itself be a motivator — and the risk of an authoritarian leader as commander-in-chief of the US’ government’s mass surveillance apparatus has caused many to sound alarm bells already.

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