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Sony Pictures softened 'Concussion' to appease the NFL

Looks like it isn't just its own Players Association that the National Football League can push around with impunity. Internal Sony emails recently brought to light by the company's massive data breach indicate that Sony Pictures intentionally softened the point on it's upcoming film Concussion so as not to upset the league. The movie, which stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man who helped first diagnose CTE (or chronic traumatic encephalopathy). According to the emails, Sony executives discussed at length with Smith and Peter Landesman, the film's director, about altering the script and marketing for the film to avoid antagonizing the NFL. The movie's angle was reportedly changed from being a condemnation of the NFL's handling of the growing CTE crisis to focus more on Omalu's discovery and initial diagnosis.


Google is holding a "back-to-school" event today at its San Francisco office to introduce a set of new Google Docs tools specifically built with the classroom in mind -- though all Docs users will benefit from these changes. Some will only be appearing on Android, some will be in the desktop, and some will be hitting both, but regardless it should make life easier for Docs users. Google introduced six new features, including built-in Search for Docs on Android, voice typing, automatic chart creation for Sheets and more.

The new Google Now on a Nexus 5

Google didn't just unveil a redesigned logo -- it also gave Android's Google Now a welcome refresh. Grab the updated Google app for Android and you'll see that the once colorful info cards are both subtler and organized into clearly market categories, such as upcoming events, updates (think weather) and news stories. It's considerably easier to manage if you regularly receive a flood of data. You have more options for customizing Google Now when you dismiss cards, too. If you haven't already, swing by Google Play for the upgrade -- it'll take some getting used to (those colorful Google logos aren't exactly subtle), but it's worthwhile.

Must Reads

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    Ever wish you could transport those pen doodles and hand written notes to the digital world? The Neo smartpen N2 lets users write on paper with ink while the same data is sent via Bluetooth to the Neo Notes app or saved in the pen to sync later. The app lets you transcribe written text, record audio...


When you're cycling up a steep incline, hunched over the handlebars and desperately willing your legs to keep going, you don't want to be messing around with your phone or a second-rate cycling computer. Bike manufacturer Canyon has teamed up with Sony to find a solution -- and the fruits of their labor is the Smart Bike Computer. It runs on Android Wear, so the 1.6-inch touchscreen can display a bunch of popular cycling apps including Strava and Google Maps. The small, waterproof unit slides directly into the stem, ensuring the sleek stylings of your ride aren't ruined, and can connect to your phone over Bluetooth. In addition, it boasts up to 8 hours of battery life, built-in GPS and 4GB of internal storage, so you can leave your handset at home and still use some of its essential features.

MIT and the National Research Foundation of Singapore recently tested an autonomous vehicle they developed together. No, it's not a car or a truck -- it's a golf cart. The researchers created a self-driving golf cart called SMART and deployed several at a public garden to drive 500 or so tourists around during a six-day experiment. Since they crafted a whole system and not just the autonomous vehicle itself, they also tested a booking method which people used to schedule pick-ups and drop offs. In the future, that system could be adapted to a mobile app like Uber.

Comcast is charging its trial users extra to avoid data caps

If you're participating in Comcast's capped broadband trials, you'll soon get a way to avoid usage limits, according to document spotted by DSL Reports. If you guessed "pay more money" as that solution, you can step up for your prize. The company has released a new FAQ for its trial Xfinity program in Florida, one of the regions where it's testing 300GB cap limits. A new "unlimited data option" will let users avoid any overage charges -- which normally run $10 for each 50GB of data -- by paying an extra $30 per month on top of the normal rates.

New England Patriots v Carolina Panthers

In addition to streaming the Super Bowl in February, CBS will stream both regular season and playoff action from the NFL. What's more, access is free so you won't be required to input cable subscription info or other credentials to watch. The slate of seven games includes the Jets vs. Dolphins in London on October 4th, Carolina vs. Dallas on Thanksgiving Day and four AFC playoff games in January. If you'll recall, Yahoo also said it plans to stream an NFL game over the internet this season when the Jaguars meet the Buffalo Bills in London on October 25th. CBS, Fox and NBC have streamed NFL games in the past, but this season there's more gridiron action on the schedule. When it's time for kickoff, you'll be able to stream CBS coverage on the web, mobile devices, Xbox One, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and connected TVs.

[Image credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images]

Judging from the number of questions I've received on the topic, you guys are curious about ways to disconnect a little bit. Whether that means deleting social media from your devices on the weekends (like we discussed in a previous episode) or trying out a new app for meditation, we're all looking for some answers.

This week, I'm welcoming onto the show Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline, the weekend edition of Good Morning America on ABC, and author of 10% Happier. In his high-stress job, he faced a lot of similar pressures, and turned to meditation to bring back some balance. It's not all crystals and incense, trust me.

Keep sending those questions in to me via email, or by posting on social media using the hashtag #DearVeronica! See you next time.

Tom Clancy is gone, but Ubisoft definitely hasn't forgotten the military-centric author or his legacy of branded video games. Neither have the folks at Humble Bundle, for that matter. Pledging at least $1 will get you Rainbow Six; Rainbow Six 3 Gold; Rainbow Six: Vegas; the original Ghost Recon; Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on PC; and access to the Rainbow Six Siege multiplayer beta. Drop more than the average price (currently $7.99) and you'll pick up Rainbow Six Vegas 2, the first Splinter Cell and the one that changed things up considerably, Splinter Cell: Conviction. But wait, there's even more: A $10 donation adds the latest Sam Fisher adventure, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier to the mix.

Just as rumored, Hulu has finally decided to offer a version of its subscription without the ad breaks. Ad-free Hulu will cost $12 per month, as opposed to the regular $8 subscription (or the shows it offers for free), and of course it will soon include more movies (that Netflix doesn't have) thanks to the company's deal with Epix. One small catch is revealed by the FAQ, which indicates that due to licensing, a few shows will still have ads before and after (but not during) episodes -- all seven are listed after the break.


Two developers have discovered a Mac Keychain vulnerability that hackers can easily exploit to steal passwords, certificates, et cetera with very little user interaction needed. Antoine Vincent Jebara and Raja Rahbani stumbled upon the flaw while working on the Keychain for their identity management software Myki. They found out that attackers can craft commands that can make Mac's password management system prompt users to click an "Allow button" instead of asking them to type in their passwords. Once a user clicks that button, the malicious code can forward Keychain's contents via text, though the info could also be saved somewhere for download later on.

h.ear on headphones

It seems like with every new phone, Sony has a new accessory to plug. Presenting the pun-ful "H.ear On" headphones. They're over-ear cans that are supposedly at their best when playing back Sony's Hi-Res Audio. Of course, they'll need to be paired with a compatible device -- like one of its new Xperia Z5 family. For the audiophiles: The H.ear On are closed-back headphones with fairly low impedance (24 Ohm) 40mm drivers, 5Hz - 60,000Hz frequency response and 103dB/mW sensitivity. For the rest of you: pretty colors! They'll cost $200 this November and come in an "exciting array of colors" including Bordeaux pink, cinnabar red and (our favorite) lime yellow.

Sony Xperia Z5 family

To say that Sony's mobile division has had a tough time lately would be an understatement. As the company puts out half-hearted efforts like the Z3 and Z3+, sales have been dropping steadily. We're now at the point where Sony is losing more than $1 million per day just keeping the division going. Something has to change. Sony has to take smartphones seriously, and this is its attempt to do just that. Meet the Xperia Z5 family, which includes the world's first 4K phone display, "next-generation" cameras and some tiny, tiny fingerprint scanners.

There are basically no downsides to using Android anymore, but one of the few remaining bummers is that most great mobile games hit the iPhone first. That was the case with the wonderfully tranquil and beautiful snowboarding game Alto's Adventure that came out this past February, but fortunately that'll be rectified soon. Developer NoodleCake is working with the team that originally created Alto's Adventure to port the game over to Android and the Kindle Fire, and it should be ready to go soon. Unfortunately, that's not now, but you can stay tuned to the Alto's Adventure Twitter feed for updates. And if you're an iOS user and haven't tried this game yet, do yourself a favor and give it a go -- it's an endless runner that manages to somehow be relaxing, a rare combo.

Live from Sony's 2015 IFA press event!

Sony's press events at IFA are the very model of efficiency, with nearly every division of the company announcing some new product in just under an hour. The highlight of the show is likely to be the the Xperia Z5, a premium device that was unfortunately leaked last week. Still, while the headline act may not be a surprise, there should still be plenty of exciting things for the company to whip out on stage. If that sounds like fun, then come back to this page at 4:00pm CEST / 3:00pm GMT / 10:00am ET / 7:00am PT for the madness to begin.

[Image Credit: AP Photo/Steffi Loos]

Popcorn Time

Popcorn Time may have won an army of fans with its "Netflix for Torrenting" service, but its rapid rise in popularity has also caught the attention of Hollywood and its legal teams. The Wall Street Journal reports that the studio behind The Expendables movies is suing 16 users of the Popcorn Time service, after they were allegedly found to have illegally downloaded and shared copies of straight-to-DVD Pierce Brosnan film Survivor.


Sony is taking over IFA 2015 for the next hour or so. Based on recent leaks and rumors, the Japanese company is expected to announce a new smartphone -- but it could more than one. Aside from that, Sony will likely also introduce other type of devices, as well as go over some of its recent products across different categories. The press conference starts at 10AM ET, and you can watch it live from Berlin via Sony's website. Of course, we'll be there too, so make sure you tune into our liveblog right here.

TV-Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert is going from talking about tech to getting involved with it. He's joining the ranks of comedian Kevin Hart and former Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger as a celebrity voice for Waze, the crowd-sourced mobile GPS app. Based on the video below, his audible suggestions don't go quite the distance we'd hoped in terms of hilarity but that's probably for the best. I mean, explaining to a cop that the reason you totaled your car was because The Late Show's new helmsman said there was a bear in the road and you needed to punch its face with your bumper probably wouldn't go over well -- for you or CBS's legal department. Sadly the former Colbert Report host's' voice will only be available through September 22nd.

[Image credit: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]

The Mate S is Huawei's answer to the iPhone 6 Plus

Today at its IFA 2015 press event, Huawei unveiled the Mate S, a follow-up to last year's fingerprint sensor-enabled Ascend Mate 7. The device, which has now shrunk in size from six inches to a more manageable 5.5 inches, is a refresh that borrows the all-metal looks of its predecessor. But more so than looking back to the Ascend Mate 7, Huawei's new flagship draws heavy comparison to Apple's marquee smartphone: the iPhone 6 Plus.

Today on In Case You Missed It: Australia's tourism board is winning the selfie game by offering a selfie that merges tourist's own selfies with the same scene, expanded, taken with a second camera. Land Rover is demoing a trailer concept system that allows drivers to see what's behind a trailer with a video feed. And Grand Theft Auto V fans cobbled together an amusing wildlife documentary from the game that is worth a watch.