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New Zealand has passed a law that criminalizes one of the least desirable facets of the internet: cyberbullying. The legislation effectively prohibits sending messages to people that are racist, sexist, critical of their religion, sexuality or disability. The rest for determining harm will be if these communications were designed to cause "serious emotional distress," and if a person is found guilty, could face up to two years in jail. In addition, the bill creates a separate crime of incitement to suicide, which will see a person jailed for up to three years if they are found to be encouraging such an act.

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Physical Bitcoins

Digital currencies are only as reliable as their software, and some Bitcoin users are learning this the hard way. Thanks to a "problem" with an upgrade that applies a new rule, some Bitcoin mining pools (namely, those that don't usually wait to validate their money) have been generating invalid data blocks. If you're using certain client apps, that could lead to making transactions that aren't really valid -- and mining operations that ran afoul of the change are losing income.

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Germany Gadget Show Samsung

A minor Chinese consumer protection group has filed lawsuits against Samsung and Oppo to contest the pair's use of bloatware on their smartphones. The Shanghai Consumer Council believes that the two companies install far too many additional apps on their devices and then make it difficult for them to be easily removed. The group says that it was motivated to launch the legal broadside after a high number of complaints from users. It believes that people are aggrieved that they've got less storage space than expected, and that these apps slurp down excessive quantities of data.

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Battery-powered EVs are in the spotlight right now, but that doesn't mean car manufacturers aren't looking at alternative fuel sources. At its "Innovation Day" in France, BMW unveiled a prototype 5 Series GT that uses a hydrogen fuel cell to power its electric motor. We've seen the company experiment in this space before -- the Hydrogen 7 used the element to power a combustion engine -- but this is its first complete FCV package. Unlike the Hydrogen 7, which managed roughly 124 miles on hydrogen, the modified 5 Series can easily top 300. With 245 horsepower under the hood it's no slouch either, although we doubt it would keep pace with BMW's electric i8 in a drag race.

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Apple Pay UK's initial partners

Irked that Apple Pay is only officially slated to reach the UK sometime in July? Don't worry -- you might not have to wait all month to see it. Multiple retailer leaks at 9to5Mac point to Apple launching its iPhone tap-to-pay service in Old Blighty on July 14th, or soon enough that you can likely use it if you're off to one of the country's many summer music festivals. Just don't expect to splurge on more than a quick bite to eat while you're out. That £20 (soon to be £30) contactless payment cap seriously limits how much you can spend, so the British implementation won't be quite as convenient as it is for Americans.

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Toronto's skyline as seen from a ferry

Uber might be facing its worst nightmare in Europe, but it just got a big break in Canada. A Toronto judge has tossed out the city's attempt to ban Uber (and by extension, other ridesharing services) on the grounds that it's operating without a taxi license. It's all about how Uber takes customers, according to the court. Local laws require that drivers accept communication from passengers looking for a lift, but Uber doesn't do that -- you're simply sending a request that automatically pairs you up with a nearby driver. It's arguably a technicality (the city contends that Uber still dispatches drivers like other cab services), but the decision is enough to keep app-hailed cars moving in Canada's largest metropolis. The Toronto City Council now has to change bylaws if it wants to take Uber off the streets.

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You can now get a physical PS4 copy of 'Shenmue 3' on KickstarterIt's safe to say people are excited about Shenmue 3: Just 48 hours after legendary developer Yu Suzuki launched a crowdfunding campaign, the game smashed its $2 million fundraising goal, pulling in more than $4 million, and setting a couple Kickstarter records in the process. So it's clear fans of the series are already happy. But just in case you needed another reason to commit, Suzuki's studio YS Net just posted an update on Kickstarter saying that backers will now have the option of choosing a physical PS4 copy of the game. Previously, the options were: digital copies for PS4 or Windows for $29, or a physical Windows copy for $60. So, PlayStation fans will now also have the option of playing off a disc; there, too, the price will be sixty bucks. If that's the only reason you were previously holding off on backing, you can still do so: The campaign is open through the evening of July 17th, with the game set to arrive in December 2017.

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iTunes 12.2: New version a missed opportunity for Apple Music

Apple released a new version 12.2 of iTunes for OS X and Windows this week as part of the launch of its Apple Music service. The initial reactions from users are anything but positive. But aside from obvious bugs, there's a bigger problem: iTunes needed a revamp, not more features. By simply adding the subscription service, Apple squandered an opportunity for a fresh start.

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It's the Fourth of July and while that light show in the sky honors US independence, why not shine a little light on our DIY perseverance? To help celebrate this holiday, we've put together a collection of (even more) ingenious hacks that incorporate party essentials: lights, nighttime, fireworks, music, drinks and a bit of wild imagination. Want to watch the celebrations on TV like it's still the '80s? Will pumping up the volume help you fight fires? And just how do you innovate something as simple as sliced bread? DIY fanatics and gadget hacker extraordinaires have already done the legwork. All you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the (slide)show.

[Image: Styropyro / YouTube]

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'Minecraft' for Windows 10

Microsoft and Mojang don't just have a story-based Minecraft game to show at Minecon 2015 -- they're also revealing a beta version of Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition. This release will ditch the less than ideal Java code of desktop versions in favor of native Windows code, and shares some roots with the Pocket Edition you typically find on phones. You'll even get to build worlds with those mobile players through an update that should hit "soon" after the beta arrives. And to no one's surprise, the construction title will do a lot to take advantage of Windows 10's many Xbox tie-ins, such as 8-way multiplayer (both locally and on Xbox Live) and game video recording. The beta will be ready on July 29th, and it'll be free if you already have the existing PC version. If you're new to all this, it'll cost $10 to get in during the test phase.

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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Games-Nintendo-Shigeru Miyamoto

How Video Games Influenced Popular Music
by Hua Hsu
The New Yorker

Andrew Schartmann's new book, Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack, discusses how Nintendo's first dedicated sound designer completely changed music in games. Kondo's iconic music for that title not only provided some of the most memorable tunes of the era, but also influenced gaming and music for many years after. The New Yorker offers a brief glimpse at the book, explaining how Kondo's work changed video game development, too. "As a result of the collaboration behind Super Mario, during which graphics and audio were developed in tandem, games became more of an all-sensory experience," notes Hua Hsu.

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By Amber Case

Last month, over a billion people around the world suddenly knew the name and appearance of the very same woman, and simultaneously began exchanging opinions about her. And while the unveiling of Caitlyn Jenner is not news in the traditional sense, and there was no shortage of major events erupting around the globe at the same time, the Internet largely converged for several hours around discussions of who Caitlyn was, and what she stood for.

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