Microsoft and Google spend way more on lobbying the EU than other American tech companies

Last week, Google responded to the European Union’s ongoing investigation of its search engine with a blog post claiming that it did nothing wrong. 

But public blog posts aren’t the only method Google is using to try and influence European regulators. The company spent about $4 million last year lobbying EU institutions, according to statistics from The EU Transparency Register compiled here by Statista

But Google’s arch-rival Microsoft spends even more — over $5 million last year. 


SEE ALSO: Here’s why the maker of Angry Birds just cut a third of its workforce

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Burning Man officially begins — here’s the first photos from the playa

burning man

The week-long Burning Man festival officially began Sunday.

While most festival-goers are currently in traffic en route to the “playa,” as the desert land is called, some are already there and live-tweeting:











Here’s the latest on Instagram:

Burning Man

There is also a Burning Man livestream:

Get the latest updates via the official Burning Man Twitter feed.

While the livestream is from fairly far away, here’s a closer look at some of what past years have had to offer:

Burning Man

Burning ManBurning ManBurning ManBurning Manburning man


SEE ALSO: This year’s Burning Man festival has a frightening theme

MORE: The Burning Man bugs are gone — here’s why they probably disappeared

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Google is making a big move to compete against the Apple Watch (GOOG, GOOGL)

LG Watch Urbane smartwatch

Google just announced that smartwatches powered by its Android Wear software will now work with the iPhone. 

Until this point, Android Wear smartwatches could only be paired with Android phones.

Now, however, if you have an iPhone you’ll be able to download the Android Wear app from Apple’s App Store to connect your phone to one of these Google-powered smartwatches.

Android Wear smartwatches will work with iPhones running iOS 8.2 and higher, which includes the iPhone 5 and above.

The announcement doesn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering Huawei accidentally revealed that its newest smartwatch will be compatible with iPhones on Friday.

Android Wear for iOS will only work with upcoming Android Wear watches, however. The only currently available smartwatch that will support Android Wear for iOS is the LG Watch Urbane, but the company says it’ll work with new watches from Huawei, Motorola, and Asus that are coming soon.

The Android Wear experience on the iPhone is going to be limited compared to what you would get with Android, however. You’ll be able to use all of Android Wear’s most important features, such as seeing your notifications (calls, texts,  etc), tracking your fitness, and accessing Google Now, but you can’t use any Android Wear apps.

The move gives Google more ammunition to compete with the Apple Watch. It gives iPhone owners a choice — they’re no longer restricted to choosing between the Apple Watch, the Pebble, or other less popular smartwatches. And it broadens the audience for Android Wear, too, which is critical since data from Slice Intelligence claims that only 720,000 Android Wear smartwatches were sold in 2014. 

Apple, by comparison, is estimated to have sold 3.6 million Apple Watches in the few months its been on the market, according to the IDC.

SEE ALSO: Apple has major changes in store for the Apple Watch, and they’re going to solve its biggest problems

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Report: New Apple TV to land in October and cost less than $200



What don’t we know by now about Apple’s next-generation Apple TV? Yet another report claims Apple’s new streaming box will launch in October and be priced under $200, according to 9to5Mac‘s Mark Gurman.

While it seems the company is still finalizing the price, the upcoming Apple TV will likely land between $149 to $199. That’d make it pricier than competing boxes and dongles. Google’s Chromecast costs just $35, and Apple’s own third-generation Apple TV currently sits at $69 (down from its $99 debut price).

But the streaming box could be a more robust option than its competitorsAnother report, just days earlier, said the next Apple TV would have remote control with Wii-like motion controls as well as Siri integration. A more powerful A8 chip (the same chip that currently powers the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus) could enable more gaming and entertainment apps. Read more…

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Floyd Mayweather modestly rearranges his huge pile of money



Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a reported net worth of $400 million and he is very excited for everyone to see it.

The boxer posted a video on his Instagram page in which he casually loads stacks of money into a bag, with the caption: “When I travel I don’t pack clothes. I only pack Benjamins.”

When I travel I don’t pack clothes. I only pack Benjamins.

A video posted by Floyd Mayweather (@floydmayweather) on Aug 30, 2015 at 11:50pm PDT

Mayweather, not known for his humility, has announced plans to potentially retire at the end of his current contract. From the looks of things, he has a solid nest egg for post-professional life. Read more…

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PetBot lures in your dog with treats, all in the name of a good video ‘selfie’



Pet selfies. Why not?

The PetBot, which launched on Indiegogo Monday, is a high-tech treat dispenser with a built-in camera that can take video “selfies” of your pets and send them to you.

When the camera detects your too-damn-cute dog or cat in its field of view, it will play a sound (or your recorded voice) in an attempt to get your pet’s attention. (You can also schedule specific times for the PetBot to play sound.) If the animal gets close enough, the PetBot’s camera will start recording a video — and your pet, in turn, receives a tasty treat for cozying up to the lens. The treat dispenser lets you swap in different foods Read more…

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Ashley Madison says it’s still growing by hundreds of thousands of users

Ashley Madison

Nearly two weeks have passed since adultery website Ashley Madison was hacked, exposing account information for more than 30 million users. Private membership information including names, email addresses and detailed sexual preferences were made public. 

But despite the negative press and the resignation of Ashley Madison’s CEO Noel Biderman, the site says its userbase is still growing. 

“This past week alone, hundreds of thousands of new users signed up for the Ashley Madison platform – including 87,596 women,” a recent press release stated.

Previous reports suggest that the extramarital affairs website served primarily men.  According to a break down of the users by Gizmodo’s editor-in-chief Annalee Newitz, only about 5 million of the 30 million hacked accounts were owned by women. Newitz also found that many of those female accounts may have been test or dummy accounts created by Ashley Madison’s staff.

Ashley Madison responded with some user stats that contradict Newitz’s findings. The company says more than 2 million messages are sent by women on its network each week.

The company also says the press has blown its hack out of proportion and the company is asking users to keep an open mind about its service.

Some journalists have turned the focus of the criminal act against Ashley Madison inside out, attacking us instead of the hackers,” the statement from Ashley Madison’s parent company, Avid Life Media, reads. “Ashley Madison is the number one service for real people seeking discreet encounters. We invite everyone to visit our website or our app and make up their own mind.”

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