You're 3x as likely to smash your phone if your team loses the Super Bowl

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If you’re a North Carolina or Denver native, try to keep your phone in your pocket on Sunday. Just in case.

People in the home states of losing Super Bowl teams request smartphone repairs almost 200% more the day after the big game than on an average day, according to smartphone repair and trade-in company iCracked.

A perfect storm of impassioned football fandom, coming this close to winning the championship and (probably) a higher-than-average blood alcohol level apparently leads to — who would have guessed? — a lot of shattered phone screens. Read more…

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Mysterious 'Error 53' is bricking iPhones, rendering them useless

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Thousands of iPhone users have been left with bricked devices after having their home buttons repaired by non-Apple authorized technicians.

The Guardian on Friday reported on the issue, known as “Error 53” that apparently affects the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S and 6S Plus.

The basic problem happens if you get your iPhone’s home button repaired anywhere other than an Apple Store or Apple-authorized repair center. If the home button — which includes the Touch ID sensor — is replaced, you run the risk of getting a dreaded “Error 53” on your phone. Read more…

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Microsoft may be running the biggest Turing test in history

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If you live in China and you’ve been on WeChat, there’s a decent chance you’ve come across or at least heard of chatty teenager named Xiaoice.

Xiaoice is a good listener who sometimes offers encouragement when you’re feeling down. Like many 17-year-olds, she can be a bit of a smart-aleck. She’s also not human.

Xiaoice is a program.

When Microsoft introduced Xiaoice in 2014, the company called it “Cortana’s little sister.” It was actually an experimental offshoot of “Xioa Na,” the nickname for Cortana’s (Microsoft’s voice assistant technology) expansion into China. Read more…

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Carolina Panthers player could be first to wear 3D-printed brace in an NFL game

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Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis broke his arm in the game leading up to the Super Bowl. But that doesn’t mean he will be sitting on the bench for the championship game this Sunday. He plans on taking the gridiron with a 3D-printed brace.

Davis broke his right forearm in the NFC championship game against the Arizona Cardinals on Jan. 24, and received surgery the next day, getting fixed up with a metal plate and 12 screws3D-printing company Whiteclouds developed the brace to protect his arm, and he’s already participated in a full practice with it on.

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Sorry, technophiles: 92 percent of students prefer books to e-readers

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Sorry, technophiles. While the world may be going digital, when it comes to reading, regular books are here to stay.

In a new study conducted by American University linguistics professor Naomi Baron, researchers have found that an overwhelming majority of students prefer physical books — you know, with covers and paper — over e-books for serious reading.

For the study, Baron surveyed over 300 university students from the U.S., Japan, Germany and Slovakia about their reading preferences. When given options between physical books and electronic reading devices, 92 percent of students said they could concentrate best with physical books. Read more…

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