January 4, 2015, 2:50 PM

Top News

Ryan Whitwam / Android Police:
Xiaomi launches Redmi 2 with LTE, Snapdragon 410 CPU, improved 2MP front camera; goes on sale in China Jan. 9 for about $112  —  Xiaomi Announces Redmi 2 Smartphone Packing LTE, A 64-Bit Snapdragon, And More  —  Xiaomi doesn't have much of a presence in the US, but it's one of the most prominent smartphone makers in Asia.
Jon Russell / TechCrunch:
Xiaomi says its smartphone shipments up 227% to more than 61M in 2014, revenues grew 135% to almost $12B, plans expansion to more countries  —  Xiaomi Confirms It Sold 61M Phones In 2014, Has Plans To Expand To More Countries  —  Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker that raised $1.1 billion last month …
David Pierce / The Verge:
Withings launches Activité Pop, a $150 version of its $450 fitness-tracking wristwatch  —  The Withings Activité Pop is a cheaper brand of beautiful fitness-tracking wristwatch  —  It's not Swiss Made, but it's not $450 either  —  The Withings Activité is a watch.
Ernesto / TorrentFreak:
Netflix Cracks Down on VPN and Proxy “Pirates”  —  Due to complicated licensing agreements Netflix is only available in a few dozen countries, all of which have a different content library.  —  Some people bypass these content and access restrictions by using VPNs or other circumvention tools that change their geographical location.
Billy Steele / Engadget:
Seagate debuts 7mm thin, 500GB HD for $100; 500GB wireless drive for $130; and 3-5TB Personal Cloud drives  —  Seagate outs a fleet of cloud, wireless and super-thin hard drives  —  If getting your digital life better organized is tops on your list of New Year's resolutions, Seagate has a trio of options that cover all the bases.
Chance Miller / 9to5Google:
Acer announces first 15-inch Chromebook with Core i3 processor, 1080p display  —  To kick off CES 2015, Acer has announced its first ever 15-inch Chromebook.  The 15.6-inch screen makes it the biggest Chromebook released to date, but keeping trend with other Chromebooks on the market, the device is still affordable, starting at $250.
Joseph Keller / Windows Phone Central:
VLC media player officially arrives on Windows Phone  —  Versatile media player VLC is now available publicly for Windows Phone.  The app has been in private beta for some time now, but can now be downloaded by all users from the Windows Phone Store.  —  VLC is compatible with a large variety of video …
The Verge:
What to expect at CES 2015: wearables, Intel Broadwell devices, retail-ready VR headsets, more  —  Here's what to expect from CES 2015  —  The future will be wearable, autonomous, and always connected  —  With 2014 now firmly in the rearview mirror, the tech industry is gearing …
Cyrus Farivar / Ars Technica:
If the Supreme Court tackles the NSA in 2015, it'll be one of these five cases  —  Roughly a year and a half since the first Snowden disclosures, there's already been a judicial order to shut down the National Security Agency's bulk metadata collection program.
More: Slashdot
Mitchel Broussard / MacRumors:
Nielsen: song streaming in the US up 54% to 164B in 2014, song downloads down 12% to 1.26B, album downloads down 9% to 106.5M  —  U.S. Music Fans Continue Shift to Streaming Services as Apple Readies Beats Revamp  —  Paid music downloads, which have dominated the digital music market …

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