Les Paul Special guitar

Pandora can't catch a break, it seems. Just weeks after the streaming radio service escaped paying higher royalties to songwriters, record companies and musicians have sued it in a New York court for allegedly violating state copyright laws by refusing to pay for older song recordings. The labels argue that Pandora is subject to state rules on compensation whenever it streams tunes recorded before February 15th, 1972, when federal law took over; right now, it's only paying for those newer works. The suing parties claim that Pandora is both depriving artists of income and wielding an "unfair advantage" over on-demand competitors like Rdio and Spotify, which have no choice but to negotiate royalties for classic tracks.

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Autonomous aircraft serve their purpose, but there's no question that pilotless passenger flights are a long way off, if they ever become a reality. Still, there's obviously room for improvement when it comes to on-board systems that assist pilots in their duties. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is in the process of creating an advanced autopilot system called ALIAS (yes, another acronym). The Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (there you go) would control military aircraft in all stages of flight, from takeoff to landing -- even during a system failure. Pilots would interact with the system using a touchscreen and voice control, supervising a flight instead of commanding it. Of course, we'll see this technology make its way to military planes long before it's adopted by airlines, but ALIAS could play a key role in keeping us all safe at 30,000 feet.

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Let's be honest: Wireless speakers are a dime a dozen. The options are seemingly endless, and new ones arrive on an almost daily basis. Companies have begun to push the boundaries of design as of late, making options that are an aesthetic step above the larger outfits. Tubecore's Duo certainly does that, but it's also so much more.

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AT&T is adding more data to its GoPhone prepaid smartphone plans without raising monthly fees in the process. If you're currently paying $60 a month for 2GB, your allotment will jump to 2.5 gigs, while those on the $40, 250MB plan will now get 500MB per month. More data is only part of the value proposition for GoPhone customers, though; the new 2.5GB plan will now offer the ability to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot.

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Once it stored enormous quantities of blast furnace and coal gas, but these days the Gasometer Oberhausen is a 385 foot tall cylindrical art gallery. Since the early 90s, the gargantuan storage tank has been host to more than a dozen art exhibitions, and its latest display puts its own absurd size front and center. 320° Licht plays on the gallery's tar-black walls, projecting optical illusions that make the surface appear to warp and bend. "This experience is based on the vastness of the Gasometer," explains project sound designer Jonas Wiese. "We tried to work with that expression to make the space bigger and smaller, to deform it and change its surface over and over while not exaggerating and overwriting the original effect of the room." According to the installation's creators, that effect is dwarfing. Viewers are left feeling small, even lost.

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We have less libations, but more tech-related news than last week's peaty podcast and that's just fine for your sleep-deprived hosts. First up is some informed speculation on Amazon's new smartphone, based on a few inconclusive photos that recently surfaced. Another work in progress is Google's Project Ara, a modular concept that looks to make swappable smartphone parts a reality. The one thing that's all too real and in your face, however, is the recent Heartbleed exploit, which has had widespread impact across the web. While you're racing to update all those passwords -- yes, it's OK to do that now -- it couldn't hurt to get a refresher on exactly what happened and which sites were affected. So head on down to the streaming links and get your brain fix with this week's episode of the Engadget Podcast.

Hosts: Terrence O'Brien, Ben Gilbert

Producer: Jon Turi

Hear the podcast:

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It's no secret, HTC has an image problem. Despite consistently creating some of our favorite phones, it's failed to reach the heights of popularity of manufacturers like Samsung. That could soon change. In what is almost certainly not a coincidence, HTC has hired Samsung's former Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Golden. The Verge confirmed the rumor, first picked up by Bloomberg, earlier this afternoon. Golden, who "created and launched the highly successful Galaxy brand for Samsung," according to his LinkedIn profile, was reportedly hired on as a consultant to Chairwoman Cher Wang.

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After many "Grasshopper" tests, SpaceX's first real try at launching a reusable rocket will attempt flight again in just a few minutes -- watch the live stream here or embedded after the break. Scrubbed due to a helium leak a couple of days ago, the Falcon 9 rocket is once again facing gloomy skies, but according to launch control, everything is a go. Weather permitting, the launch is scheduled for 3:25PM ET. The Falcon 9-reusable rockets have already undergone their own testing, and you can see the latest video after the break.. Also important is what's onboard the Dragon cargo ship this rocket is launching. Headed to the ISS, it's bringing new supplies and a pair of extra-large, bendable legs for our friend Robonaut 2.

Update: We have liftoff. Now that the rocket is aloft, while the capsule will head to the ISS, its first stage will attempt to reenter the atmosphere, and position itself for landing somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, before falling over into the water. This is still just a test run, but it will help scientists sort out any issues before they attempt a reentry and landing on... land in the future. The live video stream is ending, and it sounds like we'll have to monitor the @SpaceX Twitter account for updates on the landing attempt. There is a NASA post-launch press conference going on with Elon Musk participating by phone, check it out live here.

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Snatching up a new camera can be a considerable investment, especially if you're after a unit that combines stellar images with a host of features. Fret not friends: We're here to help. Just beyond the break, you'll find a handful of photo gadgets that are all available at attractive discounts for the time being.

If there are other cameras, lenses and the like you have your eye on that we haven't included here -- join us and add them to your "Want" list. Every time there's a price cut in the future, you'll get an email alert!

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Here's a shocker: Facebook's first major update to Paper, its socially augmented news-reading app, makes it more social. Specifically, the app's 1.1 update now allows users to comment on posts using photos, as well as added birthday and event notifications and tacked on an unread-message counter to help users keep track of Group activity. Facebook hasn't fiddled with the user interface much, but content from Bloomberg, Mashable, Popular Science and six other news sources has been gussied up with new, custom article covers. Oh, and the company says it's made the app run a little faster, too. It's not a game-changing update, but anything's better than forgetting your spouse's birthday -- assuming Facebook's main app didn't already remind you. Has Paper found its way to your home screen? We're running a quick poll: Skip past the break to drop in a vote or leave us a note.

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