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Accessories to help you take better smartphone photos during the holidays

Most of us will be snapping photos with our smartphones this holiday season. These accessories can help you capture those magical moments.

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  • AP News in Brief at 7:58 p.m. EST

    Evidence in Sony hack ‘whodunit’ mostly circumstantial; US weighs a North Korea response WASHINGTON (AP) — The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle clues in the hacking tools…

  • ‘The Interview’ jeopardizes overseas movie villains

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hollywood loves its overseas villains. Evil forces from Russia, China and North Korea have tirelessly menaced our big-screen heroes in recent years. But, in the wake of the startling cancellation of “The Interview,” an entire species of movie baddies might be in danger of extinction. One film already bit the dust.…

  • Uber suspends operations in Portland for 3 months

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Less than two weeks after the ride-hailing app Uber launched in Portland without officials’ approval, the company said it is suspending operations for three months to work out its differences with the city. General manager Brooke Steger wrote in a blog post Thursday that Portland is working to update its regulations…

  • Group challenges timber producer’s ‘green’ label

    GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A watchdog group is challenging the environmentally friendly “green lumber” certification for Plum Creek Timberlands, one of the nation’s biggest landowners and timber producers. The Center for Sustainable Economy, based in Lake Oswego, Oregon, filed the complaint Thursday with a nonprofit group that verifies whether timber producers follow standards for…

  • Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

    ATLANTA (AP) — Companies across the globe are on high alert to tighten up network security to avoid being the next company brought to its knees by hackers like those that executed the dramatic cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment. The hack, which a U.S. official has said investigators believe is linked to North Korea, culminated…

  • Dow industrials have their best day in three years

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average had its biggest surge in three years Thursday, its second straight triple-digit gain following the Federal Reserve’s reassurance that it was in no hurry to raise interest rates. Bullish earnings from technology giant Oracle also drove the rally, which has helped stocks erase an early-December slump.…

  • Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

    It’s been four weeks since hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace began their cyberterrorism campaign against Sony Pictures Entertainment. In that time thousands of executive emails and other documents have been posted online, employees and their families were threatened, and unreleased films were stolen and made available for illegal download. The hackers then escalated this…

  • ‘Team America’ screenings also pulled from theaters

    NEW YORK (AP) — Programmed as a playful substitute to “The Interview,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s North Korea comedy “Team America: World Police” also has been pulled from theaters. After Sony dropped its planned Dec. 25 release of “The Interview” on Wednesday, a handful of theaters across the U.S. plugged in screenings of “Team…

  • Files of more than 40,000 federal workers breached

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The computer files of more than 40,000 federal workers may have been compromised by a cyberattack at federal contractor KeyPoint Government Solutions, the second breach this year at a major firm handling national security background investigations of workers at federal agencies, the government confirmed Thursday. Concerned that some data might have been…

  • Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle clues in the hacking tools left behind and the involvement of at least one computer in Bolivia previously…

  • Contract to bring 75 jobs to Scott Air Force Base

    O’FALLON, Ill. (AP) — A Virginia-based software company has announced plans to bring more than 70 new information technology jobs to Scott Air Force Base. SuprTEK recently secured a five-year, $59 million contract to develop and test web-based software applications for Air Mobility Command, located at the military base in St. Clair County. The Belleville…

  • Ice buckets, breaking the Internet: A year in pop culture

    Just for fun, let’s try to picture the year in pop culture, all in one image. We might begin with a singer oddly named Adele Dazeem, belting “Let It Go” from Disney’s “Frozen.” Suddenly a friend would pour a bucket of ice water over her head. Adele would immediately tweet the moment on her new…

  • NASA’s Orion spacecraft back in Florida after test flight

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s experimental Orion spacecraft left Florida by rocket and returned by truck. The capsule arrived back at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday. It rocketed into orbit Dec. 5, traveling 3,600 miles into space on an unmanned test flight that proved to be a great success. NASA plans to…

  • Q&A: Drones might help explain how tornadoes form

    DENVER (AP) — Researchers say they have collected promising weather data by flying instrument-laden drones into big Western and Midwestern storms. Now, they want to expand the project in hopes of learning more about how tornadoes form. Drones can penetrate parts of weather systems that other instruments can’t reach, and they can do it at…

  • Botched cyberattack on Syria group blamed on IS

    LONDON (AP) — A botched cyberattack aimed at unmasking Syrian dissidents has experts worried that the Islamic State group is adding malicious software to its arsenal. Internet watchdog Citizen Lab says an attempt to hack into systems operated by dissidents within the self-styled caliphate could be the work of hackers affiliated with the Islamic State…