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President Obama Tapes An Interview For The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert Is Dead. Long Live Stephen Colbert
by Will Leitch, Bloomberg

Thursday night's episode marked the end of a nine-year run for the The Colbert Report. Don't worry though, the show's namesake is taking over for David Letterman in 2015, but until then, take a look back at what made Stephen Colbert's overly conservative hijinks so darn compelling. As Bloomberg's Will Leitch puts it, "The politics were (sometimes, though less and less as the show aged) the canvas, but the comedy was always the paint."

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Tech Activists Protest SOPA And PIPA Bills

Remember that post Google put up this week that accused the MPAA of trying to resurrect the spirit of SOPA with the help of state prosecutors (that included evidence based on some of Sony Pictures' leaked emails)? It just turned into a lawsuit -- and it's already having an affect. The search giant has updated the page to explain that it's asking federal courts to dismiss a subpoena Attorney General Jim Hood sent to Google back in October. That 72-page document asserted that he believed that Google has violated the Mississippi Consumer Protection Act, and had failed to take actions to prevent crimes committed by using its services. Now that Google is suing, Hood made a statement via the New York Times, calling for a "time out" and saying he will call the company to "negotiate a peaceful resolution of the issues affecting consumers."

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You know what will go perfectly with those futuristic rocket-powered, heartrate-monitoring bikes? This smart helmet that Volvo wants to create. It's a two-way system that works by uploading both cyclists' and drivers' locations to Volvo's cloud. While a connected car's in-dash system makes that possible, the helmet needs to be linked to a bike app like Strava to do so. Bicyclists can then be warned that there's a car coming their way or crossing their path by warning lights built into the helmet.

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North Korea has ratcheted the absurdity level of the Sony hack up a notch by pleading its innocence again and even offering to help find the real perpetrators. The FBI recently blamed North Korea for the attack that forced Sony Pictures Entertainment to cancel The Interview starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. The nation is so anxious to "help" that it warned the US of "grave consequences" if it doesn't undertake a joint probe. While still denying culpability, North Korea's propaganda arm KCNA nevertheless went on in great detail about how the Interview "defamed its dignity," and said it would retaliate if the US refuses to work with it (judging by the rough translation).

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After helping push the entire automotive industry forward when it comes to autonomous driving, it appears Google is ready for some help with its own driverless cars. As the leader of the project told The Wall Street Journal, the folks in Mountain View aren't looking to replicate what Detroit-based and international automakers do best (build vehicles from the ground up). It's looking for an established player to help shoulder the load and bring the Google rides to market in the next five years. Until that happens, Chris Urmson says his team is partnering with automotive suppliers to move three generations beyond the cartoony-looking prototypes (pictured above) it has now. What's more, the search giant plans to on-road test this "beta one" fleet early next year. For California's sake, let's hope they're just as adept at sensing cyclists as their predecessors.

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You know Halo: The Master Chief Collection's multiplayer has been, well, problematic since launch despite numerous patches. We know it and Microsoft does, too. That's why it's making it up to everyone who's played it with freebies. Those include a remastered Halo 3: ODST campaign, an overhauled "Relic" multiplayer map from Halo 2 and a free month of Xbox Live Gold. The former two won't be available for some time yet, but 343 Industries head Bonnie Ross notes on Xbox Wire that they'll be available gratis for anyone who's played between MCC's November launch and today. What's more, you'll also get an exclusive in-game nameplate and avatar for your troubles. And before you ask about ODST's killer wave-based multiplayer mode, "Firefight" making a return, the official FAQ is out to crush more than a few dreams (ours included) -- the outfit says it doesn't have any plans to include it for now.

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Staples Possible Breach

Good grief, the hacks just don't stop. Now office-supply store Staples believes that it suffered an attack that compromised some 1.16 million payment cards. Between August 10th and September 16th this year, 115 stores were afflicted by malware that "may have" grabbed cardholder names and payment information, and two stores possibly fell victim from July 20th to September 16th this year as well. The retailer isn't fully owning up to the attacks just yet, but it's offering a mea culpa all the same: free identity protection, credit reports and a host of other security services to anyone who used a card at the affected stores (PDF). And even though four Manhattan locations had reports of fraudulent payment use from this April to September without any malware or suspicious activity taking place, the outfit is extending the aforementioned benefits to customers of those stores as well.

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Back when Reddit -- bastion of the internet's weirdest conversations -- raised another $50 million in venture funding, the investors involved agreed to give a combined 10 percent of their shares back to the site's users. For almost three months, none of us knew exactly how that would happen, but now Reddit's talking specifics... sort of. Next year, the company will distribute via lottery some 950,000 Reddit Notes, a kinda-sorta digital currency that'll let users "tip, donate, or trade" with peers who also bacon at midnight.

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Wondering how to get the weekend started? If you're a fan of Netflix's original series Bojack Horseman, there's a pretty easy choice, since the service just released an extra episode out of the blue. As Bojack (voiced by Will Arnett) and Todd (voiced by Aaron Paul) get ready for the holidays, it takes a look back to when the title character was the star of a 90's sitcom "Horsin Around." It's no The Interview or surprise peek into the world of House of Cards (we do have an Orange is the New Black musical interlude embedded after the break), but we'll take it -- subscribers can click here to watch it now.

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Sony's had a seriously rough go of it lately, but hopefully its hacking nightmare has finally come to an end -- the FBI has confirmed that North Korea was definitely involved in the initial cyberattack and the White House is formulating its response. Catch all that and more in the gallery below, including our interview with RuPaul, MSI GT72 Dominator review and the road to Samsung's domination of CES.

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