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Herald staff | jbauer@heraldnet.com
Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Feeling bugged?

Nice shoes, by the way, judge: A secret federal court renewed the National Security Agency's authority to collect and store the phone records of tens of millions of U.S. cellphone customers, a practice revealed in the leaks last month about the NSA's surveillance programs.

Informed by the court by phone that its authority to collect the "metadata" had been renewed, the NSA told the judge, "Yeah, we knew, but we better go; you've got a call coming in."

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Simple solution No. 1: Microsoft's recent struggles have been noticed by investors. A sell-off of shares drove the software giant's stock price down more than 11 percent to $31.40 a share on Friday. Microsoft announced a reorganization last week, following news that Windows 8 and its Surface tablets weren't selling well.

Perhaps Microsoft ought to do what most of us do when we have a problem with its products: Turn it off and on and see if that fixes it.

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Simple solution No. 2: The Federal Aviation Administration has urged airlines to inspect the emergency locator transmitters on Boeing 787s, following a fire aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner parked at London's Heathrow Airport. British investigators recommended removing the batteries from the transmitters to make them "inert" and reduce the chance of fire.

You know, like you do when the smoke alarm won't quit beeping at 3 a.m. and you don't have a spare 9-volt battery.

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