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The year 2013 has proven to be an ugly one for the PC, but a banner one for tablets. To wit, the latest batch of metrics from research outfit IDC show the tablet market continuing its heady ascent against a grim backdrop of decline. IDC figures that global PC shipments will slip a little more than 10 percent this year, falling to 314 million units. That’s the nastiest contraction they’ve suffered yet. And things may get worse — IDC says PC shipments will fall even further in the coming years, stumbling to 305 million units by 2017. Senator Edward Markey has sent a letter to twenty automakers demanding answers to a long list of questions about their automobiles’ potential vulnerability to hacking. Markey’s letter cites the work of Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, who received a grant from the military research agency known as DARPA this year to explore car hacking techniques, and demonstrated their findings last July. He wrote “As vehicles become more integrated with wireless technology, there are more avenues through which a hacker could introduce malicious code, and more avenues through which a driver’s basic right to privacy can be compromised,” Markey’s questions to the companies, which include Ford, Toyota, GM, Volkswagen, Chrysler and Tesla, include queries about what percentage of the companies’ vehicles offer wireless connectivity to their internal networks through bluetooth, Wifi, or cellular connections, how they test their systems for potential security vulnerabilities, whether they use any third party auditors, and how many times in the last five years they’ve learned of actual digital attacks on their cars. Rumors have been swirling for the past 6 years of a deal between Apple and China Mobile. Bloomberg is now saying that a deal is imminent, stating "Apple is close to agreeing to a distribution deal with China Mobile. The carrier said in 2011 that Apple agreed to make an iPhone for its customers once it shifted to 4G." The other rumour is on the...