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Mobile Technology News, September 30, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Apple Releases Shellshock Security Fix for OS X

    OS X users now have a security patch available to address the Shellshock security flaw that was discovered in recent weeks.  The update, which is available on the Apple Support website, is available for OS X Mavericks, OS X Mountain Lion and OS X Lion.  It is presumed that the issue is already addressed in OS X Yosemite or will be updated in a patch during its current beta cycle. If you aren’t familiar with what the Shellshock security flaw is exactly, Apple provided the following statement to MacRumors last week on it. Bash, a UNIX command shell and language

    The post Apple Releases Shellshock Security Fix for OS X appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Netflix to release full-length film
    The video streaming site Netflix will release its first feature-length film in 2015, after striking a deal with the Weinstein Company.
  • Update: iPhone 6, 6 Plus approved in China, debuts October 17 [u]
    [Update: Apple officially announcement puts China debut of iPhone 6, 6 Plus on October 17] The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have now finally been cleared by the country’s regulatory agency for sale in China, and will formally debut on October 17, Apple says. According to Bloomberg, the holdup was apparently over some privacy concerns brought up by Chinese authorities. The company agreed to make some changes, which may or may not be included in the forthcoming iOS 8.1 beta, and received the clearance to use Chinese LTE and 3G networks.

  • Netflix To Release 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' Sequel
    “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” the Academy Award-winning martial arts film, is finally getting a sequel — and it’s going to be on Netflix.

    The streaming video (and DVDs-by-mail) company announced a deal with The Weinstein Company on Monday night that will bring “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Destiny,” to Netflix subscribers on Aug. 28, 2015. The film will also be shown on select IMAX screens.

    Fans will have unprecedented choice in how they enjoy an amazing and memorable film that combines intense action and incredible beauty,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said in statement cited by Variety. “We are honored to be working with Harvey Weinstein and a world-class team of creators to bring this epic story to people all over the world and to partner with IMAX, a brand that represents the highest quality of immersive entertainment, in the distribution of this film.”

    “The moviegoing experience is evolving quickly and profoundly, and Netflix is unquestionably at the forefront of that movement,” TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “We are tremendously excited to be continuing our great relationship with Netflix and bringing to fans all over the world the latest chapter in this amazing and intriguing story.”

    Netflix has been expanding its original programming with shows such as “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black” and the animated series “BoJack Horseman.” Unlike network television, which releases one episode at a time, Netflix has been posting entire seasons at once, feeding the “binge-watching” trend.

    Now the company appears to be taking aim at what’s known as the windowing system, in which films are usually shown exclusively in theaters before being released for home viewing via DVD, Blu-ray, video on demand, etc.

    “We fundamentally believe that the only way to attack the windowing system — that is the centerpiece of the business model of the movie industry versus what consumers want — requires an outsider,” Rich Greenfield, a media analyst with BTIG Research, told The New York Times. “Netflix already changed the TV business in a very, very significant way. The movie business is teed up next.”

    Released in 2000, the original “Crouching Tiger” film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It ultimately won four: Best Foreign Language Film, Best Art Direction, Best Original Score and Best Cinematography.

    Actress Michelle Yeoh will reprise her role as Yu Shu Lien while Donnie Yen will join the cast as Silent Wolf, according to Variety. However, director Ang Lee will not be returning. Yuen Wo Ping, who choreographed the fight scenes in the first film, will direct the sequel.

    The Verge reports that filming is currently under way in New Zealand.

    “‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend’ echoes the themes of the original movie, but tells its own story — one of lost love, young love, a legendary sword and one last opportunity at redemption, set against breathtaking action in an epic martial arts battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of the Martial World,” the press release states.

  • RESPECT: Makes Young People Safer Online

    Aretha said it in 1967 (scroll down to watch her sing it)

    The conversation around Internet safety has moved a long way since the 1990s when it focused mostly on porn and predators and we’ve even evolved since 2009 when ConnectSafely published Online Safety 3.0: Empowering and Protecting Youth.

    Along with colleagues, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how to position online safety messaging and how to integrate it with offline risks (the overlap is pretty major) and with youth rights — an important part of the discussion that is often missing.

    I realize that something as complex as the way we interact with connected technology can’t really be reduced to a soundbite or even an acronym, but that didn’t stop me from trying. So, to make things simple, I’m paying homage to Aretha Franklin, whose classic song “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” sets the tone for how I think we should be talking about youth online safety and rights.

    Read on to “find out what it means to me.” And when you’re done, click on the image below to listen to Aretha sing it out.

    Rights and Responsibility:

    Human rights for young people are essential to their safety. And that not only includes their right to be safe, but their right of free speech and assembly. These rights are guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and they apply online as well as off. Blocking access to social media, for example, violates their rights and, I would argue, their safety as well. Rights also tie into privacy, such as student rights to the privacy of their personal data on their own devices and school servers.

    And to help safeguard our rights and the rights of others, it’s important to be Responsible for our actions online and off.

    Emotional literacy (AKA ‘Social Emotional Learning’):

    No matter how hard we try, adults can’t possibly stomp out all bullying and cruelty, But there is research to show that we can help head it off at the pass by teaching emotional literacy, also known as Social Emotional Learning, from kindergarten on. Helping young people learn compassion, empathy and kindness will go a long way toward creating the kind of world that we all want to live in.


    You can’t be safe or free if you’re not secure. We need to not only get industry and government to help secure our devices and infrastructure, but teach everyone — starting with children — how to protect their devices and their data against unauthorized intrusion.

    Privacy and Protection:

    We all have a right to privacy. Whether it’s government, companies or even prying educators and parents, kids have a right to keep their information private. Sure there are exceptions when it comes to some parents’ need to monitor and guide their children but, as a general rule, children should be treated RESPECTfully, which includes respecting their privacy.

    Young people do have the right to be protected from harm, but it’s impossible to shield them from all potential harms, which is why resiliency is so important.

    Education and digital literacy:

    Digital literacy can go a long way toward protecting us online. And it’s not just knowing how to operate computers and mobile devices. It’s developing the critical thinking skills and internal compass to help make good decisions in our digital lives, including making good media choices.


    Being considerate of others means not just treating them with respect and kindness but also respecting their privacy and their rights. It’s about taking the time to think about how our actions will affect others and doing the right thing.

    Thoughtfulness and Tolerance:

    “Think before you click” is just one of many sound bites that come under the general category of thoughtfulness. It doesn’t take long to think about the implications and consequences of what you’re about to do, especially in a medium like the Internet where there really is no such thing as an “eraser button.”

    Tolerance means accepting and celebrating our differences and giving ourselves and each other a break now and then. Embracing the notion that it’s OK to be different goes a long way towards reducing bullying and meanness.

    This post first appeared on SafeKids.com

  • The Venture Capital System 'Simply Does Not Work For Women,' Study Finds
    The Silicon Valley money machine only seems to work for men, a painful new study reveals.

    Less than 3 percent of the 6,793 companies that received venture capital from 2011-2013 were headed by a woman, according to a study from Babson College released Tuesday. That means that out of nearly $51 billion in funding that startups received over those two years, a comparatively teeny $1.5 billion went to women-led ventures.

    “The findings of this study, demonstrate it is not the women who need fixing; the model for venture capital that has been in place since the 1980s simply does not work for women entrepreneurs,” Patricia Greene, one of the authors of the study, wrote in a release accompanying the report.

    The picture for women at startups has hardly budged since 1999, the last time Babson’s Diana Project studied it. Back then, less than 5 percent of companies that netted venture funding had women on their executive team. This time around, 15 percent of the companies had women on the executive team.

    The findings likely serve as cold comfort for those, like Facebook Chief Operating Office Sheryl Sandberg, who are looking to increase gender diversity in the tech industry. While Facebook and Google are both pushing to hire more women, clearly work needs to be done outside of the tech giants.

    Female founders’ limited access to venture funding means they’re largely cut off from creating the next tech giant themselves.

    photo shop graphA graph from Babson illustrating how little funding female entrepreneurs get.

    Women have complained to Wired, Forbes and other outlets about male venture capitalists who try to turn pitches into dates and ask inappropriate questions about whether their business will survive given the founder’s relationship status. But in most cases, the bias is more subtle.

    When venture capitalists evaluate businesses, they’re often looking for intangible qualities that signal success. That can put women at a disadvantage. Experts say female entrepreneurs fall victim to “pattern recognition” when seeking funding. In other words, investors are less likely to bet a woman will be the next Mark Zuckerberg because she doesn’t look like Mark Zuckerberg.

    Subconsciously, people also are more likely to see potential in those that remind them of themselves. Investors are also more likely to fund businesses they understand intuitively. But just 6 percent of partners at venture capital firms are women, down from 10 percent in 1999, Babson found. As a result, female founders are often pitching to panels of people who don’t look like them and are less likely to see the value in projects marketed toward women, such as an on-demand make-up service.

    In addition to putting the female founders themselves at a disadvantage, this dynamic threatens to slow innovation on products that are used mostly by women. As the New York Times “Motherlode” blog argued in March, “if men could breastfeed, surely the breast pump would be as elegant as an iPhone and quiet as a Prius by now.”

    The post inspired a hackathon to do just that.

  • The Best of #BendGate
    When Apple slips up, consumers and competitors alike just can’t help but enjoy some major schadenfreude. Although #BendGate has not been nearly as much of an issue as the botched iOS 8.0.1 update that caused network connectivity and Touch ID malfunctions, it has produced some pretty hilarious reactions.

    There were those who tried to seek the truth:


    — tony (@supremecam) September 28, 2014

    Look at the strain on his face while trying to bend that iPhone 6
    http://t.co/q7d7pQNJm9 pic.twitter.com/lL2QFkyzEt

    — Samuel Gibbs (@SamuelGibbs) September 25, 2014

    2007: Will it blend?
    2014: Will it bend?

    A nice encapsulation of how the iPhone has evolved.

    — Ben Thompson (@monkbent) September 24, 2014

    There were those who tried to find the solutions:

    Oh thank God, there IS a way to fix it! #BendGate pic.twitter.com/3L3dCSVnEG

    — Elleluminati Agent (@Wryyydiculous) September 28, 2014

    #3dprinting can solve any problem: I give you the pre-bent iPhone 6+ case http://t.co/4OnQNGGCDq #bendgate pic.twitter.com/4mEX1yrI2I

    — John Biehler (@JohnBiehler) September 27, 2014

    iPhone bending? Problem solved. #bendghazi #BendGate pic.twitter.com/t8dCRdFyW0

    — anthony snitzer (@anthonysnitzer) September 24, 2014

    There were those who just enjoyed the free social media marketing opportunity:

    Too many unfunny companies jumping on #bendgate but this one almost made me lol : pic.twitter.com/cEGjGWNcDt

    — Bjarne P Tveskov ツ (@tveskov) September 25, 2014

    Our phone doesn’t bend, it flexes…on purpose. #bendgate pic.twitter.com/d1DudxDQgf

    — LG USA Mobile (@LGUSAMobile) September 24, 2014

    We don’t bend, we #break.

    #bendgate #iPhone6plus pic.twitter.com/uippCg4kCi

    — KITKAT (@KITKAT) September 24, 2014

    Although Apple has stated that the iPhone is not prone to bending and that only a few customers have actually come forward with bent devices, this clearly hasn’t stopped the Internet from taking advantage of this rare #AppleFail.

  • How Hacking Education Has Taken Over Higher Education
    Y-Combinator, the world-renowned Silicon Valley startup accelerator, recently announced its first ever college-level course on creating a successful startup at Stanford University. The course, “How to Start a Startup,” exemplifies a growing trend in higher education favoring problem solving, practical knowledge, and skills development to the memorization of theory and textbooks. The rise of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, through hubs such as EdX and Coursera, represent a push from universities to provide skills and knowledge to the masses, without requiring the high cost of university tuition. Similarly, the rapid growth of collegiate hackathons over just the last few years and the popularity of personal websites has converted the student resume from cardstock to LED. Any student now has the capability to complete and share their ideas and projects with people all over the world.

    However, the bigger shift in higher learning isn’t about the way that it’s delivered, but in the downstream effect it has on the way students learn how to learn. Traditionally, university classrooms are set in one of two formats: seminars of 25 students or less, or lecture halls with hundreds of students. The former has been praised for providing high-quality interactions and connections between students whereas the latter’s intent is to easily delivery large quantities of information. Learning from hackathons or project-based MOOCs, however, has started to introduce students not only to a community of engaged students voluntarily taking the time to learn something new, but also to a much more diverse group of people than a standard college classroom. Exposure to different kinds of people, creative perspectives, varying world views, and distinct methods of learning not only improves brain plasticity and the ability to learn, but also helps students increase their awareness of the cultures, environments, and issues that impact areas outside of their university campus.

    This trend hasn’t gone unnoticed. Large companies and startups alike are rushing in hordes to sponsor university hackathons, which have become breeding grounds for talent not only because they show off technical expertise, but also display creativity, intuition, and problem solving. Luckily, this trend isn’t limited to those interested in computer science. For the past ten years, the iGEM Foundation, a non-profit spun out of MIT, has been running the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition, which allows college students to design, build, and present projects that use the principles of synthetic biology to engineer living organisms, including an arsenic biosensor, modified E. coli that could act as a red blood cell substitute, and bacteria that can solve Sudoku puzzles. Similarly, programs like National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, have long been promoting community building and project development in writing and literature. The nature of these types of events and competitions, which self-select for students that have the intrinsic desire to learn and have a passion for the subject, improves the quality and diversity of the interactions that students have with each other compared to the conventional general education requirement.

    A similar shift has emerged within graduate business schools. Historically, the MBA was set in stone as a master of “business administration” alone. Lectures, case studies, and seminars were focused on running and managing large, established companies rather than starting them from scratch, developing career capital, or learning the skills necessary for the jobs that might not exist yet. However, many programs are moving from solely analyzing case studies and writing business plans to teaching via semester-long, hands-on internships, entrepreneurship and technology innovation workshops, and interdisciplinary collaboration. In addition, up-and-coming classes on product development and management, technology entrepreneurship, and design in business schools coupled with the rise of hackathons and events like Startup Weekend are bridging the gap between business and technology. The rise of university company incubators and accelerators, which both help grow student-run companies and hold workshops featuring successful entrepreneurs across all industries, exemplifies the priority shift in many industries to value experience over GPA.

    That alone is why the traditional definition of what an education entails will eventually transform from a degree on the wall to, quite frankly, a “smart person that know stuff.” While software engineers and designers have the opportunity to share their work on personal websites or Github and Dribble respectively, the missing link needed to expand the changing educational landscape are web platforms, i.e. “Github for X,” that cater to people in all fields to showcase their creativity. Most importantly of all, students best retain what they’ve learned when they can apply it, whether as a program, an article, or a piece of art, and that retention and application of knowledge is what drives the innovative thinking that drives social progress. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a project is definitely worth more than a course description.

  • Bug in iOS can cause iCloud Drive erasure, report warns
    A newly-discovered bug in the “Reset All Settings” control in iOS 8 can cause documents stored in the new iCloud Drive to be permanently deleted. The feature is not recommended to be upgraded to until OS X Yosemite has been officially released — which is expected to happen sometime next month — but some iOS 8 users who have upgraded prematurely will be at risk of losing files, such as iWork documents stored in the cloud, if they use the “Reset All Settings” troubleshooting feature.

  • Thousands flock to 'anti-Facebook'
    Ad-free social media platform Ello overcomes a technical setback to continue its rapid growth, but one expert questions its business model.
  • London innovation centre launches to tackle data challenges
    An innovation and collaboration centre has been launched to develop ideas relating to data and the UK economy
  • Just Why Is Ello So Naive?
    Challenging Facebook is not about delivering a naive message about privacy and freedom from ads. It is about understanding how we use the market, brands and technology to construct our moral identities.


    In a matter of days, the new social network Ello, described as the “anti-Facebook” for its stand on privacy and advertising, has become an Internet sensation. Ello is rapidly catching on on with its simple message which takes aim at frustrations of Facebook users. As Ello’s “manifesto” states: “We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate — but a place to connect, create and celebrate life. You are not a product.”

    But you actually are. We all are.

    As a sociological game, social media is not about being an authentic person. It is about trying to become an authentic person in the eyes of your audience — a moral protagonist. The goal is to convince family members, friends, colleagues, customers and other stakeholders, through a continuous process of emotional self-branding, that we are able to do the right, or even better, the “righteous” thing — even though we are forced to navigate a complex landscape of moral ambiguities.

    As authenticity enterprises, we need two things:

    • cultural and market resources to build authenticity
    • a technology that brings multiple authenticity producers, including not only regular consumers but also brands, advertisers, opinion leaders, intellectuals, celebrities, journalists and other technologies together so that we can “like” and “share” each others’ standpoints

    Facebook understands its leading role as an identity technology — it is providing the leading tool for individual empowerment, not although, but precisely because it is also the leading tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate the perceptions of others.

    At present, Ello does not even compete in this market. It rather competes in the market for quickly expiring authenticity resources — manifestos, big and small, that allow consumers to take a normative stand: the most recent Guardian article about fairness, the Peta video about the benefits of vegetarianism feat. Paul McCartney, Naomi Klein’s new book about global warming or the Robin Williams Buzzfeet that drives home the point that “depression is real.”

    This interplay between identity technologies and symbolic materials market actors use to create their identities, however, not only illustrates that Facebook’s most important advertisers are not the industry advertisers but the 1.3 billion members who go online to market themselves and their lives.

    It also shows that announcing, on Facebook, that one is now also a member of Ello is never a sign of migration or large-scale market change. It illustrates the urge to make a moral pronouncement. And as such, it rather reinforces Facebook’s status as the leading channel for moral identity construction online.

    Moralistic manifestos aren’t enough. Whoever challenges Facebook will have to move beyond ethic and find better ways to redefine how all market actors — not only consumers — can use symbolic materials and technology to construct their moral identities.

  • VIDEO: Web inventor 'pays his way' online
    Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s concerns for the internet
  • VIDEO: Could VR help build better cities?
    How virtual reality is helping build better cities
  • Coding for cannabis cash
    The startups hoping to transform the marijuana industry
  • Too Much of a Good Thing
    Let’s talk about addiction, I am not thinking about drugs but about technology. Have you ever seen yourself in a situation where you could not resist… another glass of wine, another piece of chocolate, another pair of shoes, or the newest and latest electronic device? I am thinking about self-discipline. None of these before mentioned items are wrong, only when they become addictive as a substitute to human endeavor and become ‘too much of a good thing.’ There are many things we can become addicted to, even to people as history has shown. Another human being, someone we admire or become enslaved to beyond the normal way of like or love. One can be or become a workaholic. Addiction has many faces.

    We all have been tempted. Some of these temptations can be fatal, some can be controlled by self-discipline. What ever the cause is… it can be eradicated if one seeks help.

    It is said that addiction is a remedy for an empty, unfulfilled life, or a life not lived to its fullest. We all need someone to lean on… it is a delicate balance to find answers to addiction. It is not enough to talk to a friend, one needs help from an outsider, a professional who can deal with the problem and helps to find an answer and a solution. It also deals with trust in the person who has the knowledge about the subject of addiction, I was told… that one needs to interview the person whether he or she suits the needs like you would check out a fine lawyer or a doctor. Treat yourself to the best help there is, once you are honest with yourself… that help is needed.

    In our world of total technology… the most prevalent and continuous addiction is technology. Nothing wrong with being tech-savvy, knowledgeable about the newest devices or apps, or functions of your computer table or iPhone. Yet, it becomes disruptive if people have the device turned on all day and all night. We can become sleep deprived by being wired all the time.
    Technology allows us to be hyper-connected with the outside world yet lose the connection to the inner world. These relentless demands on our time effect all our senses. One has to learn to tune out! Technology impacts life, health and relationships. The price for addiction is high… break the habit by disconnecting from the digital world and reconnect to your inner being and a time for contemplation. Banishing devices at night is a start!

    Technology has taken the place of a conversation, eye contact, exchanging ideas with a friend, of a sense of being. Virtual contact is a great tool, but as all tools it only assists in creating a virtual closeness. Just watch people in public places, on the street or in a restaurant, they pay little attention to their environment, nor are they aware of events happening around them. All these devices are fine tools… that is all they are. We use them daily and they make our lives more connected and quicker to find solutions, yet they are also disruptive if they are not controlled. Great to have but should not take place of human and real contact. They’re a substitute and servants… not the other way around.

    We must not allow to be on automatic pilot 24/7. Today it is an accepted practice to having phones everywhere and anywhere, in theaters, in churches or synagogues, in restaurants, in concert halls. Of course there are exceptions, a doctor on call, a babysitter’s problem, but in general it is part of the etiquette to keep the device off the table and turned off. Time off… time out is also like taking a vacation… recharge and unplug. These powerful tools will be there, even if you go offline. It takes common sense.

  • We Didn't Know It Was Possible To Write A Love Letter This Nerdy
    Let’s face it: grand displays of romance don’t last forever. The love letters, flowers and exorbitant Valentine’s Day gifts that marked those early days of your relationship were great… until you stopped receiving them completely about two years in.

    But hey, who needs roses and romantic gifts? We’ll tell you who doesn’t need ’em: this guy’s significant other!



    The letter has made its way around the Internet before, but recently popped up again on Reddit. We can’t say we’re surprised — when you see an expression of love this moving, you feel compelled to share.

    Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.

  • Surprise. My Kids Don't Tell Me Everything.
    I’m sitting at my kitchen table and I hear a ping, the one that indicates that someone has received a text. I check my devices and nothing appears. I look around and see my son’s mini-iPad. Wow. Didn’t expect that one. Let me just say that I can’t share what I saw without using @!#$@!.

    Well, aren’t we “on-top-of-it” parents. My son didn’t have a cell phone (because we thought he was too young). But he did have a mini-iPad that he bought with his own snow-shoveling money. Yet, because we didn’t realize the capability of an iPad–little did we know that he could download texting and calling apps to turn his iPad into a full-fledged phone–we never established any rules.

    I was completely stunned by the text I saw. I think I have always been a little naïve about my children. I remember years ago when my then 16-year-old told me that she had been somewhere where the kids were “crazy.” Not knowing exactly what crazy meant, but clearly knowing that probing would mean the end of the conversation, I asked, “Did you feel uncomfortable?” So I asked a good question, but the answer shocked me. “No. I’ve gotten used to it.”

    WHAT? You mean that wasn’t the first time? How could that be? Didn’t I know where she was at all times? Don’t I know everything about all my kids?

    The big, disappointing answer is NO. Apparently, I have never been invited into my kids’ heads and hearts in the way I expected and believed would happen. The thoughts and experiences they share are edited for parental viewing.

    That first time was the worst; finding out that the picture in my head was more like a Facebook version of my life. The reality was unnerving. They don’t tell me everything. All I kept wondering was where had I gone wrong and how could I ensure their safety if I didn’t know everything about them.

    Of course, when I was a teenager, I didn’t tell my parents everything. But I believed that my relationship with my kids was different, better, more honest. (Don’t we all.)

    Over time I settled into my new reality. I could try to keep apace of the new social media site and the new apps (and I do), but in the end, since my kids would likely share only a small part of their lives, I would need to become a voice (a nagging voice) that would be heard even in my absence.

    Going back to my son’s text. Do I worry about the dangers lurking in my children’s devices? Predators. Cyberbullies. Identity thieves. Porn. Of course I worry. But I no longer believe that my efforts can protect him from all the danger that lives within.

    Instead, I just keep on talking and preaching and warning, with no certainty of the outcome, but a bit of nagging hope.

    Susan Borison is the Publisher and Editor In Chief of Your Teen Media. To learn about parenting in the age of technology, register for Your Teen Technology Webinar.

  • Uber To Hire 50,000 Military Members And Veterans
    Uber has pledged to significantly boost its pool of drivers from the military community, but the gesture is hardly a handout.

    The popular ride-sharing app, which connects everyday drivers with passengers in need of a lift, recently announced that it will hire 50,000 U.S. service members, veterans and military spouses over the next year and a half. But the program, UberMilitary, won’t just help a community that historically struggles to find work, it will likely ramp up the company’s business considering that its veteran drivers typically get the highest ratings.

    Together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes — an initiative that helps the military community find jobs — Uber will recruit veterans, service members and military spouses through job fairs and events across the country.

    UberMilitary is also assembling an advisory board, which will include members from every branch of the military, to help push forward additional programs that will empower military communities when they return home.

    Such opportunities are key for this community whose unemployment rate is typically significantly higher than the national average.

    In August, for example, the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans hit 8.1 percent, down from 10 percent a year earlier, according to the Bureau for Labor and Statistics. The national unemployment rate sat at 6.1 percent.

    A major obstacle veterans face is the misconception that returning service members are emotionally damaged and too big of a risk to employ.

    “There is a need to be concerned about this issue and this stigma,” Kevin Schmiegel, retired Marine and executive director of Hiring our Heroes, told USA Today in April 2013.

    By hiring veterans, Uber is directly combating that negative stigma and it’s already working.

    According to the company, veterans maintain higher driving ratings than non-veteran drivers and get frequent positive feedback.

    “I’m proud to be a part of this unprecedented effort by a single company to ensure that tens of thousands of our nation’s military members, veterans and spouses have access to a unique entrepreneurial opportunity,” Robert Gates, former secretary of defense, said in a statement. “UberMilitary is committed to providing our servicemen and women with the economic opportunity, flexibility and entrepreneurship that are the foundation of the Uber platform.”

    H/T NationSwell

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Mobile Technology News, September 29, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • HealthKit Apps Begin Appearing in The App Store

    One of the big things that Apple addressed in iOS 8.0.2 last week was the bug that was impacting HealthKit.  In fact it was discovered so late that developers were literally having their HealthKit compatible apps pulled from the App Store hours before iOS 8 was released.  Whatever the issue was – I’ve not seen a full disclosure on what it was exactly – it now is fixed and HealthKit apps are starting to appear in the App Store. One of my personal favourite apps is MyFitnessPal and it was one of the first to have their HealthKit compatible version

    The post HealthKit Apps Begin Appearing in The App Store appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • VIDEO: Inside the world of adult cosplay
    Meet the adults performing as characters from films, comics and video games for fun. In the world of cosplay, dressing up is serious business.
  • VIDEO: Can Microsoft's Xbox conquer China?
    The Xbox gaming console officially goes on sale in China for the first time, but its manufacturer Microsoft may face tough competition.
  • VIDEO: Bar disruption: Pubs get a hi-tech makeover
    Connected kegs promise ‘the right beer at the right time’
  • China to begin iPhone 6 sales on October 10, reports say
    While it is currently possible to legally buy an iPhone 6 in some parts of the regional “Greater China” area (such as Hong Kong or Taiwan) the country of China itself — which manufactures and assembles the new iPhones – ironically does not yet offer them for sale, due to a cumbersome regulatory process. This may finally be changing, as various reports out of the region indicated that both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus will finally debut in China on Friday, October 10.

  • Facebook Targets Publishers for Mobile Ad Delivery with LiveRail Acquisition (VIDEO)
    With its recent acquisition of LiveRail, an enterprise software company that manages programmatic video ad sales for publishers, Facebook is embracing a big opportunity to service publishers — and, with a particular emphasis on delivering mobile ads, explains Brian Boland, VP for Ads Product Marketing and Ad Tech, in this interview with Beet.TV.

    We spoke with him about the emerging Facebook advertising tech stack and the integration of LiveRail as a free-standing unit.   We interviewed him at the LiveRail video publisher forum this week in Manhattan.

    You can find this post on Beet.TV.

  • Building the University of the Future
    Higher education is now ground zero for disruption,” said Todd Hixon in a Forbes column, questioning the value, cost, and the antiquated business model of higher education. That said, there are a number of brilliant CIOs in higher education who are actively leading digital business transformation projects, aimed at minimize institutional disruption and improving the experience of the student, faculty and administration. With the underlying forces of mobile, social, cloud and the rising costs of higher education coming to a head, Georgetown University appointed the former CIO for the US Marshals, Lisa Davis, to lead IT and business transformation across the 225 year-old institution.

    Lisa Davis, (Twitter: @LisaDavisCIO) CIO of Georgetown University

    As CIO for one of the top 25 academic and research institutions, Davis’ mission and vision includes enabling a seamless intuitive experience for their 18,000 students between where they live, where they socialize and where they learn. To bring this technology to the forefront and to enable technology to enhance their current academic research solutions, Georgetown has launched a five year modernization strategy to tie all of the disruptive technologies that are occurring into the University today as they build the University of the Future.

    As our most recent CXOTalk guest, Davis gives advice for how Universities need to respond to the disruption of today as they build the University of the Future.

    7 Steps for Building the University of the Future:

    1. Embrace the disruption: The consumerism of IT (social, mobile and cloud) has impacted every industry, and has left Universities to figure out how to serve and meet the needs of this next generation of students who have grown up with technology, the “digital natives” as Davis puts it, that are coming on campus. Looking at mobile alone, Georgetown University has 18,000 students coming to campus with their mobile device, creating an obvious need for mobile and Wi-Fi. “We have seen a 30% increase in Wi-Fi connectivity in just the last 12 months and that continues to grow year-to-year,” says Davis.

    Then there is social, which is at the forefront of Georgetown’s transformation, not just from the context of Facebook or Instagram, but as a critical component of how they do their daily business and integrating social into enterprise applications. The cloud is key for allowing anywhere, anytime, anyplace computing and over the last two and a half years, Georgetown has led with Cloud technologies and was the first institution to take their HR payroll and finance into the cloud. Add to this list the cost of education today and the rising cost of student debt, which averages 25,000 per student, and you can see how education truly is the ground zero of disruption.

    As a thought-leader, Georgetown is trying to leverage the disrupters that are occurring today and embrace them into how they are doing business, how they think about their courses and how they embrace technology in those courses. They are also doing a lot of experimentation around the core curriculum and thinking about how that core curriculum will change to meet the future needs of students.

    2. Don’t underestimate the value of institutions – Does the University of the Future contain walls or is it flat? With online learning taking hold, many people question the value of a brick and mortar institution today, but Davis thinks Georgetown’s president, John DeGioia says it best when he talks about the value of institutions today being centered around three things: the formation of human beings, the ability to really explore life’s most important questions and doing it for the common good.

    “In order to embrace and stay authentic to our mission and values as technology and these other disrupters keep shaping us to build this future University, we do believe there is value in a brick and mortar institution because of those things that our president talks about, yet, I think we are very open and adaptive to figuring out how we can embrace the rest that is occurring,” says Davis.

    3. There are lessons to be learned from online platforms – Georgetown has a partnership with edX, which is the Harvard and MIT Consortium and they began experimentation in MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) two years ago. This fall Georgetown has three new MOOCs coming out after a lot of analysis and research to find out what was the best fit for the University in terms of experimenting with this new platform.

    Davis says that what’s interesting is what MOOCs taught them: “This is where the experimentation and the lessons learned really come into play as we start building and shaping the institution of the future. MOOCs showed us what parts of our curriculum were generic and interchangeable and what parts can be pulled out of the curriculum and delivered at a lower cost, as we move toward the imminent three-year BA/MA degree. MOOCs really forced all of us in higher education to think about how we would embrace and incorporate online learning as we start making these curriculum changes and building our Universities for the Future.”

    The beauty of online platforms is that they help students (and faculty) track their progress. “One of the reasons we did the experimentation with the MOOCs and the partnership with edX is that we really wanted to understand and have access to the data of how people learn, how we improve the learning and how we improve student outcomes. We are very interested in the data we have gained from our MOOCs experimentation as well as our online platforms today,” said Davis. From a student perspective, the lecture is captured, so they can repeat that lecture as many times as needed to better understand the concept of what was being discussed in class.

    4. Don’t put the cart before the horse – When Davis came to Georgetown two and a half years ago, it’s hard to believe that they had zero mobile presence. Today, they have 35,000 students, alumni and faculty engaging on a mobile platform. But before University IT departments can begin to innovate, Davis says they first need to prove that they can provide the basic IT infrastructure services: “I don’t think that innovation occurs unless first and foremost, you deliver and show results and provide the basics. I’m a big believer in first things first to make sure that IT is delivering – whether it’s keeping the networks running, delivering Wi-Fi services or making sure that our applications stay up and running, all contribute to beginning to build trust in the idea that IT is no longer a service provider, but a partner.”

    As Davis looked at innovation and digital transformation at Georgetown, she focused on doing the basics and building upon those successes and delivering a record of results and performance, while at the same time leveraging the digital disruptors that the students were demanding by delivering a mobile platform. To ensure they weren’t making those decisions in a vacuum, Georgetown engaged their stakeholder community and students to help them figure out what was important to them on these mobile platforms. For example, they learned that surprisingly, one of the most important apps to students is laundry alert and where the next bus is.

    “Today, digital transformation is at the forefront of what we do and how we embrace that into our technology strategy here at Georgetown,” says Davis who leverages technology for everything from gamification with new student orientation, to piloting a mobile identity with students for two factor authentication and access to buildings, dining halls and their dormitories, to using GPS tracking to make students aware of all the events that are happening around them as they walk around campus.

    5. Deliver technology from a single pane of glass – As technologists, University CIOs need to think about how they continue to integrate all of their applications, services and capabilities so student’s don’t have to login separately to different applications. Georgetown is looking at how to make that single pane of glass view to allow applications to integrate seamlessly from a back-end infrastructure standpoint with a GUI that seems to allow users to move from one app to another and to allow them to collaborate between these different applications. Davis thinks this intersection will occur at Universities with the help of Cloud solutions and mobile apps.

    6. Use technology to enhance the learning experience – Technology today is table stakes. To remain competitive the technology really has to be enhancing the learning and the academic missions of the University. “No matter what company or organization you work for, the key to leading any transformation is understanding the business and the mission and figuring out how technology can be used to really drive and enable that even more,” says Davis.

    For higher education, Davis feels that institutions will differentiate themselves by how they personalize the learning experience of their students. Davis seeks to build a faculty toolbox that is comprised of tools that make that faculty member or professor the most efficient and effective that they can be, while at the same time thinking of how they can use technology to enhance the learning experience of their students as they develop their services and capabilities, modernize applications and build mobile platforms.

    7. Understand and leverage the Internet of Things – Davis is excited about wearable technology and thinks the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to have a huge impact on the University of the Future. She says that from a campus and facility perspective there are many opportunities to merge technology with facility planning to impact revenue, such as having sidewalks that are able to detect temperature or ice changes so that heat is automatically activated and using sensors in their buildings to detect that there is no longer any people in the buildings so the temperature can be turned down.

    More personalized devices means more opportunity to capture data to be used to make better decisions. Georgetown uses data from their new student orientation with their mobile app to find out what events students are attending and how are they communicating to one another. They will also be delivering their first data warehouse, partnering with Salesforce to think about CRM from an enterprise standpoint and how they pull that data thread from undergraduate to graduate to alumni to capture the data that is occurring to give them a better picture of who their customers and stakeholders are on campus.

    You can watch the full interview with Lisa Davis here. Please join me and Michael Krigsman every Friday at 3PM EST as we host CXOTalk – connecting with thought leaders and innovative executives who are pushing the boundaries within their companies and their fields.

  • iPhone 'Bendgate' May Be Overblown: Consumer Reports
    “Bendgate” may be a bit overblown.

    Consumer Reports ran lab tests on the two new iPhone models, and found that it is difficult to bend the devices under pressure. Apple said on Thursday that only nine customers’ iPhones have bent.

    To test the strength of the hardware, the consumer watchdog placed the phone on two wooden points, then applied force on top with a high-precision compression machine. While the iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus bent under less pressure than did the iPhone 5, the Apple phones were not the weakest: The HTC One deformed and separated from its case under less pressure than the other phones tested.

    “Impressively, despite some serious damage from our Instron machine, some of the phone continued to work,” Consumer Reports wrote in a post on Friday. “Several of the screens illuminated and were functional to the touch; we even completed a call from one phone to another.”

    Apple this week scrambled to rebut the fallout of a video that went viral showing a bent iPhone 6. On Thursday, the infamously tight-lipped company sent an unusually long statement to The Huffington Post explaining that the bend is “extremely rare.”

    Still, coupled with the botched rollout of a glitchy update to the iOS 8 operating system, Apple had a rough week. The company’s stock rebounded on Friday after taking a hit from the dual snafus.

    Watch Consumer Reports’ video explaining their experiment here:

  • AUDIO: 22,000 Roman coins found in Devon
    A treasure hunter from Devon has discovered the biggest hoard of 4th century Roman coins recorded in Britain.

Mobile Technology News, September 28, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Life in the slow lane: My 3G summer
    My summer living without broadband
  • VIDEO: Is this the kitchen of the future?
    Belgian designer Xavier Bonte has built a pod that he believes could be the kitchen of the future.
  • Surfers Win Back California's Martin's Beach From Billionaire Vinod Khosla
    Surfers are celebrating a major win after a California court ruled against a Silicon Valley billionaire who had tried to deny public beach access near his private property.

    Judge Barbara Mallach of San Mateo Superior Court ruled Wednesday that Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, violated the California Coastal Act when he closed off a road on his property that area locals have used for decades to access Martin’s Beach, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    The lawsuit was filed by environmental nonprofit Surfrider in 2013 after surfers complained that Khosla had padlocked a gate leading to the popular beach spot, covered signs that directed the public to the beach and hired security guards to deter trespassers.

    According to Joe Cotchett, attorney for the Surfrider Foundation, the ruling represents a victory for the 99 percent, saying in a press release that “It affirms that great wealth cannot be used to circumvent and ignore the law. Everyone can again visit Martin’s Beach.”

    The fight over this particular beach access, which is only an hour from Silicon Valley, seems to have added to tensions between locals and the influx of wealthy people who are buying property in the area.

    It’s the issue of the growing gap between the very wealthy versus everyone else, and this sort of captures it in a snapshot,” John Teshy, who teaches at the University of California, Hastings law school, told the Los Angeles Times. “High-tech billionaires are kind of gods in California, and it has that framework to make it all very interesting and newsworthy, but in terms of law, you have to get down to the particular facts.”

    Here are the facts: The gate that Khosla padlocked (which can easily be walked over) is located just off California Highway 1 and is the only way to access the public beach from land. Local surfers and beachgoers prize the beach, which is protected by rocky cliffs on both sides, because of its seclusion. For decades, previous property owners have charged a small parking fee and kept the private road open to the public.

    Khosla bought the 53-acre property for $32.5 million in 2008 and kept the beach open to the public for two years despite the fact that he was paying $500,000 to $600,000 a year in maintenance costs and liability insurance.

    In 2010, after receiving county court orders — which he believed were unfair — to keep the beach access open 24/7 and charge visitors $2 for parking, Khosla ordered his property manager to close the gate permanently.

    Then, in 2012, a group of five local surfers known as “Martin’s 5” were arrested on charges of trespassing after crossing over the gate to go surfing. Despite video footage, the case was eventually dismissed after the District Attorney claimed there was insufficient evidence.

    Now that Khosla has been ordered to open the gate to the public (Mallach ruled that he had no right to deny access without first obtaining a Coastal Development Permit), many locals and even some tourists have flocked to enjoy the beautiful beach.

    “We love the fact that the beaches in California belong to everybody,” Nikki Toth, a visitor from Arkansas who heard of the rulings and brought her kids to the beach, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “This is a great opportunity for them to learn the story of public access firsthand.”

    Martin’s 5: Battle for the Beach from The Inertia on Vimeo.

  • Daily ReHash's iPhone 6 Test Finds Major Weakness
    All eyes have been on how much pressure Apple’s products can handle in the wake of “Bendgate,” which erupted with reports that the new iPhone 6 Plus can be bent by normal usage forces.

    Apple even opened up its testing facilities to CNBC to assure that it continues to demand product excellence in the Tim Cook era.

    But while everyone is focused on whether their new, really expensive, iPhone flexes, there is another potential product weakness that Daily ReHash’s testing found.

    The iPhone 6 passed most of Daily ReHash’s inane tests — including a paternity test, a naturalization test, personality test — it fell short on one that any current or potential owner is going to want to know about.

    Watch the video above, and pity the poor tester.

  • Briefly: MyFitnessPal's HealthKit update, iPhone 6, 6 Plus STM cases
    MyFitnessPal has released an update to its Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker app for iOS 8’s HealthKit. Featuring a food database of over 4 million entries, users can log and track what they eat and how much they exercise as part of maintaining a fitness regimen. MyFitnessPal v.5.6.6 allows users to add meal summaries logged to HealthKit by automatically sharing meal data with HealthKit-connected apps. Similarly, weight data and exercise entries can be synced between HealthKit and MyFitnessPal. Bug fixes regarding login issues have been resolved in the latest update. Free to download, MyFitness

  • The Link Between Multitasking And Brain Size
    Media multitasking (you know, when you watch TV while surfing on your laptop as you scroll through your phone) is linked to to less gray matter in the brain, according to a recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

    But before you start panicking, consider that the study didn’t determine if one caused the other, which means your time-honored tradition of live-tweeting “Scandal” might still be safe — at least for now.

    “The way we are interacting with the media might be affecting how we think, and this link seems to have a biological basis,” wrote lead researcher Kep Kee Loh of Singapore’s Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in an email to The Huffington Post. “Given that this study was cross-sectional in nature … we are unable to say if smaller [brain regions] lead to more media multitasking or more media multitasking is causing smaller [brain regions].”

    Loh recruited 75 healthy adults who were also relatively computer literate and media savvy to participate in the study. They were asked to take a survey to measure how often they spent time multitasking between different kinds of media. Then, they underwent brain scans with an MRI machine. Those who reported heavier media multitasking had less brain matter in the the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) region of the brain, which is believed to play an important role in helping people regulate their emotions — especially negative ones.

    “Reduced ACC gray matter volumes and activations have been implicated in several socio-emotional disorders such as depression, OCD [and] addictive disorders,” explained Loh. “They have also been associated with poorer cognitive abilities.”

    While Loh’s study doesn’t establish whether media multitasking caused diminished brain matter, or if people with smaller ACCs are more prone to multitasking, Loh notes that previous studies have linked media multitasking to a diminished ability to control emotions and thoughts, and smaller ACC regions have also been linked to that same inability. Still, more research is needed to establish clear links between all three things: media multitasking, smaller ACC regions and lack of emotional and cognitive control.

    Loh plans to expand on the findings by conducting a longitudinal study on the relationship between multitasking and brain matter, which would evaluate the association over a longer period of time, but would still not establish cause. Meanwhile, study co-author Ryota Kanai is taking on a research project about how computer exposure might change brain structure.

    While the findings aren’t enough to conclude that media multitasking causes brain shrinkage, there’s plenty of other evidence out there that should make you consider limiting yourself to one screen (or one tab) at a time.

    For one, multitasking doesn’t actually work if you’re trying to be more efficient. Psychologist and author Guy Winch, Ph.D., argues that a more accurate term for multitasking would be “task switching,” because you’re going to and from one action to another instead of truly doing two things at once, which wastes energy on transitions and slows you down.

    And once you’re slowed down, it can be hard to pick back up where you left off. We only spend an average of 75 seconds on a new task before the first interruption comes, according to this infographic, and it takes an average of 25 minutes to resume what we were doing in the first place. The wasted time adds up to an estimated $450 billion loss per year, globally.

    More important than money, though, is the toll multitasking could take on your health and wellness. Loh notes in the study that media multitasking is also linked with poorer health, including depression, social anxiety and negative well-being.

    If you want to finish a list of jobs, some better ways to enhance your efficiency and concentration would be to set goals, establish a routine, block distractions and take regular breaks.

  • Jimmy Fallon Says What We're All Thinking About The 'People You May Know' Facebook Feature
    During his “Thank You Notes” segment on “The Tonight Show” on Friday, Jimmy Fallon paid homage to possibly the most awkward Facebook feature there is.

    “Thank you, ‘People You May Know’ feature on Facebook,” he said, “for being the online equivalent of seeing an old friend in the grocery store and avoiding eye contact.”

    Other thank you note recipients included Dr. Dre, Attorney General Eric Holder, and dumplings, “for tasting way better than they sound.”

    Watch the full clip above.

  • How To Easily Save Money On eBay By Exploiting Spelling Errors
    You may not believe this, but there are a lot of people on the Internet who are terribul spellers! For the nit-picky among us, it can be horribly annoying. But thanks to a web site that we just discovered, their misspellings can actually help save you some cash.

    Say hello to FatFingers.com. The idea behind the website is relatively simple: help users easily search eBay for almost every conceivable misspelling of popular brands.

    How would searching misspelled brand names save you cash? Theoretically, people who know how to spell correctly never see the misspelled items, which therefore receive less attention, fewer bids and perhaps lower final offers.

    So for example, if you search for the brand “Adidas,” the site will auto-generate an eBay search field that includes nearly all the ways someone could spell it wrong: Adidad, Adudas, Ididas, Adidis, Adidaas, Adiddas, Adiidas, Addidas, Adiads, Addias, Adida, Adids, Adias, Addas, Aidas.

    fatfingersThe site has been around for some time, but the savings are timeless.

    We tried it out, and lo and behold, found some pretty good deals.

    ebay resultsThe site works with most name brands.

    Like this bad-ass black “Addidas” T for less than $5:

    adidas tshirt

    If you don’t like that, maybe you’ll like these sweet “Addias” wrestling shoes for, wait, how much? 1 cent.

    wrestlingm shoes

    Warning for the paranoid Facebook users among you: Facebook will find out that you thought those penny wrestling shoes were “sweet” and put them in your news feed almost immediately. If it happened to me, it can happen to you:

    wresting shoes

  • This Slow-Motion Video Of Tattooing Is Painfully Beautiful
    They say “beauty is pain,” and a new video shows that’s definitely true when it comes to tattooing.

    The video, part of the YouTube series Smarter Every Day, uses incredible slow-motion visuals to show the science behind inking.

    (Story continues below)

    As the video shows, the tip of a tattoo machine consists not of a single needle but of multiple needles grouped together.

    “Ink is held in between those multiple needle points using capillary action, and when it punctures the skin it drags the ink down into the dermis,” explains the series’ host, Destin Sandlin.

    Tat’s amazing!

  • Signaling Post-Snowden Era, New iPhone Locks Out N.S.A.
    WASHINGTON — Devoted customers of Apple products these days worry about whether the new iPhone 6 will bend in their jean pockets. The National Security Agency and the nation’s law enforcement agencies have a different concern: that the smartphone is the first of a post-Snowden generation of equipment that will disrupt their investigative abilities.

Mobile Technology News, September 27, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Consumer Reports: iPhone 6 'bending' controversy overblown
    Adding to new suspicions that some of the “iPhone 6 Plus easily bends” videos appearing on the web may have been staged, Consumer Reports has now weighed in with the results of its own independent testing that largely refutes the claims that the phones can bend easily. After testing both models of new iPhone, as well as some other smartphones and phablets, the lab found that while the new iPhones were indeed less resilient than the iPhone 5 or Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, the HTC One (M8) is actually the most prone to deformation.

  • Analysts raising price targets for AAPL on sales strength, China debut
    After falling four percent on Thursday, Apple’s stock closed out the week by bouncing back and regaining more than half the drop as Wall Street reacted positively to the company’s refutation of the “bending” controversy. Some new questions are being raised about the original video that started the kerfuffle, as careful observation reveals that the video was edited (and the reported noted in the video that his iPhone 6 was already slightly bent before demonstrating the flaw). Investment firms Stifel Nicolaus and BMO Capital Markets have both raised their target prices for AAPL.

  • Accused Cop-Killer Eric Frein Researched How To Elude Police Manhunts
    Eric Frein, the military enthusiast wanted for killing a Pennsylvania state trooper and seriously wounding another, conducted extensive Internet searches on how to survive in the wild and elude police manhunts, state police Lt. Col. George Bivens said Friday.

    “We are convinced that Eric Frein has been planning this attack at least for a couple of years,” Bivens said at a news conference. “This information is supported by a search of a computer hard drive.”

    Frein’s research also included various law enforcement technologies, Bivens said. The Internet searches were conducted on “a computer that did not belong to him, but it was one he had access to,” Bivens told reporters.

    “It did give us a lot of insight into some techniques he might be employing [and] it gave us some insight about what his escape might involve,” said Bivens.

    Bivens declined to discuss who owned the computer or how Frein was linked to it.

    “He did have his own computer and my understanding is he removed the hard drive prior to this crime,” Bivens said.

    Frein, a military enthusiast with extensive training as a marksman, has been the subject of a massive manhunt for the Sept. 12 shooting of Pennsylvania state troopers Alex Douglass and Bryon Dickson. The troopers were ambushed during a shift change outside the Blooming Grove barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. Dickson was killed.

    Frein, 31, faces charges of homicide of a law enforcement officer and attempted murder, police said. He also is wanted on federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

    The manhunt has involved more than 1,000 members of law enforcement, Bivens said. It has centered in the area around Canadensis, a town of less than 3,000 residents, where Frein lived. Police are combing through dense forest, which may be giving the fugitive cover.

    “There is nothing in our investigation that indicates Frein has left the area,” Bivens said. “I suspect he wants to have a fight with the state police, but I think that involves hiding and running, since that seems to be the way he operates.”

    Bivens said authorities believe Frein has a radio with him, which he may be using to listen to broadcasts about the manhunt. The lieutenant colonel also said records indicate Frein purchased items prior to the shooting that are typically used in the construction of bunkers.

    “We are aware of some purchases he made and those have been thoroughly investigated,” Bivens said.

    Bivens added, “We have not located that bunker.”

    On Wednesday, authorities said Frein has been spotted in the woods several times since the shooting and has left a trail of empty cigarette packs and dirty diapers. The discoveries have earned Frein the moniker, “Diaper Sniper’ and the creation of hashtag #DiaperSniper on Twitter.

    On Friday, Bivens said it has been more than 48 hours since Frein was last spotted by law enforcement.

    While acknowledging the search for Frein has been challenging, Bivens said authorities will not back down.

    “You are a coward,” Bivens said in a direct appeal to Frein. “We are not intimidated. We will not leave … We have a clear mission with specific objectives … We will find you and we will bring you to justice.”

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  • Weekend Roundup: ISIS Has Unified the World; Climate Change Has Divided It
    This week, the U.N. Security Council stood united in a unanimous resolution to fight what President Obama called the ISIS “network of death.” Yet, despite pleas for the world to act together on global warming, the leaders of India and China failed to even show up at the U.N. Climate Summit. India’s environment minister actually announced that his country would not cut carbon emissions and that the burden should fall on the developed countries.

    As the U.S. struck ISIS targets in both Syria and Iraq, Pope Francis visited Albania, a Muslim-majority country that is one of the poorest in Europe. Writing from Tirana, Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama reports on the pope’s visit and his inspiring message of peace, hope and tolerance.

    Writing from Canberra, the former head of the International Crisis Group, Gareth Evans, points out the limits of America’s anti-ISIS strategy. Former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke argues that ISIS is drawing the U.S. and its coalition further into conflagration in order to further its own aims in the region.

    Reporting from a remote village in central Turkey, WorldPost Middle East Correspondent Sophia Jones tells the harrowing story of two hostages who were released by ISIS last week. “It was a fine line between life and death,” one tells her.

    In this week’s “Forgotten Fact” series, the WorldPost turns to Boko Haram in Nigeria, revealing how the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls doesn’t tell the whole story of what’s going on in that country.

    As world leaders focused on climate change at the U.N. summit this week, the WorldPost gathered an array of voices to address the subject. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan calls for global unity to act now. California Governor Jerry Brown writes about how the climate challenge can be met “from the bottom up” at the sub-national level. Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon describes how his city is becoming eco-friendly. Writing from New Delhi, environmental scientist V. Rajamani says India is experiencing a climate “fever” caused by human economic activity.

    WorldPost Beijing correspondent Matt Sheehan heads to the coal-fired heartland of China to report on daily life at ground zero of climate change. He also writes about Chinese funemployed college grads “gnawing the old.”

    In an interview with the WorldPost, one of Europe’s leading statesmen, Swedish Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister Carl Bildt, ponders Putin’s motives and next moves in the Ukraine conflict. Writing from Moscow, Dmitry Gorenburg writes that many Russians, including Vladimir Putin, believe that the U.S. is out to overturn governments it doesn’t like by instigating “color revolutions” from within.

    Futurist Peter Schwartz warns that “challenger” states such as China, Brazil and Germany could end the Internet as we know it and break it down into national nets where information is controlled. Writing from Jerusalem, Yuval Noah Harari, author of the new blockbuster book, “Sapiens,” fears that, with new scientific advances in genetics, social inequality could translate into “biological inequality.” Philip Mirowski worries that robots are increasingly being designed to supplant human decisions. Chandran Nair looks at the impact of robots in overpopulated Asia.

    Finally, Zeng Jinyan — the wife of China’s famous environmental dissident activist Hu Jia — writes about what it is like to live under constant surveillance and harassment by China’s security police.


    EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Senior Advisor to the Berggruen Institute on Governance and the long-time editor of NPQ and the Global Viewpoint Network of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate/Tribune Media, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Senior Editor of the WorldPost. Alex Gardels is the Associate Editor of The WorldPost. Nicholas Sabloff is the Executive International Editor at the Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost’s 10 international editions. Eline Gordts is HuffPost’s World Editor.

    CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul; Matt Sheehan in Beijing.

    EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media) Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).

    CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editor-At-Large.

    The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and Guancha.cn also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

    Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from MassiveChangeNetwork.com on the “whole mind” way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

    ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council — as well as regular contributors — to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail, and Zheng Bijian.

    From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


    The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

    We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.

  • KFC Is Giving Away Ridiculous Fried Chicken iPhone Cases
    Cluck, cluck. Who’s there?

    Something totally bonkers. KFC is giving away a number of fried chicken themed iPhone cases to customers in Japan to commemorate the birth of the company’s late founder, Colonel Sanders. And whatever you just imagined in your mind, the actual product is even more bizarre: an advertisement shows an iPhone encased in a very large, presumably plastic drumstick, gripped by a young woman happily chatting away while a plump Colonel Sanders keels over in laughter on the ground.

    We’re laughing, too, Colonel.

    kfc drumstick

    In addition to the giant leg of iPhone, KFC Japan unveiled similarly chicken-themed goodies like a drumstick-shaped USB drive, a drumstick computer mouse, drumstick dangle earrings, a massive plush drumstick hat (for the sartorialists), and a keyboard with chicken shapes for letters (excepting the letters K, F, and C, of course):

    kfc chicken keyboard

    Unfortunately for anyone with lofty ambitions about talking into a Flintstones-esque chicken leg, KFC’s “Colonel Day” contest closed on September 24.

  • Apple no longer signing iOS 7.1.2, preventing downgrades
    Apple has officially stopping signing iOS 7.1.2, reports say. The move means that people who already have iOS 8 installed won’t be able to downgrade. The v7.1.2 firmware can still be downloaded by iPhone 4 owners, however, since their devices are incompatible with iOS 8.

  • Forums: iOS 8.0.2 update fixes some reported issues
    Today in the MacNN forums, members are discussing the second update to iOS 8. Some report no problems as of yet, others are stating there are some things missing such as recent pics. One Junior Member was trying to figure out why it was that every time they used “Find My iPhone” on the iPhone 6, it erased all their music.

  • Bendgate: 5 Things Apple Will Do Next
    There are at least two ways to revitalize a broken brand image: redesign the product or redesign people’s expectations around the experience of consuming the brand. Guess which path Apple will choose!

    Botox “gives you a frozen face”, Olestra “causes diarrhea”, Coke “causes cancer”, Starbucks “is a capitalist monster.” Many brands suffer from so-called doppelgänger brand images – negative images and meanings about a brand that circulate in popular culture and that compete with the brand owner’s intended image.

    Now it’s Apple’s turn with Bendgate – the newly discovered flaw that the iPhone 6 can bend. Apple may offer a new phone to affected consumers or change the phone’s design in the next round. For now, based on historical experience (e.g., Antennagate), it will use emotional branding tactics to redesign culture, consumer expectations – in short – the entire iPhone 6 experience. To pursue this goal, Apple (and Apple fans) will argue that…

    1. All phones bend! (Generalization)

    One popular brand image revitalization tactic is to move the problem away from the specific product to the entire category. Saying that bending is a key feature of all phones – be they LG, Blackberry, Samsung or Apple – and thus shifting the frame from the specific to the general will de-emphasize the problem for Apple and make bending phones like empty printer cartridges or expired yogurt – a fact of life.

    2. Don’t you know anything about physics? (Authorization)

    A second brand image revitalization tactic often encountered during doppelganger brand image crisis is authorization – bringing in the power of science and experts in to “normalize” a particular behavior of an object such as an antenna or a piece of aluminum. Through this move, critics will come across as Luddites who have slept through their physics lecture whereas iPhone users have done their science homework.


    3. Have a look at our people! (Humanization)

    A related tactic to downplay a doppelganger brand image is humanization – here presenting Apple’s iPhone development team. Showing how the people develop the product humanizes the production process – it shows personal dedication and care and, thus, reframes Bendgate as an unfair caricature of passionate and hardworking people who sacrifice time with their families for the greater good.

    4. Handle it like a pro! (Capabilization)

    Fourth, a bending phone is never the result of faulty R&D. Rather, it just happens as a result of improper handling. Here Apple will shift responsibility from the material level or development process to the individual consumer. Apple may take the stage very soon or post videos that demonstrate how phones ought to be handled or held properly – and how not to. Consequently, whoever has a bent phone is rendered incompetent or hasn’t simply followed the rules.

    5. Tight pants aren’t cool! (Ridiculing)

    Lucky for Apple, Bendgate has already been associated with tight pants. So, on the same note of shifting societal expectations rather than changing the product itself, Apple may likely de-emphasize Bendgate by associating it with consumer vanity or lack of sense of fashion. Tight pants say more about bad consumer taste than about the quality of the iPhone.

    6. Bonus tactic: Almost nobody complained! (Minimization)

    Lastly, Apple may take the wind out of Bendgate’s sails by claiming that only a very small number of consumers have actually complained about their iPhone being bent, thereby reducing the brand image crisis to a creation of unfair competitors or sensationalist bloggers.

    Well, they actually just did.

  • Kabbage or Traditional Banks: Which Is Best for Your Small Business Loan?
    With the advent of online business lending services like Kabbage, it’s easier for small businesses to get the funding they need to get off the ground. But is it always the best option to go with an online lender like Kabbage? Sure, it is easier to get qualified for Kabbage and it often has lower rates, but it can also have shortcomings when it comes to certain small business needs. Here’s a good breakdown of when you should consider Kabbage for a loan and when you should stick with a traditional bank:

    Kabbage: If you’ve been turned down for a loan at a traditional bank.

    Traditional bank loans are more difficult to qualify for than Kabbage, so if you’ve been turned down by the bank, try to get approved by Kabbage. As opposed to a loan, Kabbage gives its users a line of credit that they can borrow against. If your financials aren’t strong, they’ll give you a lower line of credit, and as you borrow and pay back loans on time, your line of credit will increase. It works well for sites that don’t need a huge loan upfront.

    Banks: If you need more than $100,000 in loans.

    Kabbage only loans up to $100,000 at a time, and it can take some time to actually get approved for that much credit with Kabbage. If you have a large amount of upfront costs and need more than $100,000 to get your business up and running, you will need to stick to the traditional bank route when searching for your loan.

    Kabbage: If you just need short-term micro-loans.

    Kabbage gives each user a line of credit from $500 to $100,000 based on their credit-worthiness. You can then use that to borrow any sum of money up to your line of credit, with the catch that you must pay it back within 6 months. So if you have a $5,000 line of credit, you can borrow up to $5,000 from Kabbage. If you only need $1,000 here and $6,000 there for expenses, it makes sense to use Kabbage.

    Banks: If you need more than 6 months to pay off your loan.

    However, if you want to take out larger sums and need more than 6 months to pay them back, it might be smarter to try for a traditional bank loan. Kabbage only allows you to loan money for up to 6 months, so if you borrow $50,000, you have to pay that entire sum back (plus interest) within the 6 month timeframe. This is why Kabbage works better for micro-loans.

    Kabbage: If you want to pay less interest.

    The good news is, since Kabbage loans have a shorter payback period, they generally don’t charge as much interest as traditional banks. In fact, they only charge a varied 1-13.5 percent in the first two months, and then it is a flat 1 percent rate for the next 4 months, which is significantly lower interest than traditional banks charge. If you only need a small loan and can pay it back within the 6-month time period, you can save on interest by going with Kabbage.

    Banks: If you want to work within your established bank.

    If you already have a business account with a certain bank, there can be benefits to sticking with your bank, especially the ease of getting the loan money and paying it back. While Kabbage offers easy money transfer and payback, it is all done through PayPal, which can be a turnoff for many borrowers.

    Kabbage: If you need to get approved fast.

    Traditional bank loans can take a while to get approved, and the paperwork involved is usually extensive. With Kabbage, all you have to do is link any of your financial institutions to Kabbage (including eBay, PayPal, Etsy, Amazon or even your traditional bank), and you can be approved for a line of credit in seconds. Kabbage determines the amount of your line of credit based on your financial information, so the more financial sites you link, the better.

    Want to know more about Kabbage? Here is a good breakdown of the service.

  • Autonomy: The Self-Driving Car and You
    Audi announced last week that it has become the first automaker to receive approval to test its self-driving cars on California’s public roads. Autonomy (both technical and political) is about to shift into high gear.

    We could be forgiven for thinking this is a vaguely interesting gewgaw in a world benumbed by technological gadgetry. The iPhone Six is out, for crying out loud… But like those who scoffed at Karl Benz’s strange “Motorwagen” in 1900, we’d be overlooking a revolution.

    The thing about self-driving cars is that it’s not about the car, it’s about movement, and the implications of autonomous movement are huge. Give it a few years, but with a bit educated imagination we can see:

    – Zero ownership: with “selfie” cars, there is really very little reason for owning a vehicle. If in a matter of mere moments you could “order up” a car of your choice from a fleet of free-roaming, auto-piloted cars, then why in the world would you need one parked in the driveway? Vehicles would be owned and operated by a handful of efficient companies that know just the right number of vehicles to have operating at any one time to serve the maximum clientele. The vehicles would be immaculately cleaned, well maintained, and safe. Doubtful? Today’s rental car companies do this already…

    – Accurate “sizing”: if owners are no longer tethered to their vehicle, the free market will quickly discern the right mix of vehicle types. The vast majority of daily commuting is by one person with practically no cargo. Commuters, then, are likely to order a small, compact, cheap car for that morning’s trip instead of, say, a truck (how many empty pickups do we see charging around town today?). If they need to hit Home Depot on their way home, they order the truck instead of the Vespa… The idle capacity stored in our vehicles that we obligingly pay for, maintain, park, and pay insurance on will largely disappear.

    – A real-estate revolution: if vehicles are constantly on the move, being perpetually routed to where they are needed, parking lots become largely obsolete. Some of the world’s most valuable real estate is locked away under asphalt, particularly in urban centers. This use of space is expensive and wasteful ($538/month in midtown Manhattan, $161/month national average). As parking lots disappear, they will be repurposed toward higher and better uses (how about “parks”?). Architecturally, eliminating the need to store parked vehicles will be an aesthetic boon. Gone will be the monolithic parking garage; gone too, will be the ugly double-door façade of the modern suburban home.

    – Freed resources. There are an estimated 253 million operable cars and trucks in the U.S. today. Conservatively estimating a $12,000 value per vehicle, the nation is sitting on about 3 trillion dollars (nearly the annual government budget) in mechanical capacity that often sits unused. Autonomous vehicles, while certainly not free, will almost certainly be used more efficiently, channeling that capital into more worthwhile pursuits (Toaster Strudels and Gaming Consoles probably…). The other side of the coin is the freed human capital. We spend around 540 hours a year in our cars, 38 in traffic alone. If you’re like a frightening majority of us, you spend tiny slivers of that time texting, tweeting, grooming, and brokering peace with kids in the back. But mostly, the driver is engaged in trying to outmaneuver his or her traffic foes; stopping at lights, obeying the speed limit, maintaining vehicle separation, and generally avoiding one of our leading causes of death. Autonomy frees those hours for (conceivably) better use, hours almost certainly better spent than driving badly…

    Those are just the obvious, logistical impacts of autonomous locomotion. The other glaring benefit (and don’t tell the bureaucrats) is that it helps make portions of the state obsolete. With little or no vehicle ownership, the requirement for drivers’ licenses, vehicle registration, titling, and insurance largely goes by the board. California legislators are giddy about their stylish new regulatory permits for driverless cars; they’ve also unwittingly sounded the death knell for the DMV. Few tears will be shed…

    Of course, there’s always a good chance for regulatory buffoonery. It seems quaint now, but the English Parliament passed a series of Locomotive Acts, culminating in its 1865 decree that all self-propelled automobiles be restricted to 4 miles per hour in the country and 2 miles per hour in city limits. Known as the “Red Flag Act”, it required all vehicles be manned by a crew of three, as well as a pedestrian to walk ahead of a laden vehicle with a red flag to warn the world of their non-traditional existence.

    The rules made a certain amount of sense (particularly to those in the horse-drawn carriage industry), but for 37 years they thwarted the United Kingdom’s embrace of the automobile. There will almost certainly be an equivalent of the Red Flag Act (is there any more appropriate name?), and administrators with ties to those heavily invested in the status quo will make political hay by convincing us that the rules “just make sense.” Fair warning.

    In the end, though, the force of the autonomous individual is a universal solvent, and the self-driving car will be a cheerful addition to our modern age. Buckle up, it’s going to be an exciting ride…

  • 5 Reasons Why I'm Mellow on Ello (For Now)

    I don’t usually post about consumer technology trends, but this week I’ve been amused and concerned by all the rumblings, especially from my Bay Area friends, about a new service called Ello. Because social media and networking platforms are so critical to the engagement efforts of — well — every NGO or nonprofit I know, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on why I’m mellow on Ello for now.

    Ello is a for-profit social network built in collaboration by a small team of designers, developers and product folks mostly in Colorado, Vermont and New York. With the promise of being “simple, beautiful, and ad free,” the as-of-now invite-only service seems to have caught a wave of perfect dissatisfaction with Facebook. As a result, my feeds have been lit up this week with requests for invites from those who don’t yet have access to the site.

    Here are five reasons why I don’t think Ello is for me — and why, in fact, the new service might be a bad idea for anyone who cares about the influence of social networking platforms on community and on culture:


    Not being able to trust Facebook has been the number one issue that those in my social circle have complained about. Indeed, this unease is so often projected onto Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that I bet most Facebook users feel they know the guy.

    I don’t see how Ello — a for-profit — serves in this regard. If trust was your key complaint about Facebook, then a community-run, distributed, decentralized service like Diaspora would be a much better option. But to date I haven’t see much chatter or interest about the four-year old nonprofit service.


    In my case “simple, beautiful and ad-free” aren’t really the core features that I am looking for. With social networks so critical these days I’m more interested in “ubiquitous, solid, and community-owned.”


    I know the Bay Area is a place where load of folks think nothing of plopping down $2,500 for a bike (which, ironically, is exactly what Ello’s CEO Paul Budnitz is best known for selling), but a social network where you have to pay for the service will inevitably just become a gated community. Is that where you want to spend your time? One of the reasons FB has gone global is because everyone can afford it, including those in the developing world.


    Want a web app or mobile app version Ello? Too bad, and Ello doesn’t think that’s a big deal: “A standalone iPhone and Android app is coming later this year. Until then, just bookmark Ello on your device. Ello works great.”

    I get that Ello claims to still be in beta mode, but launching a social network in 2014 without mobile tools means these guys are nowhere close to ready for primetime. What are they planning to do for scalability, security, multilingual, etc.?


    Ello says they designed a web service they’d want to use. Fair enough! But rather than beautiful I just see retro twee. In fact the whole thing reminds me of fancy pickle makers trying to make their products evoke Delancy Street nostalgia. When 2014-era software designers feel they need to “harken back” to the glory days of typewriters it’s a good indication that innovation won’t be the main driver of the experience. Not saying it needs to be, of course, just saying that a web service built for web designers may not be for all of us.

    Does all this mean I love Facebook and G+?

    No way. I worry all the time about the corrosive nature of equity investment and shareholder expectations for these for-profit behemoths. But while those two services certainly don’t pass all (or most) of the above tests, both have crack product teams developing tools that really do work for most people, and both have made access a huge priority.

    I also recognize and acknowledge that my own ability to criticize may be limited. I’m no first mover, wiling to jump ship to a new service before everyone else gets there. I just don’t have time or interest. But I am a huge fan of the idea of all of us migrating to a social platform that is more community-oriented.

    So I’m mellow on Ello, at least for now. But I’ll be keeping an eye on my Facebook feed just in case, and I’m sure my network will let me know how it goes.

  • This Prank Will Disturb Everyone With A Cell Phone
    Most of us are terribly guilty of checking our cell phones constantly — but consider exactly how fast you check your phone when you hear that tonal alert!

    It’s pretty darn fast, as this video from the social provocateurs at YouTube channel Whatever proves. They pranked a host of unsuspecting people by having a man play the ‘notification’ sound on his phone as he walked by.

    Like clockwork, everyone whips out their devices immediately. We can’t decide if this prank is hilarious or a little bit sad — probably both, because it ‘dings’ so close to home.

  • Watch What Happens When 30 People Are Asked To Loan Their Phone To A Stranger
    If you needed to make a call but your phone was dead, would a stranger help you?

    The folks at BuzzFeed decided to answer this question by asking 30 random people on the streets of Los Angeles if they could borrow a phone.

    You might be surprised by the results, because almost every person — 28 out of 30! — helped. And many even offered a phone charger, bus fare and more.

    Time to pay it forward and be a better stranger to others!

  • Apple Joins Rush To Fix Shellshock Bug Infecting The Internet
    Apple said Friday that it was fixing a security flaw in some versions of its operating system for Mac computers, joining other tech companies that are rushing to patch the so-called Shellshock bug affecting more than two-thirds of machines connected to the Internet.

    In a statement to The Huffington Post, an Apple spokesperson said the “vast majority” of people using OS X are not at risk, but some people who use advanced versions may be affected by the bug and “we are working to quickly provide a software update.”

    Google said it has fixed its code to avoid the bug, while Amazon told customers of its cloud service how to avoid the bug, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    On Wednesday, security experts said they had found a security hole in widely used software called Bash, which stands for Bourne-Again Shell. Bash is used in more than 70 percent of web servers, routers, computers and other machines connected to the Web.

    The security flaw, nicknamed Shellshock, has drawn comparisons to the recent Heartbleed bug because they both involve errors buried inside computer code used by numerous websites and tech products. Hackers can exploit flaws in computer code to install malicious software and steal passwords and other sensitive information.

    Heartbleed, which was found in April, allowed hackers to steal passwords, credit card data and Social Security numbers from two-thirds of websites using the flawed OpenSSL software. Its discovery drove many tech companies to recommend that their users change their passwords, although only about 40 percent of users did so.

    Security experts said the Shellshock bug could be more serious because it potentially allows a hacker to steal more than passwords or other data from a web server. If hackers can exploit the Shellshock flaw to infect a web server, they can also infect an entire website with malware and take over the computers of those who visit that site, according to David Jacoby, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

    It remains unclear what websites, if any, have been infected so far, though security researchers said they are seeing attempts by criminals to take advantage of the flaw.

    So what can you do to protect yourself? Not a whole lot.

    While Internet users could change their passwords to protect themselves from the Heartbleed bug, there is little they can do to avoid the Shellshock bug other than to wait until companies patch the flaw.

    Internet users can, however, make sure that they have antivirus software on their computers and that their computers have been updated with the latest security patches, Jacoby said. If an infected website is spreading malware, it will try to embed itself in visitors’ computers through a flaw in an unpatched program.

    Satnam Narang, a security response manager at Symantec, urged people not to panic.

    “If a website gets breached, then consumers should be worried,” he said. But that hasn’t happened yet, he said.

  • Conan Gets Involved In 'Bendgate' With Parody Commercial
    In case you haven’t heard, there’s a slight chance (very slight) your new iPhone 6 could bend in the pockets of your tight pants. And people are not happy about it.

    While Apple customers were busy complaining, however, the writers at “Conan” were imagining how Samsung might respond to the so-called bendgate scandal. On Thursday’s episode, host Conan O’Brien debuted a parody commercial showing off Samsung’s new “unbendy” phone design.

    Jam-packed with sexual innuendo, the spot proudly tells potential costumers that Samsung Galaxy phones are “rigid and stiff when you buy them.”

    Now that’s one “raging phoner” you don’t have to keep in your pants.

    H/t Reddit

  • Phoning
    Everyone has a phone, of course. Even though we weren’t rich, my family had a phone when I was young. The phone number, I remember, was 3773. Nice. Our phone was on what was called a party line. That meant that if some other family (our party line) was using their phone, we had to wait until they finished their conversation before we could use ours. Alternately, we could eavesdrop on their conversation, which of course you weren’t supposed to do. That wasn’t worth the time, since they never had anything interesting to talk about.

    Nowadays people rich and not rich have phones, preferably the carry around kind. The phone on the desk at home, no matter how sleek, has fallen from favor, may even gather dust. While the carry around phones have advantages, they lack interesting numbers once used such as Plaza5— or Watkins9—. My phone at home is listed in the directory as 744— instead of Rhinelander4— which it once was. That’s a considerably decline.

    So, yes, even if you have only rice and beans for supper, you feel the need for a carry around phone today. And you do carry it around. With it you have a screen to stare at as you walk down the sidewalk and cause someone coming toward you either to move aside or walk into you. With it you have something to use at breakfast in a restaurant to call your friend to talk about what movie she’d like to see and say I’ve already seen that and anyway I have a manicure appointment at 3 o’clock while (not to be underrated) simultaneously annoying the hell out of a guy nearby who had hoped for a quiet meal.

    A carry around phone also can take photos, obviating the need for that expensive Canon that you just bought last year. It can flash newspaper and magazine articles on its screen. It can remind you of dates with the dentist or the boy you hope to go to bed with.

    That phone can also employ new word usage. I’m thinking of the word “text.” Anyone who’s gone through school knows that a text is a textbook that you use in a history or geometry class. It’s a noun. But nowadays not just a noun. “I’ll text you the time for the meeting…” my friend types on the screen and sends it as a text message (texts it) to the screen on mine. This, I’ve only recently come to learn, is the preferred way to communicate–not by email or plain old telephoning. When asked why someone types a message rather than using his voice to send it, I’m told that it’s faster. That’s better just left.

    As I recall, we had the same phone in our house all the years I was growing up. You can bet that won’t happen with a carry around phone. A number 4 edition will quickly become passe and everyone you know will have traded it in for a number 5 edition and so on. This is called planned obsolescence, employed by the manufacturer for…well, for obvious reasons.

    I’m not a fashionista but every now and then I submit to wanting to keep up with the times, so just now I decided to trade in my number 4 edition for a number 5, especially because the change was free. I went to a store located near my apartment which stocks, conservative estimate, 25,000 small items, gadgets, that are used by people savvy about electronic appliances but maybe puzzling to everyone else.

    At that store I hoped for a simple exchange of one phone for the other, itself a rather simple notion. The manager is a well-built fellow of age maybe 30, but when he isn’t there, the store is manned by a couple of younger folks of age maybe 20, who provide customers with music from a tape they obviously know, since they sing along lyrics that, i’m embarrassed to say, I can’t understand.

    They brought out a number 5 edition phone which turned out to be faulty, something realized only after two days of them and me trying unsuccessfully to move material over from the one I was turning in. Ultimately, the manager pinpointed the issue, came forth with another number 5 edition and did the couple of hours work to set it up. I went by today to leave him a small gift.

    If all that was worth the trouble, I don’t know, as my new phone is new. I plugged it into a wall socket to make it work (to be repeated daily), and looked sympathetically at the phone on my desk, old and reliable, which I can use just by picking up the receiver…anytime.

    . . .
    Stanley Ely writes about communication issues in his new book, “Life Up Close,” in paperback and ebook.

  • The Funniest Someecards Of The Week
    Happy New Year! Happy first week of Fall! Happy new iPhones! What a happy week we had!

    Or ya know, if you’re not Jewish, you didn’t celebrate the new year. If you’re allergic to all things pumpkin spice, you were NOT excited about Fall. And if you got a new iPhone, it’s probably bent, so scratch that, too. If these all apply to you, sorry, your week must have sucked.

    But, wait! It’s not too late to turn your week around. Send someone a funny Someecard and you’ll feel great about yourself, therefore leading to happiness. Check out the funniest cards of the week below. Our work here is done.

  • Military's Tiny Implant Could Give People Self-Healing Powers
    If a tiny device could be implanted in your body to give you self-healing powers, would you want one?

    That question is on many minds now that the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced that just such a device is in the works: an electronic implant, injected via a needle, that would monitor the health of internal organs and help the body heal itself when illness or injury strikes.

    The implant — being developed as part of the agency’s ElectRx (pronounced “electrics”) program — would “fundamentally change the manner in which doctors diagnose, monitor and treat injury and illness,” DARPA program manager Doug Weber said in a written statement.

    “Instead of relying only on medication — we envision a closed-loop system that would work in concept like a tiny, intelligent pacemaker,” Weber continued. “It would continually assess conditions and provide stimulus patterns tailored to help maintain healthy organ function, helping patients get healthy and stay healthy using their body’s own systems.”

    There’s no word yet on when such a device might become available, but a spokesman for the agency said clinical trials might begin within five years.

    DARPA says the ElectRx implant would work via a process akin to neuromodulation. That’s the body’s built-in biological feedback system in which the peripheral nervous system — the nerves linking the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body — monitors and regulates the body’s response to injury and infection.

    DARPA says the implant could be effective against diseases ranging from rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease to epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.

    (Click here for larger image)

    Neuromodulation devices aren’t new. Some are being used to help patients with conditions like Parkinson’s disease and chronic pain. But DARPA says that unlike the anticipated ElectRx device, existing ones are bulky and imprecise and require invasive surgery to implant.

    So far, public reaction to the ElectRx program has been mixed.

    Some netizens lauded the news. “As a person with rheumatoid arthritis for 20 years I would volunteer for this in a hot minute,” enthused Facebook user Melody Peters this week after reading about the implant, LiveScience reported.

    Other people expressed worries that the implant could be put to nefarious uses. As Facebook user Christine Golden asked, “Will it include an undisclosed ability to track those who receive one?”

    What do you think of this self-healing implant? Weigh in below.

  • Why You Shouldn't Trust Facebook Posts About 'Amazing' Relationships
    Sorry about this, but there’s a new study out that will probably make those who are already unsure about their relationships feel even worse.

    People in relationships post more about their significant other on Facebook on days when they feel “more insecure about their partner’s feelings” than normal, according to a study published recently in the academic journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

    A group of researchers led by Lydia Emery, a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University, surveyed 108 straight couples at a small university in Canada. The scientists asked each partner to keep their own daily diary for two weeks, writing down how they felt their relationship was going every day. Then they looked at how each participant publicly interacted with their sweetheart on Facebook, tallying up any wall posts, status updates and photo comments made between the couple. The research team saw an uptick in interactions when one partner felt down about his or her relationship.

    facebook relationships
    Things may or may not be going well between Rihanna and my colleague Maxwell.

    In recent years, there’s been a flurry of research examining how romance blossoms and wilts on Facebook, perhaps because people are worried that the social network is ruining romance. It’s true that Facebook has so much information on you that its data scientists can predict with scary accuracy whether or not your relationship is a fling or the real deal.

    So why do people post more about their partners when they feel like things are rocky? To validate themselves in front of their friends? To remind their partner that they exist?

    Whatever is the case, know this: If you’re going to post a lot about your relationship, you probably will irritate the hell out of all of your Facebook friends.

    [h/t Science of Us]

Mobile Technology News, September 25, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • New poll suggests iPhone 6, 6 Plus will draw Android switchers
    A new survey suggests that the latest iPhone is attracting a very broad range of customers, with primarily four groups of roughly the same size who say they plan to buy an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. About 26 percent were, as one might expect, current iPhone owners looking to upgrade. About 20 percent said they don’t own a phone. A quarter of the 250 poll respondents indicated they would be switching from a non-Android phone, and other 27 percent say they will dump Android for iOS.

  • Yahoo Parts Ways With ALEC
    Another tech giant is parting ways with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

    Yahoo’s withdrawal from the group was confirmed in a statement to Common Cause late Wednesday.

    “We’ve decided to discontinue our membership in ALEC. We periodically review our membership in organizations and, at this time, we will no longer participate in the ALEC Task Force on Communications and Technology,” the company stated.

    The controversial conservative policy group has come under fire in recent years for promoting pro-business legislation that rolls back protections on civil rights, environmental, labor and public health laws, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. ALEC also generated or disseminated voter suppression legislation and helped craft the “stand your ground” laws that were adopted in 31 states, including Florida, where teenager Trayvon Martin was shot to death.

    Microsoft, Facebook and Google recently distanced themselves from ALEC.

    A Facebook spokesperson said the company was unlikely to renew its membership in 2015 because of disagreements on “some key issues,” National Journal reported.

    Google Chairman Eric Schmidt even went so far as to call its affiliation with ALEC “a mistake.”

    “Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place,” Schmidt said on Diane Rehm’s syndicated call-in radio show. “And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”

    ALEC spokesman Bill Meierling disagrees with Schmidt’s assessment.

    We are not climate-change deniers, we’re not anything of the sort,” Meierling said, according to the Washington Post. “We do have serious reservations about how implementation is being done by the government.”

    Earlier on Wednesday, Yelp announced that it parted ways with ALEC several months ago after receiving backlash from the public. Luther Lowe, Yelp’s director of public policy, also cited ALEC’s lack of transparency.

    “We suggested ALEC invite C-SPAN to fully cover their meetings,” Lowe stated. “Such sunlight on the organization would exert important pressure on ALEC to steer clear of controversial issues it has taken up in the past, while revealing to the broader public that providing a forum for policy makers and industry leaders to collaborate can result in consumer benefit (as was our experience).”

    To date, more than 90 companies have left ALEC over its positions and actions. However, AOL (the parent company of The Huffington Post) and eBay are still members.

  • Central Michigan University Launches Beer-Making Program
    DETROIT (AP) — Colleges and beer have a long shared history. A university in Michigan is taking that partnership to a new level with the creation of a program to train and certify experts in “fermentation science.”

    Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant this week announced plans to launch the program in fall 2015, aimed particularly at supporting and boosting the state’s fast-growing craft brewing industry, now a $1 billion-plus annual business.

    “As of 2013, Michigan ranked fifth in the nation in number of breweries, behind only California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington,” said Ian Davison, dean of the College of Science and Technology at the Mount Pleasant school.

    Central Michigan bills its undergraduate program as the first in the state specifically aimed at providing a “hands-on education focused on craft beer.” Similar programs operate at the University of California’s Davis and San Diego campuses and at Oregon State and Central Washington universities.

    Michigan State University has operated an artisan distilling program for 15 years and last year started a beverage specialization program that also includes beer and wine-making.

    The Central Michigan program will include classroom and lab work in biochemistry, chemistry and microbiology, as well as a 200-hour internship in a “production-scale facility.”

    The university, which is about 150 miles northwest of Detroit, said it’s collaborating with the Mountain Town Brewing Co. and Hunter’s Ale House in developing the program.

    Program director Cordell DeMattei said it “will fill a need in the state and across the region for students to learn the science and technology underlying brewing … and provides the training needed by future leaders of the craft brewing industry.”

    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in small-scale, local, high-quality beer-making.

    Rob Sirrine of the Michigan State University Extension said more than 400 acres of hops, beer’s key flavoring ingredient, are under cultivation in Michigan. Growers’ main market is small-sale in-state brewers, he said.

    Behind the growth in demand for high-end beer is a long-running fascination with the brewing process, one of the oldest forms of human food processing.

    “There’s a lot of romantic attachment to beer,” said Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. The Lansing-based group represents the state’s microbreweries, now numbering more than 160, and helped win passage this year of laws allowing them to expand.

    In-state microbrewers currently have 5 percent of Michigan’s beer market, a share that could easily double or triple, Graham said.


    Program details: http://bit.ly/1v0aAXG

    Michigan Brewers Guild: http://www.mibeer.com

  • DxO optics: iPhone 6, 6 Plus are best smartphone cameras
    Backing up anecdotal evidence and tests by independent third parties such as the Wall Street Journal, high-end image software and optical lens testing company DxO Optics has issued its DxOMark ranking of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, finding that both models beat the formerly top-rated Samsung Galaxy S5 and Sony Xperia Z3. The company, which also ranks high-end DSLR lenses, proclaimed that the new iPhones “set the gold standard for smartphone image quality.”

  • Norwich University Blocks Yik Yak App On Campus
    NORTHFIELD, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont college president has blocked access to an anonymous social media site because he says it was being used for cyberattacks against some students.

    Norwich University President Richard Schneider says he realized his decision to block access to the Yik Yak application via the school’s computer system is largely symbolic because students can access it elsewhere, but he says he had to do something.

    “I just know that it is hurting my students right now,” he says. “They are feeling awkward, they are feeling hurt, they are feeling threatened.”

    Norwich has launched an internal investigation, but no reports of criminal behavior have been made, the school says in a statement.

    Yik Yak describes itself as an anonymous gossip app that was launched last November.

    In a number of instances elsewhere across the country, people have been charged with crimes for making online threats or harassing someone via Yik Yak.

    Yik Yak says in a statement that like any social media app, it was liable to misuse. It says that it has blocked access nationwide from areas near most middle and high schools and that the app is only intended for use by people 17 or older.

    “Additionally, the app monitors conversations and posts, and any negative or harmful behavior can result in the respective user being blocked, or altogether banned from future use,” the statement says. “Yik Yak also finds that as more users sign up and start using the app, communities begin to self-regulate in a positive way.”

    Yik Yak was one of a number of new anonymous social media apps that have become popular in the last year, says Sameer Hinduja, a professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Florida Atlantic University and the co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

    “People were using it to say very cruel and malicious and even threatening and humiliating things,” Hinduja says.

    That’s what prompted Yik Yak to block its use from areas within about 1.5 miles of middle schools and high schools, but not colleges, Hinduja says.

    “The app owners were very clear they did not want to provide the same sort of geo-fencing and blocking around colleges because it’s a little bit less of a vulnerable population, we’re dealing with what we hope would be considered adults,” he says.

  • Why is that lamp-post watching me?
    Why is that lamp-post watching me?
  • Weather report: Forecasts improving
    How weather forecasting is becoming more accurate
  • Indian Orbiter Reaches Mars, Gets Adorable Greeting From NASA's Curiosity Rover
    India’s space program announced Wednesday that it successfully put a spacecraft into orbit around Mars. The feat not only marks one big step for the space program, but also one giant leap for Martian robot friendship.

    After successfully entering Mars’ orbit this week, India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) spacecraft was immediately greeted with a “tweet” around 3 a.m. GMT Wednesday by a fellow Mars explorer, NASA’s Curiosity rover, prompting what may have been the best Twitter exchange ever:

    Namaste, @MarsOrbiter! Congratulations to @ISRO and India’s first interplanetary mission upon achieving Mars orbit.

    — Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) September 24, 2014

    Howdy @MarsCuriosity ? Keep in touch. I’ll be around.

    — ISRO’s Mars Orbiter (@MarsOrbiter) September 24, 2014

    “Brilliant! Mars Orbiter interacting with Mars Curiosity. That’s the beauty of Twitter,” commented Twitter user Jitendra Jain after seeing the friendly exchange between MOM and Curiosity.

    Meanwhile, a Redditor with the username “oldterribleman,” quipped on Wednesday, “This is the kind of thing that unites humanity and for a moment erases borders. Bravo!”

    Within the first four hours of launching its Twitter account, @MarsOrbiter had more than 32,000 followers, BBC News reported. And, the hashtags #IndiaAtMars, #marsorbitormission and #Martian were among the top 10 Twitter trends in India.

    This was India’s first attempt to get the spacecraft — also called Mangalyaan, which means “Mars craft” in Hindi — into the Red Planet’s orbit, making the country the first Asian nation to successfully to do so.

    The orbiter is expected to circle Mars for at least six months, using solar-powered instruments to collect scientific data from the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

  • Video's Popularity Rises and the Screens Converge: Fresh Steps to Fully Capitalize
    As autumn draws near and this year’s final upfront results roll in, we’re seeing a slightly softer TV ad market than in past years. It’s clear from the sheer magnitude of TV spending that the biggest screen is a persistent mainstay and high priority. However, changes playing out this year also hint of desire among marketers to stay more flexible in the way they approach TV.

    The explanation is likely rooted in the continuing growth of TV programs being watched on internet connected devices that suggests “TV” and “Digital” can no longer be viewed as completely separate media investments. The rise in consumption of TV programming across screens, along with the quickening rate of overall connected TV adoption is making a true multi-screen video ad strategy feel more and more important to brands.

    Some developments over the past year are shedding further light on video advertising’s future, and the opportunity connected devices bring marketers to enhance consumers’ experience with their favorite programming and brands. There is strong evidence of a gradual yet steady march in the ad world to a full link up of digital rich video advertising with the new premium content ad opportunity that connected TVs now represents:

    For one, the internet is feeding TV consumption in an increasingly seamless way – 34 percent of U. S. homes already own a smart TV, 20 percent own a streaming device and a whopping 62 percent own a gaming console, all of which are being used, in part, to stream TV from the internet. In addition, according to Parks Associates, 60 percent of connected TV homes are watching TV programs via the Internet, and a recent report from eMarketer states that, in 2015, the majority of US Internet users will be using a connected TV [1].

    On top of the impact that the pure growth in internet video streaming on connected TVs being observed will likely have on the video ad strategy, the relationship between TV and tablet viewing is also getting closer. As of Q1 2014, Parks Associates reports that ownership rates of tablets have quadrupled to 61 percent of broadband homes, with 41 percent making regular use of TV apps1. Together these trends signal an important opportunity for advertisers, networks and TV providers alike, to deliver richer ad experiences to audiences across screens.

    And, in a separate development this summer, NBCUniversal had a relatively strong showing in the upfronts ($6 billion vs. $5.4 billion last year) highlighting the potential impact that changing viewing habits may already be having on future TV spending. NBCU demonstrated the appeal that cross-screen ad opportunities hold for marketers and their brands to reach TV audiences, efficiently and seamlessly across all. We should expect to see more requests for ad inventory that is bundled and delivered across screens in 2015 from brands and agencies seeking to better reach target TV audiences regardless of where they are watching their favorite programming.

    A survey by eMarketer earlier this year reinforces the point, “75 percent of media planners are either planning for connected TV advertising opportunities now or will be this year [2].” Another indication that in all that’s already changed about connected behaviors and adoption, it’s becoming less and less feasible to approach TV and digital as discreet and separate parts of a communication strategy driven by separate investment criteria.

    In short, continued strong adoption of connected TV and the growth in internet streamed video viewed across mobile and online screens looks like a wave just building to full strength, with TV representing the final leg of the digital media stool.

    Not surprisingly, according to the Accenture Interactive CMO Study 2014, 42 percent of executives expect “managing change” to be the biggest barrier to implementing digital business initiatives. “The final piece that will make this transition possible will be the integration of online advertising capabilities that have already created new and innovative avenues for brands to successfully engage with consumers on the other screens [3].”

    Just how popular video has become to us over the past few years is best revealed in this quote from Ron Harevo, president of video, AOL “…we’re getting to a point where screen agnostic is the only way you can approach consumers, because they watch more videos on every platform…mobile and tablets are taking off and connected TV is the next new thing”

    As digital device usage continues to grow, it’s likely to become an important contributor to growth in video ad spending for years to come. OTT streaming will exceed $14 billion in 2018 according to PWC, this compares with $4.6 billion in 2014. It highlights well the strength and vitality of the US digital video ecosystem. “We’re in the midst of perfect storm conditions with audience growth consumer habits, device ad options, content availability and ad opportunities spinning in a virtuous circle,” said Harevo.

    Converging workflows in a time of fundamentally changing behaviors and digital ad possibilities highlights the need for overcoming any limitations that current org structures and/or business processes have on the ability to truly optimize on a cross screen rich video ad strategy.

    1. “The Evolution of Advanced TV Advertising Strategies.” Parks Associates (2014)
    2″Connected TV Ads Important for Future–but Few Know How to Buy Them.” eMarketer. 15 May 2014.
    3 “Content Kings: The Changing Landscape of TV Consumption.” Digital Capital Advisors (2013).

    Jacqueline Corbelli is the Founder, Chairman, CEO BrightLine, and Author of recently released book, REVEALED: Thoughts on the Connected Revolution

    Follow Jacqueline Corbelli on Twitter

  • Racist Posts On Yik Yak Prompt Student Protest At Colgate University
    Students at Colgate University have held a campus sit-in for three straight days, prompted in part by racist messages on the anonymous social media app Yik-Yak.

    The protest started Monday when 300 students filed into the school’s admissions building in Hamilton, New York, to demonstrate against the treatment of minority students on campus and the university’s lack of diversity.

    Inside Higher Ed reports that the protest was not only inspired by messages on Yik Yak, but by messages on other social media sites and comments made in person to students on the campus bus. Bigoted messages on Yik Yak have reportedly increased since the demonstration began (scroll down for examples).

    @colgateuniv @colgateacc #canyouhearusnow pic.twitter.com/rv1VL2iQnh

    — K. Kemp-DeLisser (@doctorkaykaydee) September 23, 2014

    #Studentpower #canyouhearusnow @colgateacc making noise for #justice #inspiring #standup pic.twitter.com/APxNLSqBME

    — The Throwaways (@throwawaysdoc) September 23, 2014

    Leading the protest efforts is the student-run organization Colgate University Association of Critical Collegians (ACC), who are promoting the sit-in on social media with the hashtags #CanYouHearUsNow and #ThisIsColgate. The group is also posting student video testimonials on YouTube, as well as photographs of students sharing their stories with handmade signs on Instagram.

    A statement on the ACC’s Tumblr page explains that the demonstration aims to raise awareness about various microagressions experienced by minority students at Colgate, whose undergraduate student body is approximately 70 percent white.

    Additionally, the ACC published an action plan for administrators to help make Colgate more inclusive; the plan includes suggestions like requiring all faculty and staff to participate in sustained diversity training, making more financial aid available to needy students and hiring more minority faculty members.

    “Until those action plans are met, we will pursue our sit-in here at the Hurwitz Office of Admission building,” Sydni Bond, a student spokesperson for ACC, told Inside Higher Ed.

    School officials responded Wednesday afternoon in writing to ACC’s suggestions, with university president Jeffrey Herbst calling its response “comprehensive and intentional.”

    “We believe our response will be the basis for further discussion,” Herbst said in a statement, adding that “Bias incidents and racism, while not unique to Colgate, are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. They have no place on a college campus, and they have no place at Colgate. We have heard you, and we will join you in the common goal of creating a campus environment that is welcoming and supportive of all of our students.”

    The school didn’t publish online the written response it delivered directly to student activists. On the ACC’s Facebook page, several members expressed dismay with the document, with one characterizing it as “severely inadequate.

    The administration gave us a vague response to the action plans,” read a tweet from the group Wednesday night, added that members were taking a dinner break before resuming discussions.

    Note: The following tweets contain offensive language that may be upsetting to some readers.

    Two more examples of the racism at Colgate University #CanYouHearUsNow @colgateacc pic.twitter.com/hzWj6Wtu4j

    — Cece (@CeceSoPretty_) September 23, 2014

    Two insensitive Racist anonymous comments made by Colgate students on Yik Yak #CanYouHearUsNow @colgateacc pic.twitter.com/SJUacqzfkV

    — Cece (@CeceSoPretty_) September 22, 2014

  • New 'Bash' Software Bug May Pose Bigger Threat Than 'Heartbleed'
    (Adds comments from Department of Homeland Security, and comments from corporate security experts)
    By Jim Finkle
    BOSTON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – A newly discovered security bug in a widely used piece of Linux software, known as “Bash,” could pose a bigger threat to computer users than the “Heartbleed” bug that surfaced in April, cyber experts warned on Wednesday.
    Bash is the software used to control the command prompt on many Unix computers. Hackers can exploit a bug in Bash to take complete control of a targeted system, security experts said.
    The Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, or US-CERT, issued an alert saying the vulnerability affected Unix-based operating systems including Linux and Apple Inc’s Mac OS X.
    The “Heartbleed” bug allowed hackers to spy on computers but not take control of them, according to Dan Guido, chief executive of a cybersecurity firm Trail of Bits.
    “The method of exploiting this issue is also far simpler. You can just cut and paste a line of code and get good results.”
    Tod Beardsley, an engineering manager at cybersecurity firm Rapid7, warned the bug was rated a “10” for severity, meaning it has maximum impact, and rated “low” for complexity of exploitation, meaning it is relatively easy for hackers to launch attacks.
    “Using this vulnerability, attackers can potentially take over the operating system, access confidential information, make changes, et cetera,” Beardsley said. “Anybody with systems using Bash needs to deploy the patch immediately.”
    US-CERT advised computer users to obtain operating systems updates from software makers. It said that Linux providers including Red Hat Inc had already prepared them, but it did not mention an update for OS X. Apple representatives could not be reached.
    Tavis Ormandy, a Google Inc security researcher, said via Twitter that the patches seemed “incomplete.” Ormandy could not be reached to elaborate, but several security experts said a brief technical comment provided on Twitter raised concerns.
    “That means some systems could be exploited even though they are patched,” said Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer with security software maker Veracode.
    He said corporate security teams had spent the day combing their networks to find vulnerable machines and patch them, and they would likely be taking other precautions to mitigate the potential for attacks in case the patches proved ineffective.
    “Everybody is scrambling to patch all of their Internet-facing Linux machines. That is what we did at Veracode today,” he said. “It could take a long time to get that done for very large organizations with complex networks.”
    “Heartbleed,” discovered in April, is a bug in an open-source encryption software called OpenSSL. The bug put the data of millions of people at risk as OpenSSL is used in about two-thirds of all websites. It also forced dozens of technology companies to issue security patches for hundreds of products that use OpenSSL.
    Bash is a shell, or command prompt software, produced by the non-profit Free Software Foundation. Officials with that group could not be reached for comment. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Tiffany Wu and Ken Wills)
  • Paula Deen Aims For Comeback With 'Uncensored' New Digital Network
    A year ago, Paula Deen’s career was in free fall.

    After the Southern chef revealed her history of racially insensitive comments in a 2013 deposition, her sponsors abandoned her en masse, her publisher refused to publish her latest book and the Food Network cancelled her long-running TV show. Some speculated that Deen would never be able to recuperate from the blows the scandal dealt her.

    But now Deen is trying to prove her critics wrong by staging a daring comeback. On Wednesday, she launched the Paula Deen Network, an online platform for her cooking and lifestyle content, with a heavy focus on video.

    In a phone interview with The Huffington Post, Deen explained that she decided to start the new venture after thousands of fans pledged their support for her online in the wake of the scandal.

    “One of my salvations in that year and three or four months when I was out of the public eye was a website that one of my family members showed me — it was ‘We support Paula Deen.’ And I saw that my website had grown to over four and a half million people,” she said, referring to her popular Facebook page. “That was staggering to me, that my website had actually grown rather than decreasing.”

    Deen said her team polled the most loyal fans about what she should do next, and found that many of them wanted to see her do something digital, rather than return to TV.

    “We listened to them, and we said, ‘Why not?’ It’s been one of the most wonderful business decisions of my life,” Deen said. “Every day that I go to work, I walk in and I ask my team, ‘Are we calling this work again today? Because it’s so much fun.'”

    According to Deen, the key advantage of having her own network — as opposed to starring in a show on someone else’s network — is that she has complete creative control over the content. No network executives are hovering over her shoulder looking to veto risky decisions.

    “When you’re on a major network, they have the control over what you say, what you do, what you air,” she said. “And I think my friends want more than that from me. And this way, we can give it to ’em. We show warts and all. There’s very little editing.

    “When you watch a cooking show — besides the so many competitive shows that are going on — it looks like everything’s perfect, and all that, and that’s just not the case,” she continued. “We show it the way it unrolls. Most of the time it is perfect. But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes I set off the fire alarm. Sometimes my oven doesn’t work!”

    Deen’s network has no sponsors or advertising; instead, its revenue will come entirely from viewers. Subscriptions to the Paula Deen Network cost $9.99 a month, or $7.99 a month if you sign up for an entire year. The strategy is a major gamble. Though a few media personalities, such as Glenn Beck, have made a fortune from online subscriptions, many others have failed to break through and turn a profit. It’s hard to get people to pay for content when so many websites are giving it away for free.

    The Paula Deen Network’s financial backer, Phoenix-based private equity firm Najafi Cos., has staked a great deal on this model, having reportedly invested $100 million to purchase a majority share of the company. The firm recently acquired the rights to all Deen’s old Food Network shows, which will be featured on the “Vintage Paula” section of the website.

    “Thirteen years of footage, everything that had landed on the floor, all the specials: we have it all,” Deen said of her archives.

    While the older material will certainly attract loyal Deen fans, the fate of the new venture will ultimately depend on the strength and popularity of its original programming. The site already features over 100 original clips, organized into several dozen shows, from “Paula’s 5 & Dime,” a showcase for quick recipes with no more than five ingredients, to game shows like “What Did Paula Deen Just Put In My Mouth?” Deen said that her team plans to post at least 20 new clips every week, adding that she wants the network to offer an “uncensored” peek into her life.

    Sure enough, the first batch of videos shows a raunchier, edgier Paula Deen than the Food Network ever did. In “Cheer Up Paula,” Deen’s closest advisers, Brandon Branch and Hollis Johnson, mount a surprise intervention against her slothful ways. Over the course of the 10-minute video, Deen admits to loving Botox, jokingly calls Branch and Johnson “assholes,” threatens to rub a giant bullfrog all over Branch’s face and ogles her well-muscled personal trainer.

    That said, however, Deen is less candid and open when it comes to her history of political incorrectness. Perhaps in an effort to combat her negative public image, Deen’s new videos emphasize her close relationship with Branch and Johnson, who are gay and black respectively. (Deen notoriously compared Johnson’s skin tone to the color of a blackboard in a 2012 interview with New York Times reporter Kim Severson.) In “Meet Team Deen,” Johnson says that Deen has been like a second mother to him, while the chef herself quips that Branch often calls himself “the daughter [she] never had.”

    When asked whether she was interested in exploring the racial aspects of the history of Southern cuisine on any of her new shows, Deen told HuffPost that she didn’t know the history of any of her dishes further back than her grandmother. And when asked directly what the scandal had taught her about the country’s racial dynamics, she sighed, then said, “Um … I just learned that words … they’re powerful. And they can hurt, no matter how old they are.” She said almost the exact same thing on the Today Show the day before.

    But Deen may not need to win over those who were offended by her comments on race in order for her new project to succeed. If just 3 percent of her 4.5 million Facebook fans subscribe to the Paula Deen Network for a year, she’ll net $17 million — the amount she made as a Food Network star the year before the scandal.

    Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

  • Wu-Tang's Inspectah Deck on Tech, Race and Politics
    It’s been a particularly abundant whirlwind several days as one thinks about recent events within pop culture as they intersect with tech. Whether it’s the social frenzy for and now the latest reports that the iPhone 6 might bend if you sit on it the wrong way, to digital sentiment around Black women like Shonda Rhimes and a controversial article, to cultural discussion at the future global policy scene happening at the United Nations shared in real-time across platforms.

    Given all this activity, I decided to check in with someone who always provokes thought and stirs insight.

    Here’s a peek inside a recent convo I had with the one and only, Inspectah Deck of the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, that just may add a much needed vibe in a storm of breaking events:

    For, me, personally, I’m a closet techie. A friend of mine who is an engineer introduced me to something called a Mac about 10 years ago or more. He ended up turning me into the rap Morpheus. I stay in the Matrix now. (LOL) Right this moment I’m in front a computer, I got a Playstation going, a Macbook, an iPhone and more. When I was younger in the music game, we didn’t have all this. When Steve Rikind wanted to sign us at Loud Records, when had to walk in there and look him in the eye while we played the tracks. It wasn’t about sending a sound file. If we had all this now, we could have been the U2 of rap!! But it’s all good. I get a chance to benefit from it now whether people are booking me through devices or running my business through it.

    But there are pros and cons to the tech game, as we know. I understand the flip side. For example, even though I have the ability to purchase all this stuff right away, I’m the type who might not get an iPhone 6 until a year or so into my contract and get it for $100 or something. (LOL) I’m still frugal. But on the real, I also understand about people starving in the streets too, so a phone $700 phone? A lot of people have no room in their life for that, so I try to keep it all in perspective. I’d also have to say I don’t care how big the screen is or the fingerprint password thing or anything like that, I’d ask them to fix the chargers. I constantly have to buy a new one. I’m on my 4th one now!! They are sitting right in front me now looking mangled. (LOL)

    But of course more that that, I’m always concerned about privacy. I don’t have everything connected to connected with everything else. I feel like they’re trying to merge everything together, and that’s just a field day for hackers. I’m not logging into LinkedIn via Facebook, and Facebook with Instagram and so on.

    In fact now, I’m having those types and conversations with my young daughter, in terms of being careful about tech, strangers, all that and more. She also has to pay maybe more attention when it comes to being a Black woman. I hear you about all the talk about “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes and that article or all this now about who is deciding big booties are in (or out) or certain people deciding whether cornrows are in or out – and that’s all just within a few days – you also have the Ray Rice situation. It’s a lot. For me, this is all about society. We’re talking about tech, but this could also be a little bit of the downside of technology. When I look at social media and this court of public opinion; we are sometimes in a world that enables people to bash you, insult you, demoralize you, harass you; and have never even met you. It can start a tidal wave. Twitter can go berserk. It can sometimes create a crowd mentality, and it gets repeated and go on for so long that it can actually become a little de-sensitized to what is actually a very important topic. The more they show that video or Tweet or GIF or whatever is out there, the more it encourages more and more voices. And for me, then it become like a fast fad. That’s how mostly everything is working now. It’s hot today, then it’s gone tomorrow – without any depth.

    Now more than ever, we need to get a little deeper. I see the Clinton Global Initiative going on, voting coming up, and different people getting into the mix. If you’re someone like me and Wu-Tang, I think that people look at us as the type of people to be in tune with that type and thing and to have some sort of voice. Rza is definitely into these kinds of things, and he incorporates the group into it, which ties me into it. I think that we have sort of a responsibility to be involved somehow. Look, we’re just the voice of the people. So if people are screaming out, “change.” Then I believe we have to scream out, “change”. That’s why the upcoming album is called “A Better Tomorrow.” We’re directly in tune with the way the government is moving, the way the wars are going on. The U.S. just lit the alarm again earlier this week. If enough people make enough noise about things, we can make change. Sometimes I don’t think a lot of celebrities don’t want to be subject themselves to scrutiny, though, or jeopardize their positions by speaking up. But it’s important to stand for something. As a Black person living today, I know my ancestors stood for something and even gave up their lives so I can sit here and use a laptop and more. I’m grateful for that.

    Right now I’m not sure there many people who are really interested from the heart in leading the people or making a big difference. I think people are sometimes more aware that you can get your five minutes of fame (or infamy) by what they say or don’t say. That’s this world right now with technology.

    It makes me think about our upcoming album. It’s like, I have to be honest, I wasn’t feeling how this album was turning out at first. I wasn’t sure it was what the fans wanted. But now, I feel like as I sat down and really listened to it, it just made sense, and it’s kinda about what we’re talking about right now. It’s like “A Better Tomorrow”: the music has to get better, life has to get better, the community has to get better, your etiquette has to get better, your language has to get better, your health has to get better, your mind has to get better, everything has to get better. That’s what we all need to think about now. Like, you have the power to be better. Maybe it’s time to stop settling for what’s just being thrown in front of you. It’s time to pick a side and decide what you want.

  • (VIDEO) Adobe's "Marketing Cloud" Explained
    COLOGNE – Who’d be a marketer these days? With device fragmentation, channel proliferation and the up-ending of the traditional “funnel” comes a whole set of challenges, says Adobe strategy VP Suresh Vittal.

    At the DMEXCO conference, Vittal’s company announced a deal in which all of Publicis’ agencies will have access to a new suite, Always-On platform, that is powered by Adobe Marketing Cloud and offers content creation, audience segmentation, campaign tracking, measurement and more.

    “The marketing transformation that’s happening in the industry because of digital, the disruption of multi-channel and audience fragmentation is going to require a technology and an analytical-driven process,” Vittal told Beet.TV in this panel interview with Ashley J. Swartz, Founder and CEO of Furious Minds at DMEXCO.

    “Marketers have varying levels of confidence when it comes to the technology options.” Vittal said Adobe and Publicis were “coming together to solve marketers problems”.

    Also at DMEXCO, we spoke with Publicis executive Rishad Tobaccowala about the alliance with Adobe and the rise of DMP’s.

    This video is part of series of videos covering DMEXCO.  Please find all of our coverage of the show right here.

    You can find this post on Beet.TV.

  • Celebrities Rally Behind Emma Watson's Feminism Speech In Wake Of Nude Photo Threats
    After giving an impassioned, empowering speech at the United Nations about the need for men to take up for the fight for gender equality on Sept. 20, actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson found herself the target of nude photo leak threats.

    Although the threats thankfully turned out to be a hoax by a “social media marketing firm,” they reflect a disturbing notion that violating women’s privacy has the capacity to disarm and intimidate them.

    Not this time. Celebrities have rallied in response to the threats and the misogynist thinking behind them, tweeting in support of Watson and her work on the HeForShe initiative her speech launched. Watson has retweeted many of them in over the past few days.

    “You are impeccable & extraordinary,” wrote “Avengers” actor Tom Hiddleston in his tweet. “I stand with you. I believe in gender equality. #heforshe.”

    Many of the tweets were accompanied by a photo of the celebrities holding a sign reading “#heforshe,” as suggested by Watson. Their response was, in a word, incredible. Enough famous faces offered their support that “Girls” creator Lena Dunham thinks that they should be compiled into a “sexy calendar.” And hey, what’s sexier than supporting equality?

    Check out some of the celebrities’ HeForShe photos below.

    So proud of @EmWatson. From the girl I grew up with to the inspirational woman she is today. I’m with you. #heforshe pic.twitter.com/0j316BBznB

    — Matthew Lewis (@Mattdavelewis) September 24, 2014


    — Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) September 24, 2014

    .@EmWatson you are impeccable & extraordinary. I stand with you. I believe in gender equality. #heforshe pic.twitter.com/xXQsyJ7WfP

    — Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston) September 24, 2014

    My friend @EmWatson delivered a powerful speech to the UN http://t.co/yWtW3mjqBh I support equality. #HeForShe pic.twitter.com/gCNTK1BNvx

    — Logan Lerman (@LoganLerman) September 23, 2014

    As a feminist and a human being, I agree with @emwatson (read her speech) @UN_women #heforshe (pic by @amandapalmer) pic.twitter.com/prm1O2LRUg

    — Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) September 23, 2014

    #HeForShe is a great cause to get behind! Please check it out. So proud of @EmWatson! pic.twitter.com/lJrUWcmPEo

    — Chris Colfer (@chriscolfer) September 23, 2014

    Husband to a wife, father to a daughter, son to a mother. You bet I’m on board, @EmWatson! #heforshe pic.twitter.com/5SyIKIbCZo

    — Simon Pegg (@simonpegg) September 23, 2014

    I am a passionate supporter of gender equality. @EmWatson @HeForShe @UN_Women pic.twitter.com/IpudHsNpu3

    — Douglas Booth (@DouglasBooth) September 20, 2014

    Proud to support the #HeForShe campaign of @UN_Women pic.twitter.com/BVMoJ4oJph

    — Forest Whitaker (@ForestWhitaker) September 20, 2014

    h/t Elite Daily

  • Jimmy John's Confirms Credit Card Breach At 216 Stores
    The sandwich chain Jimmy John’s confirmed Wednesday that hackers stole customer debit and credit card data from 216 of its stores, making the company the latest victim in a string of cyber attacks against major retailers and restaurants.

    A hacker stole login credentials from credit card readers at corporate and franchised locations between June 16 and Sept. 5 of this year, the restaurant chain said in a statement on its website. It learned of the breach on July 30 and hired security experts to help with its investigation.

    Jimmy John’s is based in Champaign, Illinois, and has about 1,900 locations. It said the cards impacted were only those swiped at the stores, and not ones entered manually or online. It did not say how many cards were stolen, but said its investigation is still ongoing and it is now safe to use credit and debit cards at its locations.

    On its website, the restaurant posted a listing of stores affected by the breach, spanning from Florida to California.

    Jimmy John’s also said it has taken steps to tighten security by installing machines that encrypt credit card data and is “reviewing its policies and procedures for its third party vendors.”

    While the statement suggested another company may have been the cause of the breach, it did not disclose the company’s name. However, cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs reported nearly two months ago that the theft of cards at Jimmy John’s was caused by a cyberattack on a company called Signature Systems, which makes card readers for restaurants.

    Krebs reported that banks were seeing a pattern of fraud on cards recently used at Jimmy John’s locations around the country.

    Signature Systems did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Jimmy John’s is one of the several stores hacked within the last year, including Home Depot, Target, Neiman Marcus and P. F. Chang’s.

  • Maybe You Should Hold Off On Buying That iPhone 6 Plus
    A colleague of mine already ordered Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus, but on Tuesday he tried unsuccessfully to cancel his purchase. The reason? He saw photos online of the phone bending out of shape.

    Reports that Apple’s new 5.5-inch “phablet” was prone to bending ricocheted around the tech blogosphere on Tuesday. One person posted in the MacRumors forum that his or her iPhone bent after just a day and an evening of sitting and dancing with the phone in a pocket, and offered a picture of a bent phone as evidence. Lewis Hilsenteger, of the YouTube channel Unbox Therapy, posted a video of himself bending a phone with his hands. He told HuffPost via Twitter that he “used as much force as my thumbs were capable of” to bend the phone, though other phones, like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3, didn’t bend under the same pressure.

    My colleague wanted to wait to see if “bendgate,” or “bendghazi,” as the media have dubbed it, is going to be a real issue for Apple, like “antennagate” was in 2010. Four years ago, Steve Jobs held an emergency press conference because customers were complaining that if you held the new iPhone 4 a certain way, it would lose signal strength and drop calls. Apple updated the phone’s software and ended up giving away bumper cases in response.

    It’s too early to tell if this is going to blow up like the antenna issue did in 2010, creating a huge headache for Apple and for its customers. But maybe it’s a good idea to hold off buying the bigger version of Apple’s new phone, which starts at $299 with a contract and $749 without one, until things shake out.

    “It’s possible that this is a real issue. We’ll have to see if it pops up with more consumers,” Avi Greengart, research director at technology market research firm Current Analysis, said in an interview. “One or two instances do not a crisis make.”

    The reports of the bending iPhones came just one day after Apple said it sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Pluses in the first three days they were available, setting a new record for the company. Apple did not — and likely will not — break down how many of each iPhone it sold, but analysts expect these phones to be Apple’s most popular ever.

    Apple on Wednesday also pulled a software update to iOS 8, its latest operating system, after customers reported problems with the fingerprint sensor and cellular service.

    Ramon Llamas, a research manager at IDC, another technology research firm, said that if reports continue to surface of the phone bending under normal use, as happened with calls dropped during the antenna debacle, then “bendgate” could become an issue.

    “This is physics at work,” said Llamas. “The bigger that you make something and the thinner you make something, the more apt it is to bend and break.”

    “This is not something you should actively test,” Llamas said of people trying to bend their iPhones.

    Jack Murphy, the vice president of communications at iCracked, a company that fixes and buys back broken and used phones and tablets, attributes the reports to people just getting used to the new size and thinness of the phones. The iPhone 6 Plus is 7.1mm thick. The iPhone 5S, Apple’s flagship phone that came out last year, is 7.6 mm thick.

    “These few highly publicized mishaps are actually an opportunity for [iPhone] 6 and 6 Plus users to educate themselves about the inherent risks that all devices carry,” he said. “OK — now I know not to sit on this device. Or get a rigid case.”

    SquareTrade, a company that sells insurance for phones and tablets, tested the durability of the phones, and said the iPhone 6 is the most durable iPhone yet. A spokesperson told The Huffington Post that the company did not specifically test for for bendability, however.

    Apple did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

    Greengart, of Current Analysis, also said it was possible that the people who reported issues could have received defective phones.

    “If there turns out to be a pervasive problem, then Apple is going to have to deal with it,” he said.

  • Poll Says 64% Of Cheaters Sext While Their Spouse Is In The Room
    Sexting the person you’re having an affair with is bold. Sexting the person you’re having an affair with while in the same room as your spouse is so bold, you have to wonder if the cheater in question wants to get caught.

    Yet, extramarital dating site Victoria Milan recently polled 11,050 of its members and found that a head-scratching 64 percent of them do just that.

    They’re not exactly worried about being caught, either. Of those polled, just 12 percent said they were “very afraid” of being found out. Seventy-five percent said they were “somewhat afraid,” while 13 percent said they were “not afraid at all.”

    These careless cheaters may want to practice a little more discretion. A recent survey from anti-virus software company Avast showed that one in four women in committed relationships snoop through their partner’s smart phones. Nearly one in five men in relationships said they do the same. And 71 percent of women and 53 percent of men said they found evidence of cheating or lying by checking their S.O.’s phone.

    In related news, 100 percent of single people currently reading this have never been happier to be single.

    Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.

  • Tech Executive: Women Are Just 'Like Men, Only Cheaper'
    Tech executive Evan Thornley offered a tepid apology one day after comments he made about the gender pay gap were widely panned as sexist.

    “Yep, stuffed that up,” Thornley wrote on Saturday in a comment under a Startup Daily blog post criticizing his Friday presentation at a Sydney startup conference, in which he displayed a slide that read “WOMEN: Like men, only cheaper.”

    “What I was trying to say folks was ‘gender inequality sucks everywhere but esp. in tech — I do what I can to combat it.’ Sorry it didn’t come out that way,” Thornley wrote.

    Thornley is a former Australian lawmaker who now heads the venture capital firm SBDO. But his comments at the conference came during a discussion of the early days of LookSmart, Australia’s first tech firm to list on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Thornley co-founded the company, and he said he often hired women for a certain reason.

    “Just call me opportunistic,” he said. “I just thought I could get better people with less competition because we were willing to understand the skills and capabilities that many of these women had.”

    “We would give them more responsibility and a greater share of the rewards than they were likely to get anywhere else,” Thornley said. “And that was still often relatively cheaper to what we would have had to pay someone less good of a different gender.”

    The slide accompanying the comments showed two women in drab 1990’s business attire giving each other high-fives. In addition to the text about women being cheaper, it included small print that read: “If you don’t like it, helps us right it.” Thornley said he wasn’t “advocating inequality,” but rather just pointing out a nifty business proposition for startup owners. He did not immediately respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment on Wednesday.

    The dearth of women in the lucrative technology industry became a forefront issue last year when Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, published Lean In, a book encouraging women to seize leadership roles in the workplace. While men dominate much of the U.S. tech sector, a recent study by the American Association of University Women found a high level of pay equality between men and women in engineering and other professions involving math or computer science.

    Women have fared somewhat better in Australia, according to the Australian Financial Review. Last March, Karen Stocks, a former Google executive who now heads Twitter Australia, told the magazine that women have found positions of power as that country’s tech industry has expanded in recent years.

    “Because the tech industry is moving at such a rapid pace and there’s no history, it’s a brand new area to create,” she said. “So there’s no history of women not being in leadership positions.”

Mobile Technology News, September 24, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • iOS 8 Adoption Rate Nears 50%

    On the Apple Developer site, the company has published statistics showing that the iOS 8 adoption rate is at 46%, nearly matching the pace of the iOS 7 adoption rate last year.  The statistics come to Apple via the App Store where the device’s iOS version is identified upon connection.  The iOS 8 adoption rate is critical for Apple as it assures them that the majority of iOS users are running the latest version but also helps developers know that support for iOS 8 is critically important. Just prior to the iOS 8 launch, iOS 7 enjoyed an adoption rate

    The post iOS 8 Adoption Rate Nears 50% appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • VIDEO: 'Brainwave' headband measures focus
    California startup Melon has developed a personal activity monitor in the form of a brainwave headband.
  • High School Students Show Strong Support For First Amendment
    Let me start out by admitting my bias. I’m a strong supporter of the First Amendment. With very few exceptions (like child sex abuse images and yelling “fire” in a crowded theater), I believe that free speech is an absolute right for people of all ages and it makes me feel good when I learn that others, especially young people, tend to agree.

    The reason I love it when young people support free speech is because they are our future.

    If people grow up believing in something, they’re more likely to continue to hold those beliefs as they get older. So, I’m especially pleased that high school students are even more supportive of free speech than adults, according to a new survey from the Knight Foundation.

    The foundation conducted a national survey of 10,463 high school students and 588 teachers to coincide with the celebration of Constitution Day, which took place Wednesday. Several of the questions were identical to those of a Newseum Institute survey of adults, which enabled researchers to compare results across age groups.

    What the study found is that students are more supportive of free speech rights than adults, with the heaviest consumers of social media showing the strongest support. The study found that only 24 percent of students agreed that the “First Amendment goes too far” compared to 38 percent of adults who responded to similar questions. This is a major shift from most previous surveys such as in 2006 when 45 percent of students felt that way compared to 23 percent of adults.

    The study also found that today’s students are more likely to agree that people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions with 88 percent agreeing this year compared to 76 percent in 2007 and 83 percent in 2004. There is also increased agreement that “newspapers should be allowed to publish freely without government approval of a story,” up from 51 percent in 2004 to 61 percent this year.

    I was fascinated by the finding that students who more frequently use social media are more likely to support people’s right to express unpopular opinions. Among those who use social media more than once a day, 62 percent support other people’s rights to express unpopular opinions compared to 54 percent who use it just once a day or several times a week and 49 percent of youth who use social media weekly or less often. More than 7 in 10 students who read news online more than once a day support other people’s right of speech, compared to 53 percent of those who read online news weekly.

    Of course, correlations don’t prove causation. There could be other factors at play, but the fact that social media use does correlate to first amendment support is encouraging, considering how many young people are using social media.

    The study looked at such issues as free speech, surveillance and privacy. There is also a correlation between studying about First Amendment rights and support for free speech. Since 2004, the percentage of students who say they have taken First Amendment classes increased from 58 percent to 70 percent, according to the report.

    In an interview, Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president of the Knight Foundation, said that interviews with journalism faculty confirmed that “what’s really important is news and media digital literacy being taught more significantly in high school. Just mentioning the First Amendment in a social studies class isn’t’ enough.” He said that “the flip side of freedom and responsibility is that you need to not ban digital media but actually teach students all about digital media in school. How to create it, how to navigate it and how to use it.”

    When it comes to free speech at and about school, students are more than twice as likely than teachers (61 percent vs. 29 percent) to support the right to “express their opinions about teachers and school administrators on Facebook without worrying about being punished by school authorities for what they post.” The same percentage (61 percent) of students feels that “high school students should be allowed to report on controversial issues in their student newspapers without the approval of school authorities,” compared to 41 percent of teachers.

    The survey also had some interesting findings about students’ attitudes toward privacy. On one hand, students are less worried than adults with 28 percent saying they are very concerned about “privacy of information you give out on the Internet” compared to 48 percent of adults.

    But, 83 percent of students agree that their electronic communications “should not be subject to government surveillance or tracked by businesses.” The Knight results confirm other studies from Pew Research that, while students may not have the same sensitivity to information being out there as adults, they are far from insensitive to the issue. For youth, it’s less about privacy than it is about control. They’re more willing than adults to share information as long as they get to decide what they’re sharing and who gets to see it.

    It’s customary for every generation of adults to worry about the values of those who follow but — based on this study — I’m optimistic.

    This post first appeared in the San Jose Mercury News and on LarrysWorld.com

  • VIDEO: The world's first '3D printed band'
    Professor Olaf Diegel claims to have formed the worlds first ‘3D printed band’
  • Minecraft map of UK adds houses
    More than 83 billion Minecraft blocks have been used to create a digital version of Britain complete with rivers, roads and railway tracks.
  • How technology is changing disaster relief
    How technology is changing disaster relief
  • Amazon Review For A Coat Rack Is About Anything But A Coat Rack
    If you’ve ever tried to get over a rough breakup, you know that half the struggle is letting go of all the bitterness. You must release your anger toward your ex, so go ahead and rant — even if you have to do so in an Amazon.com review of a coat rack:

    coat rack
    (See a larger version here)

    You’re the worst, Steve.

    The review was posted to Reddit on Monday — but as funny as it is, it’s probably a work of fiction. By the looks of it, the Amazon user in question — one K. Murr Jr. — spent the whole of January 28, 2014 posting equally amazing (and equally off-topic) reviews of assorted furniture, Paul McCartney concert DVDs, and other things. Like this three-piece table set:

    table review
    (Larger view)

    Or this “Doctor Who” toy:

    (Larger view)

    Or this other table (the guy clearly has a thing for tables):

    (Larger view)

    As far as we’re concerned, “I hate Steve” will always be K. Murr Jr.’s masterwork.

    Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.

  • Google's top 20 university searches
    Google has revealed the most popular searches when people around the world are looking for university information.
  • Even Big, Brave Cops Can't Resist Posing With Puppies
    Fair citizens, have no fear! These quirky cops are here to serve, protect, and definitely delight.

    The Reykjavik Metropolitan Police Force in Iceland has an awesome Instagram page, and it’s filled with puppies, cotton candy and everything right with the world. From goofy selfies to fake mustache pics, you’ll find that these officers think that justice is best served with a little silliness.

    Check out some of their pics below! We dare you to make it through the photos without smiling.

    h/t Bored Panda

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  • Um, Should The iPhone 6 Plus Be Able To Bend Like This?
    We’re no hardware engineers, but this can’t be good.

    beer drinkers

    The new iPhone 6 Plus can be severely bent with nothing more than a couple bare hands, as seen in a new video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday. And no, it doesn’t automatically spring back into place afterward.

    Here’s the full video, created by review channel Unbox Therapy:

    Of course, you shouldn’t try to purposefully bend a phone that you just spent hundreds of dollars on. But people have also been reporting that the newest iPhones are bending out of place without much effort at all.

    Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

    “Bottom line here is it’s an aluminium phone, it is going to bend if you apply enough pressure,” Unbox Therapy’s Lewis Hilsenteger said in the video after mangling the shiny new device. Later, he claimed on Instagram that he tried to bend the phone back to its normal state. It doesn’t appear to have gone so well. The screen cracked.


    (h/t Gizmodo)

  • Magnetized Iron Dust Dancing To Music Is Weirdly Mesmerizing
    This music is so metal — but probably not in the way you’re expecting.

    A visitor to innovation-centered Maker Faire in New York City came across this incredible display of iron dust dancing to music on Saturday. Artistically-inclined tech company TechnoFrolics engineered the performance.

    TechnoFrolics says the dust’s “dance” is made possible by computer-choreographed electromagnets beneath the display’s platform, and the combined effect of the pulsing techno-art performance is pretty mesmerizing. Just try and look away.

    h/t Gizmodo

  • Reconstructing Grandma: How New Technology Can Let Loved Ones Live 'Virtually' Forever
    Today, the memories of our loved ones live on longer than ever before. People’s lives aren’t just remembered by stories and a few lines in an obituary; now it’s through a plethora of videos, photos, Facebook pages and even memorial videos on tombstones.

    But even with all these options, we still miss our loved ones and often wish, “If only I could bring them back…”

    But what if we could bring Grandma or Grandpa back? I’m not talking voodoo or cloning; I’m talking tech.

    Technology is advancing so quickly in the areas of video, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and predictive software, that it may be possible in the future to “reconstruct Grandma,” to put together all the personal data we have — videos, photos, the sound of her voice, her Facebook feed, etc. — and create a hologram of her or a virtual world we can visit whenever we want to see and talk to her.

    This may sound creepy to some of us. But for others, it may bring comfort, and perhaps be therapeutic, even. We already have programs like Siri that can answer us differently based on what we say — so what if, instead of asking Siri how to make cookies, we could ask Grandma for her homemade peanut butter cookie recipe, and hear it in her voice?

    Our digital souls

    We think of a soul as intangible, something that needs no physical body to exist. If we transfer this logic to the data we have about ourselves — doctor’s records, work history, interviews, vacation videos, photos, etc. — we can create a “digital soul” of sorts. And in the future, I believe we will have even more outlets to more quickly and efficiently enter our “data” — our thoughts and emotions, our reactions to political trends or big family news — and just as many ways to present and interpret that data. All of this will contribute to our digital souls, creating sort of a “data portrait” of each of us. Already, artists like Laurie Frick are experimenting with the convergence of personal data and art, in works like “30 Days of Chatroom Metadata” and “7 Stages, 6 Categories, 264 ALS Patients”.

    Of course, work like Frick’s brings up some important and interesting questions: Who shall have access to your data or Grandma’s data? How shall all this data be curated? Will we need to hire firms to sift through this information in order to find the most relevant, and sift out the most embarrassing or negative memories?

    These are all questions we must explore, and discuss together, as we move into a hyper-digital world. At the end of the day, we’re looking at an age-old question:

    If you could live forever, would you want to?

    While living forever seemed merely a science-fiction plot twist in the past, it’s entirely possible this could happen in the near future, in different permutations.

    How close are we?

    We are close to passing the Turing Test, a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

    In fact, you may have already been fooled by a robot telemarketing call before realizing it wasn’t a human; that robot telemarketer passed the Turing Test for that moment. The movie Her shows a man falling in love with his operating system (OS); through artificial intelligence (AI), the OS is able to react in emotional, intellectual ways, reciprocating feelings and seeming human in every way — except without a body. Though this is a Hollywood movie, we are not so far away from technology so similar to people that it can fool us. We have Asimo, developed by Honda and touted as “the world’s most humanoid robot,” and interactive voice response (IVR) solutions for marketing. It’s a matter of time before these types of AI are transferred to real, live people.

    Several companies are moving into this space, but even they will admit that the potential is there but the products — and also the public — are not quite ready. This spring, a group of entrepreneurs led by CEO Marius Ursache launched Eterni.me, a startup that wants to help you be remembered forever. The company

    collects almost everything that you create during your lifetime, and processes this huge amount of information using complex Artificial Intelligence algorithms. Then it generates a virtual YOU, an avatar that emulates your personality and can interact with, and offer information and advice to your family and friends, even after you pass away.

    Ursache said in an interview with Wired magazine that they will start by uploading data from “text-intensive social networks and environments” such as Facebook, Twitter and email and eventually move on to photos, videos, audio and location data from personal devices. He described the process: “People will also be able to fine-tune their avatar, by regularly interacting with it (think of a daily 10-minute chat where you talk and it picks up more information and refines already existing information, by ‘making sense of it.'”

    Ursache says they are not yet be ready to add nuance to their product — such as the AI being equipped to talk differently to the deceased’s wife than he would his children — he sees that happening in the future:

    Until then, we want to preserve as much as possible from the information someone generates — and if you’re 30 today, it’s likely that by the time you’re 45 or 50, the technology will be there. But you need to start preserving this data as soon as possible.

    We have many ways or preserving our data now — Shutterfly, Tumblr, Facebook, a myriad of cloud storage options — but still more technology is emerging that allows us to increase our data output and/or data storage. For example, the Narrative Clip Lifelogging Camera will continuously snap photos of your life and store it in its own memory bank:

    The roughly inch and a half square box clips onto your clothes using a stainless steel clip, and shoots one five-megapixel, geotagged photo every 30 seconds, storing it on built-in memory that holds up to 4,000 pictures… when you plug it in all your photos are automatically uploaded and securely stored on Narrative’s cloud servers for viewing via app or browser.

    Besides Narrative, smartphone manufacturers and camera-makers are producing increasingly sleeker models with greater resolution and storage. The options for capturing videos, storing them and sharing them are there — now, the challenge lies in putting it all together, and introducing a way to “reconstruct Grandma” in a way that people won’t find creepy.

    Human nature, human choice

    I think it’s really fundamental human nature to want to pass down our family memories, our legacy. Some scientists even theorize our grandmothers’ knowledge is essential in propagating our genes. Anthropologists postulate that this extended post-childbearing period has been selected because these grandmothers live on to help their offspring reproduce and survive. The importance of grandma’s knowledge being passed on to future generations is what’s referred to as the “Grandmother Hypothesis.”

    But what if Grandma died unexpectedly young or lives hundreds of miles away? How do we connect with that lost generation, and ancestors beyond that?

    From pictograms in caves to oral history to the first hieroglyphics, recording our lives for ourselves and future generations is nothing new. Today, we can really only go back one or two generations before the fidelity just drops off; images are faded, writing on the back of the print, illegible, or the photo/document trail completely disappears.

    As we look forward five or 10 generations from now, imagine how intense the fidelity of our memories will be! I personally think this will bring us closer together. I think it will be much easier to unite people in the future, that this type of technology can comfort us and create a diminished fear of death. Of course, in this future, you must be able to choose for yourself what you want to do with this technology, what state you want to be in, and how you want your data used.

    And before you make up your mind that this notion of “reconstructing Grandma” does, in fact, sound like voodoo, remember this: There was a time, not so long ago, when people refused to have their pictures taken, because they believed the camera would “steal their souls.” While some people still believe this, I’m fairly certain most of us have gotten over this fear, as we use our phones more for cameras than for talking. We have to consider that we often fear that which we do not know — and of course, a virtual world with Grandma in it is something none of us have experienced… yet.

  • Forbes' Hip-Hop Cash Kings 2014 List Rockets Dr. Dre To The Top
    In 2013, Diddy topped Forbes’ list of highest paid hip-hop acts with $50 million, leading Dr. Dre, who landed in third, by $10 million. But after Apple dished out $3 billion to purchase Beats, Diddy has been unseated as Dre rocketed to the top of this year’s hip-hop cash kings with an incredible total of $620 million (it will take a little more time for him to hit nine figures). It’s so much money that Dre’s income exceeds the total sum of all earnings for the 24 others on this year’s list.

    “It’s safe to say headphones is a good business,” DJ Khaled said in a video announcing the top five on Forbes’ list.

    Following Dre is a tie for second place between Diddy and Jay Z, each earning $60 million. In fourth place, Drake raked in $33 million, an impressive leap from his 11th spot in 2013. In fifth place, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis garnered a cool $32 million, jumping ahead 10 spots and more than tripling their earnings since 2013. Here are 2014’s top 10:

    1. Dr. Dre – $620 million
    2. Jay Z – $60 million
    2. Diddy – $60 million
    4. Drake – $33 million
    5. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – $32 million
    6. Kanye West – $30 million
    7. Birdman – $24 million
    8. Lil Wayne – $23 million
    9. Pharrell Williams – $22 million
    10. Eminem – $18 million

    For the full list and more information about the Hip-Hop Cash Kings of 2014, head over to Forbes.

  • Virgin's Unlimited Vacation Plan For Workers May Not Be As Good As It Seems
    Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson explained in a blog post on Tuesday why he gives salaried workers at his company unlimited vacation days. But the policy may actually do more harm than good for some employees.

    “It is left to the employee to decide if and when he or she feels like taking a few hours, a day, a week or a month off, the assumption being that they are only going to do it when they feel a hundred percent comfortable … that their absence will not in any way damage the business — or, for that matter, their careers!” Branson wrote in an excerpt from his new book, The Virgin Way, published on Virgin’s blog.

    Branson said he was inspired by Netflix, the another high-profile company that’s done away with vacation days.

    In theory, Virgin’s rule, which currently applies U.S. and U.K. employees, should increase productivity and attract talent. Let workers take the time they need for their personal lives, so the thinking goes, and they will devote their work time wholly to their jobs.

    But there are downsides. Lotte Bailyn, a professor emeritus at the MIT Sloan School of Management, told The Huffington Post the lack of structure may make workers less comfortable with taking vacations.

    “This sounds not well thought-out,” Bailyn said in an interview. “People take less time off because they feel they’re not sure if this is really a commitment to them or that this is more a PR thing.”

    She said employees will look to senior staff to set the standards for how much time off is appropriate.

    “Typically, without any guidelines or structures, people don’t quite know what to make of this,” Bailyn said. “They tend to fall back on expectations they have formed in previous terms.”

    Spokespeople for Branson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Americans are infamously averse to vacations as it is. About 40 percent of U.S. workers don’t plan to use all their paid vacation time this year, according to a recent survey by the U.S. Travel Association and GfK, a market research firm. In a Daily Telegraph article that Branson cited in his blog post, Daniel H. Pink described the British perspective on vacations, which applies just as well to Americans: “[W]e view them as minor betrayals — of our obligations to customers and clients, of our responsibilities to the colleagues left behind, even of the values we hold most dear.”

    In October 2009, two Harvard Business School researchers studied the results of forcing employees at the international management advisory firm Boston Consulting Group to take mandatory time off. Employees initially resisted. (That month, unemployment from the Great Recession peaked at about 10 percent.) But workers eventually embraced the required vacation days, and the policy preserved “a strong, engaged pool of talent,” the researchers wrote in the Harvard Business Review.

    Bruce Elliott, the manager of compensation and benefits at the Society for Human Resource Management, told HuffPost that the unlimited vacation policy can be positive at companies where the work is project-oriented.

    “They can say, ‘I just finished up a project, now is the perfect time to take a week off before the next one starts.’” Elliott said. But in an office where the work is generally ongoing and day-to-day schedules don’t change as much, it can be harder to get employees to decide on their own how much vacation they deserve.

    The policy’s effectiveness at Virgin will depend on the corporate culture, he said. “If Virgin has a culture with regard to transparency about its expectations, it could work,” Elliott said. “Absent that, who can say?”

  • A Fanboy's Account of the iPhone 6 Launch

    Friday was the eighth time I’ve unboxed a new iPhone. It was also the fourth time I’ve stood in line with other equally deranged Apple fans, and waited patiently for the next big thing. It was the first time I was disappointed, and the first time I was frustrated.

    A few days later, it still hurts to say: I didn’t buy my iPhone from the Apple Store.

    Some disclaimers:

    • I am a certified Apple fanboy, and in no way is this my way of dissing the company, just an honest account of my experience
    • My experience may have been characteristic to this one store, this one year
    • As always, the employees were enthusiastic, friendly, and supportive
    • The iPhone 6 is a great phone and this is nothing against that phone

    It happened like clockwork. The alarm went off at 4:30, and the group message, named “Team iPhone 6” (thanks iOS 8 for that feature) was already active. By 5:10, the four of us left campus in the quest of 2 iPhone 6’s, and 1 iPhone 6 Plus (one came along for moral support, more about him later).

    The year prior we left at the same time, for the same store. This year, we arrived before 5:30, perhaps 30 more people before us than the year prior. The man standing in front of us had just completed a count, and we fell somewhere between 150 and 155 in line. While we thought about waiting outside the Best Buy Mobile, or carrier stores located in the same mall, Apple was still our clear winner, for a few reasons:

    • Culture. There’s a certain camaraderie when over a hundred Apple fans are waiting in line together for the release of a new product. A diverse demographic discussing everything from the first iPhone to OS X Yosemite. You could call us the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers, but it’s a surprisingly fun experience
    • Food. We were going to be there for a few hours and Apple provides Starbucks Coffee, pastries, fruit, snacks, and bottled water
    • We didn’t actually all have the same carrier.
    • Past Experience. Last year, we left the Apple Store before 9:30, which was more than reasonable
    • The employees. Between doing the wave, being otherwise peppy, and just knowing the products quite well, it makes the entire experience different

    So there we waited, and waited.

    Our first issue, was the vast number of people…who weren’t buying iPhone’s. While it’s grown in frequency over the years, we estimated between 50-75 “line-sitters.” These people came in sleeping bags and even tents, and switched spots for much more business-formal-dressed people, just before 7:00.

    6:30 a.m.

    An older woman fainted. This was not at the fault of anyone else, just an interesting precursor to the following events (she was fine, and continued to wait in line, while employees got her water and a chair).


    Apple employees began to give out “cards” for phones. This year went digital and you were texted a Passbook card that reserved your phone until close of business that day. The aforementioned older woman and her husband left once they found out that Apple was out of all Plus’s. My friend, who wanted the plus was none too enthused. At that point we had reserved 2 Slate Grey iPhone 6’s, and 1 gold.


    Employees helped count down until the store open and a massive cheer erupted.


    At this point we had only moved up around 10 spots in line, and learn the employees are taking people into the store one at a time.


    Frustrated, two of us check the Best Buy stock downstairs and discover that they have only gold 6’s available, with no line. Two of us were content with that decision, one was not, and we continued to wait in the Apple Store line.


    The friend who was coming for moral support was about to miss work, and I let him take my car. At this point I’m considering leaving with him and coming back for my now reserved phone later. We find out my car is dead. A woman jumps it for us.


    The woman who jumped our car…has her son’s car die and we jump it to return the favor. This is also the time that we finally convince our friend to go to Best Buy instead.


    I miss an exam.


    We finally leave Best Buy, with phones in hand and go to Apple to purchase cases and screen protectors.

    12:00 p.m.

    We leave the Apple Store, to see that the people who were in front of us in line, were still around 15th in the Apple line.


    We arrive back on campus, frustrated, annoyed, exhausted, but excited for our new phones.

    All in all, the experience was a wild one. Over 10 Million iPhone’s were sold this weekend. Apple was personally selling AT&T Next and Verizon Edge plans, which slowed the process significantly, and may have been part of the reason why our wait was so long as compared to previous years.

    We’ve already decided, for the Apple Watch, we’re just going to go the day before. Though, our “Team Apple Watch” has already dwindled down. For those wondering, I was able to reschedule that exam.

  • 5 Unexpected Companies Dominating the App Economy

    By Matt Hussey

    What do chasing hurricanes, pizza, and Sega Genesis all have in common – apart from being the triumvirate of awesomeness for any male born before 1985? These are all part of the turnaround stories for companies that have harnessed the power of the mobile app economy to grow and even reinvigorate otherwise flailing businesses.

    In 2013, the app economy was worth a staggering $25 billion, and the EU forecasts it will balloon to $81 billion by 2018 in the Eurozone alone. But while startups like SnapChat have driven growth in the area (the company was recently tagged with a $10 billion valuation), there are some businesses in non-digital spaces, like pizza delivery and weather forecasting, which have also benefitted from investing mobile applications. While many companies have added mobile apps to their stable of properties, here are five companies making a name for themselves and rebuilding their business as mobile-first.

    The Weather Channel

    The Weather Channel (TWC) has been a stalwart on cable and hotel TV sets since 1982. Thanks to some shrewd business deals, 100 million households subscribe to The Weather Channel in the US as of August last year. But in the same year, the network also hit a five-year low of 211,000 daily viewers, down from 273,000 in 2012.

    The reason? People aren’t watching as much TV through large rectangles in their living rooms as they used to. Today, they look up the weather on smartphones, and The Weather Channel, like the good forecasters they are, saw this change coming.

    In 2011, the company began a shift to mobile, using brands to help their users understand the weather. “If it’s raining, we might feature Hunters wellies, or if it were snowing, the advertising would be relevant for severe weather, for instance insurance or car tyres,” Ross Webster, TWC’s Managing Director for Europe & the Middle East told the Guardian.

    Today, the app has been downloaded 125 million times globally, dwarfing its domestic user base. There are 10,000 weather apps in the app store and TWC’s has crushed the competition (and their own TV channel), reaching number one in the App Store’s Weather chart in early 2014 and staying in the top five ever since.


    SEGA has existed in some form or another since 1940, which makes it downright prehistoric in terms of tech companies. The company didn’t hit its peak until the 1980s, when it created iconic games like as After Burner, Out Run, Altered Beast, Shinobi, and Golden Axe. Sonic the Hedgehog, which formed a cornerstone in many of our childhoods, didn’t appear until 1991. During its golden age, Sega sold 30 million Sega Genesis (Mega Drive outside the US) units worldwide and held a monstrous 55% of the home gaming market.


    Since then, however, the company entered a seemingly inexorable decline. Things got so bad that in 1999, SEGA decided to leave the hardware space altogether. Despite the downturn, SEGA shifted its focus to producing games like Super Monkey Ball under its mobile wing, SEGA Alliance, which headed straight to the top of the iOS charts upon release.

    “We’ve been working with Apple in handheld gaming before there was an iPhone,” Director of Developer Relations Ethan Einhorn told Edge online. The drip-feeding of its huge library of legacy titles onto iOS, and later, Android, has resuscitated the Japanese game maker.

    Nintendo, SEGA’s long standing rival, took a different approach by trying to control all aspects of its business and not relying on third parties to distribute its games. The result was that the company suffered an operating loss of a half a billion dollars last year.

    SEGA, on the other hand, jumped out of the hardware business and jumped into bed with the next generation of consoles: smartphones. SEGA works with third-party shops to help develop, distribute and even promote it wares. While profits are down for its heyday, at least it’s alive and profitable!

    Domino’s Pizza

    The renowned American pizza delivery chain has crushed its competitors lately. Since Domino’s CEO went on air to tell consumers he didn’t think their pizzas tasted very good in 2009, shares in the company have grown by 750%, compared to 193% for Papa John’s and a moderate 93% for Pizza Hut’s owner YUM Brands. In 2012, Domino’s opened its 10,000th store and out of the 99 countries the franchise operates in, its pizza-sales dominate 70 of those markets. At the same time, Domino’s has the dominant mobile app in its space.


    According to Domino’s British franchises, sales from mobile devices have increased 102% year-over-year. Worldwide, that has amounted to 6 million downloads of its mobile apps and a consistent ranking among the top 15 apps in the lifestyle rankings in the Apple App Store and Google’s Play store. As a result, Domino’s now generates more than $2 billion of its global digital sales through its apps, roughly 35% of the company’s total profits. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut is being warned by its biggest franchisee that its slow march towards digital is damaging sales.

    Methods of making a pizza haven’t changed much since the Italians first started spinning dough. But the way they are bought and sold has. Domino’s understands how the smartphone has become the centre of how consumers connect with the world, providing them with the fastest and easiest way of asking for extra olives on their pizza.

    Electronic Arts

    Like Sega, American video game developer Electronic Arts (EA) had a golden age in the time before mobile apps. Today, the sun continues to shine on EA, the producer behind hits like Battlefield, Burnout, Command & Conquer, FIFA, Fight Night, Madden NFL, Mass Effect, Medal of Honor, Rock Band and SimCity.

    But the eighth largest software company in the world realized that its audience didn’t want to just sit in living rooms or spare bedrooms across the globe playing shoot ’em ups. They want to play these kind of games while at work, on the train, and spending time with friends.

    To date, EA has published more than 1,000 apps across all platforms including Battleship, Boggle, and Bop It!, while slowly condensing and repackaging several of its epic catalogue of console titles that bring with them loyal fan bases. In fact, the company made more money on iOS last year than it did on any other platform.

    But that’s not to say EA is waving goodbye to Microsoft and PlayStation and shacking up with Apple and Google. EA continues to make flagship titles such as Titanfall, the Battlefield and FIFA games series, which will be hitting Christmas lists sometime in the next month. However, with some of these games battering EA’s bottom line with $100 million price tags, they can afford to make them only because their app division now rakes in nearly $500 million a year.


    Electronic Arts has leveraged the app economy so that it can continue to make rich, immersive gaming platforms for consoles with the necessary processing power. In turn, EA extends the life cycle of said games by creating mobile app versions for an audience that doesn’t use consoles. It’s the circle of life, and EA are the kings of the jungle.

    Naver Corporation

    The Naver Corporation is South Korea’s equivalent of Google. Its Naver search engine, which first launched in 1999, enjoys over market share of over 70% in its. Its features include an integrated news service, email, academic thesis engine and even a web portal for kids. More than 25 million Koreans count on it as their default browser.

    But in 2011, Naver decided to create Line, an instant messaging service for smartphones. The company didn’t do so because it wanted to build profits; it did so in response to the devastating Tåhoku earthquake that disabled radio-based telecommunications in Japan, knocking out text messaging for most subscribers. Engineers created the app that relied on internet-based communication to circumnavigate the problem. Within 18 months the service had 100 million users.

    Less than three years later, the app reached the 400 million user mark worldwide. It has become a company in its own right and even filed for an IPO on the Tokyo Stock Exchange earlier this year. In the first quarter of 2014, the app posted revenues of $144 million. Compared to SnapChat’s total revenue so far (zero), it’s easy to see why investors want a slice of the action.

    Line wants to become the gateway to other mobile services, not just messaging. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Line Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Jun Masuda said it wants to make Line the Yahoo! (in the golden days of web portals) for smartphones. The gateway to content that Line can control and take a cut of the profits when users buy anything.

    While these five companies have taken on the app economy and won, they haven’t done it by just developing an app, releasing it, and watching the money roll in. Instead, these companies looked at their brand and its core values, and how an app would enhance a consumer’s experience of it. Whether it’s deciding to spend a day inside or in the park, ordering a side of buffalo wings with an American Hot 12-inch, or reliving the button-bashing glory days of your Sega owning youth, each of these apps allows us to make more informed choices about how we spend our time – and in turn, rewarding the companies who make our lives easier.

  • Civil Rights and Social Media Made Me Resign From My Job
    “I wish more of us would decide to stand as you did.”

    “You’re a real civil rights leader. The spirit of our ancestors goes with you Misee. We need more of you out there.”

    “You’re a true American and I applaud your spirit.”

    “I am white and see white privilege all the time and I am frankly embarrassed by it.”

    Those were just some of the supportive messages I received upon my September 4, 2014 resignation from my former dental practice as a result of racial discrimination, and my heart was warmed by it. In the wake of the chaos I have experienced over the past couple of weeks, those supportive emails and social media posts kept me buoyed. That, and the fact that dentists from across the country have been offering me jobs, with emails like “We don’t care what you write on your social media pages. We want you to come work with us.”

    Bolstered by the support of several journalists I have recently spoken to, and by social media support, I am writing to the public to tell my story about what took place a few weeks back at the office where I practiced pediatric dentistry. I am part of Black America; I was born into it by virtue of the color of my skin. No matter where I am in my life, that part of me will always be my first identifier. I am also a dentist. My former employer gave me the unfortunate ultimatum of having to choose to be one or the other. That choice was presented to me after the partners in my former dental practice spied on my Facebook page, which featured several posts expressing my support of Michael Brown and the issues surrounding Ferguson, Missouri.

    On September 4, I was called into an unannounced meeting at the pediatric dental practice where I worked, and where I was being considered for a partnership. I was ambushed and presented with screenshots from my private Facebook page. Since I had blocked work colleagues from accessing my account, it was explained to me that a doctor who is a partner at the office, and who also led the meeting, had been having a friend spy on my Facebook page. Screenshots were taken of my posts and were sent to the doctor who led the meeting. I was informed that some of my recent posts regarding racial issues in America were “unprofessional.” I asked the partners if they had any idea what was going on in Black America and none of them seemed to even know the name Michael Brown. I was told flat out, that I would have to choose between my style of social media communication and my job at the dental practice.

    My question then was, “Why can’t I be both a dentist and a concerned civil rights activist at the same time?” At work, I always kept a professional demeanor, but with the state of the country and with cases of fatal acts of racism going on in places such as Ferguson, I have very often taken to Facebook with my concerns. Social media had been a place where I felt I could freely express who I am and how I feel about timely pressing issues that matter to me. What’s more, my Facebook page was set to private status, and my former employer had to use underhanded methods to access my posts.

    Why is it that African-Americans today, with a black president and many leading figures in the media being black, continue to feel genuinely voiceless? Do we need a new Civil Rights Leader, a new movement?

    Martin Luther King once said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” Is all of Black America in the same boat in 2014? It doesn’t seem so, and that concerns me deeply. We are divided into classes. Those on the streets of Ferguson don’t feel that the likes of President Barack Obama or Jesse Jackson have their back; they don’t feel those public leaders can even speak for them.

    As a dentist, an entrepreneur and a media personality, in the eyes of many people I don’t appear to be in the same boat as those on the streets of Ferguson either. People assume that I don’t deal with the same discrimination that they do. But to me, we are all the same. That is why, while employed at my former practice, I worked so tirelessly to cater to black patients who couldn’t afford dental care for their kids, and it’s precisely why I feel it is so very urgent to speak up. Racism and discrimination don’t distinguish between income and social status. For example, a black television producer got arrested while checking on his car, at the Emmy Awards, a few weeks back.

    After turning to social media and to many news outlets to voice my story, I discovered that I am not alone. I have been getting feedback from many people and hearing of so many stories that break my heart. These stories speak of anger and pain with an all too familiar theme. One person wrote, “I have been suffering from discrimination at my workplace but I don’t have the financial freedom to leave.” Another person wrote, “As a black doctor, I empathize with you. I have been through the exact same abuse.”

    I refuse to agree to the rules of a society that believes, as I expressed in a statement after my resignation:

    That a black person who has made it to success in a white-dominated field like dentistry is expected to show gratitude and humility, and to water down their beliefs and viewpoints to avoid rocking the boat.

    The boat’s been officially rocked, and I have too much to say to even consider stopping now.

  • LEDs Are An Important Climate Change Solution

    The People’s Climate March raised awareness about how important it is to find and use technologies that will help save energy, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and start to reverse climate change. One of the most promising and affordable technologies is LED light bulbs, also known as LEDs.

    WHY SHIFT TO LEDS? The Three P’s…

    Making the shift to energy-efficient lighting offers big benefits for people, the planet and our pocketbooks.

    PEOPLE — LED bulbs help reduce air pollution, making the air healthier to breathe for kids and others who suffer from asthma, heart disease and many respiratory ailments.

    • Reduce air pollution — Most household energy still comes from coal-burning power plants. About 12 percent of the energy we use at home powers our lighting — from ceiling fixtures and under-counter lights to table and bedside lamps. An LED bulb uses 70-90 percent less energy than a standard bulb, limiting the need to burn that much more coal.

    PLANET — Speaking of energy, if every household replaced just one light bulb with one certified by the federal Energy Star program, we would save enough energy to light two million homes for a whole year.

    • •Reduce climate change — We would also prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of 550,000 vehicles. LED bulbs are a terrific way to fight climate change.

    POCKETBOOK — Any time we save energy, we save money. Though an LED bulb costs a little more up front, it can save $80 in electricity costs over the lifetime of the product.

    PLUS — LED technology is so efficient, one bulb can last as long as 22 years or 25,000 hours. That’s particularly convenient for hard-to-reach places like ceilings and outdoor fixtures.


    As with other bulbs, you can get LEDs that provide different amounts of light. LEDs provide light in lumens, while incandescents are sold according to how bright they are in terms of watts. Most LED bulb packages will give you the wattage the LED is replacing. For example, this LED bulb replaces a 60 watt incandescent.

    In addition to the light of the bulb, the label makes a difference. Most people who go shopping for an LED bulb probably look for the words “energy-saving,” which any company can slap on any bulb. What they really need to be looking for is the Energy Star label. Bulbs that have earned the Energy Star save significant amounts of energy and money because they are independently certified to use less energy, undergoing extensive testing to ensure high quality and the performance you expect. These three funny videos make clear why certified LED bulbs are more effective than non-certified bulbs.

    With 70 percent of U.S. light sockets still containing inefficient bulbs, the potential is huge for American consumers to find lighting options that save them energy, money and help protect the environment from climate change. LED bulbs are quickly gaining steam as the most innovative and long lasting alternative to incandescent bulbs.

    Disclosure: I am a long-time advocate of energy efficiency and technology like LED bulbs. I am working as a consultant on this project to help educate the public about the value of Energy Star LED bulbs in the fight to stop climate change.

  • Smartphone App May Allow Parents To Screen Newborns For Jaundice

    NEW YORK Mon Sep 22, 2014 12:25pm EDT

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A new smartphone application still in development may someday help parents and health care providers screen for jaundice in newborns.

    Early testing found that the application has greater accuracy than visual exams performed by doctors, according to research presented September 16 at the International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp 2014) in Seattle, Washington.

    Dr. James Taylor, a pediatrician at the University of Seattle who is helping to develop the technology, told Reuters Health by email that when it’s ready for release, the BiliCam’s performance might compare to that of a much more expensive jaundice diagnostic device, the transcutaneous bilirubinometer.

    “We think that BiliCam will be useful by relieving anxiety of parents about jaundice,” Dr. Taylor said. It will also provide an inexpensive, reliable tool to help doctors determine when newborns with jaundice need urgent treatment, he added.

    His team believes the BiliCam will reduce healthcare costs by earlier identification of babies who need treatment, when it’s easier and cheaper to deliver it.

    The BiliCam is named after bilirubin, a yellowish pigment produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells. Bilirubin passes through the liver on its way out of the body. When levels of bilirubin in the blood are high (a condition known as hyperbilirubinemia), it might mean there’s a problem with the liver. When levels become extremely high, patients develop jaundice, with yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.

    The BiliCam could allow parents to monitor their newborns’ health at home simply by taking pictures of the baby with their phone camera’s flash turned on. The parent or clinician first places a “color calibrator,” a sheet the size of a business card printed with eight blocks of different colors, on the baby’s chest. The software processes the images, adjusts color and white balance, accounts for different lighting conditions and skin tones, and then gives a report.

    Tests with data from 100 newborns show that the BiliCam closely matches the accuracy of blood tests for babies’ bilirubin levels, which are currently the gold-standard method for diagnosing jaundice.

    The BiliCam’s accuracy was better than visual exams, the researchers say. Past research shows that doctors using the visual method may also tend to underestimate the degree of jaundice, which may be of particular concern, the researchers say.

    The BiliCam’s performance may also put it in the same league as the transcutaneous bilirubinometer, which correlates well with the blood test, said Lilian de Greef, a doctoral student in computer science and engineering at the University of Washington who is involved in developing the technology.

    An at-home test like the BiliCam may be important for parents, given the high rate of jaundice in newborns.

    “Because the majority of all newborns have some level of jaundice, or yellowing of the skin, and because jaundice doesn’t tend to peak until babies are at home with their families (out of the nursery) at day of life 3 or 4, having access to this app will provide a chance for families to access data without a trip to the clinic, hospital, or birthing center,” Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson said.

    “This really puts the power of diagnostics into the patient and family’s hands and that’s earnest opportunity for improved health care driven by patients,” said Swanson, a pediatrician and executive director of Digital Health at Seattle Children’s Hospital, who is familiar with BiliCam but is not involved in developing the application.

    The BiliCam is not quite ready to roll out, however. The researchers are tackling issues like how to display the results of the test and how to tweak the color calibration card to make it more accurate and user friendly.

    “Currently, everything we developed was mostly to collect data and process them for our evaluation. There’s still lots of work to be done on how to present everything for users like parents,” de Greef said.

    When they think it is ready, the researchers plan a phased release, first to clinicians and then to parents.

    “We think that parents will use BiliCam like they use thermometers now. Instead of just knowing that their baby looks jaundiced they will have an estimate of the bilirubin level that can be (reported) to the baby’s healthcare provider,” Taylor said.

    The BiliCam research was funded in part by Coulter Foundation and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

    A full copy of the paper presented at the meeting is available from the Association for Computing Machinery, at bit.ly/1shPIML.

    Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

Mobile Technology News, September 23, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Apple Launches Two New iPhone 6 Ads

    Apple has released two new iPhone 6 ads on their YouTube site and will be coming to your television screen soon.  The two new adds highlight the larger displays of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus while the second advert takes a look at the new Health app built into iOS 8.  It is the first of what I suspect will be many iPhone 6 ads. In the first Ad you hear the voices of Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon talking about the new screen sizes of the new iPhones.  It is a funny ad, showing on their interactions

    The post Apple Launches Two New iPhone 6 Ads appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • New iPhone 6 models best the competition, analysis sites say
    Early tests from PC performance sites Tom’s Hardware and AnandTech have revealed that early iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus buyers aren’t just buying style and elegance — they’re also getting a smartphone that appears to be the best all-around performer available, in some cases by a significant margin. Significant improvements in GPU performance, JavaScript performance and battery life once again see the iPhone outperforming phones with quad-core chips and twice the RAM.

  • Cirque du Soleil's Drone Video, 'Sparked,' Is Pure Magic
    Seems like Cirque du Soleil can turn just about anything into a mesmerizing performance — even drones.

    A new collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich and Verity Studios features 10 quadcopters carrying out the kinds of complex synchronized dance maneuvers we usually see from the circus’ famed acrobats.

    But what makes this clip amazing is the one thing it doesn’t feature: computer graphics.

    You can see how the film was created in this “making of” video.

    Verity co-founder Markus Waibel told Gizmag that each of the 10 drones was given a different personality, and that the entire film was shot in just three days.

    “The collaboration resulted in a unique, interactive choreography where humans and drones move in sync,” Cirque du Soleil said in the description on YouTube. “Precise computer control allows for a large performance and movement vocabulary of the quadcopters and opens the door to many more applications in the future.”

    (h/t Gizmodo)

  • Sprint calls iPhone 6 launch 'most successful in history'
    New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure on Monday tweeted that the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus this past weekend was the “most successful iPhone launch in our history,” in a note thanking Sprint employees for their help. The announcement comes on the heels of Apple’s news that it had sold 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units over the course of the opening weekend, a new record for the company, and Sprint’s recent announcement of a special iPhone-centric lease promotion.

  • New iOS 8 hits 30 percent adoption, iPhone 6 outselling 6 Plus
    Apple has seen a near-doubling of user adoption of iOS 8 since it rocketed to 20 percent during its first two days of availability, and is now sitting at around 36 percent after the first weekend of iPhone 6 sales, according to figures from various aggregators including Mixpanel and Appsee. While still representing an astonishing uptake compared to any other computer or mobile platform, the figure is actually behind that of iOS 7 at the same point in its release.

  • Google Chairman: Giving Money To ALEC Was A 'Mistake'
    Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said on Monday that his company’s support for the American Legislative Exchange Council was a “mistake,” adding that it should avoid aligning with groups that deny climate change.

    “We funded [ALEC] as part of a political campaign for something unrelated [to climate change],” Schmidt said on NPR’s “The Diane Rehm Show.” “I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake and so we’re trying to not do that in the future.”

    “The company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts — what a shock. And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore,” Schmidt continued. “Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”

    Activists have criticized Google’s support for ALEC since last year, when it was revealed that the company had paid membership dues to be a part of the organization’s communications and technology task force. Other tech companies including Facebook, Yelp and AOL were also ALEC members in 2013.

    Brant Olson, campaign director for the grassroots organization Forecast the Facts, praised Schmidt’s comments in a statement. Forecast the Facts and other environmental groups launched a “Don’t Fund Evil” campaign last year urging Google to stop funding ALEC.

    “We hope Google will also take this opportunity review its over $699,000 in contributions since 2008 to another group that is ‘just literally lying’–climate change deniers in Congress,” Olson said.

    ALEC is an organization made up of conservative state legislators and private sector interests that drafts model legislation for various states. In addition to promoting fossil fuel interests and climate change skepticism, the group has also attracted attention for drafting bills that weaken labor unions and gun restrictions and impose voter identification rules.

    Schmidt said that Google is “trying” to avoid funding ALEC in the future, but he did not confirm whether the company is severing all ties with the group. A Google spokeswoman declined to provide additional comment Monday afternoon.

    Google states on its website that it is committed to eventually operating on 100 percent renewable energy and that it has made agreements to fund more than $1.5 billion in renewable energy projects.

    “We’re helping create a clean energy future that’s better for our business and the environment,” the company says.

  • VIDEO: 'It has to be eyeball to eyeball'
    Are trailer videos on social media spoiling theatre?
  • Health technology puts patients first
    The tech making life a little easier for patients
  • Museum reunites Colossus veterans
    The largest gathering of veterans who operated the Colossus code-cracking computer in World War II has been held at Bletchley Park.
  • One Fast Mountain Bike: Cannondale F29 Black Inc.
    Stitch together dirt roads, pavement, and smooth singletrack for some #epicrides with the Cannondale F29 Black Inc.

    I previously reviewed the Cannondale SuperX cyclocross bike and noted it was a potential category killer. Which is to say it excels at commuting, road riding, and dirt. In fact, the latter is its one weakness. Yes, it can handle dirt roads. But anything close to rocky or steep terrain has you longing for some mountain bike handlebars and suspension. Enter Cannondale’s corresponding 29-inch hardtail, the F29.

    Built primarily for racing, this bike is feather-light at 18 pounds. Yes, that’s what high-end road bikes weighed only a few years ago. This is accomplished through a carbon fiber frame, Shimano’s top-of-the-line drivetrain and brakes (XTR), and super-sexy carbon wheels from ENVE. The spare-no-expense Black Inc. retails for a post-IPO-like price tag of more than $11,000. But you can get in at more of a Series-A level with the F-SI Carbon 2 for less than $5,000 (still not cheap, of course). But, again, this is a potential category killer for those who index toward dirt.


    When you’re riding on 29-inch wheels, which are much more road-like than a traditional 26-inch mountain bike wheel, it opens up a lot of riding potential. Given a moderately treaded tire, you can stitch together some epic rides that combine long sections of both paved and dirt roads with some mellow singletrack woven in for good measure. I did one of these on the F29 in the Topanga Canyon area back in June, covering about 30 miles and 5,000 feet of climbing. All told, I logged close to 200 miles in testing the F29.

    I made a few tweaks to the bike’s spec to suit my style of riding. I added a quick-release for the seatpost, which gives the ability to drop the saddle slightly for descents. I also swapped out the stock tires for a more aggressive tread to handle the loose, fire-road conditions in the Santa Monica Mountains. Both of these added a lot of confidence on the descents. If I were to own this bike, I’d get a second set of wheels with slick tires for commuting, ripping around town, and the occasional road loop.

    If I were pressed to complain about anything, it would be the front suspension. Cannondale’s proprietary “Lefty” fork gives you 100mm of ultra-smooth travel with the ability to lock it out for climbs, and it’s very light. But it’s not cross-compatible with any other front-suspension design. The hub and, therefore, the front wheel only works on this fork. This limits your wheel, fork, and even car rack options. All-in-all, it’s a minor tradeoff for a bike that will crush all of your climbing records while still feeling confident bombing dirt-road descents.

    Note: I reviewed the 2014 F29. This has been updated for 2015 and is now the F-SI Carbon Black Inc. The major difference is Shimano’s new electric XTR Di2 drivetrain.

  • This Man Waited In Line For An iPhone 6 For 44 Hours To Win Back His Wife
    The new iPhone 6 includes a mile-long list of new and upgraded features, but one man is banking on the phone having the power to fix his marriage.

    Darius Wlodarski of Swindon, England waited outside the Apple Store in Bristol for 44 hours in order to buy Apple’s latest phone for his wife, the Bristol Post reports. The couple split one month ago, but Wlodarski was determined to make good on his promise to buy her one.

    “I bought her an iPhone 5 two years ago and she was delighted,” he told the paper. “She told me she would like an iPhone 6 because it had a bigger screen but realized we could not afford it but still, I want to buy it for her.”

    Wlodarski is currently unemployed due to health issues and paid for the iPhone with a credit card. Though the 41-year-old realizes the phone itself may not bring back his wife, he hopes the purchase will at least make her happy.

    “Since we split up, I have realized that I was not a very good father or husband,” he said. “I hope I can convince her I could be a good father and husband.”

    Watch the video above for more on Wlodarski’s story.

    Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.

  • A Day for Universal Connecting and Creativity

    Unplug and reconnect…

    A soapbox I jump on every once in a while and a cause I truly believe in — passionately. In fact, more so after reading about the late Steve Jobs and his strong views on his children’s education.

    My view is that everyone should pick a “Sabbath” — a time of some duration (an hour, minimum) — on any day they choose and put down their electronics, turn off their devices, close their computers, walk don’t ride, fight the urge to tweet and reconnect with their lives… friends… family… nature… themselves…

    It is my belief that inherent in those connections is a powerful creativity that we run the risk of losing in the crowded and noisy and complicated world that consumes us from the time we wake up and first pick up our smartphones — and, by the way, the impact on the environment would be monumental.

    I want to up the ante, and thank you Solly for the inspiration.

    What if we were to pick one day a year — a day we all agree on — and declare it our day? A day of Universal Connectivity and Creativity. A day of thinking, reflecting, hugging, walking, talking, eating (yes, eating without a device on the table). A day when social media online goes dark because social offline goes live.

    Imagine the power of such a day. You could participate in as much of it or as little as your personal “jones” allowed, from one hour to 24, and I guarantee you that just like picking your random day a week will change your life. If we could aggregate it all in one day, once a year, we will change the world.

    Now, I know this is a crazy idea — beyond, in fact — but listen:

    “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs

    Jobs saw this, just like he saw Apple. I’m convinced of it.

    Are you ready to be crazy and help start a movement to change the world?

    What do you think?

  • Apple Plans To Shut Down Beats Music
    Apple will discontinue the streaming music service Beats Music it acquired in May, according to five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats. Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes.
  • Dancers Waltz Across The Side Of A Building, Catch It All On GoPro
    Two dance performers recently took a waltz on the wild side.

    Strapped in harnesses and tethered to the facade of Oakland City Hall in California, Amelia Rudolph and Roel Seeber of the vertical dance group Bandaloop leaped boundlessly off the side of the building during an August show for Oakland’s Art + Soul festival. Set to the tune of William Ryan Fritch’s “Hopeless Romantic,” a newly-published GoPro video of the dance captures Rudolph and Seeber gracefully flipping and twirling through the air.

    “They say what we do is death-defying. I’d say it’s life-affirming,” says Rudolph, Bandaloop’s founder and artistic director, on the troupe’s website.

    Watch Rudolph and Seeber defy gravity above, and check out more mesmerizing performances at Bandaloop.org.

    h/t: Laughing Squid

  • VIDEO: Paralysed father 'walks' at wedding
    A wheelchair-bound father was able to stand up to deliver his speech at his daughter’s wedding celebration thanks to a special robotic suit.
  • Netflix Deliberately Ruins A Lot Of Good TV And Movies
    Netflix thinks that in this new era of television, spoilers matter less than they used to. In fact, the company has created an entire site that gives away major plot twists of some popular and classic movies and TV shows.

    We’re talking major. You know that part in the second season of “House of Cards” that you didn’t see coming? Yeah, that’s in there. The really sad ending of “Old Yeller?” That’s in there too. Spoilers from “Rocky,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Hunger Games” and “Good Morning Vietnam” are also included.

    You do have to click a few times to see the spoiler, but don’t say you weren’t warned.

    Netflix’s “Living With Spoilers” site, which also includes a flow chart that identifies what kind of spoiler you are, is part of a promotion the company is running just as the fall TV season kicks off. Netflix also commissioned a survey about people’s changing attitudes around TV and found that people care less about spoilers — either giving them away, or learning about them — than they used to.

    netflix spoiler

    According to the survey, about 1 in 5 Americans say it’s OK to share a plot twist right after they see it, and a full 94 percent say that they don’t want to stop watching a TV series even if they hear a spoiler.

    “In the old days spoilers would just extinguish a show and you wouldn’t watch it,” Grant McCracken, a cultural anthropologist Netflix hired to spend time with consumers and study how they watch TV, said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “These days, spoilers can actually end up recruiting for the show. They send you a message that it’s really good — that people really care about it and that you might want to watch it too.”

    Thirteen percent of people surveyed said they become more interested to watch a show they weren’t going to watch if they hear a spoiler, though 54 percent still said that if people are talking about plot twists, they should use some sort of coded language.

    Netflix, which unlike traditional TV can be streamed anytime and almost anywhere, takes some of the credit for the shift, and the company’s programming boss said that the conversation around spoilers changed when it released the entire second season of the political thriller “House of Cards.” (Spoiler alert, it has a pretty shocking scene in the first episode.)

    “When we premiered all episodes of our series at once across the world, it created a new dynamic around spoilers,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said in a statement announcing the survey results. “After Season 2 of ‘House of Cards’ launched there was a definite shift in the social conversation about a key plot twist in episode one; that was the moment everything changed.”

    The results of Netflix’s online survey, which was conducted in the U.S. last month by market researcher Harris Interactive, come as television viewing habits are undergoing a massive shift, due in large part to services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Hulu, HBO Go and YouTube. The time consumers spend each month watching video on the Internet is up 64 percent this year, according to Nielsen. (Nielsen bought Harris Interactive earlier this year.)

    Observers consider television to be in a “new golden age.” Our TVs, tablets and desktops are teeming with an abundance of good programming from more than just traditional cable and network TV, thanks in part to technology and services that allow us to watch on our own terms. Netflix and other streaming services are spending more money on original programming, and they’re more often releasing a season’s episodes all at one time to let consumers binge-watch an entire show in one weekend. Amazon will release all episodes of “Transparent,” a new comedy-drama starring Jeffrey Tambor, to its Amazon Prime members on Friday.

    Another study last year, also commissioned by Netflix and interpreted by McCracken, found that the majority of people who stream binge-watch, and they don’t feel bad about it.

    Netflix, which is already available in over 40 countries around the world, is in the midst of an aggressive expansion into Europe. The company began operating in France, Germany and four more European countries last week.

  • YouTube Star Sam Pepper Attempts To 'Prank' Women By Grabbing Their Butts
    There’s a (big) difference between a prank and assault, but this YouTube star seems to have confused the two.

    Sam Pepper, a British YouTube celebrity with a following of over 2 million, posted a video on Sept. 20 where he walks around grabbing unsuspecting women’s butts and films their reactions. The public outcry for the clip to be taken down was so loud that YouTube removed the video this morning.

    Pepper is famous for his outrageous YouTube prank videos, however this one not only confused but angered many of his fans and a large portion of the Internet.

    The video features Pepper walking up to five different women, starting a conversation and then pinching their butts when they look away. It’s painful to watch as these women awkwardly laugh off Pepper’s “prank” and walk away, violated and confused. As one YouTube commenter wrote, “Literally the first girl said ‘I don’t like that.’ Line crossed.”

    The video has received so much negative feedback that people have been reporting the clip to YouTube asking for it to be taken down since it was posted this past Saturday. The hashtag #ReportSamPepper, created by 19-year-old Tumblr user Kara, has been populating Twitter the past few days — and, thankfully, YouTube listened.

    #reportsampepper because calling it a “prank” does not make it ok to go around and sexually harass women

    — gomezz (@flavorgomez) September 22, 2014

    With a Pepper comes assault. #ReportSamPepper

    — mamrie hart (@mametown) September 21, 2014

    #reportsampepper because no woman should ever have to be touched without consent

    — sarah (@sarahmicheled) September 22, 2014

    #reportsampepper just bc you label it as a “prank” doesn’t excuse the fact that you’re sexually harassing women.

    — ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ (@msftxbieber) September 22, 2014

    Reminder: Everything online is edited! Just because someone is seen laughing doesn’t mean they aren’t screaming internally! #reportsampepper

    — Liam Dryden (@LiamDrydenEtc) September 21, 2014

    #reportsampepper bc having a million subscribers on YouTube does not give you a free pass to grope girls and call it a “prank”

    — elita // sept 25th (@woahmerrygold) September 21, 2014

    Sexual harassment is not a joke, and women’s bodies are not there for your amusement and video views. #reportsampepper

    — Daisy (@_daisyporter) September 21, 2014

    #ReportSamPepper because he thinks its okay to objectify women

    — Brad(◡﹏◡✿) (@breastblackery) September 21, 2014

    Many of Pepper’s fellow YouTube stars have denounced his behavior, including Laci Green, Tyler Oakley, Hannah Hart, Hank Green and Charlie McDonnell. Hank Green, one of the founders of the national conference for online video creators called VidCon, also took to Twitter to voice his outrage:

    For people asking, it’s safe to assume that people who sexually assault women in “prank” videos will not be welcome at future VidCons.

    — Hank Green (@hankgreen) September 21, 2014

    Sex positive vlogger Laci Green weighed in on the controversy, writing an open letter to Pepper on Sept. 21 on Tumblr:

    We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop. Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views. Please stop physically restraining them and pressuring them to be sexual when they are uncomfortable. Please show some respect for women’s right to their own bodies. While it may seem like harmless fun, a simple prank, or a “social experiment”, these videos encourage millions of young men and women to see this violation as a normal way to interact with women. One in six young women (real life ones, just like the ones in your video) are sexually assaulted, and sadly, videos like these will only further increase those numbers.

    And Tyler Oakley, an LGBTQ advocate with over 5 million YouTube followers, took to Twitter as well, stating:

    Saddened by @sampepper‘s new video. Sexually harassing women is vile to begin with, but normalizing it by calling it a prank? So harmful.

    — Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) September 21, 2014

    The Huffington Post reached out to Sam Pepper and YouTube for comment but did not receive a response from either at the time of publication.

    The bottom line? Sexism and assault disguised as humor is still sexism and assault.


    [h/t Kinja]

  • Announcing My Boldest Mission Yet

    I’m writing to tell you about the boldest XPRIZE I’ve ever launched.

    …and I want you involved.

    There are nearly one billion illiterate people on Earth.

    Two-thirds of them are women; 250 million of them are children.

    These are kids who can’t read, write or do basic math.

    And there is a huge cost to society here: 250 million minds are going to waste.

    We know from hard research that educated populations have lower growth rates, are more peaceful and add to the global economy.

    The best way to create a more peaceful and prosperous world is to educate these kids.

    But how?

    To meet the demand of 250 million illiterate children would require training over 1.6 million new teachers by 2015.

    There is no way to teach enough teachers and build enough schools.

    The old way just doesn’t scale.

    It’s time to stop thinking linearly…

    So here’s a solution. It’s the most important XPRIZE we may ever launch.

    It’s called the $15 million Global Learning XPRIZE.

    We are challenging hundreds (perhaps thousands) of teams around the world to build a piece of software that can take a child from illiteracy to reading, writing and numeracy in just 18 months.

    Imagine such software preloaded onto every phone and every tablet.

    Imagine software that incorporates A.I. as the facilitator — providing on-demand, personalized knowledge and learning when and where it is needed.

    This isn’t designed to replace teachers. It’s to create an educational solution where little or none exists.

    If there was one tool to create a more peaceful and vibrant world, one tool to empower humanity, this would be it.

    I want to urge you to check out this XPRIZE and get involved.

    Do you have kids? Nieces, nephews, younger siblings?

    Would you like access to the most powerful learning software ever created for your local elementary school?

    If you do, then get involved and get access. Please check it out here.

    This may be the most important and bold issue I’ve ever attempted to tackle.

    Join XPRIZE in this mission. Let’s Change the World!

  • Be My Friend: The Staggering Number of Young People's Cell Phone Contacts

    After her six year-old flip phone had lost keys and was literally falling apart, my parsimonious and independent 20-something daughter finally agreed to let me get her a new one. It seemed to be taking forever to transfer the data from her old phone to her new one. Finally, she asked the Verizon salesman what was going on. “Well,” he said, “It does take some time to transfer all of your 623 contacts.” 623 contacts! Really? My daughter was nonplussed. “That has to be wrong, “she said. But later she checked. There were 623 contacts. Then it was my turn to be nonplussed. I only have 62.

    It may be that the number of contacts on my daughter’s phone is quite average, but there’s an awful lot of variability. A survey in 2011 by the Pew Research Internet Project found that “the average cell phone user has 664 social ties,” but a survey done the same year in Great Britain found that the average person had 152 mobile phone contacts.

    In a very un-scientific poll with a very un-representative sample, I asked my class of thirty college seniors to take out their cell phones and write down for me the number of contacts they had. While there was some variation in the distribution, the class average was 485. That’s a lot of contacts.

    I wondered if the larger number of contacts had more to do more with the ever-greater proliferation of cell phones in the past few years (according to Pew, 53 percent of American adults had a cell phone in 2011 and last year that percentage had grown to 97 percent) or with the age of the respondents (Pew reported last year a staggering 78% of American teens owned a cell phone, a far higher concentration in a ten year age bracket than other brackets).

    But what’s even more interesting than the numbers of kids with phones or the numbers of contacts they have are the reasons young people give for having and retaining them.

    One of my students mused that many of the contacts on her cell phone were the numbers of people who had been friends in middle school or at camp. “It’s not like I’m in touch with them anymore or would even call them,” she said, “but I won’t delete them. It’s a part of my history. It would be like deleting my past.”

    Another student suggested that the number of contacts on her phone could be thought of as a measure of social success. “They’re not all close friends,” she said, “but they all are people I know.”

    But the number of cell phone contacts can also reflect social awkwardness in a few ways. “There are the numbers of women I once dated, or wanted to date,” stated one of my male students. Then he hurridly admitted, “it’s mostly women I wanted to date or dated just a couple of times. There aren’t actually a lot of them.” Why does he keep them on his cell phone? “I’m not sure, maybe to remind me of my own social ineptitude” he said, sheepishly.

    The number of cell phone contacts has also been used as a measure of something — it’s not clear just what – by respondents to a poll sponsored by Socialanxietysupport.com. The majority in this poll reported having fewer than 20 contacts. So my student was certainly not alone in talking about the number of his contacts as a metric of social difficulty.

    Once upon a time, when these college students were younger, many of them took measure of their social status by their AOL Instant Messenger Buddy List. Complete with its own jargon, spellings, emoticons and the ubiquitous door slam sound, many pre-teens delighted in adding to, categorizing and comparing the number of friends on their lists. Today you can find innumerable online reminiscences by 20somethings reflecting on AIM or MSN Messenger were seminal social experiences of their (earlier) youth. These technologies got supplanted by Facebook, and soon young people began posting, discussing and comparing the numbers of their “Facebook friends.”

    But what all of this makes me wonder is whether preteens and adolescents have a different sense of what it means to call someone a “friend” and how friendships get referenced, maintained and sustained through their media technologies. The often quoted research by Robin Dunbar suggests that humans have the capacity to have about 150 meaningful relationships. But when a young person reports a few hundred Facebook friends, or says that she or he has over 600 cell phone contacts, does he or she really mean that these are “friends,” someone with whom they have a meaningful relationship? Probably not.

    In a pair of studies reported in Psychology Today, researchers found that young people tended to rank the Facebook profiles of those with larger numbers of Facebook friends (over 300) as less appealing than those who had fewer. The researchers speculated that students viewed those with more Facebook friends as people who spend too much time in the cyber world and not able to make real face-to-face connections.

    And danah boyd has concluded in her significant research about how teens use media to navigate, reinforce and maintain friendships and determine social hierarchies that while social media have given teens other ways to reach out to others, especially outside of school, that the friendship groups made in school are still the most profound.

    “Part of what makes the negotiation of Friendship on social networksites tricky is that it’s deeply connected to participant’s offline social life,” she suggests.

    “Their choice of friends online is not a set of arbitrary personal decisions; each choice has the potential to complicate relationships with friends, colleagues, schoolmates, and lovers. Social network sites are not digital spaces disconnected from other social venues — it is a modeling of one aspect of participants’ social worlds and that model is evaluated in other social contexts.”

    So what does having 623 cell phone contacts mean? “Probably that it’s time to reevaluate ” says my daughter.

Mobile Technology News, September 22, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Apple Releases iOS 8 Guides in iBooks

    With iOS 8 now out for everyone, Apple has now released their iOS 8 Guides for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.  These user guides are designed to help those who are new to iOS or seasoned veterans learn every nook and cranny of the latest version of iOS for their particular devices.  The guides are free and are available now in the iBooks Store. Each iOS 8 guide is specifically written for a particular device so there are three individual downloads for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.  Each guide is between 160-180 pages long so they aren’t huge downloads onto

    The post Apple Releases iOS 8 Guides in iBooks appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Apple’s Missed Opportunity with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite

    With the release of iOS 8 last week, Apple made some big improvements in their mobile OS.  Some of those improvements however really won’t see their fully glory until OS X Yosemite is out and available.  In my iOS 8 review I commented that having the two releases, which are very intertwined, at separate points was a bit of a head scratcher.  Now nearly a week after iOS 8, I’m more convinced it is a missed opportunity for Apple that has led to end user frustration and confusion.  I appreciate that OS X Yosemite might not be fully ready but

    The post Apple’s Missed Opportunity with iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Briefly: Bluetooth blood pressure monitor, Pantera case for iPhone 6
    Pyle Audio has announced the introduction of its new Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor (PHBPB20). The monitor and its accompanying integrated app are designed to provide users pulse rate and systolic and diastolic pressures. Users insert their arm into the device’s sleeve, press the power button and allow the monitor to tighten and measure blood pressure. The monitor can store 99 blood pressure readings for each individual, and the large LCD display shows collected data.

  • VIDEO: Overcooked? The hi-tech smart pan
    The pan that aims to eliminate guesswork from cooking
  • Please Protect Me From My Password
    We live in a world that is surrounded by fear, by a bit of paranoia and maybe rightfully so. We have groups lopping people’s heads off and posting the videos online. There is the fear of your not so friendly neighbor invading your territory under the pretext of protection and the outbreak of new types of diseases and viruses that we didn’t know existed. Maybe a bit of paranoia (and caution) is not such a bad thing but sometimes we do take it to an extreme.

    In today’s day and age, with technology at our fingertips (quite literally) there has been a bit of an invasion of our personal space and our privacy. Some of it is by our choosing, some of it not so much. In either case, we have had to become a little more cautious about the kind of information we share. You wonder how safe and secure our information really is, even with the biggest and in the ‘safest’ of places (read Edward Snowden and the NSA leak). It is not uncommon to hear of credit card data being stolen (Home Depot recently reported its information being hacked and such data being stolen). Banks, retailers and corporates all have have all been guilty of that — or have they just been victims of circumstances?

    My credit card and bank details could be lost even if they are kept ‘securely’ with a bank or a large corporate that spends billions of dollars on corporate security (or at least I hope they do spend some decent amount of money on it). But aren’t they the ones that have zillions of passwords and keys that are needed to login to access these details? Then, how is it, I wonder that a hacker is easily able to penetrate this level of detail.

    This security and password protection has achieved another level of sophistication [and possibly silliness] at some institutions. For instance, at my current employer, I have to log in to my computer at my desk using a password that is comprised of eight characters, and it must also include letters, numbers, special characters and at least one upper case letter.

    Complex enough? Well, for me it is. I have a hard time keeping track of all the passwords and find it counter intuitive to put them in a single app that might be susceptible to the same kind of digital theft that any other data out there is. So what do I do instead?

    Without revealing too many secrets, I keep it simple. I use the easiest and most intuitive key strokes to develop my latest password. But, I guess it isn’t enough. I have to do this every quarter and reinvent a new set of strokes that no one else in their right mind may be able to figure out.

    I’ve been at my current role for a year, or four quarters, and I’ve had to do this four times already! Each time I do it, I think “Ah, easy enough; I can reinvent a password or maybe even use an old one and it should all be fine.” But no, the password gods at my firm will not have that.

    Not only does the password have to be a new combination of letters, numbers, special characters, and one upper case letter, but it also has to be distinct — so distinct that it shouldn’t have been repeated for the last 24 times! Yes, you read correct… 24!!! Not 2, not 4, but 24 times!

    I am busy enough that there are days when I can barely remember what I ate for lunch; how am I expected to remember or not remember my last 24 passwords? Surely if I last in this role for more than a couple of years, I’m going to have to start getting more creative. Do you think I am some creative wizard or some genius that can invent new keystrokes and passwords that no one else can decipher. Every three months, never to have been repeated for the last 24 times or eight quarters in this case?

    Surely I want my data to be safe and secure. And yes, I am willing to take the necessary steps to ensure that it is. But somehow, going through this level of absurdity and to these extremes just doesn’t give me the level of confidence that it will indeed be.

    If anything it makes me worried that I may forget my own password and not be able to login anymore! But then again, we live in a world filled with hyperbole and paranoia, so why not extend that to our data protection too? If nothing else, it at least keeps our memory sharp.

  • Minecraft role for British Museum
    The building and contents of the British Museum in London are to be digitally recreated in the video game Minecraft, with volunteers sought to help.
  • Ex-Employees Say Home Depot Left Data Vulnerable
    The risks were clear to computer experts inside Home Depot: The home improvement chain, they warned for years, might be easy prey for hackers.
  • This Kids' Movie Makes 'Transformers' Look Like Child's Play
    “It definitely feels like an odd choice when everything is going electric for someone to stick with a cart and a buggy.”

    Stop-motion animation is such a labor-intensive process that it almost seems masochistic. The method is daunting: Every figure needs to be manually adjusted for each frame, of which there are 24 each second, 1440 each minute. Never mind that computer generation can do anything stop-motion can … and better, in much less time. Yet, while CG is inarguably the major reason for the fall of stop-motion, its biggest proponents are now using the so-called “author of their demise” to save the beloved medium.

    Although stop-motion has been around nearly since the dawn of film, the process hasn’t changed much since its inception. Today’s stop-motion animators are going through steps similar to those followed by George Melies in order to send men to the moon in 1902: the figures and set are designed, sculpted (most often out of clay) and manipulated by hand.

    Since it began its sharpest decline in the early 1990s, that lack of adaptation has been a reality of which the industry is all too aware. As anecdote would have it: Steven Spielberg hired the renowned stop-motion animator Phil Tippett for work on the dinosaurs in “Jurassic Park” (1993), eventually bringing on CG expert in favor of stop-motion. When Spielberg told him that he’d been replaced, he said, “No, I’ve gone extinct.”

    “For people who loved and were practitioners of stop motion in the ’90s, that’s kind of how we felt,” said Travis Knight, producer and lead animator on “The Boxtrolls.” “Everything was shifting over to the computer and so it definitely feels like an odd choice when everything is going electric for someone to stick with a cart and a buggy.”

    For Knight, like many proponents he mentions, he was passionate about stop-motion, but he understood that he couldn’t be complacent about its path to endangerment. Teaming up with Laika animation studios, he became part of a process that has begun to define stop-motion as more than the “herky jerky” experience it had come to represent.


    Laika is best known for “Coraline” (2009), for which Knight won an Academy Award. Their most recent feature, “The Boxtrolls,” is the most highly developed use of stop-motion to date. Although, that’s not to say it wasn’t labor intensive.

    “I’m sure most career advisors don’t list miniature sofa upholsterer as a job.”

    Isaac Hempstead Wright (who voices the lead role of Eggs) was impressed with just how much work went into every detail still being set in place when he came on after the film had been in development for over seven years.

    “I’m sure most career advisors don’t list miniature sofa upholsterer as a job,” Wright said. “On set, there were people upholstering sofas or creating mini furniture or mini cabbages for the garden. The detail of the work is unbelievable.”

    The extensive preparation “The Boxtrolls” required was largely centered around figuring out how time filming would be spent. The most difficult part of this period included planning out a ballroom dancing scene.

    Directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable remembered discussing the sequence and meeting resistance from a room of overeager draftsmen. “The room went totally silent,” Stacchi said. “It was like: there’s no way we can do this.” It turned out there was a way, but it took over 18 months to execute.”

    One of the draftsmen, Emanuela Cosi, studied every instance of the waltz on film and drew out hard sketches so that animators could better understand the dancers’ movements. Then a composer, Dario Marinelli, was brought on in order to write the piece of music the waltz would be set to. From there, Stacchi and Annable took Cosi’s sketches and Marinelli’s music to a group of local choreographers who danced through the entire sequence and had it filmed in every direction for reference. With that in mind, the sculptors reformatted the armatures in the women’s dresses, so that they could move up and down through the steps. All of this was mere anticipatory work for the actual filming process. The final cut of the scene was two minutes long.

    At it’s core, much of the process is still the same, though CG has made an incredible difference when it comes to smoothing out the image and eliminating the most impractical aspects of frame-by-frame manipulation.

    Knight estimates that Eggs has 1.4 million facial expressions over the course of “The Boxtrolls,” a number that would have been impossible to achieve, even if it was something that could be done with precision. “You could never get the changes between expressions as subtle as you like doing it by hand,” he said. “So we turned to rapid prototype printing to take the place of sculpting every individual face.”

    The use of CG also allowed “The Boxtrolls” (and “Coraline” before it) a certain clarity as well or, as Stacchi put it, “made the image more fantastic.” It’s true, but returns us to the question of why one would choose to use stop-motion in the first place. Couldn’t you just get that more fantastic image in less than half the time using CG?

    “There’s something you get out of the hand-crafted quality of stop motion,” Annable said. “It’s real life landing on real fabrics. Deep in the DNA of everybody there is the memory of having played with toys or trucks or model trains and I think stop-motion gets right into people’s subconscious. It’s like a dream world that you just don’t get with hand drawn animation which has an appeal of its own, graphic things coming alive and living.”


    ” If under all the fancy tools, you don’t have anything there, it’s all just an empty experience.”

    There is something special about it, a tangibility to the texture that rests in the fact that it is, in a way, real. Everything you see on screen exists somewhere (in Laika’s studios, to be specific). A tiny Eggs exists, as well as a tiny box trolls family and the even tinier bugs they eat throughout the movie. They have all been built by hand, and that allows them a visceral quality that renders something different than the bigger-means-better push of CG.

    Since it is based on a children’s book (Alan Snow’s “Here Be Monsters”), “The Boxtrolls is an especially good fit for stop-motion, because it begs the magical feel of a fairy tale coming to life. But Knight believes any story could be told through the process.

    “At it’s core, what you’re looking at is a physical thing that was shot on a set with a real life camera being brought to life by the hands of an animator,” Stacchi said.

    And maybe part of the appeal is in something so painstakingly detailed, but also refreshingly small. “I think it’s rarer and rarer to go to the movie theater now where everything isn’t just louder and bigger. It can get bigger and bigger and bigger, but in the end, a lot of the stuff just ends up being hollow,” Stacchi said. “Directors have to figure out what they’re trying to do with this stuff.”

    Stacchi, like Knight, understands that stop-motion will never be the “queen of the realm,” like CG, but he hopes it will continue to prosper, despite the fact that modern technology has moved so far past Melies and his trip into outer space.

    “Stop-motion has its limitations, but I also think the process elicits something at the other end that has this quality of warmth, charm and beauty that’s unlike anything else,” Stacchi said. “So, that’s why we focus on that bit of film making, despite the fact that it’s so damn hard.”

  • Mysterious Fireball Spotted Over The Rockies Was Actually A Russian Spy Satellite, Experts Say
    A mysterious fireball that was spotted moving across the night sky and breaking apart above the Rocky Mountains earlier this month left observers totally baffled.

    Some speculated that the blazing object may have been pieces from a meteor or other celestial body, but the science just didn’t seem to add up. If it was indeed a meteor, it would have burned too quickly and wouldn’t have been seen across such a large area, according to the American Meteor Society.

    So what exactly was this fiery object?

    Military experts say the so-called “fireball” — which was spotted in the skies at around 10:30 p.m. MDT on Sept. 2 over Colorado and Wyoming, and possibly as far as New Mexico, South Dakota and Montana — was likely a piece of a Russian spy satellite that fell from orbit.

    Charles Vick, an aerospace analyst with the military information website Globalsecurity.org, told the Associated Press that it was probably debris from Russia’s Cosmos 2495 reconnaissance satellite.

    Fireball over Rockies was Russian spy satellite, experts say http://t.co/YCsEJjcdNr pic.twitter.com/6BeBjpqXKM

    — CBC News (@CBCNews) September 18, 2014

    Cosmos 2495 was a photoreconnaissance satellite designed to take high-resolution images of ground targets, according to Spaceflight101.com. It was reportedly launched in May.

    The U.S. Strategic Command, a branch of the Department of Defense, confirmed that the satellite re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and was removed from their catalog of orbiting satellites in September.

    The Russian Defense Ministry has denied any connection with the fireball. Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov says Russia’s military satellites have all been operating normally.

    “One can only guess what condition the representatives of the so-called American Meteor Society must be in to have identified a [fireball] at that high altitude as a Russian military satellite,” he told RIA Novosti.

    There are an estimated 98 operating spy satellites currently in orbit, the AP reports. Of these, almost 40 are said to be from the U.S. and just three are from Russia.

  • SpaceX Launches 3-D Printer, Mice Into Space

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) — A SpaceX cargo ship rocketed toward the International Space Station on Sunday, carrying the first 3-D printer for astronauts in orbit.

    In all, the unmanned Dragon capsule is delivering more than 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms) of space station supplies for NASA.

    Dragon should reach the space station Tuesday. It’s the fifth station shipment for the California-based SpaceX, one of two new commercial winners in the race to start launching Americans again from home soil.

    The space station was soaring over the South Pacific when the SpaceX Falcon 9 thundered into Florida’s pre-dawn sky. Sunday’s weather was ideal for flying, unlike Saturday, when rain forced a delay. The rocket was visible for nearly three minutes as it sped out over the Atlantic, with the Orion constellation as a backdrop.

    “What a beautiful morning it was,” said Sam Scimemi, NASA’s space station division director.

    Sunday was a red-letter day for NASA in more ways than one.

    Besides the flawless launch, the space agency’s Maven spacecraft was on the verge of reaching Mars. The robotic explorer was scheduled to go into orbit around Mars late Sunday night.

    The space station-bound 3-D printer was developed by Made in Space, another California company. It’s sturdier than Earthly models to withstand the stresses of launch, and meets NASA’s strict safety standards. The space agency envisions astronauts one day cranking out spare parts as needed. For now, it’s a technology demonstrator, with a bigger and better model to follow next year.

    A $30 million device for measuring ocean winds is also flying up on Dragon, along with 20 mice and 30 fruit flies for biological research and metal samples for a golf club manufacturer looking to improve its products.

    Much-needed spacesuit batteries are on board as well, along with the usual stash of food, clothes and electronic gear. Routine U.S. spacewalks were put on hold following last year’s close call with an astronaut’s flooded helmet. That problem was solved, then the battery fuses were called into question. NASA hopes to resume spacewalks next month.

    NASA is paying SpaceX and Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. to make regular station deliveries. The SpaceX service began two years ago.

    Just this past week, SpaceX — led by billionaire Elon Musk — won an even bigger and more prestigious contract to transport U.S. astronauts to the orbiting outpost, along with Boeing. Dragon rides could begin as early as 2016 or 2017.

    NASA’s ability to launch its own crews ended with the shuttle program in 2011. Russia has been providing rides on its Soyuz spacecraft for a hefty price.

    Another American astronaut is scheduled to blast off from Kazakhstan aboard a Russian Soyuz craft later this week, along with two Russians, one of them a woman, a rarity for Russia. They will join the one American, one Russian and one German already in orbit.

    SpaceX was delighted with Sunday’s success and the road ahead, and could hardly wait for the party to begin.

    “Nothing like a good launch,” observed Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of mission assurance for SpaceX. “It’s just fantastic.”



    SpaceX: http://www.spacex.com/

    NASA: htttp://www.nasa.gov

    Made in Space: http://www.madeinspace.us/

Mobile Technology News, September 21, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Surge Soda Again Sells Out On Amazon
    Surge needs some reinforcements.

    This past Monday, when Coca-Cola began selling 12-packs of the lemon-lime soda on Amazon — marking the first time in more than a decade that the product was for sale anywhere — it almost immediately sold out.

    Supplies were quickly restocked. But by Saturday, the fizzy green drink had sold out once again.

    The company vowed on Twitter to replenish the item by Monday.

    The green goodness will return to http://t.co/Z4wnVNsZmC Monday! Keep checking http://t.co/YNb2SHVmAC to get your #SURGE. #SURGEisback

    — SURGE (@SURGE) September 19, 2014

    The first time the product sold out, earlier in the week, new supplies were available before the end of the day. It was not clear why it would take until Monday this time for Coca-Cola to restock.

    Coca-Cola did not immediately return a call from The Huffington Post.

    Surge was discontinued amid slumping sales 11 years ago. Coca-Cola revived the beverage, which has attained cult status amid the current wave of 1990s nostalgia, at the behest of three superfans who organized a group called the SURGE Movement.

    With the drink out of stock at the moment, some vendors are wholesaling 12-can packs of Surge for nearly $244. The same 12-packs sold for $14 on Amazon earlier this week.

    A screenshot of an outside vendor’s listing on Amazon for a 12-pack of 16-ounce cans of Surge.

    The soda was first produced in 1996 as one of what would be several failed attempts on Coca-Cola’s part to topple rival PepsiCo’s popular Mountain Dew. But the highly caffeinated Dew dominated the market after branding itself as an energy drink with ads featuring athletes performing extreme sports.

    Unable to sway Mountain Dew’s mostly young, male consumers, Surge targeted pre-teens. The move backfired after schools banned the soda, fearing that its high caffeine content would be harmful to children. Perhaps ironically, a 12-ounce can of Mountain Dew contains about four more milligrams of caffeine than an equivalent amount of Surge.

  • Tesla Falls Yet Again As Wall Street Sobers On Stock
    Wall Street may finally be sobering on Tesla.

    The stock price for the electric automaker has soared during the past year, but it fell on Friday after a Goldman Sachs analyst predicted the company will need at least $6 billion over the next 11 years to make its vehicles go mainstream.

    tesla stock

    If billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, the company’s chairman and CEO, wants Tesla’s vehicles to be as popular as Apple’s iPhone or Ford’s Model T, the company will have to be producing between 1.8 million and 3.2 million vehicles a year by 2025, Goldman’s Patrick Archambault wrote in a note.

    “With numerous projects laid out (as well as those not currently communicated) ahead for [Tesla], we see a possible need for additional capital,” Archambault wrote in the memo sent to The Huffington Post by a Goldman spokesman on Saturday.

    Tesla shares had dipped nearly 2 percent by the closing bell on Friday.

    Archambault’s note came just days after Morgan Stanley cautioned investors about Tesla’s ballooning stock price, which hit a record high at the beginning of the month. Shares fell nearly 9 percent on Monday, Sept. 15, after the bank issued its warning.

    Tesla declined to comment on Saturday.

    But Musk would probably say he told you so.

    While announcing Tesla’s deal to open a battery factory in Nevada earlier this month, Musk admitted: “I think our stock price is kind of high right now, to be totally honest.”

    This article was updated with a quote from the Goldman Sachs note

  • Kim Kardashian's Alleged Nude Photos Leak Online, Many More Celebs Targeted In Hacking Ring (UPDATE)
    Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens and U.S. soccer goalie Hope Solo appear to be the latest victims of the celebrity nude photo hacking ring.

    Early Saturday morning alleged nude photos of the stars leaked on 4chan and started trending on Twitter. According to Uproxx, the photos were quickly removed as part of 4chan’s new policy on copyright infringement.

    This latest leak is likely the work of the same hackers who released nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Victoria Justice, and an underage McKayla Maroney that the FBI is already investigating.

    Hudgens, sadly, is no stranger to having her privacy grossly invaded. If these are in fact photos of the 25-year-old actress, this will mark the third time nude photos of Hudgens have been released to the public without her consent.

    Meanwhile, a rep for Kardashian declined to comment, but the 33-year-old reality star weighed in on the hackings earlier this month. “I think it’s a wake-up call for people to make sure they have every privacy setting,” she told BBC Radio 1 host Nick Grimshaw. “It seems like there are a lot of people that love to spend their time hacking peoples’ information and that’s just a scary thing.”

    Request for comment made to Hudgens’ rep has yet to be returned at this time.

    UPDATE: More stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence and “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco were released on Saturday along with alleged photos of Avril Lavigne, Lake Bell, former Disney stars Aly and AJ Michalka, as well as Mary-Kate Olsen, Aubrey Plaza, Gabrielle Union, Emily Ratajkowski and Hayden Panettiere.

    hacked celebs

    And predictably, a new iteration of “The Fappening” has already sprung up on Reddit with this new trove of stolen photos, despite the fact the previous subreddit dedicated to the hacked celebrity images was banned by the site.

    the fappening

    Request for comment made to multiple reps have yet to be returned at this time. Reps for Reddit did not immediately return request for comment made by HuffPost Entertainment.

    UPDATE 2: Actress Gabrielle Union has confirmed she’s one of the latest victims of the celebrity photo hacking ring, and her lawyers will be contacting the FBI.

    “It has come to our attention that our private moments, that were shared and deleted solely between my husband and myself, have been leaked by some vultures,” Union and her husband Dwayne Wade said in a joint statement to TMZ. “I can’t help but to be reminded that since the dawn of time women and children, specifically women of color, have been victimized, and the power over their own bodies taken from them. These atrocities against women and children continue worldwide.”

    The couple added, “For anyone out there also being affected by these and other hacking and hate crimes – We send our love, support and prayers. We have done nothing wrong.”

  • Facebook-Owned Oculus Unveils New Virtual Reality Headset

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oculus has unveiled a new prototype of its virtual reality headset. However, the VR company still isn’t ready to release a consumer edition.

    The hew headset features a higher resolution and refresh rate, 360-degree head tracking and integrated headphones.

    Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe says the new prototype is not perfect, but it’s closer to the consumer version.

    The Irvine, California-based VR company revealed the new headset nicknamed Crescent Bay on Saturday at its first conference for developers.

    Oculus’ headset covers a user’s eyes and can create immersive worlds that react to head movement.

    The original prototype of the Oculus Rift headset was unveiled in 2012 and has received attention from video game and film makers.

    Oculus VR Inc. was acquired by Facebook earlier this year for $2 billion.

  • Briefly: Modbook Pro X Last Call campaign, Twitter for iPhone update
    Modbook has extended its Kickstarter fundraising campaign for its Modbook Pro X tablet, allowing those interested to still make a pledge can do so until September 30. The Mac-based 15.4-inch Retina display tablet utilizes the original hardware of a MacBook Pro system, running OS X and can be configured up to a 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 32 GB of RAM 2TB of PCIe flash storage and Intel Iris Pro graphics. Users can choose to add rear-mounted Keybars, which consists of an eyes-free solution for entry of short commands, and a detachable keyboard stand that functions as an easel, key

  • This Hadrosaur Had Such A Giant Nose, Scientists Are Calling It The 'Jimmy Durante' Of Dinos
    Scientists are calling it the Jimmy Durante of Dinosaurs.

    Not because of its talents as a jazz pianist, but because — like Durante — the newly-identified dinosaur Rhinorex condrupus had quite a large nose.

    Story continues below.
    nose dinosaur
    The newly-discovered dino, “Rhinorex condrupus,” above.

    Paleontologists Dr. Terry Gates, a postdoctoral researcher with NC State and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and Dr. Rodney Scheetz, a researcher at the Brigham Young University’s Museum of Paleontology, uncovered the duck-billed dino, a hadrosaur, in storage at BYU.

    Though the dinosaur was originally excavated from Utah’s Neslen formation in the 1990s, Gates and Scheetz were the first to reconstruct the skull fully, at which point they realized they’d found a new species.

    We had almost the entire skull, which was wonderful,” Gates said in a written statement, “but the preparation was very difficult. It took two years to dig the fossil out of the sandstone it was embedded in –- it was like digging a dinosaur skull out of a concrete driveway.”

    The researchers estimate Rhinorex (which roughly means “King Nose”) was around 30 feet long, weighed more than 8,500 pounds, ate plants, and lived in a swampy coastal environment.

    As for that nose — well, its actual function remains a bit of a mystery.

    “If this dinosaur is anything like its relatives then it likely did not have a super sense of smell,” Gates said in the statement, “but maybe the nose was used as a means of attracting mates, recognizing members of its species, or even as a large attachment for a plant-smashing beak. We are already sniffing out answers to these questions.”

    An article describing the new research was published in the Sept. 17th issue of the Journal of Systematic Paleontology.

  • This Is What Sex Looks Like Inside An MRI Scanner (NSFW)
    Ever wished you could see what was going on inside your body when you have sex?

    You’re in luck! A new NSFW video featuring footage from multiple MRI scans affords a remarkable glimpse inside human bodies as they engage in intimate activities ranging from a French kiss to, yes, full-bore coitus.

    WARNING: The video contains NSFW footage. Story continues below.

    MRI scanners create still and, in this case, moving images with the help of strong magnetic fields that interact with protons inside our bodies.

    And as you can see in the video above, those interactions can tell us a lot about interactions of our own.

  • Sister Roma, Drag Performer, Talks About Leading Fight Against Facebook Name Policy
    Sister Roma of the the legendary Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the drag group that began in San Francisco in 1979 and has performed and raised money for AIDS and other causes throughout the country, was recently shocked after being logged out of Facebook and stripped of an identity known to thousands of people in the LGBT community and beyond.

    “Like a lot of people, I was simply using Facebook, and then I was forcibly logged out, and I was instructed to sign in and I had to change my profile name to match the legal name as it appears on my drivers license or credit card or my profile would be suspended, and would be deleted,” Sister Roma said.

    Sister Roma was yet another target of a Facebook policy that has caused an uproar in recent weeks, as many other drag queens and performers, as well as people who need anonymity on Facebook for safety reasons, such as LGBT people in countries where there are laws that could jail them simply for being gay or transgender, have faced a similar situation. The policy has been in place for years, but most troubling about it to many is that it is not enforced unless a complaint is filed, leading Sister Roma and others to conclude that they are perhaps being targeted by individuals or groups hostile to LGBT people.

    For many people who are not yet out about being gay, lesbian or bisexual, anonymity is key as they make friends on Facebook to help guide them. And for many transgender people, still in the process of transitioning, their names may not match the name on their drivers license at a given time.

    “So I did that,” Sister Roma explained in an interview with me on SiriusXM Progress. “I entered my legal name and then my profile popped up, with my picture and then it said my legal name, Michael Williams, and I was like, ‘Oh I didn’t expect that to happen.’ I didn’t realize that I was going to be presented to the world as Michael Williams, which is not how I identify myself or how anyone identifies me.”

    Sister Roma then went about the arduous task of trying to contact Facebook.

    I mean, I was really pissed,” Sister Roma said. “So I tried to contact Facebook and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to contact Facebook, but good luck, honey! It is not easy. So I actually googled, ‘How do you contact Facebook?’ and I discovered that there’s a little tiny help button you can push but with just a very limited number of issues that they will address with you. So I just turned to social media. I went on Facebook. I went on Twitter. I said, ‘This is outrageous. How dare they tell me who I am! Nobody knows my legal name. It’s not important’…And that’s when the emails started to come in from people. I got emails from people that would rip your heart out. People with legitimate, important reasons that they use protected names on Facebook that do not match the names on their legal ID.”

    Along with San Francisco City Supervisor David Campos, other activists and members of legal groups such as the ACLU, Sister Roma met with Facebook officials. But, as has been reported, Facebook refused to budge on the policy, despite the backlash. Sister Roma does believe, however, that the Facebook officials finally understood why anonymity is important to many people, even if they didn’t indicate a change would happen. Other employees of Facebook, who approached the activists during the visit, said they agreed that the policy needs to be changed. The group hopes a second meeting with Facebook will get some action.

Mobile Technology News, September 20, 2014

As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.

  • Verizon achieves 'holy grail' with voice over LTE support rollout
    Beginning today, Verizon customers across the US who buy the new iPhone 6 models or one of a pair of other smartphones that support Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) will finally be able to do something AT&T has bragged about for years: simultaneously talk on the phone and use data for applications. The process will only work on a handful of phones that support VoLTE, but Verizon iPhone 6 buyers are reporting that it is on by default or easily activated in their new purchases.

  • Record crowds outsides stores worldwide for iPhone 6, 6 Plus debut
    In some locations on Friday, it seemed like the whole world took off work Friday to stand in line for an iPhone 6. Mass reports of “thousands” of customers standing in line for hours at flagship Apple stores around the globe have been received since MacNN reported on the queue in Australia, the first country to begin selling the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The latter has proven extremely hard to get, but we have heard from a few readers who were successful.

  • Delivery of the iPhone 6

    Clinton is asleep as I publish this. And I can’t be bothered to wake him – I’m like a cat with catnip unboxing my new shiny toy. Clinton doesn’t have one. THE STAGE IS MINE! I woke up excited. The shiny toy was coming today. And after a number of false starts due to Friday being refuse pickup day in my ‘hood, (the garbage trucks kept giving me false hopes, ok?) I settled into my day. TechDad spent a good portion of the afternoon teasing me. “Did you hear something?! I think I heard something! What was that – is that

    The post Delivery of the iPhone 6 appeared first on AlliOSNews.

  • Hiding currency in the Dark Wallet
    The bitcoin wallet with controversial users
  • Prescheduled social media posts from Joan Rivers promote iPhone 6
    In an unusual gaffe, the official Instagram and Facebook accounts for comedian Joan Rivers — who died on September 4 — today briefly displayed identical, prescheduled posts about the iPhone 6. “This badass is being replaced by an iPhone 6 (not the fat one),” the posts read. “I got this one [an iPhone 4] in 2010 and, after four years, my only complaint is that apps are now designed for bigger screens, and the battery is getting tired. Never had a case for it, since it was most beautiful on its own. Great achievement in design. Great product. #apple #iPhone #tech.” The iPhone 6 was only reveal

  • An iPhone 6 Customer Paid A Charity A Lot Of Money To Cut To Front Of Apple Store Line
    Hundreds of committed customers braved London’s relentless rain on Thursday night in order to get their hands on the iPhone 6 at the very first possible moment.

    But one committed local endured the elements for two days not to get the coveted device, but to remind privileged buyers how much homeless people suffer on a regular basis.

    Joe Howes, director of fundraising and development at Depaul UK — a nonprofit that serves homeless youth — set up shop at the flagship Apple store on Regent Street early Wednesday morning, according to the Independent. He, along with other supporters, secured a spot near the front of the winding line and held up signs indicating that they were auctioning off their station on eBay to support the group.

    lefteris pitarakis

    Customers had until 6 a.m. Friday to vie for the prize and the winning bid closed out at 570 British pounds (about $930).

    (cont.) …all money raised will go to help those forced to sleep on the streets @DepaulUKhttp://t.co/baeBB0Q7Mn pic.twitter.com/YsMS58ukaZ

    — Publicis London (@PublicisLondon) September 18, 2014

    All funds raised will go toward Depaul, a 25-year-old nonprofit that supports disadvantaged young people in the U.K. The group specifically caters to struggling communities that have faced cyclical levels of poverty and long-term unemployment that inevitably lead to homelessness, according to the nonprofit’s website.

    The group estimates that every year, 80,000 young people experience homelessness in the U.K.

    iphone 6 regent

    This public campaign is just one of a number of creative initiatives the organization has devised in order to raise awareness for their cause and funds for their efforts.

    The Depaul Box Company, for example, sells recycled cardboard boxes and the proceeds support the nonprofit. They function like any other moving box, but also boast a meaningful message.

    The outside of each box bears the story of a homeless young person that Depaul UK has helped.

    And on Oct. 13, the organization will host its “CEO Sleepout London,” which invites the city’s leading executives to trade their beds for the streets for one night to raise money and get a true sense of the struggles homeless people face.

    The goal is to “get business leaders away from their meetings and spreadsheets and focusing on youth homelessness,” Depaul UK CEO Martin Houghton-Brown said in a statement.

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  • Forums: new iPhone and iOS 8 first impressions
    As the long lines outside of Apple stores world-wide finally start to move, and new iPhones start landing in the hands of Mac fans everywhere, MacNN forum-goers with phones in-hand begin to post their first impressions in the thread titled “Incoming iPhone” which was started late last week. Also today, reports are starting to come in that iOS 8 is a bit sluggish and buggy, with some even stating that it’s the worst release yet. Of course, people always say that.

  • How Video Games Can Instill The Values Your Children Need For Success

    Until recently, educational video games were typically designed to teach specific academic skills. Math Blaster taught math; where in the World is Carmen San Diego taught geography and history. This is changing with the growth of game-based learning. Many classrooms are integrating games that are less overtly instructive, but equally beneficial. Consider Minecraft, an open-ended building game, which is now used in over 2,500 schools. Unlike the aforementioned educational games, Minecraft’s open “sandbox” isn’t necessarily intended to be educational, but it enables teachers to craft fun lessons that teach skills like problem solving, math and language.

    Even beyond that, games can go a step further and build the emotional skills that are proven to be more indicative of a child’s academic — and lifetime — success. Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman’s forty years of research showed that teaching children emotional behaviors will dramatically increase a child’s academic results, health outcomes, and graduation rates. It also reduced their chances of substance abuse. Angela Duckworth and Paul Tough’s added research highlighted skills like grit, conscientiousness, curiosity and teamwork.

    Today, games aren’t just “fun” or “educational.” There are many games that kids and teens will not only love to play, but will also instill the types of behavioral skills Heckman, Tough and Duckworth deem critical to a child’s success.

    Teaching Persistence and Grit

    Grit is “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.” It is the X factor that keeps kids reviewing flashcards over-and-over or practicing an instrument for hours. But how can you teach grit?

    Video games commonly involve series of levels that increase in difficulty. Players have to follow the rules, acquire and practice skills and apply those skills to achieve specific goals. They will inevitably fail along the way, but most games will encourage players to continue even when they lose. Making mistakes is part of progress.

    There are a number of standout games like Hiversaires, The Stanley Parable, and Portal that require players to cope with the unknown and demand problem solving through iteration. Another notable example is Rymdkapsel, which means “space capsule” in Swedish. The goal of this game is to build a space station, and grow and defend its population. This requires critical thinking, patience and discipline as players discover the pitfalls and revise their strategies.

    Learning Teamwork and Collaboration

    Teamwork, like grit, is also recognized as a key to success. According to the CDC, children who participate in “organized activities” tend to have greater aspirations for the future. Organized activities are often sports teams or Boy/Girl Scout troops, but video games can impart similar lessons and values.

    Sweet Day and Luigi’s Mansion in Nintendo Land both teach teamwork skills. Each game pits one player against four others. In Sweet Day, the four-player team is working to collectively eat a set number of gumball candies that can only be shaken from the trees when multiple characters work together. Further, you win or lose as a team, with only the total number of candies eaten being tracked rather than individual totals. In Luigi’s Mansion, players must work together to watch each other’s backs when the ghost is lurking and only a fellow player can use his or her flashlight to revive a fallen comrade. These games push players to work as a cohesive unit and evolve their strategies quickly, before opponents learn to counter them.

    Building Conscientiousness and Understanding

    As with literature, film, television, music and other forms of media, video games can be a powerful medium for conveying values that build conscientiousness and understanding. Child development experts say the best way to instill empathy is through interactive play and stories. Video games include both. Players grapple with sensitive issues in an environment free from social pressure, which may make them less difficult to handle in reality.

    Two games that facilitate conscientiousness and understanding are Cart Life and Civilization V. Cart Life teaches empathy and understanding as players encounter characters that come into their store, each having their own problems, most of which are more complicated than they seem. Diplomacy is at the center of the latest version of Civilization V, a strategy game where players get involved in the politics of avoiding war, forming alliances, negotiating and learning how friendly and enemy leaders perceive their actions alike. By engaging with these types of activities in the game, kids practice conflict resolution, sensitivity, and compromise.

    Eat more broccoli, play more video games

    Helping kids develop behavioral skills like grit, teamwork, conscientiousness and empathy are a key part of ensuring a child’s future success. Kids already play video games. Reaching them through a channel where they already want to spend their time and where they already feel comfortable is one of the best ways to ensure that the message hits home.

    What games would you suggest to other parents for their children to play? What has been your experience with your child playing video games?

  • The Funniest Someecards Of The Week
    Another week, another round of iPhone mania.

    The Apple gods released the magic that is iOS 8. (We can mute group messages now? Um, YES.) A lucky few got their hands on the new iPhone6 hardware, and one dude promptly dropped his. Ouch.

    Some other stuff probably happened this week. We heard rumblings of NFL players being even more horrible and apparently there was some sort of vote going on in Scotland? Whatever. IPHONE.

    Anyway, if you can manage to divert your eyes from your shiny new screen for one second (or who are we kidding, you’re probably reading this on your new phone right now), here are the funniest Someecards of the past week.

  • (VIDEO) Opera Sees HTML5 As Cure For Video Fragmentation
    AMSTERDAM — Everyone knows how splintered the online video industry is. Opera Software, a veteran web browser maker, reckons TV can learn a thing or two from web standards.

    “The big problem in the TV market is, everything is fragmented,” Opera Software product management VP Frode Hernes tells Beet.TV in this video interview recorded at IBC Show “Using HTML5, you can standardize this. You can use the same engine running on many different devices”.

    Opera has used Google’s Chromium Blink rendering engine to display web content on screens for the last year. The firm used IBC to show off the 4.2 upgrade of its browser SDK, with adaptive bitrate streaming.

    This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the IBC Show presented by Brightcove.  Please find more clips here.

    You can find this post on Beet.TV.

  • The Spring App: Did the Fashion World just get Uber-ized?

    By Hayley Pearce

    Instead of hitting New York’s Soho after a crazy day at work, I switch Spring Street for the new Spring app. I simply sit down on the subway and swipe, filling up digital shopping bag full clothes. It’s a calmer, more efficient hit of retail therapy.

    With Spring, I can follow the brands I love (so far, a selection of 150 independent designers and major labels) in the same way I follow things I love by scrolling through my Instagram feed. I can share gems from the thousands of Pinterest-worthy fashion photos with my followers and select what I like with a tap and swipe, just like I do with my dating prospects on Tinder. When I get paid at the end of the month – or when I simply need a quick fix – I can check out the must-have items on my wishlist with the same swift and slick efficiency as ordering an Uber after a night out.

    A clean, clear and optimized user experience has become the norm to which we accustom our everyday activities. And with Spring, it seems fashion just got ‘Uberized’. What Uber is to the taxi, Spring is to that new must-have accessory: it makes it yours, instantly and with graceful ease. It’s your on-the-go and on-demand personal shopper, telling you via push notification when your favorite items go on sale or are running low. But can we foresee Spring taking over fashion in the same way Uber has taken over the ridesharing industry?

    M-Commerce Made Simpler

    Mobile commerce apps are the new ecommerce websites, which were once the new bricks-and-mortar malls. Things in the mobile arena have officially exploded: m-commerce is currently experiencing a 48 percent year-on-year growth and reached approximately $8 billion in the second quarter of 2014 in the US alone. In December of last year, 27 percent of all online sales transactions were made on mobile, with fashion serving as the most popular online shopping category in most of Europe.

    Gone are the days of shop ’til you drop. These days, it’s more shop on the hop.

    Millennials are largely fashion-focused, highly visual and forward-thinking mobile users. This is exactly what makes Techstars managing director David Tisch’s new venture Spring, in all of its minimalistic beauty, so relevant to the smartphone generation.

    “We’re not a lifestyle app, we’re a mobile marketplace of brands to consumers, a direct channel,” Tisch recently told Forbes. With the Spring app, which is currently only available in the US App Store and set to launch internationally soon, his goal is to create the same kind of streamlined process that emulates the real-life shopping experience with mobile as the first screen.

    Smart Shopping For Everyone

    Vogue has said the app will change the way you shop forever. TechCrunch has tagged it as the most advanced effort at fashion-focused mobile shopping yet. Forbes notes that the app might reduce fashion discovery platforms like Wanelos and Nuji to fluff. But beside drumming up this buzz, what will it really take for Spring to compete with the likes of ASOS, Net-a-Porter and Lyst? Will it perhaps need to wage a war, much like Uber has against ridesharing competitor Lyft and even the global traditional taxi industry?

    Perhaps Spring’s business model will be enough to set it apart. Spring are going after designers and labels from the grandiose to the independent, providing wide variation for the user, effortless exposure for independent labels and extra revenue injections for established brands. Tisch is also aiming for the app to be a place where brands push new products and exclusives rather than clearance items, which will be elevated by customizable features and a discovery platform for curated collections. What remains to be seen is whether Tisch and his team can achieve a large market share and victory over its competitors. As it stands, Spring focuses on being quick and easy to use, offering brands extra engagement and sales. Less aggressive, more smart.

    Swipe Left to Reject; Swipe Right to Buy

    Tisch’s app taps into the habit for consumers to adopt mobile browsing and shopping as something to do during their downtime. It may well represent the next wave of shopping on the go, allowing you to swipe left to skip an item and swipe right to buy. It’s chic and effortless, just as you’d expect a fashion app to be.

    “Have you heard about Spring?” I recently overheard a man saying to his friend over lunch in the lobby of an Ace hotel. “It plays on the whole impulse shopping thing. I’m really curious to see how it’s going to impact that.” The man has a point. Spring is insta-shopping which seems ideal for a generation of quick-consumption mobile users.

    Personally, I know I’d rather ditch the sweaty changing rooms, bustling streets and endless queues. I’d rather aggregate my shopping sprees along with my morning commute and try out my clothes in the comfort of my own home. Quick, where’s my phone?

  • Is Your Idea Ready For A Fashion Tech Lab?
    There has been a great deal written about fashion technology, everything from wearables to fit design, customization, manufacturing and social media marketing. The list is endless and incorporates, cloud computing, predictive analytics, 3D printing and much more. There are fashion labs springing up around the country even around the globe, but what are they and what do they offer entrepreneurs?

    In general, these labs are designed to iterate either fashion design or technology used in fashion and retail. There is a distinction and if you are contemplating applying to one of these labs, you should know the difference. There is also a clear divide between those labs that accelerate the growth of a stand-alone company from those that are meant to be integrated into the operations of the retailer.

    Six Fashion Tech Labs Retailers Offer
    In general, retail labs are meant to enhance the consumer experience in the retail store or environment. People who enter these labs generally work hand and hand with the digital, e-commerce, in-store merchandising teams to develop their product or service. If these prove out, they get integrated into the retailers operations. Often the retailer is buying technology talent to integrate into their own operations. It is not likely that they will become separate companies, but rather a part of the retailers own development team. If they don’t mature to a usable product or service for the retailer, they are either abandoned or spun out of the program to go at it on their own.

    A case in point on this is Stylr, a New York based start- up acquired by WalMart. The company was shut down and taken inside WalMart where the founders will continue development for WalMart. In this case and many others, the retailer is buying technology talent and the founders are getting compensated for early stage development.

    Each retailer lab has its unique purpose, and what they have in common is that they are trying to improve the relationship with their customers. Here are the six prominent retail fashion labs run by retailers:

    1. Kohl’s
    Kohl’s Design It! was established through a partnership between Kohl’s Department Stores and Discovery World and is located in Milwaukee, WI. Students and designers can access Design It! in-person or through online classes that provide an educational forum to explore the necessary steps and feedback for a successful design. This is not so much a lab for entrepreneurs as it is for the fundamentals of design.

    2. Macy’s
    Macy’s has initiated fashion design labs in different cities starting with Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco and Miami. The purpose of these labs is to foster the growth of design experts in different cities and to tap into new talent in design. Having design labs in different cities is one way to increase the sourcing for new design talent.

    3. Nordstrom
    Nordstrom has reached out into the design and technology communities of Seattle and Silicon Valley to identify new talent that enhance the customer experience. In addition to providing technical mentors to these innovators, they give them opportunities to try their product or service in store to gather intelligence and iterate the product. If successful, the product or service is launched for Nordstrom’s customers, or if applicable to back-end technology, integrated into their platform.

    4. Target
    To prove that the big box retailers are not only domestic US minded, Target has opened a fashion tech lab in Bangalore, India. The types of innovation projects they undertake relate to all areas of customer engagement as well as back-end technology. Ultimately, they, like other retailers are looking for integration into their store operations and customer engagement.

    5. Walmart
    Walmart was one of the first retailers to establish a fashion tech lab and they choose Silicon Valley to launch their shop in 2011. Since then, they have acquired 14 companies, all of which have been brought into WalMart to work with specific areas of expertise. These are exemplified by companies like Torbit, which is a cloud-based website accelerator that WalMart believes will make their website run faster. Another acquisition was Social Calendar, a Facebook application to remind users of birthdays and other special occasions. All acquisitions are essentially the onboarding of talent for WalMart.

    6. Westfield Lab
    The Westfield shopping centers have established their labs to integrate digital media into the shopping experience for their mall customers. This might range from apps to find out where in the mall a certain item might be found, or how to order your meal in advance of getting to the food court or restaurant. As shopping malls turn more and more into entertainment destinations, advance purchases for movies that has been prevalent for years now will translate into a host of other engagements for shoppers.

    Five Fashion Tech Labs For Entrepreneurs
    If your purpose is to take your idea and your proven prototype for fashion or retail technology and test it in the marketplace, there are at least five fashion tech labs budding in key cities where you might try your luck to get in. Generally these labs are set up to help entrepreneurs iterate their product or service through intensive mentoring by industry experts.

    Generally, you will only be accepted into their competitive entry programs if you already have an operating company, have a prototype that works, and have some customer engagement. A couple programs will take earlier stage entrepreneurs who show promise with their prototype.

    Location may mean a lot to you because these labs are located in four different cities, including New York, London, Paris and San Francisco. So if location means a lot to you, check out the lab near you.

    1. New York Fashion Tech Lab
    The New York Fashion Tech Lab (NYFTLab) is a joint effort of the Partnership Fund for New York City and Springboard Enterprises, an accelerator for women-led businesses, though this lab is open to all. The twelve week program just completed its first cycle. NYFTLab provides a select group of early stage fashion tech companies with direct access to New York’s leading fashion retailers and brands fostering iteration, validation and acceleration of technologies that advance the industry. Differentiated from the retail labs in the first section of this article, these companies will go on as separate companies to build out their products and services. Common workspace is provided free of charge to lab companies who are invited to regular workshops with fashion and technology industry leaders. Importantly, lab companies get to mount pilot programs with fashion and retail companies to test their prototypes, benefiting both the entrepreneurs and fashion companies.

    2. The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Fashion Incubator
    The CFDA Fashion Incubator is a two-year program that supports apparel and accessory companies through business development. This lab is open to early and mid-stage American-based brands. This lab provides low-cost studio space, mentorship, educational opportunities, and the support of New York’s fashion community. The goal of the lab is to develop sustainable companies counted by new fashion designers.

    3. Front Row
    The Front Row Lab in London is offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their product or service with the input of experts in the fashion and consumer products worlds. This 12-week program offers creative workspace, mentors, and marketing expertise to get these companies into the competitive space for their product or service. When completed, they also will help them with their pitch to the investor community. Front Row does take consumer products into their lab, and this means it crosses over from technology to consumer products.

    4. Fashion & Technology Lab
    The Fashion Technology Lab in Paris is focused on design and offers to connect young designers with experienced mentors in the fashion industry to help them develop their talents. The lab offers space and a design studio patterned after resources a fashion house might offer. Branding and marketing are also part of the lab offerings. Upon completion of the lab program, the Lab also introduces the designers to sources of funding.

    5. Fashion Technology University
    This lab is offered more as a university where fashion tech innovators can test their prototypes, get access to mentors and learn how to raise capital based on their product or service. The innovation companies rent space from the Fashion Tech University, and pay for each individual seat occupied by the company for the duration of their stay. This lab is focused on fashion technology and connected to the technology companies in the Bay Area.

    So it is today, that fashion tech labs offer a range of design and scope. Some offer entry into big box retailers, some offer fashion design and some offer entrepreneurs the opportunity to iterate their product or service. It is best to know where these different opportunities can be found before setting out to join their ranks. Matching your objective to what they offer will help your chances of achieving success.

  • Clay Aiken Thinks Jennifer Lawrence Deserved To Get Nude Pictures Stolen
    Clay Aiken, the “American Idol” phenomenon who is now running for Congress in North Carolina, had tough words for celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence who have personal nude photos exposed.

    “Anybody who takes inappropriate pictures of themselves deserves exactly what they get,” Aiken said during a recent interview with The Washington Post.

    “Of course whoever [stole and released the photos] should be hogtied,” he added. “And it’s unfortunate that we don’t have internet security right now or the laws in place to protect people from pirating that stuff.”

    Aiken told the Post that he will not discuss certain private details of his life, such as personal relationships or his son Parker, on the campaign trail.

    Aiken, the runner-up in Season 2 of “American Idol” in 2003, won the Democratic nomination in the race for North Carolina’s second congressional district in May. His opponent, Keith Crisco died shortly after the primary election as votes were still being counted.

    Aiken will face Renee Ellmers, a Republican incumbent, in November.

    CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Keith Crisco died before the Democratic primary election in North Carolina. He died just after the election.

  • The Top 25 Universities To Work For In 2014-15
    “Clean campus, gentle and gracious people…and interesting work,” are all things found by employees at Brigham Young University (in addition to shockingly sober undergrads).

    Employee review website Glassdoor ranked BYU the best college to work for, bringing the Mormon university in Utah up from the number three spot last year. Carnegie Mellon University falls closed behind in second, with employees saying the Pittsburgh-based institution school fosters a “good work-life balance,” and is one where “hard work is rewarded.”

    The Glassdoor rankings, released Friday, were based directly on employee feedback. Employees ranked their satisfaction with their workplace from one to five, with one being the least satisfied and five being the most. BYU scored an average of 4.4 while Carnegie Mellon, Clemson, Princeton and Cornell universities scored 4.3.

    The top ten is a diverse mix of public, private and Ivy League schools. Positive employee feedback tended to focus on the beauty and safety of campuses as well as the support, resources and flexibility provided by the schools and fellow staff.

    Check out the top 25 in the graphic below:

    working for universities

  • The Internet Is Trying To Trick You Into Microwaving Your iPhone
    There’s a hoax going around the Internet instructing people to put their iPhone in a microwave in order to charge it.

    Let us be very clear here: Do. Not. Put. Your. Phone. In. A. Microwave.

    On Wednesday, anyone with an iPhone purchased in the past three years could download iOS 8, Apple’s shiny new operating system. iOS 8 has many fun new features, including snappier email, smarter autocorrect and a fitness tracker.

    But an image circulating on Twitter describes one fun, “exclusive” feature that’s definitely not included in iOS 8. It claims that you can wirelessly charge an iPhone by putting it in the microwave for 60 to 70 seconds.

    microwave iphone

    Despite the sleek Apple-esque design of the explainer for the “feature,” there are a couple telltale signs that this image is fake. One, there’s no “i” in front of “Wave.” Duh. Two, on what Earth would it be a good idea to put a hunk of metal in a microwave?

    Like most awful things on the Internet, it seems like this hoax may have originated on 4chan, according to screengrabs posted on Reddit.

    microwave iphone

    As you may recall, 4chan is the anarchistic Internet forum that convinced dozens of people that last year’s new iOS made iPhones waterproof. (It did not.)

    But the idea that a microwave could charge a phone didn’t start on 4chan. It’s actually a longstanding Internet hoax:

    So did some poor, unfortunate souls fall for the prank? It’s hard to tell, because you can’t really trust what anyone says online. One guy tweeting under the handle @Fallenbot initially claimed he microwaved his phone…

    I tried using the new IOS 8 feature WAVE where you can charge your phone with a microwave, does not work @Apple pic.twitter.com/IWsWnVboUl

    — nick (@Fallenbot) September 18, 2014

    …before clarifying that his tweet was, basically, a hoax within a hoax.

    The amount of people that believe this pic.twitter.com/BktAkFobjn

    — nick (@Fallenbot) September 18, 2014

    Let’s hope no one actually tried.

  • 20 Photographs By Young People You'd Have To See To Believe
    Whether you’re posting the occasional selfie to Instagram or mastering the art of dog portraits, it’s a good time to be a young photographer. And now, Flickr’s spotlighting the power of young peoples’ photography with its first annual 20 Under 20 celebration.

    The 20 nominees, hailing everywhere from Australia to Germany, will have their work displayed during a gala event at NYC’s Milk Studios on Oct. 1. You can vote for the three Audience Choice Awards by tweeting “#Flickr20u20” along with the name of the photographers you think should win #mostcreative, #besttechnique and #strongestportfolio.

    Scroll down for a sampling of photographs taken by the 20 talented young artists.

    1. Evan Atwood

    This photo, titled “Battle,” shows Evan’s love of self-portraits and his flair for the cinematic.

    2. Rachel Baran

    Rachel expresses herself through “conceptual self-portraits,” like this one above, which she called “Wild youth.”

    3. Olivia Bee

    This photo, titled “Sunrise Dream” shows Olivia’s ability to transform everyday settings into mystical dreamlands.

    4. Alex Benetel

    Alex’s photographs are filled with beautiful oddities, like the one above, which she called, “Once and for all, they abandoned what they knew.”

    5. Oliver Charles

    Oliver’s photos are surreal, sometimes dark, images of the natural world.

    6. Alex Currie

    Alex’s photos are often confrontational, creating an instant connection with the viewer.

    7. Silvia Grav

    Silvia’s photos are tinted to perfection in ways that Instagram will only ever be dream of.

    8. Zev Hoover

    Fifteen-year-old Zev captures the sometimes-terrifying-vastness of the world with a sense of humor.

    9. Katharina Jung

    Katharina’s “guided by a beatin’ heart” proves that landscape shots are anything but boring.

    10. Lissy Laricchia

    This photo, titled “Seeing Clear,” turns an average hallway into a dreamland.

    11. Brian Oldham

    Brian’s beautifully surreal photographs will make you do a double take.

    12. Laurence Philomene

    Laurence has already won the Curator’s Choice Award for her ethereal pictures.

    13. Greg Ponthus

    Greg’s photographs capture the vulnerability of the people around him.

    14. Berta Vicente Salas

    Berta uses photographs to explore the beauty she encounters, whether she’s above land or underwater.

    15. Nicholas Scarpinato

    This photograph, called “The Helpers,” is artful yet melancholy.

    16. Alex Stoddard

    Alex’s dramatic shots have a dark magic about them.

    17. David Uzochukwu

    Also the EyeEm 2014 Photographer of the Year, David often works in surreal self-portraits.

    18. Chrissie White

    Chrisse loves taking magical shots of the natural world.

    19. Vanessa and Wilson, i.e. Wiissa

    This duo, Vanessa and Wilson, collaborate to create colorful ’70s themed photographs.

    20. Lauren Withrow

    Lauren was first inspired by the landscapes of her native state, Texas.

    Follow HuffPost Teen on Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pheed |

  • Not Everyone Tweeting ISIS Threats Is Actually Representing The Group
    Every week, we bring you one overlooked aspect of the stories that made news in recent days. You noticed the media forgot all about another story’s basic facts? Tweet @TheWorldPost or let us know on our Facebook page.

    According to recent news reports, the Islamic State has not only threatened to kill the pope, the British prime minister, Twitter employees, and every single American, but has also suggested bombing Times Square, Las Vegas, and infiltrating the United States through Mexico.

    Yet these were not official warnings issued by spokespeople for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. They were social media posts by Islamic State members, sympathizers and even some people purporting to be Islamic State militants tweeting from fake accounts. The much-cited recent call to assassinate Twitter employees, for example, was posted by an account claiming to represent a Gaza-based militant group affiliated with the Islamic State.

    In June, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) issued a warning about publicizing anonymous posts: “Fake social media profiles by ‘wannabe’ jihadis are not uncommon,” it said.

    The warning came in light of a report by British newspapers that a British militant in Syria had called for the beheading of U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. The British research group found no evidence that the militant in question actually exists, and said his Twitter posts were nearly identical to another account from someone claiming to be an American fighter for the Islamic State.

    Regardless of whether the accounts are real, the Islamic State has actively encouraged a wide network of sympathizers to repost propaganda on social media. An ICSR study of foreign fighters in Syria in April found that many militants get their information from social media users who are unaffiliated with the Islamic State, rather than from official Islamic State accounts.

    Amplifying militants’ social media posts that threaten Western targets could just add fuel to the propaganda machine. Counterterrorism officials recently warned that online propaganda encourages radicalized Americans to carry out lone-wolf attacks. And the former head of Britain’s intelligence service, Richard Dearlove, warned in July that Islamic State supporters were getting more coverage “than their wildest dreams” and urged the media to ignore extremists’ posts and stop giving them the “oxygen of publicity.”

  • #GenerationHashtag
    #Hashtags are a simple programming language that the Internet and the human brain both can use.
    #HashtagsWork because they are simple and intuitive.

    #SoWeAddaBunchofHashtags to the ends of our Tweets
    #SoOurFollowersDon’tEvenHaveToRead our sentence to interact

    #ReleasingUs from the daunting task of having to use an entire 140 characters #ToExpressWhatWeAreTryingToSay
    #ThusFreeingUs from having to effectively write a coherent thought #NowWeCanJustPutTheGistAtTheEnd
    #InAsManyDifferentForms as we can think of



    #To Its Lowest Common Denominator

    #ByLookingAtThese #HundredsOfHashtagsAtOnce

    With Instagram, instead of letting the
    (which has become too #nuanced for the #people who are #observing hundreds of #images each and every #day),
    #WeMustUseHashtags so we don’t even have to think about what we are #seeing.

    If #SalvadorDaliWasOfThis #SocialMediaGenerationAndUsedInstagram #WhatHashtagsWouldHeUse?

    It wouldn’t be #TheSubconsciousLivesOutsideTime
    #No. No one would #StopToReadThatHashtag or
    Because it is too #nuanced.

    Instead, Dali would use #TrippingBalls! Because that would get #people’s
    #attention. That would be
    #SomethingTheyCouldUnderstandByLookingAtForNoMoreThanA #microsecond.

    And so, we are left with the uneasy probability that Hashtag culture
    is in #danger of
    #TrainingUsNotToUnderstandAnything unless it is
    #BrokenDownIntoThisMinimalWay of
    #Communicating Like The

  • Express Everything In Emoji With This Free iOS 8 Keyboard
    Why express yourself in words, when emoji are just so much better? The makers of Keymoji, a free, downloadable keyboard that’s compatible with the new iOS 8 for Apple, clearly agree.

    Keymoji replaces Apple’s new autocomplete bar with emoji-only suggestions. For example, typing “Going to bed” brings up *Zzz* or the more complete *person* + *number 2* + *sleeping face.* If you click on either, it’ll convert the entire text to emoji. For that phrase, it also suggests *zzz* + *ant* + *ladybug* + *ant* in case you actually meant “bed bugs.”

    ios8 going to bed

    You can’t rely on autocorrect when you have Keymoji on, so type carefully. But it’s easy to go back and forth between the predictive text and the predictive emoji by just pressing the globe in the lower left corner.

    Beyond the keyboard, the app itself allows people to submit their own emoji phrases and art. Anyone can use the user-generated emojis, and you can find them by clicking on the little artist palette on the keyboard.

    keymoji art select

    The original emojis that get used the most are ranked on the app’s Leaderboards.

    “There’s nothing quite like crowdsourcing,” cofounder Randy Saaf told Re/code.

    It looks like Keymoji users are making the most of the option to express themselves in little pictures. Check out the highest ranked emoji combos below:


    UPDATED: Those current stakes will soon change, however. Cofounder Randy Saaf told The Huffington Post that his team will introduce a profanity filter within the week and plan to add a reporting feature for users similar to what Facebook and YouTube has done.

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