Mashable

You’ll look ridiculous playing Snapchat’s new AR games, and maybe that’s OK

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When the iPad first came out, people looked kinda ridiculous using it out and about. 

That doesn’t quite compare to Snapchat’s new AR games feature, “Snappables,” which consists of games that let you control what’s happening using your face.

As witnessed in the Snappables trailer, you can fight aliens in an Space Invaders-style game by moving your head around, or pump iron at the gym with your eyebrows. You can also invite friends on Snapchat to play along in multiplayer games.

There are very few of us with the confidence to play Snappables in public, but at least Snap is encouraging you to try. Read more…

More about Tech, Gaming, Apps, Snapchat, and Augmented Reality

Mercedes-Maybach concept car is electric, ultra-luxurious, and ready for tea time

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A concept car from Mercedes is revving up car enthusiasts ahead of this year’s Beijing Auto Show.

The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is an electric idea with an interior to match its “ultimate luxury” name.

The high-end sedan and SUV crossover is imagined as a four-motor all-wheel drive vehicle with a 200-mile range battery with fast charging capabilities. The inside of the car is as important as its specs as Mercedes describes the vehicle as “intended primarily for chauffeur-driven use.” 

Its interior features “Magic Wood” ebony to appeal to the Chinese market and is smooth and curvy with few sharp edges. The color palette includes rose gold, crystal white, and pearl gray. The seats are white leather and very adjustable. The reclining seats also feature calf support. Read more…

More about Luxury, Electric Vehicles, Mercedes, Suv, and Concept Car

The first full trailer for ‘Venom’ is here

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Sony has released the first trailer for Venom, starring Tom Hardy as an antihero who gets tangled up with a mysterious and powerful symbiote. 

If the character sounds kind of familiar, you may recall that he’s frequently associated with Spider-Man – Topher Grace played a version of him in 2007’s Spider-Man 3

But this Venom exists separately from Spider-Man. The current Spidey exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with all the Avengers, while Venom is off doing his own thing in a different continuity.

And it’s probably just as well. Between all the corporate intrigue and action and whatever else is going on in this trailer, Venom looks like he’s got plenty on his plate already. Read more…

More about Movies, Venom, Entertainment, Comic Culture, and Movies Tv Shows

Man, Shania Twain regrets saying she would have voted for Trump

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Well, that was fast.

Perennial country star of our hearts, Shania Twain, has backtracked on saying she would’ve voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. election.

The revelation came from an interview with The Guardian published on Sunday, which focused on the Canadian artist’s musical career and her shattering divorce with her collaborator and husband Robert Lange. 

On Trump, Twain said, “I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest.”

“Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bullshit. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?” she added.  Read more…

More about Entertainment, Music, Politics, Donald Trump, and Trump

Donald Trump suggests he may pardon Jack Johnson because — c’mon, you know why

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While past presidents were mourning former First Lady Barbara Bush at her funeral in Houston today, President Trump was on his phone in Mar-a-Lago, having his usual Twitter meltdown.

In between excoriating James Comey and tossing around conspiracy theories about Mr. Peepers, President Trump decided to suddenly announce he was considering a pardon for Jack Johnson, the history-making boxer.

Trump, as you might imagine, appears to have taken a particular interest in pardons as of late.

Some background on the controversy: Jack Johnson was the first black man to ever hold the title of world heavyweight champion. By 1912, he hadn’t lost a match in four years. Other white boxers refused to fight him. When one, Canadian Tommy Burns, did, Johnson destroyed him soundly.  Read more…

More about Watercooler, Boxing, Pardon, President Trump, and Jack Johnson

Yup, ‘Jane the Virgin’ just gave fans the most shocking TV twist ever

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SPOILER ALERT: This post contains major spoilers for the Season 4 finale of Jane the Virgin: “Chapter Eighty-One.”

Jane the Virgin has always had a knack for wringing our hearts out like old rags (sometimes in a good way), but the Season 4 finale ended with a special kind of torture. 

In the very last moment of the episode, Jane visits a grimly aloof Rafael at his apartment, expecting him to propose, where instead he reveals the secret he learned from Rose:  a living, breathing Michael Cordero.

So, in no particular order, here are 12 thoughts we had during that 5-second scene that felt like it lasted an eternity, and which we subsequently watched dozens of times and will haunt us until fall. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Television, Tv Recap, Jane The Virgin, and The Cw

Google attempts to get Android messaging right (again) with Chat

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As predicted, Android is stepping up its messaging game to be on the same page as Apple’s iMessage and Facebook Messenger.

Google’s launching a new messaging service simply called Chat, and it’s the latest, and hopefully best effort by the tech giant to simplify the messaging offering on Android.

As revealed by The Verge, Chat is a rich communication service (RCS) that Google has been pushing carriers and smartphone makers to adopt.

It’s not a new app, but rather an upgrade of the existing messaging experience on Android. It’ll add features like read receipts, being able to see other people typing, full-resolution images and video, and group texting. Read more…

More about Tech, Google, Android, Smartphones, and Messaging

Facebook gets even shadier, limits EU privacy law reach

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Facebook is quietly looking to limit the number of users that will be protected by Europe’s tough new data law, according to Reuters.

Outside of the U.S. and Canada, Facebook’s users agree to terms and conditions that are tied with the social media company’s operation in Ireland. 

So, as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to come into force on May 25, even non-EU users would have had their data protected by the law on Facebook.

But now, Facebook is reportedly looking to ensure that GDPR only applies to European users next month, affecting 1.5 billion users in Australia, Africa, the Middle East and in Asia. Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Privacy, Data, and Social Media

Baby tree kangaroo takes first steps, decides pouch is better than world

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If you can get through this video of a baby tree kangaroo taking its first steps without losing your shit, you’re stone cold.

Sydney’s Taronga Zoo has released an outlandishly adorable video of its new marsupial resident, a little Goodfellows tree kangaroo joey who took his first steps on Wednesday.

Yet to be named, the wee creature was born in September last year to mama Kwikila, but this is the first time the keepers have seen him roam.

More about Australia, Cute Animals, Baby Animals, Tree Kangaroo, and Marsupials

We humbly request Spencer the dog to cheer us on at all future events

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Running a marathon in bad weather conditions? You could use a little support from Spencer.

Competitors faced terrible weather at the Boston Marathon on Monday, with freezing rains and wind making for a tricky day.

One consolation? Spencer the dog, who was rugged up in a rain jacket and waving a flag on the side of the road as runners raced by. What a champion.

Spencer the therapeutic dog braved the rain and cold to continue tradition of cheering on runners at the Boston Marathon for the third consecutive year! https://t.co/x5UGJK0KGc pic.twitter.com/npdk5YbHWz

— ABC News (@ABC) April 17, 2018 Read more…

More about Dogs, Animals, Boston Marathon, Culture, and Animals

Apple Watch users could have access to a whole suite of new faces soon

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Gone through all the Apple Watch faces? Apple could be finally opening up the floor to third-party developers for Watch faces, hints a tiny line of code.

Apple has long maintained control over available faces for its Apple Watch, only allowing official partners like Disney and Pixar to release special editions. Customisation for users is currently limited to modifying “complications” on official watch faces, where there’s an ability to pull information from third-party sources.

But a tiny line of code could suggest the company is gearing up to loosen this exclusivity, a clue picked up by 9to5Mac. Read more…

More about Apple, Apple Watch, Third Party, Tech, and Consumer Tech

Samsung’s latest smartphone can’t connect to the internet. Like, at all.

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Well, here’s something you don’t see announced often (or ever, for that matter): A smartphone that can’t connect to the Internet.

That’s right, Samsung’s new Galaxy J2 Pro (it ain’t a “pro” anything if it can’t go online) is intentionally designed to have no way to go online. And nope, we haven’t slipped into a Tardis and time traveled into April Fool’s Day 2019.

Apparently made for students and senior citizens, the J2 Pro lacks any kind of cellular data connectivity. 

Samsung’s press release (Google translated) says the phone “blocks mobile data such as 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi” with the intent of helping students focus on learning (instead of, you know, getting distracted by Instagram and stuff). The phone’s also good for seniors who apparently have no interest in going online? 🤦‍ Read more…

More about Tech, Mobile, Gadgets, Samsung, and Smartphones

The Walmart yodel boy actually performed at Coachella, and we can’t believe it either

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Hold up, everyone. The Walmart yodel boy actually performed at Coachella. 

Eric Curtin, purveyor of comedy Twitter account @dubstep4dads, tweeted a video of the performance on Friday. He said that after “yodel kid” followed him on Twitter, he reached out to get him to perform as Whethan’s guest on the first day of the festival.

“I love u mason and i love the internet,” he tweeted. 

after the yodel kid followed me i dmed him to try and get him to come out as whethans guest at coachella. and it happened. ur welcome everyone. i love u mason and i love the internet pic.twitter.com/VSjLjS9mU4

— eric turtle (@dubstep4dads) April 13, 2018 Read more…

More about Memes, Coachella, Culture, and Web Culture

Box that unlocks iPhones is the hottest new gadget for police

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Law enforcement agencies — despite protests from privacy advocates — have long lobbied to get access to your smartphone.

Now a mysterious U.S. startup called Grayshift — which reportedly has an ex-Apple security engineer on staff — is providing iPhone unlocking tools to cops, according to Motherboard.

GrayKey is a box that measures four by four inches wide, and features two Lightning cables at the front, as per a post by security software company Malwarebytes. 

According to Forbes, Grayshift claims the device only works with iOS 10 and 11, with iOS 9 compatibility slated for the future. Devices ranging from the iPhone X to the 6 are supported, as are various iPad models. Read more…

More about Apple, Iphone, Cybersecurity, Fbi, and Law Enforcement

New Zealand bans new offshore oil exploration to tackle climate change

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New Zealand’s oil and gas industry is a sizeable part of the country’s economy, but it’ll be stopping all new offshore exploration to address climate change.

“There will be no further offshore oil and gas exploration permits granted,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in an announcement on Thursday. 

The decision will only apply to new permits that are put out to tender annually, with existing licenses not to be affected. Some of these permits still have more than a decade left to go.

There are 31 oil and gas exploration permits in the country, with 22 located offshore. New Zealand’s oil and gas industry contributes NZ$2.5 billion (US$1.8 billion) to its GDP, according to PEPANZ, an organisation which represents the country’s petroleum industry. Read more…

More about New Zealand, Gas, Oil, Oil Industry, and Oil And Gas Industry

‘Game of Thrones’ producers on epic Season 8 battle: ‘Never been done before’

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Warning: Spoilers loom ahead. 

Year after year, nearly every Game of Thrones season is defined by one major, sprawling battle sequence. And from the sounds of new reports, Season 8 will deliver a battle to end all battles.

And we are straight shook by what it could mean.

Watchers on the Wall reported on the now-deleted Instagram post from a Game of Thrones assistant director, Jonathan Quinlan. The post featured a letter from “The Producer Types” on the show, thanking “the Night Dragons” (aka the cast and crew) for shooting in “the cold, the snow, the rain, the mud, the sheep shit of Toome and the winds of Magheramorne” for 55 consecutive nights. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Game Of Thrones, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Game Of Thrones Season 8

Having a crabby day? Here, have a hug from this little guy

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Spider crabs usually keep to themselves, but one underwater scuttler was more curious than most.

Filmed by Melbourne marine photographer PT Hirschfield, who uploads to YouTube under the moniker Pink Tank Scuba, a new video shows a cast of spider crabs casually making their way across the sea bed in Port Phillip, Australia.

One curious crab noticed the camera and went in for a closer look, scuttling toward the lens and eventually grabbing a (tender, tender) hold of it, before wandering off.

It’s a fascinating and highly detailed look at the spider crab, including its little crabby face and curiously skeletal underbelly. Hirschfield told Storyful that she finds spider crabs “truly sweet and gentle souls.” Read more…

More about Animals, Ocean, Crabs, Underwater Camera, and Spider Crab

Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump comes clean on ‘SNL’: ‘I do not care about America’

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Every time Saturday Night Live takes a few weeks off, the well of topical humor seems to get deeper and deeper.

Remember “Do not congratul-gate”? The note senior White House staffers allegedly gave President Trump as a reminder before his post-election call with Russian president Vladimir Putin? Seems like forever ago.

But with Alec Baldwin at their disposal, the writers at Saturday Night Live would be amiss not to cram three weeks worth of Trump jokes into a single cold open.

“First up a big congratulations to Vladimir Putin,” Baldwin said, after a perfunctory “Fox News” themed setup starring Leslie Jones as “Outnumbered” anchor Harris Faulker. Read more…

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India just cracked down on cryptocurrency. Hard.

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Indian officials are not here for your cryptocurrency games. 

Government officials with the Reserve Bank of India announced on Thursday that, effective immediately, banks would be prohibited from “dealing with or providing services to any individuals or business entities dealing with or settling virtual currencies.”

Essentially, that means people in India are now unable to move money from bank accounts to exchanges in order to buy cryptocurrency. What’s more, if you’ve sold your fat gains for cash, you are no longer able to move that money back to your bank account. Read more…

More about India, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Tech, and Other

Snapchat lenses just got a lot better, if you have an iPhone X

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Attention iPhone X owners: Snapchat is finally making good on its promise to make its augmented reality selfie lenses better.

Today, the company is officially launching a new lineup of lenses that’ve been optimized for the iPhone X’s front-facing TrueDepth camera.

First previewed last fall during Apple’s iPhone X launch event, Snap specially designed the lenses to take advantage of the face-tracking abilities of the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera. What this means for you, a selfie-obsessed Snapchat user, is that the new lenses will be better able to “stick” to your face, making them look slightly more realistic (or, as “realistic” as a brightly-colored mask can look, anyway). Read more…

More about Tech, Snapchat, Augmented Reality, Apps And Software, and Iphone X

Australia also investigates Facebook following data scandal

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Facebook might be getting a “booting” Down Under.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) announced on Thursday it would open a formal investigation into the social media giant to see if it has breached Australia’s privacy laws. 

It follows news the personal information of 300,000 Australian Facebook users “may have been acquired and used without authorisation” as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected 87 million.

OAIC said it would work with foreign authorities on the investigation, “given the global nature of the matter.”  Read more…

More about Facebook, Australia, Privacy, Cambridge Analytica, and Tech

Shooting suspect slammed YouTube for ‘discriminating’ against her

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The suspected shooter at YouTube’s California headquarters on Tuesday has been identified as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, San Bruno Police confirmed.

A San Diego resident, Aghdam died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting three people, one of whom is in critical condition. A fourth victim injured their ankle while fleeing the scene at the San Bruno office. 

The suspected shooter in today’s YouTube incident has been identified. Please see press release for details – https://t.co/Xvr2l9bB9s pic.twitter.com/NEBoX3WWK5

— San Bruno Police (@SanBrunoPolice) April 4, 2018

On her website, Aghdam accused YouTube of “filtering” her videos to prevent them from getting views and embedded a video from prominent YouTube star Casey Neistat complaining about YouTube’s demonetization policy, known as the adpocalypse. Read more…

More about Youtube, Social Media, Shooting, Social Media Companies, and Tech

Reddit rolls out its first redesign in more than a decade

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Reddit’s design has stayed mostly the same since it launched more than a decade ago, and that’s the way many of its users like it.

But starting from Monday, the news aggregator will slowly roll out a redesign to a small percentage of users, Reddit’s administrators announced in a post.

The refresh will apply to the desktop version of the site, and in coming weeks users will be able to opt-in to the new version of Reddit. 

Reddit's new card view.

Reddit’s new card view.

Image: reddit

As WIRED notes, the redesign has been in the works for the past year-and-a-half. Reddit’s co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman noted in an “Ask Me Anything” last year that the site’s information-dense setup was often confronting to new users, hence the need for a redesign. Read more…

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Sara Bareilles slayed ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’ in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

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If your social media feed hasn’t been blowing up all night with people excited about NBC’s live broadcast of Jesus Christ Superstar, then you’re clearly not following the right people.

The whole show is a blast, but Sara Bareilles owned this standout moment when she sang one of the musical’s most well-known numbers, “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.”

No more words. Just hit play and soak it in. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Tv, Sara Bareilles, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Entertainment

MoviePass is great, but we’d like these other monthly subscriptions as well

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We’ve got MoviePass, we’ve got ClassPass, but don’t we need more? 

Woe are the memories before monthly subscription passes came out. Now, we can work out, watch a movie, work out again, then come home to our Book of the Month!

But it shouldn’t stop there.

Here are 10 more passes that we want, that we need, and on which we would love to become dependent.

DogPass

Young boy playing with golden retriever dog outside in the grass

Image: Getty Images/RooM RF

This pass would allow you to pet any dog in the city without their stingy owners getting in the way. Be sure to register 45 minutes early, because these dogs are getting snatched up like hotcakes. Read more…

More about Humor, Classpass, Moviepass, Culture, and Web Culture

Will Smith tries to make out with Sophia the robot, and it does not go well

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Budding YouTuber Will Smith isn’t afraid to churn out some weird content on his channel, including an attempt at getting frisky with a humanoid.

In his most recent clip, Smith sets himself on a date in the Cayman islands with Sophia the robot, a humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics that uses artificial intelligence to interact with humans. After a few awkward moments and some burns from Sophia to Smith, he leans in for a kiss, and well, gets denied. 

It’s super weird.

Unfortunately, this may have a lasting impression on poor Sophia.

“Every interaction I have with people has an impact on how I develop and shapes who I eventually become,” Sophia’s website reads. “So please be nice to me as I would like to be a smart, compassionate robot.” Read more…

More about Will Smith, Sophia The Robot, Culture, and Web Culture

Former FBI deputy director’s GoFundMe for legal defense raises over $250k in 6 hours

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It’s been a pretty strange year for politics. It’s even stranger now that major political figures are crowdfunding their legal fees. 

A GoFundMe stetup by “Friends of Andrew McCabe” launched Thursday to pay for the former FBI deputy director’s legal defense fund. 

McCabe’s GoFundMe is not only trending, it’s also raised a tremendous amount of money in the past few hours. As of the time of writing, it had raised $252,892 in just six short hours. People have been donating so quickly that the campaign increased its goal to $250,000 after it met its original $150,000 goal in less than four hours.  Read more…

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Battered by tourists, the Thai beach from ‘The Beach’ to close temporarily

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Thailand’s natural wonders are feeling the force of tourism, forcing one to close temporarily.

Maya Bay, a great beach on Phi Phi Leh island made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio in the not-so-great movie The Beach, will be temporarily closed for four months a year from June, as reported by the Associated Press.

Thailand’s National Parks and Wildlife Department made the decision on Wednesday to allow the island’s coral reefs and sea life to recover. The beach is open all-year round, in contrast to the many Thai marine parks closed between mid-May to mid-October. Read more…

More about Environment, Beach, Thailand, Climate Environment, and Culture

E-scooter company CEO wants to ‘Save Our Sidewalks’ from bike litter

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Bird is flying into more cities, and as the electric scooter-share company spreads its wings, it wants to make sure it doesn’t destroy communities with its short-range vehicles.

Bird expanded from Southern California this week to San Francisco and San Jose, California, along with Washington, D.C. With the expansion, CEO Travis VanderZanden introduced the “Save Our Sidewalks” pledge.

VanderZanden has proposed other scooter and bike-share companies, like LimeBike, Ofo, MoBike, and Jump, commit to a daily pick-up program, responsible growth of vehicle fleets, and revenue sharing with city governments. Read more…

More about Bird, Bike Sharing, E Bike, E Scooter, and Tech

Python somehow swallows a slipper, requiring surgery to remove it

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Sure, you’ve heard of snakes swallowing possums, hyenas, and uh, other snakes

They’re at least kinda digestible, unlike a slipper. A man from the Queensland town of Haigslea in Australia had placed by his bed last Tuesday as he went to sleep, only to find one of them missing in the morning.

The snake, with slipper inside, was found on Friday and was subsequently removed by N&S Snake Catcher, who posted the video on Facebook.

Sally Hill, who helped catch the snake with her partner Norman, told ABC News about her theory as to why the reptile devoured the strange item. Read more…

More about Australia, Animals, Snake, Python, and Culture

Here’s what the March For Our Lives in D.C. looked like from space

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Hundreds of thousands of people showed up in Washington, D.C. to attend Saturday’s March For Our Lives. As you might expect, that kind of turnout makes for some pretty impressive photos — even from space.

 New images from DigitalGlobe’s Worldview-2 satellite show the sea of people — and their signs — gathered to march and rally for common-sense gun reform. They’re an astounding reminder of the sheer size of this movement. Isn’t that right, NRA?

See for yourself.

Satellite images.

Image: satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe

Satellite images.

Image: satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe Read more…

More about March For Our Lives, Culture, Activism, and Space

Trump’s Twitter ban on trans troops is official, but he can’t implement it yet. Here’s why.

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President Donald Trump’s tweets banning transgender people from serving in the military have become policy. It’s officially really official. Like for real this time.

But don’t expect the ban to take immediate effect. 

That’s right. It doesn’t matter if the ink’s dry and the policy’s been filed in the Federal Register. Four federal judges have already temporarily blocked the ban from taking effect. 

That’s because several organizations, including GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) and National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), sued the U.S. government after Trump tapped out three tweets in July that hurled us into this controversy, blindsiding top military officials and activists.  Read more…

More about Transgender, Trump, Transgender Military Ban, Social Good, and Politics

Unusual smoke-breathing elephant baffles scientists

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For scientists conducting long term research on tigers and their prey, catching an elephant smoking is a rather strange sight.

That’s what they discovered when they visited camera trap locations around India’s Nagarahole National Park.

“I believe the elephant may have been trying to ingest wood charcoal,” Varun Goswami, an elephant biologist working with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). “She appeared to be picking up pieces from the forest floor, blowing away the ash that came along with it, and consuming the rest.”

According to WCS, charcoal has toxin-binding properties which could be useful medicinally. It’s also useful as a laxative, serving a purpose after forest fires, lightning strikes, or controlled burns. Read more…

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Scientist at centre of Facebook scandal didn’t think data would be used to target voters

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The man who helped gather Facebook users’ information for Cambridge Analytica claims that he didn’t think it’d be used to target voters.

Data scientist Aleksandr Kogan, who also goes by the surname of Spectre, told CNN‘s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday that he was “heavily siloed” from knowing about the UK data firm’s clients and funders, who are linked to the 2016 Trump election campaign.

“I found out about Donald Trump just like everybody else, through the news,” Kogan told the program. 

Exclusive: Aleksandr Kogan, the data scientist who worked with Cambridge Analytica to harvest data, tells @AndersonCooper he didn’t know they would use the data to target voters. Full interview, tonight on 9p ET, on @CNN https://t.co/9L3itGMW79 pic.twitter.com/z4ny9vytCp

— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 21, 2018 Read more…

More about Facebook, Social Media, Data Breach, Cambridge Analytica, and Social Media Companies

‘Justice League’ is officially, well and truly DC’s lowest grossing movie

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It’s over, guysJustice League has finally ended its domestic box office run and it’s now officially the lowest grossing film in the DC Extended Universe.

Director Zack Snyder’s multi-hero blockbuster starring Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Flash, the antithesis to Marvel’s Avengers, made $229 million at the U.S. box office since opening in November 2017.

The film couldn’t top Man of Steel, next rung up, which made $291 million at the U.S. box office. DC’s top domestic grossing film to date is the unbeatable Wonder Woman, which hit $412 million — and notably, it came out only months before Justice League and probably should have harnessed more of a guaranteed flow-over audience than it did. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Dc, Box Office, Justice League, and Dc Extended Universe

‘The Simpsons’ paid tribute to the late Stephen Hawking

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Stephen Hawking has been honored by The Simpsons.

The astrophysicist had a number of cameos on the show in its now 29-season run, perhaps most notably in 1999 when he appeared at the end of the episode “They Saved Lisa’s Brain.”

The show ended Sunday’s episode with an image of Hawking in his now iconic helicopter and jet-powered wheelchair, complete with Lisa Simpson sitting on his lap. 

The Simpsons’ executive producer Matt Selman, who called Hawking the show’s “most intelligent guest star,” posted the image on Twitter. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Tv, Television, Stephen Hawking, and The Simpsons

Steven Spielberg explained why ‘Ready Player One’ only references the original ‘Star Wars’

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As an unabashed homage to geek culture and 80s nostalgia smorgasboard, you probably assumed Ready Player One would be dripping with Star Wars references.

You’d be wrong.

While the marketing for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming movie showed zero restraint when it came to pop culture references, the director said he was actually careful about name-dropping Star Wars. Or rather, which Star Wars movies he included from the ever-expanding movie franchise.

“We didn’t want to use the main cultural icons from any of the Disney Star Wars films, because those are ongoing. That’s really part of our contemporary world right now. And even though it began in the ’80s, it is so much a part of our real life today in the 21st century. So we asked for some of the smaller items, and Disney gave us everything we asked for,” Spielberg said at a SXSW interview with Fandango. Read more…

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Facebook suspends Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica

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A data analytics firm linked to both Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Brexit referendum has been banned by Facebook.

Cambridge Analytica, the British firm that claimed it helped Trump get elected, has been suspended from Facebook, the company revealed. 

At issue is Cambridge Analytica’s use of user data obtained by a third-party developer, a University of Cambridge professor named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan. Kogan, according to Facebook, obtained information on 270,000 Facebook users via his app, which he touted as a research experiment.  Read more…

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Platypus milk is not a new trendy milk, but it could save lives

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Platypus milk: It’s not the new almond milk, but it could save lives.

Milk from Australia’s duck-billed, egg-laying monotreme could be crucial to the fight against antibiotic resistance, thanks to new research by Australian scientists.

Back in 2010, scientists found that platypus milk held properties that could be used to develop defences against superbugs — nasty bacteria that have built up a resistance to antimicrobial treatments like antibiotics. 

Now, in what WHO has dubbed the “post antibiotic era,” researchers at CSIRO have teamed up with Deakin University to understand how an unusual protein found in platypus milk, with rather protective antibacterial characteristics, could help to fight these superbugs. Read more…

More about Australia, Science And Technology, Medical Research, Antibiotic Resistance, and Platypus

The world reacts to the death of the much-loved Stephen Hawking

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It may be a cliché to describe someone as an inspiration, but there is no title more befitting for the late Stephen Hawking.

The British theoretical physicist died early Wednesday morning aged 76, after a lifetime awing scientists and the public alike with his brilliance, wit, and his encouragement to investigate the universe around us.

One of the world’s most beloved scientists and a prolific authors, Hawking leaves the world with his pioneering work on black holes and relativity, as well as quintessential science books like his bestseller, A Brief History of Time.  Read more…

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UN officials blast Facebook over spread of Rohingya hate speech

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Facebook has long been criticised for its role in the Rohingya crisis, an assessment now underscored by comments by United Nations investigators.

Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission in Myanmar told reporters that social media had a “determining role” in spreading hate speech in the country, according to Reuters.

“It has … substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public. Hate speech is certainly of course a part of that. As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media,” Darusman said. Read more…

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Absolute heroes brave rising floodwaters to save a giant spider

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Giant spiders are the kind of creature many people are deathly afraid of, but bless the rest who are willing to lend them a hand.

Like this one found clinging to a branch outside a supermarket in the Queensland, Australia town of Halifax on Sunday, as floodwaters raged on below.

Video of the stranded arachnid was uploaded to Facebook by Andrea Gofton, where of course someone had to put their hand next to it to prove how big it is.

Later, another video shows a man taking the entire branch and placing it onto dry land, where it could scurry away. Read more…

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Facebook to publishers: The News Feed algorithm isn’t why you’re failing

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It’s been a rocky year in Facebook and publisher relations, but the social network has a new — very blunt — message for struggling publishers: it’s probably your fault. 

Speaking at a panel at South by Southwest, Facebook’s head of news products, Alex Hardiman, had some strong words for critics who say the company’s recent News Feed algorithm change is hurting publishers. 

In response to a question about digital publisher Little Things, whose CEO blamed Facebook’s News Feed algorithm after the company shut down, Hardiman said “there’s a reason certain publishers don’t do well on Facebook.” Read more…

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Landmarks around the world light up for International Women’s Day

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Cities worldwide have outfitted their buildings with magenta lights to commemorate women on International Women’s Day. 

Here are some of the globe’s most iconic landmarks, honoring women with bright lights and projected messages.

Spain

Madrid’s Neptune fountain turns pink for International Women’s Day #8deMarzoHuelgaFeminista pic.twitter.com/YM2cZOMTno

— Sara Houlison (@SaraHoulison) March 8, 2018

Spain saw one of its biggest public demonstrations in history as an estimated 5 million people striked across the country, according to The Guardian. The millions of women workers protested machismo culture and workplace harassment. Madrid’s Neptune Fountain was lit up in magenta in honor of the strike.  Read more…

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Coca-Cola is releasing a boozy version for the first time ever

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Mixing booze with Coke is not a new thing.

But now, Coca-Cola’s Japanese arm has seemingly caught on to that fact, with the news it’ll look to release an alcoholic drink for the first time in history.

It’ll be what’s called a Chu-Hi in Japan: A canned, ready-to-drink alcoholic beverage that’s traditionally made with the spirit shōchū, carbonated water, and lemon.

You can get Chu-Hi in flavours like lime, grapefruit, among others, and can get as strong as 9 percent alcohol. While Coca-Cola haven’t released any detail about the product, it appears they won’t be dropping anything too heavyweight. Read more…

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Chris Hemsworth is just being a good dad, teaching his kids how to surf

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While the rest of Hollywood might still be recovering from the Oscars, Chris Hemsworth is busy being a good daddy.

The Thor: Ragnarok star is back in Australia, spending some quality time with the family and keeping the world up to date on his Instagram.

It’s a slice of the simple life, like a spot of camping and barbecues by the fire.

Or casually skipping rope by the beach.

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Michael Shannon watched ‘The Shape of Water’ win Best Picture from a dive bar

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Sure, attending the Oscars is a dream come true for many people.

Except perhaps in Hollywood, where it’s just another event that you have to get dressed up and look nice for. 

Michael Shannon, who plays the terrifying colonel Richard Strickland in The Shape of Water, surely would’ve been invited to the Oscars on Sunday, given how many nominations the film received. 

Instead, Shannon decided to spend it at a dive bar. Specifically Chicago’s legendary Old Town Ale House, where he watched the Best Picture win on the TV with no sound, but with the subtitles on. Read more…

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Google spruiks Assistant with Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

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Just like you, celebrities find the small things in life difficult.

It’s something that’s highlighted in a series of ads for Google Assistant, released during the Oscars on Monday.

The first of the ads features John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, trying to deal with the annoying task of searching for a show on TV, convincing that you should “make Google do it,” the ad’s tagline.

Legend actually sings in one of the ads too, albeit about the time it takes for Teigen to find a TV show.

Then here’s NBA star Kevin Durant forgetting to remember his grocery list. Read more…

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The only ‘Mulan’ remake you need to see is right here

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Remakes of Disney classics are a tricky thing to do successfully, but in 38 seconds, this group of brilliant young minds put every attempt to shame in a hilarious rendition of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from the 1998 film Mulan

Twitter user @senseileskee and a group of friends banded together to create the now-viral clip of the song for a school project, performing a routine that is almost identical to the one from the animated film. 

three days, five broken sticks, a shoe and volleyball stuck in a tree, and 2883827274832 hours of bloopers ALL for a 38 second video 🤦🏾‍♂️😂 — Micronesian Mulan 👌🏿💛 pic.twitter.com/bglMtKENXD

— skee 🍇 (@senseileskee) March 3, 2018 Read more…

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Jennifer Lawrence, Jodie Foster will reportedly replace Casey Affleck to present Best Actress

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Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster will present the Best Actress category at the Academy Awards Sunday in lieu of Casey Affleck, Variety reports. 

The news comes after nearly a month of speculation as to who would replace Affleck. The Best Actor winner decided not to present at the end of January because he feared he’d become a distraction. 

The Manchester by the Sea star was accused of sexual harassment in two 2010 lawsuits, which mostly went under the radar, until the #MeToo movement shined a spotlight on men with histories of sexual misconduct allegations. Affleck’s publicists have characterized the lawsuits as extortion attempts. The producer and cinematographer of I’m Not Here, Affleck’s 2010 film, are the accusers. Their cases were settled out of court, with no monetary figure disclosed. Read more…

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