BMW 7-Series can park itself, respond to hand signals (+video) – Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor
BMW 7-Series can park itself, respond to hand signals (+video)
Christian Science Monitor
BMW's innovative new 7-Series will include a lightweight body design, the first use of gesture control for certain functions, and remote parking control. That will make the next BMW 7-Series the first production vehicle that can park itself, including in spaces so


Early Twitter Vets Launch Color Genomics To Make Genetic Screenings For Breast Cancer Affordable

color-genomics


Daily Roundup: Nokia making phones again, Sony wants better selfies and more!

Today, read how Nokia is planning to get back into the phone game, ponder why Sony's added image-stabilization technology to the front of its new flagship phone and get all the details on the best vaporizers around -- because it's that day. All that ...


‘Mobilegeddon’ could be bad news for 40% of top websites – USA TODAY

USA TODAY
'Mobilegeddon' could be bad news for 40% of top websites
USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — If your website traffic plummets suddenly Tuesday, you can blame it on "Mobilegeddon." Google, which dominates online search, is launching an algorithm to favor sites that are "mobile-friendly." This means that people who use Google to


Sony’s new sound bars, receivers tout 4K support, Google Cast – SlashGear

About - News & Issues
Sony's new sound bars, receivers tout 4K support, Google Cast
SlashGear
These days, speakers are just as sophisticated and talented as the TVs and components they are connected to. What's more, they are no longer simply tethered by wires and cables and have become part of a growing connected family of appliances. Today


AT&T finally brings its gigabit internet to Chicago’s suburbs

Back in October of last year, we learned about AT&T's plans to launch its 1Gbps fiber network, GigaPower, in cities like Chicago. And today, more than six months after the original announcement, the company's finally flipping the switch in some areas...


How to see everything you’ve ever Googled (if you’re so brave) – Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
How to see everything you've ever Googled (if you're so brave)
Chicago Tribune
....A mouse and Google mousepad are shown at Google's New York office in November 2006. (Mark Lennihan / Associated Press). By Caitlin Dewey Washington Post. Google Inc. How to see everything you've ever Googled (if you're so brave). You probably


Twitter Updates Direct Messaging – CBS Local

CBS Local
Twitter Updates Direct Messaging
CBS Local
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Twitter has announced that all 288 million monthly active users will now have the option to receive direct messages for any user. The social network has begun rolling out the new messaging feature worldwide. Users will not receive


Now You Can Download Your Google History—Or Better Yet, Delete It


You can now download your entire Google search history to your computer. Sound neat? That’s what I thought at first. And then I realized there were dangerous things in my search history—things way worse than my taste in porn.

Read more...




Mattel hopes you’ll design 3D-printed toys

Admit it: when you were a kid, you wished that you could design the toys that the stuffy manufacturers refused to build. Well, you're about to get that chance. Mattel and Autodesk are teaming up to let you design and customize 3D-printed toys through...


Meet the Entrepreneur Who’s Designing Her Company as a Work of Art

2015-04-21-1429580228-1114163-twsueducationkits.jpg
Renowned 20th century inventor and designer Buckminster Fuller once famously said: "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." Evoking the same sentiment, iconic pop artist Andy Warhol once declared, "Business is the most fascinating kind of art."

In today's modern entrepreneurial ecosystem where a number of over-worked, hyper-functioning people don't take time to smell the roses, viewing one's business as a work of art may be the answer to visionary commitment. This approach is what keeps Bethany Kolby, CEO of the London-based creator of educational DIY kits, Technology Will Save Us (TWSU), happily on point.

A former designer, Kolby started (TWSU) in her living room two years ago. Since then, the company has gained global appeal. To date, TWSU has sold 28,000 kits in 34 countries. Each kit is designed to encourage kids to make, play, code and invent with technology.

What's the team's secret sauce? Building the ideas for each kit around popular hobbies including music, gardening, cycling and gaming. This cross-pollination aligns with TWSU's ways of infusing balance and passion into the entire TWSU experience. From company culture to design and execution, it's the impetus for expansion.

The Art Of Humanity

"Starting a business is one of the most creative things I have ever done," says Kolby.

Designing and creating the products and experiences for our customers is only the beginning. We are shaping and creating the foundations for a future to thrive in our business. We're developing rituals we as a team use to stay focused, be inspired and live full lives.

This involves balancing data with intuition, emergence with structure, and aesthetics with experience. This creative process feels like art making to me.

Part of this artistic flow is complimented by the company's focus on human-centered design when conceiving and producing products. The TWSU team designs kits with and for young people and families. In doing this they typically follow two types of design. One of these is iterative user-centered design, which includes users in the design of existing kits and experiences. The intention is to constantly create more delightful, successful and fulfilling making experiences for consumers. Another common design method of TWSU comes into play when the company works with existing and new users to understand bigger, "everyday" themes around making, as well as everyday life activities to inform new kit development.

The STEAM Renaissance


Promoting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) skills through hands-on educational activities and modern invention has been steadily proliferating the edtech space for the last four years. In 2011, the electronic module making company LittleBits launched with a 10-piece kit allowing anyone to prototype, build and innovate with electronics. Today, the company features more than five kits, including a Synth Kit for music and a Smart Home Kit for tapping into the ubiquitous Internet of Things, as well as 67 interoperable modules with products sold in 70 countries.

The toy company Goldieblox launched in 2012 to develop early interest in engineering and problem solving among girls. From action figures to games to construction kits, GoldieBlox products combine storytelling and mechanical projects aimed to empower girls to create.

While TWSU promotes STEAM, it differs from both of the aforementioned businesses in that it provides gadgets that young people can make and code themselves.

The Power Of Intentional Design

"When developing the DIY Gamer Kit, we were funded by NESTA, Mozilla and Nominet Trust to gather insights from 300 hundred young people in nine regions around the UK," says Kolby.

We spoke to them about what skills they had, what skills they wanted to learn, what they were making in school, and what were their passions and hobbies. We knew that young people enjoyed playing games, but what came out was their passion for making games, so we wanted to create a product that allowed them to not only design and code their own games, but also build the console you could play it on.

Throughout this process, TWSU revisited the origins of gaming to find an archetype that would inform the gaming kit's design. Kolby says the desirability and design intention of the kits are as important as the functionality and learning outcomes.

"We want to design gadgets that feel less homogenous than other consumer technology, but are iconic and functional so they can live in your life alongside your iPhone and laptop," shares Kolby. "We intentionally design kits to be elegant, gender neutral, and accessible to the everyday person."

At the core of TWSU is the quest to get to the heart of what it means to be human and and mindful of nurturing one's creative powers. And there's nothing more human than art, or in Kolby's case, building a company.


This post was originally published on The Toolbox, an initiative connecting developers and activists to facilitate solutions focused on human-centered design.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Meet The Entrepreneur Who’s Designing Her Company As A Work Of Art

2015-04-21-1429580228-1114163-twsueducationkits.jpg
Renowned 20th century inventor and designer Buckminster Fuller once famously said,"When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong." Evoking the same sentiment, iconic pop artist Andy Warhol once declared, "Business is the most fascinating kind of art."

In today's modern, entrepreneurial ecosystem where a number of over-worked, hyper-functioning people don't take time to smell the roses, viewing one's business as a work of art may be the answer to visionary commitment. This approach is what keeps Bethany Kolby, CEO of the London-based creator of educational DIY kits, Technology Will Save Us (TWSU), happily on point.

A former designer, Kolby started (TWSU) in her living room two years ago. Since then, the company has gained global appeal. To date, TWSU has sold 28,000 kits in 34 countries. Each kit is designed to encourage kids to make, play, code, and invent with technology.

What's the team's secret sauce? Building the ideas for each kit around popular hobbies including music, gardening, cycling and gaming. This cross-pollination aligns with TWSU's ways of infusing balance and passion into the entire TWSU experience. From company culture to design and execution, it's the impetus for expansion.

The Art Of Humanity

"Starting a business is one of the most creative things I have ever done," says Kolby. "Designing and creating the products and experiences for our customers is only the beginning. We are shaping and creating the foundations for a future to thrive in our business. We're developing rituals we as a team use to stay focused, be inspired, and live full lives. This involves balancing data with intuition, emergence with structure, and aesthetics with experience. This creative process feels like art making to me."

Part of this artistic flow is complimented by the company's focus on human-centered design when conceiving and producing products. The TWSU team designs kits with and for young people and families. In doing this they typically follow two types of design. One of these is iterative user-centered design, which includes users in the design of existing kits and experiences. The intention is to constantly create more delightful, successful and fulfilling making experiences for consumers. Another common design method of TWSU comes into play when the company works with existing and new users to understand bigger, "everyday" themes around making, as well as everyday life activities to inform new kit development.

The STEAM Renaissance


Promoting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & math) skills through hands-on educational activities and modern invention has been steadily proliferating the edtech space for the last four years. In 2011, the electronic module making company LittleBits launched with a 10-piece kit allowing anyone to prototype, build and innovate with electronics. Today, the company features more than five kits, including a Synth Kit for music and a Smart Home Kit for tapping into the ubiquitous Internet of Things, as well as 67 interoperable modules with products sold in 70 countries.

The toy company Goldieblox launched in 2012 to develop early interest in engineering and problem solving among girls. From action figures to games to construction kits, GoldieBlox products combine storytelling and mechanical projects aimed to empower girls to create.

While TWSU promotes STEAM, it differs from both of the aforementioned businesses in that it provides gadgets that young people can make and code themselves.

The Power Of Intentional Design

"When developing the DIY Gamer Kit, we were funded by NESTA, Mozilla and Nominet Trust to gather insights from 300 hundred young people in nine regions around the UK," says Kolby. "We spoke to them about what skills they had, what skills they wanted to learn, what they were making in school, and what were their passions and hobbies. We knew that young people enjoyed playing games but what came out was their passion for making games, so we wanted to create a product that allowed them to not only design and code their own games, but also build the console you could play it on."

Throughout this process, TWSU revisited the origins of gaming to find an archetype that would inform the gaming kit's design. Kolby says the desirability and design intention of the kits are as important as the functionality and learning outcomes.

"We want to design gadgets that feel less homogenous than other consumer technology, but are iconic and functional so they can live in your life alongside your iPhone and laptop," shares Kolby. "We intentionally design kits to be elegant, gender neutral, and accessible to the everyday person."

At the core of TWSU is the quest to get to the heart of what it means to be human and and mindful of nurturing one's creative powers. And there's nothing more human than art, or in Kolby's case, building a company.


This post was originally published on The Toolbox, an initiative connecting developers and activists to facilitate solutions focused on human-centered design.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S5 available for $299.99

Samsung Galaxy S5 white front

A few days ago, we told you about an eBay deal for the unlocked HTC One M8 at $269.99. If you missed out on that offer or you just don’t care for Sense, there’s a new deal today that you may be interested in. 

Samsung Galaxy S5Samsung


Go Search For The Loch Ness Monster Using Street View

The internet is really good at over-analysing photos, and Google is good at bringing the internet into our homes. So for armchair amateur sleuths, this should be The Dream: a chance to find the Loch Ness Monster without having to go to dampest darkest Scotland.

Read more...




The Big Picture: Chevy’s self-driving concept car is straight out of sci-fi

Thought that Mercedes' F 015 self-driving car was futuristic? It looks old hat next to GM's autonomous electric concept, the Chevrolet-FNR. The pod-like design appears ripped straight from a sci-fi flick, complete with crystal laser lights, "dragonfl...


Gizmodo Seeks News Editor

Are you fascinated by technology in all its forms, and obsessed with following the latest news on everything from smartphones and chromebooks, to internet culture and emerging tech? If you’ve got some experience working as a tech editor or journalist, Gizmodo’s news editor gig could be yours!

Read more...




Gizmodo Seeks News Editor

Are you fascinated by technology in all its forms, and obsessed with following the latest news on everything from smartphones and chromebooks, to internet culture and emerging tech? If you’ve got some experience working as a tech editor or journalist, Gizmodo’s news editor gig could be yours!

Read more...




Disney Research makes dubbed movies more believeable

"This town's like a great big chicken, just waiting to get plucked." That line is one of the more unintentionally funny results of cleaning up 1983's notoriously blue Scarface for cable, and new insight from Disney Research could make awkward redubs ...


It’s Too Soon To Judge Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella


Google’s Android Wear update nails skeptics’ flaw in Apple Watch plan – SlashGear

ZDNet
Google's Android Wear update nails skeptics' flaw in Apple Watch plan
SlashGear
Today Google has released a number of feature updates for Android Wear, and in turn, has uncovered a key flaw not only in the Apple Watch, but in ever smartwatch released so far. In the smartwatch, the market has created demand for a product that


What’s on your HDTV: ‘StarTalk’, ‘Taken 3′ and ‘Breakin’ on Blu-ray

While the NHL and NBA playoffs roll on, this evening we welcome a new entrant to the late-night arena with Neil deGrasse Tyson's StarTalk on National Geographic Channel. Promising to "collide pop culture with science" its guest for the premiere episo...


IBM venture with Chinese stirs concern – The Seattle Times (registration)

New York Times
IBM venture with Chinese stirs concern
The Seattle Times (registration)
IBM is providing a Beijing company with a partial blueprint of its higher-end servers and the software that runs on them. Critics say IBM is caving in to Chinese demands, placing short-term business gains ahead of longer-term political and trade issues.
NY Times: IBM-China Partnership Interferes With White HouseNewsmax
IBM Venture With China Stirs ConcernsNew York Times
The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Monday, April 20Network World

all 19 news articles


Beyonce seen sporting Apple Watch Edition with gold link bracelet – Apple Insider

Apple Insider
Beyonce seen sporting Apple Watch Edition with gold link bracelet
Apple Insider
Less than a week after star fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld showed off pictures of his yellow gold Apple Watch Edition with custom all-gold link bracelet, Beyonce was seen at Coachella wearing what appears to be the same combination. Beyonce was


Nokia will be the mobile comeback kid in 2016 – wishful-thinking sources – The Register

Fast Company
Nokia will be the mobile comeback kid in 2016 – wishful-thinking sources
The Register
Nokia is gearing up for a bombastic return to the smartphone world in 2016, according to new whispers. The Finnish firm's Nokia Technologies division has been quietly hiring staff, and already has products under development, with an eye to reenter the


MIT’s Flatpack Furniture Assembles Itself In Seconds

The last time we checked in with MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, it was showing off video proof of a chair that assembles itself in water . Now, the team has uploaded video of its latest project: A flatpack table that does the assembly itself.

Read more...




Google Brings Street View To Loch Ness

Loch-Ness-street-view-trekker


Newly discovered frog species looks a lot like Kermit the Frog

We’ve found Kermit the Frog in real life and it’s a species of glassfrog just recently discovered called Hyalinobatrachium dianae in Costa Rica. It’s bright green just like Kermit, has big white adorable eyeballs just like Kermit and the males have a very unique mating call... just like Kermit, I guess? Anyway, the resemblance is uncanny.

Read more...




Newly discovered frog species looks a lot like Kermit the Frog

We’ve found Kermit the Frog in real life and it’s a species of glassfrog just recently discovered called Hyalinobatrachium dianae in Costa Rica. It’s bright green just like Kermit, has big white adorable eyeballs just like Kermit and the males have a very unique mating call... just like Kermit, I guess? Anyway, the resemblance is uncanny.

Read more...




Got A Team Distributed All Over The World? Teleport’s Tool, Flock, Finds You A Meeting Hub

teleport-flock


Twitter’s Inexplicable New Settings Highlight Problems with Abuse

So Twitter created a rather obscure new setting in its privacy menu called “Receive Direct Messages from Anyone.” Now, people you don’t follow can send you a direct message, or DM, in private. Here’s why this setting got people’s knickers in a bunch — for some pretty good reasons.

Read more...




Google wants you to download your web search history

Wondering what you were searching for online a few years ago? You now have a (relatively) easy way to find out. Google has quietly trotted out an option to download your entire search history. So long as you searched using your Google account, you'll...


(VIDEO) Better Video, Audio Coming to MPEG-DASH: Microsoft’s Sodagar

LAS VEGAS -- The next-generation format for video compression has grown fast over the last couple of years, with adoption from names including Google's YouTube, Microsoft's Azure, Adobe Primetime and Akamai.

Support for live ad insertion, digital rights management and the HEVC standard was added recently, and European internet TV standard HbbTV just just moved up to version 2.0 on DASH. Iraj Sodagar, president and chairman of the 78-member DASH industry forum, says more is to come.

"Next year, we're going to have UHD and HDR, higher resolutions, higher frame rate... and DRM is going to be improved ... and more audio codecs, like MPEG-H audio or 3D audio codecs."

Why should companies switch to MPEG-DASH? "They can reach more devices, more customers, at lower cost," Sodagar says. 

Instead of having different solutions from different companies ... now different devices can work with different services. It enables companies to deploy video services over the top in a larger scale.

Sodagar is the Principal Multimedia Architect at Microsoft.

We interviewed Sodagar at the NAB Show. Beet.TV's coverage of the show was sponsored by Akamai.  Please find more coverage from Las Vegas here.

You can find this post on Beet.TV.


-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



(VIDEO) Ooyala Embraces AdTech with Videoplaza Acquisition

LAS VEGAS -- Now owned by Australia's giant telco Telstra, with a "war chest" for acquisitions, video services company Ooyala has moved into the adtech sector with its acquisition of  Videoplaza last year, explains Andrew Spaulding, Director of Sales Engineering at Ooyala in this interview with Beet.TV

We spoke with him about evolution of Ooyala.

We interviewed Spaulding at the Akamai booth at the NAB Show.

Beet.TV's coverage of the show was sponsored by Akamai. Please find more coverage from Las Vegas here.

You can find this post on Beet.TV.


-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



(VIDEO) Microsoft Unveils New Video Player, Encoding Solutions

LAS VEGAS -- Microsoft has used the NAB Show to announce it is expanding its video services suite, including a new video player that speaks fluent HTML5 as well as other standards.

Azure Media Services is getting a new video player and transcoding that will take place in the cloud.

"(Azure Media Player) does automatic device detection and chooses the right player framework and streaming fallback... to Flash or Silverlight... to ensure that the content is reached across all the devices consumers carry," Azure Media Services director Sudheer Sirivara tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

"(Live Encoding Preview) enables a citizen journalist, for example, to broadcast a single camera feed from a phone in to the cloud... we do the transcoding in the cloud... and deliver using Azure Media Player."

Azure Media Services is the brand Microsoft uses for its services covering live online broadcast, on-demand distribution, enterprise video and digital marketing video.

We interviewed Sirivara at the NAB Show. Beet.TV's coverage of the show was sponsored by Akamai.  Please find more coverage from Las Vegas here.

You can find this post on Beet.TV.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



IKEA’s future kitchen tells you how to cook

For IKEA, your future kitchen shouldn't just have the occasional smart appliance -- it should be a technology hub. The furniture store's Concept Kitchen 2025 includes tech and other helpful additions meant to save both time and resources, such as a p...


A Biotech Startup Wants To Replace Your Eyeballs With Synthetic Ones

Our eyes are such elegant, complex, specialized organs that their existence seems almost hard to believe--Darwin himself called their evolution “absurd.” But that doesn’t…


Here’s What The World’s Tallest Residential Building Will Look Like

The supertall race in Midtown Manhattan is marching skyward at an astonishing rate, with at least four towers on West 57th Street destined to be among the world’s tallest. Now we have some official-official images of the Nordstrom Tower, which, at 1,775 feet, will at some point be the tallest residential building on the planet.

Read more...




How To Live The Cabin Dream Without Giving Up Netflix

This article has been removed at the request of the family described in it.

Read more...




Clear Deletes Dumb Tweets Before You Regret Them

clear


IBM Reports Higher-Than-Expected Q1 Profit, But Revenue Of $19.6B Disappoints

Wall Street


Silicon Valley’s Sendup of Kickstarter Culture Is Perfect 

The line between satire and just accurately portraying The Way We Tech Now is very, very thin on Silicon Valley. “Runway Devaluation” has a plot that manages to be utterly silly and completely plausible.

Read more...




HBO is bringing Vimeo’s first original series to TV

If there was any doubt that conventional TV and the internet are blending together, HBO just erased it. The premium channel has picked up the third season of High Maintenance, the pot-fueled show (yes, the 4/20 announcement is convenient) that became...


Nokia may return to the smartphone market in 2016

Nokia N1 Android tablet official

Nokia is a huge name in the mobile market, but thanks to Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s Devices & Services division, Nokia is unable to create any smartphones that leverage that name until 2016. According to a new leak, Nokia is planning to to do just that.

Nokia


Q&A With The Creators Of ‘High Maintenance’

high-maintenance


io9 How The Most Daring Plan Of WWI Turned Into A Military Disaster | Jalopnik All The Shameless Chi

io9 How The Most Daring Plan Of WWI Turned Into A Military Disaster | Jalopnik All The Shameless Chinese Car Knockoffs At The Shanghai Motor Show | Jezebel I Was Raped in Burkina Faso and My Rapist’s Trial Will Take 10 Years | Kotaku ‘Invisible Nunchuck Guy’ And Other Video Game Retail Horror Stories | Kinja Popular Posts

Read more...




This Drone Video Of Dutch Flower Fields Will Give You The Touch Of Spring You Needed

There's nothing better than a bouquet of spring flowers... unless you live near the tulip fields in Holland.

For a month and a half ever year, millions of brightly colored blooms turn the landscape into a panorama of color. The video above, shot with a DJI Inspire 1 drone, was captured above some epic flower fields in the Netherlands. The fields shown in the video lie near Lisse, home to the world's second-largest flower garden.

The tulips, hyacinths, narcissi and daffodils are a highly trafficked tourist destination in spring months and are in bloom from the end of March until the second week of May. Road trippers can take a 25-mile drive through the countryside and see flower-sellers, public gardens and museums all along the highway, according to National Geographic.

Take a look at the stunning drone footage above, and check out other beautiful images of the flower fields below.

dutch flower fields

dutch flower fields

dutch flower fields

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



YC-Backed Rickshaw Provides An API For Local Deliveries

Rickshaw Dashboard


Bitcoin Vs. Wall Street: A Love-Hate Story

bitcoinvsdollar


Toshiba’s humanoid retail robot is ready to greet you

If you happen to be shopping in Japan sometime soon, don't be surprised if the first offer of help comes from a machine. Toshiba has just installed Aiko Chihira, a humanoid greeter robot, at Tokyo's Mitsukoshi department store. The kimono-clad automa...


Disney’s Lab Builds Buttons That Work By Manipulating Soundwaves Rather Than Electricity

cmu


How Facebook Stalking Leads Women To Objectify Their Own Bodies

Facebook stalking is real, people, and it has real effects on your body image. A new study has found that Facebook usage is positively correlated with a tendency to compare appearances with peers and engage in self-objectification (viewing your body as an object to be gazed upon). Both of these outcomes can lead to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.

Researchers in Australia surveyed 150 women between the ages of 17 and 25 to determine what types of media they were consuming and which ones made them feel bad about their own bodies. Unsurprisingly, participants spent roughly 2 hours a day on Facebook. During this time, they would compare their appearance to images of themselves, their close friends and peers (not celebrities or family members, for the most part).

Participants were also asked about their time on the Internet overall, as well as their television, music video and fashion magazine consumption patterns. The only media that led to body comparisons and self-objectification were Facebook and fashion magazines.

So why worry about Facebook when fashion mags are touting size zero celebrities and models as the beauty ideal? For one, magazine usage is on the decline while Facebook continues to take up an increasing amount of our screen time -- over 10 million new photos are uploaded to Facebook every hour.

Plus, unlike magazines, Facebook allows users to click between photos of seemingly "perfect" peers and photos of themselves in an instant. Barring a new Facebook algorithm that alerts you when friends go up and down dress sizes, it couldn't be easier to compare yourself to that friend of yours who's mastered the strategic hand-on-hip pose.

Interestingly, the researchers argue that friends may make us feel worse about our own bodies simply because they're not celebrities or models (well, probably). Most people agree that the stars in magazines are a sample of the population that are either super-human or airbrushed beyond the realm of reality. But binging on photos of a peer can be particularly detrimental to body image since, as the researchers stated, "their appearance might be perceived as attainable enough to serve as relevant targets of comparison but also unattainable enough to still influence how women evaluate their own appearance."

Of course, these are all correlational findings. It's impossible to tell from this research if Facebook scrolling is causing all of this self-objectification or if women who are prone to self-objectify simply spend more time on the social network.

Either way, it might be a good idea to temper your Facebook stalking habits if you're feeling a little less-than-perfect. Or at the very least, go into it with the full knowledge of what clicking through hundreds of photos of a high school acquaintance's honeymoon in Bali will likely do to you.

This study was published in Psychology of Women Quarterly.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



In Parts Of Africa, Cell Phones Are Everywhere And Landlines Barely Exist

Cell phones are bringing parts of Africa into the digital age, allowing some regions to bypass landline development altogether.

New surveys from the Pew Research Center show that the majority of people in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa owned cell phones in 2014.

Though most people surveyed in those sub-Saharan countries still do not own smartphones, Pew says the widespread adoption of basic cell phones provides a "communication lifeline," connecting people like never before.

According to Pew's research, which surveyed about 1,000 people in each nation, 89 percent of people now own a smartphone or basic cell phone in South Africa and Nigeria, 83 percent in Senegal and Ghana, 82 percent in Kenya, 73 percent in Tanzania and 65 percent in Uganda.

Here's a map showing the geographical spread of Pew's data on cell phone use in these seven countries. Click the pins to see stats for each:


Pew notes huge increases since 2002, when only about 10 percent of people had cell phones in Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Ghana. In South Africa, 33 percent owned cell phones in 2002.

In the United States, 89 percent of people currently own a cell phone, and 64 percent of them own a smartphone.

Most people surveyed -- a median of 80 percent across all seven sub-Saharan African countries -- said they use their phones to send text messages. Only about half take pictures or video with their phones, while 30 percent use them to make or receive payments, 21 percent get political news, 19 percent use them to access social networks, 17 percent use them to get health information and 14 percent use them to look for jobs.

Pew noted that Africans who understand at least some English were more likely to own a cell phone or smartphone.

As a point of comparison, practically none of the people surveyed have access to landline telephones in their home: Only 2 percent said they did. In the United States, 60 percent of people still have a working landline in their home, according to Pew. That basically lines up with a National Center for Health Statistics study from last year, which found that 41 percent of U.S. homes were "wireless only."

Pew has studied cell phone use in Africa for years. It ran surveys in 2002, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014, though data wasn't consistently available for each country.

Jacob Poushter, a research associate at Pew, told The Huffington Post that a few factors go into selecting countries: The research group likes to have a geographical spread, meaning that countries aren't clustered in one area; and they like to poll the same locations over the course of years to see how their data changes.

Based on the data in Pew's previous studies, it's clear that cell phone use has long been on the rise across sub-Saharan Africa. Even in 2012, CNN noted that more people in Africa had a cell phone than access to electricity. And last year, PBS explained how widespread cell phone use was encouraging entrepreneurship in countries like Kenya, where many people use phones to conduct business transactions.

Of course, while widespread communication could hardly be considered a bad thing, there's another story about phones in Africa that shouldn't go ignored: Many of the most important materials in phones and other electronics -- gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten -- come from mines in Congo. The rush to capitalize on these materials, worth trillions in total, spurred rebels to take control of the mines and perpetuate violence against men, women and children.

A report from 2014 indicated that many mines are no longer controlled by armed rebel groups, at least in part due to 2010 legislation in the U.S. requiring companies to be transparent about the source of their materials.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



7 Endangered Examples of the Most Hated Architectural Style Ever

It’s hard to find a more polarizing architecture—even among scholars it’s most likely to be described as “ugly,” “unloved,” or even “hated.” I’m talking about Brutalism, the blocky unfinished concrete style which used to be very common in cities around the world, but is now being demolished at an astounding rate.

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OnePlus One Cyanogen OS 12 update put on hold to add ‘Ok OnePlus’ feature

Cyanogen OS 12 official

One week ago, the OnePlus One’s long-awaited Cyanogen OS 12 update began rolling out, bringing One owners a tasty Lollipop treat. Just seven days after the push began, though, it’s been put on hold.

OnePlus OneOnePlus


Stunning elevator ride up One World Trade Center shows 515 years of NYC

Beautiful. Breathtaking. Tragic. Saddening. Historic. The new One World Trade Center’s observatory has elevators that display a 515-year visual timeline of New York City’s skyline and it’s an incredible view. Like if you were in a glass elevator and watching history unfold right before your eyes.

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An Alphabet Poster That Teaches You the Fundamentals of Font Design

If you can’t figure out why all your friends were snickering at your home-made wedding invites you carefully designed using Papyrus, Pop Chart Lab’s new Alphabet of Typography print will give you a much-needed crash course in font design, spacing, and terminology.

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Tulsa Man Smashes Roommate With Beer Bottle In iPhone Vs. Android Argument: Police

Stabbing a guy who doesn't agree with your choice of smartphone doesn't seem very smart.

Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, arrested a man who allegedly did that to his roommate early Friday morning, NewsOn6.com reports.

Officers said Elias Acevedo, 21, and his roommate, Jiaro Mendez, got "highly intoxicated" in the parking lot of the apartment complex where they lived. At some point, they began arguing over which cellphone, Android or Apple, was better.

During the argument, Acevedo allegedly struck Mendez in the back of the head with a beer bottle. He then left his roomie on the ground, The Smoking Gun reports.

Police were called to the scene after getting a report of a bleeding man stumbling around the area, according to KJRH. They found Mendez covered in blood, and he told them about the Apple Vs. Android argument with Acevedo.

Mendez's car was found in the parking lot. Acevedo was found in the apartment he shared with the victim. He was covered in blood and had several lacerations on his body, according to a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun.

Both Mendez and Acevedo were taken to local hospitals and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, Tulsa World reports.

Acevedo was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon. Jail records also show he was being held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the website reports.

KTUL asked police which phone Acevedo preferred, but received no response.

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Rock Out (or Listen to Insightful Podcasts) in the Shower For $25

We've seen a handful of $25 Bluetooth speakers, but not many of them can go into the shower with you. The Omaker M4 can do just that thanks to its IP54-rated splash resistance, and still deliver up to 12 hours of playtime on a single charge. [Omaker M4 Splashproof Bluetooth Speaker, $25 with code 99OMAKER]

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What’s the Craziest Homemade Method For Smoking Weed You’ve Ever Seen?

Despite an outdated rep in popular culture as slackers, most weed connoisseurs that I know are crafty engineering sorts. A whole DIY culture of creating ways to ingest that sweet, sweet herb exists, especially prevalent in pre-vaporizer days. What’s the most bizarre build you’ve seen?

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Pitch Your Startup In The TechCrunch Radio Pitch-Off On Sirius XM

techcrunch-radio1


Sphero is turning the ‘Star Wars’ rolling droid into a real toy

BB-8, the new adorable droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has taken the world by storm over the past few days. In particular, people were mostly surprised by the fact that the character was not computer-generated imagery -- this thing is, indee...


The Incredible Jun: A Town that Runs on Social Media

We recently visited a small Spanish town that is using social media in a new way. Our research lab is studying the town to learn how these technologies might help communities around the world become more responsive to their citizens. This is a brief report on what we know so far.

For the last four years, a town in southern Spain has been conducting a remarkable experiment in civic life. Jun (pronounced "hoon") has been using Twitter as its principal medium for citizen-government communication. Leading the effort is Jun's Mayor, José Antonio Rodríguez Salas, a passionate believer in the power of technology to solve problems and move society forward.

Since launching the initiative in 2011, Rodríguez Salas has been recruiting his 3,500 townspeople to not only join the social network but have their Twitter accounts locally verified at town hall. This extra step isn't necessary to participate in the conversation -- Twitter is open to anyone -- but it helps town employees know they're dealing with actual residents.

In the most basic scenario, a citizen who has a question, request or complaint tweets it to the mayor or one of his staff, who work to resolve the matter. For instance, in the sequence of tweets shown below (which we pulled from the 2014 Twitter data and translated into English), at 10:48 pm a citizen tells the mayor that a street lamp is out on Maestro Antonio Linares Street. Nine minutes later, the mayor replies that he'll have the town electrician fix it the next day. The mayor's tweet includes the Twitter handle of the electrician, who is automatically notified that he's been mentioned and sees the exchange. That tweet is a public promise that the town will indeed take action, and to underline this it ends with the hashtag #JunGetsMoving. The next day, the electrician tweets a photo of the repaired fixture, thanking the citizen for his help and repeating the hashtag.

A citizen alerts the mayor to a broken street lamp. Two tweets later, it's fixed.


Governments have been responding to citizens for centuries. But digital networks have made it possible to build much faster, more efficient feedback loops. Each of the participants in the above transaction wrote a single text of less than 140 characters, and in less than 24 hours the problem was solved.

There are numerous cases of public officials responding to tweets. U.S. Senator Cory Booker made headlines several times for doing so when he was mayor of Newark, New Jersey. For a big city U.S. mayor, this was considered unusual behavior and therefore newsworthy. In Jun, however, it has been systematically adopted as the way things get done every day. If Rodriguez Salas didn't respond to an urgent citizen tweet, it would make headlines.

Because these communications occur on a public social platform, they can be seen by everyone in the community. This "mutual visibility" (sometimes called "mutual transparency") serves as both a carrot and a stick. On one hand, the government's performance comes under greater public scrutiny. If a broken streetlight isn't fixed, everyone knows it and the slacking employee is more likely to be disciplined or, if it becomes a pattern, fired. That's the stick.

But the good work done by public servants is also now visible to all and thus more likely to be recognized and rewarded. The carrots can be as small as a message being favorited or retweeted (the electrician received both), or as great as winning the esteem of one's neighbors and new status in the community. The operator of the town's street-sweeping machine, whose entertaining tweets have made him a local celebrity, told us that having his daily work seen and appreciated on the social platform has changed his life.

According to the mayor, this system is saving the town time and money. Tweeting is quicker than fielding and returning phone calls, which used to consume his day. He says these efficiencies have allowed him to reduce the police force from four employees to just one. Jun's sole police officer told us he now receives 40 to 60 citizen tweets per day, ranging from the serious (there's been a bad car accident) to the trivial (my neighbor is singing at all hours, please make him stop). He noted that being accessible to the public on a 24/7 social network has its downsides; to protect his family time, on arriving home in the evening he turns off his phone. But what if there's an emergency, we asked. Answer: It's a small town and everyone knows where he lives.

Jun citizens also use Twitter to voice their views on local issues. At town council meetings, which are streamed live on the web, those not physically present may participate by tweeting questions and comments, which appear on a screen in the council chamber.

Beyond government, the social network is broadly integrated into the town's everyday life, used for a wide variety of tasks such as publicizing social and cultural events, booking medical appointments, following youth sports teams, and just keeping up with neighbors. The town employee who tweets the school lunch menu each weekday told us on that on weekends she enjoys sharing some of her family's home life via tweets. One retiree who learned to use Twitter at a technology education center run by the town said the network has become his principal news source. "It's just like a newspaper!" he enthused, noting that the mayor tweets so often about national and global events, he's a one-man media outlet.

Jun essentially runs on Twitter, a groundbreaking use of social technology that, as far as we know, is unique. All over the world, digital technologies play a growing role in community management. In their book, The Responsive City, Stephen Goldsmith and Susan Crawford write about "the emerging cadre of officials and civic activists who are using the new data tools to transform city government" in Boston, Chicago, New York and elsewhere. The New York City police department recently started using Twitter to connect with citizens. But Jun is the first community to use a social medium comprehensively for all civic communication. And it happened in an entirely home-grown way. For the first couple of years, Twitter the company was not even aware of the experiment.

Our academic research group at the MIT Media Lab, the Laboratory for Social Machines, was founded last fall with a generous grant from Twitter, and one of us has a work relationship with Twitter. But the company doesn't select or shape our research projects, and our interest in Jun is ultimately not about one platform: It's about the future of all social media and their potential to reshape how communities large and small work. For studying these questions, Jun is an ideal laboratory, small enough that you can get a holistic feel for the place in a couple of days, and large enough that over time, through data analysis and on-the-ground research, meaningful lessons can be extracted. That's our hope, anyway.

Many of the Jun citizens we interviewed told us that the initiative has had a net positive effect on the town. "Twitter is a plus, it makes the town better," one said. Another noted that "it's an easy and fast way to connect" and that "people can build on each others' comments."

But it is not without its critics. One resident said he dislikes the way the mayor uses Twitter for self-promotion, and how town employees tend to parrot everything the boss says. The same person feels public servants shouldn't use their accounts to tweet about personal matters ("I don't care that they had paella for dinner.") Last time Rodríguez Salas ran for reelection, his opponent urged citizens to vote "for a real mayor, not a virtual one."

The mayor himself has a few problems with the system. He jokingly calls Twitter "the Society of the Minute" and says it has a way of making citizens more impatient with government. "In the real world, one in every 43 people has a problem with everything. On Twitter, it is one in 27" -- and they always expect an immediate response.

He notes that complicated public issues are difficult to discuss on Twitter because of its format. He also acknowledges that his ad hoc method for managing the incoming -- checking his phone often and responding right away -- could probably be improved. Somewhat miraculously, he's been governing the town with Twitter and virtual duct-tape, and perhaps could use a data-driven dashboard that organizes it all.

For a clearer perspective, we have begun analyzing Jun's Twitter data, along with other town records, from the beginning of the initiative to the present. Among the questions we're seeking to answer: Is public engagement on the rise as result of the experiment, and is the demographic composition of the conversation changing? Do citizens vote and attend town meetings more than they did in the past? Are public issues solved more efficiently? Has the use of this tool simply amplified old ways of governing Jun, or has mutual visibility shifted it in some fundamental way, perhaps towards decentralization?

We don't yet have the answers, but an initial mapping of the Twitter data has begun opening a new window on the town. In the screen shots below of a data explorer being developed by Martin Saveski, a graduate student at the Laboratory for Social Machines, each circle represents a Jun citizen or organization. The lines between the circles represent Twitter follower relationships. The larger the circle, the more "important" the position occupied by that person in the network (for this measure of Twitter importance -- by no means the only meaningful kind of importance in the community -- we used PageRank, Google's original algorithm for ranking web pages). The four colors denote different sub-networks of people within Jun who are closely tied to each other by their Twitter activity. In each figure, the personal connections of one particular citizen (the white circle) are highlighted, and further details about that person are shown in the box to the right. The first shot focuses on the mayor, the second on the electrician.

A visualization of the mayor's connections to the community (he's the white circle). To the right, more details about his public Twitter activity. (Click to enlarge).


For electrician Miguel Espigares (the white circle), the picture is different, reflecting his work and unique role in the town. (Visualizations by Martin Saveski.)


Through such analyses, we hope to gain insights that will help Jun make its system more effective. Our longer-term goal is to determine if it can be replicated at scale in larger communities, perhaps even major cities.

One key question is the leading role played by the mayor, who has held office for the last eleven years and before that was deputy to his father. Throughout those years, Jun was a trailblazer in applying digital tools to democracy, including electronic voting and live-streamed town meetings.

Rodríguez Salas, with his relentless belief in innovation, spearheaded all these efforts. Even before the Twitter experiment, a Spanish newspaper called him "El Alcalde Digital" (The Digital Mayor) while a national TV report dubbed the town "El Increíble Jun" (The Incredible Jun). He convinced Junians to adopt a new flag with the town motto -- "Love" -- spelled out in binary code. Between his personal and official mayoral accounts, he has about 350,000 Twitter followers -- that's 100 times the population of Jun, and about 100,000 more followers than New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has in his two verified accounts. This is not just any small-town mayor. He also has a warm personality and a common touch. As he walks down the street, a bunch of middle-school-aged boys run up to him shouting, "Mayor! Mayor!" and the first thing he does is make sure they're on Twitter and he's following them.

In short, the mayor has an unusual combination of tech sophistication and personal charisma. Is such a leader required for bringing government into the social age? Could the Jun system work in a metropolis with millions of citizens and a different kind of mayor? Rodríguez Salas thinks so and he has ideas about how.

José Antonio Rodríguez Salas, Mayor of Jun (photo by Álex Cámara)


For now, in conversation he returns often to his primary goal: making democracy more transparent and participatory. In his office, where the blue Twitter bird adorns the wall behind his desk (in the spot where a portrait of the Spanish king used to hang), he recently installed glass ceiling panels open to the sky to symbolize the new transparency. The citizens will soon have a chance to pass judgment on his work: In elections next month, they will decide whether to give him another term.

Meanwhile, we'll be digging deeper into the data and sharing what we learn from one town's surprising leap into the socio-political future. Stay tuned.

Deb Roy is associate professor at the MIT Media Lab where he directs the Laboratory for Social Machines, as well as Chief Media Scientist of Twitter. William Powers is a research scientist at the Laboratory for Social Machines and author of the New York Times bestseller Hamlet's BlackBerry.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



PornHub’s New PSA Reminds You To Touch Your Balls

PornHub, one of the world’s leading pornography destinations, is throwing in its support for testicular cancer awareness month with a new PSA video cleverly titled “Charlotte Stokely teaches you to last longer.” (Obviously, obviously not safe for work.)

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Get ready: Websites can push notifications on Android through Chrome – ZDNet

Tech News Today
Get ready: Websites can push notifications on Android through Chrome
ZDNet
Push notifications on your phone or tablet are no longer the domain of native apps. With Chrome version 42, Google added the ability for websites to send notifications to an Android phone. Don't get too upset if you're already getting inundated with


What Your Facebook Use Reveals About Your Personality

Every day when Facebook asks, "What's on your mind?" around 400 million people respond with a status message. While some people take the opportunity to share about their latest meal, other people post photos or inspirational messages. Over the past few years, researchers have discovered the way people choose to present themselves on Facebook speaks volumes about their personality and self-esteem.

Examining your behavior on social media could give you insight into your own personality, as well as how others perceive you. You may think you're presenting yourself in a certain light only to discover other people view your behavior completely different.

Here are seven things our Facebook interactions reveal about people:

1. People with a lot of Facebook friends tend to have low self-esteem. A 2012 study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that people with low self-esteem who worried about their public perception had the most Facebook friends. The researchers concluded that self-conscious people compensate for low self-esteem by trying to appear popular on Facebook.

2. Extroverts update their status more often than introverts. Just like in real life, extroverts socialize more on social media, according to a 2014 study titled "Personality Traits and Self-Presentation at Facebook ." The study found that extroverts use the like button more often, upload more pictures, and update their status more frequently than introverts.

3. Conscientious people organize their photos carefully. Conscientious people are self-disciplined hard-workers who spend the least amount of time on Facebook. A 2014 study published in Computers in Human Behavior, reports that when conscientious people do use Facebook, they do so in a very organized manner. For example, they may create neat folders to help share their photos with friends and family in a methodical and convenient way.

4. Open people fill out their personal profiles most thoroughly. A 2010 study called, "Social Network Use and Personality," discovered that open people--described as artistic, imaginative, and creative--use the most features on Facebook and are most likely to complete the personal information sections. They also tend to post more "wall messages" when communicating with specific friends.

5. Narcissists make deeper self-disclosures that contain self-promotional content. Narcissists--people with an inflated self-concept and a strong sense of uniqueness and superiority--seek attention and affirmation on Facebook. A 2014 study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that narcissists posted more frequently about themselves in an attempt to attract likes and comments that fuel their beliefs about self-importance. Other studies have found that narcissistic people love to post selfies and they share the ones where they think they look most attractive in hopes of gaining admiration.

6. Neurotic people post mostly photos. A 2014 study titled, "Capturing Personality from Facebook Photos and Photo-Related Activity," found that highly neurotic people -- those most prone to stress and anxiety -- seek acceptance by publishing photos. Since neurotic people struggle with communication and social skills, researchers believe they use photos on Facebook as a means to express themselves. Also, photos are less controversial than comments -- which could lead to a lot of anxiety as they wait for other people's responses.

Neurotic people tend to have the most photos per album. Researchers believe this stems from their desire to present themselves positively. They may use photos to try and appear happier and to show they are able to keep up with their friends. Over time, however, the behavior of highly neurotic people tends to change. They're likely to imitate their friends' Facebook behavior in an attempt to seek acceptance and decrease feelings of loneliness.

7. Agreeable people are tagged in other people's photos most often. A 2012 study titled, "Personality and Patterns of Facebook Usage," found that the higher a person ranks in personality scales for agreeableness, the more likely that person will be tagged in Facebook photos posted by other people. Since agreeable people tend to behave warm and friendly and less competitive, it's not surprising that their friends enjoy taking lighthearted pictures with them and sharing them on Facebook.

Although we may think we're masking our insecurities or portraying ourselves in the most favorable light, our behavior on social media reveals more than we might think. It's not just what we post on Facebook that reveals information about our personalities -- it's also what we don't post that can be quite telling. It's likely that our personality profiles will continue to play a major role in how advertisers market to us and how companies will choose to hire people in the future.

Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, a bestselling book that is being translated into more than 20 languages.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Funny video parodies extreme GoPro videos with boring office job clips

Everybody’s life seems to be so awesome when they strap on a GoPro and hit record. It’s like they’ve joined a secret club where everyone jumps out of planes for breakfast, beat avalanches for lunch, go spearfishing for dinner and fly in a wing suit for a light dessert. But the truth is, not everyone’s life is that amazing! Sometimes we’re stuck in our office job sending out envelopes.

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Girl Scout Cookies, or California’s Most Notorious Strain of Cannabis

I first heard of Girl Scout Cookies a few years ago, shortly after I got my prescription for cannabis in California. I went into my local dispensary and asked for whatever buds they had that smelled the nicest. “Have you tried Girl Scout Cookies?” the woman behind the counter asked. “It’s famous.”

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Girl Scout Cookies, or California’s Most Notorious Strain of Cannabis

I first heard of Girl Scout Cookies a few years ago, shortly after I got my prescription for cannabis in California. I went into my local dispensary and asked for whatever buds they had that smelled the nicest. “Have you tried Girl Scout Cookies?” the woman behind the counter asked. “It’s famous.”

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Chrome’s push notifications reach your Android phone

Chrome's website push notifications are no longer confined to your desktop -- they now surface on your phone, too. Grab Chrome 42 for Android and you can opt into alerts from websites that show up no matter what you're doing. You won't have to worry ...


No, a CIA agent didn’t just admit to murdering Marilyn Monroe

Did a retired CIA officer recently admit on his deathbed that he murdered Marilyn Monroe? Nope. It’s all part of a stupid hoax from fake news site World News Daily Report.

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No, a CIA agent didn’t just admit to murdering Marilyn Monroe

Did a retired CIA officer recently admit on his deathbed that he murdered Marilyn Monroe? Nope. It’s all part of a stupid hoax from fake news site World News Daily Report.

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I’m Buying a Wristable

2015-04-20-1429557273-3387377-AppleiPhoneEvent2014AppleWatchIntroduction171280x718850x718.jpg
Once again Apple has confounded the digibabblists, perplexed their competitors, baffled the analysts, and in general annoyed and irritated all the self-proclaimed digital-first... or is it mobile-first?... or perhaps our proclamation of the day should be wearable-first... experts, pundits and gurus.

And, once again, we approach a product and category as if ex nihilo we have created something new and unique and even godly, as "In the Beginning..."

My readers know that I am obsessed with learning from the past -- mistakes, success, abject failure and even just plain no big deal can help us understand human behavior and motivation -- and that nothing gets my dander up more than the notion of dismissing it all as irrelevant because digital or mobile or now wearable has created never-before-seen, never-before-experienced, never-before-imaginable dynamics.

Nonsense.

Not for now, but worth a quick mention -- sharing is in our DNA. It's why we love the applications that make it better and more efficient. Live events have always drawn huge crowds and they have always been the touchstone of interactivity (see: the Roman Colosseum). Amazon did not create shopping or the idea of cheap aggregation (read: the Amazon Manifesto and the Sears and Roebuck statement of purpose from the 1890s, and finally, I highly recommend studying the Paris Exposition of 1900 and the Chicago World's Fair of 1934 to learn about the possibilities of the IoT). You will be amazed.

On to watches -- my subject at hand -- and my admiration for Apple.

In February of 2007, Apple took a 30-second spot (long-form video content, if you like, digibabble) on the live broadcast of the Academy Awards and launched the iPhone. If you don't remember it or never saw it -- or experienced it (I need to keep my cred) -- you must. I have used it as a touchstone to understand Apple, but more so to ground me in better understanding the potential for our world.

Never do you see a product; not once do they tout the technology; not once do they whack you over the head with the "magic". They don't have to. They just told you that Apple was launching a Phone -- an iPhone to be exact -- and you conjured up way more enchantment in your imagination, knowing that it was Apple, than they ever could have by confusing you with digibabble.

Now on to the watch.

While the pundits pundit and the analysts analyze, and we see earnest hand-wringing over whether or not Apple will be successful, they continue to understand people and behavior and have not launched the iWatch or the iWearable or the iWrist or anything close. It's the plain old Apple Watch -- and all that comes with being a plain old Apple anything -- and you can check out this piece by Matthew Sparkes, Deputy Head of Technology of The Telegraph.

I also recommend reading a piece from two years ago by Alexis McCrossen, author of Marking Modern Times: A History of Clocks, Watches, and Other Timekeepers in American Life, called "Why the iWatch Will Likely Fail"..."The history of wearable technology says that timepieces are better in pockets than on wrists."

Frankly, history records the opposite in terms of pockets and wrists, and I do give credit for the small i's as this is about the category and not Apple in specific and as I suggested. The i's might just be the clue for why this is different.

Truth is I love watches as much as I love tech. In fact, the best watches are all about brilliant tech, and if you have ever studied a "complication" I'd amend and say beautiful tech.

In fact, I had an early "digital" watch circa 1976 or so before they became cheap and ubiquitous. They were expensive, clunky but were designed to compete with watch fashion -- which by the way had not yet entered the renaissance it's in today. It was cool. I watched it incessantly -- both because the changing numbers were mesmerizing and also because it was hard to read the red readout.

And beautiful tech has always been the tip of the spear for Apple. While everyone else had boring brown boxes, they broke the mold. While everyone else had a screen that was designed for techies, they made it accessible for all, and in a twist of their famous 1984 Lemmings spot, the rest of the industry followed them -- often surpassed them -- but always followed.

And that is why I am not obsessed with the success or failure of the Apple Watch. They will -- I'd argue they have -- set in motion a chain of partnerships, developments and creative thinking that will enhance our lives and the future.

"Don't waste time arguing about whether or not they supplant Switzerland" -- as the Wall Street Journal has...read John Biggs' (@johnbiggs) wonderful piece: "If Switzerland Is Fucked, Then the iWatch Is, Too"

Best line: "To suggest that the iWatch will influence Swiss watch buyers is like saying the market for a fine Bordeaux is affected by the advent of a new flavor of Vitamin Water."

And if you are worried that a whole new slew of behavior -- mostly bad, it would seem from the postings -- will ensue... never fear!!! Read up on the evolution of the pocket watch into the wristwatch (both wearables BTW) and you will find that people way back when had the same fears and still do today -- looking at your watch during a meeting, a personal encounter, social function or the like is considered the height of rudeness. Human behavior marches on....

Perhaps we should all refer back to a 1913 Hamilton Watch ad that described their new product as a tool for moral improvement because it leads its owners to form desirable habits of promptness and precision.

Imagine how we can morally improve by adding unfettered access to our wrists... I shudder.

Or maybe remember that pocket watches made the trains run on time and were the first true democratizers of technology, and that the wrist version was seen as a women's accoutrement until World War I proved its application in making that tragic endeavor more efficient.

And then, of course, there is the often referenced role that watches played in "illicit" love affairs for all of the obvious reasons, and for all of the same obvious reasons will continue to do so in its latest form as well.

Bottom line: Since Walter Dudley gave Queen Elizabeth an "arm-watch" in 1571 (imagine if he had known it was really a wearable), the concept has remained the same... information that adds value to our lives is readily available for us to see.

And now we have more...

I will have one -- I have a Pebble, too -- but I will never ever give up my other watches as well. No doubt I will find a balance and the appropriate place for each and all.

At the end of the day, it's all about what we do with it that matters. Our phone behavior is already rude, discourteous and bordering on out-of-control disrespect -- mine too, way too often, nothing new there -- but here is the clue: Listen.

Watches are so named as a reminder -- if you don't watch carefully what you do with your time, it will slip away from you." -- Drew Sirtors

Maybe Apple is trying to tell us something and we should listen.

What do you think?

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



This New Series About Hacking Could Actually Be Amazing

Here’s the teaser for the new hacker television series Mr. Robot that took the South by Southwest Film Festival by storm earlier this year. It’s sort of like a darker version of Hackers, with a tormented geek hero named Elliot who is tempted by Anonymous-like forces of chaos.

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What’s the Best Smartphone Running Band?

For those of us who haven’t “upgraded” to a smartwatch or sports watch, the ability to run and/or workout with our phones comfortably and unhindered is still essential. Let’s band together and find the best smartphone running band.

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HBO Just Bought A New Web Series With Pick Up Of Vimeo’s ‘High Maintenance’

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