A milestone moment for Microsoft: .NET is now an open-source project
In what probably never would have happened under the first two CEOs to lead the historic software company, Microsoft plans to announce on Wednesday that it is open sourcing the entire .NET framework, a symbolic move by the Redmond, Washington-based legacy technology company officially recognizing that the open-source model of software development is here to stay.
'Tales from the Borderlands' fans finally glimpse its gameplay in new trailer
Telltale Games shows off the first gameplay trailer for 'Tales of the Borderlands,' which is due out before the end of the year.
'Too Many Cookies' is the sweetest 'Too Many Cooks' parody ever
Tough Pigs parodies viral hit "Too Many Cooks" with 'Sesame Street'-inspired "Too Many Cookies."
Meet the 20-Year-Old Who Built a YouTube Product Review Empire | WIRED
Marques Brownlee is a YouTube sensation. The tech-review prodigy has 1.8 million subscribers—more followers than Kanye West, Marvel, or Disney Animation.
No one dances to Taylor Swift songs in the car harder than Taylor Swift
BBC Radio 1's Greg James danced to Taylor Swift's "Blank Space" in a car with Taylor Swift.
EyeFocus Accelerator Launches In Berlin To Focus On Eye-care Startups
EyeFocus is the world's first accelerator for eye-care startups, and has a strong social undertone - we want to create successful businesses that also change lives. There are 280m people with visual impairment and eye disease, and 90% are in poor countries. 80% is curable, and we want to focus the disruptive innovation of startups onto this problem.
We are investing up to 20,000 Euros into startups …
Assassin's Creed Rogue Review-in-Progress - IGN
The sequences outside of the Animus also support this approach. Like in Black Flag, these sections take place in first-person with you working for Abstergo industries. You quickly gain access to classified documents, which present the villains of previous games in a much more sympathetic light. I’m by no means an Assassin’s Creed scholar, but I’ve played all the major entries in the series and it seems like everything is on the cusp of being undermined and overthrown, which feels exciting. I just hope it follows through on this approach with conviction, introducing true ambiguity to the series, revising key episodes, rather than using it as a simple pretence for Shay breaking bad.
Arrow: "Guilty" Review - IGN
Arrow continues to experience some growing pains as it introduces more new characters and struggles to build an overarching conflict for Season 3. "Guilty" should have been a much-needed platform for Roy after weeks of neglect. Instead, he was sidelined in favor of ted Grant and his own former sidekick. There were some standout moments this week (the fight between Ollie and ted in particular), but the writing was just too choppy overall and focused on the wrong elements.
Meet Microsoft's New Movie Creator Beta App for Windows Phone
It’s worth pointing out here that unlike some other editors, Movie Creator lets you use clips or images recorded on other devices too. However, you’ll need to import or download the clips into the video or photo folders on your device before starting as the clip selection location options are pretty limited – you can’t import directly from OneDrive, for example. The same is true for photos or music that you may want to use, they’ll need to be on the device before you start.
Listening To Your Body Clock Can Make You More Productive And Improve Your Well-Being
The implications of internal clock research are profound. For starters, research suggests the standard 9 to 5 working day is antiquated, reflecting an agrarian economy (where everyone needs to be up with the lark) not a globalized knowledge one. Second, it implies that making everyone start the day at the same time is fundamentally unfair to people who aren't at their best in the morning. And three—more positively—it says we might engineer a rise in productivity if we organized things differently.
Facebook's New Privacy Rules Clear the Way for Payments Push and Location-Based Ads
We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends. We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.
South Park: "Grounded Vindaloop" Review - IGN
Sometimes, episodes of South Park aren't as funny as they could have been, but their concept and execution are so well done that it doesn't really matter whether you laughed or not. This week's "Grounded Vindaloop" was definitely one of those episodes. From the previews, it looked like Matt and Trey were going to be making fun of Oculus Rift and virtual reality tech in general -- similar to what they did last week with freemium games. To some extent it did, particularly early on when Cartman tricked Butters into taking his own "headset" for a test spin. However, the main point of this storyline wasn't to satirize the technology itself. Rather, VR was used as a means of taking the viewer on a wild and crazy head trip.
Taylor Swift's label hits back at Spotify by disclosing streaming royalties
A Spotify spokesperson told Time that Swift had been paid a total of $2 million over the last 12 months for the global streaming of her songs, but Borchetta still maintains that Spotify is a blight on the music industry. "The facts show that the music industry was much better off before Spotify hit these shores," he said, clarifying the amount Spotify paid out over the last year as "the equivalent of less than 50,000 albums sold." According to Borchetta, Swift earns more from her videos on Vevo than she did from having her music on Spotify.
The Art of Not Working at Work
What's more, the jobs that are created often come up short on providing fulfillment. Involuntary slacking may first be conceived of as real bliss: “Hey, I don’t have to work!” one of my interviewees recalls. But as the years pass by, most of us will crave some type of meaningful activity. I interviewed an archivist who wrote his master’s thesis while at work and a subway-ticket collector who composed music in his little booth. If you're lucky, these activities may be pursued within the frame of wage labor—but that's very hard to come by. Our economy produces inequalities in income and job security, but also, we should acknowledge, in stimulation and substance.
Gogobot Gets $20 Million In Strategic Investment Led By HomeAway
To expand its business, Gogobot has raised $20 million in Series C financing led by HomeAway, and the vacation rental company’s CEO Brian Sharples will be joining Gogobot’s board of directors. Existing investors Redpoint Ventures and Battery Ventures also participated in the round.
Facebook Launches New Places Directory To Rival Yelp
Facebook has quietly launched a new Places Directory , which lets you search for the best destinations in cities across the world. Once you’ve searched for a specific city or town, you can select from restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, attractions, arts & entertainment, gyms, cinemas, schools and universities, theatres, supermarkets and landmarks.
Facebook turns its data policy into something a human can actually read
Discover what’s going on around you: We’re updating our policies to explain how we get location information depending on the features you decide to use. Millions of people check into their favorite places and use optional features like Nearby Friends. We’re working on ways to show you the most relevant information based on where you are and what your friends are up to. For example, in the future, if you decide to share where you are, you might see menus from restaurants nearby or updates from friends in the area.
Staples enables support for Apple Pay in its retail stores
Staples now offers its customers access to Apple Pay, a new service that will transform mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay. In Staples over 1,400 stores in the United States, Apple Pay works with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch, upon availability.
Hachette book preorders return to Amazon as companies come to terms
Meanwhile, readers and authors felt the effects, as Amazon started playing hardball soon after the dispute broke out in May. The retailer stopped taking preorders on Hachette books and carried fewer physical copies in its warehouses, leading to shipment delays. Amazon also stopped offering discounts on many Hachette titles, all the while encouraging customers to shop elsewhere .
The Illusion Machine That Teaches Us How We See - Issue 19: Illusions - Nautilus
Sugihara’s ability to systematically manufacture illusions presents a new opportunity to probe our visual system. Another visual theory many psychologists entertain, Sugihara said, is that the vision system chooses the most symmetric possible interpretation of what it sees. He has begun to work with Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a psychologist who studies illusions at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, to figure out which of Sugihara’s illusions would best distinguish between this theory and the right-angle theory. The work should help researchers understand what priority we give to various visual shortcuts. As a rule, Martinez-Conde says, the lower down in the visual hierarchy an illusion gets processed, the harder it is to dispel. Depth illusions, which happen at a middle level of visual processing and describe much of Sugihara’s work, are “very resilient,” she says.
“Do I Sound Gay?” Explores The Linguistic and Cultural Roots of The Gay Voice
Savage: Those ’30s portrayals were more positive. These were men with a certain expertise and wisdom and they had something to offer. Right now, the effeminacy of men is still stigmatized. When a Jason Collins or a Michael Sam come out as gay, people are like, this shatters the stereotype that all gay man are effeminate. Well, many gay men are and why does that need to be shattered? That’s a fact. They deserve representation. I get a little bit passionate about it. Effeminate gay men made the world safe for Jason Collins to come out. It was the swishy queens manning the barricades for decades, alone, that made the world safe for the more gender conforming people to finally come out of the closet. Jason Collins is wonderful and very smart and speaks well about his gay experience but it wasn’t the athletes that come out first. It was the hairdressers.
Amazon and Hachette end publishing dispute
He added: “This a multi-year deal so it gives all parties breathing space to watch this market develop and figure out their slices of the pie. There was a sense that Amazon was trying to railroad publishers in a certain direction and in a certain fashion, which would not have played out too well for authors or readers, and this gives a period of grace to work out how to tackle some of the big questions about publishing’s transition to digital.”
A Gold-Rimmed Basketball Hoop, Yours for Just $995 | WIRED
How much would you pay for these amazing products? Forty bucks? Fifty maybe? Pffft. Move along, there’s nothing for you here. The Killspencer Indoor Mini Basketball Kit costs $795, and that’s for the metal-rim version. Want the gold-rim version? Of course you do. That’ll be $995, please. And that’s just for the rim, the backboard, and the net. If you want to do anything other than stare at it, it’ll cost you at least $300 for a matching ball to complete the kit. Yes, it’s a beautiful black full-grain leather basketball that probably smells and feels wonderful, but it’s still a $300 miniature basketball. There’s also a version of the ball made with perforated leather if you want to step it up to $375.
'Ebola is spreading before our eyes': A week in Devil Hole, Sierra Leone
is a leading source for news, information and resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's record 40 million unique visitors worldwide and 19 million social media followers are one of the most influential and engaged online communities. Founded in 2005, Mashable is headquartered in New York City with an office in San Francisco.
The 100: "Many Happy Returns" Review - IGN
Raven’s was perhaps the most small scale, but if you care about Raven (and I sure hope you do), it was still easy to invest in. Her plight, as she tried to act as though she wasn’t damaged in the way she was -- and could still function like she used to -- was really heartbreaking. The scene where she couldn’t climb the ladder was especially emotional and really well done by Lindsey Morgan. And using Wick (a minor character introduced on the Ark near the end of Season 1) as someone she has a friendship with, gave her both a good sounding board and source of support – quite literally, as he made her that leg brace. (For any fellow Battlestar Galactica fans, it was also amusing to see Sinclair be sympathetic to Raven, given Alessandro Juliani got to portray his own leg-based difficulties on that series).
Despite years of Solyndra hand wringing, DOE loan program is now profitable
For example, the DOE loan program funded a number of large solar panel farms that couldn’t get debt financing with its first $30 billion about five years ago, Moniz pointed out last month. But now that solar panel farm development has come down in price substantially, and private funding has become readily available, the private sector has taken over this type of investment and the DOE has moved on. This is the type of model that works for the DOE, said Moniz. But of course bringing newly commercial technologies to market can be risky.
Techdirt Podcast Episode 1: Can You Increase Privacy With More Surveillance... And More Transparency? | Techdirt
For quite some time we've been talking about launching a Techdirt podcast. After a few aborted attempts, we're finally off and running. This is the first episode, and we'll be trying to stick to a weekly-ish schedule (no promises). We'll be posting each episode here on Techdirt, but you can also find it and subscribe to it via Soundcloud and iTunes , or point your podcast player directly to the RSS feed (so what are you waiting for?). As I say in the intro, this is very much an experiment, and we'll be learning and tweaking as we go (and, yes, we already know that the sound quality needs to be improved -- we're working on it). The plan is to in some ways mimic the Techdirt format with an essay (some might say a rant) up front, followed by a discussion, but with the topic areas to be less news driven, but rather driven by larger ideas/concepts that we think are worth discussing. In this first episode, we're discussing privacy and surveillance, but coming at it from a different direction than most such discussions. I hope you enjoy it.
As Americans Get Fatter, Crash Test Dummies Have To Get Fatter, Too
When auto manufacturers send a car flying into a wall for a safety test, the typical crash test dummy strapped inside weighs 169 pounds. Not so long ago, that was the average size of an adult man. Now, however, Americans have gotten so fat that the old crash test dummies aren't accurate enough.
Microsoft Buys Israeli Hybrid Cloud Security Startup Aorato In $200M Deal
More generally, an acquisition in the area of enterprise security is a move to make sure Microsoft stays relevant to what businesses are needing today. Security has become a key area for research and investment — particularly with the rise of cloud-services, BYOD devices and use of apps that are in general harder for IT managers to control; not to mention the rise in data breaches that tap into all of these things.
Why it’s time for Facebook to offer a “pay for privacy” feature
First off, who owns the data in the first place? Why would a user have to pay to have their data private? Second, Facebook would have to be able to turn on and off private data access on a data by data element on a per user basis for a specified period of time (while they were paying) – unlikely, but not impossible. Third, given Facebook’s history, would the user trust them even if they are paying – would there be loop holes whereby certain paid for private data would still be available for certain uses by Facebook (most certainly, as this is how they make money). Fourth, if you want privacy, stop using Facebook and WhatsApp for that matter, as they both “gather” so much information about you, keep your posts and messages on their servers … and you have no idea – use other products that are private and don’t keep your messages and posts (or at least don’t mine them) (ex. RakEM, Path).
Samsung’s Gear VR Shows the Promise, and the Problems, of Mobile Virtual Reality | MIT Technology Review
The resurgence of the technology—more than two decades after the initial virtual reality rush of the late 1980s—is being driven in part by the giddy excitement of enthusiasts. The shift to mobile VR may be happening before the true value of the technology has been established. There are many interesting games and applications in development, but nothing that demonstrates VR’s necessity, or why it should propagate to new platforms with such urgency. Gear VR’s challenge is to not only clear the technological hurdles but also demonstrate the broader usefulness of immersive virtual worlds.
Updated: Amazon and Hachette have officially reached a new contract
See that “responsibility for setting consumer prices”? Yep, that’s the return of agency ebook pricing about two and a half years after the Department of Justice first sued Apple and publishers for conspiring to set ebook prices. Obviously, neither Amazon nor Hachette is offering very specific details about the contract they agreed on, but the public disclosures about the deal make it sound similar to the one recently reached between Amazon and Simon & Schuster .
Amazon gingerly embraces the hybrid cloud
For the past two years AWS’s re:Invent conferences have primarily been about Amazon’s public cloud. In 2014, no doubt the focus is still on public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). But Amazon is starting to embrace hybrid clouds now too, at least in its own way.
Since then, Facebook has taken steps to engage with privacy advocates and educate users on its policies. In June, it began allowing users to opt out of targeted ads on Facebook that are based on their browsing habits off of the network. In September, it offered a “Privacy Checkup” to all users, including tips on how to better control their data.
Google Wallet API for digital goods will be retired on March 2, 2015
Google has quietly revealed it plans to retire the Google Wallet API for digital goods on March 2, 2015. The company plans to continue supporting the sale of apps on Google Play as well as in-app payments, but users will not be able to purchase any virtual items offered on the Web through Google Wallet.
Exclusive: U.S. FTC asking Apple about health data protection
The two people, both familiar with the FTC's thinking, said Apple representatives have met on multiple occasions with agency officials in recent months, to stress that it will not sell its users' health data to third-party entities such as marketers or allow third-party developers to do so.
Reddit CEO Yishan Wong resigns after row about new office space
Sam Altman , one of Reddit’s advisers, said Wong left after “a disagreement with the board about a new office (location and amount of money to spend on a lease). To be clear, though, we didn’t ask or suggest that he resign – he decided to when we didn’t approve the new office plan.”
Amazon Announces EC2 Container Service For Managing Docker Containers On AWS
As Amazon notes, you won’t have to install specific cluster-management software or hardware or match your hardware to your software needs. Instead, the EC2 Container Service will manage all of that for you. You launch some instances in a cluster, define tasks and start them. From there, the service will handle the rest. Users can extend the service with other Docker-related products like Mesos, too. Amazon, of course, is also launching a number of new APIs to manage these containers programmatically.
Judge sides with ICANN: Plaintiffs can’t take all of Iran’s domain names
In an eight-page memorandum opinion published on Monday, Judge Royce Lamberth agreed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and found that the ccTLDs of North Korea, Syria, and Iran could not be transferred to the plaintiffs, who had sued as part of a terrorism lawsuit dating back over a decade. Had the judge ruled in the other direction, the plaintiff could have seized all .KP, .SY and .IR domain names.
Verizon to give away free stuff on a holiday it just made up: Connection Day
The holidays make people do crazy things. People come to blows in the aisles of Walmart, literally stomp on each other in a race over a stuffed animal, and shopping on Thanksgiving? That’s a special kind of crazy. For others, however, the holidays bring on a spirit of goodwill and generosity. Would you believe Verizon seems to be leaning toward the latter? It may sound off, but Verizon this year is giving stuff away as part of its own small holiday: Connection Day .
Ta Dah! Meet Amazon EC2 Container Service
This service will make it easy for you for run any number of Docker containers across a managed cluster of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances using powerful APIs and other tools. You do not have to install cluster management software, purchase and maintain the cluster hardware, or match your hardware inventory to your software needs when you use ECS. You simply launch some instances in a cluster, define some tasks, and start them. ECS is built around a scalable, fault-tolerant, multi-tenant base that takes care of all of the details of cluster management on your behalf.
The DJI Inspire One is the coolest drone I've ever seen
DJI settled on a retail price of $2,800. That fits in between the roughly $1,000 Phantom and $7,000 S-1000. It's a big chunk of change for a holiday gift, although if the Phantom is any indication, that price will come down quickly. For the true newbie, the Inspire might be more power than they need, especially when you can get a great drone for $500, but for anyone who is looking to step up their drone game without breaking the bank, the Inspire One is a pretty revelatory piece of machinery.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Review: A Screen That Gives 110%
I don’t object to the physical form. Thumbs are the most important digits for operating smartphones, and the curved edge was built for thumbing. Holding the Note Edge phablet is more comfortable than you might think, at least if you’re right handed. The right-edge screen has a bezel at the bottom where your thumb can rest. And if you do inadvertently brush the screen, Samsung’s multitouch system can usually differentiate it from an intentional tap.
Calendar App Sunrise Showcases Where iOS 8 Widgets Shine
Sunrise has been one of my favorite mobile apps for years now. But the brand new 3.0 update for iOS, combined with iOS 8, makes it one of the best examples of a good iOS 8 widget for the Today view. In one swipe, I can now view my upcoming events and all-day events. As a reminder, Sunrise works with iCloud calendars, Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange.
The Galaxy Note Edge Is A True Cutting-Edge Phablet
That, in a nutshell, is the primary difference between the Note 4 and the Note Edge – the Edge. This extra space is visible from the side of the phone and so can be used as a nighttime bedside clock that displays the time and weather as well as a mini voice recorder and even a ruler which, contrary to expectations, was quite usable. It also acts as sort of a window top bar in some apps as well. Is this enough of a feature to abandon, say, a brand new Note 4? Absolutely not. The edge is a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have. But taken to its logical conclusion we could assume that Samsung could put edges on both sides of the unit and do away with the bezel completely. The Note Edge isn’t about changing functionality as much as it’s about changing perception. When the screen is bendable, new tools can appear and Samsung is clearly interested in showing it is riding the cutting edge.
BBM Meetings has been a long time coming for BlackBerry and is supposed to facilitate collaboration on the go. It takes BBM’s video and voice chat functionality and puts an enterprise spin on things. Meetings allows for up to 25 participants as well as screensharing, the ability to launch a meeting directly from a BBM chat, support for scheduling meetings via address book, BBM or email, and the ability to invite participants on the fly. It also eliminates the need for PINs or unique IDs to join a call. All you have to do is answer the call like you would a normal phone call and you’ve joined the meeting.
Google’s new Messenger app lands in Play Store with Material Design
According to its Play Store listing, Google Messenger lets you select pictures and videos – or take new ones – from directly within the app for fast and simple sharing. If your fingers are done for the day, you can also fire off audio messages to contacts with a couple of taps.
Reddit Investor on CEO Resignation: ‘We Were Caught Off Guard’
The social news site said on Thursday that CEO Yishan Wong had abruptly resigned, apparently over a dispute involving office space. In his place, the company’s chief operating officer, Ellen Pao, a former partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, will act as the interim CEO. Reddit’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian will return as executive chairman, and another executive, Dan McComas will become senior vice president of product.
Google urges US government to extend the US Privacy Act to EU citizens
After the revelations in 2013 of widespread government surveillance via telecoms and Internet companies, “Google and many other technology companies have urged the U.S. to take the lead and introduce reforms that ensure government surveillance activity is clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight,” said David Drummond, Google’s Chief Legal Officer in a blog post. “ Sadly, we’ve seen little serious reform to date .”
U.S. government warns on bug in Apple's iOS software
(Reuters) - The U.S. government warned iPhone and iPad users on Thursday to be on the alert for hackers who may exploit a vulnerability in Apple Inc's ( AAPL.O ) iOS operating system that would enable them to steal sensitive data.
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CRM and Cloud Computing To Grow Your Business - Salesforce.com
Customer relationship management (CRM) is all about managing the relationships you have with your customers. CRM combines business processes, people, and technology to achieve this single goal: getting and keeping customers. It's an overall strategy to help you learn more about their behavior so you can develop stronger, lasting relationships that will benefit both of you. It’s very hard to run a successful business without a strong focus on CRM, as well as adding elements of social media and making the transition to a social enterprise to connect with customers in new ways.
The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance
Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.
Why work doesn't happen at work
Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. In his talk, he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.
(Filmed at TEDxMidWest.)