How 2 Animators Recreated Pixar Magic — Without Pixar
When two Pixar animators took a three-month leave to develop the short film The Dam Keeper, they took a DIY approach.
Weibo’s IPO May Underwhelm, But Don’t Discount Other Chinese Tech Stocks | TechCrunch
Weibo, which has about 143.8 million monthly active users and is known for its impact on public discourse in China, sold 16.8 million American Depositary Shares (ADS) for $17 each. Those figures mean it underperformed Sina’s own expectations, which were to sell 20 million ADSs at between $17 and $19 per share.
Sonos Wants To Ditch Its Only Annoying Shortcoming | TechCrunch
Sonos has often been praised for its super minimalist setup process. Power up a couple Sonos speakers in different rooms, open the smartphone app, and boom — wireless sound around your house… right?
Beautiful Wooden Stand Elevates Your iMac | Cult of Mac
Sometimes the simplest things are the best. A pen and paper for writing shopping lists. A broom instead of a Roomba. An Aeropress instead of a crappy K-cup. And now, a Lifta iMac stand instead of, uh, more complicated iMac stands.
Amazon to expand Fire TV's voice search with support for Hulu Plus, Crackle, and Showtime
The Fire TV's voice search functionality is very impressive — we found it to be faster and more accurate than any other voice recognition service we've used. But being limited to just Amazon and Vevo content really held it back from being all that it could be. The new sources will help make Fire TV's voice search more practical, but it is still missing support for key services such as Netflix. The Fire TV also doesn't have access to HBO Go at all.
Lending Club Raises $115 Million, Acquires Springstone Financial for $140 Million
Here's his former quant from a few years ago on her blog with a few interesting items about the Lending club, scoring and data selling...sooo...here's a quick quote...she presents pros and cons. By the way in my footer from a couple years ago, great lecture from her and the name of her new book in the works "Weapons of Math Destruction"..can't wait until it comes out. Video is good and interesting to hear her talk about how the geeks aka quants never get a say but they are the geniuses that do the work, Larry wanted red and blue on the chart...anyone can do that on a spreadsheet but an example of lack of respect of true talent.
Aereo Launches ProtectMyAntenna.org To Explain Its Position Vs. Broadcasters | TechCrunch
Aereo says this new site is in part an answer to requests it has received from its users regarding how they might be able to help the startup in terms of spreading the word about the service, how it works and what its legal position is relative to the broadcasters who would see it shut down. To that end, in addition to a thoughtful, plain language explanation of the issues at hand and Aereo’s stance, you’ll also find copies of the existing decisions on the books regarding Aereo’s service from lesser courts, as well as the company’s own briefs, and the Amicus briefs of companies and advocacy organizations that support Aereo’s argument.
EdTech Champions: The Sanoma Startup Challenge Finalists
One space in tech that is not broadly covered, but is super interesting, is education. Finnish media and learning giant Sanoma ($3 billion revenue in 2013) organised a Startup Challenge to find the most interesting EdTech companies in Europe. Over a hundred companies, from 24 countries, joined the competition.
Mayer aims to persuade Apple to choose Yahoo over Google: Re/code
(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is working on a plan to persuade Apple Inc to ditch Google as its default search engine in favor of Yahoo, technology news site Re/code reported, citing sources within Yahoo.
Walmart launches Western Union-style cash transfer service
Walmart has announced plans for an in-house cash transfer service called Walmart2Walmart , launching April 24th at more than 4000 Walmart locations across the country. Focusing on cash transfers under $1,000, the service aims to undercut competitors like Western Union on prices while shoring up the retail giant's core businesses. The rates vary as low as ten percent depending on the size of the transfer, still well above online competitors like Venmo and Square Cash. (Anyone willing to trade in bitcoin can still transfer free of charge.) Reuters notes that Western Union shares declined several percent after the announcement.
Fired Yahoo COO Henrique De Castro’s Severance Totaled $58M | TechCrunch
While the cash portion of De Castro’s exit is minimal compared to the larger sum of his exit, Yahoo shareholders will pay for his departure all the same. The company created the chart above, adding that it illustrates the fact that his cost to remove was greatly impacted by its rising stock price. In short, Yahoo makes the point that the cost of this embarrassing episode would have been far less had the company not done so darn well in the public markets.
NASA Has Discovered The First Potentially Habitable Earth-sized Planet
In the hunt for exoplanets (planets outside of our solar system), one of the things that astronomers have been desperately searching for is another planet like Earth that’s capable of supporting life. It’s been a close thing, so far. Astronomers have found Earth-sized planets in other solar systems. They have found planets in the “habitable zone” (an orbit where temperatures would be potentially conducive to life) of other solar systems. But they haven’t found an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of another star.
Here Are All The Drugs Americans Want To Legalize
A majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana, polls now show. But that's where support for drug legalization ends. A series of HuffPost/YouGov surveys conducted over the past several months found that few Americans want to repeal the laws against any other illegal drug.
Weibo shares jump 33pc in market debut - Telegraph
The business, hailed as China’s answer to Twitter, sold 16.8m shares for $17
each on the Nasdaq stock exchange, raising $286m. It had been hoping to sell
20m shares for as much as $19 a piece but scaled back its ambitions as
appetite for technology stocks cooled.
Amazon workers in Germany strike
Union representative Jörg Lauenroth-Mago said that the online retailer was displaying "a lack of respect for the excellent work that Amazon employees deliver every day". He said he expected around 40% of the Leipzig workforce to take part in industrial action today, and that further centres in the rest of Germany would follow Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld's lead over the course of the year.
Retailer Michaels Stores confirms payment card data breach
(Reuters) - Michaels Stores Inc, the biggest U.S. arts and crafts retailer, on Thursday confirmed that there was a security breach at certain systems that process payment cards at its U.S. stores and that of its unit, Aaron Brothers.
LongAccess Wants To Cold-Store Your Digital Life For 30 Years | TechCrunch
Tech people are probably used to the idea that we’ll have our memories and photos stored online. Sure, we have it in the backs of our mind that it’ll all be on some dusty hard drive somewhere we can access in the nursing home – at least we HOPE that’s the case. At the same time, very few people know how to store something in the cloud for a very long time – other than hoping Google Drive might still be around in the era of flying cars, 150 years old people and teleportation.
MTV2's "Jobs That Don't Suck" Gives Millennials a Real-World Look at Finding Their Dream Job
Though some young guns are racking up millions producing, others like Ashleigh, a former accountant, found her way into artist management. “Over the course of the series you get a fair representation of the real world,” Ricci maintains. And while some of the work is dream material, he says there are more mainstream gigs that serve to pay bills and let them follow other passions. “We know from our research that millennials are all about the side hustle.”
Hands On With Apple's CarPlay Integration With Volvo
But it's when you ask for directions that you see the true mobile power of CarPlay. After requesting directions to a location in Manhattan, Siri presented several options on the CarPlay interface. Select one, and you are presented with a detailed, turn-by-turn routing map, complete with the 3D-buildings option in Apple's iPhone Maps app.
Snowden Asks Putin About Surveillance On Russian TV, Everyone Promptly Loses Their Minds | TechCrunch
Earlier today on a call-in program on Russian television, infamous NSA leaker Edward Snowden questioned the country’s President Vladimir Putin about his government’s surveillance activities. Snowden, after the United States revoked his passport, kept house in a Russian airport for weeks until he was granted temporary asylum in the country where he currently resides.
How a cyber cop patrols the underworld of e-commerce
Melissa Andrews, a resident of Canada, is a cyber security “cop” for Payza, an international e-commerce payment platform operating in 97 countries. Her job, described by the company’s public relations firm as “the worst security job on the Internet,” is to protect the public from illegal, and many times revolting, content, by shutting the sites down and alerting authorities about criminal activity. She spoke with CSO this week about her job and why she is proud of what she does.
Facebook Adds a Feature That Lets People See Your Location -- But It's Optional, Optional, Optional
One reason the idea didn’t truly take off is that many folks aren’t instinctively thrilled by the notion of an app automatically sharing their location with other people. Facebook gets that: It mentions that Nearby Friends is optional in the headline on the blog post announcing the feature, then stresses that it’s turned off by default and only works if both you and other friends have chosen to enable it. You can also choose to restrict your visibility to a specific list of friends, such as family members or close friends.
Tor may be forced to cut back capacity after Heartbleed bug
But some Tor nodes are running on servers which have OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 to 1.0.1f installed, the software that is vulnerable to the Heartbleed flaw. That means that an attacker could theoretically exploit the Heartbleed flaw on those nodes, and find internal information relating to Tor, compromising the security of the whole network.
RIGHTS - Twitter posts to be blurred to eliminate ‘malicious content,’ minister says
RIGHTS > Twitter posts to be blurred to eliminate ‘malicious content,’ minister says
ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
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All texts and images deemed inappropriate will be pixelated by the TİB, according to Minister Elvan. This is how some Twitter posts may appear to Turkish users.
Turkey’s telecommunication authority will pixelate Twitter posts to eliminate “malicious content,” Communications Minister Lütfi Elvan said in a written statement April 17, following talks between the microblogging website’s executives and Turkish officials in Ankara. “We have reached a consensus to ‘neutralize’ malicious content that is the object of court decisions by pixelating.
Urban Transport App, Citymapper, Pulls In $10M, Led By Balderton, To Roll Into More Cities | TechCrunch
The urban transport app, which is currently live in London, New York, Berlin and Paris, is designed to help users figure out the best way to get around a city — pulling in live public transport data and drawing on all available multi-modal options, from buses, subways and taxis to bikes and even walking, to suggest potential routes to get to your destination.
Free: British Pathé Puts Over 85,000 Historical Films on YouTube
British Pathé was one of the leading producers of newsreels and documentaries during the 20th Century. This week, the company, now an archive, is turning over its entire collection — over 85,000 historical films – to YouTube .
FarmVille Is Back -- and This Time, It's Portable | TIME
You can connect FarmVille 2 to Facebook, iOS’s Game Center (iOS) or Google Play Games, play with friends and speed your progress by forming co-ops with other players. But in a FarmVille first, you can also opt to play in standalone mode, without having to go online at all. “Friends are not required to play this game, ever,” says Zynga VP of Games Jonathan King. “As you can imagine, that’s a big deal for FarmVille.”
Can a little-known blogger turn his site into a business by selling memberships? Ben Thompson is sure going to try
By giving readers a series of rewards targeted to specific use cases — whether they are content-based or more community or interaction-based — Thompson said he hopes to get around some of the problems of paywalls. “The thing thing that bothers me about paywalls is that they punish your best readers, your biggest fans. I think freemium is a much better way to think about it…. the vast majority of people can consume it and never pay, but for those who really like what I have to say, they can pay and they get access to more.”
How Apple’s CarPlay could save the car stereo industry
CarPlay — which is currently only available in new models from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo (though it is expected to expand to other manufacturers soon) — will allow drivers to control music and certain phone functions with either Siri or built-in infotainment controls. Phone calls, text messages, and voice mails can all be handled through Siri, which will operate through verbal prompting. Apple maps is also part of CarPlay, so Siri will offer turn-by-turn directions in conjunction with a map displayed on the car’s center-stack screen. The system is expected to be able to anticipate potential destinations and routes, based on prior trips, contacts, and email information. Of course, an iPhone’s music catalog can be navigated using the system, as can iTunes Radio, iHeartRadio, and Spotify.
Scientists Discover 'Earth Cousin' Planet That Could Support Life
For the first time, scientists have discovered an Earth-size alien planet in the habitable zone of its host star, an "Earth cousin" that just might have liquid water and the right conditions for life. The newfound planet, called Kepler-186f, was first spotted by NASA's Kepler space telescope and circles a dim red dwarf star about 490 light-years from Earth. While the host star is dimmer than Earth's sun and the planet is slightly bigger than Earth, the positioning of the alien world coupled with its size suggests that Kepler-186f could have water on its surface, scientists say. You can learn more about the amazing alien planet find in a video produced by Space.com. "One of the things we've been looking for is maybe an Earth twin, which is an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a sunlike star," Tom Barclay, Kepler scientist and co-author of the new exoplanet research, told Space.com. "This [ Kepler-186f ] is an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a cooler star. So, while it's not an Earth twin, it is perhaps an Earth cousin. It has similar characteristics, but a different parent.
Smiling Can Make You Feel Rotten
Don't despair if that rings true for you. It might not even matter what kind of person you typically are. Labroo and colleagues found, in a subsequent experiment, that a person's "smiling theory" can be manipulated with relative ease. For this follow-up, the researchers split 81 test participants into two groups. One group was told that people smile to show they're happy, and was asked to recall a time they had smiled from joy. The other group was told that people smile to feel happy, and was asked to name a time they had faked it. With one theory or the other planted in their minds, the participants then took part in a facial exercise. Some bit down repeatedly on a pen, forming a pretty genuine smile. Others put the pen between their lips, not their teeth, forming a more neutral expression.
The future tech America expects (pictures) - CNET
Self-driving cars may be smart, but one thing they can't do (yet) is fly.
And what good is the future if it doesn't bring flying cars? Over the
years, there have been (more or less) one-off prototypes, but nothing yet that has approached the on-ramp to mass production. Which is a shame for the 6 percent of Pew respondents who said a flying car is something they'd like to own.
Samsung and Amazon give away free ebooks with Kindle for Samsung - CNET
Based on Amazon's ebook reading Kindle app, Kindle for Samsung lets you access Amazon's range of best-selling books, newspapers and magazines, many of which can't be found in other ebook stores. Your books are backed up to the cloud so you can access them across different devices, and Whispersync keeps a virtual bookmark in your ebook so if you're reading on your S5 and then later pick up your Kindle, the book will be on the right page.
Candy Crush is A-Coming to China
There’s no definitive launch date for the Chinese version of Candy Crush — both companies only say it will arrive “soon” — but when it does land, it will be a major coup for Tencent which has secured a country exclusive. Chinese gamers on iOS or Android devices will need to visit Tencent’s Mobile QQ or its Weixin Game Center to get hold of the title.
Biz Stone: Mega-wealth 'amplifies who you are'
Stone : Well, I have lots of theories on money. My theory on mega-wealth is that it amplifies who you are. So if you’re a jerk, you become a bigger jerk. If you’re a nice person, you become a philanthropist; you become very helpful. I consider myself a nice person, and my wife and I have a foundation. We give a lot away, and we try to help people. It’s also extremely freeing. It frees you from all the anxieties of whether or not you’re going to be able to pay bills or take care of your ailing parents or friends. So it’s a true gift, and we believe in giving back.
Cyborg video glasses show emotion so you don't have to
The BBC has an excellent explanation of how Osawa's prototype device, dubbed AgencyGlass, works. Essentially, the two OLED screens are paired with a camera and several sensors, then linked to a smartphone or computer. If they see a face, they'll tell the "eyes" on the screens to follow it with an attentive gaze, while the wearer reads or plays with their phone. As the video shows, it's an extremely advanced iteration of the "fake eyes in glasses" trick used in high school sitcoms. A more advanced and realistic version could be used simply for hiding distraction; one could also see it being worn by people who respond poorly to social cues, or in situations where non-augmented emotions could be hard to read. The version that exists now is a body horror nightmare straight out of City of Lost Children.
Laughing Giraffe's new Soundpix App Makes your Photos Talk
A tiny subset of photography apps has slowly emerged from the vast pack on Apple’s app store to offer an alternative multimedia experience, a hybrid of stills and video: Images with sound.
Michaels Stores Says Up To 3 Million Cards Affected in Data Breach - NBC News
Michaels Stores Inc. said Thursday that about 2.6 million customer credit and debit cards used at its namesake stores may have been affected in a security breach but it has received "limited" reports of fraud.
New ‘Google’ for the Dark Web Makes Buying Dope and Guns Easy | Threat Level | WIRED
The dark web just got a little less dark with the launch of a new search engine that lets you easily find illicit drugs and other contraband online.
EVE Online Developer Reports Losses in Fiscal 2013 - IGN
GamesIndustry International reported the losses and notes that in fiscal 2012, CCP Games posted profits of $4.6M USD. The difference from one year to the next is likely the result of increased costs to develop World of Darkness, which contributed an unspecified amount to an R&D budget of $56.5M USD in fiscal 2013. The fiscal 2012 budget was only $16.5M.
Sony Announces 7 Million PS4 Sales, Microsoft Still Silent On Xbox One
A couple of things people forget when comparing the two consoles is that there is a much bigger future for the PS4 because of the hardware differences. Most people rather have a better performing console that produces better results than a console that sacrifices half of its hardware so you can wave your hand to switch between tv inputs. No one really cares for that. It’s neat but necessary? Nope. And because the war has been so heated, people have done their homework and researched. They are not stupid. Another thing that so many people forget is that the PS4 offers Vita connection. With the new Vita coming out (Downgraded OLED screen for LED with better battery life) people can truly experience the remote play it offers. I think that will be huge and from the reviews I’ve seen, it performed brilliantly. I’ve even read up on some youtube videos how you can hook up your DualShock 4 to the vita and another video that shows how you can remote play on your PS4 from a completely different network!!! In addition to Sony’s cloud service Gaikai, there’s also Playstation Plus subscription. Although online play used to be free with PS4, I don’t mind paying the yearly fee simply because it offers so much.
The Countries Where Youth Are Doing The Best And The Worst
Australia (score=0.752 out of 1) and then Sweden top the rankings; Nigeria, with a score of 0.375 out of 1, ranked the lowest of the 30. The top seven countries classified as “higher-income” by the World Bank, but income wasn’t always a predictor of rank. Russia (No. 25) and South Africa (No. 23) scored relatively low compared to their economic activity, showing that growth doesn’t always benefit a country’s entire population. Similarly, Vietnam (No. 11)--with strong policies--managed to outperform countries at similar income tiers.
OpenStack has wooed developers for years, now it's time to charm users
More than a dozen companies from traditional IT purveyors like HP and Cisco to startups like Cloudscaling and Mirantis, are backing OpenStack as the infrastructure to give customers choice in cloud deployment. If Acme Paint & Glass signs on to OpenStack A and isn’t satisfied it can, in theory, move to OpenStack B without too much hassle. But the vendors all say they’re innovating atop OpenStack and differentiation often means incompatibilities. But Collier said the Foundation will be enforcing good OpenStack citizenship going forward. Go too far afield in your OpenStack playbook and BOOM! you lose your OpenStack label. (My words, not his.)
Twitter account tied to "Internet crime" police raid - report
Someone making a threat on the internet against the President does not need to name the President; and the Peoria mayor would not have to be named, either. BUT … no threat had been made. The account had been suspended. It’s more of a person abusing his office because he didn’t like the fact that someone was making fun of him. Before this police raid was made, very few people knew what a d-bag the mayor is. Now everyone who can read this knows.
MG's Dynamo concept is its first fully electric car
MG is celebrating its 90th year in the car-making business, so to mark the occasion, it's decided to take the wrappings off its first ever fully electric vehicle . Created at parent company SAIC's European Design and Technical Centre (SMTC), the MG Dynamo concept won't be found on Britain's streets just yet (the model you see above is actually classed as a "static preview") because it solely exists to help the once-struggling automaker gauge Europe's demand for a small, electric EV. That said, MG says the Dynamo is capable of generating 70hp of power and can be charged to 80 percent battery capacity in just 30 minutes (a full six hour charge offers a range of around 50 miles). With Mayor Boris Johnson campaigning to get 100,000 EVs on London's streets , MG may one day take its place alongside Renault, Nissan and Volkswagen with its own little city car.
Try before you buy: Google launches home try-on program for Glass
The actual try-on kit itself is composed of returned Glass units. The units are all in relatively good cosmetic shape, though they aren’t supposed to power on. The USB port has been destroyed to keep the devices from being powered up and used — the try-on program is exclusively to give potential Explorers an idea of how Glass will feel, as well as what color and frame style they would prefer. Despite this, some of the units would power up, though they wouldn’t boot into the OS.
China's Alibaba to Launch Telecom Services In June
JD.com has previously voiced its ambition to become China’s fourth-largest mobile carrier within five years — though Alibaba hasn’t been so forthright, tying its telecom services in to all its current platforms could see it reach a wide audience and help it to gain traction rapidly.
19-Year-Old Canadian Arrested for Heartbleed Hack
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Tax Bug Bites Google, Could Hit Other Tech Companies - Digits - WSJ
One big reason why Google’s profit grew more slowly than its revenue was a higher tax rate: 18% in the first quarter, compared with 9% in the same quarter last year. Google CFO Patrick Pichette told investors the higher rate reflects the expiration of the research-and-development tax credit at the end of last year.
WATCH: 10 Crazy Discoveries That Science Can't Explain
But there are still many scientific mysteries yet to be solved. And you'll learn about 10 of them in a new video (above) from the YouTube series Alltime10s .