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Inside the 'American Idol' Control Room With Judge Keith Urban

Take a tour of the "American Idol" control room, where producers frantically try to capture every moment like when Grumpy Cat appeared onstage.

Why the World Still Isn't Ready for Bitcoin

What can Bitcoin actually buy you in real life?

Even Seals Like Getting Their Bellies Rubbed [VIDEO]

Move over, dogs -- there's a new whiskery animal in town, and they demand more belly rubs.

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Top News
FreedomPop to Sell First Apple Devices, Offering iPhone 5 With Its Free and Low-Cost Plans

In addition to the iPhone, FreedomPop aims to offer more capable Android devices than the Galaxy SII and HTC Evo 4G models it launched its phone service with. In the next couple of months, Stokols said, the company plans to add the LTE-capable Galaxy SIII and Galaxy S4, with the former selling for under $200 and the latter for under $300 — again using like-new, refurbished models.

500 Startups Partner George Kellerman Joins Paul Singh’s Crystal Tech Fund | TechCrunch

Paul is the founder of Disruption Corporation which provides tools, research and advisory services to corporations, angel investors and venture capital firms. Paul is also an investor via Crystal Tech Fund. Previously, he was a Partner at 500 Startups, a 4 year old “super angel” fund headquartered in Mountain View, CA and has overseen the investments in 525+ companies across 35+ countries. He …

Firefox 29 Launches With Major Redesign, Firefox Account Integration | TechCrunch

Given its fast release cycle, why did it take Mozilla so long to release the redesign? It has been making the rounds in some form or another for about two years now, after all. Nightingale stressed that a lot of the earlier design was hardcoded, and in order to make the customization features work, the team had to rewrite large parts of the interface to make it more flexible. It had to test this, too, and in the end, it wanted to make sure that the new user tour Firefox users will see today worked well.

Twitter: We Have No Plan For A Secondary Offering | TechCrunch

This makes the timing of Twitter’s decision to release its earnings pre-lockup interesting. It’s a power play of sorts. If Twitter were expecting a poor earnings report, it would want to release it post-lockup, thereby lessening the incentive for employees to cash out on the first day possible. The company wants to avoid its employees selling shares en masse, as that would provide a very negative signal to the investing public.

Netflix Signs Comcast-Like Web Traffic Deal With Verizon

Netflix confirms that it has signed an “interconnect” deal with Verizon, which is designed to make it easier for the streaming service to get its videos to Verizon’s broadband customers.

To Really Punish Gurbaksh Chahal, Opt Out Of RadiumOne's Ads

It’s amazing how often professionals in the world of advertising and marketing completely mangle the job when it comes to their own lives. The latest is RadiumOne and its erstwhile CEO Gurbaksh Chahal. Many people are angry about Chahal’s domestic violence episode last summer and the company’s failure to act on it in any meaningful way until forced to this weekend under public pressure. Those upset can do more than just tweet, blog, and hate-read Chahal’s blog posts; they can choose not to let the online advertising company do business on them, by opting out of RadiumOne’s ad targeting.

Samsung Loses Market Share for First Time Since 2010

Samsung lost global smartphone market share for the first time in four years, but the company continues to lead its competitors after shipping an estimated 89 million devices during the first quarter of 2014.

EU moves to end smartphone patent wars in landmark ruling

The landmark ruling will help draw a line under a long-running feud between smartphone makers and a slew of legal action against rivals by manufacturers who claimed they had copied their designs.

Parks and Recreation: Season 6 Review - IGN

Yes, and argument can be made that a hero needs to fail before they can rise, but that's not my gripe. My issues were with the fact that the show seemed to be giving us Leslie stories all based on the same blueprint. And there was a consensus out there that "Yes, the show is good, but it's maybe not as great as it once was." And we all just sort of agreed to write off some of the lesser episodes as being a by-product of a show in its sixth season. Even the mid-season heartstring "event" - Ann and Chris' exit from the series - was more of a signal of the show aging than anything else. Also, Chris Pratt's absence early on (due to him filming Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy) sort of proved how integral Andy - despite filling the role of the lovable moron - is to the series.

What the tornado-spewing storm looked like from space - CNET

Creating the video was more complex than it appears on the surface. The cloud imagery collected by the satellite was overlaid onto a true-color image of the land and ocean created using data from different NASA satellites. The 31-second video covers about a day and a half of real time.

Finally, Sunglasses That Ping Your Phone When You Leave Them Behind

Tzukuri's secret is a teensy-weensy 3mm-wide Bluetooth Low Energy chip embedded in the temple of the acetate sunglass frames. Once you've paired your sunglasses with your iPhone (and holy cow, is that ever a phrase that guarantees you're living in The Future), the Tzukuri app sends an alert once your phone gets 16 feet away from your glasses. Further alerts come in at 32 feet and 50 feet, unless you dismiss the first alert to tell your phone "I'm not wearing my stunner shades today, thanks."

Why Data Centers Are Popping Up In Iowa

The Des Moines Register said Facebook was constructing its Altoona data centers in three phases, each costing about $300 million. The first data center contains 476,000 square feet of space. In this second phase to build a similarly-sized data center, Facebook will likely use the “modular and lean construction principles” it contributed to the Open Compute Project this year.

The Physics of Spider-Man’s Webs | Science Blogs | WIRED

I already said that it seems like these webs should be able to reach at least a 10 story building (about 30 meters). What kind of launch speed would a web need to get this high? Let’s just start with the assumption that that the front of the web is just a particle and that air resistance is negligible. Yes, that is obviously not realistic but I will proceed anyway. As a bonus, isn’t it great that I can say “not realistic” when talking about Spider-Man? This is what makes the Internet so great.

With Microsoft Deal Done, Nokia Names Rajeev Suri CEO, $6.9 Billion in Buybacks, Dividends and Debt Cuts

He also committed to investing in the network gear business he has been running and to the company’s advanced technology business, which includes patent licensing and “exploring new technologies for use in potential future products and services.” Nokia has kept the office of its CTO, but hasn’t really said where it might focus those efforts. Nokia’s press release Monday made reference to sensors and the interplay between multiple radio technologies.

Acer Chromebook Intel Core i3 (pictures) - CNET

In our brief hands-on time with the Core i3 Chromebook, it appeared to be built into the same chassis as current Acer Chromebooks, which is a decently sturdy, but not especially upscale-feeling design.

Lyft Is Launching A Premium SUV Service | TechCrunch

Lyft is preparing to compete with Uber’s upscale SUV option by launching its own on-demand premium SUV ride service, according to a source. It will let riders book leather interior Ford Explorer SUVS that seat a squished maximum of six passengers. Until now, Lyft has only offered a single tier of service on par with UberX in price, and that provides rides in a variety of vehicles.

WATCH: Tiny Eyeglasses May Bring Big Advances In Robotics

Taenia solium Look out for it in: South America, Africa, Asia, and parts of Europe and North America Why you should fear it: While modern livestock management here at home has practically eliminated tapeworm-infested pork, the tapeworm eggs can be spread directly from one infected person to another. How? Let's just say that it's really, really important to wash hands after going to the bathroom-- and leave it at that. Notorious victim: A woman in Arizona went into surgery thinking she had a brain tumor, and woke up later to learn that the cause of her problems had been a tapeworm, not a tumor.

Bitcoin traders settle class actions over failed Mt. Gox exchange

(Reuters) - U.S. and Canadian customers of failed Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox have agreed to settle their proposed class action lawsuits that alleged the company defrauded them of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Enterprise Platform Brightpearl Raises $10M In Round Led By MMC Ventures | TechCrunch

The advantage with enterprise startups if that they can be based just about anywhere. And that’s proved today with the news that Brightpearl , which a cloud-based business management system aimed at small to mid sized multi-channel retailers, has raised another $10m. The round led my MMC Ventures with participation from Quayle Munro and existing investors Eden Ventures and Notion Capital. That bring its total funding to date to around $24 million after previous funding rounds, including $8 million last year , and $5 million in 2011 . This latest round will be used to accelerate investment in product and sales expansion.

Samsung Keeps Profit Steady As Mobile Sales Decline

I track people who are disrupting the world of mobile technology. Non-conformists, innovators and agitators are this blog's unsung heroes, from entrepreneurs to scientists, to rebellious hackers. I'm the author of "We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous and the Global Cyber Insurgency" , (Little Brown, 2012) which The New York Times called a "lively, startling book that reads as 'The Social Network' for group hackers." I recently relocated to Forbes' San Francisco office, and was previously Forbes' London bureau chief from 2008-12, interviewing British billionaires like Philip Green and controversial figures like Mohammed Al Fayed; I wrote last year's billionaires cover story on Russia's Yuri Milner, and have broken stories like the Facebook-Spotify partnership in 2011. Before all this I had stints at the BBC and as a radio journalist. You can watch me on 'The Daily Show' here . If you have a story idea or tip, e-mail me at or follow me on Twitter: parmy .

Now Would Be a Good Time to Reacquaint Yourself With Firefox

Firefox 29 isn’t that radical an update, but there’s some significant stuff, including an interface that’s been seriously spruced up. Visually, tabs other than the one you’re on now lose their tab outline and fade into the background, so it’s easier at a glance to see where you are–a solution to a problem I have pretty frequently with Safari and Chrome. There’s a neat Customize menu item that lets you tweak the Firefox interface by dragging items around to the areas of your liking. (Or removing them altogether: I used it to delete the search field, which has long felt redundant given that you can search from Firefox’s address bar.)

Cell phone searches at the Supreme Court: a guide to today's big privacy case (and where to learn more)

Riley and Wurie are supported by civil liberties group, law professors, media outlets and defense lawyers. They argue that phones often contain every detail of a person’s life and that the Supreme Court should require a warrant. To prevent evidence loss, they suggest police should just remove the battery or use a “Faraday bag,” which the Cato Institute points out “are available for about the same price as a set of handcuffs.”

Sprint's 'Hear it for yourself' event: Join us Tuesday (live blog) - CNET

On Sprint's conference call, CEO Dan Hesse hinted at the Framily plan becoming a platform for innovation and marketing. We'll see what he means by that in the next few minutes.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on Xbox One Store at launch after all

It's surprising, perhaps even amazing: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is currently listed as releasing today on the Xbox One Store in the US, despite Activision's dithering and seeming postponement two weeks ago . Beenox's adventure is on the Xbox Games Store priced $60, and some players have apparently already purchased , downloaded and started playing it on Xbox One. We've reached out to Activision to clarify what's going on. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 's arrival on Xbox One was, much like Peter Parker, up in the air after Activision wouldn't commit to the game being on the system at launch. "We are working with Microsoft in an effort to release The Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game on Xbox One," the publisher told Joystiq in a statement on April 17. "Currently, the game will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and the PC on April 29, 2014 as previously announced." It's a curious situation: There's been no official word from Activision yet about the Xbox One version releasing today, and Xbox One boxes and logos remain unseen on the game's official site.


Supreme Court decision makes it easier to stick patent trolls with court costs

Given this new definition, the Supreme Court has sent two cases — Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness and Highmark v. Allcare Health — back to lower courts for reconsideration. In the future, the decision could tip the balance in settlement negotiations, giving companies that bring patent suits a little more to lose. It could also make it riskier to trawl for settlements by simply threatening a lawsuit. One of the complaints about patent trolls is that because they don't produce their own products, there's no way to counter-sue in a lawsuit, and this change could level the playing field. That depends, of course, on how much courts actually use fee-shifting. Judges are inclined to be conservative, especially because it can be difficult to distinguish between bad faith and simple misjudgment. "Courts are very skittish about shifting fees," says Mark Janis, director of the Indiana University Maurer School of Law's Center for Intellectual Property Research. "I think that they understand that somebody always loses, and it may look like the losing side didn't have a meritorious claim.

Sprint's "Hear It For Yourself" Event

On Sprint's conference call, CEO Dan Hesse hinted at the Framily plan becoming a platform for innovation and marketing. We'll see what he means by that in the next few minutes.

Spotify’s Big Redesign Rolls Out To Android Today | TechCrunch

Following a major makeover from earlier this month, which introduced a new, simpler and darker theme to the streaming music platform Spotify, Android users are now also getting a refreshed app starting today. Like their web, desktop and iOS counterparts, Android users will also now see the darker theme, refreshed typography and rounded iconography that was announced earlier, as well as a handful of new features for finding and managing your music.

New Video Claims The iPhone 6 May Be Just As Thin As The iPod Touch

Unbox Therapy has posted a new video that claims the iPhone 6 could be as thin as the current generation iPod Touch. In the newer video, Lou from Unbox Therapy places Apple's newest iPod Touch in the case to prove that the dimensions fit perfectly in terms of thinness.

Why Isn't Twitter's Plan To Boost User Growth Working Better?

Q: Spending trend per advertiser? Gupta: It’s growing among both large and small advertisers, seeing spend go up on a year-over-year basis. No info on pricing, though. Costolo later said Twitter consistently hears it gets better return on spend on mobile advertising, now 80% of ad revenues. “Twitter’s unique user base, which in addition to being predominantly mobile, is also actively engaged, and the real-time, news-driven nature of the platform itself present significant opportunity for advertisers to connect with mobile audiences,” Chris Amos, cofounder and chief marketing officer at Facebook and Twitter ad partner Ampush, said in an email. “This will likely help Twitter as they continue to grow their mobile ad business over the next few years and look to build upon the early success that Facebook has seen.”

Twitter growth 'stalling' despite soaring first-quarter revenue

After the stock markets closed Twitter announced it had revenues of $250m for the first three months of the years, an increase of 119% year on year. Twitter announced a net loss of $132m for the quarter.

Firefox 29 Arrives with Customization Mode, New Design

Mozilla today officially launched Firefox 29 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. This is a massive release: Firefox Sync has been revamped and is now powered by Firefox Accounts, there’s a new customization mode, and the company’s major user interface overhaul Australis has finally arrived.

Integration drama in the smart home and Lumafit's CEO on new wearables

Is it different building a connected device in Europe? Where are wearables heading?What are the risks of hacked smart home integrations? We discuss these questions and more on the podcast this week.

Korea kicks into high gear for startups and investors

Coupang  was founded in 2011 by Bom Kim, a Harvard MBA dropout. While the company initially focused on daily deals, they now have a burgeoning e-commerce platform and are seen as one of the stars of the Korean startup ecosystem. It is expected that the company will seek to IPO in the coming year. A worrying fact for Korean investors is that they missed out on this opportunity on their doorstep, with all of Coupang’s venture financing coming from the US.

Sprint Emphasizes Music in Deals With Spotify and Harman Kardon

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 34 million unique visitors worldwide and 15 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.

Five Takeaways from Samsung Earnings - Digits - WSJ

For the first quarter of 2014, Samsung’s smartphone profit margins – a measure of how much it makes on device sales — were 19.8%, unchanged from a year earlier. But sales slipped from the year-ago period, taking operating profits for the smartphone unit down as well. On the conference call, executives were pressed again and again on whether a more dramatic push is needed to combat the challenge from low-cost smartphone competitors.

Twitter Shares Test New All-Time Lows After Its Q1 Earnings Fail To Excite Investors | TechCrunch

Twitter’s stock is plumbing the depths today , hitting a new low of $38.27, below its previously recorded lowest-point of $38.80. Twitter went public for $26 per share and shot to more than $74 per share at its peak. It opened around $45 on its first day public.

Smartphone Market Leaders, Samsung And Apple, Both Lost Share In Q1, Says Analyst | TechCrunch

Despite the two biggest brand smartphone makers slipping in the quarter, Strategy Analytics said global smartphone shipments grew by a third (33%) annually to reach 285 million units in Q1. So the size of the market is continuing to expand, but it’s becoming increasingly competitive — hence the two dominant brands losing share to rivals.

Nokia X review: What happens when Nokia makes an Android phone?

So what happens if the app you really want isn't in the Nokia Store? To Nokia's credit, the company's made it possible to download or sideload any app you want -- though it isn't easy. If you can't find the app you want in the Nokia Store, it suggests a list of third-party app stores for you to check out. Currently, it lists SlideME, Aptoide, 1Market and Yandex as options, and, by using this method, I was able to get the app I wanted around 95 percent of the time. Of the numerous searches I conducted, only a small handful produced no results. The problem is that it takes much longer to find the app you want (if you find it at all), and you have to go into individual stores if you're looking for an update. Lastly, you can load any APK file onto the phone via microSD and internet links, though you won't get updates unless you manually sideload them.

Supreme Court reverses patent judges (again) in 9-0 decision on lawyer fees

The cases touched on when one side has to pay some or all of the other side’s legal fees. This idea of fee-shifting is rare in the U.S., but is seen as a potentially effective way to stop a flood of weak cases that are brought by patent owners in the hope that defendants will just pay them to go away. The patent court, however, has make fee-shifting nearly impossible to obtain.

Microsoft builds gesture-sensing PC keyboard

While there are  many new and  emerging ways to interact with PCs , Microsoft’s system looks like it could be one of the more natural and easy to use, a way to compliment an existing mouse instead of replacing it. Simple gestures like swiping down on keyboard keys navigates a page downwards, and there’s even support for gestures when you hover above the keyboard. The prototype is simply research for now, but it’s not impossible to imagine Microsoft could manufacture a keyboard that’s capable of this gesture support. Microsoft’s  Surface Touch Cover already supports a number of keyboard gestures, and the company has  hinted at its plans to extend this hardware in the future.

Yahoo ramps up video effort with new online comedy video series

The two comedy series, which Yahoo will show on its website next year, are the first long-form original comedies in Yahoo's growing selection of online video. Each series will consist of eight 30-minute episodes which Yahoo will post on its website all at once.

Twitter Q1 Earnings: What to Expect

In the months since then, Twitter has announced several acquisitions for social TV and data analytics , and plans to roll out 15 new types of ads. But when Twitter reports its first-quarter earnings results on Tuesday after the market closes, all eyes will once again be on user numbers.

Google Glass users can now say 'Explore Nearby' to launch Field Trip, discover the world around them

Once you utter "OK Glass, Explore Nearby," the Field Trip app will appear, showing you nearby attractions and restaurants along with details from categories like History, Art, Architecture, Food and Cool Stuff. I tried out an early version of the app, and it does indeed work as promised, allowing me to find out the history of a nearby building simply by using my voice. I still needed to tap and swipe the touchpad to narrow down to a particular category, but here's hoping even that can be relegated to your voice some day. After that though, the app remains relatively passive and notifies you of anything interesting as you walk around. We've included a promo video here that demonstrates how that works.

Behold The World's Largest Solar-Panel Power Plant -- In Arizona

While these giant solar power plants have been a favored choice for utilities for meeting renewable energy mandates, they have become less popular. That’s because giant projects rely on so much land and create big impact on wildlife, water or other resources. They have become magnets for lawsuits from environmental and community groups, and that has prompted policy makers and some solar energy advocates to push for alternatives in creating a booming clean energy market.

Twitter Beats In Q1 With $250M In Revenue And Picks Up 14M New Monthly Active Users | TechCrunch

The company’s monthly active user count has only grown 25% in the past year. Monthly mobile active users were stronger at 198 million. That figure is up 31% in the past year. However, it remains modest. Investors appear concerned that despite quickly expanding revenue, Twitter’s days of massive user growth are over. That means lower future top and bottom line growth.

Driveclub hits PlayStation 4 on October 7

Sony nailed down a release date for Evolution Studios' long-in-development PlayStation 4 racing game Driveclub , revealing that the final product will hit retail on October 7 in North America and October 8 in Europe. Originally announced as a PlayStation 4 launch title, Driveclub met with a series of delays prior to its intended release date. Sony Worldwide Studios development head Scott Rohde explained last month that the delays were necessary to improve the game's quality after development was sent "back to the drawing board." "We planned for the game to be ready for early 2014 and are committed to delivering on our ambitious promise of creating a truly innovative, socially connected racing game," SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida said. "The problem with being ambitious is you have to be prepared to accept there will be challenges along the way. What Driveclub offers has not been previously achieved in this category, and, because of this, the team needed more time to give you the game you're waiting for." Driveclub was initially announced as a PlayStation Plus release , though Sony has issued no updates regarding its planned availability to Plus members following its final release in October.

Google shows homegrown server with IBM Power chip | PCWorld

The online giant is showing its first home-built server board based on IBM’s upcoming Power8 processor at an IBM conference in Las Vegas on Monday.

Apple vs Samsung: Patent Infringement Battle Close to the End - NBC News

Apple's expert, Carnegie Mellon professor Todd Mowry, argued the definition adopted by the appeals court made little difference in the case and that he believes Samsung still infringed Apple's patent for the "quick link" patent. Kevin Jeffay, a professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina and Samsung's expert, argued the opposite, saying the definition adopted by the appeals court supports Samsung's position that it didn't infringe Apple's patent.

Apple makes final pitch to U.S. jury in Samsung trial

Apple is either the nerd in the classroom, or the bully on the playground, depending upon who you are dealing with at Apple. Both eventually will get the crap beaten out of them before they wise up and act normally. I hope Apple loses this case, not because I like Samsung or Google, just to shut them up and end these worthless lawsuits. My preference now is the Windows phone first, Android second. Apple is too overpriced and restricted for my purposes, Android is the least restricted, and Windows Phone supports the MS Office suite. For work Windows is 1st choice, personal use Android.

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56 How Long to Nap for the Biggest Brain Benefits
57 100 Pieces of Advice from 100-Year-Olds
58 Embrace the near win
59 Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?
60 We Did The Math: Is An MBA Worth It?
61 Where good ideas come from
62 Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?
63 Clippers Sponsors Begin To Pull Out
64 The TheTechNewsBlog Daily
65 Men Are Raped Almost as Often as Women in America. We Need to Talk About This. 
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68 'Supermassive' Black Hole Is About to Shred This Gas Cloud
69 Lab mice fear men but not women, and that's a big problem for science
70 Human exoskeletons -- for war and healing
71 You can now use the iPhone for free, as long as you don't mind old gear
72 10 Crazy Jobs That Will Exist in the Future
73 Statoil | Partner Webcast | MIT Technology Review
74 CSS vs. JS Animation: Which is Faster?
75 Bill Gates: We Need Mosquito Week More Than Shark Week
76 Who Is Daisy Ridley? Everything We Could Find on the 'Star Wars' Mystery Woman
77 The Weird World Where 'Girls' and 'Star Wars' Collide
78 Host the Groolest 'Mean Girls' Viewing Party Ever
79 What Running Out of Power in a Tesla on the Side of a Highway Taught Me About the Road Trip of Tomorrow
80 11 Surprising Celebrity Voices From Your Favorite Cartoons
81 Python Programming with Minecraft Pi: Early Draft
82 NBA Players and Owners Applaud Donald Sterling's Lifetime Ban
83 This pocket-sized molecular spectrometer tells you the chemical makeup of foods
84 Oculus Rift experiment warps reality by slowing down your vision
85 42 Peripheral Devices Connected to One 2013 Mac Pro
86 Skype's Group Video Calling Service Is Now Free
87 Will Donald Sterling Get a $1 Billion Payday for Being Racist?
88 Zero-day Flash bug under active attack in Windows threatens OS X, Linux too
89 12 Mean Girls Who Belong in History's 'Burn Book'
90 A French Economics Book Is Dominating Amazon Right Now
91 Original 'Star Wars' Cast Confirmed To Return For Sequel
92 How to Block Annoying Facebook Apps From Posting to Your Feed
93 Suicidal crickets, zombie roaches and other parasite tales
94 20 Vines From the Deadly Tornado Outbreak
95 Patient-Specific Embryonic Stem Cells Might Provide Cellular Cures for Chronic Diseases | MIT Technology Review
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97 Ultravisual, an Instagram Alternative for iOS, Upgrades Editing and Collaboration