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Amazon launches the Kindle Reading Fund to expand digital reading around the world

Amazon today announced a new program called the Kindle Reading Fund which is aimed at making digital books more easily available worldwide. The Fund will..

There's a potentially habitable planet just one star over

Proxima b is only four light years away, and it's about the same size as Earth.

This exoskeleton glove could let you feel the shape of virtual reality

When you pick up an object in virtual reality, you can't feel its shape. That could change with Dexmo. Force-feedback makes objects feel real.

Smartphone speech recognition can text 3 times faster than you can type

In a challenge pitting human texters against a cutting-edge speech recognition algorithm, the computer proved three times faster than humans typing.

Adult Swim is publishing 'ToeJam and Earl: Back in the Groove'

After a successful Kickstarter, the cult classic Genesis game is getting a sequel.

Google's balloon-fueled internet venture gets a new leader

The X research lab names Tom Moore the new general manager for Project Loon.

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Top News
1
Leslie Jones Hacked, Nude Photos Leaked

Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones has been hacked. Images seen by Gizmodo include multiple nude photographs of Jones, and photos that appear to show the star engaging in sexual acts. The leak also includes scans of her passport, as well as of her California driver’s license.

2
New Earth-Like Exoplanet Could Be Discovery of the Century

According to Loeb, the discovery of a potentially habitable planet around Proxima Centauri provides an excellent target for a flyby mission. “A spacecraft equipped with a camera and various filters could take color images of the planet and infer whether it is green (harboring life as we know it), blue (with water oceans on its surface), or just brown (dry rock),” he told Gizmodo. “The curiosity to know more about the planet—most importantly whether it hosts life—will give the Starshot Initiative a sense of urgency in finding out more facts about the planet, especially those that cannot be inferred with existing telescopes from our current vantage point on Earth.”

3
Microsoft's iPhone keyboard takes aim at Google with new built-in search

Microsoft has released a big update for its Word Flow keyboard on the iPhone this week. The biggest addition is a new search interface that lets you find GIFs, emoji, images, contacts, and anything from Bing search results without leaving the keyboard. Microsoft's GIF search feature copies the animated pictures into your clipboard, allowing you to paste them in. Word Flow will even pick out GIFs from words you type, so if you say "deal with it" in a message you'll get a GIF icon that brings up the relevant image.

4
A planet orbits around the closest star to our Solar System — and it may be habitable

Proxima b’s unusually close orbit is actually an ideal location for the planet. Proxima Centauri is a cool red dwarf star, much smaller and fainter than our Sun. So its "habitable zone" — the region around a star where temperatures are just right for liquid water to exist on a planet’s surface — is much closer to the star than it is to our Sun. And Proxima b is squarely in this region. That’s important, since liquid water is a key ingredient for life here on Earth; if Proxima b has liquid water, it’s possible the planet could support life, as well. And given how close Proxima b is to us, the planet just became the top candidate in the search for alien life outside of our Solar System. Should we ever want to explore an exoplanet, we’ll probably want to visit this one.

5
Inside Backstage: YouTube’s plan to bring photos, polls, and text to the video service

YouTube clearly does not expect its users to abandon services like Facebook — it plans to offer ways to share Backstage posts elsewhere — but the company will certainly benefit from keeping viewers on the site for longer blocks of time. As a result, Backstage has the potential to reshape YouTube’s classic lean-back experience into something more active; it could redefine what it means to be a modern video network, social features and all, and shield its more than one billion users from the clutches of competing social networks.

6
Clever Baby Seal Escapes Death by Killer Whales

This clever little seal narrowly escaped death by jumping into a Canadian couple’s boat—and it was all captured on video.

7
Germany’s NASA Crashes a Train to Keep You Safe

That’s fine in most case, but not when you’re trying to prove you can make train crashes less deadly. “Computer models, at the moment, do not perfectly describe deformation,” says Michael Zimmermann. He’s an engineer with the German Aerospace Center, or DLR, the country’s NASA equivalent, which is working on a new kind of passenger rail design. (Yes, ze Germans are into trains like the Americans are into the Moon.)

8
Wozniak Warns Against Ditching iPhone Headphone Jack

Rumors suggest Cupertino might abandon the headphone jack in an upcoming iOS device in favor of wireless technology. That would force consumers to buy an adapter to connect existing wired accessories with the new phone, which Wozniak says will "tick off a lot of people," he told The Australian Financial Review this week.

9
French official threatens lawsuits over internet photos of police

Whatever you think of the police actions themselves, the legal threats are problematic. Numerama observes that police don't have any protections against being photographed in public, so it's not clear that Nice can make lawsuits stick (it has reportedly filed a few so far). Estrosi doesn't appear to grasp the concept of police accountability in the modern era, when cameras and fast internet connections are everywhere.

10
ReadWrite on Twitter

[NEW POST] Could LPWA trump 5G and Mesh for smart cities? http://bit.ly/2bjhocA  #IoT #Tech #LoRa pic.twitter.com/yH6pIPOxyq

11
Here are all the free Xbox games for September

If you pay $60 annually for an Xbox Live Gold membership, you get a handful of free games every single month. The program works very similarly to Sony's PlayStation Plus program, with one significant difference: Every single game offered through Games with Gold is compatible with Xbox One .

12
Twitter launches button letting you send direct messages from any website

Twitter has launched a feature that continues to extend its reach beyond the service’s apps. The company today introduced a new button for websites that’ll allow site visitors to message administrators and customer support representatives through Twitter’s Direct Messages capability.

13
Mr. Robot Season 2 Episode 8: watch our digital after show tonight with special guest Kor Adana!

The Verge is hosting  the official Mr. Robot Digital After Show in partnership with USA Network, and we hope you'll join us tonight directly after the show, and each week, as we discuss the exploits of sophisticated hackers and corporate overlords. Tonight we're pleased to bring back  Mr. Robot writer and Technology Producer Kor Adana, who gives the show many of its impressive details. We'll be discussing the latest episode, which comes with a preview more cryptic than usual: Fsociety releases a video; and Darlene acts on an old desire .

14
How to Use Snapchat Filters in Instagram Stories

But as is turns out, the similarities aren’t necessarily a bad thing, because it means you can be lazy as fuck. (In other words, the best way of living.) The trick is to upload the stories you’ve posted on Snapchat directly to Instagram—a hack made easy by the fact that you can download individual Snapchat stories to your camera roll. Not only can you steal all of Snapchat’s filters for Instagram, you also don’t have to come up with new crap for each platform. It’s simple!

15
A Startup Backed By Peter Thiel Makes Bankrolling Civil Lawsuits Easy

The startup was developed as part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2016 class. Legalist cofounder Eva Shang is a Thiel Fellow and has received a $100,000 investment from the billionaire’s foundation to build the startup. In reference to the Gawker lawsuit, Eva Shang told Business Insider , “That’s the kind of thing we’re staying away from here.” Legalist will not be backing lawsuits by individuals, like Thiel did for Hogan. Instead, the company will be focusing on commercial and small-business lawsuits. (It’s unclear whether the defendants of these lawsuits are other businesses or individuals.)

16
Wow, This New York Times Reporter Sure Likes to Yell at Brands on Twitter

When reached by phone, Goel told me that he “would dispute [my] characterization that it’s a high volume.” He added that Twitter isn’t his primary method of dealing with companies: “It’s a tiny portion of the interactions,” he said, which suggests that, somehow, there’s a lot more where that came from. In a followup message on Twitter, he clarified that he goes to Twitter “when other methods have failed or when I want to raise a broader issue that other customers are probably having.”

17
Cloak & Dagger May Be the Most Messed-Up Kids Movie of the '80s

“Do you remember the movie Cloak & Dagger ?” my editor asked. Immediately, I froze. Did he know I used to be obsessed with that little-known ’80s movie about a kid and his imaginary spy friend? He didn’t; it was just a random question, but it made me sit down and do one of the scariest things you can do as an adult film fan: re-watch a movie you loved as a kid.

18
How Life Could Survive on the Newly Discovered Exoplanet Proxima B

Inspired by this observation, O’Malley James and Kaltenegger set about to determine whether a biofluorescent life form could produce a remotely detectable trace on an alien world orbiting an active M dwarf star. Using fluorescent coral proteins, they modeled the spectral signature of a planet with an Earth-like atmosphere in the habitable zone.

19
6 Publishing Tools From Facebook for Marketers : Social Media Examiner

Depending on what features your Facebook page has, the Publishing Tools section of your Facebook page can help you manage many of them. You can see this section on each Facebook page to which you’ve been assigned a role, although what you’ll be able to do with Publishing Tools varies based on that role.

20
Google brings data-saving Wi-Fi Assistant to all Nexus phones

Starting in the coming weeks, Google is adding a new data-saving perk for owners of its Nexus smartphones. Called Wi-Fi Assistant, the feature lets your device automatically connect to millions of open and free Wi-Fi hotspots in an effort to cut down on data use and optimize mobile data speeds. Prior to today, the feature was exclusive to Google’s Project Fi cell service. It will now be broadly available to any Nexus phone owner in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, and Nordic countries, Google says.

21
Master Bartender Makes a Campari Clone From Scratch

Campari—the bright red liquor best known as the start of the negroni—is delicious. But what the hell is it, exactly? The few people who know have kept the recipe a secret for well over a century. That didn’t stop master bartender Hiroyasu Kayama from trying to make his own.

22
The 'Battlefield 1' Premium Pass nets you four new expansions

In addition, the pass offers 16 new multiplayer maps, new Operations and game modes, Elite classes, 20 new weapons and a slew of new vehicles to mess about with. Battlefield's Battlepacks are making a return as well, which will be delivered each month beginning November 2016. If you're a collector, you'll want to check out the 14 new dog tags that'll be released over the Premium Pass season period.

23
Fitbit can keep operating in U.S. after judge rules it did not steal trade secrets

Fitbit has grown to be the largest make of wrist-based fitness trackers in the U.S., having sold a whopping 5.7 million devices in the second quarter of this year alone. Not being able to sell its products in the country would be a massive blow to its business. Of course, Jawbone, which makes the UP fitness trackers, isn’t a small company either. It has been losing market share of late — to the point that it is no longer in the top five fitness tracker manufacturers.

24
France and Germany Push for Access to Encrypted Apps

would force companies like Apple and Google to comply with court orders for access to products and services. The bill, according to the bill's sponsors, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr, will "protect Americans from criminals and terrorists." But Silicon Valley argued that it's nothing more than legalizing a backdoor into private data, and the bill has gone nowhere .

25
What happens if Apple ditches the headphone jack on the next iPhone?

If the speculation holds true, the next iPhone may be too skinny for the traditional headphone jack.

26
Self-driving cars aren’t going to be so great until we make our maps way better

A few months ago, the CEO of a large ridesharing company told me this is known as the "egress problem" — the way we locate buildings on a map doesn’t really describe how people move in and out of those buildings. There are probably a lot of solutions to this problem — you could add a button to the map that lets people mark the actual doors of various addresses, you could predefine set locations at each address for riders and drivers to meet, and so on — but right now it’s a real problem that most people in cities have encountered with some frequency.

27
Canon’s 5D Mark IV has built-in Wi-Fi and shoots 4K video

Canon today announced the 5D Mark IV, the fourth iteration of the company’s popular full-frame DSLR camera originally launched in 2005. It’s the first Canon DSLR to shoot 4K video, and it’s also the first 5D to come with Wi-Fi connectivity and a touchscreen. The 5D Mark IV will be available in early September for $3,499.

28
Nvidia Pascal-powered laptops are blowing my mind

A few weeks back, I finally got around to reviewing a 17-inch MSI laptop with a built-in GeForce GTX 1080 desktop graphics processing unit (GPU). Now, I’m running a 14-inch MSI notebook that is tiny compared to that older model — only it is just as powerful.

29
Apple wants Unicode Consortium to add these 5 new emoji

Apple’s Peter Edberg, a software engineer that’s been with the company 28 years, reached out to the Unicode Technical Committee recently and shared five mockups that he — and Apple — think should be included.

30
Samsung and Tencent in race to become Asia’s most valuable firm

(Reuters) – Tencent Holdings and Samsung Electronics are racing to be crowned Asia’s most valuable company as expectations for robust earnings growth push their share prices to record highs.

31
ReadWrite on Twitter

Will these Chinese satellites provide “hack-proof” data security? http://bit.ly/2bj9fVP  #IoT #Tech #China pic.twitter.com/AKxFaEWjMB

32
Pokémon Go is boosting competitor in-app purchase revenue, too

What’s bizarre, though, is that DOCOMO Digital didn’t see the same effect when they looked back at the launch of other big in-app purchase games, like Clash Royale and Candy Crush Saga. The games themselves enjoyed spending spikes, in those cases, but others did not. The firm attributes Pokémon Go’s unique effect in this regard to how big it got so quickly, which resulted in a much bigger door opening effect for users enabling direct carrier billing. Once it was enabled for a large group of uses new to the payment method, many of those started employing it elsewhere, too.

33
HP reports revenue of $11.89 billion, beats Q3 analyst estimates

Analysts expected third-fiscal quarter earnings of 44 cents a share on revenue of $11.47 billion revenue. No comparable year-over-year numbers are available because of the company’s split in November with enterprise cloud services company Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

34
Siri's voice to benefit from machine learning improvements in Apple's iOS 10

When iOS 10 arrives this fall — most likely in September — Siri's voice should sound a little more natural thanks to machine learning technology Apple is implementing, an interview revealed on Wednesday. The company is swapping out some licensed technology for a deep neural network (DNN), according to Backchannel , which spoke with several key Apple executives. The head of advanced development for Siri, Tom Gruber, noted that while the assistant's responses are still being stitched together from a central database of recordings, machine learning will smooth out sentences and make Siri sound more human. Siri's robotic-sounding voice has often been spoofed and criticized. Recently, singer Barbra Streisand called Apple CEO Tim Cook to complain about how Siri pronounces her last name — in response Cook promised to fix the problem in a coming update, which may have been a reference to the Siri upgrade. The interview — also featuring executives like senior VPs Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi — noted that Apple in fact moved Siri's voice recognition to a neural net-based system in July 2014, but didn't publicize the fact until today.

35
Pokémon Go is ‘the most successful mobile launch in history,’ SuperData says

Of course, some analysts say that  Pokémon Go is already on its way down , particularly in August. But SuperData says, “Nintendo’s mobile strategy ended up paying off exactly as intended. 3DS unit sales rose by over 50 percent from a year ago, an astonishing feat for underpowered hardware nearing the end of its lifespan. Furthermore, sales of 3DS games boomed. Combined sales of Pokémon Omega Red and Alpha Sapphire and Pokémon X and Y (2015 and 2013 releases) nearly doubled. Pokémon Go is the only factor that can explain jumps in sales of this magnitude. We are optimistic that mobile spin-offs for Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing will have a positive impact on Nintendo’s ecosystem.” (Here’s our view on where  Pokémon Go is headed , and the view from Niantic Labs’ CEO John Hanke , the creator of the game).

36
ReadWrite on Twitter

Here are the talented women of IoT who are leading the way for the industry http://bit.ly/2brjFGm  #IoT #Tech pic.twitter.com/v0c09qiIh7

37
iPhone 7 leak shows 32GB memory may be the base model

We hear a lot of good rumors about the iPhone 7, but the latest may actually be the best. A tipster says the 16GB storage option is being discontinued.

38
Can a social network curb racial profiling?

Nextdoor on Wednesday discussed the steps it's taking to minimize this behavior. When posting to crime and safety, users will have to fill out a form instead of writing in a text box. An algorithm will screen the posts for racially charged language and length. The form prompts them for at least two descriptors like hair color, height or approximate age. A post that doesn't pass muster won't go up unless the user revises it. During tests, this reduced racial profiling by 75 percent, the company said.

39
Polly.ai raises $1.2 million to help companies poll their employees

Companies that use Polly include Soylent, Auth0, and Grammarly. Diwan said thousands of teams have used Polly to make polls but declined to share a specific number. Other companies in the area of polling employees include SurveyMonkey and the Slackbot Simple Poll.

40
DroneDeploy raises $20 million to help businesses make sense of their aerial drone data

DroneDeploy , a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for commercial drone operators, has raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors as well as High Alpha Capital.

41
Drop test: Is the Galaxy Note 7 really tougher than the S7 Edge?

The Note 7 is the first phone made with Gorilla Glass 5, but does this make it a tougher to break that the S7 Edge?

42
Mobile devices took a backseat to Windows PCs during Rio Olympics

Now that the torch has been extinguished on the 2016 Rio Olympics we’re starting to get a clearer picture of how streamers actually tuned in to watch the games — and it may surprise you.

43
Apple suggests five new professional emoji be added to Unicode Standard

As the Unicode Consortium evaluates a proposed update to emoji standards that includes new Google-recommended characters representing various professions, Apple in August submitted its own suggestion to add another five jobs to the list. According to Emojipedia, Apple engineer Peter Edberg filed a recommendation to update Unicode's emoji standard to include zero-width joiner (ZWJ) sequences for male and female astronaut, artist, firefighter, judge and pilot professions ( PDF link ). ZWJ sequences are non-printing characters that can be used to modify or join two emoji together to form a new character. In the case of professions, the ZWJ sequence joins the common man or woman emoji with an object. For example, a male firefighter emoji incorporates the code sequence "man, firetruck." Google was first to suggest an expansion of emoji professions in May, with entries like health worker, farmer and technologist headlining the company's list of refinements. The latest draft update for Unicode Emoji 4.0 — referred to as Unicode Technical Report 51 — includes 16 professions with support for gendered emoji, making for a total of 32 new characters.

44
Your LinkedIn Photo Might Be Why You Aren't Getting Hired

We don't care how good you think you look, If you're brooding half-lit in a heavy filter, it's time to rethink your online image.

45
Italy earthquake: here’s how you can help victims

Over at CNN, there's a good roundup of ways to help victims of the deadly earthquake that struck central Italy early Wednesday. The media outlet is compiling a list of local and international relief groups, including the Italian Red Cross,  the National Italian American Foundation, and Save the Children.

46
The Easiest, Tastiest Way to Use a Bunch of Zucchini

Zucchini is a pretty versatile vegetable. It grills great on a kebab, fries up into crunchy little coins, and can even be used as a sub for noodles, but all of those iterations pale when compared to the spreadable delight that is zucchini butter.

47
ReadWrite on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

48
Here's Apple CEO Tim Cook raising funds for Hillary Clinton

That fundraiser is on the night of August 24 at a location in the Bay Area, and a few pictures of the power brokers were shared by an attendee.

49
Frank Ocean's release of Blonde marks the start of a major fight in the music industry

But what Frank Ocean has done is different. This isn’t going independent while still using a major label for distribution, like Jay Z has done in the past. This is a complete avoidance of the traditional musical hierarchy. Ocean has a young, rabid fanbase that primarily interacts with him online; he doesn’t need to distribute physical copies of albums to thousands of stores like Adele or Taylor Swift. He is part of a small club of superstars who don’t need the label system, and who have the leverage to do deals with streaming services instead of re-signing their contracts. And that’s scary for music labels.

50
Researchers just used ultrasound technology to 'jump-start' a 25-year-old man's brain after a coma

Scientists have hoped that stimulating the thalamus might help patients recover from these minimally conscious states. In 2007, researchers used a brain implant  to stimulate this region in the brain of a man who had been in one of these states for six years. He regained the ability to speak and the partial ability to move. But stimulating the brain in that way requires actually implanting something inside the brain, which can be dangerous and is expensive. Low-intensity focused ultrasound, which is what the UCLA team used on Crehan, is non-invasive.

51 Mr. Robot Season 2 Episode 7: watch our digital after show tonight!
52 God, Parents, You Just Don't Understand What Teens Are Doing on the Internet
53 One of Peter Thiel's fellows created a new startup that will fund your lawsuit
54 World Energy Council: 1/6 of new cars must be electric to meet emissions goals
55 How big banks learned to stop worrying and love the blockchain
56 Deadly Earthquakes Turned Central Italy Into a Terrifying Pile of Rubble
57 The Long Road Ahead Desktop
58 Game of Thrones cast members hint the dead are coming
59 Join Scientists as They Explore the Sunken USS Independence Aircraft Carrier
60 Report: Google's Daydream VR to Launch Within 'Weeks'
61 http://bit.ly/2bfbVXn
62 ReadWrite on Twitter
63 The Verge on Twitter
64 Russian Hackers Target New York Times
65 YouTube's refreshed TV app is here -- but not for Apple TV
66 Are You This Guy, and Are You Dead?
67 An Exclusive Look at How AI and Machine Learning Work at Apple — Backchannel
68 TechRepublic to partner with CNET and City of Louisville to connect smart cities to professionals and their living spaces - TechRepublic
69 Log In - The New York Times
70 ReadWrite on Twitter
71 Of Course Everyone’s Already Using the Leaked NSA Exploits
72 Facebook's new app for high schoolers has a worrisome problem: anyone can pretend to be a teenager
73 http://bit.ly/2bdMZ30
74 How Artificial Intelligence Could Help Diagnose Mental Disorders
75 How Designers and Scientists Are Using Bees to Map NYC’s Microbes
76 People will lie to robots to avoid hurting their feelings
77 StepsApp review: A gorgeous way to visualize Apple Health data
78 6 Video Marketing Tips to Maximize Your Impact : Social Media Examiner
79 What is the Internet of Things?
80 This video makes New York look better in 8K than in real life
81 Scientists are preparing to search for alien life on what could be our closest Earth-like planet
82 How to use your iPhone to see what political affiliation Facebook thinks you have
83 Potentially habitable planet found in closest alien star system to Earth
84 ReadWrite on Twitter
85 VR game developers prefer the HTC Vive, grapple with nausea
86 Hackers post 'Ghostbusters' star Leslie Jones' nude photos, private data
87 How big data helped raise big money on the campaign - TechRepublic
88 I joined a bunch of LGBT techies at the White House to help tackle some world-threatening problems
89 Uber Fights to Keep Drivers Freelance, But Offers Them a Retirement Option
90 One of Peter Thiel's fellows created a new startup that will fund your lawsuit
91 Macworld on Twitter
92 Astronomer Avi Loeb Is Here to Talk to You About Exoplanets
93 Discovery of 'another Earth' revs plan for fly-by of laser-propelled spacecraft
94 A VC firm redesigned its website to say 'F*ck Trump'