The 2014 Gift Guide: What To Get Creatives (And Those Who Want To Be More Creative)

Geese are fattening, old men are awaiting haypennies (whatever those are) in their hats, and Christmas (or whatever) is fast approaching. And while you almost certainly have great ideas for the boring people in your life (what up, gift card!), more creative friends/family members/co-workers require more consideration: their gifts have to be both genuinely useful and clever enough to make it clear that you know them well. To that end, we've assembled a can't-miss gift guide for the creative folks in your life, to ensure that they'll be inspired and equipped going into 2015.

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Inside the Seattle Police hackathon: A substantial first step - GeekWire

The event started with Mary Perry discussing the parameters of redaction.   The Washington State public records act requires that almost all video filmed by any government agency – including police – be disclosed upon request.   The only real exception is for video which is part of an open case currently under investigation. However, various parts of the state code include other restrictions – the identity of minors cannot be disclosed.  Requests from victims or witnesses who may be at risk if their identities are disclosed also must be honored.  However in all such cases the video still must be released – it is just the faces or other potential identifying characteristics, which might include gender or even a person’s gait – which need to be blurred and redacted.

How Microsoft redesigned the Surface Pro for the NFL

On the outside, Groene and team insisted that the device be easily visible on the sidelines and from the stands -- hence, the bright blue plastic case. As he puts it, "People see colors before they see shapes." A key part of that was also designing the cart where the Surface Pro 2s live on the sidelines, which is used to bring them onto the field and keep them connected to a wired network when they're not being used. "How do we create an experience where the tablets can live? How do we make it to where you can actually move this around? How do we make it good for the branding?" These are all things to consider, Groene said. In total, the NFL's Sideline Viewing System consists of 25 Surface Pro 2s for each team, 13 of which are brought down to the sidelines on the day of a game.

A Visual History Of Body Art From Around The Globe

We cannot but recognize a paradox: we think of the body art we choose to bear as an expression of our identity, yet the motifs and styles that we typically adopt are not anchored in the places and communities in which we have grown up. Rather, they are the products of more or less distant cultures and epochs. In some cases, such as the Gothic imagery associated with heavy-metal music, they have been embraced and revalued, not once but several times. We are all familiar with retro fashion in clothing, furniture, and design, but it is important to remember that nothing can be the same as it was. The images that are being reintroduced, that abound in popular culture, that appear on the bodies of celebrities, may be old or second-hand, but their meanings and our motivations are new.

Flickr kills sale of Creative Commons prints, issues refunds

Even though the Flickr Wall Art service only offered images for which the owner had granted a Creative Commons license for commercial use, some complained that they believed the terms of the license only extended to online use — and not to physical prints as well. Some withdrew their works from Flickr altogether.

CrunchWeek: Fallout From The Sony Hack

Acquisition leaks, embarrassing emails, threats, theaters refuse to show The Interview, FBI’s confirmation that the hack came from North Korea, a response from the White House: There has been so much coming out of the Sony breach that this week we felt it necessary to devote our entire show to discussing everything that has happened.

The Cloud’s Bright Future

The disruption that cloud computing has had on business is so profound that it's hard to believe the concept came about only eight years ago, when Amazon announced a rudimentary on-demand storage service called S3. It took me another three years to truly understand the size and scope of the cloud, and why everyone from large technology companies to investors routinely underestimate its influence. That's when I asked Werner Vogels , Amazon's chief technology officer and the public face of Amazon Web Services, "What is the cloud?" His answer has always stayed with me. The cloud, Vogels explained, is the freedom to tinker, a license to experiment.

Content Marketing Like The Pros Do It

Consider the following two points. One, more and more small businesses are embracing the merits of social media and content marketing; in fact, more than 90 percent of all businesses now use social channels for marketing purposes, and nearly as many say that these channels are important to their marketing success. And two, the majority of small business owners say that, while they believe content marketing is important, they’re not necessarily confident about how they’re doing it; they’re not necessarily sure about the best practices for savvy content marketing.

The ultimate Tesla-killing machine? BMW preparing Model S fighter

Power will come from a highly efficient plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of a gasoline-burning four-cylinder mounted in the engine bay and two electric motors located over the rear axle. A high-capacity battery pack installed under the passenger compartment will allow the sedan to drive on electricity alone for about 80 miles.

BlackBerry works with Boeing on phone that self-destructs

"We're pleased to announce that Boeing is collaborating with BlackBerry to provide a secure mobile solution for Android devices utilizing our BES 12 platform," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said on a conference call held to discuss its quarterly results.

North Korea On Sony Hack: It Wasn’t Us

At first, the Sony hack (which apparently wasn’t all that sophisticated ) mostly looked like a major embarrassment for the movie studio, but now that it’s turning into an international kerfuffle, North Korea isn’t likely to admit it was behind it. For now, the fog of war surrounding this whole situation is still pretty dense and it’ll likely be a while before anybody gets to the bottom of who was behind the attack (assuming we ever find out). Given the state of the U.S.’s relationship with North Korea, we aren’t likely to see a joint investigation anytime soon, though — unless Dennis Rodman  plans on running that task force.

Could Lenovo’s next phone have a 46-day battery life?

When the P70t finally sees the light of day it will be available in black or white, according to Gizmo China, and will come with a 5-inch 720p display. The handset is said to measure 42mm by 71.8mm by 8.9mm and weighs in at 149g. A quad-core LTE processor is also part of the package and you’ll get a rather modest 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage space for your money. Also of note is the fact that the battery is removable — you could take a spare along with you for 92 days of charger-free living.

Here's Which Celebrities Lost The Most Followers In The 'Instagram Rapture' — Ranked

Here's Which Celebrities Lost The Most Followers In The 'Instagram Rapture' — Ranked

Videogame Designers Could Learn a Lot From 19th-Century Board Games | WIRED

“I think religion really affected how games were made,” Keren-Detar says. “In Europe, there were more excuses to play, whereas in the US, we didn’t have an established aristocracy. So the idea of playing was very negative, or thought of as lazy and idle and sinful. These games had morphed themselves into being entertaining, but also educational, so you wouldn’t get in trouble for playing a game on a Sunday if it’s based on how to become a better Christian.”

Rolling solo at a hotel? Marriott wants to hook you up (with platonic pals)

The interactive table and public display takes the social networking out of the virtual space and into the hotel’s lobby. Using RFID and LED lights, the table knows your presence once you put your phone or a special card on top. If another person at the table has similar interest or connections, LED lights will appear around your phones (the ice breaker), and it’s up to you to take it from there. The public display shows active participants in the hotel, as well as a visualization of all the data. “It’ll show you how many lines you’re connected to. [If you have lines connected to 20 people], there’s 20 reasons you have something in common with,” Cahill says. To respect users’ privacy, Six Degrees never shows users’ photos, last name, or any information that users opted to share. Non-participants can also use the display to possibly join in on any planned activities

What we know about North Korea's cyberarmy

Office 91 is thought to be the headquarters of North Korea’s hacking operation although the bulk of the hackers and hacking and infiltration into networks is done from Unit 121, which operates out of North Korea and has satellite offices overseas, particularly in Chinese cities that are near the North Korean border. One such outpost is reportedly the Chilbosan Hotel in Shenyang, a major city about 150 miles from the border. A third operation, called Lab 110, participates in much the same work.

Instagram adds five new filters for subtle photo effects - CNET

On top of the five filters, Instagram now offers a perspective tool for adjusting the horizontal and vertical planes of an image, as well as the ability to upload slow motion video. The update will also unlock real-time commenting on photos, so users no longer need to refresh their feed to see new comments.

'Home Alone' recut as a horror movie will ruin your holidays

Turning a film about a child stuck alone in his house, while strange, seedy men attack him, into a family-friendly Christmas classic is no easy feat — clearly, writer John Hughes and director Chris Columbus were geniuses.

Microsoft is taking on the tech support scammers

It’s a criminal endeavor that’s been going on for years but now Microsoft is taking direct action against the scammers. The Redmond firm is filing a lawsuit in the U.S. against one of the offending businesses and promising further action in the U.K. and India, following up on lawsuits instigated by the Federal Trade Commission last month. More than 65,000 complaints have been logged from concerned users since May, Microsoft says.

This Is What a Maxed Out Character in Dying Light Looks Like - IGN First - IGN

On Friday we took a closer look at Dying Light 's skill trees. But above we've unlocked everything and relocated the action to an entirely new area of the game, The Old Town. All abilities are unlocked, including the very cool grappling hook which transforms how Dying Light plays.

This crazy, secret gun is the key to Bungie’s vision for Destiny’s future

That’s why Husk of the Pit is so refreshing. At last, we have some loot that, by design, has a story attached to it. And unlike the Exotic bounties, you go on an actual journey with that piece of gear in your hands. You watch it change. Grow. Evolve. You’re making it do those things. You’re wading into a mob of Hive at level 30 with a grossly underpowered gun, just to mow down the forces of evil that it needs to feed on. Then you’re off to power up the fancy, new toy that it becomes in Eidolon Ally, all the while gaining strength and learning the Crota’s End raid as you prepare to tackle it on hard mode.

KitchenAid Pro Line 4-Slice Toaster review - CNET

For $500, you might believe a toaster could fly. The KitchenAid Pro Line 4-Slice Toaster looks the part. Metallic sliders accent the bulky white exterior. A row of lights that could be running down the aisle of an airplane show you the darkness setting and blink away as the toaster gets closer to finishing its cycle. Put in your bread, and a pleasant ding will sound as the toaster senses it and gets to work, reminding you, perhaps, to fasten your seatbelt for the ride.

Hands on: BlackBerry Classic

The BlackBerry Classic features a few subtle differences in design and a few more substantial ones when it comes to its specifications. The screen is 60 percent larger on the Classic than on the Bold, as the device sports a 3.5-inch square touchscreen with a 720 × 720 pixel resolution and 294ppi pixel density. Even though it doesn’t look like it, the Classic’s screen is actually the same size diagonally as that of the iPhone 4S. It is square, though, so watching videos on YouTube or checking anything out in landscape view leaves an absurd amount of black space above and below the image.

The Sinister Six - Why Andrew Garfield's Done as Spider-Man - IGN Keepin' It Reel Podcast - IGN Video

We weigh in on the reports there being a new Spidey should Marvel get the character back and other developments with the franchise.

Nintendo currently plotting next console, Miyamoto confirms

In an interview with the Associated Press, Super Mario Bros. creator and leading Nintendo visionary Shigeru Miyamoto mentioned that the Japanese console giant is already working on a successor to the now two-year-old Wii U. "For the time being, our focus is on the Wii U hardware, but Nintendo as a whole has groups working on ideas for new hardware systems," Miyamoto said. "While we're busy working on software for the Wii U, we have production lines that are working on ideas for what the next system might be." Keep in mind, this sort of far-future planning is routine for console manufacturers. It would be surprising if the "production lines" Miyamoto mentioned have moved beyond the early planning stages. Don't worry, it's going to be at least a few more years before you have to work another Nintendo console into your budget. [Image: Nintendo]

Sony reportedly hires the crisis specialist who inspired 'Scandal'

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 20 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.

Bates Motel: First Season 3 Teaser Features a Familiar Scene - IGN

Check out the first teaser for Season 3, which features a notable direct reference to Psycho, as a new guest at the motel, Annika Johnson (Revolution's Tracy Spiradakos), gets ready to take a shower... Not realizing someone is watching.

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Watch Dr. Evil mock Sony Pictures and North Korea on SNL

Of course SNL had to get a few digs in at the Sony hacks this week, and Mike Myers returned as Dr. Evil himself to do the digging. During the show's cold open, the old Austin Powers villain said that Sony, North Korea, and the GOP were all giving evil organizations a bad name. And over The Interview , of all things.

Why 'The Interview' isn't like 'The Great Dictator' — or any movie ever

Chaplin gave us Adenoid Hynkel of Tomainia and Benzino Napaloni of Bacteria — not Adolf Hitler of Germany and Benito Mussolini of Italy. The symbol of Hynkel's regime was the double cross (see what he did there?) rather than the swastika. And the distinction was vital. It's not as if either dictator was about to sue (in fact, Chaplin delighted in the fact that he sent a copy of the movie to Hitler) — it's that absurd caricatures were exactly what was needed to cut the terrifying real-life bad guys down to size.

Robot zombies are coming to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

One of the biggest changes in  the newest Call of Duty is the shift to the future, which lets you play with all kinds of cool gadgets and weapons — and now that futuristic technology is coming to the undead. As with past games in the series, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is getting downloadable content that adds zombies to the game, but in this case the shambling hordes are being replaced with robotic terrors. And just like the main game,  which starred Kevin Spacey as the villain , the DLC will feature the acting talents of several notable actors, including John Malkovich and Bill Paxton. The new content is expected sometime next year.

9 Best Digimon Moments - What to Watch - IGN Video

We know it isn't Pokemon, but check out the most memorable Digimon moments.

Best PS3 Game - Best of 2014: Games, By Platform - IGN

Reviewed on August 15 Tales of Xillia 2 is made for fans of the original, giving players dozens of hours in the same world, with the same characters they love, working their way through a new story with new goals. While it’s nearly indistinguishable from its predecessor on the periphery, I'm not sure I would have wanted it any other way. Underneath Xillia 2's familiar surface is a whole new game that’s been crafted in the same tradition that made the original such a pleasure to play.It's rare for a great JRPG to get a direct sequel that fully embraces what the original was all about. Tales fans -- and fans of the original Xillia, in particular -- shouldn't let this one slip away.

SNL's Serial spoof gets to the bottom of Santa Claus' secrets

It's official: Saturday Night Live has spoofed a podcast, and, of course, it's none other than the  hugely popular Serial . Fortunately, the skit is up there with some of the finest work to come out of this uneven season. Cecily Strong pulls off a pitch-perfect Sarah Koenig who's moved past true crime to answer some age-old mysteries about Santa Claus. The Christmas connection is probably the weakest link here, but did you ever think a podcast would be big enough to be parodied on SNL ?

12 TED Talks to restore your faith in humanity

In the wake of school killings and cases of police brutality, it’s easy to think the worst of human beings. But these inspiring talks can help you remember: altruism, kindness and helping hands are all around.

The Weekender: on Christmas, Krampus, and glass cliffs

Good morning, and welcome back to The Weekender. Our weekend journey is just now starting, so thank you for choosing us for your travels. As you may recall, this was the 51st week of the year 2014 on the planet known colloquially as Earth, otherwise known as Terra in other inhabited star systems. It was not a quiet week, as you might imagine. Below you'll find your itinerary, carefully crafted for your pleasure; stories from the week passed and recommendations for the days ahead. Now. Please sit back and relax as we take you on a journey through time and space. You might hear a slight buzzing in your ears as we get started.

Bitcoin Promoter Gets 2 Years for Silk Road Money Laundering

Charlie Shrem, the former Bitcoin Foundation Inc. executive who pleaded guilty to charges tied to the illicit online bazaar “Silk Road,” was sentenced to two years in prison by a judge who rejected his bid to remain free and “change the world.”

'The Interview' Twitter and Facebook accounts have been scrubbed

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 20 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.

Assassin's Creed director's next game is 'historical action'

Former Assassin's Creed series Creative Director Patrice Desilets discussed the direction of his upcoming game this week. The game will be of the third-person, "historical-action-survival" variety, as noted in a press release found after the break. Desilets launched Panache Digital Games just over one month ago, a Montreal-based studio consisting of "industry veterans that got together to tell stories that we feel are original and cool," according to the developer's website . "Indeed AAA Games, I believe in them," Desilets added. "I believe wholeheartedly that this medium we call 'video games' can be a positive force for change in our society and that AAA quality gaming experiences have unmatched strength to achieve this." The statement complements Panache's mission, per its website: "We make AAA quality third-person action-adventure games, with a narrative twist. We're not a 'me-too' company. We don't do trendy game models or content." To thank " first and beloved supporters" that showed immediate interest in Panache's ambitions, Desilets said the team decided to give those fans a "full copy" of its next game.

The Power of Metaphor

“As CIOs, we need to demystify IT,” says Malini Balakrishnan, CIO of Building Materials Holdings Corporation (BMC), a provider of building materials and construction services. “When current business executives were coming up through the ranks, technology was not as pervasive as it is today so they were able to achieve success without having an understanding of it. Today, the reality is much different. As CIO, you don’t want to preach to them, because that is a sure way to turn them off. You want to capture their interest by using analogies that they can identify with and that remind them of the challenges they face in their own business.”

In Memoriam: The Tech We Lost in 2014

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BMW is working on cars your smartwatch can park

Additionally,  BMW claims that the information gathered by the scanners can be combined with the digital site plans of a building to allow for independent navigation. Using a smartwatch, users can activate the parking assistant and have it automatically steer the car towards a space in a multi-story car park before locking the vehicle in anticipation of a summons. The announcement follows a demonstration from CES 2014, where BMW introduced a self-driving car at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

North Korea proposes a 'joint investigation' with US to prove its innocence in Sony hack

North Korea is  continuing to deny any involvement with the devastating cyber attack on Sony Pictures. But the entire affair just got even stranger: foreign ministry officials have announced through the government's state-run news agency that "we propose a joint investigation with [the US] into this incident." The government then warned that there will be "grave consequences" if the US continues its "groundless slander" of North Korea and rejects its proposal of a joint investigation. Officials also added, "Without resorting to such tortures as were used by the CIA, we have means to prove that this incident has nothing to do with us."

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BBC Says Apple Suppliers Continue to Violate Labor Standards

A BBC documentary accuses Apple of breaking promises to improve working conditions at its suppliers, but Apple says it continues to make progress on a difficult issue.

The Onion’s 10 Greatest Gags About Google

“America’s Finest News Source,” better known as The Onion, has been poking fun at Google for more than a decade. Here are 10 of what we believe are its better efforts.

IGN's 2014-2015 Winter Movie Preview - IGN

The Christmastime and post-holiday movie season isn't typically the strongest time of the year for movies, yet the 2014-2015 winter releases would beg to differ. Front-loaded with big blockbusters like The Hobbit and Into the Woods and ending with franchises like The Divergent Series: Insurgent and Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the winter season also has some intriguing meat hanging in the middle, like Jupiter Ascending , Kingsman: The Secret Service , and Fifty Shades of Grey .

You Will Get to See "The Interview," Sony Lawyer Says

“Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd, adding the studio is still trying to determine the best distribution outlet that would also ensure people’s safety.

Report: Sony Plans To Release 'The Interview' For Free On Its Own Streaming Service Crackle

I think it’s very, very likely [Sony will release the movie], I would be shocked if we don’t see this movie someway, somehow," Stelter stated on CNN Sunday. "The question now is how? One source at Sony said to me today, ‘We are pursuing all options.’ So let’s imagine what those could be. Could be Netflix, could be Youtube, it could be independent movie theaters or it could be the big movie theater chains that originally decided not to show the film about 4 days ago. ”

Apple Isn't the Only One to Blame for Smartphone Labor Abuses | WIRED

But while abuses among Apple suppliers understandably command the most attention, to focus on Apple alone frames the problem too narrowly. Apple is not the only company that benefits from a system where cost-saving efficiencies come with a human toll. And we consumers are more than happy when those savings get passed down to us.

51 Green Man Gaming holiday sale: Alien: Isolation, Evil Within
52 Coder, sell thyself
53 Obama: Sony Hack Is Not An 'Act Of War'
54 You can now control your Nest thermostat with voice
55 The Best Gaming PCs and Hardware of 2014
56 To create for the ages, let's combine art and engineering
57 These Dreamers Are Actually Making Progress Building Elon's Hyperloop | WIRED
58 'Frozen' director Jennifer Lee is really sorry for 'Let It Go' - CNET
59 Correction: Tonight will not be the longest night in the history of Earth. It was in 1912.
60 Before Google ... Who Knew?
61 Minecraft is getting a story-driven game from the studio behind The Walking Dead
62 Female codebreakers reunited at Bletchley Park - Telegraph
63 From Lycos to Ask Jeeves to Facebook: Tracking the 20 most popular web sites every year since 1996
64 7 Things You Can do Right Now to Protect Your Vision
65 How to Design a Social Media Campaign
66 This Woman Won't Quit
67 Life Under the Microscope: The Year's Best Biology Close-Ups | WIRED
68 Gates Spends Entire First Day Back in Office Trying to Install Windows 8.1 - The New Yorker
69 How books can open your mind
70 How to buy happiness
71 Digital wallets and vein scanners: How we'll pay for things in the future
72 Holiday gift guide 2014
73 The coin prince: inside Bitcoin's first big money-laundering scandal
74 First direct evidence that a mysterious phase of matter competes with high-temperature superconductivity
75 Flirtmoji
76 How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
77 Amazon Prime Now brought me candy in 23 minutes
78 ‘MythBusters’ to test scenes from ‘The Simpsons.’ Here are five that should be re-created.
79 40 Free Resources Every Designer Should Know
80 The Fine Art Of Deception
81 Techmeme
82 T-Mobile will let you bank your unused data come January 2015
83 The Top 50 Best Places To Work In The U.S.
84 How Food Companies Trick You Into Thinking You’re Buying Something Healthy
86 Saskia Sassen's Missing Chapter
87 The Pirate Bay shutdown: the whole story (so far)
88 The best Oreo you can buy
89 The politics of fiction
90 Why our drone future is for real -- someday - CNET
91 Subscription boxes have just gotten way out of control
92 How a Massachusetts man invented the global ice market - The Boston Globe
93 The secret ingredient behind Rome’s lasting monuments
94 How Android 5.0 lets you get raw for better photos - CNET
95 Reg Saddler on Twitter
96 Santa Claus Is Real
97 Google Launches "Store Visits" Metric In AdWords, To Help Prove Online-To-Offline Impact
98 Quora And The Quest To Answer Every Question
99 5 unique Christmas foods from around the world
100 Why Retailers Must (But Won’t) Succeed In Introducing Mobile Payment Systems