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Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society

‘No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth.’

11 times The Rock proved he was an actual Demi-god in 2017

You're welcome.

Google launches Star Wars augmented reality stickers for the Pixel and Pixel 2

And Stranger Things, and a talking donut

Photos and video show terrifying spread of California's Thomas Fire

The fire has consumed over 230,000 acres in California.

The future is quantum: Microsoft releases free preview of Quantum Development Kit - The AI Blog

So you want to learn how to program a quantum computer. Now, there’s a toolkit for that. Microsoft is releasing a free preview version of its Quantum Development Kit, which includes the Q# programming language, a quantum computing simulator and other resources for people who want to start writing applications for a quantum computer. The...

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Apple Is Buying Shazam

We are thrilled that Shazam and its talented team will be joining Apple. Since the launch of the App Store, Shazam has consistently ranked as one of the most popular apps for iOS. Today, it's used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, across multiple platforms. Apple Music and Shazam are a natural fit, sharing a passion for music discovery and delivering great music experiences to our users. We have exciting plans in store, and we look forward to combining with Shazam upon approval of today's agreement."

Apple Acquires Shazam

At the time it was suggested that a deal was already finalized, and that an announcement could be made before the end of the year. Or even as soon as this week. And now that time has come. Apple today officially announced that it has acquired the music recognition platform Shazam. And while it is expected that this deal was particularly huge, even in terms of the $3 billion that Apple forked over for its acquisition of Beats all those years ago, neither company has divulged any financial information.

Internet's original gangsters slam FCC's net neutrality proposal

Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. Later this week, the  FCC  is expected to vote on a proposal that would repeal a 2015 net neutrality order. Supporters of those current rules say they ensure broadband providers don't abuse their power as gatekeepers to the internet, but FCC Chairman  Ajit Pai  objects to the legal framework that the current rules are based on.

Google Releases Two New Photography Apps for iOS Under 'Appsperiments' Program

The company officially announced the new apps today by way of its official blog, unveiling “Selfissimo!” and “Scrubbies,” with the latter option being an iOS-only option. “Selfissimo!” is available for iOS and Android. Each offers a specific gimmick for those who want to have a few different options to play around with when it comes to photography.

Macworld on Twitter

Apple to buy music-recognition app Shazam. But what are they going to do with it?

Google’s premium Home Max smart speaker goes on sale

The product was announced back in October , at the Pixel 2 event in San Francisco, alongside the far cheaper Home Mini. The Echo Dot competitor hit the market immediately, and the Home Max was given the decidedly more nebulous date of December. Recent leaked listings gave the speaker a December 11 launch date, and it looks like it’s arrived on target.

Why some of the world's biggest companies are using AI to manage human employees

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College London, told The Wall Street Journal that managers primarily work to "identify potential, build teams, assign tasks, measure performance and provide feedback"—things that he said humans are not proficient at. However, AI can use data to do perform these tasks, which could lead to a day when we no longer need human managers, Chamorro-Premuzic said.

Imposter Cryptocurrency Wallet App Races Up Apple's Store Charts

A new wave of Bitcoin-mania surged through the internet this weekend—and with it, a new crop of sketchy opportunists. Bitcoin apps were very popular in the Apple app store, and one using the name of a completely unrelated cryptocurrency wallet service now holds the number three position in the finance category.

Trump tells NASA to send astronauts back to the moon

It was all the way back in 1972 when humans last set foot on the moon during the Apollo 17 mission. It could happen again with President Donald Trump's signing later Monday of Space Policy Directive 1, which will push NASA to send astronauts back to the moon.

Apple now lets you pre-order apps

Compared to the App Store's overhaul that Apple revealed in September, it's not a huge change, and while most folks probably won't be too excited to pre-order messaging, fitness or photo apps, this could be big news for game developers.

How Google Fiber turned 2017 into its comeback year

After ending 2016 with its future in jeopardy, Google Fiber began shallow trenching and launched in three new cities during 2017. Still, questions remain.

Windows 10 wishlist: Five gripes Microsoft needs to take seriously

What ties most of the following complaints together is Microsoft's reluctance to let users choose for themselves, preferring instead to try to coerce users and control how they use their computer.

Twitter sure makes it easy to point out the questionable ethics of politicians

Hey guys, remember the “emoluments” clause of the U.S. Constitution that restricts a president’s ability to profit from his position? In case you’ve forgotten (or blocked it all out as a form of self-care), President Trump has been accused in at least three lawsuits of having conflicts of interests between his business life and his political office. While Trump was supposed to let his sons manage his business interests, a “director of diplomatic sales” has reportedly been steering visiting dignitaries toward the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Also, rates are up at the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and, as  The Economist reports, according to Eric Trump, the family brand is now “the hottest it has ever been.”

Built-in keylogger found in HP laptops...again

A security blogger uncovered what appears to be a keylogger on certain HP laptops. Here are the affected models, and what you can do to fix it.

Apple seeds first macOS 10.13.3 beta | Cult of Mac

The new update comes less than a week after Apple released macOS 10.13.2 to the public bringing a host of bug fixes and performance improvements. Like the update before it, macOS 10.13.3 appears to mostly focus on under-the-hood improvements.

Size of a Raspberry Pi, power of a MacBook: The Window 10-powered LattePanda Alpha

The difference is reflected in the specs, with the LattePanda Alpha having more in common with a laptop than a low-cost board like the Pi.

These five programming languages have flaws that expose apps to attack | ZDNet

"With regards to the interpreted programming languages vulnerabilities, software developers may unknowingly include code in an application that can be used in a way that the designer did not foresee. Some of these behaviors pose a security risk to applications that were securely developed according to guidelines," wrote Arnaboldi.


Philippine bank accuses Bangladesh of heist 'cover-up'

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines bank through which $81 million stolen from Bangladesh’s central bank was channeled in February 2016 has accused Dhaka’s monetary authority of covering up its negligence and demanded that it stop making the bank a “scapegoat.”

Former Gawker employees are crowdfunding an effort to buy

As of 5pm Eastern, the campaign had raised around $29,000 of its $500,000 goal. The group says that if it doesn’t raise enough money to buy the old Gawker site it still plans to preserve the Gawker archives and launch a new publication: “We’re bringing this back whether we have the Gawker URL or not.”

Airbnb wants to offer virtual reality previews of rental spots

It makes sense to take a look around a listing in VR before booking, but Airbnb also lists a few instances where augmented reality might be helpful during your trip. If you’re staying overseas and everything’s in a foreign language, it could be difficult to unlock the door, or figure out the thermostat or the hot water in the shower. It also lists a fun example of AR usefulness like “pulling up a mobile device to get directions to the coffee mugs ... first thing in the morning.” This is a problem that could easily be solved by just opening up a few cupboards and figuring it out, but I get what they’re saying.

SEC chairman Jay Clayton urges investors to exercise "extreme caution" around ICOs

America’s chief financial regulator is warning investors against cryptocurrency scams. SEC chairman Jay Clayton released an official statement today urging caution on cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings. “If an opportunity sounds too good to be true,” the statement reads, “or if you are pressured to act quickly, please exercise extreme caution.” Clayton also cautioned that no ICO has been registered with the SEC and that any trading of cryptocurrencies should be done with a considerable amount of care.

FCC explains how net neutrality will be protected without net neutrality rules

The agreement announced today between the FCC and FTC is a confusing, lackluster, reactionary afterthought: an attempt to paper over weaknesses in the Chairman’s draft proposal repealing the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality rules. Two years ago, the FCC signed a much broader pro-consumer agreement with the FTC that already covers this issue. There is no reason to do this again other than as a smoke-and-mirrors PR stunt, distracting from the FCC’s planned destruction of net neutrality protections later this week.

Bitcoin futures suggest breakneck rise in price to slow

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) - Newly launched bitcoin futures on Monday suggested that traders expect the cryptocurrency’s blistering price gains to slow in the coming months, even as it blasted above $17,000 to a fresh record high in the spot market.

The Internet Blackout for Net Neutrality Is Coming and You Can Help

It’s that time again. It’s time to break the internet in order to raise awareness about net neutrality. The FCC vote to repeal Title II protections is on Thursday, and web-based protests are kicking off in response. Some of the biggest pioneers of tech jumped in on Monday to give the protests a bump, but the difference now is that it may be the last time we’ll see such calls to action over Title II.

Here's how you can hang out with BB-8 using Google's AR Stickers

After offering a preview of AR Stickers back in October, Google is ready to start pushing out the feature to Pixel ($765.00 at owners starting on Monday. With the AR Stickers, users can place random digital objects and text in a photo or video, capture it and share it (with just a few taps). Right now the number of packs is a bit limited, but Google will probably build on on the service.

How a Government Shutdown Could Affect Your Finances

Military personnel are not subject to furlough in the same manner as other government employees, though other Department of Defense employees may be affected. The Department of Veteran Affairs would not be directly impacted by the shutdown because it receives appropriations a year in advance .

Nyko Kick Stand for Nintendo Switch

Considering microSD cards are so inexpensive (a 64GB card that triples the Switch's total storage can be had for around $30), the space for an extra card is very unnecessary. It feels like Nyko originally wanted to put a game card slot (which is useful for anyone who buys physical games, and can be hot-swapped without turning off the Switch), but realized that the cards are too thick for the Kick Stand to let the Switch dock while holding one. The recess for the microSD card slot doesn't get in the way, but it almost would have been preferable for the Kick Stand to just be a metal version of the plastic kickstand without any storage at all, to keep the smooth surface of the back of the Switch.

A Monster Wants to Be BFFs or Else in This Suspenseful Horror Short

In Jacob Chase’s horror short Larry , a bored parking-lot attendant discovers an abandoned iPad loaded with a children’s story about a lonely monster. Very, very, desperately lonely. Also in the market for a best friend. And very fond of lurking in empty parking lots at three in the morning.

Top 19 WhatsApp Tricks and Tips for iPhone

A billion people across the planet use WhatsApp to communicate with their loved ones, friends, colleagues, and everyone in between. But while many of us use WhatsApp, most of us haven’t even scratched the surface of this simple looking, but immensely feature rich communication app.

Netflix is weirdly worried about 'A Christmas Prince' fans

But back to "A Christmas Prince." Maybe it's not about hurting, Netflix. Maybe it's about escaping the crushing consumerism of the holiday season by disappearing into a fantasy world where a plucky young journalist goes undercover at a castle to spy on a dashing prince. And maybe once wasn't enough, but 18 days just hit the spot. How about that, Netflix?

Here’s How To Feel Like You’re On Vacation All Year

Vacation mind . . . is just present in the current moment. Time is less important, enjoying yourself is the priority. So what does it look like when you apply vacation mind to work? You let go of the anxiety. You aren’t worried about getting it all done, or doing the right thing right now, or all the things you have to do later. You are immersed in enjoying whatever you’ve chosen to do right now.

What Fitness Classes and Experiences Are You Curious About?

For me, various flavors of group cycling, kickboxing, and those Pilates classes with that weird torture device looking thing keep popping up on my Classpass recommendations. Or maybe you just want to know how to get started with a new skills-based endeavor like bouldering or aerial silks. You’ll never really get a feel for something until you’ve tried it, so that’s why we’d like to open up a conversation on what to expect when starting out, so you know whether you’re ready and willing to go to that first session.

The Battle for the Throne Begins in the Incredible Black Panther International Trailer

Our latest look at Black Panther comes courtesy of Marvel Japan, and it’s jam-packed with new shots and teasers for arrival in the world of Wakanda. Most importantly, it gives us basically everyone kicking some serious butt, including T’Challa and his big rival, Killmonger.

23 Beautifully Designed Tech Gifts

In the tradition of Dieter Rams, who made Braun products that endure today, designers like Yvés Behar and Philippe Starck are contributing to the digital-based creations that we carry. If you're holiday shopping for a disciple of these digital design gods, there's a good chance you can find something perfect for them in this story. Considering they're probably pretty precise about what they like, you'll be as relieved as they are delighted when they open one of these gifts.

Bloomberg Technology on Twitter

Microsoft doesn't have a quantum computer yet. But it has software and tools for the machine

Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and more are standing up for bullied kid Keaton Jones

I saw this and it broke my heart... this little boy is suiffering at the hand of bullies like so many other little boys and girls... but you are not alone Keaton we are here. There is no room in this world for bullying or hate of any kind. And we will overcome it with love... As a parent it is my responsibility to make sure my kids know it is ok to go to an adult when someone is treating them in a way that hurts them or makes them uncomfortable or unhappy in anyway. Also to educate and teach them to treat people with kindness, love and respect no matter how different they may be from you!! #loveistheanswer #lovealwayswins #youarenotalone #bulliessuck #teachlove

These ugly Christmas sweaters are guaranteed to last until 2047

While trends come and go, ugly Christmas sweaters stay the same. At least that’s the theory behind  Tom Cridland , an environmentally conscious brand that has been embraced by celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Kendrick Lamar. All the clothes within the collection are made of sustainable materials, and they are designed to last a lifetime. The hope is that this “buy less, buy better” philosophy will keep clothes out of landfills.

Lifehacker on Twitter

Yes, you really can use credit cards for all your purchases. Here's how.

This Natural Liquid Silk Is Starting To Replace Oil-Based Plastic

There are alternatives, however: Silk, for instance, is made by silkworms that eat organically grown mulberry leaves, a process that removes CO2 from the air. While most silkworm cocoons are used for making fabric, Silk Therapeutics uses the protein from discarded silkworm cocoons to make “liquid silk.”  Because it doesn’t need the same high-quality cocoons that would be used in fabric, the company can use cocoons that would otherwise be wasted; the silkworm can also survive, unlike the case in most silk-making, in which the cocoon is boiled to get the fiber. By controlling the process of making the liquid silk, the company can create silk molecules in different sizes to perform different functions.

Apple in 2018: Five questions we need to ask

Though the smart home is still in its early stages, Apple could be missing out on a big opportunity if it takes too much longer to get things right. And it's got to find a way to make Siri not only smart enough to play the music you want but also trustworthy enough to lock your front doors.

These Android Smartwatches Are Getting the Oreo Update

According to Android Police , watches that officially won’t be getting the update include: the Asus ZenWatch 2 and 3, the first Fossil Q Founder, the second Moto 360 and 360 Sport, and the first Huawei Watch. Those watches will continue to get updates, but their core operating system will be stuck at Nougat.

Samsung Galaxy S9 could have a better iris scanner and two SIM slots

This will apparently make it better able to recognize the eyes of a user, even when there’s too little or too much light, or if they’re wearing glasses or move their eyes. As well as being more accurate, the iris scanner in the Samsung Galaxy S9 will supposedly work faster than the current version.

Someday, Someone Will Build A Great Dual-Screen Phone—Maybe Even Apple

[Photo: Jared Newman] Other software missteps abound as you try to use the two screens. Activating the second display usually takes a couple of seconds, and by default ZTE won’t let you use Android apps that haven’t been optimized for the Axon M. (Thankfully you can override this setting without much consequence.) A three-finger swipe lets you swap apps between screens, but I had trouble executing this without tapping elements by accident. The Axon M’s home screen also doesn’t support landscape mode when the display is stretched.

Essential Phone PH-1 review: The many positives, plus a few drawbacks

If you're a fan of the underdog, the PH-1 is the perfect smartphone for you. The ratio of price to performance will absolutely blow you away. No other smartphone, regardless of manufacturer, enjoys this level of form and function. Essential has every right to stand with the leaders in the industry. It's every bit as cool as the iPhone X and as flexible as any Android device—all without the price found with most flagship smartphones.

46 | Statement on Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings

These offerings can take many different forms, and the rights and interests a coin is purported to provide the holder can vary widely.  A key question for all ICO market participants: “Is the coin or token a security?”  As securities law practitioners know well, the answer depends on the facts.  For example, a token that represents a participation interest in a book-of-the-month club may not implicate our securities laws, and may well be an efficient way for the club’s operators to fund the future acquisition of books and facilitate the distribution of those books to token holders.  In contrast, many token offerings appear to have gone beyond this construct and are more analogous to interests in a yet-to-be-built publishing house with the authors, books and distribution networks all to come.  It is especially troubling when the promoters of these offerings emphasize the secondary market trading potential of these tokens.  Prospective purchasers are being sold on the potential for tokens to increase in value – with the ability to lock in those increases by reselling the tokens on a secondary market – or to otherwise profit from the tokens based on the efforts of others.

Use Tesla Autopilot, Lower Your Car Insurance Rates?

Musk declared earlier this year that Tesla would work closely with auto insurers to make sure that rates for owners of its cars are fair, and the first example of that is the Direct Line discount. In a win-win arrangement, Reuters noted that Direct Line sells insurance policies to customers introduced to it by Tesla, and Tesla provides information on the features and capabilities of its vehicles to help Direct Line set insurance prices based on standard risk factors such as age, driving experience, and claim history.

A-Wings Suck

Although, canonically speaking , the A-Wings in the movies have had their shields stripped to increase their speed, most Star Wars media outside of the films has gone on to depict them as having the shields of a fighter like the X-Wing, the speed of a TIE Interceptor (which, remember that the whole point of TIE fighters was that they didn’t have shields but made up for it with speed? Way to negate that, A-Wing!), with the firepower to go toe-to-toe with all the other starfighters. They’re too cool for school, the hot rods, all sizzle and no steak. They’re trying to be the better and more badass answer to the X-Wing, like the TIE Interceptor was to the TIE Fighter. The A-Wing is the author insert of starships.

Elon Musk’s latest hit is a . . . hat

The Tesla CEO took to Twitter today to announce that 30,000 hats with the logo of his other startup, The Boring Company, have already been sold since they went on sale in October. The Boring hats go for $20 a pop, meaning Musk has moved $600,000 worth of them.


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60 MORGAN STANLEY: 3 things could slow red-hot FAANG stocks in 2018
61 Bloomberg Technology on Twitter
62 Facebook doesn't scan Messenger for fake news. But it definitely should
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64 MIT Tech Review on Twitter
65 This was the year we turned on social media
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69 Rian Johnson on the Intensity of Working With Mark Hamill on The Last Jedi
70 Ataribox pre-orders start on December 14, but details remain scant
71 Bloomberg Technology on Twitter
72 Ataribox preorders set to open Dec. 14
73 Amazon adds music alarms to Alexa
74 Apple confirms it bought Shazam | Cult of Mac
75 Hundreds of HP computer models carry a deactivated keylogger
76 7 Great Directors Who Surprised Everyone by Making a Genre Film
77 PCMag on Twitter
78 Are smart locks secure? AV-TEST has the answer
80 MIT Tech Review on Twitter
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82 Know When to Quit Your Job by Watching for These Signals
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84 All 535 members of Congress, and how much money they got from ISPs
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87 MIT Tech Review on Twitter
88 Apple's Donation to Wildfire Relief Is Great, But It's Just a Drop in the Bucket
89 The Clouds Are Different Over China - InformationWeek
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91 Kelly Marie Tran's Emotional Night Was the Highlight of Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Premiere
92 The ‘Alt-Right’ Created a Parallel Internet. It’s an Unholy Mess.
93 Vint Cerf, Steve Wozniak, and other tech luminaries call net neutrality vote an "imminent threat"
94 Decades After Discovery, 3,500-Year-Old Mummy Found in Egyptian Tomb
95 Forbes Tech News on Twitter