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Wow, is the week over already? It seems like only yesterday we were upgrading our iPhone software to iOS 6.
Perhaps you skipped the update altogether, and decided to camp out and get yourself a shiny new iPhone 5. Or maybe you just spent the week playing video games in your underwear, and watching reruns of Lost. Don’t worry, we’re not here to judge.
What we are here to do is keep you updated on all the resources around the Internet you may have missed. Much of the content this week focused on updates, both to Apple’s mobile software and Twitter profile layouts.
There were also some tips for you movers and shakers in the business world. We had advice on how to avoid job scams, how to get a good job and how to maximize your performance once you get that job.
Gadgets galore, apps aplenty and advice that’s nice — There’s all of this and more in this week’s features roundup.
Find a Pickup Basketball Game Anywhere With This App
The app is a searchable online database and community network for pickup basketball players looking to organize games.
Want a Coding Job? This App Course Trains You in 3 Months for $75
Tech education site Treehouse is offering a new set of online video courses that it says will get you up and coding faster than ever.
Everything You Need to Know About the New Twitter
A rundown of today’s Twitter redesign news.
New App on Spotify Makes Discovering Jazz Music Interactive
Blue Note, a new music-discovery app for jazz, presents music dating back to 1939 in an interactive timeline complete with filters.
Go From Intern to Full-Time Employee in 8 Easy Steps
Although the journey to full-time employment can be rocky, it’s certainly not impossible. Here are 8 tips to get you started.
Deepak Chopra: Spirituality in The Age of Social Media
Deepak Chopra explains why social media is ultimately for social good and his rules on how to stay centered in the age of technology.
How to Change Your Twitter Header Image
A step-by-step guide to changing your Twitter header image.
10 Twitter Header Images Done Right
Interested in updating your new Twitter header image, but unsure what to pick? Check out this slideshow to see what style fits you.
What Twitter’s New Apps Mean For Developers
Twitter’s new app updates mean third-party photo services no longer appear. What does this mean for developers?
New Twitter: How to Unite Your Avatar and Header Image [VIDEO]
Need a cool new Twitter profile design? Here’s how to use one header image for both your avatar and your header.
Good Magazine Relaunches as Intent-Driven Social Network
Good is beginning a new chapter with the relaunch of its website as a digital community for social action.
4 Quick Tips for a Better Twitter Header
Have you experimented with your new Twitter header yet? Here are a few tips.
Twitter’s Advice to Journalists: Tweet Your Beat, Use Hashtags
Advice for journalists on how to effectively use Twitter as a professional tool.
App Wipes Facebook Timeline for Alzheimer’s Awareness
Facebook users will be able to experience how it feels to lose their memories for a day.
Facebook Plugin Offers Another Way to Control Privacy
Facebook has offered another way to control which activities you’ll share when using apps that interact with Facebook on the web.
6 Pinterest Analytics Tools to Supercharge Your Influence
We’ve gathered six services that measure a wide range of Pinterest engagement metrics.
Business & Marketing
3 Stages of a Company’s Social Integration
Arguments that social media belongs to marketing or public relations are shortsighted; instead, focus on objectives.
Supermanket Turns Men Into Online Products
Finding your next date could be as easy as shopping for your next box of cereal. That’s the idea behind startup dating site Supermanket.
Blue Apron Delivers Recipes and Ingredients to Make Cooking at Home Easier
Blue Apron makes cooking at home easier by delivering recipes and ingredients for three dishes to subscribers each week.
Tumblr-Based Store ‘Of a Kind’ Grows Up, Tests Marketplace for 3rd-Party Sellers
Of a Kind is expanding its offerings, and moving beyond the blogging network that gave the store its start.
This Site Pays Developers When It Finds Them a Job
One startup, Developer Auction, is looking to change how finding a job works for developers by having the employers come to them rather than the other way around.
7 Tech Upgrades for Your Small Businesses
Nothing’s better than a shiny new piece of technology, but not everyone can splurge for a laptop or iPhone every time one comes around.
StumbleUpon Expands Content Discovery Options With New App Update
StumbleUpon announced an update to its iOS apps on Wednesday that places a larger focus on user profiles and improves content discovery.
How to Avoid ‘Work From Home’ Job Scams
There are 70 scams to every one legitimate job online. Flexjobs helps you sort through to clutter to find your next telecommuting position.
Vimeo Creators Can Now Make Money Off Their Videos
Vimeo announced two new programs that will allow creators to monetize their videos.
6 Tips To Successfully Develop and Launch New Features
How do you get new features used and adopted? Here are six tips on how to get started.
Contently Adds Tools to Help Writers Showcase and Track Their Work
Contently unveiled a new feature on Thursday called Portfolio+ that is designed to help writers build up their own brands.
Calculate Your 2013 Facebook Ad Spend With This Free Tool
Aiming to take some of the mystery out of calculating ad spending on Facebook? Social media marketing firm Syncapse has introduced a free online tool that lets brand managers do the math.
Need a Job? You’d Better Learn to Code
Coding is a sought-after skill that can lead you to a higher paying job.
Soldsie Helps Businesses Turn Their Facebook Pages Into Virtual Storefronts
Soldsie helps small businesses sell their products to fans directly through Facebook comments.
Your Office Still Monitors Unrestricted Internet Access
While the majority of companies give employees free rein when it comes to the Internet, many are careful to pay attention to what their employees are looking at.
4 Time-Saving Tips for Businesses on Tumblr
No one has time to sit on Tumblr all day, especially busy entrepreneurs. Here are some shortcuts.
Tech & Mobile
Internet Explorer Could Have a Huge Security Hole
Users of several Internet Explorer versions are being urged to switch to other browsers amid news of a major security hole.
Microsoft Urges Internet Explorer Users to Protect Against Targeted Attacks
Microsoft is urging Internet Explorer 9 and earlier versions to deploy a toolkit to help protect against a series of attacks.
Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard for Mobile Devices Fits in Your Pocket [VIDEO]
Jorno, a foldable bluetooth keyboard that works with the iPhone, iPad and Android devices, is asking for funding on Kickstarter.
7 Essential Apps for Grade School Students
Grade school kids can learn a lot from some Android and iOS apps.
iOS 6 Is Out Now: Here’s What to Do First
Before downloading and installing the iOS 6 update, there are a few housekeeping items you might want to take care of first.
Top Transit Map Replacement Apps for iOS 6
Here are some apps that will help you navigate public transit.
Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Keyboard Re-Invents Backspace [REVIEW]
Microsoft’s Sculpt Comfort keyboard has a new way to use backspace, but will it catch on?
Ricky Gervais Unleashes App That Adds Voices on Social Media
Ricky Gervais just launched Just Sayin’, a voice-centric app that lets users share any combination of voice, text, photos and video on Facebook and Twitter.
First Look: HTC Windows Phone 8X Has a Great Front Camera [VIDEO]
HTC’s new Windows Phones, the first devices from the company that run Windows Phone 8, are very pretty.
How to Shoot and Share Panoramas in iOS 6
A technical guide to taking and sharing panoramic pictures with your new Apple software, iOS 6.
The Spam-Stopping App Trusted by 5 Million Android Users
Mr. Number, a spam-stopping app, is trusted by five million android users.
This Jacket Will Silence Your Unruly Phone [VIDEO]
The “Escape Jacket” is a blazer that will silence your phone’s buzzing and beeping by blocking radio frequency waves.
Apple’s Maps App: Just How Bad Is It?
Google Maps was replaced as the default in iOS 6 by Apple’s own Maps, and condemnation of Maps was swift and fierce.
The 10 Best Things About iOS 6
Although there are some gripes about iOS 6 so far, some additions are so good we don’t even know how we got by without them before.
Schools Use Facebook Timeline for History Lessons
History classes have created a new approach to studying major historical events. Amsterdam-based school, 4e Gymnasium, has taken advantage of the popularity of Facebook and the user-friendly Timeline feature to inspire a curriculum.
For Kids, Android Is Safer Than iOS
Android devices give you access to apps that permit deeper levels of control and monitoring without requiring technical know-how to set up.
Take Gorgeous Underwater Photos With This iPad Case
A new iPad case from LifeProof is waterproof, shockproof, dirtproof and dustproof.
Voyager Legend Headset is Smarter Than it Looks
The Plantronics Voyager Legend uses technology that senses when you take off your headset, so it transfers all calls to your handset –- and vice versa.
Internet Archive Opens Access to 350,000 News Broadcasts
The Internet Archive is launching a free service called TV News Search and Borrow, which contains more than 350,000 news programs.
HotelTonight Now Offers Personalized Hotel Deals
The way HotelTonight works is fairly simple; it collaborates with hand-picked hotels to offer last-minute deals for customers.
Meet the World’s First Gesture Control TV Box
The nTobeBox, running on Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich OS, turns any ordinary TV into a SmartTV that goes past conventional televised broadcast viewing. It allows for streaming content, apps, video calls, Internet connectivity and intuitive hand-gesture recognition.
Make a Phone Call With These Bluetooth-Enabled Gloves
Hi-Call gloves have a mic in the little finger and a speaker in the thumb. The wearer makes a “call me” gesture to speak into the phone.
4 Shared Calendar Apps For Team Efficiency
Small businesses and startups can use these shared calendar apps to make the most out of their employees’ time.
How to Check If Your Flight Has Wi-Fi
Avoid the heartache of stepping onto an airplane only to discover it’s Wi-Fi-less by checking the online status of your plane in advance.
Email Etiquette: 8 Tips for a More Civilized Inbox
We have collected eight essential tips for contemporary email etiquette.
Appcessories: Changing the Way Kids Play
Toymakers are rushing to create more and more ‘appcessories’ for kids to interact with their toys –- and their gadgets.
Your Kids Will Never Text and Drive Again After Watching These 10 Videos
Take a look at the PSAs we’ve compiled. Keep them in mind the next time you’re behind the wheel, and feel a buzz in your pocket.
10 Designs That Will Change Cooking
The 10 finalists for the Electrolux 2012 Design Lab could change your at-home culinary experience.
Reebok Spotify App Has Your New Workout Mix
Long gone are the days of handcrafting mixtapes for the gym. Apps for your smartphone can find songs with the right tempo for your workout.
5 Incredibly Useful Tips From TEDTalks
We’ve combed through TEDTalks’ extensive archives, and found five simple ideas that can help you live a better life.
Seemingly forgotten about in the 10 years since its release, 25th Hour is not only one of the best performances of Edward Norton’s career, but one of the best films of Spike Lee’s. Norton is Monty, a former drug-dealer in New York who has one last day of freedom before he's sent to prison. The film takes in a whole range of themes, the nature of friendship, trust and mistakes, New York in the post 9/11 landscape, as well as condensing a difficult father-son relationship into what matters most, regret at missed chances, and an ultimate love for one another. It’s the pain and rage from Norton that ultimately gives way to what he loves the most, the city and those in it, which equals his freedom.
The Prestige might be Christopher Nolan’s best film. It might not be his most enjoyable, but in execution definitely his most accomplished. The flaws apparent in his post-Prestige work (woolly plotting, the visuals not quite matching the ideas) are all dealt with here. Based on Christopher Priest’s novel of the same name, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman play magicians in Victorian times whose intense rivalry destroys both their lives. The Nolan brothers made significant changes to the book, all for the better in my mind, resulting in a clever and lean piece of filmmaking with a neat trick ending. This was the film which really sold me on Jackman as a bona-fide acting talent, and the addition of Bowie as Nikola Tesla is a masterstroke.
One simply cannot think of anything wrong with David Cronenberg’s powerful and punchy adaptation of John Wagner and John Locke’s 1997 graphic novel of the same name. Viggo Mortensen is Tom Stall, a small town restaurant owner who becomes a local celebrity after killing two robbers who threatened the life of one of his waitresses. The way he so easily killed them attracts the attention of Ed Harris’ gangster Carl Fogarty, who alleges that Tom is really Joey Cusack, a mobster hitman.
What follows is a narrative so precise and controlled that it makes you want to stand up and applaud. Mortensen sells both his role as family man and potential violent criminal, and the film doesn’t withhold any mystery unnecessarily, revealing the truth exactly when needed to for dramatic effect. It’s a film that makes you earn its beats and payoffs, while also getting you to reflect on just how violence makes you feel â€“ both exhilarated and appalled at the same time.
Taking on the rotoscoped animation process he first used in Waking Life, Richard Linklater applied it to Philip K Dick’s most personal novel, A Scanner Darkly, and made the most faithful and arguably successful adaptation yet of one of Dick’s books. In a tale of rampant drug addiction in the future, and high-tech surveillance, the animation technique works perfectly, allowing ideas such as the scramble suit to really come to life, as well as some of its more outlandish hallucinations.
The casting is pitch perfect, and while it may be a little unfair to say Keanu Reeves is great as an undercover cop so strung out he’s lost his personality, Reeves sells the desperation and heartbreak well. Providing comedic back-up of the dark kind is Robert Downey Jr. (who probably knows a thing or two about addiction), Woody Harrelson and the brilliant Rory Cochrane.
Considered as the ultimate â€˜Dad’ film, it’s easy to forget just how masterful (excuse the pun) this film is. Not just a thrilling boy’s own adventure of chasing a French ship across the world during the Napoleonic Wars, but a brilliant character study and look into human nature and the depths of true friendship. It is this combination of the epic and the personal that makes Master & Commander a film to treasure and re-watch, rather than write off as just another empty spectacle. Russell Crowe turns in one of his great performances as Captain Aubrey, while Paul Bettany was born to play the role of Dr Maturin, the exasperated ship's doctor.
A modern-day Princess Bride, Stardust has the potential to be a fantasy classic for the ages, and to be talked about fondly by future generations of movie fans, much like the classic Rob Reiner 80s film. Like that film, Stardust was adapted from a book, in this case Neil Gaiman’s dark fairytale. Made considerably lighter, the film charts the progress of Tristan (Charlie Cox) who must cross over to the magical kingdom of Stormhold to find and bring back a fallen star in order to prove his love for the spoilt Victoria (Sienna Miller). Except it turns out that the star is an actual living being, named Yvaine and played by the incredible Claire Danes. Stardust is captivating, exciting, adventurous, funny when needed, and yes, magical. It also has Ricky Gervais getting killed, so everyone’s a winner.
Unhelpfully split up into its two separate components, Planet Terror and Death Proof, Grindhouse was shorn of much of its purpose and regarded as two misfiring and even misguided movies. However, when you actually watch it as the double-feature it was intended to be, complete with fake trailers, it’s an absolute blast, soaked with nostalgic nods to the past. While Death Proof may be a little slow, it still has some vintage Tarantino dialogue and action in it, while Planet Terror is all kinds of crazy. For those willing to make the effort and get a bunch of friends over, Grindhouse is some of best cinematic fun you can have.
A quick-fire, hilarious pulp crime film from Shane Black, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang cemented his reputation as a master of dialogue, and re-established lead Robert Downey Jr as a truly formidable acting talent. Oh, and it’s easily Val Kilmer’s best ever performance too. Knowingly self-aware, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang tells how Downey Jr’s Harry gets mixed up in Hollywood murders, receiving assistance from Perry van Shrike (Kilmer). An absolute blast, you cannot fail to have fun while watching the film, as the leads bounce off each other with a joyful and easy chemistry only heightened by Black's excellent scripting. Both director and lead are clearly revelling working with each other, and if this is anything to go by, Iron Man 3 should be a joy â€“ as witnessed by the Super Bowl â€˜extended look’ for the film, which had more than a touch of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang about it.
Has there ever been a more slavish attempt to perfectly recreate a work of comic book fiction? I really don’t think so, and for all its faults, Watchmen is a work of dizzying spectacle and craftsmanship, and proved that director Zack Snyder deserved his place at the top table in Hollywood. While a near note-perfect adaptation of the seminal comic, it’s notable that Watchmen falls down when it veers away from the source material â€“ the ending is muddled and nowhere near as iconic as the trans-dimensional squid, while Matthew Goode, as much as I love him, is totally off in his portrayal of Adrian Veidt. But the rest of the cast absolutely nail it (especially Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and what was once considered an unfilmable comic is now something which at times is extraordinary.
Me Without You is essentially an anti chick-flick. Telling the decades long story of the intense friendship between Holly (Michelle Williams) and Marina (Anna Friel), it’s a warts-and-all portrayal of what can happen when two people become dependent on each other to the point of unhealthiness. Not always pretty, but often painfully truthful, Me Without You is the type of film which touches a nerve and remains with you for the rest of your life. Both brilliant in their roles (Williams in particular), the film excels at not always trying to make the two leads likeable, or selling the over-arching love story as something written in the stars. Instead, like the rest of the film and its characters, it’s unvarnished, and all the better for it.
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HBO subscribers can now use the HBO Go app on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad devices to stream shows on to their HDTVs using AirPlay, Eric Kessler, president and chief operating officer of HBO, announced on stage at AllThingsD‘s media conference Tuesday. The capability is being released as an update to HBO Go’s iOS apps.
HBO Go is already available on other entertainment consoles, including Xbox and Roku, as well as on Samsung Smart TVs and the web. It’s also available as an app for iOS and Android devices. “The long-term vision is for Go to be on all platforms and all devices,” he said.
AllThingsD‘s Kara Swisher, who conducted the interview, asked why HBO didn’t make itself available directly on Apple TVs. Kessler said its shows will be available on the set-top box, but did not specify a timeline for doing so. A report published by Bloomberg earlier this month said that HBO would be available on Apple TVs by mid-year.
Despite consumer demand, Kessler says HBO has no plans to offer access to its channel or individual shows outside of cable packages because the economics are simply not “compelling.”
Penny Arcade, a popular gaming web comic, is asking its fans to fund its advertising revenue for an entire year so it can remove ads from its website.
The comic was started 14 years ago by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, better known as their alter-egos Gabe and Tycho. Since then, it has spawned two annual conventions that attract 70,000 gamers each, a charity that has raised millions to improve the lives of children in hospitals, and a series of video games.
The Kickstarter goal represents just the amount of revenue Penny Arcade would lose by eliminating advertisements. Krahulik says not worrying about pageviews — which are around 70 million per month — or ad revenue would free up the staff of Penny Arcade, 14 in total, to work on other projects.
“We have two ad sales people, but they also work on PAX [the convention] and developing things like the new Penny Arcade video game. If they didn’t have to sell ads they would just have more time to devote to our creative projects. This seems like a good thing to us,” Krahulik told Mashable.
Krahulik hinted on Twitter that many of those other projects would be new content for fans to supplement the comic, which publishes three times a week. He and Holkins have worked on projects for game companies to boost their advertising revenue, and he hopes he can devote more time for making things for Penny Arcade’s large fanbase.
to everyone telling me we are crazy…I agree.
— cwgabriel (@cwgabriel) July 10, 2012
Removing advertisements would also remove any allegations of bias from games Penny Arcade promotes, and also prevent sticky situations from when the comic pans a game the site is currently running ads for.
“No company likes to pay for an ad and then see us skewer their game the next day. It’s nothing we can’t handle but if we could avoid it all together that would be cool,” Krahulik said.
While the comparisons have been made to member-supported media like NPR, but the situation is different because Krahulik will still try to make a profit off its other ventures and merchandise sales.
If the Kickstarter doesn’t reach its goal, Krahulik says they will not pursue any other form of donations, such as a pay wall, and will continue business as normal.
Do you think web comics could support themselves without advertising? What do you think this experiment means for online comics, or other media? Let us know in the comments.
The report was released by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that advocates for children and families with a focus on media. It analyzes the current information and studies done in recent years relating violence in the media to its effect on children. After looking at the data available, Common Sense Media determined that this information hasn’t kept pace with rapidly changing content.
“The presence of violent images in advertising seen by children has barely been studied, comprehensive research on TV violence is nearly two decades old, video game research hasn’t kept pace with current modes of gaming or tracked the content most consumed by youth, and studies of online exposure are nearly nonexistent,” the report states.
For instance, two studies about media violence and its impact on children are cited in the report to demonstrate how varied findings are on this particular topic. Both studies are from 2012. The first one shows a link between aggressive behavior in children and media violence, while the other shows no evidence of a link between violent video games and aggressive behavior in children. A possible reason for these polar results could be that studies monitoring media have “widely varying” standards for what constitutes violence, the report says. Also, studies examining media can be costly, time consuming and difficult to design, which could also account for the variance.
There are some other details that need more research, too, like what type of violence children are exposed to (gruesome versus slapstick). This can depend on which genre of television or movies they watch. More research also needs to be poured into the effect of violence in advertising on children, since the report states this is an area that is often ignored.
But what’s certain is that children are exposed to violence through the media. A study from the Kaiser Family Foundation from 2010, cited in the report, shows children and teens consume an average of seven hours of screen time per day. From other research, CSM concludes that 90% of movies include some scenes of violence, as do 68% of video games, 60% of TV shows, and 15% of music videos. Whether that has an impact on children’s behavior remains to be determined for certain.
“However, the research that is available does allow us to think about violent media as a ‘risk factor’ to violence — one variable among many that increases the risk of violent behavior among some children,” writes Julia Plonowski, communications manager for Common Sense Media.
It’s possible we could see some new and more in-depth research about the effect of media on children in the future. President Obama recently called for $10 million in funds to be directed toward this type of research during a speech about gun violence shortly after the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Do you think any particular media is more harmful to children than others? What effect do you think violence in media has on children and teens, if any? Tell us in the comments.
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