Target asks its customers to kindly not shop while armed with guns

See the original posting on The Verge

Target is the latest US business that’s politely asking gun-rights activists to keep their firearms out of its stores. CEO John Mulligan today published an open letter on the “complex issue” of open carry laws, which have come under focus in recent months thanks to brazen, audacious demonstrations by Open Carry Texas. The group’s members have carried assault rifles into restaurants, stores, and other public settings. Their antics and images from the events have infuriated gun control advocates across the country, and even drawn scorn from the NRA — though only briefly. Now, like Starbucks and Chipotle before it, Target is discouraging customers from walking through its shopping aisles with a loaded gun in tow. “Bringing firearms to…

Continue reading…

Pablo Escobar’s very happy hippos

See the original posting on The Verge

There are hippos in Colombia, thanks to the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar. BBC News‘ William Kremer writes that the cocaine trafficker once built himself a zoo filled with exotic wildlife. Following Escobar’s death, his animals were relocated across the country — all except the hippos. There had initially only been four, but the creature’s numbers have swelled up to 50, and possibly many more have escaped and are now flourishing in Colombia’s tropical climate. The article also examines the various attempts that have been made to contend with these “living, breathing metaphors for Escobar’s place in Colombia’s national psyche.”

Continue reading…

Microsoft seeks Office for Android testers as it readies tablet version

See the original posting on The Verge

Microsoft may have released a basic Office app for Android phones almost a year ago, but the company is now building a suite designed specifically for Android tablets. The upcoming release, expected later this year, will join Microsoft’s Office for iPad version as the second major tablet-focused push for the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company is currently preparing a private beta test for the Office Android tablet version, and is accepting participants through a special pre-release program. Companies and individuals can register their interest in testing pre-release versions of Office over at Microsoft’s SharePoint site.

Office for Android tablets is expected to include a…

Continue reading…

Congress quietly removes annual reporting requirement for paid travel

See the original posting on The Verge

Congress has been criticized for many things in recent months — fumbling on immigration reform, failing to pass basic bills for state services, leaving the longterm unemployed without help — you name it. Now you can add obscuring details of who’s paying for lawmakers’ travel to the list. As first observed by National Journal, the House Ethics Committee — which is in charge of establishing the rules by which Congress operates — quietly removed a requirement to list “sponsored travel” on their annual financial disclosure forms. Sponsored travel refers to those trips lawmakers take that are paid for by groups outside Congress, often agenda-based or lobbying organizations. The trips have a tendency to be lavish and extend to lawmakers’…

Continue reading…

T-Mobile launching Nokia’s Lumia 635 with Windows Phone 8.1 on July 5th

See the original posting on The Verge

T-Mobile will be the first major US carrier to release a Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone. The company is launching Nokia’s Lumia 635 this Saturday, July 5th. But you’ll only be able to buy it from the Home Shopping Network on that date, and only with a prepaid Simple Choice plan. T-Mobile has apparently thought it best to stagger the phone’s release; the following week on July 9th, Nokia’s colorful, inexpensive device will go on sale at the carrier’s website for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $7 (totaling $168) on all postpaid Simple Choice plans. It’ll then head to T-Mobile stores beginning July 16th for a “promotional price” of $99, and MetroPCS will carry the Lumia 635 as of July 18th. The Lumia 635 offers a slight step up from the…

Continue reading…

FAA will likely miss 2015 deadline to let companies fly drones, report says

See the original posting on The Verge

The Federal Aviation Administration likely won’t be ready to let commercial drones take to the skies in September 2015, despite a recent law directing it to do so, a government audit has found. The report, released last week by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office, found that the FAA is “significantly behind schedule” and that there are still “significant technological, regulatory, and management barriers” preventing the FAA from integrating drones into the national airspace.

Continue reading…

On the man trying to treat cancer with scorpion venom

See the original posting on The Verge

Cancer research has seen a boom in the last several months. From modifying the measles virus to fight cancer cells to blowing up malignant cells with new drugs, multiple exciting avenues of treatment are currently being evaluated. Brain cancer researcher Jim Olson wants to add to this body of research, but what he proffers is pretty radical. In order to better isolate malignant cells when patients are under the knife, Olson wants doctors to rely on what he calls Tumor Paint, a fluorescent compound based on the venom from the deadly deathstalker scorpion. Read the whole story at Wired.

Continue reading…

Google buys music service Songza to take on Apple and Beats

See the original posting on The Verge

Google announced today that it’s acquiring the streaming-music service Songza for an undisclosed sum. Over the coming months it will be integrating the company’s smart playlist creation into Google Play Music and perhaps YouTube. Songza will remain an active and independent app for the time being. The purchase highlights the increasingly competitive landscape emerging around music, as Apple, Amazon, and Google all seek to differentiate their mobile products by offering top-notch streaming services.

Continue reading…

FTC accuses T-Mobile of charging its customers for fraudulent cell phone spam

See the original posting on The Verge

T-Mobile may claim that it always has its customers’ best interests at heart, but the US government thinks otherwise. The FTC just filed a suit against the carrier alleging that it has been engaging in the practice of “cramming” its customers’ bills with false charges. According to the FTC, T-Mobile commonly adds charges for “premium” SMS-based subscriptions for services like “flirting tips, horoscope information or celebrity gossip” that typically cost $9.99 per month. Furthermore, the FTC is claiming that T-Mobile did nothing to stop these charges for years after it signs showed the services were spam.

Lastly, the FTC says that the services in question had refund request rates of up to 40 percent in a single month — a fact that the…

Continue reading…

One of the most beautiful games ever gets the posters it deserves

See the original posting on The Verge

With its painterly style, Okami is easily one of the most beautiful experiences in gaming, and now you can hang it on your walls. Publisher Capcom has partnered with Dutch art dealership Cook & Becker to release a series of limited edition, “museum-grade” art prints for the game, which was originally released on the PlayStation 2 back in 2006.

The new hand-numbered prints feature a variety of art and designs from Takeyasu Sawaki, Kenichiro Yoshimura, and Mari Shimazaki who all worked on the…

Continue reading…

The history of the Walkman: 35 years of iconic music players

See the original posting on The Verge

We take portable music for granted these days. Any commuter in any big city in the world is more likely than not to have a pair of earbuds or headphones on as they walk, bike, or ride to their destination. The thing is, personal portable music didn’t exist for most of human history, at least not in any mainstream fashion. Not until the Sony Walkman came along.

The first of Sony’s iconic portable cassette tape players went on sale on this day, July 1st, back in 1979 for $150. As the story…

Continue reading…

Aereo turns to Congress to reverse Supreme Court decision

See the original posting on The Verge

Last week saw the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, effectively wipe Aereo off the map by making the company’s streaming service illegal. The decision had swift ramifications, with the company alerting customers over the weekend that it would suspend its offerings until it worked out next steps with the courts. In a last-ditch effort, CEO Chet Kanojia today sent a letter to customers urging them to notify Congress that they want the decision reversed.

Continue reading…

Yo has a real purpose now

See the original posting on The Verge

Yo is a great way to annoy your friends, but it could also turn into something much more — a simple way to manage push notifications across multiple apps and gadgets. Today, we got the first taste of how Yo might actually be useful on a daily basis. The company has launched an IFTTT channel that lets you automate light switches, air conditioning, text messages, and phone calls, all by sending a Yo to IFTTT. For now, this means you can only set up one function at a time, which is unfortunate. Here are some of the many ways you can use Yo with IFTTT:

Continue reading…

Amazon orders TV pilot about a sickness spreading over social media

See the original posting on The Verge

Social media has been a frequent source of comedy — it’ll even be a pretty central aspect to ABC’s upcoming sitcom Selfie. But later this year, Amazon is planning to turn social media into a source of terror. In its next pilot season, a show called Hysteria will follow a town where a strange “psycho-physiological illness” causing violet fits and spams appears to be spreading through social media. How is that possible? It’s entirely unclear for now, but perhaps it’s something like a really bad meme.

Continue reading…

John Oliver rips the Supreme Court for treating companies like people

See the original posting on The Verge

John Oliver has been on fire lately. Even though his new show only airs on Sunday nights, he’s consistently put out segments that speak to — and occasionally create — the following week’s news cycle. And this weekend, Oliver delivered another of his thorough and thoroughly hilarious segments, this time focused on the Hobby Lobby case.

Even though the Supreme Court only handed down its controversial decision yesterday, finding that certain companies can reject Obamacare’s birth-control mandate on religious grounds, Oliver more or less sees what’s coming, mocking the idea that a company could be considered a person. “If corporations want to be people, they should have to take the rough with the smooth,” Oliver says. “For start, companies…

Continue reading…

Former Tinder exec sues company for sexual harassment and discrimination

See the original posting on The Verge

Tinder is being sued for the sexual harassment and discrimination of a former marketing director who alleges that she was stripped of her title as co-founder and ultimately had to leave the company after being repeatedly subjected to abusive behavior. The suit focuses on the actions of Tinder’s marketing chief, Justin Mateen, who allegedly began harassing marketing VP Whitney Wolfe, who filed the suit, after the two ended a relationship.

Mateen reportedly told Wolfe that he was removing her title because having a “24?year-old girl” as a co-founder “devalues” the company and makes it “seem like a joke.” He’s also alleged to have sent Wolfe racist, sexist, and homophobic text messages, and referred to her in abusive ways, including…

Continue reading…

Apple brings two-step verification to iCloud website and apps

See the original posting on The Verge

Apple rolled out two-step verification for Apple IDs about a year-and-a-half ago. Now it’s finally bringing the same added security measure (which sends a numeric code to your phone or other trusted Apple device that you need to enter after your password) to its iCloud website and apps. As observed by AppleInsider, users who already have two-step verification enabled on their Apple IDs may see their iCloud web apps — Contacts, Mail, Calendar, Notes, etc. — greyed out and “locked” until they enter in the code sent to their devices.

Continue reading…

Hollywood reviews Michael Bay, the person

See the original posting on The Verge

Before Michael Bay had Optimus Prime riding a mechanical dinosaur, he made the original “Got Milk?” television commercial. Over at GQ, Sean Fennessy compiled an intricate series of quotes from Hollywood’s elite that help put the life of the “testosterone-sweating” director into perspective. “Michael Bay has a mainline to the testosterone glands of the American male,” remarked Transformers: Dark of the Moon actor Frances McDormand, one of the over 60 people who gave their testimonials to GQ.

Continue reading…

Boston’s solar-powered benches can charge your phone

See the original posting on The Verge

Visitors at select Boston-area parks will soon be able to sit, relax, and charge their mobile devices. Dubbed “Soofas,” these solar-powered benches will also disseminate location-based information such as noise, temperature, and air pollution levels through a website, according to Yahoo Tech. The high-tech amenity was first piloted in 2013, and has since been upgraded to include a larger seating area and the ability to plug in two phones simultaneously via USB. In the future, Soofas may feature inductive charging stations similar to those being deployed in Starbucks outlets through out the US.

Continue reading…

1 1,591 1,592 1,593 1,594 1,595