The best calendar app for iPhone

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A great calendar app is like a great assistant. It lets you know 30 minutes before important appointments, updates you about events with work friends and college friends, and has directions ready as you walk out the door. I can’t afford an assistant, but luckily calendars apps are a lot more affordable: some of the best options for iPhone can be had for under $9.99. These apps do a lot more than Apple’s stock calendar app, which has only one great feature: that its icon changes to show the…

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Teens’ reported use of synthetic growth hormone more than doubles

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Teens’ reported use of synthetic human growth hormone without a prescription — generally with the intent of mimicking the effects of steroids — has more than doubled over the last two years, rising from 5 percent of high school students in 2012 to 11 percent in 2013, according to a new study from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. The partnership says that the results represent teens’ increasing interest in performance-enhancing substances like steroids, which synthetic human growth hormone (HGH) is often used as a substitute for.

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Here’s the first teaser art from the new ‘Fight Club 2’ comic book series

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Chuck Palahniuk’s long awaited sequel to Fight Club is coming in the form of a 10-issue comic book series, and today we’re getting our first idea of what that will look like. Set ten years after the events of Palahniuk’s novel, the comic book will apparently feature the wedding of Fight Club’s narrator — who now goes by the name Sebastian — and Marla. Tyler Durden is also featured in the artwork; just take a look at the stained glass window behind the expecting couple.

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Get unlimited access to over 13,000 Marvel comics for 99 cents

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Marvel is opening up its massive vault of digital comics for only 99 cents this week to coincide with San Diego Comic-Con. A subscription to Marvel Unlimited — which offers immediate access to over 13,000 comics — normally runs $9.99 per month or $69 if you pay for an entire year up front. But Wired reports that for this week only, paying just under a buck will get you a month’s worth of unfettered access to Marvel’s universe. There are some limitations; you can store a maximum of 12 comics on a device for reading offline, and there’s usually a wait of several months before new issues reach the service. (Marvel isn’t trying to put your local comic book shop out of business, after all.) And yes, Marvel Unlimited is only available in the…

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The 31 biggest things to look for at Comic-Con 2014

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In just a matter of hours, 150,000 rabid comics fans of all stripes will descend on San Diego for Comic-Con 2014. It’s the mecca of all things nerdy for the summer, where some of the biggest names in geek culture and entertainment come to show off what’s to come for the next few years. This year’s event is a bit different, though: with movies like the new Star Wars and Avengers coming out, 2015 and 2016 already promise to be the biggest years in film history, and Comic-Con could very well be…

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Jon Stewart announces $10 billion parody Kickstarter to buy CNN

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Jon Stewart has a long, playful, and antagonistic history with CNN, but his relationship with the 24-hour news channel could change dramatically if Stewart’s latest plan pans out: raising $10 billion to buy the network. Stewart isn’t actually trying to buy CNN — “Keep in mind,” he says, “we need tenbillion dollars” — but he did announce a fake Kickstarter campaign to do so on his show last night, even launching a website in support of it. Stewart’s campaign would offer some pretty great rewards too, including the chance to make a talking head appearance in a 21 box, a 6 box, or a 2 box. Fans of Fareed Zakaria and party drugs will also be interested.

Stewart’s parody campaign comes in response to Rupert Murdoch and 21st Century Fox’s…

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Airware raises $25 million to build the operating system for drones

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Lots of different industries are interested in the potential for drones to improve their businesses, from agriculture to mining to merchants like Amazon. There is a wide range of powerful units that can be bought off the shelf. The challenge for most companies is creating the software, sensor packages, and safeguards they need to make drones a practical reality for their day-to-day work. Airware, a drone startup based in San Francisco, hopes to solve those problems by providing an aerial operating system. Today it announced it had raised $25 million in a round led by Kleiner Perkins to grow its staff and launch its product to the wider public.

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You can finally play the incredibly addictive ‘Hearthstone’ card game by yourself

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If there’s been one thing missing from Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, the incredibly addictive digital card game from Blizzard, it’s a true single-player component: up until now you’ve only been able to play online or against computer-controlled bots in a training mode. But that’s finally changed, with the release of Curse of Naxxramas, the game’s very first expansion. It adds a brand-new mode that lets you play against a series of tough bosses, and it makes the game a whole lot better.

Naxxramas is essentially a multistage dungeon, with five wings that each house three powerful monsters that you battle individually. The first wing, dubbed the Arachnid Quarter, is available now, and it features some uniquely challenging opponents….

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Mac OS X Yosemite preview

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This fall, the 11th consumer version of Mac OS X will be released, for free. OS X 10.10 is better known as Yosemite, and the main thing you need to know about it is that it’s a big visual redesign. All of the features and functionality we’ve come to expect from Macs are still here, but they have a new look that’s closer to the redesign we saw last month on iPhones and iPads with iOS 8.

Every year since the release of the iPhone, we’ve wondered how Apple would negotiate the fact that it has…

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Microsoft’s Lumia 530 aims to take on Android at the low end

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Microsoft has a new smartphone competitor for the low end: the Lumia 530. Designed as a successor to the popular Lumia 520, Microsoft’s Lumia 530 includes similar specifications and a low price point of just 85 euros ($114) before taxes and subsidies. While the Lumia 525, a revision of the 520, included 1GB of RAM, Microsoft has opted for 512MB of RAM in the Lumia 530 and just 4GB of storage and a quad-core processor.  The Lumia 530 also includes on-screen buttons, joining the Lumia 630 as the second Windows Phone to include this new functionality.

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The UK is about to unleash a ‘fart machine’ on France

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A British inventor is preparing to let rip the loudest fart that France has ever heard. In order to accomplish this mission, Colin Furze put together a valveless pulse jet, a propulsion device sometimes used by hobbyists to power model aircraft and other remote-controlled vehicles. Next, he’s building a gigantic pair of human buttocks to house his machine. Furze intends to have his absurd contraption prepared by July 24th, which is when he plans to unleash auditory hell from the cliffs of Dover, England.

Amazingly, Furze’s upcoming stunt is far from his most outrageous. The plumber turned YouTube celebrity has created a multitude of other inventions including a jet-powered bicycle, the world’s fastest mobility scooter, and a pair of…

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Amazon Fire Phone review

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Two days after I first turned on the Amazon Fire Phone, I walked into the foyer of my apartment building and saw a package with my name on it. This was odd: I’m the guy who orders something and then sits patiently by the front door waiting for it, not the guy who gets surprised by packages on a Saturday.

This is how life changes when you begin carrying around Amazon’s first smartphone. The Fire Phone, which will be available July 24th for $199 and a two-year contract, is the most immediate…

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Microsoft will merge separate versions of Windows into one unified operating system

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed that the his company will amalgamate all major versions of Windows into one operating system. Speaking on the company’s quarterly earnings call today, Nadella told analysts Microsoft will “streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system.” Describing the implications of the change, Nadella said “this means one operating system that covers all screen sizes.”

Previously, under the management of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft had multiple teams producing different versions of Windows working separately from each other. “Now,” Nadella said, “we have one team with a common architecture.” The Microsoft boss noted the benefit for users and…

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Employee lawsuit targeting Apple for unpaid wages gets class action status

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A three-year-old lawsuit targeting Apple by former employees at its retail and corporate locations has been certified by the California Superior Court, and given class-action status. Filed in 2011 by Brandon Felczer — who spent about a year working for Apple — (along with three others), the complaint accuses the company of violating California labor codes by not providing time for employees to eat, rest, see itemized wage statements, or get paid in a reasonable amount of time after employment ended.

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Japan’s prime minister wants to host the first ‘robot Olympics’ in 2020

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For as long as there have been robots, humans have wanted to thrust them into battle. Now Japan’s prime minister wants to take that idea to the largest stage possible. Speaking to reporters last weekend at a robot factory north of Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reported by Jiji Press (via the Telegraph) as saying: “In 2020 I would like to gather all of the world’s robots and aim to hold an Olympics where they compete in technical skill.”

Tokyo is already hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, but presumably the robot competition would be a separate event. Will it be like BattleBots or more like DARPA’s Robotics Challenge, or something else entirely (this may be the only time a Real Steel reference is appropriate in a news article)? So…

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The world’s most secure OS may have a serious problem

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The Tails operating system is one of the most trusted platforms in cryptography, favored by Edward Snowden and booted up more than 11,000 times per day in May. But according to the security firm Exodus Intelligence, the program may not be as secure as many thought. The company says they’ve discovered an undisclosed vulnerability that will let attackers deanonymize Tails computers and even execute code remotely, potentially exposing users to malware attacks. Exodus is currently working with Tails to patch the bug, and expects to hand over a full report on the exploit next week.

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Microsoft’s Q4 2014 earnings show improved revenue, decreasing profits

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Microsoft has published its Q4 2014 earnings report, and the company has made $4.6 billion in net income on $23.38 billion in revenue. Revenue has increased compared to $19.9 billion from the same period last year, and net income decreased only slightly compared to last year’s $4.97 billion. In all, the earnings don’t seem to hold many big surprises — at least not compared to the massive layoffs it recently announced.

Stronger-than-expected PC demand helped Intel’s latest quarterly earnings, and it has also impacted Microsoft’s. OEM revenue for Windows increased by 3 percent this quarter, further hinting that the decline of traditional PC sales might be starting to slow down. Some of that increase is likely thanks to businesses…

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Apple posts $7.7 billion in profit, but all eyes look to new products in the fall

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In what can only be described as the typical lull for Apple ahead of new fall product launches, the company’s reported earnings that beat its own expectations, but fell just shy of Wall Street’s. Helping once again though was the nearly 10-month-old iPhone.

Apple just reported earnings of $1.28 per share, on revenue of $37.4 billion. Wall Street was expecting the company to announce earnings of $1.23 a share, on $37.99 billion in revenue, according to a poll of estimates compiled by Yahoo. The results come on the short side of what Wall Street was expecting in terms of revenue, but are right in the middle of Apple’s own revenue forecast, which was between $36 and $38 billion. If those earnings per share numbers seem a lot smaller, it’s…

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Scientists call for the decriminalization of sex work

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A prestigious group of HIV researchers made a loud and scientifically supported plea for the decriminalization of sex work at the 20th Annual International AIDS Conference yesterday, during a presentation of a series of seven studies published in The Lancet. The series centers around the importance of filling the gaps in sex work-focused HIV research, and providing sex workers with tools to prevent HIV infection. These steps could not only help reduce HIV infections among sex workers by up to 46 percent in countries like India and Kenya, the researchers say, but they could also help control the HIV pandemic as whole. But do so, the editors of The Lancet say, governments must decriminalize sex work — there is “no alternative.”

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