Wishbone teen polling app, asking things like ‘Burgers or tacos?’, has 3.1 million users

See the original posting on LA Times Technology

For the first time, Santa Monica technology company Science Inc. has deemed one of its nearly 20 apps a hit.

Science, which incubates, buys and invests in start-ups, has been developing apps for almost two years, aimed at a young audience on the premise that smartphones are becoming the primary…

LG announces the first Android Wear smartwatch with LTE

See the original posting on The Verge

LG is announcing a new version of the Watch Urbane, the chunky Android Wear device it released this spring. The new version puts an ever so slightly bigger screen inside of a slightly smaller body. It’s able to do that by building some of the watch’s tech into its bands, which are no longer swappable. It’s inside one of those bands that you’ll find the most interesting addition to this model: a cellular radio. That makes it the first Android Wear watch to include cellular connectivity and LTE — though certainly not the first smartwatch to have those features.

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LG’s V10 doubles up on screens and selfie cameras

See the original posting on The Verge

September has been full of major phone announcements, and LG has decided to join the party with just a few days to spare. The company just announced a new premium phone called the V10 less than a day ahead of a scheduled event in New York City. It’s the first phone in the company’s new “V” line of phones, which bumps up a few key specs while ditching plastic for more premium materials.

The new V10 isn’t terribly different from LG’s flagship G4 on the inside. It has the same (removable) 3,000 mAh battery, the same Snapdragon 808 processor, and the same 16-megapixel rear camera. (There is an extra gigabyte of RAM, however). On the outside, though, the V10 appears to have left the G4’s curved display behind for a flat one. The phone’s also…

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Tumblr now lets you hide your blog from the internet

See the original posting on The Verge

Tumblr today introduced a feature that lets you hide your blog from the web so its content can only be viewed on Tumblr.com and in its native apps for mobile devices. The move, which Tumblr positioned as a privacy measure, will “let you better control who gets to see your stuff and who doesn’t,” the company said in a blog post. Once you set your blog to not be shown on the web, anyone who visits its URL will see a 404 error. But anyone who follows your blog will be able to see it on their dashboard when they log into Tumblr, either on the web or in its apps.

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Online Lender SoFi Seems To Push Back IPO Plans, Raising $1 Billion

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 6.36.13 PM Back in May, Mike Cagney, the CEO of online lender Social Finance, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that his company was “profitable and as any private company we want to be opportunistic about when we go public,” adding that, “realistically in the next 12 months, it will happen.”
That plan might have just changed. This morning, SoFi, as the company is… Read More

Here is Twitter’s crazy 136-page handbook for politicians who want to tweet

See the original posting on The Verge

Ever wish there were a manual on how not to say something stupid on social media? Well, if you’re a politician, now there is. The “Twitter Government and Elections Handbook” was put together last year by the social network’s political partnerships team to teach politicians and their flunkies the ways of the tweeting arts. You can download it here.

The manual isn’t specifically meant to keep politicos out of trouble. Instead, it’s supposed to be a guide to the service for high-profile accounts. “It’s been wildly popular,” Twitter manager Bridget Coyne told NPR today. People frequently contact Coyne’s team with questions as they start using Twitter, she said. That was the guidebook’s genesis. Next in store are updates to include tips on…

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Let’s just enjoy this video of a dolphin playing fetch with a phone

See the original posting on The Verge

We live in a world where the illusion of random happenstance is actually well-produced trickery. Sure, cameras (or camera-equipped phones, at least) are ubiquitous enough that capturing crazy moments is within the realm of possibility, but far too often such seemingly innocuous footage can be attributed to special effects or clever choreography. To wit, if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. The thirst to manufacture virality is real.

All of which is to say, I want to believe that a phone belonging to Miami Heat dancer Teressa Cee just happened to drop during a shoot, and that Cacique — the “most fun-loving dolphin” — thought it was a game of fetch and returned the iPhone. All the pieces fit. It all, on some level, feels…

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Google and Microsoft end patent battle and drop lawsuits

See the original posting on The Verge

A five-year patent battle between Google and Microsoft has come to a close, as both companies decided to end the feud and drop around 20 lawsuits in the US and Germany today. The tech titans have been clashing since 2010 over royalties related to technology in the Xbox game console and smartphones from Motorola Mobility, which Google owned up until January 2014, when it sold off the division to Lenovo — but kept many of its patents. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but pledged to work together to strengthen the defense of intellectual property, according to a Bloomberg report.

“Microsoft and Google are pleased to announce an agreement on patent issues. As part of the agreement, the companies will dismiss…

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Netflix-Style Magazine App Next Issue Relaunches As Texture

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Texture Next Issue, the publisher-backed subscription service offering unlimited access to 160 magazines, is launching a revamped app with new features and a new name — Texture. A joint venture from publishers Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp. and Time Inc., Next Issue launched more than three years ago. It raised $50 million from KKR at the end of 2014, and CEO John Loughlin said… Read More

‘Back To The Future’ Trilogy Is Free For Amazon Prime Members In October

See the original posting on TechCrunch

back_to_the_future Hold on to your 1.21 gigawatts, Amazon is offering the Back to the Future trilogy for free to Prime members for the whole month of October. This year marks the 30th anniversary for BTTF. Super fans may recall October 21, 2015, is also the date Marty McFly heads into the future to see what can be done about his kids. In part II of the trilogy, Marty (Michael J. Fox) and his girlfriend… Read More

Here’s How To Cancel Your Apple Music Subscription

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 2.01.23 PM Apple Music launched. We signed up and used it. The three month trial period is over (depending on the actual date that you signed up), though. You were signed up to auto-renew by default but maybe you want to turn that off like I did. Personally? I’m sticking with Spotify and just didn’t use Apple Music enough. You can renew manually if you like. Here’s how to change… Read More

As Automation in Technical Recruiting Gathers Speed, Lytmus Raises $7.2M From NEA, Accel

See the original posting on TechCrunch

lytmus As tech companies compete more ferociously for hires across Silicon Valley, a layer of third-party technical recruiting companies is emerging to help startups quickly sift through qualified candidates without spending lots of time on interviewing. One of them, Lytmus, has been in the works for more than two years and has raised $7.2 million from NEA and Accel. It was co-founded by Abhay… Read More

The eJaculator Is A VR-Based Pleasure Machine For The Lads

See the original posting on TechCrunch

Screen Shot 2015-09-30 at 5.28.01 PM If your girlfriend is in a coma or, at the very least, indisposed, I think we have something you might like. It’s called the eJaculator VR and it consists of a thinger that goes on your whozit and a VR mask that allows you to watch someone, somewhere in 3D and then find pleasure using the rubber thinger with some motors in it.
In your life, why should you give valuable time to this thing? Read More

Asana Debuts New Version Of Its Collab Software, Claims 140K Companies Use Its Service

See the original posting on TechCrunch

justin-rosenstein-asana This morning at Asana’s San Francisco headquarters, the startup announced a new version of its product, a new brand — logo — and, happily, some metrics about its growth. As you will recall, the startup picked up a new Head of Business from Google on Monday, announcing at the same time that it has expanded its revenue by 230 percent over the past year. Growth Asana announced… Read More

Palo Alto Networks And Preserving Culture From 15 People to $15B

See the original posting on TechCrunch

security Companies experiencing hyper growth also have a unique challenge: Maintaining the culture and energy that made them so disruptive in the first place. “One of the things that small companies excel at is innovation— having a culture of innovation. But what they don’t think about later is, when you get big, how do you keep that?” notes Palo Alto Networks CEO and Chairman… Read More

Culture Clash: Coding, Software And Writing For Humans

See the original posting on TechCrunch

codecode There’s a lot of bad code out there. And it’s causing major problems for companies that are looking to build a more mobile-centric, transformational architecture. Specifically, bad code causes projects to take more time, more money and more resources (aka Software Crisis) — which is repeated over and over and over unless a company revisits and updates the long-standing… Read More

Australia’s Biggest Tech VC Firm On What’s Happening Right Now

See the original posting on TechCrunch

blackbird-8559 Earlier this month, a three-year-old venture firm that’s focused on Australian entrepreneurs, Blackbird Ventures, raised an impressive $200 million for its second fund. That’s nearly seven times the $30 million it raised for its debut fund. It also makes Blackbird the biggest tech-focused venture firm in Australia, even while its biggest bets, including the graphic design… Read More

Wheels of Aurelia, a girls’ road trip, may be my favorite game of 2015 so far

See the original posting on Boing Boing


I don’t think my mother ever expected to have such a wild daughter as me. She’s an accountant, and we have nothing in common. Maybe because of that, I hang onto what little I know of her teen years in the 1970s like flowers pressed in a book: Her summers in a seaside town, hitchhiking along the road at night with her troublemaker friend. The time my grandfather came to pick her up from the rest stop where she’d gone to hang out with boys, and how he thundered with disapproval.

Those are really the only stories I know about her childhood, except for the one where my grandmother forced her to wear a wool dress she despised. I don’t know what it would have been like to become a woman right when Summer of Love was ending, with the roulette wheel of the road and strangers’ cars your only real way out. Even now our instinct is to think that cars are usually for men. Video games about driving, always.

But there is so much more about cars than driving; maybe it’s better to say there is so much more to driving than just the car. I do remember when I got a car of my very own for the first time, and printed out a Google map—how powerful I felt that I could drive down the eastern seaboard to go visit a boy. Because I was a girl a car meant more than simply an ordinary stage on some common, anticipated ascent to social power, the same way the red eyes of a vehicle slowing on a seaside road at night were more than just lights for my mother. They were a beckoning flicker; they were a secret her daughter would come to know.

Wheels of Aurelia is a driving game that is about that more. You are androgynous, mischief-lipped Lella, driving on the famous Via Aurelia from Rome to the French Riviera in 1978. Along with you is Olga, a femme you met recently at a disco. At the beginning of your trip she asks you why you invited her. You can ask her, if you want, why she accepted.

As the Via Aurelia curls and sprawls, Lella and Olga get to know each other, pick up hitchhikers, and get into road races. You as the player have two tasks: First, abstractly, to drive, which you can mostly do one-handed. It feels like being an adult woman, to drive one-handed, smoothly with the mouse. Most of your attention, the other hand, will be on the dialogue. Everyone, from Olga herself to the patchwork characters you may pick up along the way, wants to talk to Lella—they are drawn to her in the way people tend to seek out the queerest woman in the club—easy to speak to because she is “other”, easy to experiment on, the receptacle for the car crash of anxiety and identity politics that come from being “a woman in the Pope’s country”, as Lella herself sometimes puts it.

Your choices for Lella’s dialogue tend to be pleasingly subtle, mimicking the pall of delicate anxiety that can overhang people trapped in the same car for hours. You pick up a man who swears he’s seen the Pope in a UFO. Your choices are not merely to “accept or reject” this person, but to make the elegant distinction between cheerfully affirming him and politely nodding along. As his behavior escalates, taking his side begins to feel genuinely radical, like a protest against a flawed mental healthare system, like shouting out the car window—who gets to decide whose strangeness is all right and whose isn’t?

After all, you have yet to learn why Lella herself is on the road, what secrets her past contains. You can let this hitchhiker call you “Mamma”. You can promise him, gently, that you will not take him back there.


All of Wheels of Aurelia asks you to consider your political attitude. Olga, the girl you like, says she can’t be a feminist because she wears skirts. She might only be joking, and you can only joke back—either warmly, or with an unkind aftertaste. Eventually a sexist tough guy (Lella calls him only “prick”) challenges your right to the road, and makes you race him. You and your straggling passengers, all of you trying to negotiate a complex, bittersweet and fundamentally unfair condition of life, talk as you press the accelerator. As you literally hurtle at breakneck speed for purchase against patriarchy.

Each session of Wheels of Aurelia is only about 15 or 20 minutes long, and will come to a natural end based on your decisions. There seem to be eight endings, but each session is different from the last, and you can have conversations in some games that feel suddenly new, no way to know how you unlocked them alongside the lawlessness of the road. Sometimes an encounter will interrupt what feels like a crucial dialogue point; you need to learn not to worry about the “flow” of the story, to embrace its risk of accident, of getting lost. Its jazz spontaneity liberates Wheels of Aurelia somewhat from the systematic feel that other choice-driven dialogue games have—last time I chose this, so this time I’ll choose that instead—each trip is a brief flicker of curling road, of seawall and revving engine, a cigarette sometimes coming to Lella’s lips, a rarely-seen flirtatious look. The wonderful original music—the insistent hiss of clanging drums, rock guitar, horns surging their punctuation—sounds out a life that almost feels like it could have been yours, in another time. If you had only been standing by the road in the right place.

In a nod to driving games of a different sort, you can even choose Lella’s car every time you hit the Via Aurelia, and also add your three initials to a classic scoreboard with your completion times. But the driving hardly matters at all. I love Lella. If I’d known her I would have gone to France with her in a heartbeat.

Wheels of Aurelia is developed by Santa Ragione. You have just a few days left to buy it for pay-what-you-want as part of a remarkable Humble Weekly Bundle of indie games. If you do nothing else, vote for it on Steam Greenlight so it can be available there.

Strategies for nodding during meetings

See the original posting on Boing Boing


You know those people who nod a lot in meetings, appearing interested even when they are either bored to death or have no idea what the hell is being said? Sarah Cooper has “9 Nodding Strategies for Your Next Meeting.”

Above: The Slow Nod Followed by a Fast Nod
The slow nod followed by a fast nod is great to let the person talking know that you didn’t get it at first, but you totally get it now, even if you still don’t agree.

Below: Let Me Write That Down Nod

This is the nod you use when you’re pretending to write that down.


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