Marvel’s new ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer has Iron Man trying to lift Thor’s hammer

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You know you’ve always wanted to watch the Avengers lounge in formal wear, while periodically attempting to loft the mighty Mjolnir. The latest clip for Avengers: Age of Ultron shows the superhero team enjoying a rare moment of leisure, material from the original trailer, and what could possibly be the demise of a certain key character. Today has been a veritable deluge of news about Marvel’s big screen activities, including the full line-up of movies over the next few years and Benedict Cumberbatch’s upcoming performance as the sorcerous Doctor Strange.

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GoPro ad shows a lion’s lethal hunt from the big cat’s perspective

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GoPro’s marketing department has the easiest job in the world — all it needs to do is strap one of its rugged cameras to someone or something doing something exciting and it has an instant ad. In the case of this new video, the GoPro has been attached to an African lioness, and we can watch in first-person as she finds, stalks, and kills a waterbuck. The lioness is tracked by Kevin Richardson, a conservationist who’s somehow confident enough to approach the lioness as a friend while she’s choking the life out of her kill, capturing the footage on his own GoPro in the process.

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Verizon is scared of the truth

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In the last decade the written word has been devoted largely to declaring the death of the written word. The harbingers of journalism’s doom refer to dramatic charts, like this one from The Pew Research Center, that show a precipitous decline in newspaper advertising revenue. Fortunately, though, the internet is here to fill the content void, and we have technology barons to thank for becoming our new media benefactors. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who once peddled quesadillas for Taco Bell, bought The Washington Post last year at a bargain. eBay founder Pierre Omidyar poached prolific security state reporter Glenn Greenwald to start his own publication, The Intercept. Even Facebook wants to get in on the action by convincing publishers to…

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Americans are more afraid of being hacked than of all other crimes, including murder

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Just in time for Halloween, famed polling agency Gallup has released the latest results of its long-running annual survey of American fears about crime. For the first time, hacking tops the list of the things respondents were most concerned about, far surpassing every other type of meatspace crime. Specifically, 69 percent of those surveyed said they were “frequently or occasionally” worried about “having the credit card card information [they] have used at stores stolen by hackers.” And almost as many, 62 percent, were “frequently or occasionally” worried about having personal information stolen from their computer or smartphone. In contrast, less than half of respondents (45 percent), were worried about their homes being physically…

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Huge FCC rule change could make internet TV a reality

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Internet TV providers are just starting to emerge, but they might soon get the jumpstart they need in order to turn into real competitors for traditional cable TV. The US Federal Communications Commission is beginning to consider a rule change that would put internet TV providers on the same playing field as cable companies when it comes to select regulations. Critically, it would mean that broadcasters wouldn’t be able to refuse to let an internet TV provider carry their content.

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Facebook’s prized acquisition WhatsApp lost $140 million last year

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Facebook’s third quarter 2014 earnings are out, and with them, we’re getting our first look ever at the financials of messaging giant WhatsApp. Facebook spent $22 billion in cash and stock acquiring the company, but it turns out that WhatsApp has yet to generate much revenue at all. In 2014, WhatsApp lost $140 million, and generated just $10 million in revenue. Facebook, meanwhile has nearly three times as many users as WhatsApp, but generated $3.2 billion in revenue this quarter.

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Taylor Swift’s new ‘1989’ album is just $0.99 with Microsoft’s Music Deals app

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Microsoft’s new Music Deals app only launched last week, but it’s already making waves thanks to a massive deal on Taylor Swift’s new 1989 album today. For just $0.99 you can own Taylor Swift’s latest album that only debuted yesterday. The same album is priced at $12.99 on the US iTunes Store, highlighting the 90 percent off sale here. Microsoft isn’t making noise about the promotion just yet though, quietly promoting the $0.99 deal on its Windows Twitter account this afternoon. It appears that the deals are limited to the US.

All part of a new weekly Music Deals app

Although Taylor Swift’s latest album is the most high profile deal right now, Microsoft is planning to offer 101 albums for $1.99 or less each Tuesday with its new Music…

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Google wants to flood your body with tiny magnets to search for disease

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Google’s ambition to cure death is beginning to take shape in a new product from its Google X division. Andrew Conrad, the head of the company’s life sciences division, today announced the details of an effort that would use nanotechnology to identify signs of disease. The project would employ tiny magnetic nanoparticles, said to be one-thousandth the width of a red blood cell, to bind themselves to various molecules and identify them as trouble spots.

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The case for cases: why smartphone design doesn’t matter

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Phones are more beautiful than ever. Close your eyes and pick one: the sleek, rounded, comfortable iPhone 6; the stark, metallic Galaxy Note 4; the rugged, cohesive Xperia Z3; the curved, customizable Moto X. Walk into a carrier store or browse Amazon and you’ll see nothing but remarkable feats of industrial design and engineering.

That moment, in the store, will be the last time your phone’s design matters. Because you, like the overwhelming majority of smartphone buyers in 2014, are going to take your phone out of its box and put it directly into a case, where it will remain for the duration of your two-year contract.

It doesn’t matter what your phone looks like. You’ll never notice anyway.

If you buy a smartphone, there’s an…

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Third ‘Captain America’ film gets a name: ‘Civil War’

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Marvel is today unveiling the subtitle for its third Captain America movie: Civil War. The subtitle speaks directly to the Civil War plot line that Marvel is introducing in this movie, which is supposed to kick off the conflict that’ll propel its next round of superhero films. Civil War film will pit Captain America against Iron Man, though Kevin Feige stated at the event that the movie’s plot will differ from the original comic series.

Joe and Anthony Russo, who directed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will also be directing Civil War. The film is scheduled for a release on May 6th, 2016.

Marvel had a little bit of fun announcing the new Captain America title at an event this afternoon, originally claiming that it was going to be…

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The US Postal Service has been quietly surveilling more mail than anyone thought

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Snail mail is growing steadily less popular thanks to the internet, but people in the US still send lots of it every year — over 158 billion pieces of mail were handled by the US Postal Service in 2013 alone. As it turns out, the USPS has also been quietly spying on way more of the mail passing through its doors than previously acknowledged. A report from the agency’s internal watchdog — the USPS Office of Inspector General (OIG) — found that USPS captured information from the outside of about 49,000 pieces of consumer mail in 2013 and turned much of it over to law enforcement organizations throughout the country, unbeknownst to the intended senders and recipients. This information reportedly did not include the contents of letters and…

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Marvel releasing ‘Black Panther’ for November 3rd, 2017

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At an event in Los Angeles, Marvel just announced that Black Panther will hit the big screen on November 3rd, 2017. Plot details are currently thin, but the news is big. Black Panther is one of Marvel most important black superheroes. He’ll be played by Chadwick Boseman, who’s perhaps best known for his recent role as James Brown in Get On Up.

In the comics, Black Panther, otherwise known as T’Challa, is the leader of the high-tech African nation of Wakanda. He’s also an Avenger, having joined the team in 1968. T’Challa has yet to make an appearance in the films so far, but rumors abound that one of his arch enemies, Ulysses Klaw, will make an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, setting the stage for the character’s debut. Since we…

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‘Captain Marvel’ will be Marvel’s first female superhero movie

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Marvel is finally giving one of its female superheroes a movie of her own. Captain Marvel will be the first of Marvel’s female heroes to star in her own film, which is being announced today with a release date scheduled for July 6th, 2018. Though it’s been a long time coming, it may have been an obvious choice after watching fellow Avenger Scarlett Johansson absolutely destroy the box office in Lucy this summer — in fact, it’s surprising that her Black Widow character isn’t getting a film herself. Nonetheless, one would imagine that improving upon that formula inside the Marvel universe will be a sure hit. The specific Captain Marvel that will be featured in the film is Carol Danvers, the first woman to take on the role in Marvel’s…

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‘Avengers 3,’ ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘Captain Marvel’ and more Marvel movies get release dates

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The slate of upcoming Marvel films was announced at today’s Marvel media event. There are a number of interesting tidbits within the schedule. For one, the subtitle for Captain America further confirms the film’s connection to the Civil War comic series. Also of note, the separation of Avengers: Infinity War into two parts, because clearly there’s more money to be made from the release model popularized by young adult film adaptations.

Avengers: Age of Ultron: May 1, 2015

Ant-Man: July 17, 2015

Captain America 3: Civil War: May 6, 2016

Doctor Strange: November 4, 2016

Guardians of the Galaxy 2: May 5, 2017

Thor 3: Ragnarok: July 28, 2017

Black Panther: November 3, 2017

Captain Marvel: July 6, 2018

Inhumans: November 2, 2018

A…

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12 of the best new features in Android Lollipop

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Google’s approach for rolling out the latest version of Android, Lollipop, is a little different. There are the usual things we see every year — a new Nexus phone and a new Nexus tablet — but instead of a big event, the company is posting details in blog posts and on the main Android site. So if you’re tracking the rollout closely, you probably have a sense of what’s new and what’s cool in the OS. If you’re not, though, getting a sense of what Lollipop is actually like and what it actually does isn’t easy.

Luckily, we got a chance to sit down with some Google execs last week to get a walkthrough of the coolest features. We won’t know everything until we actually have a chance to use the final version, but there are some clever additions…

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Is Twitter’s audience really bigger than Facebook’s? Depends how you measure

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Twitter announced its third quarter earnings yesterday and investors didn’t like what they saw, driving the stock down around 10 percent. The company’s lack of profits and slowing user growth has marred its relatively strong financial performance over its first year as a public company. On the call that followed, CEO Dick Costolo said the company’s goal was to have the largest audience in the world. He laid out his vision for measuring the true size of Twitter, trying to give Wall Street a narrative they could rally behind — and it was a doozy.

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Former Android VP calls iPhone 6 ‘the most beautiful smartphone ever built’

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Hugo Barra was once the public face of Google’s Android division, but today he sounds more impressed by Apple. Speaking at WSJD Live today, Barra — who is now vice president for international for Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi — was effusive in his praise for Apple’s latest devices. The iPhone 6, he said, is “the most beautiful smartphone ever built.” Barra’s comments came in response to a question about the persistent criticism that 4-year-old Xiaomi’s rise has been fueled by blatant copying of designs from Apple and others, an issue that Jony Ive raised again at an event earlier this month. “Our designers, our engineers are inspired by great products — and frankly, in today’s world, who isn’t? Point me to a product in our industry…

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William Gibson interview: time travel, virtual reality, and his new book

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Science fiction author William Gibson’s work, from cyberpunk classic Neuromancer to his more recent, less overtly futuristic novels, is usually more concerned with smart cultural analysis than plotting the mechanics of new technology. Gibson has given us a lens to see everything from high fashion to virtual reality, coining the term “cyberspace” to refer to what would soon become a ubiquitous computer network in the real world (“And they won’t let me forget it,” he quipped after being…

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Google challenges Apple’s HealthKit with release of Google Fit for Android

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Google’s answer to Apple’s HealthKit has arrived. Today the company launched its Google Fit app for Android. Much like Apple’s solution, Fit offers a central place to monitor your health goals and workout stats. When used as a standalone health tracker, the app will monitor your walking, running and cycling, Google says. Goals based on duration or total steps can be established, with Fit keeping you aware of your progress throughout each day. But third-party fitness trackers and apps can also tap into Google’s platform and input your health data. What remains to be seen is whether Android’s HealthKit rival can avoid the rocky start that Apple endured with the rollout of iOS 8. Right off the bat, Google Fit is compatible with every…

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The Droid Turbo is a souped-up Moto X for Verizon

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After months of speculation and a nearly endless stream of leaks, Motorola and Verizon today announced the latest smartphone in the Droid family, the Droid Turbo. The Turbo takes the place of the Droid Ultra from last year — the Droid Maxx and Droid Mini remain in the lineup at lower price points — and is a geniuinely unique device in Motorola’s portfolio. It will be available starting on October 30th for $199.99 on contract for a 32GB model or $249.99 on contract for a 64GB version.

The Turbo has the same size display as Motorola’s flagship Moto X, which is also offered by Verizon and other US carriers, but the 5.2-inch panel on the Turbo has a much higher, quad HD resolution (the Moto X makes do with a 1080p screen). The Turbo also…

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