Obama will reportedly order privacy guidelines for domestic drone use

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Privacy guidelines may soon be put in place for drones flying within the US. According to Politico, President Obama plans to issue an executive order to have a set of voluntary privacy guidelines drafted for commercial drones. The guidelines would help protect citizens as these small aircraft — often carrying cameras — become increasingly available. Politico reports that it is not yet known when the order will be issued, but that the White House is working to figure out the proper policy.

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The deadly arsenal on both sides of Israel’s invasion of Gaza

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Horrific violence continues to spread across Gaza this week, where an Israeli air and ground offensive against the Islamist group Hamas has killed more than 700 people — most of them Palestinian civilians, and many of them children. Both the United Nations and the US, Israel’s main ally, have called for a cease-fire, though neither side has shown any sign of relenting.

This month’s fighting marks the third time in five years that Israel has launched a large-scale military operation in Gaza, a small enclave on the Mediterranean that Hamas has governed since winning a majority in the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections. The latest conflict was sparked by the killing of three teenage Israeli boys and, later, a Palestinian boy who was…

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Pesticide linked to three generations of genetic damage

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No one’s used the pesticide Methoxychlor for more than a decade — but according to a new study, it may be harming people for generations to come. A group of researchers at Washington State University have discovered new effects from the pesticide that reach into a subject’s epigenome, affecting children and even grandchildren of the initial subject. That ancestral exposure can contribute to in adult onset kidney disease, ovarian disease, and obesity in later generations.

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Instagram may have leaked an image of its Snapchat competitor, Bolt

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Instagram seems to have accidentally posted a link to its new “one tap photo messaging app” Bolt inside Instagram for Android. Tapping the “free” button yields a dead end in the Google Play Store. Only a few users seem to be seeing the link, and some of whom have posted screenshots on Twitter. Instagram hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

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We piloted a giant robot from ‘Pacific Rim’ using Oculus Rift

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Last night, Legendary Pictures gave us a brief look at how it wants to bring the worlds of Pacific Rim and Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming gothic horror film Crimson Peak closer to real life. For Pacific Rim, the company teamed up with Oculus to put fans inside a virtual Jaeger. For Peak, del Toro himself was on hand to walk us through a gallery of props and costumes, explaining some of his vision for what we can expect from the film.

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It might get weird: why Dropbox employees are goofing around on company time

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Out in the San Francisco bay, behind AT&T Park, a giant version of Dropbox’s “open box” logo bobs up and down in the waves. It’s actually a paddle boat, with the giant box built on top; inside, two of Dropbox’s employees are pedaling it around with no idea where they’re headed.

Meanwhile, the company’s nearby offices are humming with a bizarre but infectious energy. In one corner, a scooter retrofitted with two motorized wheels, a webcam, and a MacBook Air navigates between conference rooms…

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Gameloft is outraged by contest winner who pirated its cloned game

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While Gameloft is only officially releasing first-person shooter Modern Combat 5 today, thousands have already played it. A cracked copy was distributed through various torrent sites following a contest that awarded its winners early access to the game.

Polygon reports that Gameloft community manager Florian Weber was apparently livid. “To anybody who got MC5 already, shame on you! We are making games for you and all you can do is pirate them,” he wrote on the Modern Combat 4 Facebook page. Weber also stated that he would instantly ban anyone discovered with an illicit version. Since then, the developers have taken steps to disable the illegal copies of Modern Combat 5 and are remaining vigilant against hackers. Gameloft’s heated…

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Apple might be launching its mobile wallet with the iPhone 6

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Apple might be launching a mobile wallet alongside the iPhone 6, according to The Information. The company is reportedly in discussion with various banking institutions and credit card associations, including Visa who has allegedly agreed to work with the unannounced payments product.

The Information writes that the purported system will store a user’s financial credentials on their smartphone’s secure element, a tamper-resistant piece of hardware meant to house sensitive data. Details about how Apple intends to handle information transfer remain unclear. It is believed that the company has informed partners that it intends to utilize near-field communication chips. One of The Information‘s sources has also stated that Apple may opt to…

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Google Maps now helps you find breakfast spots in thunderstorms

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Google isn’t about to let Foursquare’s upcoming redesign steal the spotlight. The search engine giant is today introducing a more context-sensitive version of the Explore function for its Maps app. The revamped feature now offers suggestions based on time and weather conditions, allowing users to schedule outdoor picnics around hurricane alerts. It is also possible to personalize recommendations further by inputting a specific time frame and your own definition of what qualifies as “nearby.”

The My Location button in the Google Maps Android app is being enhanced as well, and will now automatically provide localized data like restaurant reviews and transit schedules. Places can also be saved for later, and a blog post written by Google…

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Microsoft made a terrible parody of ‘Sexy and I Know It’ to promote Surface Pro 3 and OneNote

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Despite being a major institution of the tech industry, Microsoft has always been willing to be fairly lighthearted and get a little goofy. That’s for better or for worse, depending on how you take it. Microsoft has a long history of making silly videos that often fall on the more embarrassing side of goofy, and little to its concern. Microsoft may well know this, but its videos don’t necessarily present the perfect image for the company or its products. Case in point: a new video from its OneNote team parodying LMFAO’s 2011 hit “Sexy and I Know It” to promote the Surface Pro 3. “When I walk into class, this is what I see,” the parody goes, “everybody wants my Surface Pro 3.” Microsoft is clearly just having some fun, but the video most…

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Comic-Con 2014: all the news from geek culture’s biggest event

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The 2014 San Diego Comic-Con should be bigger than ever. The next two years in movies and TV are going to be huge ones, and this year’s Comic-Con is where a good many of them will introduce themselves and start getting fans excited. Follow along here for all of top news from the event, from panels to trailers to surprise announcements. Comic-Con will be going on from July 24th through the 27th, and we’ll be there live each and every day.

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Twitter releases first diversity report on its primarily white and male staff

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Twitter is joining the growing ranks of major tech companies that are publishing data on diversity within their workforce. It released the gender and ethnicity breakdown of its employees today, and, unsurprisingly, they’re predominantly white and male. Overall, men make up 70 percent of roles at the company; 59 percent of Twitter’s employees are white, and the bulk of the others (29 percent) are Asian. “Like our peers,” Twitter notes, “we have a lot of work to do.”

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Facebook’s new stats: 1.32 billion users, 30 percent only use it on their phone

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Facebook announced its second quarter 2014 earnings today, and one fact is becoming more and more obvious. Facebook is a mobile company now. It makes 62 percent of its advertising revenue on mobile, a dramatic change for a company that had no mobile ads as recently as two years ago. And of the 1.32 billion people who use Facebook each month, 399 million, roughly a third, only log in with their phones. It’s important to note that Facebook’s monthly user base has grown 14 percent year over year, while it’s mobile user base has grown much more, at 31 percent.

1.32 billion people use Facebook each month, but a third only log in with their phones

Facebook reported $2.91 billion in revenue and earnings of 42 cents per share for its second…

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This is how the US government classifies people as terrorists

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More than a decade into the program, Americans are finally getting a look at how the government designates and tracks suspected terrorists. The Intercept has published The National Counterterrorism Center’s Watchlisting Guidance report from March of 2013, distributed throughout the intelligence community as a roadmap to how the government tracks suspected terrorists and their associates.

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Spider-Man villain spin-off movie ‘Sinister Six’ set for 2016

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Spider-Man isn’t heading back into movie theaters as the star anytime soon, but a number of his biggest foes will. Sony said today that its upcoming Sinister Six movie will head into theaters on November 11th, 2016, according to Variety. There’s no detail yet on exactly how the movie will turn six villains into the protagonists of a blockbuster, but it’ll have Drew Goddard — director of The Cabin in the Woods and writer of Cloverfield — on board here as both writer and director to work it all out. The new Sinister Six is believed to be composed of Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Vulture, Rhino, and potentially Kraven the Hunter and either Chameleon or Mysterio.

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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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