Syria has handed over the last of its declared chemical weapons

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Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile may finally be a thing of the past. After months of careful diplomacy, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is reporting that the last hundred tons of Syria’s stockpile has been loaded onto ships to be shipped to a European site for destruction. In a statement to the press, OPCW hailed the successful elimination of the stockpile as a watershed moment in international relations. “The mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme has been a major undertaking marked by an extraordinary international cooperation,” said Ahmet Üzümcü, Director-General of the OPCW. “Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country…

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Employee Perk Startup AnyPerk Raises $3M From Vegas Tech Fund And Others

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Taro Fukuyama AnyPerk, a Y Combinator-incubated startup that aims to help companies of all sizes deliver employee perks, is announcing that it has raised $3 million in additional seed funding.
The startup said it already works with 2,500 customers, including TaskRabbit and Lyft (which offers perks to its drivers). While there’s a lot of discussion right now about recruiting top-notch employees… Read More

YouTube’s Marketing And Content Platform Nets Startups Millions

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Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 3.43.22 PM (1) The rise of YouTube and its attendant online celebrity millionaires has created opportunities for venture investors to launch new marketing and advertising platforms, like the new startup FameBit, catering to brands wishing for these virtual stars to hawk their wares. YouTube ad revenue for 2013 totaled $5.6 billion for 2013, according to eMarketer, or roughly 13% of the $42.8 billion spent… Read More

The Ring Of Fire: Of Pirates, Popcorn Time And Dynamic Pricing

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tv At 36,007 feet up in the air, somewhere between Alaska and Russia, with the Aleutian Islands someplace below us, my child and I are sharing a blissful moment.
My one-year-old is sleeping peacefully and I finally have an opportunity to catch up on Game of Thrones. I’m four episodes behind, and I need to see what happened in that trial by combat. Read More

Nathan Fillion to make cameo in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

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Mal is going back to space this summer — though he unfortunately won’t be aboard the Firefly. Nathan Fillion will appear in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn revealed this weekend on Twitter. The role is extremely brief, says Gunn, who said on Twitter that the Firefly and Castle star has a “a very small fun cameo he did as a favor to me.” Fillion had previously teased that he’d make it into the film’s credits, and rumors intensified this week after a report from Latino Review claimed Fillion would have a more substantial role in the film as Nova. Gunn put those rumors to bed once and for all by confirming that Fillion’s involvement is limited to a cameo. Fillion previously worked with Gunn in 2006’s Sliver and Super…

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Strange possible origin of giant, abandoned Chinese metal Marilyn Monroe statue

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You may have heard about the 8m-tall, abandoned metal statue of Marilyn Monroe that is quietly resting in a Chinese scrapheap after a brief tenure in front of a mall in Guigang, China. But as Jillian Steinhauer points out, the weird juxtaposition of Giant Metal Marilyn amid the garbage is only the tip of the weird — far stranger are the possible connections to the another, American metal Marilyn, who currently lives at the New Jersey sculpture park Grounds for Sculpture.

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The Term Sheet Mating Dance

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termsheet-dance There is no word more sacred and yet over-used than “term sheet” in the entrepreneurial circle. Often, the pursuit of the mythical VC term sheet has blinded entrepreneurs from the real goal of building a business – revenue, customers, users, engagement, and retention. Securing a term sheet is about more than money, more than survival. It’s validation. It’s the… Read More

Project Loon: Google’s quest to bring internet to the world with a fleet of balloons

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For many, internet access is a vital resource. However, vast, rural swaths of the world have no broadband internet access. One of Google’s latest “moonshot” projects seeks to fill that gap with balloons. Called Project Loon, the plan is incredibly ambitious: it calls for a large network of “towers” in the sky that receive internet access from antennas on the ground in one location and beam internet down to rural homes below. Google has many challenges to overcome before Loon becomes a reality, but the team says it hopes to have a functioning service online by summer 2015. We’ll be covering the company’s progress here — stay tuned for all the updates.

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Snapchat’s “Our Story” Is A Genius, Collaborative Reinvention Of The Livestream


EDC Live What does it feel like to be a massive music festival? Nothing like a glossy livestream of the mainstage. Much more like Snapchat’s new Our Story feature, a curated channel of user submitted photos of videos from all around a big event. I was there last night at Vegas’ Electric Daisy Carnival, an 140,000-person dance music festival where Snapchat piloted Our Story. I can vouch that… Read More

Alopecia baldness cured with arthritis drug

Boing Boing

In Killing Two Birds with One Stone: Oral Tofacitinib Reverses Alopecia Universalis in a Patient with Plaque Psoriasis [PDF], a paper in Nature’s Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Yale researchers Brittany G Craiglow and Brett A. King document an extremely successful trial in treating total baldness due to alopecia with the rheumatoid arthritis drug tofacitinib citrate. The 25 year old patient, who had both plaque psoriasis and alopecia, grew a full head of hair, as well as eyelashes, eyebrows and armpit hair, and reported no undesirable side effects.

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Will Google Enter The Insurance Industry?

shutterstock_169895795 When it comes to collecting and organizing information, Google is well on its way to establishing its hegemony through the registration of 6 billion daily unique searches and indexing of over 50 billion web pages (2013). What remains to be seen is how this information is being made universally accessible and at what price. One of the industries that has particular advantage of access to the… Read More

Watch a Texas lawman’s pathetic scramble for a reason not to record him

In this video, shot in April by “Ex-Cop Law Student,” Gray County Sheriff’s Deputy Stokes tries every conceivable tactic to illegally intimidate a citizen who is peacefully recording him without interfering. Deputy Stokes invents imaginary laws, tries repeatedly to seize the camera, illegally orders the citizen to stop recording, demands identity papers without justification. When all else fairs, the Deputy declares that if the citizen journalist doesn’t comply, “I’ll just make stuff up” to make him stop.

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Ten years ago, SpaceShipOne completed the first private flight into space

Ten years ago today, SpaceShipOne and pilot Mike Melvill blasted just past the Earth’s atmosphere into space, marking beginning of commercial spaceflight. The Paul Allen-funded project successfully became the first privately-financed human spaceflight, and after its success it seemed that commercial space travel was just around the corner. However, after just a couple more flights later in 2004, the SpaceShipOne was retired. There hasn’t been another commercial, suborbital human spaceflight since.

That failure certainly isn’t for lack of trying, however. Richard Branson’s quest to open space travel to all has seen hundreds of millions of dollars sunk into the SpaceShipTwo project, a space vessel that builds off of its predecessor. If…

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