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Move over Darth.
After three years as the world's most-shared ad, Volkswagen's "The Force" ad has been eclipsed by Shakira's Activia-sponsored paean to the World Cup, " La La La (Brazil 2014) ft. Carlinhos Brown." Researcher Unruly reports that Shakira's video now has 5,375,756 shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere. That's more than "The Force" with 5,372,945 shares
See also: The Most-Shared Ads of 2013
As Unruly notes, it doesn't hurt that Shakira recently became the first person with 100 million Facebook likes. Unruly also attributes the success to the growing trend of "trackvertising," in which a brand and a musical artist collaborate on a video that serves as both a new song release and an ad Read more...More about Advertising, Volkswagen, Business, and Shakira
Unsure if your kid's ready for a cellphone and all the rapid-fire texting, hours-long phone calls and untoward Snapchatting that will inevitably follow? Has Virgin Mobile got the phone for you.
The brand (operated by Sprint in the U.S.) is launching a new smartphone plan, available exclusively through Walmart, called Custom, and it lives up to its label: owners can customize their wireless plan to their liking, with up to four lines on the same plan. Families are the primary target, and many aspects of the plan are meant to cater to the needs of parents.Virgin Mobile, Tech, and Mobile
JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip — Israeli tank shells slammed into a crowded U.N. school Wednesday sheltering Gazans displaced by fighting, killing 15 and wounding 90 after tearing through the walls of two classrooms, a spokesman for a U.N. aid agency and a health official said.
The Israeli military said mortar shells had been fired from near the school, and that soldiers fired back.
Israeli airstrikes and shelling also killed 40 Palestinians elsewhere in the coastal territory Wednesday, including multiple members of two families struck in their homes, health officials said.Israel, Gaza, United Nations, Us World, and World
You may think you can judge a person you just met based on his or her facial expressions. Does a smile indicate a person is easygoing or insincere? Does squinting show concentration, or mistrust?
First impressions of people — such as whether they are trustworthy, dominant or attractive — can develop from a glimpse as brief as 100 milliseconds or less. Brain scans suggests that such judgments are made automatically, probably outside of people's conscious control.
But now, a computer system that mimics the human brain has identified which facial features most influence how others first perceive a person, scientists say. These findings could lead to computer programs that automatically see which photographs would help people give the best first impressions they can, the researchers added. Read more...More about Appearance, Study, First Impressions, Smile, and Tech
Quick question: Do you get excited when a meeting invite pops up on your calendar? I’m going to guess the answer is no. And yet frequent — sometimes even daily — meetings are a part of the culture in many companies.
I think, most of the time, staff meetings are a waste of time. Sure, I understand that all-hands get-togethers are necessary on occasion. But most of the time, there are other, more efficient ways to keep everyone in your company or your department up to speed on what’s going on in the office.
Here are four things to consider next time you’re thinking of planning a meeting. Read more...1. Interruptions are productivity (and potentially profit) killersMore about Instant Messaging, Meetings, Business Productivity, Walking, and Business
Your job may be boring, but your office space doesn't have to be.
There are plenty of weird corners of the Internet — Etsy in particular — that cater to the quirkier side of life. So, kick your workplace up a notch, with some mind-boggling desktop accessories
These items will serve as great conversation pieces. Instead of the unbearable weather banter, you and your coworkers can now engage in deeper dialogue like, "Why is there a Barbie torso doubling as a clock on your desk?"Office, Lists, Etsy, Humor, and Weird
Back in 2011, a team from Texas A&M University carried out a cyber sting to trap nonhuman Twitter users that were polluting the Twittersphere with spam. Their approach was to set up “honeypot” accounts which posted nonsensical content that no human user would ever be interested in. Any account that retweeted this content, or friended the owner, must surely be a nonhuman user known as a social bot.
The team set up 60 honeypots and harvested some 36,000 potential social bot accounts. The result surprised many observers because of the sheer number of nonhuman accounts that were active. These bots were generally unsophisticated and simply retweeted more or less any content they came across. Read more...More about Social, Spam, Algorithm, Bots, and Social Media
So, you say you love your iPad? Well, wouldn't it be nice if it loved you back?
Thankfully, the great minds of the tech world have invented a few ways of getting it on with the Apple tablet of your eye. Of course, Internet porn has been around for ages, and that doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon. But these devices and apps go beyond stimulation and venture into full-blown satisfaction.
See also: How to Use the Internet for Foreplay
Here are four products redefining what it means to "turn on" your iPad. And if it wasn't obvious enough, this post contains and links to sexually explicit content, so it's probably best not to look at this at work Read more...More about Mobile, Features, Sex, Ipad, and Gadgets
Morgan Entrekin is happy with the relationships he's developed with Amazon. As the president of independent publisher Grove/Atlantic Books, he witnessed the industry change as Amazon’s introduction of the Kindle helped publishers like him embrace the digital revolution that has battered other industries.
It's the future that he's worried about.
“Right now [Amazon] is allowing me a perfectly fair margin, but what happens when they have total control or twice as much of the market share than they have now?” he said.
Entrekin's sentiment isn't unusual. Amazon's skirmishes with various publishers had been obscure to most until May, when the ecommerce giant began to block preorders of upcoming Hachette books. Since then, the dispute has been a public one, especially by Amazon's usually tight-lipped nature Read more...More about Amazon, Books, Publishing, E Book, and E Books
If you're not planning on trekking across America this summer, reading about it is the next best thing.
This summer, take your mind through gripping tales of modern adventures — climbing mountains, hiking trails, crossing deserts — while you're safe at home with the air conditioner on. Each of these books are first-person accounts from the adventurers themselves.
They might even inspire you to walk to a restaurant to pick up your takeout instead of getting it delivered.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more...More about Travel, Books, Lists, Nature, and Lifestyle
Your addiction to social media could net you a bachelor's degree
Thanks to the rise of the unconventional careers such as professional blogger and social media manager, as well as new forms of technology, universities are constantly adding majors to the roster of diploma-worthy degrees. And millennials are ready to enroll
According to the The Princeton Review, the most popular college majors in the U.S. skew toward traditional courses of study. Business, psychology and nursing lead the pack of sensible undergraduate areas of interest.
But where's the fun in being traditional? Read more...More about Features, College, Degree, Millennials, and Us World
Remember Facebook Gifts, the social network's service that let you buy and send gifts to your friends? Originally called "Gift Shop" and focusing on virtual goods, it was killed off in 2010. Facebook then launched a physical gift shop in September 2012 following the company's acquisition of gift-giving app Karma
Now, Facebook Gifts will be shut down once again, on August 12, according to a report by re/code, confirmed by a company spokesperson
It was obvious that Gifts wasn't working as imagined — in August 2013, Facebook partially shut it down, removing the ability to purchase physical goods and focusing on gift cards. And although it's now clear that even that part of the service did not fare well with users, Facebook still isn't giving up on the idea completely Read more...More about Facebook, Ecommerce, Tech, and Apps Software
Cortana, how far to Beijing?
Pretty soon, that distance will be reduced to zero now that Microsoft has just announced it's bringing Cortana to new regions, including China and the U.K., with the first major update to Windows Phone 8.1.
Cortana going to China involves more than just simple translation. Microsoft actually redesigned the signature "halo" icon of Windows Phone's voice assistant to better match the local culture. Cortana in China can appear as an oval shape, with eyes, although the alternate form is optional. Her notifications are also more attuned to the region; for instance, weather alerts include updates on air quality. (The actual spoken language is Mandarin.) Read more...More about Microsoft, China, Windows Phone, Tech, and Apps Software
This week it seemed U.S.—Israeli relations hit a particularly rocky moment.
First, Israeli officials leveled personal attacks at Secretary of State John Kerry and his peacemaking efforts, prompting an indignant American response
Then, a supposedly leaked transcript of a strained private telephone conversation between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surfaced on Israeli news — only to be shut down as "fabrications" by the American administration which described the reports "shocking and disappointing."
And that all happened by Tuesday afternoon.Israel, Barack Obama, Palestine, Us World, and Us
SYDNEY — A moving television ad campaign by Beyond Blue, The Invisible Discriminator, shows how prevalent racism is in Australia.
The video which was published on YouTube on Monday, poses the question: "Why should anyone be made to feel like crap, just for being who they are?"
Its message is to illustrate subtle or 'casual' racism against Indigenous Australians "can be just as harmful as more overt forms".
From not sitting next to a person on a bus through to an insensitive joke at the pub, this form of racism is rife in every part of local society and Beyond Blue want to make it clear it is unacceptable. Read more...More about Racism, Advertising, Us World, and Australia
Gone are the days of Nintendo 64 Rumble Packs.
Instead of a little rumble in your controller every time you take a hit in a first-person shooter (FPS) game or the ground collapses underneath you in a role-playing game (RPG), when you put on this gaming vest, you'll actually feel it.
Designed by entertainment and communications company Immerz Inc, the KOR-FX gaming vest uses an acoustic-haptic technology that purportedly brings a sense of reality to your gaming experience.
The vest takes the audio from your video game and transforms that information into haptic feedback (which relates to your sense of touch) in the vest. Haptic technology has been around since the 1970s, but the KOR-FX gaming vest differs from the rumble packs of old in that there are no internal motors to simulate your in-game experience through vibrations; instead, the "feeling" sensation is simulated based on in-game sounds. Read more...More about Games, Entertainment, Gaming, Fps, and Call Of Duty
It's the ultimate meeting of the minds: a Time Lord from a destroyed planet almost as old as the universe itself and a highly functioning sociopath.Viral Videos, Videos, Humor, Doctor Who, and Watercooler
SYDNEY — On Wednesday, WikiLeaks published a document, which cannot legally be published in Australia.
The suppressed Victorian Supreme Court suppression order, which appeared on the whistleblower's website, prevents the publication of details of a case and the names of international figures involved in the case.
A statement from WikiLeaks' publisher Julian Assange described why he risked legal implications to publish the document:
"With this order, the worst in living memory, the Australian government is not just gagging the Australian press, it is blindfolding the Australian public. This is not simply a question of the Australian government failing to give [this case] the public scrutiny it is due." Read more...More about Australia, Wikileaks, Julian Assange, and Us World
A bill that will make it legal to unlock your cellphone is headed for U.S. President Barack Obama's desk. This is great news, but what does it mean for you? Will it actually impact how you can use your devices?
The ability to "unlock" your cellphone or tablet — that is, provision the phone to run on a different carrier network — gained visibility in early 2013, after a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption that made the practice legal in the U.Sexpired.
See also: How to Remove Scratches From Your Phone
That means that under U.S. law, it is now illegal to unlock a cellphone without a carrier's permission. Consumers, advocacy groups and even the White House came out in favor of legalizing phone unlocking. The wireless industry, which was initially against reinstating the copyright exemption, even had a change of heart, of sorts. Read more...More about Dmca, Tech, Gadgets, Mobile, and Us
SYDNEY — A collection of digital photo compositions compare Australian society in pre-war 1914 with life in fast-paced 2014.
John Donegan, a photographer with 702 ABC in Sydney, created the stunning images, which show the stark contrast between old and new ways of life. For each photo, Donegan blended multiple digital colour images taken in 2014 with a single black-and-white image from a glass-plate negative taken around 1914.
Men and woman dressed in 20th-century fashion walk alongside modern-styled business people. Highlight moments frozen in time, building development and road-transport advancements are clear. The horse and carts are replaced by bicycles and cars. Top hats and petticoats are replaced by mobile phones and sneakers. Read more...More about Australia, Us World, Pics, Australian Life, and Digital Montages