Social Media Field Guide

Twitter makes it easier to decide who you'll follow first

Engadget - 25 min 43 sec ago
Twitter said early this year that it would do more to help first-timers follow people, and it's now making good on its word. The social network has just revamped its sign-up process to help you tailor those first follows to your interest. Rather than...

Google's Megan Smith Would Be First US CTO Worthy of the Title

Slashdot - 40 min 43 sec ago
theodp writes: Bloomberg is reporting that Google X's Megan Smith is the top candidate for U.S. Chief Technology Officer. With a BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and experience ranging from General Magic to Google, Smith would arguably be the first U.S. CTO worthy of the title (the outgoing U.S. CTO has a bachelor's in Econ; his predecessor has a master's in Public Policy). "Smith joined Google in 2003. As vice president of business development, she oversaw many of its most important acquisitions, like Keyhole, the service that underlies Google Earth. She has led the company’s philanthropic division, Google.org, and served as a co-host for Google’s Solve for X forum, where distinguished thinkers and scientists brainstorm radical technology ideas with Google executives."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








What's Up With This Bizarre Major League Baseball Play?

Mashable - 50 min 5 sec ago

In a Major League Baseball game on Friday night, the Dodgers pulled one of the most bizarre-looking strategic moves you'll see. Just look at the screenshot, aboveWhat is going on there?

Basically, it's a baseball strategy called the infield shift — but taken to an extreme that looks odd to even the most seasoned baseball observer

See also: Absurdity at USC: How Did Josh Shaw's Bogus Story Get Out?

The infield shift typically moves a defensive player over to the right side of the field between first and second base to protect against left-handed hitters who tend to pull the ball in that direction. While it's an uncommon move, it's not unheard of to see three guys playing defense between first and second base in certain situations — but four? That's plain weird. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Videos, and Sports

Michael Sam Cut by Rams, But His Story's Not Over

Mashable - 1 hour 40 min ago

Michael Sam became the first openly gay player picked in the National Football League Draft this May. In August, he became the first openly gay player to play in a pre-season game, performing well. But the St. Louis Rams cut Sam on Saturday just before the start of the NFL regular season, so making more history will have to wait

The Rams announced the move on Saturday afternoon, the deadline for teams to finalize their 53-man rosters before the 2014 NFL season kicks off on Sept. 4

See also: Absurdity at USC: How Did Josh Shaw's Bogus Story Get Out?

Sam was the mighty Southeastern Conference's defensive player of the year last season at Missouri, but doubts about what position his speed and size would let him play in the NFL clouded his pro future, possible questions surrounding his sexual orientation aside Read more...

More about Nfl, Entertainment, Sports, and Michael Sam

States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

Slashdot - 1 hour 49 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Narcotic painkillers aren't one of the biggest killers in the U.S., but overdoses do claim over 15,000 lives per year and send hundreds of thousands to the emergency room. Because of this, it's interesting that a new study (abstract) has found states that allow the use of medical marijuana have seen a dramatic reduction in opioid overdose fatalities. "Previous studies hint at why marijuana use might help reduce reliance on opioid painkillers. Many drugs with abuse potential such as nicotine and opiates, as well as marijuana, pump up the brain's dopamine levels, which can induce feelings of euphoria. The biological reasons that people might use marijuana instead of opioids aren't exactly clear, because marijuana doesn't replace the pain relief of opiates. However, it does seem to distract from the pain by making it less bothersome." This research comes at a time when the country is furiously debating the costs and benefits of marijuana use, and opponents of the idea are paying researchers to paint it in an unfavorable light.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








States Allowing Medical Marijuana Have Fewer Painkiller Deaths

Slashdot - 1 hour 49 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Narcotic painkillers aren't one of the biggest killers in the U.S., but overdoses do claim over 15,000 lives per year and send hundreds of thousands to the emergency room. Because of this, it's interesting that a new study (abstract) has found states that allow the use of medical marijuana have seen a dramatic reduction in opioid overdose fatalities. "Previous studies hint at why marijuana use might help reduce reliance on opioid painkillers. Many drugs with abuse potential such as nicotine and opiates, as well as marijuana, pump up the brain's dopamine levels, which can induce feelings of euphoria. The biological reasons that people might use marijuana instead of opioids aren't exactly clear, because marijuana doesn't replace the pain relief of opiates. However, it does seem to distract from the pain by making it less bothersome." This research comes at a time when the country is furiously debating the costs and benefits of marijuana use, and opponents of the idea are paying researchers to paint it in an unfavorable light.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Pakistani Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters as They March Toward PM's House

Mashable - 2 hours 41 sec ago

ISLAMABAD — Pakistani police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters, as they tried to march toward the prime minister's home in the capital on Saturday, blanketing the route with clouds of white smoke and scattering demonstrators.

Police also fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, injuring some protesters, and at least a dozen were taken to a nearby hospital, police said.

See also: In Pictures, Pakistani Protesters March on Parliament

The march's leaders, cricket-legend-turned politician Imran Khan and anti-government cleric Tahirul Qadri, called for the demonstration to move to the house from separate massive rallies in front of parliament, where they have been staging a sit-in for days. Some 20,000 police in riot gear are charged with blocking the procession. Read more...

More about Protests, Pakistan, Us World, and World

New Drug Makes Strides in Heart Failure Treatment, Study Says

Mashable - 2 hours 28 min ago

Researchers announced on Saturday an experimental drug that significantly reduces the negative effects of heart failureSome are calling it "one of the biggest potential advances" against the disease in more than 10 years.

Currently called LCZ696, the drug is being developed by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. A release from Novartis suggested that LCZ696 cut the risk of death and hospitalization from heart failure by a fifth, and measurably improved patients' quality of life.

See also: Apple Prepping Sensors That Predict Heart Attacks, Report Says Read more...

More about Prescription Drugs, World, Lifestyle, Health Fitness, and Heart

Review roundup: Intel's 8-core Haswell-E is the fastest desktop CPU ever

Engadget - 2 hours 50 min ago
Since it was teased in March, enthusiasts have been itching to see how Intel's 8-core Haswell Extreme Edition processor (the i7-5960X) performs. It has now launched (along with two other Haswell-E models) and the reviews are in. Yes, it's the world's...

NASA's Competition For Dollars

Slashdot - 3 hours 43 sec ago
An anonymous reader writes: We often decry the state of funding to NASA. Its limited scope has kept us from returning to the moon for over four decades, maintained only a minimal presence in low-Earth orbit, and failed to develop a capable asteroid defense system. But why is funding such a problem? Jason Callahan, who has worked on several of NASA's annual budgets, says it's not just NASA's small percentage of the federal budget that keeps those projects on the back burner, but also competition for funding between different parts of NASA as well. "[NASA's activities include] space science, including aeronautics research (the first A in NASA), technology development, education, center and agency management, construction, maintenance, and the entire human spaceflight program. The total space science budget has rarely exceeded $5 billion, and has averaged just over half that amount. Remember that space science is more than just planetary: astrophysics, heliophysics, and Earth science are all funded in this number. Despite this, space science accounts for an average of 17 percent of NASA's total budget, though it has significant fluctuations. In the 1980s, space science was a mere 11 ½ percent of NASA's budget, but in the 2000s, it made up 27 percent."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Former Teacher And Current Entrepreneur Walter Duncan Offers Advice On Getting Things Done

TechCrunch - 3 hours 13 min ago
In honor of back to school we’re talking to creatives, VCs, and, in this case, entrepreneurs about what it takes to succeed. Walter Duncan is a really nice guy and dedicated “teacherpreneur” who has created a test-taking app. His start-up has taken in hundreds of thousands in funding and the accolades from teachers are never-ending. We asked him what it took to be a… Read More

Five Factors In Building Giants Of The Big Data Era

TechCrunch - 3 hours 20 min ago
 As we enter the second half of 2014, it would be fair to say that big data has gone mainstream, attracting coffee table books, multiple industry landscapes, consumer applications, and large amounts of funding. Having seen many technology cycles during our 45 years in venture capital including the birth of the PC era, the transition to client-server computing, then Web-based computing, to… Read More

Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Slashdot - 4 hours 8 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: The phone app ecosystem has matured nicely over the past several years. There are apps for just about everything I need to do on my phone. But I've noticed that once an app fills a particular need, I don't tend to look for newer or potentially better apps that would replace it. In a lot of areas, I'm two or three years out of date — maybe there's something better, maybe not. Since few people relish the thought of installing, testing, and uninstalling literally hundreds of apps, I thought I'd put the question to the Slashdot community: what interesting, useful new(ish) apps are you aware of? This can be anything from incredibly slick, well-designed single purpose apps to powerful multi-function apps to entertainment-oriented apps.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Cosplayer's Groot Costume Is Amazingly Impressive

Mashable - 4 hours 23 min ago

You aren't Groot, this guy is.

Lee Hurley, a sculptor attending Dragon Con in Atlanta, has created a perfect and totally wearable Groot costume. At a convention renowned for excellent cosplay, Hurley is standing out like, you know, a tree.

See also: How to Make Your Own Dancing Baby Groot

Hurley told Mashable in a Facebook message that he's been constructing the costume for approximately three months, well before Guardians of the Galaxy was even released in theaters. So far, he's had no issues with the costume other than some velcro on the boots needing to be glued.

Take a look at Hurley's costume, below: Read more...

More about Entertainment, Film, Watercooler, Pics, and Cosplay

Apple Wins Patent on Transparent Cube Store Design

Mashable - 4 hours 47 min ago

Those dreams of massive cities full of beautiful Apple store-style glass cube buildings? They've been officially been smashed

Apple has won a patent on its glass cube building design, effectively guaranteeing that the only see-through cube buildings you'll see in U.S. cities — at least the ones that look like Apple stores — will be property of Apple

See also: 14 Tiny Houses That Make Simple Living Stylish

Discovered by Apple Insider, the patent document reveals that the design patent, filed in October 2012, was officially granted on Aug. 26 of this year. It lists late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as one of the design's inventors. Read more...

More about Apple, Design, Patents, Architecture, and Tech

15 Big Dogs T-Shirts That Typify '90s Dad Humor

Mashable - 4 hours 50 min ago

If you can't handle dad humor, stay out of this post

This hacky joke formula was gold back in the '90s, and was solidified after being tacked onto an XL Big Dogs tee

See also: 100 Terrible Band Names That Should Never Leave the Garage

You haven't forgotten about those, right?

As a refresher: Each t-shirt offered a catchphrase that someone — probably a dude with a soul patch — dreamt up in a hazy poker room between cigar puffs. Many of the catchphrases built off existing popular phrases or cliches. But more importantly, they seemed built just for a stereotypical, hyper-masculinized representation of "Dad": BBQ, money, beer, poker, power, laziness Read more...

More about Lists, Humor, T Shirts, Weird, and Watercooler

Gillmor Gang: Summertime Blues

TechCrunch - 5 hours 17 min ago
 The Gillmor Gang — Dan Farber, Robert Scoble, John Taschek, Kevin Marks, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. This one seems more like an AA meeting for Apple addiction, as the Gang stumbles around pretending to be interested in Twitter tinkering with the Favorites model while just killing time until September 9. The reason we’re in reasonable humor is that we know we’re in for… Read More

Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Slashdot - 5 hours 19 min ago
Paul Fernhout writes: Lee Gomes at MIT's Technology Review wrote an article on the current limits of Google self-driving car technology: "Would you buy a self-driving car that couldn't drive itself in 99 percent of the country? Or that knew nearly nothing about parking, couldn't be taken out in snow or heavy rain, and would drive straight over a gaping pothole? If your answer is yes, then check out the Google Self-Driving Car, model year 2014. Google often leaves the impression that, as a Google executive once wrote, the cars can 'drive anywhere a car can legally drive.' However, that's true only if intricate preparations have been made beforehand, with the car's exact route, including driveways, extensively mapped. Data from multiple passes by a special sensor vehicle must later be pored over, meter by meter, by both computers and humans. It's vastly more effort than what's needed for Google Maps. ... Among other unsolved problems, Google has yet to drive in snow, and Urmson says safety concerns preclude testing during heavy rains. Nor has it tackled big, open parking lots or multilevel garages. ... Pedestrians are detected simply as moving, column-shaped blurs of pixels — meaning, Urmson agrees, that the car wouldn't be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








IRL: A tablet holder for using your device in bed

Engadget - 5 hours 20 min ago
There are times when I just want to lie in bed and surf random YouTube channels on my phone or tablet, but it's impossible to hold the device above my head for a prolonged period (we've all been there, right?). Luckily, I stumbled upon this neat kit...

U.S. Marine Corps Bulldog Chesty Gets Promoted to Corporal, Is Good Boy

Mashable - 5 hours 23 min ago

The U.S. Marine Corps' top dog (in the literal sense) has been promoted to the rank of corporal following a ceremony in Washington on Friday.

Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, promoted Chesty XIV from lance corporal. Amos told onlookers that Chesty had "grown into the job in more ways than one," The Wall Street Journal reported, likely a backhanded compliment referring to the bulldog's recent purported weight gain. Read more...

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