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As music fans go mobile, music festivals are following suit. The kids in America are rocking out to T-Swift with a Natty Lite in one hand and a mobile phone open to native festival apps in the other.

Schedules, venue maps, artists and vendors are all in the palm of partygoers hands. And festivals are even designing other features specifically to engage the throngs of eager event-goers, diehard fans and dispassionate bystanders weeks before the events actually begin.

Imagine for a second if these apps (or a new app, for that matter) took the mobile experience a bit further in engaging people on an ongoing basis.

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A month ago, we wrote about actor James Woods bizarrely suing a trollish Twitter user who had been mocking Woods on the site. The whole lawsuit seemed ridiculous. The specific tweet that sent Woods over the edge was this anonymous user (who went by the name "Abe List") saying "cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting." Soon after our post on the subject, Ken "Popehat" White posted an even better takedown entitled James Woods Punches the Muppet. That post has now been updated with a brief note that White has now been retained to defend the anonymous Twitter user. And, if that gets you excited for what to expect in the legal filings, well, you don't have wait. As first reported by Eriq Gardner at the Hollywood Reporter, White has filed the John Doe's opposition to Woods' attempt to unmask the guy. And it's worth reading.

Problem number one with Woods' suit is laid out right at the beginning of the filing, which is that Woods himself has a habit of accusing others of using illegal drugs as well, just as Abe List did:

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The filing shows other tweets from Woods that have similar words that Woods complained about Abe List using, such as "clown" and "scum." As the filing notes, it appears Woods thinks that he can use those insults towards others, but if anyone uses them towards him, it's somehow defamatory.
Plaintiff, an internationally known actor, is active on Twitter, a social media platform. There he is known for engaging in rough-and-tumble political debate. Plaintiff routinely employs insults like “clown” and “scum,” and even accuses others of drug use as a rhetorical trope....
But Plaintiff apparently believes that while he can say that sort of thing to others, others cannot say it to him. He has sued Mr. Doe for a derisive tweet referring to him as “cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting” in the course of political back-andforth.... He also complains, at length, that Mr. Doe has called him things like a “clown” and “scum.” Naturally, Plaintiff has himself called others “clown” or “scum” on Twitter.
The filing, quite reasonably, notes that these kinds of hyperbolic claims cannot be seen as defamatory, and since there's no legitimate claim here, there is no reason to do expedited discovery or to unmask Abe List, who is entitled to have his identity protected under the First Amendment.

Oh, and, not surprisingly, White will be filing an anti-SLAPP motion shortly, which may mean that Woods is going to have to pay for this mess that he caused.

The filing also notes that while Woods sent a subpoena to Twitter to try to seek Abe List's identity, the company turned it down as deficient. The full two page letter is in the filing below as Exhibit B, but a quick snippet on the First Amendment concerns:

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$378.87
End Date: Sunday Sep-27-2015 18:35:52 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $378.87
Buy It Now | Add to watch list
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This might be the technology we need to bring LARPing out of the realm of 'extremely geeky'. Also, I bet the US military is going to want to get its hands on this one for training purposes. Or murder mystery theater when you're a participant in the actual spooky mansion? Or a Star Trek bridge simulator!

I'll be pretty excited when one of these comes to my city... just as long as the RealDoll people have to use a different room than everyone else.

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Google is starting to make it easier to find plumbers, locksmiths, cleaners, and other home service workers. It's rolling out a new type of search ad today that'll place listings for these services at the top of relevant search result pages, although only around the San Francisco Bay Area for now. The listings include a phone number for the business, customer ratings, basic details on their services, and a photo of someone who represents the company. The idea is that you can now just search for "lock repair" and immediately get a locksmith's number, rather than having to look through search results — or, you know, turn to another competitor like Amazon.

But keep in mind that these aren't people working for Google, nor are they necessarily recommended by Google: these are paid ads for local companies. That said, Google does have a slight hand in curation here. Google requires that every company go through background checks, get properly licensed, and obtain insurance, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google will also use mystery shoppers to check in on their performance. The ads are only open to plumbers, locksmiths, cleaners, and handyworkers for now — and again, only in the San Francisco Bay Area — but this is also just the start of what appears to be a much larger effort from Google to compete with the many tech companies already in this space.

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Reeses-and-pumpkin-squares-horizontal-lifestyle1Orange never looked so irresistible.

Image: Dunkin Donuts

Get out those chunky sweaters and leggings now because Dunkin' Donuts has two new fall flavors.

America's best-known donut chain is going orange with its new limited edition fall flavors, including pumpkin cheesecake and, in collaboration with The Hershey Company, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup donut, reports Refinery 29.

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Marc Hemeon, the former Google designer who co-founded the app incubator North, is moving on to a new project. He’s left his partner, Kevin Rose, the founder of the once popular news aggregator Digg, to join Sean Parker’s political causes app Brigade.

“I want to thank Kevin and Ben [Clymer] for an incredible experience and their support through this tough decision,” Hemeon said in a Medium blog post about the news. “I’ll continue as a shareholder, adviser and friend.”

Hemeon will be head of design at Brigade, which people use as a way to connect socially over the policies they care about. They vote which way they swing on different issues, peruse friends’ responses and create their own causes for friends to vote for.

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Posted by on in PCWorld

A 17-year-old Virginia resident has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison by a U.S. federal court after he used Twitter to provide financial and recruiting support to the extremist Islamic group known as ISIS.

The sentence handed down Friday shows how wide a net officials have cast in prosecuting online activities related to ISIS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

While this case focused on the defendant's use of Twitter, he also used messaging apps like WhatsApp and Tox for ISIS-related communications, one of his attorneys said in an interview.

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Ease Into a Night of Drinking Beer by Starting with Lighter Varieties

You might think it’s better to start your beer quest with hoppy, flavorful beers that have a higher alcohol content, but you’re doing a disservice to your taste buds for the rest of the night.

Beer can have an alcohol by volume (ABV) as low as about 3%, but can skyrocket to nearly 20% depending on the variety. If you plan on having a few cold ones over the course of the night, Will Stephens, the co-founder of BeerMenus.com, suggests you start on the lighter side:

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Posted by on in Gizmodo

The Best of Gizmodo This Week

The Ashley Madison hack dominated tech headlines again this week, and we analyzed the leaked data to expose an interesting and sad twist to that story. That and more favorites from this week below.

The Best of Gizmodo This Week

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DARPA wants to transform airplanes into drone carriers. Last year, the agency invited technical ideas and business expertise to help create a reusable airborne system. Today, it announced the launch of the Gremlins program that's designed to make that air-recoverable unmanned system a reality. According to Dan Patt, program manager at DARPA, the "goal is to conduct a compelling proof-of-concept flight demonstration that could employ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other modular, non-kinetic payloads in a robust, responsive and affordable manner."

Bots that could be deployed and recovered mid-air are expected to boost the military's operational flexibility and drive mission costs lower. As per the DARPA statement, the program aspires to launch gremlins or swarm bots from large aircrafts such as bombers or transport aircrafts after some modest modifications. When those planes are out of range, the bots will be launched from smaller, more accessible fixed-wing platforms. After completing their mission, the gremlins will be retrieved by a C-130 transport aircraft and brought home, where they will be prepped for their next mission within the next 24 hours. Overall, Gremlins will have an expected lifetime of 20 flights.

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Earlier this week, Boss Key Games debuted the first footage from its new game, LawBreakers. Set in a future where the world is teetering on the brink of anarchy years after the disruption of the Earth’s gravity (someone blew up the moon), it’s an arena-based first-person shooter set to debut next year.

Boss Key Studios founder Cliff Bleszinski hasn’t released a game since he left Epic Games, where he headed up Gears of War, but his interests don’t seem to have changed much. Following Gears, about a group of gun-toting bros as the last defense from a world-ending invasion of monster people, LawBreakers is about a group of gun-toting bros (and ladies!), the last defense from a world-ending invasion of gravity-manipulating criminals.

What has changed is the style of the presentation, which is rendered in a varied, cheerful color palette, a welcome change from the grays and browns of yesteryear. In the gameplay trailer, we see a number of different characters, from a nimble close-quarters stabber to a stereotypically burly gunner with an extra gun attached to his back, bouncing around the gravity-modified terrain of a futuristic Grand Canyon, swinging on laser grappling hooks and having a grand ol’ time.

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Claptrap gets a makeover in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The lovable-but-annoying robot will likely make an appearance in a just-announced Lionsgate "Borderlands" movie.

2K

Get ready to embark on an epic journey to Pandora, travelers. Lionsgate announced on Friday that it's working on a movie based on the beloved Borderlands sci-fi first-person shooter video game series from Gearbox Software and Take-Two Interactive Software's 2K label.

The film will be produced by Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad and his son Ari, and will be a so-called tent-pole picture for Lionsgate Studios. Tent-pole status means Lionsgate is expecting the Borderlands film to be a major financial success, with likely follow-up films and heavy marketing and merchandising pushes when the movie eventually launches.

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"The RS-25 engine fires up for a 535-second test August 27, 2015 at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. This is the final in a series of seven tests for the development engine, which will provide NASA engineers critical data on the engine controller unit and inlet pressure conditions," NASA writes.

On Thursday, NASA completed an initial developmental test series using an RS-25 engine of the sort that will drive NASA's next-generation launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS).

NASA's SLS is a successor to the Space Shuttle program and the shuttered Constellation Project. In development since 2011, the SLS is slated to make its first flight in 2018 and will carry astronauts and cargo on missions from Low-Earth Orbit jaunts to deeper space exploration, including Mars missions.

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A deleted Amazon page for the upcoming Huawei Watch may add to evidence that Google is planning to make the Android Wear platform compatible with iOS devices.

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The listing claimed that the Huawei Watch will ship Sept. 2, and be compatible not just with "most devices" running Android 4.3 or later but also iOS 8.2, according to The Verge. The wording leaves open the possibility of pairing with an iPad or iPod touch, although that would be of limited usefulness even on 4G-equipped iPads.Previous rumors have pointed to Google working on iOS support for many months, but a device shipping with the technology as soon as Sept. 2 would come as a surprise announcement. The Amazon listing was presumably a mistake, whether in terms of its quoted release date, iOS compatibility, or being posted too early.To bridge the gap between platforms, Google could release a companion iOS app capable of pushing notifications and Google Now cards to a watch, as well as processing voice commands. Some functions might be dependent on having other Google apps installed as well, such as Gmail.Android Wear devices have sold relatively slowly, especially in light of Apple Watch estimates, but could gain a much larger audience if they were suddenly compatible with both major smartphone platforms. The Apple Watch is so far iPhone-exclusive, with no signs that an Android app is in the works.
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This Week On The TC Gadgets Podcast: CarPlay, Booze, And Keyboards | TechCrunch image
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Why Is Apple Doing This?

There’s not just one simple reason behind Apple’s decision to enable content blocking in iOS 9.

For starters, the company has actually advocated for consumer privacy more so than its competitors, who tend to monetize by allowing advertisers to leverage user data for targeting purposes.

At at recent event, Apple CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple doesn’t want users’ data, nor does it think there has to be a trade-off between security and user privacy.

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boeing-silent-strike

Two summers ago, we showed you an awesome Nerf sentry gun that could track opponents and nail them with foam darts. Today, we’ve got the military equivalent: a laser turret that can down a drone in seconds.

Boeing calls it Silent Strike, and they label it as a directed energy weapon. More precisely, it’s a 2 kilowatt laser, the little brother to Boeing’s “death ray on wheels,” which straps a 10 kilowatt laser on to the back of an armored transport. Engineer Isaac Neil likens the systems’ attack to “a welding torch being put on a target, but from hundreds of meters away.”

This new version is much, much more portable than the 10kW behemoth. Silent Strike breaks down into four separate components, each of which can be transported by two soldiers — or, perhaps one day, on the back of one of Boston Dynamics’ robotic quadrupeds.

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The Retailers Who Share Their Best Coupon Codes on Facebook

There are tons of sites for finding online coupon codes, but if you want exclusive coupons that aren’t on popular coupon websites, head to the retailer’s Facebook page—at least for these 29 retailers.

Kyle James of Rather Be Shopping searched over 2,000 popular retailer’s Facebook pages looking for coupon codes, but found that the majority didn’t share coupons on their pages. 29 of them, however, did, and some of these coupons were only available on Facebook.

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The man born Abel Tesfaye began his career as a mystery. His first mixtape, House of Balloons, was released for free on his website in March of 2011. The tape was as gritty and dark as Tesfaye’s voice was angelic, its sex appeal came with a sidelong threat of violence. The combination was arresting; every corner of the music world perked up its ears. MTV called it the best album of the year. It got a co-sign from Drake. In the months that followed, he released two more free mixtapes, Thursday and Echoes of Silence, both of which dug even deeper into Tesfaye’s seedy, confessional world. Curiosity about who, exactly, The Weeknd was skyrocketed, fueled by Tesfaye’s initial refusal to give any press interviews or even show his face.

Eventually, of course, the mystery ended. By the time The Weeknd’s first studio album, Kiss Land, came out in the fall of 2013, he had signed to a major label (Republic) and formed his own imprint (XO). He performed at Drake’s OVO fest. The blank space in our popular imagining of him was replaced with Tesfaye’s now-iconic towering hair.

the-weeknd the-weeknd

But Tesfaye still hadn’t quite reached pop star status, in part because he always seemed to intentionally quarantine himself on the darkest fringes of R&B. That changes with Beauty Behind the Madness, his second studio album, out today. The Weeknd is definitively a pop star now. The album’s first single, "Can’t Feel My Face," landed him in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time ever. One listen to the song — plus the fact that hit-single-factory Max Martin produced it — makes it clear that this was The Weeknd’s plan all along. "Can’t Feel My Face" has an actual hook (The Weeknd usually settles for a post-coital whimper), and Tesfaye’s normally subdued vocals gallop through the song like he’s panting for airplay. The song made its live debut at Apple's WWDC in June, surrounded by men talking about the future of music who probably didn’t know who he was in 2011.

Anonymity to ubiquity

So the mystery is gone. But the initial lure of The Weeknd was the way he (and his music) lurked in the shadows. When he was still anonymous, Tesfaye created a persona: a man who stays at the club 'til it closes and then some, but never dances. A man who lives in a world populated by dozens of dead-eyed women who can match him pound for pound when it comes to drug use, but only when they’re not trying to fuck him. He’s strange and solitary, but he’s almost never alone. The Weeknd is a character actor — he plays villains, tortured souls, and guys who sleep 'til noon in luxury hotel rooms, and he does it with a deranged sincerity. He sings about sex with blunt anatomical correctness and describes drugs like they’re medicine. All Tesfaye’s vices were out there for all to see, with very little in the way of justification. But on Beauty Behind the Madness, fueled by his newfound popularity, The Weeknd tries to convince us the world he’s lived in for years is more complex than we originally thought.

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