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Paris based startup Tinbox, which was founded in January last  year by a couple of friends at Warwick University in the U.K., is aiming to make a business out of letting people donate freely to charities of their choice via a mobile app.

The mobile-only startup, which has just launched in private beta this week with a plan to open up the app to the public in the next couple of weeks (albeit with a waiting list system to manage on-boarding), lets users choose a charity to donate €1 per day to without having to spend any of their own money.

The donation costs the app user nothing because it’s sponsored by one of the companies Tinbox is working with. Why should brands want to give free donation cash? To improve their image and brand perception of course.

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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Sorting the signal from the noise is an increasingly tedious task for anyone spending time online. London-based startup Signal is using that as an opportunity to build a business out of automating real-time information gathering and filtering — crawling more than 75,000 online news sources, 3.5 million blogs, 100 social networks, plus research publications and other unstructured data sources so its customers don’t have to.

And doing so in a more flexible and accessible way that incumbent media monitoring services such as Precise and Cision, according to co-founder David Benigson. Signal’s SaaS business is being positioned between “unwieldy” and expensive legacy platforms on the one side, and freebie consumer apps like Google Alerts, Feedly and even Flipboard which are easy enough to use but don’t have powerful enough features for enterprise customers’ needs.

“When we founded Signal we saw a gap in the marketplace between those two groups. Could we apply some of the user interface design that’s more intuitive and used by the consumer tools but actually then use a really powerful technology so it was fit for purpose for an enterprise,” says Benigson.

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Techdirt has been following for a while Canada's moves to stop scientists from speaking out about areas where the facts of the situation don't sit well with the Canadian government's dogma-based policies. Sadly, it looks like the UK is taking the same route. It concerns a new code for the country's civil servants, which will also apply to thousands of publicly-funded scientists. As the Guardian reports: Under the new code, scientists and engineers employed at government expense must get ministerial approval before they can talk to the media about any of their research, whether it involves GM crops, flu vaccines, the impact of pesticides on bees, or the famously obscure Higgs boson. The fear -- quite naturally -- is that ministers could take days before replying to requests, by which time news outlets will probably have lost interest. As a result of this change, science organizations have sent a letter to the UK government, expressing their "deep concern" about the code. A well-known British neurobiologist, Sir Colin Blakemore, told the Guardian: "The real losers here are the public and the government. The public lose access to what they consider to be an important source of scientific evidence, and the government loses the trust of the public," Blakemore said. Not only that, by following Canada's example, the British government also makes it more likely that other countries will do the same, which will weaken science's ability to participate in policy discussions around the world -- just when we need to hear its voice most.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

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MitchellJoni Mitchell attends the 2015 Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Image: Paul Hebert/Invision/Associated Press

Singer Joni Mitchell was in intensive care in a Los Angeles hospital Tuesday evening, according to a statement on the singer's website.

"Joni was found unconscious in her home this afternoon. She regained consciousness on the ambulance ride to an L.A. area hospital," the statement posted shortly before 10 p.m. PT.

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Posted by on in TechCrunch
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The hotly contested digital sticker space has a new face in it today: Sm@rt Stickrs is a startup that’s aiming to elbow its way into your messaging affections with a new type of emoji that gets smarter the more you use it. That’s right, these are not just any emoticons. These are artificially intelligent emoticons.

“Initially our stickers look like any other emoji, with the same cartoon features and limited emotional range. But take a closer look and you’ll find yourself wondering whether that winking smilie or time-out gesture is actually conveying something far more subtle and uniquely personal to you,” says Sm@rt Stickrs co-founder Dorian Gray.

“That’s because Smart Stickers have an inner life — thanks to our unique machine learning algorithms. Bottom line: these stickers are deeply human.”

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chicksdaddy writes: Lots of studies have shown that assertiveness works in the professional sphere as well as the personal one. It turns out to work pretty well in the cyber criminal sphere, also. Websense Labs has posted a blog warning of a new round of spear phishing attacks that rely on e-mail messages posing as urgent communications from senior officers to lower level employees. The messages demand that the employees wire funds to a destination account provided in the message.

According to Websense, these attacks are low tech. The fraudsters register "typo squatting" domains that look like the target company's domain, but are subtly different. They then set up e-mails at the typo squatted domain designed to mirror legitimate executive email accounts. Like many phishing scams, these attacks rely on the similarities of the domains and often extensive knowledge of key players within the company, creating e-mails that are highly convincing to recipients.

The key element of their attack is – simply – "obeisance," Websense notes. "When the CEO or CFO tells you to do something, you do it." The messages were brief and urgent, included (phony) threads involving other company executives and demanded updates on the progress of the transfer, making the request seem more authentic. Rather than ask the executive for clarification (or scrutinize the FROM line), the employees found it easier to just wire the money to the specified account, Websense reports.

Websense notes the similarities between the technique used in the latest phishing attack and the grain trading firm Scoular in June, 2014. That company was tricked into wiring some $17 million to a bank in China, with employees believing they were acting on the wishes of executives who had communicated through e-mail.

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An anonymous reader sends this report from TorrentFreak: The UK's top IP advisor has published recommendations on how Internet service providers should deal with online piracy. Among other things, he suggested that Internet services should search for and filter infringing content proactively. According to the report, ISPs have a moral obligation to do more against online piracy. Mike Weatherley, a Conservative MP and Intellectual Property Adviser to UK Prime Minister David Cameron, has pushed various copyright related topics onto the political agenda since early last year. Previously Weatherley suggested that search engines should blacklist pirate sites, kids should be educated on copyright ethics, and that persistent file-sharers should be thrown in jail.
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Back in the good ‘ole days before the internet and Yo and Meerkat and Snapchat, we had one way to talk to people in faraway lands: the telephone. But a microphone and speaker aren’t much use if you’re hearing impaired.

In 1979, a Bell Labs research project devised a way of communicating with sign language, using just the bandwidth of one phone line. 35 years ago, video chat wasn’t feasible for most users, so the challenge was to distil sign language down to something that could be encoded and sent over the (very limited) bandwidth provided by a single phone line.

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LONDON — If there are greater ways to spend a weekend than drinking and watching live music outside with a bunch of friends, we're yet to be acquainted with them.

Europe offers an abundance of awesome weekenders as the summer unfolds, from Benicassim's sun-drenched shindig on the Spanish coast to Oya's five-day festival in the heart of Oslo in Norway.

The best thing about these festivals is that you can turn them into mini-holidays, bolting on a few cultural days in Lisbon, say, or a week on a Croatian beach in the build up to - or recovery from - the music.

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Asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-th Asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-2 Asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-3 Asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-4 Asus-transformer-book-t300-chi-6

Motorola has long taken the extreme route with its naming conventions and Samsung always seems to promise an entire Galaxy. But Asus’s approach is far less dramatic than much of the competition.

The company has focused its efforts on taking a far more peaceful approach to consumer electronics, first through its Zen line and now in the form of its latest Transformer convertible tablet, the T300 Chi.

In Taoist philosophy, Chi represents the vital life force circulating through all living things — and more to the point, in the case of this Windows 8.1 tablet, a balance between negative and positive forces essential to harmonic living. For Asus, it's striking the balance between the two often-at odds gadget categories of laptop and tablet, an attempt to design a product that fulfills the need for both.

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A streaming TV service from Apple is once again rumored to be in the cards, as it has been at various times during the last five or so years. But this latest outbreak of speculation, which began with a March 17 Wall Street Journal report , is perhaps the most intense in recent memory. Not only does it have an unprecedented air of credibility, but it also possesses something else that had been missing until now: a tense “will they or won’t they” side plot.

According to the report mentioned above, Apple’s putting together a “skinny” bundle of around 20 to 30 channels for a Sling TV- or PlayStation Vue-like streaming service that it intends to launch sometime this fall. It further claimed the likes of ABC, CBS, and Fox are onboard, with Comcast-owned NBCUniversal being the most notable absentee.

It attributed NBC’s absence to a breakdown in talks after Apple came to fear it was being strung along by Comcast as the latter worked on its Xfinity X1 service. We now have the cable giant’s version of events, thanks to a letter it sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week.

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As we had noted in our story about Elon Musk declaring all SpaceX photos public domain, Flickr (where most of those photos were hosted) did not allow an official public domain dedication. And while it offered Creative Commons licenses, the CC0 public domain dedication was not among the options. Flickr is not the only site like that -- many sites that offer CC licensing don't include a CC0 option. Last week, there was an interesting piece by Jessamyn West exploring why it was that Flickr chose not to offer a public domain option. She found an old forum post by Flickr founder (and now Slack founder/CEO) Stewart Butterfield, where he explained the reasoning as such:
The reasons we don’t have a PD option: (i) Unlike CC licenses, you can’t take PD back — once it is done, it is done. I spec’d out a three stage confirmation (including typing out that you understand what it means) but this was seemed like too much and we didn’t want the support hassle. People are free to use the description field to specify their PD desires. (ii) There are liabilities that we don’t want to take on if we allow people to claim something is public domain without actual checking the chain of title — if they don’t own it in the first place, we can get in trouble. (This is also true of CC images, but at least that can be changed after the fact and there is less of a chance of the image just “escaping” in the wild.)
Of course, those reasons really don't make that much sense in reality. You can't really take back CC licenses either. The very first thing that Creative Commons tells potential licensors is that the licenses are not revocable. Once you grant a CC license, it stays that way.

Thankfully, the Yahoo folks who are currently running Flickr realized that this was an opportunity -- and have now announced that it has added both "public domain" listings and a CC0 dedication as options when uploading images:

We’ve been proud to support Creative Commons licenses since 2004, and we’ve become an important repository of U.S. Government works and historic images from galleries, libraries, archives, and museums around the world (check out The Flickr Commons for examples).

But we’ve heard from our community that we’re missing two important designations: Public Domain and Creative Commons 0 (CC0). Many members of our community want to be able to upload images that are no longer protected by copyright and correctly tag them as being in the Public Domain, or they want to release their copyright entirely under CC0.

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After announcing a shift in privacy policy during January 2015, Verizon has finally made the option to opt-out of user tracking available to all subscribers. Dubbed a ‘supercookie’ by critics due to the inability to halt Verizon from using the code to track a subscriber’s location data, general browsing history and app usage information, the new opt-out procedure will completely remove a subscriber’s identifier code from an account.

While subscribers could previously opt out of Verizon’s targeted advertising program, this is the first time that a subscriber has the ability to remove the tracking code and anonymize their accounts within Verizon’s system. Hypothetically, third parties could attempt to gain unauthorized access to that data and invade the privacy of current subscribers that are still opted into tracking.

Speaking to the New York Times, Verizon spokesperson Debra Lewis spoke about user privacy stating “As the mobile advertising ecosystem evolves, and our advertising business grows, delivering solutions with best-in-class privacy protections remains our focus. As a reminder, we never share information with third parties that identifies our customers as part of our advertising programs.”

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We Hope These Funxa0;April Fools' Prank Products Become Real One Day

The worst day of the year is once again upon us, but thanks to ThinkGeek it's made slightly more bearable with a new batch of fictional products that the company might one day actually produce and sell. Some of them are a long shot, but that won't stop us from dreaming.

ThinkGeek actually has a long history of turning its April Fool's Day pranks into actual products. You can now buy that flying Star Trek U.S.S. Enterprise frisbee that a year ago we thought could never actually fly. And the same goes for last year's Flux Capacitor car charger that's now just $25 away from being yours.

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Posted by on in Gizmodo

You'd Never Leave This Folding Bike Helmet Behind

I'm normally a safety first, second and third kinda cyclist. But even with my lifelong fear of cars, I'll sometimes leave the helmet at home if I don't want to lug it around an office all day. Wouldn't it be amazing if I could have the best of both worlds? You probably see where this is going.

A folding bike helmet is not a radically new idea. But making one that's simple (and would actually protect your skull) is a challenge that has eluded engineers thus far. At first looks, though, the Fuga helmet seems to tick most of the boxes.

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The Project Spartan interface is attractively minimal.

When announcing that a Windows 10 Preview with the new Project Spartan browser was available, Microsoft made clear that the browser ain't done yet. What we have now is an early iteration of the company's take on a legacy-free forward-looking browser—a browser that's going to ditch the venerable Internet Explorer name.

Superficially, everything about the browser is new. Its interface takes cues from all the competition: tabs on top, in the title bar, the address bar inside each tab. The look is simple and unadorned; monochrome line-art for icons, rectangular tabs, and a flat look—the address bar, for example, doesn't live in a recessed pit (as it does in Chrome) and is integral with the toolbar (unlike Internet Explorer).

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The CEO of Carphone Warehouse, Britain's biggest cellphone retailer, on Tuesday said that his company's 800 stores were left out of the Apple Watch launch scheduled to kick off on April 24, suggesting other big box chains around the world are in the same situation.

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Carphone Warehouse chief Graham Stapleton told The Telegraph that Apple plans to limit Apple Watch sales to Apple Stores and dedicated Apple Watch shops at launch.

"We would love to be able to stock the Apple Watch," Stapleton said. "I've got to be careful what I say but I think they are just going another way with it. We have not been given the opportunity."

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Remember writing grocery lists and sticking them to your fridge? Amazon thinks you should now leave the task of restocking food and household supplies to a button.

The company announced a new device on Tuesday called the Dash Button, which connects to your smartphone using a Wi-Fi network. With one touch, the button will automatically reorder a product. There are buttons for a variety of products that Amazon sells, from Bounty paper towels to Glad trash bags to Larabar energy bars. The device is only available to Prime members.

Amazon’s video on the Dash Button (see above) shows that each button is emblazoned with the brand’s logo. (How’s that for brand loyalty?) The buttons are hangable and stickable, and it seems like the idea is to place the device in an area where you normally stock the product, like a cabinet. Then, you can press the button when you’re running low on a product.

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Slowly but surely, 3D printers are getting cheaper. Drastically cheaper, in fact. In the early days it wasn’t uncommon for even the most basic printer to carry a price tag upwards of $3,000, but in just a few years time, the average price has plummeted. Nowadays there are dozens of printers you can get for under 500 bucks, and some are even cheaper than that.

Tiko is the latest addition to this sub-$500 club. Priced at just $179 on Kickstarter, it’s easily one of the most affordable printers we’ve ever laid eyes on.

delta vs cartesianThe key to its ridiculously low price is Tiko’s simple construction. Like many of the more affordable printers that have surfaced in the past couple years, Tiko is a delta-style 3D printer, meaning it uses three vertically moving parallel motors to change the position of the filament extruder. This configuration allows the machine to make accurate prints without any high-precision rails, linear bearings, or other crazy-expensive CNC components you’d find in cartesian-style printers.

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