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Even if you only have a passing interest in anime, the name Studio Ghibli will probably be known to you. The animated movies the studio has produced never falter in their quality, storytelling, or ability to appeal to all ages. And a lot of that is thanks to one man: Hayao Miyazaki.

Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli and has undertaken work as artist, animator, author, screenwriter, director, and producer. He’s the complete package in the world of Japanese animation, but he’s also now 74-years-old and retired from the studio in late 2013. The following year Studio Ghibli stopped making feature films.

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Dr. Dre is finally giving his fans something new to listen to. The music producer, Apple executive, and N.W.A. rapper announced yesterday that he's releasing a new album on Friday, August 7th. It's called Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, and it's Dre's first proper album since 1999's 2001.

"I was leaving the set, going to the studio, and I felt myself just being so inspired by the movie that I started recording an album," Dre said on Saturday during his weekly Beats 1 radio show, "The Pharmacy." "I kept it under wraps, and now the album is finished. It’s an ‘inspired-by’ album, it’s inspired by Straight Outta Compton," the new N.W.A. biopic coming out this month. The album will be exclusive to iTunes and Apple Music.

The announcement also marks the official death of Dre's long-in-the-works album, Detox, which was originally planned for release in 2011. "I didn't like it," Dre said on his radio show, adding "The record, it just wasn't good. … I worked my ass off on it, and I don't think I did a good enough job ... I just wasn’t feeling it."

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Posted by on in Ars Technica
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Sean Gallagher

At the end of May, my wife and I received a note from Comcast explaining that we had been getting undercharged for our cable service—and to expect that to stop pretty darn quick. This note set in motion a course of events that would lead to my trip last week to Comcast's Baltimore customer service center to turn in our cable boxes once and for all and cut the cable cord.

Well, sort of. But I'll get to that in a minute.

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A BMW i3 charging. Tim Stevens/CNET

With more and more plug-in cars hitting the roads, there's been growing concern over the strain these vehicles will have on the nation's overtaxed power grid. BMW thinks it may have a solution in California.

The German automaker has partnered with utility Pacific Gas & Electric for an 18-month pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area that's just getting underway. The trial, dubbed BMW iChargeForward, gives $1,540 in gift cards to 100 owners of i3 hatchbacks to charge their vehicles during off-peak times.

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Posted by on in Slashdot
Reuters reports that four people have died of Legionnaire's Disease in an outbreak in the Bronx, and 65 more have exhibited symptoms of the disease. The Bronx was also home to the most recent flare-up of the disease, in December of last year. Says the article, In response to the outbreak, the city's health department has inspected 22 buildings in the Bronx, 17 of which have cooling towers. Five buildings, including the historic Opera House Hotel, Lincoln Medical Center and the Concourse Plaza mall and movie complex, tested positive for Legionella. Disinfection efforts are ongoing or have already been completed at all five sites. ... The people who died from the disease were older adults with underlying medical problems, according to a city press release. The department said the city's drinking water supply, fountains and pools have not been affected.
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Three years ago, I began taking August off social media. I wasn’t alone. That was the year everyone started writing about digital detoxes, smartphone-free summer camps, and Facebook cleanses. One writer at the Verge took a year’s vacation from the Internet.

I don’t seem to see those stories as much anymore. To figure out why, I decided to ask my 1,868 Facebook friends. I pulled up the site, but before I could properly articulate the question, I noticed a guy I met briefly five years ago had posted hiking photos from the same place I went hiking last week. We had both been in Oregon!! What a coincidence! I clicked on the photo and saw he’d been there with a woman I knew from high school. Well, how do they know each other? I clicked on her photo and up came a profile pic of three tiny children, all adorable. The youngest had a Brown University shirt on. A little bit of digging revealed that, in fact, her husband had gotten a job at my alma mater and they’d all moved to Providence. I’d learned so much in just five minutes, but what was it I’d wanted to know from Facebook?

Welcome to my social life. I acknowledge, it’s not pretty. Somewhere the really good, talented Facebookers are diligently exercising self-discipline to use Facebook only for useful things. There are so many useful things! They’re catching up on current events, reimbursing each other for dinner over Messenger, RSVP’ing for book readings, choosing Airbnb stays based on friend recommendations. They don’t get lost in their Newsfeeds. Their trigger fingers aren’t locked on the “like” button. They aren’t me.

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Arianna Huffington built The Huffington Post into a global digital media empire, while Jonah Peretti, who helped found HuffPo, went on to co-found BuzzFeed, turned into a digital juggernaut that could soon be valued at $1.5 billion. The former colleagues now stand at the vanguard of the new media industry, watched and discussed and speculated about all the time for clues about where digital media is going.

But both of digital media's big empire-builders are looking in another direction: Television.

Digital media companies, the great disruptors of news and entertainment, are cozying up to television as they look to find cash to justify their lofty valuations. Following in the footsteps of their rapidly growing rival Vice — which made its name on well-produced videos on transgressive subjects and tyrannical regimes — BuzzFeed and more recently HuffPo have begun building out video operations that are producing the kind of original, high-production work that could help tap the big bucks that TV still commands.

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Dropbox's Roku channel

You can already access your Dropbox files on all your PCs and mobile gadgets, but what if you want to put them on your TV? If you have a Roku player, you're set. Roku has launched a Dropbox channel that lets you browse your photos and videos on its set-tops, including in slideshows. Yes, you now have an easy way to recap your vacation on a big screen without turning to other cloud services. The channel isn't flawless -- TechCrunch notes that you can't play long videos, so this won't work if you're trying to stream full-length movies. Even so, it's a big help if you'd rather not have everyone gather around your computer to see your snapshots.

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It looks likely that Samsung is going to unveil two phablet-sized devices at its next press event on August 13: the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. If you want to know what to expect ahead of time, then the pictures and specs leaked to the Web over the weekend remove most of the uncertainty about what’s coming from the South Korean company.

Just in case you missed these elsewhere. pic.twitter.com/zOmKkJqQpU

— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 1, 2015

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Before virtual reality headsets become mass-market products, iPhone owners can sample the futuristic technology in a cheap and easy way, thanks to Google Cardboard. AppleInsider offers a rundown of the best VR experiences available to download right now on the App Store.

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tl;dr: Buy a Google Cardboard v2 unit and download Vrse on the App Store.

Before you get started

Google Cardboard is compatible with Apple's iPhone lineup, but is best used with the larger screens of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. For the jumbo-sized iPhone 6 Plus, you'll need to own a version 2 of Google Cardboard, which is not as widely available as the original model.

Your best bet is the I Am Cardboard Kit, available from Amazon for $24.99. It's the most widely known brand based on Google Cardboard, and it has version 2 models available in stock with Prime shipping at Amazon.

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“The minute a major Silicon Valley VC sets up a branch in Mexico, you will be out of business,” a Mexican founder told me over dinner at last year’s Mexico VC Day in San Francisco. I did not respond, because I actually think our risk of going out of business is higher if they don’t come. And we don’t expect them to come in the near future.

Last June, SVB (Silicon Valley Bank), LAVCA (Latin American Venture Capital Association) and Endeavor organized a trip to Mexico City for “leading Silicon Valley VC funds and investors” in order to scope out the investment potential in Mexico.

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After gaining representation by the Teamsters Union, a group of shuttle bus drivers serving Apple and other high technology companies in Silicon Valley on Saturday voted unanimously to adopt a three-year contract promising better pay and working conditions.

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Today's non-binding contract looks to garner higher wages and benefits for drivers working at Compass Transportation, a shuttle service contracted by Apple, eBay, Genentech, Yahoo and Zynga. According to The Wall Street Journal, the next step is for Compass to submit the contract, terms of which were negotiated by Teamsters Local 853 over a period of five months, to those companies for approval. For its part, Apple said it is working with multiple contractors to offer drivers better working conditions, which in many cases comes down to higher wages."The pay increases are so significant to these people," said Rome Aloise, Teamsters International vice president and Local 853 principal officer. "They're life-changing."The proposed plan is based in part on agreements reached by Facebook contractor Loop Transportation, which raised pay and overtime from an estimated $18 to $20 an hour to as much as $27.50 per hour. That deal also included extra benefits for overtime work and compensation for drivers running split shifts. Silicon Valley shuttle drivers are fighting to bring parity to a wage gap between contract workers and the high-income tech employees they serve. According to recent estimates, skill positions at affluent tech companies bring in median yearly incomes of about $119,000, while non-skill jobs like those held by shuttle drivers come in at around $27,000.Compass drivers elected to unionize under the Teamsters in February.
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$245.00
End Date: Tuesday Aug-4-2015 18:00:04 PDT
Buy It Now for only: $245.00
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Reader chicksdaddy reports that a data breach involving four million patients and more than 230 different data holders (from private practices to large hospitals) hit Indiana especially hard. It's the home state of Medical Informatics Engineering, maker of electronic records system NoMoreClipBoard. While data exposed in the breach affected 3.9 million people, 1.5 millon of them are in Indiana. According to the Security Ledger, though: [The] breach affects healthcare organizations from across the country, with healthcare providers ranging from prominent hospitals to individual physicians' offices and clinics are among 195 customers of the NoMoreClipboard product that had patient information exposed in the breach. And, more than a month after the breach was discovered, some healthcare organizations whose patients were affected are still waiting for data from EMI on how many and which patients had information exposed.

'We have received no information from MIE regarding that,' said a spokeswoman for Fort Wayne Radiology Association (http://www.fwradiology.com/), one of hundreds of healthcare organizations whose information was compromised in the attack on MIE..

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Actress and entrepreneur Jessica Alba has built a $1 billion consumer brand on a simple premise — to make products that are good for the people who use them, and good for the environment.

A similar create-a-better-world philosophy informed The Honest Company’s decision to support Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology.

“My dreams, in creating this brand and in it coming to life, would not have been possible without technology. It really evened the playing field for me to give everyone access to these safe and healthy products, no matter where you lived,” said startup co-founder Alba in an interview from the company’s Santa Monica headquarters. “So I just feel like, if we could in any way shape or form inspire girls to be entrepreneurs, to participate in the creation of the future, the world’s problems can be solved.”

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Appwtclck

Image: Lynne Cameron/Associated Press

Owners of an Apple Watch just got another tool to make life easier: a digital door key on their wrists.

The functionality comes via the August Smart Lock thanks to an update of the company's iPhone app that allows you to swipe and tap your Apple Watch to open an August Smart Lock-equipped door.

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Posted by on in Lifehacker

This Week's Top Downloads

Every week, we share a number of downloads for all platforms to help you get things done. Here were the top downloads from this week.

This Week's Top Downloads

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Samsung is set to announce its Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge Plus on August 13th, but we're getting a pretty good look at the device two weeks ahead of time. Prolific phone leaker Evan Blass has released what's said to be official press renders of both new devices. For good measure, he's released a set of specifications for the Note 5 as well.

This isn't the first time we've seen these two heavily-rumored devices, but it's certainly our best look yet. The Galaxy S6 Edge Plus looks exactly like what its name suggests — it's a bigger S6 Edge. The Note 5, meanwhile, looks like it shares a similar the Galaxy S6's handsome metal-and-glass design, though it has slightly sharper corners from the looks of it.

According to Evan Blass, the Note 5 will have a 5.66-inch, 2560 x 1440 display, like its predecessor. Its innards are an upgrade from the Galaxy S6, however, with a beefy octa-core Exynos 7420 chip, 4GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. It will also have a 16-megapixel rear camera paired with a 5-megapixel front shooter, according to the leak. That new metal-and-glass design does come with a loss, however: the removable back and the microSD card slot on the Note 4 are said to be missing this time around.

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Posted by on in Gizmodo

Russia Ponders Banning Same-Sex Emoji

Not content with simply beating the shit out of LGBT people, Russia is now reportedly thinking of banning “gay emoji”, a move that I’m sure will prove instrumental in removing all gay propaganda from technology and the internet.

According to a report in Izvestia newspaper, Russia’s media regulator could ban emoji which depict same-sex couples from social media. The investigation into the emoji (sadly serious) was triggered by a complaint from Russian senator Mikhail Marchenko, who is concerned that the emoji featuring happy, non-assaulted same-sex couples is in violation of Russia’s 2013 law banning promotion of ‘non-traditional’ relationships.

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