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These Images Show the Night Sky That Hides Behind Our City Lights

If you live in LA, or any major city for that matter, you’ll know there’s something very unusual in the image above. It’s called the Milky Way, and it’s about as exotic as a cougar sighting.

For most of human history, people could look up at the night sky just about anywhere on Earth and enjoy the splendor of thousands of stars. But if you live in an urban enclave today, there’s a good chance you’ve never seen more than a dozen.

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Posted by on in CrunchGear
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Editor’s note: Dan Kaplan helps startups tell their stories. He blogs about marketing, storytelling, and growth at Threadling and is preparing to launch Dispatches From The Future, a podcast about the future of humanity. 

The world around us is screaming with signals our original five senses don’t detect. Unlike some snakes, we can’t sense infrared with our naked eyes and unlike ducks and geese, we don’t have a native intuition for magnetic fields. But we’ve got pretty incredible brains, which we’ve used to craft ways to augment our five basic senses for a very long time. 

While you could argue that this process goes back to the creation of language, it started getting serious with the adoption of the compass for navigation by China’s Song Dynasty in the 11th Century. With this breakthrough, humans could suddenly compensate for their lack of innate magnetic sensitivity with a piece of technology. For the first time, our species could leverage the Earth’s magnetic fields and use them to help us be better at life. 

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5 Shows to Stream: Noah, Kink, and more | Digital Trends
For cord cutters, the anticipation of watching an event live gets transferred over to the weekly dumps of content on the various video streaming platforms. What’s dropping when becomes important knowledge to have, as you organize your queue. If you don’t have time to comb through all the content coming down the series of tubes that make up the Internet, don’t worry — we do. Here are our picks for what you should watch this week. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Netflix agirlwalkshomealoneatnight A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, because nothing like it has ever been made. While the American entertainment industry has produced its fill of vampire-themed media, sometimes it takes an outside viewpoint to inject a little freshness into a stale genre. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night provides exactly that, offering up an entirely unique spin on the tired vampire genre. Dubbed the first Iranian vampire western, the film takes place in a ghost town in Iran full of citizens who are unknowingly stalked by a lonely vampire. The film is packed full of reference points from familiar mediums, from graphic novels to spaghetti westerns, and the end result of the massive mash up is a pulpy blast of a film. It’s a moody film packed full of more atmospheric experiences than narrative, and it’s one that you won’t want to miss.

Son of a Gun

Amazon Prime

SonofaGun

Son of a Gun might not be the most original film of 2014, but it holds its own in style and smarts. The crime thriller follows a young man as he’s imprisoned for a minor crime. In prison, he finds himself a friend in Brendan Lynch (played by Ewan McGregor), Australia’s public enemy number one. The two break out of jail and take to life on the lamb, learning to help and live with one another as they build a bond and live a life of crime.

Kink

Netflix

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Ever since Amazon announced the release of an SDK (software development kit) for its Echo interactive speaker early last month, we’ve been salivating at the prospect of using Alexa (Echo’s built-in virtual assistant) as a smart-home factotum. It appears some of the developers with access to the SDK are thinking along the same lines.

One such developer is Holland, Massachusetts-based web engineer Jeffrey Bachand, who has come forward with a video of him using Echo to control his Nest Learning Thermostat and Wink smart-home hub. In the 71-second YouTube video, first reported on by Engadget, Bachand can be heard bombarding Alexa with a barrage of commands: “open Wink”, “turn the living room [lights] off”, “open Nest”, “turn it [the temperature] down”, and so on. On each occasion, Alexa does exactly as told.

The SDK, as it turns out, came with a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) that has now lapsed, so we can look forward seeing more developers tease their apps. Needless to say, however, Echo owners would like nothing more than to be able to actually use third-party apps like Bachand’s.

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Posted by on in How To's

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A buddy of mine had asked me a question the other day and I thought I would like to share that answer with my readers who use the Linux OS. Since there are many versions of the Linux OS (Operating System) this "how to" article only pertains to the Fedora, RHEL, and CentOS variety of Linux.

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This week, one of venture capital’s biggest names raised its biggest fund ever and a Peter Thiel-backed health startup reach the billion-dollar mark. Here’s the rest of what went down:

Defense contractor Raytheon is buying Websense, the cybersecurity firm perhaps best known for blocking porn and YouTube in schools and offices across the world, for $1.9 billion (Reuters). Institutional Venture Partners, which has backed big-name tech companies like Snapchat, Slack and Vessel, raised $1.4 billion for a new fund focused on late-stage startups (Forbes). Oscar, a health insurance startup, raised $145 million in a new round that sets its value at $1.5 billion. The round was led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Horizon Ventures, Wellington Management Company and Goldman Sachs (Fortune). Enterprise software startup Freshdesk raised $50 million in a Series D round led by Tiger Global, with participation from new investors Accel Partners and Google Capital (Forbes). The on-demand shipping service Shyp raised $50 million in Series B financing, led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr will be joining the Shyp board as the company looks to expand beyond coastal markets. The social music app maker Smule, which has pumped out hits like Sing! Karaoke and Ocarina, raised $38 million in a round led by Adam Street Partners, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures (VentureBeat). ZIRX is the third big-name valet app service to raise a significant funding round this year, alongside rivals Luxe and Valet Anywhere. ZIRX’s new $30 million round (the largest of the three companies) is led by Bessemer Venture Partners with additional funding from Norwest Venture Partners and Trinity Ventures (The Wall Street Journal). The online fashion marketplace Poshmark raised $25 million, giving it $47.2 million in total funding. Investors include Union Grove Venture Partners, Shea Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Menlo Ventures, Inventus Capital, and SoftTech VC (Bloomberg Business). Appointment scheduler MyTime raised $9.25 million in a Series B funding round led by Khosla Ventures and Upfront Ventures (TechCrunch). The Justin Bieber-back selfie app Shots raised $8.5 million in a round led by the Chinese firm WI Harper. Bieber’s early investment and brand boost has helped the startup reach five million registered users (The Wall Street Journal). npm, a software startup that helps developers patch gaps in the code for making apps, raised $8 million from True Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners (Wired). ClassPass, a startup that connects users with fitness classes in their city, acquired its rival FitMob for an undisclosed sum. In February, Fitmob bought its competitor Gymsurfing.
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Posted by on in How To's

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A best practice is to always backup important files that you use on a daily basis. One file that you should make a regular habit of backing up is your Profile directory in Firefox.

Firefox stores all your personal settings, such as bookmarks, passwords and extensions, in a profile folder on your computer, in a location separate from the Firefox program. This article explains how to back up your profile and copy your profile to a new location or computer.

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Posted by on in TechCrunch
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Editor’s note: Steve Herrod is managing director at General Catalyst Partners and the former CTO and SVP of R&D of VMware. 

PF Chang’s. Domino’s. eBay. Home Depot. Nieman Marcus. Sony. That isn’t just a list of wildly successful companies, it’s also a list of hacked companies; companies whose security was profoundly, publicly compromised. And it’s just a very small sample of a much larger set.

The problem is not just that our industry’s approach to security is compromised but a fear that this seemingly exponential increase in security threats could lead to even worse security, especially when married to an equally urgent emphasis on speed and usability.

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How to Turn Your Tablet into a Productivity-Boosting Second Screen

Tablets are great entertainment devices, but they aren’t always as useful for getting things done. If you want your tablet to be more than just a fun little toy, it’s really just a matter of the right apps, attitude, and configuration. Here’s how you can turn your tablet into a handy, productivity-boosting tool.

Blast from the past is a weekly feature at Lifehacker in which we revive old, but still relevant, posts for your reading and hacking pleasure. This week, we’re revisiting some ways to make that tablet more productive.

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When you’re pumping away on your stationary bike, you generate a bit of energy, about 100 watts if you’re in good shape. People have been trying to come up with a way to harness that power, instead of letting it go unused. There are bikes that power blenders and gyms. One day, a group of college students hopes, your workout could power your washer.

The Bike Washing Machine is an idea from students at Dalian Nationalities University in China. They shared the concept on design site Tuvie. As you pedal, it turns the washing machine’s drum, tumbling the clothes with water and detergent. If you’re super efficient and the bike creates more energy than you need to power the machine, the extra juice can be stored or used immediately to power a small display screen that tracks your stats. While the idea of combining exercise with a tedious chore like laundry might seem doubly torturous to some, those in remote, electricity-less areas could potentially benefit from a similar device.

Related: Need to do a second load of laundry? Stick this mini drawer under your washer

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Following Friday's Apple Watch teardown, the experts at Chipworks posted a close-up look at the parts that make it tick, including X-ray imagery of Apple's new S1 system-on-chip design.

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In its own teardown, Chipworks noted that with all the new and proprietary technology Apple built in to Apple Watch, the device is the most sophisticated attempt at a wearable product to date. The firm points out that most devices on the market run on relatively old embedded chips, while Apple developed an entirely new package for Watch.

Since Apple's S1 SoC is encased in thin metal, Chipworks turned to X-ray imagery to peek inside before technicians can perform a careful and comprehensive disassembly. Initial images show a new STMicroelectronics 3mm-by-3mm land grid array (LGA) package with 3D digital gyroscope and accelerometer located in a top left corner socket.

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Salesforce for HR internalizes customer relationship management so employers can improve relations with their employees.
10 Management Books Every CIO Should Read

10 Management Books Every CIO Should Read

(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

When it comes to customer relationship management, Salesforce is the pioneer and a recognized authority on how companies can better track their customer interactions. Now it's proposing that Salesforce users freshen up their engagement with a different set of customers -- their own employees.

On April 23, Salesforce launched Salesforce for HR, or what it calls its "employee success platform." Salesforce has taken what it's learned about automating and improving external customer relationships and applied it to a system for internal engagement, said Jim Sinai, senior director of Salesforce AppExchange and platform marketing.

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The corpse on the right just had his license revoked for "cyber bullying."

In the never-ending battle between online gaming's trolls and the moderators that try to make servers harassment-free, the developers at Tripwire Interactive are threatening to bring out a rarely used weapon. According to the game's EULA, when players are found cheating, griefing, or "cyber bullying," Tripwire "will revoke your CD key and ban you from the KF2 servers and tell your mom!"

Parental threats aside, banning problematic players is one of the most common punishments for bad behavior in online games. But Tripwire's threat extends past the online portion to a full revocation of the license for the game, single-player included. "Your license will automatically terminate, without notice, and you will have no right to play KF2 or any KF2 Mods against other players or make any other use of KF2," the EULA warns. "End of story."

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Developer Valve is now giving amateur programmers the opportunity to sell their homebrewed game add-ons via gaming platform Steam.

The new update for Steam Workshop, a feature built into the Steam client that showcases the work of amateur developers, allows content creators to offer their work for free, at a set price or as a "pay-what-you-want" proposition. The cost (or lack thereof) on a particular item is left entirely up to the creator, although the feature only applies to games that support paid mods.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which already has a robust community of fan-creators, is the first such Workshop game to support paid mods. It's also free to play on Steam through Sunday (that's not a coincidence). Valve confirmed that other Workshop games will add support for paid user content "in the coming weeks."

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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts made the rumors official today: Comcast is dropping its bid to buy Time Warner Cable. Certain regulators and politicians will claim victory. But that’s because they don’t understand the industry they are supposed to manage. In fact, despite the obvious egg on the face, Comcast executives either already know or will soon realize that losing this deal this soon is one of the better things to happen in a long time. Because Comcast needs to direct its attention elsewhere immediately — or miss the biggest shift in pay TV history since the advent of cable itself.

Don’t get me wrong; when Comcast announced its intention to buy Time Warner Cable, the company was sincere. And had regulators taken a light hand in the process, the deal could have closed and it would have added to the already massive broadband revenues the company already lands quarterly. But once it became clear that regulators were going to treat this deal like we were still living in 1985, Comcast executives were smart to realize that wasting a year trying to accommodate regulators’ concerns is a colossal waste of time when there are other, more pressing issues to confront.

What issues? Remember that when the deal was announced, HBO still wasn’t going direct, Sling TV didn’t exist, and Verizon hadn’t announced a national, over-the-top pay TV offering. Times have changed and in many regards, that’s the competitive field that Comcast needs to set its sights on, not the mucky and overregulated business of putting cables in the ground and obsolete set-top boxes in people’s homes.

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Aurich Lawson

After Comcast terminated its deal to buy Time Warner Cable today, government officials explained why they worked behind the scenes to kill the merger.

Further Reading

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Posted by on in InfoGraphics

When J. Sterling Morton founded Arbor Day back in 1872, his idea was simple—set aside a special day for tree planting. And today, that idea is more important than ever.

I love trees. And you should too. You know why? Because without trees the human race would not be here. Trees supply us with the oxygen we breathe, we utilize their sap, wood, and leaves for products such as paper, mulch, building supplies and more.

We also get shaded by them on hot days and once in a while we might carve our love's name in their bark. Today's bonus infographic is about trees in honor of Arbor Day. I'm also a member of the Arbor Day Foundation.

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Posted by on in InfoGraphics

For this Friday (TGIF) an important topic to any business or individual trying to push their brand out into this great electronic frontier called the internet is how to do digital marketing.

In simplistic terms, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media. Digital marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it involves the use of channels and methods that enable an organization to analyze marketing campaigns and understand what is working and what isn’t – typically in real time.

As a digital marketer you will monitor things such as what is being viewed, how often and for how long, sales conversions, what content works and doesn’t work, etc.

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Over the past two years, France has been a leading country when it comes to open data and open government — and it is paying off. Only one year after joining the Open Government Partnership, France has just been elected to head the Partnership starting in October 2016.

I’ve been regularly covering France’s effort in this area as I think it’s an interesting take on open government. There are many other interesting projects coming out of Etalab. The team first relaunched Data.gouv.fr, France’s open data portal. This project showcases how data can be useful to modernize the French Government and State. It was also a great story as Etalab acts as a small startup within the government, tirelessly iterating on its projects.

The team also launched OpenFisca, an open-source tax simulator so that you can see how tax reforms affect French people. This is the kind of tools that can be useful for everyone — ministers, journalists and citizens. More recently, OpenStreetMap, La Poste, the IGN and Etalab partnered to launch an open database of addresses. This can be very useful for firemen, ambulances, telecommunication companies and more. For example, they can look up and reference any address without relying on Google Maps and other proprietary alternatives — and it’s very accurate.

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