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  • Facebook makes paid time off for baby leave a global benefit
    Facebook makes paid time off for baby leave a global benefit 21 hours ago

    Less than a week after Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said he would take two months of paternity leave, the social media company announced it is extending its parental leave policy to full-time employees outside the United States. Employees may take leave at any point up to a year after the birth of their child, Lori Matloff Goler, the company's head of human resources, said in a Facebook post late Wednesday. Facebook currently offers four months of paid parental leave to U.S.-based full-time workers. More »

  • Garmin Virb EX HD Action Camera review
    Garmin Virb EX HD Action Camera review 23 hours ago

    It’s difficult to discuss action cameras without mentioning GoPro, the company that practically invented the category. Having sold millions, it ignited a new industry that has attracted a lot of “me too” companies, yet, GoPro has continued to dominate. One of the newer entries is the Virb from Garmin, better known for their GPS navigation and fitness devices. During its first year in market Garmin appeared to follow its own path in camera design: The original is lipstick-shaped camera with an LCD screen on the top. While this form-factor worked well for mounting the camera on helmets and handlebars, it wasn’t well suited with chest straps or under bike seats. Rather than stay different and fight it out, Garmin completely redesigned the new Virb XE with a classic camera shape – a small rectangular box that, not so surprisingly, looks a lot like a GoPro. That’s only outside of the camera, however. Inside, Garmin did what it know best: it added GPS so the camera knows where it’s going and how fast, and included ANT+ technology so it can communicate with a host of wireless sensors to record performance metrics along with the video. It may look more like a GoPro, but it marches to the beat of its own drum. Features and design The Virb XE is a small, compact, matte black box (3 x 1.6 x 1.4 inches) with a lens on the front, and a 1-inch square LCD screen on the top-left with two small buttons to the right (menu and power). On the right side are the shutter button (for still images and menu selections) and a switch to control video recording. On the left-end of the camera is a latch that allows the front of the camera to open revealing the battery and a slot for a MicroSD card. The bottom has a mount that is compatible with most GoPro accessories. For capturing images the Virb XE has a 12.4-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that shoots still photos at 12 and 7 megapixels, and can record video at 1440p up to 30 frames per second, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 120 fps, and at 480p in 240-fps super slow motion. In photo burst mode the camera can fire off 12 megapixel images at 30 frames per second. And for getting those classic change-of-weather time lapses the Virb XE can be set to snap at intervals of up to two minutes apart. Bill Roberson/Digital Trends Bill Roberson/Digital Trends For such a small box (it weighs approximately 5 ounces) the Virb XE packs in a load of tech. Along with image capturing, the camera also features GPS, an accelerometer, and the ability to communicate with other cameras, smartphones, and sensors via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or ANT+. The onboard GPS means the Virb itself knows how fast it is moving, which direction, the incline, decline, altitude, and how many Gs are being pulled. Garmin calls these features “G-Metrix.” When connected to Garmin’s long list of compatible ANT+ sensors it can track and record heart rate, cycling cadence, temperature, water depth, wind direction and speed, engine RPM, torque, and many other metrics associated with action. These data will automatically appear in a wide variety of data overlays on the video when it is edited in Garmin’s free Virb Edit (for Windows and Mac). The Virb XE can communicate with the Virb smartphone app via a Wi-Fi connection making the phone both a live viewfinder and remote control. This allows quick photo and video uploads to a smartphone, which can then be shared with any social media app. What’s included The Virb XE we tested arrived with the camera, a battery, one USB charging cable, five mounts, two extension arms, three screws for attaching the camera to the mounts, a hex key (Allen wrench), and a get-started manual. Performance and use At a certain point all action camera owners realize that they’ll never slip into a wingsuit and base jump off the sheer granite face of a Norwegian fjord. And the chances of them capturing images of mountain bike runs down a rocky Utah cliff are also pretty slim. At that point we all want a camera that just works. And with the Virb XE, Garmin delivers. No offense to GoPro, but one of the features we enjoyed most while testing the Virb XE was that when we pressed the power button the camera turned on. We didn’t have to remove the battery three or four times or do any strange resetting rituals that required plugging the camera into the computer while jumping on one foot. We also noticed that Virb’s battery would remain charged for longer than a day or two while sitting on our desk. In the past when we’ve wanted to use another action cam for some last minute adventure we’d grab it off the desk only to find that the battery had died in the three days since we’d last charged it. With the Virb we never had that problem. Each time we grabbed it to go, it was ready to shoot. Which is not to say the Virb XE’s battery lasted all day long. With a 16GB MicroSD card in the camera it can hold 1 hour and 18 minutes of video shooting at 1080p at 30 fps, or 3,318 12-megapixel still images. But from our experience that is much more recording than the battery can deliver. With the camera on and shooting clips every now and again we found that the battery lasted on average about 2 hours before going dead – standard for many action cams. Bill Roberson/Digital Trends The Virb XE’s interactivity with Garmin’s enormous family of ANT+ sensors is what makes the camera fun to use. On a road cycling ride we paired the camera with our heart rate monitor and cadence sensor and let the camera use its own GPS for speed and direction. Being able to look back at the recording and see our heart rate rise while climbing, or watch how fast we got going on the downhill is cool. And for anyone who races anything, this easy merge of metrics and point of view video is unbeatable. We did have occasional problems with the camera dropping one ANT+ sensor or another, but on the whole it worked as promised. We also like that the Virb XE has distinct video and photo controls. One toggle switch is for starting and stopping a video recording, while the shutter button is for snapping still images. Once we figured out the position for recording video we were never caught wondering if it was recording or not. While on a mountain bike ride we didn’t have to keep asking the person behind us if the red light was on because we knew the position of the switch. When we wanted to snap a still shot all we had to do was press the shutter button and the shot was taken without disturbing the flow of the video capture. As with most action cams, getting used to shooting photos and videos without being able to see what you’re getting takes some getting used to. At the beginning we used the Garmin Virb smartphone app as a display to help frame our images, but soon enough we realized that the camera’s field of view was so wide that it really was as easy as pointing and shooting. Because the camera is entirely waterproof we didn’t need to put it inside a waterproof box before jumping in a lake or the ocean. And since it’s not in a plastic waterproof box the audio the Virb XE records is quite clear and will be a pleasant surprise to those who are used the the muffled muddy sounds of audio recorded with a GoPro. Image quality When it comes to video quality we rolled everything at 1080p at 30 fps. The Virb XE is capable of higher-quality 1080p at 60 fps and 1440p at 30 fps, which you can downscale, but we wanted to work with something more manageable. While the video may not look as hyper crisp or saturated as you’d find on a top of the line GoPro, like the Hero4 Black or Silver, it still records stunning footage that looks great on a computer monitor or posted up on YouTube. Resolution freaks would likely prefer the Hero4 Black’s 4K at 30 frames a second, but for everybody else who don’t enjoy spending all night pushing monster files through a laptop, the Virb EX does the job well even in varying light conditions and underwater. Virb Edit What do we do with all this nice HD video, photos, and performance data? Well, Garmin takes care of that with Virb Edit. The software offers everything needed to create a basic, no-frills video edit with metrics overlays. The program facilitates selecting video clips and still photos from the camera and downloading them to the computer. From there, building an edited video is as easy as dragging clips from the media library to a timeline. Virb Edit includes quick editing features like trim to the start and trim to the end, plus several simple transitions including four wipes and a fade. Edit also allows users to import audio to the timeline and control the volume of the clips and audio files. While most of the editing functions are rather spartan, the options list explodes when it comes to data overlays. The app comes with 61 different pre-configured graphic templates and hundreds of solid looks gauges and graphs that can be custom combined to create stunning data data displays anywhere on the screen. Once the overlays are selected, Virb Edit does the rest. The options are virtually unlimited. After the video is complete, Virb Edit allows for easy exporting to MP4 or can be directly shared to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or Garmin Connect. Serious video editors are going to want more powerful editing software, but for getting a short video edited with full data overlays Virb Edit makes it easy. Conclusion We found the Garmin Virb XE to have more functions than that average shooter will use. It does classic time-lapse images, shoots up-close candid stills, and rolls 1080p high-definition video at 60 frames a second. With thoughtful design, intuitive button layout, and easy to understand menus, Garmin has removed most of the overhead normally involved with operating action cams. Video professionals may want some of the custom functionality and higher resolution options found on a GoPro, but for those of us who want to strap on a camera, flip a switch, and record a little video on the fly (with performance metrics included), there is no better action camera on the market. Highs Onboard GPS ANT+ sensor compatibility Automatic Metric Overlays Compatible with all GoPro mounts Waterproof Lows ANT+ sensors drop occasionally More »

  • Instagram unveils multi-account access for Android beta users
    Instagram unveils multi-account access for Android beta users Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    Instagram is taking a page from Twitter’s book by allowing its app users to stay logged in to multiple accounts at the same time. The feature is rolling out to Android users who are part of Instagram’s Play Store beta testing program. The multi-account access was noticed on version 7.12.0 of the Instagram beta app, according to Android Police and Twitter user @fro_rogue. Users who have the beta app can dive into the bottom of the settings menu and tap on “Add Account” to log in to another account or create a new Instagram handle. Related: Justin Bieber broke Instagram, Facebook fixed it After a user is logged into multiple accounts, they can toggle between them by tapping their username from their profile page. A drop-down menu will display the added accounts and an option to add another account. Users can head back to the settings menu to log out of individual accounts or all added accounts at once. The multi-account feature appears to be rolling out to beta users in phases, according to Android Police. Some users report having the feature then losing it. If you use an Android phone and want to join the Instagram Beta Program, head to the Google Group and follow the steps. Also watch: Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Nigeria's Nollywood: Who is controversial director Dickson Iroegbu?
    Nigeria's Nollywood: Who is controversial director Dickson Iroegbu? Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    Nigerian film-maker Dickson Iroegbu has come under fire in the past few days after he posted a comment on Facebook saying that if anything happened to controversial Briafran leader Nnamdi Kanu - currently detained by the state security service (DSS) in Abuja - Nigeria "will burn". Iroegbu spoke to IBTimes UK to clarify his position, stating that he does not support the Biafran cause - which calls for indepndence from Nigeria - but he believes in freedom of speech and dialogue with the Nigerian government. Who is Dickson Iroegbu? More »

  • Facebook ramps paid leave time for new dads
    Facebook ramps paid leave time for new dads Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    All new dads working for Facebook outside the US currently get a minimum of four weeks' paternity leave, with more time offered in locations where required by local law, the company says More »

  • Facebook to offer four months parental leave to all full-time employees
    Facebook to offer four months parental leave to all full-time employees Sat, Nov 28, 2015

    Guess he really wants to boost face-time! Facebook Co-Founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg recently announced his plans to take two months paternity leave when his daughter is born — and with the announcement of a new policy, it seems he and the company may think two isn’t enough. Beginning January 2016, Facebook will offer all full-time employees a whopping four months parental leave. According to Lori Matloff Goler, Facebook’s head of human resources, the new benefit affects new fathers and parents in same-sex relationships outside of the U.S. Before the change, four months parental leave was available only to certain senior Facebook employees. “We want to be there for our people at all stages of life, and in particular we strive to be a leading place to work for families,” Goler said. “An important part of this is offering paid parental leave, or baby leave.” Related: Netflix institutes ‘unlimited’ maternity and paternity leave for workers In her recent Facebook status, Goler also stated, “For too long, paid baby leave has been granted only to a mother who is giving birth. We believe that fathers and mothers alike deserve the same level of support when they are starting and growing a family, regardless of how they define family.” The new policy defines time off for any of Facebook’s employees who are not just full-time, but expecting new additions to their families, regardless of the parent’s gender or where they live in the world. Parental leave is intended to allow parents time to bond with a new baby, and can be taken at any time up to a year after the baby’s birth. Facebook’s four-month parental leave policy is part of a growing trend of companies providing working moms and dads more time to bond with children. While companies like Netflix have worked on providing extended leaves of absence for new parents, others have added other benefits useful to parents. Last year, Fortune’s list of companies with the best perks for families included not just Facebook for its parental leave and $4,000 bonus cash, but also Google, Campbell Soup Co., and NetApp, which provide a range of parent-friendly benefits. Also watch: Facebook Rolls Out New Donate Button and Fundraising Tools Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Russia plans to build its largest data center on top of a nuclear power pla …
    Russia plans to build its largest data center on top of a nuclear power pla … Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    While most of the world still balks at the notion of using nuclear energy to power large-scale enterprises, Russia certainly isn’t the rest of the world. In fact, the country recently announced plans to build what could be its largest data center right on top of the Kalinin nuclear power plant. Requiring 80MW to power up to 10,000 racks, the data center will require a constant supply of energy, which makes nuclear reactors a solid choice as an energy source — after all, these reactors also have to run continuously in order to be effective. So while it may be a slightly alarming scenario, it’s admittedly a rather logical one. Taking efforts to move away from nonrenewable energy like coal and natural gas to a new level, nuclear energy is certainly a green(er) alternative, and with many tech companies like Facebook and Google noting a desire to move away from traditional energy sources, Russia hopes that its new data center will attract some high profile customers. Rosenergoatom, the company behind the data center’s construction, has previously approached these Internet giants with offers of real estate in the new facility. With new data residency laws that necessitate foreign companies to store data from Russian citizens on Russian soil, American companies just may have to accept the invitation. Related: Absurd Fallout 4 battles end in a second nuclear holocaust Initial construction plans place the opening of center’s first phase in March 2017, and the second will follow in the spring of 2018. Already, the project has a hefty price tag of $975 million, which doesn’t even include the cost of IT infrastructure. Still, experts note that it’s a strategic use of Kalinin’s excessive energy production. Moreover, given the latitude of the new data center (temperatures rarely cross 75 degrees Fahrenheit), the facility would likely be able to make use of free cooling. And with the 10,000 racks the center will need to power, free cooling would be a major boon. So who knows — with the tech industry being as innovative as it is, maybe nuclear powered data centers aren’t so far fetched after all. Also watch: Formlabs 1+ 3D SLA Printer - Hands on Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Frozen Yoghurt Entrepreneur Scoops Sky Award
    Frozen Yoghurt Entrepreneur Scoops Sky Award Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    A frozen yoghurt entrepreneur from Northern Ireland has won the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Young Person in Business award, sponsored by Sky News. Her shop, open seven days a week until 10pm, has thrived as its popularity has spread through word-of-mouth and by using feedback from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to decide on changing flavours and toppings. More »

  • Facebook Investor Accel To Invest In CarWow
    Facebook Investor Accel To Invest In CarWow Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    An early investor in Facebook is poised to invest millions of pounds in CarWow, a UK-based online dealer which has been described as the Expedia for new vehicles. Sky News has learnt that Accel Partners, the Silicon Valley firm, is in detailed talks about injecting between £10m and £20m in CarWow, which launched in 2010 as an online car aggregator, according to people close to the situation. CarWow was set up by founders including James Hind, and has already raised funds from a number of well-known investors such as Balderton Capital, Episode1 Ventures and Alex Chesterman, founder of the online property portal Zoopla. More »

  • Woman jailed for posting revenge porn photographs on Facebook
    Woman jailed for posting revenge porn photographs on Facebook Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    A woman has become the first in the UK to be jailed for posting sexually explicit photographs of her ex-girlfriend on Facebook. Samantha Watt, 31, who posted the photographs on the social media site in an act characterised as revenge porn, has been sent to jail for 18 weeks. In a bid to embarrass and humiliate her ex-lover, Watt, from Enfield, north London, posted the 21-year-old victim's intimate photographs, which she had taken when the two were in a relationship. More »

  • Bolivian women arrested for alleged Facebook baby sale Fri, Nov 27, 2015

    LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — Bolivian officials say they have arrested two women on human trafficking charges: one for selling her baby for $250, the other for buying it after placing a "want ad" on Facebook. More »

  • Google getting plenty of right-to-be-forgotten requests, reveals examples
    Google getting plenty of right-to-be-forgotten requests, reveals examples Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Google says that since the EU issued its controversial “right to be forgotten” ruling 18 months ago, it’s evaluated 1,234,092 URLs from 348,085 requests. That’s a lot of people asking to be forgotten. It added that it’s removed search links to 42 percent of the webpages cited in the requests while retaining links to 58 percent. The ruling, which came into effect in May last year, gives those living in Europe the opportunity to request the removal of links to webpages containing information deemed to be irrelevant, out of date, or inappropriate. The sites often include negative or embarrassing information about an individual, but Google says it must “consider the rights of the individual as well as public interest in the content” before deciding whether to remove a link. In a transparency report released this week, the Web giant revealed the top 10 domains from which it’s removed the most URLs from search results on its European search engines. Top of the pile is Facebook, with other high-profile sites and services like YouTube and Twitter also listed. Decisions, decisions Interestingly, the Mountain View company also included examples of the kinds of requests it receives and how it responded. Here’s a few of them: Belgium: An individual who was convicted of a serious crime in the last five years but whose conviction was quashed on appeal asked us to remove an article about the incident. We removed the page from search results for the individual’s name. Italy: We received multiple requests from a single individual who asked us to remove 20 links to recent articles about his arrest for financial crimes committed in a professional capacity. We did not remove the pages from search results. UK: A man asked that we remove a link to a news summary of a local magistrate’s decisions that included the man’s guilty verdict. Under the UK Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, this conviction has been spent. We have removed the page from search results for his name. UK: A media professional requested that we remove 4 links to articles reporting on embarrassing content he posted to the Internet. We did not remove the pages from search results. The ruling has presented Google and other search engines with the challenge of finding a balance between protecting an individual’s privacy and the public’s right to access certain information. Related: Facebook privacy lawsuit lands in Austria’s Supreme Court News organizations are particularly unhappy with the situation, claiming it stifles free speech. Of course, it also means less traffic to their websites. In an effort to combat the court’s decision, an increasing number of media outlets, including the Guardian, Telegraph, and Daily Mail, have been posting links to all of the news stories that Google has removed from its European search sites. For those in Europe, the easy way around the issue is to search not from, say,, but instead from, where all the links can still be found. Look out, though, as a French regulatory group has been fighting to change this, arguing that links should be removed from all search engines regardless of the Web user’s location. Also watch: Google Star Wars Promo Lets You Pick a Side For Your Apps Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Hyatt is serving customers through Facebook Messenger
    Hyatt is serving customers through Facebook Messenger Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Hotel customers are enjoying a new way of reaching out to the Hyatt hotel chain through social media. Through a marketing partner called Conversocial, the hotel operator is testing Facebook Messenger as a social channel for customer service. This tool opens up new channels of support engagement. It puts the Hyatt corporation squarely in the center of where many conversations are happening, while offering immediate assistance to a new audience. Using the app, users will be able to easily reach Hyatt. They can also make reservations and engage in live conversations with the company’s chat support team. They will be able to ask about availability, reservation info, room features, and more as easily as through a phone call or email. New channels Hyatt has been active in customer support through Twitter. However, when the two platforms are compared, Facebook’s large user base will open access to a wider audience. Twitter’s audience is limited in comparison. There are a number of users that either don’t have an account or have abandoned the service. Related: Facebook Messenger for Android reaches 1 billion downloads Hyatt sees a personalized advantage through the features on the system, and responsive exchanges with the company are the end goal. Customers can actively view status updates, such as when messages have been read, when people are typing, and other notifications. Big audience, big potential In March, Facebook set the path for Messenger support for businesses. Hyatt became one of seven brands actively testing the Businesses on Messenger tool. Facebook says that it has more than 700 million active monthly users on Messenger. This new channel for customer service delivers a fresh relevance to customers in a way that they are familiar with. Access, fast service, and fast response are elements that will refine customer engagement for more companies to explore in the future. More »

  • Man convicted of killing wife, posting Facebook photo
    Man convicted of killing wife, posting Facebook photo Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    Man guilty of second-degree murder after shooting wife and putting photo of blood-spattered body on Facebook. More »

  • Florida 'Facebook killer' Derek Medina convicted of second degree m …
    Florida 'Facebook killer' Derek Medina convicted of second degree m … Thu, Nov 26, 2015

    A Florida man accused of killing his wife and then posting photos of her lifeless body on Facebook was convicted of second-degree murder in Miami on 25 November. Derek Medina, who did not testify during his trial, now faces 25 years to life in prison for the murder. Medina fatally shot his wife, Jennifer Alfonso, during an argument in the South Miami home in 2013. More »

  • Man convicted of killing wife; posted Facebook photo of body Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    MIAMI (AP) — A Florida man who killed his wife and posted a photo of the bloody corpse on Facebook was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder after failing to convince a jury that he shot her eight times in self-defense. More »

  • The Latest: Man convicted of killing, posting Facebook photo Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    MIAMI (AP) — The latest on the trial of a South Florida man accused of killing his wife and then posting a picture of her body on Facebook (all times local): More »

  • Florida man who killed wife, posted photo of body on Facebook convicted of 2nd-degree … Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    MIAMI (AP) — Florida man who killed wife, posted photo of body on Facebook convicted of 2nd-degree murder. More »

  • Work Chat app comes to Facebook at Work
    Work Chat app comes to Facebook at Work Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Facebook has announced that it will introduce a chat client for Facebook at Work. This is a version of the social platform that allows colleagues the ability to share and collaborate in a private social network. Work Chat is similar to the well-known Messenger features that grace the standard Facebook application. Co-workers can participate in group chats, share photos, share videos, use stickers, make voice calls, and message other team members individually. The first version appeared late last week in the Google Play store. Reports indicate that an iOS version will be coming out at some point down the road. Private testing for Facebook at Work has been going on since January of this year. Hundreds of companies have been participating in the process. From small to large, banks, real estate firms, travel companies, and many other businesses have been participating in the test phase. The business networking platform will leverage a freemium model and is expected to debut in the coming months. If the product sounds a lot like Yammer, HipChat, or Slack, that’s because it is. These are widely used platforms that the Facebook platform will have to compete with. Slack is known for its clever integrations with tools such as project management apps, Google apps, sharing, and other productivity platforms. Facebook can count on the appeal of presenting a platform that people already know. This may be a great leverage point toward gaining a willing audience. Facebook is also keen on integrating with third parties, although the relationship is usually somewhat inverse. Applications are typically made to integrate with Facebook instead of the other way around. That is at least, until Facebook launches their own productivity tools at some point down the road. Related: Facebook at Work adds 100,000 new users from Royal Bank of Scotland Group For now, the app is live in the Google Play store, but it can only be used by those that are part of the companies that are testing the Facebook at Work service. More »

  • UK carrier O2 reveals it is also looking into technologies to block adverts …
    UK carrier O2 reveals it is also looking into technologies to block adverts … Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Following on from news that Britain’s largest carrier EE is looking into blocking adverts on mobile, the second largest carrier O2 has revealed it is in “advanced stages” of looking into advert blocking for mobile. Speaking to Business Insider, O2 managing director of digital commerce Robert Franks said: “We are absolutely looking at [network-level ad blocking] technology … We are looking at these technologies to see if they can help our customers with some of the bad practices and disruptive experiences that are happening.” Related: AdBlock Plus arrives on iOS and Android, murders ads on your mobile device The carrier is looking to partner with various advertising agencies to improve mobile adverts, making them faster, more secure, and take up less data. O2 will make sure that those adverts are still seen on the mobile Web, while removing adverts that make the user’s experience worse on mobile. O2 doesn’t have a product to showcase right now, but seems further ahead than EE and other U.K. carriers. Vodafone, the third largest carrier in the country, said in the report that it didn’t have any plans to create advert blocking services, but might look into it in the future. Creating a network-level adblocker might make it possible to remove adverts from apps, alongside the Web. That would be a huge deal for companies like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, which make most mobile revenue from apps. Apple doesn’t seem to welcome that type of ad-blocking however, recently banning a handful of apps that tried to block advert traffic inside apps. That might cause problems with Apple and Google, but O2 didn’t mention ad-blocking inside of apps. It also said it wouldn’t use a monetary system to allow some ads through the filter, as that would break net neutrality laws in Europe and the United kingdom. O2 is currently in the middle of a $15 billion merger with Hutchison Whampoa’s Three UK. The mega-carrier will serve over 35 million customers in the U.K., but the future of O2 after the merger is uncertain. That might bring an early end to the company’s plans for an ad-blocking service. Also watch: Apple iPhone 6S Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Baby abandoned at NYC nativity scene. Does this happen often? Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    When a custodian at a church in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. returned from lunch on Monday, he heard cries and discovered a surprising sight: a newborn baby, with umbilical cord still attached, resting in the manger at the church’s nativity scene. The baby, a boy who weighed about five pounds, was taken to a local hospital by emergency crews and appeared to be in good health, Christopher Heanue, pastor of the Holy Child of Jesus Church wrote on the church’s Facebook page. New York police are currently trying to determine who abandoned the infant. More »

  • Family Urge Boycott Of Paris Attacks Tribute
    Family Urge Boycott Of Paris Attacks Tribute Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    The family of a man killed in the Paris attacks has called for a boycott of a national tribute to the victims, accusing the government of failing to tackle the terror threat. Emma Prevost, whose brother Francois-Xavier was among the 130 who lost their lives, has posted a Facebook message setting out reasons for rejecting the commemoration event planned for this Friday. She said the family held the President Francois Hollande and other politicians partly responsible for the massacre, also arguing nothing had been done in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks in January, in which 17 people died. More »

  • Facebook user Phuc Dat Bich says name is a 'prank'
    Facebook user Phuc Dat Bich says name is a 'prank' Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    A Facebook user calling himself "Phuc Dat Bich" said Wednesday his viral postings about discrimination by the social network due to his name were a hoax. More »

  • Samsung Gear VR review
    Samsung Gear VR review Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Chances are you’ve heard about virtual reality for most of your life, in one form or another — and it probably hasn’t impressed you. Blinding yourself with a geeky looking headset has long felt like the ultimate in antisocial behavior. Oculus and Samsung think they can change your mind with a new, affordable Gear VR, which is priced at just $100. The latest Gear VR is Samsung’s third model, but the first one it doesn’t consider a development unit. Available on four major Samsung phones out now, it has more than 100 games and apps. While not the most affordable virtual reality headset for phones (see: Google Cardboard), it is the best — by a wide margin. More comfortable at half the price The final Gear VR is a lot more comfortable to wear than the two Innovator Editions that came out in the last year (each at double the price, $200). It’s also the most comfortable mobile VR headset out yet, especially if you consider its added functionality. For starters, it’s about 18 percent lighter than its predecessors, and most of that weight comes from the elimination of the needless hard plastic straps that helped hold the previous units in place. While meant to make the old headset feel more secure, they actually made it bulky. As before, Samsung sells the Gear VR in any color you want (as long as it’s white), but Samsung has removed a cheap-looking gloss coat that covered the last one. The new Gear VR has a matte coating that doesn’t pick up fingerprints and feels more luxurious. Changes to the Gear’s dimensions have made it large enough to fit over most glasses. Increasing the size to accommodate them means some users will notice light leak around the edges, but we didn’t see much evidence of it, and certainly didn’t find it distracting. Overall, the upgraded rubber mask and felt pads fit snugly and should last longer than the crummy foam pads on earlier models. You can remove and wash the new pads as well, which is nice if you happen to be working up a sweat (no, we don’t want to know why you are). Related: Ready to jump into VR? We’ve found the best current and upcoming headsets Like the previous versions of Gear VR, this model has an added motion sensor that’s about 10 times more accurate than the accelerometers and gyros in the phone. It’s surprisingly accurate and far superior to mobile VR units that rely on the smartphone’s sensor alone. The Gear VR also isn’t just a cradle for your phone; it connects to it and works with it. For example, if you take off the VR headset, it shuts off the screen. And when you put on the headset, Oculus software starts automatically on your phone (we used a Galaxy Note 5). Most VR headsets don’t have controls at all, let alone a smart interface like this. Upgraded controls Samsung has added a Micro USB port so users can charge a phone while VRing, but more importantly, the directional touch pad on the right side is far easier to use and understand. There are now indentations to indicate which directions are up, down, left, and right, as well as how far to slide your finger. Smack in the middle is a circle – your virtual OK button. A separate Back button still exists as well. This works a lot like the Home button on your Android phone, taking you back to the home screen. Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends The Gear VR software interface still has a blocky, flat design, reminiscent of Windows 8 or the Xbox One. A recently played big game or app sits dead center, along with some other app/game suggestions. On the left and right sides are the Library and the Oculus Store, where you can find other apps. Selecting what you want to do is as easy as looking at it (there’s a cursor) and tapping the OK button on the headset. Scrolling through pages of apps is easy, but it takes a minute to figure out you have to swipe down on the touchpad to do it. Awesome games, but few apps Virtual reality is fun to try, but the reason you should try a Gear VR is those games that actually show it off. Yes, there are some apps as well, but most everything worth downloading is a game. We liked the Netflix app, but couldn’t get it to play video. Hopefully an app update will fix this. You can browse Facebook, watch 360-degree movies and videos, or check out Twitch, and there are some rudimentary rooms where you can socialize with others. However, these social experiences weren’t more interesting in VR than on any other device. But when it comes to games, there’s a good variety to choose from. No, there’s nothing on the level of Fallout 4 yet, or any game that may eat up 80 hours of your life, but there are numerous bite-sized titles that make novel use of the headset. Related: Heads up: The best VR headsets under $100  Our favorite game so far is Gunjack, a simple arcade-style space shooter. It has no special story, but the 3D graphics are crisp and the accuracy of aiming at alien spaceships by simply looking at them is unmatched by any traditional video game. First-person Temple Run VR is also a blast, and a bit horrifying. If you thought those things chasing you were gorillas, prepare for a surprise when they eat you in VR. The highlight is Land’s End, created by the developers behind smash hit Monument Valley. It’s easily the most relaxing game experience I’ve had all year. Land’s End lets players float around serene islands, solving simple puzzles with your telekinetic powers. While the graphics are simple, the developer’s artistic style makes the most of what’s on screen, and the result proves that VR doesn’t have to be photo-realistic to maintain immersion. Darknet, Ikarus, and Omega Agent also offer unique blends of action and fun. Omega Agent, in particular, is like a VR version of Pilotwings, where you fly a jetpack around a city. Don’t worry — it has a shotgun on it. If you buy a wireless controller like the Steel Series Status XL we used during the review, you can play more complex games, as well as classic arcade games like Sonic the Hedgehog. Such titles don’t play differently in VR, but the headset acts as a massive display. We’ve had the Gear VR for about a week and seem to find some new gem every time we open the store. Because apps are acquired through the Oculus Store (not Samsung’s app store), developers working on Oculus Rift games may choose to support the Gear VR, as well. It’s not flawless The Gear VR is a lot of fun, but like all current VR headsets, it suffers the “screen door effect.” Samsung’s compatible phones have extremely high-resolution displays, yet pixels (and the gaps between them) become visible when the screen is an inch from your face. Adjusting focus on the headset using the rotating wheel up top is easy, but it’s difficult to avoid tinkering with it because things never look as crisp as you wish. Perhaps it’s just me, but I got very excited about watching VR Netflix in bed. I was disappointed to find the Gear VR only works well when you’re sitting up straight. It cannot easily adjust to a relaxed, laying position. This is a shame since several of the apps involve lying on the beach and chilling out in a virtual world. If you can figure it out, some apps have Void modes that let you reorient the headset, but it’s complicated and not as pretty. Finally, there’s the issue of sharing. To use this, you have to plug in your phone — but what if your friend or family member wants to play? Unless they own a Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, or Note 5, they will have to use yours. That’s fine for a few minutes, but the thought of missing hours of texts, calls, and notifications stressed us out. If you buy a Gear VR for your kids, make sure they own their own fancy Galaxy S6. Battery life Battery life isn’t a huge issue. The Gear VR doesn’t take batteries; it’s entirely powered by your phone, and it will suck up battery as much as a 3D game would. Samsung added a Micro USB charger to the Gear, so you can charge it while using, but that makes it easy to become tangled. The headset does turn off the screen when you aren’t wearing it, but the battery seems to drain much faster than in ordinary idle. We expect Samsung will fix this issue over time. Related: Homido VR headset review For now, battery life isn’t a massive concern unless you play Gear VR for hours and hours at a time. Warranty information Samsung covers manufacturing and battery defects in the Gear VR for one year after purchase. If you drop it, someone steals it, or it gets too wet and won’t work, it’s not covered. Samsung does offer extended Protection Plus coverage for its phones, which cover spills, cracked screens, and other accidents. This program has a two-day replacement time window. Conclusion If you own a Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus, or Note 5, we highly recommend the Gear VR at its new $100 price. Thanks to a fantastic collaboration between Samsung and Oculus, the Gear VR is the best mobile VR experience on planet Earth. No other virtual reality experience is this complete or easy to access. There aren’t many great apps yet, but there are nearly 100 games, and more than a dozen of them will entertain you for hours. We hope options open up to access the world of Oculus on more Android phones, and the iPhone, in the years ahead. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve some games to play. Highs Only $100 Best mobile VR hardware Works with all four major Samsung phones Fantastic games and apps Lows Some light bleeds through the edges Only available on four Samsung phones More »

  • Phuc Dat Bich hoax: Australian admits trolling media
    Phuc Dat Bich hoax: Australian admits trolling media Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Australian "Phuc Dat Bich", who made global headlines for claiming he was discriminated against because of his name, has admitted the story was a hoax. The man had posted a doctored photo of his passport on Facebook, hitting out at the social network which he claimed had shut down his account several times in accordance with its real-name policy. The 23-year-old said he hoped the deception would encourage Facebook to stop operating a feature to ensure that people only used their real names to avoid fake profiles and hold people accountable for what they did and said online. More »

  • Bangladesh detains two political activists for IS propaganda Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Police have detained two members of Bangladesh's biggest religion-based party on suspicion they were involved in Islamic State propaganda, including one who called himself "Jihadi John", a police commissioner said on Wednesday. The two members of the Jamaat-e-Islami Party who were paraded before reporters are being investigated for links with Islamic State which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks in Bangladesh including the killing of two foreigners. Nahid Hasan was picked up from Dhaka overnight on suspicion that he was spreading hate and violence on behalf of Islamic State using the pseudonym Jihadi John on a Facebook page, police joint commissioner Monirul Islam said. More »

  • Sly and the Family Stone founding member Cynthia Robinson dead at 69
    Sly and the Family Stone founding member Cynthia Robinson dead at 69 Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    Sly and the Family Stone vocalist and trumpeter Cynthia Robinson has died from cancer at 69. The founding member was the musician who told fans to “get up and dance to the music” on 1968 hit Dance to the Music. But she should be known for much more than that: she was one of the first Black female trumpet players to “lead a major American band,” according to BET, and a well-respected veteran musician. Born in Sacramento, California, Robinson joined the band — initially known as the Stoners — in 1966 and continued working with Sly and the Family Stone until its end in 1975. Billboard reported the sad news, noting that her cancer diagnosis and the establishment of the Cynthia Robinson Cancer Care Fund was first announced in October. Related: Geddy Lee on how Rush cranked back the clock one song time at a time on R40 Live “She covered a lot of ground,” said Martini to Billboard. “She was the first female trumpet player and the first African-American trumpet player in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She wasn’t in the back. She was out front telling you to get up and dance to the music, and she could blow with the best of ’em, always.” While best known for her time in Sly & the Family Stone, she continued her music career afterwards in Family Stone bassist Larry Graham’s band Graham Central Station. Over the years, she has also worked with George Clinton, Prince, and in Sinbad’s Aruba Summer Soul Festival. More recently, she has performed as part of the Family Stone with saxophonist Jerry Martini and drummer Gregg Errico since 2006. Her daughter, Sylvette Phunne Stone, has also performed with the Family Stone. Just this year, she sang lead vocals with her daughter on the Family Stone single Do Yo Dance. In a post on Cynthia Robinson’s Facebook page, representatives for Robinson expressed condolences for the Robinson Family and her bandmates and asked fans to support the Cynthia Robinson Cancer Care Fund. Also watch: Plugged Crown Headphones Review Please enable Javascript to watch this video More »

  • Jury deliberates man's fate in Facebook photo killing case Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    MIAMI (AP) — A jury began deliberating Tuesday whether a South Florida man is guilty of murder or acted in self-defense when he fatally shot his wife eight times during an argument and then posted a photo of her dead body on Facebook. More »

  • The Latest: Jury recesses after deliberating for 2.5 hours Wed, Nov 25, 2015

    MIAMI (AP) — The latest in the trial of a man who claimed self-defense after fatally shooting his wife and posting a photo of her body on Facebook (all times local): More »

  • FBI has lead in probe of 1.2 bln stolen Web credentials - documents
    FBI has lead in probe of 1.2 bln stolen Web credentials - documents Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A hacker who once advertised having access to user account information for websites like Facebook and Twitter has been linked through a Russian email address to the theft of a record 1.2 billion Internet credentials, the FBI said in court documents. The papers, made public last week by a federal court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, provide a window into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe of what would amount to the largest collection of stolen user names and passwords. The court papers were filed in support of a search warrant the FBI sought in December 2014 and that was executed a month later related to email records. More »

  • FBI has lead in probe of 1.2 billion stolen Web credentials: documents
    FBI has lead in probe of 1.2 billion stolen Web credentials: documents Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A hacker who once advertised having access to user account information for websites like Facebook and Twitter has been linked through a Russian email address to the theft of a record 1.2 billion Internet credentials, the FBI said in court documents. The papers, made public last week by a federal court in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, provide a window into the Federal Bureau of Investigation's probe of what would amount to the largest collection of stolen user names and passwords. The court papers were filed in support of a search warrant the FBI sought in December 2014 and that was executed a month later related to email records. More »

  • US: Two arrested in Minneapolis over 'white supremacist' shooting as …
    US: Two arrested in Minneapolis over 'white supremacist' shooting as … Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    Minneapolis police have arrested a 23-year-old white man and a 32-year-old Hispanic man in connection with the shooting of five people near a police station where protesters have been demonstrating against the killing of unarmed black man, Jamar Clark by police. Soon after the incident, police said they were looking for three "white male suspects" and the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis movement posted on its Facebook page that white supremacists launched the attack "in an act of domestic terrorism". Black Lives Matter Minneapolis said that the people were asked to leave and escorted out, but started shooting within one block of departing. More »

  • Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    The following list represents the most viral tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Friday Nov. 13, to Thursday, Nov. 19, via Facebook, ... More »

  • Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    The following list represents the most streamed tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Friday Nov. 13 to Thursday, Nov. 19, via Facebook, ... More »

  • Bad-PR magnet Uber just formed a safety advisory board
    Bad-PR magnet Uber just formed a safety advisory board Tue, Nov 24, 2015

    Uber and drama have become synonymous with one another over the last few years. The transportation giant is practically a magnet for bad press, sticky situations, and even civil unrest, and now, Uber is finally making a concerted effort to proactively avoid further safety and security issues. On Tuesday, the company announced the creation of a safety advisory board, the purpose of which is to “navigate safety and security hurdles.” It’s a small group, but one comprising some pretty impressive names. Members include former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis; former deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation John Barton; and National Network to End Domestic Violence executive vice president Cindy Southworth. The formation of this board comes none too soon, with this past year serving as one of Uber’s most contentious to date. Numerous accusations of faulty background checks that in turn led to passenger attacks emerged in countries around the world, and the service has been all but shut down across various parts of Europe. At home, San Francisco and Los Angeles district attorneys have accused Uber of failing to flag numerous drivers with criminal records, and earlier this year, a data breach that left 50,000 drivers vulnerable made national headlines. The new safety advisory board will attempt to address all these issues in their advising of Uber’s internal safety and security teams. And with the diverse backgrounds of the board members, they’ll be able to draw from their own experiences with regard to the physical safety of both drivers and passengers, data security, and law enforcement cooperation. Related: Uber is now using TomTom digital maps in its smartphone apps The six-member team joins newly appointed chief security officer Joe Sullivan, who came aboard the Uber train just eight months ago after serving in similar capacities at both Facebook and eBay. “Throughout my careers as I’ve focused on tech security and safety, one of the things I’ve always known is you can’t do it alone, especially with emerging tech and the evolution of products going so quickly,” Sullivan told the LA Times. “You always need to look at it from a lot of different perspectives. [For example], John Barton is going to give me a perspective on highway safety that I don’t have. Cindy is going to give me a perspective on sexual assault [that I don’t have].” And hopefully, with all these different perspectives, Uber will slowly extract itself from its perpetual environment of hot water. More »