Archive | January 2015

China’s tightens grip on Internet, but some censorship circumvention tools still available

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In the last 10 days, China has been tightening its grip on the Internet, blocking several tools that allow users inside the country to escape and circumvent what’s popularly known as the “Great Firewall of China.”

Some popular Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, were the latest victims of the sophisticated Chinese Internet censorship system, with several individuals and small businesses reportedly unable to use them in the last few days to connect to censored websites, or to use other blocked services like Gmail, Flickr or Twitter

But not all hope is lost for Chinese users trying to get around the Great Firewall. …

More about China, Censorship, Internet Freedom, Us World, and Us …read more      

This entry was posted on January 31, 2015, in Mashable.

Carl Djerassi, father of the birth control pill, dies at 91

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SAN FRANCISCO — Carl Djerassi, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, has died.

Djerrasi died of complications of cancer Friday in his San Francisco home, Stanford University spokesman Dan Stober said. He was 91.

Djerassi, a professor emeritus of chemistry at Stanford, was most famous for leading a research team in Mexico City that in 1951 developed norethindrone, a synthetic molecule that became a key component of the first birth control pill.

“The pill” as it came to be known radically transformed sexual practices and women’s lives. The pill gave women more control over their fertility than they had ever had before and permanently put doctors — who previously didn’t see contraceptives as part of their job — in the birth control picture. …

More about Science, Us World, Us, and Birth Control …read more      

This entry was posted on January 31, 2015, in Mashable.

RIP Bonne Bell: Lip Smacker manufacturer set to close

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It’s the end of an era.

Bonne Belle, the cosmetics company behind the iconic Lip Smacker flavored lip gloss, is slated to close its factory and lay off the vast majority of its employees.

Mawkins International, a California-based cosmetics company, which owns brands like Wet N Wild and Physicians Formula, is acquiring Bonne Bell and Lip Smacker, the two companies announced.

As a result, Bonne Bell will soon be “permanently laying off” most of its employees and closing down its factory, according to a report on …

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This entry was posted on January 31, 2015, in Mashable.

‘Community’ star’s documentary spotlights female tech pioneer

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Gillian Jacobs might be best known for her inspiring laughs on NBC’s Community, but for the past few months the actress has been zig-zagging across the west coast to find out more about female computer science pioneer Grace Hopper for a new documentary

The result? Jacobs far from Britta’d it.

Released this week, The Queen of Code, which is part of …

More about Community, Television, Tv, and Tech …read more      

This entry was posted on January 31, 2015, in Mashable.

Google Now updated with support for third-party apps on Android

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Google’s Android app just got a lot smarter.

Google Now will be updated with support for 40 third-party apps, the company revealed Friday.

Google Now, launched in 2012, provides personalized search results — in the form of “cards” — automatically based on a user’s previous actions. For example, as you leave work the app may surface a Google Now card alerting you to an accident on your way home and provide an alternate route via Google Maps

But these cards largely relied on Google’s own services: Maps, Calendar, Gmail, Search etc. The latest update changes that with integration with a few dozen third-party apps, including Lyft, eBay, Ford, Pandora and …

More about Google, Android, Tech, Android Apps, and Apps Software …read more      

This entry was posted on January 31, 2015, in Mashable.

The enormous Fitbit Surge is a runner’s best friend

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When the Fitbit Surge was unveiled late last year, the popular fitness tracking company wanted everyone to know that it was not a smartwatch. In fact, Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park said at the time that smartwatches in general “lack a purpose in life.”

Instead, Fitbit is labeling its newly-available Surge a “superwatch” because it blends smartwatch capabilities with the traditional (and advanced) ingredients that go into a fitness tracker. It’s designed for serious runners, like if you’re training for a marathon, but it works really well for the rest of us too

See also: …

More about Mobile, Apps, Gadgets, Tech, and Fitbit …read more      

This entry was posted on January 31, 2015, in Mashable.

Key & Peele’s Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch parody just won the Super Bowl

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Seattle Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch are true media darlings (read: terrible at press)

Sherman hasn’t stopped talking, basically ever, and Lynch can barely get a word out, so Comedy Central’s Key & Peele imagined what would happen if the duo held a press conference — not about the Super Bowl, but about Oscar snubs, naturally.

It would be all biscuits and gravy

A side note: “Sherman” makes some very valid points about Selma.

More about Viral Videos, Parody, Super Bowl, Seattle Seahawks, and Youtube …read more      

This entry was posted on January 31, 2015, in Mashable.