Here Is How NASA test the Future Supersonic Airplanes

This possibly appear like some kind of space ship—but this is probably how will look our next generation supersonic airplane.. This unnamed Boeing airplane is being tested in NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The NASA team is working hard to find a way to cut back the unbelievable quantity of noise that a supersonic airplane generates.

NASA explains:

“We are testing overall vehicle design and performance options to reduce emissions and noise, and identifying whether the volume of sonic booms can be reduced to a level that leads to a reversal of the current ruling that prohibits commercial supersonic flight over land.”

That’s why the engines are on top of the plane—to shield the ground from noise—and also explains the presence of the funky V-tail channels. They help direct the sonic boom the aircraft creates backwards, to give it longer to dissipate and in turn protect our little ears down on the surface of the Earth. Good job, NASA. [NASA via New Scientist]

Image by NASA

How to Commit Internet Suicide and disappear forever!

Sick of horribly embarrassing things showing up when potential employers Google your name? Tired of everyone knowing you live in a garden level dungeon apartment? Perhaps you just don’t like the fact the internet makes you easy to find. Thankfully, it’s not that hard to delete yourself entirely. Here’s how to do it.
For mildly famous (or infamous) individuals, disappearing is essentially impossible, but for the average person it’s surprisingly easy. It just depends on much info is already out there.

Step 1: Delete Your Social Network Accounts
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Chances are the first results that pop up on a Google search of your name are your social network profiles. This likely includes things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and anywhere else you’re using your real name. So, the first step to commit internet suicide is to remove these profiles. If you just want to remove search results, you can set your profiles to private, skip this step, and move on to step two. This isn’t a perfect solution, but if you want to keep your social networks it will at least pull the results off the search engines. Here’s how to delete your accounts on the big social networks:

Facebook: To delete your Facebook profile, head to this link while you’re logged in, click the “Delete My Account” button, and you’re done. The process might take up to 14 days before your profile is completely gone. Doing it this way deletes all of your data, and it cannot be reactivated. Some messages might still show up, but anything you’ve been tagged in will have your name removed (although the pictures themselves will remain). If you want those pictures removed completely, report that you didn’t give permission for that photo under the intellectual property tag on Facebook, or contact your friend directly and ask them to remove it.
Twitter: To delete your Twitter account, head to your account settings page, and click “Deactivate my account” at the bottom. Your account gets deleted completely, but it will take a few weeks before results stop showing up in searches.
LinkedIn: To delete your LinkedIn account, head to your settings page, click the “Account” icon, then the “close your account” link.
Google+: Google+ is a bit tricky because it’s tied to your entire Google account. If you want to go ahead and close everything including email, calendars, and whatever else, sign into your primary Google Account homepage, and chose “Close account and delete all services and info associated with it.” This will get rid of everything from Gmail to Google Checkout. If you only need to ditch the Google+ account, follow this link and select “Delete Google+ content.” This will remove your profile from Google+, but retain any other Google services you have.
You’ll want to follow the above steps for any other social networks you use, forum accounts you have, or other sites you registered under your real name (this might include Yelp, Amazon, Quora, etc). If you have trouble remembering all your accounts, Account Killer has a huge list that includes direct links to deleting your profile from over 500 different sites. Your Google search for your name in the first step should also provide a guide to places you used your real name to create an account.

Step 2: Remove Unwanted Search Results
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Once you get rid of your social profiles, content is likely still floating around the web that you need to get rid of. They might be images, articles, or even employer websites. The first thing to do is figure out where you’re showing up online in search results. Search Google and make a note (or bookmark) where you name shows up on web sites.

You essentially have one course of action to remove this content: contact the source directly. Email the web site hosting the content and politely ask them to remove it (or at least remove your name). A quick email works well for places like former employers who still haven’t removed you from the employees list, family members who post pictures of you on their personal blogs, or even on donation pages for causes you’ve supported. In due time it will drop from search results.

After that, you can appeal to the search engines directly to remove the edited pages right away. You can do so through Google, Google Images, or Bing by filling out a simple form and requesting the URL to be indexed again. This doesn’t always work, but it’s worth a shot. You’ll have a better chance if someone is publishing libelous content about you, breaking a copyright of any kind, or if a page is displaying confidential information about you.

If you cannot get everything off of your Google search results, you might also consider burying personal data as far as possible. To do this while maintaining your vow to delete yourself from the internet forever, create profiles on popular social sites like Twitter, Google+, or Facebook as well as landing pages like About.Me with just your name and no other details. You can also set up your own website filled with lots of keywords about your name but no actual information (or just create a 410 error page and leave it at that). It’s not as good as deleting content completely, but at least internet sleuths will only be lead to a blank page with no information on you.

Step 3: Get Rid of Background Check, Criminal, and Public Record Results
By now we’ve destroyed the bulk of your search results and social networks. But people can still run background checks and people searches on you very easily. It’s time to destroy that personal data as best we can, and dig into various people databases. Here are a few worth checking:

Zabasearch: Zabasearch is mostly about finding addresses and phone numbers. Make a quick search of yourself and see what it knows.
Intelius: Intelius can perform background checks, hunt down criminal records, email addresses, social networks, and more. You have to pay to get your results, but you’ll get a general idea of what’s out there by simply searching your name.
Spokeo: Spokeo is essentially an address book and it can track you down suprisingly well to reveal your gender, age, phone number, address, relatives, marital status, and a whole lot more. Again, it costs a bit of money to get your full results, but you can get a general idea of what you need to snuff out.
Pipl: Pipl aggregates all of the above searches, but it’s worth looking at to make sure no others have slipped through the cracks.
If you’re anything like me (or my neighbor who I also tested this on), then you’re probably a little surprised by the amount of information these databases have. Now it’s time to get rid of as many of those as possible.

You have a couple different options for this. You can pay a service like DeleteMe $99 to go through and delete all these results. Or you can follow DeleteMe’s own guide to do it yourself.

The DIY method requires you contact around 25 different sites individually to remove the listings that include your address, phone number, income, marital status, current job, and everything else. Some sites are as simple as opting out through a link (Reddit has a great collection of the easy ones), while others require that you send in proof of identification and a letter.

Going through this step will help get rid of everything that comes in search results, but it will not remove your data completely. As long as information like your address and phone number are registered somewhere, people will be able to find you. Going through the process of opting out of background checks, public records, and people search engines just makes that personal data harder to find.

Step 4: Remove Any Usernames Attached to an Email Address with Your Name
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Any good internet sleuth will be able to link together your usernames on forums, web sites, and elsewhere with your email address. Subsequently, they’ll eventually trace that back to your name.

The process to remove this data is dependent on the forums and sites you use. If you can, unlink your primary email address with your username whenever possible. If you’re dealing with forums, ask the moderators to delete any posts that identify you personally. Essentially, cut any ties between your email address or name with your username. If you use the same username for every site, consider coming up with new names for every site.

Step 5: Stay Off Search Engines Without Going Offline by Remaining Anonymous
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From here on out you’ll have to remain vigilant in not releasing your information publicly. That means no social networks with your real name, and a yearly audit of the background check websites to ensure they don’t have any new information on you.

Chances are you still want to use the internet, right? In that case, you’ll need to set up a few things to ensure your data stays locked down. That means creating a fake identity.

To do so, you can create an email address on a service like Gmail or Outlook with a pseudonym. Fake Name Generator is a great way to come up with a new identity complete with birthdate, and everything else.

You can also use a temporary email address for all your communications, and then use your new pseudonym and fake email address to sign up for any services you need. To keep your cell phone records private, you might also consider using Google Voice instead of going through a carrier since you can make up your Google Account name.

As for the rest of your browsing, we’ve shown you plenty of ways to keep your browsing anonymous before. This won’t have an effect on any online searches for your name, but it will at least keep advertisers off your back.

When it boils down to it, the internet is forever and truly resourceful people will always be able to find you. But if you take the steps outlined above, you’ll at least thwart amateur internet sleuths and regain a touch of privacy.

Tour around the history of Peanut Butter

Take a tour through our Peanut Butter timeline and discover the history of peanuts!

1890: A St. Louis physician developed the idea of packaging peanut paste for people with bad teeth. Peanut paste was sold for six cents per pound.
1895: The Kellogg brothers patented the process of preparing peanut butter with steamed nuts. Today the nuts are roasted, and the peanut butter is much tastier.
1903: Dr. George Washington Carver developed more than 300 other uses for peanuts, and is considered by many to be the father of the peanut industry.
1904: C.H. Sumner introduced peanut butter to the world at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis. He sold $705.11 of the treat at his concession stand!
1908: Krema Products Company in Columbus, Ohio, began selling peanut butter and is the oldest peanut butter company still in operation today.
1922: Joseph L. Rosefield sold peanut butter in California, churning it to make it smoother. He received the first patent for peanut butter that could stay fresh up to a year.
1928: One of the first companies to adopt Rosefield’s process was Swift & Company, later renamed Peter Pan.
1932: Rosefield began producing peanut butter under the Skippy label, and created the first crunchy-style peanut butter two years later.
1955: Procter & Gamble entered the peanut butter business, introduced Jif in 1958. Now owned by the J.M. Smucker Company, Jif operates the world’s largest peanut butter plant, producing 250,000 jars every day!

Best practices for HTML 5 Designing

Tutorials are very useful but they are only teach you basic stuff so if you are a newbie, there’s a high probability that you will run into problems because a learning article won’t tell you details about real life scenarios, optimization problems or solutions to common issues.
For all of these you need to read guidelines or “best practices” articles because that’s how you will be able to write efficient code.


Best Practices for a Faster Web App with HTML5


Tip 1: Use web storage in place of cookies

Tip 2: Use CSS Transitions instead of JavaScript animation

Tip 3: Use client-side databases instead of server roundtrips

HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives

Excerpt: Text alternatives are a primary way of making visual information accessible, because they can be rendered through any sensory modality (for example, visual, auditory or tactile) to match the needs of the user. Providing text alternatives allows the information to be rendered in a variety of ways by a variety of user agents. For example, a person who cannot see a picture can have the text alternative read aloud using synthesized speech.

30 HTML Best Practices for Beginners

Excerpt: The most difficult aspect of running Nettuts+ is accounting for so many different skill levels. If we post too many advanced tutorials, our beginner audience won’t benefit. The same holds true for the opposite. We do our best, but always feel free to pipe in if you feel you’re being neglected. This site is for you, so speak up! With that said, today’s tutorial is specifically for those who are just diving into web development.

20 html best practices you should follow

Excerpt: Most of the web pages you encounter is presented to you via HTML, the world wide web’s markup language. In this article, I will share with you 20 best practices that will lead to clean and correct markup.

Five Best Practices for Mobile HTML5 Web App User Interaction Design

Excerpt: Organizations have options when developing mobile apps; the most significant choice is whether to develop native apps for specific phone OS’s (iOS, Android, Symbian) or to develop HTML5 web apps. Since native apps have more direct access to the phone’s hardware they can be more powerful, but there are also advantages to developing web apps. The biggest web app benefit is the ability to develop a single app that runs on multiple platforms. For many brands maintaining control of distribution is also critical.


CSS3 Best Practices

Excerpt: Since CSS3 has become such a big deal in the future-thinking minds of web designers today, I think it would be appropriate for front-end developers to begin formulating some best-practice habits and techniques so that any CSS3 development we do is done right, and we therefore are able to get CSS3 development off to a good start.

30 CSS Best Practices for Beginners

Excerpt: CSS is a language that is used by nearly every developer at some point. While it’s a language that we sometimes take for granted, it is powerful and has many nuances that can help (or hurt) our designs. Here are thirty of the best CSS practices that will keep you writing solid CSS and avoiding some costly mistakes.

10 Best CSS Practices to Improve Your Code

Excerpt: It’s really easy to find yourself wondering how your CSS got to be such a mess.Sometimes it’s the result of sloppy coding from the start, sometimes it’s because of multiple hacks and changes over time.

9 CSS Best Practices You Need to Know

Excerpt: With just about everything, there are certain best practices that everyone should follow. With CSS, these are some rules that both beginners and experts need to consider, to style your website designs the right way.

CSS Standards & Best Practices

Excerpt: CSS is something that is extensively used on almost every site. Lets take some time to ensure that our stylesheets are built with some good standards. The below tips will really help CSS beginners a lot in development.

70 Expert Ideas For Better CSS Coding

Excerpt: CSS isn’t always easy to deal with. Depending on your skills and your experience, CSS coding can sometimes become a nightmare, particularly if you aren’t sure which selectors are actually being applied to document elements. An easy way to minimize the complexity of the code is as useful as not-so-well-known CSS attributes and properties you can use to create a semantically correct markup.


10 Most Useful Java Best Practice Quotes for Java Developers


Quote 1: Avoid creating unnecessary objects and always prefer to do Lazy Initialization;

Quote 2: Never make an instance fields of class public;

Quote 3: Always try to minimize Mutability of a class.

Best Practices on JavaScript and AJAX Performance

Excerpt: JavaScript can save your day or it can cause you nightmares. JavaScript and XHR (XmlHttpRequest) enable what the industry considers to be Web 2.0 – meaning highly interactive web sites where some application logic is pushed down to the client into the browsers JavaScript engine. As with any application code – regardless of the language and runtime environment – it is easy to not follow Best Practices which ultimately negatively impact the end-user experience with the site.

10 tricks that will make your jQuery enabled site go faster

Excerpt: During the last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to go more in depth with jQyery and general site performance. I’ve found some techniques that makes my site go much faster. I don’t know if they’re all best practice, but this article is meant to at least give you some good ideas.

14 Helpful jQuery Tricks, Notes, and Best Practices

Excerpt: If there is one bad thing about jQuery, it’s that the entry level is so amazingly low, that it tends to attract those who haven’t an ounce of JavaScript knowledge. Now, on one hand, this is fantastic. However, on the flip side, it also results in a smattering of, quite frankly, disgustingly bad code (some of which I wrote myself!). But that’s okay; frighteningly poor code that would even make your grandmother gasp is a rite of passage. The key is to climb over the hill, and that’s what we’ll discuss in today’s tutorial.

jQuery…Worst Practices

Excerpt: jQuery and Regular Expressions have a lot in common: They are both amazingly powerful and they are both as ugly as a knife fight between two obese street-whores in a garbage-strewn alley

24 JavaScript Best Practices for Beginners

Excerpt: As a follow-up to “30 HTML and CSS Best Practices”, this week, we’ll review JavaScript! Once you’ve reviewed the list, be sure to let us know what little tips you’ve come across!


63+ best practice to optimize PHP code performances

Excerpt: Today i am searching solutions for any tips and tricks about best practice to optimize PHP code performances and i found some of useful articles which you may interested with.

Top 20+ MySQL Best Practices

Excerpt: Database operations often tend to be the main bottleneck for most web applications today. It’s not only the DBA’s (database administrators) that have to worry about these performance issues. We as programmers need to do our part by structuring tables properly, writing optimized queries and better code. Here are some MySQL optimization techniques for programmers.

Ten PHP Best Practices Tips that will get you a job

Excerpt: I started watching the job boards, and a nice-looking full-time PHP position caught my eye, so I sent out a resume and landed an interview. Before the face-to-face portion, I chatted with the owner and head programmer on a conference call, and they ended up sending me a technical assessment quiz. One particular question caught my eye on this quiz… it looked something like this.

Best Practices: PHP Coding Style

Excerpt: One of PHP’s greatest strengths can also be a great weakness in the wrong hands. I’m talking about its forgiving nature. One of the reasons why PHP has become so wildly popular is because it lets very inexperienced web developers build powerful applications without much planning, consistency, or documentation. Unfortunately, that means an awful lot of PHP code out there is sloppy, hard to read and impossible to maintain.

PHP & MySQL Best Practices for Rock-Solid Applications

Excerpt: PHP and MySQL are often the preferred technologies for building web applications because they allow you to build robust web applications very rapidly. This rapid development, however, sometimes leads to code that is hard to maintain, doesn’t scale well or performs poorly.

10 Principles of the PHP Masters

Excerpt: With PHP’s widespread adoption,it’s almost too easy to find a script or snippet to do exactly what you need. Unfortunately, there’s no filter as to what is a “good practice” and what’s, well… not so good when writing a PHP script. We need trustworthy sources, who have proven they have a solid grasp on the best practices of PHP.

Common Security Flaws In PHP Applications

Excerpt: No matter how long you’ve been programming or scripting, once in a while you’ll catch yourself making a serious (security) flaw that you thought you’d never make, because you “have the experience“. Some of the most basic things a programmer should think of, but often forgets – because after all, we have to think of *a lot* of best-practice situations.


Best Practice: Backups

Excerpt: What if I told you to take your latest production backup, restore it on a different machine and try using the database? Are you comfortable with that task? Do you think it will work? When was the last time you tested your backups?

Best Practices on Web Site Performance Optimization

Excerpt: Over the last couple of years performance of web applications became more important to businesses as search engines (such as Google) factor in performance into their ranking. This ultimately leads to Performance == Better Visibility == More Users == More Revenue.

Web Form Design Best Practices

Excerpt: Some of the topics I discuss and provide patterns for are: label alignment, required form filed, input field sizes, content grouping, primary & secondary actions, help text & tips, dynamic help systems, inline validation, error messages, progress indicators, success messaging, progressive disclosure, gradual engagement, tabbing, flexible data inputs, smart defaults, paths to completion, selection dependent inputs, and more…

Best Practice – The Git Development Cycle

Excerpt: Git is quite an awesome version control system. Why? Because it’s lightning fast, even for large projects (among other reasons). But, how do you use Git effectively for development on a daily basis?

When to Highlight Required Form Fields

Excerpt: Have you ever tried filling out a form and got distracted or confused by the red asterisks next to the form fields? Those asterisks are there to highlight which fields need filling out. This is a common practice found on many forms today that needs reconsidering.

Code review is a good investment

Excerpt: According to this article, it looks like testing is overrated !! Code review might be the way to go !

Let’s make the web faster – Google Code

Excerpt: PHP is a very popular scripting language, used on many popular sites across the web. In this article, we hope to help you to improve the performance of your PHP scripts with some changes that you can make very quickly and painlessly. Please keep in mind that your own performance gains may vary greatly, depending on which version of PHP you are running, your web server environment, and the complexity of your code.

Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site

Excerpt: The Exceptional Performance team has identified a number of best practices for making web pages fast. The list includes 35 best practices divided into 7 categories.

Web Accessibility Best Practices

Excerpt: The primary purpose of these HTML/XHTML Best Practices is to improve the accessibility of web resources at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign for students, faculty, staff, and the general public.

Netflix Adds Social Options, Facebook Ties for U.S. Users

The software, updating features offered to non-U.S. customers since 2011, will become available starting today, the Los Gatos, California-based company said in a statement. Users who opt in will see two new rows on their Netflix home page that show friends’ activities, and have the option to post films or television shows to Facebook and comment on them.
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Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said, “Our kids are way more social than us; their kids will be way more social than them. You tell your friends about what you watch and they’ll watch much more of what we offer.” Photographer: Norm Betts/Bloomberg
Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings lobbied Congress to change U.S. law and put his alliance with Facebook into full effect. With about $5 billion in long-term content obligations, he is counting on the social component to increase word-of-mouth about Netflix’s growing digital library and build loyalty to the $7.99-a-month subscription service.
“Social is going to be everything,” Hastings, 52, said in a January interview. “Our kids are way more social than us; their kids will be way more social than them. You tell your friends about what you watch and they’ll watch much more of what we offer.”
All 27 million U.S. streaming Netflix members will have access to social features by the end of this week, said Joris Evers, a spokesman. Users who opt in will see “Friends’ Favorites” and “Watched by Your Friends” rows added on their Netflix home page.
Judge Bork
International users will also receive the update, Evers said. About 15 percent to 20 percent of Netflix’s 6 million customers in Canada, Latin America and the U.K. adopted the older version of Facebook integration that didn’t let users choose what they post about their viewing habits.
Netflix rose 0.9 percent to $182.11 yesterday in New York. The shares have almost doubled this year on new content deals and original programming such as “House of Cards.”
Adding social features was made possible in the U.S. by changes to the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988, which barred movie-rental companies from sharing people’s viewing records. Hastings successfully lobbied Congress to change the the law, which was passed after a newspaper obtained and published Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video-rental history.
Netflix, which is gearing up to stream four more originals by summer, including cult favorite “Arrested Development,” doesn’t plan to stop with the latest social update, said Tom Willerer, vice president of product innovation. Netflix is testing individual profiles, available as soon as this year, that deliver a more accurate view of people’s viewing habits, he said.
Depending on the outcome of research, viewers also may get the ability to post viewing choices with a “share” button inside video streams, or even to Twitter, Willerer said.

Facebook Shows Off New Home Page Design, Including Bigger Pictures

The new design of the Facebook News Feed presents bigger photos and links, including for advertisements, and lets users see specialized streams focused on topics like music and posts by close friends.

The changes are designed to address the company’s two most vital challenges: how to hold on to users at a time of competing, specialized social networks and how to draw more advertising dollars to please Wall Street.

Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s co-founder and chief executive, said at a news conference that he wanted Facebook to be “the best personalized newspaper in the world.” And like a newspaper editor, he wants the “front page” of Facebook to be more engaging — in particular on the smaller screens of mobile devices.

The topic-specific News Feeds could well persuade users to spend more time scrolling through various streams of content. And the redesign will offer bigger real estate for advertisers, including more opportunities for brands to feature bigger pictures, which marketers say are more persuasive than words.

Facebook’s proprietary algorithms, which try to guess what every user will want to see, will continue to filter the items that show up on each person’s main News Feed. And users will be able to drill down into specific topics they are interested in, akin to the sections of a newspaper.

For instance, they can switch over to specialized feeds that are focused on just the music they are interested in, or they can scroll through a feed that consists of posts from the pages of products and people they follow — a bit like Twitter. If they want to see everything that their friends have posted, they can choose to do that, too; those posts will rush down in chronological order, without any filtering by Facebook’s robots.

Facebook introduced the new design to some users of the Web version of its service on Thursday, and will extend it to all Web users and to mobile apps in coming weeks.

It’s unclear how users will react to the changes; in the past, major design changes have often been greeted by complaints, at least initially.

Investors seemed to welcome the new look. Shares of Facebook rose 4.1 percent on Tuesday, to $28.58. But the company’s stock price remains substantially lower than its $38 initial public offering price last May.

Facebook is clearly hoping the new format will encourage users to stay longer on the site. At the news conference to announce the changes, officials offered examples of content they hoped would be compelling: photos of a cousin’s babies on one area of the page, Justin Timberlake concert news on another, a list of stories your friends liked on National Public Radio on still another.

“The best personalized newspaper should have a broad diversity of content,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “The most important stuff is going to be on the front page,” he went on. “Then people have a chance to dig in.”

The announcement met with swift praise from the advertising industry. In addition to bigger ad formats, the redesign’s specialized content streams could keep users glued to the site longer, marketers said.

“This will result in more time spent over all on the Facebook News Feed — and of course, increase engagement with content and ads,” said Hussein Fazal, chief executive of AdParlor, which buys advertisements on Facebook on behalf of several brands.

Facebook executives suggested that there would be no immediate changes to the number of advertisements that appear on the News Feed.

Julie Zhou, the company’s design chief, said only that ads would be more visual. “Everything across the board is going to get this richer, more immersive design,” Ms. Zhou said.

The redesign is also a nod to the ubiquity of mobile devices, which a majority of Facebook’s one billion users worldwide use to log into their accounts. Pictures will show up bigger in the News Feed. And there will be larger images of maps and links to articles. In that way, the new look is a nod to other social networks that are seeing viral growth, like Pinterest, which is built around large pictures.

The new News Feed emphasizes the importance of photographs, which are one of Facebook’s most underexploited assets. Mr. Zuckerberg said that half of all News Feed posts are pictures, compared with about a quarter of all posts a year ago. Every day, 350 million pictures are uploaded to Facebook by individual users and brands.

The new design is virtually identical on the desktop and on tablets and cellphones.

Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird, said that the changes were positive for the company. “We see this as more likely enhancing the longer-term value of Facebook for both users and advertisers rather than adding materially to financial performance in the very near term,” he said.

Users weighed in on Twitter.

“Not sure if @facebook is merchandising our attention or Zuckerberg cares about our reading habits,” Daixin Neill-Quan, a self-described Boston University senior, posted after the news.

Others pointed out that Flipboard, a popular app, already offers a personalized newspaper in which users choose the topics and publications they are interested in.

Siva Vaidhyanathan, chairman of the media studies department at the University of Virginia, said the redesign could help educate users as to just how much Facebook’s algorithms filter what they see on what they think of as their social network.

“Users will at least be under less of an illusion that what’s happening on Facebook is merely a function of what their friends are doing,” he said. “Facebook is the puppet master of our social network.”

A new Tomb Raider film – can they raise the dead?

Now that Lara Croft – everyone’s favourite 1990s, triangular-headed, uncomfortably-objectified archaeologist – has been reborn in a new Tomb Raider game, it is only a matter of time before someone decides to reinvigorate the bad old movie franchise as well. And so, with a heavy heart, I’m here to announce that a new Tomb Raider movie is already in its early stages.

According to CVG, Crystal Dynamics is working with GK Films to bring Croft and her inexplicable fondness for raiding tombs back to the big screen.

Anyone who’s ever tried to sit through either of the previous two Tomb Raider films will no doubt feel a surge of anxiety. 2001’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and 2003’s Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life were, without any exaggeration, completely devoid of merit. They were respectively 100 and 117 minutes of Angelina Jolie doing a series of pointless backflips to a Bontempi cover version of Firestarter, making a noise like Liz Hurley choking on a shoelace. She was not so much a well-rounded character as a two-dimensional Tomby Spice designed solely to appeal to 14-year-old boys. If that’s the precedent, then the world needs more Tomb Raider films like it needs to be kicked in the throat by a horse, frankly.

But surely Crystal Dynamics and GK Films know this, and know how to act on it. If the previous incarnation of Lara Croft was still popular, then the new game would still feature an angular woman walking into the wall of a blocky cave and making a bizarre orgasm noise. But it isn’t. Times have moved on. The Lara Croft of the new game is a different beast altogether. She’s younger. She’s vulnerable. She’s still learning her tomb-raiding craft. Sometimes she swears. At one point she blankly states “I hate tombs”. For better or worse, she is the victim of attempted sexual assault. And, if this video is any indication, one sequence involves her repeatedly being impaled through the throat by a jaggedy spike.

In short, she isn’t the imperiously bulletproof heroine of old. This immediately opens up a number of more intriguing cinematic possibilities. Even if the new film essentially ends up as a retread of Batman Begins or Casino Royale, as seems to be the case, it still has vastly more potential than anything that came before.

What’s more, the personnel seems much more accomplished this time around. GK Films is responsible for Hugo, for example. Admittedly it was also the brains behind Dark Shadows and The Tourist, but nobody’s perfect. With producers as prestigious as this and source material as improved as this – and if the film finds a sympathetic director and casts a lead with more humanity than Jolie – all might not be lost.

Ditch the pyrotechnics, do away with the blank-faced boy toys like Daniel Craig and Gerard Butler, knuckle down on what makes Lara Croft tick and Tomb Raider 3 might actually end up being quite decent. You know, if you’re a 14-year-old boy.

Facebook Is No Longer Real-Time

It’s a good thing Facebook is thinking of redesigning the News Feed. Because I think a funny thing is happening to Facebook.
For me, the news feed no longer surfaces anything of interest. The opaque algorithm behind it is just not able to produce anything relevant and, more important, timely, at least to me. Facebook appears to be turning back into what it once was: a way to research people in non-real time. A look back into the past. A people-stalking product. It’s back to being a personal LinkedIn.
People publish stuff on the (increasingly mobile) web that is timely and relevant. Sharing baby pictures isn’t really one of those. Sharing pics of how you are experiencing life, which is the Instagram use case, is a great example of this. But my News Feed does not have anything like that in it. My Instagram feed does.
People share highly informative and timely links to news articles and blog posts on Twitter all day long. But my News Feed does not contain any of those. And when I share these types of posts on Facebook, I get no engagement. When I share pics of my kids, I get a lot.
People share bookmarks of products and apparel they want to buy on Pinterest all day long. People don’t do that on Facebook.
Facebook started as a non-real-time service. It was a way to check people out. In the face of the rise of Twitter, they responded aggressively with a News Feed product that showed promise. But now I feel they really screwed the filters up that govern that feed, which creates feedback to those of us who post into it and it feels like a vast river of noise and irrelevant posts from people and events who aren’t really relevant to me. Perhaps most importantly, I can’t tune it. The tuning mechanisms are either too subtle (“hide”) or too crude (“report as spam”). I feel powerless.
The irony is that LinkedIn is moving to increase daily engagement by syndicating highly informative posts from influencers. They are trying to become more real-time just as Facebook seems less so.
It’s still amazing for stalking people, though.

As far as wacky auto show concepts go, it’s hard to beat the electric Toyota i-Road, which is making its strange appearance at the Geneva Motor Show.

The odd three wheeler is being called an “ultra-compact,” in which two people squeeze aboard for what Toyota calls a “novel riding experience.” Not quite a motorcycle. Not quite a car. But like a motorcycle, it leans into turns.

In a crowded city, heck, why not? If it were ever built — fat chance, right? — riders could zip through traffic jams by maneuvering between cars.

By shielding a passenger under a cover, unlike an exposed motorcycle, at least the passengers can hear music as they drive. And the batteries are good for more than 27 miles per charge.

As far as wacky auto show concepts go, it’s hard to beat the electric Toyota i-Road, which is making its strange appearance at the Geneva Motor Show.

The odd three wheeler is being called an “ultra-compact,” in which two people squeeze aboard for what Toyota calls a “novel riding experience.” Not quite a motorcycle. Not quite a car. But like a motorcycle, it leans into turns.

In a crowded city, heck, why not? If it were ever built — fat chance, right? — riders could zip through traffic jams by maneuvering between cars.

By shielding a passenger under a cover, unlike an exposed motorcycle, at least the passengers can hear music as they drive. And the batteries are good for more than 27 miles per charge.

Google Play celebrates first birthday, offers special deals

In honor of Google Play’s first birthday, the Web giant on Tuesday announced that it was offering a week of deals and discounts in its media and app store.

The company on its Google Play Web site wrote: “It was just a year ago today that we launched this amazing shop on the interwebs to offer the best in digital content.” “Since the best parties are the ones that send you home with a present, today we celebrate our birthday with a festive goodie bag full of gifts,” it added.

As far as celebrating its birthday, Google wrote, “It’s been an incredible first year and we look forward to sharing the gift of digital diversions for many more to come.”

According to the report on, Google is giving special deals on music, movies, books, magazines, TV shows, and games.

"Among the offers are a 10 percent discount with, a $15 gift card from the Google+ Sign-In partner Fancy, 99-cent movie rentals, free song tracks from The Velvet Underground and LCD Soundsystem, and more," said the report.

Google Play is a digital application distribution platform for Android developed and maintained by Google. The service allows users to browse and download music, magazines, books, movies, television programs, and applications that were published through Google.

Google Play allows users to browse and download music, magazines, books, movies, television programs, and applications that were published through Google.

The service is a digital application distribution platform for Android developed and maintained by Google.

Formerly known as the Android Market, Google Play applications are available either for free or at a cost, and they can be downloaded directly to an Android or Google TV device through the Play Store or onto a personal computer via its website.

With the merging of the Android Market and Google Music, the service was renamed Google Play on March 6, 2012, to coincide with the rebranding of Internet giant’s digital distribution strategy.