11 paid iPhone apps on sale for free today

We have a great collection of paid iPhone and iPad apps on sale for free today to round out this week's series. You'll find games, utilities, photo apps, music players and more, and every single one of them is a premium application that's on sale for free for a limited time. There are even a few more freebies floating around in Thursday's post , so be sure to check that one out as well. MUST SEE:  Crazy iPhone trick turns your wallpapers into optical illusions These are paid iPhone and iPad apps that have been made available for free for a limited time by their developers. There is no way to tell how long they will be free. These sales could end an hour from now or a week from now — obviously, the only thing we can guarantee is that they were free at the time this post was written. If you click on a link and see a price listed next to an app instead of the word “get,” it is no longer free. The sale has ended. If you download the app, you will be charged. Random PW Generator Normally $0.99. The Random PW Generator allows them to easily generate random passwords, create your own, save and manage Passwords. The app features: Generate passwords with length of 4 to 26 characters. Character selection: big letters, small letters, numbers and special characters, combined with everything else. Special characters can be selected individually. Own password combined with generated characters. Save passwords, delete, print, move with iTunes file sharing on the computer, or send via AirDrop. iTunes File Sharing on - off function. App lock code allows you to keep the passwords from strangers eyes. Do not play with the security of your data! Avoid using the same password for multiple logins. Random PW generator helps you to solve these problems. Download Random PW Generator Musemage Normally $3.99. Blue-screen, magic color, anti-shake, denoise, and some of the filters requires iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPod 6th Generation, iPad mini2, iPad Air or later devices. Musemage is a professional video camera and editor with real-time filters and video stabilization, and multiple shooting modes: time-lapse, manual mode, blue-screen, color-replacement. Musemage video editor now supports adding filters to video. Musemage, a super HD camera App offers you ultra-fast features like five-axis anti-shake, face beautifying, dozens of professional effects/filters, and various shooting modes, in real-time. For the first time Musemage enables complex filters and effects for full-HD videos and full-resolution photos on mobile phones. Novel algorithms and graphics processor are utilized to speed-up processing. Post-processing is no longer needed because Musemage’s real-time preview and processing features make What You See is What You Get! A variety of shooting modes are provided, including video capturing and photographing, blue-screen shooting, time-lapse video capturing, stop-motion animation, slow-shutter shooting, stop motion and other shooting modes. You can apply multiple filters or effects simultaneously in all the modes, to create beautiful, decent or funny contents. Blue screen: Musemage allows you to replace background in green, blue or any other color with image or live video in real time. Simple and friendly user interface allow you to get familiar with Musemage in one minute. You can switch different shooting mode and apply advanced filters/effects with just a few clicks! Features offered by Musemage: Image stabilization: for the first time 5-axis digital video image stabilization with real-time alignment technique are realized on mobile phones. This technique can even outperform optical anti-shake stabilizer. Face beautifying: for the first time real-time face beautifying is available on mobile phones. Advanced skin/face detection algorithms preserve details of your scene while making your face smooth and beautiful. HDR: real HDR enables you to restore +/- 3EV-plus dark and light details based on normal exposure. Magic Color: with 'Blue Screen' feature, you can replace the plain background of your scene with other videos or pictures. Or you use 'Selective Color' feature to keep only one color in the scene, and make everything else black and white. 'Replace Color' feature allows you to change the color of skin or clothes to create funny effects. Color filter: 40+ color filters for different scenarios are provided. These filters are carefully designed by famous photographer Jolie Luo. Color filters can be used along with other effects in all shooting modes for videos and photos. Lens effect: a variety of special lens effects are available on Musemage, including tilt-shift lens, fisheye lens, soft lens, edge blurring, etc. And check the new filters for Halloween! Phantom, werewolf, vampire, robot killer, Insect. Special and art filters: Special filters including defog, leg-elongating deformation, water reflection and other effects, and art filters like sketch, painting, outlined drawing, neon, comics, manga and thermal imaging effects enables you to create interesting video and photos. Professional photographers: These professional filters re-polish my works with distinctive styles and interest effects, and Musemage HDR brings movie-like effects to my videos and photos. Travel enthusiast: Image stabilization is the most wanted, those various filters and lens effects also make my travel records more funny and creative. Selfie fan: I’m no longer afraid of sharing my photos and video clips. Musemage’s real-time beautifying helps me get rid of those defects easily, without any need to do post-processing. Download Musemage Tower Balance Normally $1.99. "On one hand, you put more boxes and keep them straight, on the other hand, you need to keep the balance of the world!" Tower Balance is a game you have to stack boxes as high as you can, keep the balance with the tilt of the device and fight with other mishaps, like the wind. Can you reach the Top?? Features: *Realistic physics engine *Global Game Center Leaderboard *Gorgeous graphics *Awesome accelerometer control *3 Game Mode *48 Challenges *4 Different Worlds *Power Up *Retina Suport Enjoy!!! :) Download Tower Balance Choon Normally $0.99. Choon is an alternative audio player. It enhances your control over the library by providing clean interface and gestures. – Add songs on the go. Just swipe right the song, album or even playlist to play it next – Cue sheet support. Download cue files via iTunes or Safari to manage your podcasts or mixes – Quick playlists – Background LastFM scrobbling – Color scheme based on the artwork of now playing track – Quick access to current playing artist or album – Customize fonts – Search over all your music library – Rate your tracks – Compatible with iTunes Match – All metadata like play counts and track ratings is synchronised. Available filters are Playlists, Songs, Albums, Artists and Podcasts. Download Choon Cars Rush Normally $2.99. In the corner of the Big Apple - Manhattan. People drive cars over the traffic switching like karaoke play time red and green lights. Just press the green arrows to switch green to red and back. Compatible with Iphone, iPad and Ipod Touch. Rush the road of the city using you strategies, This is a road puzzle hard to solve, no block just colorful cars and peek hour traffic. Stop the car on the Center of the street. The star maker trucks shows fireworks that will blow your mind, when the vehicle exploits like donut to the floor. Download Cars Rush Herobrine Terrors in Night Normally $2.99. Herobrine, a great creepy pasta character back again. Haunt you in this nonstop terror. Full of terror, full day of chasing. No other mission instead escape with full of your might in the slight of day. This game set in night day. Combine with full of running and search. Solve all full epic Herobrine misteries with your own risk! Share your full day of happiness or anxiety maybe to your family, friend and all people on the galaxy via Facebook and Twitter share feature. "This day I have full time job. But I cannot work on it before complete this game"- Kenichi Shindo "I will play this game until complete in this entire day."- Derek Massif ATTENTION: Herobrine Terror Trilogy 2 has been released, check on App Store. Download Herobrine Terrors in Night TaskOnPaper Normally $0.99. TaskOnPaper is a powerful and at the same time an intuitive tool for creating to-do lists. Enter your plans and goals, group them into projects and edit them as easily as on paper. TaskOnPaper - The Next Generation of TaskPaper for iOS 7-iOS 9, it’s the return of the LEGENDARY TaskPaper in AppStore. Due to the simplicity and ease of use TaskOnPaper will increase your productivity to new heights! ***** APPADVICE ***** "TaskOnPaper app lets you enter tasks, projects, and notes just like you would on physical paper. As a continuation of the popular TaskPaper, this app provides an easy way for you to stay productive" ***** iOS 8 Italia ***** "TaskOnPaper revolutionizes how to write fast in our device, combining notes, reminders, and .txt documents in a single application." KEY FEATURES: * Next Generation of TaskPaper for iOS 7 and iOS 8 * Full compatibility with TaskPaper for Mac by hogbaysoftware.com * Passcode protection in start-up screen * Sync across devices with DROPBOX - plain text format which can be edited in any text editor * Paper-like user experience * Clean distraction free interface * Outlining, trees, sub-folders, sub-notes, sub-tasks * Fully customizable appearance of the application: fonts, size, colors, backgrounds * Fully compatible with iOS 7 and iOS 8 * TextExpander Touch Support * Sending by email, print, AirDrop, AirPrint * Powerful search with advanced query language, flexibility of management. ## Quick Start - To create an item tap the plus button - To create a project - make a colon at the end of the line - To create a task - start a line with a hyphen - To change the item type (Project, Task, or Note) on a blank line, tap the Return key to cycle through your choices. - To edit an existing item double tap on the item's text. - To tag an item type '@' followed by the tag name anywhere in an item's text. - To indent an item tap the space key when the cursor is at the start of the item's text. - To unindent an item tap the delete key when the cursor is at the start of the item's text. - To create outlines - To indent an item tap the space key when the cursor is at the start of an item's text or (iPad only) tap the Tab key on the extended keyboard row. ## Completing tasks - To cross out an item swipe left to right to apply the @done tag. - To delete an item and its subitems, swipe right to left across the item and then tap the Cut button. - To delete an item without deleting its subitems, begin editing the item and delete the entire line of text. - To move @done items to the 'Archive' project, tap the document title in the toolbar and choose 'Archive Done'. Download TaskOnPaper FLUX:FX play Normally $4.99. 'FLUX:FX play' is a creative multi-effect processor app for the iPhone and iPod that lets you ‘play’ your effects, designed in conjunction with acclaimed musician Adrian Belew. Built on the same award-winning audio platform as the master iPad app, 'FLUX:FX play' is perfect for creative musicians and sound designers to manipulate an audio signal into something entirely new, both in the studio or on stage. Guitar, vocals, bass, synth, drums, DJ setup, violin… basically ANY instrument or sound source can be processed in real-time by 'FLUX:FX play', and there are 282 performance presets to choose from. Important note, PLEASE READ: the main difference between 'FLUX:FX' and 'FLUX:FX play' is that the iPhone version does not contain the full deep editing features for the effects and sequencer. It CAN however share the exact same performance presets, and so you can in fact create custom presets on your iPad version and import them into 'FLUX:FX play' via Dropbox. This app is compatible with iPhone 5s, 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus and iPod Touch 6. Some key features of 'FLUX:FX play' - TRULY CREATIVE EFFECTS: 31 studio-quality effects built-in. Up to 5 are chained together within the many performance presets for maximum aural impact. 282 performance presets are included in the app, ranging from subtle, transparent & traditional through to 'way out there', obnoxious & destructive. POWERFUL SEQUENCER: A step sequencer is programmed into many of the performance presets, adding a completely new and fluid dimension to the sound. TRANSPARENT INTERFACE DESIGN: 'FLUX:FX play' has a beautiful, minimalist interface with easy-to-use controls that are MADE to be touched. And swiped, and dragged, and tapped. No fake road-worn pedal graphics or tiny dials here. MADE BY EXPERTS - conceived and created via the combined talents of guitarist extraordinaire Adrian Belew, audio software developers ElephantCandy and mobile specialists MOBGEN°. PLAYS WITH EVERYTHING - Audiobus compatibility, Inter-App Audio compatibility, MIDI, virtually all the audio interfaces. COMPLEX SOUND, RIDICULOUSLY EASY TO USE - chopping, shaping, crushing and looping – 'FLUX:FX play' can take you from subtle modulating echoes through to wrecking-ball destruction, all with a swipe of a finger. ULTRA LOW LATENCY - 'FLUX:FX play' features very low-latency settings to give truly professional performance capabilities. There are 31 individual effect blocks that come built-in to the 'FLUX:FX play' engine: • OVERDRIVE • DISTORTION • FUZZ • BITCRUSH • DESTROY • DECIMATE • STUTTER LOOP • REVERSE LOOP • LOOP SLICE • SEGMENT • SAMPLE SCRATCH • COMPRESS • PUMP • ULTRA EQ • KILL EQ • LOWPASS FILTER • HIGHPASS FILTER • BANDPASS FILTER • CHORUS • FLANGE • PHASE • RESONANT DRONE • PITCH DELAY • OCTAVE SHIFT • RING MODULATE • AUTO PAN • DIGITAL DELAY • BINAURAL DELAY • TAPE ECHO • SCATTER VERB • DELAY/REVERB Plus an optional master LIMITER. ”This app is really, really fun! It is instantly gratifying, and perfect for any creative musician. FLUX:FX play is truly an audio ideas machine.” - Adrian Belew: the world’s greatest experimental whammy twang bar, czar rhino, stunt guitarist extraordinaire. With a resume that includes Zappa, Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, King Crimson, Talking Heads, Paul Simon and Tori Amos, Adrian is famous for pushing the boundaries of music-making in both technical and tonal exploration. Praise for FLUX:FX - "It's really awesome, and the SFX and way to automate things is splendid. I love the GUI too, very nicely laid out." - Richard Devine: producer, sound designer, film & game music composer. • Best of the best - Red Dot Design 2015 • "It's the one by which others will now be judged" - Paul Nagle, SOS magazine As seen in Sound on Sound, Guitar Player, KVR, MusicRadar, PalmSounds, MusicAppBlog, Synthtopia, iOS Mars, Audiobus, Apptronica, SonicState, ANR, Guitar Moderne and many more! Download FLUX:FX play Cards for Reddit Normally $1.99. Cards for Reddit is a simple, beautiful way to browse reddit. Designed in the familiar “cards” UI that will make viewing content seamless on your iPhone. • Browse the front page and log in to view all of your favorite subreddits • All photos and videos appear inline with touch to preview functionality • Tap on comments to expand and collapse all replies • Upvote/downvote any post • Access your reddit inbox and comment or direct message with the chat bubble style Download Cards for Reddit Studio Music Player Normally $1.99. This simple & smart music player will allow you to hear the music totally otherwise - as on expensive studio headphones and audio monitors (studio speakers). Add your music using iTunes interface of your MAC or PC. Watch tutorials on our website: www.studiomusicplayer.pro Check out our "Studio Music Player DX" with Dropbox and iTunes Files Sharing functionality (downloading music without synchronizing in iTunes). IMPORTANT: Studio Music Player is not playing Apple Music content! All music has to be stored on the device, but not in iCloud. According to the presets of our audio player, your headphones and most audio devices will sound as professional expensive studio devices. The sound will become crystal-clear, wide and rich. And all this thanks to the highly-accuracy adjustment individually created for each device. How? This is done through the deep study of the sound within a few years of the work. We have studied in detail the amplitude frequency responses of audio of all present devices in the music player and aligned the sound to the peculiarities of each of them. Presets: Our music player contain more than 80 presets for the most famous brands. You can find the list of devices on our website. It is constantly updated by new devices. 48-band equalizer (In-app): For professional users, the player has a 48-band paragraphic eq to adjust the sound manually. Equalizer selection of any frequency between 20 and 20,000 Hz, bandwidth within the range of 0.1 – 2 octaves, gain from -10 to +4 dB and total 48 bands. This is a truly great pro opportunity! Each person has a preference for the sound. Someone likes more bass, and someone – trebles. That's why we made the section easy adjustable to your tastes. In this music player you can increase / decrease sub-bass, bass, mids, trebles and presence. Presets "memorize" the device: Our music player is smart, so it will activate the appropriate preset when connected to a bluetooth device. You only need to choose the appropriate preset when connected to a new bluetooth device. When disconnecting the device, the last preset is activated, which was used for audio output (headphones). Low power consumption! We’ve made sure that you can enjoy your favorite music in high quality playback for a long time and made a audio player that consumes little CPU resources and energy. Album cover zooming: Sometimes you want to have a closer look at the album cover, but how to do it? Double-click on the cover or a "stretching" gesture will make a zoom. Now the track is easy to remember: You can send a title of the track you liked and FX settings thereto to your e-mail by double-clicking on the name of the song or artist in the main window of the music player. Color schemes: Everyone has a favorite color. That's why we have made 16 color schemes include "night" skin. FX: Our music player has FX module! In this module you can change tonality and playback speed "on the go". It is fun and very convenient for those who are engaged in the creation of sampling music. Playlist: The audio player has a simple user interface that allows opening the playlist from any window by moving a finger from left to right – it's very convenient! Shuffle mode: In Shuffle mode the same track will be played again only after the entire playlist plays, and not before. This way, we avoid repeats when playing a playlist. IMPORTANT! All presets in Studio Music Player are created exclusively on the original brand-name audio devices. The sound on forgeries is absolutely incompatible with our player! The device must be of the same year, and the model must coincide with the model being in presets. Otherwise, there is no guarantee of a high quality sound. However, sometimes even completely different devices sound very similar to each other. That's why preset can suit despite a different model, and even the device manufacturer! Thanks for your time, enjoy music in all its beauty! Download Studio Music Player Ultraviolet Camera Normally $4.99. There's always a better camera than the one you have with you. And that's Ultraviolet Camera . Designed with simple controls, comfortable ergonomics and Ultraviolet effect in mind, allowing you to take photos that are instantly ready to share with the world. What makes a great camera stand apart is not down to features, per pixel sharpness or the amount of lenses in your bag. What matters is that the camera gets out of the way and lets you take the pictures you want. It's about how it feels in your hand and how easily you can interact with it. It's about combining a simple interface and comfortable ergonomics to provide a better experience. Quick access to live filters allows you to get shots ready for sharing. You just swipe between them effortlessly. You get great shots without having to deal with editing tools. Exposure controls let you get the perfect image no matter what the conditions. No more fighting the camera's automatic settings. And everything is within easy reach of your thumb. Ultraviolet Camera offers quick access to your camera roll by swiping left across the controls, and access to all the filters by swiping right. It couldn't be more simple. “Ultraviolet Camera is a terrific app for mobile photographers who just want to get on with taking pictures, without the software getting in the way. The beauty of it is in its simplicity.” Download Ultraviolet Camera

Cosby drops lawsuit against sexual assault accuser

Bill Cosby has dropped a lawsuit demanding his accuser repay the money from their 2006 court settlement

AT&T raises U-verse internet data cap to 1TB, gigabit users get unlimited

AT&T raises U-verse internet data cap to 1TB, gigabit users get unlimitedAT&T is matching Comcast and raising the ceiling of its monthly home internet data cap to 1TB. Beginning August 21st, all U-verse customers on speed tiers up to (and including) 300Mbps will receive the higher monthly allowance. If they somehow still manage to exceed 1TB, they'll be charged $10 for each additional increment of 50GB.

American Anti-Drone Rifle Deployed In Iraq

Battelle's DroneDefender Military

Tactical cyberwar against ISIS

Anti-drone rifle…

Gionee’s new phones are perfect for playing Pokémon Go

Gionee’s new phones are perfect for playing Pokémon GoGionee Gionee launched its new M6 and the M6 Plus in Beijing this week. The phones are pretty ordinary with unexceptional specs, like a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, a headphone jack, and a MediaTek MT6755 eight-core processor. But they do each have one feature worth noting: massive batteries. The M6 has a 5,000 mAh battery and the M6 Plus includes one with 6,020 mAh.Teens will probably want this battery so they can Snapchat all the time, whereas the rest of us just want it to power our Pokémon Go adventures.

Brexit doom-monger IMF admits failings over propping up the Greek economy

A US-based watchdog says the IMF was unprepared for the debt crisis that hit Europe and slow to press for debt relief that might have eased Greece's economic pain.

Hope for faster treatment for depression after scientists discover WHY antidepressants can take months to work

Scientists from the University of Illinois said that by discovering the exact binding site of antidepressants, it could lead to the design of faster-acting drugs.

Images of Mumbai conjoined twins that doctors say they are ‘unlikely to survive’

The boys, who were born in Mumbai, India, last week, were delivered by Caesarean section. A CT and MRI scan revealed only one of the newborns has lungs.

Reddit thread shows what not to put on your dating profile

This was the topic of discussion in an eye-opening Reddit thread called 'Singles who use dating sites: What information about a person makes you leave/ignore their profile immediately?'.

Police launch search for Foyle’s War star Honeysuckle Weeks

Police have launched a search for Foyle's War star Honeysuckle Weeks after she went missing from her home in Chichester.

‘Suicide Squad’ spoiler: Major DC Comics character to appear in villain-only movie

We’re nearly there, Suicide Squad fans! The film premieres on August 5th, at which point we’ll learn everything there is to know about the villains in the DC Comics cinematic universe. However, until then, we’ve got one more spoiler for you — one that you should avoid just like the previous ones if you want to be surprised at the movies next week. MUST SEE:  Crazy iPhone trick turns your wallpapers into optical illusions Suicide Squad will not only acquaint us with many of the bad guys who are always fighting against our favorite DC Comics superheroes, but it will also introduce us one of the new DC Comics characters that we’ll see in a bunch of movies going forward: The Flash. Ezra Miller is credited as The Flash in Suicide Squad . He’ll play the same role in a standalone Flash movie set to debut on March 16th, 2018, and he's in next year’s Justice League Part One – we’ve already seen him in the first trailer of the movie , which was shown off last week at Comic-Con. We didn’t know The Flash was going to make an appearance in Suicide Squad , at least not from the trailers. We did see Batman or a certain villain wearing his costume , in a few trailers but that’s it. It’s not even clear why the filmmakers want The Flash to appear in this movie, or how it’s all tied together in the grand scheme of things. However, the updated Suicide Squad cast seen above was issued to members of the press on Thursday, The Wrap reports, with The Flash appearing 20 lines down. The cast is listed in order of appearance, which means The Flash will likely pop up fairly early in the movie, well ahead of some of the members of the Suicide Squad , including Diablo, Killer Croc and Enchantress. Color us intrigued. The Flash already made a cameo in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice , but hopefully he’ll have a line or two in Suicide Squad . He really seemed like a fun character in the Justice League Part One trailer.

Scotland’s treasure trove of recent finds revealed

The seal matrix (pictured) was found in Boarhills, Fife. Other objects include 17th-century button proclaiming political allegiance to William of Orange found at Dalreoch, West Dunbartonshire.

Will the world end tonight? Conspiracy theorists predict doomsday caused by ‘second coming of Jesus Christ’ and a magnetic polar flip 

US-based YouTube channel, End Times Prophecies, also predicted a giant asteroid would collide with Earth in May. Nasa says a polar flip would be unlikely to end the world.

Exclusive: EU to clear Liberty Global, Vodafone Dutch tie-up – sources

Vodafone branding is seen outside a retail store in LondonEU antitrust regulators are set to approve a plan by Liberty Global and British telecoms provider Vodafone to merge their Dutch operations after the companies offered minor concessions, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The companies, which want to bulk up to better compete with former incumbent KPN, offered concessions on July 12 but did not provide details. U.S. cable group Liberty's Ziggo is the largest cable TV operator in the Netherlands and Vodafone the second-biggest mobile network operator.

ISIS terror suspects extradited from Austria after ‘entering Europe with Paris attackers’

The two men, an Algerian, 29, and a Pakistani, 35, were arrested last year at a shelter for refugees on suspicion of being linked to the Paris attacks in November in which 130 people were killed.

The Holofone Phablet is a 7-inch Android phone / Windows PC with a built-in projector

The Holofone Phablet is a 7-inch Android phone / Windows PC with a built-in projectorUnfortunately for those two companies, Chinese OEM Akyumen (Pronounced like "acumen," probably) has just announced that its Holofone Phablet, which I assume is going to be the only phone anyone will ever need to buy ever again, will be available September 1st. Software-wise, users won’t have to make compromises either, with a choice between the two-year-old Android Lollipop and Windows 10. Is the Holofone is a Windows 10 PC in a tablet form factor that can also run Android?

FTSE CLOSE: Footsie finishes slightly higher; European bank health check due later tonight

The FTSE 100 index at the close was up 3.37 at 6724.43. Tonight, the European Banking Authority will release the results of its annual health check on the continent’s biggest lenders.

Clinton accepts nomination, Twitter goes wild. (What did you expect?)

Clinton on Trump: 'A man you can bait with a tweet'Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic Party's nomination, marking the first time a major party put forward a woman as its candidate.

West London squirrel knocks on a window for help as it is stalked by a fox

Mark Gardner, 48, of North Kensington, West London, caught the unusual pose of the squirrel he calls 'Corby' on camera in his garden and it went viral when he shared it online.

Another Democratic Party committee has been hacked

Another Democratic Party committee has been hackedThe Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has suffered a security breach, and the FBI is investigating, writes Reuters. The incident, reported by four anonymous sources and later confirmed by the DCCC, comes shortly after WikiLeaks released a trove of damaging emails from the Democratic National Committee’s servers. The sources told Reuters that like the DNC hack, this new attack could have exposed information about Democratic donors, including credit card and social security information.

Terrifying moment dad was ‘attacked by malevolent poltergeist throwing crockery’ in his own home

Ian Hawke, 42, from south-east London live-streamed his contact with the dead to hundreds of viewers on Facebook, who saw a cup and plate mysteriously fall off a sideboard before the mug was hurled at him.

Call center software maker Interactive Intelligence explores sale: sources

Interactive Intelligence Group Inc, a U.S. provider of software and services for call center operators, is exploring strategic alternatives, including a potential sale, according to people familiar with the matter. A sale of Interactive Intelligence would be the latest sign of the consolidation sweeping the telecommunications software and equipment industry, as rapid technological change and fierce competition force companies to seek more scale. Interactive Intelligence is working with boutique investment bank Union Square Advisors LLC on a sale process that has attracted other telecommunications software companies, as well as private equity firms, the people said this week.

Is It Safe To Be Smart? The Security In Home Automation

We all like to think of our homes as a safe haven. The place where we go to after an exhausting day at work, where we lay our kids down to sleep at night knowing that they are going to be just there when we wake up. It is important that we keep our homes safe, and we do everything in our power to ensure the same. Automated lights that can be toggled with our iPhone, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to warn us of incoming danger, cameras to keep a pair of eyes upon us as we sleep, there is so much that technology has to offer in terms of safeguarding our fortress. However, such efficient techniques of home automation also come with a certain amount of vulnerability. Luckily for us, such vulnerabilities can be plugged, leaving us free to enjoy the myriad advantages of home automation.

It is a deliciously tempting offer to be one of the selected few who call themselves the proud owners of a smart home. Given the time and age we live in, it is probably also a wise idea to invest a certain amount of capital on building yourself a smart home. It makes your home safer, cooler and way more efficient. However, the more devices you connect to your smart home network, the more access points you create for potential hackers to take control of your home, the more vulnerable you are. While we cannot possibly force ourselves into living in an outdated world, we can certainly take measures to ensure that the new world we live in is safer.

The first thing worth considering while building a secure smart home is to minimize the number of devices connected to your network. Do you really need an automated music system? Is a smart doorbell really necessary? Can you do without that refrigerator that warns you every time you are out of milk? The idea is to minimize the number of access points available to hackers for exploitation while trying to infiltrate your home. Pick only what you need, stay away from clunky features that will do nothing but clutter your system with more vulnerabilities.

I can never emphasize enough on the need for secure passwords. It is an advice that is always repeated, but so often ignored. When choosing passwords for your devices, you just have to prioritize safety over convenience, that's what passwords are for. It will probably be a little more difficult to remember and slightly more tedious to key in, and it probably won't even be able to fend off determined hackers, but it will make it much more difficult to hack into your network. It is a basic security measure, but an important one nevertheless.

Many people acquire smart homes simply for the convenience of being able to control your entire household with a single remote control. However, we must keep in mind that a centralized automated system with only one overhead is also vulnerable to infiltration. If you own a lot of smart devices, it is probably a good idea to create multiple networks instead of one, making it more difficult to take control of your entire system. Dividing your security system into multiple layers, so as to prevent it from going down on its entirety due to a single failure, helps ensure that your home security system is safer and more adapted for high risk networks.

Keeping your network safe from hackers is an important aspect when it comes to automating your household. In the absence of a human element in your home's security system, it is really vital that you equip it with everything it needs to keep your family safe from intrusions and attacks. The advantages of a smart home are too enormous to ignore, but we must ensure proper use to reap the most benefits with minimal trouble. What are your thoughts?

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Crazy iPhone trick turns your wallpapers into optical illusions

Earlier today we shared a video with you that covered  25 iPhone tweaks that will make you want to jailbreak your phone . There are definitely some fantastic tweaks in there and after watching that video, there's no question that you'll seriously consider jailbreaking your iPhone. Of course, just because you consider it doesn't mean you'll actually end up doing it. If you decide not to jailbreak your iPhone, there are still some very cool tricks that will wow your friends and help set your iPhone apart from the pack. We showed you one nifty trick earlier this week, which allows anyone to easily turn all of their folders into round icons instead of the standard rounded squares. Now, we're back with another crazy trick that might be even cooler. MUST SEE: Two new videos get up close and personal with the iPhone 7 like never before Back on Tuesday we shared a video that showed off a very cool iPhone glitch. All you have to do is apply a special wallpaper to your home screen and it instantly makes all of your folder icons round. No one knows exactly how or why it works, but it does. Now, we have another cool glitchy iPhone trick to share. Twitter user Hide , the same source who discovered the round folder icon trick and supplied all the wallpapers that make it possible, is back with a cool new trick. Using one of the dozens upon dozens of wallpapers he made, you can transform your wallpaper into a moving optical illusion. The trick works just like Sonos' new logo — special patterns in the images make the graphics appear to pulse or vibrate. All you have to do is apply one of the special wallpapers while making sure to enable Apple's "perspective" parallax feature, which makes the wallpaper move as you shift the iPhone's position. A video showing off the trick is embedded below, and you can download the wallpapers shown in the video (and dozens more) by visiting this website on your iPhone.

It’s feline a little tight in here: Cat friends Renley and Lili still insist on sharing their kitten bed despite having outgrown it 

Lili and Renley are a brother and sister cat duo who have always loved cuddling each other. But the pair of cats often struggled to fit into their makeshift bed, according to owner Sonja.

Historic military signal house that played an important role in warning British troops of a French invasion goes on the market for £2.75million 

Grade II listed Semaphore House in Guilford, Surrey, once played a vital role in enabling the Admiralty to communicate with channel ports but now the five-bedroom home is on the market.

Apple says Supreme Court should rule against Samsung over patents

3D-printed Samsung and Apple logos are seen in this picture illustration made in ZenicaApple Inc on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd over the damages Apple should receive in a case about smartphone design patents. In its legal brief, Apple said Samsung has introduced "no evidence" that design patent damages should be decided on anything less than the value of an entire smartphone. Apple said there was no need for the Supreme Court to send the case back to a lower court for further proceedings.


Images from the Outside Clyde blog.

Investments in online lenders fall 44 percent as investors shy from risks

A woman looks at her phone as she passes by a Lending Club banner on the facade of the the New York Stock ExchangeBy Heather Somerville SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Investments into online lending platforms have fallen sharply this year, according to a new report, largely a reaction to the woes at Lending Club and increased regulatory scrutiny that have made investors shy away from the risks. Equity investments into online lending companies is down about 44 percent, to $2.1 billion from $3.8 billion, for the first half of the year compared to the back half of last year, according to a report out Friday from PitchBook Data Inc, a venture capital database that tracks deals and valuations. Online lending companies encompass a diverse group of consumer and business lenders that may make direct loans over the web or connect a borrower with a lender, generally an investment bank, and use data and technology to assess a borrower's risk.

So Long and Thanks for All the Fish

A photograph of an orca jumping several feet out of the water is often viewed with skepticism, but it's real.

WhatsApp is NOT wiping ‘deleted chats’: Ghost messages can be recovered despite encryption, researcher claims

It's not believed the glitch puts users of the Mountain View, California-based app at any risk, but it seems to be an anomaly in the company's focus on security.

SpaceX is getting ready for relaunch: Watch the fourth landed Falcon 9 rocket as it goes through first stage of test firing

The video shows the rocket burning for 2 minutes and 30 seconds at SpaceX’s McGregor test centre in Texas.

Well Played: July’s Best Accessories

Naomie HarrisMila KunisBitsie TullochIf yesterday’s WTFs of the Summer post was owned by Rita Ora, and last June’s accessories slideshow belonged to Blake Lively, then Naomie Harris is our queen here. I wish we had MORE stuff from July; if I missed one you loved, please toss it into the comments. Read More ...

How Hollywood is turning the Med into the party playground of the rich and famous

The crystal waters and sandy beaches of Spain, the Balearic islands, the Amalfi coast and Sardinia have been inundated by A-listers, many of whom are relaxing on state-of-the-art super-yachts.

The first mosquito-borne case of Zika has occurred in the US

The first mosquito-borne case of Zika has occurred in the USFor the first time, the Zika virus might have been transmitted from mosquitoes to humans inside the United States, according to Florida Governor Rick Scott. The four cases, which occurred in Miami-Cade and Broward Counties, were "the result of local transmission," and are "likely mosquito-borne," according to the Florida Department of Health. However, health officials have yet to locate mosquitoes infected with the virus, and have yet to rule out sexual transmission of the virus. If the virus was transmitted by mosquito, it would mark the first time Zika has been transmitted in such a fashion in the United States.

Will greed doom us all? Stephen Hawking warns our current view of wealth could ultimately cause the human race to perish

Professor Stephen Hawking has written about his concerns over humanities attitude to money and the way wealth is divided unequally and it leaves him concerned about our species' future.

Women really do get the better deal: Pairs are more likely to get a discount if one of them is female

Researchers from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College tested a range of buying and selling goods with a different range of prizes, on volunteers split into pairs.

Athletes’ village designed by Nazi leader for 1936 Games lies crumbling on outskirts of Berlin 

In 1931, two years before the Nazi Party came to power, Germany won the right to host the games. Adolf Hitler saw this as an opportunity to showcase his far-right ideology.

New York’s Ice Cream Museum is coolest offering edible balloons, frozen treats

The new Museum of Ice Cream in New York also features a Chocolate Chamber with free treats and curated artwork based on the theme of the room they're placed in.

Facebook to challenge US bill for back taxes

The US government is expected to hit Facebook with a bill for between $3 billion and $5 billion in back taxes, the social network saysThe US government is expected to hit Facebook with a bill for between $3 billion and $5 billion in back taxes, the social network has disclosed. Facebook said it would challenge the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assessment in the US Tax Court when it becomes final. The tax bill relates to a previously disclosed review of the pricing of assets Facebook transferred to its Irish subsidiary.

Postman Pat’s voice Ken Barrie dead aged 73

Barrie, who was born Leslie Hulme, provided the voice for Pat (pictured) and many of the other characters in the animated series, as well as the famous jingle.

Indian couple are ‘hacked to death with an axe’ by a shopkeeper angry they asked for more time to pay for biscuits worth 17p

The couple had asked for more time to pay the 15 rupee (17p, or 22 US cent) debt when the shopkeeper allegedly flew into a rage. It sparked protests and villagers threatened to lynch the suspect.

Dope-smoking killer of toddler Noah Serra-Morrison is jailed for life

Hardeep Hunjan killed Noah Serra-Morrison at their flat in Luton in November last year after downing vodka and smoking cannabis from a homemade 'bong'.

Indian snake bite victim whose body was about to be burnt on a funeral pyre ‘comes back from the dead’ as fire is started… only to die ‘again’ after visiting traditional healer

The 23-year-old man, only known by his first name Sandeep, had gone to collect wood from the forest after leaving his village in Madhya Pradesh in India when he was bitten.

Railways ‘at crisis point’ as trains carry TWICE as many people as they should

The most overcrowded service last year was the 6:57am Govia Thameslink commuter train from Brighton to Bedford, which is designed to carry 420 people but crammed in 960 on a 'typical weekday'.

Mile-high proposal! The heartwarming moment a passenger asks his girlfriend to marry him on an easyJet flight to Majorca

Love was in the air as Easyjet passenger Matthew Hedges proposed to girlfriend Zosia Katnik on flight EZY2277 midway from Luton airport to Majorca.

Pampered pooch! Lucky dog takes up residence in Britain’s poshest kennel after its owner created a PALACE under the stairs

Tom Wadsworth, 36, has built a luxury doghouse for his beagle Jessie under the stairs of his home in Plymouth, Devon, using assorted secondhand items and spending just £100.

ISIS church attack survivor attends memorial service for priest slaughtered in France

Sister Danielle received hugs and applause throughout the emotional ceremony, held in Gagarine Park in St Etienne in memory of elderly Catholic Father Jacques Hamel.

This Hillary Clinton Coloring Book Is Jam-Packed With Girl Power

This coloring book might be the most creative way to celebrate Hillary Clinton’s historic milestone.

Earlier this week, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to become the presidential nominee for a major political party. On Thursday, she formally accepted her nomination at the Democratic National Convention. In honor of these groundbreaking events, SheKnows Media has released a coloring book featuring Clinton in some kickass scenarios.

The 12 coloring pages are packed with girl power as Clinton soars through the air like a superhero, strikes her best Rosie the Riveter pose and rides a dragon over the White House (because why not?).

Color us excited!

See more of the coloring pages below and check out the entire SheKnows Media coloring bookhere.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

After 15 Years, This ‘Princess Diaries’ Heartthrob Can Still Make Your Foot Pop

Hit Backspacefor a regular dose of pop culture nostalgia.

Wanna feel old? Fifteen years ago today, on July 29, 2001, “The Princess Diaries”was released in theaters. And that means one thing: Our huge crush on Michael Moscovitz is now, itself, a high school sophomore.

Michael, played by Rooney frontman Robert Schwartzman, was the good-guy love interest to misfit princess Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway). Ever since the moment that mop-topped, doe-eyed dude in a slightly oversized school blazer skated onto movie screens, the nerd queens of middle schools throughout America never fully owned their hearts again.

For a lot of self-identified awkward girls like myself at the time ― aspiring alt kids, maybe ― Michael was the heartthrob we’d been waiting for. He was smart, quiet but capable, a mechanic, and the keyboardist in a garage band called Flypaper. He hadeverything.

He gave us moments like this:

What misfit tween girl wouldn’t like to hear that “weirder” could be a good thing?

Plus, he totally saw Mia when she was invisible.

HuffPost sat down with Robert Schwartzman this spring, when he was touring to promote a new album with Rooney. “It’s funny,” he said. “I did live that life that the character lived, in a way, as a musician.”

Michael didn’t appear in the second movie; the explanation given was that Mia’s first love was busy touring with his band, and Schwartzman says he actually was touring with Rooney at the time.

That musical authenticity wasn’t the only part of himself that he brought to the role ― actually, the character’s most memorable quirk came out of the actor’s brain, as well. “I had this idea to eat M&Ms in the audition with Anne Hathaway,” he told HuffPost, “and then they liked that and wanted his character to eat M&Ms. Then they made the pizza with M&Ms.”

“Most people don’t know, but that came because of my own use of them on set.”

Our youthful infatuation with Michael Moscovitz, frankly,isn’t letting up anytime soon with Robert Schwartzman giving us so much reason to believe that he actually is, sort of, Michael Moscovitz.

Except with a really adorable rescue pup:

#Chillaxing with Trixie

A photo posted by Robert Schwartzman (@robertschwartzman) on Sep 23, 2015 at 12:44pm PDT

Now that “The Princess Diaries” is old enough to have a learner’s permit in many states in the U.S., the man who was Michael Moscovitz says he looks back fondly on the role. “I love that that movie has such a long life, and people love it, and people want to talk about it today,” he told HuffPost. “I feel like, it’s cool to have played a role that people really connected with.”

Whether you’ve papered your bedroom with film stills of Michael Moscovitz (hopefully not) or forgotten completely how dreamy he was, take a moment today to remember the truth of these words:

Maybe those fangirls weren’t talking about Michael ― but we sure are.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Father who a judge ruled probably sexually assaulted his daughter shortly before her death needs his HUMAN RIGHTS protected when he gives evidence at her inquest 

Paul Worthington's 13-month-old daughter Poppi (pictured) died after collapsing with serious injuries at the family home in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, on December 12, 2012.

Idrissa Gueye will leave Aston Villa after Everton triggered £7.1m buy-out clause, confirms Roberto Di Matteo

The 26-year-old is set to switch to Goodison Park after Everton met his £7.1million clause and opened talks over personal terms. Di Matteo indicated there was alternative interest.

There’s a flat version of the Galaxy Note 7 floating around the web

There's a flat version of the Galaxy Note 7 floating around the webAt this point it's clear that Samsung is fond of curved displays on its Galaxy smartphones, and the upcoming Galaxy Note 7 is expected to receive a dual-edge display when its announced next week. The video shows the apparent prototype working with the S Pen, Samsung's home screen and setting apps, and even the rumored Iris scanner interface. The specs on the device line up with the previous rumors — a 5.7-inch quad HD display, 12MP camera, and a Samsung Exynos 8890 are present — although it features 4GB of RAM instead of the rumored 6GB.

Day Out: Being Bad With Kathryn Hahn

Piercings, psychics and Hell’s Kitchen: just another day for the “Bad Moms” and “Transparent” star.

$7.49 is all it takes to make any smartphone waterproof

Ladies and gentlemen, there's no doubt about it: summer has arrived. As a heat wave sweeps across the East Coast and other parts of the country, people are flocking to beaches and pools in droves. Whether you plan to dive into the water or just sit close by while your friends and family cool off, Murphy's Law suggests that your phone isn't safe as long as it's anywhere near a body of water. Of course, there's an easy way to make sure Murphy is wrong — check out the  Mobility Universal Waterproof Phone Case , which works with any smartphone out there and costs just $7.49 right now on Amazon. Here's what you need to know: COMPLETE PROTECTION - Our protective design and reliable seal allow you to take your smartphone anywhere without worry! It's 100% waterproof, but also protects against other elements that could damage or ruin your device! WATERPROOF, SNOWPROOF & DIRTPROOF - The Mobility® Universal Waterproof Phone Case is certified waterproof, making it essential for any outdoor adventure! It also keeps out snow, dust, sand, dirt and more! Use it when fishing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and more! It's the perfect protective solution for an iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, 5, Samsung Galaxy S7, S6, LG G4, Nexus 6P and more! TOUCH FRIENDLY & SCRATCH RESISTANT - Crafted in top quality material, our phone case is scratch resistant. Even more, it's completely touch friendly! Unlike other designs, the Mobility® Universal Waterproof Phone Case will protect your smartphone while also maintaining full touch functionality. The ultra-clear front and back windows make it easy to text, watch videos, check emails and even take photos! CARRY CASH & CREDIT CARDS AS WELL - Use it in place of a wallet! There is an additional convenient, waterproof pouch for carrying cash, credit cards, IDs and more. SATISFACTION GUARANTEED - We are so confident in the quality of our product that we offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee! If you are unsatisfied, simply contact us to return the product for a full refund. The Mobility Universal Waterproof Phone Case is on sale for a limited time for just $7.49, which includes free Prime shipping.

Kate’s rhinos are saved! Six baby rhinos are plucked from the devastating floods at wildlife reserve where Duchess was enchanted on official tour

Six baby rhinos have been dramatically rescued from being washed away by floodwaters that swamped a national park in northeastern India that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited in April.

Superhead who claimed Britain’s education was broken puts pupils in detention at lunch

Headteacher Katharine Birbalsingh (pictured), at Michaela community school in Wembley, north London, is imposing the 'lunch isolation' to encourage parents to 'change their ways'.

Revealed: The behaviour commuters hate the most on public transport (if you want to make friends, best to put your phone away)

The results of a new survey of British commuters reveal habits like taking up too much space and having bad body odour could make your fellow passengers hate you.

Consumer goods firms plot new paths amid e-commerce boom

Reckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor speaks during the Reuters Global Consumer and Retail Summit in LondonBy Martinne Geller LONDON (Reuters) - Consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser has ramped up its efforts to sell items such as condoms and vitamins online, aiming to capture new revenue streams as traditional markets get more competitive. Reckitt's own Durex condom website in China is already its single largest customer in the world's fastest-growing e-commerce market, doubling the number of unique visitors over the last year to over 20 million. As part of its drive, the group has established a new global "e-business unit" that Chief Executive Rakesh Kapoor says will help it deal better with customers like Amazon.com , be present in marketplaces like those offered by Alibaba and probe new areas such as cross-border e-commerce and direct-selling websites.

Blind athlete runs desert marathon unassisted using smartphone app

Simon Wheatcroft lost his sight at the age of 17, but this hasn't stopped him from competing in some of the most extreme running events in the world. A veteran of numerous city marathons, Wheatcroft is normally accompanied by a running partner to keep him on course and stop him bumping into objects and other runners. According to Wheatcroft, simplicity was key.

Get ready to clear some space: PlayStation VR asks for 60 square feet to play

Get ready to clear some space: PlayStation VR asks for 60 square feet to playNew documentation details some serious space requirements to set up Sony's VR accessory.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s YouTube views revealed by interactive map

This amazing interactive map, created by Polygraph and Google's NewsLab, shows what each state is watching.

The real-life Benjamin Button: Boy, 4, looks like an old man and can’t go to school ‘because other children are scared of him’

Bayezid Hossain, from southern Bangladesh, has progeria, a rare disease which ages the body - but not the mind - at eight times the normal rate. Sufferers do not usually live past the age of 13.

Mediaset says Vivendi aware of pay-TV unit data before signing deal

The Mediaset tower is seen in Cologno Monzese neighbourhood MilanVivendi already had access to a business plan for Mediaset's pay-TV unit before agreeing to buy it, the Italian broadcaster said on Friday as the two companies kept trading punches over a u-turn by the French media firm on the deal. Mediaset accused Vivendi of releasing market-sensitive data after the French group issued a statement saying a business plan for the division called Premium was based on "unrealistic assumptions". "Vivendi will have to face civil and criminal action also over the damages (caused)," Mediaset said in a statement.

British yachtsman, 51, wanted by foreign police ‘over the disappearance of a young mother in Spain’ jailed for five years for smuggling 17 Albanian refugees into a luxury marina

Stephen Jackson, 51, has been jailed for four years and nine months after being 'caught red handed' trying to bring 17 Albanian men into the UK illegally at Chichester Harbour in West Sussex.

Artist Imagines A Future In Which Pets Date, Have Sex, Fall In Love

Generally speaking, we think we know our pets. We read their behaviors and tend to their needs, all the while projecting onto them certain attributes and inclinations. Eventually we construct entire pet personalities, without them ever speaking a word.

But do we ever really know what they want, or what they need?

Artist Kuang-Yi Ku has no pets of his own, but he’s observed his friend’s cat with interest. One day, he noticed the feline was in heat and acting rather strangely. “I was not sure what feeling the cat experienced but I just thought that I could feel it want to have sex,” Kuang-Yi explained in an email to The Huffington Post. “However, I am not a cat, so of course I could not understand what cats want.”

This limitation intrigued Kuang-Yi, who doubts it’s possible to ever truly understand another person’s feelings, let alone another animal’s. Despite the lack of hope, he began his latest project by interviewing pet owners and veterinarians to find out more about the feelings of pets ― particularly, pets’ feelings about sex. Is sex just about reproduction for pets? Is pleasure a guiding factor? What about attraction?

The first thing Kuang-Yi learned was how ubiquitous a practice castration is, along with the resounding opinion that it makes pets healthier, tamer, and more suitable for domestic living.The artist was shocked at the popularity of the response. “I just asked myself: ‘Do we (humans) really have the right to cut off another creature’s sex organ and even claim that it is for their own good?’” he explained. “However, if we don’t do that, how could we solve the sexual problem of pets?”

Kuang-Yi devised two potential solutions to this “sexual problem.” First, in lieu of castration, he’s opting for contraception. The artist is developing design propositions for spray-on condoms, as well as oral contraceptive pills ― of course, for pets. And second, to help pets find potential partners, Kuang-Yi conceived of a dating app specifically for pets. How else does anyone meet someone nowadays?

The dating app “PatPet,” currently in progress, is a collaboration between Kuang-Yi and Yi-Ling Wu (an engineer), Tzu-Yen Chen (an architect). and Wen-Yu Tsai (a filmmaker). The design vaguely resembles Tinder, Grindr and the like, with photo streams accompanied by users’ age, gender and personal preferences. Of course, all the images are of cats and dogs, but this much is obvious.

Oftentimes, as Kuang-Yi work reminds us, pet owners and lovers imagine the animals in their lives as innocent companions, almost eternally infantile in their cuteness. But perhaps we’re forgetting something.Specifically, pets’ sexual needs and desires.Save for the occasional awkward chortle that results from witnessing a pup humping a pillow, do we ever appreciate the possibility that pets are sexual beings too? In an interview with Dazed Digital, Kuang-Yi compared the widespread denial of animals’ needs to the way we treat people with disabilities, often assumed to be “angels without lust or desire.”

The contraception and app projects are part of Kuang-Yi’s ongoing artist residency at Liverpool’s FACT, called “Pet’s Petting.” There, the artist is re-imagining the way humans will interact with their pets in the future ― the main difference being that pet owners will acknowledge and encourage their pets’ sexual needs decades from now.

“Maybe in the future, it will be a new practice of animal welfare,” Kuang-Yi said.

Kuang-Yi considers himself a multidisciplinary researcher, at once a biomaterial scientist, a visual artist, and a gender study theorist with a masters degree in dental science. His work often takes a hybridized art-meets-science approach to unpacking the invisible structures that govern the way we live.

As a queer man, Kuang-Yi often works to destabilize the norms that govern our bodies and desires. “For me, in my future imagination, medical technology is no longer controlled by the doctors and some experts,” Kuang-Yi said. “The knowledge is shared to every individual. So people in the future can choose their own body structure. In the queer utopia, every individual might look different, but sometimes there will be a group of people with similar appearance to share one identity.”

Kuang-Yi’s work with pets, which he described as “fictional design,” has raised even more questions than he started with. Assuming in some distant future “Pets Petting” comes to fruition, what role would owners play in the facilitation of their pets’ sexual exploits? How would human architecture shift to address the newly adopted need to cater to their beloved animals’ urges?

The artists imagine a brave new world with brave new animal sex hubs in it. Such centers of activity include, prospectively, a Love Hotel for Dogs in Taiwan, and a Dog’s Sex Park in France. Furthermore, Kuang-Yi hints at a universe in which owners relocate to live closer to their pets’ longterm partners, completely restructuring the way we live. The project, founded upon scientific research, straddles design and science fiction with a little bit of furry, erotic fanfic thrown in.

In the end, Kuang-Yi embraces the silliness of his proposition while acknowledging the serious undercurrents beneath the surface ― the importance of sexual freedom for all, no matter how “other” they may be.According to Kuang-Yi’s forecasting, pet-centric architecture will be coming to a world near you in 2046.

Until then, humping pillows will have to do.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Savvy homebuyer took advantage of Brexit fears by paying £17million in CASH for an 18-bedroom mansion the day before the referendum – netting a £7MILLION discount 

The Grade II Listed home, near Westminster, had been put on the market in January for £24 million, with the seller shunning conventional High Street estate agents by advertising it online.

Zika IS in the UK: More than FIFTY cases have been diagnosed in British hospitals this year

Public Health England released a statement following reports of three people in West Yorkshire being treated for the virus after returning from overseas. It said the risk to the general public is low.

‘Super fuel’ from artificial leaves could replace oil: Scientists say innovative system may someday power the world

This process, developed by a team at the University of Illinois, uses artificial leaves and energy from the sun to turn water and carbon dioxide into hydrocarbon fuels.

FTC says it finds LabMD liable for unfair data security practices

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Friday it had overruled an administrative judge's dismissal of the commission's data security case against cancer testing company LabMD. In a statement, the FTC said its unanimous opinion, written by Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, concluded that the administrative judge had applied the wrong legal standard for unfairness. "LabMD’s security practices were unreasonable, lacking even basic precautions to protect the sensitive consumer information maintained on its computer system," Ramirez said.

Autonomous robots that drop off food and laundry to your door set to invade Austin

Austin, Texas is set for an invasion of delivery robots. The UK firm, Starship Technologies, will begin testing its semi-autonomous 'ground drones' in packages, groceries and restaurants.

Why the Navy Needs Disruption Now (part 2 of 2)

Why the Navy Needs Disruption Now (part 2 of 2)The future is here it's just distributed unevenly - Silicon Valley view of tech adoptionThe threat is here it's just distributed unevenly - A2/AD and the aircraft carrierThis is the second of a two-part post following my stay on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. Part 1 talked about what I saw and learned - the layout of a carrier, how the...

Why the Navy Needs Disruption Now (part 2 of 2)

The future is here it's just distributed unevenly - Silicon Valley view of tech adoption

The threat is here it's just distributed unevenly - A2/AD and the aircraft carrier

This is the second of a two-part post following my stay on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson. Part 1 talked about what I saw and learned - the layout of a carrier, how the air crew operates and how the carrier functions in context of the other ships around it (the strike group.) But the biggest learning was the realization that disruption is not just happening to companies, it's also happening to the Navy. And that the Lean Innovation tools we've built to deal with disruption and create continuous innovation for large commercial organizations were equally relevant here.

This post offers a few days' worth of thinking about what I saw. (If you haven't, read part 1 first.)


The threat is here; it's just distributed unevenly - A2/AD and the aircraft carrier

Both of the following statements are true:
The aircraft carrier is viable for another 30 years.
The aircraft carrier is obsolete.

Well-defended targets
Think of an aircraft carrier as a $11 billion dollar portable air force base manned by 5,000 people delivering 44 F/A-18 strike fighters anywhere in the world.

The primary roles of the 44 F/A-18 strike fighters that form the core of the carrier's air wing is to control the air and drop bombs on enemy targets. For targets over uncontested airspace (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, etc.) that's pretty easy. The problem is that First World countries have developed formidable surface-to-air missiles - the Russian S-300 and S-400 and the Chinese HQ-9 - which have become extremely effective at shooting down aircraft. And they have been selling these systems to other countries (Iran, Syria, Egypt, etc.). While the role of an aircraft carrier's EA-18G Growlers is to jam/confuse the radar of these missiles, the sophistication and range of these surface-to-air missiles have been evolving faster than the jamming countermeasures on the EA-18G Growlers (and the cyber hacks to shut the radars down).


This means that the odds of a carrier-based F/A-18 strike fighter successfully reaching a target defended by these modern surface-to-air missiles is diminishing yearly. Unless the U.S. military can take these air defense systems out with drones, cruise missiles or cyber attack, brave and skilled pilots may not be enough. Given the F/A-18's are manned aircraft (versus drones), high losses of pilots may be (politically) unacceptable.

Vulnerable carriers
If you want to kill a carrier, first you must find it and then you have to track it. In WWII knowing where the enemy fleet located was a big - and critical - question. Today, photo imaging satellites, satellites that track electronic emissions (radio, radar, etc.) and satellites with synthetic aperture radar that can see through clouds and at night are able to pinpoint the strike group and carrier 24/7. In the 20th century only the Soviet Union had this capability. Today, China can do this in the Pacific and to a limited extent, Iran has this capability in the Persian Gulf. Soon there will be enough commercial satellite coverage of the Earth using the same sensors, that virtually anyone able to pay for the data will be able to track the ships.

During the Cold War the primary threat to carriers was from the air - from strike/fighters dropping bombs/torpedoes or from cruise missiles (launched from ships and planes). While the Soviets had attack submarines, our anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities (along with very noisy Soviet subs pre-Walker spy ring) made subs a secondary threat to carriers.

In the 20th century the war plan for a carrier strike group used its fighter and attack aircraft and Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from the cruisers to destroy enemy radar, surface-to-air missiles, aircraft and communications (including satellite downlinks). As those threats are eliminated, the carrier strike can move closer to land without fear of attack. This allowed the attack aircraft to loiter longer over targets or extend their reach over enemy territory.

Carriers were designed to be most effective launching a high number of sorties (number of flights) from ~225 miles from the target. For example, we can cruise offshore of potential adversaries (Iraq and Syria) who can't get to our carriers. (Carriers can standoff farther or can reach further inland, but they have to launch F-18's as refueling tankers to extend the mission range. For example, missions into Afghanistan are 6-8 hours versus normal mission times of 2-3 hours.)

In the 21st century carrier strike groups are confronting better equipped adversaries, and today carriers face multiple threats before they can launch an initial strike. These threats include much quieter submarines, long-range, sea-skimming cruise missiles, and in the Pacific, a potential disruptive game changer - ballistic missiles armed with non-nuclear maneuverable warheads that can hit a carrier deck as it maneuvers at speed (DF-21d and the longer range DF-26).


In the Persian Gulf the carriers face another threat - Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FIAC) and speedboats with anti-ship cruise missiles that can be launched from shore.

The sum of all these threats - to the carrier-based aircraft and the carriers themselves - are called anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) capabilities.

Eventually the cost and probability of defending the carrier as a manned aircraft platform becomes untenable in highly defended A2/AD environments like the western Pacific or the Persian Gulf. (This seems to be exactly the problem the manned bomber folks are facing in multiple regions.) But if not a carrier, what will they use to project power? While the carrier might become obsolete, the mission certainly has not.

So how does/should the Navy solve these problems?

Three Horizons of Innovation

One useful way to think about in innovation in the face of increasing disruption / competition is called the "Three Horizons of Innovation." It suggests that an organization should think about innovation across three categories called "Horizons."
Horizon 1 activities support executing the existing mission with ever increasing efficiency
Horizon 2 is focused on extending the core mission
Horizon 3 is focused on searching for and creating brand new missions (see here for background on the Three Horizons.)

Horizon 1 is the Navy's core mission. Here the Navy executes against a set of known mission requirements (known beneficiaries, known ships and planes, known adversaries, deployment, supply chain, etc.) It uses existing capabilities and has comparatively low risk to get the next improvement out the door.

In a well-run organization like the Navy, innovation and improvement occurs continuously in Horizon 1. Branches of the Navy innovate on new equipment, new tactics, new procurement processes, more sorties on newer carriers, etc. As fighter pilots want more capable manned aircraft and carrier captains want better carriers, it's not a surprise that Horizon 1 innovations are upgrades - the next generation of carriers - Ford Class; and next generation of navy aircraft - the F-35C. As a failure here can impact the Navy's current mission, Horizon 1 uses traditional product management tools to minimize risk and assure execution. (And yes, like any complex project they still manage to be over budget and miss their delivery schedule.)

Because failure here is unacceptable, Navy Horizon 1 programs and people are managed by building repeatable and scalable processes, procedures, incentives and promotions to execute and the mission.

In Horizon 2, the Navy extends its core mission. Here it looks for new opportunities within its existing mission (trying new technology on the same platform, using the same technology with new missions, etc.) Horizon 2 uses mostly existing capabilities (the carrier as an aircraft platform, aircraft to deliver munitions) and has moderate risk in building or securing new capabilities to get the product out the door.

An example of potential Naval Horizon 2 innovations is unmanned drones flying off carriers to do the jobs fighter pilots hate such as serving as airborne tankers (who wants to fly a gas tank around for 6 hours?) and ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), another tedious mission flying around for hours that could be better solved with a drone downlinking ISR data for processing on board a ship.

However, getting the tanker and ISR functions onto drones only delays the inevitable shift to drones for strike, and then for fighters. The problem of strike fighters' increasing difficulty in penetrating heavily defended targets isn't going to get better with the new F-35C (the replacement for the F/A-18). In fact, it will get worse. Regardless of the bravery and skill of the pilots, they will face air defense systems evolving at a faster rate than the defensive systems on the aircraft. It's not at all clear in a low-intensity conflict (think Bosnia or Syria) that civilian leadership will want to risk captured or killed pilots and losing planes like the F-35C that cost several hundred million dollars each.

Management in Horizon 2 works by pattern recognition and experimentation inside the current mission model. Ironically, institutional inertia keeps the Navy from deploying unmanned assets on carriers. In a perfect world, drones in carrier tanker and ISR roles should have been deployed by the beginning of this decade. And by now experience with them on a carrier deck could have led to first, autonomous wingmen and eventually autonomous missions. Instead the system appears to have fallen into the "real men fly planes and command Air Wings and get promoted by others who do" mindset.

The Navy does not lack drone demos and prototypes, but it has failed to deploy Horizon 2 innovations with speed and urgency. Failure to act aggressively here will impact the Navy's ability to carry out its mission of sea control and power projection. (The Hudson Institute report on the future of the carrier is worth a read, and a RAND report on the same topic comes out in October.)

If you think Horizon 2 innovation is hard in the Navy, wait until you get to Horizon 3. This is where disruption happens. It's how the aircraft carrier disrupted the battleship. How nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines changed the nature of strategic deterrence, and how the DF-21/26 and artificial islands in the South China sea changed decades of assumptions. And it's why, in most organizations, innovation dies.

For the Navy, a Horizon 3 conversation would not be about better carriers and aircraft. Instead it would focus on the core reasons the Navy deploys a carrier strike group: to show the flag for deterrence, or to control part of the sea to protect shipping, or to protect a Marine amphibious force, or to project offensive power against any adversary in well-defended areas.

A Horizon 3 solution for the Navy would start with basic need of these missions (sea control, offensive power projection - sortie generation) the logistic requirements that come with them, and the barriers to their success like A2/AD threats. Lots of people have been talking and writing about this and lots of Horizon 3 concepts have been proposed such as Distributed Lethality, Arsenal Ships, underwater drone platforms, etc.

Focusing on these goals - not building or commanding carriers, or building and flying planes - is really, really hard. It's hard to get existing operational organizations to think about disruption because it means they have to be thinking about obsoleting a job, function or skill they've spent their lives perfecting. It's hard because any large organization is led by people who succeeded as Horizon 1 and 2 managers and operators (not researchers). Their whole focus, career, incentives, etc. has been about building and make the current platforms work. And the Navy has excelled in doing so.

The problem is that Horizon 3 solutions take different people, different portfolio, different process and different politics.

People: In Horizon 1 and 2 programs people who fail don't get promoted because in a known process failure to execute is a failure of individual performance. However, applying the same rules to Horizon 3 programs - no failures tolerated - means we'll have no learning and no disruptive innovations. What spooks leadership is that in Horizon 3 most of the projects will fail. But using Lean Innovation they'll fail quickly and cheaply.

In Horizon 3 the initial program is run by mavericks - the crazy innovators. In the Navy, these are the people you want to court martial or pass over for promotion for not getting with current program. (In a startup they'd be the founding CEO.) These are the fearless innovators you want to create new and potentially disruptive mission models. Failure to support their potential disruptive talent means it will go elsewhere.

Portfolio: In Horizon 3, the Navy is essentially incubating a startup. And not just one. The Navy needs a portfolio of Horizon 3 bets, for the same reason venture capital and large companies have a portfolio of Horizon 3 bets - most of these bets will fail - but the ones that succeed are game changers.

Process: A critical difference between a Horizon 3 bet and a Horizon 1 or 2 bet is that you don't build large, expensive, multi-year programs to test radically new concepts (think of the Zumwalt class destroyers). You use "Lean" techniques to build Minimal Viable Products (MVPs). MVPs are whatever it takes to get you the most learning in the shortest period of time.

Horizon 3 groups operate with speed and urgency - the goal is rapid learning. They need to be physically separate from operating divisions in an incubator, or their own facility. And they need their own plans, procedures, policies, incentives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) different from those in Horizon 1.

The watchwords in Horizon 3 are "If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."

Politics: In Silicon Valley most startups fail. That's why we invest in a portfolio of new ideas, not just one. We embrace failure as an integral part of learning. We do so by realizing that in Horizon 3 we are testing hypotheses - a series of unknowns - not executing knowns. Yet failure/learning is a dirty word in the world of promotions and the "gotcha game" of politics. To survive in this environment Horizon 3 leaders must learn how to communicate up/down and sideways that they are not running Horizon 1 and 2 projects.

Meanwhile, Navy and DOD leadership has to invest in, and clearly communicate their innovation strategy across all three Horizons.

Failure to manage innovation across all three Horizons and failure to make a portfolio of Horizon 3 bets means that the Navy is exposed to disruption by new entrants. Entrants unencumbered by decades of success, fueled by their own version of manifest destiny.

Lessons Learned

-- Our carriers are a work of art run and manned by professionals
Threats that can degrade or negate a carrier strike group exist in multiple areas
However, carriers are still a significant asset in almost all other combat scenarios

-- Speed and urgency rather than institutional inertia should be the watchwords for Horizon 2 innovation

-- Horizon 3 innovation is about a clean sheet of paper thinking
It's what Silicon Valley calls disruption
It requires different people, portfolio, process and politics

-- The Navy (and DOD) must manage innovation across all three Horizons
Allocating dollars and resources for each

-- Remembering that todays Horizon 3 crazy idea is tomorrow Horizon 1 platform

Thanks to the crew of the U.S.S. Vinson, and Commander Todd Cimicata and Stanford for a real education about the Navy.

Steve Blank's blog: www.steveblank.com

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Hold On To Your Moon Dust! Gwyneth Paltrow Wants To Distance Herself From Goop

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the name Gwyneth Paltrow? A brief stint on “Glee?” The conscious uncoupling heard ‘round the world? No, of course not.

It’s Goop. You think of dreamy, bougie, polarizing Goop.

Well, if Paltrow has her way, that might soon be a thing of the past. The lifestyle site’s famous HBIC reportedly feels that in order for her to grow her $15,000-sex-toy-hocking entity, it’s imperative that shestep away from it.

“In order to build the brand I want to build, its scalability is limited if I connect it to the brand,” she said to an audience at the 2016 Sage Summit in Chicago Wednesday, Computer Business Review reports. “So I always think, ‘How can I grow the brand? How can I separate myself from the brand? And I think it's going to be more its own brand.”

Cue 14 karat gold hearts shattering across the internet.Who will almost convince us to drop $200 on magical dust? Who will explain vaginal steaming? How will we know how to yawn?

Cut our hearts out with a $72 scissor, why don’t you?!

Paltrow went on to explain that she hopes Goop will continue to be a champion, with or without her glowing celebrity endorsement. “My dream is that one day no one will remember that I had anything to do with it,” she said.

All this time we thought her dream was for the whole world to eat clean.Breathe in that purified air while you still can, people. These are trying times.

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Angry family release picture of shocking injuries suffered by grandmother in care home fall

Jill Symmonds fell at Sunnybank Care Home in Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, on Tuesday, leaving her with two black eyes and horrific bruising across her face.

Virgin America finally getting a mobile app, complete with Spotify integration

Virgin America finally getting a mobile app, complete with Spotify integrationVirgin America, is finally going (somewhat) mainstream by yes, introducing an app for both Android and iOS. But because it's Virgin America, this is no ordinary airline app -- it comes with a Spotify integration.

Hear what we have to say about Apple and Google earnings

Hear what we have to say about Apple and Google earningsThe past few episodes of Vergecast have been lengthy, and this week is no exception. But we have an excuse! It's earnings week and there are a lot of thoughts. Nilay, Dieter, Paul, and Lauren bring the news right to your ears.

Hear what we have to say about Apple and Google earnings

Hear what we have to say about Apple and Google earningsThe past few episodes of Vergecast have been lengthy, and this week is no exception. But we have an excuse! It's earnings week and there are a lot of thoughts. Nilay, Dieter, Paul, and Lauren bring the news right to your ears.

Norwich and Northern Ireland star Kyle Lafferty hit by FA betting charge

Lafferty is alleged to have broken FA rules by betting on a match in February. The governing body said in a statement: 'Kyle Lafferty has been charged by the FA for misconduct in relation to betting.

Facebook Offering Refunds For Kids’ In-App Purchases

Parents who found themselves with hefty bills after their kids made in-app purchases -- mainly via the now-defunct Facebook Credits -- can now request a refund from Facebook. PCMag reports: The news comes as part of a settlement for a class-action lawsuit brought against the social network in February 2012, and covers those who made any kind of purchase through their Facebook accounts between February 2008 and March 2015. Facebook maintained that it did nothing wrong, as those purchasing digital currency received what they paid for. But California's Family Code stipulates that minors can void contracts they make at any point when they're under 18 years of age. In other words, the legislation is designed to prevent other entities from preying on minors who don't otherwise understand the ramifications of their actions -- like tapping repeatedly on an in-app item to acquire it.

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Two men become latest to be fighting for their lives in hospital after taking deadly fake ‘Blue Valium’ tablets imported from Pakistan and India 

Three young women from Renfrew in Scotland have died after reportedly taking the tablets (similar to those pictured), and two men in Carlisle, Cumbria, were today being treated in hospital.

Big data firm Talend soars 54 percent in debut

(Reuters) - Shares of Talend SA, whose software helps businesses crunch large amounts of data, jumped 54 percent in their U.S. debut, valuing the company at $773.7 million. Talend is backed by venture capital firm Balderton Capital and Sumeru Equity Partners Inc, the former middle-market investing arm of private equity firm Silver Lake Partners LP. Talend's listing is one of the first venture-capital backed U.S. IPOs in nearly six months.

What a difference 8,778 days make… Hillary Clinton receives Democratic White House nomination 24 years after Bill, and haven’t they changed over time! 

Hillary Clinton made history last night standing next to her husband 8,778 days after fresh-faced Bill received the Democratic nomination at the party's 1992 convention in New York.

Tim Fosu-Mensah shares a family visit with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial

After enduring a difficult week where he was forced to train away from Manchester United's first-team squad, Tim Fosu-Mensah could have been forgiven for feeling a bit glum.

This story is just for you

This story is just for youLibrary of CongressHave you noticed how almost every form of public communication nowadays is aimed directly at you? The second person has always been the primary addressee of advertising and political rhetoric, but it’s striking how prevalent it has become in our new age of constant connectedness. You can’t go two sentences online, it seems, without hearing about yourself.Whenever someone wants to deliver an emotive message or prompt to action, "you" is the easy and reliable shortcut. ...

Hillary Clinton Inadvertently Breaks Pop Culture Ceiling With Lil Wayne Reference At The DNC

On Thursday night, Hillary Clintonmade history at the Democratic National Conventionwith a speech that rallied millions of Americans ... to buy “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba on iTunes.

For months, the presidential hopeful has been inadvertently filling the British one-hit-wonder’s coffers by recalling the band’s most famous lyric“I get knocked down and I get back up again” to reference the tumult in her decades-long political career.

“I’m here to tell you tonight —progress is possible,” the former Secretary of State told the crowdThursday. “I know because I’ve seen it in the lives of people across America who get knocked down and get right back up. And I know it from my own life.”

Pop-culture-savvy viewers almost immediately identified the familiar phrasing and took to Twitter to see whether they heard Clinton correctly or if drinking a whiskey drink, a lager drink and a cider drink might’ve impaired their memory.

Clinton was like 2 words away from singing Tubthumping by Chumbawamba

— johnknefel (@johnknefel) July 29, 2016

#NowPlaying Chumbawamba - Tubthumping along with #Clinton's Speech. https://t.co/R7ODCpmUUi #DemsInPhilly #DemConvention

— Dano Manion (@DanoManion) July 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton just quoted Chumbawamba in the biggest speech of her life so far. #NOWImwithher #DemsInPhilly

— B.J. Gunts (@bjgunts) July 29, 2016

The references didn’t stop there, however. Fans of Lil Wayne were also taken aback when Clinton appeared to allude to the “Young Money” rapper’s mixtape “No Ceilings” and song “The Sky’s the Limit.”

Rejiggering her famous line about breaking gender barriers in her 2008 concession speech, she said,“When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”

Twitter delivered yet again with hilarious musings on how her language made Clinton and the rapper strange bedfellows — and the very pressing need for a mixtape collaboration.

"When there are no ceilings the sky's the limit." —Hillary Clinton pic.twitter.com/MhTNyYcvPE

— Julian Patterson (@JulianPatterson) July 29, 2016

At this point Hillary's dropped more No Ceilings mixtapes than Lil Wayne

— Ira Madison III (@ira) July 29, 2016

"When there aren't ceilings, the sky is the limit"
- did Hillary Clinton just make an amazing, compounded Lil Wayne reference?

— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) July 29, 2016

But the only permission Clinton really needs is from Lil Wayne himself, right? Luckily, TMZ caught up with the rapper after the speech to get his thoughts on matter.

“I f**ks with Hillary,” he said after a reporter informed him of the coincidence.

And so do we.

Watch the exchange below:

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A Hyde Park penthouse, a Chelsea mansion, £10m in cash and £57m loans: Extraordinary £250m list of ‘loving gifts’ from property developer Christian Candy to his brother Nick as the pair face tax evasion claims 

Christian Candy, 41, right, says he handed Nick, 43, left, a Knightsbridge penthouse, a £85million Chelsea mansion, £10m in cash and more than £55m in loans because 'blood is thicker than water'.

John Stones takes part in Everton training despite continued interest from Manchester City

John Stones was very much the man in the middle at training as Everton prepared for their Dresden Cup opener at a local sports complex in Germany on Friday morning. 

Is YOUR child shy? Expert reveals when it is normal or something to worry about…

Heidi Gazelle, a senior lecturer in Developmental Psychology from the University of Melbourne says shyness should be more of a concern if it is persistent rather than temporary.

Even This Gaming Grandma Star Thinks That The Internet Is Ageist

Shirley Curry is known to the online universe as the Gaming Grandma. She is an 80-year-old widow from Virginia who spends hours every day in front of her computer, much of the time playing the video game Skyrim.She has what’s been described as a huge cult following on YouTubewhere people tune in in droves to watch her play and hear her running commentary. YouTube gaming channels bring in more than 3.5 billion views each month.

In addition to being a YouTube star at age 80, Grandma Shirleytweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, emails, and is actually pretty much adored by the fine folks at Reddit who are generally not known for their adoring ways.

No two ways about it: Grandma Shirley is a rock star. But even she has a problem with that. By making such a big deal about an older person just because they know their way around the digital world, it underscores the stereotype that most don’t. And that’s not true, says Grandma Shirley.

“I think it is really weird,” is how she described her fame to The Huffington Post, adding, “There are a lot of older gamers on YouTube, but I just happened to use my real picture and was open about telling my age. Most others―not all ― are scared of getting nasty comments.”

And as for those nasty commenters, Grandma Shirley wants you to know that “[Older people]are active online, and because we’re here proves we can understand and use today’s technology. If an older person is healthy and is interested in playing games, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t, or can’t.”

Further, she scolds, “The younger people tend to ridicule older people on YouTube [and act] as though it’s their private territory ... I’ll bet they won’t look back and remember how disrespectful they were to us! LOL.”

“Older YouTubers should use their own pictures and put their age in their profile,” she told Vice. “Then everybody would know there are lots of older people and it wouldn’t be such a big deal.” She says that refusing to hide and pretend that older gamers don’t exist is essential to fixing the online culture.

Playing video games is actually a triple crown winner for retirees: It’s inexpensive, since there are global audiences you can find someone awake 24/7, and it doesn’t require that you drive at night along icy roads to play. Video games have also been linked to better brain health and dexterity.

Not without some irony,Shirley’s YouTube fame has actually restricted the amount of time she has to play the game. “I wish I had time to play for hours like I used to, just for myself,” she said.Now her time is claimed by working on her videos, answering comments and engaging with her fans.

Speaking of comments, Grandma Shirley seems to be spared the wrath of anonymous trolls. More often than not, it’s one of her “grandkids” ― her pet name for her fans ― posting things like “You’re so sweet and nice that I can’t stand it, Please never change Shirley.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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Norwegian rock carving of a skier is ‘damaged forver’ by teenager who scratched it to make it clearer

A rock carving of Norway's 'first skier' from the late Stone Age has been ruined by a teen who thought he could improve it.

Unlucky! CCTV catches moment hapless armed robbers launch £200,000 raid on a jewellery store – only to be arrested just MINUTES later

Domingo Nsita, 29, David George, 21 and Joshua Tiloye, 22, had driven to Winchester, Hampshire, in a white van - with the latter two of them jumping out wearing motorcycle helmets.

HOT OR NOT: Paul Pogba’s transfer is extraordinary considering his Euro 2016 peformances

Once again it's time to take a look at the best and the worst in world of sport. Sportsmail's IAN LADYMAN gives us his perspective on the week's major talking points.

LG to invest big in flexible OLED screens

Reports suggest LG is looking to make a major investment in flexible screens.LG is looking to make a major investment in flexible screens, with plans to spend around $1.7 billion on producing flexible OLED smartphone screens, according to The Verge. Flexible screens have already been used in phones such as the curved Galaxy S7 Edge and could become a leading smartphone feature in the coming years. Production of the new screens will take place at the OLED display factory that LG announced it would build last November.

Kolo Toure and Brendan Rodgers enjoy Celtic training before their International Champions Cup match against Barcelona in Dublin

The former Liverpool pair enjoyed Celtic's training session, as the club prepare to face Barcelona in Dublin on Saturday in the International Champions Cup.

25 iPhone tweaks that will make you want to jailbreak your phone

Apple fans celebrated in droves earlier this week as a new iOS jailbreak was finally released for the most recent versions of Apple's mobile platform, including the brand new iOS 9.3.3. It's not a perfect solution and it isn't a true untethered jailbreak, but it works very well and it's very easy to apply. In fact, as we explained in a recent post, you don't even have to connect your iPhone or iPad to a computer to jailbreak iOS 9.3.3 and other recent versions. Instead, you can do the whole thing on your device quickly and easily using a special web-based tool accessible in mobile Safari. Jailbreaking is easy indeed, but is it worthwhile? Wait, don't answer that question just yet. Check out the 25 hot iOS tweaks covered below first, and then decide. MUST SEE:  As an iPhone user, I couldn’t be more jealous of Google’s newest Android feature Why bother jailbreaking these days? iOS has gained so much new functionality over the years. And with iOS 10 on the horizon, iPhone and iPad users are about to get even more hot new features. Of course, Apple still limits much of what third-party app developers can do with their software, so jailbreaking is the only way to gain features that would be otherwise blocked from iOS devices. What kind of features do you stand to gain by jailbreaking? Check out the video below, which was created by YouTuber iCrackUriDevice and runs through 25 of the best jailbreak tweaks out there. Here are all of the hot tweaks listed in the video along with the time at which each one is covered: 2:05 - 1. Initialized 2:25 - 2. NoSlowAnimations 2:47 - 3. Cylinder 3:06 - 4. Breadcumb10 3:46 - 5. DeleteForever 4:16 - 6. NoAppStoreRedirect 4:38 - 7. GrabberTime 5:09 - 8. 20 Second Lockscreen 5:22 - 9. DoubleCut 6:19 - 10. PowerDown 7:05 - 11. AutoPause 7:32 - 12. LockGlyph 7:52 - 13. UntetheredHeySiri 8:12 - 14. PM, really? 8:51 - 15. TapTapFlip 8:59 - 16. iCleaner 10:07 - 17. Zeppelin 11:03 - 18. Alkaline 11:36 - 19. BatteryLife 12:17 - 20. NoMotion 12:57 - 21. NoLiveClock 13:34 - 22. iFile 14:14 - 23. VirtualHome 8 n 9 14:54 - 24. Anchor 15:41 - 25. MultiIconMover+ Remember, things can go wrong when you jailbreak and you might also void your device's warranty. But if you're comfortable with those risks, the payoff is pretty sweet, as you can see.

Halsey Bravely Opens Up About Suffering A Miscarriage Hours Before A Concert

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21-year-old Halsey shot to fame at record-breaking speed last year. From an outsider’s perspective, the singer, whose real name is Ashley Nicolette Frangipane, seemed to have it all: a chart-topping debut album, headlining tour, collaboration with Justin Bieber and tour dates with The Weeknd. But in reality, Halsey was holding on to a heartbreaking secret.

The singer revealed to Rolling Stone that she got pregnant on tour and later suffered a miscarriage. Halsey ended up performing later that same night and described the horrible experience to the magazine.

“I’m like, ‘I have to cancel this show!’ And everyone’s kind of like, ‘Well, it’s Vevo LIFT, and it’s 3 million impressions, so ...’ No one knew what to do,” Halsey said.

The singer, who said she was covered in blood only hours earlier in her hotel room, got her assistant to buy her adult diapers for her performance and took two Percocet before taking the stage.

“It’s the angriest performance that I’ve ever done in my life,” Halsey said.“That was the moment of my life where I thought to myself, ‘I don’t feel like a fucking human being anymore.’”

The 21-year-old faulted herself for the miscarriage, as so many women do, blaming her stressful lifestyle.

“I beat myself up for it because I think that the reason it happened is just the lifestyle I was living,” the singer said. “I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t doing drugs. I was fucking overworked —in the hospital every couple of weeks because I was dehydrated, needing bags of IVs brought to my greenroom. I was anemic, I was fainting. My body just broke the fuck down.”

Two of the most harmful myths surrounding this kind of loss perpetuate the notion that women ― or stressful events and long-term stress ― can cause a miscarriage.According to a study by Dr. Zev Williams, about 60 percent of miscarriages happen because of a chromosomal abnormality in the embryo.

Miscarriages happen in about one in five pregnancies, but since people don’t often talk about them, they seem rare. Because of this, it’s so important that we encourage supportive talk about miscarriage and listen and learn when women, like Halsey, open up about their losses.

“I want to be a mom more than I want to be a pop star,” the 21-year-old said. “More than I want to be anything in the world.”

To read the rest of Halsey’s interview with Rolling Stone, head here.

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If virtual reality fails, blame spiders

If virtual reality fails, blame spidersWhen historians look back decades from now, they may wonder what killed virtual reality in the ‘10s. The technology was finally cheap and sophisticated. Billions of dollars were poured into funding hardware and software. Even skeptics were slowly being won over. But then they will find this Reddit thread, and it will all make sense.The answer is spiders.If you’re arachnophobic, you may want to close this tab.Seriously, just do itEarly this morning, Reddit user Jhzanto went to r/Vive for some much-needed advice. "I had the headset on and I see a blob move in front of the right eye," they ...

As Paul Pogba signs for Manchester United and Jose Mourinho clears out the dead wood, how the Old Trafford club’s 24-man squad is shaping up

Jose Mourinho has wasted no time in cracking the whip at new club Manchester United, in both getting the four key players he wants in at Old Trafford and those he wants out too.

San Diego, North Korea, PGA Championship, Jason Bourne, …

San Diego North Korea PGA Championship Jason Bourne Katy Perry Marc Mezvinsky Arthur memes Lollapalooza How Old Is Hillary Clinton Cara Delevingne Kareem Abdul Jabbar Chandra Levy Jerry Doyle Meteor Shower Khizr Khan Mls All Star Game Hayes Grier Warren Sapp AMZN Hacksaw Ridge
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