Reuters: Technology News
last updated: Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:29:17 GMT

Dish revenue, profit beat as revenue per pay-TV user rises
(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit as it earned more per pay-TV subscriber and added broadband Internet users.









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BBC News - Technology
last updated: Tue, 04 Aug 2015 11:45:23 GMT

Could jet fly to New York in an hour?
Airbus has had a patent approved for a super-powered jet but how realistic is it?

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PC World - News RSS feed
last updated: Wed, 05 Aug 2015 12:19:43 +1000

The Upload: Your tech news briefing for Wednesday, August 5
China moving cops on-site at Internet companies... Do-Not-Track gets some bite...Lollipop lag shows Android is really fragmented...and more tech news.

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Tech News Headlines - Yahoo News
last updated: Wed, 05 Aug 2015 08:00:01 -0400

Video streaming, Batman drive Time Warner's profit beat

The Time Warner Cable Headquarters at Columbus Circle in the Manhattan borough of New York CityTurner, owner of channels such as CNN and TNT, said in April it granted exclusive subscription video-on-demand rights to its programs from Cartoon Network and Adult Swim to video-streaming service Hulu. The deal led to a 48 percent rise in content and other revenue at Turner in the second quarter ended June 30, Time Warner said on Wednesday. The company also benefited from an increase in television licensing revenue at its Warner Bros studio business as channels licensed its popular "The Big Bang Theory" comedy.


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We’ve become a nation of dobbers
EXPOSING bad behaviour sounds commendable, but as more amateur law enforcers turn to social media for justice, when does this trend go too far?

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CNET News
last updated: Tue, 04 Aug 2015 23:20:36 GMT

Gamescom 2015 is happening, so we discuss Microsoft's event (Tomorrow Daily 220)
Khail and Ashley break down Microsoft's press event at Gamescom in Germany, explain why an artist turned digital billboards into art for commuters and introduce you to "Emily," an android made for natural human conversation.









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​Parrot quietly cancels highly anticipated, Android-powered RNB6 car stereo
Parrot cancels plans to sell its Android Auto- and Apple CarPlay-compatible media receiver to the aftermarket.









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Get a 12-pack of ballpoint-stylus combo pens for $7.99
This nifty assortment seems almost too good to be true: Pen on one end, stylus tip on the other, colorful aluminum barrel down the middle.









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Living in the Matrix with 360-degree video
Thanks to 360-degree video, you can have eyes in the front, sides and back of your head.









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LG thinks yesteryear with its new Wine Smart handset
New Android smartphone sports a clamshell design and physical alphanumeric keyboard.









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Netflix offers 'unlimited' paid parental leave for a year
Allowing parents to take off as much time as the like during their children's first year, the policy aims to retain talent in tech's competitive landscape.









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Uuni 2 wood-fired pizza oven dials in an upgrade
The Uuni 2 is an affordable outdoor oven. Reaching temperatures in excess of 800 degrees, the wood-pellet oven brings pizza convenience to a new level.









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Watch the rise and fall of the Baratheons in one fan-made supercut
HBO's "Game of Thrones" began with one Baratheon on the Iron Throne and two others on the Small Council. This fan-made video shows the rise and fall of the once-great house of Westeros.









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Obama pushes for more diversity in tech
At the first-ever White House Demo Day, President Obama announces a series of initiatives to bring more women and minorities into the tech sector and urges the industry to "not leave half the team on the bench."









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Dear sexists, this is what engineers actually look like
Technically Incorrect: In response to criticism of an ad featuring a female engineer, the Twitter hashtag #Ilooklikeanegineer attracts pictures of the sort of people that some wouldn't expect.









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Here's everything Microsoft announced at Gamescom 2015
Germany's video game trade fair has begun; here's everything Microsoft announced.









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Amy Poehler, Megan Amram concoct satirical science Web show
"I love science, but I also love looking good." Megan Amram entertains with experiments and interviews while poking fun of gender stereotypes in a new comedy series for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls website.









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Drone delivers bundle of drugs to prison yard, causes serious hoopla
When a package containing heroin, marijuana and tobacco lands in a prison yard, things go pretty much the way you'd expect.









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Samsung gets the job done with this easy-to-use, quick-cooking range (pictures)
Samsung NE59J6730SB's cooking features and fast performance times make this range a worthwhile addition to the home kitchen.









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10 weird objects seen on Mars, explained (pictures)
From faces to crabs to jelly doughnuts, there's a history of entertaining images from Mars that amuse scientists and excite conspiracy theorists and alien fans.









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Five ways Microsoft just made the Xbox One a lot more attractive
Microsoft confirms its console will play older Xbox 360 games and get a fresher user interface in November. Next up: TV recording capabilities in 2016.









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Sometimes a crab-shaped rock on Mars is just a crab-shaped rock
Eagle-eyed alien fans spotted a crab-like formation in a Mars photo. It joins an illustrious lineage of weird objects photographed on the Red Planet.









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Amazon responds to furor over limits on Prime sharing
The online-retailing giant insists the changes were meant to expand access for families.









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The Lexus hoverboard is real, but it isn't coming to a skate park near you
The automaker has unveiled its "Slide" hoverboard at a custom-crafted skate park in Spain. Enjoy the video demonstration, but don't get any ideas about buying one.









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Taylor Swift meets 'Harry Potter' in mashup you didn't know you needed
A new fan-made song about "Harry Potter" is making the rounds, and this one brings the wizard into "Blank Space" by mashing up Potter stories with Taylor Swift melodies.









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BuzzFeed - Geeky
last updated: Mon, 03 Aug 2015 17:21:55 -0400

Mark Hamill Explains His Hilarious "Star Wars" Autographs

“Yes George, but just try ACTING to these scripts!”

Mark Hamill was probably already your personal hero.

Mark Hamill was probably already your personal hero.

The guy played Luke Skywalker, voiced the Joker in some of the greatest Batman projects ever, and recently reprised his role as the Trickster on The CW's The Flash.

LucasFilm

After seeing some of his hilarious autographs, though, you'll probably love him even more.

After seeing some of his hilarious autographs, though, you'll probably love him even more.

A collection of Star Wars trading cards with autographs and personal notes from Hamill were posted by autograph expert Steve Grad to his Facebook page this week and later picked up on sites like Imgur.

Steve Grad / Via Facebook: autographexpertstevegrad

BuzzFeed spoke exclusively to Mark Hamill, who verified the authenticity of the autographs.

BuzzFeed spoke exclusively to Mark Hamill, who verified the authenticity of the autographs.

"There are so many fake autographs out there," Hamill said, "but these ones are real."

Steve Grad / Via Facebook: autographexpertstevegrad

Hamill explained that the funny notes were partly for him, but mostly for the fans.

Hamill explained that the funny notes were partly for him, but mostly for the fans.

"I try to amuse myself because it gets mechanical," he said of signing so many Star Wars items over the years. "Sometimes it's just out of boredom of signing 'May the Force be with you,' I would write, 'Forcefully yours.'"

Those messages aren't for every fan, though; they're usually a special request. "That's usually for older people, not kids. The number one priority for me is to make the fan happy. If it's a 9-year-old boy who wants 'May the Force be with you,' that's what he's going to get."

Steve Grad / Via Facebook: autographexpertstevegrad


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TIME
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Why Startups Are Making the Expensive Switch to Traditional Employment
"After a while you realize that some of the trade-offs you were making weren’t really good trade-offs"

On-demand valet service Luxe announced Tuesday that they were expanding to an eighth city, Philadelphia—but that news was quickly eclipsed by a press release that went out about two hours later: the company announced that the hundreds of workers who run around cities like Philadelphia in bright blue Luxe jackets, picking up and delivering people’s cars wherever users are, will all be converted from independent contractors to traditional employees.

That’s a move that will cost Luxe, as well as other hot startups that are reverting to doing things the old-fashioned way (at least in part) amid a mess of lawsuits over the status of workers in the on-demand economy. But they stand to gain a lot in return.

Many Silicon Valley companies have followed in Uber’s tracks and developed business models that assume their armies of workers will be treated as contractors. While the brass can’t legally tell contractors when to be on the clock, how to do their job or what to wear, they also don’t have to pay them overtime or guarantee them minimum wage or remit payroll taxes. The savings for companies is huge—probably in the billions per year for a business like Uber.

But while traditional employees cost more, employers get to exercise far more control over them, telling them precisely what to do and how to do it and, for that matter, in what color and style of outfit.

“It has to do with controlling the user experience,” says Luxe CEO Curtis Lee of why they are “making the switch” two years after the service started in San Francsico.” After a while you realize that some of the trade-offs you were making weren’t really good trade-offs.”

Under the contractor model, Lee says, the leaders at Luxe hadn’t been able to schedule workers for unpopular hours like late nights on Friday and Saturday; they could only bribe them to come online with higher rates of pay, as Uber does with surge pricing. They couldn’t provide thorough training or demand that they be considerate of other valets. “Now we can actually say, ‘Hey, you need to address the customer in a certain manner,'” Lee says.

Kevin Gibbon, CEO of San Francisco-based Shyp, says they made the same change earlier this summer because they wanted more “quality control” over couriers responding to on-demand shipping orders. Sometimes the closest courier wouldn’t feel like doing a job, so users would be left waiting for a more willing courier who was 30 minutes away. Other times couriers would respond to a request and then refuse to take whatever the user wanted to ship, perhaps because it was too unwieldy. Under a contractor model, there wasn’t much they could do about that. “As a contractor you have the right to accept or reject a job,” Gibbon says. As employees, part of the job description can include accepting all requests.

As an employer, Shyp will have to reimburse employees for job-related expenses like gas and car maintenance. Managers will have to make sure workers are taking breaks. Yet Gibbon hopes that they’ll also get more loyalty from couriers, who will feel more attachment to the company and will be more likely to stick around—saving Shyp from onboarding someone new and gaining them the productivity of a more experienced courier. People who want more a career path and less of a temporary gig might be attracted to working for them instead of dozens of other startups, he says.

Both Gibbon and Lee deny that the slew of worker-status suits against companies like Uber, Lyft and delivery company Postmates have anything to do with their decisions to abandon the contractor model. But plenty of startups may look at a company like Homejoy and see a cautionary tale. The on-demand cleaning service recently put up its mop for good, saying the “deciding factor” was four lawsuits it was fighting over worker classification.

One of the companies fighting a class-action suit is Instacart, a rapidly growing $2-billion startup that facilitates on-demand grocery delivery. When the business started, most of their contractors were both shopping for groceries and then delivering them, but over time those jobs have split. While some workers still do both jobs, many either spend all their time shopping in a store or out delivering the bags. Instacart recently announced that after a successful pilot, they would be offering some in-store shoppers the chance to become employees.

“We quickly learned that there were a lot of improvements and efficiencies with this new model,” says Andrea Saul, VP of communications, who could not comment on the pending lawsuit. “Shoppers got better and more accurate at picking items, so we had fewer order issues. Shoppers also got faster at picking items, so we had more on time deliveries.”

Instacart also noticed a better retention rate among those granted employee status and found them easier to integrate into the company culture. “Ultimately, even though the model was costlier for us, the change improved our customer’s experience,” says Saul. The lawyers pursuing the case applauded the change but say it doesn’t affect the years of expenses, for instance, they believe are due to more than 10,000 workers. Those delivering groceries continue to shell out for their own gas and car maintenance.

The main argument that companies like Uber make is that forcing them to classify their drivers—or cleaners or delivery people—as employees would force them to do away with the freedom and flexibility that attracts many workers to the on-demand economy. Contractors get to work as much as they want when they want. “If I don’t want to go out one night because my stomach’s upset or there’s a Game of Thrones marathon on or my cats are being really cuddly, I’m just not going to go out,” says Chicago-based Christopher Gutierrez, who loves driving for Lyft. “I can’t have middle management telling me things and having to abide by different codes.”

In a recent motion fighting a class action suit, Uber’s lawyers said they might be forced to change their entire business model, making drivers work in set shifts and requiring that drivers work only for Uber.

The smaller companies making this change say they’ll be able to retain flexible hours. Luxe’s Lee says they’ll set no maximum or minimum valets have to work or tell part-time workers they can’t also work for Lyft. While he expects more companies to follow in their footsteps, he also says that he doesn’t believe that the traditional employment model works for every company. Like a growing chorus of Silicon Valley disrupters and academics, he believers America should rethink employment.

“There are two old paradigms that were created long, long ago in a different world,” he says. “There really needs, eventually, at some point, to be maybe like a third classification.” The great unknown is what, even if there was the political will to create such a thing, that third category would look like.

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Twitter / liamalexander
last updated: Mon, 08 Oct 2012 07:22:42 +0000

liamalexander: My daily stats: 12 new followers, 9 new unfollowers via http://t.co/hROlspGI
liamalexander: My daily stats: 12 new followers, 9 new unfollowers via http://t.co/hROlspGI

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Twitter / Favorites from liamalexander
last updated: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 22:44:57 +0000

alanjonesUK: RT @PopSci: Scientists finally have some answers about the mysterious "dark matter" in the human genome: http://t.co/Gm4Fh0B6
alanjonesUK: RT @PopSci: Scientists finally have some answers about the mysterious "dark matter" in the human genome: http://t.co/Gm4Fh0B6

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Ask the Guru
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Captain marketing phone number - We are a SEO, SEM, and online advertising firm based in Los Angeles. Our experts specialize in search engine optimization, Intern

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Stumble
last updated: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 22:09:20 +0000
The Next Web
last updated:

This Chrome extension shows you amazing code demos on every new tab
Aug 05, 2015 1:57 PM
Aspiring Web developer? Get inspiration with Code Doodles, a Chrome extension that shows you an incredible code demos every time you open a new tab. The extension randomly selects Web experiments that require only a short attention span and load quickly from its curated collection. Each one will inspire the Web developer in you to figure out how it works — I’m now obsessed with figuring out how to build them! Each demo includes a link to the author’s website, the GitHub repository for the code and a brief description. Heads up, though: you may find yourself endlessly distracted every time you…

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