Now that it’s getting warm out, doesn’t a nice cold smoothie sound so nice and appetizing? Probably not a PooPoo smoothie though, right?
Well, that’s the name of Burger King China’s latest cold drink, Kotaku reports. But don’t let the name deceive you. Apparently, the PooPoo smoothie is quite delicious. Its Chinese name is something that roughly translates to “mango ice smoothie with blow up pearls cold beverage” which is a much more accurate description than “PooPoo.”
According to Kotaku:
The PooPoo* Smoothie is pretty much like a Taiwanese Boba Tea. It’s a mango flavored slushie with what tastes like lychee flavored “pulp pearls” on the bottom of the cup. It’s topped off with a swirl of soft serve vanilla ice cream. I asked for chocolate but the staff didn’t get the joke.
That sounds delightful, doesn’t it? But like, naming it the PooPoo smoothie will clearly affect sales in a very negative way. Maybe Burger King’s marketing team should have thought this one through a bit further.
A growing number of adults say they have had personal information stolen online, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project announced Monday.
In a poll conducted in January, 18 percent of Internet-using adults claimed to have had important personal data stolen, such as their bank account information or Social Security number. In a similar poll from July 2013, only 11 percent of adults claimed to have been victims of data theft.
Additionally, one in five adult internet users (21 percent) reported having an email account or a social networking account taken over or used without permission. That statistic has not changed since the July 2013 poll.
The findings come amid concern over the discovery of the Heartbleed bug, a two-year-old security flaw that may affect nearly two-thirds of active sites on the Internet and is motivating many to change their passwords.
Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester filmed his daughter Lotte growing up every day from when she was a newborn in 1999 to 14 years old to produce this four-minute timelapse video. His 2012 video of Lotte from age 0 to 12 in 2:45 minutes has 4.3 million views to date.
Hofmeester, who has also produced footage of his son Vince growing up, explained in an op-ed in The Guardian that he makes these timelapse videos because it has been a way for him to bond with his children. He used the Saturday morning shoots as an opportunity to ask them how their weeks went and about their likes and dislikes.
On a larger scale, he writes, “this is the most photographed and filmed generation ever, but what are we actually doing with these pictures? They just sit in a file on the computer…We don’t often look at the photographs we take, not in the same way that an artist would look at his paintings.”
At least 16 people are dead from wildfires burning around the coastal town of Valparaiso, Chile.
Strong winds have fanned the flames, making it difficult for firefighters to stop the blaze from spreading to over 2,000 acres. The fire has so far consumed 500 homes, and displaced at least 10,000 people. To curb looting, the Chilean government has called in police from all over the country. Officials are also drawing up a plan to evacuate a nearby prison that is in danger of being swallowed by the flames.
A worldview is the way someone thinks about the world. Everyone has a worldview, whether they know it or not. This word came up often during many of my sociology and psychology classes, and it came up even more often as I was studying behavioral science. MoreUnlocking Our Digital Sixth Sense with Mobile TechnologyWhy TED MattersMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostWhite Supremacist Charged in Kansas Shooting Deaths People
When we talk about worldviews, we often talk about religious ones, political ones, scientific ones or philosophical ones. As I began studying consumers when I joined Creative Strategies in 2000, however, I started applying this thinking to technology. I started exploring how different segments of consumers may have shaped or were in the process of shaping technological worldviews. Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants
I shared on my blog how my upbringing shaped my technological worldview. My worldview is that of an early adopter. My wife, on the other hand, is a textbook late adopter. I approach technology emotionally, whereas she approaches technology pragmatically. I have to have the latest and greatest gadgets, and she will use her smartphone until it is no longer usable. Even then, she will loathe the fact that it didn’t last longer. Our personalities, exposure to certain types of technology, environments and more all contributed to each of our technological worldviews.
It can get complex when you start to peel back the onion of how and why a particular consumer’s technological worldview was formed. However, it is extremely helpful when trying to understand consumers and how they may think about technology products. It is also very helpful in my line of work as I try to understand adoption cycles.
As of late, I have stumbled onto something interesting that’s related to technological worldviews. I have started to gain insight into how consumers in mature markets like the U.S. and Western Europe and how consumers in emerging markets like China, India, Africa, and others have come to shape very different sets of technological worldviews.
For example, here in the West, most of our entry points to computing and the Internet have been desktop or notebook PCs. This is the foundation for a Western technological worldview. Taking this point even deeper, your preference of operating system — Windows or OS X, for example — could also play a role in your worldview. The main point, however, is that this particular technological worldview’s foundation was set with a personal computer of some type. This is why so many in the West have a hard time grasping the idea that a PC is a legacy computer, and things like tablets, phablets, and smartphones are becoming more central computing devices.
In contrast, for consumers in many emerging markets, the entry point to computing and the Internet is a smartphone. This shapes their technological worldviews in very different ways than it does Western consumers. This is the one major issue I see standing in the way of the chat apps that are popular in emerging markets attempting to penetrate more developed markets. These applications like WeChat, LINE, and WhatsApp were born out of very different circumstances, targeting groups with very different technological worldviews. This is not to say that they can’t be successful in Western markets, but it hints that the value propositions of these apps may need to be something other than the fact that they’re appealing to consumers in emerging markets.
Similarly to consumers in emerging markets, we now have generations of consumers who are extremely comfortable with technology and know nothing but being constantly connected via mobile devices. My kids, for example, have no frame of reference of a world where they can’t use a smart device for real-time communication, information and entertainment. This will shape their technological worldviews, opening doors for new challenges and new opportunities.
Understanding different technological worldviews and how they can be applied to classes of consumers in every market can help us understand the many nuances that make up the global markets for personal technology devices — and the consumers who will buy them.
Bajarin is a principal at Creative Strategies Inc., a technology-industry-analysis and market-intelligence firm in Silicon Valley. He contributes to the Big Picture opinion column that appears here every week
U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday following news that U.S. retail sales in March rose by the largest amount in 18 months. Citigroup also turned in better-than-expected quarterly results, helping cheer investors anticipating a sluggish earnings season.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,827 in the first half-hour of trading. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 84 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,111. The Nasdaq added 30 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,029.
The S&P 500 dropped 2.7 percent last week, its worst weekly showing since January. The Nasdaq composite notched its third consecutive weekly decline.
CITI: Citigroup reported a 2.5 percent increase in first-quarter profit. Both income and revenue beat Wall Street’s expectations. The lender got a boost from improving results in its Citi Holdings unit, which is selling off assets such as mortgages that soured in the financial crisis. Citi’s shares surged $1.90, or 4.2 percent, to $47.59.
SALES UP: Retail sales rose 1.1 percent in March, the best showing since September 2012, the Commerce Department reported. The government also revised February’s figure to a 0.7 percent gain, more than double its previous estimate. Sales dropped in January and December.
OVERSEAS: Europe markets were little changed. Germany’s DAX fell 0.1 percent while France’s CAC-40 rose 0.04 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was flat. In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.2 percent.
BONDS AND COMMODITIES: In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note inched up to 2.64 percent from 2.63 percent late Friday. The price of crude oil slipped 15 cents to $103.56 a barrel. Gold rose $7 to $1,326.10 an ounce.
As tonight’s Passover Seder approaches, I was amused to see the New York Times pondering whether iPads and other devices should be allowed at the table for the annual Jewish holiday:
“We want to keep the kids paying attention, instead of dryly rushing through something with people all looking at how-many-pages-until-we-eat while the kids are trying to start tossing parsley at each other,” said David Salama, 36, an anesthesiologist in Huntington Woods, Mich., who downloaded four Passover-related apps on his phone in recent weeks.
In addition to using an e-Haggadah at the Seder he and his father will lead, Dr. Salama plans to encourage his 8-year-old son to play a game on his iPod Touch about the 10 plagues.
I’m currently in Maryland to celebrate the holiday with my family, and we were just having this debate over the weekend. It’s a topic that seems to be gaining momentum, with articles in the Jewish press preceding the Times‘ story.
There’s no right or wrong answer, at least for Reform Jews, and even conservative rabbis in the Times‘ story seem divided. (I’m assuming this debate isn’t happening in Orthodox circles, where electronics are forbidden during holidays.)
In my family’s case, we agreed the risk isn’t so much with being smitten by God, but with being distracted by all the other things a tablet can offer. It may be tempting, for instance, to peek at a Facebook notification or glance at your inbox when the iPad is already in your hands. And kids may have less willpower than adults in that regard.
In any case, we’re leaving the tablets off the table this year, though my mother says she’ll revisit the topic when her grandkids are a few years older. Something tells me we’ll still be having this debate then.
In the latest “Kids React” video produced by the Fine Bros comedy troupe, youngsters learn how to use a cassette player, a feat so challenging that one girl declares herself “a survivor” for sticking with the task for so long, while another likens herself to Indiana Jones. It may be a useful skill to learn, however, because there is a renewed interest in cassette tapes, which celebrated their 50th birthday in August 2013. (h/t ViralViralVideos)
It’s not the first time we’ve seen in-game footage of Star Citizen — not by a long shot — but it is a lovely, long, lens-flare-blue gander at Chris Roberts’ flamboyantly crowd-funded (to the tune of $41 million and climbing) deep-space simulator. The game won’t be out until 2015 (and then, I’d guess if we’re lucky), but it looks to be coming along nicely, though most of what you’ll see here is a little mundane. MoreInterview: Sid Meier’s Civilization Beyond Earth Might Be the Alpha Centauri Sequel You’ve Been Waiting ForHere’s How Far Mario Travels in Super Mario Bros.Men Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostSelena Gomez and Justin Bieber Hit Coachella Together People
Armaments, check. Dogfighting, check. A window-dressing planet, check. G-forces callout, check. The most interesting wrinkle may be the in-helmet radar, which illustrates a lock-on using quarter-circle brackets that tumble from foreground to background like the halo of stars in Paramount Pictures’ pre-movie logo. In other words, a little distracting and unnecessary. In fact I thought it was a new type of weapon at first.
“You should probably skip to 3:16,” the person who put up the YouTube video snapped at Pax East 2014 advises. Yep, you probably should, because those first three minutes are just the demonstrator crashing and restarting.
Space is boring. It’s unfathomably big. Not a lot happens. It’s nowhere near as interesting as Alfonso Cuaron’s beautifully shot but ultimately nonsensical fantasy version. You have to add noise and nonsense physics and time compression and narrative silliness to make it interesting.
That’s not this demo, which is more about proving that in 2014, we still know how to design vertical and horizontal strafe, that bodies in zero-G cockpits can still respond to gravitational forces, that asteroid fields can be more enticing if you drop them in low-orbit near a planet (pity the poor occupants of that planet, assuming it’s occupied, who probably have extinction events routinely) and that different weapons firing simultaneously look nifty so long as the tracers are color-coordinated.
But then we’re looking at the disjointed scraps of something that’s not even a game yet. The apparently high school-age audience (that mistook a space sim demo for a sporting event where dimwits shout half-intelligbly) didn’t seem to mind. Yes, the demonstrator bounces off an asteroid toward the end (several times). Did you think that was a feature? That you were watching a representation of what you’ll play in one or maybe two years?
Mind you, a Digital Combat Simulator game Star Citizen will never be. If all you want is painstakingly bleeding-edge Newtonian fidelity, you want DCS, whose simulations are peerless. But give Star Citizen‘s design team time to figure out where, between arcade and simulation poles, it wants to be. Chris Roberts’ first Wing Commander leaned firmly toward the former, but his later games grew in complexity and depth. Star Citizen looks increasingly like it might slot somewhere in the vicinity of Egosoft’s X-series, meaning fairly sim-ish — and that’s to say nothing of the trading or living universe elements we haven’t seen yet.
When Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2 arrived last October, I was among the first to get one, heading out to a nearby Microsoft Store on launch day to claim my pre-order. I’d been waiting a long time for a 2-in-1 device that was powerful enough as a laptop, comfortable enough to use as a tablet and still lighter than my other laptops. The Surface Pro 2 seemed to fit the bill, though it was more expensive than what I’d originally hoped to pay. MoreNvidia Shield Takes PC Gaming on the Road, but Mileage May Vary [Update]Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Review: A Classy Windows Tablet, with QuirksMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostSelena Gomez and Justin Bieber Hit Coachella Together People
My impressions were mostly positive after 30 days with the Surface Pro 2, but I did have some issues, particularly with the software. Now that six months have passed, and Microsoft has released a major update for Windows 8.1, I’m ready to re-evaluate: Still Digging the Hybrid Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants
Read enough Surface Pro 2 reviews, and you might internalize this refrain: It’s too heavy as a tablet, and too awkward as a laptop. It’s an understandable complaint. The Surface Pro 2 is trickier to balance on your knees, and its 2-pound frame isn’t comfortable enough to hold up with one hand. You must also get used to the idea that the Surface is foremost a device that you use in landscape mode.
But by forcing the Surface into those molds overlooks the ways that the hardware excels. The integrated kickstand lets you use the tablet while laying in bed, without holding it up with your hands or strapping on a separate stand, and you can even fold the keyboard underneath for added stability. Compared to larger touchscreen laptops, the Surface’s compact size is easier to use on an airplane tray table, and when it’s in your lap, you don’t have to reach as far to touch the screen. The Surface Pro 2′s design has a lot to offer, but only if you can get beyond the preconceived notions of what a tablet or laptop should do. Unexpected Annoyance: Booting Up
Some Windows devices offer “Connected Standby,” which lets them stay on Wi-Fi while sleeping and pull in updates from the Internet, but the Surface Pro 2 isn’t one of them. I didn’t think I’d be too inconvenienced by the few seconds it takes to wake the Surface from a sleep state, but as the months have passed, it has become a mental barrier when I’m reaching for a computing device. Those extra seconds, plus the time it takes to reestablish a Wi-Fi connection and reconnect to all my Internet services, are just enough for me to reach for my smartphone or another tablet for quick hits of e-mail or Twitter, saving the Surface for more intensive tasks. The Trackpad Is No Longer Awful
It’s funny how the mind works. Before Microsoft added double tap-and-drag support to the Type Cover 2 and Touch Cover 2 last week, I’d start feeling annoyed before I even tried to drag and drop anything. Almost every time, I’d run into problems while trying to hold down the trackpad’s tiny button with one hand, and drag my finger around with the other. My frustration was so hard-wired that it’s taken me a few days to stop dreading every text selection or drag-and-drop operation. But it’s much better now.
Not all is right with the Type Cover 2, however. Responsiveness to two-finger scrolling is still widly inconsistent from one app to the next, and there’s still a dead zone as you scroll your fingers down from the top of the trackpad, taking away from what is already a small surface to work with. I use the touchscreen more often than I expected, but not always because I want to. Windows 8.1 Still Feels Unpolished (and It’s Not Always Microsoft’s Fault)
Windows in its current state is a vast improvement over the version that shipped in 2012, but it’s still not living up to its potential. Partly, that’s because of third-party Windows Store apps. The selection of high-quality apps is too small, and the ones that do exist aren’t always up to par with other platforms (ahem, MLB.tv). And I’m sorely missing a Windows Store version of HipChat, which, if it existed, would probably let me cut out the desktop completely in my daily work routine.
The operating system itself also introduces its own problems. On some occasions, a chunk of battery life has vanished for reasons unclear. And when I’m watching a video on the desktop, Windows doesn’t seem to understand that it should stay awake, which means I can’t use Chromecast without switching to a separate power profile that never sleeps. If I do that, I have to make sure to switch back when I’m finished watching. I shouldn’t have to think about it at all.
Oh, and Google Chrome is still atrocious on the Surface. Proper support for the tablet’s high-pixel density display is absent, and one update earlier this year actually stopped the Type Cover 2 from scrolling properly. Feeling Conflicted About a More Windowed Windows
One of the major new features in the Windows 8.1 update is the ability to display Windows Store apps on the taskbar. With this option enabled, the taskbar doesn’t stay confined to the desktop. It actually pops up on the Start screen and inside Windows Store apps when you move the cursor to the bottom of the screen.
I understand that this is one more step toward letting people stay out of the new interface entirely, while still letting them enjoy new kinds of Windows apps. This plan will be complete later this year, with the restoration of the Start menu and a windowing system for apps. But it also feels like a retreat from having the desktop as just one app among many — something you’d fall back to when modern apps weren’t enough. As polarizing as that idea was, I liked it.
For now, these new features can be disabled, and maybe it’ll stay that way, but that’s beside the point. Having all these options adds complexity to a system that should be getting simpler. Do I launch Twitter through the taskbar on the bottom, or the recent apps list on the right? There’s no good reason for me to have to make that decision. My Wife May Have Fallen for the Novelty
I previously wrote that my wife was smitten with the Surface Pro 2. But over the last few months, the things I’ve mentioned here have added up. She gets annoyed by the erratic behavior of Chrome, the dinky trackpad, the occasional bugs and the smallness of desktop elements on the screen. She’s less receptive to Windows Store apps than I am, so her attempts at using touch on the desktop have led to frustration. It’s a hassle to keep finding the stylus, because the Surface Pro 2 offers no place to store it while the charging cable is plugged in. She still uses the Surface for Office, and enjoys whipping together flyers in Publisher with the touchscreen, but for basic e-mail and Calendar tasks, she often reaches for our Chromebook instead. It Still Has Its Magic Moments
Despite these criticisms, I don’t regret the purchase. The Surface Pro 2 still serves the purpose I had in mind from the start: It’s powerful and capable enough for my work (and even for some PC gaming), but lets me switch into consumption mode without pulling out a separate device. Those times when I’m moving back and forth — for instance, to slack off on Twitter between spurts of writing — are when it all clicks.
The Book of Mormon continued its reign as a critical darling of musical theater on Sunday night, scoring four Olivier Awards statues at Britain’s version of the Tonys.
The musical created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, which opened in London’s West End in Feb. 2013, snagged the statues for Best New Musical, Best Actor for Gavin Creel, Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Stephen Ashfield, and Best Theatre Choreographer for Casey Nicholaw.
The Book of Mormon’s success at the Olivier Awards echoes its performance at the 2011 Tony Awards in New York, when the comedy musical won a whopping nine awards, including Best Musical.
Also earning a stack of awards was the drama Chimerica, Lucy Kirkwood’s play about an American photojournalist on a mission to find a long-captured subject of a photo he snapped at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The play won awards for Best New Play, Best Director for Lyndsey Turner, and Best Set Design and tied for awards for Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design. (Turner also happened to be one of three women who was nominated for the prestigious directing award, which marks a surprising contrast to film awards.)
Two stars of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire dedicated the MTV Movie Awards’ biggest honor to their late co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman on Sunday night.
“I know that if Philip were here, he would think this was really cool,” Josh Hutcherson said alongside Sam Claflin, while both accepted the award for Movie of the Year. “To have him in our movies was one of the coolest things in the world. He’s one of the actors I’ve looked up to my entire life, and we think about him every day on set. Wherever he is, this definitely goes out to him.”
Hoffman died of a toxic drug mix in February, according to a medical examiner. Though his death rocked the cast of the record-breaking film series, it has not posed major production problems for the final two Hunger Games movies, the first of which opens in theaters in November.
Can you picture a glitzy, extravagant update of a Western classic? It seems like Baz Luhrmann can.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Luhrmann — the Australian auteur of The Great Gatsby, Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! – is in talks to direct Kung Fu, a big-screen adaptation of the 1970s martial arts Western series. The show starred David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine, a Shaolin monk who travels through the American Old West. The show was cult favorite and also the origin of the oft-repeated phrase “young grasshopper.”
THR also reports that if Luhrmann does sign on, he’d likely do a rewrite on the script, penned by Black Swan writer John McLaughlin, which is currently thought to be set in China, rather than the Old West. There’s no details on what vision Luhrmann would bring to the remake, but considering his past films — which have used 3D, music and fish tanks with varying levels of success — the possibilities are endless.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on Monday claimed the upper hand in what he described as a “turning point” in the country’s civil war, reports the BBC.
Government forces loyal to Assad have been gradually reclaiming rebel-held towns near the border of Lebanon for the last few months. The president’s army has also managed to secure Syria’s main north-south highway, allowing them to cut off crucial supplies to the rebels. Assad claimed this showed his forces winning what he called the “war against terror.”
“This is a turning point in the crisis,” said Assad. The president is expected to announce soon that he will run for a third term in office.
Since the civil war between rebels and pro-government forces erupted in Syria over two years ago, more than 150,000 people have been killed and millions more have been driven out of their homes.