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Updated: 16 min 12 sec ago

Twitter Has a Massive Plan to Conquer Your Data

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:58

Twitter is purchasing its long-time data partner Gnip in order to sell more sophisticated products built from the Twitter dataset. The social network has historically sold access to its so-called firehose—the never-ending stream of all public tweets—to a few select companies, who then license that data to businesses and academics.

By purchasing Gnip, Twitter will be able to directly cut deals with the companies that want to use its data. “We want to make our data even more accessible, and the best way to do that is to work directly with our customers to get a better understanding of their needs,” Twitter wrote in a blog post. “Together we plan to offer more sophisticated data sets and better data enrichments, so that even more developers and businesses big and small around the world can drive innovation using the unique content that is shared on Twitter.”

Gnip currently provides its customers with access to data from a variety of online platforms, including Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare. It’s not clear whether Twitter will renew contracts to access these companies’ datasets, or whether these companies will allow it. Gnip’s current customers, such as the Library of Congress, will continue have access to Twitter data, the company said in the announcement of the deal. Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment; no deal price was disclosed.

Twitter made $70 million in 2013 selling access to tweets to Gnip and other data resellers, up from $47 million in 2012. Corporations like IBM and Oracle pay tens of thousands of dollars per month for access to the Twitter firehose, Gnip CEO Chris Moody told TIME last fall. LinkedIn, which directly offers businesses access to all of its users’ resumes through its Recruiter tool, has proven that licensing social data can be extremely lucrative. By bringing data sales in-house, Twitter may be hoping to imitate that success.

The company, which posted a small profit for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2013, has faced a slumping stock price in the last two months due to investor worries about slowing user growth and an overall decline in the tech sector.

Categories: Magazines

Watch Oprah Make Pharrell Williams Cry

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:57

While Pharrell Williams may be known for being happy, Oprah Winfrey made him cry.

The frequently-hatted singer stopped by Oprah Prime for a heart-to-heart chat with the talk show host. The wide-ranging conversation between the two celebrities covered everything from Williams’s humble beginnings to his career trajectory that kept him behind-the-scenes for so long to marriage and fatherhood, including why he named his son Rocket.

But the waterworks didn’t start until Oprah questioned Williams about his big year in music: 2013, a.k.a. the Year of Pharrell when “Lucky” (his collaboration with Daft Punk), “Blurred Lines” (his song with Robyn Thicke), and his own debut solo album, Girls, all topped the charts and made Williams a superstar.

When Oprah showed a clip of people around the world, from Iceland to Malawi, dancing to his hit song “Happy”, Williams burst into tears. They may be tears of joy, but still: Oprah definitely made Pharrell Williams cry.

MORE: Alicia Keys, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams Star In Video For “It’s On Again”

MORE: Watch an Adorable Children’s Choir Perform Pharrell’s ‘Happy’

Categories: Magazines

Suspect In Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:43

(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — Kansas prosecutors filed state-level murder charges Tuesday against the white supremacist accused in shootings that left three people dead at two Jewish community sites in suburban Kansas City.

Frazier Glenn Cross has been charged with one count of capital murder for the deaths of 14-year-old boy and his grandfather outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said at a news conference. Cross also faces one count of first-degree, premeditated murder for the death of a woman who was gunned down while visiting her mother at a nearby retirement complex.

The capital murder charge carries the death penalty as possible punishment, Howe said. Cross is being held on $10 million bond, and is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Johnson County District Court.

Cross, a 73-year-old Vietnam War veteran from southwest Missouri, founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in his native North Carolina and later the White Patriot Party. His activities have long drawn the attention of hate-group monitors, and federal prosecutors say there’s enough evidence to warrant putting the case before a grand jury as a hate crime. Moving the case from state to federal prosecutors would likely mean tougher punishments if Cross is convicted.

He’s suspected of killing 69-year-old physician William Lewis Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, outside the community center of Greater Kansas City. Both were Methodist.

Moments later, Terri LaManno, a 53-year-old Catholic occupational therapist and mother of two, was gunned down outside a Jewish retirement complex where she was visiting her mother.

Cross shouted “Heil Hitler” at television cameras as he was arrested. Sunday’s killings shocked the city on the eve of Passover and refocused attention on the nation’s problem with race-related violence.

Categories: Magazines

Casino Pays Out In Poker Tourney With Fake Chips

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:07

(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) — A New Jersey casino is reimbursing players in a poker tournament that was suspended after counterfeit chips were discovered.

More than 2,100 entrants who finished outside the top 450 and played in the same room as the North Carolina man who is accused of introducing the fake chips will get $560, including a refund of their $60 entry fees from the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

The final 27 players are to share the remaining prize money, which comes to $19,323 each.

The 423 gamblers who fell outside the top 27 but in the money are not to get further payments. But those who have not been paid will be.

All entrants will get back their $60 fee under the deal, which was ordered by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Between fees refunds and prizes, the casino is to pay out $1.7 million.

The Borgata enhanced security and introduced more intricate chips for its poker tournament last week.

Christan Lusardi of Fayetteville, N.C., was charged with theft and rigging a public contest after the January tournament was suspended over the fake chips.

Authorities said Lusardi, suspecting his fake chips had been noticed, flushed them down the toilet in his hotel room at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, where he had been staying. But the chips clogged the pipes, and guests on the floor below complained that water was dripping into their rooms.

Maintenance was called, and they found the chips, with a tournament value of 2.7 million, although they had no actual cash value.

Lusardi is in custody awaiting trial, and it’s unclear whether he has hired an attorney.

Categories: Magazines

Amazon Says It Won’t Accept Bitcoin

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:05

America’s largest online retailer has no plans to hop on the Bitcoin bandwagon. Amazon’s head of payments told Re/Code that the company has no current plans to accept the digital currency. “Obviously it gets a lot of press and we have considered it,” he said, “but we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them.”

Despite widespread media coverage, Bitcoin is not currently accepted by many traditional retailers. is one of the largest online stores to accept the currency. Several vendors of digital cift cards, such as Gyft and eGifter, do accept Bitcoin, so people can buy cards through those channels and then spend them at Wal-Mart, Target and other big stores.

The value of Bitcoins has fluctuated wildly in the last week on conflicting reports that Chinese government is planning to ban the country’s banks from working with Bitcoin-related businesses. The currency was valued at $495 early Tuesday.

Categories: Magazines

Game of Thrones Breaks Piracy Record

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:00

The Game of Thrones season premiere saw problems for people trying to watch via HBO Go and a record number of viewers for the network — but less scrupulous fans of the show are turning to other ways to watch.

According to filesharing news site TorrentFreak, the April 13 episode of Thrones — the season’s second — set a new record for filesharing “swarming” via the client BitTorrent, which means that loads of users were congregating around a single file at the same time. The stand-out pirated copy of the episode in question was shared by 193,418 people at one time. The site estimates that the episode was downloaded 1.5 million times over the course of its first day; Australia was the country responsible for the most sharing.

As TorrentFreak notes, the new record for simultaneous sharing doesn’t indicate overall viewership. Though the peak sharing moment for the first episode of the season involved only 140,000 people sharing the file in question, that doesn’t mean more people weren’t accessing it during a wider time span.

And for the fans who have yet to see the episode, they better get a move on (preferably legally) before it’s too late — spoilers like these aren’t likely to stay secret for long.

Categories: Magazines

Here’s How You Can Hide Those Annoying TV Spoilers on Social Media

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:59

You know that panicky feeling you get when you log onto Twitter or Facebook when you’re an episode behind on one of your favorite TV shows? When you just know somebody is going to be a life ruiner by revealing a major Game of Thrones or Scandal plot point?

Well, thanks to this handy Google Chrome extension called Silencer, you can banish those spoilers from your Twitter and Facebook feeds. It’s simple: once you install it, you type in any keywords that you don’t want to see mentioned. So it’s great if you want to avoid any TV-related status updates, but really, it can be used for anything. Let’s say you don’t want to read any updates about your Facebook friends’ engagements. You can type in things like “engagement” and “He put a ring on it!” and “She said yes!” and “I get to marry my best friend!” so any status updates containing any of these phrases will vanish.

Silencer also offers “Mute Packs” for popular shows like True Blood and Orange Is the New Black so you can automatically filter out any terms related to those programs.

The extension only works for Twitter and Facebook, so you still have to watch out for spoilers on Instagram or Tumblr or, you know, real-life conversations. Luckily, though, you can always avoid those real-life spoilers by simply never talking to anyone, ever.

(h/t Wired)

Categories: Magazines

VIDEO: Mindy Kaling Rants About Birthdays on Conan

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:48

Mindy Kaling stopped by Conan Monday night to express the deep displeasure she has when coworkers celebrate birthdays at work.

The Mindy Project star discussed everything from the tempo at which her coworkers sing “Happy Birthday” to why she doesn’t give her writers birthday presents.

“Everyone was like, ‘You’re a dictator! Go back to North Korea! We wanna have mirth at our workplace!’” Kaling said.

The only question is: what happens when it’s her birthday?

Categories: Magazines

Report: 200 Schoolgirls Abducted In Nigeria

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:36

Terrorists reportedly attacked a school in Chibok, Nigeria, and abducted hundreds of schoolgirls on Monday night.

Parents of the students told a BBC affiliate that at least 200 girls had been taken from the school in Borno state to the east of the country, and that the attackers were thought to be from the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram.

The girls were reportedly ordered into lorries and driven away. Local media is reporting that two members of the school’s security were killed and there were many other properties that were burned down during the attack, the BBC reports. It’s at least the second major attack on a school this year.

On Monday, bombings in Abuja, Nigeria that killed 70 people were also blamed on Boko Haram. The extremist group is opposed to Western education, and wants to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state. Over 1,500 deaths this year are blamed on the group.


Categories: Magazines

Holder Seeks $15 Million to Train Cops for Mass Shootings

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:26

Attorney General Eric Holder called on Congress Tuesday to approve $15 million of special funds to help train law enforcement for mass shooting situations.

Holder’s request comes in the wake of recent shootings at Fort Hood in Texas and a Jewish Community Center in Kansas amid a growing sense that mass shootings are on the rise in the United States. Three people were killed in each shooting. Holder said active shooter incidents have tripled in frequency since 2009.

“Today, I am urging Congress to approve President Obama’s request for $15 million for active shooter training and other officer safety initiatives, “ Holder said in a recorded statement. “This critical funding would help the Justice Department ensure that America’s police officers have the tools and guidance they need to effectively respond to active shooter incidents whenever and wherever they arise.”

Categories: Magazines

No Salary, No Benefits, No Sleep: This Is The World’s Toughest Job

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:17

A company placed this classified ad looking to fill a Director of Operations position.

The job had a mandatory 135+ hours a week of work and required the job holder to be on call at all times, day or night. Qualified candidates should have a knowledge of psychology, medicine, personal finance, culinary arts and basic technology skills. The job also had physical requirements: the ability to stand for hours, lift up to 75 pounds, be constantly moving and operate on little to no sleep.

While the nation’s jobless claims may have dropped to the lowest levels since 2007, 24 people responded to the job posting at Rehtom, Inc., even though the position offered no medical or dental benefits, no pension and no paid holidays, but did offer “infinite opportunities for personal growth and rewards.”

The 24 applicants were interviewed via webcam. That’s when they got the surprise of their life. The video is worth watching all the way to the end.

[Via Adweek]

MORE: It Doesn’t Matter Where You Go to College

MORE: Here Are the Absolute Best (and Worst) Jobs of the Future

Categories: Magazines

Donald Glover Says He Wants to Split With His Record Label

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:11

Donald Glover has had a remarkably busy year: First he quit NBC’s Community, the most prominent acting gig of his career. Then in December he dropped his second studio album, Because the Internet, which proved to be as much a multimedia experience as it was a hip-hop record. Now, he’s in the midst of a lengthy tour to promote that album, but it looks like he’s making one more change in his career: dropping label Glassnote Records.

The artist (known musically as Childish Gambino) dropped the video for Because the Internet track “Sweatpants” and unveiled a new blog on Monday, but he made it fairly apparent that there was turmoil behind the scenes:

so this sweatpants video and blog was important to us.—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

and it wasnt handled correctly.—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

we were told a lot of things were gonna happen and they were all lies. so im done. someone buy me out of this contract.—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

a lot of people came around after our first week sales. all those people are welcome now. def jam, atlantic, whatever.—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

i dont like record companies. but im not having another project go through this.—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

i said "i know how the internet works tho"

my record company laughed on the phone and said "oh really?"—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

dont lie to me—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

i know im not loud, or outrageous, or a white girl with a big ass, but im fuckin honest.—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

my team is honest. ur not on my team if ur not honest. dont lie to me.—
Childish Gambino (@DonaldGlover) April 14, 2014

Glassnote also released Glover’s debut studio album, Camp, in 2011.

What will actually come of Glover’s statements remains to be seen, but he’s made it clear in the last year that he’s willing to make major professional moves if he doesn’t feel adequately served.

It’s not the first time that Glover has taken to social media to share his feelings — even on this particular subject. Perhaps the most significant development, however, is that he specifically mentions Atlantic and Def Jam as potential destinations. Glover has always maintained an independent vibe, despite his celebrity and burgeoning popularity in the hip-hop world. A move to a large, more commercially-driven label could mean less creative control for an artist who has always done his best to maintain it.

Categories: Magazines

Get the Xbox One April Update Today, Including Kinect Tweaks and Friend Notifications

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:57

Larry Hryb, Microsoft’s director of programming for Xbox Live, writes that the April Xbox One update started rolling out last night, and that the following list of features should be live now, or available “over the next few days.”

Along with the the usual presumptive bug fixes, the update adds a feature Xbox 360 owners have been enjoying forever: friends list notifications; when friends sign into Xbox Live on Xbox One, you’ll now see an alert.

“This was one of the most frequently requested features, so we made it a priority to include it in this update,” writes Hryb, adding that friends in multiplayer will now be identified as such in the list. I’m not sure why this wasn’t present at launch. Maybe the company worried these kinds of notifications were annoying (and they can be, especially if you have a big list of very active Xbox Livers, thus I assume the new notifications can be disabled, too).

Microsoft’s still chipping away at Kinect’s uneven gesture-recognition algorithms, which Hryb says the company’s updated “to reduce false positives on non-hand objects triggering gesture commands.” Voice recognition has also been fine-tuned “for quality and reliability.” Speaking of audio, the controller and headset firmware’s been updated to “reduce audio static and improve wireless connectivity.”

If you’ve had trouble keeping track of large game or application saves and updates, there’s now a game save progress bar that’ll keep you apprised of what’s what, and Hryb says you’ll be able to easily identify what’s being updated (or been updated recently).

Xbox One’s GameDVR feature — the ability to capture gameplay video clips, then edit and share them via Upload Studio — now offers better video quality using an improved compression algorithm, and Microsoft’s tweaked its Blu-ray player to support 50 Hz video output (which, as I understand it, essentially means you’ll be able to watch region-free imports, e.g. Europe-originated content). Hryb adds that Microsoft plans to update the Xbox One’s Blu-ray Player app “in the coming days” to “round out these improvements.”

Last but not least, Microsoft’s finally added an option to manually update the Xbox One in system settings (Hryb says it’ll only be there if there’s an update in the wings — you won’t need to click it to check, in other words; you’ll know there’s something available simply by its presence). I’ll golf clap to that.

Categories: Magazines

Tiny New Laptop Charger Could Be Mistaken for a Cell Phone Charger

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:50

Back at the CES gadget show in January, yours truly laid eyes on FINsix’s pocketable laptop charger. As someone who hates — hates — stuffing a bulky laptop charger into a bag full of modern-day, svelte gadgets, to say the idea of this charger was intriguing to me would be an understatement.

The charger was developed by a few MIT alums, using a patented MIT technology known as very high frequency (VHF) conversion that shuttles power from wall sockets to devices at a much higher frequency and more efficiently than standard chargers, allowing FINsix’s version to be scaled down to its diminutive stature. The charger also sports a USB port for good measure, which you can use to charge your phone or other small devices.

The group used a Kickstarter campaign to raise $200,000 for production of the charger, which is now being called the Dart. That goal was met within 24 hours, with 1,000 early backers getting in at $79. Back at CES, FINsix told me the retail price would be around $90, and it looks like there’s an $89 option that’s still available to potential backers.

When the charger was first unveiled, it was shown off with a MacBook-compatible MagSafe adapter — the connector that magnetically attaches to a MacBook and can quickly detach without damaging the computer if someone trips over the cord. The problem was — and still is — that Apple doesn’t license the MagSafe technology to third parties.

FINsix has found a way around this hurdle, but it doesn’t come cheap: If you want a Mac-compatible Dart, you’ll need to shell out an additional $79, which is used to purchase an off-the-shelf MacBook charging kit from Apple in order to get access to the magnetic connector. The Dart can also only charge laptops up to around 65 watts, which means the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pros and the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display aren’t compatible.

PC users have it easier, as the Dart is compatible with most major brands (see this PDF here for the full list). Just make sure you have a machine that draws 65 watts or fewer at between 18 and 21 volts.

FINsix is aiming to start shipping the chargers out to backers by the end of the year.

Dart: The World’s Smallest Laptop Adapter [Kickstarter]

Categories: Magazines

California Serial Killers Were Likely Wearing GPS Trackers

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:44

Police say a pair of sex offenders in California suspected of killing at least four women and possibly a fifth were likely wearing GPS trackers while committing the crimes.

The suspects, Franc Cano, 27, and Steven Dean Gordon, 45, were required to wear GPS trackers, since both men were previously convicted of separate sexual assaults of a child under 14. The pair were arrested Friday near a trash-sorting facility where the body of one of the women was discovered on a conveyer belt. On Monday the men were charged with raping and killing four women. All of the victims had links to prostitution, and disappeared from Santa Ana and Anaheim.

It’s not the first time that GPS trackers on felons in California have come under scrutiny. In February, the Los Angeles Times reported that prohibition officers noticed widespread glitches with the trackers, often resulting in random alerts or monitored criminals going untracked for days to weeks.

If convicted, Cano and Gordon could face a minimum sentence of life without parole or the death penalty, the Associated Press reports.

[LA Times]

Categories: Magazines

Coca-Cola Profits Dip as Americans Drink Less Pop

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:25

Coca-Cola’s profits dropped by almost 8% in the first quarter this year, as the world’s largest beverage manufacturer sold less soda and grappled with a stronger U.S. dollar.

Profits fell for the Atlanta-based company despite an overall increase in sales of non-carbonated beverages around the world and a 2% increase in global sales volume, the Associated Press reports.

Soda sales in North America fell 1% as the company raised prices. Adding to challenges for Coca-Cola—and for its competitors, like PepsiCo, which is expected to report a similarly poor performance when it posts profits Thursday—is the fact that Americans are simply drinking less soda.

“Look, we have Coca-Cola, and we have another 500 brands,” said CEO Muhtar Kent in an interview on CNBC. “The key is to offer a wide variety of choices.”



Categories: Magazines

How to Be Popular Without Being Mean: The Method That Got a Girl a Book Deal

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 09:00
MoreWhen Popularity Backfires: Climbing the Social Ladder Can Lead to BullyingGay Teens Are More Popular — According to MTV, At Least

Maya Van Wagenen made news last fall when DreamWorks optioned her memoir — a big achievement for anyone, but more so for Van Wagenen, who turns 16 in June. Her book, Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek (out April 15 from Dutton Children’s Books), tells the tale of her eighth grade year, during which she decided to follow advice from a 1950s popularity guide by teen model Betty Cornell and see where it got her. MoreDonna Tartt’s ‘The Goldfinch’ Wins Pulitzer for FictionThe Most Complained-About Library Book of 2013 Was…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 PostDWTS' James Maslow Talks Taking Fan to Disneyland: It a 'Blessing' People

Not all of the advice is the kind of stuff you’d expect to help a modern middle schooler — Van Wagenen had to wear long skirts to school, following the book’s advice, and the only eye makeup she was permitted was some Vaseline on her lids — but it’s hardly a spoiler to say that she learns some valuable lessons about social hierarchies. And her memoir becomes, like the book that inspired it, something of a teen popularity guide itself. It turns out that wearing weird clothes can actually help…as long as your definition of popularity is the same as hers, focused on having the most friends versus being at the top of the food chain. Though at first it seems that changing the definition is somehow cheating the system, Van Wagenen makes it work — and she says that adults to whom she’s spoken about the topic, from her family to her editors, tend to think that teen social systems are a lot more rigid than they are in reality. Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants

Van Wagenen spoke to TIME about being popular, her book and advice for aspiring popular kids:

TIME: During the course of your experiment, you asked kids at your school to define “popular.” Did you ever come up with a final definition?

VAN WAGENEN: My definition of popularity changed throughout the experiment. At the beginning I was looking at the exclusive hierarchy at our school that guided everybody’s actions. It grew from that feeling of exclusion. But I was able to find a different definition that was more about being kind of people and reaching out and focusing on including everybody and being a friend to everyone, rather than the select few.

Can those two definitions exist at the same school?

I think the true definition of popularity is the inclusion. And I think when people are sometimes at the top of the school and considered very respected for their place on the social ladder, they tend to feel — well, from the experiment I did where I asked people if they considered themselves popular, the people at the top whom everybody else considered to be the most popular said they didn’t, so I think that comes through as the price of exclusion.

What about you? Do you consider yourself popular?

I’m much more able to make friends and more confident in myself, and I’m definitely pretty well known because of the book thing. That’s been interesting.

What do you think will happen when the book comes out?

For the most part I think the attention on me will die down and I’ll get to be normal again.

How do you balance being yourself and including everyone against Betty Cornell’s advice about more superficial stuff, like what to wear and how to eat?

When I did the experiment, doing the superficial things was really hard for me, because I’d never worn makeup before and I had to wear a certain type of clothing that set me apart. I bought a girdle! There were a lot of things that were very new and very scary for me. As I did each new thing, I was able to grow a little bit in my confidence. I would see someone sitting alone and because I’d gained enough confidence through putting myself in awkward situations I was able to say, you know what, I can do that.

Was there any Betty Cornell advice you disagreed with?

There were definitely things that didn’t work. The girdle, for example. But it made for some funny stories.

You write about the idea that being popular means “you have to be a ‘bitch’ to everyone except your ‘friends.’” You end up proving otherwise, but it’s a pretty common idea. Where do you think it comes from?

I think a lot of it has to do with the age group. In middle school everybody’s really struggling to find out who they are, trying to figure out where they stand and what kind of person they want to become, and so I think that’s kind of scary and they figure that they have to be intimidating to others as a way to gain respect. While I think the bully approach tends to make people scared of them, it’s not true respect and true friends.

What advice would you give an aspiring popular kid?

I would definitely say to smile. Smile at people and introduce yourself to one new person and remember their name. If you do that to one or two people a week you start to grow your friends.

Is being popular always a good thing?

It depends how you define it. With the definition I found, it’s always a good thing.

Categories: Magazines

Minnesota To Hike Minimum Wage To $9.50 By 2016

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 08:57

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation Monday that will boost the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 by 2016, among the highest rates in the United States.

The bill was passed by the state legislature with only Democratic votes Thursday. Under the new law, Minnesota’s current minimum wage of $6.15 per hour, one of the lowest in the country, will rise by more than $3 gradually over the next few years, after which it will be tied to inflation, the Associated Press reports.

The minimum wage doesn’t affect smaller employers with gross sales under $500,000, though they too will have to pay employees at least $7.25 per hour by 2016. The law includes exceptions for teenagers and for people being trained into new positions. In all, roughly 325,000 people are expected to see a wage increase as a result of the law.

Minnesota joins states including Connecticut and Maryland in passing minimum wage legislation, as the effort to increase the federal minimum wage—currently $7.25 per hour—remains stalled in Congress.


Categories: Magazines

Morning Must Reads: April 15

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 08:41
  • “The Ukrainian government announced the start of a staged counteroffensive Tuesday to reclaim control of the eastern part of the country, as Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that Ukraine was descending into civil war.” [WashPost]
    • “[White House Press Secretary Jay] Carney said [Monday] the U.S. will consider next steps including a new round of sanctions against Russia in concert with European partners. European foreign ministers are meeting in Luxembourg Monday to weigh new sanctions against Russian officials because of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. He also confirmed reports that CIA Director John Brennan was in Kiev this weekend as part of a broader trip to Europe.” [WashExaminer]
  • A Year Since Marathon Attacks, Many Survivors Still Struggle [Boston Globe]
    • “On April 15, 2013, their lives intersected at the Marathon. One year later, they returned to the scene for a historic photo shoot.” [Boston Globe]
  • Nonprofits Caught in Pension Crossfire Between Foundation, Unions [WSJ]
  • “A Nevada rancher who succeeded in reclaiming his seized cattle from federal land managers over the weekend by rallying armed supporters called on local sheriffs across the country on Monday to join his crusade against government overreach.” [Reuters]
    • “Two decades after Nevada’s founders proclaimed unswerving obedience to federal authority, Cliven Bundy’s family first settled the land where he and his supporters now make their heavily armed stand against federal power. ” [Atlantic]
  • “Global greenhouse emissions are skyrocketing. Emissions cuts required to avoid dangerous impacts of climate change are steep. And despite decades of talk, world governments have made paltry efforts to address the problem. That’s the grim picture painted by a major report on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions released [Sunday] by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).” [Science]
    • “Tom Steyer is betting that campaigning on climate change can win elections. Is the verdant billionaire right?” [Economist]
  • Ted Cruz is Beating Rand Paul in the Tea Party Primary [Atlantic]
    • “Rand Paul for President: Because what the GOP needs is a humbling landslide defeat” [WSJ/Bret Stephens]
  • The Second Coming of Scott Brown [Yahoo!]
  • Happy Tax Day [New Yorker]
    • “With federal returns due Tuesday, the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center says that a deal struck just months after President Obama’s re-election will force the top 0.1 percent—those making more than roughly $2.6 million a year—to pay an average of around $232,000 more in taxes for 2013.” [Hill]
Categories: Magazines

Watch the ‘Blood Moon’ Lunar Eclipse in 9 Seconds Flat

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 08:34
MoreWhy Do Blood Moons Occur?

Millions of people were greeted last night with a strange celestial sighting, the “blood moon” lunar eclipse. The phenomenon occurs when the moon passes into the earth’s shadow and, for about an hour, takes on a reddish hue from the sunlight being refracted around the earth’s horizon.

Due to cloud cover over much of North America, many people, particularly on the east coast, didn’t get a chance to see the blood moon Tuesday morning. Don’t worry though, we’ve got a time lapse of the event for you right here.

Categories: Magazines