If ‘Game of Thrones’ characters had modern day technology

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Have you ever found yourself looking at your phone and wondering how the hell everyone coped before the internet?

Well, take a moment to think about all those poor Game of Thrones characters. Not only do they have to struggle through a brutal world full of bloodshed and unearthly horror, but they don't even have the comfort of Facebook to help them through it.

Which got us thinking, what if they did have the internet and social media? From Sansa Snapchats to badass Khaleesi Instagrams, here's what we think that would look like. Read more...

More about Uk, Jamie Lannister, Jon Snow, Twitter, and Facebook

Google’s Self-Driving Car Project has a new legal lead

GoogleCar Google’s Self-Driving Car Project is one step closer to becoming its own independent business. Recode has confirmed that the autonomous-driving company under the Alphabet umbrella has hired The Climate Corporation’s chief legal officer, Kevin Vosen, as its first general attorney. He’s slated to begin later this month. Currently, Google’s self-driving unit is under… Read More

Facebook is testing encrypted, secret, self-destructing Messenger chats

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Need more security in your Facebook messaging, but not willing to switch to a security-oriented service such as Telegram? We've got good news: Facebook is testing a far more secure type of Messenger conversation, with several interesting features. 

These "secret conversations," which are currently only available as an option for a small subset of users, are end-to-end encrypted, ideally meaning that even Facebook can't read them. 

As an additional layer of security, a message sent this way can only be read on one of the devices belonging to the message recipient. You can also set a timer that makes the message self-destruct after a certain amount of time.  Read more...

More about Facebook Messenger, Secret Conversations, Messenger, Facebook, and Tech

How Ramadan was celebrated around the world on Twitter

Tweets about Ramadan were viewed over 10 billion times on Twitter during the holy month. Check out how Muslims around the globe share their Ramadan and Eid celebrations on Twitter.

Will ‘Memories’ Change Snapchat as We Know It?

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Over the past three years, Snapchat has been slowly moving away from its original concept: a place for creating and sharing ephemeral content that disappears immediately after being shared. With the introduction of Stories in 2013, a feature that allows photos and videos to be visible for 24 hours, the app started inching away from that mission.

This week, Snapchat took a giant leap away from its initial premise by introducing Memories. The new feature enables users to share content after the initial photo has been taken, allowing for a more curated (and less instantaneous) experience.

But is this too far away from the Snapchat its core user base loves? Will Snapchat shoot itself in the foot by trying to capture a broader audience?

Here's everything you need to know about Memories, and what it might mean for the future of the social app.

What's New in Snapchat Memories

Memories contains four sections: Snaps you’ve taken, Stories you’ve posted, Camera Roll (photos from your phone’s camera), and “My Eyes Only” -- a passcode-protected folder for “personal” Snaps. You can access Memories by swiping up from your Camera screen.

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Save a Snap you’ve taken within the Snapchat interface by tapping the icon in the lower left of the screen. The saved photo will now be available in the “Snaps” section of Memories. Any filters, doodles, or stickers you’ve added will still be available to edit later.

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Memories cuts out the middle man: your phone's built-in photo library. As part of the Chat 2.0 rollout back in March, Snapchat introduced the ability for users to upload photos from their phone's photo library to a private message. Memories' Camera Roll took things a significant step further by building a replacement to your photo library -- and Snapchat's Camera Roll is far better (at least in this social media manager's opinion).

The search feature rivals Google’s Photos app, allowing you to search by location, date, stickers, emoji, or even objects (for example “sunset” or “surfing”). The “Taken Nearby” section allows you to browse all photos taken within the same physical area, like your home or favorite neighborhood spots.

TBT fans will love “Flashbacks” -- a feature similar to Timehop or Facebook’s “On This Day” -- which surfaces Snaps taken on this date in the past.

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The album within Memories might also be useful to replace and/or supplement a traditional phone backup for your photos. Lost your phone but forgot to backup to the cloud? All your Snaps will still be intact, safely tied to your account. Though photos from your camera roll won’t be automatically backed up using Memories, you can manually move them over. The camera roll is directly accessible without leaving Snapchat.

Snapchat Memories does extend an olive branch to real-time purists if you look closely: Any Snaps that are more than 24 hours old are displayed with a round white frame, signaling to followers that it’s from the past (see the sushi Snap below.)

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Finally, the last feature of Memories -- “My Eyes Only” -- allows users to lock photos more personal in nature behind a passcode. Any Snaps you don't want others to see can be stored here. (Some things never change.)

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Memories will be rolling out to iOS and Android users over the next month.

Why Memories Changes Everything for Snapchat

Uploading photos seems like a relatively small change, but it is indicative of a larger shift in how users will interact with the platform.

Uploads will allow sharing content from other sites, or sharing of highly polished content. Previously, it could be tricky to assemble a coherent and compelling story on the fly. Memories solves for this problem by allowing users to go back and retroactively curate and share their story, moment by moment.

This is a significant shift away from the Snapchat of the past. Snapchat’s distinguishing value proposition has always been a place to share unpolished, unedited moments of your life. Unlike Instagram or Facebook, there’s no emphasis on perfection. Through drawings and stickers, Snapchat encourages users to be silly and light-hearted. The implementation of Memories could fundamentally change this behavior, as users are no longer limited to the Snapchat editorial functionality.

Memories also has crucial implications for Snapchat's user base. By abandoning their original mission to cater to the masses, Snapchat is cementing its position as a top messaging app and real competitor to the bigger social networks.

Moments will be most appealing to those outside the traditional 18-24 Snapchat demographic. Snapchat knows that in order to capture the “early majority,” they need to win this audience.

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People who are more “unplugged” than the typical Snapchat user will also appreciate the ability to snap a photo and deal with the sharing later. In addition, creating a more permanent record of photos makes the app more user-friendly and the functionality easier to understand for the less digitally-native population.

More than 50% of new Snapchat users are over the age of 25, and that audience is growing 2x faster than users under 25. By watering down their previously laser-focused mission, the app will appeal to a wider audience, albeit at the risk of alienating their current audience. Time will tell whether it was a risk worth taking.

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Will Memories Kill Snapchat's Spark?

As many other social networks have done before, Snapchat is attempting to cement its status by widening its net. In this case, they’re trying to become the all-in-one destination for conversation.

This move is the latest of several to pull the platform away from the one thing that separates them from other social networks. In a crusade to take on messaging apps like Facebook and Whatsapp, Snapchat could lose their spark -- the “it factor” that helped them rise to popularity so quickly.

In six months, we could be struggling to find any major differentiators between social networks, and this is likely what Snapchat is aiming for. By incorporating Facebook-like features into their platform, they’re betting on users making Snapchat a larger and larger part of their online presence and communication habits. They’re banking on becoming the first widely-adopted social platform for voice, video, photo, and text communication.

However, in turning their attention away from their core audience and broadening their vision, it wouldn’t be a surprise if young users quickly move on to the next big platform that isn’t infiltrated by advertisers.

The Ephemeral Era of Snapchat Is Over

When Snapchat released Stories back in October of 2013, they described the feature as “fun and ephemeral, just like Snapchat.”

The word “ephemeral” was noticeably absent from Wednesday’s blog post announcing Memories. While fun may still be central to Snapchat’s mission, it’s clear they’re moving on from their transient roots.

What do you think of Memories? Do you think Memories will help or hurt Snapchat in the long run? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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How to Become More Resilient [Infographic]

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Tragedy. Illness. Job or relationship problems. We all go through tough times at one point or another. It’s unfortunate, but it's inevitable.

What sets us apart, then, is how we recover from the bad things life throws our way. When you experience a negative event in your life, how do you react? What strategies do you use to heal, grow, and move on?

That’s where resilience comes in. Resilience is your ability to bounce back from the problems you face, no matter their severity. The stronger your resilience, the more likely you’ll learn from your setbacks.

But building resilience takes work. To help you get started, check out the infographic below from Happify. They've covered a handful of tips and tricks that'll help you learn how to heal from tough events in both your professional and personal life.

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fsociety ‘hacks’ the ‘Mr. Robot’ Facebook page

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LOS ANGELES — Mr. Robot just got a little more meta.

The show's fictional Anonymous-style collective, fsociety, hacked the USA show's Facebook Page Thursday as part of a globally coordinated marketing campaign.

The uploaded video contains a global message against Evil Corp, followed by a minute-and-a-half clip of the Season 2 premiere. 

The clip is a flashback of stars Rami Malek and Martin Wallström minutes before their characters, Elliot and Tyrell Wellick, executed the 5/9 hack on Evil Corp. 

The international marketing campaign, which will be on Facebook Live between Thursday and Friday across 13 countries, has customized “rants” in each territory, delivered in the region’s native tongue. Read more...

More about Usa Network, Facebook, Mr Robot, Tv, and Entertainment

Facebook confronts the grisly reality of live video with the shooting of Philando Castile

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Facebook is facing new questions about its policies for live video after footage showing the aftermath of a police shooting in Minnesota was briefly removed.

The video was recorded in the minutes immediately following the shooting of Philando Castile, who was killed by police during a traffic stop. Originally posted to the Facebook page of Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds (who uses the name Lavish Reynolds on Facebook), the video shows Castile's blood-stained body in the moments after the shooting. 

The video was removed from Facebook for about an hour before it resurfaced with a message warning people that the video contains graphic content. Read more...

More about Facebook Live, Facebook, Social Media, Apps And Software, and Tech

Dedicated man in dino suit photoshops himself into celebrity pics

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Some people like dinosaurs and other people are dinosaurs ... well, sort of.

Actor and model Lorenz Valentino has always had the unique dream of becoming "the most famous dino in the world." 

Though that may sound impossible, because, well, he's a human, Valentino came up with a creative way to make his prehistoric dream a present-day reality — by creating hilarious Photoshop images of himself wearing a dino suit while spending quality time with celebrities.

As you can imagine, a great deal of hard work and dedication goes into becoming a famous dinosaur, so Mashable spoke with Valentino via email to learn more about his journey to stardom. Read more...

More about Watercooler, Photography, Pics, Costumes, and Photoshop

Dedicated man in dino suit photoshops himself into celebrity pics

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Some people like dinosaurs and other people are dinosaurs ... well, sort of.

Actor and model Lorenz Valentino has always had the unique dream of becoming "the most famous dino in the world." 

Though that may sound impossible, because, well, he's a human, Valentino came up with a creative way to make his prehistoric dream a present-day reality — by creating hilarious Photoshop images of himself wearing a dino suit while spending quality time with celebrities.

As you can imagine, a great deal of hard work and dedication goes into becoming a famous dinosaur, so Mashable spoke with Valentino via email to learn more about his journey to stardom. Read more...

More about Watercooler, Photography, Pics, Costumes, and Photoshop
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