The Military Is Struggling to Keep Its Most Innovative Soldiers

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Sean Maday, fresh out of Michigan State University and already the head of his own profitable T-shirt making company, was excited to be an officer in the U.SAir Force. He'd eaten up the positivity in slogans such as "Aim high," "No one comes close," and, one that he now calls comically tragic, "presenting technology that lets you program your own destiny."

His first assignment was at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, Calif., in 2005, where his job was to make sure pilots and higher-ups had the best intelligence available to make decisions that wouldn't endanger soldiers' lives, or put the U.S. government in an awkward position. Read more...

More about Google, Facebook, Military, Intelligence, and Air Force

Facebook Spreads Global ‘Humans of’ Photography Movement

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It's a simple idea: Take a candid portrait of someone on the street, and tell an authentic story about his or her life.

The idea first came from the Humans of New York Facebook page, which was created by Brandon Stanton in 2010. Since then, "Humans of" pages from around the world have been cropping up online since 2012.

Each collecting more than 50,000 likes, "Humans of" Rome, Amsterdam, Karachi, Tehran and India are prime examples of sites modeled after HONY. Most of the sites show the work of emerging photographers documenting their native cities.

More about Facebook, Photography, Social Media, World, and Humans Of New York

Gillmor Gang: Hocus Pocus

gillmor-gang-test-pattern_excerpt The Gillmor Gang — Danny Sullivan, Robert Scoble, John Taschek, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor — find themselves in a quandary over Steven Elop’s alleged exit strategy for Microsoft. Is he really serious, dumping XBox and casting aside Bing? Or is this just a magician’s sleight of hand, misdirecting the attention from the more radical idea of abandoning Windows to… Read More

Facebook Tackling Technical Difficulties With Profile Pages

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Update: Nov. 8, 1:00 p.m. ET — Facebook has resolved this issue. A spokesperson released the following statement:

"Earlier today, we experienced an issue that prevented some people from loading Timeline or Pages content for a brief period of time. We resolved the issue quickly, and content is back to normal. We're sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused."

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Facebook is experiencing technical issues, leaving users unable to load content from their profiles and Pages.

Users started complaining over Twitter about the apparent issues, and numerous Mashable employees experienced similar issues when they tried viewing their own profiles. The site returned an error message asking users to "Please try again." Read more...

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Twitter Stock Soars on Day 1 and Other News You Need to Know

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Welcome to this morning's edition of "First To Know," a series in which we keep you in the know on what's happening in the digital world.

Today, we're looking at three particularly interesting stories. The first day on the New York Stock Exchange was a promising one for Twitter. The publicly traded stock opened at 73% up from its IPO price of $26 per shareFacebook is still all about the Likes, but the social network is also experimenting with five-star ratings, according to a report. Gamers, here's a study you'll want to share with your parents: Video games could make your brain grow.

Check out the video above for more on these stories. Read more...

More about Facebook, Twitter, Features, Video Games, and First To Know Series

Facebook Returns Home With New Boston Engineering Office

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Facebook on Thursday announced the opening of its first engineering office in Boston, Mass., not far from where Mark Zuckerberg started the social network from his Harvard dorm room

The Boston office is Facebook's fifth engineering office worldwide, joining Seattle, London, New York, and of course, Facebook's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The Boston-based engineering team will consist of employees currently working remotely in Boston, as well as engineers the company recently hired. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the number of employees that will work in the office.

More about Social Media, Facebook, and Dev Design

Chrome On Windows To Start Rejecting Extensions From Outside The Chrome Web Store In January

Starting in January, Google's Chrome browser will not allow you to install extensions that aren't hosted in Google's own Chrome Web Store.

While Google had recently increased its security measures for keeping malicious extensions out of Chrome by adding additional warnings and disabling silent extension installs, the team clearly felt that it had to go a step further to keep Windows machines safe. The leading cause of complaints from its Windows users, Google says, is still due to malicious extensions that override browser settings and change the user experience in unexpected (and undesired) ways. Given that these malicious extensions are virtually always hosted outside of the Chrome Web Store, the team has decided to simply shut down the ability to install extensions from third-party sites.

Users will still be able to do local installs during development and admins can use their Enterprise policy settings to allow their users to pre-install and allow certain extensions. This move also won't affect Chrome Apps.

For developers who need to migrate to the Web Store now, this move should be pretty straightforward. Most Chrome extension developers are probably using the store already anyway, so this shouldn't be too hard for most of them. The one thing they do have to do, though, is pay a $5 fee to sign up.


Google Glass Gets Easier Access To Calendar Info And Directions To Home And Work, Kills Long Press

As Google gears up to expand its Glass Explorer program, it also continues its regular pace of Glass software updates. This month's update (X11) isn't all that big, however, and only introduces two features - a new setup tutorial and an easier way for Android users to start a screencast from Glass.

One feature that's gone, however, is the long press on the touchpad that used to take you directly to Google Search without the need to use the “ok glass, google …” command. As the Glass team notes, “it turns out that a lot of people long pressing the touchpad to activate a Google search were doing so by mistake.” So to avoid that, the X11 update turned this feature off.

As for the new features, starting today, Glass users will be able to get directions to home and work by simply using a command like “ok glass, get directions to home.” Glass gets this information about you from Google Maps or Google Now, where you can input this data by hand (and if you are a Google Now user, it will also try to guess this information based on where you spend your time during the day).

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The second new feature allows you to quickly get a glance of your calendar details by asking something like “ok glass, google my agenda” or “ok glass, google what am I doing next week.” If you have followed along with Google's updates to Search, all of this will sound quite familiar. I wouldn't be surprised if the next few Glass updates continued this trend of bringing this kind of data – which was previously only available through the oddly named “Gmail Search Field Trial” to Glass and its repertoire of voice commands.

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Setting up Glass is pretty easy, but in this new version, Google decided to tweak the setup tutorial a bit. This tutorial shows all of the usual Glass features, including how to use the touchpad to swipe through card and how to connect a phone.

For users who want to screencast their Glass experience to Android, the MyGlass app now features a “Start Screencast” button underneath the MyGlass notifications in Android's notifications drawer. That makes it a bit easier to start a screencast, though unless you screencast from Glass for a living, this isn't likely to set your world on fire.


4 Businesses Winning With Mobile Advertising

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With 17.4% of web traffic coming directly from mobile this year alone, a 6% uptick since 2012, it's no wonder that more and more companies are developing smart mobile advertising strategies to increase brand awareness.

To account for this push toward mobile, forecasts predict that for 2013, digital ad spending will eat up 22.7% of all ad spending. And those dollars aren't spent in vain, at least not for these four companies, each of which utilize mobile ad platforms to target their customers and expand their clientele. And with the arrival of Pinterest's Promoted Pins and Instagram Ads, small businesses will have more ways than ever to attract audiences. Read more...

More about Facebook, Twitter, Google Adwords, Mobile Advertising, and Foursquare

Watch This Star-Studded ‘Hunger Games’ Q&A on Facebook

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"Nice to meet all of your phones," actress Jennifer Lawrence jokingly said to Facebook employees who were photographing her onstage just moments before she participated in a Q&A panel Wednesday at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif

The Oscar winner and fellow The Hunger Games: Catching Fire stars Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, as well as director Francis Lawrence, then began the panel, which aside from candid answers featured a new emotional clip from the movie

You can watch the panel, which was moderated by Mashable's Kurt Wagner, below. Read more...

More about Facebook, Films, Entertainment, Film, and Video
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