Tag Archives: Gadget Features

Best mobile games of February 2016

$16,000 used SUVs

Whether you like your SUVs cute or capable, or some blend of the two, we’ve got a wide variety of choices in Roadshow’s first collection of Editors’ Used Picks.

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Star Wars ‘Throne Room’ theme gets the mariachi treatment

A mariachi ensemble from San Antonio, Texas, has recorded a very special cover of “The Throne Room.” And it sounds amazing!

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What a lovely day for ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ at the Oscars

Director George Miller’s epic return to the post-apocalyptic franchise has picked up six Academy Awards so far, the most of any Australian film.

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Why is Donald Trump threatening Amazon and Jeff Bezos?

If Donald Trump had his way, he’d happily light all those Kindle Fires and Fire TVs on fire. The front-running Republican candidate for the US presidency promises to take aim at Amazon, its founder Jeff Bezos and the entire media, if elected.

“I have respect for Jeff Bezos, but he bought The Washington Post to have political influence, and I gotta tell you, we have a different country than we used to have,” Trump said during a speech in Texas on Friday (see clip below). “He wants political influence so that Amazon will benefit from it. That’s not right. And believe me, if I become president, oh, do they have problems. They’re going to have such problems.”

Trump seems to be taking aim at Bezos because he’s upset with The Washington Post’s coverage of his campaign, which he called “unfair,” going on to say that he would use libel laws to go after the press in the courts. (He also mentioned The New York Times.)

“When they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money,” he said later in the same speech.

But for much of the past year, Trump has been widely critical of the entire mainstream media, of which The Washington Post is just one outlet (and with a smaller audience than others). So why all the focused ire from the candidate?

Trump’s feud with the Post, Bezos and Amazon seemed to have come out of nowhere in December when the Republican candidate began tweeting fire at both, claiming that Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post was meant to use the struggling paper as a way of lowering Amazon’s tax bill.

Just a quick bit of fact-checking — The Washington Post isn’t owned by Amazon, it’s owned by a personal investment firm that Bezos controls, so its losses don’t help Amazon’s tax bill. But it’s possible that the situation helps Bezos’ personal income tax rate. Also, Amazon actually has been profitable of late, but perhaps Trump is in-artfully referencing the fact that the company’s most recent profit, $482 million in the last quarter of 2015, is just a tiny fraction of its $35.7 billion in revenues (PDF), but I digress.

Bezos was quick to respond to Trump’s tweet-bombs with a passive-aggressive offer of a free trip…to orbit, via another of Bezos’ companies, rocket-maker Blue Origin.

But all that was months ago. What’s got Trump’s ire up at Amazon now? Perhaps he heard the reports that Amazon’s (recommended) series “Mad Dogs” considered having its murderer wear a Trump mask?

Trump isn’t yet so disgusted with Amazon that he’s pulled the dozens of book titles that are sold on the site under his name, however.

Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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How well do you know your strange Oscars moments? Take our quiz

The Academy Awards can get pretty long and tedious, which is why unexpected moments stand out so much. See how well you remember the most bizarre happenings in Oscars history.

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Zuckerberg claims more Facebook sharing leads to world peace

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.


zuck670.jpg

Mark Zuckerberg, sharing at the Axel Springer event.


Axel screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Facebook, like any other technology, brings with it positives and negatives.

It’s positive that you can tell everyone about every wonderful thing you’re involved in. It’s positive that you can see what your exes are up to. And of course, it’s positive that if you’re on the run, you can conveniently taunt the police should you feel the need.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes the social network’s pluses go beyond even those lovely scenarios.

Speaking this week at a ceremony where he was receiving an award for entrepreneurial spirit from German publisher Axel Springer, Zuckerberg made an interesting claim.

“Facebook’s mission, and what we really focus on giving everyone, is the power to share all of the things that they care about, what they’re thinking about, what they’re experiencing on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “And the idea is that if everyone has the power to share those things, then that makes the world more understanding.”

As I look around the world, I’m not sure I find people terribly understanding at all.

Loathing seems to be even more dominant than fear — or perhaps the latter merely stems from the former. Sides are being drawn all over the world with such rigid certainty that soon there will be thousands of very high walls that need building.

Yet everyone’s on Facebook, so shouldn’t they have shown a little more careful thought about, and understanding toward, others by now?

Why hasn’t this happened?

Or might it be that this is merely a difficult phase we’re going through? We need to share more and more things on Facebook to reach the point at which we all say, “Ah, my fellow human of different faith, color or political persuasion, now I fully understand you.”

Evidence for my doubt exists at Facebook itself. The very same day Zuckerberg was speaking, he was forced to send a memo to his own staff ordering them to stop defacing “Black Lives Matter” messages on the company’s legendary walls. That’s not a great advertisement for understanding.

Zuckerberg has been insisting Facebook has vast societal benefits for quite some time.

During Facebook’s IPO in 2012, he spoke of Facebook’s “social mission.” He said that the social network gives people the power to share and thereby “transform many of our core institutions and industries.” He claimed that giving people the power to share made the world “more transparent.”

The more Facebook steps into geopolitical areas, the more its utterances seem at the very least facile and at the most depressingly and obviously self-serving.

India had very good reasons not to accept Facebook’s Free Basics service, which promised to give Indians Internet access, while at the same time controlling what sites came with that access.

And only last month the company’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, suggested that Facebook “likes” are a good way to combat ISIS.

Oh.

Thanks to Facebook, we may see more and hear more from other people — though how much we bother looking and listening is another matter.

What’s more disturbing to some is that Facebook’s algorithm determines the very things we do or don’t see and hear.

To claim that the more people post on Facebook, the greater understanding there will be is akin to claiming that the more books you read, the wiser you will be.

It depends how you read, what you take in and whether you can transfer any knowledge gained into real-life action.

Life, you see, is complicated. Facebook is not.

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