Author Archives: uthinki

140 Character Limit in Tweets Remain but Media Filenames Not Counted

Twitter has officially announced that media such as photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets will no longer be counted in the 140 character limit for tweets. This follows the change earlier this year of not counting links in the character limit. Say more about what’s happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters. pic.twitter.com/I9pUC0NdZC — Twitter (@twitter) September 19, 2016 This may only add to the challenge of selecting the best name for spam on Twitter. There were plans in May 2016 where Twitter considered effectively going long form with its content and character lengths. But that result has likely made a swansong, and the platform will stick with its amended 140 character limit in tweets for now.

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Buddy System Officially Announced for Pokémon GO

For those who’ve gotta catch ‘em all, trawling through the source code of Pokémon GO can be as important as walking around and actually finding the pocket monsters hidden throughout the land. Don’t throw that caught Magikarp away, it might evolve into something far better later on (like a Gyarados). Combing through the source code with such an attitude helped to reveal the Pokémon and McDonald’s team-up before it was officially announced. Now the code has revealed something else: A Buddy System. Perhaps fearing the repercussions of: “If the buddy system can fail, I don’t know what to believe in.” This time, developer Niantic has been very quick to officially announce the Buddy System for Pokémon GO. Players will be able to select their favourite Pokémon from those that they’ve caught. The Buddy Pokémon will then follow their avatar around (much like Pikachu in the cartoons or in Pokémon Yellow). ...

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Sheep Cam: From Google Maps to Sheep View on the Faroe Islands

Remoteness and islands often go together, and sometimes by design technology on said islands can be a bit hard to come by. Outside of the technologically advanced secret islands of evil geniuses that is. The Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean are channelling something more like Doctor Moreau than Dr. No in the unlikely alliance between sheep and Google. Bizarre but true, since the archipelago of the Faroe Islands is so remote, Google had not photographed them for Street View in Google Maps. Google does allow individuals to independently contribute photos to Street View, and some of the locals also aimed to get the company to come and photograph the islands. Meanwhile, a few other Faroese had a different idea: Put cameras on some of the 70,000 plus sheep living on the islands and let them photograph away. Google flocked to the idea, and has since loaned its official ...

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Star Wars Droid C2-B5 takes R2-D2 to the Dark Side

The Empire now has its own version of R2-D2. The droid, called C2-B5, will be seen in the new Star Wars anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which set for a mid-December 2016 release. Officially unveiled by Lucasfilm, C2-B5 (aka “the evil R2-D2”) naturally has a paintjob worthy of the Dark Side. As revealed on The Star Wars Show, Imperial astromech droid C2-B5 from Rogue One. pic.twitter.com/XCywIn2fAK — Star Wars AUNZ (@StarWarsAUNZ) August 31, 2016 More official news of all things Rogue One and beyond is covered in The Star Wars Show: Since things are going rogue amidst an anthology of interest, whether Dark or Light Side one Star Wars droid sidekick deserves another:

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Mark Hamill Shaves Jedi Beard, Leaks Luke Skywalker is in Episode IX?

Actor Mark Hamill has apparently finished filming his Luke Skywalker part for Star Wars: Episode VII. Meaning it’s time to part with his Jedi beard. He tweeted as much, but may have also triggered the spoiler alert for his potential involvement in Episode IX. Haven’t seen my chin since May ’15, so #FarewellFacialFur & #ByeByeBeard (at least til #EpisodeIX) @popculturequest pic.twitter.com/gaScz1okk6 — Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) August 30, 2016 Accident, out of balance gag, Jedi mind trick, or genuine spoiler? Realistically Hamill’s remarks may not be that big of a leak for Episode IX. Being Star Wars, if true, Luke Skywalker could appear as anything from alive, in flashbacks, or as a Force ghost. And since his beard was cut off, maybe Skywalker will get a new robotic prosthetic beard that’s kept as a hidden secret artefact for future Jedi to discover. No, that idea is probably about as welcome as ...

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Batman Cosplayer’s Working Gadget Batsuit Wins Guinness World Record

“Tell me, do you work? You will.” Cosplayer Julian Checkley has remarkably managed to combine both form and function into cosplay with his fully functional gadget-equipped Batsuit. Apart from obviously sporting the mother of all utility belts, his costumed efforts also managed to secure him a Guinness World Record for the “Most functional gadgets on a cos-play suit”. Numbering 23 isn’t some cryptic clue from the Riddler, instead it’s the number of fully functional gadgets on Checkley’s Batsuit. Maybe it’s not quite as large a number as Robin’s 356 “holy something” remarks, but 23 functioning gadgets should be more than enough to take even Adam West’s version of Batman safely camping. Batman lightening up, or darkening further, the DCEU movies may be another matter entirely. Besides, Checkley’s Batsuit likely beats the homemade version of the mecha-armour Batsuit with the hammers of justice. For those wondering, yes it is equipped with ...

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Hackers Exploit iPhone Security Flaw, Apple Urges Update to iOS 9.3.5

Through a security flaw in the iOS software, hackers in the past week have reportedly been able to gain full access to everything on users’ iPhones. Apple has since released an update, and is encouraging all users to upgrade to iOS version 9.3.5 which can be done on iPhones (and iPads) via: Settings > General > Software Update, then selecting ‘Download and Install’ In a statement to The New York Times, Apple spokesman Fred Sainz said: “We advise all of our customers to always download the latest version of iOS to protect themselves against potential security exploits.” It’s reported that the iOS security flaws enabled hackers of compromised iPhones to gain access to users’ contacts, texts, emails, call history, passwords, and they could use spyware to hijack an iPhone to record sounds from it and track the user’s location. Hackers were also said to have been impersonating trusted companies such ...

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Cajun Navy Sparks Debate About Government Regulating Volunteers

Labelled the Great Flood of 2016 which washed its way through the southern parts of Louisiana, USA, in August, now carries something else strange with it in the aftermath. As the historic rains displaced people, threatening lives and livelihoods, a group of good Samaritans banded together to rescue those caught in the floodwaters. Known as the Cajun Navy, these people took it upon themselves to help their fellow men and women in their time of need. Using their own boats, and without thought of reward, they ferried often complete strangers to safety simply because it was the right thing to do and there was little time to waste. Cajun Navy member Dustin Clouatre of St. Amant, Louisiana, recounts: “At one time in my boat, I had a guy I dropped off at a Buddhist temple. I had a black guy, and I had a Mexican guy. And when we dropped ...

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Uber Trials Driverless Cars in Pittsburgh

The city of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania USA, will soon have driverless cars available via Uber. Making the ridesharing company Uber the first to test out the driverless vehicles in such a public market setting. However, the self-driving cars will still have human supervisors (and drivers if need be) with them as a precaution initially. Bloomberg reports that the driverless cars are modified Volvo XC90 sport utility vehicles. Uber’s plan is to rollout 100 of these driverless vehicles by the end of 2016. With Uber CEO Travis Kalanick outlining plans to partner with other automotive manufacturers in the future to produce more driverless vehicles to be used with the transportation service. However, Uber does not plan on manufacturing its own self-driving vehicles. As for those Uber users in Pittsburgh, they won’t be able to request a driverless car directly. Instead they’ll use the ridesharing app as normal, and may be randomly ...

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Is the Stubby Squid Cute for an Evolutionary Reason?

As part of the Nautilus Live project, scientists exploring the ocean floor off the Californian coast have spotted the stubby squid at a depth of 900 meters (2,953 feet). Found in the Northern Pacific, ranging between Japan and Southern California, USA, the stubby squid typically lives at depths up to 300 meters (984 feet). However, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have encountered the stubby squid at depths of 1,300 meters (4,265 feet). Looking somewhat like a mixture of an octopus and a squid, the stubby squid is not a true squid and is actually more closely related to the cuttlefish, but lacks the cuttlebone of the latter while having two tentacles like a squid. Sporting eight suckered stubby arms and two particularly large googly eyes, the stubby squid (Rossia pacifica) lives on the seafloor. Where it utilises mucus and the sediment for camouflage, but leaves its large eyes ...

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