Category Archives: Tech News

The 19 movies that audiences have hated the most in the last 30 years

mother

Audiences can’t stand Darren Aronofsky’s new allegorical horror film, “Mother!,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem.

CinemaScore, which conducts exit polls of audience opinion on opening nights, recently gave the film the dreaded “F” rating — its lowest. 

Just how bad is that?

There have only been 19 films that have ever received an “F” rating, including “Mother!,” since CinemaScore started logging data in 1986, according to Vulture.

Some of the films to receive CinemaScore’s lowest rating include both Nicholas Cage’s disastrous “The Wicker Man,” and the woeful early aughts thriller “Fear Dot Com.”

“Mother!” has been polarizing, with some critics loving it and others hating it. It currently has a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes, which tallies up what critics thought. But the audience has spoken, and the verdict is “F.”

To put that in context, here’s a list of the only 19 films that have received an “F” rating from CinemaScore:

SEE ALSO: Ryan Phillippe has responded to his ex-girlfriend’s claim that he threw her down a flight of stairs and abused drugs

“Alone in the Dark” (2005)

Based on the popular video game of the same name, “Alone in th Dark” follows detective of paranormal activity Edward Carnby as he investigates the recent mysterious death of his friend, with the help of his anthropologist girlfriend, played by Tara Reid.

“The Box” (2009)

Cameron Diaz and James Marsden star as a couple who have been given a box containing a button. If they push it, they get $1 million — but pushing the button causes someone they don’t know to die. 

“Bug” (2006)


Michael Shannon and Ashley Judd (who we are sad to say shows up more than once on this list), are paranoid about an infestation of bugs in their home — but it’s unclear whether or not the bugs exist. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Uber was banned partly because of passenger safety — but women say they'll be less safe without it

Uber London

Female Uber passengers have said they will feel less safe taking taxis or cabs if Uber is forced to leave London.

The capital’s transport regulator, Transport for London (TfL), today revoked Uber’s licence in a shock decision. The company plans to appeal the decision in court, and can continue operating in the meantime.

One reason TfL gave for its decision was passenger safety. The regulator didn’t go into detail, but that comes after a Metropolitan police inspector complained that Uber didn’t do enough to report sexual assaults by drivers.

Inspector Neil Billany said Uber failed to report an assault by one driver, who then went on to carry out a second sexual assault on a passenger.

And a Freedom of Information request last year found an Uber driver is accused of assault almost three times a month. Uber accounted for a fifth of all assault claims against taxi and car-hire drivers in 2015, the figures showed.

But women responding to the news on Twitter said they still felt safer with Uber.

If that feels contradictory, here are some of the reasons they gave:

  • The app tracks your location and lets you share it with friends
  • You can wait somewhere safe until your Uber turns up, whereas a black cab involves waiting on the street
  • Uber serves the suburbs of London, where it’s harder to find a black cab
  • Some minority women feel surer that Uber will accept their custom
  • Women feel men are more likely to harass them on public transport, especially at night

One problem for female passengers (and anyone without good public transport links) is the “last mile” problem — public transport will almost get you to where you need to go, but you need something like Uber to actually get you to your own house. Banning Uber for London makes it a little bit tougher to solve that problem.

One possible outcome of an appeal is that Uber will need to make big changes to the way it operates in order to win back its licence. Ideally that would include better driver checks, and the promise of an improved line of reporting to the police and Transport for London. If that happens, Uber will end up being safer for women than ever before.

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NOW WATCH: Watch Apple’s Face ID unlocking fail during its big demo

Microsoft Office 2010
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What’s new in Apple’s Swift 4.0 language

Swift 4.0 is now available. It’s a major upgrade to Apple’s Swift, the three-year old successor to the Objective-C language used for MacOS and iOS application development.

The Swift 4 upgrade enhances the Swift Package Manager and provides new compatibility modes for developers. Apple said Swift 4 also makes Swift more stable and improves its standard library. Swift 4 is largely source-compatible with Swift 3 and ships as part of Apple’s Xcode 9 IDE.

What’s new in Swift 4’s package manager

Swift Package Manager, which debuted in Swift 3, is tool for distributing code. It is integrated with the Swift build system to automate processes including downloading, compiling, and linking of dependencies. Improvements in Swift 4’s package manager include:

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

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Hewlett Packard Enterprise is reportedly 5,000 workers (HPE)

Meg Whitman

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is cutting 5,000 jobs as part of a wider effort to slash costs at the company, Bloomberg reported.

The layoffs will affect about 10% of HPE’s workforce, including employees both in the US and abroad, according to the report. HPE will start making the cuts before the end of the year, Bloomberg said. 

HPE, which focuses on servers, software, and consulting services for businesses, has offices around the world, including in China, Brazil, and Switzerland. It split from Hewlett Packard in 2015 to become a separate company under CEO Meg Whitman. 

In its short two years as an independent organization, HPE has already undertaken several rounds of layoffs. Whitman announced a major restructuring in June 2016, which saw the departure of numerous company veterans and the consolidation of its sales organization.

HPE did not respond to a request for comment.

SEE ALSO: Meg Whitman is at the center of Uber’s boardroom battle

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NOW WATCH: An Alabama high school ‘resegregated’ after years of being a model of integration — here’s what happened after

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Spotify and other streaming services are finally giving the music industry something to cheer about

Music streaming services are finally offering some hope for the recorded music industry. According to a mid-year report from the Recording Industry Association of America, the estimated retail revenues from recorded music rose 17% in the first half of 2017, with revenue from music streaming sites accounting for 62% of the total market. 

Revenues from streaming come from a variety of sites and types of services. As we can see in this chart from Statista, which is based on data from the RIAA, all three major types of streaming music have seen their revenue rise recently. But the growth in revenue from paid subscription services such as Spotify has far outstripped that from Pandora and other internet radio services, as well as that from ad-supported on-demand music sites such as YouTube and Vevo.

Music streaming appears to be spurring a long-awaited comeback for the music industry. The industry saw its total sales plummet from a high of $40 billion in 1999 to $14.5 billion in 2014, according to IFPI, a music-industry trade group. While revenues are still a fraction of their peak, they’re at least now on an upward trajectory, with 2016, by some measures, marking the first up year for the industry in nearly 20 years. 

Chart of the Day 9/21

SEE ALSO: The US is still the leader in requesting data on Twitter users, but other countries are catching up

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NOW WATCH: Spotify is the unicorn best positioned to go public without a traditional IPO

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Google's $1.1 billion deal with HTC is about something much bigger than making a better smartphone (GOOG, GOOGL)

  • Google PixelGoogle’s acquisition of a team of smartphone engineers from HTC could prove important to its future.
  • In the short term, the team should help Google’s Pixel phones better compete with Apple’s iPhone and other flagship smartphones.
  • But longer term, the deal fills in an important gap for Google, as it looks to compete in a world without smartphones.

Google, it seems, is gearing up for a post-smartphone world. 

At first glance, its acquisition of a team of smartphone engineers from HTC might seem to be about helping its line of Pixel phones better compete with the iPhone. But to me, the deal is as much about making sure the Android operating system — and the company itself — remain relevant into the imminent next wave of computing.  

Change is in the air. Over the next decade, smartphones are going to give way to smart speakers, like the Google Home, and smart eyewear, like Google Glass. And Google needs help if it’s going to maintain its leadership position in the tech industry.

Parallel lines

Google announced late Wednesday that it was going to be spend $1.1 billion to acquire a team of about 2,000 smartphone engineers from HTC. The team helped Google build its Pixel phones, and it will give the company a group of hardware experts in-house. That could help the company better compete with the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy phones in the smartphone market. 

But I think the Google-HTC deal has a bigger significance than just Google wanting to make better phones. I keep coming back to something that Alex Kipman, Microsoft’s resident augmented-reality genius, told me earlier this year about the company’s HoloLens goggles.

Kipman made the case that augmented reality — the technology that uses special headsets or other eyewear to overlay digital images on top of views of the real world — would eventually render the smartphone obsolete. Why carry a phone when your glasses or contact lenses can project your texts, Netflix, and Candy Crush Saga straight into your eyes?

He further argued that Microsoft was uniquely positioned to bring augmented reality to the mass market. Only Microsoft, he said, has invested in all the different technologies that will be needed to build a compelling and workable augmented reality product.

Google event 2016 Rick Osterlo

Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, one of the first augmented-reality devices to hit the market, includes sensor technology originally developed for the company’s Xbox’s Kinect sensor. The team behind Microsoft’s Surface laptops and tablets helped with the headset’s design and manufacturing.

Augmented-reality apps for the HoloLens tap into Microsoft’s Azure computing cloud and its artificial-intelligence capabilities. And Microsoft-owned game studios including Minecraft-maker Mojang helped with the user interface.

Google can duplicate some of those efforts and capabilities, but not all of them. It has expertise in artificial intelligence and cloud computing, for example. And it has some experience in developing hardware through building the Chromecast and other devices. But it lacks the deeper knowledge and experience in the hardware business that its rivals possess. Microsoft — as well as Apple and other companies — has been selling more complex devices to many more people for far longer. 

So for Google, picking up this HTC team is potentially like getting a cheat code in a video game. It could let the search giant skip ahead a few years in its development as a hardware maker, potentially avoiding mistakes and more quickly finding smarter ways to get stuff done.

That’s going to be important for building winning phones, for sure. But as Google looks to play in the the computing market that succeeds the smartphone, that expertise could prove crucial.

SEE ALSO: The 2 key reasons behind the $1.1 billion Google-HTC smartphone deal

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NOW WATCH: Everything we know about Google’s upcoming smartphone, the Pixel 2

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ipsy launches its beauty product e-commerce business Shopper as hit hits 3M subscribers

 ipsy, a subscription service that delivers a collection of products to its users every month, has spent the last six years building up a community with millions of people obsessed with beauty products. And now that the company has more than 3 million subscribers — with a $10 per month subscription cost — it’s ready to get a little bit more aggressive by getting directly… Read More

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We're soon going to know a lot more about how politicians use Facebook to advertise, which could impact their digital ad tactics (FB)

trump 100 days ad

We are soon going to have a lot more info on which politicians run ads on Facebook and who they target.

That’s because in light of the Russia-linked-ads-on-Facebook investigation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to adopt new levels of advertising transparency and cooperation with investigators.

When politicians advertise on TV, they have to reveal who is paying for ads. That’s because those TV ads are overseen by the Federal Communications Commission, which spells out a lot of regulations on political ads. Such as:

In the case of any television political advertisement concerning candidates for public office, the sponsor shall be identified with letters equal to or greater than four percent of the vertical picture height that air for not less than four seconds.

It’s why you see at the end of such ads quick lines such as “I’m Donald Trump and I approve this message.” TV stations have to maintain a public file of all political advertising.

On the web, this has not been the case to date. In light of the ongoing Russian investigation, Democrats in the House and Senate have been pushing the Federal Election to ratchet up disclosure standards for digital political ads, Business Insider reported.

Facebook is essentially moving to take this matter into its own hands. Thus, among Zuckerberg’s newly outlined nine steps, he wrote:

Going forward — and perhaps the most important step we’re taking — we’re going to make political advertising more transparent. When someone buys political ads on TV or other media, they’re required by law to disclose who paid for them. But you still don’t know if you’re seeing the same messages as everyone else. So we’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook. We will roll this out over the coming months, and we will work with others to create a new standard for transparency in online political ads.

So during next year’s midterm elections or in the 2020 presidential race, it won’t be very easy for a politician to keep his or her Facebook ad strategy quiet. If Zuckerberg and his team follow through, journalists, ad buyers, and political opponents should be able to click on a few links and find out who is buying which ads (candidates, the RNC, super PACs, etc) and what kinds of audiences they are targeting.

That may mean we’ll see a lot of copycat targeting tactics. It also may force some politicians to be more careful about the kinds of messages they are associated with on Facebook, since they’re sure to be under far more scrutiny than in 2016.

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NOW WATCH: Why you won’t find a garbage can near the 9/11 memorial

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The 9 steps that Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook will take to 'protect election integrity' (FB)

Mark Zuckerberg

On Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined 9 steps that Facebook would take to “protect election integrity” and “make sure Facebook is a force for good in democracy,” including the delivery of $100,000-worth of Russia-linked ads to government officials and investigators.

“I care deeply about the democratic process and protecting its integrity,” he said during a live broadcast on his Facebook page. “I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine our democracy.”

“We are in a new world,” Zuckerberg said. “It is a new challenge for internet communities to deal with nation states attempting to subvert elections. But if that’s what we must do, we are committed to rising to the occasion.”

As part of Zuckerberg’s announced changes, Facebook will start disclosing which pages paid for political ads on its platform — a move that democrats on Capital Hill urged the Federal Election Commission to force this week.

The vice chairman of the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, said Wednesday that there are likely “a lot more” fake Facebook accounts affiliated with Russia than what the company has so far disclosed in private briefings with committee staffers. He said the committee, which is tasked with uncovering any Russian interference with US elections, plans to call Facebook executives to publicly testify on Capitol Hill in October.

Below you can read the 9 steps the company is taking to prevent future government interference with elections:

 

1. We are actively working with the US government on its ongoing investigations into Russian interference. We have been investigating this for many months, and for a while we had found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russia running ads. When we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special counsel. We also briefed Congress — and this morning I directed our team to provide the ads we’ve found to Congress as well. As a general rule, we are limited in what we can discuss publicly about law enforcement investigations, so we may not always be able to share our findings publicly. But we support Congress in deciding how to best use this information to inform the public, and we expect the government to publish its findings when their investigation is complete.

2. We will continue our investigation into what happened on Facebook in this election. We may find more, and if we do, we will continue to work with the government. We are looking into foreign actors, including additional Russian groups and other former Soviet states, as well as organizations like the campaigns, to further our understanding of how they used our tools. These investigations will take some time, but we will continue our thorough review.

3. Going forward — and perhaps the most important step we’re taking — we’re going to make political advertising more transparent. When someone buys political ads on TV or other media, they’re required by law to disclose who paid for them. But you still don’t know if you’re seeing the same messages as everyone else. So we’re going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser’s page and see the ads they’re currently running to any audience on Facebook. We will roll this out over the coming months, and we will work with others to create a new standard for transparency in online political ads.

4. We will strengthen our ad review process for political ads. To be clear, it has always been against our policies to use any of our tools in a way that breaks the law — and we already have many controls in place to prevent this. But we can do more. Most ads are bought programmatically through our apps and website without the advertiser ever speaking to anyone at Facebook. That’s what happened here. But even without our employees involved in the sales, we can do better.

Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you we’re going to catch all bad content in our system. We don’t check what people say before they say it, and frankly, I don’t think our society shouldn’t want us to. Freedom means you don’t have to ask permission first, and that by default you can say what you want. If you break our community standards or the law, then you’re going to face consequences afterwards. We won’t catch everyone immediately, but we can make it harder to try to interfere.

5. We are increasing our investment in security and specifically election integrity. In the next year, we will more than double the team working on election integrity. In total, we’ll add more than 250 people across all our teams focused on security and safety for our community.

6. We will expand our partnerships with election commissions around the world. We already work with electoral commissions in many countries to help people register to vote and learn about the issues. We’ll keep doing that, and now we’re also going to establish a channel to inform election commissions of the online risks we’ve identified in their specific elections.

7. We will increase sharing of threat information with other tech and security companies. We already share information on bad actors on the internet through programs like ThreatExchange, and now we’re exploring ways we can share more information about anyone attempting to interfere with elections. It is important that tech companies collaborate on this because it’s almost certain that any actor trying to misuse Facebook will also be trying to abuse other internet platforms too.

8. We are working proactively to strengthen the democratic process. Beyond pushing back against threats, we will also create more services to protect our community while engaging in political discourse. For example, we’re looking at adapting our anti-bullying systems to protect against political harassment as well, and we’re scaling our ballot information tools to help more people understand the issues.

9. We have been working to ensure the integrity of the German elections this weekend, from taking actions against thousands of fake accounts, to partnering with public authorities like the Federal Office for Information Security, to sharing security practices with the candidates and parties. We’re also examining the activity of accounts we’ve removed and have not yet found a similar type of effort in Germany. This is incredibly important and we have been focused on this for a while.

At the same time, it’s important not to lose sight of the more straightforward and larger ways Facebook plays a role in elections — and these effects operate at much larger scales of 100x or 1000x bigger than what we’re discussing here.
In 2016, people had billions of interactions and open discussions on Facebook that may never have happened offline. Candidates had direct channels to communicate with tens of millions of citizens. Campaigns spent tens of millions organizing and advertising online to get their messages out further. And we organized “get out the vote” efforts that helped as many as 2 million people register to vote who might not have voted otherwise. Many of these dynamics were new in this election, or at much larger scale than ever before in history, and at much larger scale than the interference we’ve found.

But we are in a new world. It is a new challenge for internet communities to deal with nation states attempting to subvert elections. But if that’s what we must do, we are committed to rising to the occasion.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch Apple’s Face ID unlocking fail during its big demo

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Unlock Windows Ink with the Bamboo Ink pen

Bamboo Ink

With Windows 10, your pen or touch-enabled device arrives built-in with Windows Ink: the feature that helps you set your ideas in motion. You can easily capture your thoughts, and share and collaborate with classmates or co-workers using Windows Ink, whether you’re doodling with the sketchpad, drawing on a screen capture of your entire desktop, drawing in the Photos app, adding notes to your map, or writing and highlighting directly on webpages in Microsoft Edge.

Add notes to your map in the Maps app

Add notes to your map in the Maps app

Studies show that students who take handwritten notes instead of using a keyboard take fewer notes, but end up with a stronger understanding across the board; and, people who doodle while listening to a class, lecture or meeting can remember more than 20 percent more of what they were listening to later than the people who don’t.

A great way to be more productive using Windows Ink is with Bamboo Ink from Wacom, a smart stylus seamlessly integrated for natural writing, notetaking and sketching experiences.*

The pen is compatible with select Windows 10 PCs – you can find out if your PC is compatible by visiting this link.

The Bamboo Ink pen has customizable buttons to allow you to personalize it and be more productive. Clicking the Bluetooth button once will open Windows Ink Workspace, your canvas for all the ink-powered features and apps on your PC. A double click will open Screen Sketch, where you can add notes to a screen capture of your desktop and share it easily.

If you press and hold the Bluetooth button, you’ll open Sticky Notes, where you can take notes that become smart and active. Write an address and Maps will ready it for finding a route, jot down a few items and they’ll become an easy-to-manage checklist, or write down a flight number and click on the text when it turns blue to track a flight right in the Sticky Note.** You can customize these buttons at any time.

The pen lets you write naturally with its thin-tip design for quick markup on the screen. It has three exchangeable fine tips (soft, medium, and firm) you can switch out to create the exact stylus experience you’re looking for.

Edit docs in Word

Edit docs in Word

With Windows 10, you can write a math problem on your screen in OneNote to get to the answer quickly, or see step-by-step instructions to help you learn how OneNote got the solution; draw with the built-in ruler in PowerPoint; or, edit docs in Word by using the pen to highlight words, strike through them and make them disappear, or circle text to select.

Built-in ruler in PowerPoint

Built-in ruler in PowerPoint

We’re excited to see partners like Wacom create devices that unlock Windows Ink in new ways. If you want to learn more about the pen, try it out in person through a product demonstration or purchase one for yourself, you can do so by visiting BestBuy.com, Best Buy U.S. stores, your local Microsoft Store or Microsoft.com. If you’re new to Windows Ink, check out our tips on getting started!

*Touch-capable tablet or PC required. Pen accessory may be sold separately. Compatibility varies by device; visit wacom.com/comp for more info.
**Cortana available in select markets; experience may vary by region and device.

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