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  • Twitter’s much-heralded IPO has frothed the waters around this social media tool yet again. You may have avoided joining, but now that almost 50 million Americans use it, and three times that number use the microblog internationally, you may be wondering if there’s actually something valuable about Twitter that you’re missing.

    So what does it do well, and how do power users maximize its strengths?

    Current, Hyper-Local, First-Person Information

    218 million people use Twitter. 22% are in the US, and a whopping 78% are international users. And this global reach highlights some of Twitter’s greatest strengths. If you follow users who are in your area, Twitter offers a hyper-local news source that many parts of the world (and the United States) don’t have. Unlike newspapers, the information on Twitter comes through in real time. During an emergency or a live event, Twitter can be one of the most comprehensive sources of first-person information. On the down-side, this is not journalism; it

    Read More »from What Twitter Users Know That You Don’t
  • Be it robo calls, telemarketers, or an unfortunate interpersonal drama, sometimes you just need to block a specific phone number and prevent that individual from ever calling you again. Fortunately, there are easy ways to filter out those calls – and even unwanted text messages – on your cell phone.

    Caller ID only goes so far. Even if you choose not to answer them, unwanted calls are still an intrusion and – if you’re paying for talk minutes or texts – an expense. So here’s how to take care of the problem – and check out the video above to see exactly how it’s done:

    iPhone iOS 7 Solution

    Blocking calls on Apple’s new iPhone software iOS 7 is incredibly easy. Look in your recent call log and click the “i” next to the name or number you want to block. Scroll down and choose “Block this caller.” You won’t receive phone calls, voicemail, text messages or Facetime calls from this contact ever again. (Or at least until you make up – then you can unblock the number.)

    [Related: The New iPhones –

    Read More »from New Tools to Block Calls on Your Cell Phone
  • You bought an expensive smartphone, and you don’t want it to get scratched up in your purse or pocket. But do you need to add a screen protector? And can these thin pieces of plastic really help prevent cracks when you drop your phone?

    It’s All About The Glass

    Almost all new phones these days come with enhanced glass.  Whether it’s Corning’s Gorilla Glass or another manufacturer’s version, screen glass is chemically strengthened to create a barrier against scratches. Some phone manufacturers have even hinted they don’t think screen protectors do much good.

    [Related: The New iPhones – Should You Upgrade?]

    And I Don’t Like Screen Protectors

    Personally I am not a fan of screen protectors. Yes, they can help fight off fingerprints and reduce glare. But they are hard to apply, air bubbles get trapped under the plastic, and they don’t feel as smooth to the touch as the glass. But I like scratches and cracks even less.  So I’m willing to sacrifice a few phones to see how everyday and extreme

    Read More »from Scratch Test: Does Your Phone Really Need A Screen Protector?

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  • The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

    App Store Official Charts for the week ending July 21, 2014:

  • Britain still exporting arms to Russia
    Britain still exporting arms to Russia

    Britain is still exporting arms and military equipment to Russia, according to a parliamentary report released Wednesday just hours after Prime Minister David Cameron rapped France for selling weapons to Moscow. Cameron has urged the EU to ban military sales to Russia -- accused of equipping and training separatists in eastern Ukraine -- and said Monday Britain had already halted such arms exports. The government promised in March to stop military sales to Russia.

  • Exclusive: Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile
    Exclusive: Ukraine rebel commander acknowledges fighters had BUK missile

    By Anton Zverev DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - A powerful Ukrainian rebel leader has confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had an anti-aircraft missile of the type Washington says was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and it could have originated in Russia. In an interview with Reuters, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Vostok Battalion, acknowledged for the first time since the airliner was brought down in eastern Ukraine on Thursday that the rebels did possess the BUK missile system and said it could have been sent back subsequently to remove proof of its presence. Before the Malaysian plane was shot down, rebels had boasted of obtaining the BUK missiles, which can shoot down airliners at cruising height.

  • Are we alone? Alien pollution might reveal the answer
    Are we alone? Alien pollution might reveal the answer

    Earthlings often wonder if life exists on other planets, and researchers said Wednesday that hunting for traces of pollution from distant worlds could provide the answer. Under certain conditions, astronomers in the next decade might be able to detect the presence of an industrialized alien society, according to a study by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Already, astronomers can study the atmospheres of planets outside our solar system for the presence of oxygen and methane, which could be produced by intelligent life or by microbes. Astronomers may be able to detect evidence of these CFCs on faraway planets using the James Webb Space Telescope, an $8.7 billion project that NASA is scheduled to launch in 2018.

  • Hamas tactics exact high toll in Israeli ground thrust
    Hamas tactics exact high toll in Israeli ground thrust

    By Noah Browning GAZA (Reuters) - Using tunnels, mines, booby traps and snipers, Hamas fighters have inflicted record casualties on Israeli troops waging an offensive in the Gaza Strip, applying years of training in urban warfare with a new tactical acumen and suicidal resolve. The Israelis say weapons and know-how supplied by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah make Hamas a more formidable foe. Four days after Israel launched a withering ground assault on the Palestinian Islamist militants in their stronghold of Shejaia following intensive air strikes, the army still does not have complete control of the area. Exploiting a vast network of secret tunnels to snipe at enemy troops and blast their vehicles even inside Israel, Hamas has killed 32 Israeli soldiers -- almost three times as many as in the last major ground clashes in a 2008-9 conflict.

  • Plane Carrying Teen on Round-the-World Trip Goes Down Near American Samoa
    Plane Carrying Teen on Round-the-World Trip Goes Down Near American Samoa

    Indiana Dad and Teen Son Were Flying Around the World Together

  • Survival of the Flight Test: Airplanes Evolve, Too
    Survival of the Flight Test: Airplanes Evolve, Too

    Adrian Bejan, a mechanical engineer at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and his colleagues analyzed aircraft designs from the earliest days of manned flight. They foresee the creation of more larger aircraft, with engine sizes and wingspans remaining proportional to fuselage sizes.

  • Starbucks seeks to expand in cafe-clogged Vietnam
    Starbucks seeks to expand in cafe-clogged Vietnam

    By Martin Petty HANOI (Reuters) - With more coffee shops per square mile than probably anywhere on earth, opening a cafe in Vietnam's capital could be a bit of a gamble. This week, U.S. coffee chain Starbucks is opening three of them. Vietnam's entrenched coffee culture means Starbucks is delving deeper into what could be one of its most challenging markets yet. The brew is sold cheaply in the simple cafes that line almost every city street, or in the more sophisticated outlets run by local chains Trung Nguyen and Highland Coffee, in which the Philippines' Jollibee Foods Corp has a stake.

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