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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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  • Today in History

    Today is Friday, August 29, the 241st day of 2014. There are 124 days left in the year.

  • APNewsBreak: Buffett heir buys Rosa Parks archive
    APNewsBreak: Buffett heir buys Rosa Parks archive

    DETROIT (AP) — Hundreds of items that belonged to civil rights icon Rosa Parks and have been sitting unseen for years in a New York warehouse were sold to a foundation run by the son of billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett, the younger Buffett said Thursday.

  • Disputed Kurdish oil tanker mysteriously goes dark off Texas coast
    Disputed Kurdish oil tanker mysteriously goes dark off Texas coast

    A tanker near Texas loaded with $100 million of disputed Iraqi Kurdish crude has disappeared from satellite tracking, the latest development in a high stakes game of cat-and-mouse between Baghdad and the Kurds. The AIS ship tracking system used by the U.S. Coast Guard and Reuters on Thursday showed no known position for the United Kalavrvta, which was carrying 1 million barrels of crude and 95 percent full when it went dark. Several other tankers carrying disputed crude from Iran or Iraqi Kurdistan have unloaded cargoes after switching off their transponders, which makes their movements hard to track.

  • On Ukraine's 'other side' to the west, fears of familiar crisis brew in tiny Moldova
    On Ukraine's 'other side' to the west, fears of familiar crisis brew in tiny Moldova

    The world may not be ready for another crisis on Ukraine’s borders, but one may be brewing — this time on the west, in the obscure Moldovan province of Transnistria, occupying about 1,600 square miles between the Dniester River and the Ukrainian frontier.

  • IS 'waterboarded' Syria captives: report
    IS 'waterboarded' Syria captives: report

    At least four Western hostages held by the Islamic State in Syria, including murdered American journalist James Foley, were waterboarded in the early part of their captivity, The Washington Post said Thursday. Foley, whose recent execution at the hands of the extremists provoked revulsion, and the other kidnapped Westerners were waterboarded "several times," the newspaper said, citing people familiar with their treatment. Sources involved in trying to free the hostages have confirmed to AFP that waterboarding was used on at least one hostage. Waterboarding, which was used by the CIA during interrogations of suspected terrorists after the September 11, 2001 attacks, is a widely condemned form of torture that simulates drowning.

  • Russia says no proof that its military fighting in eastern Ukraine

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that allegations Russia's military is fighting in eastern Ukraine are "conjecture". "We're hearing various conjectures, not for the first time, but not once have any facts been presented to us," he said at a news conference. (Reporting by Thomas Grove and Andrei Kuzmin; Editing by Christian Lowe)

  • U.N. says 43 Golan peacekeepers seized by Syria militants, 81 trapped

    By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Militants fighting the Syrian army have detained 43 U.N. peacekeepers in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and trapped another 81 in the region, and the world body is working to secure their release, the United Nations said on Thursday. The affected peacekeepers are from the Philippines and Fiji, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. "During a period of increased fighting beginning yesterday between armed elements and Syrian Arab Armed Forces within the area of separation in the Golan Heights, 43 peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were detained early this morning by an armed group in the vicinity of Al Qunaytirah," the U.N. press office said in a statement.

  • US OPEN SCENE: Shirt is not a hometown advantage
    US OPEN SCENE: Shirt is not a hometown advantage

    NEW YORK (AP) — Simone Bolelli says branding was at play when the Italian wore a shirt with the Stars and Stripes on the sleeve for his second-round match Thursday against Tommy Robredo.

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