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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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  • U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea feels 'abandoned': paper
    U.S. missionary jailed in North Korea feels 'abandoned': paper

    A U.S. missionary imprisoned in North Korea since 2012 has said he feels abandoned by his government and has appealed again for help in securing his release, a pro-North Korea newspaper reported on Thursday. Kenneth Bae, who is of Korean descent, was arrested in November 2012, convicted and sentenced to 15 years hard labor last year. "Bae said he had heard that the U.S. government is doing everything it can for his release but feels disappointment that there has been no sign of resolution when he is approaching two years in his stay in (the North) and that he feels abandoned by the U.S. government," the Choson Sinbo newspaper said. Bae said he was suffering from illness of the spleen as well as liver, prostate and spinal problems and he asked the United States to send a special envoy to try to secure his release, said the newspaper which is published in Japan but supports the North and reflects its views.

  • U.S., U.N. announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire
    U.S., U.N. announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

    Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire beginning Friday, during which time there will be negotiations on a more durable truce in the 24-day-old Gaza war, the United States and United Nations announced Thursday.

  • American missionaries infected with Ebola to be brought home
    American missionaries infected with Ebola to be brought home

    An Atlanta hospital is preparing to treat one of the two U.S. aid workers who contracted the highly contagious and deadly Ebola virus in West Africa. It will be the first time that a patient diagnosed with Ebola will be known to be in the United States.

  • France mulls ban on radical Jewish group
    France mulls ban on radical Jewish group

    France is considering disbanding a radical Jewish group whose members clashed with pro-Palestinian activists during rallies over Israel's offensive in Gaza, a source close to the case told AFP on Thursday. News of the mooted ban on the Jewish Defence League (LDJ) came just ahead of an evening pro-Israel demonstration outside the Jewish state's embassy, located near the French prime minister's office. Police said around 4,500 people joined the rally called by the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF). They were held in response to weeks of pro-Palestinian protests that have been marred by clashes, arrests and allegations of anti-Semitism in which synagogues were targeted and Israeli flags burnt.

  • Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'
    Obama to GOP: 'Stop just hating all the time'

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Pointing the finger at Republicans for congressional inaction, President Barack Obama chided lawmakers Wednesday for spending the waning days before their month-long summer break trying to sue him rather than addressing economic issues that could boost the middle class.

  • Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap
    Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Republican candidate for California governor said Thursday he spent a week living as a homeless person in Fresno to highlight the disparity between the governor's claim that the state is making an economic comeback and the reality faced by the working poor in the nation's most populous state.

  • Ebola-infected doctor's extraordinary sacrifice
    Ebola-infected doctor's extraordinary sacrifice

    Even from his own sickbed, Dr. Kent Brantly continues to put the well-being of others before his own.

  • John Kerry's passage to India. Why is he going now?
    John Kerry's passage to India. Why is he going now?

    After a bruising week of shuttle diplomacy that failed to broker a cease-fire to the Gaza conflict, Mr. Kerry landed yesterday in India for two days of talks with the new Narendra Modi government. It’s the first visit of a high ranking US official to India since Prime Minister Modi and his right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to a landslide victory in May, and is designed to pave the way for the Indian leader's visit to the United States in September.  He will need to assuage hurt feelings over revelations that the NSA spied on the BJP, and also press India over its holdup of new global trade regulations. “The catechism of an 'indispensable partnership' with India that US Secretary of State John Kerry repeated during [a speech before he arrived in New Delhi] cannot cover up the loss of faith that has crept into the relationship between the two countries,” wrote Siddharth Varadarajan, a senior fellow at the Centre for Public Affairs in New Delhi in a column in India’s NDTV.

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