posted 3 days ago on the next web
The world wasn’t crying out for a search engine of the first 15 seasons of the Simpsons with an editor that allows you to quickly hack each one up into memes, but now we know it exists… Credit: FraniacSeason 9, episode 22 Hello Frinkiac! Named after the resident Simpsons geek Professor Frink (obvs), this slightly bizarre contraption was created by a three-person dev team, Paul Kehrer, Sean Schulte and Allie Young, to help everyone celebrate god’s gift that is the Simpsons. Credit: FrinkiacSeason 9, episode 14 Simply enter a search term, or an exact quote, and scroll through almost three million scenes from 335 episodes to find… This story continues at The Next Web

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It’s no secret that Google makes money off advertising, and it’s had issues in the past with Android apps that blocked advertising. Now, just days after Samsung announced that it was adding an official ad blocking API for its Internet browser, Google has pulled the first ad blocking app from the store. Adblock Fast was Samsung’s launch partner for the new feature, but its app was pulled with little explanation today after it racked up more than 50,000 downloads and had appeared on the top charts. Brian Kennish, developer at Rocketship Apps, the company behind Adblock Fast, said that Google sent… This story continues at The Next Web

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Fitbit has unveiled a new fashionable fitness band today called the Alta. Set to launch in March and cost $130, the tracker is available to preorder now and is arguably Fitbit’s most aesthetically pleasing device yet. Unlike the Blaze or the Surge bands, the Alta’s design is purposely discreet. It offers the same SmartTrack instant exercise recognition as its siblings, as well as pairing with the Fitbit app to manage weekly goals and monitor daily activity and sleep tracking. And this one will vibrate to tell you when to get off your butt if you’ve been sitting down for too long as… This story continues at The Next Web

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Python is a widely-used general purpose programming language, which drives a great many of your favorite sites across the Web. For those looking to step into the field of programming, The Python Programming Bootcamp is an ideal entrypoint with lifetime access to six courses and 50 hours of training that will prepare anyone, regardless of experience, to become proficient in this versatile, widely-used coding language. Get it now for just $39. Your instruction begins with the most basic fundamentals, then moves progressively into intermediate and advanced concepts to prepare you for complete success. You’ll learn essential Python concepts that are… This story continues at The Next Web

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This post was brought to you by Adobe and Creative Cloud, building apps that help you design websites and mobile apps faster.One of the fables that floats around UX teams is that of the US space program and its quest for a pen that could be used in anti-gravity. They reportedly spent million dollars developing a high-tech writing utensil with ink that remained solid until the flow of writing and a pressurized chamber that made it useful upside-down. The Russian cosmonauts, however, simply brought pencils. Though this story isn’t wholly true, it shines light on the necessity of understanding the larger picture. The space pen did make it into orbit and was a privately-funded accomplishment in engineering. In their own applications,… This story continues at The Next Web

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Ohlala, a service that connects men with women who are willing to go on “paid for” dates has launched in New York City today, marking its first foray outside of its home market in Germany. Launched last summer in Berlin and now available in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and a few other German cities, the service looks to capitalize on the time-poor and cash-rich members of society by offering “paid dating.” Just don’t call it an escort app, OK. It’s definitely, definitely not that. That said, it lets men put out a request for a date (pretty sure a woman wouldn’t… This story continues at The Next Web

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Having seen taxi drivers in Paris win a court case last week against Uber amid two days of street protests, it looks like the ride-hailing community in France has taken a leaf out of their rivals’ book and decided to stage a rally of its own. The ‘funeral march’ for their profession is being led by the Alternative Mobilité Transport group, which represents salaried chauffeurs in France and increasingly partners with services like Uber as drivers tussle for position in the app-powered world. Last week, the Prime Minister Manuel Valls sent letters to app companies, including Uber, ordering them to stop allowing salaried drivers to… This story continues at The Next Web

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While Amazon has continuously updated its Kindle hardware, the interface has been left largely untouched. Thankfully, an update rolling out this week will fix that. The new home screen highlights books you’ve recently looked at, your personalized reading list and recommendations. It’s also done away with the light button, which is now tucked behind a new ‘gear’ option that also gives you quick access to other settings like airplane mode and syncing. The update is the biggest change Amazon has applied to the devices in years. Another neat new feature is the ability to share quotes from books you’re reading… This story continues at The Next Web

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It’s pretty obvious Adobe Flash is dying, but the company has avoided ever publicly saying as much. Today, however, it’s dropping Adobe Flash from one of its own products, Adobe Connect, signalling even the company itself moving away from the beleaguered product. Adobe Connect is a Web conferencing offering in the same vein as GoToMeeting, allowing companies to have calls with up to 1,000 participants. Until now, it required Adobe Flash to be installed, but now the company is embracing HTML5 so you can go plugin free. The death of Flash has been long and slow, but it’s definitely happening as… This story continues at The Next Web

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Comparing two cities’ startup scenes is difficult. A number of companies use various methods and combinations of metrics to produce an answer as to which city or region or country is beating out the other. All of them, admittedly, do a fantastic job trying to assess certain metrics, but inherently miss out on other potentially influential factors. Still, assessing which of two cities should be deemed the best of a certain region can actually be a major deal for companies looking to set up headquarters or subsidiaries in new markets. Two of the fastest emerging capitals for the global startup economy… This story continues at The Next Web

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HTC reported its year-end results today and while they’re looking less scary than last quarter, everything isn’t rosy yet. The company laid off a significant amount of employees over the past few months to help recover its profits, which helped a small amount and recovered around $900 million NT ($268,000 USD) in operating profit, to a loss of $4.1 billion NT ($122 million USD). HTC’s CFO Hui-Ming Cheng said on the investor call that “to be very candid, our flagship [phones] did not perform well — actually, our flagships fell far short of our expectation for the entire cycle of 2015.” Cheng continued… This story continues at The Next Web

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There was a time when ethical, White Hat hackers could not make a decent living out of their wages while illegitimate, Black Hat hackers earned hundreds of thousands of dollar for an exploit offer on the black market. Those days have ended, however, thanks to Mozilla’s popular bug bounty program back in 2004 and the subsequent “No More Free Bugs” campaign by famous Mac hacker Charlie Miller. Think Dog the Bounty Hunter meets tech. Yet, instead of hunting a person, you will be hunting a computer bug found in systems, protocols or software. For every bug you report, you receive a reward.… This story continues at The Next Web

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Facebook is testing a new feature for Page managers today that lets you write multiple versions of a post in different languages, and displays the most relevant to users based on their settings. While there’s already an auto-translate feature for people who want status updates in their mother tongue, they don’t tend to be very accurate a lot of the time, and miss the nuance required for a skilfully crafted social post. Now, however, some Page admins can start lining up multiple posts in a range of different languages. Again, to emphasize, this isn’t an auto-translation option for readers, it’s… This story continues at The Next Web

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Many users across the globe are reporting issues streaming music on Spotify since as early as 12:05PM GMT. The most common issue being reported is that tracks are skipping every few seconds. Hi @SpotifyCares Is there a general problem with Spotify at the moment? Skipping tracks every 5 seconds #NotGood — Duncan Wright (@Litforlads) February 3, 2016 It’s not just folks on Twitter. Users elsewhere have reported the problem too, with a majority of them appearing to be coming from across Europe. Here’s Downdetector’s outage map: The majority of complaints about Spotify’s service seem to be coming from Europe The company… This story continues at The Next Web

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Popcorn Time has made a comeback with the launch of its new Web version – Popcorn Time Online – that allows users to stream all of the movies and TV shows it offers (illegally) directly in their browser using a new plugin called Torrents Time. Previously, if you wanted to stream anything from Popcorn Time you had to install the native app. The new version comes not long after the team behind the streaming service lost some of its key developers, coinciding with three separate lawsuits taken out by the Motion Picture Association of America against the group. The site… This story continues at The Next Web

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Nintendo’s latest results weren’t too much to shout about, but the company seems to have found a new sweet spot in its sale of the companion figurines that let you control your favorite characters via NFC in some of its most popular games. Although they aren’t necessary for gameplay, sold for around $12.99 each, they’ve clearly found a place in the heart of Nintendo fans. Perhaps even just sitting on the mantlepiece as a bit of memorabilia? And rather than new characters capturing the public imagination, it’s the old guys who are leading Amiibo figure sales. In North America, it’s Zelda’s pal Link… This story continues at The Next Web

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Each week we’re profiling one company that has been selected for Boost – our early-stage startup growth program. Catch up with these companies in person at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam on May 26-27. The ‘smart home’ has made great strides forward in recent years, but there are still basic problems that can leave you in two minds about embracing the Internet of Things. What if there’s a power cut? What if your Wi-Fi goes down? Will your home keep working as it should? Ceco Home from Finland’s iSocket Systems could allay these fears. It’s a connected home monitoring… This story continues at The Next Web

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Last year, security firm LegbaCore created the first worm that was able to permanently infect Mac computers by embedding itself in firmware — and now the company has been acquired by Apple. The attack, called Thunderstrike 2, exploited a flaw in Thunderbolt to infect Mac firmware without user detection and spread itself to other computers using the option ROM in attached Thunderbolt devices. According to Macrumors, when the company reported the bug to Apple and worked through resolution, it began courting them for acquisition. Xeno Kovah, one of the company’s founders said on Twitter that “as we were having discussions with Apple in the wake of our… This story continues at The Next Web

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What do you call people so inspiring, so innovative, they border on genius? At The Next Web, we settled on imagineers.  We want to offer our favourite entrepreneurs and pioneers a platform to share the visions and insights that will shape our future. This is why, each week, we’ll present you with an exclusive episode of Imagineers. Produced in partnership with the city of Amsterdam, each episode captures one person’s thought-provoking talk against the backdrop of TNW’s beloved home city, where rich history and culture go hand in hand with innovation and progression – just the right place for TNW Conference.… This story continues at The Next Web

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When I got my new laptop a few months ago, I was excited to try using the touchscreen for a better browsing experience. Sadly, the feature gets little to no use, simply because I’m quicker with a mouse. However, Windows 10 has a neat ‘slide to shut down’ function that lets you turn off your computer just by swiping down on your screen. It’s quicker than digging through your Start menu and finally gives you a reason to use your touchscreen. MakeUseOf has a tip to access it via a desktop shortcut. Here’s how you can set it up: Right-click… This story continues at The Next Web

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In an advisory published today, a Google engineer has pointed out that security firm’s Comodo suite of tools to stay safe online actually exposes users to possible attacks. Tavis Ormandy, an information security engineer at Google, reports that the Comodo Internet Security suite installs a new browser called Chromodo and sets it as default during setup. Ormandy says that when you install Comodo Internet Security, “All shortcuts are replaced with Chromodo links and all settings, cookies, etc are imported from Chrome. They also hijack DNS settings, among other shady practices.” What’s especially worrying is that Chromodo disables Chrome’s same-origin policy,… This story continues at The Next Web

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Turing Robotic Industries (TRI) made waves last year when it announced its first smartphone with end-to-end encryption and a ‘Liquidmorphium’ metal body designed to withstand shock better than traditional materials. However, the company has been having trouble getting its devices into customers’ hands: its initial August shipping date was pushed to December, then to Q1 2016 and now to April. Oh, and the Turing Phone won’t run Android Lollipop — instead, the company has chosen to go with Jolla’s Sailfish OS, according to Android Police. The news is worrying not only because the decision to switch platforms comes this late… This story continues at The Next Web

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Microsoft has promised to release developer kits for its mixed-reality HoloLens headset in the first quarter of this year at $3,000 a pop. For the rest of us, dramatic CGI video demos will have to suffice. The company’s latest clip shows how HoloLens could transform your sports viewing experience, with a focus on the NFL. You could enjoy the game on a screen larger than your TV, get a top-down view of the stadium on your coffee table and see players’ holograms and key stats float around your living room. There’s clearly a long way to go before any of… This story continues at The Next Web

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Public health officials and communities are bracing for the impact of the Zika virus, a mosquito-transmitted disease that can cause pregnant women to give birth to babies with microcephaly. In Brazil, the World Health Organization has declared a global emergency with 4,000 cases of microcephaly documented since just October of this past year. Other countries in Latin America, like El Salvador, are headed for similar designations. Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a public awareness campaign for Zika virus, specifically targeted at women in Brazil and Latin America. The first video, released today in Portuguese with English subtitles, lists the… This story continues at The Next Web

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Update: Microsoft and SwiftKey have confirmed the acquisition on February 3. In a blog post, Microsoft’s executive vice president of technology and research Harry Shum said: We’ll continue to develop SwiftKey’s market-leading keyboard apps for Android and iOS as well as explore scenarios for the integration of the core technology across the breadth of our product and services portfolio. Moreover, SwiftKey’s predictive technology aligns with Microsoft’s investments and ambition to develop intelligent systems that can work more on the user’s behalf and under their control. In the coming months, we’ll have more to share about how we’ll integrate SwiftKey technology with our Guinness… This story continues at The Next Web

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