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Stanford study praises Apple Watch’s heart rate monitoring, calorie counting needs more work

iDownloadBlog - 12 hours 33 min ago

A new medical study from Stanford University focusing on consumer fitness tracker reliability, published Wednesday in the Journal of Personalized Medicine, has crowned Apple Watch the king of heart rate monitoring while pointing out shortcomings in its calorie counting feature.

“People are basing life decisions on the data provided by these devices,” Euan Ashley, DPhil, FRCP, professor of cardiovascular medicine, of genetics and of biomedical data science at Stanford said in a statement.

The study included 29 male and 31 female volunteers who wore several fitness trackers like Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, MIO Alpha 2, PulseOn, Samsung Gear S2 and Apple Watch. The study pitted the wearable gadgets against FDA-approved equipment.

The participants were asked to complete a total of 80 physical tests, including such activities as cycling, running and walking. They compared data against an FDA-approved 12-lead electrocardiograph for measuring heart rate and clinical-grade indirect calorimetry, which determines calories burned by measuring oxygen and carbon dioxide expelled when breathing.

Heart-rate monitoring via Apple Watch achieved the highest accuracy across measured modes of activity with an error rate of two percent, followed by Basis Peak and Fitbit Surge.

Samsung’s Gear S2 had the highest heart rate error rate at 6.8 percent.

Researchers set an acceptable error rate at five percent, meaning Samsung’s device fell just outside the study’s acceptable buffer.

All fitness devices they tested fell short in calorie counting.

In terms of determining the amount of calories burned, Fitbit’s Surge was the most accurate device with an error rate of 27.4 percent. PulseOn was the least accurate tracker in terms of calorie count with an astounding error rate of 92.6 percent. Apple Watch had an error rate near 40 percent while Microsoft Band came in at around 33 percent.

Low-impact activities like sitting caused the most inaccuracies with an average error rate of 52.4 percent compared against high-impact activities, such as walking and running.

This is due to the differences in how people exercise. “People are so variable,” Ashely said. “Some people walk smoothly and others waddle along, and that has an impact.”

“The heart rate measurements performed far better than we expected, but the energy expenditure measures were way off the mark,” she added.

“The magnitude of just how bad they were surprised me.”

Each of the tested devices uses its own proprietary algorithm for calculating calorie burn, which could explain the wildly differing readings in terms of energy expenditure rates.

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Categories: Misc

British intelligence shuts out US after information leaks on Manchester attack

Daily Kos - 12 hours 35 min ago

Donald Trump shared classified intelligence with Russian officials, putting Israeli assets at risk. Trump shared the location of two nuclear submarines with Rodrigo Duterte, putting US assets at risk. And now the Trump team has shared the name of the Manchester bomber along with other information, putting the investigation of the British terrorist attack at risk.

High-ranking British officials, including Home Secretary Amber Rudd, are speaking out against the US, after a number of confidential details in the ongoing investigation into Monday's Manchester attack appeared in American media before the British authorities confirmed them.

It’s all part of a pattern in which the Trump regime talks tough about leakers letting out the details of their own misdeeds, but dishes classified information like paparazzi. The result of the Trump regime’s loose lip is that the US is already getting cut out of further information coming from the Manchester investigation.

According to a report by the BBC, British police investigating the Manchester attack have now decided to withhold information from the United States in the wake of the leaks.

Supporters have been rushing to toss a “the president can declassify anything he wants, it’s no big deal” blanket over Trump’s information spills, but unlike the email messages that were treated as an outrage during the campaign, the look-what-we-know gleeful overshare of the Trump White House is endangering lives. Including American lives.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 · 8:28:53 PM +00:00 · Barbara Morrill

It’ll happen again ...


Categories: Politics

Care costs money

Balloon Juice - 12 hours 43 min ago

The most important concept in health finance is simple; sick people are expensive to cover. Let’s keep that in mind for the rest of the post.

The Independent Journalism Review captures the reaction of Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), head of the House Freedom Caucus, to the CBO score.

When reporters pointed out the portion of the CBO report saying individuals with preexisting conditions in waiver states would be charged higher premiums and could even be priced out of the insurance market — destabilizing markets in those states — under AHCA, Meadows seemed surprised.

“Well, that’s not what I read,” Meadows said, putting on his reading glasses and peering at the paragraph on the phone of a nearby reporter.

The CBO predicted:

“…the waivers in those states would have another effect: Community-rated premiums would rise over time, and people who are less healthy (including those with preexisting or newly acquired medical conditions) would ultimately be unable to purchase comprehensive non-group health insurance at premiums comparable to those under current law, if they could purchase it at all — despite the additional funding that would be available under H.R. 1628 to help reduce premiums.”

The CBO analysis was likewise adamant that AHCA’s current high-risk pool funding isn’t enough to cover sick people if states use the mandate waivers.

After reading the paragraph, Meadows told reporters he would go through the CBO analysis more thoroughly and run the numbers, adding he would work to make sure the high-risk pools are properly funded.

Meadows, suddenly emotional, choked back tears and said, “Listen, I lost my sister to breast cancer. I lost my dad to lung cancer. If anybody is sensitive to preexisting conditions, it’s me. I’m not going to make a political decision today that affects somebody’s sister or father because I wouldn’t do it to myself.”

He continued:

“In the end, we’ve got to make sure there’s enough funding there to handle preexisting conditions and drive down premiums. And if we can’t do those three things, then we will have failed.”

There is a plausible high cost risk pool design that could theoretically work. It just costs a lot of money. The Urban Institute provides an updated floor to that type of design.

Government costs for the coverage and assistance typical of traditional high-risk pools would range from $25 billion to $30 billion in 2020 and from $359 to $427 billion over 10 years. (Figure 2)

I think this is a decent lower bound as they don’t look at very high cost but uncommon conditions like hematological defects, cystic fibrosis, major gastro-intestinal conditions, slow progressing cancers or hundreds of other things. But Urban’s estimates points us in the right direction. Taking care of sick people costs somewhere between expensive and very expensive.

This is not new knowledge. Anyone of any ideological stripe who is actively trying to be a good faith broker of information on health care finance has been shouting this basic insight for months. And yet, the Senate just invited actuaries to talk with them for the first time this week. And yet, the House voted on this bill without waiting for expert opinion. The bill was written without a public hearing. The product is a consequence of a process that deliberately excluded even friendly experts who were having a nervous breakdown when they looked at the cash flows much less incorporating the criticism of unfriendly but knowledgeable experts.

Healthcare for people with high needs is expensive.

Categories: Politics

IK Multimedia debuts new beast Mac synth w/ Moog, Roland, Prophet, & Oberheim sampler-instruments

9to5Mac - 12 hours 50 min ago

IK Multimedia, a popular maker of mobile audio recording solutions and software for iOS and Mac, is introducing a massive new plug-in instrument for Mac and Logic Pro today. The new Syntronik is a sample-based virtual synthesizer and features 38 painstakingly multi-sampled virtual versions of some of the most classic synthesizers that have ever existed. more…

Categories: Misc

UK airport installs 2000 iBeacons for augmented reality navigation & passenger tracking

9to5Mac - 12 hours 51 min ago

Gatwick Airport, the second-largest of London’s airports, has installed around 2,000 iBeacons to help passengers find their way around the terminals.

While phase 1 of the project is rather basic – merely showing people where they are on a digital map – the second phase will provide augmented reality navigation, guiding passengers to their gates by overlaying arrows on live images of the terminal. The airport is also considering a more ambitious third phase …


Categories: Misc

Montana's biggest newspapers rescind endorsement of GOP candidate who violently assaulted a reporter

Daily Kos - 12 hours 56 min ago

Greg Gianforte, Montana’s Republican candidate for U.S. Congress, is facing misdemeanor assault charges after he attacked Ben Jacobs, a reporter for The Guardian. There is horrifying audio of the attack and three Fox News reporters described seeing Gianforte grab Jacobs by the neck with both hands, body slamming him to the ground and then punching him in the face.

Overnight, Montana’s three largest newspapers rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte, all offering hard-hitting op-eds. From The Missoulian:

Greg Gianforte should not represent Montana in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Republican candidate for Congress not only lost the endorsement of this newspaper Wednesday night when, according to witnesses, he put his hands around the throat of a reporter asking him about his health care stance, threw him to the ground and punched him — he should lose the confidence of all Montanans.

Helena’s Independent Record:

We cannot condone that kind of violence.

The reporter went to the hospital, and Gianforte has been cited for misdemeanor assault. And while we may not know all of the specifics of the incident until the investigation has concluded, we know that we can no longer support Gianforte’s candidacy.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 · 3:56:30 PM +00:00 · Jen Hayden


Categories: Politics

Montana Republican's assault on reporter is already featured in digital ads from two groups

Daily Kos - 12 hours 57 min ago

Late on the eve of the special election for Montana’s House seat, progressive groups moved quickly to ensure that the state’s voters know that Republican nominee Greg Gianforte body-slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs rather than answer Jacobs’ questions about the Republican healthcare plan. When Jacobs asked Gianforte how the Congressional Budget Office score on Trumpcare would affect Gianforte’s views on the bill, Gianforte, in the words of a Fox News team that witnessed the event, “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him” and “then began punching the man.” Montana voters who missed the news Wednesday night are likely to see digital ads about it on Thursday as the special election is in progress.


MoveOn also chipped in with a five-figure digital buy:


Gianforte waited until many votes had already been cast before engaging in public assault, so it’s not clear what if any impact this will have on the election, in which he’s heavily favored (Donald Trump won the state by 20 points). But good for Priorities USA and MoveOn for putting the incident in front of as many voters as possible.

The election is this today, May 25. Volunteer to help Rob Quist get out the vote!

Categories: Politics

On Fox News, Gutting Social Safety Nets Is ‘Restoring The Dignity Of Work’

Crooks and Liars - 12 hours 58 min ago
On Fox News, Gutting Social Safety Nets Is ‘Restoring The Dignity Of Work’

Neil Cavuto promoted the Trump administration’s fiction that its budget did not break any campaign promises. But his guests took the cheerleading even further, suggesting the budget “gives people the pride” of living without a social safety net.

ABC News explains why Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney’s claim that the budget does not cut Medicaid and thus keeps a Trump campaign promise is “artfully evasive.” The Los Angeles Times reported that the budget also “includes $1.7 trillion in cuts to major social insurance and assistance programs, including food stamps, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Social Security disability.”

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Categories: Politics

How Facebook Flouts Holocaust Denial Laws Except Where It Fears Being Sued

Slashdot - 12 hours 58 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Facebook's policies on Holocaust denial will come under fresh scrutiny following the leak of documents that show moderators are being told not to remove this content in most of the countries where it is illegal. The files explain that moderators should take down Holocaust denial material in only four of the 14 countries where it is outlawed. One document says the company "does not welcome local law that stands as an obstacle to an open and connected world" and will only consider blocking or hiding Holocaust denial messages and photographs if "we face the risk of getting blocked in a country or a legal risk." A picture of a concentration camp with the caption "Never again Believe the Lies" was permissible if posted anywhere other than the four countries in which Facebook fears legal action, one document explains. Facebook contested the figures but declined to elaborate. Documents show Facebook has told moderators to remove dehumanizing speech or any "calls for violence" against refugees. Content "that says migrants should face a firing squad or compares them to animals, criminals or filth" also violate its guidelines. But it adds: "As a quasi-protected category, they will not have the full protections of our hate speech policy because we want to allow people to have broad discussions on migrants and immigration which is a hot topic in upcoming elections." The definitions are set out in training manuals provided by Facebook to the teams of moderators who review material that has been flagged by users of the social media service. The documents explain the rules and guidelines the company applies to hate speech and "locally illegal content," with particular reference to Holocaust denial. One 16-page training manual explains Facebook will only hide or remove Holocaust denial content in four countries -- France, Germany, Israel and Austria. The document says this is not on grounds of taste, but because the company fears it might get sued.

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Categories: Misc

Nicolle Wallace: 'Direct Line' Between Trump And Attacks On Reporters

Crooks and Liars - 13 hours 54 sec ago

On Morning Joe, Scarborough asked Nicolle Wallace what she thought about the conflicting reports about the assault by a Montana gubernatorial candidate against Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs.

Greg Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault in the attack.

"I don't know what there is to sift through," Wallace replied.

"This is a candidate on the eve of his election, acting like a lunatic. And I saw Joe's tweets last night. and this animalistic behavior out of our politicians, that they've become -- I don't want to reveal too much about my viewing habits but it's something you see on "Reno 911," it's like a lunatic pulled over for swerving and acting belligerent at a traffic stop.

"It's not the way anyone should expect someone who wants to represent constituents behaves. And anyone who thinks it's too early to draw a direct line between Donald Trump calling reporters 'enemies of the state' and people beating up a working journalist, it's ridiculous," she said.

"And the fact that you have a Fox crew bearing witness is just beautiful, exquisite irony, sort of defending the account of The Guardian.

"I think it's time for all journalists to sort of stand together. And I think that it's -- that the White House thinks these are separate or isolated incidents, that they don't think they've created a climate with something like this can happen, is unsustainable."

Yes, Donald Trump has created an environment where reporters should be wearing body cameras. Making America great again!

Categories: Politics

AOL launches updated Alto email app w/ integrated calendars & Amazon Alexa support

9to5Mac - 13 hours 2 min ago

AOL, now part of Verizon, is today launching an updated version of its Alto email app that it first launched back in September of last year. Today’s update includes new calendar integration, Amazon Alexa support, and more.

One of the highlight new features arriving in today’s update is full calendar integration in the app’s Dashboard interface:


Categories: Misc

You can now drag and drop files on iPad between Readdle’s productivity apps

iDownloadBlog - 13 hours 4 min ago

Readdle, Ukrainian makers of fine productivity software for iPhone, iPad and Mac, today announced that, for the first time ever, they’re making it possible to drag and drop items in the split screen mode on iPad between its most popular productivity apps: Documents, PDF Expert, Scanner Pro and Spark.

In addition to cross-app drag and drop in Split View multitasking mode, Readdle’s excellent Documents app has received a major update that turns it into a Finder on iOS of sorts.

Cross-app drag and drop

Drag and drop between Readdle apps works like a charm, really.

For instance, you can drag a file from Documents and drop it on Spark to instantly create a new email message with an attachment. Or, you can drag and drop scans from Scanner Pro to PDF Expert for further editing.

How about moving that attached contract from Spark to PDF Expert to sign it before sending the signed document back to Spark as a reply? You can do all that—and much, much more—across the aforesaid Readdle apps on your iPad.

The promo video below showcases drag-and-dropping files between Readdle apps.

True, some third-party iOS apps do support direct manipulation of content within the app.

That being said, however, the ability to drag and drop files and other content between multiple apps has not been utilized on iOS at all. While Apple could enhance iOS’s Split View multitasking mode in the future with useful interactions like drag and drop, Readdle has already found a way to make cross-app drag and drop work.

Denys Zhadanov, Readdle’s Vice President of Marketing, said via email:

We see it as a major improvement of iOS and this is how all iPad apps should work between each other. It’s so freaking awesome—glues all our apps into a phenomenal productivity ecosystem.

“The Readdle Team hopes that Apple will introduce their own implementation of inter app drag and drop one day,” developers noted. “That will support other apps and make iPad a much better productivity device than it is now.”

New features in Documents 6

As mentioned earlier, Readdle’s capable (and free) file manager, called Documents, is getting a major update today turning it into the iOS Finder you’ve always wanted. The update brings out various enhancements, including an overhauled design with Spark-like quick actions, an easier way to import files, improved file management, an all-new media player, on-the-fly editing of cloud files, music and video streaming and more.

According to Readdle:

iOS has always been a ‘no-file-manager’ system. Everything is taken care of by the apps. That’s a blessing and a curse at the same time.However, some of us are very comfortable with controlling things on our devices, especially when it comes to getting real work done.

This is why we created Documents, an extremely powerful, versatile hub for all of your files on iPhone or iPad. It’s your Swiss knife that removes iOS file management woes.

Documents has always been a powerful iOS file manager and now it’s gotten even better.

The completely rethought user interface is very functional.

As the screenshots attest, you can now easily edit, zip, tag, move or sync your files with fewer taps than before. Bigger file preview thumbnails give you a better idea of the content of that Excel spreadsheet or PPT presentation before you even open it.

A prominently featured “+” button lets you quickly import files, including documents from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, WebDAV or any other cloud-based storage source. Files are now organized into folders exactly the way you are comfortable with.

Just select one or a few of them and easily drag them to the right location. And with cross-app drag and drop support, you can move a single or multiple files between Documents and Spark, Scanner Pro or PDF Expert.

“The best part is that you can access any of the locally stored files in any app with the ‘Open in’ option,” notes Readdle. “This is a unique experience on iOS, and it’s what finally gives you that Finder feel on your iPhone or iPad.” Now you can work directly with your cloud files in Documents and even stream photos, videos and music from any cloud storage without needing to download the files to your device.

The new media player helps you organize your music into playlists, with the ability to shuffle and loop your favorite tracks. And if you have PDF Expert installed on your device, Documents will let you annotate and edit PDFs, fill out forms, sign applications and more.

If you haven’t played with Documents before, you should really give it a try.

Acting a central hub for all of your files, it lets you view almost any file format natively, store your files directly on the device or connect to the popular cloud storage service to keep everything together in perfect sync.


Spark and Documents are available at no charge from App Store.

PDF Expert is $9.99 on App Store.

Scanner Pro is $3.99 on App Store.

You should really download the latest version of Spark, Documents, Scanner Pro and PDF Expert and see for yourself what kind of a productivity device your iPad can be with proper drag and drop support.

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Categories: Misc

How the CBO projects market failure

Balloon Juice - 13 hours 15 min ago

The Congressional Budget Office projects that the AHCA will lead to 15 % of the population living in destablized insurance markets because of the MacArthur/Upton amendments.

he agencies estimate that about one-sixth of the population resides in areas inwhich the nongroup market would start to become unstable beginning in 2020. That instability would result from market responses to decisions by some states to waive two provisions of federal law, as would be permitted under H.R. 1628. One type of waiver would allow states to modify the requirements governing essential health benefits (EHBs), which set minimum standards for the benefits that insurance in the nongroup and small-group markets must cover. A second type of waiver would allow insurers to set premiums on the basis of an individual’s health status if the person had not demonstrated continuous coverage; that is, the waiver would eliminate the requirement for what is termed community rating for premiums charged to such people. CBO and JCT anticipate that most healthy people applying for insurance in the nongroup market in those states would be able to choose between premiums based on their own expected health care costs (medically underwritten premiums) and premiums based on the average health care costs for people who share the same age and smoking status and who reside in the same geographic area (community-rated premiums)

What does that mean and how does that happen? Let’s work through an simple model of a state with 1,000 people in its individual market.

Health costs are not uniformly distributed. 3% of the costs are driven by 50% of the people. 80% of the costs are borne by 20% of the people. This is the key.

In year 1, there is a single community rated, guarantee issued risk pool. Everyone is offered the same premium. There are significant subsidies to help people afford to join. It is a great deal for the 20% of the population driving 80% of the costs. It is a bad deal for someone in the bottom 50% of the cost pool. Average premiums equal average cost of the entire pool.

In year 2, the state elects to go full waiver. Essential Health Benefits are dramatically pared back, actuarial value is pared back and medical underwriting is allowed. An enterprising insurance company offer an underwritten product. An individual qualifies if they can power walk a twelve minute mile and had no more than three professional claims in the previous year. The guarantee issue pool is still available for people who are continually enrolled.

In this scenario, The least expensive 50% of the previous year’s pool qualifies for the new underwritten product. The premium is 10% of the previous guarantee issued premium for the people who qualify. That is enough to cover normal medical expenses and a few random high cost events while making a nice profit. Everyone who qualifies in this pool is happy. They get coverage that statistically they are highly unlikely to use and they barely pay anything for it.

The problem is the guarantee issued pool. It now contains 50% of the premiums and 97% of the previous years claims. Some of that 97% of previous years claims will naturally go away as one-off events tend not to repeat themselves to the same individual. But a good proportion of the claims will be recurring as an individual with Multiple Sclerosis in Year 1 will still need their medicine in Year 2. This pool will see an 50% to 75% premium increase to cover the recurring claims costs of the chronically and expensively ill.

In Year 3, another insurer decides to be smart. They’ll offer a product at a premium between the low cost pool and the high cost pool. It is targeted at the 30% of the population in the high cost pool who are either chronically but not expensively ill or the people who were in the high cost non-underwritten risk pool because they failed underwriting in Year 2 because they had a one-off event in Year 1.

This is the dynamic the CBO projects. Anyone who knows that they need high cost care will be segregated into a continual coverage, community rated risk pool that is only comprised of people who know that they need high cost care. The stabilization funds in the AHCA are grossly insufficient to make premiums even remotely affordable in a community rated pool when there is an underwritten pool right next to it that can cherry pick eight days a week.

So that is how the CBO sees markets collapsing for 15% of the country.

Categories: Politics

Apple continues roll-out of local currency pricing in App Store with nine more countries

9to5Mac - 13 hours 25 min ago

Apple has been gradually switching its international app store pricing from US dollars or Euros to local currencies, doing so in eight countries at the end of last year. It told developers last week that it would be doing the same thing in a further nine countries ‘within 7-10 days,’ and these changes have now taken effect …


Categories: Misc

Sessions failed to report Russia contacts on his security forms ... again

Daily Kos - 13 hours 33 min ago

This story has become so familiar that it’s become the theme song of the Trump campaign. Yet again, when presented an opportunity to fess up about spending time with Russian officials, a member of the Trump campaign, Trump transition team, and Trump cabinet failed to raise a hand.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose meetings he had last year with Russian officials when he applied for his security clearance, the Justice Department told CNN Wednesday.

The meetings are the same meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that Sessions also failed to note when he was chatting with the Senate to secure his position as attorney general. Now that he has the role of of making sure everyone follows the rules, he’s still simply ignoring the rules. 

Sessions’ argument is that he met Kislyak “in his role as a senator” rather than as a representative of Trump and, since he met “hundreds” of foreign officials during his time in the Senate, he didn’t have to list any of them. Which, seems to be completely counter to the actual law.

A Republican congressman said Wednesday night that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should have known better than to fail to disclose meetings with Russian officials when he applied for his security clearance.

Sessions’ failure to report the Russian meetings on his security forms isn’t a great revelation. It doesn’t add new strands to the Trump–Russia connections. It doesn’t really change anyone’s view of Sessions.

What it does is show that, even after everything else that’s happened, Trump officials—including the man whose job it is to see that the law is followed—are still failing to follow the law and minimizing their interaction with Russia. 

Categories: Politics

Belkin Wemo smart home accessories to add HomeKit support with new Bridge coming this fall

9to5Mac - 13 hours 33 min ago

After a change of heart, Belkin has now officially announced that it will bring HomeKit support to its ecosystem of Wemo smart home accessories later this year with the unveiling of a new HomeKit Wemo Bridge.

The bridge will enable all Wemo devices currently on the market to interact with an Apple user’s HomeKit setup. This will allow voice control of Wemo lights, plugs and switches via Siri as well as manual control through the iOS 10 Apple Home app.


Categories: Misc

Facebook rolls out revamped Trending results page

iDownloadBlog - 13 hours 39 min ago

Facebook announced yesterday a new look for Trending results page, which is the page you see when you click on a Trending topic to learn more about it.

“You’ve always been able to click on a topic to see related posts and stories, but we’ve redesigned the page to make it easier to discover other publications that are covering the story, as well as what your friends and public figures are saying about it,” said the company.

Tapping a Trending topic now pulls up a carousel with stories from other publications that you can swipe through to see what other news outlets are saying about each topic. The stories that appear in this section are some of the most popular stories about that topic on Facebook.

If you haven’t used Trending before, that’s because the feature can be quite difficult to find in Facebook’s mainland mobile app. To address that issue, Facebook will soon kick off a test in News Feed that will show people the top three Trending stories, which they can tap to reveal the full list of Trending topics and explore what others are discussing on Facebook.

While most people will not see Trending in their News Feed, those who do can remove it easily via a popup menu to prevent Trending items from being shown to them in the future.

You’ll be able to see the new Trending results page on iPhone in the US. They plan to make it available on Android and desktop soon.

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Categories: Misc

Cheers and Jeers: Thursday

Daily Kos - 13 hours 42 min ago


Memo to Montana: Make History!


Today's the day. Grassroots Democrat Rob Quist, running on a platform of affordable health care, preservation of public lands, and fewer millionaires in Congress, goes head-to-head against some generic Republican Mr. Moneybags with major anger issues today for Montana's sole House seat. Quist is campaigning his heart out. The other guy is trying a combination of buying the seat and beating people up for it. If you're a Montana Democrat, get to the polls today and help make sure this guy emerges victorious tonight:


More on the dynamics of the race from Kossack montanafarmer here. Polls close at 8pm. Good luck!

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Categories: Politics

Look inside Apple’s latest retail store shows stunning staircase, Apple Park paintings, boardroom

9to5Mac - 13 hours 46 min ago

Two days ahead of the opening of the first Apple Store in Singapore, the company has provided a press preview of the interior.

One notably missing feature is the glass staircase which has traditionally been a signature design element of Apple’s retail stores. There is instead what is being reported as a stone staircase but may be a ceramic one. This design was first seen in the Nanjing store in China, and appears to be destined for the refitted 5th Avenue store in NY too …


Categories: Misc

Morning Digest: Montana Republican Greg Gianforte assaults reporter day before special election

Daily Kos - 13 hours 57 min ago
Leading Off

MT-AL: On Wednesday evening, the day before Montana hosts a long-awaited special election for its lone seat in the House, Republican Greg Gianforte assaulted reporter Ben Jacobs of The Guardian after Jacobs attempted to ask Gianforte a question about the Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the GOP’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Jacobs tweeted that Gianforte “body slammed me and broke my glasses,” an account backed up by a team of reporters from Fox News who witnessed the encounter, which took place at Gianforte’s campaign headquarters:

During that conversation, another man—who we now know is Ben Jacobs of The Guardian—walked into the room with a voice recorder, put it up to Gianforte's face and began asking if him if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act. Gianforte told him he would get to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the man, as he moved on top the reporter and began yelling something to the effect of "I'm sick and tired of this!"

The Guardian released audio of the incident, which also confirms Jacobs’ version of events:

Categories: Politics