Twitpic given eleventh-hour reprieve as Twitter saves all the pictures

Photo sharing site Twitpic will not be deleting its substantial archive of tweeted pictures after all, it announced today, after coming to an agreement with Twitter.

Twitpic announced in September that it would be closing down and deleting all the pictures it had hosted—rendering millions of historic tweets meaningless—after a trademark dispute with Twitter. Twitter issued Twitpic an ultimatum: drop its trademark claim to the word “Twitpic” or lose access to Twitter’s API. Twitpic opted for the latter, promising to close down on September 25.

This crisis appeared to be averted on September 18 when Twitpic founder Noah Everett announced that the site had been acquired and would live on. However, the details that he promised would follow never materialized, and on October 16th Everett said that, once again, Twitpic was to close down, this time on October 25.

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Via:: Ars Technica

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Get ordered to eat a brownie, and you’ll feel good about it

I feel my vitality increasing just looking at these.

Normally, people do not enjoy being forced to do something. People also do not enjoy the guilt that comes with doing something that is bad for them. Surprisingly, these two wrongs seem to make a right: when people are compelled to engage in vices, they feel better than when they freely choose the vice for themselves. According to a new paper in the Journal of Consumer Research, persuading a friend to share a dessert removes the burden of choice from them, reducing their feelings of guilt and making them less conflicted about the decision.

Vices—junk food, movie marathons, celebrity gossip news, procrastination—have adverse consequences. Choosing them is ‘bad’ and results in guilt that we don’t get from virtuous activities such as exercise, working on a passion project, or reading high-quality media. “It has long been believed that yielding to vices…is bad,” write the researchers. “While not disagreeing with this picture, the current research presents the observation that a negative view of vices does not quite tell the full story.”

The researchers suggest that the guilt of choosing vices weighs us down, reducing our sense of ‘subjective vitality.’ Vitality, a term used to describe the feeling of being energized, has been linked to mental and physical wellbeing, improved task performance, tenacity, and self-control. It is not quite the same thing as happiness, which is a related but conceptually different experience.

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Via:: Ars Technica

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Twitpic Data Will Stay Alive “For Now” Thanks To An Agreement With Twitter

And in a somewhat happy turn of events, Twitpic has announced that it has reached an agreement with Twitter to keep Twitpic photos and links alive, giving Twitter control over the domain and the full photo archive. However, the agreement also states that Twitpic will no longer be taking any new photos or data and will only exist in a read-only mode. Apps on the App Store and Google Play have… Read More

Via:: TechCrunch

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High-paid consultant to plead guilty in Chicago red light camera case

A red light camera at the intersection of Sylvan and Coffee in Modesto, California.
Cyrus Farivar

One of the three defendants indicted two months ago on federal corruption charges stemming from a major contract between Chicago and a major red light camera vendor will now plead guilty.

According to a new filing submitted to the federal court in Chicago on Wednesday, former Redflex contractor Martin O’Malley intends to appear before the court in early December to formalize his guilty plea. While the document does not explicitly say so, it’s likely that O’Malley also intends to testify against his co-defendants.

This marks the first guilty plea in a high-level case involving Redflex. Since losing the Chicago contract as a result of this corruption scandal, Redflex’s 2013 pre-tax profits in its North American division (its corporate parent is an Australian company) have plummeted over 33 percent—from $3.4 million in the first half of 2013, to $2.28 million in the second half.

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Via:: Ars Technica

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How do you avoid being forked into oblivion?

Stack Exchange

This Q&A is part of a weekly series of posts highlighting common questions encountered by technophiles and answered by users at Stack Exchange, a free, community-powered network of 100+ Q&A sites.

Den asks:

As recently reported, “Xamarin has forked Cocos2D-XNA, a 2D/3D game development framework, creating a cross-platform library that can be included in PCL projects.”

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Via:: Ars Technica

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Gillmor Gang: Room to Grow

The Gillmor Gang — John Borthwick, Robert Scoble, Dan Farber, John Taschek, Keith Teare, and Steve Gillmor. Facebook’s Rooms iOS app, Twitter’s Fabric platform , Google’s InBox, a big Microsoft quarter, and the refactoring of TV.
An @borthwick tweet turned into viral on boarding turned us into believers — of what we’re not sure: Instagram for Adults… Read More

Via:: TechCrunch

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11 TechCrunch Stories You Don’t Want To Miss This Week

As we return from Disrupt London, we give you the stories you won’t want to miss from the past week (10/18-10/24). 1. Josh Constine wrote a long form piece called “Inside The Spotify – Echo Nest Skunkworks” about the future of Spotify and what it will take for them to win the music streaming race. 2. Columnist Jon Evans explored the concept of Developaralysis:… Read More

Via:: TechCrunch

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Google’s New Skybox For Good Program Gives Real-Time Satellite Imagery To Non-Profits

On the heels of acquiring satellite startup Skybox in August, Google and Skybox have announced the Skybox for Good program, which will provide real-time satellite imagery to organizations and programs that save lives, protect the environment, promote education, and positively impact humanity, according to the official blog post.
The program launches today in beta with a small group of partners. Read More

Via:: CunchGear

Porsche, Mercedes building electric cars to challenge Tesla

According to interviews given to German publication Manager Magazine (Google translate) this week, sources from Porsche, Mercedes, and Audi said that they are all readying electric cars to respond “to the success of the Californian newcomer Tesla with its Model S.”

Porsche’s chairman Matthias Müller reportedly said that the company is working on an all-electric car that will be based on the company’s Modular Standard Platform (Modularer Standardantrieb-Baukasten in German, or MSB for short) and look similar to the company’s Panamera (which has already been introduced with a hybrid electric engine).

The car will be “an advanced battery-powered variant [that] is tasked with challenging the Model S on both performance and range,” Autocar UK says. The publication added that Porsche is aiming for a curb weight lower than the 4,647 lbs of Tesla’s Model S in its forthcoming car, and that it will come with a synchronous electric motor with horsepower comparable to the Model S.

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Via:: Ars Technica

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Fitbit Surge appears on Brookstone store before official announcement

Whoops! Not even official announced yet and Fitbit’s Surge fitness watch is already listed for pre-order on Brookstone’s online store. Expected to cost $250, this isn’t the Surge’s first leak, with promotional images appearing earlier this week, but this Brookstone listing could hint that an official debut is around the corner, and from Fitbit this time. At the time of …

Via:: SlashGear

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