Live-action role-playing (or LARPing) was born on the fringes of American pop culture, a descendant of much-maligned hobbies like Dungeons and Dragons and other table games.  In LARPing, players spend their weekend dressing up in costumes, adoptin... Read the rest of this entry »
The best utility apps are designed to make your hectic life a little bit easier, and maybe even more enjoyable. From apps that makes budgeting beautiful to ones that let you know the exact minute it's going to rain, there's something for every lifestyl... Read the rest of this entry »

Twitter logo

It looks like the Twitpic saga is finally coming to an end.

Photo-sharing service Twitpic announced today an agreement had been reached with Twitter which will give Twitter ownership of the Twitpic domain and its expansive photo archives.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett announced the news in a company blog post.

We weren't able to find a way to keep Twitpic independent. However, I'm happy to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to give them the Twitpic domain and photo archive, thus keeping the photos and links alive for the time being. Twitter shares our goal of protecting our users and this data. Also, since Twitpic’s user base consists of Twitter users, it makes sense to keep this data with Twitter.

noah everett twitpicWhile the Twitpic iOS and Android app have been removed from the App Store and Google Play, Twitpic's photo archives and links will continue to stay alive.

The Twitpic archive will be read-only, however, and while Twitpic users can still easily download their photo collections, they will be unable to upload new pictures.

The announcement of Twitter's acquisition of the Twitpic domain and photo archive follows what has been a chaotic two months for Twitpic.

Last month, Twitpic announced it would be shutting down due to a trademark despite with Twitter regarding the name "Twitpic." Weeks later, Twitpic announced it had been acquired and would continue its service, but the acquisition talks fell through, leading to Twitpic to backtrack and announce its impending closure shortly after.

Twitpic founder Noah Everett used today's announcement as a final farewell, stating in his blog post that "I want to say thank you for allowing me to be a part of your photo sharing memories for nearly seven years. It has been an honor."

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Fox used Game 3 of the World Series to ramp up midseason hip-hop drama Empire. Courtney Love Joins Cast of 'Empire' From The Butler's Lee Daniels and... Read the rest of this entry »

Movie makers have been creating visions of the future that include incredible technology and scientific breakthroughs seemingly far ahead of their time.

But in today's world, many of the advanced tech gadgets we saw on the big screen can actually be seen in real life. Watch below for a quick guide to movies that have correctly predicted the future.

Produced by Daniel Goodman. Originally published in August 2013.

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Sundar Pichai

Google made some big changes to its executive structure yesterday.

Google CEO Larry Page is going to be stepping back to focus "on the bigger picture," according to Recode, and former Android and Chrome head Sundar Pichai is stepping into a larger role as a result.

Pichai will now be in charge of Google's core products including search, maps, research, Google+, Android, Chrome, infrastructure, commerce and ads, and Google Apps.

It's an impressive portfolio for Pichai, but many are still unfamiliar with Google's new product kingpin, who first joined Google in 2004 and eventually worked his way up to be Page's right-hand man.

Originally from Tamil Nadu, one of India's 29 states, Pichai studied at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, where he received a Bachelor of Technology.

He then received a M.S. from Stanford and obtained an MBA from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. At Wharton, Pichai was honored as a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar.

Before his first job at Google, Pichai worked at Applied Materials as an engineer and then at McKinsey & Company in management consulting.

sundar pinchaiIn 2004, Pichai joined Google as its vice president of product management, where he led the team working on Google's Chrome browser and operating system.

Pichai quickly began to receive more responsibility, however, taking on involvement with various Google search products including Firefox, Google Toolbar, Desktop Search, Gadgets, and Google Gears and Gadgets.

In September 2008, Pichai oversaw the successful launch of the Chrome web browser, and less than a year later, the web-based Chrome operating system for netbooks and desktop computers.

Pichai added another Google division to his portfolio in 2012 after Google Apps head Dave Girouard departed to start his own company, Upstart.

A year later, Pichai was put in charge of Android after Android co-founder and CEO Andy Rubin stepped down in March 2013.

Throughout his time at Google, Pichai has developed a sterling reputation for being well-liked, leading Recode's Kara Swisher to call his recent promotion "a definitive case of nice guys finish first."

Former Google product manager Chris Beckmann spoke highly of Pichai in a recent Quora post, praising Pichai's ability to helm difficult projects while building a strong team.

"He recruited, mentored, and retained a great team," said Beckmann. "Sundar's team of product managers had a reputation as being among the best of the best, similar to the reputation of the software engineers within Search Quality."

Beckmann also mentioned that Pichai "avoided making enemies" in the midst of Google's workplace politics and "navigated those politics to make his team succesful while inflicting the least possible damage on any other team."

Pichai  demonstrated his team devotion while working under Marissa Mayer, who then was a key executive at Google. According to The Information's Amir Efrati, Pichai "used to wait for hours outside her office to make sure that she gave his team solid work-performance scores."

In addition to his team management skills, Efrati notes that Pichai has also been known to throw his weight around when necessary. At his year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Pichai reportedly "told Samsung's mobile-products leader that Google was willing to 'walk away' from its enormous phone partnership with the company."

Pichai's impressive track record at Google caused him to be approached by Twitter to potentially lead Product at the social network, but Pichai ultimately declined. In addition to Twitter's interest, Pichai's name was also mentioned as a potential front-runner for the position of Microsoft CEO after Steve Balmer announced his resignation in August 2013.

As Google's new product czar, Pichai will be one of Google's most powerful executives next to CEO Larry Page.

SEE ALSO: CVS And Rite Aid Remove Apple Pay Support

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sundar pinchai

A big shakeup at Google was reported Friday. CEO Larry Page will be stepping back and focusing on "the bigger picture," shifting more responsibility to his right-hand man, Sundar Pichai.

It's a big promotion for Pichai, who will now be in charge of Google's core products including search, maps, research, Google+, Android, Chrome, infrastructure, commerce and ads, and Google Apps. Formerly, he was head of Android and Chrome.

This isn't his first big promotion. Indeed, earlier this year there was a thread on Quora under the question, "What did Sundar Pichai do, that his peers didn't do, that got him promoted to the highest ranks at Google?"

Former Google product manager Chris Beckmann offered an insightful answer in February. He wrote:

I never reported to Sundar or in his group, but many of my peers and friends did. Besides being incredibly talented and hardworking like many of his coworkers and peers, Sundar did a few things:

1. Foremost: he led successful efforts for difficult projects that were core to Google's continued financial success, namely Toolbar and Chrome. Toolbar wasn't an obviously sexy product but it helped defend the presence of Google search on users' computers during a critical period following the revelation of Google's incredible profitability. Chrome extended that mission to improve the user experience of the entire web: keep users on the web and you'll keep them searching on Google.

2. He recruited, mentored, and retained a great team. Sundar's team of product managers had a reputation as being among the best of the best, similar to the reputation of the software engineers within Search Quality.

3. He avoided making enemies. Google has politics like any other large company, and Sundar navigated those politics to make his team successful while inflicting the least possible damage on any other team.

We still don't know exactly what led to the latest changes at Google, but it's easy to see why Pichai ended up on top again.

Originally from Tamil Nadu, one of India's 29 states, Pichai studied at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, where he received a Bachelor of Technology.

He received a M.S. from Stanford and obtained an MBA from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. At Wharton, Pichai was honored as a Siebel Scholar and a Palmer Scholar.

Before his first job at Google, Pichai worked at Applied Materials as an engineer and then at McKinsey & Company in management consulting.

In 2004, Pichai joined Google as its vice president of product management, where he led the team working on Google's Chrome browser and operating system.

Pichai quickly began to receive more responsibility, however, taking on involvement with various Google search products including Firefox, Google Toolbar, Desktop Search, Gadgets, and Google Gears and Gadgets.

In September 2008, Pichai oversaw the successful launch of the Chrome web browser, and less than a year later, the web-based Chrome operating system for netbooks and desktop computers.

Pichai added another Google division to his portfolio in 2012 after Google Apps head Dave Girouard departed to start his own company, Upstart.

A year later, Pichai was put in charge of Android after Android co-founder and CEO Andy Rubin stepped down in March 2013.

Throughout his time at Google, Pichai has developed a sterling reputation for being well-liked, leading Recode's Kara Swisher to call his recent promotion "a definitive case of nice guys finish first."

Pichai demonstrated his team devotion while working under Marissa Mayer, who then was a key executive at Google. According to The Information's Amir Efrati, Pichai "used to wait for hours outside her office to make sure that she gave his team solid work-performance scores."

In addition to his team management skills, Efrati notes that Pichai has also been known to throw his weight around when necessary. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Pichai reportedly "told Samsung's mobile-products leader that Google was willing to 'walk away' from its enormous phone partnership with the company."

Pichai's impressive track record at Google caused him to be approached by Twitter to lead Product at the social network, but Pichai ultimately declined. In addition to Twitter's interest, Pichai's name was also mentioned as a potential front-runner for the position of Microsoft CEO after Steve Balmer announced his resignation in August 2013.

As Google's new product czar, Pichai will be one of Google's most powerful executives next to CEO Larry Page.

DON'T MISS: Is Google search business in trouble?

SEE ALSO: Google has a new app to reinvent email

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Fox dropped a trailer to its midseason hip-hop family drama Empire during the World Series last night. From Lee Daniels , Danny Strong and Brian Grazer, Empire centers around Lucious Lyon (Howard), a charismatic, savvy music superstar who is about to t... Read the rest of this entry »

apple pay purchase at disney store

Apple Pay has been around for less than a week.

While the new way to pay using your iPhone 6 is easy to use, recent reports indicate that CVS stores have already removed Apple Pay support, according to MacRumors.

Earlier this week, Rite Aid pharmacy shut down its unofficial Apple Pay support, asking customers trying to pay with the new system to instead use their credit cards.

Multiple people are reporting that CVS has followed suit, shutting down the technology responsible for allowing Apple Pay to work, which is called NFC, or near field communications.

Without NFC support, both Apple Pay and Google Wallet won't be able to work at the pay terminals at CVS.

It also appears that CVS has sent an email to CVS stores detailing the removal of Apple Pay support, according to multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums.

@Ihnatko I'm a Shift Supervisor and corporate sent out an email to the stores telling us that as of today, NFC was turned off.

— Jonathan Sprewell (@jsprewell) October 25, 2014

Rite Aid also sent out a similar email detailing how cashiers are instructed to handle customers trying to pay with Apple Pay.

CVS Apple Pay email

While other pharmacy chains such as Walgreens fully support Apple Pay, both Rite Aid and CVS belong to Merchant Customer Exchange program, which will be introducing its own mobile payments solution next year.

Business Insider has reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post when we hear back.


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caffe macs alves apple

Like many other big tech companies in Silicon Valley, Apple is known for serving its employees some pretty amazing food.

In addition to its main cafeteria — which is open to the public — Apple operates a number of smaller, more exclusive, cafes near its Infinite Loop campus.

In June, the company opened a gorgeous new cafeteria designed by Foster + Partners, the architectural firm behind Apple's upcoming "spaceship" headquarters. 

The new building is located at the corner of Bandley and Alves Drive in Cupertino. It's gorgeous, with lots of steel-and-glass details that are reminiscent of an Apple store. Only Apple employees are allowed in here.

The new Caffe Macs at Alves opened in Cupertino in June 2014.

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The 21,468-square-foot building was a long-time coming; Cupertino's Planning Commission approved the project in April 2012. A sharp-cornered roof makes it look a lot like an Apple store.

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And huge walls of glass give you a good view to what's going on inside.

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