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There's no doubt about it: the future is mobile, and it looks like Yahoo's finally making the pocket-friendly needle move. The company's quarterly earnings dropped not too long ago, in which CEO Marissa Mayer had pointed out that Yahoo's mobile revenue were finally "material," specifically to the tune of $200 million. Not too shabby for a company whose CEO openly admitted it missed the boat on mobile, no? As far as Mayer's concerned, Yahoo isn't really a company that makes webpages any more- it's "a company that makes mobile apps and monetizes them through native ads."

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ALCS - Baltimore Orioles v Kansas City Royals - Game Four

Tonight, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants will begin battling it out for Major League Baseball's biggest prize: the World Series. And to make things better for ballpark attendees, MLB and MasterCard have announced that Kauffman Stadium (Royals) and AT&T Park (Giants) are going to support Apple Pay and other NFC-based payments throughout the series and beyond. Given how MLB usually adopts new technologies quickly, this shouldn't come as a surprise -- both stadiums are the first in sports to do this, and chances are the league will bring the feature to more places soon. While MasterCard and MLB are touting Apple Pay, the Cupertino company's recently launched payment system for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, services like Google Wallet also work with the newly implemented terminals. Don't worry, we know Google Wallet has been a thing for a while.

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Faces on discs randomly connected by arrows

Have you ever heard of Pownce? How about Jaiku? Maybe even something called Yahoo 360?

If you haven't, don't worry. You're probably not alone. These are just a few of the many social networks that have come and gone, most of them vanishing either through acquisition or simply due to lack of audience adoption.

That's surprising, when you think about the sheer volume of social networks that have come our way over the years and the few that remain. Let's face it: There are only a handful of social networks these days that people care about; namely, Facebook, Twitter and, to a certain extent, Google+, even as newcomers like Ello emerge. Some oldies like Myspace and Friendster are still hanging on, but as very different incarnations of themselves. Myspace, for example, is now almost entirely about music discovery, while Friendster currently describes itself as a social gaming site; a far cry from its heyday as one of the "original" social networks.

So what does it take for a social network to resonate with the public? And what makes one succeed where others fail? Here, we examine lessons learned from social networks past and present to see if we can suss out what they should or should not do to prevail in the ever-changing winds of the fickle internet.

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A few things happened after Napster co-founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker got married in a gorgeous redwood forest in Big Sur, California. The California Coastal Commission took him to task for creating a bizarre fantasy realm without the proper permits. Journalists gleefully jumped into the fray. He wrote a nearly 10,000 word defense of his wedding that also served as a meandering takedown of "internet journalism". As it turns out, Parker's penance wasn't just limited to a $2.5 million charity payout -- SFGate reports he's working on a beach-locating app for the very agency that he ignored when creating his dream wedding.

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Rainn Wilson introducing Josh Ritter

Best known for his roles in The Office and The Rocker, actor-turned-producer Rainn Wilson is reportedly getting ready to bring some of Vine's biggest personalities to TV. According to Deadline, Wilson is set to produce a comedy show called Hollywood and Vine, featuring popular members of Twitter's video-focused social network, like Curtis Lepore, Jerry Purpdrank, Simone Shepherd and a few others. Hollywood and Vine, which is said to be written by Lance Krall (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), will be based on following the lives of these Vine personalities as they try to make it into the crazed world that is Hollywood. A co-creator of Soul Pancake, the media company behind characters such as Kid President, Wilson is quite familiar with people who have gained fame thanks to the internet -- now it's just a matter of translating that to TV instead of YouTube.

[Image credit: pamhule/Flickr]

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Following reports yesterday that China was secretly collecting data from iCloud users, Apple has confirmed to Dow Jones that it is aware of network attacks on its service. The iPhone maker said it knows about "intermittent organized network attacks" on people who were trying to access, although the company failed to mention China specifically in the statement to Dow Jones. Apple did say these recent attacks had not compromised its servers, and added that iOS and desktop users (who running the latest version of OS X) should not be worried -- it appears this issue was limited to the iCloud website. We've reached out to Apple for comment and will keep you in the loop should any more details emerge soon.

Update: Below is Apple's official statement on the matter, along with a link to some browser security instructions.

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PhotoMath on a Windows Phone

Need a little help getting through your next big math exam? MicroBlink has an app that could help you study more effectively -- perhaps too effectively. Its newly unveiled PhotoMath for iOS and Windows Phone (Android is due in early 2015) uses your smartphone's camera to scan math equations and not only solve them, but show the steps involved. Officially, it's meant to save you time flipping through a textbook to check answers when you're doing homework or cramming for a test. However, there's a concern that this could trivialize learning -- just because it shows you how to solve a problem doesn't mean that the knowledge will actually sink in. And if teachers don't confiscate smartphones at the door, unscrupulous students could cheat when no one is looking. The chances of that happening aren't very high at this stage, but apps like this suggest that schools might have to be vigilant in the future.

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Brain activity, computer artwork.

Neural activity maps frequently present an incomplete picture of how a brain works; you can measure electrical activity, stimulate it or visualize the anatomy, but you can't do all three. DARPA and the University of Wisconsin might just pull off that seemingly impossible feat, however. They recently built a hybrid brain sensor that combines both electrical and optical techniques to present a vivid picture of what's happening inside the mind. The sensor is primarily made of ultra-thin graphene (just four atoms thick) that both conducts electricity and lets light through. By putting this device on top of neural tissue, you can simultaneously create brain activity and monitor virtually every aspect of it. Graphene is safe for your body, too, so you shouldn't face the same risks you see with metal alloys.

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It shouldn't surprise you that Google's a big proponent of online security, and that's why it's rolling out support for a new way to prove you are you who are: a USB Security Key. Google's normal approach to two-step authorization involves getting a text on your phone to verify your identity, but that isn't always ideal. Maybe you suck at keeping your phone charged. Or maybe you're abroad (your author's had to deal with that particular headache a few times) and don't want to get slammed with roaming charges. Having a dedicated secure USB key around means you'll be able to log into Google's ecosystem without having to worry about phishing or having your phone handy.

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Starting today, Dish customers will no longer have access to a number of networks from Turner Broadcasting, after both parties couldn't come to terms on a contract extension for these. Among the channels now removed from Dish's programming are: Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Español, HLN, truTV and Turner Classic Movies. As you'll notice, others like TBS and TNT aren't included here, and that's because they're part of a different agreement. Dish is unsure of when, or if, the missing Turner channels will be brought back, but the company says it is "committed to reaching an agreement that promptly returns this content to Dish's programming lineup." If they do, we'll let you know as soon as that happens.


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