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Bryan Singer Pulls Out of 'X-Men' Promos, Calls Sex Abuse Allegations 'False, Vicious'Open in a New Window


Bryan Singer is pulling out of future press events for X-Men: Days of Future Past so as not to distract from the “extraordinary contributions from the incredibly talented actors and crew involved,” the embattled director said Thursday in a statement. In it, he also called sexual abuse allegations against him “outrageous, vicious and completely false.”

It was the first in-his-own-words reaction from Singer since Michael Egan, now 31, filed a lawsuit in a Hawaii federal court alleging that the director drugged and raped him as a teen at parties in Los Angeles and Hawaii.

SEE ALSO: Bryan Singer Accuser Names 3 More, Alleges Widespread 'Hollywood Sex Ring' Read more...

More about Movies, Entertainment, Film, X Men Days Of Future Past, and Bryan Singer


Apple and Google Settle Lawsuit Over Illegal No-Poaching AgreementOpen in a New Window


Four tech companies — Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel — have settled a lawsuit against involving an illegal no-poaching agreement that prevented the firms from hiring each other's staffers

A class-action lawsuit, filed by thousands of tech employees back in 2011, claimed that the companies conspired not to poach employees as a part of an effort to keep salaries lower. The agreement created "no contact" lists, preventing recruiters from contacting people at competing companies

According to a Reuters report, the companies agreed to settle the lawsuit, though terms of the deal were not disclosed. The settlement goes before a judge on May 27. Read more...

More about Google, Adobe, Apple, Intel, and Intuit


GM Confirms Several Government Investigations Into RecallsOpen in a New Window


General Motors is now the subject of five different government investigations after a series of recent recalls, the car company confirmed on Thursday.

"We are also the subject of various inquiries, investigations, subpoenas and requests for information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Congress, NHTSA, the SEC, and a state attorney general in connection with our recent recalls," GM revealed in a filing. "Such investigations could in the future result in the imposition of damages, fines or civil and criminal penalties."

More about General Motors and Business


'Sharknado' Star Cast as Lead in 'Jem and the Holograms' MovieOpen in a New Window


Aubrey Peeples, star of ABC's Nashville and the SyFy cult hit Sharknado, will play the lead in the live action Jem and the Holograms film, director John Chu and his team announced Thursday on the project's website.

The other "Holograms" — members of Jem's band, if you're old enough to remember the '80s cartoon — include Stefanie Scott (No Strings Attached) as Kimber, Jem's sister; Aurora Perrineau (Pretty Little Liars) as Shana; and Hayley Kiyoko (Velma in two Scooby Doo! films) as Aja.

SEE ALSO: 'Jem and the Holograms' Movie Has Truly Outrageous Crowdsourcing Twist

A cast photo went up Thursday:

More about Movies, Nashville, Entertainment, Film, and Jem And The Holograms


Amazon First-Quarter Earnings Meet Expectations as Revenue RisesOpen in a New Window


Amazon earnings met expectations, boosted by a 23% rise in sales to $19.7 billion in the first quarter of 2014.

The company logged a profit of $0.23 per share, in line with analyst estimates.

Amazon shares rose slightly in after-hours trading but are down 15.8% since the start of 2014.

The positive numbers help provide a financial backstop to a busy quarter for Amazon. The company launched its Fire TV streaming box, signed a deal with HBO to bring older series to its Prime streaming service and is reported to be moving in on the delivery service industry as well as the smartphone market. Read more...

More about Amazon, Earnings, and Business


10 Types of Images to Boost Your Social Media EngagementOpen in a New Window


As a writer by trade, it's not easy for me to utter these words, but I'm not going to lie: On social media, a picture is worth a thousand words.
It's true. Content may be king, but visuals rule. All the latest studies and statistics suggest that images on social media command more attention than text alone.

If you want more likes, comments, shares, retweets, and clicks, you want to include pictures with your social media posts. You want to be more visual.
As Carla Gates says here on her 3 to 5 Marketing Blog...

"Images used in your social media (and by definition, your blog content) are far more attention-grabbing than text or plain old links, more likely to be shared, evoke emotional reactions in viewers (and emotion SELLS), and can portray a lot of information quickly and more efficiently than text." Read more...

More about Social Media, Images, Pinterest, Marketing, and Media


Microsoft Beats Earnings Estimates for Fiscal Q3; Surface Sales Hit $500 MilllionOpen in a New Window


Microsoft posted solid fiscal third-quarter 2014 earnings on Thursday with revenues of $20.04 billion, which was in line with analysts' estimates and GAAP of $0.68, which beat estimates by a nickel.

“This quarter’s results demonstrate the strength of our business, as well as the opportunities we see in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. We are making good progress in our consumer services like Bing and Office 365 Home, and our commercial customers continue to embrace our cloud solutions. Both position us well for long-term growth,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, in a press release. “We are focused on executing rapidly and delivering bold, innovative products that people love to use.” Read more...

More about Microsoft, Business, and Satya Nadella


Central U.S. May Be in Store for a 3-Day Tornado OutbreakOpen in a New Window


America’s tornado drought looks like it may end as early as this weekend, as a potent weather system moves into the Plains states and slowly lumbers toward the Mississippi River Valley. The storm system is likely to set off a multi-day severe weather outbreak, with thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes forming on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

If it occurs, the potential tornado outbreak would boost 2014’s tornado tally, which is currently in record low territory, and could end the long stretch without a tornado-related fatality as well.

More about Storm, Tornado, Us World, Us, and Extreme Weather


Yankees Pine Tar Ejection: A Window Into Baseball's Sneaky Unwritten RulesOpen in a New Window


New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from a Wednesday night game against the Boston Red Sox for having a swath of pine tar on his neck, then suspended for 10 games by Major League Baseball on Thursday. After Pineda's ejection, many casual followers of the sport had similar reactions: Pine tar? What's up with that? What is this, 1919?

The first step to understanding Pineda's pine-tar-gate is accepting that baseball, more than any other sport, relies on a set of codified standards that don't always jive with what you'll find in the rule book. To wit: Pine tar is illegal for use by pitchers seeking to improve their grip on the ball, but's it's widely acknowledged that pitchers use it on an extremely regular basis Read more...

More about Mlb, Entertainment, and Sports


Michelle Obama Lights Up Leslie Knope on 'Parks and Recreation'Open in a New Window


How does "FLOTUS and Knope" sound for a ticket?

First Lady Michelle Obama is making a guest appearance on Thursday night’s Parks and Recreation, the season six finale titled "Moving Up." NBC shared some stills from the shoot with Mashable, filmed two months ago in Miami.

SEE ALSO: Leslie Knope's 8 Tips for the Perfect Compliment

Pawnee, Ind., has attracted political luminaries aplenty, from Vice President Joe Biden to Senators John McCain of Arizona and Barbara Boxer of California. But clearly, Leslie Knope is especially thrilled to have the First Lady walking the halls:


Amy Poehler — as Leslie Knope — greets Michelle Obama on the Miami set of "Parks and Recreation" in February.

Image: NBCUniversal NBCUniversal


More about Tv, Nbc, Michelle Obama, Entertainment, and Parks And Recreation


In Drought Response, Home Depot Holds Nationwide Conservation WorkshopsOpen in a New Window


The Home Depot is taking its "more saving, more doing" slogan an environmental level. This weekend, it's hosting nationwide water conservation workshops to encourage homeowners to start conserving more water.

Drought conditions across the Southwest are not expected to improve or end anytime soon and homeowners are being forced to restrict their water usage. In response, Home Depot is holding a series of 10 water conservation workshops on Saturday, April 26, in each of its 1,977 stores

The total conservation effort by Home Depot includes the workshops, as well as remodeling its in-store layout to direct customers to actions they can take to conserve water in their homes Read more...

More about Water, Home Depot, Us World, Us, and Home


Traveling Through Time With Google Street ViewOpen in a New Window


Google Maps' new time slider lets users roll Street View images as far back as 2007. Here are a few sites we found that show the evolution of cities over time.

How has your neighborhood changed on Street View? Let us know in the comments.

Image: Google Maps

More about Google, Google Maps, Street View, Tech, and Apps Software


Apple TV: The Little Hobby That Wouldn't DieOpen in a New Window


After Steve Jobs unveiled updates to the entire iPod line and revealed that movies would soon be sold in the iTunes store, he made one final product announcement.

"This next thing is a little unusual for us," Jobs began during an Apple event in June 2006. "It's a sneak peak of a product that will be announced in the first calendar quarter of 2007. We usually keep things pretty corralled until we are ready to ship them, but in this case I think it completes the story."

That story, as Jobs told it, was about building a more complete ecosystem, which would let consumers access their entertainment content across what were then the three major screens: the computer, portable music player and television. In order to bring in the biggest of those screens, Apple planned to release a set-top box, referred to in the demonstration as iTV. Read more...

More about Apple, Apple Tv, Business, Media, and Gadgets


Jaguar Embraces Villainy, Becomes Cool Cat of Auto BrandsOpen in a New Window


There's nothing wrong with being a bit wicked, Jaguar would like us to believe

That's the sentiment behind Jaguar's recent "Good to Be Bad” campaign, a smattering of placements, commercials and activations (e.g. an ad that wraps around a New York subway) that celebrates the calculated and sophisticated villainy of British film actors and the brand's heralded new sports car, the F-Type Coupe.

Jaguar didn't spare any expense on the campaign. According to The New York Times, it spent more than $25 million on 'Good to Be Bad.'

Despite the steep price tag, Jaguar says it was worth every cent, er, pence. Read more...

More about Marketing, Business, Advertising, Jaguar, and Supported


Final 'Hobbit' Movie Gets a New Title: 'The Battle of the Five Armies'Open in a New Window


The third and final Hobbit movie has a new name, and it’s not going back again.

Now titled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Peter Jackson’s cinematic finale originally carried the full subtitle of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 book, The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

SEE ALSO: Elves Are the Mean Girls of Middle Earth

Jackson explained it in a Facebook post on Thursday:

There and Back Again felt like the right name for the second of a two-film telling … but with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived “there” in the Desolation of Smaug.

Though he's spinning this as a purely creative choice, no doubt marketing is at play here: Battle of the Five Armies is certainly a more action-packed sounding title, as it references the epic siege of the Lonely Mountain, where the dwarves are holed up with their treasure following the death of the dragon Smaug. But the men of Dale and the elves join forces with the dwarves after discovering that they are being marched upon by a host of goblins and their wolf-like wargs. Read more...

More about Movies, Entertainment, Film, and Hobbit


What If Wes Anderson Directed 'Forrest Gump'?Open in a New Window


Wes Anderson has a very specific — and some would say predictable — style

Filmmaker Louis Paquet perfectly reimagined the opening credits for the 1994 classic Forrest Gump as though Wes Anderson directed the Tom Hanks movie. Besides the obvious yellow text and bright, primary colors that are typical for a Anderson film, each character is represented by their own set of items, neatly arranged and perfectly centered in the frame, of course.

Any way you try to imagine it, though, Gump just wouldn't be Gump without its iconic floating feather sequence Read more...

More about Viral Videos, Video, Wes Anderson, Watercooler, and Videos


21 Cats Proving Curiosity Is a TrapOpen in a New Window


Cats put up a tough front, but they're really just a bunch of wusses.

Curiosity might not actually kill the cat, but it will certainly get him into mischief — or at least spook him a little

Fortunately, the harmless antics of felines are oh-so-entertaining for us slightly terrible humans. Whether they're stuck in a cardboard box or fleeing for dear life from the scary carpet monster in the hall, it almost makes up for the fact that we have to clean out their poop boxes.

These scaredy cats aren't fooling anyone, and we've got the GIFs to prove it. Read more...

More about Lists, Humor, Cats, Gifs, and Watercooler


Google+ Chief Vic Gundotra Is Leaving the CompanyOpen in a New Window


Vic Gundotra, the Google executive who heads Google+, is leaving the company.

News of Gundotra's departure made made the rounds on Secret for a few days before it was first reported on Re/code. However, Gundotra fittingly announced it on Google+. (See below.)

Gundotra, a former Microsoft exec, joined Google in 2007 after taking a year off because of a non-compete clause in his contract with his former employer. According to Re/code, VP of Engineering David Besbris is set to replace Gundotra. Brad Horowitz, Google+'s product head, was a top candidate for the job, but was passed over, according to the report. Read more...

More about Google, Vic Gundotra, and Business


Fandango Launches Twitter Ticketing for 2 Upcoming BlockbustersOpen in a New Window


Fandango has launched a ticketing feature for two upcoming films that will display movie information and a button to buy tickets in tweets that link back to its site.

The movie ticketing site unveiled the feature Thursday and, for now, the feature works on only two movies: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla.

As shown below, tweets that link to Fandango pages about the two films will display a large image with information about the movie's stars, release date and rating. Twitter users can click on a "Buy Tickets on Fandango" button to find nearby theater options. Read more...

More about Twitter, Entertainment, Film, Fandango, and Movieclips


'Mark Zuckerberg' Is Desperate for Friends in a WeChat AdOpen in a New Window


In a South African ad for Chinese social networking giant WeChat, a guy named Mark who started a social network visits a therapist. The ad never explicitly states that the "Mark" in the ad is supposed to be Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but the clues are all there, including the wavy brown hair and what look like Adidas flip-flops

"I invented the social network and now my friends — they're unfriending me," the Mark in the WeChat ad tells his therapist

The therapist suggests a cure: Using WeChat's "Friends Radar" function, which locates your nearby friends. Facebook just launched a similar feature last week called Nearby Friends Read more...

More about Mark Zuckerberg, Whatsapp, Business, Advertising, and Wechat


No Fail Here: Maker Studios Gets Powerful Viral Video Partner in Jukin MediaOpen in a New Window


Maker Studios just made a powerful new viral partner in Jukin Media, the video entertainment network that specializes in swift licensing and distribution of viral video clips — like last week’s train-kick-in-the-head selfie.

Under the new strategic partnership, Maker and Jukin will collaborate to manage and monetize their channels and videos on YouTube. Maker gets access to Jukin's vast library of viral clips, while Jukin gets to use Maker's well-established video platform, marketing prowess and talent stable.

SEE ALSO: Selfie Pro Tip: Don't Stand Too Close to Trains

Among Jukin’s more than 30 viral video channels is the high-profile FailArmy brand. As a part of the new partnership, Maker will develop and launch Jukin’s new standalone FailArmy website, hosting its videos on its proprietary web platform and video player. Read more...

More about Video, Youtube, Viral Videos, Entertainment, and Tv


Vice News Reporter Simon Ostrovsky Freed From Captivity in Eastern UkraineOpen in a New Window


Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky is free after spending four days in captivity in east Ukraine, multiple reporters in Ukraine say

Vice confirmed the news in a tweet.

We are delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend @SimonOstrovsky has been released and is in good health

— VICE News (@vicenews) April 24, 2014

"Breaking: hostage @SimonOstrovsky is free and safe. He is with us in CBC car en route to Donetsk @CBCNews @CBCAlerts," journalist J-Francois Belanger tweeted Thursday afternoon

Breaking: hostage @SimonOstrovsky is free and safe. He is with us in CBC car en route to Donetsk @CBCNews @CBCAlerts

— J-Francois Belanger (@belangerjf) April 24, 2014

More about Russia, Media, Us World, World, and Ukraine


John Oliver Scores First Interview With Former NSA Chief for 'Last Week Tonight' DebutOpen in a New Window


It's no national secret anymore: John Oliver's first guest for his new HBO show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, will be former head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command Gen. Keith Alexander. It will be Alexander's first interview since retiring.

Alexander stepped down in October, four months after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked top-secret documents. Alexander's deputy, John Inglis, retired in January.

SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert's Replacement: A Question Even Bigger Than Letterman's

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is a weekly half-hour satirical look at the news, the gig Oliver scored after his successful stint standing in for Jon Stewart on The Daily Show last summer. It premieres on Sunday at 11 p.m. ET on HBO. Read more...

More about Tv, Hbo, Entertainment, Us, and Nsa


FCC: Trust Us, We'll Protect an Open InternetOpen in a New Window


As the FCC prepared new rules that could allow Internet service providers to give preferential treatment to digital content of their choosing, the commission's chairman said Thursday that he had no intention of reversing existing policy, denying reports that the principles of net neutrality would be gutted.

The FCC's proposal would potentially allow Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast or Verizon to negotiate with online content providers like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, and charge them for faster delivery of their content to U.S. consumers. As word spread about the proposal on Wednesday, critics viewed it as a reversal of the FCC's Open Internet rules, which are supposed to bar ISPs from discriminating against Internet traffic. Read more...

More about Net Neutrality, Fcc, Business, Media, and Us


Square to Open East Coast Headquarters in New York CityOpen in a New Window


On the heels of opening a new massive headquarters in San Francisco, mobile payment company Square is now expanding its presence in New York City

Square, which allows users to accept credit card payments via mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones, will be opening an East Coast headquarters in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan this summer

This isn't Square's first set up in New York. When it acquired design agency 80/20 in 2012, it opened a small Manhattan office, but the new space has room to fit 350 employees.

The news comes amid rumors that Square could be acquired in the near future, with both Google and Apple reportedly interested in acquisition bids. But in a statement provided to Mashable, a Square spokesperson denied acquisition talks. Read more...

More about Startups, Square, Mobile Payments, Small Business, and Tech


Ondot Launches Remote Control for Credit CardsOpen in a New Window


A new app will allow users to control nearly every aspect of how their credit or debit cards are used directly from their smartphones.

CardControl is a service that aims to reduce the prevalence of credit card fraud by letting users set controls that determine how each card can be used from their smartphone. The hitch is that banks must opt in to the service before individuals can use it

"You use your card at a merchant the way you normally would, but you use your phone as a remote control to determine when, where and how the card can be used," Ondot's CEO and cofounder Vaduvur Bharghavan told Mashable. "We're putting intelligence into the card without touching the card in any way." Read more...

More about Credit Card Management, Tech, Apps Software, Apps And Software, and Ondot


Lyft Expands, Passes Uber in Total U.S. CitiesOpen in a New Window


Lyft, the ridesharing service that matches regular drivers with passengers in need of a ride, expanded into 24 new cities on Thursday, the company's largest single-day expansion to date

The move means Lyft now operates in 60 U.S. cities, surpassing competitor Uber which currently operates in 46, according to Uber's website. Uber does have more cities worldwide, however, and announced its 100th on Wednesday

Lyft has been preparing for this launch for months, Lyft cofounder John Zimmer told Mashable. The process is more complex than simply flipping a switch on the app, he explains. To ensure supply can match the expected demand, Zimmer says that each new city will start with roughly 100 drivers, who have all been vetted by Lyft employees ahead of time Read more...

More about Expansion, Uber, Business, Startups, and Mobile


You Can Have Lunch With Tim Cook at Apple — But It'll Cost YouOpen in a New Window


Apple CEO Tim Cook is willing to have lunch with you and a friend at the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, but it might set you back a couple thousand dollars.

Cook is putting his time up for an online auction as a part of the 8th Annual Robert F. Kennedy Center Spring Auction for Human Rights, in partnership with The highest bidder will get a one-hour sit-down lunch at Caffe Macs, the cafe at Apple's headquarters, to discuss anything.

While startups and entrepreneurs will likely claw at the chance to have Cook's undivided attention, the opportunity may come at a high price. Last year, Cook auctioned off a 30-minute coffee date at the Apple campus that sold for $610,000 (an all-time high for the RFK Center); it was the first time ever he agreed to a celebrity auction. According to Charitybuzz, last year's coffee date ran over the scheduled time to about an hour, with a good bit of time spent in Cook's office. This year, he's offering a full lunch meeting Read more...

More about Apple, Tim Cook, Tech, and Mobile


Ukraine's Taxi Drivers Navigate Barricades, Curfews and Masked GunmenOpen in a New Window


The roads in eastern Ukraine are covered in barricades manned by armed separatists. A nightly curfew is in place, and talk of a Russian invasion hangs in the air

If you drive a taxi, how are you supposed to work?

That's the question an unnamed taxi driver posed to a correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty during a recent drive around the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, where pro-Russian separatists are in a standoff with Ukrainian troops.

The ride, which was captured on video, offers a unique view into the city's tense streets. It also shows the fear average citizens have over the unidentified "little green men" — a name that has been used to describe the masked gunmen that have taken power. Read more...

More about Russia, Us World, World, and Ukraine


E-Cigarette Liquid Nicotine: Toxic, Unregulated and OverhypedOpen in a New Window


E-cigarettes are a hot topic this year. One minute they're public nuisances; the next they're helpful tools for quitting smoking. Other times they make users look like Boba Fett

People just can't seem to agree on them.

The latest alleged danger is the liquid form of nicotine, called "e-liquid," which is used in both e-cigarettes and customizable mods. See a March New York Times article called "Selling Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes." The piece references several poison control calls from 2013 by parents whose kids had accidentally drunk the liquid

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed its first set of rules toward regulating e-cigarettes and related products on Thursday. It's a standard first step that would prevent anyone under 18 from purchasing e-cigarettes and would also require manufacturers to disclose the products' ingredients and manufacturing processes to the FDA Read more...

More about Health, Features, Us World, Politics, and Us