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iOS: If you’ve ever taken an R-rated picture on your phone, odds are good that you know it exists somewhere in your photo library. I’m pretty forgetful, but I know I’d remember that fact. I mean, there’s the setup process—lighting is important!—the fact that you have to at least partially undress, the multitude of photos you’ll take before you settle on the one perfect one, the knowledge that you’re probably sending this to someone (and might regret that fact later), etc.

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We love the convenience and feature-rich nature of the apps and products big corporations can offer you, but we’re also proponents of personal autonomy and control over your online experience. However, it’s one thing to just turn your back on the big corporations; it’s another to do so mindfully and ethically.

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When you want to make a good impression in a cover letter or written submission, it’s incredibly frustrating to discover later that you left out a word in the very first sentence. Our brains don’t always catch simple mistakes, so it can’t hurt to enlist a little digital help as well.

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Google announced Monday that it’s launching a beta for a new Android feature called Live Transcribe, which can accurately create written captions from speech on the fly. It’s an accessibility-focused project made to help people with hearing loss communicate without making special arrangements or purchasing expensive equipment.
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Art, as we all know, is about following a set number of rules handed to you by another person. In the latest New York Magazine cover story, art critic Jerry Saltz lists 33 steps to becoming a great artist, and what’s interesting is how many don’ts he’s willing to hand out. His refreshingly specific tips are all, at some level, optional. And that is why they’re useful, if you’re trying to be more creative.
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You should listen to more than one history podcast. But if you’ve got to pick just one, pick In Our Time, the venerable BBC radio show and podcast that covers a different topic each episode. It’s your best opportunity to learn a little bit about a lot of things. And it’s the best way to figure out what parts of history really interest you, for further learning.
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Screenshot: Lifehacker Are you using Google effectively as possible? If you’re just entering words into the search field without using these totally basic but totally essential tricks to improve your results, you’re missing out. We like to think of ourselves as Google ninjas at Lifehacker, but even we need a reminder of these crucial shortcuts now and then.
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Google’s done more than almost any other company to bring virtual reality to the masses, from making cheap Cardboard headsets to giving the public easy ways to create and share 360-degree photos. Now the company is giving VR fans another way to dive in with a new tool called Tour Creator.

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The past year has led to lots of accusations of “fake news” and effort from most of us to verify what we’re reading is true before believing it. A new app is attempting to bridge the gap between finding news and verifying its authenticity by using AI and human verification.

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Screenshot: Paramount Pictures This week the statistical news site FiveThirtyEight released the most ambitious actor career analysis in its “Hollywood Taxonomy” series, examining the five types of Nicolas Cage Movies. Up to now, the site broke each actor’s work down to three or four types. But Nicolas Cage’s work is so famously all over the place that CollegeHumor made a sketch about his frustrated agent. His performances vary so widely that Community spent a whole Abed B-plot on it, climaxing with the performance below. So FiveThirtyEight said fuck everything, we’re doing five types.
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Later this year, Stockton, a city in California with a 25% poverty rate, will conduct an unusual experiment: Roughly 100 of its citizens will receive $500 a month for 12-18 months, with no work requirements and no strings attached. Researchers likely will regularly assess the recipients’ health, childcare arrangements, education, and general well-being in order to measure how this kind of financial leg up affects quality of life. The grant, from the Economic Security Project, is a privately funded experiment in “universal basic income,” a policy idea crafted from the premise that every citizen should receive a regular stipend from the government to cover their basic needs.
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The last few weeks have been huge for data privacy—thanks to companies like Facebook and Grindr for their issues, companies like Apple that have tried to push the topic closer to the forefront of their customers’ minds, and larger regulatory moves like the European Union’s upcoming enforcement of its GDPR.
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If you’re learning CSS, or you want a friendly introduction to some of its terms and concepts, try 30 Seconds of CSS. Each entry on this site shows a different bit of code, demonstrates the result, and explains how each part of the code works. Here are some entries you’ll understand even if you’re not a designer or developer:
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