Two years ago, Marvel released “Guardians of the Galaxy,” a movie about an obscure rag-tag group of heroes from a random ’60s comic series. That movie surprised everyone with a huge August debut and went on to be one of the highest-grossing movies of 2014.
Now, DC’s trying to do the same with “Suicide Squad,” but with a rag-tag group of many B-list villains. Sadly, it won’t pack the same punch as “Guardians.”
These villains, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Deadshot (Will Smith), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Diablo (Jay Hernandez), and Enchantress (Cara Delevingne) — are you tired yet? There are two more characters I haven’t even mentioned which lead the team — have been assembled together by U.S. Intelligence Officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) after the events of “Batman v Superman.” As every trailer has iterated, she’s creating a task force to save the world from metahumans who may go rogue (think Wonder Woman, The Flash, or any other characters, hero or villain.)
After “Batman v Superman,” I really wanted to like “Suicide Squad.” I’m a DC girl over Marvel. I grew up loving Batman, but for some reason Warner Bros. just can’t seem to figure out how to make a great superhero movie after “The Dark Knight.” While there are some good things about “Suicide Squad,” I felt like I was watching “BvS” part two.
The film is just stuffed with a few too many characters, all of whom are unnecessary to the overall film. After the movie introduces its initial task force, it randomly adds several more characters to the Suicide Squad club — Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Slipknot (Adam Beach), and a sword-wielding Katana (Karen Fukuhara) with little explanation why.
There are so many side characters in “Suicide Squad” that character development falls by the wayside unless you’re one of the big players, primarily Harley Quinn and Deadshot.
I get wanting to introduce a bunch of cool DC villains to the mix, but the film could have done without Slipknot, who I only learned is good at tying knots and scaling buildings, as well as Katana, who’s admittedly pretty handy with a spooky sword that holds the souls of everyone it kills. It seems like they’re only there to add diversity to the film’s cast.
And unlike other screen adaptations of Captain Boomerang, all I gathered from “Suicide Squad” is that he seems to have a random obsession with a pink unicorn plush that’s never explained. I guess it’s supposed to be funny.
It’s just nearly impossible to build an emotional connection to about a dozen characters in a two-hour movie. There’s a point in the film where Diablo, a tattooed man who can shoot out flames, says, ‘I lost one family. I’m not gonna lose another.’ But you don’t even feel like they are truly family. This isn’t “Fast and the Furious.” There isn’t enough time to give each character the development they need (outside of a small few) when there are not one, but two villains — in a movie filled with supervillains, mind you — to take down.
The villains themselves are just too generic (imagine the whole ‘We want to take over the world’ mantra — is this what we’ve come to expect from superhero films?) and confusing to anyone who’s not deeply ingrained into DC lore. I won’t spoil who they are because it’s supposed to be a surprise, though some have figured it out by now due to a casting sheet.
It’s hard to even get excited about the villains in a movie based around supervillains. They’re actually the least interesting part of the film. Half the time you’re more invested in Harley and the Joker’s relationship to even care about the bad guys they’re fighting.
Oh and if you’re hoping to see a lot of Jared Leto’s new incarnation of the Joker, you’re out of luck. While he pops up in the film several times, if you’ve seen the photos, trailers, and clips released for the film, then you’ve seen most of his role in the movie.
Though Leto brings a fresh brand of psycho to the clown prince of crime, in a year’s time no one will say this performance outshines that of Jack Nicholson in 1989’s “Batman” or Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning role in 2008’s “The Dark Knight.” Maybe that’s because this version of the Joker is not the main star of the film. Though a proven psychotic maniac, Batman’s main nemesis has a soft spot for his girlfriend Harley, his Queen of Gotham, who he pines after throughout the film like a lovesick puppy.
Joker’s still all guns ablazing, but he’ll move heaven and Earth to be reunited with his number one girl. The film feeds into the fandom’s love for the pairing of Harley and her puddin’ Mistah J (the Joker). Fans will be delighted to see the two in a few shots reenacting a popular “Mad Love” scene.
You know, this famous shot:
In fact, I wouldn’t mind a film centered around those two. Robbie and Leto share some of the movie’s best scenes. The film hints that could very well be in the cards. If Warner Bros. is smart, they’ll capitalize on the characters’ popularity and make a solo Joker/Harley film or include them as the main villains in the solo Batman movie.
The real heart and scene stealer of “Suicide Squad” is Robbie’s Harley Quinn, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. She has dominated the marketing for the film. And rightfully so. This is the character’s first time on the big screen. She was first introduced in ’90s cartoon “Batman: The Animated Series” as the Joker’s henchwoman. She’s grown in popularity starring in her own comics, and fans have been waiting years to see one of the best female antiheroes in a movie.
Though the movie is about a group of villains, it’s heavily centered around Harley trying to get back to her love, the Joker. Not that Harley can’t take care of herself. She can. We see her take down a number of villains ruthlessly with a gun and a bat without so much as blinking an eye. She even has to save the Squad leader Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman) a few times.
When the first trailers came out for “Suicide Squad,” I said the success of this movie wouldn’t depend on the Joker, it would depend on Harley Quinn, and she nails it. She may not have the accent fans are used to from the cartoon, but she makes the former psychiatrist Harleen Quinzel her own.
While I suspected the film would mostly belong to Margot Robbie, Will Smith (maybe not so surprisingly) dominates the film as well. And that’s entirely welcome. If you’ve seen last year’s “Focus,” you already know Smith and Robbie have excellent chemistry and they share that again in “Suicide Squad.” This movie really belongs to Harley, Deadshot, and the Joker, suggesting WB is perhaps setting the threesome up for some sort of romantic quarrel in the future. I’d throw money at that.
Truly enjoyable moments in the film include cameos from Batman and another future “Justice League” member. That’s one thing DC is actually doing better than Marvel — creating a connection between their films that feels natural by having star players show up in subsequent films instead of just mentioning them by name.
The film also has a pretty solid soundtrack. “Heathens” from Twenty One Pilots and a “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover by Panic! at the Disco are stand outs.
Director David Ayer may have said “f— Marvel” on stage at the “Suicide Squad” world premiere Monday evening, something he has since apologized for, but I don’t think Marvel has anything to be worried about.
With “Suicide Squad” as the second movie in DC’s planned cinematic movie universe, the films are quickly feeling like pieces that have been slapped together too fast to catch up to the Marvel machine. That’s a shame because not only does DC have two of the most lucrative characters in Batman and Superman, but several years ago when Christopher Nolan’s Batman was reigning supreme at the box office, it was Disney and Marvel who had to play catch up. (And how they have!)
Opening weekend estimates are calling for “Suicide Squad” to break $120 million. While it may perform well upon its debut for fans eager to see the latest incarnation of the Joker and Harley Quinn’s first on-screen appearance, it’s not a movie you’ll head out to see more than once. The movie thinks it’s funnier and more fun than it actually is.
And if it does well opening weekend, a sequel is reportedly already planned. The film certainly lends itself to one. If not, at the least, Warner Bros. has a rotating cast of villains for future films.
“Suicide Squad” is in theaters Friday.
5 Apps To Chat And Text With No Internet Connection Via Mesh Network
These apps are known as ‘Off-the-grid’ chat messenger app that works even without internet connection or 2G, 3G, or 4G network coverage, somewhat like the Walkie-Talkie app for iOS and Android. These app allows you to communicate with each other within a range of up to 100 – 200 meters, it works by broadcasting your encrypted data via the WiFi or bluetooth. If there is no direct connection between A and C, the app will bounce the message from A to B to C. In short, it is a P2P (peer to peer) software without a central server like WhatsApp, Line, WeChat and Facebook Message. Three good reasons for using ‘Off the grid’ aka Mesh Network chat. These chat apps can also be used as a walkie talkie.
Note: Mesh Network works when 2 or more smartphones are within range of each other. The distance or coverage depends on the smartphone’s signal strength, it varies from one model to another. Approximate distance is 100 feet between 2 smartphones.
Ideal Situation For Mesh Network Chat App
- Group camping or jungle tracking in a remote area where there is no reception.
- During a disaster, flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake and etc.
- Mass protest where there is a possibility the government will cut off the internet.
- When your monthly mobile data plan expired.
- During a natural disaster such as earthquake, flood, thunderstorm and etc when all networks and electricity are down.
- In an airplane when you and your friend are not seated together.
- End of the world, during a Zombie apocalypse or in a war zone.
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↓ 01 – FireChat | Google Android & Apple iOS
FireChat introduces a new way to chat: “off-the-grid”. Now you can chat with people around you – even if there is no Internet connection or mobile phone coverage. Whether you’re on the beach or in the subway, at a big game or a trade show, camping in the wild or at a concert, or even travelling abroad, simply fire up the app with a friend or two and find out who else is there.
FireChat enables a new type of communication: “firechats”. These live and anonymous discussion groups can gather as many as 10,000 people simultaneously. You can create your own firechats about anything that interests you – whether it’s the NY Yankees, Game of Thrones, League of Legends or Italian food. Get FireChat and start bringing people together.
- Instantly chat with anyone around you,
- Works even without any Internet connection or mobile phone coverage,
- Use the “Nearby” mode for off-the-grid communications, up to 200 feet of your location,
- Multihop capabilities extend the range of peer-to-peer communications,
- See what people are talking about all over the country in the “Everyone” mode,
- Create your own ‘firechats’ for live discussions with up to tens of thousands of simultaneous users
- Choose your own unique username and avatar
- No significant impact on battery consumption.
↓ 02 – The Serval Mesh | Google Android
This software allows you to easily make private phone calls, send secure text messages and share files in caves, in subways, in the Outback, in Australia or Africa, in Europe or the United States — even when cellular networks fail or are unavailable. You can also keep using your existing phone number on the mesh, which is really important in a disaster when people are trying to get back in contact with each other.
↓ 03 – ZombieChat | Apple iOS
ZombieChat is a peer to peer post-apocalyptic communication tool for when the zombies take over the planet. When the world goes dark and the cell towers stop working, ZombieChat carries on. Send and receive text and picture messages to people nearby on your iPhone and iPod Touch. Survivor Beacons notify you when there are other ZombieChat survivors near you. How does it work? It creates a peer to peer network with nearby devices using Bluetooth, peer to peer WiFi and infrastructure WiFi. No sign up required!
↓ 04 – Signal Offline Messenger | Google Android
Signal is a Wifi Direct based offline messaging app. Signal allows you to communicate without internet or local network in range of upto 100 meters. Messaging could be one-on-one or in a group. Messages sent via signal app are delivered in secure way. In short signal allows you to send audio,text,photo and video messages to users around you over wifi direct.
Chat with your friends and colleagues without wasting your data plan. One can use signal messenger in any instance where internet is not accessible, such as Cruise ship, wild life safari, foreign trip with family or when you run out of your data pack.
- Instantly send messages, audio and photos to anyone around you over wifi direct
- Send messages one-on-one or to entire group.
- Works without any form of internet or local network all it needs is another signal.
- Share files such as images & video as is. [As taken by camera and no re sizing or re scaling is applied]
- Old chats are stored in database and are accessible anytime.
- Full material design support. Signal comes in different colors.
- Signal is walkie talkie that works without internet.
- Communication via signal is secure.
↓ 05 – Vojer | Apple iOS
Vojer keeps you connected to your mates nearby without 3G/4G or Wi-Fi coverage. Vojer delivers messages from your phone directly to other person’s phone. No intermediate servers, websites or bottlenecks en route. Vojer doesn’t access your address book or request extra permissions except those required to operate – WiFi, Bluetooth, Microphone and Photos (if you choose to share photos).
- Share Photos and Text
- Send and Receive High Quality Voice
- All Vojer messages sent and received are encrypted.
↓ [ Coming Soon ] – Briar | Google Android
Briar is a messaging app designed for activists, journalists, and anyone else who needs a safe, easy and robust way to communicate. Unlike traditional messaging tools such as email, Twitter or Telegram, Briar doesn’t rely on a central server – messages are synchronized directly between the users’ devices. If the Internet’s down, Briar can sync via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, keeping the information flowing in a crisis. If the Internet’s up, Briar can sync via the Tor network, protecting users and their relationships from surveillance. Secure messaging, anywhere
- Peer-to-peer encrypted messaging and forums
- Messages are stored securely on your device, not in the cloud
- Connect directly with nearby contacts – no Internet access required
- Free and open source software
Meet The Aircraft Named IPOB Two In One Convertible, Built By A Biafran
The rise of Nnamdi Kanu has awaken the creative spirit of Biafrans. Kanu will always say on radio Biafra while he broadcasted in London, before his detention, that Biafrans are natural born engineers. In recent weeks, we have witnessed a surge in Biafrans showing off their technological ingenuity. One Ephraim Alex Akwaiwu who showcased his master-craft combatant vehicle which is made up of 100% local raw material to Mazi Nnmadi Kanu at Umuahia earlier this week.
Today another Biafran showcased his home made aircraft on facebook with Biafran colors. Though the aircraft is on finishing stages, it’s huge potentials are clearly visible. The aircraft is painted in Biafran colors with the rising son at strategic locations. The photos of the machine which was posted on Radio Biafra Page by Brendon Benson is named
IPOB Convertible 2 In One Aircraft. This means that the aircraft can serve as a car as well.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, after test driving the combatant car brought to him by Alex Akwaiwu, promised to sponsor Biafrans who are into any form of techology or manufacturing. Biafran technological prowess has been relegated to the background by the Nigerian government, but we are in an era where humanity will see a surge in African Indigenous Technology through Biafrans.
Snapchat New Feature, Snapmap Has Parents Worried For Their Children’s Safety
A new feature on the social media site “Snapchat” that can pinpoint a users exact location.
ATLANTA — A new feature on the popular social media site “Snapchat” that can pinpoint a users exact location has parents concerned about their children’s safety.
Snapmap allows users to track down another user’s location, right down to the street in which they’ve made their last post. You also don’t have to be friends with that user in order to access the information.
There is a way for you to control the feature and that’s by putting Snapchat into “Ghost Mode”. In order to do this, touch the selfie feature on the camera and as you zoom out, it gives you the option of changing who can see your location.
The Gwinnett County Police Department, for one, is trying to get the warning out to parents about this.
“Kids are very sneaky even if you tell them you are not allowed on social media,” said Michele Pinera with the Gwinnett County Police Department. “As a parent, you have to be a snoop. You have to go into their computer and you have to take their phone. It is essentially the parent’s phone and you have to go in there and see exactly what they’re doing.”
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The new features are making some parents CBS46 talked with very nervous.
“It’s very scary because predators have the same technology as our kids so unless parents do something to limit that, predators have access to your children,” said parent Jennifer Pozolopez. “I don’t need for everyone to know her every move. Just the thought of that makes me really nervous.”
Pozolopez reached out to representatives at Snapchat and they told her if someone chooses to share their location with all of their friends on Snapchat, the site will remind them of that choice periodically to make sure they are still comfortable with the feature.
FILED IN: NEWS
TOPICS: SNAP CHAT, SNAPCHAT, SNAPMAP, SOCIAL MEDIA
Meet Samuel Achilefu, The Biafran – American Who Invented Goggles That Sees Cancerous Cells
There are indeed many talented chaps in Biafraland; these people are not only creative, some of them are intelligent too and have the ability to invent things that are remarkable and useful to those in the society and outside it.
The darkness according to the Biafran genius is useful in viewing the cancer cells.
For people who are used to having everything they want, it was a pretty difficult phase as they had to learn to live with other people and share things with them. The war indeed scarred many people and this till date, affected lots of them.
Achilefu however, did not let this stop him or mar his future. His father tried doing everything he can to push his family forward by making them learn some morals from the incidence. He made inscriptions on the wall of the new house and laid emphasis on a true life fact. You can lose your wealth but never lose a good name.This inscription changed Achilefu’s life and molded him into the man he has become.
The young boy whose childhood memories are filled with disturbing scenes from the Biafra war and the loss of wealth has made a name for himself in the eradication of cancer all over the world.
And to think that such tremendous work came from a Biafran is truly amazing. Achilefu had his primary and secondary education in some local schools in Biafra.
However, he was lucky enough to have been one of the five students who won a French government scholarship and this made him attend a graduate school in France where he received a PhD in molecular and materials chemistry at the University of Nancy.
Achilefu made his family and Biafra proud with his activities outside the country. He got to St. Louis and became the first full-time staff member of the discovery research department at Mallinckrodt Medical Inc.
The Biafran genius was able to achieve what he has because of his educational background. This made him hold the belief that Biafran children can change the world if they have the opportunity to do so.
He stated that he had the opportunity to meet some smart Biafran children in the village school he attended during the war. These kids, according to him, never had the opportunity to move forward and change the world.
As a result of this, he has it in mind to create an institute that will help reach out to and train the smart kids in the low-resource areas of the world. To accomplish this, a certain number of children will be identifies yearly for comprehensive training and support through college.
While talking on the greatest breakthrough in the battle against cancer, the Biafran genius said “We are working in the dark, so that we can see the light…therefore, there is no darkeness unless you cannot see the light.”
At the moment, he is the chief of Optical Radiology Laboratory and a professor of radiology at the Washington University School of Medicine. He has designed high tech goggles that will help surgeons see and identify cancer cells which are pretty difficult to see during surgery.
With the use of the invented goggles, the cancerous cells glow blue; this will help doctors ensure that there is no tumor cell left during and after the operation.
Due to this brilliant invention; Achilefu in January 2015 got the St.Louis award which is always doled out every year since 1932. The award is to recognize area residents whose hard-work and achievements has made positive impacts in the community.
The Biafran genius with his wife and children.
Achilefu who got married to his wife twenty-one years ago was also recognized for leading the team that developed the high-tech goggles that will help surgeons see cancer.The father of two is not stopping at this as he has the intention of inventing a light-based cancer therapy that can help in reaching tumors in deep tissue.“I want to play a role in eradicating cancer or making it a manageable disease. Toward this goal, we have developed a new approach to kill cancer cells, independent of the cancer type.
“There is a method of killing cancer with light – photodynamic therapy. People use it to treat superficial cancers, such as skin cancer, because the cancer has to be reachable by light to activate a light-sensitive drug. Or you can use an endoscope to introduce light to activate and kill cancer cells inside the body.
“We’ve discovered a new approach of using existing radiopharmaceuticals to create a light source within the tumor cells. We have tested this concept with success in animal models of cancer and plan to move into human studies in future.”
With this, it is justifiable for one to say there are so many talented Biafrans in diaspora. Note that Dr. Mustapha Abubakar was also recognized as one of the hundred people called Arewa legends for the role he has played in cancer research.
Abubakar continues in his search to find the treatment and cure for cancer.
People Are Horrified That Facebook’s Hidden Inbox Is Hiding Incredibly Important Messages
Facebook has a hidden message folder where it filters messages it thinks you don’t want to see — sometimes with serious and unintended consequences.
Users are complaining about not seeing messages from since-deceased family members, people reaching out to help them, and even people contacting them to let them know their friends have died.
Back in October 2015, the social network revamped its messaging system.
Previously, you had your “Inbox,” and an “Other” folder where messages from people who aren’t friends or friends-of-friends would end up. But it replaced this second folder with “Message Requests” — which let people you’re not connected with ask to be able to talk.
But what very few people realize is there is now also a third category of messages: Filtered Message Requests. These filtered messages are what Facebook thinks is spam, and so doesn’t even notify you about. They’re also not easy to find.
There has been a spate of articles over the last few days explaining how to access them. Judging by the reaction on Twitter, almost no one knew it was there.
I am mortified did you know on Facebook there’s a bunch of messages you haven’t read in settings > people > filtered messages
— Jade ♡ (@JadeStamate) April 7, 2016
Just discovered a “filtered” message folder on Facebook. Oops. Sorry everyone. Literally had no idea. Should take me a few yrs to catch up.
— Max von Essen (@MaxizPad) April 6, 2016
oh my god I just discovered the filtered messages on Facebook pic.twitter.com/goQKF5mHR6
— brit brat (@Brittany_IRL) April 7, 2016
A lot of the time, the feature appears to be fulfilling its purpose pretty well — protecting people from strangers’ spam they’ve got no interest in viewing.
The message Daniel Emery received informing him his friend had died — and which he only discovered two months later.
But there have also been cases of it hiding far more important messages, meaning their intended recipients only see them when it’s far too late.
Former BBC technology journalist Daniel Emery contacted Business Insider after reading our story and checking the “filtered” folder out of curiosity.
He told us that back in February, the partner of an old college friend messaged him to tell him that his friend had died — but the message was filtered, so he only saw it today, two months later.
Emery said: “He was a friend of mine from when I was a student in Aberdeen. Used to be a good mate, obviously lost touch a few years ago, as you do.”
He had thought about reaching out, but never got round to it — and then saw the message letting him know his friend had “popped his clogs.”
“So its his partner — I don’t quite know who she is — picking up the pieces … it’s all a bit strange really.”
Emery’s not the only one to have experienced something like this.
Matt Spicer, from Bristol, England, said that his wife started crying after discovering the “filtered” inbox — because it contained a message sent by her cousin, who died before it was ever read.
Nice one Facebook, this hidden message thing has got my wife in tears.
She was contacted by a cousin, who has died since sending the message
— Matt Spicer (@Bristol_Pirate) April 6, 2016
And Brittany Knight wrote on Twitter that she lost her passport and missed the message from the person trying to return it to her due to the filter.
Lost my passport last year and some 10/10 messaged me saying he had it and facebook hid the message from me ????????
— Brittany Knight (@Brittany63255) April 5, 2016
& now I’m in love with him and he’s moved to the other side of the world so Facebook ruined my life and cock blocked me from a shit hot guy
— Brittany Knight (@Brittany63255) April 5, 2016
There are many more cases like this. Some are recent, while other messages appear to have been sent before the Filtered Message Requests inbox was introduced, and were then automatically moved to it once it was launched — all without ever being read.
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Went through my Facebook filtered messages and realised there was a message from a long lost friend from like half a year ago ??? I SORRY
— Kendra (@KendraInControl) January 19, 2016
Fuming a girl found my lost passport months ago but the message was filtered so I went n cancelled it without seeing wtf
— Meg (@meg_morg) January 27, 2016
thought i’d lost all contact forever w my japanese host family but just found a fb message from them that fb filtered out 2 YEARS ago !!!!
— merman (@merrmerrm) April 7, 2016
Are you fucking shitting me? My transgender cousin reached out during her transition & because we weren’t friends facebook hid her message.
— boring ole b$ (@bm0nies) October 30, 2015
The situation is made doubly frustrating by the fact that one of the big reasons for the change to Message Requests (and Filtered Message Requests) is to prevent things like this happening.
Tony Leach, a product manager at Facebook, told TechCrunch back when Message Requests launched: “We’ve heard so many stories like estranged parents trying to get back in touch, or you lost your wallet and someone trying to get in touch with you … That’s why we want to replace that with a system that makes it a lot easier to catch the messages that you want to see.”
Clearly, this hasn’t been a complete success.
But what can Facebook do about this? It’s a tricky one. If it errs on the side of caution, and filters more, then important messages will continue to fall through the cracks. But if it relaxes its filters, then more spam will likely get through too — and people will complain. (Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Daniel Emery, who missed the message telling him of his friend’s death, would like Facebook to modify its messaging feature to add a more straightforward spam folder.
“Gmail and Google, for all its flaws, has a pretty sensible system,” he told Business Insider. “There is a folder for spam, you can look into it if you want, you can pull things out. It’s not hidden from you, and I think the issue with this is it’s kind of a bit too much ‘nanny state.'”
He added: “Facebook is trying to be overprotective. Overprotective comes at a cost, and things like this happening are exactly that … hiding it is never a good thing.”
If you want to check your Filtered Message Requests in the mobile app, load up Settings, then click on “People,” then click on “Message Requests,” then click on “See filtered requests.” If you’re on the desktop version of Facebook, click on the drop-down Messages tab, then on “Message Requests,” then press “See filtered requests.” For more detailed instructions, read this.
See How Hackers And Governments Can See You Through Your Phone’s Camera — Here’s How To Protect Yourself
Most people know that computers can have malware, but did you know your cell phone is also vulnerable? Kevin Mitnick, notorious hacker and author of the book “The Art of Invisibility,” explains two easy ways that someone might hack into your phone. Whether it’s a jealous spouse, the CIA, or a nation state, here’s how they might do it and how you can protect yourself.
The Ingeniously Creepy Ways People Are Facebook Stalking You
We all have our reasons for using Facebook to learn more about a person we don’t actually know that well. For instance: is your office crush single? Is your blind date a hate-mongering Trump supporter? Is your ex’s new BF as douchey as his bleached tips would suggest? Call it snooping, or stalking, or simply due diligence — but everybody does it.
But some of us are a little more dedicated than others when it comes to digging up juicy digital dirt. Gird thy privacy settings, people, because shit’s about to get weird.
Screenshot via Facebook App
Tracking you down, even if they don’t know your name
Can’t remember the name of the guy or gal you, uh, connected with at that random party? No problem. Facebook’s creepily powerful Graph Search, the semantic search engine Zuck & co. rolled out in 2013, allows people to search content on the entire social network using natural language.
Let’s say all you remember about this person is where they work or went to college (or both). Search for “people who work at X company” or “people who went to X college.” Combine the two for even more narrowed results. Maybe you met them through a friend who works at Thrillist. Search “friends of people who work at Thrillist.”
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There are literally hundreds of ways to narrow people down. With some simple sleuthing and a little patience, people can find you based on even the smallest detail.
Seeing where you’ve been…
Here’s where Graph Search starts to get really freakin’ creepy. You can use it to find out what parties someone’s been to, or locations they’ve checked into. All you need to do is type “places X person has been in the past X months/years” or “events X person has attended.”
… and what your interests are
Unless you’ve Fort Knoxed your privacy settings, anyone can easily find out the bands, movies, books, websites, people, or groups you like. All it takes is your name and a few keywords in the search bar, i.e. “pages liked by X person.”
Seeing all the photos you’ve ever liked or commented on… ever
Thanks to good ol’ Graph Search, you can see almost all the photos someone has liked or commented on. Simply search for “photos X person has liked” or “photos X person has commented on,” and it’ll cull a gallery. This is terrifying on so many levels, especially if you have one of those less-than-trusting significant others, but also because it makes it easy for a creeper to identify who you’re closest to.
Getting notifications for everything you do on FB
The “Close Friends” feature allows your current friends to keep uncomfortably close tabs on you. Every time a Close Friend does anything on Facebook — likes or comments on a photo, updates their status, checks in somewhere, etc. — you’ll get a notification. But since Facebook doesn’t tell people when they’ve been added as a Close Friend, there’s no way of knowing who’s getting an up-to-the-second broadcast of your online behavior.
To add a Close Friend, go to their profile, click on the “Friends” drop-down menu next to their name, and select “Close Friends.” Just don’t make it weird, OK?
Creeping on your private profile pic
Man, is there anything more annoying than not being able to see a full-sized profile pic of the person you’re stalking? Privacy settings are the worst, amirite?! Luckily there’s a super-easy way to get around it. Great.
Stalking all your best friends, too
The nine friends that show up on the left side of your profile page are displayed for a reason — they’re the people Facebook has determined you’re closest to socially. That means clicking through to explore their profiles may help someone learn more about you (and see additional photos of you).
Oh Snap! Looks like Snapchat could be rebranding
Ephemeral media app Snapchat appears to be doing a little disappearing itself. A leaked video and domain records suggest that the company (though probably not the app) is preparing to rebrand as Snap, Inc. alongside its first piece of hardware, a pair of camera-equipped sunglasses called Spectacles.
The video, taken down from YouTube after a copyright claim by Snapchat, briefly shows the glasses: big, swoopy shades with an integrated camera above the left eye. But we pretty much knew these things existed already: Snapchat bought camera-glasses company Vergeance for $15 million in 2014, and what we see is basically a rebranded version of their device.
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Snapchat has been keeping its eyewear development closely under wraps, and activity earlier this year suggested they were hard at work. The company raised $1.8 billion in May, and at the time sources told us that some of that cash would be going towards its hardware efforts — which appear to be coming to fruition.
As for the new brand, a halo of circumstantial evidence makes it highly unlikely this is a hoax or spec ad. We checked out Snap.com and Spectacles.com — the pages are empty, but a whois lookup shows they’re registered to the same person. The same person who also happens to have registered Snapchat.com.
Then, the logo. You may have seen some Snapchat ghosts on billboards around New York lately that have rather crazier eyes than normal. Notice something about this one captured by Michael Sippey?
That right eye (its right; our left) in particular seems familiar, doesn’t it? It also matches the shape of the camera and LED ring light on the glasses.
It’s unlikely that the Snapchat app itself will be renamed — that would be brand suicide. Instead, Snap Inc. is likely to be the umbrella company that administers the various properties in this burgeoning media platform.
It’s possible that this is not the final form of the device or logo; the video could be a promo or pitch for internal use, developed by an ad agency or design firm. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s middle-aged folks and grandparents using the service rather than a bunch of teenagers — Snapchat has been working hard to target demographics other than the 13-25 crowd.
We’ve reached out to Snapchat regarding the authenticity of the video and the move to Snap, Inc. We’ll update the story if we hear back.
Watch as more than 100 Buldozers dismantle a long bridge overnight (video)
China is one of the world’s technology giants. Almost every consumer electronics and househould equipments used around the world is made in China. That being said, China has the largest of most things, ranging from Anatomical telescope to look into the far away stars and planetary objects and stars
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China also has the largest of ocean going vessels, they have the largest buses. Infact one of the new developed buses in China is so big that othe vehicles can pass safely under it.
But in this video you will see as “Chinese construction experts dismantle a more than 1km bridge overnight before day break. This is awesome.
T-Pain talks to us about his obsession with ‘Game of Thrones,’ Twitter, and being the voice of a GPS system
As someone obsessed with “Game of Thrones,” the day leading up to the season six premiere on April 24 was filled with anticipation and a lot of tweeting from my couch in an attempt to pass the time. It was then I discovered a common thread between musician T-Pain and myself – and it had nothing to do with Apple Bottom Jeans.
We both love “Game of Thrones.”
TI: We follow the “Game of Thrones” Twitter feeds pretty closely, and saw how panicked you were on premiere night that you might not get home in time. Did you make it back?
I did not make it home in time, but my wife paused the DVR for me and we didn’t start until I got settled, so that was pretty cool.
TI: That’s nice of her.
Yeah, yeah she knows.
TI: Have you been liking this season so far?
So far! Man, that last shocker on the second episode was f—ing amazing.
TI: I know!
I didn’t think it was gonna work, and then, that last second, oh God it was so great. (laughs)
TI: When did you first start watching the show?
Probably like a year and half ago. Not necessarily when it started but you know, when I got a chance to sit down and I was able to binge it. I got to have a little time at home – I asked for some time off – and it was “Game of Thrones” time.
TI: So you binged the whole series?
Oh yeah, [HBO] was already on season five. So we went all the way from episode one to the last one [available] of season five. I think there were maybe four episodes left in season five by the time we caught up.
TI: Have you read the books or dived into crazy fan theories at all?
I started reading the books … [and then] I found out that the books were different. Once there were like side stories and stuff like that … I was like, well, wait a minute. So I stopped reading the books.
TI: Yeah, the show has changed so many things that I think it gets confusing to pay attention to both, so that’s probably a smart approach. Who’s your favorite character?
Man. I think Daenerys is my favorite right now. She’s probably the prettiest, but also maybe “Old Red Woman” is my favorite character.
TI: That was a shocking reveal, too.
Yeaaah, f—ing old lady boobs! I was like “I’m ready for that.” (laughs)
[One aside here – T-Pain’s laughter is among one of the most infectious things I’ve ever heard. Okay moving on.]
TI: If you had to pick a song from your catalog to assign to either Daenerys or Melisandre, which one would you choose?
Ah man, I think uh, wow. Holy s—.
TI: I know, it’s a lot! You have a lot of songs that could work.
I would say if Tyrion can be on the throne, and then somehow Sam comes back as like a full-on maester … like that would be f—ing ah-MAZING. That would be the craziest s— in the world to me. I would love that. If Sam can come back as like a full-on maester and like, no d— or nothing, oh my god, it would be so great.
[Becoming a eunuch is not a standard part of maester-training, but T-Pain has a vivid imagination.]
TI: [Sam] is definitely a perfect right-hand man.
Absolutely. If Tyrion and Sam got together and just ran everything, all the Seven Kingdoms, I think that would be f—ing awesome.
TI: Have you had a chance to meet the cast or get on set?
No, I haven’t even tried. I mean, you know the things in your head that are like so great, you think well there’s no chance I’m even going to … you know what I’m saying? The show is so great, and the series is so great, they must get so many requests from so many people that it’s like … in my head I don’t even think it’s possible.
TI: Yeah, everyone was talking earlier this year about how Obama is the only person who gets advanced screeners of the episodes now.
Yeah I heard! I was so mad about that. Jesus. That would have been so great.
TI: So you mentioned this earlier, but the big Jon Snow reveal – did that totally floor you?
Well yeah because from the first episode of this season I kind of felt like they were going to drag it out all the way to the end. I figured he was gonna wake up at the end or something, or they were going to let him rot and give him some good CGI stuff. But nah, that floored the hell out of me. It was definitely unexpected, after they did the whole Red Woman trying, and it didn’t work, and she tried a bunch of times, and it was just “Oh this dude’s really f—ing dead.” And then he gave the old Michael Jackson “Thriller” cliffhanger.
It f—ed me up. It was f—ing awesome. I screamed in my hotel room. I got a complaint and the f—ing hotel security came up to my room and was like “We heard a woman screaming and we wanna know…” [both myself and T-Pain dissolved into hysterical laughter at this point]. So yeah, it was great though. It floored me, surprised the s— out of me.
TI: Do you think Jon Snow and Daenerys might ever meet?
It would be mega-great, but I don’t know. Being that I haven’t read the books or anything, I think Jon’s gonna go on like an evil streak. I think Jon’s about to kill a TON of people.
TI: Oooh, really?
Yeah! And Daenerys is super “good,” and Jon’s like … we always think of good and bad as a “yin and yang” kind of thing. And I think Daenerys is always dressed and seen as such a “light” person. Her hair is mega-blonde, she’s always in bright clothing, and s— like that. And we got Jon Snow who’s like black haired and always in mega-black clothes. I think they’re gonna end up having a problem with each other. I haven’t read the books, but that’d be f—ing awesome. The people we love the most having a problem with each other, I think that’d be f—ing crazy.
TI: I think she could show up in Westeros, and if he’s been taking charge of things then she’s going to have to get him out of the way.
Yeah! I mean – she has dragons. And Tyrion obviously has a little bond with the dragons now.
TI: That was such a sweet scene!
Man, that was so WEIRD. I mean great story Tyrion but you’re a little guy, you’re gonna get f—ing eaten by these dragons. I don’t know, I think if [Jon and Dany] meet up in King’s Landing and s— just gets real … I don’t know. It’s very weird and then I don’t know if Daenerys is like going into the “wife-holding” (a lot of laughing). Like I don’t know where she’s going! I don’t know if she has a clique now. I don’t know if she has a clan, or if they’re just going to be against her, but DAMN. There’s so many things that could happen right now. I’m very excited about any outcome.
TI: So people obviously die all the time on the show. Who do you actually WANT to see killed off?
Ah man … who do I wanna see killed off. Um. You know, it’s sad to say, but Reek has to die.
Yeah he’s gotta go, he’s gotta go. He’s too wishy washy. I don’t like him. Like now he’s going back?! Like, you know what I’m saying? He’s a snitch. That’s what it is. In the hood you can’t keep those kind of people around.
TI: Do you think they’re going to let Ramsay survive the whole season again?
Ramsay’s gonna go all the way to the end! He’s gonna go all the way to end and then it’s gonna be the most satisfying death since f—ing what’s his face.
Joffrey! Absolutely. It’s gonna be the most satisfying death in “Game of Thrones” since Joffrey. I wanted Joffrey to die sooner but at the same time, I mean these are [real actors]. I don’t think Joffrey – ah that’s how much I’m into this, I don’t even know the guy’s real name – like I don’t think he can play anybody else for the rest of his life.
TI: Jack Gleeson! He actually quit acting for a bit.
He has to. He has that “Harry Potter” syndrome where anytime, like with “Harry Potter” that dude [Daniel Radcliffe] did the “Woman in Black” movie and it was like oh s— Harry Potter is in another movie.
TI: Yeah, the kid who played Joffrey was like, “I’m just gonna stop acting for a little while.”
And that’s crazy because he’s too good. Like, he’s too good. If you can make somebody hate you as an actor, that means you’re really good. Him and f—ing Ramsay and Cersei are on the same path right now. People are just waiting around to see what kind of s— Cersei’s gonna do, so that’s pretty awesome.
TI: What she does in season six could be really interesting.
I don’t know what she’s gonna do, but the Mountain is gonna f—ing terrorize the whole thing. I want to see his face without that goddamn helmet and I wanna hear him talk. Like I mean first of all how great is it to still be in GoT and not have ANY lines, that’s just f—ing sweet to have (laughs). There’s a lot of characters that could really fuck up the whole storyline right now and we won’t see it coming.
TI: Yeah, there are a lot of wildcards.
Something is going to come from waaaaay the f— left and it’s going to be crazy. Something that we’re never gonna see coming. It’s gonna be really nice. I can’t wait for the future events. Thanks Obama!
TI: (laughing) As mentioned earlier, we learned about your affinity for “Game of Thrones” through all of your tweets, and it seems like you’re super active on Twitter. Can you talk about how you use Twitter?
I started tweeting awhile ago, it’s been years and years. But I think I only started tweeting my actual thoughts a few months ago. At first, Twitter for artists was something to show how cool you were, and you’re not supposed to tweet geeky things and s— like that. A few months ago I was like “Man I got some s— I need to ask people, because I need to know if I’m weird or not.” (laughs) I don’t have any way to ask people if I’m weird, or I don’t have anything to compare [my thoughts] to. I need to know if people think about these things. A few days ago I said I wanted to see a football game that’s all quarterbacks. Like I need to know if somebody else thinks that! (laughs)
Yeah! There’s like millions of people that think this and nobody says it because it’s not cool. You know what I’m saying? Like “cool.” The tweet lately that has gotten the most interactions is the “I think we need to all go back to flip phones so I can properly hang up on people.”
TI: Has Twitter become more fun to use since you’ve changed your approach?
It makes me a little more excited, because now I know I’m not weird as s—. I’m cool.
TI: What is that you like about Twitter versus Instagram?
TI: Do you read everything that people tweet at you all day?
Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s a lot, but I’m constantly on it. You know it’s time consuming, sometimes it’s very depressing because people are f—ing mean. But it’s cool, I take the good with the bad. It’s like studying – seeing what people are saying about you so can make your next move and you can know how NOT to move the next time. If a lot of people disapprove of something you did, and you read it on Twitter, you know not to do that s— anymore.
TI: So you use it like a sounding board for how your fans are feeling about projects?
Absolutely. It’s like instant analytics. It’s pretty cool.
TI: People seemed really excited about the new Waze release with your voice as a navigation option.
Yeah. YEAH. I’m more excited than anybody! (laughter)
I’ve always wanted to do GPS, ever since Garmin got famous, I’ve always wanted to do that stuff, man. I wasn’t thinking anybody wanted to hear my voice that much, but you know this was like right when GPS started after MapQuest. It’s been a longtime dream for me, and when this opportunity came up with Waze and I saw Morgan Freeman and Shaq and Arnold Schwarzenegger on there, I thought “Well OBVIOUSLY I have to f—ing do this.” We got in touch, and they were thinking the same thing so it was easy peezey, lemon squeezey.
TI: What was the actual process of recording like?
Oh, it was a very long day at first. The first day was just doing all the mandatory “left,” “right,” “U-turn,” you know all the stuff that’s going to be in your normal GPS. Then there was a day of “police reported,” “accident reported,” “hazard reported,” “roundabout,” stuff like that. It was a lot, it was a big four day process, so it was pretty difficult, but I wanted it so bad (laughter) I got through it, and I made it work. If Morgan Freeman can sit there and do it, absolutely I can do it.
Well I think I wanted it more than they did. (laughter) I was ready to go. I was ready for it.
TI: Are there any T-Pain Easter eggs that people can find in the app?
If you follow me on Waze you’ll see my accident reports (laughs). There might be more things because I’m literally still recording. When I get back home I’m going to record more. Yeah there’s a lot. There’s some more customizable things, like I’m re-doing some of my songs into directions.
TI: Re-doing songs into directions?
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Well you know I’m like re-doing “Buy U A Drank” lyrics into directions or “I’m Sprung” and stuff like that.
(Laughs) It would be pretty difficult but I always think about it. You can’t NOT think about it when it comes on. And i t’s getting longer! Every episode I know it gets a little longer they have to add a new place on the table. That map is getting huge. It’s like a f—ing Middle Earth map.
TI: It would be hilarious if one day Mordor just like popped up on it.
(Laughter) Absolutely! Just as a joke. They’d love it. No one would notice but they would love it.
TI: To loop back to what we were talking about with social media – your new single “Look at Me” is all about selfie culture. Can you discuss how that song came about, and your feelings on how obsessed we are with selfies?
I was my going through the Instagram phase where everybody was like “Yo get on Instagram, get on Instagram” so I did. Once the selfie videos started happening they got a little uninteresting. I got very disinterested in just seeing a chick staring at the screen, and it didn’t seem as sexy as a quick pic … o nce it started being like 15-second videos of just absolute silence and just looking at the f—ing screen, it’s like SAY SOMETHING MOTHERF—ER.
But I would always hear music in the background, and I went to some of my friends who are like Instagram f—ing experts in some kind of way, and I asked them like have you ever seen a ton of chicks doing selfie videos to the same song? Like is there a selfie-video song? And everybody said no, so I was like well, ha, I’m gonna do that (laughter).
So I set out to make a song to do selfie videos to, and that’s pretty much where that came about. And you know I set out to do that but at the same time it didn’t really work out that way, it just turned out to be a great song. They can do their selfie video to it or not, either way it’s a great f—ing song. So that’s how “Look At Me” came about.
TI: Can you talk about the Ty-Lite selfie case used to shoot the video?
I was actually looking for a light, and I couldn’t find any that looked like a cell phone light. And I couldn’t film this on the back camera on my iPhone because then I wouldn’t be able to see what I was filming, so I needed a front light. I deal with Fancy.com a lot, and I saw that they were selling the Ty-Lite … T hey said “You just gotta show it in the video a little bit” and I said, “Well I can’t show it in the video because they’re gonna be USING it but I’ll show a picture of it. Here you go!” (laughs) So it worked out great. And it was the only light in the whole video!
Holy crap, it was so tough. It was so difficult to organize. You know, I got off a plane and went straight to the video shoot and then I had to put the video out the next day. W e shot the video the day before it came out. I figured it was going to be simple, you know. The whole plan was to shoot it on a cell phone, throw it on a computer, throw it in Final Cut, and we’d have it out the next day. But it was much more difficult than that. It was supposed to be a two-hour video shoot, and then it was like eight hours. Yeah that was a lot.
TI: It looked like fun, at least!
The second verse was more fun because everybody was drunk after that (laughs). The first verse was like “Hey, we’re gonna try to shoot this video on a cell phone,” and everybody was nervous. Once we got the first verse we took a break and everybody was just drinking. And then the second verse went like a breeze. It was really fast. And then we did the bridge after the second verse and that’s when the whole group thing happened. And everybody was all grouped together and drunk and smiling. I was a lot of fun. It worked out.
TI: What can you tell us about the upcoming release of TP10 [an upcoming album of new music celebrating T-Pain’s ten year career]?
I can tell you a LOT about the upcoming release of TP10. It’s gonna be awesome, first of all. It’s gonna be frickin’ great. We have to narrow it down to 10 songs and I’m up to 47 songs to pick from. And it’s mega-frustrating, because I want them all to be on there. I’m trying to keep this whole “10” corresponding thing going. I’m gonna make it happen.
It’s gonna be really good, I’ve got a lot of faith in it. And I’m sure people are going to love it. This is to hold everybody off until [my album] Stoicville comes out. TP10 is definitely going to let you know why I’ve been in the game for 10 years.
TI: We’re excited to see which ones you pick!
Me too. I mean I don’t know yet either (laughs).
TI: Well thanks so much for your time, this was really fun.
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