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Venezuelan government shuts down internet in wake of protests

Venezuelan government shuts down internet in wake of protests

Don’t expect one whole heck of a lot of tweets coming out of Venezuela in the immediate future as President Nicolas Maduro’s government has shut down the internet and select TV channels. Having shut down Twitter access for the area this past week, Venezuela’s state-run ISP CANTV has been cut in areas such as San Cristobal. This area is a regional capital in the west of the country and CANTV controls the vast majority of internet connectivity in the area.

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Study turns selfies into a science

Study turns selfies into a science

Seflies -- images one takes of him or herself, often with the front-facing camera on their smartphone -- has become a digital world staple so common the word has made its way into the dictionary. As such, it isn't surprising one team of researchers conducted a mass study of thousands of images, breaking them down into details like pose, location, and gender.

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Twitter turnaround on block backlash highlights social shortcomings

Twitter turnaround on block backlash highlights social shortcomings

Twitter's decision to make an abrupt about-face on blocking policy after user outcry has highlighted little-understood shortcomings in how social services handle privacy and bullying, sending the 140-character message service back to the drawing board to refine its procedure. Twitter had thought it was improving the relatively blunt blocking process users were offered when it quietly changed the system on Thursday morning; by the evening, however, the company had been forced to restore the old approach, following criticisms that the amended tools in fact victimized those affected by bullying, rather than the bullies themselves. Meanwhile, the turnaround raises questions around the blocking and privacy tools other popular social networks offer their users.

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Instagram Direct makes private messaging a reality

Instagram Direct makes private messaging a reality

There's a little bit of a shift going on at Instagram, one that makes the person-to-person exchange a real deal. This update is called "Instagram Direct", and it's essentially a messaging service inside the photo-taking social network. This update is coming to iOS today in Instagram 5.0, Android's Instagram 5.0 today as well - the Windows Phone version is still classified as being in beta mode, so we'll be waiting a bit longer on that front.

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Instagram printing and messaging possibilities for NYC event

Instagram printing and messaging possibilities for NYC event

Invites have been sent today to a collection of Instagram users and press alike, these invites containing a block of wood with an Instagram photo printed up front. These blocks are approximately 4-inches wide and 4-inches tall and have a hole at the back made for hanging. These blocks could very well mean that Instagram is moving forward with physical printing on a variety of objects in the near future.

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Instagram Business Lead exits to become Snapchat COO

Instagram Business Lead exits to become Snapchat COO

If there was any doubt that the likes of Instagram and Snapchat were in a head-on battle before, they've all been erased with news of a relatively major employee change-up. This push includes an Instagram (read: Facebook) business lead in charge of advertising for the photo-sharing group leaving, and heading to Snapchat to become their COO. This former business lead for Facebook's Instagram unit goes by the name Emily White.

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Boomf prints Instagram photos on marshmallows, merges the confectionery and digital

Boomf prints Instagram photos on marshmallows, merges the confectionery and digital

Sharing images has become an increasingly streamlined process over the years -- pull out a smartphone, take a picture, upload it to Instagram or a similar service and perhaps tag friends you want to notice it. If you find that such a process has become dull, there's now another option: confectionery printing onto cube-shaped marshmallows, which can then be offered to others.

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Instagram private messages incoming: Snapchat battle imminent

Instagram private messages incoming: Snapchat battle imminent

Having seen the writing on the wall, Instagram appears to be preparing for head-on battle with the likes of Snapchat for social micro-networking supremacy on the smartphone. Reports today suggest that Instagram will be rolling out private messaging before too long, allowing people to send images and videos direct to one another without the pesky in-between of the public. Snapchat’s mainstay, meanwhile, remains the self-destructing messaging market.

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