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AMBER alerts are coming to your Facebook timeline

AMBER alerts are coming to your Facebook timeline

You spend a lot of time staring at your phone or tablet — and that’s alright. We do, too. Sometimes, the more important details of life can get past you, though. To better serve the public interest, Facebook is announcing a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to bring AMBER alerts to your timeline. In bringing alerts to your news feed, Facebook promises not to overwhelm you. Rather than feed you blanket alerts, you’ll get ones specific to your area, and where a targeted search is being executed.

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FAA, CNN will partner to use drones for making news

FAA, CNN will partner to use drones for making news

Drones routinely make the news, but are you ready for them to make the news? The FAA and CNN have announced they have reached an agreement meant to allow CNN to explore the merits of drone flight when used in an official capacity. The aim is to create a “framework” (best practices, really) for other networks and entities to use drones for similar purposes. The agreement is purely for research at this point, but the incoming framework suggests the FAA knows drones can’t be stopped; you can only hope to contain them.

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UberCARGO uses big vans to haul your stuff

UberCARGO uses big vans to haul your stuff

Uber keeps tacking new options onto its service, and often the new options are either initially limited to a specific region before wider availability or forever destined for only certain cities. It isn't clear which is the case for UberCARGO, which the ridesharing service recently introduced on its blog for its Hong Kong customers. With it, users will be able to order a large van or something of that nature and use it to have their gear hauled from one place to another.

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Google-backed fund to help Charlie Hedbo circulate 1mil copies

Google-backed fund to help Charlie Hedbo circulate 1mil copies

After the attack at the headquarters of French satirical magazine Charlie Hedbo yesterday, the publication is left reeling. Eight staff killed was a tragic blow, both emotionally and logistically. They’ll get by with a little help from their friends, though. To help them along in these tough times, Google is donating 250,000 euro (about $300,000) to make next week’s print run Hedbo’s largest ever. Distribution partners for Charlie Hedbo will also be working sans charge, while a number of French media groups will also help out.

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User creates functional text editor in Minecraft

User creates functional text editor in Minecraft

We've seen some pretty interesting (read: brilliant) creations in Minecraft, including the functional 1KB hard drive and functional iPhone including apps. Continuing with the created-in-Minecraft theme is yet another bit of functional blocky artistry, a text editor with a 5 x 10 character display and the ability to open saved files and display whatever you might feel like typing into it. The creation was made by user Koala_Steamed using redstone. Amazing? Right. Even better, we've a video of it in action after the jump.

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NASA creates retro-cool travel posters for exoplanets

NASA creates retro-cool travel posters for exoplanets

NASA is always there to provide us with beautiful pictures of the universe around us, but recently it introduced some new images that caught many off guard: adorable retro-styled travel posters for a few exoplanets. The travel aspect of the posters is just a fun thought (at this point in time, anyway), but the exoplanets detailed in the posters are very much real, and the space agency slipped a tidbit of info in about each one alongside artwork that seems straight out of an old pamphlet.

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Bill Gates samples drinking water extracted from poop

Bill Gates samples drinking water extracted from poop

It is fair to say some of us have become a bit jaded when it comes to hearing about Bill Gates' latest exploits. Never one to shy away good causes and oddball ways of drawing attention to them, the philanthropic billionaire has done everything from releasing mosquitoes on an unsuspecting audience to dousing himself with ice water. Still, Mr. Gates' newest demonstration of the seemingly unmentionable has managed to catch popular attention, and for good reason: he drank a glass of water extracted from poop.

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Silent, tree-shaped wind turbines to debut in Paris

Silent, tree-shaped wind turbines to debut in Paris

Wind-generated power has the potential to make a huge contribution to varying renewable energies around the globe, but the issue of where turbines are built can be a big issue for some communities, or even countries. When wind turbines can't be built off-shore, some places feel constructing them on land ruins the scenery of the landscape, takes up too much space, or generates too much noise. Enter France's NewWind, which has been developing aesthetically pleasing, tree-shaped turbines meant to run silently within cities, at ground level.

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Canadian ISPs required by law to notify users of illegal downloads

Canadian ISPs required by law to notify users of illegal downloads

January 1st saw a new law, part of the Copyright Modernization Act, go into effect in Canada that requires internet service providers and website hosts to notify their users when copyright holders have detected illegal downloading. When an ISP now receives a letter of complaint from a copyright holder, they must forward it to the customer tied to the IP address associated with the download, or face fines of up to $10,000. The same applies to VPN (virtual private network) services, who must also record customer logs for a least 6 months.

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NYC contemplating mobile payment option for parking tickets

NYC contemplating mobile payment option for parking tickets

Paying off parking tickets is about to get a modern world makeover, at least in New York City, where officials are looking into opening up mobile payment options. Among those options could be PayPal, Apple Pay, and even Bitcoin, giving those on the unfortunate end of a parking violation citation the ability to quickly pay it off using their smartphone. The plan is still a work in progress, however, and for now residents are left with more archaic -- and time consuming -- options.

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