script src="//" data-sumo-site-id="aa6c3d60b32e5862815eb98663e1413c4f7864fbc2afb58dd5f1de51d4a7cfe4/script Talkpropeller's Articles: 2015-02-01

Art for art sake

Art for art sake

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A sad and painful death

When they take a nap on your favorite pillow and somehow it just exploded while they're sleeping.

Donetsk residents in constant fear of shelling

Residents in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine say they feel scared and abandoned, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel rules out sending weapons to Kiev. Vanessa Johnston reports.

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America's Relationship with the World

Nope nope nope nope

So good.

Owner Says Camp Bow Wow Is Responsible For Dog’s Missing Toe

11toedogWhen I drop my dog off at a boarding facility, I expect her to return home with all of her body parts still attached. One family trusted the local Camp Bow Wow to watch over their dog, and but she was taken to the vet after workers found her with a paw caught in the kennel. Now they disagree with the camp on who should cover the vet bills.

Dogs are left unattended in their kennels at the boarding facility for about half the day, from 7 PM to 6:30 AM. Dogs are normally okay with that kind of downtime, but the workers’ off time was disastrous for Curly, a Rhodesian ridgeback/German shepherd mix. She caught her toe in her kennel (probably between some wires) resulting in what employees called “a lot of blood.” Her owners gave permission to rush her to a vet, where they amputated the injured toe and charged the owners more than $1,800.

The family reports that their eleven-toed dog isn’t the same. The injury happened in the summer of 2014, and Curly still isn’t able to run more than a few miles without limping. “She used to run six to seven miles with my husband,” the owner explained.

The family wants Camp Bow Wow to cover the entire vet bill, and the facility says that they’ve offered to cover half. According to the owner, the offer they’ve made is for $700 and a refund for the dog’s stay.

Call Kurtis Investigates: Dog Returned From Boarding Facility With Toe Ripped Off [CBS Sacramento]

by Laura Northrup via Consumerist

A device to usher in a new age of antibiotic drug discoveries

Scientists have developed a device that allows bacteria that would not grow in a lab environment to be cultured into potentially powerful antibiotic drugs. The device has already unearthed one antibiotic that can vanquish drug resistant super bugs like MRSA in animal models but its creators say its just the beginning. Ben Gruber reports.

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Africa: debt crisis looming?

The tumbling value of local currencies is threatening a debt crisis in sub-Saharan Africa, a thinktank has warned, with Nigeria, Ghana and others facing a combined extra bill of $11 billion. David Pollard reports.

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everyone needs a clara

VERBATIM: Biden on Ukraine

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has said that the United States and Europe needed to stand together over Ukraine and accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of calling for peace while rolling his troops through Ukrainian countryside.

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South Africa's power struggles

South Africa's cash-strapped power utility Eskom imposes its biggest power cut this year, hitting small businesses in Africa's most advanced economy. Hayley Platt reports.

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Friday, February 6, 2015

Is Apple Planning A Street View Upgrade For Its Map App?

Unconfirmed sighting of what may or may not be an Apple mapping van. (YouTube)

Unconfirmed sighting of what may or may not be an Apple mapping van in Brooklyn, NY (YouTube)

Because it’s not the easiest thing to drive around town with cameras strapped all over a car and not arouse some kind of attention, a new rumor has Apple embarking on its own street view mission, similar to the feature on Google Maps.

Although we’re sure there are plenty of technological get-ups popping up around town, this one has people buzzing due to the equipment used: According to the Guardian, a van equipped with 12 cameras and a lidar sensor (which scans the environment using a spinning laser) attached to the roof has been cruising San Francisco.

A local blog called Claycord News & Talk was the first to spot the unmarked vehicle in San Francisco this week. By tracing the license plate, it’s been confirmed that the vehicle has been leased to Apple, which set off the rumor that the company is readying a big update to its map apps for iPhone and iPad that could be something like the street view Google uses.

That blog notes in an update that a similar vehicle has been spotted in Brooklyn and captured on video, which happens to be where 1/6 of the Consumerist staff resides and will thus be on the lookout. It’s unclear whether that vehicle was also leased by Apple.

The next update to iOS is expected this summer, which is when the new feature would likely be included. But that would mean a big chunk of change for Apple and a fleet of cars to capture all the highways and byways needed for such a thing, so don’t hold your breath waiting for that function just yet.

If it does release its own street view capability, that could perhaps go a long way toward winning back users who fled in the wake of Apple’s first attempt at mapping, which was notoriously buggy and often led people places they didn’t want to go.

UPDATE with PICS/VIDEO: The Mystery Van Driving Around Claycord [Claycord News & Talk]

Apple camera car on San Francisco streets leads to ‘street view’ speculation [The Guardian]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Award success a 'real surprise' for Julianne Moore

Oscar favourite Julianne Moore was in London for the premiere of 'Still Alice' and spoke of her 'real surprise' at the film's critical success. Francis Maguire reports.

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Siemens wields axe, but little blood

German industrial giant Siemens confirms plans to cut 7,800 jobs worldwide to complete a wide-ranging restructuring. As Sara Hemrajani reports, the news comes despite a recent uptick in German industrial output.

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Graffiti on the Death Star

I found an Indian Ron Swanson.

Target Workers Caught On Camera… Helping Teen Job Interviewee Tie His Tie

targettie Most of the time when we hear about a retail employee being photographed doing something other than their jobs, it’s bad news, if not downright creepy. But here’s a pleasant change of pace.

WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham has the story of Target employees who were caught taking a break from shelving affordably priced home goods and groceries to aid a young man in his pursuit of a job.

When reporters talked to employees about the photo that went viral online, they say they were helping out a customer heading to a job interview at a nearby Chick fil-A and looking for that final finishing touch to make himself look more professional.

“I asked him if he needed help and he told me he needed clip on ties,” says one employee who noticed the young man wandering around the store.

But the store doesn’t carry clip-ons, so this employee asked a co-worker to assist the young gentleman.

The teen bought a tie from the Target and then went over to the employee who helped him tie it correctly.

“We took the wrapping off it, and I tied it on my neck, and fit it over head adjusted it and tightened it…fixed all his collar buttons and he was set to go,” says the worker.

Store staffers also gave the teen a boost by prepping him for what to expect at his interview: “We said, ‘Make sure you look him in the eye.’ I’m saying make sure you give him a firm handshake, and she showed him… he tucked his shirt in.”

While all this was going on, a curious Target shopper noticed the heartwarming scene and snapped a photo.

“It was a very quiet simple moment, but it was very profound honestly kindness… from strangers… in a Super Target,” she recalls. “He leaves and all these Target employees are screaming ‘Bye! Good luck! Tell us how it went.'”

“We were just here to help a young man get a job and forward his future,” said the employee who tied the tie.

The Target workers later popped by the Chick fil-A to talk up the teen and see how he did on the interview. The manager said he’d make a decision by the end of the week.

by Chris Morran via Consumerist

JetBlue, Virgin Atlantic Now Stream College Course Lectures 30,000 Feet In The Air

Each day there a thousands of opportunities for you to expand your mind. And that includes while you’re essentially held captive in a seat with little leg room, flying 30,000 feet in the air. No, we’re not talking about the usual flight safety and etiquette lessons shoved down our throats while traveling, we’re talking about JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic’s newly launched initiative to stream college course lectures during flights.

TIME reports that the two airlines have begun providing travelers with complimentary audio and video of select college lectures in addition to the typical inflight entertainment lineups.

While the new entertainment options might teach us a thing or two we didn’t know, don’t expect the courses to go toward a degree of any kind.

The new offerings started back in December for JetBlue, which streams portions of 10 recorded lectures via Coursera, a platform for open online classes.

Courses shown on JetBlue flights include marketing classes from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, a Brown University archeology class, and an introduction to guitar and rhythm from the Berklee School of Music.

The airline is also using a company called Rouxbe to stream video cooking lessons such as “How to brine meats” and “How to read labels on chocolate.”

More recently Virgin Atlantic joined the business of sculpting minds by offering audio and video from Great Courses, a series of lectures from well-known professors.

Available videos include “The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries,” by Cosmos host and director of the Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Both JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic say they plan to rotate in new lectures every month or two.

Travel blogger Gary Leff tells TIME that the new education entertainment offerings will likely be a welcome surprise for passengers.

“People seem to like the serendipity” of unexpected audio and videos on long flights, he says.

Even if you aren’t interested in learning any new subjects on your next flight, the courses might help lull you to sleep, you know, like they do for actual college students from time to time.

These Airlines are Offering In-Flight College Classes [TIME]

by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

Gronk catching Fireball in slow-motion at the Patriots parade is art ...

Gronk chugged this fireball like a goddamn Super Bowl Champion... And then spiked it. #gronkingtoremember A video posted by Lauren Borislow (@lborz) on Feb 4, 2015 at 11:42am PST ...

Read article Gronk catching Fireball in slow-motion at the Patriots parade is art ...»

Just wanted to show you guys my porn 'stash

Columbia Pipleline Partners shares up 21% on first day of trade

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When your parents would make you show them the clothes you just tried on...

Racism averted

The 65th Berlin Film Festival opens

Stars including Juliette Binoche walked the red carpet for the opening gala of the International Berlin Film Festival. Holly Rubenstein reports

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Couple Allegedly Steals 57 Blocks Of Cheese From Walmart, Because Who Doesn’t Want Cheese

From past experience, we know shoplifters enjoy perusing the meat department at Walmart and occasionally stuffing some items down their pants or sitting on top of them on their motorized scooter. But what’s the next best thing to take from the big box store? If you’re a couple from Tennessee, then the answer is cheese… 57 blocks of it.

WBIR-TV reports that the two 21-year-olds face theft and drug charges after police say they walked out of the retailer with hundreds of dollars worth of stolen items, including the aforementioned cheese.

According to police, security caught the couple walking out with a cart full of items they didn’t pay for.

When police searched the couple’s vehicle, they found $300 worth of cheese stuffed beneath the floorboards and in a diaper bag.

Additionally, officers say they found 10 bottles of Tide, clothing and a candle. In all, $600 worth of stolen goods were found in the car, along with marijuana.

The couple was taken to jail and a family member came to the scene to pick up their child.

Tenn. couple accused of stealing 57 blocks of cheese from Walmart [WBIR-TV]

by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist

Minnesota Stops Taking Returns Filed With TurboTax, Citing Possible Fraudulent Activity

Some TurboTax customers have already had quite a headache this year, and it looks like a whole bunch of Minnesotan customers are about to join the frustration club after the state announced last night it wouldn’t be taking any more returns filed with Intuit’s software because of possible fraud.

Revenue Department officials announced the news late Thursday after two taxpayers reported that they’d logged into their accounts to file, but were notified that a return had already been filed, reports the Star Tribune.

Because usually you’d remember something like that, state officials are concerned there’s been fraudulent activity, and have blocked new TurboTax returns coming in. They’re also combing through the couple thousand returns that have already been filed using TurboTax.

“If we identify a problem, we will contact the taxpayer,” said Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly.

Intuit opened a dedicated phone number for people concerned about the issue: 1-800-944-8596.

Minnesota is still accepting returns filed with Intuit professional prepare products like Lacerte, Intuit Tax Online and ProSeries.

Meanwhile in Utah, state tax officials chimed in that they’ve found 28 fraudulent filings from third-party vendors, with some taxpayers logging into to TurboTax to file and getting the same message as the Minnesotans — that their returns were already filed. Officials there say 18 states have identified similar issues.

Not being able to use TurboTax to file returns is likely going to cause a headache for many taxpayers, as almost 30 million people across the country use it, amounting to 60% to 65% of the market.

Minnesota stops taking TurboTax returns due to possible fraud [Star Tribune]

by Mary Beth Quirk via Consumerist

Yelp shares sink 20%

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