Instagram fixes bug after millions of accounts hacked: Reports

SAN FRANCISCO: Instagram on Tuesday (Nov 1) said it will start testing features that let smartphone or tablet users easily buy items they find on the popular photo and video sharing service. The test, slated to begin next week in the US, will be tailored for Instagram applications on Apple mobile devices, according to a blog post by the Facebook-owned service. The move will build on a strategy by the world's leading online social network to connect shoppers and shops, earning revenue from purchases. "Mobile has changed the way people shop," Instagram said in the blog post. "We're excited to announce an easier experience to shop the products you love on Instagram." Instagram cited industry statistics indicating that smartphone purchases are commonly used in the US to browse or research options regarding potential purchases. Twenty US retailers including Kate Spade and JackThreads will take part in the Instagram e-commerce test, sharing posts that provide more information along with "Shop Now" icons for streamlined purchasing, according to the blog post. "This test is going to change the scope of what we, as retailers, are capable of offering on mobile," JackThreads chief marketing officer Ryan McIntyre said in the post. "Our customers will be able to shop seamlessly from their social media feeds - allowing us to reach guys where they're already hunting for what's new." Rival firm Pinterest last year dove into e-commerce with "pins" that let people buy items they like at the popular online bulletin board. Pinterest became a…... [read more]

LOS ANGELES: Ailing Tiger Woods pulled out of the PGA Championship on Tuesday (Jul 19), meaning he will have missed out on all four majors this year because of injury. The former world number one has been sidelined since last August because of back trouble that required surgery and he has since tumbled down to 628 in the world rankings. "We have been in contact with Tiger's agent, Mark Steinberg, and he informed us today that our four-time PGA Champion will be unable to join us at Baltusrol Golf Club next week for the 98th PGA Championship," PGA of America said in a statement. The 14-time major champion Woods, who last won a major at the 2008 US Open, was among 112 players originally listed for the year's final major tournament on Jul 28-31 in Springfield, New Jersey. But his participation had been in grave doubt after he said last month that he might not return to competitive golf this year. Woods, 40, has won 79 US PGA events, three shy of Sam Snead's all-time record, and his major total is four shy of the all-time record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus. RELATED CONTENTS: Gloomy Tiger Woods has 'no timetable' for comeback Late start for Tiger Woods in Masters return Ailing Tiger Woods withdraws at Torrey Pines Tiger Woods struggles to five-over 77 in comeback round Source AFP... [read more]

President Barack Obama admitted that "lone wolf" jihadist attacks present a vexing new security challenge Friday, even as he assured Americans the Islamic State group can be defeated. WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama admitted that "lone wolf" militant attacks present a vexing new security challenge on Friday (Dec 18), even as he assured Americans the Islamic State group can be defeated. Obama capped a week in which he has tried repeatedly to reassure a jittery Americans that his administration can neutralize the terror threat, with an end-of-year press conference that only underscored the tough task ahead. "It is very difficult for us to detect lone wolf plots," Obama acknowledged as officials continue to piece together how a couple shot 14 people dead at a party in California. "Despite the incredible vigilance and professionalism of all our law enforcement ... you don't always see it." "This is a different kind of challenge than the sort that we had with an organisation like Al-Qaeda," Obama said before leaving for San Bernardino, the site of the shooting, and on to Hawaii for Christmas. "Essentially, you have ISIL trying to encourage or induce somebody who may be prey to this kind of propaganda." Obama is under intense pressure to quickly and decisively end a threat that may take years if not decades of military, security, diplomatic and economic effort to neutralise. Part of the puzzle, he said, was to end the brutal war in Syria that has created fertile soil for the Islamic State to…... [read more]

A file picture taken on July 23, 2012 shows Indian HIV-infected women posing with her antiretroviral drugs at her home in New Delhi. Photo: AFP/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday the world was headed for a "generation free of AIDS", after UNAIDS reported a 35-percent drop in new HIV infections from 15 years ago. The positive news was also coupled with calls for more funding, with the objective of eliminating the virus by 2030. The United Nations also warned that continuing stigmatization of sex workers, drug users and homosexuals were barriers to progress. "The world has delivered. We have achieved and exceeded the goals regarding AIDS. We have 15 million people on HIV treatment," Ban said in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, where he is attending a global development summit. "We are on the way to a generation free of AIDS," Ban said. "The world has delivered on halting and reversing the AIDS epidemic. Now we must commit to ending the AIDS epidemic." According to the UNAIDS report released on Tuesday in Geneva, there have been remarkable strides since the advent in 1996 of anti-retroviral drugs, which suppress the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Though not a cure, the therapy creates a virtuous circle. The less the virus is in circulation, the less likely it is that people become infected. Although new HIV infections declined to two million in 2014 against 3.1 million 14 years ago and the number of new infections has noticeably decreased or remained stagnant, UNAIDS…... [read more]

Anton Yelchin, a rising young actor who starred as Chekov in the new "Star Trek" film, was killed early Sunday in an automobile accident, his publicist confirmed. He was 27. LOS ANGELES: Anton Yelchin, a rising young actor who starred as Chekov in the new "Star Trek" film, was killed early Sunday (Jun 19) in an automobile accident, his publicist confirmed. He was 27. "The news is so sad and true," Jennifer Allen said in a statement. Yelchin "was killed in a fatal traffic collision early this morning, she added. "His family requests you respect their privacy." The accident took place in the driveway of Yelchin's San Fernando Valley home, when he was preparing to meet friends for a rehearsal and momentarily left his car, Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Jenny Hauser said. The car "rolled backward down his steep driveway, pinning him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence," she said. After he failed to show up, his friends found him dead by the car, she added, saying it was unclear how long after the accident they arrived. Born in Russia, he came to America when he was six months old with his parents, who were star figure skaters with the Leningrad Ice Ballet. "I tried ice-skating and wasn't very good at it," he told the Daily Beast in 2011, saying that a friend of his parents urged them to enrol him in acting classes. He made his film debut at age nine in "A Man Is Mostly…... [read more]

A female officer in the Air Force, who was one of the first openly gay service members to get married, was identified on December 22 as being among six US troops killed by a suicide bomber near Bagram air base in Afghanistan. Air Force Major Adrianna Vorderbruggen is the first openly gay woman to be killed in action, the Daily Beast news website reported, citing a Department of Defense official. Six American troops, including Vorderbruggen, were killed on December 21 when a suicide bomber on a motorbike struck their patrol in the deadliest attack on US forces this year. Facebook postings on December 22 by Vorderbruggen's loved ones mourned her death on December 21 and sent condolences to her wife Heather and son Jacob. The family lives near Washington, D.C., where the couple was married in June 2012, the year after the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays was repealed. "We do find comfort in knowing that Heather and Jacob are no longer in the shadows and will be extended the rights and protections due any American military family as they move through this incredibly difficult period in their lives," said the posting from Military Partners and Families Coalition. Bagram, around 40 km (25 miles) north of Kabul, is one of the main bases for the remaining 9,800 UStroops in Afghanistan, after international troops ended combat operations last year. The victims included New York City Detective Joseph Lemm, a 15-year veteran of the NYPD who also volunteered in…... [read more]

Rapper Suboi has been the first Vietnamese artist to appear at the global music festival, South by Southwest (SXSW). The rapper wrote on her Facebook page that she was happily surprised by the news after a previous unsuccessful application to SXSW. She was among 1,500 artists invited to take part in this year's event, which drew about 15,000 candidates from around the world. Held annually in Austin since 1987, SXSW has been a destination for innumerable artists whose names are known across the globe and across genres like Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg and Norah Jones – to name but a few. Suboi already performed this year in the US at San Francisco's CAAMfest, organised every March by the Centre for Asian American Media. The festival is the largest showcase of Asian American and Asian films in the US. But performing at SXSW will be an important stepping stone in Suboi's career, helping her to enter the global music market, said one of her media representatives. She was called "Vietnam's Queen of Hip-Hop" by The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast. The Wall Street Journal article declared that, "this year, Suboi is introducing US audiences to her Vietnamese rap style which, whether performing in Vietnamese, English or a blend of the two sounds strong and assured, like she might be her country's Queen Latifah or Ms Hill." The Daily Beast also wrote a piece saying, "25-year-old hip-hop artist Suboi is a massive success in her own right." This…... [read more]

Rapper Suboi has been the first Vietnamese artist to appear at the global music festival, South by Southwest (SXSW). The rapper wrote on her Facebook page that she was happily surprised by the news after a previous unsuccessful application to SXSW. She was among 1,500 artists invited to take part in this year's event, which drew about 15,000 candidates from around the world. Held annually in Austin since 1987, SXSW has been a destination for innumerable artists whose names are known across the globe and across genres like Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg and Norah Jones – to name but a few. Suboi already performed this year in the US at San Francisco's CAAMfest, organised every March by the Centre for Asian American Media. The festival is the largest showcase of Asian American and Asian films in the US. But performing at SXSW will be an important stepping stone in Suboi's career, helping her to enter the global music market, said one of her media representatives. She was called "Viet Nam's Queen of Hip-Hop" by The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Beast. The Wall Street Journal article declared that, "this year, Suboi is introducing US audiences to her Vietnamese rap style which, whether performing in Vietnamese, English or a blend of the two sounds strong and assured, like she might be her country's Queen Latifah or Ms Hill." The Daily Beast also wrote a piece saying, "25-year-old hip-hop artist Suboi is a massive success in her own right."…... [read more]

(VOVworld) - US intelligence Chief James Clapper affirmed on Friday that analysts had not seen any evidence indicating Islamic State jihadists and Al-Qaeda had forged an alliance in Syria. Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, said US experts were unaware of any pact between the two groups, which would potentially complicate the US-led military campaign in Syria. Clapper said although there have been tactical accommodations, on the battlefield, on occasion, where local groups have united in the interest of the tactical objective, but broadly, it's not likely to the IS and Al-Qaeda to unite. The Daily Beast reported earlier this week that veterans of the al Qaeda splinter group known as Khorasan were trying to broker a deal between Islamic State fighters and members of the Al-Nusra Front, Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate.... [read more]

Twenty years after his first Oscar nomination, Leonardo DiCaprio is hoping that he may at last win one of Hollywood's most prized statuettes come Sunday night. BAFTA British Academy Film Awards at the Royal Opera House in London on February 16. (AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT) LOS ANGELES: Could this finally be Leonardo DiCaprio's year? Twenty years after his first Oscar nomination, the 39-year-old actor is hoping that he may at last win one of Hollywood's most prized statuettes come Sunday night. Matthew McConaughey has long been the frontrunner for the best actor Oscar for his turn in "Dallas Buyers Club" -- but DiCaprio is increasingly cited as a possible come-from-behind winner. Critics have lavished praise on the actor for his portrayal of financial crook Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," fuelling speculation that Oscar voters could finally give him the Academy Award. DiCaprio portrays the debauched and drug-fuelled New York trader from his early days through his relentless rise to the top of Wall Street in the 1990s, and then his disgrace at the hands of FBI investigators. The hilarious scene where DiCaprio struggles across the floor to get to his car, his limbs paralysed by an overdose of Quaaludes, risks becoming one of his defining screen moments, along with the prow-of-the-ship "Titanic" scene with Kate Winslet. "Look, there's a lot of disgusting behaviour in this movie," the 39-year-old -- who took home a Golden Globe for the role -- acknowledged at a recent lunch for this…... [read more]




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