Published on September 28 2015

Instagram tops 400 million users

San Francisco (AFP) - Instagram has rocketed past the 400-million-user mark, with more than 80 million pictures shared daily at the Facebook-owned service.

The number of people sharing pictures and videos each month using Instagram soared from 300 million at the start of this year and tops the number of people using Twitter monthly by nearly 100 million.

"While milestones like this are important, what really excites us is the way that visual communication makes the world feel a little bit smaller to every one of us," Instagram said in a blog post.

"Instagrammers continue to capture incredible photos and videos from all corners of the Earth (and even the solar system)."

More than half of the last 100 million people to join Instagram live in Europe or Asia, with Brazil, Japan, and Indonesia seeing the strongest growth, according to the service.

The list of high-profile new Instagram users who quickly won legions of followers included David Beckham, Caitlyn Jenner and footballer Toni Kroos.

Earlier this month, Instagram unveiled plans to expand its offerings to advertisers, opening up possibilities for global marketing efforts on the photo-sharing network.

The expansion is intended to allow advertisers to launch global campaigns in a variety of formats including video ads of up to 30 seconds.

Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in 2012, has had only limited advertising opportunities up to now.

In 2013, it began with a small number of "sponsored" posts by well-known brands such as Michael Kors and Adidas.

The new system could help Instagram generate considerably more revenue.

Instagram also introduced a service called Marquee, a "premium" advertising product aimed at driving mass awareness in a short time-frame for events like movie premieres and new product launches.

Industry tracker eMarketer estimates that Instagram's worldwide ad revenue this year will grow rapidly, hitting $600 million.

Instagram is seen as a potential growth segment for Facebook, which has nearly 1.5 billion users.

Last month, Instagram broke its square mold with an update that adds portrait and landscape formats to the image-sharing smartphone application, which also opened up new possibilities for advertisers.

Meanwhile, Twitter continues to search for a new leader since Dick Costolo announced on June 12 he was stepping down, with co-founder Jack Dorsey holding the job on an interim basis since July 1.

The unusually long search has some investors and analysts worried over the future of Twitter, which has failed to ignite the kind of growth that many had anticipated when it launched its public offering in 2013.

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Published on September 28 2015

Apple lists top 25 apps hit by malware in first major attack

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said the WeChat messaging app and car-hailing app DiDi Taxi were among the 25 most popular apps that were found to be infected with malicious software, the first-ever large-scale attack on its App Store.

The company had not previously disclosed which apps had been affected, although many had been identified by third parties.

Apple said on Sunday it was cleaning up its App Store after several cybersecurity firms reported that unknown hackers had embedded a malware, dubbed XcodeGhost, in hundreds, possibly thousands, of Chinese apps.

"We have no information to suggest that the malware has been used to do anything malicious," Apple said in its XcodeGhost Q&A Web page on Thursday.

Other infected apps include Baidu Inc's (BIDU.O) Baidu Music app, a music app from Internet portal NetEase Inc (NTES.O) and the 58 Classified-Job, Used Cars, Rent app.

Tencent Holdings Ltd <0700.HK> owns WeChat.

This is the first reported case of large number of malicious software programs making their way past Apple's stringent app review process.

Cyber security firm FireEye Inc (FEYE.O) said earlier this week that the security breach was much bigger than previously thought, affecting more than 4,000 apps on the App Store, compared with the earlier estimate of 39.

Prior to this attack, a total of just five malicious apps had ever been found in the App Store, according to cyber security firm Palo Alto Networks Inc.

Apple said on Thursday it was working with developers to get the apps back on the App Store and was blocking new apps that contained the malware.

The company also said some of the affected apps could be fixed through updates.

The hackers targeted the App Store using a counterfeit version of Xcode "toolkit", Apple's app-building software.

Many Chinese app developers downloaded the tainted software kit instead of the original one because of the slow download speeds from Apple's official servers located overseas.

Apple said it was working to make Xcode faster for Chinese developers to download.

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Published on September 28 2015

Google has already staked out spots in your living room with its Nest thermostat, Chromecast video-streaming device and Android TV software. Now it wants more.

On Tuesday, the Mountain View, California, company is expected to unveil a music-streaming device, akin to its Chromecast video-streaming stick. The gadget will take its name from its older sibling, according to 9to5Google, with the moniker Chromecast Audio.

Chromecast Audio -- assuming that's the name -- is said to plug into a sound system's headphone jack and lets you stream music from your phone by way of a wireless signal.

The device is part of Google's two-pronged strategy for getting its technology into your home. Some of Google's gear, such as its Nest thermostat, are on the cutting edge of connected home devices. Others, like Chromecast, turn devices like the television already in your living room or bedroom into smart gadgets.

"Google realizes there are so many dumb devices in people's homes," said Sameet Sinha, an analyst at the investment bank B. Riley and Co. "In the interim, you give them these cheaper devices people will get used to."

At an event on Tuesday, Google is also expected to unveil the latest members of its Nexus family of smartphones, as well as an updated Chromecast stick, a $35 video-streaming device that lets you beam content from services like Netflix to your TV from a mobile device or laptop. The audio stick will likely be an extension of Google's Chromecast brand.

It's unclear what the price of the audio-streaming device will be.

As the Internet begins to touch every aspect of consumers' lives, the biggest companies in technology, including Apple, Amazon and Google, have become enamored with getting more Web-enabled devices into people's homes. For example, Apple's Homekit, a software package on iPhones and iPads, lets you turn your living room lights on and off, while its Apple TV lets you call out to your television when you want to watch an episode of "Game of Thrones." Google and Amazon have offerings with similar functions.

Of course, smart homes are far from mainstream. In 2014, 34 percent of US consumers said they were interested in a digital system to control all the lights in their house, according to Forrester Research, but only 1 percent actually had such systems. Only 2 percent had tried a digitally remote-controlled energy management system. Cost was a big roadblock, Forrester said.

Chromecast's low price point could help ease that concern.

"For Google, price trumps everything else," Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, said about the Chromecast. "It's almost a no-brainer purchase."

Google isn't the only company to take this approach. Other companies, like Amazon, have followed Google's lead and released their own streaming sticks. Motorola unveiled a product similar to the expected audio device last year, which also plugs into speakers through a headphone jack.

Covering the bases

Chromecast isn't Google's only beachhead into consumers' living rooms.

In addition to the Chromecast line, Google's Nest unit makes Web-enabled thermostats, smoke alarms and security cameras. Google bought the company in February 2014 for more than $3 billion.

Nest will become a separate unit later this year, when Google reorganizes under its new Alphabet holding-company structure.

Google also unveiled the OnHub smart router in August. The device, which can be controlled via a smartphone app, will eventually connect all the smart home devices Google hopes will soon populate your house.

Expanding the Chromecast family of devices is yet another way the company is trying to make sure its software is in your living room.

For now, Google may not care which smart device you buy. It just wants you to roll out the welcome mat.

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Published on September 28 2015

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

Apple's new iPhone 6S is the best smartphone the company has made yet. It's a bit faster. It has a pressure-sensitive screen. The camera is noticeably better in some ways. The design is more durable.

It's an excellent phone all around. But if you have an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, you probably don't need to upgrade.

One of the marquee features to come with the iPhone 6S is 3D Touch, which allows you to press down harder on the screen to perform certain actions.

These include launching a quick shortcut menu on an app icon, switching between apps faster, previewing links in emails, and more. Although it's handy and works well, it's not enough to convince me to buy a new iPhone.

The enhancements in the iPhone 6S are noticeable, but they haven't drastically changed the way I actually use my phone. For me, this wasn't the case when Apple launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last year. The jump from a 4-inch screen to a 5.5-inch screen was a game changer. It made the iPhone more valuable to me because I enjoyed everything I did with it a bit more since the screen was so much larger.

The iPhone 6S is simply a better version of the iPhone 6, and here are all the reasons why.

It's the best camera on an iPhone so far

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

Apple has given the camera on the iPhone 6S a big upgrade in terms of hardware. It now has a 12-megapixel camera instead of an 8-megapixel camera, which should ultimately result in better photos. However, in my limited time with the phone, I didn't notice too much of a difference.

Take a look at the images below. There isn't much of a discrepancy in terms of image quality — the detail and color accuracy looks the same in both photos. (Note:the photos below were taken in the same place at the same time under the same circumstances).

iPhone 6S

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

iPhone 6 Plus

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

Apple has also added an entirely new feature called Live Photos. This means the camera captures what happens a second before you actually press the shutter button. The effect adds a hint of movement to your photos, making them look more lively, just as its name implies. Live Photos are turned on by default, but you can turn them off by pressing the yellow circles at the top of the screen.

These photos also take up roughly twice as much storage as a normal photo, and you can only view them if you're using an Apple device running the latest software. A few third-party apps (Facebook, Getty Images, Weibo) support Live Photos, too, but it's unclear exactly when that support will roll out.

It's a fun feature, and since it's automatically turned on it's extremely simple to use. But, like 3D Touch, I don't feel like it's a feature I'll necessarily miss when I switch back to using my iPhone 6 Plus.

What I will miss, however, is the much improved front-facing camera on the iPhone 6S. Not only has Apple bumped up the sensor from 1.2-megapixels to 5-megapixels, but it's added a flash too. The iPhone 6S uses the screen on your phone as a flash when you take a photo with the front camera. It works by default — all you have to do is turn the flash on the same way you would if you were taking a photo with the main camera. It's incredibly clever on Apple's part.

The results are impressive to say the least. These are the best front-facing photos I've taken on a smartphone, period. Here's a look at how it compares with that of the iPhone 6S Plus in a dim setting:

iPhone 6S

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

iPhone 6 Plus

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

3D Touch makes things easier, but that's not enough for me yet

During my time with the iPhone 6S, I found 3D Touch to be helpful in general. But since it's so new, it's not something that's intuitive to me just yet. Also, in a few instances I found that it didn't save me too much time.

Using 3D Touch on the Apple Maps icon (yes I've been using Apple Maps since iOS 9 launched) saves a few steps if you want to get directions home or send your location. But in other scenarios, such as using the alarm clock, launching the app and tapping "Create alarm" is probably just as quick as actually launching the app and tapping that button.

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

The 3D Touch function is more useful in other ways, though. The new feature that Apple calls Peek and Pop, for example, lets you preview content without being directed away from whatever you're currently doing. Using 3D Touch on a link in a text message pulls up a preview of that website without taking you out of the conversation. This also works with dates, flight information, and other types of data.

One of the most useful 3D Touch features I've come across is the ability to turn the keyboard on your iPhone into a touchpad. If you 3D Touch the keyboard, you'll be able to use it as a trackpad for controlling the cursor — which makes it a lot easier to place the cursor exactly where you want it.

The 3D Touch feature works with third-party apps such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Dropbox, too. With Instagram, you can jump straight into your activity feed by 3D Touching its app icon.

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

While 3D Touch makes things a bit faster, it doesn't really play that big of a role in the way I use my iPhone.

I think that could change in the future, though, as more third-party apps make use of 3D Touch. I'm more interested to learn about the new things 3D Touch will enable me to do in apps other than just making tasks quicker and easier.

For instance, the app Magic Piano allows you to change the volume of your tune by pressing the keys harder with 3D Touch. Apple also showcased how 3D Touch lets you accelerate faster in the game AG Drive by pressing harder on the gas.

It's clear that Apple wants 3D Touch to be just as seamless and natural as multitouch — now that we've had it for years, it seems crazy that we've ever lived without it on our phones. I imagine developers will brainstorm creative ways to make their apps so compelling it'll almost feel empty to use them without 3D Touch, but it may take some time to get there.

Other things to know

The new iPhone is a lot faster, too. It runs on Apple's A9 chip, which brings general improvements to the whole device. This, combined with the iPhone 6S' new TouchID sensor, makes it extremely fast to unlock your phone. When I tried unlocking the iPhone 6S and my iPhone 6 Plus at the same time, I noticed the latter lagged noticeably behind the former.

Apple's latest iPhone is also said to be more durable. The aluminum Apple uses for the phone's body is the same type it uses to create the Apple Watch Sport casing, which means it should be able to handle bumps and nicks with more endurance. The glass is also said to be tougher.

You can also turn on Apple's "Hey Siri" feature when you're phone isn't plugged in. This means you can speak to Siri naturally without having to hold down the home button. I found this worked well — I asked Siri what the weather was going to be like the next day from across the room, and she answered instantly.

However, in the few days I've been using the phone, I didn't notice any change in battery life. The iPhone 6S lasts just about as long as the iPhone 6, which means if you're using your phone moderately throughout the day you'll probably get a full day's worth of battery life.

Overall thoughts

Apple's iPhone 6S is one of the best smartphones I've ever used — but here's why I wouldn't buy it

All of these various improvements combined make Apple's latest iPhone more powerful and easier to use than ever before.

The overall experience is better, but it hasn't changed substantially enough to warrant an upgrade from an iPhone 6. However, if you have an older iPhone such as an iPhone 5S or iPhone 5, it's a great choice, and it'll feel like a huge change.

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Published on September 23 2015

Finally, it’s here, the selfie accessory no one’s been waiting for.

In a promotional stunt for Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, maker Great Mills has launched the Selfie Spoon that lets you take a photo of yourself eating your first meal of the day. Because you really want to do that.

With tongue so firmly in cheek it’s likely to cause bruising of the inner cheek, the selfie spoon, as its name suggests, is basically a selfie stick with a spoon on the end.

Yes, it’s a real device, and can be yours for the cost of shipping and handling (yes, the Selfie Spoon itself is free).

Selfie Spoon For Self-Portraits While Eating Cereals

According to its webpage, the stick extends to 30 inches (76.2 cm) and incorporates a remote shutter button. The page also includes a number of “self-monials” (their term, not ours) showing satisfied users of the Selfie Spoon chomping on their Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal

“Gone are the days of eating a delicious breakfast and all your friends not knowing about it,” the YouTube ad proclaims, adding, “So why choose between eating and posting? With the Selfie Spoon, you can do both.”

Sunday’s batch of Selfie Spoons has already sold out, but if you’re desperate to get your hands on one, fear not. More will be available in the coming days, the cereal maker promises.

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Published on September 22 2015

The long-awaited software update for Apple's first wearable device was made available on Monday following a delay brought about by a bug found during the testing process.

Apple last Wednesday delayed the Watch OS 2 software, which was supposed to greatly enhance the capabilities of its smartwatch, including allowing the device to better run third-party applications. The company didn't say at that time when the software would be available.The delay of Watch OS 2 echoed the setback a year ago when Apple's iOS 8 mobile software for iPhones and iPads launched with numerous bugs that caused problems with Wi-Fi, the Touch ID system and other functions. An update that quickly followed caused even more issues. Apple finally resolved the problems more than a week after iOS 8 launched.

Apple, which updates its mobile software every year, needs to keep the system fresh to maintain customers' interest in its products and to ensure that software developers keep making apps for its devices. The refreshes are also vital to keep Apple in step with competitors like Google; predictive technologies in iOS 9 serve as a counter to the predictive capabilities that Google Now and Google Now On Tap can deliver to Android device users.

A high percentage of Apple's device owners update their phones and tablets within a few weeks or months after the software hits the market. As of August 31, 87 percent of Apple mobile device users had upgraded to iOS 8, while 12 percent were still using iOS 7, leaving a tiny fraction running yet older versions of Apple's mobile software. On Monday, Apple said that half of its base has upgraded to iOS 9, which was released last Wednesday. By comparison, as of September 7, only 21 percent of Android device users had installed Lollipop, the latest version of Google's mobile software, which launched in late 2014.

Given the new capabilities found in Watch OS 2, it's likely that Apple Watch users are eager to upgrade.

The update issued Monday lets apps run directly on the Apple Watch, meaning they can tap into features like the heart-rate sensor, microphone and video playback. Previously, all apps had to run through an iPhone, which limited their capabilities and caused many Apple Watch users to complain about slowness and lack of functionality. Other features include new watch faces, a nightstand mode and a "time travel" feature to look at upcoming appointments, alarms and events.

Some apps that take advantage of Watch OS 2 include the AirStrip patient-monitoring app, CNN, Facebook Messenger, the Kayak travel-booking app, the iTranslate language translator app, the Strava fitness-tracking app and the GoPro app that acts as a remote viewfinder for the camera.

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Published on September 22 2015

You can install WatchOS 2 for Apple Watch now

Apple has released WatchOS 2 for the Apple Watch, the first major software update for the wearable, bringing native app support and more. Arriving a little later than expected, after Apple shelved the release last week - which was to be alongside iOS 9 - over an issue spotted at the last-minute, the new update also includes a host of other tweaks.

For instance, there are new watch faces, including more that change and evolve over time. Apple has also added further Complications, the watch face widgets that show things like upcoming calendar entries and the current weather.

You can install WatchOS 2 for Apple Watch now

onetheless, it's the native app support which early-adopters of the Apple Watch are likely most excited about.

In its initial iteration, apps for the wearable ran on the paired iPhone, and simply pushed across what the Apple Watch showed on-screen. In WatchOS 2, there's more flexibility for software running locally on the timepiece itself.

That should have a significant impact on third-party app performance, one of the lingering complaints owners reported, as well as allow those apps to be more capable.

The update is accessed through the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone, and it's worth making sure that's connected via WiFi rather than cellular data.

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Published on September 22 2015

Apple's second-gen watch software packs a slew of new features you can get right now.

How to install watchOS 2 on your Apple Watch

The time has come: watchOS 2 just launched, bringing with it a whole suite of new features to make your Apple Watch feel like new.

The next-gen watch operating system gives the gadget a major overhaul. Native apps alone will make the watch more useful on its own. The first version of watchOS required the watch to mirror iPhone apps instead of running directly on the watch, which limited their capabilities and slowed down loading times. WatchOS 2 apps can also tap into the watch’s sensors, so the Taptic Engine, accelerometer, heart rate sensors, and Digital Crown all come into play. We can’t wait to see what developers have in store.

How to install watchOS 2 on your Apple Watch

Then there’s new watch faces (including Live Photos, the gorgeous moving images Apple showed off with the new iPhones), third-party complications, Time Travel view, more Siri functionality, and nightstand mode, along with smaller tweaks like the ability to use multiple colors in a Digital Touch sketch. If you don’t upgrade to watchOS 2, your Apple Watch will be left in the dust.

Here’s how to get it: Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap throughMy Watch > General > Software Update. Make sure your watch is in Bluetooth range of your iPhone and connected to its charger. This could take a while. Let us know in the comments if you have any problems upgrading, or tell us if you plan to hold off on installing watchOS 2 and why.

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Published on September 22 2015

It’s a religious war that’s been raging across the Internet for nearly a decade. iPhone owners would never allow their manicured fingers to be sullied by an Android touchscreen. Fans of Android phones sneer at Apple snobs, declaring their loyalty to all things Google.

The truth? Android and iOS users have a lot more in common with each other than either group would like to admit.

Earlier this month, Yahoo Research surveyed 1,000 smartphone owners on a wide range of topics.* Half of the respondents said they used iOS devices, the other half Android. Here’s what we found out about them, beyond their preferences in smartphones.

(Are these numbers definitive? Of course not. With a margin of error of roughly 4.5 percent, some of the differences we noticed could probably sway either way. Our research department warned us not to go there. We went anyway.)

iPhone Owners Love Superman and Sushi; Android Fans Dig Batman and Booze

Demographically, the Apple owners in our survey self-reported to be better educated and to make more money. The Androidistas tended to be slightly older and more likely to live in the Midwest or the East. Politically, they’re more or less identical.

But beyond those superficialities, we found some fascinating (if slight) differences.

Pet pals

If they had to pick just one furry companion to spend the rest of their lives with, 62 percent of iPhoners would choose cuddly puppies; 56 percent of Androids said the same. One out of three Google-users would go for adorable kittens, but only 25 percent of Appletons.

iPhone Owners Love Superman and Sushi; Android Fans Dig Batman and Booze


If stranded on a desert island with only one type of music to listen to, more than half of all smartphone owners would choose rock ‘n’ roll while they waited to be rescued. (How they’d reach a viable music-streaming service out there in the middle of the ocean is another matter.) But Apple fans are slightly more inclined to listen to classical (16 percent to 13 percent), while their counterparts lean more toward hip-hop (13 percent to 8 percent).


When forced to pick one anthemic ringtone, Android fans preferred Steppenwolf’s 1960s classic “Born to Be Wild” (35 percent, compared to 32 percent of Apple-eaters). More Appleheads (39 percent) opted for Bruce Springsteen’s ‘80s nugget “Born in the USA.” Only one in six smartphone users chose Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” or the Boss’s “Born to Run.”

iPhone Owners Love Superman and Sushi; Android Fans Dig Batman and Booze

Love early ‘80s Springsteen? You probably own an iPhone (Photo: ABC News/Yahoo).


Given a choice between four different sets of wheels, four in ten iPhone owners would opt for a chauffeur-driven town car, while only a third of Android users would do the same. Those town cars would then be driven off the road by the 25 percent of Android owners who’d prefer a Ford 150 pickup (versus 19 percent of iPhonies). Only 9 percent of owners in either group would choose to ride a Harley, and just 6 percent opt for the more ecologically correct bicycle. So much for green tech.

Fast food

One thing both groups have in common: a love of pizza. Given a choice of foods, more than half could really go for a big sloppy wedge brimming with pepperoni. Slightly more than a third of each group would opt for Chinese. By a thinly sliced margin — 12 percent to 9 percent — Apple users are bigger fans of sushi. See? They really are effete snobs.

iPhone Owners Love Superman and Sushi; Android Fans Dig Batman and Booze

If sushi leaves you cold, you are slightly more likely to own an Android phone (Photo: Ranaberden via Flickr).

Junk food

Here’s something else both camps agree on: Nacho Cheese Doritos are indeed a mouthful of awesome (29 percent), but still not quite as deliciously sinful as Double-Stuff Oreo cookies (33 percent). Only 15 percent in either crowd would be willing to battle zombies for just one more package of Twinkies.

Liquid refreshment

Nearly 30 percent of both iPhone and Android owners prefer a cool frosty beer at the end of a long hard day. But 13 percent of Apple users chose white wine (vs 9 percent of Fandroids), and 36 percent of Googlers want their drinks shaken not stirred; only 31 percent of the Appletinis opted for cocktails.

Sci-fi fandom

Exactly half of those surveyed declared Star Wars the greatest sci-fi movie series of all time, with Star Trek a distant second at 20 percent. Here, though, slightly more Apple fans chose Wars, and a shade more Googleheads picked Trek.

iPhone Owners Love Superman and Sushi; Android Fans Dig Batman and Booze


Here, Apple and Android fans have little to bicker over. If they had to pick one sport to play or watch, roughly 40 percent would chose football (with slightly more Androiders saying Yes to that one), while about 20 percent opted for baseball (marginally more in the Apple crew). Less than 1 in 10 from either group picked Quidditch. Patronus pigskinus!


If they had just one cape to wear, smartphone users overall would pick Superman’s (37 percent overall) over Batman’s (25 percent). iPhone users gave a slight edge to the Man of Steel, while Androids leaned more strongly in favor of the Dark Knight. Still, fully 26 percent of either crowd would rather be Wonder Woman.

iPhone Owners Love Superman and Sushi; Android Fans Dig Batman and Booze

As for how they would deploy their superpowers, more Apple fans than Googlers chose to stop crime (45 to 37 percent); the latter had a stronger propensity towards taking out evil dictators (22 to 17 percent). But when given the option to be selfish, 35 percent of both crowds said they would exercise their powers to ensure wealth, happiness, and success for themselves and their loved ones.

Still, that means two-thirds of smartphone users — Apple and Google alike — would still choose to use their powers for good.

See? We can all get along after all.

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Published on September 22 2015

Skype working to fix glitch preventing users from making calls

(Reuters) - Skype, Microsoft Corp's online telephone and video service, said it identified the glitch that prevented some users from making calls, and is working to resolve the issue.

Skype said on Monday that some users are unable to make calls because their settings showed that they and their contacts are offline, even when they are logged in.

Some messages to group chats are not being delivered and users not already signed in may face difficulty while accessing their accounts.

The company said the issue did not affect Skype for Business users.

Skype added that users could experience delays in seeing changes made to their accounts, such as credit balance and profile details.

Users may also face difficulty loading web pages on the Skype Community, the company said in a blog post.

In an earlier post, Skype had said its instant messaging and Skype for Web services were not facing technical issues.

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