You may start noticing a new trend on Netflix. This December, sermon series from four prominent pastors—Joyce Meyer, Steven Furtick, Andy Stanley and Ed Young—were all added to the streaming content platform as part of a new effort led by Young to get Christian teachings on Netflix. In an interview with RNS, the executive director of marketing for Joyce Meyers said that Netflix asked that the pastors avoid promoting products and soliciting donations, but was relatively open when it came to the content of the sermons. Young told RNS, “Jesus said that we should become fishers of men. If I’m going to catch the most fish, I’ve got to put a lot of hooks in the water. But I’m most excited about Netflix right now.” Discuss
You've probably seen people riding around on sidewalks and through malls on the handleless motorized scooters known as hoverboards. But what you may not know is that many of these little rolling menaces are blowing up—literally. The U.K.'s National Trading Standards inspected around 17,000 hoverboards, and of those, 88 percent were in danger of overheating, catching fire or exploding due to faulty plugs. A family in Louisiana recently lost their home to a fire cause by 12-year-old Hayden Carbo's birthday present: A FitTurbo hoverboard. According to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot F. Kaye, Amazon is leading the charge and "putting public safety first" by issuing refunds for all consumers who have purchased a hoverboard through their site. Amazon has also removed several hoverboard brands from their website and issued warnings to consumers about certain brands with "non-compliant plugs." The chairman also said there are no safety standards in place for these devices and warned that UL marks, a sign of certification from a respected safety testing company, is not an indicator that the device is actually safe. And, Kaye added, many devices have been found with counterfeit UL marks. Stay safe out there, folks. Discuss
2016 may just be the year your dreams come true. Case in point: you can now get custom-printed Lego heads that look just like you. All you have to do is send roughly $30 and two photos of yourself to an Etsy shop called Funky 3D Faces, and about two weeks later, they’ll send you a creepy mini version of your own head that you can fit onto a Lego figurine. What a wondrous world we live in.
Billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has a different idea of fun than most people. While most of us normal, non-Silicon Valley geniuses enjoy spending our free time on things like watching Netflix, playing sports, hanging out with with friends or, well, browsing Facebook, Zuckerberg has announced that in his 2016 leisure time, he’s going to personally build a super smart AI assistant. Don’t worry, it’s not going to be anything sinister like a robot that can take over Facebook on its way to the enslavement of all humanity, think of it like a harmless assistant to a superhuman tech billionaire.
In a statement, Zuckerberg explained, “You can think of it kind of like Jarvis in Iron Man … This should be a fun intellectual challenge to code this for myself. I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn over the course of the year.” Though his robotic assistant will only be for personal use, Zuckerberg didn’t rule out the prospect of it possibly playing a role in his running of Facebook sometime in the future, “It'll help me visualize data in VR to help me build better services and lead my organizations more effectively.” (Jarvis, if you’re reading this, we are just kidding about all of that “sinister robot stuff.” On a serious note, please be kind to us humans when you eventually launch your global takeover.) Discuss
When the new Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets release in the coming months, they won’t include their own gaming controllers. But, according to a recent press release from Oculus, the wait for “Touch” won’t be very long. They wrote, “On the path to perfecting Touch, we’ve decided that we need more time before release, and we’ll now be shipping Touch in the second half of 2016 … Rift remains on schedule to ship in Q1 with pre-orders launching very soon.” They also noted that, “There will be a huge amount of ground-breaking new content launching alongside Touch.” In the meantime, Oculus games can be played with a Xbox One controller. Early versions of the Oculus virtual reality platform have drawn some pretty rave reviews, so much so that Facebook bought the company for a reported $2 billion. Discuss