Facebook wants to be your next destination for streaming TV shows


After reluctantly admitting that it is indeed a media company last December, Facebook is starting to get into the business of producing content including original TV-quality shows and unscripted video shorts. The social network is said to be betting big on fresh shows targeted at audiences aged 17-30, with plans to allocate budgets of up to $3 million per 30-minute episode to producers in Hollywood. For reference, that’s similar to costs for Breaking Bad and a bit more than early seasons of The Big Bang Theory. Facebook has reportedly already lined up a relationship drama called Strangers, a comedy series…

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Open Spotify links in Google Play Music with this handy Chrome extension


As the only TNW staffer currently residing in India, I find myself excluded from the music channel on our company’s Slack, where people share their favorite songs and new discoveries – all because my colleagues in the US and Europe use Spotify and the service isn’t available here yet (I tried a VPN, no dice). But now, thanks to a handy new Chrome extension, I can judge their poor taste in tunes and decide who to share headphones with when I visit the office. And you can too, by grabbing Playify for Chrome and Opera. Open a link to any…

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Get over 1.1 million graphics at your fingertips — for only $31


Ask any art pro…finding a stockpile of quality vector graphics to incorporate into your own projects is worth its weight in gold. They’re high quality, they’re versatile, and with their host of customization options, they’re able to liven up virtually any graphics assignment with minimum adjustment. With a two-year subscription to VectorState (available now for only $31, 80 percent off, from TNW Deals), you’ll likely never have to search out the perfect graphic element again — because Vector State offers a library of over 1 million graphics to choose from. Over 1.1 million, to be exact — with more added…

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Learn the art of manipulating data with this serious MATLAB training for only $27


When engineers and mathematicians need to get down to some hardcore computer modeling and data visualization, MATLAB is one of the prime programming languages and environments of choice. Data analysis is one of the fastest growing areas of need in many businesses and MATLAB is at the heart of that analysis. So learn MATLAB from the ground up with this complete mastery bundle of courses. Right now, you can get these five MATLAB courses for only $27 (86 percent off its regular price) from TNW Deals. Across more than 250 lectures and 20-plus hours of instruction, you can go from…

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Tone-deaf cop addresses real-life shooting while playing video games


This week, a Seattle police officer chose to talk about the death of a pregnant woman at the hands of his fellow officers … while livestreaming a video game. On June 18th, officers came to Charleena Lyles‘ home to investigate a burglary she reported. Lyles, a pregnant mother of four, was then killed in a scuffle with the officers. Some of the details of the case are unclear, but it’s known for sure three of her children were home at the time. It’s a deeply upsetting case that has raised troubling questions about the officers’ use of force. One officer recapped…

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I trained a neural network to create CIA malware codenames


The Central Intelligence Agency is America’s best-known intelligence agency, but it’s still shrouded in secrecy. Thanks to Wikileaks, we’ve learned a lot about its internal workings, particularly when it comes to cyber-espionage. One thing that I’ve come to appreciate is the humorous bent to how the CIA names its internal projects. There are some absolute howlers. My favorite is, of course, Gaping hole of DOOM. Other honorable mentions include Munge Payload, McNugget, RoidRage, and Philosoraptor. If you’re curious, TechCrunch has published a near-exhaustive list of them. Pretty imaginative stuff. This got me thinking, neural networks are great at naming things…

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TRVL is the best travel platform you’re not using (yet)


From the moment I saw it, I was instantly enamored with TRVL. The brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Jochem Wijnands, TRVL is a sort of mashup that turns each user into a travel agent with the potential to earn money for their recommendations. Think of it as TripAdvisor meets Airbnb and Skyscanner. Travelers, Wijnands says, are the best source of information for other travelers. And while the typical tourist spends hours scouring the web for information, TRVL puts all this information at your fingertips by leaving the guesswork to agents. These agents are locals (or highly familiar with a given area)…

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