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Aurich Lawson / HBO

This week, as revelations about the extent of National Security Agency (NSA) spying continued to unfold, Ryan Gallagher brought us an article about the types of hardware that agencies outside of the NSA use to gather information from mobile devices. These agencies, which include local law enforcement as well as federal groups like the FBI and the DEA, use highly specialized equipment to gain information about a target. Still, the details about that hardware is largely kept secret from the public. Gallagher summed up what the public knows (and brought to light a few lesser-known facts) in his article, Meet the machines that steal your phone’s data.

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photoshop

Using Photoshop to improve images for magazine covers is a widespread practice, and The New York Times looks at several examples and where different publications draw the line. From minor color corrections and smoothing crow's feet to completely changing the color of a model's top and entirely removing Tom Cruise's braces, there's currently no standard governing the ethics of photo editing. As for why the practice is so common, The New York Times cites technologies that make the retouching process easier and readers' expectations for a "heightened version of the truth." Although the article focuses on editing that happens after the images are shot, rather than in-camera editing techniques like color balance, it's a very interesting...

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Fred Wilson and Friends

Starting a company is hard, so you're going to need a lot of advice along the way.

There are many entrepreneurs, investors and bloggers who churn out business advice daily, but it's a pain figuring out which sites are worth reading.

We've compiled a list of our favorite sources of small business and tech news for entrepreneurs.

Running the gamut from hilarious, to informational, to controversial, to thought-provoking, these blogs are all must-reads for anyone who's running a business.

Quora

Blog: Quora

Blogger: Any entrepreneur you want to follow, from Fred Wilson to Marc Cuban

Why it's so great: Quora is a Q&A site where experts actually take the time to seriously answer your questions. You can follow topics like "startups" and "entrepreneurship" and people like Fred Wilson or Mark Zuckerberg.  Answers get voted up by by the community so that only the best ones shine. You can find answers to questions like "What is the best way to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship?" or "What are some tips on connecting with high-profile people that can help your startup?"

Sample: "What are some tips on connecting with high-profile people that can help your startup?"

Top answer by Robert Scoble:

I hang around high-profile people often. Here's some things that can help you connect:

  1. Listen. If they say your idea sucks, listen to the feedback, take notes, and ask for contact info. Then go fix the problems, or come up with another idea and demonstrate you listened.
  2. Get to the point. People like Ron Conway are busy. They are wildly rich, so the only thing that is limited in their life is time. You are taking away some of their most precious resource, so get to the freaking point. Don't try to chit chat or ask about their kids or make small talk. Go right for the big ask. They are used to it.

PandoDaily

Blog: PandoDaily

Blogger: Sarah Lacy

Why it's so great: Sarah Lacy and her band of bloggers at Pando are making an effort to become the "site of record for Silicon Valley." Much of the staff came from TechCrunch, so they're well sourced. Lacy conducts exclusive interviews with high profile people in tech and curates the top tech/entrepreneurship stories from other startups in the site's right rail.

Sample: AngelList has Transformed Seed Investing -- Are Recruiters and Job Boards Next?

Last week Naval Ravikant went to an industry dinner. He asked a friend in the venture business how things were going. The friend slumped over in his chair, shrugged sadly and said, “The business is becoming commoditized.”

It’s an extreme interpretation, and not everyone shares it. Times have never been better for a handful of firms who are rolling in the returns, raising as much from LPs as they want and still doing business the way they always have.

But matters have also never been more polarized for the VC-haves and have-nots, and this sad-sack VC has a few people to blame. Chief among them is his friend Ravikant, whose site AngelList has dragged the stealthy, back-room world of venture capital kicking and screaming into the light — something many industry watchers never thought could be done.

And now, AngelList is doing the same thing it did to VCs to recruiters.

LinkedIn Today

Blog: LinkedIn Today

Blogger: LinkedIn curates articles based on your professional profile and your social connections.

Why it's so great: LinkedIn Today curates articles that are fitting for your industry and that people in that industry are sharing. As such, it's a good source of entrepreneurship and business news all in one place.

Sample: Articles on LinkedIn Today:

Hiring Your First Set Of Employees - Greylock Capital

Facebook Testing a New 'Want' Button - Inside Facebook

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow War Room on Twitter and Facebook.

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bizwriter writes "A patent filing made public last week suggests that Google may be trying to implement a motion-detection interface, like Microsoft Kinect, for portable electronic gadgets. The patent application is for technology that turns a mobile device's camera into a motion-input system. In other words, it could be goodbye to fingerprints and streaks on the front of your tablet or smartphone. Google could incorporate such a feature into Android in general or keep it as a differentiating advantage for its acquisition of Motorola."


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About

F*ck Yo Couch is a popular catchphrase used to convey complete irreverence for another person, similar to the conversational usage of “F*ck You.”

Origin

The phrase was first uttered by the comedian Dave Chappelle playing as the character of Rick James, who shows complete disrespect to the party hosts by soiling their white leather couch with his boots. The original sketch aired February 11th, 2004 on Chappelle’s Show. The sketch, entitled “Rick James: Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories”, was co-written by Dave Chappelle and Charlie Murphy, who plays himself in the sketch.

Spread

The phrase was added to Urban Dictionary in Fall 2004, Defining it as:

1. More disrespectful than ‘fuck you’ because it means disrespect to you, your property, and your crib.
2. Can simply mean that you don’t give a damn about someones couch.

The phrase began to trend in the summer of 2005, more than a year after the sketch originally aired.

In January of 2007, DJSuckapunch uploaded the first remix to YouTube, which currently has over four million views.

The F*cking of the Couches

Shortly after the phrase gained popularity, people began uploading videos and images of themselves demolishing their couches under the name “F*ck Yo Couch” or “F*ck Your Couch.” The most common method appeared to be setting them on fire, though other methods included throwing them off of balconies, running them over, and laying waste to them with assorted melee weapons.

In Popular Culture

In October of 2007, the line was referenced on the show the Boondocks during the episode Stinkmeaner Strikes back. One of the main characters, Tom, becomes possessed by the ghost of Colonel H. Stinkmeaner, who was killed in the first season. During the middle of a courtroom hearing, he is overtaken by Stinkmeaner’s ghost and jumps on top of a table, kicking his legs and shouting “F*ck your court, nigga! F*ck your court!”

In 2009, the clip was remixed for the song “Fuck Yo Couch” by Bailey.

The line was also mentioned in North Carolina rap group Little Brother’s “Say it Again”.

When clothes fit strange
I’m playin’ Rick James
“Fuck yo’ couch nigga!”
I’m comin’ out with a bang

In June of 2010, the line was mentioned again in Eminem’s “Session One” featuring Slaughterhouse.

I pull it out and flip your partner upside-down like ya’ll are a couple 69ing
It’s like Rick James is shooting up your house, nigga….fuck your couch nigga!

Derivatives

Baby edition (August 2007) 293,000+ views

Tom Cruise on Oprah (June 2008) 112,000+ views

While I Play Unfitting Music (June 2008) 54,000+ views

Furry edition (July 2008) 9000+ views

Sparta remix (January 2009) 14,000+ views

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