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Chrome extension turns ads into social media feeds

If you want to rid your Web browsing experience of ads, your best bet is AdBlock. If you want to replace the ads on some sites with equally or arguably more distracting feeds from Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, however, then there is the Post Forward extension for Chrome.

After you install the Post Forward, you can then head to the extension's site or click the button the extension installs to the right of Chrome's URL bar to connect to any of three aforementioned social networks. The extension will then replace ads on some sites -- a select few … Read more

How a selfie with a rapper can improve your Facebook status

On occasion, I'm forced to disappear to the Wine Country in order to commune with nature.

If I feel that the last vestige of niceness is disappearing from me, a few hours spent in the company of the people of Napa and their grape products creates a reawakening, as well as a need for a hotel.

Late on Friday afternoon, I was sipping some very fine Honig cabernet when a young man engaged me in conversation.

He was 24 years old, he had a flip phone, and he was in crisis.

"I've got to leave in a … Read more

Facebook makes wrong call on anti-Semitic page

For the past several years, Facebook and several other prominent social-media companies have been wrestling with how to respond when their popular platforms are being abused by bigots to spread racist speech and hateful propaganda, including Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism.

Much of the debate has centered on a discussion over the difficult concept of what exactly constitutes hate speech.

As defined by Facebook's own community standards, people have a right to post "ignorant and untrue material about people and events" on their personal pages. But any content that directly attacks people based on their race, ethnicity, national … Read more

Is this Amazon's game controller for a TV box?

CNET Update goes whale watching:

In this episode of Update:

- Check out the latest clue in the Amazon media box mystery: photos of a Bluetooth video game controller, posted by Zatznotfunny.com. All signs point to Amazon releasing a streaming-media box in March or April.

- Catch selfie mania with Apple's new Selfie Section in the iTunes App Store. This must be great news for Manhattan, Miami and Makati City -- the top places for selfies according to Time.

- Go whale watching on Vine, now that #Whaling is trending.

- Expect to see video ads play in your Facebook News Feed. … Read more

WhatsApp calling spotted in the wild?

Answer the phone -- WhatsApp is calling.

Friday, screenshots purportedly depicting the widely popular messaging app's coming-soon voice-calling features made their way to the Web courtesy of the blog iPhoneItalia. The shots, seen above, reportedly depict a beta version of WhatsApp for iPhone with a new interface for making calls.

The images suggest that WhatsApp with VoIP is on its way sooner rather later. Just weeks ago, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum promised to give the messaging app's iPhone and Android users voice communication options. He said voice calling would be added in the second of quarter of this … Read more

Scrabble to get new official word: Twerk? Derp? Photobomb?

Sneaking in a made-up Scrabble word and getting away with it is almost as much fun as playing a legitimate one that uses three Zeds -- Zyzzyva, anyone? Word nerds who attempt to sneak illegal words like "huzzah" and "bazinga" past their friends may be happy to know that they can now nominate a new word into Hasbro's official Scrabble Players Dictionary, which hasn't been updated in more than nine years.

Fans have the chance to chime in on the Hasbro Game Night Facebook Page comments section to suggest their favorite new word to be added, now through March 28. … Read more

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg phones Obama about NSA

It's no secret that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks the National Security Agency has overstepped its bounds when it comes to the agency's surveillance practices, but on Thursday the social network's chief said he took his gripe directly to the nation's commander-in-chief.

"I've called President Obama to express my frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future," Zuckerberg said in an update to his Facebook page. "Unfortunately, it seems like it will take a very long time for true full reform."

Zuckerberg's status update comes … Read more

Colin Powell, pioneer of the selfie?

The young think they're all so clever.

When they get older, they realize that they were right all along.

They don't actually get more enlightened as they age. Indeed, they look back and wish they'd been more insistent about their cleverness when they were young.

As living proof, might I present retired general Colin Powell?

Here is a man you might think of as a voice of loyalty and reason. But on Thursday, he proved himself a man far, far ahead of his time.

He posted a selfie. No, not one taken with his iPhone last week … Read more

Facebook TV: Video ads now interrupting your News Feed

Facebook will gradually introduce 15-second video ads that auto play in News Feed to its 1.23 billion members following a three-month test of the product, the company said Thursday.

The new ads, called "Premium Video Ads," are modeled after television spots and are meant to give advertisers with deep pockets -- ads reportedly cost anywhere from $1 million to $2.5 million per day -- access to the broadest swath of Facebook users at specific intervals during the day.

Video ads play without sound when they appear on the screen. Members can scroll past an ad, or … Read more