Internet

Star Apps: Zach Braff

Zach Braff is used to having doors shut in his face. An actor since the age of 13, Braff didn't get his big break on "Scrubs" till he was twice that age. There was initially zero interest in his first major movie, the indie breakout "Garden State," or his new film, "Wish I Was Here." Naysayers warned that he'd never get the latter film funded via Kickstarter. But Braff has persevered. His "Wish I Was Here" character, Aidan Bloom, hasn't been quite so lucky, struggling to make it as … Read more

Star Apps: Taryn Manning from 'Orange Is the New Black'

Taryn Manning has been in films and on television since 1994, often in supporting roles opposite bigger names like Britney Spears in "Crossroads," Eminem in "8 Mile," Terrence Howard in "Hustle & Flow," and Charlie Hunnam on "Sons of Anarchy." The role of Tiffany "Pennsatucky" Doggett on Netflix series "Orange Is the New Black" might have been just another ancillary entry on Manning's IMDb page, except the actress has been a scene stealer as the antagonistic drug addict turned born-again Christian. Now an official series regular, Manning … Read more

Star Apps: David X. Cohen

When David X. Cohen was in graduate school, he hit the proverbial fork in the road. The Harvard graduate had a degree in physics and was studying theoretical computer science at U.C. Berkeley. Would he opt for a career in mathematics and computer science or take a gamble and become a comedy writer? Fortunately for "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" fans, he took the comedy route. Now an expert in three disciplines, Cohen will chat about the intersection of math, technology, and comedy writing at Moogfest 2014 (April 23-27).

Talk to us about your appearance at … Read more

The Web out-Picassos itself: Welcome, sticky tape selfies

Your 3-year-old nephew loves to pull faces, doesn't he?

And he loves it when you pull faces too? In fact, you can spend whole hours just pulling faces at each other and laughing.

You're familiar, by now, with the fact that the Web is largely populated by 3-year-olds. It was only a matter of time and brain-sparking, therefore, before pulling faces captured the virtual world.

New, bright, spark-filled hashtags such as #sellotapeselfie or simply #sellotape don't merely contain faces pulled by natural means. No, they involve wrapping sticky tape around your head and seeing just how close to a Picasso you look.… Read more

'Say hello to my e-go': 10 funny first tweets we love

Twitter is the open mic at The Improv of the Internet, so unless you're a funny person who wants to be heckled, you might want to make your first tweet chuckle-worthy. To celebrate turning 8, Twitter on Thursday opened its archive, making it easy to look up anyone's first tweets. Yeah, we confess; we fell down the first-tweets rabbit hole fast. But at least you get to share in the adventure with a sample of our favorites funnies. See any we missed? Let us know in the comments.

I hope the 17 fans on my Geocities page follow … Read more

Find your first tweet: Twitter opens archive for its birthday

I honestly couldn't remember what my first tweet was about. I joined Twitter back in 2010 and have generated 1,559 tweets since then. Too many to recall them all. In celebration of its 8th birthday, Twitter is making easy for forgetful people like me to discover the very tweet that started the journey. Your first tweet.

Using the site first-tweets.com, you can enter your Twitter username and instantly pull up that intelligent, insightful, and funny first tweet you posted. In my case, it was a deadly dull journalistic inquiry asking to get in touch with a press contact for a restaurant. Scintillating! If I had known I was going to be looking at my first tweet again years down the line, I would have composed something about "Star Trek" crossing over with "Doctor Who," or perhaps an artfully beautiful haiku.… Read more

Google Maps hack turns any Street View into an urban jungle

If you want to see New York as a wilderness area, you can watch the CGI makeover in "I Am Legend," or turn to the Urban Jungle Street View site. Urban Jungle takes advantage of a little-known part of Street View called depth data. This allows the positioning of objects in the correct 3D space, so it really looks like a tree is growing out of the middle of Times Square.

It can be hard to navigate around once you're in the Urban Jungle map because the usual Street View directional cues are absent. Also, everything that might look familiar is covered in vegetation. This is really more about the novelty of slathering Street View locations with greenery. It works best in locations with tall buildings, but feel free try it out on your own house.… Read more

LG G Pro vs. iPhone 5S? Alternative brackets to March Madness

March Madness doesn't have to be just about basketball. You can get a tournament fix without ever setting eyes on a round orange bouncy object or the extremely tall humans who use it.

Instead, you can bask in a much nerdier alternative tournament where you get to do things like root for Neil deGrasse Tyson versus the Dowager Countess from "Downton Abbey" or cheer on the iPhone 5S in a pitched battle against the LG G Pro 2.

Welcome to the world of alternative brackets. Here are five to feed your competitive fire, and they have pretty much nothing to do with basketball.… Read more

Prepare Barbie for battle with 3D-printed armor

Barbie can be anything -- an astronaut, doctor, Air Force pilot, rock star, police officer, computer engineer -- so why not a warrior? That's exactly what 3D designer Jim Rodda, known as Zheng3 in the hobbyist 3D-printing community, envisioned when he started a Kickstarter campaign to create Barbie-compatible 3D-printed medieval armor.

It started because Rodda's 4-year-old niece has a birthday coming up and he wanted to design and print a unique gift for her.

"The original plan was to make My Little Pony-compatible glitter cannons, but the engineering turned out to be beyond what I could handle in a reasonable amount of time," Rodda told Crave. "So I back-burnered that idea, but was still interested in making accessories for toys she already had. I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons since forever, so my design thinking often goes towards fantasy medieval themes. From there it's a short mental hop to armor for Barbie dolls." … Read more

Victor the trash-talking robot hates losing at Scrabble

Scrabble can bring out a healthy sense of competition among humans, but what about robots? The robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University created a robot named Victor who can play Scrabble, just not very well. But that doesn't stop him from blaming his opponents for his double-word-score shortcomings.

Victor has a head with an animated face complete with glasses, blond hair, and even a collegiate soul patch, but his fiberglass body lacks arms. He can move, look at the board, and talk to people. He sits at a table at the lounge in CMU's Gates computer science building waiting for a human to challenge him to a match. Just don't expect any friendly banter. … Read more