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White House embarks on climate change mapping project

The White House wants people and communities to be prepared for extreme weather events spurred by climate change, like coastal flooding, hurricanes, and wildfires. So, it's making data sets and maps from some of the country's top agencies available to the public in it's newly launched "Climate Data Initiative."

The maps and data sets are being collected in one Web site, data.gov/climate, which is full of open government data on the country's infrastructure and geographical features, like bridges, roads, tunnels, canals, and river gauges. The information comes from agencies such as NASA, … Read more

The 404 1,433: Where we take baby steps with Dr. Josh King (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- If you're in the area and are dealing with either substance use or compulsive behaviors, check out the Center for Motivation and Change.

- For loved ones dealing with addiction, Josh King recommends "Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change."

- Follow the Center for Motivation & Change on Twitter.… Read more

Change your name in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com

When you signed up for a new Web e-mail account, you probably filled out your account profile and entered your real name. When you send e-mails with that account, your real name is displayed in the From: field of the e-mail header.

You may, however, want to change your name so that only your first name is displayed for privacy reasons, or use a completely different name just for fun. All three of the major Web e-mail providers (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com) offer a way to change your name.

Gmail

Step 1: Click on the gear icon, then … Read more

China's Jade Rabbit moon rover declared dead (or is it?)

A few weeks ago, China's Yutu ("Jade Rabbit") moon rover looked to be in pretty dire straits. The prognosis wasn't good after a "mechanical control abnormality" prevented the rover from working. Now, state news agency ECNS is reporting the rover "could not be restored to full function."

The Chang'e-3 lunar probe's successful soft landing on the moon on December 14 was a major point of pride for China's space program. Only the United States and the former Soviet Union had previously achieved the feat. The rover was supposed to carry out a three-month mission to study the surface geology of the moon and examine natural resources.… Read more

NASA shows 60 years of climate change in 15 seconds

When you put all the data together, it becomes pretty hard to deny that global temperatures are slowly but surely rising.

A new video released by NASA shows just over six decades of global temperatures, making it pretty clear that the world is getting warmer. In fact, according to NASA data, 9 of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since the year 2000 (the other was 1998), with the hottest years being 2010 and 2005. … Read more

Review: Change My Face gives you plenty of ways to decorate your mug

Change My Face is loaded with ways to twist, contort, and decorate your face into a goofy masterpiece. While the app's layout isn't great and causes a few performance issues, the app is so loaded with fun decorations and editing features that these issues are easy to ignore. Most people will have no problem using this app over and over for hours of photo-mashing fun.

Change My Face lets you do all sorts of edits to your photo to make it look as funny or bizarre as possible. You can shrink or expand your features, add goofy smiles … Read more

Petition urging Twitter to rethink new blocking policy takes off

An online petition urging Twitter to rethink its new blocking policy has garnered nearly 600 signatures in less than an hour.

Earlier Thursday, Twitter changed its policy, making it possible for blocked users to follow the blocker, who can no longer see any tweet activity by the blockee.

Almost instantly upon rolling out the change, Twitter users began to express their displeasure, with many saying that it was a dangerous move that enables stalkers. For its part, Twitter said that the new policy was implemented to discourage trolling, and that it had always been possible for anyone -- even someone … Read more

Behind Samsung's push to rule the world

Editors' note: Be sure to catch the other stories in this package: on the many pieces of Samsung Group's empire, on road-testing Samsung's S Translate app, on TVs and appliances in a Q&A with co-CEO Boo-keun Yoon, and on how Samsung torture-tests its products.

SEOUL, South Korea -- "It sounded like a toilet."

Samsung Electronics sound designer Myoung-woo Nam is describing the not-quite-right noise his team created for the Galaxy S3, at least initially. Here, in a dimly lit room on the eighth floor of a Samsung skyscraper, in the heart of Seoul's … Read more

YouTube users protest Google+ requirement

CNET Update battles with ASCII art:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn why YouTubers are angry about the Google+ integration in comments. Some are hoping a Change.org petition will sway Google to go back to the old system.

- Don't use the charger that came with the HP Chromebook 11. Google and HP are pulling the laptop from stores because the charger may overheat.

- Get a free smoothie at Jamba Juice for paying with the new Isis Mobile Wallet -- that is, if your Android smartphone is compatible.

- See how the redesigned MapQuest app compares … Read more

Lexus IS350 F Sport: Does it measure up to the Germans -- or even need to? (CNET On Cars, Episode 29)

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In this episode:

The all-new (aside from engine) Lexus IS350 F Sport Roof crush resistance technology How often you should change your oil Understanding the varieties of adaptive suspension Safety tech that has trickled down from high-end cars

As always, e-mail me your thoughts, suggestions, and comments.