• A company based out of Finland has invented a computer that might just challenge Apple and Windows for their market share.

    It’s called the Solu, a PC that fits in your pocket measuring just 10cm by 10cm that can easily connect to a bigger screen and traditional keyboard, lets you browse through apps and windows using just a swipe here or there, and automatically backs up all of your data to cloud-based storage.

    If you’re thinking it’s a concept that couldn’t possibly gain any traction, think again. The company, headed by founder Kristoffer Lawson, has surpassed its original goal to raise €200,000 via its Kicksarter campaign, reaching €219,543 (about CAD$311,000) so far.

    Take a glance at the promotional video for the device and see for yourself just how it works:

    The functionality of it appears to be on par with both the power and versatility offered by modern tablets and computers. There is however one particular challenge with the device being so small and powerful: the device

    Read More »from Can a pocket-sized computer challenge Apple and Microsoft for market dominance?
  • Yahoo Finance Exclusive: What Warren Buffett is most optimistic about

    What gives you optimism right now?

    How can you not be optimistic? If I’d been born 200 years ago my life would have been just a tiny, tiny, tiny fraction of what it is now. Every time I get in a dentist chair I’m thankful it wasn’t 100 years ago. They would’ve been pouring whiskey down me and holding me down. Everything: medicine, education, you know, just the conveniences of the life, transportation, entertainment, everything is dramatically better than it was 50 years ago. In fact, I tell the students, these students in that class today are actually living better than John D. Rockefeller Senior lived when I was born. Here was the richest man in the world -- he could not travel as well as they can travel, he could not be entertained as well as they can be entertained, he did not have the medicine they have. In all kinds of ways they’re living better than the richest man in the world lived at the time of my birth. The luckiest group of babies ever born in the world are the babies being

    Read More »from Yahoo Finance Exclusive: What Warren Buffett is most optimistic about
  • Privacy Warning Over ‘Most Used Words On Facebook’ Quiz

    Millions of Facebook users have unwittingly handed over all of their personal details to an online quiz company, it has been claimed.

    More than 17 million people have taken the “What Are Your Most Used Words On Facebook?” quiz, which compiles users’ posts into colourful word clouds.

    The quiz has swept across Facebook in the past few days and it has received widespread positive online media coverage.

    However, a UK tech website has questioned the methods used by the makers of the quiz to gather Facebook users’ personal information.

    Paul Bischoff, writing for Comparitech.com, said participants are giving up “almost every private detail about themselves to a company they likely know nothing about just to play a quiz”.

    The quiz was created by South Korean app company Vonvon.me. According to Comparitech, players must give their name, profile picture, age, sex and birthday to the company, as well as their entire friend list, all of their Facebook posts and their likes.

    It criticised Vonvon’s

    Read More »from Privacy Warning Over ‘Most Used Words On Facebook’ Quiz
  • This Is Why We Prefer Having Sex In Hotel Rooms

    Why ‘dirty weekends’ can do the trick

    When couples feel like their relationship is going stale, they often opt for a ‘dirty weekend’ away to rekindle the flames of passion.

    Researchers now believe that they know why it works.

    A sex expert says that the sheer novelty of a hotel room causes a rush of the brain’s ‘pleasure chemical’ dopamine to the brain.

    'The novelty of the hotel room is going to stimulate dopamine transmission in the brain, which plays a big role in arousal and sexual excitement,' said sex therapist and author Ian Kerner, in an interview with Huffington Post.

    'There's a psychological mindset when people check into a hotel that they can pamper themselves.

    'There's something a little luxurious, languorous, and sumptuous about a hotel that lends itself to feeling sexual.'4

    'So often I advise couples to turn their bedroom into a love nest that's free from distractions,' said Kerner.

    'I think a hotel – as a sort of generic luxury – automatically helps people tune out the anxiety.'

    'You're in a place out of time, out

    Read More »from This Is Why We Prefer Having Sex In Hotel Rooms
  • Six bizarre things billionaires have done with their money

    Billionaires are known for their eccentric spending and publicity stunts.

    But while some choose to spend their money buying million-dollar mansions, going on extravagant holidays and a car collection, some have a little more unconventional way of spending money.

    Below is a list of six of the most bizarre things billionaires have done with their money.

    Also read: Meet the accidental billionaires

    To ‘turn’ lesbian daughter straight

    Hong Kong billionaire, Cecil Chao, made headlines in September 2012 for offering around $65 million to any man who could turn his lesbian daughter straight.

    After thousands of eligible bachelors failed to change his daughter’s sexual orientation, Chao doubled the reward to $120 million in January 2014.

    Dinosaur DNA

    In 2012, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer spent millions of dollars on research into cloning dinosaur DNA in attempt to create his own real life Jurassic Park at his Palmer Resort in Coolum, Queensland.

    Once that failed he invested

    Read More »from Six bizarre things billionaires have done with their money
  • Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Awesome ‘Star Wars’ Toys and Games

    Merchandising, merchandising! Yogurt had it right — the only thing bigger than Star Wars is the business of selling people Star Wars stuff.

    And oh, how much stuff there is right now. You can’t swing a lightsaber without hitting a Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens-branded mug or t-shirt these days, but look past the fluff and you’ll find a small galaxy’s worth of legitimately cool playthings. If you’re gifting some Star Wars this year, these are the toys you’re looking for.


    BB-8 by Sphero

    The Force Awakens isn’t out yet, but it’s already turned the adorable BB-8 into a mega-star. A killer toy was inevitable, but no one was prepared for Sphero’s impossibly clever take on the rotund ‘bot. Controlled via your iOS or Android device, BB-8 responds quickly to a virtual joystick and can even by guided by voice commands. He’s both pricey and in short supply, however, and while Sphero is cranking up production to make sure everyone from here to Hoth can pick one up, he might be a

    Read More »from Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Awesome ‘Star Wars’ Toys and Games
  • How the Internet Aids Terrorists — And How It Can Be Used to Stop Them

    (Photo: Yahoo News)

    The terrorist attacks in Paris last weekend have predictably resulted in calls for ratcheting up the Surveillance Industrial Complex and for clamping down on freedom of speech across the Net. They also raised some questions: Is the Internet in fact a breeding ground for terrorists? And if it is, is there anything can we do about it?

    At the Family Online Safety Institute’s annual conference in Washington D.C. this week, a panel of experts from the U.S. State Department and non-governmental organizations convened to discuss those questions.

    Their conclusions: More surveillance is not the answer. And while the Internet can indeed help terrorists extend their recruiting efforts, it can also give us ample tools to combat them.

    The medium is not the message

    “Is it the Internet’s fault there are terrorists?” asked Nuala O'Connor, moderator of the panel and President/CEO of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “My snarky response is, ‘I was born in Belfast in the

    Read More »from How the Internet Aids Terrorists — And How It Can Be Used to Stop Them
  • You'll need a Fido cellphone plan to take full advantage of the discounted rates available. (Thinkstock)You'll need a Fido cellphone plan to take full advantage of the discounted rates available. (Thinkstock)

    With Internet access as expensive as it is in Canada, Fido is looking to buck the trend by offering two solid packages at a reasonable price. The catch? You have to be a Fido customer to get in on the deal.

    Starting today, those of you looking to switch up your internet service provider, and who happen to be existing Fido customers, can take advantage of a 300GB internet package for $50 per month or indulge in unlimited access for $65 per month. Customers who do not have a Fido service will have to fork over $70 or $85 respectively. We’ve provided a table below of comparable plans from other service providers to show just how good a deal Fido customers are actually getting.

    Comparatively, existing Fido customers are getting a pretty solid deal. In terms of speed, usage and price it’s not too bad if you have a manageable Fido wireless bill. The real draw here, though, is that you’re not locked into a long term contract. If a new, faster and more affordable service comes along down the

    Read More »from Fido launches home Internet service in Canada
  • Hasbro CEO: More Star Wars toys are coming

    The unofficial start of the holiday shopping season is still a week away, but already some toys are flying off the shelves faster than the Millennium Falcon can make the Kessel Run. Toys based on the upcoming Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, are in particularly high demand. Pawtucket, Rhode Island-based Hasbro (HAS) paid the Walt Disney Company (DIS) a reported $225 million for Star Wars merchandising rights back in 2013, and it seems the deal is starting to pay off. So much so that there are reports of supply shortages for some of the more popular items.

    “After Force Friday, we had such a great response that we were a little short of product, and we’re catching up,” says Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. “In the next week or two we’ll be caught up, and by the time the movie comes out on December 18th, we’ll be in great position.”

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    So will you be able to find all the Star Wars toys you want before Christmas? Goldner won’t quite

    Read More »from Hasbro CEO: More Star Wars toys are coming
  • 2016 Toyota Prius: First Drive


    We sent an ardent fan of Toyota’s best-selling hybrid to test whether the new edition moved the car forward, or just complicated its style.

    What Is It? The 2016 Toyota Prius, the fourth generation of the world’s most popular hybrid sedan.

    Starting Price: $24,200-$30,000.

    Competitors: None. The Prius sells seven times better than its nearest hybrid-segment competitor, even in this, the last year of its lifecycle.

    Alternatives: Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

    Pros: Best fuel economy on Earth outside of pure electric cars or the Porsche 918 hybrid supercar; improved handling and ride feel, updated tech and interior.

    Cons: Slow 0-60 time, cheesy exterior resdesign.

    Would I buy it with my own money? I have before, and will again.


    You’d be hard-pressed to find another car writer who enjoys driving a Prius, much less owns one. Yet here I am, on my third model. My wife and I got our first Prius in 2006, when gas prices were through the ceiling, and we’re still rolling slowly

    Read More »from 2016 Toyota Prius: First Drive
  • Russia intensifies strikes against ISIL in SyriaRussia intensifies strikes against ISIL in Syria

    The falling oil prices that are devastating Canada’s economy are also hurting ISIL, but it’s unclear if the commodity’s decline will spell an end to the murderous terrorist group that’s behind the Paris attacks.

    “Operating in large swathes of territory in eastern Syria and western and northern Iraq allows ISIL to control numerous oilfields from which it continues to extract oil for its own use, its own refining and for onward sale or swap to local and regional markets,” according to the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF), of which Canada is a member.

    In a February report, the FATF estimated that ISIL was selling crude at source for a deeply discounted $25-$30 per barrel to middlemen, who then marked it up to $60-$100 per barrel (bbl).

    “We note that during the preparation of this report, there has been a substantial decline in global crude oil prices (from approximately $80USD/bbl to $50USD/bbl), and so the price at which ISIL sells crude oil (and the revenue generated

    Read More »from Flow of ISIL oil revenue slowing, reports say
  • We’ve become accustomed to the fast pace of technological change. We’re conditioned to upgrade our mobile phones every couple of years and tossing out perfectly good TVs and computers when something newer goes on the market.

    So it’s unlikely you’ll have time to mourn the passing of the Zune music player or the Betamax video recording format.

    Last Sunday, Nov. 15, marked the last dayZune owners could download or stream music for Microsoft’s decade-old Apple iPod fighter. Microsoft said subscribers to the service could transition to its Groove Music Pass for other devices but their Zune players would be orphaned, though still capable of playing existing MP3s.

    Coincidentally, Sony announced this week that it will stop selling Betamax cassettes next March. I know, I didn’t think you could still buy them, either. Apparently they are still available in Japan more than a decade after Sony stopped making the home recorders themselves.

    The demise of Betamax and Zune illustrate two different

    Read More »from R.I.P Zune and Betamax, finally headed for the tech dustbin
  • Dubai Police Add Luxury Porsche 918 Spyder To Their Speedy Fleet

    Being a getaway driver just got a little bit harder.

    In The Fast and the Furious movies, it’s customary for the police vehicles to be overwhelmed by the speed of the criminals’ souped-up supercars.

    But in real life, one police force is doing everything it can to make sure the bad guys can’t outrun the cops.

    Officers in Dubai will be queuing up in the car park to get behind the wheel of the latest addition to the force’s fleet: a Porsche 918 Spyder hybrid.

    Only 918 models were made, each costing about £555,000.

    It will be used to patrol tourist areas and is equipped with on-board speed cameras. The sports car has only just gone on display at the Dubai International Motor Show.

    Dubai police chief, Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, said the car will be linked electronically with the control centre like other vehicles.

    Earlier this year, the force added three Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrids to its fleet.

    Officers already have access to a Bugatti Veyron, a Lamborghini Aventador, a

    Read More »from Dubai Police Add Luxury Porsche 918 Spyder To Their Speedy Fleet
  • Richard Branson adds another Caribbean retreat to luxury portfolio

    Sir Richard Branson has added another stunning address to his collection of award-winning retreats on the unspoiled shores of British Virgin Islands.

    Called The Branson Estate on Moskito Island, the exclusive property is set to be open for visitors from early next year.

    An unbeatable view from the rooms. Photo: Virgin Limited Edition

    The Branson Estate was inspired by Necker Island, Sir Richard Branson’s home and private hideaway and just a short boat ride away.

    Staying at the eco-retreat doesn’t come cheap, costing over $66,000 per night for up to 22 guests. The price tag does include all meals (tailored of course) and drinks, return transfers and a DJ for one night during your stay.

    RELATED: Branson to enter cruise market

    The recreation area is very inviting. Photo: Virgin Limited Edition

    The estate consists of three villas – each with their own infinity pool - and a central recreation area with a wraparound infinity pool and swim-up bar, nearby tennis pavilion and a

    Read More »from Richard Branson adds another Caribbean retreat to luxury portfolio
  • Tim Hortons breakfast sandwich in a combo (courtesy Tim Hortons)Tim Hortons breakfast sandwich in a combo (courtesy Tim Hortons)

    Environmentalists are criticizing Tim Hortons’ move away from china cups and plates in some Ontario cafes, saying the cost-cutting measure is bad for the Earth.

    “It’s pretty outrageous that Tim Hortons is eliminating washable ceramic cups from some locations, particularly since many of its stores have been caught simply trashing paper cups despite telling customers that they were recycling them,” Adria Vasil, author of “Ecoholic,” tells Yahoo Canada News.

    The Canadian coffee chain, acquired last year by 3G Capital Partners LP, is offering only disposable cups and dinnerware in some of its restaurants. Signs posted in test outlets thank customers for “joining our efforts to reduce water usage and improve our recycling program.”

    “The coffee company is trying to put a green spin on things by telling consumers that they’re eliminating ceramic cups to save on water, but that’s mostly greenwash,” says Vasil of the claims by Tim Hortons, pointing to the cost-cutting reputation of the

    Read More »from Tim Hortons test removing china in some stores criticized
  • An Apple iphone 6 with Apple Pay is shown June 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mike BlakeAn Apple iphone 6 with Apple Pay is shown June 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Blake

    Apple Pay is finally here in Canada. iPhone users can start making mobile payment as of November 17.

    The announcement was made surprisingly quietly, however, as the news came via American Express rather than Apple itself. Based on the experience of one writer, you wouldn’t have even known it was coming today unless you called American Express customer service to ask why your card wasn’t working.

    Although this information isn’t exactly coming via a widespread press release, Apple CEO Tim Cook did say the device would be available in both Canada and Australia before the end of the year. And it does make complete sense that the company would want Apple Pay to be available to consumers as the biggest retail shopping days of the year approach.

    “…the service is set to launch this Tuesday, November 17, 2015,” writes Gary Ng on iPhone in Canada. “Customer service representatives we spoke with confirmed the date over the phone numerous times, and it is in line with what you’ve told us as

    Read More »from Apple Pay available in Canada starting November 17
  • Exterior of Villa Michelangelo (Handsome Properties International)Exterior of Villa Michelangelo (Handsome Properties International)

    The former home of Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, better known simply as Michelangelo, is up for sale. An opportunity to own his Tuscan villa can be yours for a whopping USD$8,162,821 (about CDN$10.8 million).

    Regarded by many as the preeminent artist of all time, Michelangelo was a master in several facets including poetry and painting as well as engineering, sculpting and architectural design. He is perhaps best recognized for his spectacular paintings on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, among other masterpieces.

    He lived mostly in Rome and passed away there in 1564 at the age of 88. Despite his home address, Michelangelo considered himself a Florentine, describing himself as a “dear sculptor and Florentine citizen” on the original deed of this Tuscan villa.

    Interior room in Villa Michelangelo (Handsome Properties International)Interior room in Villa Michelangelo (Handsome Properties International)

    At the age of 72, Michelangelo purchased this one-of-a-kind estate. The Buonarroti family owned the historical property for more than 300 years. According to Handsome Properties International, the brokerage that’s

    Read More »from You can own Michelangelo’s Tuscan villa (for about $10 million)
  • $1,140 Luxury Sneakers Can Now Be Purchased on the Internet

    By Jessica Iredale

    It was inevitable that Dior, one of the last luxury giant holdouts on the e-commerce front, would break. And it’s happening now, with an interesting strategy. Dior isn’t taking the full, brand-wide plunge, but rather it’s dipping its toe into the online pool with a holiday pop-up shoe shop with Bergdorf Goodman.

    Related: They Are Wearing: Fringe Benefits

    “There is no e-commerce site in North America for Dior,” said Pamela Baxter, president and chief executive officer of perfumes and cosmetics Americas at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, president of Christian Dior Couture. “The whole purpose and goal of this was to really leverage our partnership with Bergdorf and push the client base that they have that we don’t have. It’s really a win-win for everyone.”

    Related: They Are Wearing: Fancy Footwear

    The sale goes live on http://www.BG.com from Monday through Dec. 31 with a selection of 14 shoe styles from the 2016 cruise collection. A key item is the Dior Fusion

    Read More »from $1,140 Luxury Sneakers Can Now Be Purchased on the Internet
  • LeBron James Snags $21M L.A. Mansion as His Hollywood Habit Grows


    (House photo from Google Street View, Lebron James photo from Getty Images) 

    Goodbye Florida, hello California.

    LeBron James’ basketball career may be firmly planted in Ohio for at least another year, but he has his eyes on a second career a little closer to Hollywood, and now he has the house to prove it.

    James, jumping on the pocket/whisper/private listing trend, recently purchased a $21 million six-bedroom, seven-bathroom mansion in Brentwood, California. Though the house never made an appearance in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), site of the vast majority of homes for sale, Variety found him out and “circumstantially affirmed with property records” that he’d bought the house.

    At 9,440 square feet, it’s a big place but, let’s face it, not that big, at least compared with James’ 30,000-square-foot mansion in Ohio (which, coincidentally, costs about half what he paid for the significantly-smaller Brentwood place). And it doesn’t even come close to Michael Jordan’s

    Read More »from LeBron James Snags $21M L.A. Mansion as His Hollywood Habit Grows
  • A worker at a hydraulic fracturing operation near Bowden, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. (CP)A worker at a hydraulic fracturing operation near Bowden, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. (CP)

    An economist is warning not to get overly excited about the unexpectedly strong net gain in jobs last month.

    Statistics Canada’s labour force survey, released last week, showed the Canadian economy gained 44,400 jobs in October, outstripping economists’ most optimistic predictions.

    The boost was fueled in part by a 32,000 jump in public-sector jobs, many of them temporary and connected with the federal election. The private sector added 41,300 jobs, most of them part-time, while the self-employed category dropped by 27,300.

    The numbers suggest Canada’s economy is withstanding the oil and gas slump better than expected, David Madani, Canada economist for Capital Economics, says in a report this week.

    But details show the jobs outlook isn’t quite as strong as the headlines suggest, Madani wrote.

    “If, as we expect, the incoming data point to continued weakness in business investment, then there will be greater job losses ahead,” he said. “Accordingly, we still expect the Bank [of Canada]

    Read More »from Dark cloud hangs over Canada’s recent rosy job numbers as high paying jobs drop
  • Amy Schumer Lists Little Manhattan Apartment at $2.1M

    By Melissa Allison, Zillow Blog

    While comedian Amy Schumer tours the country and hangs out with new BFF Jennifer Lawrence, her Manhattan apartment is looking for a new owner:


    For $2.075 million, the person who succeeds Schumer in this intimate five-unit co-op will enjoy soaring ceilings, two wood-burning fireplaces and all the skylights a New Yorker could need, even in the kitchen …


    … plus a private rooftop oasis with a lush garden and Upper West Side views:


    The square footage isn’t provided by the listing, but dimensions provided in the floor plan (see bottom of this post) suggest it adds up to less than 1,000 square feet.

    The “Trainwreck” star snagged the prime spot in this 20-foot-wide townhouse: a top-floor 1-bedroom, 1.5-bath unit with an upscale-applianced kitchen and a living room that boasts built-in bookcases and south-facing windows overlooking tree-lined 80th Street:


    The master suite includes a seating area with a large picture window and an en-suite bathroom with a

    Read More »from Amy Schumer Lists Little Manhattan Apartment at $2.1M
  • Is It Safe to Fly? Insiders Say Egypt Crash Could Happen Here


    Grieving relatives of a passenger aboard a Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt gather in St. Petersburg, Russia. Should we be worried about air travel? (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)



    It’s the kind of story that can send a chill through air travelers all over the world. A Metrojet Airbus A321-200 with 224 people on board (most of them Russian tourists) mysteriously crashed Oct. 31 in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. And as authorities investigate what brought down the plane, which took off from the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh bound for St. Petersburg, it’s hard to tell what’s scarier: that we don’t know for sure what brought down the plane, or that we probably do.



    While an official determination has yet to be made, all signs are pointing to this being a terrorist attack. Over the weekend, officials in Egypt revealed that, in the final second of the plane’s cockpit voice recording, a loud noise can be heard — a noise that might have been a bomb. According to a CNN report,

    Read More »from Is It Safe to Fly? Insiders Say Egypt Crash Could Happen Here
  • McDonald's forces Korean restaurant in Toronto to change its name

    A Korean restaurant in Toronto has been ordered to change its name after global fast-food giant McDonald's wasn't "lovin' it."

    Intellectual property lawyers approached the owners of the McRamyun restaurant shortly after it had opened its doors for business earlier this spring, according to BlogTO.

    The prefix in "McRamyun," however, was reportedly meant to signify a Korean word meaning "pulse" or "spirit," according to the web site.

    McDonald’s failed to agree with the Baldwin Village restaurant, saying the similarities were too close for comfort.

    Indeed, while the second half of the restaurant’s sign had been written in red and white capital letters, the prefix was done up in a yellow hue often associated with McDonald’s trademark golden arches.

    A full statement from the daughter of the McRamyun owners to BlogTO reads:

    "Basically, the legal representatives of McDonald's sent us a letter back in May saying they own the trademark of the prefix "Mc" and "Mac" before any food item.

    Read More »from McDonald's forces Korean restaurant in Toronto to change its name
  • Betamax Is Finally Properly Dead As Sony Kills Its Tapes

    Sony has announced that it will no longer be selling Beta cassettes. 

    No, this is not a news report from the 80s: despite losing the format war with the VHS decades ago, Sony has been quietly churning out Betamax tapes this whole time. 

    It’s not the sort of thing you’d know unless you are one of the eight people in the world who has a Betamax player - the players themselves were discontinued in 2002. 

    But if you are one of those eight people, you’ve got until March 2016 to snap up all the tapes you can; that’s when Sony will stop selling the EL-500B, 2L-500MHGB, 2L-750MHGB and L-25CLP cleaning tape. 

    The reasons behind Betamax losing out to the VHS in the ‘80s have been the subject of much debate. Most agree that Sony’s format was the better product, but it didn’t offer enough flexibility - Betamax tapes clocked in at only one hour long - and was too expensive compared to the cheap and cheerful VHS. 

    So congratulations to the VHS, which is also dead, for finally killing its foe. 


    Read More »from Betamax Is Finally Properly Dead As Sony Kills Its Tapes
  • Mattel celebrates 45 years of fashion with a runway display featuring Barbies. (Getty)Mattel celebrates 45 years of fashion with a runway display featuring Barbies. (Getty)

    You can be anything.

    That’s the latest message behind Mattel is trying to send with its advertisement for Barbie, which was released last month in an aim to speak to a society in the midst of progression. A society where little girls can grow up to be anything, from engineers to doctors to soccer coaches.

    The commercial went viral partially for the positive and inspiring messaging and no doubt on account of the ridiculously cute scenarios like a little girl conducting a class on the brain while hidden cameras capture her students’ reactions.

    But the strategy behind the commercial is clear. It attempts to make amends with the nearly 55-year history of a doll that has played both sides, from inspiring young girls to setting unrealistic expectations around body image.

    “There’s really two Barbies,” says Richard Gottlieb, principal and founder of Global Toy Group, a consultancy and resource for the industry. “There’s the one that’s on the shelf and there’s the one that lives in every

    Read More »from Being Barbie: Mattel’s tumultuous history with the world’s most famous doll
  • The Wild World of L.A.’s 9-Figure Gargantumansions

    It’s a wild world at the highest end of residential real estate right now, especially in Los Angeles — so far beyond the scope of what usually passes for luxury that it practically demands a new vocabulary.

    In this world, developers and agents throw out the traditional real estate rulebook because the only way to sell one of these gargantumansions is to hang an absurd nine-figure price tag from it.

    “It’s almost as if there is no shame in wildly overpricing a listing anymore,” Jonathan Miller, the head of New York-based appraisal firm Miller Samuel, told the Wall Street Journal.

    Developer and Hollywood producer Nile Niami is in the midst of building what is expected to be the most expensive home in the country, maybe the world: a 100,000-square-foot mansion on a sunny hilltop in Beverly Hills that’s expected to hit the market next year at a whopping half a billion dollars. That’s almost five times as much as any L.A.-area house has ever sold for; the record-holding Fleur de Lys

    Read More »from The Wild World of L.A.’s 9-Figure Gargantumansions
  • Starbucks' plain red holiday cups causing outrage among Christians

    For many, the best way to gauge the season is to turn to Starbucks.

    Spiced pumpkin latte in your cup? It’s fall! Clear cup with a green straw? Summer! Red cup decorated with snowflakes or Christmas trees? The Christmas season is upon us!

    That is, until this holiday season. For this year, instead of releasing their usual holiday-themed cups, Starbucks has put forth a bold new design: a simple, solid red cup emblazoned with the company's ubiquitous logo.

    Immediately, some Christians were up in arms, interpreting the lack of snowflakes (not an actual Christian symbol) and Christmas trees (a tradition rumoured to have pagan origins) as just another sign of the war on Christmas.

    One man in particular, an American evangelist named Joshua Feuernstein, posted a rant on Facebook, voicing his outrage at Starbucks’ politically correct cup.

    “Do you realize that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas out of their brand new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red,” Feuerstein professes into

    Read More »from Starbucks' plain red holiday cups causing outrage among Christians
  • Justin Trudeau says his newly appointed, gender-balanced cabinet reflects the country's diversity. The new Liberal prime minister pledged Wednesday to keep the promises his party made during the election.Justin Trudeau says his newly appointed, gender-balanced cabinet reflects the country's diversity. The new Liberal prime minister pledged Wednesday to keep the promises his party made during the election.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to mandate gender equality in his 30-member cabinet has been welcomed by those working to promote women in leadership roles, but they say there’s still much work to be done in both the public and private sector.

    Fifteen women swore their oaths along with Trudeau at the Rideau Hall in Ottawa last Wednesday.

    In a news conference after the ceremony, Trudeau was succinct in his explanation for why he felt the need to have gender parity in his cabinet.

    “Because it’s 2015,” he said.

    Pamela Johnson, who heads the International Centre for Women’s Leadership at St. Francis Xavier University, said the image of Trudeau surrounded by women as he announced the new cabinet before the TV cameras was important for creating role models for the next generation of leaders.

    “It’s really essential for women to see other women in these leadership positions,” she said.

    Beyond the symbolism of having a cabinet with equal representation of men and women, she said,

    Read More »from Gender parity also good for business, advocates say
  • Secrets of the World's Most Spectacular Fairy-Tale Castles

    Originatingin Europe, a castle is an architectural innovation built by nobility throughoutthe Middle Ages, usually as a private fortified residence. 

    Thereare 72castles on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, some dating back as faras the 9th century, and surprisingly several of these incredible historicbuildings are still being used as homes. 

    Castlescome in all different shapes and sizes. With imposing crenelated walls, soaringtowers, and dramatic arched entranceways, no two palaces are the same. 

    Butthe one thing they all have in common is that they make incredible places tovisit. 

    Sowhether you are looking for a majestic mountaintop fort, some rustic ruins, ora sprawling manicured country palace, Yahoo Travel has the answer. Here is ourlist for the most spectacular castles in the world: 

    1. Neuschwanstein Castle,Germany 


    The iconic Neuschwanstein Castle (Photo: Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons)

    Despitebeing one of the newest castles on the list, Neuschwanstein Castle in

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  • Be wary of the 'secret sister' Facebook scam

    A seasonal scam circulating on Facebook is allegedly nothing more than a Christmas themed pyramid scheme.

    The Secret Sister Gift Exchange promises participants will receive dozens of gifts in exchange for a single $10 investment to join the group. 

    The initial investment gift is sent to the person at the top of the list participants receive. It could be someone they know, but it is more than likely a stranger, a friend of a friend on social media.

    Once the investment gift has been sent, participants remove the name at the top of their list, making the second person now first, and adding their own name as second. Participants are encouraged to find at least six more "gifting sisters" to add to the list. 

    When all is said and done, participants in the exchange should be receiving between 6 and 36 gifts from their present pals.

    If it seems too good to be true, it is.

    Kelli Burns, an instructor of mass communications at the University of South Florida told WFLA ​this type of "exchange" is

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