A butterfly flaps its wings on Twitter, and a vaccine map goes viral

Skeptical Software Tools

CFR vaccine preventable diseases mapIf you follow the problem of vaccine denialism (like most skeptics do) and are on social media, you probably saw a cool interactive global map of disease outbreaks this week. It was created by the Council on Foreign Relations – there’s a picture of it here and a link below the fold.  

Just in the last week it was posted by many major websites including Kottke.org, Mother Jones, L.A. Times, The Verge, Wired, The Atlantic Wire and even Forbes. And of course all those posts – and the direct link to the map – were being wildly passed around on social media.

Whenever I see something like this going viral, I dig a little bit before I retweet or repost it.  Sometimes there’s a better version of the post to link, or the one you saw didn’t attribute it to the original author correctly. I like to make sure…

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How to Sell Your Phone for the Most Money

Tech

If you’re looking to sell off your old smartphone for a bit of spending money or to fund the purchase of a new phone, cashing in on old electronics is easier than ever. Take your smartphone to a retail store for an immediate trade-in, or sell it online if you don’t need the cash immediately.

So how do you know just what your old phone is worth? We checked all of the major options and priced out what we’d get by selling a 16GB iPhone 5 on AT&T in good working condition. But before we dive into where to sell, here are some general rules of thumb on what these buyers will — and won’t — pay for:

  • Phones on different networks may be worth different amounts. Phones on AT&T or factory unlocked phones tend to be worth the most.
  • Your phone’s current condition has a big impact on its…

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Spotify Launches In Taiwan, Argentina, Greece and Turkey

China May Lift Social Media Ban From Shanghai’s Free-Trade Zone

Tech

A tiny crack could be forming in the Great Firewall that blocks China’s internet users from politically sensitive websites. According to the South China Morning Post, Chinese authorities are to lift a longtime ban on Facebook and Twitter. However, access to the social media sites will only be granted within the confines of Shanghai’s free-trade zone — a mere 28 sq-km out of mainland China’s vast 9.3 million sq-km area.

(MORE: Beijing’s Next Anti-Graft Target? Mooncakes)

Party apparatchiks may also allow access to the New York Times. An anonymous official told the Post that the idea is to reassure foreign investors that Shanghai’s free-trade zone was operating under a more visitor-friendly set of rules.

“If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China,” the official said. Soothed by…

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Porting BlackBerry Java NFC Applications to BlackBerry 10 Part 2: Tag Writing

BlackBerry Developer Blog

NFC tags

Guest post by John Murray

This is the second part of a six-part series by Martin Woolley and me on porting BlackBerry Java applications that use NFC to BlackBerry 10. In our last post, we looked at Tag Reading. This time, we’ll review the way in which you’d port code that writes to NFC tags.

Here’s where we are in the series as a whole:

  1. Reading NFC Tags
  2. Writing NFC Tags
  3. Peer to Peer Mode
  4. Reading NFC Contactless Cards
  5. NFC Virtual Tag and Card Emulation
  6. NFC Card Emulation

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the aspects you need to deal with:

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