Netropolitan Is a Facebook For the Affluent, and It’s Only $9000 To Join

MojoKid writes Facebook has become too crowded and too mundane. With around 1.3 billion Facebook users, it’s understandable to be overwhelmed by everything and want to get away from it all. However, unlike Facebook which is looking to connect everyone to the internet, there is a new site called Netropolitan that focuses more on exclusivity and privacy. The site was founded by composer and former conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra James Touchi-Peters who wanted to provide a social media site for affluent and accomplished individuals. People wishing to join need only pay a mere $9,000 to join. Of that amount, $6,000 is the initiation fee and the remaining $3,000 is for the annual membership fee which users will continue to pay. So what does the initiation and annual fee get you? For starters, Netropolitan will offer an ad-free experience and will not promote any kind of paid promotions to its members. However, it will allow the creation of groups by businesses in which members can advertise to each other under certain guidelines.

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iPhone 6 is here, but do we need Apple Pay? asks CNET UK podcast 403

As the iPhone 6 lands and Phones 4U folds, we ask if we even need that Apple Pay thing America is making such a fuss about.
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iOS 8 helped Virgin Media smash download records

iOS 8 Screenshot

In our iOS 8 review, we said it Apple’s latest smartphone update was well worth the wait. Clearly, Brits agreed, because they helped Virgin Media set a new all-time download record. The provider’s busiest ever day came on September 17th, day one of downloads, which is impressive in it’s own right, because Apple’s servers didn’t actually go live until 6pm UK time. Virgin saw traffic rise 10 percent compared to the previous week, as the total data consumed reached an impressive 5,900 terabytes. To put it in perspective, that’s 11,800 PlayStation 4 hard drives or 1398 times the amount of data IBM’s Watson supercomputer had access to when it destroyed all humans on Jeopardy!

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Libratone’s got a new soundbar, and yes, it’s covered in wool

If only there was a way to combine your two greatest passions: high-quality audio and soft, fluffy fabrics? Well as it turns out, Libratone is kind of a specialist in that field, and for its next wool-covered creation, the company is revisiting soundbars with the "Diva," announced today. Following on from its "Lounge" speaker of several years past, the Diva trades the square form factor for a curvier, oblong shape. And while it’s supposed find a home under your big-screen TV, the idea is the Diva can be your primary sound system, rather than just an accessory. Nestled beneath its woolen coat are two 1-inch, 25W tweeters taking care of the higher end; two, 3-inch 50W mid-range speakers; and one, 5-inch 75W subwoofer dealing with bass tones. In addition to the on-board digital amplifier, that sub is also supported by two passive radiators that are meant to facilitate a richer low-end sound without increasing energy consumption or weight.

There are only a couple of ports on the back of system for a 3.5mm line-in or optical input. There are several other ways to pipe music through it wirelessly, however, over WiFi or Bluetooth 4.0 (plus aptX), with an NFC chip for hassle-free pairing. Apple’s AirPlay and HTC’s Connect protocols are both catered for, as well as good ol’ DLNA. The Diva also works with Spotify Connect, which streams tunes straight to the speaker so you can use the source device for other things. An IR learning feature means you can make it play nice with any of your existing remotes, and Libratone’s iOS and Android apps will optimize output based on where it’s installed, if you feed in a few basic parameters like room size.

The Diva includes a normal stand and simple wall mount, which doesn’t need to be elaborate given the thing only weights 5.5kg (194 ounces). Since you’re likely position it under a TV, both mid-range speakers and tweeters have cup-like structures behind them that reflect some sound upwards, which is supposed to give the impression it’s coming at you from the TV. Vents in the back also bleed noise in that direction to give something of an omni-directional sound.

The Diva only comes with a black woolen cloak in the box, but you’ll get a code to order another free sheath in one of eight colors. Three more hues are due in time, which may or may not replace some of the existing options. Having been treated to demos including a live Foals concert and Batman movie trailer, it’s safe to say it sounds pretty nice. Then again, you’d expect it to at a price of £649 when it goes on sale in the UK and Europe from mid-October. We haven’t heard anything about a US release, but considering Libratone’s past history, we’d expect to see it reach the region in due course.

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World’s finest soundtrack reissue labels merge (and 2001’s lost score!)

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My two favorite soundtrack reissue labels, Death Waltz Records and Mondo, have united, and the vinyl gods are pleased. Read the rest

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European privacy regulators build mechanisms for handling ‘right to be de-linked’ cases

Europe’s data protection authorities (DPAs) have agreed on a common set of tools to help them deal with those seeking the right to be de-linked from search engines. The tools include a dashboard that will help regulators judge whether cases are similar to those that have […]

European privacy regulators build mechanisms for handling ‘right to be de-linked’ cases originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.

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This Incredible Aurora Is 2014’s Best Astronomy Photograph

This Incredible Aurora Is 2014's Best Astronomy Photograph

Another year, and another set of winners of the Royal Observatory’s Best Astronomy Photographer. This year’s overall winner is this insane shot of an aurora captured over a glacier, which is so other-wordly it looks like it was made with special effects.

The winning shot was captured by the UK’s James Woodend over the Vatnajökull Glacier in Iceland, using a Canon 5D and a ten-second exposure. The judges sum everything up perfectly:

‘This beautiful image captures what it’s really like to see a good aurora – the landscape, with the reflections which seem almost sharper than the shapes in the sky, is a terrific bonus too! This is the first time an aurora image has won the overall prize: I think what captivated the judges was that it really looked like the aurora was right in front of the viewer – there’s no need for exaggerated or stretched colour.’

Woodend wasn’t the only winner, though: there’s a whole series of individual-category images, with everything from telescopic glimpses at alien planets to shooting-star landscapes winning prizes. The full list is worth a look, over on the Royal Observatory’s Website. [Royal Museums Greenwich]

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A flight emergency landing can’t be more chilled out than this video

A flight emergency landing can't be more chilled out than this video

This video shows the emergency descent of Jetblue flight 1416, which happened yesterday, September 18. Seeing those oxygen masks going down as the cabin fills up with smoke—after one of the engines stops!—is the beginning of one of my worst nightmares. Yet, all passengers seem completely calm about it.

Even the guy holding the camera is smiling and waving as his plane is going down—proof that those masks don’t carry oxygen but some kind of feel-good hallucinatory gas mix.

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Indicative launches to help build the ‘next generation of Web and mobile analytics’

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From the founders of Xtify, later acquired by IBM, and MeetMoi, subsequently snapped up by Match.com, comes Indicative, a company that’s setting out to build “the next generation of web and mobile analytics.” The New York-based startup is officially launching its core product out of beta today, after a spell in private beta. In a nutshell, Indicative is a browser-based platform aimed specifically at marketers and product managers, and is looking to bring a visual, intuitive, easy-to-use platform to non-technical users. How it looks Indicative lets you select from a number of widgets to include in the main dashboard, which…

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iFixit opens up Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus to peek at its huge battery and the rest of its innards

Apple repair company iFixit is traditionally the first to get inside Apple’s new iPhones every year, and it continued its run today after hosting a live teardown of the new jumbo-sized iPhone 6 Plus. The company is planning to look at the smaller iPhone 6 next. Its most notable discovery is the phone’s 1 GB of RAM. Of course, iFixit spent time looking at the huge, 2915 mAh battery inside the 5.5-inch device — its nearly double that of the iPhone 5s, and it even surpasses the battery inside Samsung’s Galaxy S5. Overall, iFixit gives the device seven out of ten for repairability….

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