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Want to watch the latest Weird Al music video or catch a movie trailer straight out of Comic-Con? Amazon now has a place for that. Variety reveals that Amazon quietly launched a new "video shorts" section of its instant video service, filling it out with music videos, movie trailers, video reviews, interviews, featurettes and more. It seems like a simple addition of short-form video content, but it's more than that: this is one of Amazon's new advertising platforms.

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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Lucy's Based on Bad Science, and 6 More Secrets About the Film
by Angela Watercutter,


A quick Google search will reveal quite a few articles pointing out the inaccuracy of the main premise of Lucy. By ingesting drugs stuffed inside her belly by traffickers, a woman is able to access not just the 10 percent of her brain regular humans can supposedly access, but also the other 90 percent. That whole 10 percent figure is of course a myth, but that didn't stop Luc Besson from using it as the base for his fictional narrative. Besson uses his knack for creating great female leads with some out-of-order storytelling to make the whole thing a bit more believable, and Wired has a quick rundown before this weekend's debut.

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close up of a businessman using smart phone

Tinder's swipe-able interface is such a hit, that a lot of new apps are copying it. One new, notable app among them all is called Weave, which is essentially (there's no other way to describe it) a more boring Tinder to find fellow professionals instead of Friday-night dates. In fact, it's so promising that its developers have just raised $630,000 in seed funding. If you're thinking, "But I already have LinkedIn!", well, it works a bit differently from the more traditional social network. To use the iOS or Android app, you'll need to log in using your LinkedIn credentials, after which it'll pair you with professionals in your area. Just like in Tinder, just swipe left to pass, or right to initiate a chat or express interest in meeting up.

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Take a Tesla Model S for a spin in the US or Europe, and you'll have the help of a integrated navigation system to help you find your way. In China, you'll have to unfold a traditional, paper map. Local drivers are learning that the country's aversion to Google services keeps Tesla from employing its usual map solution, leaving the sedan unequipped to guide its users through the streets of Shanghai. It's an unfortunate situation, but it won't last forever -- Tesla says that it's working on a solution that supports Chinese voice and text recognition, and expects to update cars in the Chinese market with navigation features later this year. Check out Asysha Webb's ChinaEV blog at the source link below for Tesla's full statement.


General Images of Baidu Inc.

Baidu is often referred to as "China's Google," but it's not quite the same. It's true, the company is working on it's own self-driving car, but it thinks Google's no-wheel design is all wrong. According to Kai Yu, Baidu's Institute of Deep Learning's deputy director, autonomous vehicles need to be more like horses than robots. "A car should not totally replace the driver but should really give the driver freedom," Yu told TheNextWeb. "Freedom means the car is intelligent enough to operate by itself, like horse, and make decisions under different road situations."

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Some drowning incidents can be easily prevented, and a wearable device wants to keep tabs on submersion time while your kids are at the pool. The iSwimband is a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that syncs up with an iOS device to alert you when that little one has been under water for too long. The gadget clips to goggles, swim caps, or can be worn with the included headband for a highly fashionable look. There's a wristworn option too, so you can get pinged when the smallest of tikes (or a non-swimmer) accidentally enters the water. You know, if you have to step away while little Bobby is hanging out poolside, or you lose sight of Susie at the lake. For $99, the sensor, headband, bracelet and mobile app capable of tracking up to eight of the things can be yours via the source link just down below.


Microsoft unleashes 'Settlers of Catan' on the web

Microsoft has something of an extracurricular activity: When it's not releasing Office for iPad or updating Windows, it has a habit of helping other companies build websites. Its latest project is a web version of Settlers of Catan, the popular board game, which it co-developed with Bontom Games. As with previous Microsoft-backed sites, the appeal is that anyone, even Microsoft haters, can use it: The web version will run in any browser that supports HTML5 (in other words, not just IE). That's obviously a different approach from the existing Settlers of Catan apps for Android and iOS, which are of course reserved for people using those platforms.

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