1. GOP Convention Enters Third Day, Isaac Brings Flooding and a Controversial Book to be Released

    GOP Convention

    The Republican National Convention is in full throttle on its third day in Tampa. Mitt Romney accepted the nomination of President for the Republican party and tonight, Paul Ryan will accept his nomination as Vice President. Republicans are looking to win the favors of hispanic voters who are strongly in favor of Obama based on his immigration policies. Mrs. Romney gave a full speech, and the convention will also feature guest speakers like Condoleezza Rice and John McCain. Romney will speak again on Thursday night to bring the conference to a close, while Obama prepares for the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte. Based on a recent poll, 48 percent of voters trust Romney with the economy and only 44 percent trust Obama. However, a large 61 percent of the nation thought Obama was more likable. Needless to say, it has been a difficult race to predict. 

    Hurricane Isaac hit land yesterday and is maintaining wind speeds of 75 mph, keeping a Category 1 hurricane strength. The storm is moving at a slow speed, which will mean more rainfall for Louisiana cities. Flooding has been reported in New Orleans and other coastal cities, as a result of storm-surges up to 12 feet. National Guard troops have already been escorted into areas to help with rescues and officials are hoping people start adhering to warnings and get to safe shelters. Fortunately, the levee systems have held up fine despite some flooding and Isaac is expected to be reduced back to a tropical storm late today. 

    "No Easy Day", a book due to be released on September 4th, is a first-hand account by a Navy Seal recapping the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. It has already gained attention and some controversy because his accounts differ from the Obama administration’s original description of the event. A spokesperson for the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command said that he and other Defense Department officials received copies of the book last week and were surprised because the book was never reviewed by government agencies to ensure that nothing confidential was revealed. 

    In other news: 

    image source: CBS News

  2. Heat Waves, Earthquakes and More Details of Mars

    We have been pretty busy here at Flud HQ today! Getting ready for the release of our product’s update and getting “fluded” (bad joke) with requests for some stickers from all over the world. We are excited about where Flud is headed and glad to have you along for the ride! 

    Here are some brief updates on some of today’s top stories for you to enjoy. 

    Heat wave across the United States

    Get Your Glasses: Yesterday the world got a look at the first color photo of Mars, and now it’s even better. Curiosity send its first 3-D photos back to NASA. There is a total of 17 cameras on the rover to reach the goal of photographing the entire surface of Mars. If you can’t get enough of the images that Curiosity is sending, check out this site for a panoramic view of Mars that will blow your mind!

    Shake Rattle and Roll: Southern California has been shaking since last night with a series of minor earthquakes that have residents on edge. There haven’t been any reports of damage and of the 30 earthquakes that have occurred, only 3 were large enough to be felt.

    It’s Hot in Here: If you are turning on the air conditioning and wiping the sweat off your brow, chances are you’re not the only one. July is going on record for being the hottest July since temperatures have been recorded. Some areas of the country (take us here in San Diego for example) are still experiencing some crazy summer weather! This is about that time when energy companies start reminding people to watch their energy use and conserve where they can. Not to mention the important health reminders to be drinking plenty of water and remembering that SPF!

    More headlines:

    Sikh temple gunman shot and killed himself

    Presidential candidates are fighting for key states

    Google competitor for Siri

    image source: CBS News

  3. Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

    Almost to Friday! There is a lot happening in news today and we have a few of those stories right here on the blog! 

    ice cream sandwich

    Record Sales Despite Controversy: August 1st was deemed Chick-fil-A appreciation day by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee who urged Americans to show their support of the company after some controversial comments made by Chick-fil-A’s CEO. More than 630,000 people signed up to celebrate the day as a “counter boycott” launched by gay marriage activists last week. Some people waited for up to three hours in lines that were wrapped around buildings. “There were no protestors, no signs, no shouting and no crowd control necessary” at restaurants around the country. Numerous supporters stated that they were there to support the right to an opinion. “Free speech cuts both ways.” As another person stated, This is just outrageous…Chick-fil-A is justanother silly thing that people can get polarized about and make arguments about.”

    chick-fil-a appréciation san diego

    An Unexpected Announcement: Kofi Annan, the Arab League and United Nations envoy for the Syrian conflict has unexpectedly announced his resignation, placing the blame on the U.N. Security Council. He says he wants peace just as much as the next person, but reaching that point is being made increasingly difficult. According to CBS News, Annan’s resignation is the “recognition that diplomacy has failed in Syria.” Annan previously came up with a six-point peace plan to resolve the Syrian crisis, but the cease-fire never took hold. The violence is continuing and the U.N. is having difficult coming to an agreement on a solution because of countries like Russia and China who believe the action taken in Libya last year was too much.  

    Charge It: Are you a Google Wallet user? On Wednesday, Google released a cloud-based version of the app that now supports credit and debit cards from Via, MasterCard, American Express and Discover! Users can shop in stores and online via six different phones on Spring and Virgin Mobile. What team are you on? Square or Google Wallet? 

    In other news: 

    image source: Union Tribune and NBC 

  4. Highlights from London and Google Hires a Zuckerberg

    Olympic Updates: 

    Michael Phelps “locked up immortality” yesterday when he became the most decorated Olympian ever, boasting a total of 19 medals, 15 of which are gold. He still has three more events to swim in London. Phelps’ sponsors include Subway, Hilton, Omega and Speedo and his international stature just keeps growing. It is likely that Phelps will retire after the London Olympics, which won’t hurt him too much because some of the sponsorships should last well into his post-swimming retirement. 

    The U.S. Women’s gymnastics team took the gold for the first time since 1996 in Atlanta and the girls aren’t the only ones celebrating. Thus far, one of the most memorable parental moments in London is Aly Raisman’s parents reacting to her performance on the bar. The funny parents aside, the team really did work hard to get where they are today and some highlights can be found on the LA Times. 

    Oscar Pistorius, also known as “blade runner”, is a member of the South African track and field team and will be making history as the first athlete to compete in the Olympics with a prosthetic limb. In an interview with NPR he said, “this is just a challenge for me, and any good sportsman that wants to be better has to face up to the challenges that aren’t always as easy as some of the others.” He wasn’t allowed to compete in the Beijing Summer Olympics because skeptics said he has an advantage from his sleek carbon fiber prosthetics. Research showed that The Blade Runner uses the same metabolic energy as his peers, so he is looking forward to making history in London. 

    Finally, if you need a good laugh, Olympic divers will give that to you. These pictures gloriously capture what their faces look like as they take the plunge. 

    Awkward Family Photo: Google just announce the hire of Arielle Zuckerberg, Mark’s younger sister, which means Google is employing more Zuckerbergs than Facebook. Google recently acquired Wildfire, a social media marketing company and Arielle will be working for them. Google is hoping to improve their social media efforts as studies show that people spend more time on social networks like Facebook. “Not gonna lie…this feels pretty awkward,” said Arielle Zuckerberg. You think? 

    In other news: 

    image source: Sports Illustrated

  5. Tech, Olympics and Presidential Blunders

    Yawho? Marissa Mayer, Google’s first female engineer, has been named the new CEO of Yahoo. She is a wiz in systems, artificial intelligence and computer science and is responsible for the clean interface that Google is so loved for. She has no experience in running companies, but her expertise may eventually bring Yahoo back up to par to compete with Google. Some critics are suspecting that this move will highly benefit Google by bringing in some more competition, but also because this will allow them to make highly informed guesses on Yahoo’s next moves so they can spend less time focusing on predicting, and more on creating new products. 

    Made Elsewhere: There are just 10 days left till the start of the summer Olympics in London. Social media has grown immensely since the last Olympics, so people are expecting this year to be unlike any other from the PR, media and social perspective. The speed and mobility of news has already amplified many stories regarding the Olympics, creating drama before the games even start. One of the bigger stories to outrage Americans is the discovery that Ralph Lauren’s uniform design for the American team would be made in China. Well, it looks like American Olympians aren’t the only team that will be “outsourcing” their team outfits. Russian Olympians will be sporting uniforms made by American Apparel, a Los Angeles based manufacturing and clothing company and Spanish athletes will don uniforms made in Russia. In other Olympic related news, athletes started arriving in London and there was concern about the understaffing of security, but members of G4S promise there won’t be anymore problems. Tell us what you are most looking forward to about the summer Olympics!

    Kiss Cam Fail: Obama and his wife were apparently caught on a Kiss Cam at the Team USA basketball exhibition game and made a public fail that is making headlines. He didn’t actually kiss his wife, but the camera people gave him a second chance. He is after all, the President. This leaves us wondering, who cares? If you don’t care either, this article might give you a laugh. 

  6. Flud News Roundup, July 5

    Syria Files: WikiLeaks is an online organization that publishes leaked documents related to government and corporate misconduct. Time Magazine says that it “could become as important a journalistic tool as the Freedom of Information Act.” Today, WikiLeaks made a big move in journalism with what they are calling the "Syria Files", a compilation of more than two million e-mails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associate companies intended to open the public’s eyes to the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy. The information includes private correspondence between highly influential people and while the documents will be an embarrassment for Syria, some of their international opponents might get their fair share of embarrassment too. The series of e-mails will be published over the next two months on WikiLeaks and their collaborating sites, which include Al Akhbar in Lebanon, Al Masry Al Youm in Egypt and L’Espresso in Italy. 

    Patch of Sun: Results are in from the Labor Department, and it seems as though first-time claims for unemployment are lower than initially forecasted. Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co says the labor market has “softened” over the past few months and “today’s reports show a little bright spot.” Data shows the pace of hiring was accelerated in June, but the expansion of service industries was slower, which underscores Federal Reserve concern that unemployment can’t be reduced just yet because the economic growth is not strong enough. 

    Not so Fast Google: A recent patent by Apple is hinting towards a Google Glass competitor. We may of course be reading into the patent, but there is a clue of “enhanced viewing experience” for users. Apple filed for the first patent in 2006 and they were granted a patent on Tuesday for “peripheral treatment of head-mounted displays”. Google was granted a patent for their technology a few days before the I/O conference and plans to release Google Glass to consumers in 2014.

    image source: TechCrunch

  7. Flud News Roundup, June 16-18

    Egypt’s First Free Election: Mohammed Morsi, a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood, declared victory today in Egypt’s elections. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces tried to strip the president of most of his significant powers decreeing that they will control the drafting of a new constitution and won’t allow civilian oversight of its significant economic interests. Morsi’s victory won’t be confirmed until Thursday and if so, this will be the first Islamist victory in the recent wave of pro-democracy uprisings sweeping through the Middle East. The victory does have some concerned because of the anti-America ideals that could potentially come into play. 

    Greece Elections: More world election news coming from Europe after elections on Sunday. Antonis Samara declared victory and began pro-bailout talks immediately following. Even though this removes any fears of Greece’s exit from the single zone currency, attention was turned back to Italy and Spain and the crisis that still remains. Read more about the pros and cons of the election on the Wall Street Journal and Reuters

    Facebook gets a Face: Another big purchase for Facebook! Face.com is a mobile face recognition technology that was just purchase for about $100 million dollars. There is a possible integration in the works with Facebook, which could boost their mobile app offerings. 

    • Rodney King, the man whose beating inspired the LA Riots in the 90’s, was found dead in his pool on Sunday. 
    • Colorado firefighters will face harsh conditions today as they continue to fight a raging wild fire. Southern California is also in a red-flag warning as conditions get windy and dry. 
    • Government censorship is a lot higher than we realize, according to Google. 

    image source: Fox News

  8. Flud News Roundup, June 5

    Men are from Mars, today we see Venus: Today offers a rare opportunity to view Venus with the naked eye. This is so rare, that the last time Venus made its appearance was over 100 years ago and won’t happen again until December of 2117. The planet will be visible taking its trip across the sun for about 7 hours starting around 6p.m. EDT. It is, of course, not recommended to look at the sun directly without the proper safety equipment. So grab a welding shield or fork out a few dollars for special solar viewing glasses and catch a glimpse of a site you won’t have another opportunity to see!

    Prop 8 gets Supreme: After a Court of Appeals refused to revisit the case, Prop 8 may be on the road to the Supreme Court. This has been an ongoing, three-year battle between the state of California and gay rights advocates — and since the Supreme Court may refuse to hear the case, we may be waiting a little longer for a resolution. However, if the case is heard, it would take place in October and a decision could be made within the year. If the case is accepted this would set a national precedent as most courts have refused to decide on rulings so broad. Obama recently announced his support of gay marriage, but still hasn’t discussed his opinion regarding Prop 8. 

    News from the Tech World: Google has announced their purchase of Quickoffice, a widely used app for working on documents created in Microsoft programs. Google had not yet perfected a mobile version of their Google Docs system and is hoping to integrate Quickoffice features into their product and eliminate one of their top competitors in editing tools for iOS. This deal is great news for anyone who loves to share and edit documents or spreadsheets on the go!

    image source: space.com

  9. Flud News Roundup, April 19

    Sometimes a slow news day makes way for a fluff news day … and today, the fluff of choice was none other than the corgi, a dog known for its short legs and, in some opinions, its cuteness. Like this corgi getting vacuumed, or the corgi on stilts in this article, or, just check out anything tagged corgi on Buzzfeed … we’ll see you next winter.

    The Atlantic published an opinion piece entitled “Seriously, what’s so great about corgis” and here is Buzzfeed’s rebuttal (a grand total of 108 great corgi things). Much controversy surrounding the matter was captured in this Storify. The Flud team has no comment on the value of corgis, but here is a picture.



    In other news:

    Deformed sea creatures show up in the same place BP spilled oil: Yes, there is probably a connection here. Descriptions from scientists and fisherman who have seen the underwater wildlife firsthand make it sound like a mix between The Little Mermaid and Star Trek. Shrimp with no eyes, or eye sockets, crabs missing one claw, female shrimp with babies attached, shrimp with tumors and so on. Story via PopSci and Al Jazeera.

    Plane crashes in Gulf of Mexico: The sole occupant of the plane was the pilot, who seems to have been unconscious and was unresponsive as the plane circled before finally crashing, then sinking, unfortunately. Story via The Atlantic and CNN.

    “Homeless children on the highway to Disney World”: Homelessness is unfortunate as it is, but whenever you overlap opposites, like homelessness with family vacation, it strikes a chord. That’s led to nearly 5k comments on this Huffington Post piece (and counting).

    Huntsman campaign money goes to a non-existent company: A company with a similar name does exist, however the owner never received nor should have receive that sum, Buzzfeed reports. So far, no explanation from the campaign.

    Battle for the fifth screen: Ok, let’s break this down for those of you who don’t have a spreadsheet of screens and running bets on which will be most effective in world domination. The screens are, in order: your TV, your tablet, your smartphone and your computer. That makes number five what we’ll call “wearable media,” ie, Google Goggles or Pebble, the Kickstarter success story smartwatch. Advertisers are most interested in getting a piece of the latest screen — not just to get more ads in more places, but for the interesting behavioral data that could come with these new ads. Story by Fast Company, one of the most popular stories in Flud today, but you knew that already :)

    Google’s plan for Motorola Mobility: Turns out the patents might not be all Google wants with Motorola. Two unnamed insiders claim Google wants a mobile offering on par with Apple — to make its own hardware and software, which would put makers of phones and tablets using Android OS at a competitive disadvantage. Story by Business Insider.

    This has been your daily Flud news roundup update. We hope you liked it. Oh, and thanks for stopping by!

    *photo via Buzzfeed, via CorgiAddict.com

  10. 6 Ways to Pimp Your Flud

    Type “pimp my…” into a Google search and you’ll come back with a handful of potentially lucrative business propositions. However appealing, let’s focus on the present — how to pimp your Flud. It’s the one place you have a news personality, be expressive!

    Here’s 6 easy steps to get you Fluding like a pro —

    1. Ditch your guest log in and sign up! Create a Flud account.
    2. Fill out your profile. Upload an avatar and add your current location.
    3. Customize your Flud feeds. Add blogs and websites you love for easy access to their most current articles. 
    4. Follow other Fluders. Find people you know with the Twitter and Facebook search or be adventurous and follow Fluders who are reading the same articles and publications that interest you.
    5. Build your news personality. Flud articles you love and save headlines you want to read later to your Reading List.
    6. Repeat steps 3, 4 & 5 as desired. 

    Follow these steps and your Flud profile will be looking like ours in no time. Now, go get started! We can’t wait to see you in Flud :) 

  11. GeekWire is a geek’s paradise in website form, but really — is there any other kind?
For tech news, commentary and other nerdiness covering Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Internet, startups, mobile, PCs and geek culture, this is your spot. Plus, these guys are from Seattle, so they’re not your typical Silicon Valley nerd-drones. 

    GeekWire is a geek’s paradise in website form, but really — is there any other kind?

    For tech news, commentary and other nerdiness covering Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Internet, startups, mobile, PCs and geek culture, this is your spot. Plus, these guys are from Seattle, so they’re not your typical Silicon Valley nerd-drones. 

  12. Have you checked out Google today? Start clicking around on the turkey to change the colors of your doodle’s feathers, give it a hat, change it’s shoes, and even make it do a turkey dance. 
Think your Google Doodle turkey is prettier than ours? Post yours below :-)

    Have you checked out Google today? Start clicking around on the turkey to change the colors of your doodle’s feathers, give it a hat, change it’s shoes, and even make it do a turkey dance. 

    Think your Google Doodle turkey is prettier than ours? Post yours below :-)