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December 12th, 2014
09:20 PM ET

Game Faces: Cosmo Wright

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is one of my favorite games ever. I feel like I should know everything about the game, since I've finished the roughly 20-hour main storyline several times over the last 16 years.

I realized how little I knew when I saw Cosmo Wright finish the game in under 20 minutes.
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Filed under: Game Faces • Games • Technology
December 5th, 2014
06:05 AM ET

A mission close to Yao Ming's heart

It’s no secret that Yao Ming is tall, but in person – he’s larger than life.

And it’s not just his height that’s impressive. He has one of the biggest hearts of anyone around.

Between his professional basketball career – to launching his own wine label – Yao Ming’s interests have run the gamut.

But he’ll tell you, working to save endangered animals is especially meaningful to him.

“I feel they have a personality – just like us,” Yao said of the rhinos and elephants he met during a trip to Africa two years ago. “Some are very funny. Some are very shy. They have a good memory too – and know the people who treat them very well.”

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Filed under: China
December 3rd, 2014
01:53 PM ET

20 years of PlayStation

playstationI remember the first Sony PlayStation.

I remember thinking that "PlayStation" was a very silly name.

I remember wondering how Sony could possibly compete with Nintendo and Sega.

I remember looking at the oddly-shaped controller, with weird contoured grips that surprisingly felt good in your hand.

I remember playing Ridge Racer for the first time.

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November 27th, 2014
02:24 PM ET

Ferguson puts focus on U.S. racial divide

The situation in Ferguson, Missouri is a reminder of the deep racial division in America.

Protesters in Ferguson and across the United States feel that Michael Brown was singled out by police because of his race.

CNN contributor L.Z. Granderson says there is a lack of trust between minorities and police, as well as a lack of empathy between blacks and whites in the country.

It's a problem he's experienced way too often.

"I've lost count the number of times I've been pulled over by a police officer," he tells me from Ferguson. "The first time that an officer pulled a gun out on me, I was 12 years old. He told me I looked like someone."

"We're talking about a 30 year gap in my life in which I continue to look like someone that police are interested in," Granderson says. "I have never committed a crime. I have never been prosecuted. But I keep feeling I am being persecuted."

Here's Granderson on the racial divide in America and the anger surrounding the Ferguson grand jury decision.

Take a listen. It's worth your time.

November 26th, 2014
02:31 PM ET

Jimmy Lai tells HK protesters to retreat

As Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement stretches into week nine, more barricades are coming down in the district of Mong Kok. So should pro-democracy protesters withdraw or wait it out?

One high-profile supporter is urging student leaders to stand down.

"It's about time we retreat," says Jimmy Lai, a fervent China critic and media mogul. He has been working from his protest camp in Admiralty since the start of the action.

Lai calls the Umbrella Movement a "war" that will extend far beyond the battle of the last two months.

He fears that growing public resentment to the protests, which has caused major traffic disruption throughout the city, will damage the pro-democracy movement.

According to a poll released by the University of Hong Kong last week, 8 out of 10 people surveyed think the demonstrators should leave the streets and go home.

"If we will lose the moral high ground, it will be very difficult for us to come back later," Lai tells me.

Click on to hear Lai's call for the protesters to retreat, regroup and return at a later time.

November 26th, 2014
09:55 AM ET

‘Bean’ me up, Scotty!

2014-09-29 14.42.07A jolt of energy has just hit the International Space Station.

In days that can feel like endless nights, what’s more welcoming than a burst of caffeine?

But with Italy’s first female astronaut now on board, regular old space coffee just won’t do.

Samantha Cristoforetti brought with her the very first zero-gravity espresso machine.

Designed by Italian coffee maker Lavazza and engineering firm Argotec – ISSpresso (International Space Station combined with espresso) can withstand the extreme conditions of space. FULL POST

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Filed under: General • Science • Space
November 20th, 2014
02:29 PM ET

Act like a spy to protect your digital privacy

In today’s social media driven world, people’s entire lives are often stored on their smartphones. Email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, your photo roll, calendar and notes all provide clues to your location, contacts and personal details. It’s a veritable buffet for identity thieves.

Wickr CEO Nico Sell says, “I’ve been lucky enough to be educated by the very best hackers in the world.”

That’s how she learned how easy it is for people to tap into your mobile phone, eavesdrop on your calls and read your text messages.

Concerned about her own digital footprint and the security of her children, Sell created Wickr – a peer-to-peer encryption app. FULL POST

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Filed under: Cyber • Data • Technology
November 13th, 2014
05:25 PM ET

Bringing Comet67P down to Earth

The European Space Agency's successful landing on a speeding comet is captivating the world.

Now the Philae probe is sending back images of its new home on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

But it can be hard to wrap one’s mind around the scale of things in space.

So the ESA made some images showing the comet over cities in Europe.

ESA Attempts To Land Probe On Comet

This one places it in Paris. Spanning 4.1 kilometers, the comet would roughly cover a distance from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre.

That got Team News Stream wondering... what would it look like here in Hong Kong? FULL POST

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Filed under: Great graphics • Space
November 13th, 2014
05:44 AM ET

Hope and change in Myanmar?

When the U.S. President first visited Myanmar two years ago, the country seemed on the cusp of a major political transformation.

But the mood is different as Barack Obama returns for his second visit.

"The hope and optimism we had in 2012 is gone," Irrawaddy magazine editor Aung Zaw tells me.

Zaw says there is a general impression in Myanmar that the reform process has stopped, and Obama needs to convey the message to the government that reform must go on.

Beyond the disappointing state of political reform, Myanmar’s leaders have been criticized for their oppressive treatment of the Muslim minority group, the Rohingya.

The Rohingya have been denied citizenship by their own government.  Scores have been living in a displaced persons camp for more than two years.

"The plight of the Rohingya will be a big challenge for Obama," says Zaw. "That's the reason Obama made a phone call to (President) Thein Sein before flying in."

Click on to hear more from our conversation including Zaw's very direct criticism of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her inaction in regards to the Rohingya.

November 13th, 2014
03:48 AM ET

How deep is your data trail?

So I just cleared my Google search history.

I took a peek at my search log ahead of an interview with data privacy expert and Harvard Fellow Adam Tanner, and was simply stunned by the depth of my data trail.

Some companies say they collect user information to provide them with better services.

Tanner says, "They know where you live, work, go to university and they also know sensitive things like what religion you belong to - all with the goal of selling things to you."

As the saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch. And in this networked age, we're paying with our personal data.

But Tanner says, "There should be choice and transparency. You should know what you're getting into, and what you're getting in exchange."

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