Instagram clamping down on apps

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As part of Instagram’s most recent platform update, third-party applications will be no longer allowed to present a user’s Instagram feed, a significant change in policy that’ll affect numerous mobile applications which pull Instagram feeds.

Going forward, they’ll be shutting down services and apps that offer auto-following, liking or commenting.

Photo-editing apps that show only individual Instagram photos won’t be affected by this change. All apps must comply by June 1, 2016. The new policies and reviews will go into effect for new apps starting December 3, 2015.

Your favorite apps are affected
Apps like Retro, Flow, Pangram and Pictacular for iPad; Webbygram, Webstagram, Photoflow, Instagreat and Itsdagram for desktop; and ones like Tangram for the Apple TV are all affected by Instagram’s announcement.

This development is especially concerning given Instagram lacks its own iPad app.

Additionally, Instagram is launching a new Sandbox mode which permits developers to privately build and test their apps using Instagram’s APIs as their software is being reviewed.

Apps created on or after November 17, 2015 can take advantage of Sandbox mode right away and those created before this date will only be able to use Sandbox mode after June 2016, but can still start submitting for review. In June 2016, any Instagram app that has not been reviewed and approved will be set to Sandbox mode automatically.

What now?
While Instagram argues that the changes are meant to give users a more cohesive and consistent experience across mobile apps and platforms, it’s hard to escape the notion that the company is actually forcing users to its own mobile app, where they can be monetized with various forms of advertising.

According to the team, even the most popular Instagram client has 0.5% or fewer monthly active users versus Instagram’s 400 million user base, or around two million.

“Shutting them off won’t win Instagram many more ad views anyways,” opined TechCrunch. “Our goal is to provide a focused set of terms and processes that give clarity to the use cases we will support going forward,” reads Instagram’s blog post.

“While this may require changes from many of you, we believe these changes will help maintain control for the community and provide a clear roadmap for developers.”

Doubling down on advertising
Instagram has been experimenting with brand ads for quite some time now and recently began toying with interactive ads that integrate with Apple’s Force Touch, Apple Pay and In-App Purchase technologies, allowing users to buy advertised products with a tap.

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Sprint launches LTE Plus network in 77 markets with speeds up to 100Mbps

 

 

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Cody Lee, Nov 20, 2015

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Sprint on Wednesday announced that it has flipped on the switch for its LTE Plus network in 77 major markets. The next-generation network is now available in several big cities across the United States, including Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Orlando and Boston.

In a press release, Sprint CTO Dr. John Saw explains the benefits of LTE Plus over standard LTE, such as stronger and more reliable service, and of course faster speeds. Saw says the new technology is capable of peak speeds in excess of 100Mbps on compatible devices.

The Sprint network is hitting its stride. We’re seeing a significant improvement in performance resulting from our 800MHz and 2.5GHz build, our relentless focus on cell site optimization, and our targeted deployment of LTE Advanced features like carrier aggregation and beamforming. As a result, we’re today unveiling the Sprint LTE Plus network.

LTE Plus, available today in 77 major markets, takes advantage of our rich triband spectrum portfolio, and it uses some of the world’s most advanced technologies in wireless such as carrier aggregation and antenna beamforming. Key benefits to our customers include:

Faster service with double the network capacity and speed, and peak speeds in excess of 100Mbps on capable devices
Stronger service with smart antenna technology that extends the cell signal further at 2.5GHz
More reliable service utilizing three bands of spectrum – 1.9GHz for broad coverage, 800MHz for better indoor service, and 2.5GHz for even faster data speeds
In honor of its LTE Plus launch, Sprint is offering what it says is the “biggest wireless deal in US history,”: 50% off AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile rate plans. It claims there are no tricks or gimmicks, and the carrier will pay up to $650 in early termination fees for all switchers.

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Since Sprint’s LTE Plus network uses LTE Advanced technology, it’s compatible with several newer handsets like the iPhone 6s, the HTC One A9, and the Samsung Galaxy S6. So it would seem if you live in one of the aforementioned markets, it may be worth revisiting Sprint.

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Dear Carolina : I was dead wrong

How good are the Panthers?

 

Dear Carolina,

I was wrong. I am happy to tell you I was wrong.

On May 7, 2013, I wrote a column declaring that the Carolina Panthers were going nowhere with Cam Newton and Ron Rivera.

As we get set for Week 11 of the 2015 NFL season, Cam Newton and Ron Rivera have brilliantly guided the Panthers to a 9-0 start.

Yep — I nailed it!

A little backstory on that column from three offseasons ago …

I have no regrets about what I wrote. Zero. Seriously. At the time of publishing, I believed every single word of it. Before penning the piece, I remember checking in with a few general managers, personnel directors, analysts and even some media types in Carolina who have the pulse of the team. That helped shape my opinion. And most especially, like everything I write or say, it was genuinely how I felt, what I observed to be backed up by fact. Rivera was a poor in-game coach. Cam was immature and not accurate with the football.

In fact, I had a very fascinating talk with my editor before I even wrote the piece. We didn’t think the subject matter would necessarily pop because the opinion was rather mainstream and Captain Obvious.

I had no idea about the proverbial hornet’s nest I was walking into. The North Carolina natives went bonkers.

I make my living giving opinions on sports via radio, television and the Internet. I usually have a pretty good sense of what the reaction to a story will be, what will work, what will sell. Trolling? True story: The first time I ever heard the expression was in the wake of my Cam/Ron column. I had to ask my radio producer what it meant!

I knew Panthers fans were amazing and passionate. But I got a new introduction that day. And that week. And month. And year. And the last two-plus years. And today. Seriously. (You don’t have to tweet me that column. I’m aware of it. I wrote it.)

Every game, all season

And I am thrilled to be wrong.

At that time, back in May of 2013, Rivera had an established reputation as a tentative head coach. He started the 2013 campaign on the hot seat, no surprise to us, and got off to a horrendous 1-3 start that cranked up the heat even more. (Just ask my man Ian Rapoport!)

Then the legend of “Riverboat Ron” was born.

Rivera got aggressive and began to trust his gut. Carolina won 11 of its final 12 regular-season games that season — including eight in a row at one point — and took the NFC South with a sparkling 12-4 record.

Last year, the Panthers got off to another horrible start (3-8-1) but closed the season with four straight wins and another division title (albeit in an awful NFC South, but I digress). Kudos to the coach for the strong finish. Rivera held the team together.

What’s happening this year is incredible. Carolina has developed a knack for playing its best when it matters the most. Credit the coach.

I talked to Panthers star tight end Greg Olsen on my SiriusXM Radio show, “Schein on Sports,” followingthe statement win in Seattle one month ago. Olsen said that the fight the team had displayed down the stretch last season has carried over: “It’s just been the story of our team. You saw it last year, 3-8-1 and the next thing you know we were 7-8-1 and won a playoff game. I just think that culture of continuing to fight, continuing to play when things aren’t always going to go your way.”

Which leads us to Cam Newton.

I roasted Cam for his immature comments before the 2011 NFL Draft“I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon” — and I ripped him for his out-of-touch Superman celebration in the second half of a nationally televised blowout loss to the New York Giants in 2012.

Over the last three seasons, Cam has developed the ability to thrive while facing adversity in the fourth quarter, even when he’s had an uneven game throwing the football. That’s toughness. That’s leadership. That’s maturity. That’s why he, in my opinion, currently trails only Tom Brady in the 2015 NFL MVP race.

“He’s a clutch guy. He thrives in those moments,” Olsen said. “When things aren’t going our way, he gets it done. Seattle was a perfect example. Three quarters, our passing game was kind of hot and cold. But when we needed him the most, needed the passing game the most, he’s locked in. We were locked in. He lives to play the next play.”

And I loved what longtime Panthers star Thomas Davis — the epitome of class in the NFL — told me on SiriusXM about Cam’s maturation: “As a young kid, he came in and had a lot thrown on his shoulders early. But now, he’s grown into the leader that we fully expected him to become, and his maturity level has gone up tremendously accepting that role.”

Davis then slammed home the turning point, as he saw it, for Cam: “When I think of the true testament and the true show of leadership is when a guy is able to step up when things are not going well and communicate it to the team. That we all need to be better — and he’ll be the first one to point out that it started with him. I think a lot of that started when we went two months last year without winning a football game. He put it on his shoulders and said he needed to play better, regardless of what we had gone through as a team. He put it on his shoulders, and that’s when you started to see the growth. That’s when you started to see the guy step up and become the leader of this football team. And he’s been going ever since.”

That’s a superb anecdote. That was the change we needed to see. I’m thrilled to be wrong, seeing Cam being capable of that.

Earlier this week, haters and critics flocked to mock and ridicule Cam for dancing after a touchdown run that sealed the deal in a hard-fought win over Tennessee. I loved it. It fit the time and score, and he earned it. Just likeJ.J. Watt when he celebrates a sack orAaron Rodgers when he does the championship-belt bit and skips around the field. They earned it. Cam earned it. Celebrate. Validate. Appreciate. If theTitans have an issue, stop him.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. These Panthers are hard to stop, to say the least. That’s a valuable lesson I’ve learned, after doubting this team — yet again — in the preseason.

You would think I would’ve learned from prior mistakes. Shame on me.

I had the 2015 Panthers buried after star receiver Kelvin Benjamin was lost for the season in August. Oh, I quipped that I didn’t know if the Panthers had a receiving corps or a witness protection program.Ted Ginn Jr.? Jerricho Cotchery? What year is this? Philly Brown? Wait, what? Neophyte Devin Funchess as the No. 1?

I thought the Panthers would win six or seven games!

I blasted the usually savvy Dave Gettleman for his plan on the offensive line. How do you allow a Titansreject in Michael Oher to protect the investment of Cam Newton?

In related news, the O-line has been strong.

And I ripped Carolina over Newton’s offseason contract extension. A higher guaranteed-money figure than completion percentage?

Cam has proven that his value goes way beyond stats. Gettleman was right. Again.

I was wrong. Again.

W-R-O-N-G.

You know, there was a time, back in the Mike Rucker/Jake Delhomme/John Fox days, when I was actually referred to as aPanthers homer. I used to sing “The Carolina Panthers, bringing the pain!” from the old theme song when I did videos on FOX. To this day, we still use that song on the radio show.

Aaah, memories.

Carolina has earned respect. So have Cam and Riverboat Ron. They’ve changed since May 7, 2013 — and I’ve changed my tune about them.

I’m happy to have missed the boat completely on them. They are so much fun to watch.

Hopefully, you folks will allow me back in the state again.

Love,

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Busta Rhymes Gym Altercation Surveillance Video Released

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The surveillance video of Busta Rhymesconfronting a gym employee has been released, according to Page Six.

The video is broken into two parts and appears to show the rapper confronting a cashier at the counter in Steel Gym in Chelsea, New York. In the second part, Rhymes throws water at the man, then ruffles papers on the counter before throwing a protein shake at his head.

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here a update from Migos’ Quavo & Takeoff On Offset’s Jail Situation

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Offset has been behind bars since April.

Migos rapper Offset is set to be released from jail “real soon,” according to fellow members Quavo and Takeoff.

In April, Offset was arrested along with the other two members of Migos on both drugs and weapons charges. Takeoff and Quavo were later released, but Offset remained in jail due to his felony record.
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Snoop Dogg & Ghostface Killah speaks on Billboard’s “10 Greatest Rappers”

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Billboard released its list of  “10 Greatest Rappers Of All Time” last week.

Snoop Dogg took to Instagram today (November 17) to express his frustration on Tupac not being included on the list.

“This is so disrespectful. !!” the Long Beach, California rapper writes under an image of Billboard’s list. “Whoever did this list need a swift kick in the Ass. No. Tupac. Come on cuz ?. Jus my opinion.”

Ghostface Killah was included on the list and took to the social media site to express his appreciation.

“Love to @billboard for having me on their Top 10 Greatest Rappers of All Time list,” the Wu-Tang rapper writes, also taking the time to promote his Rap app. “Think you one of the GOATs?? Go cop that @ispit16 app now and get your bars up #Billboard #Top10 #GOAT #Spit16 #BeSeenBeHeard.”

 

 

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Ty Dolla $ign – Album Review

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Album Review: Ty Dolla $ign Makes Impressive Debut With ‘Free TC’

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Jefferson, Batum lead Hornets by Blazers – ESPN Video

 

Hornets hold off Trail Blazers 106-94

Nicolas Batum scored 33 points and Al Jefferson added 29 as the Charlotte Hornets held off a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-94 on Sunday.

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Rivera: Panthers QB Cam Newton didn’t cross line with ‘dab’ dance

Panthers stay perfect, beat Titans – ESPN Video
Panthers won’t ignore the 16-0 ‘elephant in the room’ – ESPN Video

Was Newton’s TD celebration too much? – ESPN Video

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera said quarterback Cam Newton didn’t cross the line into taunting with his “dab” touchdown dance in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 27-10 victory at Tennessee.

“As long as I don’t feel he’s instigating things, I don’t think there should be issues,” Rivera said Monday as the Panthers (9-0) began preparing for Washington.

Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey saw it another way a day after basically brushing it off as no big deal.

“I think that’s a little rub-it-in-your-face type of deal, and there is a little code of ethics in the NFL and not a good move,” Mularkey said.

“I think that’s a little rub-it-in-your-face type of deal and there is a little code of ethics in the NFL and not a good move.”

Titans coach Mike Mularkey

Newton skipped his normal “Superman” celebration following his 2-yard run in the fourth quarter and went with an Atlanta-based dance called the “dab.”

His dabbin’ upset Titans linebacker Avery Williamson, who got into Newton’s face. Newton provoked the situation further by dabbin’ again.

Officials rushed to separate the players before it escalated, as happened in New Orleans last season, when Newton was doing his “Superman” celebration.

Back then, Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan shoved Newton in the back. The players began jawing in each other’s faces before players from both sides got involved.

Panthers tight end Brandon Williams was ejected after throwing several punches at Jordan.

Sunday’s exchange ended quickly, as Newton ran back onto the field, grabbed the football and delivered it to a Carolina fan as he traditionally does after a touchdown.

“As hard as this game is, and as difficult as it is and as entertaining as it is, it’s all a part of the entertainment,” Rivera said.

“As hard as this game is, and as difficult as it is and as entertaining as it is, it’s all a part of the entertainment.”

Panthers coach Ron Rivera

Rivera said he was all right with that “as long as it’s not overly outlandish, as long as it’s in a respectful manner, as long as he’s not taunting them.”

The Titans didn’t make a big deal about the celebration until Monday.

“I think Avery was frustrated by it, but I think there was a whole lot of people frustrated by it,” Mularkey said. “I’m proud of [Williamson] for what he did. He stood up for our team.”

Nothing was said of the dance Williamson did after making a play.

“You see it constantly,” Rivera said, not referring to Williamson’s dance. “It’s something I don’t understand, because a guy makes a tackle for a 6-yard gain and he gets up and points to the back of his jersey. I struggle with that. The guy just gained 6 yards on you.”

Rivera said social media has changed the way people look at the game.

“It’s also affected the way some of the players look at the game,” he said. “To a degree, it has become more than just the competition of the game.

“It’s become a little bit of the entertainment. Beyond the running, the tackling, the hitting, the passing and catching, it’s become about the flashiness, the ability to kind of be a showman.”

Rivera, who played for the 1985 Chicago Bears who introduced the world to the “Super Bowl Shuffle,” says he’s all right with the entertainment factor as long as it doesn’t get into taunting.

“But let’s be smart about it, and let’s make sure we’re not taunting,” he said. “And I don’t think that’s his intent at all — ever.”

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Boxer Adrien Broner Says = Young Thug Ain’t Gay

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While speaking on past comments he made about battle rapper Daylyt being gay, boxer Adrien Broner was asked about Young Thug’s sexuality. During Broner’s interview with Vlad TV, a past tweet from Thugger, one in which he tweeted about “smoking penises,” was brought up.

Despite Thug’s comments about “smoking penises,” Broner shared his belief thatYoung Thug is not gay. At one point in the interview, the athlete revealed that both he and Young Thug have had relations with the same women.

In conclusion, Broner referred to Young Thug as “a marketing genius” over his controversial comments.

“Young Thug ain’t gay,” Adrien Broner said. “He’s actually one of the thoroughest niggas out here, that I hear, to be honest. He just got a different language or a different understanding with his self…Listen, bottom line is Thug ain’t gay. We done messed with some of the same women before…Listen to me, Young Thug is a marketing genius. And he got you. He definitely got you. And in some ways I look up to him for that because I like to market myself too. And coming from the hood, he ain’t doing nothing but hustling.”

Prior to speaking on Young Thug, Broner recalled battling Murda Mook, and defeating the battle rapper.

“I’m 1-0 in the URL League…I fucked him [Murda Mook] up,” he said. “He know that. Yeah, he wasn’t prepared. He thought I was joking because I told him I wanted to battle him and he was down for it. I called Smack and everything. And I had actually just fought—I had just won my third world title against Paulie Malignaggi. And then that morning we went to the battles. And yeah, he wasn’t ready. He had a few good lines, but he wasn’t fully prepared like he usually be. I kinda caught him off guard, but I’mma take my victory…He actually wanted a rematch, but I can’t give him that.”

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