Facebook wants to help you meet friends offline.


A new optional feature broadcasts people's locations to their friends
By Zach Miners
April 17, 2014 03:24 PM ET

IDG News Service - Facebook now has its own take on location sharing, an optional feature that periodically broadcasts people's locations to their friends.

"Nearby Friends," a mobile feature for Android and iOS, lets users share with others their general location, or their precise location for a limited period of time.

Those who turn on the feature will be occasionally notified when friends are nearby via a push notification on their device. Users can choose which of their Facebook friends will be notified of their location. Users can turn off the feature at any time.
Facebook's Nearby Friends feature lets users share both their general and precise location with friends.

In addition to the notifications, users might see Nearby Friends posts in their news feeds, and they'll also be able to pull up a list of friends and their locations.

"Sharing your location with Nearby Friends goes two ways -- you and your friends both have to turn on Nearby Friends and choose to share with each other to see when you're nearby. Your friends will only be able to see that you're nearby if you share this info with them and vice versa," wrote Andrea Vaccari, a Facebook product manager, in a blog post.

Nearby Friends will begin rolling out in the U.S. over the coming weeks, Facebook said on Thursday.

In addition to placing themselves in a general area, users can also broadcast a specific location, like a movie theater or restaurant, display it on a map and share it with specific friends for a limited amount of time.

Facebook hopes the service will facilitate real-life connections and meetups, which seems a nice departure for a site that usually has people glued to their screens.

But there are privacy implications in providing a constant broadcast of users' whereabouts. Other services like Foursquare and Facebook's own Nearby Places feature typically have users manually share their location when they visit specific places. Facebook hopes to address those privacy concerns in Nearby Friends issues by providing the service only for friends who mutually activate it for each other.

Turning the feature on creates a private log in Facebook of a person's location history. Users can clear their location in their settings.

Facebook did not say whether advertisements would be included as part of the service, although it's not hard to imagine ads from local businesses eventually appearing.

The feature builds on technology from Glancee, a mobile-discovery app developer Facebook acquired in 2012.


At least six killed and hundreds missing as ferry carrying 462 people sinks off Korean coast


At least six people are dead and hundreds are missing after a ferry sank off the southern coast of South Korea with 462 passengers and crew.
YouTube: Reporter Joseph Kim discusses the ferry sinking

South Korea's coastguard has confirmed 179 have been rescued from the sinking ferry; however, it said hundreds are still unaccounted for.

Coastguards and navy divers have resumed the search for around 280 people still missing in the early hours of Thursday morning. A US navy ship has also been sent to the scene to help with the search.

Many passengers are believed to be trapped inside the ship.

Authorities will also be seeking answers to many questions surrounding Wednesday's accident, notably what caused the Sewol vessel to list and then flip over entirely, leaving only a small section of its hull above water.

Rescue efforts on Thursday could be be hampered by difficult weather conditions, amid forecasts of rain, strong winds and fog.

South Korea's ministry of security and public administration earlier reported that 368 people had been rescued and about 100 were still missing, but later said those numbers had been miscalculated.
Distraught parents wait for news

Most of the passengers were teenagers and their teachers on a trip from Danwon High School in Ansan, a suburb in Seoul.

One of the six people confirmed to have died was a student on the school trip.

Parents of missing children faced an agonising wait for news as they gathered in Jindo, the nearest town to where the ferry capsized.

"My tears have dried up," one mother said.

"I am holding on to hope. I hope the government does everything to bring these kids back to their mothers."

Distraught parents of the students had gathered at Danwon High School in the morning when news of the disaster broke.

"It is as if the world is falling apart. I really want to go now to see my son," Park Seong-ho, the father of a 17-year-old boy who had not been in contact, said before leaving for Jindo.

TV footage showed a chaotic scene in the school's auditorium, with parents yelling at school officials and frantically trying to make phone calls to their children.

"I talked to my daughter. She said she had been rescued along with 10 other students," one mother told the YTN news channel.

"They said they had jumped into the water before getting rescued. One was injured in the leg and is being treated in hospital."
Clues sought

The 6,825-tonne ferry was sailing from the western port of Incheon to Jeju island, which is known as "South Korea's Hawaii" and is one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.

The ferry sent out a distress signal at 9:00am local time after it ran into trouble 20 kilometres off the island of Byungpoong.

It is not clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions, but some survivors spoke of what appeared to be an impact prior to the accident.

"It was fine. Then the ship went 'boom' and there was a noise of cargo falling," Cha Eun-ok, who was on the deck of the ferry taking photographs at the time, said.

"The on-board announcement told people to stay put ... people who stayed are trapped," she said.

    We heard a big thumping sound and the boat stopped.

The rescue operation involved almost 100 ships, as well as 18 helicopters.

According to a coastguard official in Jindo, the waters where the ferry capsized have some of the strongest tides of any off South Korea's coast.

This means divers were prevented from entering the mostly submerged ship for several hours.

Footage broadcast on television showed rescuers pulling passengers in life vests out of the water as their boats bobbed beside the ferry's hull.

"We heard a big thumping sound and the boat stopped," one passenger told the YTN news channel.

"The boat is tilting and we have to hold onto something to stay seated."

Heavy fog had set in overnight in the area, leading to cancellations of many passenger ferry services to islands.

However, news reports said visibility in the area was fair.



Full lunar eclipse: 'Blood moon' photos light up social media


By a Times Staff Writer

April 14, 2014, 11:31 p.m.

The first lunar eclipse of 2014 — known as "blood moon" — is lighting up social media tonight as people post photos of the moon and the eclipse.

Large crowd descended on the Griffith Observatory to look at the eclipse.

In Los Angeles, the most impressive part began around 11 p.m. when the first "bite" is taken out of the moon. It will be blotted out entirely by 12:06 a.m. Tuesday, said experts at the observatory.

Look to the south for the moon, said Joe Sirard, an amateur astronomer who is also a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard.

As the “bite” spreads across the moon, it will transform into a dark “blood moon." The dark red hue will come from the light of sunsets and sunrises over the rest of the Earth.

The weather forecast for prime "blood moon" viewing in Los Angeles couldn't be much better.

“We’ll have clear skies — even down to the beaches,” Sirard said.

It will also be a great time to see Mars, which will be the brightest point of light near the moon, Sirard said. The second-brightest will be the star Spica in the constellation Virgo.

If you plan to watch the eclipse, try not to be too late, he said.

Once the eclipse “becomes total … it might be somewhat hard to see at that point,” Sirard said.








Five bizarre things heading to the space station Monday


SpaceX's unmanned Dragon capsule is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket on Monday (April 14) on its third official resupply trip to the space station. Liftoff is set for 4:58 p.m. EDT (2058 GMT). Among the 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kilograms) of cargo riding aboard Dragon are a set of legs for a robotic astronaut, an experimental mini-farm for space vegetables and a wealth of other odd items.

Here are the five strange things flying to space with Dragon:

RECOMMENDED: Are you scientifically literate? Take our quiz
A robotic astronaut's legs

NASA's humanoid robot Robonaut 2 — designed to eventually help astronauts with menial tasks in space — is getting space legs for the first time. The long lower limbs are flying to the station with SpaceX, and they will be attached and initially tested in June.

Once attached, Robonaut 2's leg span will reach about 9 feet (2.7 meters), and each leg has seven joints. The legs should allow for enough flexibility to let Robonaut 2 work outside and inside the International Space Station, however, the robot's torso will need some upgrades before it can venture outside of the station, NASA officials have said.
The space station's very own laser

The space station is about to get a new laser communications experiment. Called OPALS, NASA's Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science, the new laser will help scientists test ways of transferring information more quickly than traditional radio transmission. The new form of communication could aid in future missions to more distant deep-space destinations.

Many existing deep-space missions send 200 to 400 kilobits of data per second, however, OPALS will up that data rate to a speed of up to 50 megabits per second. Future optical communication designs could reach rates of a gigabit per second.
Microbes collected by cheerleaders and the public

Science Cheerleader — a group of science-minded current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders — helped craft an experiment that will take 48 microbe samples swabbed from historical places into space.

Called Project MERCCURI (short for Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers), the experiment is designed to help collect more data on how microbes behave in microgravity. Science Cheerleader partnered with SciStarter.com and the University of California, Davis, for the project.

The 48 samples were picked by a team led by professor Jonathan Eisen at UC Davis. The cheerleaders and other members of the public collected 4,000 possible samples for the flight. One of the swabs chosen to fly is from John Glenn's 1962 Mercury capsule, Friendship 7.
A satellite with the brain of a smartphone

NASA is sending its next cubesat built from a smartphone up to the space station on Dragon next week. Called PhoneSat 2.5, the new, tiny satellite is the fifth in a series of smartphone-based satellites launched to space. The space agency is developing these small satellites to see how well relatively cheap electronics can perform in the vacuum of space. That doesn't necessarily mean that the PhoneSat can make calls.

"If I showed PhoneSat to you, you'd ask, 'Where's the phone?" Bruce Yost, program manager for NASA's Small Spacecraft Technology program, said in a statement last month. "That's because, although we buy the smartphone off the shelf, much like the one in your pocket or purse, we take it apart and repackage it to fit in the cubesat form and work in space."
Vegetables that grow in space

It's time to grow more food in space. A new plant growth experiment called Veg-01 will use a miniature space farm called "Veggie." It is launching to the station so astronauts can start growing "Outredgeous" lettuce seedlings on the orbiting outpost.

"Veggie will provide a new resource for U.S. astronauts and researchers as we begin to develop the capabilities of growing fresh produce and other large plants on the space station," Gioia Massa, NASA payload scientist for Veggie, said in a statement. "Determining food safety is one of our primary goals for this validation test."

With NASA officials hoping to mount a crewed mission to Mars or other deep-space destinations sometime in the future, it is important to learn more about safely growing food in space, space agency officials have said.


 Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress

Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self-talk with examples provided.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you're optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.

Indeed, some studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that typically comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don't despair — you can learn positive thinking skills.

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Products and services Sign up now Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress

Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. Practice overcoming negative self-talk with examples provided.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you're optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.

Indeed, some studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that typically comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don't despair — you can learn positive thinking skills.

Understanding positive thinking and self-talk

Positive thinking doesn't mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

The health benefits of positive thinking

Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It's unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It's also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don't smoke or drink alcohol in eIdentifying negative thinking

Not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative? Here are some common forms of negative self-talk:

  • Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. That evening, you focus only on your plan to do even more tasks and forget about the compliments you received.
  • Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
  • Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
  • Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or you're a total failure.

Focusing on positive thinking

You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you're creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:

  • Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it's work, your daily commute or a relationship. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
  • Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you're thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
  • Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn techniques to manage stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.

Here are some examples of negative self-talk and how you can apply a positive thinking twist to them:

Putting positive thinking into practice

Negative self-talk:  I've never done it before

.Positive thinking:It's an opportunity to learn something new.

-It's too complicated.

+I'll tackle it from a different angle. - I don't have the resources. + Necessity is the mother of invention

-. I'm too lazy to get this done.

+I wasn't able to fit it into my schedule, but I can re-examine some priorities.

-There's no way it will work.

+I can try to make it work

-. It's too radical a change.+ Let's take a chance.

-No one bothers to communicate with me. + I'll see if I can open the channels of communication.

-I'm not going to get any better at this.+ I'll give it another try. Practicing positive thinking every day

Above are just a few examples of differences in approach.

If you tend to have a negative outlook, don't expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you.

When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you're better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.

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For other examples of positive thinking, come to http://www.clblearning.com/lcp.php?id-1477   and catch the Saturday morning conferences called getlivetraining.com at 11 am Central; or http://the-morning-motivator.com   a free presentation Monday through Friday .

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