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Americans are bombarded with information, and nobody wants to look like an idiot. A new study suggests most of us think we know more about what's going on in the news than our friends do. It also suggests that sometimes we fake it.
Welcome to my world.
Boss: "Hey, did you hear what the Fed is doing?"
Me: "Um, yeah. Yessssssssss. Of course I heard......"
Boss: "You're lying."
Boss: "(Eyes rolling) Pathetic."
How much of a difference do nine seconds make?
That's the difference between the six-second looping videos you can post on Twitter's Vine app and the new 15-second videos you can post on Facebook's Instagram.
Here's my take: Nine seconds is suddenly a really long time. More time to fill with exciting, creative clips or breaking news. Or nine more seconds of vacuous shots showing cats jumping, toddlers tripping, people displaying the food they're about to eat.
Don't believe me?
Here's my Vine video, which makes even six seconds boring.
And here's my first 15-second video on Instagram … an eternity.
—By CNBC's Jane Wells. Follow her on Twitter:
Security software pioneer John McAfee has just released a drug-addled, orgy-ridden spoof on YouTube (Warning: graphic language and images definitely NSFW) aiming to address years of complaints from computer users wanting to remove McAfee software from their devices.
Hold onto your mouse pad, because this video is not for the faint of heart.
It begins with McAfee explaining that even though he hasn't been affiliated with his namesake firm for 15 years, people keep asking him how to uninstall the software.
He has had "more pressing things to do," he says. (That would include hiding out from authorities in Belize who wanted to talk to him about the murder of a neighbor. McAfee told CNBC he feared that if he were taken into custody, police would kill him.)
But back to this video.
Wearing a smoking jacket and burning money to light a cigarette, McAfee proceeds to read emails from venemous customers about how much they hate the software. (Again, warning: Language. Seriously. Warning.)
He hands the proceedings over to an "expert" to explain how to remove the software, while McAfee gets back to, well, business: scantily-clad women, sex, coke and, finally, gunfire.
I didn't know whether to laugh or gasp. Tried to do both and choked.
By the way, how do you remove McAfee software?
"I have no idea," he said.
In response to the video, a spokesperson for the company of McAfee said, "While we take any attack on our products seriously, these ludicrous statements have no basis in reality. We continue to focus on what matters—our customers."
I happened to leave the country for a couple weeks, and while I was away Americans went gaga over … the tapir.
This is why I shouldn't leave you people unsupervised.
The market is obsessed with guessing when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering off its monthly purchases of bonds. That led to lots of jesting about the tapir, an animal that looks like some prehistoric cross between a pig and an anteater. Business Insider had a story on "11 Tapirs Who Are Worried About The Taper," a great excuse to post funny pictures of the beast. The caption for one particularly humorous photo read: "This tapir is worried that if economic weakness appears again, forcing the Fed to reverse its decision and increase the pace of its bond purchases, it could hurt the central bank's credibility." HILARIOUS.
But is the tapir really the right animal to represent the taper? No. By the looks of it, the tapir never eases up on much of anything.
Here are some better suggestions.
It could be the new Gangnam Style, except this dance craze is no joke.
Joanna Rohrback has unleashed "Prancercise" on the world, a unique exercise program that mimics the various gaits of a horse. When I first saw the YouTube video on Wednesday, it had about 13,000 hits. At last check it had topped 316,000 hits, and Rohrback is now booked on "The Today Show" for Friday.
What's all the fuss? Watch and judge for yourself.
Look! Up in the sky! It's a JCPenney billboard! It's a tea pot! It's...HITLER!
Just as Jacques Penne has finished apologizing to us and then thanking us, now the struggling retailer may have to go back to apologizing.
Or maybe not.
An image on Reddit of a Penney's billboard advertising a simple tea pot has become something of a web sensation among those who don't work 9 to 5 and frequent the site. Someone looking at the tea pot saw the spitting image of Adolf Hitler, much like staring up at clouds on a spring day and seeing white puffy elephants or puppies. And once you've seen Mein Fuhrer in that tea pot, you can't unsee it.
Personally I think the tea pot looks more like Eric Cartman from "South Park" imitating Hitler.
I tweeted that I thought the image was more funny than fascist, and JCPenney replied: "Totally unintentional. If we designed it to look like something, we would have gone with a snowman or something fun :)"
At first it appears to be just another YouTube workout video starring a well-toned, scantily clad female. She wants to convince viewers that they, too, can look like her with a few basic exercises, done in the comfort of their own homes.
In the funny business of creating a fitness enterprise in an online world, Charlie James has had some success. She even has her own YouTube channel.
But sometimes when you do something in your home, everyone gets a little too comfortable.
In one of her videos, "Burnout Challenge - HiitLean #11," the sexy James is doing a Squat Front Raise. Guys, you'll be impressed.
You weren't seriously going to tweet your mother for Mother's Day, were you? Not even Twitter wants you to do that. "No, seriously. Call your mom."
Put. Down. The. Twitter.
A very funny "public service announcement" video on Twitter's blog expresses outrage at a guy on a couch who's sending his mom a Mother's Day message in 140 characters. He's typing, "Hey mom, happy mom's day, LOL!!! Miss you," when the narrator shouts, "No, stop! What the (expletive deleted) are you doing? Give your mom a call!"
Call me cynical and cold-hearted (well, duh), but Mother's Day is one of those contrived holidays that the greeting card, flower, and chocolate industries have come up with because they can't live on Valentine's Day profits alone.
That said, you'd better not forget about it, kids. Son, that means you in particular.
Oh, who am I kidding? You'll forget, and I wouldn't like your gift anyhow.
Who is Gotham's "Funniest Person in Finance" -- a trader? a financial advisor? an IT guy? Click ahead to find out!
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