TIME tobacco

Big Tobacco Sues British Government Over Effort to Strip Logos From Cigarette Packaging

New laws would strip logos from cigarette packages

Tobacco companies are fighting a recently passed law that would strip logos and branding from cigarette packages to in order to make them less enticing to consumers in the United Kingdom.

Philip Morris International, which owns the Marlboro band, filed suit Friday in a British court seeking to stop regulators from imposing standardized packaging on cigarettes. Philip Morris argues that such regulations would unlawfully deprive the company of use its own trademarks.

“Countries around the world have shown that effective tobacco control can co-exist with respect for consumer freedoms and private property,” Philip Morris said in a statement.

Under the new law, traditional cigarette logos would be replaced with large, graphic health warnings. Australia enacted a similar law in 2012.

According to Philip Morris, Marlboro was the ninth most valuable brand in the world in 2014 with an estimated value of $67 billion.

TIME apps

Facebook Adds Caller ID to Messenger App

New feature helps screen messages from new contacts

Facebook is making it easier to figure out who’s trying to contact you.

The company announced a new Caller ID feature for its Messenger app that will give users more information when people try to contact them. The revamped interface will show a larger photo of the person sending the message, as well as pull context about their occupation, city of residence and who your mutual friends are. If the person contacting you isn’t your Facebook friend, only the information they share publicly will be viewable. The upgrade will be available for the iOS and Android versions of Messenger in the U.S., U.K., France and India in the next few weeks.


Facebook released an app with similar functionality in April called Hello. The Android app serves as a replacement for the generic phone app and uses Facebook data to provide users information about incoming callers.


TIME Football

Michael Sam Signs With Canadian Football League Team

Defensive End Michael Sam, from Missouri, arrives before the NFL Super Regional Combine football workout on March 22, 2015 in Tempe, Ariz.
Rick Scuteri—AP Defensive End Michael Sam, from Missouri, arrives before the NFL Super Regional Combine football workout on March 22, 2015 in Tempe, Ariz.

Former player for Rams and Cowboys heads north

Former NFL player Michael Sam has joined the Canadian Football League. The defensive end has signed with the Montreal Alouettes to a two-year deal, the team announced Friday. Sam, a former star college player for the Missouri Tigers, struggled during his NFL rookie season in 2014. After being picked in the seventh round of the draft by the St. Louis Rams, he was released by the team in August and picked up by the Dallas Cowboys for their practice squad. The Cowboys released Sam in October.

Sam garnered global headlines last year as the first openly gay player to be picked in the NFL draft.

Read Next: U.S. Ranks Worst in Sports Homophobia Study

TIME climate change

Glaciers Are Crumbling in Southern Antarctica Faster Than Previously Thought

Previously stable glaciers have been melting rapidly since 2009

Multiple large glaciers that were previously not thought to be in danger of melting have been crumbling since 2009, according to a new study published in Science. Researchers have discovered that glaciers on the southern Antarctic Peninsula’s coastline have been steadily thinning over the past several years, with some dwindling by as much as 13 feet per year. The glaciers had not shrunk significantly before 2009.

The rate of melting makes the region “the second most important contributor to sea level rise in Antarctica,” lead study author Bret Wouters told NBC News. Overall, 80 trillion gallons of water were added to ocean by the Southern Antarctic Peninsula between 2009 and 2014. Continued melting could raise sea levels by another 14 inches.

[NBC News]


TIME Video Games

How to Play Pac-Man for Free on Its 35th Anniversary

Pac-Man arcade game.
Dennis Hallinan—Jupiter Images/AP Pac-Man arcade game.

Celebrate the anniversary by playing the iconic game

Happy birthday, Pac-Man! The world’s favorite hungry yellow orb turns 35 today. The arcade game was a sensation from the time it launched in 1980, eventually inspiring an animated series, a top-10 single and a never-ending cycle of sequels and spinoffs.

Today, thankfully, you no longer need a pocketful of quarters to enjoy one of the world’s most iconic video games. Here are a few ways you can play Pac-Man for free right now:


For Pac-Man’s 30th anniversary, Google made one of its most famous Google Doodles, turning the logo on the search engine’s homepage into a customized version of the arcade game. The game, which marked the first time Google ever made its logo interactive, is still available to play in the company’s Doodle archives.

Pac-Man Lite

Bandai Namco, the creator of Pac-Man, is offering a limited version of original game for free on iOS. Users only get a limited number of continues before they have to either have to pay for additional tokens or watch video ads to unlock more levels. But all 256 levels of the original title are here waiting to be conquered.

Pac-Man + Tournaments

The Android version of Pac-Man features the classic game available for free as well as weekly tournaments featuring new mazes that players can pay to access. In some modes the classic Pac-Man ghosts are replaced with Android robots.

Read Next: This Is What Pac-Man’s Creator Thinks 35 Years Later

TIME apps

Google Maps Just Got Way Better

Traffic on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
Tim McCaig—Getty Images A traffic jam on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Improved traffic data could make driving less of a nightmare this holiday weekend

Google is rolling out some new improvements to Maps in time for the traffic-heavy Memorial Day weekend. Users will be able to get more details about traffic conditions after entering a route.

For example, Maps might inform you that you are approaching construction and give an estimate for how long you might be stuck in a traffic jam. If the route is all clear, Maps will tell you that too. The app already helped users find alternate routes when dealing with heavy traffic, but it will be clearer in explaining why an alternate route is faster and the kind of incident you’ll be avoiding by following it.

Google also revealed the top trending search terms from last year’s Memorial Day weekend to give a sense of the most popular activities during the holiday. Beaches were unsurprisingly led the list of locations, followed by cemeteries and restaurants.

TIME Mobile

Here’s the 1 Trick to Getting People to Like Your Photos

Flickr study shows that filters increase engagement

Are you the kind of person who proudly attaches a #NoFilter hashtag to your photos online so that people know the pictures are authentic? Well, you’re missing out on a whole lot of likes, comments and other Millennial manna.

And now there’s data to prove it.

Researchers at Yahoo, in partnership with a professor at Georgia Tech, have published a new study analyzing how filters impact engagement on Yahoo’s photo-sharing site Flickr. According to the study, filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed than non-filtered photos and 45% more likely to be commented on. Photos with filters that project warm colors tend to drive more engagement than cooler filters (though we’re unconvinced anyone ever “likes” photos filtered with Kelvin, the overly orange tint available on Instagram)

By interviewing photographers, researchers also discovered different motivations for using filters. Serious photographers use filters to correct coloring errors or bring attention to specific objects. More casual photo-takers, meanwhile, use filters as a means of personalization or to achieve a general “vintage” feel.

While the study focused on Flickr users, it’s safe to say the findings apply to Instagram as well—in fact, more than half of the photos researchers analyzed had been cross-posted from Instagram to Flickr. So next time you’re trying to ensure that your latest picture will get that coveted 11th like, embrace the filter (but again, please, don’t use Kelvin).


Stop Using This Painfully Obvious Answer For Your Security Questions

In fact, stop using security questions at all

We all love pizza, but that doesn’t mean you should be using it as a way to keep your data safe online.

In a new research paper, Google staffers found that those pesky security questions which are often used to help users recover passwords are one of the worst ways to protect online accounts. The company studied hundreds of millions of actual question-and-answer combos used by real Google users, and discovered people often choose obvious answers that are easy to remember — but also easy for hackers to guess.

For example, an attacker would have a 20% chance of guessing an English speaker’s answer to the question, “What is your favorite food?” by guessing “pizza” on the first try.

Even when users have hard-to-guess answers that are effective at keeping hackers out, it can be challenging for people to get into their own accounts. 40% of English-speaking U.S. users have failed to recall their answers to security questions, according to Google. When the questions are very difficult, such as asking for a person’s frequent flyer number, recall rate drops to 9%.

Some users try to be clever and make up fake answers to questions in hopes of boosting security, but that plan can also backfire. Google found 37% of people have given bogus answers to security questions, but these fake responses end up being so similar to each other in aggregate that they make it easier for hackers to guess the answers, not harder.

So, what’s the solution? Google advocates using authentication through SMS texting or alternate email addresses to boost security and help users recover lost passwords. These methods don’t rely on faulty human memory or our undying love of pizza. When using SMS as a recovery method, people are able to get back into their accounts more than 80% of the time, Google found.

TIME Advertising

Michael Jordan’s New Ad Will Make You Feel Every Feeling

And, yeah, it's about sweat

Michael Jordan and Gatorade want to reclaim sweat. The two have teamed up to transform the body fluid into a badge of pride in a new Gatorade ad, which calls to mind some of the basketball legend’s iconic advertising work. In the one-minute spot, Jordan provides a stirring voiceover, intoning that “We love the sweat that comes from pushing yourself, the kind that comes from pushing the edge of potential.” Meanwhile athletes like Serena Williams perform daring acts of physical exertion as their sweat droplets fly toward the screen like bullets in The Matrix. (Sorry, couch potatoes, His Airness doesn’t seem to have any patience for the sweat stains you’re leaving on your living room armchair.)

The new spot continues MJ’s decades-long marketability, vouching for everything from Nike sneakers to Hanes underwear. And of course, there’s no way we could forget Gatorade’s iconic “Like Mike” ads from the ‘90s, which got a modern update earlier this year.

TIME Media

Here’s How Spotify Plans to Make Video Work

Spotify Press Announcement
Taylor Hill—FilmMagic Spotify founder Daniel Ek speaks during the Spotify New Platform Launch at S.I.R. Studios on May 20, 2015 in New York City.

Spotify is looking to take on YouTube and other video sites

Spotify, which has built its name by letting users stream music, now wants to be a home for video as well. That could be a tricky transition, but one key feature of the platform’s new video content could make it go more smoothly.

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told the Wall Street Journal that some of Spotify’s video content will be made so it’s just as enjoyable to listen to as it is to watch. Spotify spokesman Graham James confirmed to TIME that such a feature is indeed planned as part of the company’s video rollout but is not yet available.

Letting users listen to just the audio from videos could help boost Spotify consumption and get users more comfortable with firing up videos on the platform. Formerly an audio-only service, many users have probably grown comfortable using Spotify while doing other things rather than focusing all their visual attention on the app.

YouTube enabled a similar feature earlier this year with its YouTube Music Key subscription service, which lets users listen to YouTube videos even when their phones are locked.

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