MONEY credit cards

The Newest Weapon Against Credit Card Theft Is…a Selfie

Smile! MasterCard hopes to develop a security measure with real teeth.

TIME Innovation

You Might Soon Be Able to Verify Online Purchases With a Selfie

MasterCard is testing the new technology

MasterCard customers may soon be able to make their online purchases more secure by verifying their identity with a selfie.

The company will soon start testing a new technology that will allow shoppers to use fingerprints and facial scans to prevent fraudulent purchases, according to CNN Money. The trial will begin with 500 customers, who must use the MasterCard app on their phone, either presenting their finger prints or posing for the camera when prompted.

To prevent fraudsters from simply using a photo of the real cardholder, users will be asked to blink to demonstrate that they are really there, not simply a static image. The resulting photo will be converted to code and compared to an algorithm on file.

If the trial run goes well, MasterCard hopes to take the technology to a wider pool of customers.

There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s selfies.

[CNN Money]

TIME celebrities

Kim Kardashian Talks Hillary Clinton, Gun Control and Feminism

"I guess people would call me a feminist," she said. "I just do what makes me comfortable"

Kim Kardashian got serious Tuesday night at an event in San Francisco, where she discussed gun control, feminism and whether the U.S. will elect its first female president next year.

Kardashian was interviewed by retired state judge LaDoris Cordell in an event organized by the prestigious Commonwealth Club of California, an institution founded in 1903 that has previously hosted speakers like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. When Cordell asked Kardashian to give the audience an idea to change the world, she answered, “Gun control.” She also said she hopes Hillary Clinton will be the first female U.S. president. But when asked whether she’s a feminist, Kardashian said “I don’t like labels.” She said she wouldn’t use that word but didn’t distance herself from the phrase. “I guess people would call me a feminist,” she said. “I just do what makes me comfortable.”

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star said she has consciously flipped the script on media objectification of women, and taken control of her own image. “You really can take that power and put out what you want people to look at,” she said. Even her new book of selfies, entitled Selfish, is an exercise in purposeful self-objectification, as she explained: “I’ve taken them … I’m proud of them … I have the control to put out what I want, even if I’m objectifying myself.” Kardashian also noted that the key to a good selfie is excellent lighting, and said that she doesn’t use filters, ever.

Kardashian revealed that she got her start in the fashion universe after she got her dad to buy her seven pairs of Timberland Manolo Blahnik shoes (at $750 each) after she saw Jennifer Lopez wearing them in a music video, then sold them on eBay for $2,400 each. She credits that experience as proof of her early love of “selling and hustling.”

The interview in the Commonwealth Club’s “Inforum” series is part of a string of slightly more substantial interviews Kardashian has been giving in the past few weeks, including an appearance on NPR and a cover story in Rolling Stone. Some people haven’t taken kindly to the appearances, with NPR listeners writing in to complain that they were “disgusted” and that “the Kardashians represent much of what is wrong with America today.”

There was plenty of self-promotion from Kardashian during the event in San Francisco, including a video ad played before the event for her app Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. When responding to a question from Cordell about whether she promotes an “unhealthy standard of beauty,” Kardashian pivoted to speaking about how her hair care and makeup lines are affordably priced so they can be consumed by “the masses.”

But when Cordell asked Kardashian what she thought of backlash to her appearance on public radio—and at the Commonwealth Club event—she said, “I don’t know. And I really don’t care.” The crowd cheered for her, some yelling, “We love you, Mrs. West!” Still others just begged for her to take selfies with them.

TIME celebrities

Kim Kardashian Says Use of Selfies Can Be Empowering

Kim Kardashian
Lionel Cironneau—AP In this June 24, 2015 file photo, American television personality Kim Kardashian poses for photographers as she attends the Cannes Lions 2015 in Cannes, southern France

The reality TV star talked briefly about how women are portrayed in the media

(SAN FRANCISCO) — Kim Kardashian says the large number of selfies she posts on social media empowers her to control her public image, but also contributes to her being viewed by some merely as a sexual object.

The reality TV star talked briefly about how women are portrayed in the media during a Tuesday night appearance in San Francisco hosted by the Commonwealth Club of California.

Kardashian allowed that while other people might regard her constant posing in front of a camera as degrading, it doesn’t matter as long as she is happy with the results.

During an hour-long Q&A before an adoring audience that was mostly young and female, she also revealed that her husband, rapper Kanye West, came up with the idea and title for her new book of selfies called “Selfish.”

Kardashian’s visit provoked minor controversy because the Commonwealth Club is known for tackling serious topics.

TIME YouTube

YouTube Users Say This Is The ‘Ad of the Decade’

Selfies took the crown

YouTube’s users recently voted for the best advertisements of the past 10 years as part of the online video site’s 10th anniversary celebrations — and there was some fierce (and adorable) competition.

While Volkswagen’s “The Force” stole hearts the world over when it debuted during the 2011 Super Bowl, Turkish Airline’s “Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout” captured the top title for Ad of the Decade.

It’s a 60-second spot featuring Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi in an epic battle for the best selfie. While it wasn’t critically lauded like the other ads in the top five, it was a massive hit. The spot has clocked up over 140 million views to date, nearly twice the views of any of the other top runners.

Check out all five top ads below.

  1. Dove “Real Beauty Sketches”
  1. Volvo Trucks “The Epic Split feat. Van Damme”
  1. Always “#LikeAGirl”
  1. Volkswagen “The Force”
  1. Turkish Airlines “Kobe vs. Messi: The Selfie Shootout”

Read next: Here’s How Much Youtube Is Worth

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME

This New Phone Is Literally Called the ‘Selfie’

ASUS ZenFone Selfie
ASUS ASUS ZenFone Selfie

Guess what it's good at?

First came the selfie stick, allowing narcissistic cellphone owners to take pictures of themselves that appear as though they were taken by someone else. Now, a Taiwanese company has launched a new phone explicitly optimized for taking selfies. Fittingly, the device is even named the “Selfie.”

Computer and smartphone maker ASUS unveiled the latest model of its ZenFone line of Android devices at the Computex conference in Taipei on Monday. “I know I’m not the only narcissist in this room,” said ASUS design center director Jen Chuang as she introduced the ZenFone Selfie on stage at the conference.

The Selfie phone features cameras on both the front and back of the phone with a “beautification mode” designed to make people look better in their photos. “It makes my skin tone look more even, the lines softer—it’s like wearing digital makeup,” Chuang said.

“It’s like having a personal spotlight,” she continued, describing the benefits of the cameras’ “real tone” flash.

The device also sports a “selfie button” that can be easily pressed with an index finger, so people can click the shutter just as they might change the volume of their music. “Snapping selfies, adjusting the volume and retracing your steps feels as natural as your grip,” says ASUS’s description of the phone.

To activate “selfie mode,” users need only draw an “S” on the on the home screen of their phone. There is also “selfie panorama mode” for capturing more background in 140-degree selfie shots.

With phone attachments known as “selfie sticks” so popular that everyone from actor Leonardo DiCaprio to farmers in Uzbekistan are using the gadgets, it was probably only a matter of time til a smartphone maker created their own built-in version of the stick—which extends a selfie snapper’s reach to a normal photo-taking distance. The ZenFone Selfie’s answer to this is a revolving “swing” attachment that adds a few more inches between a selfie taker and the phone.

“When I take selfies, I wish I had a longer arm,” Chuang explained.

Perhaps ASUS’s most vain invention? The company is also offering a “MyView” cover for the phone that would hide the entire screen except for a small circular window for previewing selfie shots. The tagline for the accessory, as revealed in the Computex presentation: “Snap your selfie, view your beauty.”

TIME Disney

Disney Hates Your Selfie Sticks

Selfie stick
Biljana Molan Klisarova—Moment Editorial/Getty Images Selfie stick

You can't use your selfie stick on Thunder Mountain

Selfie sticks may make it easier to take photos that make your friends jealous. But the some people aren’t too fond of them, including the people at Disney.

The entertainment company is placing anti-selfie stick signs in its theme parks and having staff more rigorously enforce an existing ban on them, reports the Huffington Post. The ban was first reported earlier this year, when Disney ride operators started making announcements reminding customers not to use selfie sticks.

It’s both an issue of safety and manners, the article says. Not only do the sticks create a nuisance for other customers, but some people are putting themselves and others in danger by using them on rides.

Other theme parks have taken similar measures, the story notes, including installing metal detectors in the lines outside rides. A growing number of museums, sports arenas, and conferences have also banned selfie sticks.

 

TIME Books

Kim Kardashian’s Selfish Is Anything But

Rizzoli New York

Sarah Begley is a culture and breaking news reporter for TIME.

The people who have helped build Kim Kardashian into an icon are celebrated as an us-ie

There is perhaps no trend more disparaged as a sign of millennial self-obsession than the selfie, and Kim Kardashian is the undisputed queen of selfie-taking. Yet her new book of annotated self-taken photos, titled Selfish and out this week, feels almost like an ode to the people around her.

Yes, there is healthy ego in Mrs. Kanye West’s glam shots. There are bikini selfies, bathroom selfies, selfies in the club, selfies in the car. But sometimes, other people wander into the shot. The people who are behind the scenes, in her her hotel room or her green room. The people who help make her look like the woman everyone’s scrambling to see.

“I can look at any photo of myself and can tell who did my hair and makeup, where I was and who I was with,” Kardashian writes early on. Throughout the book, she proves it’s true: “I remember Stephen Moleski did my makeup and Clyde Haygood did my hair,” she writes next to that photo.

“Old Hollywood glam vibes,” she writes next to another, “Mary Phillips did my makeup.”

“We were done early one night, so Mario [Dedivanovic] gave me a makeup lesson…I secretly wish I was a makeup artist.”

It’s not as though Kardashian thinks she’s pulling a fast one on all of us—to the contrary, in Selfish, she seems proud to show off the manufacturing of image, both of her own, and of the selfie as a phenomenon.

The point of Selfish, as the title cheekily suggests, is Kim’s marveling at Kim. But in the age of styling, make-up and contouring, to show off her styled, made-up, contoured self is also to pay tribute to the stylists who make her look the way she does. The architecture of the Sistine Chapel may be exemplary, but it’s Michelangelo’s paint job that packs in the crowds.

The book is effectively a portfolio for Kardashian’s legion hair and makeup artists, who can point to its pages’ chronological trajectory as proof that they were part of her transformation from Paris Hilton’s sidekick to one half of the #WorldsMostTalkedAboutCouple, half of whom really did #breaktheinternet. She’s right to give credit where credit is due; and she’s also probably right to end the book on a photo with her husband, who many believe has been her most effective stylist yet.

Next time you see Kim post a perfectly made-up, cleavage-heavy photo, don’t ask why she’s so obsessed with herself—ask who’s making her look so good.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME movies

Cannes Film Festival Director: Red-Carpet Selfies Are ‘Ridiculous and Grotesque’

Petra Nemcova
Joel Ryan—Invision/AP Petra Nemcova on the red carpet for the screening of Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit) at the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

The festival will launch a campaign against them

Listen up, celebrities (and lucky cinephiles with passports): if the director of the Cannes Film Festival catches you taking selfies on the red carpet, he may not run up and start confiscating phones — but he’s definitely not going to be happy about it.

While announcing the lineup of movies for the 68th annual event, Thierry Fremaux said the prestigious French film festival will launch a campaign against red-carpet selfies, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We don’t want to prohibit it, but we want to slow down the process of selfies on the steps,” he said. “We think it’s ridiculous and grotesque and really slows things down.”

If the scorn of Fremaux isn’t enough to deter stars like Lea Seydoux and Petra Nemcova from snapping pics, the festival director offered another reason to refrain from the practice: “You never look as ugly as you do in a selfie.”

[THR]

TIME Accident

Selfies Contributed to Fatal Plane Crash, Investigators Say

File photo of the wreckage of a crashed Cessna 150 airplane lying in a field near Watkins, Colorado
Sgt Aaron Pataluna—Adams County Sheriff/Reuters The wreckage of a crashed Cessna 150 airplane lies in a field near Watkins, Co. on May 31, 2014.

Flash from cell phone camera likely disoriented pilot

The fatal crash of a small airplane in Colorado last year likely occurred in part because the pilot was taking selfies, federal investigators said.

The pilot, Amritpal Singh, and his passenger were killed when their Cessna 150 crashed near Front Range Airport in Watkins shortly after midnight on May 31. National Transportation Safety Board says a GoPro camera recovered from the wreckage revealed that the pilot and various passengers had taken selfies in the plane with their cell phones, some using the camera’s flash function, during a series of past flights.

While the GoPro camera wasn’t recording the fatal flight, investigators concluded that the flash from a cell phone camera likely disoriented the pilot and contributed to his loss of control of the aircraft. Singh did not meet the requirements to operate a plane at night with a passenger, according to the NTSB.

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