TIME viral

Watch Four Pranksters Try to Sell Microsoft Products in an Apple Store

"Have you ever tried the Microsoft tablets?"

A surefire way to get fired from an Apple Genius position would be to start recommending Microsoft products to customers. These four guys did just that — good thing they don’t actually work for Apple.

Well known YouTube pranksters NelkFilmz dressed-up in Apple uniforms, walked into a what appears to be an Apple store, and began making unhelpful suggestions to shoppers like “An iPhone? Honestly, like, I wouldn’t get an iPhone.”

Inevitably, managers and staff discovered them — but not before plenty of hilarious awkwardness took place.

Read next: The Next Windows Is Coming Way Sooner Than We Thought

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Appreciation

Watch The Matrix Lobby-Fight Scene Re-Enacted With Legos

A Redditor spent at least 160 hours re-creating this scene

Matrix franchise aficionados and Lego geeks can revel in a new YouTube re-enactment of the famous lobby-fight sequence from the original 1999 sci-fi action film. Shot scene-for-scene with Legos plastic toys, Reddit user Snooperking animated every minute detail from Trinity running up walls and Neo cartwheeling while volleys of plastic bullets knock cubic chunks out of the walls.

On Reddit, Snooperking said he toiled for approximately 160 hours to re-enact the iconic scene over three months. “I could only do like up to two hours a day before I got sick of it and had to play Battlefield,” Snooperking said. He selected the complex fight sequence to challenge himself to improve his animation skills, after creating a Star Wars Lego video in 2014.

To get a sense of the sheer patience required to reconstruct the Matrix scene with plastic Legos, Snooperking also offers a behind-the-scene video.

TIME viral

Watch This Princess Rap Battle Between Cinderella and Belle

Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as a sassy Cinderella

Who’s the fairest of them all? Decide for yourself in the new princess rap battle between Belle and Cinderella.

YouTube performer Whitney Avalon and actress Sarah Michelle Gellar team up for the latest edition of Avalon’s Princess Rap Battle video series as Cinderella (Gellar) and Belle (Avalon).

“Your tale as old as time sets us back fifty years,” raps Avalon’s Belle to Cinderella. “Do your chores, clean the floors, ’til a man just appears?”

Gellar’s Cinderella raps back: “Oh I’m the one who’s shallow ’cause your prince was really hairy? The Beast was in the friend zone ’til he gave you his library.”

The new video is the fourth edition of the series, which includes other battles between princesses like Snow White versus Frozen’s Elsa.

TIME India

Indian Lawyers May Be Reprimanded for Sexist Remarks in Rape Documentary

Mukesh Singh, one of the four men who were sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a young woman on a bus last December, is escorted by police outside a court in New Delhi
Reuters Mukesh Singh, center, one of the four men who were sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in December 2012, is escorted by police outside a court in New Delhi on Sept. 24, 2013

"In our culture, there is no place for women," one of them said in the documentary India's Daughter

The two defense lawyers featured in controversial documentary India’s Daughter may face action from the Delhi Bar Council and the Bar Council of India after their sexist statements caused public outrage.

The lawyers are shown in the documentary echoing and even endorsing the views of their client — a man convicted of the gang rape of a New Delhi student in 2012 and who blames his victim and believes women should not be out at night.

“We will have a meeting then and discuss what can be done,” Manan Mishra, chairman of the Bar Council of India, told the Indian Express.

The council leadership is set to meet on Friday, despite it being the Indian religious holiday Holi, in order to discuss the comments of M.L. Sharma and A.K. Singh in the documentary.

“We have taken this very seriously,” Mishra told local news channel NDTV. “Prima facie, this appears to be a clear case of professional misconduct.”

The film, directed by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, was banned from being broadcast in India over worries that comments by convicted rapist Mukesh Singh would cause public unrest. Singh is shown making a host of shocking statements, including that girls are far more responsible for rape than boys and that they are only meant for housework.

But after the BBC released the documentary online on YouTube on Wednesday (despite the government’s best efforts to block it there as well), there was a greater uproar over the statements of the two lawyers — Sharma, at one point, says: “In our culture, there is no place for a woman,” while A.K. Singh said he would set his daughter on fire if he found her indulging in “premarital activities.”

Both men continued to show scant remorse for their words, with Sharma telling NDTV that he had “committed no crime.” His colleague called those against him “biased” and said he received many calls supporting his views.

TIME brazil

Watch this Hilarious Reply to a Brazilian Politician’s Calls for ‘Heterosexual Pride’

“In a country like Brazil, with so many beautiful guys, it must be really hard to keep straight!”

Activists in Brazil have made a poignant parody video after a senior politician announced that there should be a day to celebrate heterosexual rights.

Eduardo Cunha, the president of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, asked the government to consider making Dec. 3 “heterosexual pride” day, reports the BBC.

Cunha’s remarks, not surprisingly, caused offense and inspired a group of filmmakers called Põe Na Roda to make a parody video exploring the fictional problems that straight people face.

Problems like, “Yesterday I was arrested because I was straight.”

The video has gone viral in the South American country, clocking more than 100,000 YouTube views in just a few days.

But the tongue-in-cheek video has a serious message.

“There’s no reason for straight people to have their own day,” Pedro Henrique Mendes Castilho, who made the film, told the BBC. “They have all the rights, they are not a minority group. I made the video in an ironic way to criticize [Cunha].”

[BBC]

TIME Research

Are YouTube Videos With Alcohol Dangerous?

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Getty Images

A new study shows popular YouTube videos make light of alcohol

Prior research has suggested that teen media exposure to alcohol, whether through TV shows or movies, could influence their drinking behaviors. Now, a new study suggests that online videos may also be a site for negative exposure.

In the new study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, a team of researchers watched 70 of the most popular videos on YouTube related to intoxication in order to see what kinds of messages they were sending.

To do that, the researchers searched for the terms “drunk,” “buzzed,” “hammered,” “tipsy,” and “trashed” and chose the most popular and relevant videos in those categories. In order to characterize the videos, they coded each one for a variety of factors, like how much alcohol was depicted, who the characters were and whether the video showed consequences of binge drinking. Overall, the videos contained more men than women, and usually depicted a specific brand. Rarely did the videos show poor side effects like withdrawal.

The videos with the most “likes” tended to be funny, and the overall vibe of the video was upbeat and positive when a specific brand was mentioned. Hard alcohol was the most common beverage featured, even though beer is the most common alcoholic beverage consumed in the United States, the authors note.

In the study, the researchers didn’t make any connections between watching the videos and drinking more or drinking more dangerously. But their findings shed light on what alcohol-related content is available online. The findings are still preliminary, but online videos may be another way to target young people who might be susceptible to messaging.

Conversely, the researchers also view YouTube as a potential venue to reach young people with positive messages about drinking as well. Videos could educate teenagers about the potential consequences of behaviors like binge drinking. Either way, YouTube may be worth further consideration by public health experts, they note.

TIME Media

3 Ways ‘YouTube Kids’ Will Be Better For Your Children

New app has a streamlined interface and parental controls

If you’ve hung around kids at all in the last few years, you know they love YouTube, even though the video site is only supposed to be for people 13 and up. Now, Google is planning to roll out a YouTube app specifically aimed at kids.

The new app, which launched Monday, is the first in a suite of kid-friendly versions of Google services that the search giant is planning to launch. Here are the child and parent-friendly features of YouTube for Kids that Google has revealed thus far:

A more streamlined interface (and no comments!)

Regular YouTube has at least a dozen different channel categories across a broad variety of topics. YouTube Kids has just four: Television shows, music, educational content and exploring top videos. Comments are also stripped out of the videos, according to USA Today, and images and links are larger than on regular YouTube to make them easier for kids to tap.

Mobile-first design

With more than a third of children under two years old now using smartphones or tablets, it makes sense that Google is building this service for mobile devices instead of desktops. YouTube Kids is available on Android and iOS.

Parental controls

Parents can make sure YouTube doesn’t become a timesink by setting time limits on how long the app can be used. When the limit is reached, the user has to enter a parent-set password to reopen the app. The app will also automatically censor words like “sex,” prompting the child to input a different term.

YouTube Kids will have advertising at launch, but the commercials will be vetted by YouTube’s policy team to ensure they are family-friendly. The app won’t be tied to Google accounts, so kids’ personal information won’t be collected and stored.

MONEY Pets

How to Turn Your Dog into a Cash Cow

Boo the Pomeranian, named the cutest dog in the world Cutest Dog in the World Flies High
Virginamerica/Rex Features—AP Boo the Pomeranian, named the "cutest dog in the world."

Social media can be big business for pets, too.

Your dog may never make it like the beagle Miss P, winner of the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club’s best in show award, but he or she may still have a shot at becoming a YouTube star or nabbing a modeling contract based on an Instagram photo.

It happened for Tuna, a Chiweenie mix of Chihuahua and dachshund. This unlikely Internet star, found as a stray at a California farmer’s market, has more than a million followers on Instagram because of his cartoonish overbite. A book, The Underdog with the Overbite, goes on sale in two weeks with a list price of $14.95.

At the pinnacle is a dog named Boo, a Pomeranian with 17 million fans on Facebook, multiple books and a line of toys. He even got a deal from Virgin America Inc to be its official “pet liaison.”

To bring in money, you need more than a random clip of your dog doing something funny. It takes an orchestrated campaign to gain enough popularity to merit offers from corporate sponsors, get product placement deals, and move merchandise.

“People who have over half a million followers are getting serious money,” says Katie Sturino, who owns Toast, a King Charles pup with no teeth and a tongue that hangs from her mouth. “The ones who have really broken out are getting a lot.”

Rescued from a puppy mill, Toast has 168,000 followers on Instagram. Sturino says she has been working with companies looking for product placement or endorsements.

Going Viral

What captivates a mass audience and goes viral usually is not a fluke, says Jonah Berger, a marketing professor at the Wharton School of Business and author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On. You need a good story to get started, and then you need a savvy strategy.

“We often look at these videos and think they must be luck or by chance,” Berger says. “Can you guarantee that something will go viral and get millions and millions of page views? No, but you can guarantee it will do better.”

Animal advocate and author Wendy Diamond says the biggest influencers are those who have a following and a personality.

“Your dog either has to have a deformity or a disability or a well-connected parent,” Diamond says.

Boo’s connection is clear. His owner, Irene Ahn, is an executive at Facebook Inc, although she has stayed out of the limelight during her dog’s climb.

But there are other routes to the top.

Jon Huang and his girlfriend, Amber Chavez, got Manny, a French bulldog who was the unwanted runt of the litter, at a half-price discount four years ago.

What started as a way to share photos and videos of their puppy with friends and family exploded in the past couple of years to following of about 796,000 on Facebook and 643,000 on Instagram.

“Basically, I just started posting unique pictures,” says Huang, 37.

After photos of Manny sleeping in a sink went viral, the dog’s popularity started to swell. As the monetary potential became clear, Huang says they made charity a big part of the Manny craze. Team Manny has raised more than $100,000 in the past year.

Manny has deals with Evanger’s Dog Food and Zico Coconut Water, among others. With all the merchandising, fundraising, deals, appearances and travels (a 15-city tour that goes from coast-to-coast), Chavez now is working full-time with Manny.

“There would be no way to manage all the stuff without her quitting her job,” says Huang. “We didn’t expect any of this. It happened so fast.”

TIME

How Well Do You Know YouTube’s Greatest Viral Videos?

A quiz that'll test your smarts on Friday, Keyboard Cat, David After Dentist and more


(Credit for all images: Youtube)

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