Straighten out your mess with this stylish messenger bag

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Stylish and attractive, the Kastel Donjon is a constant companion.
Stylish and attractive, the Kastel Donjon is a constant companion.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

I’m always on the lookout for a better, more efficient, useful and stylish bag to carry my MacBook Pro, iPad 3, and various electronic accoutrements, including an external battery, noise-cancelling headphones, and a ton of different cables to power and charge everything in there.

I also like to add a paperback book, various papers and flyers (if I’m covering a conference) and room to drop in a little reporter’s notebook, a pen or three, and a digital audio recorder for interviews. Oh, and it helps to have an easy pocket to slip my iPhone 6 Plus and wallet in if I need to go through security at the airport.

The Kastel Donjon bag is a European-style messenger bag that meets all these needs in an attractive, useful way.

Facebook Messenger is about to get its game on

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Are you game?
Are you game?
Photo: Facebook

Just when you thought you were safe from ceaseless notifications from Farmville players, Facebook has let it be known that it is planning to add gaming apps to its secondary Messenger app. You know, the one you had to install on your iPhone because they took messaging functions out of the main Facebook mobile app.

Facebook is actively talking with game developers about using the Messenger platform to deliver gaming experiences, which would then lead to more interactions with the Messenger app, and probably revenues, as most of Facebook’s non advertising revenue comes from third-party games.

Mercury contest calls on Earthlings to name craters

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This  view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign during MESSENGER's primary mission. These colors are not what Mercury would look like to the human eye, but rather the colors enhance the chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences between the rocks that make up Mercury's surface. Photo: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
The enhanced colors in this image of Mercury highlight differences between the rocks that make up the planet's surface. Photo: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington

Mercury is the most cratered planet in the solar system, a popular destination for asteroids and comets.

As bleak a place as this sounds, you may be able to give the pockmarked planet some personality.

The team piloting the MESSENGER spacecraft exploring the closest planet to the sun is calling on “all Earthlings” to name some prominent craters after famous people in the arts and humanities.

The deadline is Jan. 15 and inspiration can be found in pictures of the five craters on MESSENGER’s official website.

Facebook Messenger gets the slickest read receipts in town

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Facebook wants to have the slickest read receipts in town. Photo: Facebook
Facebook wants to have the slickest read receipts in town. Photo: Facebook

Read receipts. They’re the first thing I turn off when I get a new messaging app or iOS device. But Facebook is doubling down on read receipts in the new Facebook Messenger, which has new, blisteringly fast notifications showing you exactly what’s going on with your message after you send it.

Zuckerberg explains why Facebook Messenger became its own app

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Mr. Social Network himself. Photo: JD Lasica/Flickr CC
Mr. Social Network himself. Photo: JD Lasica/Flickr CC

From answering trolls online to busting out near-fluent Mandarin in front of a surprised audience, Mark Zuckerberg’s all about defying expectations these days. That trend continued yesterday, as he gave a reasonable (and even Steve Jobsian) answer about why Facebook moved messaging out of its main app and into a standalone Messenger one.

Telling the audience at his first public Q&A that, “I’m grateful for hard questions” and “it keeps us honest,” Zuck noted how: