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Images of Google’s new Pixel tablet leak before its October event

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At this point, the biggest question about Google’s annual hardware event is not what new products the company will show off, but if there’s anything left we haven’t seen yet.

The latest: images of Google’s new Pixel-branded tablet, which have surfaced thanks to My Smart Price. The leaks kicked into high gear a while ago, but even those have ramped up considerably in the last few days.

As with all leaks, some skepticism is warranted, but the new images line up with previous rumors and they appear to be the real deal.

The tablet, reportedly called the Pixel Slate, is meant to be Google’s answer to the iPad Pro or Microsoft Surface. It’s a standard-looking tablet with a detachable keyboard cover and stylus. Read more…

More about Tech, Gadgets, Google, Chrome Os, and Google Assistant

Tesla’s first safety report claims drivers on Autopilot are safer, but lacks detail

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Tesla has released its first Autopilot safety report on Thursday, following promises from CEO Elon Musk in May that the company would do so quarterly after highly-publicised crashes involving its cars.

The one-page report claims that in the third quarter of 2018, there has been one accident or crash-like event for every 3.34 million miles for Tesla cars driven with Autopilot. 

Without Autopilot engaged, Tesla registered one accident or crash-like event for every 1.92 million miles driven. 

Tesla compared their findings to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, whose latest data shows “an automobile crash every 492,000 miles,” — this doesn’t include near-misses that Tesla has recorded in its report. Read more…

More about Cars, Transportation, Tesla, Automated Car, and Tech

Scooting while drunk is a dangerous, lame way to get a DUI

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Yes, you can get busted for scooting while drunk. 

With scooters swooping into more and more cities, it’s no surprise that people are behaving badly on the electric devices. E-scooter rental company Bird celebrated its first anniversary earlier this month with 2.1 million riders in 100 cities. That’s 10 million rides.  

But not all those rides have gone smoothly. Just this week Los Angeles had its first DUI case involving an e-scooter. The Bird scooter driver was three times over the legal limit when he crashed into a 64-year-old pedestrian, who fell to the ground, scraping their knees. Twenty-eight-year-old Nicholas Kauffroath rode off without helping the pedestrian. Read more…

More about Bird, Lime, E Scooter, Tech, and Transportation

Mark Zuckerberg shares the first projects he ever coded

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The key to being first-to-market? Working to create products that service the public by listening to their needs. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has always been working to get his products to the public as soon as possible. This episode is narrated by Masters of Scale Host Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn Cofounder, Greylock investor).

This editorial series is created by Mashable & Masters of Scale and sponsored by Skillshare, the online learning community. Get 2 months of Skillshare classes for free by visiting this link → http://skillshare.com/masters Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Masters Of Scale, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Instagram says it’s not testing or building a reposting feature

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Instagram is reportedly testing new features that could dramatically change what your feed looks like.

As first reported by The Verge, the company is looking to introduce native reposting, which will allow users to share posts from other accounts to your own feed.

An Instagram spokesperson, however, told Mashable that it is not a feature the company is currently building or testing.

According to The Verge, who viewed two screenshots of the feature, the “seamless sharing” feature will introduce a “share to feed” button when you open the “…” menu in the top right corner of a post. Currently, users need to use a third-party app to repost. Read more…

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BMW’s autonomous concept car of the future was cool, I guess

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As I approached San Francisco International Airport, my expectations for BMW’s new concept car were as big as the looming Boeing 777F Lufthansa cargo jet waiting for me. 

I had surrendered my cellphone and everything in my purse but my drivers license to see BMW’s iNext vehicle. Its tour started in Munich a few days earlier; it came to the Bay Area after a stop at New York’s JFK airport, and was scheduled to continue on to Beijing. Talk about precious cargo.

After passing a final security check, I climbed up the rickety staircase with fellow media members and entered the cavernous aircraft. We had been told very little about what we were going to see, except it was not only the “car of the future” but the “idea of the future.” Read more…

More about Electric, Bmw, Autonomous, Concept Car, and Tech

Little Baby Bum has billions of views on YouTube — and just sold for millions

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Did you know that a near hour-long collection of children’s nursery rhymes set to 3D animation is the 20th most popular YouTube video ever?

The video, with over 2 billion views and counting on the site, was created by the YouTube channel Little Baby Bum

And the husband-and-wife duo behind the popular channel just sold Little Baby Bum, likely for millions of dollars.

The exact sale price is confidential, but a social media marketing firm told Bloomberg that the London couple likely made between £6 million to £8.5 million ($7.8 million to $11.1 million).

More about Youtube, Children, Acquisition, Youtube Kids, and Tech

Popular Mac apps caught harvesting users’ browsing data without consent

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A number of applications on Apple’s Mac App Store are secretly gathering user data and uploading it to analytics servers.

Popular applications including Dr. Unarchiver, Dr. Cleaner, and others distributed by developer “Trend Micro, Inc.” collect and upload the user’s browser history from Safari, Google Chrome, and Firefox onto their servers via access to the macOS home directory.

These rogue apps will also collect data from other apps installed on the system, all of which is gathered the moment you launch them, according to 9to5Mac. The issue was originally spotted by a user on the Malwarebytes forum. Read more…

More about Cybersecurity, Mac Apps, Tech, and Cybersecurity

Tucker Carlson’s anti-diversity rant for Fox News didn’t go over well on Twitter

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson went on a rant Friday against Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and other Democrats and politicians who have called for a more diverse workforce, government, and American way of life.

Carlson went off on anyone who has said “diversity is our strength” with the chyron on the screen blaring the question: “How exactly is ‘diversity’ our ‘strength’?” 

He rhetorically asked how can we get along better “if you can’t understand each other or share no common values.” Then he noted that the less people have in common, the less likely they are to be “cohesive.” Read more…

More about Diversity, Fox News, Tucker Carlson, Tech, and Identities

Lime just dropped some serious e-scooter drama

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E-scooters can really rile people up — whether it’s cities trying to contain the onslaught of the mini motorized vehicles, or celebs such as actor-turned-venture-capitalist Ashton Kutcher fighting for their rights at a tech conference, it seems we are a nation divided.

And sometimes, it’s the scooter companies that can get all hot and bothered.

Take Lime, for example. Last week, the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency shut down any aspirations the scooter-share company had of operating in the city, instead giving two newer companies, Scoot and Skip, permits to test scooters within the city for the next year.  Read more…

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Europe’s Uber rival Taxify is launching itself into the e-scooter game

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The likes of Uber and Lyft are increasingly cosying up to scooters, and now one of the biggest ridesharing operators in Europe is joining the fray.

Estonian startup Taxify is rolling out an electric scooter sharing service in Paris this week, with plans to launch in other cities across Europe and Australia in the coming months. 

Much like Uber and Lyft’s vision, the scooters can be booked in the same Taxify app used to hail car rides. 

“One in five Taxify rides are less than 3 kilometres (1.8 miles), which is the perfect distance to cover with an electric scooter,” Markus Villig, CEO and co-founder of Taxify said in a statement.  Read more…

More about Tech, Europe, Scooters, Ridesharing, and Taxify

Uber introduces minimum rating requirements for riders, so don’t be a jerk

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It’s long-known that Uber drivers who fall under a certain star rating face getting kicked off the platform, and now that threat will extend to riders.

The ride-hailing company announced a new minimum average rating requirement for passengers in Australia and New Zealand, as per its update on its community guidelines.

Those changes will go into effect Sept. 19, and riders who veer too close to the minimum will be alerted before they sink below the requirement.

Once a rider drops below the minimum rating of 4.0, their account could be deactivated if they fail to improve after multiple notifications. Riders can reactivate their account after taking a “short educational exercise.”  Read more…

More about Tech, Australia, Uber, Ridesharing, and Big Tech Companies

Twitter tests suggestions on people to unfollow for when your timeline is too much

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You’re likely familiar with Twitter’s suggestions on who to follow. Now, the company is asking some users if they want to unfollow people. 

As first pointed out by Slate, the social media platform is testing unfollow suggestions.

“We know that people want a relevant Twitter timeline. One way to do this is by unfollowing people they don’t engage with regularly. We ran an incredibly limited test to surface accounts that people were not engaging with to check if they’d like to unfollow them,” a Twitter spokesperson told the publication.

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Yeaaah, Waymo’s self-driving taxis don’t seem like they’ll be ready for their 2018 launch date

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It appears that Waymo’s “fully self-driving” taxi service was a bit too aggressive with its 2018 launch date.

A report from The Information Tuesday paints a bleak picture out of Phoenix, Arizona, where Waymo seems to be experiencing glitches with its autonomous vehicles.

Merging into highway traffic, navigating around groups of people, turning left — these are just a few of the hurdles facing Waymo’s fleet of Chrysler Pacifica minivans that the company is hoping to turn into a fully autonomous taxi service. 

The minivans often drive in the center of wide roads and stop for a full three seconds at stop signs, habits that aren’t popular among some local residents. At least a dozen people told The Information, “I hate them.”  Read more…

More about Driverless, Self Driving Cars, Waymo, Tech, and Transportation

Google lets you create a sticker version of yourself with selfies

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With tools like Apple’s Memoji and Snapchat’s Bitmoji, you’re missing out if you don’t have an animated version of yourself on your phone.

Google is making that process easier on its iOS and Android keyboard extension, Gboard, with the addition of “Minis.” The feature will let you convert your selfies into stickers that are based on your likeness.

As per Engadget, the feature uses a combination of machine learning, neural networks, and artist illustrations to come up with cartoon emoji. 

Meet Minis! Easy to create and share right from #Gboard, these AI-powered personal stickers are made with just a snap of a selfie → https://t.co/d5BBLdt8As pic.twitter.com/39l4vZNjIS

— Google (@Google) August 27, 2018 Read more…

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Hacker convention in Vegas is full of tin-foil hats. Literally.

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What if they really are out to get you. 

If you spend enough time walking the Las Vegas casino floors, you’re sure to come across some unique sights. But scores of people sporting all shapes and sizes of literal tin-foil hats? Welcome to DEF CON.

The annual hacker convention currently underway in the Nevada desert draws a diverse crowd of professional and hobbyist security researchers from around the world. And, for the most part, they all share one defining characteristic: the desire to stick it to The Man. 

Which, well, that specific proclivity just might end up making you a target. Read more…

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These stoner hackers want machine learning to save us from sick weed

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Nothing harshes a good mellow like sick buds. Thankfully, there may one day be an app for that. 

Hidden from the hazy Friday afternoon of Las Vegas, tucked away in the basement of the Flamingo casino, a group of likeminded hackers and security researchers gathered to explore “DIY cannabis tech” at DEF CON’s Cannabis Village. One researcher in particular, Harry Moreno, told the rather laid-back crowd that he believed that machine learning could one day solve a huge problem for home-grow enthusiasts: determining whether or not, and in what capacity, a marijuana plant is sick.

More about Marijuana, Machine Learning, Def Con, Tech, and Cybersecurity

Instagram just made it way too easy to accidentally unfollow someone

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Instagram used to have a safeguard in place to make sure you really, truly wanted to stop following someone on its mobile app. 

If you clicked on the “unfollow” button (it looks like the top half of a person with a check mark next to it) intentionally or accidentally, it would ask if you were sure you wanted to unfollow that account, giving you a final chance to change your mind. 

But it quietly removed the dialogue box in the latest app update. Now your hasty swiping or large thumbs could make for some awkward re-follow request situations.  Read more…

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These women are disrupting their industries one click at a time

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When it comes to emerging technology we don’t always think of women in lifestyle. Instead, our minds dart to computer programmers, IT gurus and software developers. 

Thanks to these forward-thinking female entrepreneurs however, that’s all starting to change. They’ve turned their hard work and determination into thriving businesses – all thanks to a bright idea, and a helping hand from the right devices. 

These days, if you’re a busy content creator or a business mogul in the making – there’s nothing more important than having the best tools. But how do you choose which products to go with? Easy – you go with the ones that help you do your best work.  Read more…

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Spotify bans some Alex Jones episodes, but some say it’s not enough

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Facebook and YouTube hit far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones with minor bans over the last week. Now YouTube has joined the fray. 

The streaming service said it removed some, but not all, of the The Alex Jones Show, citing violations of its hateful content policy.

“We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community,” a Spotify spokesperson told Recode in a statement.

“Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of ‘The Alex Jones Show’ podcast for violating our hate content policy.” Read more…

More about Politics, Spotify, Infowars, Alex Jones, and Tech

Facebook cuts off access to user data for ‘hundreds of thousands’ of apps

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Facebook has just blocked a truckload of apps from accessing its user’s data.

Facebook’s VP of Product Partnerships, Ime Archibong, explained in a blog post Tuesday that Facebook had cut off API access for “hundreds of thousands of inactive apps that have not submitted for our app review process.” That’s a lot of random, dormant apps that had access.

The social media giant, which was once very open to developers until the whole Cambridge Analytica thing, announced in May during F8 that it was tightening up the review process for apps.

More about Tech, Facebook, Apps, Data, and Data Collection

Essential FitTech gadgets for any lifestyle

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Remember when you promised yourself that 2018 would be the year you’d get back into jogging, master Crow Pose, and feel healthier and stronger than you’ve ever felt before?

If you’ve been slacking on those goals, you might need a little boost to get back on track. Luckily, the below gadgets can help. These FitTech products are must-buys for 2018.

Funds at your fingertips with Bankwest Halo payment ring — $39

Image: Bankwest

Heading out for a jog, but don’t want to bring along your entire wallet? You don’t have to with this nifty gadget: The Bankwest Halo is Australia’s first payment ring. The attractive design is ideal for anyone with an active lifestyle. Bankwest Halo works just like your contactless cards — all you have to do is fist-bump the terminal at check-out and be on your way.  Read more…

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How to send spam calls straight to voicemail with Google’s phone app

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Google just gave us another good reason to use its phone app: better protection from spam callers. 

The company’s phone app for Android has a new setting that can automatically detect spam calls and send them straight to voicemail so your phone never even rings.

The app now has a “filter suspected spam call” option in its settings. When enabled, suspected spam calls will be routed straight to your phone’s voicemail. Your phone won’t ring, and you won’t get a missed call notification.

If the caller does leave a voicemail, you also won’t get a notification, though you’ll have the ability to view missed calls and voicemails that have been “filtered.” Read more…

More about Tech, Google, Android, Apps And Software, and Tech

Elon Musk is building a ‘kid-size submarine’ to rescue Thai kids trapped in cave

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Elon Musk is coming to the rescue.

The tech leader, along with SpaceX and Boring Company engineers, have been working with cave experts in Thailand to rescue the boys’ soccer team of 12 that’s been stuck in a cave system since June 23.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted an updated rescue plan, which essentially involves constructing “a tiny, kid-size submarine” that he plans to fly to Thailand.

Musk began his Saturday updates by discussing an “escape pod design” and “an inflatable tube with airlocks.” But as the day progressed, he settled on the idea of a mini-submarine. Read more…

More about Tech, Thailand, Elon Musk, Spacex, and Submarine

‘The Onion’ promises it won’t stop trolling Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is getting a taste of what happens when you piss off The Onion. 

The satirical news site has been relentlessly trolling Zuckerberg and Facebook for the past few days and promises it’s only getting started.

While the satirical site is known for lampooning just about anyone and everyone in the public eye, the publication has been relentlessly trolling Facebook, more so than usual. Four anti-Facebook posts were pinned to the top of its homepage for much of the day Friday, three of which mention Zuckerberg by name or feature his photo. Read more…

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Facebook launches gaming video hub to take on Twitch

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Facebook is going after those eyeballs on Twitch.

The social network has launched fb.gg, a hub which makes it easier for people to find gaming content that’s been streamed on the platform.

Front and centre in the hub are primarily popular titles such as Fortnite, PUBG and FIFA 18, as well as a selection of recommended streams. 

If you’re already following a streamer, they’ll appear on the sidebar, and you can also view streams that your friends on Facebook have recently watched too.

Image: facebook

Facebook is also making its monetisation scheme a fixture in its Level Up Program, which it trialled earlier this year. Read more…

More about Facebook, Gaming, Twitch, Social Media Companies, and Tech

Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, says he doesn’t have a laptop. At all.

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Jack Dorsey does everything from his phone. 

Seriously, the CEO of Twitter doesn’t have a laptop. He shared that fact at a press breakfast in Sydney, Australia on Friday.

“I don’t have a laptop, no, I do everything on my phone,” he told 9 News presenter Deb Knight, who’d asked Dorsey about his own online security practices. Knight was referencing the infamous photo of fellow social network CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in which his webcam is physically obscured with tape.

“It was important to me because I turn off my notifications, and for me it’s one application at a time. So I just have one app up, and I can really focus on what’s in front of me instead of everything coming at me as I would a laptop.” Read more…

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Google removes ‘Don’t Be Evil’ motto from its Code of Conduct

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To be evil or not to be evil — that is the question, Google.

It seems after years of the tech company’s commitment to its low-key creepy-sounding mantra, “Don’t Be Evil,” Google has removed the phrase from its Code of Conduct.

So I guess that means evil is totally chill now?? Cool. Very cool and not at all concerning, right?

On Friday, Gizmodo noted that “Don’t Be Evil,” which has been part of Google’s Code of Conduct since 2000, was recently removed in either April or May, as shown by the Wayback Machine. 

Digging into the Wayback Machine’s April 21, 2018 archive shows the three-word phrase still present in an earlier Code of Conduct: Read more…

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Lol now Facebook is just making fake news smaller

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Facebook really wishes its problems would just disappear. But, since that’s clearly not going to happen, maybe they could, I don’t know, get smaller?

That appears to be the thinking of Mark Zuckerberg and Co., who on Friday announced that the company’s new plan to combat fake news essentially boils down to font size. 

So reports TechCrunch, which notes that Facebook’s latest grand idea is to reduce the amount of space articles take up in the News Feed if their accuracy has been disputed by the company’s third-party fact checkers.  Read more…

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Lol now Facebook is just making fake news smaller

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Facebook really wishes its problems would just disappear. But, since that’s clearly not going to happen, maybe they could, I don’t know, get smaller?

That appears to be the thinking of Mark Zuckerberg and Co., who on Friday announced that the company’s new plan to combat fake news essentially boils down to font size. 

So reports TechCrunch, which notes that Facebook’s latest grand idea is to reduce the amount of space articles take up in the News Feed if their accuracy has been disputed by the company’s third-party fact checkers.  Read more…

More about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, News Feed, Fake News, and Tech

You’ll look ridiculous playing Snapchat’s new AR games, and maybe that’s OK

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When the iPad first came out, people looked kinda ridiculous using it out and about. 

That doesn’t quite compare to Snapchat’s new AR games feature, “Snappables,” which consists of games that let you control what’s happening using your face.

As witnessed in the Snappables trailer, you can fight aliens in an Space Invaders-style game by moving your head around, or pump iron at the gym with your eyebrows. You can also invite friends on Snapchat to play along in multiplayer games.

There are very few of us with the confidence to play Snappables in public, but at least Snap is encouraging you to try. Read more…

More about Tech, Gaming, Apps, Snapchat, and Augmented Reality

Google attempts to get Android messaging right (again) with Chat

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As predicted, Android is stepping up its messaging game to be on the same page as Apple’s iMessage and Facebook Messenger.

Google’s launching a new messaging service simply called Chat, and it’s the latest, and hopefully best effort by the tech giant to simplify the messaging offering on Android.

As revealed by The Verge, Chat is a rich communication service (RCS) that Google has been pushing carriers and smartphone makers to adopt.

It’s not a new app, but rather an upgrade of the existing messaging experience on Android. It’ll add features like read receipts, being able to see other people typing, full-resolution images and video, and group texting. Read more…

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Facebook gets even shadier, limits EU privacy law reach

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Facebook is quietly looking to limit the number of users that will be protected by Europe’s tough new data law, according to Reuters.

Outside of the U.S. and Canada, Facebook’s users agree to terms and conditions that are tied with the social media company’s operation in Ireland. 

So, as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to come into force on May 25, even non-EU users would have had their data protected by the law on Facebook.

But now, Facebook is reportedly looking to ensure that GDPR only applies to European users next month, affecting 1.5 billion users in Australia, Africa, the Middle East and in Asia. Read more…

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Apple Watch users could have access to a whole suite of new faces soon

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Gone through all the Apple Watch faces? Apple could be finally opening up the floor to third-party developers for Watch faces, hints a tiny line of code.

Apple has long maintained control over available faces for its Apple Watch, only allowing official partners like Disney and Pixar to release special editions. Customisation for users is currently limited to modifying “complications” on official watch faces, where there’s an ability to pull information from third-party sources.

But a tiny line of code could suggest the company is gearing up to loosen this exclusivity, a clue picked up by 9to5Mac. Read more…

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Samsung’s latest smartphone can’t connect to the internet. Like, at all.

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Well, here’s something you don’t see announced often (or ever, for that matter): A smartphone that can’t connect to the Internet.

That’s right, Samsung’s new Galaxy J2 Pro (it ain’t a “pro” anything if it can’t go online) is intentionally designed to have no way to go online. And nope, we haven’t slipped into a Tardis and time traveled into April Fool’s Day 2019.

Apparently made for students and senior citizens, the J2 Pro lacks any kind of cellular data connectivity. 

Samsung’s press release (Google translated) says the phone “blocks mobile data such as 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi” with the intent of helping students focus on learning (instead of, you know, getting distracted by Instagram and stuff). The phone’s also good for seniors who apparently have no interest in going online? 🤦‍ Read more…

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India just cracked down on cryptocurrency. Hard.

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Indian officials are not here for your cryptocurrency games. 

Government officials with the Reserve Bank of India announced on Thursday that, effective immediately, banks would be prohibited from “dealing with or providing services to any individuals or business entities dealing with or settling virtual currencies.”

Essentially, that means people in India are now unable to move money from bank accounts to exchanges in order to buy cryptocurrency. What’s more, if you’ve sold your fat gains for cash, you are no longer able to move that money back to your bank account. Read more…

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Snapchat lenses just got a lot better, if you have an iPhone X

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Attention iPhone X owners: Snapchat is finally making good on its promise to make its augmented reality selfie lenses better.

Today, the company is officially launching a new lineup of lenses that’ve been optimized for the iPhone X’s front-facing TrueDepth camera.

First previewed last fall during Apple’s iPhone X launch event, Snap specially designed the lenses to take advantage of the face-tracking abilities of the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera. What this means for you, a selfie-obsessed Snapchat user, is that the new lenses will be better able to “stick” to your face, making them look slightly more realistic (or, as “realistic” as a brightly-colored mask can look, anyway). Read more…

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Australia also investigates Facebook following data scandal

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Facebook might be getting a “booting” Down Under.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) announced on Thursday it would open a formal investigation into the social media giant to see if it has breached Australia’s privacy laws. 

It follows news the personal information of 300,000 Australian Facebook users “may have been acquired and used without authorisation” as part of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that affected 87 million.

OAIC said it would work with foreign authorities on the investigation, “given the global nature of the matter.”  Read more…

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Shooting suspect slammed YouTube for ‘discriminating’ against her

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The suspected shooter at YouTube’s California headquarters on Tuesday has been identified as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, San Bruno Police confirmed.

A San Diego resident, Aghdam died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting three people, one of whom is in critical condition. A fourth victim injured their ankle while fleeing the scene at the San Bruno office. 

The suspected shooter in today’s YouTube incident has been identified. Please see press release for details – https://t.co/Xvr2l9bB9s pic.twitter.com/NEBoX3WWK5

— San Bruno Police (@SanBrunoPolice) April 4, 2018

On her website, Aghdam accused YouTube of “filtering” her videos to prevent them from getting views and embedded a video from prominent YouTube star Casey Neistat complaining about YouTube’s demonetization policy, known as the adpocalypse. Read more…

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Reddit rolls out its first redesign in more than a decade

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Reddit’s design has stayed mostly the same since it launched more than a decade ago, and that’s the way many of its users like it.

But starting from Monday, the news aggregator will slowly roll out a redesign to a small percentage of users, Reddit’s administrators announced in a post.

The refresh will apply to the desktop version of the site, and in coming weeks users will be able to opt-in to the new version of Reddit. 

Reddit's new card view.

Reddit’s new card view.

Image: reddit

As WIRED notes, the redesign has been in the works for the past year-and-a-half. Reddit’s co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman noted in an “Ask Me Anything” last year that the site’s information-dense setup was often confronting to new users, hence the need for a redesign. Read more…

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E-scooter company CEO wants to ‘Save Our Sidewalks’ from bike litter

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Bird is flying into more cities, and as the electric scooter-share company spreads its wings, it wants to make sure it doesn’t destroy communities with its short-range vehicles.

Bird expanded from Southern California this week to San Francisco and San Jose, California, along with Washington, D.C. With the expansion, CEO Travis VanderZanden introduced the “Save Our Sidewalks” pledge.

VanderZanden has proposed other scooter and bike-share companies, like LimeBike, Ofo, MoBike, and Jump, commit to a daily pick-up program, responsible growth of vehicle fleets, and revenue sharing with city governments. Read more…

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Facebook suspends Trump-linked data firm Cambridge Analytica

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A data analytics firm linked to both Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Brexit referendum has been banned by Facebook.

Cambridge Analytica, the British firm that claimed it helped Trump get elected, has been suspended from Facebook, the company revealed. 

At issue is Cambridge Analytica’s use of user data obtained by a third-party developer, a University of Cambridge professor named Dr. Aleksandr Kogan. Kogan, according to Facebook, obtained information on 270,000 Facebook users via his app, which he touted as a research experiment.  Read more…

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UN officials blast Facebook over spread of Rohingya hate speech

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Facebook has long been criticised for its role in the Rohingya crisis, an assessment now underscored by comments by United Nations investigators.

Marzuki Darusman, chairman of the UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission in Myanmar told reporters that social media had a “determining role” in spreading hate speech in the country, according to Reuters.

“It has … substantively contributed to the level of acrimony and dissension and conflict, if you will, within the public. Hate speech is certainly of course a part of that. As far as the Myanmar situation is concerned, social media is Facebook, and Facebook is social media,” Darusman said. Read more…

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Facebook to publishers: The News Feed algorithm isn’t why you’re failing

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It’s been a rocky year in Facebook and publisher relations, but the social network has a new — very blunt — message for struggling publishers: it’s probably your fault. 

Speaking at a panel at South by Southwest, Facebook’s head of news products, Alex Hardiman, had some strong words for critics who say the company’s recent News Feed algorithm change is hurting publishers. 

In response to a question about digital publisher Little Things, whose CEO blamed Facebook’s News Feed algorithm after the company shut down, Hardiman said “there’s a reason certain publishers don’t do well on Facebook.” Read more…

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Get some media player nostalgia with this web version of Winamp

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Nestled along Age of Empires II and some sort of cracked antivirus, many computers in the early-2000s were also home to Winamp.

The freeware media player which “really whips the llama’s ass” clocked up more than 60 million users by 2001, well before the likes of iTunes or VLC player made any sort of dent in our music-listening habits.

While Winamp hasn’t been updated since 2013, you can now use a web version of the media player that’s been developed by San Francisco programmer Jordan Eldredge.

Winamp2-js is a HTML5 and Javascript redux of Winamp 2.9, a version which was released all the way back in 2003. Memories! Read more…

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Drone gets way too close to an airplane in terrifying video

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Hey, if you own a drone, maybe don’t fly it over an airplane filled with passengers?

The FAA is investigating a video that seems to show a drone’s close call with a commercial airliner landing at McCarran International Airport near Las Vegas, according to the local CBS affiliate

Flying a drone near an airport is definitely not allowed by the FAA. Neither is going above 400 feet. Here’s video of the incident shared online, from ABC News:

Yes, that’s pretty terrifying. The FAA released a study last year comparing drones and birds of the same weight, and how they might affect an airplane during a mid-air collision. Surprise: The metal drones were capable of causing way more damage than birds, especially to a plane’s windshield and wings.  Read more…

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Uber’s biggest rival in India expands internationally

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Uber is set to meet a familiar foe Down Under.

For the first time, ride-hailing giant Ola is setting up outside of India. The company said it plans to launch in Australia in early 2018, and is currently signing up drivers in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. 

The latest Uber challenger follows in the footsteps of Estonian ride-hailing company Taxify, which launched in Sydney last December, and recently began operations in Melbourne. 

On its website, Ola said it will initially charge a 7.5 percent commission from drivers. For the time being, it’s considerably lower than Taxify’s 15 percent, and Uber, which is around 25 percent. Ola is yet to reveal its entire fare structure in Australia. Read more…

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Crunch Report | MoviePass pulls out of 10 AMC theaters

Google experiments in local news, MoviePass pulls out of AMC theaters and the Kalanick-Benchmark lawsuit has officially been dismissed. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Airbnb wants to assure you its vision is ‘good for society’

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In an open letter, the head of Airbnb talked about being a relevant, useful, and purposeful company — and most importantly, one that doesn’t destroy society.

CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky laid out the company’s vision in the letter, and stressed the importance of appeasing not just employees and shareholders, but also the wider community outside of the Airbnb bubble — presumably including people who’ve accused the company of pushing rents higher in tight housing markets. 

Without naming certain social media platforms (ahem, Facebook), he voiced concerns over the widening political divide.  Read more…

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Crunch Report | CNN shuts down Casey Neistat’s Beme

Robinhood is going to let you buy and sell crypto soon, CNN shuts down Casey Neistat’s Beme and Sotheby’s acquires Thread Genius. All this on Crunch Report. Read More