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People don’t like working at Facebook as much as they used to

People don't like working at Facebook as much as they used to

Facebook’s status as one of the most desirable employers is waning. That’s according to Glassdoor’s latest rankings of the best companies to work for, based on anonymous employee reviews.

Glassdoor released its annual “Best Places to Work” list for 2020, which compiles employees’ anonymous ratings and reviews on Glassdoor, though the actual rankings are determined by the company’s “proprietary awards algorithm.” 

This year, Facebook’s position on the list of the top 100 organizations dropped to No. 23, down from No. 7 in 2019 and No. 1 in 2018. That’s a new low for the company, which has consistently ranked near the top of Glassdoor’s list. The first year the social network made the cut, in 2011, it nabbed the top spot. Since then, Facebook has ranked in the top ten every year, except for 2015, when it hit No. 13.  Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Glassdoor, Big Tech Companies, and Tech

People don’t like working at Facebook as much as they used to

People don't like working at Facebook as much as they used to

Facebook’s status as one of the most desirable employers is waning. That’s according to Glassdoor’s latest rankings of the best companies to work for, based on anonymous employee reviews.

Glassdoor released its annual “Best Places to Work” list for 2020, which compiles employees’ anonymous ratings and reviews on Glassdoor, though the actual rankings are determined by the company’s “proprietary awards algorithm.” 

This year, Facebook’s position on the list of the top 100 organizations dropped to No. 23, down from No. 7 in 2019 and No. 1 in 2018. That’s a new low for the company, which has consistently ranked near the top of Glassdoor’s list. The first year the social network made the cut, in 2011, it nabbed the top spot. Since then, Facebook has ranked in the top ten every year, except for 2015, when it hit No. 13.  Read more…

More about Tech, Facebook, Glassdoor, Big Tech Companies, and Tech

Take a look at the first all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. (It’s an SUV.)

Last week Ford thought it played it coy only revealing the name of its first all-electric vehicle (the Ford Mustang Mach-E), but after some simple poking around the Ford website, images, video, specs, and prices of the upcoming vehicles were leaked ahead of Sunday’s big reveal in Los Angeles. 

But the leaks, still posted on a Mach-E online forum, were accurate: Ford’s first EV does indeed look like a puffed up, oddly compact SUV version of its Mustang muscle car glory of the 1960s. The car is no longer two-door, but it’s still got the pony emblazoned on the front. Its Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition is the most reminiscent of the sporty Mustang of the past, with its zero-to-60 mph in mid-3 seconds and 459 horsepower abilities. Read more…

More about Idris Elba, Ford, Electric Vehicles, Tech, and Transportation

The new Microsoft Edge browser logo sure does look familiar

To be fair, you shouldn’t eat the logo either. 

Microsoft’s Edge browser is freshening things up with a new look, and it’s a swirling blue-and-green design that to many calls to mind another thing that’s gone out of style: Tide pods.

Discovered by The Verge, Tom Warren writes that the “Edge icon was revealed in an elaborate Easter Egg hunt where Microsoft employees posted cryptic clues to a series of puzzles and  images.”

The final clue led to the new Microsoft Edge logo. This was a really fun hunt, and only made possible by everyone working together over on Discord, Reddit, and Twitter. Thanks for all the fun! https://t.co/lPB6fJOPqa pic.twitter.com/hDmOcQu22a

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) November 2, 2019 Read more…

More about Microsoft Edge, Tide Pods, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Tesla owners immediately tested the new Smart Summon in parking lots

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Tesla released its latest software update, V10, on Thursday, and amongst the new games, streaming services (Spotify at last!), and Joe Mode, came an autonomous driving update.

Customers who have a Full Self-Driving capable car or Enhanced Autopilot package already had a Summon feature through the Tesla mobile app. Now they have Smart Summon. And everyone is trying it out. 

Smart Summon goes beyond its predecessor’s simple ability to remotely move the car forward and backward while outside the vehicle. Now you can set the car to navigate a parking lot and come to you — but only if the car is within your line of sight.  Read more…

More about Tesla, Elon Musk, Summon, Autonomous Vehicles, and Tech

One day left to get featured at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin’s Startup Battlefield

Founders. The clock is ticking. Applications for Startup Battlefield at Disrupt Berlin 2019 are closing in just about 24 hours.

On December 11-12, TechCrunch will feature the top early-stage startups from around the world in the most renowned on-stage pitch competition in the world – Startup Battlefield. Companies are battling for $50,000 in equity-free prize money, the infamous Disrupt Cup and the attention of press and investors from around the world.

You’ll join the leave of highly successful Startup Battlefield Alumni, including N26, JukeDeck, Dropbox, GetAround, Mint.com, and more. All together, the 857 companies that have launched with Startup Battlefield have raised over $8.9 billion in funding, with 113 successful exits (IPOs and acquisitions).

It’s simply. Startups from any part of the world and any industry can apply. Companies must be early stage, pre-major publicity and have a minimally viable product to demo live on stage. TechCrunch editors review the applications and select the top 3-5% of companies that apply – more competitive than college!

After being selected, founders will go through a mini-accelerator with the Startup Battlefield team, where we will train you on your pitch, go-to-market strategy, on stage talent and set you up for the biggest, most public launch on the largest tech stage in the world. Teams pitch for 6 minutes including a live demo, followed by a 6 min Q&A with our esteemed judges – VCs, angels and heads of major companies.

If you make it to the final round, you simply pitch on stage again with the same pitch in front of a brand new set of judges. These judges debate and decide the final winner of the competition and the startup that gets to bring home $50,000 and the Disrupt Cup.

Participating in Startup Battlefield gets you a whole suite of perks. We’re talking free exhibition space in Startup Alley for both days of Disrupt, invitations to private events, backstage access, CrunchMatch — our free business-matching platform — free subscriptions to Extra Crunch and a ticket to all future TechCrunch events. That’s some major value right there.

There’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Stop procrastinating apply to Startup Battlefield today. We want to see you in Berlin!

Viewers still using TiVo will soon see ads before their recordings

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The digital TV recording company TiVo is back in the spotlight with some upcoming changes and new products. 

TiVo had its heyday back in the early 2000s before DVR and streaming were everywhere, but it still has a few million subscribers. Those viewers will soon be subjected to ads playing before their TV recordings. 

It’s a bit ironic for the company that gained popularity for letting you scrub through ads during TV shows and programs. On its website, TiVo still lists this as a benefit: “[We] give you the power to skip ads.”

According to an industry news outlet, the ads will go out to all users with the latest software version known as TiVo Experience 4, but will be skippable. That’s a relief. But users aren’t too happy. On a TiVo online forum one user wrote, “If they start doing this to me I’m out. No way they’re forcing me to watch ads on a device I paid almost $1,000 for with lifetime service.” Read more…

More about Tivo, Dvr, Tech, Consumer Tech, and Streaming Services

YouTube walks back changes to verification policy after outcry

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YouTube’s CEO is once again apologizing to the service’s top users following a massive backlash over changes to its verification policy.

One day after announcing that it was ditching the checkmarks and notifying many users that they were no longer eligible for verification, the company is walking back those changes.

“We completely missed the mark,” the company said in an updated blog post published Friday. 

“Channels that already have the verification badge will now keep it and don’t have to appeal. Just like in the past, all channels that have over 100,000 subscribers will still be eligible to apply. We’ll reopen the application process by the end of October.” Read more…

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Inside the new Apple Fifth Avenue: It’s more than just a redesign

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To most everybody, Apple’s iconic Fifth Avenue store is just a store — a physical retail space to sell shiny new iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and more.

Its grand reopening on Sept. 20 — timed with the launch of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro — at 8 a.m. ET is nothing to get excited about.

It’s a store, not a revolutionary new Apple product that changes the world. It exists to take your dollars in exchange for products.

But Apple Fifth Avenue is more than just a store to me. 

The massive aluminum-covered lair became a haven for creativity, due in part to the many people who listened to music on iPods, edited video with iMovie on an iMac, or made music in GarageBand with no intention of buying anything.  Read more…

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MoviePass is dead (for real this time)

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MoviePass, the once uber-popular movie subscription service, is shutting down. For real.

In a press release published on Friday and first noticed by CNBC, Helios and Matheson Analytics — MoviePass’ parent company — announced the shutdown of the service. Subscriptions will cease to work on Saturday.

“MoviePass notified its subscribers that it would be interrupting the MoviePass service for all its subscribers effective September 14, 2019, because its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” says the statement. “The Company is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue.” Read more…

More about Entertainment, Movies, Subscription Services, Moviepass, and Tech

How Facebook will pick the news you see in its app

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Facebook is really hoping it will all go better this time around. 

The company that keeps insisting it’s not in the media business intends to launch a news tab in the coming months, and appears keen on staving off another Trending topics-style fiasco. Part of this effort, it would seem, involves establishing editorial guidelines — enforced by actual humans — for the articles populating its upcoming section. 

In other words, employees of Mark “I consider us to be a technology company” Zuckerberg’s Facebook will be to some extent curating what news people read on the site. And, with the depressing fact that, as of last year, approximately 43 percent of Americans get their news on Facebook, we’re talking about a lot of people.  Read more…

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Russia accuses Google, Facebook of election interference

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A new country says Google and Facebook may have interfered in its elections — just maybe not the one you’d expect.

Officials in Russia have said that Google and Facebook published election-related ads in violation of the country’s laws, Reuters reported

Yes, you read that correctly: Russia is accusing the two tech giants of election interference. 

At issue are laws that prohibit political ads “during elections on Sunday and on the preceding day,” according to Reuters. Russia’s Roskomnadzor, the government body that oversees the country’s media laws, has said Facebook and Google both ran ads during Sunday elections.  Read more…

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New Alexa smart speaker skill plays music for your dog

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“Who let the dogs out? Woof! Woof!”

That’s one of the songs (along with any other remixes of the Baha Men’s 2000 hit) we’d include on the new Alexa smart speaker skill for your dog. Puppy Jams! is an iHeartRadio music skill that plays songs for your dog even if you’re not around.

Monday is International Dog Day. Let your dog rock out in honor of the very official holiday by turning on the Alexa skill.

For any Amazon device connected to the digital assistant Alexa, you can say, “Alexa, open Puppy Jams!” Then you tell the AI how your dog is feeling: stressed, lonely, or happy. Based on the mood you indicated, the device will select an iHeartRadio playlist made for canines.  Read more…

More about Music, Dogs, Amazon Alexa, Playlist, and Tech

Pastors are getting in on Ring’s ever-growing surveillance state

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God is always watching — and soon, thanks to Amazon, a bunch of church pastors may join in on the fun. 

According to the Baltimore Sun, the Seattle tech giant has partnered with a host of religious leaders to equip Baltimore residents with Ring surveillance cameras. Amazon reportedly helped the group of pastors secure $15,000 to acquire the Amazon-owned cameras that have gained notoriety as a privacy-violating, police-fueled creep show.  

Notably, these cameras will not be deployed at physical places of worship — often a sad necessity in an age of rising anti-semitism and white nationalist violence — but rather employed to bust people in the community.  Read more…

More about Amazon, Ring, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

6 of the best light masks for acne, according to reviews

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According to the American Academy of Dermatology, adult acne is on the rise, affecting up to 15 percent of women. (As if adulting wasn’t already stressful enough!) 

Though topical creams may get the job done for some, there’s a new kind of acne treatment that’s becoming increasingly popular: acne light therapy. Basically, this high-tech solution aims to kill the bacteria that causes acne and prolongs the vicious breakout cycle. It also targets age spots, acne scars, discoloration, and other blemishes. Light treatments work by shining different types of LED light (either red or blue light) onto your skin at a close distance. The red light treatment takes aim at inflammation while the blue light treatment targets the acne-causing bacteria at the source. Read more…

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IMAGE: Amazon



BEST FOR MORE THAN JUST ACNE

Lacomri 7 Color LED Light Therapy Acne Mask

Designed to treat acne, reduce wrinkles, remove rashes, and more, this is one of the more comprehensive light therapy masks out there.

  • Power: Standard wall plug-in


$124 from Amazon

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IMAGE: Amazon



BEST LIGHTWEIGHT MASK

Hangsun Light Therapy Acne Treatment LED Mask

It can be reused for over a month before it needs a new charge and reviewers found it to be surprisingly comfortable.

  • Power: USB or portable battery power bank


$33.99 from Amazon

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IMAGE: Amazon



BEST FOR ACNE SCARS

NEWKEY LED Face Light Therapy Mask

A professional-style treatment that targets multiple issues, including those dreaded acne scars.

  • Power: USB charging


$118.89 from Amazon

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IMAGE: Amazon



BEST FOR SEVERE ADULT ACNE

IlluMask

Also targets wrinkles and other aging properties in addition to acne.

  • Power: Requires 4 AA batteries


$23 from Amazon

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IMAGE: Amazon



BEST FOR NECK BREAKOUTS

Project E Beauty LED Photon Therapy Treatment Mask

A cordless design means you won’t be tethered to one spot during your treatments.

  • Power: Wireless, uses 110V-220V to charge


$199.99 from Amazon

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IMAGE: Amazon



BEST FOR CUSTOMIZATION

Dermashine Pro 7 Color LED Face Mask

Since it comes with a wide range of treatment options, you can really get your money’s worth.

  • Power: USB charging


$149.99 from Amazon

Don’t make calls with Siri or Google or you could get scammed

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If you’ve ever used Siri or Google to call a business, you could be in danger of falling victim to a new scam. 

Phone calls made with voice assistants could open people up to scammers, who have found a clever new way to exploit our growing dependence on Siri and Google. That’s according to the Better Business Bureau, which issued a warning about the scheme.

Here’s how it goes down, according to the BBB: you need to call a business, like an airline, but you don’t know what number to call. So you do what many of us do and ask Google or Siri to “call [business name]” for you you. 

But instead of calling your bank or your airline, the assistant calls a scammer impersonating someone from the company, who will try to trick you into sending them money. Read more…

More about Tech, Siri, Google Assistant, Tech, and Consumer Tech

Despite embracing the government, DEF CON maintains its mischievous hacker roots

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Raucous applause filled the the large convention room inside Las Vegas’s Paris casino: the government had arrived.

Seated behind a table at the annual DEF CON conference in Las Vegas was Congressman Ted Lieu, and, joined by Rep. James Langevin of Rhode Island, he had come to ask a large crowd of hackers and security professionals for help. The once famously Fed-averse crowd was loving it

But don’t get it twisted — DEF CON hadn’t gone soft. The mischievous and lawless side of this assemblage of the hacker community was out in full effect – assuming, that is, you knew where to look.  Read more…

Inviting the Man to your party

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He tried to prank the DMV. Then his vanity license plate backfired big time.

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Everyone hates parking tickets. Not everyone, however, is an information security researcher with a mischievous side and a freshly minted vanity license plate reading “NULL.”

That would be Droogie (his handle, if that’s not obvious), a presenter at this year’s DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas and man with a very specific problem: He’s on the receiving end of thousands of dollars worth of tickets that aren’t his. But don’t tell that to the DMV.

It wasn’t, of course, supposed to end up this way. In fact, exactly the opposite. Droogie registered a vanity California license plate consisting solely of the word “NULL” — which in programming is a term for a value of zero — for fun. And, he admitted to laughs, on the off chance it would confuse automatic license plate readers and the DMV’s ticketing system.  Read more…

More about Hackers, Def Con, Dmv, Tech, and Cybersecurity

Teenager finds educational software exposed millions of student records

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Teenager Bill Demirkapi had been ghosted. Hard. “It didn’t feel good,” he explained to the large crowd gathered to hear him speak. “It hurt my feelings.” 

But Demirkapi, despite his status as a recent high-school graduate, wasn’t lamenting the traditional spurned-love problems typical of his cohort. Far from it. Instead, he was speaking at the famous DEF CON hacker conference in Las Vegas, and the ghoster-in-question was educational software maker Blackboard. 

Demirkapi had reported numerous vulnerabilities in Blackboard’s software to the company; after initially being in communication with him, the company stopped responding to his emails. But Demirkapi, who found he could access a host of student data — including family military status, weighted GPAs, and special education status — through vulnerabilities in Blackboard’s system, was undeterred.  Read more…

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Turns out your office printer is a huge cybersecurity risk

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Consider the office printer.

Massive, hulking things — the devices looming in the corner of workplaces around the world have come to represent untold hours of frustration in the form of printer jams and toner problems. According to security researchers set to present their findings this Saturday at the DEF CON hacking convention in Las Vegas, they also happen to be a cybersecurity nightmare. 

Daniel Romero Pérez and Mario Rivas Vivar, researchers at NCC Group, announced the discovery of major vulnerabilities on Thursday in name-brand printers made by the likes of Xerox, HP, Lexmark, Kyocera, Brother, and Ricoh. NCC Group shared some of the researchers’ findings with Mashable ahead of the aforementioned Aug. 10 talk, and they’re enough to elicit serious double take.   Read more…

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Turns out your office printer is a huge cybersecurity risk

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Consider the office printer.

Massive, hulking things — the devices looming in the corner of workplaces around the world have come to represent untold hours of frustration in the form of printer jams and toner problems. According to security researchers set to present their findings this Saturday at the DEF CON hacking convention in Las Vegas, they also happen to be a cybersecurity nightmare. 

Daniel Romero Pérez and Mario Rivas Vivar, researchers at NCC Group, announced the discovery of major vulnerabilities on Thursday in name-brand printers made by the likes of Xerox, HP, Lexmark, Kyocera, Brother, and Ricoh. NCC Group shared some of the researchers’ findings with Mashable ahead of the aforementioned Aug. 10 talk, and they’re enough to elicit serious double take.   Read more…

More about Hackers, Printers, Def Con, Tech, and Cybersecurity

Cloudflare announces termination of 8chan’s service

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Cloudflare has announced that it will terminate its protection of 8chan after the forum site was linked to another mass shooting over the weekend, tying the site’s “lawlessness” directly to “multiple tragic deaths.”

Pressure had mounted on the company to cease its service to 8chan, arguing that it enabled the spread of violent white supremacist rhetoric and the celebration of perpetrators of massacres. Manifestos or open letters by shooters including those responsible for the Christchurch, Poway, and El Paso shootings, all of which occurred in 2019, have been hosted on the mostly-unmoderated forums. Read more…

More about White Supremacy, 8chan, Cloudflare, Tech, and Cybersecurity

100 million Americans’ data accessed in massive Capitol One hack

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Well, this is not good. 

Finance services giant Capital One announced Monday that there had been a major cybersecurity incident directly affecting 100 million Americans and six million Canadians. Specifically, a host of their customers’ private financial data had been accessed by a hacker. 

According to a statement issued by the company, two separates breaches occurred — once on March 22 and another on March 23 — and were discovered on July 19. 

Bloomberg reports that a Seattle woman has been arrested and accused of hacking Capital One’s server at an unnamed cloud-computing company.

Notably, it seems that although the customer data in question was encrypted, the hacker was able to decrypt it.  Read more…

More about Capital One, Data Breach, Tech, and Cybersecurity

Apple’s three 2020 iPhones will all reportedly be 5G-ready

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Get your salt shakers ready; it’s time to talk about future Apple products.

Sagacious Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is expecting three new iPhones in 2020, and he’s saying they’ll all be wired for 5G support. The detail comes from an investor note obtained by MacRumors so it’s not exactly straight from Apple, but Kuo is a highly regarded analyst.

He had previously said back in June that two of the three expected iPhone models would be 5G-ready, so this is really more of an update to that earlier note. There’s a few reasons key reasons for the update.

The first is tied to a bit of fresh Apple news: the iPhone maker only recently acquired Intel’s modem business, which Mashable’s Karissa Bell already identified as a major boost for cellular Apple devices.  Read more…

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Samsung says an improved Galaxy Fold will launch in September

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Samsung’s foldable phone is back on.

An improved version of the Galaxy Fold will be ready to launch in “select markets” beginning in September, Samsung announced. The company said it has made a number of improvements to the design of the foldable phone, including “additional reinforcements.”

Samsung launched the Galaxy Fold with great fanfare in February, promising the foldable phone would usher in a new era of smartphone design. But when the company handed out devices to journalists in April, many early reviewers quickly reported serious issues. Samsung then put the phone on hold, and rumors of design flaws and planned fixes have trickled in since.  Read more…

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Fake Amazon reviews surge around Prime Day

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As products jockey for your attention on Prime Day, some of them will be playing dirty.

Fake reviews on Amazon tend to surge around Prime Day, according to an analysis by the free review integrity analytics service Fakespot. This year’s Prime Day is right around the corner, spanning two days, July 15 and 16.

Fake reviews are always out in force in the world of e-commerce, not just on Amazon. But on Prime Day, when shoppers flock to the retailer, there’s an even larger push by companies seeking to feature their products to deploy fake reviews that boost ratings and visibility. 

“Companies publish fake reviews ahead of Prime Day because it helps move their products up the product ranking page,” a Fakespot representative said. “If anyone is searching for alternatives to Prime Day deals, they will see their products.” Read more…

More about Amazon, Reviews, Prime Day, Prime Day 2019, and Tech

Lyft self-driving cars offer tactile maps, diagrams for blind riders

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Aptiv’s self-driving cars on the Lyft ride-hailing network drove down the Las Vegas strip with blind and low-vision passengers along for the ride. 

For many of the riders, this was their first time in a self-driving vehicle of any sort. After three hours and about 50 demo rides in conjunction with the National Federation of the Blind’s annual convention in Las Vegas, it was also a way to demonstrate how the blind and low-vision community can use robo-taxi services.

Each ride included a paper tactile graphic with braille describing what makes the car autonomous (LiDAR, radar, cameras, and other sensors) and how the self-driving tech works along with a tactile map of the route to the Vegas sign. The paper map and diagram were made with the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired nonprofit organization. Read more…

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Hey drivers, use this to discover how much Uber and Lyft take from you

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Uber and Lyft keep changing how their drivers get paid. Along with all the confusion, some drivers are feeling short-changed. Now a new online tool is available that collects driver receipts and crunches the numbers to find out how much the ride-hailing apps are taking from drivers.

Transportation media outlet Jalopnik is investigating what it believes are unfair pricing structures, with Uber and Lyft taking as much as half of fares in some situations. Starting this week, the site is trying to collect as much driver trip payment data as possible. 

Uber’s average earnings — the amount it takes after driver earnings are deducted from what a rider pays — is 22 percent of a ride, globally. Lyft calls this a “platform fee.” On its website it describes it as “the difference between what the passenger paid and your driver earnings, tips, tolls, and other charges (like airport fees and taxes).” In Lyft’s IPO filing, Lyft revenue from all bookings (including e-scooters and bike rentals) was 26.8 percent. Read more…

More about Uber, Lyft, Ride Hailing Apps, Drivers, and Tech

Samsung sets a date for its big Galaxy Note 10 reveal

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We still aren’t entirely sure what’s going on with the Galaxy Fold, but we now know when Samsung will show off its next big flagship phone.

The company sent out invitations for its next Unpacked event, set for Aug. 7, when Samsung is expected to reveal the Galaxy Note 10. The event will kick off at 4 p.m ET at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and will also be streamed on Samsung’s website.

The invitation itself features a stylus — an obvious reference to the Note’s S Pen —and what appears to be a camera lens. It’s less clear what the camera is supposed to hint at, but leaks and rumors suggest the Note 10 will have no shortage of cameras. Read more…

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Revolut launches new, effortless way to donate to charities

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Revolut is a UK-based financial services company that offers clients a bank account and a pre-paid card, with many of its services free or incurring a lower fee than you’d get from a typical bank. It’s now also offering a new feature that makes it really easy to donate to charities — every time you make a payment. 

The feature, called Donations, lets you round up your Revolut card payments and donate the spare change to a charity of your choice. The service is kicking off with three charities: ILGA-Europe, Save the Children and WWF

More about Donations, Revolut, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

It’s Jony Ive’s world now. We just live in it.

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Sometimes, nice guys finish first — even in the corridors of the world’s wealthiest company. 

Apple’s design guru Sir Jony Ive is departing the company he helped shoot into the stratosphere on the best possible terms. He gets to found his own company, called LoveFrom, and design for other clients; Apple maintains its longstanding link by being first among those clients. The world gets more streamlined Ive designs in its daily life. It’s a rare win-win-win. 

Whatever he builds next, Ive will take over the world in the same behind-the-scenes manner that got him here. How behind-the-scenes? Here’s a telling tale of the first time I interviewed him in 2001, long before he added the “Sir.” His groundbreaking iPod had just hit the market. He was soft-spoken, careful, serious. A lot of what he said was the usual overly evocative design language — even then, his speech was peppered with the oft-parodied Jony Ive-ismsRead more…

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Arnold Schwarzenegger pushes gas guzzlers as undercover car salesperson

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Do it now

That’s sleazy used car salesman Howard Kleiner back in action, this time trying to get would-be electric car buyers hyped about gas-guzzling, fossil fuel-burning cars. 

Except it’s — surprise! — former California governor, body builder, and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger with a fake mustache and wig. He’s just pretending to be a salesman obsessed with muscle cars that burn tons of gas as part of a campaign to get more people informed about electric vehicles. 

“We need to get off fossil fuels as quickly as we can,” the governator said in a phone call this week.

The tongue-in-cheek video is part of EV coalition Veloz’s “Kicking Gas” and Electric For All campaign to bring more electric cars to California and beyond. The organization works with automakers, utilities, government agencies, charging networks, and other transportation groups to raise awareness about electric vehicles. Read more…

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Save $500 on the Alienware curved gaming monitor and get a $150 Visa card

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TL;DR: The immersive Alienware 34-inch curved gaming monitor is on sale for $999.99, saving you $500. Plus, get a $150 Visa prepaid card with your purchase.


If you’re going to make the investments into PC gaming (i.ecomputer, keyboard, mouse, headset, etc.), you want to make sure what you’re spending money on is actually worth it. A monitor is arguably one of the most important pieces of your gaming setup — it’s how you actually see what you’re playing. 

The Alienware 34-inch curved gaming monitor features a display that will cause you to lose yourself in every game. Currently, you can snag the monitor on sale for $500 off, and you’ll receive a $150 Visa prepaid card with your purchase. Read more…

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MacOS Catalina removes Dashboard, Apple’s kinda useful widget feature

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Remember widgets?

Apple has quietly killed off Dashboard, its widget app, in its forthcoming version of macOS Catalina which was announced at its WWDC yesterday.

The discovery comes from Appleosophy, who found no sign of the feature when looking through the operating system, and no option to turn it off or on.

Dashboard was first introduced in 2005 in Tiger, as widgets became something of a hot new thing to have on your computer. 

These widgets had basic functions like telling the weather, a calendar, and a calculator, but you could add on new widgets that could tell you how warm your computer was, or play the radio, for instance. Read more…

More about Tech, Apple, Macos, Dashboard, and Big Tech Companies

Google AR search now pulls animals off the screen and into your room

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Is that a panda in your living room?

Yes, yes it is. Google mobile search for different animals on smartphones now brings up the option to view them as augmented reality images that you can place into your surroundings, whether that’s your backyard, on the couch next to your brother watching TV, or in the middle of the kitchen.

According to 9to5Google, as of this week, searches for lions, tigers, bears, alpine goats, timberwolves, European hedgehogs, angler fish, emperor penguins, and giant pandas bring up a 3D image within search that can then be “transported” into your reality through an AR filter. Searches in Chrome or the Google app bring up a 3D card on the screen.  Read more…

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Huawei reportedly cut off by major chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm

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Huawei is finding itself in even more of a pickle.

Chipmakers Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom have told employees to stop supplying to Huawei until further notice, according to Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

In another Bloomberg report, Huawei is said to have prepared for a ban by stockpiling chips and other essential components which will allow it to keep running for three months.

The company has reportedly been preparing for a potential supply freeze since the middle of 2018, while designing its own chips to go into phones, laptops, and networking products. Read more…

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Elon Musk is annoying the hell out of people who work with self-driving cars

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Elon Musk really went for it this week at Tesla’s Autonomy Day, ripping into widely used self-driving technology like laser sensors and (over)promising to put 1 million self-driving Tesla taxis on the streets next year. These bold claims certainly stirred up some feelings among autonomous vehicle experts and industry leaders.

On Friday, Velodyne president Marta Hall released a long statement — with a lot of ALL CAPS — defending her company’s main product, LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles. While acknowledging Tesla’s good work with electrification and car design, she shredded Musk’s “claims” about deploying Teslas without a driver and without “lame” LiDAR sensors. Tesla only uses cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and a radar unit for its sensor suite. Read more…

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Lyft investors are banking on self-driving cars, not ride-sharing

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Lyft became the first ride-hailing app to go public on Friday, skyrocketing to a $23.4 billion valuation.

But don’t get too excited for drivers. Investments in Uber and Lyft are basically big bets on future products like autonomous vehicles, not the people behind the wheel. 

As we’ve seen, Lyft isn’t profitable. Last year it lost nearly $1 billion. So it’s not Lyft’s cash flow bringing in investors — it’s the company’s growth and the potential of its platform. 

“Wall Street is infamous for caring more about growth than profits,” said Investing.com senior analyst Clement Thibault in an email. “Lyft is likely to get a pass on profitability if it can manage to continue its impressive growth streak.” Read more…

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Reddit waits until it’s too late to ban violence-glorifying subreddits

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Another day, another internet giant belatedly deciding to apply its own policies in the face of a tragedy. 

Following the tragic Christchurch terrorist attack in New Zealand that left 49 people dead and scores more injured, and the subsequent sharing online of a livestream from the killer, Reddit has banned two subreddits that it now says glorified or celebrated violence. 

The first, r/watchpeopledie, was pretty much exactly what it sounds like — a place where people shared and commented on grisly videos of real deaths. The second, r/gore, was less specific in its death requirements but also contained violent video and images.  Read more…

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Instagram seems to be testing direct messaging on web

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There’s no dearth of messaging platforms on the web, but Instagram DMs have likely become a big part of your online life.

A prototype, spotted by software engineer Jane Manchun Wong, shows the platform making moves toward making its direct messaging service, Direct, accessible via your browser.

Given how many of our interactions happen on Instagram these days, it makes sense to make Direct available outside of the app. If it turns out to be a thing, Direct appears to be available for both desktop and mobile. Read more…

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Amazon’s QVC-style shopping channel is a monument to sadness

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Even in these dark online times, there are places on the internet that manage to shine through and offer us some form of digital redemption; places where we yearn to stay and build new forms of community.

Amazon Live is not one of those places. 

The QVC-like streaming media service — soft-launched on Amazon’s mobile apps, in stealth mode on the web, and first discovered by TechCrunch — offers a carousel of teeth-whitened enthusiasts detailing all the ways a featured product will improve their lives. 

But wait, there’s more.  Read more…

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FDA boss threatens ‘game over’ for e-cigs if companies won’t keep kids away

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The head of the Food and Drug Administration has threatened to pull e-cigarettes out of U.S. markets entirely unless e-cig makers take greater measures to curb the youth’s use of their products. 

Speaking at a public hearing Friday, Scott Gottlieb, the FDA Commissioner, said he was “horrified” at the surge in rates of teen vaping, NBC reported. More than 3 million U.S. teens use e-cigarettes, an increase of 78 percent since 2011, according to recent CDC data.

“I still believe e-cigarettes present an opportunity for adult smokers to transition off cigarettes and onto nicotine delivery products that may not have the same level of risks,” Gottlieb wrote in a tweet ahead of the hearing. “However, if the youth use continues to rise, the entire category will face an existential threat.” Read more…

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Facebook to teens: Plz laugh at these old memes

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Facebook, as part of its never-ending quest to win over teens, is now working on a feature just for memes and funny viral content.

The social network is experimenting with something it’s calling “LOL,” according to TechCrunch, which got a look at some early beta versions of the feature. 

While Facebook could eventually decide to make LOL into its own app, it’s for now part of the main Facebook app, as the company tests out the new experience, which TechCrunch describes as “a special feed of funny videos and GIF-like clips.”

“We are running a small scale test and the concept is in the early stages right now,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to Mashable.. Read more…

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Microsoft is dropping a lot of money to help improve affordable housing in Seattle

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Where the tech sector has boomed, affordable housing has suffered.

Now, Microsoft is following other tech giants in wanting to be part of the solution, announcing a $500 million fund targeting homelessness and affordable housing in Seattle on Wednesday.

It’s the biggest pledge in the company’s history, and one of the largest by a private corporation towards housing, according to the Seattle Times. 

Seattle, much like Northern California, is facing a lack of affordable housing, as the rapid growth of tech has led to people being priced out of the housing market. Read more…

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‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ doesn’t work on Apple TV and users are furious

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It may be a groundbreaking high-tech piece of TV entertainment, but the interactive Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch is off limits if you happen to be using the highest-rated high-tech TV setup.

That would be the Apple TV, the 4K model of which we recently rated not only the most essential set-top box but also the most ahead-of-the-pack product Apple currently makes. (Many users agreed.) 

Bandersnatch is also unavailable on Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire Stick. Try to watch it on these platforms and what you’ll get instead of the two-plus hour storyline is a 2-minute supercut of Black Mirror characters from other episodes saying “sorry.” And if you thought you could stream it from other devices to these set-top boxes: Sorry, that won’t work either.  Read more…

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Elon Musk’s underground tunnel has potential, but leaves a lot to be desired

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At first, the alley looked like many others: cinder block walls, neglected asphalt, and chain link fences that back up on beige single family bungalows.

There was one big difference, though. At the end of this unnamed alley between 122nd and 120th streets in Hawthorne, California is a subterranean elevator that can transport a small SUV underground. Oh, and that car-sized elevator? It’s owned by Elon Musk. The guy helming Tesla and SpaceX. And the Boring Company.

On Tuesday, Musk held a proof of concept launch event for his 1.4-mile long test tunnel at SpaceX headquarters, which is just outside Los Angeles. Musk said he chose the location for his first tunnel so that he would be able to watch progress from the window at his desk.  Read more…

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Postmates reveals its cute, automated delivery robot

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Meet Serve.

Serve is Postmates’ new automated delivery robot, developed to help make the company’s on-demand deliveries more efficient.

It’ll ride along sidewalks and can carry up to 50 lbs, traveling 25 miles on a single charge. There’s dynamic lighting in the eyes and a light ring up top to indicate movement, while customers can interact with Serve using a touchscreen and cameras mounted on top of the robot. 

Serve will launch first in the Los Angeles area, and will gradually rollout to the other U.S. cities its over the next 12 months.  Read more…

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Taylor Swift used facial recognition at a concert to detect stalkers

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While facial recognition is increasingly being used by authorities to keep track of wrongdoers, entertainers have employed the tech as well – to keep track of stalkers.

As per Rolling Stone, at Taylor Swift’s Rose Bowl concert in May, a kiosk was set up where it was playing clips of the pop star’s rehearsal.

Little did concertgoers know was that a camera was hiding behind the kiosk’s screen, where a facial recognition camera was snapping photos and transferring them to a Nashville-based “command post.”

The images were then checked with a database of the singer’s known list of stalkers, which numbers in the hundreds. Read more…

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SantaCon is back to make you regret moving to the city

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. 

That’s right, cities around the globe are celebrating that most modern of holidays on Saturday: SantaCon. The annual gathering of revelers dressed as Santa Claus may have originated in San Francisco as a radical act of anti-consumerist mischief, but it has since morphed into a worldwide day of debauchery and excess that feels just about right for our sinking-ship hellscape of a reality. 

Thankfully for us, it’s a well-documented hellscape. So let’s take a peek, shall we? 

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Apple’s subscription TV service might be coming sooner than you think

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Apple’s competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is apparently just around the corner.

According to a report by The Information, Apple is set to launch a subscription TV service in the U.S. within the first half of next year.

In the months following the U.S. launch, the service will become available in more than 100 countries around the world, matching the availability of the aforementioned streaming giants.

The service will feature original Apple series, of which the tech giant has been slowly building on, and allow users to subscribe to TV network subscriptions as one can already do through Amazon Channels or Roku.  Read more…

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