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Communication and Technology news
How a French 16-year-old taught the world to build VR headsets for $100

Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus and the inventor of arguably the most successful commercial virtual reality headset, was only 17 when he completed his first prototype for the device. Fast-forward to the present day, and Luckey is now worth roughly $750 million at the age of 25, having sold his company to...

2018-02-21
Baking mischief and delight into your products will make people love them

One boozy night in 2010, two developers and an illustrator were sitting in a bar discussing how utterly annoying they found the game FarmVille. As you probably remember, FarmVille was that horribly addictive social network game that let you grow crops and raise livestock, polluting your Facebook newsfeed with endless...

2018-02-21
Tesla’s cloud system was hacked to mine cryptocurrency

The electric vehicle maker’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud account was hacked and installed with Stratum, a cryptocurrency mining software, reports CNBC. The so-called cryptojacking was allowed to happen because no password was set for Tesla’s Kubernetes admin console, leaving its AWS account exposed....

2018-02-21
Google’s Reply app is shaping up to be the messaging assistant of my dreams

Last week, we heard that Google was working on Reply, an AI-powered app that lets you reply to texts from various messaging apps by tapping on contextually meaningful replies right in your notifications. I just sideloaded a beta version of it earlier today, and it already looks pretty promising as an assistant that...

2018-02-21
A $42 million ‘10,000 year clock’ is being installed on Jeff Bezos’ property

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos took to Twitter to announce that construction of the 10,000 year clock has begun on his property in Texas, with a view to encourage thinking about humanity in the long term. Conceived back in 1986 by American computer scientist Daniel Hills, the clock’s mechanism is designed to advance far...

2018-02-21
The Essential Mockup Templates Bundle – Just $29

Mockup templates are one of the best and most memorable ways to showcase your creative work. They help you present your work in an eye-catching and beautiful way making sure your work always stands out from the crowd. Mockup templates are the perfect way to achieve maximum impact without having to spend hours of time...

2018-02-21
Can Making Fake News Train People To Spot It In Real Life?

“Bad News” is a game that puts you in the position of creating misleading headlines and fake tweets. After people play it, they are more skeptical about the sources of their news. To win a new game, you earn badges for trolling, impersonation, and spreading conspiracy theories through a fake news site,...

2018-02-20
Can Making This Fake News Game Train People To Spot It In Real Life?

Bad News puts you in the position of creating misleading headlines and fake tweets. After people play it, they are more skeptical about the sources of their news. To win a new game, you earn badges for trolling, impersonation, and spreading conspiracy theories through a fake news site, Twitter bots, and Photoshop....

2018-02-20
LinkedIn profiles unearthed diversity rankings for 100 tech companies

Countless tech companies have pledged their commitment to diversity in recent years, but it’s largely only giants like Facebook and Google that have caved to pressure and published diversity reports. In the pursuit of transparency, a new initiative called Dear Tech People dug through tens of...

2018-02-20
Snapchat copies Instagram for once, adds gif stickers

Snapchat today announced it was bringing a few new features to its app, including gif stickers courtesy of GIPHY. Because social media is a tawdry pile of copied homework, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Snapchat is finally doing unto others what has been done unto it — Instagram just introduced this exact...

2018-02-20
Kids who dab on Snapchat aren't actually helping cure cancer

"Dab if you hate cancer" is the latest ~trend~ making it's way around Snapchat, but the Bitmoji-loving kids sharing these chain snaps aren't actually making a charitable impact. Participating in Snapchat's "screenshot and dab" trend is simple. Users screenshot an image, add their own dabbing Bitmoji, and forward it...

2018-02-20
Are you sick? Google’s new AI may be able to tell just by looking at you

Google is keen on the whole “Don’t Be Evil” thing, so it is using its new high-powered artificial intelligence for good. Researchers at the company have developed an AI that can hopefully predict the likelihood that a patient will suffer a heart attack or stroke simply by staring into the...

2018-02-20
Google is tempting Italian university students with cryptocurrency lectures

Google has cooked up an interesting new strategy to lure talent in to its university recruitment events: talking to students about cryptocurrency and blockchain. The search engine titan will be hosting a talk on the “Fundamentals and Some Recent Innovations in Crypto-Currencies” at the Polytechnic University of...

2018-02-20
Sony and Uber are going to fight it out in Japan

On Tuesday Sony announced it is partnering with several Japanese taxi firms to start a ride-hailing service in the country, reports CNBC. Sony will be using its AI expertise to help with the logistics of allocating its partners’ 10,000 vehicles across Tokyo. Shortly after the announcement, Uber CEO Dara...

2018-02-20
KFCs in the U.K. are closed due to a chicken shortage

The American fast-food chain had to shut most of its shops across the pond due to the shortage, reports Bloomberg. The company blames “teething problems” with DHL, its new delivery partner, for the shortage. In a statement, KFC said, “We know that this might have inconvenienced some of you over...

2018-02-20
Amazon is giving Prime members 5% back on Whole Foods purchases

But you need to make those purchases with its Visa rewards card, reports CNBC. The move is yet another benefit to being a Prime member and also aims to help undercut the “Whole Paycheck” view of the grocery chain. In order to get 5% back on Whole Foods purchases, a Prime member will need to …...

2018-02-20
Google’s AI can now predict heart disease just by scanning your eyes

As if Google doesn’t already have its fingers in enough pies, the company is now taking aim at cardiovascular disease with the help of machine learning. In a paper published in Nature’s Biomedical Engineering journal (PDF), the search giant’s health subsidiary Verily detailed a method to predict risks of heart...

2018-02-20
Google’s Tez app for India now pays your utility bills with one tap

Google has updated its Tez payments app for users in India with the ability to pull up your bills from a number of local service providers and settle them with just a tap. The company announced that the new functionality was in the works back in December 2017, when it announced that Tez was set to cross 12 million...

2018-02-20
Zuckerberg says he wants us to spend less time on Facebook. Maybe he means it

During an earnings call in late January, Mark Zuckerberg surprised everyone by saying people spending less time on Facebook is a good thing. Moreover, time spent on Facebook will likely continue to decrease as the company implements further changes to the platform over the next year. It was a startling remark by the...

2018-02-19
TNW’s Big Spam: 88.9% of you love GIFs that make your eyes bleed

Happy Monday. Per your request, we brought back the seizure-inducing GIF to our newsletter… freaks. Top trending tech news: 🏠 AirBnB is investing in new tech to crack down on sex-trafficking (Thomson Reuters Foundation)⚖️ A federal court ruled embedding a tweet can be copyright...

2018-02-19
Chris Hughes Got Lucky With Facebook, Now He Wants Everyone To Have A Shot

Hughes made hundreds of millions from Facebook. In his new book, “Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn,” he advocates for a form of basic income to pull Americans out of poverty. When Facebook had its IPO in 2012 and raised $104 billion, Chris Hughes walked away with $500 million. As...

2018-02-19
Facebook plans to thwart election ad fraud with postcards

In an effort to prevent foreign actors from surreptitiously manipulating audiences with ads concerning US elections, Facebook will send postcards in the mail to verify advertisers’ presence in the country, reports Reuters. Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global director of policy programs, said that the plan will go...

2018-02-19
How to bring Google’s ‘View Image’ button back to search results

After inking a deal with Getty Images, Google decided last week to remove the ‘View image’ button from its search results that would directly open the file in a new tab. Thankfully, there’s a way around this. Simply install this browser extension in Chrome or Opera, and you’ll see the button back where was...

2018-02-19
What will smart speakers be like in 2023?

The past year has been great for the smart speaker industry. Smart speakers, the voice-activated, home-based devices that allow you to make searches, play music, and even purchase items, skyrocketed in popularity in 2017, with sales more than tripling. Brands like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos One have become...

2018-02-18
Why indie ecommerce will keep getting sucked up by the likes of Walmart and IKEA

In the early 1980’s, a Danish drummer placed an ad in a California newspaper looking for jam buddies and face-melting thrash metal was born. Over the course of the decade, Metallica built a genre and the world’s most passionate fan base with raw, gritty rock n’ roll. But suddenly the band’s sound changed. It...

2018-02-17
Facebook is desperate for engagement and spamming users via their 2FA numbers

Facebook is feeling lonely these days.  The social media behemoth has seen a decline in traffic in recent weeks along with millions of users leaving its platform, and it appears to be taking rather drastic measures to win them back. Specifically, spamming the hell out of them in a most unfortunate...

2018-02-17
Labor Review Board lawyer says fired Googler James Damore has no case

Google did not violate the law when it fired engineer James Damore for circulating a controversial memo inside the company, according to the National Labor Review Board’s general counsel Jayme L Sophir. Last year, Damore shared a document which questioned Google’s effort to create a diverse culture while...

2018-02-16
Google and 911 are teaming up to pinpoint your location more accurately

Google recently tested new tech to help 911 dispatchers find callers more quickly and more accurately. 80 percent of the calls made with Google’s tech were more accurate than calls made via cell phone carriers. Retrieving data from the phone itself (rather than the carrier) allows Google to get a read on location....

2018-02-16
This is how regulation affects Airbnb in San Francisco, report says

A wave of regulations have forced home-sharing sites to eject certain types of rentals across all platforms. Now a new report from the San Francisco Chronicle shows that when San Francisco cracked down on short-term rentals, FlipKey and Expedia-owned HomeAway took the biggest hits. Using data from HostingCompliance,...

2018-02-16
Google Images just made downloading photos more annoying

Google Images is pretty much the default way of finding photos around the internet, but the company just made a small but signficant change to how you access images. Google removed the ‘View Image’ button that allowed you to easily see a photo at its full size. Basically, it means you now need to click through to...

2018-02-16
Google makes 911 faster, more reliable in new Android update

Google recently tested new tech to help 911 dispatchers find callers more quickly and more accurately. 80 percent of the calls made with Google’s tech were more accurate than calls made via cell phone carriers. Retrieving data from the phone itself (rather than the carrier) allows Google to get a read on location....

2018-02-16
This Old House Is Being Remade Into A Springboard For Minority Women In Tech

In a rapidly gentrifying, historically black Boston neighborhood, two designers purchased an old Victorian and will establish it as [G]Code House–a co-living, co-working space for young women of color. Last summer, Carolle Nau, a designer and creative director at the tech and business incubator SkyLab Boston,...

2018-02-16
People Are Posting Fake Stories Of Racially-Driven Attacks At “Black Panther” Screenings

Internet trolls are in full effect, but there’s just that pesky little problem of Google Reverse Image Search–and having common sense. Because we just can’t have nice things, there’s a gaggle of trolls claiming false attacks at Black Panther screenings.Read Full Story

2018-02-16
Grab could be the next ride-hail competitor to buy a piece of Uber

Rumor has it that Uber is gearing up to sell its Southeast Asia business to regional competitor Grab, according to CNBC. As a part of the purported deal, Uber would get a stake in Grab. At the Dealbook conference in November 2017, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi noted that he thought the company was “over...

2018-02-16
Austin is the first city in Texas to make paid sick leave mandatory

If you’ve ever been a waitress or worked in a video store or made lattes at a coffeeshop, you know that sick days—at least paid ones—are a luxury. The city of Austin has just made a bold move to change that. On Friday, the Austin City Council voted 9-2 to make paid sick leave a … Continue...

2018-02-16
Facebook just took down two Instagram posts linked to Vladimir Putin’s main rival

Facebook-owned Instagram has complied with the Kremlin’s request to take down a post that was angering the Russian government. The post was related to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s allegations of bribery involving a Putin-friendly oligarch and a top government official. Navalny, Vladimir...

2018-02-16
Walmart is looking to buy a huge stake in India’s Flipkart

The U.S. retail giant is in talks to buy more than 40% of Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, reports Reuters. Flipkart is currently valued around $12 billion, so the proposed take could cost Walmart north of $5 billion. If the deal finalizes, it would give both Flipkart and Walmart some much-needed muscle against Amazon...

2018-02-16
Apple says all new iOS apps must accommodate the iPhone X’s notch

If you’re building a new iOS app this year, you’ll have to ensure that it fully supports the iPhone X’s Super Retina Display – which means that it’ll have to accommodate the notch, reports 9to5Mac. The rule comes into effect from April 2018 and concerns apps submitted from then onwards; Apple will also...

2018-02-16
Gmail Go is almost identical to the original Android app, but half the size

Google’s Gmail Go is now available in the Play store for Android devices, bringing most of the functionality of the original app, while shaving off half the file size. It’s part of the company’s Go suite of apps, which are designed to work well on low-end phones with low memory and storage. That, in turn, is...

2018-02-16
Russia’s election propaganda weaponized these mainstream news outlets

Breitbart News tops a list of otherwise “mainstream” news sites most linked to by troll accounts managed by Russian propagandists during the 2016 U.S. election, according to research just released by Jonathan Albright, research director at Columbia Journalism School’s Tow Center for Digital...

2018-02-16
When school shootings are broadcast on Snapchat, the effects reverberate

On Wednesday afternoon, some of the terrified teenagers of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, used social media to bear witness to the recurring tragedy of our time: a mass shooting. These children, who've grown up with smartphones at the ready, did what comes naturally to them and shared...

2018-02-15
Twitter tested its local news stream during the Florida school shooting

Twitter tested a new livestreaming service which allows users to watch local news coverage of events live — by broadcasting during a terrifying school shooting. During the crisis in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student shot and killed 17 people, Twitter showed users a livestream of news...

2018-02-15
Ad-industry vigilantes are turning a whistleblowing Instagram account into a nonprofit

The ad industry, like most others, is having a #MeToo reckoning. Most of the activity is happening by way of discreet firings, but a vigilante group has emerged to let everyone know exactly who is being pushed out for bad behavior. Diet Madison Avenue is an Instagram account run by a collective of 17 anonymous...

2018-02-15
Facebook partners with business and nonprofits to offer help in crisis

Facebook today announced it would allow certain businesses to post to Community Help, where they may offer aid during a crisis. Hopefully this will make it easier for people to get efficient, organized help. At present, the company is partnering with Direct Relief, Feeding America, Lyft, Chase, the International...

2018-02-15
“It cannot look like a costume”: Ruth Carter On Dressing The “Black Panther” Cast

The Oscar-nominated costume designer explains her mission on Marvel’s latest blockbuster–namely, to make costumes that don’t look like costumes. When Ruth Carter got a call from her agent about meeting with the team at Marvel Studios to discuss a film called Black Panther, she knew this...

2018-02-15
Facebook is making it easier for organizations to help out during a crisis

Facebook’s Community Help page lets people post updates and other important information during crises and at times of need. Up until now, only individual accounts were able to interact with this section. The intent is to make it a hub for communities to come together during hard times. Now Facebook is opening...

2018-02-15
Big brands are now using blockchain to fight ad fraud and fake views

Remember when advertising was simple? That all changed when the industry became a digital one. Now that more and more ads are shown on mobile devices, advertisers cannot be sure if every impression they pay for is shown to the right audience. Moreover, the procedure of real-time bidding and publishing has become more...

2018-02-15
Here’s a digital marketing playbook — and it’s yours for under $10

It’s almost malpractice at this point not to have a well-constructed, finely-tuned social media marketing plan for any business or cause. Thankfully, you’ll have the background to put that plan into motion with the Complete Digital Marketing Course, available right now for just $19 (over 90 percent off) from TNW...

2018-02-15

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