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Communication and Technology news
Google releases voice guidance in Maps for visually impaired people

Whenever you travel someplace new, chances are Google Maps got you there. The action of turning right down a street or crossing a road is something most people take for granted. But this same trip for a blind or visually impaired person could be a completely different journey, and even a dangerous one — this is why...

2019-10-11
Apple’s ideals face a very public test in Hong Kong app controversy

Tim Cook has come under fire in the Twittersphere for removing an app that supporters said helped people in Hong Kong avoid danger. Apple is a profit-making company. It’s also progressive, idealistic, and outspoken. Rarely have those two identities come into conflict as they are now over the banning of a social...

2019-10-10
Google banned a game about the Hong Kong protests

Tech companies’ involvement with the Hong Kong protests just keeps getting more and more tangled. Now Google has banned a game about the protests, joining Apple and Blizzard in allegedly suppressing anything that might offend the Chinese government. The game is called The Revolution of Our Times and it apparently...

2019-10-10
Big companies are willing to give Facebook’s Workplace a shot

Here’s one good piece of news for the embattled social networking giant: Paid usage of its business collaboration service is up by 50% since February. On Tuesday, Facebook held a conference called Flow at a hotel near its Menlo Park, California, headquarters. The event celebrated the company’s Workplace...

2019-10-10
Why Facebook’s AI guru isn’t scared of killer robots

“But until we have a hint of a beginning of a design, with some visible path towards autonomous AI systems with non-trivial intelligence, we are arguing about the sex of angels.” Yann LeCun. There’s yet another online debate raging between world-renowned AI experts. This time it’s the big one: will AI rise up...

2019-10-10
Steam will soon allow you to play couch co-op games with people online

Steam is finding a way to take local multiplayer online, apparently recognizing that sometimes couch co-op isn’t an option. This new option will allow users to play any kind of multiplayer game without the other person needing to be in the same room. Valve revealed the feature, called Remote Play Together on the...

2019-10-10
Yes, social media is making you miserable

Social media is making us digitally connected, but it’s also preventing us from making connections that truly matter to our happiness, argues this sociologist. You’ve built your following on LinkedIn, you have more friends than the average person on Facebook, and you’re known for never breaking a...

2019-10-10
These three things are preventing your employees from collaborating

(Hint: it might have something to do with the tools that you’re using.) I’m a member of the Office of the CTO at Google, where I work with companies to make sure the technology they have in place meets their employees’ needs. And here’s the most common question I hear from business leaders:...

2019-10-10
Stop giving companies your phone number. Do this instead

Facebook and Twitter admit that marketers accessed the phone numbers people gave them for security verification. Here’s how to protect yourself without handing over your digits. First Facebook, and now Twitter. On Tuesday, Twitter admitted that it allowed marketers to access the phone numbers that users had...

2019-10-10
The button that could fix one of Facebook’s biggest problems

New research offers a simple solution to help people parse fact from fiction. “Trump Sees New Polls and Orders Ukraine to Investigate Elizabeth Warren.” “Obama to Produce Netflix Series About Trump’s Impeachment.” Like everything “comedian” Andy Borowitz writes for The...

2019-10-10
How researchers are making memes more accessible for visually impaired people

Social media, a tool once used to keep in touch with friends and family to share daily updates of your life, has seemingly evolved into an archive holding millions of memes. Whenever you scroll through Twitter or Facebook, you’re faced with a wall of meme after meme — be that the “Distracted boyfriend meme” or...

2019-10-10
Data analysis: Where you should focus your link-building efforts

Earning top-tier media coverage for your brand can be a thrill. You’re dramatically boosting your brand’s awareness, and the links themselves can provide substantial improvements to your organic rankings, as well. As an added benefit, when a very popular, authoritative site covers your content, other sites often...

2019-10-10
Google is rolling out dark mode for Gmail and Maps

Google has begun rolling out dark mode for two of its most used apps, Gmail and Maps, for iOS and Android. But… not everyone will get a taste of it. In a tweet, a spokesperson confirmed the company is “rolling out dark mode for Gmail in the latest update.” The spokesperson added that users with Android 10 and...

2019-10-10
Issa Rae has a new gig: the voice of Google Assistant

Is it us, or is there an arms race brewing for celebrity home assistants? There seems to be an arms race brewing among tech companies for celebrities to lend their voices to home assistants—and so far Google is winning with its latest addition: writer and producer Issa Rae.Read Full Story

2019-10-10
How making small changes to your environment can produce a big boost in your creativity

In this episode of Fast Company’s podcast ‘Creative Conversation,’ we explore why your surroundings play such a crucial role in your creative process. Listen to the latest episode of Fast Company’s podcast Creative Conversation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic, GooglePlay,...

2019-10-10
Alleged $5M cryptocurrency fraud made this guy one of AWS’ biggest clients

A Singaporean man faces over 30 years in prison for masquerading as a Californian games developer to illicitly obtain cloud computing power to mine cryptocurrency, an FBI investigation has revealed. US authorities indicted Matthew Ho, 29, with 14 counts related to his long-running scam, which allegedly involved...

2019-10-10
Instagram may finally add DMs to desktop with Messenger-like interface

People don’t really use Instagram on their PCs. The platform is clearly aimed at mobile users, with a relatively sparse desktop UI and small images given the large amount of desktop real estate. Worse, Instagram tends to add new features to the web version months after it hits the mobile app. Heck, you still...

2019-10-10
Andy Rubin should stop designing smartphones

Rubin is spending his talent and his reputation on a technology that’s no longer crying out for innovation. He should move on. On Twitter yesterday, Android cofounder Andy Rubin began hyping a new smartphone his company Essential is working on. It’s a long, thin device with a long, thin user...

2019-10-09
Did you know Facebook owns Instagram? Most Americans don’t

Twitter’s CEO is safe to go incognito. A new survey may explain why people who loudly delete Facebook often stay on Instagram and WhatsApp.Read Full Story

2019-10-09
Google will reportedly reveal a 5G Pixel 4 next week

Just when we thought there was nothing left to leak about the Pixel 4, more news shows up on our doorstep. The latest comes from Nikkei, in a report that claims Google “has begun test production of a 5G smartphone that it may unveil as soon as next week.” According to the report, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are...

2019-10-09
Chrome’s new AI feature solves one of the web’s eternal problems

To help blind and low-vision users, Google is using machine learning to generate descriptions for millions of images. The internet—and social media in particular—is dominated by images. But not everyone can see them.Read Full Story

2019-10-09
Most people don’t understand privacy, and that’s a huge opportunity for design

New research highlights just how clueless we are when it comes to digital privacy. It’s time for companies to step up and fill in the gaps. Nobody reads privacy policies before joining a platform like Facebook or Google. They constitute thousands of words of legalese, a construction that literally requires a...

2019-10-09
This is the world’s most beautiful air conditioner

And it requires zero electricity to operate, thanks to the passive cooling techniques utilized by its designer, Maxime Louis-Courcier. While environmental awareness is undoubtedly a macro necessity, taking steps to shrink our own carbon footprints on a smaller scale is crucial too. Incorporating eco-friendly...

2019-10-09
Here’s how you make your Google Docs secure

Google Docs is one of the few online applications that I’m deeply dependent on for my everyday work. Like millions of other people, I use it to write, edit, collaborate, and to archive my documents. There’s no arguing on the convenience that Google Docs provides, whether you’re a professional writer, an account...

2019-10-09
Central bank says Libra must operate like a bank if it’s to launch in UK

The Bank of England‘s (BoE) Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has laid down a set of rules that Facebook‘s Libra and other cryptocurrencies must follow if they are to be launched in Britain. While some question if Facebook’s ‘cryptocurrency’ Libra will ever launch, the BoE‘s FPC did recognize its potential...

2019-10-09
Is designing for Instagram hurting design?

Are we creating beautiful, functional spaces—or merely social-media-friendly content? When we begin a design project at O+A, I tell my designers not to start with a Pinterest page. Then they each scurry away and start one privately anyway. There is no question that Pinterest is a useful tool. It’s great...

2019-10-09
Vodafone repledges Libra support, but wants it independent of Facebook

Vodafone wants Libra to appoint an independent chief executive so that it becomes fully separate from Facebook. The telecoms giant, which yesterday reiterated its support for the struggling ‘cryptocurrency’ project, stated that independent leadership was crucial to guarantee Libra’s success. “It needs a chief...

2019-10-09
Google’s free coding tool for beginners lands on desktop

Google is officially bringing its free coding tool called Grasshopper to desktop web. Originally launched as an Android and iOS app in April 2018 under its Area 120 incubator initiative, it offers an easy for beginners to get their way around the nuts and bolts of computer programming. Since then, more than two...

2019-10-09
Instagram turns ‘Throwback Thursday’ into a Stories feature

Instagram stories are incredibly popular with more than 500 million people using the feature every day. So there’s no surprise the company tries to keep the experience fresh with new features. Today, the photo-sharing platform rolled out a new ‘create’ mode that has a bunch of options including a throwback...

2019-10-09
Google exploited homeless black people to develop the Pixel 4’s facial recognition AI

The US city of Atlanta, Georgia alleged last week that contractors working on behalf of Google used confusing, aggressive tactics to exploit black people in order to obtain their likeness for facial recognition AI research. Now Google‘s responded, saying the contractors were conducting work related to the Pixel...

2019-10-08
Twitter admits it used info shared for security to target ads

If you provided an email address or phone number to Twitter for two-factor authentication, Twitter may . Twitter said on Tuesday that it inadvertently helped advertisers target ads using personal data users provided for account security.Read Full Story

2019-10-08
Twitter says it used your 2FA info to advertise by accident

Twitter today revealed it may have misappropriated its users private info by giving it to advertisers. The information in question? Your email address or phone number — whichever you used for two-factor authentication or security purposes. The error apparently stemmed from Twitter’s Tailored Audiences advertising...

2019-10-08
NBA stands to lose billions as China lashes out over tweet supporting Hong Kong

The NBA boasts some 600 million fans in China and rakes in billions of dollars from lucrative TV and merchandising contracts with the PRC. But that could all change because of a single tweet. Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, took to Twitter last week in support of the people of Hong Kong. While...

2019-10-08
9 things I learned from viewing Trump’s newest Facebook ads

The ads can teach a lot about how Trump and the GOP intend to fire up the base, own the libs, and attack Democrats in 2020. You can learn a lot about the current state of the Trump campaign by reviewing the ads it’s currently running on Facebook. The ads are easily searchable in the Facebook ad archive. Taken...

2019-10-08
What on earth is Kim Kardashian West doing at a tech conference in Armenia?

You might know Kim Kardashian West from her Instagram profile, which counts 148 million followers – higher than Beyoncé. Or her incredibly long-running reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which is now in its 17th season. Or her lines of beauty, fragrance, and shapewear products. Or her 2002 sextape,...

2019-10-08
Here’s how to enable dark mode on Instagram

The much-longed for feature is finally here. One of the most frequently requested features of Instagram over the years has been dark mode–and now, it’s finally here. Instagram quietly rolled out the feature on both iOS and Android last night.Read Full Story

2019-10-08
Satoshi Nakaboto: ‘Bitcoin volume hits all-time high in Hong Kong’

Our robot colleague Satoshi Nakaboto writes about Bitcoin every fucking day. Welcome to another edition of Bitcoin Today, where I, Satoshi Nakaboto, tell you what’s been going on with Bitcoin in the past 24 hours. As Baudriallard used to say: Let’s get this bread! Bitcoin Price We closed the day, October 7 2019,...

2019-10-08
Google wants Android phone makers to use the same USB-C standard for fast charging

Fast charging is quite an important feature in Android devices. Phone makers are constantly trying to outdo each other with charging methods that can juice up your phones faster. While these techniques introduce faster charging, it might also mean you’ll have to stick to that particular phone maker’s proprietary...

2019-10-08
This kit of parts is designed to build cheaper, faster affordable housing on small urban lots

Plant Prefab’s Nest LivingHome toolkit includes multiple options for designs that can be built on unused lots throughout a city. Affordable housing is often incredibly expensive to build. (In 2018, the average cost of a single unit in an affordable apartment building in San Francisco was $750,000). The new Nest...

2019-10-08
Instagram is ditching the ‘Follow’ tab, giving users a little more privacy

Sorry, stalkers. Your favorite IG tool is going away. For years Instagram has shown users two different feeds when they tab on the heart icon found at the bottom of the app. This heart icon takes the user to the Activity feed, which shows the user all of their own activity, including likes and comments, under the...

2019-10-08
Instagram now supports dark mode on iOS 13 — here’s how to enable it

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. Instagram has joined the dark side. Well, not really, sort of. The Facebook-owned social media platform has updated its app for iOS 13 with support for dark mode. The setting is an...

2019-10-08
Instagram’s new feature can help spot phishing scams — here’s how

Instagram is rolling out a new security feature that makes it easy to spot phishing mails that make it seem like they come from the social network. The feature — dubbed “Emails from Instagram” — is accessible via the app settings, and allows you to check all the legitimate emails Instagram has sent over the...

2019-10-08
OnePlus CEO teases 7T Pro McLaren Edition on the way

OnePlus may have announced the 7T just a couple of weeks ago, but that isn’t stopping the company from teasing further products. Today OnePlus CEO Pete Lau tweeted an image of a box with a carbon fiber pattern and orange stripe. That pretty much says it all: the company has another McLaren Edition device on the way....

2019-10-08
Instagram cuts the Following tab so we can like and comment in peace

Instagram’s killing the “Following” tab in its app, meaning you’ll no longer be able to track the every online move of the people you follow. It’s almost as though Instagram recognized the feature was only used by people to creep on each other. Buzzfeed today reported the company was killing off the feature,...

2019-10-07
NYU professor says Tesla will fail, Elon Musk makes fart noises

Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern school of business, just announced a list of companies he’s convinced are about to experience a severe downturn. Among them: We Work, Lyft, Robinhood, OYO, and Tesla. Overvalued unicorns:— Pinterest— Snap— Twitter— Peloton— Slack— DoorDash—...

2019-10-07
You can soon bet on Facebook’s ‘cryptocurrency’ Libra missing its launch date

I shouldn’t have to tell you that Facebook‘s upcoming ‘cryptocurrency‘ Libra isn’t having a great time. With every passing day, and every new headline, it seems less likely that Libra will ever launch, let alone on time. Well, if you’re skeptical and think Libra is going to be delayed, you can take a shot...

2019-10-07
Worried about the next recession? Here’s how to prepare your design business

Designers who worked through the last crash share their advice on being ready for another downturn. For starters? Try something new. This story originally appeared on AIGA’s Eye On Design.Read Full Story

2019-10-07
Use this simple psychological trick if productivity culture has made it impossible for you to relax

If you have been so infected with the need to always be accomplishing something that you can’t just relax, a quick solution is making up a “functional alibi”: Tell yourself that relaxing will make you better at work. Vacation season is wrapping up, but this year’s most coveted holiday may...

2019-10-07

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