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Communication and Technology news
Facebook tests hiding Like counts, just like Instagram

Facebook has gone ahead and done it. The company begun hiding the number of likes that posts have received, starting today in Australia. You will see “John Doe and others” instead of “John Doe and 15 others” under your post. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong uncovered this test from a beta version of the social...

2019-09-27
Microsoft now lets you control your Xbox with the Google Assistant

Microsoft today revealed it’s collaborating with Google to bring the Xbox Action to the Assistant — meaning you’ll soon be able to control your console by saying “Hey Google.” With this update, you can command Google to turn your Xbox on and off, boot up apps, resume paused games, or take screenshots — all...

2019-09-26
Here are the 5 designers and artists who just won MacArthur Genius Grants

From Walter Hood’s landscape art to Mel Chin’s climate change warnings, this year’s fellows wield art as a tool for change. 2019’s MacArthur Fellows have been announced, and all 26 awardees are, unsurprisingly, gifted innovators in their respective fields. This year, the prestigious annual...

2019-09-26
Facebook needs to delay Libra’s launch — if it really wants to work with regulators

Facebook, the American tech behemoth known for its “move fast and break things” motto, the mishandling of customer data, and interference in democracy, may not launch its ‘cryptocurrency’ Libra in time after all. “In the last few years, there are a lot of important social issues that Facebook and the other...

2019-09-26
Google’s new tools aim to give advertisers real-time feedback on their ads

The new tools added to its Create with Google platform is all about testing, testing, testing. Today Google is rolling out a new suite of tools called Create with Google, so that agencies, brands, and creatives can make better—and better-performing—ads that will work on Google and YouTube....

2019-09-26
This is why you feel so uncertain about your creativity—and how you can fix it

In this episode of Fast Company’s podcast Creative Conversation, we’re tackling creative uncertainty and debunking the myth around the “creative genius.” Listen to the latest episode of Fast Company’s podcast Creative Conversation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic,...

2019-09-26
Study: Weaponized misinformation from political parties is now a global problem

Social media, a tool created to guard freedom of speech and democracy, has increasingly been used in more sinister ways. From its role in amplifying political disinformation in elections, to inciting online violence, and lowering the levels of trust in media — Facebook isn’t just a space to share “what’s on...

2019-09-26
Facebook scores big, gets rights to air highlights from major cricket tournaments

The International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body for the sport, announced today it’s partnering with Facebook to show exclusive digital content for ICC tournaments hosted in the Indian sub-continent until 2023. The social network will also show post-match recaps for ICC events hosted elsewhere in the...

2019-09-26
Google brags its Android alternative for low-end phones is now even faster

Google is making its Android Go — a lightweight alternative of its mobile platform design to run smoothly on low-end phones — even faster. In a new blog post, the company says apps on Android 10 Go will now launch about 10 percent faster than they did on the older version. This improvement in speed has also made...

2019-09-26
Android users suckered for $100s by basic calculator and QR scanning apps

If all the different types of malware that find a way to sneak into the Google Play Store wasn’t enough, here’s another nasty surprise. A new category of apps called “Fleeceware” has been unearthed on the app distribution platform; these apps were found to abuse the Play Store policies and grossly charge...

2019-09-26
Amazon forays into wearables with Alexa powered-glasses and smart ring

Ever fantasize about becoming a spy, wearing miniature and carefully disguised gadgets, and talking to an invisible computer assistant through them? Well, Amazon is going to make that dream come true – to some extent. Along with a ton of other connected devices, the company announced an Alexa-enabled ring (Echo...

2019-09-26
Ready Player What? Facebook announces a new VR social network

Facebook revealed at today’s Oculus Connect event that it’s launching its own social VR platform, a very MMO-like virtual world called Horizon. Horizon is an “interconnected world” where VR avatars can meet, hang out, play games, and build their own environments. In the announcement video, it shows legless...

2019-09-25
Here’s everything Oculus just announced

We’re not at ‘Ready Player One’ yet, but Facebook’s Oculus VR is trying to get us there. Facebook seems further than ever from beaming us into Ready Player One, Ernest Cline’s dorky VR fever dream. But Oculus, the social network’s virtual reality side project, is...

2019-09-25
Reddit and Gab’s most toxic communities inadvertently train AI to combat hate speech

A team of researchers from UC Santa Barbara and Intel took thousands of conversations from the scummiest communities on Reddit and Gab and used them to develop and train AI to combat hate speech. Finally, r/The_Donald and other online cesspools are doing something useful. The system was developed after the researchers...

2019-09-25
Sustainable fashion retail platforms leave you with no excuse not to buy eco-friendly clothes

75% of consumers say that sustainability is important to them. We’re entering a golden age of sustainable online shopping. When e-commerce first emerged, it was hard to find eco-friendly products or brands at all. To find a sustainable alternative to a product, you would have to dig deep into Google and...

2019-09-25
Amazon’s new Echo Studio promises high-end, 3D sound with Dolby Atmos

Amazon revealed an onslaught of new devices today, and among them was its first ‘high-end’ speaker: the Echo Studio. Amazon is claiming serious audio quality here, as the speaker was designed to go along with the company’s new Amazon Music HD service, which is able to deliver lossless audio. Moreover, it’s the...

2019-09-25
Amazon unveils a new, bigger, high-fidelity ‘Echo Studio’

The new speaker will sell for $199, significantly less than hi-fi smart speakers from Apple and Google. Research has shown that playing music is still the biggest use of home smart speakers. That may be why Amazon decided to join Apple and Google in offering a smart speaker that’s focused on sounding good.Read...

2019-09-25
Even the Muppets can’t make Facebook Portal seem less creepy

A new ad sees Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, and the gang stay in touch using Facebook’s new video streaming device. It makes perfect sense. A little sugar with the medicine—or in this case, a spoonful of childhood nostalgia to help the privacy concerns go down. Here we have Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy,...

2019-09-25
Here they are, folks: the funniest, most outrageous impeachment memes

Nancy Pelosi had barely announced the impeachment inquiry into Trump when Twitter and Instagram became flooded with memes. Here we go. Yesterday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House is launching a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Pelosi had long resisted calls from several progressive...

2019-09-25
Google’s unsurprising refusal to pay for news snippets undermines new EU copyright law

Google has announced it will not pay European news publishers for the right to show their content on Google News, which will be mandatory under the EU’s new copyright directive that will come into effect next month, The Financial Times reports. France is the first out of the 28 EU member states to implement the new...

2019-09-25
Before Trump, Cambridge Analytica’s parent built weapons for war

How the parent company of Trump’s campaign firm plied its skills on the battlefield and in elections, while working for the U.S., the U.K., and NATO. Revelations of dirty tricks and illicitly-harvested Facebook profiles turned Cambridge Analytica into a global symbol for the dark side of big data. Its actual...

2019-09-25
McDonald’s job-seekers can start now the application process with Alexa or Google Assistant

Apply Thru is a voice app for Alexa and Google Assistant devices that users can activate by simply saying “Help me get a job at McDonald’s.” McDonald’s says it has launched the “world’s first” voice-initiated application process, called Apply Thru. The process...

2019-09-25
Google releases trove of deepfake videos so researchers can help fight them

We’ll soon live in a world where you might now be able to tell if the video you are watching actually happened. Google has announced it has released a data set containing 3,000 deepfake videos it has created. Google hopes the release of the videos will allow researchers to develop ways to combat malicious...

2019-09-25
For lease: A robo-dog that could totally crush you with its dexterous little paws

Haven’t we seen how this plays out? Boston Dynamics, the robotics lab formerly owned by Google, says its robot dogs—the ones basically straight out of Black Mirror—are now available for “select early customers.”Read Full Story

2019-09-25
Hundreds of thousands of people read novels on Instagram. They may be the future

Last year, the New York Public Library released an experiment to put the full text of novels in its Instagram Stories. Today, an estimated 300,000 people are reading books this way. In August 2018, Instagram followers of the New York Public Library were tapping through their Insta Stories when something unexpected...

2019-09-25
You can now use Alexa or Google Assistant to begin applying for a McDonald’s job

Apply Thru is a voice app for Alexa and Google Assistant devices that users can activate by simply saying “Help me get a job at McDonald’s.” McDonald’s has announced that it has launched the “world’s first” voice-initiated application process, called Apply Thru. The...

2019-09-25
Google releases trove of deepfake videos to help researchers devise detection methods

We’ve seen multiple instances of deepfake technology being used to harm someone mentally or financially. To fight this, researchers need to develop detection algorithms to weed out such videos. Today, Google announced the release of a free, huge dataset of deepfake videos to help researchers. The company developed...

2019-09-25
Instagram is reportedly testing dark mode, here’s what it looks like

We’re officially in the dark mode era. iOS 13 and Android 10, which rolled out recently, both have that option. Sadly, not all appsautomatically respond to the dark theme on your phone and turn the lights down. However, according to reports by Android Police and 9to5Google, Instagram is testing a dark mode that...

2019-09-25
If Alexa and Siri can exist on the same product, there’s hope for all of us

Amazon’s “Voice Interoperability Initiative” aims to let you talk to multiple voice assistants on a single device, but as of right now, Apple and Google aren’t part of it. Amazon has a plan to make multiple voice assistants work together on the same product, so you can say...

2019-09-24
With the Amazon in flames, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro says global concern is ‘colonialist’

The BBC reports that more than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest so far this year. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro kicked off what Politico dubbed “Dictator Day” at the United Nations General Assembly with a speech that was denounced by indigenous leaders from Brazil before it...

2019-09-24
Greta Thunberg just proved that Trump is no match for her

After the president mocked the 16-year-old climate activist on Twitter, she turned his childish taunt into a mission statement. Greta Thunberg has plenty of time for Donald Trump today! The 16-year-old activist made a passionate plea to world leaders at the UN Climate Summit on Monday, demanding action on climate...

2019-09-24
Reports: WeWork CEO Adam Neumann is stepping down under pressure from board

The embattled CEO will step down as part of an effort to increase investor confidence in the fast-growing but profitless company. WeWork CEO Adam Neumann has agreed to step down as CEO of the fast-growing shared office space company amid pressure from the company’s board of directors, according to reports from...

2019-09-24
Rebranding Instagram and WhatsApp is Facebook’s latest terrible idea

Declaring the two apps as “from Facebook” shows just how much Facebook is out of touch with users. Earlier this summer, the Information reported that Facebook is planning to add the words “from Facebook” to WhatsApp and Instagram‘s branding. From the perspective of a digital...

2019-09-24
Why is the EU adding a painful extra step to your online shopping?

Europe is famous for many things, and a variety of regulations that directly or indirectly affect online businesses is one of them. There are strict cookie policies, the infamous GDPR, laws that regulate returns and refunds of online purchases, and whatnot. And starting September 2019, European sellers are required to...

2019-09-24
Japan doesn’t want to fight Facebook’s ‘cryptocurrency’ Libra on its own

Facebook‘s controversial ‘cryptocurrency‘ Libra is facing yet more scrutiny after the governor of Japan’s central bank called for international cooperation to regulate it. According to Reuters, Haruhiko Kuroda, the Bank of Japan‘s governor, told business leaders in Osaka that a joint, international effort...

2019-09-24
At least 45 Google employees faced retaliation for reporting abuse, leaked documents reveal

This coming November marks a year since thousands of Google employees and contractors from around the world — most of whom were mainly women — protested against the tech giant in a “Walkout” amid claims of its handling of sexual harassment allegations, gender-based discrimination, racism, and other issues in...

2019-09-24
Google wins ‘right to be forgotten’ case in Europe

Google has applied the right to be forgotten rules in Europe since May 2014. The company says that since then it has received more than 845,000 requests to remove a total of 3.3 million web links. Google has won its case that EU “right to be forgotten” laws apply only to searches within the EU and...

2019-09-24
EU top court rules Google doesn’t need to apply the ‘right to be forgotten’ globally

Google just won a case in Europe’s top court (CJEU) over the EU‘s right to be forgotten. The court confirmed that the search engine giant would only need to remove reported links from search results in Europe — not globally — the BBC reports. The case started back in 2016, when French privacy watchdog CNIL...

2019-09-24
Samsung’s new tablet is useful in all the ways an iPad Pro isn’t

Even Google seems to have given up on Android tablets. But Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6 proves that the category deserves to exist. I’ve owned, used, and liked an iPad Pro for two years. But I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S6.Read Full Story

2019-09-24
Google and NASA let it slip that humans have achieved quantum supremacy

NASA recently published a Google Research paper indicating the company’s ‘Bristlecone’ quantum computer has successfully completed a processing task in a matter of minutes that would take a classical computer some 10,000 years to complete. Then it mysteriously deleted the research and, to the best of our...

2019-09-24
Google plans to give you more control over ‘Hey Google’ sensitivity

“Hey Google, what’s the weather like?” “OKAY Google, what’s the weather like?” “YO GOOGLE ARE YOU LISTENING?” If you’ve ever had a similarly one-sided conversation with the Google Assistant, you might appreciate an upcoming update. In a blog post detailing privacy changes to the Assistant (more on...

2019-09-24
‘Play Pass’ is Google’s answer to Apple Arcade (kinda, sorta)

$5 per month gets you 350 Android apps and games, with no ads or in-app purchases. Now that Apple Arcade has arrived on iOS, Google has its answer for Android with Google Play Pass. The $5-per-month service provides access to more than 350 games and apps, with no ads or in-app purchases. Some of the highlights include...

2019-09-23
Facebook vows to take down Ukraine-run pages that love Trump

The pages share right-wing content, often supporting President Trump and critiquing his critics, with millions of followers. A network of Ukraine-administered Facebook pages has been posting content geared to Americans, promoting President Trump and attacking his critics, reports Popular Information, a newsletter...

2019-09-23
Google Play Pass isn’t Android’s answer to Apple Arcade

Welp, that didn’t take long. Within days of Apple launching its Arcade game subscription services, Google’s responded with a rough Android equivalent called Play Pass. Still, while the two seem similar on the surface, they’re actually quite different — and that’s to Google’s benefit. The similarities...

2019-09-23
Bury climate denier BS in scientific facts with this new Twitter tool

Protect Our Winters is using Twitter and Slack to enlist your help to combat misinformation. As we all know, Twitter can be an absolute cesspool. And that really cranks up when it comes to an issue like climate change.Read Full Story

2019-09-23
Google Analytics can’t tell you everything about your customers’ behavior

During numerous conversations I’ve had with great journalists, publishers, and content professionals, I’ve found on the whole they don’t really like wasting too much time with numbers, let alone spend hours digging through content performance data. Having access to dashboards and reports they can easily...

2019-09-23
Google restarts human audio reviews of Assistant recordings with new safeguards in place

People who have previously opted-in will be asked to review their confirmation, and until they do so Google will not share any of their voice recordings with human reviewers. Earlier this year virtually every tech company with a voice assistant was busted after it was found the contractors who reviewed recorded audio...

2019-09-23
Bob Iger didn’t let Disney buy Twitter because its ‘nastiness is extraordinary’

Oh, and Steve Jobs is why the Marvel Cinematic Universe exists. If you have a favorite cinematic character, chances are Disney owns it. The House of Mouse went on a massive buying spree ever since Bob Iger, it’s current CEO, took the leadership position at the company. Iger is why Disney now owns Pixar, Star...

2019-09-23

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