Insights

Communication and Technology news
Is TikTok a time bomb?

In its meteoric rise and its approach to leveraging user data, TikTok may augur the AI-informed future of social media, for better and for worse. You may have never heard of TikTok, but chances are the kids in your life have. The China-based social network made its U.S. debut in 2017 and now counts 104 million...

2019-08-28
Chinese agents are using LinkedIn to recruit foreign spies

LinkedIn is the only major American social media network not banned in China. Western intelligence officials have revealed that Chinese agents are actively using LinkedIn to recruit Americans and citizens of other Western allies as spies, the New York Times reports. Chinese agents will typically create fake LinkedIn...

2019-08-28
Malware found in CamScanner’s document scanning Android app, which has over 100M downloads

Another day, another instance of Android malware found on the Google Play app store. Researchers from Kaspersky Lab said they found an app with 100 million downloads that housed a malicious module that then pushed ads or downloaded apps surreptitiously onto compromised Android devices. The malicious component was...

2019-08-28
Calendar spam is a thing now, here’s how to protect yourself

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. A few days ago, I was baffled to see an obviously scammy event pop up in my Google calendar: I’d won $2,338 in some ‘annual competition.’ I had no idea where this was coming...

2019-08-28
Want to make $10,000 from Libra? Break its blockchain

The supposedly independent group of companies tasked with overseeing the delivery of Facebook‘s “cryptocurrency” Libra has announced a public bug bounty. In a blog post yesterday, the Libra association disclosed that its offering up to $10,000 to security researchers that find flaws and help tune up the Libra...

2019-08-28
Google will discontinue Google Hire by 2020 — just 2 years after launch

Another Google service bites the dust, and this time it’s Google Hire. The company said it’ll shut down the job tracking system by next year. Hire helped HR departments keep track of and communicate with candidates. This tool was a product in development at Bebop, a startup Google acquired for $380 million in...

2019-08-28
Stay In Your Lane

When you stay in your own lane, there is no traffic. In other words, mind your own business. Road Blocks & Wrong Turns People lose themselves by comparing themselves to others or trying to emulate (or worse, copy) their style or approach whether it be in design, marketing or business. This is a follower’s game...

2019-08-28
Is Olive Garden funding Trump? How a false rumor ignited a Twitter boycott

The misinformation apparently came from a Twitter page belonging to a college professor who later said the account was hacked. The hashtag #BoycottOliveGarden went viral this week on Twitter, amid claims that the Italian restaurant chain was helping to fund President Trump’s re-election campaign.Read Full...

2019-08-28
Trump-appointed NASA head just declared Pluto a planet again

NASA Chief Jim Bridenstine – a politician who’s probably seen one or two episodes of “Cosmos” – has officially declared Pluto a planet again. His reasoning: that’s the way he learned it in high school. My favorite soundbyte of the day that probably won't make it to TV. It came from NASA Administrator Jim...

2019-08-28
Women in gaming open up on Twitter about sexual assault in the industry

Ever since the MeToo movement started, more and more women from across various professions and walks of life have come forward with their own stories of sexual assault and harassment. Now it appears it might just be the video game industry’s turn in the spotlight. The floodgates opened when indie developer Nathalie...

2019-08-27
Developer who started a church to worship AI indicted for stealing AI

Anthony Levandowski, a former employee at Google sister company Waymo, today was charged with 33 counts of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets after he allegedly stole more than 14,000 sensitive documents that eventually ended up in Uber‘s clutches. You might recognize the case from a year-long civil battle...

2019-08-27
Self-driving car trailblazer Anthony Levandowski charged with stealing trade secrets from Google

The former Google and Uber executive may face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each count if he is convicted. Uber and Google supposedly made peace eons ago, in February 2018, when the two settled an attention-grabbing, multi-billion-dollar lawsuit over allegedly stolen self-driving-car...

2019-08-27
Google Maps now lets you combine subway directions with cabs and bikes

There are few applications a city dweller will use as much as Google Maps, but for all its utility, the app doesn’t often account for the multitudinous possibilities of city transit. Sure, Google can tell me how long it would take me to travel via subway, cab, or bike, but any New Yorker knows getting somewhere fast...

2019-08-27
How googly eyes solved one of today’s trickiest UX problems

A little robot at a library in Helsinki went from reviled to beloved, all because he got a new pair of plastic eyes. The robots are here. They’re scanning shelves at your local supermarket, delivering food, and even assisting nurses in the hospital. As the robots begin to infiltrate human spaces, questions...

2019-08-27
Google accused of ‘privacy gaslighting’ over its anti-tracking policy

Google’s watered-down anti-tracking policy for the web has invited fresh criticism from privacy experts who say the search giant’s move amounts to ‘privacy gaslighting.’ Last week, the company announced proposals for what it calls a ‘privacy sandbox’ — a solution that aims to protect your privacy while...

2019-08-27
Facebook hires lobbying firm to help sweet talk cryptocurrency regulators

Facebook‘s “cryptocurrency” Libra is facing an ever growing mountain of regulatory challenges. It seems it needs a helping hand, as it’s hired a specialist firm to lobby Washington directly. According to registration documents filed earlier this week, Facebook will be represented by Washington, DC-based FS...

2019-08-27
Hey Siri and Alexa, the BBC is making its own voice assistant known as ‘Beeb’

The BBC says that having its own assistant will allow the organization to “experiment with new programs, features, and experiences without someone else’s permission to build it in a certain way.” We’ve got Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and...

2019-08-27
If you’re not looking for your next iPhone on this site, you’re missing out

On Back Market, you can buy eco-conscious electronics—and a nearly new iPhone 7 for less than $200 Society’s obsession with new gadgetry has wreaked havoc on the environment: Close to 50 million tons of toxic e-waste are generated each year, and the mostly Africa-based supply chains for cobalt and rare...

2019-08-27
Google’s Nest Hub is the perfect smart screen for my kitchen

When Google was briefing a bunch of journalists including me about the Nest Hub at its India launch last week, it described how the smart screen could be useful in various parts of your home. But in my mind, it was clear where this would go – my kitchen. I often carry my phone to the kitchen: to listen to music or...

2019-08-27
Instagram tests Threads app for ‘intimate sharing’ with close friends

I need another instant messaging app to keep in touch with family and friends. Said no one ever. But if a recent report by The Verge is anything to go by, Facebook is internally testing a new chat app for Instagram called Threads in what appears to be the company’s “latest assault on Snapchat.” The app —...

2019-08-27
How China’s Baidu outsold Google in the smart speaker market

Yesterday, market research firm Canalys published a report stating Chinese search giant Baidu has surpassed Google in terms of smart speaker distribution worldwide – which means a company whose products you may never have seen outside China is outselling the big G. The report notes in the last quarter, Baidu shipped...

2019-08-27
Mario Kart Tour arrives on your phone September 25

In a surprise evening announcement, Nintendo revealed that its next big mobile title, Mario Kart Tour, will arrive on September 25. The company made the announcement in an unceremonious tweet. Though it doesn’t specify platforms, presumably that date includes both Android and iOS devices. Pre-registration for Mario...

2019-08-27
KFC launches test run of ‘miracle’ non-meat nuggets

Kentucky Fried Chicken is testing a new recipe at a restaurant in Atlanta — essentially, it’s going without the “C” of KFC, offering a “Kentucky Fried Miracle” in the form of Beyond Meats’ plant-based fake meat nuggets. If it’s well-received, KFC might roll it out to more places — which can only be...

2019-08-26
Google’s new policy forbids employees from having ‘raging debates’ over politics

Google used to be the epitome of young, smart, techy culture. Its offices have always been lauded as a workplace where free expression, thinking outside of the box, and challenging the status quo were valued more than the ability to keep your head down and meet quotas. Those days are over. The Mountain View company...

2019-08-26
More than half of all login attempts on social media are scammers

A quarter of all social media accounts are bogus, and half of login attempts are scammers trying to commandeer the legit ones, says a new study. “Bot” has become a household word, thanks to the many fraud and disinformation campaigns using fake, automated social media accounts to post or...

2019-08-26
Win the Google search game with an all-in-one SEO tool that’s under $30

If 7 in 10 business types are just hoping digital marketing works out, well, that leaves a lot of room for success to those other 3 out of 10, right? You can be part of that schooled minority with the help of the RankTools Pro SEO Tool. Right now, you can score lifetime access to this invaluable app for only $29.99,...

2019-08-26
Australia’s plan to block sites hosting extremist content during crisis events seems flawed

As countries continue to grapple with the rise of online extremism, Australia is taking its first step by cutting off access to any internet domain that hosts terrorist material during a crisis event. In addition to temporary bans, the government is reportedly considering legislation to force digital platforms to...

2019-08-26
Moonday Mornings: Binance to give KYC hack victims VIP accounts

Welcome to Moonday Mornings. Let’s not waste anytime, here’s the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines you can’t afford to miss. 1. With every passing week the outlook for Facebook’s ‘cryptocurrency’ Libra looks worse and worse. After meeting with Suisse financial regulators last week...

2019-08-26
NASA astronaut accused of first-ever space crime denies allegations

NASA is reportedly investigating what’s said to be the first ever instance of a space crime. According to a report by The New York Times, the space organization is currently looking into a claim that astronaut Anne McClain improperly accessessed the bank account of her estranged spouse Summer Worden outside the...

2019-08-26
Google’s betting on SMS 2.0 to get its messaging groove back

Google’s gotten a lot of grief for its messaging strategy, and rightly so. While Facebook and Apple have seen their messaging platforms become indispensable to users and businesses alike, Google has launched a litany of apps whose pithy names (Buzz, Wave, Allo, Hangouts, and the list goes on) couldn’t save them...

2019-08-25
Silicon Valley wants to read your mind – here’s why you should be worried

Not content with monitoring almost everything you do online, Facebook now wants to read your mind as well. The social media giant recently announced a breakthrough in its plan to create a device that reads people’s brainwaves to allow them to type just by thinking. And Elon Musk wants to go even further. One of the...

2019-08-24
How to try Microsoft’s Chromium-powered Edge Beta

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. Towards the end of 2018, Microsoft surprised everyone by announcing it was shifting Edge from a custom engine to Google’s ubiquitous and open-source Chromium platform. By...

2019-08-24
Google plays politics with China as it quietly bans state-sponsored YouTube accounts

Google yesterday announced it’d banned 210 YouTube accounts “related to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong” and the discovery was “consistent with recent observations and actions related to China announced by Facebook and Twitter.” If you’re not an avid reader of social media company blogs, let me clear...

2019-08-23
Stock market tanks after Trump ‘hereby orders’ American companies to find alternative to China

He also wants Amazon and USPS to search for fentanyl. With just a few angry tweets, President Trump managed to tank the U.S. stock market. On Friday, Trump escalated his trade war with China, tweeting: “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China,...

2019-08-23
Google Photos has a neat new trick that lets you search for text within images

Google Photos is now indexing text within pictures for when you search. Google is flexing its optical character recognition muscle with the ability to search for text in Google Photos. The company confirmed the feature on Twitter after users discovered it on their own, but it’s still rolling out to...

2019-08-23
Why reCAPTCHA is actually an act of human torture

Like many things that start out as a mere annoyance, though eventually grow into somewhat of an affliction. One particular dark and insidious thing has more than reared its ugly head in recent years, and now far more accurately described as an epidemic disease. I’m talking about the filth that is reCAPTCHA. Yes that...

2019-08-23
David Koch dead: Read the full statement from Koch Industries and Charles Koch

David Koch had been in ill-health for some time. David Koch, the billionaire industrialist known for his libertarian views, political activism, and philanthropy, has passed away at the age of 79. His death was first reported on Twitter by journalist Jane Mayer, who has written extensively about Koch for the New...

2019-08-23
Hasbro’s ‘Monopoly Socialism’ hates healthcare, vegans, voting, environmental protections—and more!

It’s a deep, dark, cry for attention from the world’s largest toymaker. Hasbro has a new Monopoly game out and it’s causing quite the fuss on Twitter. Monopoly Socialism is a twist on the original game, but portrays socialism in a mocking and negative light. The game, which is available at...

2019-08-23
Facebook’s ‘cryptocurrency’ Libra may be in more trouble than we thought

Facebook‘s ‘cryptocurrency’ Libra may be in even deeper trouble than we thought if a recent report is anything to go by. According to the Financial Times, it seems that some of Facebook‘s early backers have been spooked by increasing regulatory scrutiny. It’s being reported that at least three of...

2019-08-23
A side table made out of recycled jeans and other products Fast Company is loving this month

Berlin-based designer Sophie Rowley, who began experimenting with recycled materials as a master’s student at Central Saint Martins in London creates the marblelike surfaces of her Bahia Slate Tables from used denim, collected from recycling centers in Germany. Turning trash into treasure Designer Sophie...

2019-08-23
What a tiny Scottish town could teach us about tackling the world’s ocean plastic problem

On the small Scottish island of Scarp, beachcombing, recycling, and reusing plastic is a way of life. Designers, take note. Beachcombing has long been a part of life for island communities. On the southwestern edge of Scarp, a small, treeless island off the coast of Harris in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, the Mol...

2019-08-23
Google follows Apple with its own anti-tracking policy for Chromium-based browsers

Google has announced a new initiative that aims to “fundamentally enhance privacy on the web.” The proposal — dubbed “Privacy Sandbox” — is a stab at preventing extensive tracking of users on the web through cookies and other methods like tracking pixels and browser and device fingerprinting. In creating a...

2019-08-23
Howard Johnson has the sweetest, most Instagrammable hotel room this side of Candy Land

Introducing New York’s first-ever All-Candy Hotel Room. Howard Johnson has created a hotel room that makes the Museum of Ice Cream look like a health food store.Read Full Story

2019-08-22
See a real-time map of all the fires burning down the Amazon

Monitor the unfolding disaster from your computer screen. The Amazon is burning. Since the beginning of the year, when Jair Bolsonaro took office—after saying that protecting forests was blocking economic growth—there have been 74,155 fires in the country, most in the Brazilian Amazon, according to the...

2019-08-22
YouTube’s killing Messages before they atrophy from disuse

YouTube’s made the decision to squash a feature I honestly forgot existed — its private messages. It’s stated reason is to focus on public conversations — and for once I believe the party line here. According to Google’s announcement, “Two years ago, we launched a feature to enable you to share videos via...

2019-08-22
In bittersweet news, Google will not use a dessert name for Android 10

Android 10 Quetschentaart would’ve been a tough sell anyway. After 10 years, Google is giving up the tradition of naming Android versions after desserts. The next version of Android, previously codenamed Android Q, will simply be called Android 10. Previous versions included Android 9 Pie, Android 8 Oreo,...

2019-08-22
Android goes keto with a radical new rebrand

Android’s ditching the carbs and saying farewell to sugar. The latest update to the brand, unveiled today by Google, introduces a new logo and style language, and ditches the iconic dessert-themed OS codenames. So, let’s talk about the logo. The old-school “bugdroid” robot has had a bit of surgery and now only...

2019-08-22
This is the right way to reply to a recruiter message on LinkedIn

First impressions are key, even on social media. Here’s a handy guide on crafting LinkedIn messages to job recruiters. With a healthy labor market, record low unemployment, and steady wage growth, many U.S. job seekers have more control over their careers. Employers are eager to show you more than the...

2019-08-22

Need a professional cloud based solution for your email and productivity?

Join Google G Suite