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Communication and Technology news
TikTok’s parent company appears to have acquired AI music startup Jukedeck

TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, appears to have acquired a startup that makes AI-generated music called Jukebox, an AI suite that generates custom music. Users can then edit the track to adjust length, tempo, and climax. While the news hasn’t been confirmed by either company, several Jukedeck employees,...

2019-07-24
Facebook’s latest warning: Messenger Kids flaw let children chat with strangers

The app was supposed to serve as a “fun, safer solution” for kids online. A flaw in Messenger Kids, Facebook’s controversial chat app for the under-13 set, allowed thousands of users to enter group chats with strangers, The Verge reported. Oops.Read Full Story

2019-07-23
You’re already being watched by facial recognition tech. This map shows where

Digital rights nonprofit Fight for the Future has mapped out the physical footprint of the controversial technology, which is in use in cities across the country. Earlier this month, Oakland, California, became the third city in the United States to ban the use of facial recognition technology by any city agencies,...

2019-07-23
This bot smushes emoji together to create messed-up hybrids (that we love)

Every year, the Unicode Consortium, the organization which oversees emoji development, adds new emoji ranging from hand gestures to objects. Now a bot on Twitter is trying to create fresh emoji by mashing them up. Emoji Mashup Bot, built by student and developer Louan Bengmah, Emoji Mashup Bot takes two random...

2019-07-23
Facebook forced to take action against fraudsters peddling fake Libra

It’s barely been a month since Facebook unleashed its cryptocurrency Libra into the wild and published its whitepaper. But already, the social media giant has been forced to address a growing number of fake communications associated to its digital asset. Around a dozen “fake accounts, pages, and groups,”...

2019-07-23
For $15, this is the insider’s guide to making serious eBay cash

Jaimey Castillo is just one of the entrepreneurs who uses smart thinking and the ease of eBay merchandising to make some serious bank partnering with the ecommerce giant. If it sounds like an enticing career path, get the full primer on mastering eBay with the Ultimate eBay BootCamp Academy training. 

2019-07-23
Facebook is already flooded with fake Libra cryptocurrency scams

And Facebook’s cryptocurrency isn’t even available yet. Facebook is awash in dozens of accounts, pages, and groups that are purporting to be official venues for the social network’s upcoming Libra cryptocurrency, an investigation by the Washington Post has found. And those scams are even migrating...

2019-07-23
Facebook’s Messenger Kids failed to do its only job of keeping tabs on children’s chats

In 2017, Facebook launched a messenger app for kids to let them safely chat only with people approved by their guardians. However, a recently discovered design flaw in the app allowed young users to do precisely the opposite: participate in group chats with adults, without their parents’ permission. This flaw let...

2019-07-23
Away’s Aluminum Edition ‘smart’ suitcase is beautiful, but not worth the ca$h

If there was an incredibly niche contest for the most Instagrammed suitcase — which, in a perfect world, there would be — that award would have to go to Away.  Away has almost half a million IG followers, and for good reason — their smart cases are pretty, minimal, and come in very aesthetically-pleasing...

2019-07-23
Cop’s alleged threat against AOC highlights Facebook’s tricky problem with ‘satirical’ news

A network of “satirical” sites is designed to troll conservatives into believing their outrageous stories are true. A police officer in Gretna, Louisiana, has been fired after a Facebook post in which he appeared to call for Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be shot, nola.com reports, and a...

2019-07-22
This site turns your selfies into Renaissance portraits with AI

First came Instagram filters. Then came the Snapchat masks. Now AI renders are the latest way of using technology to change the way we look. Sure, FaceApp has been making the rounds for its dramatic aging filters (and questionable data practices), but for something more dignified, why not render your face like a...

2019-07-22
Pixel 4 leaks show the notch will be replaced for a chunky forehead with a neat trick

By now the Pixel 3 XL’s giant notch has become something of a meme in the tech world. The most egregious example of an unfortunate design trend, it’s a testament to human adaptation that the phone’s users were eventually kinda-sorta able to ignore the notch. Sort of. Almost a year after I reviewed the Pixel 3...

2019-07-22
See ‘The Simpsons’ house revamped in 2019’s most cliche design trends

What if Marge and Homer had hired an interior designer? I don’t recall when a purple side table, purple cabinets, or purple dressers started looking normal, but it was definitely at some point during the 30-year history of The Simpsons. Those 662 episodes (and counting!) have drilled teal, lilac, and pink...

2019-07-22
UK MP on Libra: Facebook’s almost trying to turn itself into its own country

Facebook‘s ‘cryptocurrency‘ Libra is ruffling feathers among UK politicians amid concerns that the technology giant’s entry into the world of finance would give it too much power. Similarly to their US counterparts, which questioned Facebook‘s blockchain leader David Marcus over two days last week, UK...

2019-07-22
Equifax forced to pay $4 per person in data breach

That won’t even buy you a Big Mac Happy Meal. Almost two years after credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a major data breach affecting more than 143 million people, the company has now settled with U.S. regulators. As part of that settlement, Equifax will pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to...

2019-07-22
India’s Chandrayaan-2 rocket launch is a success

India finally launched its pioneering Chandrayaan-2 successfully today. The country’s space agency, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), launched a moon rover with GSLV MK-III, India’s most powerful rocket, at 2.43 PM IST.  #ISRO#GSLVMkIII-M1 lifts-off from Sriharikota carrying #Chandrayaan2 Our updates...

2019-07-22
Tech companies will meet at the White House today to discuss Huawei ban

Intel, Qualcomm, Google, Micron, Microsoft, and Broadcom will all be in attendance. A handful of America’s largest tech companies will meet at the White House today to discuss the administration’s ban on Huawei, reports Reuters. Two sources told the news agency that White House economic adviser Larry...

2019-07-22
DirecTV blackout: 3 ways to watch CBS during the AT&T carriage dispute

CBS is blacked out across AT&T pay-TV systems, but you’re not helpless. Some 6.5 million AT&T customers woke up this morning to discover they could no longer watch CBS, the country’s most popular broadcast network, thanks to yet another pay-TV carriage dispute. The current contract between the...

2019-07-20
Don’t break up Facebook and Google based on these three myths

We can make sure consumers get a fair shake without dismantling the tech giants. As the public and government regulators around the world discuss whether and how to manage the power of technology companies, one idea that keeps coming up is breaking up these large conglomerate corporations into smaller pieces. Public...

2019-07-20
40 years later, astronomers revisit the pulsar from ‘Unknown Pleasures’

The English rock band Joy Division released their debut studio album “Unknown Pleasures” 40 years ago. The front cover doesn’t feature any words, only a now iconic black and white data graph showing 80 wiggly lines representing a signal from a pulsar in space. To mark the anniversary of the album, we recorded a...

2019-07-20
Met Police website hacked, tweets ‘F*CK THE POLICE’

It appears hackers briefly took over UK Metropolitan Police’s website, posting a series of bizarre messages on its press section and social media accounts, including one which read “FUCK THE POLICE.” The messages were sent around 22:30UTC on July 2019. The Met Police team has since confirmed the breach occurred...

2019-07-20
Met Police website hacked, tweets ‘FUCK THE POLICE’

It appears hackers briefly took over UK Metropolitan Police’s website, posting a series of bizarre messages on its press section and social media accounts, including one which read “Fuck the police.” The messages were sent around 22:30UTC on July 2019. The Met Police team has since confirmed the breach occurred...

2019-07-20
This thread about peeing in space is the best thing on Twitter today

It’s not often I’m glued to my screen while someone talks about the intricacies of urination. Twitter, for all its problems, sometimes delivers a thread too good to pass up. These tales, often spun as threads, offer genuine insight into the human experience: the play-by-play of a breakup by a curious onlooker, a...

2019-07-20
Google expected to achieve quantum supremacy in 2019: Here’s what that means

Google‘s reportedly on the verge of demonstrating a quantum computer capable of feats no ordinary classical computer could perform. The term for this is quantum supremacy, and experts believe the Mountain View company could be mere months from achieving it. This may be the biggest scientific breakthrough for...

2019-07-19
Everything Google revealed about Stadia during the Reddit AMA

Stadia, Google’s attempt to enter the gaming industry via the cloud, has been teased several times through the last few months. Yesterday, we learned more about the platform via a Reddit AMA — and while it’s not all good news, it’s not all bad either. The person answering the questions was Andrey Doronichev,...

2019-07-19
Google used 107,000 solar panels to create a portrait of Apollo 11 pioneer Margaret Hamilton

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of NASA’s historic moon landing mission, Google built a massive portrait of Apollo 11 software lead Margaret Hamilton using only solar panels and the reflection of the moon. The impressive art installation, which was set up in the Ivanpah Solar Facility in the Mojave Desert,...

2019-07-19
The quest to bring urinal culture to women

Ladies, have you ever wanted to have a face-to-face conversation with your bathroom mate? You may not realize it, but many designers are on a quest to create a women’s urinal. After all, how can the sexes be truly equal when men can pee quickly while standing at a urinal, while women have to go through the...

2019-07-19
Instagram’s new warning to hateful trolls: ‘Your account may be deleted’

The Facebook-owned social media company is changing how it deals with problematic content. Instagram is making another change as it strives for a kinder, gentler version of itself. Yesterday, it rolled out a new policy that could mean a lot more problematic accounts will be disabled.Read Full Story

2019-07-19
If the Area 51 raid happens, Bud Light promises to be its official beer

Of course, Bud Light needs 51,000 retweets first, thus proving that absolutely anything is a brand opportunity. The news and social media buzz around the “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us” event kicked into high gear this week, thanks to the 1.7 million people who said they’re...

2019-07-19
How to have Google Maps remember where you parked your car

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. As of March 2019, there were over 38 million cars on the roads of Great Britain, according to transport and policy organization the RAC Foundation. With more cars in use, it can...

2019-07-19
Learn the ins and outs of digital marketing for just $35

Get a heads up on all the strategies needed to sell in the digital space with the training in The Silicon Valley Digital Marketers Bundle. The package is on sale right now at hundreds off the regular price, just $35 from TNW Deals.

2019-07-19
Google and Facebook are tracking your porn preferences – even in incognito mode

It turns out Google and Facebook are tracking your porn consumption habits big time, and even incognito mode can’t save you from their omnipotent gaze – or so say researchers from Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University, and University of Pennsylvania. Indeed, 93 percent of adult content websites leak sensitive...

2019-07-19
NSO Group’s Whatsapp spyware can now snoop on your Facebook, Google and iCloud data too

The Israeli company behind WhatsApp hack earlier this May has developed new technology that can clandestinely steal a user’s data from Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. According to The Financial Times — which reported the development — NSO Group’s Pegasus malware “has now evolved to capture...

2019-07-19
Instagram will kindly let you know you’ve F’ed up before banning you

Instagram has just introduced a new policy that’ll notify you if your account is at risk of getting banned. The social network will let you know if it finds one of your posts problematic, and even offer a chance to appeal the ban. The company said appeals will be available for posts that are removed under violation...

2019-07-19
How to build Reddit custom feeds (also known as ‘multis’) like a pro

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. Before I became a journalist, Reddit was my preferred source of information and entertainment. I didn’t use Twitter, I hardly got on Facebook, and I absolutely despised...

2019-07-19
10 incredibly useful iPhone productivity secrets

The device you have with you the most can also be the one that lets you get the most stuff done. When you think of productivity, tools such as your trusty laptop, Google Docs, and Slack may come to mind. But I’ve found one of my most critical productivity tools is actually my iPhone.Read Full Story

2019-07-19
Turn your drone into a flying flamethrower with this $1,500 attachment

Growing up in the 90s, the idea of a radio controlled aircraft that spits flames was merely a source of doodles on times table worksheets in school, the sort of thing you wish existed, but were fairly certain you’d never see. As an adult, it seems I’ve manifested this contraption into existence. You can send...

2019-07-19
Ilhan Omar’s social media is the classiest response I can imagine to MAGA bigotry

She’s at the center of racist attacks from the president and his supporters, but by the looks of her Twitter accounts Rep. Ilhan Omar is not sweating it. Late last week, the president of the United States tweeted that four nonwhite U.S. congresswomen, three of whom were born in America, should “go...

2019-07-18
Breastfeeding mothers on KLM airlines may be asked to cover up if some rando gets offended

KLM is getting ratioed on Twitter. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is under fire on Twitter after posting details about its breastfeeding policy. While breastfeeding is permitted on its flights, the airline tweeted that it may “request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended...

2019-07-18
Google has removed 7 ‘stalkerware’ apps from its Play Store

For the ongoing series, Code Word, we’re exploring if — and how — technology can protect individuals against sexual assault and harassment, and how it can help and support survivors. Google has pulled seven tracking apps from the Play Store after Avast, a cybersecurity company, found they allowed people to...

2019-07-18
Google’s Parrotron AI helps people with speech impediments talk freely

Earlier this year, Google teased a neural network-powered algorithm that could do speech-to-speech translation in real-time. As impressive as that might be, the app was mostly inaccessible to people with speech impediments. This is why the company’s AI division has been working on new software specifically aimed at...

2019-07-18
This site will show you exactly how ashamed you should be of flying

Designer Victor Muller built this interactive to help him understand the impact of his own cross-continental commuting. Now, anyone can try it. Everyone could stand to be more aware of their carbon footprint. But you should know—reducing food waste and bringing reusable bags to the market isn’t going to...

2019-07-18
TikTok is testing a WhatsApp shortcut to let you share videos with your best friends

It appears social media sensation TikTok is taking a leaf out of the books of Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. The platform is currently testing a Discover tab to make it easier for users to, well, discover new engaging content. The Discover tap sits left of the upload button, where the Search function used to...

2019-07-18
These five Google pro tips are a short course in power searching

Search with precision, find additional sites of interest, and more. I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but you’re probably not getting as much out of Google as you should. Sure, it’s the go-to for finding stuff on the web, but there are plenty of tips, tricks, and features that can help you find what...

2019-07-18
‘Trust’ was mentioned 69 times at Facebook’s Libra Senate hearing – nice

In the 220-minute-long Senate hearing where Facebook’s head of Calibra, David Marcus, was grilled on the company’s “cryptocurrency” plans, the word trust was mentioned every two minutes on average, working out to 69 times in total. Not all of these instances were focused on how people can’t or shouldn’t...

2019-07-18
Instagram’s design gave rise to the influencer economy. It may also be its downfall

When everyone is an influencer, no one is an influencer—and Instagram’s user interface is partly to blame. When everyone is an influencer, no one is an influencer. And Instagram’s design isn’t helping matters.Read Full Story

2019-07-18
Instagram is hiding likes in 6 more countries so you can post like no one’s watching

In an effort to remove the pressure of posting content, Instagram is doubling down on its experiment to hide certain social media metrics in select regions. In an announcement on Twitter, the company said it is running a test that “hides the total number of likes and video views for some people” in Australia,...

2019-07-18
Google officially ends its Chinese search engine project

It’s official. Google has ended its quest to re-enter China with a modified search engine. The company‘s VP of public policy, Karan Bhatia, told the US Senate earlier this week that it has abandoned Project Dragonfly.  The search giant has “no current plans” to go to China, he added. Google’s Bhatia,...

2019-07-18

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