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Communication and Technology news
Inside the upcoming fight over a new federal privacy law

Many in the tech community have resigned themselves to new federal privacy regulation, but there’s no guarantee Congress can get it done during the Trump era. After all the privacy scandals (starring Facebook, Google, and others) in 2016 and 2017—and after more than a decade in which a sprawling and...

2019-01-04
Top 5 Ads Of The Week: AT&T knows when OK just isn’t enough

McDonald’s embraces the hangover, Wealthsimple targets today, Apple gets colorful, and Equinox gets arty. There’s a reason not a lot of people Google “cheapest child car seat.” Obviously price is always a consideration, but there are just some things that you don’t really want to...

2019-01-04
How to take better portrait mode photos on any phone

Ah, portrait mode. Ever since Huawei pioneered the depth-sensing tech and Apple ran with it, it seems every other Instagram photo has that faux-DSLR look. Unfortunately, our smartphones aren’t exactly perfect at imitating the shallow depth of field of a real large-sensor camera, so it’s important to help the tiny...

2019-01-04
Huawei demoted employees for tweeting happy new year wishes from an iPhone

So much for a happy 2019. China’s biggest smartphone maker, which is already embroiled in several geopolitical rows, so far isn’t doing itself any favors when it comes to optics in the new year. Just before midnight on December 31, 2018, two Huawei employees sent a tweet from the company’s...

2019-01-04
7 subtle ways design will change how you travel this year

Traffic drones, AI-powered airports, grocery-delivering robots: Design and technology are quietly reshaping how people and goods move around the world. Mobility is at the center of an exciting Venn diagram. The work of designing the present and near future of how we get around—on the ground, in the air, and...

2019-01-04
How to quietly ditch people you follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, tricks, guides, and advice on how to get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. Ever wished you could discreetly filter certain people out of your social media feeds? We feel you, and we’re here to help you do just that in a matter of seconds on Facebook,...

2019-01-04
People are falling off buildings in search of the perfect Instagram shot

In pursuit of clicks, likes, and followers, a growing number of daredevils are risking injury or even death. What can we do about that? “Is our life just worth one photo?”Read Full Story

2019-01-04
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 leaks with new Infinity-O display cutout

A new year, another phone leak. It’s no secret that Samsung is launching the Galaxy S10 this year, likely sometime in late February. By now the rumor mill is running in full force. We’ve seen many renders of the device and some sketchy leaks,  but now we have a clear look at the device courtesy of ever-reliable...

2019-01-04
Nokia’s 5-camera phone leaked in all its glory

In September 2018, a leaked photo suggested that Nokia planned to launch a phone with five rear cameras, called the Nokia 9. Now, thanks to reporter Evan Blass, we’ve caught our first glimpse of the device’s design. Blass tweeted an image of the phone (possibly a press render) indicating that the phone will...

2019-01-03
Hackers take over Chromecasts to warn owners about security risks

A couple of dutiful hackers have been hijacking thousands of Google’s Chromecast streaming dongles to warn users that the devices can be taken over, and remotely forced to play any YouTube video the attackers’ choose, reports TechCrunch. The CastHack bug exploits a weakness in the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)...

2019-01-03
AI is incredibly smart, but it will never match human creativity

One could be forgiven for thinking that machines are creative. Numerous artificial intelligence projects appear to demonstrate that machines are capable of creating intricate works of art that rival those created by their inferior human creators. Just recently, IBM Watson created a movie trailer for the horror film...

2019-01-02
How I redesigned Twitter to be mostly harmless

You don’t need to wait for a capital-D designer to save you from bad UX. As we did with nicotine, we may someday discover that there is no safe dose of Twitter. For now, you may be (or just feel) compelled to use the platform. But who says you have to inhale its tar-filled content-vapors unfiltered? What if,...

2019-01-02
Inside the most Instagrammable place on Earth

Instagram playgrounds are a burgeoning form of mass entertainment. Here’s how the creator of one of the most successful–the Color Factory–designs her spaces. A million plastic sprinkles. A neon-lit sound bath. A giant egg carton, welcoming you to step inside. Chances are, you’ve come...

2019-01-02
How to donate to a charity with Google Assistant

Feeling generous? Google Assistant has quietly introduced support for donations. The next time you mention tuna salad in passing and then Google serves you an ad for tuna salad, try this petty revenge: “Hey, Google, donate $10 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.”Read Full Story

2019-01-02
Facebook “owns” my family: a cautionary fable

I hate New Year. I don’t do resolutions and am generally “bah, humbug” about the whole hullabaloo. This year, my curmudgeonly attitude was dramatically amplified by social media in general, and Facebook in particular. And finally, after years of railing against the privacy invasive nature of the machine, I...

2019-01-02
For $39, PostFly will get your Instagram account posting on its own

Instagram is home to over 800 million users -- and more than 1 in 3 American adults have an account on the exploding platform. PostFly helps you harness all that engagement and marketing power automatically. Right now, you can pick up a lifetime of PostFly access at over 90 percent off its regular price, only $39.

2019-01-02
Did you #DeleteFacebook? Shady players can still exploit your data

Caring about our online privacy might be popular right now, but on a wider level, it’s not as easy as we think to escape the hole we’ve dug ourselves into.

2019-01-02
The last resort of failing tech companies is UX design – it won’t save them

Facebook is using billboards to demonstrate their commitment to fighting fake news. Uber is running TV spots to illustrate the company’s commitment to doing good. Once considered disruptors, digital companies are now using the same strategies oil and tobacco companies used back in the ’90s to project the...

2019-01-01
How a group of students discovered the sounds of solar storms

We are now truly living in the era of big data. And it’s not just companies like Facebook and YouTube that are reaping the benefits, big data is transforming science too. In the space sciences, we have an unprecedented number of satellites and ground-based instruments that monitor Earth’s space environment –...

2018-12-30
Why designers shouldn’t bother learning to code

Every couple of weeks we see a new article come up that tries to answer the good old question: should designers learn to code? Our industry is finally reaching a point where we are able to step back and reframe that question altogether. There are two fundamental arguments used by those who defend the fact that...

2018-12-30
Tech stocks are overvalued and it’s killing innovation

We’re entering an unprecedented era of advanced technology and behemoth tech companies driving its development. Earlier this year, Apple became the first company to reach a one-trillion-dollar valuation, and Amazon followed suit, reaching a one-trillion-dollar market cap in September. Alphabet (Google’s parent...

2018-12-29
3 surprising ways social ‘neighborhood’ apps could boost your business

Have you ever logged onto Facebook, only to be inundated with mundane status updates from your ex-high school classmate or photos of your great-aunt’s cat? The impersonal, irrelevant news that seems to clog up most our newsfeeds is turning people away from traditional social networks and toward a new breed of local...

2018-12-29
The fascinating evolution of the Bitcoin giveaway scam on Twitter

2018 saw a new scam epidemic that gradually took over Twitter – and eventually the entire cryptocurrency and blockchain space: the Bitcoin giveaway scheme. It all started in January, at the height of the cryptocurrency mania. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin took to Twitter to warn users that cunning individuals...

2018-12-29
Facebook pays $238k to settle lawsuit and will halt political ads in Washington State

Facebook and Google paid up after being accused of breaking state campaign finance violations, in what may be the first such challenge to either platform. Facebook will stop displaying political campaign ads in Washington State in order to comply with campaign finance laws, and will pay more than $238,500...

2018-12-28
The 15 coolest interfaces of the year

Prepare your “mind blown” emojis. It was the year when self-driving cars got boring. When iPhones became confusing. When the army spent $480 million on Microsoft Hololens headsets. When we finally got to see the long-awaited Magic Leap…and it was a dud. When virtual reality headsets like...

2018-12-28
No, Instagram is not switching to a horizontal feed

The photo-sharing giant was testing a tap-to-advance replacement for the scrolling feed, but it was mistakenly rolled out widely, creating a bit of a holiday week panic. This morning, Instagram appeared to be rolling out–or at least testing–a new feed that could have you tapping and swiping rather than...

2018-12-27
LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman addresses disinformation scandal in Alabama race

“I categorically disavow the use of misinformation to sway an election,” writes Hoffman in a Medium post. Internet billionaire Reid Hoffman wants to set the record straight. On Wednesday, the cofounder of LinkedIn issued an apology related to reports of his involvement in widespread disinformation during...

2018-12-26
Checkbot does SEO differently than other tools. Right now, it’s $30.

Checkbot has an average score of 4.9 out of 5 among more than 15,000 active users in the Chrome Web Store — and you can find out why all those Chrome users are happy with Checkbot at 70 percent off right now from TNW Deals. A pro-level 1-year subscription is only $29.99 for a limited time.

2018-12-26
Instagram is reshaping the $10B business of interior design

The platform has changed the way we discover design–but it’s also raised questions about originality, authenticity, and what makes a “real” designer. When interior designer Christina Higham found her first client via Instagram, she knew she was onto something. Higham, the owner San...

2018-12-20
Dog influencers are so popular, they need their own talent agency

The Dog Agency helps canines–and their owners–navigate the lucrative world of paid posts and sponsored content on Instagram. It’s almost noon, and Loni Edwards’s client is drooling on the carpet in the lobby.Read Full Story

2018-12-20
When Fortnite pwnd Google: the most overlooked story of the year

Contrary to appearances, it’s still possible to stare down the tech giants. And in 2018, Fortnite proved it. In 2018, the platforms have the power. Which means if you aren’t Apple, Google, or Facebook, you answer to them. That’s true for advertisers, for publishers, and even for our democracy. And...

2018-12-20
Why so many brands on Instagram look the same

A single design studio is responsible for branding a slew of mega-successful startups like Casper and Allbirds. Here’s how it took over the world–or at least your feed. The Casper mattress. The Allbirds sneaker. Brandless mouthwash or pasta sauce. Birchbox, Prose, Snowe, and Keeps.Read Full Story

2018-12-19
Italian regulators launch crackdown on silly cryptocurrency scams

Italian authorities have moved to protect local investors by temporarily banning the sale of two particularly dodgy cryptocurrency investments within the country for 90 days. In a special bulletin, the Commissione Nazionale per la Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) revealed a string of websites and Facebook pages it has...

2018-12-17
Hong Kong: Bitcoin ‘millionaire’ throws money from rooftop, gets arrested

A supposed Chinese cryptocurrency millionaire has been arrested after throwing stacks of HK $100 ($12) bills from the rooftop of a building in one of Hong Kong’s poorest districts. Self-styled Bitcoin millionaire Wong Ching-Kit announced the bizarre stunt via Facebook. In the post, he declared money would soon be...

2018-12-17
The 2-year-old Instagram influencers who make more than you

The platform’s young stars can rake in five-figure sums for a photo. It’s about “building brand awareness and affinity through generations,” says one expert. In 2016, Madison and Kyler Fisher hit rock bottom. After a business venture gone bust, the Los Angeles-based couple was left...

2018-12-17
Report: Fact-checkers say Facebook has used them for “crisis PR”

Journalists who partnered with Facebook say they’ve lost faith that the social network really cares about ridding itself of false news. Facebook quickly responded. A new report from the Guardian claims Facebook’s partnership with independent journalists to combat disinformation on its social...

2018-12-13
Survey: More support for Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook than in the broader tech industry

Anonymous survey app Blind polled tech workers and found that they think that Sandberg shouldn’t continue in her role as COO. A recent poll from Blind, an anonymous social network for more than 45,000 employees of tech companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others, revealed how they perceive Facebook COO...

2018-12-13
Inmates in Texas could soon get 3D-printed dentures

After an investigation found that toothless inmates in Texas were rarely offered adequate care, the prison system has pledged to change its ways with some cutting-edge technology. In September, the Houston Chronicle issued some damning findings about the way the Texas prison system treats inmates who lack teeth....

2018-12-13
Google Maps wants you to use Lime for your last-mile trip

Lime vehicles are now listed alongside ride hailing and walking in Google Maps. When you pull up Google Maps to get directions, under the transit option, you generally see a handful of choices: taking the bus or the subway, or hailing an Uber.Read Full Story

2018-12-13
Microsoft launches its Clarity web analytics tool for A/B testing and visualizing user sessions

To help webmasters understand how visitors interact with their sites, Microsoft has launched its new Clarity analytics tool in beta today. Set to rival the likes of Optimizely, Google Optimize and Visual Web Optimizer, Clarity lets you run A/B tests, and play back visualizations of users’ experiences and behavior...

2018-12-13
Google now lets you donate to charities through the Play store

Google is making it easier for its users to give back to the community by introducing donations through its Play store. Android users in select countries can now contribute to causes they believe in using the same payment methods they’ve associated with their Google accounts. The search giant is partnering with 10...

2018-12-13
Fortnite, K-pop, and bright red hearts: What ruled Instagram in 2018

So. Many. Heart. Emojis. Behold, Instagram’s year in review. Whispering, hearts, Fortnite, and K-Pop ruled instagram this year.Read Full Story

2018-12-13
Google+ to shut down early after second major security incident

After another data leak, its second such leak in a year, Google today announced it was shutting down its beleaguered social media platform, Google+. API access will shut down even sooner, within the next 90 days. The newest vulnerability affected 52.5 million users, according to Google. Profile information, including...

2018-12-13
Watch how smoke from the Camp Fire filled the Bay Area

Google Street View cars mounted with air sensors show how the smoke filtered into the city–and how pollution levels can differ drastically over just a few blocks. The Camp Fire–the deadliest, most destructive wildlife in California history–started around 6:30 a.m. on the morning of November 8. By...

2018-12-12
The painful side of tech algorithms in one heartbreaking tweet

A devastating plea to Big Tech goes viral. A devastating story is making its way around Twitter, telling the tale of an indifferent algorithm that got everything right except the sad finale.Read Full Story

2018-12-12
Google Search Trends show off the emotional rollercoaster that was 2018

Google today released its data on search trends in 2018. While these always reflect the state of the world over the course of the year, in this case the list of trending searches range from joyful to very, very sad — we’ve had a rollercoaster of a year. It’s basically like reliving the year itself in a few...

2018-12-12
Anti-robot vigilantes in Arizona try to scare off Waymo’s self-driving cars

The average consumer probably doesn’t know a whole lot about self-driving car technology. But, when exposed to it, most people seem to react with a mixture of caution and optimism. Not everyone likes change though. Nobody understands that more than Waymo’s human drivers. Waymo, a Google sister-company, found the...

2018-12-12
Jack Dorsey tries to clear up his obliviousness about Myanmar atrocities

Thousands of Rohingya have been slaughtered, and Twitter helped fuel the hate. On Sunday the Twitter CEO posted a few tweets about what a fantastic time he had while on a meditation retreat in Myanmar. It was a country, he tweeted, that was “absolutely beautiful” and whose “people are full of...

2018-12-12

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