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Communication and Technology news
Google Search has a new design — see if you can spot the difference

Google today announced it’s making a visual change to Search on mobile devices. Behold: Can you spot the difference? The “visual refresh,” as Google calls it, is a small one. But it’s also an important one: It makes sure the first thing you see in a search result is where information is coming from, including...

2019-05-22
Prada is finally going fur-free

The Italian fashion house is taking a stand. Italian fashion house Prada is going fur free in 2020. The company made it official in a tweet this morning.Read Full Story

2019-05-22
Microsoft removes Huawei laptop listings from its online store

Google may have killed Huawei’s ambitions to become the world’s top smartphone brand, but Microsoft is quietly following suit. The Windows maker has stopped selling the Huawei MateBook X Pro in its online store in the wake of the US government’s blacklisting of the Chinese firm. A listing for the laptop has...

2019-05-22
Exploring the dark underbelly of smart home technology

This past holiday season, AI-powered devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home were among the hottest gifts across any product category – a trend that speaks to the rising popularity and acceptance of smart home technology in the U.S. But as innocuous as it all seems on the surface, does a darker reality...

2019-05-22
Google stored some G Suite passwords in unhashed form for 14 years

Google revealed that it recently discovered a bug that caused a subset of its enterprise G Suite customers to have their passwords stored in an unhashed — albeit encrypted — form for about 14 years. “This is a G Suite issue users only — no free consumer Google accounts were affected — and we are working...

2019-05-22
Google’s new policy update cracks down on misleading anti-abortion ads

This week, Google announced its plans to crack down on misleading advertisements from anti-abortion groups that present themselves as abortion clinics online. Google updated its “Healthcare and medicines” policy after recent allegations that it provided $150,000 in free adverts to an anti-abortion group known for...

2019-05-22
How Adobe designer Khoi Vinh is bringing voice controls to app development

For helping developers incorporate voice controls into their apps, Adobe principal designer Khoi Vinh is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2019. 100 Most Creative People In Business Apps are getting easier to use largely because they’re getting easier to build: Better software enables...

2019-05-22
How the founder of DuckDuckGo created the ultimate privacy-oriented search engine

For developing a browser that keeps your online activity private, DuckDuckGo founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2019. 100 Most Creative People In Business Gabriel Weinberg‘s privacy-focused search engine doesn’t track users or log their search...

2019-05-22
How the Diet Prada cofounders became the fashion industry’s most influential watchdogs

For calling out copycat fashion designers and championing new ones, Diet Prada cofounders Tony Liu and Lindsey Schuyler are among Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2019. One of the most influential voices in the fashion industry right now belongs to Diet Prada, an Instagram account with 1.3 million...

2019-05-22
How this entrepreneur found a way to take on the AI giants–with synthetic data

For finding a way to compete in AI without having to amass massive amounts of data first, Element AI CEO Jean-Francois Gagné is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2019. 100 Most Creative People In Business The AI revolution has been led by a handful of tech giants—think Amazon, Google,...

2019-05-22
How a UX designer created a Capital One chatbot so good, some people want to marry it

For creating the first natural-language chatbot for a U.S. bank, Steph Hay is one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People of 2019. 100 Most Creative People In Business After transitioning from journalism to user experience design, Steph Hay found herself at Capital One helping to create an AI assistant that...

2019-05-22
Google stored some G Suite passwords in plaintext for 14 years

Google revealed that it recently discovered a bug that caused a subset of its enterprise G Suite customers to have their passwords stored in an unhashed — albeit encrypted — form for about 14 years. “This is a G Suite issue users only — no free consumer Google accounts were affected — and we are working...

2019-05-22
Report: Female-sounding voice assistants fuel gender bias

AI-powered voice assistants from Google, Amazon, Apple, and others could be perpetuating harmful gender biases, according to a recent UN report. The report, titled “I’d blush if I could” — Siri’s response to provocative queries or flirtatious statements — says the female helpers are often depicted as...

2019-05-22
Urban Outfitters tries to stay relevant with an $88 monthly rental service

This is a big move for a heritage company that first launched in 1970. Watch out Rent the Runway! Urban Outfitters, Inc. is coming for your lunch.Read Full Story

2019-05-21
Alibaba’s colossal influence, visualized in 9 art projects

Like any incomprehensibly huge e-commerce platform, Alibaba can feel like a separate, virtual world unto itself. If you’re reading this post, you almost certainly have an Amazon account–but you’ve probably never used Alibaba, sometimes referred to as “the Amazon of China.”...

2019-05-21
After WhatsApp hack, NSO faces scrutiny from Facebook and UK public pension fund

Facebook is examining its legal options and a U.K. pension fund is asking questions amid ongoing lawsuits against the Israeli firm linked to a string of abusive attacks. In March, a London-based human rights lawyer started receiving video calls from unknown numbers on Facebook’s popular messaging app WhatsApp....

2019-05-21
If anyone can give us a real Facebook alternative, it’s Apple

You’d like to leave Facebook, but there’s nowhere to go. A new social network from a company with a proven reputation for privacy isn’t such a crazy idea. Facebook is so big, and its reach so wide, that few rival networks even get out of the starting gates, much less gain the critical mass of...

2019-05-21
The utter joy of watching 50 designers try to reinvent the chair

Any human can see “The Chair,” a new exhibit of 50 chair designs from 50 designers, and get something out of it. Seeing designers create and show off fancy chairs is like watching ants build an anthill. On the one hand, it’s easy to smirk: Look at them scurry! Putting so much effort in! How cute...

2019-05-21
Our education system is so underfunded that the classroom donation industry is booming

Teachers need money for supplies, field trips, and amenities–and there are now multiple organizations competing to give it to them. In early May, the New York Times reported that while public schools remain chronically underfunded and teachers woefully underpaid, there’s at least one online platform...

2019-05-20
Google breaks up with Huawei, blocking it from Android apps and services

In a surprise bit of weekend news that could have major implications on the smartphone market, Reuters reports that “Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software, and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing.” Translation: Huawei can...

2019-05-20
Have you tried plogging, the Instagram trend that might be the sustainable sport of the future?

Plogging is a portmanteau of jogging and the Swedish word for “pick up.” I was scrolling through Instagram last week when an ad suggesting I go “plogging” caught my eye. I decided not to look it up on Urban Dictionary, but assumed it would be there, and wouldn’t be pleasant. The next...

2019-05-18
Why Snapchat’s new gender swap feature is problematic for trans people

You’ve probably seen it all over your social media timelines and stories this week — friends using Snapchat’s new gender-bending filter to create uncanny and slightly creepy versions of themselves as men, women, and babies. SNAPCHAT FILTER IS CRAZY! 😂🤣 pic.twitter.com/OzflHJylPC — Aaron Aberasturi C....

2019-05-18
Google tracks nearly all your online (and some of your offline) purchases — see it for yourself, here

For years Google has been keeping track of nearly every online purchase we’ve made. A CNBC report today reveals that, thanks to purchase receipts sent to personal Gmail accounts, the company has amassed a mountain of purchasing data on each of us, including offline spending, in some cases. Better still, Google has a...

2019-05-18
Learning from late architect I. M. Pei: “Architecture is not fashion”

Pei, who died this week at the age of 102, reshaped cities all over the world, practicing a brand of humane modernism that influenced what many people thought of 20th-century architecture. Few of us will live a full century. But the architect I. M. Pei, who died this week at 102, endured long enough to see the...

2019-05-17
PixelMe’s $40 growth plan is a must-have for your company’s marketing toolbox

If you’re trying to drive an effective digital marketing campaign for your company or brand, that’s not an audience you dismissing casually. You can do digital advertising the right way with a lifetime subscription to a PixelMe Pro Plan, which is on sale right now at over 90 percent off, just $39 from TNW Deals. ...

2019-05-17
Facebook tweaks News Feed to favor close friends and ‘worthwhile’ content

Facebook’s biggest money-spinner is its News Feed, and the company has announced yet another key change to the algorithm. In a fresh announcement, the social network said that it’s leveraging new signals such as user surveys to prioritize posts from close friends and content you might find worthwhile. The shift...

2019-05-17
Social media is an assault on our senses. Now it’s a literal gun, too

This gatling gun fires emoticons at your face, just like Facebook! Facebook’s emoticons help you express support, grief, and amusement with a tap. But they can also feel like an assault on our senses. We post photos of our kids or a fancy dinner and anxiously await the affirmation of our friends. We get...

2019-05-17
Amazon granted patent for Bitcoin-style system to fight DDoS attacks

Cryptocurrency rumor mongers are likely to be dancing today as Amazon has successfully filed a patent for a Bitcoin-styled Proof-of-Work system. But don’t get ahead of yourself, it doesn’t look like the Seattle-based ecommerce giant will be accepting Bitcoin for payments. Despite first being filed in December...

2019-05-17
Now this is something to be grumpy about: Meme superstar Grumpy Cat has died

The meme sensation died at home in Phoenix due to complications from a urinary tract infection. Meme and animal lovers out there will be saddened to hear that the internet star Grumpy Cat has passed away. The news was revealed by Grumpy Cat’s owners on her official Twitter account. Grumpy Cat’s owners...

2019-05-17
Google isn’t killing off Nest integrations just yet

Google predictably strirred up a hornet’s nest when it announced at its annual developers conference that it would be shutting down the Works with Nest (WWN) program on August 31, 2019. This would have led to all existing Nest integrations not working beyond that date, in addition to forcing existing Nest customers...

2019-05-17
7 Google privacy settings you should revisit right now

Google gives you more control over what you share and how it gets used than you might think—if you know where to look. Here’s a step-by-step guide. Google’s making a serious play for privacy these days, with much of the company’s recent I/O developers’ conference revolving around the...

2019-05-17
Instagram really, really wants you to shop and watch IGTV

The popular image-based social network revamps its Explore Page to promote IGTV and shopping. Instagram is banking on the 50% of its users that engage with the Explore page to drive more engagement toward Stories, Shopping, and, most importantly, IGTV.Read Full Story

2019-05-16
Here’s why your Facebook groups went secret overnight

Over the last day, you may have noticed that several of your Facebook groups have switched their settings to “Secret,” for no apparent reason. That may have been to avoid the attentions of a particular virulent group inserting itself into other communities solely for the purpose of getting them banned. According...

2019-05-16
The most compelling tech tools to assist the visually impaired

In our ongoing series, High Contrast, we’re looking at how assistive technology can help people with disabilities overcome challenges in their lives, and the pioneers innovating in solutions to make everyday tools more accessible. Technology is increasingly improving our lives by conveniently tackling menial tasks...

2019-05-16
This startup provides health insurance against online harassment

Leigh Honeywell and Logan Dean have raised a million dollars for a new business, Tall Poppy, that helps companies protect employees against trolls and hackers. Anyone who’s spent some time on Twitter knows that vilification and personal attacks–as extreme as threats of rape and murder–are a...

2019-05-16
Do NYC mayors ever become president? Why Bill de Blasio has his work cut out for him

No mayor has ever gone directly from City Hall to the White House. After months of teasing, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio entered the 2020 presidential race today, answering the call of history despite a recent poll in which only 18% of New Yorkers said he should.Read Full Story

2019-05-16
How The Shade Room turned Instagram gossip into a media empire

The Shade Room has become one of Instagram’s most popular accounts and a booming business–now founder Angie Nwandu is ready for their second act. Since The Shade Room launched in 2014, it’s gone from a small-time gossip account to a full-blown pop culture powerhouse. The Shade Room’s spin...

2019-05-16
NYC’s brilliant plan to capitalize on land no one else wants

The city–like many others in America–faces a housing crisis and a climate crisis. To figure out how to create 300,000 affordable units over the next decade, it’s turning to architects for help. When New York’s City Council passed its own version of the Green New Deal in late April, it...

2019-05-16
Google’s Titan Security Keys can be hijacked remotely, replace yours now

It’s not been a great week for security, and after Twitter, WhatsApp and Intel, Google has now joined the list. The internet giant has issued an advisory, stating it is recalling Bluetooth versions of its Titan Security Key after it found a vulnerability that allows attackers in close proximity to take control of...

2019-05-16
White House launches social media survey to collect Conservative tears

The Trump administration on Wednesday launched launched a new tool where pissed off Conservatives can whine about social media bias. So long as they’re legal citizens, anyway. For Conservatives like Trump, a man who rose to prominence on the backs of the social networks he’s now convinced are out to get him, the...

2019-05-16
People on the internet have no idea how bad they are at online security

Forty-two percent don’t know the difference between an “http” and “https” web address A new survey from Google and Harris Poll, released a year after Google introduced “.app” as a more secure alternative to “.com,” shows that while 55% of Americans over...

2019-05-15
Watch the trailer for Game of Thrones series finale behind-the-scenes doc

Now disappointed fans will have a whole behind-the-scenes doc to dissect and hate-watch. If there was a word to describe the fan reaction to Game of Thrones‘ eighth and final season, it would be . . . divisive? polarizing? rage inducing? A brief glance at Twitter around 10 p.m. ET over the past few Sunday...

2019-05-15
Google’s new free app teaches kids to read by listening to them

Google has just ripped the beta label off Rivet, its free mobile app designed to help young children learn to read. Designed by the company’s Area 120 incubator for employees’ big ideas, Rivet comes with more than 2,000 books for children, categorized by topic and reading level. It also listens to kids read, and...

2019-05-15
Decay by design: These 3D-printed organic plastics naturally decompose

A group at MIT created polymers derived from organic matter, printed by a robot, and shaped by water. Stepping into most any store and scanning the shelves of products, all packaged for consumption and destined for recycling or the dumps, makes you feel like a truly sustainable world is a daunting, if not impossible,...

2019-05-15
On social media, sell your brand, not your stuff

A new marketing study of Facebook users shows that hard-sell tactics stifle engagement, and engagement is gold. Off the coast of New Zealand last year, a kayaker was drifting along quietly when a seal burst from the water and slapped him in the face with a large octopus. As it happens, the trip was funded by...

2019-05-15
Facebook announces “one strike” policy to fight live-streaming abuses

Violations of Facebook’s community standards will lead to an immediate ban on using Facebook Live. Two months after a lone gunman live-streamed a mass shooting at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 51 people were murdered, Facebook has announced a strict new policy aimed at fighting...

2019-05-15
The hardware trend Google and Apple are throwing their weight behind

Tech giants, along with a handful of smaller players, are designing “kill switches” that cut the power to the microphones or cameras in their devices. Last week, Google announced a new smart home device: a smart display that features a 10-inch screen, camera, and speaker. The speaker has a privacy...

2019-05-15
Get ready to see more shopping ads on Google Search, Images and YouTube

Google is betting big on ecommerce with the latest update to its search engine. The company is unveiling a redesigned personalized Google Shopping experience, along with introducing the idea of a universal shopping cart across its platform of services, including Search, Shopping, Images and even YouTube. You can now...

2019-05-15

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