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1111
  BGR Show All 
Leaked Apple repair docs confirm Apple’s keyboard changes had nothing to do with ‘noise’
MacBook Pro Butterfly Keyboard Fix

Ever since Apple launched the 2018 MacBook Pro line last week, we wondered whether the third-generation butterfly keyboard inside the new Macs also had a hidden feature, a permanent fix for that problem that affected so many people who purchased previous Pro generations.

Apple would not confirm any fixes in its marketing materials, instead saying that the redesigned keyboard was quieter, and would not admit that the new keyboard will be more resilient than the previous versions. But a first teardown of the new MacBook Pro revealed that Apple put in place a protection system for the butterfly mechanism to prevent debris from getting into it. Now, a new leak offers more confirmations about the fix.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day
  2. Turn any TV into a giant touchscreen with this awesome device

Trending Right Now:

  1. ‘Avengers 4’ to resurrect one ‘Infinity War’ hero who doesn’t like to stay dead
  2. Forget the Galaxy Note 9, a different Android phone will try to steal you away from 2018 iPhones
  3. Google Maps just got a great new feature and you probably didn’t even realize it

Leaked Apple repair docs confirm Apple’s keyboard changes had nothing to do with ‘noise’ originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 at 16:32:20 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


If the $700 Sonos PlayBase is out of reach, try the $250 Sony Sound Base
Sony Sound Base Sound Bar

The Sonos PlayBar is without a doubt one of the best home audio products on the planet in the under-$1,000 price range. It packs so much tech and such great sound into a single package, elevating your TV and completely transforming your home entertainment experience as well. Still, $700 is a whole lot of money to spend on a speaker system, so folks on a budget might want to check out a few alternatives. We recommend the Sony HT-XT2 2.1 Channel Sound Base, which offers a similar form factor and delivers fantastic Sony sound at a price point that’s less than one-third of what you’ll pay for the PlayBase.

Here’s some more info from the product page:

  • One-piece speaker with built-in subwoofer that fits nicely under your TV, Play music wirelessly via Bluetooth Control easily with SongPal app.
  • Easily add wireless surround sound speakers, Enjoy wireless multi-room listening, Control your TV and sound bar with a single remote via HDMI ARC connection
  • Google Cast ready for easy streaming of your favorite music apps, Music playback via USB. Chromecast built-in and spotify compatible for more music accessibility

Sony HT-XT2 2.1 Channel Sound Base with Wifi and Bluetooth: Too low to display

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day
  2. This is probably your last chance for a while to get a popular Instant Pot at a discount

Trending Right Now:

  1. ‘Avengers 4’ to resurrect one ‘Infinity War’ hero who doesn’t like to stay dead
  2. Forget the Galaxy Note 9, a different Android phone will try to steal you away from 2018 iPhones
  3. Google Maps just got a great new feature and you probably didn’t even realize it

If the $700 Sonos PlayBase is out of reach, try the $250 Sony Sound Base originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 at 16:09:33 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Samsung won’t stop sending push notification ads and it’s driving Galaxy users crazy
Samsung ads

With Galaxy S9 sales slumping, Samsung needs to find new ways to bring more consumers on board. To that end, the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 is sure to find an audience, but the company might be shooting itself in the foot with an archaic practice that isn't going to make anyone want to buy a Galaxy phone. As reported by XDA-Developers earlier this week, Samsung is still bombarding Galaxy users with advertisements delivered via push notifications.

This isn't the first time we've written about this -- in fact, here's a post from nearly three years ago covering the same topic. The fact that we're still writing about this in 2018 is astounding, but the Samsung Push Service is alive and well, as XDA-Developers' Max Weinbach discovered this week while using his Galaxy S9.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day
  2. This is probably your last chance for a while to get a popular Instant Pot at a discount

Trending Right Now:

  1. ‘Avengers 4’ to resurrect one ‘Infinity War’ hero who doesn’t like to stay dead
  2. Forget the Galaxy Note 9, a different Android phone will try to steal you away from 2018 iPhones
  3. Google Maps just got a great new feature and you probably didn’t even realize it

Samsung won’t stop sending push notification ads and it’s driving Galaxy users crazy originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 at 15:47:16 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


How is it even possible that most state election offices are still security nightmares?
Hackers election systems

Well, this is reassuring. The midterms are almost upon us, the country is still reeling from the revelations associated with hackers meddling in the 2016 presidential election. And, somehow, most states still have glaring security holes in their election offices that will probably stay that way through the midterms.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day
  2. This is probably your last chance for a while to get a popular Instant Pot at a discount

Trending Right Now:

  1. ‘Avengers 4’ to resurrect one ‘Infinity War’ hero who doesn’t like to stay dead
  2. Forget the Galaxy Note 9, a different Android phone will try to steal you away from 2018 iPhones
  3. Google Maps just got a great new feature and you probably didn’t even realize it

How is it even possible that most state election offices are still security nightmares? originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 at 15:24:40 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Saturn’s moon Titan looks absolutely incredible in new infrared images
cassini titan

NASA's Cassini orbiter is dead. It's been dead since late last year, having completed an extended mission and a series of daring dives through Saturn's iconic rings, and ultimately found itself slamming through the planet's thick atmosphere where it was essentially vaporized. The spacecraft may be gone but the wealth of data that it sent back to Earth over the years is still being pieced together, and NASA just revealed some images that serve as a fitting example of that.

The images are a series of six infrared snapshots of Saturn's moon Titan. They're wildly colorful (thanks to the magic of infrared imaging) and they show the moon in remarkable detail.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day
  2. Turn any TV into a giant touchscreen with this awesome device

Trending Right Now:

  1. ‘Avengers 4’ to resurrect one ‘Infinity War’ hero who doesn’t like to stay dead
  2. Forget the Galaxy Note 9, a different Android phone will try to steal you away from 2018 iPhones
  3. Google Maps just got a great new feature and you probably didn’t even realize it

Saturn’s moon Titan looks absolutely incredible in new infrared images originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 at 15:01:38 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Aukey’s Prime Day deal is still going on a dash cam so tiny you’ll forget it’s there
Dash Cam For Car

At this point, pretty much everyone knows that they should have a dash cam in their cars. The problem, of course, is that not everyone does. Dash cameras are essential devices that make it easy to prove you weren't at fault in the event you get into an accident with someone who doesn't fess up — which is very common, of course. There's no excuse to drive without one, but I often hear from people is that they don't want a big ugly camera sticking to their windshield and blocking their view. If that's your excuse, there's a simple solution: pick up an AUKEY 1080p Dash Cam right now on Amazon. It's so small you'll completely forget its there, and yet it records crystal clear full HD video and has all the features you want in a dash cam. It's also still on sale at its Prime Day price if you use the coupon code AUKEYR01 at checkout.

Here's what you need to know from the product page:

  • Clear Video Capture: The DR01 backs you up in any road incident. Sony Exmor Sensor captures super-sharp 1080p video (and optional in-car audio) with 170° field of view and also performs well for nighttime driving
  • Emergency Recording & Loop Recording: Emergency Recording automatically captures unexpected driving incidents and protects the recordings. Loop Recording allows continuous use by writing over old, unneeded footage.
  • Extreme Temperature Operation: Powered by the included dual-port USB car charger and internal supercapacitor. The supercapacitor has greater heat & cold endurance and longer lifetime than standard battery technology
  • Easy Mounting: Easily and securely mount to your windshield in seconds with the included suction cup or double-sided 3M pad
  • Package Contents: AUKEY DR01 Dashboard Camera, Dual-Port USB Car Charger, USB Mini-B Power Cable (4m/4.37yd), Sticker Mount, Three 3M Stickers, Six Cable Clips, User Manual, 45-Day Money Back Guarantee and 24-Month Warranty Card

AUKEY Dash Cam, Dashboard Camera Recorder with Full HD 1080P, 6-Lane 170° Wide Angle Lens, 2"…: $48.13 (use code AUKEYR01)

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day
  2. Turn any TV into a giant touchscreen with this awesome device

Trending Right Now:

  1. ‘Avengers 4’ to resurrect one ‘Infinity War’ hero who doesn’t like to stay dead
  2. Forget the Galaxy Note 9, a different Android phone will try to steal you away from 2018 iPhones
  3. Google Maps just got a great new feature and you probably didn’t even realize it

Aukey’s Prime Day deal is still going on a dash cam so tiny you’ll forget it’s there originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 at 14:38:35 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


The Curiosity rover finally found a rock too hard to crack, but it tried anyway
mars curiosity

NASA's Curiosity rover has been doing some fantastic work on Mars, and even though it had to basically reinvent how it uses its primary sampling tool it's managed to get back to work anyway. Unfortunately for the rover's handlers, one of the first new targets that they picked to drill into has actually managed to defeat the powerful tool.

In a new update on the Curiosity rover's mission log, scientists reveal that the rock they were trying to steal a sample from is just too dang hard to pierce. The large rock, nicknamed Voyageurs, suffered barely a scratch from Curiosity's drill bit, and it didn't reach nearly deep enough to obtain a useful sample.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day
  2. Turn any TV into a giant touchscreen with this awesome device

Trending Right Now:

  1. Forget the Galaxy Note 9, a different Android phone will try to steal you away from 2018 iPhones
  2. ‘Avengers 4’ to resurrect one ‘Infinity War’ hero who doesn’t like to stay dead
  3. Google Maps just got a great new feature and you probably didn’t even realize it

The Curiosity rover finally found a rock too hard to crack, but it tried anyway originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 at 14:15:04 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


The secret OS meant to replace Android has a big problem to overcome: Google itself
Fuchsia vs. Android

For many people, Fuchsia is just a color hue that they can’t quite explain. If you’re a hardcore Android fan or a tech enthusiast though, you know that Fuchsia is the Google dream. It’s the secret-but-not-so-secret-anymore operating system that Google is building to replace Android, Chrome, and every other type of OS that Google may be using on its products.

Fuchsia is the fresh start Google needs for its mobile OS that, one that will propel the company into the next decade of smartphone and post-smartphone innovation. It’s the OS that will make possible the development of true iPhone equivalents, whether they're Pixel or Galaxy-branded. But Fuchsia has a big problem to overcome before battling the iPhones of the future, and that's Google itself.

Continue reading...

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Amazon’s new Dyson cordless vacuum deal is so much better than anything we saw on Prime Day
  2. The wireless camera that lets your smartphone see anywhere is still down to its lowest price ever

Trending Right Now:

  1. Forget the Galaxy Note 9, a different Android phone will try to steal you away from 2018 iPhones
  2. ‘Avengers 4’ to resurrect one ‘Infinity War’ hero who doesn’t like to stay dead
  3. Google Maps just got a great new feature and you probably didn’t even realize it

The secret OS meant to replace Android has a big problem to overcome: Google itself originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 at 13:52:15 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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  TechNewsWorld Show All 
Samsung's Foldable Smartphone Slated for Next Year: Report
Samsung plans to launch a foldable-screen smartphone early next year, according to reports, possibly priced around $1,500. Samsung's foldable phone will resemble a book, with the main display inside the covers, said Ken Hyers, director of the emerging device strategies service at Strategy Analytics. The exterior will have a smaller notification display on the front, and a camera, or cameras, on the back. The main display will have a 7.3-inch screen. The foldable smartphone may have a 3,000 mAh battery or larger.

Google Adds Kubernetes to Rebranded Cloud Marketplace
Google has announced the rebranding and expansion of its Cloud Launcher platform. Going forward, it will be known as the "Google Cloud Platform Marketplace," or "GCP Marketplace." It will offer production-ready commercial Kubernetes apps, promising simplified deployment, billing and third-party licensing. Google's goal is to make containers accessible to everyone, especially the enterprise, said Anil Dhawan, product manager for the Google Cloud Platform. Google's hosted Kubernetes Engine takes care of cluster orchestration and management.

Microsoft's New Skype Could Be Risky Gamble
Microsoft has announced a new version of its Skype messaging app, along with a warning that previous versions of the software will be disabled after Sept. 1. "As we roll out improvements, there comes a time when we must shut down older services and application versions," wrote the Skype Team in an online post. "This is done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience, and that there are no quality or reliability issues resulting from old technology and new technology interoperating."

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Cover Up, Your Smart TV May Be Spying on You
Did you know that fancy smart TV sitting in your living room, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom actually may be watching you? Sorry to break it to you. It's another example of amazing modern technology designed to help marketers while striking a blow to privacy. Then again, we haven't had privacy in more years than I can remember. There are two ways to look at this. If you are a marketer, you love it. You can get loads of user data for your marketing. However, if you are a consumer who cares about protecting your privacy, you feel invaded.

Marketing Partnership to Help Fine-Tune Targeting
Sonobi and LiveRamp have partnered to help marketers improve targeting of potential customers. The partnership will let brands and agencies build media packages using the Sonobi JetStream multichannel ad platform and LiveRamp's identity resolution system. "Sonobi has a forecasting and planning engine that understands the visitation patterns of an individual user across the open Web," said CEO Michael Connolly. "Through our integration with LiveRamp, we can give their clients a complete understanding of how to best find their customers."

How E-Commerce SMBs Can Weather Political, Social Firestorms
A national debate over civility erupted after Stephanie Wilkinson, a co-owner of a Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave. However, that wasn't the only consequence of the incident. In its aftermath, restaurant owners in various parts of America whose businesses had the words "red hen" in their name were deluged with a storm of angry reactions -- even though their businesses were totally separate entities. "There are no safe sidelines," commented CMO Inc. founder Peter Horst.

Did Salesforce Need to Buy Datorama?
Salesforce has inked a deal to acquire the marketing analytics company Datorama. The acquisition will give Marketing Cloud a power boost by expanding data integration and intelligence, according to Salesforce. The newly acquired tech will give marketers the ability to unlock insights across channels and data sources, providing a unified view that can help companies make smarter decisions across the entire customer journey, it added. You might be tempted to wonder, "Isn't that what the Salesforce Analytics cloud was for?"

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Temporarily not available
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  News Show All 
How to set up Family Library for Kindle
How to set up family library

Follow our step-by-step guide to set up Amazon's new Family Library function to share ebooks free with your family

19 Jul 2018

How to install Google Play on an Amazon Fire TV Stick

Installing the Google Play Store on the Fire Stick increases the number of apps available

19 Jul 2018

What is Ripple? Your guide to the Bitcoin alternative fintech loves

Not just a poor man’s Bitcoin, the currency exchange network Ripple is the dark horse of fintech

19 Jul 2018

A GameCube Classic Mini could be on the way from Nintendo in 2019

Nintendo files GameCube trademarks, sparking rumours around a GameCube mini console in 2019

19 Jul 2018

Elon Musk finally apologises for “pedo” comment after self-proclaimed "act of kindness" in building mini-sub

Tesla investors also want Musk to take a “Twitter sabbatical” as “pedo” comment shakes stakeholders

19 Jul 2018

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Black Mask Surprise-Publishes New Comic CALEXIT: All Systems San Diego, Today - Bleeding Cool News

Bleeding Cool News

Black Mask Surprise-Publishes New Comic CALEXIT: All Systems San Diego, Today
Bleeding Cool News
Everyone seems to be surprise-publishing comics these days. Marvel's digital titles such as Cloak and Dagger and Jessica Jones just pop up. Die!Die!Die! just appears in stores. And at San Diego Comic-Con, amidst the variant covers, comes a brand new ...
Sharknado is coming to an end. Last panel is at Comic-Con Friday eveningKUSI
God of War Gets a Second San Diego Comic-Con Panel This WeekComicbook.com
Comic-Con 2018: Awesome New God Of War, Masters Of The Universe, And More Collectibles From MondoGameSpot
Nintendo Wire -Moviefone -PlayStation LifeStyle -Daily American Online
all 421 news articles »

The EU's Android antitrust ruling overlooks 3 critical points - Computerworld

Computerworld

The EU's Android antitrust ruling overlooks 3 critical points
Computerworld
Is Google abusing its power as the gatekeeper to Android? Antitrust regulators in Europe seem to think so — but reading over their ruling, I can't help but be struck by some inconsistencies between their assessments and the realities of Google's ...
Google reportedly working on Android successor 'Fuchsia'The Mercury News
Hey Google, Android actually does stifle competitionEngadget
Project 'Fuchsia': Google is quietly working on a successor to AndroidSFGate
ZDNet -BGR -Bloomberg -The Verge
all 535 news articles »

Hands on with Apple's 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro with i7 processor - AppleInsider

AppleInsider

Hands on with Apple's 15-inch 2018 MacBook Pro with i7 processor
AppleInsider
Apple's latest MacBook Pro refresh launched a week ago, and we've now spent some time with the base 15-inch model with six-core i7 processor. Read on for our first look and impressions as well as benchmarks for what will be one of the most popular ...
iFixit Tests Silicone Membrane on 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard With Dust ExposureMac Rumors
iFixit tests how the anti-dust membrane in new MacBook Pro really worksThe Verge
The launch of the new MacBook Pro has been a complete disasterDigital Trends
Gizmodo -BGR -SlashGear -WIRED
all 143 news articles »

Newly discovered armored dinosaur lived on a lost continent - CNN

CNN

Newly discovered armored dinosaur lived on a lost continent
CNN
A 5,000-year-old dog skull found in Germany underwent whole genome sequencing. It was found to be very similar to the genome of modern dogs, suggesting that all modern dogs are direct ancestors of the domesticated dogs that lived in the world's ...
Look at This Incredible New Armored Dinosaur Found in UtahGizmodo
New Species Of Armored Dinosaur Hints At Ancient MigrationDiscover Magazine (blog)
New bony, spiky species of dinosaur found in UtahDeseret News
Phys.Org -Live Science -Business Insider -Newsweek
all 24 news articles »

Baby Snake Fossil Found Trapped in Amber Offers Clues on Evolution - New York Times

New York Times

Baby Snake Fossil Found Trapped in Amber Offers Clues on Evolution
New York Times
In 2016, Lida Xing was combing the amber markets of Myanmar when a merchant enticed him over to his booth with what he said was the skin of a crocodile trapped in amber. When Dr. Xing inspected the specimen through its honey-colored encasement and ...
Baby snake from the time of the dinosaurs found 'frozen' in amberFox News
Baby snake 'frozen in time' gives insight into lost worldBBC News
Baby Snake That Lived Among Dinosaurs Found Preserved in AmberGizmodo
Phys.Org -Live Science -Science Magazine -Science Advances
all 63 news articles »

Fortnite Challenges: Basketball Court Hoop Locations (Season 5, Week 2) - GameSpot

GameSpot

Fortnite Challenges: Basketball Court Hoop Locations (Season 5, Week 2)
GameSpot
Season 5 of Fortnite: Battle Royale rolls on with a new set of challenges to complete on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and iOS. As usual, Week 2's challenges consist of seven different objectives, which run the gamut from eliminating a certain ...
Where To Search Between An Oasis, Rock Archway And Dinosaurs In 'Fortnite: Battle Royale'Forbes
Fortnite has hit over $1 billion in revenue with in-app purchases9to5Mac
Fortnite Season 5 Week 2 Challenges RevealedGame Rant
Shacknews -Gameranx (blog) -Comicbook.com -Polygon
all 217 news articles »

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  Latest news Show All 
Google and Project Fuchsia: Chasing that single OS dream
Will Google's Fuchsia reinvent and replace Android or be more like Microsoft's Midori project?
Microsoft's plan to try to win back consumers with 'Modern Life Services'
Microsoft is hoping to repair its tarnished image with consumers by trying to position its cross-platform apps and services as making them more productive.
The ethical challenges of artificial intelligence
As AI advances, systems will need to be trained and 'raised' in much the same way as humans
The best programming language for data science and machine learning
Hint: There is no easy answer, and no consensus either.
iOS 12 public beta 3: Should you install it?
Apple has just released the third version of the iOS 12 beta. But should you install it? Is it slow and buggy? What's battery life like? Will it kill your iPhone?
HP EliteBook 840 G5, First Take: A solid business-class laptop
This is a well made 14-inch laptop with some high-end components, including above-average speakers
Banking malware finds new life spreading data-stealing trojan
Mealybug hacking group is selling Emotet as a means for other gangs to deliver their attacks - for a profit.
How I learned to stop worrying and love USB Type-C
While the rest of the world is enthusiastically adopting the all-in-one USB Type-C standard, Microsoft and Apple are stubbornly sticking with their proprietary connectors. That's why I no longer carry a Surface or an iPhone when I
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Microsoft's strong quarter was powered by the cloud, Surface and Xbox
It's honestly getting a bit tough to write about Microsoft's quarterly earnings without sounding like a broken record. For years, its booming cloud business has pushed revenues higher, and the same is true for the past fourth quarter. The company rep...

This day in Engadget history: The iPhone jailbreak era begins
Engadget has been around for 14 years and counting, which means our archives contain a veritable treasure trove of technology history. From notable reviews and news to the more mundane or ridiculous finds from across the internet, there's a lot to ex...

Instagram adds status markers to your DM list
Instagram started telling you when your friends were active in the direct message list last January. Now the photo-centric social network is expanding the feature with a new green dot to indicate who is online and active.

FCC vote likely dooms Sinclair-Tribune merger
The FCC has voted to send the proposed sale of Tribune Media properties to Sinclair to a hearing, effectively hammering the second-to-last nail in the coffin on the buyout. The agency's commissioners unanimously agreed on a Hearing Designation Order...

Voice assistants still have problems understanding strong accents
Cultural biases in tech aren't just limited to facial recognition -- they crop up in voice assistants as well. The Washington Post has partnered with research groups on studies showing that Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant aren't as accurate unders...

AMC is selling movie tickets on Facebook
Facebook's Movies section gives users the option of searching for movies and showtimes and then purchasing tickets through Fandango or Atom Tickets. But now, AMC Theatres has partnered with the platform and users can now buy tickets for AMC showings...

UK oversight board discloses potential Huawei security issues
Chinese phone maker Huawei continues to get quite a bit of scrutiny as it tries to push into western markets like the US and UK. The FBI, CIA and NSA have warned against buying the company's phones, AT&T backed out of reported plans to bring the...

Facebook Messenger for Kids is now available in Mexico
Today marks Facebook releasing its Messenger for Kids app to our friendly southern neighbor. It doesn't have any Mexico-specific features, and unlike when it was released in Canada and Peru, it isn't part of a larger feature roll-out like a Spanish-l...

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U.S.-Funded Broadcaster Directed Ads to Americans
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is mostly restricted by law from promoting its content in the United States except on request.
Trump Tried to Protect Qualcomm. Now His Trade War May Be Hurting It.
Qualcomm’s chief executive, Steve Mollenkopf, needs Beijing’s regulatory approval to buy another chip maker, NXP. But a prolonged deal review by China is widely seen as retaliation for U.S. tariffs.
Tech Fix: What Europe’s Google Fine Means for Android Users
The European Union fined Google a record $5.1 billion. But the ruling will probably have little effect on current Android users.
Trump Bashes E.U. Over $5.1 Billion Fine for Google
President Trump has repeatedly criticized the European Union for what he insists are its unfair trading practices.
Microsoft Emerges as Clear No. 2 in Cloud Computing
The cloud computing market is booming, but companies are leery of relying on one tech giant. That is helping Microsoft.
Tech Tip: How to Convert Photo Files in Bulk
If the thought of saving a huge folder of photo files in a different format makes you tired, perk up. You can do them all at once, and you may not even need expensive software.
New York City Looks to Crack Down on Airbnb Amid Housing Crisis
The City Council voted unanimously to significantly regulate Airbnb and its peers, taking aim at landlords renting apartments a few nights at a time.
Facebook to Remove Misinformation That Leads to Violence
Critics say the company has not done enough to block false posts that have led to attacks in countries including Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India.
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  WSJ.com: WSJD Show All 
Microsoft's Cloud Continues to Fuel Growth
Microsoft’s revenue from server products and cloud services grew 26% in the fiscal fourth quarter as both revenue and earnings beat expectations.

Brash Tech Innovators Are Starting to Ask Permission, Rather Than Forgiveness
Not long ago, swaggering companies such as Uber and Airbnb swept through cities like a wrecking ball, establishing billion-dollar businesses and vast constituencies before regulators could figure out how to rein them in. That’s changing as companies cooperate with local officials before, not after, diving in.

On Amazon, Fake Products Plague Smaller Brands
Amazon has made it easy for small brands to sell their products to large numbers of customers, but that has also enabled some counterfeiters to cut into their business.

Medical Testing Giant LabCorp Hit by Ransomware Attack
The medical-testing giant Laboratory Corp. of America is dealing with a broad cyberattack, people familiar with the matter said, the latest breach to disrupt companies that hold sensitive information.

SoftBank's Son Calls Japan 'Stupid' for Banning Ride Hailing
Tech investor Masayoshi Son called Japan’s ban on ride-hailing apps such as Uber “stupid,” heightening a clash with government leaders who say the apps are unsafe.

U.K. Shows Unease About Huawei Gear
The U.K. government raised new concerns about the use of telecommunications gear from Huawei Technologies, stepping back from previous assertions that the Chinese company’s products didn’t present a national security threat.

Why the Android Antitrust Case May Not Trouble Google
The European Union’s $5 billion antitrust action against Alphabet’s Google, while historic, ultimately may not prove too onerous.

Facebook to Take Down Posts That Could Lead to Violence
In response to attacks on individuals in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the social-media platform will remove information if posts are flagged by local partners as potentially leading to violence.

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  CNET News Show All 
Surprise! Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns after cancellation - CNET
12 new episodes with Anakin, Ahsoka and more are coming to Disney's upcoming streaming service.
Airbus' plane-eating plane completes maiden flight - CNET
There she rose! Once it finishes flight-testing, the enormous BelugaXL will fly parts of other Airbus airliners between the company's European factories.
Watch: First female Doctor Who gets her first series trailer - CNET
The Doctor Who series 11 trailer premieres at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 with a simple question: "Will you be my new best friends?"
Feast your eyes upon the first McLaren Senna in the US - Roadshow
The owner has a thing for interesting paint colors, and this is no exception.
Hyundai's 2019 Iron Man-edition Kona suits up at San Diego Comic-Con - Roadshow
This movie tie-in is one you can take home with you, and it goes way more in-depth than that Nissan Rogue One thing.
Walmart to launch Netflix rival under Vudu brand this year, says report - CNET
Walmart's rumored video-streaming service might be just around the corner.
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  SlashdotShow All 
Fukushima's Nuclear Signature Found In California Wine
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: Is it possible to see the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in California wines produced at the time? Today we get an answer, thanks to a study carried out by

Google's Loon Brings Internet-By-Balloon To Kenya
A network of giant balloons will soon bring internet access to remote regions of rural Kenya. From a report: Google's sister-company Loon has announced its first commercial deal: partnering with Telkom Kenya to deliver connectivit

Killer Robots Would Be 'Dangerously Destabilizing' Force in the World, Tech Leaders Warn
Thousands of artificial intelligence experts are calling on governments to take preemptive action before it's too late. The list is extensive and includes some of the most influential names in the overlapping worlds of technology,

Microsoft Reveals First Known Midterm Campaign Hacking Attempts
An anonymous reader shares a report: Microsoft detected and helped block hacking attempts against three congressional candidates this year, a company executive said Thursday, marking the first known example of cyber interference i

Tech Chief Role Grows More Strategic, Survey Finds
The rise of digital capabilities continues to elevate the role of IT leaders across the enterprise, moving them beyond back-office tech hubs and increasingly closer to products, services and customers, Korn/Ferry International rep

Hackers Breach Russian Bank and Steal $1 Million Due To Outdated Router
Catalin Cimpanu, reporting for BleepingComputer: A notorious hacker group known as MoneyTaker has stolen roughly $1 million from a Russian bank after breaching its network via an outdated router. The victim of the hack is PIR Bank

GV, Formerly Known as Google Ventures, For Years Has Used an Algorithm That Effectively Permits or Prohibits Both New and Follow-on Investments
Dan Primack, reporting for Axios: When most venture capitalists want approval to make a new investment, they go to their partners. When venture capitalists at GV do it, they go to something called "The Machine." Axios has learned

Project 'Fuchsia': Google is Quietly Working on a Successor To Android
A day after the European Commission fined Google over Android, more details about Fuchsia, a new operating system the company has been working on for several years has emerged. From the report: But members of the Fuchsia team have


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Microsoft's Cloud Continues to Fuel Growth
Microsoft’s revenue from server products and cloud services grew 26% in the fiscal fourth quarter as both revenue and earnings beat expectations.

Brash Tech Innovators Are Starting to Ask Permission, Rather Than Forgiveness
Not long ago, swaggering companies such as Uber and Airbnb swept through cities like a wrecking ball, establishing billion-dollar businesses and vast constituencies before regulators could figure out how to rein them in. That’s changing as companies cooperate with local officials before, not after, diving in.

On Amazon, Fake Products Plague Smaller Brands
Amazon has made it easy for small brands to sell their products to large numbers of customers, but that has also enabled some counterfeiters to cut into their business.

Medical Testing Giant LabCorp Hit by Ransomware Attack
The medical-testing giant Laboratory Corp. of America is dealing with a broad cyberattack, people familiar with the matter said, the latest breach to disrupt companies that hold sensitive information.

SoftBank's Son Calls Japan 'Stupid' for Banning Ride Hailing
Tech investor Masayoshi Son called Japan’s ban on ride-hailing apps such as Uber “stupid,” heightening a clash with government leaders who say the apps are unsafe.

U.K. Shows Unease About Huawei Gear
The U.K. government raised new concerns about the use of telecommunications gear from Huawei Technologies, stepping back from previous assertions that the Chinese company’s products didn’t present a national security threat.

Why the Android Antitrust Case May Not Trouble Google
The European Union’s $5 billion antitrust action against Alphabet’s Google, while historic, ultimately may not prove too onerous.

Facebook to Take Down Posts That Could Lead to Violence
In response to attacks on individuals in Sri Lanka and Myanmar, the social-media platform will remove information if posts are flagged by local partners as potentially leading to violence.

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Microsoft quarterly results beat as cloud revenue soars
Microsoft Corp on Thursday reported quarterly profit and revenue that beat analysts' estimates, as more businesses signed up for its Azure cloud computing services and Office 365 productivity suite.
Meal delivery service DoorDash hires Uber finance head as CFO
Meal delivery service DoorDash Inc has hired Uber Technologies Inc's [UBER.UL] head of finance to be its chief financial officer, positioning the startup closer to an initial public offering and dealing another executive loss to U
Trump slams EU over $5 billion fine on Google
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized the European Union over a record $5 billion fine EU antitrust regulators imposed on Google, saying the bloc was taking advantage of the United States.
Exclusive: Tesla's battery maker suspends cobalt supplier amid sanctions concern
Panasonic said it was unable to determine how much of the cobalt used in batteries it makes for Tesla cars comes from Cuba, a country subject to U.S. sanctions, and that it had suspended relations with a Canadian supplier as a res
Immigration defense group rejects Salesforce.com donation
A leading nonprofit group helping immigrant families reunite at the U.S. border on Thursday rejected a $250,000 donation from Salesforce.com Inc in protest at the cloud-computing company's contract with the U.S. Customs and Border
Exclusive: Britain says Huawei 'shortcomings' expose new telecom networks risks
Technical and supply-chain issues with equipment made by Chinese firm Huawei have exposed Britain's telecom networks to new security risks, a government report said on Thursday.
Comcast concedes to Disney in bidding war for Fox assets
Comcast Corp dropped its $66 billion bid for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc's entertainment assets on Thursday but said it would still try to expand its international footprint by acquiring 61 percent of European broadcaster Sky Plc
Belgian airspace reopened after flight data issue disrupts travel
Air travellers faced delays on Thursday after flight space over Belgium was closed temporarily due to a problem with a flight data processing system at Belgium air traffic controller Belgocontrol.
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Euro startup FlixBus expands its $10 bus service in California

FlixBus, the low-cost bus service out of Europe, is doubling down on its U.S. launch. The parent company, FlixMobility, started cheap bus routes between Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson just two months ago.

Now it’s adding another 16 connections throughout central and northern California as well as Nevada and Arizona. The new connections, which begin Thursday, include California cities such as Bakersfield, Commerce, Fremont, Fresno, Gilroy, Kettleman City, Millbrae, Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, Salinas,  San Francisco, San Jose and Universal City. Tempe, Arizona and Reno, Nevada have also been added. Several of these routes, including from Los Angeles to San Francisco,  Bakersfield to Fresno and Oakland to Burbank are $9.99.

FlixBus might be competing with traditional bus company Greyhound with fares between U.S. cities as low as $4.99. But it has a different business model that is more comparable to ride-hailing company Uber. FlixBus, which now operates in 28 countries, manages the ticketing, ticketing, customer service, network planning, marketing, and sale of its product. The driving is left to local partners, which get to keep a percentage of the ticket receipts.

These local bus partners manage the daily operations of the brightly painted FlixBuses. The company says it’s adding 26 more buses to its fleet to accommodate the expansion. New bus partners include Alvand Transportation, Amador Stage Lines, Classic Charter, LD Tours, Transportation Charter Services and Tourcoach.

FlixBus vehicles have other touches beyond its brightly painted facades aimed at attracting customers. The buses offer free Wi-Fi and onboard entertainment and customers can use an app to book their tickets and track their bus.

Customers can also choose to offset their carbon emissions with “CO2 Neutral” tickets. An additional 1 to 3 percent of the original price of these CO2 Neutral tickets are donated to a certified Global Climate Protection Project as well as the National Forrest Foundation. 

“We chose California as our new home because, more than anywhere else in the US, people no longer want the hassle of driving,” Pierre Gourdain, the managing director of FlixBus USA, said in a statement, who added the company has become southern California’s hometown carrier in a matter of weeks.

The company, which is backed by private equity investors such as Silver Lake Partners and General Atlantic, launched as FlixBus in 2013 following the deregulation of the German bus market. It has since evolved beyond the name change to FlixMobility. Today, the company operates the FlixBus and FlixTrain brands and as a pilot project for all-electric buses in Germany and France.


Microsoft caps off a fine fiscal year seemingly without any major missteps in its last quarter

Microsoft is capping off a rather impressive year without any major missteps in its final report for its performance in its 2018 fiscal year, posting a quarter that seems to have been largely non-offensive to Wall Street.

In the past year, Microsoft’s stock has gone up more than 40%. In the past two years, it’s nearly doubled. All of this came after something around a decade of that price not really doing anything as Microsoft initially missed major trends like the shift to mobile and the cloud. But since then, new CEO Satya Nadella has turned that around and increased the company’s focused on both, and Azure is now one of the company’s biggest highlights. Microsoft is now an $800 billion company, which while still considerably behind Apple, Amazon and Google, is a considerable high considering the past decade.

In addition, Microsoft passed $100 billion in revenue for a fiscal year. So, as you might expect, the stock didn’t really do anything, given that nothing seemed to be too wrong with what was going on. For a company that’s at around $800 billion, that it’s not doing anything bad at this point is likely a good thing. That Microsoft is even in the discussion of being one of the companies chasing a $1 trillion market cap is likely something we wouldn’t have been talking about just three or four years ago.

The company said it generated $30.1 billion in revenue, up 17% year-over-year, and adjusted earnings of $1.13 per share. Analysts were looking for earnings of $1.08 per share on revenue of $29.23 billion.

So, under Nadella, this is more or less a tale of two Microsofts — one squarely pointed at a future of productivity software with an affinity toward cloud and mobile tools (though Windows is obviously still a part of this), and one that was centered around the home PC. Here are a couple highlights from the report:

  • LinkedIn: Microsoft said revenue for LinkedIn increased 37%, with LinkedIn sessions growth of 41%. Microsoft’s professional network was also listed in a bucket of other segments that it attributed to an increased operating expenditures, which also included cloud engineering, and commercial sales capacity. It was also bucketed into a 12% increase in research and development with cloud engineering, as well as a bump in sales and marketing expenses. This all seems pretty normal for a network Microsoft hopes to continue to grow.
  • Azure: Microsoft’s cloud platform continued to drive its server products and cloud services revenue, which increased 26%. The company said Azure’s revenue was up 89% “due to growth from consumed and SaaS revenue.” Once again, Microsoft didn’t break out specifics on its Azure products, though it seems pretty clear that this is one of their primary growth drivers.
  • Office 365: Office 365 saw commercial revenue growth of 38%, and consumer subscribers increased to 31.4 million. Alongside LinkedIn, Microsoft seems to be assembling a substantial number of subscription SaaS products that offset a shift in its model away from personal computing and into a more cloud-oriented company.
  • GitHub: Nada here in the report. Microsoft earlier this year said it acquired it for a very large sum of money (in stock), but it isn’t talking about it. But bucket it alongside Office 365 and LinkedIn as part of that increasingly large stable of productivity tools for businesses, as Github is one of the most widely-adopted developer tools available.

Instagram adds a status indicator dot so people know when you’re ignoring them

In a blog post today, Instagram announced a new feature: a green status dot that indicates when a user is active on the app. If you’re cruising around Instagram, you can expect to see a green dot next to the profile pics of friends who are also Instagramming right then and there.

The dot will show up in the direct messaging part of the app but also on your friends list when you go to share a post with someone. Instagram clarifies that “You will only see status for friends who follow you or people who you have talked to in Direct” so it’s meant to get you talking more to the people you’re already talking to. You can disable the status info in the “Activity Status” bit of the app’s settings menu, where it’s set to on by default.

Prior to the advent of the green dot, Instagram already displayed how long ago someone was active by including information like “Active 23m ago” or “Active Now” in grey text next to their account info where your direct messages live. For those of us who prefer a calm, less realtime experience, the fact that features like these come on by default is a bummer.

Given the grey activity status text, the status dot may not seem like that much of a change. Still, it’s one opt-out design choice closer to making Instagram a compulsive realtime social media nightmare like Facebook or Facebook Messenger. The quiet, incremental rollout of features like the grey status text is often so subtle that users don’t notice it — as a daily Instagram user, I barely did.

Making major shifts very gradually is the same game Facebook always plays with its products, layering slight design changes that alter user behavior until one day you wake up and aren’t using the same app you used to love, but somehow you can’t seem to stop using it. Instagram is working on a feature for in-app time management, but stuff like this negates Facebook’s broader supposed efforts to make our relationship with its attention-hungry platforms less of a compulsive tic.

It’s not like users will be relieved that they can now see who is “online” in the app. The last time Instagram users passionately requested a feature it was to demand a return to the chronological feed and we all know how that went. Over the years, Instagram users have mostly begged that the app’s parent company not mess it up and yet here we are. The Facebookification of Instagram marches on.

It’s a shame to see that happening with Instagram, which used to feel like one of the only peaceful places online, a serene space where you weren’t thrown into fits of realtime FOMO because usually your friends were #latergramming static images from good times previously had, not broadcasting the fun stuff you’re missing out on right now. It’s hard to see how features like this square with Facebook’s ostensible mission to move away from its relentless pursuit of engagement in favor of deepening the quality of user experiences with a mantra of “time well spent.” As users start to resent the steep attentional toll that makes Facebook “free”, it’s a shame to see Instagram follow Facebook down the same dark path.


FCC issues ‘de facto merger death sentence’ to Sinclair-Tribune deal

A broadcast merger that has been the poster boy for the FCC’s pro-industry agenda has been ordered to undertake a lengthy and potentially embarrassing process that amounts to, in the words of one commissioner, a “de facto merger death sentence.”

The proposed takeover of Tribune by Sinclair has been criticized by many as an unnecessary and potentially dangerous consolidation of media properties. The resulting company would have incredible reach and influence, especially combined with other recent rule changes that have further unshackled big media companies.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has himself been the target of many a sharp inquiry from the public, lawmakers, and even the Office of the Inspector General. The general feeling seems to be: We understand that you have a deregulatory to-do list here, and that’s valid, but practically everything you do benefits Sinclair directly or indirectly. Justify yourself.

Whether it was because of this unremitting scrutiny or simply because Sinclair’s merger proposal was blatantly disingenuous, Pai decided to do an about-face and put the brakes on the deal. He announced his intentions earlier this week and today brings the actual “hearing designation order,” which would require Sinclair to appear before a judge in an adversarial courtroom setting and explain its misdeeds.

What misdeeds, you ask? Well, the main one cited in the HDO is this: Sinclair was required to divest itself from certain media holdings, but instead of doing so, it set up one (WGN-TV) to be sold massively below market price to a corporate confederate, who would then effectively cede control back to Sinclair.

Here’s how the order puts it:

The record raises significant questions as to whether those proposed divestitures were in fact ‘sham’ transactions.

…One application proposed to transfer WGN-TV in Chicago to an individual (Steven Fader) with no prior experience in broadcasting who currently serves as CEO of a company in which Sinclair’s executive chairman has a controlling interest. Moreover, Sinclair would have owned most of WGN-TV’s assets, and pursuant to a number of agreements, would have been responsible for many aspects of the station’s operation.

…There is a substantial and material question of fact as to whether Sinclair affirmatively misrepresented or omitted material facts with the intent to consummate this transaction without fully complying with our broadcast ownership rules.

There are pages and pages of allegations and hints regarding the cozy relationship between Fader and Sinclair, as well as a few other entities that would be part of this obvious sweetheart deal. The order says, essentially, that Sinclair will be given the chance to explain all this — but it would be on the record, in court. Only after they offer sufficient justification could the merger go forward.

But does a company like Sinclair really want to appear publicly before a judge and attempt to convince them that this was all just an innocent mistake? That it was planning to sell a major media property to a good friend for 90 percent off while retaining editorial and operational control? Not only that, but it would take a non-trivial amount of time and money to prepare for this debacle.

Sinclair’s board and stakeholders may understandably choose rather to abandon the merger than subject the company to that kind of scrutiny — not to mention the financial disincentives of delays, extra costs, and any other concessions that might need to be made to put the deal forward. It’s already been revised again and again, with less favorable terms for Sinclair — at some point it stops being a deal worth pursuing.

That’s why Commissioner O’Rielly, in a rather sour-sounding accompanying statement, calls the order a death sentence. Not only would the Administrative Law Judge process be potentially damaging to Sinclair’s reputation, but it would be a mess of red tape. He managed to slip in some revisions, however, which “some may refer to as an initiation of a hint of due process.” Corporations do have rights, too.

Although for now the Sinclair-Tribune merger is only temporarily halted, the end result is as likely as not that it will be withdrawn. That’s entirely up to the company, of course, but it may be that the FCC has in this case succeeded in effectively regulating its industry. That would be cause for celebration.


That $20 Wyze Cam now works with Alexa

The Wyze Cam has long been a strong contender for the best deal in connected home security. I haven’t actually tried the thing out, but Greg was “surprisingly impressed” with his hands-on time with the 1080p camera. That’s probably enough in and of itself to justify the $20 price tag.

Now the dirt cheap camera’s getting some added features courtesy of a software update. Starting today, owners of the Wyze Cam v2 and the $30 Wyze Cam Pan will be able to use Alexa to summon live video feeds on the Echo Show, Spot and through the Fire TV Stick (using the voice-enabled remote). Sorry, no luck for those who picked up the first gen device. Hope that $20 camera is working out for you, otherwise. 

The feature is available this week as a free update to the Alexa app. Wyze joins Ring, Arlo, Nest, and Canary, along with Amazon’s own security cameras, of course. But if nothing else, its option is certainly the cheapest of the bunch. One of these and an Echo Spot will set you back $150 — not too shabby for an on-the-fly home security system.


With new tech coming online, cities need a department of urban testing

The design and operation of cities is the province of urban planning. But an explosion of startups in cities means a lot of new products and services for urban areas. The problem is, we don’t really know how people are going to use these new products and services.

“The company launched a trial service in Santa Monica just last year and when I first saw the scooters (parked literally outside of our office) I was convinced nobody would want to ride them…The volume grew so steadily that I finally hopped on one, rode down to Bird’s offices and pleaded with Travis to take money from us. I had literally never seen a consumer phenomenon take off so quickly,” says Mark Suster in All The Questions You Wanted Answered about Bird Scooters and Their Recent $300 Million Funding.

There is no doubt Santa Monica scooter usage has benefited from a significant investment in bike lanes, as you can see from this map. If you doubt this, take a look at what happens as you travel a little outside of Santa Monica, where bike infrastructure doesn’t exist. Scooter riders take to sidewalks, just as they do on bikes. (I suspect data would also reveal less usage in these areas and that there are a lot of complaints in these areas about the scooters.)

Adapting To New Behavior

Just four-and-a-half years ago, people were stunned by the then huge valuation of Uber at over $3.5b. It took Uber just over four years to get to that valuation. Now Uber is acquiring electric, dockless bike companies and investing in shared scooters, as they dial back their self-driving activities. The chart below explains why.

The practice of sharing rides came out of nowhere five years ago, and two years ago, docked bikeshare seemed to be rewriting what was possible with on-demand transportation. (Let’s see if/where scooters show up in Q1:19.) It’s hard to appreciate the impact of these new mobility models until you look at them against some well-established existing modes of transportation like taxis and car rentals. These industries trace their roots back to the explosion of the automobile with Model T’s a century ago and to when entrepreneurial companies like Hertz decided taxis should be yellow to enhance their visibility for hailing. (And yes, that’s the same yellow Hertz car rental sign.) As the chart below shows, these 100-year-old industries are rapidly melting away in the face of on-demand competition.

Revisiting City Planning

What does this mean for city planners? For a very long time in the US, cars have so dominated public spaces that we’ve mostly focused on parking and roads. e forget that companies lobbied for the car – they hadn’t always dominated public spaces, and now cities around the world are steadily pushing back. With new mobility options come new corporate alliances.

“San Francisco has more than 250,000 on-street parking spaces for “dockless” cars, so why does the addition of a few thousand dockless scooters spark such a heated debate?” says Roelof Botha, who is also an investor in Bird.

Parking for small shared EVs is just the start. What about the impact of last-mile options on public transit usage? Lyft’s “friends with transit” policy could be viewed cynically as a way to win favor with regulators, but last-mile trends are also playing out with smaller on-demand vehicles. In Germany, DB figured out the relationship between bikes and transit more than 10 years ago with the first dockless shared bikes, and the massive bike parking infrastructure connected to Dutch transit.

In the city most associated with car culture, you can now stop by any Metro station along the Expo Line in LA and see a growing number of bikes and scooters. Is this associated with an increase in transit usage? Is this another reason to sort out parking for small, last-mile vehicles? With more venture dollars in the mix, there are now strong alliances seeking to test new approaches.

Maybe We Just Forgot History

Just before cars finally took over most public spaces for transportation, there were more public transit options provided by some weirdly familiar looking vehicles. You can almost see how this 1922 Austro Motorette would eventually be given a seat to become the more familiar looking Vespa.

There are some important differences now. Electric vehicles need new charging infrastructure, which has led to debates about who will pay for it. On the other hand, scooter-sharing companies have learned infrastructure doesn’t need to look like charging stations. Small vehicles can have their batteries swapped out (as with the scooter- share Coup) or companies can offer incentives to people to take vehicles home to charge (and then return them). Electric vehicles will  continue to drop in price as the main cost – batteries – become cheaper. Finally, shared vehicles have never been more available, and electric scooters are almost 100x cheaper than cars. What happens to behavior when availability is so high that it doesn’t require you to leave your block to find a vehicle.

Bad Old Assumptions

It seems inevitable that AVs will replace drivers at some point. While we wait for the takeover, there are some approaches we can take to improve safety. Unfortunately, some of these seem to have unintended negative consequences. Growing up I used to visit Zimbabwe, where speed bumps were called “sleeping policemen” because it was believed that they caused drivers to slow down and obey posted speed limits. But data from a recent NYU and Urban Us portfolio company Dash, reveal that “drivers have a tendency to accelerate quickly after traffic calming infrastructure like speed bumps, which can lead to dangerous situations for pedestrians.” This is potentially a new issue as more drivers discover previously quieter streets via navigation apps and it should still force us to revisit how we try to manage drivers who are going too fast.

Beyond Mobility

With NYC’s L train shutting down in 2019, people have started to plan their housing options and new commutes to and from Manhattan. The city has responded by saying they will add additional ferries and CitiBikes. But is there a way to add more options quickly? How might they fare in the winter? It’s hard to know, but the consequences go far beyond mobility to impact everything from restaurants to residential real estate.

Mobility ultimately has lot of consequences for real estate. Are people going to live in smaller private spaces in exchange for better shared amenities? Will they use robotic furniture to get more from smaller spaces? What might cause homeowners to purchase backup power in the form of a home battery system? How will this impact the grid? Will people be OK sharing sidewalks with delivery robots?

With so many questions about how our behavior will change, we need to find better, faster ways to test new solutions. Maybe alongside Departments of Urban Planning, we need  Departments of Urban Testing.


Self-driving car startup Voyage brings on ex-Tesla, Cruise and Uber exec as CTO

Voyage, the autonomous driving startup that currently operates self-driving cars in retirement communities, has brought on its first CTO, Drew Gray. Gray most recently worked at Uber as its director of engineering, leading the deep learning and perception team in San Francisco, according to his LinkedIn. This comes shortly after the company poached Uber’s head of policy for autonomous vehicles and aviation, Justin Erlich, to lead its strategy, policy and legal efforts.

Voyage, Gray said, was the obvious choice because of the mobility needs it addresses for the 125,000 residents in The Villages in Florida.

“Private communities like The Villages are often much simpler with respect to roadways and traffic patterns, and allow us to implement creative technical solutions that aren’t possible everywhere else due to regulation,” Gray wrote in a Medium post. “We believe there to be a massive un-tapped autonomous ride-sharing business in locations like The Villages?—?all with approachable autonomy requirements we believe we can solve sooner rather than later.”

Gray, who has also held roles at Tesla, Cruise and Otto, joined Voyage about a month ago to help the company achieve its mission of bringing autonomous vehicles to the masses.

“The autonomous vehicle industry is still so young, it’s an incredibly rare to work side-by-side with someone who has held senior leadership positions at many of the foundational companies in the field,” Voyage CEO Oliver Cameron wrote on Voyage’s blog. “Drew has done just that, contributing to major engineering initiatives at places like Tesla, Cruise, Otto, and Uber ATG.”

Gray and Cameron met back in 2016 when the two collaborated for the self-driving car nanodegree program at Udacity, which Voyage spun out from last year. Cameron was Udacity’s head of curriculum and Gray taught some of the deep learning content for the nanodegree program.

I’ve reached out to Uber and will update this story if I hear back.


Here’s what Facebook employees were saying about Holocaust denial … in 2009

Mark Zuckerberg has been in hot water this week thanks to comments he made during an interview with Kara Swisher about the kinds of content that should and shouldn’t be removed from the platform.

Zuckerberg brought up Holocaust deniers as an example, saying he found them “deeply offensive,” then added, “But at the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong.” (In a follow-up email, Zuckerberg repeated that he found Holocaust denial to be “deeply offensive” and said, “I absolutely didn’t intend to defend the intent of people who deny that.”)

In light of the ensuing controversy, it seems worth bringing up some old posts by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington — from all the way back in 2009, when Arrington highlighted an effort by Brian Cuban to get Holocaust denial groups removed from the social network.

Those posts drew comments from a number of Facebook employees, including Adam Mosseri, who’s currently the VP of product management in charge of the Facebook News Feed, and Andrew Bosworth, who took over the company’s hardware efforts last year.

We’re exhuming these old comments not as a “gotcha!” moment, but simply as a reminder that this is a longstanding debate, one in which senior Facebook figures (some of whom took pains to emphasize that they were speaking for themselves, not the company) have articulated a pretty consistent position. Here’s Mosseri, for example:

I don’t understand how one can rationalize censorship, no matter how wrong or evil the message. It’s not the place of government, news media or communication platforms to tell anyone what they can or cannot say.

And here’s Bosworth:

Yelling fire in a crowded building isn’t protected (legally or morally) because it directly infringes on the physical safety of others, something they have a right to in our moral judgement. I think it is pretty clear that these groups pose no such imminent threat. They are distasteful and ignorant to all of us, but they should not be shut down unless they pose a credible threat to the physical safety of others, such as through threats of violence.

And here’s Ezra Callahan, who was then on the PR team:

You do not combat ignorance by trying to cover up that ignorance exists. You confront it head on. Facebook will do the world no good by trying to become its thought police.

There’s a lot more discussion in the original post.


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Zuckerberg says Facebook doesn’t decide truth. He’s right.

Mark Zuckerberg recently fell into a whole ocean of hot water when he appeared to equivocate on the controversial topic of Holocaust denial. But his message is less about Facebook‘s attitude towards fringe opinions, and more about its attitude towards all opinions — yours included. In an interview this week with Recode‘s Kara Swisher, Zuckerberg gave his thoughts on giving a voice to content many would find offensive. He specified one core principle of the platform was “giving people a voice, so that people can express their opinions.” Swisher asked him about content related to Sandy Hook and the popular conspiracy theory that…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Twitter bots are running amok with your public Venmo data

A data expert by the name of Hang Do Thi Duc recently exposed a problem with Venmo’s privacy settings, they’re public by default. For those who didn’t know that, Hang’s the angel on your shoulder trying to keep you safe. And, if you look to your other side, you’ll see the devil in the form of a bot that tweets the names and faces of Venmo users who are referencing drugs and sex in their transactions. Joel Guerra, the human behind the bot, wanted to “demonstrate how much data Venmo was making publicly available with their open API and their…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Twitter

Amazon’s new tool tracks down odd parts to avoid those dreaded trips to the hardware store

A new Amazon feature first spotted by TechCrunch helps anyone with an iPhone find odd parts that might otherwise involve a trip to the hardware store. Called “Part Finder,” Amazon‘s new tool is one of the more useful computer vision tools to date. It takes advantage of the iPhone‘s excellent optics to scan, measure, and identify all types of fasteners or other pieces of small hardware. One found, the app asks for some additional information — screw type, head style, and drive type: Phillips, flathead, etc. — before leading you to the appropriate product on Amazon. To get to the…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Amazon

Backed by psychology, reviews are big for your business — here’s why

Having been involved in the development of several e-commerce products over the years, one thing I’ve learned is that a great product and a persuasive marketing message aren’t always enough to help you generate lasting success. In fact, there’s one simple ingredient that practically every business needs if it wants to have any chance of sticking around in the long run: customer reviews. Here’s a closer look at some of the reasons why generating reviews should be a top priority for your business. The power of positive word-of-mouth There are many techniques you can use to spread the word about…

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Third-party sellers caught selling pirated games on Amazon

Third-party sellers managed to hawk cheap, pirated copies of new games on Amazon. While the site has since removed the sketchy versions, it’s a good time to remember to be cautious before you buy anything for those prices, games included. One eagle-eyed Reddit user, CodependentlyWealthy, first spotted listings for new games at the absurdly low price of $3. The games in question, which include Frostpunk and The Observer, are fairly new and not really candidates for such a low price outside of a very generous Steam sale — not legitimately, in any case. After further investigation, buyers found the games were pirated, having been copied from the versions…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Amazon

Why reducing customer friction is the new customer loyalty

Customers, as we all know, are a fickle bunch. Considering how customer loyalty is far from abundant these days, there are many ways to lose a customer, but the biggest turn-off for today’s consumers is an experience in which friction isn’t kept to a minimum. On some level, we’ve known that for years, right? The marketplaces that are winning loyalty from today’s consumers are doing it by focusing on reducing customer friction points. “Brands are trying a lot of things to reduce customer friction points,” Augie Ray, the renowned Gartner Customer Experience analyst, tells me. Ray cites how Amazon has…

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Cloudflare launches free protection for election websites

Cloudflare has launched a new initiative, called the Athenian Project, to protect electoral websites from online attacks. The service is available free of charge to state and local governments, and offers Cloudflare’s enterprise-level security and reliability services. Cloudflare’s sevices will ensure that websites aren’t vulnerable to brute force attacks, which could potentially allow an adversary to gain access and deface web-pages, or proliferate incorrect information. The service will also ensure that electoral websites will stay online during peak times, or whilst a website is under attack from a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack. So far, a handful of governments…

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You need a VPN to stay safe online, and we’ve got one for life that’s just $34

It’s probably still your best bet to just handle the safeguarding of your digital systems and information yourself. For any tech-savvy user, that still means a VPN (virtual private network), so get in on one of the web’s most respected services with a lifetime of VPN Unlimited. It’s currently more than 90 percent off, only $39.99 from TNW Deals.

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