Technology readings

By Enrique Dans | Relevant technology-related news, curated daily by Enrique Dans (http://www.enriquedans.com)

The implications of the end of net neutrality

When Donald Trump pulled off a stunning victory to win the U.S. presidency, the entire world began to speculate about what a Trump administration will look like. As the chief executive of a native advertising network, I — and many others that work in digital media — am keeping a particularly close …

Net Neutrality

Samsung’s reputation nosedives in the US after Galaxy Note 7 snafu

Korean smartphone maker ranks 49th in annual reputation ratings, after coming in third in 2016<p>Samsung’s reputation among US consumers took a major hit last year, an annual survey has found, as the Korean manufacturer struggled with the fallout over its Galaxy Note 7 recall. As <i>The Korea Herald</i> …

Samsung

Snap starts selling Spectacles online in the US for $130

Snap wants to prove to investors in its upcoming IPO that Spectacles can earn money for its business, not just be a brand stunt. So today, Snap began selling Spectacles openly online for $129.99 in the US at Spectacles.com after previously only dispensing them from Snapbot vending machines in …

Snapchat

WhatsApp launches Status, an encrypted Snapchat Stories clone

WhatsApp could put the brakes on Snapchat’s international growth with today’s launch of WhatsApp Status, a new tab for sharing decorated photos, videos, and GIFs that disappear after 24 hours. It’s another Facebook-owned Snapchat Stories copycat, but the twist is that it’s end-to-end encrypted like …

Snapchat

Autonomous passenger drones will fly you across Dubai starting this July

If you haven’t yet been to Dubai, this summer might be a good time to visit. Starting this July, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates will see people traveling across its skies in single-passenger drones.<p>That’s according to Mattar al-Tayer, the chairman and executive director of Dubai’s …

Drones

The world's first fully-manned hoverbike looks like a hell of a ride

Dubai might be getting its first batch of autonomous passenger drones this summer, but this Russian startup wants to fill up the sky with fully-manned hoverbikes.<p>Human-carrying drone manufacturer Hoversurf has built an impressive single-seat aircraft that not only has the capacity to lift you up in …

Drones

Former Uber engineer says company ignored repeated reports of sexual harassment

Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer for Uber and current engineer at Stripe, accused the company of rampant sexual harassment and human resources negligence in a blog post published today.<p>Fowler claims that on her first day out of training, she was solicited for sex by a superior on an …

Uber

BuzzFeed Tries to Break Readers Out of Their Social-Media Bubbles - Bloomberg

BuzzFeed Inc., attempting to address a problem media companies have grappled with since the presidential election, introduced a feature to help …

Social Media

Unlocking the potential of eye tracking technology

While the year continues to be dominated by headlines touting the universal appeal of Alexa, there’s another gives a glimpse of what the big next step in human-computer interaction will be: eye tracking.<p>The concept of measuring and responding to human eye motion isn’t new, but the past year saw a …

Virtual Reality

Apple buys Israel’s facial recognition firm RealFace – report

Apple Inc. has acquired Israel’s Realface, a cybertechnology startup whose facial recognition technology can be used to authenticate users. This is …

Israel

“That Was My Play!”

A Screaming Eagles player is tackled by a member of the Nebraska Danger in the first game of the season Thursday at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake …

NFL

How AI is helping detect fraud and fight criminals

AI is about to go mainstream. It will show up in the connected home, in your car, and everywhere else. While it’s not as glamorous as the sentient beings that turn on us in futuristic theme parks, the use of AI in fraud detection holds major promise. Keeping fraud at bay is an ever-evolving battle …

Machine Learning

Once poverty-stricken, China’s “Taobao villages” have found a lifeline making trinkets for the internet

Heze, China<p>Daiji township, a dusty collection of villages in China’s central heartland plains, is an unlikely candidate to be one of the country’s leading e-commerce hubs.<p>The first word that local residents use to describe the area is “remote.” Until a few years ago, it took an hour to drive to the …

China

Kids Shouldn't Use the Internet, Russia's Site-Blocking Chief Says

Whether we like it or not, there are entities out there that like to try and control what we can and cannot see.<p>From the MPAA ratings system in the …

Net Neutrality

Bill Gates says robots that steal human jobs should pay taxes

Someone, or something, has to make up the difference.<p>If robots are going to take over human jobs, that means fewer people will be working, which in turn means fewer people will be paying taxes.<p>And that’s a problem, since taxes fund things that are important, like schools and roads and fire …

Robots

Apple printed out giant tweets for its new iPad Pro ad campaign

iPad Pro vs. PC<p>Apple has released a new series of iPad Pro commercials comparing its newest tablet to PCs. In the ads, Apple uses real tweets from Twitter users who have been replaced by actors in the ads (at least one of the account owners was contacted before the ad went live). The commercials …

iOS

YouTube will kill unskippable 30-second ads next year

But don’t celebrate just yet...<p>Google has announced that in 2018, it will end non-skippable 30-second ads that appear before a YouTube video. In a statement first given to <i>Campaign</i> then confirmed by <i>The Verge</i>, a Google spokesperson said the company will focus on commercial formats that are more …

Google

This Is the Single Best Reason to Talk to Your Neighbors

A<b>bout a month ago,</b> deep into the night, I woke up — fully alert. I glanced at my phone. It was 2 a.m. I lay still, my ears scanning for sounds.<p>I …

Mark Zuckerberg

This creepy tool reveals how Facebook tracks and studies your activity

Have you ever wondered how Facebook collects all the data it has to feed you with the content it presumes you’ll like and keep you coming back for more? Well, now there’s an app that can answer these questions.<p>Available for free, Data Selfie is an open-source Chrome extension that helps you …

Facebook

99.6 percent of new smartphones run Android or iOS

While BlackBerry’s market share is a rounding error<p>The latest smartphone figures from Gartner are out, and they paint an <i>extremely</i> familiar picture. Between them, Android and iOS accounted for 99.6 percent of all smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2016. This duopoly has been the norm for a …

Markets

What Zuck’s letter didn’t say

He might not want to run for office any time soon, but Mark Zuckerberg has perfected the time-honored political art of talking a lot without saying anything.<p>In a sprawling letter consisting mostly of feel-good mumbo jumbo and a light sprinkling of feature ideas, the Facebook visionary laid out …

Facebook

Snap Seeks to Raise as Much as $3.2 Billion in U.S. IPO - Bloomberg

Snap Inc. is seeking to raise as much as $3.2 billion in its initial public offering in what could be the third-biggest technology listing of the …

Markets

The Facebook products Mark Zuckerberg thinks could help save the world

The Zuckerberg manifesto, explained.<p>Mark Zuckerberg posted nearly 6,000 words today outlining his vision for Facebook’s future, which includes a lot of ways he thinks Facebook can help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.<p>The post is much more general than it is specific. Zuckerberg …

Facebook

Read Mark Zuckerberg’s full 6,000-word letter on Facebook’s global ambitions

Grab a cup of coffee and take a seat.<p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg thinks Facebook can help save the world, and he wrote almost 6,000 words on Thursday explaining how. His letter, which we’ve dubbed The Mark Manifesto, offers a glimpse into Zuckerberg’s global aspirations. Here it is in full.<p><b>Also:</b></b> …

Facebook

Facebook just changed its mission, because the old one was broken

With great power comes long letters<p>Facebook used to repeat its mission statement so often that most tech reporters could recite it from memory: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” And it’s still the mission you see when you visit the company’s Facebook …

Facebook

Fake news. It's complicated.

By now we’ve all agreed the term “fake news” is unhelpful, but without an alternative, we’re left awkwardly using air quotes whenever we utter the …

Fake News

Electric buses are now cheaper than diesel/CNG and could dominate the market within 10 years, says Proterra CEO

Transit vehicles today are mostly powered by gasoline, diesel, and CNG, while batteries only represent about 1% of the market. It is currently a small part of the industry, but it’s also the fastest growing fuel source in the sector and it’s starting to become highly competitive.<p>Electric bus maker …

Tesla

Expanding Fact Checking at Google

We’re able to do this work because the fact check industry itself has grown—there are now more than 120 organizations involved in tackling this …

How algorithms (secretly) run the world

O'Neil argues that while some algorithms may be helpful, others can be nefarious. In her 2016 book, "Weapons of Math Destruction," she cites some …

Quantum Mechanics