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The Secret Behind Zara’s Warp-Speed Fashion: Its Store Managers

How does the fast fashion behemoth respond to trends in just days? The Wall Street Journal reveals its strategy.<p>Being the flavor of the month is often frowned upon in design, but for the Spanish fast-fashion retailer Zara, it’s a goldmine.<p>In an industry where thorough trend forecasting is the norm …

Wall Street

5 unexpected sources of bias in artificial intelligence

We tend to think of machines, in particular smart machines, as somehow cold, calculating and unbiased. We believe that self-driving cars will have no preference during life or death decisions between the driver and a random pedestrian. We trust that smart systems performing credit assessments will …

Artificial Intelligence

Facebook is testing video style transfer on Android and iOS using Caffe2go deep learning framework

In conjunction with the Web Summit conference in Lisbon today, Facebook is unveiling artificial intelligence (AI) software that it’s using in order to let users apply and switch artistic styles for live video streams on Android and iOS. After demonstrating the technology at a conference last month, …

WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg slams Wix: ‘Your app editor is built with stolen code’

WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg has taken exception to the editor used in Wix’s mobile app, alleging that the do-it-yourself web building service has copied his platform’s editor and failed to give proper attribution and adhere to the general public license (GPL) — basically, to open source the …

Xiaomi's Mi Mix shows the company isn't just a copycat

Commentary: Xiaomi's creative chops have always been in question, but its latest phone proves the Chinese company is ready to take on the world. Will it?<p>Xiaomi's latest phone, the Mi Mix, has definitely kicked up an online storm. It certainly caught me by surprise.<p>Not only did Xiaomi manage to keep …

Mobile Technology

Chip Cards Are Still Frustrating And Confusing People

Chip cards have been around for about a year now—or at least, on October 1 last year, retailers were required to start using chip card terminals or take on fraud liability themselves—but consumers still aren’t used to them, a new study has found. About eight out of 10 shoppers are confused about …

Identity Theft

Alibaba fires 4 employees for hacking system and hoarding mooncakes

It's the Mid-Autumn Festival and people are taking their mooncakes really, really seriously.<p>Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba said it fired four …

Facebook says it will stop writing descriptions for Trending Topics

But humans will still oversee the module<p>Facebook's News Feed team has been reeling since a report earlier this year argued that a team of contractors responsible for the feed's Trending Topics module routinely suppressed news of interest to political conservatives. Facebook denied the report, which …

Internet

Facebook is now bypassing ad blockers on desktop

Facebook is putting its foot down on ad blockers.<p>The social network announced in a blog post on Tuesday that it is now circumventing ad blockers so …

Instagram CEO on Stories: Snapchat deserves all the credit

The one thing you never hear in Silicon Valley is an entrepreneur admit they copied someone else. Yet there in the headquarters of Facebook, the world’s most prolific product cloner, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom surprised me.<p>He’d just walked me through the demo of Instagram Stories, a pixel for …

Social Media

Facebook to pledge 1,500 housing units for general public

To help offset real-estate demand in Menlo Park, Facebook is constructing 1,500 housing units and dedicating a percentage of that for low-income families.<p>As the influx of Facebook employees continue to drive up demand (and prices) of housing in Menlo Park, California, where its headquarters are …

Housing

Facebook is giving away the blueprints to its 360-degree video camera

Today Facebook has followed through on its promise to open source the design of the Surround 360, its 17-camera array designed to capture video in 360 degrees. The company has also made available the stitching software used to piece together those types of videos. The goal is to encourage camera …

Virtual Reality

Exploring Facebook’s massive, picture-painting AI brain

Inside a 350,000-square-foot building in the hills of Prineville, OR, slotted inside a nondescript server rack, is one of Facebook’s most valuable artificial intelligence tools. It’s called Big Sur, and it’s a hardware system for training software to improve itself over time. It uses enormous …

Artificial Intelligence

Microsoft scraps Finland phone unit

<b>Microsoft has confirmed it will close its mobile phone unit in Finland, cutting 1,350 jobs.</b><p>The US software giant paid $7.2bn (£5.5bn) for Nokia's handset business in 2014, but failed to make a success of new devices.<p>In May, Windows-powered smartphones accounted for fewer than 1% of global …

Mobile

Facebook is testing end-to-end encryption for Messenger

But it will be opt-in — not on by default<p>Facebook is trialling a new feature named "secret conversations" its Messenger app that offers users end-to-end encryption. The company says the feature is accessible right now for a certain people, and will become more widely available this summer. Facebook …

Privacy

Alibaba snaps up Chinese Android app store Wandoujia

Alibaba has advanced its reach on mobile after it acquired one of China’s most prominent Android app stores, Wandoujia, in an undisclosed acquisition.<p>The deal was announced in Chinese only, and media in the country pegged it at around $200 million. (Alibaba declined to comment on that price when we …

eCommerce

Tesla Model X 75D Launched In China

The Tesla Model X 75D has been launched on the Chinese car market, priced at 841,000 yuan or $125,630. The same car costs $83,000 in the United States. The enormous difference is caused partly by import taxes, counting for about one-third of the price, and partly by healthy entrepreneurship. …

Tesla

Facebook adjusts News Feed to favor friends and family over publishers

Bye!<p>Facebook is adjusting the algorithm that runs the News Feed to promote posts from friends and family members over posts from publishers, the company said today. This marks the second time in recent years that Facebook has committed publicly to tilting the feed to posts from people you know in …

Targeted Advertising

China has turned Warcraft into the highest-grossing video game film ever

Despite a precipitous fall in its second weekend performance at the US box office, <i>Warcraft</i> has now become the most successful video game film ever.<p>The movie bought in just $6.5 million in American theaters this past weekend (a fall of 73 percent compared to its $24 million opening), but continues …

Film Industry

Taylor Swift Declares War on YouTube

The pop singer, along with a group of 180 performers, is calling for the reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.<p><b>Taylor Swift</b> is no stranger to speaking out against tech companies that she thinks don’t value artists by providing them royalties. In 2014, she famously pulled all of her music …

Apple Music

London Underground updates font for social media

Adapted to better display on apps and social media, the update is the biggest font change for London's famous transport network in 100 years.<p>In a day to remember for font geeks and transport nerds alike, Transport for London (TfL) announced yesterday that it was updating the century-old font it …

Social Media

A new system can measure the hidden bias in otherwise secret algorithms

A powerful tool for algorithmic transparency<p>Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new system for detecting bias in otherwise opaque algorithms. In a paper presented today at the <i>IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy</i>, the researchers laid out a new method for assessing the …

Artificial Intelligence

Tencent reportedly eyes majority stake in Supercell, plans tie-ups with Publicis, LVMH

China’s Internet giant Tencent has been expanding its international reach in areas like games and advertising, and as part of that, the company is picking up its dealmaking in Europe. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the owner of the popular WeChat messaging platform is in early talks to …

AdTech

China’s internet propaganda is more subtle and sophisticated than it ever has been

Chinese government propaganda is often pretty heavy-handed. State media insist that economic growth will be L-shaped, for example, but do not bother to say what that means. A string of bizarre English-language music videos demand praise for China’s 13th Five-year Plan, and detail how great …

China

Amazon releases programmable Dash button, but not the one we wanted

A perfect gift for the aspiring AWS customer in your life<p>Amazon's impulse-buy-perfecting $5 Dash button has been around for about a year now, and comes in over 100 branded flavors, but what we still don't have is a Wi-Fi button for <i>not</i> necessarily buying things. Some enterprising tinkerers have …

Cloud Computing

The inside story of Facebook’s biggest setback

The social network had a grand plan to connect millions of Indians to the internet. Here’s how it all went wrong<p>Until Mark Zuckerberg arrived in a bright orange helicopter in October 2014, Chandauli had never seen a celebrity visitor. One of 44,795 villages in the state of Rajasthan, Chandauli is …

Internet

Microsoft will shut down Sunrise on August 31 to focus on Outlook for Android and iOS

Microsoft is sunsetting Sunrise.<p>Today the Sunrise team took to its blog to announce the sad news that the calendar app Microsoft acquired last year will be going away as the team focuses more on the calendar functionality in Microsoft Outlook on iOS and Android.<p>The Sunrise app will be pulled from …

Alicia Vikander to play Lara Croft in Tomb Raider reboot

<i>Ex Machina</i> star Alicia Vikander has just been cast to star in the next <i>Tomb Raider</i>. <i>The Hollywood Reporter</i> reports that Vikander will play a young Lara Croft setting off for her first adventure in the upcoming Warner Bros. film. Norwegian director Roar Uthaug (<i>The Wave</i>) is attached to direct.<p>Vikander …

Tomb Raider

This motorized standing desk can also be your PC

A desktop in your desktop<p>You've probably seen plenty of standing desksbefore, but likely not one that also promises to be a home for your computer. This is what respected PC case maker Lian Li has created with the DK-04. From the outside it looks like your regular motorized standing desk, with an …

Standing Desks