advertisement
advertisement

Democrat Stacey Abrams bows out of race for Georgia governor

Democrat Stacey Abrams bows out of race for Georgia governor
[Photo: Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images; Office of U.S. Senator David Perdue/Wikimedia Commons]

Democratic hopeful Stacey Abrams has effectively conceded the Georgia gubernatorial race to secretary of state Brian Kemp after an election and vote count riddled by claims of voter suppression.

advertisement

“I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified as the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial election,” Abrams said at a press conference Friday.

But she didn’t officially concede. “I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right,” Abrams said.

Her opponent had been widely criticized for remaining in the chair as secretary of state–the office in charge of state elections–while also running for governor. Kemp finally resigned as secretary of state on November 8 after declaring victory in the race the day before.

As secretary of state Kemp was responsible for, and widely criticized for, voter purges that removed more than a million people from the rolls between 2012 and 2016. His office has also been criticized and sued for changing voter rules in ways that disproportionately affect minority voters.

Kemp was caught on tape during a ticketed “Georgia Professionals for Kemp” event saying that Abrams’s voter outreach effort “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote,” according to Rolling Stone.

Even former president Jimmy Carter called for Kemp to resign as secretary of state at the end of October.

Kemp was a big supporter of Donald Trump, while Abrams, a progressive, was trying to become the first black woman to be governor of a U.S. state.

Abrams said she’s establishing a new group called Fair Fight Georgia that will file a lawsuit against the state of Georgia “for the gross mismanagement of this election.”

advertisement
advertisement

Microsoft’s next Xbox One might drop physical media

Microsoft’s next Xbox One might drop physical media
[Photo: courtesy of Microsoft]

Next year, Microsoft will reportedly go where no major console maker has gone before with a disc-free Xbox One console.

Brad Sams, a well-connected Microsoft reporter, claims that the console will only support game downloads, and that Microsoft will offer a “disc to digital” program that lets users trade in their physical games for downloadable copies. The goal is to release an Xbox One for $200 or less, and dropping the disc drive will help Microsoft get there.

Microsoft had considered making the Xbox One discless all along, and Sony reportedly planned to do the same for its PlayStation 4. Both companies decided against it due to concerns over the connection speeds required to download large games. (They also may have wanted to avoid upsetting game retailers like GameStop and Best Buy.) A Nielsen survey from earlier this year found that 66% of console players still prefer physical media.

Microsoft isn’t dropping game discs entirely: Sams notes that the company also plans to launcher a cheaper Xbox One S in 2019 with a disc drive–but a disc-free version might be a way for Microsoft to test the download-only market as it develops a next-generation Xbox for 2020.

advertisement
advertisement

Whole Foods just named the top 10 healthy food trends for 2019

Functional mushrooms? That’s so last year.

As the food industry increasingly adopts greater health and wellness trends, once wholly unknown categories are now becoming more mainstream. That means Kellogg’s now sells a probiotic cereal and Coca-Cola is potentially contemplating CBD beverages.

Whole Foods, a leading retailer in the healthy foods space, just announced the emerging trends creeping into your shopping cart. Some seem thoroughly expected (faux meat), while others sound rather novel (Pacific Rim flavors). Will these categories fare as well as predicted? In years past, Whole Foods pretty much hit the mark: In 2016, it was “coconut everything” and wellness tonics, while 2017 marked plant-based diets and sparkling water.

So, maybe get excited about seaweed snacks? Check out the slideshow above for the full list.

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

For some reason, Chili’s is opening a clothing store for Cyber Monday

Do you feel God in this Chili’s tonight? Or is that just the Christmas spirit? The fast casual chain known for bargain baby back baby back ribs and data breaches is celebrating Cyber Monday with an online pop-up boutique full of clothing meant to make your friends and your enemies jealous and, presumably, hungry.

[Photo: courtesy of Chili’s Grill & Bar]
The Chili’s Cyber Monday pop-up store will offer one-of-a-kind, limited-quantity Chili’s merch for just one day, starting at 12:01 a.m. on November 26, according to Food & Wine. It’s a great opportunity to pick up some swag and show your undying appreciation for Skillet Queso or stock up on supplies for the annual office white elephant party.

There’s a $35 Baywatch red swimsuit emblazoned with “Welcome to Chili’s,” which is sure to help you make a splash next year on Spring Break. Or if you’re looking for a present for a young professional or a dapper dad, try the $20 Chili’s baby back ribs cufflinks (which may be leftovers from Chili’s line of royal wedding accessories). And of course Chili’s couldn’t pass up the chance to cash in on the famous Chili’s episode of The Office, so it is selling an “I Feel God In This Chili’s Tonight” T-shirt, which is the perfect thing to wear to Chili’s and enjoy one too many Second Drinks.

Finally, if you or someone you love are a member of the fast-growing cult of Skillet Queso lovers, pick up a Chili’s Skillet Queso bomber jacket for $75 before the the cult gets the inevitable podcast treatment.

advertisement
advertisement

FAO Schwarz is back! Check out these festive images of its new NYC flagship

After shuttering its iconic Fifth Avenue toy store due to rising rents and a changing retail landscape, FAO Schwarz has reopened just in time for the Christmas shopping season—sending its toy soldiers to man the doors of a brand-new flagship location in New York City.

On Friday, FAO Schwarz opened its new location in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, a new store with a new owner, but with a lot of the charm of its former location. Visitors to the new 20,000-square-foot store will recognize old favorites like the famous giant clock tower and, naturally, the giant floor piano made famous in the movie Big.

The store’s 2.5 floors are filled with teddy bears, nostalgic favorites, the latest toys, rocket ships, giant gummy bears, kid-sized shopping carts, and interactive experiences all meant to return a little wonder to the world. “FAO Schwarz was built on in-store experiences, which has made it a global destination over the years,” says David Conn, CEO of ThreeSixty Brands, FAO’s new owners, which is also the company behind The Sharper Image and Melissa & Doug Toys.

Now that the flagship location is re-ensconced on Fifth Avenue, the company is already looking to expand with pop-up locations in Britain, Spain, and Australia, as well as a permanent store in Beijing. But first, FAO has to square off against Amazon, survive the madcap Christmas season, and hopefully pay the rent in Rockefeller Center.

advertisement
advertisement

A Trump-appointed judge just ruled in favor of CNN and Jim Acosta

A Trump-appointed judge just ruled in favor of CNN and Jim Acosta
[Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore]

A federal judge just ruled that the White House must temporarily reinstate CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials. The network had sued the Trump administration after it revoked his access, following a bizarre sequence of events.

Acosta, during a press conference, asked Trump a series of questions that the president didn’t much like. An intern tried to get Acosta’s microphone back, and he held on to it for a short time. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders then claimed that the journalist swatted at the intern, which was absolutely not the case. She backed up her claim using apparently altered footage.

In its testimony, the White House did not use this line of reasoning for banning Acosta, but instead claimed that it has broad discretion to deny press credentials. The judge, whom Trump had appointed, did not agree, and ruled that the administration must give Acosta his credentials back.

This is an early victory: The judge ruled that a temporary pass restoration was in order because due process had been neglected. He did not, however, decide whether or not the First Amendment had been violated. The White House could take further measures to revoke Acosta’s press pass and fight this battle in court.

But, for now, it’s at least heartening that freedom of the press is being honored by some.

advertisement
advertisement

Just in time for Thanksgiving: 4 recalled turkey products to avoid

Just in time for Thanksgiving: 4 recalled turkey products to avoid
[Photo: Alexas_Fotos/Pixabay]

Just in time for Thanksgiving, the USDA is raising the alarm about raw turkey. The news comes as Jennie-O Turkey Store Sales recalled 91,388 pounds of raw ground turkey products after the USDA linked a pack of raw ground turkey to the cause of a patient’s salmonella poisoning.

The recalled ground turkey products were all produced on September 11, 2018:

  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 93% LEAN | 7% FAT” with “Use by” dates of 10/01/2018 and 10/02/2018
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O TACO SEASONED GROUND TURKEY” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O GROUND TURKEY 85% LEAN | 15% FAT” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018
  • 1-lb. packages of “Jennie-O ITALIAN SEASONED GROUND TURKEY” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018

This recall is the latest chapter in an ongoing hunt for the root of a salmonella outbreak linked to raw turkey. The outbreak started in November 2017, but wasn’t made public until July 2018. Since then, more people have gotten sick, bringing the total to at least 164 in 35 states. One person in California has died, and 63 people have been hospitalized. Government agencies are still searching for the source.

It’s unclear where the turkey at the center of this outbreak came from, as there doesn’t appear to be one centralized distributor, and the USDA is (somewhat controversially) not naming particular brands. The ongoing hunt has found the salmonella strain in raw turkey pet food, ground turkey, turkey patties, and in live turkeys, indicating “it might be widespread in the turkey industry.”

Before Thanksgiving meal preparation gets under way, it can’t hurt to brush up on proper raw turkey handling techniques. According to the CDC:

  • Wash your hands after touching it.
  • Cook products thoroughly to avoid getting sick.
  • Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, not on the counter.

Or just skip the turkey this year in favor of duck, chicken, lamb, rabbit, or Tofurkey. Better yet, just eat twice as many sides, which everyone knows are the real stars of the Thanksgiving feast.

advertisement
advertisement

Singapore wants to add face-recognition surveillance to 110,000 lamp posts

Singapore wants to add face-recognition surveillance to 110,000 lamp posts
[Photo: Dorian Hurst/Unsplash]

Singapore may be turning its island state into a surveillance state.

The nation plans to install cameras equipped with facial recognition technology to all 110,000 lamp posts around the city, making it easier than ever for the country to keep tabs on its citizens and visitors, Reuters reports. The so-called “Lamppost-as-a-Platform” pilot project will allow the government to “perform crowd analytics” and support anti-terror operations through “various kinds of sensors on the lampposts, including cameras that can support backend facial recognition capabilities,” according to a government spokesperson who spoke to Reuters.

GovTech, the Singapore government agency in charge of the program, is reportedly still looking for the right technology, but wants to begin piloting the program next year as part of a broader “Smart Nation” plan that uses cutting-edge tech to “improve people’s lives.”

While anyone who has watched Person of Interest knows that widespread camera surveillance is common in London and New York, Singapore’s system will reportedly be closer to China’s surveillance tech and use the most extensive facial recognition technology to date. That is enough to raise privacy concerns among rights groups.

Singapore has pledged to be sensitive to privacy, but the advances in technology that would allow it to identify a face in a crowd, is making many privacy-consious people nervous.

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Report: Amazon’s HQ2 could eliminate 1,500 affordable housing units in NYC

Report: Amazon’s HQ2 could eliminate 1,500 affordable housing units in NYC
[Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons]

While New York politicians will certainly continue bloviating about the all the benefits that Amazon’s HQ2 will bring to the city, new evidence sure makes it seem like poor people will be the ones paying for it.

advertisement

Not only are the state and city giving the company huge tax incentives–and I mean huge!–but it turns out Amazon is also going to take up space that was intended for affordable housing. So while Amazon’s very presence will surely jack up the already-rising cost of living in New York, the company’s footprint may further deny people in need of a new place to live.

According to Politico, two different developers were planning to build new housing complexes–which would have included around 1,500 affordable units. Now those spaces are both being scooped up by Amazon for the company’s new buildings. One of the developers may be able to build something much smaller, but it’s unclear if it will stick to the housing plan or go for something else.

“The fact that massive public subsidies are helping eliminate affordable housing units is just the latest reason this bad deal needs to be torn up and thrown away,” said state Senator Michael Gianaris, via Politico.

The payoff is especially egregious given that Mayor Bill de Blasio has long made affordable housing a pillar of his political agenda. Now, it seems he’s backing off on this promise to welcome a corporate behemoth.

I reached out to Amazon for comment and will update if I hear back.

Of course, this is just one relatively small concession the city is making to be one of Amazon’s chosen locations. For instance, New York is handing over over $33 million to the company next year; in return, Amazon only needs to create 595 jobs in 2019. Not to mention the helipad Amazon is requiring the city to provide–likely to shuttle important people who wouldn’t deign to ride the subway or take a car.

Overall, it’s becoming more clear that New York politicians wanted so desperately to secure a deal, they didn’t consider the cost. The cost, we’re learning, includes millions of dollars from taxpayers, an additional burden on the city’s infrastructure, and actual houses for those who need them most.

Maybe that’s what de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo consider progress, but let’s see the results in 10 years.

advertisement
advertisement

U.S. prosecutors have secretly charged Julian Assange: report

U.S. prosecutors have secretly charged Julian Assange: report
[Photo: Cancillería del Ecuador/Wikimedia Commons]

It looks like Julian Assange has been charged by United States authorities. What he’s going to be indicted for remains to be seen.

The upcoming indictment was reportedly supposed to be sealed, but due to some bizarre error, Assange’s name was mentioned in another unrelated case. This other court case, which was filed in Virginia, refers to existing criminal charges against him. According to a WikiLeaks tweet, this was a “cut-and-paste error.”

The court case Assange’s name pops up in says the case needs to be sealed “until Assange is arrested in connection with the charges in the criminal complaint and can therefore no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter.” Yet because of this mistake, the cat seems to be out of the bag.

For years, Assange has been trapped in Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden over charges of sexual assault. He has also been wanted in the U.S. for publishing classified cables and other documents. It seems Robert Mueller has also been investigating WikiLeaks for publishing hacked emails in 2016 from both Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.

The Justice Department for the eastern district of Virginia would not comment to the Guardian about Assange’s indictment. The spokesperson did say: “The court filing was made in error. That was not the intended name for this filing.”

advertisement
advertisement

Blackberry is buying an AI and cybersecurity company for $1.4 billion

Blackberry is buying an AI and cybersecurity company for $1.4 billion
[Photo: Bernard Hermant/Unsplash]

The once-king of the mobile landscape is acquiring Cylance for $1.4 billion in cash, Reuters reports. Cylance develops artificial intelligence products that help to prevent cyberattacks on companies. However, Blackberry will mainly use Cylance to boost its QNX unit’s capabilities, which makes software for next-generation self-driving cars.

Blackberry was once the darling of the smartphone world, dominating the industry for years. But then the iPhone came along in 2007 and the Canadian company found itself with a product that looked archaic in comparison. As the smartphone market progressed–and Blackberry’s share continued to decrease–the company shifted from selling mobile devices as its main product to selling software to manage mobile devices and other applications, such as software for autonomous vehicles. With its acquisition of Cylance, it looks clear that Blackberry believes continuing down the software path is the company’s future.

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Facebook can now tell who you live with based on your pictures and captions

Facebook can now tell who you live with based on your pictures and captions
[Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash]

The social media giant has filed for a patent for tech that allows it to tell who you live with in the same household, reports BuzzFeed News. Titled “Predicting household demographics based on image data,” the patent describes how Facebook can use its facial recognition technology on your photos to identify people in them, then correlate those people with the captions a user writes when they post a photo, as well as cross-referencing everyone’s device information, such as shared IP addresses to discover who lives in your household. As BuzzFeed News explains:

It would note the people identified in a photo, and how frequently the people are included in your pictures. Then, it would assess information from comments on the photos, captions, or tags (#family, #mom, #kids)–anything that indicates whether someone is a husband, daughter, cousin, etc.–to predict what your family/household actually looks like.

According to the patent application, Facebook’s prediction models would also analyze “messaging history, past tagging history, [and] web browsing history” to see if multiple people share IP addresses (a unique identifier for every internet network).

In one specific example, the model looked at an image a user posted with two females tagged, “#my_boss_at_home,” and another image with a young girl marked “my angel.” Facebook predicted that there were three people in the household, including the male user, and two females, “who are likely the male user’s wife and daughter.”

Oh, and Facebook uses pictures from both its main site and Instagram in this process. As for what Facebook will use this information for? Ad targeting, the patent says. The question is what could third parties use this information for if such data becomes compromised?

advertisement
advertisement

Sorry, but the Nintendo 64 Classic isn’t happening anytime soon

Sorry, but the Nintendo 64 Classic isn’t happening anytime soon
[Photo: Flickr user Chris Isherwood]

After Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition in 2016 and the Super NES Classic Edition last year, a Nintendo 64 Classic seemed like the next logical step. But speaking to Kotaku, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime suggested that it’s not going to happen soon, if ever.

“I would not ever rule something out,” he said, “but what I can tell you is certainly that’s not in our planning horizon.”

Fils-Aime explained that Nintendo viewed the previous retro consoles as “limited time opportunities,” which gave the company some new hardware to sell as it wound down the Wii U and ramped up the Nintendo Switch. In September, Nintendo launched its Switch Online service, which for $20 per year includes online multiplayer for Switch games and access to a library of original NES games. Fils-Aime said that service will be the main place for people to play classic Nintendo games in the future.

Still, the company has a lot of work to do to expand the NES library, let alone add games from later consoles. And yet, Nintendo has gotten more aggressive about taking down sites that distribute unauthorized ROM software for playing those games.

advertisement
advertisement

Is it snowing earlier than usual? This weather map will tell you how annoyed you should be

Is it snowing earlier than usual? This weather map will tell you how annoyed you should be
[Image: Climate.gov]

It’s too early for this crap.

Or at least that’s how it felt today to much of the northeastern United States, where residents were rudely greeted by a mid-November snowstorm that caught many by surprise. Not-so-cute hashtags like #SnowDay and #FirstSnow were trending on Twitter earlier amid reports that a wintry mix of ice and snow was causing travel nightmares and power outages along the I-95 corridor.

Given that it’s been a warmer-than-usual fall in many areas, it’s easy to understand why folks might feel not quite ready for this sudden turn of events. Also, the sad reality is that climate change has probably made us collectively less tolerant of snowstorms.

Well, if you were wondering if it really did snow too early—or if it just feels that way—wonder no more. NOAA‘s National Centers for Environmental Information has produced an interactive map that reveals exactly when the first snowfall typically happens in your area. Sourcing data from the historical climate record, the map shows the date by which there is a 50% chance of at least one inch of snow on the ground. Just zoom into your area and click on the dot closest to your zip code. The map is powered by Esri.

For fun (or torture), I zoomed into New York City and discovered that the earliest snowfall in Manhattan typically happens on November 18, which is three days from now. So yeah, it’s officially too early for this crap.

[Image: Climate.gov]
advertisement
advertisement

A humbler Zuckerberg acknowledges Facebook’s struggle with the “ugliness of humanity”

A humbler Zuckerberg acknowledges Facebook’s struggle with the “ugliness of humanity”
[Photo: Flickr user Alessio Jacona]

Even Mark Zuckerberg is acknowledging that social media hasn’t been all good.

advertisement

“The past two years have shown that without sufficient safeguards, people will misuse these tools to interfere in elections, spread misinformation, and incite violence,” he wrote in a blog post Thursday. “One of the most painful lessons I’ve learned is that when you connect two billion people, you will see all the beauty and ugliness of humanity.”

Speaking to media on Thursday, the Facebook CEO and other executives appeared to take an increasingly humble tone, conceding that the social network may always face challenges with undesirable and misleading posts–an issue Zuckerberg compared to real-world crime–and even pledging to allow an “independent body” to review the site’s rulings on content.

“There’s no perfect solutions here and these really aren’t problems that you ever fully fix,” said Zuckerberg. “No one expects crime to be eliminated completely, but you expect that things will get better over time.”

In contrast to Facebook’s pledges in years gone by to simply “make the world more open and connected,” and long-held tech industry assumptions that good speech will triumph over bad in the marketplace of ideas, Zuckerberg agreed that sensationalist, damaging posts can engage more users than positive content. He also acknowledged that the company must take a role in shaping what spreads across its network. And despite past insistence that Facebook is “not a media company,” Zuckerberg compared the sensational content on the site to cable news and tabloid newspapers.

“One of the biggest issues social networks face is that, when left unchecked, people will engage disproportionately with more sensationalist and provocative content,” he wrote. “This is not a new phenomenon. It is widespread on cable news today and has been a staple of tabloids for more than a century. At scale it can undermine the quality of public discourse and lead to polarization.”

In addition to issues with U.S. election manipulation and misinformation, Facebook has faced criticism that posts on the site ignite already-raw tensions in many other countries–fanning the flames of genocidal violence in Myanmar, for instance. The company recently agreed to let French regulators study its approach to stopping hate speech.

Zuckerberg said Facebook is continuing to develop artificial intelligence tools to spot content that violates its rules, from nudity to violence and hate speech, and either automatically take it down or bring it to a human’s attention.

“In the case of a post where someone is expressing thoughts of suicide, this could even mean the difference between life and death,” said Guy Rosen, a Facebook vice president for product management. In the past year, the company has helped first responders reach about 3,500 people who needed help, according Zuckerberg’s post.

An independent body

The company plans to create an independent body that will review appeals of decisions to take down content, after a “consultation period” to determine how it should work. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms have long faced criticism for choices on what content to take down and what to allow to stand.

“In the next year, we’re planning to create a new way for people to appeal content decisions to an independent body, whose decisions would be transparent and binding,” Zuckerberg wrote. “The purpose of this body would be to uphold the principle of giving people a voice while also recognizing the reality of keeping people safe.”

Facebook says it’s spotting more objectionable posts automatically, before users complain about them. More than half of hate speech posts are now taken down before complaints come in, along with 97% of points removed for “violent and graphic content,” according to a newly released Facebook Community Standards Enforcement Report. And 99% of the 8.7 million posts taken down for child nudity or sexual exploitation were taken down before complaints were received.

In the third quarter of this year, Facebook “took action” on 15.4 million pieces of graphic and violent content, more than 10 times the amount in the final quarter of last year. Actions taken included removing content, putting warnings before it’s shown, disabling accounts, and contacting law enforcement. Facebook also took down 800 million fake accounts in the second quarter and 754 million in the third, according to the company.

“We will continue making progress as we increase the effectiveness of our proactive enforcement and develop a more open, independent, and rigorous policy-making process,” Zuckerberg wrote. “And we will continue working to ensure that our services are a positive force for bringing people closer together.”

advertisement
advertisement

SpaceX live stream: Watch the Falcon 9 rocket blast off for the Qatari satellite mission

SpaceX live stream: Watch the Falcon 9 rocket blast off for the Qatari satellite mission
[Photo: courtesy of SpaceX]

Elon Musk’s SpaceX is set to launch a used Falcon 9 rocket this afternoon in what will be the spaceflight company’s 18th mission of 2018,  just one mission short of a new record. Cargo includes an Es’hail-2, a communications satellite for Qatar. The launch window is scheduled to begin at 3:46 p.m. ET and will last through 5:29 ET. It’s all happening from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida–weather permitting–and viewers can live-stream the launch via SpaceX’s YouTube page and on the SpaceX website. I’ve also embedded the video below. Enjoy the fireworks!

advertisement
advertisement
advertisement
advertisement

Elon Musk’s SpaceX just got FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites

Elon Musk’s SpaceX just got FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites
[Photos: courtesy of SpaceX]

Soon, SpaceX will have more satellites circling the earth than anyone else. The FCC just gave Elon Musk’s company permission to launch more than 7,000 satellites (or for fans of specificity, 7,518 satellites) into space. The satellites will fill the night sky as part of the company’s Starlink program, which aims to provide satellite-based broadband internet.

According to Bloomberg, since there are currently fewer than 2,000 operating satellites, SpaceX’s new additions will dominate space. That will help the company create its “constellation of satellites” to provide internet services to rural locations, but it will also create a lot of traffic in the stars. So much traffic that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had no choice but to reference the 2013 film Gravity in which the world lost George Clooney due to space junk. To help fight a space junk traffic jam, while approving SpaceX’s applications, the agency also voted on a variety of space-related matters, including debris rules.

The FCC’s approval of the plan isn’t particularly surprising. Back in March, it made SpaceX the first U.S.-based company to receive a license to construct, deploy, and operate its own satellite constellation. SpaceX has said it plans to begin launches next year, and soon we’ll all be able to wish upon a satellite (for faster internet).

advertisement
advertisement

Knight Foundation seeks to strengthen the digital art world with $435,000 investment

Knight Foundation seeks to strengthen the digital art world with $435,000 investment
[Photo: Ashwin Vaswani/Unsplash]

The Knight Foundation wants to make the world a more beautiful place. To do that, it announced today a $435,000 investment in four new arts technology projects to not only doll up this planet of ours, but also help create a strong future for digital arts makers.

Before making their donation, the powers-that-be at the Knight Foundation surveyed the digital art world and found that while it’s full of creative minds ready to hatch genius ideas, the scene as a whole lacks a strong network of support to build sustainable careers. The Knight Foundation chose projects that it hopes will help create a foundation for artists and institutions as they navigate the new digital frontier.

“As technology takes over almost every aspect of our lives, from news and information to the ways in which we interact with each other, we need to create new avenues for artists to permeate these spaces and establish a lasting mark,” Chris Barr, the Knight Foundation director for arts and technology innovation, wrote in a blog post.

The projects receiving support are:

  • Gray Area Foundation for the Arts ($150,000): To develop a playbook for creating immersive digital art installations in a pop-up museum format.
  • University of Denver ($150,000): With this grant, the university will establish the Clinic for Open Source Arts, to improve the long-term viability for open-source technology for creative expression by working with experts in the arts, technology, and academic communities.
  • Processing Foundation ($67,800): The funds will be used to develop an outreach program focused on promoting the use of art and technology tools at a community level through a free and open-source software platform.
  • School for Poetic Computation ($62,400): Since 2013, the School for Poetic Computation has offered learning opportunities and community for artists exploring the intersection of art and technology in New York City. It is now expanding to Detroit for a 10-day workshop for local artists to learn software, hardware, poetry, and critical theory for artistic expression.
advertisement
advertisement

Tinder will now tell you when other Tinder users are looking for love nearby

Tinder will now tell you when other Tinder users are looking for love nearby
[Animation: courtesy of Tinder]

Tinder is making it even easier for lazy people to find love. The matchmaking app just announced that it is testing a new feature called Swipe Surge, which will send out a notification to users when there is a spike in Tinder usage in their area. That means you can just be chilling on your couch in your Slanket watching Riverdale when your phone will light up with an even better way to spend your free time.

According to Tinder, when activity is surging, your matchmaking potential is increased by 250%, and you may meet your new favorite time-killer 33% faster than swiping during those business-as-usual hours. So if you’re looking for love–or a great excuse to get out of the house when you’re home for the holidays–turn on your push notifications and wait for the Swipe Surge to come calling.

Tinder says it’s testing the feature on iOS devices in “select cities.”

advertisement
advertisement

Here’s how to download your Facebook archives, if you suddenly want to do that

Here’s how to download your Facebook archives, if you suddenly want to do that
[Photo: Teddy Rawpixel/rawpixel; Pixabay/Pexels]

Wednesday was another double-plus bad day for Facebook, the company that definitely hasn’t burrowed deeply into all Americans’ lives, like a fleet of digital chiggers, nesting with ads and election-swinging invective.

The New York Times dropped a bombshell story that shed light on the extremely troubling ways top Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg responded to the abuse of its platform by Russia and others during the 2016 election. Among the startling revelations were the fact that in October 2017, Facebook hired a veteran GOP political consultancy to secretly spread messages—including rumors about all-purpose right-wing boogeyman George Soros—and that Zuckerberg personally ordered a ban on employees using iPhones after Tim Cook threw shade at Facebook in March. Although the backlash from various organizations has already begun, the true test of the exposé’s impact will be whether Facebook’s user base begins to disintegrate.

You may have noticed friends and coworkers, but probably not your parents, dropping like flies from the platform after, say, the Cambridge Analytica leak, or when Facebook was used to incite violence in Myanmar, or learning that the company maybe uses shadow data for its ads. Or any of the other things. Transparency tends not to reveal anything positive about Facebook, but rather more reasons why it’s not worth keeping the social network in your life just because you have so many pictures on there and occasionally get Facebook invitations to housewarming parties. To that end, here is a guide to downloading your Facebook archives, just in case that’s something you want to do at this particular moment in time.

  1. Log into Facebook, click the down-triangle icon at top right, and choose Settings.
  2. On the General Settings page, near the top is the option: “To download your information, go to Your Facebook Information.”
  3. Click the second option: Download Your Information.
  4. The page with Your Information offers a date range near the top, so you can go as far back as you’ve used the service. You have the option to deselect any category (Posts, Photos and Videos, Comments, etc) that you may not want to receive.
  5. Click on Create File and get ready to play the waiting game. What you do once you receive the file is up to you.

Ironically, everybody quitting Facebook at the same time is the exact kind of communal harmony Facebook could only offer in theory.

advertisement
advertisement

12451 Stories