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How to watch Lifetime’s ‘College Admissions Scandal’ without cable

How to watch Lifetime’s ‘College Admissions Scandal’ without cable
(Left to right) Michael Shanks as Rick Singer, Mia Kirshner as Bethany Slade, Penelope Ann Miller as Caroline DeVere and Sam Duke as Danny DeVere in The College Admissions Scandal. [Photo: Sergei Bachlakov/Lifetime]

This weekend, the Lifetime TV network will reach far back into American history to bring viewers a dramatic retelling of one of this country’s most defining moments.

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Just kidding! It will air a TV movie about the college admissions scandal, which happened only seven months ago.

In case you needed a refresher, that scandal saw at least 50 people charged in a wide-reaching bribery scheme that included wealthy parents trying to get their children into elite colleges from Yale to USC.

It was historic—the Department of Justice called it the biggest scam of its kind—and it certainly made headlines with boldface names like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin involved. So it makes sense that Lifetime, which is known for TV movies it calls “ripped from the headlines,” would rush to get this sordid tale of privilege and power to the small screen as quickly as possible.

The result is a movie, aptly named The College Admissions Scandal, which centers on two fictional wealthy mothers in lieu of Loughlin and Huffman. It airs tonight (Saturday October 12) at 8 p.m. / 7 p.m. CT on Lifetime.

The movie seems to be getting mixed reviews, but if you haven’t been following the scandal that closely—and you want to get a sense of why people were so incensed by the level of entitlement at play—this movie might be a good primer.

For cord-cutters who want to stream The College Admissions Scandal on your computer or device—either live or after it airs—you have a few different ways to do that. If you insist on catching it live, and you don’t have cable, your best bet is to sign up with a streaming service that offers Lifetime, which is owned by A&E Networks. Here’s a few below:

Those above services are easy to cancel and you can probably get a free week.

Lifetime also lets you stream movies on its website and mobile apps at some point after they air live, although it’s unclear how long it takes for them to appear. You’ll need login credentials from a pay-TV provider to watch this way.

Now go enjoy the movie before Lifetime rips something else from the headlines.

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Now Facebook friends eBay, Stripe, and Mastercard are bailing on Libra too

Now Facebook friends eBay, Stripe, and Mastercard are bailing on Libra too
[Photo: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images; Evan Amos]

In the span of one week, four big corporate partners have backed out of Facebook’s controversial plan to launch a digital currency called Libra.

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PayPal bailed last Friday, and now eBay, Mastercard, and Stripe are tripping over each other on their way out the door. Another major partner, Visa, has also been reportedly “reconsidering” its role in the nonprofit organization charged with running Libra, according to the Wall Street Journal. The departures follow opposition to the project from France as well as the House Financial Services Committee—the latter will get to hear from CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself in a hearing on October 23.

The Libra Association’s remaining partners, including Uber, Spotify, and Coinbase, plan to gather next week in Geneva, Switzerland, to appoint a board of directors for the group. The ongoing scrutiny of Libra makes Facebook’s partners all the more vital to actually launching Libra. But already, many of the financial heavyweights that signed on for Libra seem to have lost interest in offering Facebook anything more than verbal support.

“We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association; however, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member,” an eBay spokesperson said in a statement published by Bloomberg. Likewise, a Stripe spokesperson kindly wrote, “Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential.”

But apparently there’s not enough potential for these partners to want to wait out the storm with Zuckerberg.

Reached for comment on the departures, a Facebook spokesperson directed us to the Libra Association, which sent over the following statement from policy and communications head Dante Disparte:

“We appreciate their support for the goals and mission of the Libra project. We are focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association of some of the world’s leading enterprises, social impact organizations and other stakeholders to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people. Although the makeup of the Association members may grow and change over time, the design principle of Libra’s governance and technology, along with the open nature of this project ensures the Libra payment network will remain resilient. We look forward to the inaugural Libra Association Council meeting in just 3 days and announcing the initial members of the Libra Association.”

This post has been updated with a comment from the Libra Association.

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ICYMI: The president was accused of unwanted sexual contact by more than two dozen women this week

ICYMI: The president was accused of unwanted sexual contact by more than two dozen women this week
[Photo: Flickr user Michael Vadon]

If you feel like the news cycle moves at a breakneck speed, you’re right—especially in the last few weeks as we’ve all been focused on the unfolding impeachment case. However, even in 2019’s reality, you would think that 43 new allegations of inappropriate behavior—26 of which included “unwanted sexual contact”—from a sitting president would warrant some major news coverage. But nope.

The allegations come from a new book, All the President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator, by journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy. The book is due out October 22 and draws on over 100 interviews. An excerpt in Esquire on Wednesday detailed one account of a sexual assault at a New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago in the early 2000s, in which the woman alleges that Trump deployed his now-infamous tactic of “grabbing them by the pus*y.”

This account and the other 42 in the book haven’t garnered much media coverage this week, however. As Media Matters notes in a new analysis, while the story has been covered by several online publications, “The sole mention of this story from major newspapers The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times comes from an October 9 ‘Happy Hour Roundup‘ from the Post.”

It should go without saying that there are also 24 other women who have already publicly said that Trump has sexually assaulted them. There was a time when news like this would have been considered an impeachable offense.

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Trillion-dollar Apple hit a stock price high after Trump sent this tweet about China

Trillion-dollar Apple hit a stock price high after Trump sent this tweet about China
[Photo: Mark Chan/Unsplash; M. B. M./Unsplash]

Apple’s velveteen pockets looked deeper than ever on Friday as its stock price climbed above record highs to $236.88 per share during normal trading hours.

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The iPhone maker set its previous record last October (peaking at $237.64 per share). Currently, it’s valued at an alarming $1.07 trillion, a whole lot of zeros—or: $1,070,000,000,000.

Written out vertically, those zeros look all the more shocking. (We won’t do that here, but try it at home.)

Apple’s peers, including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Intel, were also trading up today, and that’s likely in part due to an uncharacteristically gentle tweet from President Trump on the ongoing trade war with China, the place Apple and other tech giants go to make a lot of phones on the cheap. The highlights: “Good things are happening” and there are “Warmer feelings [. . .] more like the Old Days.” That’s good news for Apple’s Tim Cook, as the chief executive has put a lot of hours into his relationship with the president.

As CNBC notes, if the U.S. and China aren’t able to reach a deal, Apple faces a significant tax hike on the products it imports from China, forcing it to either foot the bill or pass the added cost to customers.

Apple’s business today, however, may be ever so slightly less vulnerable to trade war crossfire. Its longstanding model, shipping more and more iPhones, is shifting toward selling more services to existing customers. Most recently, that’s taken the form of Apple TV+, Apple’s upcoming video streaming service, and it helps explain the reported formation of Apple’s own in-house studio.

This post has been updated with higher figure for Apple’s 52-week high than was previously cited.

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Frequent Jeff Bezos critic Donald Trump just joined Amazon’s Twitch

Frequent Jeff Bezos critic Donald Trump just joined Amazon’s Twitch
[Photo: Shealah Craighead/The White House/Flickr]

President Donald Trump is expanding beyond Twitter.

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He’s joined Amazon’s live-streaming platform Twitch, and some political experts say it’s his way of attempting to appeal to young voters as the 2020 presidential election season heats up.

As of 9 a.m. ET today, Trump has more than 43,500 followers. His one video and more than three dozen clips were from a rally in Minneapolis on Thursday.

That’s where his latest foray into tech was unveiled as his speech was live-streamed via his verified account. Currently, there’s an invitation to join him in Dallas on Thursday. According to Twitch’s website, the 8-year-old platform has more than 3 million unique creators streaming each month and over 15 million average daily visitors.

Trump’s getting Twitch-ified seems in contrast with his highly critical opinions of both Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, another Trump target.

In addition, the president isn’t a fan of video games.

At least one potential Democratic rival has joined the platform; Bernie Sanders has a verified account. There are accounts named for Andrew Yang, Beto O’Rourke, and Joe Biden, though it’s unclear who’s behind them.

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Google is funding climate-change deniers

Google is funding climate-change deniers
[Photo: Li-An Lim/Unsplash]

Despite the company often publicly calling for action on climate change, Google has been caught actively funding organizations that deny climate change and lobby against action to prevent and reverse it, the Guardian reports. The publication says Google has made “substantial” contributions to more than a dozen organizations that lobby against climate change action.

One such organization Google has donated to is the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative policy group that the Guardian says “was instrumental in convincing the Trump administration to abandon” the historic Paris Agreement.

Google is also a sponsor of the upcoming State Policy Network (SPN) annual meeting. The SPN is an umbrella organization that supports conservative groups including the Heartland Institute. The Heartland Institute is an anti-science group, according to the Guardian, that has accused the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist Greta Thunberg of “climate delusion hysterics.” The SPN also created a climate pledge website that states “our natural environment is getting better” and “there is no climate crisis” as well as stating that “polar bears are doing very well,” which isn’t the case according to the World Wildlife Fund.

In response to the Guardian’s reports, a Google spokesperson told the publication that the company’s donations to climate-change-denying groups “does not mean we endorse the organizations’ entire agenda.” The spokesperson went on to say, “We’re hardly alone among companies that contribute to organizations while strongly disagreeing with them on climate policy.”

Google would not reveal the total amount it had donated to climate-change-denying groups. However, the company maintains a U.S. Public Policy transparency page which contains a running list (PDF) of third-party, politically-affiliated groups that receives the “most substantial contributions” from the company. A quick run-through of the list shows the company contributes what it calls “substantial” sums to groups on both sides of the political spectrum.

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This is America’s most popular Halloween candy—and, no, it’s not candy corn

This is America’s most popular Halloween candy—and, no, it’s not candy corn
[Photo: Flickr user Ryan Stevens]

Black licorice is America’s favorite Halloween candy.

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That’s a trick, not a treat.

Actually, the country’s No. 1 sweet for All Hallows’ Eve is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, according to a Monmouth University poll released today.

Thirty-six percent of Americans polled cited the chocolate-PB treat. Coming in second with 18% was Snickers, followed by M&M’s with 11%, plain Hershey bars and candy corn (Yes, candy corn.) both with 6%, Skittles with 5%, Starburst with 4%, and Tootsie Pops with 2%, the pollsters found after giving respondents a choice of eight candies.

Another 6% of respondents said none of them, while 4% said they don’t eat candy. Two percent said replied that they don’t know.

“Candy corn even making the list may surprise some people, but it is one of the top-selling Halloween candies in the country. We don’t know if it’s one of the top-eaten candies, but it does have a fan base. And candy corn make great fake teeth to creep out your parents with,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said in a statement.

Other poll highlights include:

  • 58% say face-darkening makeup as part of a costume is wrong, compared to 31% who find it acceptable. That switches to 52% and 38%, respectively, if the individual is dressing up as a specific famous person.
  • 95% of parents will make sure their young children have an adult chaperone while trick-or-treating. It drops to 76% when the respondents are parents of teenagers.
  • 8% of Americans consider Halloween their favorite holiday, while 37% call it one of their favorites.

The telephone poll was conducted September 23 to 29, 2019 with 1,161 adults. The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percentage points.

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10 ways to actually help girls on International Day of the Girl

10 ways to actually help girls on International Day of the Girl
[Photo: Flickr user Shinya Suzuki]

It’s International Day of the Girl, so to mark the occasion we have put together a list of organizations working to make the world a better place for girls and young women. The groups promote equality, fight for fairness in wages, work to end child marriage, and put the education and equality of young women at the forefront of their missions.

Since some 62 million girls around the world are not in school, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development, women are still paid less than men, and women and girls still bear the brunt of family chores, there’s still a lot of work to do. Here’s how you can help:

  • It’s estimated that 64 million girls around the world are forced into marriage before the age of 18—some as young as 7 or 8 years old. CARE’s Tipping Point program works to let girls grow up and be empowered to make their own life choices. (CARE also teamed up with Care Bares this year.)
  • The Malala Fund, founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, works to ensure every girl gets 12 years of free, safe, quality education.
  • Help young women become the first in their families to graduate from high school with She’s the First, which uses education, mentorship, and global leadership training to support girls determined to make a difference.
  • At least 500 million women and girls globally lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management, making them more likely to miss school or drop out entirely. Help girls get the period care they need through Days For Girls.
  • Become a mentor for a young girl through Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
  • UNICEF reports that women and girls around the world spend 200 million hours every day collecting water. The opportunity cost of lack of access to clean water disproportionately falls on women and girls, cutting into time they could spend in school or doing other things. Help make clean water easier to access via The Water Project.
  • 3.9 million girls are at risk of undergoing female genital cutting. That tradition is being challenged by Orchid Project, which is working to end the risky practice.
  • School can be costly. Help fund a young girl’s education through Heifer International.
  • Girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys by age 14. Play Like A Girl is on a mission to change that with sports and STEM programs around the world.
  • Equality Now uses the legal system to fight unjust and gender-biased laws. Since it was founded in 1992, it’s fought for voting rights for women in Kuwait, helped pass the first law prohibiting sex tourism, and generally fought for a world where girls can grow up free of discrimination and bias.

This post has been updated.

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California bans hotels from using tiny plastic bottles

California bans hotels from using tiny plastic bottles
[Photo: Flickr user Simon_sees]

You know how in the song “Hotel California” the Eagles sing how it’s such a lovely place? Well, California has just figured out how to make hotel rooms even more lovely. Back in April, members of the state assembly voted to replace small plastic bottles with dispensers or bottles larger than 12 ounces. Now Governor Gavin Newsom announced he has signed the bill banning hotels from putting those tiny plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or soap (aka souvenirs) in hotel rooms.

The law takes effect in 2023 for hotels with more than 50 rooms and 2024 for hotels with less than 50 rooms. Violators could be fined $500 for a first offense and $2,000 for subsequent violations, the AP reports. While some travelers may want to stock up now, this, of course, does not mean that hotels will stop offering guests shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. It just means that intrepid travelers will have to figure out how to use refillable dispensers that are attached to the wall or tackle larger bottles. (It’s just like at home, guys!)

While guests who love stocking up on those travel-size bottles of shampoo at hotels will be sad at the loss of the freebie, the sense of helping the planet by cutting down on plastic waste surely makes up for the loss. California’s new law follows similar actions by some of the world’s largest hotel chains eager to look like they are going green.

Marriott International, which owns Hilton, Marriott, and a bazillion other brands, plans to stop using small plastic bottles in its hotel rooms by December 2020. IHG, the company behind Holiday Inn, Kimpton, and more, said it will eliminate about 200 million small bottles by 2021. Last year, Disney said it was getting rid of small plastic shampoo bottles at its resorts and on cruise ships. Now hotels don’t have a choice in the matter, because California is determined to keep the world a lovely place.

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This real estate company will check that house for ghosts before you buy it

This real estate company will check that house for ghosts before you buy it
[Photos: courtesy of Bungalo; Stefano Pollio/Unsplash]

If there’s anything we’ve learned from repeated viewings of Poltergeist, it’s this: Before you buy a house, make sure it wasn’t built on a burial ground. Films like Insidious, Paranormal Activity, The Changeling, and The Grudge have all shown the importance of doing your paranormal due diligence when it comes to real estate purchases. But while you’re checking out a home’s HVAC situation, soundproofing, natural light, and school districts, maybe it slipped your mind to ask if anyone is haunting the place.

That’s why this month only, real estate platform Bungalo is adding a useful new tool to make sure the home inspection process is thorough in this world and beyond: Paranormal Inspection Reports. Yes, you read that correctly.

Now not only will the company run through the more traditional 160-point home inspection punch list, as well as inviting an unaffiliated third party to inspect the property, but now every Bungalo home for sale in Charlotte, Dallas, and Tampa will also be inspected by a professional paranormal investigator. Because I ain’t afraid of no ghost, unless it’s in my bathroom and diminishing my property values, right? Right.

Since hauntings don’t typically have to be disclosed by previous owners, this may be the best way to ensure you don’t end up recreating The Haunting of Hill House at your home in Tampa.

So before Bungalo homes are put on the market, the paranormal investigators will tour the home, checking for anything strange or of spiritual significance, like unusual electrical fields (orbs!) and unexplained movements (did you hear that?) or other things that go bump in the night. After spending time trying to commune with the spiritual realm, each investigator, including Becky Vickers of BECKS Ghost Hunters (as seen on TV!), will put together a “Paranormal Inspection Report” letting homeowners in this world and the next rest in peace.

You may scoff, but I bet the folks buying in Westfield, New Jersey, or Amityville, New York, wish they had been offered this service by their real estate agents. Your move, Century 21.

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The future of fashion is optimistic as LVMH bets on a mental health-focused streetwear label

Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), the conglomerate that owns many of the world’s best-known luxury brands, has just invested in a startup called Madhappy that, on the surface, doesn’t seem like any other brands in its wheelhouse.

[Photo: courtesy of Madhappy]
The two-year-old brand, founded by four twentysomething buddies in Los Angeles, creates streetwear that is centered on optimism. Cofounder Peiman Raf says that the brand is on a mission to make the world a more optimistic place by creating conversations around mental health.

“Growing up, we found that many streetwear labels seemed to be very exclusive, and we wanted to create a brand that was the opposite of that,” he says. “But we want to take it a step further and start conversations about mental health. Many of our events are focused on talking about mental health issues that most people don’t often talk about publicly.”

LVMH was the biggest investor in Madhappy’s $1.5 million seed round, among other investors including Tommy Hilfiger and the founders of Sweetgreen.

Madhappy creates streetwear staples at a higher-end price point, including things like $160 hoodies, $140 sweatpants, and $70 T-shirts. These pieces stand out because they’re often in bright colors, and they have positive sayings on them, including T-shirts that simply say “Optimistic.” According to Raf, many traditional streetwear brands have a largely male audience, but Madhappy’s customers are more evenly split between men and women. The brand launched online but has also launched pop-ups across the country, from Los Angeles to New York to Aspen, Colorado, to Miami. And Madhappy products have gained a following among celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Steph Curry, Katy Perry, and Cardi B.

More broadly, the luxury fashion industry has had a reputation for being exclusive, and it’s telling that a mega-company like LVMH is investing in a brand that is about inclusivity and helping people feel accepted and emotionally sound. This message seems to be resonating with twentysomethings, and LVMH seems to be betting that this is the kind of brand the next generation of luxury consumers is looking for.

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Apple removes two apps related to the Hong Kong protests after criticism from Chinese media

Apple removes two apps related to the Hong Kong protests after criticism from Chinese media
[Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images]

Apple has removed two apps from the Chinese App Store—both of them related to the Hong Kong protests. One of the apps, HKmap Live, was originally pulled by Apple over a week ago, yet the company quickly reinstated it.

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However, as the Nikkei Asian Review reported yesterday, after the state-run People’s Daily newspaper blasted Apple yesterday for allowing HKmap Live in the App Store, saying Apple’s actions “betrayed the feelings of the Chinese people” and claiming the app encourages violence in Hong Kong, Apple has now removed HKmap Live again.

In a statement about the removal of HKmap Live, Apple said:

We created the App Store to be a safe and trusted place to discover apps. We have learned that an app, HKmap.live, has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong. Many concerned customers in Hong Kong have contacted us about this app and we immediately began investigating it. The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement. This app violates our guidelines and local laws, and we have removed it from the App Store.

However, the app’s makers say there’s no evidence their app has been used by people to ambush police in the city. Apple did not clarify how the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau verified these claims with them.

In perhaps an even more shocking move, yesterday Apple removed the app of the publication Quartz from the Chinese App Store after getting complaints from the Chinese government. The publication said it received a notice from Apple that the Quartz app “includes content that is illegal in China.” Quartz has been reporting on the protests in Hong Kong continuously for months.

Apple has not publicly commented on the removal of the Quartz app in China.

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Comcast blames ‘software error’ after charging thousands of customers for data they didn’t use

Comcast blames ‘software error’ after charging thousands of customers for data they didn’t use
[Photo: Paul Harris/Getty Images]

Your neighborhood cable conglomerate could have overcharged you for broadband data you didn’t even use, thanks to a recently discovered bug.

Comcast acknowledged this week that a “software error” led to some inaccurate data usage readings over the last two months, affecting at least thousands—and potentially tens of thousands—of its broadband internet customers. According to a thorough report by Ars Technica, 2,000 of the affected customers were hit with incorrect charges for exceeding the company’s regional 1-terabyte data cap. The report notes that this isn’t the first time Comcast has been caught overbilling its subscribers.

“We’re very sorry for inconveniencing our customers,” said Comcast in a statement.” The company said it’s fixed the bug and is “proactively crediting the accounts affected.” It’s also handing out $50 in credits “to make it right.”

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Marco Rubio wants the feds to investigate TikTok, the app where teens meme

Marco Rubio wants the feds to investigate TikTok, the app where teens meme
[Photo: Flickr user Gage Skidmore]

Senator Marco Rubio wants U.S. authorities to look into TikTok, the app where teens go to watch and share short video memes.

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In a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Florida Republican called on the Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS) to “launch a full and thorough national security review of TikTok’s acquisition of Musical.ly.” TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company paid $1 billion for Musical.ly at the tail end of 2017.

“There continues to be ample and growing evidence that TikTok’s platform for Western markets, including those in the U.S., is censoring content that is not in line with the Chinese Government and Communist Party directives,” Rubio wrote.

The senator specifically cited a Washington Post report suggesting TikTok is censoring videos related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. Following that report, the Guardian published past TikTok moderation guidelines. The app’s rules for moderators banned topics such as “Tiananmen Square.”

In a statement sent to Fast Company, a spokesperson for TikTok said its policies “are not influenced by any foreign government.” The spokesperson added, “The Chinese government does not request that TikTok censor content, and would not have jurisdiction regardless, as TikTok does not operate there.”

However, TikTok’s owner, Bytedance, does. While TikTok is not available in China, Bytedance also runs Douyin, an app similar to TikTok only available in China, as well as a news service called Jinri Toutiao.

According to the spokesperson, TikTok is “looking into the formation of a committee of leading industry organizations and experts to help us further refine and regularly assess our policies and implementation, and increase transparency.”

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You can donate your bitcoin to UNICEF now

You can donate your bitcoin to UNICEF now
[Photo: Dmitry Demidko/Unsplash]

The next time you see a sidewalk Santa ringing his bell and asking for donations, ask him if he takes bitcoin. If he looks at you funny, tell him that UNICEF does and it may be the future of philanthropy.

UNICEF announced today that it has created the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, a first for a United Nations organization. The new fund can receive, hold, and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies. Under the structure of the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund, contributions will be held in the type of cryptocurrency they were received in and given out in the same cryptocurrency. UNICEF will use those generous donations of bitcoin and ether to fund open-source technology that will further its mission of helping children and young people around the world.

“This is a new and exciting venture for UNICEF,” Henrietta Fore, UNICEF’s executive director, said in a statement. “If digital economies and currencies have the potential to shape the lives of coming generations, it is important that we explore the opportunities they offer. That’s why the creation of our Cryptocurrency Fund is a significant and welcome step forward in humanitarian and development work.”

Per the release:

“The first contributions to the UNICEF Cryptocurrency Fund will be received from the Ethereum Foundation and will benefit three grantees of the UNICEF Innovation Fund as well as a project coordinated by the GIGA initiative to connect schools across the world to the internet.”

The Ethereum Foundation will make its initial donation through the French National Committee for UNICEF, but if you have some stray cryptocurrency lingering in cyberspace and want to make it do some good in the world, you can donate it to UNICEF branches in the U.S.Australia, and New Zealand.

This story has been updated.

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Did you know Facebook owns Instagram? Most Americans don’t

Did you know Facebook owns Instagram? Most Americans don’t
[Photo: Flickr user Anthony Quintano]

A new survey may explain why people who loudly delete Facebook often stay on Instagram and WhatsApp.

The Pew Research Center asked 4,272 adults living in the United States a series of 10 questions and found that Americans’ understanding of technology-related issues is generally not that great.

When asked the series of questions designed to assess digital savviness on topics like cybersecurity, privacy, and social media, the median number of correct answers was four. To put that another way, only 20% of adults answered seven or more questions correctly, and just 2% got all 10 questions correct.

The Pew Research Center’s survey found that digital knowledge varies a lot across demographics. Adults with a bachelor’s or advanced degree and people under the age of 50 tended to be able to answer more of the questions correctly. They found a double-digit gap between people who had a bachelor’s or advanced degree and those who have a high school education or less.

There were a few stumpers regardless of demographics, though: Only 15% of adults correctly identified a photo of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and two-factor authentication continues to confuse people.

While the world will be forgiven, or perhaps even applauded, for not being able to pick Dorsey out of a lineup, one would hope that by now most Americans would know that Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram, but just 29% of Americans surveyed were aware of that fact. Guess that explains all those irony-free Instagram posts saying “Sayonara Facebook!”

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U.S. intelligence worker charged with leaking classified secrets to journalists

U.S. intelligence worker charged with leaking classified secrets to journalists
[Photo: Andrew Van Huss/Wikimedia Commons]

A Defense Intelligence Agency analyst is charged with leaking classified information to two reporters, including one he was allegedly in a romantic relationship with, officials announced Wednesday.

According to an indictment filed in the case, Henry Kyle Frese, 30, accessed information last year unrelated to his job and related to a foreign country’s weapons. After that, he allegedly spoke to the two journalists, and one of them published an article containing “top secret” classified information from the report he accessed.

Last month, he allegedly accessed two more reports classified “secret” and leaked the information to one of the journalists. Presumably unbeknownst to him, the FBI was tapping his phone. It’s unclear from the court filing if the second leak led to any more published stories and if it related to the same country and its weapons systems.

The journalists and the news outlets where they work aren’t identified in the court filings, which is standard for people mentioned in federal indictments who aren’t themselves charged.

Prosecution against people accused of leaking classified information to the media have been more common in the United States in recent years, according to data from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In at least one ongoing case, against a former intelligence agent named Daniel Hale, who is accused of leaking information to the media about the use of drones against al-Qaeda, defense attorneys have argued the law is being used to suppress the freedom of the press, the Associated Press reported last month.

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Tesla owners in California get a warning to charge their cars before the power goes out

Tesla owners in California get a warning to charge their cars before the power goes out
[Photo: Dario/Unsplash]

Pacific General & Electric (PG&E) is cutting power across large swaths of Northern California, including the Bay Area, in a drastic bid to prevent wildfires.

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Now Tesla is warning people that before they settle into their outage outrage, they should really charge up their electric cars.

You see, electric cars are great options—except when there is no way to power them up. To be as proactive as PG&E, after hearing the news of the impending power cut, Tesla jumped into action, sending out an in-car alert to the dashboard display warning owners to charge their vehicles fully ahead of the outage.

As Electrek points out, most Tesla owners don’t charge their vehicles to 100%, because it’s a bit of a time suck, and the batteries last such a long time that it’s not usually necessary—until the power company cuts the electricity, that is. Of course, Tesla just so happens to have another gadget that can help in the case of an emergency power outage—its PowerWall. Before the lights go out, Tesla is activating the “Storm Watch” feature on its PowerWall to store excess electricity before things go dark.

Don’t worry about the folks at Tesla HQ, though. According to PG&E’s outage map, they will be just fine as the company’s offices fall right outside the outage zone.

How lucky. Or maybe *adjusts tinfoil hat* it wasn’t luck at all.

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Uber finally throws dog owners a bone with a pet ride-hailing option in some cities

Uber finally throws dog owners a bone with a pet ride-hailing option in some cities
[Photo: Tadeusz Lakota/Unsplash]

Catching an Uber with your dog has always been a gamble. Sometimes Uber drivers just ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ as you and your pooch hop in the back seat. Others glare if your pet so much as sets a paw on their delicate upholstery. Other drivers will take one look at your pup and cancel the ride. In short, it’s been ruff out there.

But the company is finally throwing dog owners a bone with Uber Pet, a new option for folks traveling with nonservice animals. (Its current pet policy requires drivers to accept only service animals.) Starting next Wednesday, October 16, Uber will start testing the new ride option in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Tampa Bay, Florida. (New Yorkers will just have to continue shoving their dogs in bags and riding the subway for now.)

Now, users can select the Uber Pet option, pay a surcharge (naturally) of between $3 and $5, and cut out the whole frustrating process of hoping your driver loves it when dogs mash their little noses on the rear windows. Uber Pet will be an option in the same place that UberX, Uber Pool, and other types of rides are listed on the app, and drivers can opt out if they don’t want four-legged passengers. If they do take dogs, drivers will get a portion of the pet surcharge.

As Venture Beat points out, Uber Pet is not entirely new. It has been available in other markets, including Singapore and a number of Latin American countries, including Brazil and Mexico. Now it is coming to Uber’s biggest market, and pet owners will certainly be happy to have it.

For its part, Lyft has a pet policy that gently suggests passengers reach out to drivers ahead of time to let them know they have a pet with them, but it’s not particularly feasible considering how difficult it is to even get a driver to pick you up where you are actually standing.

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Rwanda just released the first smartphone made entirely in Africa

Rwanda just released the first smartphone made entirely in Africa

Rwanda’s Mara Group has grand ambitions. The company hopes to help turn Rwanda into a regional tech hub, and it just got one step closer to completing that mission. This week, the company released two smartphones, earning Mara Group the title of the first smartphone manufacturer in Africa.

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Rwanda President Paul Kagame has announced Africa’s “first high tech smartphone factory,” CNN reported. While smartphones are assembled in other African nations (Egypt, Algeria, and South Africa all have assembly plants), according to Reuters, those companies all import the components. But at Mara, they manufacture the phones from the motherboards to the packaging, which is all done in the new factory. Kagame made the announcement in a press conference on Monday in the capital of Kigali.

The phones, called Mara X and Mara Z, are the first “Made in Africa” models. Here are the details:

  • Mara X model: 16GB storage. Retail: 120,250 Rwandan francs ($130)
  • Mara Z model: 32GB storage. Retail: 175,750 Rwandan francs ($190)

Both run on Google’s Android operating system. While the company admits they are a little more expensive than other options, like the popular Tecno brand phones made by a Chinese-owned company, they hope customers are willing to pay a bit more for quality and Made in Africa pride.

The facility is “an important step” for Rwanda, which has worked to transform itself into an economic innovation leader. They hosted the World Economic Forum on Africa in May 2018, and work is reportedly well underway on the Kigali Innovation City, which will house innovation labs and provide training and funding for technology companies.

This post has been updated.

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