New Facebook tool answers the question ‘Why am I seeing this post?’


This post is by Catherine Shu from TechCrunch


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Facebook announced today that it is adding to News Feeds a feature called “Why am I seeing this post?” Similar to “Why am I seeing this ad?,” which has appeared next to advertisements since 2014, the new tool has a drop-down menu that gives users information about why that post appeared in their News Feed, along with links to personalization controls.

Meant to give users more transparency into how Facebook’s News Feed algorithm works, the update comes as the company copes with several major events that have highlighted the platform’s shortcomings, including potentially harmful ones. These include its role in enabling the dissemination of a video taken during the shooting attacks on New Zealand mosques two weeks ago, which were originally broadcast using Facebook Live; a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that accuses Facebook’s ad-targeting tool of violating the Fair Housing

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We don’t need no education?


This post is by Jon Evans from TechCrunch


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I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately, and I’ve been watching the rise of Lambda School — which I think is fantastic, incidentally — and the combination has me wondering two things:

  1. how educated do software engineers need to be?
  2. And how well does that map to what they actually learn from formal education?

Let’s step back and define some terms before we try to answer those. First, by “formal” education I generally mean a four-year accredited university, whereas people with eg Lambda School or boot camps behind them are “informally” educated, and in turn distinguished from autodidacts. This is not universal. Early Google didn’t seem to consider anyone with less than a masters “formally” educated.

Second, of course there’s no absolute need. Since the dawn of the first vacuum tube, and very much including hardcore grotty stuff like compilers and cryptography, software has been a field in which

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Elon Musk, SoundCloud rapper


This post is by Brian Heater from TechCrunch


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How’s your weekend going? Good, good. Now, here, have a billionaire’s super autotuned rap track about a famous deceased gorilla:

Tesla/Space X/Boring Company guy, Elon Musk has apparently uploaded a SoundCloud track titled “RIP Harambe,” about the 17-year-old Western lowland gorilla who was shot to death at a Cincinnati zoo in 2016 after a three-year-old boy climb into his enclosure. No word yet on precisely what role Musk played in the creation of the track, beyond releasing it on his “failed […] record label.”

“This might be my finest work,” the billionaire tweeted about the track, uploaded to his Emo G (emoji) Records SoundCloud account. The song, which includes lines like “RIP Harambe / Smoking on some strong hay” appears to be more meme-centric that serious musical pursuit. But as James Dolan can happily attest,

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Care.com deleted ‘tens of thousands’ of providers after report found lax vetting procedures


This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts


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On March 8th, The Wall Street Journal published a damning report about caregiver platform Care.com, which found that it put the burden on users to evaluate its caregivers, that it didn’t conduct full background checks or vet the daycare centers that were listed on the site, and that in some instances, providers were unlicensed and even were responsible for deaths of the children in their care. In a followup report published today, the WSJ says that the company removed “tens of thousands of unverified day-care center listings” prior to the publication of that initial report.

The original report found that there were “about 9 instances” in the last six years where a provider was listed on the site had a criminal record, and then committed…

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PewDiePie takes one last shot at T-Series as he concedes defeat to YouTube’s Bollywood powerhouse


This post is by Julia Alexander from The Verge - All Posts


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Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg ended his months-long, facetious war with Bollywood powerhouse T-Series today by issuing a music video with a series of personal confessions and accusations against his rival.

The video, “Congratulations,” accuses T-Series executives, including chairman Bhushan Kumar, of multiple misdoings. Kjellberg references a Times of India article, which reported that Kumar is currently being investigated for “alleged evasion of huge tax and siphoning off hundreds of crores to foreign countries to purchase properties in the names of his employees.” The Verge has reached out to T-Series for comment.

Kjellberg also reveals that T-Series reportedly sent him a cease and desist letter following the release of his original…

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Google Maps adds Snakes game in app for April Fools’ Day


This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts


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Google is temporarily adding a version of the classic game Snakes into its Google Maps app for April Fools’ Day this year.

The company says that the game is rolling out now to iOS and Android users globally today, and that it’ll remain on the app for the rest of the week. It also launched a standalone site to play the game if you don’t have the app.

Image: Google

Users can find the game in the menu of the Maps app. To play, you select a city (Cairo, São Paulo, London, Sydney, San Francisco, Tokyo, or the entire world), and swipe to move your train or bus around the map to pick up passengers and landmarks.

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What to read this weekend


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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Baseball season is here. March is already done and dusted. Let’s just say it is time for some serious spring cleaning. And for me, that means clearing out all those links that had piled up in my Pocket account. I have been reading more than usual for the past few weeks, mostly due to my health has slowed me down, and I was forced to take it easy and recover properly.

As an aside, with the clock turning on March, I have been in San Francisco for sixteen years at a stretch, eighteen in total, and yet I don’t feel like it is home. I have formed many great friendships. I have become part of two partnerships. I love the weather. The food scene is fantastic. The medical system in the city is the sole reason I am alive.

And yet, somehow it doesn’t feel like home. I guess when you are born somewhere, grew up elsewhere and are living in another place; you are never sure about the location of your axis, around which your life revolves. Ten years ago, I had the same feelings about San Francisco. This is what I wrote then:

Our physical interaction with a place defines how we feel about that place. New York’s streets and corners have a story attached to them, and I guess that gives a sense of belonging, and in the process act as markers on the timeline called life. I don’t feel that same way about San Francisco, even though I have lived here for ten years. I guess it will always be a place where I live, just not home.

I don’t quite know what will be my next destination. Continue reading “What to read this weekend”

More 2 million credit card numbers stolen from Earl Enterprise restaurants in 10-month breach


This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts


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The parent company of restaurants such as Planet Hollywood, Buca di Beppo, and Mixology has confirmed that it experienced a security breach after security researchers found more than 2 million stolen credit card numbers being sold online.

KrebsOnSecurity says that it contacted the company in February after it discovered “strong evidence” that customer credit card and debit card numbers were being sold online. Hackers used “malware installed on its point-of-sale systems” to steal 2.15 million credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and some cardholder names from restaurant locations in 40 states.

Earl Enterprises says that the breach took place between May 23rd, 2018 and March 18th, 2019, and that “the incident has now been…

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New York lawmakers reach deal to ban plastic bags in 2020


This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts


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New York governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislative leaders have announced that they have reached an agreement on the state’s 2020 budget, a provision of which includes a ban on single-use plastic bags, making it the third state to adopt such legislation.

Lawmakers will vote on the budget deal later today. The provision will effectively ban the single-use plastic bags that are found in grocery stores, which often make their way into waterways and oceans. The New York Times says that the ban goes into effect in March 2020, and will prohibit stores from providing the bags to customers, although there are some exceptions, like bags for newspapers, wrapping produce or meat, and take-out. The provision also allows cities and counties to opt-in…

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How to Access the ‘Snake’ Easter Egg in Google Maps


This post is by Emily Price from Lifehacker


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Google Maps is celebrating April Fool’s Day this year with a limited-edition version of the classic arcade game Snake. The easter egg will be available starting today through the end of the week. With it, you’ll be able to play Snake on your desktop as well as with Google Maps’ smartphone app in a number of iconic…

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Portable TV and Music


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC


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We just packed up an Airbnb that we have been living in for three months in Los Angeles and are heading back east.

This is a photo of my carry on luggage as I was packing it this morning.

That is an AppleTV and a Sonos Connect in between my “shaving kit” and my sneakers.

I brought these two devices out west and connected the AppleTV to the one TV in the Airbnb and I connected the Sonos to the receiver that powered the in ceiling speakers in the main living space in the house.

Even if the Airbnb had come with an AppleTV and a Sonos device, I would have swapped out theirs for ours for the length of our stay because these two devices have all of our services pre-confgured on them and we are logged into all of the services.

That is where the big difference is

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The Amazon Dash button was a physical interface to digital shopping


This post is by Chaim Gartenberg from The Verge - All Posts


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In today’s digital age, it can sometimes feel like hardware has taken a back seat to the software that drives devices. Button of the Month is a column that looks at some of these buttons and switches on devices both old and new to appreciate how we interact with our devices on a physical, tactile level.

Shopping on Amazon is a vastly digital experience. Until the last few years, there hasn’t been a physical way to go and buy things from Amazon. For the overwhelming majority of Amazon purchases, there’s still no checkout lane, no aisles to browse, no physical interactions at all — famously, the company’s “One Click” software removes nearly all barriers between wanting something and buying it.

Amazon’s now-defunct Dash buttons — small,…

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Jeff Bezos’ investigators believe ‘with high confidence’ that Saudi Arabia accessed his phone


This post is by Andrew Liptak from The Verge - All Posts


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Following the revelation that the The National Enquirer had obtained intimate texts and images between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanches, Bezos ordered an investigation into who was behind the data breach. In a post on The Daily Beast, Bezos’ security consultant Gavin De Becker says that his team of investigators have “concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos’ phone,” although he says that they haven’t been able to to link that access with the data that the Enquirer claimed to have.

In February, Bezos released a remarkable post on Medium, saying that Enquirer and its parent company, AMI, had attempted to extort and blackmail him with images that he had texted to a woman with which he was having an…

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These stunning drone photos really put humanity in its place


This post is by James Vincent from The Verge - All Posts


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<em>“The famous monastery of Mont Saint Michel during a foggy morning.”</em>

It may be a cliché, but drone photography really does offer a new perspective on the world.

Winners of the 2018 Aerial Photo and Video Contest from SkyPixel (an online photo-sharing community owned by Chinese drone maker DJI) show how. The pictures and videos put architecture, nature, and humanity on display from unexpected heights and angles. The resulting imagery is stunning, and might make you rethink your place in the world.

Just consider it for a second. Where are you standing or sitting right now? What would it look like if you could see yourself from a distance? What surrounds you?

This year’s winning photo in SkyPixel’s contest was taken by Deryk Baumgärtner using a Mavic Pro (above). It’s typically beautiful, showing the…

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Leica SL: A Love Story


This post is by Om Malik from On my Om


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I am writing this four years to the day after I fell in love.

In the aftermath of the GigaOM shutdown, I left town to spend a weekend with friends in New York and to take a break from all the negativity that was enveloping. I needed to revisit the place where it all started. I was in search of closure, though finding it – I ultimately learned – would take much longer. After I arrived, I began my healing process, as many people do, with some retail therapy. I stopped by my favorite camera store and chit-chatted with the staff. Don who would later become a dear friend, showed it to me, though I am forever in his debt.

The Leica SL. It was love at first sight. Continue reading “Leica SL: A Love Story”

Vignettes looks simple, but hides a deeper puzzle game


This post is by Michael Moore from The Verge - All Posts


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It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend.

Before I started playing Vignettes, I was expecting it to be a lot like Gnog, a puzzle game that turned puzzle boxes into toy-like dioramas. Maybe it was because the two games share the same brightly colored aesthetic, centered on an object floating in space. But where Gnog adds a lot to the enjoyment of its puzzles by turning them into toys you can fiddle with, Vignettes goes in the opposite direction: it starts as a toy before turning into a puzzle.

Most of Vignettes is predicated on a visual trick. You are presented with…

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Everything coming to Netflix in April 2019


This post is by Shannon Liao from The Verge - All Posts


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Warmer weather is finally peeking through for parts of the US — and for some reason, that’s bringing more opportunities to watch horror films. Jordan Peele’s newest horror film, Us, is still in theaters, while Netflix will start showing rebooted classics like Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. It’s also made its own zombie apocalypse series, Black Summer, about survivors finding each other at the beginning of an outbreak. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is returning for season 2, with tensions brewing at an all-time high, as Sabrina bounces between her human friends and her magical enemies.

That said, even if horror is your least favorite genre, Netflix still has new content for all kinds of moods. Fans of Aggretsuko, a…

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China’s grocery delivery battle heats up with Meituan’s entry


This post is by Rita Liao from TechCrunch


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Fast, affordable food delivery service has been life-changing for many working Chinese, but some still prefer to whip up their own meals. These people may not have the time to pick up fresh ingredients from brick-and-mortar stores, so China’s startups and large companies are trying to make home-cooked meals more effortless for busy workers by sending vegetables and meats to apartment doors.

The fresh grocery sector in China recorded 4.93 trillion yuan ($730 billion) in total sales last year, growing steadily from 3.37 trillion yuan in 2012 according to data collected by Euromonitor and Hua Chuang Securities. Most of these transactions still happen inside wet markets and supermarkets, leaving online retail, which accounted for only 3 percent of total grocery sales in 2016, much room for growth.

Ecommerce leaders Alibaba and JD.com have already added grocery to their comprehensive online shopping malls, nestling in the market

meituan grocery

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