David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

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Following 24
US
Icons, which may seem like a small part of the digital landscape, reveal larger issues of unconscious bias in tech and beyond.In many instances I can recall, ranging from company presentations to popular apps and websites, the main icons displayed were obviously representative of men.At best, this shows women were not taken into consideration when the product team designed and developed the product.At worst, it isolates women to feel like they are not the intended audience or priority.Perhaps I’m more cognizant of this because gender imbalance is important to me, and as a designer, I’m observant of details.But it’s something that more stakeholders need to be aware of when choosing icons.
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Google still faces accusations of being lax with security in its quest to keeping malicious apps off its Play Store, but in the last few years it’s been making increasing efforts to improve the safety of its digital distribution outlet.In a post on the Android Developers Blog this week, Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn said that in 2018 the company worked on enhancing its abuse detection technologies and machine learning systems, while at the same time expanding its team of product managers, engineers, policy experts, and operations leaders to tackle nefarious app developers.Ahn said the extra effort resulted in rejected app submissions increasing by 55 percent compared to 2017, while those that did get through were spotted and removed more quickly than ever before — often before anyone even had a chance to install them.“These increases can be attributed to our continued efforts to tighten policies to reduce the number of harmful apps on the Play Store, as well as our investments in automated protections and human review processes,” the product manager wrote in the post.Google declined to reveal how many dodgy apps it turfed out of the Play Store last year, though we do know that in 2017 the figure reached 700,000, with a sizable 100,000 developers banned from submitting any future apps.Fifty billion apps scanned every day
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As part of the University City Science Center's BioArt Residency, artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg created a custom virus able to increase the production of oxytocin, a hormone that induces feelings of love, kindness, and empathy.The project, titled Lovesick, was developed by Dewey-Hagborg in collaboration with research scientists at the University City Science Center and uCity Square-based biotech company Integral Molecular.Not only does it allow both parties to gain new perspectives, but artists are able to serve as intermediaries communicating and creating dialog around complex scientific issues.As part of each residency, the artist spends three months working on creative research projects in Integral Molecular's laboratories leveraging the guidance and expertise of trained scientists.Echoing recent debates around genetic editing and the role of ethics in science, Lovesick amplifies the dialog around the possibility of selecting one's emotions through biotechnology.Although the Lovesick virus has the ability to function in cells in a lab environment, it cannot replicate and will not be used to infect actual animals or people.
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Did you get the Z’s you need?If not, it could be because of an underlying condition.Get to the root of it with Go2Sleep, the smallest sleep assessment tool on the market, offered for a limited time price of just $69.Sleep apnea affects millions and yet, for a variety of reasons, only 20 percent of all sufferers are actually diagnosed.However, knowing you might have it and being able to seek treatment can make all the difference, which is what makes Go2Sleep such a game changer.Go2Sleep is a small and lightweight wearable that comfortably fits on your finger.
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Instagram has come under criticism for its alleged censorship of an LGBTQ artist.An Instagram account posting comics with gay characters disappeared after the Indonesian Ministry of Communication pressed the company to take it down.The ministry said the account violated a law on the distribution of pornographic content.The social media platform denies that it shut down the account, suggesting it could have been closed by the owner.(And yes, we’re serious about ethics and transparency.
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Google says it's been fighting hard against malicious developers and their bad apps.The search giant on Wednesday said the Google Play Store now scans more than 50 billion apps on users' devices every day in order to identify and stop bad apps, according to a post on the Android Developers Blog.The Play Store rejected at least 55 percent more app submissions in 2018 than in 2017, according to the blog.Google didn't immediately respond to a request for how many apps were rejected in 2018.But for reference, the company removed over 700,000 apps in 2017.Google said the company required third-party app developers to be transparent about how their app's collected and used sensitive user data.
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When the Nintendo Switch launched with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it showed us what a vastly open-world, free exploration Zelda game could be like -- but sometimes, it's good to go back to basics.If you've been craving a traditional, top-down Zelda experience that harkens back to the series origins, you're about to get it: Nintendo just announced that it's remaking The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch.Link's Awakening was the first Zelda game to make its way to the Nintendo Game Boy, the company's first portable game console -- one that stranded the game's titular hero on a mysterious island.This quirky adventure filled with fun characters and goofy humor.It was also the first Zelda game that allowed link to jump.Link's Awakening eventually received a colorized re-release on the Game Boy Color, but the incoming Switch remake takes things to the next level.
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Volkswagen's small SUV game is strong in its native Europe and to make it even stronger, it announced on Wednesday that a new T Roc R model is coming to the Geneva Motor Show.What exactly is a T Roc?Well, fellow American, your puzzlement isn't anything to be ashamed of.The T Roc is a small crossover, sized below the Tiguan, which Volkswagen sells mostly in Europe and China.In those markets, its rivals would include the Nissan Kicks, the Hyundai Kona and the Ford Ecosport.The T Roc R will likely differ from its more pedestrian siblings in a number of ways.
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Apple is expected to unveil its rumored video service and a news subscription service at an event March 25 at its Cupertino, California, campus, according to reports this week.Apple didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment about the video service plans.Both video and news are part of an Apple push to build up its services chops, as sales of its all-important iPhone have begun to sputter.Apple has made headlines over the last year with eyebrow-raising deals for the rumored TV service, lining up big-name projects from Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, M. Night Shyamalan and Steven Spielberg, among many others.And the iPhone maker's spin on a "Spotify for news" has been expected since Apple bought news subscription aggregator Texture last year.The video service is expected to launch by the summer, according to a report by Bloomberg Wednesday, citing unnamed people familiar with the plan.
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Read on to see which tech and science has left Team CNET downtrodden and questioning our undying love.The film subscription service promised to let me watch as many movies as I wanted for the cost of less than one ticket a month.I started watching several movies a week and finding myself weirdly proud to run out of titles to see at theaters.MoviePass didn't respond to a request for comment, but at this point, I doubt it's gonna happen and my friends insist I should forget about it.The insane new transit concept would shoot us to our destinations at supersonic speeds like so many bank deposits launched from the drive-up lane to a smiling teller on the other side of the window.We may finally have remarkable reusable rockets and electric cars with capabilities straight out of Knight Rider, but it seems my heart will pine forever for the 40-minute hyperloop ride from Albuquerque to Denver that never quite arrives.
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When’s the last time you booked a Lyft or Uber or ordered a meal on DoorDash using your laptop?Many popular apps and services are changing the dynamics of how customers communicate, share, discover and shop.Believe it or not, many brands still behave as if we live in a desktop-first world.But, customers are increasingly mobile-first and brands only get one shot at engaging customers on the small screen.It’s a Mobile World After All: Ignore At Your Own PerilAll too often, marketers invest more in desktop because existing metrics point to desktop as driving better results.
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“The speed and ferocity of the devastating wildfires in California demonstrated the need to develop new ways of using science and technology to assist the emergency services wherever possible.”Can drones be used to help fight runaway fires?This is the question asked jointly by the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and the American Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).The two are putting on simultaneous hackathons next month to try to answer it; one in the US, the other in the ‘spark’ Facility at Southampton Solent University.Individuals and teams will be tasked to come up with innovative ways to assist emergency services as they battle wildfires.Fighting wildfires is of course a dangerous task, but those dangers can be compounded by the changing dynamic of a live fire, winds can change and combustible vegetation can ignite closing off entry or escape paths.
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Tesla employees are most afraid of layoffs at their company, according to a survey of more than 8,000 tech workers by workplace chat app Blind.Last month Tesla cut 7% of its workforce.Out of the major tech companies, Google's employees feel like they have the most job security.A survey by workplace chat app Blind shows that out of all the major tech companies, Tesla's employees most fear being laid off.Blind surveyed 8,230 tech workers over a week at the beginning of this month.Overall, 35.9% of users surveyed said they were worried about layoffs at their current company, while 64.1% have job security.
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Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi is rumored to have lost of billions of yuan of loss in 2018, as the company shifted focus from revenue growth to legal compliance, reports 36Kr (in Chinese).According to an internal file obtained by 36Kr, the Chinese mobility giant recorded an annual loss of RMB 10.9 billion (roughly $1.48 billion) in 2018.It had also reportedly given to drivers subsidies totaling RMB 11.3 billion for the whole year.Didi was immediately not available for comment when contacted by TechNode.Previously, Chinese media reported in September that Didi founder and CEO Cheng Wei acknowledged its poor finance in an internal letter, saying Didi “never achieved profitability” since its founding 6 years ago.Following the murders of two female passengers and a number of other safety incidents last year, China’s largest ride-hailing operator has been the subject of public outcry and government scrutiny.
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Bangalore-based fintech startup Open announced the close of its US$5 million series A round led by Beenext, Speedinvest, and 3one4 Capital.Existing investors Unicorn India Ventures and AngelList Syndicate also participated in the round.Open plans to use the money to launch new products, scale up its team, and expand in other Asian countries by Q3 2019.The startup, which began operations in 2017, helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) solve business banking challenges, from opening a business bank account to automating and managing financial processes.It supports over 30,000 SMEs and processes more than US$2 billion in transaction run rate.Open is looking to on board 1 million small businesses into its platform in the next two years.
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Beacon Venture Capital, a Thailand-based corporate VC firm under local major bank Kasikornbank, led a US$6.5 million pre-series A funding round for homegrown financial intelligence platform Jitta.The investment marks the biggest pre-series A funding for a Thai startup to date, Beacon said in a statement.Founded in January 2014, the Bangkok-based startup gives investors access to investment insights.It analyzes business financials and automates portfolio management based on Warren Buffett’s value investingapproach: buy a wonderful company at a fair price.The platform covers stock markets in 16 countries – including Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, the UK, the US, and Hong Kong – and supports over 200,000 users in 128 countries.
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Sir Martin Sorrell closed out the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix, Ariz., today with a sprawling conversation that touched on his feelings about retirement, the broken agency model, what Brexit could mean for GDPR and a prediction for Amazon’s growth potential.MightyHive CEO and former Google executive Pete Kim joined Sorrell onstage to talk about their vision for a new kind of advertising firm, fueled by digital disruption and dissatisfaction with the old agency model—one that Sorrell arguably helped build before stepping down as WPP’s CEO last year following a personal conduct investigation.You might think that’s a superficial thing to say, but I have to tell you never in my 40-odd years of experience has there been so much willingness to embrace that concept.”During negotiations for both companies he’s acquired, Sorrel said his first sentence was, “I’m not interested if you want to sell out; I’m interested if you want to buy into those three things.”Kim sees digital, data and media as the keys to closing the gap between the ad experiences consumers want, and the ones they so often get.You can watch anything you want, listen to anything you want, read anything you want, perfectly synchronized across every connected device,” Kim said.
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500px told its members on Tuesday that their data may have been stolen in a security breach and warned them to change their password.In a statement, the marketplace and portfolio website for photographers said an unauthorized party gained access to its systems on or around July 5, 2018.However, the breach was only discovered by its engineers on February 8, 2019.It said that around 14.8 million users may be affected; in other words, its entire user base at the time the breach took place.Toronto-based 500px began contacting its members by email at around 8 p.m.As a precautionary measure, it’s requiring all users to change their 500px account password, and to also change it for any other online accounts where the password is the same.
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For more than 90 minutes, Dorsey participated in an interview through tweets with Recode's co-founder Kara Swisher.The 42-year-old tech mogul talked about a variety of topics from tech responsibility and safety to the use of the platform by President Donald Trump and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.With Twitter users chiming in every minute, even Dorsey admitted the format of the Karajack interview was hard to follow.Walt Mossberg, a veteran tech journalist, remarked on Twitter that it was "a living example of how Twitter is a chaotic hellpit."The social network has been losing users as it tries to crack down on fake accounts, election meddling, harassment and misinformation on the site.Tech giants have a lot of responsibility resting on their shoulders, including protecting democracy and the safety of its own users.
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Activision Blizzard, the publisher of blockbuster games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, World of Warcraft and Overwatch, just posted its best financial results in the company's history.Now, it's likely going to lay off hundreds of employees.According to Variety, Activision Blizzard will cut 775 jobs, about 8 percent of the workforce.The news came following Activision Blizzard's 2018 financial results.Revenue reached a $7.50 billion, up 6% from $7.02 billion a year earlier."While our financial results for 2018 were the best in our history, we didn't realize our full potential," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in the company's earnings report.
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