The world's largest media conglomerate just got bigger.Late Tuesday night, Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox was completed.The $71.3 billion dollar deal is one of the largest media mergers ever, and comes with a huge haul of properties such as movies, a movie studio, TV shows, TV networks and even a controlling stake in the TV streaming service Hulu.This is in addition to brands that Disney already owns such as Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars, just to name a few.Disney's own video streaming service, Disney+, is supposed to launch some time this year, meaning this acquisition primes them to have an immediate impact in the video streaming service landscape.Some argue this acquisition is a positive thing, as we will be getting better quality content and competition among the streaming services.
Two angles facing left, which often indicate, "return to the beginning."You can use Apple's AirPods to listen to music and take phone calls if you have an Android phone.But you won't get the benefit of using special features like automatic pairing since they're designed to work best with Apple products.Apple's AirPods work best with iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products, but that doesn't mean you won't be able to use them if you own an Android phone.When paired with Android devices, Apple's wireless earbuds can still be used to listen to music and take phone calls.Apple made a surprise announcement on Wednesday when it unveiled its second-generation AirPods, which start at $159 just like the older model.
Douglas Rushkoff has been writing about the internet for almost as long as there's been an internet.Along the way, the author of books like Present Shock and Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus codified (and named) concepts like viral media and social currency.In his latest book, Team Human, he argues that while technology often pushes us in the other direction, "We are essentially social creatures, and that we achieve our greatest aspirations when we work together―not as individuals."As a couple of fellow graying veterans of the internet 1.0 era, Scott and I were very interested in talking to Rushkoff (himself an early CNET contributor back in the 1990s) about the changing face of social media and the growing power of a handful of tech giants.See Team Human at AmazonThe Book Club is hosted by a pair of self-proclaimed book experts: Dan Ackerman (author of the nonfiction video game history book The Tetris Effect), and Scott Stein, a playwright and screenwriter.
The worst thing about digital distraction is that the problem keeps growing.The time spent, the distraction, the damage — the toll of smartphone addiction never stops increasing.I have come up with a simple solution that will not only improve your life, and the life of your company, but also get Google to buy you a brand-new phone every year — read all the way to the end to learn how.Smartphone addiction and overuse are rightly blamed for lost productivity, ruined relationships, declines in education, altered brain development, poor memory, lower IQ, car accidents, neglectful parenting, declining health, depression and even needless death.Phones even make us less likely to smile at strangers.And “extreme” phone users touch theirs more than 5,400 times daily.
Imagine if your toilet seat could detect the signs of congestive heart failure — it’s an unusual idea, yes, but one that researchers have turned into reality.Researchers with the Rochester Institute of Technology have developed a smart toilet seat able to measure biometrics while the patient is seated, including heart rate, how much blood the heart is pumping, and more.The smart toilet seat was developed by Heart Health Intelligence CEO and RIT postdoctoral fellow Nicholas Conn and colleagues.The device is more than a mere concept and will soon go through the FDA’s clearance process, eventually arriving for purchase by hospitals for patients to take home.Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscle is incapable of pumping blood properly.A number of symptoms arise from congestive heart failure, including a rapid heartbeat.
Tech news you can use, in two minutes or less:The Mueller Report finally existsAfter nearly two years of work, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has handed in his final report to Attorney General William Barr.What to expect from Apple's upcoming announcementsJust because Apple released new iPads, new iMacs, and new AirPods this week, that doesn't mean the party's over.The company has an event scheduled for 10 am PST Monday, where they're expected to launch some new subscription services, like:
Epic Games has released Fortnite update 8.11.1 for iOS, bringing a number of important stability bug fixes.The update is part of an ongoing process to address performance issues that have plagued the iOS version of the game since Season 8’s arrival.The update comes only days after Epic restored voice chat functionality on the Android version of Fortnite.Though Season 8 has proven popular with Fortnite players, the update brought a number of bugs with it.The issues impacting console and PC players are fairly minor, but major performance trouble has impacted mobile players, and it is at least partly linked to the apps’ voice chat feature.Epic Games disabled voice chat in iOS several days ago to work on the issue, then briefly reinstated it last week.
The movie version of The Dark Tower fled across our memories, and the new Amazon television show followed in its path.But some news has refreshed our excitement once more.After months of rumours and speculation, Deadline now reports that Amazon has cast Sam Strike (Nightflyers) as the new Roland Deschain, aka the Gunslinger, in its TV adaptation of the Stephen King book series.Jasper Pääkkönen (Vikings) has also been cast as Marten, one of the many aliases of the Man in Black.And, if you know the story, the fact that he’s playing that character means this is not an adaptation of the first book in the series.It’s set in the past, showing Roland as a young man, learning the ways of the world and becoming a Gunslinger.
Pinterest filed for an initial public offering Friday afternoon, joining the fray of major tech IPOs in 2019 and offering a window into its finances for the first time.The 9-year-old platform, on which users “pin” and organize images as they surf the web, shop and browse other users’ digital “boards,” said in SEC filings Friday it has more than 250 million monthly active users.In the U.S., 80 percent of women who have children and are 18 to 64 use Pinterest, according to Comscore.Pinterest will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as “PINS.”The San Francisco-based company generated more than $755 million in revenue in 2018, about a 60 percent year-over-year increase, and recorded a net loss of $63 million in 2018, compared with a $130 million net loss in 2017.Pinterest’s main pitch to potential shareholders is its value as an advertising vehicle on which users are often looking for a product.
And over eight years, there've been plenty of products released trying to cash in on the craze for direwolves and dragon memorabilia.Wrap them around your Christmas tree or dangle them from your fireplace mantel year-round.This strand of lights, featuring direwolves, lions and other signs of the great houses, will light up your next watch party.Khaleesi could walk into fire with these beautiful eggs and come out unburned.Instead of House Stark or House Tyrell, personalize this welcome mat with your own last name, and keep all the White Walkers out.Hand of the King/Queen bottle openers: $14
Pinterest has filed to go public.On Friday, the social bookmarking site filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.Pinterest will list on the New York Stock Exchange using the ticker symbol PINS.Pinterest, which was founded in 2010, says it has more than 250 million monthly active users and generated more than $755 million in revenue last year.It joins other companies expected to issue initial public offerings, including Airbnb, Uber and Slack.Pinterest declined to comment on the filing.
The suit alleges that for years, the high-end fitness tech company has neglected to pay royalties to songwriters behind more than 1,000 songs for the music heavily featured in its classes.“Thousands of exclusive video and playlists are a major reason hundreds of thousands of people have purchased Peloton products.Unfortunately, instead of recognising the integral role of songwriters to its company, Peloton has built its business by using their work without their permission or fair compensation for years.”If you’ve never hopped on a Peloton Bike or Tread, the classes are often sorted by difficulty level, exercise type, duration, but also musical genre.For instance, you could opt for a 20-minute Beginner Hip-Hop bike ride.Exercise cues are often timed to the music, and in the bike classes, instructors often remind you to match your pedalling to the beats per minute of a particular song.
Earlier this month, Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo Labo VR Kit, which is the fourth Toy-Con kit to launch for Labo.As the name suggests, the VR Kit allows you to make a pair of VR goggles out of cardboard, which are then powered by your Switch console.Today, Nintendo is giving us a closer look at what’s all included in the VR kit, and it seems like there’ll be quite a few add-ons users can build for those VR goggles.Nintendo gave us a fairly in-depth overview of everything that’s included with the Labo VR in the video you see embedded below.The first add-on it covers is the Toy-Con Blaster, which is a gun-like attachment that goes on the front of the headset.The games you can play with the Toy-Con Blaster have you fending off an alien invasion or going head-to-head against a friend to see who can feed the most hippos using the Blaster as a fruit launcher.
A new lightweight, low-profile and inexpensive ankle exoskeleton could be widely used among elderly people, those with impaired lower-leg muscle strength and workers whose jobs require substantial walking or running.Developed by Vanderbilt mechanical engineers, the device is believed to be the first ankle exoskeleton that could be worn under clothes without restricting motion.It does not require additional components such as batteries or actuators carried on the back or waist.The study, published online by IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems & Rehabilitation Engineering, builds on a successful and widely cited ankle exoskeleton concept from other researchers in 2015."We've shown how an unpowered ankle exoskeleton could be redesigned to fit under clothing and inside/under shoes so it more seamlessly integrates into daily life," said Matt Yandell, a mechanical engineering Ph.D. student and lead author of the study.In a significant design advancement, the team invented an unpowered friction clutch mechanism that fits under the foot or shoe and is no thicker than a typical shoe insole.
Facebook was warned about issues with Cambridge Analytica months before the first reports in 2015.A court filing reveals that an employee was raising red flags internally back in September 2015.As such, it raises questions as to why Facebook didn't previously disclose it.Facebook employees had been warned about allegations that Cambridge Analytica was misusing users' data from the social network months earlier than previously disclosed.A court filing from the Washington DC attorney general made public this week said that a Facebook employee had raised issues about the political research firm in September 2015 — months before The Guardian's first report on it, in December 2015.(The exact nature of the DC-based employee's warning is unknown, as the legal filing is currently redacted.)
BOZEMAN -- One day, a technician in a small, rural hospital may be able to reliably diagnose breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease or traumatic brain injury using a tab of paper that would change color like a pH strip dipped in vinegar.Designing the biosensors remains a complex challenge, but the end goal "is something that's cheap and simple, that could be used in any clinic," said McCalla, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering.That goal is one step closer to reality thanks to a $500,000, five-year grant that McCalla won from the National Science Foundation in February.The CAREER grant is considered the premier award given to early-career researchers.McCalla "is developing a fundamentally new avenue for medical diagnosis."In 2017, McCalla won a $280,000 grant from the medical research wing of the U.S. Army to develop a new method of detecting tiny amounts of microRNA, molecules that the body produces when battling certain ailments.
But thanks to one enterprising dev, the Lightning Network now has scratchcards.This one has 1,000,000 Satoshis (0.01 BTC) hidden in it.That’s about $40 at the time of writing, not too bad for a scratchcard that might only cost you a few cents worth of Bitcoin.A scratchcard is created when someone writes something that can be uncovered or scratched away.How much it costs to scratch away each letter depends on the length of what is written and the funding goal the writer set for the scratchcard.The Lightning Scratchcard website then charges players 10 percent on top of the writer’s funding goal.
Guy Rosen is Facebook’s vice president of Product Management.But when the company published an update about the Christchurch massacre in the middle of the night on Wednesday, Rosen got a shiny new title: VP of Integrity.That is, until a journalist called Facebook out on the switch.Guardian tech journalist Alex Hern was apparently the only one to spot the weird title change because many news sites simply published Rosen’s new title.Engadget, Venturebeat, and Global News Canada, all called Rosen the VP of Integrity in stories about the Facebook announcement.“Facebook exec Guy Rosen is usually referred to as ‘VP of Product Management’,” Hern said in a tweet.
Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence over the past few years have fundamentally altered the ways brand marketers can efficiently reach masses of consumers with individually relevant messaging.But making the changes necessary to capitalize on that potential—cleaning up data, upgrading systems, integrating disparate business functions—can be daunting for even the most tech-savvy marketing teams.At Adweek’s Elevate: AI event this week in New York, executives shared some of the challenges they are encountering as they adjust to a world where machines control more of the business levers than ever.Their panel was followed by a frank look at some of the very human issues that can arise when AI doesn’t account for the unconscious biases of its creators, as well as why the early AI personas on the market all tend to be female.By some estimates, the average data scientist spends 60 percent of his or her time on the task.Like most other brands attempting an AI strategy, TD Ameritrade is currently in the midst of that phase, says Christopher Kienle, managing director and head of marketing innovation and technology at the brokerage.
The Federal Communications Commission has settled a case over its refusal to comply with a public records request, agreeing to pay $43,000 to a journalist who sued the commission.Freelance writer Jason Prechtel filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the FCC in mid-2017, asking for data that would identify who made bulk comment uploads in the proceeding that led to the repeal of net neutrality rules.Prechtel was trying to research comments that were falsely attributed to people without their knowledge.Judge: FCC can’t hide records that may explain net neutrality comment fraudThe FCC didn't comply with the request and allegedly didn't even approve or deny the FOIA request within the legally allotted timeframe, so Prechtel sued the commission in September 2017.One year later, a US District Court judge presiding over the case ordered the FCC to stop withholding certain records sought by Prechtel, although the ruling didn't give Prechtel everything he asked for.