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Inventor of World Wide Web wants it to change

By on June 8, 2016 at 8:00 PM.

Inventor of World Wide Web wants it to change

Technology leaders are meeting in San Francisco this week to discuss making the Internet a more decentralized, secure, and less censored place, with an emphasis on privacy and preserving history.

The event, called the Decentralized Web Summit, is focused on “locking the web open.”

The idea is that the Web could be a place where governments don’t spy or censor information, where culture is preserved, and information is stored in a decentralized way. More →

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Opera Battery Saver Mode

Switching to this browser will instantly increase your battery life by 50%

By on June 8, 2016 at 2:45 PM.

Switching to this browser will instantly increase your battery life by 50%

The whole point of owning a laptop is to be able to bring your work with you when you’re away from home, but with as much battery power as the average internet browser soaks up, it’s often ill-advised to go anywhere without a charger.

That’s exactly why Opera introduced a new battery saver feature in its latest update, extending the battery life of a connected laptop by an impressive 50%.

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Google Search Material Design

Your first look at Google’s redesigned search page

By on June 8, 2016 at 9:41 AM.

Your first look at Google’s redesigned search page

The most popular webpage in the world also happens to be one of the simplest and most recognizable. While other search companies in the early days of search were busy stuffing more and more content onto their pages, Google decided to keep things as minimalistic as possible. Coupled with superior search technology that yielded better results than rival sites, Google’s simple design ultimately helped make it the most popular and successful search company in the world.

But it appears as though the instantly recognizable design you know and love is about to change. More →

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Old People Using Technology

Here’s a 91-year-old experiencing technology for the first time

By on June 7, 2016 at 11:00 PM.

Here’s a 91-year-old experiencing technology for the first time

We all know how frustrating it can be to try and teach your grandparents about technology. But there’s also a definite sense of wonder to be had when the older generations first understand all that smartphones have to offer.

There’s also no better way for a grandparent to learn than for famous YouTube nerd Linus Sebastian to bring over a box of Google toys.

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Hydraulic Press Silly String

Watching a hydraulic press crush silly string is so tense

By on June 2, 2016 at 4:35 PM.

Watching a hydraulic press crush silly string is so tense

It seems like everything possible has been crushed in a hydraulic press already, but from time to time, something comes along that raises the bar for good crushing.

I don’t know who wakes up in the morning and thinks “hey, we should use a giant hydraulic press to crush a can of silly string,” but I’m glad that they’re out there.

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Google Home Incognito

Google Home won’t remember your most embarrassing conversations

By on June 1, 2016 at 6:25 PM.

Google Home won’t remember your most embarrassing conversations

At Google I/O, the company announced Google Home, an always-listening digital assistant/speaker much like Amazon Echo. Although the speaker looks like a handy way to get Google’s smarts all over your home, it also means bringing Google’s already-creepy information engine into your house, and telling it all about your life.

Luckily, Google CEO Sundar Pichai has laid out at least one privacy protection: an ‘incognito mode’ for Echo, so it can make dinner plans for your mistress without your wife finding out.

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Google Maps Ads

Google Maps will soon be flooded with ads

Google Maps will soon be flooded with ads

By on May 24, 2016 at 5:15 PM.

Without question, Google Maps is one of the most widely used and highly regarded navigation apps in the industry, but an upcoming change might be enough to convince some users to give other apps a try.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Google revealed that it will begin experimenting with local search ads on Google Maps. Ads for nearby businesses will appear on both the desktop and mobile version of Google Maps, giving advertisers the ability to show off their stores when users search for goods or services they carry. More →

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Court Risk Assessment Algorithm

Courts use a ‘Minority Report’ crime prediction algorithm, and it’s incredibly racist

By on May 23, 2016 at 4:55 PM.

Courts use a ‘Minority Report’ crime prediction algorithm, and it’s incredibly racist

I was somewhat surprised to learn that courts use software to predict the likelihood of criminals reoffending. But I was far less surprised to learn that the computer, much like the system it serves, seems to hate black people.

ProPublica has a new report that shines a light on the system used by Broward County, Florida. Those courts use a system made by Northpointe, a for-profit company. Various factors are inputted into an algorithm, which spits out a score that reflects an offender’s chance of re-offending within two years.

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Sospendo Smartphone Holder

This is the worst smartphone gadget to ever grace the internet

By on May 18, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

This is the worst smartphone gadget to ever grace the internet

In a world of Bluetooth-connected fart trackers and hipster-friendly tinfoil hats, I am aware that describing a Kickstarter as “the worst” is a bold claim. But hear me out: from idea to execution to the innumerable GIFs littering the crowdfunding campaign, this particular wearable smartphone accessory ticks all of the boxes.

At heart, the SOSPENDO combines two of the very worst things: selfie sticks and wearable smartphone holders. The SOSPENDO is, according to the press release, an “innovative, ergonomic hands-free device that will hold smartphones, tablets and GoPro cameras.”

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