Fast Company | Business + Innovation
The stumbling blocks that some of our Most Innovative Companies have faced on their journeys to success and what they learned along the way.
Instagram now lets you switch between multiple accounts
The process is pretty simple. You add new accounts from the settings menu, and once that's done, just tap your username at the top of your profile to move between them. Your profile photo will be placed more prominently throughout the app so that you never lose track of which account is active. Instagram first tested account switching on Android in November, with iOS following a couple months later. As of this week, everyone is getting the new option on both platforms.
A Recap Of The 9th Annual Crunchies Awards
The 9th Annual Crunchies took place at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco last night. Host Chelsea Peretti had us laughing before our presenters came on stage to announce the winners of this year’s Crunchies. Follow along for some of the highlights of the show, including an operatic musical number, our favorite speeches and some of your social media posts.
Why expat Americans are giving up their passports - BBC News
But Fatca expands the scope of what can be taxed, and places a burden on foreign banks to identify US citizens among their customers to US tax authorities. The penalty for failing to do so can be as high as 30% of all a bank's dealings with the USA.
NASA promotes space tourism in retro new posters
First up is a once in a lifetime trip to Mars, looking back at what could someday be historical sites on the planet. The poster is a nod to the work being done by NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, which seeks to prove that the planet can or can’t be habitable by humans in the future.
Exclusive: In boost to self-driving cars, U.S. tells Google computers can qualify as drivers
In January, NHTSA said it may waive some vehicle safety rules to allow more driverless cars to operate on U.S. roads as part of a broader effort to speed up development of self-driving vehicles.
The world's only opalised pearls, 65 million years in the making
The world's first opalised pearls have been found in the Australian desert, dating back 65 million years, when it was covered by an inland sea.
A Skeptic Infiltrates a Cruise for Conspiracy Theorists
Where on Earth can you go to get away from it all, and mingle with those who share your views? Well, Conspira-Sea, of course. It’s a seven-day cruise where fringe thinkers can discuss everything from crop circles to mind control on the open sea. Last month’s cruise featured a caravan of stars from a surprisingly vast galaxy of skeptics and conspiracy theorists, including Andrew Wakefield, known for his questionable research and advocacy against vaccines. Also aboard was Sean David Morton, who faced federal charges of lying to investors about using psychic powers to predict the stock market.
An end to scaling: Intel’s next-generation chips will sacrifice speed to reduce power | ExtremeTech
Intel has recently stated that it intends to compete aggressively in the Internet of Things space, but has offered little insight into what these goals for its future products mean for environments that depend on high-end CPUs. The company isn’t abandoning silicon — it envisions islands of additional capability embedded in SoCs or other types of circuits — but its move to purchase Altera and its FPGA business could reflect long-term plans for the future of traditional semiconductor performance. If traditional CPU designs can’t provide additional clock speeds and next-generation technologies are aimed at lower-power computing as opposed to higher performance, than either we’re headed for a revolution in distributed computing (unlikely), or a very, very slow performance ramp.
Google’s self-driving car AI can be the vehicle’s legal driver, US government says
Now, however, it seems like the US government will allow the self-driving software to be the official driver of the vehicle, which in turn opens the door to rewriting regulations to allow for closed-circuit autonomous driving systems without steering wheels, pedals, and other human-operated mechanisms. For example, right now US regulations stipulate that a car's dashboard must provide an indicator for low tyre pressure; but in the future, that warning would be fed directly into the autonomous driving software.
Lego New Hampshire: The primary results, brick by brick
It's the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire, which means it's the first-in-the-nation Lego primary on Mashable . Stay with us as the bricks (er, votes) come in.
Intel to shut down renegade Skylake overclocking with microcode update
Intel's update changes the processor's microcode—programmable code embedded in the processor that gets updated both by system firmware and operating systems—to, in some unspecified way, prevent altering the base clock in ways Intel does not want. While it will take some time for motherboard vendors to update their firmwares and actually propagate the new microcode to end-user systems, it means that the end is nigh for simple overclocking of Skylake processors. Some holdouts may stick with old, overclocking-capable firmware, but it will become increasingly hard to buy new motherboards that support the old capability.
Chinese companies want to buy Opera for $1.2 billion
By offering to buy Opera for $1.2 billion or 10.3 billion Norwegian Kroner, the group is essentially valuing the company at around NOK71 per share. That's 53 or so percent higher than Opera's closing price on February 4th, before rumors of a buyout started going around. Oslo's stock exchange stopped trading its shares a couple of days ago, and the company has postponed its earnings calls scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Zenefits CEO Parker Conrad resigns, COO David Sacks takes over
Parker Conrad, cofounder and CEO of human resources and insurance software startup Zenefits, has stepped down from the top position at the company. David Sacks, the company’s chief operating officer and formerly cofounder and CEO of Yammer, is taking over as the Zenefits’ new chief executive.
Hackers Are Offering Apple Employees Big Money for Logins
As for what the hackers are really after, it could be any number of things — like access to individual Apple user accounts, the company's extremely valuable intellectual property, or internal corporate strategy information, the report notes. Apple has reportedly set up an employee security program dubbed "Grow Your Own" to address the issue, though details about it are scant.
Watch comedian Chelsea Peretti tear Silicon Valley a new one
For the past few years, TechCrunch’s Crunchies Awards — the closest thing Silicon Valley has to the Oscars — has done away with Silicon Valley insiders as emcees and replaced them with comedians, in search of a little extra star power for the awards night.
Politwoops is back in the US in time for you to make fun of dumb stuff politicians tweet
But now, it has revived! The Sunlight Foundation announced today that Politwoops is back in action in the US, just in time for the New Hampshire primary. Now you’ll be able to see when politicians try to delete brash messaging or mistaken comments about the political climate in the US, or when they make cringeworthy errors in tweeting. Right now Politwoops covers politicians in the Senate, House and presidential candidates, as well as governors and the D.C. mayor, but that will expand soon.
This year's Grammy awards will have GoPros built-in to livestream the winners' perspectives
If you’ve ever wondered what happens after winners at award shows give their speeches and walk off stage, GoPro will let you find out at this year’s Grammy Awards.
How brands win the Super Bowl: Get a mention from Beyonce
The singer also opted to stay in a 12-acre mansion about 30 miles from the site of the Super Bowl that was rented through Airbnb. That stay won the home rental service a prominent shoutout on Beyonce's Twitter and Facebook feeds.
What Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Said About India’s Ban on Free Basics
“Connecting India is an important goal we won’t give up on, because more than a billion people in India don’t have access to the Internet. We know that connecting them can help lift people out of poverty, create millions of jobs and spread education opportunities. We care about these people, and that’s why we’re so committed to connecting them,” said the Facebook post that by Tuesday had been “liked” and shared by thousands of users of the website.
Road-raging driver gets a healthy dose of instant karma
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Google will stop running Flash display ads on January 2, 2017
Google today announced that the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Digital Marketing are completely ditching Flash for HTML5 next year. More specifically, advertisers will no longer be able to upload display ads built in Flash into AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, starting on June 30, 2016, and won’t be able to run display ads in the Flash format on the Google Display Network or through DoubleClick, starting on January 2, 2017.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge battery could jump by 38 percent over the S6 Edge
Once the cream of the phone crop, Samsung is hoping for a hit with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Although the Galaxy S6 Edge was generally well received for its curved metal and glass design, Samsung has lost ground in the global arms race. Buyers are gravitating to more budgeted devices, and brands like Huawei, ZTE, and Xiaomi are benefitting from the shift.
Google's auto AI counts as a 'driver,' according to Feds
This win could cut through tons of red tape for Google and other companies eagerly pursuing our driverless futures, as it would acknowledge AI as having the power and awareness to operate a car without a human driver there to make a judgement and intervene. Thus, more driverless cars could be on the road faster, as long as they meet the NHTSA’s requirements for road safety.
Microsoft confirms it acquired iOS music app Groove
“Our journey started back in the days of the iPod,” the team wrote. “While it was a thing of beauty, we still struggled to choose what to play from our beloved music collection. From that instant, we envisioned a music player so intelligent that learns our tastes and habits in order to play the right music at the right time. Then Groove was born, and you made it a success. We are incredibly proud to have delighted you with a rich mobile experience and countless hours of music bliss through the tens of millions of personalized playlists we generated.”
Microsoft announces 'Windows 10 update history' to show users what's inside updates
Throughout Windows 10’s relatively short life, updates have been steady and regular. What they haven’t been is transparent.
Robot Cockroaches to the Rescue?
Those answers have inspired a new type of robot that could be employed in search-and-rescue missions—Ant-Man-style. Called CRAM (Compressible Robot with Articulated Mechanism), the palm-sized device wears a plastic shield on its back, and can splay its legs outward when squashed, just like a real creepy-crawly.
Johnny Depp will disappear into 'Invisible Man' role for Universal
Johnny Depp, who stumbled his way into a $5 billion global movie blockbuster franchise based on a musty old Disneyland ride, has agreed to join Universal Pictures' monster-movie reincarnation as The Invisible Man, Mashable has confirmed.
Oculus-Ready PC Bundles From ASUS, Alienware, Dell Pre-Sell For $1499 Next Week
Now the question will be whether Oculus can find enough people to buy Rifts at this price point to make it worth it for developers to make must-have titles for it. With so many VR headset makers entering the fray over the next year, there will be intense competition between them for games and content from third-party developers.
Twitter's experiment with not showing ads to power users appears to be over
As we reported back in January , Twitter seemed to be protecting its elite users from the visual noise associated with ads on the platform. Today, as our own Martin Bryant put it, ‘the party’s over.’
Twitter's Getting Some Help With Its Troll Problem
"With hundreds of millions of Tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power," Cartes wrote.
Apple Music to go live on Sonos connected speakers tomorrow
After month of waiting, Apple Music subscribers who are also invested in the Sonos speaker ecosystem will finally get native access to Apple's streaming music service on Wednesday, a report said Tuesday.
Sonos confirmed tomorrow's Apple Music launch to Re/code , saying integration with its lineup of connected speakers is scheduled to go live at 9 a.m. Eastern. The announced the launch in a subsequent blog post . The development comes nearly two months after Sonos launched an Apple Music beta test program in mid-December .
"The feedback from Apple Music members on Sonos during the beta period has been great," said Eddy Cue, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue. "Sonos plus Apple Music provides an amazing listening experience at home - and we're excited to offer it to all Sonos customers starting tomorrow."
Using the Sonos Controller app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Mac, PC and Android phones, Sonos owners will be able to stream Apple Music to multiple speakers within their home or office. Supported Apple Music features include For You, New, Radio and My Music, as well as streaming access to the entire Apple Music catalog.
Android creator Andy Rubin is making a free dashcam
Not that Playground will necessarily be a one-trick pony. Rubin says he's working on other ideas that he's "not willing to talk about" at the moment. Even if those don't materialize any time soon, though, the dashcam project might shake up the tech industry. Right now, dashcams are mostly popular in Russia and other countries where on-the-road insurance fraud (typically, pedestrians pretending to be struck by cars) is a significant problem. This could democratize dashcams by making them available to anyone who's willing to give up a bit of privacy in return for proof of innocence.
Twitter results need to wow to reassure investors
When Twitter Inc reports results on Wednesday, a less than stellar showing could hammer the stock further as a broad selloff in the technology sector has made investors jittery.
Facebook ordered to stop tracking logged-out users in France
The company previously ran into trouble in Belgium last year on similar grounds — a court in the country issued Facebook an ultimatum to stop tracking users who aren’t signed in or risk a fine of €250,000 (nearly $270,000) for every day that it violated the order.
PayPal shoots self in foot while 'white knighting' for Netflix
Under the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction. This includes transactions for any device or technological measure that descrambles a scrambled work, decrypts an encrypted work or otherwise avoids, bypasses, removes, deactivates or impairs a technological measure without the authority of the copyright owner.
Withings' new in-app algorithm for high blood pressure is almost as good as a real doctor
The algorithm is also a premium feature in the Withings Health Mate app (a $4.99 in-app purchase) , so you won’t have to buy any special hardware. Hy-Result has also been validated in clinical trials, where it was found to deliver the same advice you’d get from a doctor 95.4 percent of the time.
Google's rolling out new encryption security measures for Gmail this week
In recognition of ‘ Safer Internet Day ‘ – a note in the calendar none your friends will ever pester you about – Google has announced a couple of new features designed to make your communications more secure.
France Goes After Facebook for User Privacy Violations
A 17-page order by the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL)—dated Jan. 26, but published on Monday—said the social network must change its ways (aka stop using cookies to collect info for ad purposes without permission) or face penalties of €150,000 ($168,000).
Get Your Hackaday Belgrade Tickets Now
We have just opened up registration for Hackaday | Belgrade — a hardware conference on April 9th . Get your ticket now and make arrangements to visit Belgrade this Spring. Tickets are inexpensive, travel costs from other parts of Europe are very reasonable, the weather will be beautiful, and the all-day madness that we have planned will make you wish it were a week instead of just sixteen hours. These tickets will sell out so please share this post with your friends so they are not left ticketless.
You Can Now Sleep In This Trippy Airbnb Bedroom Based on a Van Gogh Painting
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to see the world through the crazy eyes of very crazy Vincent Van Gogh, now you can. The Art Institute of Chicago built a life-size replica of his popular painting, Bedroom In Arles .
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Home thermostats, robots and VR are now apparently as dangerous as nukes
Pointing to issues already seen in the stock market given its reliance on algorithmic trading, he believes that artificial intelligence systems will increasingly be able to be disrupted or deceived without humans being able to tell what’s happened. Here Clapper identified particular challenges for critical infrastructure and national security networks.
Snapchat’s Viacom Deal Is a Sign It’s About to Go Mainstream
During a quarterly earnings call, the struggling entertainment company announced it’d struck a deal with Snapchat to sell ads on its behalf, add more channels to Snapchat’s Discover platform, and give Snapchat special access to Viacom-sponsored events like the Video Music Awards on MTV. Viacom, at least, believes Snapchat is on the brink of hitting the mainstream. As cable viewership and revenues sag, Viacom is doubling down on Snapchat as a way to reach young people–the 100 million folks Snapchat claims to host every single day, most of whom are still teens.
Tim Cook's blurry Super Bowl photo deleted after mockery
Technically Incorrect: After some wondered why the Apple CEO had posted such a poor photo to Twitter, it's deleted.
You can help Monument Valley become a Lego brick set
My Lego Ideas project is inspired by the Monument Valley game, and aims to capture the journey through a creative 3-D experience. This set includes four minimalist landscape themes that are modular and interactive; featuring rotating walkways, platforms, pillars, staircases, bridges and water wheels; along with three main characters, Ida, Totem and Crow. It is an original Lego design concept with visually attractive elements that are appealing and intriguing to a wide audience.
Shape-shifting 'superhero' material can lift 1,000 times its weight
The material, developed by University of Rochester scientists, can be triggered to change shape when it comes in contact with body heat, and in the process it lifts 1,000 times its own mass. The super-polymer could one day be used to used to stitch you up after surgery and possibly take form-fitting spandex to a whole new level.
D’oh! Crash: The History of VR on The Simpsons
Regardless of the image’s provenance, though, it holds up a mirror to what was actually going on vis a vis the abortive VR craze of the ’90s. Virtual-reality research at the time led to mainstream awareness, which led to speculative fiction like Snow Crash, which in turn led to a host of ’90s movies and TV shows that had fun with the concept—from The 13th Floor to Mad About You to Murder She Wrote . Of course, nothing came of attempts to productize the technology that first go-round, and it wasn’t until the Oculus Rift first popped up in 2012 that VR became a watchword once again. (That doesn’t explain the 2011 episode, but since it was one of the Simpsons’ futuristic holiday episodes, it’s a little less curious.) Of course, you know what that means: we’re fast moving toward inevitable episode titles like “Brockulus Rift” and “D’oh! Crash.”
LG teases G5's 'Always On' display
The publication says the G5 won't have an AMOLED display and will instead have a full screen version of the LG V10's second, smaller screen. If you recall, the V10 has a small strip of display on top with app shortcuts. It's unclear what elements the Always On screen will have, but as you can see above, it has the time, date and can show if you have calls, emails or texts.