Technology

Tinder To Debut Panic Button For Unsafe Situations

Axios reports: Tinder will debut a feature later this month that will allow users to hit a panic button if they feel physically unsafe on a date gone wrong, the Wall Street Journal reports. Why it matters: Critics have previously called out Tinder for not doing more to ensure the safety of users and filtering out possibly dangerous users, especially …

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Automaker Unveils Driverless Electric Group Taxi

TechCrunch reports: Cruise unveiled Tuesday evening a “production ready” driverless vehicle called Origin, the product of a multi-year collaboration with parent company GM and investor Honda that is designed for a ride-sharing service. The shuttle-like vehicle — branded with Cruise’s trademark orange and black colors — has no steering wheel or pedals and is designed to travel at highway speeds. …

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Amazon Tests Hand-Scan Retail Payment System

CNBC reports: Technology giant Amazon is working to allow customers to connect their credit card information to their hands, so that they can scan for purchases with their palms at checkout areas in physical stores. While Amazon’s plan is in the early stages, the company has reportedly begun working with Visa on testing out the terminals, and has discussed the …

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REPORT: Grindr Sharing Personal Info With Advertisers

The New York Times reports: Popular dating services like Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder are spreading user information like dating choices and precise location to advertising and marketing companies in ways that may violate privacy laws, according to a new report that examined some of the world’s most downloaded Android apps. Grindr, the world’s most popular gay dating app, transmitted user-tracking …

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MS Offers Free Security Patch After Feds Give Alert

The Associated Press reports: The National Security Agency has discovered a major security flaw in Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system that could allow hackers to intercept seemingly secure communications. But rather than exploit the flaw for its own intelligence needs, the NSA tipped off Microsoft so that it can fix the system for everyone. Microsoft released a free software patch …

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Barr Demands Apple Unlock Phones Used By Terrorist

The New York Times reports: Attorney General William P. Barr declared on Monday that a deadly shooting last month at a naval air station in Pensacola, Fla., was an act of terrorism, and he asked Apple in an unusually high-profile request to provide access to two phones used by the gunman. Mr. Barr’s appeal was an escalation of an ongoing …

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NYC Yanks New Subway Fleet Over Opening Doors

The New York Times reports: An entire fleet of New York City’s newest subway cars was abruptly pulled out of service on Wednesday after two recent episodes raised concerns that doors could open while trains were moving, according to people involved in the transit system who were told about the defects. The MTA , which runs the subway, did not …

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TikTok Overhauls Content Rules After Growing Criticism

Wired Magazine reports: Whereas Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have developed lengthy policies covering hundreds of circumstances, TikTok provided a short list of bullet points addressing only the most extreme content. Amid growing scrutiny over censorship and its Chinese ownership from regulators, the company has pledged that more transparency would be forthcoming. Now, it’s here. On Wednesday, TikTok released a comprehensive …

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Facebook Bans “Deepfake” Videos Ahead Of Election

The Associated Press reports: Facebook says it is banning “deepfake” videos, the false but realistic clips created with artificial intelligence and sophisticated tools, as it steps up efforts to fight online manipulation. The social network said late Monday that it’s beefing up its policies to remove videos edited or synthesized in ways that aren’t apparent to the average person, and …

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Major Retailers Rush To Comply With CA Privacy Law

The Associated Press reports: U.S. retailers including Walmart Inc will add “Do Not Sell My Info” links to their websites and signage in stores starting Jan. 1, allowing California shoppers to understand for the first time what personal and other data the retailers collect, sources said. Large U.S retailers are rushing to comply with a new law, the California Consumer …

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New Year To Bring New State Taxes On Electric Cars

The Associated Press reports: The new year will bring new charges for some owners of electric vehicles, as an increasing number of states seek to plug in to fresh revenue sources to offset forgone gas taxes. In Hawaii, the charge will be $50. In Kansas, $100. In Alabama and Ohio, $200. For the first time, a majority of U.S. states …

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Amazon And Ring Sued Over Hacking Incidents [VIDEO]

The Sacramento Bee reports: Amazon and Ring, the home security company owned by Amazon, will soon have to answer for their hacking incidents, according to a new lawsuit brought against the companies. John Baker Orange filed a class-action lawsuit on Dec. 26 in California, alleging that Amazon and Ring’s “lax security standards” and “defective design” left their cameras vulnerable to …

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Russian Robots To Track Asteroids From Moon Base

Agence France-Press reports: The Russian space agency Roscosmos is planning to install a nuclear-powered observatory on its future moon base to held spot deadly Earth-threatening asteroids. Establishing a permanent presence near the lunar south pole has been a priority for Roscosmos ever since NASA announced plans to return to the moon earlier this year. The base’s telescopes will work in …

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FTC May Block Facebook From Bundling Its Apps

Business Insider reports:  The Federal Trade Commission is mulling whether to file an injunction against the social networking giant that could block it from its plans to stitch together its WhatsApp messaging service with the chat features of Instagram and those of its core Facebook app. The injunction could also block the company from enforcing its rules about how apps …

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YouTube Stiffens Anti-Harassment Policies, Demeaning Language Rules After Right Winger’s Anti-Gay Attacks

The Verge reports: YouTube today announced an expansion of its anti-harassment policy that will ban video creators from insulting one another on the basis of their race, gender expression, or sexual orientation — even if the person they are insulting is a popular creator, celebrity, politician, or other public figure. The new policy comes several months after YouTube was criticized …

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RUSSIA: Pre-Installed Russian Software Mandated For All Electronics Sold In Country, Per Law Signed By Putin

Reuters reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed legislation requiring all smartphones, computers and smart TV sets sold in the country to come pre-installed with Russian software. The law, which will come into force on July 1 next year, has been met with resistance by some electronics retailers, who say the legislation was adopted without consulting them. The country’s …

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One-Third Of Online Product Reviews Are Paid Or Fake

The New York Times reports: In the world of e-commerce, the online review is king, the internet’s answer to walking into a store and trying out a product for yourself. An increase of just one star in a rating on Amazon correlates with a 26 percent increase in sales, according to a recent analysis by the e-commerce consulting firm Pattern. …

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Twitter Seeks To Save Accounts Of Deceased Users

Axios reports: Twitter said Wednesday it was putting on hold a plan to delete inactive accounts amid concerns that accounts from deceased users would be swept up in the purge. Why it matters: While it’s great to see Twitter clearing out the accounts of living people who aren’t using them, Twitter also represents an important record of those no longer …

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Twitter Rolls Out Anti-Troll “Hide Replies” Function

TechCrunch reports: Twitter’s radical “Hide Replies” feature, one of the biggest changes to how Twitter works since the invention of the Retweet, is now available to Twitter’s global user base. The company says the feature will roll out to all Twitter users across platforms by today, with only one slight tweak since earlier tests. Designed to balance the conversation on …

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Ford Gambles Big With All-Electric Mustang [VIDEO]

Yahoo Finance reports: Ford took its time. But for its first electric vehicle, the 116-year old automaker did something a little controversial. The Mustang Mach-E is an all-new, fully-electric crossover that Ford says is part of the “Mustang family.” That means it has some styling cues from the famous pony car, but that’s about it. It’s not a coupe, convertible, …

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