January 28, 2021

Software

Apple Music is trying to appeal more to generation Z.

What you need to know

  • Apple has launched new Apple Music playlists for Gen Z.
  • “Viral Hits” focuses on music that has become popular on social media.
  • They’ve also released playlists to help users find calm.

Reported by TechCrunch, Apple has launched ten new Apple Music playlists that are focused on the musical tastes of Gen Z. One, in particular, called Viral Hits, focuses on music that has become popular across social media apps like TikTok.

TikTok’s music-laden memes and trends today heavily influence what younger users are listening to. The app has also long-since proven its ability to break new artists and send tracks, both new and old, to the top of the streaming charts across Spotify and Apple Music, as well as the Billboard charts, at times. With the “Viral Hits” playlist, Apple will round-up the

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  • The early Black Friday 2020 sale is in full swing, with several retailers already hosting deals online.
  • Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target are already running pre-Black Friday sales promos that are available online and in stores, with more early Black Friday events to follow in the coming weeks.
  • Smaller retailers have either published their Black Friday discounts online, or the ad scans leaked ahead of time.

Black Friday shoppers have been ordering their favorite deals online for years, as most retailers adapted their holiday shopping experience to support and encourage online shopping. Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and other retailers have increased the number of Black Friday online events in the past few years, looking to match Amazon’s reach. 2020 is no different in that regard, and some early Black Friday sales have already started. What’s different about this year is the novel coronavirus pandemic. That’s the biggest incentive to … Read the rest

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On midnight of October 26, Facebook stopped accepting all new advertisements about “social issues, elections, or politics in the US.” The intention was to prevent Facebook from being overwhelmed by a blitz of last-minute ads that would require fact-checking, and to limit the ability of political groups to sow confusion or violence. Advertisers were not blocked from running old ads, however: Facebook’s rules meant they could continue to run already-approved political ads through to the end of Election Day, after which they were all removed. 

We already know that turnout was historically high across both Democrats and Republican voters. Though it looks as if Joe Biden will receive the highest number of votes for any presidential candidate in history, Donald Trump is on track to receive the second-highest number. Republican competitiveness in the face of such high turnout was a surprise to many, and not always reflected in polls taken … Read the rest

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With the news that a Covid-19 vaccine could be arriving soon, misinformation about vaccines is likely to surge. | Matteo Rossetti/Archivio Matteo Rossetti/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are bracing for more misinformation.

Open Sourced logo

On Monday, Pfizer and BioNTech announced in a press release that their vaccine candidate was more than 90 percent effective at preventing Covid-19 infection, based on initial results from their ongoing phase 3 clinical trial. The company expects to have applied for emergency use authorization with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the end of November and could have as many as 50 million doses produced by the end of 2020.

This is tremendous news — and misinformation about it is already circulating on social media. According to research from VineSight, a slew of Twitter accounts, including those of Donald Trump Jr. and Sen. Ted Cruz, are already questioning the timing … Read the rest

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Two people have become the first passengers on a Hyperloop, a technology considered to be the future of high-speed ground transport.

The demonstration and test took place on a 500 metre test track in the Nevada desert near Las Vegas on Sunday.

Footage showed the pod carrying the passengers taking around 15 seconds to complete the test as it accelerated to more than 100 miles per hour.

The system is intended to eventually allow journeys of up to 670mph with the technology using electric propulsion, with passive magnetic levitation creating low pressure within the tube which is in near-vacuum conditions.

It looks like one of those things they used to launch spaceships in sci-fi films – but it’s real, working and … Read the rest

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Black Friday is easily one of the best times of the year to buy your home a new vacuum cleaner. You’re probably aware Black Friday deals include everything from iPhone and Apple discounts to toys, clothing, home decor and appliances — and that includes vacuum cleaners. You can even find Black Friday Roomba deals for those who like to let their vacuum do all the work instead.

Best Black Friday Vacuum Cleaner Deals

This year’s Black Friday will be a bit different than most. Rather than retailers offering deals during the week of Thanksgiving, we’re instead able to enjoy Black Friday pretty much the entire month of November. There are already tons of discounts available in just about every category you can think of. Plus, this happens to be the best year to shop

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  • Razer is launching new laptops designed around productivity rather than specifically for gaming. 
  • The Razer Book 13 comes in three variants, starting at $1,199. 
  • The laptops will go on sale starting this month. 

Razer has always been the “for gamers, by gamers” brand — I mean, that’s their company tagline after all — and while the company’s high-powered laptops have always been solid gaming machines, they’re also just great for overall productivity. The same kinds of high-end hardware that is good for gaming are also good for video editing and other creative work, and the speedy CPUs can do whatever you want them to do.

Combined with a reputation for sturdy construction and impressive build quality and you can easily see why Razer’s Blade lineup has often been seen as the “MacBooks for Windows users.” Now, Razer is building on that notion in a big way by introducing a new … Read the rest

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Back in 2016, I could count on one hand the kinds of interventions that technology companies were willing to use to rid their platforms of misinformation, hate speech, and harassment. Over the years, crude mechanisms like blocking content and banning accounts have morphed into a more complex set of tools, including quarantining topics, removing posts from search, barring recommendations, and down-ranking posts in priority. 

And yet, even with more options at their disposal, misinformation remains a serious problem. There was a great deal of coverage about misinformation on Election Day—my colleague Emily Drefyuss found, for example, that when Twitter tried to deal with content using the hashtag #BidenCrimeFamily, with tactics including “de-indexing” by blocking search results, users including Donald Trump adapted by using variants of the same tag. But we still don’t know much about how Twitter decided to do those things in the first place, or how it … Read the rest

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Pro-Trump protesters in Pennsylvania are calling for the state to stop counting votes based on unproven assertions of fraud. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Stop the Steal gained more than 350,000 members on Facebook in less than a day.

Facebook took down a massive group tied to Republican operatives where people were spreading misinformation about the 2020 presidential election process and calling for violence. While votes are still being counted in key battleground states, President Trump and his campaign are insisting — without proof — that Democrats are stealing the election through mass voter fraud.

The group, called “Stop the Steal,” gained more than 350,000 members in less than 24 hours starting on Wednesday before it was taken down on Thursday afternoon. Members were convening around unproven allegations of mass ballot-counting fraud, such as the “Sharpiegate” ballot hoax, and posting incitements to violence. While some misinformation researchers applauded … Read the rest

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WhatsApp could soon start letting users send money to each other through their chats.

Called WhatsApp Payments, it appears to be live in India on both iOS and Android.

Reports suggest the feature uses the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) platform also used by the likes of Google and Amazon.

In order to use it, WhatsAppers in India must have a bank account and debit card connected to the platform.

When activated, WhatsApp sends instructions to banks to initiate the transfer of money between accounts via UPI. Naturally, the recipient must also have a UPI ID that can receive the funds.

There’s no evidence this feature will be coming to the UK at the moment, but it’s … Read the rest

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