[TA Deals] Ditch your headphone wires and pick up a discounted pair of AirSounds 2 wireless earbuds (63% off)

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Russia to start blocking major VPNs after censorship refusal

Russia's hatred for censorship-dodging VPNs is well-known, and it's now prepared to follow through on its . Telecoms oversight chief Alexander Zharov told Interfax that he expected to block nine major VPNs, including ExpressVPN and NordVPN, for refu…
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Facebook reportedly prohibits Huawei from pre-installing its apps

Future Huawei phones will no longer come pre-installed with Facebook's apps, according to Reuters. The social network has reportedly prohibited the Chinese manufacturer from loading its main app, Instagram and WhatsApp onto any phone that hasn't left…
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Instagram makes it easy to add song lyrics to your Stories

Instagram announced today that it is adding the ability to display lyrics when adding songs to Stories. The feature will let users decide if they want to display song lyrics on screen and will give them the ability to edit the text style, animation a…
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Our ongoing work to tackle hate

Over the past few years, we’ve been investing in the policies, resources and products needed to live up to our responsibility and protect the YouTube community from harmful content. This work has focused on four pillars: removing violative content, raising up authoritative content, reducing the spread of borderline content and rewarding trusted creators. Thanks to these investments, videos that violate our policies are removed faster than ever and users are seeing less borderline content and harmful misinformation. As we do this, we’re partnering closely with lawmakers and civil society around the globe to limit the spread of violent extremist content online.

We review our policies on an ongoing basis to make sure we are drawing the line in the right place: In 2018 alone, we made more than 30 policy updates. One of the most complex and constantly evolving areas we deal with is hate speech. We’ve been taking a close look at our approach towards hateful content in consultation with dozens of experts in subjects like violent extremism, supremacism, civil rights, and free speech. Based on those learnings, we are making several updates:

Removing more hateful and supremacist content from YouTube

YouTube has always had rules of the road, including a longstanding policy against hate speech. In 2017, we introduced a tougher stance towards videos with supremacist content, including limiting recommendations and features like comments and the ability to share the video. This step dramatically reduced views to these videos (on average 80%). Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory. Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.

We recognize some of this content has value to researchers and NGOs looking to understand hate in order to combat it, and we are exploring options to make it available to them in the future. And as always, context matters, so some videos could remain up because they discuss topics like pending legislation, aim to condemn or expose hate, or provide analysis of current events. We will begin enforcing this updated policy today; however, it will take time for our systems to fully ramp up and we’ll be gradually expanding coverage over the next several months.

Reducing borderline content and raising up authoritative voices

In addition to removing videos that violate our policies, we also want to reduce the spread of content that comes right up to the line. In January, we piloted an update of our systems in the U.S. to limit recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation, such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, or claiming the earth is flat. We’re looking to bring this updated system to more countries by the end of 2019. Thanks to this change, the number of views this type of content gets from recommendations has dropped by over 50% in the U.S. Our systems are also getting smarter about what types of videos should get this treatment, and we’ll be able to apply it to even more borderline videos moving forward. As we do this, we’ll also start raising up more authoritative content in recommendations, building on the changes we made to news last year. For example, if a user is watching a video that comes close to violating our policies, our systems may include more videos from authoritative sources (like top news channels) in the “watch next” panel.

Continuing to reward trusted creators and enforce our monetization policies

Finally, it’s critical that our monetization systems reward trusted creators who add value to YouTube. We have longstanding advertiser-friendly guidelines that prohibit ads from running on videos that include hateful content and we enforce these rigorously. And in order to protect our ecosystem of creators, advertisers and viewers, we tightened our advertising criteria in 2017. In the case of hate speech, we are strengthening enforcement of our existing YouTube Partner Program policies. Channels that repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies will be suspended from the YouTube Partner program, meaning they can’t run ads on their channel or use other monetization features like Super Chat.

The openness of YouTube’s platform has helped creativity and access to information thrive. It’s our responsibility to protect that, and prevent our platform from being used to incite hatred, harassment, discrimination and violence. We are committed to taking the steps needed to live up to this responsibility today, tomorrow and in the years to come.

— The YouTube Team

YouTube Blog

Taking a harder look at harassment

There have been a lot of questions over the last few days about our policies on harassment, particularly around two YouTube creators: Carlos Maza and Steven Crowder. These are important issues and we’d like to provide more details and context than is possible in any one string of tweets.

Since YouTube started 14 years ago, we have focused on providing a platform where anyone can broadcast themselves, connect with people, and share their voices and their experiences with the world. This has brought a lot of good — like Jouelzy, who founded the #smartbrowngirl movement to empower women of color, or MatPat, a gaming creator — who, along with his fans and other creators — raised over $ 200,000 to combat mental illness. But it has also created many challenges. One of the most important issues we face is around harassment. We enforce our policies here rigorously and regardless of the creator in question: In the first quarter of 2019, we removed tens of thousands of videos and accounts for violation of our policies on cyberbullying and harassment. We also removed hundreds of millions of comments, many of which were flagged and removed due to harassment.

That said, policies need to keep up with current problems. One particular challenge we face more and more these days is creator-on-creator harassment. It’s an issue that Susan addressed in her latest creator letter. We update our policies on an ongoing basis to make sure they’re current. Just today, we took another step in our fight against hate speech and our responsibility to reduce the spread of harmful borderline content. As mentioned, one of our upcoming projects will reexamine our harassment policy, as well.

As an open platform, we sometimes host opinions and views that many, ourselves included, may find offensive. These could include edgy stand-up comedy routines, a chart-topping song, or a charged political rant — and more. Short moments from these videos spliced together paint a troubling picture. But, individually, they don’t always cross the line.

There are two key policies at play here: harassment and hate speech. For harassment, we look at whether the purpose of the video is to incite harassment, threaten or humiliate an individual; or whether personal information is revealed. We consider the entire video: For example, is it a two-minute video dedicated to going after an individual? A 30-minute video of political speech where different individuals are called out a handful of times? Is it focused on a public or private figure? For hate speech, we look at whether the primary purpose of the video is to incite hatred toward or promote supremacism over a protected group; or whether it seeks to incite violence. To be clear, using racial, homophobic, or sexist epithets on their own would not necessarily violate either of these policies. For example, as noted above, lewd or offensive language is often used in songs and comedic routines. It’s when the primary purpose of the video is hate or harassment. And when videos violate these policies, we remove them.

Not everyone will agree with the calls we make — some will say we haven’t done enough; others will say we’ve gone too far. And, sometimes, a decision to leave an offensive video on the site will look like us defending people who have used their platforms and audiences to bully, demean, marginalize or ignore others. If we were to take all potentially offensive content down, we’d be losing valuable speech — speech that allows people everywhere to raise their voices, tell their stories, question those in power, and participate in the critical cultural and political conversations of our day.

Even if a creator’s content doesn’t violate our community guidelines, we will take a look at the broader context and impact, and if their behavior is egregious and harms the broader community, we may take action. In the case of Crowder’s channel, a thorough review over the weekend found that individually, the flagged videos did not violate our Community Guidelines. However, in the subsequent days, we saw the widespread harm to the YouTube community resulting from the ongoing pattern of egregious behavior, took a deeper look, and made the decision to suspend monetization. In order to be considered for reinstatement, all relevant issues with the channel need to be addressed, including any videos that violate our policies, as well as things like offensive merchandise.

In the coming months, we will be taking a hard look at our harassment policies with an aim to update them — just as we have to so many policies over the years — in consultation with experts, creators, journalists and those who have, themselves, been victims of harassment. We are determined to evolve our policies, and continue to hold our creators and ourselves to a higher standard.

—Chris Dale, YouTube

YouTube Blog

This AI-powered subreddit has been simulating the real thing for years

Can the human discourse on social media in 2019 be properly captured by a group of well-programmed bots? Of course it can. r/subredditsimulator is a subreddit — three years in the making — that consists solely of neural network bots. It works by ge…
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A closer look at the Bose 700 noise-cancelling headphones

As great as the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones sound, let's be real: they look like they were designed for dads on a business trip. And listen, as someone who's into the whole chunky, dad-shoe trend, I'm not here to judge if you're into their des…
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YouTube declines to pull videos containing homophobic, racist attacks

YouTube is catching flak for an apparently inconsistent approach to tackling hate speech on its platform. The site has declined to remove videos from right-wing commentator Steven Crowder after Vox host Carlos Maza provided evidence of Crowder using…
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Apple might wave goodbye to Dashboard in macOS Catalina

One of the Mac's longer-serving features appears to be going away. Appleosophy and others using the developer preview of macOS Catalina have discovered that Dashboard, the secondary screen for widgets, isn't present. The app is missing in Launchpad,…
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More ways to buy tour tickets on YouTube

Starting today, fans will be able to purchase even more tickets to upcoming shows in the U.S. by their favorite artists. Read more about our new partnership with AXS, the second-largest ticket provider in North America, on our YouTube for Artists blog.

YouTube Blog

The OnePlus 7 is now on sale in the UK, Europe, and Asia

The OnePlus 7 Pro was the main focus of the launch event back on May 14th, with the presentation covering the more affordable OnePlus 7 in just a couple of minutes. The regular OnePlus 7 is the more direct successor to the 6T from last year, featuring updated cameras, storage, and processor. Unlike the OnePlus […]

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An update on our efforts to protect minors and families

Responsibility is our number one priority, and chief among our areas of focus is protecting minors and families. Over the years, we’ve heavily invested in a number of technologies and efforts to protect young people on our platform, such as our CSAI Match technology. And in 2015, because YouTube has never been for kids under 13, we created YouTube Kids as a way for kids to be able to safely explore their interests and for parents to have more control. Accounts belonging to people under 13 are terminated when discovered. In fact, we terminate thousands of accounts per week as part of this process.

We also enforce a strong set of policies to protect minors on our platform, including those that prohibit exploiting minors, encouraging dangerous or inappropriate behaviors, and aggregating videos of minors in potentially exploitative ways. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, we removed more than 800,000 videos for violations of our child safety policies, the majority of these before they had ten views.

The vast majority of videos featuring minors on YouTube, including those referenced in recent news reports, do not violate our policies and are innocently posted  a family creator providing educational tips, or a parent sharing a proud moment. But when it comes to kids, we take an extra cautious approach towards our enforcement and we’re always making improvements to our protections. Here are a few updates we’ve made over the past several months:

  • Restricting live features: We updated enforcement of our live streaming policy to specifically disallow younger minors from live streaming unless they are clearly accompanied by an adult. Channels not in compliance with this policy may lose their ability to live stream. We also launched new classifiers (machine learning tools that help us identify specific types of content) on our live products to find and remove more of this content.
  • Disabling comments on videos featuring minors: We disabled comments on tens of millions of videos featuring minors across the platform, to limit the risk of exploitation. Additionally, we implemented a classifier that helped us remove 2x the number of violative comments. We recognize that comments are a core part of the YouTube experience and creators have told us they feel we removed a valuable way for them to connect with and grow audiences. But we strongly believe this is an important step to keeping young people safe on YouTube.
  • Reducing recommendations: We expanded our efforts from earlier this year around limiting recommendations of borderline content to include videos featuring minors in risky situations. While the content itself does not violate our policies, we recognize the minors could be at risk of online or offline exploitation. We’ve already applied these changes to tens of millions of videos across YouTube.

Over the last 2+ years, we’ve been making regular improvements to the machine learning classifier that helps us protect minors and families. We rolled out our most recent improvement earlier this month. With this update, we’ll be able to better identify videos that may put minors at risk and apply our protections, including those described above, across even more videos.

To stay informed of the latest research and advances in child safety, we work with civil society and law enforcement. In the last two years, we’ve shared tens of thousands of reports with NCMEC, leading to numerous law enforcement investigations.1 Additionally, we share our technologies and expertise with the industry, and consult with outside experts to complement our team of in-house experts.

YouTube is a company made up of parents and families, and we’ll always do everything we can to prevent any use of our platform that attempts to exploit or endanger minors. Kids and families deserve the best protection we have to offer: We’re committed to investing in the teams and technology to make sure they get it.

The YouTube Team

1 Updated stats on June 3

YouTube Blog

Ten best cases for the OnePlus 7 Pro

With its pop-up selfie camera and snazzy Almond, Nebula Blue, and Mirror Gray finishes, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a sight to behold. Under the hood, it boasts up to 12GB of RAM, up to 256GB of built-in storage and is powered by Qualcomm’s latest processor, the Snapdragon 855. Regardless of which finish you choose, […]

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Live from WWDC 2019!

Yes, another Apple event. After devoting an entire keynote this March to streaming services, Apple is kicking off its annual Worldwide Developer Conference today, and so it's time for the company to shift its attention back to its bread-and-butter pl…
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Nokia 4.2 with Android One is now available to purchase in the US and UK

If you are in the market for a mid-range handset at an affordable price with the promise of solid hardware with regular software updates, the Nokia 4.2 could be just what you need. Boasting mid-range specifications, a good-sized battery, a dual-rear camera setup, the Nokia 4.2 comes in at $ 189 in the US, and £149 […]

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League of Legends will be the next powerhouse game to be ported to mobile

Since phones have gotten more and more powerful we’ve started to see more high profile games ported over to smartphones and tablets. This current trend works a little bit better than a few years ago when old PS2 era games got mobile ports with questionable controls and lacking graphics, too. Just ask Fortnite. But the […]

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California advances bill offering protections to gig economy workers

Gig economy companies like Uber and Lyft have fought hard to avoid treating workers as full-fledged employees, but they might not have much choice in California before long. The state Assembly has passed a bill, AB5, that would require businesses to…
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Sprint officially turns on their mobile 5G network in several cities

Sprint has officially entered the 5G market, turning on their new and upgraded network in a few places around the US. This is just the start of their 2019 plans to have 5G turned on in several new cities, and should be a big boost in coverage and speeds for anyone in one of those […]

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John Romero’s unofficial ‘Doom’ expansion is available now

If you'd like your Doom sequels more traditional than Doom Eternal, your fix is at hand. Series co-creator John Romero has released his unofficial (and significantly delayed) fifth episode for the original game, Sigil. The pack includes nine single…
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Huawei Mate 20 reinstated in Google’s Android Q beta program

In a turnaround on the USA’s ongoing Huawei ban the company has been restored to Google’s Android Q Beta program after the companies’ relationship was severed two weeks ago. Things have been looking pretty grim for Huawei’s global smartphone business after the company’s working relationship with Android’s owner Google broke down a couple weeks ago, […]

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New whiteout Play Store with bottom tabs rolling out

The latest of Google’s UI refreshes has yielded a whiteout for the Google Play Store to likely receive a dark mode soon, a bottom tab bar, and a few small tweaks. Well, the newest UI refresh for one of Google’s apps is here, and as with all of them it has made a Google app […]

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[TA Deals] Save over 30% on subscriptions to RememBear Password Manager

You’ve probably heard of Tunnel Bear, the VPN with a ton of bears and puns in it. But did you also know that the company behind Tunnel Bear has a password manager called RememBear? Yeah, they like their puns. RememBear wants to make your life easier by remembering all of your passwords for you, and […]

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PSA: BlackBerry Messenger is shutting down today (May 31st)

If you are an ardent BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) user it may be time to think about using a different messaging service, this is due to BlackBerry shutting down the consumer version of BBM, which will cease later today (May 31st). Confirmation of the consumer version of BBM shutting down on Android and iOS was confirmed […]

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WSJ: Justice Department ‘preparing’ Google antitrust investigation

Late Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported, based on it anonymous sources, that the Department of Justice is preparing an antitrust probe of Google. The company has faced several similar investigations from EU officials, as well as investigations…
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[Rumor] Samsung could ditch the headphone jack and physical buttons on Galaxy Note 10

In a world where smartphone brands have ditched the headphone jack one by one, the audio port has been an ever-present feature on Samsung’s range of handsets. It looks like the 3.5mm audio jack and physical buttons could be kicked to the curb by the Korean company when it launches the Galaxy Note 10 around […]

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Canadian province will prohibit sale of gas-powered cars by 2040

British Columbia has just passed the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act (ZEVA) into law, and it could transform the Canadian province's roads in the coming years. Under the new rules, 10 percent of all light-duty cars and trucks sold in BC by 2025 must be em…
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The OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is the first handset to launch on EE’s brand new 5G network in the UK

In case you weren’t already aware, 5G is a pretty big thing for consumers, smartphone brands as well as network providers. The UK saw its first commercially available 5G network switched on by the BT-owned network operator EE during an event in London. The first 5G smartphone available in the UK is the OnePlus 7 […]

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MIT’s sensor-packed glove helps AI identify objects by touch

Researchers have spent years trying to teach robots how to grip different objects without crushing or dropping them. They could be one step closer, thanks to this low-cost, sensor-packed glove. In a paper published in Nature, a team of MIT scientists…
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[TA Deals] Pick your price for the CompTIA CSIS Prep Bundle

Mastering some CompTIA courses can be a big help to anyone that’s looking to dive into cyber security and software engineering, and Talk Android Deals is running a promo that will get you a ton of prep courses for one low price. You can even pick what you’re willing to pay for it, too. This […]

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Amazon’s Textract AI can read millions of pages in a few hours

Amazon has launched a new offering called Textract for its Web Services customers, and it's like optical character recognition on steroids. It more than just extracts text from documents like its name implies — Amazon says it can actually identify d…
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Amazon adds on to the smart home with the confusingly named Echo Show 5

Amazon is taking Microsoft’s naming approach to hardware devices, as they’ve just introduced the somewhat more privacy focused Echo Show 5. The naming comes from the device’s 5.5-inch screen, which is quite a bit smaller than the 10.1-inch display on the larger Echo Show. This nestles the Echo Show 5 right in between the Echo […]

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OnePlus 6/6T get Zen Mode and Screen Recorder from the OnePlus 7 Pro in Open Beta 19/11

The OnePlus 7 Pro launched a couple of weeks ago sporting a bunch of nifty new features; some of which the phone maker has committed to bringing to older models such as the OnePlus 5/5T and OnePlus 6/6T. Zen Mode and Screen Recorder are the first such features to come to the OnePlus 6 and […]

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The rear camera layout might be one of the biggest changes on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10, according to these leaks

We’ve seen plenty of info about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10, but up to this point it’s been mostly focused on the hardware. There have been leaks about processors and camera capabilities and everything else, but we’ve seen very little about any design changes that Samsung might be making. Well, now that’s changed with a high-quality […]

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Android Q will heavily limit apps’ ability to scan for WiFi networks

With Android Pie, Google instituted a more heavy-handed approach to how apps can scan for WiFi networks. That irked some developers in some very legitimate use cases, since the limit effectively broke how some apps worked if they relied on multiple WiFi scans. Google isn’t backing down from that, either. Those WiFi scanning limits are […]

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[TA Deals] Save over 70% on multi-year subscriptions to Private Internet Access VPN!

It’s 2019, and if you don’t already have a reliable VPN, you’re doing something wrong. If you’ve put that off until now, we’ve got a deal to help you kick off the new year with a much more secure outlook on the internet and your digital security. Talk Android Deals is offering discounted subscriptions to […]

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Google Lens dining and translation filters roll out this week

Google is acting quickly on its plans to bring clever new filters to Lens. The search firm is starting to roll out its promised Dining and Translate filters to Lens on Android and iOS, giving you some potential time savers. Translate is likely to b…
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Sony built an IoT chip with a 60 mile range

Sony is quietly launching a chip that could change how e-bikes, cars, street lamps and all kinds of other connected devices can relay information. The module, when installed on any IoT object, will allow it send data to Sony's proprietary low-power w…
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Auction for a laptop full of malware closes at $1.2 million

Today, bidding on a laptop packed with some of the world's most dangerous malware closed at $ 1.2 million. Dubbed "The Persistence of Chaos," the Samsung NC10 contains six viruses that have caused an estimated $ 95 billion in damages. Despite what you…
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Tools to help quantify your baby’s progress

The most straightforward way to keep track of your baby's data is the trusty spreadsheet. We recommend Google Sheets, since you can easily share it with your partner, and it has most of the features you'd want from a proper spreadsheet application. W…
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The Morning After: AMD, NVIDIA and Intel do battle at Computex

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. While those in the US mark Memorial Day, Computex 2019 is in full swing with hardware from Intel, AMD, ARM and NVIDIA setting new performance and efficiency benchmarks for laptops and phones headed our way later…
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ARM’s latest chip designs promise 60 percent faster AI on phones

ARM isn't boasting about PC-crushing performance like it did in 2018, but it still has plenty of swagger going into Computex 2019. The designer has unveiled two new chip architectures that promise giant strides in performance, especially for AI. Th…
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Microsoft, Alphabet team up to teach quantum computer programming

The very concept of a quantum computer can be daunting, let alone programming it, but Microsoft thinks it can offer a helping hand. It's partnering with Alphabet's X and Brilliant on an online curriculum for quantum computing. The course starts wit…
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T-Mobile rebrands their unlimited plans to Magenta, but bring some Netflix price hikes

T-Mobile has announced that they’re changing up their unlimited plans a little bit, with the most noticeable change being a shift away from the T-Mobile One branding. The new plans, while similar, will be called Magenta and Magenta Plus. There’s good news with the Magenta plans, too. They cost the same as T-Mobile’s old plans, […]

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Mac security hole reportedly lets attackers bypass app safeguards

Apple may have another Gatekeeper security flaw on its hands. Researcher Filippo Cavallarin has detailed a macOS vulnerability that he said would let attackers install malware without the usual permission request. As Gatekeeper considers network sh…
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Fiat Chrysler may strike Renault deal to survive changing car industry

Fiat Chrysler hasn't been on the cutting edge of automotive change as of late. Unless you count concepts like the Centoventi, the company hasn't done much with EVs — and its support for autonomy mostly involves supplying minivans to Waymo. The aut…
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Ransomware attacks in US cities are using a stolen NSA tool

The ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other US cities appear to have a common thread: they're using NSA tools on the agency's home soil. In-the-know security experts talking to the New York Times said the malware in the cyberattacks is using the NS…
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First American security flaw leaked 885 million real estate documents

First American Financial Corporation left as many as 885 million real estate documents dating as far back as 2003 exposed, according to Krebs on Security. The company, one of the largest real estate title insurance firms in the US, has already fixed…
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Best Buy has canceled your Galaxy Fold preorder, and we still don’t know when it’ll be back up

Samsung announced the Galaxy Fold to a ton of fanfare and media hype, but not long afterwards the hype train came to a screeching halt. Broken and malfunctioning displays, indefinite delays, and unanswered questions all made it hard to really count on when you could buy a real Galaxy Fold. Things still aren’t really any […]

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