Thursday, October 19, 2017

Companies are collecting a mountain of data. What should they do with it?

It’s called the information age for a reason. From our tweets and status updates to our Yelp reviews and Amazon product ratings, the internet-connected portion of the human race generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of computer data every single day. That’s 2.5 million one-terabyte hard drives filled every 24 hours. The takeaway is clear: in 2017, there’s more data than there’s ever been, and there’s only more on the way. So what are savvy companies doing to harness the data that their human users shed on a daily basis? They’re finding meaningful ways to release it for public experimentation. By opening…

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Adobe tease data visualization storytelling with no coding required

Over 12,000 people are attending the annual Adobe Max creativity conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas. If you scratch beneath the surface of announcements such as the cloud-centric redesign of Lightroom washed down with appearances from actor/director Jon Favreau and Mark Ronson, there is substance as well as style. The event is not just about new applications or adding shiny features to existing products. MAX Sneaks offers attendees an opportunity to preview future technology that may or may not make it into products. These proof of concepts provide a glimpse of the vision for the creativity cloud of the…

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Apple CEO confirms new Mac mini in fan email

It’s been three years since Mac mini got an update. It’s easy to assume three years without an update means the product is dead, and the company has moved on. But with Apple products, you never really know for sure — looking at you Mac Pro. One Apple fan could no longer deal with the uncertainty, so he took matters into his own hands and emailed CEO Tim Cook to ask him directly. The email, published at MacRumors, read: Hi Tim, I love the Mac Mini but it’s been over 3 years now without an update. Are we going to…

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Wicked Audio’s Outcry Extreme is my favorite Bluetooth speaker under $60

I tested out Wicked Audio’s Outcry Extreme Bluetooth speaker just in time for Halloween, and it’s been great to party with. I used it in a number of environments and found a lot to like. It’s a quality speaker that literally growls and barks (more on this later), plus it sounds pretty good thanks to two 45mm drivers. The Outcry Extreme is a sturdy dual-speaker that lives at the low-end of high quality. I give it top marks for manufacturing and durability. It’s over half a kilo (1.5 lbs) of plastic and metal sturdy enough to suffer some drops. In…

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Find your unprotected Amazon S3 buckets with this free tool

Services like Amazon’s S3 have made it easier and cheaper than ever to store large quantities of data in the cloud. Used properly, S3 buckets are a useful tool that can save time and money. Used properly, I said. The problem is that plenty of companies fail to implement basic security. This, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, has resulted in an astonishing spate of (frankly) catastrophic data breaches. In October, researchers discovered an open S3 bucket containing the personal information of 1,113 NFL players and their agents. And in July, the details of three million WWE fans were chokeslammed onto…

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A designer has collected at least 66 (!!!) active versions of Facebook app’s navbar

Facebook is currently testing more than 60 versions of its navigation bar, the small icons on the bottom of your mobile screen. According to designer Luke Wroblewski — who gathered the data with the help of Twitter users — the navbar has at least 66 variations: if anyone (other than me) is still counting… now at 66 active versions of Facebook’s mobile nav: — Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) October 17, 2017 Facebook seems to be A/B testing its app with a ton of users. I’ve already gone through a few different navbars in the last couple of months, and…

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Uber asks drivers to pay $115 for a shot at extra Halloween earnings

A promotion from Uber offering drivers the chance to earn a 33 percent earnings boost in exchange for an upfront payment of $115 is causing controversy, and has lead some to accuse the controversial ridesharing company of charging drivers to work. One damning critique, from NYC-based technology ethnographer Alex Rosenblat, argues that the format of the offer is deceptive, as the headline (“Celebrate Halloween early by earning 33% more”) is larger and bolder than the rest of the copy, which clarifies that this is at the expense of $115 from the previous week’s earnings. He also mentions that the format…

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