Snapchat pulls Juneteenth filter and apologizes — again

Suhauna Hussain 2020-06-20 03:12:59 Snap Inc. sought to show Black users it cared about them by releasing an interactive camera filter to commemorate Juneteenth. But the filter and social media outcry that followed only reminded the world of the company’s history of racist or insensitive blunders and lack of internal diversity. Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the day in 1865...

In “The Last of Us Part II,” a virus, an LGBTQ love story

Todd Martens 2020-06-19 01:38:16 Halley Gross wanted to be a comedian. The former child actress set her sights on stand-up as she entered adulthood, hoping when she began college to model her career after that of Tina Fey. One problem: Comedy made her uncomfortable. What she craved was something more … depraved. Dreams, it turns out, can come true. After...

The most questionable coronavirus crowdfunding ideas

Jessica Roy 2020-06-17 17:30:55 The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis of the unknown. Our understanding of the disease and the best ways to fight it seem to change from week to week. This murky information environment creates opportunities for entrepreneurs offering the promise, if not always the reality, of safety.You can find many of those entrepreneurs on crowdfunding sitessuch as...

Video games are thriving thanks to coronavirus

David Lazarus 2020-06-16 18:30:08 Pick an industry, pretty much any industry, and the story you’ll likely hear regarding the COVID-19 pandemic will be one of financial losses, layoffs and deep uncertainty about the future.Not this one, though. “It’s fair to say that video games are having a moment right now — a unique and extraordinary time by any measure,” said...

As Github CEO backs Black Lives Matter, workers bring up ICE

Suhauna Hussain, Johana Bhuiyan 2020-06-13 07:09:34 With protests over the police killing of George Floyd gripping the country, Microsoft’s president said Thursday the company would refrain from selling facial recognition software to police, a small victory for employees who demanded the company sever relationships with law enforcement agencies. At Microsoft-owned GitHub, the parent company’s concession only served to reinvigorate internal...

Robot vending machines rise in Silicon Valley

Jon Kauffman 2020-06-11 18:30:34 For a vending machine, Sally makes a mean salad.On a visit to Chowbotics’ Bay Area headquarters in March, back when in-person visits were still possible, I tapped my order on Sally’s touchscreen. Immediately, plastic cylinders arranged in concentric rings spun back and forth so that rotating paddles at the bottom of each container could dispense romaine...

SoCal Edison warns customers of ‘fat-finger dialing scam’

David Lazarus 2020-06-11 18:30:25 Glenn Egelko doesn’t have particularly puffy fingers. Nevertheless, he almost fell victim to what’s known as the “fat-finger dialing scam.”As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, right?Egelko recently had some questions about his Southern California Edison utility bill. He looked at his latest statement and found the number for customer service: (800) 655-4555.As happens...

Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition software

Sam Dean 2020-06-11 04:52:19 Answering widespread demands for new curbs on aggressive policing in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, Amazon is halting law enforcement use of its facial recognition platform for one year, the company said Wednesday. The company has marketed its software platform, called Rekognition, to law enforcement agencies for years, and its short blog post announcing the...

Zoom suspended activists’ account, citing Chinese request

Suhauna Hussain 2020-06-11 03:47:04 Zoom, the videoconferencing technology provider, has acknowledged it shut down the account of a group of prominent Chinese activists based in the U.S. after they held an event on the platform honoring the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.Zhou Fengsuo, founder of U.S. based nonprofit Humanitarian China, held the event May 31 on a paid...

Would you scan a QR code to go clubbing? Here, it’s required

Victoria Kim 2020-06-10 22:37:15 It had been more than a decade since Choi Kun last set foot in a nightclub.There are things you don’t do as a married man with children, the 42-year-old said — and going to a nightclub, which in South Korea often entails waiters bringing over female patrons to tables of men, is most certainly one. But...