Category Archives: News and Views

Nike’s new app-connected shoes reportedly fail after faulty update | Mashable

Owners of the newly released $350 Nike app-connected Adapt BB self-tying shoes have taken to the Google Play store to complain that an update left their fancy kicks bricked. That’s right, the self-lacing shoes reportedly no longer connect to the accompanying app — essentially transforming them into regular old shoes (buttons on the side of the shoes means you can still tie them). And people are pissed.

Here’s how, according to a press release, the shoes are supposed to work: An internal “advanced power-lacing system” combines with an “app and continually updated firmware” to tie and untie your footwear. The app lets you choose your perfect fit, and the shoe adjusts to your foot’s changing size as it theoretically swells throughout a basketball game. Again, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

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Why won’t Samsung let us see its foldable phone? | Mashable

Samsung may have just unveiled the most exciting new phone in years. Or, it may have unveiled a nearly $2,000 disappointment that just so happens to have a flexible display.

We don’t actually know, because the company barely let us see the phone that’s supposed to herald a new era of smartphone design. Samsung kicked off its Unpacked event by cutting to the chase: it officially revealed the Galaxy Fold, a fold-up phone that doubles as a tablet.

It’s an impressive feat of engineering, to be sure. And the brief demos we caught a glimpse of onstage were certainly more impressive than the clunky and dimly lit demo we saw back in November. Samsung execs showed off the phone’s folding and unfolding abilities, and demonstrated a couple apps: Spotify and Google Maps, as well as three-way multitasking.

But that’s pretty much all we saw. As quickly as it came out, the phone was slipped back into Samsung president DJ Koh’s pocket.

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Tax refunds 2019: Here’s why yours may be smaller, or why you may owe | Fast Company

Most Americans have a smaller total federal income tax bill for 2018 than they did in previous years, thanks to the tax law passed by Congress in 2017. But thanks to changing instructions from the IRS on how to withhold tax, many people will see smaller refunds or may even owe money when they file their tax returns.

So far, the average refund paid to taxpayers is down 8.7% to $1,949, from an average of $2,135 this time in filing season last year, according to the IRS.

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Payless is closing all 2,100 stores in yet another sign of the death of fast fashion | Fast Company

In another sign that fast fashion is dying off, Payless ShoeSource Inc. says it plans to close all of its 2,100 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. Two years ago, Payless declared bankruptcy during a wider wave of store closures throughout the country, something we’ve come to describe as the retail apocalypse. At the time, the company shuttered a number of its stores, which allowed it to eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, according to the Wall Street Journal. But none of this restructuring was able to save it from further collapse.

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The Tight Labor Market is Benefit People with Disabilities | Small Business Trends

Disabled persons are entering the workforce as overall unemployment rates drop and companies consider an expanded pool of potential job applicants for entry-level and essential positions.

Persons with disabilities have long been sidelined and unable to find employment, due in part to stigma and from an inability to perform tasks as quickly or accurately as their able-bodied peers. That trend has steadily changed since 2011, marking a significant change in the makeup of the American labor force.

A tight economy with an extremely low unemployment rate is benefiting all workers, but especially workers with disabilities, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. The unemployment rate in the U.S. is currently 3.9 percent, the lowest reported rate since 1969, according to WSJ. Those unemployment numbers have allowed a large swath of disabled persons to seek and find work.

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US shutdown looms as border talks stall ahead of deadline | BBC News

US congressional talks over a border security deal have stalled, raising the chances of another government shutdown.

Negotiators were hoping for a deal by Monday to give Congress time to pass legislation by Friday, when the federal funding agreement runs out.

They remain divided on how many undocumented immigrants can be detained and funding for President Trump’s promised border wall with Mexico.

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How Ferguson and Black Lives Matter Inspired This St. Louis Family to Open a Kids’ Bookstore With a Mission | Inc.com

Jeffrey and Pamela Blair wanted their children to feel proud. Then they wanted all African-American children to feel proud.

The couple’s business, EyeSeeMe, is a 1,200-square foot storefront in the St. Louis suburb of University City. With shelves of bright-jacketed books and bold posters splashed across the walls it confronts–with defiance and love–the weight of history. The Blairs have curated close to 3,000 titles, ranging from Africa-themed alphabets to the lives of black inventors to hip-hop poetry. Collectively, they chronicle African-American lives, history, and culture.

EyeSeeMe says to its young customers: Do you see all these stories of achievement, of courage, of ingenuity, of fun? This is who you are.

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Jeff Bezos: Amazon boss accuses National Enquirer of blackmail – BBC News

The world’s richest man, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, has accused the National Enquirer’s owner of trying to blackmail him over lewd pictures.

Mr Bezos said the magazine’s parent company American Media Inc (AMI) wanted him to drop an investigation into how it obtained his private messages.

Mr Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, said last month they were getting divorced.

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Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking | TechCrunch

Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won’t even realize it. And they don’t need to ask for permission.

You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge. But TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps.

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Facebook’s Top PR Exec Is Leaving the Toughest Job in Tech | WIRED

FOLLOWING MORE THAN two years of constant turbulence for Facebook, the company’s vice president of communications, Caryn Marooney, is leaving the company, Facebook has confirmed. Marooney, who previously cofounded the technology communications firm The Outcast Agency, joined Facebook in 2011 as director of technology communications, after representing the company at Outcast. Most recently, she has been responsible for all global communications. Marooney’s final day is not yet set, but spokesperson Vanessa Chan said she would be staying on to bring her replacement on board.

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