The Freewrite is the ultimate distraction-free writing tool

IMG_5820 riting on a computer is awful. Without discipline – in my case, at least – an effort to get out 1,000 words of non-fiction usually ends up consisting of thirty minutes of web browsing before writing, intermittent Facebook trips while tapping out a few hundred words, and a nice jaunt through Hacker News at the 750 word mark. I get the job done, but I know my brain isn’t doing… Read More

Pat launches private beta to help AI understand what you say

Abstract watercolour painted speech bubbles in yellow orange pink blue and green. How many times have you wanted to throw your phone out the window of your car because Siri couldn’t understand the most basic phrases? Call Cheryl, no Vyshakh. Siri calls Cheryl anyway. Then a 20-minute argument develops with a series of “Hey Siri” commands followed by a string of unwanted Google searches and maybe even an iTunes song. I personally gave Siri a British accent… Read More

Facebook is slightly less white, but not any darker

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, April 4, 2013. Zuckerberg says the company is not building a phone or an operating system. Rather, Facebook is introducing  a new experience for Android phones. The idea behind the new Home service is to bring content right to you, rather than require people to check apps on the device.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Facebook’s latest diversity report is a lot more of the same, with the exception of two components: LGBTQA employee representation and hiring data from the last 12 months. Facebook also announced a $15 million investment in Code.org to help the non-profit organization develop computer science curriculum among underrepresented student populations. Here are the high-level stats. Facebook… Read More

Still a virtual reality skeptic? Here’s why you shouldn’t be

A visitor wears a Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. PlayStation VR as he tries a virtual reality (VR) game during a demonstration by Tokyo VR Startups in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, June 29, 2016. Tokyo VR Startups has launched the first Japanese incubation program focused on the virtual reality market, says the company website. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images As VR becomes a force in the gaming world (and other sectors), I can’t help but draw the evident parallels between the emergence of 3D-console gaming and quasi-nascent VR. Though some remain skeptical about VR, it will become a widely adopted technology that can drive adoption of other technologies, just like 3D-gaming technology did. Read More

Facebook blames ‘technical glitch’ for temporary removal of Falcon Heights shooting video

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 17:  In this photo illustration the app of facebook is displayed on a smartphone on June 17, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.  (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images) Facebook has denied censoring a viral video taken after a police officer fatally shot a man in his car in Minnesota. Lavish Reynolds pulled out her phone and began a Facebook Live stream after her boyfriend, Philando Castile, was shot by a police officer who, Reynolds said, had pulled their car over for a broken taillight in Minnesota’s Falcon Heights district. Media reported that… Read More

Facebook says it’s not making friend suggestions based on your location after all

Facebook Friends Day Video GIF Does Facebook suggest new friends based on your location? The answer seems to change day by day. Yesterday, Fusion reported that Facebook uses location data to make friend suggestions and pointed out that this could lead to unfortunate privacy mishaps. Users could find themselves outed in situations that ought to be anonymous (for instance, Facebook might recommend that a user add a friend from… Read More

Google+ turns 5 and is somehow still alive

google-plus-5-years People who love Google+ sure love Google+. That hasn’t changed since Google first launched what at the time seemed like a credible Facebook competitor back in June 2011. If you’re a Google+ fan, today is a day to celebrate: Against all odds, your favorite social network turned five today. For everybody else, the fact that Google+ is still online may come as a surprise. The number… Read More

President Obama calls for diversity efforts and openness with Mark Zuckerberg at GES

US President Barack Obama speaks at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California on June 24, 2016.        (Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images) Obama encouraged companies to continue hiring workers from diverse backgrounds, citing tech companies’ diversity reports as a step in the right direction. The president also discussed censorship of the internet in Egypt and said international leaders need to welcome free speech rather than attempt to stifle it — even if that speech has negative effects. “It turns out that… Read More

Facebook brings emoji to VR with 360 Reactions

Videos_Reactions-1 Watching 360-degree videos alone on your Gear VR is about to get a little less lonely. Oculus just rolled out the ability for users to see and leave Facebook’s five emoji reactions on 360 Videos within Gear VR’s video app. While Reactions started as a risky attempt at tampering with Facebook’s iconic Like button, they’ve become a popular way to convey emotion and… Read More