Facebook launches app that will pay Android users in India, US to monitor phone usage

After facing flak for using unethical and discreet ways of collecting user-information, Facebook has decided to pay Android users in India and the US just to monitor how they use their phones.

To fulfil this purpose, the social networking giant has launched a new app called Study which is available for download on Google’s Playstore for Android users aged 18 and above.

The app would not only monitor installed apps on a person’s phone but also observe the amount of time spent on those apps along with details like the users’ location and additional app data which could reveal other specific features being used, The Verge reported on Tuesday.

“When analysing data from this app, we reference other information Facebook has about you, such as your age, gender and you use Facebook Company Products. This allows us to learn more about how participants use different services,” the Study app description on Google Playstore reads.

The company says it would not see any specific content, including messages, passwords, and websites the users visit, the report said.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the social media giant was secretly paying people to install a “Facebook Research” Virtual Private Network (VPN) that was letting the company access user’s data.

It was also highlighted that, since 2016, Facebook was paying users aged 13 to 35 up to $20 per month, plus referral fees, to sell their privacy by installing the iOS or Android “Facebook Research” app.

Moreover, media reports also claimed that Facebook even asked users to screenshot their Amazon order history pages.

However, the launch of Study shows that Facebook clearly feels that it still needs this data on how people are using their phones, and that the company has learnt a thing or two from the last controversy, the report added.

The company has so far not disclosed the amount of money it is planning to offer the participants, who are required to have a PayPal account for receiving payments.

[“source=thenewsminute”]

New technology being tested that aims to prevent 65 percent of pedestrian collisions

Image result for New technology being tested that aims to prevent 65 percent of pedestrian collisionsWashington — Car makers hope new technology can help save lives. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deadly pedestrian accidents are up 45 percent nationwide since 2009. The Department of Transportation finds the nearly 6,000 killed in 2017 made up 19 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Now IIHS is testing technology it believes could prevent up to 65 percent of pedestrians collisions, cutting deaths by 58 percent.

The technology uses cameras and sensors to warn drivers and, if needed, automatically applies the brakes. The institute tested the system on 11 small SUVs. Nine earned either superior or advanced ratings for avoiding or reducing the severity of collisions at speeds ranging from 12 to 37 miles an hour.

The Subraru Forester and Toyota RAV4 did the best. But the BMW system did so poorly it received no credit at all.

“It either didn’t break or didn’t mitigate the speed enough,” said David Aylor, with IIHS.

IIHS wants the technology to be standard on all vehicles in the near future.

 

[“source=cbsnews”]

Recapping the saga of a misogynistic beer article that enraged the brewing world this week

There are stages to controversies in the social media age. First, the scandal breaks. Then it spreads. Criticism rains down on the perceived offender from across the internet. A few beats later, that person emerges publicly to defend themselves. The public generally rejects such an apology or criticizes the apology itself. Eventually, heads roll and/or the public moves on. End scene.

The craft beer world has moved through precisely those steps this week. A few days ago, an article published on the front page of regional beer publication Great Lakes Brewing News began making the social-media rounds. The article, which ran under the byline of Great Lakes Brewing News publisher Bill Metzger, ostensibly was about Scotch ale and cask ale, but its sexist tone drew swift and forceful criticism. Choice lines from the 2,800-word hybrid article/essay, which was written in the first-person, include: “In the age of #metoo, the pendulum has swung too far. One aggressive move and a man’s career can derail. I feel the walls closing around me, my room to move shrinking. My instincts to bed every woman I see are reducing from a king-sized mattress to a cot, the size of which I only remember from a tour in Iraq.”

You can read more excerpts via The Buffalo News, including the article’s repeated mentions of using alcohol to lower women’s sexual inhibitions.

When I first saw screenshots of the article, I blinked slowly. How was any of this about beer? How did this get published on the front page of… anything? What does Bill Metzger have to say for himself? Other beer writers and breweries themselves were equally upset, with some who’d advertised in the publication condemning the piece and withdrawing future ads. (Metzger’s Brewing News company publishes other regional beer newspapers as well.) Some breweries burned the publication in effigy.

So, we’ve arrived at the scandal stage where the accused emerges to defend themselves. Per a screenshot posted by the creative director for Chicago’s Pipeworks brewery, who criticized the article on Twitter, Bill Metzger responded to her with the below message which includes the by-now-a-punchline phrase: “I’m sorry you were offended.”

A statement on Great Lakes Brewing News’ Facebook page states the article was intended as parody and does not reflect the views of the author. Metzger’s statement continues: “Nowhere in this piece is there an endorsement of misogyny nor hatred. It is a simple parody of a disgusting attitude that I have seen often. We have been publishing the occasional piece that does anger people as some topics seem too toxic to discuss rationally. And it most certainly does not reflect my views; those who actually know me beyond a few articles written and/or published know that much.”

Forbes beer writer Tara Nurin, who has long covered women’s role in beer, spoke to Metzger by phone and found him “genuinely and deeply pained that his admittedly misbegotten attempt to highlight the problem of sexual harassment and assault in brewing has backfired so badly.” Still, she and other beer writers ultimately reject his parody defense, with writer Robin LeBlanc calling the whole mess “a special kind of trainwreck.” This beer writer agrees.

There’s never a good time for failed satire about sexual assault, but Metzger’s timing is especially bad. Earlier this month, the CEO of Actual Brewing in Columbus, Ohio, stepped down amid an investigation into allegations he repeatedly sexually assaulted multiple women. Last year, Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based Melvin Brewing faced backlash from retailers and customers after one of its brewers inappropriately touched an employee of another brewery, bringing to light what some called a larger “bro culture” within Melvin.

Though women in any male-dominated industry face challenges, those challenges can be especially dangerous when your daily job functions involve alcohol. I’ve seen the beer industry take important steps to make itself safer and more welcoming to women and minorities, but as recent stories of assault and discrimination illustrate, there is still much work to be done. That women’s painful efforts to share their #metoo experiences would be the object of abysmal satire only prove how long the road will be.

 

[“source=thetakeout”]

 

This is what I’m teaching my kids about money (that I learned the hard way)

Image result for This is what I’m teaching my kids about money (that I learned the hard way)For many parents, broaching the subject of money with their children can be a minefield. Even parents who want to teach their children about personal finances struggle to have those conversations. That’s especially true when their kids are young: In a recent survey by Edelman Financial Engines, 49% of parents with children aged 4 to 8 said they didn’t know how to talk to their kids about money. But about 90% of them felt it was important that their children have sound financial habits, and admitted that they should be the ones to impart those habits.

I spoke to a number of parents who have taken that to heart and are making the effort to talk to their children about money. For all of them, their approach is a departure from their parents’ attitude toward finances. Most of their parents tiptoed around the subject, whether they grew up in a working class or upper-middle-class family. “My dad managed the money, and I think my mom was on an allowance,” Katie*, a 56-year-old teacher based in Phoenix, told me. “It was kind of like the man worried about the money; this was a traditional Texas home. I don’t really remember my parents ever talking about it.”

Some of the people I heard from made poor financial choices early on because their financial literacy was so low. Leslie Forde, who works in publishing and runs a self-care site for moms, says that during her first year of college, she opened a credit card and swiped it too frequently. “I was really sloppy about financial management that first year until I ran into having to pay down debt,” she says. “I realized that you’re paying a real premium and interest when you use credit card debt. After that experience, I became kind of obsessive about learning about personal financial management and planning.” Bob Moul, who works in tech and now advises his employees on saving and investing, grew up in a working class family and had to give himself a crash course in personal finance, years into his marriage and well into raising children. “This has all been a process of painful discovery,” he says.

As they raise kids, these parents are trying to strike a balance, cultivating good financial habits and offering guidance without overloading their kids with the minutiae and weight of family finances.

STARTING YOUNG

Kids establish spending habits by the age of 7, according to finance writer Beth Kobliner. That’s why parents like Forde—whose kids are 4 and 8, respectively—have already started conversations about money. “I’ve tried to introduce these more mechanical concepts that I was missing–the actual routines associated with managing money and tracking money,” she says. “And I try to introduce it in age-appropriate ways.” Over the summer, she took her kids into the bank for a “kid’s day” event, during which they transferred the contents of their piggy banks into bank accounts with interest. “When their statements come in, I show them how their money is increasing,” she says. “Granted, the interest rates are paltry. But I’m showing them that just by their money sitting at the bank and not in their piggy bank, it’s actually making them more money.”

Forde also talks to her kids often about the idea of making “trade-offs.” If her son wants new toys, for example, they calculate how much each costs while in the store, and talk about how he can swap out toys to stay within his budget. She uses a similar framework to talk to them about things like housing as well—why they live in a condo outside Boston when their cousins live in a two-story home in Florida, and what lifestyle changes they would have to make to afford a house like that. “I really try to explain, in terms they can understand, that there are trade-offs associated with what you want, and what you can have in the moment versus what you can have in the future,” she says.

Ben Carter, the cocreator and cohost of a podcast and show about personal finance, is already thinking about how to talk money with his kids, barely three months after becoming a parent to triplet girls. Carter, for his part, was acutely aware of finances from an early age. That awareness was self-initiated, he claims, not a function of how his parents talked about finances. “In my mind, my family didn’t have as much money as I thought you needed to feel comfortable,” he says. “That could have been a figment of my imagination. We had everything we needed. But I had this notion that, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re getting by day by day.’”

When it comes to his own children, Carter’s wife doesn’t want them to be as preoccupied with money as he was. “My wife doesn’t want our kids to grow up with an overwhelming sense of what money is, so for me it’s about trying to find a balance,” he says. “How can you teach it in a way that’s more casual and part of our day-to-day, week-to-week lives?” One example of that is talking about the cost of groceries, Carter says. “You’re learning these concepts that, as an adult, you’ll find are directly related to money,” he says.

With his first three children, Moul didn’t talk money until they were in their late teens, though he did expect them to do chores for an allowance and set them up with savings accounts. When he got remarried and had kids again, Moul was eager to start their financial education earlier. One of his priorities was to show them the power of compounding, and how they can have more in the bank simply by putting their money in the right place. “The main thing that I’m trying to get across–even to the younger employees I have–is the earlier you start, the better,” he says.

TEACHING FINANCIAL HABITS WITHOUT THE BURDEN

Some parents are wary of talking money with their children because they fear making them feel like they need to worry about family finances.Simone Oppenheimer says of her parents, who were the children of immigrants, “I think that there’s kind of a trend in that first-generation Americans felt like they put a lot of burden on their parents, watching them work so hard and try to provide for large families. Our parents tried to shield us from that burden.” They projected financial security and didn’t expose their kids to financial struggles or limit their opportunities, Oppenheimer argues. When she attended a private college, Oppenheimer says, she didn’t fully grasp the cost of her education, and how much of a dent that put in her parents’ finances.

Though her kids are young (both below the age of 7), Oppenheimer seeks to familiarize them with financial realities, albeit without overloading them. “I went to a Jewish private school, and my kids do as well,” she says. “I’m much more transparent about the fact that they go to a school that costs money.” If her children ask why a friend has something that they don’t, she explains that she values certain things–their schooling, for example, or healthy food–and prioritizes putting money toward that. Oppenheimer has already seen her kids internalize some of those lessons. When she took her children to the grocery store recently, her son put part of his $5 allowance toward buying oranges and contributing to their groceries. (“I’m going to buy two oranges to help you,” he said.) “He’s realizing that it’s helpful, and money means something–and that mommy earns what we use,” Oppenheimer says. “He didn’t do it in a way that was guilty or that he should help me. He was proud of himself for his contribution.”

Oppenheimer has also tried to be cognizant of giving both her children the same financial education. Many parents make the mistake of encouraging their daughters to save and not take financial risks, while teaching their sons to invest and build wealth. Some even help normalize the workplace pay gap by modeling it in their own homes, paying daughters less than they do boys for comparable work–in this scenario, chores–or their allowance. “I have a boy and a girl, and it’s always really interesting to see the differences there,” she says. “I’m finding myself in my own biases and trying to push through that–and making sure that I’m raising two strong, independent kids equally.”

Relieving some of the burden of personal finances includes illustrating where you can afford to spend a little. That’s why Katie taught her kids about the three buckets of savings: long term, mid-range, and “fun right now.” (Her youngest child had dubbed his mid-range savings pile the “Taylor Swift fund” while saving up money for concert tickets; the name stuck, though his enthusiasm for the singer did not.) “We’ve tried to teach them that saving is really important, but you also have to live your life,” she says. “You’ve got to have that fun stuff, too.”

PLANNING FOR COLLEGE

If there’s one reason to talk about money with your kids, it may well be this: As of last year, more than 44 million Americans are on the hook for more than $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. It’s no surprise that college–how to pay for it, whether to pay for it, what to expect of their children–is top of mind, even for parents of young kids. And in many cases, the choices parents make around paying for college have to do with how much financial support they received from their parents.

For Oppenheimer, whose parents footed the majority of her private college tuition, her experience and the changing job market convinced her that her children don’t need the kind of financial assistance she had. “I decided that I’m not opening a college savings account for my kids,” she says. “I don’t see the need to go to a private college in this day and age, for all that money, when college is not necessarily worth as much in terms of your future as it once was.” Oppenheimer adds that had she been expected to pay for college beyond a nominal loan she took out, she would have made different decisions. “I think at that age, it’s important for kids to start understanding the implications of their decisions,” she says. “I don’t see the harm in having kids start saving for college or paying for it themselves. Maybe they’ll make smarter decisions and be more serious students if that’s the case.”

As a teacher herself, Katie has a similar take. “As a teacher, I see these kids going to these really expensive colleges,” she says. “I think it’s a shame right now in our society that the expectation is that you’re going to assume these loans.” When it came to her children, Katie set aside a fixed amount of money to put toward college; she sat down with each of them and laid out their finances and how much their savings would cover in terms of tuition. “We’ve tried to be very transparent with them,” she says. “I’m very debt averse. I try to instill that in them.”

But some parents want to give their children the financial support they didn’t have growing up. “[My parents] made it very clear that there was no way they were going to pay or even help pay for college,” Moul says. “Of the four of us, three of us did not go to college after high school. My second oldest sister did, and I’m amazed to this day that she pulled that off.” He ended up covering tuition for all three of his older children, though he did expect them to work during college and foot expenses like textbooks. “I wanted them to have a college education for sure, and if I could do it for them, I wanted to pay,” he says. “I also felt like if they’re going to go to college, let them focus on learning.”

Forde hopes to do the same for her kids, though she also expects them to contribute financially in some way. Her parents emigrated from Barbados and things were “very comfortable” when she was growing up. But her family’s financial situation changed when she was a preteen, and she ended up putting herself through school for most of college. She doesn’t want that for her kids.

“I want my children to have the experience of moving through the world and choosing the career and path that they love and that’s right for them–not just choosing a path that’s financially viable,” she says. “I want them to have some freedom and choice and less stress, frankly, associated with the climb from their academic life into their professional life. I would like them to be less stressed out about it than I have been.”

[“source=fastcompany”]

Eight Great Apps and Software Services That Launched In 2018

Eight Great Apps and Software Services That Launched In 2018

2018 was rather special and interesting, from a software point of view. While tech giants continued to deliver futuristic, mind-bending and impressive software and services, they also realised their own software was chewing away our brains, making us all sloppy. We took a good look around to see which software and services were introduced this year that are likely to shape the way we use most of our tech products.

Here are our top picks for the best software and services we saw in 2018.

1. Google Duplex
Google likes to show off cool stuff at its I/O developer conferences each year. Duplex, however, was way above anything we’d seen. It just blew everyone’s mind away. Built as a feature inside Google Assistant, Duplex can place phone calls for you to make reservations for you and more. All this in a human-like tone that could be hard for someone on the other line to make out if it’s an actual human being or a robot.

google main duplex

The search giant even demonstrated the feature in front of the crowd and it didn’t sound anything like a robot as Duplex added a little “hmmm” and “umm” into the conversation. The uses cases are endless and it looked like this could completely change the way we use our smartphones.

However, once everyone picked up their jaws from the floor, there was a growing concern amongst many that Duplex calls may be amazing, but a little too creepy. Google has assured that Duplex will properly notify that a call is being made from a robot when it’s working.

The feature has started rolling out to Google Pixel owners in the US.

2. WebAuthn
Let’s be honest, passwords aren’t everyone’s favourite method of authentication even though we continue to live our daily lives with one. Back in April this year, two major standards bodies FIDO and W3C revealed that they were going to kill the good old password with WebAuthn.

WebAuthn is simply a new protocol that eliminates the use of a password. The most popular browser makers like Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla have agreed to integrate WebAuthn within their browsers. Users will be able to use a physical security key (USB) or a mobile device instead of a password. This could make things a lot easier for Internet users all across.

3. Screen Time on iOS and Digital Wellbeing on Android
As technology is making our lives simpler and easier, it’s also slowly vacuuming us all into a world we can’t escape from. This year, the makers of the two most popular mobile operating systems decided to change things a little.

we;; wellbeing

Both Apple and Google announced new features built right inside the OS to help users measure how much time they were spending on their mobile devices.

Apple introduced Screen Time on iOS 12 and Google added Digital Wellbeing on Android 9.0 Pie. Both services may have different interfaces but share a common goal. The idea is to get you to use your phone less so you don’t spend hours staring at it when you could be doing something else, something more productive.

Later in the year, both Facebook and Instagram apps introduced their own version of these features.

4. Siri Shortcuts
With iOS 12, Apple also introduced a new way to make the most out of Siri. Siri Shortcuts lets users group together a bunch of iOS-based actions and easily trigger them using voice commands. A large chunk of iOS apps also added support for Siri Shortcuts.

siri short short

Although the idea sounds simple, it has become a popular way to get things done on an iOS device. From something as simple as having a text message sent when something else happens, to asking Siri about the status of your online food order, it can do pretty much anything you want.

The feature makes Siri more useful and powerful.

5. Otter
Otter is a mobile app that can automatically transcribe your voice recordings. The app is quite different from similar apps we’ve seen in the past. It is specifically meant for long-form conversations and can accurately convert voice to text without any issues.

Otter is perfect for meetings, interviews, and other events where more than one person is talking. The app can capture the audio, transcribe the content, and turn it into an archive that can be easily searched. The app is available on both iOS and Android. There’s a Web interface available as well.

[“source-ndtv”]

This Startup’s New Passenger Drone Is ‘Like a Flight Simulator That You Can Ride In,’ CEO Says

This Startup's New Passenger Drone Is 'Like a Flight Simulator That You Can Ride In,' CEO Says

If Matt Chasen gets his way, there will be a time – in the not-so-distant future – when commuters are able to order an air taxi that whisks them across town in minutes, bypassing traffic-clogged streets below.

For now, however, the chief executive of LIFT Aircraft will have to use his start-up’s electric-powered vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft, the Hexa, for something else: 15-minute flights across a lake outside Austin, Texas, for $249 (roughly Rs. 17,300) a pop.

Though the flights will target a recreational crowd, Chasen sees them as a steppingstone to a new form of convenient urban transportation.

“Today’s regulatory environment does not allow for a transportation use of these aircraft – yet,” said Chasen, a former Boeing engineer with a background in mechanical and aerospace engineering. “We’ll build public trust in the technology. Once that happens, it’s inevitable that people will want to use it for certain types of commuting flights.”

It may take years, Chasen said, but the payoff could be immense, as the race to create autonomous flying vehicles begins, with companies such as Uber, Airbus and Volocopter already developing them.

Unlike with conventional aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration does not require a pilot’s license to operate a “powered ultralight” craft. The agency’s rules require instead that ultralights operate during daylight hours in open areas and limit their use to sport and recreation.

To operate the Hexa, Chasen said, customers will undergo an orientation that includes watching safety videos and training in a virtual-reality simulator for up to an hour. A basic proficiency test will follow, then preflight checks with ground support.

The drone-like aircraft – which is controlled using a joystick in the cockpit and stabilized by a flight computer – weighs 432 pounds, seats one person, and has 18 sets of propellers, motors and batteries. Prospective pilots have to weigh less than 250 pounds. During flight, Chasen said, pilots can see safety information on an augmented-reality display inside the aircraft. In the event of an emergency, he said, flight controllers can take over the aircraft and fly it remotely like a drone. Chasen compared the flying experience to “a flight simulator that you can ride in.”

The aircraft can travel just over 60 mph at top speed and includes air-cushioned floats, allowing it to land on water if necessary.

“Unlike traditional helicopters, you don’t need great skill to fly the Hexa,” he said. “If you completely let go of the joystick, the aircraft just hovers in GPS position hold. It’s programmed so that if battery levels get down to a certain level, the aircraft will automatically return to the launch site.”

LIFT hopes to begin offering flights over a popular lake outside Austin next year. The company announced last week that it is also considering 25 cities across the country for other “aircraft hubs,” which would be located near tourist destinations and entertainment areas. Though the cities have yet to be named, the company is already accepting reservations.

“I could envision a Lift location right from a pier on the Seattle waterfront,” Chasen told GeekWire.

Chasen said he doesn’t think the FAA will certify vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft for commercial transportation until they’re proved safe. Once that happens, he said, a new wave of alternative transportation is likely to quickly emerge.

In five to 10 years, he predicts, aircraft like the Hexa will play a very different role in urban environments, becoming an “alternative to driving” for certain types of trips.

“I think we will be one option among many if it’s rush hour, and you can fly for 10 minutes as opposed to driving for 90 minutes,” Chasen said. “It think it’ll be a niche thing to start out, but at some point, it won’t be surprising to see aircraft taking off from rooftops in cities on a regular basis.”

[“source-ndtv”]