Modulates Tech Media

‘The Great Hack’: Netflix doc unpacks Cambridge Analytica, Trump, Brexit and democracy’s death

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

It’s perhaps not for nothing that The Great Hack – the new Netflix documentary about the connections between Cambridge Analytica, the US election and Brexit, out on July 23 – opens with a scene from Burning Man. There, Brittany Kaiser, a former employee of Cambridge Analytica, scrawls the name of the company onto a strut of ‘the temple’ that will eventually get burned in that fiery annual ritual. It’s an apt opening. There are probably many of us who’d wish quite a lot of the last ... View More

DOJ announces investigation into big tech

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

The Department of Justice announced that its Antitrust Division is reviewing how the world’s largest technology companies have gotten that way and whether their business practices reduced competition or hurt consumers. In a statement the DOJ said that it will consider “widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media and some retail services online.” The language appears to be targeting Alphabet (the parent company of search giant ... View More

Facebook empowers OpenStreetMaps community with AI-enhanced tools

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

If we’re going to map the world, we’re not going to do it with ever-greater volumes of elbow grease. There’s just too much work to do. AI and computer vision are helpful assistants in this task, however, as a collaboration between Facebook and OpenStreetMaps has shown, laying down hundreds of thousands of miles of previously unmapped roads in Thailand and other less well-covered countries. The problem is simply that there’s a whole lot of Earth and only a handful of people actually maki ... View More

Google’s bigger smart display arrives this fall

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Google is just a couple of months away from releasing its first smart home device with an onboard camera. The company quietly updated one of its support pages today, detailing that the 10″ Nest Hub Max will be available September 9 for $229. After the page was first discovered by Droid Life, the text on the site has reverted to “coming soon.” We’ve reached out to Google for comment. The product is the first release in Google’s Nest rebrand of its smart home line. Compared to the comp ... View More

TD Ameritrade is bringing customers’ financial portfolios into the car

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

TD Ameritrade has integrated with in-vehicle software platforms Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Amazon’s Echo Auto to give customers the ability to check their stock portfolio or get the latest financial news while sitting behind the wheel. TD Ameritrade launched the suite of in-vehicle experiences this week, the latest move by the company to place investors just a voice command or click away from a stock price or other financial information. TD Ameritrade Chief Information Officer Vijay San ... View More

Google’s Nest adds to its partnerships focused on the power grid with new Leap agreement

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Google’s smart home device business, Nest, is increasing its ties to the utility industry by adding another partner to bring its smart thermostats into homes to reduce energy consumption and provide that unused power back to utilities in times of peak power demand. Last year the company inked an agreement with OhmConnect, and it has now signed another deal with the startup Leap. While the OhmConnect deal helped Nest manage end customer sign-ups, in its deal with Leap, sign-ups are handled thr ... View More

Using Spotify and Netflix payments to build your credit score? Grow Credit has a service for that.

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Can subscriptions and everyday payments be used to help build or rebuild a credit score? The Los Angeles-based Grow Credit thinks so. The service, which launched earlier this month, is one of the slew of new ideas coming from businesses that are angling to help build up credit scores for folks who can’t (or won’t) get a credit card, or who are rebuilding their credit. The company is the latest evolution of a credit-based approach to financial services from the LA-based serial entrepreneur, J ... View More

Snap’s 2019 comeback continues with heavy user growth in Q2

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

After a tumultuous public debut, the state of Snap in 2019 is slowly improving and Wall Street is responding. The social media messaging company is up nearly 12% after-hours following a beat on Q2 earnings, announcing 388 million in revenue versus the Zack’s Consensus Estimate of $358.5 million, and a loss of $0.06 EPS versus an expected $0.10 loss. The financials were better than expected, but the real surprise was the healthy user growth. Snap said they had hit 203 million daily active user ... View More

The Planetary Society’s crowdfunded LightSail 2 deploys its solar sail in orbit

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

Crowdfunded spacecraft LightSail 2 is making good on its name, after successfully unfurling its solar sail in orbit so that it can begin propelling itself using the force of light alone. The sail’s mylar surface reflects photons from the Sun, accumulating velocity gradually thanks to the additive effect of countless sub-atomic impacts. The team confirmed sail deployment initiated at 11:47 AM PT (2:47 PM ET), and full sail deployment complete at 11:50 AM PT (2:50 PM ET). LightSail 2 got its ri ... View More

Agolo attracts Microsoft and Google funding with AI-powered summarization tools

Posted on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

As the ways we consume content multiply and change, media creators are hard pressed to adapt their methods to take advantage. Short-form audio and video news is one growing but labor-intensive niche — and Agolo aims to help automate the process, pulling in the AP as a client and Microsoft, Google, and Tensility as investors. Agolo is an AI startup focused on natural language processing, and specifically how to take a long article, like this one, and boil it down to its most important parts (a ... View More

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