Author Archives: Brittany Hillen


Uber hits back at California driver employee claims

Uber hits back at California driver employee claims

In the modern world, many companies are side-stepping the expenses of having employees by classifying workers as contractors instead. Often this is done erroneously — if workers are required to do certain things, such as work on a set schedule, they must be classified as employees rather than contractors. Uber and ridesharing services like it are somewhat of a grey area, or at least have been. Drivers on the service recently challenged their contractor status, saying they should be classified as employees instead. Uber challenged their claims but didn't fair too well, and now it has fired back.

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UrtheCast reveals UHD full color videos of cities as seen from space

UrtheCast reveals UHD full color videos of cities as seen from space

UrtheCast, which has been working steadily on getting video of our planet as seen from the International Space Station, has introduced the first videos in full color of Earth as seen from space -- that, at least, the average person and businesses have access to. The videos come from a pair of cameras that have been set up on the ISS, and there are three cities that have been recorded in full color at high definition with them: Boston, USA, London, UK, and Barcelona, Spain.

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Fairphone 2 is modular and robust

Fairphone 2 is modular and robust

The Fairphone 2, the aptly named update to the original Fairphone, was detailed today by the company’s CTO Olivier Hebert. The latest handset is said to be robust, eliminating the “flaw” of vulnerability that many modern phones have by, among other things, including a replaceable outer shell that doubles as a protective case. In addition, the phone has a modular design similar to what we've seen with Project Ara and some competing projects, which will allow users to upgrade components as needed.

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Cortana for Android arrives in July

Cortana for Android arrives in July

We have known for a little while now that Cortana would be coming to Android and iOS, and word had it the Android version would be arriving toward the end of this month. In a blog post today related to Cortana and the Xbox, however, Microsoft slipped in a little detail: Cortana for Android will be arriving some time in July. Next month will bring around the beta test for the Android Cortana app, says the company; it isn't clear when the beta will end.

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AMC teases ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ with new poster

AMC teases ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ with new poster

AMC's companion series to its popular zombie series The Walking Dead is called, of all things, Fear the Walking Dead, and it will be arriving this summer. With it will come an expanded look at TWD's walker-filled world and a different group of survivors in a different part of the country (Los Angeles). The network has been somewhat guarded when it comes to details, but did release a teaser trailer for the show a couple months back and now has released the first poster for the show.

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Hockey puck survives fire, ice, and now thermite

Hockey puck survives fire, ice, and now thermite

If you spend any time on the Internet at all, you’ve likely seen that now infamous red-hot ball of nickel burning its way through friend and foe alike: fruits, random objects, nothing has managed to stand in its way. That is, until it met a hockey puck. Turns out hockey pucks are able to do more than take a beating from hockey sticks — they hardly sizzle when paired with red hot destruction. As an act of revenge, perhaps, the nickel-bearer turned to a more destructive force — but, as you’ll see in the video after the jump, a hockey puck is not easily destroyed.

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Twitter’s auto-playing videos have arrived

Twitter’s auto-playing videos have arrived

The auto-playing video. It's okay if you don't like it. Others feel the same way, so you're not alone. The problem is that despite the large number of people who detest videos that start playing without permission, social networks are launching them anyway. Twitter's auto-playing videos are now upon us, at least if you're using iOS of the web (if you're not, your day of reckoning is inbound). Twitter announced the feature's arrival in a statement today, calling it a "new standard for viewability."

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Self-awareness (probably) isn’t unique to humans

Self-awareness (probably) isn’t unique to humans

You've likely heard it said that humans are distinguished by their self-awareness, but researchers are saying that such statements might be bull. According to recent research, humans likely aren't the only creatures on this planet to possess self-awareness, with some animals possessing at least a primitive level of awareness of self. The key is mental simulation of an environment and the need for at least a low level of self awareness to do that, and signs that some animals are capable of such environmental simulation.

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Facebook’s showing status suggestions to some users

Facebook’s showing status suggestions to some users

Facebook posting. Do it often enough and you’ll start to feel like you’re repeating yourself. Maybe you feel like having some banal online banter, but you’ve nothing witty to say. Life has been boring. You’re out of material. In the future that might not be an issue. Some users are reporting seeing status ideas on their Facebook, which are presented as “Suggested Topics” and include things that are trending on the social network. A popup prods users toward the suggested topics.

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Starbucks expands Mobile Order & Pay to 3400 more stores

Starbucks expands Mobile Order & Pay to 3400 more stores

Jealous because of other Starbucks customers' ability to order their beverage from afar (the mobile app), and pay for it at the same time? You might be getting access to the same mobile feature soon. Starbucks is expanding its Mobile Order & Pay system to a bunch of new states, and as such will be expanding the number of stores where the ordering method is possible by more than three thousand. The feature, as we've previously reported, first arrived late last year in Portland.

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