How quitting Facebook affects your brain

Sounds can awaken memories we forgot were there.Image: Getty Images It sounds like someone accidentally hit adjacent keys on a xylophone. The understated double ping hits me with a jolt of excitement, a swooping stomach, and even a bit of relief. Whenever I hear the now-retired Facebook Messenger notification, I’m transported back to 2013, when I happily, gratefully, giddily got a message from someone I liked, who would later become my partner. Back then, we talked almost daily on, of all chat platforms, Messenger. As devices, software applications, and apps become omnipresent, the User Interface (UI) sounds they emit — the pings, bings, and blongs vying for our attention — have also started to contribute to the sonic fabric of …

Get Google Assistant to talk in John Legend’s voice

Image: Chesnot / Getty Images It’s not every day when a tech company recommends you check out its rival’s product. But Google is being forced to do just that in Europe. To comply with an EU antitrust ruling, the tech giant will show Android users alternative browser and search engine apps on Google Play. The store will serve up two pop-ups: one for search apps, the other for browsers. For each category, users will see a list of the top five apps. Google’s blog post on the upcoming update includes an example of what the pop-ups will look like. The image shows Google search and Google Chrome at the top of each list, followed by rival products such as Mozilla’s …

Instagram launches their latest video feature called IGTV

YouTube will let you buy movie tickets or book a vacation straight from a video ad.Image: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images YouTube ads are about to get a lot more interactive. The Google-owned video platform today announced a brand-new video advertising option that will allow users to buy or download what the ad is advertising — straight from the ad itself. SEE ALSO: Facebook continues to go after YouTube with new video ad options Before this announcement, advertisers had a more limited selection of interactive ad extentions from YouTube. Location extensions, for instance, can point viewers to a place related to the ad that’s close to them. Now, advertisers will have a lot more options when it comes to these …

The most hacked band password is ‘Blink-182’

What's my password again, what's my password again?Image: Getty Images The world is awash in ’90s nostalgia — and it’s even showing up in our passwords. A new study from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has revealed the world’s most easily hacked passwords, CNN reports. The top no-brainer passwords overall are impersonal number combinations, like 12345. But in the category of “bands,” the most breached password is the name of the popular ’90s pop-punk outfit, Blink-182.  SEE ALSO: Even experts think some pa$$w0rd-strength requirements are dumb That means that if you’re part of the apparently enormous group of people who use their passwords to pay homage to the spirit of teenage rebellion, you’re at risk of getting hacked.  …

This 3-seater concept car can fix its body after an accident Future Blink

So hot and spicy.Image: kia Kia’s new electric car is called the Niro EV. Now its electric concept car is the HabaNiro. Get it? If the name is already too much, you won’t be able to handle the ridiculous details about the crossover compact SUV shown at the New York International Auto Show Wednesday. SEE ALSO: Kia’s Imagine concept car uses 21 smartphones to mock dash screens First, the not-so-hot-and-spicy specs: it’s an all-electric, all-wheel drive, four-seater with 300-mile range and full autonomy capability with butterfly-wing doors.  While the HabaNiro is just an idea, it could pave the way for future electric vehicles beyond the Niro, which recently went all electric after debuting as a hybrid vehicle a few years …

IT workers blame employees for the biggest security vulnerabilities

We've failed them all.Image: Getty Images Have you tried turning it off and on? Two new studies confirm every computer dunce’s worst fears: IT professionals (i.e. the technological bedrock of corporate America) blame the employees they’re bound to help for their computer problems — at least when it comes to security. A column for ZDNet synthesizes the findings of two new surveys about what IT professionals consider the biggest security threats. Overwhelmingly, the people tasked with protecting our corporate digital lives fear the potential for the bumbling mistakes of their charges above all else. SEE ALSO: Sorry, but you’re doing your pa$$w0rds all wrong In the first survey, from BetterCloud, 62 percent of over 500 surveyed IT workers say that …

Here’s what makes ‘On My Block’ one of Netflix’s most intriguing shows

Image: disney The video-streaming industry is crowded with big names—some with already-existing services and others with impending apps. Considering the current three largest platforms, the agglomeration of media companies, and the tech companies investing heavily in video, it can be hard to wrap your head around the sheer scope of the entertainment giants that make up this market. Each service has its own origin story, business interests, and exclusive originals and licensed content. There’s also a wide assortment of fluctuating prices, packages and plans, and technology under the surface. “We’re seeing a ton of fragmentation,” said streaming media consultant and expert Dan Rayburn. “NBCUniversal is coming out with a service, Disney, WarnerMedia, Viacom bought PlutoTV, Amazon launched IMDb Freedive, and …

Europe just passed sweeping new copyright rules that Big Tech hates

London (CNN Business)Europe is changing the internet again. The proposal was opposed by tech companies, which warned they would need to build expensive content filters and stop linking to publications. Internet activists argued that the changes would lead to censorship. On the other side of the two-year battle were record labels, artists and media companies. They said reforms were needed to update copyright protections for the internet age and to ensure they’re fairly paid for content. This is the latest flashpoint between tech giants and European officials, who have taken a much more robust approach than the United States over competition issues, data protection (think GDPR) and tax. Antonio Tajani, the president of the European Parliament, said the vote would …

Apple’s biggest trick yet: Making us believe it’s The Good Place

Purveyors of perfect worlds: Tim Cook and Ted Danson in 'The Good Place.'Image: Stephen lamb/Getty images/nbc Spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen The Good Place yet (and what are you waiting for?), beware. This post reveals a huge plot point. Holy forking shirtballs, the world Apple unveiled at its media event Monday looks like a tempting place to live. Right from the kickass 1960s movie-style opening credits video (which boasted, among other things, that Apple is powered by “100% renewable energy”), through the unveiling of Apple News+ (which reminded us that now more than ever, “quality journalism matters”), via the titanium Apple Pay credit card, to the star-studded Apple TV+ launch (with its soft focus on optimistic stories and diversity), …

With Tech on the Defensive, SXSW Takes an Introspective Turn

The first five days or so of SXSW in Austin are always heavily weighted toward the interactive portion of the conference. The city’s downtown streets swell with lanyard-laden “entrepreneurs” and “founders” wearing that familiar uniform of T-shirts screen-printed with their company’s clever logo, an outfit made professional by throwing a blazer over the ensemble. They bounce from panel to panel and branded “house” to branded “house” (this year, on scooters, so many scooters) hawking their new apps and software products, each promising to be more revolutionary and life-changing and utterly necessary than the next. For years, the unspoken question at the conference seemed to be which company will become SXSW famous, like Persicope, Foursquare, or, most memorably, Twitter? But this …

Snapchat always proved critics wrong. Then Evan Spiegel pushed for a redesign

Most CEOs would probably prefer not to overhaul their core businesses less than a year after an initial public offering. It’s a pivotal period when executives look to play up their company’s stability and growth to a world of potential new investors on Wall Street. Arlan Hamilton: She invests in tech founders others ignore. And it’s working Mary Barra: Her impatience could save GM. ‘Time is not our friend’ Read all 14 Risk Takers profiles The plan: separate content from friends and publishers — and celebrity users — while attracting new users by making the app easier to use. Spiegel said at the time that the move could be “disruptive” to Snap’s business. That proved to be an understatement. A …

Millions of people may be giving away their privacy through ancestry tests

What a novel idea.Image: Paul Bradbury / getty Cash hasn’t been dethroned, yet.  In the age of Square, Apple Pay, and Amazon Go, buying a sandwich or beer with paper money may feel like a throwback to simpler, neolithic times. But on Feb. 27, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney signed into law a bill requiring that stores accept cash. So those times are guaranteed at least a temporary reprieve from an otherwise looming extinction.  That is a very good thing. SEE ALSO: A judge can order you to use this app to deal with your ex The bill, which takes effect July 1, represents the first time a major U.S. city has codified into law the requirement for most businesses to …

Lyft pulls ahead of Uber in race to IPO

Lyft is the first ride-hailing app to file to go public.Image: Lyft Lyft filed for a $100 million initial public offering on Friday. In its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Lyft released its financial history for the first time. With the public disclosure, we now know that for the past three years Lyft has been losing money … a lot of money.  SEE ALSO: Lyft rolls out its own version of Uber Express Pool called ‘Shared Saver’ Lyft pulled in revenue of $2.2 billion in 2018, but also recorded a net loss of more than $911 million. It lost nearly $700 million during the previous two years.  Much bigger competitor Uber is expected to file for its …

Elon Musk always takes the freeway instead of Waze shortcuts so he can use Autopilot

Just you, the open road, and Autopilot.Image: Tesla While making bold predictions about full self-driving cars during a podcast session with an investment firm this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also shared how he gets around – in a very Tesla way. In the conversation with ARK Invest — a Tesla shareholder that wrote a stern letter to Musk after he tweeted about taking Tesla private — Musk said Tesla vehicles would be capable of self-driving by the end of this year and that by the end of 2020 human drivers wouldn’t have to pay attention while the car drives and you could even take a nap until arriving to your destination.

Lyft’s ‘Shared Saver’ is just like Uber Express Pool

Pile in for a crowded ride.Image: Lyft If you’re willing to walk a few blocks, you could save money on your next ride. On Wednesday, Lyft rolled out its version of Uber Express Pool: Shared Saver. Think of it as an on-demand mini-bus. The app gives you walking directions to meet a driver already carrying or on their way to pick up other passengers. After being dropped off, you might also have to walk a few blocks to your destination.  Wait for the app to tell you how far you’ll be walking. Image: LYFt Uber’s version of the feature launched nationwide a year ago, so the concept isn’t entirely new, especially for people who flip between the two apps. (Now …