Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

05.30.16 | 3:34 pm

19th-century political rallies were the Tinder of their age

Writing for the Daily Beast, historian Jon Grinspan explains that young people in the Victorian age often went to political rallies in hopes of finding love. The rallies were often held at midnight and offered free booze:

From prostitutes to presidents, Americans often looked to their democracy for "fun and frolic." Newspapers frequently reported on the "young couples making love" (by which they meant flirting and cuddling) at party events. Some young people used partisan rallies to meet new partners, while many young women, denied the ballot, expressed their politics through their courtships. Parties looking for votes catered to young people looking for love. Together they built a reciprocal relationship, blending the most public and private aspects of life.

That's something today's political parties might want to keep in mind for their get-out-the-vote efforts.

[Image via Public Domain]

09.29.16 | 34 minutes ago

West Elm stores are getting Sonos listening rooms (and speakers, of course)

Sonos may have just opened its own flagship store in New York a few months ago, but their retail strategy doesn't stop there: Today, Sonos announced a partnership with West Elm that will see Sonos speakers and components sold in West Elm Stores, many of which will be outfitted with new "Listening Labs" that enable customers to hear the high-fidelity wireless sound systems for themselves. 

The design-centric home retailer–which also offers interior design consultation and in-home installation services–is not just adding sound and music to its repertoire of products, but training its staff to help customers understand the role that sound plays in the design of one's home. 

"This is not a product addition," West Elm president Jim Brett told Fast Company. "This is about the way that we see ourselves being involved in people's lives."

09.29.16 | an hour ago

Uber adds  another option to its marketing vehicle

Through a partnership with location data startup Yext, Uber will offer brands like Cole Haan or Guitar Center to add a "call me an Uber" button to their websites or emails. Click that button, and you can book a ride to the nearest store location. Uber's app will serve you ads relevant to your destination (i.e., a food menu for a restaurant) on the way.

09.29.16 | an hour ago

Morning intel: Facebook at Work to launch October 10, hackers circle voter registration sites

• The FBI has detected hackers "poking around" voter registration sites in more than a dozen states, CNN reports. As with previous breaches to DNC servers and cell phones, the hackers are believed to be backed by the Russian government. 

Spotify, which just launched in Japan, is reportedly in talks to acquire SoundCloud, according to the Financial Times. If such a deal were to happen, it could give Spotify a huge boost in users compared to Apple Music. 

• In keeping with earlier reports, TechCrunch says Facebook has sent out invites for an October 10 launch event in London to debut its Slack competitor, Facebook at Work

• For its upcoming coworking spaces in Detroit, WeWork signed leases that include a profit-sharing component, to accommodate fluctuating real estate prices. 

• The Lose It diet app can now identify what you're eating and its calorie count as you're eating it, with a new beta feature called "Snap It" that uses computer vision. Here's how it worked for us

• So you want to edit your friends' taste in music. The updated Pacemaker app lets you tweak and share not just your mixtapes, but also those of your friends

09.29.16 | 2 hours ago

NYC’s famous Union Square Cafe will use Apple Watches to improve customer service

When New York's Union Square Cafe reopens next month, floor managers and sommeliers will be wearing Apple Watches as part of a new customer service initiative. When a VIP walks into the restaurant, owned by Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, or "someone orders a bottle of wine, a new table is seated, a guest waits too long to order her or his drink, or a menu item runs out, every manager will get an alert via the tiny computer attached to their wrist," reports Eater. It's all part of a partnership with Resy, the reservation systems startup.

09.29.16 | 3 hours ago

This diet app now lets you take photos of your meal and tells you what you should be eating

The popular diet app Lose It's new "Snap It" feature (in beta) automatically identifies what's in your lunch and tells you what you should be eating. After taking a picture with your smartphone, the app then analyzes a photo of the meal, and compares it against models from external databases as well as Lose It's internal database, providing "food suggestions based on what it sees," reports Fast Company's Neal Ungerleider

09.29.16 | 3 hours ago

Polls taken three days after the first presidential debate are pretty good at predicting the election

It's been three days since Monday's face-off between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and she's up about 3 points in the polls, according to Real Clear Politics. In the three previous elections, the candidate who ended up winning the election was also leading in the polls three days after that first debate. Even Obama was ahead of Romney after his disastrous first debate back in 2012.

09.29.16 | 3 hours ago

Mercedes just unveiled its all-electric SUV concept car, the Generation EQ

Mercedes-Benz introduced its all-electric SUV concept car, the Generation EQ, at the Paris Motor Show this morning. With a range of up to 310 miles and similarly priced to the GLC Crossover, it looks amazing but it won't hit showrooms for another three years, and the company expects to have four electric cars in production by 2020, says Mercedes car division head Dieter Zetsche, reports Business Insider

[Photo: Mercedes-Benz]

09.29.16 | 3 hours ago

Samsung: More than a million people around the world are using Galaxy Note 7s with safe batteries

In a statement on its Chinese website, Samsung said that more than a million people around the world are using Galaxy Note 7 smartphones with batteries "that are not vulnerable to overheating and catching fire," reports Reuters. Earlier this month, the company announced a recall of 2.5 million smartphones in 10 markets amid reports of batteries catching fire. The fiasco is not expected to have that much of an impact on Samsung's bottom line, with analysts expecting a one-off recall cost of about 1 trillion Korean won ($913 million) and reduced margins in the third quarter.

09.28.16 | 7:28 pm

FBI says hackers “poking around” voter registration sites 

FBI director James Comey said so during a Congressional hearing today on Capitol Hill. CNN sources later in the day said hackers targeted registration sites in more than a dozen states. Comey advised states to be diligent about security around the sites, and to be aware that hackers are "poking around."

"There have been a variety of scanning activities, which is a preamble for potential intrusion activities as well as some attempted intrusions at voter database registrations beyond those we knew about in July and August. We are urging the states just to make sure that their deadbolts are thrown and their locks are on and to get the best information they can from DHS just to make sure their systems are secure," Comey said.

The news marks a broadening of the FBI's investigation into suspected hacks around the U.S. presidential election. Hackers earlier this summer broke into Democratic National Committee servers, then broke into the servers of the Clinton campaign, and reports surfaced Tuesday of hack attempts against cell phones used by DNC officials. The FBI reportedly believes Russian government-backed hackers are behind all of it.

09.28.16 | 7:25 pm

Facebook’s F8 developers conference set for April 18-19

It's still seven months away, but it's already time to register for F8.

Facebook said today that you can now sign up for its annual developers conference, which will be held in San Jose, California on April 18 and 19, 2017.

09.28.16 | 6:01 pm

Medtronic’s “artificial pancreas” for patients with diabetes gets a green light 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved medical device maker Medtronic's "artificial pancreas," which automatically delivers insulin to patients with type 1 diabetes when they need it. The system measures patients' glucose levels every five minutes.

Previously, many patients had to manually monitor their diabetes by making educated guesses about the right dose of insulin. 

Some have pointed out that the approval came more quickly than expected, and point to the role of patient communities on Twitter and Facebook such as #WeAreNotWaiting.