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08.02.16 | 4:19 pm

Aussie man crashes bike, iPhone explodes, shorts melt, skin burns

Get this man a Fosters, stat!

It all happened in Sydney, Australia over the weekend. A 36-year-old management consultant named Gareth Clear wiped out on his bike and the iPhone in his back pocket hit the turf, hard. 

"I just saw smoke coming out of my back pocket…and then all of a sudden I felt this surging pain,"  Clear told the Sydney Morning Herald. He added that he felt a "searing heat" as the phone burnt through his riding shorts. "I just remember looking at my leg and I had this black discharge all down my leg and this smell of phosphorus​," he said.

The impact on the phone in the accident probably struck directly on the lithium ion battery, causing a chemical reaction. Apple is said to be in touch with Clear, but so far hasn't commented on the incident. 

(Image: Sydney Morning Herald)

09.28.16 | an hour ago

Report: Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer rejected email security step because she thought it would drive away users

In the wake of a major hack two years ago, security experts at Yahoo recommended a fairly standard security measure: an automatic reset of all passwords. But the move was rejected by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and other executives because they thought it would "drive Yahoo's shrinking email users to other services," reports the New York Times.

09.28.16 | an hour ago

Hopper’s new filters make it easier to book the cheapest, most optimal flight 

Since its launch last year, the Hopper app has prided itself on being able to predict future flight prices with 95% accuracy. The app looks at billions of flight prices daily, informing users when prices are at their lowest or expected to rise. 

A new update enhances the app's functionality—reportedly without compromising its accuracy—allowing users to find not only the cheapest flight, but the most fitting flight. Hopper will now let users filter out undesirable options and find the most optimal flight—say, nonstop flights or flights without long layovers. 

09.28.16 | 2 hours ago

Morning intel: Walmart considers $1 billion investment in Flipkart, Facebook at Work is coming

• Facebook at Work, the company's enterprise competitor to Slack, will reportedly launch next month, following its announcement two years ago.

• Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf will be giving up his base salary of $2.8 million, along with bonuses and $41 million in stock awards, as Wells Fargo weathers an investigation into its illegal banking practices. 

• The FBI is investigating reports that the phones of DNC officials were breached by Russian hackers, according to Reuters

Bloomberg reports that—on the heels of its Jet acquisition—Walmart is considering investing $1 billion into Indian e-commerce company Flipkart, likely to stave off Amazon's advances in India. 

09.28.16 | 2 hours ago

How much more convenient can Amazon deliveries get? Now they’re experimenting with in-house deliveries

Amazon is reportedly working with two smart lock makers, August and Garageio, to test a new package delivery system that would enable the delivery man to enter your home and leave your package inside when you aren't there, reports the Information. The system would work by giving the delivery person one-time access to your home via your smart lock. It would also allow Amazon to do away with external shipping packaging, saving the company tens of millions of dollars a year.

[Photo: Flickr user Mike Seyfang]

09.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Twitter has an awesome new feature that helps people register to vote

The social network has just launched a new DM feature that allows users to send a direct message to the official @Gov Twitter account, which provides updates from Twitter's government and elections team, and receive a reply where and when by that user needs to register to vote, reports TechCrunch. Twitter tailors the information to the user by asking for them to DM their ZIP code. It will then DM you back with your state's deadline and a link to where you can register.

09.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Donald Trump Jr.’s graphic comparing poisoned Skittles to refugees removed from Twitter

Donald Trump Jr.'s tone deaf and offensive graphic comparing Syrian refugees to poisoned Skittles has been removed from Twitter at the behest of the refugee photographer who took the photo, reports the BBC. The original graphic Trump Jr. tweeted was made from an image of a bowl of Skittles taken by a U.K.-based man named David Kittos, who was himself a refugee from Cyprus to the U.K. in 1974. Kittos has revealed the photo in the graphic was taken from his Flickr account and used without his permission. He retained a lawyer after finding out about its use, and now Trump Jr.'s tweet simply states the media was removed due to a claim from the copyright holder. "I am very glad it's down, and it shouldn't have been up in the first place," Kittos told the BBC.

[Image: Twitter/Donald Trump Jr.]

09.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Uber will get into the long-haul trucking business

Not content with just dominating the ride-sharing market, Uber wants to make inroads into virtually every form of transportation it seems. The company is aiming to establish itself as a freight hauler and technology partner for the trucking industry, reports Reuters. The plans comes on the back of Uber acquiring self-driving truck startup Otto earlier this year. Reuters says Uber has already begun pitching its freight services to shippers and that it will also act as a broker to connect truck fleets and shippers. The main goal of Uber, according to Reuters, is to transform the low-margin $700 billion-a-year trucking industry into a highly profitable operation that Uber controls.

[Screenshot: Otto/Uber]

09.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Moscow will ditch Microsoft software to reduce dependence on foreign tech

The city of Moscow plans to transition its computer systems away from Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft services in an attempt to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin's call to reduce dependences on foreign technology, reports Bloomberg. To start with, Moscow will ditch Microsoft's Exchange Server and Outlook software on 6,000 computers—to be replaced with an email system made by Russian state-run carrier Rostelecom PJSC. As many as 600,000 computers and servers may also replace Windows and Office with homegrown substitutes.

[Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images]

09.28.16 | 4 hours ago

Facebook’s Slack rival will reportedly launch next month

The social network is about to launch its business-focused vertical Facebook at Work, reports the Information. Work, which was first announced back in 2014, will look similar to Facebook's personal offerings, but does not connect with a user's personal Facebook account. Instead Facebook at Work users will get a new Work profile and their News Feeds will allow them to join work groups, send messages, and collaborate—just like Slack. It will also be available on both web and mobile—just like Slack. Companies will reportedly be charged based on how many employees they have using the service.

[Image: Facebook]

09.28.16 | 5:21 am

Thousands of London construction workers could soon lose their jobs to robots

Alison Carnwath, the chairman of Land Securities, told the Institute of Directors' annual convention that the pace of technological change has been so great in recent years that the construction industry is "not that far off" from using robots instead of people to build skyscrapers, reports the Telegraph: "Five years ago I'd have smiled wryly if somebody had said to me that robots would be able to put up buildings in the City of London—I tell you we're not that far off, and that has huge implications."

"Businesses are focusing on [productivity]. They want to reengineer how their people can work—they recognize that technology is upon us and is going to destroy thousands of jobs," Carnwath said.

[Photo: Flickr user manuel]

09.27.16 | 9:08 pm

Elon Musk not worried about there being enough water for toilets on Mars

Since we're all going to the Red Planet now, one questioner at Musk's presser today wanted to know whether he was worried about sanitation on Mars.

Musk noted that there's plenty of ice on Mars and that with enough solar panels, it would likely be possible to set up some sort of geothermal-based plumbing system. You'll have to just watch the video for yourself.

09.27.16 | 6:40 pm

Report: Oculus founder lied about extent of involvement with anti-Hillary meme group

If Palmer Luckey, Oculus, and Facebook had hoped the uproar over his involvement with an anti-Hillary Clinton "shitposting" meme machine would die down after he posted a mea culpa last Friday night, they're going to be very disappointed.

Earlier today, CNet Reviews senior editor Sean Hollister posted a lengthy takedown of that statement by Luckey–the 24-year-old Oculus founder and wunderkind. 

In it, Hollister argued that emails he'd received from Daily Beast reporter Gideon Resnick–who wrote the original article linking Luckey to the shitposting group–prove either that Luckey wrote inflammatory posts under the nickname NimbleRichMan or that he'd lied to Resnick about his connection to the anti-Hillary group, known as Nimble America. In his statement, Luckey had said he only gave the group $10,000 and hadn't been involved in any other way.

Hollister said neither Luckey, Oculus, nor Facebook had responded to requests for clarification. Neither Facebook nor Oculus immediately responded to a Fast Company request for comment.

There is surely more to come on this story, especially as Oculus hosts its third-annual developers' conference next week in San Jose. Though Luckey is, and has always been, the face of the company, one can't help but wonder if he'll even be in attendance.