Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

06.24.16 | 10:49 am

Britons are Googling “What is the EU?” after voting to leave it

The question has been the second-most Googled in the U.K. since the country voted in favor of Brexit.

09.28.16 | 9 minutes ago

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. 

09.28.16 | 14 minutes ago

Alec Baldwin is the new Donald Trump on this week’s “Saturday Night Live”

R.I.P. Taran Killam's Trump impression 🙁

09.28.16 | 43 minutes ago

Facebook using Arctic air to cool it latest data center

As you probably know, data centers generate heat. A whole lot of heat.

Cooling them down takes tremendous amounts of power, which is one reason why many tech companies locate data centers near big rivers.

Facebook had another idea, which Mark Zuckerberg wrote about today: Building one in the Arctic, where cool air is plentiful, and free.

Check out Fast Company's photo essay on the new project here

09.28.16 | an hour ago

Report: Spotify in advanced talks to buy SoundCloud

In a deal that could meaningfully change the competitive landscape for Apple Music, Spotify is reportedly angling to buy SoundCloud, Financial Times reports (behind paywall). An acquisition could dramatically increase the reach of Spotify and its advertiser and music publisher partners. SoundCloud said in 2014 its monthly active users number about 175 million, a huge base of prospects to up-sell to a paid service. 

Spotify has a sizable lead over Apple Music in number of paid subscribers, with 40 million. Apple Music has 17 million, but is gaining. 

SoundCloud just a few months ago launched its own streaming music service, called SoundCloud Go, but that service is said to have only a few hundred thousand paid subscribers. 

09.28.16 | 2 hours ago

Hello Kitty is running for president

Move over, Donald and Hillary. Hello Kitty is on the campaign trail. 

Sanrio, which creates Hello Kitty merchandise, has launched a marketing campaign that involves the cuddly anthropomorphic cat running for president. Much like the other candidates, she's selling heaps of merchandise, including buttons and trucker hats. 

09.28.16 | 2 hours ago

The internet loved GIFing Hillary’s comebacks during the debate

Giphy gave us the rundown on the moments viewers GIFed and shared the most. The two most popular GIFs involved Clinton's comebacks. 

Clinton's shoulder shimmy was a big hit. 

via Giphy

Trump seemed to criticize Clinton for staying home to prepare for the debate. Clinton struck back saying she'd also be prepared to be president. 


09.28.16 | 2 hours ago

Elon Musk won’t be the first man on Mars

Elon Musk won't be the first man on Mars. And though he's obsessed with traveling to the red planet, he's also concerned about dying while doing it, he explained yesterday during the Q&A session after his keynote at the International Astronautical Congress in Mexico. "The probability of death on the first mission is quite high," he said, pointing out that he has young children he would like to see grow up.

Whenever he does decide to go to Mars, however, he says he would need to develop a clear succession plan for his company, in case he dies. His full answer to the question is in the video below:

09.28.16 | 2 hours ago

The lesson of LendUp’s $6.3M penalty: Fintech compliance needs to be in place on day one

Back in 2012-13, when LendUp was a fintech startup with as few as five employees, it misled some customers about its ability to build their credit scores and get them loans. This week, the payday loan company paid a high price for those youthful indiscretions: $6.3 million in fines and refunds, as mandated by federal and state regulators. 

The penalty sends a message to LendUp's fellow fintech startups that compliance controls need to be in place from day one. Being young and small is no excuse, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) now says—a precedent that had yet to be established at the time of the violations.

According to the Washington Post, the penalty puts LendUp investor Google Ventures (now GV) in an awkward position, especially as parent company Alphabet has banned payday lenders from advertising on Google. But GV's November 2013 Series A investment took place after the bulk of the issues identified by the CFPB had been resolved. 

09.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Scientists urge regulators to reconsider “3-parent” technique 

A mother lost two babies to Leigh syndrome, a fatal genetic disorder, and experienced a slew of miscarriages. To help her carry a healthy baby, scientists in Mexico used a new technique that involves taking the nucleus from one of the mother's eggs and implanting it into a donor egg with the nucleus removed but containing the healthy mitochondrial DNA. 

This technique is intended to help parents avoid passing on mitochondrial diseases, which afflict 1,000 to 4,000 people in the U.S. each year. 

Versions of this technique are banned in the U.S., but in Mexico, there are comparatively few rules. Some critics say it allows scientists to play God. But many in the scientific community are urging regulators to reconsider their stance. The ban is "not scientific, not rational, not evidence-based," Dr. Richard J. Paulson, president-elect of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine told the New York Times

09.28.16 | 3 hours ago

Google’s new YouTube-8M dataset includes over 500,000 hours of video

Now the wealth of information in YouTube videos—from mischievous cats and impossible stunts to documentaries and commencement speeches—will be available to researchers. The new YouTube-8M dataset includes 8 million YouTube video URLs (representing over 500,000 hours of video) is Google's newest research breakthrough. The labeled dataset "enables researchers and students without access to big data or big machines to do their research at previously unprecedented scale," according to Google's blog. For quality control, they used only public videos with more than 1,000 views and built a vocabulary of entities (for example, from "acoustic guitar" to "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" in the "Guitars" filter in the "Arts and Entertainment" category).

09.28.16 | 4 hours ago

Afternoon intel: Twitter Moments for all, Senate votes to override 9/11-related Obama veto

• Earth has now surpassed the 400ppm mark for carbon dioxide, far above the safe level of 350ppm, possibly never to return again.

Twitter is now letting all of its users create Moments instead of just media, letting your average Joe become an expert tweet curator.

• The U.S. Senate voted 97-1 against Obama's veto of the "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act," which would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. If two-thirds of the House also votes against it, this could be the first override of Obama's presidency.

• Malaysian flight MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made missile and not the Ukrainian militaryaccording to international prosecutors, Reuters reports

• Get your playtime in with this virtual Rubik's Cube that Bing created as part of its initiative to offer more resources to teachers and students

09.28.16 | 1:52 pm

The author of Airbnb’s anti-discrimination report says it misunderstood how to address the issue

Airbnb hired Laura Murphy, the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington, D.C. legislative office, to review its anti-discrimination policies after a study found that hosts with black-sounding names had a more difficult time booking a stay. According to Politico, Murphy discussed Airbnb's efforts during a roundtable discussion that included representatives from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "This problem had been percolating for the last two years," she said, referring to property owners discriminating against non-white guests. "The company thought it was addressing this issue by having a team of white engineers look at the algorithms they were using to address discrimination."