Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

06.24.16 | 5:28 am

Here’s all the latest news on Brexit

Most of it isn't pretty:

Global markets remain down, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down about 460 points, or 2.5%, and the Nasdaq down more than 3%. Gold prices, on the other hand, are up about 4.5%, and bitcoin prices have risen 2.8%.

• The Stoxx Europe 600 index closed down more than 7 percent, in the worst one-day European stock drop since 2008, MarketWatch reports. London markets closed down for the day as well, with the FTSE 100 index down 2.76%. 

Central banks around the world have taken steps to calm markets, with the Federal Reserve saying it's "prepared to provide dollar liquidity" and the Bank of England and European Central Bank issuing similar statements.

• Hopes that the U.K. government could somehow avert or delay the nation's exit from the European Union seem to have dimmed, with EU Parliament President Martin Schulz calling for the U.K. to leave as soon as possible, The Guardian reports.

Donald Trump, visiting Scotland, has praised the referendum result, which onetime rival Ted Cruz called "a wake-up call for internationalist bureaucrats from Brussels to D.C." Hillary Clinton has expressed concern about the impact on working families around the globe.

• Former London mayor, and prominent Brexit supporter, Boris Johnson could be a serious candidate to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron, MarketWatch reports.

Economists, known for supporting free trade agreements in general, have generally come out against Brexit so far.

• In a possible sign that voters didn't fully understand Brexit's meaning, "What is the EU?" has become the second-most-Googled post-Brexit question in the U.K.

Scotland, which voted 62% to 38% to stay within the EU, may seek to secede from the U.K. in order to do so, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says, according to the BBC.

Spain, which has long claimed sovereignty over Gibraltar and is a major trading partner of the U.K. island territory, has proposed a joint sovereignty agreement after more than 95% of the territory voted to stay in the EU, the BBC reports

• While prominent banks like HSBC and JPMorgan Chase had warned Brexit would lead to reduced staffing in London, they've been less open about their plans as they reassure workers after the vote.

This post has been updated. The original post was published this morning at 5:28am EST.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who called for the referendum, has announced his resignation. He will stay in office until October when a new head of the Tory government will be selected.

David Cameron has not yet invoked Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which begins the official steps of leaving the EU. Cameron has said it will be up to his successor to invoke Article 50.

The White House has acknowledged that President Obama has been briefed on the referendum vote and they "expect the President will have an opportunity to speak to Prime Minister Cameron over the course of the next day, and we will release further comment as soon as appropriate, reports USA Today." 

• With a majority in Scotland having voted to remain in the EU in the U.K. referendum, Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, now says that a second Scottish independence referendum is "highly likely". Earlier she said: "The vote makes clear the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union."

• Scotland might not be the only one to leave the U.K. Sinn Fein has announced it wants a vote on Irish reunification in the wake of a Brexit. If Northern Ireland reunifies with Ireland, it will stay part of the EU. A statement from the party said: "The British government has forfeited any mandate to represent economic or political interests of people in Northern Ireland"

• It's not just David Cameron who will soon be out of a job. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn could face a leadership challenge as well. Many people blame his lackluster Remain efforts for the reason that Labour voters didn't turn out in droves to support the Remain camp.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has tried to reassure the markets by announcing it will make an extra £250 billion available to the banks to try to help steady the markets.

• Speaking of the markets, at the time of this writing the FTSE 100 is down almost 5%, wiping over £100 billion off the market.

• The FTSE 250 is down 11.4%—its worst drop ever.

• Germany's DAX has fallen 7.5%.

• France's CAC 40 is down 9%.

 Italian and Spanish markets are plunging more than 11%.

Japan's Nikkei is having its worst day in 5 years with the Japanese market falling an astonishing 8% so far.

The British pound has hit a 30-year low against the US dollar.

• In a matter of hours after the referendum result was announced, the U.K. has slipped from being the 5th-largest economy in the world, to being the 6th largest. France has now surpassed it.

Leave campaigner and former London Mayor Boris Johnson left his house this morning under heavy police protection with protesters shouting "shame" at him for leading the U.K. to leave the EU:

• Bank and homebuilder stocks are taking the biggest hit, due to the belief that the British economy is in free-fall.

• A number of economists suggest that the U.K. will now enter a recession.

On social media, there is an outpouring of anger by young people towards their own parents and grandparents:

With Londoners overwhelmingly voting to stay in the EU, many are now taking to social media to demand that the capital secede from the U.K. so it can stay part of the EU.

[Image: Bill Smith]

12.09.16 | 9:50 pm

Report: Secret CIA assessment concluded that Russia intervened in U.S. election to help elect Trump

In a stunning revelation, the Washington Post is reporting that a secret CIA assessment concluded that Russia interfered in the U.S. election with the goal of helping Donald Trump win the White House. "It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia's goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected," one senior official told the Post. "Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman," officials told the Post.

Congressional leaders were briefed in September about evidence of Russian cyber intrusions in at least two states and the DNC hacks. And the White House urged them to release a bipartisan statement pushing for state and local officials to accept federal assistance at protecting voter registration and balloting machines from cyber-intrusions, but several Republican lawmakers balked at the request. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed doubts about the intelligence and "made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics," reports the Post. Earlier today, it was reported that the Obama administration plans to release intelligence about Russian hacking of the election just before Trump takes the oath of office.

Read the whole story here.

12.09.16 | 7:16 pm

Evening intel: Facebook memories, TheBlaze controversy, FCC drama  

• A foreign affairs correspondent for Glenn Beck's TheBlaze was suspended and recalled back to the United States after posting a picture of himself pointing a gun and claiming to fire at members of ISIS, Politico reports.

• A number of Facebook users complained on Friday that their old photos were being shared on their timelines without their permission. As Mashable noted, the apparent glitch may have been related to an iOS update. 

• In an effort to learn more about patterns of police bias, officers in California will soon be required to collect the race of people they pull over for traffic stops, the L.A. Times reports.

• T.J. Miller, the actor known for playing Erlich Bachman on HBO's Silicon Valley, was arrested today for allegedly assaulting an Uber driver, The Los Angeles Times reports.

• With the Senate ready to adjourn, the reconfirmation of FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is looking less and less likely. As our Mark Sullivan wrote this week, a new term for Rosenworcel could have tipped the scale of the five-member commission in favor of the Democrats, who will need all the help they can get next year.

12.09.16 | 4:40 pm

If you don’t want to be stuck on an airplane next to a chatty cellphone user, now’s your chance to act

Sure, we live in a country where someone can lose the popular vote and still win an election, but that doesn't mean Washington doesn't want to hear what we have to say when it comes to air travel. The Department of Transportation is currently seeking public comments on whether it should adopt a rule to restrict wireless voice communications on flights. The FCC is pushing to allow in-flight calls, but not everyone is on board with the idea, so now the DOT wants us to weigh in. Without DOT restrictions, it will eventually be up to individual airlines to come up with their own policies. 

It's not a decision to take lightly: Airplanes are one of the last safe spaces for lovers of peace and quiet (not counting fights to Orlando), and while the majority of passengers would probably be respectful enough not to yak in someone's ear, it only takes one loud person to disrupt the entire cabin. (We're looking at you, jerk in seat 22D.)  

What do you think? Do you want to keep flights phone-call free, or should we be free to yak and fly? Let your voice be heard

12.09.16 | 3:28 pm

Is Coach poised to become America’s LVMH?

Coach's star was fading for a while. Its products had become over-distributed, popping up at bargain basement stores and outlet malls. But over the last few years, it has been making a turnaround, with new creative director, Stuart Vevers, giving the brand a new look and new cachet in the fashion world. 

It has recently acquired the upscale shoe brand Stuart Weitzman and there have been rumors of it buying Burberry. Top executives at Coach say that more acquisitions are in the works. This means it could soon become a high-end fashion conglomerate, much like LVMH and Kering.  

Read more in Business of Fashion

12.09.16 | 3:07 pm

Virtual reality gets more real with Facebook’s prototype VR hot/cold sensitivity

Facebook-owned Oculus has only just shipped its terrific Touch Controllers, but it already has its eyes on what could be the next hot, or cool–depending on which adjective you want to use–feature for VR: the ability to physically feel heat and cold during virtual reality experiences.

Noticed by Upload VR, Facebook shared the experiment during a live broadcast (about a minute into the above video) of projects coming out of its latest hackathon. The idea for the early-stage project is that the controllers can actually convey warmth or cold depending on what's happening inside VR–making the user's experience more real. It's a long way off from reality, but Facebook's brain trust was seemingly quite impressed with the prototype.

And don't worry, no Mark Zuckerbergs were harmed in this experiment.

12.09.16 | 2:27 pm

NASA has released a treasure trove of space GIFs 

NASA has just launched its own GIPHY page, complete with beautiful, hilarious, and inspiring GIFs that you will use in all of your conversations. 

My personal favorite: this astronaut eating a space taco. The eyebrow raise gets me every time.  

via GIPHY

Read more about it on Gizmodo

12.09.16 | 2:20 pm

Verizon refuses to release Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 software update

Verizon said today that it will not release a Galaxy Note 7 software update that would prevent all recalled devices from charging. The software update was just announced by Samsung in an attempt to make all recalled smartphones inoperable. In a company statement, Verizon defended its decision, saying it has concerns about the safety of Note 7 users who might not have another phone to use once the update is rolled out and the phones no longer work. 

Samsung plans to release the update on December 19. It will be distributed to all major carriers within 30 days, but it hasn't been confirmed whether all carriers will release the update. Sprint announced it would wait until after the holiday season, says The Verge.

12.09.16 | 1:43 pm

Report: FCC’s Wheeler ready to step down to make way for Rosenworcel reappointment

Politico late yesterday reported that Democratic FCC chairman Tom Wheeler told Senate minority leader Harry Reid that he'll (finally) step down from his post—but on the condition that Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel be reappointed for her second term on the commission. Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica heard the same story from an FCC spokesperson last night.

After Donald Trump's surprise win in the election, Wheeler found himself in a position to influence the political bent of the commission in 2017. It's customary for the FCC chair to step down so that the new incoming president can nominate a replacement, but Wheeler technically has another year in his term as a commissioner and has so far refused. Hence the 11th hour drama before Congress departs for break next week. 

If Wheeler steps down and Rosenworcel is reappointed, and Trump appoints (and Congress approves) a Republican chairman, the GOP would hold a 3-2 majority on the commission. This would come in handy when the GOP-controlled FCC tries to roll back Wheeler's landmark network neutrality ruling of 2015, which dictated that the internet be regulated like a public utility.

12.09.16 | 12:43 pm

Obama demands complete assessment of hackers’ impact on election

President Obama's days in the White House are dwindling rapidly, and he's surely got a long list of things he'd like to accomplish before he departs. One of them is as full an assessment as possible of exactly how hackers impacted the election.

It's not about overturning the results, as some people are sure to conclude. It's about helping us understand what was done, by whom, and why. Check out Fast Company's full story on this.

[Photo: DoD photo by Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith]

12.09.16 | 9:42 am

Here are the five ways you can get banned from Uber

They may seem pretty obvious, but the offensive behaviors that can get you banned from Uber are finally being officially posted by the ride-sharing service. "If we are made aware of these kinds of problematic behavior, we will contact you so we can investigate them," emphasizes Uber, noting that the company can put a hold on your account while it investigates your misdeed.

• Damaging drivers' or other passengers' property. That includes spilling food or drink, smoking, and vomiting (due to excessive alcohol consumption).

• Physical contact with the driver or fellow riders. No touching, flirting, or having sex with other people in the car. 

• Use of inappropriate and abusive language or gestures. That includes "overly personal questions," verbal threats, and comments deemed "aggressive, sexual, discriminatory, or disrespectful."

• Unwanted contact with the driver or fellow passenger after the trip is over. No texting, calling, or visiting your new "friends" if they're not into it.

• Breaking the local law while using Uber. That could include bringing open containers of alcohol or drugs, asking a driver to break the speed limit, and using Uber to commit a crime like human trafficking.

12.09.16 | 9:19 am

As a test, Google is including movie and TV ratings within search results

Now maybe you'll think twice about seeing Office Christmas Party after searching for movie theaters in your neighborhood. Google is testing a new feature that includes movie and TV ratings—from Rotten Tomatoes (which gave the aforementioned comedy a 43% rating) and IMDb within search results, reports Search Engine Land. It's a little crude, so don't expect those types of numerical ratings. With Google, you can expect just two choices: like or dislike.

12.09.16 | 9:07 am

Morning intel: Tinder CEO is out again, researchers find preserved dino tail

Sean Rad, the founder of dating app Tinder, is stepping down as CEO for the second time since 2015. Rad will stay on as chairman while Gregg Blatt, currently head of Match Group (which owns Tinder), will become Tinder's CEO.

• Researchers discovered a feathered dinosaur tail preserved in 99-million-year-old amber. The tail likely belonged to a flightless, sparrow-size dinosaur.

• For the first time since 1993, the average U.S. life expectancy has fallen—to age 78.8 from age 78.9. The decline is due to various factors, including a rise in death rates from suicide, Alzheimer's disease, and heart disease.

• A damning new report by the World Anti-Doping Agency reveals the details of a massive athlete doping program in Russia. The evidence implicates more than 1,000 athletes, including Olympic medalists.