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02.14.17 | 7:20 am

Here’s the resignation letter submitted to Trump by embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn

Under fire over his conversations with Russian officials, which reportedly made him vulnerable to potential blackmail, Flynn submitted this letter to President Trump late last night (via CNN):

03.23.17 | 9 minutes ago

School is in: NBCUniversal is going to teach YouTubers how to create viral content  

Sometimes you need to show the kids how it's done. NBCUniversal is reportedly going to be the first major media company to take part in YouTube's NextUp educational program, a weeklong training session for qualifying YouTube creators. Variety reports that NBCU execs will help teach emerging YouTubers how to create content that drives more engagement. Now, before you laugh, remember that SNL has being going viral since 1975. Read more from Variety here.

Photo: Flickr user Tech.Co

03.23.17 | 10 minutes ago

Analyst: New safety features could make Tesla’s Model 3 ten times safer than the average car on the road

The highly anticipated car will feature hardware and software that "provide a level of active safety that could significantly lead all other cars on sale today and could, if the company achieves its goal, be an order of magnitude (i.e., 10x) safer than the average car on the road," writes Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas. "Look for safety to be the 'ah-hah!' moment for this car due to launch this year." 

He also predicts that Tesla's Model Y (small SUV) will "very likely" be its highest-selling model. Maybe anticipating the positive note, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk bought 95,420 shares of the company's stock on Friday.

Photo: Tesla

03.23.17 | an hour ago

Bedsheet startup Syona Home goes to extreme lengths to ensure its cotton is ethical

The cotton supply chain is full of devastating stories, as I describe in my recent article,"Did People Suffer For Your Cotton Shirt?" And even brands that want to source ethical cotton often can't be sure what they're getting, since the global supply chain is so fragmented and complicated.

Syona Home, a company founded by an Indian couple who have spent the past few decades working for Microsoft in Seattle, wanted to make sure their cotton bedsheets was suffering-free. They ended up partnering with Chetna Organic, a co-op that helps thousands of farmers harvest cotton without harmful chemical pesticides and pool their resources to create schools and hospitals that benefit the community. But they weren't content to take the co-op's word for it: They spent months in India going through each step of the supply chain, asking workers about their lives and workings conditions. "As Indians ourselves, we were equipped to verify the conditions on the ground, and so we felt the responsibility to do so," cofounder Sukanta Nanda, explains. 

03.23.17 | an hour ago

The UN’s HeForShe movement just made feminist dolls for boys

HeForShe, a UN initiative to bring boys and men into the fight for gender equality, just partnered with a toy startup called Boy Story to create two dolls for boys. They're using the term "doll" rather than "action figure" strategically, to challenge prejudices around boys playing with dolls. The two figures, named Billy and Mason, encourage boys to learn nurturing, emotional intelligence, and empathy. They are 18" tall, about the size of a large American Girl doll, and cost $99 each. 


03.23.17 | 3 hours ago

Facebook has more 18-year-old male users than there are living on Earth today

That mind-numbing bit of demographic insight was revealed by Simon Kemp at TNW after he sifted through a massive amount of the platform's global audience statistics. His primary hypotheses for just how Facebook could have more 18-year-old males than actually exist are:

1. Younger users over-stating their real age in order to appear to be of 'legal age' in their respective country; or
2. Older people under-stating their age to a 'golden number', in order to appear younger than they really are, potentially for reasons of vanity.

Whatever the case, he points out that the factually impossible demographics could have big implications for advertisers. Besides the 18-year-old male imbalance, Kemp's piece offers a lot of other interesting insights into Facebook's demographics.

03.23.17 | 3 hours ago

Major advertisers including AT&T and Verizon have stopped advertising on YouTube

Both companies have joined others, including Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, the Guardian, U.K. supermarket giant Sainsbury's, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Havas, in halting their ads on YouTube and on Google's display network after it became known the search giant was running ads next to extremist content, reports Bloomberg.

After the U.K.'s Times raised the alarm, Google introduced new tools to better allow advertisers to choose what content their ads display next to. However, a spokesperson for AT&T suggests that is not enough: "We are deeply concerned that our ads may have appeared alongside YouTube content promoting terrorism and hate. Until Google can ensure this won't happen again, we are removing our ads from Google's non-search platforms."

03.23.17 | 4 hours ago

Apple acquires iPhone and iPad automation app Workflow

The app allows users to combine functions and commands within and between apps to automate tasks. TechCrunch confirmed the deal, and shortly later the app makers released the statement:

"We are thrilled to be joining Apple. We've worked closely with Apple from the very beginning, from kickstarting our company as students attending WWDC to developing and launching Workflow and seeing its amazing success on the App Store. We can't wait to take our work to the next level at Apple and contribute to products that touch people across the world."

Workflow has apparently been on Apple's radar for a while, winning an Apple Design Award in 2015 for its accessibility features. The Workflow app is now available as a free download.

03.23.17 | 6:13 am

Apple says it has not been hacked

Yesterday a report from Motherboard made the rounds saying Turkish hackers had infiltrated Apple's systems and obtained the user details of up to 627 million iCloud, Mobile Me, and dotmac email users. The hackers reportedly told Apple they would remotely wipe the iOS devices of those users unless Apple paid them $150,000.

Today Apple has told Fortune that "there have not been any breaches in any of Apple's systems including iCloud and Apple ID." The company went on to suggest that if the hackers actually did have the Apple ID user details they claim, "the alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services." Fortune speculates the hackers could have gotten the Apple ID email addresses from a previous LinkedIn breach.

03.22.17 | 5:10 pm

Can crowdfunding save DIY music spaces post-Ghost Ship?

Brooklyn's Shea Stadium needs some cash. The eight-year-old underground music venue took to Kickstarter today to raise money for the renovations and local permits it needs to reopen as a legally legit venue. Shea Stadium's founders blew past their $50,000 goal in a matter of hours. 

The venue, a staple of New York's fading DIY music scene, is known for being an artist-friendly, all-ages space. But like many underground venues, it hasn't always operated strictly within the often onerous (and expensive) confines of the law. Perhaps not coincidentally, authorities have been cracking down on DIY venues across the U.S. since the deadly Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland last year. 

03.22.17 | 3:16 pm

Here’s who goes to the movies—broken down by age and race

For data and movie geeks, the MPAA's latest "Theatrical Market Statistics" report is a wealth of information about the health of the movie business. The big picture: 246 million people went to the movies in the United States and Canada last year, a 2% increase from the year before. But dig into the trends and things start to get a little more interesting. For instance, looking at per capita attendance broken down by age group shows 18- to 24-year-olds are hitting the big screen at lower rates than they were in 2012, although they saw an uptick last year. 

Breakdowns by ethnicity, meanwhile, show Asian-Americans are going to the movies at higher rates—and last year had the highest per-capita attendance of any ethnic group at 6.1. Overall, the MPAA says per capita theater attendance decreased for the population as a whole. Read the full report here

Images: MPAA

03.22.17 | 2:50 pm

Thinx founder Miki Agrawal is no longer speaking at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week

Agrawal was slated to speak at a session tomorrow afternoon, specifically as part of a women's summit at the weeklong event. Calling the schedule change a "mutual decision," NOEW sent the following statement to Fast Company explaining why the Thinx founder and former CEO would no longer be participating

This was a mutual decision by both THINX and The Idea Village, the organization producing New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

The programming for the Women's Summit has been updated with this change. The three-hour session is designed to provide an opportunity for female professionals to reflect on and discuss how to overcome the challenges women uniquely face in the workplace.

We look forward to providing all our attendees from the Greater New Orleans area and beyond with a dynamic, inclusive environment in which they can develop their professional skills, discuss new ideas, gain new contacts, and learn more about emerging trends in entrepreneurship and business.

In other words, it might have been a little awkward for Agrawal to host a fireside chat about women's place in the workplace following a week of negative press about how Thinx—and Agrawal—allegedly treated their employees. Thinx confirmed the decision was mutual in a separate statement, attributing it to the fact that Agrawal is no longer CEO. 

03.22.17 | 2:32 pm

More women in tech may be looking at developer careers

A lot of bad and sexist stuff is happening in the tech sector these days, but one glimmer of hope comes from Stack Overflow's annual developer survey. The report queried 64,000 professionals about the state of the developer industry and found that 10% of the respondents identified as women. While that's still disturbingly low, it is a marked uptick from the last year's responses, which was at 6.6%. What's more, writes Stack Overflow, "nearly twice the number of women said they had been coding for less than a year." This indicates that the pool of female developers worldwide is perhaps growing, which is heartening.

Don't get me wrong: The tech industry still needs to systematically change the way it treats women and minorities. But at the very least, these findings show that better representation may be on the horizon. You can see the entire survey here

Photo: Flickr user WOCinTech Chat