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09.22.16 | 12:44 pm

LinkedIn rolls learning into its network, continues to dream big

A year and a half ago, LinkedIn plunked down $1.5 billion for, the huge online learning site. Today, at an event in its San Francisco office, the company introduced LinkedIn Learning, a set of new features that incorporate courses into LinkedIn itself, so that members can find and take courses, see which ones their connections are taking, and otherwise learn skills that are useful to their careers, all within the context of LinkedIn. They're available starting today.

"We believe this is a new day," said Tanya Staples, senior director of content and production. "It is a revolution in learning." It's also a way for LinkedIn to tempt more users and companies into paying for its premium membership tiers, which is how you'll get access to courses.

LinkedIn Learning is arriving while the company finalizes its $26 billion deal to be acquired by Microsoft, which was announced in June. It says that once the merger is complete, it plans to work with its new parent to blend the 450-million person LinkedIn network with Microsoft's billion-user customer base. And even though LinkedIn will end up as one division of as bigger enterprise, CEO Jeff Weiner isn't cutting down the size of its ambitions. "The dream," he said at today's event, "is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce."

10.21.16 | 7:13 pm

It’s official. Donald Glover is young Lando Calrissian in the Han Solo spin-off movie

The realization of a lot of fanboy dreamcasting was confirmed by the official Star Wars Instagram page late Friday afternoon.

10.21.16 | 6:58 pm

Evening intel: the mega-merger moves forward and Apple missed the boat

Reports are coming in that AT&T Inc. has agreed to pay $85 billion for Time Warner Inc.—owner of HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros.—and a deal could be announced as early as Sunday. 

• Meanwhile, a separate report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that Apple had approached Time Warner about a potential deal a few months ago. Here's my mini hot take on that.

• After months of saber-rattling, Airbnb has followed through on its threat to sue the city and state of New York over a law that prohibits the advertising of illegal listings. The governor signed the law today. 

• Maybe Donald Trump should reconsider politics and just go into the T-shirt business. "Bad Hombres" and "Nasty Woman" are hot items right now.

• And finally, after recovering from a DDoS attack that took down part of the Internet earlier today, Twitter users are rejoicing in the news that Atlanta star Donald Glover has been tapped to play a young Lando Calrissian. Glover's name became the top trend late Friday afternoon, unseating "DDoS," which had been trending all day in the wake of the attack.

10.21.16 | 3:59 pm

Mark Zuckerberg decided not to remove Donald Trump’s hate speech

Some Facebook employees have argued that Donald Trump's calls to ban Muslims from the United States violate the company's policy on Facebook. The company's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, decided that it would be inappropriate to remove the comments, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Fast Company broke the news in December 2015 that Facebook had made an exception to its hate speech policy for Donald Trump.

10.21.16 | 3:58 pm

Airbnb is suing the state of New York because of this new law 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed off on a bill that will heavily fine rogue apartment lessors on Airbnb. Now Airbnb is filing suit. 

The new law says those who advertise sub-30 day whole apartment rentals can be fined as much as $7,500. It piggybacks on existing legislation that prohibits whole apartments from being rented for less than a month.    

The bill was approved by the state Senate and House in June, but the governor just signed off on it today. Airbnb's public policy head says the company plans to file a lawsuit, claiming the new law violates both the First Amendment and the Communications Decency Act, according to Business Insider. TechNYC, an organization that launched this year to help tech companies navigate the state's legal issues, also appears to be at the ready to try and scale back the new measure. 

While TechNYC may be hoping to reach some sort of compromise, it looks like Airbnb is making good on its threat to sue. 

10.21.16 | 3:39 pm

Wall Street Journal offers employee buyouts to minimize newsroom layoffs

Another sign of hard times for legacy news organizations: The Wall Street Journal has sent a memo to its entire news department in an attempt to seek buyouts and limit the number of "involuntary layoffs." The memo, which was leaked to Talking Biz News, went on: "We are seeking a substantial number of employees to elect this benefit."

This is not the first major job-shuffling at the Journal in recent memory. Last year, the company announced a slew of layoffs in an attempt to reorganize its various departments. This latest buyout development is being dubbed as part of a "broader transformation program."

10.21.16 | 3:12 pm

DJI’s Mavic Pro drone has started shipping

Earlier this week, DJI acknowledged that there were some delays in getting its highly-anticipated Mavic Pro drone out the door and into consumers' hands.

Today, though, the Chinese company says all is right with the world and that the new foldable drone has started shipping.

10.21.16 | 3:04 pm

That was fast! You can now buy Bad Hombre or Nasty Woman T-shirts 

These T-shirts were quickly designed by Bob Bland, CEO and founder of Manufacture New York, a fashion design and production incubator for independent designers. All proceeds will go to Planned Parenthood, an organization that Donald Trump says he will defund if he wins the election. 

It's yet another example of how the fashion community is rallying around Hillary Clinton—and working to defeat Donald Trump—through creating garments. A slew of designers from Diane von Furstenberg to Prabal Gurung designed shirts for Hillary's campaign store

You can read more about why the fashion community has been so supportive of Hillary Clinton here

10.21.16 | 2:59 pm

Steph Curry says Warriors’ “normal locker room talk” is about technology

The Golden State Warriors are the biggest story in sports right now, and Silicon Valley is the hottest economic engine on the planet.

So mixing the two makes a lot of sense–and that's exactly what happened last night at a private event in San Francisco: The team got together to network with dozens of Silicon Valley executives and investors to talk about how athletes can get more involved with tech companies. 

The Warriors' Andre Iguodala, who co-hosted the event with his business advisor, Rudy Cline-Thomas, and is known to be one of the most tech-savvy players in the NBA, is on a mission to help his teammates, and other players, gain access to the Valley economy. He also helped launch the inaugural National Basketball Players Association's Technology Summit in July. "It's all about connecting: connecting the tech world with the tech world, and the tech world with the basketball world," he told Fast Company at the event.

Asked about how much Iguodala usually talks with his teammates about tech, two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry, in a nod to Donald Trump's infamous "locker room talk" explanation for his extremely off-color comments about women, said that "in our locker room, the normal room talk [is] about positive things in the world of tech," and that Iguodala is the main driver of those conversations.

10.21.16 | 2:51 pm

Ladies all over the Internet claim the “nasty women” moniker

After Donald Trump's dig at Hillary Clinton during the debate, where he referred to her as a "nasty woman," women all over the Internet are claiming the moniker for themselves. 

10.21.16 | 2:41 pm

Facebook will soon allow more graphic content, as long as it’s “newsworthy”

In the wake of a series of controversial decisions to remove relevant content that violated its community standards, from the iconic "napalm girl" photo and Philando Castile death video to the Korryn Gaines shooting and a breast cancer awareness video, Facebook just announced a new policy: It will soon allow more graphic content, even including nudity and violence, to be posted by users if it's deemed newsworthy.

The company's vice president of global policy writes:

"Our intent is to allow more images and stories without posing safety risks or showing graphic images to minors and others who do not want to see them."

10.21.16 | 2:27 pm

More DDoS attacks may be coming after major websites taken offline 


Following a widespread outage that left major websites and services inaccessible across much of the East Coast on Friday morning, the internet infrastructure company Dyn warned of another attack, CNBC reported

The outage was the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which is basically when cyber-attackers intentionally overwhelm websites with traffic. Today's outage included major hubs like Twitter and Reddit; streaming services like Spotify and Netflix; and the websites of news organizations including CNN and the Guardian. Fast Company's website was also affected. 

The DOJ is reportedly looking into the cause of the attack. Dyn said on Twitter Friday afternoon: "Our advanced service monitoring issue is currently resolved. We are still investigating and mitigating the attacks on our infrastructure."

[Photo: courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office]

10.21.16 | 1:43 pm

A European space probe has crash-landed on Mars

In a devastating setback for the Mars ambitions of the European Space Agency, a probe meant to study the Red Planet has crash-landed on the surface. The Schiaparelli probe apparently deployed its parachute too soon after separating from its orbiting mother ship, the agency said. It's likely the craft exploded on impact. BBC reported that the agency has now identified a crash site. 

The probe was supposed to collect information for future Mars missions. ESA has more info on its website.  

[Photo: ESA]