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08.22.16 | 9:00 am

Nike wants to be your personal trainer

Personal trainers are for Hollywood stars and Olympic athletes, not mere mortals like you and me. 

Or so I've always assumed. But thanks to technology, it's now possible to experience some of the benefits of personal training without making an Olympic-size dent in your budget. With the latest version of fitness app Nike+ Run Club, for example, personalized coaching for newbie runners is central to the experience.  

"If you have a body, you're an athlete," says Jay Lee, global head of product for Nike+. "What we've learned is that we really need to serve [athletes] as individuals if we want them to reach their full potential."

The updated version of Nike+ Run Club includes coaching plans like "Get Started" and "Get More Fit," to provide beginners with a more accessible entry point to the sport. Within the plans, Nike has added a new "Benchmark Run" feature that gauges improvements over time—without requiring expert knowledge of concepts like "critical velocity." As the app learns more about you, it tailors your workouts accordingly. 

Nike+ Run Club competes against similar apps that use GPS data to track runs, including Runkeeper and Under Armour's Map My Run.   

[Photo: Nike]

10.21.16 | 36 minutes ago

The number of women in computing jobs is about to decline

The number of women working in computer science related fields is dropping, according to a new study from Girls Who Code and Accenture. Between now and 2025, the number of women in computing is expected to drop from 24% to 22%. This despite many overtures to diversity from Silicon Valley's tech elite.  

"Despite unprecedented attention and momentum behind the push for universal computer science education, the gender gap in computing is getting worse," said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. "The message is clear: a one-size-fits-all model won't work. This report is a rallying cry to invest in programs and curricula designed specifically for girls. We need a new mindset and willingness to prioritize and focus on our nation's girls, and we need it now." The report calls for a reversal of this trend by putting resources towards recruiting women in junior high school, high school, and college and encouraging them into tech-related jobs. 

10.21.16 | an hour ago

Just how negative were Clinton and Trump during the third debate?

Nearly every person who watched the third and final presidential debate on Wednesday saw just how ugly this election has become: Trump called Clinton a "nasty woman" and they both exchanged personal attacks. 

Fast Company asked the digital video analytics company HireVue to visualize the emotional intelligence of the candidates. Here's what the company's AI-driven platform found:

As you can see, things were pretty negative. Trump, in the red, emoted a lot of "fear," "negative sentiment," and "contempt." Conversely, Clinton, in blue, exhibited a lot of "disgust" and "surprise." 

You can read the full analysis here, which looks at both candidates' performance in all three debates.

10.21.16 | an hour ago

Time Warner shares soar to highest level since AOL era after report of AT&T merger talks

It's 2001 all over again for Time Warner Inc. whose shares soared past $90 today following news that it is in "advance talks" with AT&T about a possible merger. The company's stock hasn't seen such levels since its calamitous $111 billion merger with AOL Inc. 

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the two companies could have a deal as early as this weekend. Such a merger would create a content-distribution behemoth on par with Comcast-NBCUniversal. 

The Time Warner-AOL merger, completed in 2001, is widely seen as one of the worst in history. Time Warner has spent the last several years slimming down—it separated from AOL and Time Warner Cable in 2009 and spun off its magazine unit, Time Inc., in 2014. 


10.21.16 | 2 hours ago

Morning intel: Trump’s roast, DDoS attack, Microsoft stock

What happened to the internet this morning? A number of sites—including Twitter, Reddit, Spotify, Fast Company, and many other online services and news outlets—were down due to a DDoS attack on a major domain name server host, Dyn. The issue seems to have been resolved. 

Donald Trump wasn't exactly a hit at the Alfred E. Smith dinner last night, an annual Catholic charity fundraiser in New York. Trump's not-so-friendly roasting of Hillary Clinton even drew boos at one point. Clinton's jokes didn't fare much better, but at least they weren't mean-spirited.  

Microsoft's stock hit an all-time high of $60—something that hasn't happened since 1999—after a strong Q3 earnings report yesterday boasted a booming cloud business. 

• Even President Obama is taking digs at Samsung over its struggles with the Galaxy Note 7. Yesterday, he drew a parallel between Obamacare and smartphones: "When one of these companies comes out with a new smartphone and it has a few bugs, what do they do? They fix it. They upgrade. Unless, of course, it catches fire."

• NBCUniversal is reportedly investing another $200 million in BuzzFeed, which would give the publisher a valuation of about $1.7 billion.

10.21.16 | 2 hours ago

Twitter’s first designer is now a partner at the startup studio Expa

Vítor Lourenço, who was Twitter's first designer, has announced via a blog post that he's joining the startup studio Expa as a partner. Lourenço worked at Twitter for five years, left in 2012, and has worked at a variety of startups since, including the visitor registration company Envoy

Expa works with founders to build out startup ideas. Lourenço has been working on a stealth company at the startup studio for some time, but will now begin also focusing on other Expa-related projects. Past Expa projects include Ando, David Chang's delivery restaurant, which we wrote about earlier this year

10.21.16 | 8:07 am

UPDATE: Twitter is down . . . now how will people share their trauma over Twitter being down? 

UPDATE: As of 9:30am EST, Twitter is back online. As is Reddit, CNN, the Guardian, Fast Company and a number of other news outlets apparently hit by a massive DDoS attack this morning.  

EARLIER: Twitter has been down for at least the last half hour—but what are we supposed to do to share our grief, go on Facebook to complain? According to's map, the outage appears to be limited to the U.S. Northeast and parts of the Middle East.

10.21.16 | 7:11 am

Even President Obama is making fun of Samsung for the exploding Galaxy Note 7

You know you've become a popular cultural meme when even the president can make a joke about your biggest scandal—and everyone in the audience chuckles along with him. Yesterday in Miami, President Obama was defending his signature achievement, Obamacare, and at one point compared it to smartphones. "When one of these companies comes out with a new smartphone and it has a few bugs, what do they do? They fix it. They upgrade. Unless, of course, it catches fire." 

The audience laughed and Obama continued: "And then they pull it off the market. But you don't go back to using a rotary phone. You don't say, 'Well, we're repealing smartphones. We're just gonna do the dial-up thing.' That's not what you do."

10.21.16 | 6:55 am

Facebook under fire for removing a cancer awareness video featuring cartoon breasts

Once again, Facebook is being criticized for censoring content that doesn't deserve to be taken down. Just over a month after coming under fire for removing the iconic "napalm girl" Vietnam War photo, Facebook this week removed a video produced by Cancerfonden, a Swedish cancer charity. The video's offending content: It features a pair of cartoon breasts to emphasize the need for women to regularly check for lumps. Facebook told the organization: "Your ad can not market sex products or services nor adults products or services," reports the Guardian

When Cancerfonden protested, Facebook apologized in a statement: "We're very sorry, our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ads." 

[Image: Cancerfonden]

10.20.16 | 9:21 pm

Donald Trump gets booed at Al Smith dinner after mean-spirited shots at Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump showed he was incapable of self-deprecating humor tonight as he spoke at the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner. The Catholic charity event is known for being a light-hearted affair in which the most vicious of political opponents set their differences aside and trade playful barbs with each other. But Trump's shots at Hillary Clinton didn't feel that way, particularly when he hit her on the Haiti scandal surrounding her foundation.  

"Everyone knows, of course, Hillary has believed that it takes a village, which only makes sense, after all, in places like Haiti, where she has taken a number of them," Trump said.

The comment attracted boos from the audience, as did the line when Trump said, "Here she is in public pretending not to hate Catholics." 

Clinton strained to keep her smile throughout the speech. As for Trump, he seemed to be reading his "jokes" under protest. At one point, he looked down at his notes and said, "This is corny stuff."

When it was Clinton's turn to speak, some of her jokes didn't go over much better, but at least they didn't feel nasty. One line that fell a little flat was a jab at Trump's coziness with Russia. "Donald really is as healthy as a horse," she said. "You know the one Vladimir Putin rides around on." 

Maybe it was the delivery.  


10.20.16 | 8:27 pm

DJI cops to Mavic Pro delivery delays

Plopped down many hundreds of dollars for one of the hottest drones available this holiday season, but heard nothing about when you'll be able to unfold it (yes, it's a foldable drone) and send it aloft? You're not alone.

DJI has admitted to production issues with the Mavic Pro that have caused delivery delays, Gizmodo reports. So hang on, it'll be there soon.

10.20.16 | 6:37 pm

Evening intel: Guess who’s coming to dinner?  

• In what will probably be the most awkward charity event in history, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both attending the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York tonight. Seriously, they just had a debate. 

• How would you feel if AT&T owned Game of Thrones? It could happen if the telecom giant purchases HBO's parent company, Time Warner Inc. According to Bloomberg, some informal merger talks have been taking place. Winter is coming to Time Warner Center.

Microsoft is partying like it's 1999 after a strong earnings report pushed shares past a record high set at the end of the 20th century. 

• In a speech in Miami today, President Obama conceded that there's room for improvement with his signature health care law.

And finally, if you play video games, be aware that your favorite voice actors may be hitting the picket lines tomorrow. The union that represents them hasn't been able to reach a deal with game-makers.   

10.20.16 | 6:12 pm

Another giant sack of LOL money for BuzzFeed

NBCUniversal is said to be doubling its investment in BuzzFeedRecode reported todaypumping another $200 million into the digital media powerhouse. NBCU, which is owned by Comcast, invested $200 million in BuzzFeed last year in a deal that valued the viral news site at $1.5 billion. At the time, analysts told me the deal made more sense than it might seem given NBCU's huge news interests and hunger to reach a younger demographic. 

Still, digital media has had a tough year, and BuzzFeed gained some bad press in April after a Financial Times report that said it halved its 2016 revenue goals (a report BuzzFeed disputed). More recently, the company has redoubled its focus on video

[Photo: Comcast]