The company has announced it will sell its Spectacles, glasses that allow users to record and share videos, via vending machines called Snapbots, reports Recode. However, the vending machines will be ephemeral, just a like a Snapchat pic. The vending machines will only be in their locations for one day before being moved, and Snapchat will only announce where the vending machine will be next 24 hours before it arrives.
Snapchat will sell its video recording glasses via vending machines
Madewell is ramping up its denim donation program after a blockbuster Earth Day
The fashion industry is a highly polluting one. This is partly because consumers have gotten used to treating garments as disposable, throwing them out when they are out of style. Madewell, a brand which generates a quarter of its sales from denim, has responded to this waste by encouraging customers to bring in old pairs of jeans to be recycled. Since 2014, customers could drop off old pairs of jeans (of any brand) at stores to receive a $20 coupon to buy another pair from Madewell. These collected jeans are sent to Cotton Incorporated's Blue Jeans Go Green project, which recycles old denim, transforming it into natural cotton fiber insulation.
This Earth day, the brand was setting out to hit 150,000 jeans donated, but it blew right past it, collecting 155,532, which translates to about 186 houses insulated. The company is now dedicated to collecting 200,000 by the end of 2017. Madewell involves its entire staff in this eco-initiative, inviting employees to be part of Habitat for Humanity projects that use this insulation in houses.
Unroll.me’s CEO is “heartbroken” that users discovered it sells their data
The simple email unsubscribe service was revealed to be selling its user's anonymized data to the very apps they were unsubscribing from. The revelation came from a New York Times profile on Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. In it, it was revealed Uber buys data from Unroll.me that showed how Lyft's user base was progressing. After the news broke, Unroll.me's CEO Jojo Hedaya wrote a blog post saying the company is "heartbroken" its users found out how it makes money on the free service:
The top revelations from the NYT’s profile of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick
The profile is a deep exploration into Kalanick's history and thinking. Some highlights:
• Back in 2015 Uber's app was secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after it had been deleted or the iPhones had been erased–a practice known as "fingerprinting."
• Fingerprinting is often used as a fraud detection and prevention method that helps certain companies detect when people are using stolen smartphones to game the system.
• Apple banned the practice of fingerprinting using a user's device's UDID back in 2013 due to privacy concerns.
• Apple CEO Tim Cook personally called Kalanick to Apple's headquarters to tell him to stop fingerprinting phones or else Apple would pull Uber from the App Store.
• Back in 2003 Kalanick registered to run for governor of California.
• One time Jay-Z wired Kalanick even more money to invest in a larger share of the company, but Kalanick wired it back to him, saying that he had too many interested investors already.
• Kalanick wanted Oprah Winfrey to join Uber's board.
•Kalanick is a big admirer of Amazon.
• His main mantra is "growth above all else."
Yahoo reportedly mismanaged a humanitarian aid fund earmarked for Chinese political dissidents
The Yahoo Human Rights Trust was established in 2007 after Yahoo agreed to pay $17.3 million to settle a case against it in which it turned over information about a Chinese journalist to the Chinese government, who later imprisoned that journalist. However, now a group of Chinese citizens is suing Yahoo, alleging the company turned a blind eye as the man responsible for overseeing the fund squandered $13 million of it, reports Forbes:
[The squandered funds were spent] on "expenditures having nothing to do with providing humanitarian assistance to imprisoned Chinese dissidents," according to their complaint. The group alleges that the bulk of that money went to the man responsible for overseeing it, among other things, and that only $700,000—or about 4% of the fund—was spent on direct humanitarian aid.
"In standing idly by while it knew the Yahoo Human Rights Trust was being squandered, Yahoo abandoned its responsibilities to Trust beneficiaries, who have risked their lives by speaking out for political reform in China," Times Wang, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a written statement.
Here are just a few of the great signs at the #MarchForScience
On Earth Day today, hundreds of thousands of people marched in cities around the world, from the main March for Science in Washington, D.C., to 600 satellite marches. Given the intellect of the marchers, it wasn't surprising to see plenty of really clever signs. Here are just a few of them:
This really owns:pic.twitter.com/MvLjj2TKnL— Ｓｐａｃｅｄａｄ Ａｅｓｔｈｅｔｉｃバカ (@SuperSpacedad) April 23, 2017
Facebook just beat its own record for lobbying the federal government
The social networking giant has cash to spare, and it's not afraid to spread it around the Beltway if it means buying a little extra influence. According to its latest lobbying report, Facebook spent $3.21 million lobbying the federal government in the first quarter of this year. That's the first time it broke the $3 million mark in a single quarter, as Axios reports. Facebook is hardly alone. As we reported earlier this year, it's boom times for tech-industry lobbying. Uber, for instance, tripled its spending last year.
Forget Uber and Waymo: Self-driving vehicles are creeping into cities via public transit
On Thursday, a new autonomous trolley hit the streets of Knoxville, Tennessee. The 12-seat vehicle provided by Olli is being integrated in the city's public transit system. It is the third such self-driving project to land in the United States this year. In January, Las Vegas debuted a driverless bus to ferry passengers along a three-block route. A couple months later, California began testing a squat self-driving bus in parking lots. Then at SXSW, local transit authority Capital Metro demonstrated its self-steering coach among festival goers. While major companies like Uber, Tesla, and Apple promise to be the big sellers of autonomous car brains and bodies, it seems the earliest companies to actually put their wheels on roads will be the unknown players powering public transit.
[Photo: Olli] RR
Two words: Lawn Roomba
Robot servants are already mastering food delivery and fashion, and now there's a new way for you to sit on your butt while robots do the hard labor—lawn Roombas. While not technically Roombas, they work in the same way as the robotic vacuums/cat cars. Products like the Robomow and Honda's Miimo, which just launched in the United States, will cut your lawn for you and then return to their docking station when done. These genius products are still a work in progress. According to Curbed, few of the grass cutters offer 100% coverage and may miss the edges, but hey, so does that neighbor kid you pay $20.
Laziness does come at a cost. These helpful little robots have a steep price tag ranging from $999 to $2,799. Start mowing lawns now to save up enough money to buy this thing so you never have to mow the lawn again.
[Photo: Honda] ML
Tech dad Bill Gates sets serious tech limits for his kids
Microsoft founder Bill Gates may have built his billion-dollar business on a love of technology, but that doesn't mean he lets his kids use it anytime they want. Gates and his wife, Melinda, won't let their three children use tech at the dinner table and they limit their screen time. According to The Mirror, they wouldn't even get their kids cell phones until they were age 14, holding firm even when the kids tried the classic argument that all their friends had them. Gates isn't alone in his anti-tech parenting stance—Steve Jobs didn't let his kids use iPads and was a notoriously low-tech parent. As one Fast Company staffer noted, keep that in mind the next time your kid demands a phone.
[Photo: Andreas Gebert/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images] ML
When it comes to reading your mind, Facebook may be no Uri Geller
At Facebook's F8 conference, the company revealed it was working on reading your mind. It unveiled Project: Type With Your Brain, which is exactly what it sounds like, with the goal of allowing someone to type 100 words per minute just by thinking about them and hoped the tech would be available within just a few years. This could make computing wildly accessible for people with physical disabilities and is just generally pretty freaking cool.
However, no one is sure whether Facebook can actually deliver on this goal, especially because the current speed record for mental typing falls well below 100 words per minute. According to IEEE Spectrum, back in February, Stanford researchers helped a paralyzed patient type eight words per minute with his mind using a device implanted in his brain, which is incredibly impressive, but far short of the 100 wpm Facebook hopes to achieve without wires or implants. Stanford's work is leaps and bounds above a German team's work that led to an ALS patient type "between 0.3 and 0.82 words per minute."
Facebook has amassed an impressive team of researchers to help it achieve its mind-reading goal (no, Uri Geller was not among them), but untangling the neural circuitry of speech might take a little longer than they think. Read the full story on IEEE Spectrum, while practicing bending spoons with your mind. ML
Baby brain: Trying to not get pregnant is a mental and emotional burden for women
Unless you're Serena Williams, there's little doubt that being pregnant—let alone having a baby—can zap your energy and your attention span (baby brain is real, people). As it turns out, not getting pregnant can also cause a mental and emotional burden on women.
Women disproportionately bear the burden of not getting pregnant what with all the remembering to take birth control pills, coping with the side effects of the pills, scheduling IUD insertion, and period tracking. A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research, reveals that the physical burden can take a toll both mentally and emotionally, too. "It's not just about having the medication in your body, it's about the time, attention and stress that is associated with it," sociologist Katrina Kimport, who conducted the study, told Elle.com.
The added burden seems particularly unfair, because according to the World Economic Forum, women already do 39 days a year more work than men, when you take into account paid and unpaid work like housework and child care. Maybe time to start investing in that male birth control pill, eh? ML
Sam’s Club is your new favorite sommelier
In a move that could make Trader Joe's, Costco, the Italian wine industry, and the entirety of the French population nervous, Sam's Club is entering the wine business. Last year, the big-box store released a $7 white wine that got surprisingly good ratings. That undoubtedly impressed people who care about wine ratings (or made them question the entire system).
To build on that success, the company is now working on an entire line of high-quality, but super-cheap varietals, according to Delish. In addition to the chardonnay, limited-edition riesling, and red blend that they currently offer under their own Member's Mark label, they are expanding their line of affordable wine to include a Napa Valley Cabernet, a prosecco (sorry, Italy), a champagne (sorry, France), and a bottled sangria (you're good, Spain). While Trader Joe's Two Buck Chuck is still the cheapest decent wine around, Sam's Club's bottles are expected to sell in the $8 to $10 range. That means these wines might be good for drinking, but not necessarily for impressing the in-laws.
[Photo: Sam's Club] ML