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01.11.17 | 1:14 pm

Warby Parker opens its first optical lab, streamlining its operations 

The eyewear brand opened its first fully owned optical lab. The 34,000-square-foot lab in located in the Mid-Hudson Region will create 128 jobs over the next 5 years. The project was supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senator Chuck Schumer. 

It's an important milestone for the company because it will streamline its operations. Rather than sending the glasses out to third parties to be assembled and finished with prescription lenses, it will be able to do all of this work in a vertically integrated fashion. This will mean a faster delivery to the consumer. 

[Image via Barkow Photo for Warby Parker]

01.22.17 | 7:04 pm

Samsung says battery design and manufacturing problems led to Note 7 explosions

On Sunday night, Samsung announced the official results of an independent study into the causes of the Galaxy Note 7's battery explosions. The study found:

• The original manufacturer of the Note 7 batteries, Samsung SDI, built the positive and negative battery material layers too close together at the corner of the cells. This raised the potential for a short circuit in a highly charged battery. 

• The company that manufactured the batteries for the replacement Note 7 phones, ATL, introduced a manufacturing process flaw that caused further explosions in the phones. Excessive welding material in the batteries caused a short circuit between positive and negative layers.

• UL (one of the independent investigators) says more study is needed to find the "root cause" of the explosions.

01.21.17 | 1:01 pm

The politics of crowd counting have never been more striking

All throughout the day yesterday, social media users were posting side-by-side images of Trump's inauguration vs. Obama's in 2009 as a way of highlighting the vast disparity in the number of attendees. (The Obama crowd seems to have been far more robust.) Just as quickly as those images were posted, other users shot them down as misleading or downright fake. "The angles were different." "Trump voters were too busy working." Whatever the excuse, the arguments were a stark reminder that even something as seemingly scientific as crowd counting can be quickly co-opted and distorted by bitter polarization these days.  

This morning, we're seeing those same arguments play out about the women's marches in Washington, D.C., and cities around the country. By some accounts, the D.C. march is already bigger than the inauguration. Official numbers probably won't be available for some time, but how much does size even matter if we're only willing to believe the numbers that align with our politics?

Fortunately, there are sounder methods for those of us who just want to hear it straight. For more on that, read Sean Captain's Friday story on the science and politics of head counts. 

01.20.17 | 4:10 pm

Adoptly, the probably fake “Tinder for adoption,” just got kicked out by Kickstarter

Kickstarter has suspended the crowdfunding campaign for Adoptly, a (likely very fake) app that supposedly planned to apply the Tinder model to adoption. The company, whose tagline was "Parenthood is just a swipe away," launched the campaign earlier this month with the goal of raising $150,000. It raised $4,000 of that before the suspension.

The app is exceptionally similar to another fake app, Pooper, which gained some attention last summer. That app purported to be an "Uber for dog poop" but was really an art project "satirizing our app-obsessed world."

Kickstarter has not formally commented on the reason for the app's suspension from the service, but a list of reasons for such an action can be found here.

01.20.17 | 1:30 pm

It’s Day One of Trump and net neutrality is already in trouble

FCC watchers have been saying for a while that Ajit Pai would be tapped as interim FCC chair after Tom Wheeler stepped down (he did so today), but a new report claims Pai will become the new chairman full-stop. Pai reportedly met with then president-elect Donald Trump last weekend, which adds credibility to the story. 

The appointment could be disastrous for net neutrality. Obama appointment Wheeler (and a Democratically-controlled commission) in 2015 classified broadband a Title II service that would be regulated as a public service. The new rules forbade broadband providers to sell internet "fast lanes" of any kind to large internet companies at the expense of small ones and consumers. Pai has been outspoken in his opposition to the ruling. If Pai is chairman, experts have told me, he could either enact a new ruling reversing Wheeler's, or could simply decline to defend Wheeler's ruling against the legal challenges of big broadband providers like AT&T and Verizon. In fact, a Pai appointment could be a catalyst for new legal attacks. 

Opponents of Wheeler's ruling have argued that imposing such regulatory control removes the impetus to further invest in the speed and capacity of the networks. This view aligns with the Trump administration's stated goal of pulling back the reach of the government's regulatory arm. 

01.20.17 | 1:14 pm

Watch the government’s position on protecting LGBT rights vanish before your eyes

Well, that didn't take long.

Some Twitter users say they're still able to access the report (I, for one, cannot). Elsewhere, occurrences of "LGBT" appear to already have been wiped from WhiteHouse.gov.

To be fair, officials could very well replace these pages with different information outlining the Trump administration's plans to protect LGBT workers, many of whom can still legally be fired for being gay or trans all across the United States.

Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

01.20.17 | 1:10 pm

Anti-Trump protesters have chained themselves to the front doors of Uber HQ

Angered by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick's decision to be part of Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy forum, protesters have reportedly chained themselves to the front doors of Uber's San Francisco offices, preventing employees from entering the building. Uber has advised those employees to work from home or elsewhere this morning.

01.20.17 | 12:37 pm

New WhiteHouse.gov is already pushing Melania Trump’s QVC line of jewelry

As soon as President Trump took the Oath of Office, the White House website completely switched over, including some major changes such as the deletion of Obama's climate change page.

And it's pushing FLOTUS's jewelry collection on her page:

"Melania is also a successful entrepreneur. In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection, "Melania™ Timepieces & Jewelry", on QVC."

UPDATE 11:55 pm: The White House just dropped the mention of QVC in her resume. That section now reads: "In April 2010, Melania Trump launched her own jewelry collection."

01.20.17 | 12:25 pm

The first POTUS Twitter handoff in history is a dizzying spectacle

At noon today, the @POTUS Twitter account switched from Barack Obama's hands to Donald Trump's hands, and followers were reset to zero. But it didn't stay that way for long. Within 15 minutes, the account already had 3.62 million followers

Obama had 13.7 million and was still gaining followers up until the end. (Those followers were migrated to an account named @POTUS44.) We're tracking the Trump account's growth and will check back soon. 

Update: One hour later, Trump was up to 3.93 million

Update 2: Two hours later, Trump was up to 5.27 million.

Update 3: Three hours later, Trump was up to 7.23 million.

Update 4: Five hours later, Trump passed the 10 million mark. 

Update 5: Seven hours later, Trump had 13.4 million

Update 6: The plot thickens. After a number of users complained that they were being forced to follow the POTUS account under Trump, Twitter says it's investigating a technical glitch. The account had 14.2 million followers as of Saturday morning. 

01.20.17 | 12:05 pm

LinkedIn says these will be the most promising jobs in 2017

Hospitalist, pharmacist, sales engineer, site reliability engineer, and product manager top LinkedIn's ranking of 20 positions with the most potential for career growth this year. The jobs were given weighted scores based on salary, career advancement, number of job openings in the U.S., year-over-year growth in job openings, and widespread regional availability. Analysts gave the most weight (30%) on salary and the least (10%) on regional availability. 

Fast Company will be covering Glassdoor's list of the best jobs when it goes live on Tuesday. Although those were scored differently (one factor is job satisfaction), stay tuned for our report that compares the two lists.

01.20.17 | 10:41 am

How not to watch Trump’s inauguration

Today's the day America has been craving or fearing, depending on your politics. Donald Trump will take the Oath of Office as the 45th president of the U.S. at noon EST. If you're not one of the hundreds of thousands gathered in D.C. to celebrate or protest the historic occasion, there are plenty of ways to watch it. Here are some suggestions on how not to watch this transfer of power: Don't just sit and watch the spectacle without consulting these resources:

The biggest unresolved questions facing the Trump administration, from Obamacare's replacement to the shape of any infrastructure deal.

• Study this list of Trump's nominees for the most important positions in his administration.

• Help update this constantly evolving map of Trump World, the 1,500 people and organizations connected to the incoming administration. 

• For live fact-checking, PolitiFact's Twitter feed is on it.

• Don't watch it on TV or Facebook Live, say some progressives who want to deny Trump the chance to brag about his "yuge" ratings. "It is also a small but effective way of demonstrating to the national media that we don't want coverage of the show, but of the substance." Rather, listen to it on the radio, they suggest. Or follow it via the New Yorker's Jason Adam Katzenstein live-drawing the event.

And if you really really must see it, here's the video:

01.20.17 | 10:17 am

Should Twitter dump Trump? Ellen Pao makes a compelling argument

Just hours before Donald Trump was scheduled to be sworn in, tech execs Ellen Pao and Laura I. Gómez wrote an appeal to Twitter chief Jack Dorsey arguing that the incoming president should be suspended from the platform. It's not just because of the things he tweets, Pao and Gómez write, but because the things he tweets incite his followers to cause real harm. 

Admittedly, it's hard to imagine Twitter actually suspending Trump, but the execs do make some interesting points. Especially compelling is their implication that Trump's baleful antics are essentially dragging Twitter into the social-media mud, something Twitter Inc. as a company can scarcely afford these days:

"But @realdonaldtrump is bringing out the worst of Twitter — the company, the platform, and its users. He's using his manipulation skills and your platform to bully others, and to incite supporters to harass people — both on Twitter and in real life."  

So maybe suspending Trump would just be good business. That's an argument even he should be able to get behind.

[Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images]

01.20.17 | 10:10 am

Why is the Doomsday Clock still at 3 minutes to midnight?

The Doomsday Clock, which tracks how close scientists see humanity as being to destruction, has been set to 3 minutes to midnight since 2015. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the publication that's set the virtual clock since 1947, typically only adjusts the clock once per year—and they're going to announce 2017's setting this Thursday, January 26. 

Since factors including climate change, nuclear threats, cyber attacks, and infectious disease were cited by the Bulletin last year in explaining the current setting, it's hard to imagine the clock losing any time. 

Here's a dashboard showing some of the factors taken into consideration when setting the clock.