Author Archives: Libby Watson

Even the World’s Largest Internet Companies Get Phished, Just Like Your Grandma

If you’ve ever been duped by a phishing scam, you can feel a little less stupid about it today, because you’ve been joined in that sad club by Google and Facebook.

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The Worst Lies From Yesterday’s Anti-Net Neutrality Speech

Yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his plan to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, which prevented internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or prioritizing certain traffic, and reclassified providers as “common carriers.” Up to that moment, Pai had kept reasonably quiet about how he planned to…

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Of Course Ivanka Trump Tweeted About Juicero

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Juicero. I love this dumb, insanely over-engineered, $400 juice squeezing machine that works marginally better than using your own hands. And it turns out I may share that passion with the nation’s First Daughter, Ivanka Trump.

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Unroll.Me CEO So Sorry You Found Out His Company Sold Your Data

The classic non-apology goes something like this: “I’m sorry if you were upset.” It’s a sneaky way of expressing regret for how one’s shitty actions made another person feel, rather than the shitty actions themselves. But the CEO of Unroll.Me—whose parent company was revealed this weekend to have sold Unroll.Me’s…

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YouTube Makes 12 Million Videos Accessible in Restricted Mode

In March, LGBT YouTube creators criticized Google for hiding some of their videos in “Restricted Mode,” which filters potentially “mature” content. After initially downplaying the extent of the problem, Google issued a non-apology, then a slightly more apologetic non-apology, and finally posted a fuller actual apology

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Rad as Hell Uber Employees Tag Wall With Badass #Undelete Message

If you follow news about Uber at all, you’ll know it’s been a difficult year for the company. From revelations about a culture of sexual harassment, to a creepy program to track government regulators and leaked footage of CEO Travis Kalanick cussing out a driver, it can’t have been a fun few months in the Uber office.…

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Lawsuit Describes Even More Problems With the White House’s Favorite ‘Secure’ Messaging App

Confide, the (supposedly) secure messaging app reportedly favored by Trump White House staffers, has had a rocky few months trying to counter allegations that its app isn’t so secure. A new lawsuit filed this week in federal court is sure to further those headaches, alleging the app isn’t as good at protecting its…

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Juicero CEO Begs You: Do NOT Open Our Juice Bags

This week saw the latest chapter in the utterly wonderful saga of Juicero, the $400 juice machine maker that attracted $120 million in venture capital funding. On Wednesday, a bombshell Bloomberg report exposed the secret that threatened to ruin the company: You can get almost exactly the same juice without the…

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Everything Ajit Pai Has Fucked Up in the Last Three Months

The Federal Communications Commission voted today to eliminate price caps on broadband services for businesses, schools, libraries, and hospitals, known as Business Data Services (BDS). The argument advanced by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, and the big telecoms who wanted this rule repealed, was that there is already…

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Holiday Inn Cops to Massive Credit Card Data Breach

It seems like every day there’s news of another significant data breach, so here’s today’s: An internal investigation by the InterContinental Hotel Group, which owns Holiday Inn, has revealed that guests at more than a thousand of their hotels had their credit card details stolen. The company identified malware on…

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No, Google Hire Won’t Share Your Search History With Employers

The perfect fake viral news story has two crucial elements: something outrageous that makes you real mad and something you could basically believe. Not like, “Donald Trump Decrees ‘All Dogs Are Boys,’” but like, “Donald Trump Nominates Steven Seagal as Secretary of Defense.”

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The Saddest Facebook Live Video Is 20 People Kissing a Car

People will do weird things for free stuff. People will also do weird things on public streaming platforms. And sometimes they’ll do both, such as voluntarily kissing a car for hours on end, in hopes of winning it, on Facebook Live.

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Is Snapchat’s CEO Awful Enough to Have Said This Awful Thing?

Here’s a Monday morning riddle for you. A lawsuit filed by an ex-Snapchat employee alleges that CEO Evan Spiegel once told him the app is “only for rich people,” and that he therefore didn’t want to expand into “poor countries like India and Spain.” At first glance, that comment might strike a reasonable reader as…

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15 Idiotic Internet of Things Devices Nobody Asked For

Humans contain multitudes. We have a demonstrated ability to work hard, sweat and toil for our daily bread, and, as a society, achieve magnificent feats of science and technology. We’ve literally reached the stars!

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The Republican Plan to Kill the Open Internet 

New FCC chair Ajit Pai has been clear that he intends to take a “weed whacker” to net neutrality regulations, but he’s been very reluctant to open up about how exactly he’s going to go about slicing them to bits. Last week, several outlets reported that Pai is finally gearing up for the fight, but no matter how badly…

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Just Doesn’t Want to Do Shit, Eh?

You know that feeling when you just really cannot be bothered to do any work? Of course you do! It’s Friday afternoon. You’re staring at the screen, waiting in vain for Twitter to provide some decent distractions, maybe scrolling through OpenTable for brunch reservations, fantasizing about sleeping in tomorrow.…

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I Stared Into the Political Heart of the Hyperloop

Yesterday, in our nation’s capital, I spent two hours in a beautiful fantasy. A world where the usual constraints of time and space don’t apply, where almost everyone in our fractured nation is connected, closer than ever, united by technology. No, I wasn’t smoking weed, though it’s legal here: I was at the Hyperloop…

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Want to Stop Your Internet Provider From Selling Your Browsing Data? It Ain’t Easy

This week, President Donald Trump signed the widelycriticized bill repealing FCC ISP privacy rules, which would have required internet service providers to get opt-in consent before selling customers’ web browsing history. The rules hadn’t actually gone into effect, but the bill’s passage was a wake-up call for…

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Equal Pay Day Is a Good Reminder of How Much It Still Sucks to Be a Woman in Tech

Today is Equal Pay Day, which is so chosen because it marks, on average, how much longer a woman would have to work to make the same as a man did during the previous year. Women across the country are… well, not quite “celebrating,” but marking the day with events and protests, and probably more than a few private…

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Google: Please Don’t Look at Our Very Tiny Ad Problem

It’s been a tough few weeks for Google. Several companies have pulled their ads from its network after various news outlets revealed that those ads have appeared on extremist, racist, or otherwise offensive videos. But never fear. A Google executive says the problem is, actually, small. And not just very small, in…

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