Tech

Sneaker marketplace GOAT announces an AR-centric Black Friday giveaway
techcrunch.com
Black Friday giveaways have become a tradition for online sneaker marketplace GOAT. Today it’s announcing the details of this year’s campaign, which will be its first to incorporate augmented reality. Director of Communications Liz Goodno described this as “the largest digital sneaker event of the year.” The company says it will be offering more than 1,000 prizes, including sneakers like the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Shattered Backboard, KAWSx Air Jordan 4 Retro Black, Pharrell x BBC x NMD Human Race Trail Heart/Mind, plus curated sneaker packs and up to $10,000 in GOAT credit. You can enter the drawing anytime between now and 11:59pm Pacific on Thursday, November 22, with the winners notified at noon on Black Friday. All participants will receive 100 tickets, but [...]
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Limiting social media use reduced loneliness and depression in new experiment
techcrunch.com
The idea that social media can be harmful to our mental and emotional well-being is not a new one, but little has been done by researchers to directly measure the effect; surveys and correlative studies are at best suggestive. A new experimental study out of Penn State, however, directly links more social media use to worse emotional states, and less use to better. To be clear on the terminology here, a simple survey might ask people to self-report that using Instagram makes them feel bad. A correlative study would, for example, find that people who report more social media use are more likely to also experience depression. An experimental study compares the results from an experimental group with their behavior systematically modified, and a control group that’s allowed to do whate [...]
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Lydia launches mobile phone insurance
techcrunch.com
French startup Lydia is launching an insurance product for your mobile phone. For €4.29 per month ($4.89), you can insure your phone from the Lydia app. Lydia is one of the most popular peer-to-peer payment apps in Europe, with 1.5 million users. Think about it as a sort of Venmo or Square Cash for Europe. More recently, the company started offering more options to manage your money with a premium subscription and additional features. While Lydia doesn’t want to replace your bank and insurance company, the company is offering an insurance product for the first time. Lydia is partnering with its investor CNP Assurances — having an insurance company as an investor has a few advantages. So here’s what you get. You’re instantly covered against cracked screens, liquid damage and acci [...]
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Chrome adds new security features to stop mobile subscription scams
techcrunch.com
Google today announced that Chrome will soon get a new feature that aims to stop mobile subscription scams. Those are the kind of sites that ask you for your phone number and that then, unbeknownst to you, sign you up for a mobile subscription that’s billed through your carrier. Starting with the launch of Chrome 71 in December, Google will pop up a prominent warning when a site doesn’t make it clear that users are signing up for a mobile subscription. To make sure that developers who are legitimately using this flow to offer users a subscription don’t get caught up in this new system, Google also published a set of best practices for mobile billing today. Generally, developers are expected to make their billing information visible and obvious to users, display the actu [...]
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Netflix’s hackathon produces a way to navigate its iOS app with ARKit and Face ID
techcrunch.com
Netflix’s internal hackathons have consistently produced fun and often silly hacks, from that “Netflixtendo” hack a few years ago that let you run Netflix on the original NES to the more recent “audiobook mode” that turned Netflix series into old-school radio shows by way of Audio Descriptions. This year’s hackathon doesn’t disappoint either, with new hacks that are both as goofy and interesting as in years past, including an AR and Face ID-powered hack that lets you navigate Netflix with just your eyes, another designed for “Sharknado” fans and more. “Jump to Shark” lets viewers skip right to the good parts of the so-bad-it’s-good “Sharknado,” so they can watch the bloody action sequences with sharks, ins [...]
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Photomath raises $6 million for its math-solving app
techcrunch.com
Photomath just raised a $6 million funding round from Goodwater Capital, with Learn Capital also participating. Photomath has created a hugely successful mobile app for iOS and Android with 100 million downloads so far. Photomath first launched at TechCrunch Disrupt London back in 2014. The company was working on text recognition technology. Photomath was just a demo app to promote that technology. But the startup accidentally created a consumer success. The app instantly attracted millions of downloads from many desperate students willing to learn math with their phones. Years later it is still one of the most downloaded apps in the App Store and Play Store. And the reason it’s been so successful is that it’s a simple concept. After downloading the app, you just have to point your pho [...]
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Instagram prototypes bully-proof moderated School Stories
techcrunch.com
Instagram is considering offering collaborative School Stories that only a certain school’s students can see or contribute to. And to make sure these Stories wouldn’t become bullying cesspools, Instagram’s code shows a warning that “School stories are manually reviewed to make sure the community is safe.” School Stories could create a fun space for kids to share with their peers beyond the prying eyes of their parents or strangers, though they could also exacerbate teen culture issues around envy and exclusionary social scenes. The code was first discovered by TechCrunch’s top tipster Jane Manchun Wong. Instagram declined to comment on the record regarding the code, though previous discoveries from its code that it also “no-comment’ed” [...]
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Google Pixel 3 XL users are getting twice the notch, thanks to a bug
techcrunch.com
Over the past two years, the notch moved from anomaly to fact of life, and no company has proven itself more pro-notch than Google. From its embrace of #notchlife in Android Pie to the downright gigantic one found up top on the Pixel 3 XL, Google’s really notchin’ it up. In fact, as noted by Android Police, the Pixel 3 XL has a notch so nice, Google’s delivering it twice. A number of owners have reported an admittedly hilarious bug that’s causing the massive handset to double up on the notch, with a second cutout appearing on the side of the device. So my Pixel randomly grew another notch today. https://t.co/c6Pff9MVmW pic.twitter.com/ugjfLmCkDZ — UrAvgConsumer (@UrAvgConsumer) October 24, 2018 Google has acknowledged (acknotchleged?) the issue and noted that it’s work [...]
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