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In Cuba, An Underground Network Armed With USB Drives Does The Work Of Google And YouTube 7 Jul 2015, 10:06 am

In a country nearly devoid of Internet access, the weekly distributors of El Paquete create a window to online content.

Huddled around a laptop at the bottom of a stairwell in Havana, a group of three teenage boys banter as they skip between video clips and music. A fourth arrives with some ice cream, which completes a scene reminiscent of teenagers killing time on YouTube. They play an amateur music video in which the singer, looking for a laugh, periodically bangs his head against the wall. Then Beyoncé. Chris Brown.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Sarah Kessler

Google's Waze Launches Ride-Sharing App In Israel 6 Jul 2015, 9:00 pm

The app will pair Waze users with commuters looking for a ride in Tel Aviv.

Google-owned traffic app Waze is beta-testing a new ride-share initiative in its home city of Tel Aviv.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Neal Ungerleider

Nothing Is Untraceable: How The HackingTeam Got Busted 6 Jul 2015, 8:41 pm

A company that offers "untraceable" surveillance services is hit by a hack that reveals its own security flaws.

"Here in HackingTeam we believe that fighting crime should be easy," promises the Italian company that offers surveillance services to national governments and law enforcement.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Sean Captain

Today in Tabs: The Greek Crisis, Unexplained 6 Jul 2015, 7:00 pm

Reddit, inexplicable.

Ice my wig, it's hot today!

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Rusty Foster

Amazon Creates Its Own Sales Holiday, "Amazon Prime Day" 6 Jul 2015, 6:50 pm

Amazon promises July 15 will have more discounts than Black Friday.

Amazon has a new plan to win goodwill with Amazon Prime customers: Massive, one-day discounts. On Wednesday, July 15, Amazon is holding Amazon Prime Day to celebrate the ecommerce site's 20th anniversary.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Neal Ungerleider

Microsoft Launches Tossup, A Social Polling App To Use With Your Friends 6 Jul 2015, 6:30 pm

Tossup is an attempt to get into the casual event planning sphere.

Want to make plans with your friends without the back-and-forth of group texts? Microsoft's latest app Tossup is an event planning service that allows you to survey your friends to simplify group decision-making. The social polling app is the most recent product from the company's Microsoft Garage initiative, which gives employees the opportunity to work on passion projects on the side.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Neal Ungerleider

Italian Surveillance Firm Called HackingTeam Gets Hacked 6 Jul 2015, 5:30 pm

Some might call this poetic justice.

An Italian company that sells sophisticated tools for spying on Internet users to the world's most repressive governments appears to have just been the target of a massive hacker attack. The ironically named HackingTeam, which names three U.S. agencies as clients, was breached by unknown hackers, and 400 gigabytes of leaked data were made public via torrent.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Neal Ungerleider

Reddit Users Push For CEO Ellen Pao's Resignation [Updated] 6 Jul 2015, 3:15 pm

A petition asking Pao to step down has received more than 190,000 signatures.

Reddit may not have had a cheery, beer-soaked long weekend like the rest of us: On Friday, the online community found itself at the mercy of its own moderators, when almost 300 subreddits, most notably the popular "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) forum, were temporarily shuttered in response to Reddit's dismissal of talent director Victoria Taylor the day prior. The subreddits steadily began to reopen over the weekend, but the protest seemed to spur on support for a petition calling for Reddit CEO Ellen Pao's resignation.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Pavithra Mohan

This Touching Film For Kissing Day Shows People Kissing We Don't Typically See Kissing In Films 6 Jul 2015, 2:18 pm

Unsure what to do around disabled people? Try kissing them.
(But do ask permission first.)

The rather depressing statistic that just 7% of people have been on a date with, or asked out, a disabled person is part of the insight behind this heart-warming spot from U.K. charity Scope.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Louise Jack

Google's Ebook Logo Combines The Best Of Print And Digital Brands 6 Jul 2015, 1:03 pm

How do you brand the digital book of the future? 50% old school, 50% new school.

From a design standpoint, Kindle books aren't radically different than their print counterparts. Letters are rendered in pixels rather than ink, and are somewhat adjustable. But otherwise, a digital a book is the same as an book. So whether it's a platform like Kindle or a more traditional publisher like Penguin, these brands tend to stick with traditional, typography-based wordmarks.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Mark Wilson

NextRequest Puts The Public Information Request Process Online 6 Jul 2015, 1:02 pm

Public information requests are currently a huge pain in the you-know-what.

Public information requests are a huge pain: The request process is different at different levels of government, and request forms often must be deposited in person to specific government locations between specific hours. Worse, people often make requests to the wrong agency. NextRequest wants to solve this problem by putting the whole information request process online, saving citizens time and governments money. Wouldn't it be great if you could just request and receive public information without having to get up from your desk?

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | David Lumb

GoPro Unveils Its First All-New Camera In Nine Years 6 Jul 2015, 1:00 pm

The camera giant is hoping that pro athletes will love using the smaller, lightweight Hero4 Session.

GoPro today announced its first all-new camera since 2006, the lightweight, cube-shaped, waterproof Hero4 Session.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Daniel Terdiman

A New Kind Of Wildlife Sanctuary--For Bees 6 Jul 2015, 12:50 pm

With endless flowers and ponds, the New York Bee Sanctuary wants to create a haven where endangered pollinator species can rejuvenate.

As bee populations continue to drop so alarmingly that pollinators now have their own White House Task Force, a nonprofit in upstate New York is pioneering a new solution: A large-scale sanctuary focused on helping honeybees, wild bees, and butterflies start to recover.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Adele Peters

Why Tomorrow's Best Digital Experiences Will Feel Analog 6 Jul 2015, 12:45 pm

Nature powerfully influences human behavior. Here's how natural materials could shape the bonds we form with our devices.

Plenty of studies have shown that regular exposure to natural environments has a lasting positive effect on our long-term well-being in ways that getting a promotion, buying a new car, or even winning the lottery can't touch.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Christian Cantrell

Why Truck Drivers Could Be The First Casualties Of The Robot Age 6 Jul 2015, 12:15 pm

Self-driving trucks make so much sense already that it's a scary time to be one of the millions of Americans who depends on the trucking economy.

There are 3.5 million truck drivers in America, 5.2 million people who have non-driving roles in the trucking industry, and millions more who depend on trucking for a living, including people who work at truck stops and gas stations. Why is this important particularly? Because that's an awful lot of people who depend on an industry that's likely to employ far less people in the future.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Ben Schiller

The Picture Book That Parents Worldwide—And Google Ventures—Can't Put Down 6 Jul 2015, 12:00 pm

With 600,000 books sold, the startup Lost My Name is redefining personalization in publishing.

There's no company sign or logo out front. No indication of any kind that this quiet stretch of Pritchard's Road in East London includes the headquarters of a global publishing sensation. A squat, two-story former factory sits adorned in elaborate graffiti. A fox lunges across half the façade. A mouth on the front door gapes.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Chuck Salter

PersonalHeroes Wants To Bring A Kindness Score To The Sharing Economy 6 Jul 2015, 12:00 pm

Will a personal kindness score appeal to millennials—and encourage people to be, well, kinder?

Every day, more of our activity is being tracked—and more of our lives can be measured. We are known by what we consume, buy, and share. Score aggregators like Klout even purport to tell us our approximate social value on the Internet. But one startup wants to track something else: kindness. PersonalHeroes is a social platform that tracks the positive impacts you have made in other people's lives, weighs your good deeds in a custom algorithm, and gives you a kindness score to display to the world.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | David Lumb

The Nation Gets A Facelift From Obama's Digital Design Team 6 Jul 2015, 12:00 pm

The 150-year-old magazine finally has a website that looks like it was designed in the 21st century.

The Nation, America's oldest continuously published weekly magazine, is 150 years old today and up until last week, its website at looked at least that old. Now, the self-described "flagship of the left" is getting a redesign, courtesy of Blue State Digital, the guys behind Obama's 2008 and 2012 digital strategies. Gone is the circa-2005, tri-columned front page, chronologically streaming progressive and left-leaning political news at a rate of about 15 stories per day. In its place is something distinctly modern—a 21st-century digital publication that looks just as deliberately designed and laid-out as what goes to presses every week.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | John Brownlee

Kids Are Using Minecraft To Design A More Sustainable World 6 Jul 2015, 10:00 am

Cities are using the game to get more people involved in solving urban challenges—and finding new, innovative ideas from unlikely sources.

If you're going to communicate effectively with young people, it helps to do it in a language and format they understand. Like Minecraft, for instance. One hundred million people already play the Swedish-born game, and even those who haven't played can soon appreciate its build-it-with-blocks vernacular.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Ben Schiller

Meet The Man Who's Overseeing PlayStation's Evolution 6 Jul 2015, 9:57 am

The CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America hasn't been on the job long, but is integral to the reimagining the PlayStation platform.

The L.A. Memorial Sports Arena is overflowing with thousands of videogame players and industry professionals, and they all just had a collective freakout. At the Sony PlayStation press conference, a teaser video was played and it gradually dawned on the room what they were seeing: a beloved classic roleplaying game from the early days of PlayStation, Final Fantasy 7, would be remade almost 20 years later. It would be one of the most memorable moments during that week of announcements at the E3 video game convention last month.

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Source: Fast Company Fast Company | Kevin Ohannessian

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