Instagram’s co-founders resign from Facebook

Instagram’s founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom have resigned, leaving the company they created in the hands of Facebook’s executives. “We’re planning on taking some time off to explore our curiosity and creativity again,” said Systrom in a blog post. “Building new things requires that we step back, understand what inspires us and match that with what the world needs; that’s what we plan to do.” Systrom’s statement suggests an amicable departure, but anonymous sources have told Bloomberg that their decision stemmed from tensions with Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who had become more reliant on Instagram as part of his future plans. Two in a billion Facebook bought Instagram for… Read More

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How VPNs are becoming the next anti-virus

Internet privacy and freedom continue to decline around the world, with protections like encryption threatened and censorship on the rise. As these alarming practices persist an increasing number of people are seeking out tools to take control of their Internet experience, making it a critical time for VPN providers. VPNs and privacy Today, a great deal of our lives unfold online, from emailing to storing photos to searching for information. And while the Internet affords many benefits, it also leaves its users vulnerable. Our personal details, communications, location and other revealing data can be easily obtained by hackers, the government and service providers — making privacy a difficult task. Online… Read More

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The case that Russia is winning the cyberwar

Kathleen Hall Jamieson is a prominent political scientist and professor of communications at the University of Pennsylvania. For the past 40 years, she has studied political communication: debates, advertisements, and speeches. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, she studied the effect that the debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had on the electorate. That set Jamieson down a road that led her to a bold (if not particularly original) conclusion: Russia very likely tipped the election to Trump. What makes Hall’s take notable is her scrupulously data-driven approach to answering a question that many people have dismissed as impossible. And while she stipulates that no one will ever… Read More

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‘Our show tries to be an alternative’: Inside Refinery29’s big bet to make a hit late-night show on Facebook Watch

Refinery29 thinks it has found a new formula for cracking Facebook Watch: a 15-minute late-night show. The show is split into short segments that cover politics and pop culture. Refinery29 is experimenting with cross-promoting and linking shows to drive viewers to Watch. Publishers can’t make branded content for Watch yet, but Refinery29 is already interested in product placements and sponsorships. Early last week, a few hours before the Emmy Awards aired on TV, a roughly 20-person crew huddled in a small room in New York’s Chinatown neighborhood. Over the next hour, the host and comedian Sonia Denis talked to a panel of comedians and pop-culture experts about the Emmy nominees… Read More

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You can now get a Spotify playlist inspired by your ancestors

As genetic profiling has become increasingly accessible over the past few years, consumer DNA tests have grown in popularity, with a number of companies providing detailed breakdowns of everything from your ethnic heritage to your dietary nuances. One of the most popular services is Ancestry, which started out as a family tree database and can now estimate your ancestral origins in exchange for a saliva sample. Now, as well as telling you about your family history, Ancestry has teamed up with Spotify to create customized playlists based on the regions from which your DNA sample suggests your ancestors originated. Spit it out To get your personalized playlist along with a… Read More

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