1h ago
       

Airbnb unveils new category of rentals rated by inspectors

Airbnb is dispatching inspectors to rate a new category of properties listed on its home-rental service in an effort to reassure travelers they're booking nice places to stay SAN FRANCISCO -- Airbnb is dispatching inspectors to rate thousands of the properties listed on its home-rental service in an effort to reassure travelers they're booking nice places to stay. The hands-on touch built into the Plus program comes 10 years after Chesky and his former roommate started Airbnb in a San Francisco apartment in hopes of bringing in more money to pay their own rent. During a presentation in San Francisco, Chesky announced other steps designed to make Airbnb more like a traditional hospitality company instead of an industry renegade that has siphoned business away from major hotels.
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2d ago
       

Google's digital assistant branches out to Nest camera

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google's voice-activated assistant is branching out to Nest's deluxe security camera in an expansion that may amplify the privacy concerns surrounding internet-connected microphones. Google's assistant already can be used to control Nest's cameras and internet-connected thermostat through its internet-connected speaker, Home, and smartphones running on its Android software. Even if Google's assistant doesn't eavesdrop, its presence on an indoor security camera is likely to focus more attention on the handling and protection of the data collected through internet-connected devices.
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3d ago
       

Less is more: Why the Olympics broadcast beats online

With an event as sprawling as the Olympics, sometimes the straight-up linear TV broadcast is best, even if you're watching that online. Watching NBC's broadcast doesn't necessarily mean watching with an antenna or cable TV set-top box, since�the network also offers an online "enhanced view" of its broadcast. Even if NBC's broadcast couldn't cover everything live, you can count on it for a taste of the 102 events in 15 sports that make up this year's Winter Olympics.
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4d ago
       

Medical examiner taps DNA science to find missing persons

Medical examiner collects DNA samples to help families find remains of missing loved ones across the country NEW YORK -- For families who have searched years for missing loved ones, donating a sample of their DNA is often a last, desperate act to confirm their worst fears. New York City's medical examiner is leading a nationwide effort to collect genetic material and match it with unidentified human remains. The New York City medical examiner's office has been a pioneer in advanced DNA techniques since 9/11, when it was tasked with using genetic evidence to identify and sort tens of thousands of small pieces of human remains found in the rubble of the World Trade Center.
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5d ago
       

Only On AP: Puck, player tracking being tested at Olympics

Puck and player tracking is being tested in the Olympic men's and women's hockey tournaments in what could be the next step in that technology making it to the NHL GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Finland players looked at the numbers and laughed. At these Olympics, data on speed, acceleration, stopping, distance traveled, shift lengths and ice time is available to teams in what could be the next step for puck and player tracking across hockey, including the NHL. Unlike the NHL, iPads and other electronic devices aren't allowed on benches in international play, but if and when they are, the data could be available in real time for coaches and players to evaluate.
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7d ago
       

Facebook forges ahead with kids app despite expert criticism

NEW YORK -- Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids, despite child experts who have pressed the company to shut it down and others who question Facebook's financial support of some advisers who approved of the app. "We sometimes provide funding to cover programmatic or logistics expenses, to make sure our work together can have the most impact," Facebook said in a statement, adding that many of the organizations and people who advised on Messenger Kids do not receive financial support of any kind. Facebook didn't invite prominent critics, such as the nonprofit Common Sense Media, to advise it on Messenger Kids until the process was nearly over.
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1w ago
       

Indictment: Social media firms got played by Russian agents

The election-interference indictment brought by Robert Mueller, the U. S. special counsel, underscores how thoroughly social-media companies like Facebook and Twitter were played by Russian propagandists. Thirteen Russians, including a businessman close to Vladimir Putin, were charged Friday in a plot to interfere in the 2016 U. S. presidential election through social media propaganda. The indictment confirms earlier findings from congressional investigations that Russian agents manipulated social media to promote social division by mimicking grassroots political activity.
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1w ago
       

Stars of the Olympics are changing the sponsorship game

But in the age of social media, athletes are making a name for themselves on social media and elsewhere before their event even occurs NEW YORK -- A gold medal used to be the golden ticket for lucrative endorsements - think Mary Lou Retton on a Wheaties box. "The more medals, the more coverage, the more salient these people are" for endorsement consideration, said Will Davie, a group strategy director at Droga5, an ad agency that has worked with athletes such as Michael Phelps. Peter Carlisle, who oversees the Olympics and Action Sports division at the marketing firm Octagon, said it's too early to tell exactly how performance on and off the Olympic stage will translate to endorsement dollars, but social media is a big factor.
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1w ago
       

UK blames Russian military for 'malicious' cyberattack

LONDON -- Britain blamed the Russian government on Thursday for a cyberattack that hit businesses across Europe last year, accusing Moscow of "weaponizing information" in a new kind of warfare. Foreign Minister Tariq Ahmad said "the U. K. government judges that the Russian government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyberattack of June 2017. "Danish defense minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen said intelligence agencies in Britain, Denmark and elsewhere had uncovered the Russian responsibility.
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1w ago
       

Critics wary as Google's Chrome begins an ad crackdown

The move, which Google first floated back in June, is ostensibly aimed at making online advertising more tolerable by flagging sites that run annoying ads such as ones that auto-play video with sound. Google's effort focuses on 12 ad formats criticized by a group called the Coalition for Better Ads, whose members include Google, Facebook, News Corp. and the News Media Alliance, which represents 2,000 newspapers in the U. S. and Canada. More recently, the News Media Alliance has urged Congress to look at how Google pressures media outlets to put stories in its "Accelerated Mobile Pages" format, which also tightly restricts ad formats and provides Google a new source of revenue in exchange for giving publishers favored treatment in search results.
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