Airbnb agrees to let California watch for racist hosts

Airbnb signs agreement with California to allow regulators to audit hosts for racial discrimination

As part of Airbnb’s ongoing work to combat discrimination, Airbnb and the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing today announced that the two parties have entered into a voluntary agreement that will help fight bias and discrimination and help ensure all consumers have access to listings offered on the home sharing platform. Created after more than ten months of collaborative work between the agency and Airbnb, the voluntary agreement builds on Airbnb’s comprehensive review authored by Laura W. Murphy, a longtime civil rights leader and former ACLU executive, in consultation with former Attorney General Eric Holder and notable civil rights organizations.

“Fighting discrimination is fundamental to our mission and we are committed to creating a community that is open to everyone,” said Airbnb General Counsel Rob Chesnut. “Our work with the State of California builds on our ongoing efforts to fight bias and we look forward to continuing to work with state leaders to ensure the Airbnb community is fair for everyone.”

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Microsoft reports $23.6 billion in Q3 2017 revenue: Azure up 93%, Surface down 26%, and Windows up 5%

Microsoft's Surface revenues lower than expected due to both lack of product refresh and competition from its OEM partners

Microsoft Corp. today announced the following results for the quarter ended March 31, 2017:

- Revenue was $22.1 billion GAAP, and $23.6 billion non-GAAP
- Operating income was $5.6 billion GAAP, and $7.1 billion non-GAAP
- Net income was $4.8 billion GAAP, and $5.7 billion non-GAAP
- Diluted earnings per share was $0.61 GAAP, and $0.73 non-GAAP

“Our results this quarter reflect the trust customers are placing in the Microsoft Cloud,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer at Microsoft. “From large multi-nationals to small and medium businesses to non-profits all over the world, organizations are using Microsoft’s cloud platforms to power their digital transformation.”

Friday, April 28, 2017

Uber finally lets you delete your account

Uber now lets users delete accounts without contacting support, adds new privacy features for notifications, location sharing

Making the Uber app simple and easy to use is always on our mind. And when it comes to protecting your information, it’s not only important to know your options but also how to use them.

Today, we’re announcing new and improved controls in one place inside the app to give riders more choice and control over the information they share with Uber. Simple explanations accompany each control to help you understand when information is shared with us and how it’s used.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see a new Privacy Settings menu in the app to help make these controls easy to find in one place.

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Google opens up Classroom so anyone can now become a teacher

Google opens up Classroom, its learning suite, to anyone with a Google account, expanding it beyond G Suite users

Technology makes learning possible anytime, anywhere. Learners aren’t always sitting in a classroom, and educators aren’t always lecturing at a chalkboard. That’s why last month we made Google Classroom available to users without G Suite for Education accounts. Now, using a personal Google account, teachers and learners in many different settings can teach or attend classes, manage assignments, and instantly collaborate.

Starting today, users can do more than join classes—they can create them, too. Over the past few weeks, teachers and students have been piloting this new feature, and they’ve already created some great new classes for adult education, hobbies, and after school programs. Below we’ll share some of these classes with you.

Anbox: Allowing Users To Develop Android Apps On Linux

Being able to develop Android applications on a Linux operating system is something that developers have been working on for a while. In the past, attempts such as Shashlik, have been unsuccessful, but that may be about to change. The lead software engineer at Canonical thinks that he may have cracked it. Simon Fels has been working on the project since 2015, and it is about ready to be released.

The general idea behind Anbox was to take the Android operating system, contain it, and transfer it over to the Linux operating system. It won’t give you any access to the hardware, it will instead act in the same way that an emulator does. This means that, at the moment, the functionality is limited, but developers are working on widening the scope. The eventual goal is to be able to use Linux to develop apps with all of the same possibilities that you get with Android. The developers have run into a lot of obstacles over the last few years, but now they are at a point where they can release an early version.

Where Are We Now?

Currently, the open-source application has been through various functional testing types and is holding up fairly well. It is only in its pre-alpha stage so there are naturally going to be some hiccups. You can expect crashes and bugs, but you will still be able to develop apps with it.

In its current state, Anbox can only emulate the input, audio and display functions of the Android operating system. That means that if you want to develop an app that relies on hardware such as the camera, you won’t be able to run it properly.

Some companies have already started using this primitive version of Anbox to develop apps, but they are keeping the details quite close to their chest.

What Is The Next Step?

Moving forward, Canonical have said that their main priority is to iron out any glitches in the pre-alpha version so that Anbox runs a lot more smoothly. From here, they are going to look into increasing the functionality, so that developers can create apps that rely on hardware that they cannot currently build with. Once this is achieved, Anbox will allow users to develop apps on Linux with all of the features of software that was created on the Android platform itself.

The creators of Anbox hope that by bridging the gap between the two operating systems, they can increase the size of the Android developer’s community by making it far easier to create apps. Being able to run Android software on Linux will negate the need to code two separate applications, making it far less time consuming to create cross-platform apps.

However, some people argue that Anbox isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Its utility has been called into question, as mobile apps are designed to be run on mobile, and desktop apps on a computer. Is there really as much demand for this as people say there is? Another issue that people have is the fact that Anbox is focussed on Linux. It might be more useful if we were able to port Android to Microsoft instead.
The future of Anbox is up in the air at the moment, but it could revolutionize the way that apps are developed.

Facebook will suggest more articles for you to read in News Feed

Facebook shows Related Articles and fact checkers before you open links

Facebook: One of our main goals is to support an informed community on Facebook. This includes helping people have conversations about the news and giving people more ways to see a more complete picture of a story or topic.

This work is important to us, so we’re building new products and exploring ways to improve our existing ones. In 2013, we launched Related Articles to help people discover new articles they may find interesting about the same topic. These articles appear in News Feed after people read an article.

Today, we’re beginning to test Related Articles that might appear before you read an article shared in News Feed. These additional articles, which appear for topics many people are talking about on Facebook, will appear in a unit below the link. That should provide people easier access to additional perspectives and information, including articles by third-party fact-checkers.

T-Mobile adds another 1.1M customers, quarterly profits surge 48% to nearly $700M

T-Mobile reports net income of $698M, up 46% YoY, and says it gained 914K post-paid customers in Q1, amid Verizon's loss of 289K post-paid customers 

T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) celebrates its 4th year as a public company with another incredible quarter where it expects to lead the industry in customer and financial growth. In addition, the 600 MHz auction results represent a major milestone for T-Mobile, enabling the Un-carrier to bring real choice and competition to wireless customers in every part of the United States.

In Q1 2017, we added 1.1 million total customers, marking four straight years of adding more than 1 million every quarter. In addition, we added 798,000 branded postpaid phone customers in the quarter and expect to capture over 250% of the industry's postpaid phone growth. The continued success at MetroPCS, the industry’s #1 prepaid brand, helped deliver 386,000 prepaid net additions. As result of the strong customer growth, we grew service revenues by 11% year-over-year in Q1 2017, in a quarter where all of our peers are expected to show declines. This level of consistent outperformance continues to distinguish T-Mobile from the competition, and our outlook for 2017 shows that we plan to continue producing strong customer and financial growth.

"We’ve been beating up on the competition for over 4 years now while making wireless better for consumers," said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. "Q1 was no different with T-Mobile again producing the best customer and financial growth in the industry. Add to that our recent success in the 600 MHz spectrum auction and it’s clear we’re just getting started!"

Google introduces the Yi Halo VR camera that can capture 8K 3D 360 degree videos at 30 fps

Xiaomi-backed Yi Technology debuts Yi Halo, a $17K 17-camera VR rig made in partnership with Google that can shoot stereoscopic video in 8K resolution at 30FPS  

Virtual reality video lets you experience the world in amazing ways—it can put you in the front row for your favorite band, take you on the field during the championship game, or bring you under the sea to explore coral reefs. However, VR filmmakers still face challenges bringing their stories to the world—cameras are bulky, post-production is time-intensive, and each step can be difficult and expensive.

To enable more great VR films, today we're introducing the next generation Jump camera— the YI HALO—and Jump Start, a program to get Jump cameras into the hands of more filmmakers than ever before.

We launched Jump in 2015 to simplify VR video production at every step from capture to playback. The Jump team partners with top camera manufacturers to build professional, high-quality VR cameras. Footage from those cameras runs through the Jump Assembler, which uses sophisticated computer vision algorithms and the computing power of Google's data centers to create 3D 360 video. Amazing VR videos have been made with Jump, such as The New York Times’ Great Performers collection, Within’s “The Possible” series, the NFL Immersed series, and Wevr’s “Internet Surfer” video.

Microsoft announces new application for HR organizations powered by LinkedIn

Microsoft says it will start integrating Dynamics 365 for Sales with LinkedIn's Sales Navigator in July and announces new HR app called Dynamics 365 for Talent

You don’t have to look far to find companies that are disrupting their industries by applying software and technology to transform customer experiences, improve operations and create new opportunities.

As the rate of disruption increases, customers are looking to transform the very nucleus of their companies – the business processes and systems used to run operations, connect with customers and manage teams – to drive better business outcomes. But many of those systems, particularly the CRM and ERP systems of the past, are siloed, complicated and outdated. The result: Customers are slowed down by fragmented, disconnected and unintelligent business applications that don’t give them a holistic view of their business.

We believe there is a better way. Last July we introduced Dynamics 365, powered by Microsoft Azure, turning what was rigid and disconnected into a set of intelligent cloud services that allow any business to start small with just what it needs, scale on demand as its needs grow and add additional solutions as its needs change. With Dynamics 365 we deliver modern, intelligent experiences and services that connect all the data across your enterprise to help you make better, faster decisions and achieve optimal outcomes.

Since then we’ve seen customers like HP, AccuWeather, Ecolab, Helsana and the Renault Sports Formula One Team transform their businesses using Dynamics 365. Today we’re excited to share the new capabilities our teams have been working on and how they can help you transform your business.

Read more's CEO is ‘heartbroken’ that users are upset their data was sold to Uber CEO says it's “heartbreaking” that users are upset sold their anonymized email data to Uber

Our users are the heart of our company and service. So it was heartbreaking to see that some of our users were upset to learn about how we monetize our free service.

And while we try our best to be open about our business model, recent customer feedback tells me we weren’t explicit enough.

Sure we have a Terms of Service Agreement and a plain-English Privacy Policy that our users agree they have read and understand before they even sign up, but the reality is most of us -
myself included - don't take the time to thoroughly review them.

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