The Next Web
Original and proudly opinionated perspectives for Generation T
AirPods can damage your hearing — here’s how Apple could prevent it

I want you to pause for a moment and think about how much time you spent listening to music today. Maybe it’s 30 minutes? Or an hour? According to Nielsen Music, on average, Americans now spend just slightly more than 32 hours a week listening to music — that’s approximately 4.5 hours per day. Now, I want you to think about how often you’ve noticed that your music is too loud. According to a study in 2019, many of you will probably answer never. Without much awareness of the music volume for that many hours[..]

Online marketing is always changing. Stay current with this $29.99 training collection.

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For under $20, let the true Excel experts show you how to master Microsoft’s popular software

When you’re talking business numbers, that conversation usually starts with Microsoft Excel. Whether you’re a little hazy on the world’s premier spreadsheet and data analysis tool or even just trying to figure it out for the first time, The Complete Excel Pro Tip Certification Bundle ($19, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals) serves as a comprehensive insider’s guide.

The forgotten woman who discovered the greenhouse effect

When did we first realize that we had the potential to warm our planet’s climate? You could go all the way back to 1827, when French mathematician Joseph Fourier calculated that the atmosphere, somehow, was keeping the planet warm like a blanket. Or you could go as late as 1938 when British engineer Guy Stewart Callendar gathered data for the first time to show that the Earth was already getting warmer in line with emissions. But over the last decade, a new answer has come to light: 1856. That’s when amateu[..]

Facebook and Zuckerberg keep getting ‘freedom of expression’ wrong

Last week, Facebook reaffirmed its hands-off approach to political ads, saying it won’t ban them, won’t fact-check them, and won’t limit how granularly they can be targeted. Under siege, Facebook has continued to defend this stance by trying to position the tech giant is a bastion of free speech. Whether in his testimony to Congress last October or his 2020 resolutions post last week, Zuckerberg has sought to frame the question of advertising as one of “free expression.” And in what was positioned as a land[..]

Animals use some wild tricks to survive bushfires

Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from over, and the cost to wildlife has been epic. A sobering estimate has put the number of animals killed across eastern Australia at 480 million – and that’s a conservative figure. But let’s look at some uplifting facts: how animals survive[..]

Microsoft Access can change the way you work with data. Master it for $30

The Ultimate Microsoft Access Mastery Bundle ($29.99, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals) can help open your eyes to the power of databases and what they can mean to your daily workflow as well as your professional future.

How to enable 144Hz (or higher) on your expensive gaming monitor

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. You just blew your pockets empty on a flashy new monitor. You eagerly awaited its delivery, tore through the boxes like a savage, and rushed to set it up immediately. You swiftly load up your favorite game, excited for a new high FPS experience. But there’s something wrong. “WTF,” you exclaim, “things look exactly the same.” Does that sound familiar? Well, in that case, y[..]

Life will soon be like ‘Her’ — and we’ll fall in love with AI

With each passing day, we’re using artificial intelligence for a variety of purposes and jobs. It has penetrated almost every industry and is helping them become innovative, develop authentic tools, and build strategies towards a sustainable future. Researchers are eagerly exploring new use cases of artificial intelligence that have the power to radically transform societies around us. But as we develop intelligence artificially, will be there a room for this AI to rewire us as humans? Artificial intelligen[..]

Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto reign supreme on list of decade’s top 10 games

We know what American gamers have been buying the most over the last few years, and it probably won’t surprise you that Call of Duty tops the list. But it’s Rockstar‘s magnum opus, Grand Theft Auto V, that takes the cake. US NPD SW – 2010-2019 Top 10 Sellers – Grand Theft Auto V was the best-selling game of the decade. — Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) January 16, 2020 The NPD group released their list of the US’s top best-selling games of the 2010-2019 decade, and it’s interestin[..]

Why using AI to screen job applicants is almost always a bunch of crap

Millions of potential employees are subjected to artificial intelligence screenings during the hiring process every month. While some systems make it easier to weed out candidates who lack necessary educational or work qualifications, many AI hiring solutions are nothing more than snake oil. Thousands of companies around the world rely on outside businesses to provide so-called intelligent hiring solutions. These AI-powered packages are advertised as a way to narrow job applicants down to a ‘cream of the cr[..]

Horizon Zero Dawn needs to be the first of many PS4 exclusives on PC

Rumor has it that Horizon Zero Dawn is about to become the first 1st-party PlayStation 4 exclusive game to make the jump to PC. Here’s hoping that, if it’s true, this rumor hopefully presages a closer relationship between PlayStation and PC… or, you know, any relationship at all. This rumor comes from a Kotaku report, which cites anonymous sources familiar with the plans. Granted, it is just a rumor at this point, but given that we’ve already seen Death Stranding coming to PC, it sounds at least somewhat pl[..]

Huawei P40 Pro leak shows off superzoom lens and reserved ceramic design

With this year’s first batch of flagship phones right around the corner, the leaks are ramping up. Today’s victim: the Huawei P40 Pro. Ever-reliable leaker Evan Blass got his hands on some renders of the phone, matching up with earlier photos of the device in the wild. The leaked device appears to come in white and black options made from ceramic – notably more restrained than the multitude of gradient colorways we’ve seen from Huawei in the past (though I’m sure there will be some of those too). Ceramic is[..]

Bitcoin fans just turned their Tesla car into a full node

Tesla cars are capable of a lot, from self-driving, smart summoning, and automatic parking — but what about running Bitcoin? As it turns out, they can do that too. Cryptocurrency fans have shared video footage of a Tesla car’s onboard computer system operating as a Bitcoin full node. Downloading full blocks to this @Tesla — bcoin (@Bcoin) January 16, 2020 [Read: Accidental Tesla ‘butt dial’ upgrade highlights confusing future of car maintenance] This is possible thanks to the Bcoi[..]

Thailand launches probe into $2.46M cryptocurrency pyramid ‘scam’

Cryptocurrency investors who fell for an alleged pyramid scheme that resulted in losses of more than $2.46 million (THB75 million) have asked Thailand‘s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) to investigate. According to the Bangkok Post, the cryptocurrency project, known as “Khung Nong Cryptocurrency Trading,” became famous in parts of the country in 2018. The scheme allegedly promised maximum returns of 8 percent per week, attracting individuals from Krabi, Trang, Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat who sold[..]

Oscar-nominated ‘1917’ leaks in massive screener dump

It only hit theaters in December, but Sam Mendes‘ epic war flick 1917 has already leaked on the internet. The World War I-themed movie, which clinched a Golden Globe award for best movie and secured 10 Oscar nominations earlier this week, was one of six film releases leaked in a massive screener dump over the past 24 hours, TorrentFreak reports. This brings the total number of leaked screeners in 2020 to 16, which is a significant increase compared to an all-time low in 2019. For those unfamiliar, screeners[..]

Marley added noise-canceling to its Exodus headphones and I adore them

I had the pleasure of trying out Marley’s Exodus wireless over-ear headphones last May. Despite not being the best-sounding cans I’ve ever used, they got plenty of use simply because of how stylish and comfortable they are. The company has updated that model with active noise-canceling (ANC) chops, Bluetooth 5.0 for better wireless connectivity, a padded headband, and a sleek new black finish. It also costs $50 bucks more. That pits the revamped Exodus headphones against some formidable contenders. I spent [..]

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Cloud administrator positions have risen over 25% the past five years, and you can get in on the expanding field now with the right background, like the coursework in The Essential Cloud and Networking Certification Training Bundle. Right now, it’s $39.99, over 90 percent off, from TNW Deals.

Craft brilliant web pages with no coding experience using this super simple software

Blocs 3 may be one of the best examples of a web design app with a foot in both camps, especially for Mac users. Right now, you can check out the web creation versatility of Blocs 3 for yourself with this deal shaving 60 percent off the price, just $39.99 from TNW Deals.

Google’s new AI language model can comprehend entire books

One of the prime challenges of a language-based AI model is to understand the context of the surrounding content. To solve this problem, Google has introduced a new model called Reformer, which understands the context of 1 million lines using just 16GB space. The company built this to solve problems of its old model Transformer — a neural network that compares words in a paragraph to each other to understand the relationship between them. Current models, support understanding of a few lines or paragraphs be[..]

VW knows it must become a tech company to compete with Tesla

German marque, and the world’s largest car maker by sales, Volkswagen (VW) appears to be wising up to the changing landscape of the automobile world. In a meeting with more than 100 company managers in Berlin this week, VW CEO Herbert Diess said that the company will have to “slaughter some sacred cows” and transform into a tech company if it’s to survive, the FT reports. In other words, VW is going to have to retire beloved vehicles in favor of greener alternatives. It seems that VW is growing increasingly[..]

Self-styled ‘coyote of Wall Street’ gets 33 months in prison for $224K crypto fraud

The operator of New-York based company CabbageTech has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to defrauding cryptocurrency investors in June last year. Patrick McDonnel, also known as Jason Flack, was also ordered to pay $224,352 in restitution fees. “Mr. McDonnell used his knowledge of virtual currencies to scam investors. While he thought he could outsmart law enforcement, his arrest, and today’s sentence shows, no matter where you are, what’s done in the dark will be brought [..]

Satoshi Nakaboto: ‘Bitcoin is now worth as much as McDonald’s’

Our robot colleague Satoshi Nakaboto writes about Bitcoin every fucking day. Welcome to another edition of Bitcoin Today, where I, Satoshi Nakaboto, tell you what’s been going on with Bitcoin in the past 24 hours. As Faraday used to say: Money makes the world go around! Bitcoin price We closed the day, January 16 2020, at a price of $8,723. That’s a minor 1.00 percent decline in 24 hours, or -$88.68. It was the lowest closing price in two days. We’re still 56 percent below Bitcoin‘s all-time high of $20,089[..]

This genius combined every macOS 10 wallpaper into a psychedelic masterpiece

I like to think that somewhere inside the bureaucratic labyrinth of Apple’s employee structure, there’s a single person with the world’s greatest job. Each year, they only have to do a single thing: Traverse the world and try to take a sick photo of a landscape for the latest macOS wallpaper. Does this job exist? Who knows, but I can dream. Anyway, one of the most fun (I use this term loosely) parts of new macOS releases is discovering what new photo they have as their backgrounds. You know, like the one th[..]

New Hampshire bill to allow taxes to be paid in Bitcoin falls short

No, New Hampshire residents won’t be able to pay their taxes in Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. Public records show that a bill filed this time last year, which would allow government agencies to accept digital assets for tax payments, has been shuttered. [Read: This Canadian town is letting residents pay taxes in Bitcoin] Had the plans gone ahead, the US state of New Hampshire would have theoretically been ready to begin accepting tax payments in cryptocurrency after July this year. Last November, the General C[..]

Pardon the Intrusion #9: Privacy or security?

Subscribe to this bi-weekly newsletter here! Welcome to the latest edition of Pardon The Intrusion, TNW’s bi-weekly newsletter in which we explore the wild world of security. We’re starting off with some good news for a change! California’s landmark Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is now in effect — although, it won’t actually kick in for another six months. CCPA is somewhat similar to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU. What the law effectively means is that it allows anyone in California [..]

WeWork can be salvaged — but its turnaround plan isn’t enough

Yes, it’s possible to bring WeWork, a company Scott Galloway called “a shitty business” with no defensible IP and no technology, back from the brink of death. We got a brief glimpse into how it might do so from Softbank’s Masa Son, but understandably, many pairs of eyes rolled at any suggestion that the venture fund that enabled WeWork’s bad capital-burning habits might have a magic fix. He was right though — the solutions are simple. They’re also extremely painful, brutal decisions that can’t be done in ha[..]

Xiaomi India spins off POCO — but no word on its next product

In 2018, Xiaomi launched its super-successful POCO F1 phone in India. The device was a tremendous hit amongst consumers by providing high-end specs at a sub-$300 price. After a long period of silence, Xiaomi India announced today it’s spinning off POCO into an independent sub-brand. Manu Jain, Xiaomi India managing director, said the company felt it was the right time to let POCO operate on its own: What started as a sub-brand in POCO has grown into its own identity in a short span of time. POCO F1 is an ex[..]

Shanghai is testing facial recognition at pharmacies to catch drug abusers

Every few days, China finds a new way to introduce facial recognition in people’s daily lives. According to a report from the South China Morning Post, Shanghai is testing face recognition terminals at pharmacies to catch folks attempting to buy controlled substances in substantial quantities, likely for resale. The report noted buyers of drugs containing sedatives and psychotropic substances will have to verify themselves through the terminal. The system will scan both pharmacists and buyers to prevent any[..]

Alphabet joins the trillion-dollar club

At last: Google‘s parent company, Alphabet, is now the fourth company in the US to attain a market value of more than $1 trillion, after Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. The company achieved this milestone just over a month after Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from their respective CEO and President positions at Alphabet (founded in 2015). Last December, Page handed the reins over to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, making him CEO of both Google and Alphabet. [Read: Pichai is a mistake] The h[..]

Facebook has reportedly shelved its plans to show ads on WhatsApp

Good news! Facebook is dropping its plans to show ads on its popular messaging service WhatsApp. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, WhatsApp disbanded the team working on integrating ads on to the platform recently; even the code related to the project was deleted from the app. When Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion, Mark Zuckerberg said the company won’t push to introduce ads in the chat app. In 2016, the social media giant began sharing some user data from WhatsApp to Faceboo[..]

Pardon the Intrusion #8: Location trackers

Subscribe to this bi-weekly newsletter here! Welcome to the latest edition of Pardon the Intrusion, TNW’s bi-weekly newsletter in which we explore the wild world of security. Owning a mobile phone today is an open invitation to be tracked by telecom firms and any company you grant permission to access your current whereabouts. Granted, this has its advantages. Giving, say, Google Maps permissions to your location can help you quickly plot the route to your next destination, or find interesting sights and re[..]

You can stream NBC Universal’s Peacock service for free

NBCUniversal today revealed details about its streaming service, Peacock. Up to now, we’ve only had hints about this, the (please let it be) final entrant in the streaming wars and how it’ll differentiate itself from its competitors. The biggest difference in this case is that you could actually stream Peacock for free. Timeless shows and movies. Exclusive originals. Plus timely news, sports and pop culture. Perch here for a sneak peek of it all and make sure you sign up for updates at[..]

Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed to September (thank goodness)

Vaunted game studio CD Projekt Red (CDPR) today revealed it would be delaying it’s much-anticipated RPG, Cyberpunk 2077, from this coming April to September 17. We have important news regarding Cyberpunk 2077’s release date we’d like to share with you today. — CD PROJEKT RED (@CDPROJEKTRED) January 16, 2020 This is far from the only game to be delayed so far this year. It’s becoming something of an epidemic. The Final Fantasy VII Remake was delayed from March to April, and the Ave[..]

AlphaZero beat humans at Chess and StarCraft, now it’s working with quantum computers

A team of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark let DeepMind‘s AlphaZero algorithm loose on a few quantum computing optimization problems and, much to everyone’s surprise, the AI was able to solve the problems without any outside expert knowledge. Not bad for a machine learning paradigm designed to win at games like Chess and StarCraft. You’ve probably heard of DeepMind and its AI systems. The UK-based Google sister-company is responsible for both AlphaZero and AlphaGo, the systems that beat the wor[..]

Smash Bros Ultimate to get 6 more fighters. Who the heck could they be?

We learned at today’s Nintendo Direct that Super Smash Bros Ultimate’s latest fighter is Byleth, the reserved player character from Fire Emblem Three Houses. And while that reveal sounds a little underwhelming, fear not: we’re getting six more character between now and December 2021. Who could they be? Nintendo revealed Byleth over the course of a 40-minute Direct, in which Masahiro Sakurai showed off their moves and basically appreciated the Fire Emblem series. They’re the fifth character in the first Figh[..]

Accidental Tesla ‘butt dial’ upgrade highlights confusing future of car maintenance

Upgrading an internal combustion engine vehicle typically requires the help of a mechanic or a visit to the car’s dealership. But with Tesla‘s over-the-air software updates the future of vehicle modifications looks very different. Earlier this week, author, scholar, statistician, and self-professed flâneur, Nassim Nicolas Taleb, tweeted about his interactions with Tesla after he accidentally upgraded his EV with his posterior. According to Taleb, he “butt dialed” the Tesla app and bought the $4,333 Full Sel[..]

If a Japanese billionaire farted in front of you, what would you say?

Back in 2018, SpaceX revealed its first passenger for a trip to the moon will be none other than Japanese entrepreneur and billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. The space voyage, which is slated to take place in 2023, has since generated quite a buzz. So much so, that a local streaming service has picked it up as a serious matchmaking documentary, dubbed Full Moon Lovers. As part of this reality TV extravaganza, Maezawa is hoping to find a female playmate to accompany him on this stellar journey. Today, Reuters repor[..]

A love letter to my entrancing Nintendo Switch

I wish I was a gamer, but that’s just not how it is. I couldn’t name the latest and most anticipated video games, I thought COD (Call of Duty) was a fishing game for an embarrassing amount of time, and, when playing Grand Theft Auto, I work as a legitimate taxi driver and don’t kill anyone. But there’s one gaming thing I’m absolutely sure of: the Nintendo Wii was way ahead of its time. All the way back in 2006, Nintendo was one of the first companies to make video games more interesting to people of all typ[..]

Why the extinction of mammoths may have forced us to invent civilization

Why did we take so long to invent civilization? Modern Homo sapiens first evolved roughly 250,000 to 350,000 years ago. But initial steps towards civilization – harvesting, then domestication of crop plants – began only around 10,000 years ago, with the first civilizations appearing 6,400 years ago. For 95 percent of our species’ history, we didn’t farm, create large settlements or complex political hierarchies. We lived in small, nomadic bands, hunting, and gathering. Then, something changed. We transition[..]

Don’t believe everything you read about AirPod sales

We can start this article with a fact: AirPods are incredibly popular. From there though, things start to get a little muddier. It’s pretty standard for Apple to not disclose sales figures, which means analyst firms have a tough job tracking the company. And one of the latest to put out a report is Strategy Analytics, who have looked at the tech giant’s progress with its true wireless earbuds. The report claims that Apple sold “nearly 60 million” AirPods in 2019, taking more than a 50 percent share of the g[..]

$1.4B in illicit Bitcoin was laundered via Binance and Huobi last year, report says

Blockchain researchers traced $2.8 billion in illicit Bitcoin believed to be laundered on cryptocurrency exchanges in 2019 — with over 50 percent ($1.4B) washed through major trading hubs Binance and Huobi. “Binance and Huobi lead all exchanges in illicit Bitcoin received by a significant margin,” said cryptocurrency analysis unit Chainalysis. “That may come as a surprise given that Binance and Huobi are two of the largest exchanges operating, and are subject to KYC regulations.” [Read: Greece suspends extr[..]

Artificial intelligence isn’t just sci-fi. Learn to use it yourself for under $40. 

Advances in AI and machine learning have everyday implications from Hollywood to your hometown and beyond, which is why resources like The Essential AI and Machine Learning Certification Training Bundle ($39.99, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals) can be a huge lift for anyone’s professional skill set.

Strava’s ‘Year in Sport’ highlights astounding human achievements

Welcome to Riding Nerdy, TNW’s fortnightly dive into bicycle-based tech, where we go into too much detail and geek out on all things related to pedal-powered gadgets. It’s that time of year when seemingly every tech company publishes a “year in review” where they look back at achievements made on their platform. This week was fitness app Strava’s turn when it released its Year in Sport review for 2019. One of the great things about Strava, security infringements aside, is how it casts a light on the sportin[..]

Save 50% now on the meal planning app that takes the guesswork out of dieting

Eat This Much is dedicated to the idea that meal planning in a way that aligns with your goals doesn’t have monopolize hours of your free time. You can check out the effectiveness of the Eat This Much Automatic Meal Planning program with this one-year subscription plan, currently half off the regular price, just $29 from TNW Deals.

Foxconn teams up with Nanox to make futuristic X-ray machines

Foxconn announced it has invested in Israel-based startup Nanox, to produce futurist and affordable X-ray machines. Apart from leading a round of $26 million investment, the Taiwanese company will also help with manufacturing these machines. The X-ray machine, called Nanox.arc, looks quite cool and only weighs around 70 kg. So, it’s very portable as compared to traditional X-ray machines that usually weigh a couple of hundred kilos Nanox said the idea is to make available where the traditional hospitals or [..]

Uzbekistan reportedly eyes national cryptocurrency mining pool

In an unusual move, Uzbekistan is reportedly looking to create a national cryptocurrency mining pool and digital asset exchange. One of the country’s government bodies, the National Agency for Project Management (NAPM), shared its plans at a press conference earlier this week, reports. [Read: An introduction to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining pools] According to the report, the country’s national cryptocurrency mining pool will incentivize domestic and foreign miners to work together. Min[..]

Microsoft’s camera-based AI app solves your math problems

Microsoft has made several quirky and useful apps that can help you with daily problems and its new app seeks to help you with math. Microsoft Math Solver — available on both iOS and Android — can solve various math problems including quadratic equations, calculus, and statistics. The app can also show graphs for the equation to enhance your understanding of the subject. [Read: Microsoft packs Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and PDF tools into one nifty app ] You can either type your query (formula) using a scient[..]

Google is making it easier to browse for clothes directly in Search

Google wants to make it easier for you to find your style and browse for clothes directly in Search. The company is releasing a revamped shopping experience that aims to bring a wide array of clothes in one place, where you can sort items by style, department, and size type, among other things. The new experience also gives users quick access to reviews to help them make a decision. [Read: How to simplify your shopping routine with these handy apps] Here’s what that will look like: To use the feature, simpl[..]

What science teaches us about breaking bad habits

It’s a new year and many people are in the mood for making a fresh start. And that often means giving something up (cigarettes, alcohol, junk food). Unfortunately, the odds of sticking with new year resolutions are not good. Come February, 80 percent of people will have given up giving up. So what can we learn from the 20 percent who make it? Some might just be lucky, but most – whether they realize it or not – will be using techniques based on scientific evidence. While you might feel you have little in co[..]