Blogroll

Don’t Trust Your Money to an Online Bank That Isn’t FDIC Insured

How-To Geek - 1 hour 3 min ago

Robinhood, a popular investing app, just announced a checking account with 3% interest, and it’s already in hot water. Robinhood is just the latest app to want your paycheck and all your cash without providing insurance if the company fails.

FDIC insurance is pretty simple. Bank balances up to $250,000 are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which is backstopped by the US government. The FDIC was created in 1933 during the Great Depression to restore Americans’ faith in the banking system that had just failed. Since then, it has never failed to pay up. Whenever an FDIC-insured bank goes out of business, the FDIC steps in and makes sure you get every last cent of your money. No one has lost a penny of an FDIC insured bank account in 85 years.

But now some technology startups think they don’t need FDIC insurance on their banking products. After all, what are the odds a startup will go out of business?

Companies don’t normally fall flat on their face like Robinhood does. Robinhood announced that its new checking and savings product would be insured by the SIPC. That’s the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, a private organization that insures investments. The very next day, the head of the SIPC said he had serious concerns and didn’t think the money is protected by the SIPC. Robinhood would not comment publicly on his comments.

In other words, if Robinhood goes out of business, you could lose all the money in your Robinhood “bank account.” Do you really want to depend on a startup not going out of business?

Robinhood is just the latest example, but there are others. Square Cash wants you to deposit your paycheck into its app. But Square Cash doesn’t provide FDIC insurance for all the money you store there, as Walt Mossberg pointed out on Twitter. Until Square Cash gets that FDIC insurance it’s pursuing, you should avoid using it as a bank account. It’s a great app for sending money to people, but don’t keep all your money in it.

I’m a fan of the company and gave the app a rave review when it launched (https://t.co/9frjhdFZys). I still use it. My beef is that its latest feature tempts people to store their entire paychecks in an unregulated company outside the direct FDIC system. That’s risky to me.

— Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) March 8, 2018

Read the remaining 7 paragraphs

Categories: IT General, Technology

J&J shares nosedive on report company knew of asbestos in baby powder

Health News (Reuters) - 1 hour 13 min ago
Shares of Johnson & Johnson tumbled 12 percent on Friday and were on track to post their biggest percentage drop in more than 16 years, after Reuters reported that the pharma major knew for decades that cancer-causing asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder.
Categories: Health

Of course Netflix's new 'watch that scene again' feature pops up during 'Shrek'

Mashable - 1 hour 26 min ago

OK, let's talk Shrek. 

Right after Shrek and Donkey experience the highly interactive "Duloc Song" upon their arrival in Lord Farquaad's kingdom, Donkey says, "Let's do that again!" And now, if you agree with Donkey, you can do that again with just a click.

Per TIME, Netflix is testing a feature that prompts users to "watch that scene" (or song) again after what it's deemed memorable sequences. People are already starting to notice it pop up in films like Dumplin' and Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. It's unclear how Netflix chooses which scenes are eligible for the feature, but TIME theorizes that it does so based on individual data. Read more...

More about Twitter, Netflix, Shrek, Culture, and Web Culture
Categories: IT General, Technology

A storm is brewing among video game stores. Here's what it means.

Mashable - 1 hour 27 min ago

Early in December, Fortnite developer Epic Games launched an online video game store. On Friday, voice and text chat app Discord revealed it will launch its own online store in 2019.

Both companies are undoubtedly aiming to take on Steam, and the way that they're doing that could mean great things for everybody. Well, everybody except Steam.

SEE ALSO: The best video games of 2018

Steam, developer by Valve Corporation, has been the dominant digital marketplace for video games for over a decade, and since it first began offering third-party developers to sell games on its platform in 2005, it has basically had no competition. Thus, Steam has been able to operate on the precedent that it takes 30% of revenue of all sales, because they are publishing the games after all, only recently announcing they'd drop their share down a bit if games make tens of millions of dollars (which is not super common outside of the biggest games of the year). Read more...

More about Steam, Epic Games, Discord, Entertainment, and Gaming
Categories: IT General, Technology

Irish regulator probes Facebook after it discloses bug

Technology News (Reuters) - 1 hour 28 min ago
An Irish regulator said on Friday it had launched an investigation into Facebook Inc after the company disclosed a bug that may have exposed private photos of up to 6.8 million users, the latest in a series of Facebook privacy glitches.
Categories: Technology

Every part of this fully functional electric motorbike was 3D printed

Mashable - 1 hour 30 min ago

BigRep's NOWlab built an electric motorcycle that, excluding the electrical components, consists purely of 3D-printed parts. The e-bike, NERA, was designed by Marco Mattia Cristofori and Maximilian Sedlak and NOWlab's co-founder, Daniel Büning, directed the project. As Mashable has previously reported, NERA is not for sale, but it is a use case that highlights what can be achieved using BigRep's large-scale 3D printers and demonstrates the current state-of-the-art in additive manufacturing. Read more...

More about Mashable Video, Electric Vehicles, Motorbike, Motorcycle, and Electric Bike
Categories: IT General, Technology

102-year-old great-grandma skydives 14,000 feet for charity

Mashable - 1 hour 31 min ago

Skydiving is on a lot of people's bucket lists. Well, it was also on Irene O’Shea's, but she decided to use the experience in the name of charity. The 102-year-old aimed to raise awareness and money for motor neurone disease, which took the life of her daughter years ago. This is the third time O' Shea has jumped out of plane with the help of SA Skydiving, and she's just as cool about it. They say this jump officially makes her the world's oldest skydiver! You can learn more about the charity and event here. Read more...

More about Mashable Video, Charity, Skydiving, Grandmother, and Social Good
Categories: IT General, Technology

Game Over: Nintendo is Discontinuing the NES and SNES Classic

How-To Geek - 1 hour 39 min ago

Oh boy. If you’ve been pondering picking up one of Nintendo’s Classic consoles—the NES Classic or SNES Classic—you may want to pull the trigger on that decision soon. After the holidays, Nintendo will stop selling both.

If you followed the NES Classic drama at all, you probably remember that Nintendo sold out of the console pretty damn quickly when it was first released. At that point, it was almost impossible to buy one without spending the insane price resellers were asking. Nintendo seemed to have learned its lesson during that debacle because the re-released NES Classic and SNES Classic both had plenty of stock available.

But as they say, all good things must come to an end. While there isn’t a firm date on when we can expect Nintendo to stop producing these consoles, it probably won’t last very long into 2019 (if at all), so now’s the time to buy if there ever was one. Otherwise, you’ll have to pick up a Switch and buy into Nintendo Online. Or, you know, roll your own retro gaming machine.

via The Verge

Categories: IT General, Technology

Facebook's lead EU regulator opens probe into data breach

Technology News (Reuters) - 1 hour 41 min ago
Facebook's lead regulator in the European Union, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), on Friday began an investigation into a number of breach notifications received from the social networking site.
Categories: Technology

Discord Steps Up to Epic and Steam Game Stores with a 90/10 Developer Split

How-To Geek - 1 hour 57 min ago

Recently Fortnite publisher Epic made a splash in the world of PC gaming by introducing its own game store, with a competitive 88% share of profits going to developers. Now Discord is going one better with an even more generous split.

Discord is best known as a game-focused chat and VOIP app, but the company has been selling indie games on its own digital storefront for a few months as well. The company announced today on its blog that, beginning next year, the store will give a full 90% of the price of games directly to developers. That beats Steam’s 70/30 split by a huge margin and steals the thunder from Epic, which has been wooing independent and mid-sized developers to its newer store at a steady pace.

Discord was forthright in its announcement, saying that it needs only 10% of a game’s price to cover operating costs…an implicit condemnation of Steam’s more profitable pricing model.

So, we asked ourselves a few more questions. Why does it cost 30% to distribute games? Is this the only reason developers are building their own stores and launchers to distribute games?

Turns out, it does not cost 30% to distribute games in 2018. After doing some research, we discovered that we can build amazing developer tools, run them, and give developers the majority of the revenue share.

With hundreds of millions of gamers already using Discord’s communication tools instead of many PC games’ built-in chat systems and growing use in more general communications applications, the company is well set up to gain a huge audience right away. That’s the same approach Epic is taking: Fortnite is its Trojan horse, allowing it to add a game store to software that’s already on a huge amount of gamer desktops.

2019 is shaping up to be a knock-down, drag-out price war to woo publishers and developers to the most lucrative storefront. Steam is still in the lead by an order of magnitude, but they’ll need to offer more money or see some of their biggest clients wander to friendlier alternatives.

Source: Discord via The Verge  

Categories: IT General, Technology

Pfizer's cut-price version of Avastin wins EU panel greenlight

Health News (Reuters) - 2 hours 2 min ago
A panel of European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday recommended approval for Pfizer Inc's Zirabev, a cheaper version to Roche Holding AG's leading cancer drug Avastin.
Categories: Health

Microsoft May Kill My People

How-To Geek - 2 hours 5 min ago

People hate My People. Rightfully so, as My People is just a waste of space that no one likes. You don’t have to interact with My People if you don’t want to, but now My People may be dying.

I’m talking about the My People Windows feature you may or may not know even exists—it was included as part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators update and is enabled by default on all new installations. The feature, which was supposed to be a sort of landing spot for all your favorite contacts so you can quickly interact with them…never really took off.

There are a few reasons for that—for one, My People never got any sort of third-party integration. So if you and everyone you know weren’t all-in on Microsoft’s services, it was pretty much useless. Otherwise, most users likely disabled the feature fairly quickly, only to forget that it ever existed in the first place. I’m definitely guilty of the latter.

Now, Microsoft is likely going to kill the feature. According to Windows enthusiast Albacore, who finds all sorts of Windows goodies (and, um, baddies?) before most other users, the My People feature shows a deprecation notice in the 19H1 Insider Build. He goes on to say that this is a “shame,” because My People had “interesting engineering.”

In upcoming 19H1 Insider builds, the People Bar will show a deprecation notice. It’s a shame to see something like this with rather interesting engineering behind it kick the bucket.

— Albacore (@thebookisclosed) December 13, 2018

Pretty typical Microsoft, though, right? Put a bunch of engineering behind an idea that no one ends up using (mostly due to poor execution) only to kill the feature some months later. Sigh.

via Thurrott

Categories: IT General, Technology

Robinhood's checking plan could face regulatory scrutiny

Technology News (Reuters) - 2 hours 8 min ago
Financial technology startup Robinhood could face scrutiny by U.S. regulators over statements that its new checking and savings accounts are insured by an industry-backed protection fund.
Categories: Technology

Facebook bug gave developers access to photos you never meant to share

Mashable - 2 hours 20 min ago

It's a Friday, people, which means there's more bad news from Facebook.

Facebook disclosed a data breach on Friday that affected 6.8 million users. The trouble once again came from the connectivity of third party apps. Facebook says it is "sorry this happened."

SEE ALSO: Facebook fined £500K for 'serious breaches' of data protection law

From September 13-25 of this year, developers had access to Facebook users' photos that they never had permission to see. Typically, apps should only be able to access photos in users' timelines. But while the bug was active, apps had access to photos in people's stories and photos they'd uploaded to Marketplace. Read more...

More about Facebook, Photos, Data Breach, Tech, and Social Media Companies
Categories: IT General, Technology

Ryan Reynolds hilariously reveals the very real secret process behind his gin

Mashable - 2 hours 28 min ago

Ryan Reynolds is a man of many talents. He acts, he posts comical tweets, and he even has his own brand of gin called Aviation Gin.

How the heck does a man so busy have time to make gin? Well, in a new video Reynolds lets us all in on the gin-making process, even disclosing his secret ingredient: tears.

According to Reynolds, the distillers begin the process at 4:00 a.m. with four full hours of silent mediation followed by some bizarre citrus fruit maintenance. They individually apologize to each berry before "beating the living hell out of them" to create a smooth, refined finish. And finally, Sarah McLachlan serenades the crate of gin before they ship off. Read more...

More about Ryan Reynolds, Web Culture, Aviation Gin, Culture, and Web Culture
Categories: IT General, Technology

NASA probe speeds through the sun's atmosphere, captures scorching photo of Mercury

Mashable - 2 hours 43 min ago

NASA's Parker Solar Probe recently dove deeper into the sun's atmosphere than any spacecraft before. And it has the photos to prove it. 

Launched four months ago, the heavily-shielded probe — an exploration craft that will swoop progressively closer to the sun over the next six years — came within 16.9 million miles of the sun's surface when it captured this orange-tinged image on November 8. 

Here, the probe was well inside the sun's corona, or outer atmosphere, a difficult-to-visit place that's still largely a mystery to astronomers. 

The dominant part of the scene is a horizontal bright streak emanating from the sun. On November 8, the probe approached this beam of energized particles, called a "coronal streamer," that had been blasted out from our medium-sized star. Read more...

More about Space, Nasa, Science, Space Photos, and Sun
Categories: IT General, Technology

Doctors struggle to help older gun owners

Health News (Reuters) - 3 hours 6 min ago
(Reuters Health) - Doctors who work with seniors are grappling with ways to prevent gun-related suicides and accidents, often among gun-owning older patients with dementia or depression, according to a recent review article.
Categories: Health

Facebook discovers bug that may have affected up to 6.8 million users

Technology News (Reuters) - 3 hours 6 min ago
Facebook Inc said on Friday it has discovered a bug that may have affected up to 6.8 million people who used Facebook login to grant permission to third-party apps to access photos.
Categories: Technology

Vapers inhale lower levels of toxins than smokers

Health News (Reuters) - 3 hours 8 min ago
(Reuters Health) - Vapers inhale significantly lower levels of toxic chemicals than smokers of traditional cigarettes, a new study suggests.
Categories: Health
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