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28
Jun

Kindle’s Page Flip lets you skip between pages without losing your place


Amazon has introduced a new feature called Page Flip which will allow ebook readers to flip forwards and backwards between pages without losing their place. Page Flip automatically saves the page you’re reading, and pins it to the side of the screen while you flip through the other pages. You can also zoom out and get a birds-eye view of the book. 

It’s a particularly useful feature if you’re looking for specific pictures in a book, or if you’re flipping back and forth between a map and the story while reading something like Lord of the Rings. As long as the e-book you’re reading has it enabled, you’ll be able to use the feature. Compatible books will be marked “Page Flip: Enabled” in the features list. 

“Page Flip makes it easier than ever to refer back to pictures in a political memoir, flip back and forth between a map and your current page in an epic fantasy series, or find passages you’ve highlighted in an investing guide,” said Chuck Moore, vice president, Kindle. “With Page Flip, we’ve taken inspiration from how people read print books and improved upon it.”

The feature is available to download now as a free over-the-air software update for Kindle ebook readers, Fire tablets and the mobile app on iOS or Android. 

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28
Jun

Always wanted a Bose speaker? Now you can get your kids to build you one


Bose is looking to demystify the world of audio with BoseBuild, a build-it-yourself category of products that will let kids discover what goes into a speaker and figure out how it all works.

The BoseBuild kit is all about exploration, providing all the parts you need to find out how speakers work and what goes into them. The first product is the BoseBuild Speaker Cube, which Bose says is easy to build, with a smartphone companion app to guide you through the process. 

You don’t all end up with the same speaker, however, as you’ll be able to customise it with coloured LED lights and “silhouette covers”.

The end result is a Bose Bluetooth speaker, built for fun and giving kids a chance to learn something about the world around them, rather than just breaking it out of a box. It’s designed to be durable too and compatible with any number of Bluetooth phones or tablets.

The BoseBuild is the latest in a run of products looking to encourage and engage kids in technical topics by making them fun:

  • Kano offers a simple computer-building kit based around the Raspberry Pi, letting you build and code your own PC, complete with keyboard and mouse. 
  • Google Project Bloks is an initiative based around a toy kit which can be built and coded to get it to do different things. This is an open-source platform, designed to encourage others to make interactive educational toys.
  • Apple Swift Playgrounds app is designed to introduce children and beginners to coding on the iPad, helping them learn the open-source Swift programming language and make it creative and fun. It will launch alongside iOS 10 later in 2016. 

BoseBuild will cost $149 and is aimed at ages 8 and up. It looks pretty fun though, so we’re sure there will be plenty of big kids who want one too.

At internetmatters.org parents can find all the advice they will need to keep their children safe online. Designed specifically for parents, the site offers a wealth of up-to-date, unbiased information and advice about how to deal with online safety. Parents can learn about the latest issues and technologies, get great tips on how to talk about online safety with their children and get the best advice on dealing with issues and taking action. Created with experts, Internet Matters provides detailed information, but also signposts to best-in-class resources from individual expert organisations. Our goal is to ensure parents can always access the information that they need, in a format that is clear and concise.

28
Jun

How to make your bathroom smart


So there you are, standing in front of the bathroom mirror, brushing your teeth absent-mindedly and pondering the meaning of life. But with a small change you could make your bathroom smarter.

You could weigh yourself, wash yourself or even brush your teeth with connected gadgets. Here are some great options to turn your bathroom into a smart one.

Honeywell Lyric Wi-fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector

Leaks are serious business. The sooner you catch them, the better the chance of reducing the cost of repair and minimising damage. This neat gadget is simple to set up and connects directly to your home Wi-Fi.

If the cable sensor detects a leak, or for that matter a pipe that’s beginning to freeze, it notifies the Honeywell Lyric smartphone app and sounds an alarm with a 100dB buzzer. You can silence the alarm directly from the app.

It detects leaks and so on for the entire 4ft length of the cable and additional cables can be added, too. A small price to pay for peace of mind.

PRICE: $79.99 from yourhome.honeywell.com

Withings Smart Body Analyzer

Withings

Bathroom scales are no longer that wobbly platform which would deliver a better result if you kicked them round the bathroom floor enough. This set of scales lives up to the smart in its title: step on and it tells you your weight in kg, lbs or stones and lbs, with great accuracy.

If there’s more than one of you in the household it will recognise who you are and show a chart of your last five weigh-ins. Providing you’re not wearing socks, and it’s your bathroom so why would you be, it’ll put a gentle electric charge through you to measure how much of you is body fat.

It will then count your pulse, tell you today’s weather forecast and even check the air quality in the room. Because it’s wirelessly connected to the internet, it can save your weight and other stats so you can check trends over months or years via a website or smartphone app. This is seriously good smart tech.

PRICE: $149.95 from withings.com

Hydrao

Hydrao

This cute shower head gently encourages you to use less water. Coloured lights shine through the water as you clean yourself, and the more water you use, the more the colours change from green, to blue to mauve to red as your water consumption goes from under 10 litres to over 30 litres.

Hit 50 litres and it starts to flash red. The idea is that your usage is transmitted by Bluetooth to a smartphone app so you can see if you’re saving water, set up an in-house competition and so on.

The really clever thing is that the Hydrao doesn’t have a battery – the lights and Bluetooth activity are powered by the flow of the water!

PRICE: $99 from hydrao.fr

Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush

Oral B

Oral-B is out to help us to brush better with this latest Bluetooth-equipped brush. Sure, it will keep your pearly whites, er, pearly white with its efficient oscillating, rotating and pulsating while you brush.

Brushing effectively isn’t about brute force, especially with a powered brush. The Pro 5000 knows if you’re pressing too hard and lights up when you do.

It also sends this info to the smartphone app, so you can check your progress. The app records if you’ve brushed every day (though, frankly, isn’t that a given?) and for how long.

PRICE: $159.99 from Oralb.com

Philips Smart Shaver series 7000

Philips

No two face shapes are the same, so you need a personalised shaving experience, surely? That’s the thinking behind the smart shaver from Philips which works with a smartphone app to ensure you can get the best shave possible, specifically avoiding skin irritation from shaving.

The shaver itself records data and shares it with the app via Bluetooth. Then there are pre-emptive tips on the smartphone app, mostly to do with previous shaving routines and skin sensitivity.

The shaver can be configured to behave differently with three sensitive shave modes that can be chosen directly from the app.

PRICE: TBC from Philips.com

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet

Sony

The advent of waterproof gadgets means the bathroom is no longer off limits. Sony has been in the vanguard of wet-friendly tech and its latest tablet is slim, light and effective, with a gorgeous 10.1-inch screen.

So, you can check your emails while you shave or safely watch a movie or send a text message from the comfort of your bath. Now, isn’t that what technology has always been reaching for?

PRICE: $580 from Amazon.com

Kohler Moxie showerhead and wireless speaker

Kohler

Maybe you aren’t worried about how much water you use, but you might like some music while you shower. In which case, this showerhead has a built-in speaker so you can play music from your tablet or smartphone.

The speaker itself is a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker that sticks in place magnetically so you could slide it out to use in other rooms as well.

Just don’t forget to charge it before you start to clean yourself. If you do, you can always sing, we suppose.

PRICE: $199 from Kohler

The Honeywell Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector is an early warning system that notifies you on your smartphone when a leak is detected or the temperature drops below a temperature of your choice. By catching it early, you may be able to avoid expensive repairs and loss of treasured items. To find out more visit Honeywell.com

This article was created in association with Honeywell.


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28
Jun

Engadget giveaway: win a PowerCache 220 courtesy of Monoprice!


Whether you’re a glamping enthusiast or just a gadget-addicted park lover, you’ll need more than a simple battery pack to get through the day. It’s also the season for outdoor adventures, usually far from hardwired power sources, so Monoprice timed the release of its PowerCache 220 AC inverter well. This portable device, which launched today, can be juiced up from an outlet, a car lighter or the company’s soon-to-be-released 8- and 15-watt solar panels to provide enough juice for “a 30-watt fan for 10 hours or a 65-watt computer monitor for five hours.” It’s sealed lead-acid battery can be tapped through a multitude of ports, including four USBs, two 120-volt AC outlets, a cigarette lighter receptacle and two 5.5mm DC jacks for connecting Monoprice-branded LED lighting. This week, three lucky Engadget readers will get a PowerCache 220 for all their on-the-go energy needs. All you need to do is head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Entries are handled through the Rafflecopter widget above. Comments are no longer accepted as valid methods of entry. You may enter without any obligation to social media accounts, though we may offer them as opportunities for extra entries. Your email address is required so we can get in touch with you if you win, but it will not be given to third parties.
  • Contest is open to all residents of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), 18 or older! Sorry, we don’t make this rule (we hate excluding anyone), so direct your anger at our lawyers and contest laws if you have to be mad.
  • Winners will be chosen randomly. Three (3) winners will each receive one (1) Monoprice PowerCache 220 portable AC inverter with solar charging capability ($180 value each).
  • If you are chosen, you will be notified by email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that period, another winner will be chosen. Make sure that the account you use to enter the contest includes your real name and a contact email. We do not track any of this information for marketing or third-party purposes.
  • This unit is purely for promotional giveaway. Engadget and AOL are not held liable to honor warranties, exchanges or customer service.
  • The full list of rules, in all its legalese glory, can be found here.
  • Entries can be submitted until June 29th at 11:59PM ET. Good luck!
28
Jun

Amazon’s new Dash buttons restock Nerf, Play-Doh and more


Since first introducing its connected buttons for easily ordering the goods Prime members use most, Amazon has regularly added new Dash options to its arsenal. Today the retailer tacked on 50 more, including easy ordering for Nerf, Play-Doh, Goldfish crackers, Campbell’s soup and dozens of others. You know, in case you lost all of your Nerf darts the day after you bought that last pack. There are new additions for toilet paper, cleaning supplies, groceries and beverages as well.

The same deal still applies for the buttons: You’ll pay $5 for the device when you order it, and after you use it for buy a product, the company will reimburse you. This editor continues to find the buttons to be quite handy for re-ordering staple goods, but don’t take my word for it. Consult the full list of available Dash buttons right here and don’t forget about the new IoT version that can be programmed to do a lot more than knock out your shopping list.

Source: Amazon (Business Wire)

28
Jun

The Moto G4 and G4 Plus head to the US July 12th


You won’t have to wait much longer to get your hands on Motorola’s latest budget Moto G models. Both the Moto G4 and its more powerful sibling, the G4 Plus, will be available in the US starting on July 12 for $199 and $249, respectively. Both phones will be unlocked for GSM and CDMA networks, and you’ll be able to snag them from Amazon, Motorola’s website and other retailers. Update: Best Buy will also be carrying the phones, and it’s offering a $50 gift card for in-store and online pre-orders.

They sport higher resolution (1080p) 5.5-inch screens than their predecessors, and they’re powered by Snapdragon 617 octa-core processors. Depending on the storage options you purchase, they’ll come with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM. The big difference? The G4 Plus packs in 16MP rear shooter with a f/2.0 aperture and loads of speedy autofocusing technology, while the G4 has a fairly ho-hum 13MP camera.

28
Jun

Gene editing can end disease and fight global famine


We’re looking at the single greatest advancement in genetics since Mendelev started growing peas. CRISPR-Cas9 gene-modification technology is powerful enough to cure humanity’s worst diseases, yet simple enough to be used by amateur biologists. You thought 3-D printers and the maker movement were going to change the world? Get ready for a new kind of tinkerer — one that wields gene-snipping scissors.

CRISPR — clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats — is a potent genetic-editing tool. It’s called this because each CRISPR unit is made of repeated DNA base-pair sequences that can be read the same way forward or in reverse and are separated by “spacer” pairs. Think of it like an organic Morse code palindrome.

With CRISPR we can now edit any genetic code — including our own. In the three years since its advent, researchers have used CRISPR to investigate everything from sickle-cell anemia and muscular dystrophy to cystic fibrosis and cataracts. One group has even used it to snip off the cellular receptors that HIV exploits in order to infect the human immune system. If the disease is caused by your genetics — doesn’t matter if it’s due to a single malformed gene, as is the case with Huntington’s or sickle cell, or if it’s the byproduct of hundreds mutations like diabetes and Alzheimer’s — CRISPR can conceivably fix it.

Even complicated conditions like cancer and autism, which we’ve studied for years and still barely have a grasp on, can benefit from CRISPR technology. A big reason treatment advances for these marquee diseases come at such a glacial pace is that researchers have to develop them on animal models first. This trial-and-error technique takes forever. But with CRISPR, that process stands to accelerate exponentially by creating the precise desired genetic changes on the first try, every time.

How CRISPR is changing the world

These CRISPR units can easily slice through DNA and replace nucleotide bases with others, but they aren’t accurate enough to consistently aim at specific locations. For that, each CRISPR needs an RNA-based “guide,” called a Cas (CRISPR associated) gene. These guides search for a specific set of nucleotides, usually a 20-pair sequence, and bind to the site once they locate it. That’s a pretty impressive feat, given that the human genome contains around 20,000 genes. Working in unison, a CRISPR/Cas system can target and silence the expression of single genes anywhere along a given strand of DNA about as easily as you can edit a Word document. It’s basically “find-and-replace” for genetics.

This technology can be applied to any living organism, though its effects vary greatly depending on which genes are being targeted. The two primary versions of CRISPR-based edits are somatic cell engineering, which only modifies the genes of the individual, and germline engineering, wherein an individual’s modified genes are passed onto their offspring.

The biological mechanism behind CRISPR is actually quite ancient. See, scientists used to think that bacteria were equipped only with innate immunity — the lowest, most budget form of biological defense around. Since a microbe’s restriction enzymes will blindly attack and destroy any unprotected DNA they come in contact with, scientists figured that it was just automatic, a simple reflex. Multicellular organisms, conversely, enjoy acquired immunity, which enables them to mount specific counters to different threats. It wasn’t until they discovered CRISPR that researchers figured out bacteria and archaea have been leaning on acquired immunity for eons. They’d been using it as a rudimentary adaptive immune system against viruses. Here’s a video from the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT that explains the process in detail:

This system enables the bacteria to obtain immunity against that specific breed of virus and respond to future infections far more rapidly than it could otherwise. It’s much in the same way the human immune system uses T-cells and antigens to keep us from repeatedly being sickened by the same diseases. This is why vaccinations work and why it’s so important to vaccinate your kids. (Seriously, vaccinate your damn kids.)

Granted, there is a lot of hype surrounding both CRISPR’s potential benefits and dangers. Not everything we do with the technology is going to be Earth-shattering advancements and cancer cures. We’re probably going to do a lot of silly shit with it as well. “I would bet that within 20 years, somebody is going to make a unicorn,” Hank Greely, director of Stanford University’s Center for Law and the Biosciences, told me during a recent phone call. “Some Silicon Valley billionaire with a 12-year-old daughter will get her a unicorn for her birthday. It will involve taking genes that grow horns and moving them into a horse.”

CRISPR’s benefits aren’t limited to animals. In 2014, a team of geneticists in China managed to give wheat full immunity against powdery mildew — one of the most common and widespread plant pathogens on the planet — by cutting just three genes out of its DNA. Similarly, researchers at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s Center for Desert Agriculture have used CRISPR technology to “immunize” tomatoes against the yellow leaf curl virus while a team from the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) in Pakistan has done the same for cotton leaf curl. And just last year a Japanese team drastically increased the shelf life of tomatoes by editing the gene that controls the rate of their ripening.

Examples of yellow leaf curl virus in cotton plants. credit: the NIBGE

This technology stands to revolutionize nearly every aspect of modern agriculture. We can create stronger, more robust crops with higher yields and increased tolerance to drought, pests and blight. We can do this without waiting multiple generations, as is the case with traditional breeding methods, and without introducing foreign DNA into the plant’s genome, as we would with conventional genetic modification (GMO) techniques.

“CRISPR is just a more efficient way of doing what’s been done for millennia of looking for genetic variance within a population that would make it better,” Greely said. “With CRISPR instead of waiting for them to arise naturally, you make them. Heck, for the last 50 years we’ve used radiation to increase the rates of mutation. With CRISPR we’re instead causing mutations where we know what mutations we are causing. It’s a much smarter way to do the kind of crop and livestock improvement we’ve done since the agricultural revolution.”

Of course, this new technology is not without potential danger. We’re at the point now where we understand the technology just well enough to hurt ourselves but haven’t used it long enough to fully comprehend the long-term implications.

Take the recent controversy surrounding the creation of the world’s first modified human embryo, for example. This technology theoretically will allow doctors to cure any human disease or defect before a person is born, but were something to go awry during the operation, the results could be devastating. That said, those sorts of procedures will be exceedingly rare for the foreseeable future, contends Greely. “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the population won’t need gene editing to have a baby that won’t get the disease that they’re carrying,” he told me. And even if someone is born with a genetic disease, Greely extrapolated, somatic cell editing should still be able to treat them.

“Most people are more concerned with doing it for enhancement reasons but right now we don’t know squat about enhancements,” he continued. “We know all sorts of intelligence genes that, when mutated a certain way, you end up with very low intelligence. But we know basically nothing about gene editing to make you smarter. Or taller. Or more athletic. We can’t even do a particularly good job with eye, hair or skin color.” So don’t expect to see Gattaca-style designer babies coming to your local fertility clinic anytime soon.

What you will see is an explosion of novel uses for the technology. Gene editing is quickly moving from the realm of pure academia and into the hands of the general public and private enterprise. This transition resembles that of another transformative technology: personal computers. Computers went from being, essentially, toys for adults to a keystone of the modern era. CRISPR has the potential to do the same but for biology.

Take Ethan Perlstein for example. “I initially wanted to be a professor,” he explains. “Like a lot of people who get trained in graduate school, especially in biomedical sciences, are thinking we’re going to be professors … that’s how you can be a scientist professionally.” However, the nation’s glut of postgraduates has long outpaced the supply of available professorships. “My goal was academia; reality suggested that I take another path. And actually through my explorations on Twitter, I learned about rare diseases.” His subsequent interactions with the social media communities that spring up around these rare diseases led him to found Perlstein Lab.

Ethan Perlstein, CEO Perlstein Lab. credit: Engadget / Benito Gonzalez

This San Francisco-based biotech startup is using CRISPR technology to drastically accelerate research into some of humanity’s least-studied diseases. “There are about 4,000 inherited diseases that are caused by a single broken gene,” Perlstein said, with roughly 5 percent of those manifesting during childhood and nearly all of which have no known pharmaceutical treatment. Specifically, Perlstein’s team is working on drugs that can treat Niemann-Pick Type C, a lysosomal storage disorder that causes a buildup of toxic material within cells; and N-glycanase 1 Deficiency, a congenital glycosylation disorder that causes a whole host of issues, from cognitive impairment to joint deformities. Both of these devastating illnesses are caused by a single recessive gene, potentially by just one incorrect base pairing.

“These rare diseases, especially the ones that are caused by a single broken gene, tend to involve pathways and networks within the cell that are very ancient,” Perlstein explained. What’s more, those primal genes are disproportionately more likely to “break” than, say, the relatively new genes that control your autoimmune system. Their ancient nature enables the lab to effectively model them in simple animals — specifically, fruit flies, zebrafish and yeasts.

“In the past, there have been technologies available with which to make disease models but that would essentially require taking a sledgehammer to the genome,” Perlstein said. “CRISPR changes the situation as it allows for very elegant and precise changes to happen — down to a single letter change.” So once researchers identify the genetic source of the disease, they’re able to “program” that same fault into their animal models and measure the effect of the disease in them.

By using CRISPR to break a test animal’s genes in the exact same place and the exact same way as in the patient, Perlstein’s researchers are able to create a perfectly customized model. Plus they can do so far more quickly than traditional methods would allow. “Depending on the kind of mutation you’re trying to create [using CRISPR], it can be quite fast,” Perlstein said. “You’re only really limited by the breeding time of the animal.”

Since the diseases that Perlstein’s team research are recessive, the lab can’t introduce these gene breaks directly into the models and then immediately study them. Instead, the team introduces these breaks into an organism and then breeds a second generation. Those organisms are then screened those that possess both copies of the recessive gene. Once a sufficient population of models that carry the gene defect has been bred, the lab leverages an automated system to expose them to thousands of chemicals and compounds to see if they have any positive effect — reversing, or at least reducing the disease’s symptoms.

Josiah Zayner, bio-hacker with The Odin. credit: Engadget / Benito Gonzalez

Not all of the emerging uses for CRISPR technology are quite as severe as the diseases Perlstein Lab is combating. Josiah Zayner, founder and biohacker of The Odin, wants to turn the everyman into a citizen scientist — specifically, an amateur synthetic biologist. “I worked for Motorola in the early 2000s before the dot-com bubble burst. … I controlled the systems that allowed those old walkie-talkie cellphones to work.” Zayner told me during a recent interview at his home/headquarters in Castro Valley, California. After going back to school to earn his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, Zaynor worked at NASA’s synthetic biology lab at Ames Research Center.

“One scientist can only accomplish so much,” Zayner reasoned. So, he asked himself, “How can I get more people involved? What happens if I go out get five people … train them, pay them a decent wage and have them help me with these science projects?”

This was impetus for The Odin’s DIY CRISPR kits. “I thought something like the CRISPR kits is something the public could grasp and be able to use,” Zayner said. It would provide people who have no previous experience with not only a new and unique experience but also stimulate their curiosity in biology and science in general. “I’m showing them how cool science can be and, in the process, they’re learning to do science, which, I think, strengthens the world.”

Zayner wants to use harmless (as in nonvirulent) E. coli and yeast cultures to help teach the basics of genetic engineering. The kits are designed to act as introductions to the technology by providing simplified sample experiments for people to follow. “You get to change the genome of an organism and see the results visually,” Zayner exclaimed. That could be a change in the organism’s color or its response to light simply by adjusting the expression of genes that code for fluorescent protein production. And with more advanced and involved experiments available on the Odin website, neophyte biohackers can expand their technical repertoire as they see fit.

“We’re trying to take genetic engineering, which the public has really only experienced in an abstract way,” Zayner concluded, “and move it into their everyday lives through things like brewing [with a DNA-customized yeast culture] or making yogurt … something that people can experience on a personal level.”

Of course, genomic editing isn’t going to remain an abstract technology for very long. We’ve already seen how quickly it’s moved out of the confines of academia, and the positive effects that it has had on humanity. The pace of its adoption is only going to accelerate. Just as with personal computers that preceded it, CRISPR is going to radically advance our civilization in ways that we can’t even fathom. Whether it involves beating back the scourge of congenital disease or improving crop and livestock yields, CRISPR technology is here to stay. But like all transformative technologies (looking at you, nuclear energy), it’s up to us to apply it responsibly. Now then, who want’s to make some unicorns?

A unicorn, as seen in its natural habitat. credit: Engadget / Andrew Tarantola

28
Jun

Microsoft revamps pushy Windows 10 upgrade process


After getting hit with a $10,000 settlement and accusations of shady Windows 10 upgrade notifications, Microsoft has pledged to clarify the upgrade options that users were struggling to wrap their heads around. (And, most importantly, they’ve promised to make that red X on the dialogue box do what you’d actually expect it to do.) According to Windows head Terry Myerson, those changes should come at some point this week, just a month before the free upgrade period ends.

“Since we introduced a new upgrade experience for Windows 10, we’ve received feedback that some of our valued customers found it confusing,” Myerson told the Verge. “We’ve been working hard to incorporate their feedback and this week, we’ll roll out a new upgrade experience with clear options to upgrade now, schedule a time, or decline the free offer.”

The reconfigured dialogue box now includes those three options and the red X will actually close the dialogue rather than scheduling the update for a later date. If you, dear Windows 7 or 8 users, feel tempted to try out Windows 10, the upgrade is still free until July 30th but you’ll wind up with a few more advertisements on your desktop.

28
Jun

Clinton’s tech policy includes student loan relief for startups


Now that we’re down to just one nominee per party, we’re starting to hear some finer points of the candidate’s platforms. Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton revealed a more detailed tech policy today, a plan that includes high-speed internet for every household over the next four years, cybersecurity, net neutrality and more. Those tenets have already been discussed, but the more recent developments include student loan help for entrepreneurs and funding for STEM education.

Clinton wants to allow entrepreneurs to defer student loans with no interest and no payments for up to three years while they work through the startup phase. She also wants to offer a similar benefit to the first 10-20 employees of a new company, not just the founders. For folks who open businesses in “distressed communities” or “provide measurable social impact,” Clinton wants to forgive $17,500 worth of student loan debt after five years.

The candidate also has big plants for STEM education, too. She proposes doubling the funding for the Obama Administration’s “Computer Science Education for All,” including scaling computer science education grant programs. Clinton also aims to train 50,000 computer science teachers in the next 10 years alongside grants that can be used to “redesign” high schools to focus more on STEM education. Proposed programs include the development of maker spaces, maker fairs and robotics competitions in schools or as after-school programs. In terms of higher education, Clinton eyes $10 million for new programs like nanodegrees, accelerated coding courses, certificate programs and online courses.

Clinton’s tech policy also includes a mention of immigration. She wants to bypass the detailed green card process for anyone with a masters or PhD in a STEM-related field from an accredited institution. The proposal will “staple” a green card to the degree, allowing international students a path to citizenship. She also supports so-called “startup visas” that allow entrepreneurs the opportunity to come to the US to build a new business.

The policy pledges to uphold net neutrality, offer high-speed internet to every household by 2020, help diversify the tech industry and make the United States Digital Service part of the executive branch on a permanent basis. That office is tasked with updating government processes, in case you needed a refresher. While the platform mentions privacy and encryption, it stops short of any fine details. She discusses the importance of tech companies and law enforcement cooperating with a proposed national commission to “protect the privacy and security of all Americans that use technology.” Again, details are scarce when it comes to cybersecurity, but perhaps we’ll hear more as November approaches. During that time, we should hear more from presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump as well. He’s mostly keyed in on national security and immigration so far.

Via: Reuters

Source: Hillary Clinton

28
Jun

Facebook add-ons save and share stories in Chrome


Facebook’s save-for-later feature just got much quicker if you’re a Chrome fan. The social network is releasing a Save to Facebook extension for Google’s web browser that lets you preserve that news story or recipe for posterity. There’s a Share to Facebook add-on, too, so you don’t have to copy-and-paste outside links. Both should be available in the Chrome Web Store today.

Also, don’t be surprised if Facebook’s seemingly ubiquitous Like button looks different. The company is ditching the old “F” button in favor of one with the signature thumbs-up icon — apparently, a 6 percent improvement in engagement was all it took to make the switch. You should notice other buttons (like Save or Share) getting a flatter, more consistent look. You’ll see Like, Comment and Share buttons appear below some Instant Articles as well. These are all minor touches, of course, but they’ll add up if you routinely share your tastes with your Facebook friends.

Source: Facebook

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