How ad-free subscriptions could solve Facebook

 At the core of Facebook’s “well-being” problem is that its business is directly coupled with total time spent on its apps. The more hours you pass on the social network, the more ads you see and click, the more money it earns. That puts its plan to make using Facebook healthier at odds with its finances, restricting how far it’s willing to go to protect us from the harms… Read More

As tech automates, Blinkist keeps its book summary service very human

 When I first heard of Blinkist, a service that breaks down recent nonfiction books to easily digestible snippets, I was afraid it would turn out to be some machine-learning-driven auto-summary thing. But in talking to co-founder Niklas Jansen, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the company is still very much people-powered — and in fact, that may be the root of its continuing success. Read More

France’s telecom regulator thinks net neutrality should also apply to devices

 The ARCEP just published a thorough 65-page report (embedded below) about the devices we use every day. The report says that devices give you a portion of the internet and prevent an open internet. “With net neutrality, we spend all our time cleaning pipes, but nobody is looking at faucets,” ARCEP president Sébastien Soriano told me. “Everybody assumes that the devices that… Read More

Essential Phone arriving in three new limited edition colors

 The Essential Phone, still among the best deals you can find in smartphones today, is now set to be available in three new colors, including “Ocean Depths,” “Copper Black” and “Stellar Gray.” These include two previously announced colours, the aquamarine-ish Ocean Depths and the dark matte “Stellar Gray,” but also the surprising third options,… Read More

Google’s Project Fi now offers data coverage in 170 countries

 Project Fi, Google’s multi-network cell service, now provides you with data coverage in 170 countries. That’s up from the 135 countries the company has long offered service in. New countries where service is now available include the likes of Belize and Myanmar. The good thing here is that Project Fi still doesn’t charge you extra for your data usage in these countries. Read More

This new text bomb crashes most Mac and iOS apps with a single unicode symbol

 TechCrunch has learned of a potentially serious new bug affecting a wide range of Apple devices. During their development work on an international news feed, software engineers at Aloha Browser discovered two unicode symbols that can crash any Apple device that uses Apple’s default San Francisco font. The bug instigates crashes on iPhones, iPads, Macs and even Watch OS devices that… Read More