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Crunch Report | Facebook Fixing Its Election Ads Problem

GM is hoping to have 20 new electric vehicles by 2023, Uber is partnering with Westfield Malls to offer pick-up spots and lounges and Facebook is hiring 1,000 more people to help combat election ad interference. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Facebook says 10 million people saw Russia’s ‘divisive’ political ads

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Facebook is finally making clear just how pervasive Russia-bought political ads were on its platform in the days and weeks before and after the election.

Around 10 million Facebook users saw Russia-bought political ads, according to new information released on Monday night by the company.

The disclosure, which the company previously shared with Congress, marks the first time the social network has shared how many of its users saw the $100,000 worth of political ads linked to Russian actors.

Facebook has still not shared the content of the ads, but Facebook’s VP of Policy and Communication Elliott Schrage said the ads tended to focus on “divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum” and that many of them directed people to follow pages related to issues such as LGBT issues, immigration policy, and gun rights. Read more…

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It looks like we can now add the display to the growing list of what we know about the Pixel 2 XL. 

Images of what appear to be both the front-facing displays of the handset surfaced Monday, thanks to leaker Evan Blass. The promotional images show the phone's front side from both straight-on and side angles.

The side angle is particularly intriguing, given the previous rumors that suggest the phone will have a so-called "squeezable frame" that allows you to interact with Google Assistant by pressing on the sides of the phone. Read more...

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New Google Pixel 2 XL leak shows the phone’s front display

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Google’s big Pixel 2 launch is just a couple days away but the leaks just keep coming.

It looks like we can now add the display to the growing list of what we know about the Pixel 2 XL. 

Images of what appear to be both the front-facing displays of the handset surfaced Monday, thanks to leaker Evan Blass. The promotional images show the phone’s front side from both straight-on and side angles.

The side angle is particularly intriguing, given the previous rumors that suggest the phone will have a so-called “squeezable frame” that allows you to interact with Google Assistant by pressing on the sides of the phone. Read more…

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Apple is years ahead of Android competitors with the iPhone X, says analyst

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In an extensive report published Tuesday, Kotaku outlined the current state of GameCube controllers — as the years drag on, optimal controllers are becoming increasingly rare. With no stand-out alternative to the standard-issue GameCube controller, the competitive Melee scene is finding itself in a desperate spot.

There are two moves performed regularly by top-level Melee players that require extremely precise inputs: the back-dash and the shield drop. Even if players perform the joystick-flicking moves perfectly, not every GameCube controller reacts the same way, so players seek out specific controllers that read those moves well. Read more...

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‘Super Smash Bros. Melee’ is starting to outgrow its controllers

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For more than 16 years, the competitive Super Smash Bros. Melee scene has held strong. The GameCube controllers used to play Melee, however, aren’t holding up nearly as well as the competitive scene is.

In an extensive report published Tuesday, Kotaku outlined the current state of GameCube controllers — as the years drag on, optimal controllers are becoming increasingly rare. With no stand-out alternative to the standard-issue GameCube controller, the competitive Melee scene is finding itself in a desperate spot.

There are two moves performed regularly by top-level Melee players that require extremely precise inputs: the back-dash and the shield drop. Even if players perform the joystick-flicking moves perfectly, not every GameCube controller reacts the same way, so players seek out specific controllers that read those moves well. Read more…

More about Tech, Gaming, Nintendo, Esports, and Super Smash Bros Melee

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SNES Classic is sold out everywhere, but you still have a chance to score one

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One year later and here we are again: There’s a pint-sized morsel of gaming nostalgia from Nintendo that everyone wants and no one can buy.

Everyone’s big shot to score a Super NES Classic came and went on Sept. 29, the day it came out. It’s currently selling on eBay for around $130 to $160. That’s the same basic range as NES Classic pricing on eBay right after launch, but don’t forget: The NES also cost $30 less at retail than the SNES. This one’s selling for less, comparatively.

All of that said: There’s a good chance you’re still looking for an SNES Classic at its $80 retail price.  Read more…

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Based in New York City, Impakt is on a mission to build a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox users, helping you buy products from companies that pay workers fair wages, promote equality, don't harm the environment, and align with your overall social and political values.

Culling public government data, industry reports, and news articles into a comprehensive "Company Ethics Database," Impakt will deliver streamlined information about companies while you're shopping online. If the products you want to buy aren't up to your socially conscious standards, the extension's algorithm will lead you to more ethical alternatives with just one click. Read more...

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This browser extension makes you a more ethical shopper with just one click

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Your online shopping habits aren’t as ethical as they could be. A new startup called Impakt wants to change that.

Based in New York City, Impakt is on a mission to build a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox users, helping you buy products from companies that pay workers fair wages, promote equality, don’t harm the environment, and align with your overall social and political values.

Culling public government data, industry reports, and news articles into a comprehensive “Company Ethics Database,” Impakt will deliver streamlined information about companies while you’re shopping online. If the products you want to buy aren’t up to your socially conscious standards, the extension’s algorithm will lead you to more ethical alternatives with just one click. Read more…

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Every iPhone X sold will bring Samsung a big payday

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Apple has an iPhone payment plan for people who hate wireless carriers

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Anyone who decides to buy the latest iPhone face the same dilemma: Do I buy from Apple or from my wireless carrier?

Buying directly from Apple typically means either a big one-time payment or joining the company’s iPhone Upgrade Program. That program, introduced in 2015 alongside the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus, splits the cost of your phone into 24 interest-free monthly installments, allows you to trade in the phone after the first 12 payments for the latest model, and includes AppleCare+ insurance.

It’s that last bit that elevates the cost of the program above most carrier payment plans. Carriers offer their own insurance, of course (at varying prices), but some people may want to buy their phone from Apple, just without the added $129 cost of AppleCare+. Read more…

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I'm not saying the FBI paid an enormous sum to access a phone used by one of the perpetrators of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. But I am saying that the FBI just won a court battle for the right not to tell the public how much the job cost. According to the courts, the agency doesn't have to mention the company it paid to unlock the phone, either. 

The Associated Press, Vice, and USA Today went to court to try to pry the information out of the FBI, but a judge recently ruled that the firm's name and the price paid are national security secrets and techniques exempted from Freedom of Information Act requests.  Read more...

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Court says the FBI doesn’t have to reveal the cost of hacking the San Bernardino iPhone

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You know how super-expensive restaurants don’t always put prices on their menus?

I’m not saying the FBI paid an enormous sum to access a phone used by one of the perpetrators of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. But I am saying that the FBI just won a court battle for the right not to tell the public how much the job cost. According to the courts, the agency doesn’t have to mention the company it paid to unlock the phone, either. 

The Associated Press, Vice, and USA Today went to court to try to pry the information out of the FBI, but a judge recently ruled that the firm’s name and the price paid are national security secrets and techniques exempted from Freedom of Information Act requests.  Read more…

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