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Google Maps' Satellite view is a lie — and it was almost called 'Bird Mode'

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There's more evidence that just ignoring your eccentric boss' bad ideas is the best way to deal with them.

The co-creator of Google Maps and current Salesforce president Bret Taylor decided that Feb. 23, 2019 was a perfectly good time to blow all our damn minds.

On Saturday morning, Taylor dropped what he innocently described as a "silly Google Maps origin story" in a Twitter thread. It included the tale of how one popular feature was almost called... Bird Mode?!

Here’s a silly Google Maps origin story about how “Satellite” was almost named “Bird Mode” pic.twitter.com/wj7CRJUEyx

— Bret Taylor (@btaylor) February 23, 2019 Read more...

More about Google, Google Maps, Tech, and Big Tech Companies

Verizon launches subscription box for you to try out new gadgets

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Verizon just took a pro-tip from the fashion industry with Tech Pack, a subscription box that lets users try different tech products for up to two weeks before deciding if they want to keep them. 

The new service was announced Friday, in emails sent out to select Verizon customers. It's apparently still in the testing phase and has already filled up.

Similar to other subscription boxes like Stitch Fix or FabFitFun, users first fill out a survey about what gadgets they like so the box can be best tailored to their interests. Three mystery products are then sent out (Verizon hasn't decided how often) and the user can decide whether to keep or return them after two weeks. Read more...

More about Tech, Verizon, Products, Tech Pack, and Verizon Tech Pack

Magic Leap's ideas for a 'spatial internet' could be a glimpse of our 5G future

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Tech optimism can be hard to come by these days. But the idea that tech will empower us to make the world a better place abounds at Magic Leap — it just all depends on 5G.

Magic Leap, the company best known for its augmented reality headsets, is unveiling some grand ideas about what it sees as the future of technology. Rony Abovitz, the company's CEO, first shared his vision for the future, called the "Magicverse," in Oct. 2018. 

Abovitz expanded on that idea in a company blog post and interview Saturday, in which he describes the Magicverse as "an Emergent System of Systems bridging the physical with the digital, in a large scale, persistent manner within a community of people." Read more...

More about Internet Of Things, Magic Leap, 5g, Tech, and Vr Ar

Marvel video highlights the villainous alien Skrulls in 'Captain Marvel'

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Fans of Marvel Comics probably know a thing or two already about the Skrulls that apparently fill the role of villain in Captain Marvel. But not everyone knows about the green-skinned alien shapeshifters.

In this new "Intergalactic War" featurette from Marvel, we get a walkthrough of what the Skrulls are all about from Captain Marvel principals Brie Larsen, Gemma Chan, Jude Law, Ben Mendelsohn, producer Jonathan Schwartz, and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. There's some new footage in here, and our clearest look yet at the movie's take on the comic book aliens.

Captain Marvel is set to hit theaters on March 8. Read more...

More about Entertainment, Film, Marvel, Captain Marvel, and Entertainment

YouTube pulls advertising from anti-vaccination videos

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YouTube said Friday that it would pull advertising from videos that espouse anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, according to BuzzFeed. The action contributes to a growing trend of social media companies taking action to combat the spread of vaccine misinformation online.

Social media companies, including Facebook and YouTube, have recently been facing pressure to get better at this, following inquiries from media and calls from lawmakers. The World Health Organization recently categorized "vaccine hesitancy" as one of 2019's top threats to global health. 

The US is experiencing a measles outbreak — a previously near-eradicated disease — that's affecting unvaccinated children. Social media has played a significant role in proliferating the false conspiracy that vaccines can cause autism. Read more...

More about Youtube, Advertising, Public Health, Anti Vaccination, and Anti Vaxxer

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