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Preview: Fast Company

Fast Company



Fast Company inspires a new breed of innovative and creative thought leaders who are actively inventing the future of business.



Published: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 20:35 +0000

Last Build Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2016 20:35 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2016, Mansueto Ventures
 



Here's Why Your Cable Box Just Won Its Latest Bout With The FCC

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:45 +0000

Just 20 minutes before a vote to "unlock" set-top boxes, the head of the FCC backed down—at least for now.

Just 20 minutes before a vote to "unlock" set-top boxes, the head of the FCC backed down—at least for now.

It seemed like such a no-brainer: a government proposal that would have forced cable and satellite TV companies to make set-top boxes optional and give subscribers more choice. Who wouldn't support a plan that lets consumers save an estimated $231 a year on box rental fees?

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The Untold Story Of Facebook Live

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:50 +0000

The behind-the-scenes tale of how a seemingly obscure service turned into the future of Facebook.

The behind-the-scenes tale of how a seemingly obscure service turned into the future of Facebook.

On Monday night, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump went head-to-head to make their case for why they should be America's next leader. The stage also doubled as Facebook Live's coronation.

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EXCLUSIVE: The Women Behind The New Bustle On Reinventing "Women's Media"

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 10:00 +0000

Bustle, a three-year old website for millennial women, now has 50 million monthly readers. Here's why they completely redesigned it.

Bustle, a three-year old website for millennial women, now has 50 million monthly readers. Here's why they completely redesigned it.

At Bustle's Chelsea office in Manhattan, the two women at the heart of the website's overhaul—creative director Isla Murray and senior engineer Zahra Jabini—are sitting together in the design room. Around them, the walls are covered in inspiration boards filled with images from recent photo shoots for the online publication. Women wearing colorfully patterned dresses seem to float in a sea of bright pinks, teals, oranges, and yellows. Such scenes of warmth, optimism, and fun have been channeled into Bustle's brand-new look, which is being revealed today.

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This Company Is Encouraging Its Employees To Take More Vacations

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:00 +0000

"Unlimited vacation" sounds great, but not if you don't know how or when to use it. So Buffer is testing a minimum vacation policy.

"Unlimited vacation" sounds great, but not if you don't know how or when to use it. So Buffer is testing a minimum vacation policy.

It's one of those mythical and vaunted startup perks, and one of the Buffer perks that tends to entice folks the most: unlimited vacation time. When someone new joins the team, they're immediately granted as much time away from work as they'd like, no questions asked. Under this non-policy policy, teammates have had some great vacations, including cruises around the world and even a month of sailing the Atlantic.

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Apple's New TV Ad Artfully Pushes New Messaging Features In iOS

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:45 +0000

The star of the video is a red balloon that travels a long distance to reach a birthday party.

The star of the video is a red balloon that travels a long distance to reach a birthday party.

Apple's new TV ad hopes to turn people on to the fancy new messaging features in iOS 10, which the company calls "expressive messaging."

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How IBM's Bluemix Garages Woo Enterprises And Startups To The Big Blue Cloud

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:00 +0000

The locations let IBM teach both startups and big companies how to harness its cloud services.

The locations let IBM teach both startups and big companies how to harness its cloud services.

At one time, a tech industry truism held that "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." The company was practically synonymous with computing in many industries, whether it was offering mainframes or early PCs. But when it comes to new technologies like cloud computing, younger programmers at startups today are less likely to instinctively reach for offerings from Big Blue, the company readily acknowledges.

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Tech Giants Team Up To Devise An Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:30 +0000

Amazon, Facebook, Google DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft announced the Partnership on AI, which will research ways to use the tech responsibly.

Amazon, Facebook, Google DeepMind, IBM, and Microsoft announced the Partnership on AI, which will research ways to use the tech responsibly.

The Terminator isn't arriving anytime soon, but concern is growing that artificial intelligence is already so pervasive in society—and getting more so all the time—that there needs to be more focus on how it's being used and potentially misused (even if by accident). Aside from futuristic killer robots, there are already real dangers ranging from faulty autonomous cars to algorithms used in hiring or recruiting that have an inadvertent bias against women or ethnic groups. The giants of artificial intelligence, especially as it affects consumers and businesses, have just joined together to form a nonprofit called the Partnership on AI, with founding members Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft.

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Why This Diet App Is Using Computer Vision To Help You Lose Weight

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 11:00 +0000

With its new "Snap It" feature, the Lose It app automatically identifies the food you're eating.

With its new "Snap It" feature, the Lose It app automatically identifies the food you're eating.

One of America's most popular diet apps is trying something new—computer vision—in its quest to help you keep off the pounds. Lose It, a freemium weight loss app with over 3 million active monthly members, is rolling out "Snap It," a new beta feature this week that automatically identifies the foods that users eat. The idea is that, eventually, customers can photograph their meal instead of manually entering it. It's the latest innovation in a cutthroat marketplace, and one that even outflanks much larger rivals like Google.

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The Apple Watch Is Getting More Useful By Making You Use It Less

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:00 +0000

For its new smartwatch series, the company has turned to smarter sensors that require less screen time.

For its new smartwatch series, the company has turned to smarter sensors that require less screen time.

Before Apple revealed its first wearable device, some observers wondered if it would even have a screen.

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AOL's Innovative Card-Based Email Service, Alto, Comes To iOS And Android

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:00 +0000

Alto's Dashboard makes it easy to access useful items from emails, like boarding passes and reservations.

Alto's Dashboard makes it easy to access useful items from emails, like boarding passes and reservations.

Three years ago, AOL released a Pinterest-like platform for desktop email called Alto, which Co.Design hailed as "email's next UI paradigm." Alto has kept a low profile since then, as its developers refined the desktop product with a small group of early users.

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How Wells Fargo's Work Culture May Have Cleared The Way For Scandal

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:18 +0000

The bank allegedly set unrealistic expectations and rewarded bad behavior.

The bank allegedly set unrealistic expectations and rewarded bad behavior.

The operating ploy that led Wells Fargo employees to open up millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts to meet cross-selling targets was categorized by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren as "gutless" and a "scam."

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WeWork Brings A New Business Model To Detroit

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:00 +0000

Its leases in that city include a profit-sharing component, making it easier for WeWork to react if real estate prices fall.

Its leases in that city include a profit-sharing component, making it easier for WeWork to react if real estate prices fall.

The two locations that WeWork plans to open in Detroit early next year will look similar to the almost 100 locations that it already operates. Like offices in New York or San Francisco, the Detroit spaces will have glass walls separating tiny offices that tenants can rent on a month-to-month basis, communal coffee, and WeWork's "Do What You Love" branding—but the business side will be structured differently.

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Mark Zuckerberg Just Shared Rare Photos of Facebook's Data Center In The Arctic

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:00 +0000

The Facebook CEO's images offer a peek at the advanced technology it is using at its massive center in the forests of Northern Sweden.

The Facebook CEO's images offer a peek at the advanced technology it is using at its massive center in the forests of Northern Sweden.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg started sharing some rare photos of its data center in the forests of Northern Sweden, where Facebook is taking advantage of the low temperature and nearby rivers to increase efficiency and save power. The massive Luleå data center, which is the size of six football fields, uses enormous fans to "pull in the outside air to naturally cool the thousands of warm servers that line the center's broad hallways," writes Zuckerberg in a post on his Facebook page. He adds:

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After A Rocky Romance, Can We Commit To Bots With Professional Benefits?

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:00 +0000

Last summer, eight startups went to camp to make bots more productive and rewarding for consumers and businesses.

Last summer, eight startups went to camp to make bots more productive and rewarding for consumers and businesses.

Declare your lifelong love for Poncho—a weather service personified by a tabby cat in a yellow raincoat that happens to be one of the most successful bots in Facebook Messenger—and it responds with an awww, shucks-like "Hiiiiii~." But unleash a stream of profanity, as some users do, and Poncho puts your relationship on hold.

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Four Work Habits You Need To Change At Each Stage Of Your Career

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:00 +0000

This GE exec shares how she learned to change her working methods as she's taken on bigger leadership roles.

This GE exec shares how she learned to change her working methods as she's taken on bigger leadership roles.

I accepted my first management role early in my career, heading up a 15-person team at GE Global Research's semiconductor laboratory. It was a big step at the time, but today I manage 28 labs of over 500 people, in addition to our research headquarters with around 2,000 people on site. Making that first shift from contributor to leader wasn't easy, but it set me up for the other big changes I'd go on to make in my career.

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Automated Cars Probably Won't Make Human Drivers Obsolete

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:00 +0000

Not if the 100-year history of autopilot for airplanes is any indication. Planes can fly themselves—but only with two people in the cockpit.

Not if the 100-year history of autopilot for airplanes is any indication. Planes can fly themselves—but only with two people in the cockpit.

At a competition for the "most practicable safety device" in 1914, Brooklyn pilot Lawrence Sperry awed spectators in Bezons, France, when he stood up in the cockpit with both hands in the air mid-flight and asked his mechanic to crawl onto the wing. "The man did so, yet he had no more desire to die than you or I have," read commentary from the New York Times. "Nothing happened."

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These Work-Life Balance Strategies Help Even In The Most Demanding Jobs

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:12 +0000

Even in industries known for insane hours, you can have a personal life if you're smart about your time.

Even in industries known for insane hours, you can have a personal life if you're smart about your time.

Work-life balance sounds great, but it's getting tougher to achieve. Managers and staff often don't see eye to eye on time spent between the two. Several studies also indicate that the traditional workweek is getting longer. In certain industries such as accounting, law, consulting, or at startups in general, that balance is assumed to be impossible. The "80-hour workweeks" people complain about mean there's no time for everything else.

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Job Growth In Swing States Isn't As Bad As Presidential Candidates Say

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:21 +0000

Key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida are experiencing steady job growth, in spite of what Donald Trump tells you.

Key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida are experiencing steady job growth, in spite of what Donald Trump tells you.

If you've been listening to the candidates speak about jobs during the run up to the 2016 presidential election, you might be convinced that the sky is falling.

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Google Translate Just Got 60% Better By Working On Whole Sentences

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:45 +0000

Google speeds up a difficult machine translation technology, allowing it to tackle even the notoriously hard Chinese-to-English task.

Google speeds up a difficult machine translation technology, allowing it to tackle even the notoriously hard Chinese-to-English task.

If you are translating text or speech, it seems obvious that you should read a whole sentence before figuring out what it means. But this hasn't been so easy for computers—in part because the work sucks up so many resources. So Google Translate has had to get by with looking at pieces of sentences, words, and phrases, and translating them individually. On Tuesday, Google announced a new system called Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) that works on whole sentences and improves accuracy about 60% on average over the old phrase-based machine translation (PBMT), including on notoriously difficult Chinese-to-English translations. This is the first translation to roll out to the Google Translate mobile and web apps, available now.

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6 Things To Do When Your Job Kills Your Curiosity

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:00 +0000

Your job may be routine and monotonous, but what goes on inside your head doesn't have to be.

Your job may be routine and monotonous, but what goes on inside your head doesn't have to be.

You may not think of your curiosity as a job skill, but it is. There's evidence, for starters, linking curiosity to employability, and as a predictor of your ability to gain and maintain a desired job over time. Second, curiosity is crucial for building relationships. Curious people are more willing and able to connect with others, which equips them to collaborate, whether in person or virtually. Third, curiosity may even be an antidote to job automation: If you don't want your skills to get outdated or outsourced to a robot, you'd better keep learning!

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