I have a pet peeve. In the past couple of years, it’s become increasingly common for apps to use built-in browsers rather than directing you to Chrome, Safari, or your browser of choice when you open a link. This is annoying at best, and counterproductive at worst – and it should stop being the default behavior for most apps that do so. Note: This largely applies to both Android and iOS, but since I use Android 99% of the time, that’s the perspective I’m writing from. I do a lot of work on my phone. I research pages, draft articles,…
[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]
Dropbox IPOs today on Nasdaq under the trading name DBX at an above-expectations $ 21 per share. Dropbox, which waited a decade to go public, will have an initial maket cap of $ 8.3 billion — significantly less than the company’s last private valuation of $ 10 billion. How the company fares in its first few quarters should give some indication on how highly valued private tech companies can fare on public markets in 2018. Here’s how Dropbox’s biggest backer — venture capital firm Sequoia — positioned itself to earn between $ 2 billion and $ 3 billion on its initial investment. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey predicted that bitcoin will become the universal world currency in about 10 years. Square now allows the buying and selling of bitcoin on its payment app. Bitcoin is now trading around $ 9,000, down from the peak of $ 20,000 it hit on some exchanges in December.[Lucinda Shen / Fortune]
The music business had its second consecutive year of growth — thanks to streaming. Flat used to be the new up for the music labels. Now they’re up for real — sales increased 14 percent to $ 8.7 billion last year. The industry’s significant leap in revenue is due entirely to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, which are more than balancing the decline in CD sales and download sales. [Peter Kafka and Rani Molla / Recode]
A new version of Google+ is rolling out, but unlike many recent releases, this one has at least one immediately visible change after updating. The UI is taking on a whiter look for some of its key UI elements. A teardown also reveals that a Highlights section is coming back and will optionally make appearances in notifications.
Left: v10. Right: v10.1.
If you feel like you’re day has become unusually colorless, perhaps it’s because Google+ just lost a big part of its look in the latest update.
Apple doesn’t advertise HomePod as a TV speaker in any of its marketing, but it’s a question we’ve got a lot over the past couple weeks. With AirPlay, it’s very possible to connect HomePod to Apple TV and use it as your TV speaker … with some caveats and drawbacks to consider.
For some people, it may make sense to do it. I think for many it won’t. However, there are some tips and tricks to make using HomePod with Apple TV a better experience …
The World Health Organization took an unprecedented step in January when it decided to include "gaming disorder" in its 11th International Classification of Diseases (IDC). Though doctors and researchers have examined the effects of heavy internet us… Engadget RSS Feed
Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro is finally launching in the US, but not the way Huawei would probably like. Both AT&T and Verizon are reported to have dropped plans to sell the phone after pressure from the government. You can get the phone unlocked, but it’s spendy. At least it’ll be a durable device if you do drop the cash. YouTube channel JerryRigEverything has subjected the Mate 10 Pro to the usual battery of tests, and it earns a passing grade.
Whether you got a flu shot or not (or whether you have a strong opinion on flu shots, or not), the flu doesn’t really care. Because thousands, every year, get sick with the flu. Sometimes, it just costs them a few days at work. Others get so sick that their lives are literally endangered. And so it goes, year after year: New flu vaccine, same flu debate, people sick regardless.
Normally, this affects a few thousand Americans per year. This year’s flu season, though, is a real doozy. The flu’s spread to 48 states and Puerto Rico, causing a record 14,676 hospitalizations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
It’s logical to ask: What the heck happened? Why wasn’t this country more prepared? And don’t we make a flu vaccine to prevent this kind of thing?
Like all complex problems, the answer is just as multi-faceted as the questions you have to ask to find it.
Just a few reasons why this year’s flu has been exceptionally virulent?
The Flu Strain Guessing Game: It’s true that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration releases a flu vaccine to the public every year to try to head off the virus. Ideally, the vaccine contains a harmless form of the flu strain that’s sickening people in the country already that year. But to be ready for flu season, manufacturers have to come up with these vaccines well before the season itself is underway. So anticipating the virus’ mutation du jour becomes a glorified guessing game. Plus, the efficacy of the vaccine can depend on how easy it is to grow the thing in the lab. Even on a good year, when the vaccine matches the season’s strains, the shot can only reduce people’s risk of getting the flu by 40 to 60 percent. And we know that this year isn’t a good one; this year’s vaccine is only about 30 percent effective.
People Don’t Get The Vaccine: Here’s the thing about vaccines? For them to work, you actually have to get one. And to fight the flu, you have to get one every year. No matter how often advertisements remind people, or how inexpensive the shots are, or how easy it’s made for patients to come in and get their jabs, flu shots are always a hard sell. In order for people to willingly go out and get poked in the arm for a disease they might not even contract, they generally have to be convinced the vaccine is safe and necessary. So far, the public health officials and doctors trying to convince patients to do so have mixed results at best.
People Convince Themselves They Shouldn’t Get The Vaccine: People, you might’ve heard, are sometime irrational. For example, they’re convinced that the flu shot will get them sick with the flu or worse. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t. According to the New York Times, one flu patient told her doctor, “I heard you can get Alzheimer’s from it — that there’s mercury in it, and it goes to your brain,” Just to be clear, here, there’s no mercury in the vaccine, nor is there any recorded instance of someone getting Alzheimer’s from a flu shot. We checked. A lot of people have checked.
Others believe that the dangers the flu presents simply don’t apply to them. Gloria Copeland, a Texas evangelist and member of President Trump’s faith advisory council, reportedly told her followers they didn’t need to get the flu vaccine because “Jesus himself gave us the flu shot,” she said. “We’ve already had our shot. He bore our sicknesses and carried our diseases. That’s what we stand on.” Most public health officials would disagree that the Jesus Flu Shot is sufficient protection during flu season, let alone a particularly bad one.
And When They Don’t, They Compromise Herd Immunity. Epidemiology 101: The more people vaccinated against a disease, the harder it is for the germs to spread. This protects the people who haven’t been vaccinated, especially those with compromised immune systems, such as the young, old, and infirm. More people have been vaccinated this year, but it’s apparently not enough to achieve herd immunity, which means more people could get sick.
You know how you can help stop this flu season from getting worse? Get the shot. Just do it. Yes, it’s not perfect, but even a semi-functional vaccine is better than none. Here, we’ll even help get you started. All of us in the herd thank you.
According to a report from The Information, Snap (of Snapchat fame) has recently laid off about two dozen people, most of which were in the content team. These firings seem to fit in line with the company’s financial difficulties and overall attempts at consolidation, as well as the recent setbacks for the platform’s original content.
For a bit of perspective, The Information pegs Snap as having around 3,000 employees (though an SEC filing from 2016 states closer to 1,800).
Action camera maker GoPro continues to struggle to take to the skies, as the company is reportedly laying off between 200 and 300 employees this week, reflecting the performance of its aerial camera drone, the Karma. AppleInsider – Frontpage News