DIY Co. teams up with Cartoon Network to help educate children

Recently, education tech startup DIY Co. has teamed up with Cartoon Network in an ongoing effort to enhance children’s education. DIY Co.’s ambitious project is a website called JAM, which received $4 million in venture funding through the combined efforts of Spark capital and Learn Capital.

The various educational courses are intended to be used by children up to the age of 14 years old. Currently, the various course topics range from culinary techniques to machine invention. One of the courses that has received the highest amount of attention is the animation course, for which DIY fostered a partnership with Cartoon Network.

The animation course is completely cost-free, though other courses are offered for a down payment of around $99. There is generally a weeklong free trial just to begin, though once the down payment has been made, the course is available for up to a year. All of the courses available on JAM have been designed by specialized instructors who have been chosen by the education platform’s managers.

Currently, the startup is funded largely through the revenue from its users signing up for its courses. Cofounder Zach Klein has publicly pledged to ensure that all of the applications and websites that DIY manages will be free of advertising and refrain from selling any confidential user data. In the future, investors anticipate that DIY will continue developing more courses in order to gauge family feedback. The performance of JAM is expected to be a strong factor in the public’s attitude towards a mobile-focused approach to children’s education outside of the classroom.

End-to-end encryption for Facebook messages

Recently, Facebook Messenger has been introduced to end-to-end encryption. With the implementation of technology Facebook users have the ability to encrypt to their messages so that, ideally, only the intended recipient can read them.

Just a few years ago, end-to-end encryption was just an obscure concept that few people outside of the most passionate techie circles were even aware of. Now, with a noticeable rise in the public’s concern over the security of their private data, end-to-end encryption has steadily become a mainstream talking point.

Facebook scheduled its release of the beta version of its proposed message encryption technology for the 8th of July. If the program functions as intended, then not even the FBI or Facebook itself should be capable of intercepting and reading the messages without the sender’s explicit consent.

The encryption of Facebook messages is the latest in a trend of communication encryption that has been steadily increasing. For years, Apple’s iMessages have been protected by a variation of end-to-end encryption. In the past April, Facebook’s WhatsApp messenger was outfitted with full end-to-end encryption for over a billion of its users; weeks after that, Viber added end-to-end encryption to its messenger system as well.

Should Facebook’s beta project for message encryption turn out to be successful, then the encryption technology is planned to be released to all Facebook users by default in the summer and autumn. With the social media giant incorporating end-to-end encryption into its core model, what was formerly an obscure security measure is now on the road to becoming an industry standard.

Apple’s New iOS 10 Lockscreen Has New Focus on Notifications

The beta version of iOS 10 was released this week, and there are some rather exciting developments to note. While the beta is still full of bugs, it offers benefits such as a redone messaging system, 3D touch actions, and the ability to delete some of those annoying pre-installed apps, and a Universal Clipboard feature which will allow you to copy text on one connected device and paste it on another.

The lockscreen has also received an upgrade, and the complete redesign is going to be one of the most immediately noticeable changes to your phone. With a new “Raise to Wake” feature, the phone is now designed to wake up as soon as you pick it up.

Swiping left-to-right no longer serves to unlock your phone–instead, it’ll bring up a new page of widgets giving you details such as weather, events, and nearby locations. Swiping in the other direction will open your camera, and to unlock your phone you’ll need to press the home button, which will either read your fingerprint with the TouchID sensor, or prompt you to enter your pin security number.

In the past, it was easy to totally miss your lockscreen, waking your phone and unlocking it in a single step. Because the phone now wakes as soon as you pick it up, those notifications on your lockscreen are a lot more likely to be noticed and grab your attention.

Whether you like notifications or not, this update essentially forces you to look at them, at least for the brief moment between picking up your phone and unlocking it.

An Enchanted Evening in Tarallucci e Vino

I haven’t had the opportunity to explore ever nook of New York City, but there are some places that stand out in my mind during my visits as highlights. Tarallucci e Vino is one of those places. I had friends that were raving about the menu for this place, and they said that it was an establishment that I just had to visit. With this type of pressure on me I really didn’t have a choice. They said that visiting was a must so I indulged.

I must say that Tarallucci e Vino did not disappoint. I was almost looking for something that was off center in order to tell my friends that it was a bit less than the stellar way that they remembered it, but I could not find a single thing to complain about. The staff was well trained in their doing jobs, and the food was more than delicious. I don’t really have words to tell about my enjoyment of the caramelized vegetables. It was a sensation to my mouth that I remembered long after I left the restaurant.

This is a lovely place to take a date. I know that there are a lot of people that choose to have weddings catered here because the food is so delectable. The Burrata is a menu item that has really tickled my taste buds in a delightful way. I think that the vegetable quiche may be my favor Tarallucci e Vino meal though. I went to a wedding here and the Burrata was part of the wedding foods.

Franny’s is equally impressive to Tarallucci e Vino when it comes to weddings. I think that this is the other Italian spot on Flatbush that also has nice private room. This reminds me of Tarallucci e Vino, but it has more pizza choices. I think that Franny’s is a great place for a party.

I was skeptical in the beginning, but now I carry the same torch that all my friends in New York carry for Tarallucci e Vino. It is the only Italian venue in NYC that is worth your time in my opinion. I am not even a native of NYC, and I am giving Tarallucci e Vino props over Italian restaurants that I have never visited before. That should be an indication of just how delectable it is. I can rest assured that I may find something that may be just as good, but I doubt that I would find anything that is better.

The thing that I have admired about this restaurant is that it has taken some foods that I do not like and added ingredients that I do like and suddenly I am finding myself intrigued enough to try the combination. One example of that is the Pepperoni Ripieni. Here is a dish that contains tuna. I hate tuna, but this is tuna prepared in a different manner. With this dish there are peppers stuffed in Italian Tuna. I tried it and I was impressed.

Jesse Williams’ Speech is Highlight of BET Awards

The BET Awards tribute to the famous musician Prince was full of acts that were very memorable, ranging from the Roots, to Jennifer Hudson and Erykah Badu. However, the moment that stole the show was when Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams made a very memorable speech. Jesse Williams called for three things as witnessed here: the end of police brutality, stopping “the white appropriation of Black culture,” and encouraging people to vote so that the U.S. would not have a political firestorm with Trump similar to what happened in the EU referendum over Brexit.

Police brutality is an issue that has plagued the U.S. as residents have seen examples time and time again of young Black men–especially–being victims of egregious, excessive force. Laquan McDonald, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner are just some examples of young Black mens’ lives who were taken away from them without having gone through a system of due process.

Williams’s speech also highlighted how artists such as Justin Timberlake have co-opted dance moves from Michael Jackson as well as techniques of a wide array of Black artists in order to help build a music empire. Williams’s point was that white artists should stop trying to copycat Black culture in order to profit from it. This might include artists such as Iggy Azalea, who is a white female rapper who has also profited from the co-opting of Black culture.

Finally, Williams was speaking out against the ills of remaining politically neutral in the face of the Trump campaign, which would like nothing more than to ensure that minorities–including the Black community–do not vote in the 2016 Presidential election.

Jesse Williams’s speech highlights three major issues that are important to the Black community, as witnessed at the BET Awards. Hopefully people listen and take decisive action.

Kindle’s New Feature Makes it Much More Like Paper Books

For those readers who find that they do not like Kindle books because of their lack of realistic book-like qualities, a new update will likely change things. The new update is called “page flip” and is being introduced to both Kindle e-readers as well as the Kindle app that is available to phones and other mobile devices.

“Page flip” will change the way that readers use Amazon’s reading service. In the current system, users can flip through the pages, but they are not able to easily return to highlighted pages or see more than one page at a time. Therefore, Kindle has been difficult for those who want to return to previous places and highlights for reference.

The new update, however, will make that problem a thing of the past. the new “page flip” will allow users to save their current page if they wish to go back to explore earlier highlights or look forward to future pages. The user can simply hit the “Back to” button to return to the lat reading page. Users will also be able to view multiple pages on the same screen. The view of these multiple pages is an exact image of the pages, so readers will be able to view their highlights easily.

While the new features do not seem to be technically difficult, they are close to features that are popular with other ebook companies such as Google Books. Amazon is not only attempting to make their books as realistic as possible, but they are also attempting to incorporate other popular features into their Kindle program. Kindle has never offered a feature like this before, and their competitors have not had this type of jump back button before.

Readers will likely enjoy the feature as it makes the book easier to casually flip through. Updates like this continually bring ebooks closer to the original thing.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Details Announced

Expect to receive the much-anticipated Windows 10 Anniversary Update on August 2nd. Microsoft announced the pending release of the update containing important new features for individual and business users. Windows 10 now boasts about 350 million users, making it one of the most popular versions of Microsoft’s flagship operating system.

No Longer Free

Computer users will no longer have the option to install Windows 10 for free after July 29th, one year after the new operating system first entered the market. All Windows 10 users will have free access to the Anniversary Update, including those who buy Windows 10 after its free availability period ends.

Business Features

Enterprise users will gain improved security, including the enhanced protection against threats supplied by new versions of Windows Defender and the Windows Information Protection Service. Microsoft’s continued commitment to enterprise security should reassure business customers who worry about continually evolving threats.

End Users

Consumers can expect to enjoy more new features than their counterparts in the enterprise, including a Cortana update that allows the virtual assistant to respond to queries without first logging into their computer. Cortana will also work with frequent flier numbers.

Windows Ink gives users the power to draw pictures and add notes to documents and online content via the Edge browser. Microsoft has also updated Edge with support for some third-party extensions.


Microsoft aims to slow the rate at which schools adopt Chromebooks and iPads for students by introducing features that make configuring numerous shared devices easy and providing academic testing functions that disable the clipboard and limit application switching.


The Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update will bring Cortana to the Xbox One console and give users the ability to use Xbox Anywhere to buy titles from a unified store make a play them on their PC and Xbox.

New Drone Regulations Increase Industry Potential

The Federal Aviation Administration has released Part 107, a revised version of The Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule. The rule acts as a regulation for drone use and the revised rule has opened the potential for greater drone use within a variety of commercial industries to include assessment, agriculture, construction and real estate.

Although drone use has already been a reality in these industries, small business owners now have a greater chance of using the technology because licensing requirements are less strict and licensing fees less expensive. Prior to the revised Part 107, only individuals with sport or pilot licenses could fly the devices and certification fees for non-pilot exempt operators ran up to $7,000. Now, non-pilots can take certification tests that cost $150. The tests are less intensive and cover basic aeronautical knowledge.

With greater access to drone technology, experts believe that the drone industry is on the cusp of a significant boom. However, in order to truly achieve its potential, the industry requires a diverse set of individuals to create the next set of guidelines and regulations.

Current regulations regarding drone travel distance is one obstacle holding back growth. The visual line of sight (VLOS) is a rule that mandates drone users have the drone in their direct line of sight while in use. This is a severe limitation to drone delivery services and other long-distance flights. Business owners and entrepreneurs would like to see this portion of the rule addressed in later iterations of the current regulations.

Currently, only aviation industry experts and government agencies have a voice in the regulation of drone technology. Business owners, representing both start-ups and established enterprise-level organizations, are not represented and argue that they should be if the industry is going to support a changing economy.

How Technology is Making Uber Safer

For some commuters, Uber is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. If you don’t drive often, it’s easy to understand why someone might want to avoid a car payment. However, rideshare companies are not regulated the way taxi companies are and these concerns have prompted the company to make some changes. Since Uber is an app-based service, the driver’s and passenger’s phones are central to their safety efforts.

Drivers in 11 different cities will soon get to test some new safety features that revolve around what Uber refers to as the “four D’s.” These include driving while drunk, drugged, drowsy or distracted.

First of all, every ride is tracked from start to finish. This is accomplished via sensors on the phone that provide GPS, acceleration and gyroscopic data. Not only does this data make it harder for a driver to get lost, but it will also be used to remind him to put his phone back in the mount if movement is detected.

If a driver has been driving too long, a reminder will be sent to the driver to get some sleep. As of early 2016, Uber drivers are not allowed to use the app for more than 12 hours at a time. Previously, some drivers were known to work for more than 16 hours.

Daily reports provide drivers with information that can help them improve their driving, such as data showing excessive braking or acceleration patterns. The app even includes a speed display to make sure they know how fast they’re going at any given time.

Uber has also released new data to show what their impact has been on drunk driving. In many cities, they have become the leading transportation alternative for people who have had too much to drink. Studies show that drunk driving has declined significantly in cities where the company now operates.

Although this is a pilot program, the company’s goal is to make these features available in every city where they operate. When combined with other popular features such as their ratings system for both riders and drivers, Uber hopes to create a safer experience for everyone on the road. Thanks to modern technology, they’re setting a standard that was unheard of just a few short years ago.

Queen Guitarist Brings Victorian Tech to 2016

Move over, Google Cardboard! Superstar guitarist Brian May of Queen has teamed up with the London Stereoscopic Company to release a new version of the OWL Stereo-Viewer.

Ever since the resoundingly positive market response to Fitbit and the Apple Watch, the wearable technology industry has exploded–and, according to predictions by CCS Insight, the trend is here to stay with the market predicted to gross $14 billion in revenue by the end of 2016.

Although top tech companies will still be vying for a place on your wrist for the foreseeable future, Brian May, guitarist and astrophysicist, envisions a world where 3D and virtual reality will be more accessible than anyone thought possible. Inspired by a love of stereoscopes he’s possessed since he was a child, Brian May has created an ingenious response to Google Cardboard: the OWL Virtual Reality Kit. Its ingenious, but incredibly simple polypropylene design is simultaneously modest and elegant but also durable and very inexpensive at $36 to pre-order.

The OWL Virtual Reality Kit may also prove a tough competitor for existing headsets. Not only is it ready for use in seconds with no assembly required, but it boasts compatibility to any make of smartphone. This is something that could even make Google sweat, as Cardboard is only compatible with certain types and sizes of phones. Apple should also take careful note; although the tech giant has not confirmed the rumors of its own virtual reality headset, will likely release their new toy as being made for iPhone with limited function for other brands (much like they did with EarPods). Brian May may certainly have cornered himself a nice piece of the future of the VR industry with his flexible and timeless headset design.

The OWL Virtual Reality Kit is available for pre-order online at the London Stereoscopic Company.