As the pandemic continues, tech employees have new expectations for where they work. Here’s how tech companies from Apple and Google to Slack and GoPro are responding.

Photo: Carles Rabada

By Mark Sullivan

After big tech companies like Facebook and Google spent billions on cool office spaces and perks designed to keep workers at the office, those workers were suddenly able to do their jobs closer to home life and family during the pandemic. Office work was no longer the default, and many employees liked that.

Now, with the country reopening, tech companies are increasingly announcing their back-to-office plans. …

Even if you include the emissions from the battery and charging it with dirty energy, an EV has a smaller footprint than a gas-powered car

Photo: Charlotte Stowe

By Adele Peters

In the past, some studies claimed that electric vehicles (EVs) weren’t actually better for the environment: The energy used to make the battery plus the emissions from making electricity could make the total footprint worse than a gas-powered car. Or so the argument went. A detailed new report shows that isn’t true. No matter where an EV is used, even if it charges on an electric grid that uses coal power, it has a smaller carbon footprint than a fossil fuel-powered car.

One factor is that it’s less polluting to make batteries than previously thought. “Earlier studies…

Want total email privacy? Don’t click on any weird-looking links.

Photo: Solen Feyissa

By Jared Newman

Earlier this week, DuckDuckGo branched out from its private browser and search engine with a new service called Email Protection.

The service, which is currently invite-only, gives users a unique email address that forwards messages to their real inbox. Along the way, DuckDuckGo strips out invasive trackers from the email, preventing senders from knowing whether you opened their messages. It also shows a note at the top of the email, letting you know it identified trackers and removed them.

DuckDuckGo is one of several companies that’s turning to email as a new privacy frontier. With the…

During the pandemic, addiction treatment moved online. Now, a rush of new companies are trying to figure out how to make the process stick.

Photo: Gilles Lambert

By Ruth Reader

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a stunning report that showed drug overdose deaths shot up 30% in 2020. While the pandemic has led to increased distress among Americans, it’s also opened the door for innovation in certain aspects of mental healthcare, especially around addiction. Rehabilitation programs — ranging from 12-step programs to medication-assisted therapy — all went online. Now, a cadre of startups are thinking about how they can leverage the boom in telehealth to deliver better addiction care.

Historically, in-person substance abuse treatment has been a jumble of 12-step programs, religious…

The app that’s marketed as a tool for making communities safer has led to harassment — and at least one innocent person getting picked up by cops


By Granate Kim

Policing and police violence are at the forefront of public conversation. Some in the tech industry think they can help transform policing with apps, but the results have so far been disastrous, especially with the Citizen app. In essence, Citizen encourages people to take the law into their own hands. It was once called Vigilante. Yes, Vigilante. And its backers didn’t give up when it was booted from Apple’s App Store for encouraging anyone who uses it to take often dangerous matters into their own hands (in other words, vigilantism). They just changed its name to Citizen.

The top-tier VC led a $100 million round for a NFT marketplace called OpenSea. It sees non-fungible tokens as foundational technology for the internet of tomorrow.

Photo: Fakurian Design

By Mark Sullivan

Andreessen Horowitz is placing a big bet on NFTs, leading a huge $100 million funding round for the largest of the NFT trading marketplaces, OpenSea. With the round, OpenSea, founded in 2017, has a valuation of $1.5 billion.

Users connect their crypto wallet to OpenSea’s platform, and then are able to buy, sell, or create NFTs (non-fungible tokens). OpenSea takes a 2.5% fee on each transaction. …

The announcement that Netflix will begin offering video games on its streaming service is rife with red flags

Photo: Thibault Penin

By Nicole LaPorte

With subscriber growth hitting headwinds in 2021 after a COVID-19-led surge in 2020, Netflix recently made a splashy announcement that it was hiring a gaming executive, Oculus and EA alumnus Mike Verdu, to build up the company’s newly minted interactive division. Reports soon followed that Netflix would start offering video games on the service within a year. Details are sparse at this point, but the assumption is that Netflix will create games around popular Netflix franchises — think Stranger Things — as a way to “enhance and deepen member engagement,” as a job listing recently put it.

Ken Carbone, Ayse Birsel, and Allan Chochinov discuss how bad design can prompt creative breakthroughs — and what even constitutes ‘bad design’ in the first place

Photo: Kumpan Electric

By Ken Carbone

When a design doesn’t work, it often draws more attention to itself than when it works perfectly. A wobbly shopping cart, a flimsy potato peeler, a puzzling highway sign: These are common nuisances. The stakes increase when “bad design” results in a confusing election ballot that disrupts the democratic process or when an ineffective design critically impacts lives in large segments of society.

But can “bad design” be a force for good design? Does it drive design professionals to push back against design ineptitude?

When presented with a client’s “bad design,” a designer’s internal alarm is triggered…

Why Genvid Entertainment is expanding to create live, interactive video games that allow players to control the action

Project Raven. Image: Genvid

By Nicole LaPorte

When the interactive reality TV game Rival Peak debuted on Facebook Watch last December, it was a megahit. Users streamed the game — that allowed them to vote on how characters should act, thus influencing whether those characters would be eliminated in the Survivor-like competition each week — from across the globe, racking up over 100 million minutes of views during the first season.

For Genvid Technologies, the interactive streaming technology company that partnered with Facebook on Rival Peak — along with DJ2 Entertainment and Pipeworks Studios — the game was a proof of concept of sorts…

It goes back to the venture capital firms funding them, and even successful female venture partners struggle to raise the capital necessary for their funds

Photo: Robb Miller

By Leslie Feinzaig

Earlier this year, Whitney Wolfe Herd made history when she became the youngest female founder to take her company public. She rang the Nasdaq bell dressed in a bright yellow power suit, a hat tip to Bumble’s signature color — while holding her toddler son, a hat tip to the millions of women who have been working from home with kids crawling all over them during the pandemic. Women like me.

This image stands out not just because of the bright yellow suit and the baby in hand, but also because of how extremely rare someone like…

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