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Spotify Removes Hate Bands From Service

Spotify Hate Bands Spotify has removed several bands classified as “hate bands” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), according to a report from Billboard.  The streaming service made the decision to remove the content after Digital Music News shared a list of 37 white supremacist musicians available on the app. In 2014, the Southern Poverty Law Center published a report on racism and digital music titled ‘Music, Money, and Hate’. It concluded that there were at least 54 white supremacist bands selling music on iTunes that Apple was profiting from. Apple responded to the report by removing the bands. However, SPLC noted at the time that Spotify and Amazon were slow to do the same. Now, a Spotify spokesperson has confirmed to Billboard that several of the artists have pulled from streaming. Others are under review. “Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it…

FaceApp Removes Racist Filters

Racially Themed Filters The popular “FaceApp” has removed a series of racially-themed filters following a backlash against the app. Users branded the filters “problematic”, “gross” and even akin to “blackface”. The popular app uses Snapchat-style face filters to transform users’ faces into different looks. It can make your face look older or younger, for example, or make a woman’s face look like a man’s. But in its most recent update, the app also added a series of “ethnicity change filters” called “Black,” “Asian,” “Indian,” or “Caucasian. The new filters quickly attracted criticism on Twitter, where users branded them “problematic”, “racist”, “gross” and even akin to “blackface”. FaceApp Backdown FaceApp initially tried to defend the ethnicity filters from the barrage of controversy. The company released a statement in which they insisted that they had been “designed to be equal in all aspects”. By late afternoon Wednesday, the app had removed the fliters.…

Blue: The Dating App For Twitter Users

Finally, an app to weed out the weak on social media. A new app is looking to romantically match folks who are verified Twitter users. Blue, by Loveflutter, has launched a new version of their existing dating app. It only allows Twitter users with that little blue tick to search for love, and only amongst their fellow blue-tick holders. The original Loveflutter has been around for awhile. It creates matches based on shared interests (innovative!). Now it focuses on analysing tweets and Twitter activity to match people. And with that switch, so was born Blue. Verified Users For the verified users, the app is rolling out in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London and Tokyo. However, it will only go live once it has 1,000 local members. So, maybe never. Of the just over 300 million users on Twitter, around 150,000 are verified, with about 25 percent of them…

Mobile App Approved As Contraception Method

There may be a new alternative to hormonal contraception. A new app has been granted medical approval to be used as a contraceptive in the European Union in a breakthrough that could spell the end for hormonal and intrusive birth control measures. Natural Cycles is a fertility tracking app that tells users whether they’re fertile or not by monitoring their temperature. Used by 150,000 around the world, it has received approval from Tuv Sud, a certification body, to be marketed as a medical device for contraception. The app works by monitoring a woman’s daily temperature and where she is in her menstrual cycle to determine how ‘at-risk’ of pregnancy she is at any given time, reports NPR. It is the first time that such technology has been classified as being effective in preventing pregnancy. Similar to the natural planning or “rhythm” method, the app tells users how fertile they are…

Fender Launches New Guitar Learning App

About nine out of 10 first-time guitar buyers will give up on the instrument, according to Fender. To convert new players into lifelong customers, the 71-year-old company is heading online and taking advantage of the 1.5 billion smartphones that were sold last year. “It’s inescapable,” said Ethan Kaplan, general manager of Fender Digital in Los Angeles. “What is commanding attention is a tap and a click away. People don’t sit through long stuff anymore.” The guitar maker debuted Fender Play, a new guitar lessons web platform and iOS app aimed at getting beginners hooked with visual, bite-sized tutorials. Fender Play is a video-centric learning platform that eschews traditional theory-based lessons in favour of instructor-guided videos. When a user signs up, they will answer a variety of questions about the musical styles and instruments they prefer, which will then generate a customised curriculum. Fender Play’s song-based method of learning will teach…

Snap Maps Cause Concern Over Privacy

Snapchat’s new feature, Snap Maps, has raised concerns over child safety, bullying and stalking. Snap Map lets you share your current location, which appears to friends on a map and updates when you open Snapchat. It is now available for all iOS and Android users globally.However, police have expressed their concern as to how this could be used by online predators to target individual Snapchat users. The feature allows you to focus in on a particular area, for example a sporting event or concert, and view all publically posted snaps from that immediate are. However, snaps from areas such as schools can also be viewed if shared publically. The location of individuals also raises concerns. A spokesperson for the UK National Society for the Protection of Children said: “It’s worrying that Snapchat is allowing under 18s to broadcast their location on the app where it can potentially be accessed by everyone…

Best Low-Key iOS 11 Features Apple Didn’t Talk About At WWDC

Apple’s latest Worldwide Developer’s Conference made quite a bit of noise out there. It was full of new software and hardware reveals, including iOS 11, but a lot was also left unsaid. In the end, there is only so much you can tell in two hours, and smaller features don’t always get to shine. Especially when you want to show off your newest techs and features, like a smart speaker or augmented reality. One of the most curious moments of the conference was when Apple decided to include several dozen new features in just one slide. A lot of people probably missed it, and, in fact, there weren’t too many details, hiding in that slide. Yet it might just be enough for us to sneak a peek of some of the low-key features iOS 11 will bring to the table. A new way to interact with Siri Talking to digital…

The Father Of Android Gives Us The Essential Phone

The Essential Phone brought to us by the person who created Android, is finally ready for the spotlight. It’s an incredibly audacious and ambitious project, with an outlandish screen and the beginnings of a modular ecosystem. First, the Android phone basics: the Essential Phone costs $699 with top-of-the-line specs and features. As you can see above, it prominently features an edge-to-edge display that one-ups even the Samsung Galaxy S8 by bringing it all the way to the the top of the phone, wrapping around the front-facing selfie camera. It’s a unique take on a big screen that makes the phone stand out — and it’s smart, too. Often, the status bar at the top of an Android phone doesn’t fill that middle space with icons, so it’s efficient. The screen does leave some bezel at the bottom of the phone, but nevertheless it’s as close to the whole front of…

Apple Trolls Android With a Series of “Switch” Adds

Without fail, Tim Cook hops on an earnings conference call every few months and boasts that Apple recently saw a record number of new iPhone users coming over from the world of Android. Now, in an effort to coerce an even greater number of “switchers,” Apple today rolled out a brand new marketing campaign designed to convince seasoned Android users that it might be time to jump ship. Apple now has a new and dedicated switcher-oriented page on its website where it explains why life is easier on the iPhone. The page covers the usual bases, with Apple assuring potential Android switchers that it’s extremely easy to migrate all of their important data over to the iOS universe. Apple also boasts that the camera on the iPhone is best in class while also touting the iPhone’s impressive performance, ease of use, built-in security mechanisms and more. “iPhone has industry-leading satisfaction…