Experts warn smartphone voting is ‘extremely risky,’ yet here it comes

Experts warn smartphone voting is 'extremely risky,' yet here it comes

The effort to make voting easier and more accessible is a noble one that should be lauded, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be screwed up. 

It was just yesterday that NPR reported on a plan to allow Washington state King Conservation District voters to cast ballots for an upcoming Feb. 11 local election over the internet — including via smartphone web browsers. Unfortunately, warn experts and officials, the plan isn’t exactly rock solid. 

But before we get into the potential problems, it’s worth noting what the web voting in question actually consists of. That’s where King County Elections director Julie Wise comes in. Read more…

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Suburbs already have driverless taxis, but San Francisco is still playing catch-up

Suburbs already have driverless taxis, but San Francisco is still playing catch-up

San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood is notoriously tricky for any driver. Narrow roads, gobs of tourists, steep inclines, double-parked delivery vans, never-ending construction, and maddening six-way intersections run rampant there. Take away the human driver, and you’ve got a potential recipe for disaster. 

Nevertheless, that’s what Zoox, a self-driving startup, is attempting. But instead of going to the sunny, wide boulevards of Arizona or Silicon Valley, it’s focusing on navigating through the windy roads of a dense, packed urban area. It’s going to take a while to really get there, especially with Zoox’s vision of a robo-taxi service in a made-for-self-driving vehicle that’s still in development. Read more…

More about Cruise, Autonomous Vehicles, Waymo, Zoox, and Tech

23andMe CEO lays off 100, attributes sluggish sales to consumer privacy concerns

23andMe CEO lays off 100, attributes sluggish sales to consumer privacy concerns

Looks like you aren’t the only person who might have gotten freaked out by consumer DNA tests recently.

Consumer genetics testing company 23AndMe has laid off 100 employees, or 14 percent of its staff, reports CNBC. Most of the layoffs come from the operations team.

Sales in consumer DNA tests have been declining across the industry, and 23AndMe is no exception. The company’s CEO, Anne Wojcicki, says she’s not sure about the exact reason for the slump. However, she suspects concerns about privacy might play a role.

“Privacy is top of mind,” she told CNBC.

That could be because a series of news events raised concerns about what happens to our DNA after customers give it to services like Ancestry or 23AndMe. Read more…

More about 23andme, Tech, and Health

Valentine’s Day gifts for him: 25 ideas for your boo, or any other guy in your life

Valentine's Day gifts for him: 25 ideas for your boo, or any other guy in your life

Contrary to popular opinion, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be just for your significant other. That’s right, it’s totally OK to give a gift to a loved one whom you’re not currently dating (and never will) — because doing a nice thing for someone is… well, nice

That doesn’t make shopping easier, though. Getting a good gift for the guy in your life is a tough task nonetheless, especially with every brand under the sun practically screaming at you to buy their stuff. 

SEE ALSO: Best Valentine’s Day gifts for her: Thoughtful items to up the romance

Plug your ears and stop listening to that noise, because we’ve rounded up some stellar gift ideas to get for any guy this Valentine’s Day — the ones you aren’t romantically interested in, and the one you are. We’re talking dads, brothers, cousins, uncles, platonic male buddies, and more.  Read more…

More about Valentine S Day, Gift Guide, Mashable Shopping, Gifts For Him, and Culture

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A cool phone case — See Details

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A decked out bath caddy — See Details

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A zodiac-themed piece of jewelry — See Details

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A leather passport holder — See Details

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MasterClass All-Access Pass — See Details

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Power Nap Pillow — See Details

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A sous vide cooker — See Details

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A Fire TV Stick — See Details

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A quality eye cream — See Details

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Some trendy sneakers — See Details

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A stellar gaming controller — See Details

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Some cozy wool socks — See Details

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A new serum for effortless glow — See Details

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An avocado multi-tool — See Details

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A smartphone sanitizer — See Details

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A personalized AirPods case — See Details

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AirPods Pro — See Details

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A new planner for 2020 — See Details

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A Tile tracker — See Details

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A BottleLoft holder — See Details

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A reusable coffee cup lid — See Details

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A comfy robe — See Details

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A grow light shelf — See Details

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A sustainable living cookbook — See Details

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A Baby Yoda plush — See Details

Samsung’s next foldable phone could have that dreaded crease

Samsung's next foldable phone could have that dreaded crease

It turns out the most mocked feature of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold could be making a comeback in the company’s next foldable phone.

I’m talking, of course, about the crease. The upcoming Galaxy Z Flip, the clamshell phone Samsung is set to unveil alongside its new S20 line, is likely to have a crease in its display, according to a new rumor.

The new detail is once again from XDA Developers’ Max Weinbach who has been leaking up a storm about the upcoming Z Flip and S20 lineup. According to Weinbach, the Z Flip will use “Samsung Ultra Thin Glass,” instead of the plastic display used on the Galaxy Fold. Again, this is an unverified rumor, but it is in line with previous reports that the company has been developing a glass display for foldable devices.  So while a screen with a visible crease may sound less than ideal, the quality of the display should be better overall if it indeed uses glass instead of plastic.  Read more…

More about Tech, Mobile, Samsung, Smartphones, and Tech

Tackle spring cleaning early: Shop vacuums on sale for less than $100

Tackle spring cleaning early: Shop vacuums on sale for less than $100

TL;DR: Get a top brand vacuum on the cheap. Walmart has plenty on sale right now for less than $100.

Like it or not, the big game is almost upon us. You know, that massive football thing that happens every year around this time? And if you’re hosting a watch party, that means crumbs, spills, and a whole lot of yelling about blown calls and a disappointing halftime show. Won’t that be fun?

SEE ALSO: Best cheap robot vacuums: 7 options for less than $200

You already have the giant new HDTV set up and upgraded your slow cooker game for that killer chili and queso dip everyone loves. Maybe you even ponied up for a tabletop grill this year to keep the burgers plentiful. But with great hosting also comes the inevitable chore of cleanup once the game is over and all those fair-weather fans have left a big mess behind. Luckily, Walmart has you covered with plenty of brand name vacuums on sale for under $100, most of which include free delivery.  Read more…

More about Vacuums, Mashable Shopping, Tech, and Consumer Tech

Please stop what you’re doing and listen to this ancient mummy’s voice

Please stop what you're doing and listen to this ancient mummy's voice

Humanity is the most technologically advanced it’s ever been. The scientific achievements we have made in the last hundred years are unparalleled, from landing on the moon to creating smartphones that give us unending access to information. 

And now, researchers answered the one question that changes everything: What does a mummy sound like?


That’s right folks, centuries of human advancement led to this unintentionally hilarious soundEhhhhhh. 

Researchers at the University of London scanned the mouth and throat of Nesyamun, an ancient mummified Egyptian priest, and 3D printed it. They then built an electronic larynx and reconstructed what would be the sound he’d make if he came to life again, speech scientist David Howard told the New York Times.  Read more…

More about Viral Videos, Voice, Mummy, Culture, and Web Culture