Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Weekly tech news roundup for August 21

Scathing expose on Amazon’s work culture
The New York Times story about what it’s like to work at Amazon took the tech press—and popular press—by storm this week. The Times interviewed about 100 current and past employees about their experiences and the picture they paint isn’t pretty. Amazon comes across as a “survival of the fittest” workplace with lots of demands. The story was so scathing Amazon CEO actually took to the press to respond publicly. Image credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Hackers stole more IRS data than original thought
Monday the IRS announced that the hack of taxpayer data was about three times larger than original estimates. In May the agency said 104,000 taxpayers were affected. Now they’re saying 330,000 had data stolen. If you’re one of those affected by the breach you’ll be sent a letter from the IRS (so don’t fall for any phone phishing scams!). You’ll also get an offer of free credit monitoring and a PIN to use moving forward to help keep you safer in the future. CNN Money has more details.

DWPT-photo_cElectric cars can charge on the go
At least that’s the hope in the U.K., anyway. The country is trying out a new technology that puts equipment under the road that generates electromagnetic fields. Those fields can then be picked up by the car and converted into electricity if that vehicle has specially fitted wireless tech installed. They’re giving it a shot for 18 months to see just how feasible this idea is, but it’s sure interesting. It could make the range of electric vehicles almost a non-issue in the future!

Internet Explorer security gap discovered—make sure your browser is up to date
A Google researcher discovered a big security hole (called the “zero-day vulnerability”) in Internet Explorer that could give hackers access to your computer. Microsoft has issued a security patch. If your system automatically downloads updates, you’re already covered. If not, download the latest version from Microsoft’s website.

Boston Dynamics bipedal robot now running in the forest
It’s a terrifying image, but the Boston Dynamics robot is now running outside.  Okay, it still has a power cable so it can’t chase you just yet, but the Atlas robot still looks kind of creepy. A technological wonder, but creepy (if you ask me). It does show though just how far the robot has come in adapting to different terrain. Feel free to scream as you watch it in action 😉 :

Find any phone with Tile
This week Tile introduced a new Bluetooth-enabled version of their signature device. Engadget reports that with the updated app and new Tile, if you lose your phone you can press the “e” on the Tile and if the app is running in the background, the phone will play a little tune so you can locate it. Apparently the new tile is also three times louder too (perfect for when your phone get sucked into the couch cushions) and the company also has a new site too, so you can be less chained to your app.  Now I just need one for everything I send to school with my kids…

ZulilyQVC buying flash sale shopping site Zulily
The shopping website grew fast quickly…but lately has been struggling. The site offers flash sales on toys, clothes, and homegoods, as the Wall Street Journal says: Zulily offered deep discounts thanks to an unusual business model that allowed it to hold little inventory. But, that came a price for consumers—no returns and slow delivery times.  They put themselves up for sale and were purchased this week by QVC.  Word is that it will be run separately from the TV sales marketplace, but the acquisition gets QVC a different demographic slice of the shopping market and offers opportunity for cross promotion.

Chris Hayes Ashley MadisonAshley Madison data released to the public
And, in case you missed it, data from those with accounts at the cheating site AshleyMadison.com was released to the public this week. At first there was some question about whether the info was legit, but it appears it is—all 32 million user’s worth. As the Washington Post points out, this story is about way more than infidelity. It’s about privacy on the Internet. If this website was hacked, so could a lot of others that may not be quite so scintillating, but are vitally important to our lives (like, the IRS example above!). Something to consider as you surf the web in the coming weeks.

Jurassic World in 90 Seconds…in Lego
And for a little bit of Friday fun, you’ve got to check out this fairly hilarious animation that captures all the highlights of Jurassic World…in a minute and a half.  Apparently it took 200 hours to create!

 

 

About Missy Kellor

Missy works on the Corporate Communications team and reports stories to TDS employees and customers. This is right up her alley because she’s an extrovert and also a big fan of research (really, she’ll look up just about anything that strikes her interest). Missy is a native of Madison, Wis. with an undergraduate in Anthropology and a master’s degree in Life Sciences Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interest in the Internet as a mass media shaped her work towards a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s also worked as an editorial assistant, copywriter, and production artist. In her off hours, Missy is a crafter, Pinterest addict, reader, wife, and mom of two kids. You can find Missy on G+ and on Twitter.

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