Facebook now lets you (sorta) control what info it gets from other sites
- If you clear your off-Facebook activity, we’ll remove your identifying information from the data that apps and websites choose to send us.
- We won’t know which websites you visited or what you did there, and we won’t use any of the data you disconnect to target ads to you on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger… Our engineering teams redesigned our systems and built a new way for them to process information.
- It’s not going to stop collecting the data — it’ll just scrub any of your personal info from it.
- Facebook says it’ll be rolling the feature out to more countries “over the coming months to help ensure it’s working reliably for everyone.” We’ll have to see how good the tools are once they’re available to us.
Nest users can now voluntarily euthanize their accounts, switch to Google
- Until now, the transition has mostly involved news and new products, but now a recent update to the Nest app will let existing Nest users "migrate their account to Google." Be warned that doing this will break a lot of things and is irreversible.
- Google's support page on the transition warns that the process "is not reversible" and that "During the migration process, you will need to remove and disconnect all your WWN third-party product connections (also not reversible)." This means you'll have to take careful stock of your Nest integrations before you switch and make sure you know what will and won't break.
- Further ReadingGoogle’s constant product shutdowns are damaging its brandRegardless of whether Nest users choose to switch to a Google Account, the Works with Nest ecosystem will stop accepting new connections August 31.
Netflix aims to retain subscribers with launch of a feature to track new releases
- Hoping to keep viewers engaged with its content, Netflix today announced the launch of a new section called “Latest” in its TV app, designed to highlight the streaming service’s recent and upcoming releases.
- Netflix director of product innovation Cameron Johnson told the outlet the experience was similar, in a way, to movie trailers, as it’s also designed to get people interested in upcoming releases.
- Today, its multi-billion dollar investments in original content has led to the streamer being best known for its own breakout hits, like Orange is the New Black or House of Cards, for example.
- More than ever, Netflix needs to keep its viewers locked in, and one of the best ways to do this is to remind them there are new movies and shows they will want to watch.
IRS budget cuts cost $34.3B in lost revenue from big business
- A series of budget cuts at the Internal Revenue Service has led to an estimated $34.3 billion in lost tax revenue from large companies, according to a new study.
- In recent years, especially since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017, Congress has appropriated more funding for the IRS to implement the new tax law, as well as deal with issues such as taxpayer identity theft, taxpayer service and computer modernization.
- The researchers believe their study should be of interest to lawmakers when Congress weighs the amount of funding to appropriate to the IRS, particularly as the IRS faces further resource constraints as a result of the new responsibilities of implementing not only the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, but also the more recent Taxpayer First Act, which promises to reform many of the practices of the IRS, including the appeals process.
A man lost his wife in the El Paso Walmart shooting, then his car was stolen during her funeral. His community came together to replace it.
- Antonio Basco lived in his blue Ford Escape in the Walmart parking lot for nearly a week after his wife Margie Reckard was among 21 people killed in the store on August 3.
- But just hours after Margie's funeral, Basco's SUV was stolen and totaled.
- Residents of El Paso shared photos of the totaled Escape on Facebook, and a local dealership stepped in to find him a new car, Buzzfeed News reported.
- Casa Ford Lincoln said Basco initially wanted to repair the SUV because it had belonged to his wife, but Ronnie Lowenfield, who owns Casa Ford Lincoln with his brothers, offered another suggestion.
- Lowenfield learned that Basco's pressure washer, which he uses to make money washing cars, was stolen from the car, but a man from Alpine, Texas, offered to donate a new one.
How banking-as-a-service (BaaS) works and industry outlook
- BaaS is an end-to-end process that allows fintechs and other third parties to connect with banks' systems directly via APIs so they can build banking offerings on top of the providers' regulated infrastructure, as well as unlock the open banking opportunity reshaping the global financial services landscape.
- Tech-savvy legacy banks that create their own BaaS platforms now will not only get ahead of the open banking opportunity before their competitors, but also unlock a new stream of revenue by monetizing their platforms.
- Beyond adding a new revenue stream, developing a BaaS solution also allows legacy banks to establish relationships and forge partnerships with emerging fintechs — thereby keeping themselves ahead of the trends that will inevitably follow once BaaS and open banking become mainstream.
- To stay on top of today's (and tomorrow's) digital trends, Business Insider Intelligence is launching Banking, our newest research coverage area tailored for decision-makers in the financial services industry.
Facebook is looking for journalists with 'excellent news judgment' to run its forthcoming news section
- Facebook has started to hire for a team of journalists to staff its forthcoming news section as it tries to restore its credibility that's been dented by the spread of fake news on the platform.
- The social networking giant has posted three job openings for "experienced journalists" to be "news curators." The curators will pick content from publishers covering the most important stories of the day; develop plans for news events; analyze data to inform news strategy; and work with product teams to improve user experience.
- Facebook is still trying to get publishers like The New York Times and The Washington Post to sign on ahead of a rollout starting in late October in the US.
- It's been reported to be offering publishers as much as $3 million a year for three years to provide news for the section.
Phoenix police must now document each time they point their gun at someone
- The decision comes two months after a tense community meeting where residents vented about a well-publicized incident, in which video showed an officer pull a gun on a family during a shoplifting investigation outside a Phoenix dollar store in May. City officials haven't linked Tuesday's announcement directly to that incident.
- A Phoenix community panel had recommended gun-pointing documentation in 2015, when it was studying police relations with city residents.
- Jeff Hynes, a Glendale Community College justice studies professor and a retired Phoenix police commander, is concerned that the new tracking could cause some officers to hesitate in life-threatening situations, he told CNN affiliate KPHO.
- In that incident, a Phoenix couple said officers drew guns on them in a parking lot after their 4-year-old allegedly stole a doll from the store.
Al Jackson, original New York Met, dies at 83
- The lefty pitcher saw the Flushing franchise at their first -- and at their worst.
- Jackson took the mound for the Mets' inaugural season in 1962.
- The shiny new team, full of big city hopes and dreams, tripped right out of the gate and ended the year with a 40-120 record, the worst record in modern baseball history.
- Jackson, however, put together several years of solid pitching between tenures with the Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals.
- He left the Mets for good in the summer of 1969, just months before the team won their first World Series.
- After his playing career, Jackson spent several decades as a coach and mentor around the league, eventually returning to the Mets as a minor league instructor.
- The Mets announced Jackson's death on Monday.
Once again, Trump backed down on gun control after talking to the NRA
- Trump, famously impulsive and prone to being influenced by those with whom he last spoke, told reporters just days after the El Paso and Dayton shootings that he supported heightened background checks for gun owners.
- Since those meetings, Trump has re-adopted several traditional NRA talking points about gun-control legislation: blaming mental illnesses rather than gun violence, talking up the Second Amendment, insisting that the US should focus on enforcing laws that already exist rather than creating new ones, and arguing that guns aren't to blame for their owners' actions.
- After initially suggesting that Republicans should "fight" the NRA "every once in awhile" and look into several gun-control measures, Trump soon backed away from supporting heightened background checks and raising the age limit for rifle purchases.
- Yet despite Trump's about-face after NRA intervention, polling shows that public support for background checks — even among Republicans — is high.