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Technology

Mindy Kaling Helps Google Teach Girls to Code

Mindy Kaling

Pic via Taylor Hill/Filmmagic for Google

We’re all aware that the tech world faces a gender balance issue that is much more than just a simple “public relations problem”. We recently posted on a coming documentary designed to highlight female entrepreneurs, but Google is spending millions of bucks to address the lack of women in the coding community–and they picked an unlikely celebrity to help spread the message: actress/writer Mindy Kaling.

This morning Kaling explained a bit more about the strategy and her status as spokeswoman for “geeky” girls everywhere in an interview with WNYC’s New Tech City.

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APOCALYPSE WATCH: 47% of Americans ‘Can’t Last a Day’ Without a Smartphone

smartphone addictionSo, I love my phone.

I’m at a stop light — there’s my phone. I’m bored in a meeting — there’s my phone. I’m spending 5-10 minutes “occupied” — there’s my phone. Whatever the need, my phone is my trusty sidekick.

The difference between me and you (shout out to Dr. Dre) is that I can put the thing down, take a deep breath, and walk away. However, there are others who break out in hives if the thought even comes up in conversation.

And thanks to this study by Bank of America, we find that almost half of this country feels the same way. That explains a lot.

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We’re Getting the Second Life Relaunch No One Asked For


For a hot minute back in 2005, people were creating avatars and living a second life on Second Life like there was no tomorrow. PRs were hosting Second Life press conferences. (If you had one of these, please feel free to take to the comments and reminisce.) Brands were creating entire countries (countries, right?) where fans could become immersed in a digital world.

Then it was gone.

But now Second Life is coming back! Are those cheers I hear for this news or is there a World Cup match on?

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‘Knowledge Engine’ Mediander Connects Readers and Publishers

mediander

In case you’ve ever dreamed of a content aggregator focused on the higher end of the cultural ladder, last month’s BookExpo saw the launch of Mediander, a “knowledge engine” and ecommerce site described as your “one-stop destination for all different kinds of content including information, books, and videos.”

Mediander isn’t just a blog or knowledge base; it could serve as the connection between publishers and the literary set that forms their core demographic. As a recent Publishing Perspectives post put it, Mediander “promises an answer for Internet information overload.”

We recently spoke to Michael J. Fine, Founder and CEO, and Kaethe Fine, Creative Director, to learn more.

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Google Rules the Lobbying Roost in D.C.

shutterstock_183182003

We all know that Google is powerful–but a new Politico story goes into a bit more detail about how powerful. As for the why behind the company’s new D.C. office, located “within walking distance of Capitol Hill”:

“The company has hired an army of lobbyists from coast to coast as it seeks to protect its self-driving cars, computer-mounted glasses and other emerging technologies from new rules and restrictions”

It’s not all Washington for Google, though: the company’s aim is to use congressmen and other representatives to help fight various regulations in locales around the country.

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#PRFail: Microsoft Offers To Pay TechCrunch Founder To Promote Internet Explorer

Microsoft-Logo-square

Today in not-exactly-breaking news: Microsoft Internet Explorer lags well behind both Chrome and Firefox when it comes to overall browser usage (though they’re still ahead of Safari and Opera, whatever that is).

This week, the company “accidentally” committed a big PR no-no in its latest attempt to promote the browser; a “vendor” offered to pay TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to write a post hyping the “reworked” version of the product.

Arrington responded with a post on UnCrunched expressing his disbelief: “do people still do this?”

Apparently so.

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Google Now Ready to Begin ‘Forgetting’ Europeans

ooli

Last month, several of our favorite PR experts weighed in on a European Union court’s decision to force Google to consider “forgetting” individual Europeans when their search results include unflattering links. The general consensus held that, while this decision could greatly affect European clients, it would almost certainly not spread to the U.S.

Yesterday, however, Google announced that it was ready to begin the process of forgetting. Details after the jump.

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App Gets Far Too Much Press Coverage for Saying ‘Yo’

YO

Yo, we’ve never been able to resist a passing bandwagon, so we’ll mention the app that everyone’s covering today.

What does it do? It allows users to set up accounts and send a single-word message to fellow users: “Yo.

It’s like an independent version of Facebook’s super-creepy Poke–and it has led to some serious queries among the journalistic community this afternoon…

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THIS JUST IN: Canadian Supreme Court Hearts Internet Trolls

THIS JUST IN 2Discussions about offering the full slate of human rights to certain undesirables began with prisoners. Then, the debate extended to deadbeat dads. A small group of people began using that argument for reality stars.

And now, that heated discussion has Internet trolls in its cross hairs. They create a fake profile, use a fake email, keep the egg head avatar, develop a catchy name like “YourMom” and proceed to hurl hate bombs in your direction.

Today, even the worst trolls have a home. If you want to travel north of the border, don’t get those Canucks miffed because the Canadian Supreme Court could care less about your feelers or their anonymity.

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Aaron Paul TV Ad Accidentally Turns On Xbox Ones, Annoys the Hell Out of People

One of the coolest things about the Xbox One is arguably its Kinect voice command feature, so of course Microsoft would want to highlight this capability in its new ads — but apparently the demonstration is working a little too well.

The new spot features Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad” using his Xbox One in all its voice command glory, but when Paul tells his console to turn itself on, he’s accidentally turning on consoles in living rooms everywhere. Xbox One owners have taken to Twitter to share their surprise, amusement, and, at times, sputtering frustration.

 

Intentional? Probably not. Interesting? Definitely. Mike Cannon of Tech Times brings up an eerie thought: if an ad can do this by mistake, how long until marketers start doing it on purpose? Read more

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