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Analyzing the top news stories across the web

July 19 2016 12:47 PM

Starbucks Is Banning Porn From Its Free Wi-Fi

Customers will soon no longer be able to watch porn at Starbucks.

The coffee giant will soon block explicit websites, CNN reports.

“Once we determine that our customers can access our free Wi-Fi in a way that also doesn’t involuntarily block unintended content, we will implement this in our stores,” a Starbucks spokesperson told CNN on Friday.

“In the meantime, we reserve the right to stop any behavior that interferes with our customer experience, including what is accessed on our free Wi-Fi.”

The new policy comes after years of pressure from the internet-safety organization Enough is Enough.

“We are pleased by Starbucks’ decision to make its stores safer for families and children by pursuing an effective Wi-Fi filtering solution,” Donna Rice Hughes, president of EIE, said in a statement.

“We are hopeful that in the very near future, Starbucks will be filtering their coffee and their Wi-Fi, both nationally and globally.”

Starbucks’ decision comes on the heels of McDonald’s decision to implement a filtered Wi-Fi policy in corporate locations. Other chains that have agreed to filter Wi-Fi include Panera Bread, Subway, and Chick-fil-A.

July 18 2016 1:57 PM

Calorie Counts Are Coming to Some American Beers

Soon, beer bottles and cans will contain calorie counts.

On Tuesday, the hugely influential Beer Institute, a trade association, announced an initiative to encourage companies to display information such as calories, carbohydrates, and alcohol by volume on all beverage labels. The organization's members include Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and the Craft Brew Alliance, and they produce more than 81 percent of all beer, by volume, sold in the U.S.

July 14 2016 6:09 PM

Taco Bell’s Newest Dish Is Massive and Possibly Obscene

Taco Bell is launching a Triple Double Crunchwrap.

The new dish contains double layers of seasoned beef, nacho sauce, and tostada shell. In addition to the regular Triple Double Crunchwrap, the chain will also be selling a spicy version with fresh jalapeños and spicy ranch sauce.

Taco Bell added the new dish to the menu on Thursday, July 14. Both versions of the Triple Double Crunchwrap will be priced at $3.49.

Excited Taco Bell fans are already buzzing about the new dish. Some Reddit users are plotting a potential overnight tailgate to get the Triple Double Crunchwrap at the earliest possible moment, and Taco Bell customers are taking to social media to discuss the item.

Customers who managed to sneak an early taste of the Triple Double Crunchwrap are saying that it’s tasty—and huge.

Taco Bell launched the Crunchwrap Supreme in 2005, at which time it was Taco Bell’s most successful product introduction.

July 14 2016 12:04 PM

Drinking Wine From Cans Is Now Popular and Acceptable

The future of wine is here, and it comes in a can.

Canned wine sales have more than doubled in the past year, growing 125.2 percent in sales in the 52 weeks ending on June 18, according to new Nielsen data.

In that period, the canned wine industry drove $6.4 million in sales.

Wine in a can has been on the shelves for the last few years, clocking in as a $1.9-million industry in the year ending in June 2012.

However, most of the business prior to last year was primarily in sparkling wine, such as Sofia mini champagnes, with sparkling wine making up 90 percent of all canned wine sales in 2012.

But that’s all changed.

Canned table-wine sales increased tenfold, from $668,003 in the year ending in June 2015, to $6.7 million in the year ending in June 2016. Canned non-sparkling wine sales are now double that of canned sparkling wine.

“A great part is coming from just increased availability from a handful of brands,” Danelle Kosmal, Nielsen North American’s vice president, beverage alcohol, told Business Insider.

“It’s more visible, and it gives wine drinkers, especially millennials, something new to try.”

When Whole Foods named canned wine as a trend to watch out for in 2016, the retailer name dropped up-and-coming wine brands, including Infinite Monkey Theorem (which launched canned non-sparkling wine in 2011) and Presto Sparkling wine.

Huge wine brands are also getting in on the trend. Barefoot Wine & Bubbly launched a canned wine spritzer in April, geared towards customers drinking outdoors and drinking during the day.

July 13 2016 4:04 PM

Prime Day Was Amazon's Biggest Payday Ever

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Amazon's own shopping holiday, Prime Day, saw customer orders around the world shoot up by 60 percent, making it the largest day of sales by volume for the online retailer in its history.

Amazon is calling it its "biggest day ever."

July 12 2016 7:38 PM

How Secretive VR Start-Up Magic Leap Keeps Its Testers Quiet

Magic Leap is working on “mixed reality” technology so mind-blowing that the people who’ve seen it rave about it.

Magic Leap has raised over $1 billion in venture money to build a new kind of computer.

It's a pair of glasses that project computer-generated images onto your field of vision. They look so real, your brain can’t tell the difference, founder and CEO Rony Abovitz told attendees of Fortune Brainstorm in Aspen, Colorado, on Tuesday.

The CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, who creates all kinds of amazing technology-infused experiences, lights up when he talks about Magic Leap.

“I stood in a room and had Tinker Bell fly up to me, around me,” Iger said on Monday at the conference. “It looked extremely real. I thought I could touch her. That starts to get very exciting.”

Disney’s Lucasfilm is one on a long list of companies working with Magic Leap to create content for the glasses. Magic Leap, based in Florida, has a “secret lab” at the Lucasfilm campus in the Bay Area, Abovitz told attendees.

Abovitz also said the company is getting very close to releasing its first products. The company now has over 600 employees and the “system is working,” he said. Magic Leap has “a big factory,” reconfigured from an old Motorola factory.

July 11 2016 8:28 PM

Restaurants Are Using Pokémon Go to Catch Customers

In just a few days, Pokémon Go has become a smash hit. Now, it’s impacting all aspects of players’ lives—including where they eat.

Social media reports reveal that Pokémon Go players are making their restaurant choices based on the availability of Pokémon in the area. And, restaurants are using that fact to attract customers.

The game, which launched last week, requires users to go to specific sites to “catch” Pokémon. These sites can be anywhere from hospitals, to abandoned hot dogs stands, to a vast array of restaurants.

July 6 2016 12:49 PM

A Man Who “Felt Google Was Watching Him” Set One of Its Street View Cars on Fire

Prosecutors have charged an Oakland man who "felt Google was watching him" for setting one of the company's Street View vehicles on fire.

Police arrested Raul Diaz on the Google campus on June 30 and found a firearms case and items to make a pipe bomb in his car, according to an affidavit filed July 1 with the US District Court in San Jose.

July 5 2016 11:45 AM

San Francisco Might Tax Tech Companies More to Address Its Homelessness Problem

San Francisco city officials have found a possible solution to the city’s homelessness problems: taxing tech companies.

The proposal, which was introduced by three city legislators last week, would require the city’s tech firms to pay a 1.5 percent payroll tax, which would be used to pay for programs for the homeless and to aid in solving San Francisco’s affordable housing issues, according to The New York Times.

The tax could raise nearly $140 million each year and would help the city balance its $9.6 billion budget. It could be a preemptive step to help the city’s economy as the tech boom slows down—City Controller Benjamin Rosenfield told The Times the he can already see “signs of cooling.”

The tax would affect companies like Twitter, who received tax breaks to stay in the city of San Francisco instead of moving out to Silicon Valley. Known as the “Twitter tax break,” the incentive allowed companies to avoid $34 million in city payroll taxes for moving to a neighborhood called Mid-Market.

June 30 2016 10:29 AM

Google Is About to Use the Fastest Undersea Cable Ever Built 

Google has a message for Facebook and Microsoft: Eat our spray.

While those two companies have just begun a project to build an undersea cable to speed up internet access to their services, on Thursday, Google will flip the switch on its cable.

Google and its partners started building it two years ago.

Google teamed up with five Asian telecom companies to fund a $300 million underwater cable network connecting the US and Japan in 2014.

In a blog posting announcing the cable was being turned on, Alan Chin-Lun Cheung, who is on Google’s Submarine Networking Infrastructure team, wrote:

“The FASTER Cable System gives Google access to up to 10Tbps of the cable’s total 60Tbps bandwidth between the US and Japan.  We will use this capacity to support our users, including Google Apps and Cloud Platform customers. This is the highest-capacity undersea cable ever built—about ten million times faster than your average cable modem—and we’re beaming light through it starting today.”

 

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