#1 | Facebook admits contractors were listening to users’ private conversations

Facebook has confirmed the use of external contractors that listened and transcribed users’ conversations. This practice was carried out to assess the quality of the audio to text functionality in the Messenger service. But the social media giant confirmed that it stopped using human reviewers after Google and Apple did the same. Nonetheless, this is yet another concern for 1.3 billion users of Facebook Messenger as it’s unclear just how many people were listened to. And as Messenger content like text and images are already scanned by the system, it’s increasingly evident that private conversations are neither private nor very secure. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2z0GmM6 http://bit.ly/2zcRlm5


#2 | Amazon will donate unsold products to charities  

Instead of sending unwanted products from third-party Marketplace sellers to the garbage dump, Amazon will now donate them to various US and UK charities. The new program, called Fulfilled by Amazon Donations, will ensure that millions of products find better use than being disposed of across dozens of countries. The e-commerce giant tossed three million televisions in 2018 in France alone. The new initiative will ensure that sellers have a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way to get rid of unsold inventory. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2YN3dKC http://bit.ly/33yFWe6

#3 | British Airways turns to VR to entertain first-class passengers    

British Airways plan to offer VR entertainment to first-class passengers on some flights between London’s Heathrow and New York’s JFK airports. The entertainment package will include 2D, 3D, and 360-degree format movies, documentaries, and TV shows. Also, users will be able to select guided meditations to calm nerves. Passengers will be provided with SkyLights headsets that are weighing just 250 grams and look like goggles produced by many other companies. Economy seat passengers are unlikely to receive this type of entertainment for now. Airlines like Qantas and Alaska already tested the use of immersive solutions during flights. Read more here: https://cnet.co/31D73Tm http://bit.ly/2TBLAYw

#4 | Nike launches a sneaker subscription program for children

Nike is launching a sneaker subscription program for kids ages two through 10. The program is called Nike Adventure Club and will offer parents several options including four pairs of sneakers a year for $20 a month, six pairs for $30 a month, or 12 pairs for $50 a month. The new initiative is targeting parents living in suburb and rural areas that find it time consuming to frequently take kids to a store to try shoes that they will anyway outgrow in a few months. Besides this, the subscription program enables the shoemaker to connect with customers beyond big cities and build a connection with kids. The company is also thinking about working in similar fashion with other groups like athletes by establishing a marathon membership program. Read more here: https://cnb.cx/2H5OxLx https://cnn.it/33FyJsW


#5 | San Francisco airport bans the sale of plastic water bottles

Shops, restaurants, lounges, and vending machines at San Francisco International Airport will not be allowed to sell plastic water bottles after August 20. The new policy urges passengers to bring their containers and refill them at stations around the airport. Reactions from travelers are mixed as some complain that they now have one more item to pack while others point out that allowing the sales of sodas and juices in plastic bottles forces people to buy these unhealthy drinks. Airport administrators noted that the ban applies only to water bottles because there are around 100 hydration stations with free filtered water. But flavored beverages are mostly bottled in plastic and there are no alternatives for them just yet. Read more here: http://bit.ly/2OZ7Nkp https://wapo.st/2YTicCQ

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