TIME Email

Now You Can Make That Embarrassing Email You Sent Self-Destruct

dmail
Google Chrome

A new tool for Gmail lets you revoke access to messages whenever you please

Everyone’s fired off a hasty email that they desperately wish they could take back. A new Gmail tool will let you do that whenever you please.

Dmail is a new browser extension for Google Chrome that gives people more control of how long others can view their Gmail messages. When sending an email through Gmail, users can set a specific time when the message will self-destruct, ranging anywhere from an hour to a week. And even emails without a specific self-destruct timer can still be recalled by the sender at an time, making them unviewable to the recipient.

The product was developed by the people who made the social bookmarking service Delicious. Eventually the team wants to expand the application to let users set self-destructing timers on other types of documents, such as PDFs.

Google itself seems to understand the value of being able to take back an email as well. The company recently made its Undo feature, which allows users to delete an email up to 30 seconds after it’s sent, standard across Gmail.

[TechCrunch]

TIME Uber

Toronto Cab Drivers Sue Uber for $300 Million

The Hamptons Lure Uber Top Drivers Amid NYC Slow Summer Weekends
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Class-action suit could include drivers across Ontario

Toronto cab drivers are suing the ride-hailing app Uber for over $300 million ($400 million Canadian) in damages and seeking an injunction to get the startup out of the Canadian city.

The class-action lawsuit, which specifically targets the low-cost UberX service, covers all cab drivers in Ontario, according to the law firm representing the drivers. Uber said the suit was without merit.

An earlier attempt by the city of Toronto to remove Uber from the city was rejected by an Ontario court. On Thursday Uber expanded into several new cities in southwestern Ontario, including Hamilton and London.

Toronto is just one of many cities where Uber is embroiled in municipal fights. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio had threatened to impose a cap on the number of Uber cars that could drive in the city, but tabled the initiative this week. In France the company suspended its Uberpop service at the start of July following large protests by the city’s taxi drivers.

[Reuters]

TIME movies

Sony Tweaked Adam Sandler Movie Pixels to Avoid Embarrassing China

Executives made changes to assure a good reception, according to leaked emails

Sony altered a scene in its newly released film Pixels in order to avoid running afoul of censors in China, now the second-largest film market after the United States.

Reuters reports, citing emails leaked by Sony hackers, that a scene in the original Pixels script featuring aliens shooting a hole in the Great Wall of China was scrapped because it would “not benefit the China release at all,” according to a Sony executive.

Other changes included removing a mention of China as the potential perpetrator of an attack during the movie and a reference to a cyberattack by a “Communist-conspiracy brother.”

Emails sent in 2013 also showed that a Sony executive wanted to alter the plot of the studio’s action film RoboCop by locating a weapon company in the movie in Southeast Asia rather than China. That change didn’t make it into the final cut of the film.

Movie censorship guidelines in China ban content that disparages the government, endangers national unity or harms public morale. Studios in the past have been known to change their movies specifically to appeal to Chinese audiences. Marvel, for instance, lengthened a scene in Iron Man 3 featuring a Chinese doctor specifically for the Chinese release.

In a statement to Reuters, Sony said that creating content that has wide global appeal but doesn’t compromise creative integrity is a top priority as it develops films.

[Reuters]

 

TIME apps

YouTube Is About to Look Very Different

Google Holds Event For Creators At YouTube Tokyo Space
Kiyoshi Ota—Bloomberg/Getty Images An employee holding recording equipment walks past Google Inc.'s YouTube logo displayed at the company's YouTube Space studio in Tokyo, Japan, on March 30, 2013.

On your cellphone, at least

The horror of watching a vertical YouTube video on your cellphone marred by enormous black borders will soon be behind us.

The video site announced Thursday that its redesigned mobile app features a vertical video mode that will better display such content, CNN Money reports. Vertical videos have long been the scourge of the Internet, but they better fit the aspect ratio of smartphones and have become popular among young users thanks to Snapchat, which encourages them.

In addition to improving video playback, the new app features a subscriptions tab that allows users to see a stream of new videos from channels they follow, as well as improved editing tools for shooting video directly within the app. The updated app is available now on Android and coming soon to iOS.

More than half of YouTube’s views now come from mobile devices. The Google-owned brand, which is facing ever-increasing pressure from competitors like Facebook, also revealed that its total watch time is up 60% year-over-year.

[CNN Money]

TIME Race

Majority of Americans Now Say Race Relations Are Bad

Confederate Flag Columbia South Carolina
John Moore—Getty Images A man holds a Confederate flag on the state house grounds in Columbia, S.C. on July 18, 2015.

A significant reversal since President Obama's election

When Americans elected the first black president in 2008, two-thirds thought race relations were generally good. But that’s not the case anymore.

According to a new New York Times/CBS poll, six in 10 Americans now think race relations are poor, and four in 10 think they are getting worse. The reversal comes in the wake of the June killing of nine black people in a historically black church in South Carolina and amidst ongoing, racially charged protests concerning police killings of black people around the country.

Blacks in particular have had a dramatic shift in their view of race relations during the Obama era. Six in 10 said race relations were bad in 2008, but that figure dropped to around 30% just after President Obama was elected. Today more than two-thirds of blacks say race relations are poor, which is close to the figures seen in the aftermath of Rodney King’s beating by police officers in the early 1990s.

A majority of white respondents also said race relations were poor, but for them it was the first acknowledgement of that fact in a long time. In 2008, before Obama’s election, nearly 60% of whites said race relations were good in the U.S.

[NYT]

TIME Economy

Here’s Every City in America Getting a $15 Minimum Wage

As New York is set to raise fast food workers' pay

When dozens of New York fast food workers walked off the job in 2013 demanding minimum pay of $15 per hour, their campaign seemed like a longshot. But two years, several nationwide strikes and new rules laws later, a $15 minimum wage is becoming a reality for millions of workers across the United States.

The workers’ campaign, known as Fast Food Forward and backed by the Service Employees International Union, has slowly gained momentum through a series of increasingly large one-day strikes targeting fast food chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King. At first, the effects of the strikes seemed small, with individual restaurant owners conceding to minuscule wage increases for some of their workers. But even as businesspeople were doing their best to ignore the movement, politicians were paying close attention.

Over the last two years, several cities and now the entire state of New York either have or are in the process of enacting a $15 minimum wage for various workers. Here’s a look at the cities that have enacted huge pay increases, and the ones that could still be to come.

New York

How it Happened: A wage board appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented a recommendation Wednesday to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 per hour across the state, up from the current $8.75. Cuomo has enthusiastically backed the initiative.

The Plan: In New York City, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 by the end of this year, then increase incrementally each year to reach $15 by 2018. In the rest of the state, the increments will be smaller and $15 will be reached by 2021. The wage increases apply only to fast food chains with at least 30 locations in the U.S.

The Effect: None yet, since the measure still must be approved by the state’s labor commissioner. Experts predict other types of businesses that employ low-wage workers, like retailers or landscapers, will have to increase wages to compete with fast food restaurants.

Seattle

How it Happened: Mayor Ed Murray made increasing the minimum wage one of his first priorities when taking office at the start of 2014. In May of that year, he put forth a proposal to increase the city’s minimum wage from Washington state’s rate of $9.32 to to $15 over several years. The city council approved the measure a month later.

The Plan: Workers at large businesses with 500 or more U.S. employees will see their wages hit $15 per her hour by 2017. Workers at businesses with fewer than 500 U.S. employees will reach that rate by 2021. After the hikes, large businesses will have to keep increasing wages to keep pace with inflation.

The Effects So Far: The first stage of Seattle’s plan went into effect in April 2015, with large businesses raising their minimum wage to $11 per hour and small businesses’ wages rising to $10. So far, the effects are largely anecdotal. Some local restaurants have raised prices from 4 to 21%. In nearby SeaTac, where the minimum wage for some workers jumped to $15 per hour last year, there hasn’t been any measurable economic fallout.

San Francisco

How it Happened: City residents voted by a large majority to raise the city’s minimum wage from $10.74 to $15 last November.

The Plan: Wages have already jumped to $12.25, and will increase to $15 by 2018. After that, the minimum wage will increase every year at a rate tied to the consumer price index.

The Effects So Far: This year’s wage increase boosted the pay for as many as 86,000 workers, most of whom were women and minorities, according to one estimate. However, at least one local bookstore said it would close due to the increased costs.

Los Angeles

How it Happened: The Los Angeles city council voted in May to increase the local minimum wage to $15 by 2020, up from the current $9. This week the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors also voted to increase the minimum wage to $15 for people working in unincorporated parts of the county.

The Plan: Workers will earn $10.50 per hour starting next year, with incremental increases until they make $15 in 2020. The hikes are delayed by a year for workers at businesses with 25 or fewer employees. After reaching $15, annual minimum wage increases will be tied to the consumer price index.

The Effects So Far: Because many cities in L.A. County, like Pasadena and Long Beach, haven’t yet committed to matching the county’s wage increase, prices for goods and services at stores very close to one another could become highly skewed.

Washington, D.C.

How it Might Happen: Residents of the nation’s capital will vote next year on whether to increase the minimum wage to $15 from the current $10.50.

The Plan: The minimum wage would increase to $15 per hour by 2020 and would afterward be tied to increases in the consumer price index.

TIME apps

Google Maps Now Lets You Retrace Every Step You Take

And every move you make

In case you’ve ever wanted a comprehensive log of every step you’ve taken in the last day, week, month or year, Google now has you covered.

The search giant has announced a new feature for Google Maps called “Your Timeline,” which meticulously tracks and records the locations you travel with your smartphone. Pictures stored in Google Photos will also show up on the day and location they were taken.

The log could be useful for recalling a museum you visited on a vacation or a bar you stumbled into during a night out on the town, Google says in a blog post. It’s also easy to imagine way more awful ways this data could be used, but the feature is private and visible only to each specific user.

Your Timeline will be available on Android and desktop to users who have opted in to share their location history with Google (enabling this setting also improves Google Now, the company’s context-sensitive digital assistant). Visit this page to toggle the setting on or off.

TIME Google

See the Fantastically Weird Images Google’s Self-Evolving Software Made

See what Google's photo identification software thinks it sees in various images.

TIME Media

Spotify Will Send You a Personalized Mixtape Every Week

New feature will compete with curated playlists on Apple and Google's music services

With curation becoming an ever-more-important aspect of the music streaming wars, Spotify is adding a new feature to help its users find interesting, personalized playlists.

The company on Monday announced a new feature called “Discover Weekly,” which will serve users a two-hour-long playlist once a week based on their musical tastes. The list is populated based on a user’s listening habits, as well as the songs other users with similar taste are listening to or adding to their own playlists.

Spotify likens the selection of songs to “having your best friend make you a personalized mixtape every single week.” The first playlists should be available Monday.

The new feature is another maneuver to keep Spotify users from decamping for Apple Music, which is currently offering a three-month free trial to curious music listeners. One of Apple Music’s big pitches is a “For You” section that shows users playlists curated by experts based on their past listening habits. Spotify already has its own music discovery features, but they’re not as front-and-center as they are on Apple Music.

TIME Autos

Tesla’s New ‘Ludicrous Speed’ Might Make Your Brain Explode

North American Int'l Auto Show Features Latest Car Models From Around The World
Bill Pugliano—Getty Images The Tesla Model S Signature is shown during a media preview day at the 2012 North American International Auto Show January 10, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan.

Ludicrous speed, GO!

For the environmentally conscious daredevils out there, Tesla is offering to boost the acceleration of its flagship sedan.

CEO Elon Musk announced Friday a new “Ludicrous Speed” upgrade for the company’s top-end Model S. With the new feature, the vehicle can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds, a 10% improvement from the Model S’ former max acceleration. The car can travel a quarter-mile in just 10.9 seconds.

The upgrade doesn’t come cheap. “Ludicrous Speed” will run customers $10,000, and it’s only available on the already pricey P85D model, which starts at $105,000 (a slightly less ludicrously speedy version of the feature will also be optional for Tesla’s upcoming Model X SUV). But if you’re trying to live like a secret agent in the danger zone, the speed boost may be worth it.

“It’s faster than falling”, Musk said. “It’s like having your own private roller coaster.”

For reference, here’s a video of people reacting to “Insane Mode,” the last major Tesla acceleration upgrade:

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