TIME Nike

How Nike’s Medieval Ice Pack Helmet Will Cool Athletes’ Skulls

Or, how to be cool without looking cool.

According to Nike, pouring a bottle of water on your head isn’t a good enough way to cool down after finishing a decathlon. The sporting goods company’s solution? A super-cooling piece of headgear, which doesn’t have a price tag yet, but is surely more expensive than a water bottle.

The device fits snugly like a hat on the forehead, head and neck, then drapes over the face with loose mesh. It may make athletes look straight out of a Friday the 13th set, but the cooling effect might be worth the bad photos. The hood is like a head-shaped ice pack, which surrounds the athlete with chilled water.

In a Nike [fortune-stock symbol=”NKE”] press release, Olympic decathlete Ashton Eaton, who is partnering with Nike to create the headgear, explains why he wants to wear a medieval ice pack helmet: “A perfect scenario would be to fell like you’ve just started on every event. There more you do, the more attrition you experience.” For Eaton, cooling off quickly isn’t a matter of comfort: it helps him regenerate between his ten events.

Eaton is testing the prototypes for Nike in the months leading to the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to Wired. Olympic athlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who is married to Eaton, will be testing out the hood during her summer training as well.

TIME Solutions That Matter

See How Robotics Is Changing What It Means to Be Disabled

At the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) in Pittsburgh, Pa., veterans, engineers, doctors and researchers are working together to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Since 1994, Dr. Rory Cooper and his team have been solving everyday problems of people with disabilities and inventing new technologies to change the way people with disabilities interact with and experience the world around them

TIME windows 10

Microsoft Out-hypes Itself With a Windows 10 Music Video

GERMANY-IT-CEBIT
TOBIAS SCHWARZ—AFP/Getty Images A man shows Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system at the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover.

The video opts for extreme simplicity

The Windows 10 hype machine has kicked into overdrive.

In celebration of the software update — which introduces a retooled interface, more built-in apps, and a Siri-like Cortana assistant — Microsoft has released a music video on YouTube.

The video mentions none of the new software’s features, instead opting for extreme simplicity.

A Windows logo, created by conceptual visual artist GMUNK, shimmers for one-and-a-half minutes set to music from electronic duo Odesza. The video is capped off with a blue screen that instructs viewers to “do great things.” That is, apparently, what users of Microsoft 10 can do once they get their hands on the update.

The new update has already begun downloading on some computers in preparation for its release Tuesday evening, at 9 p.m. PT and midnight ET. Windows 7 and Windows 8 users qualify for a free download of the update.

TIME Google

Google Has Stopped Its Annoying App Ads

Android Device Protection
Bloomberg via Getty Images An Android phone running Google software.

A study found most people abandon a page when presented with a full page ad.

Every mobile phone user understands how frustrating it can be when you’re trying to navigate a mobile website and suddenly you’re attacked by a full page ad beckoning you to “download this app.” In your frustration, do you download it? Continue to the site? Or do you simply abandon your search?

Google wanted to know which of those three options their customers tended towards, so they conducted a case study. They found that 9% of visitors to the interstitial page clicked the “Get App” button. Some of those users may have already had the app, and others may not have followed through with the download. Either way, it’s a fairly high click-through-rate. However, the number that they were most concerned with was how many visitors completely abandoned the page altogether: 69%.

They subsequently experimented with a Smart App Banner so that they could continue to promote their app without forcing users to interact with the interstitial page. There was no significant change to the number of app downloads, but their mobile site traffic increased by 17%.

Finding that the full page ad was unproductive, they officially decided to nix it. Although being able to ignore pop-ups more efficiently is exciting to many, some people aren’t as giddy about it. Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, a vocal Google critic, had this to say:

TIME facebook

Here’s Facebook’s Course To Combat Bias In The Workplace

The company is now sharing it with the public

Facebook is a prestigious Silicon Valley company where many people hope to work, and yet it has had trouble building on a truly diverse workforce despite repeated promises to do so.

So on Tuesday, COO Sheryl Sandberg shared in a blog post the company’s latest effort in that area: an anti-unconscious bias course for its employees. The company is now sharing it with the public via a new website, complete with videos and presentations on various topics.

“One of the most important things we can do to promote diversity in the workplace is to correct for the unconscious bias that all of us have,” Sandberg wrote. “At Facebook, we’ve worked with leading researchers to develop a training course that helps people recognize how bias can affect them, and gives them tools to interrupt and correct for bias when they see it in the workplace.”

Google released a similar body of resources and training materials in 2014.

In mid-June, Facebook released its second annual workforce diversity report. Much like the other large companies that have also released such reports in the last two years, not much has changed in Facebook’s numbers. The company saw only a one percentage-point increase in total female employees (32%) and in women in technical positions (16%). Women in senior positions stayed at the same level — just 23% of the company. Facebook also didn’t see much improvement in racial diversity, still mostly hiring white and Asian employees.

“Diversity is central to Facebook’s mission of creating a more open and connected world. To reflect the diversity of the 1.4 billion people using our products, we need to have people with different backgrounds, races, genders and points of view working at Facebook,” Sandberg wrote.

The videos cover four areas: stereotypes and performance bias, performance attribution bias, competence/likability tradeoff bias, and maternal bias. It’s not clear how Facebook has implemented these training materials within the company, although Sandberg notes that people have asked the company to share the course with others.

TIME Smartphones

Meet the $329 Phone Everyone’s Been Waiting For

The new OnePlus 2 smartphone.
OnePlus The new OnePlus 2 smartphone.

The OnePlus 2 is the best phone you've never heard of

OnePlus, a rising smartphone star in China, released a new, top-of-the-line product this morning. It’s a smartphone called the OnePlus 2—an admittedly clever bit of mathematical marketing—and it’s billed as the “2016 Flagship Killer.”

Translation: Dear Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, Huawei, and LG: We’re comin’ for ya.

The device itself is enticing. It’s based on Google’s Android operating system, as most phones that don’t start with “i” are, and has the latest mobile innards: A Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor rated at 1.8 GHz, four gigabytes of memory, 64 gigabytes of storage, 13- and five-megapixel cameras, a fingerprint sensor, and a 5.5-inch screen (about on par with the iPhone 6). It’s a bit heavier than Apple’s model. (Is it better? I’ll leave it to Fortune’s Jason Cipriani, who will soon answer that question in a forthcoming review.)

Most important, it’s $329 without a contract. That seems expensive to American consumers used to phones (on contract) in the $200 range, but consider that the iPhone is roughly $650 without a two-year service plan and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is $685. This is a strategy we’ve seen time and time again from Chinese manufacturers: Match the competition’s hardware and software and undercut them on price. It’s a page ripped directly from the South Korean playbook, itself ripped from the Japanese playbook. (For more on this dynamic, as well as the rise of OnePlus, read “Enter the Dragons,” Scott Cendrowski’s feature in the March 2015 issue of Fortune magazine.)

But despite the hyperbole and hyperventilation in the tech press this morning—”So good it makes me want to leave Verizon,” one early reviewer breathlessly wrote; “pushes the boundaries of what a flagship phone can be,” wrote another—the bigger strategic maneuver for OnePlus is clearly found in the business model. All smartphone makers are subject to the same hardware providers (unless they’re big enough to make proprietary components like Apple and Samsung). That leaves user experience (including customer service!) and price. What makes OnePlus different is its ability to match the former while achieving the latter,reportedly at cost. The marketing doesn’t hesitate to encourage it: “Never Settle” is the company’s slogan. “We believe that great products come from great ideas, not multi-million dollar marketing campaigns,” is a Samsung-targeted line it regularly trots out, even as it tries to reconcile both concepts in international courts of law.

It’s easy, of course, for a small company to punch up at the big giants; it’s got little to lose by starting a war with the incumbents. (Take note, 2016 U.S. presidential election contenders.) But OnePlus should not forget that those five companies—two Korean, one American, and two Chinese—comprise more than half of the global market for smartphones, per IDC’s latest estimates. While ascendant, OnePlus is still obscure to most consumers around the world, and it has yet to truly dominate its own, extraordinarily competitive home market. But with attitude aplenty, OnePlus may have already won an important battle before ever having shipped a single unit of its new model: The one for the minds of consumers who look at smartphones and see Apple, Samsung, and no one else. If this new device helps them see OnePlus, too, then it’s the kind of addition that all Chinese smartphone makers should cheer.

This article originally appeared on Fortune.com

TIME Amazon

Amazon Creates Startup Service To Find The Next GoPro

Amazon-prime-day
LIONEL BONAVENTURE—AFP/Getty Images

The company wants to be the go-to retail platform for emerging products.

Amazon is offering a new service that will make life easier for start-up founders. Amazon Launchpad, announced on Tuesday, creates an “Amazon Launchpad store” that will showcase start-up products and provide the makers with marketing and distribution support.

Start-up products featured in the store include the Soma Sustainable Pitcher and Plant-Based Water Filter, Rumpl High-Performance Indoor/Outdoor Blanket, Casper Mattress, and eero Home Wifi System, among others. So far, the store boasts more than 200 products from more than 25 accelerators, crowd-funding platforms, and venture capital firms.

“We…know from talking to startups that bringing a new product to market successfully can be just as challenging as building it,” Amazon Vice President Jim Adkins said in a press release. The Launchpad aims to smooth over that process by taking care of order fulfillment and customer service for start-ups. As a part of the launchpad, start-ups can offer their Amazon Prime customers free shipping.

“Amazon Launchpad gives customers access to a dedicated storefront featuring a variety of innovative new products from emerging brands. For startups, we handle inventory management, order fulfillment, customer service, and more, allowing them to focus their efforts on the innovation that results in more cool products,” Adkins said.

TIME Microsoft

Your Complete Guide to Microsoft Windows 10

It comes out early Wednesday morning

Microsoft is rolling out Windows 10 beginning at 12 a.m. ET Wednesday morning. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest Windows operating system before installing it.

5 Windows 10 Features We Can’t Wait to Use:

Microsoft’s personal digital assistant will feel familiar to anyone who regularly gives commands to Siri or Google Now, with one essential difference: Cortana will be baked into your desktop. As a result, Cortana can conduct a single search across your hard drive, as well as the cloud and the web, bundling the results into a single pop-up menu.

 

Why Windows 10 Is So Important for Microsoft’s Future:

Microsoft’s effort to right those wrongs arrives this week with Wednesday’s launch of Windows 10 (the company skipped “Windows 9″). Windows 10 lets users easily restore the old Windows interface, while simultaneously gently nudging people to try the new style, too. I’ve been using a beta version of Windows 10 for some time, and it feels like a solid operating system. Over time, it will probably help Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reach his goal of having 1 billion Windows-powered devices on the market by the next two-to-three years.

Here’s What Really Makes Microsoft’s Cortana So Amazing:

Microsoft’s Cortana team says the goal is to strike up a chatty, inoffensive rapport with users, in the hope that users will reward Cortana with their trust and open the kimono on their personal data. That data is critical to Cortana’s success, because if Microsoft wants to outwit the brainiest digital assistants on the market — Apple’s Siri and Google Now — Cortana will first need to take a good, hard look at your browser history, your emails and your web searches. With your permission, of course.

This Is Microsoft’s Trick to Make Office Way Better on Smartphones

Microsoft has kept that dividing line in mind when designing the next generation of Office apps for Windows 10, which launches this summer. TIME got an early look at the new Windows Phone apps this week, which will be released in preview mode for Windows Phone Insiders by the end of the month. The company hopes the software’s new interfaces will let workers switch seamlessly from desktops to tablets to smartphones without straining their eyes, fingers or thumbs.

It Will Be Ridiculously Easy to Bring Apple and Android Apps to Windows

App developers whistled and applauded at Microsoft’s bombshell announcement Wednesday that they’ll be able to take code for Android and Apple apps and import it directly into the Windows ecosystem.

This Is Microsoft’s Big Secret Windows 10 Feature:

Microsoft announced last November Windows 10 would pack a technology called AllJoyn. An open source framework that encourages devices to be interoperable, AllJoyn was developed by the AllSeen Alliance, a group of more than 150 companies including the likes of Electrolux, Honeywell, LG, and Qualcomm that have banded together to make an open standard for Internet of Things (IoT) devices to speak to each other.

Microsoft Will Sell Windows 10 on a USB Stick:

Microsoft has confirmed it will make Windows 10 available for purchase via a USB stick, replacing the iconic disc packages that have defined the brand’s image for decades.

 

 

TIME Mobile

Google Fixed the Worst Part About Grocery Shopping

Google Lines
Google Google Lines

New search feature shows when stores have long lines

No one likes waiting in lines, but there’s little way to avoid them besides trying to ballpark when a business will be extremely busy.

Now, Google is rolling out a new feature in its search results that shows hourly foot traffic at millions of different businesses around the world. The feature works by using anonymized location data from people’s mobile phones, much in the same way Google measures traffic congestion data.

Google has gotten scarily good at predicting when a traffic jam is going to slow drivers down, so it will likely get equally skilled at predicting peak waiting times in stores eventually.

The feature is available across mobile phones and will begin rolling out in the next few days.

TIME Microsoft

Microsoft Just Unveiled This Totally Unexpected New Product

US-IT-INTERNET-SOFTWARE-MICROSOFT
AFP—AFP/Getty Images The Microsoft logo.

No, it doesn't have anything to do with Windows 10

While many Microsoft customers are patiently awaiting the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has surprised us all by quietly unveiling a completely unexpected new product: Arrow Launcher Beta.

Arrow Launcher is a basic and user-friendly Android launcher with three main pages, and as its name suggests this is an early version of the product.

Your home page contains all of your apps. It’s divided into a Recent section, displaying the ones you recently downloaded, and a Frequent section, showing the apps which you use most often. Swipe to the left of the home page to find your phone and email contacts, which are also organized by frequent use. To the right of the home page are your notes and reminders, a valuable feature that isn’t included in most Android launchers. Swipe up for a list of quick-access apps, settings, and feedback options.

Arrow Launcher is currently in private beta. In order to access it, you need an invitation, which you can ask for by joining this Google+ group. However, you may want to keep in mind that, as with any other product that’s undergoing beta-testing, Arrow Launcher does come with some bugs: the row of apps on the bottom of the home page may be cut off, the Frequent sections on the home and People pages take some time to settle in accurately and, as of yet, the launcher does not support widgets. If you think you’re strong enough to endure all that, you can request an invitation to access it by joining this Google+ group.

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