TIME Apple watch

Microsoft Just Gave the Apple Watch an Amazing New Feature

Apple Watch Available at Apple Retail Locations
Eric Thayer—Getty Images A customer with a newly purchased Apple Watch.

The device just keeps getting better

Quick and easy translation is right at your fingertips — or, more accurately, on your wrist — with the new Microsoft Translator for Apple Watch.

Almost all early adopters of the Apple Watch were satisfied with the product, and this feature only makes it better. All you have to do is speak into your watch and you’ll have access to translations in 50 different languages. The translator can speak any translated phrases for you that you can’t figure out how to pronounce. The app also allows you to save your most commonly used translations and recently used phrases for even quicker access.

They have a companion app for the iPhone for times when you would prefer to type phrases into your phone or manage your settings on a larger screen. All settings and translations are synchronized between your iPhone and Apple Watch.

This is especially good news for spies who can now go unnoticed as they talk into their watches and just blend in with the rest of us trying to figure out how to say “Where’s the bathroom?” in Chinese.

TIME Video Games

This Is World of Warcraft‘s Monumental New Expansion

The world's top subscription game is getting its 6th extension

You’re going toe to toe with the Burning Legion in the next expansion, World of Warcraft wonks. On a mammoth green-backlit stage, wearing black button-ups with arcane symbology, Blizzard’s creative leads unveiled the studio’s sixth expansion to its 11-year-old online fantasy opus at Gamescom 2015 in Cologne.

It’s called World of Warcraft: Legion, and the usual expansion upticks apply: a 10 level character ceiling bump to 110 (and the option to boost one character to level 100), the obligatory new dungeons, raids and world bosses, overhauled PvP progression, new “artifact” weapons (36 total, one for each specialization, customizable, and they get more powerful as you do), class order halls, a new mobility-focused hero class (Demon Hunter, can glide-attack and double-jump, ) and a new continent to explore.

MORE: 11 Things We Learned By Trying Every Virtual Reality Headset Out There

Blizzard says that continent, dubbed the Broken Isles and extant in the lore, lies at the heart of Azeroth, calling it a “long forgotten graveyard continent” and “formerly a bustling Night Elves civilization.” It’s draw is the tomb of Sargeras, another throwback lore point harboring the well-known creator/leader of the Burning Crusade, last seen in a convoluted flashback circa Blizzard’s pre-World of Warcraft real-time strategy entry Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Sargeras’s tomb is apparently an active gateway to endless legion worlds, a demonic invasion Blizzard described as bigger than the War of the Ancients, and “the biggest demonic invasion of Azeroth ever.”

The studio also highlighted what it called a bridging cinematic (video below), linking the last expansion, Warlords of Draenor, to Legion. In it, you can see Gul’dan (the hooded orc) exploring the tomb and unearthing Illidan himself, locked in that giant semi-translucent block of green.

World of Warcraft subscriptions have fallen dramatically over the past few years, most recently dropping from 7.1 million to 5.6 million players. In a recent earnings call, Activision said the game is still the top subscription-based title in the world.

We’re still waiting for Legion‘s release date or timeframe. If Blizzard announces one when this presentation is over, I’ll add it here.

Update: The original version of this story incorrectly referred to Illidan as Sargeras.

TIME YouTube

YouTube Finally Fixed This Annoying Feature

An employee at the Google Inc.'s YouTube Space studio in Tokyo, Japan.
Bloomberg via Getty Images An employee holding recording equipment walks past Google Inc.'s YouTube logo.

The 301+ views are no more.

The annoying 301+ frozen views on that popular YouTube video is no longer, the service announced on Twitter Wednesday.

When a video was going viral and notching thousands of plays in the past, a counter would be stuck at 301 while being verified. That practice, however, is history.

“We’re saying goodbye to 301+ and hello to more up-to-date video views,” YouTube announced on the social media service. Google-owned YouTube also posted a graphic with the tweet explaining the reasoning behind freezing the number of view counts at 301 initially.

“Now, we count views we’re confident come from real people as they’re recorded, and keep reviewing the rest,” YouTube wrote in the attached graphic.

Here’s the tweet for more information:

TIME privacy

These Companies Have the Best (And Worst) Privacy Policies

TIME teamed up with the Center for Plain Language to rank privacy policies from readable to ridiculous

Only the most diligent among us actually read technology companies’ privacy policies, though we all should. They lay out what the companies that we interact with daily are collecting and sharing about us—not to mention, in some cases, about our families and friends and everyone else we happen to correspond with.

But it’s not just on us, the users, to make an effort. Companies can package this information in a place that’s easy to find and in way that’s easy to understand and act on, or they can bury it beneath mounds of tedious legalese in some cobweb-strewn corner of their website.

In an effort to assess, exalt and shame some of the world’s leading tech companies for how they’ve presented privacy information to millions of users, TIME reached out to the Center for Plain Language. Every year, this non-profit grades government agencies on how well they’re following the spirit and letter of the Plain Writing Act—a 2010 law designed to eliminate bureaucratic gobbledygook. The Center also works with businesses, with the mission of teaching the powerful among us about how important it is to communicate in clear, comprehensible English.

We asked the Center’s experts to judge and rank the privacy policies of seven tech companies that most consumers know. They did this on several levels, assessing everything from design and tone to how many words writers tried to pack into each sentence. They also examined the more subjective “spirit” of their policies. Does the policy, for instance, make it easy for people to limit the ways in which the company collects their personal information? Or are instructions about opting out obscured in the policy’s hinterlands with no hyperlinks?

Here are their results, ranked from the company with the best-presented privacy policy to the worst, according to the Center for Plain Language:

  1. Google
  2. Facebook
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Apple
  5. Uber
  6. Twitter
  7. Lyft

To be clear, this is not an assessment of what data these companies have decided to collect from users or what they’ve decided to do with that data. Instead, it’s about how obvious they have made those decisions to the users affected by them. The companies who did this the best avoided jargon and confusing sentence structure, clearly organized their information and used a lively tone. The policies that did not rank highly contained 100-word-long sentences, obtuse explanations and little sense of design.

“A privacy policy that consumers are unlikely to read or understand provides no protection whatsoever,” the Center’s experts write in their report. “The results of our study are quite consistent, especially at the top and bottom of the rankings: Google and Facebook do a good job of communicating their privacy policies in a way that allows consumers to understand and make decisions—at least motivated consumers. And Lyft and Twitter do a poor job of communicating those policies. The remaining companies—LinkedIn, Uber, and Apple—do better in some areas than others.”

The Center used both expert judges to assess policies at a high level and software to evaluate the policies at the sentence level. Here are some telling comments about each company’s policy from judges Deborah Bosley, Meghan Codd Walker and Jeff Greer—all members of the Center for Plain Language Board. You can read the full version of their report at the bottom of this post.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.16.04 PM

#1. Google: No privacy notice is perfect, but Google has created a good model for a clear, plain language approach. I’m at times skeptical/concerned about how much access Google has to my personal information, but this notice’s audience-focused approach actually increased my trust in them.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.20.34 PM

#2. Facebook: “I think we should note the difference between the Apple and Facebook policies. Apple [simply] points out how they minimally store customer data. Facebook, in the “What kinds of information” section, documents just about every interaction a customer has, and then talks about how those interactions are collected and stored. I’m marking this as above average not because I agree with Facebook’s practices, but because they’ve clearly communicated those practices.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.21.40 PM

#3: LinkedIn: “I appreciate LinkedIn’s obvious efforts to make their privacy policy easier to understand . . . But when you dive deeper into the more thorough policy, I think the language and structure leave something to be desired. The sentences should often be shorter, and the lack of headers and bullets within sections make wading through the content harder—even if it mostly avoids jargon. I would use this privacy policy as a ‘good intentions but not quite there’ example of plain language.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.27.40 PM

#4: Apple: The notice seems to have some respect for the audience and feels credible. But I don’t think they genuinely want people to read the notice, given how they’ve hidden the paths for adjusting how you share your information.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.30.34 PM

#5: Uber:Outside of the short introduction, there’s nothing here that distinguishes the tone. It feels and reads like a document written by lawyers for people who don’t really read this kind of document. This could be softened with the use of contractions, or better yet, a plain language translation of the legalese.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.32.24 PM

#6: Twitter: There are occasional moments of clarity, but many of the sentences and paragraphs are long and hard to read . . . this is mostly a black and white wall of text.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 1.34.57 PM

#7: Lyft:The only decent parts of this notice are the clear headings they provide for each section. Readers can tell what should be in that section, but then the writing is so unclear, they likely won’t find the information they need . . . Everything about this notice screams, ‘We don’t want you to read this!'”

The report ends with the Center noting that all the policies show room for improvement, though they realize only a certain amount of candor is likely to come from such tech companies.

It seems unlikely that a business would give its customers this very plain message: “By reading this policy, you agree to let us keep track of you, your email and photos, where you go, your devices, the Internet providers you use, and possibly the same information for everyone in your social network. And if we decide we want more information, we will let you know—in some way—maybe before we start tracking that, too.”

On the other hand, the use of plain language tends to build trust between a company and its customers . . . the market will likely dictate when and the extent to which the companies improve.

Here’s the full report from the Center for Plain Language:

Center for Plain Language Privacy Policy Analysis

TIME Google

Google Has a Stagefright Bug Fix For Android Owners

It reportedly infected nearly 1 billion phones

Stagefright, the bug that infected nearly 1 billion of Google’s Android phones with a single text, has a fix.

Google announced that the bug was handled in a recent software update to its Android phones.

The security firm Zimperium found that 95% of Android phones were vulnerable to the malware by opening the text message. However, Google told CNBC Wednesday that 90% of Android devices were protected because of what’s called “address space layout randomization.”

Google has also said that there will be updates to its Messenger service in which video messages won’t play automatically when previewed. That would halt a similar bug from infecting devices in the future.

For more on Stagefright, here’s a Fortune explainer on the bug.

TIME Autos

How the Jeep Hack Reveals Tesla’s Biggest Advantage

It's all about security

Tesla touts environmental friendliness and savings on gas costs as two of the big perks of its electric cars. But security may turn out to be a winning feature as well.

In the last few weeks, a worrying trend has emerged in which hackers have found ways to hijack control of vehicles’ onboard computers. In July, hackers were able to remotely access a Jeep Cherokee SUV through its on-board entertainment system, taking control of its steering, transmission and brakes. This week, researchers executed a similar hack into the Tesla Model S’s infotainment system; they were able to shut off the vehicle’s engine with a keystroke (the Tesla attack required physical access to the vehicle).

But the big difference between these scenarios is what happened next. Fiat Chrysler had to recall 1.4 million Jeeps that could potentially be vulnerable to the hack, but the “recall” actually amounted to mailing Jeep owners a USB stick that they could plug into their vehicle’s dashboard port in order to give the car the necessary patch. Tesla, on the other hand, was able to automatically send a patch to all its Model S vehicles on Wednesday through an over-the-air update, a method more akin to how your smartphone gets software fixes.

The advantage for Tesla here is obvious. There’s no telling how many people will actually bother plugging in Jeep’s USB stick, but it probably won’t be 1.4 million. In the Model S, drivers just click “yes” to an on-screen prompt offering a software upgrade with the fix.

As automakers race to make their vehicles behave more like smartphones, they’ll have to deal with the security risks that come along with connecting to the Internet. Tesla is a step ahead with its ability to widely distribute updates with the press of a button. But other companies are sure to follow suit quickly. Everyone from Ford to General Motors is working to bring robust over-the-air updates to their cars in the coming years.

TIME apps

7 Apps to Help You Get Stuff Done Around the House

Home Repair
Paul Bradbury—Getty Images/Caiaimage Electrician working on fridge in home

Tackle your DIY projects with these tools

Pity the summertime. All year, we long for better weather, using this season as a repository for our plans. I’ll paint the house in the summer. I’ll plant a garden in the summer. I’ll reorganize the garage in — you guessed it — the summer.

But all those plans jamming up our calendar doesn’t leave much time for anything fun. These seven apps can help you keep track of your various household chores and projects, so you can spend more time getting things done and less time keeping track of them.


From keeping things clean to making them colorful, Brightnest, developed by the clean freaks behind Angie’s List, is loaded with suggestions on how to make your home a better place to live. With categories of customized tips (money-saving, cleaning, eco-friendly, healthy, cooking, and creative) based on the makeup of your home, there are plenty of great ways to pull inspiration from the app. Flag some as your favorite, and create a schedule for performing the tasks either later or regularly. Never forget to disinfect your garbage disposal — or how best to do it — again.

BrightNest is available for free on Android and iOS.

The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius

For decades, Readers Digest’s Family Handyman Magazine has been a source of advice for conscientious homeowners. This app, curated from the magazine’s troves of back issues, is full of tips, tricks, and ideas for people looking to make their dwelling a tidier place. From building and remodeling to lawn and garden, there’s a wide range of content to draw from. Or, you could pull tips at random to gradually become the master of your domain. But be advised, this free app is just a small taste of the full maintenance tips here. So don’t hesitate to invest $5 in the “pro” version of the app, which has more home improvement ideas than you’ll know what to do with.

The Family Handyman DIY Tip Genius is available for free on Android and iOS.

Home Maintenance Manager

If you’re one of those fix-it freaks who has a half dozen projects going at once, say hello to your new supervisor. This app does it all, from reminding you to conduct periodic maintenance to tracking projects across multiple properties. And with a history feature, it’s easy to look back and see the last time you performed a task, from checking the back flow on your lawn sprinkler, to cleaning your furnace filters. Sure, you could do this kind of thing with a spreadsheet, but who has time to tinker with one of those where there’s so many other things to get done?

Home Maintenance Manager is available for $3.99 on iOS.

Home Styler Interior Design

For a lot of people, seeing is believing. That means when it comes time to make a radical change to their place, they’re going to have doubts until they get a visual. This app, made possible by one of the most powerful 3D-rendering engines on the market, puts professional-level graphics right on your smartphone. It works by starting with a snapshot of your space. Then, you can browse from thousands of design products to see how they’d look in your space. You can also use it to find an interior designer in your area to help guide your tastes, or you can flip through other users’ concepts to get more inspiration for your own home.

Home Styler Interior Design is available for free on Android and iOS.

How Your House Works

Many homeowners — especially younger ones — have little idea how the various systems in their houses actually function. That’s a curious thing, especially since most of that technology has been around for decades. This informative app is overflowing with everything from air conditioning to plumbing know-how. It’s w2ritten by home improvement experts, backed with easy-to-follow illustrations, fully searchable by keywords, and loaded with tips on keeping your appliances running smoothly. Pair the $2.99 cost with a little bit of elbow grease, and this app has the potential to save you thousands of dollars on contractor costs.

How Your House Works is available for $2.99 on Android and iOS.


Sometimes projects can get out of control, or you simply need a helping hand to add the finishing touches. Thumbtack connects users to a network of professionals who submit bids for work. Reviewed by other Thumbtack users, this network of professionals is available across all 50 U.S. states, making Thumbtack an excellent resource for DIYers ready to throw in the towel. And with a wide array of contractors available on the service — including music teachers, yoga instructors, and event planners — there’s even the possibility for some personal improvement when your home job is done.

Thumbtack is available for free on iOS.

Zillow Digs

One reason people get bit by the home improvement bug in the summertime is because houses listed for sale are in peak condition, making all the neighbors jealous. People browse real estate websites not just to find a new home, but to get a peek into nearby houses, getting inspired on ways to keep up with the Joneses. This app, developed by Zillow, shares all that intelligence without snooping on your neighbors. With project estimates for kitchen and bathroom projects — often the most expensive and difficult to gauge — it can be a real eye-opener for homeowners before they put the first hole in a wall. Be sure to download this one well before you pick up a hammer.

Zillow Digs is available for free on iOS.

TIME cybersecurity

Microsoft Is Giving More Money To Bug Hunters


The rewards for some initiatives have been doubled

With Windows 10 recently unveiled, Microsoft says it’s boosting the amount of money it gives to bug hunters.

Those that can prove the ability to bolster the tech giant’s defenses as part of a “Bounty for Defense” initiative will receive $100,000, up from $50,000 previously, according to ZDNet.

“Learning about new exploitation techniques earlier helps Microsoft improve security by leaps, instead of capturing one vulnerability at a time as a traditional bug bounty alone would,” the company said.

There appears to be more money to be had for other security achievements for bug hunters, too. Those who tackle authentication security issues will receive doubled rewards from Aug. 5 to Oct. 5, a bonus period, according to ZDNet.

Here’s the full list of ongoing bug-hunting programs, and the amount fixes pay, taken from a Microsoft blog post:

1. Online Services Bug Bounty
Start Date: 23 September 2014

Microsoft Azure services additions: 22 April 2015
Microsoft Account services additions: 5 August 2015
Timeframe: Ongoing

The Online Services Bug Bounty program gives individuals across the globe the opportunity to submit vulnerability reports on eligible Online Services (O365 and Microsoft Azure) provided by Microsoft. Being ahead of the game by identifying the exploit techniques in our widely used services helps make our customer’s environment more secure. Qualified submissions are eligible for payment from a minimum of $500 USD up to $15,000 USD.

2. Mitigation Bypass Bounty

Start Date: 26 June 2013
Timeframe: Ongoing

Microsoft will pay up to $100,000 USD for truly novel exploitation techniques against protections built into the latest version of our operating system. Learning about new exploitation techniques earlier helps Microsoft improve security by leaps, instead of capturing one vulnerability at a time as a traditional bug bounty alone would.

3. Bounty for Defense

Start Date: 26 June 2013
Timeframe: Ongoing

Additionally, Microsoft will pay up to $100,000 USD for defensive ideas that accompany a qualifying Mitigation Bypass submission. Doing so highlights our continued support of defensive technologies and provides a way for the research community to help protect more than a billion computer systems worldwide (in conjunction with the Mitigation Bypass Bounty).


How to Watch Tonight’s Republican Debate Online

Here are the livestream options

Don’t have a cable subscription? Unfortunately, there are limited online options to watch Thursday’s Republican primary presidential debate hosted by Fox News.

The main debate will be broadcast live from Cleveland at 9 p.m. ET on FOX News Channel, according to the network. It will also be streamed live at FOXNews.com and on the Fox News app, both of which require a cable subscription login. The second tier debate for candidates who didn’t make the top 10 in terms of polling numbers will be broadcast the same way at 5 p.m.

For those who don’t have cable TV, there’s always Twitter, Facebook and live blogs for following along in real-time.


TIME Apple music

Apple Music Has Snagged 11 Million Trial Users

Streaming-Service Apple Music
Sebastian Kahnert—Sebastian Kahnert/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

But it's not yet clear whether they'll stick around

Apple Music is off to a fast start.

The new music streaming service from the world’s most valuable company has amassed 11 million trial subscribers so far, Apple executive Eddy Cue told USA Today. Of that 11 million, 2 million subscriptions are for the family plan, which lets 6 users set up Apple Music accounts for $14.99 per month.

The figures aren’t yet indicative of Apple Music’s long-term success because the service launched with a three-month free trial for all users. Come October, users will have to pay $9.99 per month to continue streaming songs (or $14.99 per month for the family plan). If Apple Music manages to maintain its user base, it will already have about half the number of paying subscribers of Spotify, which has 20 million. Spotify also has 55 million users on an ad-supported free tier.

Apple Music’s success wouldn’t necessarily come at the expense of Spotify or other streaming services, though. Only about 41 million people globally currently pay for a music subscription service. With digital download sales on a steep decline, Apple may be able to push music fans who’ve never streamed before into using Apple Music.

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