After Equifax Settlement, Capital One Discloses Data Breach of 100 Million Credit Card Applications Millions of people are reaching some financial relief, albeit limited, with the Equifax settlement that was reached last week. If you suffered a loss or spent money trying to protect your credit after your information was stolen, you’re getting something, even if it’s just a $125 check. Yet, just days later, the news hit that there’s now been another data breach. This time it affects potential users of Capital One credit cards. You don’t even have to use one to be affected, as the data breach affected around100 million credit card applications. Capital One Data Breach … Read more

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CrowdLobby wants to democratize political lobbying

Lobbying, whether we like it or not, is an effective way to enact political change. But it’s historically only been available to special interest groups and corporations with hoards of cash on hand. CrowdLobby, a non-partisan organization that launched this month, hopes to change that.

Last year, corporations and special interest firms spent $3.5 billion on lobbying, according to The Center for Responsive Politics. Through CrowdLobby, the aim is to help everyday people crowdfund to hire lobbyists of their own.

“Lobbyists do have a huge effect on current legislative processes,” CrowdLobby co-founder and CEO Heidi Drauschak (pictured above on right), a lawyer with experience in the lobbying industry, told TechCrunch. “Until we can totally change the whole structure, we have to play the game. It’s not that the game is a horrible game, but it’s just that not everyone gets a chance to play.”

CrowdLobby works by featuring campaigns around issues that its community has deemed to be important. From there, anyone can contribute to the campaign — which generally seeks $50,000. The team landed on that amount after having conversations with lobbyists regarding what it would take to make a change on a state level. CrowdLobby only charges you if the campaign hits its target.

“If enough funds are raised around a specific issue, we facilitate that aggregation and the hiring of the lobbyist itself,” Drauschak said.

In order to make money, CrowdLobby charges a processing fee. The startup is still experimenting with what to charge but currently has a 25% processing fee in place. That’s undoubtedly higher than processing fees to which people are generally accustomed, but Drauschak stressed that CrowdLobby is a two-sided marketplace that facilitates the entire lobbying process. That means aggregating the funds, figuring out which lobbyist to hire and then engaging in ongoing communications with the lobbyist.

“We want to give people the exact same benefits that someone who normally hires a lobbyist would get,” Drauschak said.

CrowdLobby officially launched this month with three featured campaigns focused on education, cannabis decriminalization and autism in the state of Virginia, which is where the company is headquartered.

crowdlobby campaigns

“The community can determine if a campaign goes live,” CrowdLobby co-founder and COO Sam Biggio (pictured above on left) told TechCrunch. “We try to stay out of that process as much as possible and be the objective tool for whatever the people want.”

Currently, CrowdLobby is working with a handful of lobbyists. But the ideal number of lobbyists depends on how many campaigns CrowdLobby has going on at any given time. Right now, the goal is to build a team of lobbyists that demonstrates the credibility of the platform, Drauschak said.

CrowdLobby plans to offer campaigns in additional states by next year, at the latest, as well as get some additional campaigns off the ground. CrowdLobby does not have traditional venture funding, but raised $35,000 in a Kickstarter campaign and is currently participating in the Lighthouse Labs accelerator in Richmond, Virginia, where they received additional funding.

“Anything political is always going to be dicey,” Drauschak said. “But we’ve been setting ourselves up to take [the venture funding] route when we’re ready.”

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Dell 24-inch widescreen gaming monitor is $70 off at Walmart


TL;DR: The quick-response Dell 24-inch widescreen gaming monitor is $119 at Walmart, saving you $70.

Gaming on a PC is a different experience than doing so on a console and TV. While there are plenty of reasons why PC gaming is better, one area it falls short is the display — playing on a laptop screen or desktop monitor can’t compete with a full-fledged TV. But a good monitor can seriously enhance your playtime.

The Dell 24-inch gaming monitor (SE2417HG) is a nice option at a reasonable price; it’s on sale for $119 at Walmart, down from $189.99. (Dell’s official site has it listed for $209.99, so you’re really saving $90 by shopping at Walmart.) Read more…

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How to Choose an AMD CPU

choose-amd-cpu-featured.jpg In the last few years, AMD has launched some awesome CPUs. Names like Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 hint at the idea that they’re equivalent to Intel i3 and Intel i5. And that’s true, for the most part. But this won’t be an article about AMD vs Intel. Instead, it will be a guide about how to buy the best AMD CPU for your usage. And just like it doesn’t make sense to buy a super car just to go grocery shopping, it doesn’t make sense to buy a 16 core AMD Ryzen Threadripper for casual web browsing or office… Read more

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It’s only Monday and Slack is down


Productivity took a turn for the worse Monday when Slack went down.

Issues were first reported on the Slack page just before 11 a.m. ET. The official status page said there was an outage and the company was “looking into an issue.”

Womp womp

The company said “some workspaces might be experiencing issues with messages sending and loading.” At the Mashable office, Slack was completely down. 

Slack’s mobile app appeared to be working intermittently. 

Slack down.

Image: downdetector / screengrab

On DownDetector, which is owned by Mashable parent company Ziff Davis, the outage was widespread through the U.S. and Europe, with the most reports coming from the Northeast and Texas areas. The UK was another hot spot. More than 1,000 reports had come in within 30 minutes of the outage.  Read more…

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This new Samsung 3-in-1 smartphone design is like nothing you’ve seen before

This new Samsung 3-in-1 smartphone design is like nothing you’ve seen beforeOne of the recurring knocks you keep hearing against Apple is that the iPhone maker keeps doing variations on the same things it’s done before, at least when it comes to hardware. The smartphones, for example, are all variants of the same idea — rectangular slabs of glass, never any adventurous design leaps … yadda, yadda. Say what you will about Samsung, meanwhile, but it’s much harder to criticize the South Korea-based handset manufacturer over boring sameness. Case in point: A newly discovered patent for a smartphone design like nothing you’ve seen before, which probably won’t even be a commercial product and something you can actually buy anytime soon but which nevertheless speaks to a continued spirit of willingness to try bizarre, even outlandish things inside the company.This time around, Samsung has given us a concept design for a handset that includes three screens — the main screen and then two others that sort of unfold like a fan.The 10 sketches included in the patent documentation for which Samsung Display made a formal application in August 2018 at the Korean Intellectual Property Office (h/t LetsGoDigital) show a rounded bottom and three equal display parts, all stored beneath each other.As you can see in the color rendering above, as well as the sketch below, you swing two of the displays outward:This, of course, follows other Samsung creations and designs that are similarly — adventurous, shall we say. We’re talking about everything from the company’s foldable smartphone to handsets with bendable and even roll-up displays. Plus things like Samsung smartwatch concept designs with screens that expand, and much more.Each time, then as now, the question is begged — is there any degree of practicality here? With something like this new concept, what in the world would the user experience look like, given that there are three separate, distinct screens? As we’ve said before, probably one of the few things that can objectively be deduced from a design like this is that while this specific idea won’t show up in the wild anytime soon, there very much is an interest among many handset manufacturers to break the mold. We may not be getting a device like this anytime soon, but manufacturers like Samsung are nevertheless trying, bit by bit, to steer us incrementally away from an expectation that phones still look like the same rectangular slabs both now and in the future.

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Google announces a bunch of Pixel 4 features, because screw leakers


Google’s fighting back against leakers. Instead of letting leakers reveal new features for its upcoming Pixel 4, Google’s taking matters into its own hands and announcing them early.

In a blog post, Google revealed its next flagship Android smartphone will have a face unlock feature and a “Motion Sense” feature that uses radar to recognize hand gestures.

Though many phones have a face unlock feature — new iPhones use 3D-based Face ID and Android phones use their own 2D-based facial recognition — Google says it’ll work differently on the Pixel 4.

Both Pixel 4’s face unlock and Motion Sense features will make use of Google’s Soli motion-sensing radar technology. Read more…

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How to Play Blu-Ray Discs on macOS

play-blu-ray-macos-vlc-hero-2.jpg Sometimes companies can get blindspots for a specific technology. With Apple, that blindspot is Blu-ray. They’ve never truly taken the format seriously, largely because it’s bound to physical discs that Apple dismisses as archaic and pointless. In fact, you can’t play Blu-ray discs on macOS by default. As a result, you’ll need to download third-party software to playback Blu-ray discs on your Mac. Fortunately, there are excellent, open-source options available. We will use VLC in this guide, which is frequently ranked as the best free video player. Other options also exist on the free and paid spectrum, like Elmedia. … Read more

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Windows 10 Leak Has “Cloud Download” For Reinstalling Windows

Windows 10's light desktop background

Reinstalling Windows 10 might get soon easier. The leaked version of Windows 10 featuring a new Start menu design has another surprising feature: A “Cloud Download” feature for reinstalling Windows.

This is similar to the Internet Recovery feature on a Mac. When you try booting a Mac without an OS, it will connect to the Internet, download macOS, and install it for you. This is part of the recovery environment built into a Mac.

With this new feature, while reinstalling Windows, you can select either “Cloud Download” to download the latest Windows 10 operating system or “Reset Locally” to reinstall the existing Windows operating system on the device. It was spotted by WalkingCat on Twitter:

18950 bootux :
How would you like to reinstall Windows?
> Cloud download : Download Windows
> Reset locally : Reinstall my existing Windows operating system

— WalkingCat (@h0x0d) July 29, 2019

It’s unclear exactly how this feature works, but it looks like an easier way to get off an Insider build of Windows 10 and back onto a stable build. Or, if you have an older version of Windows 10 installed, you can easily download and install the latest one—without creating installation media first. Imagine using old installation media to reinstall the latest version of Windows.

As always, this feature may not ever make it to a stable version of Windows. It’s in a leaked internal build of Windows—we might never see it again. However, there’s a good chance we’ll be hearing about it arriving in an Insider build of 19H2 or 20H1 soon.

Thanks to Rich Woods over at Neowin for spotting this tweet first.

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