Toddlers and technology: What every parent should decide early

Oct 1, 2022

Grab your stress ball: The Ask Help Desk column this week is about setting technology boundaries with toddlers and canceling Amazon Prime memberships. Not sure which is harder. If you are curious about online safety for kids and teens, check out our guide to safety settings on social media or our dive into all the data the apps your kids use collect about them. To check if your recurring costs fit your budget, take our quiz “Is Amazon Prime worth it for you?” and click through our advice o ...read more

China’s most powerful rocket falls back to Earth, lands in criticism

Oct 1, 2022

China said its most powerful rocket fell back to Earth, as NASA criticized Beijing for failing to share crucial data about its trajectory. The Long March 5B rocket, which weighs more than 1.8 million pounds, blasted off from the Wenchang spaceport on July 24 — carrying another module to China’s first permanent space station, Tiangong, which is in the process of being constructed. The “vast majority” of the rocket’s debris burned up during reentry into the atmosphere at about 12:55 a ...read more

Your phone has tools to help you use it less. They work.

Oct 1, 2022

I have lost many a Saturday to long YouTube binges. I wish I were kidding. Usually, it’s to the charming lads at Sorted Food doling out cooking advice. Other times, that time suck is caused by astonishingly long game critiques, or HD video footage somehow squeezed onto tapes in the early ’90s. But if it isn’t YouTube, it’s drama unfolding on Reddit or a TikTok For You page that keeps serving up the hits. And no matter which app is responsible for sucking up my attention, the result is ...read more

Facebook workers fear cuts after blunt warnings from Zuckerberg, leaders

Oct 1, 2022

Facebook has a message for employees, one delivered relentlessly by executives in recent weeks: It’s time to shape up. In a memo earlier this month, the company’s top human resources officer advised team leaders to return to the “rigorous performance management” practices that Facebook used before the coronavirus pandemic, including giving critical feedback to struggling employees. “If someone is still unable to meet expectations with that additional support, transitioning them out ...read more

Instagram knows you don’t like its changes. It doesn’t care.

Oct 1, 2022

In recent years, Instagram has rolled out a flurry of updates as it has sought to become an e-commerce powerhouse, messaging app, and, last summer, a short-form video discovery platform, along the lines of TikTok. Now this public identity crisis is bleeding into its user base. On Tuesday morning, Instagram head Adam Mosseri appeared in full damage-control mode. Facing the camera and wearing a bright yellow sweater, he attempted to quash a growing revolt from some of Instagram’s most prominen ...read more

Federal Trade Commission sues to block Meta’s acquisition of VR company

Oct 1, 2022

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday sued to block Facebook parent company Meta from buying the maker of popular virtual reality games, setting up a regulatory roadblock for the company’s ambitions to remake itself as the creator of a new digital world called the “metaverse.” The deal would give Meta control of Within, which created the popular VR workout game “Supernatural.” The lawsuit is emblematic of FTC Chair Lina Khan’s strategy to address deals in the fast-changing tech ...read more

Slowly but surely, robots will wind up in our clothes

Oct 1, 2022

In the Wallace and Gromit clay-animated movie “The Wrong Trousers,” a pair of futuristic pants lets people walk on walls and ceilings. Researchers in England said the film sparked an idea: Robotic clothes could help society. They created “The Right Trousers,” a set of pants embedded with electrical pumps to force air into tiny tubes that expand and can help elderly or disabled people with issues like getting up or improving blood circulation. Now, in university labs across the world, ...read more

NASA is working to keep space station going despite bluster from Russia

Oct 1, 2022

There was a lot of consternation at the announcement — hand-wringing over the declaration by the newly appointed head of Russia’s space agency that Russia would depart the International Space Station partnership after 2024 and develop a space station of its own. But since then, the reaction from NASA has been something resembling a yawn. Russia has been NASA’s main partner on the space station for more than 20 years, but after years of frequent bluster from Russia, NASA officials have b ...read more

Corporations on the front lines of the economy say cracks are forming

Oct 1, 2022

In recent days, executives from the biggest tech, retail and consumer products companies all attempted to address questions about the state of the economy, which has teetered on the brink of a recession. It’s complicated. In Silicon Valley, profits at tech companies like Google and Apple generally beat expectations, but executives said there are signs of some niche slowing in consumer spending. Consumer products giant Procter Gamble said it is expecting a tougher 2023, although it’s still ...read more