FB Redesign


The New Facebook.com Arrives

The redesigned Facebook.com, announced at F8 last year, will now be the web experience for Facebook globally, the company said this week. "It’s faster, easier to use and gives your eyes a break with Dark Mode," Facebook says. In a blog post, two front-end engineers provide insider details on the infrastructure behind the new design.


Toronto's Smart-City Project Fizzles Out

After two and a half years of development and less than a year after unveiling a $2.8 billion master plan, the New York-based Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs has backed away from Toronto’s smart-city project, reports Government Technology. In a blog post, the company’s founder and CEO, Daniel Doctoroff, attributed the decision to COVID-19’s toll on global economies and real estate markets.


Most Twitter Staffers Now Can WFH Permanently

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey emailed employees this week to say they’d be allowed to work from home permanently, BuzzFeed reports. Some jobs that require physical presence, such as maintaining servers, will still require employees to come in. Dorsey had announced the company's intent to work in a “distributed” way before the virus, but the pandemic forced the company to move the timeline up.


Gawande Confirms He’s Exiting as Haven CEO


Atul Gawande on Wednesday confirmed he will step down as chief executive of Haven, the health care company formed by Amazon, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Berkshire Hathaway, STAT reports. The author of "Being Mortal," Gawande said in a statement posted on Haven’s website that the move will allow him to devote more time to addressing the threats posed by Covid-19. He’ll remain Haven chairman.


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How to Stump a Smart Computer 


What happens when you stack logs in a fireplace and drop a match? Some of the smartest machines have no idea. The Atlantic explores why many easy questions are so hard for computers to answer.


Zocdoc's Speedy Pivot to Video

In just two months, Protocol reports, CEO Oliver Kharraz and his team built what other telemedicine companies had needed years to pull off: a new video visit service, which allows anyone to schedule an appointment through Zocdoc and meet with their doctor remotely through the platform.


Key Players Are Out at Google’s Pixel Division


When Google unveils its latest Pixel smartphone, dubbed the Pixel 4a, it will be without some key architects of its previous model, which suffered from sluggish sales and tepid reviews, The Information reports. Pixel general manager Mario Queiroz  and the mastermind behind Google’s Pixel camera, Marc Levoy, have left the company.


Are Websites Starting to Look Alike? 

Numerous articles and blog posts in recent years have asked the same basic question: Why are all websites starting to look the same? As this article on The Conversation describes, a PhD student and colleagues decided to investigate the claim by running a series of data-mining studies that scrutinized nearly 200,000 images across 10,000 websites.


Google Meet vs. Google Duo

Google now has two video calling services: Duo and Meet. Duo continues to be a standout option for mobile video calls, Android Central reports, and with Meet now going free, there's a new alternative for hosting large gatherings. It looks at all the key differences between Meet and Duo, and offers tips on how to pick between them.


Pumped Up


An inflatable e-scooter small enough to be stored inside a backpack has been unveiled in Japan, the BBC reports. The 12-lb. Poimo, developed by the University of Tokyo, can be inflated in just over a minute, using an electric pump.