technology

A back-to-school shopping season like no other has parents, retailers scrambling

MILWAUKEE – The back-to-school shopping season, second only to the holiday season in terms of consumer spending, has been thrown into uncertainty bordering on chaos as parents and retailers do their best to plan for what school will look like in the coming weeks.

Set against the backdrop of a highly contagious viral pandemic and the devastation it has woven across the U.S. economy, 2020’s back-to-school season is unlike any other.

“It’s the most challenging time in history for back to school,” said Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a consumer consulting firm in New York City.

The back-to-school season is “a critical catalyst that the country needs for an economic comeback whether it’s Wisconsin, the Great Lakes region or anywhere across America,” Flickinger added.

Whether back to school ultimately serves as a jump-start to a pandemic-ravaged economy remains to be seen.

Fall flavor: Dunkin’ bringing

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Is the Future of E-Commerce Checkout No Checkout at All? This App Is Disrupting Online Payments

More consumers are shopping online than ever before, leading a number of companies to invest in the e-commerce experience, especially the checkout. But e-commerce solution Nate has a different approach to dealing with online shopping: to eliminate the consumer payment experience entirely.

“In today’s world, every bit of mental energy matters,” said Albert Saniger, founder of Nate. “We’ve built machines that fly us across the world and machines that allow us to stay connected to those we love, at the tap of a button. The technology is there. We thought to ourselves: Why not use it to replace the tiny day-to-day tedious tasks around shopping and saving or sharing the things we want to buy?”

The checkout solution marketplace is crowded, mostly by companies looking to help retailers make online payments more efficient. At Nate, the emphasis is on the consumer. The current release phase of Nate is free and

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These tech trends defined 2020 so far, according to 5 founders

2020 has been quite a year. Almost every industry and aspect of how we work, learn, and communicate was turned upside down. The need for fast tech solutions has brought about new trends and changes on a scale we’ve never seen before.

It’s agile, fast-moving tech startups that have been leading the way by developing new solutions and features to help us adjust to this new reality. But, as different parts of the world begin opening up again, which trends will stick? How will these experiences change and shape our lives for the better?

This year Techleap.nl kicked off its Rise program for up-and-coming Dutch scaleups, with the aim to help them continue maturing into the country’s next success stories.

We caught up with five entrepreneurs from the program’s first batch of cohorts to find out what new trends emerged in their industry and how they’ve used tech to navigate

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Trump’s TikTok and WeChat Ban Could Backfire Inside China

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty

HONG KONG—As Donald Trump moves to ban transactions with WeChat and ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, people in China are wondering if they’ll need to ditch their iPhones to keep their favorite app, and noting that the White House’s splinternet rhetoric is straight out of Beijing’s own playbook. 

Trump’s moves against ByteDance and Tencent’s WeChat strike at two tech companies deeply entrenched in China’s social life—and, in WeChat’s case, critical to the consumer reach of American companies inside China. 

ByteDance’s TikTok, the popular short video platform that in the past weeks was in the crosshairs of Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has been one of the most downloaded apps globally for two years—even though TikTok cannot be used in China legally due to its home country’s fractured internet governance policy.  And WeChat, a “super app” that blends messaging, social network

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Women say they will fight sexism, ‘ugly’ attacks on Harris

CHICAGO (AP) — In the weeks before Joe Biden named Sen. Kamala Harris his running mate, women’s groups were readying a campaign of their own: shutting down sexist coverage and disinformation about a vice presidential nominee they say is headed for months of false smears and “brutal” attacks from internet haters.

The groups put the media on notice in recent days that they will call out bias — one campaign is dubbed “We Have Her Back” — and established a “war room” to refute sexist or false attacks as they happen.

They didn’t have to wait long. Within minutes of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s announcement Tuesday, false information was circulating on social media, claiming that Harris had called Biden a “racist” and that she is not eligible to be president.

The women’s groups say their efforts are informed by the sexism Hillary Clinton faced from Donald Trump, some of his

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Did Instagram copy me? After congressional hearing, a startup founder wonders

Back in 2014, Andrew Cunningham thought he and some colleagues had a hit with a smartphone app to create short bursts of reversible video.

These days, if Cunningham wants to use his old app, it might be easier to pull up Instagram. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app has an almost identical feature called Boomerang, which people use to create videos of streams running backward or friends doing backflips in reverse.

Cunningham has long suspected that Instagram copied Boomerang from his startup, which after all was based in Australia, home of the original boomerang hunting tool. His app, called RWND, didn’t last long after Boomerang came on the scene in 2015, a year after RWND.

“You wake up one day and the magic that you’ve got has been baked into another product,” said Cunningham, who’s based in Melbourne.

It was all ancient history in the fast-moving world of tech startups until last

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Every Film, TV Show, and Event Affected by the Outbreak

Editor’s Note: The list is constantly updated. Dates refer to when announcements were made. 

The Coronavirus outbreak is disrupting entertainment events in Hollywood and around the world, from the theatrical releases of major studio tentpoles to the launch of film festivals and TV conferences. IndieWire will continue to update this page with the latest breaking news regarding production delays, festival cancellations, release date changes, and more entertainment disruptions caused by the coronavirus. The most recent updates will be posted at the top of the running list below.

ReedPop, the producer of New York Comic Con, announced today that its physical event will not take place, which was slated to occur at the Javits Center. Instead, the event will be broadcast on YouTube as part of a partnership with the site from October 8-11.

The New York Comic Con’s YouTube channel will live stream panels from entertainment brands. This … Read More

How does Game Pass streaming work?

Microsoft says major games like Halo will come to the new service on release day
Microsoft says major games like Halo will come to the new service on release day

Microsoft is about to launch a games-streaming service that will let subscribers play top-end Xbox games on a mobile phone.

It is, in essence, a Netflix-style service for video games, which many experts think will be the future of gaming.

But the hefty monthly fee and the fact that it will not work on Apple’s iPhones could be stumbling blocks for the experiment.

How do I try it?

The games-streaming system has been tested for months under the name Project xCloud, but is now being been rolled into the top tier of Microsoft’s subscription games service, Xbox Game Pass.

It is set to be launched on 15 September – but Microsoft told tech site The Verge that a beta test would be launched on 11 August, with about 30 of the promised 100+ games that

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Should students get a discount if they won’t be on campus because of COVID-19?

<span class="caption">COVID-19 has caused colleges to spend more to cope with the pandemic. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/beautiful-young-woman-working-at-home-with-dog-royalty-free-image/1215354586?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:elenaleonova/GettyImages">elenaleonova/GettyImages</a></span>
COVID-19 has caused colleges to spend more to cope with the pandemic. elenaleonova/GettyImages

Not long after the COVID-19 pandemic caused colleges to start teaching remotely, students balked at the idea of paying full tuition for online learning. It’s not hard to understand why. After all, they were not getting the football and basketball games, student clubs, access to labs and the library and the out-of-class conversations that are all part of the typical campus experience.

Although students who study online will not pay the room, board and activities fees that typically cover nonacademic costs, concern about paying full tuition continues this fall, as many universities opt to continue online instruction in the interest of keeping students, faculty and staff safe from the pandemic.

Is it right to expect to pay less tuition for online learning? Or are colleges justified in charging the full tuition price when classes – at least

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CES 2021 Looks Set to Be All-Online in Wake of COVID-19

Anyone interested in product design has likely heard of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) traditionally held in famous Las Vegas, Nevada. Unfortunately, the event’s organizers have recently announced that the 2021 edition of the show would look much different than in years past. Not just figuratively or literally speaking, but virtually, taking on an all-digital format in the wake of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

Promotional graphic for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Promotional graphic for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) made the announcement in July 2020, a full six months before the January show. On one hand, that means attendees need not worry about airfare and hotel rooms. On the other hand, it means preparing to observe, disseminate information, and make purchasing decisions entirely online.

Traditionally, the show is set up like any other type of trade exhibition, with rows of booths manned by product specialists ready

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