Yes, it’s this week’s digital news, with a dating hook to drag you in.

Don’t worry, all the more important and marginally less salacious news is included.


Tinder Select for celebs and the desirable

Tinder has created an invitation-only ‘Select’ version of its dating app, which uses Tinder’s secretive Elo rating system to find desirable users (the upwardly affluent, celebs and those that already do well on plain old original Tinder).

Some of these Select members can also nominate others to join the club. Select users can then swipe between the elite app and the regular Tinder (when they want to slum it).

Apparently, Select has been around for six months and Tinder probably doesn’t plan to officially launch the product.

Could Tinder have an impact on sexual selection as we ‘hold out’ for perfection and have ready access to a pool of mates? I don’t know, but you can read more here.

Image via Techcrunch

tinder select

Google’s Video Intelligence API hints at an incredible future

At its Next Cloud conference on Wednesday, Google unvelied the Video Intelligence API.

Simply put, it allows users to search a video for, say, ‘dachshund’, which is exactly what Google’s demo did. The API not only identified the dachshund in the video, but it also predicted the video was a commercial (which it was).

A second demo showed how a search for ‘beach’ returned videos with beaches in them, and the timestamps where the beaches appear.

More here from the Verge. And an introduction to computer vision on the Econsultancy blog.

Smart condom goes viral

Before we move on to more serious news, let’s have another story about fleshly pleasures. 

i.Con is a ‘smart condom’ that is about to open for pre-orders. The device (which isn’t really a condom, but heck it’s good marketing and what could go wrong?) tracks ‘calories burnt during sexual intercourse, speed of thrusts, total number of thrusts, frequency of sessions, total duration of sessions, average velocity of thrusts, and, of course, girth measurement’.

That list of measurements is taken from this hilarious summary article from the AV Club.

smart condom

Net-A-Porter slims model?

Net-A-Porter accidentally uploaded a product image on Wednesday that appears to include instructions for a graphic designer to ‘slim’ a model.

The retailer told The Telegraph that the notes ‘refer exclusively to the garments’ but the image once again highlights the debate about body image in fashion.


Uber stops Greyball ‘secret program’ to bypass regulation

On Monday it was revealed that Uber has a program called Greyball, which identifies regulators posing as ordinary passengers in cities where officials are trying to clamp down on the service.

In use since 2014, Greyball collects location data (are they near government offices?) and even checks credit card information to try to establish a link with government or law enforcement. That NYT report also claims Uber visited phone shops to ‘look up device numbers of the cheapest mobile phones for sale, which were often the ones bought by city officials.’

Once regulators were identified, they would be served a “fake” version of the Uber app or have their bookings cancelled.

On Thursday, Uber announced it is prohibiting the action of the program going forward.

Hedge funds use freestyle challenges to find tech talent

As hedge funds step up the race for the top tech talent traditionally hunted by Silicon Valley, they are getting creative with selection methods.

The FT reports that Two Sigma, one of the biggest quant hedge funds, is running a competition where contestants will have three months to code a trading algorithm based on financial data provided by the hedge fund. The winner gets $100,000.

In another novel approach, potential hires are given a graphic novel that explains the hedge fund’s approach and benefits. 

Typo takes down Monzo

Earlier this week, we discussed Monzo’s Sunday outage on the blog. The challenger bank dealt gracefully with the failure caused by AWS and the bank’s third party payment processor.

Now it seems the outage at AWS was caused by a typo, as Amazon said ” authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended.”

monzo app message

Uber looks for COO to assist Kalanick

Uber is looking for a chief operating officer to take some of the day-to-day strains of management. The appointment will allow for Kalanick to seek leadership help in the wake of some damaging scandals including sexual harrassment claims against Uber.

More from Bloomberg.

Beeb and Facebook in images row 

The BBC reported dozens of photos of sexualised images of children to Facebook, but more than 80% were not removed by the social network.

In a seemingly counterproductive move, Facebook reported the BBC journalists involved to the police and released a statement that ”It is against the law for anyone to distribute images of child exploitation.”

The row comes as critics contine to cast doubts about Facebook’s ability to moderate content.

More from the BBC.

Sorrell gets £41.6m

Sir Martin Sorrell has been awarded shares in WPP worth £41.6m, taking his remuneration over the past five years to more than £200m.

This recent tranche represents the final payout from WPP’s incentive scheme, LEAP, which was discontinued and replaced with a less generous system.

In the five years, WPP share price has risen 169%, well above the 28% average of the FTSE 100. More from The Telegraph.

IBM and Salesforce announce global strategic partnership

Insights from IBM Watson will be inserted directly into the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform.

The platform will combine deep customer insights from Salesforce Einstein, with Watson’s structured and unstructured data across many sources and industries including weather, health care, financial services and retail. 

Salesforce has also announced Einstein Vision, a set of new APIs that allow developers to bring image recognition to CRM and build AI-powered apps.

More from Salesforce.

Social media is warping your memory

Lastly, here’s a long read to distract you from your work. A thought-provoking article in Nature about how Facebook, fake news and your friends may be warping your memory.