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Canvas users report that the remote-learning app is down as hundreds of schools across the US start their first day of online classes


School districts across the US reported that Canvas, Instructure’s remote-learning app, was taken offline by outages Monday morning.


People first started reporting problems with the app shortly after 8 a.m., according to Down Detector.


An Instructure spokesperson said that its apps are seeing higher usage than normal as schools reopen. It’s the first day of class for thousands of schools across the US, many of which rely on tools like Canvas for remote learning.


Zoom, another tool used by schools, was also down Monday morning.

Source:  Business Insider

TikTok to sue Trump Administration over ban as ByteDance weighs sale

TikTok is taking its fight against the Trump administration to the courts, saying it will file a legal challenge Monday against the government’s order to ban the video app effective mid-September. TikTok alleges that President Trump’s executive order is “not rooted in bona fide national security concerns,” according to excerpts of the complaint the company detailed in a blog post. It also alleges the U.S. government did not conduct a fair process in deciding that the app needed to be banned in the country and that its Chinese owner ByteDance must divest its assets in the United States.

Source:  The Washington Post

The Attack That Broke Twitter Is Hitting Dozens of Companies

person using phone

WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT arrested three alleged young hackers in the US and the UK last month, the story of the worst-known hack of Twitter’s systems seemed to have drawn to a tidy close. But in fact, the technique that allowed hackers to take control of the accounts of Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and dozens of others is still in use against a broad array of victims, in a series of attacks that began well before Twitter’s blowup, and in recent weeks has escalated into a full-blown crime wave.

Source: Wired

TikTok’s big UnitedMasters deal is the way forward for creators looking to secure their bag feedly

TikTok  is right in the jaws of a thorny situation with the U.S. Government regarding its ownership, but it’s sending a clear message today that it is not sitting on its heels with big deals. Yesterday, it announced a deal with UnitedMasters to allow artists on TikTok to distribute their songs directly to streaming services and other partners directly.

Source: Tech Crunch

Google Maps’ Jen Fitzpatrick Says the Future of Maps Goes Beyond Driving

Fifteen years ago this week, Google Maps launched on the web. It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that Google Maps transformed both the way we think about maps and the way we move around in the world. Over time, the application has evolved from a fairly static online representation of an atlas to a GPS-powered navigation tool to a platform for reviews—and, of course, for ads.

Source: Wired

YouTube is a $15 billion-a-year business, Google reveals for the first time

YouTube generated nearly $5 billion in ad revenue in the last three months, Google revealed today as part of parent company Alphabet’s fourth quarter earnings report. This is the first report under newly instated Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, who took over as the chief executive of the entire company late last year after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped back from day-to-day duties and promoted Pichai, formerly Google CEO, to the top spot. The announcement marks the first time in YouTube’s nearly 15 years as a Google-owned platform, since Google bought the website in 2006 for $1.65 billion, that the company has revealed how much money YouTube-hosted ads contribute to the search giant’s bottom line.

Source:  The Verge

Doctors on TikTok Try to Go Viral

Although medical professionals have long taken to social media to share healthy messages or promote their work, TikTok poses a new set of challenges, even for the internet adept. Popular posts on the app tend to be short, musical and humorous, complicating the task of physicians hoping to share nuanced lessons on health issues like vaping, coronavirus, nutrition and things you shouldn’t dip in soy sauce. And some physicians who are using the platform to spread credible information have found themselves the targets of harassment.

Source: New York Times

To Survive, Byte Needs to Win Over Creators Where Vine Failed

When Twitter suddenly announced it was shutting down Vine in 2016, fans immediately started campaigning to bring the beloved short-form video app back. Dom Hofmann, one of the original cofounders, has been working on doing just that for years. After a few stops and starts, his new app Byte finally launched last week. It already has 1.3 million downloads, according to Sensor Tower. It also appears to have learned some lessons from Vine’s demise, but that won’t necessarily be enough for another social video app to survive in 2020.

Source: Wired

The Fractured Future of Browser Privacy

In the 1990s, web browsers like Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer competed bitterly to offer the snazziest new features and attract users. Today, the browser landscape looks totally different. For one thing, Chrome now dominates, controlling around two-thirds of the market on both desktop and mobile. Even more radical, though, is the recent competitive focus on privacy, a welcome change for anyone who’s gotten sick of creepy ad tracking and data mismanagement. But as browsers increasingly diverge in their approaches, it’s clear that not all privacy protections are created equal.

Source: Wired

Scroll makes hundreds of websites ad-free for $5 per month

A new subscription service called Scroll is offering ad-free access to hundreds of websites — not by blocking the ads, but by working with an expanding group of publishers to take the ads down in exchange for a slice of the subscription fee. Scroll launches today with support for a number of major websites and networks, including The Atlantic, BuzzFeed News, G/O Media (which includes websites like Gizmodo and Kotaku), and Vox Media, which — important disclosure here — includes The Verge

Source:  The Verge

Trump’s Digital Advantage Is Freaking Out Democratic Strategists

Experts in the explosively growing field of political digital technologies have developed an innovative terminology to describe what they do — a lexicon that is virtually incomprehensible to ordinary voters. This language provides an inkling of the extraordinarily arcane universe politics has entered:

Geofencing and other emerging digital technologies derive from microtargeting marketing initiatives that use consumer and other demographic data to identify the interests of specific voters or very small groups of like-minded individuals to influence their thoughts or actions. Microtargeting first had a significant impact on American politics in state level campaign work by Alec Gage, a Republican, and his firm TargetPoint in 2002.

Source:  The New York Times


Amazon vs. Walmart: Who’s Really Winning Online Grocery?

Consumer adoption of online grocery—led primarily by Amazon and Walmart—saw hockey-stick growth last year. As these two Goliaths vie for market control, conflicting reports have made it difficult to determine who has the momentum, and where consumers prefer to shop. Amazon currently holds the largest market share of online grocery. We estimate that Amazon’s US food and beverage sales amounted to $6.13 billion in 2019, or 23.7% of total US food and beverage ecommerce sales. However, a September 2019 survey conducted by The Retail Feedback Group found that 37% of US digital shoppers most recently purchased groceries from Walmart, compared with 29% who used Amazon.

Source: eMarketer

Google’s ads just look like search results now

Last week, Google began rolling out a new look for its search results on desktop, which blurs the line between organic search results and the ads that sit above them. In what appears to be something of a purposeful dark pattern, the only thing differentiating ads and search results is a small black-and-white “Ad” icon next to the former. It’s been formatted to resemble the new favicons that now appear next to the search results you care about. Early data collected by Digiday suggests that the changes may already be causing people to click on more ads.

Source: The Verge