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    Listen to the latest episode of Fast Company‘s podcast Creative Conversation featuring YouTube beauty guru Jackie Aina on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, RadioPublic, GooglePlay, or Stitcher.


    Long before “diversity” was a buzzword for beauty brands, YouTube beauty guru Jackie Aina was championing dark-skinned women and men who never saw themselves represented in the makeup industry. Nearly 10 years and 2.7 million subscribers later, and Aina has managed to balance passion and profit. Along with a platform where she candidly calls out brands for their lack of inclusion and frequently spotlights women and entrepreneurs of color, Aina collaborated with cosmetics company Too Faced earlier this year to expand the range of their Born This Way foundation with nine new shades–and the impact was instantaneous. Within just a few days of launching, the darkest shade in the collection that Aina helped formulate sold out.

    “It very much so felt like [Too Faced co-founder and chief creative officer Jared Blandino] not only likes me as a person but is in alignment with what I stand for–and that was really important to me because I didn’t want it to come off as pandering,” Aina says in the latest episode of Fast Company‘s podcast Creative Conversation. “I think we need to be careful of how we align ourselves with brands. There are brands that are taking advantage of what’s trendy now. And I get it–brands want to make money, but for me I just knew that I couldn’t sleep at night if I knew that this was exploitive in any way.”

    Before landing deals with major beauty brands, Aina first had to find her footing on YouTube at a time when there was no clear blueprint for financial success. Check out highlights from Aina’s episode of Creative Conversation below.

    Stand by what you believe in

    “I understand that not everybody is comfortable talking about current events and politics, but for me it only felt right because I’m a dark-skinned woman. I’m a black woman living in America. I have an immigrant father. So there’s just so many different aspects and so many different experiences in the beauty industry that I felt it was important to talk about. A lot of people like to say things like, ‘You just talk about racism in the beauty world because it gets you views.’ It’s so funny to me because there was a time when that was the exact opposite. Because I was so niche, everyone would tell me, ‘You shouldn’t be talking about lack of diversity.’ There was a time where that actually hurt my growth. That actually hurt my videos and my channel because people wanted me to just shut up and put on lipstick.”

    Don’t quit your day job

    “I didn’t have a somewhat livable income until 2014. You have to genuinely enjoy what you’re doing, otherwise this is not the kind of career you get into to quit your day job in six months. It’s just not how it works. There’s no formula. YouTube is so spontaneous and unique in that, if I do the exact same things—I’ll just throw out a name—Logan Paul, does, for example, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to have the exact same measure of growth that he does. It just doesn’t work that way.”

    Be honest with yourself

    “I had this, like, a-ha! moment where I was like, ‘Ok, what is it about my videos that people don’t enjoy?’ So I started rewatching them and I found that I didn’t even enjoy my own videos–they were boring! I was giving everybody customer service Jackie. It was too instructional, not enough of my real personality. All of the dumb, silly stuff that I do off-camera—I was like, ‘What if I’m really just myself in my videos?’ Now, like, I can binge-watch my own videos because I’m just like, ‘Yo, I’m really funny!'”


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    Google now provides commuters around the country with a way to find a ride to work. On Wednesday, the company’s mapping app, Waze, opened up its Carpool service to the rest of the U.S.

    Waze is best known as a crowdsourced live-mapping app. It has 110 million active users around the country. Its Carpool app first launched in 2016 in San Francisco. In the last year, the company has expanded the service to 13 states, including the rest of California, Texas, Washington, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Nevada. It’s also launched the app in Israel and Brazil and has plans to bring this service to Europe.

    The Carpool app allows people to search for people near them who are heading to the same area for work, or even to the same office, and then share the cost of a commute.

    “We tried to build a cheaper version of a ride-hail app,” says Noam Bardin, CEO of Waze, of the company’s initial efforts, “but what we missed was the human element of it.” In March, the company relaunched the app with new filters to refine the search process, making it easier for people to find rides with people within their network of friends or colleagues. It also introduced ratings and the choice to choose the gender of the driver. Already 1.3 million people have said they’d be interested in listing themselves as drivers on the platform. In order to drive growth, Waze also partners with government agencies, schools, and companies to rally employees and students to carpool on the platform.

    The fundamental task that Waze aims to solve is traffic reduction. “We don’t believe there’s going to be a big government investment or technology that’s going to solve this,” says Bardin.

    Waze hasn’t attracted the same kind of attention as some of Google’s other projects, like its self-driving car project, Waymo, for example. The latter frequently touts its miles driven on public roads (10 million as of today) and its virtual miles driven (7 billion). Meanwhile, its pilot self-driving ride service in Arizona, which caters to some 400 riders, understandably draws a lot of attention.

    But Waze is just as interesting. The service, now national, competes with both Lyft and Uber, which offer their own shared ride options for commuter crowds. Of course, ride-hail platforms differ from Waze. Drivers on Waze Carpool are not professionals, for instance. They’re just regular people. And riders don’t pay fares; they essentially pay for gas. Moreover, Waze does not take a cut of the money that flows from rider to driver, though Bardin says it will once the service gets enough density.

    “We don’t add cars to the road the ways ride-hail companies do,” says Josh Fried, head of Waze Carpool.

    But like ride-hail apps, it gives Google access to crowdsourced data around routes, commutes, traffic, and information on riders, drivers, and what makes for a good group trip. Both Lyft and Uber have touted that kind of data as vital in a world where cars will drive themselves. Waze and Waymo don’t work together in any capacity right now. But down the road, it’s easy to see how Waymo’s autonomous cars might make their way into the Waze carpool network.

    “We hope to get there,” says Bardin of working with Waymo, but notes that it’s still early days for both companies, and it doesn’t make sense to waste resources on working together. In the meantime, Waze is focused on giving cities and commuters a way to help reduce traffic today by pooling together.


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    Working moms and dads know juggling parenting and professional responsibilities is a delicate balancing act on the best days. Throw in a few complicated but inevitable family emergencies and it becomes even trickier.

    For example, if I had a dime for every time one of my sons came down with a stomach virus while I was working on a tight deadline, I could retire right now. And why do parent-teacher conferences and holiday concerts just happen to be scheduled between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. during the busiest week of the year?

    Of course, you want to do a great job as both a parent and an employee, but managing it all can leave you feeling like you’re straddling a great divide. And that’s why I’m sharing not only my own best advice (learned on the job!), but also top strategies from several experts.

    For starters, one of the most important factors in being a working parent is to be proactive, says Sarah Connors, principal at WinterWyman, a talent acquisition firm.

    “Talk to your boss ahead of time on what the best practices are if you have to be out of the office with a sick child,” she suggests. “Who do you notify, and is a voicemail, text, or email okay?”

    Here’s more advice on how to navigate four common situations:

    1. Your child’s sick and you’re not going to be in the office

    Whether your child wakes up under the weather or you get that dreaded call from the school nurse midday, you may have no other option but to stay home or leave the office.

    Amber Rosenberg, a professional life, career, and executive coach at Pacific Life Coach, says being transparent is key.

    “State that you understand it’s not ideal and you’re disappointed that you can’t be there for the big meeting or presentation or whatever it is that you’re missing,” she advises. And go to your manager with “solutions, not problems.” Figure out who will step in, how you can still be available and present, and what work needs to be pushed back or delegated.

    With the assistance of technology, I’ve been able to participate in many meetings while fulfilling my mom/nurse duties from home. While it’s not the same as being in the office, it’s better than missing a crucial update or letting the team down.

    2. It’s your child’s concert/play/birthday and you’re going to miss it

    In this situation, accept that you’ll feel torn, says Rosenberg—and that’s okay.

    “You’re going to have guilt as a working parent, the key is managing it and keeping [it] in check. Bring it out of the shadows and notice it when it comes up, but do something before you go down that spiral,” she says. “Come up with a more empowering thought. Instead of feeling guilty, think about how you’re a role model for your child. Read research that shows real benefits for children of [parents] who work.”

    If you can, find ways to still be involved in the event, even from your office—whether it’s having a relative send videos or taking a quick break to give your child a call. Those little doses could be just what you need to keep your spirit up. I recently missed my son’s piano recital and it broke my heart. But I was able to catch the whole performance via FaceTime and congratulate my mini Mozart soon after he took his final bow.

    3. You have a family emergency minutes before a presentation

    Rosenberg says she often encounters people who are unfamiliar with the hurdles working parents face. So, she suggests, “It’s important to educate them proactively.”

    “I’m a big believer in transparency from [the] get-go,” she explains. “You can say, ‘During these hours I put my kids to bed or pick up my kids from childcare, but I will make up those hours. And . . . things are [bound to] happen and there may be times when I have to leave very quickly.’ Engage them on how you should best work on that together.”

    With any emergency, in-the-moment communication is crucial–where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. And if possible, be available or online while you’re out.

    “Be sure to communicate during that time away, too,” Connors says. “Everyone needs time out of the office and sometimes it’s unexpected. The key is for your boss and team to know when and how you’re accessible, what you’re working on, and what you need help covering,” she adds. “If they don’t hear from you at all, then that seems like you’re less engaged, and they won’t know what might be falling through the cracks.”

    4. Your child’s upset or in trouble but you can’t leave

    Two years ago, I was at my office, a 90-minute commute away from my home, when I received a text from my son: “Do you have a few minutes to talk?” Because this was out of character, I knew it probably wasn’t good news. When I called him, he was very upset about an incident involving a teacher and a student in one of his classes.

    “What if I’m called to the principal’s office as a witness? What if the police get involved?” His list of concerns grew, and while I wanted to comfort him, I knew the clock was ticking back at my desk.

    I assured him that we’d figure it all out together, but first I needed to finish my work. The quicker I could do that, the faster I could return home to discuss the whole situation in person. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it allowed us both to move forward until we were together and had more time to talk.

    Whether your child calls you crying or you receive a call from the school principal about an upsetting incident, it can be hard to focus on work. If leaving isn’t an option, it’s important and helpful to take a few moments for yourself rather than attempting to bulldoze through it, advises Rosenberg.

    “The more you try not to think about it, the more you will, so take some time before going back to work,” she says.

    She suggests giving yourself a time limit to process your emotions before returning to your desk and taking long, slow breaths to establish a sense of calm.

    “Think, ‘I’m going to feel this for five minutes,’ and then return to your desk. You may find that when you get back into it, your work is a good distraction,” she says. Reassure yourself that the problem will get solved, even if you can’t resolve it in the moment.

    Dealing with family emergencies while working isn’t fun or easy, but having strategies in place can at least minimize the stress–and ensure you’re there for your child and your job’s taken care of.

    Even when I’m immersed in a project, I always have an ear out for a call from one of my kids or the school nurse. In fact, knowing that a crisis can arise, a carpool can collapse, and an illness may strike at any moment inspires me to be as productive and proactive as possible.


    This article originally appeared on The Daily Muse and is reprinted with permission. 

    More from The Muse:


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    Hurricane Michael is bearing down on the Florida panhandle this morning with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, and it’s “extremely dangerous.” The hurricane is expected to make landfall today, and Florida has issued mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders in at least 22 counties on the Gulf Coast.

    Widespread travel disruptions are expected for Wednesday and Thursday, and most airlines are bracing themselves for canceled flights and frustrated passengers. Travelers heading to the airport should keep an eye on FlightAware’s Misery Map, which provides updates on cancellations. Many airlines have started issuing waivers to allow flexible travelers the chance to rebook out of the path of the storm.

    Here are the airlines’ responses to Hurricane Michael so far:

    • American: Passengers traveling from October 9-11 to Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Tallahassee, Pensacola, and Panama City, Florida, or Mobile, Alabama, can rebook travel between October 8-13 with no change fees. Alternatively, American is letting travelers choose to “delay your trip” for up to one year beyond original ticketing. Get details and make changes on American’s website.
    • Delta: So far, Delta is the only airline to cap fares. From Tuesday through Thursday, it will charge no more than $299 for economy and $499 for first-class tickets for one-way flights to/from Pensacola, Panama City, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Tallahassee, and Mobile, Alabama. It is allowing passengers traveling to the affected airports between October 9-10 to rebook flights before October 13. If no flights are available, customers may cancel and get a travel credit for the value of their ticket. Get details on Delta’s website.
    • Southwest: Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier in Atlanta, warned that flights could be disrupted in Atlanta through Friday, including flights to Cancun, Mexico, and Havana, Cuba; and from Tuesday through Thursday in New Orleans and Panama City and Pensacola, Florida. Southwest said customers who have flights booked to, from, or through those cities from October 9-11 can rebook without paying an additional charge, under certain restrictions.
    • JetBlue: Passengers flying in or out of Atlanta between October 10-11 may rebook their flights for travel through October 13 or opt for a refund. Make the change online in the Manage Flights section of jetblue.com or by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) prior to the departure time of the originally scheduled flight.
    • Frontier: Passengers flying to Pensacola or Tampa, Florida; Atlanta; or Birmingham, Alabama, who are ticketed to travel between October 9-11, may make one itinerary change with all fees waived. Origin and destination cities may be changed. However, travel must be completed no later than October 31. Customers whose flights are cancelled may request a refund. Details here.
    • Allegiant: Allegiant’s website warns that its service may be disrupted due to the weather, but currently doesn’t seem to be allowing free changes for tickets. If your flight has been canceled or rescheduled to the next day, head to Manage Travel to figure out refund and rescheduling options. Travelers should monitor this page for updates or changes or call Allegiant Customer Care at 702-505-8888 to plead your case. Perhaps show them this picture of Hurricane Michael?
    • United: Passengers flying to Atlanta; Savannah; Charleston; Greenville-Spartanburg; Myrtle Beach; Columbia, South Carolina; Ft. Walton Beach; Panama City; Pensacola, Florida; or Mobile, Alabama, will have fees and fare differences waived for United flights departing from October 8-18, for travel between the originally ticketed cities. Change fees will also be waived for flights departing after October 18, or with changes to departure or destination city, but passengers will have to pay fare differences. Check United’s website for details.

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    Online banking, ecommerce, e-filing taxes. Moving print documents and in-person services online–even those full of sensitive information–has been an inexorable trend for decades. And voting has moved in that direction too, in 32 U.S. states and several countries, starting in those simpler times of the 1990s and early 2000s.

    That was a giant security blunder, according to a new report from tech and election experts that urges a return to good old paper ballots.

    “This is a position consistently that computer scientists have been saying for a decade, and computer scientists are the ones who you think would be the most favorable to the idea [of online voting] because, we invent the things.” So says Jeremy Epstein, vice chair of the U.S. Technology Policy Council at the ACM, billed as the largest association of computing experts.

    He co-authored the report, which has the dry but ominous title, “Email and Internet Voting: The Overlooked Threat to Election Security,” together with experts from Common Cause Education Fund, the National Election Defense Coalition, and the R Street Institute.

    It counted about 100,000 online ballots cast in 2016, based on reports from county election offices. But the real number could be much higher: Sixteen states with online voting, including Massachusetts and New Jersey, didn’t send in any reports. “It appears that, in some cases, it could be that there are enough votes being cast online that they could flip elections if they were manipulated,” says Epstein.

    A chain of horrors

    The common practice of emailing ballots is like breakdancing in a minefield of security threats. Hackers can intercept the data on its way to polling authorities, says the study, changing votes in a way that no one can trace. Or malware, some form of which is on up to a third of all computers, can surreptitiously alter what voters type in. It can also plant yet more malware in the PDF or JPEG files that voters email in.

    This could lead to the ultimate nightmare scenario. An election worker clicks on an infected attachment, which spreads malware across the network at a county or state election office. It then infects the configuration files that are loaded, via memory cards, onto all voting machines and scanners for every election. Even if those machines aren’t online, the bug still gets in. “Without fanfare, one email has swung an election,” says the study.


    Related: Every 2016 presidential campaign operation was cyber attacked, says security provider


    Even short of such a meltdown, just tampering with the relatively small number of online votes could be enough to flip the polls in the close races that are becoming more common around the world, says Liz Howard, counsel for the Democracy Program at NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice. She agrees that online voting can’t be made safe with today’s technology.

    Howard has firsthand knowledge of the subject, given her experience serving as deputy commissioner for the Virginia Department of Elections from 2014 to 2018. Four years ago, well before the election meddling of 2016, the state put out a study concluding that beefing up Virginia’s online voting security would cost $1 million to set up and another $1 million to run each year, adding 20 to 25 percent onto the state’s annual election budget. “And I don’t know whether or not that program that we were suggesting would satisfy today’s cybersecurity experts,” says Howard.

    Going back to paper

    Virginia ultimately decided to abandon online voting altogether–despite having a large number of residents serving in the military. The federal government originally pushed for online voting to help service members stationed far from home cast ballots, and they are still the main group using those services in the U.S. But even many states with online voting are trying to cut back. “Historically Alaska was the most at risk,” says Epstein, since anyone could cast an absentee ballot online. The lieutenant governor recently pulled back from that, says Epstein.

    “Some states have taken proactive steps to further limit the population that qualifies for online voting or have restricted or prohibited it completely,” says Howard. That runs parallel to ditching the once voguish direct-recording electronic voting machines, where people tap a screen rather than feeding hand-marked paper ballots into a scanner. Like online ballots, these machines have no paper trail that auditors can double-check. (Five states–Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, and South Carolina–will still be using such machines in this election.)


    Related: Amid cybersecurity fears, tech firms are offering to help secure the U.S. elections for free or at a discount


    The return to paper is happening in other countries, too. In 2017, France dropped its plans to let citizens living abroad vote online for legislative elections.

    “Everyone who has tried, with the exception of Estonia, has subsequently backed away,” says Epstein, “because they’ve seen the risks and they’ve seen how bad the software was… and therefore the problems they got into.”

    The Baltic nation’s system is tied to the Estonian ID card, a state-issued smart card for secure online authentication and encryption. “That somewhat reduces the risk, compared to the U.S.,” says Epstein, who notes that studies have still found plenty of risks. “So it’s not as bad as what people are looking at here, but it’s still really, really bad.”

    And no other technologies will completely close the security gap, according to the report. “Blockchain is no magic bullet,” it says. The trendy encrypted ledger technology could help, by making it harder to change votes once they have been cast. But it wouldn’t stop spyware on people’s computers from manipulating the votes before they get written to the ledger, nor would it help with the fraught process of verifying that the person casting the vote is who they say they are.

    Similar weaknesses exist for end-to-end encryption between voters and election authorities. And it’s hard to tell if you’re even getting it. “One of the challenges we’re seeing is the vendors are seeking to be buzzword-compliant by claiming the use of some of these technologies when they’re really not,” says Epstein.

    It wouldn’t matter if they were telling the truth, according to Howard. “No cybersecurity expert that I’m aware of was willing to endorse any sort of platform or tool as secure for online voting,” she says.


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    As a millennial, I would like to apologize. If you’ve been reading the headlines lately, all the destruction caused by people in my vague age group should be abundantly clear. We have killed so many things, and today is no different. According to Bloomberg, the latest fatality caused by millennials is American cheese.

    The article makes a clear case: American cheese consumption has fallen 1.6% this past year… something something something… millennials are to blame. “The product, made famous by the greatest generation, devoured by boomers on the go and touted as the basis for macaroni and cheese, the well-documented love object of Gen X,” the article writes, “has met its match with millennials demanding nourishment from ingredients that are both recognizable and pronounceable.

    As far as I can tell, the proof that people born between 1981 and 1996 are destroying this once-beloved food item is that sales have been down for the last four consecutive years. It’s unclear if the problem is that the people who died of old age over the last half decade were known for their processed-cheese purchase volume, or if millennials in 2014 all attended the same “down with Kraft” meeting. Whatever the answer, it’s clear my generation has done goofed again. What’s more, Bloomberg is on it.

    We can add American cheese to the long list of things millennials have killed. They include divorce, mayonnaise, the primary care physician, beer, and napkins. As someone who likes Tex-Mex queso, this news is an especially harsh blow. (I also do really like mayonnaise!) It’s true I don’t put Kraft singles on every one of my sandwiches, but it is necessary for the spicy dip. However, now that I’ve received the memo to kill American cheese, I suppose I have to stop.

    The question remains: What will we kill next?


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    Here’s a fun game to play on any Chromebook that runs Android apps: Pick a service like Slack or Spotify, then try to guess whether you’d be better off installing its app from the Google Play Store or visiting its desktop website.

    The right answer isn’t always straightforward. Slack’s Android app gives you a full window instead of a browser tab and lets you respond to colleagues straight from the notification tray, but it won’t let you copy snippets of text or drag files into chat rooms. Gmail’s Android app is better for touch screens because you can swipe to delete or archive emails, but it lacks the desktop version’s full complement of features, including extensions and cursor-friendly shortcuts. Spotify lets you download playlists with the Android app, but the website is better formatted for large screens and has helpful right-click menus for navigations.

    [Photo: courtesy of Google]
    Android apps became available on new Chromebooks last year, and are a focal point of the new Pixel Slate, a 12-inch tablet that turns into a laptop with an attachable keyboard case. In a blog post, Google talks up the Slate’s “touch-first” user interface and its ability to run millions of Google Play Store apps. But in making Chrome OS more hospitable for tablets, Google has also complicated the experience on laptops.

    Click, touch, or draw

    To be clear, I haven’t used the Pixel Slate yet, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with HP’s Chromebook X2, another detachable laptop-tablet that launched over the summer. The software isn’t exactly the same–the Pixel Slate has a new home screen that puts more emphasis on apps and search–but it runs the same Android apps, and its Intel Core-m3 processor is similar to that of the Pixel Slate’s $799 model.

    I should also note that I was enthusiastic when the first Chromebooks with Android apps started shipping early last year. The benefits seemed obvious at the time: Suddenly, you could accomplish a lot more on a Chromebook, from syncing files in cloud storage services, to writing in your choice of text editors, to playing a vast catalog of mobile games. Sure, many Android apps weren’t optimized for laptop use then, but Google said it was working closely with developers to change that.

    In hindsight, I was too optimistic. More than a year later, the things I’d expect to just work on a laptop, like right-clicking for contextual menus and clicking and dragging to highlight text, seldom work in the Android apps I’ve tried. And even when apps do support these features, the execution can be awkward. In iA Writer, for instance, you can highlight text with a trackpad or mouse, but only if you wait a moment between clicking and dragging. Drag too quickly, and you’ll end up scrolling down the page instead.

    Meanwhile, the handwriting experience you get from Android apps is a crapshoot on Chromebooks. Google’s own Keep app doesn’t support pressure-sensitive styluses, and handwriting feels choppy and laggy in Evernote and Microsoft’s OneNote. I had a better experience in Squid–apparently the company partnered with Google on low-latency drawing–but it’s unavailable on iOS or Windows, so you can’t pick up the notetaking on other platforms. (I also experienced severe calibration issues with the Chromebook X2, which, with any luck, might not be a problem with the Pixel Slate and its $99 stylus.)

    Some apps, like Microsoft Word, do provide a glimpse of what’s possible with proper optimization. The Android app is finger-friendly, but also handles trackpad input flawlessly, and unlike with Microsoft’s Office web apps, you lose none of the screen to an address bar or other browser clutter. But in my experience, Word is the exception to the rule. (It’s probably no coincidence that the educational market where Chromebooks thrive also represents an important part of Microsoft’s Office business.) Even Google’s own Docs app doesn’t handle text selection properly with a trackpad, so you’re better off using the web version instead.

    Systemic failures

    The apps themselves aren’t the only thing that needs work. The same identity crisis that applies to Android apps also extends to Chrome OS as a whole.

    On the Chromebook X2, for instance, detaching the tablet mode automatically hides the top bar for closing and minimizing windows, which makes sense. But at the same time, the bottom bar for apps and notifications becomes permanent, even when you’re using an app in full-screen mode. And every time you open a new app, another icon gets added to that bar like it would on a desktop. It’s not long before you’re overwhelmed by open apps to manage.

    The underlying issue is that people use laptops and tablets in different ways. With laptops, it’s totally normal to have a half dozen programs open at once, and we’re used to actively managing each window to clear up memory and taskbar space. On tablets, we’re more likely to be using just one or two apps at a time, and we expect the operating system to manage all the apps we’re not using on our behalf. I’m not sure if the Pixel Slate’s redesigned launcher offers any solutions, but using the Chromebook X2 feels like being trapped between two worlds.

    [Photo: courtesy of HP]
    That feeling is solidified by the fact that Chromebooks offer both the Google Play Store for Android apps and the Chrome Web Store for web apps. That means it’s possible to fill the bottom app bar with two versions of Gmail, Slack, or Twitter–each with their own experiences, features, and notifications–regardless of whether you’re using a Chromebook in laptop or tablet mode. You’re responsible for deciding which apps to use at any given time, and after a while it becomes exhausting.

    Despite all these issues, I haven’t completely given up on the concept of Android apps on Chromebooks. With enough time, effort, and developer outreach, Google could find a better way to straddle the line between laptops and tablets.

    But for now, if you’re dead-set on using a Pixel Slate or any other Chromebook, I suggest picking between tablet and web apps at the outset based on which mode you plan to use most, and only hopping the fence in emergencies. Mixing them together is more trouble than it’s worth.


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    In late 2016, on the tail of the U.S. presidential election, Francis DiTomasso, the director of the SVA Galleries at the School of Visual Arts in New York, joined with illustrator and faculty member Steve Brodner to flesh out an idea for a group show, roughly titled Artists in Resistance. There was no explicit mention of Trump or the GOP, and yet the focus of the show was clear: To show how illustrators and artists are mirrors, reflecting, digesting, and opining on some of the most divisive social and political issues of our time.

    “We went on blind faith that many artists would embrace the project and join in–and in fact, they did,” says DiTommaso, who had urgently proposed and scheduled the show without yet having a single artist confirmed.

    Now on view through November 3, Art as Witness: Political Graphics: 2016-2018 features political works from artists and illustrators across generations—including legends like Milton Glaser, Roz Chast, Art Spiegelman, and the late caricaturist David Levine—with 200 works by more than 50 artists in all. Mounted ahead of next month’s midterm elections as a call to action, the show of illustrations and artworks speak volumes.

    Milton Glaser, Space Force, Bloomberg Businessweek (digital), 7/27, 2018 [Image: courtesy the artist/SVA]
    “We did not want this to be The Trump Show because he already commands an inordinate amount of public attention, and because he is only incidental to much of our current sociopolitical discourse,” says DiTommaso, listing a host of topics addressed in the show: the women’s movement, Black Lives Matter, climate change, gun violence, immigration, prison reform. “Trump is a symptom of our time far more than a cause.”

    And yet an undeniable highlight of the show is just how many various, creative, and powerfully rebuking depictions there are of Trump himself. The show includes dozens of images of Trump, in fact–a telling point that, for better or worse, he’s inescapable; a Trump satire is not only a small salve to today’s political chaos, but a compelling form of communication.

    John Cuneo, The Swamp, The New Yorker, 5/21/18, Editor: Françoise Mouly. [Image: courtesy the artist/SVA]
    A May 2018 cover of the New Yorker features the president aplomb in a murky swamp, pant legs rolled up and surrounded by reptilian slime, as he takes aim at a golf ball; another cover from July 2018, drawn in response to the trauma of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy, depicts children huddled in fear, hiding behind the gown at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. An absurdist map of Africa by Roz Chast, labeled with nonsensical country names like “Zamboni,” “Narnia,” and “Zombia,” is titled as Trump’s Africa, in a deadpan satire of the president’s cultural ignorance. One particularly haunting image, a photorealistic illustration by Tim O’Brien, merges the countenance of Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin into a single portrait. Also included is Milton Glaser’s proposed logo for Trump’s space force, an image the designer has said “can be read as his next conquest, or simply that there is very little inside that skull.”

    Political art is currently experiencing a renaissance–at marches and protests, in art and design museums, and in children’s books; going viral on social media, headlining newspapers and magazines, and even (one can hope) flooding the fax machines of lawmakers favoring partisan politics over public interest. “This exhibition serves as a reminder of how many inhumane policies have been implemented or expanded in such a short time period,” says artist Anita Kunz, whose features poster design advocates for gun control. “I don’t think that most of our works will influence anybody who doesn’t already agree with the sentiments, but believe, regardless, that in the face of being furious and feeling impotent, it’s important to express dissent.”

    “The show reflects our community, which believes in the furtherance of democracy,” adds Brodner. “The new era in American politics is defined by Trump but cuts across all issues. It is bigger and more dangerous than the influence of one man.”


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    Employee turnover is expensive for companies. In fact, turnover costs businesses more than the average promotion. According to research, replacing an employee who quits costs, on average, 21% of their annual pay. Furthermore, Glassdoor research has shown that staying in a particular role for too long makes it more likely that employees will leave their company. With these points in mind and against the backdrop of a job-seeker-first job market, it may be the perfect time to ask for a promotion.

    Thinking about the next step in your career path can seem easy: Put a plan together, talk to your boss, and voilà, you’ve got a promotion. But unfortunately, the game isn’t played that way. There are a few unspoken rules of promotions.

    Bookmark this page and read carefully. Here are the keys to landing a promotion that very few people will tell you about.

    Rule 1: You must build a case

    Before speaking to your boss about all the reasons you think you deserve a raise or promotion, have a solid answer to each of these questions:

    1. What have you done to add value beyond your job description? Can you find a way to quantify these achievements? We all get paid to do our jobs well, so simply performing and completing your tasks is not grounds for promotion.
    2. How does promoting you help the organization? Will promoting you create a headcount reduction, or increase efficiencies on your team?
    3. What exactly are you asking for? Go in with a firm case for what you want, and don’t expect your supervisor to make the ask for you. Take the time to research your realistic value in the job market though sites like Glassdoor.

    Rule 2: Your personal brand matters

    Today, it’s not only important to be good at what you do, but also to become visible to the right people in the right way. That doesn’t mean sucking up to your boss, though. The key is to position yourself as an expert so that you’re looped into all the important events and activities in your organization, and your opinion is sought after by the top people in your company. It’s about being relevant, creating value for your company, and proactively communicating to others in your organization.

    Connect with the business leaders in your organization who are relevant to your field of interest and can help you grow professionally. For example, if you want to become a marketing thought leader, you need to reach out to the VP of marketing or the CMO. It won’t be productive if you network with the CTO or IT head of your company instead.

    Ask them if you can get 15-30 minutes on their calendar to meet them and learn more about their work. In these meetings, briefly talk about your background, achievements, and ambitions. Also, offer to help them with any of their projects.

    Rule 3: Know your worth

    Before entering any talks regarding a promotion, you need to know your worth. Understanding your value to your company, and on the open job market, gives you the negotiating power you need to get a promotion.

    Knowing your worth gives you leverage in promotion discussions because you’ll be able to display your objective value. An easy way to do this is by using Glassdoor’s Know Your Worth tool, which will show you your true market value, how it compares to other workers in the same field, current market salary, and other open jobs with current salary data.

    Before going into any conversation for a promotion, come prepared with

    • Your real worth on the open market
    • A list of your current tasks and responsibilities
    • Data demonstrating the value you bring to the company

    Rule 4: Look for the signs

    Having a professional role that both engages and challenges you is a cornerstone of job fit. Savvy managers are aware of this, and make team members’ professional development a priority.

    One major sign that the boss is considering you for promotion is they will assign you a stretch assignment. It’s a nod that management recognizes your diligence, skill, and talent and has confidence in your ability to take it to the next level. Mikaela Kiner, founder and CEO with uniquelyHR, explains, “A stretch assignment might be deliberately created to advance talented employees, or it may be the result of organizational growth, an unexpected vacancy, or a new product or initiative.”

    Whatever prompted you to earn the nod, you’ll recognize a stretch assignment because it seems a bit lofty. Kiner further explains: “The assignment should help you do one or more of the following: Build new skills, increase your visibility, try out a new discipline or geography, or gain an experience like managing people that you haven’t had before.” While this may seem a bit intimidating, Kiner assures: “Leadership will only ask you to take on a stretch assignment if they believe that you can do the work and that it will develop your skills.”

    Rule 5: Don’t assume your hard work is being noticed

    If you want more attention for your work and a promotion, you’re going to have to speak up. Assuming that the boss is taking copious notes about your work, progress, and projects is naive. If you do, you will consistently do excellent, promotion-worthy work that you never quite step up to take credit for, and have great ideas that you don’t reveal during meetings (anyone else sit quietly through brainstorming sessions only to email the team lead 10 new ideas once the meeting ends?).

    If you want to speak up and get credit for your ideas in person but you know you’re an introvert, give yourself some backup. Attend meetings with thorough notes on what you want to share and refer to those notes as you speak. It can even help to preface your contribution with a phrase that explains that you’re not thinking on your feet such as, “I was thinking about this over the weekend, and I had an idea that we could . . . ” or, “Susana said something interesting last week that got me thinking about . . . ” These phrases take the pressure off the moment and give some weight to what you have to say.

    Rule 6: Think company first, individual second

    To get the lowdown on promotions at your company without inadvertently suggesting to your employer that you’re not satisfied with your current situation, try to frame everything from the perspective of how you can best serve the company.

    “With HR or your boss, frame this in a way that highlights your desire to excel and benefit the organization: ‘I feel I could do more here and would like to know how best to pursue a strong career path . . . Could really use your help to navigate the best way to get there,'” suggests Laura MacLeod, creator of From The Inside Out Project®. “Also, [it’s] important to stress your desire to stay with the organization long-term.”

    Try not to ask any questions or make any comments that come across as crass or self-serving.

    “Keep questions factual: seniority, experience and educational needs, responsibilities of the job. Don’t ask about pay or specific conditions [like] late hours or days off. This looks like you’re seeing if it fits into your plan, not the needs of the company,” MacLeod says. “Always focus on your desires and plans being aligned with company progress–this makes you a strong team player.”


    This article originally appeared on Glassdoor and is reprinted with permission. 


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    Instagram has conscripted artificial intelligence into the fight against cyberbullying. The social media site announced it is rolling out machine learning in the hopes of detecting mean-spirited photos and helping everyone on Instagram generally #BeBest, just like Melania Trump would want them to be.

    “While the majority of photos shared on Instagram are positive and bring people joy, occasionally a photo is shared that is unkind or unwelcome,” Adam Mosseri, the new head of Instagram, said in a press release. “We are now using machine learning technology to proactively detect bullying in photos and their captions and send them to our Community Operations team to review.”

    Why opt for artificial intelligence to detect bullying instead of relying on users to report violations? Instagram says it has found that many people who experience or observe bullying don’t report it. (Speaking from experience, a more common response is retreating to the bathroom to drown one’s sorrows in Biscoff cookies.) As such, this is an interesting application of machine learning–which has yet to be proven as an especially deft tool when it comes to, say, discerning sarcasm or figuring out when something is actually bullying as opposed to good-natured trolling by your big brother as required by Sibling Law.

    It will be interesting to see how AI manages to navigate the complex, visual language world or whether every single user will have their comments filtered at some point. The new technology has begun to roll out and will continue to in the coming weeks.

    The update to the platform’s technology comes a few months after Instagram unveiled a bullying comment filter on the site, which proactively detects and hides bullying comments. The Facebook-owned site is now expanding that to comments on live videos in the hopes of keeping everyone nice and friendly.


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    The so-called pipeline problem is traditionally the scapegoat when companies continue to hire homogenously. Now that LinkedIn’s revealing a suite of new products, all of which feature their diversity insights, they won’t have an excuse not to hire more women.

    Powered by AI and machine learning, LinkedIn Recruiter will analyze job postings and extract data about the skills and experience along with who’s looking to make search results better. The Talent Hub is a beefed up applicant tracking system that takes care of the whole hiring journey from searching, managing the pipeline, and collecting feedback, to extending an offer. Along the way, the diversity insights will show the recruiter representative samples of potential candidates, like if there are 6500 engineers (40% women, 60% men), the recruiter will see 40% of women in each page of the search results to more fairly represent the available pool.

    Skills Insights are added to LinkedIn Learning Pro to show leaders skills gaps in their current workforce and compare them with competitors.


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    When the first bioreactor-grown “clean meat” shows up in restaurants–perhaps by the end of this year–it’s likely to come in the form of ground meat rather than a fully formed chicken wings or sirloin steak. While it’s possible to grow animal cells in a factory, it’s harder to grow full animal parts. One solution may come from fungi: Mycelia, the hair-like network of cells that grows in mushrooms, can create a scaffold to grow a realistic cut of meat.

    “With our platform, we’re able to make these complex structures that have texture that you would cut with a knife and be like, wow, that actually has fibers in it, like meat structure,” says Eben Bayer, founder of Ecovative, a company that recently released a new mycelium-based “biofabrication platform.”

    [Photo: Tim Calabro/Ecovative]

    For the company, growing meat without livestock is just one of many applications of the platform. “It’s using nature as a molecular assembler,” Bayer says. Ecovative first launched a decade ago by making packaging, now used by Dell and Ikea, that injects farm waste products with mushroom spawn inside a mold. Days later, the mycelium completes the growth of the product, which can be used as a compostable alternative to Styrofoam. The same process can also be used to grow building materials.

    [Photo: Tim Calabro/Ecovative]

    The company’s new MycoPlex platform, which Ecovative announced at SynBioBeta, a synthetic biology conference in San Francisco, can create higher-performing materials. The company is now beginning to license the process to other manufacturers. “Our intellectual property is in understanding the growth and the growth processes that’ll coax mycelium to create these very complex structures, do so repeatedly, and do so at scale,” Bayer says.

    The process involves growing trays of mycelia, along with a nutritious substrate, in long walk-in tunnels. By controlling temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, airflow, and other factors, it’s possible to control the geometry, density, size, and shape of the material.

    [Photo: Tim Calabro/Ecovative]

    Bolt Threads used the new platform to create Mylo, a biofabricated leather that uses the network of mycelial fibers to create the look and texture of a hide from a cow. A tote bag made from the new material launched in September. As the clean meat industry emerges, it’s likely that it will also use the platform. People working in regenerative medicine–including startups currently attempting to 3D-print artificial hearts and other body parts–may also use it.

    The challenges of growing organs are similar to those involved with growing meat: the structure. It’s very difficult to grow a network of working blood vessels. Some researchers have successfully experimented with plants. It’s possible to strip plant cells from a spinach leaf and then use the veins to carry blood. But “in the case of an apple or a spinach leaf, you’re sort of stuck with the geometry of whatever that natural structure is,” says Bayer. “What makes mycelium an exciting choice for that is we have a lot of control over how these structures form, because while it does form these networks, it does so in a predictable fashion.” In theory, if you were growing lungs, you could create both the right shape and structure.

    The platform can also be used for very different consumer products that have sustainability advantages. Ecovative is currently in talks with shoe companies that want to use mycelium foam to replace petroleum-based versions that they use to make the insole, shrinking the carbon footprint of the product and creating something that could be composted in a backyard rather than sent to the landfill when it wears out. Cosmetic companies are interested in using the foam for makeup applicators. Ultimately, Bayer believes mycelium could be widely used in manufacturing. “The cost curve for this platform is pretty exciting at large volumes and gets into the regime where plastic substitution makes sense on an economic and performance basis, ignoring the sustainability side,” he says.


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    For the first time in three decades, electronic instrument maker Moog is offering a new polyphonic synthesizer, the Moog One. While Moog is well known for innovating monophonic synths that are played and sequenced one note at a time, its new keyboard will go further–allowing people to play multiple notes simultaneously and stack essentially three synthesizers on top of each other, as well as program, modulate, and sequence the sounds in creative and complex ways.

    To officially announce the new synth, which follows a few short months after the release of its semi-modular Grandmother synth, Moog is premiering a 20-minute film titled Moog One – A Meditation On Listening. With a vintage intro inspired by the 1982 Memorymoog promo (the company’s last polysynth), the film features artists Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo), modular pioneer Suzanne Ciani, Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, musician Mark Ronson, and others creating new music on the Moog One.

    The film coincided with a Reddit Ask Me Anything session hosted this week by Amos Gaynes, a senior engineer at Moog who helped develop the One. After Gaynes answered questions, the session moved over to the new Moog website via a new live stream and chat features.

    Gaynes tells Fast Company that a polysynth has been in the works for years. Ever since the Minimoog Voyager was released in 2002—an event that marked Moog’s resurrection–artists and fans have been asking the company if it would ever make another polysynth. At some point, Gaynes says, Moog felt the need to respond.

    “We were thinking about it in the background for years, even before the Moog One development started,” says Gaynes. “The first serious questions might have happened as long ago as 2013. By 2015 we were going to work on a specific project that was going to be a polysynth, but we had to determine which direction we wanted to go in.”

    Borrowing from the past to hear the future

    Although the Moog One is designed with the Moog DNA in mind, its designers had to explore some new directions on a technical level. There is the classic Moog filter, sure, but it also features three new oscillators that were engineered from the ground up, as well as a variable-state filter that was designed in-house.

    As far as the look of the One, Emmy Parker, Moog’s creative director, says it was inspired by past Moog synthesizers–specifically, the Memorymoog, with its wooden and metal frame and clear signal path layout. The idea was to make the playing of the synth familiar, while the technology took the sound to new frontiers.

    [Photo: courtesy of Moog]
    Gaynes describes the complexity of the Moog One as immense and deep. The abundance of voices (in either 8- or 16-voice versions), oscillators, precise modulations, and onboard effects can be layered, combined, and stacked atop each other.

    “You can create sounds with nine oscillators per note, 60 layers of modulation, three different simultaneous sequencers, each of which can be modulating parameters sequenced over time,” says Gaynes. “At a technical level, this is the first instrument where we have had an embedded operating system that’s communicating over a 100-megabit network to a network of 16 individual voices, each of which has its own processors running its own onboard modulations and control voltages.”

    [Photo: courtesy of Moog]
    “Coordinating all of these things and having them work together at the speed of musical thought has been an intense and rewarding technological challenge for us to achieve,” Gaynes adds.

    Coinciding with the Moog One’s announcement is a new Moog website, designed with the the polysynth in mind. A major feature of the redesign is a live stream from Moog’s Asheville factory, which allows people to see the Moog One being built, and lets them ask questions via chat about the Moog One and other instruments.

    “On the design of the Moog One we were really concerned with accessibility,” says Parker. “The instrument, no matter how powerful and complex it is, has to be accessible to the most number of people, and that was what we were really focused on with the website redesign–we wanted to invite more people into the factory.”

    [Photo: courtesy of Moog]

    Parker adds that the live stream featuring synthesizers being built will be available at all times. “We are using chat on the Moog website in a very different way,” she says. “It’s not just there to talk about problems with instruments. It will be manned by folks in the Moog factory, so it could be folks from engineering, marketing, sales, and support–anyone could be on chat at any given time … We are really there to just to encourage, support, inspire, and guide.”


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    The massive disruption that ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have visited on the taxi industry stirs up so many conflicting feelings. I use these services all the time but the larger impact of my patronage has been weighing on my conscience more lately. Not least because, from a certain perspective, it’s clear that design lies at the heart of both the genuine innovation and the disturbing dissonance of this transformation in transportation.

    Uber and Lyft, in order to justify their exorbitant market valuations, are barreling toward a future in which autonomous vehicles reinvent the way we move about cities. At that point, they’ll be able to do away with the pesky expense of human drivers. And at that point, the companies will have decisively made the shift to true technological innovation.

    But until that yet-to-be-determined date, the truth is that what propels these companies forward is not really technology innovation so much as design.

    Of course, the ability to hail a car on your phone and then have your request instantly dispatched to a driver in your vicinity is an impressive technological feat. But the actual ride, the core of the value, is still technologically unchanged–you’re still being driven in a combustion engine vehicle by a human. (Even if your driver picks you up in a hybrid or electric car, that technology wasn’t brought to you by the app or these companies.)

    The real innovation that Uber and Lyft have brought to bear is in the transformation of the user experience of your ride: the ability to gauge your driver’s distance from you; the presentment of the driver’s name and the make and model of his or her car; the option to follow along with the route to your destination; and then the prompt to rate and review your ride at the end. These are the kinds of things that make an Uber or Lyft ride fundamentally different from stepping off the curb and waving down a taxi. They rely on technology, of course, but really they amount to “designing the ride,” or the application of user-centric thinking to enhance the experience of being driven across town.

    [Source Image: Sentavio/iStock]

    Interaction design’s Beatles vs. Stones moment

    In a way ride-hailing as a technology was commoditized almost as soon as it was birthed into the world. You can see this in how the basic functionality of both Uber and Lyft’s apps have largely stayed the same over the years while the design and branding approach of both apps has been updated and enhanced with great frequency. This doubtless reflects a recognition on the part of both companies that their technology is virtually indistinguishable from one another, at least to consumers. When a business finds itself in a position like that, one of the best ways to compete is with design.

    All of this has yielded a kind of user experience boon to ride-hailing customers. The apps seem to be continually, breathlessly one-upping each other with new interface features and slicker interactions, and they’re overhauled periodically with ambitious and sometimes dramatic redesigns. The design of these apps is getting better all the time. It’s one of the closest equivalents to a Beatles-Stones rivalry that we’ve ever had in interaction design, and it’s been exciting to watch.

    In the short history of interaction design, you would think this could be regarded as an unalloyed success for the profession, and certainly as a triumph over the legacy taxi industry’s stodgy resistance to design. Before Lyft and Uber, taxi and limousines had operated virtually unchanged for decades. (It was a big deal in the early 2000s when you could start using a credit card in New York City cabs, a laughingly incremental innovation.) And the experience of being driven by a hack was often erratic and inconvenient, to put it mildly. I recall ruefully the annoyance of trying to hail a taxi on busy weekend nights while at least three or four other people were doing the exact same thing on the same street corner. And that’s when taxis are available; hailing a cab in inclement weather has always been one of life’s least noble chores. And of course taxis and limousines have, at best, spotty reputations for picking up passengers of color, or for being available or timely in low-income neighborhoods.

    It’s almost as if, once we added design to the equation, everything got better. All of a sudden you could reliably get a ride on any street corner, at any time, almost without regard for how many other customers are competing for rides of their own. Rides are cheaper now, too, both because each Uber and Lyft transaction is essentially underwritten by investment capital and because you can know the cost before you even hail that ride. Taxi drivers can no longer “show you the park,” as they used to say when they took unsuspecting out-of-towners the long way round to their destinations.

    [Source Image: Sentavio/iStock]

    Unintended consequences

    All these improvements were made possible by design, and they’ve made a difference—a huge one. There would be no “unicorn” valuation for Uber or Lyft if they hadn’t employed designers to fundamentally improve the taxi experience.

    But of course, this isn’t the whole story, not by a long shot. The lightning speed with which ride hailing apps have captivated consumers has also brought some substantially troubling unintended consequences.

    Rides have gotten cheaper for passengers, but it’s been shown repeatedly that driving for Uber and Lyft is not a great way to make a living. Drivers often earn less than minimum wage, and there is a disturbing trend of suicides among economically struggling drivers.

    To compound the problem, there is no path forward from driving into ownership. Cab drivers in many cities can eventually become licensees or medallion owners, building equity in their professions. In the past this has been a reliable trajectory for many immigrants who have been able to start as taxi drivers and become owners of small fleets of cabs, propelling them into middle class life. With the advent of Uber and Lyft, the value of medallions in New York City, for example, has fallen off a cliff, effectively wiping out the financial futures of countless drivers.

    You could see this disruption as either an unfair attack on a working class profession or as a basic and perhaps inevitable outcome of free market evolution. But it’s much harder to dismiss the effect that Uber and Lyft are having on our physical world.

    They once promised to lessen traffic. Instead, these services increase congestion—precipitously. In a study of nine major metropolitan cities in the United States–Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington–researchers estimate that ridership is adding as much as 5.7 billion miles of driving per year to streets.

    This likely stems from the fact that customers aren’t hailing Uber and Lyft instead of driving their own cars. In fact, that same study suggests that at least half of the rides hailed on these services would not have been taken by car at all; they are journeys that customers would have taken by foot, bike, or public transport, or perhaps even not at all. The gas consumption–and attendant pollution and environmental damage–required to support all of this additional driving is staggering. But think also about all of the fossil fuels that are required just to allow Uber and Lyft drivers to continually circulate around a city so that that there will always be one near you when you need it.

    [Source Image: Sentavio/iStock]

    You can never go back to taxis

    Earlier I contended that very little of the innovative value of these services could’ve happened without design. Here is the other side of that coin: At some point the total civic benefit of these services begins to look less like a misguided convenience and more like a lavish extravagance that none of us can afford. And the rapidity of design’s success here, combined with how lasting it’s likely to be makes this look more and more like a design-led calamity.

    Uber and Lyft rose to prominence quickly–in roughly just a half decade–but it seems unlikely that a solution to this predicament will happen nearly so quickly. As American society has proven again and again, it is unwilling to use roads less, only more. The habits that we’ve all formed so quickly around on-call, near instant ride-hailing are going to be incredibly difficult to reverse.

    It’s not an option to just go back to the way taxis and limousines operated a decade ago. That legacy industry is not just in an economic shambles today, but it remains as problematic as ever. Even as it functioned as a gateway to the middle class for countless drivers, it’s been historically rife with transgressions and corruption. If anything, the design innovation in Uber and Lyft only served to highlight how generally unfit for the public the whole industry has long been.

    Furthermore, even if there were some kind of a public campaign waged to return to traditional cabs (and it would have to be an incredibly successful one to make an impact), the bell of “good design” can’t be unrung. We’ve now seen how design can remake the experience of a cab and there’s no going back.

    One of the most powerful aspects of the Uber and Lyft approach is the dual rating system for drivers and passengers. It’s been remarkable to me how it’s influenced my conduct as a passenger; I’m much less prone to being rude or even giving negative feedback directly to drivers knowing that they’ll be rating me as well.

    But when I get into a taxicab, not only do I find that I’m less personable with taxi drivers, but I also find that the reverse is true, too. In the past year, I’ve taken rides with yellow cab drivers who conduct private conversations on their phones and ignore me entirely; who disregard my requests to take certain roads to my destination; who cite their need to make short return deadlines as reasons why they can’t add stops to a trip; who are flagrantly untruthful about fare estimates; and who are just plain rude. If you have reservations about Uber and Lyft, the user experience of yellow cabs are not a compelling alternative.

    [Source Image: Sentavio/iStock]

    Disruption vs. design

    Any sober assessment of this situation would likely conclude that there are elements of both traditional taxi service and ride hailing apps that are desirable. On the one hand, we want taxi driving to be a sustainable profession, with hack licenses and medallions distributed in reasonable quantities so as to mitigate congestion. On the other hand, we also want a good experience for our rides, we want technological innovations, and we want a mutually respectful relationship between drivers and passengers. Right now the prospects for achieving that balance seem very remote.

    The widely dissatisfactory nature of this current situation suggests to me that design as a force for “disruption” is deeply problematic. If you look at this mess we’re in, it’s pretty clear that all that we’ve done here is disrupt the status quo. While there is merit to that, as a profession, design has allowed itself to be swept up too easily by the enormous emphasis (read: economic value) that the tech industry has placed on the concept of disruption.

    It’s reasonable to look at the Uber and Lyft experiment as an attempt to redesign everything about taxis. In some ways the attempt has been unexpectedly successful–if you had told me a decade ago that this market would become one of the most consequential proving grounds for design ideas ever, there would have been no way I’d have believed you. But that’s what it’s become.

    Design has disrupted taxis in a massive, almost unprecedented way. But good design doesn’t merely aim to disrupt–it should set out to actually build viable solutions. Designers shouldn’t look at a problem and say, “What we’re going to do is just fuck it up and see what happens.” That’s a dereliction of duty.

    But in a very real sense, that’s just what design has done with this challenge of how people get driven across town. Design has focused on the details: on the challenge of getting the interface just right; on “optimizing the funnel” for new and lapsed customers; on fine-tuning the choreography between app notifications, driver interactions and payment; and on outfoxing the competition. Meanwhile, the bigger picture has gone largely ignored.

    [Source Image: Sentavio/iStock]

    Responsibility

    It’s difficult to write an essay like this without implying bad behavior on the part of the teams, past or present, who work on these products. That’s not my intention.

    There’s a tough discussion to be had here about responsibility. That includes the question of: “To what extent should the Uber and Lyft design teams, past and present, be held accountable for the creation of this inescapable new challenge of modern life?” But we should also ask: “To what extent should the entire design industry be held responsible for peddling our relentlessly sunny prognostications of how design can improve the human condition, all without regard for deeper discussions as to the meaning and impact of our work?”

    If anything, this situation reflects poorly on the entire design industry–and on its inability to connect the work with the larger context of what it puts into the world. I’ve argued before that as a profession, design is inexperienced at this level of discussion and thoughtfulness. There is a long road ahead to being able to incorporate this kind of awareness into design’s work methods in a way that’s productive and complementary, rather than at odds, with the companies that employ designers.

    By the same token, that hardly absolves design in the present. The teams at Uber and Lyft have a responsibility to engage in a dialogue, privately and publicly, about the impact of their work. And we all have a responsibility to ask questions about that very same subject, to hold all of us, together as an industry, responsible for the outcomes of our craft. We can’t think of ourselves merely as disrupters. When we take on a challenge, when we endeavor to apply our tools and thinking and labor to problems, we have to commit ourselves to producing complete, viable, and sustainable solutions. We have to finish the whole job.

    Khoi Vinh is principal designer at Adobe. This essay was adapted with the author’s permission. Read the original here.


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    The role and impact of mentors may vary, but the generally accepted business practice is that people need a mentor. It’s time to challenge that wisdom.

    The roots of mentoring came from a different era when career paths were mostly linear. Getting career advice from a sage veteran who has successfully navigated that career path made sense, as most employees sought a similar vertical path.

    Today’s careers are a bit more jagged, a phrase coined by George Anders in his book The Rare Find. Career development is more of a lattice than a ladder, with employees moving vertically and laterally across organizations to gain more experience and develop their skills as well as progress their careers.

    The nature of what it means to “work” is also evolving. The rise of the gig economy is well documented. By 2027 half the U.S. population will be freelancers. This is a seismic shift in the very construct of work itself and requires a different type of thinking when considering your career development.

    Why you need a personal board of directors

    The idea of creating a personal board of directors isn’t novel. Fast Companycovered the concept way back in 2000.

    But why limit ourselves to individuals in our field to support our career development?

    Better to look beyond the traditional mentor relationship and build a more diverse advisory group from inside and outside of your field. These different views and perspectives should challenge your assumptions and question your drivers in ways that stretch you beyond a traditional same-industry mentor.

    Here are the profiles you want in your advisory board.

    The creative innovator

    The creative innovator has a finger on the pulse of what’s now and what’s next – technology, trends, design, life hacks. These people will open your mind up to new ways of thinking. They’re dreamers, unencumbered by generally accepted rules and practices.

    Creative innovators can help you see things in a different light. Their id-driven energy and enthusiasm may provide you with the spark you need to take career risks. Their impulsive instincts may prevent you from over-analyzing pivot points in your career.

    Creative innovators can often be found in departments like design, product, and marketing.

    The pragmatist

    The pragmatist is the yin to the creative innovator’s yang. They approach most areas with a healthy degree of skepticism and look for evidence to influence their perspective. They play an essential role in a personal board as they’re useful in poking holes in your plans and finding weaknesses you may not see.

    For some people, it’s easy to get lost in the excitement when evaluating career moves (c’mon, who needs culinary experience to launch a food truck?) The pragmatist will bring a realist’s view to your ideas and help ensure your enthusiasm doesn’t derail your career.

    Pragmatists are often found in finance, human resources, and project management roles.

    The up and comer

    Too often we expect our most significant professional insights to come from those in roles above us. That’s a mistake.

    Reverse mentoring isn’t just for executives wanting to stay in touch with younger perspectives but rather a way of understanding your field from a perspective similar to your younger self. But a youthful perspective that’s also grounded in current realities, rather than realities at play when you were at that stage of your career.

    The up and comer is usually someone with three to eight years of experience in the field. They’re often one of the more junior members of project teams who have built a reputation for fresh ideas and nimble thinking. They have a gift for seeing things in a different light and speaking up to articulate their ideas beyond what’s expected at that level.

    The network node

    Your network is one of the single most important factors in your career success. A robust and diversified network will open up opportunities, deepen your expertise, and broaden your perspective.

    While it’s important to build and grow your network continually, it can feel like pulling teeth if it’s out of your comfort zone. Network nodes are super connectors who excel in building and maintaining relationships inside and outside of their field. They can help make introductions, as well as provide coaching and guidance that may help you develop your networking skills.

    Network nodes are easy to spot. They’re often actively growing their LinkedIn networks, engaging with their field, in virtual and live events.

    Your future self

    It’s a standard question that recruiters and hiring managers put to jobseekers, especially early and mid-career prospects: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” While the value of this question to the role at hand may be debatable, the question prompts a thought exercise that can help you uncover a great deal about your ambitions and aspirations. And the question can also help you identify the final member of your personal board.

    This is the member of your board who most closely resembles the traditional mentor. Perhaps you want to switch fields? Start your own company? Take a sabbatical? Future selves can share how they navigated those areas in their careers and also give you first-hand credible insight into whether the place they now occupy is actually all it’s cracked up to be.

    The specific makeup of your advisory board will evolve and change as your career stages shift. Most importantly, your board should be a diverse mix of individuals. You want perspectives that will differ, and at times clash, with your own. Homogenous advisory boards won’t help you see your blind spots because they may share them.

    A personal board of directors will add value to your career no matter your seniority. Invest in these relationships now, and they’ll provide dividends throughout your career.


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    The internet today is so cluttered with stories, it’s hard to find–and keep track of–the really good stuff. That’s where the bookmarking platform Pocket comes in, giving you an easy way to curate articles you want to save or read later, and then providing recommendations based on what people are engaging with most deeply. But there’s still the matter of carving out time to read everything that strikes your fancy.

    [Image: Pocket]
    That’s why today, Pocket is announcing a redesign aimed at giving people new ways to consume good stories. Most strikingly, the Mozilla-owned service is debuting a feature that uses text-to-speech to read your saved articles aloud to you–turning a list of to-reads into a piecemeal, personalized podcast.

    [Image: Pocket]
    Using Amazon’s text-to-speech tool Polly, the listening feature gives you a simple way to access articles on the go or when your hands are occupied. Right now, people can listen to Pocket articles, but not easily. You save an article, open it up, and click a “listen” button. Then to listen to another article, you need to do the same thing again.

    With the new design, all your saved “listen” articles will start playing automatically, one after another, when you press a prominent button on Pocket’s home screen. Any piece of content on the internet should work with the listening feature.

    Of course, it doesn’t sound the same as a real human reading a story–text-to-speech voices usually sound like robots–but how else are you going to get through that 38,000-word article on code?

    The rest of the app and desktop browsing experience is getting a nice refresh, too, with less visual clutter to help you get right down to what you came there for: reading.


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    While most of the world huddled around televisions during the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, astronaut Al Worden sat in a cockpit on a California tarmac on NASA business, listening to a live audio feed between mission control and astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

    “I was getting my flight plan squared away, when ground control called and said, `Hey Apollo 11’s on its way down to the moon. We’ve got the ground-to-air audio.’ So I sat there for about an hour while they made their descent down to the lunar surface,” he says.

    “In my mind, I’m in the cockpit with them watching the lunar scenery go by and helping them set down on the lunar surface,” he adds. “I trained in the command module, but I knew enough about the lunar module to know what they were doing and how they were doing it, so I could visualize what was going on.”

    Worden would go on to pilot the Apollo 15 command module in 1971, orbiting the moon 75 times, performing the first deep-space spacewalk, and setting a Guinness record for being the “most isolated human being” ever, at 2,235 miles away from his colleagues on the lunar surface. At a vibrant and engaged 86, he still travels the world as an airshow VIP, talking to young students about STEM education, and fundraising for the Astronauts Scholarship Fund, which he formerly chaired. So he seemed a natural fit for technical advisor on Universal’s First Man, profiling Armstrong during NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon.

    The film reunites La La Land director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling, and is based on the 2005 bestseller of the same name. It was the book’s author, James Hansen, who brought Worden on board. “This was my first movie as technical advisor,” says Worden, who joined a crew of consultants that included NASA, Armstrong’s family, and Apollo 11’s Aldrin and Michael Collins. “Jim and I would sit there hour after hour until they got to a point where they weren’t sure what they were doing. Then they’d call me over to straighten it out. It was fun.”

    Less fun was the partisan controversy that’s emerged in recent weeks over the film’s omission of the moment when Armstrong planted the American flag on the moon.

    Worden adamantly waves off the flag flap. “It’s a lot of hot air about nothing,” he says. “There are lots of American flags in the movie, although the movie is specifically about Neil Armstrong and his life. I find it a little over the top to focus on the flag planting since it was not critical to the story. And then you realize that those who objected never saw the movie. Sad comment on today’s politics.”

    Worden consulted on scenes involving the Apollo spacecraft and lunar landing. Crucial to the film’s tension is just how primitive and precarious the hardware comes across, from the strains and groans of the metal, to its analog switches and levers.

    “It’s a big leap from a book to a movie,” says Worden, who has authored three books, including his bestselling memoir Falling to Earth.“When you write a book, you write about what people do, not the details of the mechanical things around them. In a movie, somebody has to have all the hardware in the right place at the right time. They had a lot of it really down pretty well” —including a spectacular depiction of a close-up lunar landscape, says Worden, who flew within 10,000 feet of the moon’s surface on his mission. “But there were some things I helped with.”

    One of them was authentically tweaking the onscreen lunar module to assist the story. “In real life, there’s no electronic indication in the LM when it’s ready to depart the lunar surface. They get that from mission control. On a flight like that, you don’t put in a lot of stuff you don’t need. But in the movie, you wanted to make sure people understood what was going on. So I said, ‘Why don’t you put a light in the cockpit? When a green light comes on, that means it’s ready to go.’ That isn’t real life, but it lets the audience relate to what’s going on there.”

    Worden orbited the moon 75 times and set a Guinness record for being the “most isolated human being” ever. [Photo: courtesy of Al Worden]

    The man behind the myth

    Such detail frames the film’s exploration of Armstrong’s famous reserve. “The movie is not specifically about spaceflight. It’s about Neil Armstrong—the problems he had, the difficulties attempting the things that he did, the accidents,” says Worden, a longtime friend of Armstrong, who passed away in 2012 at age 82.

    “Ryan Gosling played him pretty aloof and goal-oriented, to the point where he would ignore things around him like his family. Neil was a very controlled and contained kind of guy, and cool under pressure. But he wasn’t quite as severe as they showed in the movie.

    Worden in his pressurized suit. [Photo: courtesy of Al Worden]
    “When Neil got back from the flight, he became an international celebrity and had people on him all the time to do things,” he says. “In reaction, he just shut down with people he didn’t really know. He was a jolly good fellow when he was with friends, but I could see where that wall would come up with someone who meant nothing or wanted something from him.”

    “You never saw Neil marketing himself very much. He was very quiet. Afterward, he spent years teaching aeronautics at the University of Cincinnati. He was really a professor, an educator.”

    Armstrong’s emotional awe during his time in space is a cinematic conceit as well.

    “Once you’re in flight, you do things mechanically, because that’s the way you’ve done it a thousand times during training,” says Worden. “There’s not a lot of wonder about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. We were busy following the flight plan, which was laid out minute-by-minute. We didn’t really have the opportunity to just look around. I didn’t think about that until I got back.

    “I kind of compare it to…I was going to be a musician till I went to West Point,” he adds. “I took piano lessons for years. I would practice, practice, practice, then perform it without thinking, because I had done it so many times. Spaceflight’s a little like that, too.”

    In reality, spaceflight is highly mechanical. In the moment, “there’s not a lot of wonder about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it,” says Worden. [Photo: courtesy of Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures]

    Mr. Rodgers, holograms, and why we hurtle ourselves into space

    By the time Worden joined NASA in 1966, he’d served as an Air Force pilot and military flight instructor, armed with University of Michigan masters degrees in aeronautics, astronautics, and instrumentation. He worked as Apollo 9 support crew and Apollo 12 back-up command module pilot before joining the crew of Apollo 15.

    The experiments that Worden, Commander David Scott, and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin conducted during their three days on and around the moon made it the most scientifically rigorous of the Apollo missions. The trip was a success, but Worden encountered reentry turbulence when political pressure forced NASA to discipline the crew for carrying unauthorized payloads of stamp covers to eventually sell, despite similar precedents in previous missions—an incident he addressed during a Good Morning Britain appearance last year.

    Post Apollo, Worden served in senior science positions at NASA Ames Research Center through 1975, making seven appearances on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood during that time. He then worked in private aerospace industry, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Florida in 1982, and even published poetry about space. He’s now collaborating with a Los Angeles intellectual property firm, 1on1 Talks, to create an AI-infused hologram of himself for educational posterity.

    Worden also keeps abreast of space-themed sci-fi films, even if the science sometimes rankles. “I’ve seen Interstellar probably five times and I’ve never figured it out. How do you get a wormhole next to Saturn?” he laughs. “And I loved The Martian, except he used the potatoes the wrong way. He should have made vodka out of them. He might have died, but he would have died happy!”

    The current debate over where we go next—a moon base or Mars—doesn’t hold much sway over Worden.

    Faking the moon landing: The film’s lunar module [Photo: courtesy of Universal Pictures and DreamWorks Pictures]
    “The general population thinks more about the thrill of going into space and the excitement of seeing something new, and going to the moon or Mars,” he says. “The most important part of the space program was not going to moon, but developing the technology to do that. Technology developed in the 50s and 60s space program led to solid-state devices, titanium processing, high-energy rocket engines and put this country ahead in the world. I think people miss the point on that.

    “Learning how to live in harsh conditions on the moon, or going to Mars and keeping people alive for 18 months in space—radiation being one of the biggest challenges—will take a whole new paradigm of technology,” he adds. “That’s what I see is the value.”

    “Ultimately, the whole basis for the space program, even though we don’t recognize it as such, is to give us capability to go somewhere else when we can’t live here anymore. The moon and Mars are steps along the way.”


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    Our income may be rising, but our happiness levels are not.

    As Ben Schiller wrote in a Fast Company piece earlier this year, Americans aren’t breaking any happiness records. In fact, the latest United Nations Happiness Report puts us at No. 18 on the “happiest countries” list, with Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland rounding out the top five. This, despite a strong economy and low joblessness.

    Of course, there are big-picture reasons for this drop. The report cites disease, substance abuse, and depression as key factors undermining Americans’ happiness. And it’s difficult to overstate the complexity and enormity of these issues. However, for many of us, there are much simpler steps that we can do each day to bring more joy into our lives while staving off regrets.

    1. Take inventory

    A good place to start is to take inventory of the things in your life that bring you joy or which have caused you regret, says behavioral scientist and personal development coach Dinorah Nieves, author of Love You: 12 Ways to Be Who You Love + Love Who You Are. These are excellent clues to the areas on which we should be focusing on cultivating or fixing, she says.

    Nieves counsels her clients to think back to when they were children. Before you learned how to talk yourself out of doing or pursuing the things that bring you joy, what did you love? What gives you similar feelings of happiness and satisfaction now?

    2. Fix it

    Similarly, taking inventory of regrets can give you insight into areas you might want to address or avoid, says Neal Roese, SC Johnson Chair in Global Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Chicago. Roese, the author of If Only: How to Turn Regret into Opportunity.

    “Regret tends to come about when people see something as under their own control so they see that they could contribute to it some way, and they also see something that has also fallen short of a standard or expectation or something that they desired,” he says. Take note of the things you wish you had done differently in the past and use that to inform your decisions or actions in the future.

    And if something is nagging at you, try to fix it, he says. “When we do something, even if it doesn’t quite work out the way we want, we’re more likely to forgive ourselves and to rationalize it away and not be bothered by it quite as much as when we don’t do something and we realize late, ‘Oh, there was something I could have done and I didn’t.’ That tends to haunt us for longer periods of time,” he says.

    3. Revel in gratitude

    Focusing on the good things in your life–especially writing them down in a gratitude journal–helps you stay focused on the joyful aspects of your life, says social psychologist Dan Cable, professor of organizational behavior at London Business School and author of Alive at Work: The Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do. The benefits of this exercise are well-documented.

    4. Recognize what you can control

    Some sources of unhappiness and regret in our lives are beyond our control, Roese says. Ruminating over them won’t make them better, but it can sap joy from our lives. Conversely, taking ownership of what we can control and making decisions accordingly can lead to fewer regrets.

    “One of the very small things that we can all control is just to be nice to other people and to be responsive to when other people go out of their way and do something well for you or just they do a good job. You can be more generous with compliments. Also, if you see that there’s some way that there was a misunderstanding then being quick to take proactive action can help to settle things more quickly,” he says.

    Nieves says that regret can become a habit. If you’re a regretful person, you may find ways to look at a situation from a negative perspective. If you can find ways to reframe the decisions you made–looking at why you made them and learning from them–and treat yourself with compassion, you can dilute feelings of regret, she says.

    5. Ask your “future self”

    When you have a decision that may help you be more joyful or prevent regrets and you’re struggling, think about yourself 20 years from now, says personal development coach Kate Hanley, author of Stress Less: 100 Mindfulness Exercises for Calmness and Clarity. In two decades, will you be thankful to your current self for having made a particular choice?

    “It can also be helpful to frame a choice in terms of choosing your regrets–what would you regret more, saying yes to this opportunity, or saying no? Thinking of it this way helps you acknowledge the fact that there probably isn’t one right choice that will protect you from all possible regrets; so if you’re going to have them, what kind do you want to have?” she says.

    6. Redirect your resources

    Many of us have a long list of excuses about why we don’t do more of the things that bring us joy, Nieves says. We “have to” attend to something else or we just don’t have time or resources for what we want to do. When she works with clients, she has them track how they’re spending their time or money. That often identifies pockets of resources that can be used to pursue the things that bring us joy, she says.

    7. Create non-negotiable rituals

    Whether it’s a walk outside, a few quiet moments with a great cup of coffee, or some other ritual that brings you peace and joy, make it a non-negotiable ritual, says healthy lifestyle expert Danette May, author of The Rise: An Unforgettable Journey of Self-Love, Forgiveness and Transformation. “What are your non-negotiables that you’re going to do each day? These are the things that keep you grounded, they keep you in awareness, they light you up,” she says. Put these activities into your calendar and protect them.

    One of May’s non-negotiables is a well-known mindfulness tactic. She sets intentions for her day by using “I am” statements. A form of visualization, it helps her start her day both clear about what she wants to accomplish and feeling better about herself. Self-care in the form of proper rest and healthful eating are other non-negotiables for her.

    8. Embrace new experiences

    Much like a young child embracing a shiny object, when we’re learning something that is exciting to us, we typically experience an increase in dopamine, the neurotransmitter linked to rewards and pleasure, Cable says. Dopamine also controls our time perception. “When you’re learning new things, you’re pushing on boundaries, and seeing the effect of your actions on other people and so on, time zips right by you,” he says.

    When possible, immerse yourself in learning experiences and stretch assignments that trigger this type of response. It’s an opportunity to both grow your skills and integrate more joy into your work and in your life, overall.


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    When it’s completed in 2020, Qianhai will be a district of shimmering skyscrapers designed to function as a new business-focused district within Shenzhen–the city largely responsible for manufacturing the world’s smartphones and other electronics. The new neighborhood is being built from the ground up with almost 280 million square feet of business development space meant to serve as the entrepreneurial bridge between Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

    [Image: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners]
    But the company behind the development, Shenzhen Qianhai Development and Investment Holding Co., is trying to protect at least some green space for its denizens, so it tapped Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners to design an elevated sky garden that runs nearly a mile through the district’s buildings. The project sits on a subtle gradient, moving pedestrians from the ground level to a skyscraper (also developed by the firm) in the city center.

    [Image: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners]
    The idea is that the sky garden will serve as the top layer of the city’s transportation infrastructure. Below ground, commuters can take trains. On the street level, they can walk or drive. But up above they’ll find a casually paced public space, to be filled with regular events and best experienced at a slower gait.

    Elevated gardens are all the rage in cities across the world. But unlike projects like the High Line, Qianhai’s sky garden is built from scratch, rather than serving as an adaptive reuse project upon old infrastructure. It has a downright formalist feel–a strong, geometric profile that connects the harbor and the architecture directly–rather than flowing organically through the city. According to lead architect Stephen Spence, that was precisely the point.

    “Given the diversity of the buildings emerging within the Qianhai area, our preference was for a simple, bold, and confident insertion into the existing master plan,” says Spence. “The formality derives from the existing road grid and building plots, combined with our desire to maximize the area of raised green park linking the city to the bay. It creates a new horizon against which people can orientate.”


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    We’ve all been there: You’re in the middle of an argument with someone about whether Selena Gomez is singing about carrots or carats in her song “Good for You,” or whether Elton John was crooning “Hold me closer, Tony Danza,” and want to Google the lyrics. But then you stop because so many lyrics websites are basically dens of malware and adware.

    [Image: courtesy of Genius]
    Well, thanks to a new collaboration, you no longer have to refrain from looking up song lyrics and winning your argument once and for all. Genius, the massive online database of lyrics and insights, is teaming up with Apple Music to play any song in full right from the song page, simply by signing into your Apple Music account. That means you can look up the lyrics, play the song, and then sing along accurately. (For the record: Selena Gomez was definitely singing about carrots. Don’t @me)

    The partnership also means that the Genius lyrics database will be available on Apple Music, so you can look up lyrics without worrying about your computer coming down with the digital equivalent of an STD.

    “Being able to read lyrics and annotations on Genius while you listen along on Apple Music is a dream Genius experience,” said Ben Gross, Genius’s chief strategy officer, in a statement. “We’re proud to make Apple Music our official music player, and we’re doubly excited to bring Genius lyrics to their amazing platform.”

    The Apple Music player is currently available on Genius.com (desktop and iOS mobile web) and in the Genius iOS app.


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