Web

Google pledges $250,000 to help Flint battle back

google
Ken Wolter /123rf
Google has pledged its support towards solving the water crisis currently playing out in Flint, Michigan. The company is offering up $250,000 in grants intended both to help individuals who are working their way through the situation, and to fund research on new methodology to help facilitate large-scale water testing.

The announcement was made by Google spokesman Patrick Lenihan, who was speaking to reporters in the area, according to a report from ABC News. The sum of $250,000 will be split into two smaller grants, that will be donated to the University of Michigan and the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.

$150,000 will be given to the University of Michigan to help with ongoing research projects related to the crisis. The money will help facilitate a study that’s intended to determine which households are the most likely to be suffering from high lead levels in their water without the need for a physical test.

The university is also expected to produce a mobile app and a suite of online tools to help Flint residents address some of the issues they’re experiencing. These utilities will provide data visualizations, as well as a means of reporting concerns and making requests for water testing supplies.

Meanwhile, $100,000 will be given to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, an organization that specializes in distributing funds across the local community. Last week, the Foundation announced grants totaling over $500,000 set to help efforts to remediate ongoing disruption as a result of the water crisis.

“It’s incredibly generous,” the organization’s vice president of philanthropic services, Ann Marie Van Duyne, told Digital Trends. “We’re so grateful for the entire breadth of Google’s support to our community.” The foundation plans to use the money to help improve access to vital resources like fresh food and healthcare.

“One of the things that I think is interesting about our community right now is that we’re hopeful,” said Van Duyne. “Grants like the one we received from Google make us very hopeful. It’s possible that each of the children in our community have a healthy and bright future. It’s possible.”

The $250,000 Google is putting forward might not be enough to tackle every component of the challenge facing Flint, but it certainly seems like the money is being given to institutions capable of putting it to good use. It’s now more than two years since the water contamination crisis first began, and this kind of assistance is still sorely needed.

Emerging Tech

NASA is building an inflatable space robot named King Louie

NASA is funding an inflatable robot called King Louie which could travel to the stars in deflated form and then be blown up when and where required. Here is why that's so exciting.
Smart Home

Ecobee leverages humor in a heated discussion with climate change skeptics

Ecobee cranked up the heat on climate change doubters. In observance of Earth Day, Ecobee and ad agency DCX released video of a social experiment that tested the effectiveness of humor in easing tension during discussions with skeptics.
Emerging Tech

How MIT hacked horticulture to cultivate a hyper-flavorful basil plant

At MIT, Caleb Harper used his personal food computers to alter the climate in which he grew basil. Exposing it light for 24 hours a day changed the flavor profile of the plant, making it spicier and stronger.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

No TV? No problem. Here's how to watch the NCAA championship game online

Whether you want to watch the Big Dance on your phone or on your smart TV, we have the lowdown on all the ways to watch March Madness you can handle. Grab your foam finger and some nachos.
Photography

Back off, photo thieves: Flickr alerts photographers to image theft with Pixsy

Worried about someone swiping your photo off Flickr? The image sharing platform can now integrate with Pixsy accounts to alert photographers when a photo is used without permission by using artificial intelligence to scour the web.
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Computing

House votes to restore net neutrality rules, but effort faces long odds

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved the Save the Internet Act, a measure intended to restore net neutrality rules that were repealed in 2017 by the Federal Communications Commission.
Web

Search all of Craigslist at once with these great tools on web and mobile

Not finding what you need in your local area? Craigslist can be great for finding goods and services from further afield too. All you need do is learn these tips for how to search all of Craigslist at once.
Mobile

The FCC and White House want to bring high-speed internet to rural areas

The FCC and the White House unveiled new initiatives to bring high-speed internet to rural areas, including $20.4 billion in incentives to companies to build infrastructure. The FCC also announced ways to speed up the rollout of 5G.
Computing

Internet Explorer zero-day exploit makes files vulnerable to hacks on Windows PCs

Evidence of an Internet Explorer zero-day exploit capable of letting hackers steal files from Windows PCs was published online by a security researcher who also claims Microsoft knew of the vulnerability and opted not to patch it.
Business

Buying airline tickets too early is no longer a costly mistake, study suggests

When you book can play a big role in the cost of airline tickets -- so when is the best time to book flights? Earlier than you'd think, a new study suggests. Data from CheapAir.com suggests the window of time to buy at the best prices is…
Computing

Report says 20% of all 2018 web traffic came from bad bots

Distil Networks published its annual Bad Bot Report this week and announced that 20% of all web traffic in 2018 came from bad bots. The report had other similarly surprising findings regarding the state of bots as well.