Happy Valentine's Day to you and your sweethearts. Since we saw that the holiday was falling on a Friday this year, our tech reporting team spent the week exploring love in the digital age. To go along with the theme week, our weekly innovation pick was Nothing. Emily Siner explains in the post.
What were you talking about this week? Be part of the conversation in our comment section below or tweet at us.
Dating Digitally: Mobile dating apps like Grindr and Tinder have exploded in popularity worldwide. They promise efficiency in finding a quick hook-up or even a committed mate, as Laura Sydell explains. But do these hot dating apps actually undermine the love we're looking for? I wondered about this in December.
Earlier in the week, I looked at the allure of niche dating sites, which narrow your potential mates into groups like "farmers only" "short-hair girls" or by dietary preference — Vedged.com is for people with plant-based diets, naturally. Does it work? Paul Oyer, the author of Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating, weighed in, and explained the big principles he got out of his cyber-courtship experiences.
Technology and Sex: The same day that Steve Henn told the stories of gay teens who say Internet communities helped them feel less isolated, Facebook began offering users dozens of options for declaring their gender on the social network. For a decade, Facebook offered only "male" or "female." Now a third set of options includes "androgyne," "trans person" and "two-spirit."
The Big Conversation
Cable Conglomerate: The nation's two biggest cable companies will combine, unless regulators stop them. Comcast struck a deal to buy Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion, the companies said Thursday. If the deal closes, The Washington Post reports Comcast will serve around 30 million U.S. customers, or just under a third of the American pay TV market. Our Emily Siner weighed one possible effect of the merger — extending net neutrality to millions more users.
The Wall Street Journal: Pandora Knows if You Are a Republican
The internet radio service is rolling out an effort to pinpoint its listeners based on political preferences so that campaigns can better target ads to you.
Mike Judge, who brought us Beavis and Butthead and Office Space, is now lampooning Silicon Valley culture with a new series for HBO. Check out the trailer.
The New York Times: LeanIn.org and Getty Aim to Change Women's Portrayal in Stock Photos
Stock photos of women holding babies or serving food are feeding old-fashioned stereotypes, says Sheryl Sandberg's nonprofit organization. LeanIn.org is partnering with one of the largest suppliers of stock photography to offer more modern and empowering images of women. Getty's Pamela Grossman spoke with Morning Edition on Friday, explaining that the updated photos of motherhood are more dynamic. "They really feel like they have contemporary style, and they're engaged and energetic," Grossman says.