The country is cheering for our athletes, Twitter is testing a downvote feature and Alexa is now answering to a different name. Let’s get right into the latest hot topics and what you need to know for this week.
Upcoming Holidays & Observances
- National Intern day – July 29
- International Day of Friendship – July 30
Trends You Should Know
- Are you glued to the screen watching Team USA sweep the Olympic Games? The new generation of Team USA swimmers is making history at the Tokyo Games by walking away with six of 12 medals on the opening night of swimming. Chase Kalisz claimed the first U.S. gold medal in the 400-meter individual medley, and the women’s 4×100 free relay team earned the bronze medal, contributing to the USA takeover in the Olympic pool. Although the swimmers opened the weekend of wins, fans are keeping an eye on four new sports that joined the Olympics this year: skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing and karate. We’re here for all of the Team USA action and can’t wait to catch more gold medal victories.
- Do you give Twitter’s testing of downvotes a thumbs-up or thumbs-down? In an effort to see how it affects the platform’s dynamics, Twitter announced last week that it would be testing a new downvote feature via a handful of iOS users. The purpose of this research experiment is to test which replies are viewed as most relevant to a conversation in order for the platform to better understand and create ways to show more of those types of replies. As much as some wish they could “dislike” a post or reply, this feature isn’t quite meant for that. It’s a behind-the-scenes study to display the most relevant replies in the future.
- Today marks the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a civil rights law for Americans with disabilities. This law not only prohibits discrimination in all areas of public life, but it requires state and local government agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations to make “reasonable modifications,” which includes the allowance of service animals. President George H.W. Bush signed this legislation into law in 1990, signaling it as the end to unjustified segregation of those with disabilities from mainstream American life.
- Amazon’s beloved assistant, Alexa, might sound a little different these days. A new masculine-sounding voice option is now available along with a new wake word, Ziggy. (For quick reference, a wake word is a specific word or phrase intended to activate a device when spoken, aka ‘hotword’, ‘trigger word’, and ‘wake up word’). Now you can decide how you want your virtual assistant to sound and pair any of the available wake words with the different voices. You can easily switch between the voice options, labeled “original” and “new” by asking Alexa to “change your voice.”
- Don’t count on Taco Bell to feed your cravings anytime soon. The famous fast food restaurant is reportedly out of several key ingredients, leaving customers’ taco shells a little emptier than usual. Specific complaints are going viral on social media, warning those who frequent the drive-thru of the shortages in hot sauce, beef, chicken and 10-inch tortillas. The chain did announce a shortage but kept the ingredient details vague.
With all of the latest news and updates, we hope you’re motivated to conquer the week ahead! We can’t wait to meet you back on the blog next week.