Google Employees Propose New Emojis Focusing on Professional Women

Move over, Information Desk Person: If some Google employees have their way, we’ll soon be getting a whole new set of emojis that represent a wide range of careers for women.

According to the proposal [PDF], which was submitted to the Unicode Consortium on Tuesday, “Google wants to increase the representation of women in emoji” by creating “a new set of emoji that represents a wide range of professions for women and men with a goal of highlighting the diversity of women’s careers and empowering girls everywhere.”

The proposal follows an outcry over the lack of emojis featuring professional women. Ladies who want to express themselves via emoji can choose from a neutral female emoji, a bride, a princess, a dancing lady in a red dress, or twins dressed as bunnies—a fact pointed out in #LikeAGirl, an ad campaign for Always. Men are better represented: They can choose from Santa, or a detective, a police officer, a construction worker, or a number of athletes.

Niniane Wang, CEO of Evertoon and a former Google employee, told Mic late last year that “Every day we're seeing this subtle message that there are these emojis of men doing jobs, but women are just dancing and getting their hair cut. … [Emojis have] become part of our cultural language. That's why I don't think it's silly. Lots of people communicate with emojis, and texting is such a pervasive part of how we communicate with each other. If we're all texting, and all using emojis, then doesn't it make sense that they should represent us?”

Google employees Rachel Been, Nicole Bleuel, Agustin Fonts, and Mark Davis—who is also co-founder and president of the Unicode Consortium—have proposed 13 new female emojis (and their male counterparts), running the gamut from office workers and doctors to scientists and software engineers to mechanics and farmers. “We believe this will empower young women (the heaviest emoji users), and better reflect the pivotal roles women play in the world,” the proposal reads.

The goal is to implement these new emojis by the end of 2016. “The global women’s equality movement is growing,” the proposal reads, “so the time to create these emoji is now.”

[h/t Buzzfeed]

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Samsung Is Making a Phone You Can Fold in Half
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The iPhone vs. Galaxy war just intensified. Samsung is pulling out all the stops and developing a foldable phone dubbed Galaxy X, which it plans to release next year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It would seem the rumors surrounding a mythical phone that can fold over like a wallet are true. The phone, which has been given the in-house code name “Winner,” will have a 7-inch screen and be a little smaller than a tablet but thicker than most other smartphones.

Details are scant and subject to change at this point, but the phone is expected to have a smaller screen on the front that will remain visible when the device is folded. Business Insider published Samsung patents back in May showing a phone that can be folded into thirds, but the business news site noted that patents often change, and some are scrapped altogether.

The Galaxy Note 9 is also likely to be unveiled soon, as is a $300 Samsung speaker that's set to rival the Apple HomePod.

The Galaxy X will certainly be a nifty new invention, but it won’t come cheap. The Wall Street Journal reports the phone will set you back about $1500, which is around $540 more than Samsung’s current most expensive offering, the Galaxy Note 8.

[h/t Business Insider]

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Why a Readily Available Used Paperback Is Selling for Thousands of Dollars on Amazon
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At first glance, getting ahold of a copy of One Snowy Knight, a historical romance novel by Deborah MacGillivray, isn't hard at all. You can get the book, which originally came out in 2009, for a few bucks on Amazon. And yet according to one seller, a used copy of the book is worth more than $2600. Why? As The New York Times reports, this price disparity has more to do with the marketing techniques of Amazon's third-party sellers than it does the market value of the book.

As of June 5, a copy of One Snowy Knight was listed by a third-party seller on Amazon for $2630.52. By the time the Times wrote about it on July 15, the price had jumped to $2800. That listing has since disappeared, but a seller called Supersonic Truck still has used copy available for $1558.33 (plus shipping!). And it's not even a rare book—it was reprinted in July.

The Times found similar listings for secondhand books that cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars more than their market price. Those retailers might not even have the book on hand—but if someone is crazy enough to pay $1500 for a mass-market paperback that sells for only a few dollars elsewhere, that retailer can make a killing by simply snapping it up from somewhere else and passing it on to the chump who placed an order with them.

Not all the prices for used books on Amazon are so exorbitant, but many still defy conventional economic wisdom, offering used copies of books that are cheaper to buy new. You can get a new copy of the latest edition of One Snowy Knight for $16.99 from Amazon with Prime shipping, but there are third-party sellers asking $24 to $28 for used copies. If you're not careful, how much you pay can just depend on which listing you click first, thinking that there's not much difference in the price of used books. In the case of One Snowy Knight, there are different listings for different editions of the book, so you might not realize that there's a cheaper version available elsewhere on the site.

An Amazon product listing offers a mass-market paperback book for $1558.33.
Screenshot, Amazon

Even looking at reviews might not help you find the best listing for your money. People tend to buy products with the most reviews, rather than the best reviews, according to recent research, but the site is notorious for retailers gaming the system with fraudulent reviews to attract more buyers and make their way up the Amazon rankings. (There are now several services that will help you suss out whether the reviews on a product you're looking at are legitimate.)

For more on how Amazon's marketplace works—and why its listings can sometimes be misleading—we recommend listening to this episode of the podcast Reply All, which has a fascinating dive into the site's third-party seller system.

[h/t The New York Times]

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