Staff picks for the week of July 18, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralHappy Friday! Here are the most interesting tech stories our staff read this week.

That didn’t take long: There’s now a Pokémon Go dating site (Read by Camillia S.)

“Gotta catch ‘em all … together” is the slogan of the new “Pokemon Go” dating site, PokeDates, which matches users just like any other dating app, but with a very specific common interest of catching Pokemon. It may sound silly, but the game has (mostly) millennials in a frenzy. It was only a matter of time before someone capitalized on the idea of matching up fellow players for a little love at first catch. Of all the news surrounding the game (robberies, dead bodies, infidelity, accidents, etc.) this is probably some of the most positive PR the game has garnered. I don’t play, but if you do and you’re looking for someone to explore local gated and private properties with, this site is for you.

Need to register to vote? Google can help. (Read by Heidi B.)

It’s that time again, folks: election season. If you aren’t registered to vote but would like to be, Google has you covered. The search engine company recently implemented a new widget that appears in search results for certain voting-related queries, such as “register to vote” and “how do I register to vote?” Featuring step-by-step registration instructions, deadlines, requirements, and more, the widget is a part of Google’s plan to boost civic engagement through technology. As someone who had to update my registration information this year, I appreciate the easy access to important information.

Twitter now lets anyone request a verified account (Read by Alexandria H.)

For years, the blue checkmark on a user’s Twitter account has been the coveted “seal of approval,” verifying that you are who you say you are on the social media platform. Since its inception in 2009, that seal has been reserved for celebrities, public figures, brands, and the like. However, its exclusivity may have finally come to an end. Twitter announced this week that anyone will be allowed to request a verified account. In order to qualify, users must provide a verified phone number, email address, and photo that “accurately represents the person.” With the pervasiveness of cyber bullying, hackers, and online impersonators, validating your social media identity might be a good idea.

Are these the most tech-savvy states? This map may surprise you (Read by Alexandria H.)

As home to many of the world’s largest tech companies, including Facebook, Google, and Apple, as well as countless more tech startups, it’s no surprise that California residents are among the most tech-savvy people in the country. But what is surprising — and pretty amusing, might I add — are the kinds of tech questions people have. Declutter, a company that resells unwanted electronics from CDs and gaming consoles to mobile phones and tablets, set out to find which states are the most confused by technology. To do so, the company reviewed Google searches for more than 700 technology-related questions. The two most popular Google queries are “what is the best smartphone?” and “what is a smartphone?” Click the link to get the full list of the most commonly asked tech questions around the country.

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