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Age Verification via AI and Video Selfies 

The early days of Covid were humbling, as we were locked in our homes and realized the great value of human interaction. Out of my desire to make up for some of that and stay connected with you, the Chat Tech newsletter was born on April 9th, 2020. Other than couple of holiday weeks, we have been in your inbox every Thursday since. 

Whether it’s this newsletter or any of the services we provide, you’re the reason for our success. Before I take on this week’s feature topic, I’d like to thank you all. A week doesn’t go by without a complement on our newsletter, and it makes my team and I try harder to make our content more valuable to you.

Sadly, there has been more terrible news and lives lost to gun violence this week. This time out of Highland Park, IL. Up until 5 years ago, I took part in 4th of July parades to support a local dance company, and Highland Park could have easily been one of those events. My heart goes out to the families of those lost their loved ones to one more legal gun purchase that shouldn’t have happened by one more young adult who didn’t get the help he needed. Since news outlets will do a better job at dissecting the intricacies of this tragic event, I will leave my commentary at that and move on to something else to hopefully lift your spirits this week. 

When was the last time you enjoyed a picnic? Recently, I was sitting on the blanket and checking social media on my phone while waiting for an outdoor concert to begin at Ravinia. I decided to empty my pockets, put my phone away, and let my bare feet touch the grass as I laid back. It was magical! Under the shade of an elderly tree, I was watching the leaves dance as stress drained away from my feet into the soil beneath. It reminded me of my 8-year-old self with nothing in my pockets simply enjoying the shade of a massive pine tree while dreaming of who I would become someday. 

This week, I’m here to help plan your next picnic so hopefully you too can find a moment to connect with nature. The first thing you need is a super fun picnic set. If you are all about function, here is a solid option. Maybe you prefer the classic approach? Something that says romance when you look at it? Here is my choice for that. Now that we have the picnic basket ready, we’ll need to fill it. Drinks are easy: a good bottle of wine is always a great choice. However, don’t forget the water! Going with the romantic basket? Maybe the French carbonated water, Perrier, will look even better in there. Now that the drinks are done, let’s talk bites. My favorite part! While I have this dream of preparing the picnic food on my own, I usually visit Whole Foods’ salad bar. If you are willing to go all out, here are over 50 picnic food ideas that are easy to make. Now our basket is ready, but where are we going? I love picnics with outdoor concerts. I like going early to spend some time relaxing and enjoying bites with my girlfriend before I feast on live music. As I live in Chicago, my favorite places are Ravinia and Jay Pritzker Pavilion for their Grant Park Music Festival. Hopefully you too have venues you can visit close to you, but just in case you need a place to start, here are the 50 best picnic spots around the country.

We all need a break to recharge, connect with the earth, and find the true meaning of our existence. Little moments of happiness are well deserved and required. Even if your adult self disagrees, you owe it to the little you inside. It’s always a good time to go outside and play with those you love.

To better days ahead,

– Burak Sarac, Team Lead

Age Verification via AI and Video Selfies 

Instagram is testing new methods for age verification, including having the user upload a video selfie and then letting an AI judge their age. Here’s how it will work: when an Instagram user attempts to edit their birth date on the service to be 18 or over, Instagram will require them to verify their age. There will be several ways to do this, including uploading an ID or asking three mutual friends to verify your age. Read more here.

National Doughnut Week is July 10 – 18th

National Doughnut Week calls for a hearty indulgence in the sweet fried cake. ‘Doughnut’ is also spelled as ‘donut’, and it is enjoyed all over the world in different shapes and flavors. If you’re in Chicago, here is a list of the best doughnut shops in the city. If you’re not local, don’t worry! Here is the list for all of the US.

10 Best Siri Shortcuts

Apple’s free Shortcuts app is a popular tool that can save you some serious time, especially if you use it in tandem with Siri. Shortcuts can be picked from ready-to-use options, or you can build your own. Then, you can ask Siri to run any Shortcut you’ve installed in your collection. Siri can launch Shortcuts from your iOS or iPadOS device, as well as from HomePod or Apple Watch. Read more here.

National Mojito Day

National Mojito Day on July 11 deserves a drink, so let’s toast. What more do you need on a hot summer’s day than to cool off with this classic minty cocktail? The mojito ranks among the nation’s favorite cocktails and is traditionally made with white rum, lime juice, sugar, mint, and sparkling water. Whether you’re a fan of the classic Mojito, the No-jito (non alcoholic), or fun flavor verities, we have a recipe for you to try out!