Internet Use/New Technologies

02 August 2018

Fifth of Britons feel stressed if they can't access internet - Ofcom report The Guardian

The average Briton now checks a mobile phone every 12 minutes and is online for 24 hours a week, finds an Ofcom study revealing the extent to which people now rely on the internet.

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01 August 2018

Facebook bans pages aimed at US election interference BBC News

Facebook says it has removed 32 accounts and pages believed to have been set up to influence the mid-term US elections in November.

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29 July 2018

Has Zuckerberg, like Frankenstein, lost control of the monster he created? The Observer

Who – or what – is Mark Zuckerberg? Obviously he’s the founder and CEO of Facebook, which is, in theory, a public company but is in fact his fiefdom, as a casual inspection of the company’s SEC filings confirms. They show that his ownership of the controlling shares means that he can do anything he likes, including selling the company against the wishes of all the other shareholders combined.

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28 July 2018

What Is a 'Shadow Ban,' and Is Twitter Doing It to Republican Accounts? New York Times

When President Trump accused Twitter of “shadow banning” Republicans in a tweet on Thursday morning, it was the latest salvo in a long-running debate over whether social media platforms suppress conservative users because of their political views.

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Facebook's Plunge Shatters Faith in Tech Companies' Invulnerability New York Times

It had become an article of investor faith on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley: Quarter after quarter, year after year, the world’s biggest technology companies would keep raking in new users and ever-higher revenue. And with that, their share prices would continue to march upward, sloughing off any stumbles.

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26 July 2018

Tech Companies Like Facebook and Twitter Are Drawing Lines. It'll Be Messy. New York Times

From its earliest days, Silicon Valley has been animated by near-absolutist understanding of free speech. Other than exceptions for fraud, pornography or specific threats, the prevailing view among many tech platforms has been to allow pretty much anyone to post pretty much anything. These sensibilities are even enshrined in American law, which gives companies broad immunity from prosecution for what their users post.

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20 July 2018

Facebook says it will start removing posts that may lead to violence Washington Post

Facebook will start removing misleading and inflammatory posts that may trigger violent attacks, the social network said Wednesday, as it faces criticism over its response to sectarian conflict in countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

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What Stays on Facebook and What Goes? The Social Network Cannot Answer New York Times

Facebook was once the most nimble company of its generation. The speed at which it adapted to every challenge was legendary. It needed only about a decade to go from a dorm-room start-up to the largest and most influential communications platform in the world.

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WhatsApp curbs message forwarding in bid to deter India lynch mobs Reuters

Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp is rolling out a global test measure to rein in messages forwarded by users, the messaging app said, after the spread of rumours led to several killings in India and sparked calls for action from authorities.

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16 July 2018

Here's how many followers Trump, Obama and others lost in Twitter's purge of locked accounts Washington Post

Several of the most popular Twitter accounts, including Barack Obama and Katy Perry, lost millions of followers starting Thursday as the company began culling suspicious accounts, the latest effort to clean up the social media platform.

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The crucial flaw of self-driving cars? They will always need human involvement The Observer

In 1979, Douglas Hofstadter, an American cognitive scientist, formulated a useful general rule that applies to all complex tasks. Hofstadter’s law says that “It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s law”. It may not have the epistemological status of Newton’s first law, but it is “good enough for government work”, as the celebrated computer scientist Roger Needham used to say.

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14 July 2018

Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition, saying it's too risky to leave to tech industry alone Washington Post

Microsoft is calling for government regulation on facial-recognition software, one of its key technologies, saying such artificial intelligence is too important and potentially dangerous for tech giants to police themselves.

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08 July 2018

Twitter is sweeping out fake accounts like never before, putting user growth at risk Washington Post

Twitter has sharply escalated its battle against fake and suspicious accounts, suspending more than 1 million a day in recent months, a major shift to lessen the flow of disinformation on the platform, according to data obtained by The Washington Post.

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05 July 2018

Social media apps are 'deliberately' addictive to users BBC News

Social media companies are deliberately addicting users to their products for financial gain, Silicon Valley insiders have told the BBC's Panorama programme.

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04 July 2018

Big Tech Is a Big Problem Project Syndicate

The prosperity of the US has always depended on its ability to harness economic growth to technology-driven innovation. But right now Big Tech is as much a part of the problem as it is a part of the solution.

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02 July 2018

The internet of things has opened up a new frontier of domestic abuse The Observer

Standing on a tube platform the other day, I found myself looking at a huge ad for the Nest Hello, “the doorbell you’ve been waiting for”. Apparently, “it makes other doorbells seem like dumbbells”. That’s because it “lets you know who’s there, so you never miss a thing. It replaces your existing wired doorbell and delivers HD video and bright, crisp images, even at night. It’s designed to show you everything on your doorstep – people head to toe or packages on the ground. And with 24/7 streaming, you can check in any time. Or go back and look at a three-hour snapshot history to see what happened.”

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28 June 2018

Welsh village residents dig 15 miles of trenches for faster wifi The Guardian

Residents of a tiny Welsh village were so exasperated with their feeble internet connection that they decided to get together and dig 15 miles of trenches to lay their own super-fast cables.

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Vint Cerf: The 'father of the internet' on Google, war and 'artificial idiocy' ABC News

With his three-piece suit and trim beard, Vint Cerf looks like Hollywood's idea of the "father of the internet" — or at least, one of its "fathers".

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26 June 2018

Frank Heart, Who Linked Computers Before the Internet, Dies at 89 New York Times

Frank Heart, the engineer who oversaw development of the first routing computer for the Arpanet, the precursor to the internet, died on Sunday at a retirement community in Lexington, Mass. He was 89.

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The internet is terrible at answering most tough questions. Our 'wisdom of the crowd' tool can help The Conversation

When making tough decisions, humans have long sought advice from a higher power.

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23 June 2018

NHS to launch first internet addiction clinic The Guardian

A London hospital is preparing to launch the first ever NHS-funded internet addiction centre for young people and adults, the Guardian can reveal.

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22 June 2018

Facebook expands its fact-checking tools but says its work 'will never be finished' Washington Post

Facebook announced an expansion of several initiatives Thursday to combat the spread of misinformation on the social network used by more than 2 billion people.

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Algeria's Answer to Cheating on School Exams: Turn Off the Internet New York Times

Vexed by cheating on high-school exams, an age-old problem abetted by social networks and smartphones, the Algerian government reached this week for a drastic response: It turned off the internet.

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19 June 2018

Video Game Addiction Tries to Move From Basement to Doctor's Office New York Times

Video games work hard to hook players. Designers use predictive algorithms and principles of behavioral economics to keep fans engaged. When new games are reviewed, the most flattering accolade might be “I can’t put it down.”

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18 June 2018

Fears mount over WhatsApp's role in spreading fake news The Observer

Abijeet Nath and Nilotpal Das were driving back from a visit to a waterfall in the Indian province of Assam earlier this month when they stopped in a village to ask for directions. The two men were pulled out of their car and beaten to death by a mob who accused them of stealing children.

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