Internet Use/New Technologies

27 January 2019

YouTube Moves to Make Conspiracy Videos Harder to Find New York Times

Whether it is a video claiming the earth is flat or the moon landing was faked, conspiracy theories are not hard to find on Google’s YouTube. But in a significant policy change, YouTube said on Friday that it planned to stop recommending them.

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Facebook to integrate Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp The Guardian

Facebook is reportedly considering a merger of its three messaging platforms – WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger – allowing users to send messages between the networks for the first time.

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26 January 2019

As HuffPost and BuzzFeed shed staff, has the digital content bubble burst? The Guardian

In 2005 a 29-year-old media studies graduate called Jonah Peretti helped to found an online news and comment website called the Huffington Post. A year later he started an experimental side project called BuzzFeed.

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Google Chrome changes could 'destroy' ad-blockers BBC News

Blocking ads could become much harder if Google makes proposed changes to its Chrome web browser, warn developers.

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On Twitter, limited number of characters spreading fake info Associated Press

A tiny fraction of Twitter users spread the vast majority of fake news in 2016, with conservatives and older people sharing misinformation more, a new study finds.

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23 January 2019

WhatsApp restricts message-sharing to fight fake news BBC News

WhatsApp is limiting all its members to forwarding any single message up to five times in an effort to tackle the spread of false information on the platform.

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21 January 2019

Are '10-Year Challenge' Photos a Boon to Facebook's Facial Recognition Technology? New York Times

The #10YearChallenge was all fun and memes until last week, when a tweet moved thousands of people to worry: Are we unknowingly helping giant corporations to improve their algorithms for biometric identification and age progression?

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15 January 2019

The progressive evolution of innovation policy towards societal challenges OECD

For many years, policymakers have developed innovation models and policy instruments to target investments in science and technology in order to maximise their economic impacts. More recently, the focus of innovation policy has broadened significantly not only to include innovation for economic growth, but also to address the formidable twin challenges of environmental sustainability and sustainable development. This expanded scope means that policymakers increasingly need to use multiple policy framings to achieve the diverse outcomes many governments are now demanding from their investments in innovation.

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An Egg, Just a Regular Egg, Is Instagram's Most-Liked Post Ever New York Times

There’s nothing special about the egg. Seems like a fine enough egg. But more than 35 million people have liked it, dethroning Kylie Jenner’s birth-announcement post.

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13 January 2019

Older people more likely to share fake news on Facebook, study finds The Guardian

Older people are almost four times more likely to have shared fake news on Facebook than the younger generation, according to research published in the journal Science.

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10 January 2019

Introducing 10G: The Next Great Leap for Broadband Internet & Television Association

Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, CableLabs and Cable Europe introduced the cable industry’s vision for delivering 10 gigabit networks, or 10G™ – a powerful, capital-efficient technology platform that will ramp up from the 1 gigabit offerings of today to speeds of 10 gigabits per second and beyond – to consumers in the United States and across the globe in the coming years. To support the rollout, Intel will deliver 10 gigabit ready technology from the network infrastructure to home gateways.

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07 January 2019

Facebook's burnt-out moderators are proof that it is broken The Observer

Way back in the 1950s, a pioneering British cybernetician, W Ross Ashby, proposed a fundamental law of dynamic systems. In his book An Introduction to Cybernetics, he formulated his law of requisite variety, which defines “the minimum number of states necessary for a controller to control a system of a given number of states”. In plain English, it boils down to this: for a system to be viable, it has to be able to absorb or cope with the complexity of its environment. And there are basically only two ways of achieving viability in those terms: either the system manages to control (or reduce) the variety of its environment, or it has to increase its internal capacity (its “variety”) to match what is being thrown at it from the environment.

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Blockchain Can Wrest the Internet From Corporations' Grasp Wired

Chris Dixon is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm that invests in crypto and other technologies. Prior to being an investor, he founded the tech companies SiteAdvisor and Hunch.

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Paving the Way for Self-Driving Cars Harvard Law

A few years ago, when tech companies like Uber and Airbnb spread across the nation and beyond, they introduced rapid and irreversible changes in how people travel. As the firms’ simple apps rocketed their platforms to popularity, the local policymakers responsible for ensuring that corporations contribute to the public good were left far behind, playing catch-up.

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04 January 2019

Gaming worth more than video and music combined in UK BBC News

The video games sector now accounts for more than half of the UK's entire entertainment market, according to a new report.

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Depression in girls linked to higher use of social media The Guardian

Girls’ much-higher rate of depression than boys is closely linked to the greater time they spend on social media, and online bullying and poor sleep are the main culprits for their low mood, new research reveals.

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Devices That Will Invade Your Life in 2019 (and What's Overhyped) New York Times

Imagine a future where you are never truly alone. Even when your spouse is on a business trip or your children are away at summer camp, you will always have someone (or something) to talk to. In the morning, you could ask the microwave to heat up a bowl of oatmeal. In your car, you could tell your stereo to put on some ’90s music. And when you walk into the office, you could ask your smartphone, “What’s on my calendar today?”

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03 January 2019

Net's founding father Dr Larry Roberts dies aged 81 BBC News

American scientist Larry Roberts who helped design and build the forerunner of the internet has died aged 81.

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Women in Pakistan most vulnerable to harassment on Facebook, WhatsApp: report Dawn

Facebook and WhatsApp have the worst track record when it comes to cases of online harassment and misuse of data in Pakistan, according to a report released by the Digital Rights Foundation (DRF) on Wednesday.

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In High-Tech Cities, No More Potholes, but What About Privacy? New York Times

An algorithm predicts where potholes will emerge so road crews can resurface streets before cracks appear. Dog houses outfitted with cameras and temperature controls provide people a place to leave pets while they’re on a date or at yoga. And on Main Street, if a driver parks too long, a sensor alerts the police and a ticket is issued.

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30 December 2018

Apple and Google can help power the switch to renewable energy Wired

In 2010, Apple fired up a truly giant data centre located in some open fields near the rural town of Maiden in North Carolina. Apple chose the site because land was inexpensive, the state provided tasty tax breaks and energy from nearby coal plants was cheap. But coal was key. As one of the world’s largest data centres, the iDataCenter required enough energy to power a small city. And the local utility, Duke Energy, had lots of excess capacity.

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19 December 2018

99.8% of New Zealanders set to access the Internet InternetNZ

InternetNZ applauds the Government's announcements of additional rural broadband and mobile coverage across New Zealand, taking coverage to 99.8% of the population over the next four years.

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14 December 2018

YouTube, under pressure for problem content, takes down 58 million videos in quarter Reuters

YouTube took down more than 58 million videos and 224 million comments during the third quarter based on violations of its policies, the unit of Alphabet Inc's Google said on Thursday in an effort to demonstrate progress in suppressing problem content.

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12 December 2018

UN Promotes Technological Developments for SDGs SDG Knowledge Hub

The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution asking key UN bodies for updated findings on the impact of key technological changes vis-a-vis the 2030 Agenda, for discussion at the fourth annual UN Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI Forum). The UN also recently announced that over half the world is using the internet, held a high-level briefing on frontier technologies for sustainable development, and convened a forum on internet governance.

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11 December 2018

Is Screen Time Bad for Kids' Brains? New York Times

A generation ago, parents worried about the effects of TV; before that, it was radio. Now, the concern is “screen time,” a catchall term for the amount of time that children, especially preteens and teenagers, spend interacting with TVs, computers, smartphones, digital pads, and video games. This age group draws particular attention because screen immersion rises sharply during adolescence, and because brain development accelerates then, too, as neural networks are pruned and consolidated in the transition to adulthood.

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