Internet Use/New Technologies

31 January 2018

Facebook reveals privacy principles for first time, helps users control access The Guardian

Facebook has published its privacy principles for the first time and will roll out educational videos to help users control who has access to their information.

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Facebook to promote local news in drive for 'trusted' content BBC News

Facebook says it is changing the way its news delivery service works by focusing on local news sources in its drive for "high quality" content.

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Google aims to get 'diverse perspectives' into search results Reuters

Alphabet Inc’s Google will put more of a premium on “diverse perspectives” in its search results, saying in a blog post on Tuesday that answers highlighted at the top of result pages would soon display multiple viewpoints on topics for the first time ever.

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29 January 2018

Google is using 46 billion data points to predict the medical outcomes of hospital patients Quartz

Some of Google’s top AI researchers are trying to predict your medical outcome as soon as you’re admitted to the hospital.

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The Follower Factory New York Times

Everyone wants to be popular online. Some even pay for it. Inside social media’s black market.

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24 January 2018

What if a Healthier Facebook Is Just ... Instagram? New York Times

For the past several years, Facebook has been conducting what amounts to an A/B test on human society, using two different social media apps.

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Facebook admits social media sometimes harms democracy Washington Post

Facebook said Monday that it fell short in preventing the social media network from being used for foreign meddling in the U.S. presidential election.

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22 January 2018

Just one in four Britons trust news on social media, finds survey The Guardian

It has been credited with everything from democratising news to helping to overthrow dictators but it appears that the love affair with social media may be over.

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20 January 2018

Facebook will now ask users to rank news organizations they trust Washington Post

Facebook unveiled major changes Friday to the News Feed of its 2 billion users, announcing it will rank news organizations by credibility based on user feedback and diminish its role as an arbiter of the news people see.

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17 January 2018

YouTube Adds More Scrutiny to Top-Tier Videos New York Times

The decade-plus evolution of YouTube from repository of cat videos and pirated content to potential TV replacement hit a road bump last year when marketers discovered their advertisements were showing up next to extremist videos and other unsavory content.

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16 January 2018

Alexa, We're Still Trying to Figure Out What to Do With You New York Times

These days, you can find virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Assistant in all sorts of things, from smart speakers and smartphones to washing machines and bathroom mirrors.

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14 January 2018

In Some Countries, Facebook's Fiddling Has Magnified Fake News New York Times

One morning in October, the editors of Página Siete, Bolivia’s third-largest news site, noticed that traffic to their outlet coming from Facebook was plummeting.

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Blockchain or Blockheads? Bitcoin Mania Mints Believers and Skeptics New York Times

Sometimes life shows you what absurd really is. This is one of those times. I’m talking about the phenomenon known as Bitcoin, a monetary system based on computation, complex algorithms and — let’s face it — communal delusion.

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12 January 2018

How to fight the 'dark patterns' websites deploy to trick you to spend more ABC News

Magazine subscriptions that mysteriously end up in your online shopping cart. Items with 50 people looking at them "right now" that are still for sale weeks later — these are the internet's "dark patterns".

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Facebook: major News Feed overhaul seeks 'meaningful social interactions' The Guardian

Mark Zuckerberg announced a major overhaul of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that would prioritize “meaningful social interactions” over “relevant content” on Thursday, one week after he pledged to spend 2018 “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent”.

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Google Plans to Vet YouTube Premium Video Content Bloomberg

Google is planning a new push to vet top-tier YouTube videos that it bundles for major advertisers, people familiar with the effort said, moving to address resurgent concerns that inappropriate content is being shown alongside brand messages.

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09 January 2018

Vint Cerf: In 2018, we will tackle the internet's dark side Wired

The internet and the world wide web have lowered the barriers to broadcast communication to nearly zero. In the past, you had to have a broadcast licence and a lot of money to run a television station, a radio station, a newspaper or a magazine-publishing operation that would reach a large audience. Today, you only need a smartphone and an account on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or a similar social medium.

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08 January 2018

In rare showing, Google arrives at CES to battle Alexa and Siri Washington Post

More than 3,900 companies are on hand to show off their latest technologies at CES this week, but there’s one giant name that stands out from the pack: Google.

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07 January 2018

The Looming Digital Meltdown New York Times

For computer security professionals, 2018 started with a bang. A new class of security vulnerability — a variety of flaws that affect almost all major microprocessor chips, and that could enable hackers to steal information from personal computers as well as cloud computing services — was announced on Wednesday. The news prompted a rush of fixes, ruining the holiday vacations of system administrators worldwide.

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05 January 2018

Can Facebook win its battle against election interference in 2018? The Guardian

Social networks spent much of 2017 slowly coming to terms with the extent to which their platforms had been exploited to spread political misinformation. But the narrow focus of investigations over the last year is likely to cause further pain in 2018, as the US midterm elections create a new urgency for the problem to be solved.

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31 December 2017

What Happens When the Richest U.S. Cities Turn to the World? As the economy has changed, so have the relationships between places, to the disadvantage of smaller cities and rural areas. New York Times

... The companies that now drive the Bay Area’s soaring wealth — and that represent part of the American economy that’s booming — don’t need these communities in the same way. Google’s digital products don’t have a physical supply chain. Facebook doesn’t have dispersed manufacturers. Apple, which does make tangible things, now primarily makes them overseas.

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30 December 2017

How Climate Change Deniers Rise to the Top in Google Searches New York Times

Groups that reject established climate science can use the search engine’s advertising business to their advantage, gaming the system to find a mass platform for false or misleading claims.

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29 December 2017

How Big Tech Is Going After Your Health Care New York Times

... Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants have transformed the way billions of us communicate, shop, socialize and work. Now, as consumers, medical centers and insurers increasingly embrace health-tracking apps, tech companies want a bigger share of the more than $3 trillion spent annually on health care in the United States, too. The Apple Heart Study reflects that intensified effort.

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New Facebook tool tells users if they've liked or followed Russia's 'troll army' The Guardian

Facebook has launched a new tool to allow users to see if they’ve liked or followed Russian propaganda accounts, though the feature probably won’t reach many of the millions of people exposed to fake news during US and UK elections.

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27 December 2017

Bitcoin is a bubble, but the technology behind it could transform the world The Observer

Humanity’s earliest, truly transformative general purpose technologies were the ability to cross-fertilise plants and cross-breed animals. Suddenly, it made more sense to farm than to hunt and gather. The surge in agricultural output meant humans could do other things than worry about survival; they could live in cities. Human civilisation began.

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