Web/Tech Feed

Facebook Updates 'Trending' Feature To Fight Fake News, Removes Personalized Topics : TECH : Tech Times

Facebook is making changes to its trending topics algorithm, which stands as another effort to rid its platform of fake news, the bulk of which has issued a caustic and oft-controversial slew of allegations.

Facebook's trending topics software will now only feature topics that have been covered by a significant crowd of trustworthy publishers starting Wednesday, Jan. 25, a transition that'll diminish fake news stories by virtue of prioritizing information sources that have been around longer.

Trending Topics No Longer Personalized

Moreover, trending topics will no longer be a personalized array with respect to individual Facebook users but will instead be a wide coterie of different topics so as to puncture the proverbial bubble — and by extension, the echo chamber that perpetuates isolated views — and expose Facebook users's different areas of interest.

Facebook says that it's "listening to people's feedback" and will apply further enhancements down the line to enrich the Trending experience.

via www.techtimes.com

LinkedIn’s Website Is No Longer Terrible - WSJ

If presented with the choice of spending time on LinkedIn’s website or sitting in the airplane middle seat, next to someone eating a sardine sandwich, one row in front of the lavatory, I’d say it was a tough decision.

That may be a slight exaggeration, but LinkedIn is finally admitting what the rest of us have long known: Its website has been inexcusably cluttered, confusing and just flat-out terrible.

On Thursday, the professional social network, now owned by Microsoft , began rolling out a desperately needed makeover of its desktop site, streamlining features and giving it a similar look and feel to its improved mobile app, overhauled in December 2015.

via www.wsj.com

Facebook Live beating leads to 4 arrests - CNN.com

CORALVILLE COURIER EDITOR'S NOTE: More violence and hatred from the left.

(CNN) A young woman who broadcast the beating and racial taunting of a man on Facebook Live has been arrested with three others in connection with the gruesome attack, Chicago Police said Wednesday.

The disturbing 30-minute video shows a man tied up and his mouth covered, cowering in the corner of a room. His attackers laugh and shout "f*ck Donald Trump" and "f*ck white people" as they kick and punch him.
The video shows someone cutting into his scalp with a knife leaving a visibly bald patch.

via www.cnn.com

How to delete your Yahoo account, after 1 billion accounts were hacked - Business Insider

One billion Yahoo accounts were stolen in 2013, the company announced on Wednesday, in the largest (known) hack of all time.

The incident is separate from the breach Yahoo disclosed back in September, which saw at least 500 million accounts compromised.

In other words, Yahoo got hacked twice — badly.

via www.businessinsider.com

Twitter hires new VP of Product Keith Coleman and Yes Inc team - Business Insider

Almost a year after its last product VP jumped ship, Twitter has finally found a replacement to take on the challenging job of rekindling the service's stalled user growth.

Twitter's new VP of Product is Keith Coleman, a longtime Google product manager who has been working at a small, little known startup called Yes for the past few years.

via www.businessinsider.com

Facebook and the Digital Virus Called Fake News - The New York Times

This year, the adage that “falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after it” doesn’t begin to describe the problem. That idea assumes that the truth eventually catches up. There’s not much evidence of this happening for the millions of people taken in by the fake news stories — like Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump or Mr. Trump pulling ahead of Hillary Clinton in the popular vote — that have spread on social media sites.

Most of the fake news stories are produced by scammers looking to make a quick buck. The vast majority of them take far-right positions. But a big part of the responsibility for this scourge rests with internet companies like Facebook and Google, which have made it possible for fake news to be shared nearly instantly with millions of users and have been slow to block it from their sites.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook, has dismissed the notion that fake news is prevalent on his platform or that it had an influence on the election. But according to a BuzzFeed News analysis, during the last three months of the presidential campaign, the 20 top fake news stories on Facebook generated more engagement — shares, likes and comments — than the 20 top stories from real news websites.

via www.nytimes.com

Sony goes totally old school for its latest PS4 Pro ad - The Verge

The PS4 Pro launches on November 10th for $399, and to get people excited for the souped-up console Sony is going old school. Very old school. The PlayStation UK Twitter account tweeted this '80s-style ad for the Pro, highlighting its many technical features, including "super fresh graphics" and "immersive gaming experience." As the man in the advert said: Woahhh.

via www.theverge.com

Internet providers now need permission to share or sell your web browsing data - Recode

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has finalized groundbreaking new rules that force all internet providers, like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T, to obtain explicit consent from subscribers before selling data about online behavior to third-party marketers.

That includes information about what websites you visit, mobile location information, app usage and other potentially sensitive details inadvertently collected in the course of using the internet at home or on a smartphone.

The FCC rules don’t affect the way platforms like Google and Facebook use personal data for targeted advertising. Rather, companies that provide internet access are treated different from websites, in that they are providing a utility as defined by the network neutrality rules passed last year.

While the new ISP privacy rules are viewed by public interest advocates as a win for consumers, it’s still not clear how effective the regulations will be.

via www.recode.net

Seven big questions about Microsoft’s new VR headsets - The Verge

Today’s big tech news might be the fancy-looking Surface Studio PC, but Microsoft also decided to make a major virtual reality announcement during its Windows event: a whole new line of VR headsets with built-in tracking sensors, starting at the surprisingly low price of $299.

Manufactured by Microsoft partners like Asus, Acer, Lenovo, HP, and Dell, the headsets were shown briefly, and in little detail. But we saw just enough to raise a lot of questions about how they’ll actually work — and what they’ll mean for virtual reality.

via www.theverge.com

Twitter lays off 9% of its workforce as it posts a desperately-needed positive Q3

With Twitter’s acquisition hopes essentially dead, the company now seems it’s on its own to fend for itself and needs to figure out a way to build a reasonable and profitable business.

Today, it got a much-needed good Q3 performance by largely beating Wall Street’s expectations across the board. The company also confirmed that it would lay off roughly 9 percent of its staff as it looks to restructure itself into a company that can continue to run on its own and keep Wall Street happy. Those layoffs are targeted at sales, marketing and partnerships, the company said, confirming an earlier TechCrunch report.

via www.techcrunch.com