We decided that having the community determine which sources are broadly trusted would be most objective.”The vetting process will happen through Facebook’s ongoing quality surveys — the same surveys it uses to ask whether Facebook is a force for good in the world and whether the company seems to care about its users.According to Zuckerberg, these surveys will help the truth about trustworthiness rise to the top: “The idea is that some news organizations are only trusted by their readers or watchers, and others are broadly trusted across society even by those who don't follow them directly.”It’s tempting to read a lot into Zuckerberg’s words, especially when the missive was so short on details.Relying on users “lets them sidestep allegations of bias and take steps to fix it without directly becoming the dreaded 'arbiter of truth,'" says researcher Renee DiResta, a technologist who has been studying the manipulation of social-media platforms.Facebook did not immediately return a request for comment.
Twitter has provided updated details on its investigation into Russian election interference on its platform in 2016.Its identification of more than 13,000 more Russian-linked bots that made election-related tweets puts the total over 50,000.In addition, about 3,800 (up 1,000 from Twitter’s data in the fall) were associated with the now-notorious Internet Research Agency.Still, Twitter denied that these accounts were a significant problem:The results of this supplemental analysis are consistent with the results of our previous work: automated election-related content associated with Russian signals represented a very small fraction of the overall activity on Twitter in the ten-week period preceding the 2016 election.As if to demonstrate the different scales at work here, the Twitter blog post then changed topics to its efforts to block bots and suspicious activity platform-wide.
Nissan amassed nearly 20,000 orders for its new 2018 Leaf EV when the order books opened up in Europe and Japan, which is a pretty solid figure.Now, it appears that lightning has struck twice.Nissan has accumulated about 13,000 orders for the 2018 Leaf in the US, Engadget reports, citing a conversation with Nissan during the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.The 2018 Leaf entered US production in December, and deliveries are expected to begin en masse early this year.While it's also built in Japan, US-spec Leafs are built right here in the ol' US of A -- Smyrna, Tennessee, specifically.This swell of demand means that Nissan is doing something right with the Leaf's redesign.
Normally, these bashers, spikes, and other instruments of attack appear on heads or limbs.But only rarely do they end up on tails—and scientists want to know why.The tail might seem like a less risky place to evolve a weapon than the head, but only a few animals actually end up using their tails as weapon.Only one living lizard seems to have bony spikes on its tail, for example—the rest of those weapon-wielders are extinct.A pair of researchers in the U.S. and Canada have analysed some living and extinct examples, and think they’ve found out why that is.Essentially, it seems that a bony tail comes along with large body size, having body armour, and being a herbivore, according to the paper published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The UK health service's NHS Digital has been accused of operating to a "lower standard of confidentiality" than rest of NHS, in a heated hearing about a deal that requires patient info to be handed over for immigration enforcement.After the memorandum of understanding (MoU) hit the headlines, the government asked PHE to collect statistical evidence on whether the MoU has an impact on public health – but interim results are not due until at least November 2018.In the meantime, the House of Commons Health Committee has launched its own inquiry into the deal, with the first evidence session held yesterday.Criticism focused on the risk the MoU would dissuade people from accessing healthcare, the knock-on effect on public trust in NHS confidentiality, and whether the government had properly balanced the public interest in that confidentiality with the interest in effective immigration control.“Confidentiality is the cornerstone of doctor-patient relationship,” said Lucinda Hiam, a GP in the Doctors of the World group that aims to help migrants (who are entitled primary and emergency care for free in the UK) access healthcare.This behaviour puts added strain and cost on the health service overall, she noted.
AI created by Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Microsoft have tied for first place on the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) this month, beating the human score for Exact Match (providing exact answers to questions).According to the SQuAD website, it is a machine reading comprehension dataset comprising of questions pertaining to a set of Wikipedia articles.Answers to questions are usually a segment of text from a corresponding reading passage.The results may not be surprising to some since AI-based systems have proven to be formidable, with Google's AlphaGo defeating Ke Jie as the Go world champion last year.The systems are also expected to go into hospitals and act as our assistants, and Alibaba founder Jack Ma predicted AI-powered robots will head companies in 30 years.But not everyone will agree on how intelligent AI-based systems really are yet.
Spare a thought for Jasper Spaans, who hosts the Linux Kernel Mailing List archive from a single PC that lives in his home.And since things always happen this way the home machine died while he was on holiday.The archive was therefore unavailable for much of the weekend, although Linux developers could still use mirrors like Indiana University's effort.Spaans quickly learned of the outage and he said it was a simple issue, that a brief power outage left the server waiting for a luks – Linux United Key Setup – password.The sad part is that that machine has an initrd with remote ssh access for passing the passphrase (because of a sucky java-based kvm), but I can't reach the bugger from the outside.A vps + cryptops might be a thing for when this hardware dies though.
Daniel Simon, the creator of sci-fi cars in Tron: Legacy, designed the green vehicle as the first driverless electric racing car.It has four motors and one big battery, and it can go more than 200 miles per hour.It’s the one that can avoid pedestrians and other obstacles on a course that isn’t a simple oval, said Rod Chong, chief creative officer, in an interview at CES.It could lead to better AI, much like early race cars led to the creation of disc brakes, Chong said.Rod Chong: The Roborace project started about two years ago.Our founder was looking at what could be the next step for motorsport.
In 2014, Facebook filed a patent application for a technique that employs smartphone data to figure out if two people might know each other.The author, an engineering manager at Facebook named Ben Chen, wrote that it was not merely possible to detect that two smartphones were in the same place at the same time, but that by comparing the accelerometer and gyroscope readings of each phone, the data could identify when people were facing each other or walking together.Patents filed by Facebook that mention People You May Know show some ingenious methods that Facebook has devised for figuring out that seeming strangers on the network might know each other.One filed in 2015 describes a technique that would connect two people through the camera metadata associated with the photos they uploaded.It might assume two people knew each other if the images they uploaded looked like they were titled in the same series of photos—IMG_4605739.jpg and IMG_4605742, for example—or if lens scratches or dust were detectable in the same spots on the photos, revealing the photos were taken by the same camera.It would result in all the people you’ve sent photos to, who then uploaded them to Facebook, showing up in one another’s “People You May Know.” It’d be a great way to meet the other people who hired your wedding photographer.
The Thomas Fire, the largest wildfire in California history, burned almost 450 square miles of the Santa Ynez mountains in late December, a swath of steep, rocky chaparral as big as San Antonio.Only now, science is starting to catch up to the cycle—to understand how it works and predict when it will be at its worst.In one sense the mudslides—what geologists more properly call “debris flows,” because they contain both water and a diversity of stuff, from ash to houses—have always been predictable.With vegetation burned away, roots that held underlying soil together are gone, and the cover that a canopy might have provided against rain vanishes as well.Their drought tolerance comes in part from a resin-like coat on their leaves that helps retain moisture.The region’s frequent earthquakes—what, you want fires and mudslides to be the only disasters?—are evidence of “active tectonics.” Which is to say, those mountain ranges are growing boys and girls, always getting taller and steeper.
Early contender emerges for 'least surprising story of 2018'Uber is once again standing accused of shady behavior, this time allegedly developing mechanisms to rapidly shield documents and other files from the eyes of police.A report by Bloomberg today claimed the dial-a-ride broker built a tool called Ripley to remotely lock and remove potentially incriminating data from machines in branch offices that were being raided by cops.Yes, the same xenomorph-ass-kicking Ripley from the Alien movie series."The Uber HQ team overseeing Ripley could remotely change passwords and otherwise lock up data on company-owned smartphones, laptops, and desktops as well as shut down the devices.This routine was initially called the unexpected visitor protocol," the report alleged.
A woman has been charged with murder after human remains believed to be that of her father were found buried in the back garden of her home in Stockport, Greater Manchester Police said.Barbara Coombes, 63, was held on suspicion of murder after turning herself into a police station on Sunday.Police searched the garden of her home on Matlock Road, Reddish, and discovered human remains on Tuesday.Coombes has also been charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of a dead body, fraud by false representation and obtaining a pecuniary advantage.Police said on Thursday that she remained in custody and was due to appear before Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court today.The victim has not been named but police have been asking Coombes’ neighbours about her father, Kenneth Commbes’, whereabouts.
It’s a huge convenience to be able to respond to text messages and view incoming phone notifications right from your computer, so Dell has created a new app called Mobile Connect that lets you do just that and plans to ship the app on most of its new PCs.The app syncs calls and notifications, lets you respond to them from your PC, and when connected to an Android phone, can mirror its screen completely so that you can navigate apps right from your computer.I saw a demo of the Mobile Connect app hooked up to an Android phone at a briefing last month, and it worked seamlessly.When a call came in, it immediately appeared on the laptop’s screen.And using mirroring, a Dell rep was able to pull up Uber and see nearby cabs.A lot of those features are already available to Windows users — including notification syncing, through Cortana — but they’re not necessarily presented in such an obvious fashion as they are here.
(Reuters) — A former Google engineer fired after he asserted in a memo that biological causes were behind tech industry gender inequality sued his former employer on Monday, saying he was discriminated against as a white man with conservative political views.James Damore last year caused an uproar in Silicon Valley and beyond when he wrote the internal memo, which later became public.Google said he had perpetuated gender stereotypes and fired him in August.In the months since, his firing has become a popular cause among right-leaning U.S. bloggers, and Damore hired a Republican Party official as his attorney.Damore and another white male former Google engineer, David Gudeman, filed the lawsuit as a proposed class action in Santa Clara County Superior Court in California.The lawsuit alleges workplace discrimination and retaliation.
Player protests, Presidential tweets and an ongoing fascination with the quarterback who started it all and still can’t get a job dominated conversation above anything that happened on the pitch.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2017There were even rumblings that the NFL’s TV ratings, for years an unstoppable force the envy of rival sports leagues and TV studios alike, were starting to decline.The NFL also continues to make ground overseas, hosting five regular season games this year.It is a money-making machine for the 32 franchise owners; the NFL split over $7.8 billion between its 32 teams in 2017.NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has rightly come under a significant amount of criticism for his handling of issues such as player protest and discipline, but his ability to maximise the commercial strength of the league has been impressive.
We’re only a week into 2018 and already Sony has announced three new phones, using CES 2018 to reveal the Sony Xperia XA2, Xperia XA2 Ultra and Xperia L2.The most high-end of these is the Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra, which has a 6-inch 1080p edge-to-edge screen, an aluminum frame and a 23MP f/2.0 rear camera with support for 4K video recording and 120fps slow motion recording.There’s also a dual-lens camera on the front, consisting of a 16MP f/2.0 camera with optical image stabilization, alongside an 8MP super wide-angle f/2.4 camera, both of which have a flash.Other specs include a mid-range Snapdragon 630 chipset, 4GB of RAM, a 3,580mAh fast-charging battery, a rear-facing fingerprint scanner, 32GB or 64GB of storage, a microSD card slot and Android Oreo.The Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra will be available in silver, black, blue and gold.Xperia XA2 and Xperia L2
Just five years after launching House of Cards, Netflix has turned into the Big Bad Wolf in the eyes of many networks, intent on steamrolling everything in sight with an original programming budget of up to $8 billion this year.But Showtime Networks president and CEO David Nevins said his company has what it takes to hold its own with the streaming service and other premium competitors—what he called “our deep-pocketed friends invading from the North”— and when it comes to programming budgets, bigger isn’t necessarily better.“As long as you are adapting your business, your business model, to all the new ways that people want to consume your product, you have every reason to feel optimistic about your prospects [in the era of Peak TV],” Nevins told reporters at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.And Showtime is extremely well positioned.”Nevins’ formula for how Showtime holds its own against Netflix: “Attract top talent, produce more shows, expand our subs from cord holders and cord [cutters] alike.And the network will do that without $8 billion at its disposal this year.
Initially it was just those in the blockchain space who were aware, but as the year went on a number of existing business grew attracted to the idea of raising money without the usual route of VCs and lost equity.The year ended with more than $4 billion raised via ICOs.It’s fair to say that the concept is widely-known and that has has already been proven in early 2018.Witness exhibit A: Renren, the company that was once-hailed as China’s Facebook but has reinvented itself in recent times after losing China’s social battle, is doing an ICO — also known as token sale.While that might circumvent the Chinese ban, it is sure to raise attention among the SEC, which has already taken action against ICOs that violate securities laws.Rather than folding, Renren went after new areas including logistics, payments and even hardware via a flurry of investments from 2014-2016.
Amazon and Microsoft had hoped to get Alexa and Cortana speaking before the end of 2017, but that still hasn’t happenedMicrosoft and Amazon have missed their deadline for their voice-activated digital assistants to work with one another.Last summer the two companies said they would allow Alexa and Cortana to ‘speak’ to to each other in a surprise twist to the ongoing battle for supremacy in the fast growing sector.Similarly, the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show will be able to use the productivity features, such as calendars, of Cortana.The two companies say the move is recognition that people will use more than one digital assistant.For example, someone might use Cortana in the office, but Alexa at home.
Would you buy a $700 lock for your front door?Just four months after the company revealed its remarkably compact, meticulously designed Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled luxury lock, CEO and founder Sam Jadallah says his company has suspended operations indefinitely, won't meet its planned January ship date, and probably won't ship at all.Which makes Otto the latest in a line of luxury gadget flops in 2017, including the $700 Juicero cold press juice machine, the $1,000+ Teforia robotic teamaker and the $500 Pearl backup camera license plate frame.On Dec. 28, Jadallah wrote an obituary of sorts for Otto for Medium's HackerNoon blog, where he blames an unnamed company for Otto's failure -- a company that offered to buy Otto, but backed out at the last moment."In early September, we were approached by a public company who understood the product we built, the engineering behind it, and the opportunity it represented.Initially they proposed investing, but quickly shifted the conversation to an acquisition [...] On Dec. 11, they called me and stated they would not complete the acquisition nor revisit the investment proposal.