Internet Use/New Technologies

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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Rise of the machines: has technology evolved beyond our control? The Observer

The voice-activated gadget in the corner of your bedroom suddenly laughs maniacally, and sends a recording of your pillow talk to a colleague. The clip of Peppa Pig your toddler is watching on YouTube unexpectedly descends into bloodletting and death. The social network you use to keep in touch with old school friends turns out to be influencing elections and fomenting coups.

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11 June 2018

How Facebook, Instagram and Netflix could be helping to reduce youth crime ABC News

A decline in youth crime in New South Wales could be down to the popularity of social media and video streaming services, according to research from the Australian National University.

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07 June 2018

U.S. says internet use rises as more low income people go online Reuters

Internet use by Americans increased in 2017, fueled by a rise among people with lower incomes, a government report viewed on Wednesday by Reuters found.

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Meet the people who still use Myspace: 'It's given me so much joy' The Guardian

Almost every day, Kenneth Scalir takes a trip to the library or a cafe near his home in Sherman Oaks, California, to spend about an hour on his favourite site: Myspace.

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04 June 2018

Teens are abandoning Facebook in dramatic numbers, study finds The Guardian

Teenagers have abandoned Facebook in favour of other social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram, according to a study from the Pew Research Center.

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01 June 2018

Twitter blocking users who were underage when they signed up The Guardian

In an effort to comply with GDPR, Twitter is blocking users who were underage when they signed up for the service – even if they’re now well over 18.

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Social media use taxed in Uganda to tackle 'gossip' The Guardian

Users of Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype and other social media in Uganda will have to pay a daily tax from July, according to a new law that rights activists have criticised as a bid to stifle free speech.

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31 May 2018

Google plan for data-driven 'smart city' sparks privacy, democracy concerns ABC News

In the Canadian city of Toronto, city officials are negotiating a project that will give a section of the city's waterfront to the US tech giant Google.

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28 May 2018

Technology is driving us to distraction: Sunday essay The Observer

How often are you diverted from a task by the seductive lure of your mobile phone? And does it matter? In a landmark book, James Williams argues we’re losing the power to concentrate

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