Technology

Facebook Tests Taking Non-Promoted Media Posts Out Of User Feeds, Outlets Report Massive Drop In Hits

The Hill reports: Facebook is testing a new update that would move non-promoted posts out of users’ newsfeeds, which could be a major hit to media publishers who use the platform to bring traffic to their websites. The changes are currently being tested in six countries including Slovakia, Serbia and Sri Lanka, according to Filip Struhárik, a journalist at Slovakian ...

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Smartphones Blamed For Spike In Traffic Deaths

After decades of decline mostly attributed to safer vehicles and stiffer DUI penalties, traffic deaths in the US have spiked by 14.4% over the last two years. The government has yet to formally blame the rise on smartphone use, but others are convinced. Bloomberg reports: There are three big clues, and they don’t rest along the highway. One, as you ...

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Supreme Court To Hear DOJ’s Digital Privacy Case

Bloomberg reports: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether law enforcement officials conducting a criminal investigation can demand data held overseas by Microsoft Corp. and other technology companies in a high-stakes clash over digital privacy. The justices will review a federal appeals ruling that the Trump administration says has become a major obstacle in criminal probes. Already, Google Inc. ...

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Paris To Ban All Gas And Diesel Cars By 2030

Reuters reports: Paris authorities plan to banish all petrol and diesel-fueled cars from the world’s most visited city by 2030, Paris City Hall said on Thursday. The move marks an acceleration in plans to wean the country off gas-guzzlers and switch to electric vehicles in a city often obliged to impose temporary bans due to surges in particle pollution in ...

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Facebook, Instagram Outages Hit Users Worldwide

Mashable reports: Bad news, friends: Facebook appears to be down for a large number of users. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, is reportedly struggling too. Users of the social media platform began reporting issues around 11:11 a.m. EST, and it appears the outage has spread. The problems appear to be affecting users on both desktop and mobile. Multiple services, ...

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DOUBLED: Twitter Tests 280 Characters Limit

Recode reports: Twitter’s iconic 140-character limit for tweets may be on the way out. In the hope that it will encourage more people to post, Twitter is doubling the number of characters that some users get for a tweet. The test means that a small group of Twitter users will now get 280 characters per tweet instead of the traditional ...

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T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Nearly A Done Deal

Reuters reports: T-Mobile US Inc is close to agreeing tentative terms on a deal to merge with Sprint Corp, people familiar with the matter said on Friday, a major breakthrough in efforts to merge the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers. The transaction would significantly consolidate the U.S. telecommunications market and represent the first transformative U.S. merger with significant ...

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iFAIL: Apple’s New Facial Recognition Thingy Doesn’t Recognize Face Of Dude Giving Launch Demo [VIDEO]

CNBC reports: During Apple’s demo on stage of the iPhone X’s Face ID, which is supposed to let a user unlock the phone by looking at it, the feature failed. Oops. The new Face ID feature is supposed to be more accurate and secure than Touch ID, which currently lets iPhone users unlock their devices with a fingerprint. But what ...

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LIVE VIDEO: Apple Unveils New $1000 iPhone

Allegedly $1000. The Verge reports: After months of speculation and anticipation, we’re only a few moments away from Apple’s big event where the company is expected to announce the new iPhones, along with updates to the Apple Watch and Apple TV. The spotlight is expected to be firmly on the iPhone X, a new, top-of-the-line model that’s rumored to feature ...

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DOJ Demands Web Hosting Company Turn Over IP Addresses Of Everybody Who Visited Anti-Trump Site

The Washington Post reports: A Los Angeles-based tech company is resisting a federal demand for more than 1.3 million IP addresses to identify visitors to a website set up to coordinate protests on Inauguration Day — a request whose breadth the company says violates the Constitution. “What we have is a sweeping request for every single file we have” in ...

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Nanochip Reprograms Skin Cells To Regrow Organs

The Telegraph reports: Scientists have hailed a “breakthrough” technology capable of regrowing damaged organs and healing serious wounds with the single touch of a penny-sized pad. The new device uses nanochips to reprogramme skin cells which then generate any type of cell necessary for medical treatment. The non-invasive procedure takes less than a second and in laboratory trials was found ...

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New Apple Watch To Untether From iPhone

Not quite Dick Tracy, but closer. Bloomberg reports: Apple Inc. is planning to release a version of its smartwatch later this year that can connect directly to cellular networks, a move designed to reduce the device’s reliance on the iPhone, people familiar with the matter said. Currently, Apple requires its smartwatch to be connected wirelessly to an iPhone to stream ...

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Jeff Bezos Becomes World’s Richest Person

At least for today. Bloomberg reports: A surge in Amazon.com Inc. shares Thursday morning in advance of the online retailer’s earnings report has propelled founder Jeff Bezos past Bill Gates as the world’s richest person. Shares of the online retailer rose 1.3 percent to $1,065.92 at 10:10 a.m. in New York, giving Bezos a net worth of $90.9 billion, versus ...

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Elon Musk Claims He Has “Verbal Govt Approval” To Build Hyperloop System From New York To Washington

CNBC reports: The beleaguered transit system in the Northeast may receive a boost from one of the most ambitious entrepreneurs in the world. Elon Musk tweeted Thursday that The Boring Company received “verbal” government approval to begin building an underground Hyperloop, saying it would take 29 minutes to go from New York to Washington, D.C. Musk did not say whether ...

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Elon Musk Warns: Regulate AI Before It’s Too Late

The Guardian reports: Tesla and Space X chief executive Elon Musk has pushed again for the proactive regulation of artificial intelligence because “by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late”. Speaking at the US National Governors Association summer meeting in Providence Rhode Island, Musk said: “Normally the way regulations are set up is when a bunch ...

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Jeff Bezos On Brink Of Becoming World’s Richest Man

The Guardian reports: Just a few dollars more on the Amazon share price and the world will have a new richest man. Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder, is on the brink of overtaking Bill Gates to become the wealthiest person on the planet. Bezos, 53, has been having a very good year. His net worth has risen by almost $20bn ...

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Today In Creepy Robots [VIDEO]

Phys.org reports: It was a spooky sight: two lifelike disembodied robot torsos discussing the pros and cons of humans in front of a nervously tittering audience in Hong Kong Wednesday. Artificial intelligence is the dominant theme at this year’s sprawling RISE tech conference at the city’s harbourfront convention centre, but the live robot exchange took the AI debate to another ...

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WEDNESDAY: Tech Giants To Join Online “Day Of Action” Over Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality Rules

The Hill reports: Tech companies and activists will be mobilizing supporters of the net neutrality rules on Wednesday for an online “day of action.” Many websites that have signed up for the demonstration will show their support for net neutrality by displaying “alerts,” warning the public about how the internet could change if the rules are rolled back. The protest ...

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BRITAIN: Google Funds Robot Journalism Launch

The Guardian reports: Robots will help a national news agency to create up to 30,000 local news stories a month, with the help of human journalists and funded by a Google grant. The Press Association has won a €706,000 (£621,000) grant to run a news service with computers writing localised news stories. The national news agency, which supplies copy to ...

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Russia Suspected Of Hacking US Power Grid

The New York Times reports: Since May, hackers have been penetrating the computer networks of companies that operate nuclear power stations and other energy facilities, as well as manufacturing plants in the United States and other countries. Among the companies targeted was the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, which runs a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kan., according to security ...

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