谷歌自动翻译 》

DHL stops deliveries for Amazon Fresh in Germany
(The August 21 story, corrects to read "the market for food ecommerce" in paragraph 1.)

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 23 Aug 2019 | 3:02 am

Tesla to buy batteries from South Korea's LG Chem: Bloomberg
Tesla Inc has agreed to buy batteries from South Korea's LG Chem Ltd for electric vehicles manufactured in China, Bloomberg reported on Friday citing people familiar with the matter.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 23 Aug 2019 | 2:13 am

Amazon to acquire minority stake in an Indian supermarket chain operator
Amazon.com Inc is set to snag a 3.58% minority stake in India's Future Retail, which operates more than 1,500 stores in India and owns several supermarket brands, including budget department and grocery store chain, Big Bazaar.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 23 Aug 2019 | 1:58 am

Xiaomi banks on phone data for finance play in India
China's Xiaomi is poised to launch a consumer lending business in India in the coming weeks, making an ambitious tilt at the booming financial services market where data privacy concerns and fierce competition present formidable challenges.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 23 Aug 2019 | 12:41 am

Walmart, Tesla look to address issues surrounding solar systems
Walmart Inc and Tesla Inc are looking to address all issues surrounding the solar installations at Walmart stores, the companies said late on Thursday, two days after the retailer sued the electric carmaker for "widespread negligence" that led to repeated fires at the installations.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 23 Aug 2019 | 12:15 am

U.S. state legal chiefs, telecom firms set to crack down on robocalls
Attorneys general from 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia will announce on Thursday they are joining forces with major telecommunications providers, including AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Comcast Corp, Sprint Corp and T-Mobile Us Inc, to crack down on unwanted robocalls, according to a document seen by Reuters.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 22 Aug 2019 | 9:41 pm

YouTube Disables 200 Videos Believed to Be Spreading Disinformation About Hong Kong Protests

(SAN FRANCISCO) — YouTube says it disabled more than 200 videos this week that appeared to be part of a coordinated effort to spread misinformation about the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

The video removals come just days after Twitter said it had suspended more than 200,000 accounts it linked to a Chinese government influence campaign against the protests. Facebook also said it had suspended accounts and removed pages after being notified by Twitter.

Google, which owns YouTube, did not explicitly implicate the Chinese government but said the videos were related to the similar disclosures from Facebook and Twitter.

Social media companies have faced criticism about the spread of misinformation on their sites and have taken actions to combat the spread in recent months.

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Aug 2019 | 8:50 pm

VMware to pay $5 billion for firms offering cloud security, developers platform
VMware Inc said on Thursday it bought two providers of cloud security and cloud developer services in separate deals valued at about $5 billion, as it expands offerings for corporate clients.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 22 Aug 2019 | 7:36 pm

Pigs' emotions could be read by new farming technology
New technology has been developed to detect how happy the animals are.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 7:18 pm

Facial recognition technology aims to cut passport queue times
The UK Home Office is considering a system which would let you walk through immigration without showing your passport.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 7:14 pm

Salesforce sees higher quarterly, FY revenue; shares rise 7%
Salesforce.com Inc forecast third-quarter and full-year revenue above Wall Street estimates on Thursday, as it benefits from acquisitions and more companies opting for its cloud-based services, sending its shares up 7% in extended trading.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 22 Aug 2019 | 7:09 pm

HP CEO steps down, taps veteran insider; flags quarterly profit below Street view
HP Inc said on Thursday Chief Executive Officer Dion Weisler is stepping down after nearly four years in the role, and forecast fourth quarter profit below Wall Street estimates, sending its shares down 6% in late trade.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 22 Aug 2019 | 6:14 pm

Pompeo tells Trudeau U.S. focused on release of two Canadians in China
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday assured Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that American officials were working to free two Canadian men who have been held by China since late last year.

Source: Reuters: Technology News | 22 Aug 2019 | 5:42 pm

Overstock CEO Resigns After Unusual Message About ‘Deep State’

(Bloomberg) –– Patrick Byrne, the flamboyant entrepreneur who has run Overstock.com for two decades, resigned from his role as chief executive officer after bewildering investors last week with claims about entanglements with the “Deep State.”

Byrne, whose departure as CEO and from the board takes effect Thursday, will be succeeded by director Jonathan Johnson on an interim basis. Johnson has been with the company for 17 years and has recently served as president of Overstock’s blockchain business, Medici Ventures.

“While I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock,” Byrne wrote in a more than 1,600-word statement. He founded the company in 1999 and took it public three years later.

Byrne drew attention last week after releasing a statement claiming he was part of federal investigations related to the 2016 election. In the press release titled “Overstock.com CEO Comments on Deep State,” Byrne referred to federal investigators as “the Men in Black” in referencing investigations relating to political espionage and the rule of law. The stock fell 36% in the two days following Byrne’s disclosure.

Shares surged as much as 18% to $22.95 at 12:36 p.m. in New York on Thursday after being halted for the announcement.

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Aug 2019 | 1:40 pm

Bionic seagull takes flight in Beijing
A robot bird is one of the innovations on show at the World Robot Conference in Beijing.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 12:43 pm

Apple Is Planning New iPhones, iPads and MacBooks This Year. Here’s What to Know

Apple is readying a clutch of new hardware for the coming weeks and months, including “Pro” iPhones, upgrades to iPads and its largest laptop in years.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is planning to announce three new iPhones at an event next month, according to people familiar with the situation. The handsets will likely go on sale in September, contributing to fiscal fourth-quarter sales. But the real test will come in the crucial holiday season. That’s when the company is banking on a combination of new hardware, software and services to drive revenue higher, following a huge miss at the end of last year.

Also coming in 2019: refreshed versions of the iPad Pro with upgraded cameras and faster chips, an entry-level iPad with a larger screen, new versions of the Apple Watch, and the first revamp to the MacBook Pro laptop in three years, the people said. Updates to key audio accessories, including AirPods and the HomePod speaker, are in the works, too, these people added. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

Beyond these unannounced products, Apple is gearing up to launch a refreshed Mac Pro and its accompanying monitor, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, and Apple Watch software updates, as well as its Apple TV+ video and Apple Arcade gaming subscription services.

Here’s what to expect:

iPhone:

  • Apple is planning to launch three new iPhones, as it has done each year since 2017: “Pro” iPhone models to succeed the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max as well as a successor to the iPhone XR.
  • The main feature of the Pro iPhones will be a new camera system on the back with a third sensor for capturing ultra-wide-angle photos and videos. The extra camera will let users zoom out and capture a larger field of view. The sensors will capture three images simultaneously and use new artificial intelligence software to automatically correct the combined photo if, for example, a person is accidentally cut out of one of the shots. The new system will also take higher resolution pictures rivaling some traditional cameras. Photos taken in very low-light environments will improve, too.
  • The high-end handsets will have significantly upgraded video recording capabilities, getting them closer to professional video cameras. Apple has developed a feature that allow users to retouch, apply effects, alter colors, reframe and crop video as it is being recorded live on the device.
  • Another notable new feature: A reverse wireless charging system so that a user can power-up the latest AirPods in the optional wireless-charging case by leaving it on the back of the new Pro phones. This is similar to a capability that Samsung Electronics Co. rolled out for its Galaxy handsets earlier this year.
  • The high-end iPhones will look nearly identical to the current models from the front and feature the same size screens, but at least some colors on the back will have a matte finish versus the existing glossy look. The new models should hold up better when they’re dropped due to new shatter-resistance technology.
  • The phones will include a new multi-angle Face ID sensor that captures a wider field of view so that users can unlock the handsets more easily – even when the devices are flat on a table.
  • Apple has dramatically enhanced water resistance for the new models, which could allow them to be submerged under water far longer than the 30-minute rating on the current iPhones.
  • The new models will have updated OLED screens that lack the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch technology. Apple is replacing this with Haptic Touch, which essentially mirrors 3D Touch’s functionality with a long press, as it did with the iPhone XR last year.
  • The iPhone XR’s successor will gain a second back camera for optical zoom, the ability to zoom in further without degrading quality, and enhanced portrait mode. Apple is also adding a new green version.
  • All of the new iPhones will have faster A13 processors. There’s a new component in the chip, known internally as the “AMX” or “matrix” co-processor, to handle some math-heavy tasks, so the main chip doesn’t have to. That may help with computer vision and augmented reality, which Apple is pushing a core feature of its mobile devices.
  • None of the new models will include 5G, but next year’s will. They’ll also have rear-facing 3-D cameras that will boost augmented reality capabilities.

iPad:

  • After launching new mid-tier iPad Air and iPad mini models earlier this year, Apple is planning to refresh the iPad Pro and its low-end iPad for schools.
  • The 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros will get similar upgrades to the iPhones, gaining upgraded cameras and faster processors. Otherwise, the new iPads will look like the current versions.
  • The low-end iPad’s screen will be 10.2-inches. That means Apple will likely no longer sell a new model with a 9.7-inch display, discontinuing the original display size after using it for nearly a decade.

Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod:

  • After revamping the Apple Watch last year with a new design and bigger screens, this year’s changes will be more muted, focusing on the watchOS 6 software update, and new case finishes. References to new ceramic and titanium models have been found in an early version of iOS 13, Apple’s latest mobile operating system.
  • Apple is working on new AirPods that are likely to be more expensive than the current $159 model. New features will include water resistance and noise cancellation with a launch planned by next year. Apple introduced a new version of the entry-level AirPods in March with hands-free Siri support and longer battery life.
  • Apple is also working on a cheaper HomePod for as early as next year. The current $300 model hasn’t sold very well. The new model is likely to have two tweeters (a type of loudspeaker), down from seven in the current HomePod.

Mac:

  • Apple is planning a revamped MacBook Pro with a screen over 16-inches diagonally. The bezels on the new laptop will be slimmer so the overall size of the laptop will be close to the current 15-inch models.
  • The new laptop would mark Apple’s largest since the 17-inch MacBook Pro was discontinued in 2012. It’s part of an effort by Apple to retain and woo professional computer users.
  • Apple is also launching the previously announced Mac Pro and 32-inch XDR Pro Display later this year.

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Aug 2019 | 10:18 am

Android ditches desserts as Q becomes 10
The next version of the Android operating system (OS) will not be named after a dessert.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 9:56 am

Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins Reveals His Top Tips for Video Game Domination

It’s time to Get Good with Tyler Blevins, a.k.a. Ninja, one of the most famous and highest-paid e-sports athletes around. That’s the title of his new book — subtitled My Ultimate Guide to Gaming — which promises to divulge Ninja’s “secrets to become unstoppable.”

Unlike typical celebrity hardbacks, Blevins’ book is light on drama and full of practical advice. Ninja walks readers through the ins and outs of building a video game streaming career (starting with buying the right equipment) and ending with how to manage the stress that comes with having millions of fans.

Not everyone can be Ninja. Game streaming stardom will allude most of us, but Get Good is still full of practical advice that’s perfect for video game newcomers, jaded gamers like myself, and everyone in between. Whether you’re looking to become the next streaming star or just want to stop getting your butt kicked by 12-year-olds all the time, Get Good has you covered.

Here are some of Ninja’s best tips for video game mastery.

Get the right gear

Ninja opens the book with a frank discussion of competitive players’ needs, with a focus on PC gamers. “Mice, keyboards, and headsets should feel like a natural part of your body, so that you can trust your tools,” he writes.

One of the first mistakes gamers make is using the wrong keyboard, he says. “If you want to get serious about playing well, then it’s time to get a mechanical keyboard,” Ninja says. Typical keyboards have a thin input membrane and it’s easy to mistype, especially in a panicked gaming situation. Mechanical keyboards are precision instruments. It’s harder to mistype, and the feedback lets you know you’ve pushed the button you meant to press.

Mice, too, are a big deal. And one of the mistakes Ninja sees gamers making is using a wireless model. “Wireless mice have input lags of anywhere from eight to sixteen miliseconds — and while that might not sound like much, it can make a difference at very high levels of play, especially in games where reaction time is crucial,” he says.

Input lag is the time it takes for the computer to take action after a player has pushed a button. When you press the fire button on a wireless mouse, it takes longer for your weapon to fire in the game than it would with a wired version. Wired mice also tend to be cheaper, and never run out of batteries.

Another piece of equipment people don’t think about is the mousepad. “Because they’re so simple … mouse pads often get overlooked,” Ninja says. “But they’re a crucial part of your setup because they bring out the best in your mouse, letting you make more accurate and smoother movements.”

When it comes to mouse pads, Ninja says bigger is often better. Make sure the pad is smooth and nothing obstructs the path of the mouse. If you’re constantly picking up the mouse because you’ve hit the edge, then you need a bigger pad.

Practice makes perfect

If you want to dominate the top of the charts in a shooter, then you have to learn to flick aim. Most of the time when I play a shooter, I stop moving, take the time to line up my shot, then aim when I’m ready. According to Ninja, this is all wrong. I should be flick aiming.

To flick aim, be a little looser with your hand on the mouse and react to enemies. Instead of focusing on them, flick your crosshair towards the enemy and fire. It’s pure reaction, and it’ll take time to get used to. “Since it’s a reaction, or even a reflex, flick aim isn’t something you think about so much as it’s something you just do,” Ninja writes. “That means you have to train your muscle memory until your flick shots are almost subconscious.”

Another mistake Ninja sees players make is that they’re not preshooting correctly, or they’re not aiming in the right place. You always want to aim at where the enemies might be, or where they might appear. For example: while going over a hill, Ninja writes, most players will aim upwards as they move, then pull the mouse down to aim down the hill. “Try to get in the habit of aiming downward right before you go over the top of a hill, rather than right after,” Ninja says.

This also works when you’re moving around rooms. As you’re looting, people tend to aim at what they’re grabbing. Instead, practice situational awareness and keep your crosshairs trained on the doors and windows where enemies might appear. That way, you can flick fire at them if they pop up.

If you want to get better at playing video games, you have to put the hours in just like any other athlete, he writes. “If you’re serious about getting better, you need to set up a schedule, not just be setting aside a slot of time for dedicated practice, but also having a plan for what to do with that practice time,” Ninja says. “Warm-up, free play, drills, replay review, scrimmage — you need to make space for all of it.”

Watching replays may sound boring, but it’s crucial. You can use YouTube, Twitch, and hundreds of other services to record your matches. Watch them and learn what you did right and how you might improve. “It’s very hard to be conscious, in the moment, of every decision you’re making,” Ninja says. “Replays are useful for figuring out what you might have done differently, or seeing your play with new eyes to assess why you’re losing.”

It’s all a mind game

One of the most surprising and important parts of Get Good is how much Ninja focuses on both physical and mental health. Throughout, Blevins constantly reminds his fans and readers that they need to physically exercise and practice healthy mental habits to stay on top of their game. There is such a thing as too much practice, he says. “A lot of research shows that you stop really benefiting from additional practice after about six hours a day,” he says. “So until you’re a professional, consider that your hard limit.”

Ninja also focuses on communication. Fortnite and Apex Legends are both team games and Ninja couldn’t win if he didn’t click with his teams. Often, when I play with friends I’m guilty of getting excited and shouting information that’s totally unhelpful. I’ll notice an enemy, but won’t report where I’ve seen them. By the time I’ve figured out they’re behind a tree on the other side of the mountain, they’ve already sniped me and my team is taking fire.

“You should try to make communication as intentional and efficient as possible,” Ninja says. “When you’re playing with friends, try to convey as much information in as few words as possible. It’ll take conscious effort at first, but eventually it’ll become a habit.”

Gamers can have a hard time managing their emotions, especially anger. Let’s face it: losing is rough, and the other guy totally cheated. In moments of pure hot rage, Ninja advises gamers step back and take a deep breath. “Gaming can be frustrating,” he says. “You need to find a way to deal with negative feelings that come with it. Over the last couple of years, I’ve started to understand that it’s okay and normal to get angry — but it’s also important to understand that you’re upset and take the right steps to get back into a good headspace. Too many gamers just get angrier and angrier and blame everyone but themselves.”

Get the right gear, practice the right way, and get into the right headspace and you too can Get Good.

Source: Tech – TIME | 22 Aug 2019 | 9:35 am

Spotify sued over 'billions of Eminem streams'
Eight Mile Style is seeking £30m from the music streaming service.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 9:23 am

Microsoft halts listening in to Xbox gamers
The firm said it would no longer listen in to players using the console.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 9:18 am

Fake news is 'reinforced by false memories'
Research during Ireland's abortion referendum highlights risks for social networks.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 9:07 am

Apple Card can be damaged by wallets and jeans
Apple advises owners of its new credit card to keep it away from leather and denim.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 7:36 am

GCSEs: StudyTube revision videos got me through exams
How a community of online students on YouTube helped people studying for their exams.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 22 Aug 2019 | 4:51 am

Testing the debit card with a fingerprint sensor
The technology could give a further layer of security when paying with your card in shops.

Source: BBC News - Technology | 21 Aug 2019 | 7:00 pm

That Instagram Post Everyone Is Sharing Is Just Another Viral Hoax

This week, celebrities including Usher, Pink, and Leslie Bibb, along with politicians like former Texas governor Rick Perry, shared identical Instagram posts warning of an alleged upcoming change to Instagram’s terms of service that would in part afford the company broad permissions to use your pictures, messages, and other information how it sees fit.

“Everything you’ve ever posted becomes public from today,” reads the oddly worded viral post, which includes questionable legalese citing a law applicable to the sale of goods and a treaty related to trying war criminals. “Even messages that have been deleted or the photos not allowed.”

But no such change is coming. The message is a hoax.

“There’s no truth to this post,” Facebook spokesperson Stephanie Otway said in an email to TIME. This isn’t the first time the company has had to deal with hoaxes related to copyright infringement and user privacy. In 2012, a nearly identical memo was making the rounds on Facebook, which owns Instagram.

 

The perennial reoccurrence of these privacy hoaxes underscore how little many social media users understand about the rules governing what they share online, despite the privacy concerns pushing them to post such notes. Among the language in this week’s viral post is a line forbidding Instagram from doing anything with the photos you share: “With this statement, I give notice to Instagram it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile and/or its contents.”

But by opening an Instagram account and posting content there, users are giving the company certain permissions to distribute their photos, videos and so on.

“We do not claim ownership of your content, but you grant us a license to use it,” reads a section of Instagram’s Terms of Use under the heading “Permissions You Give to Us.” “Instead, when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings).”

TIME has reached out for clarification on how and how often Instagram uses its license in relation to user-uploaded content. Other social media services have similar language in their terms of service.

More troubling than anything Instagram is doing with your photos and videos may be the data the company collects to tailor content and ads to appeal to each user. The company’s trove of data collected from users includes device attributes ranging from their Bluetooth signal strength and device battery level to their movements within the app itself. So while the memo may be useless, its vitality highlights a disconnect between the privacy violations users seem to be concerned with, and what’s actually going on behind the scenes. If social media users decided to take a closer look at the data they’re actually sharing instead of haphazardly protecting themselves with unenforceable legal jargon, what Instagram does with their photo of last week’s dinner might be the least of their concerns.

Source: Tech – TIME | 21 Aug 2019 | 1:19 pm

How To Make Your Phone’s Battery Last Longer

You’ve probably noticed your phone’s battery life decreasing over time. It’s not just in your head — as batteries age, they gradually lose their ability to hold a charge. And sometimes, other situations cause your battery to struggle, like a 2017 controversy in which Apple apologized for intentionally slowing down iPhones with older batteries to prevent sudden shutdowns.

There are a few ways you can get your phone battery to last longer, drawing out the time between the dreaded 15 percent mark and when your battery goes fully dead. Here are some tips you can use to make your phone’s battery last longer, regardless of whether you’re using an iPhone, Android or anything else.

Keep your phone’s software updated

Phone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung issue updates for their devices all the time. It can be annoying when it feels like you’re constantly updating your phone, but those updates are there for a good reason: Having the latest, most efficient software can help make sure your phone is giving you the most battery life possible. (They also help keep your phone more secure.)

Generally speaking, you can see if you need to update your phone by navigating to the Settings app. From there, you’ll find options to update software, likely under a General tab then under Software Update. This may be slightly different depending on the phone you’re using.

Limit background battery use

Your phone should have a page dedicated to battery usage, typically found by navigating to the battery section of your Settings app. Depending on your device, a graph may appear, displaying how much battery life each of your apps are typically eating up.

Many apps run and refresh in the background while you’re using different software. You can choose to allow specific apps to do this, set it so all apps can do this, or prevent specific apps from doing this. If a particular app is using a lot of battery life, you could also choose to uninstall it completely.

Here’s how to change your background usage settings:

On iOS

Navigate to Settings, select General, then Background App Refresh. From there, you can select Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi & Cellular Data, or Off.

On Android

Open the Settings app, hit Battery, then tap the More symbol and click Battery Usage. From there, your device will list how different apps are using battery life. Click the app for which you’d like to display background use, then select Background restriction. When the Restrict app? notice pops up, click Restrict.

Dim that screen

Keeping your phone screen’s brightness all the way up can really eat away at battery life. When you’re low on battery life, you’ll also want to avoid doing anything that needs a lot of processing power, like playing games, watching videos or using navigation apps.

Another option is to turn off push notifications, which can light up your display even when you’re not using your phone, thus using battery life. The process will be slightly different depending on your phone. Generally speaking, head to Settings, Notifications, then select the relevant application. From there, you’ll select the option to disable notifications.

Disconnect

If you’re desperate to save your phone’s battery life, turn on airplane mode, then manually re-activate Wi-Fi and connect to a wireless network. In general, connecting to the internet over Wi-Fi uses less battery power than with cellular networks — plus you won’t have to worry so much about data overages.

Use your phone’s battery saver

Your phone’s battery saver option is an easy-to-use feature that restricts your phone’s capabilities in order to extract the most possible battery life. On iPhone, it’s called low power mode. On Android, it’s called battery saver. When your phone gets low, you should receive a pop-up that’ll let you turn on battery saver with a tap.

Here’s how to activate your phone’s battery saver mode manually:

On iOS

Navigate to Settings, then hit Battery. The low power option will be available there. According to Apple, low power mode is designed to keep your screen brightness low and minimize animations. Apps will not use background data, either. But you can still make phone calls, send messages and more.

On Android

You’ll find the battery saver option by swiping down and hitting the Battery saver icon. You can set your phone to turn on battery saver automatically by finding the Battery section in the Settings app, then looking for Battery saver. If you choose to have Battery saver activate automatically, you can also set a certain battery percentage that triggers the setting.

Source: Tech – TIME | 21 Aug 2019 | 11:40 am

Facebook Is Rolling out a Tool to Limit Data Gathering

Source: Tech – TIME | 21 Aug 2019 | 2:26 am

Instagram Will Enable Users to Flag Posts They Think Are Fake

Instagram users in the U.S. will soon be able to report content they deem to be fake as the Facebook-owned app joins the fight against online misinformation, Reuters reporte.

The new feature, announced Thursday, will allow users of the photo and video-sharing app to flag suspicious posts. Flagged content will no longer show up in Instagram’s “explore” page, and will also be removed from hashtag search results.

Stephanie Otway, a Facebook company spokeswoman, said the feature is “an initial step as we work towards a more comprehensive approach to tackling misinformation.”

The app has previously made other efforts to crack down on misinformation — in May, Instagram introduced image-blocking technology to detect content that had been debunked on Facebook, which then would have its reach similarly limited.

Social media sites have become fertile ground for peddling online misinformation, which has been on the rise and blamed for spreading falsehoods including medical hoaxes and fictitious political content ahead of elections.

Instagram’s efforts to fight misinformation lag behind those of Facebook, which has 54 fact-checking partners working in 42 languages and last year removed more than 500 pages spreading false content.

A report commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee found that Russian actors received more engagement on Instagram than Facebook around the time of the 2016 elections, suggesting that Instagram was a bigger tool at election time.

The report said Instagram is “likely to be a key battleground on an ongoing basis” and could play a crucial role in the 2020 elections.

Source: Tech – TIME | 16 Aug 2019 | 1:48 am

Use These 11 Tips to Get (Even More) Productive in Google Docs

Nearly everyone needs a place to do some serious writing, whether it’s the notebook in your bag or the text editor on your computer. For the millions of people with a normal Google account or work-related G-Suite account, that place is Google Docs, where you can create, share, and store documents in the cloud, accessible wherever you’ve got a web browser.

But having a convenient place to do your writing one tab over from your ongoing Cookie Clicker game is one thing; understanding the tools at your disposal to make the work you do easier is another.

Here are some essential shortcuts, tips, and suggestions to make every word written in Google Docs count.

Track Your Word Count by the Paragraph

Need to hit your report’s 5,000-word goal? Are you aiming to keep your cover letter under a page? If you’re curious about the word count of your document, it’s easy to check. Visit Tools > Word Count to get a quick overview of the number of pages, words, and characters.

While that’s valuable information, it doesn’t help if you’re trying to shorten a particular section, or discern where you need to add a few sentences. The fix is simple: Highlight the selection you’d like to analyze, and select Word Count again. You’ll see your selection’s word count compared to the document’s entire count, giving you that extra information necessary to fit your prose into its future container.

Finally, Easier Superscripts

Mathematicians, scientists, and other fans of exponents will appreciate the ability to easily add superscript and subscript text to their documents without digging into the system’s catalog of characters. After highlighting the text in question, hit Format > Text, then select either superscript, subscript, or whatever text transformation option you’d like to use. You can also use “Ctrl-.” or “Cmd-.” to ditch the menu and use your keyboard.

Check Out Google’s Cache of Awesome Fonts

Google Docs has a few dozen fonts for you to choose from right off the bat, but for some that just doesn’t cut it, especially if you’ve got a particular one tied to whatever you’re writing — be it for your business or personal project. Thankfully, a few extra clicks will grant you access to a veritable storehouse of open-source fonts from Google itself.

To access the Google Fonts catalog, simply hit the font drop-down menu (next to the header drop-down menu) and select “More Fonts.” You’ll be greeted with a window full of fonts to scroll through and add to your personal collection for use anywhere (you can even download them to your computer to use anytime you’d like). By visiting the Google Fonts site, you’ll be able to do more granular searches for particular styles, and sort based on features you’re looking for.

Dictation Doubles as a Transcription Tool

Whether you’ve got a three-minute or three-hour conversation to transcribe, listening to yourself talk only to type it all out is excruciating punishment, and pretty boring. So instead of agonizing about it (or paying someone else to do your dirty work), use Google’s built-in dictation tool to “transcribe” the conversation and save yourself the headache of typing it all out by hand. In addition to the Chrome browser, you’ll need some headphones to keep from confusing the dictation tool. Other than that, it works like a charm.

Before you set about transcribing, be sure to set your default language by going to File > Language. Then, look for Tools > Voice Typing. From there, hit the microphone, talk while you play the file back, and watch as Google turns your audio into text right there in the document.

Use Headers to Break Down Big Documents

Headers aren’t just useful for separating topics in your kid’s book report, they double as a quick navigation tool for longer documents. Creating headers is easy, just select the Normal Text dropdown menu and pick your header size.

For some even simpler organizing, you can also use bold text as substitute headers, so long as the text is on its own, with a line break above and below it. If you want to see the fruits of your labor, go to View > Show Document Outline to open the outline navigation sidebar.

Work Offline to Dodge Distractions

The internet can be pretty distracting if you’re trying to finish a time-sensitive project. Instead of looking at apps and services to curb your content consumption while you create your own (and falling down that rabbit hole), here’s a better idea: Turn off your Wi-Fi and work offline.

Before you cut your connection to the web, you’ll need to download the Google Docs Offline extension first. After you install it, visit your document of choice and select File > Make Available Offline. Now, all your changes will be saved locally, and sync with the web when you’re back online. You’ll know you’re offline when you see a small lightning bolt icon next to your document name, indicating its disconnection from the web.

Link to Everything, Even Your Own Documents

Sticking links in your documents is fairly simple — just highlight the text you want to link, hit Ctrl-K (or Cmd-K), and type in your URL — but that’s not all. If you’re working on multiple documents, perhaps with multiple people involved, you can link to other documents rather than external web pages. Instead of pasting or typing in a URL for a webpage, copy and paste the URL of the document you’d like to link. You can also search for it when you bring up the link window, and have Google search through your Google Docs account for items matching your search terms.

Linking to documents provides a three-line overview showing you the document title, owner, and the last time any changes were made. That makes keeping multiple documents —perhaps part of an overarching guide or report — easier than visiting each one to see when the last modification happened, especially if you know some edits are overdue.

Build Your Personal Dictionary for Fewer Misspellings

Properly spelling that one word you always mess up, or correctly nailing the esoteric medical terms you’re studying is an annoyance many can live without. Luckily, Google Docs lets you build a dictionary of your own, complete with unfamiliar words, accents, or terms found only in your weird science-fiction screenplay. Visit Tools > Spelling and grammar > Personal dictionary. Add your words of choice, and keep your document error-free.

Version History, a Disaster’s Best Friend

Sometimes you just wish you could go back and find that choice phrase you wrote before dismissing it to the ether with a quick backspace. Other times you wish you could recover that first draft of a document before your co-writer or manager took the axe to every Oxford comma you lovingly inserted. To take advantage of Google Docs’ revision history feature, visit File > Version history to either “bookmark” the current version of your document, or visit past versions, seeing where and when changes were made to your document.

Custom shortcuts bring text expansion to the web

I don’t know about you, but typing out “two-factor authentication” every time I need to talk about protecting myself online feels needlessly time-consuming. There are tons of other words, names, and phrases everyone spells (or misspells) on a daily basis, words that would benefit from a text expansion tool. Well, Google Docs has one built-in, making it easy to turn that default greeting you send to every new client, colleague, or peer into a three-letter shortcut.

Visit Tools > Preferences to find the Automatic Substitution list, pre-populated with shortcuts for things like fractions and arrows. Add your own shortcut phrases (making sure they don’t belong to actual words you use on a daily basis) along with the full, expanded result you’d like to see.

One great use? You can use a phrase like “wmail” to drop in your work-related email address, or “xintro” to quickly paste in some traditional boilerplate text to the start or end of your document. You can even make shortcuts for symbols, and type something like “( c )” to easily add a copyright symbol or other seldom-used character.

Source: Tech – TIME | 15 Aug 2019 | 4:34 pm

Conspiracy Theories Might Sound Crazy, But Here’s Why Experts Say We Can No Longer Ignore Them

Conspiracy theories, both powerful and enduring, can wreak havoc on society. In recent years, fringe ideas prompted a gunman to storm a Washington, D.C. pizzeria and may have motivated another to fatally shoot 11 worshippers inside a Pittsburgh synagogue. They are also largely to blame for a worldwide surge in measles cases that has sickened more people in the U.S. in the first half of 2019 than in any full year since 1994.

Now, the FBI says conspiracy theories “very likely” inspire domestic terrorists to commit criminal and sometimes violent acts and “very likely will emerge, spread and evolve” on internet platforms, according to an intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News. The May 30 document from the FBI’s Phoenix field office—the first of its kind to examine the threat of conspiracy-driven extremists—also says the 2020 presidential election will likely fuel conspiracy theories, potentially motivating domestic extremists who subscribe to them.

“It’s increasingly becoming clear that lots and lots of people believe in them, and they have negative outcomes,” says Viren Swami, a social psychology professor at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K., who has published several studies on conspiracy theories.

Millions of people all over the world—including, by one estimate, half of the U.S. population—believe in conspiracy theories. Today, that figure may be even higher, according to political scientists and psychologists who study the phenomenon. Since researchers have not tracked these trends over time, it’s difficult to determine whether the number of people who believe in conspiracy theories has risen over the years. But experts, and now the FBI, argue an average person’s exposure to them has certainly increased, in large part because conspiracy theories are now more easily disseminated on social media.

Among the most prominent peddlers of misinformation on social media, experts say, is President Donald Trump. Trump has repeatedly promoted falsehoods, using his personal Twitter account more than 100 times to voice doubts about the negative effects of climate change, contradicting an overwhelming consensus among scientists. Trump, who has more than 63 million Twitter followers, also spent years pushing the false narrative that former President Barack Obama was not born in America.

More recently, following Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide in federal jail, Trump retweeted an uncorroborated theory that suggested the death of the well-connected financier, who was charged with sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy, was suspicious and somehow linked to former President Bill Clinton. When asked by reporters Tuesday whether he thinks the conspiracy theory he promoted is true, Trump said he has “no idea” but added that Clinton was a “very good friend” of Epstein who has been on Epstein’s private plane and perhaps to Epstein’s private Caribbean island, which locals reportedly dubbed “Pedophile Island.” Clinton spokesman Angel Urena called the claim “ridiculous and of course not true.”

 

“The chief conspiratorialist of the last 10 years is now the President of the United States,” says Harvard University researcher Joseph Vitriol, who studies political psychology. “Because of that, what we might be seeing is increased influence and pervasiveness of these beliefs.”

In 2016, when a gunman barged into the Washington, D.C. pizzeria, he had falsely believed children were trapped in a sex-trafficking ring led by Hillary Clinton—a fringe idea propagated by an anonymous user known as “Q,” who favors Trump. Thousands of people, including the actor Roseanne Barr, believe or acknowledge Q’s uncorroborated musings, which started on the controversial message board 4chan.

Platforms like YouTube and Facebook have also given life to conspiracy theories and allowed many to go viral. The children’s arcade chain Chuck E. Cheese was pressured to address and debunk an allegation that it resold leftover pizza slices in February after a YouTube star made the claim in a video, which now has more than 35 million views. The theory was mostly harmless but highlights how YouTube, which boasts more than 1 billion users, is part of the problem.

“The problem with condemning conspiracy theories is that it plays into the conspiracy theorist’s mind.”Critics argue the company’s obscure recommendation algorithm system—which chooses and automatically plays the user’s next video—often leads viewers down rabbit holes, pushing them toward questionable content they might not discover on their own. “It used to be a lot harder for things to go viral,” says Micah Schaffer, a technology policy consultant who crafted YouTube’s first policies when he worked for the company between 2006 and 2009. “Now, without any human intervention, you could have a machine that says a lot of people are watching this and put it on blast to a mass audience.”

The recommendation algorithms have been successful in keeping viewers on the site and luring them to watch more videos. Over 70% of the time people spend on YouTube is driven by recommendations, YouTube’s chief product officer Neal Mohan wrote in a 2018 Variety op-ed. And about 80% of YouTube users in the U.S. at least occasionally watch the videos suggested by the platform’s recommendation algorithm, a November 2018 Pew Research Center survey found.

In January, YouTube announced it would gradually start “reducing recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways.” Conspiracy theories were part of the targeted content, including “videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.” In June, YouTube said the number of views the harmful content gets from recommendations has dropped by over 50% in the U.S.

Facebook faced its own pressures to act in March after an Ohio teenager, who got vaccinated against his mother’s wishes, testified about the dangers of misinformation during a widely viewed Senate hearing. Ethan Lindenberger, 18, told lawmakers that his mother, an anti-vaccine advocate, mostly relied on Facebook for her information. Measles was declared eliminated from the U.S. in 2000, and public health officials have debunked the claim that vaccinations lead to autism. Yet since January, more than 1,180 measles cases have been confirmed in 30 states, the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. in 25 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Carolyn Kaster—APEthan Lindenberger, 18, testifies before a Senate committee about getting ­vaccinated against his parents’ wishes on March 5.

“Conspiracy theories are effective at doing the things that they do,” says Mike Wood, a lecturer at England’s University of Winchester, who specializes in the psychology of conspiracy theories. “They motivate people to take actions—to vote or to not vote, to vaccinate their kids or not to vaccinate their kids, to do all of these things that are important.”

Two days after the hearing, Facebook said it would do more to mute anti-vaxxers and scrub related ads. The company has also banned high-profile propagators of conspiracy theories, including Alex Jones, saying they promote or engage in violence or hate.

Vitriol says conspiracy theories are “tremendously problematic” because they undermine trust in institutions and change perceptions of what is real. “The further we deviate from an evidence-based understanding of reality, the less likely we’re able to deal with it,” he says.

So what is the best way to deal with conspiracy theorists, especially those who are not easily dissuaded? Researchers call it the million-dollar question. The first step is to avoid belittling them, Swami says. Diminishing deeply rooted beliefs may backfire, fueling propagators and their followers to shun mainstream explanations even more. “The problem with condemning conspiracy theories is that it plays into the conspiracy theorist’s mind,” he says. “It would entrench their beliefs.”

Sathi Soma—APEdgar Maddison Welch, 28 of Salisbury, N.C., surrenders to police Dec. 4, 2016, in Washington D.C. after firing a gun while claiming to investigate a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring.

Instead, experts say it’s important to understand the science behind their mentality and the environment that fuels it. Conspiracy theories thrive in polarizing political climates, researchers say. According to Swami, they spring up when people who feel politically disenfranchised seek ways to explain what’s happening in the world. “Conspiracy theories don’t just emerge in a vacuum,” he says. “It simplifies events and gives you a sense of control of your life again.”

It may not always make sense for truth seekers to confront all conspiratorialists with factual evidence when trying to change their minds. (A 2017 study found people who believe in conspiracy theories may just simply want to believe them.) But it’s still a worthwhile strategy, experts say. At least two experimental studies have shown that it works. According to the authors of a 2016 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, pointing out the logistical inconsistencies of conspiracy theories helped discredit them, especially if the person presenting the rational counter argument was perceived to be intelligent and competent.

The bottom line, experts say, is that ignoring conspiracy theories, over the longstanding fear of inflaming or promoting the ideas, is no longer an option. “The risk of doing nothing is that people who know nothing about the issue may adopt the conspiratorial account because there’s no alternative account,” Vitriol says. “If this was just a small portion of the general public in the darkest depths of the internet, perhaps you get could get away with not doing anything. But it’s too mainstream now.”

“It’s too consequential for us not to deal with it,” Vitriol adds.

Source: Tech – TIME | 15 Aug 2019 | 11:01 am

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