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Apple Arcade Is a New Game Subscription Service For iOS, Mac, and Apple TV

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 5:00pm
Apple has unveiled a few different subscription services today at its "show time" event, including a new Apple Arcade game subscription service for titles that can be installed from the App Store. The company is aiming to curate some of the 300,000 games currently available from the App Store into this new ad-free subscription service. "There will be 100 new and exclusive games available on Apple Arcade, which will launch on the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV," reports The Verge. From the report: These games won't be available on any other mobile platform or any subscription service other than Apple Arcade. Games will be downloaded and played straight from the App Store, and subscribers will be able to try games whenever they want and resume them across devices. All of the game features, content, and future updates will be included, and there will be no ads shown within the games. SimCity creator Will Wright is also making a game for the service. Apple is promising games from Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, Lego, Mistwalker Corporation, SEGA, Snowman, ustwo games, and more. Apple isn't just curating the games for Apple Arcade; it's actually planning to contribute to the development costs of creating them. Apple might not have announced its own game studio today, but it's certainly a big step toward that. Apple Arcade is launching this fall in more than 150 countries, but Apple is not yet revealing pricing for this subscription service. Apple does say that "access for up to six family members," will be available, suggesting you'll be able to share the subscription. While the full list of games isn't available yet, some of the titles revealed on Apple Arcade's website include: LEGO Brawls, HitchHiker, Kings of the Castle, Where Cards Fall, and Frogger in Toy Town. If you're a game developer, you can sign up for more information about the service here.

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Apple TV+, With Shows From Spielberg, Oprah and J.J. Abrams, is Coming This Fall

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 4:16pm
Alongside its new news and payment services, Apple today also unveiled Apple TV+, a place for its new slate of original shows. The new service, billed as a place for the "highest-quality storytelling," will be available in over 100 countries and released starting this fall through the Apple TV app. From a report: It will be ad-free, on-demand and available both streaming online and downloadable. Pricing will be announced this fall. Apple TV Plus is the company's way of jumping into the streaming video game, where Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and others have already established themselves and brought in millions of cord-cutter customers fleeing cable subscriptions. The new service also works as a way for Apple to grow its thriving services business, helping it continue to grow despite lagging iPhone sales. The company in 2017 hired Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg from Sony Pictures Television to oversee "all aspects of video programming." The two were responsible for shows such as Breaking Bad, The Crown and Rescue Me. And in the past year, Apple has continually announced original content it's producing -- including a multiyear partnership deal with Oprah and deals with Reese Witherspoon, J.J. Abrams and dozens of others. The company has reportedly gone well past its original $1 billion budget to bring in this list of movie and television A-listers, who are slated to create about 30 shows and a handful of movies.

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The Adult Brain Does Grow New Neurons After All, Study Says

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 3:29pm
A new study points toward lifelong neuron formation in the human brain's hippocampus, with implications for memory and disease. From a report: For decades, scientists have debated whether the birth of new neurons -- called neurogenesis -- was possible in an area of the brain that is responsible for learning, memory and mood regulation. A growing body of research suggested they could, but then a Nature paper last year raised doubts. Now, a new study published today in another of the Nature family of journals -- Nature Medicine -- tips the balance back toward "yes." In light of the new study, "I would say that there is an overwhelming case for the neurogenesis throughout life in humans," Jonas Frisen, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said in an e-mail. Frisen, who was not involved in the new research, wrote a News and Views about the study in the current issue of Nature Medicine.

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Apple Unveils $9.99 News Subscription Service Dubbed Apple News+

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 2:50pm
Apple today unveiled a news subscription service called Apple News+ at its services event in Cupertino, Calif. The $9.99 service gives paying subscribers access to over 300 magazines as well as select newspapers and premium digital news services. From a report: "We believe in the power of journalism and the impact it will have on your lives," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. Some of the magazines part of the service are including GQ, Esquire, Popular Science, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, New York Magazine and Vogue, as well as Variety and the Rolling Stone. Newspapers included in the package are the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. Digital publications include theSkimm, TechCrunch and The Highlight by Vox. For now, it is available just in the U.S., and come to three more markets -- Canada, Australia, and the U.K., later this year.

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Apple Debuts Apple Card To Transform the Credit Card Experience

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 2:11pm
An anonymous reader shares a report: iPhone users are already using Apple's Wallet app, Apple Pay, and Apple Pay Cash -- wouldn't they like an Apple credit card, too? The Cupertino company and bank partner Goldman Sachs believe the answer is "yes," so they've teamed up for Apple Card. In addition to offering major rewards for users, the new payment solution promises to improve the credit card experience by offering a healthier approach to spending. The Wallet app will include a more transparent list of transactions, organized in an easy to read format, plus a more flexible way of making payments on outstanding balances. Apple Card is designed to complement existing Apple-branded payment options, as well as displacing other credit cards that might be in a user's wallet. Though the end goal is to increase Apple's share of the dollars spent by its users, the pinch this time will be felt by rival payment providers, and come with incentives for new card users. Every time you spend with Apple Card, you get 2 percent cash back -- a feature the company calls Daily Cash. Purchases directly from Apple come with 3 percent cash back.

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Telegram Adds 'Delete Everywhere' Nuclear Option -- Killing Chat History

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 1:30pm
Instant messaging service Telegram has added a feature that lets a user delete messages in one-to-one and/or group private chats, after the fact, and not only from their own inbox. From a report: The new 'nuclear option' delete feature allows a user to selectively delete their own messages and/or messages sent by any/all others in the chat. They don't even have to have composed the original message or begun the thread to do so. They can just decide it's time. Let that sink in. All it now takes is a few taps to wipe all trace of a historical communication -- from both your own inbox and the inbox(es) of whoever else you were chatting with (assuming they're running the latest version of Telegram's app).

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Hacking Lawyers or Journalists Is Totally Fine, Says Notorious Cyberweapons Firm

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 12:50pm
The founder and CEO of NSO Group, the notorious Israeli hacking company with customers around the world, appeared on CBS's 60 Minutes Sunday night to defend the use of his company's tools in hacking and spying on lawyers, journalists, and minors when the country's customers determine the ends justify the means. From a report: NSO Group has reportedly sold hacking tools to dictators including those in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and across Central Asia -- a group of decision-makers whose track record includes numerous examples of human rights abuses and oppression of dissent. NSO's tools have been directly involved in the arrest of human rights activists and, in Mexico at least, spying on lawyers and journalists in an effort to catch the drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. "In order to catch El Chapo, for example, they had to intercept a journalist, an actress, and a lawyer," NSO Group founder Shalev Hulio told 60 minutes. "Now, by themselves, they are not criminals, right? But if they are in touch with a drug lord and in order to catch them, you need to intercept them, that's a decision an intelligence agency should get."

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Number of Workers in Jobs That Can Be Automated Falls

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 12:10pm
Employment has fallen in jobs that can be easily automated and risen in those which are trickier for robots, damping hopes that higher minimum wages could unleash a wave of investment in automation. From a report: Statistics from the Office for National Statistics published on Monday showed that in 2011 about 8.1 per cent of workers were in jobs with a "high" risk of automation, but by 2017 that had fallen to 7.4 per cent. [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source and original study.] The ONS report highlighted that fewer workers remain in areas that can be easily automated, such as dry cleaning and laundry jobs, which fell by 28 per cent between 2011 and 2017, and retail cashier work, which fell by 25.3 per cent over the same period. Since the financial crisis the UK has enjoyed rapid growth in employment combined with one of the lowest rates of investment spending of any large rich country. Many economists have suggested that hiring cheap labour instead of investment in new techniques is behind the country's weak rate of productivity growth. Policymakers had hoped that increasing the minimum wage would spur companies to replace low-paid jobs with machines, in turn boosting growth in productivity. [...] But the ONS analysis suggests the increase in employment over the past decade has not come from jobs that could easily be done by machines. Instead, since 2011 the UK lost jobs with a high or medium risk of automation, like shelf fillers, but gained them in areas with a low risk, such as physiotherapy.

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Oslo Will Build Wireless Chargers For Electric Taxis in Zero-Emissions Push

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 11:25am
Norway is helping lead the charge toward complete electrification, and it will soon have a whole network of wireless chargers for its capital city's fleet of taxis. From a report: The city of Oslo, in conjunction with Finnish utility company Fortum and American manufacturer Momentum Dynamics, announced last week that the three will work together to create a wireless-charging infrastructure for Oslo's growing zero-emission taxi fleet. The charging plates will be installed at places where taxis park and wait for fares. The city will use Momentum Dynamics' wireless charging technology, which is claimed to work at speeds up to 75 kilowatts, which is in the neighborhood of most current DC Fast Charge stations. Taxis will have the requisite hardware installed, so all they need to do is park over a charging station and accumulate electrons before shuffling off somewhere else. "We believe this project will provide the world with the model it needs for keeping electric taxis in continuous 24/7 operation," said Andrew Daga, CEO of Momentum Dynamics, in a statement. "It will build on the success we have demonstrated with electric buses, which also need to be automatically charged throughout the day in order to stay in operation. Momentum is very excited to be working with the people of Oslo and with our partner Fortum."

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China Says it Cloned a Police Dog To Speed Up Training

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 10:45am
A cloned dog, believed to be the first of the kind in China, has started training in Yunnan Province in a program to reduce the cost and time needed for training police dogs. From a report: Kunxun, a female of the Kunming wolfdog breed, was born on Dec. 19 last year in Beijing and arrived on March 5 for training at the Kunming Police Dog Base of the Ministry of Public Security. She was cloned from a 7-year-old female dog, known as Huahuangma, that has been in service in the city of Pu'er, Yunnan, by Sinogene, a Beijing-based biotechnology firm. The cloning is part of the ministry's research program. Huahuangma played important roles in helping detectives with dozens of murder investigations, and was accredited the first-level merit in 2016, said Wan Jiusheng, an officer who is responsible for training Kunxun. Huahuangma's outstanding abilities as a police dog made her an eligible donor of genes, Wan said. "It takes four to five years to train a meritorious dog such as Huahuangma, and costs hundreds of thousands of yuan," he said. Police dogs serving in real tasks are not usually used for breeding. The cloning program helps researchers copy their excellent genes and reduces the time and costs needed for training, researchers familiar with the program said.

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Hackers Hijacked ASUS Software Updates To Install Backdoors on Thousands of Computers

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 10:05am
ASUS is believed to have pushed malware to hundreds of thousands of customers through its trusted automatic software update tool after attackers compromised the company's server and used it to push the malware to machines. From a report: Researchers at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab say that ASUS, one of the world's largest computer makers, was used to unwittingly to install a malicious backdoor on thousands of its customers' computers last year after attackers compromised a server for the company's live software update tool. The malicious file was signed with legitimate ASUS digital certificates to make it appear to be an authentic software update from the company, Kaspersky Lab says. ASUS, a multi-billion dollar computer hardware company based in Taiwan that manufactures desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, smart home systems, and other electronics, was pushing the backdoor to customers for at least five months last year before it was discovered, according to new research from the Moscow-based security firm. The researchers estimate half a million Windows machines received the malicious backdoor through the ASUS update server, although the attackers appear to have been targeting only about 600 of those systems. The malware searched for targeted systems through their unique MAC addresses. Once on a system, if it found one of these targeted addresses, the malware reached out to a command-and-control server the attackers operated, which then installed additional malware on those machines. Kaspersky Lab said it uncovered the attack in January after adding a new supply-chain detection technology to its scanning tool to catch anomalous code fragments hidden in legitimate code or catch code that is hijacking normal operations on a machine. The company plans to release a full technical paper and presentation about the ASUS attack, which it has dubbed ShadowHammer, next month at its Security Analyst Summit in Singapore.

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Improved Estimates of the Distance To the Large Magellanic Cloud

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 7:34am
Long-time Slashdot reader colinwb writes: A team of researchers has published a letter in Nature (2019) estimating the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud" to a precision of one per cent; Arxiv (2019). The Arxiv abstract: In the era of precision cosmology, it is essential to empirically determine the Hubble constant with an accuracy of one per cent or better. At present, the uncertainty on this constant is dominated by the uncertainty in the calibration of the Cepheid period — luminosity relationship (also known as Leavitt Law). The Large Magellanic Cloud has traditionally served as the best galaxy with which to calibrate Cepheid period-luminosity relations, and as a result has become the best anchor point for the cosmic distance scale. Eclipsing binary systems composed of late-type stars offer the most precise and accurate way to measure the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud. Currently the limit of the precision attainable with this technique is about two per cent, and is set by the precision of the existing calibrations of the surface brightness — colour relation. Here we report the calibration of the surface brightness-colour relation with a precision of 0.8 per cent. We use this calibration to determine the geometrical distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud that is precise to 1 per cent based on 20 eclipsing binary systems. The final distane is 49.59 +/- 0.09 (statistical) +/- 0.54 (systematic) kiloparsecs. In 2013 a team of researchers (including several of the current researchers) published a letter in Nature (2013) which estimated the distance with a precision of two per cent; Arxiv (2013). Another team of researchers has also posted their recent research on Arxiv (2019) in which they provide a 1% foundation for the determination of the Hubble Constant. All the links are to abstracts; the full letters to Nature are paywalled, but the Arxiv abstracts have links to PDFs which seem to be complete and accessible.

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First-of-Its-Kind US Nuclear Waste Dump Marks 20 Years

Slashdot - March 25, 2019 - 3:34am
"In a remote stretch of New Mexico desert, the U.S. government put in motion an experiment aimed at proving to the world that radioactive waste could be safely disposed of deep underground..." reports the Associated Press: Twenty years and more than 12,380 shipments later, tons of Cold War-era waste from decades of bomb-making and nuclear research across the U.S. have been stashed in the salt caverns that make up the underground facility. Each week, several shipments of special boxes and barrels packed with lab coats, rubber gloves, tools and debris contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive elements are trucked to the site. But the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has not been without issues. A 2014 radiation leak forced an expensive, nearly three-year closure, delayed the federal government's cleanup program and prompted policy changes at national laboratories and defense-related sites across the U.S. More recently, the U.S. Department of Energy said it would investigate reports that workers may have been exposed last year to hazardous chemicals. Still, supporters consider the repository a success, saying it provides a viable option for dealing with a multibillion-dollar mess that stretches from a decommissioned nuclear weapons production site in Washington state to one of the nation's top nuclear research labs, in Idaho, and locations as far east as South Carolina. If it weren't for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, many containers of plutonium-contaminated waste would be outside, exposed to the weather and susceptible to natural disasters, said J.R. Stroble, head of business operations at the Department of Energy's Carlsbad Field Office, which oversees the contractor that operates the repository. "The whole purpose of WIPP is to isolate this long-lived radioactive, hazardous waste from the accessible environment, from people and the things people need in order to live life on Earth," he told The Associated Press.

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Which Programming Language Has The Most Security Vulnerabilities?

Slashdot - March 24, 2019 - 11:39pm
A new report from the open source security company WhiteSource asks the question, "Is one programming language more secure than the rest?" An anonymous reader quotes TechRepublic: To answer this question, the report compiled information from WhiteSource's database, which aggregates information on open source vulnerabilities from sources including the National Vulnerability Database, security advisories, GitHub issue trackers, and popular open source projects issue trackers. Researchers focused in on open source security vulnerabilities in the seven most widely-used languages of the past 10 years to learn which are most secure, and which vulnerability types are most common in each... The most common vulnerabilities across most of these languages are Cross-SiteScripting (XSS); Input Validation; Permissions, Privileges, and Access Control; and Information Leak / Disclosure, according to the report. Across the seven most widely-used programming languages, here's how the vulnerabilities were distributed: C (47%) PHP (17%) Java (11%) JavaScript (10%) Python (5%) C++ (5%) Ruby (4%) But the results are full of disclaimers -- for example, that C tops the list because it's the oldest language with "the highest volume of written code" and "is also one of the languages behind major infrastructure like Open SSL and the Linux kernel." The report also notes a "substantial rise" across all languages for known open source security vulnerabilities over the last two years, attributing this to more awareness about vulnerable components -- thanks to more research, automated security tools, and "the growing investment in bug bounty programs" -- as well as the increasing popularity of open source software. And it also reports a drop in the percentage of critical vulnerabilities for most languages -- except JavaScript and PHP. The report then concludes that "the Winner Of Most Secure Programming Language is...no one and everyone...! It is not about the language itself that makes it any more or less secure, but how you use it. If you are mitigating your vulnerabilities throughout the software development lifecycle with the proper management approach, then you are far more likely to stay secure." Coincidentally, WhiteSource sells software which monitors open source components throughout the software development lifecycle to provide alerts about security (and licensing) issues.

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Which Programming Language Has The Most Security Vulnerabilties?

Slashdot - March 24, 2019 - 11:39pm
A new report from the open source security company WhiteSource asks the question, "Is one programming language more secure than the rest?" An anonymous reader quotes TechRepublic: To answer this question, the report compiled information from WhiteSource's database, which aggregates information on open source vulnerabilities from sources including the National Vulnerability Database, security advisories, GitHub issue trackers, and popular open source projects issue trackers. Researchers focused in on open source security vulnerabilities in the seven most widely-used languages of the past 10 years to learn which are most secure, and which vulnerability types are most common in each... The most common vulnerabilities across most of these languages are Cross-SiteScripting (XSS); Input Validation; Permissions, Privileges, and Access Control; and Information Leak / Disclosure, according to the report. Across the seven most widely-used programming languages, here's how the vulnerabilties were distributed: C (47%) PHP (17%) Java (11%) JavaScript (10%) Python (5%) C++ (5%) Ruby (4%) But the results are full of disclaimers -- for example, that C tops the list because it's the oldest language with "the highest volume of written code" and "is also one of the languages behind major infrastructure like Open SSL and the Linux kernel." The report also notes a "substantial rise" across all languages for known open source security vulnerabilities over the last two years, attributing this to more awareness about vulnerable components -- thanks to more research, automated security tools, and "the growing investment in bug bounty programs" -- as well as the increasing popularity of open source software. And it also reports a drop in the percentage of critical vulnerabilities for most languages -- except JavaScript and PHP. The report then concludes that "the Winner Of Most Secure Programming Language is...no one and everyone...! It is not about the language itself that makes it any more or less secure, but how you use it. If you are mitigating your vulnerabilities throughout the software development lifecycle with the proper management approach, then you are far more likely to stay secure." Coincidentally, WhiteSource sells software which monitors open source components throughout the software development lifecycle to provide alerts about security (and licensing) issues.

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Can We Build Ethics Into Automated Decision-Making?

Slashdot - March 24, 2019 - 9:34pm
"Machines will need to make ethical decisions, and we will be responsible for those decisions," argues Mike Loukides, O'Reilly Media's vice president of content strategy: We are surrounded by systems that make ethical decisions: systems approving loans, trading stocks, forwarding news articles, recommending jail sentences, and much more. They act for us or against us, but almost always without our consent or even our knowledge. In recent articles, I've suggested the ethics of artificial intelligence itself needs to be automated. But my suggestion ignores the reality that ethics has already been automated... The sheer number of decisions that need to be made means that we can't expect humans to make those decisions. Every time data moves from one site to another, from one context to another, from one intent to another, there is an action that requires some kind of ethical decision... Ethical problems arise when a company's interest in profit comes before the interests of the users. We see this all the time: in recommendations designed to maximize ad revenue via "engagement"; in recommendations that steer customers to Amazon's own products, rather than other products on their platform. The customer's interest must always come before the company's. That applies to recommendations in a news feed or on a shopping site, but also how the customer's data is used and where it's shipped. Facebook believes deeply that "bringing the world closer together" is a social good but, as Mary Gray said on Twitter, when we say that something is a "social good," we need to ask: "good for whom?" Good for advertisers? Stockholders? Or for the people who are being brought together? The answers aren't all the same, and depend deeply on who's connected and how.... It's time to start building the systems that will truly assist us to manage our data. The article argues that spam filters provide a surprisingly good set of first design principles. They work in the background without interfering with users, but always allow users to revoke their decisions, and proactively seek out user input in ambiguous or unclear situations. But in the real world beyond our inboxes, "machines are already making ethical decisions, and often doing so badly. Spam detection is the exception, not the rule."

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Cities In India Ban 'PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' Over Fears It Turns Children Into 'Psychopaths'

Slashdot - March 24, 2019 - 7:44pm
Player Unknown's Battlegrounds is facing a "ferocious" backlash in India, Bloomberg reports: Nowhere has resistance to the game been quite like India. Multiple cities have banned PUBG, as it's known, and police in Western India arrested 10 university students for playing. The national child rights commission has recommended barring the game for its violent nature. One of India's largest Hindi newspapers declared PUBG an "epidemic" that turned children into "manorogi," or psychopaths. "There are dangerous consequences to this game," the Navbharat Times warned in a March 20 editorial. "Many children have lost their mental balance...." What's different about India is the speed with which the country has landed in the strange digital world of no laws or morals. It skipped two decades of debate and adjustment, blowing into the modern gaming era in a matter of months. Rural communities that never had PCs or game consoles got smartphones in recent years -- and wireless service just became affordable for pretty much everyone after a price war last year. With half a billion internet users looking for entertainment, PUBG has set off a frenzy. Over 250,000 students entered one recent PUBG competition, according to the article. At least one local minister criticized the game as "the demon in every house."

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New App Gives Free Movie Tickets To People Who Watch 15 Minutes of Ads

Slashdot - March 24, 2019 - 6:34pm
MoviePass's original founder and CEO is launching a new company, reports IndieWire, "to score viewers movie tickets for the low, low price of sitting through 15 to 20 minutes of advertisements." Before you point out that everyone already does that when they watch trailers in the theater, know this: PreShow wants to utilize facial recognition and track how much attention you're paying to each ad. "If it weren't for facial recognition, I don't think we could still do it," Stacy Spikes, PreShow's founder and chief executive, said in an interview with CNET last week. "If not, they could game this all day long." Here's how it works, per CNET: "Forgoing a password, PreShow's app will only unlock with your phone's facial recognition technology. And while you're watching the ads to earn that free ticket, your phone's camera monitors your level of attention. Walk away or even obscure part of your face? The ad will pause after five seconds." It's being launched through a Kickstarter campaign, which describes PreShow as "the first ad-supported moviegoer network," saying that the service will be available this July. It also promises that the ad content "is high quality, entertaining, and is an entertainment value in and of itself..." And though it monitors your face, "Privacy is a top concern. Nobody is recorded, no personally identifiable data is shared, all data is aggregated and anonymized to brand partners."

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Is Social Media Losing Ground To Email Newsletters?

Slashdot - March 24, 2019 - 5:34pm
"My favorite new social network doesn't incessantly spam me with notifications," brags New York Times technology writer Mike Isaac. "When I post, I'm not bombarded with @mentions from bots and trolls. And after I use it, I don't worry about ads following me around the web. "That's because my new social network is an email newsletter." Every week or so, I blast it out to a few thousand people who have signed up to read my musings. Some of them email back, occasionally leading to a thoughtful conversation. It's still early in the experiment, but I think I love it. The newsletter is not a new phenomenon. But there is a growing interest among those who are disenchanted with social media in what writer Craig Mod has called "the world's oldest networked publishing platform." For us, the inbox is becoming a more attractive medium than the news feed... For me, the change has happened slowly, but the reasons for it were unmistakable. Every time I was on Twitter, I felt worse. I worried about being too connected to my phone, too wrapped up in the latest Twitter dunks... Now, when I feel the urge to tweet an idea that I think is worth expounding on, I save it for my newsletter... It's much more fun than mediating political fights between relatives on my Facebook page or decoding the latest Twitter dustup... "You don't have to fight an algorithm to reach your audience," Casey Newton, a journalist who writes The Interface, a daily newsletter for technology news site The Verge, told me. "With newsletters, we can rebuild all of the direct connections to people we lost when the social web came along." The article suggests a broader movement away from Facebook's worldview to more private ways of sharing, like Slack . "We felt this growing sense of despair in traditional social media," says the CEO of Substack, makers of a newsletter-writing software. "Twitter, Facebook, etc. -- they've all incentivized certain negative patterns."

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'It Took 10 Seconds For Instagram To Push Me Into an Anti-Vaxx Rabbit Hole'

Slashdot - March 24, 2019 - 5:04pm
eatmorekix quotes Vice: It only took around ten seconds. On Wednesday, I created a fresh Instagram account, and followed 'Beware the Needle', a user with 34,000 followers which posts a steady stream of anti-vaccination content. I also followed the user's "backup" account mentioned in its bio, the creator clearly aware that Instagram may soon ban them. Instagram's "Suggested for You" feature then recommended I follow other accounts, including "Vaccines are Genocide" and "Vaccine Truth." I followed the latter, and checked which accounts Instagram now thought would be a good fit for me: another 24 accounts that were either explicitly against vaccinations in their profile description, or that posted anti-vaccine content. They included pseudo-scientists claiming that vaccines cause autism; accounts with tens of thousands of followers promising the "truth" around vaccinations through memes and images of misleading statistics, as well as individual mothers spouting the perceived, but false, dangers of vaccinating children against measles, polio, and other diseases. "Instagram told Motherboard it will be looking at different ways to minimize these sorts of recommendations," the article reports, but "did not give a more specific timeframe for this change...." "For the moment, however, Instagram remains a hot bed of easy to discover misinformation on vaccinations."

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