Google still hasn’t given up on Google+ and Topics is the latest attempt to keep people on the service

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Google+ finds itself the butt of many a joke, but the company behind the service is happy to proclaim that “millions of people use” it. There are already numerous ways to discover content on Google+, and now there’s yet another: Topics. This is essentially Google’s take on the idea of related content, and it’s a bid to keep users on the site — or in the app — for longer. Not content with having people reading what they set out to read, now additional “Topics to explore” will be suggested. The latest addition to the Home Stream is a fairly… …Continue reading on BetaNews

New report shows the number of requests for user data Facebook receives from global governments

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Today Facebook publishes its Global Government Requests Report, revealing just how many data requests the social network has received from governments around the world. This time around, the report covers the second half of 2016, and it shows a mixed-bag of figures. While the number of items that had to be restricted due to contravention of local laws dropped, the number of government data requests increased by 9 percent compared to the previous six months. Facebook is well-aware that it faces scrutiny and criticism for its willingness to comply with data requests, and the company tries to allay fears by… …Continue reading on BetaNews

FalseGuide malware infects millions of Android users via Google Play

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Malware is something of a recurring problem for Android users, and it seems as though Google is fighting a never-ending battle to keep the blight out of the Play Store. The latest large-scale batch to be discovered takes the form of adware known as FalseGuide. As you may have guessed from the name — and your own experience of Google Play — this malware spreads by fooling people into installing apps purporting to be guides to popular games. The apps themselves are fairly innocuous — and often are guides as they claim to be — but they then download additional… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Facebook is testing pre-emptive related articles in News Feed

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The “related articles” feature of Facebook’s News Feed is nothing new — in fact it has been with us for more than three years. But now the social network is trialling a new way of displaying related content; rather than waiting until you have clicked on a story to suggest related stories you might be interested in, Facebook will instead be offering these suggestions before you read an article. As well as giving users the chance to read more about a topic from different source, Facebook says that it will help people to discover articles which have been fact-checked. It… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Google tweaks search algorithms to fight fake news and ‘offensive’ content

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The fight against fake news continues, with Google announcing not only changes to search algorithms to help prevent false information from rising to the surface, but also new tools to allow users to report “unexpected, inaccurate or offensive” results. While the algorithm tweaks should impact on general search results, the reporting tools have been designed for Google’s Autocomplete predictions and Featured Snippets which have been problematic in recent months. Updated algorithms should help to ensure more authoritative pages receive greater prominence, while low-quality content is demoted. Vice president of engineering at Google Search, Ben Gomes, admits that people have been… …Continue reading on BetaNews

How to access your OnePlus 3/3T’s secret diagnostic tools

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If you’re using a desktop or a laptop, there are a number of diagnostic tools built into your operating system that you can use to check various components of your computer. When you’re using your smartphone, however, you might feel as though you have to install a bunch of apps to do the same job. But this is not the case. There are a large number of tools built into your OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T — you just need to know how to find them. As you’ll probably have guessed from the headline, these are not utilities you’re going… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales sets up WikiTribune to fight fake news

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Donald Trump is obsessed with the notion of FAKE NEWS. Whether his definition is the same as everyone else’s is open to debate, but there is a genuine problem with the spread of propaganda, nonsense, and stories which are clearly fabricated. Google and Facebook and other big names from the world of tech have started to fight back, and now it’s the turn of Jimmy Wales. The Wikipedia founder is setting up WikiTribune, an online news publication which focuses on fact-checking, using a combination of paid journalists and contributions from the community. It is described as a “new kind of… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Consumer Reports confirms Galaxy S8 red tint problem as Samsung promises an update to fix it

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The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ launched last week, and has received many positive reviews. However, the smartphone has a problem. The screen — which has been widely praised — has an issue which means some suffer with a red tint. This has been confirmed by Consumer Reports in its tests of the phone. Officials have pointed out that tweaking color calibration settings is all it takes to fix the problem, but Samsung has also said that it will push out an update to address the issue. But how much of a problem is the red tint? According to Consumer… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Uber tracked iPhone users even after they uninstalled the app and Tim Cook wasn’t happy

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Uber broke Apple’s rules by tagging and tracking iPhones even after users had uninstalled the taxi-hailing app. The New York Times reports that Tim Cook met with CEO Travis Kalanick and warned that the Uber app could be kicked out of the App Store for violating privacy guidelines. It is said that Uber has been found “secretly identifying and tagging iPhones” not only after the app was uninstalled, but even after phones had been wiped. The “fingerprinting” technique was used — it is alleged — to identify individual iPhones, and measures were taken to hide the offending code from Apple.… …Continue reading on BetaNews

Email unsubscription service Unroll.me sells user data; CEO is ‘heartbroken’ that people found out

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Overwhelmed by the number of emails hitting our inboxes these days, it’s little wonder that a “unsubscription service” like Unroll.me came into being. Designed to make it easier to clean up your inbox, it turned out that Unroll.me was selling user data to other companies — including Uber, which is caught up in other controversies of its own. After this came to light, CEO Jojo Hedaya has written a sorry-not-sorry-style apology. In it, he says that it was “heartbreaking” to find that users were upset to discover “how we monetize our free service.” But while recognizing that people are unhappy,… …Continue reading on BetaNews

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