#460 May 16, 2016 – Facebook’s Trending Topic is the Trending Topic

This week’s headline story: Facebook’s Trending Topic is the Trending Topic

zuchWill “Trending topics” become a “trending” topic on Facebook? Last week tech blog Gizmodo published an article claiming that Facebook downplays politically conservative news topics on its trending topics list in favor of more liberal topics. The new media lit up with reactions to the Gizmodo story with everyone asking for details on the news filtering and manipulation practices at Facebook. Facebook denies that it applies ANY bias to its Trending topics selections. The company says a series of checks and balances — involving both software formulas and humans — ensures that stories displayed in the “trending topics” section aren’t biased.

In other news:

  • Microsoft Study Shows Digital Infrastructure Overtaking Physical [NewsFactor]f
    A new study from Microsoft titled “The Digital Revolution, Powered by Cloud” found that organizations now rely more on digital infrastructures than they do on physical infrastructures. Today 51 percent of organizational infrastructure is digital, compared with physical. In two years, its expected to rise to 57 percent. The study also found that 95 percent of customers intend to renew their contracts with their primary cloud and hosting providers, indicating a high degree of customer loyalty.
  • Disney Brings RFID Magic To Make Objects Smart [NewsFactor]
    A team of researchers from Disney and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a way to use RFID tags for near-real-time interactions with a wide variety of objects. The new system, called RapID, uses probabilistic models to enable computers to quickly read the movements of RFID-enabled objects to play games and identify other real-world actions. Because RFID tags are passive devices that don’t require batteries or wiring they could be applied to, printed onto or drawn on almost any object, from a piece of paper to a human granting the object basic processing capabilities. The research provides new inexpensive capabilities for objects on the Internet of Things.

in Information Security News…

  • Banks Beware: Another Day, Another Cyberattack [NewsFactor]
    A new cyberattack has been made against an unnamed bank, part of a coordinated campaign that follows February’s theft of $101 million from the Bangladesh central bank. International money transfer firm, Swift stated that “the attackers clearly exhibit a deep and sophisticated knowledge of specific operational controls within the targeted banks” and urged clients to urgently review their security systems.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Apple Watch gains yet another ‘killer app’ [Computerworld]
    Apple Pay remains the killer app for Apple Watch, but a new home security solution from Dutch smart home firm, smanos, may convince more people of the value of having the Internet on their writst. The company has released three new Apple Watch apps that integrate with the company’s home security solutions so that Apple Watch users are alerted when sensors are triggered. Users can also use the Apple Watch app to arm and disarm their security systems (no pun intended).
  • Google To Ban Payday Lending Ads, Calling Industry ‘Harmful’ [NewsFactor]
    Internet giant Google has announced that it will ban all ads from payday lenders, calling the industry “deceptive” and “harmful.” The Payday Loan industry joins Google’s other banned categories of ads, such as counterfeit goods, weapons, explosives, tobacco products and hate speech.
  • Why Apple Is Investing $1 Billion in Didi, China’s Version of Uber [NewsFactor]
    Apple has invested $1-billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing. With sales of iPhones slowing on mainland China and Apple running into trouble with regulators there, the Cupertino, Calif., company may see its investment as a source of new revenue streams and goodwill in the massive market. Didi says it works with more than 14 million drivers in 400 Chinese cities and has 300 million users who place 11 million ride orders a day.


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