The Senate Is Mad as Hell at Facebook—Again

The Senate Is Mad as Hell at Facebook—Again

Thursday’s hearing was prompted by a series in The Wall Street Journal based on a trove of leaked internal research, and one story in particular: “Facebook Knows Instagram Is Toxic for Teen Girls, Company Documents Show.” The hearing was styled as a cross between Watergate—what did Facebook know, and when did it know it?—and the corporate exposés of yesteryear.

Dune Foresaw—and Influenced—Half a Century of Global Conflict

Dune Foresaw—and Influenced—Half a Century of Global Conflict

Kort read the book during moments of downtime over the next weeks, as he led his platoon of 15 soldiers and four tanks through the Kuwaiti desert, and later when they took up residence in a powerless, abandoned building in Baghdad.

Four New Books for Fall

Four New Books for Fall

Pump is a natural history of the heart and the science is fascinating.Her book is a much-needed reminder that the plastics crisis isn’t an isolated problem that can be solved with reusable shopping bags or a natural body scrub.

WhatsApp Fixes Its Biggest Encryption Loophole

WhatsApp Fixes Its Biggest Encryption Loophole

It’s a complex solution to a longstanding issue, and one that sets a precedent for companies that don’t want to rely quite so extensively on the security of the world’s handful of dominant cloud providers .“We’ve been working on this problem for many years and to build this, we had to develop an entirely new framework for key storage and cloud storage that can be used across the world’s largest operating systems,” says WhatsApp product manager Calvin Pappas.

Facebook’s New Camera Glasses Are Dangerously Easy to Use

Facebook’s New Camera Glasses Are Dangerously Easy to Use

(Giaia Rener, Ray-Ban's global brand director, even describes them as "the first smart glasses you're going to want to wear.")If you ignore the fact that they have cameras and wireless connectivity, Ray-Ban Stories are just a pair of Wayfarers.

Pigeons, Curves, and the Traveling Salesperson Problem

Pigeons, Curves, and the Traveling Salesperson Problem

They showed experimentally that pigeons can find solutions, close to optimal, to simple cases of a famous mathematical curiosity: the Travelling Salesman Problem.

Can the Wisdom of Crowds Help Fix Social Media’s Trust Issue?

Can the Wisdom of Crowds Help Fix Social Media’s Trust Issue?

And so if the laypeople ratings correlated with the average fact checker score as closely as the individual fact checkers agreed with each other, it would be fair to say that the crowd was performing as well as or better than a professional.

Facebook Quietly Makes a Big Admission

Facebook Quietly Makes a Big Admission

In one sense, this design feature gives social media companies and their apologists a convenient defense against critique: If certain stuff is going big on a platform, that’s because it’s what users like.

Social Media Algorithms Are Controlling How I Grieve

Social Media Algorithms Are Controlling How I Grieve

She’s talked to more than 80 research participants, sometimes for hours, about how they interact with profiles of the deceased.“What we’re finding is that there are a bunch of really steep misalignments in what people need from this system and how it's actually working,” she says regarding Facebook.

Novels for Nature Lovers: The Climate Edition

Novels for Nature Lovers: The Climate Edition

These writers weave eco-anxiety into their stories, but no two novels are the same: There are mythical creatures, disappearing body parts, children galavanting through post-apocalyptic wastelands, and a dangerous flu that enables people to communicate with animals.

Three New Field Guides for Bird & Weather Nerds

Three New Field Guides for Bird & Weather Nerds

Here are three great new field guides that will teach you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about weather phenomena, how to identify bird nests, and the ins and outs of the bird families of North America.

How Many Homes Could You Power With Free Doughnuts?

How Many Homes Could You Power With Free Doughnuts?

Let's say that all the Americans who have a Covid-19 vaccine get (and eat) one doughnut a day.This will give a change in energy of about 10 joules.Power is the rate of energy change.

New Vaccine Conspiracy Theories Are Going Viral in Arabic

New Vaccine Conspiracy Theories Are Going Viral in Arabic

Across dozens of Arabic pages and groups, dangerous conspiracy theories about the pandemic are racking up millions of views and likes.Between January 1 and February 28, ISD researchers found 18 Facebook pages and ten groups sharing pandemic-related misinformation and conspiracy theories in Arabic.

Oh Look, LinkedIn Also Has a 500M User Data Leak

Oh Look, LinkedIn Also Has a 500M User Data Leak

A week into the revelation that Facebook leaked the data of 500 million users—including phone numbers and other potentially sensitive info—and the company still hasn't given a full account of what happened.Hackers Are Selling Scraped LinkedIn Data of 500 Million UsersRemember that Facebook leak?

Despite Union Setback, Amazon Workers Fight for Dignity

Despite Union Setback, Amazon Workers Fight for Dignity

It wasn’t exactly political sabotage, says Alessandro Delfanti, a University of Toronto communications professor who heard the story while interviewing warehouse workers for a book about Amazon.

Facebook Had Years to Fix the Flaw That Leaked 500M Users’ Data

Facebook Had Years to Fix the Flaw That Leaked 500M Users’ Data

That incident differs from the more recent Facebook controversy, in which attackers were able to "scrape” Facebook by enumerating batches of possible phone numbers from more than 100 countries, submitting them to the contact import tool, and manipulating it to return the names, Facebook IDs, and other data users had posted on their profiles.

What Really Caused Facebook's 500M-User Data Leak?

What Really Caused Facebook's 500M-User Data Leak?

Or was it the 419 million Facebook user records, including hundreds of millions of phone numbers, names, and Facebook IDs, scraped from the social network by bad actors before a 2018 Facebook policy change, that were exposed publicly and reported by TechCrunch in September 2019?

5 Years After the Oculus Rift, Where Do VR and AR Go Next?

5 Years After the Oculus Rift, Where Do VR and AR Go Next?

There were only two keys to the room, and for good reason: That’s where the Oculus team kept the Toybox demo.Yet all that change has made this week in particular a good time to take stock: It just happens to be the five-year anniversary of the Oculus Rift .

A Sexy New Theory of Consciousness Is All Up in Your Feelings

A Sexy New Theory of Consciousness Is All Up in Your Feelings

One is Mark Solms, and in his new book, The Hidden Spring, he doesn’t just talk about anatomy and electrochemistry—though there is some of that.

Facebook Moves Against ‘Evil Eye’ Hackers Targeting Uyghurs

Facebook Moves Against ‘Evil Eye’ Hackers Targeting Uyghurs

Its cyber espionage investigations team went so far as to trace the Android malware used in the Evil Eye campaigns to two development firms: Beijing Best United Technology Co., Ltd. and Dalian 9Rush Technology Co., Ltd. Facebook says that research from the threat intelligence firm FireEye contributed to its discovery of these connections.

A Better Path to Tech Reform? Felony Charges

A Better Path to Tech Reform? Felony Charges

On March 25, the CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter will once again testify before a committee of the House of Representatives, this time about the spread of disinformation on their platforms.

Facebook's ‘Red Team X’ Hunts Bugs Beyond the Social Network's Walls

Facebook's ‘Red Team X’ Hunts Bugs Beyond the Social Network's Walls

"Covid for us was really an opportunity to take a step back and evaluate how we’re all working, how things are going, and what might be next for the red team," Ionescu says.

Bill Gates Is Upbeat on Climate, Capitalism, and Even Politics

Bill Gates Is Upbeat on Climate, Capitalism, and Even Politics

Don't you think a giant political investment in the 2016 election that might have resulted in a different outcome would have helped the climate more than any of the things in your book?

Soothe Yourself With a Picture Book About the Internet Dying

Soothe Yourself With a Picture Book About the Internet Dying

Chris Colin, a writer who runs a pandemic-themed children’s newspaper out of the Bay Area, answers that question in his new book OFF: The Day the Internet Died (A Bedtime Fantasy).Illustrated by Rinee Shah and written in the style of Genesis (as in the Book of, not the band), OFF invites readers to imagine weeks, decades, centuries without the internet.What first got you thinking about writing this book?

Facebook Finally Explains Its Mysterious Wrist Wearable

Facebook Finally Explains Its Mysterious Wrist Wearable

Bosworth, who leads Facebook’s augmented and virtual reality research labs, had just shared a blog post outlining the company’s 10-year vision for the future of human-computer interaction.So Facebook has been using this EMG wearable in its virtual reality lab to see if such a device might enable more precise hand-computer interactions.

Biden Is Assembling a Big Tech Antitrust All-Star Team

Biden Is Assembling a Big Tech Antitrust All-Star Team

On Tuesday morning, Politico reported that Biden plans to nominate the legal academic Lina Khan to an open seat on the Federal Trade Commission, one of the agencies with the most power to enforce antitrust laws.

If You Transplant a Human Head, Does Its Consciousness Follow?

If You Transplant a Human Head, Does Its Consciousness Follow?

Why do you want to perfect transplanting a human head?” White had lots of reasons for why he wanted to do it, but no one was really sufficiently convinced by any of them to say this is worth risking someone's life.

Facebook’s New AI Teaches Itself to See With Less Human Help

Facebook’s New AI Teaches Itself to See With Less Human Help

The Facebook algorithm, called Seer (for SElf-supERvised), fed on more than a billion images scraped from Instagram , deciding for itself which objects look alike.LeCun says self-supervised learning could have many useful applications, for instance learning to read medical images without the need for labeling so many scans and x-rays.

Australia Is Fighting a Platform War on the Wrong Battlefield

Australia Is Fighting a Platform War on the Wrong Battlefield

Though the law doesn’t seem terribly specific about the issue, Australian lawmakers seem to have accepted the long-voiced Murdochian claim that Google and Facebook are stealing news content by linking to articles, sometimes even providing snippets.

If Work Is Going Remote, Why Is Big Tech Still Building?

If Work Is Going Remote, Why Is Big Tech Still Building?

The company continues to expand its presence in other Bay Area cities, and Zuckerberg told employees that Facebook still saw a use for all of its current and planned space.