F-Secure Suggests How You Can ‘Uncensor’ Your Facebook News Feed

F-Secure Suggests How You Can 'Uncensor' Your Facebook News Feed

Following allegations that Facebook “censors” viewpoints its employees don’t like, Finland-based cyber-security company F-Secure has suggested certain steps that people can take to “uncensor” the Facebook News Feed to give users some control over what they like to see.

According to the cyber-security expert, Facebook users would never be able to control the ‘Trending’ section of the site, which the social networking giant insists is handled as objectively as possible through curators (and, apparently, a lot of help from Google).

“But you do have some control over your news feed, which is generated by Facebook’s algorithm Edgerank.”

F-Secure suggests that you can “get rid of the noise” by adding the people you want to get less news from to your “acquaintances” list on https://www.facebook.com/friends/organize.

You’ll see their posts a lot less often and – best of all – they’ll have no idea you’ve demoted them.

To let Facebook do less of the picking for you, go to the left column of your home page, under Favorites, next to News Feed click the arrow and select “Most Recent”.

While this won’t turn off Facebook’s algorithm completely, it will make it more likely you’ll see a diversity of sources in your feed.

To set your priority on the social network, click on the down arrow in the upper right corner of any Facebook page and select “News Feed Preferences” and then select “Prioritize who to see first” and then on the dropdown menu select “Pages only.”

Now click on those new pages you just added to your stream – along with the other valuable news sources you think help keep you informed.

You can also teach Facebook what you like. When you see something you like, click on it, comment on it, interact with it. Facebook exists to keep you in Facebook and will reward your clicks with similar content.

Tesla Under US SEC Scanner for Withholding Fatal Autopilot Crash

Tesla Under US SEC Scanner for Withholding Fatal Autopilot Crash: Report

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Tesla Motors Inc waited too long to disclose a fatal crash in May that called into question the safety of a system in the car that takes control of steering and braking, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing an unnamed source.

Tesla said in a statement on Monday afternoon that it “has not received any communication from the SEC regarding this issue.” The SEC declined to comment.

Tesla shares fell 1.3 percent in after-hours trading following the publication of the report on the Journal’s website.

The stock had risen 3.7 percent during regular trading, following a tweet on Sunday by Chief ExecutiveElon Musk that he is working on a “Top Secret Masterplan, Part 2” for the electric car company.

Musk, hinting at a possible new vision for the company, stated in the tweet that he hoped to “publish later this week.”

In its report on Monday, the Journal said the SEC is scrutinizing whether Tesla should have disclosed the fatal accident involving a Model S sedan operating in Autopilot mode as a “material” event, or a development a reasonable investor would consider important.

It is unclear what action, if any, the SEC will take. Automakers do not customarily report fatal auto accidents involving their vehicles as material events to shareholders. There is no established practice yet for reporting accidents where emerging auto-driving technology may be a factor.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) already said that it was investigating the May 7 accident in Florida, in which 40-year-old Joshua Brown was killed.

NHTSA is sending a five-person team to Florida later this week to investigate that crash, said Christopher O’Neil, a spokesman for the agency, which makes recommendations to regulators and companies about transportation-related safety issues.

The timing of Tesla’s disclosures about the accident has become an issue for the company in part because Autopilot is key to its image as a pioneer in automotive technology. No other automaker has released to the public a system in which a person can drive with hands off the wheel for an extended period while a car is in motion.

Tesla has said Autopilot should be used as a backup and not as a replacement for the driver, who should keep hands on the wheel all the time, and it has cautioned that the system is in beta, or test, mode.

Musk last week used his Twitter account to mount a defence of Tesla’s decision not to disclose the accident to the public until June 30, when NHTSA said it was launching its investigation.

Tesla said it alerted NHTSA on May 16, nine days after the accident, as it conducted its own internal probe into the crash.

NHTSA said last week that it was also looking into a July 1 crash in Pennsylvania of a Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle to determine whether Autopilot functions were engaged at the time of the accident.

Tesla also said on Monday that it was looking into a crash in Montana. In that crash, according to a report on Electrek, a clean technology transport news website, a Model X driver said Autopilot was engaged when the car slammed into a guardrail. Tesla did not provide any further details.

Lawyers for the family of Brown said they are investigating the circumstances of the crash, and awaiting conclusions from police and federal agencies. Paul Grieco, one of the lawyers for the Brown family, told Reuters his firm has received calls from other Tesla owners involved in accidents, some involving autopilot and others not.

The probes related to Autopilot come at a time when Musk and his high-flying company face pressure on several fronts.

In May, Tesla sold $2 billion (roughly Rs. 13,436 crores) worth of shares, in part to fund Musk’s plan to accelerate development of a new, lower priced electric car, the Model 3. Then in June, Musk disclosed a plan for Tesla to buy residential solar panel installation firm SolarCity Corp for $2.8 billion in Tesla stock.

That plan has drawn criticism from some investors critical of Musk’s role as both chairman and largest shareholder of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla.

At the same time, Tesla is struggling to meet its targets for building and delivering its Model S sedans and Model X sport utilities. The company reported during the long July 4 holiday weekend that it had delivered 14,370 vehicles during the second quarter, short of its target of 17,000 vehicles.

Relatives of Palestinian Attack Victims Sue Facebook for $1 Billion in US

Relatives of Palestinian Attack Victims Sue Facebook for $1 Billion in US

A group of Israelis and Americans filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking $1 billion in damages from Facebook Inc. for allegedly facilitating deadly Palestinian militant attacks on their loved ones.

The plaintiffs, relatives of four Israeli-US dual nationals and one visiting US citizen who died in attacks in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or the occupied West Bank between 2014 and 2016, accused Facebook of helping Hamas militants operate.

The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Southern District of New York, argued that Facebook “knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas … facilitat(ing) this terrorist group’s ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies”.

The social media giant did not respond directly to the lawsuit but said it stood by its regulations for preventing abusive content and a company representative in Israel said the company wanted “people to feel safe” when using Facebook.

“There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on Facebook. We have a set of Community Standards … and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our standards so we can investigate and take swift action.”

The private lawsuit follows censure from Israel’s security minister over what he deemed Facebook’s reluctance to help track potential Palestinian militants and curb incitement to violence. In response, Facebook defended its regulations against online abuse.

Hamas formally claimed responsibility for one of the attacks cited in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs’ Israeli lawyer, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, said they had expert assessments linking Hamas to the other attacks.

Hamas is designated a terrorist organisation by the United States. The lawsuit was brought under the 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act that prohibits American businesses from providing any material support, including services, to designated terrorist groups and their leaders.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, called the lawsuit an Israeli attempt to blackmail Facebook and accused Israel of trying to turn the social network into a spy tool against Palestinians.

He said some Israeli politicians and soldiers had “expressed pride at the killing of Palestinians” on Facebook and other social media. “The real test for the owners of Facebook is to reject this (Israeli) pressure,” Abu Zuhri said.

Darshan-Leitner, of the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Centre, filed a class action suit in October for an injunction against Facebook to stop carrying alleged Palestinian incitement. She said proceedings were still under way in that case.

Google Self-Driving Car Project Names General Counsel as Scrutiny Rises

Google Self-Driving Car Project Names General Counsel as Scrutiny Rises

Alphabet Inc’s Google self-driving car project said on Monday it appointed its first general counsel, as US regulators increase their scrutiny of autonomous vehicles.

Google has logged more than 1.7 million miles (2.7 million km) of autonomous driving in testing in Texas, California, Arizona and Washington state. It has said it has no timetable for making self-driving vehicles available to the public.

But a number of crashes involving the vehicles has caught the attention of regulators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in March it was collecting information after a Google self-driving car struck a municipal bus in California in a minor crash. But it did not open a formal probe.

The agency has opened a formal investigation into the May 7 death of a Tesla Motors Model S driver in a Florida crash who was operating in “Autopilot” mode.

US regulators are working on guidelines for such vehicles. They were supposed to be unveiled by July 14, but US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters last month they might not be released until later this summer.

Google named Ken Vosen as the top lawyer for its self-driving car project. He was most recently chief legal officer at The Climate Corporation, an environmental analysis firm and a unit of Monsanto Co. He was also previously counsel at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. His hiring was reported earlier by Re/Code.

The move could be a sign that Google is preparing to make its self-driving car unit a separate company. The programme is now part of its X research laboratory unit.

“The self-driving car project is in the middle of graduating from X and this is sort of a gradual process,” Astro Teller, who heads the X programme, told NBC News in April.

Google also said it hired Tim Papandreou to work on partnerships. He previously worked at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Office of Innovation.

In May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said they had agreed to work together to build a fleet of 100 self-driving minivans, marking the first time a Silicon Valley firm had teamed up with a traditional carmaker to develop an autonomous vehicle.

In March, Reuters reported Google’s self-driving car team was expanding and hiring more people with automotive industry expertise, underscoring the company’s determination to move the division past the experimental stage.

Twitter Increases Gif Image Size Limit to 15MB

Twitter Increases Gif Image Size Limit to 15MB

  • Twitter now supports gif images up to 15MB in size
  • Mobile apps still adhere to 5MB size limit for gif images
  • It is unclear if Twitter will bring the new size limit to its apps

Don’t we all just love to post hilarious Simpsons gif images as replies to our friends or famous celebrities on Twitter? Of course we do. As it turns out, now we can do it in even better quality and longer durations, as Twitter has decided to increase the gif image size limit to 15MB.

Notably, the increase in gif image size limit applies to only the Web interface of Twitter. The mobile apps and TweetDeck still adhere to the previous limit of 5MB – it is unclear if Twitter intends to extend the increased limit to these platforms and third-party services.

Social networking websites seem to have realised the importance of these gif images, those embeddable moving images that are widely used as reaction posts or memes. Gif images are used to share very short-duration video clips (often with captions) and have been brought into the mainstream by websites such as 9Gag. The primary advantage gif images have over videos is that they allow you to make and share animations with much more ease, and in most cases are smaller in weight.

Although these might not seem like big advantages, gif images have proved to be game-changers with most users viewing the content on their mobiles and more importantly, on a data connection at most times.

In countries like India where connectivity is an issue, watching videos on data connection is still not as smooth an experience as one would wish. Also, because of limited attention span and time-availability, people are increasingly interested in just the best bits of an event, movie or TV shows that can be easily made available with gif images.

Foxconn, Tencent-Backed Automaker to Release Self-Driving Electric Car by 2020

Foxconn, Tencent-Backed Automaker to Release Self-Driving Electric Car by 2020

An automotive venture backed by China tech giant Tencentaims to launch an electric self-driving car before 2020, entering a crowded field dominated by US-based Tesla Motors, the chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

Future Mobility, backed by Tencent and Hon Hai Precision Industries, is one of an expanding field of China-backed ventures that aim to take on Tesla Motors Inc as green energy car sales boom in China.

Although the venture seeks to produce premium cars like Tesla, it will attempt a different strategy from the US-based company that began with relatively limited production and focuses on a single model at a time, CEO Carsten Breitfeld said in an interview.

“Right from the beginning we define the platform, right from the beginning we define the production process to be mass production and right from the beginning we think of more than one model, a family of models, defined from this platform,” Breitfeld said.

Future Mobility also stands out for poaching its leadership away from big-name tech and autos companies.

Breitfeld formerly led the BMW i series electric car division and brought the core team with him to the new venture, with others joining from Tesla, Alphabet’s Google and Daimler’s Mercedes.

Future Mobility is in the midst of closing its Series A round of funding, which also includes dealership chain China Harmony New Energy Auto, Breitfeld said.

He declined to give financial terms of the first round or name other potential investors that the company is in talks with.