Category Archives: News and Views

Google’s new project aims to clean up comment sections | TechCrunch

If you read stuff on the internet (and obviously you do because hi, you’re reading a blog) then you know the golden rule: never read the comments.

Scrolling past the end of a story is an adventure into a realm of racism, conspiracy theories and ad hominem attacks that will quickly make you lose your faith in humanity. But instead of encountering Godwin’s Law in the comments, you might start encountering Google instead. Google’s internet safety incubator Jigsaw launched new technology today called Perspective, intended to clean up comment sections.

Perspective reviews comments and assigns them a toxicity rating that reflects the likelihood that the comment is intended to be harmful. Jigsaw’s goal is to keep people engaged in the conversation, so it assesses “harm” as something that would drive other commenters away.

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Ford skips over semi-autonomous cars for fully autonomous ones | Mashable

ford-carWill self-driving cars have steering wheels? Maybe not, if engineers keep falling asleep.

Ford’s self-driving cars will skip over Level 3 — where cars are automated, but human drivers are still expected to take over if need be — to Level 4, where cars are basically fully autonomous except for extreme conditions. (Self-driving cars that would meet the requirements for Level 5 are still theoretical at this point.) The levels are defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE.

Automotive News reported that Ford came to that decision after its engineers fell asleep, lulled into a false sense of security with nothing much to do while driving Level 3 cars.

“These are trained engineers who are there to observe what’s happening,” Ford Product Development Chief Raj Nair told the publication. “But it’s human nature that you start trusting the vehicle more and more and that you feel you don’t need to be paying attention.”

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Microsoft Faces European Privacy Probes Over Windows 10 | Bloomberg

Microsoft Corp. faces a coordinated investigation by European privacy regulators after it failed to do enough to address their concerns about the collection and processing of user data with a series of changes to Windows 10 last month.

European Union data-protection officials sent a letter to Microsoft saying they remain “concerned about the level of protection of users’ personal data,” according to a copy of the document posted by the Dutch watchdog Tuesday. Regulators from seven countries are concerned that even after the announced changes, “Microsoft does not comply with fundamental privacy rules.”

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Why Payment Companies Are Flocking To Messaging Apps | Fast Company

Money is surprisingly social. Venmo was one of the first U.S. startups to capitalize on that realization, designing its mobile app around an emoji-ridden social feed. Now messaging apps are seeing the light and welcoming financial services companies onto their platforms.

Today, TransferWise enters the fray with the launch of its Facebook Messenger bot. As with the TransferWise app, the bot provides a lower-cost means for executing cross-border payments. It will compete against a similar offering from Azimo Ltd., which announced its Messenger integration in August.

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Chick-fil-A serving beef | Business Insider

Chick-fil-A is well known for its advertising touting chicken over beef.

But at a handful of restaurants, the chain has been quietly serving steak and hamburgers for decades.

The restaurants also serve a host of other exclusive dishes, such as fried okra and collard greens, that aren’t available at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide.

We visited one of the locations in Hapeville, Georgia to get a taste of the menu.

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Kraft confirms Unilever merger approach | Business Insider

LONDON — Unilever, the monolithic company behind the likes of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Hellmann’s mayonnaise and Dove, has rejected a takeover bid from fellow consumer goods giant firm Kraft Heinz, both companies confirmed on Friday.

On Friday afternoon, Kraft, which is backed by legendary investor Warren Buffett, confirmed that it had an approach to take over Unilever rejected, following a story from the Financial Times Alphaville blog earlier in the day.

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Why America’s Aging Casual-Dining Chains Are Quietly Building Fast-Casual Restaurants – Adweek

Late in 2015, a new restaurant opened in Winter Park, Fla., a northern suburb of Orlando. It’s a big room with exposed ductwork, an open kitchen along one wall and a long bar skirting the other. The cooks there cut and smoke all the meats in house, and many of the ingredients are locally sourced. The patrons, not surprisingly, skew young, which also probably explains menu items like chicken waffles, Wonuts (a hybrid of waffles and donuts) and a pretzel braid appetizer that comes with a Samuel Adams cheese fondue. Out on the patio, you’ll find “Yappy Hour,” a happy hour with dogs invited, though you’ll probably have to wait for a table—weekends often see lines out the door.

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In the Relentless 24/7 Battle to Grab Eyeballs, Old-School News Organizations like The New York Times Remain Dominant—for Now | WIRED

THERE IS A term for news organizations that predate the internet—legacy media—and you may have heard they’re dying. But in researching who was watching and reading what at the end of 2016, one thing became clear: Some of the oldest voices in the news are still the biggest. Just the print issue of The New York Times reaches more people every day than the Huffington Post does, and the nightly news shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC each have many millions more viewers than even the highest-trafficked news site. At least for now.

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‘Pokémon GO’ Is Finally Evolving With 80 New Gen 2 Pokémon Arriving This Week | Forbes

It’s been something of an open secret that Generation 2 Pokémon from the games Gold and Silver installments were coming to Pokémon GO at some point. But at this point, with so little official information, it seemed as if their arrival was still months away.

Try days away.

This morning, Niantic has announced that Gen 2 is rolling out (almost) all at once with 80 new Gen 2 Pokémon appearing in the game by the end of this week. These are all “Johto” region Pokémon, and while the game has gotten a few Gen 2 “babies” in an earlier event, this is Pokémon GO’s biggest update since launch, one that should result in a huge resurgence in interest, even if the game has fallen out of favor with many.

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How Video Streaming Services Like Netflix and VIDGO are Changing TV Forever | CoolBusinessIdeas.com

We all remembered when MTV famously played the music video “Video Killed the Radio Star” over and over when the service first aired. On air radio remains a mainstay because it is one of the few information and entertainment services one can access and enjoy while working, driving or working. However, video streaming does have the potential to kill TV services for several reasons. This is why stations like HBO are changing and tech companies from YouTube to Amazon are altering how they do business.

Content You Can’t Find Anywhere Else

YouTube, Amazon and Netflix have free content available on demand while other movies and shows require you to pay per episode. They try to differentiate themselves by not offering the same catalog of movies and TV shows.

Partially in response to licensing rights that were a legal mess to get approved when Amazon and Netflix tried to license American TV shows abroad, they started curating their own content and creating their own shows. For example, you can only find the modern remake of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Fuller House” on Netflix while “Transparent” is only on Amazon Prime.

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