Big Brother Is Watching
Facebook gave the world a new reason to think they’re a bunch of scary, omnipotent puppeteers last week when it was revealed that Facebook data scientists tinkered with users’ news feeds to study the emotional impact it would have.
It all started when the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published the study by a team of data scientists working with Facebook, which went mostly unnoticed at first. Once it made its media debut — likely in this small article from NewScientist — it caught fire, and the headlines are calling the study creepy, manipulative and unethical.
For the first time since expanding to New York in 2008, Facebook will have a contingent in the city’s famed Pride March this Sunday.
“There will be 100 or 150 employees, as well as interns, family and friends joining us,” Facebook engineering manager Matt Bush told Betabeat. “We all plan on walking… We hope everyone dresses in really festive outfits.”
Though they’ve participated in Pride marches in other cities, like San Francisco, for years, this is the first time Facebook will march in the NYC parade. The idea was mainly employee-generated, Mr. Bush said.
It's a Zuck Zuck Zuck Zuck World
Millennials — they can’t even stop with the social media long enough to rob a house properly.
South St. Paul resident Nicholas Steven Wig, 27, allegedly broke into and robbed a house last week, Ars Technica reports. Before fleeing the scene with his booty, he reportedly logged onto Facebook on the victim’s computer — but forgot to log out.
When the owner returned to his ransacked house, he discovered — besides the fact that he was missing a bunch of items — that his computer was logged into the Facebook account of someone named Nick Dub. Police traced the Nick Dub Facebook account back to Mr. Wig and arrested him on burglary charges.
A judge in southern Iran has ordered Mark Zuckerberg to appear in Iranian court, CBS News reports.
The judge allegedly wants Zuck to field complaints from individuals who claim Instagram and WhatsApp have violated their privacy. Sounds fun.
There was once a time when emojis were all fun and games, but now they mean business.
A new Yelp feature enables users on the mobile app to search for services using the friendly little icons we all love.
Now, instead of typing “bar,” all you have to do is enter one of the five alcohol-related emojis. Wine glass, martini glass, garnished cocktail glass, beer mug or X2 beer mug — the choice is yours.
Off the Media
Thanks, Facebook, for incorporating another feature that’s already been available in app form for years.
The social network that brought you the “ask” button so creeps can inquire about the relationship status or phone number you’ve purposely been keeping private will soon allow you to detect songs, movies and TV shows in order to share what you’re listening to and watching with 800 of your closest friends.
Great Achievements in Facebook
Last month, NPR pulled a pretty masterful April Fools’ prank. They published an article titled “Why Doesn’t America Read Anymore?” and put it on Facebook. The response was instantaneous. The likes and the comments came pouring in.
Since January, Facebook has been slowly rolling out a new feature onto profile pages everywhere. It’s a little button that says “ask” that allows you to request missing profile information, and In order to ask someone for their status, you have to include a brief message — something charming like “Uummmm…” or “Hey grl” or Read More
Internet of Things
In a continued desperate effort to stay relevant among today’s youths, Facebook is reportedly building a video chat app to rival Snapchat.
Facebook is internally referring to the messaging app as Slingshot, the Guardian reports. Slingshot is currently under development, but could be released as soon as this month — provided Facebook doesn’t remember what happened to its Poke app, and decide to scrap the project altogether.
When people hear “Internet of Things,” their first inclination is to think of Google-owned talking thermostats. But it’s the less-buzzworthy global communications titans like Intel and Cisco who have been building up their portfolio of Internet of Things companies over the past few years — and they’re only getting started.
Intel recently bought up Basis Systems, which makes health tracking bands, and Cisco’s portfolio includes companies that put sensors in home utility meters and bicycles. These are companies that made their multinational empires building satellites and wireless networks — and now they want to develop consumer products that put sensors in alarm clocks, hearing aids and thermostats.