Nothing is off-limits in the fight between the two social media companies.
Snapchat is leaning into its bitter rivalry with Facebook this April Fool’s Day, unveiling a photo filter that pokes Facebook in the eye for its inability to curtail the Russian influence campaign on its site.
A new filter allows you to pretend you are uploading a new profile photo to Facebook — but the standard news feed language that someone “updated their profile picture” instead reads in Cyrillic. The people who like the photo are “Your Mom,” “A bot” and “2 others” — with all that language being featured in Cyrillic-looking text.
Here’s our friend Casey Newton of our sister site The Verge showing off the feature.
At the China Development Forum today, Tim Cook was asked about the leak of Facebook user data that saw Cambridge Analytica amass information on 50 million users. As reported by Bloomberg, Cook stated that the Facebook controversy is another sign that “well-crafted” regulations are necessary to protect user data…
After nearly four days of silence from top executives on the unfolding controversy around Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of user data, Facebook on Tuesday made a statement about what Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg are doing. “Mark, Sheryl and their teams are working around the clock to get all the facts and take the appropriate action moving forward, because they understand the seriousness of this issue,” Facebook told The Daily Beast. “The entire company is outraged we were deceived. We are committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect people’s information and will take whatever steps are required to see that this happens.”
The company’s statement is notable for three reasons. One, it escalates the emotional tone of…
The whole Cambridge Analytica fiasco has led to Facebook being the subject of many potential regulatory investigations and users worried about the social network’s data sharing practices. There’s also a movement going on over on Twitter with the #deletefacebook hashtag encouraging users to delete their Facebook profile for good. Continue reading → iPhone Hacks | #1 iPhone, iPad, iOS Blog
Ah, the 90s. The clothes were loud, the rom-coms cheesy (but also the best). Oh, and the internet? Insanely slow. Pages loaded line by line — or, worse, pixel by pixel. It was hard to do more than check your email (AOL, of course) or a quick search on Alta Vista or Ask Jeeves.
Today’s internet has proliferated in part thanks to its speed, which is about 100 times faster than it was in the late 90s. Some elements of the internet will get faster still, especially as more people around the world use their phones to access it.
Enter Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Tech giant and internet overlord Google has been using it for a while. But now the company is saying they want a lot more of the internet to be using them.
“Do I want the internet to turn into a giant AMP-hill?” you may ask yourself. Here’s everything you need to know in order to understand why Google’s plan is actually a pretty big deal.
What is It?
Your friend sends you an article via text. It seems interesting. You try to click it. Instead of reading the article in what seems to be a reasonable amount of time, you’re still staring at the loading screen. That’s because the site your friend has directed you to is cluttered with ads and optimized only for desktop. And you’re on your phone. Sigh.
AMP is designed to change that. It’s an open-source website-publishing technology that site-owners can use without losing the value of having ads on their site. Google spearheads the development of the open-source library.
With AMP, web pages load faster and appear portable — the way you might have experienced when reading articles from Facebook or Apple News via your phone. AMP provides that lickety-split service for all the sites you’d access via your mobile browser. Some sites use this, but certainly not all.
AMP for All
Google wants to see AMP everywhere. According to a recent blog post, the company wants to convince the group that handles the internet’s web standards to adopt a technology that takes cues from the AMP framework. “We now feel ready to take the next step and work to support more instant-loading content not based on AMP technology in areas of Google Search designed for this,” Malte Ubl, tech lead for the AMP Project at Google, wrote in the post.
“This content will need to follow a set of future web standards and meet a set of objective performance and user experience criteria to be eligible,” the post continued, listing a number of “lessons learned” from Google’s AMP experience.
Speed, At A Cost
That sounds like a wonderful idea. Who wouldn’t want their internet to work faster, especially on the go?
But it’s Google we’re talking about here. As The Verge described, instead of working as “a steward of the web,” Google has become its “nefarious puppet master.” That is, some believe Google is pushing the proliferation of the internet in ways that enrich the company, but don’t necessarily make people’s lives better, all under a facade of altruism. Not cool.
Indeed, some web developers and publishers enthusiastic about an AMP-filled future internet are worried about what might happen if Google takes the lead. One group wrote an open letter that criticized Google AMP as a way to keep users “within Google’s domain and divert traffic away from other websites for the benefit of Google.” They added: “At a scale of billions of users, this has the effect of further reinforcing Google’s dominance of the Web.”
Of course, Google find this to be unfair. “This is honestly a fairly altruistic project from our perspective,” David Besbris, Google’s VP of search engineering, told The Verge. ”It wasn’t like we invented AMP because we wanted to control everything, like people assume.”
Well Google said it, so we should take their word for it, right? It is, of course, not that easy. Google has so many proprietary assets controlling how people make content and put it online — it’s not exactly at the cutting-edge of the so-called Open Web. Furthermore, as Ars Technica pointed out, critics of Google’s AMP project believe it’s possible to deliver the same fast content simply by “not doing things that are slow.”
Google will likely continue to invest in AMP, and get others to do the same. We’ll see if their opponents become even more vocal, or whether surfing the web via mobile continues to feel like a 90s throwback.
We recently reported that amid the rollout of its iOS 11.2.5 software update, a number of prominent Judeo-Christian holidays (including Easter and Good Friday) seemed to mysteriously vanish from Apple’s Calendar app — prompting outcry among some religious believers who were under the impression that an anti-Christian bias was afoot up in Cupertino. Now, roughly two […] Read More… iDrop News
Apple continues to face scrutiny over throttling older iPhones as their batteries age. In addition to questioning from lawmakers in the U.S. and other countries around the world, the company today testified in front of a House of Commons committee regarding the iPhone slowdown controversy…
The controversy over loot boxes in games like Star Wars: Battlefront II, Need for Speed: Payback and Destiny 2 hasn't settled and state legislators in the US and governments abroad are considering legislation that would limit their use or straight up… Engadget RSS Feed
Add the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office to the growing list of government units around the world that are investigating Apple over the reduced performance of iPhones with older batteries inside. The company’s poor messaging about an iOS update intended to prevent unexpected shutdowns — a change that required throttling the processor and slowing performance of iPhones with chemically-aged batteries — led to widespread controversy and customer frustration late last year.
As reported by Apple Insider, the new probe comes after Seol’s Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty filed a complaint against Apple that claimed the company is really slowing down iPhones to sway consumers towards upgrading sooner than would otherwise be…